Computing & Technology

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I Cut the ‘Big Five’ Tech Giants From My Life. It Was Hell

Over the course of five weeks, I blocked Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple one at a time, to find out how to live in the modern age without each one. To end my experiment, I’m going to see if I can survive blocking all five at once.

Want to Really Block the Tech Giants? Here’s How

As consumers, we are afforded only a few avenues of acceptable dissent—the most reasonable of which is that, if you don’t like what a company is doing, you can move your money and data elsewhere. But increasingly this option is unavailable to us.

China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet works

“After two decades of Internet development under the Communist Party’s firm leadership, [China’s Internet czar, Lu Wei] said, his country had struck the correct balance between ‘freedom and order’ and between ‘openness and autonomy.’” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 1 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

Internet activists are finding ways around China’s Great Firewall

“I hope one day I’ll live in a country where I have the freedom to write any code I like without fearing.” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 2 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

The Internet was supposed to foster democracy. China has different ideas.

“I just want freedom of speech without fear.” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 3 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

America wants to believe China can’t innovate. Tech tells a different story.

“The truth is that behind the Great Firewall — the system of censorship designed to block content that could challenge the Chinese Communist Party — China’s tech scene is flourishing in a parallel universe.” – BEHIND THE FIREWALL: How China tamed the Internet | This is part 4 of 6 of a series examining the impact of China’s Great Firewall, a mechanism of Internet censorship and surveillance that affects nearly 700 million users.

CyberSecurity

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Hacker Lexicon: What Is the Signal Encryption Protocol?

As the Signal protocol becomes the industry standard, it’s worth understanding what sets it apart from other forms of end-to-end encrypted messaging.

The Incredible Rise of North Korea’s Hacking Army

The country’s cyber forces have raked in billions of dollars for the regime by pulling off schemes ranging from A.T.M. heists to cryptocurrency thefts. Can they be stopped?

StopRansomware.gov website – The U.S. Government’s One-Stop Location to Stop Ransomware

This website is the U.S. Government’s official one-stop location for resources to tackle ransomware more effectively.

All the Ways Amazon Tracks You—and How to Stop It

The retail empire is obsessed with your data. But is the convenience worth giving up your personal information?

Google’s cookie ban and FLoC, explained

At some point next year, Google Chrome will stop using third-party cookies. It’s a move that could upend the global advertising and publishing industries – and it has major implications for your privacy.

Securing Internet Applications from Routing Attacks

This article provides a new perspective by showing that routing attacks on Internet applications can have even more devastating consequences for users—including uncovering users (such as political dissidents) trying to communicate anonymously, impersonating websites even if the traffic uses HTTPS, and stealing cryptocurrency. This article argues that the security of Internet applications and the network infrastructure should be considered together, as vulnerabilities in one layer led to broken assumptions (and new vectors for attacks) in the other.

Web Resources

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F.B. Purity – Clean Up and Customize Facebook

F.B. Purity is a browser extension / add-on that lets you clean up and customise Facebook. It filters out the junk you don’t want to see, leaving behind the stories and page elements you do wish to see. The list of story types that FBP hides is customizable to your taste.

WPBeginner – Beginner’s Guide for WordPress

At WPBeginner, our main goal is to provide cutting-edge helpful WordPress tutorials that are easy to understand for small businesses, bloggers, and non-techy WordPress website owners.

Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

The Firefox 70 Accessibility Inspector is an auditing facility to help identify and fix many common mistakes and practices to help improve site accessibility.

Internet Archive Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet. It was launched in 2001 by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California, United States.

Documentation Is Automation

Automation is putting process into code. A bullet list in a process document is code if it is treated that way.

Cringeworthy Words to Cut from Online Copy

Nielsen Norman Group, January 17, 2016
Writing for the Web
By Hoa Loranger

“Summary: The right words can make or break trust; they affect your tone of voice and how people perceive your site.”

Weather | Snow | Utah

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Suppressing fires has failed. Here’s what California needs to do instead.

It’s time to reverse a century of fire-management policy. That will require sweeping regulatory reforms, and tons of money.

Summer Heat 2020

It is now normal for each Summer to in one way or another be hotter than the one prior. As a result there will be remarkable occurrences a few of which I’m cataloguing here.

California Fires – Late August, 2020

A large number of fires were started by lightning strikes in California over the weekend of August 15-16, 2020. They resulted from a storm system that moved along the coast of California and produced copious amounts of dry lightning through primarily northern California around the greater San Fransisco Bay area. I’m including a number of articles, imagery and videos to document the resulting series of fires and the impact the resulting smoke has had on the upper western United States.

A History of Avalanche Mitigation in the Cottonwood Canyons

Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon roads carve between steep mountains that are prone to avalanches in the winter. In fact, 57% of the 9-mile Little Cottonwood Canyon Road is in an avalanche runout zone. Still, recreationalists, residents, and canyon employees need to transport themselves up and down these canyons regularly and as safely as possible.

#Avalanche: In a world obsessed with social media, avalanche centers are relying more and more on the attention-grabbing platforms to better equip backcountry skiers

“Originally, we looked at social media very much as another way of disseminating the forecast,” said Ethan Greene, director of the CAIC. “We still do that, but have been using it more to engage people and try to get out information about current conditions as well as broader education out to people. It’s been a good way for people to ask questions, and we’ve done our best to address those questions.”

A deadly derecho slammed Nashville with 70 mph winds Sunday, snapping trees and knocking out power

Residents in the Tennessee Valley are cleaning up after a long-lived line of thunderstorms, known as a derecho, brought severe wind gusts on Sunday. The intense storms caused straight-line wind damage along a path that stretched for more than 600 miles.

Street Art

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Street Art from Mural Fest in South Salt Lake, Utah

Mural Fest celebrates urban beautification and artistic talent using the powerful tool of public art. The visual impact of bold, creative designs embodies the energy of the innovative businesses and creative communities in the Creative Industries Zone.

Banksy Stylee

In the style of Banksy.