Molested by robots - How social bots are manipulating us

Sven Krumrey
Picture this, a politician is giving a speech in front of a large audience. Immediately afterwards, he receives applause and encouraging words but also boos, backtalk and mockery. You look around to see who's causing the fuss - and see abunch of robots. What sounds like eerie science fiction has already become reality on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and many other sites. Software created for political manipulation and to sell goods or spy on you? Yes, it's already on the market! more

Windows 10 - final sprint and anniversary

The final days have come! At least that is the feeling users of older Windows version get when they see the Windows 10 countdown. With a little flair for the dramatic, Microsoft uses it to signal that the free Windows 10 upgrade will soon be history. But the question is: Who's really running out of time here since many users (including many of you!) vehemently refuse to upgrade - often with good reason? Maybe the "anniversary update" is reason enough to upgrade at the last minute? more

Pokémon Go – a self-experiment

Whenever the media are raving about a particular topic it's enough to spawn reluctance. I am no exception which is why I quickly decided to deem the overhyped Pokémon Go as rubbish and not bother looking into it. There's already an add-on for Chrome available that will filter out anything Pokémon-related and I was on the verge of installing it. But isn't it a bit premature to judge something you never tried out? After all, "Too much media coverage" is not a valid argument, it doesn't make or break a game. Maybe I was missing out on loads of fun? more

Hostage situation on your PC - Ransomware

Those affected may find it quite spooky, either parts of or their entire system is no longer accessible. Instead, they are presented with notifications that can give you goosebumps: A police department is supposed to have found illegal material on their machines. Their copy of Windows is illegal and they need to purchase a license or they have violated copyright laws. Other messages may be more "honest" and will tell mortified users their PCs have been taken over and that their files have been encrypted. They are now required to pay a ransom because they fell victim to ransomware. more

Hot ears - the question of cell phone radiation

I recently visited a nice couple that lives on the tranquil outskirts of an average city. These friendly people are always laid-back and so they were this evening until it got my cell phone out and put it on the table. "Would you please put your cell phone away or turn it off? It's so close to the crib." As a well-mannered guest with a liking for worried parents, I naturally switched it off. But did I really endanger their child? I had to look into the matter!