Web Hosting News
Written by Jeremy Jensen
Tuesday, November 18th, 2014
Amidst our globalized world where everything and everyone is getting connected online, it’s easy to get caught up in cyberspace and forget that you are using a technology barely fifty years old. That’s right, the Internet originated in the early 60’s and yet the Web seems to now infiltrate every facet of our everyday lives. Be it in your content consumption, your car, your home, or even your own body.
Integrating growing technologies and the best methods, the Internet is truly evolving faster than we could ever have imagined, not just becoming a larger part in our lives, but life itself. And thus, I dare introduce to you, the latest prediction as to the Internets next grand step — Web 3.0.
“Wait,” you’re thinking “so when did Web 2.0 happen?” Believe it or not, you’re reading this on 2.0 right now. Although Web 2.0 leads you to believe that you somehow downloaded some official upgrade from the 1.0 static version without knowing it, be informed that there is no formal patch or update.
Rather, Web 2.0 is a blanket term for the generation of interactive social media functions on most modern sites. Instead of a basic webpage that only allows passive content viewing, Web 2.0 incorporates a virtual community where the user may engage in a dialogue and interact with the site’s creator and others; for example, a 2.0 site could be a product’s site with a review board, a blog with a comments section, or even an Ask-Me-Anything page on Reddit. Also known as the Social Web or the Mobile Web, 2.0 strives to be a communication tool for collaborating and sharing with one another– people connecting with people.
Building upon 2.0’s notion of connecting people, the next generation will attempt to link us with information and be a “Smart Web.” Though some are skeptical at the very mention of artificial intelligence, most of us subscribe to the idea that technology, science, and people are all working symbiotically at an unprecedented rate to create more efficient tools. Whether or not this means sentient, free-thinking machines and The Singularity one day is up for debate, but what is clear, is that humans are using the Internet much like an extra brain. And this is precisely where Web 3.0 comes in — it’s a “Semantic Web” that would provide a uniform framework so that data could be shared, analyzed, and reapplied across all applications and platforms for unlimited function, maximum effectiveness, and with minimal human interaction. This essentially means that there would be a such a sophisticated element in the web that it could actually “understand” you and interpret what you want.
Sci-fi crazy nonsense? Some may think so, but I think it is closer than most people would care to believe. Take Siri for example. She is a “Knowledge Navigator” that utilizes a natural language user interface that adapts to individual preferences and eventually customizes results for you. Now if you can consider an Internet experience that would combine this technology with all your personalizations collated and surmised from Big Data collection, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. Through the sites that you frequent, the past searches you have made, products you have bought, links you have posted, pages you have liked, personal descriptors you have provided, a semblance of the user’s identity is formulated. It then uses this personalized data as a metric in which to measure, screen, and ultimately select what is best suited to your needs. In layman’s terms, Web 3.0 will attempt to be an online version of yourself that does all of your surfing for you.
The Future of the Web
The convergence of emerging and developing technologies will continue to reshape, innovate, and disrupt current web standards; however, it is imperative to remain objective to a point with its role. As technology becomes ubiquitous, it will be increasingly difficult to ask ourselves the hard questions, like are we missing a natural and organic method to our own madness by letting the Internet pervade all stages of humanity?
This is not to say that we should be wary of The Terminator or The Matrix coming true (if it hasn’t already), but rather ask if there ever should be lines drawn. In light of Edward Snowden’s leaked government documents on mass surveillance and data mining, it is safe to say that technology is quickly becoming a double-edged sword that every person will have to wield. Will it be the machete that cuts a path or will it be the blade in our own Seppuku? The choice is ultimately ours.
Written by Patrick Pelanne
Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Tonight Google announced a flaw in the design of SSL v3. We have been tracking this issue after we heard whisperings in private security circles last week. Upon disclosure of the details we began remediating immediately.
The vast majority of end users should not experience any issues as a result of the changes we’re making. In fact, Google estimates this change will affect less than 1% of the internet. (The SSL 3.0 protocol is almost 15 years old but has remained in place to support users running older browsers.)
The attack vector for this vulnerability has prerequisites and is very sophisticated. As such, the real world severity is far below the recent Heartbleed & Shellshock vulnerabilities.
Check out Google’s Security blog for details.
If you would like to be 100% protected, you can disable SSLv3 in your browser settings. Information on how to do this in a few popular browsers can be found here.
Written by Sean Valant
Thursday, September 25th, 2014
The bad guys are unfortunately at it again. Today the Internet lit up with news of a new vulnerability, officially named “CVE-2014-6271,” but more widely-known as “Shell Shock,” a reference to the environment exploited, known as a shell.. The shell in question is called BASH, itself an acronym for Bourne Again SHell. Nearly all Linux servers in the world have BASH installed; it is the most common shell in use today. A shell itself is what is used to interact with the operating system via command line.
Before we proceed, you should know that all HostGator servers have been patched as of this writing. We identified the issue very early-on and developed the necessary solution for our environment. We are, of course, continuing to monitor the situation and will react appropriately should the need arise.
As with any security or vulnerability risk, it is important to reiterate the importance of practicing good security to the extent of your ability as an end user. Always use secure passwords (you know the drill: upper- and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters), always keep any third-party scripts (such as WordPress, Joomla, etc.) up-to-date, and always uses the latest version of any software that you utilize… because the truth is that often software is updated strictly for security patch purposes.
Should the need arise, we will update this blog post accordingly. Otherwise, stay safe out there on the Interwebs!
Written by Brandi Bennett
Monday, June 30th, 2014
Over the last year the news has been filled with more and more information on the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. Some people are for it, some people are against it, and some wish to receive more information about the TPP before they decide. There are a few issues with this. The TPP is, at its core, a trade alliance, one that if agreed upon will create a partnership between twelve countries. Now, we have many different trade alliances between the U.S. and countries around the world, and there are those that argue that this is just one more. It is someone else’s responsibility to know what’s going on, they might argue, or they, mistakenly, believe that it doesn’t concern them.
We let you know about SOPA back in 2011, and now we’re letting you know about TPP, or, to be more accurate, we are letting you know what it is possible to know about the TPP. There are many different areas covered, from food to imports and exports, but the reason we bring it to your attention is due to its potential effects on the internet.
As a precursor, it is important to note that there is a distinct lack of transparency associated with the TPP; unlike other trade agreements of the past, this one is being done in secret, and very little information is making its way to the public eye, all of which has been leaked.
From those documents, however, it is possible to see that many of the principles of SOPA that we disagreed with so strongly have been included in the TPP. Though it will do far more than this, and affect far more areas than just the Internet, the most important thing for Internet users to pay attention to is the fact that it will work to decrease the online rights of companies and users alike, reducing Internet freedoms and working to increase the likelihood of net neutrality disappearing into the mists of time, something spoken of as a myth that never was.
These online freedom restrictions would not only work to restrict, and in some cases, remove freedom of speech from the internet, but, in essence, the parties who are in agreement with the TPP would have to abide by the same laws as the country with the strictest control over their users’ internet usages; an approach that would include the necessity of users to take down pages without question and remain down until such a time as the site owner could prove the right to post it, instead of applying the traditional laws that require the hosting provider to provide proof to the owner that the site must be removed and must provide the owner with a reasonable amount of time to do so before blocking access to the site itself.
Things Continue to Unfold
As more and more information on the TPP is leaked, more users are working to take action, lobbying politicians to take action against approval of the TPP. Google’s placed considerable time and effort into doing so, and now the AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations – a national trade union center) is pushing for the government to decline to participate as well.
As we said back in 2011 – “We here at HostGator support a free internet. An internet in which free information and unhindered distribution of said information is an unalienable human right.” We still stand by this statement and we believe that you need to know what is occurring in regards to this most troubling piece of legislation.
Image Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation. (2014). TPP Banner. [image online] Available at: https://www.eff.org/sites/default/files/TPP-banner.png [Accessed: 27 Mar 2014].