DuckDuckGo – ing To The Dogs

DuckDuckGo New Dark

It was with a tired sense of disillusionment that I stared at the new DuckDuckGo interface a couple of days ago, realising that it was no longer an option, and that this was now, in a word, “it”. I’m not quite sure what it is about companies redesigning websites that don’t need redesigning, scrapping whatever it was that made you like them, and making the user experience worse, but it’s happening all the time. I thought Microsoft would be hard to beat when they turned my favourite email service – Hotmail – into my least favourite – Outlook. But DuckDuckGo have gone one better with the huge update they’ve just made. Or should I say, one worse… Continue reading DuckDuckGo – ing To The Dogs


Can I Have a Boyfriend With Bladder Control Please?

Sprinkler Sign

The online dating business Meetaplex finds itself under the microscope once again, after further accusations from female members that the site has failed to address the issue of its male clients’ bladder control.

Continue reading Can I Have a Boyfriend With Bladder Control Please?

Flickr Fudging Views From Twitter?

Flickr image

Big UGC (User Generated Content) websites know a lot about users’ behaviour. But one of the things they’re most acutely aware of is that users are not going to post content if they feel no one’s interested. Each site has its own way of trying to reassure users that what they post is being viewed by other interested parties, thus maintaining a desire in contributors to keep feeding the mighty content machine. But over time, some sites’ methods have become increasingly dubious. In particular, there’s been a tendency on the part of various UGC facilities to exaggerate the amount of interest in users’ work in order to keep them motivated. Continue reading Flickr Fudging Views From Twitter?

Behaviour Ratings for Twitter Users?

Twitter Marketing Spam Account

I touched on this over at Planet Botch in my New Profile Page assessment, but I thought it was worth exploring the concept in more depth here. Essentially, I concluded in the previous article that Twitter has been failing to grow adequately not because the interface needed improvement, but because spamming and site abuse is out of control, and there’s a real problem with visibility for new users. Newcomers to Twitter are literally being obliterated from view by old lags who use automation to hammer the site with low- or zero-value messages. Continue reading Behaviour Ratings for Twitter Users?

You Scratch My Like Button – I’ll Scratch Yours

Image with Like Button

I recently wrote a piece about the music scene looking at how some of the hottest new artists are getting radio airplay but failing to register on the public radar. I put this down to a number of things, but perhaps one of the most unexpected causes was the manner in which the Internet is conditioning us to like people not on merit, but based on whether or not they’re going to like us back. Continue reading You Scratch My Like Button – I’ll Scratch Yours

How to ‘Soft-Hack’ a Twitter Account

Twitter Soft Hack WTF

Before I get started with this post, if you’re just looking for information on how people can see your protected tweets, you’ll find the answer in How Snoopers Access The Tweets in Your Protected Twitter Account If you already know that, here’s another thought-provoking observation I made about Twitter’s privacy arrangements…

Have you ever wondered what a Twitter user might be doing on the quiet, when your back is turned? Have you ever considered that there might be ways to find out, without breaking the law, and without even breaking Twitter’s Terms of Service? Well, if so, you might want to take a look at this groundbreaking article. Equally, if you care about your OWN privacy, and you want to know how vulnerable you are to covert monitoring by ORDINARY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC, this is going to be essential reading. Everyone should know how atrocious Twitter’s privacy measures are… Continue reading How to ‘Soft-Hack’ a Twitter Account

The Truth About Internet Forums

Twirpz Forum Post

I thought that since, over the past two or three years, I’ve done a large amount of research into Internet forums and message boards, it was high time I gathered together the best, most insightful and most popular of the resultant articles into a handy reference post. Quite by chance, the list forms a neat and tidy Top Ten. Continue reading The Truth About Internet Forums

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