The Register: UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details. “The gov.uk postcode-searching tool for Britons to find out what level of coronavirus lockdown they’ll be in until Christmas has crashed on launch and been withdrawn. Arriving [Thursday] morning as part of the government’s scheme to partially lift lockdown measures across England, the website almost immediately died and threw up a slew of different errors before red-faced Government Digital Service (GDS) bods pulled the plug.”
BetaNews: DDoS attacks become smarter and easier to carry out. “Although ransomware has dominated 2020’s cyber threat landscape, DDoS attacks haven’t gone away. In fact the year has seen the largest DDoS attack ever recorded, peaking at 2.3 Terabytes per second. The attack was carried out by deploying hijacked CLDAP (Connection-less Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) web servers and caused three days of downtime for the unnamed targeted business. This is one of the things highlighted in new analysis from Digital Shadows.”
9to5 Google: New ‘Google Search Central’ site consolidates SEO resources, replaces ‘Google Webmasters’. “Google is modernizing and revamping its resources for Search Engine Optimizers, web developers, and site owners. ‘Google Search Central’ is replacing ‘Webmasters Central,’ while there’s a new website and blog. According to the company, the term ‘webmaster’ has become ‘archaic, and according to the data found in books, its use is in sharp decline.'” Good; I always disliked that term. I tried to use Web wrangler.
The Guardian: Vatican enlists bots to protect library from onslaught of hackers. “The Vatican Apostolic Library, which holds 80,000 documents of immense importance and immeasurable value, including the oldest surviving copy of the Bible and drawings and writings from Michelangelo and Galileo, has partnered with a cyber-security firm to defend its ambitious digitisation project against criminals. The library has faced an average of 100 threats a month since it started digitising its collection of historical treasures in 2012, according to Manlio Miceli, its chief information officer.”
99% Invisible: The Lost Cities of Geo. “Because David [Bohnett] ran an internet company, his business depended on users having some grasp of what the internet was. So it was his challenge to get people comfortable on the web. And one day in 1994, it just came to him. His hosting site didn’t need a technological innovation, it needed a conceptual one. Users needed a new way of navigating the web. So he sketched out a plan to make his website feel more like a real neighborhood.”
Tom’s Guide: How to build a website for free. “Traditionally, building a new website has been quite an expensive endeavor. At the least, you would have had to pay for hosting, domain registration, and, unless you designed and developed it yourself, professional assistance. However, things have changed in the past few years, and it’s now more than possible to build a website without spending a cent.”
Poynter: 38+ tools and resources to improve Zoom, follow the election and to make your autumn a bit easier. “Welcome! I’m Jeremy Caplan, with some new tools and resources. I’m a former Time Magazine reporter, now director of teaching and learning for CUNY’s Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. I write about the most useful tools I find in a free newsletter called Wonder Tools.” STUFFED with resources.
Bing Blogs: Site explorer: SEO-explore your site. “Site Explorer provides a unique SEO view of how Microsoft Bing sees your site. It reflects most URLs we have seen on the web, including redirects, broken links, or those blocked by robots.txt, organized in a file explorer-like fashion. Thus, giving you the flexibility to navigate each folder and the URLs contained inside them to understand, debug and modify your site structure as required.”
Search Engine Journal: How to Find Every Orphan Page on Your Website. “Finding webpages that have no links is difficult, but not impossible. If there are pages on your website that users and search engines can’t reach, this is a problem you need to fix. Fast. These types of pages have a name: orphan pages. In this post, you’ll learn what orphan pages are, why fixing them is important for SEO, and how to find every orphan page on your site.”
More Digital Inspiration, because it’s too Amit to quit: Measure Core Web Vitals of your Websites with Google Sheets. “If you are looking to automatically measure core web vitals for multiple websites, maybe that of your competitor’s websites as well, here’s a Google Sheet that can help. The spreadsheet will not only help you measure vitals for multiple URLs but you can also visualize the change in various metrics over time with the help of sparklines.”
TechRepublic: AI-powered tool aims to help reduce bias and racially charged language on websites. “Website accessibility tech provider UserWay has released an AI-powered tool designed to help organizations ensure their websites are free from discriminatory, biased, and racially charged language. The tool, Content Moderator, flags content for review, and nothing is deleted or removed without approval from site administrators, according to UserWay.”
The Next Web: Companies made millions building unemployment websites that didn’t work. “States continue to spend millions of dollars hiring Deloitte, IBM, and other contractors to build and fix unemployment websites, even amid growing concerns about the quality of their work. And the crush of unemployment applications flooding in around the country since the pandemic hit have only made the situation worse.”
CNBC: Coronavirus data has already disappeared after Trump administration shifted control from CDC. “Previously public data has already disappeared from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website after the Trump administration quietly shifted control of the information to the Department of Health and Human Services.” Regular readers of ResearchBuzz know that the Trump administration has a long history of disappearing data from government Web sites…
Mashable: The best apps for remembering that website you want to revisit. “Maybe you’re trying to remember that really funny video you saw online but can’t remember what the heck it was called. You can’t find it online. Your browser history doesn’t go that far back, and it’s not pulling anything up. Or maybe you’re just a bit of a digital hoarder, like me. Either way, not being able to find what you’re looking for is, well, annoying. I’m here to solve this problem. Here are a few of my favorite apps that will help you create your very own web history archive so you never forget about another website you once visited again.”
Search Engine Journal: A Simple Guide to Perform a Comprehensive Content Audit. “If you’re wondering if your content is performing well, there’s a good chance it’s time for a content audit to check for sure. By following the right steps, knowing what to look for, and what you’re hoping to get out of your content audit, you can look forward to creating a better website.”