Rangani Ranasinghe

Rangani Ranasinghe

Want to increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results? Columnist Sherry Bonelli explains how to glean keyword insights from your competitors.

Video marketing is becoming a digital marketing necessity. (It’s not a “nice-to-have” marketing strategy anymore.) People love to watch videos, and videos can help you sell more products or services. In fact, a study done by Cisco last year predicted that by 2020, video will account for over 80 percent of all consumer internet traffic.

As video consumption increases, consequently so does video’s influence on consumer purchases. According to recent research by Brightcove:

  • Almost half (46 percent) of viewers say they’ve actually made a purchase as a result of watching a branded video on social media, and a third (32 percent) say they’ve considered making a purchase as a result of watching a video.
  • 81 percent of consumers say they currently interact with brands on social media, and 43 percent say they’ve done so through watching branded social videos.
  • When asked for their favorite type of branded content on social networks, video was the most popular answer, with 31 percent of respondents listing it as their number one choice.

YouTube is the second most popular social media platform, based on market share. And you’ll find that most YouTubers are die-hard YouTube viewers. They’re constantly watching videos, searching for videos about everything from how to jimmy your locked door to how to create a Facebook ad — and everything in between.

How to optimize for YouTube’s algorithm

YouTube is essentially a search engine for videos. Not surprisingly, it uses a sophisticated ranking algorithm to surface content to viewers.

If you want to gain a following and rank your videos higher in YouTube search, uploading fresh content is extremely important. Users love new videos! And that fresh, newly uploaded content (as well as the latest actions taken by the users) is taken into consideration by YouTube when ranking videos.

Watch time” is a very important ranking factor as well. YouTube wants to surface videos that viewers will find enjoyable, so high user engagement is a great signal for the algorithm in identifying such videos.

In addition to user signals, YouTube also relies on input from the video owner to feed their algorithm. That means YouTube is counting on you to tell it what your video is about.

What you do to optimize your video in the first 48 to 72 hours is critical to the success of your video and how it ranks. If you get it right, your video could shoot to the top when people search for your video topic. Get it wrong, and you’ll sink like a rock.

Metadata is important

According to YouTube, metadata includes information about a video such as the title, description, tags and annotations. Metadata can help your video stand out and get found by the algorithm, so content creators should make an effort to optimize metadata to maximize visibility.

Here are some tips for creating effective metadata that can help your videos get found.

Now, this first tip may sound counterintuitive, but you want to research what types of videos your competitors are doing before you create your video. That’s right — the best time to optimize your video for SEO and get more views is before you even record it.

Once you have a feel for what your competitors are doing — the type of videos they’re producing, how engaging they are, how many views they have, what metadata they’re using and so on — it’ll make it easier for you to create a video that “one-ups” them, both in terms of having better content and being better optimized for YouTube’s algorithm.

After you’ve created your video, it’s time to think about uploading and optimizing. Again, the best time to optimize your metadata is before you upload your video — have your keywords, tags, title, description and custom thumbnail ready to go before you press the upload button.

YouTube tags: Doing the keyword research

When doing keyword research on YouTube, you want to try to find keywords that will drive traffic to your video. The best place to look for keywords is on YouTube, but you should also use more traditional keyword research tools (like Google Search Console, SEMrush, SEOProfiler, Moz or others.)

YouTube allows you to include “tags” to help categorize your video by keyword, but it limits the number of tags you can include. You’ll want to look for multiword tags (i.e., long-tail keywords) that specifically relate to your video’s topic. You should also use single-word tags and broad-term tags that relate to your video’s broader topic. (Note: Do not use trademarks or copyrighted material in your metadata unless you have explicit permission from the owner to use it.)

YouTube is effective at semantically understanding your tags. So here’s an example of some tags for a video about “how to ask a boy out on a date”:

Multiple-word tags

  • How to ask a boy out on a date
  • What to say when you ask a boy out on a date
  • How to ask a boy you like out on a date
  • Asking out a boy you like

Single-word tags:

  • How
  • What
  • Ask
  • Boy
  • You
  • Like
  • Date

Broad-term tags:

  • Dating
  • Dates
  • Flirting
  • Meet boys
  • Meeting boys
  • Talk to boys

One great way to get tag ideas is to look at the top-ranking YouTube videos that directly compete with your video. However, YouTube hides the video tags, which makes it more difficult to “spy” on your competitors and see their keyword/tag secret sauce.

Luckily, there are tools that allow you to get lots of insights into what your competitors are doing — including letting you see the tags competitors are using to get their videos to rank high.

Two of these video software tools are vidIQ and TubeBuddy. Both programs have a free version and several paid versions, depending on your company’s needs. There are pros and cons to each — so if you can afford it, I’d recommend you use them both.

How YouTube tools like vidIQ and TubeBuddy can help you get more eyeballs

Both vidIQ and TubeBuddy give you information on competitors’ YouTube videos. One of the cool things they show is the tags. So in our “how to ask a boy out” example, you can see the tags being used by the highest-ranking videos for your chosen search terms.

vidIQ results

 


 

With TubeBuddy, you can even zero in on the most used tags the channel used when setting up the SEO for their YouTube channel:

TubeBuddy Channel Tags

 


 

You can also find out a whole lot of other valuable information from these tools: the number of Facebook likes, their SEO score, how many words are in the description, average view time duration, number of views and so much more. You can consider these two handy tools to be your YouTube competitor spies!

spy-on-youtube-competitors

TubeBuddy also has a Tag Explorer feature, which is almost like a traditional SEO keyword finder. Enter the keyword that you’d like to rank your video for, and you’ll get some suggested keywords.

tubebuddy-tag-explorer

 


 

As part of the Tag Explorer, TubeBuddy includes a “Summary” section that shows the search volume, competition and the overall competitiveness of a keyword on a scale from 0 to 100 (where 100 is the easiest to rank for).

tubebuddy

 


 

If you have a newer YouTube channel, you’ll want to look for keywords that are easier to rank for. Already have a YouTube channel that’s rockin’ it? You can afford to try to get your video ranked for the more competitive keywords.

When planning your YouTube keywords strategy, you want to come up with 10 to 20 single keyword tags that you want to try to rank for. Remember, since YouTube limits the number of tags you can include, add your most important keyword phrases first and then use specific multi-word tags that are easier to rank for. If you have room, also include the single-word tags and broader-term tags.

You want to try to get as many views from as many different (relevant) search results as possible — which is an easier strategy than trying to rank #1 for a single keyword phrase.

By having a metadata strategy in place, you can increase the chances of your videos showing up in YouTube’s search results. And since video marketing will continue to grow and grow, mastering YouTube’s ranking algorithm starting today is a great way to kick your video marketing efforts into high gear.

Source: This article was published on searchengineland.com by Sherry Bonelli

Body language is extremely important when it comes to making good first impressions. It's always helpful to know what body cues show you in a positive light, especially during interviews or networking when you're meeting someone for the first time. It can make a difference and even make you more likeable. Keep these tips in mind when you're interacting with another person:

NASA discovers humans have created an artifical barrier around Earth, and it could protect us from space weather

NASA space probes have discovered an artificial barrier around Earth created through human activity—showing we are not only responsible for shaping the environment on land, but that we are now having an impact on space too.

The barrier, which comes and goes, is the result of very low frequency radio communications interacting with particles in space, which results in a sort of shield protecting Earth from high energy radiation in space.

This, scientists say, is potentially very good news, as we could use the barrier to protect Earth from extreme space weather resulting from events like coronal mass ejections—huge explosions on the sun, where plasmas and magnetic field are ejected from its corona, the outermost part of its atmosphere. These ejections can result in geomagnetic storms, which have the potential to knock out communication satellites and power grids.

NASA scientists detected the barrier with the Van Allen Probes, which are designed to study electrons and ions in our new-space environment. Normally, very low frequency (VLF) signals from radio telescopes are transmitted from the ground and are used to communicate with submarines, deep below the surface of the ocean. However, they also end up going into the atmosphere.

The result is a massive “VFL bubble” enshrouding Earth, NASA said. The bubble can be seen high above Earth’s surface in the space environment surrounding it.

Further analysis showed the bubble extends almost exactly to the inner edge of Van Allen radiation belts. These three belts are zones of energetic charged particles that come from solar wind—the particles are then captured and held by Earth’s magnetic field. When the VFL bubble interacts with the radiation belts, it creates the barrier observed.

“A number of experiments and observations have figured out that, under the right conditions, radio communications signals in the VLF frequency range can in fact affect the properties of the high-energy radiation environment around the Earth,” Phil Erickson, one of the scientists involved, said in a statement.

Researchers say that if there were no VLF bubble, the radiation belt boundary would be far closer to Earth than it is. Data from the 1960s indicates the inner limit of the Van Allen radiation belt used to be far closer to Earth, when the use of VLF was more limited.

As the VLF barrier appears to protect Earth, scientists say it could be used to remove excess radiation from the space surrounding Earth and NASA is now planning to carry out tests to see if this could work.

Source: This article was published on newsweek.com BY 

Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want you to get the most out of yours. From dating apps to QR scanners, your phone is capable of nearly anything these days, and some apps just rise above the rest. We’ve recently cut our list of the best iPhone apps in half, bringing you the true cream of the crop: 100 apps, sorted by category, that will make your life simpler, easier, and more enjoyable.

iOS essentials, messaging, and dating

Google

google-app

Want to find nearby restaurants or track a package using your voice? Well, the official Google app allows users to have full-fledged conversations with their phone. It’s just like Siri, except it connects with your Google accounts.

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Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is an upgrade from the default browser, Safari. The app can sync your history and bookmarks across devices and includes features like search bar autocomplete and unlimited tab functionality.

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Facebook

Facebook

Facebook is the social network. If you want to make your phone Facebook official, you should download this app. A must-have for nearly anyone, as many other social apps, connect through Facebook to acquire vital information.

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YouTube

YouTube
 

YouTube used to come with your phone, but with iOS 6, Apple removed it. Luckily, Google brought it back. If you need to know what YouTube is, please meet us back in 2005. Now featuring Youtube Red, a monthly subscription service that allows downloaded playlists to be used offline and playback with no ads.

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Wikipedia Mobile

Wikipedia

Wikipedia finally made a revised version of its iOS app, which aims to give you better recommendations for content that you’re interested in and match you with articles that pertain to your interests. The app now offers users an “Explore” feed with a number of the most popular articles, as well as a featured article and picture of the day.

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Instagram

Instagram

It may be owned by Facebook, but Instagram is still the best social network for sharing pictures and ruining them with silly filters. We say ruining, but we put X Pro II on just about everything.

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Communication and messaging

Signal

signal-iphone2


Signal, from Open Whisper Systems, is one of the most highly recommended apps when it comes to chat encryption and security. This app has military grade encryption for all your messaging and voice calls. It supports sending texts, voice calls, group messages, and sending media attachments. Edward Snowden famously recommended this app, which makes it a top pick for people who are looking for security, first and foremost.

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Messenger

FB Messenger

Facebook now offers its messenger service as a standalone app, enabling you to chat with your Facebook friends and anyone in your contacts with the app installed, without having to be signed into Facebook. We recommend this app for the sheer volume of messaging that happens via Facebook, though it’s a little frustrating that the Facebook app itself no longer includes messaging functionality.

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Skype

Skype

The de facto VOIP service that is owned by Microsoft, Skype is used by more than 250 million users worldwide. Offering free international voice and video calls is a tough deal to pass up.

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Hangouts

Hangouts

It’s also a standard texting and messaging app, but Hangouts was merged with Google Voice. It now gives you the ability to make video and voice calls, giving you a nifty all-in-one solution.

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WhatsApp

WhatsApp

WhatsApp is a great choice for anyone that doesn’t have unlimited texting and spends a lot of time connected to Wi-Fi, letting you send and receive messages, pictures, audio notes, and video messages.

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Slack

Slack

Slack is the premier messaging app for teams and companies, allowing for clear communication throughout every level of your organization. Slack instantly syncs across all devices and is compatible with dozens of other apps and services (like Dropbox) to make your job simpler and easier.

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Dating

Tinder

Tinder

Tinder is a terrible app if you want to date. It only shows you someone’s picture and age. But it’s super fun to swipe people away as Hot or Not. If someone thinks you’re hot, you can chat.

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Bumble

Bumble

Bumble flips the web dating paradigm on its head by forcing women to make the first move. Match with someone (the app functions pretty much exactly like Tinder) and the woman has 24 hours to send a message or the match expires.

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Hinge

Hinge

If you would prefer to do your dating with people your friends can vouch for, check out Hinge. It hooks you up with the best matches in your extended network, connecting you with friends of friends for more familiar dates.

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OKCupid

OKCupid

OKCupid gets the job done. It’s not great, but it’s free. It will give you matches based on how you answer questions. You can browse profiles and chat with those you’re interested in dating.

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eHarmony

eHarmony

If you’re serious about finding a relationship, we recommend eHarmony. The subscription service can be pricey for some, but it has the most robust feature set. There’s a separate app for LGBT called Compatible Partners.

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Food, gaming, and going out

Big Oven

Big Oven

This has 250,000+ recipes and will give you grocery lists based on them, let you add your own, or import recipes from your friends. If you like (or want to like) to cook, start with Big Oven.

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Food Network In the Kitchen

Food Network

Food Network’s official app combines the recipe-browsing functionality of BigOven with the shows and chefs you love, allowing users to search by chef or ingredient to fit your favorite tastes.

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GrubHub

GrubHub

If you’re like us (read: lazy), GrubHub will get used far more than any app that requires you to cook for yourself. It works almost anywhere and lets you order delivery or pickup from most restaurants.

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Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker

Calorie Counter

For those looking to make some changes to their physique, MyFitnessPal’s Calorie Counter app is perfect. The app allows users to take pictures of barcodes to sync nutrition facts for any food product, and you can create goals to reach your desired weight.

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Gaming

Xbox

Xbox SmartGlass

Microsoft’s mobile companion app for the Xbox One allows the user to navigate the Xbox menus using their smartphone. The Xbox app offers compatibility with otherwise tedious Xbox apps like messaging and achievements.

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The PlayStation app

PlayStation app

The PlayStation app offers the same basic functionality as SmartGlass, except for your PlayStation 4. View trophies, compose messages and browse the PlayStation store with this app. Some games also include second-screen functionality for a deeper play experience.

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Steam Mobile

Steam app

The Steam app’s standout feature is the ability to purchase and download games to your PC remotely, directly from your smartphone. Steam Mobile also offers much of the same functionality as the Xbox and PlayStation apps, such as messaging and news browsing.

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Twitch

Twitch

Twitch’s mobile app brings the wide world of game streaming to your fingertips. Chat with other Twitch users, view your favorite streamers’ channels, or watch recorded video of top gamers and events. The Twitch app is AirPlay and Chromecast compatible.

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Instant eSports

Instant eSports

For fans of League of Legends, Instant eSports has you covered with live scores, breaking news, and match recaps for even the most MOBA-crazy consumer. The app also features the ability to follow teams or players to keep up with statistics, and the ability to chat with other fans.

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Going out

Yelp

Yelp

Yelp is good for looking up almost any location, be it a restaurant or hardware store. Yelpers write in-depth reviews and you can read all their nasty and nice comments. It has a helpful map view, too.

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AroundMe

AroundMe

AroundMe identifies your location and provides you with a list of businesses and services nearby. Whether you’re looking for a gas station or a five-star restaurant, AroundMe can find what you’re looking for.

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Fandango

Fandango

If you want to browse showtimes and/or buy movie tickets in advance, Fandango is the best. The iPhone app works well and can mean the difference between making a sold-out show or going home broken-hearted.

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StubHub

StubHub

Want to buy or sell tickets for the next game, concert, or any other event? This app is perfect for you. While it won’t wow you with its looks, the interactive maps and the huge marketplace will.

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Open Table

Open Table is great for planning dinner on the fly. The free app allows you to search for new restaurants, explore menus, and even reserve a table.

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Health, fitness, and music

Zombies, Run!

zombies-run

Turn your grueling workout into an exhilarating fight for survival with an app designed to simulate a zombie attack. Build your base by collecting supplies and avoiding the deadly horde — all by running around town!

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FitNet

fitnet

FitNet features a huge catalog of quick workouts that are perfect for busy individuals that don’t have time to drive to the gym and back. If you throw down some extra dough, you’ll also get hooked up with a personal trainer via text and video coaching.

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Full Fitness: Exercise Workout Trainer

full-fitness-app

The Full Fitness app has it all. There’s a plethora of different workouts and exercises, targeted at specific body parts and goals. You can also use it to easily track all your workout statistics and notes, essentially allowing you to create a full-on workout plan.

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Nike+ Training Club

nike-app-screenshot

Nike’s free workout app is, unsurprisingly, full of familiar faces. Celebrities and world-class athletes — such as Ellie Goulding and Ashton Eatonare — use the app to present their favorite workouts. The app also allows you to track your exercise habits and sync them with various social media sites.

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Yonder — Outdoor Adventures

Yonder Outdoor Adventures

Yonder is a free app that features more than 20,000 different outdoor destinations and 25 activity types. You can check out posts by hikers and kayakers from around the world, or craft your own weekend adventure with Yonder’s help.

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Daily Yoga

daily-yoga

Daily Yoga features several different ways to get in touch with your inner yogi. Short courses with accompanying music are free, but more advanced users can shell out some cash to get more poses, routines, and ‘tunes.

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Music

Spotify

Spotify

Spotify is changing the game for the entire music industry. It’s free on PCs and tablets, but $10/mo if you want to fully use it on iPhone. It’s worth it. You can listen to full albums, and create playlists.

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Pandora

Pandora


If you haven’t used Pandora by now, go turn your AM radio back on. Pandora uses music science to create stations out of a song or artist. You tell it what you like and what you hate. It learns.

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Soundcloud

soundcloud

SoundCloud is the audio player that has become a favorite of musicians and talk shows and podcasts alike. The iOS app gives access to favorites, playlists, trending audio, and lets you follow and listen with friends.

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Tidal

Tidal

Tidal, the subscription-based music service backed by Jay-Z, offers high fidelity sound quality and high definition music videos along with access to exclusive tracks and albums. Subscribing to Tidal also nets you free music downloads across all devices.

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Amazon Music

Amazon Music iOS app

Amazon Prime members have access to more than just free, two-day shipping. With Amazon Music, you can stream popular songs or download your favorite albums for offline playback.

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Tabs & Chords by Ultimate Guitar

Tabs & Chords

Aspiring guitarists will have their hands full with this app. With Tabs & Chords, you can quickly find sheet music for almost any song you can think of. Users can even upload their own versions of songs, which are then available for download with ratings and reviews.

iTunes

News, money, and photography

NYTimes

New York Times app

The biggest newspaper in the world comes to the small screen, offering breaking news alerts, morning briefings compiled by Times journalists, and the ability to save articles for offline access.

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AlJazeera English

Al Jazeera

For those looking to get fair, unbiased news on a global scale, Al Jazeera English brings a curated collection of top news stories and video from across the world, and 24-hour access to live video and background audio streaming.

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BBC News

BBC News

The BBC News App offers an alternative for those not looking to spend money to access all the features available through the New York Times. Pin top story threads for quick updates, or download stories to read offline later.

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Reddit: The Official App

Reddit app

Categorizing the Reddit app under ‘news’ may undersell it a bit. Reddit, with over 36 million subscribers, is one of the largest Internet communities out there. There are ‘subreddits’ for nearly every subject you can imagine, and many of them are dedicated to news.

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NPR News

Use the NPR News app to stay up to date on both local and world events. The app provides written articles, NPR’s famous radio programs, and podcasts. Morning EditionAll Things Considered, and Fresh Air are just a few of the choice offerings on the NPR News app.

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Payment and money management

PayPal

PayPal

Use PayPal to check up on the transactions in your account, send or request money, and photograph checks or credit cards to add them to your account without messing with the details.

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Venmo

Venmo

Venmo is the payment app for the people. Connecting directly with your debit card, Venmo offers free person-to-person money transfers. Credit transfers charge a percentage fee. Compatible with many shopping apps for easy checkout.

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Mint

Mint

It takes some time to set up, but once Mint can track all of your spending and create a sensible budget for you. You can monitor all of your credit card purchases and banking through Mint, created by Intuit (of TurboTax fame).

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Spendbook (iOS exclusive)

Spendbook

Spendbook combines a simple, intuitive interface with a diverse suite of features to create one of the best budgeting apps on the market. Spendbook tracks your income and expenses and provides you with vibrant charts to explain exactly where all your money keeps going.

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Splitwise

Splitwise

Designed with college students in mind, Splitwise helps you keep track of debts owed between friends and connects seamlessly with Paypal and Venmo so you can settle up at any time.

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Photography

Camera+ (iOS exclusive)

Camera+

Even with the robust iOS 9 update, Apple hasn’t done a whole lot with its default camera app. This is the full-featured photo taking app that you’ve always needed and wanted on your iPhone.

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Snapseed

top 100 apps ios


Snapseed is a must-have if you have an iPhone. This app has more advanced features than the standard Photos app on your iPhone. It lets you enhance your photos with a vast amount of filters and tools that are very intuitive to use. Select the tool or filter you want and simply drag your finger left and right to make the changes. You can even choose to take a picture in RAW with a more advanced camera app and open the RAW files with Snapseed to make all your edits. It’s almost like having Lightroom made simple for a small touch screen device.

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VSCO

VSCO

VSCO is like a super-professional version of Instagram, allowing users to shoot high-quality stills with advanced camera controls and post them to their VSCO profile. The community features original content from VSCO as well as a curated collection of user work.

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Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe brings the most popular image editing software to the mobile platform, with all the tools you need to create award-worthy compositions on their iPhone. Auto-fix, crop, and blemish removal are just some of the features available.

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Facetune

FaceTune

Unhappy with your selfies? Don’t blame the camera — blame the face! With Facetune, you can whiten teeth, erase blemishes, and anything else you might want to do to fix the subtle imperfections that drive you crazy.

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Reading, shopping, and social media

iBooks

iBooks

Though it hasn’t been updated since 2013, we had to include Apple’s native ebook reading app. The app connects with social media platforms like Facebook so you can share your thoughts on your favorite novel.

iTunes

Kindle

Kindle

Amazon rules the e-book reader world, but you can also get its Kindle app just about everywhere else, including iPhone. Kindle features one of the largest literary selections in the world, and you can even subscribe to Kindle Unlimited to read as many as you want for $10 a month.

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Nook

Nook

What’s the difference between Amazon’s Kindle app and Barnes & Noble’s Nook app, you might ask? Well, there isn’t much of one. Nook, though, does offer over 1 million free titles. So there’s that.

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Goodreads

Goodreads

Goodreads is similar to Yummly, but for books, providing recommendations based on books you like and books your friends like. The app lets you connect to book clubs and discussions with readers across the globe.

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Audible

Audible

Prefer listening to books over reading them? Audible has you covered with more than 180,000 titles that you can download for offline play. Speed up or slow down narration speed to fit your preferred listening experience.

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Shopping

Amazon

Amazon app

Amazon is the number one online retailer for a reason. Browse Amazon’s vast collection of products quickly and easily. Plus, you can enable notifications for daily Amazon Gold Box deals so you never miss out on a discount.

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eBay

eBay

There’s very little that you can’t buy or sell on eBay. The app is full-featured and much easier to use than the website. Bid on items, track your orders and sell all of your unwanted stuff right here.

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Etsy

Etsy

Feeling arts-and-craftsy? Etsy has you covered with their diverse marketplace featuring homemade and vintage goods from millions of creative people. The app works with Apple Pay or PayPal to ensure safe transactions.

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Groupon

Groupon

The free Groupon app is perfect for all the coupon clippers out there. Save money and paper in one fell swoop, as Groupon presents you with incredible deals that often total up to 70 percent off a meal or outing.

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ScanLife

ScanLife

ScanLife offers you a wealth of information about nearly any product, using your iPhone camera to scan the barcode or QR code. The app links you to product reviews, price comparisons and even nutritional facts for food products.

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Social media

Twitter

Twitter

Twitter helps you keep your finger on the pulse of the world — and find out who’s worth listening to. Follow friends, celebrities or companies’ official feeds to get instantly notified when something big goes down.

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Pinterest

Pinterest

Pinterest is the ultimate repository for creative concepts and photographs of food. Users can ‘pin’ stuff they find on the web, searching using tags to find what they’re looking for, from recipes to fashion ideas.

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Periscope

Periscope

Twitter’s answer to Meerkat, Periscope lets users live stream on Twitter. Your followers can interact by commenting on the view. Finally, a way for your friends to respond to your live stream of the bus ride home.

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Snapchat

Snapchat

Hands down, Snapchat is the best app to use if you want to send naughty pictures to someone. Every picture or short video you send deletes itself forever after about 10 seconds. Watch out for screenshooters!

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Vine

Vine

Looking to get famous quickly? The Vine app allows users to film and edit quick, snappy videos that can be uploaded and shared directly, and the most popular users have millions of followers — and views. Like Twitter, but with fewer words.

iTunes

Apple Clips

top 100 apps ios


Apple has developed a brand new way to share videos on your social media feeds with Clips. Clips is a very simple app that functions like Your Story on Facebook or Instagram, but as a standalone app it is much more powerful. You can record a video or use pictures and videos from your library to make a fun video to share with family and friends. It also includes many filters and other tools that function almost like iMovie. It is the most feature rich app to make short videos and share on your feeds.

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Sports, streaming video, and travel

ESPN

ESPN

ESPN has a monopoly on this sports stuff. It’s official app is the best place to keep up to date with sports scores from all your favorite professional or college teams on the go. The ESPN app also now allows mobile streaming of WatchESPN and ESPN3.

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Team Stream

TeamStream

Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app features a highly customizable feed that provides you with up-to-date scores and stats as well as more traditional long-form sportswriting. More written work than ESPN, but no streaming capability.

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Yahoo Fantasy Sports

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

For those who can’t get enough of fantasy sports, Yahoo’s app is the best in the business. Track stats for baseball, football, hockey, and basketball here, as well as participating in mock drafts and reading expert opinions.

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Coach’s Eye

Coach's Eye

More athlete than a fan? This app lets you record your golf swing, tennis serve, or anything else you would want to analyze in slow motion. You can provide commentary, make annotations, and compare two videos.

iTunes

Twenty Four

Twenty Four is the sports app for the metrics-obsessed basketball fanatic. Twenty Four provides daily and weekly stats to help individuals more aptly predict both player and team performance going into a game or series. Twenty Four also offers the latest and dankest NBA memes for individuals so inclined.

iTunes

Streaming video

Netflix

Netflix

The ubiquitous, super-popular Netflix app nearly made our list of essentials. If you don’t know what Netflix is, we’re surprised you found our website. Stream movies and television shows for a monthly fee.

iTunes

Hulu

Hulu

If you want to keep up with TV shows, but can’t stand cable, Hulu is the best place to go. It has most of the major network and cable channel shows. A Hulu Plus subscription costs $8 per month.

iTunes

HBO Go

hbo-go

Need your Game of Thrones fix? HBO finally caved and created a subscription-based streaming app, no cable subscription required. It now works with Chromecast, too, so you can stream it on the big screen. Be prepared to spend $15 a month for it, though.

iTunes

CrunchyRoll

CrunchyRoll

For $7/month, CrunchyRoll is like the holy grail of streaming for anime fans. Featuring over 25,000 episodes in its database, the app adds new episodes just one hour after their live premiere in Japan.

iTunes

Travel and transportation

Uber

Uber

If you need to get somewhere and don’t have wheels of your own, hop on someone else’s ride. Uber’s ‘private taxi’ service offers the privacy and safety of a stranger’s car as an alternative to public transportation.

iTunes

Lyft

Lyft

Lyft offers a slightly less expensive, slightly less professional version of Uber’s private cab service, allowing you to get from Point A to Point B — even if you’re not in a state to drive (or walk). Lyft offers ride discount credits upon registration.

iTunes

Ride Fair

top 100 apps ios


Ride Fair will take the guesswork out of trying to figure out the rates from Uber and Lyft. The app will show you the wait times as well as surge prices for any nearby Uber or Lyft rides. Once you make your choice, the app will take you directly to the Uber or Lyft app so you can confirm. As long as the app is open, it will continuously update the location and the surge rates. This app is completely free, and it has no ads.

iTunes

Viator Tours

Viator Tours

Looking to explore a new city or country? Viator Tours’ mobile app includes over 20,000 selectable activities in over 1,500 locations worldwide and features stuff like ‘skip-the-line’ passes and coupons for popular tours.

iTunes

Waze

Waze

Why waste time in traffic or pay more than you have to for gas? Waze solves both of these problems by supplying you with access to community-generated real-time traffic info and gas prices.

iTunes

CityMaps2Go

Being lost in a new city is one of the worst parts of traveling. Thankfully, CityMaps2Go allows you to navigate thousands of cities without looking like a tourist. If you’re traveling to a part of the world with spotty service or limited internet access, you can download maps and guides from the app beforehand. This handy feature keeps you from unnecessarily burning through data.

iTunes

Expedia

The Expedia app is another solid travel companion. The app allows you to book flights, rooms, activities, and cars from your phone. You’re even rewarded with discounts when you bundle purchases from the app.

iTunes

Miscellaneous utilities, blogging, and word processing

Dropbox

Dropbox

One of the first big cloud services on the scene, Dropbox is still a good way to share files across devices and back them up in the cloud. DropBox Pro subscribers receive up to 1TB of web storage.

iTunes

WolframAlpha

wolframalpha

Now, if Siri only were a genius. WolframAlpha, a knowledge engine that disingenuous college students often use to cheat on homework, provides an answer for nearly any scientific, mathematic, or fact-based query you can come up with. Just type in your question and start learning.

iTunes

Google Drive

Google Drive

Google Drive is the natural choice for anyone invested in Google’s apps and services. The streamlined app lets you store up to 15GB of files, which you can access from wherever you choose to. Google Docs and Google Photos are also worthwhile additions to your Google suite and combined with Drive, they represent Google’s answer to Dropbox.

iTunes

AdBlock

adblock

The AdBlock app comes with a lot of customization options — you can set your own list of blocked domains, for instance, and filter it through any device that uses iCloud. Its key feature, however, is its ability to completely rid your screen of unwanted advertisements. Regardless if they’re in an app or your mobile browser, AdBlock will take care of them.

iTunes

Microsoft Translator

top 100 apps ios


Microsoft Translator is one of the very best foreign language translator apps that you can find. It has the typical text translation, but to that, it adds voice translation, picture translations, and you can even chat with someone who doesn’t speak your language if they install the app on their device. Microsoft Translator allows you to download a language so that you can translate something while you’re offline. With support for over 60 languages, support for the Apple Watch, and the ability to type or speak to translate this app is a great addition to your iPhone’s arsenal.

iTunes

Blogging and word processing

Tumblr

Tumblr

The app version of Tumblr is just as easy to use as its web-based counterpart. You can post content to multiple blogs, save drafts for later, and schedule posts, all of which can be done offline.

iTunes

WordPress

Wordpress

While not an exact mirror of its web-based version, this app instead chooses to focus on quickness. It lets you quickly publish posts while also giving you the ability to moderate comments, view stats, and upload media on the go.

iTunes

Squarespace

Squarespace

Beauty might be in the eye of the beholder, but Squarespace’s gorgeous mobile app makes sure everyone is a beholder. It’s convenient, modular design is only matched by its powerful, intuitive toolset.

iTunes

Pages

Pages

New iPhone owners can download it for free, but even at $10, Apple’s flagship word processor is tough to beat. Packed with templates, editing tools, and change tracking, there isn’t much it can’t do.

iTunes

Documents To Go

Docs To Go

Create, edit, and view your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations with this handy office suite with cloud sync support. (Supports PDFs as well as files for Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint).

Source: This article was published on digitaltrends.com by Digital Trends Staff

Such events can be hazardous to the economy and national security

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

Preparing the Nation for Intense Space Weather

The entire Canadian province of Québec, which covers twice as much area as the State of Texas, was plunged into darkness on the morning of March 13, 1989. An intense geomagnetic storm seized Québec’s power-grid system, tripping relays, damaging high-voltage transformers, and causing a blackout. 

This geomagnetic storm’s impact on Québec pales in comparison to what could happen in the future. A report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a rare but powerful magnetic superstorm could cause continent-wide loss of electricity and substantial damage to power-grid infrastructure that could persist for months and cost the Nation in excess of $1 trillion.

“Utility groups rely on historical data collected by long-running USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] magnetic observatories to see what a worst-case scenario could look like,” said Mark Olson, a standards developer with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). “These data help NERC draft standards aimed at maintaining reliable operations of the North American power grid.”

A rare but powerful magnetic superstorm
Aurora
NASA's VISIONS sounding rocket mission is studying what makes aurora and how it affects Earth’s atmosphere. It launched from Poker Flats, Alaska, on a night in February 2013. Credit: Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force
When the Sun Meets the Earth

When a large sunspot emerges, the likelihood of an abrupt emission of radiation and an intense solar wind becomes greater. When these winds reach the Earth, electrically charged particles enter the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and interior, inducing a geomagnetic storm. The storm can interfere with utilities, infrastructure, and technologies essential to modern society, disrupting daily life, the economy, and national security.

Informing Utility Companies

The USGS monitors the Earth’s magnetic field at 14 ground-based observatories positioned across the United States and its territories. Scientists continuously monitor the geomagnetic field throughout the Nation and its territories, providing information on magnetic storm intensity. Some USGS observatories have operated continuously for over 100 years.

“USGS observatories help support infrastructure critical to keeping the electric grid running smoothly in crises,” Olson said.

Utility companies use recently published geoelectric hazard maps to assess the vulnerability of power-grid systems and mitigate the adverse effects of intense magnetic storms, which, Olson says, “have had a history of shutting down the electric grid.”

NERC recently released two reliability standards for utility companies: One requires North American utility companies to develop operating procedures for weathering potentially serious geomagnetic storms, and the other requires utilities to carefully assess their systems to ensure they are prepared for a magnetic storm.

“These standards are supported by historical, global data and real-time information from the USGS on forthcoming hazards so that electric utilities can be as prepared as possible,” Olson said.

Geomagnetic Observatories
Geomagnetic observatories in Fredericksburg, VA. This site is one of the world’s most important observatories because it has produced high-quality data for years. Credit: USGS
The Next Big Storm

People often ask, as with earthquakes, about the next major geomagnetic storm and what is being done to prepare for the storm.

The unique role of the USGS includes monitoring space weather on the ground, to include researching the physical causes and effects of magnetic storms. Scientists develop products useful for real-time situational awareness and assessing the hazardous effects of magnetic storms. The USGS also authors maps of magnetic activity, which are derived from data collected by ground-based observatories. At present, USGS scientists are mapping the nature of the Earth’s lithosphere to construct maps of geomagnetic hazards.

In October 2015, the White House’s National Science and Technology Council released strategic and action plans for coordinating Space Weather Operations, Response, and Mitigation across Federal agencies. These important documents were a multi-agency effort, relying on collaboration between many Federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from the Department of Commerce; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Science Foundation; the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security; and the USGS from the Department of the Interior.

Impacts to Many Facets of Society

In addition to electric-power grids, space weather can interfere with radio communications, military and civilian navigational systems, satellites, airline activity, and directional oil and gas drilling.

“With the support of the USGS Geomagnetism team, we can accurately drill and position wellbores in Alaska,” said Benny Poedjono, an advisor from Schlumberger Technology Corporation. “This support has reduced the likelihood of safety and environmental incidents through accurate wellbore placement, something that was previously not possible.”

Giant Sunspot Erupts on October 24, 2014
Active Region 12192 on the sun erupted with a strong flare on October 24, 2014, prominent in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA
 
 
This article was published on usgs.gov

Such events can be hazardous to the economy and national security

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

Preparing the Nation for Intense Space Weather

The entire Canadian province of Québec, which covers twice as much area as the State of Texas, was plunged into darkness on the morning of March 13, 1989. An intense geomagnetic storm seized Québec’s power-grid system, tripping relays, damaging high-voltage transformers, and causing a blackout. 

This geomagnetic storm’s impact on Québec pales in comparison to what could happen in the future. A report by the National Academy of Sciences suggests that a rare but powerful magnetic superstorm could cause continent-wide loss of electricity and substantial damage to power-grid infrastructure that could persist for months and cost the Nation in excess of $1 trillion.

“Utility groups rely on historical data collected by long-running USGS [U.S. Geological Survey] magnetic observatories to see what a worst-case scenario could look like,” said Mark Olson, a standards developer with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). “These data help NERC draft standards aimed at maintaining reliable operations of the North American power grid.”

A rare but powerful magnetic superstorm
Aurora
NASA's VISIONS sounding rocket mission is studying what makes aurora and how it affects Earth’s atmosphere. It launched from Poker Flats, Alaska, on a night in February 2013. Credit: Joshua Strang, U.S. Air Force
When the Sun Meets the Earth

When a large sunspot emerges, the likelihood of an abrupt emission of radiation and an intense solar wind becomes greater. When these winds reach the Earth, electrically charged particles enter the Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere, and interior, inducing a geomagnetic storm. The storm can interfere with utilities, infrastructure, and technologies essential to modern society, disrupting daily life, the economy, and national security.

Informing Utility Companies

The USGS monitors the Earth’s magnetic field at 14 ground-based observatories positioned across the United States and its territories. Scientists continuously monitor the geomagnetic field throughout the Nation and its territories, providing information on magnetic storm intensity. Some USGS observatories have operated continuously for over 100 years.

“USGS observatories help support infrastructure critical to keeping the electric grid running smoothly in crises,” Olson said.

Utility companies use recently published geoelectric hazard maps to assess the vulnerability of power-grid systems and mitigate the adverse effects of intense magnetic storms, which, Olson says, “have had a history of shutting down the electric grid.”

NERC recently released two reliability standards for utility companies: One requires North American utility companies to develop operating procedures for weathering potentially serious geomagnetic storms, and the other requires utilities to carefully assess their systems to ensure they are prepared for a magnetic storm.

“These standards are supported by historical, global data and real-time information from the USGS on forthcoming hazards so that electric utilities can be as prepared as possible,” Olson said.

Geomagnetic Observatories
Geomagnetic observatories in Fredericksburg, VA. This site is one of the world’s most important observatories because it has produced high-quality data for years. Credit: USGS
The Next Big Storm

People often ask, as with earthquakes, about the next major geomagnetic storm and what is being done to prepare for the storm.

The unique role of the USGS includes monitoring space weather on the ground, to include researching the physical causes and effects of magnetic storms. Scientists develop products useful for real-time situational awareness and assessing the hazardous effects of magnetic storms. The USGS also authors maps of magnetic activity, which are derived from data collected by ground-based observatories. At present, USGS scientists are mapping the nature of the Earth’s lithosphere to construct maps of geomagnetic hazards.

In October 2015, the White House’s National Science and Technology Council released strategic and action plans for coordinating Space Weather Operations, Response, and Mitigation across Federal agencies. These important documents were a multi-agency effort, relying on collaboration between many Federal agencies, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from the Department of Commerce; the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; the National Science Foundation; the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security; and the USGS from the Department of the Interior.

Impacts to Many Facets of Society

In addition to electric-power grids, space weather can interfere with radio communications, military and civilian navigational systems, satellites, airline activity, and directional oil and gas drilling.

“With the support of the USGS Geomagnetism team, we can accurately drill and position wellbores in Alaska,” said Benny Poedjono, an advisor from Schlumberger Technology Corporation. “This support has reduced the likelihood of safety and environmental incidents through accurate wellbore placement, something that was previously not possible.”

Giant Sunspot Erupts on October 24, 2014
Active Region 12192 on the sun erupted with a strong flare on October 24, 2014, prominent in the bright light of this image captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. This image shows extreme ultraviolet light that highlights the hot solar material in the sun's atmosphere. Credit: NASA
 
 
This article was published on usgs.gov

The Internet, we know all too well, is a cesspool of rumor and chicanery.

But in a research paper published by Google in February — and reported over the weekend by New Scientist — that could, at least hypothetically, change. A team of computer scientists at Google has proposed a way to rank search results not by how popular Web pages are, but by their factual accuracy.

To be really clear, this is 100 percent theoretical: It’s a research paper, not a product announcement or anything equally exciting. (Google publishes hundreds of research papers a year.) Still, the fact that a search engine could effectively evaluate  truth, and that Google is actively contemplating that technology, should boggle the brain. After all, truth is a slippery, malleable thing — and grappling with it has traditionally been an exclusively human domain.

Per this recent paper, however, it’s not too difficult for computers to determine whether a given statement is true or false. Basically, to evaluate a stated fact, you only need two things: the fact and a reference work to compare it to. Google already has the beginnings of that reference work, in the form of its Knowledge Graph — the thing that displays “August 15, 1990” when you search “Jennifer Lawrence birthday,” or “American” when you search “Obama nationality.”


Answers from the Google Knowledge Graph, which pop up when you search “flu,” “Obama nationality” and “Jennifer Lawrence birthday,” respectively. (Google)

Google culls those details largely from services like Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook; a separate, internal research database, called Knowledge Vault, can also automatically extract facts from the text on Web pages. Whichever database we’re talking about, Google structures these ‘lil factoids as things called “knowledge triples”: subject, relationship, attribute. Like so:

(Jennifer Lawrence, birthday, August 15 1990)
(Barack Obama, nationality, American)
(Somalia, capital, Mogadishu)

… so to check if a fact found in the wild is accurate, all Google has to do is reference it against the knowledge triples in its giant internal database. And to check whether a Web page or a Web site is accurate, Google would just look at all the site’s knowledge triples and see how many don’t agree with its established body of facts.

The distant suggestion, these researchers write, is that Google’s version of the truth would iterate over time. At some point, perhaps even Google’s hotly debated and much-studied ranking algorithm — the creator and destroyer of a million Web sites! — could begin including accuracy among the factors it uses to choose the search results you see.

This chart basically shows the distribution of accurate and non-accurate websites.
This chart basically shows the distribution of accurate (toward the right) and non-accurate (toward the left) Web sites, for sites where the research team could extract seven or more facts. The good news: There are a lot more accurate sites! (Google)

That could be huge, frankly: In one trial with a random sampling of pages, researchers found that only 20 of 85 factually correct sites were ranked highly under Google’s current scheme. A switch could, theoretically, put better and more reliable information in the path of the millions of people who use Google every day. And in that regard, it could have implications not only for SEO — but for civil society and media literacy.

It’s worth noting, in fact, that the Barack-Obama-nationality example comes straight from the Google report, which would seem to imply that the technology’s creators envision it as a tool against stubborn misconceptions and conspiracy theories.

“How do you correct people’s misconceptions?” Matt Stempeck, the guy behind LazyTruth, asked New Scientist recently. “People get very defensive. [But] if they’re searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state.”

Increasingly, information intermediates like Google have begun to take that suggestion seriously. Just three weeks ago, Google began displaying physician-vetted health information directly in search results, even commissioning diagrams from medical illustrators and consulting with the Mayo Clinic “for accuracy.” Meanwhile, Facebook recently launched a new initiative to append a warning to hoaxes and scams in News Feed, the better to keep them from spreading.

It’s unclear exactly what Google plans to do with this new technology, if anything at all. Still, even the possibility of a search engine that evaluates truth is a pretty incredible breakthrough. And it definitely gives new meaning to the phrase “let me Google that for you.”

Source : washingtonpost.com

Every start-up needs an idea. That’s a given. A few other table stakes for growing your business include drive, commitment, smarts and start-up funds.

At a minimum there are also basic technology needs such as a mobile device, a data plan, broadband Internet connectivity and an online presence of some kind. However, small business growth and success may require a few more technological upgrades.

That’s according to Trey Smith, president and CEO of OneStream Networks, a next-generation telecommunications company and consultancy that specializes in both domestic and international unified communications solutions for the enterprise using a cloud-based environment.

“It’s a great time to launch a business because of the incredible functionality and scale that Internet-based solutions and software provide to cost-conscious entrepreneurs at a fraction of the price from just a few years ago,” said Smith.

1. Laptop-based softphone software.

One option that Smith recommends for small-to-medium sized businesses that have more than one location, is software that’s loaded onto a laptop that works as a traditional phone, which is known as a softphone application.

He says this type of virtual solution replaces pricey, multi-line telephone units while providing the same functionality at low or no cost.

“This is a great way for growing organizations, which are already deploying laptops to employees, to also deploy the softphone application on those computers as well. This allows for fast scaling of the business with an elegant solution that combines both voice and data for employees.”

One popular softphone option is Zopier, which can be downloaded for free.

2. Automated call attendant.

While a mobile device or smart phone is a mandatory tool for success, Smith suggests using an automated call attendant to provide greater customer service if your start-up is growing but understaffed.

“When a mobile device is dialed it’s either answered or the call goes to voicemail. However, a busy business owner or entrepreneur may choose to answer calls with an auto attendant or interactive voice response software that automatically offers a variety of choices to the caller. This cost-effective option provides understaffed start-ups with efficient call flow handling as well as a perception of scale,” said Smith.

3. Toll-free dialing to your mobile phone.

He goes on to suggest that another relatively easy and inexpensive technology to implement is offering customers a toll-free number that connects directly to your mobile phone.

“New business owners rarely consider toll-free numbers that dial directly to their mobile device as an option. However, it’s a great way to create a positive first impression, while offering enhanced value and service to potential customers.”

4. Skype for Business.

For owners who prefer video conferencing, Smith says one of the best low-cost options is Skype for Business. It's basically the familiar Microsoft Skype app on steroids, on your desktop.

“Because Skype is a Microsoft product it's automatically integrated with the MS Office Suite as well as its Outlook email product. So when a meeting is set up via Skype for Business, recipients get a hyperlink that’s fully-enabled for voice, video and desktop sharing. It’s powerful, inexpensive and simple to use.”

Smith’s company works with organizations that range from start-ups to S&P 500 companies, and he acknowledges that while it’s good to know what tech solutions can scale a business it’s more important to know when to scale up.

“There’s no entrepreneurial handbook with a growth timetable. However, we’ve found that a reliable benchmark that suggests it’s time for a small business to think about ramping up its technology platform is if it has a minimum of five employees who have mobile devices, laptops or whom require Internet access. That’s a pretty good rule of thumb.”

Author: TOR CONSTANTINO
Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/254063

Since last week, ransomware attacks on Elasticsearch have quadrupled. Just like the MongoDB ransomware assaults of several weeks ago, Elasticsearch incursions are accelerating at a rapid rate.

The vast majority of vulnerable Elasticsearch servers are open on Amazon Web Services.John Matherly

There are an estimated 35,000 Elasticsearch clusters open to attack. Of these, Niall Merrigan, a solution architect who has been reporting on the attack numbers on Twitter, states that over 4,600 of them have been compromised.

If your Elasticsearch server is hacked, you'll find your data indices gone and replaced with a single index warning. The first example read:

SEND 0.2 BTC TO THIS WALLET: 1DAsGY4Kt1a4LCTPMH5vm5PqX32eZmot4r IF YOU WANT RECOVER YOUR DATABASE! SEND TO THIS EMAIL YOUR SERVER IP AFTER SENDING THE BITCOINS...

In return for the .2 BitCoins (not quite $175), you might get your data back.

Elasticsearch is a popular, open-source distributed RESTful search engine. When used with the Lucene search-engine library, it's used by major websites such as Pandora, SoundCloud, and Wikipedia for search functionality. When used by amateurs without any security skills, it's simple to crack.

These wide-open to attack instances are typically being deployed without much on Amazon Web Services (AWS) clouds. Perhaps the people deploying them are under the illusion that AWS is protecting them. Wrong.

AWS does tell you how to protect your AWS Elasticsearch instances, but you still have to do the work. In short, RTFM.

The worst thing about this? Just like the MongoDB attacks, none of this would have happened if its programmers had protected its instances with basic, well-known security measures.

For starters, as Elasticsearch consultant Itamar Syn-Hershko explained in a blog on how to protect yourself against Elasticsearch attacks: "Whatever you do, never expose your cluster nodes to the web. This sounds obvious, but evidently this isn't done by all. Your cluster should never-ever be exposed to the public web."

In a word, "duh!"

Elasticsearch was never meant to be wide-open to internet users. Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, explained all this in 2013. This post is filled with such red-letter warnings as "Elasticsearch has no concept of a user." Essentially, anyone that can send arbitrary requests to your cluster is a "super user."

Does this sound like a system you should leave wide-open on the internet for any Tom, Dick, or Harry to play with? I don't think so!

So, what can you do? First, if you're using Elasticsearch for business, bite the bullet and get the commerical version of Elasticsearch. Then, add X-Pack Security to your setup and implement its security features.

By itself, Elasticsearch has no security. You must add it on.

If you're committed to doing it on your own, practice basic security. At a bare minimum this includes:

  • Don't run on internet-accessible servers.
  • If you make your Elasticsearch cluster internet accessible, restrict access to it via firewall, virtual private network (VPN), or a reverse proxy.
  • Perform backups of your data to a secure location and consider using Curator snapshots

In short, practice security 101, and don't be the fool who lets anyone invade their servers. After all, you could very well end up paying a lot more than just some petty-cash if a truly malicious hacker came by to raid your servers.

Author: Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols
Source: http://www.zdnet.com/article/elasticsearch-ransomware-attacks-now-number-in-the-thousands

Friday, 13 January 2017 01:23

Min Browser Muffles the Web's Noise

Min is a Web browser with a minimal design that provides speedy operation with simple features.

When it comes to software design, "minimal" does not mean low functionality or undeveloped potential. If you like minimal distraction tools for your text editor and note-taking applications, that same comfort appeal is evident in the Min browser.

I mostly use Google Chrome, Chromium and Firefox on my desktops and laptop computers. I am well invested in their add-on functionality, so I can access all the specialty services that get me through my long sessions in researching and working online.

However, I sometimes prefer a fast, uncluttered alternative on-ramp to the Internet. With multiple projects in progress, I can amass a wide collection of open tabs or even separate windows of the powerhouse browsers in no time.

I have tried other browser options with little success. The alternatives usually have their own sets of distracting add-ons and features that tend to pull me into more off-task behavior.

The Min browser does not do that. It is a GitHub-sourced Web browser that is easy to use, and it keeps the typical interruptions from distracting me.

Min browser

The Min browser is minimal-design Web browser that provides speedy operation with simple features. Just don't expect to take its tour any time soon.

What It Does

The Min browser comes in versions for Debian Linux variants, Windows and Mac machines. It can not compete with the functionality available in the mainstream cross-platform Web browsers.

It does not have to compete, though. Its claim to fame very well might be supplementing rather than replacing them.

One big reason for this is its built-in ad blocking capability. Out of the box, the Min browser needs no configuration or hunting for compatible third-party apps to do end-runs around ads.

In Edit/Preferences, you have three options to click/unclick for content blocking. It's easy to modify blocking tactics to suit your preferences. The Block Trackers and Ads option uses EasyList and EasyPrivacy. If nothing else, keep this option checked.

You also can block scripts and block images. Doing both maximizes the website loading speeds and really ramps up your protection against rogue code attacks.

Have Search Your Way

If you spend considerable time doing online research, you will adore the way Min handles searching. It is a top-notch feature.

Search functionality is accessible right in the browser's URL bar. Min utilizes search engine DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia entries. You can enter search queries directly into the Web address field.

This approach saves time since you do not have to go to the search engine window first. A nice bonus is the ability to search your bookmarks.

In the Edit/Preferences menu, choose your choice for default search engine. The list includes DuckDuckGo, Google, Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Wikipedia and Yandex.

Try making DuckDuckGo your default search engine.

Min is built around that option but does not impose it on you.

Min browser search function

Min browser's search functionality is part of the URL bar. Min utilizes search engine DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia entries. You can enter search queries directly into the Web address window.

The search bar displays answers to your questions very rapidly. It uses information from DuckDuckGo including Wikipedia entries, a calculator and more.

It offers quick snippets, answers and Web suggestions. It sort of substitutes for not being in a Google-based environment.

Navigating Aids

Min lets you jump to any site quickly with fuzzy search. It throws suggestions at you almost immediately.

I like the way the tabs open next to the current tab. You do not have to set this preference. It is there by default with no other choice, but it makes sense.

Min browser Tasks

One of Min's really cool operations is the ability to organize tabs into Tasks that you can search anytime. (click image to enlarge)

Tabs you have not clicked on for a while dim. This lets you concentrate on your current task without distractions.

Min does not need an add-on tool to keep numerous tabs under control. The browser displays a list of tags and lets you split them into groups.

Stay Focused

Min has an optional Focus Mode hidden in the View menu. When enabled, it hides all tabs except the one you have opened. You must return to the menu to turn off Focus Mode before you can open new tabs.

The Tasks feature also helps you stay focused. You can create tasks from the File menu or with Control+Shift+N. If you want to open a new tab, you can select that option in the Files menu or use Control+T.

Call the new task whatever fits your style. I like being able to organize and display as a group all the tabs associated with a work project or a specific portion of my research. I can recall the entire list at any time to easily and quickly find where I was in my browsing adventure.

Another neat feature is found under the paragraph alignment icon in the tab area. Click it to enable Reading Mode. This mode saves the article for future reference and strips away everything on the page so you can focus on the task of reading.

Not Perfect

The Min browser is not a perfect alternative to high-powered, feature-bloated alternatives. It does have a few glaring weaknesses that developers have taken too long to rectify.

For instance, It lacks a solid developer website stocked with support forums and detailed user guides. That may be partly due to its home being GitHub rather than an independent developer website. Still, it's a weakness that is glaring to new users.

Without website support, users are forced to struggle with lists of readme files and hard-to-follow directories on GitHub. You can access them from the Min browser Help menu -- but that's not much help.

A case in point is the Welcome to Min splash screen that loads from the menu when you launch the browser. It displays two buttons. One says "Start Browsing." The other says "Take a Tour." Neither one works.

However, you can start browsing by clicking on the menu bar at the top of the Min window. There is no workaround for the missing tour, though.

Bottom Line

Min is not a full-featured Web browser with bells and whistles galore. It is not designed for add-ons and many other features you typically use in well-established Web browsers. However, Min serves an important niche purpose by offering speed and distraction-free browsing.

The more I use the Min browser, the more productive it is for me -- but be wary when you first start to use it.

Min is not complicated or confusing -- it is just quirky. You have to play around with it to discover how it works.

Want to Suggest a Review?

Is there a Linux software application or distro you'd like to suggest for review? Something you love or would like to get to know?

Please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and I'll consider them for a future Linux Picks and Pans column.

And use the Reader Comments feature below to provide your input!

Author: Jack M. Germain
Source: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/84212.html

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