On a real note, we all strive for some level of approval from our peers. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit of recognition for our accomplishments, but it seems that a “bit” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Many people value their self-worth based on the opinion and approval of others, and are constantly asking themselves, “what would people think?”

It’s real easy to say, “don’t care what other people think,” but we all know that is much easier said than done.

We all have this innate nature to impress or one-up each other, but some of us have convinced ourselves of the falsehood that people are always watching.

Perhaps this notion comes from the fact that we are constantly putting ourselves in the spotlight. It has become a necessity to build a “following” and showcase an admirable lifestyle. If we don’t receive the attention that we are seeking, it can be incredibly crushing. And even worse; if we happen to mess up, we think that everyone is judging us and gossiping about our failures. Perhaps it’s time that we realize that the public isn’t watching as closely as you’d like (or not like) to think.

This need for approval is developed in early childhood, and only snowballs from there.

Sometimes you may feel like a puppy dog, panting and begging for approval. Did you ever wonder where we developed this need? Ever since childhood, we’ve been conditioned by our parents, teachers and mentors to do well in order to receive their admiration. As we reach new milestones in life, we develop new facets of people that we need to impress.

As children, we are given a set of rules and expectations to live by. When we do well, we get a gold star or a pat on the back. Our mentors tell us that they are proud; so early on we develop the concept that we need approval to know that we are doing well.

Now, we’re growing up and progressing through school. We start expressing our personalities, and receive judgment for the way that we do so. Our peers divide and clique up, label each other, and compartmentalize into a caste system of sorts. Are you popular, a nerd, a “freak”? How your peers perceive you at this age has an extreme impact on how we view ourselves.

Once school is over and we are released into the “real world”, the cultural hierarchy only becomes all the more complicated. You may notice yourself trying to portray yourself in a different light to your boss and coworkers so that they’ll like you and give you their approval. You take on an almost chameleon-like adaptability to fit in and impress whichever audience is at hand.

Praise and acknowledgment undoubtedly increase our self-esteem. And since this praise is external, it is no surprise that we put an emphasis purely on external factors to determine our self-worth, and weigh our self-esteem.

There is one huge element here that is being painfully overlooked. We are talking about SELF worth, and SELF esteem. We determine how to view ourselves based on how others perceive us. The truth is, we will never truly know what anyone really thinks about us, so the fact that we weigh approval from others so heavily is really quite silly.

We put up a front of how we want people to view us, denying our true selves, and destroying our self-worth.

It almost seems that many people are denying their true selves, squashing the elements that make them unique under the infrastructure of the façade they are putting up. A front if you will. The average person “brands” themselves and alters their personalities and appearance to fulfill a superficial image that they think others will like and admire. When that admiration is not received, it is not uncommon to experience depression because of it.

When there is such an emphasis for approval, it causes extreme turmoil when the approval is not received.

For example: social media likes. It pains me to admit that is a real issue, but unfortunately this is the world that we live in. Say that you spend hours perfecting your look, finding the right location and lighting, and using what you think is all of the right hashtags. Now you post, and you wait. The likes are stacking up, but not at the velocity that you’d hoped. You were aiming for 100+ but only received a measly 57. Now your day is ruined. You’re not as pretty as you thought. Your hair doesn’t even look good in that style. You’re so humiliated that you take the picture down, erasing any evidence of your hideous attempt at selfie-posting.

Social climbing is another common practice of the self-esteem deficient as well.

Surrounding yourself with people you don’t necessarily like because of the prestige and opportunities that it brings you. These people are not your friends, and want to see you fail. But they will support and praise you as long as you are doing well and reflect the image that they want to maintain. This lack of solid relationships will no doubt effect your self esteem. Without a good support system and a real friend to turn to, you will ultimately feel alone, and maybe a bit worthless because none of your “friends” actually care about you.

How do we reverse the toxic effects?

Realize no one is watching as closely as you think.

Identify the Spotlight Effect, the incorrect notion that everyone is watching.1 In all actuality, we are the only ones who fixate on our failures.

Your peers may be paying attention to what you do, but you’re not constantly under scrutiny. I don’t mean this negatively, but no one really cares how many likes you get or followers you have. And if they do, then it’s about time that person got a life (outside of the nonexistent virtual one most people just stagnate in.)

A personal example of this: for years I have struggled with a slight stammer and have gone through great efforts to remedy this impairment. Every time I stutter a bit, I think everyone is noticing and judging me. The truth is, most people don’t pay it any mind. And if they do, they’re not dissecting my worth as a person because I s-s-stuttered a bit.

Brush off the haters.

Sure, some people may judge you. Some people may even talk trash about you. Take it as a compliment. If you have haters, then that means that you intimidate others. Why would they feel the need to take you down a notch unless they felt that you were above them? Put those hater blockers on, and take it in stride. If people want to see you fail, then you’re doing something right.

Be yourself, uncensored, and unapologetic.

I’m sure you have heard the overuse of the phrase “you must love yourself before you can love anyone else.” Well, it’s true. You will never be able to maintain healthy relationships with others unless you have one with yourself. When you are comfortable in your own skin, you don’t need the approval of others, and the negativity that is cast from not receiving approval will no longer have any effect.

You are free to be yourself, uncensored, and unapologetic. If anything, you will receive more admiration from people. So many are afraid to just let go and embrace their true selves.

Source: This article was published on lifehack.org by 

The fast food industry in the United States alone is worth nearly $200 billion, and it’s not hard to see why with the convenience and affordability that these restaurants offer. Follow these tricks for saving money—and eating fresher food—from nine of the most popular chains. Most importantly, always be nice to your server, because being nice can go a long way!


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

1. Ask that your sandwich be made with a round egg instead of a folded egg.

Go for better quality and taste by asking that your sandwich be made with a round egg instead of the scrambled stuff that’s been pressed into a patty. The round egg is made right there on the premises in an egg ring, free of charge.


2. Save $2.30 by ordering a Double Cheeseburger without ketchup and mustard, and with lettuce and special sauce, instead of a Big Mac.

You may not get the sesame seed bun, but you’ll save about $2.30.

3. Save $1.30 by ordering a Sausage McMuffin with a round egg a la carte instead of a Sausage McMuffin with Egg.

Order a round egg for an added $0.50 and build your own Sausage McMuffin with Egg instead of ordering the real thing for $2.99.

4. Pay only $0.25 per Chicken McNugget by going with the 20-pack instead of the 4-pack.

Each Chicken McNugget costs $0.30 in the $1.19 4-pack. If your family loves McNuggets, save a nickel per piece by ordering in bulk with the $5 20-pack.

5. Request a steamed bun for fresher-tasting, warm bread every time.


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

6. Get more meat by choosing 2 proteins at no extra cost.

You can choose two proteins at no extra cost, but you’ll pay for the more expensive protein. Still, each portion typically turns into 3/4 of a serving each, which means more meat all around in that burrito.

7. Add extra rice to any order for free.

8. Get a full meal–drink and side included–for under $5 by ordering off the kids menu.

Kids menu meals come with fruit or chips and juice, milk, or soda–all for under $5. You can choose from three dishes: build-your-own tacos, a cheese quesadilla, or a cheese quesadilla with meat or guacamole.

9. Get guacamole added to your order for free when you skip the protein.

10. Make 2 meals out of a burrito bowl by asking for a free tortilla or taco shells on the side.

Load up a burrito bowl and eat half now by stuffing the ingredients in taco shells or wrapping them up in a tortilla. Then, save the other half for later.


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

11. Save $2.10 by sharing a French press instead of ordering 2 Grande drip coffees.

12. Save $0.80 and get the same amount of caffeine by ordering a Short latte instead of a Tall.

These fun-sized drinks (8 oz. versus a 12 oz. Tall) contain the same amount of caffeine for less money (you get less milk to espresso)!

13. Save $0.58 when you ask for light ice in your iced coffee.

When you order more ice, you end up with less beverage in your glass.

Bonus Tips: Check out these 12 Insider Secrets from a Starbucks Barista for more hacks.


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

14. Save $1.19 by ordering 2 Junior Roast Beef Sandwiches instead of a Classic Roast Beef Sandwich.

You get more of the same food for less money.

Bonus Tip: Buy anything off the menu, then call the number on the back of the receipt to do a quick survey. Write down the survey code and get back in line for a FREE Roast Beef Sandwich or Beef’n Cheddar Sandwich.

Domino’s Pizza

23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

15. Save $10 by ordering a large carryout 3-topping pizza with pineapple, ham, and bacon instead of a large Honolulu Hawaiian.

Technically, the Honolulu Hawaiian also has shredded parmesan asiago and roasted red peppers. Add both as additional toppings to your 3-topping carryout pizza and still save $7.

Bonus Tip: Call your local branch and see if they have any pizzas that weren’t delivered or picked up. There’s a good chance you can get the pizza at a discounted price.


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

16. Split a Footlong and customize each 6-inch portion instead of ordering individual 6-inch subs.

You can’t change the meat or the bread, but you can change the cheese, produce, and condiments—which saves you a couple dollars.

17. Keep all the ingredients deliciously tucked in by ordering a sub “old cut style.”

The subway artist just needs to make a V shape or trench into the bread, instead of slicing along the side. This will neatly hold your toppings, and keep the ingredients from slipping out the sides.

18. Ditch the cheap, clear water cup and opt for a medium-size cup for about $0.60 instead of paying $2 for a water bottle.

Bonus Tip: As part of their 50th anniversary celebrations, Subway is letting customers add 50% more meat to their 6-inch sandwiches for just $0.50 more.

Burger King

23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

19. Get a fresher sandwich by customizing it.

Have it your way and customize anything on your sandwich, even extra pickles. This pretty much guarantees your sandwich is fresh, because the server won’t want to unwrap an already wrapped sandwich.

20. Order “Off the Broiler” or “OTB” for the freshest burger.

When you order your food and literally say “off the broiler” or “OTB,” servers will take a fresh, uncooked hamburger patty and send it through the conveyor. In about seven minutes you’ll have a freshly made hamburger that hasn’t been sitting for a while on a warming tray.

Bonus Tip: Here’s where Burger King makes it easy for you. Get their 5 items for $4 deal and save $2.75. You’ll get a bacon cheeseburger, crispy chicken nuggets, small fries, a small drink, and a chocolate chip cookie.

Taco Bell

23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

21. Order the Triple Layer Nachos without beans or sauce for $1.10 instead of the Chips & Cheese for $1.30 to get more nachos with cheese already poured over them.

Forgo the chips in a small bag and cheese in a little container. Not only do you get more nachos when you order the Triple Layer Nachos, but you’re also saving $0.20.

22. Add guacamole to anything for $0.35 more.

Try adding guac to a beef or bean burrito. Amongst the Taco Bell regulars, this is known as “The Hulk.”


23 Fast Food Menu Hacks That Will Save You Money

23. Order your fries unsalted to ensure you get a fresh batch of fries.

You can salt them yourself with salt packets (this works at most fast-food joints).

Source: This article was published on thekrazycouponlady.com

Have you found yourself missing appointments or forgetting simple tasks? Do you secretly worry that you might be losing your mind? Never fear! You and millions of others are struggling with this same issue every single day. We live in such a fast paced world, and very connected, that it is easier to forget or not retain information on a regular basis. Think about it. 30 years ago you could dial a phone number from memory and not think twice about it. Now we rely on the contacts list in our phone and never really have to memorize a number.

So what happens when we want to remember things and we feel like we can’t? We go back in time and pick up the old ways and make them new!


Get creative and rhyme things out

One of the easiest ways to remember something is to put it into a rhyme or create a song. I can remember when I was young, I had a hard time remembering how to spell Valentine. I consistently wanted to spell it “Valentime”. So in order to learn it, I would sing a song called “will you be my Valentine” that has you spell out the word Valentine, rather than say it. And think about it, the songs and rhymes are often easiest for us to remember because of the beat of how we recite them. If you actually sat down and thought about how many songs you know by heart, you’d be pretty amazed with yourself!

Surprise, you can use mnemonic devices to memorize things too!

Mnemonic devices are a fantastic way to remember things. Everyone knows about the order of mathematics thanks to Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally (aka PEMDAS). Without that mnemonic device, I would have failed math quickly!

Always associate with something else when you get stuck with other methods

Names are a common thing many of us seem to be unable to remember, especially after we meet someone. I have been told often that when you meet someone, repeat their name and you will remember it. I can attest that it’s not true a lot of times. Especially if you are in a networking event! Associating something with the name is a much better way. In junior high school, I had to remember all the presidents and in order. This proved to be hard, until a family friend told me to create associations so that if I got stuck, the clue was the association. So if I got stuck at Garfield, I would be reminded to think of the cartoon cat. If it was Pierce, I would think about ears.

Imagine and create pictures for words

Sometimes we get bogged down with words and we forget that we don’t have to limit ourselves with just words. Using pictures to remind ourselves of information. This is extremely helpful if you already have a vivid imagination and tend to think with pictures. Simply take a situation, say turning in a report at 8 am, and create a picture of the report sitting next to a clock that says 8am. It should help you remember that task!

Take a moment and visualize your needs before doing something

How many of us walk into a room to get something and forget why we went into that room? All of us! It is one of the more annoying occurrences in our lives and yet it’s pretty easy to reverse that situation. Simply take a moment and really think about what it is you want from that room. Let’s say you are going into the kitchen for a glass of water. Think about that before you go into the room and keep thinking about it while you go in. Don’t allow anything else to distract you!

Most importantly, pay attention to whatever information you are presented with!

I am sure you are already thinking “But I am paying attention!”. I understand completely but when I spoke with someone about this recently, we often think we are paying attention when we are not. When we forget names, it’s because we are often overwhelmed by the environment or the nervousness around meeting someone new. When we forget what we need from the kitchen, it’s because we are pulled in multiple directions at one time (you mothers know what I am talking about!). Take a moment, take a deep breath, and really pay attention to the information at hand.

Follow these tricks, tackling one issue at a time, and you will notice a large change in your memory abilities!

Source: This article was published on lifehack.org BY 

You don’t need to take up scuba diving in the Caribbean to know that the ocean is a beautiful, deep, and complex system filled with wonder and mystery. The ocean, more so than anywhere else on the planet, is truly the final frontier. What we do know about the deep sea is that its home to some of the most beautiful and terrifying creatures known to mankind. We decided to pick out our favorites and put together a list of the top horrifying creatures of the deep sea.



The more we discover about the deep sea the more certain we are that we need to take charter service after charter service to see it all. The Barreleye is an absolutely odd creature that seems like something pulled from science fiction. The Barreleye is a transparent fish with the ability to move its eyes in any direction in order to see what is going on. You literally can’t hide from this fish if it wants to see you. Oh, yeah, it also eats its prey in one giant gulp. So the ocean has this alien creature going for it. We’ll take the next cheap flight back to land, thanks.

Giant Isopod

If large insects, in particularly roaches and centipedes, make you nervous then the Giant Isopod will leave you absolutely sweating in your seat. The Giant Isopod is found at extreme depths most normally associated with the dark waters around the Arctic Circle and the North Atlantic. While the creature cannot leave the depths, instead stuck to creeping all along the bottom, it is still big enough to absolutely terrify us. Due to the nature of the deep sea the Giant Isopod suffers from ‘gigantism’ which means that these creatures would normally be much smaller at regular depths. Instead, Giant Isopods have been found up to 2.5 feet in length. We wouldn’t want to reel one of these in on the fishing charters.

Giant Isopod

Giant Squid

If you ever want a legitimate reason to avoid booking a Caribbean yacht rental then merely consider the existence of the Giant Squid. For generates the Giant Squid was thought to be nothing more than a legend, a myth, something that bored sailors dreamed up on long journeys. However, as we now know, this was not the case. The Giant Squid was officially discovered in 2006 by researching Tsunemi Kubodera out of Japan’s National Science Museum when the invertebrate attacked a bait squid that the research team was using. Since then we’ve begun to learn a lot more about these horrifying creatures. They are the largest invertebrate found on Earth, so far, and the biggest one measured in at an astounding 59 feet. Giant Squids have eight tentacles, a giant beak, and the largest eyes in all of the animal kingdom. Studies show that these Giant Squid are able to kill, and eat, small whales. Yikes.

Giant Squid


What’s in a name, right? The Dragonfish has no resemblance to the dragons of mythology and fantasy but this deep sea creature is scary enough in its own right. The Dragonfish starts life out at the top depths of the ocean due to its egg being buoyant. From there, upon hatching, the Dragonfish makes its way down to the deep inky depths of the sea, living in the 1.5 mile range under water. Like many fish found in this area, the Dragonfish has managed to develop its own biological technology in order to survive. A long, sharp, needle protrudes from its lower jaw and it glows via bioluminescence. This glowing needle attachment is used primarily for hunting but we don’t doubt that it can effectively scare off some predators as well. We’d certainly back away if the Dragonfish drew that on us.



You can find this totally hideous blobfish in the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. They can live in depths between 600 and 1,200 m (2,000 and 3,900 ft) where the pressure is actually 60 to 120 times as great as at sea level.


Gulper Eel

The Gulper Eel combines several different traits that make us feel all tingly and weirded out. First off, the Gulper Eel is long with a body ranging around 6 feet. This long and skinny creature comes to a particular point at the head where it draws its name. The Gulper Eel has a disproportionately enlarged head that is reminiscent of that of a pelican. The head has a wide jaw that can open large enough to swallow creatures up to 6 feet in length, the size of its own body. The mouth has a loose hinge that allows the jaws to open and adjust to whatever it wants to eat. Horrifying.

Gulper Eel


By looking just at this creatures name you would assume that it’d be, at the very least, pleasant to look at. This is not the case and we’re sorry you had to see it. The Stargazer is literally a bottom feeding fish. It buries itself underneath sand and then uses the odd placement of its eyes, directly on top of its head, to wait for prey to swim by. Once prey has swam by the Stargazer erupts out of the sand and attacks. Many species of the Stargazer fish have the ability to deal out electric shocks, as well, and some of those shocks are considered lethal. Let’s just say you wouldn’t want to scuba dive over one of these fish if you could avoid it.


Frilled Shark

Take the absolutely terror inducing traits of a snake and then combine it with the size and danger of a shark with rows and rows of teeth. Welcome to the Frilled Shark. The Frilled Shark is one of the creepier creatures on this list thanks to its odd appearance and absolutely deadly mouth. The Frilled Shark lines up at about six feet in length and its body is long and frumpy like a snake. With a widened head and a focused jaw, the Frilled Shark is excellent at constricting and then eating its prey. Yes, we said constricting — like a snake. Oh, and the Frilled Shark has 25 rows of teeth, so that’s nice.

Frilled Shark

Megamouth Shark

One of the rarest deep sea sharks on the planet, the Megamouth Shark is still mostly a mystery to scientists. What we do know about the shark is that it is brown and black with a gigantic mouth that is likely used to eat all manner of smaller sea creatures, just like the whale shark and basking shark. However, what makes this creature worthy of our list is that it sits at around 18 feet and has completely dead, large eyes. The first Megamouth ever found was near Hawaii back in 1976.

Megamouth Shark

Pacific Viperfish

It’s crazy to think what nature will do to make sure that creatures evolve enough to survive. The Pacific Viperfish is a deep sea creature that uses its glowing belly to attract prey. Once there the Pacific Viperfish closes its huge draws around its prey and eats them up. This fish lives 4,500 meters below the depths of the sea and it has teeth so large that it literally can never close its mouth.

Pacific Viperfish

Humpback Anglerfish

You have to be a savage sort of fish to actually fish while underwater. The Anglerfish is supremely popular thanks to an appearance in the film Finding Nemo but most ocean dwellers aren’t happy to see it hanging around. The Humpback Anglerfish is a wide jawed creature with a protruding stalk coming out of its forehead that is used to lure in prey.

Humpback Anglerfish

Blue Ringed Octopus

Don’t get it twisted, the Blue Ringed Octopus doesn’t make this list due to its physically imposing nature. In fact, the octopus is rather small and actually quite pleasant to look at thanks to its wide array of colorful markings. However, the Blue Ringed Octopus is probably the most dangerous creature in the ocean. This octopus has enough venom within its body to kill up to seven adult males. There’s also no antivenom known to man. So, watch out.

Blue Ringed Octopus

Giant Spider Crab

There are very few ways to describe the Giant Spider Crab without using the words “jaw droppingly horrifying”. This is the largest crap on earth and it calls home to about 1,000 feet underneath the sea. From claw tip all the way to the other claw tip this sea creature measures about 12 feet in length. It is a Godzilla like creature that is similar in appearance to the creepiest spider of your dreams. Only it is underwater, and fast, and with gigantic claws.

Giant Spider Crab

Goblin Shark

Listen, there are much bigger sharks in the ocean than the Goblin Shark but this one makes the Top 2 based on aesthetical reasons alone. The Goblin Shark is a deep sea shark that is so old it is considered a ‘living fossil’ with studies showing the creatures line to be almost 125 million years old. These sharks sit at around 12 feet in length. Though that is large what most people focus in on is the protruding brow, giant mouth, and outward facing teeth. The Goblin Shark looks like something dreamed up by Jim Henson on an acid trip and we wouldn’t want to spend a second with one while in the water. When feeding the Goblin Shark’s jaws actually widen like a puppet, becoming almost cartoonishly large.

Goblin Shark

Comb Jelly

While this phylum of invertebrate animals living in marine waters worldwide may not look that scary, it’s a scary one to encounter for sure. As they are the largest animals that can swim in the cilia family. Just so you know, they can can eat ten times their own weight in a day.

Comb Jelly

Vampire Squid

Meet the small, deep sea cephalopod that is found throughout the temperate and tropical oceans of the world, and yes it does share similarities between a squid and an octopus. This animal’s dark color, cloak-like webbing, and its red eyes give the vampire squid its name but it does NOT feed on blood.

Vampire Squid


You can typically find the Fangtooth deep sea creature in tropical and cold-temperate waters. It was named for its disproportionately large figure, fang-like teeth and unapproachable visage, but in reality, Fangtooths are quite small and harmless to humans.



Also known as Scorpaenidae, a mostly marine fish that just so includes to include many of the world’s most venomous species. Gulp. They possess a type of “sting” that comes in the form of sharp spines that are coated with venomous mucus.



There are any number of small, deep sea stomiid fish in this genus of Astronesthes. They have a bioluminescent red chin barbel which is used as a lure to attract small prey and they also have delicate skin, and mouths that are filled with sharp, needle-like, curved teeth. Freaky.


Deep Sea Pompeii Worm

Ugh, meet the species of deep sea polychaete worm (which is commonly referred to as “bristle worms”). It can be found only at hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean, and was discovered in the early 1980s off the Galápagos Islands by French marine biologists.

Pompeii Worm


If you happen to be a North Sea fishermen, then you know this fish as the “monk” or “monkfish”. For the rest of us, all we need to know is that this fish has a wide mouth that extends all around the circumference of its head, and both jaws are also armed with bands of long, pointed teeth.



This particular fish can be found in the greatest of depths from the Arctic to Antarctic, additionally its members of this family are among the most abundant of the deep sea fish.


Deep Sea Hatchetfish

Typically you can find this odd fish deep in the tropical, subtropical and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They’re a rather small deep sea fish which has a peculiar body shape along with bioluminescent photophores.


Big Red Jellyfish

This peculiar jellyfish was only discovered in 2003, and is the only member of its genus that is yet to be identified. As if it wasn’t freaky enough, its also one of the largest sea jellies. These all red jellyfish live at ocean depths of a startling 600 to 1,500 metres (2,000 to 4,900 ft) and can be found across the Pacific Ocean in the Gulf of California, Monterey Bay, Hawaii and Japan. They can grow up to 76 centimetres (30 in) in diameter.

Big Red Jellyfish


These aren’t so much scary as they are cool looking. The Nudibranch is a soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs which can shed their shells after their larval stage. They arlso have extraordinary colors and striking forms, and currently, there are about 2,300 valid species known.


Glass Squid

There are about 60 species of glass squid, which are also known as cockatoo squid, cranchiid, cranch squid, or bathyscaphoid squid. Cause the more names it has, the less scary. While some species tend to live close to the surface, there are some that can be found some 2 km below sea level.

Glass Squid

Dumbo Octopus

These funny named dumbo octopus live in the deep sea and most have prominent ear-like fins which protrude from the mantle just above their lateral eyes. Additionally, they all seem to have a U or V shaped shell in their mantle, giving them a bell shaped appearance. While on the other hand, some species are short, squat and yellow, and some also have suckers, in addition to spines, on all 8 webbed arms.

Dumbo Octopus


This freaky looking fish can be found in the salty temperate waters of southwestern Pacific and also off east coast of Australia. It can also be found in the staggering depths of 164–984.3 ft (50 – 300m). Coffinfish have a flabby and spiny body and an illicium on the snout which can be lowered into a groove.


Chimaera Fish

Once upon a time, their closest living relative was the sharks! Howevery they have long branched off from sharks some 400 million years ago and remain isolated ever since. Today, you can find them pretty much confined to the deep waters.

Chimaera Fish


There are more than 9,900 amphipod species that have been described so far. Amphipod are mostly marine animals and can also be found in almost all aquatic environments.


Pacific Blackdragon Fish

This fish lives so deep in the Atlantic Ocean, that its beyond where any plant life grows or even light reaches! That’s about 1500 to 4500 meters below the surface.

Pacific Blackdragon Fish


This fish is extremely dangerous, in fact, it is one of THE most venomous fish known. And yes, we do mean to humans! They tend to be found in the coastal regions of the Indo-Pacific.


Sea Pig

Also known as Scotoplanes (but come one, sea pig is SO much cuter) live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, and typically in depths of over 1200–5000 meters. Before you ask, yes they are deposit feeders who obtain food by extracting organic particles found in the deep sea mud. Yum?

Sea Pig

Sea Cucumber

What a fun name, wouldn’t you say! Yes, they are in fact marine animals that have a leathery skin and elongated body, ergo, how they got their name. Sea cucumbers can be found on the sea floor worldwide.

Sea Cucumber

Sarcastic Fringehead

These guys have quite the name, don’t they? This small but extremely hardy fish has a large mouth and a rather aggressive territorial behavior, which is how it got its common name.

Sarcastic Fringehead

Black Swallower

You guessed it, the black swallower got its name due to its uncanny ability to swallow fish larger than itself. Freaky to say the least! You can only find it in depths of 700–2,745 m (2,297–9,006 ft).

Black Swallower

Red Octopus (Stauroteuthis syrtensis)

These creepy guys are also known as….. glowing sucker octopus. Gross. It has rows of glowing bioluminescent suckers that trail down its eight arms and it glows in the deep sea.

Red Octopus (Stauroteuthis Syrtensis)

Zombie Worms (Osedax roseus)

Yeah, these guys are just weird and totally creepy. Just as their name says, they’re “bone eaters”, specially they are worms that bore into the bones of whale carcasses so that they can reach enclosed lipids, which they need for sustenance.

Zombie Worms (Osedax Roseus)

Sloane’s viperfish

Currently this odd fish holds the world record for having the largest teeth relative to its head size in a fish. The teeth has so large that it has to open its mouth to make the jaws vertical before it can even swallow its prey.

Sloane’s Viperfish


As you can see, this is a pretty long fish! In fact, it is the longest bony fish alive, growing to up to 11 m (36 ft) in length. There are also a ton of theories out there the the oarfish can predict earthquakes but there’s no proof of that.


Source: horizontimes.com


With the advent of the internet, there are fewer barriers to communication than ever before. Distance has basically become negligible in terms of talking to each other. Ongoing developments have continued to make it even easier. Now, in many cases, language is no longer a barrier.

Microsoft and Skype have added another language to it real-time translation service. The software giant announced last week that it is adding Japanese as its tenth language. The other languages are English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, and Russian. The services are available on Skype as well as all Microsoft Translation services, such as Microsoft Translator Live.

Other services offered by Skype allow for similar communications barrier-busting. It also offers text translation of more than 60 languages.


These innovations are not just useful for social or business purposes. More scientists are collaborating across the globe to further our understanding of the world around us and the universe beyond us.  Increased functionality from services such as those provided by Microsoft and Skype will allow such collaboration to be even more widely, and readily, available.

The spirit of international collaboration is one of the defining features of the International Space Station. Multiple nations are working together to study space in hopes of unlocking all of its mysteries.cc

Technology has a trend of democratizing the field in which they are applied. For example, SpaceX’s recent launch of the first refurbished rockets is going to play an immense part in widening the field in terms of who will be able to launch people and technology into space.

Blockchain technology also has the potential of being a revolutionary step toward breaking down all international barriers. The tech could help to completely root out corruption and allow the world to work together safely, reliably, and with unprecedented transparency.

So whether its direct language translation, cheaper spaceflight, or revolutionary record keeping, technology is one of the greatest tools humanity has to unite us all.

Source: This article was published on futurism.com by Patrick Caughill

Your Android phone started off running smoothly and responding instantly to every tap, but over time, even the fastest phone will start to show its age. And with a device you use as much as your smartphone, every missed swipe or extra moment waiting for an app to load can feel like an eternity.

Credit: LDProd/Shutterstock.comBefore you decide that it’s time to start shopping for a new smartphone, give these five tips a try. In less than 5 minutes, your phone could be back up to speed.

Clear your Cached Data (30 seconds)

Your apps are constantly caching small pieces of data, which typically will speed up the performance of your phone. But if your device is running low on storage, cached data will start hurting more than it helps. Here’s how to clear it out and start fresh.


1. Navigate to Settings on your phone.You can find settings in the app drawer.

2. Tap Storage.

3. Tap Cached data.

4. Select OK.

Disable Animations (1 minute)

Animations make all of the transitions and interactions with your operating system appear more fluid — right up until your phone starts slowing down and those animations start looking like stop motion video. If the animations aren’t flowing so well anymore, turning them off completely will both look better and free up a little processing power.

1. Navigate to Settings on your phone.You can find settings in the app drawer.

2. Tap About phone.

3. Tap the Build number 7 times.You will see a message that you have enabled Developer options.

4. Return to Settings and Tap Developer options.

5. Tap Windows animation scale and select “Animation off”.

6. Repeat Step 5 with Transition animation scale and Animator duration scale.

Remove/Disable Bloatware and Unused Apps (1 minute)

Right out of the box, your Android phone probably had a number of apps pre-installed by your carrier or the phone manufacturer that have gone completely unused. It’s even more likely that over months or years, you’ve added some unused apps of your own that are still taking up precious space on your phone. If things are slowing down on your device, a lack of available storage might just be the culprit. Here’s how to free up space.

1. Navigate to Settings on your phone. You can find settings in the app drawer.

2. Tap Apps.

3. Find an app you wish to uninstall and tap on it.Each app displays the amount of storage it is using below the app name so you’ll know how much you are freeing up.

4. Tap Uninstall and select OK to confirm.

5. Repeat Step 4 as needed until all unwanted apps are removed.

Remove or Reduce Widgets (30 seconds)

Widgets are an amazing feature of the Android operating system that allow you to see and interact with apps on your homescreen without needing to actually launch the app. While they will save you time when your phone is quick and new, eventually they can drag the speed of your entire device down. It’s time to cut back or remove them entirely.

1. Navigate to the widget you wish to remove.

2. Long press on the widget. Remove and App Info will appear at the top of the screen.

3. Drag the widget to Remove and release.

Optimize Chrome Browser (30 seconds)

With about 90 percent of Android users sticking with the Chrome browser, this is going to help the vast majority of you speed up your mobile web browsing. As an added bonus, it will save you some data if you aren’t on an unlimited cellphone plan.

Data Saver mode in Chrome for Android allows Google to compress the pages you are viewing by around 30 percent and up to 50 percent for video, meaning less data usage and faster browsing.

1. Navigate to the Chrome Browser.

2. Tap the overflow menu button in the upper-right corner.

3. Tap Settings.

4. Tap Data Saver.

5. Toggle the switch in the upper-right corner.
Source: This article was published on tomsguide.com by SEAN RILEY

A pretty major Google algorithm update hit the web on March 7. This update, jokingly referred to as “Fred” by Google’s Gary Illyes before the name stuck, caused some websites to experience anywhere from 50 to 90 percent drops in organic traffic. Others enjoyed unexpected traffic spikes.

Fred is just the latest in a long line of algorithm updates. Other major updates like Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Mobilegeddon, and Possum have all shaken the SEO world and left SEOs scrambling to survive the next major algorithm change.

Let’s walk through some basics on how to see if any of the recent algorithm updates impacted your site, fix falling traffic in the wake of Fred, and survive future Google updates.

1. Monitor Your Website’s Traffic

You need to keep an eye on your organic traffic numbers. Obviously. But what you might not be paying attention to is how your traffic numbers correlate to Google algorithm updates.

Open Google Analytics or your rank tracking software and scan your recent history for major spikes and drops in traffic. Check the dates of those changes against the dates of recent algorithm updates.

organic traffic drops

When you’ve figured out which updates have had the heaviest impact on your site, you’ll be prepared to correct any on-site issues you’ve been penalized for. Now that you know which updates have wreaked havoc on your search numbers, read on to see how you can correct them.

Related updates: All

2. Fix Ad-heavy/Affiliate-heavy Pages

Fred is the latest in a long line of quality control updates. The majority of sites affected by Fred were content sites such as blogs, which sacrificed high-quality content and a good user experience at the altar of ad and affiliate revenue.

In other words, Fred penalized pages that were thin on content, ad-centered, and affiliate-heavy. In fact, many websites affected by Fred claimed to see immediate improvements when they removed some or all of the ads from their content.

Even if you weren’t affected by the Fred update, you should consider removing ads that intrude upon your users’ experience. Deceptive ads that look like download buttons, ads placed smack in the middle of an article, and video ads that autoplay when users land on your page are all liable to earn your page a penalty in the future — even if Fred missed you this time around.

Related updates: Fred

3. Beef Up Thin Content

Completely demonetizing your website isn’t an option — and it’s not necessary. You won’t see The New York Times or The Guardian suddenly going ad-free or suffering low traffic volume. The sites Fred really picks on are those that are both ad-heavy and content-sparse.

If you’ve been affected by a recent Google update, then it’s time to double-check the quality of your content. All of your content should be:

  • Well-written.
  • Delve deeply into its topic.
  • Completely answer relevant queries.

Download a website auditing tool to help you identify and correct low-quality content. Keep an eye on metrics like word count (which might indicate thin content),  as well as bounce rate and session duration (which are often indicative of user satisfaction).

But remember, while word count is a fast and dirty litmus test of your content’s quality, a low word count doesn’t necessarily mean your content is too thin. Yes, you should be concerned if one of your pages has one link per four words, but sometimes a short page that succinctly answers a question is fine.

Related updates: Fred, RankBrain, Panda

4. Prioritize Mobile Experience

Google’s made a big push for sites to provide excellent mobile experiences to their users. They’ve switched to mobile-first ranking, which means they now preferentially crawl your mobile site over your desktop site for indexing purposes.

Recent news from Google suggests that most pages are still ill-adapted to this mobile-first world. About 70 percent of pages take 7 seconds for visual content to load above the fold, which increases user bounce rate by 113 percent. Ideally, you want each of your pages to load within 3 seconds.

Other improvements you can make include ensuring your desktop and mobile content match, using proper viewport configurations, and only using mobile-friendly plugins. Also, be careful about using intrusive interstitials.

If your site isn’t mobile-friendly and you aren’t sure where to start, consider taking the mobile-friendly test.

Related updates: Mobilegeddon, Intrusive Interstitial Penalty

5. Stay Visible in Local Search

Google’s most recent local search update, Possum, makes it easier for its users to find nearby businesses. Now, the physical location of a searcher plays a bigger role in what results they see, and their results are heavily influenced by their proximity to local businesses and the phrasing of their query.

If you rely on local traffic, this update can be a huge boon for your business. However, to get the most out of it, you’ll need to make sure all of your geo-specific search information is up to date.

Here’s how:

  • Create a Google My Business Page: Make sure you categorize your business correctly.
  • Ensure NAP consistency across all local listings: If any third parties list your business address, make sure they accurately list your name, address, and location (NAP).
  • Get listed in local directories: Use a link building tool to find local directories and get them to list your business.
  • Target local keywords: Possum allows for greater variety in similar-looking queries, so make sure you rank for all variations. If you aren’t sure what keywords to target, use rank tracking software to help you find relevant keywords.
  • Do competitor research: Spy on your local competition and see what keywords they’re targeting and how you rank in comparison. Use rank tracking software to see what user SERPs might look like in your local area.

Related updates: Possum, Pigeon

6. Remove Harmful Links

The right kind of links — high-quality backlinks from people quoting your content and referring you to friends — are some of the best possible ranking signals you can have.

The wrong kind of links — links from link networks, backlinks from irrelevant pages, and links with spammy anchor text — can result in a manual penalty from Google.

Use link auditing software to scan your site for low-quality links. When you find links that are harmful, reach out to the linking site and ask them to remove your link. If that doesn’t work, use Google’s Disavow Tool to tell Google to ignore those links.

Note that Penguin 4.0, which rolled out between late September and early October is “gentler” than its predecessors because it now devalues bad links instead of harshly penalizing your entire site. Nevertheless, you’ll want to make your website is as Penguin-proof as possible.

If you’re using a social bookmarking service, triple check the quality of the links it’s providing you with. Some users are reporting that as of the Fred update, those services are causing them to fall in search rankings.

Related updates: Fred, RankBrain, Penguin

7. Provide a Better User Experience

The common denominator in every Google update is to provide your users with the best experience possible. If you keep improving your website with that lofty aspiration in mind, you should never run afoul of a Google algorithm update.

If you’re struggling with site UX, here are a few simple things you can improve:

  • Optimize for all platforms: Make sure users on mobile, tablet, and desktop versions of your site can access all of your content and find what they’re after.
  • Deliver high-quality content: Correct thin content and low-quality content with useful articles that engage your users as much as possible.
  • Eliminate UX barriers: Keep your site clean and easy to navigate. Reduce load times as much as possible. Eliminate intrusive ads and interstitials.
  • Make your site structure more logical: Keep pages relevant and URLs that reflect your site’s structure.
  • Use an XML Sitemap & RSS feeds: Help Googlebot easily find and index your content.
  • Use Schema Markup: Tell users what to expect from your site when they find you through search engines.

Related updates: Fred, RankBrain, Hummingbird, Penguin, Panda


Google tweaks its algorithm daily, as Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller recently reminded us, but not all updates are rolled out equally. Major updates have a drastic impact on how we perform SEO and how we earn organic traffic, and we’re always working to stay two steps ahead of the next algorithm update so we won’t be caught unprepared.

Fortunately, surviving an update like Fred isn’t hard when you understand why you’ve sunken through the ranks of Google’s quality algorithms. Focus on creating great content, fixing technical SEO issues, eliminating advertising problems, and delivering the best user experience you can. You’ll be back in Google’s good graces in no time.

Image Credits

Images are by the author.

Source: This article was published on searchenginejournal.com by Aleh Barysevich

Fake information online, be it on the topic of migrants or war in Syria – or, in fact, pretty much any story that’s in the news, is an increasingly common phenomenon. Social media networks in particular are inundated with photos and videos that are either doctored or taken out of context. But although media outlets can’t always be on the ground to verify every photo that comes their way, there are dozens of tools and techniques to help you cross-check images and avoid falling for the fakes.


Just as propaganda wasn’t born alongside the Internet, images were being edited well before the advent of Twitter and Photoshop. To take just one example, the Soviet Union regularly erased disgraced political leaders from photos, even if the results appear woefully amateurish compared to the advanced photo-editing techniques used nowadays.
‘Commissar’ Nicolai Yezhov and former Soviet leader Joseph Stalin during the 1930s.


What has changed, however, is that almost anyone can now make, upload and share misleading photos or videos. Social media has effectively given anybody who has an interest in spreading fake images online the means to do so with a few clicks of the mouse. In France, the issue got widespread attention in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. In the hours that followed the shooting, dozens of fake photos were already flooding social media networks. The message conveyed was always the same: "They’re lying to you!" No matter who they blame for these supposed "lies"– Jews, freemasons, the United States, and sometimes all three – what these Internet users want is to sow doubt, and in doing so, discredit the work of journalists. 

Images intended to prove that the car that the Kouachi brothers used in the attack wasn’t the same as the car found in Paris’s 19th arrondissement. But the discrepancy in the colours of the wing-mirrors is caused by the angle at which the sun is reflected off them
There’s nothing better than photos or videos for fooling people online. As the saying goes, “seeing is believing”.
Pro-Russian Internet users claimed that this photo proved that Nazi sympathizers were fighting alongside Ukrainian forces. The photo has been heavily doctored.

The following tips should sharpen your skills for spotting a fake. This guidance is based on the experience of journalists working with the FRANCE 24 Observers, who have been cross-checking amateur content for the FRANCE 24 news channel for the past eight years.

Is it ever possible to be 100% sure ?

It’s important to point out that it’s not always possible to say with absolute certainty that an image is fake. You could, for example, use these tips to assert that the date is wrong, or that the details shown in the image don’t quite match up with the location given in the caption. Journalists often spend hours verifying photos and videos to help editors decide whether or not to broadcast them. So, for example, even if it’s impossible to pin down the exact date a video was filmed, editors might still decide to broadcast it if they are sure that the scene depicted is authentic.

Two types of analysis

There are two complementary approaches to checking an image’s authenticity. The first involves carrying out a "technical" analysis. In concrete terms, that means extracting data stored in the video and photo files. The second involves analysing the content by beefing up the traditional fact-checking process with methods specific to social media.

There are no shortcuts, because there isn’t any software capable of checking if an image is fake. Using social media to investigate the authenticity of user-generated content is a skill that can take years to perfect.


We’ll begin with some basic tools before moving on to more advanced techniques.

Step One: When was the image taken?

Even with modern photo-editing software, it takes times and effort to create a fake image, and even more to make it look credible.

The Chinese press is packed with examples of hastily edited images. The photo below is a case in point, taken from a publication in the city of Hangzhou.
It probably won’t take you long to notice the gaping errors in proportion and perspective.

Since editing a photo is a fairly complicated process, many Internet users resort to a far simpler method. They take an older image out of its original context and link it to a recent news story. The photo below is one such example: it sparked an outcry when it began circulating online not long after a deadly stampede killed thousands in Mecca in September 2015.

Internet users of all stripes brandished the photo as proof that Saudi authorities were using bulldozers to clear away bodies. No bodies were clearly visible in the video. After investigating, our journalists were able to show that the photo was actually taken in 2004 after a similar incident had taken place. Even then, it’s unlikely that the bodies had been moved by bulldozers.
Google Images

If you spot that a photo is older than its caption, your first instinct should be to put it through Google Images or Tineye. These tools will reveal any previous occasions on which the photo has already been published online.

This photo claims to show a young victim of the war ravaging eastern Ukraine.

Searching for the same photo in Google Images shows that it had already been published in 2010, well before fighting broke out in Ukraine. The image first appeared during a photo competition on the other side of the world, in Australia.

But while this tool is certainly useful, it does have its limits. It can sometimes miss a photo's publication history. Even if a Google Images search turns up nothing, that’s by no means proof that it has never been published online. Even the American search giant isn’t fail-proof.

When it comes to videos, however, there aren’t any tools on par with Google Images for checking a video’s publication history. With the help of YouTube, Amnesty International has set up an online tool which can be used to check a video URL.


If the very same video was posted at another date on YouTube, the tool will find it. But the downsides are glaringly obvious. For one thing, it only checks content posted to YouTube. And if the video is modified slightly – even if a few seconds have been trimmed from the start or the end – the link between the two versions is lost and the tool can’t turn up any results.


EXIF Image Data
It is also useful to get familiar with EXIF data stored in photo files. Whenever a camera or a smartphone takes a photo, it stores data in a file - often a .jpeg file - which can reveal when a photo was taken and what type of camera took it. Right-click on the photo and click "Properties", then "Advanced", to take a look at the data. To make things easier, Jeffrey Friedl’s EXIF viewer is a useful tool that allows you to extract the data stored in an image, and even locate it on a map, if it was taken with a smartphone.

Here again, technology can’t solve all your problems. EXIF data is often lost when photos are posted on websites or uploaded to social media networks. The information can also be lost when an image is modified in Photoshop. It’s therefore crucial to try and find the original image file. If it was sent directly by email, it should contain the EXIF data captured along with the photo itself.

UPDATE : Some tools for analyzing metada now also work with videos. If you upload a video on Jeffrey’s Exif viewer, the tool can sometimes tell you the date and time it was filmed. But, just like for photos, most social media platforms erase videos’ metadata. Therefore, this technique will only work if you have the original video (sent to you by email, WeTransfer, Dropbox, etc…). If the video was posted on YouTube or Facebook, the metadata will have been lost. On Twitter, from the tests we have run, it appears that only videos posted in native format will retain metadata. Some files sent via Whatsapp can also be analyzed using Jeffrey’s Exif viewer, but most of the time, Whatsapp will eraser metadata as well. 


Here’s the snag: EXIF data can be altered by anyone with their heart set on misleading you. In practice, though, few Internet users have the technical know-how to go so far. 

Geolocalization: A useful tool, but it comes with a catch

People can lie about an image’s date, and they can lie about its location, too. Many fake photos are simply taken in one country and published as if they were depicting an event taking place in another. To avoid this pitfall, many journalists carry out location-specific searches on social media networks. The aim is to pull up only those photos taken near the events unfolding by ruling out Internet users posting on Twitter a thousand miles away. There are many tools – some free, some not – designed to track the whereabouts of an Internet user posting messages on social media networks (Yomapic, Echosec, Gramfeed, SAM Desk, Geofeedia, to name but a few). Twitter’s advanced search engine is also quite a handy tool: https://twitter.com/search-advanced?lang=fr.

Advanced Twitter Search

Tweetdeck, a tool for managing personal Twitter feeds, also lets its users add location-specific codes when carrying out searches (for example: geocode:44.467186,-73.214804,200km). It’s not as complicated as it sounds, and you can find out more here.


Geolocalisation can reveal more information about an image, but it comes with a catch. Someone living in Yemen can easily post a photo to Twitter that he’s received by email from somewhere else. As a result, if you search for photos on the conflict in Yemen, the geolocalisation tool would cause the image to show up in your results even if it was taken in another country. 

But don’t lose hope just yet. Despite the numerous drawbacks already outlined in this article, a technical analysis becomes formidable when it’s coupled with investigative journalism. The aim here isn’t to remind you of the basic principles needed to fact-check information, like cross-checking sources and the five Ws

Instead, let’s concentrate on what methods are at our disposal to verify images published on social networks.

Take a closer look at the image

The first things to look out for are details that are inconsistent with what the photo claims to show, and to ask yourselves the right questions. Here are a few examples.

This image was mistakenly broadcast by one of France’s largest TV channels, France 2. The scene was described as having unfolded in Iran, back in December 2009. A cursory glance reveals a range of details that could allow us to verify its authenticity. Are Iranian police shields the same colour as in this image? Are Tehran’s pavements painted yellow? Is that really how young Iranians dress?


The photo was actually taken in Honduras. And there’s no better way of finding out that its caption is misleading than by showing it to an Iranian, who would likely be baffled by the fact that in December, in freezing cold weather, everyone appears to be wearing T-shirts.

Another example, far more recent, relates to the migrant crisis in Europe, a favourite theme for those who wish to mislead the European public. Our team of journalists has already debunked several fake photos and videos, including this piece of footage shared by right-wing extremists

According to the caption posted to YouTube, the video depicts violence at the hands of migrants in Erfurt, a city in central Germany. Two crucial details should raise eyebrows though. For one thing, the assailants attacking the police car can be heard shouting in perfect German, which is surprising for a group of newly arrived Syrian or Afghan migrants. Next, a quick Google search is all it takes to see that the blue vehicles used by Erfurt’s police don’t match the green ones shown in the video. The footage was actually shot in 2011 in Dortmund. In a terrible twist of irony, the men wreaking havoc are actually neo-Nazi activists.

Google Maps, Google Earth, and Google Street View
To really scrutinise a photo or a video, you have to get up close and personal. Look at the details: clothing, architecture, weather, the accents that can be heard, even the shape of the drain covers can be telling. Sometimes, a quick glance at the local weather forecast can unmask the hoax (by using this kind of tool:http://www.wunderground.com/history/), as can showing the images to someone who lives nearby and knows the area. Other tools let users check out the areas in question for themselves. Panoramio uses GPS data to gather amateur photos from specific locations. But once again, Google probably offers the handiest tools. With Google Map, Google Earth, and Google Street View, typing an address will reveal topographical information and all sorts of other details. 

Time for a pop quiz! Look carefully at the photo below. How would you verify where it was taken? 

Here, no attempt has been made to mislead the viewer. It’s possible to make out an address on a street sign: 20, Bowery. A quick search in Google Maps reveals that the street is in New York, in the district of Chinatown. Next, go into Street View where you’ll see ground-level detail and proof that that’s indeed where the photo was taken.
Google Street View

Google Map and Google Earth can be useful for carrying out in-depth analyses. Keep an eye out for small details, like a bridge in the background, or a half-hidden signpost, that could confirm an image’s location. The online community ‘Bellingcat’ regularly carries out investigations along these lines, even calling on other Internet users to get involved.
Who's the author ?
When it comes to scrutinising social media, you should investigate the person that posted the image. It's important to track down the profile of the user that first uploaded the photo, which you can find by using Google Images (see above). Once the original poster has been found, take a look at their publication history. Do they post often? Do they always post videos filmed in the same area? Does their post seem consistent with what they have posted before? By asking yourselves these simple questions, you can save time and quickly cast aside tricksters. As an example, let’s take a look at the first Russian air strikes to have been carried out in Syria towards the end of September 2015. Several videos were quickly uploaded to the YouTube channel below.

Before even comparing the footage to Google Earth images, or taking a listen to ensure the sounds are consistent with the events supposedly being depicted, take a look at the user's publication history on YouTube. The first thing that stands out is that this particular channel has been hosting videos filmed in Talbiseh for several months. We already know that this town has been hit by Russian air strikes. That's reassuring, but not enough in itself to verify that the footage is authentic.


Researching Internet users is possible on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube because they keep track of users’ activity. The growing popularity of instant messaging apps like Whatsapp and Viber is making our work more complicated. These apps provide almost no information about users who share images. They are identified only by their phone numbers – which allows you to see what country they live in, or at least bought the phone in – but it’s impossible to see what they’ve posted previously or who their “friends” are. Moreover, Whatsapp and Viber usually erase all the Exif data on images they host. This makes verification extremely difficult. 

Use social media networks to verify social media networks
You'll quickly realise that several people are better at verifying an image than one person alone. By definition, details often go unnoticed. An image might be viewed thousands of times before an inconsistency gets picked up by someone. Take for example the notorious photo that supposedly showed Osama Bin Laden’s dead body. It had already been flashed across television screens around the world before Internet users stumbled across the different photos that had been mashed up to create the fake image.

This real photo of Osama Bin Laden, alive, was blended with a photo of a dead body in Iraq. This photo demonstrates why, when in doubt, it's necessary to read the comments posted by Internet users. Someone will likely spot something that you’ve missed.



Then, listen to the words. On social media, you'll always find someone who speaks the language you're after. You probably don't speak Urdu or Lingala, but someone on social media will. What's more, most people will offer to help you if you ask them nicely - trust us on this one. Make use of social media networks to ask for translations of image captions or user comments. This method is far more reliable than Google Translate.

Form your own network

Relying on Internet users who we don't know or trust has its limits, however. That's why it's important to create your own network. At FRANCE 24, since 2007, we've put in place our very own network of Observers that nowadays numbers more than 6,000 people scattered across the globe. These citizen journalists work together with our team of professionals to cover news events. Thanks to this network of collaborators - made up of people who we know and trust - we can verify news stories quickly and efficiently.

Here's just one example. In October 2009, our team received a photo purporting to show a killing in broad daylight in Conakry, Guinea. Very few journalists are based in this country, so we couldn’t rely on professionals to verify this information.

Our team sent these images to several Observers based in the same city. One of them spotted a pharmacy sign and recognised the area. He headed to the scene, where by speaking to witnesses he was able to confirm that the incident had indeed taken place that very day.

Of course not everyone has their own network of Observers. But thanks to social media, everyone has the opportunity to form their own community. Whether it be through Facebook or Twitter, with time, anyone can build up a valuable network of contacts who can help you cross-check information by virtue of their location or expertise. 

What about your instinct?

We've talked about technical analyses and investigative techniques, but should we also trust our instinct? Absolutely – but even that is a skill that takes time to perfect. For example, what is your first reaction after watching this video?
The footage was spread by a large number of media outlets and created a huge buzz online. But the video seemed so perfectly filmed that it looked too good to be true. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. The video is short, the action takes place up close, and everything happens in full view of the camera. Afterwards, the man falls to the ground and flees without further ado, despite being humiliated. It's surprising to say the least. Our instinct told us it was false. From there, we were able to pick out concrete details to back up this hunch. Our team of journalists simply called the Russian bar where the footage was filmed, and in doing so uncovered the truth. It was nothing more than a publicity stunt filmed by a PR agency.

You could be manipulated when you least expect it
Sadly, these kind of "fake" events spearheaded by publicists are becoming more and more common. The latest big hoax: a fake "migrant" who documented his journey to promote a photo festival.

Publicity agencies don't worry about harming the credibility of media outlets or social networking sites in the process. If you slip up and spread the hoax, all the better for them.

Keep in mind that it's in the interests of many people to mislead journalists. They could be countries, political parties, conspiracy theorists, and even those with good intentions. Even human rights groups or well-meaning activists might send you a photo without knowing that it's completely fake. And if you tend to agree with their cause, that may leave you less vigilant than usual when it comes to checking the image. Always have doubts, and don't hesitate to get in touch with our team if you need a helping hand: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Source: This article was published on observers.france24.com
The footage was spread by a large number of media outlets and created a huge buzz online. But the video seemed so perfectly filmed that it looked too good to be true. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. The video is short, the action takes place up close, and everything happens in full view of the camera. Afterwards, the man falls to the ground and flees without further ado, despite being humiliated. It's surprising to say the least. Our instinct told us it was false. From there, we were able to pick out concrete details to back up this hunch. Our team of journalists simply called the Russian bar where the footage was filmed, and in doing so uncovered the truth. It was nothing more than a publicity stunt filmed by a PR agency.

You could be manipulated when you least expect it
Sadly, these kind of "fake" events spearheaded by publicists are becoming more and more common. The latest big hoax: a fake "migrant" who documented his journey to promote a photo festival.

Publicity agencies don't worry about harming the credibility of media outlets or social networking sites in the process. If you slip up and spread the hoax, all the better for them. 

Keep in mind that it's in the interests of many people to mislead journalists. They could be countries, political parties, conspiracy theorists, and even those with good intentions. Even human rights groups or well-meaning activists might send you a photo without knowing that it's completely fake. And if you tend to agree with their cause, that may leave you less vigilant than usual when it comes to checking the image. Always have doubts, and don't hesitate to get in touch with our team if you need a helping hand: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Clueful promises to identify "misdemeanant apps on your iPhone." 

There has recently been a lot of concern into the way in which our iOS apps access our personal data, and then what they do with it once it has been collected. Since the whole Path debacle in particular, users seem to be more concerned by the issue than ever before.

BitDefender is one security firm looking to capitalize upon that concern with a new app called Clueful, which promises reveal what each of your apps is doing with your data and identify the “misdemeanant apps on your iPhone.”

“You’d be surprised how many things an app can learn about you and what you do. Without you ever knowing it,” Clueful’s description reads. “Clueful is the only way to really understand iOS apps, how they use your private data and treat your privacy. This one-of-a-kind product identifies intrusive applications and shows you what they do behind your back.”

Once installed on your iPhone, Clueful takes a peek at every app your have running on your device and then tells you which of your private data each one is capable of accessing, which data they’re likely to be tracking, and then what they might be doing with that data once it has been collected.

Clueful can tell you which apps are accessing your location, tracking your app usage, accessing your address book, reading your UDID, and even draining your battery. According to BitDefender, it is “the only way to really understand apps, how they use your data and treat your privacy.”

But it’s not all bad news. Clueful will also tell you “thing you might appreciate,” like which apps are encrypting your data, and which ones are using an anonymous identifier that cannot be used to track your personal identity.

To do this, it accesses the “Clueful Cloud,” a database that maintains information on iOS apps and how they work. Of course, with hundreds of thousands of apps in the App Store, Clueful cannot support every one. But you can bet it supports the most popular ones.

Some of its results are surprising. For example, I found that The Weather Channel is, for some reason, accessing my address book. However, it does have some teething troubles that need ironing out, like displaying apps that you’ve never actually installed — or heard of.

Have you tried Clueful?

Source: This article was published on cultofmac.com

Lisa Swan @lisa_swan

Mobile phone bills are seemingly more consumer-friendly and easier to understand these days, what with unlimited data deals becoming more prevalent, as well as the demise of traditional two-year contracts. Unfortunately, it's like looking at an Impressionist painting. It appears great from a distance, but up close, it's all blurry. There are still a lot of ways your cell phone company could be ripping you off. Let's take a look at what you need to know when it comes to your friendly neighborhood telephony dealers:


Phone companies are recalculating data numbers to their benefit

Teresa Dixon Murphy, consumer columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, noticed something crazy on her phone bill in 2016. Her family's data usage on their Verizon phone plan had doubled from February to July, without any apparent change in habits. She wasn't the only one — the writer surveyed both friends and readers, and discovered something in common. "All have seen their data use jump significantly," she said, "doubling or tripling since the spring in many cases, even though their cell phone habits haven't changed."

Murphy wrote that "Verizon is tallying data on people's accounts when they are sleeping and not using their phones," and that "data is being used when their phones are off" as well as even "when the phone's owner has died." No joke. The article wondered why the phone of reader Joyce Shinn's late husband is ringing up data when he is deceased. Apparently, they don't have wi-fi in the afterlife.

The author interviewed Verizon executives, who couldn't seem to explain what was going on. Murphy remains very skeptical, pointing out Verizon had to pay out nearly $80 million a few years ago, to settle allegations it charged customers for data they didn't actually use. And according to WGN, consumers have had issues with the way other cell phone companies recently started calculating data as well.

One of the culprits could be the infamous iPhone Wi-Fi Assist button, where Apple automatically switches you to use cellular data if the connection is weak. But that doesn't explain everything. In the meantime, click here to learn how to turn that function off.

The Jitterbug phone targeted to seniors is crazy expensive

Older people in the market for a cell phone that's easy to use might be considering a Jitterbug phone. The phones are relentlessly marketed on TV to seniors, so if you've ever binge-watched Murder, She Wrote or Matlock on broadcast television, chances are you've seen the ads. The phones come with big buttons, a good speaker, and an easy-to-navigate menu. There is also a special 5Star service for seniors to easily connect to emergency responders, and where they can easily be tracked.

The JItterbug phone rates look reasonable, too, on the surface, with the phones themselves starting at $74.99 and monthly rates beginning at $14.99 a month for 200 minutes of calls. But that doesn't include all the fees that GreatCalls, the company that sells Jitterbug, charges to get started. There's a $35 "activation fee" and an additional $10 shipping fee to get the phone to you. Worst of all, there's an outrageous 35 cents a minute if the user goes over their monthly minutes. That's ridiculous, but unfortunately, some of the seniors who this phone is targeted to may not realize what a ripoff that is, as they're new to the world of cell phones.

Also, if you comparison shop, you'll see that you can get unlimited talk and text from other carriers for as little as $25. You can also find per-minute phone companies for under $10 a month for prepaid service. And some low-income seniors might even be able to get cell phone service for free.

Oh, and that 5Star emergency response service, which costs extra, has all sorts of caveats in the legalese, where it acknowledges it could take longer than simply calling 911. You may want to, ahem, jitterbug away from this company.

Phone companies' protection plans can be ripoffs

Now that the days of getting a cheap smartphone deal in exchange for a long contract are ending, the idea of having a protection plan is very appealing. And paying a little extra each month — like around $10 a month or so — for this insurance seems a lot less onerous than paying a lot of money out of pocket for a replacement phone.

But as CNET notes, these deals might not be so great. "If you make one claim per year, you'll pay between $270 and $330 for a new phone," the site notes. And guess what? That "new" phone may actually be a used one, because buried in all that fine print is the fact that "the insurance company has the right to choose whether they want to repair your phone or replace it with one of equal value, which means you're likely to get a refurbished phone instead of a brand new one."

The site says the only advantage these protection plans have over paying for AppleCare+ or other extended manufacturers' warranty policies is that you're covered for theft. Otherwise, they don't appear to be worth it. In the meantime, make sure to get a good case for your phone to protect against drops and spills. That can lessen the need for a replacement phone in the first place.

You have to pay a lot of unknown extra fees

It's bad enough that there are an average of nearly 18% in taxes that you have to pay for your cell phone bill. But there a slew of extra charges as well. For example, the phone companies pass on things like them having to comply with governmental regulations to the consumer. If only consumers could bill them back for the pain of having to figure out their bills every month.

There's also the federal Universal Service Fund to pay for rural areas and low-income customers to get phone coverage. Phone companies could also pay this themselves, but it's easier to make their paying customers do so. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this, other than to be aware.

Cell phone cramming still goes on

This is when you get mysterious extra charges on your cell phone bill. Cramming is an old problem from back in the heyday of landlines, where charges you didn't authorize are "crammed" on your bill. But it's still been happening in recent years, and all of the major phone companies have been caught allowing it.

The way this often works is that you think you are signing up to get "free" text messages, and then you're hit with a charge on your bill. In the case of Sprint, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau explained that their billing system "attracted and enabled unscrupulous merchants who, in some cases, only needed consumers' phone numbers to cram illegitimate charges onto wireless bills." The charges ranged from between 99 cent charges to $9.99 a month subscriptions. And the federal agency said that "Sprint received a 30-40 percent cut of the gross revenue from these charges." Shocker.

But all of the major phone companies have been caught doing this, as a long list on the Federal Trade Commission's website shows. To protect yourself, be very careful about what companies you share your cell phone number with, and pay attention to your bill each month.

You might have to pay extra to get a better phone

Not only do you have to pay the cost of buying your upgraded phone, but you might have to pay extra for the privilege of switching to it. Because switching the number from one device to another and moving the SIM card takes the intellectual efforts of a physics professor and the expert dexterity of a brain surgeon, you see.

For example, in 2017, Verizon raised their fee to upgrade a phone with them from $20 to $30. They told Ars Technica that "these fees help cover increased cost to provide customers with America's largest and fastest 4G LTE network." Yet the site pointed out that, according to their own earning reports, Verizon's capital and operating expenses have decreased, not increased. After this report ran, Verizon then claimed the fees paid for "ongoing costs to maintain and enhance the network," Isn't that what people's regular phone bills should be going towards in the first place?

They're not the only ones charging such fees, of course. Your best bet when getting a new phone is to ask the phone company to waive the activation fee for you, or else you might take your business elsewhere. It's worth a try.

You could get stuck with the bill if your phone is hacked

You may think that phone hacking is only something that the Jennifer Lawrences of the world have to worry about. But getting celebrity nude pix isn't the only reason hackers might go after a mobile phone. Crooks can hack into your mobile phone, ring up all sorts of charges on it, and leave you holding the bill.

This is what happened to Nathan Wright of Hendersonville, TN in 2016. In November 2016, he received a phone bill from AT&T for an incredible $29,206.19. He got charged for 8,280 minutes in roaming charges for using the phone in Haiti and European cities — he doesn't even have a passport, and certainly never traveled to these places. Although he went to his local AT&T store to swap out his SIM card and change his password, they didn't resolve the bill situation, which had by then jumped to $29,577.51. As of January 2017, AT&T still hadn't fixed the bill. How difficult is this to prove that the man didn't make the charges?

So add "having your phone hacked by criminals" as something else you need to worry about these days. Lovely.

Phone companies don't do enough about identity thieves

NBC News reports that identity thieves can pretend to be you, go to a branch of your phone company's store, buy new phones under your account, sell them to make quick cash, and stick you with the bill. They might even take control of your phone number, by switching it to something they control.

That sounds far-fetched, but it's actually happened to multiple people. Like Lorrie Cranor, who told NBC News that both she and her husband's phone stopped working on the same day. She originally thought it was just a weird coincidence — unfortunately, they were victims of identity theft. "We found out that someone had gone into the phone store in another city with a fake ID and said they wanted to upgrade their phones," Cranor told NBC News. "They walked out with two brand new iPhones with our phone numbers on them and charged to our account."

Her story shows this could happen to anybody. After all, she is "the chief technologist for the Federal Trade Commission," the report notes. So yes, even those who work at a federal agency, one with a mission to protect Americans against such things, can get hosed.

Cranor wrote a warning on the FTC website explaining her story. "The representative agreed to remove the charges," she wrote, "but blamed the theft on me." Awesome — nothing like victim-shaming on the federal level. She recommended that customers get an extra PIN or password put on their account for additional security, but acknowledged that this may not be foolproof.

Your GPS records can go to law enforcement without you knowing

Thanks to the GPS function on phones, your smartphone provides a great record of where you've been, who you've been with, what you like to do, etc. Even how much you walk or run can be tracked. So yes, people can know whether you have been a coach potato.

That means all this info can be a great tool for law enforcement. Worse, they may potentially be able to use it without a search warrant. The Intercept reported that in 2016, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals gave a big legal thumbs-up to "the third-party doctrine." That doctrine states that "consumers who knowingly and willingly surrender information to third parties therefore have 'no reasonable expectation of privacy' … regardless of how much information there is, or how revealing it is." In short, because you agreed to sign up for your phone and give this information, law enforcement may not need a warrant before contacting your phone company to get this info. The American Civil Liberties Union has a map that shows how your state's laws might protect you, though. Study it carefully — you might need it one day.

Source: This article was published on grunge.com

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