A team at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) has launched a project to re-create the first web page.The aim is to preserve the original hardware and software associated with the birth of the web.
The world wide web was developed by Prof Sir Tim Berners-Lee while working at Cern.
The initiative coincides with the 20th anniversary of the research centre giving the web to the world.
According to Dan Noyes, the web manager for Cern’s communication group, the recreation of the world’s first website will enable future generations to explore, examine and think about how the web is changing modern life.
The hope is that the restoration of the first web page and web site will serve as a reminder and inspiration of the web’s fundamental values.
At the heart of the original web is technology to decentralise control and make access to information freely available to all. It is this architecture that seems to imbue those that work with the web with a culture of free expression, a belief in universal access and a tendency toward decentralising information.
It is the early technology’s innate ability to subvert that makes re-creation of the first website especially interesting.
Those not heavily into web technology may be sceptical of the idea that using a 20-year-old machine and software to view text on a web page might be a thrilling experience.
The first browser- which one had to pay for, allowed users to edit and write directly into the content they were viewing, a feature not available on present-day browsers.
The machines were the most advanced of their time. Sir Tim used two of them to construct the web. One of them is on show in an out-of-the-way cabinet outside Mr Noyes’s office.
There was a serious discussion by Cern’s management in 1993 about whether the organisation should remain the home of the web or whether it should focus on its core mission of basic research in physics.
Sir Tim and his colleagues on the project argued that Cern should not claim ownership of the web.
Management agreed and signed a legal document that made the web publicly available in such a way that no one could claim ownership of it and that would ensure it was a free and open standard for everyone to use.
The rest- as the saying goes, is history.
The volume of Google searches for finance related terms may predict moves in markets more research suggests.As the search volume on generic terms such as “debt”, “portfolio” and “stocks” fell, the Dow Jones average tended to go up – and vice versa.
An investment strategy based on these search volume data between 2004 and 2011 would have made a profit of 326%.
The analysis Quantifying Trading Behavior in Financial Markets Using Google Trends was published in Scientific Reports.
It joins an ever-increasing array of “big data” studies in which aggregated data are beginning to give striking insights into behaviour.
Web searches are increasingly integral to our decision-making, and because of its dominance among search engines, Google data have already proven their worth in big-data studies.
Google’s own researchers found that searches can track the spread of influenza and more recently showed that they “predict the present” with regard to economic indicators.
The use of websites to determine share price movements have been around for a while- 2 years ago our sister blog Search Clinic posted: Twitter is tracked by hedge fund managers for investment news
In the same year- 2011, the Bank of England determined that searches for relevant terms could even predict house prices.
The new report gives hints that straightforward analysis of interest in general finance-related terms can be a good predictor of overall market health.
The team started with a set of 98 search terms and tracked how search volumes on those terms varied over a period between 2004 and 2011, and correlated those with the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Generally, searches for the most finance-focused terms such as “stocks” and “revenue” went down before rises in that market average, whereas when those terms were searched for more often, the average tended to fall in subsequent weeks.
The team developed a hypothetical investment strategy through the period, buying notional stocks in weeks that financial-term search volume fell, and selling them when volume rose – a strategy that would have gained them a profit of 326%. By comparison, simply buying in 2004 and selling in 2011 would have yielded a profit of 16%.
The researchers have already been approached by executives within the financial industry to try to put their findings to use, and have recently received a grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop a “big data” software platform specifically aimed at the emerging business models that will depend on it.
Since 3D printing hit the world and machines have made it affordable for ordinary people, there has been no end of hype about what is will achieve.3D printing has been hailed as the next industrial revolution as the concept of mass production is rendered obsolete as it transforms manufacturing for companies like Rolls Royce and Renishaw.
But the reality may not quite be the same, as 3D printer makers may be overclaiming in order to sell their devices.
While industrialised 3D printing has been around for decades, printing in a variety of materials including ceramics, metal and rubber- the desktop versions are far more limited.
They have a long way to go before they can churn out consumer desirables in the same way and even when they are fit for purpose, people may not use them.
That may be down to a basic lack of creativity and ignorance as to what can actually be achieved.
What is 3D printing?
- 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process where successive layers of materials are laid down in different shapes
- Objects can be printed from computer aided design software
- 3D printing has been used in industry since 1989
- The price of desktop 3D printers dropped dramatically a few years ago
- Early home 3D printers targeted the hacker community
For some, 3D printing is incidental.
A lot of the stuff being made currently seems to be about justifying the technology but there are a lot of my clients who don’t even know how their objects are made.
Other firms are cottoning on to a market for 3D printed goods. Belgian giant Materialise previously specialised in industrial 3D printing but now also has an online store to showcase some of the possibilities for the home.
Autodesk also used to specialise in industrial-scale CAD (computer-aided design) software but now has a consumer division offering those with home printers a range of blueprints.
Among its community of users, Autodesk has found that a lot of home 3D printers are being used for DIY rather than product design.
Lots of people are using their 3D printers for repairs. For example if a plastic bracket has broken, so one can simply print a replacement- however a 3D printer seems like something of an over-engineered solution to a broken piece of plastic.
Either way, the possibilities are likely to surprise us- with other hype about printing homemade guns coming from the USA- the future is raising unpredictable results.
The software displays songs your friends are currently listening to – as well as suggestions from artists.
It follows moves by other social networks such as Facebook to incorporate music recommendations into their services.
Last year, Spotify announced its own “follow” system, but the functionality is yet to be rolled out to users on mobile.
Twitter’s app – called #Music – is expected to be made available to download for Apple’s iPhone shortly.
No app has been made for users on Google’s Android or the Windows Phone platforms – but there will be a web browser-based version.
It will initially be available in the UK and Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, with more countries being added soon.
The app was likened to a “21st Century mixtape” unveiled on Good Morning America.
In a blog post, Twitter’s Stephen Philips explained: “It uses Twitter activity, including tweets and engagement, to detect and surface the most popular tracks and emerging artists.
“It also brings artists’ music-related Twitter activity front and centre: go to their profiles to see who they follow and listen to songs by those artists.”
He added that half of the social network’s users follow at least one musician.
“This is why artists turn to Twitter first to connect with their fans — and why we wanted to find a way to surface songs people are tweeting about.”
Ahead of the app’s release, Twitter gave several musicians early access. They included Moby, who wrote: “It’s a really interesting music resource.”
Many companies have tried to tap into the potential of social recommendation for music.
There is already one London-based Last.fm, which was bought in May 2007 by CBS for £140 million, which analyses what a user listens to and offers suggestions based on the tastes of other Last.fm members who enjoy similar artists.
Google have announced that their controversial Google Glasses will not be allowed to place advertising within the device’s display.The newly published terms and conditions for developers working on Glass also prohibit companies charging for apps.
The glasses, which have a five megapixel camera and voice-activated controls, have started to be shipped.
The first devices will go to developers and “Glass Explorers”.
Google held a competition earlier this year inviting potential users to come up with ways to use the device, while developers have been eager to be among the first to try out the technology.
As part of the announcement, Google also gave the first official details of the device’s specifications.
The bone conduction transducer allows the wearer to hear audio without the need for in-ear headphones – sound waves are instead delivered through the user’s cheekbones and into the inner ear.
The company promises a battery lasting for “one full day of typical use”.
Its display is the equivalent, the company says, of looking at a 25 inchhigh definition screen from eight feet away. The device is able to record video at a resolution of 720p.
It has 16GB on-board storage, and connects with other mobile devices via Bluetooth and wi-fi.
To date, it is privacy groups that have offered the strongest dissenting view against Google’s plans with Glass.
One campaigner from a group called Stop The Cyborgs, wrote “We want people to actively set social and physical bounds around the use of technologies and not just fatalistically accept the direction technology is heading in.”
He predicted that the focus of coverage about the device would shift from talking about the “amazing new gadget that will improve the world” to “the most controversial device in history”.
For developers, that controversy could will also be wondering how exactly they will be able to make money from the device.
Google has proposed a package of concessions as it seeks to end a long running investigation into its European search business.The suggested changes to its business were made following talks with European Commission competition regulators.
Since November 2010, Brussels has been looking into Google’s search business following complaints from rivals about
The anti-trust investigation was kicked off by rivals such as Microsoft, as well as mapping firms and web retailers Trip Advisor which said the way Google ran its search business made it hard for them to compete fairly.
In a statement, Antoine Colombani, the Commission spokesman on competition policy, said it had completed its preliminary assessment a few weeks ago and had told Google of its concerns.
This, he said, had prompted Google to submit a formal proposal to the Commission about what it would do to change the way it operated.
By making formal proposals, Google hopes to head off potentially huge fines.
Among the measures, Google is believed to have offered to label its services to make it more obvious to people what they are using and to make it easier for people to use rival advertising services, the Reuters news agency reports.
The proposals will now be subjected to a “market test” to gauge the response of rivals and to see if the suggested remedies meet the Commission’s requirements.
Speaking in Washington, Joaquin Almunia, the EU competition commissioner, said any agreement reached with Google would be legally binding.
In January, the US Federal Trade Commission caved in and ended its anti-trust investigation after it won a pledge from Google to end some practices, such as scraping data from websites to help target adverts, that had triggered the competition probe.
However this proposed agreement will be contested by concerned websites- who can be expected to kick up a fuss. As such this is not the end of the process at all.
Some of the internet’s most popular pornography websites are increasingly putting visitors at risk new research has found.Advertisements displayed by the sites, which are visited by millions every day, were found to be installing harmful files without users’ knowledge.
Researchers found that two popular sites – xhamster and pornhub – posed the greatest risk.
They found that it was primarily Windows users who at most risk, but that criminals were increasingly turning their attentions to mobile devices.
While none of the porn sites observed hosted any malware themselves, it was the embedded advertisements within their pages that created problems for users.
“We call these malicious advertisements ‘malvertising’,” explained Mr Longmore. “The way the ads are bought and sold across all websites is incredibly complex.”
“Ads can often be repackaged and resold so that it is hard to tell where they originated from, and the criminals behind them go to great lengths to disguise what they are doing.”
Mr Longmore compiled his figures using Google’s diagnostic advice service, which regularly analyses websites for harmful content.
The data showed that xhamster – listed by monitoring firm Alexa as the 46th most popular site on the internet – had malvertising on 1,067 out of 20,986 pages (5%) screened in the past 90 days.
According to Alexa’s statistics, the average user of xhamster would look at 10.3 individual pages – meaning a potential 42% risk of stumbling across harmful adverts in each viewing session.
Another site, pornhub, was found to have dangerous advertising on 12.7% of the 14016 pages scanned in the 90 day period.
Mr Longmore said: “There seems to have been a sudden spike in malware on popular sites, especially in the past week or so. “
He added that in a similar study 12 months ago, the web’s most popular porn site, xvideos, was serving up malware via banner advertising.
However, in the more recent research, the site was not found to have any harmful adverts in the time sampled by Google’s system – a sign the site had “cleaned up”.
Mr Longmore believes a culture of users being afraid to “kick up a fuss” meant many instances of malvertising go unreported.
“Part of the problem is that porn is a taboo subject,” he said.
“But the reality is that these are hugely popular sites with many of them in the top 100 most popular sites globally. Some of them pull in more traffic than the BBC, so this is potentially a very big issue.”
Given that some recent research at a USA university could not find a single student who had not looked at porn sites- malvertising could be a growing problem.
The UK’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has announced that a global centre for cybersecurity will be opened at the University of Oxford.The Global Centre for Cyber Security and Capacity Building will work to help countries develop comprehensive plans to deal with online threats.
The government will provide £1 million to fund the centre for the next two years.
It will act as “a beacon of expertise” according to Mr Hague. “The new global centre for cybersecurity will co-ordinate global work on cyber-threats and cyber-policies which will help protect the UK’s security,” he said.
Countries around the world are keen to increase their levels of cybersecurity in the wake of an unprecedented number of threats.
The US says that it has seen a steady rise in the number of cybersecurity attacks.
Last month a US-based cybersecurity firm Mandiant accused a branch of China’s military of stealing hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organisations around the world. Please see our blog post- APT Chinese hacking- new Advance Persistent Threat revealed by new research
Part of the Oxford centre’s remit will be to ensure that countries have the necessary skills, workforce and technology to tackle online threats.
It will create a guide on some of the key issues as well as looking at ways to ensure that countries have access to relevant expertise on solving problems.
Prof Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School, where the centre will be based, said: “We are convinced that integrated thinking on cybersecurity is required to address these challenges.”
“Modern cybercriminals work in a collaborative fashion, sharing information on targets, tactics and new approaches to infiltrate networks amongst themselves – often in state sponsored efforts to steal critical information from other countries,” he said.
“The planned cybersecurity hub at the University of Oxford is a way for the ‘good guys’ to collectively fight back, as the global threat can no longer be ignored.”
The logic that group thinking will be required to crack cyber threats makes sense given that the perpetrators are grouped together in the first place.
Plus given the escalation of the mathematical permutations of cracking codes- a groupthink approach will achieve greater cumulative successes.
Adele’s Someone Like You is the most downloaded single of all time in the UK- followed by tracks by Maroon 5 and Gotye.
The Official Charts Company says on average more than three million tracks are now sold every week.
In 2012 the number of digital tracks sold continued to rise, with 188.6 million songs being bought. That was up 6% on 2011.
Martin Talbot, Managing Director of the Official Charts Company, said: “The explosion in download sales over the past nine years means we are genuinely now living in the digital music age.”
Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of the BPI, added: “As fans increasingly download music on the move, tablets, smartphones and connected cars will drive another phase in digital music’s expansion.”
So far in 2013 an average of 500,000 digital tracks have been bought every day in the UK.
Adele’s 21 album is now the fourth biggest selling album of all time in the UK.
The top 10 most-downloaded songs of all time in the UK are:
1. Adele – Someone Like You
2. Maroon 5 ft Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger
3. Gotye ft Kimbra – Somebody I Used To Know
4. Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
5. Rihanna ft Calvin Harris – We Found Love
6. Kings Of Leon – Sex On Fire
7. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
8. LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem
9. Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are (Amazing)
10. Jessie J – Price Tag
All of which means that demise of the paid for music industry continues to be somewhat premature.
Facebook’s new “Home” software for Android phones could “destroy” privacy warn industry watchers and analysts.Unveiled last week, Home is a “wrapper” for Android and puts Facebook feeds on a phone’s main screen.
But the detailed data that could be mined from Home users could intrude on private life, commentators warned.
Many took issue with the claim that Home put people, not apps, at the heart of the mobile experience, saying it would help Facebook sell ads.
Home was shown off in a presentation given at Facebook’s campus by the social network’s founder Mark Zuckerberg. He said it was an attempt to do away with app-centred systems that were a legacy of the computer world in which people clicked on an icon to start a program.
Once installed on a phone, Home takes over the lock screen and main display turning it into a live feed of information, notifications and images Facebook users are sharing.
The “always on” nature of Home bothered industry watcher Om Malik from tech news website GigaOm who said it could be a route to gathering data about users that would otherwise be hard to find.
“This application erodes any idea of privacy,” he wrote. “If you install this, then it is very likely that Facebook is going to be able to track your every move, and every little action.”
Users of Home could see their privacy “destroyed”, he warned.
“For the vast majority of people, Facebook just isn’t the be-all and end-all of their mobile experience,” he said. “It’s just one part.”
“I see a more apathetic response among Facebook users than Facebook might be expecting,” he added.
That presents the biggest obstacle to success for this experiment- Facebook’s objectives and users’ are once again in conflict. Users don’t want more advertising or tracking, and Facebook wants to do more of both.
So be cautious before installing more tracking software on your Android phone.