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AOL Admits Breach, Advises Users to Update Passwords

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 4:25 pm

AOL admitted on April 28 that its network and systems were recently breached though it has not publicly disclosed a timeline on when the breach occurred or how long its systems were at risk.

“AOL’s investigation is still under way; however, we have determined that there was unauthorized access to information regarding a significant number of user accounts,” AOL noted in a blog post.”

According to AOL, the information accessed includes user email and postal addresses as well as address book contact information. Additionally, AOL warns that the answers to the security questions that are required when a user password reset is requested were also obtained in the breach. Those answers, however, were in an encrypted format, and AOL currently is not aware of the encryption actually being broken.

AOL currently estimates that 2 percent of its users’ email accounts have been impacted, with attackers sending spoofed emails. That’s a nontrivial amount of Internet users.

Read the full story at eWEEK:
AOL Advises Users to Reset Passwords After Breach

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Now Facebook Can Beam Targeted Ads At You Wherever You Are

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 10:15 am

Facebook’s own advertising network is finally here. Today at Facebook’s F8 developer conference, the company announced the social network is officially launching a way for developers and publishers to distribute Facebook ads in third-party applications.

Called the Facebook Audience Network, the ad network will use Facebook data to target users with personalized advertisements across a wide range range of non-Facebook apps. These ads will be similar to the targeted commercial messages they already see on the social network itself; now they’ll just be everywhere.

Facebook began testing an ad network in January with a handful of partners, and is rolling it out to all developers and publishers today.

News of Facebook’s ad network leaked last week, although Facebook played them down at the time. Just last week COO Sheryl Sandberg claimed the company was in “very early testing for a mobile ad network.”

A Booming Ad Business

Facebook’s mobile advertising business is on a tear—it now accounts for almost 60 percent of the company’s overall ad revenue. And even as Facebook’s user growth has plateaued in countries like the U.S. and Canada, advertising revenues continue to climb.

A large chunk of that revenue comes from app install ads—advertisements that prompt users to download an application right from an advertisement. Those ads have been so successful for Facebook, other companies like Twitter and Yahoo are following suit

The Facebook Audience Network will compete with Google’s AdMob advertising network that places targeted Google ads on third-party sites and apps. But Facebook’s advantage is that the social network has a much richer trove of personal information and can provide advertisers with better-targeted advertisements.

A Boon For Developers

Many developers are already building apps using Facebook developer tools. Parse, the backend-as-a-service startup Facebook acquired last year, makes it easier for developers to build multi-platform applications. Facebook Login, a tool that allows users to login to applications and websites with their Facebook information, powers more than half of total social logins online, according to a report from social analytics firm Gigya.

Many developers are looking forward to creating and distributing Facebook-powered ads.

“A lot of users use Facebook Login, and if developers can leverage that information and complete the loop using Facebook to source the personal information from that person, and leverage that to connect with ads for Facebook, that can be extremely powerful,” Ashish Toshniwal, CEO of Y Media Labs, told ReadWrite in an interview.

Facebook Audience Network will allow developers to bring all their app-building strategies under one roof, giving Facebook the power to help build, manage, and monetize apps each step of the way. With Facebook Login, developers already have some idea of the demographic data behind their users. With targeted advertising, those app users will see more relevant ads as they go from app to app.

Image courtesy of Selena Larson for ReadWrite

Google Promises To Stop Trawling Student Gmail For Ads

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 10:15 am

Google announced Wednesday that it will no longer sift through the Gmail messages of students, business users and government bureaucrats for targeted advertising purposes—at least for those using its Google Apps suites. The decision stemmed from privacy concerns raised during a California court case last year, in which students and other users of Google Apps for Education questioned the legality of the practice, likening it to wiretapping, even though Google displayed no ads to those users.

The company will also implement similar changes for Google Apps users in business and government. The change doesn’t affect individual Gmail accounts.

Google will host a Hangout on Air on Thursday, May 1, at 9:00 am PT to discuss the changes to Google for Education and answer any questions. 

Google Promises To Stop Trawling Student Gmail For Ads

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 10:15 am

Google announced Wednesday that it will no longer sift through the Gmail messages of students, business users and government bureaucrats for targeted advertising purposes—at least for those using its Google Apps suites. The decision stemmed from privacy concerns raised during a California court case last year, in which students and other users of Google Apps for Education questioned the legality of the practice, likening it to wiretapping, even though Google displayed no ads to those users.

The company will also implement similar changes for Google Apps users in business and government. The change doesn’t affect individual Gmail accounts.

Google will host a Hangout on Air on Thursday, May 1, at 9:00 am PT to discuss the changes to Google for Education and answer any questions. 

Google Promises To Stop Trawling Student Gmail For Ads

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Wednesday 30 April 2014 10:15 am

Google announced Wednesday that it will no longer sift through the Gmail messages of students, business users and government bureaucrats for targeted advertising purposes—at least for those using its Google Apps suites. The decision stemmed from privacy concerns raised during a California court case last year, in which students and other users of Google Apps for Education questioned the legality of the practice, likening it to wiretapping, even though Google displayed no ads to those users.

The company will also implement similar changes for Google Apps users in business and government. The change doesn’t affect individual Gmail accounts.

Google will host a Hangout on Air on Thursday, May 1, at 9:00 am PT to discuss the changes to Google for Education and answer any questions. 

Adobe Updates Flash for CVE-2014-0515 0Day Vulnerability

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Tuesday 29 April 2014 3:56 pm

Adobe came out with an emergency update for its Flash Player software on April 28, fixing a critical vulnerability that is already being exploited by attackers. The vulnerability is technically identified as CVE-2014-0515 and is a buffer overflow condition.

“Adobe is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2014-0515 exists in the wild, and is being used to target Flash Player users on the Windows platform,” Adobe warned in its advisory.

While Windows users are the only ones who have specifically been targeted so far, the vulnerability impacts Adobe Flash Player 13.0.0.182 and earlier versions on Microsoft Windows platforms, Adobe Flash Player 13.0.0.201 and earlier versions for Apple Macintosh OS X, and Adobe Flash Player 11.2.202.350 and earlier versions for Linux.

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Adobe Updates Flash to Fix Zero-Day Vulnerability

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

GitHub Tries Again At Transparency

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 April 2014 9:41 pm

“Last Monday I published the least open and least transparent blog post GitHub has ever written.”

It’s a powerful first line from GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath in his latest official blog post.

Wanstrath elaborated on the internal issues that have plagued GitHub this past month, including the “least transparent” post in question, which vaguely addressed a third-party investigation into gender discrimination at the company. Developer Julie Ann Horvath alleged an environment so toxic that she quit, and former CEO Tom Preston-Werner resigned shortly afterward. 

Paired with GitHub’s statement that “no evidence was found of gender discrimination,” users reasonably found the turnover a little strange, and perhaps less than truthful. 

Monday’s followup delves into the details Wanstrath missed the first time around. On Monday, he named the independent investigator who examined the case, Rhoma Young, and noted that GitHub had never worked with her prior to this probe. Wanstrath noted that Young took full control of the investigation, interviewed 50 employees, and even reviewed internal repositories’ commit histories. 

Wanstrath also defined exactly why Preston-Werner resigned from the company. While the earlier post simply stated that the investigation found “no legal wrongdoing,” this one makes it clear that Preston-Werner wasn’t exactly blameless:

“The investigation found Tom Preston-Werner in his capacity as GitHub’s CEO acted inappropriately, including confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse’s presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office.”

Finally, Wanstrath said GitHub will be announcing new initiatives in May. We can only hope these actions are centered around bringing diversity to the company and the greater tech community.

Wanstrath noted how many GitHub “employees, fans, and critics” offered feedback for how GitHub could do better. It’s too soon to see the general mood, but Horvath already tweeted her opinion of the new post shortly after it went live:

What Facebook May Unveil At F8

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 April 2014 9:41 pm

Facebook is hosting its F8 developer conference on Wednesday—its first developer conference since 2011—so we’re expecting some big news to come out of the day-long event in San Francisco. 

The last F8 conference was very consumer-focused: Actor and comedian Andy Samberg made an appearance as Mark Zuckerberg, and later, the real Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook Timeline, the redesigned user profiles that changed how people viewed and used the social network.

It’s likely this year will be a little less focused on the look and feel of Facebook’s website and apps. Instead, Facebook will reportedly introduce features that appeal to those that build and implement Facebook’s various tools and services across their applications.

Zuckerberg probably won’t take the stage and passionately yell “Developers! Developers! Developers!” but you can bet that’s where the main focus will be at this year’s event.

Facebook’s Ad Network

During Facebook’s first quarter earnings call last week, COO Sheryl Sandberg said the company is still in “very early testing for a mobile ad network.” But while Sandberg might have many thinking the ad network isn’t ripe yet, multiple reports say Facebook is indeed ready and prepared to unveil this new way for developers and publishers to display ads in third-party applications at F8.

According to TechCrunch, the ad platform will be called the “Facebook Audience Network” and will utilize Facebook data to better target users—even when they aren’t directly using Facebook’s own apps. 

Facebook began testing a mobile ad network earlier this year as a way for developers to monetize mobile applications. Initial tests were limited to a handful of advertisers and partners, but several months have passed since that period and it looks like Facebook is ready to release the Audience Network to the masses. 

Facebook’s mobile ads have been hugely successful, and now account for almost 60% of the company’s ad revenue. Mobile app install ads are performing particularly well; those little buttons in ads that encourage users to download apps are just one of Facebook’s most lucrative ad products

A Facebook ad network will go head-to-head with Google’s AdMob and Twitter’s MoPub networks. But Facebook’s access to more personalized data would arguably give advertisers a richer targeting experience, and a more successful advertising platform. 

Building Apps For The Next One Billion

Facebook’s Internet.org initiative is still a bit of a mystery. Sure, the company has outlined plans that could theoretically bring the Internet to everyone in developing countries, but there’s still a disconnect between the planning and execution stages. That’s where the Facebook Innovation Lab comes in. 

At F8, Facebook will reportedly give developers a preview of the technologies available in the Innovation Lab to be located in Menlo Park, California, and developers can test their applications in networks that simulate the speed of connectivity in developing countries. 

Zuckerberg is hyper-focused on the Internet.org initiative and finding new ways to connect the next one billion people. It’s likely he’ll outline more plans for how the social network will make it easier for developers to build and monetize apps in countries that are just now coming online, and why it’s so important to provide resources for connectivity in areas that currently don’t have it. 

Building For All Platforms

Keen observers of how the Facebook Platform has evolved might notice some small but unmistakable changes as a result of the Parse acquisition: Facebook has become more developer friendly.

Thanks to Parse, Facebook is in a unique position to help developers build apps for both mobile and Web that integrate with the social network—but it’s not stopping there. 

Facebook is betting that virtual reality will be huge, and likely one day replace mobile devices. But it’s still unclear how the Oculus acquisition will fit into Facebook’s overall strategy. The F8 developer conference would be a great place to shine some light on how Facebook’s foray into virtual reality will appeal to mobile and game developers, and how developers can build more apps for the Facebook platform with the promise of making them easier and more accessible to the masses. 

A Day For Developers

ReadWrite will be at F8 this year updating you with all the developments as they come. Considering this is Facebook’s first developer conference in almost three years, we expect plenty of news that will affect our readers’ efforts to build, monetize and grow their apps on Facebook. 

Stay tuned!

Lead image courtesy of kris krüg on Flickr

Firefox 31 Set to Include new SSL Certificate Validation Library

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Monday 28 April 2014 3:41 pm

Open-source Firefox browser vendor Mozilla is looking to improve security with a new certificate validation library set to debut in Firefox 31 later this year. Certificates are widely used on the Internet today for Secure Socket Layers (SSL) encryption as a way to secure data in motion.

Since its inception, Firefox has used technology known as Network Security Services (NSS) to help validate the integrity of security certificates used for an SSL session. Mozilla is now trying out a new security library called mozilla::pkix to enhance and improve certificate validation checking.

“It’s a new validation library that replaces some of the functionality in NSS, but we will still need most of NSS in concert with mozilla::pkix,”Sid Stamm, senior engineering manager for security and privacy at Mozilla, explained to eWEEK.

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Mozilla Aims to Improve Firefox Browser SSL Security

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Docker Now Supported on Amazon EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk

Posted by eXactBot Hosting | News | Sunday 27 April 2014 2:52 pm

With Docker support for Elastic Beanstalk, a developer can now directly deploy a Docker container to Amazon. Docker provides a different model of virtualization than the traditional hypervisor model, which requires an application to include a complete operating system.

With Docker, an application rides in a container that can sit on top of an existing host operating system. In a video interview with eWEEK in 2013, Docker CEO Ben Golub explained that when deploying an application across a large number of servers, there is no need to take an application that is measured in megabytes, combine it with an operating system that’s in gigabytes and run that whole thing on top of a hypervisor that is running on top of another host operating system.

The Docker container model is one that Amazon and its developers are now buying into.

Read the full story at eWEEK:
Xirrus Expands Outdoor Wi-Fi Portfolio

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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