HTML5 is done, but two groups still wrestle over Web’s future

The following blog is an excerpt from the Cnet.com article ‘HTML5 is done, but two groups still wrestle over Web’s future’ by   

The World Wide Web Consortium finishes an update to this seminal Internet technology, but with two organizations in charge of the same Web standard, charting the Web’s future is a mess.

After a nearly 15-year gap, the World Wide Web Consortium said Tuesday it’s done standardizing the new version 5 of HTML, one of the two fundamental technologies that makes the Web work.

But while HTML5 is finished, a tug-of-war over how to set such standards — and therefore how to chart the future of the Web — is far from over. That’s because a second organization, the Web Hypertext Applications Technology Working Group, is also in charge of HTML, and a rift between the two appears to be widening instead of closing.

The tension between the W3C and the WHATWG has been present for years, but it’s got new consequences now: anything that slows the improvement of the Web means programmers are more likely to devote their energies to writing apps for smartphones and tablets running on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems instead of HTML5. When making their mobile operating systems, Google and Apple aren’t held back by the slower consensus-building processes used to make industry standards like HTML appeal to the broadest range of parties.

The Web isn’t dying, but slow development lets the world of mobile apps claim the initiative. The Web’s accomplishments — a computing system bigger than any one company working on it, and one with an impressive reach across the computing industry — diminish as its shortcomings rise to prominence.

In the meantime, the Web world must adjust to the differences between the two camps. The W3C, with a broader range of participants, uses a formally structured, deliberate, drawn-out process in which a series of drafts gradually become final standards released relatively infrequently. The WHATWG, born of browser makers’ cooperation when the W3C spurned their desire to improve HTML, produces a “living document” that’s continuously updated with the latest features and bug fixes. Where the W3C’s standard is fixed and stable, the WHATWG’s is fluid.

“It’s absolutely right that those different interest groups slug it out,” said Bruce Lawson, co-author of a book on HTML5 and an open standards advocate with browser maker Opera Software. “The Web is the biggest platform we’ve ever had. Therefore, it has more constituencies and competing interests than we’ve ever seen.”

W3C: The Web will win

W3C Chief Executive Jeff Jaffe acknowledges that the mobile app world is attracting a lot of developer interest. But in his view, the Web will prevail in the long run because it can span so many devices.

“There’s plenty of time for us to catch up,” Jaffe said. “The power and promise of interoperability across platforms is extraordinarily powerful. The mobile app was just the for the phone, but now it’s not. It’s going to be the e-book reader, the automobile, the TV. And all the sudden, the promise of interoperability is going to become even more important than when it was just the phone.”

To that end, Jaffe posted a blog earlier this month on application foundations. It calls for improvements in eight areas to make Web technologies more competitive with Android and iOS when it’s time for developers to write apps.

“What I’m trying to do is change the culture of the Web community to also think about what the developers need,” Jaffe said — not just nuts and bolts but functions like security, payments and tools that work even if a device isn’t connected to the Net.

Redmonk analyst Stephen O’Grady, who follows programmer issues, agrees that life is too hard for Web developers. “Native development” — writing apps for a specific operating system rather than for a Web browser on all operating systems — “is much more straightforward.”

Jaffe hopes to tackle these future standards issues this week in Santa Clara, Calif., at the W3C’s annual Technical Plenary Advisory Committee (TPAC) conference. Alex Russell — a Google employee who’s trying to improve the W3C through work on its Technical Architecture Group (TAG) — said TPAC also is a place to wrestle with the conflict around the best way to make standards.

“I think anyone trying to understand how screwed up this situation is really should come to W3C’s TPAC,” Russell said. “All of the agitators…will be there.”

HTML5 and W3C’s patent protections

For the W3C, the release of the final version of HTML5 — a step formally called a “recommendation” — is immensely significant. The nonprofit group was founded precisely to do such work, but the last version it released — HTML 4.01 — came in December 1999. The biggest change for average users of the Web, far and away, is video that becomes as ordinary as text and still images were before. That helps free the Web from browser plugins like Adobe Systems’ Flash Player that extend browser abilities but which also open them to new security and performance risks.

 

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This Is What Happens When a Bootleg Website Falls

From the Gizmodo.com Article by Darren Orf

Bootleg websites, usually tucked away in some shady digital corner filled with pornographic pop up ads and potentially malignant viruses, are a permanent fixture on the internet. Offering up tons of illegally free content, these sites’ creators are the reason why publishing execs toss and turn in their sleep.

Some become internet celebrities and millionaires, much like Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom, most others aren’t so fortunate. The New York Times’ Jenna Wortham documented the life of Hana Beshara, known as Queen Phara and founder of the infamous NinjaVideo. The website’s short, two-year lifespan between 2008 and 2010 allowed users to download almost any TV show or movie you could imagine—all free of charge.

NinjaVideo, as well as a glutton of other online piracy sites, represented the untamed lawlessness of digital copyright infringement. But in 2008, legal streaming options became available to the masses, and these illegal sites suddenly became even bigger targets than before, as the article describes:

Unknown to Ms. Beshara and her collaborators, NinjaVideo had been targeted by the Motion Picture Association of America, which says the site aided in the infringement of millions of dollars’ worth of copyrighted movies, television programs and software products. NinjaVideo went live the same year as Hulu and Netflix Instant, Netflix’s video streaming service, and the M.P.A.A. was trying to reroute Internet users to legitimate online streaming outlets like them. The M.P.A.A. identified what it saw as other offending sites, too, like NinjaThis.com and TVShack.net, and funneled the names to the government. Eventually, those sites went offline as well.

Wortham describes Beshara as a kind of scapegoat who the federal government wanted to “make an example of” to prove that they meant business. After spending 16 months in prison, Beshara was released in April 2013, marked by an exuberant proclamation posted online: “I’m back, bitches.” However, her parole keeps from contacting any of her old NinjaVideo compatriots until 2015, but even if she has no plans to return to the piracy game, she still has no regrets.

Bootleg or piracy websites are an interesting cog in the digital streaming machine. Don’t get me wrong, they’re illegal…extremely illegal. Beshara says she made near $210,000 in only two years, according to NYT. But if it wasn’t for these sites’ existence, it’s hard to picture what online streaming would look like today. Bootleg websites fulfilled (and still fulfill…don’t lie) that basic Veruca Salt desire of “I want it now” and the publishing industry may need to adjust to those desires.

Content providers, Mr. Swanston says, will eventually have to consider new delivery models that are more closely aligned with how people behave. He imagines collaborations with streaming services to release content or simultaneously scheduling theater and digital streaming releases — ideas he hopes his company can help bring about. Some companies, like BitTorrent, which makes file-sharing technology, are already experimenting in this arena.

Just this Friday, BitTorrent teamed up with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke to release a full length solo album, a first glimpse of BitTorrent’s future role in digital distribution, so in some ways, they way we purchase creative content online might already be changing. NinjaVideo, and other sites like it, are no doubt criminal operations, but those illegal outside pressures needed to exist in order to form the paid streaming structure we have today. That’s why sites like NinjaVideo will always be around.

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Thank You Google Fiber For Getting TWC/Comcast to Boost My Speed

Originally reported in the Kansas City Star and reblogged by Gizmodo.com. TWC/Comcast’s Kansas City area customers received a speed boost as Google Fiber’s competition has done what it should… benefit consumers.

As TWC and Comcast watched their market share has shrink with Google Fiber picking up speed in the Metro market they had to do something to keep up and they did by increasing speeds. Customers in KC who pay for 25mbps are being upped to 50mbps free of charge and the same goes for the 50mbps users who saw their speeds double as well. The only tier that didn’t double in speed was the 105mbps group who jumped up to 150mbps (probably a limitation of hardware/cable media).

See true competition does make for better pricing for consumers. We hope Google Fiber continues to press on especially if it will force companies to truly compete for our business.

 

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USA Internet Compared to Other Countries

TWC just called and want to offer you a high speed internet package of a whopping 12mb download / 1.5mb upload for the low monthly price of $24.95 (introductory rate good for 12mo, then will double). Sounds like a good deal until you do the math,  your paying $2 per MB and up to $4 per MB after your intro period rate. To give you perspective of why that is not a great deal lets look abroad; in Russia the price per MB is as cheap as 50¢.  Adding further insult to injury are our speeds vs other developed countries, for example Hong Kong internet speeds range between 70-80mbps on average. How is it that the leading country of the free world is the slowest of all developed nations? Will it ever get better? We don’t know why it’s this way aside from the lack of competition and once net neutrality goes away I fear it will only get worse. For graphs showing ranking check HERE.

-R

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Heartbleed still leaves 300,000 servers exposed.

Heartbleed Still Leaves 300,000 Servers Exposed.

A while back we posted that Heartbleed was in decline but a new study shows that 2 months later more than 300k of the original 600k servers were still unpatched leaving your login details and password available to be exploited.

Based on the CNET.com article found HERE by Charlie Osborne, now that the major top companies online have patched the issues smaller organizations may not follow suit.

While Heartbleed only affects servers it never hurts to have check your machine for virus/malware. If you computer has been running slow, you’re worried about losing data, or you just need email setup give us ring or stop on by the shop at 119th Street and we’ll get you taken care of.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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DSL Speeds Are Not Quite What Your ISP Advertised

DSL Internet Speeds Are Not Quite What Your ISP Advertised

The FCC completed its 4th annual report on broadband speeds and not everyone came out smelling like a rose, specifically 4 DSL providers : Verizon (FiOS), Century Link, Frontier, and Windstream were well under their advertised speeds according to the report found HERE. Based on comparative speeds between Fiber and Coax based broadband internet, DSL can’t compete contrary to what Comcast’s David Cohen may have tried to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee. If your a DSL customer and you don’t think your getting your advertised speeds then head over to Speedtest.net, run a test, and see what your real speeds are.

If speeds look good but your network is still running behind give us a call at 913-219-1895 and we can take a look at your Network Setup.

Check out the original article by Adam Clarke Estes at Gizmodo.com HERE

 

Another Potential Heartbleed Plugged

Another Potential Heartbleed Plugged

Hot on the heels of Heartbleed another OpenSSL has been discovered and corrected. Discovered in May, this latest exploit could allow attacks between servers and client using OpenSSL but rest assured it is a difficult exploit to execute. Relying on a “man-in-the-middle” attack, a compromised router, switch, and etc. , to strip encryption from transmitted data.

So with all that scary stuff out of the way here’s the skinny: The average Joe has nothing to worry about as this exploit doesn’t effect desktop browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari, or Chrome. This is mostly a server related risk (so keep an eye out Admins!) but as stated above it has already been patched with the latest update.

Safe Browsing everyone and have a great weekend.

For more information check here

 

Cryptolocker Hackers Caught

Bye, Bye Cryptolocker

If you were one of the poor souls to get the Cryptolocker virus in last few years you may have asked yourself “when will they catch these guys?” Well today is your lucky day, your prayers have been answered, and hopefully we will see the end of the Cryptolocker virus. As reported by USA Today, Federal agents have shutdown the Zeus Botnet, they have identified the hacker/hacker group, and they will be charged with a multitude of charges ranging from hacking to wire fraud. The only downside is that Bogachev, the leader of the hacking group, is currently on the LAM.

With their botnet down could this be the end of the Cryptolocker virus? I’d like to say yes but only time will tell.

For more information regarding this story click Here.

Don’t burn through Data watching cat videos again

Never Burn Through Data Watching Cat Videos Again

If you ever found yourself watching a long YouTube video on phone only to realize you weren’t on Wi-Fi suddenly panic sits in as you ponder how much data did I use and how much do I have left before the end of my billing cycle. It doesn’t just happen to the average joe but to the tech guys as well, we take for granted that our phones immediately connect our Wi-Fi whenever they are near.

For iOS users your in luck by changing a few settings you can avoid further panic down the road and we’re here to show you how. Go into Settings and scroll to cellular, once inside the Cellular window select the apps you only want using Wi-Fi. You can always give the apps access to cell data later on.

For Android go to Settings then click Data Usage from there scroll down to the app you want to restrict.  Scroll to the bottom of the window and check the Restrict Background Data checkbox, this will only allow the app to run over Wi-Fi.

With these settings in place you should be able to reduce data burnout and overage.
Happy Surfing!

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality
You’ve heard it in the news in recent days and months but what is Net Neutrality?  “Net neutrality (also network neutrality or Internet neutrality) is the principle that ISP’s and governments should treat all data on the internet equally, not discriminating or charging differentially by user, content, site, platform, application, type of attached equipment, and modes of communication. ” – Net Neutrality

Love watching HD content on Netflix, watching cat videos on YouTube, or gaming online? Without net neutrality in place your ISP, for example Comcast or AT&T, will now be able to throttle down the speeds of their network for services that use greater resources on their network. With that being said it will also allow ISP’s the ability to create tiered packages that allow better data throughput for protocols within that tier package.

Check out what the ACLU thinks about Net Neutrality.

It’s a very hazy area this thing Net Neutrality and ultimately we don’t know where it will go, but what we do know is that life will continue to move on.