The most popular KickassTorrents mirror is not a mirror at all. At least, not one that lists torrents from the defunct KAT site. Instead, it’s merely serving content from the Pirate Bay, misleading visitors with a KickassTorrents skin.php snippet=11]
Average download speeds for broadband customers in the U.S. this year have exceeded 50 Mbps for “the first time ever,” according to a new report from Speedtest on Internet service provider (ISP) performance across the country. Mobile Internet speeds are also increasing, although the U.S. continues to lag globally in both broadband and mobile performance, currently ranking 20th in fixed broadband and 42nd in mobile Internet performance globally.
Comcast’s Xfinity ranked number one during the first six months of this year among U.S. ISPs for download speeds, averaging 125.53 Mbps, according to Speedtest, a service of Seattle-based Ookla. In a measurement of upload speeds, meanwhile, Verizon’s Fios fiber service came in at the top with an average speed of 93.64 Mbps.
In the case of mobile Internet services, customers are benefitting from a highly competitive market in which the top four carriers — AT&t, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — “are in a tight race for fastest download speeds,” according to the new report. And mobile network speeds, now averaging a little more than 19 Mbps, have increased by over 30 percent since last year.
For mobile downloads, there was a tie between Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile in the first half of 2016, with speeds averaging just over 21 Mbps, according to Speedtest. T-Mobile was the top performer in uploads, with an average speed over 11 Mbps.
Since July 2015, fixed broadband customers across the U.S. have seen download speeds improve by more than 40 percent, according to Speedtest. It said those improvements came in the wake of industry consolidation, infrastructure upgrades and growing deployment of fiber-optic service by companies ranging from AT&T and Xfinity to Google Fiber.
While the average broadband speeds are “more than sufficient for typical activities like browsing the web and streaming video content,” they… [php snippet=11]
Until now, Apple has resisted calls to offer a bug bounty program like many other companies ranging from AT&T to Tesla Motors to Zynga. However, an Apple executive has revealed that the company plans to offer cash awards to a select group of security researchers who can identify vulnerabilities in key application areas.
The company plans to award bounties of $25,000 to $200,000 to unnamed researchers who will be invited to prove exploits in specific types of Apple software, Ivan Krstic (pictured above), head of Apple security engineering and architecture, said yesterday during his presentation about iOS security at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas. Set to begin in September, the bug bounty program will focus on areas affecting Apple’s iCloud or iOS systems.
As a number of observers have noted, Krstic’s announcement is unusual because Apple typically reveals big program news at its own Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) (the most recent one was held in June) rather than at other venues. However, news of its bug bounty program isn’t necessarily surprising in light of the iPhone security faceoff it had with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation earlier this year, as well as the company’s recent moves to open up some of its code to app developers.
Evolving Security Landscape
Following a mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., in December of 2015, the FBI obtained a court order to compel Apple to create new code so the agency could unlock an iPhone used by one of the shooters. Apple fought the order, arguing that such action could leave its systems less secure for users in general, and the FBI eventually withdrew its court request after paying $1 million to an unnamed third party that was able to bypass the iPhone’s security.
In the aftermath of that legal skirmish,… [php snippet=11]
Like art, clickbait can be hard to define, but people generally know it when they see it. Facebook also realizes that its users tend to dislike that type of content, so it’s tweaked its algorithm once again to cut down on the number of clickbait headlines people see in their News Feeds.
It’s not the first time Facebook has made such changes. Two years ago, for instance, it began factoring in how quickly users returned to Facebook after clicking news links; the faster people came back, the logic went, the more likely the headline was to be clickbait for content that really wasn’t all that interesting.
This time around, Facebook analyzed tens of thousands of headlines to identify two key clickbait attributes: withholding information and creating misleading expectations for readers. Based on that analysis, the social media giant is now updating its News Feed system to look for common phrases associated with such attributes and filter out headlines using that language.
Aiming at Time-Wasting Headlines
“We’ve heard from people that they specifically want to see fewer stories with clickbait headlines or link titles,” research scientist Alex Peysakhovich and user experience researcher Kristin Hendrix wrote yesterday in a Facebook news post. “These are headlines that intentionally leave out crucial information, or mislead people, forcing people to click to find out the answer.”
Peysakhovich and Hendrix noted that, while the clickbait-targeting changes made in 2014 helped reduce the number of headlines similar to “You’ll Never Believe . . .” that Facebook users were seeing, those changes didn’t eliminate the problem.
“[w]e’re still seeing Pages rely on clickbait headlines, and people are still telling us they would prefer to see clearly written headlines that help them decide how they want to spend their time and not waste time on what they click,” they said…. [php snippet=11]