Category Archives: Tech Info

An alarming number of sites employ privacy-invading session replay scripts

By Dan Goodin

Enlarge (credit: Steven Englehardt)

If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you’re not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.

Session replay scripts are provided by third-party analytics services that are designed to help site operators better understand how visitors interact with their Web properties and identify specific pages that are confusing or broken. As their name implies, the scripts allow the operators to re-enact individual browsing sessions. Each click, input, and scroll can be recorded and later played back.

A study published last week reported that 482 of the 50,000 most trafficked websites employ such scripts, usually with no clear disclosure. It’s not always easy to detect sites that employ such scripts. The actual number is almost certainly much higher, particularly among sites outside the top 50,000 that were studied.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica

Kind of makes you want to go to the sites mentioned and type nasty comments into the search boxes…after all, they shouldn’t be doing this, so they can’t complain about being offended. 🙂

Tim


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ComFast Dual Band USB WiFi Adapter Review

I have had the ComFast Dual Band, (2.4/5Ghz), adapter since late May and although I have written a few articles on it I thought it was time for a full review.

This little adapter solves a myriad of issues for those who happen to only have a slower built in adapter on their tablets or notebooks that are only running wireless “n” speeds.

It will plug into any standard USB full size port and the bonus is that it is reversible. There is no “wrong way” to plug it in, so that makes it quite handy, especially f you don’t want the extremely bright led blinking at you. I have also used it on my HiBook with a full USB to USB C adapter and it works fine.

For less than $10.00 this is a very good deal. It should be capable, according to the specs, of 600 mb/s but with my home router I get about 433 mb/s which is still much faster than wireless “n” speeds. Speeds will obviously be dependent upon the router you use it with.

It does have a few downsides, which are quite minor. The first being the incredibly bright blue police cruiser intensity led, which if you plug it it with it facing away, then it is not an issue. The second one is that on a tablet with a small battery you will notice the extra battery consumption. On my Hi12 it makes no real dent in the battery life, but we are talking an 11000 mAh battery, while on the HiBook with a battery half the size, I do notice it.  So that is all of the downsides and as I stated not major at all.

So all of the above being said I am giving this one 5 out of 5 stars on my review scale! You can find the product right here currently at $9.99.

Tim

The author of this post is not connected in any way with the creators of the product reviewed and all opinions are strictly his. No guarantees of performance or reliability are either given nor inferred.


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After 3 months, Samsung’s “Bixby” voice assistant finally launches in the US

By Ron Amadeo

Enlarge / The hardware Bixby button on the Galaxy S8. (credit: Ron Amadeo)

It has been almost three months since the launch of the Galaxy S8, and Samsung is finally ready to unleash an English-speaking version of Bixby on the world—well, on the US at least. Samsung announced today that its voice assistant can finally speak English, and it’s rolling out to the Galaxy S8 and S8+ now.

When the Galaxy S8 was announced at the end of March, Bixby was a heavily promoted part of the phone. Samsung considered Bixby so core to the Galaxy S8 software package that Samsung actually added a hardware “Bixby” button to the side of the Galaxy S8—it looks just like a second power button and lives below the volume rocker. Bixby launched in Samsung’s home of Korea along with the Galaxy S8, but integrating English proved too hard of a task for Bixby to master in time for the Galaxy S8’s April US launch.

With no Bixby to use on their Bixby button, Galaxy S8 customers started remapping the button with third-party apps, turning it into a Blackberry-style “convenience key” that could be configured to launch anything. Samsung has been aggressively disabling these mods with software updates, insisting that the Bixby button is only to be used for Bixby.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica


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2017 Surface Pro least repairable ever; Surface Laptop is made of glue

By Peter Bright

Enlarge / The only way into the Surface Laptop is through the fabric. There’s no going back. (credit: iFixit)

While it’s not a big surprise given the size and general trends when building these things, Microsoft’s new Surface Laptop does not appear to be even remotely repairable, and the new Surface Pro isn’t much better, according to iFixit.

iFixit’s pictures, as ever, give a great look at the insides of the two machines. The Laptop has no external screws at all; to get into the system, iFixit had to peel off the glued-down fabric keyboard surround, an operation that obviously can’t be undone, producing a machine that offers essentially no serviceability whatsoever. With the keyboard surround removed, the system reveals its internals, with components taped, soldered, or otherwise permanently affixed in place. Given how destructive one has to be to open the machine in the first place, perhaps that’s not a big deal.

The Surface Pro teardown shows that while the work Microsoft has done to the Surface Pro on the outside is very incremental (it’s a honed version of the Surface Pro 4), the interior work has been more substantial. The batteries are bigger (45Wh, compared to 38.2Wh in the Pro 4), and a giant spidery heatsink distributes the processor’s heat across the back of the entire machine. This beefed-up passive cooling is how Microsoft has managed to make the Core i5 version of the Pro fanless; the Pro 4 had a fanless version, too, but that required the use of a low-power Y-series processor.

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Source:: Ars Tecnica


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Gearbest Offering Great Deals on Chuwi Laptops and Tablets Through June 6th.

Chinese retailer Gearbest.com is offing up some great deals on a variety of Chuwi laptops and tablets from today through June 6th.

Just a few examples are listed below. Starting with the Chuwi Lapbook 12.3. Which sports a 12.3 inch IPS display with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 resolution.  It also has a dual core Celeron N3450 with 1.1 GHz up to 2.2 GHz speed. Additionally it offers Windows 10 Home, 6 gb ram and 64 gb eMMC for storage.

CHUWI LapBook 12.3

The price is a mere $319 on this one and it includes an accessory package with a sleeve and a wireless mouse. That is a pretty good deal based on the specs.

Additionally they have the Chuwi 14.1 Notebook marked down to $235. This is the one that can be upgraded with an SSD quite easily.

Also on the list you will find the Chuw Hi12 for $220. That is a really good price for an excellent 12 inch Tablet  with a great display and fantastic battery life! I actually own one of these and it is what I am using as I write this post!

To view all the deals simply visit this link.


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