Most internet users are familiar with internet errors such as 404 Not Found and 403 Forbidden. However, there’s a new internet status code that is being proposed by Tim Bray, a developer advocate – for sites that are blocked for ‘legal reasons’.

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Bray, who has experience in developing key Internet standards, says, “I’ve been told by the chair of the IETF HTTP Working Group that he’ll give the proposal some agenda time at the next IETF meeting. It’s not a big proposal; shouldn’t take long.”

However, the recognition for the need of a new code first started when Terence Eden tried to access The Pirate Bay to no avail. When the site’s server denied his request, Eden then expressed the need for a new “HTTP code for censorship”, which not only caught on sparking discussions on Slashdot and Hacker News – until the time when Bray agreed to turn the ‘idea’ into reality.

With the code (451) taken aptly from Ray Bradbury’s novel, Farenheit 451, which deals with censorship, the proposal for the error code if approved, will not only furnish the details on the restriction but also mention which legal authority is imposing the restriction as well.

Bray also thinks that once official consensus is reached, there would little or no work on the engineering side in order for servers to provide “explanatory text with a 451”. In the end, of course, this effort is to ensure that when censorship does happen, it takes place out in the open and thus, provides pertinent information for users everywhere.


A question that has been asked about Twitter over the years is whether it is a technology or media company. The answer, in not being so simple, is simply a variation of both – according to Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter.

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He explains further, in saying, “I think of us as a technology company because I think the future of the company is in building on an extensible platform that allows third-party developers and companies to add value to Twitter in a way that is accretive to Twitter and is accretive to our users. I don’t need to be or want to be in the content business.”

To support his statement, he also mentioned that is not in the content business because instead of having reporters or a newsroom, almost half of Twitter’s employees [1300 in number] are engineers who are working on building the technology around which Twitter runs on while also continuously creating new features for its users.

In fact, he also wishes to encourage companies and developers to build products and tools inside the Twitter platform – instead of creating external Twitter apps.

Speaking of new features, Twitter as a whole, is also evolving into something different by experimenting with media-like products some of which NASCAR and Olympics-branded pages. Twitter currently also has employees that help V.I.Ts such as athletes, media outlets, politicians and celebrities to use its features well. Thanks to this content available by V.I.Ts, “engagement rates on ads” are also great as opposed to traditional Web ads.

Yet even though Costolo still maintains the fact that Twitter has and always been a communication platform, experts think that these ‘experiments’ being conducted make Twitter more of a media company.


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1Written by Secure Net Shop

There have been a lot of public hacks in the recent past. In those, some of have been for usernames and passwords of users, others have actually involved credit card information. Those users were informed and have taken steps to reissue cards and passwords and accounts. The bad news is that these are only from the attacks that we know of. The problem is that people tend to use one username and password combination across all the sites they use. If a customer’s credit card or account details were compromised elsewhere, and a hacker tries to use that information on your site, that can lead to a lot problems. There are some easy changes that can be done to minimize the possibility of this happening:

Two factor authentication

When a login attempt to the site comes from a new browser or computer, the user is sent a code to his or her mobile device to confirm the identity.

Strong passwords

A lot of sites do not insist on a certain strengths when it comes their password policy. Prompt users to enter extremely strong passwords which most likely be different from other sites. This way a compromised account from another site is unlikely to work.

Confirmation emails

Thanks to the shopping cart ecommerce has taken off. This has resulted in a lot of online transactions. One way to stand out is to send confirmation emails for every transaction or change to the user’s account.

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Secure Net Shop is an online shopping cart software provider for ecommerce sites.

 


Written by Rack Alley

1When it comes to the standard data center and server room practices, data backup is one of the most important. Everyone involved is used to the standard backup processes, offsite backup and archival storage. However, what happens to all of that once all your data and systems are on the cloud, do you continue to backup? The answer is Yes. The only thing that changes is usually the destination.

When it comes to cloud backup when you have all your servers in a la colocation environment, the main component to get is adequate storage for backup. This is usually cloud storage, sometimes it could even be in a different state or country for the sake of redundancy. The more copies you have of your data, and in the more locations you have it the safe it will be. Just remember that geo redundant storage can be costly for large amounts of data.

In addition, los angeles colocation can also give you an in-house backup solution. Usually if you do not want to bother with the hassle of that level of granularity for your backups, you can outsource the whole thing. The vendor will backup your data and provide redundancy and off-site storage for a monthly cost. This is also an option if you want everything backed up and not just specific elements of various systems.

Regardless of how you do it, it is critical that there is a backup plan that is executed according to the policies of your organization.

Rack Alley provides premium colocation services perfect for small and enterprise customers at their los angeles data center.

 


gigatech2Have any of your online accounts ever been hacked?

If the answer is yes then you will know how painful it is to get your account back, if you even managed to do that at all.

An account getting hacked is even worse now, with our gmail, icloud accounts holding payment information, contacts and calendar data. Losing access to that can also mean losing access to your phone.

It’s not all bad news, with just a few steps you can get yourself an acceptable level of security. Here is how:

Two factor authentication

Wherever possible, use two factor authentication. For those who don’t know, this allows another level of confirmation when the account is accessed on new devices. A good combo is to use two factor with a pin number sent to a phone. If the service does not use two factor then use the strongest password possible or switch to a competing service that does.

Password generator

Use a password generator to generate complex passwords. Most passwords we come up with ourselves are never good enough. These generate passwords based on hashes and a password you enter along with the domain of the site.

Different passwords

The biggest risk is when people use the same password for multiple sites. One of the sites get hacked and then they try that username/email password combination across all major sites. Services like the password generator mentioned above take care of this by generating the password based on the domain name.


gigatech1AMP, also known as accelerated mobile pages, is Google initiative it reduce the size and complexity of web pages for the mobile browser. Modern day web pages are huge, filled with unoptimized images and lots of needless javascript code. AMP pages on the other hand are tiny light and load very quickly.

“We’re really thrilled with the speedy user experience,” says Dave Besbris, the vice president of engineering who oversees AMP at Google. He says AMP articles load in less than one second and that publishers are seeing better ad viewability and higher click-through rates on AMP pages.

Now Google is taking the process a step further. When you click on a search result in mobile search, if the site in question has an AMP page, that will be loaded by default rather than the standard html page.

They are quick to add that they will not be giving any preferential treatment to AMP pages in search at this moment. This also confirms that AMP pages will not be a ranking signal for Google search. This could change however, just as SSL became a ranking signal and gave any site with a certificate a slight boost.

Many users and technology commentators are worried that this, along with Facebook’s move to make instant articles the default when available, will fragment the web. Despite the benefits that will come from faster and smaller pages, this could end up with different walled garden approaches to the internet.

 


gigatech1Reports are coming in that Apple is in exploratory talks to acquire Jay-Z’s streaming music service Tidal. From the Associated Press report:

“The talks are ongoing and may not result in a deal, these people said. Apple is exploring the idea of bringing on Tidal to bolster its Apple Music service because of Tidal’s strong ties to popular artists such as Kanye West and Madonna.”

Tidal was setup by Jay-Z just over a year ago:

“Jay Z bought the service in March 2015 for $56 million from Swedish company Aspiro, which had created the brand Tidal. He has given 19 famous artists and bands small stakes in Tidal and promised each millions of dollars worth of marketing, according to people familiar with the matter.”

Apple is battling it out with Spotify for the streaming music market and an acquisition of Tidal could bolster the numbers. Tidal, which has 3 million paid subscribers would add to the 15 million plus subscribers that Apple Music already has. This is still behind Spotify’s 30 million subscribers but Apple Music has been on a growth trajectory.

Apple Music was result of the acquisition of Beats by Dre for $3 billion. Tidal on the other hand is valued at approximately $500 million and could put some of Apple’s overseas cash reserves to good use.