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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

Monday, 30 January 2017 14:20

Fighting misinformation

When it comes to fake news, nobody is talking about the importance of copyright, writes Roy Kaufman

In 2016, 'fake news' managed to steal all the headlines. In fact, a virtual tsunami of misinformation has knocked traditional media off its pedestal and, along with it, trust in news reporting.

Whether you blame politicians, obnoxious 'click bait' concocted by teenagers in Macedonia, or just Facebook, there’s another culprit, one that may ultimately tarnish gold-standard journalism for good. The gradual weakening of copyright in our share-and-share-alike digital world has sucked the oxygen from reputable journalistic sources, creating a vacuum that fake news fills only too happily.

'Copyright incentivises owners of news media to invest in journalism, because they’ll get a return on their investment and they’ll get protection from infringers,' Danielle Coffey, vice president, public policy, of the News Media Alliance, told me recently. 'The result is respectable, verifiable journalism in the hands of users.'

 

Under the traditional business model, news organisations published high-quality content for large audiences in the hope that advertisers would foot the bill. This revenue once supported a global infrastructure of reporters, photographers, and researchers. Facebook, Google and other online platforms rely on advertising for their business models, too, though they prefer the most click-worthy content, whether it’s high quality or not.

In other words, the rise of fake news results naturally from the slow destruction of real news.

'If there was real protection for real news, there’d be more of it,' agrees Coffey. 'The fake news shouldn’t get the ad dollars.'

By relentlessly fighting against copyright, the platform companies have helped to destroy the economic underpinning of legitimate news, and created a market environment where fake news is more profitable than real news.

One possible solution is for news organisations to work with the tech giants to develop ways to detect and take down fake news. Although tech giants are now discussing using algorithms to detect and combat fake news, supporting a system that properly rewards creators would be a more direct path.

Another solution might involve some form of badge on real news to assure readers that the information is from a legitimate source. In that world, search engines would elevate the original, trustworthy content to the top of the search page, in the same way that an original painting – protected by copyright – gets space on a museum wall and that a fake painting doesn’t. 'You wouldn’t put a fake right next to a real painting,' says Coffey.

 

 

This approach would need to be combined with a system that stops rewarding fake news in the first place and that bars known providers of such materials. Tech companies can set their own terms of use, and so, they could do this easily. But right now, they have little incentive to bother.

So, what can be done to stem the tide of misinformation? Fake news is a mess that won’t be solved with an algorithm alone. Without effective enforcement of rights, the devaluation of content will continue.

'The problem is, in the news industry, enforcing copyright without support from platforms is prohibitively expensive. There’s so much uncertainty,' says Coffey. And when there is uncertainty in the marketplace, businesses are doomed to fail.

Doomed to fail indeed. Recently, the long-form citizen journalism site Medium.com announced that it was laying off a third of its staff. The founder, Evan Williams, admitted that free content funded solely by corporate interests (AKA ads) wasn’t working.

He wrote: 'We believe people who write and share ideas should be rewarded on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention. We believe there are millions of thinking people who want to deepen their understanding of the world and are dissatisfied with what they get from traditional news and their social feeds. We believe that a better system — one that serves people — is possible. In fact, it’s imperative.'

As Neil Turkewitz, senior policy counsel at the International Center for Law & Economics has pointed out: 'The better system already exists; it's called copyright.'

As a society, we need a plan to undermine fake news.  Rebuilding the protection copyright affords to journalism is a good place to start.

Author : Roy Kaufman

Source : https://www.researchinformation.info/news/analysis-opinion/fighting-misinformation

UFO hunters claim they've found an "alien ship" poking out a cave in Antarctica.

Conspiracy theorists that spotted the sight in Google Earth satellite images said it was “final proof of secret technology” on the freezing continent.

The latest 'find' comes weeks after bizarre satellite images appeared to show a huge staircase leading up the side of a snowy mountain in the South Pole.

The unusual sight sparked a fierce debate, with some suggesting it could be part of a

pyramid structure or UFO and others claiming it showed air vents for a huge underground colony.

UFO hunters claim they've found an "alien ship" poking out a cave in Antarctica

Conspiracy theorists that spotted the sight in Google Earth satellite images

Videos on both of the mystery sights were shared by alien hunter Tyler Glockner from SecureTeam 10

 

Videos on both of the mystery sights were shared by alien hunter Tyler Glockner from SecureTeam 10.

On the latest video, he said: "This is a bombshell discovery and one of the most obvious unnatural and anomalous structures we have found at the South Pole."

    Secure Team suggested the Nazis built secret bases in Antarctica during World War II, which were designed to be used by flying saucers.

     
    The giant staircase found on Antarctica

    The giant staircase found on Antarctica (Photo: Secureteam 10)

    Video thumbnail, Strangeness surrounding the South Pole continues as giant “staircase” found on Antarctica
    STRANGENESS SURROUNDING THE SOUTH POLE CONTINUES

    The UFO hunters added: “There is some evidence of this coming to light in recent years, which images purporting to show various entrances built into the side of mountains, with a saucer shape and at a very high altitude.

    “This begs the question: how would you enter these entrances without something that could fly and was the same shape as hole itself?”

    Many people even believe the strange sights show the City of Atlantis - which they believe is located in Antarctica.

    Author : RACHEL BISHOP

    Source : http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/mystery-over-bizarre-google-earth-9716363

    Saturday, 28 January 2017 10:41

    8 useful Google apps you probably aren't using

    Google's got a lot of apps. Maybe even too many, in certain (ahem) cases.

    Amidst all the obvious titles and oddly overlapping offerings, though, Google's wing of the Play Store holds some genuinely useful treasures -- clever creations by the creator of Android that are just waiting to be discovered.

    Here are eight off-the-beaten-path Google apps that'll help you do all sorts of interesting things with your Android device. And yes, they're all free. (Some, but not all, are also available for iOS.)

    1. Google Handwriting Input

    Ever feel like scribbling something out on your smartphone's display? Google Handwriting Input gives you a blank slate for writing -- with your finger or a stylus -- and then converts your illegible chicken scratch into actual sendable text. It works surprisingly well, and it can even handle emojis (if you for some reason are inspired to draw those).

    Google Android Apps: Handwriting Inputjr

    The best part about Handwriting Input is that it works, erm, hand-in-hand with Google's regular, fully-featured Gboard keyboard: Once you install and activate the app on your phone, you'll see a new globe-like icon in Gboard's bottom row. All you've gotta do is tap it to toggle back and forth between regular QWERTY typing and your new handwriting input option.

    2. Trusted Contacts

    This so-new-it-still-has-that-new-app-smell tool is one of those things that's so practical, you'll wonder why your phone hasn't always had it.

    Trusted Contacts lets you establish location-sharing relationships with your friends, family members, or anyone else you know and love (or maybe just kinda-sorta like). Once both people have installed the app and approved the relationship, either person has the ability to request the other's location at any time. If the recipient doesn't respond after five minutes, his last known location will automatically be sent. And it works even if his phone is off or out of range.

    Peace of mind has never been easier.

    [ To comment on this story, visit JR's Google+ page. ]

    3. Google Trips

    Organizing travel can be a pain -- but if you're already using Gmail, Google's new-ish Google Trips app makes everything super simple.

    Trips automatically finds and imports all your travel info as it arrives in your inbox -- travel reservations, hotel reservations, and any other related confirmations -- and bundles it all together into neatly organized trip-based portfolios. It even adds in extra little goodies like suggestions for nearby attractions, popular (and customizable) day plans, and restaurant recommendations.

    Google Android Apps: Google Tripsjr

    Oh -- and once your data's pulled over, everything works offline.

    4. Google Arts & Culture

    Hang onto this one for your next dull or dreary day: Google Arts & Culture lets you explore national parks and monuments, zoom up close into famous works of art, and even take virtual tours of entire museums right from your mobile device.

    Google Android Apps: Google Arts and Culturejr

    The app is just jam-packed with cool views of fascinating things from around the world, and it's something you really have to experience for yourself. (Bonus: If VR is your cup of tea, there's a separate VR version of the app that works with compatible headsets.)

    5. Chrome Remote Desktop

    Chrome Remote Desktop is one of Google's most powerful cross-platforms tools -- and yet it doesn't get nearly enough attention. The app makes it dead-simple to remotely access any desktop computer from your Android phone. All you do is install the companion desktop Chrome extension, set up a PIN, and that's it: You can pull up your desktop on demand and access files, open programs, or do anything else you need from the palm of your hand.

    6. Google Opinion Rewards

    I've mentioned Opinion Rewards several times over the years, but it's still something most typical users aren't aware of. If you're among those not yet using it, start now -- because it's basically just a way to get free Google Play Store credit for taking the occasional quick survey.

    The app will notify you whenever a new survey's available. You answer a handful of questions about a recent shopping experience or your thoughts on some type of merchandise, and then the app puts a credit on your Play Store account. It might be for 10 cents or it might be for a dollar. Either way, it takes practically no time to do, and the credits add up fast -- meaning your next app purchase or movie rental can be on the house.

    7. Android Auto

    Google revamped its Android Auto app a few months ago and made it into something anyone who drives should have standing by. The new Auto app is basically a "car mode" for your phone -- an interface that's optimized for driving, with large buttons for commonly used commands and simplified access to the sort of stuff you might need while behind the wheel. (And yes, longtime Android fans, that should sound familiar.)

    Google Android Apps: Google Autojr

    8. Wallpapers

    This last selection is actually the app that controls wallpaper-picking for Google's new Pixel phone -- but if you have any other device, you can think of it as an upgrade to your system's built-in wallpaper picker. The aptly named Wallpapers makes finding a background for your home screen a fun adventure, with options for selecting stunning images from sources like Google Earth or the photographer-favored galleries of Google+.

    The best part is that all of Wallpapers' categories -- Earth, Landscapes, Cityscapes, and so on -- include a "Daily wallpaper" option that'll automatically change your background to a different purty image every single day.

    Google Android Apps: Wallpapersjr

    My, oh my, things are suddenly lookin' good.

    Author : JR Raphael

    Source : https://www.yahoo.com/tech/m/66d2c1bf-b56b-3ed9-b3f9-c8ff778aca53/ss_8-useful-google-apps-you.html

    The internet is much more than just the publicly available, Google-able web services most online users frequent – and that’s good for free expression. Companies frequently create private networks to enable employees to use secure corporate servers, for example. And free software allows individuals to create what are called “peer-to-peer” networks, connecting directly from one machine to another.

    Unable to be indexed by current search engines, and therefore less visible to the general public, subnetworks like these are often called “darknets,” or collective as the singular “darknet.” These networks typically use software, such as Tor, that anonymizes the machines connecting to them, and encrypts the data traveling through their connections.

     

    Some of what’s on the darknet is alarming. A 2015 story from Fox News reads:

    “Perusing the darknet offers a jarring jaunt through jaw-dropping depravity: Galleries of child pornography, videos of humans having sex with animals, offers for sale of illegal drugs, weapons, stolen credit card numbers and fake identifications for sale. Even human organs reportedly from Chinese execution victims are up for sale on the darknet.”

    But that’s not the whole story – nor the whole content and context of the darknet. Portraying the darknet as primarily, or even solely, for criminals ignores the societal forces that push people toward these anonymous networks. Our research into the content and activity of one major darknet, called Freenet, indicates that darknets should be understood not as a crime-ridden “Wild West,” but rather as “wilderness,” spaces that by design are meant to remain unsullied by the civilizing institutions – law enforcement, governments and corporations – that have come to dominate the internet.

    There is definitely illegal activity on the darknet, as there is on the open internet. However, many of the people using the darknet have a diverse range of motives and activities, linked by a common desire to reclaim what they see as major benefits of technology: privacy and free speech.

    Describing Freenet

    Our research explored Freenet, an anonymous peer-to-peer network accessed via a freely downloadable application. In this type of network, there are no centralized servers storing information or transferring data. Rather, each computer that joins the network takes on some of the tasks of sharing information.

    When a user installs Freenet, her computer establishes a connection to a small group of existing Freenet users. Each of these is connected in turn to other Freenet users’ computers. Through these connections, the entire contents of the network are available to any user. This design allows Freenet to be decentralized, anonymous and resistant to surveillance and censorship.

    Freenet’s software requires users to donate a portion of their local hard drive space to store Freenet material. That information is automatically encrypted, so the computer’s owner does not know what files are stored or the contents of those files. Files shared on the network are stored on numerous computers, ensuring they will be accessible even if some people turn off their machines.

    Joining the network

    As researchers, we played the role of a novice Freenet user. The network allows many different types of interaction, including social networking sites and even the ability to build direct relationships with other users. But our goal was to understand what the network had to offer to a new user just beginning to explore the system.

     

    There are several Freenet sites that have used web crawlers to index the network, offering a sort of directory of what is available. We visited one of these sites to download their list. From the 4,286 total sites in the index we chose, we selected a random sample of 427 sites to visit and study more closely. The sites with these indexes are a part of the Freenet network, and therefore can be accessed only by users who have downloaded the software. Standard search engines cannot be used to find sites on Freenet.

    An introductory page on Freenet. Roderick Graham and Brian Pitman, CC BY-ND

    Finding a ‘hacker ethic’

    What we found indicated that Freenet is dominated by what scholars call a “hacker ethic.” This term encompasses a group of progressive and libertarian beliefs often espoused by hackers, which are primarily concerned with these ideals:

    • Access to information should be free;
    • Technology can, and should, improve people’s lives;
    • Bureaucracy and authority are not to be trusted;
    • A resistance to conventional and mainstream lifestyles

    Some of that may be because using darknet technology often requires additional technical understanding. In addition, people with technical skills may be more likely to want to find, use and even create services that have technological protections against surveillance.

    Our reading of hacking literature suggests to us that the philosophical and ideological beliefs driving darknet users are not well-known. But without this context, what we observed on Freenet would be hard to make sense of.

    There were Freenet sites for sharing music, e-books and video. Many sites were focused around personal self-expression, like regular internet blogs. Others were dedicated to promoting a particular ideology. For example, socialist and libertarian content was common. Still other sites shared information from whistle-blowers or government documents, including a copy of the Wikileaks website’s data, complete with its “Afghan War Diary” of classified documents about the United States military invasion of Afghanistan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

    With the hacker ethic as a guide, we can understand that most of this content is from individuals who have a deep mistrust of authority, reject gross materialism and conformity, and wish to live their digital lives free of surveillance.

    What about crime?

    There is criminal activity on Freenet. About a quarter of the sites we observed either delivered or linked to child pornography. This is alarming, but must be seen in the proper context. Legal and ethical limits on researchers make it very hard to measure the magnitude of pornographic activity online, and specifically child pornography.

     

    Once we came upon a site that purported to have child pornography, we left the site immediately without investigating further. For example, we did not seek to determine whether there was just one image or an entire library or marketplace selling pornographic content. This was a good idea from the perspectives of both law and ethics, but did not allow us to gather any real data about how much pornography was actually present.

    Other research suggests that the presence of child pornography is not a darknet or Freenet problem, but an internet problem. Work from the the Association for Sites Advocating Child Protection points to pervasive sharing of child pornography well beyond just Freenet or even the wider set of darknets. Evaluating the darknet should not stop just at the presence of illegal material, but should extend to its full content and context.

    A pie chart shows the share of Freenet sites devoted to particular types of content. Roderick Graham and Brian Pitman, CC BY-ND

    With this new information, we can look more accurately at the darknet. It contains many distinct spaces catering to a wide range of activities, from meritorious to abhorrent. In this sense, the darknet is no more dangerous than the rest of the internet. And darknet services do provide anonymity, privacy, freedom of expression and security, even in the face of a growing surveillance state.

    The Conversation

    The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.

    Source : http://siouxcityjournal.com/opinion/columnists/far-beyond-crime-ridden-depravity-darknets-are-key-strongholds-of/article_03394871-e577-510a-82b2-e23102e327d5.html

    Page’s leadership style is distinct — and shaped by both his background as an engineer and his upbringing as the son of two computer science professors in Michigan, where he likely learned lessons from General Motors.

    With his supreme power to initiate the foundations of the most widely used internet search engines in the world, Larry Page is a man of substance is and has been a great source of inspiration for his excellent business tactics. Spending $1 billion on patents offers an important clue to what matters most to Page: innovation.

    Here are the 7 Smart ways to think and act like Larry Page – “The Google Guy”,

     

    1. Continually make small improvements

    At first this one seems to run counter to the previous, but in reality they are complementary. Yes, you want to have a huge focus on ginormous disruptive innovation in terms of developing new products or services. However, once that new product or service has been successfully launched, Page is all about making sure people keep tinkering with it to add new features and make small improvements that enhance usability.

    That happens to be a great way to keep customers engaged and loving your company.

    2. Be quick. Be concise

    Page in the past had worked towards cultivating a faster, more nimble management approach at Google. He had asked staff to give him 60-word updates or pitches on their current projects. That comes out to about two compressed paragraphs to impress and compel. Page encourages faster decisions and openness.

    3. Hire great people and minimize bureaucracy

    Page is not fond of traditional management. He’s more interested in hiring fantastic people who just naturally do the right thing for the company. For a long time Page insisted on being involved in nearly every hiring decision. Obviously that was only feasible for some amount of time in the early years (the company now has upwards of 50,000 employees). As Page himself puts it, “We don’t have as many managers as we should, but we would rather have too few than too many.”

    Does it pay off? According to a 2011 article on Fortune.com soon after Page became CEO, three of the six people recently promoted to lead Google’s major product divisions are among the first 10 or so employees the company hired, dating back to 1998.

    4. Balancing technology and business strategy

    Google has come up with amazing, disruptive technologies that are in and of themselves game-changers. By themselves, these technological innovations would have had a huge impact on the global Internet space. But it is in combining solid business acumen with disruptive technological innovation that Google has become the corporate powerhouse that it is today.

     

    5. Pay attention to your crazy ideas and cultivate the best of them

    Page urges his teams to believe in audacious ideas. By tackling big ideas “that could really change the world,” you attract incredibly smart people and achieve something worthwhile, even if it’s not your original goal. The idea for Google’s search engine came to Page in a dream about downloading the entire web and keeping the links, he told Michigan graduates.

    6. Be persistent

    Page had the initial idea for Google’s book digitization back in the mid 1990s. It took him six years after co-founding Google before the first book was scanned as part of the project in 2004. The same thing applies to the idea of “street view” on Google Maps.

    This is a theme you’ll find running through the lives of nearly every highly successful entrepreneur – so much so that to put it in every article would become overly repetitive for readers. But it’s worth expanding on it here and now.

    7. Focus on big, disruptive innovations

    Page thinks incremental change is for the birds. He wants to go for the totally audacious ideas that would really turn things upside down for the better if they panned out. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes an idea that doesn’t pan out morphs into something else that becomes incredibly successful.

    Take, for instance, the Google group that was working on artificial intelligence. That didn’t pan out, but they did come up with an ad targeting system that ended up accounting for half the company’s revenues. Not bad for what was essentially a misfire, right?

    Author  : Biplab Ghosh

    Source : http://knowstartup.com/2017/01/7-smart-ways-to-think-and-act-like-larry-page/

    FlipHTML5 is specially developed digital magazine software that not only enables people to read the digital publications, but it also let them develop many interactive contents. It is vital to note that this free digital magazine software download comes with an excellent range of features that helps people create the best multimedia contents as well as share them online.

    FlipHTML5 allows users to read, follow and download all kinds of flipbooks which are hosted on the server of FlipHTML5. In addition to that, users can manage each and every book in their FlipHTML5 by using the flipbook app as well. The free and interactive magazine publishing platform brings user an excellent opportunity to develop an outstanding personal homepage on it, making it simple for individuals to know about them and find their digital publications.

     

    Apart from that, it also allows users to collect all their digital publications automatically in an attractive bookcase that can be embedded into their website in a straightforward manner. Therefore, users get the capability to develop lots of bookcases as per their desire. When the readers love the embedded publications, they will immediately subscribe to the publications of the users and get the fresh updates automatically.

    Plus, FlipHTML5 brings users a fantastic chance to share their digital publications easily on the most popular social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google and much more. It is incredibly simpler to distribute all kinds of digital flipbook to lots of people. Many users think that the SEO just applied to blogs or websites. But in fact, the content of flipbook can also be listed by the search engines without facing any difficulties.

    This free digital magazine software grants users to access different statistics such as publications read, homepage visits and more. Moreover, it helps users to know more useful details regarding their readers and make everyone happy. These are the most exceptional and amazing features of FlipHTML5 that attracts lots of users towards it and cheer them to use this free software for their digital publishing requirements.

    It is a smart and fast way to develop interactive digital magazines easily for various platforms and share them online. For more details, please go to FlipHTML5 homepage.

    About FlipHTML5

    FlipHTML5 Software Co. Ltd. is a world leading provider of digital publishing software. For many years, They have focused on the research and development of outstanding range of e-publishing software for users around the world. Furthermore, they offer customized solutions for publishers in different industries.

    Source : http://www.prunderground.com/fliphtml5-free-digital-magazine-software-download-online-for-2017/0085511/

    Search giant was under fire for search results dominated by neo-Nazi white supremacist sites
    Online search giant Google has tweaked an algorithm to ensure that Holocaust denial sites are not the top results when someone asks whether the Holocaust occurred, Digital Trends reported on Sunday.

    “We recently made improvements to our algorithm that will help surface more high quality, credible content on the web,” a Google spokesperson told Digital Trends when asked about the topic. “We’ll continue to change our algorithms over time in order to tackle these challenges.”

     

    Google recently faced criticism after journalists noted that the top results for queries about the Holocaust's legitimacy were all links to anti-Semitic, neo-Nazi sites.

    Experts have recently said that far-right groups have been using methods to manipulate search algorithms and push their propaganda higher up Google's search rankings.

    While Holocaust denial and neo-Nazi sites have not been banned from Google, they are now far less prominent in search results. A link from the neo-Nazi site Stormfront was previously consistently the top result, but now appears far down the first page of results or on the second page – if browsing in "incognito mode", which does not take a user's search history into account when weighing results.

    Anti-hate groups have warned of a rise in online incitement this year, with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) telling the Israeli parliament this year that there has been an "explosion of hate online."

    "Online hate is particularly disturbing because of the ubiquity of social media and its deep penetration into our daily lives, plus the anonymity offered by certain platforms which facilitates this phenomenon," ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said.

    Earlier this year, Google removed an extension on its Chrome browser which allowed users to identify and track suspected Jewish members of the media and entertainment industries.

    While it was active, Coincidence Detector identified suspected or confirmed Jews by adding triple parentheses to their names wherever they were referenced online. According to Mic, the extension had been downloaded more than 2,700 times and had a database of 8,700 people at the time it was removed and had a five-star rating.

    Source : http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/technology/133654-161227-google-reportedly-tweaks-algorithm-over-holocaust-denying-search-results

    An independent security researcher discovered a severe remote code execution vulnerability on Facebook's website that earned him a record $40,000 bug bounty, while another uncovered a privacy issue that reveals private phone numbers linked to Facebook users' accounts.

    According a blog post by Russia-based web application security researcher Andrey Leonov, the remote code execution flaw can be exploited using a bug in the image-processing software ImageMagick that was originally discovered in April 2016.

    Although this vulnerability, dubbed ImageTragick, was patched shortly after its discovery, it was still impacting Facebook when Leonov reported the issue last Oct. 16. Facebook promptly patched the issue and rewarded Leonov with the substantial bounty – the largest the social media giant has ever bestowed.

     

    The ImageTragick vulnerability, officially designated as CVE-2016-3714, stems from the insufficient parameter filtering of user-added files that contain external libraries. This flaw makes it possible for bad actors to execute a shell command injection, resulting in remote code execution during the conversion of certain file formats. In other words, hackers can embed malicious code into seemingly benign image files in order to gain control of a machine. 

    “I am glad to be the one of those who broke the Facebook,” wrote Leonov in his blog post. Facebook confirmed that the researcher's account of his findings is accurate.

    Meanwhile, news outlets are also reporting that Belgian security researcher Inti De Ceukelaire has found a privacy flaw in a Facebook search application, which adversaries could use to reveal the private numbers that users enter when registering with the social media platform.

    According to an International Business Times report citing the Belgian media, De Ceukelaire claims his technique makes it possible within 30 to 45 minutes to determine the phone number linked to an individual Facebook account. However, the trick is only effective if the person comes from a country with a small population that employs telephone numbers of 12 digits or fewer.

    De Ceukelaire told SC Media that the issue specifically resides in Facebook's Graph Search, a semantic search engine that responds to queries with written answers instead of links. Entering an arbitrary phone number into this engine reveals whose account that number belongs to, unless the account holder adjusts his privacy settings to forbid this action by non-friends. 

    Under normal circumstances, such a query would be relatively harmless because the search is random. However, De Ceukelaire said that he can turn these queries into highly targeted searches against specific individuals by using the flaw he discovered to narrow down the list of possible phone numbers that are associated with any given Facebook user.

    “It's actually three tricks combined,” De Ceukelaire said in an interview via Twitter. “First, I eliminate numbers to reduce the amount of possible numbers. Then I use a flaw to reduce the amount of numbers another time. And then I end up with a couple of possible numbers – let's say 10 numbers. Then I check them using the graph search.”

    De Ceukelaire said that the technique allowed him to successfully look up the specific politicians' and celebrities' phone numbers that were not displayed on their public Facebook pages.

     

    Author : Bradley Barth
    Source : https://www.scmagazine.com/facebook-alerted-to-remote-code-execution-bug-search-engine-privacy-issue/article/632419

     

    It's now easier than ever to use Cortana on your Android phone.

    A new feature currently in beta puts Cortana right on your lock screen for quick access, MSPoweruser reports

    The feature is similar to Cortana's behavior on Windows 10, where it can answer questions and perform other tasks without requiring a login. If the action requires another app, Cortana prompts you to unlock your device. 

     
    IMAGE: MSPOWERUSER

    Cortana, which is named after Halo's AI assistant character of the same name, first started out on the Windows phone and then moved to desktop. Initially released in 2014, Cortana has evolved from a gimmicky feature into a powerful assistant. In 2015, Microsoft brought Cortana apps to iOS and Android.

    Users in the beta program already have access to the new lock screen feature, so it will likely be widely available in the next few weeks. Unlike the Windows version, users still need to swipe the Cortana logo right or left to use it and cannot prompt it by saying “Hey Cortana.” 

    If your phone has a password or PIN, Cortana does not require it. This means that anyone with access to your phone can potentially access Cortana. While we haven't tried the beta program, other assistants like Siri will respond with private information regardless of who asks: Pick up your friend's phone, ask about her next appointment and it'll tell you. 

    To avoid such problems, Google’s assistant offers a "trusted voice" option, which only lets “OK Google” unlock the device when the sound matches a preregistered voice model. By the time Cortana's lock screen functionality is rolled out to all users, it's possible Microsoft will add some similar gatekeeping mechanism. 

    In the meantime, for those concerned about the security implications, a nice alternative to the new lock screen shortcut is the existing home screen widget. It requires the phone to be unlocked but provides a lot of the same functionality. 

    Cortana home screen widget

    Cortana home screen widget

    IMAGE: MICROSOFT

    Putting Cortana on Android home screens could be a great move on Microsoft's part. For Windows users in particular, this bridges the divide between phone and laptop. As an overall strategic move, this puts Microsoft in direct competition with Google Assistant and makes Cortana function a lot more like a native assistant. 

     

    You can try the feature by signing up for the beta here.

    Author : FREIA LOBO

    Source : http://mashable.com/2017/01/18/cortana-android-lockscreen/?utm_cid=hp-n-2#8.NOEYmMmsqw

    Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:24

    Six Great Ways to Search the Web

    Sure everyone knows all about the search engines like Google, Yahoo and now Microsoft's new Bing. But there are numerous other ways to find information on the Internet. Here are six great ways to search for exactly what you need on the Internet.

    Search Engines

    The search engines are the first place everyone heads to and they have become household names. Google has even become a verb and now people around the world are Googling for information on the Internet. Here are a list of some other search engines that might give you more interesting results:

    • Bing – Microsoft's new search engine that will give different results than Google because of the 'decision algorithm' it uses.
    • Yahoo! - Still using its own technology for the next couple years (then it will use Bing) it not only searches the web well but also all the Yahoo! Pages.
    • Lycos – One of the older and less popular Internet search engines is still alive and kicking. Allows you to search a variety of categories (web, image, video, people, shopping, etc). Includes the Retriever which is “the Web's first information fusion engine, scouring the Web for the best information on thousands of topics and pulling it together into up-to-date, easy-to-read reports"
    • Ask.com – Lets you use a more intuitive way to search by simply typing in a complete question instead of a list of keywords. Returns results based on 'ExpertRank algorithm' which determines website authority by using subject-specific popularity.

    A fairly lengthy and complete list of search engines and more can be found at Wikipedia's List of Search Engines page.

     

    Another area of search engines are the metasearch engines. These services will query multiple search engines at once and then compile the results. There are multiple levels of complexity in these sorts of metasearch engines. Dogpile and Clusty are two services that do a good job while Surfwax and Copernic offer specialized services which incorporate different feature sets to help you search more quickly.

    Subject Directories

    If you have a specific piece of information you are looking for and it fits neatly into a particular category this is a good place to start. These sites include libraries, academic institutions, research facilities and usually include the 'best of the best' as well as peer-reviewed publications for business and academics. Directories have even been created by both Google and Yahoo!.

    The major benefit with subject directories is that you can limit the results based on the categories provided to help you better find exactly what you're looking for. Additionally, since the directories only take 'high quality' websites the information you get back should be better. About.com also utilizes this sort of categorization and many of the articles there are written by people considered experts in their particular fields.

    Wikipedia's List of Web Directories

    Searchable Databases

    Not everything on the web is placed so that it's easy to find. There's a part of the Internet called the Invisible Web which is not indexed by search engines and therefore is more difficult to find and search. The portion of the web that is fully searchable by the standard search engines is estimated at 167 Terabytes while the Invisible Web is estimated to have 91,000 Terabytes of information. Many search engine technologies are learning to cope with all of this content and it is starting to be indexed, but much of it is still missing. So how does one tap into all that hidden information? The easiest solution is to go to the source. If you have a particular piece of information you're seeking, try finding a database that might contain it and search through there. These are generally pages that have some sort of password protected system, CAPTCHA (challenge response system) or certain types of dynamic pages.

    There is no major list compiled of Invisible Web resources which is part of the problem. One major project that attempted to do this was DeepPeep while another is OAIster, which searches some 1139 contributors, created by the University of Michigan. Another trick to get into the Invisible Web is to use the keyword “database” in a standard Internet search engine.

     

    Social Networking

    Social Networking is the latest craze on the Internet and includes online communities of people who share certain interests, activities, etc. While many of them are just about connecting to other people, some can be used to glean new information from the web. Services such as StumbleUpon will give you recommendations on websites that might be of interest to you based on a set of interests and keywords. Other services like LinkedIn focus on connecting people in business but also give you a resource where you can ask for the opinions of others or to be pointed in the right direction.

    Social Bookmarking

    Social Bookmarking sites like RedditDelicious and Digg all allow users to bookmark or share links of interest. They all contain categories and notifications so you needn't go searching, the information can even be brought to you to save time. All three have ways for users to increase (and possibly decrease) the popularity or relevant importance of some links that are dropped into the services. Not all links bookmarked at these sites will be useful but many could be interesting, informative or something you might use later. The peer-review means that others find the links useful and help them float to the top so to be more easily found.

    Real-Time Search

    Another new approach to search is real-time. Want to know what people are talking about right now? That's where places like Twitter and Scoopler come in. They let you find out what the hot topics are at the very moment. To catch all there is from Twitter is a gigantic feat of endurance and speed reading. So the best way to search it is just to use the onsite search. Some people choose not to Tweet and instead head to Friendfeed to do their real-time microblogging so that has become another resource for real-time search. Collecta is another site that considers itself real-time but includes blogs, comments and more so it's not 100% real-time. Scoopler (mentioned earlier) covers Twitter, Flickr, Digg and Delicious. Twingly does microblog searching and covers Twitter, Jaiku, Identica and Bleeper. The major search engines are trying to get into the real-time search business but Twitter (the biggest player) is wanting cash for their full real-time feed (Twitter Firehose) which will be a limiting factor in access to that information for now.

    Searching the vast amount of information on the Internet can be a daunting task and many times you won't find exactly what you are searching for. This list of resources is aimed at making you more productive in your web searching and offers you alternative ways to search as well as the standard keyword-based search engines. This is in no way an exhaustive list of ways to search the Internet but it does give an excellent cross-section of what is available.

    Source : http://www.investintech.com/content/searchtheweb/

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