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A paranoid guide to fighting the ‘bugging epidemic’

“Unit sales of consumer surveillance devices are expected to more than double from last year” writes This Story Was for seattletimes.com. More sophisticated voyeurs may use spy gear that has its own hot spot for livestreaming.So often, in fact, that security experts warn that we are in the throes of a “bugging epidemic.” It is not paranoid to take precautions.It’s really changing our business model, to be honest.” Also popular are radio frequency, or RF, detectors that can pick up signals emitted by surveillance devices. Source: seattletimes.com

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Federal court slaps device search limits on US border security

“The rate of border searches of electronic devices like smartphones has increased significantly in recent years, with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) responsible for more than 33,000 such searches last year” reports slashgear.com. The US government must have “reasonable suspicion of digital contraband” before it can search travelers’ phones, laptops, and other electronics, according to a new ruling by a federal court.The argument made in the federal court in Boston was that this imposed on their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Source: slashgear.com

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Markets News 

Alphabet’s Fitbit Acquisition Should Get Regulatory Approval

“Moreover, and as speculated by many, Alphabet will very likely use Fitbit technology in its own Pixel line of devices” writes Sejuti Banerjea for nasdaq.com. And the data we’re talking about is highly sensitive health data that when combined with other data Google already has on people, will leave nothing to imagination.Both Fitbit and Alphabet have given reassurances that the data won’t be sold to advertisers, so you won’t see ads based on it.The data it has managed to collect on users across the world (except China) is unparalleled except…

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Markets News 

China’s tobacco monopoly means big risks for e-cigarette startups

“Many industry observers, however, continue to believe China Tobacco will eventually enter the e-cigarette market itself” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Juul’s explosive U.S. growth only recently convinced Chinese e-cigarette firms of the viability of small, high-nicotine vaping devices in China.(Reuters) – In a glass-walled laboratory, chemists puff on vaping devices as they test liquid nicotine flavors. Source: 95kqds.com

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Google forges new ‘app defense alliance’ to fix Android malware menace

“The fact that Google sought outside reinforcements to beef up Android app security is an acknowledgment of the seriousness of the situation” writes Ravie Lakshmanan for thenextweb.com. More troublingly, even after Google removes a PHA from Google Play, the users who installed the app on their devices continue to remain at risk.Introduced in 2017, Google Play Protect combines a mix of on-device protections and a cloud-based infrastructure to routinely scan over 500,000 apps to keep tainted apps off Google Play and out of users’s devices. Source: thenextweb.com

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Qualcomm’s licensing forecast, helped by Apple deal, drives share gains

“The licensing business drove the adjusted profit forecast with a midpoint of 85 cents per share, also above analyst expectations of 83 cents per share, according to Refinitiv data” writes Min Read for reuters.com. Qualcomm, the world’s biggest supplier of mobile phone chips, derives most of its profits from a business segment that invents technologies and licenses them.(Reuters) – Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) on Wednesday forecast current-quarter profit above Wall Street expectations, as its all-important licensing segment benefits from a deal with Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and the annual holiday-quarter boost it…

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Qualcomm’s 5G phone forecast for 2020 could include iPhones: analysts

“Qualcomm’s 5G devices estimate is nearly 60% higher than research firm IDC’s 123.5 million forecast and Goldman Sachs’ 120 million” writes Midwest Communications Inc for 95kqds.com. Qualcomm’s 5G market estimate, disclosed during a fourth-quarter earnings report, is the first from the company.And Stacy Rasgon, an analyst with Bernstein, said the 200 million estimate was not “hugely surprising” because it likely factors in the expectation of 5G iPhones in 2020.Fall is when Apple and Alphabet Inc launch new models, and Kinngai Chan of Summit Insights Group said he expected Apple to…

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Apple privacy page redesigned to answer the big questions

“Meanwhile, regulators across the world are increasingly looking to how new laws could clamp down on data use by companies, Apple included” reports slashgear.com. Apple has redesigned its privacy pages, aiming to better explain what personal data your iOS and macOS devices might be sharing and what they’ll keep secret, as discussions around user information protection in the digital age become more mainstream. That’s not yet passed into law, but it’s a sign that if tech companies don’t rise to the job of securing user data themselves, regulators may well…

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