TECH

Limited anonymity: What incognito mode does and doesn't do

Sven Krumrey

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!

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TECH

The cellphone cam stays on!

Sven Krumrey
Judd Heape, vice president of product management at Qualcomm Technologies, bravely smiled through the demo of the new "always on" camera feature of their new Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. “Your phone’s front camera is always securely looking for your face, even if you don’t touch it or raise to wake it, ” he said. This (and more) is what's in store for you once the new processors make it into the flagships of various cellphone manufacturers. But why is the camera supposed to be always on and what about privacy? Or more generally put: Is convenience the one argument that trumps everything else? Am I just a little too oversensitive when I find this development rather alienating? more

TECH

How Microsoft intends to force us (again) to use Edge

Sven Krumrey
With unusually peskiness, Microsoft is currently trying to establish its Edge as the browser of choice in Windows 11. Unless you agree (which seems to be a minority), you'll now have to wrestle with checkboxes and frequent popups. Changing the default setting has been deliberately made harder for users. While Windows 10 had begging-like notifications to switch to the allegedly much faster and safer Edge, the thumb screws have been tightened in Windows 11. Naturally, you can still install alternative browsers and make minor adjustments, but Edge has now become the only choice in some scenarios! more

TECH

A review of Google Nest Mini: Is the smallest Nest worth it?

Sven Krumrey
I'm generally not a fan of "smart speakers" like Amazon's Echo Dot, Apple's HomePod or Google's Nest Mini. I like the technology but I didn't own any of them for the longest time. I won't froth at the mouth about the alleged spying nature of these devices but I will say I dislike voice-based interfaces. I'd rather talk to people than machines, and type my commands into the latter when they require input. Recently though, I switched electricity providers and got two Google Nest Minis in my mailbox as a reward (they usually sell for about €50 a piece). Google is one the three major players in the market for virtual assistants, yet I never had the chance to review their Mini–until now. Let's get started! more

TECH

Fight against evil or step in the wrong direction? Apple's latest plans

Sven Krumrey
Apple wants to keep child sexual abuse material off their iCloud servers and away from minors–and has created an uproar among their fans and beyond. Because, however noble and necessary their cause, the technical implementation and unspoken general suspicion towards everyone sparks controversy. So what is Apple planning, how far can they go as a private company, and how are other service providers handling the issue? Let's find out! more