online

Tue
13
Apr
John Lister's picture

Courts Divided Over Disabled Access to Websites

A court has ruled a grocery store did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by failing to make its website accessible to blind people. The ruling creates a confused national picture that may well end up in the Supreme Court. The ... current case involves a chain called Winn-Dixie. A blind man brought the case forward after finding three features of the website were incompatible with his screen-reading software: online prescription filling, a store locator and a digital coupon tool. Carlos Gil said this had a discriminatory effect as it meant that visits to physical stores in order ... (view more)

Mon
29
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Someone Threatening to Post Video, Pics? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Franco I. writes: " Dear Dennis, Someone is threatening to post a video of me on Facebook . A few weeks ago I was on Omegle (a chat website) and suddenly, a girl sent me a private message. After 30 minutes or so into the ... conversation, things started getting hot and heavy. That's when she requested we move over to Google Hangouts to continue. Once there, we went into video chat and she was already fully unclothed. She then asked me to participate. Not long after that, the video chat ended abruptly and that's when she made threats to ruin my life, my career, and my reputation ... (view more)

Thu
14
Jan
John Lister's picture

WWW Creator Reenvisions How Personal Data is Stored

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee wants to rethink the way people control online data. He says his "pods" proposal would bring the online world closer to his original vision of the web. Berners-Lee has launched an open-source project and ... associated business to try to counter what he sees as the web's biggest problem: major companies collecting user data and exploiting it as a core part of their business. His new idea is "pods", or personal online data store. This would involve users having a space on a server that acted like a digital safe and contained a range of data. This could be ... (view more)

Wed
16
Dec
John Lister's picture

Websites Face Major Fines for 'Illegal Content'

Tech giants such as Facebook could face eye watering fines or even be blocked if they don't do enough to remove "illegal content." The proposals in the United Kingdom highlight the difficultly every government faces in balancing online freedoms and ... responsibilities. The measures, set out in the Online Harms Bill, would affect websites and services around the world. If it becomes law, it raises the question of whether the UK is a significant enough market that websites change their practices worldwide to avoid headaches, similar to the way many US business decided it was better to ... (view more)

Wed
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Fake News: Many Twitter 'Debates' are Actually Bots

Human tiredness could be the key to spotting automated fake posts online, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. They are developing systems to distinguish between posts by humans and those posted by automated programs, ... otherwise known as 'bots' - which is a short form for robots. Since most of the online world gets their news using smartphones these days, fake news is a serious problem. It's also an incredibly serious issue for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where news is often talked about, debated, and forwarded to others. Bots Designed To ... (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
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)

Thu
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Web Creator Fears Dysfunctional Future

The creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) says it faces a "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future." Sir Tim Berners-Lee said many of its problems were unintended consequences. Berners-Lee spoke to mark the 30th anniversary of him submitting a ... proposal to his managers at European science group CERN for a way to organize data. That technology, based on hyperlinked text, became the World Wide Web. In turn, that helped shape the Internet into something used worldwide by ordinary people. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Writing an open letter, Berners-Lee noted that the web is now "a public square, a library ... (view more)

Mon
04
Mar
John Lister's picture

Online Chat Tool Charges a Penny Per Character

A new online chat service costs one cent for every character in a message. It appears to be both a business idea and a social experiment. The site has the straightforward name called "Expensive Chat," and has the equally to-the-point description of ... "Spend money to chat with strangers who spend money to chat with strangers." Users can register to pay with their bank card or through third-party payment site "Stripe." Once they are setup, every time they write a message, they'll see a reminder of the price based on its length. They'll have to confirm the message and their willingness ... (view more)

Wed
21
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Bids $300M for Paywall Support, Combat Fake News

Google says it is investing $300 million to help improve the quality and reliability of online news. It argues that such work is in its own business interests. The biggest change with the 'Google News Initiative' is a couple of steps to improve the ... online experience for people who subscribe to news sites that are behind a paywall. One is that subscribers, once signed up to a news site, will be automatically logged on to it whenever they are signed in to their Google account, saving the need to re-enter passwords. Another change is that people who use this facility will now see a special ... (view more)

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