Vine Has a New Successor: The 6-Second Video App Byte

Dom Hofmann, the co-founder of the defunct six-second video platform Vine has announced the release of the app’s successor: Byte.

The new app, which lets users shoot and upload six-second looping videos, launched on Android and iOS on Friday. Its creators wrote on the Apple App store that the app should seem “both familiar and new” to users.

“We hope it’ll resonate with people who feel something’s been missing,” the letter said.

dear friends,

today we’re bringing back 6-second looping videos and a new community for people who love them.

it’s called byte and it’s both familiar and new. we hope it’ll resonate with people who feel something’s been missing.

— byte (@byte_app) January 25, 2020

Before Vine was discontinued by its owner, Twitter, in 2016, its short videos became wildly popular, especially among younger users. The app had struggled with competition from apps like Instagram. And since Vine’s shutdown, numerous competitors have gained ground in the short video space – including the blockbuster hit TikTok.

In 2018, Hofmann had announced plans to build a new version of Vine dubbed V2, but aborted it a few months later. Later that year, he debuted the name Byte, which started Beta testing in spring 2019, according to TechCrunch.

Hofmann intends for the app to stand out by focusing on helping its video creators make money, according to TechCrunch. Hofmann told the outlet that the company is looking at various strategies, including revenue sharing and tipping, but the company “will be starting with a revenue share + supplementing with our own funds. We’ll have more details about exactly how the pilot program will work soon.”

Hofmann wrote on the app’s online forum on Sunday that the company’s “top priority” is to get rid of issues with the comments, and that in the “medium term” the company will add the ability to like comments and to block, limit and filter commenting.

that’s it for now. you can download byte for free on Android ( and iOS (

see you soon!

— byte (@byte_app) January 25, 2020

“Once things stabilize, we’ll be back to focusing on new features, including new discovery and creation features. And we’ll also be sharing some details on the pilot version of our partner program very soon,” Hofmann wrote. “We are so thankful for the positive …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


Should You Reconsider Using WhatsApp After the Jeff Bezos Hack? Probably Not

Amid reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s phone was allegedly hacked by Saudi Arabia — with the direct involvement of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman via the popular chat app WhatsApp — some users may be wondering: Can I be hacked the same way?

Investigators have “medium to high confidence” that Bezos’s device was compromised after the chief executive received a mysterious video file from Bin Salman, also known as “MBS,” via WhatsApp, according to a report from FTI Consulting, a firm that has investigated Bezos’ phone. After that file was received, Bezos’ phone started sending unusually large amounts of outbound data. Around six months later, Bin Salman sent Bezos messages that suggested he had knowledge of the CEO’s then-secret affair with Lauren Sanchez, details of which became public in January of last year. The report, first published by Motherboard, concludes that gigabytes of photos, text messages, and perhaps audio recordings made using Bezos’ iPhone microphone may have been sent to whomever conducted the attack.

So is it time to delete WhatsApp, a popular chat app used by at least 1.5 billion people worldwide? Probably not, if you’re worried about this specific incident.

Some in the forensics community have taken issue with FTI’s report, claiming it leaves important questions unanswered. Chris Sanders, a network security instructor and expert in a tool used by FTI during its investigation, says the evidence laid out in the report fails to credibly support its conclusion.

“The report didn’t express that the forensic examiners found any malware on the system, didn’t identify any concrete malicious communication, and didn’t find any malicious code in the video,” Sanders says. He also notes that the report didn’t specify which app was responsible for the iPhone’s surge in outbound data transmissions. “The iPhone tracks the volume of outbound data per application,” he says. “However, the report doesn’t identify the application associated with this outbound data. Why?”

Former Facebook CISO Alex Stamos has also questioned how FTI came to its conclusion. He called for a more thorough investigation of Bezos’ iPhone to better understand what happened. “The idea that this report is the furthest you can go with access to the phone is wrong,” tweeted Stamos. “The circumstantial evidence is reasonably compelling, but since this is a major national security issue now more eyes need to be on the evidence.”

“All FTI Consulting client work is …read more

Source:: Time – Technology


London Police to Deploy Facial Recognition Cameras Despite Privacy Concerns and Evidence of High Failure Rate

Police in London are moving ahead with a deploying a facial recognition camera system despite privacy concerns and evidence that the technology is riddled with false positives.

The Metropolitan Police, the U.K.’s biggest police department with jurisdiction over most of London, announced Friday it would begin rolling out new “live facial recognition” cameras in London, making the capital one of the largest cities in the West to adopt the controversial technology.

The “Met,” as the police department is known in London, said in a statement the facial recognition technology, which is meant to identify people on a watch list and alert police to their real-time location, would be “intelligence-led” and deployed to only specific locations. It’s expected to be rolled out as soon as next month.

However, privacy activists immediately raised concerns, noting that independent reviews of trials of the technology showed a failure rate of 81%. “The police have decided against a backdrop of serious public concern to press ahead with facial recognition anyway,” Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch, a civil liberties group, told TIME on Friday. “It suggests to me either inexplicable incompetence or ideological commitment to increasing mass surveillance in the capital.”

A judge recently ruled that the use of facial recognition in the U.K. was legal, but Big Brother Watch has launched an appeal against that decision. “This decision represents an enormous expansion of the surveillance state and a serious threat to civil liberties in the U.K.,” Big Brother Watch said of the Metropolitan Police’s announcement.

The U.K. has more surveillance cameras per person than any country in the world except China. British citizens are famously relaxed about that coverage when that surveillance comes in the form of closed-circuit television (CCTV), but Carlo, who has attended several police trials of facial recognition cameras by London police, says people are often confused and concerned when they find out cameras are using facial recognition technology.

I can’t believe what I’m seeing! While running a facial recognition pilot, one man (understandably imho) covered himself up. The police forced him to show his face (& then fined him for disorderly conduct). This is dangerous & terrifying.

— Jamie Bartlett (@JamieJBartlett) May 15, 2019

“Turning surveillance cameras into identity checkpoints is the stuff of nightmares,” Carlo wrote in TIME last year, in response to public trials of the technology. “For centuries, the U.K. and …read more

Source:: Time – Technology