Hashtag Trending – Cleantech at CES; TikTok makes thousands accounts private; Uncovering Parler secrets

Cleantech at CES, TikTok makes accounts of users under 16 private, and the story about a hacker saving 57 terabytes of data before Parler fell off the face of the earth.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Wednesday, January 14, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

When we think of CES, the bleeding edge comes to mind, but so do the sniffles. This year’s virtual CES is the cleanest ever, and it’s not just because there’s no one next to us coughing in our face. The virtual CES show this year prompted multiple appearances by companies advertising their new products that help make the world more sanitary. This week we’ve even seen antimicrobial backpacks, UV-light-spewing, air-purifying robots, as well as portable UV light cleaners for your car. They’re even available for your glasses. But few things are cleaner than hardware you don’t have to touch. CES has also emphasized voice-controlled products. Stay tuned to ITWorldCanada.com for more CES news.

TikTok has made all accounts of users under 16 private. The video-sharing platform says this is part of a series of measures to improve child safety. Users will also be unable to download any videos created by under-16 year olds. These accounts will also not be suggested to other app users. A TikTok spokesperson says, “We hope to inspire them to take an active role and make informed decisions.” Those aged 13 to 15 will be able to to approve “friends” for comments and choose whether to make videos public. Other changes include: restricting direct messaging and live streams to over-16s, restricting the buying, selling and receiving of “virtual gifts” to adults, enabling parents and caregivers to have greater control, with linked accounts allowing them ultimate power.

Following the riots of the capital many of Trump’s followers planned to make Parler, the app known for free speech and hosting far right content, their virtual home. However, as the app vanished its deletion from the internet threatened to destroy months of posts that could provide better understanding on the Capital attack. One hacker named donk_enby told Vice how they preserved more than 56.7 terabytes of data from Parler which could be useful for piecing together what happened. It was a monumental effort amidst other hackers and researchers. Vice reports how the task of downloading that data, what the hacker called the “big pull”, was a race against the clock. After donk_enby tweeted about the content she was scraping from Parler, the Archive Team, a volunteer collection of hackers and data researchers who have saved a variety of dying sites, joined her. Collectively they were able to recover 412 million files in all—including 150 million photos and more than 1 million videos. Each of these pieces had embedded meta data like date, time and GPS coordinates.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. Stay tuned to Twitter tomorrow where we will announce the winner of our latest draw for an IT World Canada mug. I’m Baneet Braich, thanks for listening!

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