Posts tagged Next

Google Is Hiring Hackers To Stop The Next Heartbleed

Google wants to make it harder for malicious attackers—and that includes the National Security Agency—to exploit software bugs that infect your computer or steal personal data.

On Tuesday, the company revealed Project Zero, a team within Google that will work to reduce the number of people harmed in targeted attacks stemming from “zero-day” vulnerabilities, security holes that aren’t previously known and for which there are no readily available fixes. 

Why is Google announcing this effort? Because Project Zero is hiring.

Google is looking for security researchers to work on discovering flaws in software, as well as researching and understanding the motivations of malicious attackers. Google didn’t say how many researchers the company is adding, but the company already has many people working on security issues.

Those interested in a job as a resident hacker will be working alongside folks like self-proclaimed “Security Princess” Parisa Tabriz, who leads the team of security engineers on Google’s Chrome browser, and Neel Mehta, who helped discover the Heartbleed bug.

Heartbleed was one of the most damaging vulnerabilities in open-source software discovered to date. It left two-thirds of the Web at risk of eavesdropping for two years thanks to a flaw in OpenSSL, a widely used piece of security software.

Project Zero will work to improve the security of software used by large numbers of people, as well as research the techniques hackers are using to target these vulnerabilities. Google says it will report bugs to the software’s vendor, and once it’s made public—meaning there’s a patch available—people will be able to learn more about the particular vulnerability, including how long it took the software vendor to fix it.

And though Google didn’t dwell on this point in its announcement, it did mention “state-sponsored actors” as a threat. Google has previously said that its systems were targeted by Chinese hackers who may be sponsored by elements of that country’s military, and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the US intelligence agency has targeted Gmail and other Google services. Project Zero aims to protect against those threats as well as criminal hackers.

Photo by Alexandre Dulaunoy

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5 Social Media Marketing Tools to Take Your Business to the Next Level by @esornoso

As Internet marketing continues to search for the ultimate way to find, attract, and retain clients, the marketplace is becoming more and more saturated with tools that promise to boost your ROI and get more people talking about your business. The biggest problem for many businesses, especially small ones, is working out which ones actually deliver on those promises. Because of this, I’ve selected five great social media marketing tools that actually work and can help improve your SMM. Peekit This free video service is a fun and interesting way to see what people are talking about on Vine. Simply type in a […]

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WordStream Raises $12 Million In VC Funding, What’s Next For Them by @mattsouthern

PPC software company, WordStream, announced today that they have raised $12 million in led by Baird Capital of Chicago. “This is the biggest fundraising round WordStream has ever done!” said WordStream CEO Ralph Folz, “As exciting as things have been in the past few years, our team is pumped about what the future holds.” WordStream detailed what they intend to do with the $12M funding. Innovation: WordStream is using customer feedback to drive the new ideas they will be bringing to their product offerings. Examples of those ideas include their Landing Pages and Leads offerings, released at the end of last […]

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Google Previews The Next Big Release Of Android: “L”

Google announced the preview of its latest version of Android today at its I/O developer conference. Google isn’t yet ready to give the newest version of Android a name, instead calling it the “L” preview (Google names version of Android in alphabetical order after tasty desserts).

The biggest change for the “L” version of Android will be a completely new design and user interface that Google calls “material design.” The new design allows developers to build apps that will work for every size screen without having to code for individual smartphones and tablets. Animation, typography, color, design components and layout are the featured changes of the “L” preview of Android.

Google’s head of Android engineering Dave Burke showed off some of the new user experience and elements of material design in Android “L” including new material themes and animation capabilities, 3D views with real time shadows, and shared “transition elements” that assist in switching from one app to another.

Here are some other features of Android “L” that you need to know.

Design, Performance And 64-Bit

Sundar Pichai, chief of Google's Android division, introducing the L Developer Preview.

Sundar Pichai, chief of Google's Android division, introducing the L Developer Preview.

Android “L” enhances the notification in the operating system as well including new lockscreen, prioritized and “heads up” notifications. 

“L” also introduces new authentication system for Android smartphones and tablets called “personal locking.” It recognizes when a smartphone is in a trusted environment by noting if it is near the Android Wear smartwatch it is paired with.

Google updated the mobile Web experience in “L” as well, employing the themes of material design in the Android Chrome browser. Animation for material design works at 60 frames per second, giving it a smoother appearance.

Chrome’s “recent pages visited” will be more card-like in “L,” rather than appearing like browser tabs. The stacked card style of the recent pages visited includes apps as well, blurring the distinction between apps and the Web.

App indexing—Android deep linking—that was announced with Android KitKat 4.4 in October 2014, has been updated for the “L” preview allowing users to search through a browser but directly open an app. App indexing is being opened up to all 3rd party Android apps as of today.

Android Runtime—ART—is officially replacing Dalvik as the compiling engine in “L” as ReadWrite reported last November. ART supports ahead-of-time (AOT) and just-in-time and interpreted compiling. ART supports ARM, x86 and MIPS computer processors.

Android is finally gong 64-bit with ARM processors, as Apple did when it announced the iPhone 5S last year. 64-bit Android has increased addressable memory space, cross platform support and doesn’t require modification in Java. 

Graphics performance in Android has been improved in “L” with new tessellation and computer and geometry shaders to bring videogame quality graphics to smartphones and tablets. 

The battery support in Android “L” for battery life called Project Volta that features a variety of functions to help apps cut down on battery use.

The Android “L” software developer kit will be available from at developer.android.com starting tomorrow. 

Lead image by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite

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Google Strikes The Next Blow In The Cloud-Storage Wars: Unlimited Space

Just days after Microsoft announced a price cut for its online-storage offering OneDrive, Google has struck back. Its new cloud service, Drive for Work, will do battle with Microsoft, Dropbox and others for the bargain-basement price tag of $10 per user per month. What you get for that price: Unlimited storage.

No word yet on what happens to your files if your monthly payment doesn’t process on time, though.

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How Facebook Will Fuel The Next Wave Of Open Source Businesses

It’s no longer in doubt: Facebook is the world’s largest open source company. Facebook could already have been considered to be in the open source lead through the release of its datacenter designs, databases and more. This week’s open-sourcing of a network switch (Wedge) and its operating system (FBOSS) have cemented Facebook’s place atop the podium of open source contributors.

But have they also sounded the death knell for open source companies?

After all, with so much incredible open source code emerging from Facebook, Google (which released PDFium this week), LinkedIn and others, is there still room for companies to sell open-source software?

Inside The New Software Factory

It has always been true that most software is developed for use, not sale, as author and open source advocate Eric Raymond famously pointed out in his  2001 book The Cathedral And The Bazaar. Yet most of our attention has been on software vendors as we place bets on Oracle or IBM, SAP or Microsoft et al.

These are billion-dollar software companies, but the overall value of software being developed by open-source communities and behind the enterprise firewall is in the trillions of dollars, Red Hat’s Michael Tiemann highlighted in 2009

While nearly all software has been constrained by myopic, proprietary licensing, that’s starting to change. Facebook and other Web giants recognize great value in releasing their code. The best developers want to work on the best code and increasingly the best code is open source. So Netflix, ostensibly a streaming video company, regularly hosts open source engineering days at its headquarters and makes a point of releasing its software in order to attract developers. That being said, Netflix did announce this week that it will be retiring its public application programming interface last week.

All of which is great: more open source, more awesome. But for all the open-source software being developed and released by such companies, precious little is being supported in a way that makes it easy for mainstream enterprises to embrace.

Spit, Polish And Commitment

A good case in point is the Apache Cassandra project, which Facebook built and open sourced in 2008 to support its messaging system. Two years later, Facebook had moved on. As the company iterated on its messaging system, Facebook switched from Cassandra to Hbase:

In 2008 we open-sourced Cassandra, an eventual-consistency key-value store that was already in production serving traffic for Inbox Search. Our Operations and Databases teams have extensive knowledge in managing and running MySQL, so switching off of either technology was a serious concern. We either had to move away from our investment in Cassandra or train our Operations teams to support a new, large system.

We spent a few weeks setting up a test framework to evaluate clusters of MySQL, Apache Cassandra, Apache HBase, and a couple of other systems. We ultimately chose HBase. MySQL proved to not handle the long tail of data well; as indexes and data sets grew large, performance suffered. We found Cassandra’s eventual consistency model to be a difficult pattern to reconcile for our new Messages infrastructure.

Facebook, in other words, doesn’t necessarily stick with a technology just because Facebook created it. As former Facebook engineer Steven Grimm notes, “Facebook is very pragmatic about which tools we use; the fact that Cassandra was originally developed in-house doesn’t give it a significant leg up when we’re deciding how to store the data for some new site feature, except in that the fact that we already have in-house expertise would factor into decisions about maintainability and so forth.”

Which is great for Facebook, but not necessarily for the many companies that have since embraced Cassandra like Netflix and Cisco. Especially for mainstream enterprises, they want an element of stability that Facebook simply can’t deliver, because Facebook isn’t in the business of supporting the software it open sources.

A Continued Need For Open Source Companies

Which is why we’re just at the beginning of the “open source company” era, not the end. For every significant open-source project released by Facebook or its peers, there will be companies set up to provide ongoing maintenance and support for the code. 

While it has become trite to declare that “every company must be a software company,” the reality is most companies are a long way off from this goal. Even for companies with core competency in developing software, they don’t necessarily have bandwidth to take on the maintenance of every open-source project that they use. As such, there will always be a need for open source companies who specialize in supporting software, not simply writing it.

Cassandra offers a great example, with DataStax providing commercial support and ongoing development of the code, now residing with the Apache Software Foundation. But there are many other examples, like Hadoop, launched at Yahoo! and now supported by Hortonworks and Cloudera (among others), or Lucene, initially developed by Doug Cutting at Yahoo! but now supported by Elasticsearch, Lucidworks and others.

We’re entering the golden age of open source. All the most interesting, biggest trends in computing are being driven by open source, whether it’s a mobile operating system running most of the world’s smartphones, the cloud infrastructure supporting enterprise applications or the Big Data infrastructure that undergirds our ravenous desire for more data, better understood. And while much of this open-source software will be released by companies that aren’t in the software business, per se, the best of it will be supported by those that are.

Photo of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg by Selena Larson for ReadWrite

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Multi-cultural and International Search: Trends and Opportunities – Webcast next Tuesday

On Tuesday, June 24, at 1 PM EDT, our sister site, Digital Marketing Depot will host a webcast, "2014 Trends and Opportunities in Multicultural and International Search." International search presents an entirely different set of opportunities – and challenges – for today’s marketer….



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5 Changes You Need to Make for Google Shopping in the Next 2 Months

Retailers are running out of time to switch to Google Shopping Campaigns. Follow this timeline to ensure your campaign is built out and tested before the August deadline, and follow these steps for a smooth transition to Shopping Campaigns.

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Get Over The ‘Next Big Thing’: An Interview on SEO With Duane Forrester by @wonderwall7

Duane Forrester, a Senior Project Manager at Bing who oversees Webmaster Tools, has allowed us to start syndicating his well-written, thoughtful blog pieces on SEO. Over late night emails, he answered my questions on SEO, our industry, and why we need to stop waiting for the “next big thing”. In your first syndicated post for SEJ, you said, “Mostly what it means is that if a business is singularly focused (we’ll focus mainly on SEO this year, and focus on social later), you could be falling behind and not realize it.” That really stuck out to me. What are three strategies marketers […]

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How to Fix Your Next Brainstorm Session by @YEC

When is the last time you walked into a team meeting, stood at the whiteboard and asked for your team to brainstorm a solution to a business problem—and got blank stares? Forcing creativity in the moment might sounds like a good idea, but it doesn’t always lead to productive conversations (especially if your team has already spent an hour in the conference room). Here are 12 ideas for making your next brainstorm session less painful from some of our council members: Get the Right People Oftentimes finding a solution is easy once the problem has been identified precisely. Make sure you get a 360 degree view of an issue by inviting […]

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