Bytes: What’s new in tech
Job hunting on Facebook
“Facebook is getting into the job market,” said Jessica Guynn in USA Today. After years of speculation that the social media giant would try to take on LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and other job-listing sites, Facebook last week unveiled a batch of tools that allow businesses to post openings on their newsfeeds. Job listings will then appear in the feeds of anyone who has liked a business’s Facebook page, and companies can pay to make sure their posts reach certain demographics. Applying for a gig is easy: Job seekers click an “Apply now” button, and Facebook will auto-fill the application with some of the users’ profile information, such as their name and location. The challenge for Facebook is that recruiters often scour social media to research prospective employees. Will job seekers willingly “commingle their personal and professional lives”?
A new Weather Channel smartphone app keeps users up to date “even during earthquakes, tornadoes, and terrorist attacks,” said Stephen Shankland in CNET.com. Mobile networks are often overwhelmed during disasters, but the Android app will receive emergency alerts “even when centralized networks fail.”
The app uses Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks to send data from phone to phone across distances of 200 to 500 feet, an IBM-developed technology known as mesh networking. Technologists have long touted mesh networking as a way to connect regions with subpar cellular networks. Including mesh networking in a popular smartphone app could help the technology go mainstream. For now, the Weather Channel’s app will only be available in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Smartphone hackers unlock cars
Millions of drivers who use connected car apps on their Android phones are vulnerable to hacking, said Andy Greenberg in Wired.com. A growing number of car owners use smartphone apps to quickly “locate, lock, and unlock their rides.” But most car apps lack “even basic software defenses,” according to researchers at Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky. During tests of nine different Android connected-car apps, researchers found that hackers could use any of them “to locate a car, unlock it, and in some cases start its ignition.” Researchers said simple fixes to the apps—like encrypting passwords stored on the phone or adding fingerprint authentication—would “go a long way” toward boosting security. ■