Tag Archives: news

Will SmugMug Keep Flickr Free To Use?

Class 150 Diesel Train - Birmingham, 2000

It’s a testament to Yahoo!/Oath’s running of Flickr in recent times, that it took an official email notification of SmugMug’s new acquisition to remind me that Flickr still existed. For reasons I outlined in the recent Oath/Tumblr post, businesses such as Oath do not inspire great confidence in creative people. But unlike Oath, SmugMug is not a portal-wielding bait-baron obsessed with trite, populist news and cheesily-executed ad campaigns. It’s a photo-sharing business. So, has Flickr been saved? Continue reading Will SmugMug Keep Flickr Free To Use?

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Twitter Users Enraged By Force-Fed Notifications

Twitter Forced Notifications

A storm of angry tweets has flooded Twitter after the social media giant began force-feeding irrelevant activities onto users’ Notifications timelines. But this is just the latest in a series of force-feeding tactics which have shown Twitter to be taking a dictatorial approach to the user experience. Continue reading Twitter Users Enraged By Force-Fed Notifications

The Not-So-Advanced World of Online Troll Investigation

As a result of other posts on this blog, I’ve got used to being asked for help in unmasking “trolls”. Most typically, the requests have come from political activists who think they have the right to verbally attack those with whom they don’t agree, but should themselves be immune from any such attacks. Because… well, you know… Because their opinion is right, and everyone else’s is wrong, basically.

Continue reading The Not-So-Advanced World of Online Troll Investigation

Secret Twitter: Official Test Accounts

TheTwoffice

We all get excited about finding things we weren’t meant to see, but for an Internet historian there’s a special kind of excitement in discovering official Twitter test accounts. Continue reading Secret Twitter: Official Test Accounts

Google Search Now Has Limited Lifespan

Twoogle

Google has now been the King of Search for about a decade and a half, and most people envisage that the organisation’s supremacy cannot be challenged. However, Google’s basic foundations are now old, and well out of date. Although the Mighty G has continued to tackle attempts to game its system over time, we’re now close to the end of the road. The key problems with Google Search are no longer about controlling spam tactics per se. They’re about the fact that Google is a machine, using an outdated concept, whilst the Internet is increasingly human, and behaves very differently from the way it behaved 20 years ago. Continue reading Google Search Now Has Limited Lifespan

How To Find Twitter Users’ Previous Usernames

You Cannot Hide on Twitter

This comes in a line of posts which could be placed into the general category of: “Don’t think you can behave like an absolute plank on social media and then remove all trace of what you’ve done”. Social media is terrible at keeping secrets, and when it comes to username changes on Twitter, that couldn’t be more true. Even after Twitter accounts have been deleted and are long gone, it’s still often possible to track their username progressions, and establish an overview of what the users were up to. Continue reading How To Find Twitter Users’ Previous Usernames

Microsoft Privacy Update: What You REALLY Need To Know

Microsoft Privacy 2

With Microsoft updating its Services Agreement and Privacy Statement from 1st August 2015, the usual, weasel-worded emails have been dropping into our inboxes, expressing how much the business cares for our privacy and gives us… ahem… ‘control’. As I said in an article about Soundcloud, the only real concern data-mining businesses have about our privacy, is how much they can invade it, and then gloss over their gross invasions with soundbyte PR. But let’s not jump the gun. Here’s Microsoft’s soundbyte PR…

We remain committed to protecting your data, being clear about how we use it and putting you in control. For example, we do not use the contents of your email, chat, video calls, documents, photos or voicemail to target advertising to you.

Sounds great, doesn’t it. Of course, they have to protect everyone’s data within the bounds of the law, so it always makes me laugh the way these companies pitch data protection like it’s some sort of luxury commitment, offered out of the goodness of their hearts. And just because Microsoft doesn’t scan your private communication and content for the purpose of targeting ads, it doesn’t mean the organisation doesn’t scan. Indeed, it has to scan email – otherwise how on earth would it recognise spam? Continue reading Microsoft Privacy Update: What You REALLY Need To Know