Contact Info for Millions of Instagram Influencers, Celebrities, and Brand Accounts Leaked Online

A database that contained contact information for millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities, and brand accounts was recently leaked online, reports TechCrunch.

The database, which was hosted by Amazon Web Services and contains more than 49 million records, was accessible without a password or other credentials according to the security researcher who informed TechCrunch about the leak.

Records include public data pulled from Instagram, such as profile picture, biography, and follower numbers, but also private contact information like phone numbers and email addresses.

Records also calculated the "worth" of each account based on follower count, engagement, reach, likes, and shares.

The database was initially uploaded and shared by Mumbai-based social media marketing firm Chtrbox, a company that pays Instagram influencers to share sponsored content. Though uploaded by Chtrbox, the database includes info from influencers who have never worked with the company.

TechCrunch found several high-profile influencers in the exposed database, including prominent food bloggers, celebrities and other social media influencers.

We contacted several people at random whose information was found in the database and provided them their phone numbers. Two of the people responded and confirmed their email address and phone number found in the database was used to set up their Instagram accounts. Neither had any involvement with Chtrbox, they said.

After hearing from TechCrunch, Chtrbox took the database offline, but the company's CEO did not respond to a request for comment on how the data was obtained.

Instagram parent company Facebook said that it was looking into the issue and aiming to determine whether the data was from Instagram or other sources. "We're also inquiring with Chtrbox to understand where this data came from and how it became publicly available," said Facebook.

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U.S. Justice Department 'Leaning Against' Approving T-Mobile/Sprint Merger

The United States Justice Department is "leaning against" approving the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint, reports Bloomberg.

The merger might not be approved because the two companies "don't go far enough" to resolve antitrust concerns raised by the U.S. government.



Bloomberg's report comes shortly after United States Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said that he would recommend approval of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

T-Mobile and Sprint have implemented changes to their merger to allay concerns, including the sale of Boost Mobile, a three-year buildout of a 5G network, and a pledge not to raise prices while the network is being built, but these steps may not be enough to earn approval.

Back in April, there were reports suggesting the DoJ had told Sprint and T-Mobile that the merger would not be approved as it was originally structured, which prompted the plans to sell Boost Mobile.

Sprint and T-Mobile first announced a merger agreement in April 2018, but the completion of the merger requires the government to approve the deal. A merger between Sprint and T-Mobile would combine two of the four major carriers in the U.S., and it would use the T-Mobile name.

The two companies would have close to 100 million customers, putting it second only to Verizon. The U.S. DoJ is concerned the deal would be a major threat to competition.

Sprint and T-Mobile planned to have the merger completed no later than the first half of 2019, but that date was pushed back to late July earlier this year.

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Google Launches New $999 Glass AR Headset for Enterprise Customers

Google today announced the launch of a new enterprise-focused Google Glass headset, the Glass Enterprise Edition 2.

The Glass Enterprise Edition 2 looks more like a traditional pair of glasses than a futuristic headset thanks to safety frames designed in partnership with Smith Optics, but for those who don't need safety glasses features, there's also a standard version that looks like the original.



Both versions feature a 640 x 380 Optical Display Module that displays augmented reality content over the real world view, while also offering up a smart voice assistant for getting tasks done.

Inside, there's an updated, faster Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor, an improved 8-megapixel camera, USB-C port for faster charging, and a larger battery.



Google says the Snapdragon XR1 features a significantly more powerful multicore CPU and a new artificial intelligence engine for "significant power savings," improved performance, and support for computer vision and more advanced machine learning capabilities.

Google Glass 2 runs Android Oreo, which is meant to make it easier for businesses to develop for and deploy.

The new version of Google Glass is priced at $999, down from $1,599 for the original version, and like the prior Enterprise Glass option, it is not available directly to consumers.



Google originally released Google Glass in 2013 as a mass market product, but it wasn't well-received due to privacy and functionality concerns. Google then relaunched it as an Enterprise product for businesses in 2017, with the redesigned version available as of today.

Apple is rumored to be working on its own augmented reality smart glasses, which could be somewhat similar in design to Google's version. Apple has had AR smart glasses in development for several years now, and rumors have suggested we could see a launch in 2020.

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'Game of Thrones' finale blocked in China due to trade war

The Game of Thrones finale may have aired last night but the show isn't over yet -- at least in China, where the episode has yet to air. Tencent Video, the streaming platform that controls the rights of HBO's series in China, didn't broadcast the sho...

Apple Seeding Second Beta of iOS 12.4 to Developers Today

Apple will today seed the second beta of an upcoming iOS 12.4 update to developers, almost one week after seeding the first iOS 12.4 beta, and two weeks after releasing iOS 12.3, a major update that introduced a revamped TV app.

Registered developers can download the new iOS 12.4 beta from Apple's Developer Center or over-the-air once the proper configuration profile has been installed from the Developer Center.



There were no new features discovered in the first iOS 12.4 beta, so it's not entirely clear what's coming in the update. As a more significant 12.x update, it's possible that the update is focusing on a feature that's not yet available - the Apple Card.

Apple is planning to release the Apple Card in the summer, so iOS 12.4 could be the update that prepares the iOS operating system for that launch, adding hidden features that will be unlocked when the update becomes available to the public.

If we find new features in the second beta of iOS 12.4, we'll update this post.

iOS 12.4 may be one of the last updates to the iOS 12 operating system as Apple transitions to iOS 13, which is expected to be introduced at WWDC in June.

Related Roundup: iOS 12

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Apple Stores Quietly Carrying New LG 23.7-Inch UltraFine Display

Over the past few months, supplies of the LG UltraFine 4K and 5K displays have dried up at Apple's retail and online stores, leading to speculation on the future of Apple-approved displays beyond a rumored ultra high-end 6K display perhaps coming alongside a revamped Mac Pro later this year.



As shared by TidBITS, however, Apple retail stores are now quietly carrying a new $700 23.7-inch UltraFine display from LG. TidBITS' Julio Ojeda-Zapata was able to locate the new display in two different Apple retail stores, but it is not currently listed in the company's online store.

To my surprise, an employee told me I should consider forgoing the 21.5-inch model. Why? “Because we have a larger LG display for the same price.” Laid out for me on the floor were boxes for the two monitors—including the 23.7-inch version that had seemingly come from nowhere.

At 23.7 inches, the new UltraFine display sits between the original 21.5-inch 4K and 27-inch 5K display, but there is some confusion over the resolution of the display. Ojeda-Zapata claims that it only offers a resolution of 3360x1890, which would not reasonably allow it to serve as a Retina-quality display, but a user manual (PDF) for the display indicates that its native resolution is in fact 3840x2160. That's still less than that 4096x2304 resolution of the smaller 21.5-inch UltraFine 4K, but it would at least qualify as an Ultra HD resolution that is typically marketed as being 4K.

Ojeda-Zapata purchased the new display and shares a brief overview of it, noting that it carries the same design as the previous UltraFine 4K/5K displays sold by Apple and offers a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and three regular USB-C ports on the rear. The original UltraFine 4K/5K displays only offered a single Thunderbolt 3 port in addition to the three USB-C ports, so the extra Thunderbolt 3 port on the new display allows for daisy-chaining additional Thunderbolt 3 accessories over a single connection.

Tag: LG

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Some Apple Watch Series 3 Repairs Can Now Qualify for Series 4 Replacement

Apple has informed its retail staff that it will substitute some Apple Watch Series 3 repairs with the Apple Watch Series 4, due to low inventory on the older model. The announcement was spotted by an internal memo delivered to staff and Authorized Service Providers, seen by 9to5Mac.



Now, customers looking for a repair or replacement of the stainless steel Apple Watch Series 3 with GPS and cellular, can instead receive the stainless steel Series 4 model with GPS and cellular. The change is said to apply to Apple retail stores and ASPs globally, but it's unclear at this time if the Series 4 upgrades are a permanent solution to the Series 3 shortages.

Apple's new repair/replacement upgrade for the Apple Watch is the latest of several instances of the company substituting Apple Watch repairs with newer models. This began in January, when the company announced that some first-generation Apple Watches and Apple Watch Series 1 could qualify for Series 2 replacements, due to supply constraints on repair parts for the older models. Then, earlier in May, Apple confirmed that repairs of certain Apple Watch Series 2 models will be fulfilled with equivalent Series 3 models due to temporary shortages of unspecified Series 2 parts.

To initiate a repair, head to the Get Support page on Apple's website and book an appointment with an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. As usual, it's not guaranteed that all locations will acknowledge existence of this internal policy, especially given that there is no definitive end date, so your mileage may vary.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

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Google and Other Suppliers Begin Cutting Off Huawei Following U.S. Trade Ban

Last week, president Donald Trump signed an order to restrict Huawei Technologies from selling its equipment in the United States in an attempt to curb Huawei's access to U.S. markets. This included placing Huawei on a blacklist that could forbid it from doing business with American companies.


Now, the effect of the blacklisting has hit the China supply chain this week, with chipmakers Intel, Qualcomm, Xilinx, and Broadcom all telling their employees that they will not supply Huawei until further notice. Additionally, Google has cut off the supply of hardware and some software services to Huawei, specifically suspending all business with the company "that requires the transfer of hardware, software and technical services except those publicly available via open source licensing" (via Bloomberg and Reuters).

Google's suspension is particularly troublesome for Huawei's hardware business:
The suspension could hobble Huawei’s smartphone business outside China as the tech giant will immediately lose access to updates to Google’s Android operating system. Future versions of Huawei smartphones that run on Android will also lose access to popular services, including the Google Play Store and Gmail and YouTube apps.

“Huawei will only be able to use the public version of Android and will not be able to get access to proprietary apps and services from Google,” the source said.
Although Gmail, YouTube, and Chrome will disappear from future Huawei smartphones, anyone who owns an existing Huawei device with access to the Google Play Store will be able to download app updates from Google. The impact of the blacklisting is expected to be "minimal" in China, because most Google mobile apps are already banned in the Chinese market, where popular alternatives from Tencent and Baidu are more common.

In regards to the presidential ban, Huawei is said to have been stockpiling enough chips and other vital components to keep its business afloat for at least three months, in preparation for such an event. According to sources close to the company, executives believe Huawei has become a bargaining chip in the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and China and that things will go back to normal once a deal is reached.
Huawei “is heavily dependent on U.S. semiconductor products and would be seriously crippled without supply of key U.S. components,” said Ryan Koontz, an analyst with Rosenblatt Securities Inc. The U.S. ban “may cause China to delay its 5G network build until the ban is lifted, having an impact on many global component suppliers.”
Apple has a long history with Huawei, which hasn't been completely amicable over the past few months. Earlier this year, the U.S. Justice Department announced a series of criminal charges against Huawei for bank fraud, wire fraud, obstructing justice, and stealing trade secrets, sometimes aimed at Apple. Despite all of the issues for the company, Huawei remains a dominant force in the China smartphone market and was far ahead of Apple in the first quarter of 2019.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Tags: Google, Huawei

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Toshiba Planning to Buy Back Memory Unit Shares Purchased Last Year by Apple and Others

Last June, Toshiba completed the sale of its memory chip unit to a global consortium of companies led by Bain Capital and including Apple, Dell, Kingston, and Seagate Technology. Today, The Wall Street Journal reported that Toshiba is now set to buy back these shares under a refinancing plan.


Specifically, the four companies (excluding Bain Capital) are set to sell their preferred shares back to Toshiba for about $4.5 billion by the end of the month, and together they made a few hundred million dollars on the investment in Toshiba. Toshiba received the capital to buy out the companies from Japanese banks, totaling $11.8 billion.

Looking ahead, the company is now planning to become publicly listed in Tokyo near the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020. Toshiba's plan to re-acquire its memory chip unit comes over two years after it first announced plans to sell the unit in January 2017, followed by bidding for the unit that began in March 2017.

The Bain-led consortium eventually prevented Western Digital from taking control of Toshiba's memory chip business, which at one point threatened legal action against Toshiba. Apple eventually joined a "last ditch" effort to win the bid with Bain Capital, which will remain a majority owner of the memory chip unit even after Toshiba buys back its shares from the other four companies.

Tag: Toshiba

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