Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore

(1888PressRelease) January 10, 2017 – A new private browser is disrupting the Android market. Tenta, a mobile browser with Virtual Private Network (VPN) capabilities, is redefining privacy and security on the web. At a time when many people around the world are facing restricted web access enforced by constrictive legislation and policies, Tenta offers a truly private browser where your data is safe and your freedoms, protected.

Several key features set the browser apart from competitors, including:
International Zones: Tap into the web through your choice of VPN server locations such as Amsterdam, Miami, or Seattle (in addition to local servers).

Multiple DNS Choices: Seamlessly switch between DNS servers in app without having to manually adjust your web settings.

Pin Protection: Nobody needs to access your browsing data except for you – keep your history private from those around you with a personal pin number.

Privacy-first Search Engines: Explore the web through a built in search engine that prioritizes privacy as much as we do.

Encrypted Connection: Your online activity isn’t only inaccessible to those around you, but also to those you can’t see.

Secure Data Storage: Protect your media with encryption. Downloaded and store multimedia files securely – including personal videos, images, and more – in the Tenta Vault.

Per App VPN: Tenta will secure any data you tell it to. Simply specify which apps need the added security of a VPN.

Device Wide VPN: Or secure all your data through a Virtual Private Network – even when you leave the Tenta app.

Most browsers offer Private Browsing Mode (or PBM) as a feature, such as Chrome’s Incognito Mode and Private Browsing in Safari. They allow you to browse without accumulating a history, protecting your browsing habits from anyone with local access to your browser. However, online activity from private browsing sessions through big browsers like Chrome and Safari are still available to your ISP or Internet Service Provider. And when private browsing is turned off, your data is collected (and often, sold) as usual.

Tenta doesn’t offer private browsing as an afterthought like Chrome and Safari. Tenta is a private browser.

In fact, the founders take privacy so seriously, that even they can’t access their users’ data. “That pin code is not stored on any of our servers, so only you have access to your Tenta browser,” Tenta’s co-founder told Seattle news station, KUOW.

The team behind Tenta hopes to spur productive conversation surrounding online privacy and security, particularly during an internet era that is becoming increasingly regulated. By providing a creme de crop browsing experience, Tenta intends on leading by example and encouraging larger browsers to take privacy and security as seriously as they do.

For more information about Tenta, visit tenta.com. You can download Tenta for Android in Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tenta.android&hl=en

Inquiries: press ( @ ) tenta dot io

About Tenta:
Tenta is a next generation browser designed for privacy and security without sacrificing speed and convenience. Unlike most browsers, Tenta’s business model is to protect your data instead of selling it. Released in late fall of last year, Tenta allows web users to browse privately and securely from anywhere in the world, regardless of any country’s restrictions and online censorship policies. Like Tenta on Facebook and follow Tenta on Twitter.

Tenta Browser

Source : http://satprnews.com/2017/01/10/new-private-browser-tenta-launches-offers-heightened-security-protects-freedoms-for-web-surfers/

The Internet search engine Yandex.ru is nowadays the most popular website in Russia. More than 25 million people use this resource daily. An annual income of over 200 million Euros makes Yandex the richest Internet company in the country. How did Yandex manage to become so successful and what methods did its inventors use to beat their business rivals?

The story of the search engine Yandex.ru began in Moscow in the 1980s. Back then a young mathematician Arkady Volozh worked in a research institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and did a study on different methods of processing large volumes of information. The Law on Cooperatives enacted in the Soviet Union in 1988 made it possible for people in the country to start their own businesses.

Volozh and his colleagues decided then to earn money by buying computers in Western Europe and selling them in the USSR. The business model of young entrepreneurs had the following structure: they bought seeds of sunflowers in Russia, transported them to Austria, sold them there and purchased new computers.

Although his business was quite successful, Arkady Volozh had a feeling that trade was not really his cup of tea. What fascinated the young man most was programming. Therefore Volozh eventually made up his mind to stop selling computers and founded together with a friend a company named “CompTek” that would write and design computer programs.

Particularly interesting for Volozh and his business partner was invention of new methods of searching for certain data in large amounts of information. The first products of “CompTek” were computer programs for patent classification (these were sold to diverse scientific institutions and patent offices in Russia) and applications for search of goods and services in catalogues of different companies.

In the early 1990s there existed already various computer search engines on the software market. They were all, however, based on grammar rules of English and thus did not take into account peculiarities of other languages.

In English, for example, there are no grammatical cases and declinations for nouns and adjectives: “I am a good student” and “I know a good student” – the noun and the adjective do not change. In Russian, on the contrary, there are six cases and all nouns and adjectives change their form depending on the case. Just like in the German language: “Ich bin ein guter Student” (“I am a good student”) but “Ich kenne einen guten Studenten” (“I know a good student”). A search for the word “Student” in a German text in one of the search engines would have shown you only the first phrase. The second sentence, where the word has another ending, would not have been displayed.

The same problem was with the Russian verbs that have a lot more conjugation forms than the English ones. Aware of that Arkady Volozh and his business partner came up with the idea of creating a new electronic search method suitable for the Russian language. They invented the so-called “morphological search” that could find not only the exact word entered but also all its grammatical forms and derivatives.

To see how the “morphological search” works, the owners of “CompTek” decided to test it on the Bible. The Old and New Testaments contain lots of various words and phrases that occur in different parts of the text. Already in the 12th century there existed a special book that contained references to all terms and expressions from the Holy Scripture – in which chapter and on which page one could find them.

In the 1990s “CompTek” created a special computer program that helped search for every word or phrase in an electronic text of the Bible. For example, if one entered the word “Faith”, the program displayed references to all verses where this word occurred in all its grammatical forms.

The search engine invented by “CompTek” was named “Yandex”, which is a combination of two words: “Ya” (“I” in Russian) and “Index” – i.e. “Index for me” or “My Index” that helps me find everything I want. There was created a newer version of the program that could be installed into different systems and databases, in order search for necessary data in large amounts of information. There existed, for example, a special application “Yandex.CD” that could conduct a search on a compact disc. Lots of different companies and organizations in Russia bought the program from “CompTek” and used it for their needs.

In the mid-1990s “CompTek” turned its attention to the fast growing World Wide Web and created a new version of “Yandex” for search on the Internet. Subsequently “CompTek” tried to sell the browsing program to different telecommunications companies in Russia for 15 thousand USD but everyone rejected the offer because the price was considered too high. The inventors of “Yandex” decided then to make their own website with an Internet search engine and in September 1997 a new domain www.yandex.ru was launched.

At that time there existed already several other search machines in the Russian part of the Internet but the competitive advantage of “Yandex” over all of them lay in the already mentioned “morphological search” that helped find a lot more references to words and phrases. Furthermore, the browsing system of “Yandex” was partly adapted to the natural language of people and could deal with such complicated inquiries as, for example, “What should one do when a thermometer is broken?” or “Where can I buy a vacuum cleaner?” All these conveniences led to a rapid rise in the popularity of “Yandex” in Russia.

In the year 2000 the trademark “Yandex” left its parent company “CompTek” - a new firm with the name “Yandex” was founded. The value of the newborn company was estimated by experts at15 million USD. The biggest Russian Internet holding “Ru-Net” purchased then one third of all shares of “Yandex” for 5 million 280 thousand dollars. This business deal provided the company with a large sum of money for further development – numerous new services such as “Yandex-Mail”, “Yandex-News” etc. were launched. At this moment “Yandex” also started a brand new marketing campaign with advertising slogans “Yandex finds everything” and “Address all your questions to Yandex”. Since people in Russia saw and heard these slogans daily on TV, Radio and billboards, lots of them started to regard “Yandex” as a unique adviser in the World Wide Web. Phrases like “Let’s ask Yandex!” or “What did Yandex say?” went on to become fixed expressions in the vocabulary of many Russians.

In the first decade of the 21st century “Yandex” became the most visited Russian website on the Internet and with about 60 % market share the largest search engine in the country. Competition with other Internet companies, however, constantly forces “Yandex” to introduce various new services to its customers. In the last few years “Yandex” launched a lot of innovative applications such as “Yandex Postcards” (for making individual greeting cards for friends and family), “Yandex Money” (an electronic payment system for purchasing goods and services on the Internet) and “Yandex Jams” (a special online map for car drivers, that shows all traffic congestions in a selected area).

In spring 2011 “Yandex” raised 1.3 billion USD in an initial public offering on NASDAQ in New York City, which was the biggest U.S. IPO for an Internet company since Google went public in 2004. At the same time the value of the whole company was estimated at over 8 billion USD. Now if we recall, that in the mid-1990s the search engine cost only 15 thousand USD, we can calculate that in 15 years its value increased by more than 500 thousand times.

Author : Vladimir Ustyuzhanin

Source : https://sputniknews.com/voiceofrussia/2012_10_02/The-success-story-of-Yandex-Russian-Google-s-rival/

An asteroid roughly the size of a 10-story building gave Earth a particularly close pass Monday morning.

Asteroid 2017 AG13 came within half the distance from Earth to the moon as it buzzed by early Monday morning at 4:47 a.m. PT. The fly-by happened shortly after scientists at the Catalina Sky Survey first discovered the space rock on Saturday.

As you can see in the GIF below, the asteroid looks to just barely miss us as it passes. In the cosmic sense, it really was a close shave. In real terms, Earth had well over a 100,000-mile (161,000 kilometer) buffer of distance.

2017 AG13 isn't so big it would have meant an extinction-level event had it been a direct hit. But if a good size chunk of it made it through Earth's upper atmosphere near a populated area, there might have been damage like we saw in 2013 when a bolide collided with the atmosphere over the Russian city Chelyabinsk. In that event, a fireball streaked over the city, releasing 500 kilotons of energy as it ran up against some serious resistance from Earth's atmosphere and exploded, blowing out windows all over town in the process.


The asteroid is about 36 to 111 feet (11 to 34 meters) across, according to the Slooh Observatory, and moving very fast relative to Earth at 10 miles (16 kilometers) per second. That speed, coupled with 2017 AG13's dim brightness level, made it difficult to spot with telescopes.

Various telescopes and sky surveys constantly scan Earth's neighborhood and track nearby asteroids. Most pass by at a distance several times farther away than the moon is to us, so this was a particularly close buzz by a previously unknown object.

In the video below, Slooh Astronomer Eric Edelman breaks down some of the basics of the asteroid.

Author : Eric Mack

Source : https://www.cnet.com/news/asteroid-2017-ag13-passes-earth-moon-slooh/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+cnet%252Fsecurity+

Are you one of those people who get lost in walk-in closets? Do you build in extra travel time to account for getting lost? Is your sense of direction like a weather vane spinning in strong winds?

For the directionally challenged, getting from Point A to Point B can be a frustrating, time-wasting ordeal. If the idea of trying to get someplace unfamiliar makes you anxious, fear not: Experts say there are steps you can take to improve your sense of direction.

Create a mental map

Review a map of your proposed route before heading out, and perhaps even trace it with your finger, Dr. Brendan Kelley, a neurologist at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said in an email. It will help provide context for the route. Once you arrive, review the map and the route you traveled to reinforce the memory of how you got there.

By reviewing a map before your travel, you can take note of “handrails” — landmarks such as bodies of water, stores and streets — that will visually guide you, Ben G. Oliver, the director of outdoor education at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., said in an interview.

Be mindful of place

Stop and enjoy the scenery. Set your phone to vibrate every 15 minutes to remind you to note where you are, Richard S. Citrin, an organizational psychologist from Pittsburgh, said in an email. 

Take notes and comment about what you see. That will help orient you and strengthen connections in your brain about where you are and have been. 

Sue Barry wearing a hat outfitted with a device designed by her husband that buzzed when she turned north.CreditAndrew J. Barry

Try not to get stressed, because that makes it more likely you will become disoriented and confused. “When our automatic responses take over, we usually wind up lost emotionally and sometimes physically,” he said.

Put the technology away

Experts say that technology like GPS devices or apps on smartphones can be crutches that inhibit the development of a better sense of direction.

The devices can be good “adaptive strategies” to navigate to unfamiliar places, Dr. Kelley said. However, it can be challenging to learn on our own if we rely too heavily on them.

David R. Widman, a professor of psychology at Juniata College in Huntingdon, Pa., said in an interview that paper maps, with their foldout pages, offer a better overview of where you are headed than the small screens of smartphones.

He recalled that during a trip his family took from central Pennsylvania to Vermont, the GPS device never made it clear that they would have to cross Lake Champlain. The trip ended up taking 11 hours.

“The GPS is as likely to get you to where you want to go as it is to get you lost,” he said.

Take different routes to the same place

Mr. Citrin said that when traffic is bad, he takes a different route even if it takes longer.

“As my mind begins to understand that option, I increase my awareness of how going in different directions helps me get to where I am going,” he said.


Figure out where north is

Sue Barry, professor emeritus of biological sciences and neuroscience at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass., said in an interview that her sense of direction was “really quite pathetic.” She understood what was at her point of origin and what was at her destination, but had no understanding of what was in between or how the two points related to each other.

Her husband, Dan, an engineer, was inspired by a 2007 article in Wired magazine that described the “feelSpace belt,” which was outfitted with a power supply and 13 vibrating pads. A sensor detected Earth’s magnetic field, and whichever pad pointed north would buzz to alert the person wearing the belt.

As a Mother’s Day gift in 2010, Ms. Barry’s husband embedded compass circuitry into a sun hat. The circuitry was connected by a wire to a battery-powered motor, which she would hold in her hand or tuck into the hat. When she was pointing north, the motor would buzz.

North! Sue Barry on "Place Blindness" Video by Oliver Sacks

It offered a tactile sense of where north was, she said, adding that the experiment had left her with a greater sense of “connectiveness to the Earth.” She said she started to gain an awareness of where she was in relation to streets, buildings and landmarks.

“The results of that was I started to think more about the two-mile journey to work as being on a map,” she said.

She also began to use the position of the sun and her shadow to plot north. She now carries a compass, and when she has difficulty sleeping, she works on building a “spatial memory” by mentally recreating her trip and mapping what buildings appear in what order.

“You have to teach yourself,” she said. “You have to pay attention to make these changes, and it’s hard.”


Source :http://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/09/science/walking-directions-mobile-phone.html?_r=1

Google announced back in August 2016 that it will begin to devalue web pages in mobile search with intrusive interstitials as of January 10, 2017. Going forward, Google recommends using interstitials on mobile pages that only take up a “reasonable” amount of screen space.

Here is an example of what Google considers to be “intrusive”:

Screen Shot 2017-01-09 at 3.18.00 PM

Google gave site owners plenty of time to prepare for the update, but in case you have not yet done so, I have rounded up 10 pieces of expert advice that will ensure your web pages are not affected by this penalty.

How to Avoid Google’s Mobile Interstitials Penalty

Advice from Google

The first piece of advice comes from none other than Google itself. Here’s how Google defines the penalty:

“To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.”

Takeaway: Content on the pages you have indexed in mobile search must be readily available when a user clicks through to the page from Google.

Be Honest With Yourself: Do Your Pop-Ups Serve a Purpose?

Ben Silverman from Brafton Marketing shares this advice:

“The easiest way to avoid the mobile interstitial and pop-up penalty is to think like Google, whose main objective is to make the internet more accessible, browsable, intuitive and honest, especially for mobile browsers. This means there are some exceptions to Google’s pop-up policy: If yours serves a real, honest purpose, chances are you’ll be okay.”

Takeaway: Some pop-ups are still acceptable if they are either required by law, such as age verification, or if they don’t detract from the main content on the page, such as a small banner at the top.

Hiding Content With Ads is Now Against Google Guidelines

The Verge shares this advice:

“For the most part, Google is targeting overlays that gray out the content beneath them to prevent you from reading a website, either for a few seconds or until you find and very carefully tap a little X to dismiss them.”

Takeaway: Publishers may not be happy about this, but ads that are displayed over top of the main content are no longer acceptable. This includes ads that appear when you land on a page, as well as ads that appear as you scroll down a page. There should be no barrier preventing a user from reading content on the page at any time.

Ad Publishers Need to Adapt and Look Into New Strategies

HubSpot’s Senior Product Marketing Manager, Marcus Andrews, shares this advice:

“…if they haven’t done so already, marketers solve for mobile SEO first. The pain that comes with changing a revenue model is inevitable, but shorter-term – and businesses that rely on advertiser dollars, should figure out ways to make money that don’t totally disrupt the mobile user experience.”

Takeaway: Removing revenue-generating interstitials might hurt at first, but losing organic search traffic could hurt even more. Therefore, site owners must adapt and look for non-intrusive ways to generate revenue.

Develop a Content Marketing Strategy for Generating Revenue

Sitepoint shares this advice:

“The consistent creation and distribution of relevant content attracts users without beating them with a hard-sell stick. Use content—including blog posts, round-ups, guides, videos, infographics, and more—to educate audiences and guide them through the buying process.”

Takeaway: Since the goal of Google’s interstitials penalty is to make content more accessible, use that to your advantage. Develop a content marketing strategy to sell users on your products and services, rather than intrusive pop-up ads.

Mobile-Friendly Label is Being Removed for All Sites, But Being Mobile-Friendly Still Matters

Syed Balkhi of OptinMonster shares this advice:

“The first part of the announcement that a lot of journalists skipped over is that the “mobile-friendly” label that Google is currently displaying in search results will be removed for everyone on January 10, 2017… Since over 85% of all pages in mobile search results now meet the criteria, they will be removing the label for everyone.”

Takeaway: Google will no longer consider pages with intrusive interstitials as being mobile-friendly, but don’t panic once you don’t see the “mobile-friendly” label next to your content in search results. The label is being removed for everyone, although being mobile friendly is still as important as it has ever been.

Intrusive Interstitials Not Allowed on Mobile, But Desktop is Still OK

Icegram shares this advice:

“Use display targeting rules in your popup / interstitial program, and show them only on desktop / larger screens. Don’t use popups and interstitials on mobile. Instead use smaller messages like banners, inlines or slide ins.”

Takeaway: You don’t have to remove intrusive pop-up ads and interstitials altogether, you only need to remove them on mobile pages. They can still be displayed on desktop browsers without incurring any kind of penalty.

Check Your WordPress Plugins

Sarah Gooding of WP Tavern shares this advice:

“WordPress users who use plugins to display pop up messages, whether it’s for coupons, membership offers, promotions, or another form of advertising, will want to carefully review Google’s size guidelines or consider a different approach for reaching visitors.”

Takeaway: If you use WordPress plugins to display interstitials, staying in compliance with Google’s new guidelines may be as simple as adjusting sizes using the plugin settings. Remember, keep them small and non-obtrusive. Content should be the main focus of the page.

Interstitials Triggered by Exit Intent Are Still Allowed

Google’s John Mueller shared this advice when asked if the penalty would apply to pages with an interstitial triggered on exit intent:

“At the moment those wouldn’t count. What we’re looking for is really interstitials that show up on the interaction between the search click and going through the page and seeing the content. So that’s kind of the the place we’re looking for those interstitials. What you do afterwards, like if someone clicks on stuff within your website or closes the tab or something like that then that’s kind of between you and the user.”

Takeaway: Interstitials triggered by exit intent are perfectly fine. Google is only targeting interstitials that appear when a user lands on a page.

Page-to-Page Interstitials Will Not Be Penalized

Google’s John Mueller again shared his advice when asked if the penalty only applies to pages that users land on from Google’s search results:

Takeaway: Google is not looking to penalize all pages with interstitials, only the ones which searchers can land on from search results. It’s still OK to display an interstitial when a user navigates from one of your pages to another.


Google is always looking for new ways to improve the search experience. The intent behind devaluing pages with intrusive interstitials is to help users find the content they need without being bombarded by pop-ups. There’s no doubt this will require a period of adjustment for site owners who have been displaying interstitials up until this point, but in the end it could lead to more time on site, more pageviews per visit, and a lower bounce rate. There are both positive and negative aspects to this update — site owners just have to keep rolling with Google’s proverbial punches.

For more information, I recommend listening to SEJ’s recent Marketing Nerds podcast where SEJ Executive Editor Kelsey Jones sits down with Simon Schnieders and Edward Kreiman from Blue Array to talk about the upcoming mobile interstitials penalty in detail.

Author : Matt Southern

Source : https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-mobile-interstitials-penalty/183216/

Advertisers that depend on calls going to a central phone number for conversion tracking and other reasons will face a challenge as of January 19, 2017.

On Thursday, some AdWords advertisers received an unexpected email from Google explaining upcoming changes to the phone numbers that appear in ads. The change affects campaigns that use both call extensions and location extensions.

Google has expanded exposure for ads that include location extensions over the past year, including showing ads in Maps and in Local Finder results. As of January 19, 2017,  Google says it “may” show the local retail phone number when that store’s location extension shows in an ad even if a call extension in the campaign uses a different phone number in order to increase the relevance of ads that feature specific business locations.

The two-week notice was the first communication of the change. Asked why the email says a location-specific phone number “may be used” instead of “will be used,” a Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that they are continuously testing. That means it’s possible the ads could still potentially show (correction) with either number no number in the location extension.

Advertisers that have location extensions are advised to ensure their Google My Business listings have the accurate phone numbers for each location.

And that brings us to the problems that many advertisers will face with this change.

There are numerous scenarios in which advertisers with physical location prefer to have calls directed to a central number or call center. With AdWords, chief among those reasons is the lack of call conversion tracking at the individual location level. Google is clearly aware of that concern. There is a form that advertisers can submit before the change to opt out of having local numbers show in location extensions, but Google warns it could negatively impact ad impressions (and, in turn, calls). One of the reasons listed for opting out on the form is: “I want detailed call reporting and the ability to track conversions from these phone calls.”


A Google spokesperson told Search Engine Land that AdWords is actively exploring conversion tracking on location-specific phone numbers. Until that happens, advertisers that are not equipped to have calls come to individual locations, don’t want to lose conversion tracking or have other reasons they don’t want to pay to have calls coming to individual locations, are in a tight place come January 19.

Below is the email Google sent Thursday (with identifying information removed).




Author: Ginny Marvin
Source: http://searchengineland.com/google-adwords-click-to-call-location-extensions-change-267184

As the world looks ahead to 2017, many astronomers and sky gazers are looking up, with a litany of space-related events and missions peppering the months ahead. We've chronicled a handful of the most exciting to circle on your calendar. Let's all hope for clear skies.

Comet 45P/HMP

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova

Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova, discovered simultaneously in 1948 by Japanese astronomer Minoru Honda and Czechoslovakian astronomers Antonin Mrkos and Ludmila Pajdusakova, is a periodic comet that returns to the inner solar system every five years.While this is the same comet that put on a show to those with telescopes or strong binoculars on New Year's Eve 2016, the real time to catch this sungrazer is on its return trip back through the solar system. On Feb. 11, Comet 45P will make its closest approach to Earth, coming within 7.7 million miles and brightening to a predicted magnitude of +6. This is just on the edge of viewing with the naked eye. Look for it near the constellation Hercules just before dawn.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy test

Sometime in the first half of 2017, SpaceX is expected to proceed with the inaugural launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket. Consisting of three Falcon 9 cores, this 27 engine rocket will (if successful) become the most powerful operational booster in the world. In addition to being able to lift more than 119,000 pounds into orbit, the Falcon Heavy is also expected to operate at one-third the cost of the next closest heavy booster.The launch of the Falcon Heavy will also hold special significance for the future of humanity's exploration of deep space, including a potential manned mission to Mars."Falcon Heavy was designed from the outset to carry humans into space and restores the possibility of flying missions with crew to the moon or Mars," the company states on its website.When SpaceX founder Elon Musk does announce the first launch date, you can bet it will quickly become one of the more nail-biting space-related events of 2017.

The Great American Eclipse

Total solar eclipse

On Aug. 21, the first total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States in more than three decades will dazzle from sea to shining sea. To see the moon fully pass in front of the sun, however, you'll need to be within a 75-mile wide band that stretches across the U.S. between Oregon and South Carolina. Those outside this special band will still witness quite a shot, as the sun takes on a crescent shape for between one to two minutes.The place to head to if you're really eager to embrace this event? Glendo, Wyoming. Never heard of it? That's not surprising, as the town is home to only 205 people. That population is expected to dramatically increase as Glendo's location is in the bulls-eye of the moon's shadow on Aug. 21. As a result, it will experience the totality of the solar eclipse for just under three minutes."Plan a trip to see this total solar eclipse," writes astronomer Dean Regas. "Call in sick to work. Play hooky from school. If you need an astronomer’s note, I can provide one. A total solar eclipse will be a sight you will never forget."

Saturn's rings on display

Saturn Cassini

For much of 2017, the planet Saturn will shine at its brightest since 2002. This is because its beautiful rings, which contribute greatly to its ability to be seen with the naked eye, will be "wide open," with Saturn's northern hemisphere tipped in our direction. In fact, the planet won't look this good again until at least 2030.The ringed planet will be at its brightest in the evening sky on June 15, when it makes its closest approach to Earth. A medium-sized or larger telescope will allow you to view Saturn's rings and a few of its brightest moons.

China's moon mission

Chang'e 5 lander

In the fall of 2017, China will launch its new Chang’e 5 lander on a mission to land on the moon and return 4.5 pounds of lunar samples back to Earth. If successful, it would mark the first time in more than 40 years that a sample from the moon has been made available for scientific study."We are ready. Every lab is ready," chief scientist Ouyang Ziyuan told reporters in October 2016. "Once the samples are back, we can begin our analysis right away."In addition to Chang’e 5, China is also planning a 2018 mission to make the first-ever soft-landing on the far side of the moon. The lander would include a 37-pound rover to explore the moon's surface and relay scientific data, pictures, and video back to China's mission control.

Geminid meteor shower

Campers take in the 2014 Geminids meteor shower.

While the Perseid meteor shower each August offers a fantastic opportunity to witness shooting stars, this year's event will unfortunately be washed out by a waning gibbous moon. Thankfully, with the holiday season in full swing, the Geminid meteor shower on Dec. 14 will pick up the slack. With the moon a waning crescent rising before dawn, the evening will be perfectly tuned to allow skygazers to spot as many as 100 meteors per hour.

Cassini crashes into Saturn

cassini spacecraft

On Sept. 17, the Cassini spacecraft in orbit around Saturn will make a dramatic death plunge into the planet. The maneuver, designed to prevent a future fuel-spent Cassini from crashing into (and potentially contaminating) two moons around Saturn thought to harbor life, will record unprecedented data on the ringed world."It’s inspiring, adventurous and romantic — a fitting end to this thrilling story of discovery," NASA writes.The dramatic finale will cap a mission by Cassini spanning more than 20 years in space. Discoveries, some of which we've profiled here, have included everything from landing a probe on the moon of Titan to spotting a giant hurricane spanning more than 1,200 miles in Saturn's atmosphere.

Source:  http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/space/blogs/space-skywatching-events-2017

who sees January 1 as the perfect opportunity for a life-transforming resolution.

But there's a good chance that resolution could do more harm than good, said Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School and author of the book "Presence."

"We're really bad at setting reasonable goals," Cuddy told Business Insider in 2014. And when we don't meet an unreasonable goal, we fill ourselves with feelings of anxiety and lower our self-worth.

In "Presence," she explores how being authentic to our "true selves" is essential for reducing stress that holds us back from our full potential.

She told Business Insider there are four common mistakes with New Year's resolutions.

1. They deal with absolutes.

"People are making absolute statements about what they're going to do, and that's setting them up for failure immediately," Cuddy said, "because they're not always going to go to the gym three times a week."

For that example, you may start to religiously work out at the gym, but at some point in the year there may be a period where the flu keeps you in bed for a week or a few days when you need to set aside your plans for the sake of your job or family.

On the other hand, it's just as unhelpful to come up with a vague and distant goal, such as "I'm going to get a job," because there's nothing to latch onto.

2. They are framed by negativity.

People "tend to focus on things they want to change about themselves and things they dislike about themselves," Cuddy said.

When you do this, "you're eliciting in yourself negative emotions. Some negative emotions are motivating, but for the most part, they're not," she explained.

If you say, "I'm going to stop eating junk food," to use an example, you're denigrating yourself before even getting started. You're better off framing your goal as "eating healthier" so that you'll remain motivated and optimistic.

3. They are focused on the outcome and not the process.

"If you're focused on walking 100 miles, and you're just constantly focused on that number 100 miles and trying to track your progress, it's going to be pretty friggin' demoralizing most of the way," Cuddy said. "You're going to feel like a failure for so much of that because the comparison is between where I am now versus where I want to be."

4. They are reliant on outside forces.

And finally, it's a bad idea to incorporate other people and moments of luck into your goal-setting.

If you're going for a promotion at work, you'll be doing yourself a favor by focusing on steps along the way related to your performance. But starting off with the idea that you're a failure if you don't get the position disregards plenty of factors beyond your control, such as the mindset of your boss and any other role changes within the company.

In "Presence," Cuddy advocates for "self-nudging," a process of constantly setting small goals in lieu of large ones.

And while she is not a fan of grandiose New Year's resolutions, she said she can still appreciate that people want to use January 1 as a symbolic day to start with a goal, as long as it's one that allows room for self-nudges and doesn't cause too much stress.

Cuddy said that one of her goals last year was "to fall in love with running," avoiding any specific number of miles or pace times. She started with a simple self-nudge to reach a jogging pace where she would still be able to carry a conversation without getting winded, and started building from there.

As a natural byproduct of this approach, her pace began to pick up. And she didn't even have to shame herself into getting into better shape.

Author : Richard Feloni

Source : http://www.businessinsider.com/amy-cuddy-explains-the-dangers-of-new-years-resolutions-2016-12

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 00:30

Wildest Alien Planet Discoveries of 2016

The hunt for alien worlds has been the source of many exciting discoveries, as the number of confirmed planets outside Earth's solar sytem has more than doubled this past year. 

Here's a look at the top 10 planetary finds of 2016, including the discovery of the closest Earth-like neighbor, Proxima b; alien worlds that have more than one sun; and even one distant planet potentially located in Earth's solar system: 

1. Earth's cosmic neighbor

In August, astronomers announced the discovery of a world called Proxima b, which orbits Proxima Centauri, the closest star to Earth's own sun. 

Proxima b has a minimum mass of about 1.3 times the Earth's, and it's located roughly 4.22 light-years away. What's more, it orbits within the habitable zone of Proxima Centauri, which means this planet could have a surface temperature that would allow for the presence of liquid water. This means that this rocky world has the potential to support life.

2. Planet Nine

A giant, icy world called Planet Nine is thought to exist in the Kuiper Belt at the outer edge of Earth's solar system, and astronomers could be on the cusp of actually finding the distant world. 

This undiscovered planet is believed to be about 10 times more massive than Earth and have an average temperature of minus 374.8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 226 degrees Celsius). Astronomers announced the potential for the discovery of Planet Nine in January 2016, and in October, they predicted the planet would be found within 16 months or so

Astronomers are using mathematical modeling and computer simulations to pin down the location of this alien world. Observations of the orbits of six other, smaller objects in the Kuiper Belt suggest that a much more massive body (which would, theoretically, be Planet Nine) has a strong gravitational influence in this region.

3. 1,284 new exoplanets

In May, astronomers announced the discovery of 1,284 new exoplanets, the single largest haul of alien worlds made to date. 

Among the exoplanets discovered were nine rocky worlds that could possibly support life as we know it. This discovery was made using NASA's Kepler space telescope, which finds planets that dim their stars as they orbit past. The number of confirmed exoplanets now stands at a staggering grand total of 3,439. 

"This gave scientists hope that somewhere out there, around a star much like ours, we can eventually discover another Earth," NASA officials said in a statement

In fact, two of the exoplanets, Kepler-1638b and Kepler-1229b, are among the most Earth-like planets ever found, as they orbit within their host stars' habitable zones.

4. Rogue planet

A giant alien planet called 2MASS J2126 was found orbiting 600 billion miles (1 trillion kilometers) from its host star, making this planet's star system the largest one known. 

In fact, the exoplanet has such a wide orbit that astronomers previously thought it was a "rogue" planet flying freely through space. For comparison, 2MASS J2126 orbits 7,000 times farther from its star than Earth does from the sun. At that distance, the gas-giant exoplanet completes one orbit every 900,000 years or so.

5. 1 star, 3 exoplanets

In May, astronomers found an alien solar system called TRAPPIST-1, which lies 40 light-years from Earth. The system features a tiny, ultracool dwarf star and three small potentially habitable exoplanets

As an ultracool dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1 is 2,000 times less bright and less than half as warm as the sun. What's more, this alien world is only about one-twelfth the sun's mass and less than one-eighth the sun's width, making it only slightly larger in diameter than Jupiter.

This strange star was discovered using the TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) telescope in Chile. The three exoplanets found orbiting TRAPPIST-1 are each only about 10 percent larger in diameter than Earth. The discovery of this alien solar system marked the first time that an exoplanet had been found orbiting an ultracool dwarf star, astronomers said.

6. Jewel clouds

Also this year, astronomers detected exotic weather on a large exoplanet known as HAT-P-7b. The upper atmosphere of this alien world boasts powerful winds and clouds composed at least partially of corundum, the mineral that forms sapphires and rubies. This was the first discovery of weather on a gas giant planet outside the solar system.

HAT-P-7b is about 40 percent larger than Jupiter and is located 1,040 light-years from Earth. The planet orbits its host star every 2.2 days, and it is tidally locked, with the same side always facing its parent star — just like the moon always presents the same face to Earth.

7. Characterization of super-Earth atmosphere

Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers characterized the atmosphere of a "super-Earth" exoplanet for the first time, revealing hydrogen and helium, but no water vapor, in the air of an alien world called 55 Cancri e. 

Located 40 light-years from Earth's solar system, 55 Cancri e is an exoplanet that is about two times wider and eight times more massive than Earth. What's more, this alien world lies incredibly close to its host star, completing one orbit every 18 hours, indicating that the planet is far too hot to host life as we know it. In fact, scientists estimate that surface temperatures on 55 Cancri e can reach up to 3,630 degrees F (2,000 degrees C).

8. Star trio

Another exoplanet discovered this year was also spotted orbiting multiple stars. The strange new world, HD 131399Ab, circles three stars at once in a highly exotic celestial arrangement. 

HD 131399Ab is located 340 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Centaurus. For about half of the planet's orbit through the system, which lasts 550 Earth-years, all three stars are visible in the sky.

The system exhibits a strange configuration: Exoplanet HD 131399Ab orbits a large, bright star — call it Star A — and then the exoplanet and Star A are orbited by a pair of stars referred to as Star B and Star C. This multistar system was the first found with such an exotic configuration.

9. New K-2 finds

NASA's Kepler space telescope suffered two gyroscope failures in 2013 that rendered it unable to hold its former focus on one precise patch of the sky. But that didn't stop Kepler: Scientists developed a new mission for the scope, aptly named K-2. Using its two remaining gyroscopes, its thrusters and the pressure of sunlight, the telescope now observes different portions of the sky, each for up to 83 days, and then rotates to prevent sunlight from coming into its field of view.

K-2 has unveiled 58 candidate planets, 127 of which have already been confirmed. This includes two rocky exoplanets called K2-72c and 72e, which orbit within the habitable zone of their host star (located about 181 light-years from Earth). 

K2-72c circles slightly closer to the host star with a 15-day orbit, while sibling K2-72e has a 24-day orbit. Additionally, K2-72c is about 10 percent warmer than Earth, while K2-72e is about 6 percent colder than Earth.

10. Triple suns

Yet another planet with multiple stars was discovered in 2016. A newfound alien planet called KELT-4Ab has three suns in its sky

Similar to exoplanet HD 131399Ab and its star trio, KELT-4Ab has a strange celestial configuration. KELT-4Ab orbits the star KELT-A once every three days. In turn, a nearby pair of stars then orbits KELT-A.

What's more, the twin stars, KELT-B and KELT-C, orbit one another once every 30 years, and together they travel around KELT-A and its planet every 4,000 years or so. Astronomers estimate that, to viewers on the planet, KELT-A would appear to be about 40 times as large as the sun appears in the sky on Earth, while the pair of stars would appear about as bright as the full moon in the sky. This strange system is only one of the few known to contain three stars

Author: Samantha Mathewson
Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/wildest-alien-planet-discoveries-of-2016/ar-BBxH5sc


Thursday, 29 December 2016 22:32

Info Overload? Get Aggregated, Not Aggravated

In a world where “fake news” proliferates and those daily intelligence briefings really do drag on, there comes an artificially intelligent response.

Entrepreneur Blake Cornell, a self-described “nerd’s nerd” who routinely follows bright ideas with several thousand lines of code, doesn’t necessarily intend Long Island Tech News to be the antidote to agenda-driven phonies masquerading as journalists. But by carefully selecting his news aggregator’s sources – and giving users unprecedented control over their newsfeed’s emotional content – the cofounder of Sayville-based e-solutions provider Web Source Group has created the perfect propaganda filter, and that’s just one of his creation’s breakthrough functions.

At heart, Long Island Tech News is a robotic engine that fetches updated news stories every 15 minutes (672 times per week) from roughly 80 local, state, national and international sources, ranging from news outlets to universities to government agencies. Coded to seek out stories involving technology, business, Long Island or any combination thereof, the engine analyzes matches and stores them in its searchable, constantly evolving database.

That’s fairly basic stuff: Aggregators like Feedly and Google News already offer customizable feeds, while sites like Metanews have been lining up third-party headlines for two decades. Cornell’s creation breaks ground by focusing on Long Island – “I didn’t want to do national,” he noted, “because if it grew wings, I’d need to plan for that” – and especially though its use of NLP, and no, that’s not a reference to neuro-linguistic programming, a widely discredited pseudoscience favored by carnival hypnotists.

In this case, the world’s “first NLP-based AI tech news engine” spices up its artificial intelligence with natural language processing, a computer-science field focused on the interactions between automatons and human languages – the digital secret sauce in Cornell’s intuitive search system.

“Traditionally, people can only search by keywords,” he told Innovate LI. “Now they can search by emotion.”

Basically, Long Island Tech News measures the “contextually aware sentiment” of an article’s specific language, allowing users to search stories based on their inherent levels of anger, disgust, fear, joy and sadness. After a traditional keyword search field, each of those five emotions gets four boxes – Not Likely, Unlikely, Likely and Very Likely – and users can click some, all or none of them.

Cornell pitches it as a time- and effort-saver in a digital world overrun by fake news, repetitive reporting and other inefficient distractions.

Blake Cornell: Heart of the matter.

“The engine determines the emotional sentiments and stores them as attributes in each individual news article, which can be searched for later,” he said. “So instead of going to 80 websites, I go to one, and instead of sifting through thousands of articles, I can search via emotion and find the needle in the haystack.”

As an example, the inventor searched Long Island Tech News for “Donald Trump” and clicked several emotion boxes, turning down the anger and fear and turning up the joy. While most “Trump” searches turn up boatloads of vitriol, this customized search of the engine’s 80-something sources produced two results: a story about the “Trump effect’s” positive influence on Japan’s Nikkei Index and what Cornell called an “oddball” return focused on the Green Bay Packers.

“Trump was in there,” he noted. “But in the story, the joy was really for the Packers.”

It’s not an exact science, yet, hence the beta run. But Long Island Tech News’ ambitions are high, and they don’t stop at measuring news-article sentimentality.

The engine – which processed 8,130 articles between its Oct. 7 launch date and 3 p.m. Dec. 28 – also caters to the so-much-info-so-little-time generation with tidy article summaries. While searchers can link directly to source articles, they can also breeze through a summary (5,000-word articles reduced to 500 words) or click a button that reads the Cliff’s Notes version aloud, freeing them to multitask.

“There are junk words in language,” Cornell noted. “And there’s repetition in content. Basically, you and concatenate two sentences together and remove the filler.”

As it does with its sentimentality protocols, Long Island Tech News relies heavily on artificial intelligence for its summaries. Cornell has hired no writers or editors; instead, the engine reads the source stories and writes its own synopses through a combination of protocols borrowed from Watson – IBM’s speech-sensitive AI system – and application-programming interface middleware designed by Cornell.

“I generate no content,” he said. “I have no writers. It’s all completely automated. The system automatically finds the content, tags it, categorizes it and shortens it.

“The whole idea is machine learning, which is all about trial and error,” Cornell added. “You can teach a computer to play Mario on Nintendo, you can teach it to shorten articles.”

While providing a customized newsfeed is Long Island Tech News’ primary function, it offers other potential verticals, according to Cornell, who is also chief technical officer at Garden City-based cybersecurity expert Integris Security LLC.

For instance, organizations can sign up as a news source, have the engine fetch their relevant press releases and then visit the site to see how the releases are playing with audiences.

“You don’t want an angry press release,” Cornell noted. “Corporate institutions can check their press releases to make sure they’re not sending the wrong message.”

The programmer also envisions partnerships with “specific news outlets” that want to provide “extended search capabilities” internally.

Cornell’s extended search capabilities will remain in beta run indefinitely, while he incorporates upgrades including new “trend analysis” functionality – allowing the site to rank its “top” stories – and multilingual support (he’s busily integrating Google Translate’s API).

He’s also looking to improve facial- and object-recognition protocols, helping the engine search source sites’ artwork more thoroughly and, in the process, enhance its own search capabilities.

“As time goes on and it processes more and more images, you can search ‘Chuck Schumer unhappy’ or search terms like that,” he said. “The idea is you can apply the emotion on someone’s face to your search.”

Cornell is even dancing with the idea of being able to predict tomorrow’s news today, by hyper-focusing on analytics and studying trends.

“It sounds out there,” he noted. “But it’s totally feasible.”

While the beta version already includes some advertising “just to test the model,” Cornell has other monetization ideas in mind. He’d first like to focus his news engine on a specific industry “and make it national” – the finance industry is a possible target, he noted – before ultimately licensing out the technology to specific news organizations and helping them incorporate it.

Wherever Long Island Tech News goes next, Cornell – who estimates his startup has cost him about 500 hours of programming and “50 bucks worth of software” – knows his fingers will do the walking.

“I’m the sweat equity guy,” he said. “I secure things. I break things. I develop things. My fingers need to move, man.”

Source: http://www.innovateli.com/info-overload-get-aggregated-not-aggravated

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