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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

Users of the popular  Web service are being warned to restart their web browsers after a terrifying vulnerability was discovered.

The serious security flaw can allow cyber criminals to access personal data including photos, contacts and videos in a matter of seconds.

Worryingly, it appears the simple hack can be performed without the user ever knowing.

According to security firm Check Point, the flaw can be exposed by the hacker sending a single fake image to WhatsApp users.

Although the shared snap might look innocent enough, hackers can use it to mask a piece of malicious code buried within.

Once the image has been downloaded, the code gets to work infiltrating the computer - granting hackers full access to the WhatsApp account.

WhatsApp Web users are being warned to restart their browsers

WhatsApp: Hidden Tips, Tricks and Features You Never Knew

WhatsApp is the world's most popular messaging app but you probably don't know all of the tricks and features hidden up its sleeve. Here's everything you need to know to master WhatsApp.

WhatsApp - Hidden tricks and features you probably don't know, but definitely should be using
WHATSAPP • EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS
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WhatsApp - Hidden tricks and features you probably don't know, but definitely should be using

To matters worse, once the criminals have accessed your account, they can use your log-in to forward further fake images to all of your contacts, spreading the malicious code wide and gaining access to hundreds of further accounts.

The vulnerability, which was discovered by Check Point, was found to trouble those who use the desktop WhatsApp service.

It also affect those signed up to the rival messaging platform, Telegram.

Fortunately, having discovered the problem, the security firm alerted WhatsApp of the problem on March 8 and the messaging behemoth has already patched the problem.

“This new vulnerability put hundred of millions of WhatsApp Web and Telegram Web users at risk of complete account takeover,” said Oded Vanunu, Check Point’s head of product vulnerability research.

“By simply sending an innocent looking photo, an attacked could gain control over the account, access message history, all photos that were ever shared, and send messages on behalf of the user.”

WhatsAppWABetaInfo

WhatsApp users could soon get a landscape mode

How to enable or disable WhatsApp's new security feature

WhatsApp now telling users that they must restart their browsers immediatley to avoid being targeted by the scam.

Speaking to technology website, The Verge, a WhatsApp spokesperson said: "“We build WhatsApp to keep people and their information secure,

“When Check Point reported the issue, we addressed it within a day and released an update of WhatsApp for web. To ensure that you are using the latest version, please restart your browser.”

This latest update comes as  to its hugely popular smartphone app.

One of the features currently being trialled in beta is the addition of a landscape mode.

Code for a landscape has been hidden in the latest beta software release on iOS.

Screenshots of the landscape layout have been tweeted by the reliable WABetaInfo account, although beta testers will not find the new feature enabled in the latest update.

As the feature is included in the latest beta, it's not difficult to imagine the new layout rolling out to users in the coming weeks and months.

Author : DAVID SNELLING

Source : express.co.uk

Yandex, the Google of Russia, has built a voice-activated visual search engine for Facebook. Codenamed “Wonder,” the mobile app lets people ask what businesses friends have visited and what content they’ve consumed, sources confirm. The question is if Facebook will permit the app. Its policy prohibits use of its data in search engines without permission, and Wonder resembles Facebook “Nearby.”

I talked to multiple industry sources who’ve seen Wonder first-hand or currently have a build of it on their iOS device (though an Android version may have been developed, too). The logo you see above is my attempt at an artist rendition of what sources say an early version of the app’s logo looked like. One source said Wonder is “about more than Facebook” which means it could pull in more traditional search results, or just make use of data from the partners I detail below.

A Yandex spokesperson said Yandex “can’t confirm and can’t comment” on Wonder. However, they did admit that “Yandex is working on mining social data. We are building social products.” It also noted it would have an announcement to make on that front in the coming weeks or months, which could certainly be a reveal of Wonder.

Here’s a rundown of how an alpha version of Wonder worked, but note that some design and partnership details may change if it’s released.

Welcome To Wonder

Wonder users can search using voice for things such as “restaurants in Los Angeles my friends have visited.” A horizontal, tile-by-tile scrolling interface lets them view one at a time the restaurants where their Facebook friends have taken photos or checked in. Wonderers can also type to search instead of using voice, or ask to see where a specific friend has gone.

Clicking on a business shows a horizontal stream of photos and recommendations of that place posted by their friends. Another tap brings up Foursquare-powered venue info such as a map, address, and phone number.

Wonder isn’t just for local businesses like Facebook’s recently launched “Nearby” feature built by the acquired Gowalla team. Wonder can pull up music that friends have listened to, let you learn about artists thanks to Last.fm-powered profiles, or preview or buy songs from iTunes. There’s a news discovery component, too. You can see news articles recently read by all your friends or a specific friend and read them within the app through an internal browser.

Yandex’s Passport To The USA

Yandex Maps AppYandex has largely limited itself to Russia and Russian-speaking markets over the years — a market where it is currently the largest search provider. But its share in its home market has come down and been hovering around 60 percent in the last year with competition from Google and others, so it is turning to growth elsewhere.

Just as Google has extended into mobile to expand the potential footprint for its advertising network, Yandex has done the same.

Chief among those efforts have been Yandex’s moves in mobile. A little over a year ago, it bought a company called SPB Software, which develops cross-platform mobile applications and user interfaces.

Some of projects SPB may have helped Yandex with include apps discovery for musicbusiness listings, taxi services (similar to Uber, with a very popular app in Moscow) and more (this Google Play list includes apps for movie listings, ecommerce, Yandex’s Dropbox-like app Yandex.disc, and Yandex.market for ‘personal shopping’ ). In fact, you could think of these as a composite for some of the features of Wonder.

Perhaps most important of all, are Yandex’s location-based and mapping efforts. Yandex’s maps have replaced Google on iOS devices in Russia, and it also provides the search (but not native maps) on Windows Phone devices in the country. These location-based services might just be Yandex’s passport out of Russia (or so it hopes).

Yandex’s Dream, Facebook’s Nightmare?

So Wonder sounds great, especially compared to Facebook’s internal search engine, which is glaringly deficient. There’s no way to search for news read by friends, searching an artist’s name in the music category returns zero results, and if you figure out how to use the Places tab to search for restaurants, you’re met with standard-looking search results. Finding photos or recommendations of businesses from your friends is tough.

Facebook Search Results Places
Facebook tried to fix some of this with Nearby, and did a pretty good job with the business search. Built into a tab in Facebook’s primary mobile apps, Nearby shows you places friends have been, Liked, or recommended. It took a browse-by-category approach to minimizing mobile typing, in contrast to Wonder’s focus on voice commands. However, Nearby doesn’t surface photos taken by friends at places yet, and it might be better off as a standalone app rather than being buried in Facebook for iOS and Android’s navigation.

The problem is that Yandex’s Wonder may be a bit too great and employ too much of Facebook’s data. In May, Facebook updated its Platform Policies to include the statement “You must not include data obtained from us in any search engine or directory without our written permission.” Facebook tells me this was designed to keep your friends from volunteering your private information to public search engines. But Wonder could definitely be interpreted as a search engine, especially considering its built by Yandex, and the policy doesn’t only apply to private data.

facebook-nearby-map TitledIn fact, Facebook apparently learned that Yandex was developing Wonder around the time it changed its policy, and the line could have been added to protect Facebook’s future endeavors in search from invaders like Yandex. Therefore, Wonder might get its public Facebook data access shut down if it doesn’t have permission, and I’ve heard Yandex is actually worried this will happen pre- or post-launch.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself explained at TechCrunch Disrupt SF that Facebook is getting into search:

“Search is interesting. I think search engines are really evolving to give you a set of answers…’I have this specific question, answer this question for me’. Facebook is pretty uniquely positioned to answer the questions people have. ‘What sushi restaurants have my friends gone to in New York in the last six months and Liked?’ These are questions that you could potentially do at Facebook if we built out this system that you couldn’t do anywhere else. And at some point we’ll do it. We have a team working on search.”

Facebook Nearby, since it launched, could answer that sushi question, but so could Wonder thanks to Facebook’s data. With local business discovery comes lots of opportunity for monetization through sponsored placement and other channels. Facebook may not want some other company cashing in on this.

There is hope, though. Facebook struck a status update licensing deal with Yandex in 2010 to allow public posts from Pages to appear in the Russian search engine. In exchange Facebook got a widget on the Yandex home page that helped it sign up Russian users when it was still fighting off local social network VKontakte. Russian news outlet Ria Novosti also reported that Zuckerberg visited Yandex’s headquarters in Moscow in the Fall and held talks with management there.

Perhaps Facebook and Yandex could come to some sort of partnership around Wonder, such as a revenue share or allowing it to use Facebook data in exchange for more promotion of Facebook on Yandex. Other possibilities include Facebook buying the app from Yandex, cloning it the way Facebook copied Snapchat to build Poke, or working out a larger deal where Yandex assists Facebook with its search strategy. If Facebook was really feeling generous, it could just give Yandex permission to use the necessary data in Wonder.

No matter the outcome, sources say Yandex has proven there’s wondrous potential for Facebook in mobile search.

Author : Josh Constine

Source : techcrunch.com

On June 26, Google will force users of its Google Talk messaging service in Gmail to switch to Hangouts, another company messaging service.

It's the end of an era that started in 2005, and the culmination of a transition from Google Talk to Hangouts that started back in 2013.

But what does this mean for office workers who use Google Talk to chat with coworkers, family, and friends all day long?

Luckily, not much. Hangouts is a pretty solid replacement for Google Talk. Your chat contacts will transfer over, and you'll still be able to chat in Gmail — it'll just look a little different.

Here's a Google Talk chat window:

Google TalkKif

And here's what Hangouts in Gmail looks like:

HangoutsKif Leswing

Heavy users might notice that the chat sidebar built into Gmail looks different. The Google Talk Android app will also be phased out, and Android users should download Hangouts instead.

Ultimately, for most people, this transition won't be a major change.

Here's how Google described the transition in a blog post:

Fully transitioning Google Talk to Hangouts: Google Talk launched in 2005 as a simple chat experience between Gmail users. In 2013, we began replacing Google Talk with Hangouts, while still giving users the option to continue using Google Talk. Hangouts offers advanced improvements over Google Talk such as group video calling and integration with other Google products. With the introduction of Hangouts Meet and Hangouts Chat, which add further improvements in meetings and team collaboration, it is now time to say goodbye to Google Talk.

Talk users within Gmail will receive a prompt in the next few weeks, inviting them to switch to Hangouts. After June 26, users will be automatically transitioned to Hangouts, unless contractual commitments apply. For users that preferred the Google Talk look, there is a Dense Roster setting in Hangouts that provides a similar experience.

Google also outlined the differences between the two programs in a chart. In general, the company sees Hangouts as its business-focused chat, somewhat like Slack, Microsoft Teams, or Hipchat.

If the new Hangouts doesn't work for your messaging needs, Google has several other messaging programs, including Allo, Duo, Android Messages, and Google Voice.

Author : Kif Leswing

Source : businessinsider.com

As Google becomes increasingly sophisticated in its methods for scoring and ranking web pages, it's more difficult for marketers to keep up with SEO best practices. Columnist Jayson DeMers explores what can be done to keep up in a world where machine learning rules the day.

Google’s rollout of artificial intelligence has many in the search engine optimization (SEO) industry dumbfounded. Optimization tactics that have worked for years are quickly becoming obsolete or changing.

Why is that? And is it possible to find a predictable optimization equation like in the old days? Here’s the inside scoop.

The old days of Google

Google’s pre-machine-learning search engine operated monolithically. That is to say, when changes came, they came wholesale. Large and abrupt movements, sometimes tectonic, were commonplace in the past.

What applied to one industry/search engine result applied to all results. This was not to say that every web page was affected by every algorithmic change. Each algorithm affected a specific type of web page. Moz’s algorithm change history page details the long history of Google’s algorithm updates and what types of sites and pages were impacted.

The SEO industry began with people deciphering these algorithm updates and determining which web pages they affected (and how). Businesses rose and fell on the backs of decisions made due to such insights, and those that were able to course-correct fast enough were the winners. Those that couldn’t learned a hard lesson.

These lessons turned into the “rules of the road” for everyone else, since there was always one constant truth: algorithmic penalties were the same for each vertical. If your competitor got killed doing something Google didn’t like, you’d be sure that as long as you didn’t commit the same mistake, you’d be OK. But recent evidence is beginning to show that this SEO idiom no longer holds. Machine learning has made these penalties specific to each keyword environment. SEO professionals no longer have a static set of rules they can play by.

Dr. Pete Meyers, Moz’s Marketing Scientist recently noted, “Google has come a long way in their journey from a heuristic-based approach to a machine learning approach, but where we’re at in 2016 is still a long way from human language comprehension. To really be effective as SEOs, we still need to understand how this machine thinks, and where it falls short of human behavior. If you want to do truly next-level keyword research, your approach can be more human, but your process should replicate the machine’s understanding as much as possible.”

Moz has put together guides and posts related to understanding Google’s latest artificial intelligence in its search engine as well as launched its newest tool, Keyword Explorer, which addresses these changes.

Google decouples ranking updates

Before I get into explaining how things went off the rails for SEOs, I first have to touch on how technology enabled Google’s search engine to get to its current state.

It has only been recently that Google has possessed the kind of computational power to begin to make “real-time” updates a reality. On June 18, 2010, Google revamped its indexing structure, dubbed “Caffeine,” which allowed Google to push updates to its search index quicker than ever before. Now, a website could publish new or updated content and see the updates almost immediately on Google. But how did this work?

Google - caffeine updates

Before the Caffeine update, Google operated like any other search engine. It crawled and indexed its data, then sent that indexed data through a massive web of SPAM filters and algorithms that determined its eventual ordering on Google’s search engine results pages.

After the Caffeine update, however, select fresh content could go through an abbreviated scoring process (temporarily) and go straight to the search results. Minor things, like an update to a page’s title tag or meta description tag, or a published article for an already “vetted” website, would be candidates for this new process.

Sounds great, right? As it turned out, this created a huge barrier to establishing correlation between what you changed on your website and how that change affected your ranking. The detaching of updates to its search results — and the eventual thorough algorithmic scoring process that followed — essentially tricked many SEOs into believing that certain optimizations had worked, when in fact they hadn’t.

This was a precursor to the future Google, which would no longer operate in a serialized fashion. Google’s blog effectively spelled out the new Caffeine paradigm: “[E]very second Caffeine processes hundreds of thousands of pages in parallel.”

From an obfuscation point of view, Caffeine provided broad cover for Google’s core ranking signals. Only a meticulous SEO team, which carefully isolated each and every update, could now decipher which optimizations were responsible for specific ranking changes in this new parallel algorithm environment.

When I reached out to him for comment, Marcus Tober, founder and CTO of Searchmetrics, said, “Google now looks at hundreds of ranking factors. RankBrain uses machine learning to combine many factors into one, which means factors are weighted differently for each query. That means it’s very likely that even Google’s engineers don’t know the exact composition of their highly complex algorithm.”

“With deep learning, it’s developing independently of human intervention. As search evolves, our approach is evolving with Google’s algorithmic changes. We analyze topics, search intention and sales funnel stages because we’re also using deep learning techniques in our platform. We highlight content relevance because Google now prioritizes meeting user intent.”

These isolated testing cycles were now very important in order to determine correlation, because day-to-day changes on Google’s index were not necessarily tied to ranking shifts anymore.

The splitting of the atomic algorithm

As if that weren’t enough, in late 2015, Google released machine learning within its search engine, which continued to decouple ranking changes from its standard ways of doing things in the past.

As industry veteran John Rampton reported in TechCrunch, the core algorithms within Google now operate independently based on what is being searched for. This means that what works for one keyword might not work for another. This splitting of Google’s search rankings has since caused a tremendous amount of grief within the industry as conventional tools, which prescribe optimizations indiscriminately across millions of keywords, could no longer operate on this macro level. Now, searcher intent literally determines which algorithms and ranking factors are more important than others in that specific environment.

This is not to be confused with the recent announcement that there will be a separate index for Mobile vs. Desktop, where a clear distinction of indexes will be present. There are various tools to help SEOs understand their place within separate indexes. But how do SEOs deal with different ranking algorithms within the same index?

The challenge is to categorize and analyze these algorithmic shifts on a keyword basis. One technology that addresses this — and is getting lots of attention — was invented by Carnegie Mellon alumni Scott Stouffer. After Google repeatedly attempted to hire him, Stouffer decided instead to co-found an AI-powered enterprise SEO platform called Market Brew, based on a number of patents that were awarded in recent years.

Stouffer explains, “Back in 2006, we realized that eventually machine learning would be deployed within Google’s scoring process. Once that happened, we knew that the algorithmic filters would no longer be a static set of SEO rules. The search engine would be smart enough to adjust itself based on machine learning what worked best for users in the past. So we created Market Brew, which essentially serves to ‘machine learn the machine learner.'”

“Our generic search engine model can train itself to output very similar results to the real thing. We then use these predictive models as a sort of ‘Google Sandbox’ to quickly A/B test various changes to a website, instantly projecting new rankings for the brand’s target search engine.”

Because Google’s algorithms work differently between keywords, Stouffer says there are no clear delineations anymore. Combinations of keyword and things like user intent and prior success and failure determine how Google weights its various core algorithms.

Predicting and classifying algorithmic shifts

Is there a way we, as SEOs, can start to quantitatively understand the algorithmic differences/weightings between keywords? As I mentioned earlier, there are ways to aggregate this information using existing tools. There are also some new tools appearing on the market that enable SEO teams to model specific search engine environments and predict how those environments are shifting algorithmically.

A lot of the answers depend on how competitive and broad your keywords are. For instance, a brand that only focuses on one primary keyword, with many variations of subsequent long-tail keyword phrases, will likely not be affected by this new way of processing search results. Once an SEO team figures things out, they’ve got it figured out.

On the flip side, if a brand has to worry about many different keywords that span various competitors in each environment, then investment in these newer technologies may be warranted. SEO teams need to keep in mind that they can’t simply apply what they’ve learned in one keyword environment to another. Some sort of adaptive analysis must be used.

Summary

Technology is quickly adapting to Google’s new search ranking methodology. There are now tools that can track each algorithmic update, determining which industries and types of websites are affected the most. To combat Google’s new emphasis on artificial intelligence, we’re now seeing the addition of new search engine modeling tools that are attempting to predict exactly which algorithms are changing, so SEOs can adjust strategies and tactics on the fly.

We’re entering a golden age of SEO for engineers and data scientists. As Google’s algorithms continue to get more complex and interwoven, the SEO industry has responded with new high-powered tools to help understand this new SEO world we live in.

Author : Jayson DeMers

Source : searchengineland.com

REDMOND, Wash., March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Last week, AOL shut down DMOZ.com, the official homepage of the DMOZ Internet Directory. However, the directory was quickly re-launched at DMOZLive.com. The new site represents the final iteration of the human-curated Internet directory and includes the same powerful browsing and searching tools. The DMOZLive.com version of the directory is made available through a Creative Commons Attribution license from the DMOZ organization.

"While automated search engines have become standard, we believe there's still value in human curation, as evidenced by site traffic data," says DMOZLive.com Founder Douglas Olson. "Humans are still better at understanding the content, motive and quality of web pages, and organization that information in a comprehensible way. It's worth noting that the search engine titans like Bing and Google continue to employ humans to test their automated systems, so even they recognize this fact.

Moreover, DMOZ is an important piece of Internet history, as its roots go all the way back to 1998. We felt it was important to preserve this resource and the countless hours of mostly volunteer work it represents."

DMOZ Live
DMOZ Live

The official DMOZ site, which was owned and operated by AOL, helped millions of Internet users make sense of the web and discover practical resources that may otherwise have gone unknown. A small army of volunteer editors worked to maintain the directory, which received several million page views each week. AOL has not commented on its closure of the site, and only provided two weeks notice prior to closure.

DMOZLive.com is now home to the only remaining full-featured version of the DMOZ Internet Directory, which comprises over 3.5 million sites across 800,000 categories. Typical categories range from business, computers, games and the arts to news and shopping. Within each top-level category are numerous subcategories, many of which have subcategories of their own, and so on. The result is a hierarchy of relevant content moving from the general to the specific in a way that feels natural to human users. This structure has been largely unchanged since the directory's creation in 1998.

As a global project, the directory includes regional content in 91 languages. Pages in Arabic and Hebrew are formatted with the appropriate right-to-left text. Users can search the full text of directory categories as well as individual site descriptions in any of the 91 available languages. The current version of the DMOZ Internet Directory also boasts a clean, modern interface that makes for easy navigation.

Easily the most unique and powerful feature of DMOZLive.com is the ability to execute a wide range of custom searches. Above each list of categorized web sites, a custom search bar encourages users to "search the below sites." With this feature, users are assured that a specific, targeted search will not return the flood of generalized and often irrelevant results typical of broader search engines. Mining the web's information to uncover knowledge has always been a challenge, but DMOZLive.com has been designed to make the task a little easier.

"Finally, we want to express our sincere thanks to the dedicated DMOZ editors around the world who have helped keep the Open Directory Project moving forward," added Olson. "DMOZ has always represented the very best of the web and of the human spirit of discovery, cooperation and sharing. We're proud to continue making the final version of the DMOZ Internet Directory available for as long as possible."

About DMOZLive.com

DMOZLive.com is operated by Midnight Design Productions, a technology company focused on building innovative web sites and services. The company leverages world-class design and development experience to build websites that bring communities together.

Contact Info:

Douglas Olson
Midnight Design Productions, LLC
16541 Redmond Way #512C, Redmond, WA 98077
425-202-6196
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SOURCE DMOZLive.com

Source : prnewswire.com

There's been heaps of controversy associated with Microsoft's latest operating system Windows 10 since it was launched, but the latest issue takes the cake – apparently Windows has been quietly logging every single keystroke users make on their keyboards from the beginning. Even better, that data is being constantly sent to Microsoft's servers on a regular basis.

We're not sure why on earth Microsoft would want users' keystrokes, as this data is only really useful to cybercriminals seeking to crack passwords to steal sensitive data, and IBTimes UK has asked the computing giant to clarify, but in the meantime, it is possible to solve this problem.

Here's advice on how to turn off the Windows 10 keylogger:

Concerned about privacy? Then always say no

If you haven't yet installed Windows 10 but are thinking of upgrading, then your road ahead is simple. When you install Windows 10, make sure that you select 'custom install'.

Read all the options on the installation window carefully, and make sure you always select 'no' for all options relating to sending data to Microsoft. It is also safe if you simply choose to just say 'no' to all options – it will not affect your usability on Windows 10.

I have Windows 10. What should I do?

If you have Windows 10 installed, then you need to go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Privacy > General. Turn off the option that reads, 'Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future'. To be safe, restart your computer after selecting this option.

I have technical knowledge. Is there anything else I can do?

Yes, there are several things you can do to prevent being tracked. The problem is that even if you turn tracking options off, if in the future Microsoft decides that it wants the options to be turned back on for any reason, it can easily do so during the monthly Patch Tuesday through the automatic Windows Updates function.

There are ways that you can prevent this from happening, however, please be aware that these methods come from the user community, and some of these fixes could potentially cause problems to your PC. We've listed possible options ranked from "harmless" to "most likely to mess up your computer".

Method One: Windows Update MiniTool
Rank: Harmless

The Windows Update MiniTool freeware by MajorGeeks allows users to check for Windows Updates and see a description of what they do. You can decide whether you want to install the available updates, hide the ones you don't like and even delete updates that have been installed that you disagree with.

This software explains what the updates do with a user-friendly interface, and if you are not happy with the changes, you can easily search for and reinstall them.

Method Two: Set up a metered connection to reduce updates

Rank: Harmless

If you don't think you have the time to review incoming Windows Updates, you could also choose to set up a feature in Windows 10 that was designed by Microsoft to help users who have low internet bandwidth.

Instead of receiving all Windows Updates, Microsoft cuts out updates that are unimportant, and only send you priority updates that fix critical security problems (to keep the hackers out) or stability problems affecting the operating system.

Please note however that this will only work if you are on a Wi-Fi connection, but not if you're using an Ethernet cable to connect to the internet.

To do this, go to the Start menu and then select Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi.

In Wi-Fi, click 'Advanced Options' and then select 'on' for the option 'Set as metered connection'.

Method Three: Turn off Windows Updates completely

Rank: Not advisable

If you think you know better than Microsoft, then you could just choose to disable Windows Updates completely. Some people with advanced technical knowledge have done this, and they routinely check for important updates, but we wouldn't advise it, as this means you could risk missing critical patches from Microsoft.

However, this is how you do it:

Go to the Start menu and type 'Run' in the search field. Click on the program, type "services.msc" and then click 'OK'. Look in the list of services, find the 'Windows Update' listing and double-click on it. Click on the drop down menu for 'Startup type' and select 'Disabled', then click OK to confirm and restart your computer.

You can change this back at any time using the same method and selecting 'Automatic' or 'Manual' from the drop down menu.

Google wants to make it easier for you to find answers and recommendations on smartphones without having to think about what to ask its search engine.

Even in this world where digital assistants can help out, sometimes you just want to search the internet yourself for general information like news, weather, the latest sports scores and more.
Google this morning announced a redesign for its iOS and Android search application, as well as its Google.com site on the mobile web, which now includes tappable shortcuts to areas like sports, weather, food and drink, entertainment, and other interests.

Tap the arrow at the end of the row and you'll get a cornucopia of icons, from nearby places to popular Google tools like translation and currency conversions. Those tools may eventually make it to the iPhone as well, although Google says it doesn't know when. You can already do a lot of these things within Google Search, but now you won't have to type the whole query out (for example, manually searching "nearby ATMs" or "NBA schedule" in lieu of the tap).

Shortcuts also show how Google's search engine has been adapting to its audience, now that smartphones have become the primary way millions or of people stay connected to the internet. After a bit of research, Google found that users were hitting the bottom of the page looking for more to read. Then, all you need to do is look for the shortcuts right underneath the search box.

The transition is going well so far.

The new design is rolling out now in the most recent version of the Google mobile app.

Author : Alain Brian

Source : http://campdesrecrues.com/2017/03/with-google-search-shortcuts-answers-are-just-a-few-taps/

Microsoft has added a revamped video search to Bing. The search engine's new video search is better than Google's alternative.

Google is the leading search engine by some distance. That probably convinced Microsoft that Bing needed some enhancements to close the gap. Consequently, the software giant revamped Bing’s video search last year. With that revamp Bing certainly has better video tools than Google.

If you need more convincing results, select Videos in Bing and then enter a query. The first thing to note is that the Bing video search uses the whole page. Video thumbnails are spread out across the entire search page and are not just listed in one linear list. Consequently, what it now has is a grid of video thumbnails, not just one linear list.

Another thing to note is that the video thumbnails are also expanded. They are more than double the size of the thumbnails shown on Google’s search list. So that makes the thumbnails much clearer in Bing.

Hover the cursor over one of Bing’s video thumbnails. That will play a brief preview of the video if it has one. Google’s video search has no such previews.

Another great thing about the Bing video search is the filters it has at the top. At the top of the video thumbnails, there are filters for length, date, resolution and source. So if you want to find videos with higher resolution, you can click Resolution and select a higher resolution setting from the drop-down list. Alternatively, if you’re only looking for YouTube videos, click Source and choose that.

Yes, Google has search filters, but Bing’s filters are better. For example, you can only select a High-Quality video option from the Any Quality filter in Google. In Bing, you can select various resolution settings. Plus, Bing’s video search has more filters than Google.

Another thing to note is the keywords Bing video search includes at the top. For example, if you enter a song title you can then select a lyric keyword listed at the top that will find a lyric video for it. When you scroll down the search page, a grey search bar appears at the top with alternative keywords on it.

Bing’s video search also includes two grey bars with thumbnails and keywords in them. One of those bars enables you to refine your search by selecting a more specific keyword from it. Alternatively, you can also select related keywords for other artists from the other grey bar so that you can quickly find other videos.

Google only lists so many videos on its search pages. At the bottom of Google, there are numbers for you to select the next page with. However, Bing has an infinite scroll so that you can keep on scrolling down through the video found without needing to select new pages.

So Bing’s video search is somewhat better than Google’s video search options. It might be enough to convince some that Bing is now a better search engine than Google.

Author : Matthew

Source : https://www.inferse.com/40102/how-bing-video-search-is-better-than-google-video-search/

The internet is amazingly robust, but like any complex network is still prone to the occasional failure. A new analysis using network theory explains why the dark net – the hidden underbelly of the regular internet, invisible to search engines – is less vulnerable to attacks. The lessons learned could help inform the design of more robust communications networks in the future.

The regular internet’s design is deliberately decentralised, which makes it very stable under normal circumstances. Think of each site or server as a node, connected to numerous nodes around it, which in turn connect to even more nodes, and so on. Take out a node or two here or there and the network continues to function just fine. But this structure also makes it more vulnerable to a coordinated attack: take out many nodes at once, as happens during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, and the result can be catastrophic failure that cascades through the entire network.

The dark net is much less vulnerable to such directed attacks, thanks to its unique structure. Manlio De Domenico and Alex Arenas at Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, Spain, used data from the Internet Research Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, to build their own model of the dark net. They ran simulations to see how it would react to three failure scenarios: random node failures, targeted attacks on specific nodes, and cascading failures throughout the network.

They found that an attack on the dark net would need to hit four times as many nodes to cause a cascading failure as on the regular internet. This stems from its use of “onion routing”, a technique for relaying information that hides data in many layers of encryption. Rather than connecting a user’s computer directly to a host server, onion routing bounces the information through various intermediary nodes before delivering it to the desired location. This stops an attack from spreading so widely.

Powerful connections

Another reason for the dark net’s resilience is its lack of something called the “rich-club effect”. In the regular internet, powerful nodes connect more readily with other powerful nodes, creating what Simon DeDeo at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, terms a “smoky back room” of “network elites”. An attack on one such node can trigger the failure of others, which can in turn lead to cascading failure across the network. The dark net doesn’t have this high level of connectivity between powerful nodes.

“This is [another] one of the things that make it more robust to attack,” says DeDeo. “The network elites are more spread out. In fact, the elites appear to be avoiding each other.”

This model of the dark net somewhat resembles a so-called “small-world network”, in which several heavily connected nodes link clusters of smaller local nodes – similar to how major air traffic hubs connect smaller local airports. Both systems exhibit similar resilience to catastrophic failure, although in-depth comparisons have yet to be completed.

Reconfiguring the entire internet to make it as robust as the dark net would be prohibitively expensive, but De Domenico thinks the pair’s work could still offer practical insights. “It is possible to rethink next-generation upgrades and the design of more localised communication networks, like the intranets of large companies,” he says.

Author : Jennifer Ouellette

Source : https://www.newscientist.com/article/2123354-why-the-dark-net-is-more-resilient-to-attack-than-the-internet/

 

At the Apple AAPL -0.53% WWDC event this year Tim Cook made an absolute statement about user privacy and Apple's stance. It was meant to draw a definite line in the sand to distinguish Apple from its main rival, Google GOOGL +0.28%, in how it applies privacy and control to consumer data.

Tim Cook published a strong message following the event on the Apple website itself, stating that at Apple, "we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy." 

We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
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iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

It's clear that Apple doesn't want to get to know you to sell your data to third parties, but it doesn't mean it doesn't want to get to know you for their own purposes.

Take Proactive for example, the flagship AI assistant that's a step ahead of Siri and a direct aim at Google Now. In order to be as effective as possible, Proactive starts to understand your habits and as the tool learns it will offer you new ways to do things. Eventually third-party apps will also offer Proactive tools as developers  build support for the deep linking feature into their software. For example;

  • By calling a friend at a regular time on a regular basis, Proactive will begin placing the friend's icon in your search screen at around the time it thinks you might make that call.
  • Proactive will scan a call from unknown number to see if it is contained within an email you have received, and then let you know who might be calling.
  • If a call comes from an unknown number that isn’t included in any email, Proactive will tell you the district where that number originates if it's a landline.
  • When you connect your iPhone to your vehicle, Proactive will ask if you want to continue listening to the track or album you were listening to last time you drove.

The last is particularly interesting given Apple's apparent play with connected cars, the rumours around a deeper relationship with BMW and the number of recent exec hires with automotive backgrounds.

As the power of the tool grows, it will also share other pieces of contextual information to you gathered from other apps and sources, all it needs to do is learn more about you.

When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

Apple wants you to think your private life is private, and it's clever in how it executes this strategy. For example, all data is processed on the device, not on an Apple server somewhere. But in order to improve its services, especially advanced features like Siri and Proactive, it needs this information fed back to Infinite Loop. Whilst consumer data is anonymised, and not associated with an Apple ID when it's sent, this doesn't mean nothing happens at HQ once its left the device. How else can Apple provide its consumers with a top end experience with no feedback loop on real world usage ?

For Apple, all this personalisation is apparently anonymous, and sits on a user’s iPhone, iPad, Mac or Apple Watch. But how can real personalization be derived from information that doesn't identify you? And if third-parties are to develop deep linking to Proactive, how can they secure your privacy against another party using it ?

For instance, if it were possible for Google Photos to figure out that I have a Tesla, and Tesla wanted to alert me to a recall, that would be a service that we would consider offering, with appropriate controls and disclosure to the user. - Bradley Horowitz, Vice President, Google

Apple has limited true personalization for the sake of apparent privacy and control in-situ, and unlike Google's open strategy of admitting what it's likely to do with your data for a supposed greater good, Apple's play is still very much self-serving for the sake of looking consumer friendly.

Apple cannot deliver a truly personalised experience if it doesn't know it is you using the device. If you share iDevices Apple will have to understand every user's habits, otherwise the experience delivered from advanced features will be wrong. And the only way to do this is identify who is using the product and why.Even Spotify, when updating its terms and conditions, recently faced a backlash when openly stating it will use the info you share via the platform to tailor the experience. Whilst it was poorly communicated, the terms were clarified by CEO Daniel Ek;

Let me be crystal clear here: If you don't want to share this kind of information, you don't have to.We will ask for your express permission before accessing any of this data - and we will only use it for specific purposes that will allow you to customize your Spotify experience.

What this eludes to is an understanding from the public about what their data is used for, and how it is accessed, and the real purpose behind accessing it. The negative response to Spotify's update in privacy terms shows that this is a growing movement. Infinite Loop likely rubbed its  hands together with glee over the knee-jerk reaction is to defect to Apple Music. Tim Cook and Apple know this, and they are hiding behind smoke and mirrors in their stance to protect your information for the sake of positive image.Ultimately, over time, this device-based strategy will prove Apple's undoing as it eventually admits it does need your personal data. It has accessed your personal data. And has done all along.Read how 2016 could be the year we reclaim our privacy here on Forbes.Connect with me on LinkedIn or Twitter to continue the discussion.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/theopriestley/2015/08/24/did-apple-lie-about-your-privacy/#dcb95ba2b094

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