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A malicious link being sent around will freeze your iPhone — even if you don’t click on it

Women with iPhone

  • A software developer discovered a bug that lets anyone send you a malicious link on iMessage that can crash your phone. 
  • Because the bug lies in the link preview, it can freeze the iMessage app without you even clicking on it.
  • Called “chaiOS,” the bug affects phones running iOS 10 or later. 

A bug called “chaiOS” is wreaking havoc on iPhones. 

According to a report out Wednesday from BuzzFeed’s Nicole Nguyen, the security vulnerability is capable of freezing or crashing your phone if you’re sent a specific link through iMessage. 

According to BuzzFeed, the bug was originally discovered by software developer Abraham Masri, who posted his findings to Github. Masri said his intentions were good — he had alerted Apple to the bug ahead of time and said he only posted it publicly to get Apple’s attention.

Masri’s original post has since been taken down, but the link may still be floating around, according to BuzzFeed.

Because of the way links work in iMessage — the app generates previews of links before you click on them — you can be affected by chaiOS without even clicking on the link itself. The link preview contains the bug, and it can freeze iMessage all on its own. The bug is capable of crashing iMessage altogether, and in some cases, forcing you to restore your phone to factory settings. 

The bug affects phones running iOS 10 up to at least iOS 11.2.5 beta 5, according to BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed’s report has a few helpful tips for how to protect yourself from the bug, so head over there for more. 

SEE ALSO: Sorry, but the iPhone’s hideous notch probably won’t get smaller until 2019

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Rex Tillerson said his staff prints out Trump’s tweets and hands them to him to read

rex tillerson

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he doesn’t use Twitter.
  • His staff prints out President Donald Trump’s tweets for him to read.
  • He said it’s “not a bad system” because by the time he reads the tweets, there are already early reactions he can use to decide how to act.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a talk at Stanford University on Wednesday that he doesn’t have Twitter, but he receives print-outs of President Donald Trump’s tweets so he can figure out how to “use” them.

“The challenge is just getting caught up because I don’t even have a Twitter account that I can follow when he’s tweeting. So my staff usually has to print his tweets out and hand them to me,” Tillerson said, to the audience’s laughter.

He said that though the process may seem cumbersome, he’s “actually concluded that’s not a bad system.” He added that he doesn’t know in advance if or when Trump plans to tweet, so “there’s not a whole lot I’m gonna do until it’s out there.”

By the time his staff hands him the papers, Tillerson said, early reactions to Trump’s tweets have usually started filtering in, so he has a fuller picture of what to do next.

“It might be five minutes, or it might be an hour before somebody hands me a piece of paper and says, ‘Hey, the president’s tweeted this out,'” he said. “It allows me to now think about … is it a foreign policy issue? What is it he’s tweeting about, and how do we take that and now use it?”

Tillerson was at Stanford’s Hoover Institution on Wednesday to give a speech on the US’s efforts in stabilizing Syria. He made the remarks about Trump’s tweets when former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asked him about Trump’s use of social media.

“It is a great tool when it’s used well,” Tillerson said. “The president has used it to great effect, by bypassing the way you traditionally communicate.”

He didn’t specify how the tweets are printed out — whether there are multiple on one page or if each tweet gets its own piece of paper.

Watch a clip of Tillerson’s comments below:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

SEE ALSO: A judge used Trump’s own tweets against him in a ruling that blocked the Dreamers program phase-out

DON’T MISS: Trump reportedly gets a folder full of ‘admiring tweets’ and pictures of him ‘looking powerful’ twice a day

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A bunch of publishers are about to find out that Facebook’s algorithm thinks their video content is worthless (FB)

mark zuckerberg

  • Facebook’s algorithm could mean the beginning of the end for a certain type of news feed video.
  • The company has said that it will penalize “passive content” in favor of content that people have meaningful interactions with. But no one knows exactly how that will play out.
  • Some publishers that have perfected racking up cheap Facebook views will probably take a hit. In the meantime, several publisher see the algorithm tweak as ultimately benefiting Facebook Watch.

Some top web publishers are predicting that Facebook’s major algorithm reboot will sound the death knell for short-form, news feed video, as the company moves to prioritize Facebook Watch.

While some are championing this strategic shift – given how hard it is to make money from short news feed clips – others worry that Facebook’s algorithm is about to determine that a slew of video producers are no longer welcome.

What’s driving all this is Facebook’s two pronged pledge. First off, the algorithm tweak promises to prioritize posts from friends and family, ideally reinvigorating the social part of the social network.

Second, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said he wants to rid the news feed of content that people don’t engage with, or what he called “passive content.”

Of course, only Facebook’s engineers know what Facebook constitutes engaging and what doesn’t. That’s got some media companies suddenly worrying, is my content passive? At the same time, Facebook is trying to encourage people to go to the fledgling Facebook Watch tab to watch lots of videos on purpose.

couch

Some say that short form news feed video was never going to last

Presumably, once the full algorithm change takes effect, Facebook will grade video content on how much time people spend with it, whether they share it or comment on it. But it’s not totally clear at the moment what will exactly go into that grading system.

One publisher told Business Insider that ‘likes’ will be less important than in the past in Facebook’s engagement calculation.

In addition, while shares still matter, videos receiving comments – particularly longer comments – will be given more weight via the new algorithm, said a person familiar with the matter.

Either way, racking up empty-calorie view numbers on Facebook seems suddenly less viable.

To Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg, videos designed to pop in Facebook’s news feed never had legs. “Facebook’s presentation of video always felt forced and non-sustainable,” he told Business’s Insider. ‘Publishers should be creating long-form video. The short-form video craze was obviously never going to work.”

That’s because there weren’t many ways to attach ads to short videos that suddenly pop into people’s feeds.

“No one’s monetizing that short form video anyway,” said Ben Lerer, CEO of Group Nine Media, who predicted that Facebook’s move signalled that Watch would receive renewed focus – which should a good thing for quality publishers. 

What is ‘video,’ anyway?

As recently as 2016, Facebook regularly touted how its platform was generating 8 billion video views a day.

That figure was mostly a shot at then ascendant Snapchat. But it also served to point at how fleeting some of Facebook’s video viewing was – particularly as it came to light that it counted a view after just three seconds of screen time.

As Facebook started to talk up those numbers, publishers like BuzzFeed and Mic and others also started boasting of video operations generating millions, if not billions of views.

You don’t hear that talk much these days. That’s probably because many have been critical of some publishers seemingly figuring out how to rack up video view numbers with, let’s say, less-than-content-rich videos.

That’s the kind of passively consumed content many expect the Facebook algorithm to whack.

So what do passive videos look like? 

Take this Elite Daily clip that has amassed close to a million views in less than one day. It’s essentially just a 45-second gif of Anthony Anderson of ABC’s ‘Blackish’ crying.

Similarly, here’s a cute video of an otter jumping around from LADBible, the UK-based publisher which according to the analytics firm Tubular Labs regularly generates more views than most publishers on Facebook.

It’s not exactly an episode of “Game of Thrones.” But it does have over 4 million views and nearly 20,000 shares. Is this ‘passive’ or active?

It gets even grayer for newsy publications such as NowThis and Mic. Both have built up large video followings on Facebook. But at times, their video content isn’t technically “video.”

For example, here’s a Mic Facebook video focused on Net Neutrality. It cleverly explains the complicated subject using bright animation. But there’s no video footage per se.

Or take these NowThis videos on James Franco and Donald Trump respectively. They are comprised mostly of photos, text and music, but NowThis doesn’t appear to have filmed any real original video. 

 

Lastly, here’s a similar no-video video from AJ+

Each of these videos has been shared widely, which would seem to indicate that people are responding to them. So how Facebook will treat them is a big open question.

Several video producers have defended these formats noting that social media feeds require different types of mobile story telling than typical slick TV productions.

“I don’t think this is about specific formats,” said Lerer. “This kind of content should be native to Facebook. I don’t think you’ll see short form video go away in the News Feed by any way, shape, or form. There may be a new set of best practices and tactics.”

“But if to Facebook premium means content that stokes conversation and emotion, we meet that better than anybody.”

If Facebook is serious about Watch, now’s the time to go for it

Several publishers believe that if Facebook clears out a lot of video from its newsfeed, that’s ultimately a good thing for Watch, which should become more distinctive and clear in its purpose.

“Facebook has suggested it will reward intentional content viewing and deprioritize accidental or passive consumption on its feed,” said Matthew Segal, cofounder of the social news startup ATTN. “This is good news for publishers who meticulously produce video with a goal of reaching a specific, passionate audience. Publishers who tend to trick their audience into viewing content with video gifs or animal reactions will probably take a hit.” 

Facebook has clearly made longer form video a priority for Watch going forward. Thus, quality content producers should excel. But that won’t be an easy pivot for companies that have mastered churning out quick hit news feed clips.

“My fear is that this change will be an excuse used by a lot of media companies that spent all kinds of money without building a brand or telling stories,” Evan Gotlib, SVP of sales at the women-focused web publisher LittleThings, told Business Insider. “They’ll say, ‘oh, it’s Facebook’s fault.'”

“If you’re in the business of using video to tell stories you should do great,” Gotlib added. “If you don’t do that you may not be in business anymore.”

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UBS: Netflix is likely to stay on top of the video streaming world despite fierce competition (NFLX)

stranger things

  • Netflix is well-positioned to lead the competition because it is a master of both content and technology, a UBS analyst said.
  • Its increasing subscriber growth, loyal fan base, and original content are likely to sustain the company’s growth trajectory.
  • View Netflix’s real time stock price here.

While competition for the hearts of video streaming viewers is expected to heat up, Netflix will remain on top, according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan.

Even though a growing number of video streaming services are likely to enter the fray, “we believe Netflix will likely remain the leader due to its scale, excellent execution, brand, proven technology & content expertise, singular product focus, and lead in building its own exclusive original content library,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan raised his price target to $250 per share from $221.66.

Netflix is a master of both content and technology, which will help it sustain its subscription growth and keep loyal customers satisfied, he said.

Based on UBS’s estimates, Netflix subscription growth is expected to keep rising, particularly as the company invests in original content, expands its overseas local content, and adds more to its selection that will attract international subscribers.

Netflix raised its US subscription prices in October, which had no material effect on its subscription growth. Sheridan notes that this “can be viewed as supportive of the platform’s pricing power.” Sheridan reasons that the more subscribers and views Netflix can attract, the higher potential there will be for increased average revenue per user and overall revenue.

Sheridan pointed out the strength of Netflix’s original content, particularly the widely popular “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why.” Spending on original content can bring in more subscribers and position “Netflix to sustain its clear global leadership in the emerging online video subscription business.” 

Netflix has its share of bulls and bears on Wall Street. Many of its detractors see rising competition as a threat. No less a heavy hitter than Disney has entered the scene by acquiring a video streaming company and parts of 21st Century Fox.

Yet Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen said the company is “miles ahead of its peers,” as it chooses to focus on subscriptions over advertising, and offers scaled distribution with a growing international presence. 

Netflix’s stock is trading at $218.28 a share and is up 8.58% for the year.

The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 22. 

Read more about the reasons why one analyst thinks Netflix has room to grow.

Netflix stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

Join the conversation about this story »

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UBS: Netflix is likely to stay on top of the video streaming world despite fierce competition (NFLX)

stranger things

  • Netflix is well-positioned to lead the competition because it is a master of both content and technology, a UBS analyst said.
  • Its increasing subscriber growth, loyal fan base, and original content are likely to sustain the company’s growth trajectory.
  • View Netflix’s real time stock price here.

While competition for the hearts of video streaming viewers is expected to heat up, Netflix will remain on top, according to UBS analyst Eric Sheridan.

Even though a growing number of video streaming services are likely to enter the fray, “we believe Netflix will likely remain the leader due to its scale, excellent execution, brand, proven technology & content expertise, singular product focus, and lead in building its own exclusive original content library,” Sheridan said.

Sheridan raised his price target to $250 per share from $221.66.

Netflix is a master of both content and technology, which will help it sustain its subscription growth and keep loyal customers satisfied, he said.

Based on UBS’s estimates, Netflix subscription growth is expected to keep rising, particularly as the company invests in original content, expands its overseas local content, and adds more to its selection that will attract international subscribers.

Netflix raised its US subscription prices in October, which had no material effect on its subscription growth. Sheridan notes that this “can be viewed as supportive of the platform’s pricing power.” Sheridan reasons that the more subscribers and views Netflix can attract, the higher potential there will be for increased average revenue per user and overall revenue.

Sheridan pointed out the strength of Netflix’s original content, particularly the widely popular “Stranger Things” and “13 Reasons Why.” Spending on original content can bring in more subscribers and position “Netflix to sustain its clear global leadership in the emerging online video subscription business.” 

Netflix has its share of bulls and bears on Wall Street. Many of its detractors see rising competition as a threat. No less a heavy hitter than Disney has entered the scene by acquiring a video streaming company and parts of 21st Century Fox.

Yet Macquarie analyst Tim Nollen said the company is “miles ahead of its peers,” as it chooses to focus on subscriptions over advertising, and offers scaled distribution with a growing international presence. 

Netflix’s stock is trading at $218.28 a share and is up 8.58% for the year.

The company is expected to report its fourth-quarter results on Jan. 22. 

Read more about the reasons why one analyst thinks Netflix has room to grow.

Netflix stock price

SEE ALSO: Netflix still has a ton of room to grow — even with Disney in the ring

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: THE BOTTOM LINE: Chipotle vs. Qdoba, the bear case on Apple, and diagnosing a bitcoin bubble

Google’s fix for the weird Chromecast and Google Home glitch that broke WiFi networks will be released on January 18

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A weird glitch that caused WiFi networks to temporarily break down for certain Chromecast and Google Home users is getting a fix on Thursday January 18.

It was previously thought that Google’s casting devices, like the Chromecast and Google Home, were the culprits. But a short blog post on Google’s support site on Wednesday said the issue was actually isolated for Android smartphone users.

The glitch was caused by Android phones running Google’s casting software, which casts music to the Google Home and video streams to Chromecast devices from Android phones.  

In certain cases, the Google Cast software inside Android smartphones would malfunction and overwhelm home WiFi routers with too much information at very high speeds. It could cause some internet speed slowdowns every so often, or cause a WiFi router to reboot entirely, causing a temporary disruption. 

The company said that Android users should look out for a Google Play Services update on their Android phones on Thursday January 18. It also suggested Android users reboot their phones and check to make sure their WiFi routers are running on the latest firmware.

SEE ALSO: The technology that hides fingerprint sensors underneath displays will make the dreaded smartphone bezel extinct

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The Netherlands is getting a ‘vertical forest’ skyscraper covered in over 5,000 plants — and apartments cost less than $900 a month

Stefano Boeri Architetti Eindhoven Trudo Vertical Forest hero_a 852x479

  • A plant-filled, affordable housing skyscraper will be built in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
  • Designed by Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, it will feature 125 apartment units priced at below-market rate.
  • The tower follows the style of other Boeri buildings, which are also covered in dozens of different species of trees and shrubs.

 

Eindhoven is one of the greenest cities in the Netherlands. And last year, in its “Green Policy Plan,” the Dutch city committed to building even more parks, tree-lined sidewalks, and plant-filled plazas in coming years.

A new skyscraper covered in over 5,000 trees and plants will build on that mission.

Designed by Italian firm Stefano Boeri Architetti, the greenery-covered tower will prioritize affordable housing. Every unit will be designated as “affordable,” meaning they will cost less than $870 in monthly rent (i.e. what the city considers below-market rate according to the Dutch Housing Law).

Called the Trudo Vertical Forest, the 19-story skyscraper will house 125 units measuring approximately 540 square feet each. In total, 125 trees and 5,200 shrubs and plants will grow on the apartment balconies.

Lead architect Stefano Boeri is known for his nature-filled buildings. Last June, Stefano Boeri Architetti announced that it would build a “forest city” in Liuzhou, China by 2020 that’s made up of towers covered in 40,000 trees and nearly 1 million plants. The skyscraper designs will be similar to the two-tower complex that Boeri designed in Nanjing.

There isn’t an exact timeline for construction yet. Social housing foundation Sint Trudo will develop the property.

Developers are building other Boeri towers in Paris, Lausanne, Switzerland and Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Stefano Boeri Architetti Eindhoven Trudo Vertical Forest col_1 1704x2410Like these projects, Trudo Vertical Forest aims to curb greenhouse-gas emissions in the city. According to its architects, the tower’s plants will consume 50 tons of carbon dioxide per year. That’s the equivalent of kicking about 10 cars off the road annually.

Trudo Vertical Forest’s design “confirms that it is possible to combine the great challenges of climate change with those of housing shortages,” Boeri said in a statement. “Urban forestry is not only necessary to improve the environment of the world’s cities but also an opportunity to improve the living conditions of less fortunate city dwellers.”

SEE ALSO: Paris is getting a ‘White Forest’ wooden tower that will feature 2,000 plants — take a look

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