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Tue
14
Jun
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Pays a Whopping $26B for LinkedIn Buyout

Microsoft has agreed to buy business networking site LinkedIn for $26 billion. Analysts are less than certain about what it plans to do with the site. For those not familiar, LinkedIn works a little like Facebook but is designed primarily for ... business rather than personal contacts. It has a reported 100 million active users that access the site at least once a month. That compares to reports of 1.65 billion active users for Facebook. One of the most popular uses is to find potential clients or employers through mutual contacts. It's also possible to "endorse" a contact for ... (view more)

Wed
18
May
John Lister's picture

Irony Strikes As Hacking Site Hacked

A major website used by hackers to exchange stolen data has itself been hacked. The breach has exposed hundreds of thousands of user accounts. The site called "Nulled" hosted discussion forums for users to exchange tips on how to hack into websites. ... It also included a section for buying and selling data such as stolen account information. Ironically, given the new development, the site had the slogan "Expect the unexpected." At the time of writing, the site was offline for "temporary unscheduled maintenance," with its database leaked onto other websites for ... (view more)

Thu
03
Mar
John Lister's picture

New 'Drown' Bug: Millions of Secure Sites Could be at Risk

An estimated 11 million secure websites could be vulnerable to hackers exploiting a security bug. Amazingly, the bug has to do with technology that is over 20 years old. There's little, if anything website visitors can do as the bug needs fixing by ... site operators. However, it is possible to check if a site appears to be vulnerable. The bug has been dubbed Drown, a name rather tenuously derived from "Decrypting the RSA algorithm with Obsolete and Weakened eNcryption." Researchers who uncovered the bug aren't publishing the precise details. At the moment it's not known if ... (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)

Wed
16
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Rethinks 'Real Name' Policy

Facebook is testing a change to its policy requiring people to use their real name on the site. The idea is to keep the principle of accountability while dealing with some practical issues. The site has always had a policy that users must operate ... with "the name their friends and family know them by." The idea is that it makes users accountable for what they say in posts and messages, and thus helps to stop people hiding behind anonymity. The policy often causes criticism. Some people disagree with the idea of having to be identifiable on the site. Writing in a blog post this week, ... (view more)

Wed
28
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Test Ultra Slow Connections on Tuesdays

Facebook is to deliberately slow down the Internet connections of its employees on Tuesdays. It's not designed to deter web use, but rather to help staff think about the needs of users across the world. The program will only affect visits to the ... Facebook site itself, rather than access to the entire Internet. It will also be voluntary: the first time an employee logs on to Facebook on a Tuesday, they'll get a pop-up menu asking them if they want to take the "2G Tuesday option." Site Will Run At One-Hundredth 'Normal' Speed If an employee agrees, then all their use of ... (view more)

Thu
15
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Simplifies Web Browser Security Warnings

Google is to tone down security warnings for users of the Chrome browser. It believes the move won't increase user risk and may instead encourage websites to improve security. The change involves the way secure websites appear in the address bar in ... Chrome. At the moment, a website in Chrome will appear with one of four icons to the left of the address to indicate whether or not it is secure: A plain white 'blank page' icon indicates an ordinary http site, meaning there's no encryption of data passing back and forth between the website and the user's computer. A green ... (view more)

Wed
22
Jul
John Lister's picture

Website Promoting Affairs Drops Controversial Fee

Hackers who stole data from a website promoting extra-marital affairs say they did so to promote misleading claims. The Ashley Madison site has responded by dropping a controversial fee to delete user accounts. The site openly promotes itself as ... appealing to people who want to arrange dates online where at least one party is already in a relationship. Not surprisingly, that setup brings added interest in keeping client details confidential. Earlier this week attackers claimed to have breached security and got access to the records of a supposed 33 million members around the world. They've ... (view more)

Tue
17
Mar
John Lister's picture

Facebook Updates Rules On Banned Content

Facebook has clarified its rules on what can and cannot be posted on the site. The changes are designed to bring more common sense, but critics say the rules still have inconsistencies. The decision to remove posts, photos or videos is based on a ... set of rules known as Facebook's community guidelines. In the past, the guidelines have come under heavy criticism for being either too vague and broad, often seeming to outlaw content many people would consider acceptable, or allow content widely considered unacceptable. Three years ago, leaked documents showed the instructions for previous ... (view more)

Fri
06
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

What happened to the Freeware Picks?

Infopackets Reader Tom S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have been a subscriber for well over 4 years now, and lately something has been bugging me a lot ... The newsletter greeting for each newsletter states that you have two freeware programs in each ... newsletter, but there are almost no programs offered or mentioned anymore. What's going on? PS: Thank you for your time, and all your efforts! " My response: You're not the only one to ask this question. We don't have freeware picks any longer in the newsletter for two main reasons. The first is that since 2006, Brandon Dimmel ... (view more)

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