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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

How many times have you seen posts on tech sites about “hidden iPhone features” and thought to yourself, these tricks aren’t really hidden at all. We’ve even had a few articles here on BGR with tips that were indeed unknown to most users, but the savvy iOS device owners out there were undoubtedly familiar with at least a few of them.

Well, in this piece we’re going to tell you about 25 hidden features that are really, truly hidden. As in, you could look through your iPhone from now until the end of time and you wouldn’t find any of these tricks unless you know what you’re looking for.

In the past, many of the hidden tips we’ve seen on sites and even covered here are simply things that are buried in the Settings app in places people normally wouldn’t look. These are great things to know — plenty of people would make their camera flash blink with incoming messages if they knew that they could, for example — but they’re not really “hidden” or “secret,” per se.

 

Each of the tips that follow below, however, are completely hidden. There is no indication that these functions exist in iOS, and we guarantee that most users don’t know about them. In fact, we also guarantee that even the savviest iPhone owners among you will find at least one or two things you didn’t already know. In fact, ran this list past a friend who works at Apple and there were a few things that even he didn’t know.

Enjoy.

Redial: In the Phone app, press the green call button on the keypad screen to make the last dialed number appear.

Clear cache: Make your iPhone run faster by clearing out the cache in several of Apple’s apps using a secret trick. In the App Store, Podcasts, Music, Game Center, iMessage and Phone apps, tap on any single tab icon at the bottom of the screen 10 times in a row.

Make TouchID work faster: Save the same fingerprint multiple times as different entries and TouchID will work much faster. This is especially useful on older phones like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s.

Spotlight conversions: Remember when we told you how easy conversions are in our post on Google search tricks? It’s even easier for iPhone users — just open Spotlight and type something like “20 euros in GBP,” and it will instantly perform the conversion.

Spotlight math: Want to do a quick math problem? No need to open the Calculator app, just pull down to open Spotlight and type it right there.

Delete numbers in the Calculator: Speaking of the Calculator, you can delete single digits when you tap the wrong number by swiping left or right on the screen where the numbers appear.

Clear RAM to make your phone run faster: Hold down the power button until you see “Slide to power off,” then let go and hold down the home button until the screen goes blank and your home screen reappears.

Burst mode: Hold down the camera’s shutter button to shoot in burst mode.

Remote shutter: Use the volume up or down button on your headphones to snap a photo in the Camera app.

 

Turn the flashlight off: How many times have you turned your flashlight on and wished that you didn’t have to swipe open the Control Panel again to shut it off? We’ll save you a step: simply swipe up on the camera icon on your lock screen and the flashlight will turn off.

3D Touch while drawing: All of the drawing tools and the eraser are pressure sensitive in the Notes app.

Close multiple apps at once: Double-tap the home button to open the app switcher and you can use two, even three fingers to slide multiple apps closed with one swipe.

Recently closed tabs: Want to reread this article on your phone but you forgot what site you were reading it on in the first place? Simply tap and hold on the + symbol in Safari on the tab carousel view to open a screen that lists all of your recently closed tabs.

Desktop version of a site: We all know you can request the desktop version of a mobile site in Safari but it’s easier to do than you think. Just hold down the reload button in the URL bar.

Peek at tabs: Not sure you want to open that tab in the Safari tab carousel? A 3D Touch will let you Peek at it first.

 

Peek at bookmarks: Did you know you can use 3D Touch to Peek at bookmarks before you open them?

Edit reminders: 3D Touch an item in your Reminders app to edit the time or add a location.

View only unread emails: So you don’t practice “inbox zero” like I do but you only want to see unread emails in your inbox. Tap the Mailboxes link in the top right corner of the Mail app and then tap Edit. Tap the circle next to “Unread” and you’ll have a new folder that contains only your unread emails.

Save a draft with one swipe: In the Mail app, tap on the subject line and swipe down to the bottom of the screen to save a draft.

Quick Reply: When you get a notification at the top of the screen that you have a new iMessage or SMS, pull the notification downward to reply without leaving the screen you’re on.

Hidden level(s): Slide to the left in the Compass app open the level. Then place your phone flat with the screen facing away from the ground to reveal a bubble level.

Artist Peek: 3D Touch an artist in the Music app to Peek at their music.

Reenable Low Power Mode: When Low Power Mode automatically shuts off as you charge, you’ll get a notification on your lock screen that it has been disabled. Swipe left on that notification to turn it back on.

Find an iPhone’s owner: Did you find a lost iPhone in a bar? Simply ask Siri, “whose phone is this?” and it will show you so you can get in touch with him or her and return it.

Reachability: This is one of the new iPhones’ best features and there are still SO many people who don’t know about it. Double-touch (don’t tap, touch) on the home button and the entire screen will shift down so you can reach the top without shifting your grip.

This article was published on foxnews.com By Zach Epstein

Many school administrators love Chromebooks, precisely because Google's stripped-down operating system is like a pair of rubber training wheels for children who can't be trusted to drive a full-fledged OS. Microsoft is banking on schools purchasing laptops with Windows 10 S installed, because the company's new operating system severely limits which apps users can install while giving IT administrators fine control over your system.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 S also locks users into Microsoft's ecosystem, forcing you to use Edge as your browser and Bing as your default search engine while preventing you from installing a number of really important apps that don't appear in the Windows Store. If you're an educator, the lack of choice should give you pause and, if you're buying a laptop for yourself or your child, these training wheels are probably a deal breaker.

If you want to use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or pretty much any browser other than Edge, you should not get a laptop with Windows 10 S. In its support FAQ, Microsoft writes that:

"Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Microsoft 10 S. You are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file. Additionally, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer cannot be changed." (emphasis mine)

I just checked the Windows Store, and I can't find any other major browsers there (or even minor ones). There's an entry for Opera browser, but when you install it, you just get a window with a download button which directs you to opera.com to actually download the app.

Opera App

Perhaps some day, Google and Mozilla will get their browsers into the Windows Store. However, even if that happens, Edge will still be the default browser which opens any time you click a link in an email, a chat app or anywhere else in Windows 10 S. And every time you search by typing a query into Edge's address bar, you'll get results from Bing, with no option to change it to Google.

 

Now, to be fair, many people like using Edge browser, which is fast and has a clean UI. However, if you need any kind of browser extension to make a website work, you probably won't be able to use it on Edge. At present, Edge has only 32 extensions and, unlike Mozilla and Google who let anyone publish an extension, Microsoft hand picks the few developers that can do it.

image_3101161493757768

Some web services just can't work with Edge right now. For example, at work, we use a single sign-on service called Okta, which requires a plugin to work, a plugin which isn't available for Edge. A number of conferencing apps, including Bluejeans and Zoom, require either plug-ins (which Edge doesn't have) or downloadable apps, which aren't in the Windows Store. My mother is a college professor who sometimes grades standardized tests on the weekends, and the online tool she is required to use will only work on Chrome or Firefox.

Microsoft says that Windows 10 S will work with every app in its Windows Store. However, nearly two years after the store launched with Windows 10, a lot of the most important programs aren't available in the store. Here are a few of the many apps which weren't available when I wrote this article:

  • Visual Studio Community / Professional / Enterprise -- Microsoft's own development tool is not in its store so forget about teaching kids to program Windows apps on their Windows 10 S computers.
  • Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Premiere -- You can get the lightweight Adobe Photoshop Express and Photoshop Elements, but forget about the professional versions of Adobe's creative suite.
  • Notepad++ -- My favorite text editor is great for coding and building web pages. You won't find it in the store. There are other text editors in the store, though.
  • Android Studio -- Kids who want to learn how to build apps for Android phones and tablets won't be able to get Google's official development kit.
  • Google Drive -- You can visit Google Drive in your browser in Windows 10 S, but none of the Google client-side apps, including Google Drive, are in the store.
  • Slack / Hipchat -- The two popular group chat apps aren't available in Windows Store.
  • OpenVPN -- There are VPN apps in the Windows Store, but not this popular freeware program.
  • WhatsApp -- Lots of kids chat with this, but they can't on WIndows 10 S.
  • iTunes: Need to interface with your iPhone or download some media from Apple's store? Get a different Windows.

Hopefully, the developers of these apps and others will work with Microsoft to get into the Windows Store. It's almost certain that Microsoft will move its own apps (ex: Visual Studio) into the store at some point too. However, as of this writing, there are so many gaping holes in the store coverage.

For some schools, Windows 10 S's restrictions may initially be a strength rather than a weakness, but if those institutions want to use an education app that's not in the store or a web tool which won't function with Edge, they could have buyer's remorse. Fortunately, Microsoft is going to offer its EDU clients free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro, which I can imagine many of them using.

For individual users who are considering purchasing a Windows 10 S-powered computer like the Surface Laptop, Windows 10 S makes no sense at all. Would you really want to limit what apps and browsers you can use, right out of the box? Isn't the main benefit of Windows over Chrome OS the wide variety of software and services that you can use?

 

If you've been following Microsoft for a few years, you'll remember Windows RT, a failed version of Windows 8, which also only ran special Store apps. RT failed because of its lack of apps and Windows 10 S faces most of the same challenges. There's just one major improvement: any Windows 10 S user can pay $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which can run every Windows program in the world and any browser you want. I expect a lot of people to pay that fee.

This article was  published in laptopmag.com by Avram Piltch

Internet of Things search engine Shodan has launched a new crawler that scours the the Internet for servers that manage botnets.

Shodan has been used by security researchers to uncover, for example, recent ransacking unsecured databases and a multitude of other connected things that shouldn't be exposed to the internet.

A new search service, dubbed Malware Hunter, targets infrastructure known as command and control (C2) servers that cybercriminals and sometimes government sponsored hackers use to control infected computers. Specifically, it’s looking for C2s that host remote access trojan (RAT) software, which are used to control an infected computer’s webcam to record video footage or audio of victims, or log keystrokes.

The service is jointly operated with Recorded Future, a threat intelligence firm, which provides an application protocol interface (API) that offers access to data from multiple sources, such as Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) from it’s own research and others, including Team Cymru. Shodan uses this data to scan the internet in search of IP addresses that match known RAT signatures already collected by Recorded Future.

Malware Hunter searches for malware servers by having its web crawler pose as an infected client that is reporting home. Since it doesn’t known which IP address is malicious, the crawler reports to every IP address on the internet as if the target is a malicious C2 and a positive response confirms that the IP address is one. Shodan will then display the IP addresses in its results.

Recorded Future notes the signatures are based on full packet capture data collected by numerous researchers from different RAT families. The packet captures contain RAT controller responses to requests made to the RAT controller’s listener port.

“Analysis of RAT controller responses within these packet captures leads to digital fingerprints that can be subsequently used in tandem with an Internet scanner to identify live instances of RAT controllers, and in some cases the RAT operator’s home IP address and approximate geographic location,” explains Recorded Future’s VP of threat intelligence Levi Gundert in a technical report.

Shodan has signatures for a number of well known RAT families, including Black Shades, Dark Comet, njRAT, XtremeRAT, Posion Ivy, Net Bus, and Gh0st RAT. The search engine identifies between 400 and 600 RAT controllers on any day.

Malware Hunter is meant to be more aggressive than existing methods, such as using honey pots, or using the Google owned malware aggregation service VirusTotal. The search engine is equipped to run port scans for servers, routers, webcams, and other port listening devices with the aim of helping researchers identify infected computers before a RAT variant grows too powerful.

Recorded Future claims that using the Malware Hunter methodology, a Shodan scan from early 2015 returned 633 RAT controller IP address. It crossed checked that with VirusTotal, which had matching malware results for 153 of the IP addresses, demonstrating that the service can find instances even before they’re submitted to VirusTotal.

"The capabilities that Malware Hunter brings to security researchers and threat analysts will greatly help the community's ability to track RAT family proliferation and other attacks and prevent them from taking the internet hostage," said John Matherly, founder of Shodan.

 

Anyone can start using the Malware Hunter search service today so long as they have already setup a free tier Shodan account.

This article was  published in cso.com.au by Liam Tung

A few search terms can lead to an exposed Internet connection. That's apparently how an Iranian hacker accessed a dam in New York state.

Bad guys and good guys alike can use Google to find vulnerable targets online. What matters most, then, is who's fastest.

"Google dorking." It sounds goofy, but it could be just the ticket for a hacker looking to stir mayhem.

The search technique is one of several methods that bad guys can use to find vulnerable computer systems and trace them to a specific place on the Internet. All they have to do is type in the right search terms, and they're well on their way.

That's how an Iranian hacker found a vulnerable dam in the US, according to a The Wall Street Journal story that cited people familiar with the federal investigation into the security breach.

 

It's a troubling example of what security researchers have long known -- a computer system with out-of-date software is a sitting target. That's because information about old and buggy software and how to hack into it has a way of getting to the public very quickly.

Add dorking (or "Google hacking," a term preferred by some cybersecurity pros) to a growing list of tools that, used together, can help automate the process of finding and exploiting weak spots everywhere, from an element of a city's infrastructure to a surveillance camera in your home or the network of a business that holds records of all your personal information. Google is just one layer of this approach, and other search engines from Microsoft's Bing to the specialized Shodan.io can be substituted for it.

Experts say that with these tools, a hacker could roll out of bed, check his or her email and find alerts with information on how to hack you before breakfast.

"If you like it, then you can go attack it," said Srinivas Mukkamala, chief executive of cybersecurity company RiskSense.

"I don't need to know anything, and I can be a very bad guy.

What saved the day in the case of the small Bowman Avenue dam in Rye Brook, New York, is that at the time of the breach in 2013, the dam, undergoing maintenance, had been disconnected from the computer system that controlled it. Otherwise, the hacker might have been able to take control of the floodgate.

Similar techniques are known to have been used in espionage efforts.

Scary, right? But these search engines and alert systems are only making it easier to find information that's already public.

More important, said Mati Aharoni of cybersecurity company Offensive Security, these services help out the good guys much more than they could possibly help malicious hackers, who will get their hands on the information one way or another.

Aharoni trains people to use his company's repository of known hacking attacks, Exploit Database. The trainees are good guys who need to track down fatal flaws quickly, he said. Hackers already have access to illegal tools that guys good guys can't use. "We're helping to level the playing field."

Shodan CEO John Matherly, whose Shodan.io search tool is used by security companies to find specific computers, agreed. If you're a hacker looking for vulnerable systems, "you can do so fairly cheaply on your own," he said.

Hacking made easy

Layered on top of all the search services are systems that can send automated alerts. One is the Google Hacking Diggity Project. It draws on services like Google alerts, so you can get a message letting you know when a search engine indexes new information about a particular topic. Google is not involved in the creation or operation of Diggity.

A lazy hacker could conceivably use it to get an alert when a vulnerable system and a tool for hacking it are both available, RiskSense's Mukkamala said.

But Diggity creator Fran Brown said his tools help people who are defending websites and computer networks -- or, for that matter, Internet-connected dams -- to quickly find out when their systems are leaking sensitive information or have a known vulnerability.

"You basically can trip over dangerous and sensitive information just by Googling,

said Brown, co-founder of cybersecurity consulting firm Bishop Fox.

It's not clear how exactly the Iranian hacker got into the dam's systems after he reportedly found its location on the Internet using Google. He's been indicted along with six other Iranian hackers by the US Department of Justice for the dam attack and for attacks on banks.

He might have used the same vulnerability that flagged the dam in a Google dork search to break in, or he might have used a completely unrelated attack.

But the hack still highlights what can go wrong if a security flaw hangs around on a system after it goes public. When a manufacturer announces a fix, it's a race against time to patch up the problem. It's also a race that the people responsible for many Internet-connected systems are losing badly, said Michael Bazzell, a former cybercrimes investigator with the FBI.

"If that system hasn't been patched in the last few years," Bazzell said, "it's pretty trivial getting in."

This article was  published in cnet.com by Catalina Albeanu

How to check if a photo shared on social media has been digitally altered

What is it: A tool that analyses digital images, showing the areas where they could have been altered

Cost: Free for a basic report for images in JPEG and PNG format. A Lab version with additional features is available at a cost.

How is it of use to journalists: Verifying information from social media is becoming a key skill for journalists today. You can find many helpful guides for verifying images sourced online – the process involves multiple steps including geolocating the photo, checking whether the person who shared it online is the creator of the image and contacting them whenever possible.

FotoForensics can help along the way by providing analysis of the digital image that could help you work out whether the photo has been altered or not.

The site is free to use and you don’t need an account to check a particular photo – you can upload your file from your device or using a URL, and you will receive a report that includes information such as metadata and error level analysis.

Moreover, FotoForensics features a number of tutorials to help you learn more about how to analyse what you see, and what each of the factors included in the report mean.

As well as analysing a number of photos alongside notes from FotoForensics to help you make a better assessment, you can also read a list of common mistakes you can make when going through the process.

One thing to consider when using this tool is that it cannot give you a verdict on whether or not an image has been edited. It can provide information you can use to make up your own mind. When assessing images sourced from social media, it’s also important to remember that it’s possible they have been reposted a number of times, and the image quality has deteriorated with every share.

“The very first question an analyst should ask is ‘where did this picture come from?’,” an article from FotoForensics outlining common mistakes explains. “Online services, like Facebook and Twitter, resave pictures at a low quality. The size of an image and the quality of the picture directly impacts the ability to evaluate the file. A large picture that has been repeatedly resaved with JPEG compression is also unlikely to have subtle artifacts intact.”

The free version of FotoForensics, which you can access without an account, is a public website. Each image you upload is stored by FotoForensics and can be used for research purposes. You can find out more about the privacy policy of the tool here. Registering an account and signing up for the Lab version gives you more privacy options.

FotoForensics has been recommended by verification experts including Tetiana Matychak, co-founder of Ukrainian fact-checking site StopFake, and Craig Silverman, media editor, BuzzFeed News, and editor of the Verification Handbook.

 

When using this tool, remember that it is only one step of the verification process. It could help speed up your task, but it won’t provide you with all the answers in a few seconds.

This article was  published in journalism.co.uk by Catalina Albeanu

The most effective call-to-action techniques use basic psychology. You can use some of these psychology methods in your calls to action to turn visitors into repeat customers.

For example, let’s say you just read about an online tool that can make your business run faster and increase productivity. Who doesn’t want that?

So you go to the website and snoop around. Ten minutes later you’re clicking the PayPal button and checking your email for confirmation.

Do you know what persuaded you to go to that website and buy the product? It was an effective set of call-to-action methods that pushed you through the buying process.

Call these methods sneaky, but when done right, an effective call to action will guide your visitors through the buying process, thus getting you more clicks, more buys, and more sign ups.

 

How Compelling Is Your Call to Action?

Your website is competing with more than a billion other websites. Every one of those sites asks the user to do something, whether it be to buy, read more, or hand over their email address. You won’t compel anyone to hand over their money or personal information unless you give them a good reason.

Luckily, creating a click-worthy call to action isn’t hard. In fact, you don’t need to look any further than the nearest psychology book.

Here are seven ways you can use psychology to create a more compelling call to action.

1. Use Repetition

The human brain automatically scans material for themes and patterns that can help it process and understand information faster. Take advantage of the brain’s inclination to seek out repetition and use a recurring phrase to prime your user for the call to action.

For example, if you want more people to sign up to your newsletter, incorporate the phrase “save money” throughout the page. Use that phrase in the header, body, and final call-to-action button. By the time the user reaches the call-to-action button, his brain has already correlated the action of “clicking to subscribe” with saving money.

If you’re not sure which recurring phrase will be effective, use your targeted SEO keyword. This provides a seamless start-to-finish search experience for the user: He types the keyword into the search engine, then recognizes it in your ad copy or meta description, then sees it again once he clicks through to your page. By the time he reaches the call to action containing the same keyword, his brain has begun associating your page with the phrase he initially searched, and he won’t hesitate to click the button.

2. Create a Sense of Urgency

Ever notice that retailers make sales sound like an emergency? Or have you come across a deal with a time limit?

Optimal Countdown Timer

There’s a reason for this. Certain words and phrases, and the feeling of missing out prompt us to act faster.

This is why ads that tout “amazing limited-time offers” or bargains that only last “until supplies run out” are common. We’re more likely to buy now if we’re afraid that we can’t buy tomorrow.

You can improve conversions by creating the same sense of urgency. Also known as scarcity marketing, this technique uses phrases like “last chance,” “offer expires,” or “going fast.”

This method highlights the scarcity of your product, thereby prompting the user to click your call to action before the deal is gone. This is why so many calls to action include the word “now.”

Exclusivity is another powerful motivator. Nothing feels more exclusive than being one of the first to have the insider scoop, especially if you can give the user bragging rights.

So don’t just ask your user to just plain old “subscribe here,” prompt them to “become an insider” or “ask for an invitation” to your mailing list. Other motivators include “be the first to hear about it” or “get it before everyone else.” They’ll be more inclined to join your list if they think they’re gaining access to something that can elevate their status.

3. Focus on a Benefit

Think back to the last time you were on a website evaluating a service. What were you looking for?

While looking through the features of a service or product, I bet you were asking “what’s in it for me” the whole time.

Newbie marketers often make the mistake of talking up features rather than the benefits those features can provide. Higher conversions happen when you can clearly answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

Psychologically, users aren’t interested in bells and whistles. They’re interested in how those bells and whistles help them solve problems. Think about how your product saves time, money, or hassle for the user, then incorporate that value into your call to action.

A call-to-action button that says “never be late again” is more impactful than one that says “get our time management app.” The same goes for a button that says “shave 10 hours off your work week” rather than “read our time-saving tips.”

Phrase your call to action to focus on results, and you’ll instantly see more clicks.

4. Minimize the Risk

Everyone loves high value and low risk. So why not do like smart marketers do and use money-back and no-obligation tactics to seal the deal? Minimizing risk alleviates your user’s fears and hesitations during the buying process and encourages them to buy or sign up.

 

Do your sales pages and calls to action make it clear that your free trial is “no-obligation”? Or, does your service include a “money-back guarantee”? Make sure you’re clearly stating them in your call to action or in the copy leading up to it.

While you’re at it, don’t overlook the power of the word “free.” It can be one of the most powerful and persuasive words in the English language, and it’ll help you get more clicks.

Remember, the less risk involved, the more likely your user is to click a call to action — and telling them something is free eliminates any financial risk in their mind.

5. Choose the Right Color

With the absence of physical space — meaning your product or service is fully online — the only senses you communicate through is visual (and audio if you use video). This is why using the right color is so important.

Colors automatically invoke emotion in humans and transmit information on a subconscious level. For example, black has long been associated with sleek sophistication while pink has been associated with femininity — and we all know that green means “go.”

Since you can only communicate through visuals (and sound), use a color that will get your users to “click.”

If you want to energize, choose a vibrant yellow or orange (think Kayak.com). If you want to come across as trustworthy, choose blue as the color of most financial institutions. Or opt for a rich purple if you want to convey a sense of opulence and luxury (think Jet.com).

You can place even more emphasis on your call to action by choosing a color that pops, a color different from the rest of your website. This is easily done by confining your landing page to a monochromatic color scheme and incorporating a contrasting color for your calls to action, whether it be keywords or action buttons.

Conversely, avoid the temptation to make the color design too simple. If your user can’t easily spot your call to action, they won’t be clicking on it. Avoid gray calls to action altogether — gray is the default color when a button or field is inactive; users will skip right over it.

6. Ask at the Right Time

So far we’ve talked about how to ask your visitor to bite at your call to action, but it’s just as important as when you ask them to do it.

If you’re seeking opt-ins for your course or email list, implement a welcome mat or design your opt-in above-the-fold like marketing leaders Darren Rowse and Brian Dean.

Problogger website welcome mat

Welcome mats are full-page call to actions and above the fold is the first area you see when you visit a website.

Backlinko website welcome mat

Welcome mats and above-the-fold call to actions provide a less invasive user experience than traditional pop-up boxes. These eliminate the risk of a user leaving your site before seeing your call to action.

However, if your primary goal is to get your users to buy something, it’s best to follow steps 3 and 4 (focus on a benefit and minimize buyer risk) before asking them to sign up via a welcome mat. Users will rarely agree to buy without having some idea of what they’re getting for their money.

7. Keep It Simple

It’s good practice to follow up your primary call to action with a secondary one, such as following your company on social media after purchasing a product. However, it isn’t good practice when your primary call to action is followed by several more calls to action.

The more options you give the user, the less likely they are to choose one — and the more likely they are to bounce. This phenomenon is called decision paralysis, and preventing your visitors from it can help you get higher conversions.

Make sure your primary call to action is immediately visible and understandable, then see if other elements on the page could distract visitors from that call to action. If you’re giving the visitor several other calls to action to click on, it’s probably too much.

Streamline your visitor’s experience and increase success rate by making sure you have a primary call to action and one secondary call to action. Any more than that and it will distract and deter people from staying on your website.

Final Thoughts

Attract more visitors and increase conversion rates by helping your visitors through the buying process using effective call-to-action techniques that have roots in basic psychology.

 

Implementing these steps today will make your content more appealing and will turn visitors into clients, and customers into repeat visitors.

This article was  published in searchenginejournal.com by Dev Sharma

Back in 2010, we shared with you 100 awesome search engines and research resources in our post: 100 Time-Saving Search Engines for Serious Scholars. It’s been an incredible resource, but now, it’s time for an update. Some services have moved on, others have been created, and we’ve found some new discoveries, too. Many of our original 100 are still going strong, but we’ve updated where necessary and added some of our new favorites, too. Check out our new, up-to-date collection to discover the very best search engine for finding the academic results you’re looking for.

General

Need to get started with a more broad search? These academic search engines are great resources.

  1. iSEEK Education:iSeek is an excellent targeted search engine, designed especially for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers. Find authoritative, intelligent, and time-saving resources in a safe, editor-reviewed environment with iSEEK.
  2. RefSeek:With more than 1 billion documents, web pages, books, journals, newspapers, and more, RefSeek offers authoritative resources in just about any subject, without all of the mess of sponsored links and commercial results.
  3. Virtual LRC:The Virtual Learning Resources Center has created a custom Google search, featuring only the best of academic information websites. This search is curated by teachers and library professionals around the world to share great resources for academic projects.
  4. Academic Index:This scholarly search engine and web directory was created just for college students. The websites in this index are selected by librarians, teachers, and educational consortia. Be sure to check out their research guides for history, health, criminal justice, and more.
  5. BUBL LINK:If you love the Dewey Decimal system, this Internet resource catalog is a great resource. Search using your own keywords, or browse subject areas with Dewey subject menus.
  6. Digital Library of the Commons Repository:Check out the DLC to find international literature including free and open access full-text articles, papers, and dissertations.
  7. OAIster:Search the OAIster database to find millions of digital resources from thousands of contributors, especially open access resources.
  8. Internet Public Library:Find resources by subject through the Internet Public Library’s database.
  9. Infomine:The Infomine is an incredible tool for finding scholarly Internet resource collections, especially in the sciences.
  10. Microsoft Academic Search:Microsoft’s academic search engine offers access to more than 38 million different publications, with features including maps, graphing, trends, and paths that show how authors are connected.
  11. Google Correlate:Google’s super cool search tool will allow you to find searches that correlate with real-world data.
  12. Wolfram|Alpha:Using expert-level knowledge, this search engine doesn’t just find links; it answers questions, does analysis, and generates reports.

Meta Search

Want the best of everything? Use these meta search engines that return results from multiple sites all at once.

  1. Dogpile:Find the best of all the major search engines with Dogpile, an engine that returns results from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing, with categories including Web, Images, Video, and even White Pages.
  2. MetaCrawler:MetaCrawler makes it easy to “search the search engines,” returning results from Google, Yahoo!, and Bing.
  3. Mamma:Check out the mother of all search engines to pin down the best resources on the web. Mamma even searches Twitter and job postings!

Databases and Archives

Resources like the Library of Congress have considerable archives and documents available, and many of them have taken their collections online. Use these search tools to get access to these incredible resources.

  1. Library of Congress:In this incredible library, you’ll get access to searchable source documents, historical photos, and amazing digital collections.
  2. Archives Hub:Find the best of what Britain has to offer in the Archives Hub. You’ll be able to search archives from almost 200 institutions from England, Scotland, and Wales.
  3. National Archives:Check out this resource for access to the National Archives. Find online, public access to find historic documents, research, government information, and more in a single search.
  4. arXiv e-Print Archive:Cornell University’s arXiv.org offers open access to a wealth of e-prints in math, science, and related subjects. Search this resource to find what you need among 756,133 documents and counting.
  5. Archivenet:An initiative of the Historical Centre Overijssel, Archivenet makes it easy to find Dutch archives and more.
  6. NASA Historical Archive:Explore the history of space in this historical archive from NASA, highlighting space history and manned missions.
  7. National Agricultural Library:A service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, you can find global information for agriculture in the National Agricultural Library.
  8. Smithsonian Institution Research Information System:Get access to the considerable resources of the Smithsonian Institution through the Research Information System, a great way to search more than 7.4 million records from the Smithsonian’s museums, archives, and libraries.
  9. The British Library Catalogues & Collections:Explore the British Library catalogues, printed materials, digital collections, and even collection blogs for a wealth of resources.
  10. CIA World Factbook:As the center of intelligence, the CIA has certainly done its job with The World Factbook, offering information on major reference information around the world. History, people, government, economy, and more are all covered in this online publication.
  11. State Legislative Websites Directory:Use this database to find information from the legislatures of all 50 U.S. states, DC, and the Territories. You can look up bills, statutes, legislators, and more with this excellent tool.
  12. OpenDOAR:In the Directory of Open Access Repositories, you can search through freely academic research information with more directly useful resources.
  13. Catalog of U.S. Government Publications:Search through the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications to find descriptive records for historical and current publications, with direct links where available.

Books & Journals

Instead of heading to the library to bury your face in the stacks, use these search engines to find out which libraries have the books you need, and maybe even find them available online.

  1. WorldCat:Find items from 10,000 libraries worldwide, with books, DVDs, CDs, and articles up for grabs. You can even find your closest library with WorldCat’s tools.
  2. Google Books:Supercharge your research by searching this index of the world’s books. You’ll find millions for free and others you can preview to find out if they’re what you’re looking for.
  3. Scirus:For scientific information only, Scirus is a comprehensive research tool with more than 460 million scientific items including journal content, courseware, patents, educational websites, and more.
  4. HighBeam Research:Research articles and published sources with HighBeam Research’s tools. You’ll not only be able to search for what you’re looking for, you can also choose from featured research topics and articles. Note: HighBeam is a paid service.
  5. Vadlo:Vadlo is a life sciences search engine offering protocols, tools, and powerpoints for scientific research and discovery. Find what you’re looking for, and then stick around to check out the forums.
  6. Open Library:Find the world’s classic literature, open e-books, and other excellent open and free resources in the Open Library. You can even contribute to the library with information, corrections to the catalog, and curated lists.
  7. Online Journals Search Engine:In this free, powerful scientific search engine, you can discover journals, articles, research reports, and books in scientific publications.
  8. Google Scholar:Check out Google Scholar to find only scholarly resources on Google. The search specializes in articles, patents, and legal documents, and even has a resource for gathering your citations.
  9. Bioline International:Search Bioline International to get connected with a variety of scientific journals. The search is managed by scientists and librarians as a collaborative initiative between Bioline Toronto and and the Reference Center on Environmental Information.
  10. SpringerLink:Search through SpringerLink for electronic journals, protocols, and books in just about every subject possible. You can also browse publications by collection and content type.
  11. Directory of Open Access Journals:When you need top-quality journal writings for free, the Directory of Open Access Journals is a great place to check out. You’ll get access to a searchable journal of full-text quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  12. Jurn:In this curated academic search engine, you’ll get results from over 4,000 free scholarly e-journals in the arts and humanities.

Science

With a focus on science, these academic search engines return all-science, all the time.

  1. SciSeek:In this science search engine and directory, you’ll find the best of what the science web has to offer. Browse by category, search by keyword, and even add new sites to the listings.
  2. Chem BioFinder:Register with PerkinElmer to check out the Chem BioFinder and look up information about chemicals, including their properties and reactions.
  3. Biology Browser:Biology Browser is a great resource for finding research, resources, and information in the field of biology. You can also check out their Zoological Record and BIOSIS Previews.
  4. Athenus:Athenus is an authority on science and engineering on the Web, sharing a directory and full-featured web search.
  5. SciCentral:Use SciCentral as your gateway to the best sources in science. This site has a literature search, journals, databases, and other great tools for finding what you need.
  6. Strategian:Strategian is a great place to find quality information in all fields of science. Featured resources include free full-text books, patents, and reports, as well as full-text journal and magazine articles, plus a special collection of Vintage Biology with important articles and books in biology.
  7. Science.gov:In this government science portal, you can search more than 50 databases and 2,100 selected websites from 12 federal agencies. This is an incredible resource for millions of pages of U.S. government science information.
  8. CERN Document Server:This organization for nuclear research serves up a great search and directory for experiments, archives, articles, books, presentations, and so much more within their documents.
  9. Analytical Sciences Digital Library:Through the Analytical Sciences Digital Library, you’ll find peer-reviewed, web-based educational resources in analytical sciences, featuring a variety of formats for techniques and applications.
  10. WorldWideScience:Use WorldWideScience.org as a global science gateway, offering excellent search results in the sciences, and even the option to select specific databases and find resources in your own language.

Math & Technology

Keep your results limited to only the best math and technology resources by using these search engines.

  1. MathGuide:Check out the MathGuide subject gateway to find online information sources in mathematics. The catalog offers not just a search, but a database of high quality Internet resources in math.
  2. ZMATH Online Database:Zentralblatt MATH’s online database has millions of entries from thousands of serials and journals dating back as far as 1826. Nearly 35,000 items were added in 2012 alone.
  3. Math WebSearch:This semantic search engine allows users to search with numbers and formulas instead of text.
  4. Current Index to Statistics:In this bibliographic index, you’ll find publications in statistics, probability, and related fields. There are more than 160 preferred journals, plus selected articles from 1,200 more and 11,000 statistics books to draw from in this search.
  5. Inspec:This database was made for scientists and engineers by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. You’ll find nearly 13 million abstracts and research literature, primarily in the fields of physics and engineering.
  6. CiteSeerX:Get searchable access to the Scientific Research Digital Library by using the CiteSeerX website.
  7. The Collection of Computer Science Bibliographies:Find more than 3 million references to journal articles, conference papers, and technical reports in computer science with this bibliography collection.
  8. Citebase:Still in experimental demonstration, Citebase Search is a resource for searching abstracts in math, technology, and more.

Social Science

Researchers working in the fields of psychology, anthropology, and related subjects will find great results using these search engines.

  1. Behavioral Brain Science Archive:Check out this searchable archive to find extensive psychology and brain science articles.
  2. Social Science Research Network:In this research network, you can find a wide variety of social science research from a number of specialized networks including cognitive science, leadership, management, and social insurance.
  3. Psycline:Find a journal with Psycline’s journal and article locator, a tool that offers access to more than 2,000 psychology and social science journals online.
  4. Social Sciences Citation Index:The Thomson Reuters Social Sciences Citation Index is a paid tool, but well worth its cost for the wealth of relevant articles, search tools, and thorough resources available.
  5. Ethnologue:Search the languages of the world with Ethnologue, offering an encyclopedic reference of all the world’s known living languages. You’ll also be able to find more than 28,000 citations in the Ethnologue’s language research bibliography.
  6. SocioSite:Use this site from the University of Amsterdam to browse sociological subjects including activism, culture, peace, and racism.
  7. The SocioWeb:Check out this guide to find all of the sociological resources you’ll need on the internet. The SocioWeb offers links to articles, essays, journals, blogs, and even a marketplace.
  8. WikiArt:With this custom Google search engine, you can find open access articles about archaeology.
  9. Encyclopedia of Psychology:Search or browse the Encyclopedia of Psychology to find basic information, and even translations for information about psychology careers, organizations, publications, people, and history.
  10. Anthropology Review Database:Through this database, you can get access to anthropology reviews, look up publishers, and find resources available for review.
  11. Anthropological Index Online:This anthropological online search includes both general search of 4,000 periodicals held in The British Museum Anthropology Library as well as Royal Anthropological Institute films.
  12. Political Information:Political Information is a search engine for politics, policy, and political news with more than 5,000 carefully selected websites for political information.

History

Find awesome resources for history through these search engines that index original documents, sources, and archives.

  1. David Rumsey Historical Map Collection:Use the LUNA Browser to check out David Rumsey’s Map Collection with more than 30,000 images, searchable by keyword.
  2. Genesis:Find excellent sources for women’s history with the Genesis dataset and extensive list of web resources.
  3. Fold3:Get access to historical military records through Fold3, the web’s premier collection of original military records and memorials.
  4. Internet Modern History Sourcebook:Use the Internet Modern History Sourcebook to find thousands of sources in modern history. Browse and search to find full texts, multimedia, and more.
  5. Library of Anglo-American Culture and History:Use the history guide from the Library of Anglo-American Culture and History for a subject catalog of recommended websites for historians, with about 11,000 to choose from.
  6. HistoryBuff:History Buff offers an online newspaper archive, reference library, and even a historical panoramas section in their free primary source material collection.
  7. Digital History:University of Houston’s Digital History database offers a wealth of links to textbook, primary sources, and educational materials in digital history. The database has multimedia, an interactive timeline, active learning, and resources for teachers.
  8. Internet Ancient History Sourcebook:The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook is a great place to study human origins, with full text and search on topics including Mesopotamia, Rome, the Hellenistic world, Late Antiquity, and Christian origins.
  9. History and Politics Out Loud:History and Politics Out Loud offers a searchable archive of important recordings through history, particularly politically significant audio materials.
  10. History Engine:In this tool for collaborative education and research, students can learn history by researching, writing, and publishing, creating a collection of historical articles in U.S. history that can be searched for here by scholars, teachers, and the general public.
  11. American History Online:Through American History Online, you can find and use primary sources from historical digital collections.

Business and Economics

Using these search engines, you’ll get access to business publications, journal articles, and more.

  1. BPubs:Search the Business Publications Search Engine for access to business and trade publications in a tool that offers not just excellent browsing, but a focused search as well.
  2. Virtual Library Labour History:Maintained by the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam, this library offers historians excellent content for learning about economics, business, and more.
  3. EconLit:Visit EconLit to access more than 120 years of economics literature from around the world in an easily searchable format. Find journal articles, books, book reviews, articles, working papers, and dissertations, as well as historic journal articles from 1886 to 1968.
  4. National Bureau of Economic Research:On this site, you can learn about and find access to great resources in economic research.
  5. Research Papers in Economics:Find research in economics and related sciences through the RePEc, a volunteer-maintained bibliographic database of working papers, articles, books, and even software components with more than 1.2 million research pieces.
  6. Corporate Information:Perfect for researching companies, Corporate Information offers an easy way to find corporate financial records.
  7. Inomics:Economists will enjoy this excellent site for finding economics resources, including jobs, courses, and even conferences.
  8. DailyStocks:Easily look up stocks with this search engine to monitor the stock market and your portfolio.
  9. EDGAR Search:The SEC requires certain disclosures that can be helpful to investors, and you can find them all here in this helpful, next-generation system for searching electronic investment documents.

Other Niches

Find even more specialized information in these niche search engines.

  1. PubMed:From the U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed is a great place to find full-text medical journal articles, with more than 19 million available.
  2. Lexis:Find reliable, authoritative information for legal search with the Lexis site.
  3. Circumpolar Health Bibliographic Database:Visit this database to find more than 6,300 records relating to human health in the circumpolar region.
  4. Education Resources Information Center:In the ERIC Collection, you’ll find bibliographic records of education literature, as well as a growing collection of full-text resources.
  5. MedlinePlus:A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Medline Plus offers a powerful search tool and even a dictionary for finding trusted, carefully chosen health information.
  6. Artcyclopedia:Search Artcyclopedia to find everything there is to know about fine art, with 160,000 links, 9,000 artists listed, and 2,900 art sites indexed.

Reference

Get connected with great reference material through these search tools.

  1. Merriam-Webster Dictionary and Thesaurus:Use this online dictionary and thesaurus to quickly find definitions and synonyms.
  2. References.net:Through References.net, you can get connected with just about every reference tool available, from patents to almanacs.
  3. Quotes.net:Need the right thing to say? Check out Quotes.net to reference famous words from famous people.
  4. Literary Encyclopedia:Check out the Literary Encyclopedia to get access to reference materials in literature, history, and culture.

Source: teachthought.com

Wi-Fi technology has only been around for a couple of decades, but demand for high-speed public access has exploded over the last few years. Now, devices can easily connect to the internet at millions of public hotspots worldwide -- which some analysts estimate could grow eight-fold to 300 million hotspots globally in 2018. Along with increased demand for a greater number of hotspots, there has also been growing demand for faster connection speeds as users want to stream videos seamlessly and to be able to download and upload huge amounts of data from multiple devices.  

There are many companies looking to provide the infrastructure and technology necessary for that growth -- from traditional internet service providers (ISPs) like Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA), with its Xfinity service that ranked the fastest ISP in the U.S. in 2016 by PCMag, to the companies that provide hardware, security, and many other parts of the total wireless internet market.

Many of the companies innovating in this space are located in the United States. However, in terms of how the U.S. compares to other countries in public Wi-Fi speed -- it's barely a contender. The U.S. ranks number 19 on the list of countries with the fastest average public Wi-Fi download speeds according to RottenWifi. Here are the five countries with the fastest public Wi-Fi as of 2016. 

Sun setting over buildings in the old town of Vilnius, Lithuania.
VILNIUS, LITHUANIA. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Lithuania

Topping the list of fastest public Wi-Fi is Lithuania, with average download speeds of 16.6 Mbps, nearly double that of the U.S. This small Baltic country seems very focused on promoting itself as a good option for businesses to set up shop as it tries to attract more international investment. This seems to be fueling the focus on tech-forward thinking, including investment in helping to spread public Wi-Fi in the country. 

The Singapore skyline with reflections of the buildings and ferris wheel in the night water.
THE ISLAND NATION OF SINGAPORE. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Singapore

Singapore has moved up the list in recent years, which makes sense as this small island-country between Malaysia and Indonesia has become a financial and technological tentpole of the region. The Singaporean government has set up a program offering free public Wi-Fi via thousands of hotspots across the island called "Wireless@SG." Last year, the government announced that it is upgrading the hotspots to faster speeds and that they will double the number to 20,000 across the country by 2018. 

A Swiss flag hangs over houses in the town of Zermatt with the famous Matterhorn of the Swiss Alps rising in the background.
A TOWN IN SWITZERLAND OVERLOOKING THE MATTERHORN AND SWISS ALPS. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Switzerland

Switzerland is serious about its public Wi-Fi -- locals and visitors can access the internet in public areas like parks, beaches, museums, public squares, and other open areas. The country is also known for its skiing, and one operator there is combining the two. A resort near Davos recently opened a new chairlift that comes equipped with sensors that adjust the seat height before the skier boards, heated seats -- and free public Wi-Fi for the 8 minute ride to the top.

Colorful houses and some boats along the river in Copenhagen, Denmark.
COPENHAGEN, DENMARK. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

Denmark

Denmark wants to expand its public Wi-Fi reach further through an initiative that would see thousands of new lamp posts across the country connected with services beyond just offering light. As announced in 2014, the long-term vision is to have the lamp posts see coming bicyclists and increase their brightness accordingly, sense when there's a dumpster that needs to be emptied -- and also serve as free public Wi-Fi hot spots. The program is being developed in Copenhagen in conjunction with Cisco as part of its "smart cities" initiative. 

The famous Westminster Bridge with the sun setting over a double decker bus in London.
LONDON, U.K. IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.

United Kingdom

Though the U.K. makes the top five on this list, the government there wants to upgrade its connectivity infrastructure, particularly in London as a means to keep its status as a financial center of Europe. Partner companies are working to install hundreds of devices in government fixtures (like lamp posts, etc.) throughout the City of London in 2017 to bring better connectivity to the area. Those hotspots will reportedly have speeds up to 1Gbps -- nearly 100 times as fast as average download speeds across the U.K. now. 

Investing in the continued growth of Wi-Fi worldwide

There are an estimated 3.7 billion people with internet access in 2017, just under half of the world's population. Many companies outside of the traditional ISP realm are popping up as major players in the effort to grow that total internet access. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) announced recently that it would lay hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables and set up Wi-Fi hot spots across Africa, starting in Nigeria and Kenya. Undoubtedly, Facebook is making this decision in the hope of bringing ever more users to its platform. 

Still, for Facebook and others, in areas like Africa, India, and many other regions worldwide, the opportunity for new growth is massive, and potentially very lucrative. As billions more people gain access to the internet in the years to come -- much of which will be through fast and free public Wi-Fi -- the opportunity and ideas for how this could affect internet service providers, social media platforms, content creators, e-commerce companies, and many more industries becomes an increasingly interesting trend for investors to watch. 

Forget Comcast: "Total conviction" buy signal issued
The Motley Fool's co-founders, David and Tom Gardner, rarely agree on a stock. But when they do, their picks have beaten the market by nearly 10x on average.*
That's why many investors consider their joint stamp of approval to be a "total conviction" signal to buy. The Motley Fool recently announced a new "total conviction" stock…and it wasn't Comcast!
 
This article was published on fool.com By Seth McNew

Sometimes, even on my best days, I just need a little encouragement at work.

Other times, I could use a big kick in the butt to get stuff done. With that said, I can't always rely on a co-worker or my boss to hold me accountable and be my cheerleader.

Luckily, I can get plenty of inspiration and motivation right from my computer—and just by opening a new tab in my browser.

And you can too, if you add one of these extensions to your internet homepage. (Who needs a personal trainer or life coach?)

1. To stay on track with your goals: Don't Break the Chain

Don't Break the Chain is a deceptively simple online tool made famous in the '90s sitcom Seinfeld. All you do is choose the goal you want to track and then mark an X on the calendar every day you achieve it. The trick is that, once you see a few days in a row marked off, your brain will want you to continue "the chain." 

2. To get the best tech tips and tricks: labnol

If you don't already know Digital Inspiration, I promise you'll be glad you found it now. This website's been around forever in internet time (since 2004) and is one of the most popular how-to blogs all about software tools. And, with the labnol (Digital Inspiration's easily-searchable nickname for itself) extension, you can quickly find exactly the tutorial you need from their massive database of amazingly clever and useful guides and articles.

3. To complete all your to-dos: Strict Workflow

Even if you're a master at making to-do lists, it's not always easy to get it all done. Strict Workflow helps you stay on track by encouraging — or, if you set it this way, forcing — you to focus. Just click to start a 25-minute timer and then get to work. At the end of the time, you'll get a five-minute break. And, if you need something more "strict," you can block yourself from distracting sites during your work period.

Based on the famous Pomodoro technique, this is proven to work.

4. To take care of yourself: Save My Eyes

I bet that you spend a good part of your work day (and maybe your free time, too) in front of your computer. While it might not feel physically demanding, it can take its toll. Save My Eyes protects your vision and your body by reminding you to take regular breaks.

This is your chance to either just rest your eyes or get up and exercise. Whatever you choose, you'll come back feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to be productive again.

5. To remember what's important: Dayboard

In a nutshell, Dayboard replaces your new tab page with your to-do list — but what I love about it is that it only lets you list five tasks. So, you'll always remember your top priorities. It also shows you all the tasks you've done during the last two weeks for an extra boost of confidence.

6. To be more generous: Helpfreely App

It's OK to admit it — we all love to shop online. But did you know that doing it can also raise money for charity? When you have the Helpfreely extension and you look for a product in your search engine of choice, the extension will show you how much of your purchase is being donated to charity, and it won't cost you or the organization a thing.

7. To make your own motivation: Reminders of Inspiration

Sometimes, basic is best. This simple extension lets you add either a quote or an image to be shown in every new tab. So, you can put that quote that always lifts you up, the lyrics to your personal "fight song," or maybe a picture of that gorgeous little Italian village you're planning to visit when you finally save up enough. I'm all about customization like this as a way to motivate yourself. After all, who knows better what moves you than you?

8. To get your visual fix: Pinterest

Who isn't inspired by gorgeous photos? Now, you can use the Pinterest Chrome extension to be awestruck every time you open a new tab. Choose the category you're interested in (like photography, food, or fashion), and Pinterest will serve you up the best pins in that topic. Plus, you'll still see your own calendar in the tab so you don't get too off track for the day.

9. To have some (feline) fun: Tabby Cat

With all these extensions to make you work better or be better, you might be ready for something a little lighter. How about a "new cat for every new tab"? Tabby Cat will show you a cute cartoon kitty whenever you open a new page. They're adorably animated, and they leave you little gifts.

Plus, they have the best names (like Grand Bubbles or Tricky Wrinkle), and there's a built-in "camera" for photographing your favorites. This might be just the lightheartedness you need to get through the day. 

Download these extensions to your browser, and surfing the web will be the most productive thing you do all day.

Read the original article on The Daily Muse. Copyright 2017

Friday, 28 April 2017 02:28

How Search Engines Make Us Mentally Lazy

“Just Googling it” may do more harm than we think.

In an eye-opening piece on Quartz titled “Googling gives us answers — but deprives us of intelligence,” writer Ted Hunt explores the darker side of search engines, specifically the way they affect our intellectual abilities.

The idea he points to, the “Google Effect,” isn’t new, but it’s worth revisiting. In 2011, researchers from Columbia University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard teamed up to study how having so much information readily available to us via the internet affects our memory. The Google Effect refers, broadly, to the idea that we get mentally complacent as a result of knowing that we can easily look something up if we need to. When we know an answer is at our fingertips, we’ll remember how to retrieve that information (see: Google search) but not how to recall the information on our own.

Image courtesy of Unsplash

This means “we quickly become less vigilant and increasingly passive in our judgement of the world around us,” Hunt writes. Knowing everything is readily available with a quick search makes us less reliant on our own thoughts and knowledge and cuts us off from the wisdom of others, too. In a nutshell, we’re mentally lazy not just about storing information for ourselves, but we’re also less likely to ask our friends or family for answers.

 

While we can’t change the search system all at once, you can try looking something up in a place other than the internet before you turn to a search engine. Experiment with using an “old fashioned” technique like asking a friend, using an encyclopedia or heading to the library.

This article was  published on journal.thriveglobal.com by Lorman

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