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Tech review: Working from home? Be aware of bossware

Software maker Surfshark says more than 20% of

Software maker Surfshark says more than 20% of businesses have installed or plan to install software that monitors work-from-home employees.  Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto/maselkoo99

Your home is your castle, but it doesn’t have a big enough moat to keep your boss out. Privacy software maker Surfshark says more than 20% of businesses have installed or plan to install "bossware" — software that monitors work-from-home employees. Bossware makes sure employees are at the computer and doing company work by using intermittent webcam snapshots, screenshots and keystroke logging. Usually installed with the employee’s knowledge, Bossware is enabled when employees log in to their work portal and is disabled when employees log out. But Surfshark says some companies are using techniques concealed from employees, such as email monitoring and collecting internet browsing history.

In the fold

Samsung is expected to unveil its latest foldable smartphone Wednesday. The Galaxy Fold 3 will be the width of two smartphones when unfolded but will look like a typical smartphone when folded in half. The Korean tech giant is committed to foldable phones, counting on them to be the next hot trend. Samsung said it will roll out a "full-scale flagship marketing" campaign for the Fold 3.

Kids, screens and myopia

Sheltering in place may have helped keep young kids safe from COVID-19, but there may have been consequences. An article published in JAMA Ophthalmology concluded that the increased time indoors using phones, tablets and other screens appears to have led to a "substantial myopic shift" in children ages 6-8. Researchers found nearsightedness in young children increased as much as three times in 2020 compared with the previous five years.

Brain device approved for clinical trials

A brain-computer interface company is entering clinical trials for its implants, a big step toward getting the futuristic device approved to treat conditions like paralysis. Brooklyn-based Synchron beat other companies, including Elon Musk’s more publicized Neuralink, to secure FDA approval for tests. Implanted in the brain, Synchron’s Stentrode device helps patients control digital devices like computer cursors through their thoughts.

— BLOOMBERG NEWS

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