Google has undergone a core update that kicked off a kerfuffle about naming updates. Tongue firmly in cheek I prefer to still refer to them using the old-fashioned Google Dance. Brett Tabke has been naming them after his Pubcon series where many in the industry follow suit. Florida 2 doesn't feel right, though. Danny, now a Googler, piped in on the matter and that's what SEL is rightly going with, the very uninspired March 2019 Core Update. You can dance if you want to.Accessibility Woes
Broken Accessibility is Widespread. "An overwhelming majority of home pages had images without alternative text." As you know, search engines pay attention to whether or not you utilize this very important aspect of webmastering. We must strive to do better.Vulnerability Disclosure
A developer panicked when a French security researcher going by "Elliot Alderson" or @fs0c131y disclosed security vulnerabilities to an Android app maker who unfortunately mischaracterized the ordeal as a hacking failure. Now he's ensnared in a fiasco with several others piping in alongside news reports. Katie Moussouris cited his problems as rookie mistakes.
I'm thinking of reviving the old I-Search Digest list as SEO for Developers newsletter. The last time I tried reviving I-Search, after several nice posts from the community, I was doing all the writing. Unfortunately, that changed the nature of what the original was. I don't think it matters if I'm doing all the writing this time.Pi Day
Team at Google Japan led by Emma Haraku Iwao calculated Pi to more digits than ever before. They made a video for 3:15 minutes long with her describing everything.Google V8
V8 7.3, which contains asynchronous stack traces, lands in node.Cult of the Dead Cow rears up in politics
@ashleyfeinberg: crazy that beto is satoshi nakamoto
Actually he was in Cult of the Dead Cow.
A dozen Google tracking cookies are implemented on gov.uk, a fact which calls into question compliance with GDPR privacy laws. Research showed 82% of EU government sites use cookie tracking."There was a Google update today"
@pedrodias: I guess this is public now, so... You can now remove XML sitemaps from the new SC interface. Also there's a link to open the XML directly.
Curl Made 21
Facebook employees built applications that logged unencrypted password data for Facebook users and stored it in plain text on internal company servers. Between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users may have had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by more than 20,000 Facebook employees. Facebook is trying to determine how many passwords were exposed and for how long, but the inquiry has uncovered archives with plain text user passwords dating back to 2012.Karen Spärck Jones
Learn about Karen Spärck Jones in anticipation of a new article for Search Engine Land.AMP & Mobile Code Test
Professor Karen Spärck Jones, originator of search engine algorithms.
Avoid Using Browser Password Managers
I wish I could recommend saving passwords using a browser password manager. Selectively, it's probably still okay, knowing enough to be cautious that your passwords can be found out pretty easily if you're ever a target.
A security researcher demonstrated a proof of concept exposing Chrome's SQLite store on Windows. He had success with Firefox as well.
There's a possibility it's not as simple with Safari on MacOS or Linux. We may find that Safari falls just as easily, though, and I definitely like recommending Apple's keychain for MacOS/iOS users.
Survey: fewer than 50% of US adults expect Google to collect data on users' activities on its platforms or apps, track personal browsing for ad targeting, more.
Links Google Doesn't Show Don't Count
Google reinforces the widely known fact that if Google doesn't show you links then they don't count."In general, if our systems don't even show them there, then they're pretty irrelevant overall." There is further detail John gets into answering a question on Reddit.
Microsoft Chromium Dev Build
Microsoft is shipping its Chromium-based Canary Edge browser for users, and for the first time a developer's version alongside, through what they're calling Channels. MacOS versions are not currently available, though the developer blog mentions that they are forthcoming. Channels promises daily downloads available for Canary and weekly downloads for developers.
Google Issue Affected Indexing
A Technical issue affected indexing for at least a handful of sites where webmasters and some SEOs began asking questions on Twitter. Google has since said they resolved much of the problem, though some issues remain. They will be continuing to fix it, having started work last weekend, and will supply more information in the forthcoming days to wrap up the problem.
Katie Fustich / Built In Colorado
Cybersecurity startup deepwatch raises $23M Series A to fuel expansion and R&D, says it's grown to 130 employees and over 100 customers.
As it preps for India's elections, Facebook says it removes ~1M accounts/day using AI, will open centers on election integrity in Singapore and Dublin this week.
Facebook agrees to update its T&Cs in EU and clarify its use of user data to develop profiles and target advertising.
James Vincent / The Verge
Facebook is using AI to map population density around the world and is releasing new maps covering the majority of Africa.
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat
G Suite now lets Dropbox users work with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly inside the file sharing service, following a similar Box integration.
Candid Wueest / Symantec
Review of 1,500 hotels across 54 countries: ~67% of hotel websites inadvertently leak guests' booking info to third-party sites like ad and analytics services.
Emily Chang / New York Times
The digital world is not designed to keep women safe, evidenced by the endless harassment and abuse, and any new regulation needs to keep this in mind — The digital world is not designed to keep women safe. New regulations should be. — Ms. Chang, an anchor at Bloomberg TV, is the author of “Brotopia.”
Sarah Jeong / New York Times
Companies are adjusting premiums and policies for life, car, and home insurance based on new forms of surveillance enabled by tech to collect and analyze data — Some technologies are better left in the laboratory. — Ms. Jeong is a member of the editorial board.
APT (Advanced Persisten Threat)
Russian anti-virus and security software maker Kaspersky conducts frequent research that sometimes has identified state sponsored malware. One of their security researchers, Alexey Shulmin, discovered and dubbed a newly found malware TajMahal. That's not because any code signature points to a specific group of hackers. In fact, the malware has been hidden over the past 5 years on target systems, reportedly in Asia. It's conceivable that Asian nation is India but Kaspersky declined to disclose it one way or another and the TajMahal name is said to refer to a file used by the framework.
Over the day today I wrote up a quick feed scraper and parse tool that selects stories from a feed (more feeds will get mixed in relatively soon) for publishing here. This accomplishes a few things, not the least of which is I get to kick back and let content fill my website with stories that match the algorithm I wrote for it. This work is in anticipation of writing something newsy for sorting when politics heats up in 2020.
StackOverflow Programming Language Popularity
As reported by TechRepublic 90,000 developers across the globe completed the annual StackOverflow survey about which programming languages they use, relative enjoyment of those languages, and compensation. The 5-minute video summarizes the results.
Sources: Bezos to meet with federal prosecutors, signaling an escalation of the inquiry into whether Saudi Arabia gained private information from his phone.
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch
DHS warns about a bug in VPN apps from Cisco, Palo Alto Networks, Pulse Secure, and F5 Networks, which can give attackers remote access to enterprise networks — Several enterprise virtual private networking apps are vulnerable to a security bug that can allow an attacker to remotely break …
Current and former US officials and business execs describe hacking and IP theft by China and why they stayed silent because of the profits to be made in trade — Technology theft and other unfair business practices originating from China are costing the American economy more than $57 billion a year …
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch
Hackers claim they stole ~4K unique personnel records from sites related to the FBI National Academy Association, claim to have data from 1K+ more hacked sites — A hacker group has breached several FBI-affiliated websites and uploaded their contents to the web, including dozens of files containing …
Andrea Peterson / Ars Technica
SS7, a mobile protocol that can be hacked to track users or intercept calls, remains flawed after decades due to the FCC's reliance on telecom industry advice — The regulatory back door big telecom uses to weaken security regulation. … The outages hit in the summer of 1991.
Sam Dean / Los Angeles Times
Workers in the $43B video game industry are increasingly discussing unionizing, as many grapple with “crunch” as a routine hazard of their jobs — At an industry conference for video game developers in late March, the thousands of lanyarded attendees could try new games …
Kara Swisher / Recode
Interview with Nancy Pelosi on online privacy, net neutrality, breaking up big tech companies, and policing hate speech on social media platforms — “He's just being a freak.” — Enough people use Twitter to get their information that politicians have to be there, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says.
Jessica Guynn / USA Today
Facebook nominates PayPal exec Peggy Alford to its board, the first African-American woman, and won't nominate Reed Hastings and Erskine Bowles for re-election — SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook has nominated prominent technology executive Peggy Alford for election to its board.
Rob Price / Business Insider
Facebook accidentally shipped tens of thousands of Oculus Touch controllers with messages like “Hi iFixit! We See You!” or “The Masons Were Here” printed inside — Facebook accidentally shipped “tens of thousands” of virtual reality (VR) controllers with bizarre hidden messages …
Joseph Cox / Motherboard
UK court sentences Thomas White, who ran Silk Road 2 as Dread Pirate Roberts 2 and became a privacy activist after his arrest in 2014, to 5+ years in prison — For years, the arrest and case has been kept under-wraps. Friday, a court sentenced Thomas White to 5 years and 4 months for his role …
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet
Gmail launches support for two new IETF-approved security standards, MTA-STS and TLS Reporting, in beta, to help thwart STMP man-in-the-middle attacks — Google rolled out MTA-STS and TLS Reporting support for Gmail servers today, April 10, 2019. — Google announced today that Gmail …
Naspers-owned payments company PayU acquires Wibmo, which offers payment processing and security services and operates mostly in India, for $70M — PayU, the Naspers-owned payments company that competes with the likes of PayPal but focuses mainly on emerging markets, has made an acquisition to expand its business in India.
Jon Porter / The Verge
Researcher finds Facebook is testing bringing Messenger back into its main app, possibly as a first step toward integrating all of its messaging services — Facebook might be putting Messenger back into its main social media app. The feature is currently in testing and was spotted …
Katie Notopoulos / BuzzFeed News
Facebook's transparency tool, which shows users the advertisers that used a contact list with their information, is a nightmare for a normal person to interpret — On Facebook under Settings, there's a page in the Ads section where you can view your Ad Preferences.
Jennifer Valentino-DeVries / New York Times
A detailed look at how police forces use “geofence” warrants and Google's Sensorvault location history database to find witnesses and suspects near crime scenes — The tech giant records people's locations worldwide. Now, investigators are using it to find suspects and witnesses near crimes …
Brian J. Barth / The Walrus
Interview with RIM cofounder Jim Balsillie about his advocacy against the rise of surveillance capitalism in Canada and the Sidewalk Toronto smart city project — The entrepreneur who made billions putting BlackBerrys into pockets is now sounding the alarm about Big Tech's creep toward surveillance capitalism
Sean Gallagher / Ars Technica
An Illinois bill for banning IoT devices from collecting audio without owners' consent was substantially defanged after lobbying by the Internet Association — Lobbyists: Bill would punish even if failure to disclose was “accidental.” — On April 10, the Illinois State Senate passed the …
Olivia Carville / Bloomberg
Facebook suffers third major outage in 2019, with all of its services down for ~2 hours on Sunday, after 24 hour outage in March, and a smaller crash in January — - Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger down for hours — Frustrated users took to Twitter to vent from across the world
Ian Youngs / BBC
Intelligence agency GCHQ has cracked secret codes hidden by the man behind cult comedy character Frank Sidebottom. Chris Sievey drew cryptic symbols in artwork around the borders of some of Frank's fan newsletters, football programmes and record and tape sleeves.
Dami Lee / The Verge
Facebook rolls out dark mode for Messenger globally, after previously hiding it behind an Easter egg that required users to send a moon emoji to get the feature — It's official now — Facebook Messenger's dark mode is rolling out to globally today, as announced on Facebook's product blog.
Parmy Olson / Wall Street Journal
Sources: Google is quietly disbanding a UK panel to review use of AI in health care after panel members chafed at lack of info, authority, and independence — Panel members in U.K. chafed at lack of information access, authority and independence from Google
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet
Since mid-February, hacker Gnosticplayers has posted 932M+ user records from 44 companies, including 500px and UnderArmor, on dark web marketplace Dream Market — Hacker Gnosticplayers has stolen over 932 million user records from 44 companies. — A hacker who spoke with ZDNet in February …
Chris Welch / The Verge
YouTube showed a link and description of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as part of its fact checking, underneath live streams of the Notre Dame Cathedral fire — A fire has broken out at the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral today, and as you'd expect, many news networks are offering live coverage of the breaking situation.
Janko Roettgers / Variety
Starz apologizes for “inadvertently” issuing DMCA takedown notices for tweets to stories merely reporting about TV show leak, says it suffered a security breach — Facing a backlash over overzealous copyright enforcement, Starz issued an apology for inadvertently taking down tweets to articles about TV show piracy Monday.
Karissa Bell / Mashable
Despite publicly pausing verification, Twitter has verified 10,000+ accounts in recent months but withheld the privilege from anyone without backchannel access — Jack Dorsey's mother and father, the '80s band Whitesnake, a “war room” associated with Donald Trump's reelection campaign …
Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed News
Source: Twitter left up tweets threatening Rep. Ilhan Omar's life, which would typically be removed once reported, so law enforcement could investigate them — Twitter left up tweets threatening Rep. Ilhan Omar's life over the weekend so law enforcement could investigate them, BuzzFeed News has learned.
Sameer Samat / Android Developers Blog
Google outlines new Android developer relations policies, says it will take more time to review apps by developers that don't yet have a track record — Thank you for all the feedback about updates we've been making to Android APIs and Play policies. We've heard your requests for improvement as well as some frustration.
Interviews with 65 current and former employees on the meltdown inside Facebook over the last 15 months as the Cambridge Analytica scandal unfolded — Scandals. Backstabbing. Resignations. Record profits. Time Bombs. In early 2018, Mark Zuckerberg set out to fix Facebook.
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch
Facebook will discontinue P2P payments in Messenger in the UK and France on June 15; the service will remain active in the US — Facebook is pulling away from its ambitions to provide peer-to-peer money transfers via Messenger in Europe. Today, the company announced that it would be discontinuing …
Megha Mandavia / The Economic Times
Sources: Indian government has asked Apple and Google to take down TikTok from their app stores, following a Madras High Court order to ban the app — MeitY's order will stop further downloads, but people who already the app will be able to still use it. — BENGALURU: Google and Apple …
Mike Butcher / TechCrunch
Leapwork, which develops a process automation platform that can be used by non-technical staff, raises $10M Series A led by DN Capital and e.ventures — Most work involving computers is highly repetitive, which is why companies regularly have developers write code to automate repetitive tasks.
Catalin Cimpanu / ZDNet
Mozilla executives reflect on how Google web products would often break in Firefox but not Chrome and on other issues perceived as anti-competitive tactics — Former and current Mozilla engineers are reaching their boiling points. — A former high-ranking Mozilla executive has accused Google …
Kate Clark / TechCrunch
Zoom raises its IPO list price to $33-$35 ahead of Thursday debut and says it will sell $100M in Class A shares to Salesforce Ventures at IPO price — Zoom, the developer of video conferencing software, plans to list its shares on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “ZM” at between $33 and $35 apiece, per an updated S-1 filing.
About 4,000 pages of leaked Facebook documents from 2011-2015 shed light on its approach to sharing and selling data, giving more access to friendly companies — Facebook's leaders seriously discussed selling access to user data — and privacy was an afterthought.
Chris Otts / WDRB
Louisville, KY mayor says Google Fiber will pay the city $3.84M to repair damage to city streets after the company abandoned the Louisville market — LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - As Google Fiber prepares to pull the plug on Louisville customers tonight, the tech company has agreed …
Twitter to test option to hide a tweet's replies in June, suspends 3x more abusive accounts reported within 24 hours than last year, relies less on user reports — We want people to feel safe on Twitter. Last year, we shared that building a Twitter free of abuse, spam and other things …
Google has removed the popular video app TikTok from its Play Store in India to comply with a state court's directive — NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Google has blocked access to the hugely popular video app TikTok in India to comply with a state court's directive to prohibit its downloads …
Dean Takahashi / VentureBeat
HP unveils new commercial laptops and workstations launching in May and June that will include its new AI-based malware protection software called HP Sure Sense — HP hopes to bring much-needed security to laptops and workstations with its HP Sure Sense technology, which uses artificial intelligence …
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google
Google Pay adds Gmail importing for automatically adding movie tickets, loyalty cards, coupons, airline boarding passes, and more from your inbox — Back in February, it was spotted that Google was testing out a new feature for Google Pay which would import data from Gmail automatically.