PrivDog follows Superfish, Blogger bans nudity, Twitter backs net neutrality, Google launches YouTube Kids, Bing nails the Oscars, and a decade of viral videos.
PrivDog Could be Worse than Superfish
PrivDog is a free app that blocks trackers, malware, and speeds up your browser by 50%! Put an end to annoying ads: http://t.co/zJ0csJJrrj
— PrivDog (@Priv_Dog) October 22, 2013
The aftermath of the Superfish scandal, which saw Lenovo hauled over the coals for installing adware on many of its laptops, has thrown up a new threat. PrivDog, which replaces random ads on websites with ads from “trusted sources,” could be putting thousands of users at risk of hacking.
In order to replace ads on secure websites, PrivDog installs a self-generated root certificate and works as a man-in-the-middle proxy. This certificate is trusted by browsers, which means it would be possible for a hacker to issue their own certificate, which PrivDog would then copy, leading to the browser accepting rather than rejecting it as it would had PrivDog not been present.
This issue was discovered on Hacker News when a user running the test for Superfish discovered he was at risk due to having PrivDog installed instead. It’s thought around 57,000 users are at risk from PrivDog, which is closely linked to security software Comodo, with versions 126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52 affected. The company has already issued an update fixing the affected versions of PrivDog.
Google Bans All Nudity from Blogger
So, Google – what are the community standards for nudity in Blogger now? California? Tennessee? Finland? ISIS?
— Jason Scott (@textfiles) February 24, 2015
Google has announced that nudity will no longer be permitted on Blogger, its free blogging platform. From March 23, “images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity” will no longer be allowed unless “the content offers a substantial public benefit, for example in artistic, educational, documentary, or scientific contexts.”
Anyone who has adult content on their Blogger blog has 30 days to remove it before the blog is made private. Anyone flouting the new rules by posting sexually explicit images after the cut-off faces having their blog removed from the platform. Google hasn’t explained the reasons for this significant change of policy.
Google has until now allowed adult content on Blogger as long as the blogs involved clearly marked themselves as ‘Adult‘. This has allowed adult-themed blogs to build sizable userbases, all of which are now facing the choice of either switching to a different platform or shutting up shop entirely.
Twitter Supports Net Neutrality Plans
— Internet Association (@InternetAssn) September 10, 2014
Twitter is publicly backing the plans to preserve net neutrality as proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In a blog post written by Will Carty, Twitter’s public policy manager, the company spells out what net neutrality is and why it needs to be protected.
We need clear, enforceable, legally sustainable rules to ensure that the Internet remains open and continues to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers. This is the heart of Twitter. Without such net neutrality principles in place, some of today’s most successful and widely-known Internet companies might never have come into existence.
Twitter and its millions of users are counting on Washington to reaffirm net neutrality rules for their obvious and myriad benefits to the Internet ecosystem, to the economy, and to freedom of expression. For all these reasons, we strongly support the FCC taking action.
While the proposals by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler are gaining support from informed individuals, technology companies, and politicians from all sides of the political spectrum, there are still some holdouts. However, unless delaying tactics are successful, the FCC will vote on the proposals later this week.
Google Launches YouTube Kids App
As teased last week, Google has launched a YouTube app aimed exclusively at children, YouTube Kids is a free app currently available for free on iOS and on Android in the U.S. It features a simple, colorful design, content suitable for young children, and a host of parental controls to afford the older members of he family some much-needed peace of mind.
Bing Nailed Its 2015 Oscars Predictions
Maybe we could have Lego Oscars the day after the Oscars, where the public picks who should have won & everyone gets a Lego statuette
— Danny Sullivan (@dannysullivan) February 23, 2015
If you have ever doubted the power of Bing, Microsoft’s search engine and main competitor to Google’s crown, then the 2015 Oscars may just change your mind. Because Bing correctly predicted 84 percent of the winners at the 87th Academy Awards.
Of the 24 Oscars handed out on the night, Bing correctly predicted 20 of the winners. This include Birdman winning Best Film, Alejandro González Iñárritu winning Best Director, Eddie Redmayne winning Best Actor, and Julianne Moore winning Best Actress.
This may not prompt you to ditch Google for Bing, but if you’re a gambler it may just tempt you to check what Bing is predicting the next time a major event is held.
A Decade of Viral Videos
And finally, viral videos, by their very nature, come and go extremely quickly. Each one is suddenly and inexplicably everywhere, and then once everybody has seen it and grown sick and tired of it, it disappears never to be seen again.
That is unless someone dredges up old viral videos for a compilation. Which is exactly what The Daily Conversation has done to celebrate 10 years of YouTube. This is 101 of the biggest viral videos to have been posted online over the past decade. And it’s an amazing source for nerdy nostalgia.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Have you got PrivDog installed on your computer? Are you annoyed that Blogger has banned nudity? How many of those viral videos do you remember from the first time around?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.
Image Credit: Andrew Smith via Flickr