Day: September 30, 2018

Washington Officials Have To Airlift Mountain Goats Out Of Park After They Become Addicted To Human Urine

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When most people think about Olympic National Park in Washington state, they likely think about the park’s epic coastlines, scenic forests, and gorgeous mountains.

However, the park is facing an issue that not many would imagine they’d have to tackle: a massive population of mountain goats that have developed an unusual craving for human urine, as reported by Motherboard.Their addiction has become so serious that the National Park Services (NPS) and the USDA Forest Service have started tagging and recoating the goats two at a time via helicopter to forests in the nearby North Cascades, making sure to blindfold them so they can’t find their way back.

“The plan is to reach a zero population level of mountain goats in the park and adjacent Olympic National Forest lands…[removing] approximately 90 percent of the projected 2018 mountain goat population, or approximately 625 to 675 mountain goats,” state park officials told Motherboard.

The goats are to be fitted with GPS collars so park officials can keep an eye on the herd in a location more suitable for their quickly growing population.

The goats aren’t a native species to the park but have thrived there since their introduction in the 1920’s, developing their taste for human waste due to their never-ending search for life-sustaining salt and minerals in mountain environments where both are scarce.

Thankfully, hikers answering nature’s call while trekking the trails have become a major source of that much-needed nutrition.

According to the NPS, however, the goat’s thirst for human pee is leading to the goat’s developing some strange habits.

“Mountain goats can be a nuisance along trails and around wilderness campsites where they persistently seek salt and minerals from human urine, packs, and sweat on clothing. They often paw and dig areas on the ground where hikers have urinated or disposed of cooking wastewater.” the NPS said. The Washington Department Of Fish and Wildlife advises people hiking the trails to “Never urinate within 50 yards of a hiking trail” because it leads increased interactions between the goat population and people.

While that might sound adorable, it can actually lead to some issues for both the goats and the people involved.

For example, a 63-year-old visitor to the park was gored and killed by an aggressive ram in 2010, as reported by Seattle Times.

The NPS has tried all types of methods to curd the goat population’s interaction with people along the trail, removing more than 500 goats during the 1980’s, according to a Washington Post report, and even using a trained border collie to herd the goats away from trails.

Olympic State Park is not alone in dealing with similar human urine-related issues. Similar problems have also been reported in Montana’s Glacier National park, according to the NY Times.

Facebook Data Breach — What To Do Next

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Yesterday, Facebook notified users of a massive data breach affecting over 50 million people. The breach had taken place three days earlier, on the afternoon of 25 September.

The social media giant says it doesn’t know exactly what kind of information has been compromised. However, in an updated statement yesterday, it did admit the hack affected those who use Facebook to log into other accounts.

How do you know if you’ve been impacted?

If you’ve been affected by the breach, Facebook logged you out of your account yesterday. The social network said it would also notify these people in a message on top of their News Feed about what happened.

However, an important thing to note: If you were logged out, you weren’t necessarily breached. Facebook has also logged out everyone who used the ‘View As’ feature since the vulnerability was introduced as a “precautionary measure”. The social network says this will require another 40 million people or more to log back into their accounts, adding: “We do not currently have any evidence that suggests these accounts have been compromised.”

Has the issue been fixed?

According to Facebook, yes. It believes it has fixed the security vulnerability, which enabled hackers to exploit a weakness in Facebook’s code to access the ‘View As’ privacy tool that allows users to see how their profile looks to other people.

Attackers would then be able to steal the access tokens that allow people to stay logged into their accounts. Then, Facebook admits, they could use these to take over people’s profiles.

Facebook is also temporarily turning off the ‘View As’ feature while it conducts a “thorough security review”.

What should you do if you’ve used Facebook to log in to other accounts/apps?

Facebook has admitted this could be an issue, but it can be hard to know what you’ve logged into using your account. This information can be found in your settings. First, go to ‘apps and websites’, then ‘logged in using Facebook’.

There you will be able to find all the apps you have used Facebook to log in to. It’s a good idea to remove these, even if you think you haven’t been impacted by the breach. If you have been affected, you’ll also need to change the passwords for those accounts, to be safe.

What can you do to secure your Facebook account?

Facebook says there’s no need for people to change their passwords. However, there is no harm in doing so – ensuring that your new password is secure and that you do not use it to log into other accounts. You could also log yourself out of Facebook, even if you don’t think you’ve been impacted, using the ‘security and login’ section in ‘settings’. This lists the places people are logged into Facebook with a one-click option to log out of all of them. People who’ve forgotten their passwords can access Facebook’s Help Center.

If you haven’t already, you should also enable two-factor authentication, which again can be found in Facebook settings.

Of course, you could also delete your Facebook account altogether.

Does this breach come under GDPR?

Many of the 50 million customers breached will reside in Europe, so their data does fall under the EU general update to data protection regulation (GDPR). We don’t know exactly what information has been impacted – fines are applicable for sensitive and personal data such as credit card details, which Facebook initially said has not been affected. However, if attackers have accessed personal messages, all kinds of sensitive information could have been breached.

As Facebook investigates the breach, it will be interesting to see the regulatory impact. The number of accounts impacted dwarfs that of British Airways at 50 million versus 380,000 but the nature of the information accessed is important.

For now, users need to ensure their own security is tight. Breaches are happening every day and it’s important to use strong passwords and two-factor authentication at a bare minimum.

Planning to Buy a New iPhone? Here’s Why You Should Prefer iPhone XR Over iPhone XS

If you have been active on social media or the internet in the recent few days, then you must have come across the news regarding Apple announcing three new iPhones. If you are an ardent Apple user, you must already be planning for an upgrade. But, with three new options available — Apple iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, which one should you pick? While Apple has garnered a reputation for designing high-end expensive products, the prices of the new iPhones seem to come in as a surprise.

However, if Apple has launched the most expensive iPhone to date, then it has also launched one low-priced iPhone to the Apple mobile price list. The iPhone XS and XS Max are up for pre-orders and will go on sale on September 28. On the other hand, iPhone XR will go on sale sometime during the month of October. All this comes down to one thing — should you wait for iPhone XR or grab the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max? Well, here are some of the reasons why we think Apple iPhone XR is the better pick.

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Screen Space

If you haven’t seen all the three iPhones placed next to one another, then this might come as a bit of a shock. Interestingly, iPhone XR has a bigger display when compared to iPhone XS. As the name suggests, the iPhone XS Max comes with a huge 6.5-inch OLED display. However, iPhone XS only comes with a 5.8-inch OLED display. On the other hand, iPhone XR features a 6.1-inch LCD display. All-in-all, iPhone XR provides a bigger display at a much affordable cost.

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A12 Bionic Processor

All the new iPhones of this year are powered by the newest A12 Bionic processor along with a 7nm chipset. So, when it comes to performance, Apple iPhone XR will be able to deliver as much as iPhone XS and XS Max. The A12 Bionic processor is designed with 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU. Additionally, the chipset will help in launching apps faster, improve low-light photography, enhance AR apps and will feature machine-learning. All the three new iPhones are at par when it comes to performance. Moreover, along with a powerful processor, the new iPhones have also been added to the 4G mobile phone price list. With 4G VoLTE, all three iPhones will provide fast and seamless internet browsing.

Colours to Choose From

When it comes to colour variations, iPhone XS and XS Max come in Black, Gold and Space. Except for iPhone 5C, Apple has not offered varying colour options to choose from. However, Apple brings new colour variations for you to choose from with iPhone XR. iPhone XR is available in six colour choices. The options include Black, White, Red, Blue, Yellow and Coral. If you are looking to add a splash of colour or a little more personality to your phone, iPhone XR has a lot of options to choose from.

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Longer Battery Life

Battery life is the one thing that iPhone users have always complained about. With the 2018 iPhones, Apple has worked on overcoming that drawback. When looked at

  • iPhone XS can last for 30 minutes more than iPhone X
  • iPhone XS Max can last for 90 minutes more than iPhone X
  • And lastly, iPhone XR can last for 90 minutes more than iPhone 8 Plus

Here is how the 2018 iPhones battery specifications look like:

If you are looking for an iPhone with a healthy and long battery life, iPhone XR has the best battery specifications out this year.

Conclusion

It goes without saying that, iPhone XR is a more economical choice. However, don’t disregard the iPhone XS or XS Max as of yet. Even iPhone XS and XS Max come with features that make them an ideal choice. Both iPhone XS and XS Max come with a dual rear camera, IP68 rating and a 512GB storage variant, which gives them a front foot compared to iPhone XR. Overall, Apple iPhone XR comes with the same ecosystem and features like iPhone XS and XS Max, only with a few changes. What gives it an edge is the reasonable price range and size.