AM Prep-Cyber Corner
IN THE NEWS: RUSSIA - POLITICAL DISINFORMATION
WASHINGTON (AP) — The more research being done on Russia’s effort to affect the 2016 presidential election — the clearer it is that the effort extended far beyond 2016. The Senate intelligence committee released a pair of reports yesterday about the Russian disinformation campaign on U.S. social media outlets. And it found the campaign went far longer than first thought, with troll farms even now continuing to stoke racial and political passions in this country. The report says the Russian effort was designed to “blur the lines between reality and fiction” to help elect Donald Trump in 2016. The studies are the most comprehensive picture yet of Russian interference using American social media. Facebook, Google and Twitter declined to comment on the specifics of the reports.
IN THE NEWS: CALIFORNIA CANCELS PLANS TO TAX TEXTS
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — No taxes on texts. That’s the decision California lawmakers have reached — after considering a proposal that has raised eyebrows as a possible way to raise revenue. The California Public Utilities Commission decided to abandon the text tax after the FCC ruled last week that text messaging is an information service, not a telecommunications service. Federal law limits state authority over services that provide information. Regulators announced Friday that the California utilities commission withdrew the text proposal “in light of the FCC’s action.” on Dec. 12. State officials said the tax was intended to help support programs that make phone service accessible to the poor.
ON THE WEB: AIRBNB - ISRAELI WEST BANK
CYBERSPACE (AP) — Airbnb says it’s standing its ground when it comes to listing properties on disputed land. The online rental agency says it hasn’t reversed its plan to stop listing properties located in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. That contradicts a comment made yesterday by Israel’s tourism minister, who said Airbnb promised during a meeting “not to implement” its decision. But Airbnb says that report is inaccurate. Airbnb announced last month it would stop listing properties in the Israeli settlements on the West Bank, which are considered illegal by most of the world. The decision prompted an uproar in Israel, with officials accusing Airbnb of anti-Semitism.
Airbnb site: http://www.airbnb.com
IN STORES: APPLE WATCH SERIES 4
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — All watches help you keep time. But Apple says its new watch is designed to help you keep healthy. The Apple Watch Series 4 has several built-in features aimed at promoting better health among users. One of the main new features is that the Series 4 watch has a heart monitor. It keeps tabs on your heart rate — and lets you know if there is something amiss. If you should stumble and fall, the watch won’t pick you up — but it can help you get back on your feet, by measuring falls and if it detects one, reaching out to get help. There is also an Emergency SOS button on the watch face you can use to summon help in a pinch. The new Apple watch can also help you chill. Sitting too long? It urges you to get up and get your blood flowing again. And it can prompt you to take a series of calming breaths to re-center yourself. The Apple Watch Series 4 has two models, one with GPS and one with GPS and cellular. The cellular model starts at $499, with the GPS-only model starting $100 lower.
Apple site: http://www.apple.com
by Oscar Wells Gabriel II
Follow Oscar Wells Gabriel II on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OWGabriel2