The colder weather and shorter days may find you wanting to do a little house cleaning – on your website. This is a good time of year to revamp your design and get up to speed on some of the latest Internet news. There has been quite a bit going on around the world wide web, which is typical. Some of the more interesting stories we’ve noticed have been increased earnings in cloud-based provider companies, Microsoft fixing a bug that goes back 19 years and the House killing a bill that proposed an Internet sales tax.
Endurance Intelligence Reports Record Profits
Endurance Intelligence recently released a report stating that their earnings far exceeded what they even expected for their third quarter, which ended on September 30th. You’ll probably remember that Jerry Low interviewed Arvand Sebatian, the founder and CEO of Arvixe Hosting, recently about his web hosting services.
In the third quarter, Endurance Intelligence also acquired Arvixe along with Webzai, Ltd. and the assets from BuyDomains. The estimate for all three of these additions was around $77 million. They saw an increase of about 12% over 2013 third quarter subscription rates and have seen a steady growth over the last several years.
Endurance Intelligence, overall, is a subscriber-based company. It will be interesting to see if the growth continues into 2015.
Microsoft Finally Fixes Nearly Two Decade Bug
The BBC reported that Microsoft just recently patched a bug that has been in the software since Windows 95, making it 19 years old. The defect was found by IBM researchers in May and they worked with Microsoft to fix the problem before releasing an emergency patch and announcing the problem.
The bug allowed hackers to control a user’s PC remotely and to ask them to download “updates”. This allowed for drive-by attacks that forced people to download malicious software without realizing it.
The bug was called “WinShock” and the patch was released along with around a dozen other fixes. On the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS), which rates how serious of a threat a security flaw is, WinShock rated a 9.3 out of 10.
The vulnerability is related to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology, reminiscent of Heartbleed.
US House of Representatives Kills Internet Sales Tax Bill – For Now
Last year, the US Senate passed the Marketplace Fairness Act. However, this week, Speaker of the House, John Boehner, announced that the House of Representatives does not plan to pass this bill. The bill would have forced online retailers to collect sales tax.
Brick and mortar retailers have lobbied strongly for an Internet sales tax, stating that the reasons for making Internet sales exempt has long since passed as Internet shopping is not a strongly established force in the industry.
However, those opposed to the Marketplace Fairness Act complain that imposing a sales tax will simply make it difficult for online retailers to compete with foreign competitors who are under no such compunction to tax purchases.
This is an issue worth keeping an eye on as it could change the way any US-based online businesses collect revenue and drive away part of their customer base.