Internet

Facebook tweaks News Feed to adjust which articles you see

Facebook tweaks News Feed to adjust which articles you see

Facebook’s making another change to your News Feed, and this one involves which articles you will see. The social network is adjusting the way it ranks articles, taking into account how often you and others spend reading/viewing them. This tweak is necessary because of how many people consume content they enjoy — by reading it, but not liking or commenting on the article on Facebook. As well, Facebook is also going to show a greater diversity of articles sources.

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Opera browser gains free integrated VPN

Opera browser gains free integrated VPN

Opera has unveiled a new free VPN clients in the newest developer version of the Opera browser today that has no data usage caps. There are other VPN extensions out there, but Opera says that most of those are paid-subscriptions or have limited data use. Opera notes that you might want to use a VPN to keep your browsing habits private or to access region-restricted websites.

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Snapchat excuses Bob Marley lens as 4/20 reaches its end

Snapchat excuses Bob Marley lens as 4/20 reaches its end

Today's 4/20, as you know, and I probably don't have to explain what that means. As expected, social media is filled with photos showing off a certain activity...and, unfortunately, awkward Snapchat photos featuring Bob Marley's likeness. Internet goers were quick to criticize the lens, which the company hasn't formally associated with 4/20, but is all wink wink about it. Still, despite the day's worth of public lashing, Snapchat has excused the filter with a canned statement.

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Google Books appeal is thrown out by the Supreme Court

Google Books appeal is thrown out by the Supreme Court

It's been a little while since we've heard anything about the Authors' Guild and their lawsuit against Google. The Guild sought legal action against the search engine giant for their Google Books project, in which they scanned millions of books. The reason we haven't heard much about this case in a while is because Google won the lawsuit back in 2013. But that didn't stop case from continuing.

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URL shorteners may be exposing your private information

URL shorteners may be exposing your private information

URL shorteners have been around for a while, and can be rather useful. This is especially true when using services like Twitter, which limit the number of characters you can use. But there are hidden dangers to using a shortener that you might not even be aware of.

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Skype drops the requirement for plugins on its web app

Skype drops the requirement for plugins on its web app

Microsoft has just announced that Skype for Web will no longer require a browser plugin or download of any kind, allowing users to make video and audio calls simply by signing in to the service. The company says that the Skype feature within Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive is also plugin free. The catch is that it's limited to Microsoft's Edge browser on Windows 10 at the moment, but there are plans to do the same on other browsers, making it easier to use Skype in situations where local installations aren't possible.

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Instagram ‘Explore’ adds video channels

Instagram ‘Explore’ adds video channels

Instagram has updated Explore with video channels, making it easier for users to find the ones they’re interested in. Most notably, Instagram offers a personalized channel called “Videos You Might Like,” which is exactly what it sounds like — videos suggested for you based on the content you typically view. As well, Instagram is featuring some channels in Explore, aggregating them based on topics.

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Facebook Terragraph and Project Aries aim to deliver fast internet everywhere

Facebook Terragraph and Project Aries aim to deliver fast internet everywhere

Facebook wants people everywhere to have fast internet access. While that is a great thing for being able to access information of all sorts, fast internet everywhere also means more users for Facebook as one of the most visited destinations online. The issue with rolling out faster and faster internet service around the world is the cost associated with laying fiber optic cables. The Facebook Connectivity Lab is working on projects called Terragraph and Project Aries to address these issues.

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Facebook launches quote-sharing feature and button

Facebook launches quote-sharing feature and button

Facebook wants you to share quotes in text form, not screenshot form, and to encourage that comes a new quote-sharing button that makes it easy to copy text from a website into a Facebook status. The feature was recently detailed for developers, enabling them to add the share-quote button to their app or website. When a user highlights text to copy, a Facebook button will appear encouraging them to share the quote on Facebook.

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Facebook Messenger is about to be a total disaster

Facebook Messenger is about to be a total disaster

Today at Facebook's F8 conference, there was a lot of talk about the Messenger app. Lots of praise for it, and its future were given by the presenters. One went so far as to say that thanks to the advancements in Messenger, that this may now be the beginning of a new era.

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Chrome will block deceptive download and update ads by default

Chrome will block deceptive download and update ads by default

Having worked in IT for more than a decade, I'm pretty skilled at picking out fake download buttons and ads that look like legitimate notifications. However, there are still plenty of times where one of these will make me pause, as I have to look for extra clues as to what it really is. If one of these ads is clever enough to give an IT professional pause, just imagine how easily tricked your elderly relatives are, when confronted with them.

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First city to get Google Fiber also first to lose free Internet

First city to get Google Fiber also first to lose free Internet

Some things are indeed just too good to last and what can be better than free Internet? That might have been the privilege that Kansas City enjoyed being the first to get Google Fiber. While the service wasn't completely free, as it required a rather hefty but one-time $300 installation fee. Soon, however, it might be good news/bad news for Kansas as Fiber, now directly under Alphabet, reportedly will be waiving the installation fee but, in exchange, will be charging a monthly subscription, but for faster speeds too.

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