Internet

Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon turns two

Google’s Project Loon has turned two, and it has achieved various milestones during its short life. The pilot test for the balloon-based Internet project took place in 2013, which the Project Loon team says successfully connected Charles Nimmo, a sheep farmer, to the Internet. The project came to fruition even earlier than that, though, with the first tests involving it having happened all the way back in 2011. Those very early tests involved using easily obtainable radio components and a weather balloon.

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Reddit institutes new anti-harassment policy, bans 5 subreddits

Reddit institutes new anti-harassment policy, bans 5 subreddits

Reddit, the self-titled "front page of the internet," recently instituted a new anti-harassment policy that aims to curb trolling and other behaviors that go beyond internet discussions and inflict real-world pain on people. In an act showing they mean business, the social site has banned five communities, known as subreddits, for violating rules "based on their harassment of individuals." Reddit says they are "banning behavior, not ideas," in that subreddits will be banned if they use the website "as a platform to harass individuals."

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iOS 9 features support for developers’ ad blocking, privacy extensions

iOS 9 features support for developers’ ad blocking, privacy extensions

As developers at Apple's WWDC even this week have had a few days now to play around with the new iOS 9 beta, Settings options and documentation have been discovered that suggest Apple will allow developers to build app focused on ad blocking and privacy. These features aren't being widely promoted, but were found deep in the iOS Developer Library. Called "Content Blocking," the feature relies on an API that will remove elements like images and cookies from web views.

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SpaceX applies for FCC approval of space Internet plans

SpaceX applies for FCC approval of space Internet plans

We are really veering dangerously close to Skynet, this time a literal interpretation of that name. SpaceX has finally gone official with its ambition to put a swarm of low-orbiting satellites around the earth to deliver Internet where no carrier has gone before. And also where carriers profit. The company has filed an FCC application, marking the formal start of the road towards its dreams. If approved, SpaceX plans to start test next year. Barring any disastrous setbacks, its space Internet service could go live by 2020.

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Flickr upsets users by (apparently) boosting compression

Flickr upsets users by (apparently) boosting compression

Some users of Yahoo's photo sharing and hosting website Flickr have taken to the Internet with upset comments, expressing issues with the quality of their lesser-sized photos. Namely, the sized-down non-original photos appear to have more compression artifacts than they used to, suggesting that Flickr has made some silent tweak that cuts down on data numbers while (very slightly) lessening the visual quality of many images. Flickr has issued a statement on the matter, though it dances around actually confirming whether a change has happened.

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US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

US government to have all its websites begin using HTTPS

As part of a new initiative to maintain security and privacy on its websites, both for users and itself, the U.S. government has announced a plan to make HTTPS a standard for all its public federal sites. The goal is to have all sites using HTTPS encryption by December 31, 2016. The White House is even sharing its proposed and final versions of the policy, posting both on Github, allowing the public to compare for themselves.

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Twitter blocks Politwoops for tracking politicians’ deleted tweets

Twitter blocks Politwoops for tracking politicians’ deleted tweets

Everyone says something on a social network that they reconsider later on and delete -- for most of us, though, that's inconsequential and no one cares. For politicians, though, those deleted tweets are often the ones people are most interested in seeing; they might reveal something about a politician's character or thought process, and influence the future of their career. Politwoops took the hassle out of finding them, recording deleted tweets from politicians for others to look up. Now Twitter has banned them.

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Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence

Silk Road’s Ross Ulbricht appeals life sentence

Ross Ulbricht, founder of the no-longer-available underground market Silk Road, was recently sentenced to life in prison (and then some). On Thursday an appeal was filed challenging the conviction and sentences, and part of that appeal will focus on the actions of two allegedly corrupt federal agents that had been involved in the case. The agents are said to have stolen a substantial number of bitcoins during their involvement in the investigation; charges include wire fraud and money laundering, among other things.

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Upload your photos to Microsoft’s TwinsOrNot website, find the truth

Upload your photos to Microsoft’s TwinsOrNot website, find the truth

After the relatively massive success of the Microsoft website "How Old", creator Mat Velloso decided to return with another. This release goes by the name TwinsOrNot - Twins or Not - and it'll help you decide whether or not you and a friend are actually secret twins. Velloso is a Microsoft man, developing this website for the greater good of Microsoft's Face API, showing developers how easy it is to make it work for them. Velloso knows what the people want. They want creepy photo uploaders.

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