WordPress to show warnings on servers running outdated PHP versions

Found on ZD Net on Tuesday, 15 January 2019
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The current plan is to have the warnings appear for sites using a PHP version prior to the 5.6.x branch (<=5.6).

The reason why the WordPress team wants to push site owners to update their underlying PHP servers is because the PHP team has recently dropped support for security fixes for the PHP 5.6.x and PHP 7.0.x branches.

Obviously the WordPress developers either don't know anything about enterprise grade operating systems, or are blindly riding the "latest is greatest" choo-choo train. Otherwise they would know that relying on version numbers is a grave mistake.

GoDaddy injecting site-breaking JavaScript into customer websites, here's a fix

Found on Tech Republic on Monday, 14 January 2019
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GoDaddy's analytics system is based on W3C Navigation Timing, but the company's practice of unilaterally opting in paying customers to an analytics service—tracking the visitors to websites hosted on GoDaddy services—without forewarning is deserving of criticism.

Kromin notes that he is "not against web host providers monitoring how their servers are running," but that "Injecting JavaScript into pages being served is far from passive and... a violation of trust between the web host and the customer."

Tracking users with methods that sound like a MITM attack are not a smart way to deal with your customers, or the GDPR.

Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows...

Found on The Register on Friday, 11 January 2019
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According to internet services biz Netcraft, more than 80 TLS certificates used on .gov websites have expired and have not been renewed.

But other websites sport more recently lapsed certs like NASA's Rocket Test website, which expired on January 5, 2019. The Lawrence Berkeley Lab website, expired on January 8, 2019.

In some way, that shutdown may be actually good here because it shows that the renewal processes are not (within certain limits) automated, and that certificates could be signed for longer periods of time.

Google Drive Has a Serious Spam Problem, But Google Says a Fix is Coming

Found on How-to Geek on Monday, 07 January 2019
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Here’s the scenario: a spammer (or anyone else) shares a file or folder with you. This file or folder immediately shows up in the “Quick Access” area of your Drive, as well as in the “Shared with you” section. You can’t stop this from happening—you don’t have to accept the share; it shows up whether you want it or not.

Since there’s no way to remove yourself from the share, you’re stuck with it.

How could one even come up with such a "feature" in the first place? Access control is something essential for both sides.

Most shoppers mistrust influencers, says survey

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 29 December 2018
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In the research for BBC Radio 4, 82% of people who took part said it was not always clear when an influencer had been paid to promote a product.

The growth of social media over the past decade has changed marketing and advertising in many ways. A major part of that has been the rise of "social influencers".

The top 10 beauty influencers are all earning hundreds of thousands of pounds from their online posts.

When it comes to classic TV, everybody is annoyed by ads and switches to another channel. Online, people install popup blockers to avoid ads. At the same time, they follow the next generation salesmen who are touting products nobody needs. Billy Mays would be so happy.

Facebook's leaked rulebooks highlight struggle with content moderation

Found on CNet News on Friday, 28 December 2018
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The documents published Thursday by the Times are purportedly used to advise thousands of moderators about how to deal with any content that may be deemed problematic and "distill highly complex issues into simple yes-or-no rules." The moderation work is outsourced and the Times notes that some moderators rely on Google Translate to make split-second decisions on what is deemed hate speech or not.

"In an effort to control problems of its own creation, it has quietly become, with a speed that makes even employees uncomfortable, what is arguably one of the world's most powerful political regulators," according to the story.

Expect Zucky to sweat into cameras and apologize again, and again, and again while carrying on with its business.

Outcry as Instagram tries horizontal scrolling

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 27 December 2018
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The change meant moving through a feed had to be done by swiping horizontally rather than vertically.

Almost as soon as the change was made, users took to Twitter to complain and demand the return of the familiar up-and-down scrolling method.

A free service that shovels all data from its users to Facebook causes a massive backlash over scrolling. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so sad to see the stupidity of the users.

Facebook Allowed Netflix, Spotify, And A Bank To Read And Delete Users’ Private Messages

Found on Buzzfeed News on Wednesday, 19 December 2018
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Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday.

Facebook allowed Microsoft’s search engine Bing to see the names of nearly all users’ friends without their consent, and allowed Spotify, Netflix, and the Royal Bank of Canada to read, write, and delete users’ private messages, and see participants on a thread.

It also allowed Amazon to get users’ names and contact information through their friends, let Apple access users’ Facebook contacts and calendars even if users had disabled data sharing, and let Yahoo view streams of friends’ posts “as recently as this summer,” despite publicly claiming it had stopped sharing such information a year ago, the report said.

Once again, Zucky will put on a sad face and say sorry; and change nothing, because the sheep are still sheep who do nothing.

Google opens document editing to users without Google accounts

Found on ZD Net on Tuesday, 18 December 2018
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Google has listened to user feedback and is currently testing a feature that will let G Suite users invite non-Google account holders to view, comment, suggest edits, and even directly edit Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files.

Once enabled, G Suite admins can restrict this feature per company departments or domains, or restrict sharing of internal docs only with whitelisted domains (such as business partners' email domains), according to the feature's help page.

Storing personal and maybe even confidental data on Google servers? Or Internet servers at all? What are they smoking?

Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 17 December 2018
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When Microsoft's transition is complete, we're looking at a world where Chrome and Chrome-derivatives take about 80 percent of the market, with only Firefox, at 9 percent, actively maintained and available cross-platform.

By owning both the most popular browser, Chrome, and some of the most-visited sites on the Web (in particular the namesake search engine, YouTube, and Gmail), Google has on a number of occasions used its might to deploy proprietary tech and put the rest of the industry in the position of having to catch up.

It's not just the browser. People love convenience. The same problem exists in other fields, with Facebook and Amazon, to only name two.