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VanDragt.com

Thought on privacy, tech and media.

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If you visit this site you will know what browser cookies are and that they are used to store information about you across visits to that website. A typical website will store a few to a few hundred cookies on your computer.

Each cookie has an expiry date for when they are no longer valid and then automatically deleted by the browser. Did you know the lifetime of some of these cookies are several decades in the future and that they are routinely used by data brokers and analytics companies to gather data on you?

That’s why I’ve recommended installing a plugin like PrivacyBadger, to prevent these tracking cookies from being passed back to websites that track you across websites.

But you can also override the maximum lifespan of these cookies. I’ve experimented and 10-14 days seems to be a good medium between having to login to all your websites all the time and maintaining privacy.

On Firefox, open about:config and search for network.cookie.lifetime, you will find network.cookie.lifetime.days (set this to 10) and network.cookie.lifetimePolicy (set this to 3 to override the default behaviour or letting the website decide).

On Chrome or Vivaldi browsers it’s possible to set these values by installing my FreshCookies addon, which does not contain any tracking itself.

I’m providing my two factor authentication code to log into my password manager to provide the password into my social network account which asks me to provide a two factor authentication code, just to view an image. #winning

It is 2017 and we’re still asking for 10 character alphanumeric passwords?

Hide Trackbacks 1.1.1

Hide Trackbacks is a WordPress plugin that hides pingbacks and trackbacks from your website comments.

I’ve updated the plugin to indicate it works correctly with WordPress 4.9 and earlier.

Embedding a ted.com video by pasting the URL into a WordPress post means the whole video loads (33mb!) on pageload! Great videos, bad service.

Fix iPhone lightning port disconnection issues by cleaning out the port with a tooth pick. If the inside isn’t white then it’s not clean.

We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We’re building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren’t even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.

This is why I run PrivacyBadger to block tracking, not ads.

Brexit

 

The Death Of Stalin

Can’t wait to see this film!

Get about thirty percent more battery life and preserve your mobile data plan by deleting Google Hangouts from your iOS device.