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Why you will not be able to send nudity on Instagram

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Instagram is testing a new way to filter out unsolicited nude messages sent over direct messages, confirming reports of the development posted by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi earlier this week. The images indicated Instagram was working on technology that would cover up photos that may contain nudity but noted that the company would not be able to access the photos itself, TechCrunch is reporting.

 

The development was first reported by The Verge and Instagram confirmed the feature to TechCrunch. The company said the feature is in the early stages of development and it’s not testing this yet.

“We’re developing a set of optional user controls to help people protect themselves from unwanted DMs, like photos containing nudity,” Meta spokesperson Liz Fernandez told TechCrunch. “This technology doesn’t allow Meta to see anyone’s private messages, nor are they shared with us or anyone else. We’re working closely with experts to ensure these new features preserve people’s privacy while giving them control over the messages they receive,” she added.

Screenshots of the feature posted by Paluzzi suggest that Instagram will process all images for this feature on the device, so nothing is sent to its servers. Plus, you can choose to see the photo if you think it’s from a trusted person. When the feature rolls it out widely, it will be an optional setting for users who want to weed out messages with nude photos.

Last year, Instagram launched DM controls to enable keyword-based filters that work with abusive words, phrases and emojis. Earlier this year, the company introduced a “Sensitive Content” filter that keeps certain kinds of content — including nudity and graphical violence — out of the users’ experience.

Social media has badly grappled with the problem of unsolicited nude photos. While some apps like Bumble have tried tools like AI-powered blurring for this problem, the likes of Twitter have struggled with catching child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and non-consensual nudity at scale.

Because of the lack of solid steps from platforms, lawmakers have been forced to look at this issue with a stern eye. For instance, the UK’s upcoming Online Safety Bill aims to make cyber flashing a crime. Last month, California passed a rule that allows receivers of unsolicited graphical material to sue the senders. Texas passed a law on cyber flashing in 2019, counting it as a “misdemeanor” and resulting in a fine of up to $500.

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Kenya is experiencing a massive tech brain drain within its own borders

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Local tech companies in Kenya now find it challenging to recruit high-level employees. This is a result of the brain drain happening within the borders of this country, a report by Business Insider Africa show. Tech conglomerates such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are attracting the country’s best techies.

These multinationals have much higher pay grades and as such most Kenyan tech professionals are opting to work for them.

Also, an expansion of these companies operations within the country, which has prompted massive recruitment, is presenting Kenyans with financial opportunities they simply can’t turn down.

In this case, the figures tell the whole story. These big tech corporations are offering up to Ksh1.8 million ($15,037) monthly for principal tech specialists, Ksh300,000 ($2,506) to junior tech developers, Ksh500,000 ($4,177) for mid-level techies and between Ksh800,000 ($6,683) and Ksh1.3 million ($10,860) for lead and senior roles.

Major telecommunications companies and financial institutions, which have a history of being the best paying firms, have steadily lost their best talents to these tech giants.

Smaller companies in Kenya such as Wasoko, Flocash, Twiga foods, Lori Systems, and Sendy, who had invested in and trained young engineers, have lost their talents to the multinationals.

CEO of the WPP Scangroup, Patricia Ithau, said; “You know, what’s happening in this market across all of us. We have some people called Microsoft, Amazon, Google who are just mopping up our developers.”

He also noted that the solution to the problem may be to develop more talent that could serve the entire industry.

“We have a program we recruit from the university two, three months, they come in from college, and you offer them a hundred. Google tells them two hundred, there’s nothing you’re going to do. They’re going to go. And then they go from Google. Microsoft offers them three hundred, they’ll move. So until we start creating a lot more talent, it is the way of the world.” He concluded.

Tech giants like Google and Microsoft are notorious for sourcing the best talents across the globe. The high demand for their products and services calls for the best hands to be on deck. As a result, these companies spare no expense when looking for employees to join their organizations.

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These are the best car phone mounts and chargers

These mobile accessories will make your smartphone a better—and safer—road trip companion.

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Whether you use your phone for navigation, music, or podcasts—or are just bringing it along for the ride—the right accessories can make it the perfect passenger. A good car mount will keep it within easy reach and in view, so you don’t need to dangerously fumble for your handset and take your eyes off the road. You’ll also want to keep your device charged. We have tested a range of mounts, chargers, and other accessories that might be useful for your daily commutes.

Looking for more? Drivers should also consider putting together a Car Emergency Kit and checking out our Best Travel Mugs guide to round out the driving experience.

Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.

First, Stay Safe

What to Consider With Car Mounts and Accessories

Before we get started here, there are a couple of things you need to think about.

Mount placement: Wherever you place your phone mount, it’s vital to ensure it does not obstruct your view of the road. Many mounts allow for dash or windshield placement, but you should check your local laws. (It’s illegal to attach mounts to the windshield in many US states.)

Cable placement: Think about where cables will run, and use cables just long enough to prevent tangles and excess. (Read our Best USB-C Cables guide for some recommendations.) Consider how to keep the end of the cable handy. (The best mounts have cable management for this purpose.) If you are using a dashcam, they usually come with a small tool you can use to push the cable into the seams of your car’s interior panels to tuck it away. That can work for charging cables too.

Keep your eyes on the road: Whether setting up navigation, picking a playlist, or doing anything that requires your attention, do it before you start driving. Once you’re on the road, use voice commands or have a passenger deal with any issues, and keep your focus on the road. Distracted driving leads to thousands of deaths every year.

A Dash Mount

iOttie Easy One Touch 5

What I like best about this phone mount is that you can use it one-handed. Adjust the bottom feet, and when you place your phone against the trigger button, the arms automatically close around it. To remove, simply press the release bars. The telescopic arm allows you to tweak the placement, and the ball joint makes it easy to set an ideal angle. This thoughtful design carries to your charging cable as well—there’s a magnetic tab you can attach to the end of your charging cord so it sticks to the back of the mount (so you don’t have to fish around for it).

In my testing, the base with the locking suction cup was very secure, even on bumpy terrain. The downside? Removing the adhesive pad from my dashboard was tricky.

PHOTOGRAPH: IOTTIE

A Wireless Charging Mount

iOttie Wireless Car Charger

This is the mount in my car now, and it maintains everything that’s good about iOttie’s previous mount but adds wireless charging support. You can get it with the suction cup for the dashboard or opt for a CD slot or air vent mount. It closes automatically around your phone, has adjustable feet, a rotating ball joint to angle your phone, and a quick-release bar that pokes out on both sides. The Qi wireless charging can deliver 10 watts to an Android phone or 7.5 watts to an iPhone, and your phone automatically charges when you place it in the mount and start the car. You’ll want to make sure your smartphone supports wireless charging in the first place.

All you’ll need to do is plug the supplied cable into your car’s power socket, and the other end goes into a MicroUSB port on the bottom of the mount. The car socket end handily includes a second USB-A port you can use to charge another device.

 

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The biggest crypto scams of 2022 – according to Mashable

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We’re only six months into 2022 and billions of dollars in cryptocurrency have already been pillaged and plundered.

While the value of cryptocurrency stolen is stunning, not everything is solely about the money. Last year, Mashable looked into the biggest crypto scams of 2021. Yes, some big bucks were being funneled via various scams and schemes included on that list. However, sometimes the audacity and uniqueness of some of these scams and hacks – perpetrated by people who only walk away with six figures worth of stolen crypto  — are worth mentioning to.

So, without any further ado, here are some of the biggest and boldest frauds, swindles, and rackets in cryptocurrency from 2022 thus far.

1. Ukraine rug pulls donors (for good reason!)

One of these scams is not like the others and it’s this one: When the government of Ukraine rug pulled its donors. However, it needs to be included because it’s honestly so great: a rare “good” scam.

In February of 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian government quickly decided to accept donations in the form of cryptocurrencies to take advantage of the big pockets in the crypto space who are always looking to pump their coins and generate good press.

While a decent number of donations came in at first, the crypto started to pour in after Ukraine announced an airdrop to those who donated via the Ethereum network. An airdrop is basically when crypto wallet holders are sent freebies, usually in the form of crypto tokens or NFTs. As Ukraine put it, they were essentially sending donors a “reward” for donating.

Enter the bad-faith actors. People started sending a slew of crypto donations to Ukraine to take advantage of the airdrop. Around 60,000 transactions were made on the Ethereum blockchain to Ukraine in less than 2 days. According to Ukrainian officials, individuals started to send minuscule sums of money just so they could register in time to receive the airdrop. Ostensibly, these individuals were looking to profit off of a country in wartime by receiving a “reward” more valuable than whatever they donated to flip the freebie for quick profits.

Ukraine decided to cancel the airdrop, just days after it was announced. Some donors who were looking for those profits cried “scam.” And, technically, this is what’s known as a rug pull. A rug pull is when a crypto developer makes promises to raise funds, then abandons the project while walking away with all the liquidity.

But, this is a truly unique situation. Ukraine was trying to fundraise, thought they’d thank donors who meant well, then pulled the plug when they realized people were trying to take advantage of the situation. The donations still went to a charitable cause though.  So, let’s call this a rug pull for good. And that’s why it’s at the top of the list.

2. Axie Infinity hacked, $615 million stolen

Would you notice if someone stole $615 million from you? Sky Mavis, the company behind the most popular crypto game Axie Infinity sure didn’t!

In March, hackers discovered an exploit on the Ronin blockchain, which is the Ethereum-based sidechain that Axie Infinity runs on. To make matters worse, the exploit was a result of what was supposed to be a temporary change initiated by Sky Mavis in December that lowered security protocols. Things weren’t reverted and the hackers were able to take advantage of the situation just months later.

How did Sky Mavis finally discover they were missing hundreds of millions of dollars? A user tried to withdraw their funds and was unable to because the liquidity was no longer there.

Axie Infinity is a play-to-earn crypto game that requires users to purchase expensive NFTs before playing. Once they acquire those NFTs, they can then earn real money in the form of crypto from playing the game. However, due to the high cost of entry, users who can’t afford the NFTs often find themselves wrapped up in exploitative “scholarships” that require them to split the profits with other users who lend out these high costs NFTs that are needed to play.

Nonetheless, in countries like the Philippines, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity have become popular as users can earn the equivalent of an average salary in their country. Those users, unfortunately, found out that their earnings were inaccessible due to the hack.

Axie Infinity has since raised $125 million to reimburse its users for stolen funds. But, that’s a far cry from the $625 million they lost. As for that money, they’re likely never going to get that back. The U.S. government believes that the hack was carried out by a group based in North Korea.

3. Day of Defeat, red flags everywhere

Does an investment that promises a 10,000,000 x price increase sound too good to be true to you? No, my zero key did not get stuck. That’s exactly what the Day of Defeat token promised. And plenty of people bought in.

Molly White is the creator of Web3 Is Going Great, a website that tracks all of the scams and grifts in the space daily. When I reached out to her to see what crypto scams stuck out to her so far this year, she pointed me to Day of Defeat. She called it one of the projects with “some of the biggest red flags I’ve ever seen.” And she’s seen a lot.

The developers of Day of Defeat called the project a “radical social experiment” that was “mathematically designed to give holders 10,000,000X PRICE INCREASE.” On top of that, they touted a “Mystery Plan” (come on!) that would be rolled out in June of next year that would further see the price of the token increase by 1,000,000. In a FAQ on the Day of the Defeat website, they answered a question concerning their access to the pool of funds, which they said they would “promise” not to redeem. A promise!

Well, guess what? It appears that they broke that promise. In May, the project rug pulled after $1.35 million was pulled out, causing the token’s value to drop by more than 96 percent. As Molly pointed out, it’s unlikely even the people who made off with that $1.35 million did not see those crazy returns that were promised. If they did, their investment would’ve needed to be less than 14 cents.

4. BBC tricked into promoting alleged crypto scammer

Everyone loves a rags-to-riches story. Apparently, the BBC loved this one so much, that they failed to properly look into the individual in question, who traded in his rags for riches by crypto scamming.

In February, the BBC ran an article about a local Birmingham crypto investor, Hanad Hassan. The piece claimed that Hassan put £50 into crypto last year and was able to turn it into millions! That wasn’t all. The article also covered how Hassan wanted to use his newfound wealth to help people within the community.

One problem: The internet was full of people who claimed Hassan had scammed them.

In April 2021, Hassan launched a “charity token” called Orfano. In addition to being a crypto investment, it would set aside 3 percent of the funds to support charity projects. This is a common tactic in crypto rug pulls to make investors feel like they’re doing something legitimate and good with their money. Months later, Orfano abruptly shut down, taking everyone’s investments with them. There was no way for users to withdraw any of their money.

A month later, Hassan relaunched Orfano as OrfanoX and once again did the same thing to new investors in this token. And now the BBC was going to herald his “good fortunes!”

 

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