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Google releases Chrome 28 with Blink browser engine

  • Posted on July 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm

Google on Tuesday released Chrome 28, the first polished version of the browser to use the company’s home-grown “Blink” rendering engine. On Windows, the upgrade also sported Google’s new notification service that lets developers of Chrome apps and add-ons display messages and alerts outside the browser window.

The upgrade was the first since May 21, when Google shipped Chrome 27 and touted some minor performance improvements.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Bug bounty programs provide strong value for Google, Mozilla. | Get your websites up to speed with HTML5 today using the techniques in InfoWorld’s HTML5 Deep DivePDF how-to report. | Learn how to secure your Web browsers in InfoWorld’s “Web Browser Security Deep Dive” PDF guide. ]

Google announced in April that it was dropping the open-source WebKit browser engine — at the time also used only by Apple’s Safari — and was instead launching Blink, a WebKit variant, to power Chrome. Since then, Opera Software’s Opera has also adopted WebKit as an interim step before it eventually moves to Blink.

Google cited difficulties in adapting WebKit to Chrome, and in the first weeks after the announcement, stripped copious amounts of unnecessary-for-Chrome code from the fork that became Blink. Previously, only the rougher “Dev” and “Beta” builds of Chrome relied on the Blink engine. Users can verify that Blink is present by typing chrome://version/ in the Chrome address-search bar, dubbed the “Omnibox.”

Also included in Chrome 28 is new support for more sophisticated notifications that appear outside the browser pane and display even when the browser’s not running. “Packaged apps” — ber-Web apps that look and behave like “native” code written specifically for the underlying OS — and add-ons can push brief messages and alerts to Chrome users after their developers have enabled the feature.

Only the Windows version of Chrome 28 currently supports these next-generation notifications, but Google promised that the feature would soon make its way to OS X and Linux. On a Mac, Chrome notifications are not integrated with OS X Mountain Lion’s Notification Center.

Along with the debut of Blink and notifications, Chrome 28 contained patches for 15 security vulnerabilities, one of them rated “critical,” Google’s most serious threat ranking. According to Google’s terse security advisory, that flaw was a memory management bug — dubbed a “use-after-free” vulnerability — in the browser’s network sockets code.

But while Colin Payne, who reported the bug, received an impressive reward of $6,267.40, another researcher was handed triple that. Andrey Labunets was paid a record $21,500 for filing several vulnerability reports, including two in the Google synchronization service and an unknown number of others that Google said were “…since-fixed server-side bugs.”

That last phrase and the amount paid were clues that Labunets discovered one or more flaws in a core Google service. In April, Google boosted bounties for vulnerability reports in its core websites, services and online apps, resetting the top reward to $20,000 for remote code executable bugs, those that attackers could use to slip malicious code onto a server or into an app or site.

Labunets is no stranger to large bug bounties. Earlier this year, after reporting a string of weaknesses in Facebook’s authentication protocol, Labunets was awarded $9,500 by the social networking giant.

Altogether, Google this week paid bounties totaling $34,901 to six researchers, including Payne and Labunets, for reporting eight different bugs. Through Tuesday, the Mountain View, Calif., company has awarded nearly $250,000 thus far this year in bounties or hacking contest prizes.

Users can download Chrome 28 from Google’s website. Active users can simply let the automatic updater retrieve the new version.

Apple Developer Website Online Again Following Cyberattack

  • Posted on July 3, 2017 at 7:57 pm

Apple’s developer website was back online Friday, more than a week after it was targeted by a hacker who reportedly attempted to steal personal information, various media outlets have reported.

According to Bloomberg’s Jordan Robertson, the website used by engineers who write Mac and iOS device applications was said to be active as of 5pm Pacific time on July 26. The attack had forced it offline for a total of eight days.

“Developers use the site for software downloads, documentation and engineering information,” Robertson said. “The maker of iPhones and iPads said this week that it’s ‘completely overhauling’ its developer systems to prevent a security threat from happening again. While some of the website’s information was encrypted, Applesaid it hadn’t been able to rule out whether names, mailing addresses or e-mail addresses may have been accessed.”

The website targeted by the cyberattack is used by the Cupertino, California-based tech giant to communicate with its community of nearly six million software developers, according to Reuters reporter Aman Shah. A UK-based Turkish researcher named Ibrahim Balic has claimed responsibility for the attack, which he says was not malicious in nature, but not everyone buys his story.

“Balic, who describes himself as a security consultant, claimed on Sunday that he had discovered a number of weaknesses in the site at developer.apple.com which allowed him to grab email addresses of registered developers,” Guardian reporter Charles Arthur explained. “In all, Balic said he had been able to grab the details of 100,000 people registered on the site, and that he included 73 of them in a bug report to Apple.

“He claimed that he exploited a cross-site scripting (XSS) bug in the site,” he added. “However XSS attacks generally require the attacker – which in this case would be Balic – to ‘infect’ a page with a malicious piece of Javascript or HTML which would then be used to extract data from a visiting user. If Balic’s claim is correct, he seems to have used the XSS exploits against his own system.”

Arthur said they attempted to contact 29 people whose emails were allegedly extracted by Balic during the hacking, but seven of those emails bounced and none of the remaining 22 responded to requests to state whether or not they are registered Apple developers. Furthermore, none of the names or email addresses could be located online, which the Guardian notes would be unusual for active software developers.

“Many of the names and email addresses either don’t look like they would belong to Apple developers, or appear to have left no footprints anywhere else on the net,” added independent security consultant Graham Cluley. In addition, in reference to ten emails featured in a YouTube video created by the alleged hacker, Cluley said, “It’s almost as though these are long-discarded ghost email addresses from years ago or have been used by Balic in his video for reasons best known to himself.”

In related news, a new phishing scam involving Apple has arisen on the heels of the developer website hacking,according to CNET’s Charlie Osborne. Attempting to capitalize on security concerns raised by the cyberattack, the new phishing scam warns users to click on a link in order to change their passwords.

While the email is short, it may appear legitimate to some users, Osborne said. However, it includes a grammar mistake in the title, fails to capitalize Apple on several locations and includes a link that clearly does not lead to a domain registered or owned by the tech giant.

“Users have taken to Twitter to warn others of the phishing attacks, and security firm Kaspersky Lab has found that Apple-related phishing scams have skyrocketed in the last six months, with scammers focused on stealing login credentials and financial data,” the CNET writer added.

Lawyer Plugin for WordPress Promises Legal Resources and Nationwide Attorney Network

  • Posted on June 25, 2017 at 2:49 am

After two years of development, Lawyer Plugin (www.lawyerplugin.com) launched their first public version of what promises to be an essential plugin for any lawyer running a WordPress website.

Lawyer Plugin is the first plugin of its kind: it gives law firms access to hundreds of local resources which are automatically added, updated, and synced with Lawyer Plugin’s central servers every 24 hours.

The registration takes care of all settings automatically. For example, a bankruptcy lawyer in Tampa, Florida, creates his profile with his law firm’s name, address, city, state, and practice area(s). The plugin automatically pulls bankruptcy- and Florida-related resources onto the resource page which is created by the plugin. With that, the firm becomes part of the peer-to-peer legal directory which is then displayed on the websites of every plugin user.

Block Competition

When creating the plugin, the peer-to-peer directory presented a major challenge. A law firm does not want to display competing law firms on their website. To solve this problem, Lawyer Plugin has been designed to filter competitors and only displays non-competing listings on each user’s website.

Here is how the filter works:

Smith & Smith bankruptcy lawyers in Tampa, Florida, install Lawyer Plugin.

Lisa Johnson & Associates, elder law attorneys in Asheville, North Carolina, also installs Lawyer Plugin.

Bradley Baker & James bankruptcy lawyers in Tampa Florida installs Lawyer Plugin.

Foz & Oz Attorneys at Law, bankruptcy lawyers in Los Angeles, California, installs Lawyer Plugin, too.

On the Smith & Smith resources page, Lawyer Plugin will display the listing for Lisa Johnson & Associates, because that firm does not compete in Smith & Smith’s local market. It will also display the listing for bankruptcy attorneys Foz & Oz. Even though they are bankruptcy lawyers, Foz & Oz are in Los Angeles, and therefore not competing with the Tampa, Florida practice.

However, Bradley Baker & James will not be included on Smith & Smith’s website, and Smith & Smith will not be included on Bradley Baker & James website. Lisa Johnson & Associates will display listings for all three of the above firms, because none of them compete with her practice.

A Fun Brand for a Serious Industry

Lawyer Plugin breaks out of the stuffy legal mold. On Lawyerplugin.com, users will not find any bookshelves, gavels, or court house columns. Instead, they are offered an outlet for venting with a “Hate Mail” form and noting in their legal disclaimer that the plugin has not displayed any “violent behavior,” but cautions that the “adolescent years are right around the corner.”

Last year, Lawyer Plugin posted teasers on its Facebook and Twitter profiles as beta testing began. The question was asked: “How awesome will Lawyer Plugin be?” The answers —

Coffee will drink Lawyer Plugin to wake up.

You will never need a flu shot. The flu will need a Lawyer Plugin shot.

The earth will no longer rotate around the sun. The sun will be too busy rotating around Lawyer Plugin.

And it was even predicted that Christmas will begin celebrating Lawyer Plugin.

The Lawyer Plugin’s financial backers plan to keep the plugin free. Lawyer Plugin will continue to receive funding indefinitely as add-ons are developed, and a paid, professional version of Lawyer Plugin is also in the works.

Lawyer Plugin is free and out in the court of public opinion. The developers are thirsty for user feedback and additional ideas for features.

Internet Wars: Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer & Samsung beats Apple to mobile top-spot

  • Posted on June 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Website analytics company StatCounter have revealed its latest report covering global trends of internet access and software popularity. Dubbed ‘Internet Wars’ the report contains two major power shifts: in terms of mobile internet access Samsung has overtaken Apple whilst Chrome have has stolen Internet Explorer’s browser crown. See below for a full break-down of the report:

Mobile: Samsung & Chrome lead the way

In terms of mobile vendors the changes have been somewhat expected. 12 months ago Nokia was the number one vendor for connecting to mobile internet but they’ve now dropped to third place as Samsung overtakes Apple by a small margin.

In terms of mobile browser usage the global market shows Android’s default browser out in front with 29% compared to Safari’s 25%; but in the US and the UK the Apple products are clear leaders – taking 55% and 48% of the market share respectively.

This is a direct reflection of mobile OS trends where Android are ahead globally (38%, up from 26% last year) but with the US and the UK showing a pretty clear preference for the iOS. In the US Apple takes 55% and Android 39%; in the UK Apple gets 48% and Android has 30%. The UK also proves to be a bit of a hold-out for Blackberry – holding on to a respectable 15% of the market.

Browsers & Operating Systems: Internet Explorer beaten, but Windows remains dominant

The browser wars have seen Google overtake Microsoft’s Internet Explorer for the first time in June this year, with Firefox and Safari taking third and fourth place respectively. Chrome took 34% of the market, compared to IE’s 32%.

StatCounter’s report also took in the balance of power with operating systems, showing Windows 7 actually increasing its internet usage share to 51% despite the fanfare-launch of Windows 8. And 12 years after its launch, Windows XP is still hanging in there with 21% of the global market, comfortably above Apple’s consistent third-place OSX (over 7% share).

In the UK specifically Windows 7 still keeps its top-spot with a 49% market share, but – unlike in the global market – Mac’s OSX takes second place with 11%, beating out Windows XP’s 10% share.

It was also revealed that despite reports of Facebook’s declining appeal amongst teenagers the site has still managed to increase its market share – at least in terms of referall traffic, the metric that StatCounter uses.

Social media: Facebook still king, though UK has a soft spot for Twitter

Worlwide Facebook has increased its referral influence from 61% in June 2012 to 71% in June 2013. Other social networks still barely register on this scale – with StumbleUpon falling from 9% to 5%, Pinterest taking the number two slot with 8% and Twitter taking up third place with 7%.

In the US Pinterest had a far more dominant position, climbing to a healthy second place in terms of referral traffic with 22% of the market share compared to Facebook’s 52%; whilst in the UK it was Twitter that took the number two spot, with 16% of referral traffic compared to Facebook’s 62%.

However, it should be noted that referral traffic – whilst a useful metric – is by no means the be all and end all of social media influence.

A recent essay by Ethan Zuckerman for the Atlantic pointed out that whilst Facebook may dominate in terms of user figures, the influence it create tends to be fairly insular – with links spread amongst individuals that are already friends. Zuckerman counterpoints this with Reddit – which is far less popular in terms of actual user figures but might be considered more influential as it manages to  spread content amongst strangers, reaching further flung areas of the web.

Mozilla Releases Firefox 22 with Support 3D Game, Video Call, and File Sharing

  • Posted on June 14, 2017 at 10:09 am

Mozilla has just released Firefox 22 browser with integrated support for 3D gaming, video calls, and file sharing. Thus, application developers can create applications that can run in the browser without the need to use third party plugins.
Firefox has aged 15 years, and according to vice president of Firefox Engineering, Johnathan Nightingale, the browser has changed in terms of how people use it. Browser applications have been the key to connect to the internet and used to locate information and software, and therefore the present browser must be built for the needs of people and how they use them more quickly.
Firefox 22 to wear a subset of JavaScript called asm.js through OdinMonkey to run 3D applications and processors directly from web.Untuk chat foro, Firefox 22 is added Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC), which can be used both video calling application developers from PC or mobile browser. Mozilla has been expressed at the MWC in 2013 and this technology can be integrated seamlessly with mobile phones so that users can make voice calls and file sharing file. In addition to Firefox, Google also integrate it in the Chrome browser since October 2012 last year. One service that supports WebRTC is Tokbox.
To highlight the potential of this feature, Mozilla has made ​​a 3D game called BananaBread. This game utilizing WebRTC, asm.js, WebGL, and Emscripten.
via The Next Web

Yahoo!’s Earnings and the Future of Display Ads

  • Posted on June 7, 2017 at 1:24 pm

Investors were upset that Yahoo! Inc.’s (YHOO) quarterly results showed a sharp drop in display advertising revenue. And, based on its forecasts, that will not get any better soon. The Yahoo! trouble is not an isolated case. Display rates have started to collapse across the industry, making a chance for Internet advertising to expand as fast as it has over the past decade impossible. That represents trouble for tens of thousands of businesses.

Yahoo!’s revenue fell 7% in the second quarter compared to last year, drifting down to $1.22 billion. Wall St. focused mostly on one comment:

Iconic Brands That Just Vanished

GAAP display revenue was $472 million for the second quarter of 2013, a 12 percent decrease compared to $535 million for the second quarter of 2012.

At the same time, there was no evidence that Yahoo!’s audience fell, so the yield from the average display ad fell considerably.

Yahoo! holds a special place among America’s Internet companies. In the United States, according to research firm comScore, it had a monthly audience of unique visitor that was above 192.9 million in May. That put it a very close second to Google Inc.’s (GOOG), which was 193.5 million. Because of its huge size, the trends set by Yahoo! almost certainly represent those of most of the balance of the industry.

States That Drink the Most Beer

The bane of display advertising today is that so many Web properties have decided to stake their futures on content delivered on small devices, which include, primarily, smartphones. All of the evidence indicates that advertisers will pay less for messages they post on these smaller screens. Actually, the amount marketers will pay for this content environment is much, much less than for traditional display ads that appear on personal computers (PCs). In an attempt to chase the online content audience as it migrates away from PCs, Internet companies have badly damaged future revenue prospects. The trouble is that people will watch content on smaller screens whether online content sites like it or not.

Most experts hope that falling display ad rates can be offset by the increase in video content on the Internet. Advertisers will pay a great deal more for video ads than display ads. So, there is a rush to create this sort of programming. But the likelihood that video can balance the drop in display rates appears unlikely.

Beyond Google’s YouTube, the amount of video posted on the Internet by large content companies is relatively small. In May, Google sites had 154.4 million unique video viewers, driven almost exclusively by YouTube. These visitors spent an average of 437 minutes on Google sites in May. After that, video viewership at other sites drops very sharply. For example, Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) sites had 45.2 million unique video viewers in May. The average time these viewers spent watching video on Microsoft sites was only 36.9 minutes, barely more than a half-hour TV show.

Internet advertising may remain at current levels in terms of volume, but the monetary yield from these ads likely will never return.

Yahoo! Acquisition AdMovate, Develop Mobile Advertising Service

  • Posted on June 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Internet giant head of Marissa Mayer, Yahoo!, recently rumored to re-acquire a startup working in the areas of mobile advertising, AdMovate. The umpteenth time that the acquisition by Yahoo! Yahoo! is regarded as an effort to improve service advertisements that are considered “lackluster” lately.

Yahoo! via his blog on Tumblr, has officially announced the purchase AdMovate engaged in the mobile advertising services. AdMovate parties themselves have confirmed this issue by stating that they were aimed at helping advertisers to reach consumers at the right time and place via private message certainly be provide by AdMovate.

Quoted from a news release The Next Web today (18/7), Yahoo! states that carried AdMovate personalization technology can improve the ability of Yahoo! in advertising through the mobile platform. In addition, after the acquisition of all employees AdMovate instantly brought to the Yahoo! offices are located in Silicon Valley, USA.

Marissa Mayer as CEO of Yahoo!, concerning this acquisition had expressed interest in re-focusing the Yahoo! mobile services that could be left behind. According to him, the future of Yahoo! ‘s business models will be on the mobile segment in which this segment continues to experience a significant increase, “Yahoo’s future is on the phone. So we put the products for mobile phones, “he said.

In a blog post on tumblr, Scott Burke who is SVP of Display Advertising and Advertising Technology Yahoo! said Yahoo! is now trying to focus on investments in the mobile segment, “Yahoo is currently investing more in the purchase program and advertising on mobile phones,” she called.

Description Scott was indeed not a hoax. Yahoo! is just a period of four months was reported to have acquired 10 startup that Summly, Astrid, Milewise, Loki Studios, Go Poll Go, PlayerScale, Rondee, Ghostbird Software, Tumblr, and most recently Qwiki, and it is almost entirely a startup working in the mobile field. With the acquisition AdMovate which is a provider of mobile advertising services, then shopping “wholesale” a la Yahoo! The Yahoo! could be an attempt to break through the mobile industry is growing rapidly these days.

7 Months, Google Clear 100 Million Pirated Content

  • Posted on June 2, 2017 at 7:46 am

CALIFORNIA – July is almost over and Google has removed more than 100 million web pages containing links content copyright infringement. The removal of the copyright holder hope these links can keep consumers from pirated content sites.

Reported by Softpedia, Friday (27/07/2013), according to TorrentFreak reports, the number of links that have been removed by Google starting this year more than in 2012. Meanwhile, Google decided to be transparent about all removal requests pirated content in search results.

Since January this year, Google has been asked to remove more than 105.3 million web pages that allegedly contain pirated content. A number of sites that claimed to contain pirated contents has also been reported.

Search engine files, FilesTube, is the most hunted with more than 5.8 million links, and Rapidgator.net Torrentz.eu followed, with each more than 2 million links.

Meanwhile, The Pirate Bay, which had become the hunted, now is not in the list of top 20. This is because the torrent sites are changing domains and only has two million links.

Instagram Surpasses Pede Will Facebook As the World’s Largest

  • Posted on May 18, 2017 at 9:23 am

Instagram skyrocketed in popularity as more and share photos via a mobile application. As a start-up which is very expensive purchased by Facebook apparently did not make Instagram lose ambition. Instagram sure will be bigger than Facebook.

Facebook now has 1.1 billion users worldwide making it the largest social networking Worldwide. But they have a problem with the new user to hook a young age began to look at other services. In terms of feeling confident that Instagram can grow large if it is capable of growth right now.

“By definition, if Instagram continues to grow in this position then yes, it would be even greater,” said Kevin Systrom in an interview with Fast Company. “Instagram will be the largest in the world.”

In contrast to the explicitly Kevin so confident, Instagram founder fellow replied diplomatically. “I do not know, but it’s a good question. Basically there is no limit to the number so maybe one day we will match?” Mike Krieger said.

Instagram is currently still far less than Facebook, but the number of users has exceeded Twitter. While the video recording feature that was recently launched is also more popular than Twitter’s Vine has attended first.

Facebook Earnings Review: What Wall Street Thinks

  • Posted on May 12, 2017 at 8:50 am

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Facebook’s (FB_) second-quarter earnings focused on mobile revenue. Shares were soaring in premarket trading Thursday as Wall Street raised price targets and upgraded shares.

 The Menlo Park, Calif.-based social networker earned 19 cents a share on $1.813 billion in revenue for the quarter, as mobile advertising revenue accounted for 41% of advertising revenue this quarter. Total advertising revenue was $1.6 billion, 88% of total revenue, and up 61% year over year.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting Facebook to earn 14 cents a share on $1.62 billion in revenue for the quarter.

The company ended the quarter with 1.15 billion monthly active users (MAUs), up 21% year over year. There was a 51% annual increase in mobile MAUs, which drove the strength in mobile revenue. Daily active users (DAUs) were 699 million, up 27% annually.

Following the earnings, many analysts were bullish, with several upgrading shares and raising price targets. Here’s what some analysts on Wall Street had to say:

JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth (Overweight, $44 PT)

“Facebook delivered its strongest quarter yet as a public company–results that we think could be thesis-changing for many–and we would continue to buy Facebook shares even after the ~17% move up in the after-market. Our revenue and nonGAAP EPS estimates increase 12% and 38% for 2013, and 22% and 46% for 2014.”

Topeka Capital Markets analyst Victor Anthony (Buy, $40 PT)

“Facebook needed to, and delivered, a blowout quarter. What is clear from the results is advertisers have validated Facebook as an advertising platform. For full year 2013, our revenue and Adj. EPS increases to $7.196B and $0.71, resp, from $6.733B and $0.63. We still see more upside for the stock and recommend purchase. There are several well defined catalysts over the next two years that should lead to further share price appreciation, including: 1) monetizing Instagram, which, per CEO Zuckerberg, will generate “a lot of profits”, 2) launch of auto-play video ads, 3) monetizing Graph Search, 4) a bigger push into e-commerce, and 5) the potential for S&P 500 inclusion. Further, only 1mm or 6% of FB’s 18mm potential advertisers are buying ads, implying a huge runway for advertiser uptake exists.”

Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia (Buy, $37 PT)

“We are incrementally bullish on FB’s prospects following 2Q results and believe the stock should be a core holding in Internet portfolios. 2Q’s highlight was Mobile advertising (+76% q/q versus consensus +20%). Overall revenue (53% y/y) and EBITDA (+57% y/y) accelerated from 1Q’s 38%/35% revenue/EBITDA growth. Better than expected user engagement, strong monetization and good cost control helped FB outperform even the most bullish expectations on the Street. Reiterating Buy.”

Oppenheimer analyst Jason Helfstein (Outperform, $36 PT)

“Following materially better than expected 2Q results, we are increasing our estimates and price target, and are reiterating our Outperform rating. 2Q upside was driven by higher advertiser demand for newsfeed, both on volume and price, and since mobile Newsfeed pricing is similar to desktop and advertisers are largely indifferent between mobile and desktop, revenues are tracking the consumer shift to smartphones. We believe this dynamic is an important differentiator vs. other ad-supported internet companies, that are being hurt by the mobile mix shift. As such, we are increasing ’13E and ’14E revenue by 3% and 5%, and non-GAAP EPS by 7% and 9%, respectively. Raising target to $36 from $32.”

Shares of Facebook were soaring following earnings, tacking on 30.48% to $34.59 in premarket trading.