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BuzzFeed editorial is controlled by advertisers

BuzzFeed editorial is controlled by advertisers

Advertising is unavoidable online. "Ah... but I have AdBlock Plus installed!" I hear you cry. It doesn't matter. You may not see advertising, but it still affects your online experience; this is particularly true if you are BuzzFeed reader. I'm not in the habit of criticizing others in the trade -- and I realize that I'm opening myself up for attack here -- but BuzzFeed is a site filled largely with listicles (lovely words) and churnalism (ditto), headlines sucking up to Google left, right and center.

But for all of the coffee-break-filling articles it pumps out each day, it is the articles that have been deleted that have generated more interest recently. About a week ago one BuzzFeed writer resigned after an article she wrote that was critical of Dove soap ads was pulled. BuzzFeed conducted a review, and this weekend details of the findings came out. It transpires that this is not the first time posts have been deleted because of a conflict of interest between editorial and advertising. BuzzFeed may not be a particularly influential site, but it's worrying nonetheless.

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KaOS 2015.04 is here -- Download the KDE-focused Linux distro now!


There are too many Linux distributions nowadays. Choice and variety is wonderful, but in this case, it spreads resources very thin. Linux-based operating systems might be further along by now if more developers came together to work on projects. For someone new to Linux, finding a distro can be a daunting task. Many of the releases are simply noise, making it hard to find the quality operating systems.

KaOS is one of those quality operating systems. It is a wonderful Linux distribution that focuses on KDE. Quite frankly, if you are a KDE purist, this should be on your radar. To cerebrate the two-year anniversary of the distro, the team releases 2015.04. Whether you are a Linux noob, or even an an expert, you should give it a try.

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Apple must have shares in horse abattoirs

Apple must have shares in horse abattoirs

It's said that just about anything that's broken can be fixed with one of two things. If something moves when it shouldn't, you need duct tape to hold it in place. If it doesn't move when it should, lubricant is what you need. Apple, it seems, has a different approach. Forget screws and clips; these days Apple tech is just held together with glue.

And we’re not talking about just a bit of glue -- we're talking tons of the stuff. Gallons of adhesive pumped into laptops, tablets and phones, holding everything in place and -- ultimately -- making things incredibly awkward to repair. Anyone would think the company had shares in a chain of abattoirs that shipped off horse carcasses to be boiled down into glue. Take the new MacBook Retina for example which featured recently in an iFixit teardown.

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Game of Thrones pirates, HBO is coming for you


Hours before HBO could officially premiere the returning episodes of the all-new 'Game of Thrones' season last week, screener copies of the first four episodes leaked to the interweb. Pirates from all across the globe took notice and yet again the American fantasy television series ended up getting illegally downloaded over a million times in less than a day.

HBO has in the past condemned such practice, but it looks much more furious this time. The American premium cable and satellite television network has started to send out thousands of warnings to subscribers who had illegally obtained copies of 'Game of Thrones', and is asking their respective carriers to take severe actions.

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No, Microsoft isn't taking Android's future out of Google's hands -- here's why

MS Android

Earlier this week, Cyanogen Inc announced that it has entered into a partnership with Microsoft to bundle some apps into its future Android-based operating system. While the companies meticulously chalked out most of the specifics of their collaboration -- and how it wouldn't much affect consumers in the coming months -- many people and even some news outlets are having a hard time understanding these facts, and have started to make bold, misleading conclusions.

Wired, for instance, believes that this tie-up between the two companies will end up taking Android’s future out of Google’s hands. I think they are wrong, and much to the contrary, I believe that this alliance will only be good for Google (and Android). Here’s why.

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PopTrayU is a very configurable email notifier


As email notifiers go, PopTrayU might seem a little old-fashioned. There’s no flashy interface, no specific support for webmail accounts, and the project’s SourceForge page takes care to highlight its "Vista/Win 7 compatibility fixes", maybe not something to boast about in 2015.

But if you forget the first impressions, look a little deeper, you’ll find it’s a great way to see alerts about new emails in your POP3 and IMAP4 accounts.

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WhatsApp now lets you backup conversations to Google Drive; celebrates 800 million monthly active users


WhatsApp, the popular instant messaging client, has reached 800 million monthly active users, company’s CEO Jan Koum shared the stat on his Facebook account last night. Interestingly enough, the company has just rolled out an update to its Android client to include an online conversation backup option. Users now have the option to take a backup of their conversation to Google Drive.

The updated version of WhatsApp’s Android client -- v2.12.45 -- is available to download through company’s official website. At the time of writing, this option wasn’t available to WhatsApp’s iPhone and Windows Phone clients, as well as not live on Google’s Play Store.

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Twitter moves non-US accounts to Ireland away from the NSA

Twitter moves non-US accounts to Ireland away from the NSA

Twitter has updated its privacy policy, creating a two-lane service that treats US and non-US users differently. If you live in the US, your account is controlled by San Francisco-based Twitter Inc, but if you're elsewhere in the world (anywhere else) it's handled by Twitter International Company in Dublin, Ireland. The changes also affect Periscope.

What's the significance of this? Twitter Inc is governed by US law, it is obliged to comply with NSA-driven court requests for data. Data stored in Ireland is not subject to the same obligation. Twitter is not alone in using Dublin as a base for non-US operations; Facebook is another company that has adopted the same tactic. The move could also have implications for how advertising is handled in the future.

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Microsoft Open Technologies is closing -- is that good or bad news for open source?


Microsoft is a company that can do no wrong lately. It is wisely focusing on devices and services -- its cross-platform support is a total 180 degree turn from years past. Hell, the company is even embracing open source lately, showing that it is listening to customers and taking advantage of industry trends.

When Microsoft Open Technologies was founded as a subsidiary of Microsoft -- under Steve Ballmer's reign -- many in the open source community hailed it as a major win, and it was. Today, however, the subsidiary is shutting down and being folded into Microsoft. While some will view this as a loss for open source, I disagree; Microsoft has evolved so much under Satya Nadella, that a separate subsidiary is simply no longer needed.

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Office Universal apps preview coming to Windows 10 for phones very soon


Microsoft comes under fire quite often for seeming to favor Android and iOS over its own mobile platforms. Apple and Google's mobile operating system have been first in line for all manner of Microsoft apps and services, and it was much the same story with the mobile versions of Office.

Today Microsoft is taking steps to allay the concerns of Windows Phone users -- you have not been forgotten! Specifically, the company says that the preview version of Office Universal apps will, or at least should, be made available for Windows 10 for phones by the end of the month.

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Reflector 2 adds Android mirroring, Google Cast support


Squirrels has announced Reflector 2.0 with new support for mirroring connections from Google Cast-enabled Chromebooks and Android devices.

As before, the program can mirror iPads and iPhones to Windows or Mac, and users are able to connect both iOS and Android devices simultaneously.

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Does it boil? Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6 in hot water


The Galaxy S6 has been subjected to a number of different stress tests since it hit shelves, including full-on bend tests, and simple drop tests -- plus being run over by a car in one case, which it survived and still remained usable.

And here’s another -- this time, the Galaxy S6’s foe is boiling water, which it’s being dipped into alongside an iPhone 6. So which handset will be able to stand the boiling heat for longest?

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Google cleans up URLs in mobile search results with breadcrumbs

Google cleans up URLs in mobile search results with breadcrumbs

Google is revamping the way URLs appear in search results on mobile devices. Smaller screens have a tendency to truncate lengthier URLs, and even when this doesn’t happen diminutive screen size can make addresses difficult to read.

To combat this problem, the search giant is introducing a new breadcrumb trail presentation with a view to making the information easy to absorb at a glance. But what does this change actually mean?

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US electronic voting machines incredibly easy to hack


Electronic voting machines used for US elections between 2002 and 2014 would have been extremely easy to hack, according to reports.

The AVS WinVote machines were used during three presidential campaigns in the state of Virginia and would receive an "F-minus" for security, with many using "abcde" or "admin" as passwords.

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Security professionals worry about technology sprawl as threats evolve

network virus spread sprawl

A new study of nearly 14,000 information security professionals worldwide shows that two-thirds of respondents are concerned about the addition of multiple security technologies, often referred to as sprawl.

The Global Information Security Workforce Study (GISWS) produced by (ISC)² a not-for-profit membership body of certified information and software security professionals worldwide, is largest study of the information security profession ever conducted.

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