Newswise: Automated Texting System Saved Lives Weekly During First COVID Surge

Newswise: Automated Texting System Saved Lives Weekly During First COVID Surge. “A life was saved twice a week by an automated text messaging system during the fraught early days of the COVID-19 pandemic and, overall, the patients who enrolled in that system were 68 percent less likely to die than those not using it. These insights about Penn Medicine’s COVID Watch – a system designed to monitor COVID-19 outpatients using automated texts and then escalate those with concerning conditions to a small team of health care providers – were published today in the Annals of Internal Medicine.”

Motherboard: Company That Routes Billions of Text Messages Quietly Says It Was Hacked

Motherboard: Company That Routes Billions of Text Messages Quietly Says It Was Hacked. “A company that is a critical part of the global telecommunications infrastructure used by AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and several others around the world such as Vodafone and China Mobile, quietly disclosed that hackers were inside its systems for years, impacting more than 200 of its clients and potentially millions of cellphone users worldwide.”

CNET: Fake or for real? How to know if a text from your bank is legit

CNET: Fake or for real? How to know if a text from your bank is legit. “In a world in which fraudsters are increasingly finding new ways to steal from our accounts, my guard’s instantly up when I receive a text from my bank. But hackers are becoming much savvier at their game. So much so, that I almost fell for a scam this month. Here’s what happened — and the (somewhat embarrassing) lessons I learned.”

The Conversation: How hackers can use message mirroring apps to see all your SMS texts — and bypass 2FA security

The Conversation: How hackers can use message mirroring apps to see all your SMS texts — and bypass 2FA security. “Major vendors such as Microsoft have urged users to abandon 2FA solutions that leverage SMS and voice calls. This is because SMS is renowned for having infamously poor security, leaving it open to a host of different attacks.”

Mashable: There are two types of texters in the world. Which one are you?

Mashable: There are two types of texters in the world. Which one are you?. “Though you may not realize it, there are two types of texters in this world: those who send one detail-packed paragraph and those who use multiple messages to get their points across. Both styles have unique pros and cons, but chatting with someone who has different texting style than you isn’t always ideal.”

CNET: Political campaign texts are working, researchers say

CNET: Political campaign texts are working, researchers say. “A new report from Democratic technology company Tech for Campaigns has found that people who received text messages from election campaigns were 1% more likely to vote. The company’s researchers found Democratic campaigns and organizations sent 350 million texts in 2018. That’s six times more than were sent in 2016 and 2017.”

Mashable: People are freaking out over this iPhone cursor trick

Mashable: People are freaking out over this iPhone cursor trick. “This quick trick makes texting way easier, and people can’t believe it’s existed this whole time. Trying to drag the iPhone cursor is always a hassle; no matter how precise you try to be, your fat thumbs will always get in the way of typing. It’s almost less effort to delete the text and start from scratch.” I didn’t know about this either. If you did, great. If you didn’t, check it out.

MakeUseOf: 5 Text, Voice, and Video Call Apps You Can Use Without Registration

MakeUseOf: 5 Text, Voice, and Video Call Apps You Can Use Without Registration. “Technology is at its best when it gets out of the way and lets you do what you want. When you want to talk to someone, you shouldn’t have to jump through hoops downloading an app or signing up for a service. These fantastic apps are what you need. Usually, your office is likely to use a service like Skype or GoToMeetings, but those fail to work sometimes. And with the number of data and privacy leaks happening these days, it’s probably better if you use a service without ever giving them your email or password.”

New York Times: N.S.A. Purges Hundreds of Millions of Call and Text Records

New York Times: N.S.A. Purges Hundreds of Millions of Call and Text Records. “The National Security Agency has purged hundreds of millions of records logging phone calls and texts that it had gathered from American telecommunications companies since 2015, the agency has disclosed. It had realized that its database was contaminated with some files the agency had no authority to receive.”

Nieman Lab: By mass-texting local residents, Outlier Media connects low-income news consumers to useful, personalized data

Nieman Lab: By mass-texting local residents, Outlier Media connects low-income news consumers to useful, personalized data. “By drawing on a hefty database of information compiled from city and county public sources and automating initial responses, [Sarah] Alvarez has built the one-woman-show of Outlier Media into a resource for low-income news consumers in Detroit in search of tangible, individualized information. In 13 months, Alvarez has sent messages to about 40,000 Detroit cell phone numbers in her quest to reach ‘as many Detroiters as possible’; between 1,200 and 1,600 Detroiters have used Outlier to search for information on an address. (Opting out from Outlier’s messages is always an option as well.) “

The Verge: Facebook admits SMS notifications sent using two-factor number was caused by bug

The Verge: Facebook admits SMS notifications sent using two-factor number was caused by bug. “Facebook this evening clarified the situation around SMS notifications sent using the company’s two-factor authentication (2FA) system, admitting that the messages were indeed caused by a bug. In a blog post penned by Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, the company says the error led it to ‘send non-security-related SMS notifications to these phone numbers.’”

Digital Trends: Here’s how to send a text from your email account

Digital Trends: Here’s how to send a text from your email account. “Despite the fact that just about everyone can read their email on their smartphone, there will always be times and situations in which it is more advantageous to send a short email as a text. This is particularly useful if you’re emailing a non-smartphone user, need to send a text when you’re away from your phone, or want to use a text for branding purpose.”

Phys.org: Punctuation in text messages helps replace cues found in face-to-face conversations

Phys.org: Punctuation in text messages helps replace cues found in face-to-face conversations. “Emoticons, irregular spellings and exclamation points in text messages aren’t sloppy or a sign that written language is going down the tubes—these ‘textisms’ help convey meaning and intent in the absence of spoken conversation, according to newly published research from Binghamton University, State University of New York.”

TheEdWire: 73% of Teachers Think Social Media and Texting is Bad for Grammar and Spelling

TheEdWire: 73% of Teachers Think Social Media and Texting is Bad for Grammar and Spelling. “According to a study released today by Dictionary.com, the leading online and mobile English-language resource, a vast majority (73%) of teachers think social media and texting are bad for grammar and spelling but half (50%) use it to better understand their students. Perhaps the online world is making both teachers and students apathetic to these skills because one-third (32%) of teachers say they see their students struggle with grammar, yet admit they care very little about it (15%) in comparison to other skills, like meaning and comprehension (64%).”