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Tuesday, 15 November 2016 10:19

Top 10 Cataclysmic Events In Earth’s Future

The Earth is in a perpetual state of change. Whether by human action or solar disturbances, it’s guaranteed that earth’s future will be more than interesting – but not exactly free of chaos. The following list presents ten major events that the earth is predicted to experience in the coming billion years.

10. New Ocean ~10 Million Years


One of the hottest places on Earth, the Afar depression – lying between Ethiopia and Eritrea – is on average 100 metres below sea level. With a mere 20km between the surface and the hot magma bubbling below, the land is being slowly thinned by tectonic movements. Hosting a deadly array of volcanos, geysers, earthquakes and even toxic superheated water, the depression is hardly a holiday resort; but come 10 million years when all this geological activity has ceased, leaving only a dry basin, it will eventually fill up with water and form a new ocean – perfect for jet skiing in the summer.

9. Major Impact Event ~100 Million Years

Impact Event 1

Given the eventful history of the Earth, and the relatively high number of anarchic rocks floating around in space with a vendetta against planets, it is predicted that within the next 100 million years, Earth will experience another impact event comparable to that which caused the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction 65 million years ago. This is of course bad news for any life on Planet Earth. Although some species will no doubt survive, the impact will likely mark the end of the age of mammals – the current Cenozoic Era – and instead usher in a new age of complex life forms. Who knows what sort of life will thrive on this newly purged Earth? Perhaps one day we’ll be sharing the universe with intelligent invertebrates or amphibians. For now though, our imagination is the only limit as to what may occur.

8. Pangaea Ultima ~250 Million Years

Earth From Space-2733

Within the next 50 million years Africa, which has been migrating north for the past 40 million years, will eventually begin to collide with southern Europe. This movement will seal up the Mediterranean sea within 100 million years, and thrust thousands of miles of new mountain ranges into existence, much to the glee of climbers worldwide. Australia and Antarctica will also want to be part of this new supercontinent, and shall continue their paths northwards to merge with Asia. Whilst all this is occurring, the Americas will proceed on their westward course away from Europe and Africa, towards ASIA.

What happens next is up for debate. It is believed that as the Atlantic ocean grows, a subduction zone will eventually form on the western border, which will drag the Atlantic sea floor down into the earth. This will effectively reverse the direction which the Americas are travelling, and eventually force it into the eastern border of the Eurasian supercontinent in around 250 million years time. If this doesn’t occur, we can expect the Americas to continue their path westward until they merge with Asia. Either way we can look forward to the formation of a new hypercontinent: Pangaea Ultima – 500 million years after the last, Pangaea. Following this it will likely split once more and start a new cycle of drifting and merging.

7. Gamma Ray Burst ~600 Million Years


If a major impact event every couple of hundred million years isn’t bad enough, Earth also has to contend with incredibly infrequent Gamma-ray bursts – streams of ultra-high energy radiation typically emitted from hypernovae. Although we are bombarded by weak Gamma-ray bursts daily, a burst originating from a nearby system – within 6500 light years away – has the potential to wreak havoc for anything standing in its way.

With more energy than the Sun will ever produce in its lifetime raining down upon Earth within period of minutes or even of seconds, Gamma-ray bursts can calmly strip away large portions of the earth’s ozone layer, triggering radical climate change and extensive ecological damage, including mass extinctions. It is believed by some that a Gamma-ray burst prompted the second largest mass extinction in history: the Ordovician-Silurian event, 450 million years ago, which eradicated 60% of all life. Like all things in astronomy, however, pinning down exactly when the unlikely set of event that leads to a Gamma-ray burst directed at Earth will occur is difficult, although typical estimates place it at between 0.5 and 2 billion years from now. But it could be as soon as a million years, should the threat from Eta Carinae be realised.

6. Uninhabitable ~1.5 Billion Years


As the Sun becomes progressively hotter as it slowly grows in size, the Earth will eventually lie outside of its habitable zone – too close to the sizzling sun. By this time, all but the most resilient of life on Earth would have perished. The oceans will have completely dried up, leaving only deserts of burning soil remaining. As time goes by and the temperature rises, Earth may go the way of Venus, and turn into toxic wasteland as it is heated to the boiling point of many poisonous metals. What remains of humanity will have had to vacate by this point to survive. Luckily, by this point Mars will lie inside the habitable zone, and may provide a temporary haven for any remaining humans.

5. Disappearance of the Magnetic Field ~2.5 Billion Years


It is believed by some, based upon our current understanding of the Earth’s core, that within 2.5 billion years the Earth’s outer core will no longer be liquid, but will have frozen solid. As the core cools, Earth’s magnetic field will slowly decay, until it ceases to exist altogether. With no magnetic field to protect it from the vicious solar wind, Earth’s atmosphere will be gradually stripped of its lighter compounds – such as ozone – until only a fragment of its former self remains. Now with a Venus-like atmosphere, the barren Earth will feel the full force of solar radiation – making the already inhospitable land even more treacherous.


4. Inner Solar System Calamity ~3.5 Billion Years


In around three billion years there is a small but significant chance that the the orbit of Mercury will have elongated enough to cross the path of Venus. Although we cannot currently predict exactly what will occur when this happens, the best case scenario is that Mercury will simply be consumed by the Sun, or destroyed by a collision with its bigger brother Venus. The worst case scenario? Well, the Earth could collide with any or all of the other major non-gaseous planets, whose orbits would have been radically destabilised by Mercury’s transgressions. If the inner solar system remains somehow intact and undisrupted, within five billion years the orbit of Mars will cross that of Earth, creating once more a recipe for disaster. 

3. New Night Sky ~4 Billion Years

654242Main P1220B3K

As the years pass, any life on Earth will have the pleasure of witnessing the Andromeda galaxy grow steadily larger in our night skies. It will be a truly magnificent sight to see the full majesty of a perfectly formed spiral galaxy glowing in the heavens, but it won’t last forever. Over time it will begin to horribly distort as both it and the Milky Way begin to merge, throwing the otherwise stable stellar arena into chaos. Although direct collision between astronomical bodies is incredibly unlikely, there is a small chance that our Solar System may be ejected and thrown into the universal abyss. Either way, our night sky will, at least temporarily, be adorned with trillions of new stars

2. Ring of Debris ~5 Billion Years

Permian Ring Arcs 1280

Although the Moon is steadily receding at a distance of 4cm a year, once the Sun has entered its red giant phase, it is likely that such a trend will cease altogether. The additional force exerted on the moon by our bloated star will be enough to cause Moon to slowly come crashing back down to Earth. Once the Moon reaches the Roche limit it will then begin to disintegrate, as the tidal force exceeds the gravity holding the satellite together. After this it is possible that the debris will form a ring around the Earth, giving any life a pleasant skyline, until it falls back to earth again after a period of many millions of years.

If this does not occur, there is another means by which the Moon may come plunging back towards its parent. Should the Earth and Moon continue to exist in their current form, with their orbits uninterrupted, then after around 50 billion years the Earth will become tidally locked with the Moon. Soon after this event the Moon’s orbital height will begin to decay, whilst the Earth’s rotational velocity rapidly increases. This process will continue until the Moon reaches the Roche limit and disintegrates, forming a ring around the earth.

1. Destruction ~Unknown

Ch6-4Horsemen Pastorpack Small

The probability of the Earth being destroyed within the next dozen billion years is high. Whether by the cold jaws of a rogue planet, or the smothering embrace of our dying Sun, it will no doubt be a sad moment for any surviving humans – should they even remember their birth planet. Let’s just hope that Earth doesn’t suffer the sad fate of drifting alone in the cold depths of space, having been ejected from its home system. Even then, once black holes have taken over (10 Duodecillion years from now) there will be little hope for its survival.

Source:  listverse.com

Monday, 14 November 2016 15:19

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

It’s easy to forget that we have access to a virtually limitless resource of information, i.e. the Internet. For a lot of us, this is even true at our fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-increasing push for online greatness by tech engineers all over the world.

As a result, there are countless websites out there that are geared to make you smarter and more brilliant for either a low or no cost. Here are just 25 killer websites that may just make you more clever than ever before.

1. Duolingo

This isn’t the first time I’ve recommended this language-teaching website (and app), and it certainly won’t be the last. Duolingo is a free version of Rosetta-Stone that delivers the same results: teaching you another language. Regular use of the site can have you speaking and writing Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese and Italian in a matter of months depending on the diligence you put into it. Hopefully, even more languages will become available soon.


2. Khan Academy

Have you ever wanted to pick up a subject you’re not well-versed in, but you didn’t have the money to invest in a college course? Khan Academy aims to provide education at the collegiate level for anyone who wants it. They provide resources for learning pretty much every subject out there, including math, science, history and more. As you learn, the platform will even assess your progress and help you gauge what you’ve learned.


3. Justin Guitar

Guitar is one of the few instruments out there that’s actually pretty easy to learn if you’re a little older, making it one of the most accessible instruments. Still, learning how to play still takes some direction, at least for most people, so a guy named Justin decided he was going to help out. His website provides hundreds of free guitar lessons that range in different styles, depending on how you want to play. His schedule for learning is pretty easy to follow, and the site is a great stepping stone for people wanting to pick the instrument up.

Justin Guitar

4. Cooking for Engineers

Founded by Michael Chu, Cooking for Engineers goes further than just providing recipes. The site is a blog that is geared toward making your food taste good. Additionally, his analytical take on ingredients and cooking recipes is interesting and will likely change the way you approach cuisine.

Cooking for Engineers


Sure you'll be interested in this too: 10 Most Zen-Friendly Websites to Keep You Calm and Productive at Work

5. The Dating Specialist

Or Nick the Dating Specialist is a website that wants to help guys be better dates. The site is full of advice on how to approach social situations and flirt successfully with different types of people. Nick even offers personal coaching at your request, so he can help your specific situation or hurdle to successful dating.

Dating Specialist

6. Nerd Fitness

When we think of exercising and gym techniques, we typically think of bodybuilders and jocks from high school. Nerd Fitness aims to provide resources for getting in shape from a nerd’s point of view. All of the guides, blogs and fitness tips on this site have a geek flavor that is intended to make anyone who feels uncomfortable at the gym feel right at home here.

Nerd Fitness

7. MIT Open Courseware

As much as I would love an education at MIT, that isn’t really in the cards. Thankfully, the educators at the Massachusetts Institue of Technology decided to give out information for tons of courses online through Open Courseware. Hundreds of millions of people have benefitted from the information that they can learn from these courses, starting a trend for other sites to offer free courses as well.

MIT Open

8. Investopedia

I don’t like to admit it, but my lack of a business degree tends to make me feel easily intimidated when a conversation starts taking a turn for the financial. To solve this, Investopedia was born to provide a news blog that makes it easy to digest and really understand the financial markets. There are tons of resources like tutorials and videos that will help you keep up with the ever-changing world of money, and the news stories will keep you coming back for more.


9. Quora

Have you ever wanted to ask someone famous a question, but you suffer from never having the chance? Thanks to Quora, you can read the opinions and answers of fascinating (and varied) questions from the leading experts in pretty much everything. You can answer questions too and get feedback from numerous others who share your love for a given topic.


10. Information is Beautiful

I love reading, but sometimes a visual demonstration just makes information come alive. Hence, Information is Beautiful is a platform that uses gorgeous visuals to impart data. For example, if you want to find out how much money individual organizations have lost from data breaches, you can view an action visual that shows bubbles that are labeled and sized accordingly, giving you an in-depth, but easy to digest overview of the data.

Information is beautiful

Do you think you've mastered the searching skill on Google? Not yet. How to Google like a boss – Become a master of Google search with these little-known tips

11. Spreeder

According to Spreeder, a lot of us have trouble reading quickly because we can only read as fast as our “inner voice” can. Spreeder’s solution is to teach you to read without an inner voice, boosting reading speed and comprehension immensely. The best part? It’s totally free.


12. Project Gutenberg

Imagine a library with tons of free books that you can keep for the rest of your life. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that because Project Gutenberg gives you the ability to download thousands of free e-books, and it’s completely legal.

Project Grutenberg

13. Codeacademy

If you haven’t noticed by now, the Internet has pretty much taken over everything, which means the skill of coding and developing websites is in higher demand than ever, and that’s not likely to change. With Codeacademy, you can use free tutorials that teach you the basics of coding with interactive and handy tools for helping you become an expert.


14. GeographyIQ

Imagine if Google Earth and Wikipedia decided to make it official and have a child. That would be GeographyIQ. Using the world map, you can select any country and access virtually every facet of useful information there is about that country, including history, currency, population and more.

Geography IQ

15. Anki

It’s no secret that the key to memorizing information is mastering recall. With flashcards, you can recall things faster, making Anki an ideal resource for using flashcards online. Unlike other sites that use flashcards, Anki allows you embed more than just text. You can use video, audio and images to help you start studying faster and smarter.


16. Lumosity

Using games to learn is something I’ve treasured since Kindergarten, making Lumosity a trusted resource for me and countless others. Using a daily schedule of games, Lumosity is literally designed to make you more clever. As you progress, the software figures out what your strengths and weaknesses (such as memory or math skills) and assigns you games accordingly. The best part is that the games are actually addicting and fun to look forward to!


17. CliffsNotes

Ideal for high school and college students, Cliffsnotes provides valuable resources like study guides and test prep for standard books and subjects you’ll have to read anyway. The site also provides resources for math and science, giving you the chance to finally master the dark arts of homework.


18. TED

For years, people have been benefitting from TED talks that provide free insights from the world’s smartest people. TED provides the value and learning growth of a seminar, but without the exorbitant costs and travel expenses, by providing visitors with tons of free video lectures. The app is also great for catching up on the latest talks, and you can even download some on iTunes.


LOOK: You Can Easily Learn 100 TED Talks Lessons In 5 Minutes Which Most People Need 70 Hours For

19. Pinfruit

Need to memorize a lengthy number? Pinfruit analyzes the number and provides all of the options you could want as a mnemonic device. That’s all there is to it, since (unfortunately) they only provide this for numbers and not words.


20. Mindtools

There are countless blogs that you can enjoy for being interesting and mildly useful, but how many of them actually help you with your career? Mindtools is a blog that teaches you what they call “practical career skills” that you can apply at your job. This is a great daily read for entry-level workers who want to make a great impression, and the variety of topics and advice provided make this is a fantastic bookmark for anyone wanting to excel.



21. HowStuffWorks

There are things we want to know about, and then there are things we didn’t know we wanted to know about. HowStuffWorks addresses the latter by providing information on a variety of topics and eye-opening facts that will broaden your horizons.


22. OneLook

Finding a great dictionary is not a difficult task in a world full of search engines, but it can be tricky to define more complicated words and phrases that most dictionaries (besides UrbanDictionary) don’t attempt to define. With OneLook, you can find multiple definitions from numerous dictionaries in one place, even if you’re looking up a phrase that is obscure or too specific for normal dictionaries to help you out with.


23. The World Factbook

Did you know that the CIA has information on pretty much everything in the world? Okay, but did you know that they make a ton of this information open to the public? The World Factbook is your godsend for research, allowing you to cite facts and details that pertain to a seemingly endless amount of information from reputable sources.


24. Couchsurfing

Don’t let the name fool you, as Couchsurfing is far from a website that will make you lazy. Couchsurfing lets you connect with travelers all over the world and is the ultimate resource for experiencing other cultures. Put simply, you can use the social network to meet locals in a new community you are visiting. You can also open up your home to fellow  couchsurfers, giving you the chance to make new experiences and memories with fascinating people from all over the globe.


Source: lifehack.org

Friday, 04 November 2016 06:54

The Best Search Engines of 2016!

1- What Are the Best Search Engines of 2016?

Most people don't want three dozen search engines, especially people who are not trained internet users. Most people want a single search engine that delivers three key features:

  1. Relevant results  (results you are actually interested in)
  2. Uncluttered, easy to read interface
  3. Helpful options to broaden or tighten a search

With this criteria, several Reader Favorite Search Engines come to mind. These 11 search sites should meet 99% of the searching needs of a regular everyday user.

Click to see the first Top Search Engine of 2016...

Submit a Site: you are welcome to suggest a search engine for inclusion in this list by sending us a message at our Facebook page.

2- Duck Duck Go Search

Duck Duck Go Search

At first, DuckDuckGo.com looks like Google. But there are many subtleties that make this spartan search engine different. DuckDuckGo has some slick features, like 'zero-click' information (all your answers are found on the first results page). DuckDuckgo offers disambiguation prompts (helps to clarify what question you are really asking). And the ad spam is much less than Google. Give DuckDuckGo.com a try... you might really like this clean and simple search engine.

3- Bing Search

Bing Search

Bing is Microsoft's attempt at unseating Google, and arguably the second-most-popular search engine today. Bing used to be MSN search until it was updated in summer of 2009. Touted as a 'decision engine', Bing tries to support your researching by offering suggestions in the leftmost column, while also giving you various search options across the top of the screen. Things like 'wiki' suggestions, 'visual search', and 'related searches' might be very useful to you. Bing is not dethroning Google in the near future, no. But Bing is definitely worth trying. 

4- Dogpile Search

Dogpile Search

Years ago, Dogpile preceded Google as the fast and efficient choice for web searching. Things changed in the late 1990's, Dogpile faded into obscurity, and Google became king. But today, Dogpile is coming back, with a growing index and a clean and quick presentation that is testimony to its halcyon days.  If you want to try a search tool with pleasant presentation and helpful crosslink results, definitely try Dogpile!

5- Yippy Search

Yippy Search

Yippy is a Deep Web engine that searches other search engines for you. Unlike the regular Web, which is indexed by robot spider programs, Deep Web pages are usually harder to locate by conventional search. That's where Yippy becomes very useful. If you are searching for obscure hobby interest blogs, obscure government information, tough-to-find obscure news, academic research and otherwise-obscure content, then Yippy is your tool. 

6- Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar Search

Google Scholar is a special version of Google.  This search engine will help you win debates.

You see, Google Scholar focuses on scientific and hard-research academic material that has been subjected to scrutiny by scientists and scholars. Example content includes:  graduate theses, legal and court opinions, academic publications, medical research reports, physics research papers, and economics and world politics explanations.

If you are looking for serious information that can stand up in a heated debate with educated people, then forget regular Google... Google Scholar is where you want to go to arm yourself with high powered sources!

7- Ask.com Search


The Ask search engine is a longtime name on the World Wide Web. The super-clean interface rivals the other major search engines, and the search options are as good as Google or Bing or DuckDuckGo. The results groupings are what really make Ask.com stand out. The presentation is arguably cleaner and easier to read than Google or Yahoo! or Bing, and the results groups seem to be more relevant. Decide for yourself if you agree... give Ask.com a whirl, and compare it to the other search engines you like.

8- Mahalo 'Learn Anything' Search

Mahalo 'Learn Anything' Search

Mahalo is the one 'human-powered' search site in this list, employing a committee of editors to manually sift and vet thousands of pieces of content.  This means that you'll get fewer Mahalo hit results than you will get at Bing or Google. But it also means that most Mahalo results have a higher quality of content and relevance (as best as human editors can judge).

Mahalo also offers regular web searching in addition to asking questions.  Depending on which of the two search boxes you use at Mahalo, you will either get direct content topic hits or suggested answers to your question.

Try Mahalo.  You might like it enough to even become an editor there.

9- Webopedia Search

Webopedia Search

Webopedia is one of the most useful websites on the World Wide Web. Webopedia is an encyclopedic resource dedicated to searching techno terminology and computer definitions. Teach yourself what 'domain name system' is, or teach yourself what 'DDRAM' means on your computer. Webopedia is absolutely a perfect resource for non-technical people to make more sense of the computers around them. 

10- Yahoo! Search (and More)

Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! is several things: it is a search engine, a news aggregator, a shopping center, an emailbox, a travel directory, a horoscope and games center, and more. This 'web portal' breadth of choice makes this a very helpful site for Internet beginners. Searching the Web should also be about discovery and exploration, and Yahoo! delivers that in wholesale quantities. 

11- The Internet Archive Search

The Internet Archive Search

The Internet Archive is a favorite destination for longtime Web lovers. The Archive has been taking snapshots of the entire World Wide Web for years now, allowing you and me to travel back in time to see what a web page looked like in 1999, or what the news was like around Hurricane Katrina in 2005. You won't visit the Archive daily, like you would Google or Yahoo or Bing, but when you do have need to travel back in time, use this search site. 

12- Google Search

Google Search

Google is the reigning king of 'spartan searching', and is the single most used search engine in the world. While it doesn't offer all the shopping center features of Yahoo! or the human curation of Mahalo, Google is fast, relevant, and the largest single catalogue of web pages available today.

Make sure you try the Google 'images', 'maps' and 'news' features... they are outstanding services for locating photos, geographic directions, and news headlines. 

Source : lifewire

Google officially launched its widely anticipated messaging app, Allo, last September.

The App is poised to become a major competitor of the popular WhatsApp and iMessage.

However, former NSA contractor and whistleblower, Edward Snowden has informed smartphone users to avoid the app due to a number of privacy concerns.

Edward Snowden strongly feels that the smart messaging app could be a honeypot for government surveillance efforts.

It is important to note that Edward Snowden is not the only that holds the same opinion on Google’s new app.

In order to understand the basis of Snowden’s sentiments, one has to understand the nuances of the messaging app.

What is Allo

Google Allo is an instant smart messaging mobile phone app designed for Android and iOS platforms.

The app was announced in May this year at Google I/O developer conference.

As promised, Google launched the app officially on the 21st September.

Among the main features of the app include a virtual assistant and the “smart reply” feature.

The smart reply function was developed to facilitate the delivery of fast conversations.

Through artificial intelligence and complex algorithms, the app is able to recognize and analyze the user’s responses.

It collects and stores this data over time and utilizing it to guess users’ responses which it then suggests.

This data may also be kept for formulation of personalized ads. As such, it is possible to use the app without even typing.

The problem with the app and that which Edward Snowden and others are worried about is this collection of user data.

Google also has a part in fueling these sentiments about their messaging app.

When the company first announced the messaging app in May, they assured users that the app’s “Incognito Mode” should cause no worries about privacy concerns.

At the time, Google stated that Allo employs high-end encryption and the messages users send and receive would be stored transiently, rather than permanently.

However, last September’s announcement was different and revealed that the default mode of the app would result in indefinite storage of user messages.

This issue does not sit well with Edward Snowden and many other smartphone users.

It does raise some questions about Google’s promise to delete user messages. Compounding the situation is the fact that Google failed to formally announce this critical change.

The Main Basis of Edward Snowden’s Fears

As it currently stands, Allo users who fail to switch to Incognito Mode bear the risk of having their messages retained.

This could potentially provide fresh farming grounds for government surveillance, something that Edward Snowden is all too familiar with.

As with most chat apps, Allo uses HTTPS as a means to secure transmission between devices.

What this means is the data is safe from most hackers.

However, it is not safe from people with respective clearance to Google’s data centers.

Government agencies can also access this information using a subpoena.

Edward Snowden has always pointed out that subpoenas are not that hard to get.

The United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approves almost all subpoenas requested by the FBI and NSA.

When Allo is compared to WhatsApp in terms of user privacy, the latter comes out on top.

Conversations in WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted,, and government agencies cannot access them even upon request.

What Allo Users Can Do

Individuals who still want to use Google’s Allo despite Edward Snowden’s warnings can do so privately and securely by learning about the Incognito Mode. VPNs can also help.

In this mode, users will not be able to preview their message in the conversation list.

Also, the chats are end-to-end encrypted and will only be seen by the sender and recipient.

Google will not be able to read any of the messages, so the smart replay and Google assistant features are unavailable in Incognito Mode. Users can set their messages to expire.

Edward Snowden’s views are definitely founded on a considerable basis.

As such, the decision of smartphone users to adopt Google’s messaging app boils down to choice.

They will have to choose between limited compromise to their privacy and improved app usability.

Source : darkwebnews

The Bucks County Courier Times' recent editorial dismisses Donald Trump as unqualified to be president.

The Courier Times alleges that the failure of establishment Republican politicians to support Trump is an indictment of his character, statesmanship, political acumen. The Courier Times just doesn't get it: politicians' refusal to endorse is exactly why Donald Trump is presidential material. People know and are disgusted with the "two" party system (let's be honest, there is just one party, two wings on the same bird, two sides to the same coin, controlled and owned by the mega-banks who control our money supply through the private Federal Reserve Corporation, and huge corporations). It is Trump's credo of "Americanism not Globalism," that resonates throughout this country, which the establishment-owned party and media fear and despise.

People like Paul Ryan and the other bought-and-paid-for politicians have completely colluded with Barack Obama and the globalists in opening our borders, allowing the continued export of our manufacturing base, allowing Obamacare to destroy the middle class, and on and on. These GOP establishment Republicans do not want Donald Trump to win, for fear that they will not be able to maintain the status quo. They fear a shakeup of business as usual.

Hillary Clinton's threats to her husband's rape victims if they went public (surely worse than Trump's trash talk), theft of the nomination from Bernie Sanders (confirmed in a recent Stanford University study and WikiLeaks emails -- search engine it), psychotic anger issues (documented by Secret Service agents in books and interviews), thefts of hundreds of millions of dollars from impoverished Haitians after the devastating earthquake (the Clinton Foundation tax records show the Haitian people received less than 5 percent of proceeds from the Foundation, the rest going to the Clintons, their family and friends), not to mention the WikiLeaks confirmation that this Foundation is a criminal money laundering enterprise in which business contracts were sold for contributions, including -- get ready -- 20 percent of the U.S. uranium supply to the Russians for $100 million, speak volumes about her character (or rather, lack of it).

And let's not forget her commitment to open borders, threatening our national security. Space constraints prevent me from continuing.

There is virtually no discussion of the damning WikiLeaks emails in the corporate media (including, sadly, this paper). Instead, we are fed distorted narratives and manipulated polls (for example, sampling twice as many Democrats as Republicans to desperately try to convince the public Hillary is ahead). To read the WikiLeaks emails and see a non-corporate perspective, please go to independent, non-corporate press sites, like the DrudgeReport.com, Breitbart.com, WikiLeaks.com and others, which actually print the emails, allowing people to make up their own minds.

There is a reason the mainstream media has a trustworthy rating of 6 percent (recent Gallup poll). We must discover the truth for ourselves.

Source : buckscountycouriertimes

If history is any guide, security will be ignored with the Internet of Things (IoT) until it is too late.

As the world rushes headlong to adding smart functionality to more and more items -- everything from door locks, to cars, to smart city programs -- what are the security implications of such advances?

According to ZDNet contributor Stilgherrian, the security of the Internet of Things is likely to get worse before it gets better, thanks to smart features being added to items with increased real world safety implications.

With increasing automation and connectivity, especially under the stodgy stewardship of various levels of government, it is unlikely IoT devices will be able to remain secure in a fast-evolving threat environment.

You can also download our full special report on "Cyberwar and the Future of Cybersecurity" as a PDF in magazine format, available for free at registered ZDNet and TechRepublic members.

Source : zdnet

These days, a business' online presence is as important -- if not more -- than its presence on the street. So why would you compromise your company's integrity by making avoidable mistakes? Here are a few examples of things that can prevent you from making your business successful.

1. You fail to have a vision for your brand.



Feeling confident about your entrepreneurial skills? Think you have the product of the year? Think again. You need to have the product of the century; at least that is the attitude that you should adopt. Don't enter the market half-heartedly. Instead, be confident and bold about where you want to take your business in the years to come. 

2. You fail to choose a unique brand name.

You need a truly unique brand to match your ambitious projections. Be sure to research the market so that you are certain no one else already has your brand name, and check that a suitable .com domain is available. As you can see from this infographic about famous domains -- even the biggest companies can make the mistake of not having enough market research for unique brand name.

One of the reasons I picked the brand name Taco for my marketing agency was because it was trendy and unique. I knew that most businesses, especially marketing agencies, had weird acronyms or bland names. Having something unique would get people interested.

3. You fail to get help with your website.

You may be good when it comes to technology, but do you really have time to learn the ins and outs of website building, SEO, etc.? Remember that your main priority is getting the business off the ground, and spending your time sitting in front of a screen is not the best way to drive your vision forward. Leave the technicalities to the experts, and focus on managing the business.

4. You fail to have a backup plan.

It is very common for people, even business owners, to undervalue their data. "It won't happen to me," you may think. Though you may be able to avoid a fire or a flood, what about a Trojan that remotely infects your files one by one until you can no longer access your data? You are more vulnerable than you think -- even huge international companies have their own mishaps -- so always have a backup solution in place for these inevitable situations.

5. You fail to send out a clear message.

Though you may be active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, one of the worst things you can do to your brand is to send mixed messages about the business' ethos and affiliations. You should not "like" comments or pages because you think it will make your brand name more visible. You should think about and plan your every move. A designated marketing manager is also a great way to keep your online presence on track.

6. You fail to Google yourself.

Have you tried Googling yourself recently? Well, you should! It is common knowledge that the majority of people will use Google as their primary search engine and will type in your brand name in order to find out more about your company. By keeping on top of the highest search result hits, you can be one step ahead, and ensure that there is no embarrassing or incorrect content connected to your brand name.

7. You fail to proofread your copy.

Don't underestimate the importance of proofreading everything before you publish it. And don't think that is up to the web developer to pick up on errors. It is vital that you eliminate all typos and grammatical errors so that your text is readable and free-flowing. Not only does is it look sloppy if your website and social media posts are littered with errors, it reflects badly on the integrity of your brand too. You can improve your grammar by using a range of easily-accessible online tools and grammar guides.

8. You fail to mention others.

You now have all of your social media accounts set up and have been tweeting all week about your business -- what you do, where you operate and what special deals you have. Rein it in there. The purpose of social media is to network with others and should not be used to introduce your product or services. Try communicating with suppliers or other business in your field to build a friendly and supportive community.

9. You fail to mention what you do.

On the flipside, you should not assume that everyone knows what your company does, especially if you have a unique name that doesn't explicitly describe the trade or nature of the business. It is important that you let your followers know what it is that you can do for them. Instead of being blunt, why not engage with your audience by saying, "Did you know that we specialize in..." Be sure to tell them what makes you stand out from other similar businesses.

10. You fail to delete dead domains.

While you were finalizing your brand name and debating between a .com, .eu and .biz, you inadvertently set up two or three domain names that you now need to maintain. Don't make the mistake of selecting one primary address and leaving the others as dead links, as this will leave prospective clients confused and potentially infuriated. Ensure you delete traces of irrelevant links or make them forward automatically to the correct domain address. Did you know that you can sell a domain back to some providers? It's worth looking into if you're certain you won't need the address in future.

11. You fail to join in the conversation.

Finally, don't shy away from online conversations. Feel free to display how you feel about certain subjects, and let people see your personality shine through. Clients love the personal touch and like to see who is behind a company. How else did Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, become so well-known throughout the world? Interacting with others and engaging in discussions is also a brilliant way to promote your business without seeming pushy.

Source : foxnews

If you feel like Internet ads are more pervasive and invasive than ever before, you're not alone. Author Tim Wu tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that the Web has gotten worse over the years, not better — and unrelenting ads are to blame.

"I think you spend 50 percent of your mental energy trying to defeat ad systems," Wu says. "It's amazing that we've got this great scientific invention, the Web and the Internet, and then it has come to the point where using it reminds me of swatting mosquitoes."

As a professor at Columbia Law School, Wu became known as an open Internet advocate who is credited with coining the term "net neutrality." His new book, The Attention Merchants, examines how advertising has changed the Internet — and how those changes affect us.

He says the book was inspired by his own experience of sitting down to look something up on the computer and finding, four hours later, that he had slid into a world of digital distraction. "It's what I call the casino effect," Wu says. "It's this effort of the environment to make you lose control of your sense of time and your attention kind of gets dragged away."

Wu points out that much of the "free" content on the Internet comes at a price to users, who are subjected to ads that are targeted specifically at them and which are increasingly difficult to ignore or close. "Google, Facebook, Twitter — the whole set of companies essentially knows all your weaknesses and essentially how to manipulate you in subtle ways in order to have you do things you might not otherwise do," he says.


become-an-internet-research-specialistWu says that although the Internet is full of "clickbait that brings ads along like a bad cold," it doesn't have to be that way. "We can have a better Web," he says. "Whether it's a combination of subscription models or nonprofit models, I would like to have a Web that we feel proud of, that lives up to its promise."

Interview Highlights

On the quest for clicks

It's inherent to the business model. It's very driven with the need to grow, to get more clicks and clicks and clicks. And some of this book is about the history, and we often say that ratings kind of ruined television in the 1950s, well, the quest for ratings looks dignified in comparison to the quest for clicks.

So much engineering talent and ability has gone into trying to make people click on things that I think we've almost lost the last five years of development. It's been very disappointing.

On how we are used to content being free

It's a bargain with some historical precedent. I think back starting with radio, starting with television, we got used to this idea of stuff being free as long as you just watch a few ads. ...

This attention-merchant model has spread to so many areas of our life, where we're completely used to everything being free. But then the payoff, or the exchange, is that then we also agree to stuff that is compromised, because it is always trying to get us to click on ads at the same time. So we have this bargain that we made — and you can call it Faustian, you can call it whatever you want — that we have decided that we have to have everything for free, and I think we're starting to pay for it in terms of our mental states.

On the price of "free" Internet content

If you really want change in this area, and you want to act, you probably have to pay for stuff, pay for content. Some people are like, "Oh my God I have to pay?" But people do pay. They pay for Netflix, they pay for HBO, they pay for other types — they subscribe to newspapers sometimes.

Generally speaking, when you pay for stuff it has more of your interests at heart. ... In other words, a lot of the websites are always serving two masters, they're both trying to get you entertained enough to stay there, or to click on things, but to also then make it a good platform for advertising. So I have sort of a plea to people who want to change these sort of things is, like, maybe just suck it up and start paying for more stuff.

On the pervasiveness of Internet advertising

In the media, traditional media like print, we had boundaries, we had spaces that ads didn't leave, they stayed where they were on the page, they didn't float around over the text, and we're sort of lost on the Internet.

We don't have any barriers. We have a demand for growth that is insistent, and so advertising just keeps getting heavier and heavier and heavier. It doesn't have any natural limit, and we haven't found a place for the limit.

On Google's approach to advertising

I think Google is the most profitable attention merchant in the history of the world. ... They started a very idealistic beautiful company in many ways, but they didn't have a business model.

The most interesting thing about Google is its founders hated advertising and in fact, they wrote this paper in the '90s, saying in its appendix that any advertising-based search engine would always be corrupted and unable to serve its highest purposes, because advertising always corrupts the goal of the search engine, which is to try to give you the most important stuff, not the stuff someone paid to be there.

Google is this conflicted company. I think they thought they could do this deal and keep advertising at bay, but I think year in, year out Google is starting to get worse instead of better. ... You can see it with Google Maps, you can see it with Google Directions where somehow Uber is always one of the options, and it's becoming exactly what they said was what they never wanted, which is a pay-for service where the highest bidder gets the best results. So it's kind of a cautionary tale.

the Internet has become a series of traps where you do innocent things like give your name or address or indicate a preference — 'I like this thing' — and therefore you open yourself up to a deluge of advertising based on those stated preferences.

Tim Wu

I do think the best thing for companies like Google and Facebook, if they are afraid of this ethical trap of advertising, is they should start letting people pay who want to pay and avoid some of the advertising.

On how advertisers can use technology to target individual "moments"

I think this is going to become more intense in the coming decade as we start to carry more and more technology with us. We already have our phones, but other wearables and those technologies are going to want to know when you're deciding things and then offer some kind of input, subtle or less so, on that moment.

So you know, discovering the moment: Let's say you're someone's phone and you notice that your owner is drinking coffee at certain times of the day, just very subtly indicating where the local coffee shop is, which happens to have paid whoever makes your phone, at the right moment. ... We are possibly facing little tiny bits of manipulation in all of our waking hours, if we don't have that already.

On how Facebook "likes" help advertisers

Every time you click on a "like" button on another site, you've told Facebook that you're doing that, and so therefore advertisers know who their fan base is. When you decide to "like" something you may feel you're innocently putting out your preferences, but actually you're delivering something of enormous value, which is indicating that you essentially like to be advertised to by this company.

It's so funny that the Internet has become a series of traps where you do innocent things like give your name or address or indicate a preference — "I like this thing" — and therefore you open yourself up to a deluge of advertising based on those stated preferences. That's what you're doing, you're signaling who you are as a consumer.

On what can happen when Internet companies know intimate details about individuals

I'm concerned with our autonomy. ... I particularly don't like it when it's used to exploit your weaknesses or make you lose control in some ways — so it's like advertising casinos to people who have gambling problems, or just things that are too sensitive — if you have a disease and suddenly you started getting ads for cures for that disease, it's an embarrassing disease. All that kind of stuff, it just gets into that zone of autonomy or privacy where you feel a sense of freedom to be who you want to be, and I'm afraid when too many people know too much about you, it actually makes us all a lot more boring, because you're afraid to express yourself.

Source : npr.org

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 03:44

The four pillars of the future of SEO

SEO has come a long way from being all about on-page optimization, building backlinks and creating “relevant” content. When I read popular search engine blogs, I notice a definite trend: SEO is moving toward a more inclusive strategy that goes beyond new ways of link building or content marketing.

A huge part of present-day SEO practices is brand building and influencing search queries themselves, as opposed to starting with a truckload of keywords and creating content around them. Therefore, while links, keywords, content and site optimization remain the building blocks of SEO, the columns on which the edifice is being built are taking on a different appearance. Let’s see what these pillars are.

1. RankBrain

Although RankBrain is the third most significant ranking factor in the Google algorithm, it is perhaps the most misunderstood one. The speculations and counter-speculations never seem to end.

Since RankBrain was one of the few algorithm updates that Google first revealed to a major news publication, it has caught and held onto the attention of the general tech-reading public, in addition to search engine marketers.

I personally believe Google’s admission that they fully don’t understand RankBrain. However, this doesn’t mask the fact that they’ve made great strides in using machine learning to entrust their prized search algorithm to it.

Additionally, we do have some idea about what RankBrain does not do. According to Gary Illyes and Andrey Lipattsev of Google, RankBrain does not act on your backlink profile, content quality or click-through rate. It only helps the algorithm interpret queries better and match them with relevant page content.

And since Google can do what it does best with less human intervention, industry leaders unanimously agreed that it will gain more significance. So it was no surprise when earlier this year, Jeff Dean revealed that RankBrain now processes every single Google search (that’s at least 63,000 a second) — up from barely 15 percent nine months before.

The future has already happened here.

But you cannot do anything about it: Gary Illyes said at SMX Advanced earlier this year that there isnothing one can do to optimize a website for RankBrain.

2. Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

In February 2016, Google integrated results from its Accelerated Mobile Pages project into its search results in the form of a “Top Stories” carousel in mobile results. Six months later, Google started displaying links to AMP pages in the main organic search results.

Today, Google has 150 million indexed AMP documents in its index, and, encouraged by mainstream adoption outside the publishing industry (including eBay and Bing), has just announcedthat users searching from mobile devices will be directed to the relevant AMP pages even if an equivalent app page exists.

However, the average Google user hardly knows the significance of an AMP result yet. In aninformal survey conducted by Glenn Gabe, only three of 44 respondents could correctly identify what the AMP icon in the SERPs stood for. And they clearly prefer the “mobile-friendly” label over the cryptic “AMP” coupled with the lightning bolt.



This means Google’s decision is definitely in line with their aim of “bringing the mobile web on par with native apps and keeping Google relevant in the increasingly mobile-centric world we’re living in,” as we pointed out in an article on the E2M blog not long ago. AMP is here to stay (and become omnipresent), whether you like it or not.

3. The Knowledge Graph & rich answers

Google’s Knowledge Graph, which it launched in 2012, is its slow but sure attempt to “organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible,” in line with their mission. In a nutshell, it’s Google’s attempt at scraping — sorry, replicating — Wikipedia:

The Knowledge Graph is a knowledge base used by Google to enhance its search engine’s search results with semantic-search information gathered from a wide variety of sources.

The “wide variety of sources” includes Wikidata (to which Google moved its Freebase data and actively contributes), Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook.

Typically, knowledge graph elements are in the form of boxes of structured information with links to authoritative sources of further information (not always, though). Common formats include theknowledge panel displayed on the right of a SERP and answer box, displayed on top of other organic results.

The number of queries that show ready answers in these formats continues to grow unabated, asongoing studies from Stone Temple Consulting have shown. Currently, around 40 percent of Google queries display “rich answers,” which include featured snippets, but not knowledge panels:


Brand managers and marketers are increasingly looking to control the impression, conversation and queries that people have about them. Moving forward, one of the most effective ways to do that would be to try to influence what Google knows and has to say about you. Here are a couple of approaches from Propecta and Kapost that involve defining and connecting entities with markup, editing Wikipedia, and yes, not abandoning Google Plus.

4. Real-time, integrated penalty filters

Now you see it, now you don’t. There it is! Oh, it isn’t. Google announced that they have finally updated Penguin (after what seemed like a never-ending wait of almost two years), noting that it is for the last time.

That’s because Penguin is now a real-time signal processed within Google’s search algorithm — data on your pages is refreshed every time Google re-crawls and re-indexes them.

A few months earlier, Google also integrated Panda into their main algorithm (though unlike Penguin, it does not update in real time).

Notice a pattern here? Google wants to make spam fighting a central, automated function of serving search results.

This is a very positive sign for website owners — cleaning up spammy backlinks and getting rid of poor-quality content will bring quick results. Marketers struggling to justify extra efforts to improve the quality of their websites will now be able to put their money where their mouth is.


It is clear that Google will focus on machine learning, understanding of semantics, connections and patterns and user experience in the future.

SEO at the moment is very closely tied to content marketing. While Google can interpret content and derive its relevance to search queries with a very high degree of success, it is constantly focused on making refinements to improve how timely, contextual and useful this content is to the searcher. The Knowledge Graph, rich answers, RankBrain and AMP all serve this purpose, while integrated penalties maintain the quality of results.

I see bright days ahead for SEO. Discuss with me on Twitter how these factors will pan out in the next few months.

Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

Original source of this article is Search Engine Land

The always online lifestyle of workers today means that their files need to be on hand anytime. To do this, many upload their files in Google's cloud service, Google Drive.

Some users though have complained that it is difficult to find files uploaded in the site. The tech company seemingly has taken these complaints into account and taken action to resolve it.

Google announced an upgrade to its cloud storage service, Google Drive, giving it search option capabilities similar to its internet search.

The upgrade includes the addition of natural-language-processing (NLP) features in the search bar of Google Drive.

User can now find files and information in the cloud in the same way they find information through Google's website search engine.

The updated Google Drive will allow the retrieval of files using commonly used phrases and will provide key word suggestions, which is already familiar to users who have used the Google search engine.

Apparently, the addition of natural-language-processing (NLP) has made these changes possible.

Google Product Manager Josh Smith described NLP as a "fancy way of saying 'search like you talk.'" He added, "Drive will understand what you mean and give you the option to click for those specific search results."

Searching "Google Drive" for documents using specific filenames can now be abandoned.

Instead, users can type, for instance, "show budget spreadsheets" or "find presentations from Jodie," and the cloud service will find the files.

Google Drive will also now autocorrect misspelled search word in queries. What is more important is that Google Drive's NLP can learn and even improve with each query.

Lastly, Google Drive users can now divide documents into multiple columns. Auto saving of files when using MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint will also take effect.

The search upgrade of Google Drive comes at time when the tech firm has just introduced a host of IT-friendly features for "Google Drive for Work" which include sharing controls, security features and custom alerts.

Google said that as of March 2015 last year, more than 1,800 businesses registered up for "Google Drive for Work" every week

Source : http://www.itechpost.com

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