Advertise here
Advertise here

popular

now browsing by tag

 
 

Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

Clockwise from top left: Bad selfie; “tree man” disease; Deer tick; mothers from Namibia’s Himba tribe and from Amber, India; toilet; and Hamza man eating honeycomb.

Clockwise from top left: SAIH Norway/Screenshot by NPR; Hadassah; Matthieu Paley/National Geographic; Stephen Reiss for NPR; Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; and Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street.


hide caption

toggle caption

Clockwise from top left: SAIH Norway/Screenshot by NPR; Hadassah; Matthieu Paley/National Geographic; Stephen Reiss for NPR; Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; and Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street.

Clockwise from top left: Bad selfie; “tree man” disease; Deer tick; mothers from Namibia’s Himba tribe and from Amber, India; toilet; and Hamza man eating honeycomb.

Clockwise from top left: SAIH Norway/Screenshot by NPR; Hadassah; Matthieu Paley/National Geographic; Stephen Reiss for NPR; Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; and Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street.

I always get excited about putting together Goats and Soda’s list of most-read stories of the year. To me, it reveals a lot about how our audience feels about the world — what did you find surprising? Share-worthy? Illuminating?

You loved the stories that got you woke: how to ethically take selfies while volunteering abroad; how the Western media visually portrays women and girls in the developing world.

You were intrigued by rare health conditions, like uppgivenhetssyndrom, a coma-like state found in some refugee children in Sweden, and a disease that causes tree-like growths on the skin.

And you were curious about best practices from the developing world: Why are moms in Namibia such great breast-feeders? Why do the Hadza in Tanzania have such healthy diets?

From the 455 global health and development stories we posted on our blog in 2017, here are the top 10, ranked by pageviews.

1. Volunteering Abroad? Read This Before You Post That Selfie

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

You may think it’s a noble idea to photograph yourself helping poor children. A new campaign has a different perspective.

2. Forbidding Forecast For Lyme Disease In The Northeast

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

Blacklegged ticks — also called deer ticks — are tiny. This adult female is about the size of a sesame seed.

Stephen Reiss for NPR


hide caption

toggle caption

Stephen Reiss for NPR

Blacklegged ticks — also called deer ticks — are tiny. This adult female is about the size of a sesame seed.

Stephen Reiss for NPR

Why has the tick-borne illness surged? The answer traces back to something that newly arrived Europeans did more than 200 years ago.

3. Rare Skin Disease Ruined Gaza Man’s Life — Until Israeli Doctors Stepped In

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

The growths on Muhammad Taluli’s hands were from a severe case of a rare condition called epidermodysplasia verruciformis — sometimes called “tree man” disease because the tumors can resemble wood or bark.

Hadassah


hide caption

toggle caption

Hadassah

The growths on Muhammad Taluli’s hands were from a severe case of a rare condition called epidermodysplasia verruciformis — sometimes called “tree man” disease because the tumors can resemble wood or bark.

Hadassah

He was in pain. He could not work. He was ashamed. He’d been told there was no treatment. Then he went to Hadassah Medical Center.

4. Secrets Of Breast-Feeding From Global Moms In The Know

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

(From left) Mothers from Namibia’s Himba tribe; from Amber, India; and from Washington state.

Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; Sarah Wolfe Photography/Getty


hide caption

toggle caption

Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; Sarah Wolfe Photography/Getty

(From left) Mothers from Namibia’s Himba tribe; from Amber, India; and from Washington state.

Jose Luis Trisan/Getty; Hadynyah/Getty; Sarah Wolfe Photography/Getty

Many American women want to breast-feed — and try to. Only about half keep it up. It’s as if they’ve lost the instinct. One researcher thinks she’s figured out why.

5. In Sweden, Hundreds Of Refugee Children Gave Up On Life

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

Two refugee children who show the symptoms of uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome.

Magnus Wennman for The New Yorker


hide caption

toggle caption

Magnus Wennman for The New Yorker

Two refugee children who show the symptoms of uppgivenhetssyndrom, or resignation syndrome.

Magnus Wennman for The New Yorker

An article in an April issue of the New Yorker described youngsters who fell into a coma-like state in reaction to the news that their family may be deported. We interview the author.

6. Triple Threat: New Pneumonia Is Drug-Resistant, Deadly And Contagious

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

A newly detected type of Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria (in red) has acquired genes that make it more deadly.



Science Source

There are so many “superbugs” appearing in hospitals around the world that we here at Goats and Soda haven’t had the time or resources to report on all of them. But a new type of pneumonia emerging in China seems so important that we dropped what we were doing to write about it.

7. PHOTOS: Peep At The Toilets Of 7 Families Around The World

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

This is likely a pit toilet. The idea is that there’s a giant hole underneath the toilet. It’s from Revben and Havenes Banda’s home in a rural village in Malawi. They live with their five children and five grandchildren; their monthly income is $50.

Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street


hide caption

toggle caption

Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

This is likely a pit toilet. The idea is that there’s a giant hole underneath the toilet. It’s from Revben and Havenes Banda’s home in a rural village in Malawi. They live with their five children and five grandchildren; their monthly income is $50.

Zoriah Miller for Dollar Street

These pictures show that toilets can come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll never take your toilet for granted again.

8. Is The Secret To A Healthier Microbiome Hidden In The Hadza Diet?

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

Hadza man eating honeycomb and larvae from a beehive.

Matthieu Paley/National Geographic


hide caption

toggle caption

Matthieu Paley/National Geographic

Hadza man eating honeycomb and larvae from a beehive.

Matthieu Paley/National Geographic

Some species of bacteria in our intestines are disappearing. Can we reverse the microbial die-off? The food eaten by Tanzania’s Hadza tribe could hold the answer.

9. Outcry Over Photo Showing The Face Of A Girl Allegedly Being Raped

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

This is a screenshot of an online promotion by LensCulture for the Magnum 2017 photo competition, using photographs by Souvid Datta taken of girls in the red light district of Kolkata. The photo that was used has been blacked out.

LensCulture/Courtesy of DuckRabbit


hide caption

toggle caption

LensCulture/Courtesy of DuckRabbit

This is a screenshot of an online promotion by LensCulture for the Magnum 2017 photo competition, using photographs by Souvid Datta taken of girls in the red light district of Kolkata. The photo that was used has been blacked out.

LensCulture/Courtesy of DuckRabbit

A firestorm has erupted over the ethics of using that image on Facebook to promote a photo contest — and the broader issue of how Western media depicts young women and girls in poor countries.

10. Beyond Lyme: New Tick-Borne Diseases On The Rise In U.S.

5cba6_grid-best-of-2017_custom-34cbf1d7a062fdeb8f866453ef329d4b4d410629-s1100-c15 Our 10 Most Popular Global Health And Development Stories Of 2017

Jack Snow looks at a photo of his late wife, Lyn, on the wall of their home in Thomaston, Maine. Lyn Snow was bitten by a tick in late 2013 and died of Powassan, a tick-borne virus.

Brianna Soukup for NPR


hide caption

toggle caption

Brianna Soukup for NPR

Jack Snow looks at a photo of his late wife, Lyn, on the wall of their home in Thomaston, Maine. Lyn Snow was bitten by a tick in late 2013 and died of Powassan, a tick-borne virus.

Brianna Soukup for NPR

The world is seeing more and more new diseases, and the U.S. is no exception. We’re living in a hot spot for tick-borne diseases. Some are deadly. The key to stopping them may be an unlikely critter.

The most popular iPhone of 2017 might surprise you

The iPhone 8 was the most-searched piece of consumer tech in 2017, followed by the iPhone X, Nintendo Switch, Galaxy S8 and Xbox One X.

Google broke the news on Wednesday, adding that Nokia 3310, Razer Phone, Oppo F5, OnePlus 5 and Nokia 6 occupied the latter half of the list.

It may seem a little strange that the iPhone 8 ranked higher than the flagship iPhone X, but it wasn’t entirely unexpected.

Related: Nokia 3310 

People naturally presumed that the successor to the iPhone 7 would be branded with a sequential number, so they were searching for the iPhone 8 well in advance. When we got closer to the handset’s unveiling, however, rumours started to circulate claiming that Apple would release three new iPhones – and that’s when traffic for the iPhone X picked up.

Big G also highlighted the most-searched terms for a slew of other categories. Here are some of the highlights:

Actors

  1. Meghan Markle
  2. Kevin Spacey
  3. Gal Gadot
  4. Louis CK
  5. Bill Skarsgård

Movies

  1. IT
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Logan
  5.  Justice League

Songs

  1. Despacito
  2. Shape of You
  3. Perfect
  4. Havana
  5. Look What You Made Me Do

TV Shows

  1. Stranger Things
  2. 13 Reasons Why
  3. Big Brother Brasil
  4. Game of Thrones
  5. Iron Fist

You can view the full report over on Google’s website.

Are you surprised by the top tech trends of 2017? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.

iPhone 8 & iPhone X the #2 and #3 most popular Google searches in 2017

Google has published its annual list of the most popular searches of the year. This year’s new iPhones took the #2 and #3 slots after Hurricane Irma …


054be_screen-shot-2017-03-30-at-14-48-26 iPhone 8 & iPhone X the #2 and #3 most popular Google searches in 2017

NordVPN

Searches for the iPhone 8 beat out those for the iPhone X, but that’s not surprising: Apple managed to keep the iPhone X name a surprise, so earlier searches for this year’s flagship iPhone would have been performed as ‘iPhone 8.’

Rounding out the top ten were Matt Lauer, Meghan Markle, 13 Reasons Why, Tom Petty, Fidget Spinner, Chester Bennington and the India National Cricket Team.

In consumer tech, this year’s iPhones naturally took the top two positions, followed by the Nintendo Switch, Samsung Galaxy S8 and Xbox One X.

Google put a positive spin on the year, saying that we were both more curious and more willing to help those in need than ever before.

This year we searched “How” [and “How to help”] more than ever before. The questions we asked show our desire to understand, and ultimately improve the world around us.

‘How to help refugees’ and ‘How to help flood victims’ were among the examples given.

You can explore all of the trending topics here.

The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017

Apple on Thursday released its year-end list of top US apps for iPhones and iPads.

The apps Apple chose are the most popular of the year, meaning they’re the apps that consistently topped the free apps chart in the App Store.

Facebook, Google, and Snapchat claim 11 of the top 20 spots, including Bitmoji, YouTube, and Instagram.

Here are the 20 most popular apps of 2017:


20. Lyft

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


19. Google Chrome

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


18. Twitter

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


17. WhatsApp

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


16. Pandora

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


15. Uber

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


14. Netflix

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


13. Facebook

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


12. Messenger

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


11. Snapchat

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


10. Waze

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


9. SoundCloud

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


8. Wish

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


7. Amazon

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


6. Gmail

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


5. Spotify

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


4. Google Maps

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


3. Instagram

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


2. YouTube

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


1. Bitmoji

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017

The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017

Apple on Thursday released its year-end list of top US apps for iPhones and iPads.

The apps Apple chose are the most popular of the year, meaning they’re the apps that consistently topped the free apps chart in the App Store.

Facebook, Google, and Snapchat claim 11 of the top 20 spots, including Bitmoji, YouTube, and Instagram.

Here are the 20 most popular apps of 2017:


20. Lyft

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


19. Google Chrome

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


18. Twitter

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


17. WhatsApp

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


16. Pandora

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


15. Uber

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


14. Netflix

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


13. Facebook

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


12. Messenger

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


11. Snapchat

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


10. Waze

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


9. SoundCloud

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


8. Wish

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


7. Amazon

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


6. Gmail

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


5. Spotify

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


4. Google Maps

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


3. Instagram

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


2. YouTube

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017


1. Bitmoji

7825f_c61d55f6e4c83b56ee7fc6ecca2e43bceb4c0e7d-800x462 The 20 most popular iPhone apps of 2017

iPhone models dominate Flickr’s list of most popular cameras in …


c23f3_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in ...

Apple’s iPhone remains the most popular camera used by the Flickr community, the photo-sharing site revealed today in its annual review of camera rankings and top photos. This year, the iPhone beat out other camera makers – like Canon and Nikon, the number two and three respectively – by accounting for 54 percent of the top 100 devices used on the site, the company found. In addition, all top 10 devices of 2017 were iPhone models, Flickr says.

The site’s still sizable community of over 75 million registered users offers a good gauge of what devices people today use to take photos. Over the years, the top device has consistently been the iPhone – an indication of how consumers have moved away from traditional point-and-shoots for everyday photos. Many professionals also often turn to iPhone for their higher-quality photos thanks to Apple’s improvements to the smartphone’s camera.

The camera system on iPhones, in fact, has become a central focus for Apple’s technological advancements over the years, and has consistently remained of the top reasons to upgrade to the latest iPhone model. That remained true in 2017 as well, with the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

c23f3_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in ...

This year, iPhone has scored the majority (54%) of usage on Flickr’s site, up from 47 percent of the top 100 in 2016, and 42 percent the year prior. The iPhone also passed Nikon to score the spot as the second-most popular camera back in 2014.

Nikon was the third most popular brand with 18 percent in 2017, and Canon was number two, responsible for 23 percent of the top 100 devices.

In addition to the iPhone’s top ranking, Flickr’s list this year also shows the impact of smartphone use on the photography industry in general. The smartphone has become the dominant device choice by volume of uploads, Flickr notes.

c23f3_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in ...

This past year, smartphones accounted for half (50%) of all photos uploaded to Flickr, topping last year’s figure of 48 percent. DSLR usage has increased as well, up from 25 percent in 2016 to 33 percent in 2017.

The rise of smartphones and DSLRs have come at the expense of point-and-shoots in 2017. This category has seen the biggest drop of the year at 12 percent down from 48 percent in 2016 – a massive decline. Meanwhile, mirrorless remained at 4 percent of the total uploads for the third year in a row, the report stated.

The iPhone remains the most popular camera on Flickr, and it’s not even close

The original iPhone helped kickstart the modern-day smartphone revolution, and among other things, ultimately gave individuals the ability to take jaw-dropping photographs without having to carry around a dedicated point-and-shoot. Though original iPhone left much to be desired camera-wise, it didn’t take long for Apple to start throwing more and more engineering resources towards improving photo quality on the iPhone.

With each passing year, it seems as if every new iPhone release sets a new bar of excellence for mobile photography. And in a statistic that may not come as much of a surprise, the iPhone today remains the most popular camera within the Flickr community. For the year gone by, Flickr notes that iPhone cameras overall accounted for 54% of the top 100 devices on the site. In a distant second place was Canon with a 23% share, followed by Nikon with 18%.

Even more impressive is that 9 out of the 10 most used cameras on Flickr were iPhone models, with the iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, and the iPhone 5s claiming the top three spots.

Flickr’s blog post reads in part:

When it comes to brands, Apple iPhones remained the dominant camera models, with 54% of the top 100 devices being named iPhone and an almost clean sweep of the top 10 Devices of 2017, accounting for 9 our of the top 10 devices. The Canon 5D Mark III placed 9th in the Top 10 Devices on Flickr of 2017.

The iPhone’s dominance aside, Flickr released some interesting data regarding some of the more popular photographs to appear on the site over the last 12 months, including a list of the top 25 photos of 2017 and a breakdown of the more popular photographs across different countries.

iPhone models dominate Flickr’s list of most popular cameras in 2017 with 54% of top 100 devices


cc766_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in 2017 with 54% of top 100 devices

Apple’s iPhone remains the most popular camera used by the Flickr community, the photo-sharing site revealed today in its annual review of camera rankings and top photos. This year, the iPhone beat out other camera makers – like Canon and Nikon, the number two and three respectively – by accounting for 54 percent of the top 100 devices used on the site, the company found. In addition, all top 10 devices of 2017 were iPhone models, Flickr says.

The site’s still sizable community of over 75 million registered users offers a good gauge of what devices people today use to take photos. Over the years, the top device has consistently been the iPhone – an indication of how consumers have moved away from traditional point-and-shoots for everyday photos. Many professionals also often turn to iPhone for their higher-quality photos thanks to Apple’s improvements to the smartphone’s camera.

The camera system on iPhones, in fact, has become a central focus for Apple’s technological advancements over the years, and has consistently remained of the top reasons to upgrade to the latest iPhone model. That remained true in 2017 as well, with the release of the iPhone 8 and iPhone X.

cc766_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in 2017 with 54% of top 100 devices

This year, iPhone has scored the majority (54%) of usage on Flickr’s site, up from 47 percent of the top 100 in 2016, and 42 percent the year prior. The iPhone also passed Nikon to score the spot as the second-most popular camera back in 2014.

Nikon was the third most popular brand with 18 percent in 2017, and Canon was number two, responsible for 23 percent of the top 100 devices.

In addition to the iPhone’s top ranking, Flickr’s list this year also shows the impact of smartphone use on the photography industry in general. The smartphone has become the dominant device choice by volume of uploads, Flickr notes.

cc766_iphone-camera iPhone models dominate Flickr's list of most popular cameras in 2017 with 54% of top 100 devices

This past year, smartphones accounted for half (50%) of all photos uploaded to Flickr, topping last year’s figure of 48 percent. DSLR usage has increased as well, up from 25 percent in 2016 to 33 percent in 2017.

The rise of smartphones and DSLRs have come at the expense of point-and-shoots in 2017. This category has seen the biggest drop of the year at 12 percent down from 48 percent in 2016 – a massive decline. Meanwhile, mirrorless remained at 4 percent of the total uploads for the third year in a row, the report stated.

Apple reveals the most popular iPhone apps of 2017

Snap may have had a rough year, but you wouldn’t know it from the App Store charts.

Apple just revealed the most popular apps of 2017 and Snap nabbed the top two spots on the list, beating out Facebook, Google, and Netflix.

While Snapchat was the most downloaded app of 2016, it slipped to the number two position this year, with Snap-owned Bitmoji taking top honors. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise to those who have been paying attention. As we previously noted, Bitmoji has seen explosive growth over the last year and a half as it’s steadily integrated the app’s customizable emoji into Snapchat.

Here’s the full list of the top 20 most downloaded apps, according to Apple.

  1. Bitmoji

  2. Snapchat

  3. YouTube

  4. Messenger

  5. Instagram

  6. Facebook

  7. Google Maps

  8. Netflix

  9. Spotify

  10. Uber

  11. Gmail

  12. Pandora Music

  13. Amazon

  14. WhatsApp

  15. Wish

  16. Twitter

  17. SoundCloud

  18. Google Chrome

  19. Waze

  20. Lyft 

Most of the list won’t come as much of a surprise, with Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Facebook taking the fourth, fifth, and sixth spots. Uber barely squeaked into the top 10 for the first time, and its rival Lyft made it to #20. 

When it comes to paid apps, the top spots went to Facetune, guitar-learning app Tabs Chords, and scheduling app HotSchedules. 

On the gaming side, the most popular app should also come as no surprise: Nintendo’s Super Mario Run. Pool simulation 8 Ball Pool was close behind at #2, followed by Snake VS Block, Ballz, and Word Cookies!.

For paid games, Ellen DeGeneres’ Heads Up! was the most popular for the third year in a row.

Apple’s editors also announced their picks for the best apps of the year. Meditation app Calm was named best iPhone app of the year, while Splitter Critters won the best iPhone game spot.

You can check out the full list of Apple’s top apps and more over at iTunes.

WATCH: Can the Google Pixel Buds translate faster than expert interpreters?

Steam: Windows 7 now nearly three times more popular than Windows 10

b090c_gamerkid Steam: Windows 7 now nearly three times more popular than Windows 10

While Windows 10 still lags behind Windows 7 in terms of market share, there’s one section of user that has embraced the new operating system since day one — gamers. That’s no surprise of course, as they like to run the latest and greatest hardware and software.

Steam’s monthly usage survey, which shows the state of things from the gamers’ perspective, has consistently reported Windows 10 as the top operating system of choice, until last month when — to the surprise of many — Windows 7 took over.

SEE ALSO:

In October, Steam’s stats showed Windows 10 shedding a massive 17.38 percentage points, to give it 28.6 percent share. In the same month, Windows 7 gained a whopping 21.47 percentage points to put it on 65.46 percent.

Things were no better for Windows 10 in November, either. According the latest figures, Windows 10 fell another 5.05 percentage points. It now accounts for 23.94 share (23.64 percent for the 64-bit build, and 0.29 percent for the 32-bit edition). Windows 7’s share grew by 6.21 percentage points. It now has 71.3 percent (69.89 percent for the 64-bit OS, and 1.41 for the 32-bit build).

As we speculated last month, the cause for this shift isn’t likely to be down to gamers suddenly switching from Windows 10 to Windows 7, but rather the influence of Windows 7-preferring Chinese gamers.

As was the case last month, Simplified Chinese is now by far and away the most popular language used on Steam (64.35 percent, as opposed to 17.02 percent using English), and its share grew 8.23 percentage points in November, no doubt accounting for Windows 7’s latest growth spurt.

Steam: Windows 7 now nearly three times more popular than Windows 10

53ff0_gamerkid Steam: Windows 7 now nearly three times more popular than Windows 10

While Windows 10 still lags behind Windows 7 in terms of market share, there’s one section of user that has embraced the new operating system since day one — gamers. That’s no surprise of course, as they like to run the latest and greatest hardware and software.

Steam’s monthly usage survey, which shows the state of things from the gamers’ perspective, has consistently reported Windows 10 as the top operating system of choice, until last month when — to the surprise of many — Windows 7 took over.

SEE ALSO:

In October, Steam’s stats showed Windows 10 shedding a massive 17.38 percentage points, to give it 28.6 percent share. In the same month, Windows 7 gained a whopping 21.47 percentage points to put it on 65.46 percent.

Things were no better for Windows 10 in November, either. According the latest figures, Windows 10 fell another 5.05 percentage points. It now accounts for 23.94 share (23.64 percent for the 64-bit build, and 0.29 percent for the 32-bit edition). Windows 7’s share grew by 6.21 percentage points. It now has 71.3 percent (69.89 percent for the 64-bit OS, and 1.41 for the 32-bit build).

As we speculated last month, the cause for this shift isn’t likely to be down to gamers suddenly switching from Windows 10 to Windows 7, but rather the influence of Windows 7-preferring Chinese gamers.

As was the case last month, Simplified Chinese is now by far and away the most popular language used on Steam (64.35 percent, as opposed to 17.02 percent using English), and its share grew 8.23 percentage points in November, no doubt accounting for Windows 7’s latest growth spurt.

Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann teases sequel to popular app

c3754_Vine-icon-AA-imp-840x560 Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann teases sequel to popular app

It feels like eons ago when Twitter shut down Vine, which allowed folks to create six-second looping videos. However, there might be light at the end of the tunnel as Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann took to Twitter to tease a follow-up to the immensely-popular social media app.

Hofmann says that he will work on the sequel as a side project, since he is currently heading up and prioritizing his just-as-ambiguous startup Interspace. The Vine co-founder might be putting some of the $30 million Twitter reportedly paid for Vine back in 2012 to good use, though he did not say exactly how much is going into the project.

Hofmann also did not say whether the project would be virtually identical to Vine or just build on the foundation that the app created. Either way, it won’t be easy to create a follow-up to something as massive as Vine was.

It was difficult to argue Twitter’s decision to purchase Vine, seeing how the latter had 200 million monthly users at one point. Even with the impressive number of users and viewers, however, Twitter failed to turn it into something profitable, which is likely why Twitter shut Vine down and turned it into the current Vine Camera app.

As for Hofmann, he left his post at Vine in 2014 and has since created a social app called Peach, which hasn’t gained much traction. He also heads up Byte, a startup that has created iOS-only apps Music Maker and Byte.

Because of Hofmann’s other commitments, it might be some time until whatever he has cooking up comes to fruition. Until then, we’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments.

This site lets you take Harvard’s most popular computer science class and more courses from top universities for free

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you’ll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

62844_harvard-computer-science-cs50-lecture This site lets you take Harvard's most popular computer science class and more courses from top universities for freeOne of Harvard’s most popular courses, Introduction to Computer Science, is available on edX for free.www.youtube.com

Online learning has made education more accessible than ever, but few platforms make getting a quality education easier or more affordable than the non-profit edX

edX is a massive open online course (MOOC) provider founded by MIT and Harvard in 2012. By partnering with more than 90 of the world’s leading universities, non-profits, NGOs, and corporations, it’s able to offer free, high-quality courses across a large range of subjects.  

edX’s mission is to: 

  • Increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere
  • Enhance teaching and learning on campus and online
  • Advance teaching and learning through research

While you can learn anything from programming in java to the science of happiness for free, you can also pay a fee to receive a certificate of completion from each course. Other special programs include the Professional Certificate and MicroMasters Certificate, which are designed to provide specialized training and career advancement opportunities. 

If you’re interested in learning more about edX and how it works, keep reading. 

66 Percent of Popular Android Cryptocurrency Apps Don’t Use …

As the value of cryptocurrencies continues to skyrocket nearly across the board, hackers and scammers are stealing digital money from unsuspecting victims in all sorts of new and interesting ways.

One method uses fake apps that steal credentials, but according to new analysis from information security firm High-Tech Bridge, it’s not just fraudulent apps that people have to worry about. Legitimate, but insecure, apps are also rampant and could allow a hacker to steal someone’s login information or even their cryptocurrency.

High-Tech Bridge used its free mobile app analysis software, called Mobile X-Ray, to peek under the hood of the top 30 cryptocurrency apps in the Google Play store at three different popularity levels: apps with up to 100,000 downloads, up to 500,000 downloads, and apps with more than 500,000 downloads. So, a total of 90 apps altogether. Of the most popular apps, 94 percent used outdated encryption, 66 percent didn’t use HTTPS to encrypt user information in transit, 44 percent used hard-coded default passwords (stored in plain text in the code), and overall 94 percent of the most popular apps were found to have “at least three medium-risk vulnerabilities.”

Read More: People Can’t Tell What Apps Use Encryption, And Don’t Really Care, Study Finds

According to High-Tech Bridge CEO Ilia Kolochenko, whom I reached over the phone, the apps included everything from price trackers, to exchanges, to wallets. So, what does this mean? For most people, probably nothing. But for somebody who happens to land on a dedicated hacker’s shit list (not all that uncommon in the increasingly lucrative world of cryptocurrencies), it could mean the loss of funds or sensitive information like passwords.

“If you don’t have proper encryption—or it’s simply not implemented because some of these apps are using HTTP with no encryption at all—when you’re sitting with your phone at a cafe or the airport and the Wi-Fi is insecure, someone else can seize the traffic, intercept your login passwords, and access your wallet or digital storage,” Kolochenko told me.

In the case of a price tracker app, Kolochenko said, someone could feed a high-volume trader false information to influence their behaviour. Cryptocurrency markets are notoriously susceptible to price changes driven by “whales” who buy and sell in large amounts.

“You can have an application that doesn’t send or receive any sensitive information at all, but shows you something like the current price of Bitcoin,” he explained. “Such applications can be very poorly implemented, and in some cases could allow an attacker to falsify information.”

Obviously, to do this someone with a lot of technical skill would have to be extremely dedicated to the sole cause of screwing you over. But the point is that it’s possible. And, it’s worth mentioning, insecure apps are a blight on the entire mobile ecosystem, not just cryptocurrencies. But cryptocurrency apps deal with easily-stolen digital money that often can’t be returned or recovered, even if found. So, it might pay to be a little more cautious with your apps than usual.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .

66 Percent of Popular Android Cryptocurrency Apps Don’t Use Encryption

As the value of cryptocurrencies continues to skyrocket nearly across the board, hackers and scammers are stealing digital money from unsuspecting victims in all sorts of new and interesting ways.

One method uses fake apps that steal credentials, but according to new analysis from information security firm High-Tech Bridge, it’s not just fraudulent apps that people have to worry about. Legitimate, but insecure, apps are also rampant and could allow a hacker to steal someone’s login information or even their cryptocurrency.

High-Tech Bridge used its free mobile app analysis software, called Mobile X-Ray, to peek under the hood of the top 30 cryptocurrency apps in the Google Play store at three different popularity levels: apps with up to 100,000 downloads, up to 500,000 downloads, and apps with more than 500,000 downloads. So, a total of 90 apps altogether. Of the most popular apps, 94 percent used outdated encryption, 66 percent didn’t use HTTPS to encrypt user information in transit, 44 percent used hard-coded default passwords (stored in plain text in the code), and overall 94 percent of the most popular apps were found to have “at least three medium-risk vulnerabilities.”

Read More: People Can’t Tell What Apps Use Encryption, And Don’t Really Care, Study Finds

According to High-Tech Bridge CEO Ilia Kolochenko, whom I reached over the phone, the apps included everything from price trackers, to exchanges, to wallets. So, what does this mean? For most people, probably nothing. But for somebody who happens to land on a dedicated hacker’s shit list (not all that uncommon in the increasingly lucrative world of cryptocurrencies), it could mean the loss of funds or sensitive information like passwords.

“If you don’t have proper encryption—or it’s simply not implemented because some of these apps are using HTTP with no encryption at all—when you’re sitting with your phone at a cafe or the airport and the Wi-Fi is insecure, someone else can seize the traffic, intercept your login passwords, and access your wallet or digital storage,” Kolochenko told me.

In the case of a price tracker app, Kolochenko said, someone could feed a high-volume trader false information to influence their behaviour. Cryptocurrency markets are notoriously susceptible to price changes driven by “whales” who buy and sell in large amounts.

“You can have an application that doesn’t send or receive any sensitive information at all, but shows you something like the current price of Bitcoin,” he explained. “Such applications can be very poorly implemented, and in some cases could allow an attacker to falsify information.”

Obviously, to do this someone with a lot of technical skill would have to be extremely dedicated to the sole cause of screwing you over. But the point is that it’s possible. And, it’s worth mentioning, insecure apps are a blight on the entire mobile ecosystem, not just cryptocurrencies. But cryptocurrency apps deal with easily-stolen digital money that often can’t be returned or recovered, even if found. So, it might pay to be a little more cautious with your apps than usual.

Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter .

Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found in Popular Android Apps

Researchers at Yale Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, ride-sharing, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.

Exodus security researchers identified 44 trackers in more than 300 apps for Google’s Android smartphone operating system. The apps, collectively, have been downloaded billions of times. Yale Privacy Lab, within the university’s law school, is working to replicate the Exodus findings and has already released reports on 25 of the trackers.

Yale Privacy Lab researchers have only been able to analyze Android apps but believe many of the trackers also exist on iOS, since companies often distribute for both platforms. To find trackers, the Exodus researchers built a custom auditing platform for Android apps, which searched through the apps for digital “signatures” distilled from known trackers. A signature might be a telltale set of keywords or string of bytes found in an app file, or a mathematically derived “hash” summary of the file.

The findings underscore the pervasiveness of tracking despite a permissions system on Android that supposedly puts users in control of their own data. They also highlight how a large and varied set of firms are working to enable tracking.

“I think people are used to the idea, whether they should be or not, that Lyft might be tracking them,” said Sean O’Brien, a visiting fellow at Yale Privacy Lab. “And they’re used to the fact that if Lyft is on Android and coming from Google Play, that Google might be tracking them. But I don’t think that they think that their data is being resold or at least redistributed through these other trackers.”

Among the Android apps researchers identified were, with six or seven trackers each, dating apps Tinder and OkCupid, the Weather Channel app, and Super-Bright LED Flashlight; the app for digital music service Spotify, which embedded four trackers, including two from Google; ride-sharing service Uber, with three trackers; and Skype, Lyft, AccuWeather, and Microsoft Outlook.

(A Spotify spokesperson wrote, “We take data security and privacy very seriously. Our goal is to give both our users and advertising partners a great experience while maintaining consumer trust.” An Uber spokesperson referred The Intercept to its published details on its use of cookies, which lists some of their third-party cookie providers but is not intended to be comprehensive. Users who visit the privacy policy section of Uber’s website can follow an opt-out link that appears to only apply to interest-based advertising on web traffic. The preferences do not work if a user disables third-party cookies, and users must opt out again after deleting their cookies.)

Some apps have their own analytics platforms but include other trackers as well. For example, Tinder uses a total of five trackers in addition to its own.

“The real question for the companies is, what is their motivation for having multiple trackers?” asked O’Brien.

“Data is the oil in the machinery here, and I think they’re just trying to find different ways to extract it.”

Tinder’s heavy use of trackers means the company has been able to make use of behavior analytics and accept payment from shaving company Gillette for highly targeted research: Do college-aged male Tinder users with neatly groomed facial hair receive more right swipes than those with untidy facial hair?

Capabilities of the trackers Exodus uncovered include targeting users based on third-party data, identifying offline movement through machine learning, tracking behavior across devices, uniquely identifying and correlating users, and targeting users who abandon shopping carts. Most trackers work by deriving an identification code from your mobile device or web browser and sharing it with third parties to more specifically profile you. App makers can even tie data collected from trackers with their own profiles of individuals, including names and account details. Some tracking companies say they anonymize data and have strict rules against sharing publicly identifiable information, but the sheer wealth of data collected can make it possible to identify users even in the face of such safeguards.

Although some or all of the apps identified by Exodus and Yale researchers may technically disclose the use of trackers in the fine print of their privacy policy, terms of service, or app description, it is difficult, to say the least, for smartphone users to get a clear handle on the extent and nature of the monitoring directed at them. The whole point of using a mobile app, after all, is often to save time.

“How many people actually know that these trackers are even there?” said Michael Kwet, another visiting fellow at Yale Privacy Lab. “Exodus had to create this software to even detect that they were in there.”

A few of the trackers offer users the option to opt-out via email or through their privacy settings. But tracking can resume even after this step is taken. For example, one app requires that users who clear their cache set up the opt-out again. Some opt-outs are temporary. Even if the opt-outs do end up being permanent, few users would even know to activate them in the first place.

cbd47_android-apps-google-play-1511296860 Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found in Popular Android Apps

Google Vice President of Engineering David Singleton speaks during the Google I/O 2015 keynote presentation in San Francisco.

Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

Meet the Trackers

Google has a vested interest in allowing liberal use of trackers in apps distributed through Google Play. One of the most ubiquitous in-app trackers is made by Google’s DoubleClick ad platform, which targets users by location and across devices and channels, segments users based on online behavior, connects to personally identifiable information, and offers data sharing and integration with various advertising systems. DoubleClick’s tracker is found in many popular apps, including Tinder, OkCupid, Lyft, Uber, Spotify, the Weather Channel, AccuWeather, and the popular flashlight apps Super-Bright LED Flashlight and LED Light.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that its ad platforms DoubleClick for Publishers and AdMob serve ads on both Android and iOS devices and that it ties information collected by the networks to a persistent identifier to measure engagement. Although users can control information Google uses to show them ads, they cannot specifically opt-out of DoubleClick.

DoubleClick prohibits vendors from sharing personally identifiable information or other unique identifiers, and states that it only stores general location data, like city and ZIP code, rather than precise location information unless users enable location history in their Google account. App developers who use DoubleClick Ad Exchange are required to disclose in their privacy policies that the user’s identifier will be shared unless the user opts-out of ad tracking, and to explain how the user can reset their identifier. Google shares attribution data with advertisers and third-party measurement partners using these identifiers.

Perhaps the most invasive of the trackers is Fidzup, a France-based mobile performance marketing platform for brick-and-mortar retailers. The company has stated in its advertising copy that it has developed communication between a sonic emitter and a mobile phone (either iOS or Android) by emitting an inaudible tone to locate a user within a shopping mall or a store. User phones receive the signal and decode it to give away their location. The company further uses geofencing to track users to a so-called catchment area, such as a specific section within a store, where it can serve them targeted ads, possibly for a competing retailer.

Mathieu Vaas, a spokesperson for Fidzup, said that the company has not used inaudible tones in two years, but is instead using Wi-Fi-based technology to obtain data regarding how customers behave within stores and re-target them with ads. But information on sonic technologies is posted on Fidzup’s website (as of November 21) and detailed further in an older version of the site accessed October 15. Vaas stated that these pages are outdated and inaccessible from the main page, and will be scrubbed from a new website that’s currently being prepared.

Vaas also confirmed that, even just using Wi-Fi technology, Fidzup can track highly specific in-store behavior, such as aisles visited, the time spent in them, the number of visits to a store, and so forth. Fidzup can also leverage other apps to obtain geolocation data, but the only third parties receiving that data are retailers that have installed the company’s Wi-Fi technology within their store, he added, and the data is only related to behavior within the store.  Vaas later said that Fidzup does not share information with third parties.

“In every store where we are present, we inform the public of the presence of data-gathering technology in the store and indicate to them that they can turn their Wi-Fi off, as well as provide them with a link that allows them to permanently opt-out of Fidzup. In that case, their data will be recognized and scrapped automatically and they won’t be retargeted with ads from Fidzup ever,” he said via email.

Though based in France, Fidzup has a presence in San Francisco, and Vaas said that the company plans to start effectively operating in the U.S. soon. Vaas said the company is subject to stricter privacy laws and regulations in France than the U.S. has, and as they “deeply respect consumers’ rights to privacy and their civil liberties,” they plan to operate under those standards in the U.S. as well.

O’Brien and Kwet seemed less impressed with the company’s privacy commitment, writing, “Fidzup’s practices mirror that of Teemo (formerly known as Databerries), the tracking company that was embroiled in scandal earlier this year for studying the geolocation of 10 million French citizens.” Teemo collected navigation data from mobile users and used it to drive in-store sales by targeting users based on locations they had visited. Its website states that it may collect location data using GPS, cell towers, Wi-Fi access points, wireless networks, and sensors, such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, compasses, and barometers. In addition to collecting IP addresses and identifiers assigned to mobile devices, it also may obtain information from third parties to combine with what it has and share its information with third parties (with some stipulations) as well. As with Fidzup, it is not immediately clear to what extent Teemo is operating in the U.S. Although Teemo is a French company based in Paris, it has an office in New York. Teemo did not respond to request for comment.

Surveillance Mission Creep

Not all trackers are equally invasive, though many grab more information than they arguably should. For example, Google-owned Crashlytics is presumably just a crash reporter, but it does much more than simply performing analytics on app logs. The app, used by Tinder, OkCupid, Spotify, Uber, Super-Bright LED, and LED Light, can also link users across multiple cookies and devices. Microsoft’s HockeyApp, used by Microsoft Outlook, Skype, and the Weather Channel, goes beyond simply collecting and analyzing crash reports but can also track daily active users, monthly active users, the net number of new users, and session counts. AppsFlyer (used by Tinder, Super-Bright LED, and the Weather Channel) does fraud prevention and protects from malware, but also fingerprints devices by their IDs, tracks users across datasets to circumvent the fragmentation caused by users with different devices, and tracks which users install which apps. A spokesperson for AppsFlyer directed The Intercept to the company’s privacy policy and stated that the tracker only works with businesses and advertisers, and does not engage with end users. Its terms and conditions also require clients to disclose the collection and use of data in their own privacy policies.

In addition to DoubleClick, Teemo, and Fidzup, Braze (formerly Appboy) and Salesforce DMP (formerly Krux) appear to collect large amounts of user data. Braze, used by OkCupid and Lyft, can track users by location, target them across devices and channels, and serve targeted advertising based on consumer actions. Salesforce DMP, used by OkCupid, not only captures user clicks, downloads, and other interactions, but also uses hashed device management to effectively circumvent Safari’s third-party blocking. The tracker allows marketers to use machine learning to discover personas, uses cross-device ID, and even uses behavioral analysis to guess when a user is sleeping, and a probabilistic matching algorithm to match identities across devices. There is an opt-out on the Salesforce website, though it’s unclear what percentage of OkCupid users are aware that the dating site is wrapped around the Salesforce DMP tracker and would even know to opt-out. (OkCupid did not respond to request for comment.)

Weather apps are ubiquitous, and one wouldn’t guess that they’d include surveillance. But both AccuWeather and the Weather Channel apps (along with Spotify) use the ScorecardResearch tracker, which can also track data on usage, including information on web browsing and app usage behavior over time and across digital properties, possible relationships between browsers and devices — which can be provided to third parties for advertising purposes. The tracker can even use third-party service providers to obtain more non-personally identifiable information to add to unique profiles using cookies.

The tracker Millennial Media (formerly Nexage) is used by AccuWeather and Super-Bright LED to “automate the buying and selling of mobile advertising” targeting channel and demographic segments, such as a shampoo company targeting “women ages 25-55 with an emphasis on … pregnancy, stress, and bleach/coloring.”

Microsoft Outlook, the Weather Channel, Super-Bright LED, and LED Light use Flurry, a mobile ad platform acquired from Yahoo by Verizon subsidiary Oath. Flurry tracks device and app performance metrics and analyzes user interactions, identifies user interests, stores data profiles as personas, groups and correlates user data, and injects both native and video ads. A spokesperson for Oath said that Flurry’s terms of service require app developers to post a privacy policy notifying what data is collected, stored, and shared, and either linking to Flurry’s privacy policy or describing their opt-out service. In addition, the spokesperson said only information that’s not personally identifiable leaves Flurry’s system.

Another tracker, Tune, follows ride-sharing users’ online and offline behavior across devices and also tracks in-app user behavior, uniquely identifies users, and tracks their location.

The AppNexus tracker, used by, among other apps, Super-Bright LED, uses machine learning for targeted advertising. In a phone call, AppNexus spokesperson Joshua Zeitz confirmed that the tracker collects mobile advertising identifiers, type of phone, IP addresses, and a unique app identifier. The company does store mobile advertising identifiers, as well as cookies from web users, but Zeitz said data on what ads have been served to what identifiers is only retained for up to 33 days, and that the tracker does not collect names, numbers, or account numbers, that it only keeps device and browser identifiers and cookies, and that it cannot de-anonymize users from its data set. AppNexus stated that it does not share device and browser identifiers tied with third parties.

O’Brien said app developers can choose the types of advertising they embrace, but that it’s unlikely users are thinking about those decisions when installing apps. He also doesn’t see permissions as a solution. “If you’re in a situation where you’re asking the victim of the tracking how much tracking they want, you’ve already gone too far. It’s already a problem,” he said.

Without an overhaul of the advertising-rich phone system, O’Brien said the best solution may be to use the software repository F-Droid, which distributes only free and open source software that does not include unknown or masked trackers or code.

Ubuntu in transition: what’s in store for the popular Linux distro …

It’s strange – even six months after founder and returning CEO of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, announced that the Unity project was dead – to hear Unity 8 described as a “bad investment” by a Canonical employee.

Will Cooke, desktop manager at Canonical, seemed quite comfortable with the new narrative when we spoke to him on release day, although he preferred to use the term ‘parked’ in relation to Unity 8 rather than closed, which would appear to open the possibility of Unity 8 being reversed out of its ‘parking bay’ in the future.

His initial comment on Mir was quite open-ended as well: “Mir still exists, the display server still exists and is in development and that’s especially interesting to IoT device manufacturers, but for the time-being we’re using Wayland on the desktop now.”

However, given the widespread support for Wayland now, and the Ubuntu desktop team’s own support of Wayland, it seems unlikely that Mir will become the default display server on Ubuntu’s desktop distro. Whatever you think of Gnome 3 returning as the default desktop, Ubuntu 17.10 is a defining fork in the road for the distribution that’s used by millions of Linux users, so for this interview we were mostly concerned with the transition.

Question: Can you tell us how the run-up to 17.10 has gone?

Will Cooke: We decided that Gnome Shell was the right toolkit for our users. We’ve used Unity 7 for six or seven years and all the core set of applications were built around the Gnome desktop, so going to Gnome made the most sense. The transition path between Unity 7 and Gnome on the desktop was hopefully going to be fairly straightforward, quite smooth and it’s turned out to be that way. So now we’ve got the latest Gnome desktop running on Ubuntu.

We’ve put our stamp on it to make sure the users that have been using Unity 7 for the last six or seven years don’t suddenly upgrade one day and find that the desktop that they are used to using, in the way that they have been using it, indeed all of the examples and the screenshots on the internet, are still relevant to the new desktop.

So we’ve added a couple of extensions in there to add the launcher back and a few features that we felt were missing from the desktop that were there in Unity and not in Gnome. […] All that work was done with the blessing of the Gnome community and with the blessing and support of those extension developers. Any new features we’ve added there or bug fixes, have been done upstream rather than hosting it ourselves and keeping it for Ubuntu only.

The plan is that when you upgrade to 17.10 you’ll see something familiar and something that you feel at home with. Some of the user interactions are a bit different, but we don’t think they are so different that people are going to struggle with Gnome Shell and the initial results say, yes, that is the case, so we’re very pleased that people are able to get it working and use it and don’t feel they have to overcome or learn a new way of working.

Q: You mentioned session-override. Could you explain that for our readers?

WC: All the things that we’ve changed to make it Ubuntu are completely temporary. When you log in, they are applied and when you log out, they are gone. Your settings will continue to be your settings, but all of the tweaks that we make are applied at session time, so there’s no patches to Gnome, or source code, to make stuff work the way that we want it to work. It’s just upstream Gnome with a few tweaks to it. There’s no Ubuntu secret sauce in there: anybody could recreate what we’ve done by taking upstream Gnome code, compiling it and applying our settings.

Will Cooke, desktop manager at Canonical

Q: How was GUADEC in Manchester for you and the team this year?

WC: It was great. We had quite a strong showing there. I think we had six or seven people there. People from Europe and the US and even New Zealand. We sent a good team of people there who have worked with Gnome in the past and have been active members of the Gnome community for a long time, so we know a lot of the guys there and they know us and so we went along without any preconceived ideas about what we were going to do – no real agenda.

We just wanted to go and speak to them and get some ideas from them, hear their input on the way we wanted to do things and what our ultimate goal was and they were extremely welcoming to us.

We had some good conversations during the conference itself and afterwards there’s the unconference for the hacking sessions where people get together and do some code and we stayed for all of that as well. We had plenty of discussions in the hallways and some of the sessions, to talk about the way we wanted to do things, and that’s what led us to be able to ship the Ubuntu-specific code, the Ubuntu session, as a session override.

Rather than having to patch Gnome, we could implement our own stuff: take vanilla Gnome and add our stamp to it without having to patch lots and lots of pieces of software. That was a direct outcome from GUADEC and it worked really well for all of us […].

Q: Was Tim Lunn, Ubuntu Gnome technical lead, walking around with a cheesy grin on his face?

WC: [Laughs] Yeah, he was there. There was some confusion about whether or not Tim worked for Canonical or not, so it was good that we were there to explain the situation. He’s an active member of Ubuntu Gnome and has been for a long time and there was confusion about what was going to happen to the Ubuntu Gnome project – was it going to continue? Was it going to be killed off? Who was working for who now?

And so we were able to explain that Ubuntu Gnome and Ubuntu are now effectively the same project and people working on Ubuntu Gnome would continue to work on the things they were passionate about. It just happens that the fruits of their labour would now be in front of millions and millions of users, so it’s worked well.

Ubuntu in transition: what’s in store for the popular Linux distro?

It’s strange – even six months after founder and returning CEO of Canonical, Mark Shuttleworth, announced that the Unity project was dead – to hear Unity 8 described as a “bad investment” by a Canonical employee.

Will Cooke, desktop manager at Canonical, seemed quite comfortable with the new narrative when we spoke to him on release day, although he preferred to use the term ‘parked’ in relation to Unity 8 rather than closed, which would appear to open the possibility of Unity 8 being reversed out of its ‘parking bay’ in the future.

His initial comment on Mir was quite open-ended as well: “Mir still exists, the display server still exists and is in development and that’s especially interesting to IoT device manufacturers, but for the time-being we’re using Wayland on the desktop now.”

However, given the widespread support for Wayland now, and the Ubuntu desktop team’s own support of Wayland, it seems unlikely that Mir will become the default display server on Ubuntu’s desktop distro. Whatever you think of Gnome 3 returning as the default desktop, Ubuntu 17.10 is a defining fork in the road for the distribution that’s used by millions of Linux users, so for this interview we were mostly concerned with the transition.

Q: Can you tell us how the run-up to 17.10 has gone?

Will Cooke: We decided that Gnome Shell was the right toolkit for our users. We’ve used Unity 7 for six or seven years and all the core set of applications were built around the Gnome desktop, so going to Gnome made the most sense. The transition path between Unity 7 and Gnome on the desktop was hopefully going to be fairly straightforward, quite smooth and it’s turned out to be that way. So now we’ve got the latest Gnome desktop running on Ubuntu.

We’ve put our stamp on it to make sure the users that have been using Unity 7 for the last six or seven years don’t suddenly upgrade one day and find that the desktop that they are used to using, in the way that they have been using it, indeed all of the examples and the screenshots on the internet, are still relevant to the new desktop.

So we’ve added a couple of extensions in there to add the launcher back and a few features that we felt were missing from the desktop that were there in Unity and not in Gnome. […] All that work was done with the blessing of the Gnome community and with the blessing and support of those extension developers. Any new features we’ve added there or bug fixes, have been done upstream rather than hosting it ourselves and keeping it for Ubuntu only.

The plan is that when you upgrade to 17.10 you’ll see something familiar and something that you feel at home with. Some of the user interactions are a bit different, but we don’t think they are so different that people are going to struggle with Gnome Shell and the initial results say, yes, that is the case, so we’re very pleased that people are able to get it working and use it and don’t feel they have to overcome or learn a new way of working.

Q: You mentioned session-override. Could you explain that for our readers?

WC: All the things that we’ve changed to make it Ubuntu are completely temporary. When you log in, they are applied and when you log out, they are gone. Your settings will continue to be your settings, but all of the tweaks that we make are applied at session time, so there’s no patches to Gnome, or source code, to make stuff work the way that we want it to work. It’s just upstream Gnome with a few tweaks to it. There’s no Ubuntu secret sauce in there: anybody could recreate what we’ve done by taking upstream Gnome code, compiling it and applying our settings.

Will Cooke, desktop manager at Canonical

Q: How was GUADEC in Manchester for you and the team this year?

WC: It was great. We had quite a strong showing there. I think we had six or seven people there. People from Europe and the US and even New Zealand. We sent a good team of people there who have worked with Gnome in the past and have been active members of the Gnome community for a long time, so we know a lot of the guys there and they know us and so we went along without any preconceived ideas about what we were going to do – no real agenda.

We just wanted to go and speak to them and get some ideas from them, hear their input on the way we wanted to do things and what our ultimate goal was and they were extremely welcoming to us.

We had some good conversations during the conference itself and afterwards there’s the unconference for the hacking sessions where people get together and do some code and we stayed for all of that as well. We had plenty of discussions in the hallways and some of the sessions, to talk about the way we wanted to do things, and that’s what led us to be able to ship the Ubuntu-specific code, the Ubuntu session, as a session override.

Rather than having to patch Gnome, we could implement our own stuff: take vanilla Gnome and add our stamp to it without having to patch lots and lots of pieces of software. That was a direct outcome from GUADEC and it worked really well for all of us […].

Q: Was Tim Lunn, Ubuntu Gnome technical lead, walking around with a cheesy grin on his face?

WC: [Laughs] Yeah, he was there. There was some confusion about whether or not Tim worked for Canonical or not, so it was good that we were there to explain the situation. He’s an active member of Ubuntu Gnome and has been for a long time and there was confusion about what was going to happen to the Ubuntu Gnome project – was it going to continue? Was it going to be killed off? Who was working for who now?

And so we were able to explain that Ubuntu Gnome and Ubuntu are now effectively the same project and people working on Ubuntu Gnome would continue to work on the things they were passionate about. It just happens that the fruits of their labour would now be in front of millions and millions of users, so it’s worked well.

Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found In Popular Android Apps

Researchers at Yale Privacy Lab and French nonprofit Exodus Privacy have documented the proliferation of tracking software on smartphones, finding that weather, flashlight, rideshare, and dating apps, among others, are infested with dozens of different types of trackers collecting vast amounts of information to better target advertising.

Exodus security researchers identified 44 trackers in more than 300 apps for Google’s Android smartphone operating system. The apps, collectively, have been downloaded billions of times. Yale Privacy Lab, within the university’s law school, is working to replicate the Exodus findings and has already released reports on 25 of the trackers.

Yale Privacy Lab researchers have only been able to analyze Android apps, but believe many of the trackers also exist on iOS, since companies often distribute for both platforms. To find trackers, the Exodus researchers built a custom auditing platform for Android apps, which searched through the apps for digital “signatures” distilled from known trackers. A signature might be a tell-tale set of keywords or string of bytes found in an app file, or a mathematically-derived “hash” summary of the file itself.

The findings underscore the pervasiveness of tracking despite a permissions system on Android that supposedly puts users in control of their own data. They also highlight how a large and varied set of firms are working to enable tracking.

“I think people are used to the idea, whether they should be or not, that Lyft might be tracking them,” said Sean O’Brien, a visiting fellow at Yale Privacy Lab. “And they’re used to the fact that if Lyft is on Android and coming from Google Play, that Google might be tracking them. But I don’t think that they think that their data is being resold or at least redistributed through these other trackers.”

Among the Android apps identified by the researchers were, with six or seven trackers each, dating apps Tinder and OkCupid, the Weather Channel app, and Superbright LED Flashlight; the app for digital music service Spotify, which embedded four trackers, including two from Google; ridesharing service Uber, with three trackers; and Skype, Lyft, Accuweather, and Microsoft Outlook.

(A Spotify spokesperson wrote, “We take data security and privacy very seriously. Our goal is to give both our users and advertising partners a great experience while maintaining consumer trust.” An Uber spokesperson referred The Intercept to its published details on its use of cookies, which lists some of their third-party cookie providers but is not intended to be comprehensive. Users who visit the privacy policy section of Uber’s website can follow an opt-out link which appears to only apply to interest-based advertising on web traffic. The preferences do not work if a user disables third party cookies, and users must opt out again after deleting their cookies.)

Some apps have their own analytics platforms but include other trackers as well. For example, Tinder uses a total of five trackers in addition to its own.

“The real question for the companies is, what is their motivation for having multiple trackers?” asked O’Brien.

“Data is the oil in the machinery here, and I think they’re just trying to find different ways to extract it.”

Tinder’s heavy use of trackers means the company has been able to make use of behavior analytics, and also to accept payment from shaving supply company Gillette for highly targeted research: Do college-aged male Tinder users with neatly-groomed facial hair receive more right swipes than those with untidy facial hair?

Capabilities of the trackers uncovered by Exodus include targeting users based on third-party data, identifying offline movement through machine learning, tracking behavior across devices, uniquely identifying and correlating users, and targeting users who abandon shopping carts. Most trackers work by deriving an identification code from your mobile device or web browser and sharing it with third parties to more specifically profile you. App makers can even tie data collected from trackers with their own profiles of individuals, including names and account details. Some tracking companies say they anonymize data, and have strict rules against sharing publicly identifiable information, but the sheer wealth of data collected can make it possible to identify users even in the face of such safeguards.

Although some or all of the apps identified by Exodus and Yale researchers may technically disclose the use of trackers in the fine print of their privacy policy, terms of service, or app description, it is difficult, to say the least, for smartphone users to get a clear handle on the extent and nature of the monitoring directed at them. The whole point of using a mobile app, after all, is often to save time.

“How many people actually know that these trackers are even there?” said Michael Kwet, another visiting fellow at Yale Privacy Lab. “Exodus had to create this software to even detect that they were in there.”

A few of the trackers offer users the option to opt out via email or through their privacy settings. But tracking can resume even after this step is taken. For example, one app requires that users who clear their cache set up the opt-out again. Some opt-outs are temporary. Even if the opt-outs do end up being permanent, few users would even know to activate them in the first place.

a3c0e_android-apps-google-play-1511296860 Staggering Variety of Clandestine Trackers Found In Popular Android Apps

David Singleton speaks during the Google I/O 2015 keynote presentation in San Francisco.

Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

Meet the Trackers

Google has a vested interest in allowing liberal use of trackers in apps distributed through Google Play: One of the most ubiquitous in-app trackers is made by Google’s DoubleClick ad platform, which targets users by location and across devices and channels, segments users based on online behavior, connects to personally identifiable information, and offers data sharing and integration with various advertising systems. DoubleClick’s tracker is found in many popular apps, including Tinder and OkCupid, Lyft and Uber, Spotify, the Weather Channel and Accuweather, and the popular flashlight apps Superbright LED flashlight and LED light.

A Google spokesperson confirmed that its ad platforms DoubleClick for Publishers and AdMob serve ads on both Android and iOS devices, and that it ties information collected by the networks to a persistent identifier to measure engagement. Although users can control information Google uses to show them ads, they cannot specifically opt out of DoubleClick.

DoubleClick prohibits vendors from sharing personally identifiable information or other unique identifiers, and states that it only stores general location data like city and zip code rather than precise location information unless users enable location history in their Google account. App developers who use the DoubleClick Ad Exchange are required to disclose in their privacy policies that the user’s identifier will be shared unless the user opts out of ad tracking, and to explain how the user can reset their identifier. Google shares attribution data with advertisers and third party measurement partners using these identifiers.

Perhaps the most invasive of the trackers is Fidzup, a France-based mobile performance marketing platform for brick and mortar retailers. The company has stated in its advertising copy that it has developed communication between a sonic emitter and a mobile phone (either iOS or Android) by emitting an inaudible tone to locate a user within a shopping mall or a store. User phones receive the signal and decode it to give away their location. The company further uses geofencing to track users to a so-called “catchment area,” such as a specific section within a store, where it can serve them targeted ads, possibly for a competing retailer.

Mathieu Vaas, a spokesperson for Fidzup, said that the company has not used inaudible tones in two years, but is instead using wifi-based technology to obtain data regarding how customers behave within stores and to retarget them with ads. But information on sonic technologies is posted on Fidzup’s website (as of November 21st) and detailed further in an older version of the site accessed on October 15. Vaas stated that these pages are outdated and inaccessible from the main page, and will be scrubbed from a new website that’s currently being prepared.

Vaas also confirmed that, even just using wifi technology, Fidzup can track highly specific in-store behavior such as aisles visited, the time spent in them, the number of visits to a store, and so forth. Fidzup can also leverage other apps to obtain geolocation data, but the only third parties receiving that data are retailers that have installed the company’s wifi technology within their store, he added, and the data it is only related to behavior within the store.  Vaas later said that Fidzup does not share information with third parties.

“In every store where we are present, we inform the public of the presence of data-gathering technology in the store and indicate to them that they can turn their wifi off, as well as provide them with a link that allows them to permanently opt-out of Fidzup. In that case, their data will be recognized and scrapped automatically and they won’t be retargeted with ads from Fidzup ever,” he said via email.

Though based in France, Fidzup has a presence in San Francisco, and Vaas said that the company plans to start effectively operating in the U.S. soon. Since Fidzup is a French company, Vaas said they are subject to stricter privacy laws and regulations than the U.S. has, and as they “deeply respect consumers’ rights to privacy and their civil liberties,” they plan to operate under those standards in the U.S. as well.

O’Brien and Kwet seemed less impressed with the company’s privacy commitment, writing, “Fidzup’s practices mirror that of Teemo (formerly known as Databerries), the tracking company that was embroiled in scandal earlier this year for studying the geolocation of 10 million French citizens.” Teemo collected navigation data from mobile users and used it to drive in-store sales by targeting users based on locations they had visited. Its website states that it may collect location data using GPS, cell towers, wifi access points, wireless networks, and sensors such as gyroscopes, accelerometers, compasses, and barometers. In addition to collecting IP addresses and identifiers assigned to mobile devices, it also may obtain information from third parties to combine with what it has and share its information with third parties (with some stipulations) as well. As with Fidzup, it is not immediately clear to what extent Teemo is operating in the U.S. Although Teemo is a French company based in Paris, it has an office in New York. Teemo did not respond to request for comment.

Surveillance Mission Creep

Not all trackers are equally invasive, though many grab more information than they arguably should. For example, Google-owned Crashlytics is presumably just a crash reporter, but it does much more than simply performing analytics on app logs. The app, used by Tinder, OkCupid, Spotify, Uber, Superbright LED and LED Light, can also link users across multiple cookies and devices. Microsoft’s HockeyApp, used by Microsoft Outlook, Skype, and the Weather Channel, goes beyond simply collecting and analyzing crash reports but can also track daily active users, monthly active users, the net number of new users, and session counts. AppsFlyer (used by Tinder, Superbright LED, and the Weather Channel) does fraud prevention and protects from malware, but also fingerprints devices by their IDs, tracks users across datasets to circumvent the fragmentation caused by users with different devices, and tracks which users install which apps. A spokesperson for AppsFlyer directed The Intercept to the company’s privacy policy, and stated that the tracker only works with businesses and advertisers, and does not engage with end users. Its terms and conditions also require clients to disclose the collection and use of data in their own privacy policies.

In addition to DoubleClick, Teemo, and Fidzup, Braze (formerly App-Boy) and Salesforce DMP (formerly Krux) appear to collect large amounts of user data. Braze, used by OkCupid and Lyft, can track users by location, target them across devices and channels, and serve targeted advertising based on consumer actions. Salesforce DMP, used by OkCupid, not only captures user clicks, downloads, and other interactions, but also uses hashed device management to effectively circumvent Safari’s third-party blocking. The tracker allows marketers to use machine learning to discover personas, uses cross-device ID, and even uses behavioral analysis to guess when a user is sleeping, and a probabilistic matching algorithm to match identities across devices. There is an opt-out on the Salesforce website, though it’s unclear what percentage of OkCupid users are aware that the dating site is wrapped around the Salesforce DMP tracker and would even know to opt out. (OkCupid did not respond to request for comment.)

 Weather apps are ubiquitous, and one wouldn’t guess that they’d include surveillance. But both Accuweather and the Weather Channel apps (along with Spotify) use the ScoreCardResearch tracker, which can also track data on usage, including information on web browsing and app usage behavior over time and across digital properties, possible relationships between browsers and devices—which can be provided to third parties for advertising purposes. The tracker can even use third-party service providers to obtain more non-personally identifiable information to add to unique profiles using cookies.

The tracker Millennial Media (formerly Nexage) is used by Accuweather and Super Bright LED to “automate the buying and selling of mobile advertising” targeting channel and demographic segments, such as a shampoo company targeting “women ages 25-55 with an emphasis on…pregnancy, stress, and bleach/coloring.”

Microsoft Outlook, the Weather Channel, Superbright LED, and LED Light use Flurry, a mobile ad platform acquired from Yahoo! by Verizon subsidiary Oath. Flurry tracks device and app performance metrics and analyzes user interactions, identifies user interests, stores data profiles as personas, groups and correlates user data, and injects both native and video ads. A spokesperson for Oath said that Flurry’s terms of service require app developers to post a privacy policy notifying what data is collected, stored, and shared and either linking to Flurry’s privacy policy or describing their opt-out service. In addition, the spokesperson said only information that’s not personally identifiable leaves Flurry’s system.

Another tracker, Tune, follows Rideshare users’ online and offline behavior  across devices and also tracks in-app user behavior, uniquely identifies users, and tracks their location.

The AppNEXUS tracker, used by, among other apps, Superbright LED, uses machine learning for targeted advertising. In a phone call, AppNexus spokesperson Joshua Zeitz confirmed that the tracker collects mobile advertising identifiers, type of phone, IP addresses, and a unique app identifier. The company does store mobile advertising identifiers as well as cookies from web users, but Zeitz said data on what ads have been served to what identifiers is only retained for up to 33 days, and that the tracker does not collect names, numbers, or account numbers, that it only keeps device and browser identifiers and cookies, and that it cannot de-anonymize users from its data set. AppNexus stated that it does not share device and browser identifiers tied with third parties.

O’Brien said app developers can choose the types of advertising they embrace, but that it’s unlikely users are thinking about those decisions when installing apps. He also doesn’t see permissions as a solution. “If you’re in a situation where you’re asking the victim of the tracking how much tracking they want, you’ve already gone too far. It’s already a problem,” he said.

Without an overhaul of the advertising-rich phone system, O’Brien said the best solution may be to use the software repository F-Droid, which distributes only free and open source software that does not include unknown or masked trackers or code.

 

 

Popular travel app Hitlist launches Android version

SAN FRANSISCO – Hitlist, the AI based travel app that has already helped over a million people save money on airfare, has released an Android version of their popular iPhone app. After 4 years on iOS and over $20 million saved for travelers around the globe, the company made the foray into Android based on feedback from users.

CEO and founder Gillian Morris said “We’ve always wanted to have apps out there for both major platforms. Android is more complicated to support thanks to the variety of screen sizes and versions, but users of our other products, like Wandertab, have been asking for it for years, so we had to do this for them. Being live on Android gives us the opportunity to make travel more affordable and accessible for millions more people around the world. We’re excited to be able to do that.”

Hitlist for iOS has been featured in the New York Times, TIME magazine, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, The Next Web, LifeHacker, CNBC and is famous for often saving people 50% or more on flights. In the new Android app, which is free to use, users set their home airport and build a “Hitlist” of destinations. The app uses Artificial Intelligence to search through approximately 50 million flight deals a day and when it finds deals to those locations the user immediately gets a notification to purchase before the deal goes away. Within a few clicks they can book the flight and be on their way to planning next steps. The company links into Booking.com, Airbnb, HotelTonight, Hotels.com and Tablet hotels to make Hitlist more of a one stop shop for travelers as well. Find a flight deal, and book your hotel all in few clicks. The goal, Morris says is “saving you time and money so you can travel more for less.” Unlike many flight deal newsletters and websites, Hitlist users can tailor their alerts by type of destination, region, and type of trip – from specific dates to “long weekend” to “8-10 days in February”. To manually do this would literally be a full time job. Hitlist’s deal sorting algorithms are fully automated but trained by user feedback, so they become better at distinguishing what will interest each individual user over time.

“We want Hitlist to be like a trusted friend who knows everything about the travel industry but also enough about you to recommend exactly what you’re looking for,” says Morris. Don’t really know what cities you’d like to visit? Not a problem, because Hitlist is full of travel discovery and inspiration as well. Within the app, users can track friends’ trips and follow favorite travel influencers to discover new destinations based on where your network is going. With Hitlist’s Explore Lists (see image below) you can discover new destinations via unique categories like cities with amazing kiteboarding, destinations where the dollar is strong and more.

Feeling footloose on Thursday? Find an incredible deal for a weekend trip (usually several options under $100 in the U.S) in Hitlist and it will be hard to make an excuse not to leave. 

Last year the company was featured as one of TIME Magazine’s Best Apps of 2016 and was featured as ‘App of the Day’ at Apple’s WWDC. Morris is also a widely recognized travel expert who has written for Harvard Business Review and contributed to articles in Forbes, Fortune, Inc, Skift, Conde Nast Traveler, and more. The company partners with Destination Management Organizations and other travel brands to provide unique advertising options to travel and deal focused millennials.




Advertise here