Twitter changes its default profile photo from an egg to a human-shaped blob

Twitter has ditched the egg, abandoning the bird motif for a more generic option.

On Friday, Twitter introduced a new default profile picture, switching from the well-known egg to a simple human silhouette. Twitter hopes this change will encourage users to replace the default image with a real photo of themselves, dissuading people from remaining anonymous or being associated with trolls.

The egg has been Twitter’s default profile picture for seven years, but recently it has taken on a new meaning beyond the cute bird motif. Obviously, Twitter trolls, bots and others who use the site solely for abuse and harassment choose to remain anonymous, so the egg photo has become a signifier for this type of user. As playwright Ken Armstrong put it, “Never argue with an egg.”

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US House votes to undo broadband privacy rules

The U.S. House of Representatives has followed the Senate in voting to repeal privacy rules that can prevent broadband providers from selling customers’ internet-browsing histories and other data without their permission.

On Tuesday, the House voted 215-205 to do away with the privacy rules that the U.S. Federal Communications Commission passed last year. The rules had yet to come into effect.

They require broadband carriers to first obtain opt-in approval from customers before using and sharing their sensitive personal information, such as web browsing history, geo-location data and what applications they’ve used.

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Google shuttering Talk, removing SMS support from Hangouts in new messaging shakeup

Messaging has never been Google’s strong suit. Aside from the various messaging apps from Android phone makers, it also has its own problems, with numerous overlapping apps that all have similar functions: Allo, Android Messages, Hangouts, Duo, Google Voice, and Google Talk. Now, Google is taking some much-needed steps to consolidate its efforts.

On June 26, Google will finally be closing Google Talk for good. The instant messaging service affectionately known as Gchat is one of Google’s oldest messaging apps, having been in existence since 2005. Way back in 2013, Google began encouraging Talk users to switch to Hangouts, and on June 26 the transition will be complete and its doors will be closed for good. On that day, any straggling Talk users will be automatically transitioned to Hangouts for good, where they can continue chatting with their friends. (And for anyone who was hanging on just for the interface, Google notes that the Dense Roster setting in Hangouts will provide a similar experience.)

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Apple: Macs and iPhones are safe from newly revealed CIA exploits

The Mac and iPhone exploits described in new documents attributed to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency were patched years ago, according to Apple.

WikiLeaks released a new set of files Thursday that supposedly came from the CIA. They contain details about the agency’s alleged malware and attack capabilities against iPhones and Mac computers.

The documents, dated 2012 and earlier, describe several “implants” that the CIA can install in the low-level extensible firmware interface (EFI) of Mac laptop and desktop computers. These EFI rootkits allow the agency’s macOS spying malware to persist even after the OS is reinstalled.

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The next hot trend in wearable devices? ‘Hearables,” IDC says

Wearable devices that double as clothing or get worn on the ear will grow the fastest of all wearables in the next five years, market research firm IDC said Monday.

Earworn devices, sometimes called “hearables,” will grow by 43% every year over that period, IDC said. They started from a small base: just 700,000 devices shipped in 2016.

Clothing will grow by 77% a year, starting at 2016’s level of 1.3 million clothing wearables shipped, IDC added.

Earwear and clothing together will still make up only 11% of the wearable device market in 2021, well behind smartwatches and a group of wearables that IDC calls “basic” watches.

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