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Less than two weeks after suffering a prolonged website outage, the New York Times was knocked offline again on Tuesday—apparently as the result of a malicious hacking attack.

The paper’s main webpage was intermittently unavailable for several hours Tuesday afternoon and remained that way as of 5:30 p.m. ET.

In an initial Twitter post, the Times blamed the outage on “technical problems.” But later, the newspaper’s director of corporate communication indicated that the site might have been knocked offline in a hacker attack. “re: http://nytimes.com - initial assessment - issue is most likely result of malicious external attack. working to fix,” Murphy said in a tweet.

In another tweet, the Times said it would continue to publish stories as it worked to resolve the issue. The message contained a link to a story on Syria with an IP address registered with the company that bypassed its DNS.

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Google is ditching video responses from its video sharing site on September 12th, encouraging users to fall back on hashtags and descriptions to surface videos in searches. The cited reason is a minuscule .0004% click-through rate on video responses submitted by users. To illustrate, says the YouTube team, only 4 out of every 1 million users bothered to click on those little boxes underneath the main video. Efforts will theoretically go into providing new and different tools to increase fan engagement for creators. The notice was posted on YouTube’s Creators blog because that’s really who this affects. Video responses were designed to create a way for bigtime YouTubers to foster a conversation and increased interaction with their fans. A video response would appear attached to a video, increasing exposure for the responder and demonstrating that a conversation was happening around the posted video. Now, YouTube says that the best thing to do is to encourage fans to use the video titles, hashtags and descriptions to explicitly associate them with the video that they’re responding to. Then, creators can search for those videos to find them and move them into playlists and channel sections Current video responses will still be ‘available and discoverable’, says YouTube, but since they weren’t’ really being watched in the first place it’s hard to care much. Google is in the final stretches of overhauling YouTube to be the channel-based juggernaut it thinks it can be — a true competitor to television. But if it’s going to do that it’s not just going to need to find a way to duplicate what TV already does well but to enhance the things that it can do without the strictures of the channel structure. In other words, yes, make people comfortable by starting with channels, but utilize the unique network effect of YouTube, which has made it the number one music service for teens and so many other superlatives. Anyhoo, it will be interesting to see where YouTube takes the video engagement tools from here. Hopefully people will click more when they do.

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A picture’s worth a thousand words, and now Facebook is letting others add to your conversation

The world’s largest social network announced shared photo albums on Monday, a new feature that allows multiple users to upload images to the same album. The album creator can share access to as many as 50 “contributors,” who can each in turn share up to 200 photos. Album creators can choose a setting that allows contributors to invite others to the album, or retain total control over album invitations

Previously, users could only upload photos to albums they created, and each album was limited to 1,000 total photos Read more…More about Facebook, Photo Albums, Hackathon, Social Media, and Shared Photo Albums

Pandora will remove 40hour mobile listening limit next month

There’s nothing quite like a 180, and that’s what Pandora plans to pull as next month rolls in. The outfit’s 40-hour mobile listening limit, which was established back in February, will be history in September. The move was announced today by CFO Mike Herring, as he stated the following:

"When we introduced the 40 hour mobile listening limit, we were confident that our scale — over 7 percent of total radio listening and Pandora’s number one ranking in most major markets — would allow us to take this action without impacting our key monetization initiatives in driving the disruption of the radio advertising market and driving our mobile advertising leadership. As our results have shown, the continued strong growth in our advertising revenue allowed us to cover the increased royalty costs with dollars left over to invest back into the business. With these tools in hand, and insight into how they work, we are resetting our levers in September.

Notably, Pandora plans to eliminate the blanket 40-hour-per-month limit on free mobile listening effective September 1st. In the 6 months since we first implemented the free mobile listening limitation, we have gained critical insights into our user population that has given us greater control of our business. Because of these insights Pandora has implemented both other surgical levers to control content cost and new features that will allow for greater product usage.”

It’s not clear why the the reversal is being made — be it uproar from loyal users or something else entirely — but those who found themselves perturbed by such a notion will have plenty to celebrate in just a few days.

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Source: TechCrunch