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Proprietary Software, Openwashing, Surveillance

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  • Setting a standard for digital public goods | Opensource.com

    In June 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations published a "Roadmap for Digital Cooperation." In this report, he expanded on recommendations made a year before, calling on all actors, including the Member States, the United Nations system, the private sector, and others, to promote digital public goods. He says to realize the benefits of increased internet connectivity, open source projects in the form of digital public goods must be at the center.

  • Vivaldi adds privacy features in new version for Android

    Norway-based Vivaldi Technologies has released a new version of its browser for the Android mobile operating system, which it says has added WebRTC leak protection and auto-clearing of browsing data upon exit.

  • Control your holiday lights with a tap of a Disney MagicBand

    Because of travel limitations due to the pandemic, Civitano decided to create a replica of a MagicBand reader that uses an NFC card reader module to recognize a programmed MagicBand, which triggers a ring of LEDs, audio output, and a relay for Christmas lighting. This setup could likely be applied to other devices, opening up its possibilities into January and beyond.

    Electronics for the build — including an Arduino Mega that runs the show — are hidden inside of a 3D-printed, property-themed enclosure that resembles those found outside of any Disney theme park. This would potentially preserve a sense of wonder at the device, and diffuses the LEDs nicely.

  • Avoid “Advertiser ID” with the Librem 5

    Apple and Google profess to care about the privacy rights of their customers, but their operating systems tell a different story. iOS and Android both allow for pervasive tracking of users through Advertiser IDs. Google uses a version is known as GAID (Google Advertiser Identification) and Apple uses its version called IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers).

    While most advertisers claim it’s a benefit because you got a coupon for your pizza, it instead keeps a permanent record of everything your phone has done. That treasure trove of your personal information is shared with any party participating in the user tracking business model, which ends up meaning most apps on your phone.

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