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Residents of Thunder Bay are the latest Canadians to get a new pared down version of the Yellow Pages in their mailbox.

The new books, which measure “7×9″ inches instead of the traditional “9×11″, are being made smaller because consumers are used to dealing with “tablet sized items”, says the company.

But why, in the age of instant anything on your mobile phone, do the Yellow Pages exist at all? After all, about three-quarters of Canadians now have a smartphone, and even old feature phones can be used to conduct a basic search. Isn’t it better to just access the Yellow Pages online?

Source: Cantech

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Ahead of its first-quarter earnings, on Wednesday Facebook unveiled a new caller-ID and business directory app named “Hello.”

Built by Facebook’s Creative Labs and Messenger team, the app connects directly with the social network so users can see who’s calling, block unwanted calls, and search for people and places.

“When you get a call, Hello will show you info about who’s calling you, even if you don’t have that number saved in your phone,” Andrea Vaccari, product manager at Facebook, notes in a new blog post. “You will only see info that people have already shared with you on Facebook."

With Hello, users can also search for people and businesses on Facebook and call them with a single tap.

Source: MediaPost

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U.S. telco's call centre staff allegedly passed private customer information to stolen handset traffickers.

AT&T will pay a $25 million fine to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to settle an investigation into data breaches at three offshore call centres.

The names, account-related data – known as customer proprietary network information (CPNI) – and full or partial social security numbers of some 280,000 AT&T customers were disclosed to unauthorised third parties engaged in trafficking stolen handsets or second-hand phones. The information could be used to obtain codes for unlocking handsets.

The breaches took place at call centres in Colombia, Mexico, and the Philippines between November 2013 and April 2014.

"The Commission cannot – and will not – stand idly by when a carrier's lax data security practices expose the personal information of hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Americans to identity theft and fraud," said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, in a statement on Wednesday.

The $25 million penalty is the largest fine ever imposed by the FCC's enforcement bureau for a data breach. AT&T is also required to notify affected customers and provide credit-monitoring services for customers whose account details were breached by the Colombian and Philippine call centres. It must also appoint a certified privacy professional as a compliance manager to improve its data security practices.

Source: Total Telecom

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Yahoo just renewed its search partnership with Microsoft — with huge modifications.

The companies re-upped the partnership. Some of the basic fundamentals of the partnership remain in tact. Yahoo is using Bing ads for its desktop searches. Microsoft is providing the algorithm for Yahoo's desktop search.

There are two major changes.
Yahoo was responsible for the sales relationships for Bing search ads under the partnerships previously. All of those sales relationships are going to come under Microsoft in the coming months.
The new deal now only requires Yahoo to pull a majority of its traffic from the Bing ads marketplace. Just 51%, rather than the 100% it was required to pull before. That means the other 49% of Yahoo's search traffic could be monetized by Yahoo's own ad units or by another search provider, like Google.

Source: Business Insider UK

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Tension between EU authorities and U.S. tech giants likely to escalate

PARIS—Facebook Inc. is confronting a wave of probes in Europe into its privacy practices, escalating tensions between European authorities and a handful of U.S-based tech giants.

Government privacy watchdogs from France, Spain and Italy have in recent weeks joined a group of regulators investigating the social-networking firm’s privacy controls, officials said, doubling the number of European countries analyzing the way Facebook handles the personal information and connections gleaned from more than 300 million users in Europe.

The three regulators join a Dutch-led effort, accompanied by authorities in Germany and Belgium, that is examining the way Facebook combines data from its services, such as Instagram and WhatsApp, to target advertising. Also under investigation is Facebook’s use of its “like” buttons that could track Internet browsing habits, regulators say.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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