Opera inserts advertising into your bookmarks

by @edent | , , , | 2 comments | 300 words | Read ~774 times.

I've long been a fan of the Opera Mobile browser. I used it back in my Nokia Symbian and Blackberry days - it was simply the best browser for those limited devices. I've carried on using it on my Android devices due to its superior text handling. Last week I was scrolling through my bookmarks,…

Terrible emails from @nest

by @edent | , , | 2 comments | 250 words | Read ~347 times.

I never tire of telling people how bad my Nest Protect smoke alarm is. It is a buggy box which requires magic batteries and doesn't support some of its advertised features. Still, I've drilled it on to my ceiling now, so have to put up with it. This morning, I glanced bleary-eyed at my phone.…

How To Stop Facebook Tagging Spam

by @edent | , | 200 words | Read ~3,883 times.

Like a lot of you, my Facebook feed often fills up with dodgy adverts for discount sunglasses. In this case, Mark's account has been hacked and the spammers are tagging lots of his friends. The post then shows up on my feed as "look what your friend is up to!" Annoying. So, here's how to…

How Gmail lets spammers grab your attention with emoji

by @edent | , , , | 5 comments | 550 words | Read ~8,981 times.

What could be worse than email spam? Animated gifs in the subject line of email spam! This is a trend I've recently started to see on Gmail - here's what it looks like and how it works. So, what's going on here? How have they got an animated image into the subject line? Here's the…

The Curious Case of Amazon's IMDb Adverts

by @edent | , , , | 1 comment | 350 words | Read ~154 times.

The Internet Movie Database is one of the most venerable sites on the Web. It was founded by a British programmer in 1990 as a collection of Usenet posts (kids, ask your parents). By 1993 it was on the nascent World Wide Web - and was hosted out of Cardiff University in Wales. IMDb was…

My Facebook is not Your Facebook - AKA Block Early, Block Often

by @edent | , | 400 words | Read ~1,151 times.

I got into an argument with a friend a few weeks ago. I was complaining that I really didn't like the spam that Facebook shoves into my newsfeed. His argument was - and I paraphrase... I don't mind the occasional advert - between the Farmville notifications and "inspirational" quotes, I barely notice them. For me,…

Bloggers - Beware of the ASA

by @edent | , , | 350 words | Read ~162 times.

Earlier this year, I received an offer from a sleazy marketing company to place adverts on this blog - on the express understanding that they were not identified as sponsored posts. I reported the company - Media Discovery - to the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) who, after a perfunctory investigation, decided not to prosecute. They…

Stopping Coral's SMS Spam

by @edent | , , , | 1 comment | 700 words | Read ~3,382 times.

I don't like spam. I'm very careful always to tick the "do not pass my details on to 3rd parties" box on forms. So, when I do get SMS spam, I like to know who has been flouting the rules. See my previous investigation. A few weeks ago, I received this rather annoying message: I'm…

You Can't Buy Your Way Into Social Media

by @edent | , , , , | 1 comment | 150 words | Read ~353 times.

I've been taking a look at how big brands try to buy their way in to social spaces online. I'm not talking about ephemeral advertising on the side of the screen, I mean "sponsored posts". It strikes me that large companies simply don't realise that buying your way into a conversation is an admission of…

Why Do Companies Still Use Microsoft Windows For Displays?

by @edent | , , , , | 36 comments | 200 words | Read ~38,732 times.

As I was exiting Oxford Railway Station, I glanced at this screen showing the bus departure times. Notice anything odd about it? *sigh* Yet again someone has shoehorned Microsoft Windows into a product it is completely unsuitable for. Why does a screen which displays a fairly basic set of information need to be running on…