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Posts Tagged: Pandora
A Little Sunshine / Web Fraud 2.0 — 28 Comments
8 Aug 12
Triple DDoS vs. KrebsOnSecurity
“When nobody hates you, nobody knows you’re alive.” – Diplomacy, by Chris Smither
During the last week of July, a series of steadily escalating cyber attacks directed at my Web site and hosting provider prevented many readers from being able to reach the site or read the content via RSS. Sorry about that. What follows is a post-mortem on those digital sieges, which featured a mix of new and old-but-effective attack methods.
Junk traffic sent by a DNS amplification attack.
I still don’t know who was attacking my site or why. It’s not as if the perpetrator(s) sent a love letter along with the traffic flood. There was one indication that a story I published just hours before the attacks began — about a service for mass-registering domain names used for malware, spam and other dodgy business — may have struck a nerve: In one of the attacks, all of the assailing systems were instructed to load that particular story many times per second.
Oddly enough, the activity began just one day after I’d signed up with Prolexic. The Hollywood, Fla. based company helps businesses fend off distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, assaults in which miscreants knock targeted sites offline by flooding them with garbage traffic. Prolexic was among several anti-DDoS companies that offered to help earlier this year, when KrebsOnSecurity.com came under a separate spate of debilitating attacks.
The first DDoS campaigns consisted of several hundred systems repeatedly requesting image-heavy pages on my site. Prolexic’s analysts say the traffic signatures of these attacks matched that of a family of kits sold in the underground that allow anyone to quickly create their own botnet specifically for launching DDoS attacks. Both are believed to have been created by the same individual(s) behind the Dirt Jumper DDoS toolkit. The traffic signatures from the attack strongly suggest the involvement of two Dirt Jumper progeny: Di-BoTNet and Pandora.
Image courtesy Prolexic
Pandora is the latest in the Dirt Jumper family, and features four different attack methods. According to Prolexic, the one used against KrebsOnSecurity.com was Attack Type 4, a.k.a “Max Flood”; this method carries a fairly unique signature of issuing POST requests against a server that are over a million bytes in length .
Pandora’s creators boast that it only takes 10 PCs infected with the DDoS bot to bring down small sites, and about 30 bots to put down a mid-sized site that lacks protection against DDoS attacks. They claim 1,000 Pandora bots are enough to bring Russian search engine giant yandex.ru to a crawl, but that strikes me as a bit of salesmanship and exaggeration. Prolexic said more than 1,500 Pandora-infected bots were used in the assault on my site.
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Time to Patch — 14 Comments
10 Aug 11
Updates for Adobe Flash, Shockwave, AIR
Adobe has shipped patches to fix a slew of critical security flaws in its products, including Flash, Shockwave Player and Adobe AIR.
The Flash update corrects at least 13 critical vulnerabilities present in versions 10.3.181.36 and earlier for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris machines (the bugs exist in Flash versions 10.3.185.25 and earlier for Android devices). Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris users should upgrade to version 10.3.183.5 , and Android users should update to v. 10.3.186.2 .
To find out which version of Flash you have, visit this page. Windows users who browse the Web with anything other than Internet Explorer will need to apply the Flash update twice, once using IE and again with the other browser (Google Chrome users should already have the latest version of Flash). To avoid using Adobe’s annoying Download Manager, IE users can grab the latest update directly from this link; the direct link for non-IE browsers is here.
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Category: Web Fraud 2.0
Pandora And T-Mobile Roll Out Reward-Based Video In Effort To Boost Engagement
"We’re seeing that by allowing people to opt into their video ads and choose when it’s worth it for them to watch something, that intent drives truly deep engagement," says Pandora SVP Lizzie Widhelm.
By David KaplanSep 19, 2017 11:35AM
Pandora’s latest attempt to battle for the engagement of people on-the-go is turning to video, where the music streaming platform is releasing its performance-based Video Plus ad format to connect brands and listeners.
The video ad product, which Pandora began testing last fall, enables brands to pay only when users watch 15 seconds of a video ad, the company said in a blog post.
The performance-based format comes as retailers and location ad platforms seek to drive engagement — and win the trust — of brands with cost-per-visit ads that promise to “guarantee” by only charging for ads that actually helped drive in-store traffic.
In exchange for watching the Pandora video ad, listeners unlock features that are typically only available with a subscription to Pandora Plus or Pandora Premium: the ability to skip more songs and replay tracks. T-Mobile is among the initial brands adding the Video Plus into their media plans beginning today.
“We’re seeing that by allowing people to opt into their video ads and choose when it’s worth it for them to watch something, that intent drives truly deep engagement,” said Lizzie Widhelm, SVP of ad product strategy at Pandora.
Widhelm outlined how Pandora has been “training” its listeners through a few steps:
they have a surprise and delight moment during the times when they discover new music and listening features they love, while gaining the sense of control they want
they learn they can enhance their listening sessions by watching video ads
watching video ads becomes what they expect, and they associate those advertisers with the value they consistently bring to their listening experiences.
“Brands who spend time connecting with listeners during these surprise and delight moments are then associated with adding value to consumers’ daily lives,” Widhelm added.
In terms of the appeal to advertisers, Pandora research highlights a particularly coveted demographic that is primed to respond most strongly to this format: the majority of users who watch these ads are between the ages of 18 and 34 with listeners under the age of 24 three times more likely to opt-in.
The types of listeners opting-in to these new ads and features are some of Pandora’s most engaged – they listen 57 percent longer and “thumb” 65 percent more.
“The competition for consumer attention is only getting more intense,” said John Trimble, chief revenue officer at Pandora Brands need high-quality ad solutions that create lasting impressions and resonate with their target audiences. “Video Plus boosts brand awareness, builds loyalty, captures views and promotes deeper interactions with listeners who are significantly more likely to take action.”
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John Trimble, Lizzie Widhelm, Pandora, performance-based advertising, T-Mobile, video,
What Do Brick-And-Mortar Stores Face From Digital’s Role In Black Friday And Cyber Monday Shopping?
The biggest shopping weekend of the year has passed and retailers' omnichannel strategies will be put to the test this holiday season like never before, data from Shopify, Adobe, and others show.
By David Kaplan, Nov 27th
Are Thanksgiving Blue Laws Good (Or Bad) For Retailers?
Despite pent-up demand, stores in states that restrict sales on Thanksgiving Day see foot traffic lag during the Black Friday weekend, Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck finds.
By David Kaplan, Nov 22nd
What Were the most important Local SEO Trends In 2017?
This year saw "a continued movement towards non-traditional local rankings factors" as reviews rise in importance and citations diminish when it comes to driving offline business, says Local SEO VP Dan Leibson.
By David Kaplan, Nov 21st
About The Author
A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.
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AnalysisWhat Do Brick-And-Mortar Stores Face From Digital's Role In Black Friday And Cyber Monday Shopping?
By David Kaplan, November 27th
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AnalysisWhat Were the most important Local SEO Trends In 2017?
By David Kaplan, November 21st
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Yakko, as Puck: And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding, but a dream! Dot, translating into Layman's Terms: There is a hole in the plot you could drive a truck through.
Plot Holes are those gaps in a story where things happen without a logical reason. When a Plot Hole involves something essential to a story's outcome, it can hurt the believability, for those who are bothered by such things. Hitting a Plot Hole at high speed can damage your Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
Plot holes can come in many forms:
Characters suddenly having knowledge that was never passed to them, or vice versa; characters not knowing something they knew last week, or something that anyone in their position must know.
An event does not logically follow from what has gone before.
An event occurring that other events in the work simply do not allow.
Plot holes occur for several reasons:
The author really wants to write a certain scene, even if the scene makes no sense. Rather than toss the scene out, the author goes right ahead and writes it anyway.
The author forgets what was written earlier, and unknowingly creates a scene that goes completely against something that happened earlier. Can happen rather easily with really long stories, or ones that take a long time to write.
In a multi-author continuity, one writer forgets (or ignores, or rejects) what another wrote.
The scene that would have filled the plot hole was cut due to time constraints or other reasons.
While adapting a story to a new medium, the adaption team made a wrong assumption about a future Plot Point and added a detail which was later contradicted by the creator of the source material (compare Overtook the Manga). Another one is removal of the explanation for a plot element without which the plot element doesn't make sense.
A change is made during the localization of a work without also changing other elements that rely on it.
In comedies, the plot hole may be deliberately induced as the basis for a joke, usually consisting of Lampshade Hanging. note By definition, a plot hole cannot be justified, but if it is used by the author in this way, then it's not a case of bad writing.
Plot holes are thus contradictions in the fictional universe of a story. Even unrealistic, fantastical stories can suffer when plot holes arise, as audiences are willing to suspend disbelief as long as the story makes sense within its own rules and consistency.
Plot holes are sometimes plugged up or ignored with a Hand Wave, or occasionally dealt with by a Lampshade Hanging, and some writers think Plot Holes that only become apparent well after the story is over aren't worth sweating.
Remember that Tropes Are Not Bad. Some stories contain plot holes as part of their basic nature. This includes many ludicrously comical works, and everything involving a Timey-Wimey Ball. Even when it isn't being deliberately played for laughs, the storytelling and explanations necessary to close a plot hole might serve as a distraction from the main plot; especially for more minor or obscure plot holes, it often makes more sense for a writer or director to invoke the MST3K Mantra and focus on their main story rather than getting bogged down in explaining minutiae.
Can overlap with Retcon and Continuity Snarl. A Cliffhanger Copout can create a Plot Hole if a Hand Wave is handled poorly. An attempt to resolve or remove a Plot Hole that introduces another Plot Hole is a Voodoo Shark. Contrast What Happened to the Mouse? for potential plots that get dropped, then picked up.
Also see Fridge Logic for cases where a Plot Hole isn't immediately obvious and only becomes visible in hindsight.
This page explains a lot of plots at length, so beware of spoilers.
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Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water suffered from at least twelve episodes (the "Island/Africa" episodes, which were shoehorned into the series to cash in on the show's popularity) in which members of the cast go completely Out of Character with no explanation. The Lincoln Island and Africa episodes are especially guilty of this, particularly in the characterizations of Nadia, Grandis, Ayerton, Sanson, Marie, Sanson, and Hanson. Unsurprisingly, the creators consider it Canon Discontinuity.
When translated into English, it was changed from a standalone series to a sequel to Energon (which was later referred to as such in Japanese materials); unfortunately, this meant that several characters who were Killed Off for Real in Energon were alive and well here. It was explained that the reappearance of these characters happened because the Unicron Singularity screwed up space and time; this led fans to jokingly refer to the Singularity as the biggest plot hole in the universe.
The English version did fix a plot hole that was present in the original Japanese. In the English version, Cybertron spends the series hovering perilously close to the Singularity. In the Japanese version, it was sucked into the Singularity in the first episode; yet several subsequent episodes show the characters walking around on the surface.
When Grimmjow's fraccions are killed off, Aizen states their deaths don't bother him because they were just Arrancar that had transformed from gillians. However, it's later confirmed by two separate sources (Grimmjow's flashback and Uryuu's assessment of Grimmjow's group) that the fraccions transformed from both gillians and adjuchas. In fact, there was only one gillian Arrancar in the group. Hollow evolution does mean that an adjuchas evolves from a gillian, but Aizen's comment related to the Arrancar transformation, not Hollow evolution.
While in prison, Rukia comments that she's been a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. A flashback to Renji being made vice-captain also discusses Rukia being a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. Then Byakuya reveals why Rukia was adopted: his wife died 50 years ago, leaving him a request to find and adopt her sister as his own. A year after her death, he finds and immediately adopts Rukia. But an immediate adoption a year after Hisana's death would put the adoption at 49 years ago rather than 40 years ago.
During the Zanpakuto Rebellion Arc it is clearly stated that the destruction of a zanpakuto spirit by anyone except its master will permanently destroy the zanpakuto itself. Late in the arc the brainwashing is reversed and the spirits reunite with their masters, but so are at least two zanpakutos that were supposedly destroyed permanently. This is completely ignored. It's not even given a handwaved explanation.
Yhwach's Auswahlen is eventually revealed to leave a silver blood clot in its victims that kills them, which Ryuken dug out of his wife's corpse and gave to Uryu so he could fire it at Yhwach, momentarily shutting off his powers so Ichigo could finish him off. The problem is that several victims of the Auschwalen survived while merely having their powers reduced, while others died from much more extraordinary means than a blood clot.
Fist of the North Star has been guilty of making up the story as it went along, resulting quite a few contradictions as the series went on:
There are plot-important revelations about Raoh and Taki's family in season 2 that contradict revelations about their past — with physical evidence — in season 1.
The scene where Mamiya revealed that she was branded as a "conquest" by Juda. This scar is instantly recognized. Even though Rei, the rival of said Juda, had seen Mamiya butt-naked twice before — hell, he even personally shredded her clothes off once.
Naruto is said to have failed the final exams three times (and the exam at the start of the series is his fourth), but is in the same age group as others from his class (who are presumably taking it for the first time). This would mean he must have advanced through the earlier classes much faster than others (notably Sasuke and even Neji) and yet he is called a failure and a dropout.
Further, if he did repeat the classes, he must have been in the same class as Neji, Tenten, and Lee in the previous year, though they do not seem to know him much when they first meet.
In databooks written by Kishimoto, the author of Naruto, several ages are listed for characters - for example, Anko is currently 27, Kurenai is currently 31, etc. The databooks also list other relevant ages, such as when several people were promoted to Genin or Chuunin. Kakashi is stated to have become a Chuunin at age six. In chapter 599 we see the Chuunin exams where Kakashi passes, and he's competing alongside people like Anko, Asuma, Kurenai, Ibiki, Hayate, etc. several of whom had yet to even graduate from the academy, let alone qualify for the Chuunin exams.
When Edo Tensei was canceled Madara shows that he knows how terminate the contract with Edo Tensei. But how he can know this, if he never planned to return through Edo Tensei in the first place. And to make things worse even the original creator of this jutsu Tobirama, does not know how to do it.
When Obito becomes the Jinchuuriki of the Ten Tails, he is unable to use Kamui due to having the Ten Tails sealed inside his body. But when Madara later became the Jinchuuriki of the Ten Tails, he can use Kamui without problems in order to teleport to Obito, without any explanation. Furthermore, he did so by ripping Obito's left eye out of Kakashi's face, even though the left eye is meant for the long-distance Kamui while the right eye still in Obito's face is used to send oneself into the Kamui dimension.
On the topic of Obito, he somehow avoids ever losing his eyesight despite his constant use of his Mangekyou Sharingan. It's not until he tries using Kaguya's portals that his eyes even bleed. On that note, Kakashi had limited use of Kamui for most of Part 2 because of the strain on his stamina, but starts using it considerably more during the final arc, and it's only one throwaway line late in the arc that he ever brings up failing eyesight.
Kakashi is able to use Susanoo, and not just that, he was able to use the complete and perfect version of it. To even perform and maintain a Susanoo, let alone the complete and prefect version, you need a ton of chakra, something which Kakashi doesn't have and quite possibly the most egregious, the Susanoo is an Uchiha blood clan specific technique and Kakashi isn't an Uchiha!
Following Sasuke's fight with Deidara, Deidara used a gigantic self-destruction technique. Sasuke survived the resulting city-sized explosion by summoning and mind-controlling a massive snake to shield him, when he was explicitly described as being nearly out of chakra just a few panels before. Any one of those techniques would have required a vast amount of chakra, never mind both. Sasuke managed to do all this in the time it took for the explosion to reach him. After it had already started. Just a few feet from him.
Irene Belserion is revealed to be the creator of Dragon Slayer magic , yet Acnologia, who can smell Dragon Slayers all over the continent , and was trying to kill them all , had no interest in her until she goaded him into a fight. The next time they meet (though "meet" might be inappropriate as Irene had just committed suicide) , Acnologia suddenly knows this despite not even knowing her name before the end of their first confrontation.
One Running Gag since the beginning of the series is Natsu's motion sickness. This is later stated to be a Weaksauce Weakness shared by Dragon Slayers, brushing off Wendy and Gajeel not experiencing it earlier as "not being true Dragon Slayers". This is somewhat plausible from the former, a little girl, but makes little sense with the latter, an fully-grown man who'd fought on par with Natsu since an early arc. The aforementioned Irene would later explain that Dragon Slayers experience motion sickness because their draconic Super Senses (namely their inner ears) are too potent for their otherwise human bodies, but Acnologia is shown to suffer from motion sickness even in his Dragon form.
Features a plot hole the size of a semi in one story arc where a gunman walks down a crowded Japanese thoroughfare, calmly gunning down literally hundreds of innocent bystanders. This scene was very important to the continuation of the plot, but raises one significant question...WHERE THE HELL ARE THE POLICE!?
Especially in comparison to a similar scene later in the series where the bullied Nishi murders his entire class after they threw him out of the window. That got an immediate response from a heavily armed SWAT Team.
Infinite Stratos has one Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole at episode 4 when Ichika suddenly knew that Cecilia was in firing range on the unmanned I.S. drone. The Light Novels explains this by Ichika secretly communicating with Cecilia to fire on his command after unleashing Yukihira Type-2 by taking advantage of the barrier nullifying ability of the Laser Blade. Cecilia being frustrated to not be able to help out, answers the call. To people who have never read the Light Novels, it just counts as an Ass Pull.
In the very first episode of Voltron (the lion version), as the five young explorers see the Castle of Lions from their spaceship, Keith details Voltron's backstory and how the witch deceived the robot (or its pilot(s)) and split big V into five robo-lions. Two or three episodes later, when the boys finally make contact with Princess Allura and Koran, the explorers are completely surprised that Voltron cannot be summoned/activated/whatever-they-expected and have to be told everything that Keith explained back in the first episode.
In the twelfth episode of Elfen Lied, Nana gets past the police barricade to reach Mariko's position. She simply arrives there — no explanation given, the barricade not seen in her travels. Kouta and Lucy-as-Nyu arrive to the barricade and find every soldier and policeman knocked out/dead—this is never made clear. Bando is nearby with Kurama, but does not arrive until well after this in the next episode, so Bando's not responsible. Lucy is still Nyu, and remains this again until well after the discovery that the barricade is down. Mariko is by definition at the far opposite end of this barricade, and pulling anything like that would get her blowed up real good. This leaves Nana as the knockout/killer. Except a huge plot point is that Nana does not kill, and with the exception of disabling the vectors (invisible arms) of other Diclonius, she has never shown talent for quietly knocking people out, in either anime or manga. Therefore, no one knocked out or killed the knocked-out/dead force at the barricade.
The anime adaptation of Death Note usually averts the trope when adapting the manga, but probably the only notable example is that it does not reveal SPK member Ill Ratt to be a spy for Mello. As a result, the audience is left without explanation as to how Mello's crew obtained the SPK's true names and were thus able to kill them . The Rewrite 2 special cuts the mafia and has Mikami and Takada kill the SPK instead , but in cutting the mafia and thus fixing one plot hole, it creates another: Soichiro Yagami making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and his subsequent death are also omitted, leaving his absence and Light's knowledge of Mello's true name unexplained.
In Trigun, Vash possesses a special revolver that has a hidden function of grafting to his arm and mutating it into an energy weapon of mass destruction. When Vash tries to stop Knives at the city of July, Knives exerts some control over the gun that forces Vash to destroy the city against his will. The same thing happens decades later in another city, leaving Vash emotionally devastated and fearful of causing more harm. So...why doesn't he just destroy the gun?
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a couple. When the Wolkenritter drain Fate's linker core in A's, she is temporarily rendered incapable of using magic. However, her familiar Arf, who is dependent on Fate's magic for survival, suffers no ill effects. This plot hole was compounded by another one in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, as the excuse the writers came up with for sidelining Arf was that she didn't want to be a burden to Fate and so was always away from combat in her child form, which requires less mana to sustain. This makes very little sense, because by that time Fate was considerably more powerful than she had been as a child, and she was perfectly capable of supporting Arf then. This makes the plot hole in A's even worse, since when Fate was injured Arf remained in her adult form, despite the fact that it would be placing greater strain on Fate.
In Digimon Adventure 02, the three new characters, Davis, Cody, and Yolei, each get a new set of clothing whenever they appear in the Digital World. This never happened to the original eight from the previous series, and it does, in fact, confuse them. When they go to the Digital World, they're always shown keeping whatever they happened to be wearing that day... until the end of the Digimon Emperor arc, where T.K. and Kari get new outfits for summer, but the Digital World always magically puts them in their spring/fall outfits they wore at the beginning of the series. This happens to Ken, too, where he's always changed into his school uniform.
Goku punishes Monster Rabbit for turning Bulma into a carrot and his two decorated mooks by using his Power Pole to send them to the moon, where they must make treats for a year. Eight months later, it gets blown up by Master Roshi. However, the video games state Monster Rabbit and his cohorts got off the rock and back to Earth beforehand... which gives way to the plot hole: How?!
In the manga and the original Japanese dub of Dragon Ball Z, there is a plot hole with regards to how Cell was able to survive and regenerate after he blew him self up, killing Goku, King Kai and Bubbles and destroying King Kai's planet in the process . According to Cell, an organ inside his head allows him to regenerate, so long as that organ is not destroyed. Goku had previously destroyed Cell's entire upper body, head included, which should have prevented the evil Android from regenerating. This plot hole is averted in Funimation's original English dub of the anime, where Cell states that "every cell in his body has a life of its own", and that one survived, which allowed him to regenerate.
Early in the manga, Goku grabs Master Rabbit and his henchmen, extends his staff and plunks them onto the moon with absolutely no repercussions for Goku, or for them. And yet later, in the Freeza Arc, it's made a big deal that Goku can't breathe in space, so if Namek exploded and he wasn't in a spaceship, he'd die. This might be justified since the manga underwent a Genre Shift somewhat in the beginning, where it was mostly a comedic retelling The Journey to the West and when the Saiyans arrived, it began to focus a lot on martial arts, epic adventure and sci-fi.
In relation to the "Goku can't breathe in space" rule, in Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods and Dragon Ball Super, Goku actually goes into space, having no trouble breathing nor does he, obviously, die when it has been established that he is supposed to die when in space.
In Dragon Ball Super's retelling of Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection
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