Nine killed, 3.5 million affected as Typhoon "Rumbia" wreaks havoc across central and eastern China
At least 9 people have been killed and 18 injured after Typhoon "Rumbia" wreaked havoc across central and eastern China over the past couple of days. About 3 512 000 people have been affected as well as 420 000 hectares (1.37 million acres) of crops. The storm has also damaged more than 5 800 homes. The typhoon made landfall near the city Shanghai just after 04:00 local time August 17 (20:00 UTC, August 16) with maximum sustained winds around 90 km/h (55 mph). Jason Nicholls@jnmet TS pushing into eastern near . Heavy rain and

FACEBOOK app can eavesdrop through phone microphones to target ads

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Over 250 apps available across the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store were programmed to be able to listen for audio through a phone's microphone, according to a report from The New York Times. Using the code from a company called Alphonso, the apps would listen for audio from television shows or ads to more precisely target advertisements after displaying a warning message.
The apps would not listen to the human speech, and require explicit, affirmative approval from the user before listening in. But after being cleared, they could still listen even if they were running in the background. As The Times explains
Using a smartphone’s microphone, Alphonso’s software can detail what people watch by identifying audio signals in TV ads and shows, sometimes even matching that information with the places people visit and the movies they see. The information can then be used to target ads more precisely and to try to analyze things like which ads prompted a person to go to a car dealership.
While creepy, the behavior is technically above-board, which may make you feel better or worse. As Alphonso chief executive Ashish Chordia told The Times, the microphone permissions required for this behavior are presented in the privacy policy, and apps which use this data-mining feature require permission with a dialog box that explicitly notes the microphone usage is for advertising purposes. Techcrunch reports that the number of apps using the tech has dropped in the past few days, perhaps reflecting the removal of ostensibly child-focused apps that included the feature. 
This implementation of ad-focused listening is a tamer version of a recurring techno-conspiracy theory that posits Facebook engages in similar behavior sly, leading to its sometimes uncannily well-targeted ads. Any evidence so far, however, has been strictly anecdotal and the company has publicly denied such claims. Facebook would also run huge legal risks by surreptitiously listening in, and the company's other exhaustive tracking measures are likely the cause of any highly-targeted ads that suspicious users might attribute to eavesdropping. 
Even though it's far from the most invasive form of audio ad-targeting you might be able to imagine, the technology in this report serves as a reminder of an irrefutable fact: We have surrounded ourselves with microphones on phones and voice assistants alike, and these microphones have been found to phone home with more audio than their owners might expect, both accidentally and on purpose. Matters of actual, literal espionage aside, anyway. 
Any potential solution to this privacy problem (if you consider it a problem at all) is unlikely to be simple given all the microphones we already own, but the first step is to acknowledge how thoroughly we've already bugged our lives. It's worth grappling with before we effortlessly slide into a truly privacy-free future.

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