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Google Maps is an amazing and often indispensable service, and a big part of that is just how good it is at figuring out where you are. And the reason it's so good at is, like so many things Google does, lots and lots of data. Maps doesn't just use GPS to find, but also a huge database of home and business Wi-Fi networks the company has mapped out over the years via crowdsourcing and Street View cars. You can set your phone to GPS-only, but what if you want to hinder Google from collecting data on your Wi-Fi network? There's a solution for that: Just add "_nomap" to the end of your SSID.
Over the years, consumer rights when it comes to class-action lawsuits have been eroded by the US Supreme Court. Many companies now mandate that consumers agree to so-called binding arbitration agreements, which can preclude customers from banding together successfully in a formal legal dispute. Thankfully for the proactive among us, that's something you can actually opt out of if you remember to within a certain period of time, and Google has provided a similar opt-out for the Pixel 3.
This year, Google overhauled Gmail, one of its marquee products. The transition was relatively drawn out; the redesign was introduced in the spring, with a slow rollout extending through summer. Now, it seems the option to opt out of the design refresh has been removed entirely for personal accounts.
Sorry, class, you don't get any extra credit for predicting this one. After some heated responses from consumers following the reveal of a controversial "supercookie" web traffic monitoring system, Verizon Wireless has announced that it will allow its customers to opt out of the lucrative and potentially dangerous advertising practice. Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Debi Lewis told The New York Times, "We have begun working to expand the opt-out to include the identifier referred to as the UIDH, and expect that to be available soon."
The system isn't technically using a "cookie" in the conventional browsing sense; UIDH stands for "unique identification header," a customized version of a standard HTTP header, in this case tailored specifically for Verizon.
When the new Kindle Fire and HD models were announced three days ago, the tech world was abuzz with the fact that Amazon has laced them with "Special Offers" in order to keep the cost down. Immediately, one question came to everyone's mind: will I be able to remove the ads?
Initially, there was some confusion on the answer to that questions. We actually heard reports from both sides of the fence - some said "yes, the ads will be removable," while others stated that they were there to stay.
The subject quickly became a bit of a hot topic, so Ars Technica decided to reach out to Amazon for a definitive answer: will users be able to opt-out of Special Offers?