Barbara Larson

Barbara Larson

The Hand Picked List of Top & Popular Search Engines in the World. Check out these Google Alternatives

Top 10 Search Engines of 2017: People are relying on Internet for everything. Some might use it for finding the routes, some for knowing the unknown meanings, some for E-books what not every problem or query has a solution on Internet. To find these things on internet we have to search them as queries in a search engine. How many of you know search engines rather than Google and Bing?


Some would question “Are they any besides those?” Our answer is ‘yes!’ and we are listing you some of the best browsers used around the world in this article. We sorted out the list by giving them Ranks basing on their Global Alexa Ranks, Traffic and user reviews.

So, don’t Confine yourself to just one or two, take a step further, explore other options too. Here’s Our List of Top Search Engines

  1. Google – 

Alexa Rank: 7www.google.com

Visitors: 30 Billion /Per Month

Google search is a web search engine and is the most popular product of the Google Inc. It is the most used and the best search engine across the globe.

It is often termed as the search engine giant who is not an exaggeration. The search engine handles more than 3 billion searches per day which is the highest when compared to others. They use Page rank algorithm to sort out the websites in their search results. It was launched eighteen years back on September 15, 1997, by Google. More than 65% of the search engine market was acquired by Google search which shows its clear dominance.

Google is updated continuously with new smart results and advanced features like voice search & image search. The integration of new tools, extensions & other Google products is also a reason for the search engine to be most used.

The Search Engine King’s unique features like suggestions of misspelt checks, maps and street views made it Number one in Global Alexa Rankings and our list of top search engines too.

  1. Baidu 


Alexa Rank : 4

Visitors: 3 Billion Per Month

The number one ranked internet search engine of China. It was launched on January 1st, 2000 by Robin Li and Eric Xu. It is said to be the Google of China and was headquartered at the Baidu Campus in Beijing.

Baidu’s secret of success is its highly scalable business model where there is an option for buying the target ads on the system.

The Chinese search engine provided over millions of web pages as well as multimedia files and Images. It was the first search engine in the country to introduce Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) and personal digital assistant (PDA)-based mobile search.


The search engine surpassed the Google search to become the most used search engine in china. 80% of Android Phones in China has Baidu as default search engine which is a definite evidence of its dominance. The Alexa Internet Rank of Baidu is 4 and it takes the second position in the list of top search engines.

  1. Yahoo 


Alexa Rank: 6

Visitors: 5.5 Billion Per Month

Yahoo Search is one of the oldest web search engines. It was launched on March 2nd in the year 1995 by Jerry Yang and David Filo. The search engine company was headquartered in Sunny Vale, California and the present CEO is Maynard Webb.

It gives users relevant information with regards to any topic. One of the unique features of Yahoo is its interface where it allows users to have a glance at news, book flights, check emails, and more. The firm’s Yahoo mail is the oldest of email providers and still used by many which are being upgraded with latest technological updations.


The oldest internet company distinguishes from other search engines by on-the-page content and giving importance to the search words. The Search Engine Firm also has a good number of human editors for removing “spam content” from their search results. Worldwide Alexa Web Rank of Yahoo is six and it stood at the third position in the list of top search engines.

  1. Bing 


Alexa Rank:40 

Visitors: 1 Billion Per Month

Bing is an Internet-based search engine owned and operated by Microsoft Corporation. It’s a replacement for Microsoft’s former search engines namely MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search. The search engine was launched by the CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009, San Diego, California.

It deals with a variety of search services that includes the web, video, image and maps. The programming language used in the search engines is ASP.NET and it follows Microsoft’s “Metro” design language.

Bing was very successful in giving accurate results for travel and healthcare services. When compared with Google search, Bing is less powerful but it is emerging as one of the tough rivals of Google.

One of the main features of Bing is that it generates relevant image searches with the option of endless scrolling. Displaying the table of contents in the upper left column and availing easy search history makes it a good search engine. The worldwide Alexa ranking of Bing is 40 and it is listed at the fourth position in our list of top search engines.

  1. Ask 


Alexa Rank: 100

Visitors: 0.5 Billion Per Month

Ask.com is a web search engine which was formerly known as Ask Jeeves. It was founded by Garrett Gruener and David Warthen in June 1996 at Berkeley, California.

It was initially started as a genuine Question & Answer site where questions were replied to in the form of polls or answered by the other users. The developments in the Ask.com had turned it into a General search engine by not confining it to a Q/A site.

It functions similar to the other search engines but lacks some searching capabilities. The search engine is not a competitor for top search engines like Google and Bing but still a good option for users who want to use it. It takes the 5th position in our list of top search engines with its Global Alexa rank of 100.

  1. AOL 


Alexa rank: 300

Visitors: 0.25 Billion Per Month

American Online known as AOL is one of the web search engines. It was originally launched as control Video Corporation in 1983 but later rebranded to AOL in the year 2009.

Some of the best features of AOL include SmartBox, which gives search suggestions as you type and Snapshot an area where aggregation of news, images, and related links are displayed.

AOL Search has a slick and friendly user interface which attracts the beginners. But not a good alternative for other search engines like Yahoo and Google.


The search engine company offers a wide range of products which includes communication tools, mobile services and subscription packages. These are some of the reasons for the traffic to the AOL network. The New York based company ranked 300 in the Alexa global rankings and it is next to Ask.com at sixth position.

  1. DuckDuckgo.com 


Alexa rank: 470

Visitors:0.15 Billion Per Month

DuckDuckgo is an Internet search engine launched on September 25, 2008, by Gabriel Weinberg. It comes with a slogan “The Search Engine that doesn’t track you.”

The search engine differs from rest by not taking any data of the users and It deliberately shows same results for a given search term to all users.

It focuses on getting the information from the best sources instead of most sources. It has partnerships with search engines like Yahoo and Bing. People who have concerns about the data collected by the search engines can just shift to DuckDuckgo.

The Global Alex Rank of the search engine was 470 and it occupies the seventh position in the list of top web search engines

  1. Yandex :


Alexa Rank: 2000

Visitors: 2 crore Per Month

Yandex search engine was developed in the year 1997 by Arkady Volozh, Arkady Borkovsky and Ilya Segalovich. It is headquartered at Lev Tolstoy St. 16, Moscow, 119021, Russia. The search engine company also provides various numbers of products and services which includes its own browser.

The search engine takes about 60% share of the Russian search engine market. Yandex is a good and powerful search engine which doesn’t match with Google or Yahoo in any area.

It comes handy for a specialist searcher, and it can be a good search engine to try for advanced researchers. The search engine is also populated in countries like Ukraine, Belarus.

The world wide Alexa Rank of 2000 makes it to take the number eight position in the list of top search engines.

  1. WebCrawler :


Alexa Rank: 3000

Visitors: 1 crore Per Month

WebCrawler is a Meta search engine which gives the results by blending the top search results of the leading search engines namely Yahoo and Google. It was created by Brian Pinkerton on April 20, 1994.

It was the first web search engine to provide results for full text search. The search engine provides users with the option of searching for images, videos and news. In the early stages it goes on to take results from Bing and Ask.com.


The Alexa worldwide rank of the Webcrawler is 3000 and it takes the ninth spot among the list of search engines.

  1. Wolframalpha


Alexa Rank: 1500

Visitors: 2 crore Per Month

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge-based search engine which was developed by Wolfram Research founded by Stephen Wolfram. It was officially launched on 18th of May, 2009

The web service differs from other search engines by providing direct answers to the factual questions asked by the users. It performs external computing and displays the output on the results page.

 The developers called it as the Computational Knowledge Engine which it is capable of doing all sorts of calculations and can provide users with the facts and data for numerous topics.

It is based on the Mathematica, which is a toolkit that causes to take place. Computer algebra, numerical computation, symbolic and visualisation, and statistics capabilities.

It is one of the best search engines for users who works on computational and statistical matters and stands at the tenth position in the list of best search engines with an Alexa Rank of 1500.

  1. Dogpile –


Alexa Rank: 5000

Visitors: 1 Crore per Month

Dogpile is a search engine which is similar to the Webcrawler. It was created by Aaron Flin in the year 1995. Later the web search engine was owned by Blucora Inc.

It gives results by mixing up the results fetched from various search engines like Google, Yahoo and Yandex. The multimedia search results provided by Dogpile were taken from the audio and video content providers.

The search engine added a link enabling the users to search query that corresponding to the theme of the site. It was listed at eleventh spot among the best search engines and it worldwide Alexa Rank is 5000.

NOTE: This list of Top 10 Search Engines is by no means Stable, It may vary for sure many in the near future. Our Strong prediction is that Google and Bing will hold their positions for the years to come.

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Source: This article was published techfactslive.com By Ranadheer

Friday, 02 June 2017 13:06

Weirdest things your brain does

The human brain is a weird thing. It has incredible processing power and storage capacity, it can handle a huge amount of sensory input at once, and it not only makes us who we are, but it keeps us going, too. Unfortunately, it's not entirely perfect and full of technical glitches, storage issues, and not a little bit of confusion. That can lead to some pretty weird stuff — some of it so weird, we haven't even wanted to admit it's happening for a long, long time. Fortunately, though, we're here to explain every oddball thing your wonderful weirdo brain does.

Autonomous sensory meridian response


It's more well-known as ASMR, and it's something that only certain people experience. For these lucky, lucky people, certain triggers create what they describe as a sort of overwhelmingly pleasant, tingling sensation that settles into the back of their head or neck.


What causes it? No clue. There hasn't been much research done on the phenomenon, and as of 2016 the only real scientific study out there is one from Swansea University, that looked at the experiences of 500 people sensitive to ASMR. While they didn't even start to get into what's going on, as far as brain activity in ASMR-sensitive people, they did find that for most of the people surveyed, it was whispering that really did the trick and kick-started the head tingles. Deliberate movements was another big one, and if you ever suspect that you've found the weirdest thing you can possibly find on YouTube, just remember that there's a whole bunch of videos where whispering women pretend to give you a haircut, and people watch them to relax.

That said, there's not a whole lot we know about ASMR — there wasn't even a term for it until 2010. That's not entirely surprising, after all, because even now, those who experience it have a tough time explaining it to those that don't. Even harder is explaining (especially if it's your mom asking) why you're sitting in the dark listening to women whispering at you through your computer screen, waiting for something a lot of people call "head orgasms."

Lucid dreamingShutterstock
According to some people capable of lucid dreaming, the entire experience is akin to the mind creating an entirely different reality, completely separate to our normal, boring lives. When we experience lucid dreams, we're completely aware that we're dreaming. That's the technical description of a lucid dream, although some people report they can make decisions and influence exactly what's going on in the dream.

According to Beverly D'Urso, a lucid dreamer who has worked extensively with psychophysiologists at the Lucidity Institute, she's had lucid dreams where she's done everything from visit the Sun to taste fire (which really isn't a big deal after you've hung around on the Sun). That's pretty impressive lucidity, especially considering most of our dreams involve showing up to school with no pants.

If it sounds farfetched, you'll appreciate knowing that some lucid dreamers have set up signals to communicate with researchers who are watching them sleep (presumably not in a creepy way). Since part of the brain keeps us from moving while we're asleep (most of the time) but our eyes still move freely, lucid dreamers working with British psychologists in the 1980s would move their eyes in a specific pattern, to let them know they were in the middle of a lucid dream. That allowed researchers to track everything from electrical activity in the brain to heartbeat, and it's found that brains do become more active during lucid dreams.

Even weirder still, you can teach yourself how to lucid dream, which takes way more explanation then we have the space to get into. It's thought that there might be some practical use for it (training our waking minds, perhaps, or some form of therapy), although why waste dream control on reading textbooks? We're off to the Bahamas.

The doorway effectShutterstock

Ever walk into another room and completely forget why you're there? You're not alone and you're (probably) not going insane — you're just a victim of what's called the Doorway Effect.

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame set up an experiment to see just how walking from one room to another in a controlled environment actually impacted memory. The tests were done both in a virtual setting, and a real life one. Participants were asked to walk into a room and pick up an item. In the game, it disappeared into a virtual backpack while in real life, it was hidden in a box. They would then walk into a different room, put the object down, pick up another one, rinse, and repeat.


At various points in the exercise, they stopped and asked people what was in their box (or inventory). If they were asked right after going through a door, they were less likely to remember and slower to respond whether they were in a real environment or a virtual one. So what's going on? They called it the "event model," which basically means our memories work great until our brain decides the information it's holding onto isn't useful any more.

Another way to think about it is that it's bad timing, and whatever you've forgotten is the bit that your brain has decided is the least useful. If you're thinking about, say, picking up dog food, worrying about a presentation you've got at work tomorrow, wondering what you're going to make for dinner, and going to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, your brain is likely to shove that cup of joe right off your radar. When you change your physical environment at the same time, your mental one is changing gears, and sometimes those gears slip. You drop things. But don't worry, it wasn't important.

Decaying directional awarenessShutterstock
You've heard those stories about those morons so busy following their GPS that they drive right off a cliff or into a lake, right? Cleansing the gene pool, maybe? Or is there something else at work?

Our dependence on sat nav, and the accidents that happen from it, is something called "death by GPS", even if no one actually dies. It turns out that we've becoming so reliant on GPS technology, our naturally-occurring directional systems are withering away to nothing. We've long known we have parts of the brain solely dedicated to directions, with the best proof of that coming from London's black cab drivers. Getting a cab license requires memorizing 25,000 different streets and countless landmarks, points of interest, and kebab shops along the way. Brain scans of active drivers show that the cabbies' gray matter expands to deal with this sheer volume of information, and decreases back to "normal" levels once they retire.


That last part is what's happening to our brains when we become dependent on our GPS, but we don't have the head start London cabbies do. Mental mapping is hard work, and there's a whole new generation of drivers that don't have to think about things like associating landmarks with their drive to work, or finding shortcuts on their own. When GPS-dependent drivers were tested on their environmental awareness, they failed so miserably, some couldn't even recognize a street in the opposite direction they'd just driven down several times.

In short, GPS's are great, but depend too much on one and your sense of direction atrophies. At that point, our mental maps might as well be filled in with olde-timey drawings labeled, "Here be Dragons."

Semantic satiationShutterstock

Let's try a little experiment, and you don't even have to get out of your chair! All you have to do is say (or write, or type) the word "dog" over and over again. Keep going.

Keep going.

And keep going even more. Do it enough, and it starts to sound a little funny. You'll start to wonder if it's even a word. What does this mean? Is it spelled right? What's a dog? What's happening?


It's called semantic satiation, and it happens when we see or hear the same word repeated over and over again. For around a century now, psychologists have known about the phenomenon, and it's a pretty straightforward one. When we hear (or see) something enough times, our brain gets bored, and presumably wanders off to play with someone else. We don't just stop paying attention to it — we also stop assigning it any particular meaning.

It's the same thing that's happening when we spend all day in a coffee shop crafting articles you you, the adoring public. By the end of the day, we don't smell coffee any more, because our brain's gotten bored with it. We have very fickle brains.

Paradox of choiceShutterstock
Not only is your brain fickle, it's sabotaging you and making you miserable. That's the theory behind Barry Schwartz's Paradox of Choice, and it makes a whole lot of sense.

The basic idea is that every day, our modern world presents us with an overwhelming number of choices. We call it freedom, but it's really presenting us with a sort of crippling indecision, even after we make our choice. Our brains compare our choices to the ones that others make, and because brains are cruel, they always focus on the choices that we think turned out better. We second-guess everything, from our career choices to decisions we make at the grocery store, and everything in between. That's a huge amount of information to process and things to worry about, and that means that we're as overwhelmed by the things we don't do as much as the things we do.

Schwartz says that a lot of the time, it's this freedom that results in us not doing anything at all. Freedom, coupled with high standards that seem to get only worse and worse with the shiny, selective view of reality via social media, paralyzes us into never deciding which friend to hang out with, which movie to go to, which restaurant to go to, which pub to visit. It's everywhere, it overloads our brains, and it gives us less freedom at the end of the day, so we just stay at home on the couch.

Where we're faced with the choices on Netflix.


Earworms are songs that get stuck in your head and run over and over again. Everyone seems to have their own songs they're vulnerable to — a Goldsmiths University study asked people what they usually found getting stuck in their head, and wound up with around 5,000 songs. (They also asked them, "Who let the dogs out," but no one had a satisfactory answer.)

Earworms happen for a surprisingly complicated reason, and part of it has to do with repetition. (How many times did you hear "Heeeeey, Macarena!" playing on the radio, and in your own head, right now?) It's more than just that, though, as songs are one of the few things that are absolutely identical every time you hear them. That gives you no question about what melody or lyric comes next, which allows your brain to run away with the song and continue to play it until you wonder if gouging your eardrums out with a spoon will help.

It also has something to do with a part of our short-term memory, called a slave system. That's the part that stores information we need to concentrate on *right now*, like a phone number, or what we're ordering when the waiter finally comes back. A song's familiarity, repetition, and catchy lyrics trick that part of our brain into thinking it's uber-important we figure out what the fox is saying right now, even though we don't really care. Also, it can take virtually any sort of exposure (or completely unrelated stimuli) to get that mental music playing … which is why we also can't resist telling you about our Pocketful of Sunshine.

We're sorry. Need a mental cleanser? Click the video. Trust us.

Deja vu

You're familiar with deja vu, the feeling that you've experienced something before. For years, we haven't had a clue what's going on during the unsettling episodes… until now. Sadly, it's not a past life experience poking into our consciousness — it's our brain resolving a conflict in information.


It was only in July of 2016 that a team from the University of St. Andrews in the UK presented their findings on the subject. They suggested that deja vu, the feeling that you've experienced something before, happens in the front part of the brain, and it's triggered when we think we've experienced something that we haven't. The team triggered the feeling by giving volunteers lists of words like "dream, night, and bed," then asking them if they had seen a word that started with "s." "Sleep" wasn't on the list, but it was familiar enough to what they had been thinking about, it seemed like it should have been.

So basically, when we feel deja vu, the feeling that you've experienced something before, what we're actually feeling is our brain re-accessing our memories to see how it can resolve the conflict in information. Never experienced deja vu? It might mean your memory is better than average, and you never have errors to correct. Show-off.


Getty Images
You've been there, trying to think of a word or a name that you know you know, but can't come up with. It's the thing you're looking for, the whatsit you need for work, that guy in that movie (it's Pete Postlethwaite, by the way).

What's going on when you forget a name or word basically has to do with the way we store information. When we're trying to think of something (like that guy from Inception, wasn't he in Jurassic Park, too … what's his name?), our memories tend to follow a series of pathways to get to the words we're looking for. Since there's a huge number of words in the English language (the OED lists about 600,000 of them), it makes sense that there's some we use more than others.


Those pathways are clear, paved, well-traveled roads. Pathways to other words are overgrown, muddy, bug-infested roads that we have to machete our way through, and that takes a little while. The words at the end are part of what's called our passive vocabulary, and since we don't use them all the time, we file them away and forget where we left them. Proper names are one of the most commonly forgotten words like this, which explains why every movie and television show we watch has at least one of "those guys we've seen before" in it. (Probably Jeffrey DeMunn.)


This is a fairly new one, a condition that wasn't even a thing until 2011. Fortunately, now we know that, if the sound of someone chewing with their mouth open or chugging a can of beer makes us want to reach down their throat and rip out their intestines, then we're not alone.


Researchers are finally looking into why some sounds trigger serious rage-hate in some people. The people who had misophonia knew that they were being irrational (we don't think it's irrational), but needed to develop their own sorts of coping methods to deal with the rage. The jury's still out on what's causing some people's misophonia, but early research has linked it to a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but a very specific form that generally has no other symptoms, save for the need to strangle someone for the way they eat.

Other research seems to suggest that the brain of someone who can't stand the sound of markers on a whiteboard, or the tapping of keyboard keys, is working a bit differently from most. There's likely a sort of hyperconnectivity between the person's auditory system and the limbic system. The latter is where our emotions come from, which suggests you really, honestly are feeling that murderous rage, and you're not just imagining it.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness can ruin anything, and it tends to. It's more than just a nuisance, especially if it means your road trips ends with a trip to get your car detailed. That smell never goes away, and while it might not make it any better to know why it happens, at least you'll have something to talk about while you're waiting to get your car back.


It's not 100% known just what's going on that makes us turn a nice sort of blue-gray color on boats and in cars, but it's thought that it has something to do with the brain being unable to process conflicting information. You're sitting still, but your eyes and ears tell you that you're flying down the highway at 10 miles over the speed limit. It's likely that conflicting data screws up a person's sense of balance, which leads to motion sickness. There's another theory that suggests it comes from your body's inability to predict how it has to move to maintain your center of balance and keep you from doing a (hilarious) faceplant.

As to why some people get it and some don't, there's some evidence for a genetic base for motion sickness. There may also be a link to migraines, as people who suffer from them are more likely to get motion sickness. Fortunately, NASA is working on a way to combat the queasy feeling some are susceptible to, so hopefully before long, the teacup ride will no longer be quite so terrifying. Because that's what science is for.

Source: This article was published grunge.com By Debra Kelly

Danish startup Ulzard Technologies IVS is developing a path-breaking AI called pix2code that may require no human effort to write codes for software. The AI is self-programmed to build software codes based on just screenshots.

Unlike a manual coder who writes code for application from scratch, users only need to feed the AI with screenshots of what they want their program to look and function like and it will automatically generate code. What's more, pix2code can code for multiple platforms, such as Android, iOS, and web-based technologies -- something a living, breathing developer cannot do in one go even if she is fluent in multiple languages and platforms.


Founder Tony Beltramelli has shared details about the AI on GitHub and plans to make the source code available publicly later this year. It uses machine learning to create a neural network that can generate the codes.

As of now the pix2code can create codes with an accuracy of 77%, which is likely to improve as the algorithm learns more. That rate of success is far higher than what most human coders would achieve in one attempt.

The latest AI innovation may prove to be game-changing for the IT industry, and once again adds to the threat that human jobs face from robots.

A PWC report earlier this year indicated that a third of jobs in the US are at "high risk" of automation by the early 2030s. While jobs in manufacturing, food and retail are seen as the vulnerable ones, programs like pix2code could pose a high risk of human job losses to not just the IT industry but all other ancillary industries associated with it.

Source: This article was published International Business Times By Agamoni Ghosh

But sometimes, they should

A soda company sponsoring nutrition research. An oil conglomerate helping fund a climate-related research meeting. Does the public care who’s paying for science?

In a word, yes. When industry funds science, credibility suffers. And this does not bode well for the types of public-private research partnerships that appear to be becoming more prevalent as government funding for research and development lags.


The recurring topic of conflict of interest has made headlines in recent weeks. The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine has revised its conflict of interest guidelines following questions about whether members of a recent expert panel on GMOs had industry ties or other financial conflicts that were not disclosed in the panel’s final report.

Our own recent research speaks to how hard it may be for the public to see research as useful when produced with an industry partner, even when that company is just one of several collaborators.

What people think of funding sources

We asked our study volunteers what they thought about a proposed research partnership to study the potential risks related to either genetically modified foods or trans fats.

We randomly assigned participants to each evaluate one of 15 different research partnership arrangements—various combinations of scientists from a university, a government agency, a nongovernmental organization and a large food company.


For example, 1/15th of participants were asked to consider a research collaboration that included only university researchers. Another 1/15th of participants considered a research partnership that included both university and government scientists, and so on. In total we presented four conditions where there was a single type of researcher, another six collaborations with two partners, four with three partners and one with all four partners.

Credibility of industry research

526 people rated the legitimacy of an imaginary study about the health impact of trans fats on a scale from 1 to 7. They were told the research was conducted by different combinations of industry, academic, government and non-government scientists. On average, people rated the results as less legitimate when a company was listed as a funder.ar

Corporation = Kellogg's
University = Purdue
Government = Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
NGO = Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)

The Conversation, CC-BY-ND

When a research team included an industry partner, our participants were generally less likely to think the scientists would consider a full range of evidence and listen to different voices. An industry partner also reduced how much participants believed any resulting data would provide meaningful guidance for making decisions.

At the outset of our work, we thought including a diverse array of partners in a research collaboration might mitigate the negative perceptions that come with industry involvement. But, while including scientists from a nonindustry organization (particularly a nongovernmental organization) made some difference, the effect was small. Adding a government partner provided no substantive additional benefit.


When we asked participants to describe what they thought about the research partnership in their own words, they were skeptical whether an industry partner could ever be trusted to release information that might hurt its profits.

Our results may be even more troubling because we chose a company with a good reputation. We used pretests to select particular examples—of a corporation, as well as a university, government agency and nongovernmental organization—that had relatively high positive ratings and relatively low negative ratings in a test sample.

Can industry do valid science?

You don’t have to look far for real-life examples of poorly conducted or intentionally misleading industry research.

The pharmaceuticalchemicalnutrition and petroleum industries have all weathered criticism of their research integrity, and for good reason. These ethically questionable episodes no doubt fuel public skepticism of industry research.

Stories of pharmaceutical companies conducting less than rigorous clinical trials for the benefit of their marketing departments, or the tobacco industry steadfastly denying the connection between smoking and cancer in the face of mounting evidence, help explain public concern about industry-funded science.


But industry generally has a long and impressive history of supporting scientific research and technical development. Industry-supported research has generated widely adopted technologiesdriven the evolution of entire economic sectorsimproved processes that were harmful to public health and the environment and won Nobel Prizes.

And as scientists not currently affiliated with industry scramble to fund their research in an era of tight budgets, big companies have money to underwrite science.

Does it matter within what kind of institution a researcher hangs her lab coat? To many Americans, yes.Does it matter within what kind of institution a researcher hangs her lab coat? To many Americans, yes. (Vivien Rolfe, CC BY-SA)

Can this lack of trust be overcome? Moving forward, it will be essential to address incentives such as short-term profit or individual recognition that can encourage poor research—in any institutional context. By showing how quickly people may judge industry-funded research, our work indicates that it’s critical to think about how the results of that research can be communicated effectively.

Our results should worry those who want research to be evaluated largely on its scientific merits, rather than based upon the affiliations of those involved.

Although relatively little previous scholarship has investigated this topic, we expected to find that including multiple, nonindustry organizations in a scientific partnership might, at least partly, assuage participants’ concerns about industry involvement. This reflects our initial tentative belief that, given the resources and expertise within industry, there must be some way to create public-private partnerships that produce high-quality research which is perceived widely as such.

Our interdisciplinary team—a risk communication scholar, a sociologist, a philosopher of science, a historian of science and a toxicologist—is also examining philosophical arguments and historical precedents for guidance on these issues.

Philosophy can tell us a great deal about how the values of investigators can influence their results. And history shows that not so long ago, up until a few decades after World War II, many considered industry support a way to uphold research integrity by protecting it from government secrecy regimes.

Looking forward, we are planning additional social scientific experiments to examine how specific procedures that research partnerships sometimes use may affect public views about collaborations with industry partners. For example, perhaps open-data policies, transparency initiatives or external reviewer processes may alleviate bias concerns.


Given the central role that industry plays in scientific research and development, it is important to explore strategies for designing multi-sector research collaborations that can generate legitimate, high-quality results while being perceived as legitimate by the public.

The Conversation

John C. Besley, Associate Professor of Advertising and Public Relations, Michigan State University

Aaron M. McCright, Associate Professor of Sociology, Michigan State University

Joseph D. Martin, Fellow-in-Residence at the Consortium for History of Science, Technology, and Medicine and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Leeds

Kevin Elliott, Associate Professor of Fisheries & Wildlife and Philosophy, Michigan State University

Nagwan Zahry, PhD Student in Media and Information Studies, Michigan State University

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

The iPad Pro, shown here with the optional Smart Cover keyboard case and Apple Pencil stylusReuters

While many of us use iPads to watch movies on the plane or read a newspaper on the daily commute, these trivial tasks are really only scratching the surface of what the Apple tablet is capable of.

That isn't to say other tablets can't compete, but the iOS App Store now has 1.3 million apps made specifically for the iPad, giving owners a huge and varied selection to pick from. In this feature we're going to look at the hardware and software needed to put the productivity back into your iPad Pro, and highlight some businesses where iPads have become crucial to their success.



You can load an iPad up with as many apps as you like, and while we all know how good multitouch inputs are with our fingers, productivity apps will have you yearning for something more comfortable, more precise, and with more features than your 10 digits.

Apple's own Smart Keyboard and Pencil fit the bill here. The former is a screen cover which folds out to hold the iPad like a laptop, and includes a tactile keyboard. The keys are smaller than those of a MacBook and take some time to get used to, but once committed to muscle memory it's a far more practical and comfortable solution to typing on the screen.

The Pencil, Apple's answer to a stylus, charges via the iPad's Lightning port and connects through Bluetooth. Although we appreciate that regular users might not see the value in a dedicated stylus for scribbling notes on their tablet, the size and weight makes even the most ham-fisted of drawers feel like they could achieve greatness - and tapping at the screen with it is surprisingly satisfying.

Before we get into the apps, let's look at some tips and tricks 

iPad Pro with Apple Pencil
A man uses the Apple Pencil stylus to sketch on the screen of an iPad ProReuters


Before we get to the apps themselves, a quick reminder on how multitasking on the iPad is more powerful than on the iPhone. You can switch between open apps with a double-press of the home button, as on the iPhone, but swiping across the screen with four fingers is a neat alternative. If your work requires switching between the same two apps often, this can be a helpful timesaver.

For when quickly switching between apps isn't enough, the iPad lets you run two at the same time, right next to each other. This is particularly useful when you need to make notes in a word processing app while reading a report, or reviewing a presentation.

Mail markup

We know this isn't the most exciting topic in the world, but it's often convenient to annotate your emails. Say you are exchanging plans for a new garden with your landscape gardener; you can attach his suggestion to an email, then draw on it, scribble down notes in the margin, magnify certain sections then send it back, To do this, double-tap in the body of the email, tap Insert Photo of Video, and pick the image you want to send. Once it is attached to the email, tap on the image then hit Markup and you're ready to annotate.


Transfer open web pages from Mac or iPhone to iPad

Say you're looking at a website on your iPhone, but would rather view it on your larger iPad. Instead of typing the link out or emailing it to yourself, you just have to double-press the home button of your iPad to enter the multitasking screen. A link then appears at the bottom of the screen; tap this and the page which was open on your iPhone will appear on the iPad.

Now let's get to the meat of why you're here; apps to make your iPad more productive and more useful when you just want to get work done. Netflix can wait for another day.

Microsoft Office and Google Docs/Sheets

Microsoft Office on iPadWord, Powerpoint and Excel for iPad are free for a month, then cost £5.99 a month for the full suiteScreenshot

It probably still surprises some people to hear Microsoft Office is available on the iPad, but it is. Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Outlook can all be downloaded from the App Store and used just like their desktop PC relatives. All of the tools you would normally use are here, and the apps work just as you'd expect them to.


The apps all fall under the Office 365 umbrella, which means they are free to use for the first 30 days, then cost £5.99 per month or £59.99 per year thereafter; the cost stays the same whether you use one app or all of them. If you only need to view documents (and not create or edit any) then the apps remain free after the 30-day trial expires.

A free alternative to Office, just as on the Mac or PC, is Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides. These each have their own app and work in much the same way as Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint respectively. Their functionality isn't quite as feature-packed, but for basic document, spreadsheet and presentation creation they are hard to beat - and files can be saved in formats understood by Office, if that's what you need.

Pair any of these apps with the Smart Cover (or a separate stand and Bluetooth keyboard), and the iPad gets surprisingly close to becoming a computer replacement. 

Adobe apps for iPadAdobe's apps for iPhone and iPad are all free to useScreenshot

Adobe Fill & Sign

Another potential surprise for some casual iPad users is just how many Adobe apps are available. From Sketch, to Fill & Sign and Photoshop Express, there are a wealth of creativity apps to help you get work done, or just spend less time at the computer. Although these apps require you to log in with an Adobe account, they are free to use.


Avoid blotting important forms with your scruffy handwriting by using Adobe Fill & Sign to take a photo of the document, import it, then fill everything out neatly on the iPad. You can then use your finger or the Apple Pencil to add your signature, which can be saved for future use. Then email the form along, or send it over the Wi-Fi network to a wireless printer. On a similar note, Adobe Sign is also a useful signature creation app for iPad.

Adobe Photoshop Sketch

This is where the Apple Pencil starts to come into its own, and where our artistic skills are quickly found to be lacking. Sketch makes good use of the stylus, offering a range of different brush styles each with customisable sizes to help you get the exact effect you're looking for. As with conventional Photoshop there is a layering system to create almost infinitely-complex image projects.

Adobe PS Express

While Apple's own Photos app does a decent job of helping you organise, crop, align and touch-up images, Adobe PS Express takes things further. There are dozens of Instagram-style filters to apply to your images, along with a range of adjustment and retouch tools to get the look you want.


Instead of bundling all of Photoshop's features into one potentially confusing and cluttered app, you can quickly jump between different PS apps to complete your editing. Two such apps are called Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Fix. Transferring an image from one to another takes just a couple of taps.


Scanbot for iPadScanbot lets you scan business cards, as shown above, and automatically picks out useful data like phone numbers, ready to be tappedScreenshot

Lastly we have Scanbot, an app which makes it easy to import printed documents onto your iPad. There's a free version, but we recommend stumping up £6.99 for the Pro version, which includes optical character recognition. This means when you take a photo of a printed document, the app grabs the writing and makes it ready for editing, forwarding or copying and pasting into another app.

The app is also aware of context, so if you show it a business card phone numbers and email addresses are automatically recognised, ready to be tapped on and used. The app doesn't always pick up everything, and wasn't able to read our handwriting, but as a means of making a printed page digital (and ready for annotation) it's hard to beat.

Source: This article was published on ibtimes.co.uk

‘Turn it up, it’s your favorite song’

Google is running a deal on its music streaming service and storage locker Google Play Music. Typically, the site offers up a 90-day free trial when you sign up, but it’s now giving new subscribers an extra month of free time.

The service allows users to scan up to 50,000 songs from their music library, and listen to custom radio stations on their computer or mobile device. Users who use the free tier have to contend with ads, but subscribers who pay $9.99 (or $14.99 for a family account) can avoid ads, listen to over 35 million songs, download music to listen offline, and get access to YouTube Red.


Google has offered similar deals in the past, and Android Police notes that it’s not clear how long the deal will remain active. At the very least, it’s an opportunity to check out the service if you’ve never tried it, and you can always cancel your subscription when your four months are up.

Source: This article was published on theverge.com by Andrew Liptak

Google Australia and New Zealand managing director Jason Pellegrino says the company has been unfairly accused of stealing other people's content, stripping revenue from publishers and harming journalism.Anthony Johnson

Job losses in newsrooms across Australia have prompted many people in politics, media and technology to ask how we can all ensure that Australian journalism has a robust future.

You only need to look at the major stories broken by these newsrooms in the past 12 months to understand how these cuts may impact our journalism in the future.


Investigations that keep those in power honest and defend everyday Australians underscore the remarkable social impact and value of journalism.

But investigative reports alone don't pay the bills that keep newsrooms operating, and the challenges facing publishers are acute: audiences and advertising revenues are shifting after decades of stability.

Job losses in newsrooms have prompted many to ask how we can all ensure that Australian journalism has a robust future.Job losses in newsrooms have prompted many to ask how we can all ensure that Australian journalism has a robust future. AAP


There are also reasons to be optimistic - consumers have more choice than ever, newsrooms are innovating their storytelling and publishers are building new revenue streams - but like any industry transition, change is often hard.

What has been surprising for me about the recent debate is the mis-characterisation of Google as the enemy of the news industry. We've been accused of stealing other people's content, stripping revenue from publishers and not contributing to the journalism ecosystem.

None of this is correct. But we understand why the perception may exist.

When you look at the major shifts in consumer behaviour and scan the landscape for a cause, it's hard not to stop at technology: The internet, mobile phones, search engines and social media. And, clearly, Google is one of many companies driving much of that technology.

We are open about the role internet search engines such as Google and others have played in changing the way people find and consume information.

Google's global CEO Sundar Pichai talks about Google Assistant, but Jason Pellegrino says the company wants to do more ...Google's global CEO Sundar Pichai talks about Google Assistant, but Jason Pellegrino says the company wants to do more to help news publishers thrive. ERIC RISBERG

This has resulted in a wider distribution of advertising across millions of websites and publishers - which Google helps to sell - putting pressure on the traditional model of journalism being cross-subsidised by advertising in newspapers.


But technology has also been beneficial to news publishers, and they have not been passive participants in its proliferation.

They use the web and mobile phones to reach and engage more audiences than ever before, and build new revenue streams through digital marketplaces for jobs, cars and real estate, and more recently through subscriptions.

Opt out of Google

Most often when publishers complain about their content appearing on Search or News it's that their stories aren't visible enough; they use 'search engine optimisation' to boost their visibility on Google.

News publishers know that they are free to withdraw their content from Google Search and Google News at any time, so it is fanciful to describe the indexing of news stories by Google as theft.

Only those who ask to be on Google News and meet our criteria are displayed there, and to date over 80,000 of them have done so around the world.

This is because our search tools send about 10 billion visits to publishers' partners globally each month, and that generates both advertising revenue for them and a funnel into their subscription services.


Meanwhile, there are no ads on Google News and the revenue we do generate from news-related inquiries on Search is most often paid for by news publishers themselves as they market their reporting.

Google does not produce journalism but we help publishers monetise news either by serving ads next to it or by sending audiences to them, where they can sell services such as subscriptions. In this way we helped publishers around the world generate billions of dollars in revenue last year.

We work closely with publishers to build products and services that help the industry, like the open-source Accelerated Mobile Pages technology that allows readers to access news on mobile phones in less than half a second from Google Search - a critical requirement for keeping them engaged.

Symbiotic relationship

Locally we sponsor innovation in journalism with the Walkley Foundation and provide free training for journalists on how to verify information, and use data, maps and video.

Google actively works with news publishers locally to grow advertising revenues and reach new audiences through our DoubleClick platforms, training commercial teams and educating the industry.


We do this to grow the overall digital market, and because our goals are aligned: Google only makes money from these platforms when our partners make money. Commercially, it makes no sense for us to weaken the news media in any way.

Technology is critical to ensuring a bright future for Australian journalism and Google is committed to working with publishers because we believe in the absolute necessity for a healthy, free and open Fourth Estate - now more than ever.

There is still more that Google can do to help news organisations, and we will endeavour to do so. But the right way to deal with these challenges and opportunities should be through collaboration and innovation.

After all, at its core this disruption is driven by consumers. We need to work together, side by side, to build new business models that preserve Australia's best journalism while giving consumers what they want.

Jason Pellegrino is managing director of Google Australia & New Zealand

Source: This article was published afr.com

Every year sees the birth of tens of thousands of new startups. This means it’s getting harder and harder to get some attention as a fledgling company. There simply aren’t enough journalists to give startup the attention they might deserve.

TNW started out as a prime source for news about startups over ten years ago, and we’d like to honor those roots by creating more room to feature exciting and interesting new startups. In partnership with our business intelligence service Index, we’re launching Startup Stories, a new series we’re kicking off today.


The format consists of four simple questions: What does it do, where did the founders get the idea, what does the business model look like, and finally a ‘random box’ for fun anecdotes, extra info, profanity or whatever a startup would like to share with our audience.

The first company to be featured today is WordLift, a startup that makes online content easily understandable for chatbots, crawlers, and personal digital assistants like Siri or Cortana. Basically WordLift should be able to take this post, and parse it in a way that you can ask Siri ‘What is this new series Startup Stories on The Next Web?’ and Siri can give you an answer. But let Andrea Volpini, CEO of WordLift explain this in a far more eloquent way:

What does your startup do?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could talk with your favorite websites and blogs just like you do with your car or with Siri?

WordLift helps content writers work better, by letting them focus on writing great articles without worrying too much about how search engines work.

WordLift uses AI to grow organic traffic by translating articles into machine-friendly content that chatbots, search crawlers and personal digital assistants – like Google Assistant, Siri and Alexa – use to help consumers take actions.

The evolution of today’s search engines and the rapid adoption of personal assistants (PAs) – capable of understanding user intent and behaviors through available data – require an upgrade of the existing editorial workflow for bloggers, independent news providers and content marketers. With voice search coming on strong, websites now have to compete directly for business (and struggle to be on top of search results), by bringing targeted information at lower prices. With voice there are not many alternatives: Either you get featured on Google, or you get nothing.

In this context, data curation and metadata management become crucial tools to help bloggers and news publishers create the added value required to build a direct relationship with their readers.

WordLift targets smart content publishing focusing on automating SEO and bringing immediate economical value by increasing traffic and reducing the time spent on content curation and search marketing.

The processing is done in the cloud. WordLift analyzes articles and transforms text into metadata. Data is automatically published as five-stars linked open data and made available to machines. We also measure the performance of the content on Google in terms of search rankings and other factors that might influence organic traffic. This data is presented to the editors to help them improve their editorial plan and increase their reach.

Why did you come up with this idea?

Quite simply by looking at the structured knowledge available in today’s digital networks and how search engines were starting to take advantage of it. Try yourself asking Google who built the Colosseum and you will get an immediate answer that comes straight from Wikipedia. This information has been encoded in such a way that the Google Assistant can understand it.


We’ve built WordLift so that information is extracted from textual content and published in a user’s graph. This allows Google and others PAs to learn faster from blogs and websites.

Try it now, and ask Google Assistant “How old is Andrea Volpini?”


Large graphs like Freebase, DBpedia and Wikidata represent the majority of the information that computers use to interact with humans. There are also advanced linguistic resources, structured as linked data, that help computers understand human language (lexical databases like BabelNet or WordNet) and this is also an interesting area of development. But there is very little available in terms of tools that smaller bloggers can use to create their own structured knowledge.

We thought: Why don’t we create something that bloggers and editorial teams can use to build their own knowledge graphs? Why on Earth should a blogger deal with the bureaucracy and complexity of Wikipedia to share a fact he or she knows, or to add a new expression his or her tribe is using?

This is why WordLift was created. We went through several years in the making to create an easy-to-use annotation tool that could help anyone build his or her own knowledge graph and share a personal viewpoint with machines.

How do you make money?

WordLift is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Bloggers and digital publishers pay a monthly fee starting at €19.99 per month. Assuming you write one post per week, a very cheap SEO consultant would do the same job for at least 10x our monthly subscription.

Our clients retain ownership of their data, so they can use WordLift’s APIs to create new services on top of their content, such as chat bots or personalized newsletters.

And last but not least, we’re partnering with WooRank to automate and combine first-in-class SEO techniques. Our goal? Let’s writers and bloggers forget about SEO rules, let AI do all the work and still… keep rocking on organic search!

The random box:

WordLift, much like today’s search engines, works with entities rather than tags and keywords. What is really an entity though?

Let’s make a simple experiment: close your eyes and imagine for a moment a…. “cat”


Source: This article was published thenextweb.com By ALEJANDRO TAUBER

The GLEAM view of the center of the Milky Way in radio color. Red indicates the lowest frequencies, green the middle frequencies and blue the highest frequencies. Each dot is a galaxy with around 300,000 radio galaxies observed as part of the GLEAM survey.

The word “spectacular” comes to mind.


Maybe you’ve always wondered what the universe would look like if you could see radio waves ― or maybe not. Either way, you’ll be wowed by this extraordinary new view of the cosmos as seen by the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) radio telescope in the Australian outback.


Even astronomers are awed by the view, a product of the Galactic and Extragalactic All-Sky MWA (GLEAM) survey of 300,000 galaxies in frequencies from 70 to 230 megahertz.

Those frequencies are invisible to the naked eye.

“The human eye sees by comparing brightness in three different primary colors ― red, green and blue,” Dr. Natasha Hurley-Walker, an early career research fellow at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Bentley, Western Australia, and the lead author of a new paper describing the the survey, said in a press statement. “GLEAM does rather better than that, viewing the sky in 20 primary colors.”


For an even more spectacular viewing experience, the “Gleamoscope” tool (below) lets you see the universe as it appears across the electromagnetic spectrum ― from radio waves and microwaves, to far-infrared and visible light, to X-rays and gamma rays.


The tool is based on the Chromoscope, an interactive graphic produced at Cardiff University in Wales, the New York Times reported.

Hurley-Walker and her collaborators are interested in more than just pretty pictures, as you might imagine.

“Large sky surveys like this are extremely valuable to scientists and they’re used across many areas of astrophysics, often in ways the original researchers could never have imagined,” ICRAR astronomer Dr. Randall Wayth, a co-author of the paper, said in the statement.

Dr. Jay Pasachoff, an astronomer at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, called the GLEAM survey “important research” in an email to The Huffington Post. He added, “It’s great that there are new radio telescopes ... that are mapping the radio waves that come from celestial objects at finer resolutions than we had before.”

Yale astrophysicist Dr. Meg Urry gave a similar assessment of the GLEAM research. In an email to HuffPost, she called it “a gold mine for scientists interested in many different areas.”


The GLEAM astronomers are using the survey to find out what happens when clusters of galaxies collide, Hurley-Walker said, adding that they’re also able to see remnants of explosions from the oldest stars and supermassive black holes’ “last gasp.”

Of course, the real gasps will be the ones from the people who see the image.


 Source: This article was published huffingtonpost.com By David Freeman

On vacation in Antarctica, filmmaker and photographer Alex Cornell captured an unusual sight

Snow-covered icebergs dominate the scene near the shore of the Antarctic Peninsula, the northernmost part of the icy south polar region. Between the sun, the water and icy peaks, the beauty can be quite literally blinding.

“Everything is reflective and everything’s white,” recalls filmmaker Alex Cornell, who vacationed there last month with his family. “People had said that the first time you go, you’re kind of so overwhelmed that you take a lot of pictures of your feet and you don’t really know what’s going on … I definitely felt that,” he says with a laugh.


While exploring Cierva Cove, a glacial bay off the peninsula, a scientist aboard Cornell's boat became excited by one iceberg in particular. “Everything I was seeing was pretty exciting,” Cornell admits. “This particular iceberg at the time kind of blended in with all the crazy stuff we were seeing.”

But as they approached the mass, which rose about 30 feet out the water, Cornell understood his guide’s excitement. Whereas most iceberg tips are covered in snow or have been weathered by the elements, this one was free of debris, exposing glassy, aqua-green ice with water flowing through it—“almost like an ant colony,” he says.

Cornell’s guide suggested that the iceberg had recently flipped. Icebergs form when chunks of freshwater ice calve—or break off—from glaciers and ice shelves, as well as other icebergs. Because of the varying densities of ice and saltwater, only about 10 percent of an iceberg will ever show at the surface, and that protruding tip will gather dirt and snow. Melting can trigger calving, but it can also change the equilibrium of an iceberg, causing it to flip.

In the case of this jewel-like iceberg, the ice is probably very old. In glaciers, years of compression force out air pockets and gradually make the ice denser, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. "When glacier ice becomes extremely dense, the ice absorbs a small amount of red light, leaving a bluish tint in the reflected light, which is what we see.” In addition, minerals and organic matter may have seeped into the underwater part of the iceberg over time, creating its vivid green-blue color.

Justin Burton, an assistant professor at Emory University who has studied the physics of flipping icebergs, says that the phenomenon is occurring more frequently now due to climate change. Outlet glaciers are rivers of ice that flow outward from an ice cap or ice sheet and into the sea. According to Burton, outlet glaciers have been retreating in Antarctica and Greenland, and this contributes to iceberg flipping.

“Usually these tongues of ice would extend far out into the sea and actually be floating there. But now they’re not floating, and [icebergs] tend to break off right at the point where the ice touches the ground," he says. "It’s like squirting toothpaste out of a tube. A little bit of toothpaste comes out the tube, then it breaks off, and a little bit more comes out the tube, then it breaks off. So you get these really thin pieces of ice that flip over right when they’ve broken off.”


Burton is able to remotely record seismic signals and interpret when they're caused by large icebergs flipping. But he says that it is difficult to properly estimate how often a flip happens due to the need for visual confirmation and the dangers and expense of setting up recording equipment.

Given the rarity of the sight, Cornell is humbled to have captured this recently flipped iceberg. “It’s like if you see a double rainbow over a whale breaching … you’re just lucky that you’re there," he says. "Anybody could have been there and captured it, so I am happy that I was the one for this one.”

For more of Cornell’s photos and video work, visit his portfolio here.

Source: This article was published on smithsonianmag.com by Melissa Wiley

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