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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Apps on your phone putting your privacy at risk?

Do you know what information is being sent through the air from your phone? According to research done by Lookout Inc, a quarter of free iPhone apps, and half of free Android apps contain code that deliberately collects sensitive information from users.

Microsoft Cut IE8 Privacy Features to Sell Ads

Microsoft developers planned "industry-leading" privacy features in Internet Explorer 8 that would have automatically blocked third-party tracking tools, but one feature was scaled back and another was dropped because they went against the interests of advertisers.

A senior executive in Microsoft's web advertising division became angry when he heard about the privacy features and complained that the plan would disrupt ad sales by Microsoft and other companies. Microsoft said it weighed considerations like ad revenue for free sites before deciding to scale back the plan.


  • Microsoft ultimately included one feature, called InPrivate Filtering, but users must enable it every time they open the browser instead of having it activated by default. InPrivate Filtering pinpoints likely tracking tools by blocking any third-party content that turns up on more than 10 visited websites.


  • Microsoft also dropped another proposed feature, known as InPrivate Subscriptions, that would have automatically blocked Web addresses that appeared on "black lists" compiled by privacy groups.

Internet Explorer is used by more than 60 percent of all worldwide users, according to Net Applications, a web analytics company that tracks browser market share. Firefox is in second place with almost 23 percent and Chrome is third with about 7 percent.

Source: ReadWriteWeb

Discovering Who To Follow

With more than a hundred million users on Twitter, there are sure to be at least dozens of accounts out there that will reflect your interests. The trouble is finding all of them. twitter is rolling out a simple, but powerful new feature to help address that -- "Suggestions for You".


The algorithms in this feature, built by our user relevance team, suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting.


The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. You'll see these suggestions on and the Find People section. If you like a suggestion, click "follow"; if you don't, click "hide".

In addition, you will begin to see recommendations for similar users when you view another account’s profile.

Google search blocked in China? The pain continues

Google-bannedFollowing a closer look at the circumstances, Google has said the problem was not related to A fault or defect in a computer program on its part but instead must be the result of some changes to China’s censoring system, called the Great Firewall.

Source: ZDNet Community

Google disables internal PDF plug-in in Chrome dev channel update

Google dropped the need for a command line switch to activate the internal PDF plug-in, enabling it by default for users of the dev channel build. However, another update was pushed and the plug-in has once again been switched off.

You can still enable the plug-in if you wish -- just visit chrome://plugins and click enable underneath the Chrome PDF Viewer.

Source: Download Squad

Remove the ad banner from your Hotmail inbox

As the new Hotmail continues to roll out -- it's now in use by more than 100 million people and headed to all remaining users soon. With loads of new features, improved performance, and no more text promotions in your message footers, Hotmail is now a strong alternative to Gmail.


One thing you might not like is the big vertical billboard on the right-hand side of your inbox. Just like Gmail's block of text ads, it's easy to hide. All you need is the Windows Live Ad Remover Userscript.

Chrome users can simply click the install button at the top of the page. Firefox users will need to install the Greasemonkey add-on first and Safari users need Greasekit. Opera users who aren't sure how to install Userscripts can check this post for help. Internet Explorer users can try either Trixie or IE7Pro.

Source: Download Squad