Google Using Machine Learning to Solve YouTube Ad Placement Problems

Today’s topics include Google using Machine Learning to fix YouTube ad placement problems, Microsoft’s decision to shut down the CodePlex Development Repository, why businesses are hanging on to Windows 7 and XP and the persistence of the Moonlight Maze malware after two decades.

Google is taking steps to resolve ad misplacement issues on YouTube. Several major brands withdrew or suspended their advertisements from the platform when they learned their ads were paired with objectionable videos.

In response Google is employing machine learning to classify YouTube videos, flag objectionable ones and disable ads from being placed on them. The machine learning tools are being used to classify YouTube videos, to flag objectionable ones and to disable ads from being placed on them.

Since Google began using the machine learning tools about two weeks ago, the company asserts it has already identified and classified about five times as many YouTube videos as unsafe for advertising than before.

Microsoft is shutting down its CodePlex Development Repository. The company launched collaborative software development and open source code sharing platform in June 2006.

It grew to encompass thousands of projects. However, recently the CodePlex community has fallen victim to disuse and spammers, Microsoft corporate vice president Brian Harry said.

Faced with dwindling productive developer use, Microsoft decided to pull the plug on the service as of Dec. 15. Leading up to that deadline, the company will set the site to a read-only mode in October and perform a full backup of the site.

While Windows 10 adoption is on the rise, many businesses are hanging on to Windows 7 and even Windows XP, IT management specialist Spiceworks found.

According to deployment data gleaned from the Spiceworks community the 7-year-old Windows 7 is running on 69 percent of all business PCs and laptops and 87 percent of organizations are running at least one instance.

In second place is Windows XP, which was originally released in 2001. The OS can be found running on 14 percent of business PCs and within more than half of business organizations.

Businesses are sticking with Windows 7 because the desktop operating system still works fine and because of the cost of and effort required to upgrade computers to Windows 10, said Peter Tsai, senior technology analyst at Spiceworks.

Moonlight Maze, cyber-attack malware that was first used in 1996, could still be active today, according to new research conducted by Kaspersky Lab and Kings College London researchers. 

In 2016, researcher Thomas Rid of Kings College London was able to find a system administrator whose  servers had been used as a Moonlight Maze proxy.

Researchers concluded that code from Moonlight Maze has been used in more recent attacks, including the Turla advanced persistent threat.