Some newsworthy tech stories making the rounds.
Introducing Robots-Nocontent for Page Sections Yahoo introduces a tag for robots.txt, robots-nocontent tag will allow you to mark parts of your page as non indexable, such as your navigation menu, to give you more control over stuff that may not really be related to a certain page. Not supported by the other search engines, at least not yet.
Yahoo Supports New Robots-Nocontent Tag To Block Indexing Within A Page For over a decade, search engines have supported standards allowing you to prevent pages from being spidered or included within a search index. Today, Yahoo now supports a new twist — a way to flag that part of your page shouldn’t be included in an index. It’s called the robots-nocontent tag.
Yahoo Launches Browser Version of Messenger Michael Arrington says it is built on flash 9, at launch, tonight, it will only have basic functionality and VOIP may be added later.
Disney’s Vista Gadget Points To Future Of Marketing Widgets Disney is introducing a neat little Vista Gadget, “The Disney gadget is aimed at an emerging Chinese middle class that does not have the history with the Disney brand that Americans do, said Edward Kummer, a Disney executive in charge of online promotions of the company’s parks and resorts. The gadget is constantly being updated via RSS feeds with news about the theme park and also includes long-format video, itinerary planning tools and other interactive content. “This is effectively having a Disney application on the PC,” Bach said.
There are people who don’t use feed readers? Google adds the ability to Google Reader to allow you to share great content from your feeds with anyone.
Here is a roundup of some of the top security stories on the net.
Amero sentencing pushed back to mid-May The scheduled sentencing for Julie Amero, the former Connecticut middle school teacher found guilty of exposing her students to internet pornography pop-ups, was pushed back again today – this time to May 18. These guys must be trying to regroup or something to keep from looking stupid when they get back into court.
The real security threats facing businesses Video of Mark Sunner, chief security analyst at MessageLabs, discussing some of the security problems businesses will have to deal with, like Next-generation bots, new scales of Trojans and the interweaving of social engineering.
Hackers tailor malware to individual businesses Video of F-Secure’s Hypponen talking about how high-profile businesses now face an evolution of traditional malware attacks as hackers write malicious code designed specifically to break through their defences, with antivirus unable to spot such intrusions.
Infosecurity: Convergence of spam and viruses detected in new attack Hackers have launched an attack that combines spam and viruses in a new global campaign, according to the latest report from MessageLabs.
Kaspersky: Mac and Linux viruses to rise “significantly” According to security expert Eugene Kaspersky, we are at the brink of seeing a significant rise in malware attacks on Mac and Linux platforms. So, are hackers ready to target a broad range of platforms or is this merely hyperbole from a security firm that wants to sell products?
Beware Of Google AdWords Account Hacks via Computer Exploit It appears that some external program gained access to his computer. The program then logged into his AdWords account, set up several ads that redirected to “places like orbitz.com and business.com” and also tried to install “activex remote desktop program” on those computers through the redirects (to infect other computers). Then it blocked access for that computer to login into AdWords by setting the local host files to 127.0.0.1 adwords.google.com (which means if someone on that computer tries accessing adwords.google.com, they get a not found). This prevents this computer from logging into Google AdWords to see if changed have been made to the account.
‘Evil twin’ Wi-Fi access points proliferate That’s the term for a Wi-Fi access point that appears to be a legitimate one offered on the premises, but actually has been set up by a hacker to eavesdrop on wireless communications among Internet surfers. Unfortunately, experts say there is little consumers can do to protect themselves, but enterprises may be in better shape.
5 Cheap But Effective Tips To Improve Security Periodically check for rogue wireless access points, plus four other simple, yet inexpensive, improvements you can implement to boost the security of your enterprise.
Web threats to surpass e-mail pests By next year, Internet users can expect more cyberattacks to originate from the Web than via e-mail, security firm Trend Micro predicts.
Google has purchased some video conferencing software, no, not just copies of the software, the software from a company called Marratech. I foresee free video conferencing from http://gmeeting.google.com with lots of Google video ads and adwords ads to increase the bottom line a little. Add it to some software you already have, and herd users there.
As a company, we thrive on casual interactions and spontaneous collaboration. So we’re excited about acquiring Marratech’s video conferencing software, which will enable from-the-desktop participation for Googlers in videoconference meetings wherever there’s an Internet connection. Source: Collaborating with Marratech
Interesting. Om Malik suggests it could be added to Google Talk and that video conferencing is starting to take off as manufacturers add cameras to laptops.
If they are making a deal to buy the software for internal use only, then you need to wonder why this company, and why acquire a piece of software? It doesn?t exactly seem to be a good way of spending their cash. I think they might have bigger ambitions though, as it also tries to capture the small-and-medium enterprises with its office-suite. Perhaps some of the Marratech functionality ends up in the Google Talk client.
Conferencing – video, voice and white board – is now part of work life, whether you are a small company, a web worker or a large corporation. Source: Video reasons for Google-Marratech deal
Mashable says MySpace News sucks. I had trouble finding it as it wanted me to login, I don’t have a MySpace account, so I guess I will never see it, so it sounds like I am not missing anything. I guess lots of users are in the same boat, as they say it’s impossible to find on the MySpace site.
MySpace News has the advantage over Digg because of its huge audience, but they?ll need to do some substantial tweaking if they want to make this work. I feel the same way about MySpace Video: if they could make that service 80% as good as YouTube, it would win. So far, MySpace has failed to push that huge audience to its own services (think: MySpace IM, MySpace Video, fact that photo hosting is mainly done by Photobucket etc). Source: MySpace News?Kinda Sucks
Business 2.0 Beta agrees and says no wonder MySpace users are still using Youtube and Photobucket, and are not using MySpace IM, they can’t find the MySpace versions of either.
What is it about the Web that made Rupert Murdoch lose his taste for synergy? Offline, his News Corp. (NWS) empire is as self-promoting as always. But MySpace, Murdoch’s Internet jewel, can’t even seem to promote its own services. Source: Rupert, the Cowardly Internet Lion
The Google Earth ban in the Sudan is not because of the Sudan, it is because of US export restrictions which say,
SELLING TO SUDAN – Except for information or informational materials and donated articles intended to relieve human suffering, such as food, clothing and medicine, and the licensed export of agricultural commodities, medicine and medical devices, no goods, technology, or services may be exported from the United States to Sudan, either directly or through third countries, without a license. Source: Oh the irony: Google Earth ban in Sudan is due to US export restrictions
This in effect helps the current regime, and makes it hard for its citizens and aid workers to find information about what is going on in the country.
Some interesting security related stories.
U.S. Database Exposes Social Security Numbers The Social Security numbers of tens of thousands of people who received loans or other financial assistance from two Agriculture Department programs were disclosed for years in a publicly available database, raising concerns about identity theft and other privacy violations.
Google draws privacy complaint to FTC “Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick will give one company access to more information about the Internet activities of consumers than any other company in the world,” the complaint reads. “Moreover, Google will operate with virtually no legal obligation to ensure the privacy, security and accuracy of the personal data that it collects.”
This one could potentially be big, if the data that Google collects from the browsing habits of people with their toolbar, the information they gather from people searching their site(s), the data they collect from their ads on a major portion of the internet, the data they collect from their online programs, like Gmail, Google Docs & Spreadsheets, etc, the data they collect from people using Google Checkout, the data they collect from Youtube and all of the embedded videos, if this data is used by people working for Google or by someone who is able to access it from the outside, it is staggering, I am sure, the amount of information they could compile and use on people.
Depends on your definition I guess, sitting there with nothing running, no one could get into them, on the second day, they sent contestants urls via email and one hacker was able to exploit a vulnerability in Safari and open a back door that gave him access to everything. While they did not crack the OS itself, it did crack a tool that many people use on such a system, it’s the same as all of the IE vulnerabilities that get exploited, though they certainly have the better track record over Windows. Here is more from zdnet.
MacBook Pro hijacked with Safari zero-day Hackers Dino Dai Zovi and Shane Macaulay teamed up to hijack a MacBook Pro laptop at the CanSecWest security conference here, effectively pouring cold water on the Mac faithful’s belief that the machines are impenetrable. Dai Zovi, a former Matasano researcher who has been credited in the past with finding Mac OS X vulnerabilities, exploited a zero-day flaw in the built-in Safari browser to take complete control of the machine.
Seeing through walls Have you considered that someone could be reading what’s on your monitor from a few rooms away? It’s unlikely, but possible, as work by Cambridge University computer security researcher Markus Kuhn shows.
ISP Kicks Out User Who Exposed Vulnerability; Doesn’t Fix Vulnerability Apparently, a college student discovered and published a pretty major vulnerability found in the routers the company uses, allowing anyone to access the routers remotely. Rather than thank the customer for finding and highlighting a pretty serious vulnerability, the company has cut off his service and threatened him with lawsuits. Oh yeah, they also haven’t bothered to fix the vulnerability — despite it being published 7 weeks ago. The reasoning from the ISP is astounding. They claim that since they can’t find any evidence that anyone ever used the vulnerability, he must have discovered it by “illegal” means. Who knew that simply probing for security vulnerabilities was illegal? And, of course, the ISP told the guy he’s not allowed to talk about its legal threat to him — which isn’t actually legally binding. It’s not clear if the ISP doesn’t understand what it’s done or simply doesn’t want to fix the vulnerability.
Interact with the security community CanSecWest, the world’s most advanced conference focusing on applied digital security, is about bringing the industry luminaries together in a relaxed environment which promotes collaboration and social networking. The conference lasts for three days and features a single track of thought provoking presentations, each prepared by an experienced professional and talented educator who is at the cutting edge of his or her field. We give preference to new and innovative material, highlighting important, emergent technologies, techniques, or best industry practices.
Here are some of todays tech stories.
This is How We Catch You Downloading Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company?s techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed ?forensic quality? evidence for use in court cases.
Joost: It’s The Metadata, Stupid! Now those are all valid points, but the real key to Joost’s success may be something else: A metadata framework that might just revolutionize the way we watch television.
Apple WiFi iPod due Q3 2007? Let’s not bet the farm Perennial Apple rumor-ist DigiTimes has come out with a biggie today, predicting a non-iPhone, WiFi-connected iPod in Q3 this year.
Apple’s iPod may gain Wi-Fi by holidays Apple plans to release an iPod with Wifi in the second half of 2007.
Can LeapTag Capture The Magic Of StumbleUpon? It?s a good way to keep track of websites that you like using tags, and it?s also useful for serendipitous discovery of new sites you might like, based on the things you?ve already bookmarked.
Microsoft addresses speed issues in Outlook update Latency issues led to irate users even before November launch.
Is This Google’s Achilles Heel? To summarize, it looks like Matt wants people to report to Google when they see paid links, because they want more “data” on the issue of paid links. Oh, its also the third post in a single day on paid links.
Live Internet Video Stream New experiment from Chris Pirillo.
Okay, the other day we had politicians complaining that Google was showing old images of New Orleans in their Google Earth program, so, how about this turn around in another region. Google Earth is marking atrocities in the Darfur region of Sudan with high resolution satellite images of the region to document destroyed villages, displaced people and refugee camps. The icons displayed in Google earth represent destroyed villages with flames and the refugee camps with tents, so that when users zoom in Darfur on a computer screen, the icons make it look like the region is on fire. Clicking on the flame icons will open a window with the village’s name and statistics on the extent of destruction. Google enhanced the resolution for certain areas of the region so that users can zoom in to see the burnt remnants of houses. Google says it will periodically update the images. Wow. Download Google Earth from the following link,
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum today joined with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to unveil an unprecedented online mapping initiative aimed at furthering awareness and action in the Darfur region of Sudan. Crisis in Darfur, enables more than 200 million Google Earth? mapping service users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur. The Museum has assembled content?photographs, data and eyewitness testimony?from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth. This information will appear as a Global Awareness layer in Google Earth starting today.
Crisis in Darfur is the first project of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative that will over time include information on potential genocides allowing citizens, governments and institutions to access information on atrocities in their nascent stages and respond.
Crisis in Darfur content comes from a range of sources, the U.S. State Department, non-governmental organizations, the United Nations, individual photographers, and the Museum. The high-resolution imagery in Google Earth enables users to zoom into the region to view more than 1,600 damaged and destroyed villages, providing visual, compelling evidence of the scope of destruction. The remnants of more than 100,000 homes, schools, mosques and other structures destroyed by the janjaweed militia and Sudanese forces are clearly visible. Humanitarian organizations and others now have a readily accessible tool for better understanding the situation on the ground in Darfur. Source: U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Join in Online Darfur Mapping Initiative
They have also created another mapping project on the Holocaust, the Museum is using Google Earth to map Holocaust sites with historic content from their collections. More info on the Holocaust project available here. A News.com article brings up an interesting point,
“This mirrors the type of things that news organizations deal with: deciding how much resources to spend on an issue and what you cover,” said Steve Jones, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It raises the question of what their responsibility is to decide what to cover.” Source: Google Earth focuses on Sudan atrocities
Google has decided they are going to index all of the World’s information, it doesn’t matter what it is, books, maps, satellite images, so they should have an internal organization that handles the public since they are showing the information to them. They should be held to a higher standard of operation if they are going to become the gatekeepers of the Earth’s knowledge and data.
Google updated the satellite imagery associated with the Gulf Coast region Sunday because of complaints from politicians that they were airbrushing history by not showing the region’s post Katrina images. Boy, you would think our government could find something more to be concerned about that whether the satellite images that Google is showing on Google Earth or Google Maps are up to date or not.
A related article run by the Associated Press at the tail end of last week outlined the geographic changes implemented to the popular map engine. This then subsequently led to a U.S. House Subcommittee pointing accusatory fingers at Google with regard to “airbrushing history” for the sake of relaying a conveniently untouched depiction of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Source: Google?s wrist slapped for ?airbrushing history?
Google addressed this on their blog with the following statements,
In 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a very motivated group of volunteers at Google worked with NOAA, NASA, and others to post updated imagery of the affected areas in Google Maps and Google Earth as quickly as possible. This data served as a useful reference for many people — from those interested in understanding what had happened, to friends and families checking on the status of loved ones and property, to rescuers and relief workers. Shortly after the event, we received a voicemail thanking us for the role Google Earth played in guiding rescuers to stranded victims.
Several months later, in September 2006, the storm imagery was replaced with pre-Katrina aerial photography of much higher resolution as part of a regular series of global data enhancements. We continued to make available the Katrina imagery, and associated overlays such as damage assessments and Red Cross shelters, on a dedicated site (earth.google.com/katrina.html). Our goal throughout has been to produce a global earth database of the best quality — accounting for timeliness, resolution, cloud cover, light conditions, and color balancing. Source: About the New Orleans imagery in Google Maps and Earth
Google Earth is a great program, but I fail to see the need for politicians to get involved in whether Google is showing the latest images or not. One would think they would be more worried about updating the images provided by the US Geological Survey. Download the latest version of Google Earth by clicking on this link,
This is pretty cool right here, I’ve never been able to get so close to the earth using Google Earth, but apparently, using Google Maps, you can zoom in pretty close in some areas. That one guy actually looks like he is looking at the satellite. Via Shawn Hogan. Click this link to download Google Earth,
Look at it in Google Maps here for a REALLY detailed image from space.
Of course we’ll probably find out that Google uses images from planes as well.
If you haven’t looked around there is all kinds of stuff available for Google Earth, Google has some great tutorials, help, support, forums and more. I’m going to list as many as I can here, if you know of a good resource for Google Earth, drop it in a comment and I will add it to this post. Download Google Earth by clicking this link, to get the latest version of Google Earth.
Google Earth Tutorials from Google:
Navigating on the Earth
Here is the Google Earth User Guide, which lists everything you can do while using Google Earth.
The Google Earth FAQ This is the list of frequently asked questions.
Having trouble with Google Earth? Google Earth troubleshooting.
Check out the huge Google Earth Community from keyhole.
You can check out the Using Google Earth Blog.
And you can check out everything we have posted about Google Earth and all of the Google Earth Layers we have listed.
Google has some new and some updated layers for Google Earth, and they are already in Google Earth, top that. If you really haven’t explored Google Earth, you can find some great content that is already there waiting for you by browsing through some of the available layers and other cool stuff they have listed there. Download Google Earth by clicking this link,
A new folder called “Global Awareness” under “Featured Content”:
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Conservation Projects
Appalachian Mountaintop Removal
New Zealand Roads
National Geographic expanded content: now includes Australia, New Zealand, Oceania, Poles
Updated content in:
Geographic Web: Wikipedia
Geographic Web: Best of Google Earth Community
Featured Content: Yelp Reviews
Featured Content: Tracks4Africa
Populated Places, Islands and Borders
Google Earth Community
Digital Globe Source: New and Updated Layers – 10th March 2007
Here are all of our articles tagged Google Earth and Google Earth Layers.