Those of you using Chrome, and I understand some of you using Firefox, were unable to access this website because of Google misidentifying it as distributing malware.
As those who know this publication realize, Lucire would never do that and that readers should ignore such warnings.
What I can tell you is that on Saturday morning, New Zealand time, we were hacked. Hackers put code in to our ad server and, curiously, the code has Google’s name all over it. I haven’t had confirmation of this, but it could be Google Adsense code. I’ve posted the code at this page and you can view it in a screen shot here. That code linked to another site that they hacked, which did distribute malware unknowingly.
We found this, and deleted all the injected code as soon as possible‚ÄĒin our case, this took place within hours. We did this manually, literally going through every ad entry on our server. After a few more hours, our web experts had deleted every change the hackers made to our advertising server back-end, and locked it down. And, rightly, Google cleared our ad server of any problems.
Strangely, however, Google refused to clear any site that used our ad server, even though none of them were distributing any malware, or linked to any site distributing malware. Google labelled all of them ‘attack sites’. This is, of course, highly damaging to our reputation. For days, Google continued to misidentify clean code linking to a clean ad server as malicious. The great irony is that a lot of this clean code links to Google’s own Doubleclick banners.
It’s sad to say, but this is typical of our experience of Google. Once I helped a friend get his blog back but instead of the 48 hours Google promised, it took six months of a lot of arguing and the intervention of Blogger’s product manager. We’ve uncovered privacy blunders with its advertising network on behalf of netizens. If you were an Iphone user who opted out of Safari’s tracking, Google found a way around it, so we know it has some really strange ideas of what constitutes malware (if they engage in it, it’s OK). Their detection systems should be better, and people expect them to be excellent because it’s a multi-million-dollar firm. Unfortunately, this experience reminds us that they aren’t perfect, and somewhat hypocritical‚ÄĒand that honest folks can get hurt sometimes.
We even went to Google Plus to tell readers, but we discovered today that that status vanished from people’s feeds and from our Google Plus page (though we can still see it). It appears that you aren’t allowed to criticize Google on Google Plus.
I wouldn’t be publishing a statement about this if I didn’t have my facts straight. Today, out of frustration, I went to a forum dealing with badware, called Badware Busters. An expert in the area, Dr Anirban Banerjee, told me that Google can make these mistakes. Even though you have done everything and cleaned up your sites, Google can keep identifying a clean site as malicious. He suggests we remove all our ad server code from our websites for a few days, get the all-clear, and then put things back to normal. We followed that advice today, and I hope that the block will be lifted shortly. [PS.: After a manual review, StopBadware.org cleared Lucire after this post was originally published.]
Or, as I said on my blog today: ‘there may be a drunk driver swerving left and right at the wheel of the Google truck, so it‚Äôs your job to make sure that you build a nice road in front for them, rather than insist that they clean up their act and stay on the road.’
We apologize to readers for any inconvenience, especially if you were put off by the false warnings. Rest assured that apart from a brief moment on Saturday morning, this site is secure and your surfing would not have resulted in any harm to your computers. We surf it, too, and we see the same version of the site as you do, so we want things to work properly. We might not be as big as Google, but we do have good systems, and our readers’ best interests at heart.‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher
You can follow a bit more about this saga as it unfolded on Jack Yan’s blog.
Updated March 28, 2013 at 10.56 a.m. GMT with The Delivery film and other highlights
James Bond star Daniel Craig has helped launch the Range Rover Sport in New York City with a drive through Manhattan, revealing the car to a celebrity audience that included former American football player Michael Strahan, Yasmin Le Bon, Zara Phillips, MBE, and Jade Jagger, at Skylight at Moynihan Station on 8th Avenue.
The drive is part of a short film called The Delivery, broadcast live by Land Rover at www.newrangeroversport.com. The Delivery was directed by Jonathan P. B. Taylor, who most recently worked on A Good Day to Die Hard. It followed the journey of the new Range Rover Sport from Solihull to Manhattan, before it was driven by Craig over Manhattan Bridge to Moynihan Station.
Craig drove the earlier Range Rover Sport in his second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, but was also attracted to working with the company because of its connection to the charity SAFE, of which he is a patron. Among other things, SAFE uses mobile street theatre and community programmes to help effect social change in third-world countries.
Jaguar Land Rover says it chose New York for the launch as it sells more units in the US than in any other global market. New York is the car’s best selling city.
The new Sport is no longer based on a Discovery, but has a new platform based around the company’s aluminium architecture, lightweight suspension design and chassis technologies. It was developed alongside the latest Range Rover but JLR claims that 75 per cent of the Sport’s parts are unique to it.
It can be specified with occasional seating for sixth and seventh passengers, again appealing to the US market. The power seats can be folded to leave a flat floor.
The new V6 diesel is 420 kg lighter than the outgoing model, while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced to 194 g/km.
The exterior design is more muscular and purposeful than the Range Rover presented last year, and some might say it is better balanced. It is positioned between the Range Rover and the smaller Evoque.
It is 62 mm longer than the outgoing Sport, but the wheelbase has been increased by 178 mm‚ÄĒthe overhangs have been shortened to give it more muscular proportions compared to the previous model. At 4,850 mm, it is shorter than other seven-seater SUVs and E-segment saloons, says the company. The drag co-efficient has dropped to 0,34.
Connectivity includes Stolen Vehicle Tracking and a high-bandwidth wifi hotspot can be installed. An optional head-up display is available. Other features include lane departure warning, automatic high-beam assist, and a Wade Sensing feature that provides information on depth when driving through water.
Land Rover said it had set out to create the most capable Range Rover ever, one which would be agile on-road, but unbeaten by its rivals off-road.
In a release, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards noted, ‘We‚Äôve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.
‚ÄėBuilding on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities.’
Again recognizing its client√®le, the wheel sizes range from 19 through to 21 inches.
Suspension is fully independent, with double wishbones at front and multi-link at the rear. Wheel travel is 260 mm at the front and 272 mm at the rear; ground clearance has been increased to 278 mm. Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system selects the most suitable terrain program.
A hybrid diesel with 169 g/km carbon dioxide emissions will follow, but at launch, the Sport has a supercharged five-litre V8 developing 510 PS, and a three-litre diesel developing 292 PS. Three- and 4¬∑4-litre diesels will be added in 2014.
Above, from top Michael Strahan. Yasmin Le Bon. Daniel Craig and SAFE’s Nick Reding. Jade Jagger. Zara Phillips, MBE. Sienna Guillory and Jamie Chung. Thierry Henry. Below More shots of the new Range Rover Sport.
In another fashion‚Äďmusic tie-up, Adidas Neo, the German company’s sub-brand targeted at teenagers, secured the services of Justin Bieber for its spring‚Äďsummer 2013 campaign last October. The campaign has now been released with a digital look book.
The look book is available at adidas.com/neoliveyourstyle, featuring Bieber alongside Neo teens in 12 short interactive films.
Bieber drums in one of the 12 short videos, while most feature teenagers living with their Neo clothing. The company has come up with various hashtags for the videos, including #liveyourstyle for the main collection, and #nailit, #dreamit, #styleit and others for the individual scenarios.
Cleverly, by clicking on the person in the video, the look book brings up each item they are wearing, and a link to Adidas’s online shop.
The items can be shared socially on Facebook and Twitter. Adidas Neo, meanwhile, can check out the brand at these two social networks, and at Instagram and Tumblr.
The song in the videos, written exclusively for Neo by British artist Femme, can be downloaded via the site.
Leading a redesign is always exciting, especially when there are more quiet news days at this time of the year.
If you’ve surfed through our home page, or if you’re a Lucire Facebook fan who got word of it in one of our statuses last night, you’ll notice we are phasing in a new look. Only a few pages have it at the moment‚ÄĒwe want to iron the bugs out and get feedback before it appears more widely‚ÄĒbut we thought we had better get a few pages looking “more 2010s” and give you the sort of reading pleasure you had when you first visited the Lucire website in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The changes are numerous, but here are the highlights:
first of all, we’ve made it easier for you to share to your social networks, and made those sharing buttons bigger if you’re browsing on a smaller screen. We haven’t optimized the feature pages for mobile yet, but the new look will make its way to these news pages, which, as many of you know, are. We’ll go from there;
bigger type. As screen resolutions improve, the sizes we had specified type at in the 1990s and 2000s seem rather small. So we’ve addressed that;
bigger pictures. It’s a recognition of better bandwidth these days. However, we haven’t forgotten that a lot of the planet isn’t on broadband, so we’re glad to note that the basic HTML files for the new pages are actually smaller by 1 to 2 kbyte and we’ve optimized the images for downloading where we can;
fewer ads. We know they can be annoying. With the new look, we’ve largely retired the 160 by 600 skyscraper size. We’re hoping that despite fewer ads, you’ll be encouraged to visit more, so what we make from advertising should balance out;
comment forms. Finally! While you’ve always been able to send your feedback, and comment on news articles, we haven’t built in any forms for individual feature stories. That will change with 2013 stories going forward;
and, on the home page, an animation! This is just us having fun. But we think you might like the top stories in a slideshow. It’s nothing new for a lot of our competitors, and we’re playing catch-up there. Now that we have caught up, we hope you like the first five we’ve chosen.
In addition to the home page, the ‚ÄėVolante’ index page has changed to the new look, as have two articles: Sarah MacKenzie’s 2013 BMW X1 first drive and Elyse Glickman’s 2013 Chicago dining guide.
There are other little changes, such as the disappearance of the callouts, or pull quotes, and much more noticeable ‘continued’ links for multi-page articles. The links to Digg have gone, too.
We’re still considering whether to remove the descriptions of each article from the home page, leaving only a byline, to make the look even more streamlined.
It’s a familiar feeling. At the end of 2002, a similar redesign helped usher in the New Year for Lucire, with the first article on designer Megan Tuffery and her residence at the time, Bruxelles. Until then, there were some lavishly designed stories, and ‚ÄėMegan Tuffery’s Brussels‚Äô was created to partly standardize the Lucire look and bring in some more lessons from print. Looking at the page now won’t be entirely representative, since it links to a stylesheet that has since been edited. However, if you do, think of much lower resolutions and much narrower browsers‚ÄĒ1,024 by 768 pixels was the norm‚ÄĒif you want to re-create the effect.
Interestingly, this latest redesign may be the first where web and cellphone viewing habits have driven the thinking more than old media.
Back in 2002‚Äď3, that new look was also considered clean‚ÄĒbut such is the nature of technology and changes that things get added, cluttering things up. We wonder how long the 2013 look will remain before it, too, needs a serious overhaul. Two years? Less?
For now, please enjoy our latest efforts‚ÄĒand look forward to these news pages eventually following suit!‚ÄĒJack Yan, Publisher