Internet

Google’s new pervasive ad tracking is thankfully opt-in

Google’s new pervasive ad tracking is thankfully opt-in

Google isn't exactly popular for its privacy practices, despite official protestations that it is, in fact, pro-privacy. So when the company initiates changes to its ad tracking that includes more of your Internet life, that's not exactly out of the ordinary. What is extraordinary, however, is that Google has made the changes opt-in, which means it is disabled by default and needs an informed and conscientious decision by the user to join in. And even when they do, they're being given fine-grained control on which things they will allow Google to track.

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Amazon Inspire crowdsources resources for educators

Amazon Inspire crowdsources resources for educators

In this Internet age, a lot of information flows freely on the Web, but not all of them are reliable or even factually correct. A whole market, led by the likes of Coursera and Udacity, have sprung up to give a bit of formality to "online education." Now Amazon is jumping in with its new Amazon Inspire platform, but with a very different twist. Instead of catering to students looking online instruction, Inspire practically crowdsources educational materials and resources that other teachers and educators can use and customize for their particular use cases.

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Streaming video services found in half of U.S. homes

Streaming video services found in half of U.S. homes

Following years of reports about the growing number of cable cutters and those augmenting their traditional television subscription with streaming video, Nielsen has announced a new milestone for SVOD services: they're now found in half of all U.S. households, making them as ubiquitous as the ever-loved DVR. Per its latest ‘Total Audience Report,’ the number of U.S. adults using live television with DVR and watching time-shifted TV has nearly reached the same level as AM/FM radio users.

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US Customs wants to check social media accounts of foreign visitors

US Customs wants to check social media accounts of foreign visitors

In addition to providing documents on their identification and travel permissions, foreign visitors entering the US may soon be asked to give their Twitter and Instagram accounts to Customs and Border Protection. The Department of Homeland Security has submitted a new proposal to the Federal Register that would update the required entry forms with a question asking for travelers' accounts names on social media.

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China government imposes new restrictions on search engine results

China government imposes new restrictions on search engine results

Chinese authorities have launched new regulations for the nation's search engines and the results they display to internet users. But as a country with some of the tightest controls over the internet, its use, and what information people have access to, China's new rules are actually beneficial for its citizens. Under the new rules, search engines are required to identify paid ads within search results, as well as verify advertisers.

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This website texts your enemies Game of Thrones spoilers

This website texts your enemies Game of Thrones spoilers

Feel like getting even with your friends over whatever funny-in-their-own minds prank they pulled on you? Have an enemy two cubicles over who makes your work life miserable? A website promises to get even on your behalf, assuming your enemy watches Game of Thrones. For a small fee, the website will send anonymous GoT spoilers to whatever number you provide. Note: possible spoiler after the jump, depending on how far behind you are in the series.

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Opera challenges Microsoft Edge’s battery saving claims

Opera challenges Microsoft Edge’s battery saving claims

When you just recently released a product or feature that promised to significantly save users some laptop battery life, you would naturally be unsettled when, out of nowhere, someone suddenly claims to have an even better "regular" product. That is probably what browser maker Opera felt when Microsoft surprisingly published a blog post that extolled its own Edge browser's battery efficiency. Now Opera is refuting Microsoft's claims by presenting its own hard evidence of how Opera's new power saving feature trumps them all.

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Google Fiber to buy Webpass ISP in expansion bid

Google Fiber to buy Webpass ISP in expansion bid

In the aftermath of Alphabet-induced restructuring, some of Google's former groups and businesses have seemingly been de-emphasized or have gone silent. Of course, that isn't completely the case. Take Google Fiber, for example, which has proceeded surely though slowly, despite seemingly taking a step back in Kansas. And as is if to further prove that it still means business, almost literally, it is swooping up another business. Google Fiber has just agreed to buy San Francisco ISP Webpass, to not only further enhance its ability to provide high-speed fiber Internet, but to also give it an edge in the five cities Webpass operates in, including San Francisco.

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Microsoft boasts Edge saves battery most, Chrome the worst

Microsoft boasts Edge saves battery most, Chrome the worst

Once upon a time, web browsers competed on the basis of rendering performance and quality. Then they moved on to extensions and add-ons. Now it seems that the next arena will be in power consumption. As users become more battery conscious, thanks to a slowdown in battery tech innovation, they will start looking to programs that eat up more battery than they should. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft boasts that its Edge web browser is the most efficient at power management. And in the same breath, points to Google Chrome as the worst.

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Slow internet problems today? It’s not just you

Slow internet problems today? It’s not just you

The internet's having a bit of a problem today. It would seem that TeliaSonera's translatlantic network is having an issue which is slowing - or straight up stopping - information flow between Europe and the United States. TeliaSonera's translatlantic network assists in connecting the USA to larger Europe with a series of cables that run through tubes under the ocean. Yes, if you weren't already aware, the internet is sometimes literally fitting inside and traveling through tubes.

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The Pentagon expands program for hackers to test its security

The Pentagon expands program for hackers to test its security

Back in March, the US's Department of Defense launched a "Hack the Pentagon" campaign to get hackers to test their websites and security networks for vulnerabilities, without the threat of jail time. The project was so successful that the government agency has announced it's being expanded, including more DoD websites and networks, with further cash incentives for hackers. Think of it like the bug bounty programs that Google, Facebook, and other tech companies offer, except hackers get to put the government's most secure facilities to the test.

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YouTube star Lonelygirl15 returns 10 years after revolutionizing web series

YouTube star Lonelygirl15 returns 10 years after revolutionizing web series

If you're old enough to remember using MySpace in its prime, you're probably also familiar with the early YouTube sensation of Lonelygirl15. It started off exactly 10 years ago as just an everyday teenager speaking into webcam in a simple format that become known as the "vlog." This was long before everyone knew what "web series" or "going viral" meant. It went on to be revealed as a scripted series, and still survived for two years before fizzling out. But now it's back, with Lonelygirl15 posting her first video in eight years.

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