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Google+ bug exposes non-public profile data for 52 million users

Ars - 5 hours 26 min ago

Enlarge / The Google Plus (G+, or Google +) social network logo is seen in the company's offices behind Android toys on August 21, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images)

Two months after disclosing an error that exposed the private profile data of almost 500,000 Google+ users, Google on Monday revealed a new leak that affects more than 52 million people. The programming interface bug allowed developers to access names, ages, email addresses, occupations, and a wealth of other personal details even when they were set to be nonpublic.

The bug was introduced in a release that went live at an undisclosed date in November and was fixed a week later, Google officials said in a blog post. During the time the bug was active, developers of apps that requested permission to view profile information that a user had added to their Google+ profile received permission to view profile information about that user even when the details were set to not-public. What’s more, apps with access to users’ Google+ profile data had permission to access non-public profile data that other Google+ users shared with the consenting user. In all, the post said, 52.5 million users are affected.

“The bug did not give developers access to information such as financial data, national identification numbers, passwords, or similar data typically used for fraud or identity theft,” Monday’s post said. “No third party compromised our systems, and we have no evidence that the developers who inadvertently had this access for six days were aware of it or misused it in any way.”

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The Dangers of Doing Favors for Donald Trump

NY Times - 5 hours 28 min ago
The president is often unable or unwilling to spot the difference between a favor and a crooked scheme.

Hands-On With the iPhone XR Clear Case From Apple

MacRumors - 5 hours 29 min ago
It took nearly two months following the on-sale date for the iPhone XR, but Apple's highly anticipated clear case for the colorful device is now available. We're not entirely sure what the delay was in launching it, and it's currently the only first-party case available for the iPhone XR, so we went hands-on with the new case to see how it stacks up.

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Apple's clear case is intended to show off the colorful rear shell of the iPhone XR, and it does a great job at that, with a crystal clear view of the phone itself all around. The case is a bit firmer than we expected based on our previous experiences with third-party clear cases, so Apple's case holds its shape well while also providing solid protection.


The iPhone XR Clear Case has a design that's very similar to Apple's other iPhone cases like the leather and silicone options for other models, with a raised lip around the front to protect your phone when placed or dropped face down and an open bottom that makes it easy to use gestures such as the Home screen swipe that starts at the very bottom of the screen.


It's not the most protective case on the market, but Apple has never been about providing maximal protection, so you'll have to look for other options if you're expecting to need anything more than protection from the occasional small drops.


The case unsurprisingly fits perfectly around the iPhone XR with ample clearance for the rear camera, although we wish the side button covers provided for a little more movement upon pressing to give the buttons a bit more tactile feel and that the ring/silent switch opening was a bit bigger to make it easier to access.


One common issue with third-party cases is that they tend to yellow over time after long-term light exposure. We obviously haven't had Apple's case long enough to know if that will be an issue, but we'd be surprised if Apple didn't take this phenomenon into account when selecting materials for the case.

The iPhone XR Clear Case is priced at $39, which is in line with Apple's other first-party cases but substantially more expensive than many third-party clear cases, so you'll need to decide for yourself whether the price premium is worth it.

Related Roundup: iPhone XRBuyer's Guide: iPhone XR (Buy Now)
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Research Gaps Leave Doctors Guessing About Treatments For Pregnant Women

NPR All Things Considered - 5 hours 30 min ago

To protect a developing fetus from experimental drugs or treatments that might cause birth defects, pregnant women aren't included in many clinical trials. But that limits the safety evidence, too.

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

5 things the Trump administration has done that go against its climate change warning

CNN - 5 hours 30 min ago
Since the Trump administration released its blockbuster report on the day after Thanksgiving outlining the dire environmental and economic impacts of climate change, it has made a series of policy and diplomatic decisions or statements that appear run counter to all of the warnings in the report.

NASA spacecraft finds water on asteroid

CNN - 5 hours 33 min ago
NASA's first asteroid sample return mission, OSIRIS-REx, reached the asteroid Bennu only a week ago, but it's already learning more about this time capsule from the early solar system.

In 200 years, humans reversed a climate trend lasting 50 million years, study says

CNN - 5 hours 34 min ago
What do scientists see when comparing our future climate with the past? In less than 200 years, humans have reversed a multimillion-year cooling trend, new research suggests.

Glory days are over for tech stocks

CNN - 5 hours 35 min ago
Earlier this year, tech stocks were on fire. Now many are struggling, and their prospects don't seem to be getting any better.

Obama pushes Obamacare enrollment as deadline looms

CNN - 5 hours 35 min ago
Hoping to push more people to sign up for Obamacare amid lagging enrollment, former President Barack Obama urged Americans Monday to check out healthcare.gov before the December 15 deadline.

India’s Top Central Banker Quits as Government Seeks More Control

NY Times - 5 hours 36 min ago
Urjit Patel resigned on Monday after the Modi government sought to loosen loan restrictions and spend some of the central bank’s cash reserves.

Is Screen Time Bad for Kids’ Brains?

NY Times - 5 hours 40 min ago
A study featured on “60 Minutes” is sure to alarm parents. Here’s what scientists know, and don’t know, about the link between screens, behavior, and development.

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser released

CNN - 5 hours 43 min ago
Netflix released a new teaser for season three of their hit show, "Stranger Things."

Doom’s next expansion pack, made by John Romero, will be free—or cost up to $166

Ars - 5 hours 43 min ago

Romero Games Ltd.

John Romero—co-creator of the classic and influential 1990s first-person shooter Doom—has announced that he will release 18 new levels for the game for its 25th anniversary next year.

Scheduled for a mid-February 2019 release, the free megawad of levels will be called "Sigil." Romero's website describes it as "the spiritual successor" to the fourth episode of Doom, picking up "where the original left off." It will include nine single-player levels and nine multi-player Deathmatch levels.

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Climate change is not only influencing extreme weather events, it's causing them

CNN - 5 hours 47 min ago
Extreme weather events that spanned the globe in 2017 have been directly linked to -- and in some cases were even caused by -- continued warming of the planet via human influence through greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report.

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser

CNN - 5 hours 50 min ago
We still have months to go before "Stranger Things" returns, but speculation has begun already.

What Congress needs to do by year's end

CNN - 5 hours 52 min ago
As Congress faces a December 21 deadline to avert a partial government shutdown, it must also clear a stack of other must-pass bills that affect millions of people and major sections of the economy.

Why Is Qatar Leaving OPEC?

NY Times - 5 hours 56 min ago
The decision to leave the oil cartel is aimed at reinforcing the country’s autonomy from its Persian Gulf neighbors.
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