advertising

Thu
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Internet Baffled by Bottomless PJs

If you keep seeing a pair of bottomless pyjamas on the Internet, don't worry. It appears to be a glitch that's highlighted the quirks of online advertising. Many users have reported seeing the ad multiple times a day, in some cases embedded in ... almost every page they read. It's particularly noticeable as it's a somewhat unusual product, namely a one-piece tartan outfit with a flap on the backside, presumably to allow bathroom breaks without undressing. The ads are automatically placed by Google and appear to be placed by a Chinese tech company which has the same registered address as a "fast ... (view more)

Tue
20
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Brings MS Office Start Menu Surprise

Microsoft has added links to Office web apps on Windows 10 computers without asking permission. It's more of an irritation than a damaging problem, but it's certainly safe to say some folks are irritated. The links appear to have been added by an ... automatic update, with some users reporting their computer restarted without warning and they lost some work that hadn't been saved. (Users can set Windows 10 to only restart automatically at set times such as during the night to stop this happening.) The links appear in the Start Menu alongside other apps as a single tile that contains several small ... (view more)

Tue
07
Apr
John Lister's picture

Chrome Cookie Change Put on Hold due to Pandemic

Google has temporarily reversed a change intended to increase security and privacy in the Chrome browser. It says it can't risk disrupting websites when so many people are more reliant on the Internet than normal. The change was to the way Chrome ... handles third-party cookies . These are small text files placed on a computer when it visits a website. Unlike standard cookies, they aren't accessed by the site in question, but rather a third-party and are often associated with unpopular behavior such tracking a user's activity across the web to build up a profile of their interests to target ... (view more)

Thu
16
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Block Third-Party Cookies

Google says it will block third-party cookies, which can track Internet users in ways they don't expect. But it could be up to two years before the block is fully in place. A cookie is a small text file placed on a user's computer by a website. The ... idea is the site can check for the cookie later on and customize the users' web experience. Examples of 'legitimate' cookie use would be an online store that holds items in a virtual 'shopping basket', and a movie theater chain's site 'remembering' a user's location to automatically show them local listings. The more controversial variant is third- ... (view more)

Tue
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Stops Using Phone Numbers for Advertisements

Facebook is to stop treating user's phone numbers as a way to target advertising and recommend friends. Critics said the practice undermined a key security measure. The company says it wasn't collecting the numbers directly from phones or the ... Facebook app. Instead, users provided the number when taking advantage of two factor authentication. With this set-up, it means that if a user tries to log in to Facebook on a new device or from a new location, Facebook sends a security code by text message to the number on file. The user then has to type the code in to Facebook before they can login ... (view more)

Tue
06
Aug
John Lister's picture

Site Opens 100 Tabs to Fool Web Trackers

Mozilla has designed a site that will open 100 tabs at once, quite likely crashing a web browser. It's meant as a creative way to show how web tracking works. The stunt is based around cookies: small text files put onto a computer via the browser to ... customize an online session to a website. Third-party tracking cookies are then generated, which keep a record of the sites a user visits. This information is then used by ad servers to deliver targeted ads based on website history. "Track THIS" works by opening 100 tabs selected to represent a particular type of web user. The idea is that there ... (view more)

Tue
07
May
John Lister's picture

Google's New Cookie Tracking Policy Raises Eyebrows

Google is set to make it easier for users to block tracking cookies. Perhaps unsurprisingly the reported changes would also be very helpful for Google. Cookies are small files that a website saves onto a computer's hard drive via the web browser. ... When the user next returns to the site, it will check for cookies and use the information to customize the site's content or appearance. For example, if a user were to enter in their name and password on a forum website and then selected the "remember me" option, this preference would be saved using a cookie. The next time the user visits ... (view more)

Tue
23
Apr
John Lister's picture

Hugely Popular Android Apps Exposed As Scam

Six very opular Android apps have been exposed as scams to defraud advertisers. The scam also drained batteries and sucked up mobile data on the handsets. The six apps are AIO Flashlight, Omni Cleaner, RAM Master, Selfie Camera, Smart Cooler and ... Total Cleaner. All were in the official Google Play store but have been removed since their real purpose came to life. The revelation came after three security companies - Check Point, ESET and Method Media Intelligence - worked with news site Buzzfeed to investigate risky apps. They concentrated on apps which were widely used and required permissions ... (view more)

Tue
01
Jan
John Lister's picture

Apps Share Data With Facebook, Even if No FB Account

20 popular Android apps are sharing user data with Facebook without permission, according to a new report. Privacy International says the data sharing happens even if the user doesn't have a Facebook account. The organization tested 34 apps, each of ... which have been installed at least 10 million times on Android devices. It looked at data that was transmitted through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK). The kit is a set of tools that are designed to help app developers coordinate their apps with the Facebook system. This is more commonly associated with retrieving data from ... (view more)

Thu
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

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