Oct 222016
 

The operations of several famed Internet websites, including Twitter, Spotify, CNN and Reddit were disrupted in the United States on Friday following a cyber attack that targeted Dyn DNS, an Internet performance management company.

worlds map

DDoS attack on Dyn disrupted Internet services

The “Distributed Denial-of-Service” (DDoS) attack, which is usually used to flood the bandwidth/resources of Internet hosting servers, took place at around 11:10 GMT and affected mainly the eastern coast of the US, according to a statement made by Dyn.

Sites like Airbnb, Box, Boston Globe, New York Times, Github, Reddit, Heroku, FreshBooks, Netflix, Etsy, Time Warner Cable, AT & T, SoundCloud, Amazon, Verizon, Skype, Quora, ESPN, Walmart are just a few of those affected.

As of 13:10 GMT, all Dyn’s Internet services resumed their normal operation and became available to users. According to TechCrunch, the source of the hack attack was also pinpointed in eastern US.

Downdetector.com unveils real-time problems faced by websites subjected to cyber attacks.

Update: …there have been apparently three waves of attack so far. The first was around 9 am, then around noon, and the third wave started around 5 pm (EST). The West coast was also affected heavily.

Aug 282016
 

How do I prevent Adsense ads from appearing on error 404 pages and stay compliant with Google policies?

That’s the big question and this article will show you how to use a small piece of PHP code on your WordPress website in order to block/disable Adsense Ads on the undesired 404 pages!

adsense ads 404 pages

Adsense ads not allowed on 404 pages

Google says firmly that “no ads should be placed on any non-content-based pages such as thank you, exit or error pages.

What’s wrong with 404s? Well, a “404 Page Not Found” is actually a HTML error page which is returned whenever someone calls for a page that is unavailable on your website. A 404 page does not have content except a human readable “Not Found” phrase and eventually a search box. Practically it pops up when a visitor clicks on a broken link or makes a typo thus mismatching the real URL of a website’s page.

Since Adsense is a content-based advertising network and error pages usually contain no content, then it is understandable why an error page would not qualify for showing AdSense Ads.

Hereunder you can see the code you need to insert into your website/blog in order to remove Adsense from “Not found pages” and implicitly avert Google’s punishment.

The php-code snippet which hides/blocks Adsense ads on 404’s is:
<?php if (!is_404()) { ?>
ADD HERE YOUR ADSENSE CODE
<?php } ?>
Note: the logic of the code is to let Adsense run on all pages but the 404s!

How to use the above-mentioned php code?
There are two possibilities: you can choose to either 1. insert it in Theme’s .php files or 2. insert it in Theme’s widget area.

1. A straightforward way is to add the snippet into Theme’s files that manage your Adsense adverts. For example, if your ads appear at the header, then insert the code snippet in header.php, if ads appear on sidebar then insert it in sidebar.php, and so on. (Go to Appearance->Editor->edit your .php files)

This approach works as intended but sometimes the adsense ads may not fit perfectly into the design if you use a highly widgetized theme. In that case, follow the second alternative as depicted below:

2. Instead if inserting the code into theme’s .php files as done in option 1, make use of Text (HTML) widget (Appearance->Widgets) to add Adsense ads code (wrapped in php scripts) to your website. You have to be aware at this point that the code above does not take effect yet because the “Text” widget is unable to understand the php scripts, however do not worry because there is room for a workaround: convert the text-based widget into php-executable widget by inserting the following code lines into the functions.php file of your template.

add_filter(‘widget_text’,’execute_php’,100);
function execute_php($html){
if(strpos($html,”<“.”?php”)!==false){
ob_start();
eval(“?”.”>”.$html);
$html=ob_get_contents();
ob_end_clean();
}
return $html;
}

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and you are done! The Adsense ads should be nicely displayed (via widgets) on all your blog’s pages except the error 404’s.

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Aug 172016
 

Google writes on its blog that is ready to officially roll out its video chat app “Duo” that had been announced a few months ago, but the company has to face a strong competition in the same niche.

google duo

Google Duo, a simple 1-to-1 video calling app

Duo is set to be first launched on the US market while the rest of the world will be able to download it from Google Play store in the upcoming period. The 1-to-1 video calling app can be installed also on Apple’s smartphone and there is no need to own a Google account.

Google vows that Duo will be easy to use and hopes for a large number of installations. One feature that could make Duo different from other apps is called Knock Knock, which means that the recipient can view who makes the call before deciding whether to answer or not.

The video application was first announced in May and will be available on both Android and iOS devices. Users do not need to posses a Google account as a phone number is just enough to set up the app. According to the information posted on company’s blog, Duo is “Fast and Reliable”, has a “Simple Interface” and a “Human Design”.

The internet giant says that all calls are encrypted and the video resolution varies depending on the quality of Internet connections.

The existing competitors on the market are very strong: Apple’s FaceTime, Microsoft’s Skype and Facebook Messenger are already very appreciated and used by hundreds of millions of users worldwide.

Google owns Hangouts, an app that never reached the intended success and was positioned as an application for professional conversations.

Jun 072013
 

The trial of the Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm who apparently launched a cyber attack on a Swedish bank and other companies almost ended, but the 28-year-old man received another blow before the final decision is unveiled.

Gottfrid Svartholm

The Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm wanted by the Danish authorities for cyber-crimes (Credit: xm7 / Kopimi / WikimediaCommons)

Swedish authorities revealed that Denmark demanded Gottfrid Svartholm’s extradition as he is being accused of new computer crimes, writes Torrent Freak.

Gottfrid Svartholm, who in 2003 founded what became the largest torrent site in the world, was tried this week in Stockholm, Sweden for penetrating the system of the Swedish bank Nordea Bank and transferring into of his account a large amount of money.

Furthermore Svartholm is charged with hacking Logica, a Swedish IT corporation collaborating with local tax authorities. The evidence surfaced from a PC confiscated from Gottfrid while he was detained in Cambodia in 2012. The verdict is about to be announced next week and authorities in Sweden will decide at that time if Svartholm will be extradited to Denmark or not.

Gottfrid Svartholm was arrested on August 30, 2012 in Cambodia for breaching the copyright laws and is currently held in a Swedish prison.

May 182012
 

It looks like there are many interesting things to know about Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook finally goes for trading as it makes debut on the Nasdaq stock market today (May 18, 2012) at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (3 p.m. GMT).

Company’s shares can be purchased with $38 apiece, which means that the most popular social network is worth over 100 billion dollars. Therefore Facebook’s IPO would be the largest to date of any Internet company and second-largest initial public offering in history. Facebook will be listed under the ticker symbol FB.

Network’s stock listing will convert Mark Zuckerberg and at least 6 other Facebook stakeholders into billionaires. Zuckerberg, who founded the social network from his Harvard dormitory room, has become the 29th-richest man in the world in the process.

Facebook is already more valuable than the high-tech companies gathered together. But there are still some things in the fog about this company and we probably did not know many aspects about CEO Mark Zuckerberg or how things work.

• After being listed on the stock market, Facebook turns to be worth more than eBay, Yahoo, Groupon, LinkedIn, Netflix, IAC, AOL, Zynga and Pandora together

• Facebook is worth even more than Amazon.

• Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced American citizenship to avoid paying taxes.

• One of the biggest talents of Mark Zuckerberg is to fire people, colleagues say.

• Zuckerberg controls 60% of the company and voting power.

• Zuckerberg refused to sell to Viacom.

• Initially accepted an offer from Yahoo, but then refused when Terry Semel lowered the price.

• Zuckerberg was dressed in tracksuit when he met the investors on Wall Street.

• Zuckerberg attended CEO “lessons” in 2005.

• He is a big fan of the series “Glee”.

• Mark Zuckerberg’s favorite phone is the BlackBerry, but in 2010 he switched to iPhone.

• Mark Zuckerberg held talks to acquire Instagram for $1 billion without consulting his directors.

• Facebook engineers wanted to name the button “Like”, the “Awesome”.

• Google was worth only 25% of Facebook’s value when first listed on the market.

• During Facebook’s first summer, Zuckerberg’s family spent 85,000 dollars to keep the site on a floating line.

• The Social Network was initially called Thefacebook. Former president Sean Parker helped buy the domain Facebook.com for $200,000.

• The same Sean Parker convinced Zuckerberg to add the “share” option for pictures, which now turned into the most popular option on the website. Zuckerberg did not agree initially.

• Facebook pays its engineers better than the other companies at Silicon Valley.

May 132012
 

Eduardo Saverin, the Facebook co-founder, has given up his U.S. citizenship just a few days before the listing of the social network on the stock market, fact which allows him to save significant amount of money supposed to be paid as federal taxes under the tax register of the United States.

Saverin’s name, of Brazilian origin, appears on the list of people who quit the U.S. citizenship, according to a statement released by the tax authorities on 30 April 2012.

The decision comes just days before Facebook’s listing on the stock market, which is due to take place on May 18 and would estimate the company owned by Mark Zuckerberg at a value between 70 and 96 billion dollars. The launch of the Facebook Inc. on Nasdaq Stock Market is believed to cause a boost in the IPO (initial public offering).

Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin renounced American citizenship, moves to Singapore to avoid U.S. taxes???


30-year-old Eduardo Saverin would reportedly have only 2% -4% of the company’s stakes following a dispute with Zuckerberg which was revealed by the film ‘The Social Netwok’. According to the site ‘Who Owns Facebook?’, Saverin’s share would translate, however, in about 3.4 billion dollars.

U.S. citizens are taxed on all their global income, even if they live in the United States. In Singapore, Saverin would largely escape the tax, as this island city-state does not tax the foreign income.

American fury:
Now “betrayded” U.S. population seems to rally under Uncle Sam’s rules for this particular case. Why? Well, the outrage sparks from the idea that Saverin tries to trick the tax system (although probably legally). Dozens debates lauched on the blogosphere reveal that the Americans feel individually stolen because Saverin became rich thanks to Facebook-supporting U.S. taxpayers and now he is trying to flee the country that gave him fortune when it comes to give some of that wealth back to U.S. taxes.

According to Saverin’s spokesperson, quoted by Bloomberg News, the businessman gave up his U.S. citizenship not to avoid paying taxex but because he intends to stay in Singapore where he already invested in several top industry companies.

May 062012
 

The news that social network Facebook might prevent users from posting irrelevant comments just sparked on the web. According to a Techcrunch article, blogger Robert Scoble wished to comment on Saturday morning to a Facebook post written by TC commenter Max Woolf. To his surprise, Scoble was not able to see his comment displayed, on contrary he was “honored” with the stunning reply message: “This comment seems irrelevant or inappropriate and can’t be posted. To avoid having comments blocked, please make sure they contribute to the post in a positive way.” (you can see below a snapshot of Facebook’s surprising error message given to Rober Scoble).

Now the whole blogosphere wonders if Facebook could have changed something or upgraded to an eventual spam-prevention trick.

It is pretty known that Facebook -like Youtube and any other respectable website-, fights hardly to prevent the posting of aggressive or spamming messages, but this time Mr. Scoble’s posting was apparently straight to the topic of the post.

This situation reminds me of a quite similar case that occured just a few days ago when Youtube accidentally banned a video showing swimsuit model Kate Upton performing “Cat Daddy” dance, on reason that the clip was too racy when actually it wasn’t. However Youtube reps. appologized later for the unintentional removal of the video, and claimed that particular mistakes can happen due to the large amount of material uploaded on the video-sharing site.

Maybe also here it was a particular mistake, known being the fact that Facebook has to deal every second with tremenduous number of messages, posts, comments, ets.

This is an example of message you might receive from Facebook system after trying to post a comment. Credit: techcrunch.com

May 052012
 

Social platform Facebook experiences continuous changes, and now announced the introduction of new exciting interactive application.

The largest social network so far will soon introduce a set of “Action Links” to its service, which will give users a third option to respond to posts, besides “like” and “share”.

Facebook provided also 2 examples (see embedded photos): “Save this Place,” which links to Foursquare, and “Fave This Product,” which gives users the possibility to choose a product as a favorite on Fab.com.

"Action links" go beyond "like", "comment" or "share"; it aims at taking direction action inside the app and connect the actions


For example, if a user posts a link to a food recipe, then any friend can bookmark this recipe in his own account by clicking the “Save this recipe” button which is located under each post.

To do so, users need to install the application “action links”. Each such action creates a new story on the Timeline.

Facebook highlighted the share, view, hear and read options in the introduction of the new applications, but developers will be able to create additional customizations to this action.

Facebook says of this innovation, that aims at leading to a better and broader distribution and interaction of the multiclick applications.

“Action links” app is not yet available for the mobile platform.

Facebook's action links targets to connect actions and applications

May 032012
 

Brand Yourself releases new feature which allows you control Google search for your name

After a meeting or job interview, there are big probabilities that your name is searched on Google or any other search engine.

BrandYourself is a tool that helps you control your online reputation quite well, says Mashable.

The website aims at helping people “adjust” the display of their image/CV in Google results when their name is searched.

Tuesday, BrandYourself launched a new and very interesting option that allows registered users to see the working place and location of people who looked for their name and visited their BrandYourself profile.

To do this, BrandYourself built up a database containing the publicly available IPs of various companies and organizations. When a person from a company whose IP addresses appear in BrandYourself database, Googled your name or accessed your BrandYourself profile, which is among the top results, you will realize who sought you.

Who might have a look at your profile? Well, there are dozens possibilition from the employer you gave an interview for to a girl you date or someone who works for a company. To make use of this tool, you have to build a profile on BrandYourself.

Professional networks such as LinkedIn or MyLife allow users to see who visited their profile, but only if visitors are also LinkedIn / MyLife users. “It works almost just like LinkedIn and MyLife for users of the network. However there is a difference because our application applies to the entire Internet,” says one of BrandYourself founders, Patrick Ambron.