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Barbara Larson

Barbara Larson

Saturday, 25 August 2018 13:11

The Best Image Search Engines on the Web

One of the most popular ways to use the web is to simply search for images. People love to search for images online, and there are many sites and search engines dedicated just to chasing down all sorts of images. We use them as part of a project, to decorate our websites, blogs, or social networking profiles, and for so much more. Here is a collection of just a few of the best sites for finding images online.

Image Search Engines

  • Google Image Search: Google's huge database will help you find pretty much any image on any topic that you can think of. It's easy to use, and indexes literally millions of images. Filters are also available here to narrow your search by size, color, resolution, and much more.  You can also use Google to search for an image by actually using that image in your search query; this is what is called a reverse image search. 
  • Picsearch: Find images, photos, animations; the "Most Popular Pictures" feature is especially useful.
  • Yahoo Image Search: Use Yahoo's Advanced Image Search to really narrow down your searches. You can filter by size, coloration, site/domain, and more.

Image Search Sites

  • Flickr is a great place to go to find a huge array of different photos. Make sure you check if the photo you want to use is available to use on other sites, as not all Flickr users give this kind of permission. If you're just looking for fantastic photo galleries from talented photographers worldwide, Flickr can also be a useful source to utilize. 
  • Fabfotos.com: High-quality photography collection; includes only sites with high-quality submissions.
  • Getty Images: Huge database of searchable images from various leading brands. You can narrow your search to include only royalty-free images. This site offers different levels of image access.
  • Hubble's Greatest Hits: Amazing pictures of space objects as collected by the Hubble telescope from 1990-1995.
  • University of Colorado Garst Photographic Collection: Amazing collection of over 20,000 images put together by the Garsts as they were filming for Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom television series.
  • American Memory Collections: Photos and Prints: From the Library of Congress. Collections include Ansel Adams photography, Civil War, and Presidents and First Ladies.
  • The Smithsonian Institution Archive Collections: Search or browse through selected images from Smithsonian collections.
  • Classroom Clipart: A source for free downloadable clipart, searchable by topic.
  • Eastman Museum: Search through a wide variety of photo and image collections, including motion picture and technology collections.
  • The LIFE Picture Collection: Powered by Getty Images. A fascinating collection of photos and images included in both Time and Life magazines.
  • National Geographic Photography Collection: Includes photo galleries from this acclaimed magazine, gorgeous wallpapers, a photo of the day, and more.
  • NASA Image and Video Library: Search among thousands of NASA press release photos, videos and audio recording spanning American manned space programs from the Mercury program to the STS-79 Shuttle mission.
  • NYPL Digital Gallery: The New York Public Library's collection of free digital images. NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 337,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more. 

Reverse Image Search

Ever wonder where an image you see on the Web actually came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or to find higher resolution versions?

Google offers a very easy way to do a quick reverse image search. For example, you can use a general Google search query, locate an image, then simply drag and drop that image to the search bar to indicate you'd like to search using that actual image to find out where other instances of it might be on the web. If you have the direct URL of where the image resides, you can also search using that as a start. 

You can also use TinEye as a reverse image search engine to get more information on where that image originated from. Here's how it works:

  • Upload an image from your computer, or copy and paste an URL that has the image you're investigating.
  • TinEye comes back with a list of possible sources for that image.

TinEye has all sorts of interesting possibilities. For example:

  • See how the Mona Lisa has been used all over the globe

Source: This article was Published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Wednesday, 15 August 2018 11:29

How Search Engines Damage Privacy

Can you imagine life without Google or spending more than a few seconds searching for any information? I bet you can’t because it’s a privilege that makes your life much easier and more comfortable. But there is a big problem with search engines – they damage privacy and it becomes an issue.

It’s almost impossible to protect personal data since everybody is collecting information these days. For instance, Facebook recently announced that it can track even non-users when they visit a site or app that uses their services.

In such circumstances, it is crucial to understand how search engines function and what they do with your personal data. This post will explain to you how things work in this field.

How Search Engines Collect Data

Search engines possess every user’s browsing history. It may not sound like much, but let’s see what it really means in case of the biggest player on the search engine market, Google.

This company collects all sorts of user-related data, but it can be divided into three basic sections:

  • Things you do. Google monitors every action you take online, including search queries, websites you visit, videos you watch, ads that you click on or tap, your location, device information, and IP address and cookie data.
  • Things that you create. This section consists of emails you send and receive on Gmail, contacts that you add, calendar events, and photos or videos that you upload. Besides that, it holds documents, sheets, and slides on Drive.
  • Things about you. These are essentially personal information such as your name, email address and password, date of birth, gender, telephone number, and location.

It’s a short list of data mining units, but it obviously consists of everything you’ve ever done online. Unless you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple of decades, Google knows a lot about you and uses this information to provide you with tailored online experience.

Why Search Engines Accumulate Personal Information

The more you know about users, the easier you can approach them. Search engines know this very well and so they collect personal information to enhance their services. First of all, they do it to improve website ranking.

According to SEO specialists at aussiewritings.com, Google analyzes user behavior and learns how people react to online content, which helps this company to upgrade search engine algorithms. As the result, only the best and most popular websites can make it to the first page in search results.

Secondly, Google can serve you personalized ads because it knows what you do, feels, and like. It can put things into perspective and display the right advertisement at just about the right time. That way, Google drastically improves the effectiveness of digital advertising.

How Does It Jeopardize Privacy?

With so much information hovering around the Internet, it is reasonable to assume that security breaches will happen from time to time. Identity theft is one of the biggest concerns because it’s getting easier to find someone’s personal information online and use it to steal their money.

Most websites ask you to leave your name, email, and birthday. Although it seems like nothing more than useless basic information, hackers can easily exploit it to access your bank account or any other digital property for that matter.

At the same time, continuous data accumulation also means humans are being treated primarily as consumers. You can’t hide from search engines – they will always find you and serve you customized ads.

If you are a 30-year-old mother, they will offer you baby clothing. If you are a high school boy, they will suggest you buy video games. In each case, there is no way to hide from search engines and that’s something that scares us all.

Final Thoughts

Search engines damage privacy and it becomes an issue because there is no way to protect yourself completely. Google and other platforms use personal information to improve user experience and customize advertising, but it comes with a cost.

Source: This article was Published legalreader.com By Olivia Ryan

Data nuts, here is your chance to get your data and charts looking pretty in the Google search results snippets.

Google has announced support for datasets markup schema in the Google search results. This makes it possible for searchers to better visualize data represented on a web page directly in Google’s search results.

Google explained that “news organizations that publish data in the form of tables can add additional structured data to make the dataset parts of the page easier to identify for use in relevant Search features.” Google added, “News organizations add the structured data to their existing HTML of a page, which means that news organizations can still control how their tables are presented to readers.”

Here is what it looks like, with the markup version on the right:

Google’s developer site explains this is a “pilot” release of this markup. Google wrote:

Datasets are easier to find when you provide supporting information such as their name, description, creator and distribution formats are provided as structured data. Google’s approach to dataset discovery makes use of schema.org and other metadata standards that can be added to pages that describe datasets. The purpose of this markup is to improve discovery of datasets from fields such as life sciences, social sciences, machine learning, civic and government data, and more.

Around two years ago, Google first announced this as Science datasets in the search. Google is now calling them simply “Dataset” and expanding it beyond the science community to any data-driven agency.

Here are some examples of what can qualify as a dataset:

  • A table or a CSV file with some data.
  • An organized collection of tables.
  • A file in a proprietary format that contains data.
  • A collection of files that together constitute some meaningful dataset.
  • A structured object with data in some other format that you might want to
    load into a special tool for processing.
  • Images capturing data.
  • Files relating to machine learning, such as trained parameters or neural network structure definitions.
  • Anything that looks like a dataset to you.

 Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz

An NYC area IT consultant and MSP reviews the dangers of the dark web and how to stay safe online in a new article from eMazzanti Technologies.

The informative article first clarifies common misconceptions about the dark web then lists steps to protect personal data and business assets. Readers are urged to work with data security professionals to achieve the best results.

“Understanding the dark web is helpful in protecting valuable business data,”

stated Jennifer Mazzanti, CEO, eMazzanti Technologies. “Modern cyber-security technology and best practices are designed to keep sensitive information from falling into the hands of the bad actors lurking there.”

Dark Web vs. Deep Web

“Contrary to some reports, the dark web does not include over 90 percent of the internet. This common misconception arises from confusion between two related terms. In reality, the internet includes several layers.”

“Deep web – Also known as the invisible web, this is by far the largest layer of the internet, with over 90 percent of all internet content. The bulk of this information involves perfectly legal content that is not indexed by the standard search engines. Your medical records, banking information and other member-only websites live here.”

“Dark web – Sites on the dark web are accessible only with special software that allows users to communicate and transact business anonymously. While this creates a haven for criminals, it also serves a legitimate purpose for whistleblowers, activists, and victims who need to remain anonymous.”

Identity Theft and the Dark Web

“If the dark web includes only about three percent of the internet, do I need to be concerned? Yes. Remember Equifax and Target? Whenever a website experiences a data breach involving personally identifiable information, that information will almost certainly appear for sale on the dark web, likely within hours.”

Navigate the Web with Expert Guides

Business leaders should keep in mind that a breach of company systems means not only data loss but also potentially a loss of reputation. To guard critical data, employ multi-layer security. For merchants, if EMV chip technology not already been implemented for point of sale (POS) systems, they should do that now.

As with any potentially dangerous territory, the internet is a much safer place when working with an experienced guide. The experts at eMazzanti build strategies to keep personal and business data safe. Whether implementing secure cloud solutions or tapping into eMazzanti’s considerable retail security expertise, business leaders can count on getting the protection they need.

About eMazzanti Technologies

eMazzanti’s team of trained, certified IT experts rapidly deliver retail and payment technology, digital marketing services, cloud and mobile solutions, multi-site implementations, 24×7 outsourced network management, remote monitoring and support to increase productivity, data security and revenue growth for clients ranging from law firms to high-end global retailers.

eMazzanti has made the Inc. 5000 list eight years running, is a 2015, 2013 and 2012 Microsoft Partner of the Year, 2016 NJ Business of the Year, 5X WatchGuard Partner of the Year and one of the TOP 200 U.S. Microsoft Partners! Contact: 1-866-362-9926, info(at)emazzanti.net or http://www.emazzanti.net Twitter: @emazzanti Facebook: Facebook.com/emazzantitechnologies.

 Source: This article was published prweb.com

It'll be the Chrome Web Store or nothing.

If you want to install Chrome extensions, Google's Chrome Web Store soon will be the only place to get them.

Extensions -- the software that lets you do things like block ads, manage your tabs better, explore art on your new-tab page or cover your screen with doge dogs -- can be useful and fun. Unfortunately, they can also be a conduit for malware that spies on you or cryptocurrency miners that let others profit off your computer's horsepower.

To try to squelch the problems, Google is removing an ability called "inline installation," which lets websites offer an installation button so you don't have to make a detour to the Chrome Web Store to add an extension to Chrome. Google, though, concluded that the Chrome Web Store offers necessary transparency. So it began a three-phase plan on Tuesday to make the Chrome Web Store the only way to get extensions.

It's a new example of Google sacrificing openness as it tries to reckon with the abuses that openness makes possible.

Google's initial extensions plan was to let people download them from anywhere, but it backtracked and offered the inline installation from the Chrome Web Store instead. Now even that's off the list. Similarly, Google initially promised a web-like Android Play Store, where good apps would rise to the surface on their own merits, but eventually adopted an approval process similar to Apple's approach with its App Store.

Inline installation lets websites add Chrome extensions that were hosted behind the scenes at the Chrome Web Store, but Google's shutting the technology down after abuse.

Inline installation lets websites add Chrome extensions that were hosted behind the scenes at the Chrome Web Store, but Google's shutting the technology down after abuse.
Google

James Wagner, Google's extensions platform product manager, explained the decision in a blog post.

"We continue to receive large volumes of complaints from users about unwanted extensions causing their Chrome experience to change unexpectedly -- and the majority of these complaints are attributed to confusing or deceptive uses of inline installation on websites," Wagner said. "The information displayed alongside extensions in the Chrome Web Store plays a critical role in ensuring that users can make informed decisions about whether to install an extension. When installed through the Chrome Web Store, extensions are significantly less likely to be uninstalled or cause user complaints, compared to extensions installed through inline installation."

Google's extensions crackdown will take place in three phases:

First, as of Tuesday, new extensions can't be installed inline.

Second, an inline installation will be disabled for existing extensions starting Sept. 12. Websites that offer inline installations will instead send people to the Chrome Web Store page for installation

Last, extension developers will have to update their websites by early December to get rid of inline installation code and simply point people to the Chrome Web Store page. That change will be necessary because Google will remove inline installation programming support with the forthcoming Chrome 71.

 Source: This article was published cnet.com

Even though computers have become a constant feature of modern life, many people still don't realize the enormous risks that come from constant interaction with technology. 

Computer viruses are one of the oldest forms of malware — in other words, malicious software designed to do harm — but their ability to avoid detection and replicate themselves means that these programs will always be cause for worry. Understanding just what a virus can do to your computer is the first step to securing your system and protecting your family from attack.

A Computer Virus' Potential

The only real qualification for a piece of software to be labeled a "virus" is that the program has the ability to replicate itself onto other machines. This means that not all viruses pose a direct threat to your computer, but often even latent viruses will allow cyberthieves and hackers to install more damaging programs like worms and Trojans. 
Regardless of the intention of the computer virus, the program will take up some system resources while it runs. This slows down your system, even bringing your computer to an abrupt halt if the virus hogs enough resources or if there are many viruses running at the same time.

More often, the computer virus has some kind of malicious intent, either written into the virus itself or from the other pieces of malware that the virus installs. This software can take a number of harmful actions, like opening up a back door to the computer where hackers can take control of the system, or stealing confidential personal information like online banking credentials or credit card numbers. It could also direct your Web browser to unwanted, often pornographic, sites, or even lock the computer down and ask for a ransom to open it back up again. In the most severe cases, viruses can corrupt important computer files, rendering the system useless. Windows OS products are often targets of these types of vulnerabilities so be sure you're secure whether you are running the newest OS , XP, or Windows 8 - security is essential.

How to be a Savvy Computer-User

So with all the damage that a virus can do, you're sure to wonder how you can protect yourself and your family from these threats. The first step is the most obvious, and it all comes down to using your computer in a smart way. 
Ensure all your programs have the latest version of antivirus software installed. This is especially true for things like your operating system, security software and Web browser, but also holds true for just about any program that you frequently use. Viruses often take advantages of bugs or exploits in the code of these programs to propagate to new machines, and while the companies that make the programs are usually quick to fix the holes, those fixes only work if they have been downloaded to your computer. 


It's also important to avoid taking actions that could put your computer at risk. These include opening unsolicited email attachments, visiting unknown websites or downloading software from untrustworthy websites or peer-to-peer file transfer networks. To ensure that the entire family understands the risks, these procedures should be taught to everyone, and children should have their Internet use monitored to ensure they aren't visiting suspect websites or downloading random programs or files.

How to Install Virus Prevention and Detection Software

The next important step in protecting your computer and your family is to install trusted computer security software that can actively scan your system and provide virus protection. You should be warned, however, that not all security solutions are the same. 
Free antivirus software abounds on the Internet, but much of it isn't robust enough to offer complete protection or updated frequently enough to be of much use. Horrifyingly, some of this free software doesn't do anything at all and instead installs viruses, adware, spyware or Trojans when you try to download and install the program. 
If the price is a factor, the best option is to find a competitively priced Internet security solution that offers a free antivirus trial, so that you can see the software in action, and how your computer responds after being cleaned, before you make a purchasing decision. 
The hardest part about all of this is that while each day many threats are neutralized, more are then created in their place. This means that as long as there's an Internet, computer viruses will continue to be a problem. Ignoring the issue or thinking that it won't affect you is a sure way to get your computer compromised, and put your family's information or peace of mind at risk.

Source: This article was usa.kaspersky.com

Internet professional responsibility and client privacy difficulties are intimately associated with the services offered by lawyers. Electronic attorney services result in data gathering, information exchange, document transfers, enhanced communications and novel opportunities for marketing and promotion. These services, in turn, provide an array of complicated ethical issues that can present pitfalls for the uninitiated and unwary.

Since the Internet interpenetrates every aspect of the law, Internet activity can result in a grievance filed against attorneys for professional and ethical misconduct when such use results in communication failure, conflicts of interest, misrepresentation, fraud, dishonesty, missed deadlines or court appearances, advertising violations, improper billing, and funds misuse. While specific Internet privacy violation rules and regulations are rarely applied to attorney transactions, attorneys are regularly implicated in unfair and deceptive trade practices and industry-specific violations which are often interspersed with privacy violation facts.

Attorneys have a professional-responsibility duty to use the Internet, and it is that professional responsibility which results in difficulties for doing so. More specifically, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.1 (competence) paragraph 8 (maintenance) has been interpreted to require the use of the Internet, and Rules 7.1 – 7.5 (communications, advertising and soliciting) specifically charge attorneys with malfeasance for using the Internet improperly.

Internet professional conduct standards and model rules/commentary cross the full range of Internet-related concerns, including expert self-identification and specialty description; the correct way to structure Internet personal profiles; social media privacy settings; the importance and use of disclaimers; what constitutes “communication”; and the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Additionally, ethics rules address “liking,” “friending” and “tagging” practices.

The application of codes of professional conduct is faced with a two-fold difficulty. First, what is the nature of the attorney Internet activity? Is the activity of publishing, broadcasting or telecommunications? Determining the nature of the attorney Internet activity is important because different privacy and ethic cannons apply. Additionally, the determination of the nature of the attorney activity allows practitioners to apply analogies. For example, guidance with respect to attorney Internet-advertising professional conduct is likely to be judged by the same standards as traditional attorney advertising.

The second difficulty is the location where activity occurs. Jurisdictions have enacted contrary laws and professional-responsibility duties.

Options for protecting client privacy and promoting professional responsibility include technical, business and legal options. Consider the following specific legal transactions.

A lawyer seeking to use the Internet to attract new clients across multiple jurisdictions frequently is confronted with inconsistent rules and regulations. A number of jurisdictions have taken the position that Internet communications are a form of advertising and thus subject to a particular state bar’s ethical restrictions. Such restrictions related to Internet content include banning testimonials; prohibitions on self-laudatory statements; disclaimers; and labeling the materials presented as advertising.

Other restrictions relate to content processing, such as requiring that advance copies of any advertising materials be submitted for review by designated bar entities prior to dissemination, and requiring that attorneys keep a copy of their website and any changes made to it for three years, along with a record of when and where the website was used. Still, other restrictions relate to distribution techniques, such as unsolicited commercial emailing (spam). Spam is considered by some states as overreaching, on the same grounds as ethical bans on in-person or telephone solicitation.

To overcome these difficulties and thus permit the responsible use of the Internet for attorney marketing, both technical and business solutions are available. The technical solution employs selectively serving advertisements to appropriate locations. For this solution, the software can be deployed to detect the origin of an Internet transaction. This software will serve up advertising based on the location of the recipient. Thus, attorneys can ameliorate or eliminate the difficulties associated with advertising and marketing restrictions without applying the most restrictive rule to every state.

Alternatively, a business solution may be used. Such a business solution would apply the most restrictive rules of each state to every Internet advertising and marketing communication.

Another legal difficulty associated with attorney Internet advertising and marketing is the unauthorized practice of law. All states have statutes or ethical rules that make it unlawful for persons to hold themselves out as attorneys or to provide legal services unless admitted and licensed to practice in that jurisdiction.

There are no reported decisions on this issue, but a handful of ethics opinions and court decisions take a restrictive view of unauthorized practice issues. For example, the court in Birbower, Montalbano, Condon & Frank v. Superior, 949 P.2d 1(1998), relied on unauthorized practice concerns in refusing to honor a fee agreement between a New York law firm and a California client for legal services provided in California, because the New York firm did not retain local counsel and its attorneys were not admitted in California.

The software can detect the origin of an Internet transaction. Thus, attorneys can ameliorate or eliminate the unauthorized practice of law by identifying the location of a potential client and only interacting with potential clients located in the state where an attorney is authorized to practice. Alternatively, an attorney could use a net nanny to prevent communications with potential clients located in the state where the attorney is not authorized to practice.

Preserving clients’ confidences is of critical importance in all aspects of an attorney’s practice. An attorney using the Internet to communicate with a client must consider the confidentiality of such communications. Using the Internet to communicate with clients on confidential matters raises a number of issues, including whether such communications: might violate the obligation to maintain client confidentiality; result in a waiver of the attorney-client privilege if intercepted by an unauthorized party; and create possible malpractice liability.

Both legal and technological solutions are available. First, memorializing informed consent is a legal solution.

Some recent ethics opinions suggest a need for caution. Iowa Opinion 96-1 states that before sending client-sensitive information over the Internet, a lawyer should either encrypt the information or obtain the client’s written acknowledgment of the risks of using this method of communication.

Substantial compliance may be a technological solution because the changing nature of Internet difficulties makes complete compliance unfeasible. Some attorneys have adopted internal measures to protect electronic client communications, including asking clients to consider alternative technologies; encrypting messages to increase security; obtaining written client authorization to use the Internet and acknowledgment of the possible risks in so doing, and exercising independent judgment about communications too sensitive to share using the Internet. While the use of such technology is not foolproof, if said use is demonstrably more significant than what is customary, judges and juries have found such efforts to be sufficient.

Finally, both legal and business options are available to surmount Internet-related client conflicts. Because of the business development potential of chat rooms, bulletin boards, and other electronic opportunities for client contact, many attorneys see the Internet as a powerful client development tool. What some fail to recognize, however, is that the very opportunity to attract new clients may be a source of unintended conflicts of interest.

Take, for example, one of the most common uses of Internet chat rooms: a request seeking advice from attorneys experienced in dealing with a particular legal problem. Attorneys have been known to prepare elaborate and highly detailed responses to such inquiries. Depending on the level and nature of the information received and the advice provided, however, attorneys may be dismayed to discover that they have inadvertently created an attorney-client relationship with the requesting party. At a minimum, given the anonymous nature of many such inquiries, they may face the embarrassment and potential client relations problem of taking a public position or providing advice contrary to the interests of an existing firm client.

An acceptable legal solution is the application of disclaimers and consents. Some operators of electronic bulletin boards and online discussion groups have tried to minimize the client conflict potential by providing disclaimers or including as part of the subscription agreement the acknowledgment that any participation in online discussions does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Alternatively, the use of limited answers would be a business solution. The Arizona State Bar recently cautioned that lawyers probably should not answer specific questions posed in chat rooms or newsgroups because of the inability to screen for potential conflicts with existing clients and the danger of disclosing confidential information.

Because the consequences of finding an attorney-client relationship are severe and may result in disqualification from representing other clients, the prudent lawyer should carefully scrutinize the nature and extent of any participation in online chat rooms and similar venues.

Source: This article was published lawjournalnewsletters.com By JONATHAN BICK

Research on aspects related your business, such as your target customer, marketplace trends, production processes, and financial practices, can help you predict trends, project sales, spot opportunities, and avoid potential problems. Understanding the nature of different types of business research will help you use data to maximize your sales and profits.

Reasons for Business Research

Business research can help you determine what potential customers want, which can guide you toward the development of better products and services. It can keep you abreast of what your competition is doing and help you spot marketplace and industry trends. Research lets you analyze how your departments are performing, and then compare their performance against projections to determine if you need to make adjustments.

Types of Business Research

Employ a variety of business research types to maximize the benefit that data can provide your company. Conduct customer surveys and focus groups of potential customers. Join your industry’s trade association to access its research studies. Perform budget variance analyses every quarter to determine if your revenue and expense projections were correct or if you need to adjust your budget. Keep tabs on the competition to determine if they’ve changed their products, where they’re advertising, what they are charging, and where they are selling. Check your website traffic data to determine who’s visiting your site, what pages they’re accessing, and which keywords bring people to your site. Sites such as Quantcast and Alexa can give you valuable data about your competitors’ website traffic.

Choosing Methodologies

Depending on your budget, you can conduct research in a variety of ways. Online surveys can provide you with quick, easy-to-understand data. Websites such as SurveyMonkey let you administer short surveys for free, charging a fee for more expansive surveys. Telephone surveys of current customers let you spend more time and solicit open-ended questions. A focus group lets you get a small group of potential or current customers together to discuss their ideas, suggestions and thoughts in ways that produce the information you might not have considered. Mail surveys cost more, but let you reach a large number of highly targeted recipients, depending on what mailing list you use. Analyzing your sales by distribution channel, territory, sales rep, price point, margin and volumes helps you determine where you should focus your marketing efforts.

Outsourcing the Work

If you aren’t expert at conducting research or don’t have the staff to perform this type of work, consider hiring a research firm to assist you. They can give you a list of options, allowing you to increase your research effort as your budget allows. Research firms have access to tools such as databases, phone banks, and email programs that you might not be able to afford, helping you gather data you otherwise couldn’t.

 Source: This article was published smallbusiness.chron.com By Sam Ashe-Edmunds

Search Engines

Search engines on the World Wide Web are remotely accessible programs that let you do keyword searches for information on the Internet. There are several types of search engines and searches may cover titles of documents, URL's, headers, or full text. Keep in mind that the results you get from one search engine may not match the results you get from another search engine. In fact, they are often different due to the way each search engine behaves. Therefore, it may actually be beneficial to use more than one search engine on a regular basis.

In this section, we briefly look at Google and Yahoo!. Web pages are often dynamic and can change at any time. As a result, you may find that if either site changes, your experience with JAWS may be different than what is described here.

Google

EXERCISE: Use the link below to go to the Google Website and follow along with the instructions.

When you first go to the Google Website there is a blinking cursor in an edit box where you can type the word or phrase that you are interested in.

Google Instant is a search enhancement that shows results as you type. It is designed to predict a person's search by updating the page and showing results while you type. It is a time-saving feature. However, because the page is changing as you type this can sometimes cause problems for screen reader users. You may find a link on the page that reads "Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant." If you choose this link it makes your searches using a screen reader much easier.

To change your preferences for Google you can do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+F7 to open the JAWS list of links.
  2. Choose the link Options, and then press ENTER. A links submenu opens on the Google site.
  3. Press DOWN ARROW to move to the link Search Settings, and then press ENTER.
  4. Beneath the heading Google Instant predictions is an On/Off slider bar. At the time of this writing, it does not read well with JAWS. Press ENTER on it to go into forms mode.
  5. Press DOWN ARROW on this slider bar to turn the feature off.
  6. Press NUM PAD PLUS to get out of forms mode.
  7. Press B to move to the Save button at the bottom of the page, and then activate it by pressing ENTER.

To begin searching, for users of JAWS prior to version 10.0, the first thing you need to do is press the ENTER key to go into Forms Mode with JAWS. Once you are in Forms Mode, you can then type in keywords that will define your search.

If you are using JAWS 10.0 or later, forms mode comes on automatically when you get to a Web page which has the focus set to a blinking cursor in an edit box. If for some reason forms mode does not come on automatically on your computer, you can also press ENTER to go into forms mode, or you can press INSERT+F5 to open the Select a Form Field dialog box for JAWS.

MAGic Tip: MAGic users, just click into any edit box and forms mode comes on automatically for you.

JAWS Tip: New since JAWS 10, JAWS users who use a mouse can also click into edit boxes and forms mode comes on automatically.

After you have typed in some text, press ENTER to activate the Search button.

Google only returns Web pages that contain all of the words in your query. If you find that you get too many "hits" or Web pages that match your search, you can enter more words in your search query to narrow the choices.

Using good keywords gives you better results. Be as specific as you can. For example, a search for the keyword "musicians" will yield far more results than a search for the keywords "Elvis Presley." You do not need to include "and" between terms, but the order in which you type your keywords will affect the search results. You can also search for a specific phrase by including words in quotation marks. Google searches are not case sensitive.

You can also use the following items within your keywords for Google searches:

  • - (minus) sign. Causes Google to exclude a word from your search. For example, "JAWS" can refer to a screen reading software or a famous movie. You can exclude many of the movie-related hits by searching for "JAWS -movie." (Be sure to include a space before the minus sign and no spaces between the minus sign and the word "movie.") Searches for JAWS with different conditions yielded the following results:
    • JAWS, about 50,600,000 hits
    • JAWS windows -movie, about 8,600,000 hits
    • "JAWS screen reader" (in quotes) about 62,000

As you narrow your search and use better keywords, you get more relevant results.

  • Putting a phrase into quotes tells Google to look for the exact words in that exact order.
  • You can search for something within a specific website by typing the word or phrase followed by site:FreedomScientific.com (where the dot-com changes to whatever site you are searching.

The I'm Feeling Lucky™ button takes you directly to the first Web page Google returned for your query. You will not see the other search results at all. For example, to find the home page for Stanford University, simply enter "Stanford" into the search box and choose the I'm Feeling Lucky™ button. Google takes you directly to www.stanford.edu, the official homepage of Stanford University.

Try typing different things such as names, phone numbers, and more to find people or things.

Try a search for Freedom Scientific. Use this link to go to the Google Web site. On the results page, there are a couple of things you can do to get more information about the results of the search:

  • The statistics of your search are typically placed between the search edit box and the search results. You can press DOWN ARROW a few times to find this line, or you can use the JAWS find command CTRL+F to look for the word "Results," and then read that line. For example, when testing this, the search found, "About 86,400,000 for freedom scientific. (0.22 seconds)." This can be useful if you need to narrow the search.
  • Google uses a "main" region to guide you to the search results. You can press R to move from one region to another.
  • The items found as a result of your search are placed on the page as both links and headings. You can press the navigation quick key H to move quickly among the headings that match your search. Since they are also links, you can press ENTER to activate them and move to those Web pages of interest.
  • Below each heading (and link) that match your search is a short synopsis of what that page is about. After pressing H to move to a heading (link), just press DOWN ARROW to read the text below it for more information.
  • Remember, you can also press SHIFT+H to move backward.
  • There is also a good structure to the headings. The heading level one on the page is the Google logo and link that will take you back to the main Google page. The search results begin to be listed after a heading level two. The matches found for the search are all level three headings.

EXERCISE: Google uses regions to make navigation easier. Explore them by pressing R to move from region to region, and then press DOWN ARROW to move into the next section.

You can also read through the search results page using normal reading keys or use INSERT+F7 to open the list of links and see what related links were found. Use the Move to Link button in the links list ALT+M) to move to a particular link and then down arrow through the associated text to find out if this might be what you are looking for.

In addition to the information displayed on the initial results page, there are often links to more pages of information that meet your search criteria. These pages are reached by activating the link for the number of the page. Usually, you will find links for additional pages 2 through 10 near the bottom of each page. Each page beyond the first page also contains a number of items that match your search.

NOTE: Look for a region called "content information" to move to these links quickly.

Google Search Tools

Google also provides easy-to-use search tools. For example:

  • "Weather Chicago" yields the current weather in Chicago
  • "25 kilometers in miles" convert kilometers to miles
  • "Define screen magnification" yields definitions for screen magnification
  • "Seafood restaurants 33716" yields restaurants that serve seafood in or near that zip code
  • And so on...

NOTE: For both the Google Website and the Yahoo! Website discussed in the next section, be sure to check out the other links on their sites for Advanced Search, Help topics, and more.

Yahoo!.com

Yahoo! is another search engine that many people use. The main Yahoo! the page also has more information on it, such as sports and news headlines, entertainment links, and links to many other items. This tends to cause the page to appear more cluttered than the Google site but may prove itself useful to you as well. As with Google, when you first go to the Yahoo! Website there is a blinking cursor in an edit box.

For users of JAWS prior to version 10.0, the first thing you need to do is press the ENTER key to go into Forms Mode with JAWS. Once you are in Forms Mode, you can then type in keywords that will define your search.

If you are using JAWS 10.0 or later, forms mode comes on automatically when you get to a Web page which has the focus set to a blinking cursor in an edit box. If for some reason forms mode does not come on automatically on your computer, you can also press ENTER to go into forms mode, or you can press INSERT+F5 to open the Select a Form Field dialog box for JAWS.

MAGic Tip: MAGic users, just click into any edit box, and forms mode comes on automatically for you.

JAWS Tip: New since JAWS 10, JAWS users who use a mouse can also click into edit boxes and forms mode comes on automatically.

After you have typed in some text, press ENTER to activate the Search button.

Yahoo! behaves very much the same way as Google and displays a list of hits of matching items. These are links to further resources, and each link here also has a text description taken from that source that matches your query.

After a Yahoo! results page loads, press the letter H to move to the different headings on the page. Below the heading Search Results, you find the main links that match your search. Each contains a short text synopsis below it and a link for a cached version. Since the headings are also links, pressing ENTER on one takes you to the Web page indicated. Beneath each heading/link is text that describes a little bit about that page. Press INSERT+F7 to use the list of links to explore the links, or you can also press TAB to move from one link to another.

NOTE: Yahoo now also uses regions on search results pages. Look for the "main" region to guide you directly to the search results area.

To find the number of matches, use the JAWS Find and look for the word "results" without the quotes. You should hear something like the following: "50,300,911 results."

Yahoo! also has links to other results pages, just as Google does. These links show as numbers 2 through 10 and are located near the bottom of the page.

Going Beyond the Search Engine Results Page

OK, so what happens when you choose one of the links you find on a search engine page? What strategies do you use to find the information you were initially searching for on the resulting page?

ANSWER: All of the strategies you learned in this series of Surf's Up lessons, including:

  • Use N to jump past a series of links to move to the next block of text that has at least 25 characters without a link.
  • Use the list of links (INSERT+F7) to look for links that begin with specific words.
  • Use the list of headings (INSERT+F6) to look for structure in the headings on a page.
  • Use the JAWS Find to search for words or phrases on a Web page.
  • Look for regions.
  • Use the Adjust JAWS Options list to change things as needed such as:
    • Stoppage refreshes
    • Search for attributes, acronyms, abbreviations, and more.
  • Use the Custom Label feature of JAWS to label unlabeled links or unlabeled form fields on pages that you visit often.

Read More...

Source: This article was published freedomscientific.com

Co-authored by Lakshmi, a Mobicip blogger who is just as passionately opinionated about the juxtaposition of technology, parenting, and education.

There are some basic ethical values that transcend the mélange of cultures and peoples sizzling in the melting pot of the Internet, and many of the maxims that define human society hold good, perhaps even more so, in the virtual world. “Thou shall not steal,” “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and the mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru apes that see, hear and speak no evil are three specific truths apt to this environment.

“Thou shall not steal” is a much clearer concept in the real world than in the virtual world. This is obvious; the real world deals with physical objects. It is easy to teach a child that stealing other people’s pencils, crayons — “stuff” — is unacceptable and, more importantly punishable. But in the online world, the idea of stealing becomes murky because there are no physical objects to steal. It is often not even clear what constitutes theft. 62 percent of online users were unaware of the legal status of movies, music, games or books they had downloaded. To complicate matters, the idea of punishments in online theft is vague - there are no virtual corners in which your child can be made to stand for downloading a movie without paying for it. A child must be taught that pirating is, as the name suggests, theft, although not quite as romantic as Hollywood makes it out to be, and is very much like walking into a video store and pocketing a DVD in stealth.

Pirate downloads are the more obvious of thefts. What is more subtle and almost invisible is theft of ideas and words. With the Internet becoming the veritable repository of almost all known human knowledge, A verbatim copy of a professional document, with claims of it being one’s own, starts with school homework reports copy-pasted from Wikipedia. Ctrl C, Ctrl V are probably the most widely misused shortcut keys in the history of the PC. Given the enormity of information available online, it is next to impossible to trace the theft without proper tools, but that does not legitimize it. Just as the child is taught that copying in an exam is wrong, she must also be taught the inconsonance of mindless copy-pasting of stuff from the net. It is also important to teach the child to offer credit where it is due, and the idea of referencing someone else’s work must be taught early on. This little lesson on acknowledgment is applicable to the big picture of life as well.

A child learns early, and sometimes painfully, that doing unto others what she does not want to be done unto her is not a wise move in the real world. However, the cushion of anonymity offered by Internet obviates this reciprocity clause. While the medium is virtual, its effect on reality is indubitable. The Internet allows us to live and interact across extensive physical spaces with no boundaries. Thus, while in the past, we shared our life with those geographically close to us, we are now part of, pardon the cliché, the Global Village, with unknown faces peeking into our lives.

While in the physical world, people who affected us were largely friends and family, in the online spaces that we inhabit, those who affect us are often people that we repeatedly observe without direct interactions —Stanley Milgram’s concept of Familiar Strangers could never be a better fit anywhere else. Thus, our ethics and belief systems are readily influenced by the strangers we “meet” online and in turn, we influence faceless people in ways we could not imagine. Anyone with a blog would have experienced at least once, trolls who topple their emotional balance. Contrary to the popular lore that words, unlike sticks and stones, need never hurt, they do, and this sentiment must be instilled in the child. Cyberbullying and anonymous harassment are actually crimes punishable by law, and the child must be aware of this, but beyond law enforcement, it is a basic human courtesy to “be nice” to people both on and off-line.

Of the three apes, the mizaru, the one that sees no evil, was probably created just for the Internet, either by fluke or with really far-sighted vision. The Internet is like a knife that can be used to cut that apple that keeps the doctor at bay or to inflict pain. The choice is not easy, even for an adult; it is hardly surprising that the child needs mentoring to use and not abuse the net. The net is the source of knowledge (if not wisdom), but not all knowledge is good. While we are still a long way from being consumed by “all the knowledge”, like Irina Spalko, age-inappropriate information can cause just as much damage to the child’s psych. The “good touch bad touch” talk to every child must necessarily be accompanied by the “good site, bad site” advice.

There are no generalized censors in the Internet, just as in real life. That, however, does not justify anarchy. While customs, beliefs and ethical laws may vary across geographic boundaries, there are some universal truths that are essential for order and balance. It is up to us to use the right tools and techniques to instill such a balance in our children.

Source: This article was published huffingtonpost.com By Suren Ramasubbu

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