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Google vows to make Search 'better' after redesign backlash

Jan 25, 2020 - 5:31 PM - by Reverend
Last week, Google upset desktop users when it changed the appearance of Search. The changes were relatively minor, showing companies' favicons next to link previews, but critics argue that the changes cluttered an otherwise clean interface and made it difficult to distinguish ads from search results. Now, Google is backtracking a bit. In a tweet, the company said it is going to "experiment with new placements for favicons."

Over the coming weeks, Google says, it will continue to test changes. Desktop users will see a variety of favicon placements. It's hard to say at this point what that will look like. It's also unclear how Google will differentiate ads.

Last year, Google brought the favicons to mobile Search. The goal was to make it more evident where info is coming from. According to the company, the changes have been well received on mobile. Google says early tests for desktop were positive, too, but that the company is "always incorporating feedback from our users." In other words, Google seems to have heard your complaints, and it's working to figure out the best way to redesign its desktop Search.

  0 Replies | 68 Views

Apple may have to abandon Lightning connector cable

Jan 17, 2020 - 9:38 PM - by Reverend
Apple could be forced to abandon its Lightning connector cable if European lawmakers get their way.

The cable is used to charge and sync many Apple devices, such as the iPhone.

But members of the European Parliament urged the European Commission on Monday to force tech giants to adopt a single universal charging method.

Two other charging cables - USB-C and micro-USB - are used on Android devices, and Apple has already stopped using Lightning on the 2018 iPad Pro.

European regulators will vote on the matter on a yet to be determined date, but Apple says the proposed regulation would stifle innovation and be disruptive to consumers.

If the regulator enforces its proposed regulation, Apple devices sold in Europe would be required to have a new charging method. It is likely Apple would then adopt USB-C, considering the company's 2018 iPad Pro ditched Lightning in favour of the technology.

Another possible option would be to remove charging ports and cables entirely and use wireless charging instead.

A new cable would mark the tech giant's third in 13 years.

The majority of newly-manufactured Android phones already feature USB-C ports.

The European Commission has been campaigning for a single charging method for the past decade.

There were more than 30 types of charger on the market in 2009, but that number has since been reduced to just three.

The regulator is determined to cut down on electronic waste being created by obsolete cables, which it estimates generate more than 51,000 tonnes of waste per year.

"This is hugely detrimental for the environment," said European Parliament member Alex Agius Saliba. "A common charger should fit all mobile phones, tablets, e-book readers and other portable devices."

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 301 Views

Microsoft to Go 'Carbon Negative' by 2030 to Combat Climate Change

Jan 17, 2020 - 9:32 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is tackling global warming by pledging to remove more carbon out of the air than it generates by 2030.

The ambitious plan to go "carbon negative" will entail Microsoft moving the company's infrastructure to run on renewable energies and electric vehicles, planting entire forests, and investing $1 billion to fund carbon capture technologies.

"If we don't curb emissions, and temperatures continue to climb, science tells us that the results will be catastrophic," Microsoft President Brad Smith said in Thursday's announcement.

Microsoft originally sought to become a "carbon neutral" company, meaning it could generate carbon emissions as long as it offset them through other means, like paying someone not to cut down their trees. But now the company wants to do more, pointing to the danger of global temperatures rising by one to four degrees Celsius if not enough is done to curb carbon emissions, according to scientists.

"In short, neutral is not enough to address the world's needs," Smith said. "While it is imperative that we continue to avoid emissions, and these investments remain important, we see an acute need to begin removing carbon from the atmosphere, which we believe we can help catalyze through our investments."

As a result, Microsoft's "carbon negative" plan also calls for the software giant to remove all the carbon emissions the company has ever generated over its existence by 2050. This include cutting emissions that come from employees' business travel, and from the company's supply chain of manufacturing vendors.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 288 Views

Facebook backs off plan to plaster ads all over WhatsApp

Jan 17, 2020 - 9:26 PM - by Reverend
Facebook is “backing away” from earlier plans to sell ads for placement inside its enormously popular WhatsApp messaging service. According to The Wall Street Journal, the team that had been working on building ads into WhatsApp was disbanded in recent months, with their work subsequently “deleted from WhatsApp’s code.”

The Journal notes that Facebook still ultimately aims to integrate ads into WhatsApp’s Status feature, but for now, the app will remain ad-free. The company’s desire to monetize WhatsApp, which it acquired for $22 billion in 2014, is part of what drove WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum out of Facebook in 2018. His fellow co-founder Brian Acton left months earlier (over similar clashes related to privacy and targeted advertising) and has been a vocal critic of Facebook’s unchecked power since his departure.

The advertising setback has led Facebook to instead focus on WhatsApp features that will “allow businesses to communicate with customers and organize those contacts.” Koum and Acton were reportedly concerned that a commercial messaging feature would force WhatsApp to weaken its end-to-end encryption.

But this was all before Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans last year to gradually shift away from public posts in favor of a unified, encrypted messaging system across Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. As the company is now discovering, bringing ads to an encrypted service comes with challenges.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 264 Views


Jan 10, 2020 - 9:32 PM - by Reverend
AnyDVD HD works in the background to automatically and transparently enable read access of the contents of a movie DVD or Blu-ray as soon as it's inserted into the drive.



(For RedFox AnyDVD HD you need to purchase a RedFox license key, SlySoft licenses are not supported.)

AnyDVD HD homepage
  0 Replies | 404 Views

Mozilla says a new Firefox security bug is under active attack

Jan 10, 2020 - 9:21 PM - by Reverend
Mozilla has warned Firefox users to update their browser to the latest version after security researchers found a vulnerability that hackers were actively exploiting in “targeted attacks” against users.

The vulnerability, found by Chinese security company Qihoo 360, was found in Firefox’s just-in-time compiler. The compiler is tasked with speeding up performance of JavaScript to make websites load faster. But researchers found that the bug could allow malicious JavaScript to run outside of the browser on the host computer.

In practical terms, that means an attacker can quietly break into a victim’s computer by tricking the victim into accessing a website running malicious JavaScript code.

But Qihoo did not say precisely how the bug was exploited, who the attackers were, or who was targeted.

Browser vulnerabilities are a hot commodity in security circles as they can be used to infect vulnerable computers — often silently and without the user noticing — and be used to deliver malware or ransomware. Browsers are also a target for nation states and governments and their use of surveillance tools, known as network investigative techniques — or NITs. These vulnerability-exploiting tools have been used by federal agents to spy on and catch criminals. But these tools have drawn ire from the security community because the feds’ failure to disclose the bugs to the software makers could result in bad actors exploiting the same vulnerabilities for malicious purposes.

Mozilla issued the security advisory for Firefox 72, which had only been out for two days before the vulnerability was found.

Homeland Security’s cyber advisory unit, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, also issued a security warning, advising users to update to Firefox 72.0.1, which fixes the vulnerability. Little... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 486 Views

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