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Forget Your Password…it’s ok.

The days of trying to remember passwords and worrying about hacked accounts may be limited. Passwords have been somewhat effective in the past and are an easy way to authenticate web users, but they fall tragically short in security in today’s internet; and they always will.

USB token

According to a research paper from Google regarding the future of authentication on the web, the password problem could be solved with the aid of a USB -based Yubico log-on device. Google envisions a future where you only need to authenticate one device (with your smartphone, Yubico key, or perhaps wirelessly) and then use that similar to a car key to open up your webmail and other online accounts.

“Along with many in the industry, we feel passwords and simple bearer tokens such as cookies are no longer sufficient to keep users safe,” state Google’s Eric Grosse and Mayank Upadhyay.

This small cryptographic device will automatically log in a user to Google using a new protocol (patent pending) for device-based authentication that will be independent of Google and will also prevent web sites from tracking users.

Other than requiring a browser that supports the technology, there is no additional software required and it could be as easy to use as tapping or swiping your card or key device the device you want to authenticate. In order for this new security standard to take hold, Google will need many other websites to get on board.

Two years ago, Google launched a two-step authentication option as part of their attempt to increase security for its users. The story of Mat Honan’s encounter with hackers, helped to inspire a quarter-million people to adopt the two step process. Google has not given any idea as to when we may see the new technology released.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:30 am on January 23, 2013


 

Litigation vs. Innovation – The Apple Way

I’m really ashamed of my days of being an Apple loyalist, encouraging people to consider Apple solutions, and fighting for the ‘little guy’ computer company.

That ‘little guy‘ I once championed, has since grown up to be a thug making immoral decisions that I no longer agree with.

Apple is causing me deep personal embarrassment as they strut about the digital playground smashing things that compete with their creations.

A scene from the movie The Dictator where he wins by shooting his competition

You know something’s wrong with a company’s decisions when you’re watching a Sacha Baron Cohen movie (The Dictator) and the opening scenes of winning a race by shooting the competition reminds you of Apple’s choices to force litigation/product bans vs. accepting a financial settlement with Samsung.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcu5sYxcEuo

Samsung will fight the decision and have already announced that they will counter-sue Apple.

Since Samsung successfully defended themselves in many countries (Germany, Korea, Netherlands, and United Kingdom), winning court battles which ruled that they did not copy Apple’s designs, a counter suit and appeal are likely to change the situation drastically.

On top of everything else, jurors in this recent court case are already making headlines stating that they were unable to properly review all the evidence, and ignored the prior art evidence that proved Apple clearly copied others in it’s iPhone design.

The jury actually took a defensive role, putting themselves in the mindset of innovators defending their patents. Velvin Hogan, the 67 year old jury foreman, stated that the jury :

“wanted to send a message to the industry at large that patent infringing is not the right thing to do, not just Samsung.”

With any luck, the same feelings will hold true as Motorola (Google-rola?) continues it’s legal action against Apple’s unpaid patent uses.

Since the patents in the current lawsuit are non-essential, one would assume that Google-rola has the opportunity to give Apple a taste of how it feels to block a company’s products via legal nonsense.

However, the likely result will be that even after (2?) years of trying to get Apple to pay the licensing fees, Google-rola won’t turn-down an offer of fair payment, just to block all product sales, unlike Apple.

Speaking of a ban on products, Samsung is already talking about releasing updated products that are completely free of Apple’s patent bans.

Zero Day Java Vulnerability

According to a few reputable sources online, there’s a new browser-based exploit for Java that is ‘in the wild’ and a patch won’t be coming very soon.

When someone says ‘in the wild’ it means that there’s reports of the exploit being used publicly, which means that there’s a high risk of contact.

In this case the exploit has been used to remote-control Windows based PCs that visit websites with hidden code on certain pages. The hacker in this case picked a Chinese proxy/IP and the ‘control network’ is also believed to be located in Singapore.

Since ‘wise’ hackers usually pick a point of origin outside their own country, this info actually points to someone non-Chinese as the source of the hack.

While that exploit only works on Windows computers, the payload is totally independent of the hack, so the same strategy will work on any computer and any browser.

To avoid getting hit, you may want to disable JavaScript:

In Chrome:
- type “chrome://plugins/” into your address bar
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Javascript and disable it.

In Opera:
- go to “opera:plugins”
- on the plugins page, scroll down to Java(TM) Platform
- click on Disable
- also scroll down to Java Deployment Toolkit
- click on Disable

In Firefox:
- press the Firefox button
- go to Add-ons
- go to Plugins
- click the “Disable” button next to anything named “Java”

Finally if you are using Internet Explorer, you probably don’t care, but here’s some recent instructions stolen from the help desk over at Indiana University:

To enable or disable Java in Internet Explorer:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), select Internet options.

  • Click the Programs tab, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  • Highlight Java Plug-in.
  • Click Disable or Enable (located under “Settings” in version 7), as applicable.
  • Click OK twice.

To enable or disable JavaScript:

From the Tools menu (or the Tools drop-down), choose Internet options.

  • Click the Security tab.
  • Click Custom Level…
  • Scroll to the “Scripting” section of the list.
  • For “Active Scripting”, click Disable or Enable.
  • Click OK, and confirm if prompted.
  • Close and restart your browser.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:57 am on August 28, 2012


 

Chromecraft? Build With Chrome!

I’ve always said that Minecraft is like digital LEGO® that you can save and share with friends. Sure Minecraft is increasingly fun to play and actually ‘collect’ the bricks, but at it’s core it’s a lot like LEGO®.

The problem with Minecraft is that we don’t all share the same map. Some servers try to accommodate everyone, but I don’t think there’s any way that a single map could support everyone playing on it. This means that you could build something incredible, like Castle Black from Game of Thrones, that nobody ever comes across. Bummer.

Enter the new Build With Chrome website from Google and LEGO®! That’s right! My favourite browser mixed with my favourite game!

Right now the ‘world map’ is limited to Australia and New Zealand, but each tile of the map becomes ‘owned’ by the first person to build on it, so they will have to make the map bigger soon!

I gave it a go and started to get used to the controls pretty quick, but really found some polish lacking, at least on my work PC which isn’t rigged up for 3D graphics.
Build with Lego

What’s this got to do with SEO opportunities? Well web presence is all about putting your company on-line, and when the whole world map is available to build on, you can guess what’s going to be built on our square? :)

Already this morning there’s a land rush and the tiles are all getting claimed. So if you wanted to plant your flag in Australia, you better hurry up before all the shrimp are gone from the BBQ.

Heck you can just sit back and watch as people’s published ‘builds’ are approved and start popping up on the map. Really neat work from Google!

As the name suggests, it’s a lot of HTML5 web content that’s been designed to work well with Chrome. So far I’ve tried it on Opera and Firefox with errors both times, leaving me to suggest that ‘buildwithchrome.com’ is a ‘chrome only’ site for now. :)

Other news..

Yep it’s been a bit slow on our blog lately, but there’s lots of buzz from Google IO, and the latest services like Google Now that we’ll be talking about very soon!

I’ve also been working behind the scenes on the programming posts so if you enjoyed our last one there’s more to come and they all touch on SEO implementation so there will be something for everyone.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:26 am on July 3, 2012


 

It’s all coming up Google?

When it’s my turn to tackle the SEO news for our blog I first look specifically at ‘technology’ news headlines for relevance, and then I usually filter it out a bit to nail a topic that our readers can relate to/find useful.

Today’s news feed looks like I just went to Google’s news blog and did a copy/pasta, yet in reality Google WAS the news this morning.

Here’s the list of headlines:

    • Google places is gone and now merged with Google+ Local
    • Google Plus places now features Zagat review information (Kyle mentioned this in yesterday’s blog post)
    • Facebook drops Google chrome as a recommended browser (and then removes the whole page)
    • Google’s new ChromeOS Chromebox is available for purchase
    • Google’s not yet available ’5-core’ Nexus 7 tablet makes a sneaky appearance a few days early on a benchmarking website
    • And a new Google World of Wonders video from Japan:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u58wgeS-jC4

Google+ Places

First impression?

“Pretty cool, and very personalized information about locations in my area.”

Right off the bat it told me where Dave likes to eat..

Which was funny because he’s recommending a restaurant that’s famous for either utterly ruining every aspect of the dinning experience or totally nailing it.

Google Plus Places
Dave must be lucky. ;)

So like anything on-line:
Zagat reviews aren’t perfect.
Everyone has an opinion.
People have unique interests.

At least this is Google, so we know that it’s trying as hard as it can to learn and suggest things to ‘me’ based on personalization.

So if the first visit doesn’t introduce you to your new favourite restaurant/pub/coffee shop, I wouldn’t write it off, just try it again later.

Stock isn’t the only thing dropping over at Facebook

This image has been popping up in Google/Technology news all morning:
Facebook Unsupported Browsers

Since Chrome and Safari both share the ‘webkit’ engine, there’s almost zero possibility that Facebook is dropping support for Chrome.

In fact I would say this is more about making Opera stand out vs. dropping support for Chrome. Especially since the FB developer page used to recommend Chrome!

Given that FB pulled this link down completely, I’m going to venture a guess that this was even possibly a mistake.

Chromebox for Sale

The Chromebox is a cute little SFF (small form factor) PC from Samsung with the ChromeOS preloaded and ready to go.
Google Chromebox
You can pick one up today for $329.. However if you don’t want some extra hardware, or wait for something to ship, you can download and install ChromeOS on an old laptop, or inside a virtual PC, to give it a try and see what’s good/bad about it before investing.

Thanks for going open source Google, we love you, again. ;)

Google Nexus 7 Tablet?

June is on my calendar for a ton of reasons, one of which is that it’s ’6 months’ from the date that Google said they were planning to launch a tablet ‘in six months’. :)

Asus is apparently the manufacturer, so the tablet will be sturdy.
NVidia’s ’5 core’ Tegra 3 Processor will be doing the thinking, so it will be fast and power smart.
NVidia also supplied the ULP GeForce graphics processor, so 3d graphics/games are supported.

Beyond those stats we’re really guessing based on this leaked info:
The unit that popped up on the benchmarks was running Android 4.1 JRN51B, at 1280×768 resolution, had 1GB of RAM installed, and 16GB of local storage.

So for now this is just a huge teaser and we’ll have to wait for a more official announcement.

Last day for Beanstalk Minecraft Map Submissions!

LAST DAY TO ENTER!

 

If you didn’t already know, we’ve been running a Minecraft Map Contest for the last two months and this is the final day for entries!

SEO news blog post by @ 12:56 pm on May 31, 2012


 

Facebook going to the Opera?

Fat Lady singing Opera logo

With all that IPO cash in hand Facebook could really have a night on the town, perhaps even watch the fat lady sing?

Given the bad press over their profit reports and legal actions from investors, I’d be tempted to do anything that’s a change of topic from ‘stock prices’.

Why buy Opera?

That’s actually not too hard to answer as a nerd or as an investor.

Shut Up and Take My Money
Opera is real technology and has actual value. Something FB needs to be snatching up.

 
The main reason: Opera has always provided some of the best mobile browser software. My first experience with Opera Mobile (5.1?) was back in 2006 on an HTC Apache (X6700).

I remember installing Opera on my Windows Mobile phone and back then the 1x connection speeds were barely better than dial-up and data prices were just unthinkably bad. Opera Mobile not only pre-compressed the data for me, it would compress data my phone couldn’t render, like simple Flash video/animations and even let me painfully navigate Flash based menus.

That’s right, I was able to interact with Flash based content on a mobile phone before the iPhone was a twinkle in Apple’s.. erm.. eye. That’s how long Opera’s been providing must-have solutions to the mobile market.

Opera is more than just a very popular/powerful mobile browser with unique features… Opera is one of the most complete browsers available on the PC today.

SEO TIP:The turbo feature acts as a proxy to avoid identity issues on most sites.

Unless you are on a secure site or a site that you’ve configured specifically to pass your identity, Opera’s Turbo mode will send requests to Opera’s proxy server instead of the website you are on. The responses come back to Opera, get heavily compressed, and then it’s sent back to you. This means that Opera’s proxy IP is making the requests, not your computer’s IP. Handy dandy!

The IRC client is great and requires almost zero setup/knowledge to jump into discussions with really nerdy (and often brilliant) people.

I used to be a die hard user of mIRC, I even used it to author some scripts to create the first DOS network (SuperKill) myself and my nerdy friends from around the world had ever heard of. Today I happily use Opera’s IRC client because it’s zero hassle and it’s built into a product I already use.

Opera's HTML5 Date Picker
Opera’s HTML5 Date Picker

Opera also has some of the most complete HTML5 implementations of any desktop browser.

It makes sense that if you have to to know how to render/handle HTML5 tags for mobile use, it’s not hard to extend that support to your desktop users.

An input element with a type value of ‘date’ should illicit a date selection box, but of all the major browsers on the market, Opera is the only one that recognizes and supports these elements by default.

Opera’s other features are just as thorough and well developed as it’s core functions. Opera’s application page allows you to turn your Opera browser into a media player/streaming host, file sharing hub, webcam server, private photo shares, web proxy, messenger, etc..

If Opera had been made in Sweden vs. Norway we’d have to dub it the ‘swiss army knife’ of browsers, but for now we’ll have to look at it as the ‘concert of awesome’ for those times when you want one program to do everything.

Why NOT buy Opera?

Price. Plain and simple.

Google is a major partner in Opera, and is the default search engine for the Opera browser. If there’s a bidding war to purchase Opera, Google’s not going to let FB buy it cheap, nor will the other competitors in this arena of mobile/social web dominance.

Right now top financial teams from banks like Norway’s DNB have speculatively estimated Opera at a value of between $1 billion – $1.35 billion.

This is a value based on Opera share prices, and the stock was on a 17.2% rise this morning and hasn’t stopped climbing, with Google finance putting it up at 30.23% currently!

In fact, if you want my personal opinion, at this stage of the game, with FB’s intentions very clear, I’d say the whole deal will hinge on price alone since it’s a sound decision to buy, but only if the value holds.

I’d say you could take that to the bank, but I’m neither rich nor financially skilled, I’m just a nerd that’s been around for a long time. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 11:54 am on May 29, 2012


 

Yahoo Axis – What the Flock?

I had a friend working on the Flock browser team right until it lost momentum and became clear that it was too much, too soon…

Amy's Winehouse - Too soon?

Here we go again with a new ‘all-in-one’ web browser concept, this time from a very big name?

**Update: Turns out that the leaks were really just rumors. This hype mill is a ‘googol‘ times more intense than it should be considering this is ‘just a plugin’ (unless you count Apple devices).

 

Paul Rudd doing the Double Take
Yahoo..? New?!?

Microsoft owns Yahoo right? So if Yahoo is releasing a new browser + a suite of browser plugins for people who refuse to switch browsers, what’s going on?

Well apparently giving people the option to ‘choose’ MSN/Bing/Yahoo wasn’t working out so well. Now you can run a browser or a plugin that removes that annoying hassle of choosing who’s search services you are using.

Y’know how Firefox and Chrome allow you to sign-in to your browser letting you seamlessly move from one location to the next? Yeah Axis is going to break ground and re-invent the web by also doing that same thing.

Y’know how Google is showing you previews of the sites you’re considering visiting within the search results? Yep Axis will finally let you do that, again.

Is this even a new browser or just IE9 with some ‘fluff’ and Yahoo branding? Tonight we will get a chance to try it hands-on and find out, but for now we have a few videos we can watch over on Yahoo Video.

One of the points my Economics teacher used to hammer home is to view each promotion as the promoter relating to their target audience.

If you have a good product with a smart client base, you can sell your product by focusing on real traits and strengths. Just demonstrate the product and avoid all pointless elements that distract the consumer from your product information.

Enjoy those videos and the clever/unique symbolism that hasn’t been copied too many times since Apple used it in 1984. :)

Does this mean Bing/Yahoo rankings will be important?

Who ever said they weren’t important? Okay, well expert opinions aside, you should never burn the Bing bridge, especially not with cell phones that default to Bing and new versions of Windows that also default to Bing.

It’s never wise to put all your eggs in one basket, and this is true of search engine placement/rankings as well as eggs.

Even if Yahoo Axis only manages a week of public attention, that’s one week of people around the planet searching Bing for a change.

If you rank really well on Google, we’re not going to suggest you intentionally tank your rankings for a short-term gain on Bing. The cost of recovering from such a move would probably be far more than simply paying for some pay-per-click coverage via Microsoft’s AdCenter (Link removed – no longer available).

There’s already folks worried about ‘Yahoo’ impressions vs. Bing impressions and the following advice has been posted in the AdCenter help forum:

1) You are currently bidding on broad match only, add phrase and exact match to your bidding structure.
2) Look at keywords with low quality score and optimize for those specifically.
3) Install the MAI tool and check on expected traffic for adCenter, you can also see what average bids are for specific positions.

Only 7 Days Left!

7 DAYS LEFT!

 

Talk about old news? I mentioned this just 2 days ago?!

We still have 7 days left in our Beanstalk Minecraft Map Competition! Check it out and even if you’re not entering, please let others know it’s coming to a close and we need all submissions by the 31st!

SEO news blog post by @ 10:03 am on May 24, 2012


 

Google IO is a sellout

I know we’ve been anti-Google the last few weeks, but Google’s upcoming IO conference really did sell-out, in 20 mins no less!
GoogleIO 2012 Sold Out
With only 5,500 seats the 20 minute sell-out wasn’t too shocking, but the $2,000 EBay auction for a Google IO ticket took me by surprise. I tried to go find it for a confirmation picture but it was already nuked. Even at the full price of $900 a pop, the scalping price was over double! Heck educational admission ticket prices are only $300 each!?

If you’re wondering ‘what the heck is Google IO?’ that could be our fault, because our post about it last year, Ooh Shiny! ChromeOS & ChromeBook, was totally about the new ChromeBook and not the conference.. Oh man!

Each year Google hosts it’s Input/Output conference to not only share a vision of what’s ahead for Google, but also to get some feedback from the developers and users that work with Google’s solutions.

As is the case each year the team of nerds over at Google have put together a ‘chrome experiment‘ for anyone with a Google account.

The splash page for the Google IO event experiment teases us with the following:

“Brush up on your geometry, dust off your protractor, and architect a machine only you could have dreamt of. Join developers tackling our latest Chrome Experiment for a chance to have your machine featured at Google I/O.”

… yet the site seems a wee bit too popular at the moment, refusing to proceed into the actual site no matter how many times your click it. I’ll have to keep trying but right now it looks like I’ll have to come back and update after lunch.

If you REALLY wanted to click something to fiddle with in your browser, and it has to work right this second, well try Browser Quest from Mozilla Labs! While the game is currently still up and running I expect it will completely flat-line as it reaches peak popularity. I am running around as DobbieBobkins if you get in.

Browser Quest is an HTML5 site, with everything using the latest web-tech available. Don’t let those 8-bit graphics fool you, this is a modern technical demonstration. I’ve seen the game work with the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera, just fine, though Opera was loading like dirt because of some broken plugins.

Speaking of coming back to things. I keep saying that we will have more on the Beanstalk Minecraft map contest, including some videos to inspire folks with ideas.. Sadly I am SO out of date with video capture that it boggles the mind.

Apparently my problem with recording is missing codecs, so I installed the FFdshow package which supposedly contains the right codecs to maintain the correct color space and gamma values in my source videos. If that sounded like Spanish, in a nutshell I’m fixing some dark video issues. :)

Here’s my last upload fresh off the preview screen, and it’s STILL TOO DARK?

http://vimeo.com/39291926

So, for now, today’s post is more of a bookmark, with some Google IO teasing, to be visited again after lunch when things are less popular. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:38 pm on March 27, 2012


 

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