Internet

Tue
29
Aug
John Lister's picture

Fake News Sites Banned from Facebook Ads

Facebook is to ban ads from sites that habitually share bogus 'news' stories. The ban will apply even if the ads themselves don't point to the false stories. It's no secret that Facebook is one of the biggest sources of traffic for news sites, both ... legitimate outlets and those which deliberately run tantalizing but misleading, or outright false stories. The latter sites thrive on people sharing the bogus stories on social media sites, thus bringing more visitor and bumping up ad revenue. However, some sites also buy Facebook advertising as a way to attract visitors who will then share the ... (view more)

Thu
24
Aug
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Software Firm tells Parents to Spy on 'Gay' Sons

A company selling spy software encouraged parents to use its tools to discover if their son was gay. It's now removed the article in question. Fireworld offers software that tracks use of a computer. It's designed to be installed by anyone with ... physical access to the computer, who then wants to track what somebody else is doing with it. The software treads a thin line under French law, which makes it illegal to install spyware (software that spies) on somebody else's computer. Fireworld warns customers to make sure they are acting legally, and there's at least an argument that it's legitimate ... (view more)

Tue
22
Aug
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Far Right Website Sparks Free Speech Debate

A company that protects websites from online attacks has stopped serving a far right website. But the man who made the decision says he feels uneasy about making such decisions. Cloudflare is designed to protect against denial of service attacks, in ... which people try to bring down a website by flooding it with bogus requests until it's inaccessible to legitimate traffic by real people. It's a tactic often used by hacker groups protesting against the organizations running the site, though it's also been used as a form of cyberwarfare. To combat such attacks, data going to and from ... (view more)

Tue
15
Aug
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Report: Facebook likened to Addictive Drugs, for Sake of Ads

One of the earliest investors in Facebook and Google has likened the effects of major Internet companies on users to the effects of addictive drugs. Roger McNamee accused the companies of "aggressive brain hacking" to make their ad business more ... profitable. Writing for USA Today before discussing the topic on NBC, McNamee also likened the companies' behavior to that of the gambling industry. He said they "exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose ... (view more)

Wed
02
Aug
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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)

Tue
01
Aug
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Researchers: 'Anonymized' Browsing Data Can Reveal Identity

Researchers suggest that anonymized browsing data can be used to track users. The flaw can make it easy to reveal exactly what sites individuals have visited. Security experts Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes told the Def Con security conference that ... they'd been able to identify adult websites a particular judge had visited, as well as a politician's online interest in drugs. The data came from so-called "clickstreams," which are simply a list of the sites an individual has visited and the order in which they visited them. They are commonly used by advertising firms to produce ... (view more)

Tue
25
Jul
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Verizon Slows Netflix Traffic

Verizon has admitted to slowing down connection speeds for users watching online video. But it insists it was part of a test and was not a deliberate attempt to penalize Netflix. Users noticed the slowdown last week thanks to Fast.com, a special ... website Netflix launched last year to let people test their connection speeds. Multiple sources reported getting slower figures on this site than on other speed testing sites. That's significant, as Fast.com tests the speed by sending data to and from Netflix's servers, unlike other speed testing sites. That led some to infer that Verizon was ... (view more)

Wed
12
Jul
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Microsoft to use TV Airwaves for Internet 'Super WiFi'

Microsoft wants to use unused TV frequencies to provide Internet service in rural areas. It believes its size could help bring down the costs of the technology. The system is known as white-spaces technology and uses wireless frequencies that are in ... the band reserved for over-the-air TV broadcasts but aren't currently being used. While Microsoft plans to use some of these frequencies, it wants the government to reserve at least three frequencies in each local area for use with the technology. (Source: nytimes.com ) Tech Works Like WiFi In principle, wireless Internet signals can be sent ... (view more)

Tue
11
Jul
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Don't Worry About Jayden K Smith

Reports that accepting a friend request from a "Jayden K Smith" on Facebook will get your account hacked are a hoax. It's still a smart idea to take care with Facebook friend requests, however. As often happens, the hoax warning is circulating ... widely, likely being shared by people who believe doing so will help inform and protect their friends and family on the site. One version of the hoax message reads "Please tell all the contacts in your messenger list not to accept Jayden K. Smith friendship request. He is a hacker and has the system connected to your Facebook account ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
John Lister's picture

Online Politics Riddled with 'Bots' Perpetuating Fake News

Political discussion on social media is often driven and manipulated by automated "bots," a university department claims. The word "bots" is a short form for "robot," and refers to online activity carried out using an automated program. The Oxford ... Internet Institute says it studied events in nine countries and found the bots played a role in every case. However, social media groups have questioned such studies saying they are often based on flawed research methods. The study looked at activity on Facebook and Twitter among users in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany ... (view more)

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