Facebook Contractors Threaten Stoppage-No Pay; Android 13 Getting Faster QR Shortcuts; Samsung Galaxy Unpacked Date; 2021 Sets Record for Cyber Attacks

This is a pretty big stubbing of the corporate toe for Facebook (Meta.) Moderators at an Accenture site in Austin have been in payroll hell since the first of the year…an error showed up tracking PTO, and then on January 6th, paychecks didn’t arrive. Theverge.com notes that there was a recent change in payroll providers at that site. A number of paychecks that did show up were zeroed out…no money! Workers at the site handle moderation, customer service, and other chores for Facebook and WhatsApp. Understandably, they are threatening in a letter to the CEOs of those divisions of Meta to stop work entirely until they get their money!

There were apparently several lump sum payments issued after the threatened work stoppage on January 7th, but not to everyone. A managing director at the Accenture site said he didn’t know when the issue would be resolved, but that the company would cover late fees and overdraft fees. Of course, that won’t pay the rent, mortgage payments, or buy food…but nice gesture. As of last night (Jan. 10th), at least 50 employees still hadn’t been paid or gotten a lump sum. Facebook put out a bland non-statement about the issue. “Accenture has notified its employees of this issue,” said Meta representative Kadia Koroma, “and is working to resolve it as soon as possible.”

QR codes are everywhere now, and Google is going to add better shortcuts for using them in Android 13. 9to5google.com reports that there will be a couple new shortcuts coming. One is in the Quick Settings menu…it allows for users to quickly launch a QR scanner from that menu. The other feature should be quite useful…Google is adding scanner access for QR codes form the Lock Screen.

Right now, it’s unclear if that will just be a button on the Lock Screen to toggle to the scanner, or the ability to show the scanner itself from the Lock Screen. The latter would be very handy…and I would add, showing QR codes from the Lock Screen would be great, too. After traveling out of the country last summer, there were a number of times I had to show a QR code…not just for boarding planes, but also to confirm vaccination status. Having them displayed on the Lock Screens of phones would vastly speed up lines. 

Samsung’s next Galaxy Unpacked event will be held on February 8th. Engadget.com says the date was confirmed by Digital Daily out of South Korea. Pre-orders will go live on February 9th, and new models will begin shipping on February 24th. It is expected that Samsung will unveil 3 new phones…the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. The latter will reportedly feature a camera that Samsung claims will have a ‘Super Clear Lens.’ The new phones are also likely to be shown off at Mobile World Conference 2022 in Barcelona. 

According to a report form Check Point Research picked up by zdnet.com, 2021 was a record year for the number of cyber attacks on corporate networks. It wasn’t even close…according to their research, 2021 had 50% more cyberattacks per week than 2020…many due to the Log4j vulnerability…which resulted in a huge uptick near the end of the year. 

Education, government, and healthcare got into the top 5 most attacked industries worldwide. the highest volume of attacks occurred in Africa (1582 per week), followed by Latin America with 1118. Europe had 670 weekly attacks, and North America notched 503. Check Point expects a continued uptick in 2022. They note that “Simple measures such as patching, segmenting your networks and educating employees can go a long way in making the world safer.”



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