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August 2014

NativeWrap for Android turns websites into apps to improve your privacy

If you want to access a website or service like Facebook, Twitter or Google on your mobile device you have two options. You can either open a mobile browser and point it to the service, or install an app that provides you with access.

Both options have privacy and security implications. With apps, it is all about permissions that you grant the app to have. While the permissions are often justified, they are not all the time so that additional information can be retrieved even though that's not needed for the apps' functionality.

Personal Interest Dashboard could improve Firefox’s History significantly

No matter which browser you use, the browsing history that it makes available, that is the websites that you have visited in the past, is boring to look at and does not reveal many information other than when and what.

A first concept for a Personal Internet Dashboard for the Firefox web browser was published on Bugzilla which visualizes how things could change in the near future.

How to install Linux on a computer without DVD drive

The -- very old -- laptop of a friend of mine died the other day and I offered to give her my old laptop as a replacement. Problem was, an old version of Windows was installed on my old laptop which I had to get rid of.

Since I did not have any spare Windows product keys at the time, I decided to install Linux on the device instead. While the main reason was that I could do so without paying a dime, it would improve the overall system security as well which is always a good thing.

The best free Internet Radio Recorders

Most media players support Internet Radio, so that it is possible to play streams right in the player. All it takes is to find the right station, which usually happens either on websites such as Shoutcast or in the programs if they ship with a list of stations by default.

When it comes to recording, Internet radio offers many advantages including the splitting of recordings in songs, the recording of multiple streams at the same time, and features to search and record songs of interest.

AdDetector reveals sponsored posts on websites you visit

You find different types of sponsored posts on the Internet. Those that are clearly labeled as such, those that have a label that is hard to find, and those that don't disclose that a post is sponsored at all even though it is.

How to prevent websites from hijacking keyboard shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way of speeding up certain operations in the web browser of choice. Ctrl-t opens a new tab, Ctr-s saves the displayed content to the local system, and Ctrl-l moves the cursor to the browser's address bar.

Sometimes however these shortcuts won't work and the core reason for this is that the website you are on hijacked it. Without going into too many technicalities: websites can override shortcuts by using JavaScript.

Fix Network related issues with NetAdapter Repair All In One

When it comes to repairing computers I dislike nothing more than having to fix a printer or network connection that is not working properly anymore.

That's why I'm thankful for any tool that provides me with information or options to speed up the repair job.

NetAdapter Repair All In One is a free open source program for Windows that falls into that category. When you first start it up after download, you will see tools listed on the left and information on the right.

WikiWand is a modernized Wikipedia frontend

Wikipedia is a great service to look up things you are interested in or want a deeper understanding of. While it may not be 100% accurate on everything, it does offer a solid starting point for research or getting an overview on many topics.

Wikipedia stays true to the encyclopedic nature of the site by throwing pages of texts and lots of links at you when you open an article. While you find an occasional picture as well thrown in, it is usually just text and links that it makes available.

Mozilla to integrate tracking protection in future Firefox versions

Tracking is an integral part of advertisement on the Internet. While there are websites that display ads without tracking users to gather information, most forms of advertisement rely on profiles and tracking.

The reason is simple: the more you know about a user the more targeted ads you can display.

Do Not Track (DNT), a method to inform sites that a user does not want to be tracked, may have been a step in the right direction but since it is completely up to the company to honor it, it is not very practicable for users.

10 Programs that Microsoft should integrate into Windows 9

Microsoft has not revealed a lot about its upcoming operating system Windows 9 but from the tidbits the company has released and rumors it appears as if it will be closer to Windows 7 than it is to Windows 8 interface-wise on the desktop.

Since this is somewhat of a restart, Microsoft could use it to integrate programs into Windows 9 that improve the operating system considerable for desktop users.

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