Hashtag Trending – Twitter posts a profit; Samsung and Roku Smart TV owners beware; Amazon Whole Foods groceries

Twitter posts a profit but struggles to attract new users, Samsung and Roku smart TVs are vulnerable to hacking, and Amazon starts delivering Whole Foods.

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There’s a lot of chatter about Twitter’s first-ever recorded profit since the company went public in 2013. People on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are pointing to the company’s fourth quarter 2017 earnings of $732 million, while discussing its struggles to attract new users. The number of monthly active users on Twitter hovers around 330 million, the same figure that was recorded during the third quarter of 2017. Jack Dorsey, Twitter CEO described the quarter as a “strong finish to the year.” Owned and operated advertising revenue also jumped seven per cent year-over-year. Twitter, let us edit our tweets, and your profits will soar even more, trust me.

Your Samsung and Roku Smart TV might not be so smart, and people on Facebook are spreading the word. Millions of smart TVs, specifically Samsung and other brands that use Roku TV Smart platforms, could be susceptible to hackers. While personal data isn’t at risk, researchers say the Roku devices, which have unsecured remote control APIs enabled by default, allow even the most-average hacker to change channels, crank the volume up or play offensive content remotely, from thousands of miles away. Samsung’s vulnerabilities can only be exploited if the user had previously used a remote control app on a mobile device that works with the TV, and then opened a dangerous webpage using that device. Samsung says it’s evaluating the issue.

Four cities in the U.S. are now able to get their groceries from Whole Foods grocery stores through Amazon’s delivery service. People on LinkedIn are excited about the online retail giant adding Whole Foods to its one and two-hour delivery option, Prime Now, in Austin, Dallas, Virginia Beach, and Cincinnati. Amazon has remained silent about how and when it will expand to other cities. Amazon finalized its $13.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods Market last August.

That’s what’s trending today. Hashtag Trending is produced by IT World Canada. Today’s episode is brought to you by SAS, the world leader in advanced analytics and Official Analytics Partner of the Canadian Olympic Team.


Roku reached out to ITB afterwards and provided a clarification about the Consumer Report’s analysis:


Consumer Reports Got it Wrong

Consumer Reports issued a report saying that Roku TVs and players are vulnerable to hacking. This is a mischaracterization of a feature. It is unfortunate that the feature was reported in this way. We want to ensure our customers that there is no security risk. Roku enables third-party developers to create remote control applications that consumers can use to control their Roku products. This is achieved through the use of an open interface that Roku designed and published. There is no security risk to our customers’ accounts or the Roku platform with the use of this API. In addition, consumers can turn off this feature on their Roku player or Roku TV by going to Settings>System>Advanced System Settings>External Control>Disabled.

 In addition the article discusses the use of ACR. We took a different approach from other companies to ensure consumers have the choice to opt-in. Therefore, the feature called More Ways to Watch, which uses ACR, is not enabled by default on Roku TVs. Consumers must activate it. And if they choose to use the feature it can be disabled at any time.  To disable consumers have to uncheck Settings > Privacy > Smart TV experience > Use info from TV inputs.

 We take the security of our platform and the privacy of our users very seriously.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Alex Coop
Alex Coophttp://www.itwc.ca
Former Editorial Director for IT World Canada and its sister publications.

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