Yearly Archives: 2018

A New Way To Track Google Images In Google Analytics

The following post is taken from the Google Press Office.

Every day, hundreds of millions of people use Google Images to visually discover and explore content on the web. Whether it be finding ideas for your next baking project, or visual instructions on how to fix a flat tire, exploring image results can sometimes be much more helpful than exploring text.

For webmasters, it hasn’t always been easy to understand the role Google Images plays in driving site traffic. To address this, we will roll out a new referer URL specific to Google Images over the next few months. The referer URL is part of the HTTP header, and indicates the last page the user was on and clicked to visit the destination webpage.

If you create software to track or analyze website traffic, we want you to be prepared for this change. Make sure that you are ingesting the new referer URL, and attribute the traffic to Google Images. The new referer URL is: https://images.google.com.

If you use Google Analytics to track site data, the new referral URL will be automatically ingested and traffic will be attributed to Google Images appropriately. Just to be clear, this change will not affect Search Console. Webmasters will continue to receive an aggregate list of top search queries that drive traffic to their site.

We hope this change will foster a healthy visual content ecosystem. If you’re interested in learning how to optimize your pages for Google Images, please refer to the Google Image Publishing Guidelines. If you have questions, feedback or suggestions, please let us know through the Webmaster Tools Help Forum.

The new referer URL has the same country code top level domain (ccTLD) as the URL used for searching on Google Images. In practice, this means that most visitors worldwide come from images.google.com. That’s because last year, we made a changeso that google.com became the default choice for searchers worldwide. However, some users may still choose to go directly to a country specific service, such as google.co.uk for the UK. For this use case, the referer uses that country TLD (for example, images.google.co.uk)




Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Microsoft Is Killing Off Skype Classic And Bringing Call Recording To Skype 8.0

Ever since Skype first launched fifteen years ago, people have been using a wide range of software and work-arounds to record calls. There’s lots of different programs written for Mac, Windows, and Linux (which even get their own Skype support page), but it’s still inaccessible to people that don’t have the time, skills or inclination to fiddle with system sound settings.

Microsoft is rolling out a cross-platform Skype recording feature by the end of the month, according to the report, with a cloud-based system that will record everyone’s video and screen sharing during the call.

They said they are rolling out an updated version of Skype (version 8.0) for desktop that will replace Skype version 7.0 (also known as Skype classic).

Microsoft are encouraging everyone to upgrade now to avoid any inconvenience as only Skype version 8.0 will work after September 1, 2018. As they roll out improvements, there comes a time when they must shut down older services and application versions. This is done to ensure that all customers have the best possible Skype experience, and that there are no quality or reliability issues resulting from old technology and new technology interoperating. They know change can be hard, so they are working to make the update as simple as possible. For help with the upgrade, please visit our support site.

Microsoft is eager for people to migrate to Skype 8.0 rather than seeking out an alternative, and to encourage this the company has shared details of planned updates for the chat client. On the horizon are private conversations, a new Skype for iPad experience, and read receipts. But the feature that’s likely to generate the most interest will be call recording which Microsoft describes:

Take call snapshots to the next level with call recording. Capture a special Skype calls with loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues. Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded — so there are no surprises. Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call.




Here are some of the new features that come with Skype version 8.0— the most powerful, intuitive, and flexible version of Skype version yet:

  • Free HD video and screensharing calls—Get together with 1 or 24 of your friends, families, or colleagues no matter what device they use Skype on. See everyone in high definition, view 1080px video, and share things together.
  • More productive messaging—Express how you’re feeling by reacting to messages in conversations. Use @mentions to easily grab someone’s attention in a group chat. Simply type the @ symbol followed by their name to trigger a notification for them. You can easily find all your @mentions and get back to people in the notification center.
  • Chat media gallery—Looking for the link or photo sent a few weeks ago? Chat media gallery makes it easy to find files, links, and photos that were shared in a conversation, whether it was yesterday or last month. No more scrolling through your chat history—just click Gallery under the chat name to see all the files, links, and photos in the conversation.
  • Share photos, videos, and other files—Share up to 300 MB at a time over Skype just by dragging and dropping files into your conversation window.

Here’s a sneak peek at more new features we’re starting to roll out now with more coming later this summer:

  • Skype version 8.0 rolling out on iPad—Features such as quoted messages, personalized themes, chat list, @mentions, and more are now available on the Skype for iPad experience.
  • Read receipts—See at a glance who’s read your messages. Once someone reads your message, their avatar appears beneath it in the Skype chat—enabling you to see how far someone has read in the conversation without tapping every message. This is especially useful in group conversations to help you make sure everyone is caught up with the latest messages.
  • Private Conversations—Have end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and send text messages or files—such as images, audio, or videos—using the industry standard Signal Protocol. Messages and notifications in these conversations will be hidden in the chat list to keep the information you share private. More information can be found at the Private Conversations FAQ.
  • Call recording—Take call snapshots to the next level with call recording. Capture a special Skype calls with loved ones or record important meetings with colleagues. Call recording is completely cloud-based, and as soon as you start recording, everyone in the call is notified that the call is being recorded—so there are no surprises. Call recordings combine everyone’s video as well as any screens shared during the call.
  • Profile invites—Easily start a conversation or call with people who aren’t on Skype yet. Simply go to your profile in Skype and tap the Share Profile option to invite friends to join you on Skype.
  • Group links—Quickly get a group together on Skype, for either a group chat or call. Create a new group and tap the Invite More People option to share a link to your group. Anyone you send the link to can join your group quickly and simply.





Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

TV Streaming Services Overtake Pay TV For First Time

The number of UK subscriptions to television streaming services like Netflix has overtaken those to traditional pay television for the first time, marking a major shift in the UK’s viewing habits.

The amount of revenue generated from pay TV has also fallen for the first time, after a period of sustained growth, new research from Ofcom finds.

Spending by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, on new UK-made television programmes fell to a 20-year low. At the same time, people are spending less time watching television: average daily broadcast viewing on the television set fell by nine minutes in 2017 – and is down 38 minutes since 2012.

The findings are part of Ofcom’s Media Nations report, a comprehensive study of major trends in the UK’s television, radio and audio sectors, published today.

The report highlights a competitive shift within the UK television industry, driven by the rise of the major global internet companies and the changing habits and preferences of UK audiences. With more choice for viewers than ever before, UK broadcasters are competing for viewers in an increasingly fragmented landscape.

Key findings include:

Streaming overtakes established pay TV. The total number of UK subscriptions to the three most popular online streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime and Sky’s Now TV – reached 15.4 million[4] in Q1 2018, overtaking, for the first time, the number of pay TV subscriptions, at 15.1 million; and

  • Pay TV revenue declines for first time Following a period of sustained growth, the UK’s pay TV providers saw a 2.7% decrease in total revenue last year to £6.4bn. In contrast, the increasing number of streaming subscriptions contributed to a 28% growth in online audio-visual revenues, to £2.3bn in 2017. Meanwhile, television advertising income fell by 7%, to £3.9bn;
  • PSB spending down. The BBC, ITV Channel 4 and Channel 5’s £2.5bn combined network spending on original UK-made programmes in 2017 represents a record low –  and is £1bn (28%) less than the 2004 peak of £3.4bn. An increase in funding from third parties towards the cost of programme-making (from £147m in 2008 to £338m in 2017 across the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5) has partly helped to mitigate this decline.
  • Broadcast TV viewing declines… The amount of time spent watching broadcast television on the TV set has continued to decline and, in 2017, stood at an average of 3 hours 22 minutes a day, down nine minutes (4.2%) on 2016, and 38 minutes (15.7%) since 2012. Among children and viewers aged 16 to 34, declines were steeper, leading to the over-65s watching four times as much broadcast television as children in 2017.
  • … As viewing habits shift online. Total daily viewing time across all devices stands at 5 hours one minute, of which two-thirds (three hours 33 minutes or 71%) was to broadcast content, and 1 hour 28 minutes to non-broadcast content. However, among 16 to 34-year-olds, total daily viewing time in 2017 was 4 hours 48 minutes, of which less than half (two hours 11 minutes or 46%) was to broadcast content, while just under an hour per day was spent watching content on YouTube.

Sharon White, Ofcom’s Chief Executive, said: “Today’s research finds that what we watch and how we watch it are changing rapidly, which has profound implications for UK television.

“We have seen a decline in revenues for pay TV, a fall in spending on new programmes by our public service broadcasters, and the growth of global video streaming giants. These challenges cannot be underestimated.

“But UK broadcasters have a history of adapting to change. By making the best British programmes and working together to reach people who are turning away from TV, our broadcasters can compete in the digital age.”

Television and online video revenues in 2017

Average minutes of daily broadcast TV viewing on the TV set, by age





How people are watching TV

The Media Nations report also shows how increased take-up of superfast broadband and connected televisions is driving changes in how people watch TV.

Across all devices, the UK’s total television and audio-visual daily viewing in 2017 reached five hours and one minute.

The majority of this daily viewing (three hours 33 minutes or 71%) was to broadcast television, with the remainder (one hour 28 minutes or 29%) to non-broadcast content, such as YouTube and subscription on-demand services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.

Younger viewers (age 16-34), however, watched more non-broadcast than broadcast content – an average of 2 hours 37 minutes a day (54%) across all devices, compared with 2 hours 11 minutes (46%) respectively.

Total audiovisual viewing time spent, all individuals vs. 16-34s

Risks to public service broadcasting, but satisfaction remains high

Viewers’ confidence in public service broadcasting remains high. Of those people who watch channels from the public service broadcasters, three-quarters (75%) say they are satisfied, and 84% of people considered trusted news to be the most important feature of their output.

But the report also underlines the challenges facing the UK’s public service broadcasters from changing technology, audience fragmentation and global competition.

It reinforces Ofcom’s call, earlier this year, for UK broadcasters to collaborate to compete to match online competitors’ growing scale. That means UK broadcasters joining forces with each other, or with third parties, to share ideas and pool resources.

Ofcom expects public service broadcasters to adapt for the digital age by finding new ways to distribute programmes; capture younger audiences; and make world-class content that reflects life in the UK – which has not typically been a focus for global internet video streaming companies.

Music streaming overtakes physical sales

As with video streaming, music streaming services, like Apple Music and Spotify, continue to soar in popularity. For the first time, music industry revenues from online streaming subscriptions exceeded physical sales in 2017. Total retail music sales grew by 6% in real terms between 2016 and 2017 driven by a 38% increase in online streaming service subscriptions to £577m.

In contrast, overall sales of physical music formats fell to £470m.The shift away from music ownership towards streaming was reflected by a 25% drop in sales of music downloads.

Almost a quarter (23%) of all adults listen to music via streaming services each week, increasing to over half (51%) of those aged 15-24.

Radio listening reached a significant milestone in the first quarter of 2018, as, for the first time, more than half of all listening hours (50.9%) were through a digital platform – DAB, online or through digital TV.

This is being driven by an increase in the proportion of adults who now have a DAB set (64%) and the greater choice of national commercial stations now available to listeners.



Story via Ofcom

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Trivum MusicCenter / Trivum Multiroom Setup Tool control.xml Code Execution [CVE-2018-13858]

Trivum MusicCenter / Trivum Multiroom Setup Tool could allow a remote attacker to execute arbitrary code on the system, caused by a flaw in the /xml/system/control.xml. By sending a specially-crafted request, an attacker could exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the system or cause the device to reboot.

This issue affects an unknown function of the file /xml/system/control.xml. The manipulation of the argument ?action=reboot as part of a GET Request leads to a privilege escalation vulnerability. Using CWE to declare the problem leads to CWE-269. Impacted is confidentiality, integrity, and availability.

CVE number – CVE-2018-13858

Resolution

Upgrade to the latest version of Trivum MusicCenter / Trivum Multiroom Setup Tool (9.34 build 13381 – 12.07.18 or later), available from the Trivum Web site.




Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Sophos Release Intercept X Advanced For Server

Sophos have now released Intercept X Advanced for Server. They have enhanced their existing server products to further protect customers against advanced server-targeted attacks.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Intercept X Advanced for Server (formerly Central Server Protection Advanced)
    Now includes deep learning, exploit protection, anti-hacker mitigations, and root cause analysis.
  • Central Server Protection (formerly Central Server Protection Standard)
    Now includes malicious traffic detection (MTD), Synchronized Security Heartbeat™, application control, peripheral control, web control and data loss prevention.

Sophos Central Server customers can enjoy all the new capabilities within their current license. New customers have access to these features from today, and existing customers can update their policies to include them. Read the Knowledge Base article for details on how you can take advantage of these features.

Check out the following tools to learn more about Intercept X Advanced for Server:

And to start your free trial go to the Intercept X Advanced for Server web page.




Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Intel Celebrates 50 Years of Innovation

Fifty years ago, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore founded Intel with a purpose: To ponder what might be possible. To imagine, to question and to do wonderful in pursuit of a better future.

In April 1969, Intel introduced its first product: the 3101 static random access memory.

Intel had begun operations less than a year earlier, in August 1968. At first, the company dedicated itself wholly to research and development, wanting to make the most of its fresh start and develop new technologies instead of just replicating old ones. To develop a product as quickly as possible, the company had pursued three technologies at once: bipolar memory, a product that used established technology but was hard to develop; silicon gate metal-oxide semiconductor memory, which could revolutionize chipmaking but needed to be invented first; and multichip memory, in which four small memory chips were linked together to create a device that was bulky and fragile but cheap. Whichever device proved its viability the fastest would become Intel’s first product.

The winner turned out to be the bipolar memory, the 64-bit 3101, a product whose speed in development was a victory in itself.

Honeywell Inc. had announced a readiness to purchase 64-bit SRAMs from any company that made them, trigging a competition among memory manufacturers. As a new company, Intel started at the back of the pack. In trying to develop a product that was faster and more powerful than its competitors’, Intel was placing a wager that it could conquer the standard obstacles more quickly than conventional wisdom thought possible — and do so while facing all the additional problems that came with building a semiconductor fabrication operation from scratch.

The wager paid off. The 64-bit SRAM chip achieved twice the speed of SRAMs already on the market. Honeywell chose not to use the chip, but Intel found success with other customers. Perhaps more important, as a Silicon Valley historian noted in 2014, the technical

victory sent a message: “The company was on its way — and had given notice to the rest of the industry that it would be a serious competitor, a technological innovator and manufacturer capable of achieving high enough yields to get to the market in the shortest amount of time.”

Bipolar memory used established technology. Competitors who took comfort in that fact would not have that consolation for long. Intel’s next product, the 1101 SRAM, would be a far bigger milestone in the history of technology. Released later in 1969, the 1101 was the first commercial chip to use a metal-oxide semiconductor process and rely on silicon gates rather than metal. It changed semiconductor technology forever while establishing an important revenue stream for Intel.

Between the two devices, the 3101 and the 1101, Intel had established in its first year that it could outperform competitors in improving established technologies while also beating them to the development of long-sought breakthroughs.




The Intel 3101 static random-access memory, Intel’s first product. (Credit: Intel Corporation)

The integrated circuit was only six years old in 1965 when Gordon Moore articulated “Moore’s Law,” the principle that would guide microchip development from that point forward.

Moore was director of research & development at Fairchild Semiconductor, the same firm where Robert Noyce had conceived the integrated circuit in 1959. In the years following Noyce’s breakthrough, the applications for the new technology were primarily of interest to the military, but as engineers continued to refine the devices, integrated circuits showed a propensity to steadily grow in complexity while dropping in price. Observing these trends, Moore published a paper entitled “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits” in the April 19, 1965, issue of the trade journal Electronics.

In that paper, Moore famously predicted that the number of components it was possible to fit into a state-of-the-art microchip would double approximately every year for the next 10 years, a principle that would become known as Moore’s Law.

Moore proved remarkably accurate. According to his prediction, by 1975 a state-of-the-art microchip should have been capable of containing up to 65,000 transistors. The actual count for a new series of memory chip released that year was 65,536 — Moore had been accurate to within a single percentage point over the span of a decade.





Story text, Images and Video via Intel.

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Russia’s World Cup Infrastructure Suffers 25 Million Cyber-attacks On It

Russian president Vladimir Putin said there were 25 million attempted cyber-attacks targeting the country’s “information infrastructure” linked to the World Cup.

“During the World Cup almost 25 million cyberattacks and other criminal attempts on Russia’s information infrastructure, connected in one way or another to the running of the football World Cup, were neutralized,” the president is quoted in a transcript of a meeting with security forces published Monday.

Sean Sullivan, security advisor at F-Secure emailed SC Media UK to put those big numbers into perspective, commenting: “Clearly there weren’t 25 million “cyber-attacks”. (Which would be physically destructive if properly defined.) And what about DDoS attacks? Unlikely. What then? IP addresses and other related activity? Probably. I have no doubt that threat monitoring would have generated 25 million suspicious data points during the World Cup.

“So, it would be more accurate to say something such as unauthorised network scans and DDoS attempts were monitored and successfully mitigated on an impressive scale, requiring tens of millions of data points to be processed. Well done to Russia’s security teams. But that doesn’t sound as impressive, politically speaking, does it?”





Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Adobe to Launch Photoshop for iPad

Adobe is planning to launch the full version of its Photoshop app for the iPad as part of a new strategy to make its products compatible across multiple devices and boost subscription sales.

The software developer is planning to unveil the new app at its annual MAX creative conference in October, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The app is slated to hit the market in 2019, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private product plans. Engineering delays could still alter that timeline.

Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer of Creative Cloud, confirmed the company was working on a new cross-platform iteration of Photoshop and other applications, but declined to specify the timing of their launches.

“My aspiration is to get these on the market as soon as possible,” Belsky said in an interview. “There’s a lot required to take a product as sophisticated and powerful as Photoshop and make that work on a modern device like the iPad. We need to bring our products into this cloud-first collaborative era.”

A Photoshop iPad app would immediately hurt a slew of mobile apps that have sought to fill the void, including Pixelmator, Affinity and Enlight Photofox.



Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

New Report Reveals Real-World Performance of iOS and Android Devices

Blancco Technology Group today announced its latest State of Mobile Device Repair and Security report, designed especially for mobile processors, call centres and resellers. With new research revealing the refurbished smartphone market reached close to 140 million units worldwide in 2017, the report provides insight and best practices for companies processing these devices.

The findings are based on internal mobile diagnostics and mobile erasure data collected from iOS and Android mobile devices that were brought into hundreds of mobile carriers and device manufacturers in North AmericaEuropeAsiaand Australia from January 1, 2018 to March 30, 2018. Mobile retailers and processors can leverage this information to provide a better customer experience through a better understanding of common issues experienced on Android and iOS handsets.

Key highlights from the Q1 2018 trend report include:

  • Although the Number of Android Devices Running on Outdated Operating Systems Has Decreased, It Continues to Lag Behind iOS Devices, Continuing to Raise Security Concerns – Approximately 20.5% of Android devices that underwent the Blancco Mobile Device Erasure process in Q1 2018 were running Android versions from 2013 or earlier, before encryption of deleted data was included as a standard feature. This is a 10% decrease compared to Q4 2017 but continues to highlight how secure erasure with software-based overwriting will still be required for the foreseeable future.
  • Android Customers Have More Complaints than iOS Users – Android phones still dominate the market with over 60% penetration, yet they demonstrated higher failure rates than their iOS counterparts. Customers in Europewere most likely to experience problems with their devices, with over 30% of tested handsets raising issues.
  • Failure Rates for iOS: iPhone 6 & 6S Continue to Disappoint – For the fifth successive quarter the Apple iPhone 6 & 6S demonstrated the highest failure rates of all iOS devices. To meet customer expectations these models may required additional attention before they are processed and resold.

“In today’s highly competitive marketplace, mobile resellers, processors and call centers must deliver maximum value to their customers across every channel,” said Russ Ernst, Vice President of Product Management for Blancco. These insights, combined with the appropriate use of our mobile erasure and diagnostics software, can assist with maximizing resale values, reducing customer complaints and minimizing the number of returned devices.

Other findings highlighted in the report include the most common Android and iOS software issues, specific model performance, and information about how failure rates vary across different devices and regions.

For further information, and to download the full report, please visit  https://www.blancco.com/resources/rs-state-of-mobile-device-repair-security/




Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.

Hisense Launches 5376 Zone ULED TV

Hisense, an official sponsor of the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup™ from China, has officially launched the high-end flagship TV U9D at the Global Partner Conference in Moscow on the eve of the World Cup. The TV’s dynamic backlight is partitioned into 5376 zones for the first time, and it is the most partitioned and most image-refined TV in the world. With the independently developed super-image-quality ULED technology, Hisense has set a new standard for image quality in the global TV industry.

For the past 6 years, Hisense has continuously conducted research into multi-zone dynamic backlight control and Hiview engine technology based on LEDs, and has greatly upgraded image brightness, picture contrast, gradation level, dark details, and response time, to improve TV image quality to a world-class level. So far, Hisense has gone through five generations of technology and is constantly driving TV image quality to its peak level. Hisense has been twice awarded the “Gold Award for Global Annual Display Technology”.

“Display technology is the core of Hisense Technology,” said Chief Scientist Ma Xiaohang, “the launch of the U9D will further establish Hisense leading position in the global image quality field and make Hisense become a world-class master of imagery”.



Hisense 5376 Zone ULED U9D TV (PRNewsfoto/Hisense)

Duncan is a technology professional with over 20 years experience of working in various IT roles. He also has a wide range of other skills in radio, electronics and telecommunications.