Tag Archives: technology

Online privacy tips

By Leon J Williams

If you’re concerned about your privacy while online we have some tips for you!

There are 3 main issues that must be covered, your operating system, your web browser and your search engine.

Operating system:

ubuntu_logoIt has just been revealed that Microsoft (via windows and outlook) has been handing information to the US’s NSA (National Security Agency). To read more click here.
So why not give Linux a try? It’s legally free and versions like Ubuntu are user friendly.

Web browser:

tor-logoTor is king when it comes to anonymity Online. It operates using the familiar Mozilla Firefox browser but has been customised and tweaked to keep you anonymous!
Tor has been around since 2002 but still remains widely unknown.

Search engine:

startp_logoLike google but want to know your information isn’t being passed on without your consent? Try StartPage, it”s been around since 2009 and is run by Ixquick, part of a Dutch company.

Buycott App

Have you ever wondered whether the money you spend ends up funding causes you oppose?

Buycott App symbolA buycott is the opposite of a boycott. Buycott helps you to organize your everyday consumer spending so that it reflects your principles.

Example: During the SOPA/PIPA debate in 2012, a number of companies pushed to pass legislation that reduced online freedom of expression, while other companies fought hard to oppose the legislation. With Buycott, a campaign can be quickly created around a cause, with the goal of targeting companies with a boycott unless they change their position, or buycotting a company to show your support.

When you use Buycott to scan a product, it will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand (and who owns that company, ad infinitum). It will then cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in the campaigns you’ve joined, in order to tell you if the scanned product conflicts with one of your campaign commitments.

Consume ethically.


EU fines Microsoft (again) for continued anti-competition

By Leon J Williams

Web browsersThe European Union (EU) has ordered Microsoft to pay £484m for failing to allow consumers a choice in web browsers.

Back in 2004 Microsoft was fined £381m for the same reason after which Microsoft did start to offer consumers a choice but this web browser option screen was dropped following a Windows 7 update in February 2011.

Microsoft said that this was due to a technical error but the European Commission dismissed this and is no doubt using this opportunity to make an example of Microsoft so that no other company thinks that it can get away with not implementing fair anti-monopoly regulations.
This move can only be seen as a good thing, shoring up EU funds and and allowing other, smaller businesses an opportunity to thrive.

Supporters of Capitalism say that it creates competition and they criticise Socialism for stifling competition but alas closer to the truth is that Capitalism destroys competition by creating monopolies, companies buy other companies and put their products first.
It is regulation that stops this, it is government intervention.

Web Browsers
Towards the end of last year we wrote about web browsers here.

We recommend either Opera or Firefox

Daily Headline – 11/02/13

Website surveillance software developed for US defence

RIOT softwareThe Guardian is reporting about website surveillance software called RIOT developed by Raytheon for the US military.

The “extreme-scale analytics” system created by Raytheon, the world’s fifth largest defence contractor, can gather vast amounts of information about people from websites including Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.

The power of Riot to harness popular websites for surveillance offers a rare insight into controversial techniques that have attracted interest from intelligence and national security agencies, at the same time prompting civil liberties and online privacy concerns.

For the full story from the Guardian click here.

No apples in the Gateses’ house

By Leon J Williams

It will come as no surprise that Bill Gates’ children are not allowed to own Apple products, probably through fear of their children realising how crap their fathers products are though they put it down to not wanting to encourage the competition.

Windows operating systems still dominate the desktop market share with about 90%, Apple is in second with nearly 7% and Linux in third with 1.25%.

Apple wins the tablet and mobile ratings with 41% and Unix winning the Server ratings with 60%.

Windows: Unreliable/unsecured
Apple: Bloody expensive
Linux: Still struggles with MS games

Windows: Everyone’s using it, compatibility
Apple: Looks good, popular with media & design people
Linux: Free, reliable & consistent

ACA The Underground in 2007 was made using Linux SuSe (free edition) to produce the printed version, these days with the wordpress online version we’re using Linux Ubuntu.

Linux is free, the software is free, the tech support is free, specialists and hobbyists work together to make the systems stay free.

A kind of by the people, for the people approach.

Web Browsers 2012

Most widely used web browsers (world):

1. Google Chrome
2. Internet Explorer
3. Mozilla Firefox
4. Apple Safari
5. Opera

In Europe it’s slightly different:

1. Google Chrome
2. Mozilla Firefox
3. Internet Explorer
4. Apple Safari
5. Opera

We recommend:

1. Opera
2. Mozilla Firefox
3. Google Chrome
4. Apple Safari
5. Don’t use the internet