Google Now's selection of news stories are pretty good at showing me stuff I'm interested in. Every once in a while, though, I read something I don't like and Google Now shows me more of that same thing for a week. Here's how to fix that.
Tagged With filtering
Twitter has been on a tear making a ton of changes that its users never asked for. From today's new "best of" module, to promoted tweets and "while you were away", it's all cruft to someone who just wants a clean stream to read. Here's how to take your timeline back.
Just two days before the election, the Coalition has announced it will introduce an internet filter that would be switched on for all broadband services and mobile devices by default should it win. Quite aside from the political timing , the plan seems light on technical detail to the point of confusion. UPDATE: The Coalition is now saying the policy it issued was an "incorrect document", though that leaves several questions unanswered.
Communications minister Senator Stephen Conroy last week reminded us that internet filtering is still very much an item on the government's agenda. That's a worrying prospect, but it could be worse: the UK is contemplating a plan where access to all adult content would be 'opt in', with adult material blocked by internet service providers (ISPs) unless customers specifically ask for it to be switched on.
Bugger. Just when Senator Stephen Conroy got back into our good books with the long-overdue inquiry into price gouging, he gets all gung-ho and says the internet filter censorship plan is still actively moving forward with new developments "soon". Stephen, oh Stephen, when will you learn?
Australia hasn't yet seen a blogger die in custody (that was Bahrain) or had a major internet service provider deliberately redirect users onto pages featuring malware (that was Belarus). However, internet censorship rules still see Australia featuring on the 'Enemies Of The Internet' list of countries produced by Reporters Without Borders.
One of the more tedious arguments used by people who favour compulsory Internet filtering and other forms of censorship is "People who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear from these systems". In his LCA keynote today, security researcher Jacob Appelbaum highlighted a simple point that's worth making when people say that: if you have nothing to hide, why are you wearing clothes and why are there curtains on your house?
The news that the Liberal Party would block any attempts to introduce mandatory internet filtering has attracted much attention since it emerged yesterday afternoon. However, a lack of detail on what alternatives might be proposed, and the lurking question of what will happen to the NBN, mean that advancing the cause of technology with your vote is still difficult.
Proposals for web censorship might be very poorly conceived and planned, but not everything relating to controlling content has to be so stupid. Rules requiring a "parental lock" on TV equipment sold in Australia are a good case in point.
We've already had a switch of Prime Minister today, but almost as soon as that was announced, Nick over at Gizmodo kicked off a series of posts arguing for a change that could make even more difference to how technology is treated at a federal level: switching Senator Kate Lundy into the communications and IT portfolio.
Google offers SafeSearch to stop offensive content popping up on your workplace computer or in front of the kids, and Microsoft's rival search engine Bing has a similarly-labelled option. But while Google's system can distinguish between images and text in videos, Bing seems to take a much less subtle approach: if a video sounds remotely raunchy, it gets blocked regardless of actual content.
It's clear Lifehacker readers think the plan to make Internet censorship mandatory in Australia in 2010 is a deeply stupid idea. While there may be ways of working around the filter, not having the filter would clearly be a better idea. How can you effectively make your views known?
We won't see mandatory Internet filtering until mid-2010, but even without the details still being worked out, it's clear that anyone with a modicum of technical know-how will be able to bypass it.