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Wikipedia’s “right to be forgotten” protest hits the wrong note

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Screenshot 2014-08-08 10.06.07As an information resource, I rate Wikipedia very highly indeed. I have serious concerns about its leadership’s decision to try to undermine the “right to be forgotten” by drawing special attention to articles that have been delisted from Google.

Yes, there are problems with the current implementation of the right to be forgotten, but I believe the principle is a good one. Our libel laws already enshrine the right of the individual to protect his or her reputation against misrepresentation. If search engine results promote a misleading impression of someone, based on old and irrelevant information, it seems fair to me that the same principle ought to apply.

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How to stop Google+ strangers contacting you on Gmail

Friday, January 10th, 2014

G+-Circles

Google has just switched on a new Gmail feature that allows any Google+ user to send you email, even if they’re a complete stranger.

If you have a Google+ profile and the sender has chosen to add you to their Google+ circles, your name will now pop up as a suggested recipient in their “To:” field – regardless of whether you’ve added them back, or indeed whether you know them at all.

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Hotmail vs Gmail: composing messages

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

PC Pro editor Barry Collins is conducting a two-week experiment, returning to Hotmail after six years of using Gmail, to examine Microsoft’s claims that its webmail system has improved. You can read his previous blog posts on Moving from Gmail to Hotmail here.

Until now, I’ve largely focused on features that help sort out the chaos of your inbox. But what are the respective webmail systems like when it comes to the seemingly straightforward task of writing new messages?

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Look what the iPad’s done to my data consumption

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

BC data consumption

The graph above shows the quantity of data downloaded (in blue) and uploaded (red) on my home internet connection since 2006 (click graph to enlarge). You’ll notice a fairly gradual climb in data downloads until August 2011, when I treated myself to an iPad 2 for my birthday. Suddenly that blue line jolts like a patient coming out of cardiac arrest in a TV drama.

Why has the iPad resulted in such a dramatic leap in data downloads? Because it’s a weapon of mass consumption. I estimate half of the television I watch these days is watched on the iPad. Whether it’s catching up with Have I Got News For You on the iPlayer app or watching the Monday Night Football on Sky Go while my girlfriend takes the main television set hostage for the Coronation Street, EastEnders, Coronation Street marathon, I’m regularly guzzling video on the tablet, chomping through hundreds of megabytes for every hour’s viewing.

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