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YouTube to Launch Tool to Detect Re-Uploaded Videos Automatically

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Variety: Original Article
New Copyright Match tool initially will roll out to channels with more than 100,000 subscribers

YouTube could be about to make a big step toward solving a longtime irritation for creators: It’s about to roll out a tool that will identify videos that are stolen and reposted by someone else — and let the original creator pull the ripoffs down.

After almost a year in beta-testing, YouTube’s new Copyright Match tool is scheduled to launch next week for creators with more than 100,000 subscribers. With the new system, after a user uploads a video — and YouTube verifies it as the first iteration of the video — YouTube will scan other videos uploaded to the service to see if any of them are the same (or very similar).
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Display Widgets Plugin Includes Malicious Code to Publish Spam on WP Sites

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If you have a plugin called “Display Widgets” on your WordPress website, remove it immediately. The last three releases of the plugin have contained code that allows the author to publish any content on your site. It is a backdoor.

The authors of this plugin have been using the backdoor to publish spam content to sites running their plugin. During the past three months the plugin has been removed and readmitted to the plugin repository a total of four times. The plugin is used by approximately 200,000 WordPress websites, according to WordPress repository. (See below)

Wordfence warns you if you are using a plugin that has been removed from the repository. During the past months you would have been warned several times that this plugin has been removed with a ‘critical’ level warning that looks like this:

It turns out that this plugin did have “unknown security issues”. Let’s start with a timeline of what happened to Display Widgets, why it was removed three times from the repository and allowed back in each time and then finally removed again a fourth time a few days ago. Read More

Is Your Website Collecting Dust?

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Ref Original Article: Posted under All About Blogging on Feb 29 2016 by Robin Burton

Reasons Why Fresh Content is Critical for Your Website and SEO

1. Increased engagement with customers.

One of the most important reasons to update your website content is to create a constant stream of communication with your customers, which allows you to engage with them on an ongoing basis. A static website that has standard information that your customers have already seen won’t inspire them to engage with you or re-visit your website, but a regularly updated website that provides high-quality content will.

2. Better search engine performance.

Organic traffic is hugely important when it comes to sustaining a successful business website and one of the top ways to help your business website gain organic search engine traffic is by keeping it updated with new content. The reason for this is because search engines typically pay much more attention to websites that are regularly updated than those that are not, and on top of that, updating your website with new content gives search engines more chances to index the pages on your website.
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CES Trendspotting – Inconspicuous Innovation

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Original Article BY SHELLY PALMER

The pace of technological change is exponential and accelerating, and the results are hiding in plain sight. I call it “inconspicuous innovation” and it’s the top trend of 2016. Let’s have a look at some other macro trends that will be on display at CES.

At first glance, CES® 2016 looks a lot like CES 2015. Approximately 3,600 exhibitors will announce approximately 20,000 new products. And while CES 2016 is set to be the largest, most diverse yet — there aren’t too many (if any) groundbreaking, game-changing or revolutionary (choose your hyperbole) new products. TVs are a little bigger, a little thinner, a little less or a little more curved, have slightly better screens, slightly better dynamic range, and slightly better color gamuts. Everything on display has a slightly faster processor, a little more storage, slightly better battery life, a new app, some cloud computing component, is somehow related to IoT, is smart (in some way), and offers slightly better connectivity, etc. “New and improved” features do not generate big headlines, so if your innovation metric is new product announcements (defined as, pro…

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Google+ and YouTube are finally splitting up

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A Google Account will be all you need for Google’s popular services
Original article The Verge By Chris Welch

Google is officially divorcing Google+ profiles from its other, more popular services. Today the company published a blog post announcing that over the next few months, “a Google Account will be all you’ll need to share content, communicate with contacts, create a YouTube channel and more, all across Google.”

The decision comes several months after Google stopped forcing new users to create accounts under its social network, which has failed to become the Facebook and Twitter competitor Mountain View once hoped it would be. Google has also split successful Google+ features like Photos into stand-alone products, a strategy it says will continue. “We’re well underway putting location sharing into Hangouts and other apps, where it really belongs,” Google’s Bradley Horowitz wrote. “We think changes like these will lead to a more focused, more useful, more engaging Google+.”


“Your underlying Google Account won’t be searchable or followable, unlike public Google+ profiles,” Horowitz says. “And for people who already created Google+ profiles but don’t plan to use Google+ itself, we’ll offer better options for managing and removing those public profiles.”

YouTube will be among the first big services to move away from Google+. Some of that starts today; YouTube says comments you make on its pages will no longer show up on your Google+ profile. But the ability to create a YouTube channel, upload videos, or comment without a Google+ is still months off, the company says — and it’s warning users not to remove their Google+ profiles before that day comes, since doing so will also eradicate your whole YouTube presence. “Do not do it now or you’ll delete your YouTube channel (no bueno).”

Google insists Google+ isn’t going away and will continue to provide an “interest-based social experience” for users who’ve grown to love its communities. But for everyone else, it’ll finally be much easier to walk away from Google+ in the weeks to come.

See the video:

The 3-step plan to make your website harder to hack

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Original Article PC World By Robert Lemos

Online attackers are increasingly targeting websites to make a statement, send spam or flood someone else’s network. Protecting your online brand requires vigilance.

When a big website like Lenovo’s gets hacked, it’s news. But most such attacks take place under the radar, at smaller sites lacking the skills or time to protect themselves. Take the legions of WordPress-based sites, which got a rude awakening last year when many thousands of them were hacked.

Don’t be one of those sites. Even if you don’t use WordPress, you can learn important lessons from what those poor blighters have been through.
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Google’s New Search Algorithm Stokes Fears Of ‘Mobilegeddon’

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Original NPR article By Sam Sanders

Google has a lot of algorithms. And the company updates them on a regular basis. But one update that started rolling out Tuesday has tech writers across the Internet warning of a coming “Mobilegeddon.”

The change is only taking place on Google searches made on smartphones. The results will favor websites deemed “mobile friendly,” giving them higher rankings than sites that are only optimized for desktops and laptops.

Google spokeswoman Krisztina Radosavljevic-Szilagyi elaborated on the changes in a statement e-mailed to NPR. “As people increasingly search on their mobile devices,” she said, “we want to make sure they can find content that’s not only relevant and timely, but also easy to read and interact with on smaller mobile screens.” Google said it has offered tools to help make pages Web-friendly. There’s even a Google website that allows you to test any site’s mobile-readiness.

Favoring mobile websites on searches made on mobile devices seems like a no-brainer, and in 2015 you’d think most sites have mobile friendly webpages. But a study done by online Internet marketing firm Portent found that a majority of the Web’s top sites actually aren’t mobile friendly.

Portent tested 25,000 Web pages that were ranked as “top sites” by ranking and analytic websites Majestic Million and Alexa. The study found that 10,000 sites failed Google’s mobile-readiness test, including heavy hitters like the Department of Homeland Security and

Ian Lurie, CEO of Portent, said some bigger websites may not be mobile ready because those organizations may have a mobile app, and don’t think they have to worry about the Web. Others might not think mobile users are a big enough portion of their overall Web traffic. And Lurie said, some of it is just organizational inertia.

Lurie did say that for some businesses, there might also be a financial reason. “It’s an investment,” he told NPR. “Even if you’re building a brand new website, it’s more expensive to build a website that’s ready and renders well on a mobile device than to build a site that just looks good on the desktop. … It’ll be 25 percent or so higher than building a site that is only desktop ready.”

Google did tell NPR that as soon as Web pages are made mobile friendly, they’ll start to show up better in mobile searches. And, Google said mobile friendliness is just one part of an algorithm that takes a lot of factors into consideration. “While the mobile-friendly change is important, we still use a variety of signals to rank search results,” Radosavljevic-Szilagyi said. “The intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank high if it has great content for the query. The ranking update will not make it rank below lower quality pages that are mobile friendly.”

Lurie says Google’s definition of mobile-readiness and the changes to its algorithm seem reasonable. But he’s still worried. “Google is very scary at this point as a controller of Web content,” Lurie said. “It is a little scary to see them do this, because they’re using their opinion of what a mobile ready website is, and that can mean a lot of different things. Right now, their definition of a mobile ready website seems to just plain make sense. It’s a site that changes shape and size and remains readable on a smaller format device. But they could change that.”

Lurie’s not the only one questioning Google’s search dominance. The European Union has been investigating whether Google is favoring its own products in online searches and has charged the company with antitrust violations. The EU also recently suggested breaking up Google as a remedy, though that seems unlikely.

Here is more from Portent’s study on website mobile-friendliness:

One study found that half of the Internet’s top 25,000 websites aren’t “mobile-friendly.”

FCC’s net neutrality rules open door to new fee on Internet service

By News No Comments

Now the fee could start appearing on broadband bills too, in a major expansion of the nearly two-decade-old Universal Service Fund program.

It’s not clear yet, however, if most consumers would end up paying more in total USF fees than they do now.

In approving the tough rules for online traffic in February, the Federal Communications Commission put broadband in the same regulatory category as phone service, opening the door for the charges.

For phone service, telecom firms pass the fees directly to their customers, with the average household paying about $3 a month.

Those who opposed the net neutrality rules foresee the fees rising.

“The federal government is sure to tap this new revenue stream soon to spend more of consumers’ hard-earned dollars,” warned Ajit Pai, a Republican on the FCC. “So when it comes to broadband, read my lips: More new taxes are coming. It’s just a matter of when.”

Higher fees on Internet bills could make the service unaffordable for some people, reducing broadband adoption instead of expanding it, critics said.

The FCC held off on adding the assessment until a special federal and state board that has been weighing whether broadband providers should contribute to the fund makes a decision in the coming weeks.

“I think it is incorrect … to say anything in what we have done will lead to an increase in [USF] fee contributions,” Wheeler told House lawmakers at a recent hearing.

“You would have a reduction in one area that may be accompanied by an increase in another that should end up washing out because the gross number is the same,” he said.

So, for instance, under his view, a customer with both phone and Internet service from the same carrier might still pay about $3 a month, but it could be split between the two services instead of allocated all to phone service.

But when pressed on the issue at a House hearing last month, Wheeler would not guarantee that consumers will not end up contributing more to the fund.

The FCC sets the size of the fund, and the size has been increasing almost every year as the focus has shifted from providing phone service to providing Internet access to those without it. The fund has grown about 47% since 2004.

In December, the agency approved a $1.5-billion annual increase in the amount the fund can spend to help boost high-speed online services for schools and libraries under the E-rate program.

E-rate is one of four programs funded by the USF, which was created as part of the 1996 overhaul of telecommunications laws. The other programs provide assistance for low-income consumers, help rural residents connect with healthcare providers and help customers in isolated areas pay the higher costs of reaching them.

One of the problems with assessing USF fees is that they’re based on what has quickly become a less popular way of communicating. Fees are collected on a percentage of carriers’ revenue from long-distance calls. Intrastate calls are subject to fees for similar programs run by individual states, including California.

Revenue from long-distance calls, however, has been declining as conventional voice calling has been replaced by email, text messaging and Internet video calling services such as Skype.

So to raise the amounted needed for the USF every year, the FCC has had to increase the percentage of long-distance revenue subject to the fee. It has risen to 16.1% in December from 8.9% at the end of 2004.

Public interest groups have argued that because the fund increasingly is being used to pay for Internet access, companies that provide such services should be contributing.

“We’re funding broadband deployment with USF, but we’re not bringing broadband into the contribution base,” said Matt Wood, policy director at Free Press. “That’s just not sustainable long term.”

The Office of Ratepayer Advocates at the California Public Utilities Commission supported the FCC’s net neutrality regulations, in part, because they would give federal and state officials more ability to expand broadband access.

The rules would “ensure that broadband users share in the financial burdens” of providing the service, the office said. They also expose broadband providers to additional state fees.

If broadband is subject to new federal and state telecommunications fees, consumers could end up paying a total of as much as $11 billion a year more, said Hal Singer, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist Washington think tank.

“As soon as the joint federal-state board moves forward, states are free to do what they want,” said Singer, who studied the potential effect along with Robert Litan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Wood of Free Press said Singer’s estimate vastly overstates the potential effect because states would need to take steps to adapt their various fees. In addition, the Internet Tax Freedom Act prohibits any new taxes on Internet service that weren’t in place when the law was passed in 1998, although it’s unclear if the restriction applies to new fees.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Assn. trade group is worried about USF fees being applied to the service provided by its members, such as Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc.

As the FCC was considering the net neutrality rules, the group urged it to permanently prohibit assessing the fees on broadband because they would “undermine the efforts being made by cable operators and the commission to promote broadband adoption.”