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Mass surveillance through technology: China

Sven Krumrey
18 Comments
In conversations about surveillance states, China is always mentioned. The country makes use of modern technology to monitor its 1.4 billion citizens like no other. Strong censorship of all media outlets (including the Internet) is quickly becoming old hat as the country turns towards face recognition, voice analysis and information clustering to create a "social credit system". Reason enough to take a closer look. more
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Four messengers that are better than WhatsApp

Sven Krumrey
16 Comments
Today, messengers have mostly replaced SMS messages with WhatsApp being in the vanguard and having acquired over one billion active users to date. In most cases, the app works flawlessly and handles fairly well. So all is good, right? Hardly! WhatsApp's reputation has received quite a few dents over the years not least due to its acquisition by Facebook - and reports of a linking between Facebook and WhatsApp user profiles to consolidate their databases. Meta data (Who talked to whom?) is still considered a gold mine by data collectors and the struggle to create ever denser user profiles is ongoing. Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, also owned by Facebook, already enjoy a close cooperation. On top of that, WhatsApp is also regularly dogged by security issues. Time to start looking for viable WhatsApp replacements! more
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Using a high-end PC without actually owning one: PC streaming

Sven Krumrey
12 Comments
We've gotten used to obtaining all sorts of content online. Internet-based texts, images or videos are common place - but how about a high-end PC that is accessible from anywhere and without ever having purchased one? Although still in its infancy, this approach may soon become mainstream for users who seek to play real games on their Macs, don't want a gaming rig in their homes or shun the high prices and fast aging of computer hardware. So how does PC streaming work? more
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How YouTube is struggling to keep billions under control

Sven Krumrey
18 Comments
YouTube, Facebook and many other media platforms are facing a problem: a lot of smut is distributed through their channels. That has always been the case but, recently, it has become a threat since extremists of all sorts have begun to use their channels to spread propagandist and violence-glorifying content. As new privacy laws are passed and advertising sponsors put on the pressure, the media giants have to either find better ways to handle the deluge of user posts or risk hefty fines. Artificial intelligence (AI) has been touted as the magic bullet but are algorithms really the solution? more
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Four superior Windows Explorer replacements

Sven Krumrey
41 Comments
As Windows advances, one important part of it remains as imperfect as ever: Windows Explorer. It may be enough to navigate around your files but if you value a little comfort or miss the old split-view (present up to Windows 95), you're out of luck. Why Microsoft doesn't offer a decent alternative is beyond me! Luckily, there are better, more feature rich and often free file managers out there - and one piece of software that has been painfully missed for over a decade is making a return! more
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