What’s new in tech
When criminals use drones
Criminals are deploying drones to “nefarious” ends, from aiding robberies to thwarting FBI stakeouts, said Patrick Tucker in DefenseOne.com. Law enforcement agents say they’ve seen an uptick in criminal crews using small, commercially available drones to surveil robbery targets and “spot security gaps” at bigger facilities. Some criminal organizations have even “begun to use drones as part of witness intimidation schemes,” continuously watching precincts to see who is going in and might be cooperating with police. In one incident last year, small drones swarmed an FBI hostage rescue team on the outskirts of a large U.S. city, in an effort to flush the rescuers from their observation post—evidence, agents say, that the devices are being used in the service of “increasingly elaborate crimes.”
Time to change your Twitter password
Twitter is calling on all of its 336 million global users to change their login passwords, said Eli Blumenthal in USA Today. The company announced last week it had uncovered “a bug that stored passwords, unmasked, in an internal log.” Twitter said that it has since fixed the bug and that an investigation found “no indication of breach or misuse by anyone.” Even so, it is urging all users to swiftly change their password, not only on Twitter but also on “any other service where they may have used the same password.” While you’re at it, consider setting up two-factor authentication to add further protections to your account.
Spotify bolsters its free service
Spotify has unveiled “major changes” to the free version of its app, in a bid to fend off Apple Music, said Erin Griffith in Wired.com. The streaming giant, which went public to much fanfare last month, is “the leader in streaming music,” with 157 million global users, but Apple Music is adding subscribers at a faster clip and could take over the No. 1 position in the U.S. as early as this summer. So Spotify is “leveraging its greatest advantage in its defense: its free tier.” New features previously available only to paying subscribers, including personalized artist and song recommendations, as well as on-demand access to playlists, will now be available to Spotify’s 86 million nonpaying listeners. Free users will also be able to opt in to a “data saver” feature that caches songs Spotify’s algorithm predicts they will want to hear, allowing them to minimize wireless data usage when streaming.