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Category Archives: Search Engines

The 6 browser extentions will protect your privacy online

Tech Crunch: “The internet is not a private place. Ads try to learn as much about you to sell your information to the highest bidder. Emails know when you open them and which links you click. And some of the biggest internet snoops, like Facebook and Amazon, follow you from site to site as you browse the web. But it doesn’t have to be like that. We’ve tried and tested six browser extensions that will immediately improve your privacy online by blocking most of the invisible ads and trackers. These extensions won’t block every kind of snooping, but they will vastly reduce your exposure to most of the efforts to track your internet activity. You might not care that advertisers collect your data to learn your tastes and interests to serve you targeted ads. But you might care that these ad giants can see which medical conditions you’re looking up and what private purchases you’re making. By blocking these hidden trackers from loading, websites can’t collect as much information about you. Plus by dropping the unnecessary bulk, some websites will load faster. The tradeoff is that some websites might not load properly or refuse to let you in if you don’t let them track you. You can toggle the extensions on and off as needed, or you could ask yourself if the website was that good to begin with and could you not just find what you were looking for somewhere else?…”

Sci-Hub: Scientists, Academics, Teachers & Students Protest Blocking Lawsuit

TorrentFreak: “Following in the footsteps of the entertainment industries, publishers are increasingly trying to have pirate sites shut down or blocked to prevent the unlicensed spread of academic and scientific papers. Their main targets are Sci-Hub (‘The Pirate Bay of Science’) and Libgen (Library Genesis), platforms with a key aim of distributing such papers freely… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, January 3, 2020

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, January 3, 2020 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

7 Steps to Tidying Your Digital Life

Wirecutter / The New York Times – “We live our digital lives across a variety of apps, devices, and accounts. On each of those, a breadcrumb connects back to you. The more breadcrumbs you have out in the world, the easier it is to trace your activity, whether for advertising or identity theft. Installing a… Continue Reading

To lock down or not to lock down? An evidence-based approach to anti-covid measures

Science and Philosophy – Massimo Pigliucci: “As you might have noticed, we have been in the middle of a pandemic for about nine months now. There has been much talk, and much controversy, about what does and does not work to counter the spread of the covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) inducing agent, known as severe… Continue Reading

Biased language models can result from internet training data

Search Engine Land – “The controversy around AI researcher Timnit Gebru’s exit from Google, and what biased language models may mean for the search industry. George Nguyen on December 29, 202 – Last year, Google announced BERT, calling it the largest change to its search system in nearly five years, and now, it powers almost… Continue Reading

How your digital trails wind up in the hands of the police

Ars Technica – Phone calls. Web searches. Location tracks. Smart speaker requests. “…Data collected for one purpose can always be used for another. Search history data, for example, is collected to refine recommendation algorithms or build online profiles, not to catch criminals. Usually. Smart devices like speakers, TVs, and wearables keep such precise details of… Continue Reading

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top 20 in 2020

In Custodia Legis – “Earlier this month, Margaret shared the enhancements to the Congress.gov Help Center and additional Congresses added to our Bound Congressional Record collection. One of the behind-the-scenes items that we worked on for the latest release was to prepare Congress.gov for the new 117th Congress. We also have been working to make… Continue Reading

Google Search Redirects Readers From Local Outlets: Study

Gizmodo – “When we ask who should take the rap for the decline of local news, most folks agree the blame partially lies on Google’s shoulders. The tech giant has spent the past decade systematically swallowing a larger and larger chunk of the digital ad market, diverting the dollars that outlets—particularly smaller outlets—desperately need. That’s… Continue Reading

YouTube’s Copyright Filter Is Crushing Video Critique And It’s Getting Worse

Gizmodo – “YouTube’s copyright filter is a labyrinthine nightmare called Content ID. Content ID works by scanning all the videos on YouTube and comparing them to a database of material submitted by copyright holders—often music labels and movie and TV studios—which have been given the ability to add things to the database by YouTube. Once… Continue Reading

Google Faces Two Additional Antitrust Suits

EPIC – [week of December 14, 2020]: “Two antitrust lawsuits were filed against Google by state Attorneys General. On Wednesday, Texas and eight other states filed a suit alleging anticompetitive conduct, exclusionary practices and deceptive misrepresentations in connection with Google’s role in advertising technology. “Google’s entire business model is to collect comprehensive data about every… Continue Reading