Archive for August, 2012

Over 8 Million LinkedIn Passwords Exposed

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

It is now confirmed that over 8 million LinkedIn user passwords were posted on a Russian hacker website. Social networking site LinkedIn and online dating service eHarmony warned that some user passwords had been breached after security experts discovered scrambled files with passwords for millions of online accounts.

In their corporate blog post, LinkedIn describes the current situation:

We want to provide you with an update on this morning’s reports of stolen passwords. We can confirm that some of the passwords that were compromised correspond to LinkedIn accounts. We are continuing to investigate this situation and here is what we are pursuing as far as next steps for the compromised accounts:

  1. Members that have accounts associated with the compromised passwords will notice that their LinkedIn account password is no longer valid.
  2. These members will also receive an email from LinkedIn with instructions on how to reset their passwords. There will not be any links in this email. Once you follow this step and request password assistance, then you will receive an email from LinkedIn with a password reset link.
  3. These affected members will receive a second email from our Customer Support team providing a bit more context on this situation and why they are being asked to change their passwords.

It is worth noting that the affected members who update their passwords and members whose passwords have not been compromised benefit from the enhanced security we just recently put in place, which includes hashing and salting of our current password databases.

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience this has caused our members. We take the security of our members very seriously. If you haven’t read it already it is worth checking out my earlier blog post today about updating your password and other account security best practices.

This large scale incident of network security breach is not uncommon. With rise of massive global social networking websites, there has been an increase in criminal and state sponsored hacking. These hackers gain valuable information when they can penetrate a whale like LinkedIn.

Users of social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Tumbler should be aware of the danger of using the same password for online services like banking, email or business. In addition to using unique passwords for websites, users should also use significantly complex and long passwords. At a minimum their password should be 20 characters and consist of letters, numbers, and symbols  (such as !, $, #, %).

Faster computing means that every possible password with lowercase, alphanumeric, and 6 characters long, can be calculated in around 40 seconds. This method of attacking a website login with millions of attempts is called brute force. Although brute force attempts are usually prevented, there are website without this basic protection.

Another new hacking phenomenon is called social engineering.  Social engineering uses a combination of public or private information to penetrate a users account and exploit the targets access to confidential information. Using a technique called spear-phishing, hackers will target a individual with access to sensitive data.

If you haven’t already started changing your passwords, then I recommend you get started.

Internet Business Consulting Naples, Florida

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

Naples Webmasters provides Internet business consulting in Naples, Florida. We have worked with hundreds of businesses with web development, Internet marketing and eCommerce. If you are considering to engage in online business, it pays to consult with an expert. We will guide you through the crucial early stages of your Internet business.

For Entrepreneurs:

We can offer entrepreneurs constructive evaluation of their business plan and start-up ideas. Gain insight from our years of experience in the industry developing and launching start-ups.

For the CEO or CIO:

Our consulting includes outsourcing opportunities to reduce technical staff and therefore reduce Internet related business costs. We can help with co-location of servers, cloud hosting and database application integration.

For Online Merchants:

For eCommerce business we can provide cost-effective website management and marketing that will result in more sales and better return on investment.

iOS5 New iCloud Service from Apple

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

The latest release of Apple’s iOS, version 5, includes a new free service called iCloud. As the name suggest the service utilizes so called “Cloud Hosting” technology to allow users to store and sync the iOS devices.

According to the Apple website, iCloud requires iOS 5 on iPhone 3GS or later, iPod touch (3rd and 4th generation), iPad, or iPad 2; a Mac computer with OS X Lion; or a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 (Outlook 2007 or 2010 or an up-to-date browser is required for accessing email, contacts, and calendars). Some features require a Wi-Fi connection. Some features are not available in all countries. Access to some services is limited to 10 devices.

iCloud is the successor to MobileMe. It utilizes a cloud storage and cloud computing service. Originally announced by Apple Inc. on June 6, 2011 at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). The service allows users to store data such as music files on remote computer servers for download to multiple iOS devices such as iPhones, iPods, iPads, and personal computers running Mac OS X or Microsoft Windows. It also replaces Apple’s MobileMe program, acting as a data syncing center for email, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, notes, to-do lists, and other data.

iCloud Features

Each iCloud account includes 5 GB of free storage.  Music, apps, and books purchased from iTunes, will not reduce this free space. Music files purchased will be automatically downloaded to any iOS devices. When a Apple account holder registers a new device, all iTunes content can be automatically downloaded.

Photo Stream

Photo Stream is one of the coolest services bundled with the basic iCloud service. It allows users to store the most recent 1,000 photos on the iCloud servers up to 30 days for free. When a photo is taken on a device with Photo Stream enabled, it is automatically uploaded to the iCloud servers. From there, it is automatically pushed to the rest of the user’s registered devices.

WordPress 3.2 Editor – Distraction free writing

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

When I first used the new WordPress 3.2 I was struck by the contrast between the new and previous version user interface design. WordPress developers have created a stunningly faster and lighter version of the already innovative WordPress blogging software.

Looking back just a few years, I now see a huge evolutionary leap forward with the latest WordPress release. Drupal was my first experience with blogging software. After using Drupal for some months I got fed up with the backwards nature of the user interface. Drupal seemed very well throughout from a programer php/mysql database point of view, but from the end users point of view it was very confusing and overly complicated.
After Drupal. I found Joomla. Joomla enabled users with very limited experience to build elaborate websites. With the evolution of Joomla users got better integrated features and more practical extension development.
Like Drupal, Joomla seemed overly complicated sometimes when it came to content. Content could only be organized into section/categories. While section/categories seemed logical as a API development point of view it failed to provide the simple method of dealing with taxonomy.
My first experience with WordPress was the 1.0 version. I liked the simplicity of the user interface, and the fact that it could be extended rather easily. I had grown tired of the maintenance of over 100 Joomla Websites. This is why I was looking at WordPress. The Joomla CMS was great for elaborate websites, but it proved to large and unwieldy to manage. Add to that a complicated upgrade process, and having more than a hundred Joomla sites became a nightmare to keep secure.
WordPress offered one click upgrades, and easy organization of content. Creating content was also simplified with a great built-in WYSIWYG. More importantly WordPress was proving to be a formidable tool for SEO experts. WordPress blogs yielded more traffic and better ranking for competitive keywords.
  • Faster release cycle than 3.1 — More focused release.
  • The theme is “faster, lighter.” Dropped support for outdated technologies.
  • List Tables API improvements – API for third party use and more flexibility.
  • List Table XHR loading — To be investigated only after List Table API has stabilized.
  • PHP 5.2 (5.2.4, specifically) to be required.
  • MySQL 5 to be required.
  • Distraction Free Writing (My Favorite Concept!!!). This is the headline “ooh, shiny” user feature. Replaced old fullscreen interface implementation with something more beautiful, more useful (in terms of line-length and font size), and simpler (only limited RTE functionality). Developers looked at WriteRoom, OmmWriter and others for inspiration. Koop is investigating this, and may crank out a quick plugin to jump-start development efforts
  • Upgrade improvements. Changed-files-only upgrades can be done with zero changes to core. For the first effort, let’s just do updates to the latest point-point from within the same major version. So, 3.2 to 3.2.2 and 3.2.1 to 3.2.2. Optionally consider scanning for changed core files and offering them a full upgrade to overwrite those changed files. Skip the wp-contents directory when upgrading (no more upgrading the default theme or bundled plugins).
  • Speed improvements. There are a bunch of little things the devs did do to make WordPress load or at least “feel” faster.  They also made the dashboard faster by not doing async requests for panes if the cache is hot. Finally the devs made some FTP improvements that should make upgrades a lot faster for people using a certain FTP server.

Google+, the search giant’s answer to Facebook

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

Google is looking to jump into the social networking game and compete directly with Facebook. This would be Google’s 3rd try. The previous attempts included the Google Wave, a communication and online collaboration platform rolled into one package, and Google Buzz, a twitter like service that allowed sharing of videos, photos, and updates.

Google+ focuses on clean interface, and unique social interactions and connections. The simple and elegant interface was created by a former Apple designer. Google+ builds off the Google service called Profiles. Google Proilces is similar to a Facebook profile. Google+ adds in all of the social features like friending, posting, and liking that you find on Facebook with the ability to follow people like you can on Twitter.

Circles is the Google+ way of creating groups of friends that you can selectively share content with and control how they can connect back to you. Hangouts is a quick way to set up a video conference with up to 10 people while Sparks is an integration of Google’s email alerts honed down to its essence: letting you know about stuff you are interested in.


Real Life Social Network v2

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

Ex-Google UX (User Expereince) director Paul Adams has created a slideshow called:  “The Real Life Social Network,” which highlights the perils of having one default group for sharing and emphasized that the ideal social networking service would be designed for multiple groups. The slideshow illustrated the flaws in Facebook’s lump sum friend model and called for a social network where users could set sharing levels to correspond to the separate relationship groups that people tend to have.

The Real Life Social Network v2

View more documents from Paul Adams

EBay acquires Magento Ecommerce Solution

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

magento ecommerceMagento is an open source ecommerce web application launched on March 31, 2008. It was created by Varien, using various open source technologies including Zend framework and PHP. Varien is now Magento Inc. with 260+ employees.

Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with unprecedented flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store. Magento’s intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, search engine optimization and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. Designed to be completely scalable and backed by Varien’s support network, Magento offers companies the ultimate eCommerce solution.

Magento Enterprise Edition is a paid version of Magento intended for larger ecomerce websites.

In February of 2011, Ebay announced it had made an investment in Magento and acquired 49% ownership. Now Ebay is purchasing the remain ownership of Magento.

By purchasing Magento, eBay is creating what it calls X.Commerce, an open platform that can offer a wide array of end-to-end services to merchants, providing everything from local inventory data and discounts to historical information on pricing, transactions and browsing. It then offers tools for payment and helps close the loop on transactions so retailers know how it all came together. EBay, PayPal and GSI, a digital marketing and e-commerce company that eBay is in the process of buying, would provide some of the basic building blocks for the platform. But X.Commerce would also incorporate other eBay assets and enlist the help of developers who could build on the operating system.


Future of Flash

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

Some users feel that Flash enriches their web experience, while others find the extensive use of Flash animation, particularly in advertising, intrusive and annoying, giving rise to a cottage industry that specializes in blocking Flash content. Flash has also been criticized for adversely affecting the usability of web pages. Flash has long been a problem for search marketing consultants, because the software is not friendly to search engines. Without Flash installed, the user will view an empty white box.


The Flash versus HTML5 debate for digital content creation continues on. We’re all familiar with Steve Jobs’ rant against Adobe’s “proprietary product,” as described by Jobs in an April 2010 letter. Since then,  other Silicon Valley companies have started to incorporate HTML5 as a replacement—or, at least, an alternative—to previous Flash-only content..

HTML 5 is gaining ground as a competitor to Flash: the canvas element assists animation, and text can be more easily synchronized with audio and video element timeupdate events. In one example of this, Scribd, a 50 million user a month document sharing website, announced in May 2010 that YouTube introduced HTML5 support in January 2010, and on Jan 11 2011, the Google Chromium Project announced on their blog that support for closed codecs (particularly H.264) would be removed from future releases of Chrome. The Chromium announcement specifically mentioned that this was an effort to increase the use of license-free HTML5 and the <video> tag, and drive web-wide adoption of the open-source codecs VP8 and Theora.

In addition to HTML supporting Video, Facebook, as well, is another Silicon Valley giant that’s started to open its eyes toward HTML5-based content—for games.

HTML5 may transform desktop and mobile gaming, creating amazing user experiences that are only a click away. Already, over 125 million people visit Facebook using HTML5 capable browsers just from their mobile phone, and that number skyrockets when we add in desktop browsers. The future of Flash will depend on whether the technology can stay relevant in the changing web landscape of smart phones, tablet devices and Internet televisions.

ie9 is coming…

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

“play in a more beautiful web”

Well if you don’t know, Microsoft is preparing to launch their new browser Internet Explorer 9. The newest browser from the Redmond software company, Microsoft. The latest version of the Internet Explorer web browser is seeking to embrace web standards and usher in the new era of HTML 5.

HTML 5 will introduce new possibilities with websites. The most impressive feature will be the integration of media like audio and video. Improved sound and graphics will allow for richer web experiences. With Apple failing to fully integrate Adobe Flash into their mobile devices, web designers are utilizing tools like jQuery and new features provided by HTML 5.

Microsoft seems to have made an abrupt about face and nearly dump the Silverlight project. They are now boasting the wonders of HTML 5.

With advanced browsers like Firefox, Safari, and Chrome already introducing HTML5 standards, Microsoft is trying to play catchup to the more widely accepted technology.

Having lost significant market share in the mobile markets IE9 is an attempt to stay relevant in a growing web based open source world.

The Internet Explorer Platform Preview requires Windows 7 (x86 or x64) or Windows Vista SP2 (x86 or x64).

The Microsoft website “the new beauty of the web” is intending to showcase the features and allow for beta download.

Through active participation in standards development in CSS3 and SVG working groups, co-chairing the HTML5 Working Group, and leading the HTML5 Testing Task force, we are actively helping set the standards for the modern web. Through our investments in standards and interoperability, we hope to help bring predictability to web programming. Because when you can spend less time rewriting your sites to work across browsers, you can spend more time creating amazing experiences.

Internet Explorer 9 introduces support for modern web standards, including:

* CSS3
* ICC Color Profiles
* DOM L2 and L3
* ECMAScript

Google Instant Preview Search

Posted on August 20, 2012, under Webmaster.

Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview. For those of you who’ve recently stopped using your mouse to search, now you can navigate to a result, hit the right arrow key to see the preview, and hit the down arrow key to keep browsing. Here’s a video showing Instant Previews in action: