June 2013 Monthly Blogging Scoop deals with the important WordPress Security Update 3.5.2, Google Reader alternatives and a very cool project called Project Loon.
I’ll start this monthly blogging scoop with news that really fascinated me and captured my imagination, namely Project Loon.
Project Loon: Balloons To Expand Global Internet Access
Google has introduced Project Loon, an exciting technological adventure, to bring internet to all people, irrespective of their location. Currently, two thirds of the population cannot access the web at all.
To give everyone access to the internet, Google came up with an exceptional idea. Instead of setting up hugely expensive giant satellite receivers to deliver internet access, they are exploring the possibility to deliver internet access via a system of balloons. Of course, these are not your typical birthday balloons, they are quite giant ones.
Project Loon balloons float in the stratosphere, twice as high as airplanes and the weather. They are carried around the Earth by winds and they can be steered by rising or descending to an altitude with winds moving in the desired direction. People connect to the balloon network using a special Internet antenna attached to their building. The signal bounces from balloon to balloon, then to the global Internet back on Earth. Google – loon
How Does The Project Loon Work
Project Loon balloons travel around 20 km above the Earth’s surface in the stratosphere. Winds in the stratosphere are generally steady and slow-moving at between 5 and 20 mph, and each layer of wind varies in direction and magnitude. Project Loon uses software algorithms to determine where its balloons need to go, then moves each one into a layer of wind blowing in the right direction. By moving with the wind, the balloons can be arranged to form one large communications network. Source
Where Is Project Loon Going To Start
The Project Loon pilot test begins June 2013 on the 40th parallel south. Thirty balloons, launched from New Zealand’s South Island, will beam Internet to a small group of pilot testers. The experience of these pilot testers will be used to refine the technology and shape the next phase of Project Loon. Source
What an interesting idea! It is going to take a lot of money to carry out. But Google, a multibillion dollar company, can afford it (seemingly). As well, since the whole system is powered by solar panels, it is much less expensive to run than putting a satellite into orbit.
For Google this is a great investment. Currently Google searches are over 5 billion per day. Giving all people access to the internet Google searches would rise exponentially and so would their earnings.
WordPress Security Alert: Update 3.5.2
WordPress released a very important blog security update on June 21st, 2013. The version is 3.5.2., and it was the second maintenance release 3.5 . It fixed 12 bugs. According to WordPress:
This is a security release for all previous versions and we strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately
The security fixes included:
- Blocking server-side request forgery attacks, which could potentially enable an attacker to gain access to a site.
- Disallow contributors from improperly publishing posts or reassigning the post’s authorship
- An update to the SWFUpload external library to fix cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.
- Prevention of a denial of service attack, affecting sites using password-protected posts.
- An update to an external TinyMCE library to fix a cross-site scripting vulnerability.
- Multiple fixes for cross-site scripting.
- Avoid disclosing a full file path when a upload fails.
It is really important that you update your WordPress blog ASAP. Please make sure that you let everyone who uses WordPress know about this important update.
Google Reader Alternatives
Google Reader has closed it’s doors on July 1st. Although this event should really make July’s Monthly Blogging Scoop I thought it is important to have the Google reader alternatives now.
Ana Hoffman published amazing slides on Slideshare, that show the various reader alternatives you can use.
As well, MarketingLand.com published a table of alternatives (see below). You can have a quick look at those and see if any of them will suit your purpose.
Barry Schwartz, the author of the Chart above, is a heavy RSS feeds user and he found that Feedly adapted its user interface to resemble Google reader. Feedly is his Reader of choice.
Now, I know that the list may be a bit late for some of you, but if you are looking to set up an RSS reader you have plenty of choice here.
This concludes the Monthly Blogging Scoop for June 2013. I hope you enjoyed it. Please leave some feedback in comments.