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ICANN has proposed removing price caps on all .org, .info, and .biz top level domains

ICANN’s current contract with Public Interest Registry (PIR), the group that runs the .org domain name, allows PIR to increase the wholesale price of .org domains by 10% a year. Now ICANN is proposing extending the contract to operate .org but letting PIR set whatever prices it wants. Rather than a 10% increase to renew your domain next year, PIR could suddenly start charging registrars like Namecheap, GoDaddy, etc. 100 times as much. In turn, registrars would have no choice but to pass these charges on to customers. Similar contract proposals may also impact .info and .biz prices. Here is…

Ditching Your Smartphone May Actually Help You Live Longer

It may come as little surprise, but as it turns out, smartphones aren’t actually making our lives easier. Whether it’s the constant pinging of notifications vying for our attention, the temptation of playing around on our phones at all hours of the day, the blue light of LED screens degrading our eyesight and sleep patterns, the inexorable growth of a culture of distraction, or the mounting proof that social media can make our lives miserable, the evidence has grown irrefutable that we should probably reevaluate our dependence on our smartphones. As it turns out, there is a simple reason underlying…

Drones Approved to Make US Home Deliveries

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has certified Wing Aviation LLC. (owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet)  to operate as an airline wherein its drones will carry food and medicine from local shops to customers’ homes. The company which began as a Google X project has been testing its autonomous drones in southwest Virginia and elsewhere.  This means that the drone company is allowed to deliver cargo and travel longer distances but is subject to the same regulations as chartered flights.  The FAA says Wing was able to qualify for an air carrier certificate because it has shown “its operations met the FAA’s rigorous safety requirements. “This was true since according to Wings, they…

Another great reason to start using the BRAVE browser…

If you were on the internet in the late 1990s, you might remember companies like AllAdvantage that promised to pay you to surf the web. You could install a program that tracked your browsing and showed you targeted ads at the top of the screen; then AllAdvantage would give you a cut of the ad revenue you generated. These schemes largely disappeared after the dot-com crash. But Brendan Eich, the controversial creator of the JavaScript programming language and cofounder and former CTO of Mozilla, thinks his company Brave Software has found a way to revive that old idea. Brave makes…

How a VPN Review Site Dominated Google Search With a Scam

A VPN site has duped journalists into helping it become one of the biggest platforms for VPN reviews on Google. How do I know? I was one of the journalists fooled. The site, TheBestVPN.com, claims to offer “honest, in-depth and transparent reviews from real users.” However, the site’s purported creator does not appear to exist. He goes by the name “John Mason,” and his about page initially claimed he received a Masters degree in cybersecurity from a UK university and that he worked at IBM as a security analyst. But dig around a bit and you’ll notice TheBestVPN.com’s privacy policy…

Millions using ‘123456’ as password: study

Millions of people are still using easy-to-guess passwords like “123456” and “qwerty” on sensitive accounts, a study has found. The analysis by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) uncovered the gaps in cyber-knowledge that may leave people in danger of being exploited. The NCSC said people should string three random but memorable words together to use as a strong password. For its first cyber-survey, the NCSC analysed public databases of breached accounts to see which words, phrases and strings people used, the BBC reported. Top of the list was 123456, appearing in more than 23 million passwords. The second-most…

Austria draft law would require real names for internet comments

It’s not just China that wants to reduce anonymity online. Austria’s government has introduced a draft law that would require you to provide your real name and address to larger sites before commenting. You could still use a nickname in public, but authorities would have an easy way to find you if they believe you’re harassing users or otherwise violating the law. Companies that didn’t honor the law could face fines up to €500,000 (about $562,000) if they didn’t comply, and twice that with a repeat offense. It would only affect sites with more than 100,000 registered users, bring in…

A mystery agent is doxing Iran’s hackers and dumping their code

Nearly three years after the mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers began disemboweling the NSA’s hackers and leaking their hacking tools onto the open Web, Iran’s hackers are getting their own taste of that unnerving experience. For the last month, a mystery person or group has been targeting a top Iranian hacker team, dumping its secret data, tools, and even identities onto a public Telegram channel—and the leak shows no signs of stopping. Since March 25, a Telegram channel called Read My Lips or Lab Dookhtegan—which translates from Farsi as “sewn lips”—has been systematically spilling the secrets of a hacker…

Nancy Pelosi Declares a ‘New Era’ of Internet Regulation

We’ve all been watching this develop for years now: The internet is being slow-choked, not by rapacious ISPs forcing users to pay for “fast lanes,” but by politicians on both sides of the Atlantic who want to have a bigger role in what we’re allowed to do and say online. To be sure, lawmakers are being greatly aided in their efforts by major tech players such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Apple’s Tim Cook, who are explicitly calling for regulation to maintain current market positions in a sector defined by creative destruction (all hail MySpace and Blackberry!). In an interview with…

How to delete the contacts that Facebook may have scraped from you

With its invasive advertising, scant regard for privacy, and often poor approach to security, Facebook has done little over the years to win itself many friends. But to help boost your list of friends, it is possible that Facebook may have uploaded your email contacts without your knowledge. The aim of this was to help find people you might know on the social network, but as there was little warning about the uploading of such private and sensitive information, there was an understandable backlash. If you’re concerned about what Facebook has uploaded on your behalf, here’s how to delete the…

Let’s start demanding hardware “off” switches for webcams and smart phone cameras/mics

Where’s my webcam’s off switch? Have you ever noticed that your webcam doesn’t have an “off” switch? I looked on Amazon, and I couldn’t find any webcams for sale that had a simple on/off switch. When I thought I found one, but it turned out just to have a light that turns on when the camera is in use, and off when not—not a physical switch you can press or slide. The “clever” solution is supposed to be webcam covers (something Mark Zuckerberg had a hand in popularizing); you can even get a webcam (or a laptop) with such a…

Israel Has Back Door on All Microsoft Devices

Microsoft Windows 10 is now fully coded in Israel. The Windows Security Center. Updates. R&D. It’s all done in Israel. The NSA has to mess about to get their malware implanted in 90% of the world’s computers. Not Israel, they just include it with a forced update. It’s official, Windows is now officially fully malware in its own right. But it gets worse. The Intel hardware backdoor is not limited to the “Management Engine.” There are dozens of “God Mode” registry entries that give access to the DEC – Deeply Embedded Core. The Goldman Sachs funded “Arc Processor”. This means…

Federal investigation of Facebook could hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable on privacy, sources say

Federal regulators investigating Facebook for mishandling its users’ personal information have set their sights on the company’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, exploring his past statements on privacy and weighing whether to seek new, heightened oversight of his leadership. The discussions about how to hold Zuckerberg accountable for Facebook’s data lapses have come in the context of wide-ranging talks between the Federal Trade Commission and Facebook that could settle the government’s more than year-old probe, according to two people familiar with the discussions. Both requested anonymity because the FTC’s inquiry is confidential under law. Such a move could create new legal,…

Zuckerberg’s Plea: Regulate Me Before I Violate People’s Privacy Again!

Hackers and scammers are running amok while social media platforms are harvesting our precious personal information for profit. Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.) warns that “Facebook can’t be trusted to protect users’ data on its own.” Yet Wyden’s bid to hold their feet to the fire—”It’s time for Congress to step in”—barely lights a match. Facebook executives long ago called for government oversight, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has doubled down on this hand in a Washington Post op-ed. A reform bill by the Oregon senator would pump up the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), authorizing new staff and a big jump in…

The Weather Channel Hit With “Malicious Software Attack”, Briefly Knocked Off Air

The Weather Channel has apologized to viewers for any inconvenience after it was knocked off the air Thursday morning by what it said was a malicious software attack on the network. “We experienced issues with this morning’s live broadcast following a malicious software attack on the network, the channel said in a statement on Twitter. “We were able to restore programming quickly through backup mechanisms. Federal law enforcement is actively investigating the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience to viewers as we work to resolve the matter.” The attack occurred during the network’s morning show, AMHQ, which was scheduled to…

You can now download the source code for all Infocom text adventure classics…Yes, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Zork are both included.

The source code of every Infocom text adventure game has been uploaded to code-sharing repository GitHub, allowing savvy programmers to examine and build upon some of the most beloved works of digital storytelling to date. There are numerous repositories under the name historicalsource, each for a different game. Titles include, but are not limited to, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall, Shogun, and several Zork games—plus some more unusual inclusions like an incomplete version of Hitchhiker‘s sequel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Infocom samplers, and an unreleased adaptation of James Cameron’s The Abyss. The code was uploaded by Jason Scott, an archivist who is the proprietor of…

Google accused of sabotaging Firefox, again

Why it matters: It’s no secret that tech companies with competing products aren’t averse to using dirty tricks to get ahead. According to a former Mozilla executive, it’s something Google has been doing for years: intentionally sabotaging Firefox to increase Chrome’s popularity. Jonathan Nightingale, former General Manager and Vice President of the Firefox group at Mozilla, revealed all on Twitter over the weekend. He writes that Google was the company’s biggest partner during his eight years at Mozilla. “Our revenue share deal on search drove 90% of Mozilla’s income,” he tweeted. But Nightingale claims Google used underhand tactics to ensure…