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Google and Microsoft kick pirate websites off the front page

Feb 21, 2017 - 1:54 PM - by Reverend
Both Google and Microsoft have entered into an agreement this Monday with the British government that would see their respective search engines make piracy websites harder to find for UK users.

The new voluntary code, negotiated by rights holders and search engines, demotes websites like the Pirate Bay that have been repeatedly flagged for copyright infringement. These sites will drop off the first page of common searches and won't appear in suggested auto-completes, reported the Telegraph.

The move was made in an effort to prevent piracy and promote the discovery of legitimate forms of access to content.

While Google has maintained that search traffic is not a driving force behind piracy, the move will certainly still have an impact in terms of visibility. Research has shown that the first search result on Google receives 33 percent of traffic, and the first page of results generates 92 percent of all traffic.

"We have long campaigned for search engines to do more to ensure fans are directed to legal sources for music or other entertainment," said Geoff Taylor, chief executive of BPI, a firm that represents record labels. "The Code will not be a silver bullet fix, but it will mean that illegal sites are demoted more quickly from search results and that fans searching for music are more likely to find a fair site."

Typical moves to curb piracy tend to revolve around ISP-level site blocking, where access to a website is prohibited. Combating piracy through search traffic is a "world first" said Taylor.

"We are pleased to have reached agreement on this code of conduct for search-related copyright issues," said a Microsoft spokesperson. "We thank the UK Government for leading this industry-wide initiative forward."

Google did not immediately respond to request for comment.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 45 Views


EU privacy watchdogs say Windows 10 settings still raise concerns

Feb 21, 2017 - 1:50 PM - by Reverend
European Union data protection watchdogs said on Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process.

The watchdogs, a group made up of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law, wrote to Microsoft last year expressing concerns about the default installation settings of Windows 10 and users' apparent lack of control over the company's processing of their data.

The group - referred to as the Article 29 Working Party -asked for more explanation of Microsoft's processing of personal data for various purposes, including advertising.

"In light of the above, which are separate to the results of ongoing inquiries at a national level, even considering the proposed changes to Windows 10, the Working Party remains concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data," the group said in a statement which also acknowledged Microsoft's willingness to cooperate.

Microsoft was not immediately available to comment.

A number of national authorities have already begun enquiries into Windows 10, including France which in July ordered Microsoft to stop collecting excessive user data.

The EU privacy group said that despite a new installation screen presenting users with five options to limit or switch off Microsoft's processing of their data, it was not clear to what extent users would be informed about the specific data being collected.

Microsoft uses data collected through Windows 10 for different purposes, including advertising, the group said in its statement said.

"Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid."

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 37 Views


WhatsApp’s New Feature Continues Facebook’s Snapchat Mimicry

Feb 21, 2017 - 1:47 PM - by Reverend
Facebook offered $3 billion to buy the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat in 2013. Snapchat’s founder, Evan Spiegel, turned down the offer.

Ever since, Facebook and some of its top apps — including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger — have been trying to tap into the explosively popular photo-sharing features pioneered by Snapchat.

The latest sign of that came on Monday as WhatsApp, a mobile messaging application used by 1.2 billion people, unveiled a version of its Status feature that takes a significant number of cues from Snapchat. Similar to Snapchat’s Stories feature, WhatsApp’s Status now lets people share images, GIFs and videos as a status update, all of which last for 24 hours before disappearing.

The move follows a string of actions by Facebook to emulate Snapchat. In August, Instagram introduced a Stories feature that was a near exact copy of Snapchat’s. In December, Messenger revamped its look and feel to emphasize sending photos, just like Snapchat. As Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, has positioned itself as a camera company, Facebook has experimented with making a camera feature the first thing people see when opening up the social network’s main app.

Even if imitation is the highest compliment, WhatsApp executives are not admitting it. “We build things because we really hope people will want to use them even more,” Randall Sarafa, a product manager at WhatsApp, said in an interview about the new version of Status. Avoiding any direct mention of Snapchat, he added, “We don’t really think about building things for other reasons.”

New York Times
  0 Replies | 23 Views


FrostWire 6.4.5

Feb 15, 2017 - 1:56 PM - by Reverend
FrostWire is a free, open source BitTorrent client, first released as a fork of LimeWire. In version 5, Gnutella support was dropped entirely, and now FrostWire only uses the BitTorrent network.

FrostWire 6.4.5

FrostWire homepage
  0 Replies | 128 Views


Facebook debuts vertical video format and confirms forthcoming TV apps

Feb 15, 2017 - 1:49 PM - by Reverend
Facebook wants be in your TV screen in 2017.

On Tuesday, the network launched new ways to watch videos on your iOS and Android device. You can now watch vertical videos in full-screen, autoplay videos with sound, and watch picture-in-picture while scrolling down your News Feed. In addition, Facebook confirmed the forthcoming launch of TV apps for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Samsung Smart TV.

Previously, all videos on Facebook’s News Feed autoplayed on silent, and you had to tap on the picture to hear sound. Now, Facebook is giving you the option to autoplay videos with sound that fades in and out as you scroll through the video on your feed.

“As people watch more video on phones, they’ve come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on,” Facebook wrote on its company blog.

If your phone is on silent, the videos will autoplay silently, however, and you can disable sound completely by unchecking the “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” option in your Settings.

When watching vertical videos on your News Feed, you can now tap on it to watch full-screen. Facebook started testing this feature last year, and the company’s begun rolling it out more broadly after receiving positive response.
facebook picture in picture
Facebook

Facebook has also taken a page from YouTube and Vimeo by incorporating a “picture-in-picture” video-watching experience. If you’re playing a video and continue to scroll down your News Feed, the video screen will minimize and be fixed permanently on the lower-right corner of the display. This way you can continue watching while browsing other posts on your News Feed.

You can even drag the minimized player to any corner, and Android users will get to finish the video even if they exit out of the Facebook app and go open another app.

Lastly, Facebook confirmed that it has developed a video app for... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 110 Views


Cheating Frenchman sues Uber for tipping off wife about affair

Feb 12, 2017 - 10:43 AM - by Reverend
A businessman in southern France is suing ride-hailing company Uber over his wife's discovery of rides he took to see his lover, his lawyer said.

The man says he once requested an Uber driver from his wife's phone.

Despite logging off, the application continued to send notifications to her iPhone afterwards, revealing his travel history and arousing her suspicions.

The couple have since divorced. The lawsuit is reportedly worth up to €45m ($48m; £38m).

"My client was the victim of a bug in an application," his lawyer David-André Darmon told AFP news agency after the case was lodged at a court in Grasse.

"The bug has caused him problems in his private life," Mr Darmon added.

The lawyer did not comment on a report in Le Figaro newspaper that the lawsuit was worth up to €45m, saying only that his client wished to remain discreet and anonymous.

Other users had also encountered the Uber software bug, Le Figaro said.

The newspaper carried out its own experiment by logging in and out of Uber on one iPhone and then logging in on another and ordering a driver. The app then sent screen notifications about the order to both phones.

The glitch affected iPhones before a software update in December, the newspaper said. Android phones did not appear to be affected.

Uber said it would not comment on the case but added that the best possible protection of clients' personal details was a priority.

BBC News
  0 Replies | 148 Views


WhatsApp rolls out two-step verification to boost security offerings

Feb 11, 2017 - 9:49 AM - by Reverend
WhatsApp has started rolling out a new optional two-step verification service to its billion-plus users in a move to boost account security.

WhatsApp has been testing the feature since November, and while it doesn't work exactly like the two-factor authentication security offered by the likes of Google and Facebook, it adds a much-needed extra layer of protection to user accounts.

Just last month, it was revealed that a flaw in the way WhatsApp deals with encryption keys left users wide open to man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks, enabling third-parties to tap their communications.

To enable the feature, you'll need to update to the latest version WhatsApp and then head over to Settings > Account > Two-step verification > and Enable.

Once this feature is turned on, users will have to enter a six-digit passcode every time they register their phone number with WhatsApp again.

WhatsApp recommends that forgetful users should probably provide it with a legit email address, otherwise you might end up locked out of your account.

Over on its FAQ page, WhatsApp explains: "We do not verify this email address to confirm its accuracy. We highly recommend you provide an accurate email address so that you're not locked out of your account if you forget your passcode.

Users who do not register an email address with WhatsApp will be able to log back into the service but will have to wait a week to do so.

WhatsApp said: "After seven days, your number will be permitted to reverify on WhatsApp without your passcode, but you will lose all pending messages upon reverifying - they will be deleted.

"If your number is reverified on WhatsApp after 30 days of last using WhatsApp, and without your passcode, your account will be deleted and a new one will be created upon successfully reverifying."

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 174 Views


Vizio to pay $2.2M on smart TV data gathering

Feb 06, 2017 - 9:40 PM - by Reverend
TV maker Vizio is paying $2.2 million to settle charges over software on some of its smart TVs used to collect viewing data without consumers' consent.

Starting in February 2014, Vizio captured information on 11 million consumer TVs about information about what viewers were watching on cable, streaming services and over-the-air broadcasts without TV owners' knowledge or consent, according to a complaint from the Federal Trade Commission and the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General. The agencies announced the settlement Monday.

That information, along with demographics data including sex, age, income, marital status and home ownership, was sold to third parties who used it for targeting advertising and other purposes, the agencies charged.

Under the federal court order, Vizio is required to get consent for data collection and sharing, and prohibits misrepresentations about confidentiality of data collected. Vizio must delete any data collected before March 1, 2016 also, and implement a comprehensive data privacy program with reviews of the program every two years.

"This settlement stops Vizio's unauthorized tracking, and makes clear that smart TV makers should get people’s consent before collecting and sharing television viewing information," writes Kevin Moriarty, an attorney with the FTC's division of privacy and identity protection, in a blog post today.

He noted that consumers with older Vizio TVs can find information about the automated content recognition software in the TV settings menu.

Vizio General Counsel Jerry Huang noted in a statement sent to USA TODAY that its software “never paired viewing data with personally identifiable information such as name or contact information, and the Commission did not allege or contend otherwise."

The resolution, he said, "sets a new standard for best industry privacy practices for the... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 245 Views


» News Archive

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