Web Directories

Issac Avila

Issac Avila

Single software solution developed to accelerate additive manufacturing workflows for 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers

ROCK HILL, S.C., Dec. 19, 2016 -- 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced today the release of 3D Sprint 2.0, a productivity-enhancing print management and print optimization software developed for 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers.

In line with the company’s commitment to providing end-to-end digital manufacturing solutions, 3D Sprint 2.0 streamlines 3D printing workflows by reducing the need for users to divide projects among multiple software programs. This results in a simplified and more productive printing process, saving users of 3D Systems’ plastic printers time and money.

3D Sprint 2.0

3D Sprint 2.0 delivers a wide range of design tools specific to additive manufacturing with 3D Systems’ plastic 3D printers.

3D Sprint Build

Advanced toolsets in 3D Sprint 2.0 help users print productively and manage printer fleets and materials. 

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at


3D Sprint 2.0 delivers a wide range of design tools specific to additive manufacturing that enable users to manipulate, edit and prepare 3D models for printing directly from the software interface. New features within the software allow users to perform advanced operations, including part splitting, cutting and keying; offsetting, shelling and thickening; part grouping, triangle reduction and part quality checks. 3D Systems printer management tools within the platform facilitate firmware updates, system checks and log retrieval to help users efficiently streamline processes while monitoring and managing print queues and materials. 3D Sprint 2.0 accommodates .stl, .obj and .ply file inputs as well as a variety of polygon and neutral CAD formats.

“3D Sprint 2.0 is the fastest and most reliable user interface we’ve ever used,” says Ian Sayers, 3D Printer and Scanner Sales, Hawk Ridge Systems, a 3D Systems partner. “Having a single piece of intelligent software that can create estimates on numerous virtual machines makes our operations more nimble, and the level of interoperability sets a new standard for what people will expect from 3D printing interfaces in the future.”

“Our goal with 3D Sprint 2.0 is to make 3D printing in plastic easier and faster than ever before,” says Ilan Erez, Senior Vice President, General Manager, Software, 3D Systems. “Having a single software platform for 3D Systems' plastic printers helps our customers achieve greater productivity and improved results.”

3D Sprint 2.0 supports and will immediately ship with all ProJet® 1200 and ProJet MJP 2500 Series printers. Support for other 3D Systems plastics printers as well as premium software levels with advanced editing and additional CAD format support will be announced at a later date.

Author:  ROCK HILL

Source:  http://www.econotimes.com/3D-Systems-Advances-3D-Printing-Productivity-with-Official-Launch-of-3D-Sprint-20-Software-457616

We test and rate free antivirus programs from companies you probably didn't even know offered security software for free. Here's the best free antivirus software you can get in 2016.

There is no excuse for not having AV protection on your PC. None. Because there are lots of free antivirus packages, you can't use the cost as an excuse.

The good thing about having a free product from one of the leading Internet Security (IS) companies is that they use the same AV engine as in their paid-for products. What you get in the free version is stripped down package with a smaller feature set. Few include extras such as spam filtering, improved firewalls, parental controls, password managers and support for mobile devices. 

The free offerings from Avast, AVG, Avira, Bitdefender and Panda all fit this bill, yet all offer basic antivirus and anti-malware protection, giving you a good chance to keep your PC free of threats which could lose you data and take a lot of time to put right.

Since testing antivirus software with real malware requires a lot of time and effort, not to mention extremely specialist knowledge, we don't do this ourselves. Instead, we use the results from several well-respected independent test houses, including SE Labs, AV-test.organd AV Comparatives. 

AVG’s privacy policy, showing what rights it takes over your personal and non-personal information when you download and use its free product, has caused quite a furore since it was published around a year ago. You grant it the right to send some of your information to third parties, which may include advertisers.

Some have said ‘Well, this is just AVG being more upfront about its policy; they all do it’, so we checked at what each company says in its privacy policy. They’re not all the same: some require you to opt out to prevent sharing – and AVG says it will offer this – some ask you to opt in, but will respect your decision if you don’t, and some don’t share your information at all with third parties.

Best is Bitdefender, which claims not to share information with anybody outside its own company or subsidiaries. We think this is as it should be with a security product, but second-best is the assumption not to share, with an opt-in, should you want to receive ‘relevant’ offers. This is what Avast and Avira do. Panda does the same as AVG, requiring you to specifically unsubscribe to avoid security-related emails.

Internet security software is designed to prevent damaging programs from infecting your PC and laptop. All the free products here do that. As a secondary task, though, the full paid-for products should reduce the amount of unwanted advertising and offers that get through to you, and they usually offer quite a few other features as we mentioned above.

But without further ago, here are the leading free AV programs – you really can get something for nothing.

Best free antivirus software 2016

Best free antivirus: Avira

Download from Avira 

Avira has previously topped our list of the best free antivirus programs, and it’s still a very strong contender. We like that you can download the full program as well as just the 4MB launcher, giving you the option to start the installation and then leave it to download the rest. It’s not alone in this, but it’s the only one we know of which also lets you download the full thing.

The interface is well designed and easy to use, and the latest version includes a couple of new features in its SearchFree Toolbar: a website safety advisor and the option to block advertising companies from tracking you online.

At first sight, it appears Avira bundles a firewall with its product, but this turns out to be an integrated front-end to the Windows firewall.

File scans can be scheduled and by default there’s a quick scan set to repeat every 168 hours or, as we techies call it, weekly. We reckon a quick scan could run more frequently than this, though.

A year ago, AV-Test gave Avira perfect scores, and this year it still did commendably well. In its recent tests, it handed a 5.5 for protection and the same for performance. Avira achieved the full 6/6 for usability with no false positives or false blockages.

SE Labs didn’t test Avira in its recent roundup, but AV Comparatives gave Avira full marks for blocking 100 percent of threats.

Ultimately, Avira does an excellent job – even when compared to paid-for Internet Security programs.

Best free antivirus: Avast

Download from Avast

Unlike some firms, Avast doesn’t hide its free antivirus offering so you can’t find it. A big orange button on its homepage makes this version more obvious than its paid offerings, so it’s a good start.

As well as basic antivirus protection, it offers protection from unknown threats and a handy password manager so you can log into sites in your browser by remembering just one password.

You don’t get the browser extension that warns of fake sites (such as banks), nor a privacy shield or spam filtering. Those come with Avast’s Internet Security package, while Premier adds automatic software updating and a file shredder.

The good news is that Avast’s antivirus protection is excellent. SE Labs rates it at 94 percent overall, the highest score awarded to a free version. AV Comparatives found that it blocked 99.7 percent of threats in its September 2016 tests. It also found that Avast had the least impact on your PC’s performance – thanks in part to the fact that Avast runs a “significant proportion” of its analysis in the cloud.

AV-Test rates protection, performance and usability, giving Avast 5.5, 4.0 and 5.5 out of 6 respectively.

Overall, then Avast is one of the best free antivirus packages around.

Best free antivirus: Bitdefender

Download from Bitdefender 

Bitdefender’s paid-for Total Security package is excellent, and it’s no surprise to see its free offering score well: it uses the same virus detection engine.

In fact, AV Comparatives awarded it the unbeatable score of 100 percent, successfully blocking all malware during its tests in September. There were no false-positives, either, which is when safe files or programs are reported as being unsafe.

AV-Test also praised Bitdefender, giving it full marks for protection, performance and usability.

SE Labs’ tests found it wasn’t infallible though, with it being compromised by a number of threats and awarding it a protection rating of 73 percent.

Overall, Bitdefender is easy to use, is lightweight and – in general – offers good protection for your PCs. You can read our full Bitdefender Total Security 2016 review for more details.

Best free antivirus: AVG

Download from AVG

We’ve already mentioned AVG’s controversial privacy policy above, but in terms of the protection this free antivirus package offers, it’s not bad at all. SE Labs gave it an overall rating of 89 percent from its test in July-September, and it missed out on an AA award (rather than A) by only one percent.

AV-Test’s results from testing in July-August showed that its protection was above the industry average and awarded it 5.5 out of 6. It achieved the same for performance, so won’t slow your computer down. Again, it was given the same high score for usability, and as we’ve used AVG Free on our own PC for the past year, we can – anecdotally – agree that it runs transparently in the background and you don’t really notice it. And that’s exactly what you want from your antivirus.

AVG has a simple-to-understand dashboard so, if you do ever venture to it, it’s very clear whether it’s up to date and protecting your PC.

In addition to an AV engine, it also warns you of unsafe web links and can block unsafe email attachments.

Best free antivirus: Microsoft

Windows Defender is built into Windows 10 and Windows 8, so it’s arguably the easiest option for most people since it’s probably in operation already unless you’ve disabled it or installed another antivirus program.

Unlike in the past, when it merely paid lip-service to virus protection, the modern Security Essentials is a credible and reliable AV engine. OK, it’s not the very best out there, but it certainly does the job.

If your PC or laptop is running Windows 7, you can download Microsoft Security Essentials for free.

As the name suggests, it offers basic antivirus protection. The only difference between MSE and Windows Defender is that the latter offers better protection against rootkits and Bootkits.

SE Labs awarded MSE 91 percent overall, ahead of Bitdefender (90) and AVG Free (89). It was only three percent behind Avast, too.

AV-Test gave it only 3.5 out of 6 for protection, but this was due to a poor result in August of 88 percent. In July, it performed as well as any other antivirus package. AV Comparatives found it blocked 96.2 percent of threats, which is below all the other packages here, but as ever, these results all change on a monthly basis.

There are better choices than Security Essentials, but if you’re running Windows 8 or 10 with Defender built in, all you need to do is check that it’s enabled.

Author : Jim Martin

Source : http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/software/best-free-antivirus-software-2016-2017-3649231/

Earl Nightingale, American motivational speaker and author, once said, “We become what we think about.” Perhaps truer words have never been spoken. The human mind is an incredible thing, and having the right attitude and mindset has routinely been stated by numerous successful people as being a pivotal key to success. Sometimes, however, it is easy to get side-tracked. Situations in life can get in the way of our goals, self-esteem, and personal well-being. Truthfully, success is a subjective term, and everyone will disagree over what constitutes being successful. Here are a list of guidelines, however, of some things to stop doing if you want to be or feel successful.

1. Stop Expecting Perfection

Often, we get frustrated when things don’t work out the way we want them to, or as quickly as we’d like them to. We stress over small details, or beat ourselves up for getting one thing wrong, or forgetting to dot one I or cross one T. People are fallible. Mistakes and drawbacks are a fact of life. Nothing is nor will it ever be perfect, and that’s okay.

Stressing out over minute details or things that would have been impossible to get to is unproductive and unhealthy. Start saying that you will do your personal best, because at the end of the day, you’re not in competition with anyone but yourself.

Example: Jennifer Lawrence is someone who everyone seems to be talking about right now, but did you know she was rejected for the role of Bella Swan in ‘Twilight‘? She also didn’t take theater classes. She just trusted her instincts and worked as hard as possible to land acting roles. Obviously, she wasn’t perfect for every role, but she didn’t expect perfection. She takes her failures and rejections well, trying to learn from each situation.

2. Stop Saying Yes When You Want to Say No

It’s always important to know your limits, and people will always try to test them. Human beings are social animals. We want to interact with others and feel like we are a part of something or like we are special to someone else. People also, for the most part, like to please others. Sometimes, however, it’s easy to be taken advantage of. Whether it’s helping a co-worker with something when you can’t really afford to, or loaning a friend money you can’t really afford to give.

Out of guilt, people often say yes to people and situations that they really should say no to. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut and say no. Sometimes you can’t stay a few hours later because you had other plans or important errands to run. Sometimes it’s okay to say no to that co-worker that keeps nagging you for help but is really just stalling because they don’t want to work and know you’ll help them.

Sometimes it’s okay to prioritize other things over work. Saying no is healthy. Saying no means that you know your boundaries and can demand respect.

Example: Margaret Thatcher is known as being tough. She was a powerful politician. She also knew during her career when she had to take a stand, and sometimes that stand meant saying no to bad political and economic policy.

3. Stop Negative Self-Dialogue

We all can probably play back in our minds every negative or embarrassing thing we’ve ever done to ourselves, been subjected to, or done to someone else. Whether it’s tripping over one’s shoelaces in the fourth grade, or being fired from a job, wronging someone else, or overhearing someone speaking negatively about us, those thoughts are forever solidified in our minds.

Replaying those thoughts, however, and constantly punishing oneself for past mistakes, is counterproductive at certain points. At some point, it’s more important to learn from situations and move on, instead of psychologically beating yourself up.

The next time you find yourself saying, “I’m not pretty enough”, “I did this horrible thing once five years ago and I’ll never forgive myself”, or any type of statement along those lines, turn off that negative self-dialogue. Look in the mirror and say something kind to yourself. Read some inspirational quotes. Acknowledge that you are taking steps and making an effort to be a better person. Admit to yourself that everyone makes mistakes, and most importantly, that making mistakes is okay.

Example: This article does a good job of listing Steve Job’s failures. We remember him anyway, and we remember him as a pioneer and someone who didn’t give up. When things go wrong, and they often do, it’s easy for us to remember every mistake we have ever made along the way.

Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of our goals because of that lack of confidence. Don’t give up and attempt to stay positive. Train your brain to think of things in a new, more positive way. Most of all, keep working hard. Failure doesn’t have to be permanent.

4. Stop Focusing On Just Today

Successful people tend to understand the value of a good plan. They plan out their day, their goals, a budget and they plan how much to save for retirement. That doesn’t mean they don’t have fun, though. They most certainly do! They just make sure to plan when it is appropriate and inappropriate to have fun. They make time for productivity and fun, but still save and think about the future.

So, stop just focusing on today and having fun. Think about where you want to be in five, 10 or 15 years down the road! Having a good focus aids in success!

Example: Neil deGrasse Tyson has been in love with the universe and science since he was nine years old. Because of that love, he worked long-term to study the things he cared about. He was accepted into Harvard where he majored in physics, eventually moving on to advanced education. His list of accomplishments would take up another full article in and of itself.

5. Stop Ignoring Your Goals

Stop believing things will just work out for you because you’re a good person. Good things only happen to people who make an effort. A part of making an effort is setting goals for oneself. As evidenced in the previous point, it’s not enough to just focus on the day at hand. It’s important to manage time and set short-term and long-term goals in order to be able to track progress and have something to strive for.

Example: Alan Turing is considered the father of artificial intelligence and computers. He also broke the code to the Nazi encryption machine called Enigma. He faced many challenges along the way, such as the inability to identify with others and being charged with indecency, for which he was eventually pardoned. Despite his personal struggles, though, he managed to break the code for Enigma, saving approximately 14 million people from death and in turn helped end World War 2.

6. Stop Isolating People

Successful people understand that not everything is about work, church or similar obligations. Some things are about family, relaxation, and hobbies. It’s easy to get the impression that everyone who feels or defines themselves as successful probably has no spare time on their hands, and in some cases, that’s true.

However, it isn’t always. Social isolation can kill people. In fact, many successful people have mastered the art of balance. They don’t isolate the people they love because they have large goals or something they want to accomplish. Instead, they incorporate those they love into their goals and hobbies.

Example: According to a recent Forbes article, many leaders feel lonely. However, here are 25 examples of social business leaders who seem to thrive on relationships. It’s okay to know how to work alone and prefer that, but it’s also important to be able to rely on your staff, friends, and family for support.

Involving people in leadership or product processes makes them feel valued and provides valuable feedback. Successful people enjoy that relationship. They also enjoy their time away from their goals and work to spend time with their loved ones.

7. Stop Comparing Yourself To Everyone Else

Successful people understand that the only person they can compete with today is the person they were yesterday. They are too focused on themselves and their goals to worry about anyone else. They don’t want to compare themselves to others because it’s counterproductive. However, they do analyze where they have weak points and are able to genuinely admire people who have mastered things they have not.

There is no use to comparing yourself to someone else. It’s counterproductive and harmful to your self-esteem. It also helps to harbor negative self-dialogue.


Example: Taylor Swift is one of the most successful recording artists of our time, but before that, she was a struggling musician in Nashville playing at small venues and coffee shops. She would turn in demos to various studios, covering a variety of songs.

It was only when she started playing and writing her own music that she got noticed and became the celebrity she is today. She faced a lot of adversity as well. There were people who doubted her skills and told her she couldn’t sing. Her confidence and faith in herself overcame that.

8. Stop Living In The Past

Successful people learn from their failures, but they do not live in the past. They take the skills and lessons they acquired from their failures and apply them to the present and future. Don’t live in your own personal past. Don’t define yourself by who you were. Define yourself by who you are today and by who you’re working toward becoming.

Example: Would we even remember Thomas Edison if he gave up on his ideas before becoming successful? Can you imagine simply focusing on what happened yesterday? So what if yesterday was a failure? Try again! Failure teaches us about what doesn’t work, and helps us get closer to a process that does work. Choose your attitude and control it. Move forward. Remember, failure is feedback.

9. Stop Tolerating Dishonest People

Successful people appreciate other people for their unique traits and gifts. They do not attempt to harm, belittle, or in any way demean others for their own successes or ideas. They are open to relationships with others, but know when to cut the cord, so to speak.

People can be too forgiving when it comes to being wronged, and it’s important to know one’s limits. Successful people do not tolerate negative and dishonest people, because they are too busy loving honest, sincere people.

Example: Everyone. We have all had frenemies. We have all invested in people who did not return our investment in them. Successful people know how to weed these dishonest people out. No one wants unneeded negativity around themselves or around the people they love. Read this article for tips on how to deal with dishonest people.

Auhtror : Emina Dedic

Source : http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/9-things-you-need-stop-doing-you-want-successful.html

TEDx talks have become the new standard of public speaking. We can learn so much about presentation skills by watching these inspiring talks: storytelling, body language, voice — you name it!


Jonathan Li interviewed some of the world’s greatest TEDx speakers on their number one public speaking tip. Use these practical tips to improve your public speaking skills effectively.


1. Focus on one big idea


“People try to cram all their ideas like writing a book. Just choose one big idea and make it work.” — Caroline Goyder, The surprising secret to speaking with confidence


Action step: Ask yourself, “What do I want the audience think, feel, or do differently after my talk?”


2. Share your real self


“Share a part of yourself honestly. You’re not sharing your perfect self; you’re sharing your real self. People are instantly riveted by folks who are willing to share their real-life stories in front of other people.” — Ash Beckham, Coming out of your closet





Action step: Don’t hide yourself. Share your real-life story with people. This makes you human.


3. Tell a great story


“A compelling story makes people excited. Prepare a month ahead and try to craft a compelling story.” — T. H. Gross, How to become more confident – lay down on the street for 30 sec


Action step: Tell an emotional, personal story.


4. Share why your idea is so important


“It isn’t just about providing them tons and tons of information because there’s lots of information you can get on the internet. It’s about providing information in a way that they would actually remember. People will remember things when they know exactly why these things matter to them.” — Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage: Linking Positive Brains to Performance


Action step: What’s in it for your audience? Share the benefits in your opening.


5. Take your time to prepare


“I’ve seen so many folks who have an amazing piece of writing and they just didn’t rehearse it enough. They get on stage and read it. Or they concentrate on speaking accurately that they don’t sound very natural and the audience tunes out. There’s no shortcut. Put in an enormous amount of time to prepare.” — Colin Stokes, The hidden meanings in kids’ movies


Action step: Start with your message. Then move on to your personal story. Finally, write your opening and closing.





6. Record yourself when rehearsing


“Audio record and video record yourself multiple times. When you listen to yourself and watch the video, you notice things that you go, ‘That sounds awful.’ Or you realize the story takes too long. You’ll never notice those details by rehearsing blindly. You have to sit back and watch the video or listen. The more you record and watch yourself and go through that cycle, the better you will become.” — Laura Sicola, Want to sound like a leader? Start by saying your name right


Action step: Record yourself on video, then watch the video. Keep what you like, get rid of what you don’t like.


7. The first 3 minutes are the most important


“Memorize the first 3 minutes word for word. Once you’ve gone through the first 3 minutes, you’ll be less nervous because you know exactly what you’re going to say.” — Bruce Muzik, The big secret nobody wants to tell


Action step: Memorize the opening word for word so you’ll know exactly what to say.


8. Go with the flow


“Practice, practice, practice. You have to know generally what you’re going to say, but I certainly don’t memorize everything word for word. I know what I am going to say, I know the order in which I am going to say it, and the story. You also have to see how the audience is responding.” — Adam Leipzig, How to know your life purpose in 5 minutes


Action step: Practicing with feedback makes for great improvements. Get feedback from an experienced speaker or coach.


Use these pubic speaking tips to improve your speaking skills. Great public speaking skills will impress your boss, colleagues, and clients, as well as help you make more money and be more successful.



Author:  Jonathan L

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org

In October, Google’s webmaster trends analyst said that the company would soon implement major changes to its search engine.

The search giant will effectively create two separate search indexes: one for desktop web and another one that is more frequently updated for mobile. These changes will reward mobile-friendly sites with a higher search ranking and produce more up-to-date search results for mobile device users.

For marketers and advertisers who have not yet adopted a mobile-centric philosophy, this serves as the final wake-up call. Major brands are starting to change the way they approach mobile consumers as mobile use on smartphones continues to dominate other personal devices, such as PCs and tablets.

While this shift is a culmination of changes that Google announced last year, the move further underscores the search engine’s mobile-first approach to the internet going forward. Google, so far, has not treated mobile significantly differently than desktop web. These changes will allow Google to keep mobile users happy and better capitalize on mobile’s unique characteristics.

Google’s mobile index announcement has the potential to radically change the way brands can and should target consumers and drive discoverability and traffic for themselves. It will also influence advertising and marketing strategies for apps and mobile websites and impact users’ search experiences as a whole.

Better Targeting For Consumers

Smartphones are a nearly pervasive device – consumers are rarely without them. A mobile-first search index will provide consumers with more relevant results and help brands target them through even more sophisticated and nuanced means.

Specifically, brands and advertisers will be able to more precisely target consumers due to better contextual search – locations, for example – and social-linked search, such as interactions and connections, at the point of interaction.

A More Personalized, User-Centric Search Experience

Google’s existing desktop browser is not as user-centric as its mobile user interfaces for search, including Google apps. The introduction of the mobile-first index will further widen the rift between the two search engines.

Consumers are increasingly turning to apps, such as voice-guided user interfaces, AI-powered personal assistants and messaging apps, such as Facebook and WhatsApp. Google’s mobile search index will improve the user experience and help drive traffic to specific apps. It will also increase the ways in which brands can interact with consumers, such as improving discovery of companion apps. Also, a more user-centric approach will enable more effective referrals and re-engagement tactics.

Apps Will Continue To Dominate Mobile Web

Apps, as opposed to mobile web sites, are increasingly the norm across mobile devices, and this trend has been clear for many years. As the mobile world has evolved to be more app-centric, less content is on web sites. Consequently, good future search experiences will be based on mobile search and search within apps. Facebook has already done this for messaging and social apps, and Google’s more significant inroads will further accelerate the shift to an app-centric world.

New Opportunities For Brands And Advertisers

Will Google’s mobile shift accelerate the move to mobile app-based search? Or will Google improve its mobile web-based search experience with the new revisions?

Some digital brands and publishers aren’t waiting to find out. For example, Madison Square Garden and Macy’s have launched their own apps to offer more direct and personalized experiences for consumers. At the same time, Apple and Facebook have started embedding search into their own apps, and others are sure to follow.

Searching and indexing the app world and related content will be essential in the future, and brands and advertisers must ensure that their content is optimized for this new search paradigm. Brands will have the opportunity to capitalize on the personal, contextual nature of mobile and better use the built-in capabilities of mobile devices, such as payments and location-based services.

For example, Starbucks could use Google to inspire customers, based on their location, to launch the Starbucks app, place an order, confirm a pick-up time and location and pay for their drink – all facilitated by the new search experience.

The new changes toward mobile-centric search will also accelerate the growth of mobile advertising. Improved targeting and user experiences mean that mobile advertising could have a greater impact on how consumers move between apps, find recommendations, discover relevant content and make purchase decisions. At the same time, brands can improve their ROI through better conversions and more direct ways to guide consumers to their final destinations and decisions.

A mobile-first approach has already changed the ways that brands and advertisers interact with consumers. And other major digital players have started to follow suit. Facebook moved to an app-based development and user interaction mindset years ago. It’s about time that Google did the same for search.

Source : https://adexchanger.com

Auhtor : Hannu Verkasalo

Google’s flagship mobile application is getting a big makeover today, with a focus on making it easier to separate the things you need to know about – like upcoming appointments or flights -from the things you’re interested in, like news, sports, and entertainment. The app still maintains its previous card-style design, but it now offers two different sections to better organize its content: your feed, and the “upcoming” section.

In the upcoming section, which is accessed by tapping on the bottom-right icon, Google will present you with information about your day, like your schedule, travel time for your commute, package delivery details, flight info, boarding passes, and more. This is the same sort of information that the intelligent assistant Google Now has been pulling into the app for years by leveraging data pulled from other Google services you use, like your Gmail, Calendar, or Google Maps, for example.

Interestingly, Google has decided to make the news feed the default feed instead of the ‘upcoming’ feed with your personal agenda. With the revamped app, this personal feed now becomes the app’s main section, and will be filled with info on your favorite sports teams, people of interest, music and other news stories. This means that more mission-critical information is now no longer buried in the same feed where you’re keeping up with the other things you care about, but it’s also not visible by default either. You have to tap into the ‘upcoming’ feed now and it doesn’t look like there’s a way to change this.

You can continue to customize this feed as before, by heading into the app’s settings. Here, you can tell the app which stocks to track, which sports teams you like, and so on. In addition, Google says that this feed will become more personalized and relevant over time, the more you use Google and the app.

The idea here is clearly to make the feed feel more organized and ensure that vital information doesn’t get lost in what could at times be a messy list of disparate items. It’s easy enough to toggle between the two section, but the choice of defaulting to the news feed seems odd.


While Google’s app has excelled at being a stepping off point to the larger web, and a useful utility when it comes to things like planning your commute or checking your schedule, it hasn’t been as successful as a personal assistant that knows what you care about.

Unless you’ve explicitly programmed in things in the settings (e.g. your stocks, your teams, etc.), the app seems to rely too much on your prior Google Search history when presenting news articles to read.

With the redesign, Google’s aim, apparently, is to put the “interests” section front-and-center, which could increase users’ interactions with its content. This, in turn, could better personalize the feed and increase its relevancy, when before it seemed to be more of an echo of past searches.

In addition, Google is releasing another new feature that will help to program the feed better.

Starting in the U.S. it will show a card right within the feed that lets you select from topics of interest that you want to see more stories or information about. This helps to solve the “cold start” problem for those who haven’t spent as much time using the app or placing relevant searches on Google.

The update is rolling out, starting today with the Google app on Android and iOS.

Source : https://techcrunch.com

Auhtor : Sarah Perez

Thursday, 08 December 2016 04:03

Best News Apps for Android

Extra, Extra, read all about it with these great Android apps.

Keeping informed on the go is one of the many things that our smartphones are incredible tools for. During the everyday hustle and bustle it's easy to ignore the world around you, but the news is everywhere. Including on your phone.

Android has a plethora of great apps to choose from thanks to the massive selection in the Google Play Store. But if you're looking to get your daily news fix, we recommend you check out this little lot.



For many, Flipboard is the default news app for Android. It's been around for a while and was one of the first apps to make reading the news less boring with its image-heavy, magazine-style layout.

One of the other merits to Flipboard is its customization. It's your news, your way. So beyond selecting topic areas of interest, you can also add in your own feeds so you're missing out on nothing.

Flipboard to this day makes reading the news a pleasure.

Download: Flipboard

The Guardian

The Guardian

The Guardian is one of the most respected brands in journalism, delivering international news as well as a fresh perspective on American politics from across the pond.

Their Android app is simple to navigate and robust, filled with investigative deep dives, commentary, and videos to keep you informed on the latest breaking news around the world. Sign in via your Google or Facebook account to customize your homepage and follow your favorite critics and columnists so you're always in the loop on the news and stories you care most about.

Download: The Guardian



Just as the name implies, the SmartNews app is designed in a very clever way so that you can quickly read all the latest headlines from around the world. News categories are displayed as tabs (referred to in app as "channels") at the top of the screen, giving you the option to swipe through them one by one, or jump straight to the sports section with a tap. When you tap a story, swipe over to SmartView and the whole story loads almost instantaneously.

The news here is curated from both newspapers and online news sources, giving you a well-rounded view on the day's events. You're also able to customize and tweak your experience by adding and reordering channels to suit your needs. There's even a Late Night TV channel for those interested on a humorous take on the news, featuring, monologues, comedy bits, and other highlights from the network's late night programming.

It's a one-stop shop for all your news needs.

Download: SmartNews

USA Today

USA Today

If you like your daily news with an American flavor, then the USA Today app should be right up your street. It's bright and colorful to look at and packed with large images. It grabs your attention, visually, and doesn't let go.

And it's packed with just about everything you could want. News, sports, weather, celebrity gossip, photo galleries, even offline support so you can download your articles before heading out of cellular range. You can even keep up with the day's news without reaching for your phone with Android Wear support.

Download: USA Today

BBC News

BBC News

Britain's national broadcaster delivers the news around the globe through round-the-clock TV broadcasts, but it also has itself a pretty nice Android app to deliver what's going on in the world today.

It'll also deliver that round-the-clock video coverage, though that might be dependent on location. Otherwise you're looking at breaking news, a wide range of topics to follow and an offline mode so you can catch up on a plane or on the morning commute on the London Underground.

Download: BBC News

Google News and Weather

Google News and Weather

If all you want is a simple app to show you the headlines and maybe the daily weather, check out Google News and Weather. It pulls in sources from Google's vast network that includes aggregated 65,000 publications.

It lacks some of the customization available elsewhere but it's a more 'no-frills' approach to serving you the headlines. And it has a nifty looking dark theme, too, if you like those.

Download: Google News and Weather

MSN News

MSN News

Microsoft's news app is actually pretty good, though it may also have slipped your attention so far. If you have a Microsoft account you can sign in and keep your customizations in sync across devices, which includes your Windows 10 PC.

It's got a vast library of sources to pull content from and allows you to follow topics you're most interested in. Whether that's a sports team, a celebrity, a particular subject area of interest, the MSN News app will take good care of you.

Download: MSN News

AP Mobile

AP Mobile

If you want breaking news from one of the most highly-regarded organizations in the business — the Associated Press — then this is the one for you. Real-time updates of breaking events around the globe and a decent looking app and widget await inside. AP Mobile as very few little frills, just the news you want, when you want it.

And it's available in English and Spanish, which is a nice touch.

Download: AP Mobile




If you prefer to get your news delivered in RSS form, Feedly is pretty much the default choice these days. Rising from the ashes of the Google Reader shut down, Feedly has evolved and refined its service and app, and it's a pretty good choice all round.

Feedly also integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Buffer, OneNote, Pinterest and LinkedIn for social sharing of all the things and the app itself is a pretty good reading experience. It's pretty light and snappy these days and it doesn't try to cram too much in.

Download: Feedly



The developers behind Nuzzel believe that in our social media dominated world, the best news aggregators are actually your friends and other influencers. Nuzzel lets you discover the best news stories shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter without the rest of the noise that goes along with social media feeds. Another key differentiator for Nuzzel is their belief in the power of the email newsletter. You can sign up for newsletters from your favourite influencers or topics, or use Nuzzel to create your own and share the top 5 stories from your Nuzzel feed along with your own personal commentary

It's easy to scroll through the discover page and find topic feeds that interest you organized by topic. Add topics of interest to your favorite and sign up to receive daily email newsletters with the top stories of the day. Nuzzel believes this is a better way to engage with trending news than scrolling through cluttered social media feeds. If you agree, you'll definitely want to check out Nuzzel.

Download: Nuzzel

News Republic

News Republic

One of News Republic's best features is its 'smart' capabilities, meaning it learns your preferences as you use it. Then, in turn, caters more to your individual tastes without you having to set your own preferences.

Apart from that it delivers breaking news headlines in a well-designed, easy-to-use application and can also be used to create your own daily news digest. There's a lot crammed in, like RSS support, and with so much going on it's definitely one for the news junkies out there.

Download: News Republic

Source : http://www.androidcentral.com/

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 12:21

How to Tighten Security on Your Android Device

Every day, millions of people all over the world use their smartphones, but many people don’t realize that these phones are not completely secure. If you own an Android smartphone, you need to take steps to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. You can lose a whole lot more than just contact information and other day-to-day information! Someone could end up getting your financial information, and then you would really be in a mess. Also, you can lose the things that mean a lot to you, including photos, social media accounts, documents, emails, and more, or even worse, your information could be shared online for the rest of the world to see. With these things in mind, here are some things you can do to tighten the security on your Android device.

Encrypt Your Data

Encrypting data is like securing your data with a secret code that only you know. Using encryption helps to increase your security, and you can open encrypt while using any type of smartphone setting. You will need to have a password to access any of your data.

[moduleplant id="58"]

Lock all Apps

You need to lock all of your apps. This is particularly important for apps that contain personal information that you don’t want anyone else to see. Investigate the range of app locking apps, or search within individual apps and disable any options that allow simple and easy access – unless you’re certain that you don’t mind anyone else having access!

Use Built-In Security

There are all kinds of screen locks available, from passwords to pins to patterns to face unlock. Make sure that you are using at least of the screen locks that can be found in your Android settings. Be sure to make it so your passwords are not easy to guess, even with this security.

Choose the Best VPN Service

It is important to use the right VPN for your Android device, but there are so many out there that it can be difficult to know which one is the best for your particular needs. Do your research before you buy, and be sure to consider all the options carefully.

Don’t Save All Passwords

A lot of people save all of their passwords to sites and online services they use. But, if you do this, and someone were to get your device, they will have access to all of your passwords. Do not save them in your Android device, in particular, banking and payment apps.

Create Multiple User Accounts

If you share your device with others (spouse, children, etc.), it is important that each user has their own accounts in order to protect your privacy. If you’ve a reasonably new tablet you can create guest accountsfor other users – just like on your desktop computer.

Install Antivirus Software

There is antivirus software available for Android devices, and we strongly suggest that you install one. Smartphones are basically hand-held computers, and they are as subject to viruses as any other computer.

Watch for Safe Apps Download

Loads of software and applications are available for Android devices, and you could end up unwittingly downloading harmful applications. For this reason, you need to pay attention to the smart phone agency terms and application before downloading anything. Also, you can set your antivirus to check every app that installs.

Avoid Financial Transactions

Never do any type of financial transactions on your smartphone or tablet. If you must do online financial transactions, be sure to use a private home computer that is password protected. If you can get a dedicated Internet line to your home, that is even better, because there is no chance that others in the neighborhood can use your service and possibly access your information.

Author:  Jane Hurst

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

 "The visible web is the tip of the iceberg," says Anand Rajaraman, co-founder of Kosmix, a search engine for the Deep Web (DW).

One of Kosmix’ investors is none other than Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. The iceberg sounds daunting, but Rajaraman seems to know what he's talking about. How is it possible that everything we know about the Internet is only a tiny portion of it?

The Deep Web is the invisible part of the Internet. To put it in simpler terms, it is the part of the web that cannot be indexed by search engines, a place where Google does not go: a "dark" web with limited access.

"The DW is made up of large amounts of information that has been posted online and that for technical reasons has not been catalogued or updated by search engines," says Alfonso A. Kejaya Muñoz, Security Researcher at McAfee Chile. Studies have shown that the Deep Web represents 90% of the Internet.

For those who started using the Internet in its early days, before search engines or web portals even existed, navigating the Deep Web is like a blast from the past. It is hard to find what you are looking for, you need more than a passing knowledge of computer science, and you will have to write down the exact addresses of the sites you manage to find, and stock them in your bookmarks, because it is not easy to remember pages with URLs like SdddEEDOHIIDdddgmomiunw.onion (the usual format in this territory).

"The Deep Web began in 1994 and was known as the 'Hidden Web.' It was renamed ‘Deep Web’ in 2001," says Kejaya Muñoz. "However, some people believe that the origin of the Deep Web goes back to the 1990s, with the creation of 'Onion Routing' by the United States Naval Research Laboratory, which was the first step toward the Tor Project.”

Tor (short for The Onion Router) is the main portal to the Deep Web. It encrypts the user's information, in layers like an onion's, and sends it to a wide network of volunteer servers all over the world. This technique makes it almost impossible to track users or their information.

Offering anonymity and freedom, the Deep Web has transformed over the years into a deep, almost inhospitable, little-explored information repository that can host anything from the most innocent content to the most ruthless and unthinkable. Within the Deep Web are private intranets protected with passwords, as well as documents in formats that cannot be indexed, encyclopedias, dictionaries, journals, etc. But that is not all.

A dark abyss

Satnam Narang, Manager of Symantec Security Response, says that because the Deep Web is hidden from view, it is an especially attractive place for shady activities. Many cybercriminals gather in places like private forums with restricted access.

Many users are already familiar with the Internet's dark side: how to download music illegally, where to see the latest movies for free, or how to order prescription drugs for a little extra money. But the Deep Web goes farther. Almost unimaginably farther.

Child pornography, arms trafficking, drugs, hired assassins, prostitutes, terrorism, etc., all make the Deep Web the largest black market ever to exist.

"On the Deep Web you can find sites that sell stolen credit cards, teams that will clone credit cards through ATMs, people selling cocaine, and more," says Dmitry Bestuzhev, director of Kaspersky Lab's team of analysts.

Of course, not all uses of the Deep Web sites are "evil." It has also been very helpful to citizens who find their personal liberties threatened, or who are being watched by government agencies. WikiLeaks is an example of one of the uses of the Deep Web. In the beginning, and for a long time, the WikiLeaks site operated in the Deep Web, before it went public. Even today, if someone wants to blow the whistle or upload information to WikiLeaks, it is possible to publish it on the Deep Web.

Another example is the group Anonymous, which has used Tor to organize massive attacks on all kinds of organizations. It uses the Deep Web not only for direct actions but also to organize itself.

Naturally, it did not take long before this kind of network attracted the attention of the security agencies of various governments. How could they let organizations operate freely, without being hindered by censorship?

One of the most obvious examples is Silk Road, a secret web for buying and selling all kinds of drugs. It is estimated that Silk Road makes more than $22 million a year, and police agencies worldwide are scrambling to come up with strategies to stop the online traffic.

Recently, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service started a joint operation to intercept transactions on Silk Road. Since September 5, detectives have intercepted over 30 packets containing approximately 0.5kg of cannabis, around 200g of synthetic cannabis, around 5g of methylamphetamine, 1g of cocaine, around 400 tabs of LSD and 30 ecstasy tablets, the agency told the Border Mail newspaper. In April, the U.S. DEA was also reported to have taken action against drug trafficking on the Deep Web.

The problem is that the transactions can be intercepted, but dismantling the network or tracking the users is almost impossible.

There have already been attempts to regulate the Deep Web and Tor. Recently the government of Ethiopia said it has installed security systems that block access to Tor in Ethiopia, to avoid illegal activity and Skype connections, which are regulated there. The effectiveness of that technology is not yet known.

Last year, amid the maelstrom of protests and publicity around the proposed SOPA bill (Stop Online Piracy Act), one section of the bill went largely unnoticed: It could make it illegal to distribute Tor and other software that can "circumvent" attempts by the U.S. government to block pirate Web site -- something that has Tor users quite worried. 

But government and police concern goes beyond trying to destroy or restrict these networks. According to Wired, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has plans to use them for cyber espionage. “The deep web contains government reports, databases, and other sources of information of high value to the Department of Defense and the intelligence community,” said a 2010 Defense Science Board report. Alternative tools are needed to find and index data in the deep web … Stealing the classified secrets of a potential adversary is where the [intelligence] community is most comfortable.”

Source : http://worldcrunch.com

Auhtor : Pablo Albarraca­n and Christopher

A smartphone virus has compromised more than 1 million Google accounts and although not technically a ‘hack’, people with Google accounts are being warned to stay on guard.

Experts claim that the software could attack up to 74 per cent of the world’s Android phones.

The malware has been nicknamed ‘Gooligan’ by Check Point, the computer security firm that discovered it. ‘Gooligan’ has already accessed more than 1.3 million Google accounts since August 2016, making it possibly the biggest breach of Google accounts on record. Attacks continue to grow at a rate of 13,000 breaches a day.

The malware enters devices after users download apps from third-party sites. It then accesses the user’s Google account to give fake reviews and rack up advertisement views. This then generates income for the malware makers.

According to Check Point: “The malware roots infected devices and steals authentication tokens that can be used to access data from Google Play, Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, G Suite, Google Drive, and more.”

The computer security firm has created a website where Google account holders and Android users can check whether their accounts have been compromised, along with instructions on how to battle the virus.

Any Android users running Android 4 or 5 operating systems are at risk of infection.

Google is currently working on a fix for the problem.

“We’ve taken many actions to protect our users and improve the security of the Android ecosystem overall,” said a Google spokesperson.

We caution YourLifeChoices’ members to only download Google apps from official sources.

Have you been hit by the ‘Gooligan’? Is your smartphone safe from malware?

Source : https://www.yourlifechoices.com.au


World's leading professional association of Internet Research Specialists - We deliver Knowledge, Education, Training, and Certification in the field of Professional Online Research. The AOFIRS is considered a major contributor in improving Web Search Skills and recognizes Online Research work as a full-time occupation for those that use the Internet as their primary source of information.

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

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