(The kitty knows you shouldn't click it. Photo: Ira Powell )

Google Hates Those Fake “Download” Buttons As Much As You Do, Will Now Block Sites Using Them

There is a certain kind of site out there that manages to exist through trickery. You go to it, looking for a specific file to download, and there’s a Big! Green! Button! that says “DOWNLOAD” on it in large, friendly letters… except, that’s not the download button you were looking for. The link you were looking for is actually one mostly-hidden line of text. The thing you’ve clicked was actually an ad, and now it’s redirected you and your computer is installing god-knows-what. Oops. [More]

Comcast User’s Bot Tweets At Comcast Whenever His Internet Speed Gets Too Slow

Comcast User’s Bot Tweets At Comcast Whenever His Internet Speed Gets Too Slow

Just because you pay for a certain internet speed doesn’t mean you get it all the time. That’s just a sad fact of life: those speeds are an “up to” promise, not a “minimum guarantee” promise. But just how often is a lapse below a certain threshold acceptable? And given that internet speeds are variable, how would you make sure your provider knows? [More]

The Consumerist Guide To Understanding Your Comcast Bill

The Consumerist Guide To Understanding Your Comcast Bill

When you sign up for services — some combination of TV, broadband, and/or phone — from your cable company, you’re told you’ll pay something like $49 or $89 a month… and yet the price you actually pay can be 30-40% or more on top of that, thanks to a heap of sometimes confusing charges and fees. Which ones do you blame the government for, and which are made up by your cable company? One cable company at a time, we’re going to use real customers’ bills to break it down. First up: Comcast. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Report: Wendy’s May Be Latest Victim Of Credit Card Data Breach

A burger and some chili or a baked potato seems like a great meal idea in this miserably snowy winter weather so many of us are having. Unfortunately, reports are saying that if you bought that tasty treat from Wendy’s with a credit or debit card recently, it may come with an unwanted side of fraud. [More]

How Social Engineering Fooled Amazon Customer Service Reps Into Sharing A Customer’s Data

How Social Engineering Fooled Amazon Customer Service Reps Into Sharing A Customer’s Data

You generally expect that a company that has your personal information — like your address, recent orders, and billing information — is going to treat that data with some level of care. While you know their privacy policy might still allow some sharing for marketing reasons, you don’t expect their customer service agents to divulge it to anyone who happens to call up and pretend to be you. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Players of a certain age may have fond memories of some old Atari classics of yesteryear, but the hardware isn’t exactly around anymore and copies of games have literally been in a dump. Well, rejoice: Atari is releasing 100 classic game titles to the PC on Steam sometime this spring. In addition to actually running, the titles will have some modern upgrades like working local and/or online multiplayer and Steam Controller support. [via The Verge]

Microsoft Finally Resolving A Five-Year-Old Skype Privacy Flaw For All Users

Microsoft Finally Resolving A Five-Year-Old Skype Privacy Flaw For All Users

There’s a security flaw in Skype that can expose users’ location. That’s not the news, though: that flaw was discovered in 2010, and published in 2011. No, the news is this: after more than five long years and one big acquisition by Microsoft, that problem is finally fixed. [More]

Over 5,100 Flights Across Two Days Already Cancelled Due To Winter Storm

Over 5,100 Flights Across Two Days Already Cancelled Due To Winter Storm

Did you have plans to fly, er, anywhere involving the eastern half of U.S. this weekend? If you’re not already in the air, and you you didn’t already rebook with a travel waiver, now’s the time to get on that, because cancellations are rolling in. [More]

Poll Sponsored By Charter Says Charter Is Great, More Charter Greater

Poll Sponsored By Charter Says Charter Is Great, More Charter Greater

Charter is still pushing very hard to get their pending three-way merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks approved by the FCC and Department of Justice. To that end, they’re happy to push any available evidence that they are not only great, but also working for the public interest. And what better way to gather that evidence than to sponsor their very own poll looking for it? [More]

Your Home Router Was Probably Out-Of-Date And Insecure Before You Even Plugged It In

Your Home Router Was Probably Out-Of-Date And Insecure Before You Even Plugged It In

Here’s some depressing news for your morning: even if you set up your home network yourself and followed all of the best practices for doing so, it’s probably got some big fat vulnerabilities in it. [More]

NBC Exec: Viewers Always Come Back From Binges, Netflix Not A “Consistent” Threat

NBC Exec: Viewers Always Come Back From Binges, Netflix Not A “Consistent” Threat

There’s obviously some disruption afoot in the TV marketplace of late. Broadcast and cable networks continue to think that they represent TV. Netflix, Amazon, and an up-and-coming generation of cord-cutters seem to disagree. And yet for all money the young whippersnapper businesses seem to get from the young whippersnapper audiences, at least one member of the old guard thinks it’s all so much chaff in the wind. [More]

3 Common Misconceptions & 1 Important Truth About Privacy Policies

Jason Cook

It’s right there, somewhere. Buried deep in a menu under “legal” in an app, or lurking somewhere in the footer of a website that never seems to stop adding content while you scroll. Each of us encounters dozens of them every day and yet most of us never give any thought to them. It is, of course, the privacy policy. [More]

At Least 16 NJ Towns Left With Failing Phone Service While Verizon Dithers On Repairing Copper Wires

At Least 16 NJ Towns Left With Failing Phone Service While Verizon Dithers On Repairing Copper Wires

Verizon has made it very clear that they have no interest in maintaining or upgrading their aging, legacy copper-wire networks. If they were replacing them all with fiber that would be one thing, but according to residents and officials in at least 16 New Jersey towns, that’s not what’s happening. Instead, municipalities are just seeing their entire communications infrastructure left to rot, to the point where you can’t even make a phone call on a rainy day. [More]

Microsoft Ends An Era: Support For Internet Explorer 8, 9, And 10 Stops Next Week

Microsoft Ends An Era: Support For Internet Explorer 8, 9, And 10 Stops Next Week

The end is nigh: as of Tuesday, January 12, Microsoft will issue its final support patch for versions 8, 9, and 10 of its Internet Explorer browser, bringing one of the web’s clunkiest tools one step closer to vanishing. [More]

Test Claims To Show T-Mobile’s YouTube “Optimization” Is Just Connection Throttling

Test Claims To Show T-Mobile’s YouTube “Optimization” Is Just Connection Throttling

We’ve had a bit of a high-tech tiff going on for the past few weeks between YouTube and T-Mobile. First, YouTube accused T-Mobile of unfairly degrading their video. T-Mobile replied nuh-uh, everything is simply optimized for mobile and the world is great. So who’s right? [More]

(paul bica)

GM Investing $500M In Lyft, Hopes You Will Eventually Get Rides From Self-Driving Fleet

The world of business partnerships is kicking off 2016 with a bang, bringing together the old world of cars with the new. GM, the occasionally troubled behemoth carmaker founded in 1908, and Lyft, the once-mustachioed ride-hailing service (that isn’t Uber) founded in 2012, are embarking together on a half-billion dollar plan to bring the future to a street near you. [More]

A Message From The Year 2026 About The Future Of Your TV

(Great Beyond)

Thirty years ago, in 1996, you actually used your TV to watch broadcast or cable signals — live, as things aired. Twenty years ago, in 2006, you probably still had cable, but you probably also had a DVR, freeing you to watch programming at your leisure (much to the chagrin of advertisers). Ten years ago, in 2016, you may or may not have decided to cut the coaxial cord — but even if you had cable, odds were high you complemented it with some kind of streaming service. But by today, Jan. 4, 2026, if you even remember what “cable” was, that’s probably because you only see it at your grandparents’ house. [More]

Google Gets Access To Your Kids’ Data Because It’s A “School Official”

Google Gets Access To Your Kids’ Data Because It’s A “School Official”

Sometimes, data has to be shared to be useful. For example, a school district needs information on the students in it, in order to function. When are they absent? What are their grades? How are things going with scheduling? So it wouldn’t come as a surprise to most parents that “school officials” are on the list of entities who are allowed to access data, even sometimes sensitive data, about their kids. But it would shock most parents to find out that Google — yes, that Google — is one of those “school officials.” [More]