LastPass makes two-factor authentication easier, Apple Watch saves heart attack victim, Instagram jumbles up your feed, YouTube was originally an online dating site, and Siri helps the Cookie Monster bake cookies.
LastPass Takes 2FA Mainstream
LastPass, which is already responsible for one of the best and most popular password managers on the market, has released a new app called LastPass Authenticator. As its name suggests, this app is all about two-factor authentication (2FA), which adds an extra layer of security beyond the humble password.
LastPass Authenticator is a standalone app which makes it easy to add 2FA to a multitude of different accounts. Two-factor authentication is usually achieved through a code being sent to your smartphone, and LastPass Authenticator offers that alongside automatically generated passcodes and automated push notifications.
While this is meant primarily for LastPass users, it can also be turned on for any service or app that supports Google Authenticator or TOTP-based two-factor authentication. Which includes Facebook, Microsoft, and, of course, Google. LastPass Authenticator is available for free on Android and on iOS.
Apple Watch Can Detect Heart Attacks
The Apple Watch is one of those products many of us want, but most of us don’t need. It’s desirable, but it’s far from being a necessity. Even if it has an air of James Bond cool. However, it turns out the Apple Watch could save your life, and it has already saved the life of one man who would have died had he not been wearing one.
Dennis Anselmo, a 62-year-old from Alberta, Canada, was at work last August when he started feeling ill. He sat down, checked his pulse using the Apple Watch he had bought two weeks previously, and found that it was up to 210 beats-per-minute. Which is far from normal. He was rushed to hospital, and treated for a minor heart attack.
According to Anselmo, who told his story to The Sun, “They [the paramedics] told me that if I had gone home and gone to bed — as many people do — I would likely have had another, more serious bout in the middle of the night. Those second attacks are the ones that kill. That is a common problem.”
So, love it or loathe it, the Apple Watch has proved itself to be a lifesaver. That’s not enough to prompt me to buy one, but it has certainly made me feel a little differently about this particular product.
Instagram Dumps Chronological Feeds
Instagram is going the same route as Facebook and Twitter, changing the way content is presented to its users. The chronological feed, which shows you photos and videos in the order they were posted, will soon be no more, with content instead “ordered to show the moments we [Instagram] believe you will care about the most.”
As the company explains in an official blog post:
“The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order.”
This is sure to be controversial, as it has been when any other social network has tried a similar thing. However, the negative reactions have had no effect, because chronological feeds just don’t sit in well with these companies desires to show you what they want you to see. Instagram will be rolling out the change over “the coming months”.
YouTube Was Meant to Be a Dating Site
YouTube, the now-ubiquitous video-sharing site, was originally going to be an online dating site. As revealed by co-founder Steve Chen at SXSW, the trio (Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim) set out to create a site where people could upload video profiles aimed at scoring dates.
After five days of absolutely nobody uploading a video, they thought, “Okay, forget the dating aspect. Let’s just open it up to any video.” They did just that, and YouTube quickly blossomed into the site we know and love today, having been acquired by Google for $1.65 billion 18 months after launch.
Apple Employs the Cookie Monster
And finally, Apple has employed a rather shady character to front its new commercial… Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. Cookie Monster is, as his name suggests, rather obsessed with cookies, and we see him trying to bake a batch. He’s an impatient soul, but Siri helps him pass the time.
The ad exists to promote the hands-free capabilities of Siri, which would certainly come in handy when doing a messy activity such as baking. However, if you’re forced to talk to your iPhone in order to pass the time then you may want to consider your life choices. Friends are a wonderful thing. [H/T TechCrunch]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Will you be using LastPass Authenticator? Does this change your opinion of the Apple Watch? Are you annoyed at Instagram killing chronological feeds? If YouTube had been a dating site, would you have posted a video profile? Are Apple and the Cookie Monster a match made in Heaven?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.