IT for businesses without IT departments

Given technology’s fast pace, it’s easy to forget someone in 1995 would look at you like you were from Mars if you mentioned your Bluetooth. Turns out the stories behind commonly used tech terms are fairly fascinating.

For instance, thank the late statistician John Wilder Tukey for the computing terms software and bit. Tukey first used “software” in a 1958 journal articleto describe the programs run by electronic calculators, writing that “software” was “at least as important” as the “‘hardware’ of tubes, transistors, wires, tapes, and the like.” “Bit” came a few years later, short for “binary digit.”

The story of spam is well-known, at least to Monty Python fans. One of the troupe’s most beloved skits, in which the word Spam (in reference to the, um, meat) is repeated over and over, inspired early chatroom users to describe bad behavior (think clogging up a chat with bot text) as “spam.” Eventually the term came to describe email pleas from Nigerian princes.

Even more tech terms

The origin of meme will appeal to academics. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins coined the term in the 1970s to describe his theory that all ideas replicate and mutate—and that only the strong survive. Dawkins shortened the Greek term mimeme (“that which is replicated”) to “meme” for ease and because it sounded like “gene.”

And your Bluetooth? That’s named for a 10th-century Scandinavian king, who earned his nickname for having a tooth so rotten it looked blue. The king excelled at uniting warring parties, so the term fit the effort to develop the wireless technology, which united competing firms. Bluetooth was initially a placeholder name, but no one came up with anything better, and it stuck. The Bluetooth logo is even a mashup of the king’s initials.

August Newsletter 2017

This August 2017 Newsletter covers the below topics:

 

  • HAVE YOU NOTICED CHANGE IN RANKINGS? GOOGLE’S SHAKING THINGS UP WITH ITS NEW LOCAL SEARCH FILTERS

    – What are these filters all about
    – How will it change search results
    – How can you make sure it doesn’t affect your business

 

  • BOOST THE BOTTOM LINE OF YOUR BUSINESS WITH GOOGLE’S NEW INSTANT CHAT FEATURE

    – Details about this feature
    – What are the benefits
    – Is it available to you
    – Who should use this feature

 

  • GOOGLE HAS DECIDED TO DO AWAY WITH GOOGLE INSTANT

    – What is this new change
    – Why has Google decided to do this
    – Will it have any effect on search rankings

 

  • ADVERTISERS CAN NOW BID FOR PHONE CALLS IN GOOGLE ADWORDS

    – What is phone call bidding
    – How to use it
    – What are the benefits

 

  • EXPAND YOUR REACH WITH LINKEDIN’S NEW FEATURE — “WHAT PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT”

– What’s this new feature all about
– How can you benefit from this feature

 

Read Newsletter Now

Cloudflare moved quickly to fix things, but their postmortem downplays the risk to customers, Ormandy said.

The problem on Cloudflare’s side, which impacted big brands like Uber, Fitbit, 1Password, and OKCupid, was a memory leak. The flaw resulted in the exposure of “HTTP cookies, authentication tokens, HTTP POST bodies, and other sensitive data,” Cloudflare said.

Complicating matters, the leaked data was being cached by search engines.

About an hour after being alerted by Ormandy, CloudFlare disabled three features on its platform; email obfuscation, Server-side Excludes and Automatic HTTPS Rewrites, as they were using the broken HTML parser chain determined to be the cause of the problem.

According to Cloudflare, the problem could have started five months ago, on September 22, 2016.

“The greatest period of impact was from February 13 and February 18 with around 1 in every 3,300,000 HTTP requests through Cloudflare potentially resulting in memory leakage (that’s about 0.00003% of requests),” a blog post

by Cloudflare’s CTO, John Graham-Cumming, explains.

In an email exchange, Cloudflare pointed Ormandy to the company bug bounty, which offers a reward of a t-shirt instead of financial compensation, leading Ormandy to speculate the company doesn’t take the program seriously. As the disclosure deadline quickly approached, CloudFlare engineers worked around the clock to resolve the problem.

Google has started removing cached copies of the leaked data, but other search engines are still holding some copies.

As an example of how wide-reaching the problem was, and how random the data leak became, we located Fitbit that was pushed to a website in the Philippines.

Server administrators are advised to use their best judgment when it comes to revoking and reissuing certificates, as well as rotating any critical keys or passwords.

While password changes wouldn’t hurt for end users concerned about this issue, it’s unclear exactly what options are going to be made available to CloudFlare customers, and the users exposed by this incident.

“The examples we’re finding are so bad; I canceled some weekend plans to go into the office on Sunday to help build some tools to clean up. I’ve informed Cloudflare what I’m working on. I’m finding private messages from major dating sites, full messages from a popular chat service, online password manager data, frames from adult video sites, hotel bookings. We’re talking full HTTPS requests, client IP addresses, full responses, cookies, passwords, keys, data, everything.,” Ormandy noted in a Project Zero ticket on the incident.

As mentioned, Uber, 1Password, Fitbit, and OKCupid are just some of the known brands affected by the flawed Cloudflare code. There is a running list of impacted domains available on GitHub; last count pegged the total at more than 4 million domains.

However, at the time this story was published, only 1Password has issued a statement on the incident, assuring customers that their passwords were safe.

“No 1Password data is put at any risk through the bug reported about CloudFlare. 1Password does not depend on the secrecy of SSL/TLS for your security. The security of your 1Password data remains safe and solid,” the statement explains.

Salted Hash has reached out to several brands for comment, both on Twitter and offline. If any of them respond, we’ll update this post.

Update:

John Graham Cumming, Cloudflare CTO, responded to questions earlier this morning.

Concerning contacting customers:

“We are currently involved in ongoing dialogue with our customers and have given them information about the best way to notify us if they have questions.”

As to comments that they were downplaying the seriousness of the issue:

“We have written a very detailed blog post recounting all of our experiences identifying, fixing, and neutralizing the impact of a bug that was discovered in our system on Friday, February 17. From the moment we were notified of this bug, an internal team at Cloudflare has been working 24 hours a day to address it.

“We’ve also been working with all of the major search engine providers to protect customers by removing any sensitive data inadvertently cached. The industry standard time to fix a bug like this is three months. Within 47 minutes of being notified, Cloudflare deployed an initial mitigation. We were completely finished with mitigating the bug in seven hours. We have worked quickly and taken this matter very seriously from the moment we were alerted to it.”

On Twitter, LastPass told customers that their product was not impacted as they don’t use Cloudflare. At the bottom of this support document, a list of websites that support One-Click password changes is available. The list is limited, but many of the websites use CloudFlare, so it is a good idea to rotate passwords in the chance that doing so will reset authorization tokens.

Lots of vendors have written in with comments and observations since the Cloudflare story started to spread, but one caught our attention:

“… A lot of popular internet companies/operators have been affected – and unfortunately they’ll have to be the ones working directly with customers and giving them the bad news. All affected sites/services need to destroy all HTTP sessions and potentially do API key as well as password resets across the board…” – Kunal Anand, CTO and Co-Founder, Prevoty

Latest Happenings In The World of Local Search For February 2017

Feb 2017 Local Search Newsletter

 

  • Enjoy the read. We are sure you will find this newsletter a valued resource.

Read Newsletter Now

Latest Happenings In The World of Local Search For January 2017

  • Brief Information On Search Engine Updates For January 2017
  • Updates On Google Local Search


Local Search Newsletter Jan 17

 

  • GOOGLE MOBILE ONLY INDEX MIGHT GO LIVE VERY SOON

    • What You Need To Know
    • How Will This Impact You
    • Some Facts and Tips

     

    WHAT 2017 MAY BRING FOR DIGITAL MARKETERS

    • Upcoming Changes in 2017
    • How Will This Affect Your Current Strategy
    • How Can You Adapt

     

    2016 PAY PER CLICK FLASHBACKS: THE BIG CHANGES THAT ARE GOING TO IMPACT US IN 2017

    • How Will This Affect Your Business
    • What You Need To Do

     

    Enjoy the read. We are sure you will find this newsletter a valued resource.

Read Newsletter Now

  • LATEST HAPPENINGS IN THE WORLD OF LOCAL SEARCH FOR THE MONTH OF DECEMBER 2016

    – Brief Information On Search Engine Updates For December
    – Updates On Google Local Search


Read Newsletter Now

  • Google is going to separate mobile and desktop search indexes

    – What Will Change
    – How Will This Affect Websites
    – What Steps You Need To Take To Save Yourself

 

  • GOOGLE RICH CARDS EXPAND TO LOCAL RESTAURANTS

    – How Will This Affect Restaurants
    – How To Implement Rich Cards
    – What Google Has To Say

 

  • GET READY FOR A NEW PROMOTION EXTENSION IN TEXT ADS

    – What’s This New Extension
    – How Can You Make Use Of This Ad Extension

 

  • INSTAGRAM STORIES WILL NOW FEATURE LIVE VIDEOS!

    – About Instagram Stories
    – How Will It Work
    – How Will This Benefit You

Enjoy the read. We are sure you will find this newsletter a valued resource.

Read Newsletter Now

Users of Twitter, Netflix and other sites reported failures on Friday morning and again in the afternoon, and a major host said it was under attack.

Source: Internet Attack Disrupts Major Websites – The New York Times

 

Enjoy the read. We are sure you will find this newsletter a valued resource.

Read Newsletter

Traffic.

Traffic.

What’s the Deal with Local SEO?

Many business owners ask, “wouldn’t it make sense to be found all across the state – or nation?”  More areas being found means more business,right?

Wrong.

Think about this:  you’re at work, looking to grab a quick lunch.  You need to be back in 50 minutes to make that 1:00 meeting, so you pull up Google and search “deli”.  Maybe you even search “deli near me” or “local deli”.

Would it make sense for you to find a deli in Montana when you’re in Georgia? Nope.

Google Wants to Show Relevant Search Results

Google’s goal is to show the best, most relevant search results to the user. With “near me” searches doubling in the last year, users want to find local results – and Google’s providing them. It only makes sense to show up on Google where your consumers are.

Are you a service area industry, maybe a plumber or a contractor?  The rule still applies.  Let’s say you’re a landscaper in Binghamton, NY.  Would it be reasonable to take clients in Philadelphia?  Or would it make more sense to focus on homeowners in your area?

Local Results Help Solve Consumer Problems

Location in relation to the user helps make up about 14% of Google’s ranking factors, which means local SEO is a huge part of your online success. With about three billion Google searches performed a day, you need to be online to be found by consumers. Online is where consumers go to find answers to their problems. They are going to find them, that’s a fact, but the question is – who will deliver those answers? Hopefully, it’s you!

Local SEO helps to make that a reality.

Thank you to everyone who recycled their old electronics with us on Earth Day.  We collected five computer towers, six laptops, five boxes of miscellaneous cables and components, two game consoles, five monitors, four sound speaker systems, one printer, and one microwave.  With the assistance of Always Be Recyclin’ we are able to keep those components out of the landfill and find second homes for them to extend their life.  Special thanks to Scott Darling of Remax for use of his truck to store the collected items then be able to drop them off at the Always Be Recyclin’ storage and processing facility in one trip.  If you have electronic items or ink and toner cartridges to be recycled throughout the year, please contact us and we will pick them up, and make sure they get to the right places.  We are looking forward to a successful collection again next Earth Day.