Actrix Online Informer – June 2014
The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep
Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to
help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.
Welcome to the June Actrix Online Informer
Welcome to the Actrix Online Informer for June 2014. This month we take a look at how you can manage online information about yourself on Google, and what you can do if someone else posts personal information about you on the internet. The we also jump on the bandwagon and show you some of the best jokes and memes created to mock Internet Explorer.
We also round things off with 10 interesting facts we're certain you didn't know about the internet.
This month's YouTube feature is hilarious! Some YouTuber in the United States got a ticket for not riding his bike in a designated bike lane. He contested the ticket but wasn't successful in overturning the fine. Instead, he made this video to show how ludicrous it is to expect cyclists to stay within the cycle lane.
Nowadays, more and more personal information surfaces on the web. For example, some of your friends might mention your name in a social network or tag you on online photos, or your name could appear in blog posts or articles.
Google search is often the first place people look for information that's published about you. Here are a few ways to manage your online reputation and help control what people see when they search for you on Google:
Search for yourself
Search for your name on Google to see what information about you comes up.
Create a Google profile
With a Google profile, you can manage the information – such as your bio, contact details, and other information about you – that people see. You can also link to other sites about you or that were created by you. For example, you can link to your blog, online photos in Picasa, and other profiles such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
You can create your Google profile here.
Remove unwanted content and the associated search results
If you find content online – say, your telephone number or an embarrassing photo of you – that you don't want to appear online, first determine whether you or someone else controls the content. For example, if the photo you want to hide is part of your Picasa account, you can simply change your photo visibility settings. If, however, the unwanted content resides on a site or page you don't control, you can follow our tips on removing personal information from Google.
Get notified when your personal data appears on the web
You might want to get notified if new information about you – like your name or email address – gets published online. The Me on the Web feature of your Google Dashboard can help you keep an eye on what's out there about you.
Which browser do you use for surfing the internet? Chrome? Firefox? Internet Explorer? These are just a few of the more popular browsers around. The most popular browser used today is still Internet Explorer, followed closely by Chrome and Firefox. Internet Explorer derives its popularity from the fact that its the default browser installed with Windows, not necessarily because it's the best one around.
In fact, Internet Explorer is often ridiculed and mocked for being slow, clunky and all-round useless. We couldn't possibly comment on that, but others have. Here are some of the funnier jokes and memes created to put Internet Explorer in its place.
Last month we looked at 10 things you probably didn't know about Apple and the iPhone – this month we bring you 10 things you probably didn't know about the internet. Enjoy!
Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.
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Cyberspace news snippets
What's been happening in the online world?
Defence Ministry staff still using XP: The Defence Ministry's 73 staff are all using unsupported Microsoft Windows XP computers despite the potential security risks. Click here for more.
Second internet cable planned: Southern Cross Cable's near monopoly over international internet traffic appears to be dangling by a thread. Click here for more.
Kim Dotcom's wife axed from companies before split: Kim Dotcom's wife was pulled out of directorship roles of three of the Megaupload founder's New Zealand companies four days before he announced the pair had split but she still controls the family's stake in mega.co.nz. Click here for more.
Blackshades hackers attack Kiwis: New Zealanders are among half a million global victims of computer hackers who used the malicious software Blackshades to hijack personal computers, control webcams and, in some cases, demand ransom money. Click here for more.
Kiwi user hit by Apple hijackers: An "Apple hijacking" scare that has rattled iPad and iPhone users in Australia has spread to New Zealand. Click here for more.
Medsafe urges caution on buying online: Medsafe is warning New Zealanders about the dangers of buying medicines online after almost 250 items were seized by Customs this month. Click here for more.
Kiwi Netflix users cut off: New Zealand internet users say they have been cut off from United States television streaming service Netflix. Click here for more.
Netflix NZ glitch 'unintentional': The issues preventing some Kiwi internet users accessing Netflix appear to be the unintended consequence of technical tweak by the US company, rather than a deliberate attempt to block its service here, experts believe. Click here for more.
Social network connects Kiwi neighbours: While our society is more connected than ever, we are still digitally distant from those who live closest to us – our neighbours. Click here for more.
Lockheed eyes avatars, 3D printing to lower costs: Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's biggest supplier, is ramping up its use of 3D printing and virtual reality simulators to drive down the huge costs of producing national security satellites and safeguard profits in the face of reductions in US defense spending. Click here for more.
PC TV series to debut on Tumblr: The AMC television network says it is using the social media site Tumblr to premiere its new series about the early days of personal computing. Click here for more.
YouTube buys game streamer Twitch: YouTube is close to buying Twitch, a gameplay video-streaming startup, for $1 billion (NZ$1.15 billion), according to multiple reports. Click here for more.
Nintendo, YouTube content sharing plan: Nintendo is planning an affiliate programme for YouTube content creators who use the publisher's game footage, which would see ad revenue split between Nintendo, Google (who own YouTube), and the video producers themselves. Click here for more.
White, male: Google releases diversity data: Google's workforce is mostly made up of white men, a situation the tech giant says it is trying to change. Click here for more.
Samsung push for common wearables base: Health sensors and devices can get better if rival companies work together, Samsung executives say. Click here for more.
Microsoft CEO unveils Skype Translation: Satya Nadella made one thing clear during his first public interview since taking the reins of the software giant in February: This is Nadella's Microsoft. Click here for more.
Reddit reveals how to ask for favours online: If you manage to look beyond irate commenters and festering trolls, the internet can be a friendly place full of people keen to help a brother out. Click here for more.
Taking selfies seriously: It takes only a few seconds scrolling through Philip Hitchcock's Facebook page to realise the guy likes to take a selfie. Click here for more.
The joy of losing friends: Did I just unfriend you? I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. But I'm not sorry I did it. In fact, I did you a favour. Click here for more.
Facebook introduces new way to flirt: If you've been eyeing someone on Facebook whose profile doesn't list a relationship status, the company is making it easier (or possibly more awkward) to find out if he or she is single. Click here for more.
Facebook 'I'm a Voter' feature goes global: When Americans voted to renew President Barack Obama's lease on the White House in November 2012, more than 9 million citizens took to Facebook to click the "I'm a Voter" button, showing their online friends that they had cast a ballot. Click here for more.
Facebook developing its own video-chat app: Facebook is developing its own video-chat app, known internally as Slingshot, after its failed attempt to acquire mobile messaging startup Snapchat, the Financial Times reported on Sunday. Click here for more.
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel 'mortified and embarrassed' by sexist, derogatory emails: The co-founder and chief executive of self-destructing messaging app Snapchat might wish his own app existed when he studied at university after old emails and instant messages emerged. Click here for more.
Emerging markets now driving Twitter growth: Twitter's messaging service will have close to 400 million global users by 2018, mostly in Asia, Latin American and the Middle East, consulting firm eMarketer estimates, far short of the 1 billion once expected. Click here for more.
Apple and Android
Apple sued over vanishing texts on Android: A former iPhone user is suing Apple, claiming the company's messaging system interfered with delivery of texts after she switched to an Android smartphone. Click here for more.
Apple, Google settle patent battle: Apple and Google's Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphones, ending one of the highest-profile lawsuits in technology. Click here for more.
iPhone 6 to feature ultra-sharp screen resolution, report says: For months, reports have said the next iPhone, or iPhones, will feature significantly larger screens than the one on the iPhone 5s. Now, a new report says they may also feature a significantly higher resolution. Click here for more.
Report: Split-screen feature coming to iPad: Multitaskers, rejoice: Apple is reportedly planning on adding a split-screen feature to the iPad that will allow the tablet to run two apps at the same time. Click here for more.
iPhone 6 set for early release: Apple will reportedly unveil the next incarnation of its popular iPhone series in August - a month earlier than industry watchers were generally expecting. Click here for more.
Security and Privacy
Why you are your best cyber security: In case you have been living under a rock, online security is back on the agenda in a big way because of a little thing called Heartbleed. Click here for more.
Crackdown on Blackshades hackers: Australian authorities have joined a co-ordinated global crackdown on computer hackers who use software known as Blackshades for sinister purposes. Click here for more.
US cyberspying charges against Chinese: The United States Justice Department has accused five members of the Chinese military of conducting economic cyber-espionage against American companies, marking the first time that the US has leveled such criminal charges against a foreign country. Click here for more.
Snowden denies relationship with Russia: Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told a US television interviewer he was not under the control of Russia's government and had given Moscow no intelligence documents after nearly a year of asylum there. Click here for more.
Call for more data broker transparency: Companies are collecting billions of pieces of information about consumers to create individual profiles to more effectively target individuals for coupons or product offers, decide whether a would-be buyer gets a car loan or help people check out a potential mate. Click here for more.
LulzSec informant escapes jail sentence: A computer hacker who helped the government disrupt hundreds of cyberattacks on Congress, Nasa and other sensitive targets and cripple the hacktivist crew known as Anonymous got a hero's welcome at his sentencing in federal court, where prosecutors hugged him after he was spared more prison time. Click here for more.
Spotify user data breached: Music streaming service Spotify will ask some of its 40 million users to re-enter their passwords and upgrade their software in coming days after detecting unauthorised access to its internal systems and data. Click here for more.
The Weird, Wide Web
Game developer puts Deus Ex chip in hand: Zoe Quinn doesn't just make heartfelt, experimental games like Depression Quest. She's also pretty set on becoming a cyborg, judging from the cyberpunk as hell implants she's got over the last couple of years. Click here for more.
Google changes its logo ever so slightly: Blink and you'll miss it. Search giant Google recently changed its logo. But there's a good chance you probably didn't even know about it until now. Click here for more.
Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.
Internet's effects may be taught: The lasting effects of the internet on children's lives could soon be as big a part of the school health curriculum as sexuality, drug use and contraception. Click here for more.
$1 tractor auction heads to the wire: They have been "hanging on" for a week but the couple who put a tractor up for auction with a $1 reserve, with a farm thrown in for free, have just over two days to wait to see how much their gamble will be worth. Click here for more.
School lunches go online: Not many people consider starting a business in the midst of a recession, let alone being six months' pregnant as well, but Emma Griffin did. The 32-year-old Christchurch mother of three children started trialling Kids School Lunches at the beginning of the year, and is gearing up to expand the business. Click here for more.
Facebook turns blind eye to racism: Facebook has again come under fire for ignoring racism on the site after it refused to ban controversial groups that deny the Holocaust. Click here for more.
Susan Boyle in most watched videos of all time : US rapper Soulja Boy's Crank That music video is the most viewed viral web hit of all time, but in just three weeks Scottish singer Susan Boyle is well on her way to grabbing that crown, web analytics firm Visible Measures says. Click here for more.
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