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Wed
07
Nov
John Lister's picture

Chrome To Block Ads On Scam Websites

Google's Chrome browser will soon block all ads on sites that have "abusive experiences" for users. It's designed as a way to put financial pressure on scammers. It's a new step following on from an existing attempt to protect users against ... misleading websites. 'Misleading' has a couple of meanings in this context. One is sites that carry pop-up or other ads that falsely claim to be system warnings, such as those which state the user's computer has malware. In this case, the user either downloads (and pays for) fake security software to "fix" the "problem", or is directed ... (view more)

Wed
03
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Sunglasses Make PC, TV Screens Invisible

A new pair of sunglasses aims to block out screens such as TV sets and computers. It's a real product, though it's as much an art and culture project than a true business idea. The glasses work in a similar fashion to polarized lenses in ordinary ... sunglasses, which block out the most intense reflected lights from the sun. With sunglasses the idea is to block any light that's reflected off a surface such as the ground or sea, thus reducing the overall brightness. Glasses Turn Screens Black With these special glasses, however, the lenses are flat rather than curved and are rotated 90 degrees. ... (view more)

Fri
11
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Use a Firewall to Block Full Screen Ads on Android

Infopackets Reader Steve G. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thank you so much for your article on How to Disable Full Screen Popup Ads in Android ! Lately I have been inundated with full screen ads appearing on my smartphone and I have no idea where they are ... coming from. I tried your suggestion in the article, which says to wait for the full screen ad to appear, then press the app button on my phone to see where the ad is coming from. The problem is that these full screen ads don't have a title, so unfortunately I can't tell where the ad is coming from. You also suggested using a firewall but I am not ... (view more)

Mon
30
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Absolute Best way to Limit Data on Android

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I work from home and also own an Android smartphone, which I use to communicate (via text messages) with friends and family. Because I am home all the time, I use WiFi on my phone instead of data. ... Therefore, I purchased a very cheap 'pay as you go' data plan for when I'm away from the office. The problem is that my data is being eaten away by apps on my phone whenever I'm on the go. I have tried disabling 'background data' on my Android phone to limit which apps can use data, but this is incredibly time consuming because each data permission is ... (view more)

Thu
07
Dec
John Lister's picture

YouTube Pulled From Amazon Gadgets

Users of some Amazon gadgets will have to look elsewhere for YouTube videos, after Google announced it will block the site from the devices. It's a tit-for-tat response to Amazon refusing to stock some Google hardware products. YouTube will be ... blocked from January 1st, 2018 on Amazon Fire TV devices, which include both table-top boxes and HDMI sticks. There's also an immediate block on YouTube on the Echo Show, which is a variant of the 'smart speaker' range that includes a screen. Google had already blocked YouTube on the Echo Show once but Amazon found a workaround. That workaround has now ... (view more)

Wed
02
Aug
John Lister's picture

Chrome Browser to Get Ad-Blocker

Google is testing a built-in ad blocker for the Chrome browser. It's prompted a mixed response with some fears of a conflict of interest. The company had previously talked about adding an ad blocker as a built-in feature in Chrome, rather than the ... optional extensions that are already available from third-parties. Now the feature is being tested in the Dev and Canary version of Chrome. These are special versions where user get early access to features but with the knowledge that they may have performance flaws at this stage. It would be extremely unusual for Google not to later go ahead ... (view more)

Wed
02
Mar
John Lister's picture

Critics Say Kids Search Engine Too Judgmental

A search engine designed specifically for children has caused controversy, thanks to its filters. Critics say the creators are wrong in their choice of "bad words" to block. The site, named "Kiddle," takes several steps to make itself suitable for ... children. For example, it deletes its entire logs of user searches once every 24 hours and doesn't store any personal details. Of course, this also means it can't refine results like Google does. For example, the search engine won't automatically learn if a user searching for "football results" wants to know ... (view more)

Tue
03
Nov
John Lister's picture

Fair or Fraud: Hotels Block WiFi, then Gouge Customers

Contractors at a convention center have been fined $718,000 for blocking visitors from using their own mobile data services. Meanwhile the Hilton chain has been fined $25,000 for obstructing an investigation into similar claims. The Hilton case ... began with allegations that the chain's hotel in Anaheim, California used blocking technology to stop users operating mobile hotspots. Those are portable devices which receive a cellular data signal (similar to that used to get Internet access on a smartphone) and turn it into a WiFi signal, which can then be used on laptops or smartphones. A ... (view more)

Mon
24
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

New Tool Prevents Web Advertisers From Tracking You

Stanford University is working on a new tool that will help Internet users stop advertisers from tracking their online activity. But efforts to produce an industry-wide solution remain bogged down in negotiations. The issue revolves around ... 'cookies,' small text files that are created by a website and stored on a user's computer. Later, they're used as reference information when a user re-visits a site. Cookies can be very helpful. For example, if you type your zip code into a movie listing website, the site will often create a cookie. The next time you visit that site you'll get local ... (view more)

Wed
09
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Provider Not Allowed to Block Ads: Report

The French government has persuaded one of that country's major Internet providers to drop a plan that would have blocked all website advertising automatically. Government officials said the move could have placed the future of many successful ... websites in doubt. Free, a broadband provider to more than five million French subscribers, proposed to update software on its cable modems to, by default, block website advertisements. Its customers would see a blank space where advertisements appeared on websites delivered via its competitors' Internet services. (The firm's name -- Free -- reflects ... (view more)

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