News

The past several years have done wonders for Facebook's once-murky public reputation. After a series of privacy-related controversies and a rocky debut in the stock market, the company embraced and quickly came to dominate the time we spend on mobile devices. More than a billion of us use its apps every day, and they have come to serve as a vital connection between family and friends. As a result, Facebook's stock increased by a third last year, and revenue was up 40 percent in the last quarter.

Flush with cash, the company has invested heavily in philanthropic efforts — both through internet.org, the company's controversial effort to connect the globe, and through CEO Mark Zuckerberg's personal charities, which are set to give away billions of dollars. All of which has given the company a newly articulated sense of mission, which it promotes aggressively in all its public communications: to make the world more open and connected.

Fascinating to learn, then, that the company has been selectively disconnecting the world for hours at a time. In a fascinating report in The Information, reporter Amir Efrati details the various steps Facebook is taking to prepare for the possibility that Google one day removes its apps from the Play Store for competitive reasons.

As of yesterday, North America is out of IPv4 addresses. Getting that feeling of déjà vu all over again? In July, we reported that ARIN, the American Registry for Internet Numbers, was activating its waitlist policy, wherein organizations that qualify for a block of IPv4 addresses larger than the largest block in ARIN's available pool of addresses could opt to wait for that larger block to become available. Organizations requesting block sizes that were still available would still receive IPv4 addresses. But as of September 24, ARIN no longer has any IPv4 addresses available to be given out to organizations in the region. The pool is empty. This time, it's for real.

So organizations in the US, Canada, part of the Caribbean, and some additional islands will either have to take their chances on the waitlist, buy IPv4 addresses from someone else, or use IPv6 instead. In an earlier interview, ARIN CEO John Curran told Ars that he expects very little new IPv4 address space to become available at ARIN, so those on the waitlist shouldn't get their hopes up.

Address trading, on the other hand, has been picking up in recent years and is now the best way to get additional IPv4 addresses. Because ARIN no longer holds any IPv4 addresses, "there is no longer a restriction on how often organizations may request transfers to specified recipients," explained the ARIN announcement. Previously, an organization couldn't get any new addresses from ARIN within twelve months after transferring some of its IPv4 addresses to another organization. Address trading works well for relatively small blocks of address space, but it's unclear what will happen when very large ISPs that deal with millions of IP addresses need additional large blocks. Will they be ready to pay potentially tens of millions of dollars for millions of IPv4 addresses? Will such large blocks even be available, or will they have to make lots of small purchases?

AVGSecurity firm AVG can sell search and browser history data to advertisers in order to "make money" from its free antivirus software, a change to its privacy policy has confirmed.

The updated policy explained that AVG was allowed to collect "non-personal data", which could then be sold to third parties. The new privacy policy comes into effect on 15 October, but AVG explained that the ability to collect search history data had also been included in previous privacy policies, albeit with different wording.

AVG's potential ability to collect and sell browser and search history data placed the company "squarely into the category of spyware", according to Alexander Hanff security expert and chief executive of Think Privacy.

Your prayers have been finally answered – that is, if you asked for Google to come to New York City with free Wi-Fi for all. Because that’s totally happening this year, and it’s all part of Google’s grandiose plan to bring free Wi-Fi to the world.

According to Bloomberg, Google has already set up a company that’ll handle the free Wi-Fi job in the Big Apple. Sidewalk Labs is the Google-backed startup that will turn 10,000 of New York’s old phone booths into ad-supported Wi-Fi pylons this September.

As SourceForge continues to take over projects in order to inject them with malware/adware to line their pockets, the latest victim is none other than Firefox.

A bug report has been started by a redditor named TannerMoz to get the attention of Mozilla's legal team. With luck this will help stop SourceForge from doing these kinds of negative actions to the Firefox project and others as well. Sourceforge recently did this to some other major projects such as GIMP and nMap. This has also prompted Notepad++ to leave SourceForge. Hopefully we'll see other projects like VLC and others leave SourceForge too.

We're hoping that Mozilla's legal team gets on SourceForge about these dispicible actions they've recently been taking. If you're curious what all SourceForge has taken over, you can view the list on sf-editor1's profile.

adblock plusThe service prevents ads from appearing on websites unless it has given them permission to be displayed.

German broadcasters RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 had argued that browser plug-in was anti-competitive and threatened their ability to offer users content for "free".

However, a court in Munich ruled in favour of AdBlock's owner Eyeo.

Ben Williams, a spokesman for the German company, told the BBC the dispute had been the biggest one it had faced to date "just by nature of the people involved and the amount of claims that they had".

"This is the fourth time that massive publishers have brought legal proceedings against our start-up," he added in a follow-up email.

In 1983, when I started the free software movement, malware was so rare that each case was shocking and scandalous. Now it’s normal.

To be sure, I am not talking about viruses. Malware is the name for a program designed to mistreat its users. Viruses typically are malicious, but software products and software preinstalled in products can also be malicious – and often are, when not free/libre.

In 1983, the software field had become dominated by proprietary (ie nonfree) programs, and users were forbidden to change or redistribute them. I developed the GNU operating system, which is often called Linux, to escape and end that injustice. But proprietary developers in the 1980s still had some ethical standards: they sincerely tried to make programs serve their users, even while denying users control over how they would be served.

If you're a casual tech consumer and you buy the Apple Watch this year, I’m going to laugh at you. Sure, it’s undeniably sexy, and the Apple marketing machine has totally succeeded in making the watch the next gotta-have-it gadget to complete your technologically sophisticated setup, but it’s an unwise expenditure for anyone looking for a long term reliable smartwatch.

There are three reasons to steer clear of Apple’s latest miracle gadget (for now). It’s overpriced, the battery is underpowered, and you already know that the company will release a better one in only a year — just as it always has with its devices.

Don’t buy it yet. Just don’t.

Subcategories

Featured news that reaches the frontpage of Lunarsoft.

Information about Lunarsoft.