Jay Harris

Jay Harris

If you’re performing work that requires in-depth sources, such as academic studies or a job that requires heavy research, finding quality sources can be hard. Using bad or shaky sources to prove points can cause a lot of trouble: it brings down the strength of the work as a whole and makes it harder to prove its point. Fortunately, we live in an age of easy-access information and education, and with that comes education search engines.

These specialist search engines focus less on providing general results to a search query and more on articles from academia and news. This makes them perfect choices for someone who needs solid, citable sources without much hassle. While there’s nothing particularly “incorrect” about using a search engine like Google or Bing to perform research, using education search engines will make sure to bring up dependable, informative articles that you can cite with confidence in your work.

What kind of education search engines are out there? Let’s take a look at five examples, each with their own fortes and ways of helping you perform top-quality research for your projects.

1. Google Scholar


Don’t be mistaken; this isn’t just regular Google! This is a branch off of “regular” Google searches, called Google Scholar. Instead of a general search, you can use it to search books, studies, and even court cases.

On the main page, simply enter the search terms that you’re interested in looking up. Google Scholar will then go through its database and pick out relevant examples. If your research is very time-sensitive (such as technology), you can select options on the left to change how recent you want your sources to be, up to and including the current year.

If you’re writing a piece that has a strict sourcing style, Google Scholar gives you template cites for its sources. Find the template that suits the style standard, then simply copy it directly into your citations to save yourself some time.

2. RefSeek


Currently in a public beta, RefSeek is a pretty solid choice for general research. It takes a more website-based approach, bringing up relevant but highly dependable websites for whatever you want to research. It’s a great way to pull up multiple articles relating to a specific object. For example, if you wanted to learn about computer processors, a search brings up lots of great articles.


RefSeek does more than just searching, however; if you’re studying in a specific field, RefSeek also has a “directory” page which acts as a great directory of useful websites related to education. Once you choose the category you’d like to browse, RefSeek brings up a list of productive sites to help you with your studies.


3. Citeulike


Citeulike is one of the more powerful education search engines if you’re looking for papers and studies specifically. After entering a search term, Citeulike brings up all the studies it has on the topic. If an article is regarded as “trusted” by Citeulike, it will have a tick-mark next to it. You can also see groups that are interested in your search term, see quick abstracts for each article before checking the full version, and hide all the details for quicker browsing.


Once you’ve found a paper you think you’d like, clicking on it will bring you to its page. Here, you can see all the websites the paper can be found on, export the article to different formats, and generate a citation template for that paper. This makes Citeulike highly useful if you want solid, dependable studies to read though and cite on your work.

4. iSeek


iSeek is a powerful tool for finding studies in your area of interest. Don’t be fooled by the seemingly small results list – iSeek displays results in pages of 10, and if you searched something quite scientifically popular, there’s going to be a lot of pages on the topic. If the sheer amount of results overwhelm you, you have a selection of filters to apply on the left.


Each result comes with a direct link to the source, as well as an option to email results to people. The sources can also be rated out of five stars by other users which can help you locate the more important sources for your research.

5. Virtual LRC


Virtual LRC is an interesting website for research. While it operates mostly like any other engine, the real key to working with Virtual LRC is its filtering ability. There are a few categories at the top of the page after you search; by clicking these, you can filter the results using the category you selected. For example, if you search for “coffee,” you can click on “News/Opinion” for general news articles about coffee, “Health/Medicine” to read about the current positive and negative health effects of coffee, or “History” to learn about how coffee came to be. This makes it quite a diverse engine that can be used to display topics in specific viewpoints.

Study Well, Not Hard

No matter how much you love or hate researching facts, making it an easier task is always welcome. If you’re an avid fact-hunter, hopefully these education search engines will serve you well in your studies.

Author: Simon Batt
Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/best-education-search-engines

Saturday, 07 January 2017 15:40

10 Google-like Search Engines You Must Try

Google’s market share is 63.9%. Now that is a lot, but it does leave 36.1% up for the other search engines. So why isn’t everybody using Google? There are a lot of reasons. For some, it’s a case of privacy. They don’t want Google to know everything about them.

For others it’s about getting unbiased results, as using Google for all your searches will end up biasing your searches in certain directions. For yet others, they simply continue to use the same default search that comes pre-set with their installed browser.

Whatever the reason, there are a lot of other tools. Today we’re going to look at a few so that if in the future Google gets hacked and the internet crashes, you know an alternative.


Bing – which is owned by Microsoft – is the second biggest search engine, at 20.7%. The search engines have some unique features, like allowing you to see all the IP addresses associated with a domain, where it really and truly rocks is in video searches, where it actually generally beats Google out of the water.


If you want to stay private, then this is the search engine for you, as this is the main promise that they make – that they’ll keep your data private. And that is nothing to be sneezed at in this world of ever increasing invasions into our private lives by governments as well as black hat hackers.

Because the question you should ask yourself, as the government takes ever more of our liberties away isn’t, ‘what will this government do with the power they have’ but ‘what will the worst government that can get into power do with the powers government now has’. And that’s not a pretty thought at all.


This one has been around for a long time and actual curates links from different search engines, like Google, Yahoo, and Yandex into one overview. Dogpile is a  useful alternative if you want to search through multiple search engines with one search and get all your data collected in one place.


Sometimes you want to ask something of an algorithm. And sometimes you want to hear what an actual person has to say. If you’ve got a question that leans more towards the latter category, then hit up Ask.com, which is a search engine slash question and answer community.

The big advantage here is that if the question has been asked and answered, then when you reask the question the information you get is straight to the point, well rounded, and gives you the information you need. All things that Google occasionally struggles with.


Once Yahoo was the undisputed king. Now a very much also-ran, yahoo has partnered up with MSN to offer their searches in an admittedly pleasing format.

One of the advantages that Yahoo certainly has is that they are at least equal on pictures with Google. This means that if you’re struggling to find new source material on the Google website because you’ve already used all the pictures that fit your niche, try the same searches on Yahoo and you might find just that image that you’re looking for (that hasn’t been used 10,000 times already).

Wolfram Alpha 

Wolram Alpha is primarily about math. That doesn’t mean it’s primarily for math Geeks, however. You see, it does the math, so you don’t have to. In this way you can find our relationships between different things, what the better price is, what is actually the best car, how to analyze data, how to deal with a financial problem, linguistics and far, far more.

As long as it can be mathematically worked out, Wolfram Alpha can provide you the answer.  Heck, it even has dozens of categories with suggested questions already provided, so that you can learn things that you didn’t even know you didn’t know (and that is, let’s be honest about it, the biggest area in all of our ignorance).


This is another one of those search engines that’s all about privacy, in that it stores none of the searches that you do. That’s right, there are no cookies, they don’t save queries and the list goes on. So ixquick another great choice if you don’t want people nosing through what you’re looking for.

This service also has the possibility for you to search images and videos and is the default search engine of the TOR browser.


We’ve discussed privacy, but we haven’t really discussed uncensored content. If that’s what you’re after, then try Giburu. Yes, that’s right, most of the search engines out there censor your content. And if you’re not looking for porn, that’s for a good reason.

After all, Rule 35 states ‘if you can think of it, somebody’s made porn about it’ and that is actually truer than you can ever imagine. Don’t believe me? Give Giburu a try and see for yourself! Go on, I dare you.

Internet Archive

This is a great search engine that lets you find websites in past iterations. This can be useful if you once wrote some love poetry on a site that went down and you think you can’t find back (you can). Or if you’re looking for some action that you’re looking for but seems to have gotten scrubbed. In both cases, you can find it back using the Internet Archive.

That makes it an exceptionally useful resource for doing in-depth research about companies past. It also means that nothing you ever put up on the internet ever goes away. So you’ve got to be careful.


This – Russian bases – search engine is actually the fourth largest in the world, with over 150 million search engines. Did you know that? I didn’t. Yandex is actually a good competitor to Google, offering you a lot of the same services, including mail, mobile apps, Cloud storage and analytics.

So, if you no longer want to work with a US based company, why not work with a Russian one instead? I can’t promise that it will make you more private, but at least if anybody ends up looking at what you’re doing, then it will be a whole different group of people finding out about your porn preferences!

Author : Diana Beyer

Source : http://technofaq.org/posts/2016/09/10-google-like-search-engines-you-must-try/

While major tech firms such as Apple, Facebook and Google have joined over 2,800 individual tech workers in pledging not to assist the incoming Trump administration with the construction of a mandatory registry of Muslims, there is one small problem.

Such a database already exists, and anyone can buy it for less than $20,000.

NextMark bills itself as the Google of mailing lists. It’s a search engine that pulls together over 60,000 different lists of people offered for sale by over 1,400 different organizations. A search for the term “Muslim” yields dozens of results – including multiple comprehensive databases containing more than a million names, addresses, emails and other pieces of personal information for American Muslims.

Lists available on the site range from Instagram users  to truck owners and baby boomers with erectile dysfunction.

The lists are compiled and sold by data brokers, companies that aggregate information on people from a variety of sources, ranging from government records to web browsing histories.

The information is used for purposes such as verifying someone’s identity for fraud detection and powering electronic “people search” products. The most common use for this data is to help advertisers better target their marketing campaigns at segments of the population most likely to purchase their products.

Dylan Lehotsky, vice president of business development sales at Exact Data, one of the firms offering a list of American Muslims, told Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting that the complete list could be purchased for around $17,000. A representative from another broker, Sprint Data Solutions, which has a list it says comprises 95 percent of the Muslims living in the United States, said the pricing on a list of more than 1 million names would cost $0.014 per record.

Lehotsky added that the majority of the data offered in his company’s Muslim list wasn’t collected by Exact Data. Instead, the information was purchased from the Little Rock, Arkansas-based data broker Acxiom, one of the largest firms in the data brokerage industry. Exact Data augmented that data with information about user email addresses it had gathered independently and resold to the public.

Lehotsky said the company would exercise discretion if it believed a customer would be using one of its lists for discriminatory or unsavory purposes. If the Ku Klux Klan came calling, he said, the company would be unlikely to complete the sale.

However, he said he hadn’t considered the implications of a government agency buying one of the company’s lists because the government likely would go straight to the data’s original source – Acxiom.

Acxiom told CNN’s Selena Larson that it would not help build a Muslim registry. Two other companies, Recorded Future and CoreLogic, said they similarly would refuse to help. When Larson asked Oracle – which owns data brokers BlueKai and Datalogix – the company declined to comment. Oracle CEO Safra Catz has joined Donald Trump’s presidential transition team.

Even so, refusal by one data broker to assemble a registry means relatively little in the grand scheme of things because there are more than 5,000 data brokerage firms worldwide, and it is a common practice for one data broker to purchase information from another.

All it would take is a single firm willing to cooperate, or being compelled to cooperate, with the government for the Trump administration to have a large list Muslims to serve as a reference point for a mandatory registration database.

Information on Muslims held by one data broker could be acquired by another more willing to cooperate with federal authorities and then resold to the government.

“Data brokers provide data not only to end-users, but also to other data brokers,” noted a 2014 Federal Trade Commission study of the data brokerage industry.

There’s nothing inherently wrong, or even especially suspicious, about a company collecting this sort of information, which has legitimate uses. The description of a list of practicing American Muslims offered by Sprint Data Solutions notes that “this file has turned GREAT results for middle east relief efforts. Donors with generous donations have come from this database and results continue to produce good results.”

These types of lists often are employed by organizations actively advocating for the rights of American Muslims. The Council for American-Islamic Relations, one of the most prominent Muslim rights groups in the U.S., purchased lists with the names and contact information of over a million American Muslims from the data broker Aristotle Inc.

“A list isn’t inherently good or bad,” said Robert McCaw, the council’s director of government affairs. “It’s all in how you use it.”

The council found the data helpful in its outreach efforts, but McCaw noted it was imperfect.

Lists drawn from consumer data often contain out-of-date information, and while ones that pull the info of registered voters with common Muslim last names are more current, they have a tendency to exclude Muslims in the African American, Latino or white communities.

“The Trump administration could easily build a similar list, but it would always be incomplete,” McCaw said. “It’s not 100 percent reliable.”

If Trump does create a Muslim registry, its actual form could be a revival of the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Shortly after the election, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who has advised Trump on immigration issues, was photographed carrying plans for future Department of Homeland Security efforts into a meeting with the president-elect. The paper suggested Trump should “update and reintroduce the NSEERS screening and tracking system.”

Launched exactly one year after 9/11 in the name of preventing terrorism, the system increased scrutiny of male immigrants over the age of 16 on noncitizen visas from two dozen majority Muslim countries and North Korea.

Immigrants subject to the registration system were required to undergo annual in-person check-ins with immigration officials and notify the federal government every time they changed addresses.

Failure to comply with these rules could result in deportation, and the rules were confusing and poorly publicized – leading many people covered under the program to miss appointments by mistake. The government placed nearly 14,000 people in deportation proceedings as a result of the program.

Even though some 85,000 people registered with the system in its first year, the program did not result in a single terrorism conviction.

The Department of Homeland Security effectively shuttered the program in 2011 by removing all 25 countries from the list – technically leaving it alive but dormant. That strategy left a lot of civil libertarians worried because the database still exists and could be reactivated if Kobach’s proposal gains Trump’s approval.

Groups from across the political spectrum, ranging from the ACLU on the left to the Cato Institute on the right, called on President Barack Obama to delete the database before his administration leaves office. In mid-December, Obama obliged, announcing the formal end to the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System – effective immediately.

While the Council for American-Islamic Relations welcomed the system’s termination, McCaw said he worries it could push the incoming administration to funnel its energies into another controversial database that targets many American Muslims – the terrorist watch list.

Expanding that list would have the benefit of being an existing program that doesn’t need to be built from the ground up, like a registration database of all Muslims, or overcome institutional hurdles placed by the previous administration.

Whereas a mandatory Muslim registry would be highly public, the federal government’s centralized terrorist watch list is kept secret, which would keep the program from attracting significant public scrutiny. That secrecy is McCaw’s sticking point.

“There are a select few Americans who can find out if they are on the watch list through their travel patterns when they are denied services on airlines or are required to undergo additional screening at the airport,” he said. “Those are Americans placed on the no-fly list or the selectee list.”

“However, Americans who are in the terrorism database but not on the no-fly list or the selectee list have no knowledge of their placement on the watch list, no knowledge of the government’s surveillance of them and no means to challenge it.”

Author: Aaron Sankin
Source: https://www.revealnews.org/article/trump-could-build-registry-of-1-4-million-muslims-for-under-20000

If you're looking forward to 2017, you can stop right now. Things will only get worse.

In fact, it's no exaggeration to suggest that the welcome death of 2016 – miserable troll of a year that it was – might usher in unimagined levels of worst-ness to the world.

Over the past year, we lost Leonard Cohen and gained President Donald Trump. World markets have been less reliable than a Kanye concert. And the American election was hacked by Russian cyber-spies. Overall, 2016 was as twisted as a David Cronenberg film. But compared to what lies ahead, it will seem like a Disney musical.   

Here are just four reasons to despair about 2017.    


President Trump

Since November 8, it's been fashionable to treat Trump with the authority and deference normally owed to the incoming leader of the free world. We are told that the presidency will change him. We are asked to give him a chance. We hear that he's taking advice from Barack Obama.

Nuts to all of that.

Nothing about Trump's conduct since winning inspires the slightest confidence. His Twitter tantrums continue – only now he spends as much time badmouthing foreign capitals as he does Alec Baldwin. He regularly refuses intelligence briefings, finding the detail of keeping the world secure to be dull work.

And for a cabinet, he's selected advisors who impressively combine Bond villain mega-wealth with ideological hostility. Veteran observers insist that the institutions of government will hem Trump in and curb disastrous outbursts. But there is exactly zero reason to believe this of a man who has based his public appeal on disavowal of those same institutions. Rookies make rookie mistakes. And the world is about to be led by the most powerful, uncoachable rookie of all time.  

Global Economy

After fuelling global economic growth for years, China is experiencing the lowest GDP outlook in a generation. To help ease domestic pain, Beijing has been selling U.S. treasuries and devaluing its own yuan. But America needs Chinese buyers for its debt. Guess how much it helps when the new president-elect trash talks the yuan on social media? All I want for Christmas is a currency war.

The new year will also see Brexit's chickens come home to roost, disrupting trade, jobs and growth in the world's largest single market. Meanwhile, central banks, after eight years of quantitative easing sleight of hand, are nearly out of magic tricks and the Fed is beginning to raise rates. Here at home, Trump's plan to tear up NAFTA should nicely impact our 1.1 per cent rate of growth.

Machzikei Hadas synagogue Ottawa swastika racist Nov. 17 2016


What a bull run the bigots are having. White supremacists are coming into the mainstream in ways unseen since desegregation of the American south. In France, Marine Le Pen is a legitimate contender to be president. In America, Trump's pick for attorney general was once denied a judgeship for a history of racially charged comments.

On our side of the border, it's been suggested that we should subject newcomers to a "values test" to scorecard their patriotic purity. Here's a good rule of thumb: when David Duke, one-time Imperial Wizard of the KKK is delighted with the way of the world, the way is wrong.


You can't pick up a newspaper these days without reading about fake news and its apparent conquest of all media. Actually, you can hardly pick up a newspaper at all: they're gradually disappearing. In Canada, media organizations like Postmedia are choking on a fatal blend of falling ad revenues and rising debt charges. Professional journalists everywhere are heading for the exits, taking buyouts and leaving behind a legion of social media-inspired "citizen journalists." We're also told that we live in a post-factual world. These things are not unrelated. Sadly, 2017 will see traditional, professional media shrink more and matter less. And with it goes an enormous instrument of accountability, ethics and transparency.

It's not a very rosy outlook and human nature runs contrary to much of this analysis. We're wired to look ahead with hope, to dismiss the naysayers and expect that things will somehow work out for the best. But reason tells us that can't always be so. Now and then, the outlook is every bit as grim as it appears.  

Happy New Year.

Author: Scott Reid
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/despair-for-2017-1.3913984

The big data revolution is upon us. Firms are scrambling to hire a new brand of analysts dubbed “data scientists,” and universities have responded to this demand by introducing data science courses into degrees ranging from computer science to business. Survey-based reports find that firms are currently spending an estimated $36 billion on storage and infrastructure, and that is expected to double by 2020.

Once companies are logging and storing detailed data on all their customer engagements and internal processes, what’s next? Presumably, firms are investing in big data infrastructure because they believe that it offers a positive return on investment. However, looking at the surveys and consulting reports, it is unclear what the precise use cases are that will drive this positive ROI from big data.

Our goal in this article is to offer specific, real-world case studies to show how big data has provided value for companies that have worked with Microsoft’s analytics teams. These cases reveal the circumstances in which big data predictive analytics are likely to enable novel and high-value solutions, and the situations where the gains are likely to be minimal.

Predicting demand. The first use case involves predicting demand for consumer products that are in the “long tail” of consumption. Firms value accurate demand forecasts because inventory is expensive to keep on shelves and stockouts are detrimental to both short-term revenue and long-term customer engagement. Aggregated total sales is a poor proxy because firms need to distribute inventory geographically, necessitating hyperlocal forecasts. The traditional way of solving this problem is using time-series econometrics with historical sales data. This method works well for popular products in large regions but tends to fail when data gets thin because random noise overwhelms the underlying signal.

A big data solution to this problem is to use anonymized and aggregated web search or sentiment data linked to each store’s location on top of the existing time-series data. Microsoft data scientists have employed this approach to help a forecasting firm predict auto sales. Building models with web search data as one of the inputs reduces mean absolute forecast error, a standard measure of prediction accuracy, for monthly national sales predictions on the order of 40% from baseline for auto makes with relatively small market shares, compared to traditional time-series models. Although the gains were smaller for the most popular models at the national level, the relative improvement increases as one drills down to the regional level.

In this case, the big data solution leverages the previously unused data point that people do a considerable amount of social inquiry and research online before buying a car. The increased prediction accuracy, in turn, makes it possible to achieve large increases in operational efficiency — having the right inventory in the right locations.

Anonymized web search data has proven to be helpful for other forecasts as well since online activity often is a good leading proxy for purchases and actions of the general public. Having the additional data is insufficient on its own. Processing search data and combining it with traditional sources is vital in creating a successful prediction: We found that raw search query volume is insufficient in parsing out the signals that correlate to true product demand.

Being intelligent about which signals to draw from big data requires care, and best practices can be case-specific. For example, single queries from a user might be less important than multiple queries from a user. Although we used search data in this case study, a firm could just as easily use the location of users visiting their website or link detailed sales data to a customer’s location.

Improved pricing. Using a single price is economically inefficient because part of the demand curve that could be profitably served is priced out of the market. As a consequence, firms regularly offer targeted discounts, promotions, and segment-based pricing to target different consumers. E-commerce websites have a distinct advantage in pursuing such an approach because they log detailed information on customer browsing, not just the goods they end up purchasing, and aggressively adjust prices over time. These price adjustments are a form of experimentation and, jointly with big data, allow firms to learn more about their customers’ price responsiveness.

Offline retailers can mimic e-commerce’s nuanced pricing strategies by tracking consumers through smartphone connectivity and logging which customers enter the store, what type of goods they look at, and whether they make a purchase. Machine learning applied to this data can algorithmically generate customer segments based on price responsiveness and preferences, which generally offers a large improvement on traditional demographic-based targeting.

Our experience with pricing advertising on the Bing search engine is that using big data can produce substantial gains by better matching advertisers to consumers. The success of algorithmic targeting has been well documented and is a key driver of revenue in online advertising market. Advances in measurement technology increasingly allow offline firms to benefit from these types of gains through more efficient pricing.

Predictive maintenance. Smoothly operating supply chains are vital for stable profits. Machine downtime imposes a cost to firms due to forgone productivity and can be particularly disruptive in both complex manufacturing supply chains and consumer products. Executives in asset-intensive industries often state that the primary operational risk to their businesses is unexpected failures of their assets. A wave of new data generated by the “internet of things” (IoT) can provide real-time telemetry on detailed aspects of production processes. Machine-learning models trained on these data allow firms to predict when different machines will fail.

Airlines are particularly interested in predicting mechanical failures in advance so that they can reduce flight delays or cancellations. Microsoft data scientists from the Cortana Intelligence Suite team are able to predict the probability of aircrafts being delayed or canceled in the future based on relevant data sources, such as maintenance history and flight route information. A machine-learning solution based on historical data and applied in real time predicts the type of mechanical issue that will result in a delay or cancellation of a flight within the next 24 hours, allowing the airlines to take maintenance actions while the aircrafts are being serviced, thus preventing possible delays or cancellations.

Similar predictive-maintenance solutions are also built in other industries — for example, tracking real-time telemetry data to predict the remaining useful life of an aircraft engine, using sensor data to predict the failure of an ATM cash withdrawal transaction, employing telemetry data to predict the failure of electric submersible pumps used to extract crude in the oil and gas industry, predicting the failures of circuit boards at early stages in the manufacturing process, predicting credit defaults, and forecasting energy demand in hyperlocal regions to predict the overload situations of energy grids. Machine learning will make supply chains less brittle and reduce the effects of disruptions for many goods and services.

These cases help highlight a few general principles:

  • The value derived from the analytics piece can greatly exceed the cost of the infrastructure. This indicates there will be strong growth in big data consulting services and specialized roles within firms.
  • Big data is less about size and more about introducing fundamentally new information to prediction and decision processes. This information matters most when existing data sources are insufficient to provide accurate or actionable predictions — for example, due to small sample sizes or coarseness of historical sales (small effective regions, niche products, new offerings, etc.).
  • The new information is often buried in detailed and relatively unstructured data logs (known as a “data lake”), and techniques from computer science are needed to extract insights from it. To leverage big data, it is vital to have talented data engineers, statisticians, and behavioral scientists working in tandem. “Data scientist” is often used to refer to someone who has these three skills, but in our experience single individuals rarely have all three.

Radically new applications. The cases that we’ve discussed concern how big data can be employed to improve existing processes (e.g., more-precise demand forecasts, better price sensitivity estimates, better predictions of machine failure). But it also has the potential to be applied in ways that disrupt existing processes. For example, machine-learning models taking massive data sets as inputs, coupled with clever designs that account for patient histories, have to the potential to revolutionize how certain diseases are diagnosed and treated. Another example involves matching distributed electricity generation (e.g., solar panels on roofs) to localized electricity demand, unlocking huge value by equating electricity supply and demand with more-efficient generation.

The value described from predicting demand more accurately, better pricing, and predictive maintenance are the specific use cases that easily justify large firms’ investments in big data infrastructure and data science. These uses are likely to drive value of the same order of magnitude as the investments. The value of radically new applications is challenging to understand ex ante and speculative by nature. It is reasonable to expect losses for many firms, due to uncertain and higher risk investments, with a few firms earning spectacular profits.

Author:  Jacob LaRiviere, Preston McAfee, Justin Rao, Vijay K. Narayanan, and Walter Sun

Source:  https://hbr.org/2016/05/where-predictive-analytics-is-having-the-biggest-impact

It’s been discovered that Samsung has trademarked the term “Beast Mode” in the European Union. This has led to speculations that the South Korean phone maker is planning to add that feature to the Galaxy S8 in 2017.

Although Samsung hasn’t revealed the specifications for the Galaxy S8, the handset is rumored to come with Qualcomm’s most powerful processor the Snapdragon 835 or the company’s own next-generation Exynos processor. Both of those chipsets will be built using the 10nm process, the same tech that Apple is believed to be using for the iPhone 8 next year.

Qualcomm is also believed to be working alongside Samsung in developing the Snapdragon 835, possibly making the Galaxy S8 the only smartphone capable of taking advantage of the chip’s full potential, according to Inquisitr.

This is where the rumored Beat Mode feature comes in. Samsung filed an application with the EU to trademark the term earlier this month. Part of the trademark application details that Beast Mode will cover all of Samsung’s devices including smartphones, mobile phones, application software and all of its computers, as pointed out by Forbes.

Although there’s no official explanation as to what Beat Mode actually is, rumors indicate that turning on Beast mode on the Galaxy S8 will allow the processor to perform to its maximum power, according to Android Headline. This would be somewhat an extension to Android Nougat’s Performance Mode where users are able to choose from four presets of high performance.

By turning on Beast Mode on the Galaxy S8, this will also turn off power-saving features. Users will be trading longer battery life for the best possible performance of the Snapdragon 835 or the new Exynos processor. If this is really what Samsung’s Beast Mode is for, the Galaxy S8 could possibly outperform the iPhone 8. Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones have never outperformed Apple’s iPhones, and Beast Mode appears to be the South Korean manufacturer’s way of finally changing that, as pointed out by BGR.

Right now, Beast Mode on the Galaxy S8 is all speculation. However, it wouldn’t be all too surprising for Samsung to do everything it can to redeem itself from the Galaxy Note 7 disaster.

Author:  Ken Manbert Salcedo

Source:  https://www.yahoo.com/tech/samsung-galaxy-s8-rumored-come-015105179.html

Thursday, 22 December 2016 15:29

Netflix’s Twitter account hacked

Netflix’s U.S. Twitter account was hacked Wednesday, with notorious hackers OurMine claiming credit for the attack.

OurMine hacked some high-profile accounts earlier this year, including those of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg — password “dadada” — former Twitter CEOs Dick Costolo and Ev Williams, Google CEO Sundar Pichai and others. Oh, and pop star Katy Perry, too.

According to multiple reports and screenshots, OurMine was in control of the Netflix account this morning for less than an hour, and among other things tweeted that “world security is [expletive].”

While the tweets posted by the hackers have since been taken down, the Netflix customer service account shows traces of what transpired.

OurMine is a group of hackers supposedly from Saudi Arabia, and now calls itself a “security group.” It told Mic earlier this year that it is now hacking people for the purpose of promoting its security services.

A check of Netflix’s U.S. Twitter account, which has 2.48 million followers, shows it’s back to normal. Trailers for “The OA,” “Barry” and other Netflix originals are among the recent tweets.

Author : Levi Sumagaysay

Source : http://www.siliconbeat.com/2016/12/21/netflixs-twitter-account-hacked/

Hillary Clinton has won the popular vote by more than 2.86 million ballots, the final tally in the US presidential election has revealed.

According to the Cook Political Report, the Democrat beat the President-elect by 2,864,974 -more than five times the margin garnered by Al Gore in 2000 when he also lost the Electoral College.

The final count comes after 304 electors voted for Donald Trump on Monday, meaning that although two electors defected, he cleared the 270-vote hurdle and will be sworn in as president next month.

Mr Trump's win ranks 46th out of 58 on the list of Electoral College votes secured by US Presidents since George Washington in 1789. His popular vote tally was more than two percentage points lower than Ms Clinton's, at 46.1 per cent against her 48.2 per cent  – or 62.98 million against 65.84 million.

Ms Clinton's tally was just under 72,000 votes shy of Barack Obama's popular vote count in the 2012 election.

Mr Trump won 30 states in the 8 November election, securing 306 of the 538 Electoral College votes – 56.9 per cent of the total.

Only 12 other elections have seen a president receive a lower proportion of Electoral College votes, including George W Bush in 2000 and 2004, and John F Kennedy in 1960.

Confirmation of Mr Trump's victory ended an acrimonious final chapter in an election cycle that saw former president Bill Clinton accuse the director of the FBI, James Comey, of costing his wife the White House, and activists flood the letterboxes of Electoral College members with pleas to abandon the Republican candidate.

Despite the pressure on electors, experts had said a Trump defeat in the Electoral College was extremely unlikely.

Dr Jacob Parakilas, assistant head of the US and Americas Programme at Chatham House, told The Independent: "A lot of this is just a reaction to how outlandish the whole election season has been.

"I think there's also a sense that because Trump won with a significant gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote, that underscores calls for the Electoral College to do something different than it normally does.

"By and large, those calls are going to fall on deaf ears."

Author :Jon Sharman

Source : http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hillary-clinton-3-million-popular-vote-donald-trump-us-election-a7487901.html

Understanding the impact of machine learning will be crucial to adjusting our search marketing strategies -- but probably not in the way you think. Columnist Dave Davies explains.

There are many uses for machine learning and AI in the world around us, but today I’m going to talk about search. So, assuming you’re a business owner with a website or an SEO, the big question you’re probably asking is: what is machine learning and how will it impact my rankings?

The problem with this question is that it relies on a couple of assumptions that may or may not be correct: First, that machine learning is something you can optimize for, and second, that there will be rankings in any traditional sense.

So before we get to work trying to understand machine learning and its impact on search, let’s stop and ask ourselves the real question that needs to be answered:

What is Google trying to accomplish?

It is by answering this one seemingly simple question that we gain our greatest insights into what the future holds and why machine learning is part of it. And the answer to this question is also quite simple. It’s the same as what you and I both do every day: try to earn more money.

This, and this alone, is the objective — and with shareholders, it is a responsibility. So, while it may not be the feel-good answer you were hoping for, it is accurate.

Author:  Dave Davies

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/heck-machine-learning-care-265511

The iPhone 7 may be taking all the headlines, but there is another current model which offers an equally compelling (and far more budget friendly) alternative: the iPhone SE. So what are the differences given the huge gap in their respective price tags? The answers may surprise you, so let’s take a look…

Note: if you do decide to upgrade to the iPhone 7, my detailed iPhone 7 vs iPhone 7 Plus review will help you choose between Apple AAPL +0.52%’s two premium models

Choosing between the iPhone 7 (left) vs iPhone SE (right) is not as simple as you might thing. Image credit: Apple

Design & Size

Apple shocked a lot of people by keeping the iPhone 6 design largely unchanged for a third generation with the iPhone 7, but it was equally surprising to see the iPhone SE launch earlier this year using the old iPhone 5/5S chassis first introduced in 2012. That said it gives users two very different options:

  • iPhone SE - 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 in), 113g (3.99 oz)
  • iPhone 7 - 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 in) and 138 g (4.87 oz)

Yes, the iPhone SE is significantly more compact than the iPhone 7 and this is primarily due to the differences in the two models’ screen sizes (more next). Interestingly it also means the iPhone SE largely stands alone as an oasis in a desert of massive phones and it is super easy to use one handed - especially due to its flat, angular grippy edges.

The flat edges of the iPhone SE (top) make it easier to hold in hand. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

The flat edges of the iPhone SE (top) make it easier to hold in hand. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

By contrast the iPhone 7, while still relatively small by today’s phone standards, is more hazardous due to its curved edges and slippery finish. But it does come with a hidden bonus: dual stereo external speakers. This is a clever addition with Apple amplifying the earpiece to make it work as a second speaker. It’s not as powerful as dual front firing speakers, but it’s the easily the best external audio an iPhone has ever had.

Then again the iPhone SE retains one potentially major advantage over its more expensive stablemate: it retains the 3.5mm headphone jack which the iPhone 7 controversially removed. Looking for an upside? Apple claims the iPhone 7 is water resistant as a result (it’ll survive up to 30 minutes under water), though that doesn’t explain how the likes of Samsung kept the headphone jack while giving their phones similar water resistance.

Both the iPhone 7 (pictured) and iPhone 7 Plus are certified to withstand full submersion in water. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Both the iPhone 7 (pictured) and iPhone 7 Plus are certified to withstand full submersion in water. Image credit: Gordon Kelly


Of course what makes the iPhone SE so much smaller than the iPhone 7 is its display:

  • iPhone SE - 4-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1136 x 640 pixels (326 ppi pixel density), 60.8% screen-to-body ratio
  • iPhone 7 - 4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS LCD, 1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi), 65.6% screen-to-body ratio. 3D Touch

And yet this is arguably also the iPhone 7’s greatest advantage. Despite having identical pixel densities, the iPhone 7 has a much brighter display than the iPhone SE and its support for what Apple dubs ‘Wide Color’ (the DCI-P3 color space) means it is far more colour accurate as well. In fact it’s the most colour accurate smartphone display in the world.

Both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus displays are bright, vivid and very color accurate pushing LCD to its limits. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus displays are bright, vivid and very color accurate pushing LCD to its limits. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

The iPhone 7 also carries forward support for 3D Touch from the iPhone 6S and which Apple surprisingly excluded from the iPhone SE (most likely to keep the price down). 3D Touch is a pressure sensitive technology which detects different strengths of press on the screen to create a raft of ‘peek and pop’ shortcuts (such as previewing emails or web links without opening them and creating app shortcuts like selfie and slo mo video modes on the camera icon).

Examples of 3D Touch in iOS. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Examples of 3D Touch in iOS. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

3D Touch splits opinion with some users finding it indispensable and others ignoring it to the extent they forget it is there (making what is and isn’t 3D Touch enabled a guessing game would help greatly). So its importance to you will be a crucial factor in which phone to choose.


The iPhone 7 is the fastest phone currently available, but before you reach for your wallet know this: the iPhone SE is also a flying machine. This is because it uses the same components as the still speedy iPhone 6S yet combines them with a less demanding, lower resolution display:

  • iPhone SE and iPhone 6S - Apple A9, CPU: Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister, GPU: PowerVR GT7600 (six-core graphics), 2GB RAM
  • iPhone 7 - Apple A10 Fusion: Quad Core CPU, Six Core GPU, 2GB RAM

Of course the iPhone 7 does have an advantage. Apple says the iPhone 7’s CPU and GPU deliver 40% and 50% performance boosts respectively. This will be well worth the extra money to power users and serious mobile gamers, but for everyone else you’ll be happy to know both phones race along and neither is likely to be troubled for anything iOS apps will throw at them for several years.

The A10 Fusion chipset makes the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Apple's fastest ever iPhones and the fastest smartphones currently available. Image credit: Apple

The A10 Fusion chipset makes the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus Apple's fastest ever iPhones and the fastest smartphones currently available. Image credit: Apple

There are other differences. The iPhone 7 has a 450Mbit 4G compatible modem whereas the iPhone SE oddly uses the older iPhone 6 150Mbit part, though this is unlikely to be a problem unless you live in an area with extremely fast 4G.

Similarly the iPhone SE uses the iPhone 6’s first generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor while the iPhone 7 keeps the second generation Touch ID sensor from the iPhone 6S. Does this matter? Not really, the iPhone 7 is that little bit quicker at fingerprint recognition but both are extremely fast and very accurate.


The camera is perhaps the biggest factor in determining smartphone updates these days, so should you pick the iPhone 7 for its heavily marketed camera advancements? You might be surprised learn that the answer is: not necessarily.

Apple promises game changing cameras in the iPhone 7 and (in particular) the dual camera iPhone 7 Plus, but do they deliver? Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Apple promises game changing cameras in the iPhone 7 and (in particular) the dual camera iPhone 7 Plus, but do they deliver? Image credit: Gordon Kell

  • iPhone SE – Rear: 12 megapixel sensor, f2.2 aperture, Focus Pixels, EIS, dual-LED flash, 4K video recording. Front: 1.2MP Front Camera, f2.4 aperture, 720p video recording
  • iPhone 7 - Rear: 12 megapixel wide angle sensor, f/1.8 aperture, Focus Pixels, Optical Image Stabilisation, quad-LED (dual tone) flash, 4K video recording. Front: 7MP sensor, f/2.2 aperture, 1080p recording

As you’ll spot, the real differentiator here is actually the front facing camera since the iPhone SE disappointingly retains the substandard front camera from the iPhone 6. That’s a real shame. The iPhone 7 front camera isn’t class leading, but it is far superior.

iPhone 6S (left) and iPhone SE (right) produce identical results. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

iPhone 6S (left) and iPhone SE (right) produce identical results. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

That aside both phones’ main rear shooters produce very similar results because the iPhone 7 isn’t quite as revolutionary as Apple would like you to believe. Low light photography is where the biggest advancements lie thanks to a combination of a higher aperture (f/1.8 vs f/2.2) and the addition of optical image stabilisation (OIS) which allows for longer exposures.

Despite this the iPhone 7 is still comfortably behind the Galaxy S7 and, most significantly, Google’s new Pixel and Pixel XL in the photographic stakes and the iPhone SE remains an excellent shooter. So only camera aficionados wedded to the iOS platform need to make this the deciding factor.

Right now the Google Pixel is clearly the best smartphone camera with the Galaxy S7 second and the iPhone 7 in third place. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Right now the Google Pixel is clearly the best smartphone camera with the Galaxy S7 second and the iPhone 7 in third place. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

Battery Life And Charging

And it is perhaps here that the iPhone SE delivers the biggest surprise of them all because, despite a smaller capacity (1642 mAh vs 1960 mAh), it offers considerably better battery life than the iPhone 7.

The reason for this is its smaller, lower resolution display. Displays still consume most battery power while the iPhone SE also needs to drive less pixels to power it. Consequently even Apple’s official specifications pageadmits you’ll get an extra hour on the iPhone SE when surfing the web using 4G and up to 10 hours additional music playback.

Personally I find the differences to be even greater than this.

The iPhone 7 lacks a headphone jack (unlike most rivals) meaning you can charge it and use wired headphones at the same time. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

The iPhone 7 lacks a headphone jack (unlike most rivals) meaning you can charge it and use wired headphones at the same time. Image credit: Gordon Kelly

The iPhone SE will comfortably get me through a day whereas the iPhone 7 nearly always requires charging by mid to late afternoon. Given neither phone supports fast charging out the box (you’ll need to buy an iPad charger separately for a moderate improvement), this makes ‘splash and dash’ charging less effective and the importance of the iPhone SE’s greater staying power all the more useful.

Storage And Price

Easily the best thing about the iPhone SE and perhaps its greatest differentiator is price, but the iPhone 7 does come with bigger storage options:

  • iPhone SE - 16GB ($399), 64GB ($499)
  • iPhone 7 - 32GB ($649), 128GB ($749), 256GB ($849)

With 16GB all but useless given the iPhone SE’s advanced camera and 4K video, the 64GB option is the clear sweet spot and since this is $150 less and twice the storage of the entry level 32GB iPhone 7 it becomes a very tempting budget friendly option. Especially for those who want to retain the 3.5mm headphone jack.

As for the iPhone 7, the $749 128GB option is the clear standout for most customers. Note most buyers outside the US will find prices higher than this, in particular the UK and India where Apple increased prices dramatically this year.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 7 Plus (proportional size difference). My tip is to buy one of these phones and skip the iPhone 7. Image credit: Apple

iPhone SE vs iPhone 7 Plus (proportional size difference). My tip is to buy one of these phones and skip the iPhone 7. Image credit: Apple

Bottom Line

Aside from the disappointing front camera, the iPhone SE is almost a perfect budget iPhone. It’s compact, fast, long lasting and takes great photos. By contrast the iPhone 7 is more divisive with its omitted headphone jack and relatively modest camera upgrade.

Consequently my recommendation is simple: go small (iPhone SE) or - if you have the money to spend - go big for the iPhone 7 Plus which has a superior display, clever dual rear camera and vastly better battery life that easily justifies its additional $100 outlay at each storage capacity.

For me the iPhone 7 is a phone caught in no man’s land. Easily outclassed by its bigger brother at the high end and not offering anywhere near the bang for your buck of the iPhone SE.

Author : Gordon Kelly

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/gordonkelly/2016/11/05/iphone-7-vs-iphone-se-whats-the-difference/#cebd40d1a8bd

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