Web

Does the UN want to take over the Internet? Not according to the UN

does the un want to take over internet not according ituDespite concern from some quarters that certain United Nations member states were apparently plotting a takeover bid to gain control of the Internet, the organization rumored to be close to stealing the world wide web has stated that it has no interest in being in charge of the virtual world. Of course, that could just be a double bluff to lure us all off guard…

Rumors that a consortium made up of countries including China, Russia and some Middle Eastern nations have been plotting to take control of the Internet via the International Telecommunications Union have been circling with increasing frequency in the last few weeks, going so far as to lead to the creation of a website for whistleblowers to share potentially incriminating documents that would blow the doors off the entire deal. There’s only one problem, according to the ITU’s chief of media relations and public information: The ITU isn’t actually planning to be part of any power grab.

“I’d be surprised if you could find anything that would support these sorts of allegations,” ITU media chief Sarah Parkes told Talking Points Memo while talking to the political website about the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications, said to be where proposals to change existing Internet policy would be revealed. “Internet governance is not an issue at this conference. Some of it will concern things like exchange, routing and roaming rates.”

Parkes explained that, while each nation in the ITU does get a chance to propose new updates or changes to policy, said changes don’t actually get accepted without near-unanimous approval of all member nations. “Even a handful of dissenters is enough to stop proposals from going through,” she said. “We think it’s healthy that people have the ability to raise whatever points they want to raise in a very open way. This is part of the democratic process, letting the delegations discuss anything they want to. We wouldn’t see and I don’t think the delegations would see it as a desirable element for us to say ‘you’re not allowed to raise these specific issues.'”

The concern that control of the Internet would be somehow transferred from those who currently hold the reins (Non-profit organizations like ICANN and the Internet Engineering Task Force, which generally fall under US jurisdiction) to ITU, and therefore untrustworthy hands, can be put down to general confusion about what ITU actually is, Parkes believes. Saying that she found the WCITLeaks website “very amusing,” she went on to suggest that perhaps what is needed is information and context, instead of the illusion of transparency and paranoia. “I think what we need to do and are doing is communicate better. That would be the best way to put everyone’s minds at rest.”

Smart Home

Booth babes, banned sex toys, and other mishaps at CES 2019

From female sex toys bans, to fake Tesla/robot collision stories, there was some weird stuff going on at CES 2019 this year. Here are some of the biggest mishaps and flubs at the world's biggest tech show.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Movies & TV

Here's everything we know about 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum'

John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum, the third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about it so far.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

From premiere date to footage: Here's all we have on 'Game of Thrones' season 8

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Web

Shutdown makes dozens of .gov websites insecure due to expired TLS certificates

The US government shutdown is causing trouble in internet security. As the shutdown enters day 22, dozens of government websites have been rendered insecure or inaccessible due to expired transport layer security (TLS) certificates.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Computing

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Business

Cathay Pacific messes up first-class ticket prices — again

A couple of weeks ago, an error on Cathay Pacific's website resulted in first-class seats selling for a tenth of the price. On Sunday, January 13, the airline made the error again. The good news is that it'll honor the bookings.
Computing

Reluctant to give your email address away? Here's how to make a disposable one

Want to sign up for a service without the risk of flooding your inbox with copious amounts of spam and unwanted email? You might want to consider using disposable email addresses via one of these handy services.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Want to save a webpage as a PDF? Just follow these steps

Need to quickly save and share a webpage? The best way is to learn how to save a webpage as a PDF file, as they're fully featured and can handle images and text with ease. Here's how.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.