Category Archives: English

Howto avoid on line tracking

Last update: 17 September 2014

On your laptop or home computer

Avoid google tracking by installing  “Do not track me” or “Ghostery” as an extension for your browser.

Quote of  developer of “Do not Track me” Abine:

“Companies place third party trackers on their sites for a variety of reasons: to get insights on you, gather information about you to sell to advertisers, or combine what you do on their site with what you do on other sites.

How does DoNotTrackMe block them? When web pages load, there are snippets of code that instantly start tracking you. Our engineering team works hard to figure out who these companies are – and how their code works – so that DoNotTrackMe can stop them.

DoNotTrackMe also protects your email address, phone, and credit card from being abused by companies on the web and on your mobile device.

You can get started for free. Just install DoNotTrackMe for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Internet Explorer. When you browse, you’ll automatically block these trackers!”

On your smarphone

When you have ‘location services’ switched on in your phone, Google is tracking wherever your smartphone goes, and putting a neat red dot on a map to mark the occasion. You can find that map here.

Google’s mobile Maps apps for Android and the iPhone track everywhere you go. Every single day. All of the time.

To see if you have location history enabled, head to the Google Maps Location history page.

Click the gear-icon button to access History settings. Here, you can choose to disable or enable the service.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET
Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

The data Google collects is put to use in a number of ways. It helps Google better tailor its services to each individual user, and it also obviously helps Google build a more accurate advertising profile of each user. But you can opt out of Google Maps location tracking quickly and easily.

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On the Internet Ungovernance Forum 2014 in Istanbul


Origin of the forum

For the first time since its establishment in 2006 the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) of ICANN [1] is paralleled with a protest forum, the Internet Ungovernance Forum.

Internet protests all over the world until now were addressed against national states and international organizations wanting to limit internet freedom and net neutrality or against those state and non-state services breaching privacy on the net, but this time a critique is formulated against the Internet governance itself by the Internet Ungovernance Forum. The announcement stated:

“We see that at IGF the most urgent problems of the Internet do not get the right attention. Due to the “multi-stakeholderism” format, the main perpetrators of many of the Internet’s problems, governments and corporations, are getting representation in IGF they don’t deserve. Given these circumstances, we decided to take initiative to defend the Internet as we know it and to create a space to raise the voices of civil society initiatives, activists and common people.”

Continue reading On the Internet Ungovernance Forum 2014 in Istanbul

Use of incognito mode

All browsers have an incognito mode. It’s called ‘Private Window’ in Firefox, InPrivate in Internet Explorer and so on. The advantage of incognito mode is that it does not leave traces in your browser history and it does not read existing cookies. That way you can avoid most of the time being hindered by a paywall. Of course it can detect when a cookie is missing.

On the other hand, browser history  can be very handsome to retrace your own surfing behaviour on the web. Also if you want to visit a page you visited before, but you forgot the url, you can search in your browser history and find it back. It is wise to use incognito mode only when it is really needed.

Anyway there is another interesting feature when going incognito in your browser. When logged on in Facebook, Google or any site with account and password login, what you see and get differs from what you saw before you were logged in, it also differs from what someone else sees, not being logged in. When going in incognito mode you are logged out without logging out, so you can switch between both situations. Before and after.

Another issue  is that you cannot be logged in with a second account at the same site on the same computer. Going in incognito mode allows exactly to do that without any problems. It is as simple as that.


Wikipedia Use for Dummies

updated 20/08/2015

Wikipedia bias

Simple lexicals in different languages

I propose learning by experience, in fact I experieced myself what it is like to use the wikipedia while preparing this course. I will redo my own exploration and propose some other  wikipedia pages to look at, just click the links…

La Pédagogie Freinet. next to ‘project onderwijs’ developed by Paulo Freire and William Heard Kilpatric are both methods for experiental learning.

There are Wikipedia pages in different languages about the developer of ‘la méthode Freinet’, Célestin Freinet. Freinet’s method aimed at primary school, though it is adapted to secondary education later on in Ghent  and is to be implemented in technical education also .

Project onderwijs’ has an expanded Dutch Wikipedia page, but no page in English. If you didn’t already know, to find pages in other languages on Wikipedia, look in the left corner beneath.

Wikipedia Screenshot
Wikipedia Screenshot: Click to expand

More unbalances. Look at the German page of Oskar Negt and compare it with the English page. Look at the length of both pages.

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Google Search for Dummies

Last Update: 04/05/2019

Data Voids: Where Missing Data Can Easily Be Exploited

Search plays a unique role in modern online information systems.

Unlike with social media, where users primarily consume algorithmically curated feeds of information, the typical approach to a search engine begins with a query or question in an effort to seek new information.

However, not all search queries are equal. There are many search terms for which the available relevant data is limited, non-existent, or deeply problematic.

We call these “data voids.”

Data Voids: Where Missing Data Can Easily Be Exploited explores different types of data voids; the challenges that search engines face when they encounter queries over spaces where data voids exist; and the ways data voids can be exploited by those with ideological, economic, or political agendas. (Source: Data & Society)

See this example where you see how data voids are utilized by extremists. So choose your search terms well.

Using forms on Google’s advanced search pages

Advanced image search

Google Advanced Image Search Screenshot
Google Advanced Image Search Screenshot

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