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Submission + - Please Tell Me Your Google Experiences for "Google 2017" Report (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: As part of this effort, I’d very much appreciate your emailing me your own noteworthy experiences with Google (and Alphabet). Good — bad — exemplary — abysmal — confused — resolved — pending — fantastic — or otherwise rising to the level that you feel could usefully contribute to a better understanding of Google and Alphabet overall.

Whether involving specific Google services (including everything from Search to Gmail to YouTube and beyond), accounts, privacy, security, interactions, legal or copyright issues — essentially anything positive, negative, or neutral that you are free to impart to me, that you believe might be of interest.

Submission + - Don't (For Now) Use Google's New "Perspective" Comment Filtering Tool (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Google has announced (with considerable fanfare) public access to their new “Perspective” comment filtering system API, which uses Google’s machine learning/AI system to determine which comments on a site shouldn’t be displayed due to perceived high spam/toxicity scores. It’s a fascinating effort. And if you run a website that supports comments, I urge you not to put this Google service into production, at least for now.

Submission + - Does Google Hate Old People? (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: No. Google doesn’t hate old people. I know Google well enough to be pretty damned sure about that.

Is Google “indifferent” to old people? Does Google simply not appreciate, or somehow devalue, the needs of older users?

Those are much tougher calls.

I’ve written a lot in the past about accessibility and user interfaces. And today I’m feeling pretty frustrated about these topics. So if some sort of noxious green fluid starts to bubble out from your screen, I apologize in advance.

Submission + - Here's Where Google Hid the SSL Certificate Information That You May Need (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Up to now for the stable version of Chrome, you simply clicked the little green padlock icon on an https: connection, clicked on the “Details” link that appeared, and a panel then opened that gave you that status, along with an obvious button to click for viewing the actual certificate data such as Organization, issuance and expiration dates, etc.

Suddenly, that “Details” link no longer is present. Seemingly, Google just doesn’t feel that “ordinary” users need to look at that data these days.

Submission + - The New Google Voice Is Another Slap in the Face of Google's Users, & Their (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: So as desktop GV continued along its stable path, many observers began to wonder if Google was preparing to pull its plug. I’ve had those concerns too, though somewhat mitigated by the fact that Google has been integrating aspects of GV into some of their other newer products, which suggested that GV still had significant life ahead.

This was confirmed recently when word started to circulate of a new version (“refresh” is another term used for this) of GV that was soon to roll out to users. Google eventually confirmed this. Indeed, it’s rolling out right now.

And for desktop users at least, it’s a nightmare. A nightmare that in fact I was expecting. I had hoped I’d be wrong. Unfortunately, I was correct.

Submission + - User Trust Fail: Google Chrome and the Tech Support Scams (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: It’s not Google’s fault that these criminals exist. However, given Google’s excellent record at detection and blocking of malware, it is beyond puzzling why Google’s Chrome browser is so ineffective at blocking or even warning about these horrific tech support scams when they hit a user’s browser.

These scam pages should not require massive AI power for Google to target.

And critically, it’s difficult to understand why Chrome still permits most of these crooked pages to completely lock up the user’s browser — often making it impossible for the user to close the related tab or browser through any means that most users could reasonably be expected to know about.

Submission + - SPAM: IETF Stunning Announcement: Emergency Transition to IPv7 Is Necessary!

Lauren Weinstein writes: In answer to a question regarding the timing of this proposed transition, Seville noted that the IETF planned to follow the GOP’s healthcare leadership style. “We feel that IPv4 and IPv6 should be immediately repealed, and then we can come up with the IPv7 replacement later.” When asked if this might be disruptive to the communications of Internet users around the world, Mr. Seville chuckled “You’re catching on.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - My Mock-Up for Labeling Fake News on Google Search (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Here is my mock-up of one way to label fake news on Google Search Results Pages, in the style of the Google malware site warnings. The warning label link would go to a help page explaining the methodology of the labeling ...

Submission + - Biting the Bullet: It's Time to Require 2-Factor Verified Logins (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: This is why I am now convinced that at least the major Web firms must begin moving gradually toward the mandatory use of 2-factor methods for users accessing these sites.

Just as responsible websites won’t permit a user to create an account without a password, and many attempt to prevent users from selecting incredibly weak passwords, we must start the process of requiring 2-factor use on a routine basis, both for the protection of users and of the companies that are serving them — and for the protection of society in a broader sense as well. We can no longer permit this to be simply an optional offering that vast numbers of users ignore.

Submission + - Stopping Trump with Technology (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: This new Google+ Community:

https://plus.google.com/commun...

is a forum to discuss and strategize practical methods to leverage privacy, security, and other technologies in all possible legal ways to slow and/or stop abuses by Donald Trump, his administration, and his supporters. All submissions to this community will be moderated before being published. Let’s get to work saving the USA and the rest of the world from evil.

Submission + - Fake News and Google: What Does a Top Google Search Result Really Mean? (vortex.com) 2

Lauren Weinstein writes: Controversy continues to rage over how Holocaust denial sites and related YouTube videos have achieved multiple top and highly-ranked search positions on Google for various forms and permutations of the question “Did the Holocaust really happen?” — and what — if anything — Google intends to ultimately do about these outright, racist lies achieving such search results prominence.

If you’re like most Internet users, you’ve been searching on Google and viewing the resulting pages of blue links for many years now.

But here’s something to ponder that you may not have ever really stopped to think about in depth: What does a top or otherwise high search result on Google really mean?

This turns out to be a remarkably complex issue.

Submission + - What Google, Facebook, and Others Should Be Doing RIGHT NOW About Fake News (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Action Items: What Google, Facebook, and Others Should Be Doing RIGHT NOW About Fake News

Today is action items day, and there isn’t a moment to lose before someone gets killed as a result of the fake news scourge. It nearly happened a couple of days ago, when some wacko invaded a pizza restaurant and shot it up looking for the youthful “sex slaves” that the fake “Pizzagate” story claims exist (a total fabrication created out of whole cloth and part of the complex of fake anti-Hillary sex stories even being promoted by highly-placed wackos in Trump’s White House circle). In fact, there are already new fake stories circulating regarding the shooting itself.

There are some ongoing efforts to begin dealing with fake and false news at the big firms. Facebook appears to be running an experiment asking some users to rate how “misleading” some link titles might be. This will no doubt collect some interesting data and may be a small portion of solutions, but of course cannot alone solve the underlying problems ...

Submission + - Study: Collecting URLs and Other Data About Fake/False News on the Net (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Greetings. I have initiated a study to explore the extent of fake/false news on the Internet. Please use the form at:

https://vortex.com/report-fake...

to report fake or false news found on traditional websites and/or in social media postings.

Any information submitted via this form may be made public after verification, with the exception of your name and/or email address if provided (which will be kept private and will not be used for any purposes other than this study) ...

Submission + - Google Home Drops Insightful "Donald Trump Is Definitely Crazy" Search Answer (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Two days ago, I uploaded the YouTube video linked below, which recorded the insightful response I received from Google Home to the highly relevant question: “Is Donald Trump Insane?” I noted Google’s accurate appraisal on Google+ and in my various public mailing lists. The next day (yesterday) the response was (and currently is) gone for the same query to Home — replaced by the generic: “I can do a search for that.” ...

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