Around the Office: WordPress Security, Patent Peeves, Encrypted Searches, More

Roberto found out a few ways to thoroughly secure a WordPress-based site. Some tips include never using the default “admin” user name, installing the WP Security Scan plugin, and protecting the wp-config.php file. Choosing a secure password is also important, so pick something better than “guest”.

Daveed is interested in the drama that’s unfolding as Barnes & Noble claims Microsoft is trying to stifle competition among mobile devices through patent law, and asking the US Department of Justice to investigate. Many companies that sell devices based on Google’s open-source Android operating system have agreed to Microsoft license fees. However, Barnes & Noble, which recently launched its Nook Color eReader, has refused upping the stakes of this patent debate. Patents are supposed to protect inventors and some argue that the high value of patents could be incentive to innovate and create new patents, but others say patent cartels could unfairly hobble competitors. Given the money and principles at stake, it will be interesting to see which side wins.

Wayne is not alone in thinking that Google’s search encryption is an SEO game changer at least for analytics. Forget about drill-down analytics reports with data on inbound search strings, or where visitors came from — this information is now off-limits. And while we’re happy that encryption provides consumers more privacy, referrer blocking won’t be happening with paid Google ads, meaning there’s arguably a double standard where those who buy ads get better analytics — and more visitor information.

Eva saw Google take the stage this week with Google Music, a new cloud music service that is expected to compete with Apple’s iTunes platform. Google Music promises a new Web Music player and Android Music app are available now in the Android Market. It has also added a social element where you can share music you buy with for free on Google Plus. Interestingly, iTunes, currently the top online music store, added a social network known as Ping last year. As the online music store battle ensues, let’s hope these companies’ tactics ultimately help more artists get compensation for their music.

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