WebKit Introduces New Tracking Prevention Policy

AmiMoJo writes: WebKit, the open source HTML engine used by Apple's Safari browser and a number of others, has created a new policy on tracking prevention. The short version is that many forms of tracking will now be treated the same way as security flaws, being blocked or mitigated with no exceptions. While on-site tracking will still be allowed (and is practically impossible to prevent anyway), all forms of cross-site tracking and covert tracking will be actively and aggressively blocked.

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The Truth About Faster Internet: It’s Not Worth It

Americans are spending ever more for blazing internet speeds, on the promise that faster is better. Is that really the case? For most people, the answer is no. From a report: The Wall Street Journal studied the internet use of 53 of our journalists across the country, over a period of months, in coordination with researchers at Princeton University and the University of Chicago. Our panelists used only a fraction of their available bandwidth to watch streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube, even simultaneously. Quality didn't improve much with higher speeds. Picture clarity was about the same. Videos didn't launch quicker. Broadband providers such as Comcast, Charter and AT&T are marketing speeds in the range of 250, 500 or even 1,000 megabits a second, often promising that streaming-video bingers will benefit. "Fast speeds for all of your shows," declares one online ad from Comcast. But for a typical household, the benefits of paying for more than 100 megabits a second are marginal at best, according to the researchers. That means many households are paying a premium for services they don't need. To gauge how much bandwidth, or speed capacity, households need, it helps to look at an extreme scenario. Our users spent an evening streaming up to seven services simultaneously, including on-demand services like Netflix and live-TV services like Sling TV. We monitored the results. Peter Loftus, one of our panelists, lives outside Philadelphia and is a Comcast customer with a speed package of 150 megabits a second. Peter's median usage over 35 viewing minutes was 6.9 Mbps, 5% of the capacity he pays for. For the portion when all seven of his streams were going at once, he averaged 8.1 Mbps. At one point, for one second, Peter reached 65% of his capacity. Did his video launch faster or play more smoothly? Not really. The researchers said that to the extent there were differences in video quality such as picture resolution or the time it took to launch a show, they were marginal.

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States To Launch Antitrust Investigation Into Big Tech Companies

An anonymous reader shares a report: The state attorneys in more than a dozen states are preparing to begin an antitrust investigation of the tech giants, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times reported Monday, putting the spotlight on an industry that is already facing federal scrutiny. The bipartisan group of attorneys from as many as 20 states is expected to formally launch a probe as soon as next month to assess whether tech companies are using their dominant market position to hurt competition, WSJ reported.

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