Photo-sharing service SmugMug has purchased the beloved photo service Flickr from Verizon for an undisclosed sum.
The domain name system is largely insecure, leaking information and subject to compromise. New services from Cloudflare and Quad9 could provide greater security and integrity than Google Public DNS, currently the best known public DNS service.
Google has added a feature to its Google Chrome Web browser that the company promises will reduce the annoyance of auto-play videos, but there are exceptions that may make it less useful.
Google has announced that no new users will be able to use the goo.gl URL shortening service after 13 April 2018, and existing users will lose access on 30 March 2019. Shortened links will redirect indefinitely.
Now that the FCC has gutted federal net neutrality regulations, can individual states put up enough of a fight to preserve some sort of net neutrality — and maybe consumer privacy?
In 2010, Google shook the tech world by announcing that it would get into the ISP business with Google Fiber, deploying gigabit fiber-optic Internet connections in what would become nine metro areas around the United States. Now Google has put the ambitious project on an indefinite “pause” and is even pulling out of Boston. You can likely guess the reasons why Google Fiber has struggled: local politics and the difficulty of installing real-world infrastructure. Despite its challenges, Google Fiber has had a positive effect on the Internet market in the United States by generating discussion about broadband competition. Plus, in markets with Google Fiber, broadband prices have dropped and service speeds have improved radically.
Twitter is finally putting its long-stagnant Mac app out of its misery. Now users must find replacements. Sadly, the selection isn’t vast. Julio Ojeda-Zapata tested two native Mac apps, Twitterrific and Tweetbot, along with Twitter’s own cross-platform TweetDeck, which is intended for power users.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced WPA3, a replacement for its current local network encryption options. WPA3 both fixes an exploit and increases security for those using open networks, all while reducing the burden on users. But don’t expect it to take over from WPA2 soon.
It should come as no surprise that Ajit Pai’s FCC has voted to eliminate Obama-era net neutrality rules that prevented Internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing Internet traffic, among much else. At Ars Technica, Jon Brodkin outlines what happened, how we got here, and what comes next. Given the overwhelming and bipartisan support for net neutrality from most Americans, the FCC’s move will likely draw challenges both in the courts and in Congress.
The FCC is set to rescind Obama-era regulations that mandate net neutrality — and what happens next is anybody’s guess.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web as an “open platform that allows anyone to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographical boundaries,” but he’s less optimistic about its future than he used to be. “We have to grit our teeth and hang on to the fence and not take it for granted that the Web will lead us to wonderful things,” he said. In particular, Berners-Lee criticizes Web advertising for its role in creating clickbait and spreading propaganda. “The system is failing. The way ad revenue works with clickbait is not fulfilling the goal of helping humanity promote truth and democracy.”
A security researcher found a fundamental flaw in the WPA2 security specification that underlies all Wi-Fi implementations. It lets an attacker decipher encrypted data between a device and a base station. However, the opportunity to exploit this flaw is limited and closing fast for hardware that can be updated.
On the site Tedium, which promises to surface "stories that maybe fell through the cracks of time," editor Ernie Smith writes about Eudora, the much-missed email app of yesteryear. There's nothing new here, of course, since Qualcomm officially discontinued Eudora over a decade ago, but it's still nice to see acknowledgment of how popular and important Eudora was in this "here today, gone tomorrow" Internet era. Our article about converting email away from Eudora is quoted, and Steve Dorner himself even makes a cameo appearance in the comments.
With a recent update to Twitter’s iOS app, the company seems to have eliminated its associated Apple Watch app. In a statement, Twitter said that it is “focusing on supporting more robust, media-rich notifications” and is “committed to providing the very best Twitter experience on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Apple Watch.” The company never acknowledged removing the Apple Watch app or suggested that it might return. Twitter is the latest major tech company to abandon its Apple Watch app, following Amazon, eBay, and Google. Perhaps the lesson here is that users see many Apple Watch apps as largely gratuitous. Just because you can build it doesn’t mean you should.
Say it isn’t so! Twitter has announced that it is doubling the character limit for tweets from 140 to 280, nominally to allow those who write in languages like English, French, and Spanish to express as much information as those who write in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Twitter is rolling the feature out slowly, and so far the accounts with the new 280-character limit are being as obnoxious as possible about it. But what else would you expect?