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Take back the web: anti-anti-Adblock

Remember what a relief is was when AdBlockers finally got really good and all pop-ups, pop-unders, banners, commercial videos, and the like were eliminated and you could actually surf in peace again? More and more websites started detecting AdBlockers and implementing nagging messages that you should switch them off. Recently this got more aggressive, with an increasing amount of websites banning access when they noticed a blocker, anti-Adblock if you will. You probably guessed the response: there is an anti-anti-Adblock strategy available. The Anti-Adblock killer consists of a series of 4 steps to restore you blissful surfing pleasure:

  1. Browse down to Step 1 and install the Script Manager. Basically this is a little add-on that allows the use of little formulas that slightly change how a website is displayed.
  2. Install the Addblock killer script (the little formula)
  3. Install the Adblocker add-on of your choice in Step 2 (you can skip this if you already have one installed)
  4. Click Subscribe, so your browser keeps up to date about sites that detect Adblockers. Done!

AdBlock recently came available for iOS, so you can use it in combination with Safari on your iPad/IPhone. More about that, later.


How I chose my new router

When my trusty WRT54G router started showing its age after 14 years, I was in denial for a while. It had always been trustworthy, never let me down and passed along countless terabytes of data, both privately and professionally. For months, I rebooted, changed frequencies, changed settings and tinkered until I had to face facts: it was slowly dying and needed to retire. With 14 years of solid reliability, I really wanted to stay with Linksys and wanted something future proof. The upcoming EA9500 will be a tad expensive at around EUR 400, which left two routers at the top of the range: the EA8500 and the WRT1900ACS. Apart from a negligible difference in speed, all features seemed similar. So which one was the right fit for me? I’ll let you know how I made the choice, maybe it can help others in a similar situation.

wp-1464527985640.jpegthe WRT54G alongside its successor, the WRT1900ACS

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This device steals your passwords while you walk past

Ever heard of App Interception Systems? These devices steal you e-mail, social media  and cloud passwords and are supposedly used by government agencies.I stumbled across them researching an upcoming post about the rising danger of social media … yes, they are real. Switch off your wifi and Bluetooth while you’re not using them, is my first advice.




Ironical Telenet

After getting repeated calls about Telenet‘s mobile business subscriptions, I finally agreed to receiving and offer by e-mail. When I mentioned that I would contact them after I’ve reviewed and decided, they simply stated that this is impossible: they cannot be reached. That’s a definite NO! #irony





Scary live video manipulation

Recently, Stanford University released a research paper illustrating just how easy it is to tamper with real-time video, using just a simple webcam. This is illustrated by the video below. Scary to think how this could be used in the media. Do have a look, it is that good that at first I was convinced it was a hoax.

Face2Face: Real-time Face Capture and Reenactment of RGB Videos (CVPR 2016 Oral)



How to follow the news from all angles (and for free)

In this strange new world of terrorist attacks, wars around the world and remarkable elections, the need to diversify our news sourcing has been becoming apparent. Local outlets are suffering from myopia and censorship, even in the Western world. International media are increasingly colored by their nation’s flag. The need to consider a story from all angles has never been higher, nor will it diminish any time soon. Over the last few months I have gathered several news feeds that are diverse, accessible, convenient and to top it off … free. To summarize: watch and read the news anytime, anywhere and without spending a cent. This post is a work in progress. I would really appreciate your input. Please share your preferred feeds and websites in the comment section. The best submissions will be added to the post.

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Take back the web: your browser

Under the Take Back the Web moniker, I plan to write short, practical and accessible posts about my experiences safeguarding and optimizing computers systems, protecting privacy and bringing spamming and ads to a halt (or at least trying to do so). These are partially for my own reference and partially to share my personal experience, hoping to help others. These are by no means definitive and 100% open to suggestion. Any remark is welcome as a comment at any point. The first installment of Take Back the Web takes a look at browsers in a Windows environment. How to avoid theft of personal information, protect online purchases, stop tracking, eliminate spam and ads.

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