Content filters in UK to be set on by default, search engines given filtering orders
New Internet connections in the United Kingdom will have adult content filters applied to them before the end of the year, unless account holders opt out, according to Prime Minister David Cameron. The move is accompanied by a number of other similar measures, including requests for search engines to take more responsibility for filtering content, and proposed changes to existing laws.
Emails with key phrase were being inexplicably deleted
A bizarre glitch has revealed the existence of "pre-filtering" spam deletion algorithms being used by Apple for its iCloud email. The company acknowledged the issue and has since fixed it, but when an iCloud user would attempt to send an email with the phrase "barely legal teens" in the subject, body or title of some kinds of attachments to another iCloud user, the email would not be delivered. Replies to emails with the phrase, or messages sent to non-iCloud users with the phrase, were successfully sent. Unusually, offending messages were deleted rather than simply flagged as spam.
Also blocks viral YouTube clips on other sites
Trying to keep kids away from suggestive or vulgar videos on the net is an increasing challenge both for parents and the "filtering" software they often rely on for their child's computers. Like other filter makers, Safe Eyes has recently updated its self-titled software for Mac to version 3.6 to address the issue, albeit with a twist -- along with the option of just blocking all YouTube videos, Safe Eyes also offers selective filtering, offering tighter controls than YouTube's own voluntary flagging system but leaving "safe" videos both on the site and linked to other sites available for display.
Filters add vintage effect
Mister Retro has announced Permanent Press, a set of retro filters for Photoshop. The filters create a vintage look, providing offset-printing effects, letterpress effects, ink works and more. The filters process images, type and visual designs, the plug-in is customizable and settings can be saved to reproduce specific effects. Permanent Press requires Mac OS X 10.2.6 or higher, 256MB RAM (1GB RAM recommended) and works with Photoshop CS2 and CS 3, and Photoshop Elements 4.0 and higher. The plug-in is available now for $100.
NetNanny now for Macs
ContentWatch's venerable Net Nanny sofware has been a staple in the Windows world for many years. Apple's market share has apparently grown enough for the company to offer its subscription-based Internet filter to Mac users. ContentWatch says Mac use is "up 51 percent in the last year" and it became clear the product needed to be brought to Mac OS X.
Targus unveils at CES 2008
Targus today unveiled a set of new laptop-centric products – the Velos Messenger bag, the Stow-N-Go mouse, the HeatDefense pad, Travel Power Outlets, and DEFCON privacy filters – as well as LCD mounting arms, and a mobile speaker system for MP3 players. The Velos Messenger bag comes in three color styles: chocolate with a chocolate-aqua strap, charcoal with black-lime green strap, and wheat with mushroom-orange strap. Laptops are fully cushioned from both sides, and are protected by a neoprene sleeve. Up to a 15.4-inch laptop can be used with the bag, and the extra removable strap can be exchanged with other Velos owners to make new color combinations. Targus will sell the Velos Messenger bag for $70, and it will be available in May.
SpamSweep 1.6 released
Bains Software today released SpamSweep 1.6, an application that utilizes an advanced Bayesian spam filter with a simple user interface. The update improves Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard compatibility, adds support for IMAP accounts as well as custom rule filters, and includes various bug fixes. SpamSweep 1.6 is priced at $25, and requires Mac OS X 10.3 or later.
Image Doctor 2
Alien Skin Software recently unveiled a new version to its image-restoration Photoshop plugin, Image Doctor 2. The plugin is designed to fix erroneous photographs, by removing blemishes, dust and scratch damage, compression damage, or an unwanted party guests from photographs. By sampling from the surrounding area, Image Doctor can intelligently repair problematic areas on digital photos without requiring hours of input by the user. In addition to fixing blemishes and removing elements, Image Doctor is able to mend JPEG compression damage – blocky pixelations in an image that are caused from repeated saving in the format. Image Doctor 2 is currently shipping, available for $200 from Alien Skin's website.