Robert Hensonw

Robert Hensonw

  • In  2016, GOOGL stock only managed to deliver a return of 4.35%, whereas AMZN stock delivered a return of 17.72%.
  • With its latest ventures, Amazon is eating into Google's territory, and things may get worse for Google.
  • Can Alphabet Inc fend off Amazon and deliver better returns to shareholders in 2017?

Is Amazon.com, Inc. (AMZN) Becoming A Threat To Alphabet Inc (GOOGL)

2016 was not a great year for Alphabet (NSDQ:GOOGL), and the company's stock price has not moved much in the last twelve months. Although the company generated $17.1B in operating income and $64.2B in revenue through the first nine months of its current fiscal year, the stock only managed to deliver a return of 4.35%, compared to the NASDAQ's 9.79%. That's nowhere near the kind of returns the stock has generated in the past. Amazon's (NSDQ:AMZN) latest initiatives with Alexa are eating into Google's territory and it appears as if AMZN stock could be a better investment in 2017 than GOOGL Stock. Can Amazon.com, Inc. really dent Alphabet Inc?

Google Losing Out To Amazon In E-Commerce Search

According to a report by BusinessInsider , Amazon is slowly taking a sizeable chunk of Google's search business by becoming the go-to place for e-commerce search. As per the report, "more than half of people start their search for online shopping on Amazon now, while only 26% use search engines like Google as the starting point". Google is a search company, which makes more money when a larger number of people use its search engine. Now by losing market share in e-commerce search, Google is taking a hit on its revenue, as it is primarily dependent on search-advertising to generate revenue. The report gives more details about the trend, but what is more worrying for Google is that its e-commerce search-share has halved in last two years, whereas Amazon has gained drastically in the same period ( see image below). This is a serious concern for Google, and it appears as if things are not going to get any better in future.

screen shot 2017-01-06 at 101941_GOOGL

Alexa To Conquer Google?

Amazon's Alexa, the personal assistant that was launched with the Amazon Echo smart speaker, was a huge hit at CES 2017. This post describes how delightful Alexa is, and how Echo combined with Alexa is designed to make it easier for you to give more of your money to Amazon. At CES 2017 companies like Ford (NYSE:F), Huawei, LG, as well as a number of startups, all unveiled home appliances, phones, cars, and more gadgets with Alexa integration. Alexa even made an unexpected appearance on Google’s Android ecosystem. Chinese smartphone manufacturer Huawei announced that its flagship handset running on Alphabet Inc's Android operating system will come with an app that gives users access to Alexa in the United States.

Amazon Echo has an early lead and plenty of buzz to go with it. The problem here is not that Amazon Echo is the smart speaker to beat for Google Home. There's more to this. There is a belief in the technology industry that such voice-powered digital assistants will replace keyboards and touch-screens as the primary way consumers interact with devices. In the report stated above, analyst Jan Dawson of Jackdaw Research considers that this shift is still in its initial stages, and that Google must move swiftly to make its presence felt in this space, to maintain its dominance in internet search, particularly on Android devices. Quoting him from the above report:

“To the extent that voice becomes more important and something other than Google’s voice assistant becomes the most popular voice interface on Android phones, that’s a huge loss for Google in terms of data gathering, training its AI (artificial intelligence), and ultimately the ability to drive advertising revenue”.

The thing is that the bad part doesn't end here for Google. The more Alexa devices that Amazon and its partners sell, the better Amazon does at its core retail business. It is believed that every Echo owner is a customer who is more likely to spend more on books, groceries, music, and movies on Amazon. But that is not the case with Google. Google can sell as many Google Home devices as it wants, but at the end of the day, Google is a search advertising company, not a retail company, and those Google Home devices aren't delivering ads. We all know Google is better at search than Amazon by a huge margin, and the company can still do a lot more with the data gathered on Home devices. The point is that consumers will be spending less time in front of screens and looking at Google's search ads. No matter how good Google's search ads are, it doesn't matter if people aren't seeing them.

Considering the first point stated in the article too, things are not looking any better for Google, going by the direction things are heading in, in computing space. It seems that Google's vulnerability is becoming Amazon's strength. Alexa's swift rise is making life difficult for Google.

In Summary

Putting all the above factors together it is evident Amazon is gaining in Google's territory. Analysts believe Google's decision to debut its voice assistant exclusively on its own hardware might not have gone well with manufacturers. Given Google's plans to scale it across all other devices, the company needs to rethink its strategy. Sergei Burkov, CEO of Alterra.ai, an artificial intelligence company said " Huge part of an assistant is search. Google is a search company. Amazon is not.” All is not lost for Google, yet, given the strength of its internet search technology, it can certainly catch up with the leader Amazon here. However, a growth investor would be tempted to invest in AMZN stock rather than GOOGL stock in 2017, since Amazon has many things going its way, where as Google has mainly its double-digit revenue growth to boast of. It is also to be noted that Google's Other Bet's have largely shown disappointing results until now which is not the case with Amazon.

Looking for great tech stocks? Check out our top stock picks, which have beaten the NASDAQ by over 109%.

Author: Sreekanth Anasa
Source: http://amigobulls.com/articles/amazon-com-inc-amzn-becoming-threat-alphabet-inc-googl?p=n

When some future Mars colonist is able to open his browser and watch a cat in a shark suit chasing a duck while riding a  roomba, they will have Vint Cerf to thank.

In his role as Google's chief internet evangelist, Cerf has spent much of his time thinking about the future of the computer networks that connect us all. And he should know. Along with Bob Kahn, he was responsible for developing the internet protocol suite, commonly known as TCP/IP, that underlies the workings of the net. Not content with just being a founding father of the internet on this planet, Cerf has spent years taking the world wide web out of this world.

Working with NASA and JPL, Cerf has helped develop a new set of protocols that can stand up to the unique environment of space, where orbital mechanics and the speed of light make traditional networking extremely difficult. Though this space-based network is still in its early stages and has few nodes, he said that we are now at "the front end of what could be an evolving and expanding interplanetary backbone."

Wired.com talked to Cerf about the interplanetary internet's role in space exploration, the frustrations of network management on the final frontier, and the future headline he never wants to see.

Wired: Though it's been around a while, the concept of an interplanetary internet is probably new to a lot of people.How exactly do you build a space network?Vint Cerf: Right, it's actually not new at all -- this project started in 1998. And it got started because 1997 was very nearly the 25th anniversary of the design of the internet. Bob Kahn and I did that work in 1973. So back in 1997, I asked myself what should I be doing that will be needed 25 years from then. And, after consultation with colleagues at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, we concluded that we needed much richer networking than was then available to NASA and other space faring agencies.

Up until that time and generally speaking, up until now, the entire communications capabilities for space exploration had been point-to-point radio links. So we began looking at the possibilities of TCIP/IP as a protocol for interplanetary communication. We figure it worked on Earth and it ought to work on Mars. The real question was, "Would it work between the planets?"

Up until that time and generally speaking, up until now, the entire communications capabilities for space exploration had been point-to-point radio links. So we began looking at the possibilities of TCIP/IP as a protocol for interplanetary communication. We figure it worked on Earth and it ought to work on Mars. The real question was, "Would it work between the planets?"

And the answer turned out to be, "No."

The reason for this is two-fold: First of all, the speed of light is slow relative to distances in the solar system. A one-way radio signal from Earth to Mars takes between three and half and 20 minutes. So round trip time is of course double that. And then there's the other problem: planetary rotation. If you're communicating with something on the surface of the planet, it goes out of communication as the planet rotates. It breaks the available communications and you have to wait until the planet rotates back around again. So what we have is variable delay and disruption, and TCP does not do terribly well in those kinds of situations.

One of the things that the TCP/IP protocols assume is that there isn't enough memory in each of the routers to hold anything. So if a packet shows up and it's destined for a place for which you have an available path, but there isn't enough room, then typically the packet is discarded.

We developed a new suite of protocols that we called the Bundle protocols, which are kind of like internet packets in the sense that they're chunks of information. They can be quite big and they basically get sent like bundles of information. We do what's called storing forward, which is the way all packet switching works. It's just in this case the interplanetary protocol has the capacity to store quite a bit, and usually for quite a long time before we can get rid of it based on connectivity to the next hop.

What are the challenges with working and making a communications network in space as opposed to a ground-based internet?Among the hard things, first of all, is that we couldn't use the domain name system in its current form. I can give you a quick illustration why that's the case: Imagine for a moment you're on Mars, and somebody is trying to open up an HTTP web connection to Earth. They've given you a URL that contains a domain name in it, but before you can open up a TCP connection you need to have an IP address.

So you will have to do a domain name lookup, which can translate the domain name you're trying to lookup into an IP address. Now remember you're on Mars and the domain name you're trying to look up is on Earth. So you send out a DNS lookup. But it may take anywhere from 40 minutes to an unknown amount of time -- depending on what kind of packet loss you have, whether there's a period of disruption based on planetary rotation, all that kind of stuff -- before you get an answer back. And then it may be the wrong answer, because by the time it gets back maybe the node has moved and now it has a different IP address. And from there it just gets worse and worse. If you're sitting around Jupiter, and trying to do a lookup, many hours go by and then it's just impossible.

One of the things we wanted to avoid was the possibility of a headline that says: '15-Year-Old Takes Over Mars Net.'

So we had to break it into a two-phase lookup and use what's called delayed binding. First you figure out which planet you're going to, then you route the traffic to that planet, and only then you do a local lookup, possibly using the domain name.

The other thing is when you are trying to manage a network with this physical scope and all the uncertainty delays, the things we typically do for network management don't work very well. There's a protocol called SNMP, the simple network management protocol, and it is based on the idea that you can send a packet out and get an answer back in a few milliseconds, or a few hundreds of milliseconds. If you're familiar with the word ping, you'll know what I mean, because you ping something and expect to get an answer back fairly quickly. If you don't get it back in a minute or two, you begin to conclude that there is something wrong and the thing isn't available. But in space, it takes a long time for the signal to even get to the destination let alone get an answer back. So network management turns out to be a lot harder in this environment.

Then the other thing we had to worry about was security. The reason for that should be obvious -- one of the things we wanted to avoid was the possibility of a headline that says: "15-Year-Old Takes Over Mars Net." Against that possibility we put quite a bit of security into the system, including strong authentication, three way handshakes, cryptographic keys, and things of that sort in order to reduce the likelihood that someone would abuse access to the space network.

Because it has to communicate across such vast distances, it seems like the interplanetary internet must be huge.Well, in purely physical terms -- that is, in terms of distance -- it's a pretty large network. But the number of nodes is pretty modest. At the moment, the elements participating in it are devices in planet Earth, including the Deep Space Network, which is operated at JPL. That consists of three 70-metre dishes plus a smattering of 35-metre dishes that can reach out into the solar system with point-to-point radio links. Those are part of the TDRSS

[tee-driss] system, which is used for a lot of near-Earth communications by NASA. The ISS also has several nodes on board capable of using this particular set of protocols.

Two orbiters around Mars are running the prototype versions of this software, and virtually all the information that's coming back from Mars is coming back via these store-forward relays.

The Spirit and Opportunity rovers on the planet and the Curiosity rover are using these protocols. And then there's the Phoenix lander, which descended to the north pole of Mars in 2008. It also was using these protocols until the Martian winter shut it down.

And finally, there's a spacecraft in orbit around the sun, which is actually quite far away, called EPOXI [the spacecraft was 32 million kilometres from Earth when it tested the interplanetary protocols]. It has been used to rendezvous with two comets in the last decade to determine their mineral makeup.

But what we hope will happen over time -- assuming these protocols are adopted by the Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems, which standardises space communication protocols -- then every spacefaring nation launching either robotic or manned missions has the option of using these protocols. And that means that all the spacecraft that have been outfitted with those protocols could be used during the primary mission, and could then be repurposed to become relays in a stored forward network. I fully expect to see these protocols used for both manned and robotic exploration in the future.

What are the next steps to expand this?We want to complete the standardisation with the rest of the spacefaring community. Also, not all pieces are fully validated yet, including our strong authentication system. Then second, we need to know how well we can do flow control in this very, very peculiar and potentially disrupted environment.

Third, we need to verify that we can do serious real-time things including chat, video and voice. We will need to learn how to go from what appears to be an interactive real-time chat, like one over the phone, to probably an email-like exchange, where you might have voice and video attached but it's not immediately interactive.

Delivering the bundle is very much like delivering a piece of email. If there's a problem with email it usually gets retransmitted, and after a while you time out. The bundle protocol has similar characteristics, so you anticipate that you have variable delay that could be very long. Sometimes if you've tried many times and don't get a response, you have to assume the destination is not available.

We often talk about how the things we invent for space are being used here on Earth. Are there things about the interplanetary internet that could potentially be used on the ground?Absolutely. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) funded tests with the US Marine Corps on tactical military communication using these highly resilient and disruption-tolerant protocols. We had successful tests that showed in a typical hostile communication environment that we were able to put three to five times more data through this disrupted system than we could with traditional TCP/IP.

Part of the reason is that we assume we can store traffic in the network. When there's high activity, we don't have to retransmit from end to end, we can just retransmit from one of the intermediate points in the system. This use of memory in the network turns out to be quite effective. And of course we can afford to do that because memory has gotten so inexpensive.

The European Commission has also sponsored a really interesting project using the DTM protocols in northern Sweden. In an area called Lapland, there's a group called the Saami reindeer herders.

They've been herding reindeer for 8,000 years up there. And the European Commission sponsored a research project managed by the Lulea University of Technology in northern Sweden to put these protocols on board all-terrain vehicles in laptops. This way, you could run a Wi-Fi service in villages in Northern Sweden and drop messages off and pick them up according to the protocols. As you move around, you were basically a data mule carrying information from one village to another.

There was also an experiment called Mocup that involved remote controlling a robot on Earth from the space station.These protocols were used, right?Yes, we used the DTN protocols for that. We were all really excited for that because, although the protocols were originally designed to deal with very long and uncertain delay, when there is high quality connectivity, we can use it for real-time communication. And that's exactly what they did with the little German rover.

I think in general communication will benefit from this. Putting these protocols in mobile phones, for instance, would create a more powerful and resilient communications platform than what we typically have today

So if I have poor reception on my cell phone at my house, I could still call my parents?Well, actually what might happen is that you could store what you said and they would eventually get it. But it wouldn't be real time. If the disruption lasts for an appreciable length of time, it would arrive later. But at least the information would eventually get there.

Source: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/vint-cerf-interplanetary-internet

There isn’t much time left—hours, in fact. Maybe you forgot something, or maybe there’s a surprise giftee on your list you didn’t know about a few days ago. Either way, here’s how to pull a rabbit from your hat and give them something great this year.

10. Give Favors Instead of Objects

You might remember this from when you were a kid—if you didn’t have a gift to give, you could always give a “coupon book” of favors like doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or cleaning your room—stuff that you probably should do anyway, right? Well, those things make great last minute gifts too, and even work for those people who are infamously hard to give for.

Whether it’s the gift of helping them take down all of their holiday decorations, or the gift of help around the house in the New Year or help moving when they need it, a favor can go a long way—sometimes much farther—than yet another gift card or phone charger ever could.

9. Give them an Experience, or Plan One

Speaking of intangible gifts, don’t overlook the gift of experiences and memories. Ultimately, they matter more than the material things, and while they’re great if you’re low on cash, they’re also useful at the last minute, when all the shops are closed and it’s Christmas Eve.

A handmade card promising lessons in something you can happily teach, or a promise to do something awesome together, like take a cooking class, go on an awesome road trip, concert tickets or an evening at the opera, or some other activity or experience that matters to both of you, makes an incredible gift. If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, consider services like previously mentioned Unstuff, which can help you come up with good ideas.

8. Hit the Grocery Store for Packaged Gifts (or Assemble Your Own Basket)

Alternatively, if all the shops aren’t closed, there’s one place you can probably go that’s full of last minute gift ideas—if you know how to package them. The grocery store.

From simple fruit baskets for a neighbor or colleague to gourmet packaged candies and other goodies, the grocery store is full of food options that may just need a little dressing up, a fresh gift tag, and you’re good to go—plus, if you find something tasty, you know it’ll be appreciated and enjoyed, even if it was a quick gift. Of course, gift cards are easily available at the grocery store as well, so that’s worth considering too (but we’ll get to those—and their digital options) later.

7. Give the Gift of Fancy Food or Coffee

While you’re at the grocery store, you could pick up something gourmet and fancy, like the fanciest coffee on the shelves, or some super limited edition box of candy—and those are great options. You could also do just as well and give the even more last-minute gift of a coffee subscription service, like the ones offered by previously mentioned MistoBox, or Boxo Coffee, which I’ve tried and enjoyed.

If a coffee subscription isn’t your style, there are subscription gifts for all sorts of people, likes, and tastes. You have plenty of choices, from fun little themed boxes to regular shipments of cheese, wine, or meat. If you’re still not sure, Cratejoy is a service designed to help you find the right one to give. Then sign up and pay for a subscription in your friends’ name, and give them the printout or a card that explains what the subscription is. Then they’ll enjoy your gift all year long, and look at you—you bought it online the night before you gave it.

6. Give the Gift of a Museum Membership

If your giftee isn’t the eating and drinking type, but instead the cultural, spends-the-weekends-out type, consider giving the gift of a museum membership. Even in places where museums are largely free admission (like my old town of Washington DC,) a subscription entitles you to a world of benefits, including special events, screenings, book signings, late night tours, social events, and other fancy affairs that everyone else would either never hear about or have to fight for tickets to get.

Plus, considering museum memberships often mean free or reduced-cost admission, special gifts, and discounts at museum stores, your gift won’t just support the museum you buy it from, it’ll also keep giving to your friend or loved one all year round. Just make sure they use it!

5. Give the Gift of Premium Web Apps and Services Everyone Loves

Since digital gifts are definitely some of the best last minute gifts, maybe instead of picking something a little further out of left field, you should consider giving the gift of the premium or paid version of a service they already use. Maybe you have a Pandora or Spotify junkie on your list, but they’ve never wanted to pay the subscription fee. Maybe you have a Netflix fan on your list who really wishes they could watch more old TV shows, and Hulu is right up their alley. Either way, we have a great list of those premium web apps and subscription services right here, and any or all of them would make great gifts—best of all, you can buy many of them online, right away, and have your gift subscription electronically delivered. You don’t even need to buy a card.

4. Give a Charitable Donation in Their Name

This may not be for everyone, but one great gift you can give—especially to someone who has everything, as it were—is a charitable donation in their name, ideally to an organization they love and support, or would support anyway. After all, there are plenty of very deserving charities and groups that could use a lift right now, and giving a gift in your friend or loved one’s name can really mean a lot.

Of course, it’ll also mean leaflets and address labels and more mail, but as long as you do your homework on the charity before you give, you can easily make sure that your donation will actually go to the organization’s mission and help the people it intends to help. If you need more suggestions, we have some specifically holiday-themed ones here.

3. Give Ebooks and Audiobooks

Always a great, quick gift, ebooks and audiobooks are easy to buy online at any time, easy to give to a friend or loved one (all you need is their email address), and just about anyone will appreciate them. Best of all, over at Amazon you can give either electronically and even specify the date they’re emailed to your recipient—so they can wake up on Christmas morning to an inbox with something good in it for a change, and not just the usual spam.

If you need a few tips, try this list of life-improving books we put together, and of course, check out these audiobook services for some suggestions—all of them have gift subscriptions and promotions you can take advantage of.

2. Gift Cards Always Work, both Physical and Virtual

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without gift cards. Sure, you could run over to the grocery store and pick up a few like we listed above, but you could just as easily buy your gift cards online, with electronic delivery, so you don’t have to leave the house. Best of all, this way you can send gift cards for virtually anything you want—whether it’s a bigwig like Amazon or a specialty, niche store that only your recipient will know and love.

Just make sure you grab gift cards that are worth having (and don’t have crazy fees or slowly depleting value over time) and include a personal note either with the card or in the gift email, just to make it a little more heartfelt.

1. Just Give Cash, but Make It Pretty

Finally, there’s always cash. Open your wallet or hit the ATM, grab a blank card, and go nuts. Make sure to include a personal note, just to make the gift a little more personal, or even a suggestion on how to spend it, like a well-earned bottle of wine or luxurious meal, or gas money for a road trip they’ve always wanted to take. It can make a simple cash gift way more personal.

If you’re the crafty type, well, you can get whimsical there too. Happy holidays!

Author:  Alan Henry

Source:  http://lifehacker.com/top-10-absolutely-last-minute-holiday-gift-ideas-1790278286

Monday, 19 December 2016 23:21

IBM Watson Wants To Be Your Doctor

Although the medical field has made many strides, at the end of the day, doctors are also prone to human mistakes. As a way to prevent human error, IBM Watson‘s cognitive technology is being developed to read and scan a patient’s medical images. This way, Watson has the ability to direct the attention of a doctor.

Watson will also have the ability to pull up a patient’s past medical history to diagnose a condition and come up with a faster treatment plan. For example, if a patient has a tumor, Watson will be able to identify it then utilize a patient’s past medical history to come up with a plan.

IBM is just one of the many companies trying to merge data and technology to assist the field of healthcare. Doctors may be able to do more with another set of eyes.

Author:  JIWON KIM

Source:  https://www.psfk.com/2016/12/ibm-watson-wants-to-be-your-doctor-human-error.html

You have a presentation to deliver? Here are five simple tips to make it amazing and, I promise, it will reduce your stress and engage your audience.

1. Who are you? What are you doing here?

No, I am not an amnesiac, but in over thirty years of presentations I am still amazed how many speakers don’t seem to follow the simple principle of answering these questions. Presenters who do not know their audience (or more importantly what they want from the presentation) and who plough on churning out a message which is at odds with what people want or need.

So, step one: Understand your audience – what do they know and how much do they understand. Ensure you get your language and content right.

2. The 3 P’s

Before any presentation remember the 3 P’s

  • Preparation
  • Preparation
  • Preparation

Yes, it’s boring to take time to create and then rehearse your presentation, but it is time well spent. You don’t need to have the whole script memorised like a Shakespearean actor but don’t spend your time reading your script during your presentation.

You need to know what you are talking about to be able to hold your audience’s attention, if you are clearly looking down, failing to give eye contact and reading a piece of paper you will lose your audience. Take a bit of time to read through the content you have written (when you speak it aloud you will find the bits that make you stumble or that just don’t read right).

3. Be the Alpha Presenter

Just like a pack of dogs there needs to be one pack member who is in charge and commands the respect of the others. You need to be the Alpha – that is you need to have control of your audience. There are a few simple ways to achieve this…

  • Set the atmosphere, forget presentation and think show (see the next tip.)
  • Be prepared – be slick, professional and not fumbling through papers or lost in your own content.
  • Maintain eye contact – look at your audience, engage visually with people in different areas of the the room to give the impression that you are delivering to each individual in the room.
  • Use open body language – there are whole books about body language, simply put avoid crossed arms, gripping the lectern or a stance which closes you off to your audience, instead adopt an open posture.

4. Forget ‘presentation’ think ‘show’

If I said ‘presentation’ what would you think? – possibly text laden slides, something which will not be engaging, a mind dump of data. This is why you should think of your presentations as ‘shows’, use storytelling techniques to make them engaging and present them more like theatre.

Storytelling – we have centuries of experience in storytelling techniques, ensure that your presentation follows a story arc with a beginning, middle and end. A story arc moves a character from one state to another through a period of change. So your beginning should set the scene, ‘where are we? What needs to be done?’, the middle should take the audience on the journey ‘what are we going to do? How will we resolve the issues?’ and the end should reiterate the journey ‘where are we now? Where will we be?’

This format creates an intuitive structure and brings your audience on a shared journey. Make your presentation more like theatre. I don’t ever remember a film or play which started with the speaker struggling with a projector, walking onto stage in silence and expecting the audience to know they are there.

Set up early, use music to set the scene ‘pre-flight’ background music as the audience come into the room, however use music with increased tempo to create excitement or slower classical to calm an audience. Also, you should have a walk-on sting – a short burst of music which makes it clear that something is starting, the equivalent of the title music before a movie, use this to top and tail your presentation marking the beginning and end, setting the scene and making sure you immediately have the audience’s attention.

5. What if it goes wrong? Carry on…

Things will go wrong when you present, that’s life – get over it! I have had a speaker collapse on stage and have had to deliver their presentation (knowing nothing of the content) in front of two thousand people while paramedics worked on them in the wings, (they were fine, thank goodness!) If things do happen you need to be ready to carry on regardless. If your projector stops or the sound system fails you have two options:

  • Flail, complain, bitch about it and look flustered at the least and stupid at worst.
  • Carry on and impress your audience.

The audience doesn’t really care that you have had a technical breakdown, but the moment you fluster you will lose your alpha speaker position. Be prepared enough to just keep going and deliver your content, if you remain calm you will impress your audience (if they even notice there has been a problem!) Remember, the show must go on!

Author:  Wilf Voss

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org

Ausking is arguably the largest dark web vendor Australia has at the moment.

The dark web vendor has dabbled in almost every type of illegal substance including marijuana, cocaine, and heroin.

He runs more than a few businesses extending over various dark net markets, including the AlphaBay market, where he boasts of a perfect 10/10 rating.

Being one of the elite dark web traders in Australia, his customers expect nothing but high-quality products and top-notch services, which is according to his delivery and feedback rating, he consistently delivers.

In addition to next day delivery, customers can also rest a bit easier since Ausking’s OPSEC is incapable of making mistakes.

Violence is Counterproductive to the Drug Trade

When asked what he attributes his success to, “hard work, honesty, integrity and quality” is what Ausking says.

Surprisingly, his dark web trade breaks out of the stereotype associated with drug vendors of any kind—that they’re violent, untrustworthy and quite often involved in some form of organized crime.

From the looks of things, however, Ausking runs a very clean operation and despite its legality, upholds it in the same standards as a thriving legal business enterprise.

Ausking’s preference of the dark web to conduct his trade was mostly influenced by his dislike for violence, which he reckons is a very counter-productive factor in any business.

Using the dark web, as Ausking explains, eliminates the violence factor almost completely.

Statistically speaking, his claim that violence is drastically reduced when using the dark web is, in fact, true.

The Drug Vendor Dislikes Killers for Hire and Pedophiles

In response to a moral question that seemingly bundled him in the same category as hit men and pedophiles, Ausking said that such people, although present on various dark web platforms, were a rarity on major dark net markets, which have strong censorship against such immoral acts.

Ausking went on to express his abhorrence for such activities and people.

Heroin Generates the Most Profits

Ausking’s selling everything from weed and coke, to meth and heroin.

Ausking’s selling everything from weed and coke, to meth and heroin.

On to the subject of his profits, Ausking was willing to disclose that currently, the product that racks him the tidiest profit is pure Afghan heroin.

He attributes his stellar profits to the fact that he is among the most reliable vendors on the dark web at the moment and the extent of his customer base which is currently spread across the world.

The size of the dark web vendor’s business at the moment is comparable to that of a fortune 500 company except for the illegal nature of the substances he deals with.

Moral Repercussions

Being a drug dealer always comes with its moral baggage, especially when one considers the users of the substance they peddle.

Heroin addiction is without a doubt one of the most prevalent drug problems in the world right now, which largely contributes to its high demand.

When confronted with the question about how he deals with small scale buyers of his product who are quite often users of the drug, Ausking responded saying that his was more than just a sell-and-move-on gig.

Ausking always follows up every small scale with warnings of the health risks associated with the drugs. He mentioned that he puts extra efforts into educating his users.

Apparently, the review system on most of the major dark web drug marketplaces contained comprehensive information concerning drug potencies and effects.

This is a step up from the street trade where you get what you see and there is often now way to determine the purity of the product, let alone learn its side effects.

Ausking Does Not Conform to Stereotypical Nuances

Ausking runs his business based on the philosophy that people should be allowed to choose their own form of recreational drugs since the legal ones such as alcohol and nicotine are just as harmful.

The legalization of such substances, according to Ausking, would mean the end of violent drug cartels and the introduction of legit companies which would inject more money into the war against drug dependency in order to enlighten more people on the dangers of drug addiction.

He also claimed that the stereotype that drug dealers are bad people was a product of narrow-minded people.

Drug vendors, especially on the dark net markets, could be literally anyone including law enforcement agents and to hold such prejudices is shallow.

When asked about the continuity of the dark net markets in the wake of the numerous laws governing against the dark web and technological advancements, Ausking is confident that dark net markets will always have its place in the dark web, especially when it comes to filling the niches the street trade cannot and the reduced risks involved in purchasing the product.

Author:  Dark Web

Source:  https://darkwebnews.com

Tuesday, 06 December 2016 01:49

11 Tips and Tools on Business Networking

Networking is inevitable in any business. As marketing is a very huge and dynamic industry, there will always be collaborations, and partnerships between brands, and engagement with customers, thus the need for networking.

An infographic from Virgin shows 85% of the respondents say they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships during in-person business meetings and conferences

As the name connotes, business networking is defined as a skill that is used to build new business contacts through connecting with other like-minded individuals.

Why is Networking Important?

Networking Opens Opportunities

Venturing out of your comfort zone enables you to explore more opportunities. Partnership with other like-minded companies or individuals who share the same vision and business goals are good results of networking. Not only that, it will open doors for collaborations, sales leads, joint ventures, speaking gigs, or writing opportunities you would have access to.

Networking Builds Your Confidence

Breaking the ice and striking up a conversation with people you don’t know tests your limits. You have to come up with creative ways to start a conversation and sustaining and probing your prospects well enough to know what types of business and tools they are looking for. In doing so, you boost your confidence level, which makes your next networking attempt even easier.

Networking is a Great for Learning

More often than not, networking sessions happen during conferences and industry events. These are great opportunities to update yourself not only from the conference presentations but also from industry people who practice their profession.

You can learn their best practices and find out how they were able to overcome challenges, which might be relevant to where you are in the business cycle. You can always learn something new in networking.

Listen to the recent Marketing Nerds episode by Debbie Miller of Social Hospitality, Amanda Russell of Ghergich & Co., and SEJ Executive Editor Kelsey Jones as they discuss experiences with networking and how to meet new people.

How Should You Network?

Be the Best Representative of Your Company

First and foremost, know that networking is often a face-to-face interaction and it may be the first impression people have of our brand. You should always keep your company’s best interest in mind. After all, we personify our companies. We are the human representations of what it does and what it offers.

After a huge conference or event, you might remember the company name or the brand, instead of the name of the person you spoke with. So come prepared, dress well, and carry yourself with confidence.

Keep the Right Mindset

What is your true motivation for networking? Whatever it is, the people you speak with will be able to tell. If your main goal is to make a sale, it is not conducive to building a real relationship. You will come across as spammy and insincere.

Show genuine interest in your potential business partner – pay attention to what they say, what they need, and what they do best. If you have a hard time coming up with a conversation starter, ask them about their company, and what their role is. Most people like to talk about themselves. So, ask open-ended questions to start conversations. More importantly, listen to what they say. Focus on them. Great networkers are those who listen more and talk less.


Build Relationships

Go into a conversation with the goal of establishing a long-term partnership, and not just making a quick sale. Lasting relationships are mutually beneficial partnerships.

Some successful networkers even go as far as doing research work before networking. If they know that the person they want to meet is interested in golf, for example, they would invite them and play a round of golf. Or if they are interested in having drinks, they’d invite them to have drinks after the event.


If you meet someone who has business needs your company can solve, follow-up immediately. Don’t wait to send feelers four weeks after. They might not remember you at all. Best to send an email immediately upon return to office the next day. Just remember to be personable and focus on how you can help, not what you have to sell.

Tools for Business Networking

Business Cards

Business cards will be your main weapon in increasing your business network. In fact, 55% of Americans who own a small business typically distribute business cards at conferences. When you attend a conference with thousands of attendees, be sure to bring at least two packs of your business cards to give away. This is a valuable tool for your networking success. When receiving a card, do not just simply put it in your pocket. Take a moment to read what is written on the card. Not only will it enable you to ask smart and valuable questions, but it also shows respect to your potential lead.

One other tool you can take advantage of is Camcard. It is a business card app that allows you to scan, manage, sync and exchange business cards all in one place. You can quickly enter business cards, or exchange business cards digitally. One good thing about this tool is you can access your business contacts anywhere.

You can also digitize your business card through a tool called About.me. This app shows what your main interest or business is. You can show your portfolio, images, videos, blogs, music, or your business information. It is like your address online.

LinkedIn Profile

Create a LinkedIn profile if you still do not have one. If you have an existing LinkedIn profile already, make sure it is updated with your newest job title, most recent published works, and newest collaborations.

After a conference, most business contacts will check out your business card, and look you up on LinkedIn to see your credentials, your background, and all other information about you. LinkedIn is the ultimate social media channel for business professionals, so if you want to be taken seriously, make sure that you have one.

Use Twitter

Whenever you are at a business conference, intensify your social media postings on Twitter. Most conferences have a customized hashtag, and attendees use this to post relevant takeaways. Not only will live conference coverage give your followers real-time updates of the conference, but this method proves to be a very effective way of communicating with the speakers, the organizers, and other event attendees, without the awkwardness of face-to-face communication. Take advantage of this channel to join virtual conversations. This might score you an invite to an awesome after-conference party.

Final Thoughts

You can become successful in business networking by planning and focusing more on other people rather than worrying about what you are going to say. There are many ways to strategically represent yourself, and your company, but these basic tips and tools will help you gain business contacts, and hopefully close deals.

Author:  Meg Cabrera

Source:  https://www.searchenginejournal.com

Google will go before the Supreme Court in the weeks ahead, appealing an order that forced the tech giant to try to remove a company from the Internet.

Equustek Solutions is a British Columbia company that got a court order against a competitor that was selling their patented technology online.

The injunction didn’t stop the company, so Equustek got an injunction demanding Google delist their competitor from its search-engine results.

Google will appeal that decision in a hearing in the next few weeks, the Supreme Court confirmed Monday. In its submission to the court, the company argued it is simply a search engine and can’t be the enforcer of the Internet.

“Google is incapable of taking these websites offline. It is incapable of stopping the defendants from launching new websites,” it wrote. “It is incapable of preventing users in Canada or anywhere else from accessing the websites at issue.”

It also argued the case is a freedom-of-speech issue, because the company can’t tell its users about something on the Internet.

“Google’s speech is restricted, as it is now prohibited from truthfully informing the global public.”

Trent Horne, a partner and intellectual property lawyer with Bennet Jones, said one of many interesting aspects of the case is that Google is being brought into a private dispute.

“They have never been accused of any wrongdoing, they have just been brought into the fray as an enforcement mechanism,” he said.He said the court will have to decide if order forcing Google to delist website should take place and what the test should be for imposing them.He said there is also a major question about the limits of Canadian courts.

“You could have a Canadian court granting an order that obliges somebody in California to do something, which prevents an individual in England from buying something,” he said.  Horne said the Supreme Court has not ruled in any cases that are similar to this, so it’s hard to have any idea how they might rule.

“I am hard-pressed to think of something that is close.”

Author:  Ryan Tumilty

Source:  http://www.metronews.ca/

The search for life on Mars might just center around a strange funnel-shaped surface feature inside a crater, scientists say in a new study. Located in what is known as the Hellas depression, the feature could hold the “ingredients of life.”

The Daily Mail reported last week that a new study suggests that volcanic activity on Mars might have been a key contributor to the odd funnel depression that could be Mars’ best chance to host living organisms. Scientists have believed that a volcano located beneath a glacier on Mars’ surface created the Hellas depression, but new data taken from stereoscopic images and digital elevation models indicates that the formation is not only volcanic in origin, it might be similar to “ice cauldrons” on Earth. Such a formation could create an environment warm enough to host liquid water and chemical nutrients that might support life.

Ice cauldrons are found on Earth in places like Iceland and Greenland, created when volcanoes erupt under an ice sheet. On Mars, these same conditions potentially could host life.

Joseph Levy, a research associate and lead author of the study from the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, explained the reasoning behind the study’s site choice.

“We were drawn to this site because it looked like it could host some of the key ingredients for habitability – water, heat, and nutrients.”

The Hellas depression, as noted, is located in a crater at the edge of the Hellas basin. Ancient glacial deposits surround the feature.

Photo of Mars' Hellas basin

The Hellas basin on Mars. [Image by ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)/Getty Images]

Nor is the feature, which was first discovered in 2009 in images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, unique. It is similar to a depression in the Galaxias Fossae region.

“These landforms caught our eye because they’re weird looking. They’re concentrically fractured so they look like a bull’s-eye. That can be a very diagnostic pattern you see in Earth materials,” Levy admitted.

The study concluded that the two funnel structures were formed in different ways. The Galaxias Fossae depression seems to be a product of an impact, while the Hellas depression showed several indications of volcanism.

Levy and his fellow researchers suggest that such depressions on Mars should be considered as prime locations for the search for life on the Red Planet. The Hellas formation is of particular interest due to its possible volcanic origins and the potential for life-fostering properties.

The search for life on Mars might have received a boost or perhaps even a confirmation (or denial) of its existence last month had the Rocosmos and European Space Agency’s lander been able to continue its mission on the planet’s surface. Called Schiaparelli, the lander was an astrobiology project specifically designed to search for life on Mars. As the Inquisitr reported, Schiaparelli exploded on impact with the surface on October 19, a victim of its parachute deploying too early (although conspiracy theorists oddly accused NASA of shooting down the craft to maintain its scientific dominance).

Mars landscape at sunset

Mars life might be found first in a crater in the Hellas basin that exhibits a strange funnel-shaped depression. [Image by Jurik Peter/Shutterstock]

Beyond Mars, the search for life outside the bounds of the Solar System received help from the Parkes Observatory in Australia this week. According to Space.com, the telescope joined the $100 million Breakthrough Listen project, the astronomical initiative launched by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, becoming the third telescope in the line-up that includes the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia and the Automated Planet Finder at Lick Observatory in Northern California.

“The addition of Parkes is an important milestone,” Milner said in a statement. “These major instruments are the ears of planet Earth, and now they are listening for signs of other civilizations.”

The Parkes dish’s first Breakthrough Listen observations were received from the nearest star system, Proxima Centauri, where a planet has been detected that exists in the star’s habitable zone.

Author:  Norman Byrd

Source:  http://www.inquisitr.com/

What kind of content should I create?

 This is a common question that has an easy answer. Create content that people trust. Google defines this as:

1. Content that is relevant to your target audience.

2. Content that enhances your authority

Relevance and authority are what Google uses to determine the content that will see the light of day. Obviously, there are hundreds of secondary factors involved, but what Google presents for search queries is what is most relevant, and that is greatly influenced by the perceived authority of its source.

To be more accurate, Google has consistently stated that its primary objective as a search engine is to deliver the most relevant information as quickly as possible for every search query. To do that, they rely heavily on authority because that earned credibility assures Google the information is likely the most trustworthy

 Authority Takes a Stand

People trust or at least respect authority. Traditionally, this authority is derived from a particular position or testimonial of another person of authority.

You have to determine the type of authority that will best serve your business. And you have to be clear about it.

You have to choose your authority and make it a consistent theme of the content you create.

This is why many businesses struggle with content creation. They take on all kinds of work that fails to stand for something meaningful.

Your work should demonstrate expertise in a particular area. And your content should reflect that body of work.

This is a combination of the products and services the business offers and the unique experience that accompanies them.

Relevant Content Rings True

Claiming to be an authority in multiple domains is nearly impossible. It just doesn’t ring true with most buyers that are seeking a relationship with a company that seems to be speaking only to them.

To do this you have to become best in class for your targeted audience. This is accomplished by creating products and services that are supported by content that attracts, engages, and inspires that audience

The best way to determine the right content to create is to talk to your customers one-to-one. And do the same with people you think should be your customers but are not.

  • What are their top challenges?
  • Where do they go for solutions now?
  • How to do they make new discoveries and stay informed?

Using their responses you want to create what may be the most important piece of content. And that’s a buyer persona that guides the creation of all future content.

What motivates buyers often surprises companies that are in love with their products and services. More important is to fall in love with the buyer personas that become customers by creating content that speaks directly to them.

Call to Action

The call to action for this episode is to get clear about your authority and then develop a strategy for creating relevant content that becomes a growing and trusted body of work that speaks to that authority.

Author:  Jeff Korhan

Source:  http://www.business2community.com/

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