Recently, the news broke that Microsoft was adding VPN to their Edge browser. Naturally, it didn't take long for doubters to weigh in. Why would Microsoft do such a thing? Would the folks in Redmond be able to rise above themselves and put out something cool for the benefit of their users? Offer them a potential way to save money even at the risk of muddling their beloved ad-optimized user profiles? It sounded to good to be true, so I did some research. Turns out, the benevolence is limited.
Incognito mode is a little like the smoke-filled backroom of Google Chrome: You know something is happening there but nobody's talking about it. Officially, Google calls it "private browsing", others prefer "skin show", since the mode is frequently used in conjunction with nudity. And then there are those who just won't do avoid the ubiquitous "Hello XY, here is your personal offer" welcome screens. The truth is, very few know what incognito mode does under the hood, yet millions rely on it every day! There's currently a pending lawsuit against Google that could result in a billion dollar fine. Why? Because incognito mode does far less than users think!
I was recently looking for a new Bluetooth speaker to add proper sound to the upcoming balcony season. I have little expertise in this area so I looked around the Internet and did some research. I quickly chanced upon a product with reviews that promised "unmatched rich basses", "crystal-clear highs", "incredible runtime" and that was lauded as the "perfect companion for every party". These were either highly enthusiastic customers–or fake reviews. Amazon just recently sued two companies that sell phony reviews on a large scale.
Meta, formerly Facebook and still a genuine tech giant, has recently made a scary threat: Either we (EU) allow the company to process our data the same way it did for years, or Facebook, WhatsApp, and even Instagram have no future in Europe. The threat literally took our breath away–never before had we laughed so hard! It's difficult to imagine a company would kill its golden goose without a fight, after all. But what caused this hilarity and what are the opposing views exactly?
It's now been two years since I wrote my last Christmas blog. As we all know by now, many things were bound to change–not necessarily for the better. So this is another year I find myself struggling to get into the Christmas spirit, despite the neat decorations on our tree in the foyer, and the Christmas balls and elves lining our window sills. For quite a while, I was in a rather sullen mood and mostly ignored the lights, after all, deadlines were rushing up fast and work makes no allowances for Christmas sentimentalities. And thus, December seemed gray and and full of business as usual–until Christmas finally caught up with me. It was because of a little tree, and old German Christmas song, and an American who sang it.