tech

Firefox and web privacy

The Four Horsemen of the Internet

Web Browsers
The Four Horsemen of the Internet

We all know that we are being tracked on the internet when we are browsing, but we are unable to do much about it.

Many advertisers will use tracking cookies to create "fingerprints" of users in order to create advertising profiles. There may be others using the same methods to track users for more malevolent reasons.

One ironic side of preventing such "fingerprints" is that deleting them also leaves a trail - just like a black hole is observed by its effects on other things, a user may potentially also be tracked by the lack of certain types of fingerprints and different users are able to eliminate different finger prints, each user is once against trackable by their unique combination of fingerprint and lack of fingerprint.

Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime: A sensible android phone with a long battery life

redmi-3s.jpg

Advert for the Xiaomi Redmi 3S

I have been looking for an upgrade for my mum for a few months now and a few weeks ago I finally purchased the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime. (in most of the contents below, the 3s and the 3s Prime are used interchangeably – the only difference between the models is that the prime model also has a finger print reader.).

The Xiaomi Redmi 3 series of phones (I will explain the wording better later) have 5 inch displays, come in 2GB RAM/16GB storage or 3GB RAM/32GB Storage variants and more or less identical design, 720p IPS displays, 13 mega pixel camera and the later models also come with fingerprint readers. They use the MIUI variant of android. My phone came with MIUI 8 pre installed.

Even Google are capable of screwing up web design

I used Google+. Mostly because its not personal and I dont have to associate with people.

A lot of technical communities are on there and if you are interested in technology, it is an interesting place.

Yesterday Google announced that they had a funky new redesign that people could opt in to.

I did and it was/is horrible. I have backed out to the old style.

Let's just say that I feel less guilty about all the horrible design decisions I have forced upon others on this site.

To Protect and to Infect - or how all electronic communication is totally compromised

Interesting lectures by researchers on government and commercial spying/surveillance/hacking.

I think lecture 2 is more important than part 1 to watch... less technical, actually shows hardware etc in there and shows you how badly the internet and electronic communication is compromised.

The basic gist is one of total surveillance. They discuss specific products (I don't like Apple, so the apple bit is interesting)

(oh and btw, if you are reading this on a laptop with a camera, thats easy to hack. security conscious people should tape it over.)

Lecture 1:

Lecture 2:

Essential free programs to install on a new Windows PC

There is always a ritual that is carried out on a new (or even old PC), which involves removing as much pre-installed software as possible and then replacing it with useable and essential alternatives.

(I am certain I have done a similar post like this before...)

Here is my install ritual:

(Please note that all the software listed on this page is both legal and free. No pirate programs in this list. Many will also be opensource.)

Web Browser

Firefox. Many prefer Chrome, but I prefer Firefox (en-gb localisation). I like how it works and I don't think google monitors it as actively as chrome. Another alternative is Opera Browser.

HTC One X updated to Jellybean (Android 4.1)

I yesterday got the much awaited for update to the phone software to Android 4.1.

Its just minor refinements, but now also includes "Google Now".

I havent turned that on, as its creepy for your phone to know that you are going work befoer you do... but you can still use voice with the google search box and its really good.

Without turning on Google Now, I dont know a way to get the weather to be set to celcius instead of centrigrade, but its still good. It can answer some queries in voice, for others it will bring up google search results if needed or even carry out actions.

"Is it going to rain tomorrow?" (spoken reply) "yes, the forcast for tomorrow in ... is 45 degrees with rain"

"Set alarm for 9am"

"Send message to ..."

Trial of the century verdict is due

Samsung Vs Apple.

Apple says that Samsung copies its rounded corners and made lists bounce. They want $2.5 billion for it.

Samsung says that rounded corners already existed, and so did precursors to bouncing lists.

They also say that apple are using their technology (they basically helped design how the 3g system works) without paying them. They want $500million for it.

Apple is saying that yes they are using Samsung Tech, but they think they sould give something like less than a penny per device - and get $40 per samsung device for the rounded corners.

Samsung argue it is crazy to ask for such royalties for something so simple as rounded corners.

(and I hate Apple. Scumbags.)

And the jury has reached a verdict.

Xperia X10 and Android 2.3

I have updated the software version on my phone to Android 2.3.3 - I was impatient and followed the guide over here which allowed me to get the update faster.

I have to say the new animation when the screen turns off is pretty nifty - its like those old CRT TV's when they would turn off.

I also now have the ability to use the latest apps such as iplayer and the flash plugin for the web browser.

So far so good.

Just a warning for those who wish to follow my path - the backup app with the phone when using android 2.1 does not exist when using 2.3, so make sure you use a separate one that will back up your settings.

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