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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

Google My Business has started sending notifications when new listings go live on the web.

A representative from Google announced this update while stating users will only receive these notifications if their business accounts are fewer than 100 listings.

Bulk verification accounts will not receive these notifications.

Accounts will also not receive these notifications if their language preference is set to anything other than US English.

Another way to confirm a listing’s real-time status is to click the direct links on the “Your business is on Google” card.

The “Your business is on Google” card is displayed in the GMB dashboard on the right-hand side, as seen in the example below:

Those who would prefer not to receive notifications can unsubscribe at any time from the settings menu.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern

Google’s John Mueller revealed that the search engine’s algorithms do not punish keyword stuffing too harshly.

In fact, keyword stuffing may be ignored altogether if the content is found to otherwise have value to searchers.

This information was provided on Twitter in response to users inquiring about keyword stuffing. More specifically, a user was concerned about a page ranking well in search results despite obvious signs of keyword repetition.

Prefacing his statement with the suggestion to focus on one’s own content rather than someone else’s, Mueller goes on to say that there are over 200 factors used to rank pages and “the nice part is that you don’t have to get them all perfect.”

When the excessive keyword repetition was further criticized by another user, Mueller said this practice shouldn’t result in a page being removed from search results, and “boring keyword stuffing” may be ignored altogether.

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“Yeah, but if we can ignore boring keyword stuffing (this was popular in the 90’s; search engines have a lot of practice here), there’s sometimes still enough value to be found elsewhere. I don’t know the page, but IMO keyword stuffing shouldn’t result in removal from the index.”

There are several takeaways from this exchange:

  • An SEO’s time is better spent improving their own content, rather than trying to figure out why other content is ranking higher.
  • Excessive keyword stuffing will not result in a page being removed from indexing.
  • Google may overlook keyword stuffing if the content has value otherwise.
  • Use of keywords is only one of over 200 ranking factors.

Overall, it’s probably not a good idea to overuse keywords because it arguably makes the content less enjoyable to read. However, keyword repetition will not hurt a piece of content when it comes to ranking in search results.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Matt Southern

The archived internet deserves more recognition. Online security has been a hot-button topic in the tech community recently, with data scandals and privacy policy updates constantly driving the conversation. But, keeping the internet a stable and reliable network isn’t all about data security – it’s also about data preservation.

Anything that’s low tech is dismissed as “from the stone age,” but stone is by far the most stable way to record information. Not only will the hard drives and networked routers of today never last a thousand years, but plenty of information online won’t even last the decade. As local newspapers or long-in-the-tooth startups go under, they all leave dead links scattered across the internet, constantly replaced with fresh links that will themselves eventually die.

Wow, sorry, didn’t mean to get too dark there. My point is, memories that you might want to keep are increasingly likely to exist only on the internet — rambling G-Chat conversations with your best friend, say, or your first WordPress blog. If you want to preserve, protect, or search through your online footprint, read on to learn which five online tools can best help you comb through the archived internet.

Archive.is

What It Does

This is the quickest and easiest way to grab a free, high-quality record of an existing webpage.

“This can be useful if you want to take a ‘snapshot’ a page which could change soon: price list, job offer, real estate listing, or drunk blog post,” the site explains.

You can search through the Archive.is site for previously archived web pages, if you’re interested in tracking a specific Twitter account or tech company. There’s even a draggable bookmarklet that you can add to your bookmarks bar to archive future webpages with a single click.

How You Can Use It

Go to the Archive.is site, paste the URL of your webpage into the bar at the top, and click on the “save the page” button.

Given the social fallout that can come from a single bad tweet, this site can be a useful way to grab a verifiable, photoshop-proof evidence of a tweet or post that will likely be deleted soon. The saved webpage that results won’t have any active elements or scripts (no popups or paywalls, in other words), but should look more or less the same, even down to the same clickable hyperlinks that the original page boasted.

Lumen

What It Does

Data loss on the internet isn’t always due to the natural process of link rot, as servers or domains become permanently unavailable. One major cause is due to legal demands for content removal. While the content removed due to takedowns can’t itself be archived, the legal complaints themselves can be.

Lumen is an online database of takedown notifications. It’s a project from the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, designed to collect digital content removal requests.

“Our goals are to educate the public, to facilitate research about the different kinds of complaints and requests for removal–both legitimate and questionable–that are being sent to Internet publishers and service providers, and to provide as much transparency as possible about the “ecology” of such notices, in terms of who is sending them and why, and to what effect,” the website explains.

How You Can Use It

Type any search term into the site and you’ll likely pull up thousands of results. Use the advanced search functions, and you’ll be able to narrow down the DMCA requests by topic, sender, recipient, tags, country, language, action taken, and date.

The search results page includes an easily scanned list of takedown requests, including details such as who submitted them, on behalf of whom, and who to (the latter is almost always Google). You might want to use this database if you’re interested in why a seemingly innocent post in your search results or a favorite YouTube video has suddenly disappeared due to a content claim. You’ll get all the information you need to follow up on the takedown with the company who submitted the request in the first place.

Lumen has a feature that allows you to construct a DMCA counter notice, if you’re the one who has been hit with a takedown that you want to contest. You can also report your own takedown notification though the contact information available on the site.

PeekYou

What It Does

Often, the data you’re looking for can’t be located with a normal internet search engine. The “deep web” is one reason: Plenty of archives, from the Social Security Administration’s baby name database to this trove of 19th-century British book reviews, live in online portals that can’t be crawled. Another issue is how to spread out the data often is: Local papers, social media accounts, and blog platforms might all hold bits of information, while never revealing the big picture.

People-search engines are designed to comb through these isolated databases, and PeekYou is a great example of a service that combines disparate sources of content to find a wide swathe of information on individuals. You’ll need to know a name and location, a username, or a phone number.

How You Can Use It

Want to finally thank your third-grade English teacher for that mentorship? Return a book to your ex-girlfriend’s cousin? Find out which of your college classmates have an arrest record? The possibilities are endless.

The Wayback Machine


What It Does

The Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is likely the most universally-known archival site. Its 279 billion web pages cover the past 20 years of internet history.

The Internet Archive features millions of books, texts, images, videos, and audio recordings in addition to the webpages, making this the starting point for anyone interested in finding digital ephemera.

How You Can Use It

The Wayback Machine is useful as a portal into a different era — The MySpace homepage on June 10, 2004 is just a click away. And, if you’ve operated a website during the past two decades, the site might have logged snapshots of data you had thought was long lost.

You’ll likely find something worth preserving in the rest of the Internet Archive’s vaults, too, like over 900 classic 70s and 80s-era arcade games, high-res scans of the 1950s science fiction magazine Galaxy or 1983 instructions on how to build a Yugoslavian computer.

The Wayback Machine Downloader

What It Does

Just finding the website data on the Wayback Machine won’t help preserve it for future generations, however. What happens if the Internet Archive loses its funding? You’ll have to download the data today if you want to do your part in preserving it, and for that, you’ll need this program.

It’s more technical than the rest of the tools on this list: Once you download it, you’ll need to have the programming language Ruby on your system in order to run it using this command:

gem install wayback_machine_downloader

How You Can Use It

Once installed, the downloader will retrieve the latest version of every file the Wayback Machine has for any website that you request with the base url. You can further filter the data you download with more complex commands: Github has additional information on how it all works. Finally, you can ensure that if World War III hits, the world will be able to remember your 2004 DeviantArt account.

 Source: This article was published on tech.co By Adam Rowe

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of Washington researchers have developed a new generic method to detect fake accounts on most types of social networks, including Facebook and Twitter.

According to their new study in Social Network Analysis and Mining, the new method is based on the assumption that fake accounts tend to establish improbable links to other users in the networks.

“With recent disturbing news about failures to safeguard user privacy, and targeted use of social media by Russia to influence elections, rooting out fake users has never been of greater importance,” explains Dima Kagan, lead researcher and a researcher in the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering.

“We tested our algorithm on simulated and real-world datasets on 10 different social networks and it performed well on both.”

The algorithm consists of two main iterations based on machine-learning algorithms. The first constructs a link prediction classifier that can estimate, with high accuracy, the probability of a link existing between two users.

The second iteration generates a new set of meta-features based on the features created by the link prediction classifier. Lastly, the researchers used these meta-features and constructed a generic classifier that can detect fake profiles in a variety of online social networks.

Here’s a helpful video explanation of how it all works:

“Overall, the results demonstrated that in a real-life friendship scenario we can detect people who have the strongest friendship ties as well as malicious users, even on Twitter,” the researchers say. “Our method outperforms other anomaly detection methods and we believe that it has considerable potential for a wide range of applications particularly in the cyber-security arena.”

Other researchers who contributed are Dr. Michael Fire of the University of Washington (former Ben-Gurion U. doctoral student) and Prof. Yuval Elovici, director of Cyber@BGU and a member of the BGU Department of Software and Information Systems Engineering.

The Ben-Gurion University researchers previously developed the Social Privacy Protector (SPP) Facebook app to help users evaluate their friend's list in seconds to identify which have few or no mutual links and might be “fake” profiles.

Source: This article was published helpnetsecurity.com

Monday, 11 June 2018 15:14

Inside the workings of the dark web

"Bewildered" was how his lawyer described Dov Tenenboim when he was arrested on Thursday for allegedly masterminding a dark net drug syndicate from his Vaucluse unit.

The shock of the self-described "elite hacker" and "entrepreneur" who police allege was behind a complex scheme importing commercial quantities of cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine from Europe via the postal service's surprise might be the fear of anyone arrested for such a serious crime.

That the charges even involved conduct allegedly carried out on the dark web was itself unusual: the DarkWeb is supposed to be bulletproof, a mecca for types for whom anonymity is paramount.

While a scrambled IP address affords significant protection to users, there's no guarantee of an anonymous purchase.

"Feeling safer is actually one of the reasons that people say they buy drugs online. Both the buyers and sellers are not worried about violence, there's no potential for a Scarface moment," Swinburne University's Associate Professor James Martin told The Sun Herald.

He said the dark web was a mecca for drug dealers, scammers, and pedophiles.

Darknet users also feel safe from law enforcement. "With a traditional arrest, police bust people as they are handing over the cash for their drugs, there is sometimes a weapon too. On the darknet, none of those things are in the same place - the dealers, the buyers, the drugs and the weapons are all separately located. It's much more challenging for law enforcement."

After a five-month operation, police busted Tenenboim's alleged scheme.

Police allege that as well as being posted to Botany, Randwick, Darlinghurst, Vaucluse, Potts Point and Bondi, the drugs were mailed to addresses in Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.

Police will allege in court that the privately educated advertising worker imported the drugs to Australia through the mail, posting packages to different addresses across the country then distributed them to suppliers in 300g packages - worth up to $90,000 for a single package.

In dramatic scenes on Friday morning in the quiet Diamond Bay Road, Tenenboim was arrested outside his house before police in riot gear raided his apartment.

A diamond ring, $69,685, a USB with 35 bitcoins worth $350,000, mobile phones and computers were seized by police as investigations continue.

A police source on Friday night said that more arrests were likely to hit the Australia-wide syndicate.

“Police have cottoned onto one of the real weaknesses of the Dark Net, which is the postal system," said Dr. Martin."

From monitoring the Dark Net and talking to dealers, most of those located overseas are very happy to send drugs to Australia. That confidence is reflected in terms and conditions in their online stores - if your drugs are intercepted or don't arrive, they will offer a full money-back guarantee. Just like Uber or Air B&B, that customer feedback is how they do business."

"We know most consignments of illicit drugs coming into the country are not detected," he added.

Dr. Simon Walsh, national manager of specialist operations at the Australian Federal Police, told ABC's 7.30  show last year that the sheer volume of criminality on the dark web forces police to triage. "We're dealing with high volume offenses," Dr. Walsh said.

"So sometimes in that circumstance, it's really not practical, or possible to chase every single [item]."
A senior police source who has worked on a number of dark web drug investigations confirmed that like traditional street drug dealers, investigations into the dark web concentrate on the higher level offenders.

"We have the names and address of people who have bought the drugs from the dark web. We haven't historically pursued people for a gram of coke or a pill, although that could change," he warned.

Another Eastern Suburbs man, 33, who police will allege in court was a part of the Tenenboim’s alleged syndicate, was arrested last month and charged with two counts of commercial quantity drug supply and indictable quantity drug supply.

When Tenenboim appeared before Waverley Local Court on Friday, it was on more than 50 similar charges, plus a count of dealing with proceeds of crime and a charge of directing a criminal group.

Wearing a maroon T-shirt, he shifted from foot to foot in the dock as his lawyer Bill O'Brien asked for an anti-anxiety medication to be made available to him in prison. His fiancee Lisa Hester looked on unhappily.

 Source: This article was published smh.com.au

Just contemplating the need to do market research for your business can feel overwhelming. However, you need to jump in because market research is key to the success of your business. First, you need to understand the difference between "market research" and "marketing research."

Market research is when you have narrowed down a specific "target, " and you are delving into the behavior of that target.

In other words, its research into a very narrow group of consumers.

Marketing research entails dealing with a broad range of consumers. Marketing research includes "market" research, but it also delves into more. The best way to differentiate the two is to understand that marketing research is essentially about researching the marketing "process" of a company—not just "who" they are targeting.

First, let's look at how to implement marketing research, which includes the following steps and the questions you should be asking yourself along the way:

  1. Problem definition. The problem is the focus of your research. For example, "why are sales soaring in your Midwest territory, but dismal in other parts of the country?
  2. Data collection method and needs. This is where you ask, "how will I collect the data I need to solve the problem? Do I use surveys, telephone calls or focus groups?
  3. Determine sample method. Sampling represents those you will be collecting information from. You need to ask yourself, "what sampling method will I use? Will it be a random sampling, a sampling that contains a similar element, or a natural sampling?
  4. Data analysis. You need to figure out how you will you analyze the data. Will you use software or do it by hand? Also, how accurately do the results need to be?
  5. Determine budget and timeframe. You must determine how much you're willing to spend on the research and how soon it needs to be completed.
  6. Analysis of the data. At this point, you conduct the analysis of the data that has been collected in the previous Steps.
  7. Error check. Be sure to check for errors in the data you've collected and analyzed. Errors can occur in the sampling method and data collections.
  8. Create your report. The final step of marketing research is to draft a report on your findings. Your report should contain tables, charts, and/or diagrams. It's important that your report clearly communicates the results that you found. Your findings should lead to a solution to the problem you identified in Step One.

3 Key Benefits of Market Research

Market research also provides many benefits. It takes the guesswork out of marketing and gives you data that you can use to drive your marketing strategy—and accomplish your objectives and goals. It's a systematic approach that can make your marketing not only easier but more effective. 

Market research includes the following benefits:

  • Communication driver. It drives your communication not only with your current customer base but your target prospects as well. 
  • Identifies opportunity. Market research shows you where the opportunities are and helps you identify not just high-level opportunities but assists in showing you the more immediate "low hanging fruit" opportunities. 
  • Lowers risk. Detailed data keeps you focused on the real opportunities and helps you avoid unproductive areas. 

Source: This article was thebalancesmb.com By LAURA LAKE

Today, almost everyone has some kind of presence on the internet; direct or indirect. So it’s really easy to find anyone if you do a proper online search. In your search for people, people search engines can help immensely.

These search engines dig deep into online records to look for people using different parameters. If you are looking for someone special or just want to say thank you to the guy who saved you from that bully in high school, you can take advantage of any of the below-mentioned people search engines.

1. Pipl

Pipl is one of the most comprehensive people search engines that can find people all over the world using different parameters. You can enter a name, email address, username or phone number to start searching for people (more information; the better).

pipl

Pipl is a reliable and quite an easy to use platform that allows you to quickly find anyone, anywhere. Additionally, you can use filters like age and location pinpoint the right person. I searched for multiple people on Pipl and found almost all of them in the first 10 results (including myself).

2. Peek You

Peek You uses the similar approach as Pipl when it comes to searching for the database, but it might not be as easy to use. It shows extensive information about a given name or username that might be a little difficult to absorb for novice users.

peek you

Peek You offers extensive information including emails, social profiles, public records, web search results and images for the name you entered. You will have to comb through all of this information to find the exact match. It is one of the best tools if you want to see the web presence and images of people.

3. ZabaSearch

The US only people search engine, ZabaSearch is a great search engine if you are looking for someone in the USA. It will show their phone number, state, and address to track them.

zabasearch
Takeaway

With ZabaSearch, you can run extensive background checks to see anyone’s public records and social presence. There is also an option to send messages directly from the website to people to ask if they are the one you are looking for.

4. Whitepages

WhitePages shows complete profiles of people living in the USA so you could run background checks or find someone specific. Age and location filters make it easy to pinpoint the right person, and then you can view their profile for more information.

whitesearch

Whitepages has a simple interface and offers a number of features. The information you can get includes, family members, public records, contact details and other business-oriented information.

5. Beenverified

BeenVerified offers comprehensive information on names, emails, phone numbers and even properties, but you will have to get the paid membership if you want all the information. If you need to run background checks frequently, then BeenVerified might be worth a try.

beenverified

The unique feature about BeenVerified is that it can give you detailed information about people in a specific area. All the basic information about people is free, but it can also create a complete profile of selected people for paid members.

6. Address Search

As the name suggests, Address Search lets you do lookups on email addresses and street addresses of people. Limited to only the USA, it will show you email and location of people using the name or other information provided.

address search

Address Search gives you free information on millions of email and mailing addresses. However, it hides both email and street address partially to respect the privacy of people. Nevertheless, you can send an email through the website to the person you’re trying to find.

7. Google Search

Google Search isn’t actually a people search engine, but it could be the most customizable one. Though Google will show tons of unrelated information, you can take advantage of Google advanced search to pinpoint your search.

google search

Google has data on all the websites and can offer a huge amount of information about anyone or any contact detail. You can customize the search according to your specific requirements. Check out our guide to use Google Search better to understand how you can effectively search for people online.

8. Criminal Searches

Criminal Searches lets you see the criminal record of anyone using basic information provided by you. From basic traffic violations to time spent in jail, it will tell you all the criminal background of people. You can use advanced search parameters to look for the right person.

criminal searches

Criminal Searches is the best option for finding criminal records of people. It lets you know about people with criminal background in your neighborhood, or get alerts for the recorded criminal activity of specific people.

9. Lullar

Lullar is a people search engine specifically made for finding profiles of people on different social media. Some of the social websites include Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace, and Pinterest, etc.

lullar

Lullar is the perfect platform if you need to see someone’s presence on multiple social networks. You can provide name, email or username of anyone and it will run a search on popular social media platforms for matching people.

10. Infobel

Infobel is specially created for finding information about companies, but it also helps you do a search on people working in different companies or businesses.

infobel

With information on companies in 51 countries, Infobel shows their exact location, creation date, stock information and other details about the working of the company. If you’re searching for a person, it will show contact information and information about their work background.

11. Yasni

Yasni might be a little overwhelming, but it can be extremely helpful if you manage to pinpoint it. When you search for someone, it will show the usual information for that name. Additionally, you can also look for people based on their working background.

yasni

Yasni helps you find people based on professional background. It will show locations and work/title backgrounds at the top so that you can pinpoint the person you’re looking for. This makes it astonishingly easy get specific information about the person you’re interested in.

12. Facebook Friend Browser

You can take advantage of the Facebook Friend Browser to quickly look for people using different parameters. By default, Facebook shows all the people who you have any connection with, but you can also manually search for people. If they have a Facebook profile, then finding them shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

facebook friend browser

Being the biggest social network with 1.79 billion active users, there is a good chance the person you are looking for also has an account on Facebook. There is a search form on Facebook where you can enter the name, hometown, current city, school or occupation and other profile related information to find the exact match.

13. Person LookUp

Person LookUp gives you access to multiple people search engines to find people using specific parameters or access specific information about them.

person lookup

Person Lookup is a search engine to find different people search engines. There are search engines to find public records, find school friends, find peoplebased on location and find contact information about people etc.

14. Find People Search

Find People Search will show the exact address, phone number, and email address of the person you’re searching for specifically in the US. You can also send them an email, delete their information and set up notifications for more information on the person.

find people search

A very easy to use people search engine that offers a good amount of contact information about people. You simply need to provide a name or email address and select the US state where they reside. You can also get a notification when information will be updated for a specific person.

15. MyLife

MyLife is good for finding information about people, but it is more useful in finding online information about yourself so you can manage it according to your needs. Of course, you can also use this tool to get more information about other people. However, you will have to sign up for a free account to see the reports.

mylife

If you think your background information may affect your future, then you can use MyLife to track what other people can find out about you online and manage this information manually.

To Summarize

With access to all the aforementioned people search engines, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to find the person you are looking for. If one search engine fails to find the person, you should give try to others. Each search engine uses different databases to look for people, so you never know which one may be able to help you.

My recommendation would be to give Pipl a try first as it does a great job of quickly finding people. However, if you are interested in learning more about a person, then Yasni or MyLife is a good choice too.

 Source: This article was published hongkiat.com By Karrar Haider

Billions of searches are conducted each day on popular search engines and social networking websites by people all around the world. But what exactly do these people search for? A number of major search engines provide a way to glimpse into the web’s query stream to discover the most popular search trends, keywords, and topics.

google-trends-keywords

  • Google Trends: Allows you to tap into Google’s database of searches, to determine which keywords are most popular. View the volume of search queries over time (since 2004) worldwide or by regions and subregions, by languages, categories, and in Google properties such as news, image, or product search. Compare multiple terms, as well. Offers a list of what is trending now in Hot Searches.
  • Google Autocomplete: Google’s Autocomplete is a tool that can help round out your research by providing keywords as seen through the searcher's experience. When a searcher begins to type into the search box on Google.com, additional keywords are offered for searches that could be similar to what is typed. Google’s algorithm works to predict search queries in real-time based on indexed web pages, personalized search history, other users’ search activity, and Google+ (for person’s name). Since the results are personalized, you may wish for more control over the Autocomplete feature. This can be accomplished by logging out of Google, turning off customizations, deleting web history, and Google+ settings.
  • Yahoo Buzz Log: Shows top overall keyword searches by Yahoo users with rank, buzz score, and how the search volume has moved in rank. There are additional options to narrow the buzz log by categories such as actors, movies, music, etc.

  • Bing Trends: More of a report, the Bing Community Search Blog breaks down billions of search queries from the previous year and offers insights by popular interests.
  • Bing Webmaster Keyword Research Beta: Find query volumes for phrases and keywords by country and language. This keyword research tool shows data show from organic searches on Bing. It also provides the number of impressions for a time period with Average Bid and Average CPC for ad placements on the top and sides of search results. A comprehensive description of this tool can be found in Bing Keyword Research Tool: Highlights & Limitations.
  • AOL Search Trends: Lists the top 50 search trends both hourly and daily on AOL. Data in AOL contains web and image searches (powered by Google), video (powered by Blinkx), News, Shopping, Maps, and Yellow Pages (powered by various providers).

twitter-search-image2

  • Twitter Search: Allows you to see what people are talking about on Twitter by keyword, hashtag, or username. Advanced search has many features, notable is the use of emoticons to find tweets with a specific attitude, for example, sad emoticon represents negative attitude.
  • YouTube Keyword Tool: Keyword suggestions for terms you enter with monthly search volume on YouTube. As one of the largest search engines, this keyword list will reveal valuable insights as to how people search when they are looking for video media specifically, rather than general search engine queries.
  • YouTube Trends: Provides insights into popular videos based on keywords and video views. Trending Topics are algorithmically-generated topics from keywords in the title, tags, and description of the video within sets of videos that are currently rising in popularity. Trending videos are based on embedded video views and views on YouTube.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Tool: Enter a term or terms, to see search volume and keyword competition. Advanced options and filters allow you to refine by locations and languages and by desktop or mobile.

Top Searches, Questions, Topics, Memes & More

The major search engines and social networks also put out yearly recaps of the top trends of the year. Check out these past articles to get a glimpse of the top keywords, questions, topics, and trends people searched for each year:

2012

2011

2010

Source: This article was published searchenginewatch.com By Lisa Raehsler

How Top Stories Today gamed the system

Over the course of the last several years, every major social platform has been plagued by fake news. Now Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, has a fake news problem of its own.

Because of how the search engine’s autofill feature works, people who visit Bing looking for news videos may be redirected to a flood of fake news videos, all generated by a single source. You can see how it works for yourself: click on the “News” tab from Bing’s homepage. The page autofills the search bar with “Top stories.” Now travel to any other search tab, including “Maps” or “Images” and you’ll see that the search bar retains the “Top stories” query. Autofilling “Top stories” into the search bar appears to be an innocuous design decision — until you hit the “Video” tab.

There, you’ll see a wall of videos including “Breaking: Germany demands immediate prosecution of Obama”; “The Royal wedding in jeopardy,” and “Russian is about to take out Obama permanently.” Many of the videos promote moves made by President Donald Trump, and offer criticism of former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Collectively, the videos have earned 83.6 million views.

And every video comes from one YouTube account: Top Stories Today, an account which appears to have been designed to game Bing’s design. The channel is devoted to promoting false and sensationalized news videos narrated by synthesized voices, which often speak in a kind of gibberish. “We report the genuine news and circumstances occurring the world over,” reads the account’s “about” page on YouTube. “Genuine Reports that the predominant press doesn’t need you to think about! We are your #ONE source for the most vital world event and stories happening every day!”

In content and in tone, Top Stories Today’s videos are reminiscent of the hoaxes that spread virally on Facebook and other platforms during the 2016 election.

“As soon as we become aware of this type of content, we take action to remove it from news search results, which we are doing in this case,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in a statement. A message sent to Top Stories Today was not returned.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By Casey Newton

Your iPhone may be an Apple product, but it can still run your favorite Google and Microsoft apps.

Just because you prefer the curved aesthetics of the iPhone doesn't mean you want to buy entirely into the Apple software ecosystem. After all, Google and Microsoft make iOS apps that are just as good as Apple's defaults. Although some apps require a few extra steps to replace the built-in versions, you can make the switch relatively easily, especially if you already use Google or Microsoft for your email and other cloud services.

Here, we'll guide you through the apps you need for the swap and how to download them. While you can always switch back to the Apple versions, you may find that you don't want to.

Switch to Microsoft

If your computer runs Windows, you own a Surface laptop or tablet, or you simply like Microsoft products, you'll probably enjoy the company's iOS apps. Instead of using the default versions of iPhone's email, cloud storage, and other services, here's how to replace them with Microsoft apps.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Start with your email client: You'll need to download Outlook for iOS. On top of email, it handles your calendars and contacts, and it can work with both Microsoft and non-Microsoft (like, say, Apple) user accounts. To import any emails, calendars, or contacts into the app, tap the menu button on the top left, then the settings button (the cog icon), and choose Add account.

Calls and messaging

Skype for iOS can take care of all your video calling, voice calling, and messaging needs. However, Apple's mobile platform won't allow any app to take over SMS duties, so you're stuck with its Messages app. Still, the newly-revamped Skype app has a clean look and a comprehensive set of features that includes group chats and group video calls. Your only problem might be getting your friends to use it.

Cloud storage

You can also replace Apple's cloud-storage program iCloud with Microsoft's OneDrive. When you install the app for iOS, it will sync files between your phone and any computer, Windows or macOS, that has the OneDrive desktop client installed. OneDrive also backs up all the photos and videos on your phone, although you do have to pay for storage space if you've got a lot of files. Prices start at $2 a month.

AI assistant

As with Messages, you can't completely replace the iPhone's default digital assistant: When you press and hold the Home button, Siri is the AI that will launch. However, you can install Cortana for iOS and launch it manually, then direct all your queries to Microsoft's app instead of Apple's. You can also sync any reminders and notes you've made in Cortana for Windows or Android over to your iPhone.

Office suite

For your work needs, you'll need to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Swap Apple's free Pages, Numbers, and KeyNote apps for, respectively, Microsoft's free WordExcel, and PowerPoint apps.

If you've already created documents in the Apple apps, you'll need to convert them to a format that Microsoft's versions can understand. To do so, open a file, then tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and pick the Microsoft format. You can also choose how to export the file, either sending it via email or saving it to the iPhone's local storage.

Web browser

If you install the Microsoft Edge web browser on your iPhone, you'll be able to sync bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and more with an Edge browser you use on a Windows PC. Unfortunately, Apple doesn't let any browser oust Safari as the default one on iOS. So when you tap on links in other apps, such as Facebook, they'll automatically open in Safari instead of Edge.

Your iPhone should be fairly well Microsoft-ized by now, but for the finishing touch, install Bing Search and Feed, which acts as a stripped-down web browser. Now that Microsoft Edge is available for iOS, Bing isn't quite as useful (we prefer Edge). But you can still use Microsoft's search engine to look for websites, images, news, and more. The app also includes a basic map-search feature, though Microsoft doesn't offer a dedicated mapping app for iOS.

Switch to Google

If you've decided to take the Google route rather than the Microsoft one, start with its signature feature: the Google search app. In addition to searching the internet and Google Maps, it provides a feed of news and other information that Google curates based on your previous activity, such as your Chrome browsing history. For a more natural, conversational approach to Google search, install the Google Assistant as well.

Email, calendar, and contacts

Next, install Gmail for iOS or Google's other email app, Inbox, which provides more automation and smart features. You can pick up your Gmail activity right where you left off on any of your other devices. Alternatively, connect Gmail to your Apple email address: Tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), then your username, then Manage accounts, then Add account, and finally choose iCloudfrom the list.

You can also use your Gmail account to log into Google Calendar for iOS. The slick and easy-to-use calendar app is just as good on iPhones as it is on the web and everywhere else. It will, of course, sync all your Google events and appointments, and you can add your Apple calendars as well. To do so, tap the menu button (the three lines on the top left), pick Settings, tap Manage accounts, and turn the iCloudtoggle switch to on.

Calls and messaging

Again, Apple won't let you replace Messages as the default SMS app. But you can still manually use Google apps for the same purposes. Try Allo for text-based messaging, Duo for video calling, and Hangouts for messaging, phone calls, and video chats. While Hangouts remains the most comprehensive option, Google continues to add new features to Allo and Duo, so keep an eye on those apps as well.

Cloud storage

To back up your data, look no further than Google Drive, which will sync all your files with computers, other mobile devices, and your Google cloud locker. Drive also lets you save your Apple contacts to your Google account, even though Google doesn't offer a dedicated app for contacts: Open the menu (three lines on the top left), tap the cog icon, and hit Backup.

For larger files, specifically your iPhone photos and videos, Google Photos makes backing up a breeze. When you first install the app, it'll ask if you want to back up photos and videos. Say yes, and as long as you don't mind that it resizes your files (down to 16 megapixels for images and 1080p for videos), you can store an unlimited number of pictures and clips for free. If you want to keep your files at their original resolution, you can pay Google for extra space in the cloud, which starts at prices of $2 a month.

Office suite

Google has its own office apps for iOS, in the form of DocsSheets, and Slides. They interface seamlessly with the web versions, so you can keep creating and editing from anywhere.

If you've already created documents in the equivalent iOS apps, you may need to reformat them in order to open them with Google's apps. Launch the appropriate Apple app—Pages, Sheets, or Keynote—and then open the file you want to transfer. Next, tap the menu button (three dots on the top right), choose Export, and select the Google format option. Once you've exported the file, the appropriate Google app will be able to open it up.

Web browser

As mentioned previously, you can't completely replace Safari as the default browser on iOS. But you can still download Google Chrome for iOS and launch it manually when you want to explore the internet. Sign into the web browser with your Google account (it should prompt you to do so when you first open the app), and Chrome will carry over all of your bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, and other data from your computer. Even if most links will open in Safari by default, you can at least make sure Gmail links open in Chrome: Open Gmail, choosing Settings from the left-hand menu, then selecting Google apps, followed by Chrome.

Maps

Google offers some types of iOS apps that Microsoft doesn't. For example, you can rely on Google Maps to get from A to B quickly and safely and find places of note nearby. If you use the app online or on an Android device, you know you'll also get features such as live traffic updates and a list of favorite "starred" locations. If you need live directions, try it in full-screen turn-by-turn navigation mode.

Music and video players

Finally, there's Google Play Music and Google Play Movies & TV, which can effectively replace everything that iTunes and Apple Music usually do on an iPhone. They let you stream music, films, and television shows and even download content for offline access. What you can't do is purchase new content right from iOS, so if you're buying or renting something new, you need to pay up on a computer or other device before the content shows up on your iPhone.

Source: This article was published popsci.com By David Nield

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