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Part of the warning message LivingSocial sent to subscribers.

LivingSocial, the second-largest daily deal company behind Groupon, said it was hit by a cyber attack that may have affected more than 50 million customers.

The company said the attack on its computer systems resulted in unauthorised access to customer data, including names, email addresses, date of birth for some users and “encrypted” passwords.

LivingSocial stressed customer credit card and merchants’ financial and banking information were not affected or accessed. It also does not store passwords in plain text.

“We are actively working with law enforcement to investigate this issue,” the company, part-owned by Amazon.com, wrote in an email to employees.

LivingSocial does not disclose how many customers it has. However, spokesman Andrew Weinstein said “a substantial portion” of the company’s customer base was affected. LivingSocial is also contacting customers who closed accounts, because it still has their information stored in databases, he added.

The attack hit customers in the United States, Canada, the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Southern Europe and Latin America. Customers in South Korea, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand were not affected, Weinstein said.

“In light of recent successful widespread attacks against major social networking sites, it’s obvious that these providers are simply not doing enough to protect their customers’ information,” said George Tubin, senior security strategist at Trusteer, a computer security company.

The attack comes as LivingSocial struggles to handle a decline in consumer and merchant demand for daily deals. The company raised $US110 million from investors, including Amazon earlier this year, but was forced to make large concessions to get the new money.

Amazon invested $US56 million in LivingSocial in the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing on Friday, which also revealed the company had a first-quarter operating loss of $US44 million on revenue of $US135 million.

LivingSocial said on Friday it was beginning to contact more than 50 million customers whose data may have been affected by the cyber attack.

LivingSocial told customers in an email that they should log on to LivingSocial.com to create a new password for their accounts.

“We also encourage you, for your own personal data security, to consider changing password(s) on any other sites on which you use the same or similar password(s),” LivingSocial Chief Executive Tim O’Shaughnessy wrote in the email.

“We are sorry this incident occurred.”

Reuters

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Henry Sapiecha

FACEBOOK & APPLE ARE IN TALKS ABOUT FACEBOOK MOBILE APP

Facebook is talking to Apple about crafting a version of its new mobile software for the iPhone, in a push to boost revenue from the growing number of users who access the social network on smaller screens.

After debuting the software, called Home, for Google’s Android operating system earlier this month, the operator of the world’s biggest social-networking service is speaking to Apple and Microsoft about expanding to other platforms, said Adam Mosseri, director of product at Facebook. The talks are ongoing and nothing has been finalised, he said.

Now that the majority of users access Facebook via mobile devices, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg is looking for ways to keep them engaged longer and coaxing more advertisers to pay to place promotions. While Google’s Android software powered about 70 per cent of smartphones worldwide last year, Apple’s iOS operating system commanded about 21 per cent, according to Gartner.

“We’ve shown them what we’ve built and we’re just in an ongoing conversation,” Mosseri said, referring to discussions with Apple and Microsoft.

Jen Martin, a spokeswoman for Apple declined to comment. Bill Cox, a spokesman for Microsoft, didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Already, Facebook and Apple have a “great relationship”, Zuckerberg said when he introduced the Home software earlier this month.

‘Active dialogue’

“We are integrated into the operating system with them,” Zuckerberg said. “We have an active dialogue to do more with them.”

On iPhones, the Home software would be tailored to what Apple prefers, Mosseri said. It could look much different to the Android version.

“It may or may not be Home,” he said. “We could also just bring some of the design values to the iOS app. That might be how it ends up. Or we could build just the lock screen. Maybe then it’s not called Home, it’s called something else.”

The new Home software is designed for newer Android handsets, including some made by Samsung and HTC. Home, which will have monthly updates, can be installed from Google Play, Google’s online app store.

While the program will not initially have advertising, Zuckerberg said promotions will be included in future updates.

“There are no ads on this yet,” Zuckerberg said. “I’m sure at some point there will be.”

Henry Sapiecha

“While we are shutting down wearehunted.com, we will continue to create services that will delight you, as part of the Twitter team,” the company said in a statement.

We Are Hunted founders Richard Slatter, Stephen Phillips and Michael Doherty

“There’s no question that Twitter and music go well together.

“Artists turn to Twitter first to connect with fans, and people share and discover new songs and albums every day. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been working on at Twitter.”

We Are Hunted was founded in 2007 by Stephen Phillips, Richard Slatter, Michael Doherty and Nick Crocker and recently relocated to San Francisco.

None of the trio immediately expanded on what the deal would mean for Twitter.

But it has increased rumours of a new Twitter app, potentially allowing users to discover popular new artists, listen to or even buy music.

US radio identity and American Idol host Ryan Seacrest recently revealed he’d been using a yet-to-be-released Twitter music app.

“Playing with Twitter’s new music app (yes it’s real!) … there’s a serious dance party happening at idol right now,” he tweeted. “Shows what artists are trending, also has up-and-coming artists.”

Seacrest’s comments were retweeted by Twitter, all but confirming their veracity.

It comes as the major social networks all look to expand their services, offering users a wider, richer experience than merely connecting with friends.

Twitter has bought a number of other tech start-ups over the past year, including the video tool Vine, which allows users to shoot and post short clips.

Facebook has also been expanding its range of applications, including the photo site Instagram and the new Graph Search which allows users to search the Facebook site more thoroughly.

AAP

Henry Sapiecha

The Einstein Illusion

This is an interesting optical illusion.  At first this picture appears to be Albert Einstein, but if you back up around 10 or 11 feet it will appear to be Marilyn Monroe.

What does this say about eye witness accounts.What is the truth??

Fantasy Footwear

Henry Sapiecha