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While it's great that the internet is an open, widely available network, this openness yields some security flaws. Most have been dealt with by encryption and other security measures, but one gaping hole remains unfixed. This major hole can cause massive, widespread outages or allow your data to be snooped on.
The problem resides in the routers used by every corporation or company who owns a block of IPs. These routers are constantly communicating with other routers in order to update internal information. This internal information, some 400,000 entries, contains the best routes to get to other networks using a protocol called Border Gateway Protocol (BGP).
According to InfoWorld, "BGP enables routers to find the best path when, say, a network used to retrieve a web page from South Korea is not working properly. Changes in that routing information are distributed quickly to routers around the world in as few as five minutes."
The flaw resides in the fact that the routers do not verify the "announcements." So outages can occur because people accidentally put in incorrect information or typos or because someone maliciously enters the information. The latter can cause data to be routed through someone's network where it can be sniffed and snooped upon.
Ever wanted to feel like a boss when writing, but didn't have the skills to do so? Well, you don't need skills if you want to use EssayTyper. EssayTyper turns your absolutely random keystrokes, or even pecking at the keyboard, into a literal piece of art. It's explained as:
EssayTyper uses a patented combination of magic and wikipedia to help you write your essay - fast!
That said, please don't ever try to use this legitimately. The magic part is not real...and that's plagiarism.
Once you've visited EssayTyper's website, you'll be placed into a page that looks like a Word document, where you can start typing away. You can type whatever you want, because it pulls information from Wikipedia on the subject of your choice.
If you are one of the growing number of consumers who doesn't have a credit or debit card to use while shopping online, WalMart has a new program designed just for you. According to WalMart, many of its customers shop paycheck to paycheck so they need more ways to purchase items online. This is where WalMart's "Pay with Cash" program comes in.
Obviously, most people's computers don't have any sort of cash terminal sitting there, so the program had to come up with a solution. How it works is you shop online and place your order. You receive an email receipt which you then take in to your local WalMart. Head to any register with the receipt and pay cash.
If you still have to go to the store, what's the point of shopping online? Well, WalMart.com offers a much wider selection of goods than the store counterparts do. Additionally, you can have the products shipped straight to your door, rather than having to walk around the store and pick them up.
"Many of our customers shop paycheck to paycheck and are looking for more ways to purchase items online but don't have the means to a credit, debit or prepaid card," Joel Anderson, president and CEO of Walmart.com, said today in a statement. "Our new 'Pay with Cash' offering is designed just for them. It makes it easier for our customers to shop the way they want, where they have access to a broader product selection at Walmart.com coupled with the convenience of payment and shipping as they want."
If you're anything like me, you certainly like to know how the things you use work. Well, I've been dying for a good, brief explanation of how Google works, and apparently I wasn't the only one. RobertvH from Munich did too and sent in a question to Google who produced a video explaining the crawling, indexing, and search portions of the process.
Mountain View's head of web-spam, Matt Cutts takes you through the process in the video. The short answer to the question is a lot of processing power and experience. Matt does a great job of keeping the audience engaged, so I really hope more videos like this get released. It really is a nice view into the inner workings of Google.
With construction completed on Facebook's new datacenter in Forest City, NC, Facebook has flipped the switch in one of the buildings and now it is serving Facebook traffic. The new datacenter broke ground in November 2010 and should be fully operational by the end of the year.
The datacenter is composed of two buildings which house the first major deployment of the v2 Open Compute Project web servers. These servers are based on Intel's lower power Sandy Bridge architecture. The whole of the datacenter was designed to conserve energy, hence the new web servers. The climate in North Carolina will test Open Compute's outdoor air cooling system, as the humidity and temperature is outside of what is normally needed inside a datacenter.
The datacenter stands as a trophy to Facebook's ongoing success as the servers are needed to power Facebook for its 845+ million users. The timing of the opening of the facility is almost perfect because Facebook is nearing an initial public offering which could value the company somewhere around $100 billion.
Dubbed 'The Promo Bay', The Pirate Bay would like to help promote your cool music, video, comedic skill, or other talent provided you allow free, easy access to the material that is being promoted. Submissions are thrown into a pool and occasionally one is picked to have their image replace the default Pirate Bay logo and be linked to the page of their choosing.
Originally they planned to release only a few submissions a year, but after 5000 people submitted applications to be promoted, the plans changed. "Thus far we've done 14 regular campaigns in 3 countries each and 8 worldwide promotions," Pirate Bay's Winston told TorrentFreak. "When we started the project the plan was to do a few worldwide promotions a year, but the submissions have been too good. So now we're gonna do the worldwide promos every weekend and some regulars every now and then."
The infamous term 'blog' has a new competitor. Similarly to how 'facial tissues' became 'Kleenex' or 'copies' became 'Xeroxes', 'blog' is set to become known as 'Tumblr' if the current trends, available here, continue. Usually the names of companies become synonymous with what they do only after they have achieved a majority usage.
This achievement would confirm that Tumblr really has established itself as the most popular blogging platform on the web. Currently, the term 'blog' is ahead of 'Tumblr' but XKCD blogger Randall Munroe believes that 'Tumblr' will see more Google searches by October 12 this year. If you want traffic to your blog, your best bet is to publish it on Tumblr.
As for Tumblr itself, it is looking to capitalize on its explosion of popularity. Tumblr has reiterated its commitment to keep ads off of the site, instead moving towards other forms of revenue generation. David Karp calls the $1 post highlighting "one of [Tumblr's] most successful revenue-generating features."
Many users of the popular Google service Gmail were reporting the service as unavailable this morning. The extent and cause of the outage are not known at the moment. Twitter was abuzz with reports from many users who are unable to access the service. The outage was not a complete outage as some people were still able to access the service.
Other services appeared to be down in conjunction with Gmail. If Gmail was down for you, it is likely that Docs and Google+ were unavailable for you as well. Google acknowledged the problem with a post Google's Apps status dashboard: "We're investigating reports of an issue with Google Mail. We will provide more information shortly."
At 10:40am PT Google Tweeted that, "#Gmail should be back for some of you already, and will be back for everyone soon. Thanks for your patience."
At 10:42am PT A Google spokesperson said, "We're aware that some users are experiencing an error when accessing their Gmail. We are working on a resolution and apologize for the inconvenience. Thanks for your patience."
At 11:00am PT Google's Apps status dashboard said, "The problem with Google Mail should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."
For all of the Harry Potter fans out there, Pottormore finally opens for all, sort of. You see, you can now register after providing some personal details to find out if you're magical or not, but that doesn't give you access. Your account has to be verified before you can access the site.
Unfortunately for us, the site's management has let it be known that the approval/verification process could be slow even though they plan to verify a steady stream of accounts. They make note that you may not gain access right away. Darn. Currently you will find e-books of all 7 books as well as the audiobook versions.
Once you do gain access, you will be able to have access to interactive tours of locations mentioned in the books and the virtual tools needed to practice your magical arts. The owners plan to add more features over the coming weeks and months. Additionally, after your registration is approved, you will be sorted into one of the four houses and be chosen by your wand.
Last year LastPass was the target of an alleged hacking attempt which forced them to ask users to change their passwords. Additionally, LastPass relies on browser plug-ins whereas this new service does not. With the upcoming release of Internet Explorer 10 and Windows 8 Metro, it will no longer support browser plug-ins which is a major issue.
This new service is set to be more secure than LastPass and work without any browser plug-ins or software installs. It will be more secure since your passwords are encrypted with a secure password phrase which isn't stored by the service. This means that they will be unable to see any of your passwords, not that they want to anyway.
my1login can sign users into any site with one click. Apps for iOS and Android are in the works. The new service has gained $1 million in funding which launched at the beginning of last month. They hope to go viral by allowing people who refer people to the service to get the pro version of the service. I'm not sure what the pro version offers.