Tag Archives: technology

“Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

Private Search Engines

The “privacy” model has become a default business strategy for new search engines. Why? Because it sells. Given the typically inferior quality of their results, and their often uninspiring user-experience, “private search engines” routinely over-achieve in terms of growth. So unless they have a revolutionary new concept, anyone entering today’s search market is almost compelled to trade on privacy.

They’re all at it. Barely a week goes by without a new “private search” brand coming up in the #privacy tags on Twitter. Some are just a front for affliate marketers to peddle overpriced rubbish. Others, such as Search Encrypt – taken seriously by a lot of people – are listed as malware. Some, despite billing themselves as privacy protectors on Twitter, have no SSL and literally no privacy policy whatsoever. “Private search” has become a joke. It’s that same old bunch of shady chancers using the gimmick of the moment in the hope of becoming billionaires. But what about the few brands that manage to attract continuous applause? Have we not noticed that they’re in bed with the enemy?… Continue reading “Private Search Engines” and Their Deals With Oppressive Trackers

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Why Deleting Your Social Media May Worsen Your Privacy

Delete Social Media

Deleting a social media account, or the content within it, has become a hot privacy topic in recent times. As more and more stories surface about the extent to which cyber giants collect and use our personal information, we’ve let the shock push us towards reflex action. How dare they quietly store private call logs and precise location info from our mobile phones, we think. How dare they record every move we make with a mouse, and tail us around the web logging our various site visits.

As we finally wake up to the reality that the whole internet is one big piece of spyware, the easiest solution is to blame Facebook, then promptly delete Facebook. Because that’s what certain influencers and high profile blogs are telling us to do. Continue reading Why Deleting Your Social Media May Worsen Your Privacy

Has Scareware Gone Mainstream?

Mobile phone message prompt

If you’re an averagely engaged Internet user, the number of times you’ll have been asked for your phone number in the name of security has probably run beyond count. And yet some of the online providers who ask for this additional data, have been hacked. Continue reading Has Scareware Gone Mainstream?

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?

Has Oath Killed Tumblr?

Tumblr

When I received news from Yahoo! that in continuing to use its services, I would in fact be dealing with an organisation called ‘Oath’, I immediately feared for Tumblr’s welfare. I mean, what sort of brainstorming session results in a company name like ‘Oath’? Then I discovered that the new collective business also involved AOL, and thought: “Yep, that’s probably that for Tumblr”.

Yesterday, my fears were realised, as a peep at my Tumblr blog stats, in Google Analytics, showed a catastrophic drop in visits from search engines. There was a rise in referrals from Tumblr (you’ll see why in a moment), but overall, the page visits were significantly down. Continue reading Has Oath Killed Tumblr?

Multiple Twitter Accounts? Check ALL Your Important Mentions In One Click

Twitter Notifications

Now that Twitter has begun feeding irrelevant entries into the Notifications timeline, it’s become easier to miss important mentions. As someone with multiple Twitter accounts, I’d been meaning to collate all my important incoming mentions into a simple point of access for a while, but I’d never got round to it. Twitter’s new ‘notification spam’ gave me the nudge I needed, and the job is now done. In this post I’m going to show you how I did it. No third-party apps required. You don’t necessarily even need to log in. Continue reading Multiple Twitter Accounts? Check ALL Your Important Mentions In One Click