Goodbye To WhatsApp!

Yes It’s Time To Ditch WhatsApp!

WhatsApp logo

And it’s goodbye to WhatsApp!

Following today’s announcement that WhatsApp plans to “..begin sharing more data with Facebook and will start letting some companies send messages to users.”, it’s high-time to look elsewhere and ditch WhatsApp for good.

Facebook bought the messaging app WhatsApp for $19bn (£11.4bn) in 2014.

As of February 2016, WhatsApp had a user base of one billion, so that’s a lot of people to spam with useless crap they don’t need.

“When WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook it was able to reassure users that it would remain independent,” said Pamela Clark-Dickson, principal analyst at Ovum, an independent analyst and consultancy firm based in London.

“Now it’s giving Facebook phone numbers – some might say that’s a betrayal of trust. In a small way, it has gone back on what it said it wouldn’t do.”

There is an opt-out procedure, but can we trust facebook?

UPDATE:
Whatsapp investigated by Government over Facebook data sharing (independent.co.uk)

Alternatives

Here, try Open Source. It’s free, and better for you.
And don’t forget kids, Never trust The Man.

Android Open Source alternatives for WhatsApp at Alternativeto.net
http://alternativeto.net/software/whatsapp/?license=opensource&platform=android

Iphone Open Source alternatives for WhatsApp at Alternativeto.net
http://alternativeto.net/software/whatsapp/?license=opensource&platform=iphone

Ref:

WhatsApp users to receive adverts (BBC)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-37184651

How do I choose not to share my account information with Facebook to improve my Facebook ads and products experiences? (whatsapp.com)
https://www.whatsapp.com/faq/general/26000016

Whatsapp (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whatsapp

Open Source (Wikipedia)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software

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Opera Browser Servers Hacked

27th June 20013: IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL OPERA BROWSER USERS
opera-crime-scene_368x400
Servers belonging to software developers Opera have been compromised. At present it is unclear how much damage has been done. Opera themselves have been their usual less than forthcoming selves when queried, moreover their official statement raise more questions than it answers. Additionally there is no news for its users on it’s official facebook pages or twitter account.

Further Reading:
Opera breached, has code cert stolen, possibly spreads malware – advice on what to do
Attackers sign malware using crypto certificate stolen from Opera Software
Opera network cracked
Opera’s network hacked, code-signing certificate stolen, used to spread malware
Opera tries to put a good spin on could turn out to be a pretty nasty breach
Opera’s official statement raise more questions than it answers

Another nail in the coffin?

WebKit Opera: First Impressions

27th June 20013: IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR ALL OPERA BROWSER USERS
Opera breached, has code cert stolen, possibly spreads malware – advice on what to do
Attackers sign malware using crypto certificate stolen from Opera Software
Opera’s network hacked, code-signing certificate stolen, used to spread malware
Opera’s official statement raise more questions than it answers

So then Opera enters a dramatic new phase, but is a bright new dawn or is the sun about to set on a much loved friend?

From herein I shall refer to Presto as Classic Opera and WebKit as, erm, ChromOpera? ChrOpera? ChOpera? COpera? I haven’t settled on an appropriate conjunction just yet.


View full size image. Opera Next v.15.0.1147.61

Observations on Opera Next version 15.0.1147.61
One aspect that I and I’m certain most users love about Classic Opera is in how customisable it is. ini files can be edited with speed and efficiency that brings a real sense of ownership to the experience.

WebKit uses SQLlite to store its user data so by using SQLite Database Browser I’ve been able to view and edit some files (see screenshot below). Crucially the Preferences file can be edited in a plain text editor, although only a few options have been added thus far, so there really isn’t much one can do to customise things just yet.


View full size image. SQLite Database Browser

Overview & Omissions
This is merely a cursory overview. A first impression review.

    Search: No edit options. Cannot Add or remove.
    Bookmarks: Not available.
    UserJS: Not available.
    UserCSS: Not available.
    Themes: No edit options. Cannot Add or remove.
    Toolbar: Not available.
    Passwwords: Import not available.
    Certificates: Import not available.
    Blocked Content/urlfilter: Not available.

source: Gary Walsh – WebKit Opera: First Impressions MyOpera Blog

Update:
Problems with Dragonfly [1] [2]

Opera Next Users Poll
Farewell Opera? Poll
Farewell Opera? Results

Further Reading:
Why Opera switching to Blink (WebKit) was the blunder of a century
Opera Next 15 Released! Opera Desktop Team Blog
SQLite Database Browser

The Rise of US Covert Surveillance

Secret Surveillance Reports: Channel 4 News

Barack Obama defends secret surveillance reports, assuring citizens phone calls are private. But the Information Commissioner’s Office says there are “real issues” about US agencies accessing UK data.

In his first comments since the government’s surveillance programmes were made public, President Obama insisted that they were conducted with broad safeguards to protect against abuse.

“Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this programme is about,” said the president.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that the National Security Agency and FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US internet companies. Meanwhile the Guardian reported that the US government is collecting telephone records of millions of Americans as part of counterterrorism efforts.

On Friday, it also emerged that at least one European intelligence agency is using the US Prism service too: the Guardian reported that GCHQ has had access to the system since at least June 2010, and generated 197 intelligence reports from it last year.

Mr Obama insisted that the surveillance programs struck the right balance between keeping Americans safe from terrorist attack and protecting their privacy.

But the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said that that there were “real issues” with the revelations. A spokesperson told Channel 4 News that there appeared to be aspects of US law that conflicts with UK law and that the ICO had raised concerns with the EU commission, which is in discussions with the US government.

US vs UK law
In a statement, the Information Commissioner Office (ICO) told Channel 4 News: “There are real issues about the extent to which US law enforcement agencies can access personal data of UK and other European citizens.

“Aspects of US law under which companies can be compelled to provide information to US agencies potentially conflict with European data protection law, including the UK’s own data protection act.”

Continue reading… Obama defends US spying on internet and phone data – Channel 4 News.

Further Reading
To be updated

Flickr Site Crashes. To No One’s Surprise!

And then poor old flickr decided there was nothing else left but to roll over and play dead.

Flickr Crash
source // click image to enlarge

Yes finally under the colossal weight of a incomplete and poorly executed redesign, HTML5 had a meeting with CSS3, jumped into jQuery’s smart new convertible – who’d thoughtfully left the engine running since Monday – and fucked off to the beach.

One has to feel some sympathy for the technical staff at flickr HQ who presumably were forced against their better judgement into rolling out a site that was incomplete and unstable. Just look at their poor solemn faces at Monday’s launch ‘party’.

flickr lanuch party 600x219
source // click image to enlarge

So, despite claims from flickr to be ‘aware of the problem’ and moreover to be ‘fixing it’, the site is now in worse shape one week into the relaunch.

Why Is This Happening?
Flickr’s claim to be ‘listening’ is as erroneous as its ‘Awesome’ relaunch that struck users unannounced on Monday and subsequently brought the entire site to a grinding halt on Thursday. By far one of the biggest problems for all users is pages that take an age to load or do not load at all.

The problem centres around a poorly thought out redesign that attempts to display too many hi-resolution images at one time coupled with a continually scrolling page, so that the process never really catches up with itself leaving partial loading pages with blank placeholders or a completely empty page, or in some cases a page that attempts to reload itself over and over again when scrolled up or down.

New and Improved-Awesome fickr
source // click image to enlarge

As state of the art goes, this is an abject lesson in Unresponsive Web Design, in How Not To Design A Photo Sharing Website, and beggars belief how it ever got rolled out to a mass audience. A rookie mistake if ever their was one and one in which yahoo and flickr are certain to pay heavily in lost users, not to mention their true concern, revenue.

The solution, in technical terms is obvious and straightforward, but regrettably for all concerned it’s one that a stubborn and inflexible new CEO will not allow.

As frustrated and disgruntled users continue to complain in their thousands shareholders ought to be very concerned.

UPDATE: Yahoo Design Chief Quits. ~ Senior vice president of Yahoo’s User Experience Design department, Tim Parsey, has decided to leave the company.