Showing posts with label google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label google. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Google Networks Have a Weird Malware Policy, Apparently

Google, Malicious Software, Josh Wieder, AS15169, Cloudflare

Applian is a company that makes some fairly widely circulated media software - FLV players, RTMP stream recorders, stuff like that. They are somehow affiliated with NirSoft.

Nirsoft makes forensics tools that are often mis-diagnosed as malicious software; its less clear what Applian could be doing to get the same red-flags.

But red-flagged they were, by Google's malware team no less. Google's usual plan of red-flagging what appears like bad programs through their browser and search engine while not blocking downloads is a sensible way to get the word out without being overly intrusive. However, when the content that Google believes is malicious is being hosted on their own ASN, it is less clear how appropriate that is. Most system administrators are more comfortable with removing malicious software from their networks. A strange choice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Google Maps Javascript API Tutorial is Rubbish

I am working on creating a Google-maps based project. As such, I was using the Google Maps Javascript API Tutorial to activate an API key and create a 'Hello World' style test script.

I continuously received one of the following errors:

Google has disabled use of the Maps API for this application. The provided key is not a valid Google API Key, or it is not authorized for the Google Maps Javascript API v3 on this site. If you are the owner of this application, you can learn about obtaining a valid key here: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/tutorial#api_key

Google has disabled use of the Maps API for this application. See the Terms of Service for more information: http://www.google.com/intl/en-US_US/help/terms_maps.html.

Having not used the API to make a single call, the notion that I had somehow violated the Google TOS was particularly infuriating, as was the notion that I had not enabled the Google Maps API, which I had done, as outlined in the API Tutorial:


The issue, at least in my case, turned out to be the sample code that Google provides in the same tutorial. The sample is as follows:


<html>
  <head>
    <style type="text/css">
      html, body, #map-canvas { height: 100%; margin: 0; padding: 0;}
    </style>
    <script src="https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=API_KEY" type="text/javascript">
    </script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
      function initialize() {
        var mapOptions = {
          center: { lat: -34.397, lng: 150.644},
          zoom: 8
        };
        var map = new google.maps.Map(document.getElementById('map-canvas'),
            mapOptions);
      }
      google.maps.event.addDomListener(window, 'load', initialize);
    </script>
  </head>
  <body>
<div id="map-canvas">
</div>
</body>
</html>

In the script above, the developer is prompted to replace API_KEY with their actual API Key. However, this will cause a TOS violation if you have followed the Tutorial. To resolve the issue, add the following to your API Key:

&sensor=false
So the entire line of script, with an actual API Key, would look something like this:

<script src="https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/api/js?key=21a300d4a9a2cf55e4ffac1750acbc01
&sensor=false" type="text/javascript"> 
This will allow the map to render as described in the tutorial.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Barack Obama on Sorting Algorithms

Watch a pre-Presidency Obama chat with Eric Schmidt of Google about sorting algorithms. Oh, how you've changed, Barry.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Search Tool Removed

UPDATE (7/27/2015): I created a Google CSE instead of using the miserable and useless utility described below. Unlike the Blogger tool, the CSE works. Hazaa!

I actually got around to using Google's little search tool for Blogger. And you know what? It sucks. I searched for articles using the name of the article, nothing found. I searched for articles using keywords that I had used repeatedly as Blogger "Labels" - nothing found.

With actual production projects I have been vehement about removing search tools from Google. Sometimes I've lost, and I've worked with companies that have bought those outrageously priced yellow servers running Googles cute, branded version of BSD. A $30,000 back door to your intranet for regulators and competitors. Brilliant. Better to do the responsible thing and buy yourself a Lexus with petty cash.

Anyway, this was different, I thought. The site is hosted on Blogspot, so my users have already been sucked into the freakishly-plastered-on-smile world of Don't Be Evil. Their datas already belong to Google by the time they get here. So I'll add it on as a way to get to the early years content. Back before the blog hit the big time and sold out type of content.

So now we must use the Archive drop down and browse. Browse like Yahoo circa 1999, damn you!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ads Have Started

Just a brief note, I have started to run a few very low circulation advertisements for the site on Google and Bing. Mostly this is an experiment to test whether having an active, but ultimately unpaid, marketing campaign improves search engine results. I don't expect any big changes to the site, and I am not selling advertisements. As always, any business practices will continue to match those outlined in the Commitment page.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Google's Disavow Links Function

I am still doing a bit of research on this function (and have plans to update this page appropriately), but this should be of considerable interest if you are anything like me and have a website that is somewhat frequently the target of hackers and spammers. The Google Disavow Links tool, part of their Webmaster Tools, will allow you to remove links from Google's algorithm, and hopefully you can successfully strike back at spammers and link farmers who would damage your website's rep.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Google and Facebook Store and Leak Old Login Information

Shocking, I know.

Barracuda Labs has a good catch up on their blog. Apparently, Facebook and Google save old passwords, and can leak them under certain circumstances during login attempts.

Check out their entire post here. Why is this information being saved?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Bing Webmaster Tools and Blogger Sitemaps - "The Feed is Empty" Error Fixed

Blogging tips aren't really the focus of my website. However, I recently signed up for Bing's Webmaster Tools and encountered some difficulty in submitting the sitemap for my Blogger website, joshwieder.blogspot.com. It took me a bit of head banging before I figured out how to resolve it, thanks in no small part to the amount of guides on this issue that are just wrong on their face. So, for regular blog readers, this isn't as advanced as a lot of the articles here are, but it turned out to be such a nuisance and so ill-documented that I felt something had to be done.

This guide will assume that you have already added your site to Bing Webmaster Tools and verified domain ownership, both of which work as advertised.

At the time of this writing, Blogger primarily uses Atom 1.0 to publish site feeds - Blogger also relies on Atom for a dynamically generated sitemap. For Google's webmaster tools, I registered the following link, which populates an XML file that contains the first 500 pages of data on my site:

/atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=500

This worked just fine with Google, so I assumed there would be little issue with Bing. Wrong! No matter what I did, every Blogger sitemap URL that I could find in the documentation and guides ended up throwing an error after Bing crawled it - usually the error I received was, "The Sitemap is Empty". Before the big reveal, I am going to do a quick rundown of disinformation I have received on the internet  on how to add Blogger sitemaps:

-Submit a sitemap through a URL like this: http://www.bing.com/webmaster/ping.aspx?siteMap=http%3A%2F%2Fjoshwieder.blogspot.com%2Fatom.xml%3Fredirect%3Dfalse%26start-index%3D1%26max-results%3D500
-Create a custom robots.txt file with a site map flag for /atom.xml?redirect=false&start-index=1&max-results=500
-Use feeds/posts/default instead of /atom.xml. This gets bonus points for at least conceivably being able to work and not just a different way of configuring exactly the same setting. It still didn't work for me, if I remember correctly this produced an "Unsupported File Format" error as opposed to "The Sitemap is Empty"

While different themes might lead to different conflicts, I am still amazed by how many different guides I found and how wrong all of them were. I am confident this fix will work across multiple themes (at least unless Blogger makes a change).

Time for the big reveal. Login to Bing Webmaster Tools. Assuming again that your site has been added and domain ownership verified, it should look a bit like this:


Click the Add a Sitemap link in the bottom right hand corner. Or, from the left hand side menu under Dashboard, expand Configure my Site and click Sitemaps.

The syntax that worked for me is http://yourblogurlhere.ext/sitemap.xml. So for joshwieder.blogspot.com, I put http://joshwieder.blogspot.com/sitemap.xml

You will notice that adding the sitemap does nothing immediately. If you are in a hurry, like I tend to be, use the Bing URL Submission Tool to have the sitemap verified right away. Although Bing will still take its time to compile statistics and spider your site, this will at least show you whether the sitemap is valid or not right away.

Here is what the URL Submission Tool looks like:

Using the link above should allow you to add a Blogger sitemap to Bing without errors as of this writing. Should anything change, or if you use Blogger and this still does not work for you, please leave a comment or send me an email as I would be interested in finding out why. I still don't understand why this was such a hassle - for the conspiratorial readers: Is Google using some sort of secret Atom formatting to make other search engine submission tools look broken and awful? Is Bing secretly on the lookout for Google-sponsored hosting sites and giving them a hard time to make Google hosting look broken and awful? Or is this functionality just broken and awful, with no conspiracy behind it? You decide!

RAT Bastard

Earlier this week, several servers I maintain were targeted by automated attempts to upload a remote access trojan (RAT). The RAT is a simpl...