Category Archives: News

A small collection of Firefox add-ons you can install to improve (a little bit) your privacy – Part 3

In the past two years the EFF – Electronic Frontier Foundation –  has released a couple of add-ons specifically created to improve your privacy when you are on Internet. Just for a quick information, EFF is a no-profit organization specialized in, but not only, the defense of  privacy and free expression in the contemporary “world of emerging technologies”.

The first interesting EFF add-on is HTTPS Everywhere  that forces websites to provide https webpages also when you (better: your browser) asked for a “common” HTTP connection to their servers. This happens automatically and you don’t usually notice any delay in your navigation speed. HTTPS Everywhere is a precious add-on because it improves the number of “secured” connections when you are on Internet and decreases the risks of information leaking during Internet navigation. Moreover, this add-on is available not only for Firefox but also for Chrome and Opera and, at the moment, could be considered as the most versatile and -simple to use- tool you have to increase the use of HTTPS navigation. HTTPS Everywhere could not be considered as a bullet-proof privacy guarantee but it really does what he promises. Last but not least, it seems that if you adhere to their anonymous data collection about usage, you can really help them to discover false HTTPS certification disseminated through the web and contribute to a safer Internet.

If you want a little bit of security and think that every website should allow to connect through HTTPS, you should try HTTP Nowhere  that blocks all the unencrypted web communications. As for what we described for Flash add-ons (Flash Control and Flash Block) the level of security depends on your choice. HTTP Nowhere is a more “radical” choice but, i any case, it can be widely configured to your needs. For example it allows you to create a whitelist of HTTP websites that will be never blocked. Moreover HTTP Nowhere can be configured to visit .onion websites through TOR.

In  any case don’t forget that HTTPS connections are only relatively more secure than HTTP ones. As someone commented, HTTPS effective privacy depends on Certificate Authorities reliability and seriousness and, in some cases, HTTPS could be easily eluded. 

The other EFF add-on I’d like to focus your attention is the Privacy Badger . This add-on has the same goals of the most famous Ad Block or Disconnect but it works in a different way. In fact its work is not based of previously compiled list the needs to be updated frequently but on an heuristic examination of trackers behaviour. It could be considered “democratic” because it doesn’t automatically ban trackers at all but analyzes if they are looking for your web habits or they are “just” recording your passage in a specific website. In this last case the Privacy Badger will observe their behaviour during your next navigation and, if they persist to track you, it will label them with different colours (green to yellow to red) blocking them when they become too intrusive for your privacy. The PRO is that also a brand new tracker -never reviewed by security advisers- will be promptly discovered and neutralized but the CONS is represented by the fact that also the most known intrusive tracker will be initially allowed to register your habits.

For its intrinsic features, the Privacy Badger could be added to Firefox as an extra barrier to fight trackers and improve your privacy. In the next post we will examine other add-ons that can be matched with it.

Wireless Power Transmission: real available technology and marketing advantages

ubeamWireless energy transmission for remote charging is one of the most strategic key factor for the development of a new generation of tech devices in the near future. Few years ago some futuristic thinkers forecasted the possibility of wireless energy transmission between far places. In particular the academic community was interested in energy transmission between the planet earth and orbiting satellites equipped with solar power stations. 
This long range power transmission technology would radically change the energetic, economic and power equilibrium of our world but unfortunately, at the moment, this technology is not available. 
On the contrary, near range power transmission is something near the corner. 
After long researches an USA company  is launching the first generation commercial version of a wireless power transmitter with ultrasound that will allow to recharge (for the moment) mobile phones in a range of 15 feet (4.5 meters) just using a special cover. 
Fifteen feet are not a long range nor a medium one but the important thing is that it is contactless and that 15 feet start to be an interesting distance. 
So interesting that a big coffee shop chain as Starbucks  is considering to introduce these remote charging devices in all its shops. 
In this way all the customers will be able to automatically and freely charge their mobile devices as soon as they enter into the coffee shop. A good added value considering how much energy our devices need when strongly used during the day. And consequently, for many people, a good reason to prefer a store to another one. A potentially viral added value as well as a magnetic marketing strategy!
Last but not least, it must be considered that the success of this kind of technology operations is determined by costs. At the moment it is not possible to find any information about prices for the mobile device covers at the end consumer side. If the end users price for covers will be high, the huge, positive effects of a partnership with a big player as Starbucks couldn’t be enough without some kind of tech fashion pivot. 
Good luck uBeam! You have the right idea!

Google Reader will be soon out of service… What’s the next best solution? or

At this point it’s history: Google will be out of service by the next July. It could appear nonsense but I still think that RSS readers are the most flexible solution for people who need to stay updated. Social media represent a possible solution but, in my opinion, nothing is better and more powerful than RSS. has promptly announced the launch of its own alternative online reader but, for now, none is able to say when it will be ready. Moreover Digg has not provided any information about this new RSS reader and so we cannot comment any of its potential feature neither compare it with the “old” Google Reader.

Surfing the web, many possible alternatives will pop-up but just few are the right ones if you don’t want to wait At the moment (in the past it was also known as is the most immediate solution because allows you to import OPML – XML setting from your Google Reader. In fact, you can save all your Google Reader settings in a OPML – XML file just using the Import/Export panel into the Settings Menu (Download your data through Takeout) into the Google Reader. represents an easy and fast alternative but I personally don’t like the graphic layout offered by this free online service. It is easy to use, really flexible and cozy but it doesn’t run properly on old computers because dated hardware, with inadequate graphic cards or small RAM, will slow down your OS when you visit Last but not least you can decided to keep private your RSS selection, share it on social media or allow people to visit directly the webpage containing all the feeds you selected and/or just a single RSS box.

My other choice is represented by that is the real successor of Google Reader. has the same features than the Google Reader and it is really nice to see and read if you like the clean, evergreen layouts. allows you to sign in using your Google account and it is possible to import the OPLM -XML configuration file you saved from your personal Google Reader. The only problem with is represented by the time you have to wait before it will import the OPLM – XML file you uploaded from Google Reader. In my experience I had more than 22,000 people before me in the queue and I had to wait for, more a less, a week before I was able to use it with the imported parameters… has some advanced features which allow you to share your RSS selection and save the most interesting in order to create a more private collection for your specific interests. Not bad and useful!!  AddThis

A list of the best free online University courses in USA and UK. Some tips to choose between them, successfully attend only the best ones and create your aside University career without spending a cent!

Today opportunities

During the last two years the number of free online University courses exploded on the web. Today it is possible to attend prestigious courses by important USA and UK Universities and receive a final certification without spending a cent.

The good news are that these courses are interesting, well structured and you have a real possibility to increase your knowledge if  approach them in the right way.

The first time you look for the free online University courses you are disoriented by the number and the many different topics they cover. The problem is to make the right selection in order not to waste time and energies for something you (and you career) don’t actually need.

How to select the right courses

1- Make a first selection between courses choosing only that are really interesting for you
2 – Check if you will receive a participation certificate if you complete the course
3 – Honestly evaluate your real, deep, interest for the courses that will not provide any written certification. I mean: “Do you really think that they will increase your knowledge and will be determinant for your career or life?”
4 – Don’t overestimate your capacities. Read very carefully the required background to attend the courses
5 – Don’t underestimate the time you need to attend the courses and do all the “homework” and the suggested readings
6 – Finally, select two (or more) courses and “Create” your free aside University career. Try to choose courses that have logical and “career path” connections between them. The important thing is what you are really learning on particular related topics you consider important for your career, not the number of disordered certification you can write on your resume.

A list of free online University courses in USA and UK


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Please, add a comment to this post to inform or recommend other courses we have not mentioned here!! Thank you! AddThis

“Unemployee of the year” a worldwide contest for young people by Unhate

Usually I try to don’t promote commercial brands on my blog. Just sometimes I break this rule when I think the technology or the benefits could worth people attention. Today is one of that rare cases. Since few days, Unhate (a foundation directly related to Benetton) has created a special contest reserved to all people around the world. To participate you must be between 18 and 30 years old and you must not have a job yet. The best 100 projects will be funded with € 5.000,00 each. If you want to send your project or if you just want more information you have to visit the Unhate website. AddThis