Google's Celebrating Its 20th Birthday With Some Retro Easter Eggs

iStock
iStock

A lot has changed at Google since the search engine launched in 1998. The company has changed its name from BackRub, moved out of the San Francisco garage where it was founded, and grown into a multibillion-dollar company. The world has changed a lot too in the past two decades, and Google is reminding users of that today with some retro Easter eggs created for its 20th anniversary.

According to TechCrunch, searching these 16 terms pulled from the late 1990s on Thursday, September 27 brings up special prompt suggestions meant to bring you back to the present. Search "digital pet," for example, and Google will ask “It’s 2018! Did you mean fidget spinner?" "Screen name" brings up the suggestion "social handle," "clip art" prompts "GIF," and "gettin’ jiggy wit it" leads to "floss dance." You can check out the full list of keywords below.

1. mp3 file // stream music

2. watch a dvd // streaming subscription

3. googol // Google

4. gettin’ jiggy wit it // floss dance

5. page me // New phone, who dis?

6. butterfly clip styles // top knot

7. soccer world champions 1998 // soccer world champions 2018

8. chat room // text the group

9. how to tell someone you like them // swipe right

10. low-rider pants // how to style high-waisted pants

11. digital pet // fidget spinner

12. baby // bae

13. 143 // ILYSM

14. what is Y2K? // how does cryptocurrency work?

15. screen name // social handle

16. clip art // GIF

The special search suggestions aren't the only way Google is celebrating 20 years online. Today the site's doodle features some popular searches from past years (you can watch it below). You can also check out Google Street View today to take a tour around the garage where internet history was made in 1998.

[h/t TechCrunch]

Thousands of Disney+ Accounts Are Being Cracked and Sold. Here's How to Protect Yourself

Disney+
Disney+

With an estimated 10 million sign-ups during its debut last week and positive reviews for its marquee original Star Wars series The Mandalorian, Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service has been a resounding success. But making such a high-profile splash is apparently coming at a price. According to CNBC, thousands of consumer accounts are being hijacked and their login information is being shared illicitly online. 

The report, published by ZDNet, alleges that hackers were able to breach usernames and passwords for the service within hours of launch and began distributing them for free or for a fee of $3 to $11—the economy of the black market making a one-time purchase cheaper than paying the standard $6.99 monthly for access to the Disney+ library.

The idea wasn’t to co-opt the accounts but to seize them entirely, using the login to change the email and password associated with the account and locking the consumer out.

A spokesperson for Disney told CNBC that they weren’t aware of any security breach. It’s possible that accounts from unrelated sites were compromised and hackers were able to cull from a database of existing passwords to see if consumers used them for their Disney+ account.

The best way to secure your account for Disney+ or any other service requiring a log-in is to use a unique password for each and avoid obvious parallels to the content. If you’re using “mickeymouse” as part of your login, don’t be shocked if you find yourself locked out of your account one day. Ideally, experts say, the service will eventually incorporate a multi-factor authentication process to make compromising logins—and watching Freaky Friday for free—more difficult.

[h/t CNBC]

Stuck in a Never-Ending Group Chat? Here's How to Stop It

grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images
grinvalds/iStock via Getty Images

The more contacts on your phone, the more likely you will be periodically pulled into the dreaded group chat—a meandering, pestering chain of communication on apps like Facebook or WhatsApp that keeps your cell in a constant state of alert. While some group chats start out informative, they can quickly devolve in utter banality. (One warning sign: a funny nickname for the chat.) How can one free themselves from this chorus and get on with their lives?

David Nield at Gizmodo recently broke down the steps you can take to pull yourself free, though it depends on which chat app you’re using. If it’s WhatsApp, for example, you can go to Settings, Account, Privacy, Groups, and then set who can add you to a group chat. That way, only people in your inner circle can loop you in. If someone who isn't on your approved list adds you to a chat, you'll get a direct message inviting you to join, which you can accept or ignore. If you’re already in group chat hell, WhatsApp will allow you to mute notifications by tapping on the Menu button and selecting Mute Notifications.

Facebook Messenger doesn’t allow you to pre-emptively opt out, but you can exit existing group chats by tapping “i” inside the thread and selecting “Leave Group” in Android or tapping the chat thread and clicking “Leave Group” in iOS.

The same is true of Apple’s iMessenger—you can’t insulate yourself from chats. Once it starts, though, you can leave by tapping the top of the conversation, selecting “i,” and selecting either Hide Alerts (which mutes the chat) or Leave This Conversation. If people in the chat are using SMS, the messages will still come through, however. They have to be either muted or removed from your phone and life entirely.

For tips on how to deal with group chat pain on Twitter and other platforms, head over to Gizmodo.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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