A Bug Is Wreaking Havoc With iTunes 12.2 Music Libraries

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iTunes Radio Logs Over 11 Million Listeners Since Launching 3 Days AgoApple users who accepted the update to iTunes over the past couple of days are none too pleased with a problematic bug.

The new version, iTunes 12.2, was meant to better maintain your music library.

But one key component, iCloud Music Library, has to be enabled.

And in doing so, this component that is meant to sync your tracks actually scrambles the music in your library heavily.

Signs of this are mismatched album art, along with repetitive artist listings.

The issue also impacts those who’ve installed Apple Music on their iPhones as well.

To compound the issue, the iCloud Music Library also affects the original folder where all your music files are stored as well, causing the same jumble.

Music files not purchased through the iTunes Store are especially vulnerable.

Some sources have narrowed down a possible part of the problem – those who signed up for iTunes Match in the past seemed to be the ones who were affected.

Numerous Apple users took to social media and Apple-related forums to vent about their difficulties with the bug.

Apple had no comment about the bug.

Christopher A. Smith

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Facebook To Offer Video Creators A Piece Of The Action

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FacebookFacebook is getting prepared to wrangle part of the premium content industry away with the promise of more shared revenue with their corporate partners that provide video content.

In a new agreement, the social media network will offer a share of the revenue it gets from ads shown in conjunction with videos estimated at 55 percent.

That matches the same amount that YouTube shares with its content providers.

It’s part of a test initiative that gives users recommendations on what to watch in between videos from other sites that are viewed on Facebook.

The deal is meant to lure major media outlets that provide consistent video content to upload their content to Facebook before any other platform, in addition to the fact that videos on Facebook are reported to gain 4 billion views daily.

The new offer has already caught the attention of Funny Or Die Inc., the comedy website co-founded by Will Ferrell, which will start uploading full videos to Facebook.

Previously, they had only uploaded short clips of their video skits with a link to their website for the full version.

Fox Sports and the Hearst Corporation have also agreed to start uploading more video through the new program.

Christopher A. Smith

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Dropbox: Create A Stronger Password, Get More Storage For Free

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iOS 8 Now Enables Direct To Dropbox File SavingHey Dropbox users – would you like to get more storage for your account?

The company may grant your wish, on one condition.

In an event held in London, the company’s head of trust and security, Patrick Helm made remarks concerning the biggest risks to Dropbox and revealed how his team was working to combat it.

One of the methods?

The incentive of users getting more storage in their accounts for free if they create stronger passwords.

This has come up because according to Helm, “The number one challenge is consumers reusing credentials across multiple websites, and we see a pattern where websites will get hacked, they may not even know it, and then encrypted passwords are stolen”.

The incentive is part of a push by Helm and his team to enlighten Dropbox users about using better passwords and utilizing password management tools.

At one point last year the company did offer bounties to hackers who could detect any vulnerabilities in their application.

The program incentive of free storage would be after users undergo a security checklist. When reached for additional comment on Helm’s remarks, Dropbox declined to respond.

Christopher A. Smith

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Like Amazon, Uber Adopts Growth-Over-Profits Strategy

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NYPD Detective Goes Ballistic On Uber DriverThe on-demand car service startup Uber Technologies Inc. has been exhibiting some serious growth and has gotten a flattering comparison as a result even if it they’ve gone through rough patches to do so.

Uber’s growth has compelled observers to liken it to Amazon.

Why?

Mainly because Uber’s mission is to expand its operations as rapidly as possible on a global scale and to not concern itself with the short-term promise of immediate profits.

Another facet to that strategy is to not be that concerned with their losses; in an outside report given to potential investors, it’s been stated that Uber has a loss total of $470 million as opposed to gains of $415 million.

Uber representatives view those numbers with skepticism.

Amazon for a stretch of years was deemed a company that wasn’t profitable despite their growing presence.

But after going public in 1997, the company underwent a tough road towards stability that saw them trim their workforce and losses in subsequent years in the early 2000’s.

Uber’s road may see the same bumps but with new ventures into messenger services and food delivery along with increased expansion in other cities, they’re hoping that their losses decline just as fast.

Christopher A. Smith

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PayPal Acquires Xoom

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PayPal Fined $25 Million For Bogus Credit SignupsPayPal is bolstering their entry into the international money transfer market by acquiring one of the largest companies in the industry.

On Tuesday, the mobile payments company announced a deal that would see them acquire Xoom Corporation for an estimated $890 million.

The deal gives PayPal a digital money transfer company that boasts of having 1.3 million active users who transferred and sent close to $7 billion in the last year.

PayPal’s president, Dan Schulman, said of the deal:  “Expanding into international money transfer and remittances aligns with our strategic vision to democratize the movement and management of money. Acquiring Xoom allows PayPal to offer a broader range of services to our global customer base, increase customer engagement and enter an important and growing adjacent marketplace. Xoom’s presence in 37 countries – in particular, Mexico, India, the Philippines, China and Brazil – will help us accelerate our expansion in these important markets.”

Xoom is slated to operate as a separate service under PayPal, with the parent company taking full advantage of Xoom’s innovations in digital money lending.

In turn, Xoom will have the benefit of having access to a larger customer base that PayPal already has, which is approximately 68 million.

Christopher A. Smith

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Gmail Introduces New Themes And Emoji

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Gmail-Logo.png.CROP_.rectangle3-largeGoogle’s taken notice of your passion for emojis and guess what?

They’re going to make sure you have new ones waiting and available in your Gmail account.

The company made the announcement on Tuesday that it would introduce new emoji that would be similar to those that users employ on their mobile phones and in Google Hangouts.

The new updates to the emoji go hand in hand with the larger part of the update, which will give users hundreds of new choices for themes for their inboxes.

Users will still have the option to utilize their own images if they choose for the background.

The new themes package include high-resolution photographs submitted by Google users to the company.

And to sweeten the situation, users can take advantage of new custom options for the themes like a blur option and an option to add text to the background.

Christopher A. Smith

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Appeals Court Upholds Apple Ebook Antitrust Ruling

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Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalAn antitrust ruling against Apple that was appealed by the technology giant was upheld in a federal appeals court.

The case, U.S. v. Apple Inc., 13-3741, was first heard and ruled on in July 2013 in a lower court.

Apple was accused of entering into a conspiracy with five publishers to fix the prices of electronic books that they offered for purchase in the lawsuit filed by 33 state attorneys general and the Justice Department.

The original judge in the case, Judge Denise Cote, ruled in favor of the government, citing statements by the late Steve Jobs that showed a targeting of Amazon.

The decision to uphold the ruling came as the result of a 2-1 vote.  Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston referred to the original ruling notes in her summation of the decision: “By organizing a price-fixing conspiracy, Apple found an easy path to opening its iBookstore, but it did so by ensuring that market-wide e-book prices would rise to a level that it, and the publisher defendants, had jointly agreed on.”

Apple’s response was to deny the charges, but it offered no comment on whether they would pursue another appeal – if they do, that case would then come before the Supreme Court.

Christopher A. Smith

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Adobe Flash Is Being Exploited By Cybercriminals

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Adobe_Systems_logo_and_wordmark.svgFor those using Adobe Flash, it appears that cyber thieves have found a way to take advantage of a flaw in the company’s Flash Player.

The French security firm Kafeine detected that criminals have been using a bug in the player which was patched by Adobe just last week.

Kafeine stated that there were bugs present in the software since January.

The report claims that thieves are using two kits, Angler and Magnitude that provide a framework for the criminals to get into a user’s computer system to deliver ransomware.

Ransomware is essentially computer software that locks down a PC and demands money be delivered to the thieves to unlock it.

The firm claimed that the issue affects the recent version of Flash.

Other security observers have noted that the kits can also deliver other forms of malware.

Adobe has recommended that users download the latest version of Flash from their website.

Christopher A. Smith

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Zuck’s Q&A Session Interrupted By Technical Difficulties

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Zuck Clicks Like Button For Bay Area Public Schools - Donates $120 millionA recent Q&A session by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg went awry, in part due to the heavy interaction of its 1.3 billion users.

The session, held on Tuesday afternoon on Zuckerberg’s personal Facebook page, first encountered difficulties when it was opened up to questions.

An official with the company quipped that it was due to “an overload of likes.”

After being offline for several minutes, the Q&A resumed but some users responded that all they could see was a blank screen.

Another issue that arose was associated with mobile users unable to find responses by the CEO amid the multitude of questions asked on the app.

Zuckerberg did manage to provide answers for more than a dozen questions, some of which were asked by high-profile celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Stephen Hawking.

This Q&A session is yet the latest bit of interaction by Zuckerberg with the public on open forums; in the past he’s responded to queries made in town hall meetings and online.

The questions Zuckerberg answered ranged from the whimsical to more serious and timely issues like his company’s policy on using real names on the social media platform and how their Instant Articles feature will impact the journalism and publishing industries.

Christopher A. Smith

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PayPal Modifies Their Controversial New Robocall Policy

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PayPal Fined $25 Million For Bogus Credit SignupsThe upcoming robocall policy addition to the terms and services of PayPal that has many up in arms as reported here earlier, will get some modifications.

The mobile payments company received a huge backlash when it announced changes to the user agreement that would allow users to be bombarded with pre-recorded phone calls and text messages by PayPal.

The move concern that PayPal would use these changes to pester customers with unwanted ad solicitations, and it drew some notice from the FCC.

The company is now making some modifications to the language of the policy to give more clarity to what it is they’re trying to do with these automated phone calls to customers.

PayPal now states that the calls are essentially tools to help prevent fraud, make users aware of their account activity in full and to collect on outstanding balances.

In a statement addressing the situation, FCC spokesman Travis LeBlanc said: “These changes, along with PayPal’s commitments to improve its disclosures and make it easier for consumers to express their calling preferences, are significant and welcome improvements.”

PayPal also stated that they are continuing to work closely with regulators in the interest of consumer protection.

The new policy is set to take effect on July 1st, and users can still opt out of receiving the calls.

Christopher A. Smith

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