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Facebook awards 'Internet Defense Prize'

Facebook on Wednesday awarded a $50,000 Internet Defense Prize to a pair of German researchers with a seemingly viable approach to detecting vulnerabilities in Web applications.

Johannes Dahse and Thorsten Holz from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany won the new cash award for a paper outlining how to find flaws hackers could exploit, according to the California based social network.

The committee behind the prize saw a "clear path" for using the money to build the research into technology that could be implemented in the real world.

"We decided to focus on creating greater opportunities and incentives for researchers to produce work that actually protects people," Facebook security engineering manager John Flynn said in a blog post.

"Our answer is the Internet Defense Prize, an award to recognize superior quality research that combines a working prototype with significant contributions to the security of the Internet -- particularly in the areas of protection and defense."

Flynn was a member of the award committee for the prize, which was announced at a USENIX Security Symposium in Southern California.

"USENIX is thrilled to collaborate with Facebook on this significant award, which shines a light on the importance of securing the Internet by identifying critical vulnerabilities and preventing their exploitation," association executive director Casey Henderson said in a released statement. 

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Google buys product design firm Gecko

oogle on Friday confirmed that it bought Gecko Design to bolster its lab devoted to technology-advancing projects such as self-driving cars and Internet-linked Glass eyewear.
Gecko Design specializes in working with engineers on designs early in the creation of new products.
"This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko," president Jacques Gagne said in a post on the company's website.
"We are very excited and honored to join Google X and work on a variety of cutting edge products," he said, referring to Google's reserach lab.
Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Google aims to store all human knowledge

Google is building the largest store of information in human history a knowledge base that autonomously gathers and merges data from across the web to provide unprecedented access to all facts about the world.

The search giant is building Knowledge Vault, a type of knowledge base - a system that stores information so that machines as well as people can read it.

Google's existing knowledge base, called Knowledge Graph, relies on crowdsourcing to expand its information, Deccan Chronicle reported.

However, humans could only take it so far so Google decided to automate the process.

It started building the Vault by using an algorithm to automatically pull in information from all over the web, using machine learning to turn the raw data into usable pieces of knowledge.

Knowledge Vault has pulled in 1.6 billion facts to date. Of these, 271 million are rated as "confident facts", to which Google's model ascribes a more than 90 per cent chance of being true, New Scientist reported.

Tom Austin, a technology analyst at Gartner in Boston, said that the world's biggest technology companies are racing to build similar vaults.

"Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon and IBM are all building them, and they're tackling these enormous problems that we would never even have thought of trying 10 years ago," he said.

Google researcher Kevin Murphy and his colleagues will present a paper on Knowledge Vault at the Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining in New York.

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Google AdSense Publish New Interface

Of course, the reporting metrics and summaries have changed a bit on this new design. And with that, there are complaints. We have threads at WebmasterWorld and GoogleAdSense Help. Here are some of the complaints:
Today i was forced to use the new homepage of adsense. There is no way back to the old one...
I really miss the statistic month till today earnings, i only have the last 7/28 days.
Yep, they switched me too. Can't go back. Great going, AdSense, my home page is full of metrics I don't care about. Oh well.
I appear to have been forcibly switched to the new Adsense homepage - the link to revert to the old one has disappeared.

Google Webmaster Faulty Redirects Notices May Be Ignored

Tons and tons of webmasters received them and some were scratching their heads as to why. They thought everything was set up properly.
A "rising star" in the Google Webmaster Help forums heard back from Google about the notice where they told him that the message sent out the other day, in some cases, can be ignored. He wrote:
FYI: We've now heard back from Google that this message might sometimes be sent a little bit "overenthusiastically" when there is no real problem. If you're happy you're not inappropriately 301 redirecting one or more URLs to your homepage (either on mobile, desktop, or both), and you're happy you have no faulty redirects or soft 404s (which could be obsolete URLs you're 301 redirecting to the home page instead of 404ing - and which might look like faulty mobile redirects if viewed only on a mobile), I suggest ignore the message. If you feel it's still a problem in a week or two, please do come back and we can take another look for you.
So if you got this message and think Google is wrong, double check and then ignore it if you are 100% confident:

Google SSL Issues

Google's John Mueller into the conversation on this at Twitter and he says the SSL certificates are indeed misconfigured. But the issue is, this is not always in the webmasters control.

John Mueller @JohnMu
@yoast @SEO @DaveNaylor @rustybrick Nothing changed with HTTPS crawling with this update. I'll check some URLs if you have any in the posts.

But the truth is, the site does respond with HTTPS but there is a mismatch error according to Qualys.
But the issue is, with shared hosts, CDNs and so on, the webmaster cannot always make the change and fix this issue themselves.

@rustybrick @JohnMu @SEO @yoast yer I have ask wells fargo to remove their ssl so to stop effecting the other site

Refreshing Penguin Is Not So Simple

Google refresh the algorithm to let those who paid their dues and made the fixes necessary come back in Google's good graces?

Penguin can't be a simple refresh, it needs a "complete data refresh" and that it is not just a basic "tweak." It needs a "complete rerun" of the algorithm and that is something they do not simply do "randomly." John added that this specific algorithm is taking longer because they want to "make sure it is the right type of data" and they do it right. To do it right, they need to test it and tweak it and then run the update with new data completely.
Google is working on it but 10 months later, is a long long time for many webmasters.
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