An article by The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald on XKEYSCORE actually gathered the browsing habits of everyone who clicked and wasn’t protected (by private, encrypted, and/or proxy browsing), reports Bob Cesca of the Daily Banter.
The bugs track browsing metadata, a lot like what Greenwald exposed on June 6 with his article on the National Security Agency and Verizon.
Ostensibly, private companies track browsing metadata on the web in order to help advertise and market products to users online.
Put together by James Cheshire, Ed Manley and Oliver O’Brien from University College London, the map builds on 8.5 million tweets, captured between January 2010 and February 2013, which were all analyzed for language content. As you’d expect, it’s quite the melting pot, and the highest concentration of different languages seems to be around the Theatre District and Times Square. Best put that down to tourists, eh? Check out the full, interactive map here.[UCL via Guardian]
The first time we mentioned HMV on Engadget was back in 2009, when the British retailer discounted the PSP Go — ironically, one of the earliest devices to do away with disc-shaped media. As the picture above shows though, HMV’s history goes back much further than that. Its first store opened in 1921 under an elaborate neon sign featuring the company’s emblem of a dog listening to a gramophone beneath the words “His Master’s Voice.”
Fast forward to today and the old-school seller has suffered gravely from the same online shift that has affected many others. It has called in administrators after failing to negotiate new terms over its bank debt, and unless a buyer steps up to take over the chain’s 240 stores then as many as 4,350 people will be let go.
According to Metro, the many HMV gift vouchers that would have been given and received over Christmas are now effectively “worthless.” On the other hand, the British personal finance guru Martin Lewis reckons gift vouchers shouldn’t be thrown away as they may be redeemable one day, or there may be a chargeback option if they were purchased with a credit card.
[Image credit: London Express / Getty Images]
Trolls. They fill the internet with insults, dead-end arguments, and inanity the likes of which we’ve never seen. Or maybe we have. The Guardian’s David Mitchell notes that trolling comments aren’t all that different from graffiti, and should likewise carry no more weight.
More specifically, Mitchell is talking less about trolls as you and I know them and more about anonymous, often inaccurate online reviews. It’s not a bulletproof analogy by any means, but Mitchell’s idea does reframe the way you look at anonymous content in a compelling way:
When you read a bit of graffiti that says something like “Blair is a liar”, you don’t take it as fact. You may, independently, have concluded that it is fact. But you don’t think that the graffiti has provided that information. It is merely evidence that someone, when in possession of a spray can, wished to assert their belief in the millionaire former premier’s mendacity. It is unsubstantiated, anonymous opinion. We understand that instinctively. We need to start routinely applying those instincts to the web.
If you read a review, an opinion, a description or a fact and you don’t know who wrote it then it’s no more reliable than if it were sprayed on a railway bridge. We should always assume the worst so that all those who wish to convince… have an incentive to identify themselves.
The flip side of the coin, of course, is that anonymity is vital to the spread of information on the internet. The important tool to remember, as always, is your skepticism. Without it, you’re letting yourself get all worked up over graffiti. (And we’re not talking Banksy here—or even Hanksy.) Photo remixed from The Awl.
Young British teenagers would rather lose access to a TV than access to the Internet or their cell phones, reports the Guardian.
According to new research carried out by British communications regulator, Ofcom, 18 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds said they would miss TV the most if all media was taken away. That compares to 28 percent who said they would miss their cell phones and 25 percent who said they would miss the Internet.
A year ago, TV was missed as much as the Internet.
However, according to Digital Spy, the study also showed that young teenagers are watching more TV than ever. Viewing figures have increased by almost two hours a week since 2007, and “catch-up” services online are increasingly being used.
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Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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