LoadStorm https://loadstorm.com Load Testing the Better Way Thu, 24 May 2018 13:33:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 ViewState Tokens and Performance Tips https://loadstorm.com/2015/08/improving-viewstate-tokens/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/08/improving-viewstate-tokens/#respond Fri, 21 Aug 2015 16:13:47 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12522 What’s wrong with ViewState Tokens? ViewState tokens are a common performance issue I come across while helping customers due to the size of these tokens. I’ve found some information about performance improvements, but I have not tested any them. What is a ViewState token? It is ASP.NET’s way to ensure the state of the page elements sent to a browser match what the browser sends back. It is an encoded string sent out to the user which gets sent back to your server in a POST request. The main problem with this kind of token is that it needs to […]

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What’s wrong with ViewState Tokens?

ViewState tokens are a common performance issue I come across while helping customers due to the size of these tokens. I’ve found some information about performance improvements, but I have not tested any them.

What is a ViewState token? It is ASP.NET’s way to ensure the state of the page elements sent to a browser match what the browser sends back. It is an encoded string sent out to the user which gets sent back to your server in a POST request. The main problem with this kind of token is that it needs to represent every form element on the page. This gets large when complex elements such as a drop-down menu is in the form. Countries, companies, customers, or other database tables with many entries are good drop-down examples. In some cases it can double the size of your page. The largest ViewState I’ve seen was 300,000 characters long. The generated HTML for that page was at least 600,000 characters. That’s a lot of response text since almost half was just the token.

Performance Impacts

As the ViewState grows larger. It affects performance in the following ways:

  • Increased CPU cycles to serialize and to deserialize the ViewState.
  • Pages take longer to download because they are larger.
  • Large ViewStates can impact the efficiency of garbage collection.

According to one source I found:

ViewStates work best when serializing basic types such as strings, integers, and Booleans. Objects such as arrays, ArrayLists, and Hashtables are also good with those basic types. When you want to store a non-basic type, ASP.NET tries to use the associated type converter. If it cannot find one, it uses the expensive binary serializer. The size of the object is proportional to the size of the ViewState. Avoid storing large objects.

Improvement Options

From much of what I read there are only three options:

  1. Remove ViewStates when they’re not needed.
  2. Remove any unnecessary elements in the form.
  3. Compress the ViewState to reduce the data transferred.

I rarely see ViewStates used that are not needed, and in some cases a few elements can be removed from the form. Compression is often the best improvement for the end-user experience. Keep in mind that compressing and decompressing the ViewState causes more CPU work. This could have a poor impact on performance at scale.

Compress a ViewState whenever it is above a particular size:
http://sebnilsson.com/3ec8d9da/asp-net-webforms-seo-compressing-view-state/

More suggestions on compressing the ViewState:
http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2380106/asp-net-compress-viewstate
http://www.codeproject.com/Articles/14733/ViewState-Compression

Sources:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff647787.aspx#scalenetchapt06_topic19
http://www.monitis.com/blog/2012/07/26/improving-asp-net-performance-part-12-view-state-management/
http://jagbarcelo.blogspot.com/2009/03/viewstate-size-minimization.html

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-13/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-13/#respond Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:09:33 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12469 The new Microsoft Edge browser is here This week Windows 10 was released for free downloads. Along with it, the new Microsoft Edge browser, previously codenamed Project Sparta, was finally delivered. Edge features a redesigned interface, the ability to mark up pages, and the Cortana search assistance. Microsoft also announced the Edge supports automated testing through the W3C WebDriver standard, and has a recording option to create HAR files. Preliminary speed tests performed by Microsoft claimed it beat Chrome and Safari at their own JavaScript benchmark tests. The “browser built for getting things done” will be the only browser supported […]

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The new Microsoft Edge browser is here

This week Windows 10 was released for free downloads. Along with it, the new Microsoft Edge browser, previously codenamed Project Sparta, was finally delivered. Edge features a redesigned interface, the ability to mark up pages, and the Cortana search assistance. Microsoft also announced the Edge supports automated testing through the W3C WebDriver standard, and has a recording option to create HAR files. Preliminary speed tests performed by Microsoft claimed it beat Chrome and Safari at their own JavaScript benchmark tests. The “browser built for getting things done” will be the only browser supported on Windows 10 mobile devices, but both Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge will be available on desktop. Microsoft says they have no plans to extend the browser to Linux, Mac OS X, Android or iOS devices.

New Shaka player release from Google devs

During the 100 Days of Google Dev this week, Google announced Shaka Player v1.2.0, a new mechanism for delivering high quality video performance on the web. The JavaScript library implements a DASH client, which enables users to deliver video in segments over a normal HTTP connection at a variety of different bit rates, resolutions, or formats to suit client needs.
The DASH client, which stands for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming HTTP, removes the disadvantages of typical streaming services, such as proprietary protocols or required hardware. In addition, Shaka supports delivery of protected content via the EME APIs to get licenses and do decryption. Because the high performance video player is plugin free and built on web standards, it can be used for a large array of devices. The Shaka project can be downloaded and tested now.

Facebook releases new Security Checkup tool worldwide

Facebook’s Security Checkup tool is now being released to all users worldwide. The tool was built into their platform to guide users through each of the available security options, one at a time. The tool allows users to change their passwords, enable login alerts, and clean up login sessions simply by clicking through the screen prompts. Facebook’s Security Checkup was introduced earlier this year in a limited test release, allowing users to test and give feedback on the tool. The checkup should be positioned at the top of your Facebook newsfeed, ready to try out.

#NoHacked campaign is back from Google

In a continuation of their #NoHacked campaign, Google focused attention on protecting sites from hacking. Google is engaging webmasters on Twitter, Google+, and will hold a live Q&A hangout on hacking prevention and recovery in the next few weeks. In their first installment, titled “How to avoid being the target of hackers”, Google offered basic safety tips. To keep your site safe they suggested strengthening your account security, keeping your site’s software updated, researching how your web host handles security issues, and using Google tools to stay informed of potentially compromised content on your site.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-12/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-12/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2015 21:21:16 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12464 This week in web performance news we saw an uproarious reaction to Amazon’s Prime Day, Google add the ability to purchase on Google, Facebook begin testing e-commerce pages, and Firefox temporarily ban Adobe Flash for security reasons. #PrimeDayFail? Not according to Amazon To celebrate its 20th anniversary this week, Amazon hyped up its first ever Prime Day, a one-day online sales event for Prime members. The sales day of the year, advertised to have more deals than Black Friday, turned out to be what many shoppers considered an overhyped e-garage sale. As many disappointed customers took to Twitter to complain […]

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This week in web performance news we saw an uproarious reaction to Amazon’s Prime Day, Google add the ability to purchase on Google, Facebook begin testing e-commerce pages, and Firefox temporarily ban Adobe Flash for security reasons.

#PrimeDayFail? Not according to Amazon

To celebrate its 20th anniversary this week, Amazon hyped up its first ever Prime Day, a one-day online sales event for Prime members. The sales day of the year, advertised to have more deals than Black Friday, turned out to be what many shoppers considered an overhyped e-garage sale. As many disappointed customers took to Twitter to complain about the false advertising, many others took to Twitter to enjoy the hilarity of the “Lightning Deals”. If you were looking for packs of granny panties, 55-gallon drums of lubricant, a plate of ham, or family packs of brass knuckles, you were in luck! Despite the complaints, Greg Greeley, Amazon Prime’s Vice President, extended a thank you “to the hundreds of thousands of new members who signed up on Prime Day, and our tens of millions of existing members for making our first ever Prime Day a huge success.” Global records were broken, with order growth exceeding Black Friday 2014 by 18%. Customers ordered an average of 398 items per second! With those numbers, Greeley declared that Amazon will “definitely be doing this again.”

Google releases “Purchases on Google”

Google has now made it possible to buy products directly from mobile search results. The “buy” option will be seen on promoted mobile search results, and will simply facilitate the purchase from merchants, rather than cut out the middleman entirely. Eligible advertisements with the “buy” option will be taken to a retailer-branded product page hosted by Google, in an effort to improve mobile conversions. The new feature will also give users the ability to save payment credentials for future purchases.

Facebook testing e-commerce pages

Facebook will soon offer businesses with Facebook pages a way to sell content directly through the platform. Emma Rodgers, Facebook product marketing manager remarked, “With the shop section on the page, we’re now providing businesses with the ability to showcase their products directly on the page.”
By allowing them to build Facebook e-commerce pages, Facebook is evolving into much more than a place to socialize and share content. The social media giant recently introduced the ability to send money through its messenger, and is rumored to be developing a virtual Messenger assistant to facilitate production research and purchases.

Firefox bans Adobe Flash plugin, calls for security updates

After blocking all versions of Adobe Flash from running in Firefox, Mozilla reinstated the plugin Wednesday. Two zero-day flaws prompted the default blocking of Flash player, which disabled millions of users from watching videos or interacting with certain content through the browser. Adobe Flash has been widely criticized by tech experts due to security and compatibility issues. The security risks were resolved in a security fix Flash released two days later in their latest version, and Firefox once again enabled Flash by default in the browser. A new version was released for Linux as well.

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Tips and Tricks creating Load Testing Scripts https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/tips-tricks-creating-load-testing-scripts/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/tips-tricks-creating-load-testing-scripts/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2015 17:29:05 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12451 Overview A script is a browser recorded HAR file that you can modify in LoadStorm. Parameterizing scripts for a load test can seem like a daunting task, but we have a few tips on making it go more smoothly. 1. Keep load testing scripts simple. Making the script perform dynamically for each virtual user will depend greatly on the complexity of the application and the recording behavior. Generally we recommend keeping each script as simple as possible because the goal is to test the target server’s scalability, but testing functionality at scale is also good within reason. Sometimes this simple […]

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Overview

A script is a browser recorded HAR file that you can modify in LoadStorm. Parameterizing scripts for a load test can seem like a daunting task, but we have a few tips on making it go more smoothly.

1. Keep load testing scripts simple.

Making the script perform dynamically for each virtual user will depend greatly on the complexity of the application and the recording behavior. Generally we recommend keeping each script as simple as possible because the goal is to test the target server’s scalability, but testing functionality at scale is also good within reason. Sometimes this simple ability to record what you’re doing in a browser can lead to overdoing the user behavior.

Here are some examples of different complexities of recorded user behavior:

  • Simple – Visit a site to browse some pages.
  • Normal – Browse a site, Log in, submit a form, and log out.
  • Complex – Browse a site, Log in, begin editing an ajax form that dynamically changes as you choose options, save the form, and log out.

Some web applications cannot avoid complexity during scripting due to their infrastructure. This is understandable as there are a vast number of ways to build a web application. Some of this complexity can be seen when modifying form data vs payloads.

2. Modify multiple requests at once.

One of my favorite time saving tricks is selecting a bunch of requests that have the a Query String, Form Input, Cookie, or Request Header that each need the same dynamic token or user data parameterization and making that change to all of them at once. This option, like everything, has its pros and cons. If one of those requests also needs a modification for a parameter that it does not share with the other requests you just lumped together in a multi-request modification then you’ll need to modify it on its own. You have to be careful though to not overwrite the parameter you just modified in the multi-request modification.

3. Recover a different script version with the History tab.

A recovery option is nice to have if there is ever a problem with a script executing, or you simply wish to look at the modifications you made in an earlier execution. You can switch to the script’s History tab to open up a previous execution as a copy. This new copy will contain all of the request modifications that were present during that execution.

4. Swap servers in a script.

Sometimes you have a development server that you built your recording from, or you did so from your production server. Now you’ve got another domain, sub-domain, or IP address that you wish to change the current script to. Normally we recommend to make a new recording of the other domain, but if it’s an exact copy of the site all you need to do is change the target server to fix the script. This can be helpful for saving time on making parameterizations to a script all over again. The process is fairly straight-forward which you can use the following steps or watch this video tutorial:

  1. Open the script you wish to modify.
  2. Switch to the Parameterization tab.
  3. Use the servers drop-down filter to select the server that you wish to change.
  4. Click the Select All button.
  5. From the modification options below the requests table, click the Server button.
  6. Using the constant option type the new server address you wish to replace it with and include https:// if it will change to a secure connection.
  7. Close the modification window.
  8. Repeat these steps if you have more than one server you need to change.
  9. At the top-right click the Execute now button to commit the pending modifications.

5. Record file uploads with Firefox.

Occasionally customers wish to test their target server’s ability to handle many file uploads. Unfortunately this is somewhat limited, but still doable. Using Firefox it is possible to record the entire file you wish to upload as a base64 encoded string within the request payload. Depending on the size of the file this string gets very large and possibly too large to be recorded properly. We recommend to limit this to very small files preferable 1MB or less. The process of recording this is the same as any Firefox recording, but it actually stores the upload in the request while other browser omit the base64 string from the HAR file. Here is an example of what this request’s payload would look like:

Load testing scripts created in Firefox for file uploads will contain the file in the POST data

Final Thoughts

Thank you for checking out this post on tips and tricks creating load testing scripts, and please check out the previous tips and tricks on troubleshooting scripts. If you’re new to LoadStorm we offer step-by-step instructions to get you started on your first test, and for in-depth documentation visit our learning center and video tutorials. As always, ask for help or more tips if there is a particular area that you’re having trouble with.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-11/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-11/#respond Thu, 09 Jul 2015 22:21:56 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12406 Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter compromised for industrial espionage A number of multinational companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, have been compromised by a group suspected of industrial espionage. Recent reports by Symantec and Kaspersky Lab exposed the hacking collectives as a powerful group that has compromised the billion-dollar companies since 2011. Symantec suspects the highly trained hackers may be independent “hackers for hire”, interested in more than credit card information or customer databases. Instead, they suspect the threat actor is focused on high level corporate information they can profit from, such as insider trading information. Symantec reported that 49 […]

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Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter compromised for industrial espionage

A number of multinational companies, including Apple, Facebook, and Twitter, have been compromised by a group suspected of industrial espionage. Recent reports by Symantec and Kaspersky Lab exposed the hacking collectives as a powerful group that has compromised the billion-dollar companies since 2011. Symantec suspects the highly trained hackers may be independent “hackers for hire”, interested in more than credit card information or customer databases. Instead, they suspect the threat actor is focused on high level corporate information they can profit from, such as insider trading information. Symantec reported that 49 different organizations around the globe had been attacked; Kaspersky noted the variety of different companies ranged from healthcare to Bitcoin-related companies, as well as legal companies involved in acquisition deals. Neither security group was able to determine the origin of the attacks, but warned organizations that the threat is still active and should be taken seriously.

Google clarifies statements about link building being harmful

A year after Google published an extensive post about unnatural links, it shared an additional post on the Google Webmaster Blog to help identify unnatural links and clarify the potential consequences of their use. Buying links in order to distort page rank has been known to be against Google policy, but the post drew a lot of attention when it instructed webmasters not to “buy, sell, exchange or ask for links.” Google has since clarified its stance on the link issue, specifying that you cannot “buy, sell or ask for links that may violate [Google] linking webmaster guidelines.” The wording in the post support Google’s John Mueller’s advice to avoid link building because “only focusing on links is probably going to cause more problems for your website than it actually helps.”

U.S. group petitions for expansion of Right to Be Forgotten rules

Consumer Watchdog, a U.S consumer rights organization, has petitioned the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to enact “Right to Be Forgotten” rules for Google searches. The ruling of the European Court of Justice requires Google to de-list search results tied to a person’s name if the information is inaccurate or outdated. In the complaint, Consumer WatchDog’s Privacy Project director, John Simpson, urged the commission to investigate and take action. “Google’s refusal to consider such requests in the United States is both unfair and deceptive, violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act,” Simpson stated. The extent of the ruling has been highly scrutinized over the past year, prompting France to give Google a 15 day timeframe to begin delisting links across the board before facing sanctions. Nearly a week ago, Russian Parliament approved a similar “Right to Be Forgotten” law, allowing for broader removals than the European law. The Russian version of this law has been criticized for being too broad, however, because it would allow people to simply object to content in general and ask for the links to be removed from search engines. Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine says that “the private interest and the public interest should exist in balance.”

OpenSSL patch addresses “high severity” vulnerability

An OpenSSL vulnerability has prompted action by the project team. The July 9th release addresses a single “high severity” security defect that was introduced with OpenSSL versions 1.0.2d and 1.0.1p. OpenSSL “high severity” flaws typically include risks including denial-of-service attacks, server memory leak, and remote code execution. Experts advise users to patch as soon as possible, as the release of the information can mean attackers can use the vulnerability to their advantage.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-7/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/07/web-performance-news-of-the-week-7/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 22:44:04 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12347 Sidewalk Labs is on a mission to bring free wifi to the world Sidewalk Labs, a startup backed by Google, has begun re-purposing old phone booths in New York City by turning them into free Wi-Fi hotspots. The startup’s initiative to improve city life through tech innovation began last month and started as a winning idea in the city’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, which aimed to find a creative new use for the phone booths. The 10,000 obsolete phone booths will soon be converted into Wi-Fi hotspots and information kiosks that can be used to charge cell phones, make calls, […]

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Sidewalk Labs is on a mission to bring free wifi to the world

Sidewalk Labs, a startup backed by Google, has begun re-purposing old phone booths in New York City by turning them into free Wi-Fi hotspots. The startup’s initiative to improve city life through tech innovation began last month and started as a winning idea in the city’s Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, which aimed to find a creative new use for the phone booths. The 10,000 obsolete phone booths will soon be converted into Wi-Fi hotspots and information kiosks that can be used to charge cell phones, make calls, and provide public transit information. This Google project is beginning as a trial in New York, but the giant anticipates it will eventually spread to other cities all over the world.

Engineers surpass power limits for fiber optic communication

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego have surpassed the maximum power limits for fiber optic communication. The power limit previously determined the maximum distance information could be transmitted through fiber optic cables and be accurately received. The photonics researchers compared their approach to a concert master tuning instruments in an orchestra, and use a frequency comb to synchronize the optical carriers that propagate through the fiber. The implications of the discovery are an increase in the data transmission rates in fiber optic cables, along with eliminating the need for electronic regenerators within fiber links.

Google acts on revenge porn

Google is now taking steps to remove “revenge porn” from its search results. Revenge porn is sexually explicit media that is posted online without the consent of the people they feature. The damaging content is often used as a form of cyber extortion, with sites often requiring compensation for removing the content. While Google does not have the power to remove the actual images from the actual websites they are on, victims of this assault will soon be able to submit a form to have the content removed from Google search results.

“Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women. So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results.” -Amit Singhal, SVP, Google Search

The form can be found in the next coming weeks on an update of their post.

Google adds un-do send feature to Gmail

We’ve all experienced the feeling of regret after firing off an email before it was ready. Luckily, the people at Google have probably experienced it too, and will soon be giving us the ability to take back that particular message that wasn’t ready. Google has been experimenting for years, and has now formally added the “undo send” option for all gmail users. Setting a delay time from 5 to 30 seconds will allow users a “send cancellation period” to ensure that they really wanted to send that message at that time. To try it out yourself, click on the Settings cogwheel in gmail and enable the feature on the general tab.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/06/web-performance-news-of-the-week-10/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/06/web-performance-news-of-the-week-10/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 22:26:47 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12334 Apple is making Swift open source This week Apple announced that Swift will soon be open source. In the keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Craig Federighi was met with the applause when he stated that Apple thinks “Swift should be everywhere and used by everyone” and stated “Today we’re announcing that Swift will be open source.” Swift will join the growing array of tech that Apple has decided to make open source as a key part of their software strategy. Federighi outlined the additional new changes we could expect for Swift 2.0, including “all new optimization tech” geared […]

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Apple is making Swift open source

This week Apple announced that Swift will soon be open source. In the keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference, Craig Federighi was met with the applause when he stated that Apple thinks “Swift should be everywhere and used by everyone” and stated “Today we’re announcing that Swift will be open source.” Swift will join the growing array of tech that Apple has decided to make open source as a key part of their software strategy. Federighi outlined the additional new changes we could expect for Swift 2.0, including “all new optimization tech” geared for complex applications. New language features in Swift 2.0 include enhanced error handling, protocol extensions, and interfaces as synthesized headers in Xcode. The compiler and the standard libraries for iOS, OS X, and Linux are said to be released by the end of the year.

France gives Google an ultimatum regarding the Right to be Forgotten

The “Right to be Forgotten” was a ruling of the European Court of Justice a year ago that determined that citizens should be able to request for search engines to remove links to sites from search results if they were considered private. Although major search engines established forms to submit requests in June of last year, Google has only de-indexed content for European domains. Still, Google has removed 41% of all requests submitted over the past year since the ruling. While Google challenges that the Right to be Forgotten was a European law and, therefore, should only apply to European content, the head of France’s regulator CNIL insists that “for delisting to be effective, it must be world-wide.” While the EU does not have legal jurisdiction with regards to Google outside of its domain, the EU is on a quest to protect citizen privacy. Due to the disagreement, this week CNIL mandated that Google to comply with de-indexing demands within 15 days, or face a potential fine just short of $170,000.

Net Neutrality rules go into effect today as scheduled

The FCC’s internet regulations to treat the internet as a public utility go in effect this week, after a three judge panel of the U.S Court of Appeals rejected a petition for a stay on the matter. Several cable companies, including AT&T and Verizon petitioned for a stay of the FCC’s decision, arguing the new rules were unfair and that the FCC did not follow proper procedure when the rules were created. The FCC voted 3-2 in agreement of the new rules last February, ban internet service providers from throttling or blocking connection for specific content, services, or applications. Although the regulations are going into effect today as scheduled, litigation is expected to continue, as 10 separate lawsuits have been filed.

Security fix issued for all versions of IE and Windows

Patch Tuesday released this week by Microsoft addresses 45 unique vulnerabilities, 24 of which are said to be critical Internet Explorer risks. Of those, four expose users to the risk of remote code execution when using IE, which would give attackers the ability to access and alter devices regardless of geographic location. While this may sound dangerous, this month’s Patch Tuesday is uncharacteristically light compared to recent months for Microsoft. The vulnerabilities arise as the browser’s successor begins its debut in the Windows 10 preview.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/06/web-performance-news-of-the-week-9/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/06/web-performance-news-of-the-week-9/#respond Fri, 05 Jun 2015 23:39:38 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12330 Google launches a new hub to streamline security, privacy, and account management This week at Google I/O, Google announced its new center of control for privacy and security, My Account. Google noted that security and privacy are “two sides of the same coin,” and therefore, are giving users the ability to quickly access and control both from one place. My Account brings two new options, the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, to simplify and guide users through the array of settings available to them. You can also manage settings normally used to enhance your search history, such as Web/App activity […]

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Google launches a new hub to streamline security, privacy, and account management

This week at Google I/O, Google announced its new center of control for privacy and security, My Account. Google noted that security and privacy are “two sides of the same coin,” and therefore, are giving users the ability to quickly access and control both from one place. My Account brings two new options, the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, to simplify and guide users through the array of settings available to them. You can also manage settings normally used to enhance your search history, such as Web/App activity and location history on Google Maps. From My Account, you can also use the Ads Settings tool to adjust ads shown based on your prior searches. And, last but not least, you can control which apps are connected to your account. In addition to My Account, Google set up a new site at privacy.google.com to answer additional questions and promote
user trust.

Bitcoin trading rules are finalized in New York

After an investigation into cryptocurrency that spanned two years, the first state in the US has now finalized trading regulations for virtual currency and Bitcoin. Announced during a speech at the BITS Emerging Payments Forum in Washington, the new rules will affect all traders who sell, buy, or accept the virtual currency. The new regulations require anyone engaged in Virtual Currency Business Activity apply for a license within 45 days of the regulation. The BitLicense regulations also outlines various specific conditions that must be met to keep the license updated “with regards to protections of consumers and anti-money-laundering compliance, capital adequacy, changes of ownership, and cybersecurity.” Unsurprisingly, the regulations have been met with a divided reaction.

Airbnb is making its machine learning technology open source

This week at Airbnb’s 2015 OpenAir developer conference, Airbnb announced two new open source technologies well worth checking out. Aerosolve, a tool written mostly in Java and Scala, uses “machine learning for humans” to assist with data discoveries within Airbnb. For example, Aerosolve can be utilized to easily depict the relationship between the price of a listing and the demand in the market. Airbnb also provided demos of the tool, including using
Aerosolve to teach the algorithm how to paint, pointillism style, or prediction income, based on US census data. Airflow, a workflow management platform, was used in house to streamline processes for their engineering team. The tool is built for authoring, scheduling, and monitoring data pipelines efficiently and scalably.

Both are readily available on their new site Airbnb, Inc., which now hosts all of its open-source projects.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/05/web-performance-news-of-the-week-8/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/05/web-performance-news-of-the-week-8/#respond Fri, 29 May 2015 21:40:09 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12321 This week in web perf news the IRS website was used to steal over 100,000 tax returns, Google rolled out algorithm adjustments to remove offensive Google Maps results, Bing added how-old.net to its image search, and Google and Bing announced their searches will be indexing apps across multiple devices. Criminals used IRS website to steal massive amount of tax information A sophisticated breach of the IRS website that helped criminals gain access to tax returns of up to 100,000 people this week. The IRS disclosed that they believe the breach originated in Russia. The criminals used the personal information of […]

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This week in web perf news the IRS website was used to steal over 100,000 tax returns, Google rolled out algorithm adjustments to remove offensive Google Maps results, Bing added how-old.net to its image search, and Google and Bing announced their searches will be indexing apps across multiple devices.

Criminals used IRS website to steal massive amount of tax information

A sophisticated breach of the IRS website that helped criminals gain access to tax returns of up to 100,000 people this week. The IRS disclosed that they believe the breach originated in Russia. The criminals used the personal information of real taxpayers to gain access to a service provided by the IRS called, “Get Transcript”. They were able to download half of the forms attempted and claimed tax refunds in the names of 15,000 people. The IRS announced they would notify the 200,000 people potentially affected by mail.

Google apologizes for racist search queries returning Google Maps results

Google allowed users the power to edit and improve Google Maps, and it backfired. This week, Google officially apologized after “certain offensive search terms were triggering unexpected map results”. The Washington post first shed light on the issue by showing that the outcomes of several racially offensive search queries resulted in the White House in Google maps. Google decided to suspend user ability to edit Google Maps, stating they would be working on “making the moderation system more robust.” The team has been working hard to extend the existing algorithmic change used to minimize the impact of Googlebombs in regular Google search. “Simply put, you shouldn’t see these kinds of results in Google Maps, and we’re taking steps to make sure you don’t” said Jen Fitzpatrick, the VP of Engineering and Product Management. Google said the change will gradually roll out globally to address the majority of the searches and will be refined over time.

Microsoft integrates how-old.net tool into Bing

Microsoft’s how-old.net tool has now been integrated into Bing’s image search. The popular tool was debuted last month at Build 2015, allowing users to upload images of people and have their ages estimated utilizing facial recognition APIs. Now users can apply the same tool to images found in search results. To test out the new addition, search for an image of a person using bing by clicking the Images link on the search results page. Then, click on an image to select it, and hover over it. Click on the how-old.net tool when it appears on the right side of the image to try it out. The tool has proven to be very inaccurate at times, but Microsoft has been continuously working on improving the feature.

Bing and Google begin indexing apps for several devices

This week Bing announced that it is creating a “massive index of apps and app actions” to improve the model of how users interact with apps. The search engine revealed that they are analyzing the web for app links and actions markup. Bing suggested users to get an edge on using app linking and schema.org actions now, and provided detailed descriptions on how to do so. This means users will soon be able to find relevant content within iOS, Android, and Windows 10 apps from Bing Search results (including Cortana).

Days later Google announced that they will be extending app indexing to include iOS devices. Now a Google search will be able to surface relevant app content from both Android and iOS apps, and will be able to find relevant app information. App indexing will only launch for a small group initially in order to test it, but the technology will be made available to developers as soon as possible. Developers can get to work on making sure their apps are ready now.

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Web Performance News of the Week https://loadstorm.com/2015/05/web-performance-news-of-the-week-6/ https://loadstorm.com/2015/05/web-performance-news-of-the-week-6/#respond Fri, 15 May 2015 19:52:10 +0000 http://loadstorm.com/?p=12283 This week Bing announced it will add its own mobile-friendliness algorithm to its search results, WordPress released a security update, Google added a new Search Analytics report for web developers, and the FCC denied delay of net neutrality rules. Bing will roll out its own mobile-friendly algorithm in the upcoming months This week Bing announced they would be following Google’s lead, but are taking a slightly different approach to mobile-friendly search rankings. Bing announced in November that they were investing in mobile-friendly pages, and have since added “Mobile-friendly” tags to relevant sites, resulting in positive user feedback. However, Bing will […]

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This week Bing announced it will add its own mobile-friendliness algorithm to its search results, WordPress released a security update, Google added a new Search Analytics report for web developers, and the FCC denied delay of net neutrality rules.

Bing will roll out its own mobile-friendly algorithm in the upcoming months

This week Bing announced they would be following Google’s lead, but are taking a slightly different approach to mobile-friendly search rankings. Bing announced in November that they were investing in mobile-friendly pages, and have since added “Mobile-friendly” tags to relevant sites, resulting in positive user feedback. However, Bing will not be rolling out Mobilegeddon. Instead, the mobile-friendliness signal will focus on balancing mobile-friendly pages while continuing “to focus on delivering the most relevant results for a given query.” So pages that are not mobile-friendly will not be penalized, and users can expect sites that contain more relevant results to be shown before mobile-friendly ones with less relevant content.

Shyam Jayasankar, a spokesman for the Bing Mobile Relevance team said, “This is a fine balance and getting it right took a few iterations, but we believe we are now close.”

Mobile-friendliness detection will focus on several important factors, but highlighted some of the more important ones:

  • Easy navigation – links should be far enough apart to easily navigate and click the right one.
  • Readability – Text should be readable without requiring zooming or lateral scrolling.
  • Scrolling – sites should typically fit within device width
  • Compatibility – the site must only use content that is compatible for the device; i.e. no plugin issues, flash, copyright issues on content, etc.

Bing also mentioned considering pop-ups that make it difficult to view the core of the page as a ranking signal (oh please, oh please!). They also stressed that Bingbot mobile user agents must be able to access all the necessary CSS and script files required to determine mobile-friendliness, and that they were very interested in listening to feedback on the mobile ranking.

WordPress security update addresses additional security issues

WordPress rolled out its second security update this month to address a security flaw which affected millions of websites. The exploit comprised of the vector based icons, called Genericons, that are often included by default into WordPress sites and plugins (including the Twenty Fifteen theme). The flaw was pointed out by security researchers from Sucuri, a cloud-based security company, who noted that it may be a “bit harder to exploit” than other vulnerabilities , but could allow attackers to take control of the sites.
The flaw leaves websites open to a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability, similar to security risks we’ve seen WordPress address in the past month.
Make sure your site is up to date to keep it secure!

Google adds more precise data in their new Search Analytics report

Google has added a new feature to the Webmaster Tools to help website managers understand how users find your site as well as how the content will appear to them in Google search results. The new Search Analytics report contains data that is more recent and calculated differently from Google’s Search Queries results. The report was added to give users additional options for traffic analysis, allowing them more granularity with the ability to filter content and decompose search data for analysis. A fun example Google used to show off the new tool was a comparison of mobile traffic before and after the April 21st mobile update. The Search Queries report will remain available in Google Webmaster Tools for three more months to allow webmasters to get adjusted.

FCC refuses to delay net neutrality rules

USTelecom, AT&T, and CenturyLink jointly filed a petition asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to stay the FCC’s Open Internet order. USTelecom president Walter McCormick explained that they are “seeking to stay this ill-conceived order’s reclassification of broadband service as a public utility service.” The FCC denied the petition, refusing to delay net neutrality rules. Digital rights group, Public Knowledge, commended the decision, arguing that the reclassification would enable the FCC to enforce consumer protections in the future. Several groups have filed separate lawsuits, bringing the total number of lawsuits filed challenging net neutrality regulations to 10. This week, Free Press and New America’s Open Technology Institute (OTI) filed a motion to intervene in the legal challenges against the FCC’s Net Neutrality rules. In the motion, Free Press stated that they “rely on an open Internet to communicate with its members, activists, allies and the public in furtherance of its mission.” and therefore were considered a “party in interest in the proceeding”.

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