On that whole Facebook and Cambridge Analytica Thing

In the big sto­ry that explod­ed last week, and has been doing the rounds for a while. A data ana­lyt­ics / per­son­al pro­fil­ing / elec­tion cam­paign assis­tance com­pa­ny used per­son­al and pri­vate data they scrapped from Face­book via a researchers quiz app. They then used this in to help influ­ence the US elec­tion, and pos­si­bly …

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The History of the Browser User Agent

I came across this very old arti­cle on the his­to­ry of the web brows­er user agent string via OS News. And behold, then came a new web brows­er known as “Mozil­la”, being short for “Mosa­ic Killer,” but Mosa­ic was not amused, so the pub­lic name was changed to Netscape, and Netscape called itself Mozilla/1.0 (Win3.1), …

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Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

Fol­low­ing the announce­ment of the death of John Per­ry Bar­low, I’ve been re-read­­ing some of his writ­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly the Dec­la­ra­tion of the inde­pen­dence of cyber­space, A doc­u­ment that could be said to be the found­ing of inter­net cul­ture, even if a bit naive in how the tech­nol­o­gy would be used. You claim there are prob­lems …

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Time to make sure your website works under a secure connection

The push to secure peo­ples web­site con­nec­tions is going a lot fur­ther. At first it was login forms that where get­ting labeled as inse­cure (most promi­nent­ly in Fire­fox). Now Google, with Chrome is going a step fur­ther, from July this year all sites which are not using encrypt­ed con­nec­tions (old http) will be marked as …

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Algorithm changes on Instagram hiding posts

Insta­gram has changed their algo­rithm again. Now they are said to be hid­ing some posts, so they don’t appear in feeds. I’ve noticed that I don’t see as many pho­tos in my feed any­more (at least from peo­ple I fol­low direct­ly, I have noticed an increase in brand­ed con­tent, and pho­tos I may like). Also …

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Mastodon London meet up on Thursday

For those who are using, or inter­est­ed in the decen­tralised social net­work Mastodon, the first Lon­don meet is com­ing up. Host­ed at Lon­don Hack­space, from 7pm. Should be an inter­est­ing crowd, and there will be pre­sen­ta­tions from a cou­ple of instances (UK host­ed I assume). I’m hop­ing to make it along, though I’ve been flu …

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Twitter won’t block world leaders

Twit­ter, on why they won’t sus­pend Trump (or oth­er world lead­ers) accounts. Block­ing a world leader from Twit­ter or remov­ing their con­tro­ver­sial Tweets would hide impor­tant infor­ma­tion peo­ple should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would cer­tain­ly ham­per nec­es­sary dis­cus­sion around their words and actions. World …

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Major bugs Meltdown and Spectre come with cute logos

Major flaw in CPUs around how they process data where revealed this week. From the off­i­cal news release. Melt­down and Spec­tre exploit crit­i­cal vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties in mod­ern proces­sors. These hard­ware vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties allow pro­grams to steal data which is cur­rent­ly processed on the com­put­er. While pro­grams are typ­i­cal­ly not per­mit­ted to read data from oth­er pro­grams, a …

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Apple and planned obsolescence

Apple was shown (and lat­er admit­ted) to have used recent iOS updates to reduce the per­for­mance of the old­er iPhones (iPhone 6, 6s and SE, and iPhone 7 in lat­est release). This is only kicks in when the bat­tery is get­ting old in terms of lifes­pan, and can be brought back up to speed with …

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