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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

Facebook on Thursday announced ‘Messenger Day’ feature which provides a new way to see and share photos and videos on Facebook Messenger.

A few months ago, Facebook launched the Messenger Camera, allowing users to make their conversation better than ever.

“Billions of photos and videos have been sent capturing all those heartfelt, funny and serious messages that make the Messenger community so powerful,” said Stan Chudnovsky, Head of Product for Messenger.

“We love seeing how much fun people are having with Messenger’s new visual tools, especially our most popular art and effects like floating hearts and recently, Mardi Gras frames.”


Facebook now allows users to share these photos and videos with many friends at once by adding it to their Day where many of their friends can view and reply to them.

These photos and videos will be at the top of the home screen, making it easy for friends and family to  see and message directly about what they have shared.

To start sharing their Day, users just have take a photo or video by tapping the camera, customise it with art and effects by tapping the smiley face icon in the top right corner and share it.


Facebook allows users to be in control as they can add to their Day, save to your phone’s camera roll, or send to a specific person or group.

They can add to their Day as often as they like and show what they’re doing, share their feelings, and what they’re up to in a given moment.

The photos and videos users add to their Day will expire in 24 hours.

Users can also add to their Day from a group or one-on-one conversation.


After sending a photo or video in a Messenger conversation, tap the “Add to your day” text, and they will be asked to confirm if they would like to add it to their Day.

Facebook also leaves it up to users who can see their Day. Users can customize who can see the content by tapping the ‘More’ icon and choosing “Everyone except…” or “Custom.”

Messenger Day is rolling out globally on Android and iOS devices.

Author : Web Desk

Source : https://arynews.tv/en/facebook-launches-messenger-day-feature-with-vanishing-videos-and-pictures/

Most small businesses are all too aware that cyber criminals are becoming more inventive in their hunt for vulnerable or accessible financial information. They’re targeting individual consumers and small businesses, and the costs for businesses can be high.

For small businesses looking to combat online fraud, it can really help to have an understanding of today’s fraud landscape; the fraud-screening tools available right now; practical tips to mitigate fraudulent transactions; and an understanding of tokenized payments, which is a great way to improve security and customer convenience.

The face of online fraud today

Sage Payment Solutions recently surveyed 1,110 U.S. business decision makers and 1,062 US consumers about payment security, among other topics. We found that for both businesses and consumers, security remains a huge issue when making or receiving payments.

More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers have concerns about fraud when paying for goods or services online, and 65% of businesses are concerned about cyber security. Moreover, 89% of the general public believes online payment providers should do more to protect people from fraud. (Download Sage’s exclusive 2017 Payments Landscape Report for the full story.)

Today, online fraud comes in many forms including stolen cards, identity theft, and hacked customer information. One current trend is “vishing” over the telephone, whereby fraudsters are tricking consumers into parting with personal or financial information. Similarly, fraudsters often take advantage of websites that lack proper security measures and obtain sensitive customer details.

Business email compromise (BEC) scams are a rapidly growing source of online fraud. In one type of BEC scam, criminals conduct extensive research and create fake profiles of business owners. By mimicking a business owner’s style, criminals can deceive their targets into making payments to fraudulent accounts.

Another source of online fraud can be poor IT security in your office, which means a simple break-in can escalate into a full data breach, whereby customer credit card numbers are compromised.

Know your weapons in the battle against fraud

The first step you can take in the battle against fraud is to configure the correct fraud screening tools on your payments account. Most payment service providers offer basic fraud tools that are easy to implement.

These include:

AVS, or Address Verification System

This security tool checks the numerics in the billing address of the card against the address at which the card is registered.

CVV/CV2, or Card Verification Code:

This is the three/four digit authentication code on the back of credit or debit cards.

3D Secure

This tool is similar to an online version of chip and PIN, where instead of a PIN, a user-generated password is required. It reduces the possibility of fraudulent card use by authenticating the cardholder at the actual time of the transaction. Subsequently, this reduces the business’ exposure to disputed transactions and charge-backs of this type.

Practical tips for strengthening your defenses against online fraud

Despite the worrying numbers of businesses hit by fraud, the 2017 Sage Payment Solutions Payments Landscape Report found that 20% of businesses don’t spend anything on fraud prevention and instead rely on the free tools provided by their payment gateway. If you’re ready to strengthen your business’ defenses against fraudsters, Sage payments experts recommend you:

Analyze customer information and purchasing behavior

Your goal here is to be able to assess a customer’s profile, order, and delivery details before accepting a transaction. Similarly, orders placed early in the morning, of high quantity or high value are also red flags, particularly if the product can be easily resold.

Always check the delivery address is valid

You could use the banking industry’s Address Verification System, which compares the delivery address provided for the order with the billing address details for the payment card held by the card issuer.

Invest in geo-location technology

Geo-location will help you find the shopper’s location and help identify if the order is coming from a high-risk country. Then, you can check the location of the order against the type of order and the customer’s profile.

Maintain a customer database

It is generally a good idea to identify the customer by name, email address, delivery and billing address, and telephone number. It is also helpful if your server records the IP address from which the customer is accessing your system.

You should store these details in your database alongside details of the customer’s basket contents or other ordered goods.

Similarly, a fraud database will help you close loopholes, because criminals will continue to target a business until the window of opportunity is closed.

While these tips are sufficient for smaller businesses, larger businesses need to consult a third party and implement a custom fraud prevention solution.

Tokenized payments: the next step?

The token system allows customers to register their cards on the business’ website to use for future purchases. This allows customers to log on to the website, select the card they would like to use for the purchase, and proceed to the checkout pages.

When using a provider like Sage Payment Solutions, our system captures all of the shopper’s card details in our secure system and provides the business with a “token” that the business stores on its system (in place of the card details). This way, the business avoids storing payment data that could be compromised by criminals.

Tokenized payments are the natural next step for merchants looking to restrict their exposure to card data. This technology facilitates a range of payment methods including:

Delayed or deferred payments: this allow a merchant to take payment on delivery, but to collect and store the card details securely when the initial ordered is processed.

Repeat orders: for businesses offering subscription-based models for their products and services.

Single-click payments: as the payment processor already stores the customer’s details securely, the merchant just needs the customer to enter their card security code (also known as CV2 or CVV) to validate the payment.

No matter the size of your business, if you sell products or services online, fraud isn’t something worth sticking your head in the sand about. The good news is by taking the right steps today, you can protect your customers and concentrate on growing your business.

Visit Sage Payment Solutions’ site to learn more.

Source : http://www.pcworld.com/article/3181333/security/how-to-protect-your-small-business-against-online-fraud.html

On February 24, 2017, France’s highest administrative court (the “Conseil d’Etat”) submitted to the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) a series of questions raising serious issues with regard to the interpretation of the 1995 Data Protection Directive in light of the ECJ’s 2014 ruling in the Google v. Costeja case[1].The Conseil d’Etat had received from four individuals their appeals against decisions of the French data protection authority (“CNIL”). In each case, the CNIL rejected the appellant’s complaint seeking an order that Google Inc. remove certain links from the list of results displayed following a search of each appellant’s name. The links direct to content on third party sites relating to the appellants, and specifically:

  • a 2011 video, posted anonymously, that explicitly reveals the nature of the relationship that the first appellant was deemed to have entertained with a person holding a public office, and alleges that such relationship was beneficial for the appellant’s political career;
  • a 2008 press article relating to the suicide of a Church of Scientology member, mentioning that the second appellant was the public relations manager of that Church; the appellant no longer holds that position;
  • various articles dating from 1995 relating to criminal proceedings for illegal political party financing in which the third appellant was charged; the appellant was acquitted in 2010; and
  • articles (date not mentioned) relating to the conviction of the fourth appellant for sexual assault of minors and mentioning intimate details relating to the appellant that were revealed at the trial.

Noting that in each case the published information is either sensitive data or concerns offenses and criminal convictions, the Conseil d’Etat questions whether and to what extent the prohibition on processing such data applies to search engine operators, as they are only required to comply with data protection requirements “within the framework of [their] responsibilities, powers and capabilities” (para. 38 of the Google v.Costeja case).The Conseil d’Etat has therefore declined to rule, stating that appellants’ claims raise serious questions of interpretation regarding the implementation of the right to be forgotten, and has deemed it necessary to refer to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on the following questions:

  1. Considering the specific responsibilities, powers and capabilities of search engine operators, does the prohibition on processing sensitive data and data relating to offenses and criminal convictions, subject to certain exceptions, apply to search engine operators as controller of the processing in the search engine?
  2. If yes:
    1. Does this mean that search engines must systematically delist links to webpages processing sensitive and/or data relating to offenses and criminal convictions, whenever the relevant individual so requests?
    2. How do the exceptions to the prohibition apply? In particular, can search engine refuse to delist links if they find, for example, that the data subject consented to the processing of their personal data or that the data has been disclosed to the public by the data subject or is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims?
    3. Can search engines refuse to delist links to websites processing such data for journalistic purposes
  3. If no:
    1. What data protection law requirements must the search engines comply with, considering their specific responsibilities, powers and capabilities?
    2. When search engines find that webpages contain illicit content and their delisting is requested:
      1. Are the search engines required to remove the links to those webpages from the search results?
      2. Or are they required to take this circumstance into account when assessing the delisting request?
      3. Or does this circumstance have no impact on such assessment?
      4. If it does have an impact, how must the lawfulness of a publication be appreciated when the personal data contained in such publication originates from processing that fall outside the territorial scope of the 1995 Directive and Member State laws?
  4. Irrespective of the response to the first question:
    1. Irrespective of the lawfulness of the publication:Does information regarding an individual’s indictment or trial, and the subsequent conviction, constitute data relating to offenses and criminal convictions? More generally, do webpages containing this type of information fall within the scope of these requirements?
      1. If an appellant demonstrates that his/her personal data has become incomplete, inaccurate or outdated, do search engines have to delist the links?
      2. More specifically, if an appellant demonstrates that the information regarding a past judicial procedure no longer reflects his/her current situation, do search engines have to delist links to webpages containing such information?

Almost three years after the Google v. Costeja case, and many intense debates around its interpretation and implementation, the right to be forgotten returns to its progenitor for much needed clarification.


To view all formatting for this article (eg, tables, footnotes), please access the original here.

Source : http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=612b3b77-9e65-42c9-a01b-e040d323afee

The internet has already made searching for images a breeze. Just go on any search engine, type in what you’re looking for, and voila: Thousands of images will instantly appear before your eyes. But that sort of luxury hasn’t found its way into video, a medium that has seen astonishing consumption rates over the last few years.

Google wants to change that. The Mountain View, California-based company announced a new video intelligence application program interface (API) today at its Cloud Next conference in San Francisco. The tool uses machine learningto extract “entities” (nouns) from videos to make them searchable. It will even mark scene changes. Traditionally, elements related to a specific video had to be tagged manually for them to appear in a search.

The demo at the conference showed the API identifying a dachshund from a short commercial, and figuring out what it was watching was indeed a commercial. In another demo, a search for “beach” loaded a bunch of videos the machine learning software determined had beaches in them.

Google lets you try out the API in a limited demo that shows off its impressive capabilities. Just go on its website and select a video sample. From there, the API will start analyzing the scenes. When its done, it spits out a percentage for the most relevant labels in the entire clip, and the most relevant labels for the parts of the video it determines are separate scenes.

The new API was built to help understand the overall content in videos, and extract actionable insight from that data. Google will hope this new tool will help it catch up to both Amazon and Window’s cloud-based offerings.

Source : https://www.dailydot.com/debug/google-api-video-search-tool/

The webmaster and SEO community, along with the automated Google tracking tools, all show strong signs that there was a Google algorithm ranking update.

Since yesterday morning, the SEO industry has been watching an unconfirmed Google ranking update that seems to target more of the link quality aspects of the overall algorithm.

Many are calling this the Fred Update, a name we’re also adopting. That came from Google’s Gary Illyes, who has jokingly suggested that all updates be named “Fred.” It’s sticking with this one.

We’ve seen more chatter and reports of changes from within the “black hat” SEO community, which generally means that this is a spam algorithm update around links. Last time we reported a link spam-related update was in early February, and that update also was unconfirmed by Google.

There was also a large content quality Google update on February 7 that was never confirmed. As you expect, Google is very unlikely to confirm algorithm updates these days — but that won’t stop us from reporting large shifts in the search results that convey an algorithm update has happened.

Many of the automated tracking tools currently show significant volatility and fluctuations, which is an indicator of an update. Plus, with all the industry chatter, and with webmasters both complaining about ranking declines and rejoicing about ranking increases, it’s likely that there was a Google update.

We are waiting to hear from Google if they have any comment. All we have right now are the typical Google lines from John Mueller and Gary Illyes that Google makes updates all the time.

If and when we get an update from Google, we will share it here. For now, you can read about the chatter and ranking speculation over here.

Author : Barry Schwartz

Source : http://searchengineland.com/new-unconfirmed-google-fred-update-shakes-seo-world-270898

Think you're a Facebook pro? Think again. Sure, Facey-B might have dominated the past decade of your online activity, but there's a good chance you're still not getting the most out the world's biggest social network. So set your ego aside and listen up, it's lesson time.

Believe it or not, Facebook's no longer just that friendly little blue website you post drunken photos to. Squillions of development hours have been put into this thing, filling it with all manner of features you might not be aware of, including this lot.


Where would we be without our trusted friends, the "sexy aubergine" or "jolly poop"? Sometimes words just won't cut it, but searching for the exact emoji you want can be a pain. The category menus for emoji are far from intuitive, each contains such a mass of symbols that confusion often ensues.

Forget scanning fruitlessly; entering text shortcuts will insert the relevant emoji into your message when it's sent. For instance, typing :poop: will add the poop emoji. Unfortunately not all emoji get shortcuts, but the most popular ones are included.

Shark (^^^)

Middle Finger [[midfing]]

Not Bad [[notbaad]]

Horny 3:)


Facebook unfollow

When unfriending someone on Facebook classes as workplace bullying, we're all in trouble. You can cut people out without all the drama though. Simply unfollow them instead of unfriending them. This completely stops all of their nonsense from appearing on your wall, while still offering you full Facebook stalking rights to their accounts when the mood takes.

To do this, hit the 'Following' button on the pages of your Facebook foes. You'll see options to unfollow them as well as 'See First'. But that's for people who you want right at the top of your newsfeed, not those who make you want to put all your Facebook-connected devices in a tub of acid. Tap the unfollow option, stat.


If you haven't heard about this already, what rock have you been living under? Seriously, it's Facebook's worst kept secret and it's an addictive time-sap of a game. Scurried away within Facebook Messenger, the basketball-based plaything lets you challenge your chums to shoot some hoops directly within the chat window.

It's not something you're likely to stumble across either. To play, you need to send your friend a basketball emoji then click on the sports-themed pictogram. This will launch the game over your chat, with both players' high scores being logged in the feed.


Facebook Messenger hidden inbox

We all know how to find Facebook's message inbox - heck, they put little red numbers over it every time you get a message - but did you know there's a second, secret message inbox? No? Didn't think so. This is the stomping ground of all the messages you're sent from people not inside your Facebook friends group.

There are probably far more messages than you're expecting, you just need to know where to look for it - it's secret, not signposted after all. To get there, open the Facebook Messenger app and click Settings >> People >> Message Requests >> See Filtered Requests and enjoy a list of four -year-old messages you lucky thing.


Facebook generic

Facebook's original favourite feature - poking - still lives, really. Who knew, right? The social media equivalent of an office sexual harassment nightmare might not be the front-and-centre feature it once was, but it's still there if you know where to look.

That place isn't something you're likely to stumble across though. On a friend's profile page, click the "…" next to the 'Message' tab that sits over their cover photo. This will launch a drop-down menu that includes, amongst other things, the ability to have a good ol' poke. It's Facebook circa 2007 and we love it.


Facebook tips and tricks

There's a point that comes in all of our lives: the day you realise your Facebook feed is full of inspirational quotes posted by people you wouldn't trust for directions to the nearest newsagent's. That and sponsored links. When that day arrives, it's time for a refresh.

One way to give Facebook's feed algorithms a kick up the arse is to start labelling your Facebook contacts as 'close friends' and 'acquaintances'. All the updates from your close friends will appear on your news feed, diluting the drivel your 'acquaintances' post. How? Well, in the 'Friends' tab you'll see a drop-down box next to each of your mates' entries. In this you can label them with these two all-important tags. Doing so will up the quality of your news feed dramatically.


Facebook Notifications

Facebook has become the best way to keep track of people's birthdays. However, it can get a bit much. When 90% of your smartphone alerts are Facebook's birthday reminders, or Domino's telling you they've a new offer, things need to change. It's no way to live.

You can switch off birthday notifications to your phone altogether though. If you go Settings >> Notifications >> Mobile, you can easily ditch the celebratory reminders. Huzzah, now we can go back to forgetting our best friend's special day, just as nature intended.


Facebook tips and tricks

"PLEASE HELP, I'M STUCK IN A RAVINE, NEED ASSISTANCE #FML." A Facebook update like this could save your life. Maybe. And you could make it using the text function on your phone. That's right, you can text Facebook like it's 999.

There's a dedicated feature for this called Facebook Texts. All you need to do is link a phone to your account, which we imagine most of you have done by now, then send a message reading "F" to 32665. This will set you up, then you just text that number again with your status update. There's actually a whole bunch of other things you can do from your mobile too, like get texts every time a certain friend posts something - creepy.


Facebook app 3D Touch update

Find yourself living in constant fear of hackers stealing arty photos of your dinner? You can actually download your entire Facebook history, to savour every last drunken photo, over-sharing post and your 4,387 selfies for all eternity.

Why? Why not? We warn you, though, this could end up being a pretty big download if you're a real Facebook victim. It includes pictures and other media as well as text-based posts. To back it all up, go to Settings and click to "download a copy of your Facebook data" at the bottom of the page.



Horror films have nothing on the fear of flogging your old phone on eBay, then sending it off still hooked up to your email and Facebook - arrrgh. You don't necessarily have to start changing your passwords right away though. Facebook lets you see every phone and browser that has been, or that is, accessing your Facebook account, and then put a stop to them with a click.

To get to this screen, use the web interface and tap the drop-down menu at the top-right of the display. Select Settings >> Security >> Where You're Logged In. Here you'll be able to see all your log-ins over the last few months. Safe again, phew.


Facebook tips and tricks

Whether you see auto-play videos as the scourge of the internet or just a quicker way to mainline funny cat clips says a lot about the kind of digital beast you are. To hate them is the classic old-school approach. And while Facebook embraces them as standard these days, you can turn them off.

On your browser you'll find it right down at the bottom of the Settings menu. Click the Videos tab, which is home to the Auto-play switcher. Job done, you've just saved your data plan a serious kicking.


Facebook Pirate

Avast me 'arties, Facebook may be worth hundreds of billions of dollars, but it still knows how to have fun, honest. An example of classic Facey-B japes is the ability to change your language to 'pirate', turning the social network into 'Ye Olde Facebook' and 'posts' to 'anchors'.

Fancy trying it out? Go Settings >> Language and switch out English for the mother tongue of the high seas. Don't feel particularly piratey? There are dozens of languages to choose from including the Star Wars-sounding but utterly real Basa Jawa (the language of Java, if you're wondering) or Upside Down English.


Internet thief

Facebook account hacking is pretty common: you've probably seen someone appear to go a bit loopy in your Facebook tenure, only to find out their account was hacked - it wasn't them 'Liking' links to smutty websites, honest. Sure, there's no way to make you completely immune to hacking short of nuking your Facebook account, but you can nip it in the bud pretty quickly.

Login Alerts will drop you a notification whenever your Facebook account is accessed from a new device or browser. By going Settings >> Security, you can choose to receive an email, notification or both upon one of these new login attempts. Neat.


Instagram generic

Every social media pro seems to live on about a half-dozen social networks at once, hoovering up followers and friends like Morgan Freeman sauntering down a high street, flinging fivers with every step. You don't need to spend all day hooked to your computer to get this effect, though.

The trick is to link your other social networks to Facebook so that they automatically post to it, saving you the effort. This doesn't happen over at Facebook itself, but directly at places like Twitter and Instagram, the two most likely candidates for a Facebook hook-up.


Facebook Privacy

You're going to die. Sorry to be the bearers of bad news, but it's true. We're so certain, we'd bet on it. But, hey, we all are. Facebook might not, though, so if you want to make sure your account isn't going to fall into the wrong hands when the inevitable comes along, you can bequeath your account to someone trustworthy. Not that git who switched your language to Pirate.

How? Well, what you need to do is nominate a 'Legacy Contact', someone who gets control over your account when Facebook is advised of your passing. You'll find this in the 'Security' part of both the Facebook web interface and mobile app.


Source : http://www.digitalspy.com/tech/internet/feature/a822986/secret-facebook-features-tips-tricks/

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Mar 7, 2017) - Bioz, Inc., developers of the world's first search engine for life science experimentation, today launched the next-generation of its patent-pending search engine platform. The updated cloud technology includes a new user interface, extensive coverage of scientific articles, a new vendor partner program, and a new level of quality and accuracy of search results, while also offering deep insights on how to best use life science products in experiments.

"Bioz has quickly disrupted and modernized life science research by structuring scientific knowledge to truly guide researchers when conducting their experiments. Ultimately, this aids in advancing scientific research and speeding up the rate of drug discovery," said Daniel Levitt, co-founder and CEO of Bioz. "Today, over 200,000 biopharma company and university researchers from just about every country in the world rely on our industry-changing cloud-based platform, enabling life science researchers to work faster, smarter and more cost-effectively."

The Bioz search engine taps the latest advances in Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) to mine and structure hundreds of millions of pages of complex and unstructured scientific papers. This places an unprecedented amount of summarized scientific experimentation knowledge at researchers' fingertips.

Bioz Stars, part of the Bioz platform, provides unbiased and objective algorithmic ratings that are displayed for over 200 million life science products, tools, reagents, lab equipment, instruments, assays and kits. Each product is listed with its own algorithmically determined objective Bioz Star rating. The number of Bioz Stars assigned to a product indicates how well that product is likely to perform in a researcher's experiment. The Bioz Star ratings are calculated solely from objective parameters, and are optimized to serve the research community in choosing the right product for their next experiment.

Complementing each product's Bioz Star rating is a detailed set of product usage insights, guiding researchers on how to best use the selected products in their specific experiments. Product usage guidance is provided to users in the form of over one billion structured and objective data points relating to assay protocol conditions, including: dilution, temperature, time and concentration, among many others.

"Bioz empowers the end user to identify, select and evaluate the optimal reagents and tools enabling rapid biomarker assay development. The platform has built-in features for interrogating data for: reagent selection, supplier ratings, tested applications, user feedback, reviews and publications and also health authority guidance," said Dr. Akash Datwani, Scientist and Clinical Development and Therapeutic Area leader of Genentech (Roche). "We are eager to explore the newly released Bioz platform, with its enhanced UI, expanded corpus and assay-specific protocols. These much-needed features have the promise to unveil available tools and reagents to accelerate discovering and delivering better and safer medicines to patients."

The next-generation Bioz platform, available free to researchers and scientists today, includes:

A new user interface: The new platform displays more results in each page, and has a highly intuitive UI and UX focusing on helping researchers quickly find the products they need.

New vendor partner program: The new Bioz vendor program streamlines product procurement for researchers, while also providing them with the latest information on new life science products and services. Vendors will gain access to lead generation and branding opportunities.

A faster "brain" for search quality: Users will benefit from much faster performance via greater sophistication in product synonym and acronym matching across multiple articles.

A smarter "brain" for high-quality search results: Users will also benefit from high-quality search results that are structured using hundreds of sophisticated algorithmic rules that collect, correlate and analyze product data from millions of articles.

New deeper structuring: Product results are now structured such that each product is matched with specific assays and the protocol conditions relevant to those assays. This helps researchers to not only identify the best products to use, but to also decide how to best work with each product in their specific assays. These deep data insights are based on the Bioz platform analyzing and summarizing what has worked for other researchers, as detailed within millions of peer-reviewed life science articles.

More data: An incredible 26 million scientific articles are now available to aid researchers. Moreover, with the new platform, Bioz is updating its article corpus in real-time so that researchers have access to the very latest material.
"We are thrilled to announce our next-generation Bioz platform, offering researchers from around the world an unparalleled resource for advanced objective ratings information and product usage guidance that is based on the source they most trust, scientific articles," said Dr. Karin Lachmi, co-founder, chief scientific officer and president of Bioz. "Bioz is the industry's only life science platform to offer these key information sets, which are necessary for successful experimentation and research. Thus, Bioz' value proposition is focused not only on 'what to buy,' but also on 'how to use it,' which facilitates much faster and better life science research and drug discovery processes that we can all benefit from."

The news follows on the heels of Frost & Sullivan's recent recognition of Bioz, Inc., with its 2017 North American New Product Innovation Award win. The award recognizes the value-added features and benefits and also increased return on investment (ROI) that the Bioz technology offers customers, which in turn raises Bioz customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.

Source : http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bioz-launches-next-generation-industrys-140000530.html




Here we are again. Google’s in hot water because of what I call its “One True Answer” feature, where it especially highlights one search listing over all others as if that’s the very best answer. It’s a problem because sometimes these answers are terribly wrong.

When Google gets facts wrong

At the end of last month, Google was spotted listing several US presidents as being members of the Ku Klux Klan, even though there’s no conclusive evidence of any of this:

What’s happening there is called a “featured snippet,” where Google has taken one of the 10 web listings it normally displays and put it into a special box, to highlight it as seemingly the best of all the results, the listing that may fully answer your question.

I’ve taken to calling this Google’s “One True Answer” feature, because that’s effectively what it is to me. Google is expressing so much faith in this answer that it elevates it above all others. Google’s faith in featured snippets is especially profound when they emerge through its Google Home voice assistant:


Yesterday, President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping him, causing paranoia in some quarters that Obama was plotting a coup. In fact, it’s one of the top things Google currently suggests if you type in “Is Obama….” into Google’s search box, indicating it’s a search with some degree of popularity:

Curious as to the result, I tried it yesterday and discovered that Google’s One True Answer was telling me that indeed, Obama was planning a coup, though he appears to be late in making it happen:

Sure, if you scroll a bit further down, you’ll see an ABC News story debunking the rumor.

That doesn’t take away from the fact that with all of Google’s search algorithms and machine learning, it decided that some ridiculous conspiracy mongering should be given an enhanced spot. It’s even worse when you listen to it on Google Home:


By the way, many often assume that these problematic answers are the result of overt actions by right-wing people that somehow know how to manipulate Google into doing whatever they want.

That’s not the case. There are indeed things people can do to increase the chances of being a featured snippet, but most of the problematic examples I review don’t appear to have been deliberate attempts. Rather, they seem to be the result of Google’s algorithms and machine learning making bad selections. Those bad guesses are also equal opportunity offenders, as this example telling people that Republicans are the same as Nazis:


For any example of Google appearing to favor a political stance, trust me, you can come up with another example where it appears to favor the opposite. The reason most people don’t know this is because they generally try searches that support one view without testing to see what happens when they do another.

A tipping point for One True Answers?

The KKK example last month was kind of a tipping point for me, with Google getting it wrong with One True Answers. This isn’t a new problem. It’s one that has been allowed to fester over time.

We’ve had not-safe-for-work answers on how to eat sushi in 2014.  That same year, you could find Google declaring that Barack Obama was King of the United States. Incredibly, after our report on that, our own article became the new source declaring Obama king, as it remains to this day:

In 2015, we had a religious answer provided above all others for what happened to the dinosaurs:

It was one of several examples we covered in our When Google Gets It Wrong article that year. But that was hardly the end of such embarrassments. Last year’s terrible highlight was when you could listen to Google’s One True Answer about why women were evil:


After the KKK example came up, I was planning to write the article I’m doing now in a week or so, basically, a “Is it time for One True Answers to go?” story. But last week, Adrianne Jeffries from The Outline called to talk about the exact same issue, the increasing problems with Google’s featured snippets.

Google’s featured snippets are worse than fake news is her article, and I strongly encourage anyone to read it. She covers some of the examples I’ve shared above, along with many other problematic ones. There’s plenty of discussion about what, if anything, can and should be done.

Turn off One True Answers?

The easy solution would be for Google to stop using featured snippets, to give up on the idea that it will provide One True Answers for some searches.

That doesn’t mean that Google wouldn’t come under criticism for bad results. After all, featured snippets come from one of the 10 web listings that are presented. One or more of those listings might still be problematic. But at least a problematic result wouldn’t get elevated to such exalted status, subjecting Google to greater criticism.

On the downside, turning them off means that Google can’t provide direct answers for many other cases where it’s very helpful to have them. And doing that goes right to Google’s bottom line.

The financial loss to Google of losing One True Answers

Arguably, the next big growth area in search is through voice-activated assistants, the ability to ask devices in our homes for answers. Amazon Echo and Google Home are going head-to-head here. As I’ve covered, Google Home easily beat the Amazon Echo when it comes to the range of questions it can answer.

Consider this example below, where I asked both Amazon Echo and Google Home if guinea pigs can eat grapes:

I remember distinctly when this question first came to my mind. I had my refrigerator open. My guinea pig, hearing me in the kitchen, started squeaking for a treat. I saw the grapes in the fridge and wondering if he could eat them. Normally, that would mean shutting the fridge and finding my phone or computer to type a query. But I called out this question to the Google Home in my kitchen and got an immediate answer.

That is an incredible competitive advantage that Google has over Amazon, as well as Apple and Microsoft, when it comes to providing answers. The others are far more tightly curtailed in providing direct answers from databases and vetted resources. That makes them less prone to problematic results but also less helpful for a wide range of queries that people have.

Turning off featured snippets means Google will lose its competitive advantage with Google Home, as well as with spoken queries to smartphones. That’s why I think it’s unlikely this will happen. Google will likely tolerate the occasional bad attention for its problematic One True Answers for what it considers the greater good to its users and its competitive standing in keeping them.

Ways to mitigate problems

Is there a way for Google to keep the good that featured snippets provide without causing problematic results? Not perfectly. Google processes over 5 billion queries per day, and even if featured snippets appear in only 15% of those at the moment (according to the Moz SERP features tracker), that’s nearly a billion One True Answers per day. Humans can’t vet all those.

But Google could consider not showing featured snippets in its web search results, when queries are typed. There’s no particular need for it to elevate one answer over the others in this way. By losing this display, it might force users to better use their own critical thinking skills in reviewing 10 possible answers that they are provided.

For spoken queries, having a One True Answer repeated — when it’s correct — is undoubtably helpful. To better improve there, Google might revisit the sites it allows to appear as resources. This could include vetting them, as it does with Google News. Or, it could make use of some algorithm system to determine if a site is deemed to have enough authority to be featured.

Even then, it still wouldn’t be perfect. Slate is a widely-respected site, one that I think would pass both any vetting Google might do or any algorithmic authority check Google might put in place. That means if you asked if Trump is paranoid, Google’s One True Answer from Slate would remain:


Not only does this answer assert Trump’s paranoid but also that he’s mentally ill, based on a political opinion piece that Slate ran, not any medical diagnosis.

Perhaps a further mitigation would be for Google to better explain that these are actual guesses. In the example above, as with when Google reads all featured snippets, it begins with the source, saying “According to….” Rather than that, perhaps Google should be more honest. “Here’s our best guess. According to….” Or maybe, “We’re not sure if this is correct, but according to….”

Maybe there’s better wording. But simply saying “According to….” doesn’t feel like disclaimer enough, at the moment.

On the web, Google provides an “About this result” link that leads to a page explaining what featured snippets are. Next to is, there’s also a “Feedback” link that allows people to suggest if a featured snippet is bad. In The Outline’s story, it found that the feedback link can indeed work in a few days. But that depends on people doing searches reporting problematic featured snippets — and there are good reasons why this might not happen.

After all, someone who is searching for “are republicans fascists” or “is obama planning a coup” might be happy with answers that assert both of these are correct, regardless if those answers are true, because they reinforce existing preconceptions. Those who are most likely to object to such answers probably never do such searches at all.

What’s Google think about all this? Here’s the comment the company gave me today:

Featured Snippets in Search provide an automatic and algorithmic match to a given search query, and the content comes from third-party sites. Unfortunately, there are instances when we feature a site with inappropriate or misleading content. When we are alerted to a Featured Snippet that violates our policies, we work quickly to remove them, which we have done in this instance. We apologize for any offense this may have caused.

In the end, I don’t know that there’s a perfect answer. But Google clearly needs to do something. This problem is going into its third year and becoming more profound as the “post-truth” era grows, as does our home assistants and devices that profess to give us the truth.

Author : Danny Sullivan

Source : http://searchengineland.com/googles-one-true-answer-problem-featured-snippets-270549

There’s no doubt that search engines are one of the best ways to connect brands to their consumers and we’ve compiled a few developments that will continue to gain importance during the rest of 2017.

The constantly evolving nature of search engines means there are new and exciting opportunities around every corner. They depend on technology and, therefore, tend to advance at a similar rate. Algorithms are updated and rules are changed — often unannounced — so, to stay on top of the game, those in the field of search engines can never lose focus.

When the goal posts are shifted, search engine rankings are affected and this influences the way agencies and media owners carry out their search marketing operations. Even the most tech-savvy characters may be taken by surprise and predicting what the future holds can be a guessing game.

The developments

Google shopping

This is probably the biggest update for search engines in southern Africa and you’ll start seeing shopping ads when you enter a commercial query into the search engine. There is extensive testing happening to see which area of real estate is most effective for these ad units.

Shopping ads allow advertisers to promote merchandise on the search engine results pages (SERPs) with an image, a price and a description that will show up when a relevant query is entered. Priced as standard paid search ads with cost per click (CPC) bids, these are a highly effective way to advertise your e-commerce products on the search network and, if the price is right, expect to see good returns from shopping ads.

Featured snippet

life insurance featured snippet

If the search engine is asked a question, Google programmatically detects pages that can answer the user’s question, and serves an answer in a “featured snippet”. A cousin of the knowledge graph, the featured snippet will carry on developing and changing the way marketers set up their on-page content.

Expect to see companies setting up content to answer consumer questions directly, with the aim of driving users to their landing pages. For example, imagine a question such as: “At what age should you get life insurance?” Insurance companies could set up pages with content aimed at answering this question. If the featured snippet outranks the top organic results, this is the most-effective option of driving quality traffic to their commercial pages.

Images in SERPs

beef stroganoff schema mark up

Try a search for “beef stroganoff” and you’ll notice images which display on SERPs, next to their respective organic listings. Expect more marketers to take advantage of the “recipe” schema markup to enable these (recipe-rich snippet) pictures.

Web users have a lot of variety to choose from, and therefore extremely high standards! Ranking second and having a delicious-looking stroganoff could be more important than being at #1!

Click through rate still a massive ranking factor

Senegal in the news

Engagement continues to be a massive ranking factor on Google. In the screengrab, a query for “Senegal” triggers results that contain “Top Stories”. At the time of the query (late January 2017), this country was competing in the African Cup of Nations and there was political turmoil in neighbouring Gambia.


  • A BBC Sport link outranks The Guardians link in “Top Stories”, for the query “Senegal”. This is strange when you consider that The Guardian’s article outranks the BBC Sport article with its organic listing (#2 and #4).
  • The Guardian’s article is also fresher and contains the crucial keyword (Senegal) in the description.
  • Both links are AFCON-related and outrank the political article on the Yahoo news network.

The rational way to analyse these results is to assume that the BBC Sport article was deemed the most relevant to the query, by virtue of Google users voting with their clicks. This seems to echo Rand Fishkin’s 2014 experiment, where along, with his audience, he tests the relevance of user engagement on organic rankings.

We may expect continued battles between the large publishers for those top three places, especially for newsworthy content on high-volume keyword queries.

Other interesting updates

Voice search

According to Google, 55% of teens use voice search more than once a day. Another recent survey found that about 40% of smartphone users agreed that voice commands made using their smartphone easier, but the younger demographic were a lot more likely to use voice search in public.

As AI becomes more intelligent, expect voice search to have a significant impact on the way we find the things we’re looking for.

Mobile indexing

There are now more mobile searches than desktop on Google Search, but the algorithms still look at the desktop version of a page’s content to evaluate search rankings. Sometime this year, Google will roll out its debut mobile-first index.

Local SEO

These searches are on the rise and this year we expect users to be even more demanding — if someone searches Google for “toasted sandwiches”, they want the top result to be close by, to be open for business and have high ratings (Google reviews). This is before they’ve even walked in the door.

First impressions are so important for your brand, so make sure that your local SEO reflects who you are as a business, and increase your foot traffic.

Paid search

Ads in position 1-4 on the search networks accrue 86% of the demanded impressions, leaving only 14% for positions 5 and lower. The bigger brands with more spending power will dominate the more-commercial query auctions but, with the right guidance and some clever tactics, new brands may push their way into those markets.

Advice and insights

  • Your consumers have done most of the work — they are actively searching for the service you offer and you just need to give it to them. Search listings work best when site navigation is straightforward and the interface is user-friendly, so make sure you allow the consumer a simple process.
  • Know your platforms and the applicable technologies. The more you offer brands and consumes, the better. Incorporate the latest tools into your search and know how to use them.
  • Know your best practices (whether these come from industry specialist support or campaign experience).
  • Use data! Experimentation is vital in areas such as search marketing that change so frequently. Data will continue to grow in importance, as it sheds light on the grey areas of digital media. When your experience gives you the ability to offer clients solutions, data empowers you to make sure that the results follow.

Author : Daniel Schmidt

Source : http://www.marklives.com/2017/03/motive-what-your-favourite-search-engine-will-look-like-soon/

In a deeply divided country, it can be difficult to find consensus about anything other than the fact that we are living in a stressful time. While chaos and upheaval are nothing new, the way we find out about the world has changed. Instead of struggling to gather information, we are inundated with a ceaseless flow of news, social media and questionable facts.

For many of us, generating and managing this information has become a full-time job, leaving little time for real-life, real-time interactions. The irony is that the human brain, which enabled us to create this technological world, still uses a convoluted, ancient operating system to process information.

The human brain, which enabled us to create this technological world, still uses a convoluted, ancient operating system to process information.

Consequently, while the cortex dreams up new, abstract ways to alter the world, structures deep in the brain monitor and regulate our body, scan the environment for danger and trigger physical fight-or-flight responses regardless of the source of the stress. Unfortunately, running away from a deadline or punching your boss isn’t a particularly helpful response in modern life.

In addition, we are frequently overwhelmed by too much stimulation, and too many choices instead of too few. As a result, we find ourselves looking for patterns, trying to simplify issues and giving precedence to opinions that reinforce what we already believe to be true.

It doesn’t help that our brains are programmed to pay attention to rapidly changing stimuli. This predilection, which was crucial when survival depended on constantly monitoring the environment, makes it hard for us to ignore 140-character Twitter streams, television shows, social media updates from our friends and families, and even advertising. Who among us hasn’t found it hard to break away from something on television, or turned to Facebook, Twitter or a newsfeed when we didn’t want to do the work in front of us?

As a brief respite, this may not be a problem. However, when disasters occur, when we don’t agree with the politicians in power, or when we become concerned with a pending threat like global warming or economic collapse, scanning, checking and obsessing online can interfere with our mood, and our ability to function.

Scanning, checking and obsessing online can interfere with our mood, and our ability to function.

Psychological research suggests that the brain is also predisposed to attend to negative information. When media content makes us feel angry, scared or sad, we orient toward the disturbing story to make sure we know how to protect ourselves. (It’s that fight-or-flight response again.) The problem occurs when the threat is far removed from us, amplified by the media and out of our control, all of which can make us feel helpless or hopeless.

In response, some people try to avoid the news or social media entirely, while others try in vain to follow it constantly. Of course, neither option solves the problem, since ignorance is not always bliss, and too much information — particularly from single or biased sources — can distort our worldview.

So how can we, as individuals, satisfy our need to know what is going on in the world without being swamped by the ceaseless chatter or distracted by extraneous input?

Perhaps we need to think about our media consumption the way we would any other behavior, as a habit that can be changed if we truly want to. To make lasting changes, people have to consciously create and maintain a plan of action, and may have to pick up new skills along the way. You have only to think of your last New Year’s resolution to assess whether you already know how to make systematic behavior changes. If you have already failed to meet your 2017 goals, there are some simple techniques you can try.

The first step is to carefully identify the thoughts and feelings you find uncomfortable, or the behaviors you want to change. For example, if you feel that you are spending too much time online, you could try keeping a log of your behavior for a few days. The key is to note specific details, including when, where and why the behavior occurred. For example, when do you feel the urge to hop online, how much time are you actually spending in a day, and what are you thinking or feeling when you get the urge to click in? Are you catastrophizing about what will happen if you don’t check in, seeking social attention or approval, or worrying about whether the world is running the way you think it should? Are you anxious that you are missing something important, seeking a little bit of excitement, avoiding an unfamiliar task or feeling lonely? How do you feel after you spend time online? Like eating or smoking, turning to the internet to try to get temporary relief from negative emotions can backfire in the long run.

Once you have a better sense of your media-viewing cues, you have the opportunity to respond in a different way. Think about the thoughts and feelings that are triggering your behavior, and try to find a way to address those underlying needs. Although people often find that media exposure makes them feel angry, sad or anxious, they will also use social media to try to avoid the same sorts of feelings. Colleagues and I have joked that it all comes down to what makes you feel Mad, Bad, Sad or Glad.

If you find that your media viewing is associated with anger, maybe you need to reassess your news sources.

So, if you find that your media viewing is associated with anger, maybe you need to reassess your news sources. Why do you continue to look at Facebook posts that infuriate you, or to watch news show that make you agitated? Maybe it would be better to find a more neutral news source, or to set limits on how you consume social media. Or set yourself the task of studying the people you disagree with, to see if you can better understand why they think or behave the way they do. This can actually be a fun way to wile away a boring meeting, as well.

If media exposure makes you feel that the world is coming to an end, maybe you need to change your perspective. Find a good historical novel or movie and remind yourself that life has always been challenging, but people persevere. When you start feeling overwhelmed by other people’s opinions, try spending a few hours without electronic input. Talking to older people who have successfully lived through wars, depressions and tragedies can also help you cope. Or run an experiment to see whether exercising, spending time outside or getting more sleep makes you feel better about the state of the world.

When watching the tragedies and injustices of the world makes you depressed, figure out how to limit your exposure. Could you get your news updates from the radio or brief summaries of the day’s events so you don't have to see pictures that give you nightmares? Can you find a local way to take action? You can't fix global warming alone, but you can clean up a park. Helping others actually activates brain circuits that promote attachment and comfort, so we all benefit. If you are using the media to feel connected to others, try to make some real-world connections. Take a walk around the office and talk to people, call someone in real time, or look for a way to meet people who like to do the same things you do (sports, books, cooking ...).

And finally, even if you do succeed in changing your media-viewing behavior, remember that we all relapse from time to time. The key is to get back on track after a binge, not to blame yourself and give up on your efforts to find balance. The paradox of the modern world is that the same technology that has made our lives so much easier physically has also created new mental challenges. I choose to believe that our brains are up to the task of figuring out how to cope.

Author : MARY E. 

Source : https://www.recode.net/2017/2/23/14669710/reprogram-brain-media-overload-political-fake-news


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