Yahoo blocks some users from accessing email until they turn off ad-blocking

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The company says it's not policy to do this -- yet -- but they're testing locking Yahoo Mail users out of their accounts unless they turn off ad-blocking. Read the rest

Seriously, try "view source" on google.com

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This week's XKCD has a hell of an Easter Egg, and it's not even in the tooltip. Read the rest

The Web is pretty great with Javascript turned off

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Wired's Klint Finley tried turning off Javascript and discovered a better Web, one without interruptors asking you to sign up for mailing list, without infinitely scrolling pages, without ads and without malvertising. Read the rest

Turns out that "unsubscribing" from spam actually works

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After my spam hit a point where I couldn't actually download my email faster than it was arriving, I spent a month clicking the unsubscribe links in all the spams in my inbox. Weirdly, it worked. Read the rest

The Internet will always suck

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Have you ever wondered why the Internet is always just a little bit too slow to support the kind of activity you're trying to undertake? My latest Locus column, The Internet Will Always Suck, hypothesizes that whenever the Internet gets a little faster or cheaper, that unlocks a bunch of applications that couldn't gain purchase at the old levels, and they rush in to fill in the new space that's been opened up. The good news is that new ways of connecting with one another are always being opened up. The bad news is that this means that the net will always be more-or-less broken for whatever we depend upon it most. Read the rest

Unevenly distributed future: America's online education system

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In a characteristically insightful essay, Clay Shirky discusses the largely invisible rise of online education and dissects the causes of that invisibility: namely that the American higher education system is an iron-clad requirement for economic success, and it is remarkably bad at serving people who are already poor. Read the rest

Spy at will! FCC won't force companies to honor Do Not Track

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The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest

Firefox's new privacy mode also blocks tracking ads

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Mozilla has shipped a new version of Firefox whose private mode also blocks tracking beacons for ad networks, which will make private Web usage much harder to track. Read the rest

Big Data refusal: the nuclear disarmament movement of the 21st century

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James Bridle's new essay (adapted from a speech at the Through Post-Atomic Eyes event in Toronto last month) draws a connection between the terror of life in the nuclear shadow and the days we live in now, when we know that huge privacy disasters are looming, but are seemingly powerless to stop the proliferation of surveillance. Read the rest

Chrome won't trust Symantec-backed SSL as of Jun 1 unless they account for bogus certs

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In September, Google caught Symantec issuing a fake google.com cryptographic certificate that could have been used to seamlessly intercept encrypted Google.com traffic. Symantec is one of the participants in Certificate Transparency, through which all new certificates issued and seen in the wild are logged to append-only, cryptographically provable logs, which create irrefutable audit trails for any bogus certs issued/discovered. Read the rest

New Clay Shirky book on how China challenges western Internet firms and vice-versa

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Clay Shirky writes, "I wrote about the mobile phone manufacturing powerhouse and tech innovator, Xiaomi, for Columbia Global Reports, looking at both what makes Xiaomi so successful (they were founded when it was possible to take ecommerce and social media for granted, basically), and at the challenge internet services firms face operating in China." Read the rest

Playboy (circulation 800k, down from 5.6m) drops nude images

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Playboy will no longer publish nude images of women. None of Playboy's efforts to adjust to the way that the net changed the availability of porn were successful, though it fared better than Penthouse, which tried to out-hardcore the Internet and failed. Read the rest

Facebook wants to be the attention economy's central banker

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Warren Ellis ruminates on the the way that the old idea that the Internet was birthing an "attention economy" has been transformed by Facebook, which has literally monetized attention, charging you money to reach the people who've asked to hear from you. Read the rest

Ad server will respect Do-Not-Track headers

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Adzerk, who serves ads for Bittorrent, Stackexchange, Reddit and other high-profile sites, will honor Do-Not-Track messages from readers' browsers, and its ads will not be blocked by the major ad-blocking software. Read the rest

Kickstarting an encrypted email game about the Snowden leaks

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James writes, "A blend of fact and fiction, players take on the role of an NSA agent tracking down the source of the leaks. They'll discover the journalists involved, and the real messages sent by Snowden to them at the time." Read the rest

What the Internet looks like when it's not a patent drawing

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In contrast to yesterday's post about the way the Internet is depicted in patent drawings, check out these photos of the Internet's secret actual infrastructure. Read the rest

The other ad-blocking ecosystem: blame-ducking

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Anil Dash is on fire in his editorial on all the ways that publishers, advertisers, brokers, readers, OS vendors, browser vendors, and users pass the buck when it comes to intrusive ads, ad-blocking, and sustaining ad-supported media. Read the rest

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