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Wushe Zhiyang

Wushe Zhiyang

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 05:23

DRONES GO TO WORK

Every morning at the construction site down the street from my office, the day starts with a familiar hum. It’s the sound of the regular drone scan, when a small black quadcopter flies itself over the site in perfect lines, as if on rails. The buzz overhead is now so familiar that workers no longer look up as the aircraft does its work. It’s just part of the job, as unremarkable as the crane that shares the air above the site. In the sheer normalness of this — a flying robot turned into just another piece of construction equipment — lies the real revolution.

“Reality capture” — the process of digitizing the physical world by scanning it inside and out, from the ground and the air — has finally matured into a technology that’s transforming business. You can see it in small ways in Google Maps, where data is captured by satellites, airplanes, and cars, and presented in both 2-D and 3-D. Now that kind of mapping, initially designed for humans, is done at much higher resolution in preparation for the self-driving car, which needs highly detailed 3-D maps of cities in order to efficiently navigate. The methods of creating such models of the real world are related to the technology of “motion capture,” which drives movies and video games today. Normally that requires bringing the production to the scanners — putting people in a large room outfitted for scanning and then creating the scene. But drones flip that, allowing us to bring the scanner to the scene. They’re just regular cameras (and some smart software) precisely revolving around objects to create photo-realistic digital models.

In some ways it’s astonishing that we’re using drones on construction sites and in movies. Ten years ago the technology was still in labs. Five years ago it was merely very expensive. Today you can buy a drone at Walmart that can do real enterprise work, using software in the cloud. Now that it’s so cheap and easy to put cameras in the sky, it’s becoming commercially useful. Beyond construction, drone data is used in agriculture (crop mapping), energy (solar and wind turbine monitoring), insurance (roof scanning), infrastructure (inspection), communications, and countless other industries that touch the physical world. We know that “you can manage only what you can measure,” but usually measuring the real world is hard. Drones make it much easier.

Industries have long sought data from above, generally through satellites or planes, but drones are better “sensors in the sky” than both. They gather higher-resolution and more-frequent data than satellites (whose view is obscured by clouds over two-thirds of the planet at any time), and they’re cheaper, easier, and safer than planes. Drones can provide “anytime, anywhere” access to overhead views with an accuracy that rivals laser scanning — and they’re just getting started. In this century’s project to extend the internet to the physical world, drones are the path to the third dimension — up. They are, in short, the “internet of flying things.”

You might think of drones as toys or flying cameras for the GoPro set, and that is still the lion’s share of the business. But like the smartphone and other examples of the “commercialization of enterprise” before them, drones are now being outfitted with business-grade software and becoming serious data-collection platforms — hardware as open and extensible as a smartphone, with virtually limitless app potential. As in any app economy, surprising and ingenious uses will emerge that we haven’t even thought of yet; and predictable and powerful apps will improve over time.

Or you might think of drones as delivery vehicles, since that’s the application — consumer delivery — that the media grabs on to most ferociously when seeking click-generating amazing/scary visions of the future. Frankly, delivery is one of the least compelling, most complicated applications for drones (anything that involves autonomously flying in crowded environments is the black-diamond slope of technology and regulation). Most of the industry is focused on the other side of the continuum: on data, not delivery — commercial use over privately owned land, where the usual concerns about privacy, annoyance, and scary robots overhead are minimized.

Drone economics are classically disruptive. Already drones can accomplish in hours tasks that take people days. They can provide deeply detailed visual data for a tiny fraction of the cost of acquiring the same data by other means. They’re becoming crucial in workplace safety, removing people from precarious processes such as cell-tower inspection. And they offer, literally, a new view into business: Their low-overhead perspective is bringing new insights and capabilities to fields and factories alike.

Like any robot, a drone can be autonomous, which means breaking the link between pilot and aircraft. Regulations today require that drones have an “operator” on the ground (even if the operation is just pushing a button on a smartphone and idly watching as the drone does its work). But as drones are getting smarter, regulators are starting to consider flights beyond “visual line of sight” — ones in which onboard sensors and machine vision will more than compensate for the eyes of a human on the ground far away. Once such fully autonomous use is allowed, the historic “one pilot/one aircraft” calculus can become “one operator/many vehicles” or even “no operator/many vehicles.” That’s where the real economic potential of autonomy will kick in: When the marginal cost of scanning the world approaches zero (because robots, not people, are doing the work), we’ll do a lot more of it. Call this the “democratization of earth observation”: a low-cost, high-resolution alternative to satellites. Anytime, anywhere access to the skies.

The drone economy is real, and you need a strategy for exploiting it. Here’s how to think about what’s happening — and what’s going to happen. We’ll start back at the construction site, a work environment in desperate need of what drones can provide.

CAPTURING REALITY FOR THE COST OF A NICE LUNCH

The construction industry is the world’s second largest (after agriculture), worth $8 trillion a year. But it’s remarkably inefficient. The typical commercial construction project runs 80% over budget and 20 months behind schedule, according to McKinsey.

On-screen, in the architect’s CAD file, everything looks perfect. But on-site, in the mud and dust, things are different. And the difference between concept and reality is where about $3 trillion of that $8 trillion gets lost, in a cascade of change orders, rework, and schedule slips.

Drones are meant to close that gap. The one buzzing outside my window, taking passes at the site, is capturing images with a high-performance camera mounted on a precision gimbal. It’s taking regular photos (albeit at very high resolution), which are sent to the cloud and, using photogrammetry techniques to derive geometries from visual data, are turned into photo-realistic 2-D and 3-D models. (Google does the same thing in Google Maps, at lower resolution and with data that might be two or three years old. To see this, switch to Google Earth view and click on the “3-D” button.) In the construction site trailer, the drone’s data shows up by mid-morning as an overhead view of the site, which can be zoomed in for detail the size of a U.S. quarter or rotated at any angle, like a video game or virtual reality scene. Superimposed on the scans are the CAD files used to guide the construction — an “as designed” view overlaid on an “as built” view. It’s like an augmented reality lens into what should be versus what is, and the difference between the two can be worth thousands of dollars a day in cost savings on each site — billions across the industry. So the site superintendent monitors progress daily.

Mistakes, changes, and surprises are unavoidable whenever idealized designs meet the real world. But they can be minimized by spotting clashes early enough to fix them, work around them, or at least update the CAD model to reflect changes for future work. There are lots of ways to measure a construction site, ranging from tape measures and clipboards to lasers, high-precision GPS, and even X-rays. But they all cost money and take time, so they’re not used often, at least not over the entire site. With drones, a whole site can be mapped daily, in high detail, for as little as $25 a day.

 
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RISING FROM THE GROUND TO FILL THE MISSING MIDDLE

The ascent of the drone economy is a steep one. Ten years ago unmanned aerial vehicles were military technology, costing millions of dollars and cloaked in secrecy. But then came the smartphone, bringing with it a suite of component technologies, from sensors and fast processors to cameras, broadband wireless, and GPS. All those chips enabled the remarkable supercomputer in your pocket, but the economies of scale of smartphone production also made them cheap and available for other uses. The first step was to transform adjacent industries, including robotics. I call this proliferation of components “the peace dividend of the smartphone wars.”

Companies including my own came out of this moment. Cheap high-powered components and a maker’s attitude allowed enthusiasts and entrepreneurs to reimagine drones not as coming down from higher in the sky but as rising from the ground. Rather than seeing “airplanes without pilots,” we saw “smartphones with propellers.” Moving at the pace of the smartphone industry, not the aerospace industry, drones went from hackers’ devices to hobbyists’ instruments to toys costing less than $100 at your local big-box store in less than four years — perhaps the fastest transfer of technology from CIA to Costco in history. Five years ago the main commercial objection to the word “drone” was that it had military connotations. Now it’s that people think of the aircraft as playthings. Has any word changed its meaning from “weapon” to “toy” faster?

And it doesn’t end there. Wave one was technology, wave two was toys, and now comes the third and most important wave. Drones are becoming tools. The market for people who want flying selfie cameras may be limited, but the market for data about the physical world is as big as the world itself.

Drones are starting to fill the “missing middle” between satellites and street level, digitizing the planet in high resolution and near–real time at a tiny fraction of the cost of alternatives.

The trajectory of this third wave — drones as tools — is more dramatic than that of the two preceding waves. First drones will populate the skies in increasing numbers as regulations and technology allow safer use. Estimates vary widely; some data predicts that by next year more than 100,000 operators will be managing 200,000 drones that will fill the sky, doing some work or another.

Next, the market for drone apps will explode as more and more people find ingenious uses. Drones will remain primarily data-collection vehicles, but the breadth of apps for them is only just beginning to be discovered. For example, drones have already been used for search and rescue and for wildlife monitoring. They can provide wireless internet access (something Facebook is investing in) and deliver medicine in the developing world. And they can not only map crops but also spray them with pesticides or deposit new seeds and beneficial insects.

Then, drones will gain even greater cost advantages when they don’t just remove the pilot from the cockpit but remove the pilot entirely. The true breakthrough will come with autonomy.

AUTONOMOUS, SMALL, AND COUNTLESS

Technology to allow drones to fly themselves exists and is improving quickly, going from simple GPS guidance to true visual navigation — the way a human would fly. Take humans out of the loop, and suddenly aircraft look more like the birds that inspired them: autonomous, small, and countless; born for the air and able to navigate it tirelessly and effortlessly. We are as yet tourists in the air, briefly visiting it at great cost. By breaking the link between man and machine, we can occupy the skies. The third dimension is the last frontier on Earth to be properly colonized (yes, both up to the skies and down under the seas, but we’ll leave the latter to our aquatic-drone cousins). Colonize it we will, but as with space and the ocean depths, we’ll use robots, not humans.

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Drone photographs were mapped onto a 3-dimension wireframe image to create this contour model of an urban building while it was under construction.

Why now? A combination of three trends. First, the price/performance bounty of the smartphone tech we talked about earlier made drones cheap and good. For example, the gyroscopic and other sensors packed into a tiny $3 chip in your phone were just a decade ago mechanical devices costing as much as $100,000 and mounted in enclosures ranging in size from lunch boxes to dorm fridges.

Second, the ability to make cheap and good drones put them within the reach of regular consumers (willing to spend up to $1,000) who had a real use case (aerial video and photography). As a result, companies had to make them easy to use — just swipe and fly — to drive adoption. Drones had to become more sophisticated as users became less sophisticated.

Third, once the consumer drone boom unexpectedly put more than a million drones — ranging from small toys to high-end “prosumer” models — into the skies over America in less than four years under a “recreational use” exemption to the FAA’s strict rules about flying things, the regulators had to respond. To steer the market toward safer use without inhibiting it, the agency accelerated rules that would allow drones to be used commercially without the need for pilots’ licenses or special waivers. The new rules took effect in August 2016, essentially kicking off the commercial drone era.

THE RISE OF CLOUD ROBOTICS

To this point we’ve focused mostly on drones themselves — the hardware, its cost and capabilities, and what we can attach to it to get work done. But when setting a drone strategy, it’s important to think less about drones and more about apps. The hardware is primarily an empty vessel to fill with work to be done: taking photographs and video, scanning, moving objects, enabling communication.

And collecting data. More than anything, drones are collection vehicles. Their ability to amass data from a unique, valuable perspective (above, but not too far above) fast and at low cost makes them ideal collectors. Any drone strategy has to go beyond the drone to the data. And that means moving innovation to the cloud.

The history of modern Silicon Valley goes mostly like this:

  1. Invent the personal computer.
  2. Connect personal computers to local networks.
  3. Connect local networks to the global internet.
  4. Do all that again wirelessly.
  5. Distribute computing and data throughout this network, from the apps in your pocket to massive computing clusters in the cloud.
  6. Extend that beyond people to things, including moving things, linking as much of the world as possible into one interconnected network.

“Cloud robotics” is just the combination of the last two activities: connecting robots to the cloud so that both get smarter. That includes all robots — not just drones but also driverless cars, manufacturing and warehousing robots, and maybe someday robots in your home. But for now, we’ll focus on drones.

The biggest change in drones (and in robotics — indeed, in electronics broadly) over the past decade is the assumption of connectivity. Unlike earlier generations of robots, which required bespoke communications systems, the robots that have come out of the smartphone industry inherited their “born connected” architecture.

Already it’s hard to remember how things used to work: Amass data, then download it, then analyze it. No more. Data flows from source to device to analysis automatically and invisibly. Increasingly, it does what technology should always do: just work.

The implications of this shift are profound. When devices are designed from the ground up to be connected, three big things change:

1. The devices tend to get better over time, not worse. Unlike in the old stand-alone model, in which products start their march to obsolescence the moment they are made, connected devices get most of their features from their software, not their hardware, and that software can be updated, just like the software on your smartphone. Think of a Tesla, which gets new features automatically on an almost weekly basis. The technical term for such devices is “exotropic,” and they tend to rise in value over time — unlike “entropic” devices, whose value tends to decline. Of course, the hardware has limits, and eventually even connected devices become obsolete. But the point is that rather than follow the traditional long decay slope from the point of purchase, connected devices improve in utility for as long as they can. In the case of drones, new abilities, from improved performance to new autonomous features, just appear overnight via “over the air” upgrades.

2. They have “outboard intelligence.” They’re part of the internet of things — not the silly part, like connected lightbulbs, but the clever part (which, being clever, usually avoids the buzzwordy internet-of-things label). For example, Amazon Echo has enough intelligence in the box to harness immense intelligence in the cloud. It’s not just a sensor for the internet but also a limb by which the internet can project into the physical world. For a drone, this means that it doesn’t have to be programmed to scan a site using a standard path. Instead, it starts by taking a few pictures of the site, and then it uploads them to the cloud so that algorithms there can analyze them in real time and prepare a custom scan path that’s just right for that site, on that day, with that lighting and those shadows. Think of this as the data determining the mission, not the mission determining the data.

3. They make the internet smarter too. Connected devices don’t just get intelligence from the network; they feed data back to it. The current AI renaissance is due less to improved computation and algorithms than to the ability simply to access vastly more data. Much of that data, today and tomorrow, comes from measuring the world — both people and their environments — and connected devices are how the sensors spread. In the case of drones, this means they can not only download up-to-date 3-D maps of their world to help them navigate but also potentially upload data to make those maps better.

COOL IS NOT ENOUGH

Where all this really kicks in is the enterprise. There, nobody is using a drone because it’s cool. They’re using it because it does a job better than the alternative. All that matters is the job, and every step that stands between wanting the job done and having it done is friction that inhibits adoption. The perfect enterprise drone is a box with a red button. When you push the button, you get your data. Anything more complicated is a pain point to be eliminated. (And after that, we’ll get rid of the button, too.)

What that means is seamless integration between drones and enterprise software, such that all the data is automatically collected, sent to the cloud, analyzed, and displayed in useful form, ideally in near–real time.

What will this look like? Although it might surprise you, I hope the future of drones is boring. As the CEO of a drone company, I obviously stand to gain from the rise of drones, but I don’t see that happening if we are focused on the excitement of drones. The sign of a successful technology is not that it thrills but that it becomes essential and accepted, fading into the wallpaper of modernity. Electricity was once a magic trick, but now it is assumed. The internet is going the same way. My end goal is for drones to be thought of as just another unsexy industrial tool, like agricultural machinery or generators on construction sites — as obviously useful as they are unremarkable.

My inspiration in this is my grandfather, Fred Hauser, who in the 1930s invented the automatic sprinkler system (his patents decorate our walls). You may not think of a sprinkler system as a robot, but it is: Today’s are connected to the internet, collect data, operate autonomously, and, best of all, just work. Now imagine farm drones doing the same: boxes scattered around the farm with copters inside and solar cells outside, to recharge their batteries. Like the irrigation systems, at some point in the day they wake up, emerge from the boxes, and do their thing — crop mapping, pest spotting, or even fertilizing like bees. When they’re done, they return automatically to their boxes; the lids close, and they sleep until they do it all again the next day. All the farmer needs to know is that the daily crop report on his or her phone is extraordinarily detailed, with multispectral analysis of everything from disease to dampness, measured to the individual leaf and analyzed by machine-learning software to flag issues and make recommendations for the day’s work.

Drones as ubiquitous as sprinklers: We’ve come a long way from weapons, sci-fi movies, and headlines. But in the prosaic applications of advanced technologies lie their real impact. Once we find drones no longer novel enough to be worthy of HBR articles, my work will be done.

Source: This article was hbr.org By CHRIS ANDERSON 

Being the CEO of a startup is a lot of hard work. You need to manage the inevitable chaos, wearing multiple hats as a leader,1 a thinker,14 and a doer.2 It can easily be overwhelming when you need to balance everyday tasks alongside the “big picture” tasks that drive the vision and the future of your company.

Once a startup gets some traction, CEOs have to transition from “doer-in-chief” to leading the company and managing the big picture projects, products, cash flow, team culture, and generally becoming both the metaphorical anchor and captain of the ship. But when your company gets to this point, how do you remain an effective CEO?

Any CEO of a startup will tell you that there is no “typical” workday, but after doing some research I’ve found that many CEOs share quite a few habits that make them successful. Let’s take a look at these common habits and how you can use them too.

Organize A Schedule

One habit (some might call it a skill) of effective startup CEOs is to get organized. Really organized. They’ll make a daily schedule and follow it religiously.

Jason Zook, of Jason Does Stuff, is a vocal advocate of time-boxing.3 He claims that “blocking off time on my calendar keeps me laser focused and highly motivated.”

Kate Finley, CEO of Belle Communications, prefers to color-code her schedule,4 assigning different colors to big-picture topics and scheduling blocks of time for social media, emails, project development, meetings, and even exercise and personal time.

An hourly schedule can prevent you from getting distracted from random tasks while giving you peace of mind that you’re spending dedicated time on your company’s needs. Find the best time to schedule out your day and make this skill a habit.

Compartmentalize Company Needs

One of the things that we’ve noticed effective startup CEOs do is that they successfully compartmentalize the different needs of their company. They focus on the specific areas of their business, setting aside time for product development, team building, and financials.

Fetchnotes CEO, Alex Schiff, has a daily meeting with his team. Schiff says this time is critical for his organization, in that it provides a “cross-functional view of what’s happening in the company.”

Finley takes time daily to work on media relations, team and project development, and general communications, while Ryan Carson of Treehouse compartmentalizes business needs by day. He meets with one manager to review product needs on Mondays, while saving sales and marketing for Thursdays.

By blocking out time for managing your team and different departments you can be sure that you’ll cover all of your big picture needs while saving time for those other random tasks that inevitably arise.

Do Deep Work Early In The Day

More than one CEO, we found, prefers to concentrate on big-picture business strategy in the morning while leaving meetings for the afternoon.

Says Finley, “I find that [mornings are] best to get the majority of my work done before noon and save time for meetings later in the day.” Michael Karnjanaprakorn, head of Skillshare, goes so far as to schedule meetings only a few days a week, to maximize time for deep work and planning.5 Once a month, he assesses his calendar and reviews what meetings are upcoming and cancels the inefficient ones. Karnjanaprakorn claims that this process “allows me to be proactive and control my time, instead of being reactive to my calendar.”

Make sure to carve out some space in your schedule in the mornings to do the most important strategic work, while your focus and willpower6 are at their peak. Review your calendar regularly and cut out or reassess what’s ineffective.

Make Time For Family And Celebration

Startup CEOs know how important it is to take time for personal needs, family time, and celebration.

Ryan Carson includes family time7 as part of his daily schedule. Schiff makes time for fun with his team,8 taking them out for laser tag after the successful completion of a major milestone.

Karnjanaprakorn uses a concept from Tim Ferris called “screen-free Saturdays,” where he refuses to work on his laptop or computer and only uses his smartphone for maps and communication with friends and family.

Separating yourself from your work can give you a much-needed mental break and allow you to approach the next work day – or the next week – with a fresh mind. Again, the easy task is to make more work for yourself; the hard task is taking some time to enjoy your success and spend time on yourself.
 

Give Your Schedule Space For Reflection

Startup CEOs know that it’s important to take care of themselves because it’s easy to feel like there’s always more work to be done.

“I like to have some time to myself free of office distractions to map out an agenda for what I want to accomplish each day. If I don’t, I find that I’m victim to the whims of whatever random task pops up,” says Chris Myers,9 CEO of fintech BodeTree.

There’s always something on your to-do list, and it can be difficult to turn off that part of your brain, even for a short amount of time.

Taking time out of your day to meditate,10 reflect,11 journal,12 or just decompress,13 is an important factor for success. You’re nurturing both physical and mental well-being, which will do nothing but benefit you and your startup in the long run.

 
In brief, successful startup CEOs make the transition to a flexible, organized position and focus on the big picture, leading their teams to success. Depending on your personal habits and schedule, create a system that works best for your needs, while saving time to enjoy your hard work.
 
Source: This article was published on lifehack.org by 

Google is fun to say, but DuckDuckGo — at least for me — is a lot more fun to use. While I can’t repeat the name as a verb (I can ‘Google it’ on Google; I don’t know what I’d say for a DuckDuckGo search), the upstart search engine has quickly become my go-to on a day to day basis.

So, why is DuckDuckGo better than Google?

While its main draw is privacy, DuckDuckGo has another killer feature you may not have heard of. In fact, it should cause you to consider ditching your existing search engine for DuckDuckGo — yes, even Google. I’m talking about bangs.

No, not 80s hair bangs (but they would look cool on their mascot, Dax). Bangs are simply exclamation points ahead of site tags, which redirects you to that page.

Here’s how to use DuckDuckGo Bangs: you want to search The Next Web for articles on DuckDuckGo. To get the best results, you’d head to the site’s home page, find your way to the search function (top right!), and type your query.

With DuckDuckGo, you simply enter “!tnw DuckDuckGo” (not case sensitive, and you don’t need parentheses), and it would redirect you right to the internal search page.

DuckDuckGo Bangs

The same goes for tons of other sites like Amazon Wikipedia  YouTube — and yes, even Google.

That’s the brilliance of bangs; you can search just about anywhere from DuckDuckGo. It only gets easier when you add the extension for Safari or Chrome, too.

And because there are more searchable sites on the Internet than you can likely keep track of, DuckDuckGo recently made a change to its search bar. Now when you enter a bang, a list of popular bangs shows up, and you’ll have quick access to the full list.

Other search engines will let you perform a concentrated search using the “site:” tag (“site: the next web duckduckgo”, for instance), but it opens up in the search engine. Bangs take you directly to the site you want to find results on.

Hidden history

 

DuckDuckGo also hits really close to home for all of us by not tracking search history. Here’s a scenario; you search for something benign, like ‘cars.’ When you click on a website, your current search engine may tell the site that you searched for cars and landed on its page.

That can be useful for a variety of reasons, but it’s typically a monetization strategy. Sites know where you visit after you search for ‘cars’ and return ads concentrated to your likes. DuckDuckGo uses the same kind of model, but doesn’t return personalized ads.

DuckDuckGo Result PageIf you search for ‘cars’ in Google and clicked on the Scion page, you may see ads specific to Scion next time you did a search for ‘cars.’ DuckDuckGo has ads, but in its eyes — cars means cars. The site uses a syndication model that keeps your info private, but still allows for it to monetize.

The downside to DuckDuckGo is that’s it’s not quite as intuitive as Google when it comes to news; search Google for a topic and it feeds you newsworthy articles on your query. That’s easily circumvented with a “!g” though, which takes you straight to Google search results.

While DuckDuckGo is definitely one of the more private search engines around, bangs really have me loving it. I think once you give DuckDuckGo a shot (if you’re not already), you’ll enjoy them, too.

Source: This article was published on thenextweb.com by NATE SWANNER

Installing Tor on Android and iOS devices is not as difficult as you may think.

You can safeguard your online privacy when you are using an Android or iOS device to browse the internet by using TOR. TOR hides and occasionally changes your IP address when you are online. Thus, when you are using TOR on either of these devices, your privacy and identity will be safe when you visit social media sites or any other sites on the internet. Here is a detailed guide on how you can successfully install TOR on your Android or IOS device.

How to install TOR on an Android Device

1: Download Orbot

You will have to download Orbot from any the credible app stores available. You can download it from Google PlayAmazon App Store or even from the website of the developer, which is the Guardian Project.

2: Install Orbot on your device

It is easy to install Orbot on your Android device, thanks to its highly intuitive installation wizard. Here is how the setup wizard looks like at first glance when you are just about to start the actual process of installing Orbot on your Android device

TOR Install (1)

3: Select the features you would like to run via Orbot

If your device is rooted, you will have to choose the particular applications you would like to access via Orbot. The process of selecting the apps that you would like to use via Orbot is simple and straightforward. However, if your device is not rooted, you may skip this step of the process by choosing the option that lets you proxy all the apps on your device through TOR.

4: Give Orbot Superuser access for rooted devices

If your Android device is rooted, you will have to give Orbot super user access for you to proceed with the installation process. Granting the app superuser access at all times ensures that you will be able to use Orbot when you are opening any app on your rooted Android device at any time.

This is how the screenshot for the stage when you have to grant Orbot superuser status to the apps on your Android device looks like.

5: Reboot your device

You will have to reboot your device at this stage of the installation process to allow Orbot to access all the apps on your device. If you attempt to open your mobile browser at this stage, it is likely that the browser may not function as desired. Therefore you may have to restart your device at this stage of the installation process.

6: Check your IP address

TOR Install (3)

Once you have reset your device, you will have to visit any website that checks your IP address. The purpose of this activity is to confirm that your traffic is getting re-routed via a proxy server and that you have a different IP address from your original one. If the Orbot installation process has been successful, you will get a different IP address. Here is a screenshot of how things should appear at this stage of the process.

6: Make configuration for some applications

You may have to configure some apps on your mobile device for you to use Orbot successfully. In this case, you may have to go to the ‘settings’ section of every particular app you would like to configure and make the necessary changes.

For some apps, you may have to download and install particular add-ons for you to use the apps on Orbot successfully.

7: Start using your device

Once you have successfully gone through the five steps that have been outlined above, you will be able to use TOR for your Android device. One important thing you need to note is that TOR will change your IP address at times. The occasional changes to your IP address are essential in making you anonymous online. Here is a screenshot of how things look like when you check your IP address once you complete the process of installing TOR on your Android device.

How to install TOR on an IOS Device

The procedure of installing TOR on your IOS device is similar to that of when you are installing the app on your Android device. However, there are slight variations that you have to keep in mind when installing TOR on your iOS device. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can set up TOR on your iOS device so you may enjoy the level of anonymity and online privacy that TOR offers to its users.

1: Download the TOR browser from Apple App Store

You will have to visit the App Store on your iOS device as the first step of the process. Once you access the app store, you may have to search for the TOR browser. You will see a list of alternatives. Choose the TOR-enabled browser that suits your needs. Here is a screenshot of what you should have when you are just about to tap on the ‘Get it’ button on the app store.

Remember that you may have to buy some apps from the Apple App store.

2: Install the app on your device

Once you successfully download the TOR app, you will see a button asking you to install it on your device. You will have to tap on the button to allow the installation process to commence. Remember that it is at this stage that the highly technical aspects of setting up TOR on your iOS device begin.

The installation process takes a few minutes. Here is a screenshot of what you are supposed to have on your device just before you tap the ‘install’ button.

3: Connect to TOR

Once you have successfully downloaded and installed TOR on your iOS device, the device will prompt you to connect to the TOR network. You will have to select this option to enable the TOR browser to start working on your device.

Remember that this stage is similar to that of installing TOR on your Android device during which you have to reconfigure some apps so that they work on TOR. Similarly, you may have to select to use the TOR app on particular apps on your iPhone device. However, the good news is that the process is straightforward.

4: Start using TOR to browse

Once you have successfully gone through the steps that have been outlined here, you will be ready to use TOR when browsing the internet on your iOS device. TOR helps to safeguard your online privacy by changing your IP address. As it is the case with installing TOR on your Android device, you may find it necessary to check if the installation has been successful by testing your IP address. If the installation has been successful, you will realize that you have an IP address that is different from the previous one.

In conclusion, it is easy to install the TOR app on your Android as well as an iOS device. The most important things you need to keep in mind are that you may have to reconfigure some apps on your device to make them compatible with TOR. Also, in the case of Android devices, the level of complexity of the process largely depends on whether your device is rooted or not.

Source : This article was published hackread.com By Ali Raza

Just in case you want to access the links of all those important stories or exciting videos you enjoyed recently, follow this simple guide to search history and bookmarks in Safari on iPhone and iPad.

Want to quickly find out the links to all the interesting articles or cool videos you had recently caught up with via Safari on your iPhone? It's so simple to do that.

By default, Safari records everything you browse. As a result, you are able to easily access your history. Let's find out how it works!

How to Search Safari History and Bookmarks on iPhone/iPad

Step #1. Launch Safari on your iOS device.

Step #2. Next, tap on the bookmark button at the bottom.

Tap on Bookmark Icon in Safari on iPhone

Step #3. Now, make sure that bookmark tab is selected (if it's not already.) → Next up, tap on History.

Tap on History in Safari on iPhone

Step #5. Check out the browsing history and your bookmarks. All at one place.

View Safari Browsing History on iPhone

Want to find any specific article you read recently? Tap on the search history to search any individual story.

Search Safari Browsing History on iPhone

How to Clear Safari History on iPhone and iPad

Clean up Safari history from time to time to ensure it continues to run smoothly on your iOS device.

Step #1. Open Safari on your iOS device.

Step #2. Tap on bookmark icon at the bottom.

Tap on Bookmark Icon in Safari on iPhone

Step #3. Next, you need to make sure that bookmark tab is selected. Then, tap on History.

Tap on History in Safari on iPhone

Step #4. Tap on Clear at the bottom.

Tap on Clear in Safari on iPhone

Step #5. You have four options:

  • The last hour
  • Today
  • Today and yesterday
  • All time

Clear Safari Browsing History on iPhone

You can select any of the four options. Tap on All-time to clear entire history.

That's it!

History has been cleaned up from all of your devices synced with the same iCloud account. (Complete Guide: How to clear Safari history and website data on iPhone and iPad.)

Wrap Up

Safari has got some neat improvements in iOS 10. As for instance, you can now play inline videoclose all the open tabs at onceuse Split View.

Source: This article was published on igeeksblog.com

Thursday, 20 April 2017 02:24

Too stoned to drive? This app will warn you

An app designed to warn stoned drivers that they shouldn't be on the road mimics a traditional field sobriety test.

Figuring out how to deal with stoned drivers may be one of the biggest headaches that goes along with legalizing recreational marijuana — how to find them, how to test them, whether to set THC limits as we do for alcohol.

A University of Massachusetts psychology professor’s app looks at the problem from another angle — giving drivers a way of deciding for themselves whether they belong behind the wheel after smoking pot.

Druid, an app for iPhones and iPads, puts a driver through a series of tests that measure driving-related skills. The experience is like a simple video game, but the design resembles the field sobriety tests used for many years by police.

“What Druid does is provide a tool for those who actually want to be responsible,” explains Michael Milburn, its inventor.

“Druid tells you how stoned you are.”

Performance-based tests measure impairment from multiple drugs, which measurement-based tests are bad at, Milburn explains. Moderate amounts of both pot and alcohol, in combination, can wreak havoc with the ability to drive.

“What seemed important to me was to measure actual impairment, as compared to just drug testing. It could be prescription drugs, it could be exhaustion, it could be marijuana or alcohol, or some combination, rather than just using a breathalyzer.”

Druid gives would-be drivers four tasks, which together take five minutes. The user has to:

  • Play a game in which squares or circles appear on the screen, and respond differently, depending on which it is.
  • Estimate the passage of 60 seconds (push a button to start the timer, and another when they think the time is up).
  • Stand on one leg while holding an iPad, which is keeping track of how much they wobble.
  • Keep their finger on a circle that moves unpredictably around the screen, while at the same time counting squares that appear.

“One of the critical driving skills that is disabled by alcohol and marijuana is performance on divided attention tasks,” Milburn said.

“You have to look at the road, look at the speedometer, talk to the guy behind you, in the back seat. You have to be able to handle multiple things and not crash your car. Marijuana, as well as alcohol, interferes with that.”

Users go through the tests several times when sober, to establish their own personal baseline.

Milburn would like to see Druid used beyond stopping impaired driving.

“It could be used by sports team coaches to assess concussion risk. If there’s a collision, the coach could have all their baseline scores, and then say ‘Johnny, you need to do Druid before I can put you back in.’”

A two-minute version and a release for Android are coming within the month, Milburn says.

Source: globalnews.ca

We would love to provide you with a comprehensive list of the dozens of codes out there, but that would be an exercise in futility. These codes seldom work across different carriers, OSes, or phone models (or even on generations of the same model).

If you really want to try them out, your best bet may be to Google your phone's make and carrier + "USSD" for a tailored, comprehensive list. I attempted a number of codes using an iPhone SE (while trading out numerous carrier SIM cards) in addition to a Galaxy S5 and Galasy S7 Edgerunning on AT&T. Some of them worked! Click through our slideshow for 13 codes that I can confirm worked on at least one device. Good luck and have fun!

1-Field Mode: *3001#12345#*

Type *3001#12345#* into your phone's dialer and then press the green call button to access "Field Mode," which can give you access to info about local networks and cell towers.

You'll probably never ever have to know about your local cell tower's "Measured RSSi," but it's fun to look around for a bit.

2-General Test Mode: *#0*#
I could only get this to work on Android. But this prompts a library of different phone operations, which could be operated with a single push (e.g. Sleep, Front Cam, Vibration).

3-Display your IMEI: *#06#
Here's a code which I found out does not work with Verizon on an iPhone, but I could make it work after switching to a T-Mobile SIM. It also worked on my Android AT&T device as well. To access it, type in the above code, and then the green call button to prompt your IMEI number (or your International Mobile Station Equipment Identity number, but you already knew that).

The IMEI is unique to your device. Among other things, the number can help "blacklist" stolen devices or help with customer support.

4-Check Your Call Forwarding: *#67#
This code allows you to check which number your phone is currently forwarding calls to when you're busy or reject a call.

By default, this is probably your carrier's voicemail service, but you can change it to forward to a different number (a home number, office number, or third-party answering service for example). On an iPhone, you can change this number by going to Settings > Phone > Call Forwarding. On Android (varies from system to system), tap the Phone app > hamburger icon > Settings > Call > More Settings > Call forwarding

5-Get Even More Info on Call Forwarding: *#61#

On my Galaxy phone, this code prompted a pop-up that let me know how long until a call is forwarded to the message center. On the iPhone, regardless of carrier, this code just showed me the same info as *#67# .

6-Check Your Available Minutes: *646#
Apparently this one only works on postpaid plans. I was not able to get it to work on my test iPhone (regardless of carrier; I tried three), but I did get it to work on my Galaxy phone (which happens to have an unlimited texting plan from AT&T). Instead of showing the info on a new screen, it sent my phone a text message.

7-Check Your Bill Balance: *225#
Once again, I couldn't get this one to work on the iPhone, but on Android I did get it to prompt a SMS message with my current balance due.

8-Hide Your Phone From Caller ID: #31#
I could only get this to work on Android. But entering this code prompted a pop-up stating that my Caller ID had been disabled. In order to re-instate Caller ID, enter *31# .

9-Check Your Billing Cycle: *3282#
Once again, I could only get this to work on Android. It prompted an SMS message with my billing info.

10-SMS Message Center: *5005*7672#
This code will tell you your SMS message center number. I have no idea why you'd need that info, but there ya go.

11-Activate Call Waiting: *43#
This code will activate call waiting; you can deactivate it by entering #43#.

12-Quick Test Menu (Samsung Galaxy Only) *#7353#
As far as I can tell, this code only works on Samsung Galaxy models (I tested it on my Galaxy S7 Edge). This is similar to the General Test mode mentioned earlier, in that it brings up a menu with a number of one-tap test prompts.

The first test is "Melody," which prompts a jaunty little K-Pop diddy. I don't know who the artist is (it's un-Shazammable!), but a search of the lyrics pointed me to this YouTube clip, with a title that translates to "Samsung Anycall Galaxy basic level - Hey Now (Good bye)." If you have any details on this mobile mystery, drop it in the comments.

13-Firmware (Samsung Galaxy Only) *#1234#
Once again, as far as I can tell, this only works on Galaxy devices. But it will let you know your phone's current firmware. So, have fun with that.

Source : pcmag

Bing has arguably done something better than releasing its own messaging service. The company has released an extension for a messaging service which millions of people already use.

Bing now has an extension for Apple’s iMessage — and when you think about it, that’s a really smart move.

Instead of trying to force people to break out of their regular habits and use a new messaging service, which Google has been doing for years, Bing is bringing its technology to a messenger people have already grown accustomed to.

With the introduction of this extension, Bing’s search engine is now more readily available to iPhone and iPad users. Another reason why this is a smart move is because only one party in the conversation needs to have the extension installed.

That means you can use Bing’s iMessage extension whether or not your contacts are also using it. This is both convenient for users, and good for Bing since it may prompt others to use the extension as well.

With all of that being said, let’s take a look at what it can do.

Bing iMessage Extension Features

Truth be told, Bing’s iMessage extension is fairly limited in what it can do compared to Google Allo. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, such as the AI powered Google Assistant, but as a search and sharing tool it gets the job done.

”With the introduction of the Bing iMessage Extension, people can express themselves with GIFs, search and easily share places, movies, and more from the web, without leaving the conversation.”

After tapping on the app extension button and selecting the Bing extension, there’s a swipe-able carousel of categories you can scroll through to find what you need.

Here’s an example Bing provides of how it can be used to share restaurant suggestions to a group of friends:

To start using the extension, simply enable it through iMessage after downloading the Bing app from the App Store.

Source : searchenginejournal.com

Thursday, 30 March 2017 14:57

The Death of Organic Search (As We Know It)

It would be easier to count all the stars in the night sky than the number of articles written about the death of SEO.  I’ve never written one personally but I was having a discussion with the author of a great piece here on Search Engine Journal on AI and its impact on search and the question came up:

Between machine learning and the limited space available for organic search, is it on its death spiral?

The most interesting thing about this question may not be the answer but the journey in understanding the question itself, as it’s therein that we understand the strategies that will make it either true or false. During my time pondering this article, I decided to actually change the question a bit to become more accurate to the scenario we find ourselves in:

Between machine learning, the limited space available for organic search, and the growth of both voice search and personal assistants, is it on its death spiral?

To explore this question, we’re going to look at each of these three areas individually, what they mean together, and finally (and what you likely most want to know), what you need to do about it. So without further ado … let’s dive in:

Machine Learning’s Impact on Organic Search

Let’s start with machine learning.  I mentioned the article by Jeremy Knauff above. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend doing so. In the article, he describes how machine learning and AI work to impact rankings and what it means for SEOs. Essentially there are two main areas of interest in this regard, and they are:

Machine learning as it relates to SEO and present device usage needs the Hummingbird algorithm to fulfill its potential. Hummingbird, for those who may not have been around prior to its introduction, created the foundation for Google to understand conversational speech. Its core purpose was to enable Google to understand entities and ideas rather than words, and also the relationships between those entities and ideas. To give you an idea of the power Google saw in this addition, former SVP of Search Amit Singhal said at the time:

“Google will keep reinventing itself to give you all you need for a simple and intuitive experience. At some point, pulling out a smartphone to do a search will feel as archaic as a dial-up modem.”

The question you may be asking is why machine learning is part of this tale. After all, it’s there to adjust signals and help determine which signals to adjust for specific types of queries — not something that would kill SEO (as we know it). I could give some mamby-pamby answer like it will simply create an environment where the best, most engaging content will win and so SEO in the traditional sense will be unnecessary.

However, I’m not a fan of answers that come in the form of, “I have a crystal ball and can see the future.” The reason machine learning is one of the core factors that will bring about the changes we have coming has nothing to do with that.

The truth is, machine learning itself will have little to do directly with it BUT it will be necessary for the change in SEO to take place. If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is, but all will come to light shortly. As we’re discussing the third of the areas listed above, we’ll be able to connect the dots.

What’s important to understand presently is: AI and machine learning combined with the ability to understand and interpret conversational language allows for information to be collected, understood, and presented to the searcher in very different ways. These ways vary by searcher, by device, and by subject. Basically, the limitations of constants in search result calculations are all but eliminated.

Before we return to why this matters apart from the obvious, let’s move on to the second part of the question Jeremy and I were discussing, and that was …

The Erosion of Organic Space

The question we were pondering included the dramatic changes in the space being made available to organic search results on Google’s front page. To paint the picture of where this is going, let’s look at just some of the changes over the past little while:

  • Four Ads on Top: In February 2016, Google took out of testing their move to put four AdWords ads on top of the search results for commercial queries. This obviously pushed the organic rankings down the page.
  • Number of Organic Rankings Drops From 10 to 8.5: According to Searchmetrics data released in October of 2016, the number of traditional organic search results dropped from 10 on both mobile and desktop to 8.5 on mobile and 8.59 on desktop.
  • Local 3-Pack Includes Paid Listings: As Matt Southern reported right here on Search Engine Journal back in June, Google was spotted including a paid result along with two organic results in the local 3-pack. In August, a switch was made on mobile and a paid result was listed at the top of the local pack in the general results.
  • More and More Carousels: Keeping his fingers on the pulse of things, Matt Southern has covered a lot of news around the ever-expanding carousels. From the testing around the “shop the look” experience to the trending news and related stories both appearing in queries via the Google app, we’re seeing the ever-expanding integration of carousels on mobile. Now, one can reasonably argue that carousels are in large part organic results but here’s the thing — the organic ones tend to be publishers as opposed to retailers. So while space is still being taken by organic results, the results themselves will not satisfy a commercial intent. The searcher may head off to visit the site and read more about the Nintendo Switch or whatever their query is related to, but they’ll have to come back for the purchase giving Google another chance to get the AdWords click they’re looking for.

I’m sure you can see the trend: Google is crafting the results layout in a way that minimizes the impact of organic results on commercially intent searchers. It further appears they’re even trying to distract searchers from their commercial intent when they’re passed the paid listing in the likely hope that they’ll return and click a paid ad after they’re done with an informational page. Additionally, they are pulling more of the shopping experience right into Google results pages.

In short, Google is doing everything they can to provide all the information a searcher may want access to while minimizing the impact the organic search has on paid clickthroughs. We’ll discuss this further below but before we get to that let’s move on to pondering the impact of …

The Growth in Voice Search and Personal Assistants

The times, they are a changin’ and so are the devices we’re all using to access the Internet. Let’s revisit once more the quote by Amit Singhal from when Hummingbird was announced:

“Google will keep reinventing itself to give you all you need for a simple and intuitive experience. At some point, pulling out a smartphone to do a search will feel as archaic as a dial-up modem.”

Let’s review some facts:

Mobile Has Surpassed Desktop

StatCounter revealed in a press release back in November of 2016 that mobile Internet usage had surpassed desktop for the first time.

Mobile Internet Use Surpasses Desktop

We can add to this the announcement last fall that Google was moving to a mobile-first index and the writing is on the wall — we’re going mobile and mobile will be the device of choice for both users and Google. Now that alone isn’t the biggest news as it relates to this story but as anyone who’s ever run a search on a phone knows, there are rarely organic results “above the fold.” But the tale gets worse for the poor organic result …

Voice Search Is Taking Off

The folks at Stone Temple Consulting compiled some very interesting data related to voice search. You can read their full study here but here’s the takeaways:

  • Those under 24 are 33% more likely to use voice search in public (51.6% will).
  • 70% of people say they use voice search because it’s fast and less than 20% don’t use it.
  • Another 70% of people (likely some serious overlap) use voice search to avoid typing.
  • Over 60% of people want more results available via voice search and to avoid having to visit a web page.

There are a lot of other interesting findings in the study but those above relate to what we’re talking about here.  Voice search is becoming easier, more common, and more intuitive, and perhaps most importantly — more effective. As searchers find that their questions can be answered well with a voice search and arguably easier than typing (certainly for someone like me with fat thumbs and a tiny little Android keyboard), its use is destined to continue its climb. This is not to suggest it will replace keyboards altogether; there are environments where it’s socially unacceptable to speak your query but even that will change as it continues to gain in popularity and becomes more common.

Personal Assistants Are Here

The biggest change I see on the horizon, however, comes in the form of personal assistants and the growth of voice-first devices. For those who don’t yet have one, voice-first devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo receive voice-based commands and provide audio responses. From telling you the weather or news to listening to music or even ordering a pizza, there is a ton of information and functions that can be served with simple voice requests.  Can you see (or rather — not see) the problem here for SEOs? If we thought adding an AdWords result pushed organic further down the page and made position three that much less visible, imagine when there is no visible top ten at all.

VoiceLabs studied the subject and based on current trends estimate that by the end of 2017 there will be 33 million voice-first devices in circulation. Let’s look at the year-over-year growth this represents:

Voice-First Device Growth

The expectation is that Google will excel at providing intelligent responses to questions as well as providing access to email, calendars, etc. while Amazon will win in the commerce space. Which one wins the overall battle for voice-first devices is yet to be seen, but interestingly, that almost doesn’t matter for how it’ll impact SEO as much as the battle going on to begin with.

In reality, voice-first devices in this format are likely a bump on the road to where the technology is heading. I won’t pretend to be able to predict exactly how interaction between man and machine will evolve. However, I don’t believe it will be in the form of a cylindrical speaker occupying space that could be better used to house a bobblehead of Captain Kirk.

What’s truly important about this growth, however, is the rapid adjustment to these devices and the personal assistant format of communication. Not coincidentally, Google announced their personal assistant being released on all phones running Android 6.0 and above, taking us beyond running simple queries on our phone and onto more complicated communications and interactions with other systems — all in a conversational manner.

Once again, there is no top ten in this format.  In fact, there isn’t even really a top one … there is simply a response.

So What Changes?

Now it’s time to tie this all together. What do machine learning, limited organic space, and changes in voice search and devices have to do with the death of organic search (as we know it)?

Here’s what we’ve covered across these three areas:

  • The Hummingbird algorithm added the ability for Google to understand conversational language.
  • Machine learning allows Google to more quickly react to broad ranges of conditions including device, location, personal preferences, etc. All these things could be addressed without machine learning but never as effectively and never as quickly.
  • Machine learning allows Google to more quickly learn how the real world functions and communicates.
  • The space available for organic search results in the traditional desktop and mobile formats is shrinking and that which remains is being made less visible.
  • Paid listings are occupying more of the prime locations in the search results.
  • Google appears to be trying to distract searchers where a paid listing has not been selected for a query with articles and news as opposed to commercial results.
  • Mobile internet use has surpassed desktop and continues to climb.
  • Voice search use is climbing quickly.
  • Voice-first devices look to more than triple their footprint in 2017.
  • Personal assistants will be added to all modern Android devices.

So, let’s summarize quickly what’s happening: Google is getting better and faster at understanding the data it encounters on the web and how the pieces of it all combine and relate to each other. Further, their understanding of conversational language is improving daily and is already excellent. Machine learning will aid them in making rapid and very personalized adjustments, in identifying which signals determine which information best suits the query and the user, and we end up in a scenario where Google will have a high confidence in the data they are providing.

On top of this, we have continually marginalized organic space, and a move by users towards devices and solutions that involve no selection on their part of the information sent back to them as a result of their request.

Is anyone left wondering why I believe we’re seeing the death of organic search (as we know it)?

So Now What?

What’s extremely important to understand is that there are major changes coming not just in algorithms (that we’re all used to) but in the very way people interact with their devices. We need to assume that for many queries, we won’t have access to the users’ eyes and they may never end up at our site.

Further, we need to discard the notion that the way users view our products now is at all similar to what will be in the near future. Imagine if you will the following interaction:

Searcher: OK Google. Let’s shop for some shoes.
Google Home: Would you like to shop for men’s or women’s shoes?
Searcher: Men’s.
Google Home: Where would you like to see them?
Searcher: Cast them to my TV.
Google Home: Men’s shoes displaying on your TV.
Searcher: OK Google. Just show me the black ones.
Google Home: Filter applied to just display black men’s shoes. Is there a type of shoe you are looking for?
Searcher: Dress shoes for a wedding.
Google Home: Filter applied to just display men’s black dress shoes.  ould you like me to add the date of the wedding to your calendar?
Searcher: Yes. It’s May 20th.
Google Home : Wedding on May 20th added to calendar.
Searcher: I like the black pair on the top right. Where is it available cheapest?
Google Home: That pair is offered from 13 retailers and is cheapest at Steve Madden. They have free shipping on that order.
Searcher: OK Google. Order that shoe in a size 11 to my house.
Google Home: Order confirmed.

This is a likely direction that queries will head. Voice-based search will almost certainly change the way we interact with our devices even for daily commercial searches. Display devices will certainly be necessary but there’s no reason they’ll be limited to computer monitors or mobile displays. The entire interface will be dedicated to only results and the results will likely be drawn from around the web with a high preference being given to those paying for that space.

The key for organic then is to jump in at two specific points:

  1. Q&A points: Google will always want to have answers to questions. Providing content that answers questions or provides tips and information will get you found. Of course, the user may never actually see your site if they’re using voice search. However, some branding is better than being invisible.
  2. Commercial interactions: Of course, you’ll always want to get in front of people at the buy point (especially if you weren’t able to pitch them during the Q&A stage). Obviously, there’s the option to go in through AdWords but we’re talking about organic. Google won’t be able to go 100% paid so the road to commercial terms will be to truly be best in class. The battle will be fierce and the one with the best images, best reviews/reputation, best pricing, and best information will win.

So, in the end, SEO is not dead but it’ll look nothing like it does now. The battleground won’t be for the top ten and in fact, for many queries, there may be no visual result. For others, the device may be highly variable and the result structure fluid based on what’s being displayed, the users receiving the information, and the environment or intent.

I would love to be able to paint a solid portrait of what you need to do now to rank, but that would assume we don’t need to watch the environment carefully and react quickly. That said, a couple things are very clear:

  • You’re going to need content that will rank for Q&A and informational queries.
  • The battle for the searchers’ eyes is going to change dramatically and the quality indicators will change with it. Providing the best possible product images, information, videos, guides, etc. will be what separates the results. There will likely be result sets closer to an image search result than a typical SERP now for e-commerce queries, and other query types will likely also change. Staying on top of these changes will be more critical than ever.

We’re heading into a brave new world where the sites that win will be those that provide something that truly differentiates them from others and can be conveyed not just on multiple device screens but on devices without them. There’s a lot to do so this is a great time to stop reading this article and start thinking about how your site will be judged and what you can do to improve on it.

Image Credits

Featured Image: Adobe Stock
Internet Usage Chart: StatCounter
Voice-First Device Footprint Chart: VoiceLabs

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/death-organic-search-know/189625/

It’s quite easy to do a Google search on Android. Maybe too easy.

The deep tie-in is an important feature, and one of the reasons Android is the superior choice for those who rely so much on Google services. Yet, sometimes picking out just how to do a Google search is like choosing from among 12 shades of blue shirts you have hanging in the closet.

There’s the persistent Google search bar that lives on your home screen. The Omnibox in Google Chrome, voice searches and contextual tools from the Google Assistant, the Google app, and an always-present search button in Gboard. We get that Google wants to be helpful and all, but sometimes it feels like that overeager know-it-all you remember from fourth grade.

Not to worry! Each of these different search methods have their own particular strenth. If you learn the nuances, your Android use will be even more powerful. It can be done, and here are some tips that show you how.

OK, Google

Voice and artificial intelligence have been the most noteworthy innovations in how Google search works on Android. Now, most phones running Nougat and Marshmallow have or should soon receive the Google Assistant. Not only are you able to issue edicts and ask questions to Google from your phone, but you also usually get more contextual answers and control over smart devices.

From the Google app and Google Home you get a pretty exhaustive rundown of sample questions you can ask.

google assistant pixelGreenbot

The Google Assistant is ready to answer just about any question you have.

What I’ve learned over time with my Pixel is that the best searches to use here are ones that you’d consider a natural language query. Questions like, “Who won the World Series last year?” or “How long do I barbecue sausage?” are among the wide range of things you can ask.

For personal organization, try asking, “When is my next appointment?” if you keep all your key events of the day in Google Calendar. 

voice searchGreenbot

Ask a question, and you’ll often get an answer.

If you haven’t done so yet, you need to tell Google to listen to voice queries whenever you announce, “OK, Google.”  Go to Google > Settings > Voice. Touch “OK Google detection” and then flip on “Say ‘OK Google any time’ so that your phone will listen you.

You can also select a “Trusted Voice,” which in theory means that only you will be able to start a voice search. You’ll be asked to speak the phrase, “OK Google” a few times, but I’ve yet to see it make a major difference in differentiating between who is speaking.

I can’t tell you how many times a TV commercial for the Pixel or Google Home has set off the search. Despite that occasional annoyance, you’ll find the Google Assistant is a great tool to have.

About that Google bar

There’s an ever-present Google search tool at the top of your phone. It’s a big G on the Pixel or a traditional search box on other Android devices. It does a lot more than search the web, and it’s better suited than other search methods on Android for a few particular uses.

This is where I tend to turn to first if I’m just unlocking my phone and not using another app. The search query could be anything, and I find you’ll get the result faster if you use less conversational, more "search term based" language. Be direct and you’ll find the information quickly.

It’s especially a fast way to get sports information, often doing so much quicker than opening ESPN or another league-specific sports app.

google search bar sportsGreenbot

The Google search bar finds apps, scores, and of course taps into the giant’s massive database of information.

This search feature also will dig inside of your apps. This means it’ll pull up text conversations, app names, emails, and other information. The content is saved on device, so it’s not part of the massive data-mining operation Google has on you with other services.

google apps searchGreenbot

Find content from inside your apps with the Google app.

This means it performs more like Apple’s Spotlight on iOS. However, developers have to do some work on their end to enable this magic. To find out which apps are eligible, or to opt one out, go to Google > Settings > In-apps.

in apps searchGreenbot

Select which apps you want Google to dig through during your next search query.

Don’t forget about Chrome

By now you know that Chrome has Google searched baked right into the Omnibox. I find that Chrome is the best place for search in a couple of circumstances. 

First, if you’re already in Chrome it’s faster to just touch the Omnibox or open a new tab and start your query. If reading is on your mind, you’ll be able to jump right to a frequently-accessed app or scroll down to get a list of article suggestions, much like Google Now.

chrome searchGreenbot

Chrome is all about the web, giving you links to the sites you regularly visit and providing a similar layout to search on the desktop.

I also tend to go with Chrome if I know that my result is likely to be something that I’ll be taken into reading for awhile, such as a Wikipedia page a publication I visit often. Also, it means I can access this Chrome page on another device thanks to the syncing feature.

A smart screen scanner

Google’s screen context search tool (formerly called Google Now on Tap) has steadily improved over time to be a very useful feature. The Google app will “read” the contents of your screen and then suggest what it deems are relevant actions and searches.

To try this, touch and hold the home button and then swipe up to reveal what Google has come up with.

inkedgoogle screen searchGreenbot

Use Google’s screen search to find out more details or create a calendar entry from a conversation.

For me, it’s most useful when chatting about making plans and I want to find out more about the venue or quickly add the event to my calendar. This is one of those machine learning features that continues to get better over time so try it out under a lot of different circumstances to see what works best for you.

A search smart keyboard

But wait, there’s more. Yes, if you use Google’s Gboard, there’s a dedicated search button right at the top of the keys.

So, when should you use this other search opportunity? Perhaps if you need to know something right away that’s relevant to your conversation and you don’t want to switch apps.

gboardGreenbot

Gboard is useful, even though it seems like it’s duplication of service.

The search bar is handy, but it’s awfully close to overkill. Gboard' search came first to the iPhone, presumably as a way to get Google search more readily available on iOS. With so many system-level choices to search Google on Android, you may not need it that much. It can give you the weather quickly, however, and it does a killer job finding GIFs.

So there you have it. You’ll go less batty with Google search if you know exactly where and when to use it. Play around and see what’s best for you. And if you’re not sure, well, you have plenty of ways to Google it.

Author : Derek Walter

Source : greenbot.com

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