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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)

Fri
27
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Web Pages Load Slow, but I have Fast Internet. Why?

Infopackets Reader Paul H. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently upgraded my Internet connection speed through my Internet Service Provider, and I now have 60MB broadband service. As I expected, I have really fast downloads and web pages load lightening ... fast. However, some websites are considerably slower than I would expect, even slower than before the upgrade. Any ideas why that might be? " My Response: There are many reasons why some pages don't load as fast as others, even if you upgraded your broadband. The most important point to understand is that even though you have a fast ... (view more)

Wed
25
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google to Block and Ban Sites With Risky Downloads

Google has added a new measure to protect users from visiting risky websites. It's now going to warn users about bogus downloads, even before they go to the website concerned. The changes will affect Google Search, users of the Chrome browser, and ... advertisements provided by Google to third-party websites. Safe Browsing Warnings Extended to Chrome Google's Chrome browser will now contain special warning messages built into the web browser. The warnings are part of Google's Safe Browsing Service , which is also available as a third party API (application program interface). Parts of the ... (view more)

Thu
16
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Know When a Web Page was Last Modified?

Infopackets Reader 'Dave' writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a question which I can't seem to find a clear-cut answer to. Can you tell me: is it possible to view a web site / web page and determine when it was last updated? " My Response: The simple ... answer is that there is no easy way to know when a page was last updated - which is most likely why you're having trouble finding the answer. Information regarding the 'last modified date' of a page is usually reserved for web site owners (via direct access to the web site files / database with their associated time stamps). However, there are ways to ... (view more)

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