What Happened To Google Image Search And Why You Can No Longer View Images Directly

2018.02.19 03

Yesterday, Google made a few changes to the way Image Search works, the biggest tweak being the removal of the “View Image” button they would take you straight to the image’s URL. Now, all you’ll see is “Visit”, which navigates to the page on which the image appears. So, why did Google do this? A legal settlement with Getty Images basically.

The “View Image” button wasn’t the only casualty; with Sullivan mentioning the demise of “Search by Image”. He clarified however that reverse image search is still available, you just can’t shortcut it any more when browsing search results.

Of course, killing “View Image” won’t stop anyone who wants the direct URL: it’s a simple matter of right-clicking the image and selecting “Open in new window / tab”, or whatever equivalent in your browser of choice, which does the same thing.

What Happened To Google Image Search And Why You Can No Longer View Images Directly

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

2018.02.15 01

It’s been in the works for nearly a year and Google’s great ad-pocalypse is now upon us. On Thursday, the Chrome browser will begin to automatically filter out ads that don’t meet certain quality standards. Your browsing experience is about to change a little bit. Here’s what you need to know.

In April of last year, the news first broke that Google planned to integrate some form of ad-blocking into its browser that would be on by default. Since then we’ve seen a gradual rollout of the feature, beginning with the ability to mute autoplay videos with sound on the sites of your choosing. Now, Google going all-in with a set of criteria for what ads will be kosher in Chrome.

Along with its fellow ad giant Facebook, Google is a member of the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group that has performed research on what forms of web advertising annoys people the most. It’s created a list of the 12 types of web experiences that should ideally be avoided by advertisers. Now Google is going to enforce that list with Chrome, which is used by over half of all people accessing the web with a browser.

Google’s Big Ad-Blocking Update Comes to Chrome Tomorrow: Here’s What We Know

Facebook Is Gobbling Less of Users’ Time

2018.02.09 02

The social media industry may have to struggle to rehydrate in light of some surprising and troubling metrics Facebook released on Wednesday. In addition to a pause in user growth, there have been signs that user engagement may have reversed course.

The decline may have something to do with Facebook’s efforts to recover from accusations that it has provided fertile ground for fake news. CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month promised to steer the company toward refocusing on the user experience.

Facebook Is Gobbling Less of Users’ Time

New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center

2018.01.29 02

A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called “Project eelo,” in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer.

The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.

Apple has become too expensive, too boring and is “going crazy with its products,” he said, while Google has “become too big” and is capturing too much information about what we do.

“They want to know us as much as possible to sell advertising,” Duval wrote in a post introducing eelo’s Kickstarter campaign, which has more than doubled its goal with 14 days remaining.

“Information is currency, and people are going to want more control over who has information on their behaviors and habits on a mobile device,” said Ryan Spanier, director of research at Kudelski Security.

“Eelo is focused on maintaining privacy,” he told LinuxInsider, “preventing tracking and monetization of your actions without your consent.”

New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center

Facebook is re-sculpting our memory

2017.07.18 03

For much of history, the only way to chronicle life was to write about it. Now, many of us take selfies on our smartphones to share on Facebook, and create picturesque albums of our daily meals on Instagram. And as the mediums we use to recall and review the past change, so do our very memories.

Daniel Schacter, a psychology professor at Harvard University, first established the effects of photographs on memories in the 1990s. In one experiment, he showed that it was possible to implant false memories by showing subjects photos of an event that they could have conceivably experienced, but didn’t. In another, he found that not only did looking at photos boost the memory of that particular event, but also impaired memories of events that happened at the same time and were not featured in the photographs. The primary focus of Schacter’s lab is on how memory relates to other cognitive abilities. His research has shown that weaknesses in our memory are positive attributes in allowing us to think meaningfully about the future.

Facebook is re-sculpting our memory

Facebook says it shouldn’t have to stay mum when government seeks user data

2017.07.18 02

Facebook is fighting a court order that prohibits it from letting users know when law enforcement investigators ask to search their political communications — a ban that Facebook contends tramples First Amendment protections of the company and individuals.

Most of the details of the case in the nation’s capital are under wraps, but the timing of the investigation, and references in public court documents, suggest the search warrants relate to demonstrations during President Trump’s inauguration. More than 200 people were detained and many have been charged with felony rioting in the Jan. 20 protests that injured police and damaged property in an area of downtown Washington.

Facebook says it shouldn’t have to stay mum when government seeks user data

Why emojis may be the best thing to happen to language in the digital age

2017.07.18 01

The fourth annual World Emoji Day (yes, it’s a thing) is Monday, celebrating the explosion in use of the little characters that have changed the way people around the world communicate.

Some have despaired that the symbols are the harbingers of the end of the written word. But experts say that far from destroying language, emoji are enhancing people’s ability to fully express themselves as text-based communication increasingly replaces face-to-face interaction.

“Emoji is making us better communicators in the digital age,” said linguist Vyv Evans, author of The Emoji Code. “Saying that emoji is a backward step would be like saying when you speak to someone you’re not allowed to make any facial expression.”

Why emojis may be the best thing to happen to language in the digital age

What you need to know about the massive hack that hit the British health-care system and elsewhere

2017.05.13 06

It was first reported in England — hackers gained access to the National Health Service computers, effectively shuttering the entire system. Patients were told to stay home; doctors and nurses were unable to access email or medical records and had to take notes by hand. The hackers demanded a ransom, to be paid in bitcoin.

By Friday afternoon, though, it was clear that this was not a limited attack. Businesses in at least 11 other countries reported similar cyberattacks. Many were paralyzed.

According to Britain’s Independent newspaper, these attacks may stretch around the globe, from Portugal to Turkey, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Germany and Russia. It “is much larger than just the NHS,” Travis Farral, director of security strategy for cybersecurity firm Anomali Labs, told the Independent. “It appears to be a giant campaign that has hit Spain and Russia the hardest.”

If you run a business, back up every computer in your office and have a plan for what to do if your system goes down for a while. Be smart about setting up your network, so that most users don’t have complete access to the system. This makes it harder for a ransomware attack to infect everything. And make sure your users are educated about the common kinds of attacks.

What you need to know about the massive hack that hit the British health-care system and elsewhere

FCC website hit by attacks after ‘net neutrality’ proposal

2017.05.13 04

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Monday that its website was hit by deliberate denial of service attacks after the telecommunications regulator was criticized by comedian John Oliver for its plan to reverse “net neutrality” rules.

The attacks came soon after Oliver on Sunday urged viewers to file electronic comments with the FCC opposing the plan unveiled by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to reverse rules implemented under President Barack Obama that boosted government regulatory powers over internet service providers.

Pai’s plan faces an initial vote on May 18.

FCC website hit by attacks after ‘net neutrality’ proposal

Net neutrality grabs spotlight again as FCC chief seeks to rescind the tough regulations

2017.05.12 05

Ajit Pai, a Republican appointed to head the FCC by President Trump after his inauguration, is pushing the agency to repeal the tough regulatory oversight for internet service providers that Democrats approved in 2015 over the objections of the broadband industry.

Net neutrality grabs spotlight again as FCC chief seeks to rescind the tough regulations