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Pop Culture

Stanford student explains why Google Incognito mode doesn't really hide your searches

“In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that it’s really not that private.”

incognito mode, google settlement, google incognito

A man using his laptop in Incognito mode.

If you were comfortable thinking there would be no evidence of your online activity while in Google’s Incognito mode, think again. According to a class-action lawsuit filed by Florida resident William Byatt and California residents Chasom Brown and Maria Nguyen, Google has been sharing your searches and selling your data, even while using Incognito mode.

On December 30, NPR reported that Google agreed to settle the $5 billion lawsuit that claims it misled users into believing that their activities weren’t being tracked while in Incognito mode.

Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers pointed out that Google never told its users it continued to collect data even when people were browsing in Incognito mode.


"Google’s motion hinges on the idea that plaintiffs consented to Google collecting their data while they were browsing in private mode,” Rogers ruled. “Because Google never explicitly told users that it does so, the Court cannot find as a matter of law that users explicitly consented to the at-issue data collection."

The settlement terms have not been made public and still need to be approved by a federal judge. The plaintiffs say they will send a final settlement agreement to a judge by February 24.

News of the settlement went viral on TikTok on January 18 thanks to a post by Thunder Keck (@thunder_keck) that has received over 435,000 views. According to his TikTok profile, he’s a Stanford football player who’s also an expert in the Dark Web.

@thunder_keck

google is always watching

“In the least shocking reveal of all time, it was proven that [Ingognito mode is] not that private. They’re still tracking you and selling your data,” Thender Keck revealed. “Incognito mode and private browsing on Safari is basically the same as clearing your history,” he added.

"And most importantly, anyone on your network with a tool like Wireshark can still see everything you're doing, Even if you’re using a VPN,” he warned, “it will still deliver your packets and use fingerprinting to figure out what sites you’re visiting. And that’s getting way easier with AI.”

Wireshark is a network protocol analyzer that allows users to see everything happening on a network at a “microscopic level.”

The post received many comments from people who fear their histories will be made public.

"I’m cooked," schizophrenic idiot wrote. "It’s so over for me," Aton agreed. “I hope my mom doesn't find out," elcee4 added.

After Google reached the settlement agreement, it doesn’t appear the company has changed its policies. Instead, it has changed the warning users receive in Incognito mode.

According to The Verge, here’s the new warning: “Others who use this device won’t see your activity, so you can browse more privately. This won’t change how data is collected by websites you visit and the services they use, including Google. Downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more.”

The previous message reads: "Now you can browse privately, and other people who use this device won’t see your activity. However, downloads, bookmarks and reading list items will be saved. Learn more."

A young woman drinking bottled water outdoors before exercising.



The Story of Bottled Waterwww.youtube.com

Here are six facts from the video above by The Story of Stuff Project that I'll definitely remember next time I'm tempted to buy bottled water.

1. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water (and not just a little).

via The Story of Stuff Project/YouTube


A Business Insider column noted that two-thirds of the bottled water sold in the United States is in individual 16.9-ounce bottles, which comes out to roughly $7.50 per gallon. That's about 2,000 times higher than the cost of a gallon of tap water.

And in an article in 20 Something Finance, G.E. Miller investigated the cost of bottled versus tap water for himself. He found that he could fill 4,787 20-ounce bottles with tap water for only $2.10! So if he paid $1 for a bottled water, he'd be paying 2,279 times the cost of tap.

2. Bottled water could potentially be of lower quality than tap water.

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Humor

Nigerians are taking the internet by storm with their naturally dramatic yet poetic speech

"Instead of saying 'I'm mad,' they'll say, 'my enemies succeeded.'"

Nigerians are cracking people up online with their dramatic flair

People are used to hearing quote worthy sentences with the dramatic flair when it comes to the likes of Shakespeare or Emily Brontë. It's the kind of sentence structure that makes everything sound like a love affair with the English language as you imagine someone writing with quill and ink. Maybe the English language has gotten a bit sloppy or lazy over the years.

But it seems that Nigerians have never stopped having a flair for the dramatics when it comes to speaking, at least that's what people on the internet have revealed. Recently a podcast ClxpsAndGxgs uploaded a clip to TikTok to discuss an X thread they discovered.

"Nigerians speak so poetic when they're upset, instead of saying, 'I'm mad,' they'll say, 'my enemies have succeeded,'" one of the hosts reads before bursting into laughter.

This is apparently just how many Nigerians speak, because the comment section of the original X post which appeared in 2021 and the comments under the recent video give near endless examples.

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Joy

A 9-yr-old cheerleader’s veteran dad couldn't help with her routine, so a high schooler ran to her side

Sensing something was wrong, he sprang to action with many witnessing his kind act.

Images from YouTube video.

Addie Rodriguez does her cheer.

Addie Rodriguez was supposed to take the field with her dad during a high school football game, where he, along with other dads, would lift her onto his shoulders for a routine. But Addie's dad was halfway across the country, unable to make the event.

Her father is Abel Rodriguez, a veteran airman who, after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was training at Travis Air Force Base in California, 1,700 miles from his family in San Antonio at the time.

"Mom missed the memo it was parent day, and the reason her mom missed the memo was her dad left Wednesday," said Alexis Perry-Rodriguez, Addie's mom. She continued, "It was really heartbreaking to see your daughter standing out there being the only one without their father, knowing why he's away. It's not just an absentee parent. He's serving our country."

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Parenting

Parents are opting for this sleepover alternative when kids aren't ready for the real thing

There are many reasons why parents might have a "no sleepover rule." But that doesn't mean kids can't create memorable childhood moments with friends.

Canva

For kids who get separation anxiety, sleepunder might be a great alternative.

Sleepovers are a subject that parents and even experts can’t seem to agree on.

On the one hand, they are seen as opportunities for children to develop independence away from home and create core memories with friends—all the while giving parents some possible quiet time.

On the other hand, the “no sleepover rule” is becoming increasingly popular, as the boundary helps to avoid separation anxiety or thrusting kids into potentially risky, even dangerous environments.

But for parents who want the best of both worlds…the “sleepunder” might be the perfect solution.

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Crater Lake, the redwoods and Na Pali coast.

The one thing that all Americans and folks worldwide can agree on is that the United States is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. When tourists trek across the states, they are always blown away by how vast the country is and the number of different climates and bioregions encompassing all 50 states.

There are the deserts of the southwest, the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii, the tundra of Alaska and the grasslands of the midwest. Not to mention the beautiful coasts of California and the picturesque bays of New England.

America has many wonders, but which place is the most beautiful? A Redditor named DriedKitten posed the question to the AskReddit subforum and received over 1,100 replies.

To rank the responses on the Reddit post, we looked at the number of upvotes each suggestion received and then ranked them. It’s not the most scientific way of doing things, but it gives us a pretty good idea about the places in America that people think are most beautiful.

Here are the top 15 most beautiful places in America ranked.

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Chloe FIneman, a Stanbley Quencher and Dakota Johnson.

A year ago, “Saturday Night Live” poked fun at an obnoxiously large western hat trend made popular by Instagram influencers with a sketch called “Big Dumb Hat” starring Amy Schumer, Heidi Gardner and Chloe Fineman.

On January 27, Fineman and Gardner were back, this time with actor Dakota Johnson, poking fun at the next Big Dumb trend that’s popular with influencers and their followers, Stanley cups. Boosted by their popularity on TikTok, the $45 Stanley Quencher cup recently created a consumer frenzy with grown adults stampeding shopping displays in Targets across the U.S. to buy one.

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