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What your phone’s surface says about you

Another hacked swinger site, a whole other kind of dirt on your phone, Russia kills off Facebook, and Facebook kills off its users. Oh, and what the heck is happening in Trumpville? Read on for this week’s tech roundup.


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Researchers at the University of California in San Diego are using molecules found on people’s phones to infer things about their lifestyles. They could tell a person’s gender, whether they drink coffee, enjoy spicy food or are being treated for depression.

The research could theoretically identify a person without using fingerprints and tell if patients were taking their medication, said the BBC. So if you’re interested in protecting your privacy from snooping boffins, keep your phone in your bag, use a phone case and buy a Bluetooth headset.

Hackers ransack adult friend finder

Some 412 million adult website users will be feeling a tad embarrassed after their email addresses and passwords were hacked from online smut and swinger firm FriendFinder Networks.

The hack, which affected Penthouse.com, sex chat site Cams.com and AdultFriendFinder.com, is 10 times bigger than last year’s Ashley Madison hack. Email addresses from the U.S. government were on the list, which must represent one of the biggest hacks yet. Clearly, there are no secrets online.

Russia unhooks LinkedIn

Russia has banned LinkedIn. The country’s courts said the social networking site violated Russian protection laws, after 2014 legislation forced social networks to store the personal data of Russian citizens on web servers held in the country.

The site has more than 6 million members in Russia, all of whom will now sorely miss those connection requests from salespeople they’ve never met and Pulse opinion pieces droning on about the importance of innovative blah blah in a world of digital something or other.

Rumours of Zuck’s death greatly exaggerated

Apparently Russian commentators were worried that Facebook would be killed off next. The social media giant had its own problems at home this week, though, after it killed off its own users. A bug labelled large swathes of users as dead — including its own CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. It turned out to be a big mistake, and the Zuckster is still alive and well and still saying what a “crazy idea” it was that fake news on the site swayed voters.

Apple releases $300 coffee table book with no USB ports

Apple released a coffee table book featuring 450 photos of Apple products, including images of its design process. The large version costs $300, and we fully expect fanboys to be lining up at midnight shouting “shut up and take my money.” We’re looking forward to a fold-out section for the latest MacBook Pro, to accommodate images of all the dongles you need to expand it.

The company is also reportedly working on a set of Google Glass-style augmented reality glasses. They will digitally enhance emperors with any set of new clothing you like, apparently.

Dingbat of the week

Talking of alternate realities, this week’s dingbat is Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s new chief strategist and alt right media mogul, who suggested that too many Asian technology CEOs in America undermine “civic society.” This confirms our suspicions that the world is indeed through the looking glass, in some upside-down other dimension, and no longer attached to reality at all.

One thing’s for sure: West Wing, it ain’t.

Photo: Free Digital Photos

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