fbpx
David J. Redcliff

David J. Redcliff

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:56

5 Skills You Need to Become a Researcher

Following on from the previous article on skills required when working as a lecturer, this article will examine five of the most important skills you need to become an excellent academic researcher. Obviously each field, arts, science or social science, has its own specialist skills that you must acquire, but here are five generic research skills that will help you achieve your goals.

1. Project Management

Every research project requires some degree of project management; this is a term you often hear being used, but what does it mean?

Project management essentially means good planning. You will have to define your research in terms of achievable aims, the time and resources needed to do this. You will have to provide a step by step plan of how you intend to carry this out. This stage of your research must be completed in order to get external funding, so without this skill your research project will not even get off the ground. If you are currently working on someone else's project as an assistant, try to learn as much as possible from them about the details of planning and running a project. Set achievable aims and realistic estimates of time, manpower and money needed.

2. Handling Budgets

Advertisment

become-an-internet-research-specialist

Another important skill is learning how to manage a budget effectively. Without this skill you will never be able to lead your own research project. It's something that you may not have done in any great depth for your PhD.

As an academic you might have administrative support to help you hold the purse strings, but the final decision-making and responsibility will come down to you. As with your own domestic budget, keeping a regular check on monies in and out is vital: do not bury your head in the sand if things appear to be going wrong. Make sure you match your research goals to the money you have been awarded. Do not over-commit yourself in the hiring of other staff, or running collaborative workshops, both of which can cost a lot of money. But equally remember that the money is there to be spent, do not hoard it! And finally, make sure you keep good records of your income and spending: your university, funding body or the ‘tax man' may want to see your records at any time.

3. Team leading/managing

Being good at working with others is a difficult skill to achieve especially in the academic world when we are used to working with a large degree of autonomy. However a research project often requires the assistance of others: colleagues at your institution and elsewhere, administrative staff and possibly people in the private sector as well.

If you are managing the project you need to know two main things: how to get the best out of each of your workers, and how to make their working experience a positive one. Without both of those factors, your team may fall apart. Being a good communicator is important. Asking each person to play their part is vital, but so is listening to them, asking for their feedback on decisions or asking what is wrong if they are not happy. Being able to assess each colleague's needs and vulnerabilities is essential if you are going to be able to lead them as a team.

4. Handling Data

Depending on your field the sorts of results you get from your project will vary widely. It could be results from experiments within a laboratory, statistical evidence gathered from work in the field or qualitative material gleaned from interviews or from research in an archive or library. Whatever sort of results you get, you need to be able to handle large amounts of data efficiently and effectively. Without this skill you will never get to the exciting stage of actually analysing your results.

So how do you handle data successfully? By being well organised and planning ahead. While you may not be exactly sure of what you will produce, you will know what sort of data storage you need, both electronically and on paper, so organise this immediately. You must not lose any work because of incompetence or disorganisation. So design and set up your database now; organise storage for hard copies of raw materials and catalogue them clearly. Make sure you keep records of who is collecting what as you go along, so that when it comes to writing up your research later, you have all the answers you need at your fingertips.

 

5. IT skills

Closely linked with point 4 is the necessity of developing IT skills. It is unlikely you will be running your own research project without being fairly IT literate, but there are always new methods or packages to learn about, so don't stop!

For example, are there any data collection or storage packages that would help your research that you are unfamiliar with? What about analytical tools for working with large amounts of data? Perhaps you need something bespoke and experimental for your project that you could help to design. It could be that a bibliographical tool might help you write up your research. Also think about ways that you can develop your IT skills to present your work in ever more exciting ways. Can you build your own website for example?

IT is a very important area for researchers. Like our own fields of interest, IT never stands still, there is always a way to improve your skills even further.

Source: jobs.ac.uk

According to a new study published today from the American Civil Liberties Union, major social networks including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have recently provided user data access to Geofeedia, the location-based, social media surveillance system used by government offices, private security firms, marketers and others.

As TechCrunch previously reported, Geofeedia is one of a bevy of technologies used, secretly, by police to monitor activists and the contents of their discussions online.

The ACLU said in a blog post that both Twitter and Facebook (which owns Instagram) made some immediate changes in response to their study’s findings.

“Instagram cut off Geofeedia’s access to public user posts, and Facebook cut its access to a topic-based feed of public user posts,” the ACLU said.

The ACLU also noted in their post:

“Neither Facebook nor Instagram has a public policy specifically prohibiting developers from exploiting user data for surveillance purposes. Twitter does have a ‘longstanding rule’ prohibiting the sale of user data for surveillance as well as a Developer Policy that bans the use of Twitter data ‘to investigate, track or surveil Twitter users.’”

On Tuesday, following the publication of the ACLU findings, Twitter announced that it would “immediately suspend Geofeedia’s commercial access to Twitter data"

A Facebook spokesperson tells TechCrunch:

Advertisment

become-an-internet-research-specialist

“[Geofeedia] only had access to data that people chose to make public. Its access was subject to the limitations in our Platform Policy, which outlines what we expect from developers that receive data using the Facebook Platform. If a developer uses our APIs in a way that has not been authorized, we will take swift action to stop them and we will end our relationship altogether if necessary.”

It’s worth noting that Facebook’s platform policy generically limits developers.

 

For example, it says developers are not permitted to “sell, license, or purchase any data obtained” from Facebook or its services. And they can’t transfer data they get from Facebook, including “anonymous, aggregate, or derived data,” to any data brokers. Finally, developers are not permitted to put Facebook data into any search engines or directories without the social network’s explicit permission.

We have reached out to Geofeedia for comment but executives were not immediately available for an interview.

A public relations consultant for Geofeedia sent a lengthy statement, attributed to Geofeedia CEO Phil Harris, defending the company’s practices in general. An excerpt follows:

“Geofeedia is committed to the principles of personal privacy, transparency and both the letter and the spirit of the law when it comes to individual rights. Our platform provides some clients, including law enforcement officials across the country, with a critical tool in helping to ensure public safety…

Geofeedia has in place clear policies and guidelines to prevent the inappropriate use of our software; these include protections related to free speech and ensuring that end-users do not seek to inappropriately identify individuals based on race, ethnicity, religious, sexual orientation or political beliefs, among other factors.

That said, we understand, given the ever-changing nature of digital technology, that we must continue to work to build on these critical protections of civil rights.”

Update: A company statement from Geofeedia was added to this post after it was originally published. 

Source : https://techcrunch.com

Google yesterday announced it will introduce a fact check tag on Google News in order to display articles that contain factual information next to trending news items. Now it’s time for Facebook to take fact-checking more seriously, too.

Facebook has stepped into the role of being today’s newspaper: that is, it’s a single destination where a large selection of news articles are displayed to those who visit its site. Yes, they appear amidst personal photos, videos, status updates, and ads, but Facebook is still the place where nearly half of American adults get their news.

Facebook has a responsibility to do better, then, when it comes to informing this audience what is actually news: what is fact-checked, reported, vetted, legitimate news, as opposed to a rumor, hoax or conspiracy theory.

Advertisment

become-an-internet-research-specialist

It’s not okay that Facebook fired its news editors in an effort to appear impartial, deferring only to its algorithms to inform readers what’s trending on the site. Since then, the site has repeatedly trended fake news stories, according to a Washington Post report released earlier this week.

The news organization tracked every news story that trended across four accounts during the workday from August 31 to September 22, and found that Facebook trended five stories that were either “indisputably fake” or “profoundly inaccurate.” It also regularly featured press releases, blog posts, and links to online stores, like iTunes – in other words, trends that didn’t point to news sites.

Facebook claimed in September that it would roll out technology that would combat fake stories in its Trending topics, but clearly that has not yet come to pass – or the technology isn’t up to the task at hand.

In any event, Facebook needs to do better.

 

It’s not enough for the company to merely reduce the visibility of obvious hoaxes from its News Feed – not when so much of the content that circulates on the site is posted by people – your friends and family –  right on their profiles, which you visit directly.

Plus, the more the items are shared, the more they have the potential to go viral. And viral news becomes Trending news, which is then presented all Facebook’s users in that region.

This matters. Facebook has trended a story from a tabloid news source that claimed 9/11 was an inside job involving planted bombs. It ran a fake story about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly which falsely claimed she was fired. These aren’t mistakes: they are disinformation.

Facebook has apologized for the above, but declined to comment to The Washington Post regarding its new findings that fake news continues to be featured on the platform.

 

In addition, not only does Facebook fail at vetting its Trending news links, it also has no way of flagging the links that fill its site.

Outside of Trending, Facebook continues to be filled with inaccurate, poorly-sourced, or outright fake news stories, rumors and hoaxes. Maybe you’re seeing less of them in the News Feed, but there’s nothing to prevent a crazy friend from commenting on your post with a link to a well-known hoax site, as if it’s news. There’s no tag or label. They get to pretend they’re sharing facts.

Meanwhile, there’s no way for your to turn off commenting on your own posts, even when the discussion devolves into something akin to “sexual assault victims are liars” (to reference a recent story.)

Because perish the thought that Facebook would turn of the one mechanism that triggers repeat visits to its site, even if that means it would rather trigger traumatic recollections on the parts of its users instead.

There is a difference between a post that’s based on fact-checked articles, and a post from a website funded by an advocacy group. There’s a difference between Politifact and some guy’s personal blog. Facebook displays them both equally, though: here’s a headline, a photo, some summary text.

Of course, it would be a difficult job for a company that only wants to focus on social networking and selling ads to get into the media business – that’s why Facebook loudly proclaims it’s “not a media company.” 

Except that it is one. It’s serving that role, whether it wants to or not.

Google at least has stepped up to the plate and is trying to find a solution. Now it’s Facebook’s turn.

Facebook may have only unintentionally become a media organization, but it is one. And it’s doing a terrible job.

Source : https://techcrunch.com

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They are there when you need them most, smartphone cameras anxious to catch those special moments.

But New York Times bestselling author David Pogue says if that’s all you are using your phone’s camera for you are missing out.

“I would argue, use the camera to take pictures of things you don’t intend to save,” he says. “Just a memory jogger.”

In his book, Pogue’s Basics, David has a number of ideas for ways to make your cell phone camera make your life easier.

For instance, he says, “Take a picture of a claim check, so if you lose it, you will have a record of it. Take a picture of your children when you enter a theme park, so if you get separated, you can show the authorities what your children were wearing.”

Other ideas include taking a couple of pictures of where you park your car in a mall parking lot or a parking garage just in case you come out of the store a bit bewildered.

If you want to save money at the grocery store before you leave home, “Take a picture of your open refrigerator.”

You may never need it, but the next time you are standing in front of the wall of milk in the grocery store trying to remember how much you have left at home, look at the picture. There it is looking right at you and you can confidently tell your spouse, “Oh, we do have milk.”

And it doesn’t stop there.

 

Take a picture of your pantry before you leave so when you are in the store staring at pasta, or bread, or anything else wondering, “Do we have any at home?” you have the picture to refer to and zoom in to check that shelf.

You would be surprised how much money you will save when you are no longer buying things you already have at home and don’t need.

The notes section of your phone can also come in handy if you use it like Kristin Alverez.

“I make a list; I have a notes app on my phone.”

Kristin was making her way through the grocery store with 7-week-old Beckett asleep in a carrier in the grocery cart.

For obvious reasons, she wants her grocery time to be efficient so she keeps her cell phone handy at home and the notes section ready when needed.

“It’s cumulative, so as the week is going on, I just add things to it,” she says.

Smartphones in the grocery aisles have become commonplace as families use them to make sure the necessary items get home, even sending pictures of the specific product that is needed.

Pogue says there is another “basic” secret hiding in your phone that makes setting an alarm faster than finding the app, clicking on the clock, then alarm, then dialing in the time you want an alarm.

“If you learn only one thing, this is it, just hold down the button, and say, ‘Wake me at 7:45 a.m. That’s it,” says Pogue. “Your alarm is set for 7:45 a.m.”

On an iPhone just tell Siri, for an Android phone, do it through “Hello Google.”

You can turn off your alarm the same way. Just push and talk.

“Turn off all my alarms,” Pogue says into his phone, and a second later Siri responds, “Okay, all your alarms have been turned off.”

If you have ever noticed your phone is stuck in 3G and you just know there is 4G LTE around. Instead of powering the phone off and back on, Pogue says, “Put it in airplane mode and back out again.” That wakes the phone up to search for better service.

And if you are traveling and suspect you are not getting your messages or email, Pogue says, “Send yourself a text, and that forces the phone to come to the cell network, and all of a sudden they will all flow in.”

Finally, a couple of things about using your smartphone camera for those keepsake pictures.

Smartphones have to focus when taking a picture and sometimes that split second to focus is enough to miss the shot. So, hold your phone up and touch and hold the screen where you want it focused. On the iPhone a yellow box will appear telling you the focus is locked. (It’s an option you must turn on in the Android phone and so is this next item.)

When the moment comes to take the picture, use the volume button on the side of the phone, which will give you less shake.

“If you hold down on volume key, you won’t just take one picture, you’ll take 10 per second,” Pogue says, “Later you can delete all the bad ones, but you’ll find you have that one perfect shot of the child putting the bowl of spaghetti on her head.”

These suggestions just scratch the surface of everything David Pogue covers in his books: Pogue’s Basics and Pogue’s Basics: Life.

Source: pittsburgh.cbslocal.com

 

Google is fighting back against fraud with an advanced verification process for plumbers and locksmiths.

An email sent out to Google’s top contributors states the company’s plan for an advanced verification process is being beta tested in San Diego. All locksmiths and plumbers currently verified will have to go through the new verification process. Failure to do so before November 1 will result in the loss of verification and the removal from Google Maps.

Of course, any new applications will have to go through the new process as well, which said to be simple. It includes a combination of questions from Google and completing an application with a third party verification company. The new application process is said to take about two weeks to complete.

The entire advanced verification process for plumbers and locksmiths in the San Diego area is explained in this Google My Business help article. The process will also be used for plumbers and locksmiths using AdWords.

Why Locksmiths? Here’s Why.

Did you know that one of the biggest online scams is perpetrated by so-called locksmiths? Google knows, and the issues are finally being taken seriously.

 

It only takes a few bad actors to ruin it for the rest. In this case, the bad actors are individuals or companies claiming to be locksmiths to make some quick cash. Here’s how the scam works.

Locksmith Scam:

  • After being locked out of one’s home and not knowing what to do, a quick Google search brings up a list of local locksmiths.
  • Google returns AdWords ads and Google My Business listings for locksmiths promising cheap or inexpensive service rates.
  • Calling one of these bargain locksmiths actually routes you to an offshore call center, where they dispatch someone local to come to your door.
  • The locksmith shows up and, before trying any other options, immediately drills the lock open and slaps you with a large bill for the service.
  • The cheap service you thought you were getting then turns into a large expense.
  • Congratulations, you can now get back into your home but you’ve become a victim of locksmith fraud.

 

This locksmith scam has been well documented over the past few years and even written about in the New York Times. To get an idea of how rampant it is becoming, search for “locksmith scam” in Google.

Google’s advanced verification should cut down on the amount of fraudulent locksmiths found in ads and search results. As for why plumbers have to go through an advanced verification, I’m not quite sure. I tried to research online plumbing scams but was unable to find anything.

Google is notoriously secretive about why it makes the decisions it does. Regardless, I have reached out for comment in an attempt to gain further information.

Source: Search Engine Land

 

 

 

As of late June, 32.5% of page one Google results now use the HTTPS protocol, according to a new study from Moz.The esteemed Dr Pete published a blog post this week on the data they’ve been tracking in the two year period since Google announced HTTPS was to be a light ranking signal in August 2014.

The results are definitely enough to give SEOs pause for thought when it comes to considering whether to switch their sites to a secure protocol.

What is HTTPS?

In case you need a refresher, here is Jim Yu’s explanation of the difference between http and HTTPS:

HTTP is the standard form used when accessing websites. HTTPS adds an additional layer of security by encrypting in SSL and sharing a key with the destination server that is difficult to hack.

And here is Google’s 2014 announcement:

“We’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now, it’s only a very lightweight signal, affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals, such as high-quality content.”
But over time, the promise that Google would strengthen the signal “to keep everyone safe on the Web” seems to be coming true…

 

HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2014

Searchmetrics found little difference between HTTP and HTTPS rankings in the months after the initial Google announcement. Hardly surprising as it did only affect 1% of results.Moz also saw very little initial difference. Prior to August 2014, 7% of page one Google results used HTTPS protocol. A week after the update announcement, that number increased to 8%.

So we all went about our business, some of us implemented, some of us didn’t. No big whoop. It’s not like it’s AMP or anything! Amirite?

SMASH CUT TO:

HTTPS as a ranking signal in 2016

Moz has found that one-third of page one Google results now use HTTPS.

moz https results

 

As Dr Pete points out, due to the gradual progression of the graph, this probably isn’t due to specific algorithm changes as you would normally see sharp jumps and plateaus. Instead it may mean that Google’s pro-HTTPS campaign has been working.

“They’ve successfully led search marketers and site owners to believe that HTTPS will be rewarded, and this has drastically sped up the shift.”
Projecting forward it’s likely that in 16–17 months time, HTTPS results may hit 50% and Dr Pete predicts an algorithm change to further bolster HTTPS in about a year.

Source:  https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/07/07/https-websites-account-for-30-of-all-google-search-results/

 

 

Islamic terrorists are arming themselves with the technical tools and expertise to attack the online systems underpinning Western companies and critical infrastructure, according to a new study from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.

The goal of the report was to bring awareness to "a hyper-evolving threat" said James Scott, ICIT co-founder and senior fellow.

Dark web marketplaces and forums make malware and tech expertise widely available and — with plenty of hackers for hire and malware for sale — technical skills are no longer required. A large-scale attack could be just around the corner, said Scott.

"These guys have the money to go on hacker-for-hire forums and just start hiring hackers," he said.

U.S. authorities are well-aware of the rising threat posed by Islamic terrorists armed with advanced cybertools. In April, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter declared a cyberwar against the Islamic State group, or ISIS. Ransomware chatter rose to prominence on dark web jihadi forums around the fall of 2015 and continues to be a topic of debate, particularly among members of ISIS and Boko Haram.

"I had the same position that I have right now with this in December of last year with regards to ransomware hitting the health-care sector," said Scott. "We were seeing the same exact thing."

 

Much of the chatter on jihadi chat boards comes from Europeans and Americans, often social outcasts living vicariously through the online reputation of their handle — including disenfranchised teens or jailhouse Muslim converts turned radicals, Scott said. They may not have strong coding skills, but they have access to Western institutions and businesses and are looking to leverage that access to serve ISIS.

An example of the sort of conversation that takes place on Islamic dark web forums involved a cleaner in Berlin who worked the overnight shift and wanted to know how they could help, said Scott. Others chimed in, explaining how the janitor could load malware onto a USB device and plug it into a computer to allow them to remotely hack into the network.

"That is the kind of insider threat that we are going to be facing," said Scott. "That is what they are seeing as the next step — an army of insider threats in the West."

"These guys have the money to go on hacker-for-hire forums and just start hiring hackers"
-James Scott, ICIT co-founder and senior fellow.

Though not known for being particularly sophisticated in their use of technology — beyond the use of encrypted messaging services and creating malicious apps — Islamic terrorists are now aggressively seeking ways to bridge gaps in their knowledge, said Scott. This may come in the form of hiring hackers, recruiting tech-savvy teens and educating new recruits.

"They are rapidly compensating for that slower part of their evolution," said Scott.

For example, ISIS operates what can best be described as a 24-hour cyber help desk, staffed by tech-savvy recruits around the globe. There are always about six operatives available to address questions, for example, about how to send encrypted messages, and strategize about how to leverage local access into cyberattacks. They also share tutorials, cybersecurity manuals and YouTube links, and try to recruit other techies, said Scott.

"It is obvious that cyber jihadists use dark web forums for everything — from discussing useful exploits and attack vectors, to gaining anonymity tips and learning the basics of hacking from the ISIS cyber help desk," he said. "Setting up properly layered attacks is incredibly easy even if one has a modest budget. All one needs is a target and a reason."
ICIT will present its findings and identify possible solutions for protecting critical infrastructure — along with a panel of industry experts and government officials — on June 29 in Washington.

Source:  http://www.cnbc.com/2016/06/15/the-cyber-jihad-is-coming-says-this-security-firm.html

Another day, another hack. At least, that's how it's starting to feel.

People are getting hacked or becoming otherwise compromised in their digital lives at an alarmaing rate, and it seems as though that's not going to slow down any time soon.

Just earlier this month, it was revealed that hackers had gained access to millions of Twitter accounts, and not by hacking into Twitter itself. No, instead they simply gathered passwords from previous hacks and matched them with usernames.

With hackers on the rampage, there are plenty of things to keep in mind - things that will help you protect yourself and your online data, and ensure that you retain full control over your personal information.

How hackers are getting your information

Often when we think of the word "hacking", we imagine pages and pages of code, hours spent cracking away on a computer, and finding a way to get around having to use passwords. In reality, however, hackers can simply write a program that will look through information to find what they need to log in to a user's account. That's without having to spend hours at the computer combing through code.

 

"Hackers will most often parse existing breach data for emails, usernames, and passwords, and then attempt to reuse those credentials on popular websites," Alexander Heid, Chief Risk Officer at SecurityScorecard, a security monitoring service, tells TechRadar. "To achieve this, hackers will make use of 'checker' scripts. These are scripts which are designed to test batches of username:password combinations on specific websites to identify valid accounts. These scripts exist for every imaginable service, and are constantly updated and circulate within the hacker underground."

So, what does that mean? When you create a new account somewhere, you likely reuse at least some information for its creation. Even if you're not using the same username or password, information like answers to security questions or other details can all help hackers gain access to your account.

Hacker Source Flickr credit -650-80

Of course, some hackers are a little more hands on. That's where malware comes in. Malware is basically a type of software designed specifically to infect your computer, often in an attempt to steal your personal information.

A prominent form of malware is a keylogger, which basically tracks everything you type and then sends that information back to the hacker who wrote the malware code. That makes it way too easy for hackers to gain access to your accounts; all they have to do is wait until you log on to something and they'll be able to do the same.

There's one more method that hackers often use to get username and password information - phishing emails. These are essentially emails designed to look like they're from a company like Apple or Amazon, and trick you into willingly giving over your information.

Often times, there's a link in these emails that will take you to an official-looking website where you're supposed to log in to an account. Only, the website isn't official, it just looks like it is. Log in, and you're basically handing your information over to whoever sent the email.

How can you stay safe?

Now that you know how hackers are acquiring personal information, it's sure to be a little easier to protect yourself. The first thing to talk about is passwords.

Make passwords a priority

As mentioned, hackers are often able to use previous data breaches to find passwords, then find accounts on other sites and use the same username:password combination to get in. That should be far too easy for hackers to get into an account, but, in reality, people continue to use the same password, or the same few passwords, for their entire digital lives.

The solution? Come up with a new password for every account you have. Yes, it's a pain, but the fact is that creating unique and secure passwords for each of your accounts is an important step in remaining secure online. Not only that, but it could help save you time in the long run; if one of your accounts is hacked, having unique passwords prevents you from having to change the password for all of your accounts.

Source: http://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/how-entrepreneurs-can-ride-the-internet-of-things-to-success.html

I will never forget the first time I logged onto the Internet.

I was in 4th grade. My dad sat me down in front of his brand new see-through blue iMac G3 and clicked on a tiny AOL icon. A screen appeared asking for a login and password.

"I made you an e-mail address," he said while my eyes scanned the screen. I had already explored the worlds of Pokémon on my Gameboy and Mortal Kombat on Nintendo64, but this seemed like something so much more.

"What's my e-mail address?" I asked, my hands already reaching for the keyboard.

"This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.," he said. My nickname in hockey was "magnet" because I was incapable of playing my designated role on the ice. I went where the puck went, like a magnet.

From that fateful day onward, I have been a child of the Internet. This is where I was raised.

I laughed hysterically at videos on eBaum's World like "Here Is The Earth." I listened in awe as kids in my 5th grade class proclaimed they had found web sites with topless women. I spent hours reading forums with video game hacks and secret codes. I never once went to the library for a research project, instead always reverting to Google. I would sneak downstairs to the computer in the middle of the night and practically have a heart attack when AOL would start back up, the volume of the computer maxed out, sending a screeching sound all throughout my house as I connected to the Internet.

I learned how to read on the Internet. I learned how to write on the Internet. I learned how to sell things on the Internet. I learned how to forge meaningful relationships (through the World of Warcraft and chat programs like AIM) on the Internet. I watched everyday people rise to fame on the Internet. I was exposed to art I never would have seen, information I never would have learned, stories I never would have heard, people I never would have met, and ways of life I never would have considered--all because of the Internet.

And then I watched advertisements slowly clutter my favorite websites. I watched big brands buy up and take over. I watched the government step in and try to regulate our free world. And most of all, I watched this vast and distant world I considered to be a second reality slowly take over the primary.

 

I have watched this thing we call "The Internet" infiltrate real life, so much so that we no longer know the difference.

As someone who has, by every definition, truly "grown up on the Internet," I want to remind you of what's real and what's not. When I was 17 years old, I was e-famous through the World of Warcraft. I had more people reading my blog every single day than most professional New York Times columnists. I learned how to build a personal brand before I knew how to properly fill out a college application. And I also learned, at a very young age that on the Internet, perception is reality--and that can be both extremely powerful and extremely dangerous.

This is my open letter to "us Millennials," the demographic that has been labeled everything from lazy and over-privileged, to forward-thinking and naturally creative.

I want us to be aware of just how rare of time period we have been born into. We are the only generation that, quite literally, is the same age as the Internet. When the Internet was an infant, so were we. When the Internet hit adolescence, so did we. When the Internet went off to college, so did we. And when people started taking the Internet seriously, we graduated, stepped out into the real world, and suddenly people started taking us seriously, too.

The generation after us, they don't have this. The first toy their hands ever touched was an iPad. The generation before us didn't have this. To them, the Internet is still primarily a confusing place of which they have very little inherent knowledge. We are the only generation that has experienced life before the Internet ruled everything, but at the same time, can speak the language fluently.

That is a tremendous gift.

But I'll be honest, I think we've forgotten that.

When I log into Instagram, I see wannabe role models that I know personally, who don't have a clue what they want to do with their lives, preaching how to find "that one thing you love most in life." I open up Facebook and see people who are in no way masters of their craft selling courses on that craft. I see ad after ad of a guy standing in front of a Ferrari trying to tell me that a seven figure passive income is easily attainable in just 3 Easy Steps. I open Snapchat and watch gorgeous girls pout at the camera with this untouchable look in their eyes, and then I talk to these same girls in real life and hear them confess how insecure they are. I go to YouTube and watch guys talk about how they are shredded at seven percent body fat and "all natural," and then I go train with them they confess they just say that to market themselves.

All these things are besides the point.

What I want to talk about instead is how this distorted reality makes us feel.

And a lot of us feel like failures.

Twenty-three, 24, 25, 26 years old, a few years out of college, and the overwhelming question is, "Why aren't I a millionaire yet?" We look at what we see on the Internet and wonder why we don't have a camera crew following us around too. We wonder where our gold watches are, where our Ferrari is, when our vacation to Bali will come.

Here's what I want to say:

If you want that to be your reality, you can create it. That's the power of the Internet, and I'll be the first to advocate for that. If you want to be an influencer in your field, go partner up and collaborate with other influencers. If you want to be a thought leader, hang with the thought leaders. If you want to motivate people, go create motivational content. If you want to teach people, go create really cool stuff that teaches people.

But just like our relationship with the Internet, don't forget the life that exists outside the Internet. Don't forget that what you're portraying, you should also be living yourself.

It's our choice. We can either use the Internet and all its tools to actually create things of value, or we can fall into the dangerous trap of trying to create the perception of something that is in no way true. We have been given an invaluable opportunity here as Millennials. We are, like the Internet, old enough to be taken seriously, old enough to start companies and create movements, old enough to create true change.

But also, like the Internet, we are still comparatively young and reckless. We have just stepped out on our own in the world. We know what we know really well, while at the same time, we're not entirely aware yet of what it is we don't know.

This recklessness is what gives us the naive confidence to do great things, like create sustainable foods or find new sources of energy or invent social media platforms that connect people all over the world.

And it is also the very thing that can quickly cause us to spiral out of control.

So, to all my creatives, all my aspiring entrepreneurs, all my peers and those of us with the demographic title of "Millennial": I'd like to remind you that the author of this article, an Inc. columnist, a published writer, an editor-in-chief, is also a 25-year-old boy who just loves to write, and is writing this sitting at a coffee shop wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. The air conditioning is turned on too high. My cup of coffee is empty. The girl next to me keeps coughing and I really hope she doesn't get me sick. The girl opposite me keeps making weird faces at her laptop, which makes me wonder what she's working on. The couple two tables away seem to be on a first date and are doing their best to conceal their nerves. The man who owns the coffee shop is British and listening to him talk to customers is amazing--"Aaaand what'llya be havin'?"

 

This is our reality.

My description and expression of it is extended into this article, shared on the Internet.

Let's all express ourselves.

But let's also not forget where that expression comes from.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/what-my-fellow-millennials-get-wrong-about-the-internet.html

Microsoft has been in the operating system game for decades, but now it's making a move in the web browser wars.

Microsoft Edge, the first new browser interface and engine of this decade, comes with every shipping copy of Windows 10. Microsoft says it has "tens of millions of users," but it's barely a blip on most web browser market share reports.

Even so, Microsoft has used the telemetry provided by those millions of users and an exhaustive battery of tests to prove that Microsoft Edge is actually a more battery-efficient browser than Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

In a pair of blog posts published on Monday, Microsoft engineers outline how the current Edge browser can save up to 53 percent of your battery life on a Windows 10 system, as compared to other web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. The second, more technical post promises that the next Edge browser, which will ship with the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, will be even more energy efficient.

 

MONTH CHROME INTERNET EXPLORER FIREFOX SAFARI MICROSOFT EDGE OTHER

July, 2015 27.82% 53.13% 12.03% 5.09% 0.14% 1.79%
August, 2015 29.49% 50.15% 11.68% 4.97% 2.03% 1.69%
September, 2015 29.86% 49.19% 11.46% 5.08% 2.41% 2.00%
October, 2015 31.12% 48.20% 11.28% 5.01% 2.67% 1.72%
November, 2015 31.41% 47.21% 12.24% 4.33% 2.90% 1.91%
December, 2015 32.33% 46.32% 12.13% 4.49% 2.79% 1.95%
January, 2016 35.05% 43.82% 11.42% 4.64% 3.07% 2.00%
February, 2016 36.56% 40.85% 11.68% 4.88% 3.94% 2.08%
March, 2016 39.09% 39.10% 10.54% 4.87% 4.32% 2.09%
April, 2016 41.71% 36.61% 10.06% 4.47% 4.73% 2.42%
May, 2016 45.63% 33.71% 8.91% 4.69% 4.99% 2.07%

Jason Weber, Microsoft's director of program management for Microsoft Edge, explained that different web browsers consume energy in very different ways, much like cars don't all consume gas in the same way. Some are more efficient than others. Some run like they're always in the city while others operate in a more efficient highway miles mode.

Weber contends that Chrome is a city driver. "When you’re browsing the web with Chrome, like city miles, it wakes up, sprints to next stop light, stops and then sprints to next stop light. It's one way to get through city, but uses a lot of gas," he said.

According to Weber, Chrome and Firefox are constantly talking to the operating system. He described it as waking up roughly 60 times a second (and sometimes up to 250 times a second).Edge takes advantage of its deeper integration with the operating system to wake less frequently, he claimed.

"Edge never wakes itself up ... We tell the OS that. 'Hey, we have work to do and you [the OS] tell us when it’s most efficient to do that work," said Weber.

For example, when you touch the screen of your Windows 10 touchscreen computer, the hardware wakes up, sends a message to the web browser on screen. If it's Chrome, Chrome then tells Windows 10 it needs to animate the screen to scroll up or down. With Edge, you can scroll the web page without, Weber said, waking it up. The OS is already there, ready to do the graphical work.

How do you know?

Having hours of more battery life on your laptop because you chose Edge over Chrome sounds amazing. But why should we trust these claims? Testing technology battery life is notoriously difficult. You have to have multiple test beds, with vanilla set-ups, nothing extraneous running in the background that could impact battery consumption and perfectly repeatable test scripts. Compounding this is the challenge of testing web page battery consumption. Every page is different and most of what consumes power happens in the background.

Weber acknowledged the challenge, but told me Microsoft had figured out a few ways to accurately test Web browser battery consumption. The team combined lab tests, telemetry from millions of Edge users, and a run-down test that it captured on video.

The lab tests were particularity impressive. They included 200 PCs, a mini, in-lab Internet, systems connected to voltage meters, and special computers with power-measurement chips built right onto the motherboard.

The video showed particularly impressive power gains. At one point, the system running Microsoft Edge ran 70 percent longer than the one running Google Chrome.

Next Level

Whether or not you believe Microsoft, the company is already busy ramping up power efficiency for the next, big Microsoft Edge release, which will arrive as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update later this summer.

According to a technical blog post by Microsoft Edge Program Manager Brandon Heenan, the Anniversary Update will address JavaScript access in background tabs. Instead of allowing JavaScript to continuously run in hidden tabs, it will slow it down to running once per second.

They're also re-architecting how Edge handles animations by removing duplicate frames at the beginning and end of loops.

However, no change may be more welcome that what the team plans to do with Flash. The Anniversary Update will make Flash a separate process and the system will pause any unnecessary Flash operations. It will also stop Flash if it becomes unstable, without impacting the rest of the browser session.

Source:  http://mashable.com/2016/06/20/microsoft-edge-battery-life/#81O68D2GhOqt 

Page 5 of 7

AOFIRS

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.

Follow Us on Social Media