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Weekly Roundup 7.31 Edition

by Cassie July 31, 2015

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New Microsoft Lumias May Feature Iris Scanners

Following the dismissal of nearly 8,000 employees from Microsoft’s phone division, the future of Microsoft’s Lumia devices was unclear. New reports, however, suggest that the tech giant is prepping for two new phones, codenamed Talkman and Cityman, in the Lumia line. These new devices, expected to launch in September at the Berlin tradeshow, are reported to have Qi wireless charging and an infrared iris scanner. While Microsoft is not the first to employ an iris scanner in mobile devices, they still represent a small fraction of tech companies that have moved beyond fingerprint scanners. With such a high profile industry leader adopting this new technology, it’s only a matter of time before other companies follow suit.

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Sony Drones for Business

Gone are the days of data collection relying solely on user submitted surveys and on-site observation. Sony’s latest endeavor looks to take surveying to the skies with autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles. These new drones, brought about by Sony’s partnership with the Japanese company ZMP, have image capture and cloud-based data processing capabilities. These are not your standard off-the-shelf drones that allow you to take cool videos for your Facebook page; Sony’s drones will not be on sale to the average consumer. Still, with more uses for drones beyond just warfare being discovered, it’s only a matter of time before the drones available to the public get some cool new capabilities.

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15% of Smartphone Apps Can Scam You

Many people are guilty of downloading large amounts of mobile apps that, though rarely used, still cause a tinge of guilt when it comes time to delete them. Maybe purging our phones of unnecessary apps is a little more important than we might have thought. A new study by ad fraud detection firm, Forensiq, has found that 15% of apps can launch operations in the background of your phone even when they aren’t open. These operations not only artificially inflate user numbers of the app, but also drain your battery and use your data without your consent. The purpose of this fraudulent activity is to entice advertisers to pay for ads within the applications, based on an inaccurate perception of the users they will be able to reach. To protect yourself from these hazardous apps, try to avoid apps by lesser-known developers and read app reviews for mentions of excessive data drain.

For the original article on, click here

3 Best Ways to Protect Your Social Security Number from Thieves

With recent news that hackers made off with over 21 million Social Security numbers from the Office of Personnel Management, it’s important to remember to always protect your Social Security Number. Here are some useful tips to help you guard your identity:

  1. Keep the information secure:

– Avoid saving your number in your phone, delete old messages and shred any documents that contain personal information

  1. Keep your account secure

– Make sure to keep close watch on your bank account and always report any suspicious activity

  1. Consider identity protection services:

– For around $10 a month, you can have a reputable company monitor your account and assist you in the event your account is breached

For the original article on, click here