Apr 18, 2014 fbook icon twitter icon rss icon


11British Teen Attempts Suicide After Failing To Take Perfect Selfie

A British teen who spent 10 hours per day taking selfies on his phone reportedly attempted to commit suicide after he failed to capture the perfect one.

Danny Bowman, 19, was so obsessed with taking pictures of himself that he didn’t leave his home for six months. He lost nearly 30 pounds and dropped out of school.

He began posting selfies to Facebook when he was 15. Comments from other people online made him obsessed with looking perfect.

“People don’t realize when they post a picture of themselves on Facebook or Twitter it can so quickly spiral out of control,” Bowman told The Mirror. "It becomes a mission to get approval and it can destroy anyone."

Soon he was taking up to 200 selfies a day, 10 immediately after waking up in the morning.

"I was constantly in search of taking the perfect selfie and when I realized I couldn't, I wanted to die," Bowman said. “I lost my friends, my education, my health and almost my life. I finally realized I was never going to take a picture that made the craving go away and that was when I hit rock bottom.”

Dr. David Veal, the psychiatrist whose clinic treated the teenager, said Bowman suffers from body dysmorphic disorder. People with BDD think about their real or perceived physical flaws for hours per day, unable to control negative thoughts and experiencing chronic emotional distress about their appearance. BDD affects men and woman equally and most often develops during adolescence.

“Danny’s case is particularly extreme,” Veal told The Mirror. “But this is a serious problem. It’s not a vanity issue. It’s a mental health one which has an extremely high suicide rate.”

"It’s a real problem like drugs, alcohol or gambling," Bowman said. "I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve been through.”

The clinic has since weaned him off of his iPhone.

“The only thing I cared about was having my phone with me so I could satisfy the urge to capture a picture of myself at any time of the day,” he said.

Sources: UPI, The Mirror

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11High-Tech Hero: Toddler, Bentley Toone, Uses FaceTime to Save Mom After Dog Attack (VIDEO)

A 2-year-old Arizona boy who had mastered FaceTime used his tech-savvy skills to save his Mom after she was badly hurt in a dog attack.

Laura Toone said she was out walking her dogs when a foster dog she was caring for attacked one of her own pets. She struggled desperately to get the dog to release his hold but, instead, he turned on her and “took a big bite that almost took her finger clean off,” she told ABC News.

She said she begged her 4-year-old daughters to call 911, but they were afraid to even touch the phone because it was covered with their mother’s blood.

Laura told reporters that she was just about to pass out and knew she needed help right away. She then saw her son, 2-year-old Bentley, rushing to rescue his Mom.

“Here comes my son from the kitchen bringing me our dish towel and proceeded to call my friend on FaceTime," Laura said.

Bentley is always on her iPhone, Laura told ABC News, and he is known for making prank FaceTime calls. Usually many of Laura's friends like Connie Guerrero ignore the ring. But that day was different.

"Something inside of me just told me that I needed to answer this FaceTime," Connie said. "All I could see was his little forehead and I said 'Hi, Bentley,' and it was quiet for a little bit and then I hear Laura screaming," she said.

Those screams spurred Connie to call 911 immediately. When the firefighters got there, Bentley was at the door to let them in.

Laura Toone says she is so thankful for her little hero.

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlnznOcZXG0

Source: ABC


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11iPhone "Gotofail" Safari Security Flaw Extends To Mail, Calendar, Other Apps

A couple of days ago, iPhone users may have been alerted about a software update that was newly available. The updated software, iOS 7.0.6, came with one line of description: “This security update provides a fix for SSL connection verification.”

While carrying out a software update can be cumbersome and is often pushed aside by users, this particular update provides an important remedy to a major security flaw in Apple’s devices. 

According to Forbes, the update fixes a bug in the software code that makes the majority of Apple’s applications easily susceptible to eavesdroppers and hijackers. iOS users on a public WiFi network could easily tap into and/or control various apps due to Apple's improper implementation of SSL encryption prior to the update, Wired reports. 

The fiasco is being referred to as “gotofail” by the online tech security community because the security flaw was exposed simply by Apple developers improperly using a “goto” command in the software’s code. The developers accidentally typed two subsequent lines of the string “goto fail” in the wrong spot of code, which essentially causes programs such as Safari to bypass online authentication checks. Although the coding language is difficult to understand, the actual mistake was as simple as a single typo. 

Although Apple’s most recent software update provided a fix for its Safari web browser, other applications may still be at risk. Private tech researchers and security experts have been investigating the situation and claim that third-party apps such as Twitter might also be affected by the security flaw.

Apple is reportedly investigating the situation, but users should continue to watch for software updates. Additionally, you can check whether you should be concerned at gotofail.com, a website designed to alert users whether or not they are at risk as a result of the exposed security flaw. 

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11iPhone 6 Photos Leak on Twitter? (Photo)

A mysterious Twitter user posted photos of the alleged iPhone 6 casing, which displayed a wider screen and a curved design.

The new set of photos is one in a series claiming to be the actual iPhone 6 design.

The user, mornray866, has not revealed the source of the images or explained why many of the phones are shown in plastic bags.

Apple has refused to comment on the details of the upcoming phone, though there are plenty of rumors to supplement its silence.

Some speculate that there will be three different models of the iPhone 6. The first will be a 4 inch 1136x640 (326 ppi) display for the cheapest iPhone. The second will be a 4.7 inch 1920x1080 (440ppi) display called the iPhone Air. The third will be a 5.5 inch 2272x1280 (510 ppi) display called the iPhone Pro.

The new iPhone will allegedly include a new camera module from Sony to improve the quality of pictures taken from its front facing camera.

The new phones are expected to be revealed at Apple’s annual developer conference in June, where the firm typically makes new product announcements.

If announced, the iPhone 6 is expected to go on sale within weeks of the conference.

Sources: Daily Mail, Business Insider

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11California Introduces Smartphone Kill Switch Bill

It seems like a problem ripe for science-fiction: whether or not to mandate a permanent “kill switch” in mobile devices to stop the statistically high number of smartphone thefts in California. A bill was finally unveiled by State Sen. Mark Leno and District Attorney George Gascon of San Francisco that, if passed, will require all phones sold in California to have the ability by 2015.

According to RT.com, thefts of mobile phones “account for almost one in three U.S. robberies” and the instances are even higher in California. The proposed law would require the installation of a mechanism that could permanently disable the device, ending all potential for the phone to be reactivated in America or abroad.

Given that Americans currently spend about $7.8 billion in phone insurance, San Francisco Chief of Police Greg Suhr told the Associated Press, “I can’t imagine someone would vote against” this proposed law. However, CTIA, a trade group for wireless providers, disputes the assertion that phone insurance is its only worry.

The main concern about a permanent kill switch embedded in smartphones is that, like any device connected to the internet, it is susceptible to hacking. A recent NBC News report about hacking in Sochi, Russia is but one example of how vulnerable our data really can be. Government officials or public profile individuals who use smartphones could face an extra risk of attack from hackers looking to exploit the kill switch.

Phone insurance is both aggressively pushed by wireless providers and not a terrible idea for consumers who are purchasing very expensive pieces of technology. Shattered screens, broken buttons, and myriad other problems that can affect the phone make the insurance a product consumers want. It seems as if California lawmakers are treating a side-effect and not the disease. There are other ways to reduce this specific criminal problem than by placing restrictions on citizens and private companies.

Source: Associated Press, NBC News

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11Teen Allegedly Pulls Knife On Dad For Not Getting Him An iPhone

Massachusetts police say 18-year-old Alexander Torres pulled a knife on his father Christmas morning because he didn’t receive the iPhone he wanted for Christmas.

Police arrived at his Brockton home on Wednesday to find Torres "fighting with everyone in the house and he pulled out a knife on his father."

He was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery with malicious damage to a vehicle.

His father was unharmed, but his stepbrother was sent to a local hospital for unknown reasons.

Sources: Newser, Yahoo!

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11California May Be First State to Require Smartphone "Kill Switch"

California may become the only state in the Union to require that all smartphones be sold with a “kill switch,” or a feature that can wipe the phone of all usefulness, making it an expensive brick. State Senator Mark Leno has introduced a bill requiring the feature because of the prevalence of phone thefts, claiming that such robberies are becoming “increasingly violent.”

According to USA Today, “more than 50 percent of all robberies involve the theft of a mobile device, and in Los Angeles mobile phone thefts are up almost 12 percent in the last year.” Although, like watches, jewelry, or other things taken during street robberies, the phone may simply be another item up-for-grabs rather than the impetus for the crime.

Critics of the kill-switch law, including many cellular carriers, say that insisting this feature be made available in all phones could lead to rushed technology that would be vulnerable to hackers. Those hackers could shut down law enforcement or public citizens’ phones in order to create mayhem. Similarly, some fear that the kill switches could be used by authorities to shut down phones in situations ranging from mild civil disobedience to full-blown martial law. According to RT.com, Samsung reportedly offered to install the feature on their device, but the proposal “was rebuffed by wireless carriers who feared it would cut into their sales of phone insurance.”

California Attorney General George Gascón also threw his support behind the bill, providing results from a survey of iPhone users who have taken advantage of a similar feature on that phone. Although, rather than being a catch-all, the app only kills the phone if someone tries to disable the location features without the proper password. Each phone—Apple or other brand—has a mobile equipment identifier or MEID number which identifies the device, which could be another avenue to pursue. 


11President Obama Not Allowed To Have iPhone For ‘Security Reasons’

If you ever wanted to know why President Barack Obama still uses his BlackBerry, you’ve now gotten your answer.

At a meeting with youth on Wednesday to promote his landmark healthcare law, the president said he is not allowed to have Apple's smart phone, the iPhone, for "security reasons," though he still uses Apple's tablet computer, the iPad, according to the New York Daily News.

Part of the transcript of the meeting was posted by Slate and included the following:

“Now, I am not allowed, for security reasons, to have an iPhone.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know what your bills are.  I have noticed that Sasha and Malia seem to spend a lot of time on it.  (Laughter.)  My suspicion is that for a lot of you, between your cable bill, your phone bill, you're spending more than 100 bucks a month.  The idea that you wouldn’t want to make sure that you've got the health security and financial security that comes with health insurance for less than that price, you guys are smarter than that.  And most young people are, as well.”

The Slate article also discussed what makes Obama’s BlackBerry more secure than an iPhone and noted that for starters, there’s the fact that his BlackBerry is apparently locked down in multiple ways, including a personal email address to which only 10 contacts have access.

Obama reportedly fought to keep his BlackBerry after coming to the White House in 2009, according to the New York Daily News, which also noted neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton used email during their presidencies.

Sources: New York Daily News, Slate

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11iPhone Tracking App and Selfie Help Winnipeg Police Catch Teen Robbers

Three teen suspects in Winnipeg, Manitoba were tracked down thanks to an app and a selfie they took on an iPhone that was stolen on Tuesday.

The first of two violent robberies occurred around 5 p.m. when one of the teenagers asked a 30-year-old man for a cigarette in an alleyway in Osborne Village. The man was attacked by the boy along with two others when he refused.

During the attack, the group stole the man’s iPhone which has a tracking app installed. He escaped with only minor injuries.

"There was a tracking device on the iPhone and the suspects posted a picture that went to the victim’s Cloud [account]," Const. Rob Carver told the Winnipeg Free Press on Thursday.

Around 9 p.m., a 15-year-old was also attacked and robbed near Robson Street and Kernaghan Avenue in Transcona, according to the newspaper.

The boy also sustained minor injuries, police said, and officers used the selfie and data from the app to link the two attacks.

Police arrested and charged three boys, a 14-year-old, 15-year-old and 16-year-old.

The youngest was released, but the other two boys are being held at the Manitoba Youth Centre.

Carver told CBC News that the teens didn’t realize the app would be used by police to locate them after the first robbery.

“I’m pretty sure they didn’t based on the taking of the picture,” said Carver. “A guy takes a picture of himself and doesn't realize that if the phone is set up to do that, the picture populates to your account, which can be shown on other devices."

However, Carver adds that people shouldn’t try to retrieve their phones by themselves if it gets stolen. Even though the app helped to pinpoint the suspects, people should first go to the police if they are victims of crime.

Sources: CBC News, Winnipeg Free Press

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11SpyMeSat App Alerts You When Imaging Satellites Are Passing Overhead

With Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks and the increasing amount of evidence that both private companies and the government are spying on our online activity, tech paranoia is now commonplace. A new iPhone app aims to either aid or appease those fears of being watched, depending on how you look at it. 

The app, called SpyMeSat, notifies iPhone users when a spy satellite or an “unclassified imagine satellite” is above their location, presumably taking pictures of them from space. Greenbelt Md.-based company Orbit Logic designed the app, which also shows the orbit paths of satellites nearby, which is simply something cool to know no matter your level of privacy-invasion paranoia. 

“I actually got the idea for the app from talking to friends outside the aerospace industry who were always very interested in space and satellites and imaging from space. This app answers those questions in a fun and interactive way,” Herz said in an interview with Space.com. 

SpyMeSat makes it easy to understand what man-made objects are moving through space in the areas directly above you and around you. The app sources information from a wide variety of sources, including the North American Aerospace Defense Command, a website called CelesTrak and other public data. 

Those seriously concerned with privacy issues may be disappointed that the app doesn’t display any information that’s not available to the public elsewhere. It simply displays it in an easy-to-understand manner in relation to your location (and greatly simplifies the relatively complex math involved). The company believes that’s a good thing, so that it can not be used by terrorists or other criminals attempting to avoid being photographed by spy satellites. 

“We were careful to only include satellites that are unclassified and whose orbits are published by NORAD. Even the sensor data — resolution, etc. — was taken only from the websites published by the satellite operators. So everything SpyMeSat is using is open and public. Even the computations are basic orbit math taught in colleges everywhere,” Herz told Space.com.

The app is currently available in the iTunes store for $1.99. 

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