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WordPress Theme Developer to Use Code to Start Tracking All Sites Running Its Themes. Yikes!

Almost two years ago, I wrote about the positive experience that I’d had with WooThemes when switching over to the current WordPress theme that powers 40Tech. I implemented several custom changes to the theme we use here, and the WooThemes folks were very helpful as I worked things out. Lately, though, the WooThemes team has taken a step that has given me pause. Specifically, WooThemes is integrating tracking into all of their themes – new or old – so that they can get a better idea of how their customers are using their themes.

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Hotspot Shield VPN Officially on iOS — Secure Browsing, Bandwidth Compression, Access Blocked Sites/Services

When we first told you about Hotspot Shield, it was to use the free Virtual Private Network to bypass blocked media, as well as increase your browsing security. Over a year later, we posted a tutorial on how to use the VPN to watch US Netflix outside of United States, using your iOS devices. Unfortunately, the Hotspot Shield sign up process for iOS was broken soonafter, and their customer service team didn’t have a lot to say about it. Now we know why: Anchorfree, the creators of Hotspot Shield have released an iPhone app that makes all of the steps go away, and even solves a few of the problems.

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Worried That Google Is Spying on Your Searches? Then Screw Google With Scroogle

We once pondered whether Google was the devil. One of the issues that we raised was one of privacy. If you’re worried that Google is tracking your searches by cookie ID or by IP address, you have some options to thwart Google. One of those options is Scroogle.

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Is Facebook Tracking Every Web Page That You Visit . . . Even After You Log Out of Facebook?

Facebook has some explaining to do, if the findings of one blogger are true. Nik Cubrilovic, an entrepreneur and developer, recently analyzed Facebook’s tracking cookies, and found some surprising behavior. Specifically, even if you log out of your Facebook account, “Facebook still knows and can track every page you visit.” Before you get too upset, though, read on.

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Dropbox Updates Terms (again) to Calm Intellectual Property Fears

Dropbox has been upsetting some of its users, recently, with changes to its terms of service that caused concern and outrage regarding privacy of files uploaded to the service. Sure, outrage is easy to come by on the internet, especially with changes to heavily used cloud services, but there were some valid arguments to be made — and people didn’t hesitate to make them. First, there was that whole thing about decrytpting users’ encrypted files and handing them over to authorities when asked. Questions of users’ legal and moral behaviours notwithstanding, the simple fact that Dropbox claimed the right to decrypt what was encrypted was enough to shake up many people.

Most recently, however, Dropbox did something that should have been considered a good thing: they updated their terms to plain language that made them easier to understand. Unfortunately that blew up in their face, as some of the wording gave Dropbox the right to use your files pretty much however they want, intellectual property notwithstanding. The latest update to the Dropbox terms of service is aimed at quelling those fears.

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The No.1 Reason I Won’t Be Using Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon recently launched its Cloud Drive service offering users 5 GB of free online storage, with very competitive plans that essentially amount to yearly subscriptions of $1/GB, going up as high as 1000 GB. When combined with the Amazon Cloud Player (US-only), which allows you stream your music files from any computer or Android device, and doesn’t count Amazon MP3 purchases against your subscription limit, the Amazon Cloud Drive seems like one hell of a deal! The Amazon servers are some of the best out there, and unlike services like Microsoft’s SkyDrive, there are no limitations as to what can be uploaded as long as you own the files and their contents, don’t violate any laws by storing them, and agree not to upload anything that could be potentially dangerous.

All very reasonable and expected, no? Be a law-abiding and conscientious citizen, use the service responsibly, and you’re golden, right? Right – unless you enjoy the possibility of your privacy being infringed upon at the whim of a large corporation.

 

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Do You Trust Facebook?

The rest of the world doesn’t seem to care, but the tech community is afire concerning Facebook’s privacy problems, and its seeming disregard for its users in its pursuit of the almighty dollar. What do you think? Are you concerned about privacy on Facebook? At the very least, if you have privacy on Facebook under control, are you worried about Facebook’s moral compass?

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