Beanstalk on Google+ Beanstalk on Facebook Beanstalk on Twitter Beanstalk on LinkedIn Beanstalk on Pinterest
Translate:
Published On:
SEO articles and blog published on ...
Hear Us On:
Webmaster Radio
Blog Partner Of:
WebProNews Blog Partner
Helping Out:
Carbon balanced.
Archives
RSS

XMLRSS

Mmmmmm Bacon..

Did that get your attention? Some crispy fresh smoky bacon?

It’s a pity then that the story isn’t about hot pork but instead about degrees of bacon.

Degrees of Kevin Bacon to be exact.

Google has given us yet another nerdy Easter Egg, not unlike the StarCraft inspired ZergRush or StarFox inspired BarrelRoll, Easter Eggs. (Shame on PCWorld for their typo this morning!).

If you add ‘bacon number’ to an actor’s name in a Google Search, Google will tell you the degrees of separation between the actor and Kevin Bacon.

Heck it even works with actresses!

Try a Google search for: “Oliva Wilde bacon number

..you should get a Bacon Number of “2″!

This is because Oliva worked with Ryan Reynolds in ‘The Change-Up’..

Ryan Reynolds is working with Kevin Bacon on the action/comedy film ‘R.I.P.D.’ that’s coming out in early 2013.

Thus Oliva Wild’s ‘degree of separation’ with Kevin Bacon would be a 2.

All Oliva needs to do now is add her Bacon number to her profile page like so:

 
Since you’d need to be pretty famous to have a Bacon Number I expect that it will be *the* thing to have, if you’re a movie star.

Fat Hacker – Cosmo the God & UGNazi

This is not my best segway(seguay?) between stories, but I was simply blown away by the tale of a chubby 15 year old hacker in California who is in jail for widespread hacking and mischief.

This inventive teen, with poor supervision, has managed to hack a wide cross-section of some of the worlds biggest companies including:

Amazon, Apple, AT&T, PayPal, AOL, Netflix, Network Solutions, and Microsoft

`Cosmo`, as he is called online, likes to point out that none of these hacks were particularly tricky, and is calling on companies to fix their easily exploitable systems, while he sits in a juvenile detention center after admitting to many of his `hacks`.

The story I read on Wired.com was so well written I’m not even going to try and do any excerpts, I’m just going to drop the link and insist you give it a read.

 
Nicely done Mat Honan, from a victim to a sympathizer, all in one interview. This is great investigative journalism, and we need more like it.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:01 pm on September 13, 2012


 

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


 

Steve Wozniak says “Cloud Nein!”

The Great and Powerful Woz has decreed that the "cloud is a nightmare."

What is the "cloud?" Cloud computing is an extension of the internet that allows for end users and companies to store files and other digital assets on remote servers. Because the assets are stored remotely, storage and maintenance of the relevant hardware is maintained by an external source. Cloud computing entrusts services with a user’s data, software and computation over a network.

From its inception, cloud computing was regarded as a two edged sword, the advantages of having third parties store and allocate resources from a digital assets management perspective were apparent, but so were the risks of having data stored on a remote server in the first place.

Speaking after a performance of a one-man Steve Jobs show by Mike Daisey called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” in Washington,, Steve Wozniak made clear his feelings regarding the increasing prominence of cloud computing. Wozniak summed up his feelings thusly: “I really worry about everything going to the cloud. I think it’s going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.”

Woz explained just how the legalities of the cloud would make human beings lives even more painful: “With the cloud, you don’t own anything. You already signed it away.” He added: “The more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we’re going to have control over it.”

Like any new technology that is introduced, there are always those who will surpass the security measures for their own nefarious purposes. Cloud computing is no different. As a case in point, Matt Honan claims that he recently had his digital life dissolved by hackers due to insufficient security practices in an article titled: How Apple and Amazon Security Flaws Led to My Epic Hacking


But what happened to me exposes vital security flaws in several customer service systems, most notably Apple’s and Amazon’s. Apple tech support gave the hackers access to my iCloud account. Amazon tech support gave them the ability to see a piece of information -a partial credit card number -that Apple used to release information.

In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:04 pm on August 8, 2012


 

SOPA Friends: Internet League of America

The recording industry, agents, and vendors of music aren’t the only ones spending way too much of their profits on lobbying the government. Major internet companies that see the harm of bills like SOPA/PIPA are spending the time and money to fight back against this lobbying.

[jwplayer config="SmallThumb" mediaid="4737"]

Not to be confused with SuperFriends..

This organization is less about crime and more about reasonable expenses for making sure government is making informed decisions.

Google alone spent $3.9million in the second quarter of 2012, and $5.4million in 2012 total so far trying to help government see the internet as more than just a ‘series of tubes’.

Google isn’t alone in fighting for your rights, Amazon’s spending between Jan 2012 and June 2012 was pegged at $1.34million, EBay spent nearly as much at $827k, and Facebook also jumped into the fight for $650k of lobbying.

It stands to reason then that if they all had the same message a lot of time and money could be saved by joining forces, and this is how the Internet Association has come to be.

With Google, Amazon, EBay and Facebook already signed into the Internet Association it’s already huge and it’s still in the ‘coming soon’ phase of setting up.

This new group should not be confused with existing organizations like The Internet Defense League which are seeking other solutions to keeping people informed as to threats to online access/freedom.

A few sites (RIAA partners?) are panning this as ‘evil‘ and un-Google for companies to work together to support a shared message to the government, but I think anyone who knows the extent of SOPA/PIPA and other bills will see that spin for what it really is, fear and loathing of anything that stands in the way of an easy profit.

Google Fiber

Google Fiber Appliances
Remember us writing about Kansas City dark fiber, Google’s plans to light it up, and the various media/recording industry fears/objections?

While I was composing this article on the new Internet Association I managed to eavesdrop on the details coming from the live broadcast at the launch of Google Fiber in Kansas this morning.

Google Fiber Announcement Center

Here’s what I caught (again this was just details I overheard and not officially published):

  • Google Fiber is run right to your house
  • A fiber-conversion firewall appliance converts the optical signal
  • The Google fiber-wall has built in WiFi and 4 gigabit RJ45 ports
  • The WiFi radio is very fast (no specs given) and features a guest portal system
  • Google Fiber offers TV boxes that act as WiFi boosters
  • The TV boxes stream Netflix/Youtube in HD quality with more options to follow
  • Google’s TV boxes work with Bluetooth headphones and can be controlled by Bluetooth devices
  • Currently purchasing a TV box will including a free Nexus 7 Tablet that acts as a remote control for the TV box.
  • $300 is mentioned as the ‘construction fee’ to send a Google rep to your home to install the fiber cable.
  • $120/mth for the TV and Gigabit Internet package (on 2 year contracts the $300 fee is waived)
  • $70/mth for just Gigabit fibre internet (no install fee for 1yr contracts)
  • $Free/mth 5mbps down, 1mbps up, of capped fiber access to anyone who wants to pay the $300 install fee
  • The free service option is guaranteed for anyone in the service area for 7 years
  • You can pay the $300 fee off over time if you wish as an incentive to connect everyone regardless of income levels
  • 1TB of Google Drive storage (directly linked to the Fibre) comes with the $70/mth and up packages
  • No mention of monthly data use caps, but they would need to be fairly generous

Google Fiber Building in Kansas
Apparently they are deciding which homes get fiber first by running a lobbying contest where they reward the communities that lobby other communities the most. The speaker tried to sell this as ‘doing it for Kansas’ and ‘spreading the word about what fiber really means’, but of all the announcements, there was no applause for
this.

Clearly most of Kansas is tired of waiting for Google Fiber and would like to start actually using it vs. running around ‘competing’ with other communities for the first chance to get hooked up.

It’s an odd move for Google but you have to respect that they had to find a fair way to select the first communities to get connected.

UPDATE: They have published the official Google Fiber data plans and yes, there’s NO DATA CAPS. Wow.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:25 am on July 26, 2012


 

Hollywood & ISP Spies Are Watching YOU!

A partnership between the RIAA, MPAA and major ISPs such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast and Hollywood and Big Music, could allow your ISP to police your internet usage once a final agreement is reached. The partnership would see these ISPs spying on your activity to monitor for sharing copyrighted movies or music files from your computer.

Traditionally, your ISP attempts to protect you and your data by utilizing software and hardware to keep the connections between your computer and their servers secured. The irony of course is that with the new graduated response plan dubbed the “Center for Copyright Information” (http://copyrightinformation.org/) would make the ISPs involved responsible for policing and enforcing the violations and would see offending users warned, restricted and eventually cut off from the Internet for successive infringements.

Until now, media companies have had to try and scour the internet in an attempt to find and locate violators, but if the agreement goes through, the studios will have associated ISPs sniff packets of incoming data to and from their customers computers. The process of the escalation of infringements is structured as follows:

  • Rights holders track infringing Internet users and send notices to ISPs.
  • ISPs used this data to send warnings, called “Copyright Alerts”, to subscribers.
  • If subscribers fail to improve their behavior, further warnings will be issued.

ISPs will be given some discretion as to the variety of sanctions, but would range from throttling back connection speeds to limited browsing or termination of the account.
The agreements between the MPAA, RIAA and ISPs in the United States will be completely voluntary. The ISPs will insist that they are completely within their rights to amend their Terms of Service to accommodate such an agreement and will almost certainly do so quickly.

&Voluntary cooperative solutions are a priority focus and we believe that, in combination with law enforcement action, voluntary actions by the private sector have the potential to dramatically reduce online infringement and change the enforcement paradigm,& said U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel.

“We will continue to push forward to encourage voluntary cooperative actions on multiple fronts. Our ultimate goal is to reduce infringement online so we will continue to assess our approach to ensure that it is as effective as possible.&

Not only does this new agreement rekindle the online privacy and piracy debates, but it also raises some equally disturbing problems:

  • Sharing an internet connection (be it private, business, or public) becomes a liability to the owner, who becomes responsible for an individual’s activities on a network or shared connection.
  • Expectations of privacy are lost. Companies that deal in vitally sensitive information are not only at risk of someone seeing sensitive information but are now become a liability if the information goes public.
  • And the most obvious Big Brother paradigm: If ISPs are required to police you; who will police them?

In the light of such measures being introduced and other perceived infringements on Internet freedoms, a campaign to establish a Digital Bill of Rights & Freedoms from Active Politic.com has been gaining momentum. It hopes to establish an Internet consisting of:

  • The right to a free and uncensored Internet.
  • The right to an open, unobstructed Internet.
  • The right to equality on the Internet.
  • The right to gather and participate in online activities.
  • The right to create and collaborate on the Internet.
  • The right to freely share their ideas.
  • The right to access the Internet equally, regardless of who they are or where they are.
  • The right to freely associate on the Internet.
  • The right to privacy on the Internet.
  • The right to benefit from what they create.

The Internet and the sharing of information (public or private) is still in its adolescence and will require much more deliberation and ratification of laws before we witness an Internet where media companies feel protected from piracy and users are guaranteed to have the freedom to share information without the fear of reprisal.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:01 pm on July 9, 2012


 

Apple: On the Charge!

apple controller

Over at Apple things are changing to give the company even more power, profit, and exclusive control over it’s customers than ever before.

The good news is that Apple has been charged and found guilty of misleading Australian consumers who purchased Apple’s advertised “iPad with WiFi + 4G” only to find it’s not compatible with the 4G networks in Australia.

This resulted in a $2.25million fine + $300,000.00 in costs for Apple, a fine that seems light given the gross disregard for Australian consumer laws that Apple showed by selling a product that cannot deliver on it’s advertised specifications.

Indeed a small price to pay to purchase Australian tablet buyers without investing in efforts to make the hardware work with the country’s ISPs.

Protecting you from yourself :

Apple also made headlines by patenting an anti-surveillance technology that endeavours to mask a user’s on-line activity with fake information.

Clone Troopers

In a nutshell the service would hide your real activities behind a wall of fake information. If you ‘like’ a Mars Bar™ then your clone would like a brand of chocolate bar that directly competes with your choices. In essence it’s like an electro-acoustic muffler that covers your on-line activity with white-noise.

There is some implication that Apple has a technique to confuse actions of the clone with your actions, but I’d have to see that in action to honestly discuss it.

At the end of the day this means that instead of Apple and ‘others’ knowing about your interests/habits, only Apple will have accurate information, and they can claim that all other ‘targeted advertisers’ are second to them in accurately promoting to someone’s interests.

To me, this reinforces that Apple customers are the sole property of Apple, including their information.

Soul’d Out?

Apple has some great changes coming for loyal consumers. They are spending the time to remove the excellent Google Maps application, which is a free service, and replacing it with Tom Tom maps, which they likely had to purchase/invest in.

It’s also rumoured that the next update to Apple’s Siri app will focus on data from Apple partners like Yelp, Rotten Tomatoes, and OpenTable, instead of Google.

This was a brave move to protect Apple from Google’s growing competition in hardware markets. If Apple doesn’t limit Google growth with every effort they can muster, Apple consumers will start to see why so many people are switching to Android.

From a SEO perspective, the fact that Apple, and it’s users are getting away from Google is worth noting. When I am optimizing a site, I’m doing it for the good of the site/company, not my preferences in search engines.

So if I had a client who sold flower arrangements or something that is very likely to be searched for with Siri, I’d seriously be considering the competition and rankings over on Yelp as part of their external ranking strategy for coming months.

Spending your money for you…

These changes from free services to paid options won’t cost consumers too much more, at least not compared to the new 19pin iPhone interface that Apple is switching to starting with the iPhone 5.
The old iPad and iPhone adapters
You heard that correctly, all those accessories you have purchased over the years with iPad/iPhone connections are all going to be junk. Not to fret however, Apple’s authorized partners will sell you all new devices, and are already working on a new line of must-have add-ons featuring the new connectors.

This way, all the cheap knock-off adapters/accessories that aren’t making Apple any money are going to be worthless and Apple will be climbing back into your pockets to kick those imposters out.

And thus the walls of the garden appear to be growing, taller, thicker, and electrified on both sides.

Speaking of Power & Charging…

In more promising news the process of pulling solar power from infrared light is closer to ‘practical application’ with recent progress in the field of carbon nanotube research over at MIT.

If you look at a typical solar panel, exploring the reaction between light energy -> power conversion, you’ll note that infrared (non-visible) light energy is largely wasted.

This is especially troublesome when you realize that ~40% of the sun’s light energy that reaches our planet surface is actually in the infrared spectrum and isn’t being converted to electricity by traditional solar panel technology.

Plus this new research is pointing to a compatible technology that can be added to existing installations vs. replacing existing solar panel installations.

Here’s the relevant section from the original article:

The carbon-based cell is most effective at capturing sunlight in the near-infrared region.

Because the material is transparent to visible light, such cells could be overlaid on conventional solar cells, creating a tandem device that could harness most of the energy of sunlight.

The carbon cells will need refining, Strano and his colleagues say: So far, the early proof-of-concept devices have an energy-conversion efficiency of only about 0.1 percent.

So while the recent announcement is exciting, and very promising, we won’t see the results for some time to come due to efficiency/cost issues which need to be resolved first.

The real news is that folks worried about investing in current solar tech need not worry as much about the future if the next improvements are going to be complimentary to existing solutions.

SEO news blog post by @ 1:10 pm on June 21, 2012


 

More Malicious Malware Maladies

I wrote on Monday about what to do if your website is hacked. In that post Matt Cutts states that besides "clear-cut black-hat webspam" the second largest category of spam that Google deals with consistently is that of hacked websites.

phishing attacksPhishing Map

In a new post today, Google shared some interesting stats regarding how many sites are infected with malware and what they are doing to protect users from it.

  • Google discovers 9,500 new malicious websites every day.
  • Google displays the hacked or compromised warning on about 12-14 million Google Search queries per day.
  • Google sends out thousands of notifications daily to webmasters.
  • Google send thousands of notifications daily to Internet Service Providers.

It has been five years since Google announced their malware and phishing protection with their Safe Browsing effort. The goal of this initiative was to protect people from malicious content on the Internet.

malware-distribution
malware-landing

Google realizes of course that these are not completely solvable problems since new threats continue to emerge and evolve. They highly recommend (and so do I) reviewing their Safe Browsing page for ways to help prevent your site from becoming infected.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:19 am on June 20, 2012

Categories:internet security

 

“My Site Was Hacked….Now What Do I Do?”

I was reading a blog post from Matt Cutts in which he gave us an excellent reminder about dealing with hacked sites. Cutts states that besides “clear-cut black-hat webspam” the second largest category of
spam that Google deals with consistently is that of hacked websites.

Preventing Malware Infection

This article contains tips and pointers for preventing malware infection. However, it is by no means exhaustive, and Google encourages encourage webmasters to conduct more thorough research as well.

Cutts reminds us that the best way to protect yourself against having your site hacked is to keep your web server software up to date and install the most current patches. This is an easy fix that can help prevent major downtimes associated with the time involved to repair the hack. Another common method of hacking is to use malware.

hacked page

Malware

Malware is a blanket term describing the use of malicious software written to specifically harm a computer or on a network of computers. Common types of malware are viruses, spyware and Trojan horses. Once a computer or network is infected by malware and had been compromised, the machine(s) are usually used to host phishing site, or used to take administrative control over the site(s) infected.

Phishing

Often hackers will change the content of the site for to add spam or add new pages to the site with the intent of phishing, which is an attempt to trick individuals into divulging their personal or banking information for their own nefarious purposes.

How Do I know if My Site is Infected?

If your site has been hacked, it is normally because an attacker has managed to find vulnerability on your web server that has allowed them to take control of your website. In most instances, this is in order to install malicious software that either allows access to the infected computer, or as an attempt to steal personal data or banking information.

google wmt

Google reminds us that the easiest way to detect problems with your site and possible hacks of your site is to use their Google Webmaster Tools. Once you verify your account, you can see if Google has detected malware on your site.

Google’s reports are based on the guidelines established by stopbadware.org, but admit that they have their own set of criteria, procedures and tools to identify hacked sites. They also state that in some cases, third parties manage to insert malicious code into legitimate site causing the warning message to show.

Google automatically scan website to determine if a hacker has inserted malware into your site and will list your site as being “infected” in the search results in order to alert others. This designation that your site is infected in based solely on the content of the affected page and not dependent on your site’s reputation or you as a webmaster.

If you site is infected, follow the following steps established by Google:

  1. Quarantine your site
    • Take your site down immediately
    • contact your web hosting provider
    • chane all passwords and user accounts
  2. Assess the damage
    • Visit the Google SafeBrowsing diagnostics page for your site (http://www.google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=www.example.com)
    • Scan your site with an up-to-date anti virus program that scans for malware
    • Check the Malware page in Webmaster Tools
    • Use the URL Removal tool in Webmaster Tools to request removal of hacked pages or URLs. This will prevent the hacked pages from being served to users.
    • Report phishing pages to the Google Safe Browsing team.
    • Use the Fetch as Google tool in Webmaster Tools to detect malware that might be hidden from the users’ browsers, but served to Google’s search engine crawler.
    • Review the antiphishing.org recommendations on dealing with hacked sites.
    • If you have other sites, check to see if these have also been hacked.
  3. Clean up the site
    • Update any software packages to the latest version. Google recommends doing a complete reinstall of your OS from a trusted source to be sure that you’ve removed everything the hacker may have done. Also make sure to reinstall or update blogging platforms, content management systems, or any other type of third-party software installed.
    • Once you feel confident that your site is clean, change your passwords again.
    • Get your system back online. Change your server’s configuration so that it no longer returns a 503 status code and perform any other necessary steps to make your site publicly available.
    • If you used the URL Removal tool to request removal of any URLs that are now clean and ready to appear again in search results, use the same tool to revoke your request.
  4. Request a review of your site from Google
    • On the Webmaster Tools Home page, select the site you want.
    • Click Site Status, and then click Malware.
    • Click Request a review.

Requesting a Malware Review

Once you’re sure your site is free from any infected code and content, you can request a malware review.

For complete details of the detection, removal and reviewing of your site, please refer directly to the Google page here: http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=163634

“If you feel your site has been mistakenly identified, or if you make changes to your site so that it no longer hosts or distributes malicious software and you secure your site so that it is no longer vulnerable to the insertion of badware, you can request that your site be reviewed here.”

SEO news blog post by @ 1:05 pm on June 18, 2012

Categories:internet security

 

Attack of the Flame Computer Virus

Discovered earlier this week, the newly discovered Flame malware virus was dubbed to be the most lethal cyberweapon to date and may have been running unnoticed for over 5 years.

flame virus

The Flame virus (alternatively known as Flamer or sKyWIper) was found to have infected well over 5000 computer across seven Middle Eastern countries. It appears that the virus was specifically targeted and compromised computers in Iran, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. This newly found virus is estimated to be at least 20 times more powerful than the Stuxnet worm that was responsible for disabling Iranian nuclear facilities in 2010.

The virus was discovered by the Moscow based anti-virus company, Kaspersky Lab. Kaspersky states that the Flame virus has the ability to collect private data, take screen shots, copy instant messaging conversations, initiate Bluetooth connections, activate computer microphones for the purposes of recording conversations.

Experts state that the Flame went undetected for so long as it only infected a limited number of computers over a long period of time; which is indicative of a long-term surveillance scheme.

Popular anti-virus programs were unable to detect the virus as they rely on existing instances of a known virus in order to create a detection program that is based upon signatures developed by analyzing the behavioral patterns of the existing bad code.

The fact that the threat went for so long undetected, speaks of the existing state of virus detection and of the inherent flaws in cyber security and anti-virus software.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:40 am on June 6, 2012


 

FB stock drops as SpaceX soars to success!

There were so many interesting technology/internet developments between Friday and now today that I can’t really pick which one to focus on?

Sliding FB stock prices, Google finally taking over what was the mobility division of Motorola, SpaceX reaching the ISS, Wiki-leaks’ social media platform, and the Google Knowledge Graph.. and more!

If we looked at them from an SEO standpoint I would still have to struggle a bit to pick the most interesting/focused story, but it’s a great way to dive in so lets take a look at the weekends headlines from an SEO aspect.

Facepalm – FB IPO = Uh Oh

 
Dave’s nailed this one really well on Friday in this post:
Facebook IPO vs Ford (real world) Valuation Comparison

The image of money flushing down the toilet was very ‘apt’ since that’s exactly where I see the stock price going:
https://www.google.ca/finance?q=NASDAQ%3AFB

The current ‘low’ appears to be $31/share at the moment, with the price currently dancing around $32.50/share as I write this.

Google Mobility

Google already makes some cool hardware for their servers and other projects, but most people I know wouldn’t think of them as a manufacturer.

And yet here we are today, watching history unfold, as the mobile division of one of the worlds best handset manufacturers changes hands with a company that is at the head of the Android software alliance.

Google does a lot of things for free, even at a loss, because they see value in things that others would squander and ignore. Now that they have a hardware division to support this bad habit things are going to get very interesting.

We already know from looking through project glass’s details that Google will be needing a very skilled manufacturer with assets in micro mobility and wireless. HTC has always been very willing to participate with Google’s projects, but they are a vastly successful hardware manufacturer with no visible brand loyalty.

I personally had Android running on a HTC Windows Mobile so why can’t I run Windows Mobile on a Google subsidized Android HTC phone? I probably could, which is why it’d be very silly for Google to subsidize HTC hardware.

If Google can produce the hardware and find ways to keep 90%+ of the owners using Google services, it’s a much safer bet, and it appears to be exactly what they are doing. Heck if they make the hardware they might not even care what OS you use if they are allowed to sniff the data and still learn about users from the data they are using.

The only part of the puzzle that’s missing is deployment of Google owned, Motorola equipped, cell-towers so that Google can offer hardware, software, and services on their terms, in a model that makes sense to them, which would likely mean no caps on network use for Google products?

Yeah I could be dreaming but if I was a competitive cellular provider I’d be strongly considering opening my arms to Google before it’s an arms race against Google. ;)

Google Knowledge Graph

While the bearing on SEO for this news item is rather debatable and curious. The feature itself is incredibly handy and something Google has the unique opportunity to provide.

By taking key points of knowledge and building some hard links to relate that knowledge to other data points Google has developed a Wikipedia of it’s own design.

Knowing the struggles that Wikipedia has faced in terms of moderation and updating content, it will be anyone’s guess how Google is going to maintain it’s knowledge graph without someone manipulating the results, but kudos to Google for trying?

Right now the coverage on this is going to be all the same because the content in Google KG is still being built up, but you can expect further discussion as the service grows.

FoWL – Wiki-Leaks’ Social Media Service

Since this service claims to be private and encrypted, it would be very foul of me to really spend much of your time discussing it.

As it can’t be officially crawled by Google it’s probably going to have a very low effect on SEO and rankings in general. The only real bearing I could see it having is using it as a traffic tool for sites that are in-line with the Wiki-leaks mantra of public information. So if you can pretend that your services are so good the FBI doesn’t want you talking about them..??

SpaceX reaches ISS

This isn’t search engine related at all. I suppose you could point to the success of Google vs. government run indexes, and then point to the success of SpaceX vs. NASA with a bunch of startling similarities, but that’s some serious reaching.

At the same time, posting this on the same day the first private effort has docked with the International Space Station? I am obligated as a nerd to at least tuck this into the tail of the post. It’s pretty cool!

9 Days Left!

 
9 DAYS LEFT!

 

We still have 9 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!

Good Luck! :)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:01 pm on May 22, 2012


 

« Newer PostsOlder Posts »
Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Copyright© 2004-2014
Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization, Inc.
All rights reserved.