David J. Redcliff

David J. Redcliff

Another day, another hack. At least, that's how it's starting to feel.

People are getting hacked or becoming otherwise compromised in their digital lives at an alarmaing rate, and it seems as though that's not going to slow down any time soon.

Just earlier this month, it was revealed that hackers had gained access to millions of Twitter accounts, and not by hacking into Twitter itself. No, instead they simply gathered passwords from previous hacks and matched them with usernames.

With hackers on the rampage, there are plenty of things to keep in mind - things that will help you protect yourself and your online data, and ensure that you retain full control over your personal information.

How hackers are getting your information

Often when we think of the word "hacking", we imagine pages and pages of code, hours spent cracking away on a computer, and finding a way to get around having to use passwords. In reality, however, hackers can simply write a program that will look through information to find what they need to log in to a user's account. That's without having to spend hours at the computer combing through code.

"Hackers will most often parse existing breach data for emails, usernames, and passwords, and then attempt to reuse those credentials on popular websites," Alexander Heid, Chief Risk Officer at SecurityScorecard, a security monitoring service, tells TechRadar. "To achieve this, hackers will make use of 'checker' scripts. These are scripts which are designed to test batches of username:password combinations on specific websites to identify valid accounts. These scripts exist for every imaginable service, and are constantly updated and circulate within the hacker underground."

So, what does that mean? When you create a new account somewhere, you likely reuse at least some information for its creation. Even if you're not using the same username or password, information like answers to security questions or other details can all help hackers gain access to your account.

Hacker Source Flickr credit -650-80

Of course, some hackers are a little more hands on. That's where malware comes in. Malware is basically a type of software designed specifically to infect your computer, often in an attempt to steal your personal information.

A prominent form of malware is a keylogger, which basically tracks everything you type and then sends that information back to the hacker who wrote the malware code. That makes it way too easy for hackers to gain access to your accounts; all they have to do is wait until you log on to something and they'll be able to do the same.

There's one more method that hackers often use to get username and password information - phishing emails. These are essentially emails designed to look like they're from a company like Apple or Amazon, and trick you into willingly giving over your information.

Often times, there's a link in these emails that will take you to an official-looking website where you're supposed to log in to an account. Only, the website isn't official, it just looks like it is. Log in, and you're basically handing your information over to whoever sent the email.

How can you stay safe?

Now that you know how hackers are acquiring personal information, it's sure to be a little easier to protect yourself. The first thing to talk about is passwords.

Make passwords a priority

As mentioned, hackers are often able to use previous data breaches to find passwords, then find accounts on other sites and use the same username:password combination to get in. That should be far too easy for hackers to get into an account, but, in reality, people continue to use the same password, or the same few passwords, for their entire digital lives.

The solution? Come up with a new password for every account you have. Yes, it's a pain, but the fact is that creating unique and secure passwords for each of your accounts is an important step in remaining secure online. Not only that, but it could help save you time in the long run; if one of your accounts is hacked, having unique passwords prevents you from having to change the password for all of your accounts.

Source: http://www.inc.com/john-boitnott/how-entrepreneurs-can-ride-the-internet-of-things-to-success.html

I will never forget the first time I logged onto the Internet.

I was in 4th grade. My dad sat me down in front of his brand new see-through blue iMac G3 and clicked on a tiny AOL icon. A screen appeared asking for a login and password.

"I made you an e-mail address," he said while my eyes scanned the screen. I had already explored the worlds of Pokémon on my Gameboy and Mortal Kombat on Nintendo64, but this seemed like something so much more.

"What's my e-mail address?" I asked, my hands already reaching for the keyboard.

"This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.," he said. My nickname in hockey was "magnet" because I was incapable of playing my designated role on the ice. I went where the puck went, like a magnet.

From that fateful day onward, I have been a child of the Internet. This is where I was raised.

I laughed hysterically at videos on eBaum's World like "Here Is The Earth." I listened in awe as kids in my 5th grade class proclaimed they had found web sites with topless women. I spent hours reading forums with video game hacks and secret codes. I never once went to the library for a research project, instead always reverting to Google. I would sneak downstairs to the computer in the middle of the night and practically have a heart attack when AOL would start back up, the volume of the computer maxed out, sending a screeching sound all throughout my house as I connected to the Internet.

I learned how to read on the Internet. I learned how to write on the Internet. I learned how to sell things on the Internet. I learned how to forge meaningful relationships (through the World of Warcraft and chat programs like AIM) on the Internet. I watched everyday people rise to fame on the Internet. I was exposed to art I never would have seen, information I never would have learned, stories I never would have heard, people I never would have met, and ways of life I never would have considered--all because of the Internet.

And then I watched advertisements slowly clutter my favorite websites. I watched big brands buy up and take over. I watched the government step in and try to regulate our free world. And most of all, I watched this vast and distant world I considered to be a second reality slowly take over the primary.

I have watched this thing we call "The Internet" infiltrate real life, so much so that we no longer know the difference.

As someone who has, by every definition, truly "grown up on the Internet," I want to remind you of what's real and what's not. When I was 17 years old, I was e-famous through the World of Warcraft. I had more people reading my blog every single day than most professional New York Times columnists. I learned how to build a personal brand before I knew how to properly fill out a college application. And I also learned, at a very young age that on the Internet, perception is reality--and that can be both extremely powerful and extremely dangerous.

This is my open letter to "us Millennials," the demographic that has been labeled everything from lazy and over-privileged, to forward-thinking and naturally creative.

I want us to be aware of just how rare of time period we have been born into. We are the only generation that, quite literally, is the same age as the Internet. When the Internet was an infant, so were we. When the Internet hit adolescence, so did we. When the Internet went off to college, so did we. And when people started taking the Internet seriously, we graduated, stepped out into the real world, and suddenly people started taking us seriously, too.

The generation after us, they don't have this. The first toy their hands ever touched was an iPad. The generation before us didn't have this. To them, the Internet is still primarily a confusing place of which they have very little inherent knowledge. We are the only generation that has experienced life before the Internet ruled everything, but at the same time, can speak the language fluently.

That is a tremendous gift.

But I'll be honest, I think we've forgotten that.

When I log into Instagram, I see wannabe role models that I know personally, who don't have a clue what they want to do with their lives, preaching how to find "that one thing you love most in life." I open up Facebook and see people who are in no way masters of their craft selling courses on that craft. I see ad after ad of a guy standing in front of a Ferrari trying to tell me that a seven figure passive income is easily attainable in just 3 Easy Steps. I open Snapchat and watch gorgeous girls pout at the camera with this untouchable look in their eyes, and then I talk to these same girls in real life and hear them confess how insecure they are. I go to YouTube and watch guys talk about how they are shredded at seven percent body fat and "all natural," and then I go train with them they confess they just say that to market themselves.

All these things are besides the point.

What I want to talk about instead is how this distorted reality makes us feel.

And a lot of us feel like failures.

Twenty-three, 24, 25, 26 years old, a few years out of college, and the overwhelming question is, "Why aren't I a millionaire yet?" We look at what we see on the Internet and wonder why we don't have a camera crew following us around too. We wonder where our gold watches are, where our Ferrari is, when our vacation to Bali will come.

Here's what I want to say:

If you want that to be your reality, you can create it. That's the power of the Internet, and I'll be the first to advocate for that. If you want to be an influencer in your field, go partner up and collaborate with other influencers. If you want to be a thought leader, hang with the thought leaders. If you want to motivate people, go create motivational content. If you want to teach people, go create really cool stuff that teaches people.

But just like our relationship with the Internet, don't forget the life that exists outside the Internet. Don't forget that what you're portraying, you should also be living yourself.

It's our choice. We can either use the Internet and all its tools to actually create things of value, or we can fall into the dangerous trap of trying to create the perception of something that is in no way true. We have been given an invaluable opportunity here as Millennials. We are, like the Internet, old enough to be taken seriously, old enough to start companies and create movements, old enough to create true change.

But also, like the Internet, we are still comparatively young and reckless. We have just stepped out on our own in the world. We know what we know really well, while at the same time, we're not entirely aware yet of what it is we don't know.

This recklessness is what gives us the naive confidence to do great things, like create sustainable foods or find new sources of energy or invent social media platforms that connect people all over the world.

And it is also the very thing that can quickly cause us to spiral out of control.

So, to all my creatives, all my aspiring entrepreneurs, all my peers and those of us with the demographic title of "Millennial": I'd like to remind you that the author of this article, an Inc. columnist, a published writer, an editor-in-chief, is also a 25-year-old boy who just loves to write, and is writing this sitting at a coffee shop wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. The air conditioning is turned on too high. My cup of coffee is empty. The girl next to me keeps coughing and I really hope she doesn't get me sick. The girl opposite me keeps making weird faces at her laptop, which makes me wonder what she's working on. The couple two tables away seem to be on a first date and are doing their best to conceal their nerves. The man who owns the coffee shop is British and listening to him talk to customers is amazing--"Aaaand what'llya be havin'?"

This is our reality.

My description and expression of it is extended into this article, shared on the Internet.

Let's all express ourselves.

But let's also not forget where that expression comes from.

Source:  http://www.inc.com/nicolas-cole/what-my-fellow-millennials-get-wrong-about-the-internet.html

Microsoft has been in the operating system game for decades, but now it's making a move in the web browser wars.

Microsoft Edge, the first new browser interface and engine of this decade, comes with every shipping copy of Windows 10. Microsoft says it has "tens of millions of users," but it's barely a blip on most web browser market share reports.

Even so, Microsoft has used the telemetry provided by those millions of users and an exhaustive battery of tests to prove that Microsoft Edge is actually a more battery-efficient browser than Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

In a pair of blog posts published on Monday, Microsoft engineers outline how the current Edge browser can save up to 53 percent of your battery life on a Windows 10 system, as compared to other web browsers like Chrome and Firefox. The second, more technical post promises that the next Edge browser, which will ship with the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, will be even more energy efficient.

MONTH CHROME INTERNET EXPLORER FIREFOX SAFARI MICROSOFT EDGE OTHER

July, 2015 27.82% 53.13% 12.03% 5.09% 0.14% 1.79%
August, 2015 29.49% 50.15% 11.68% 4.97% 2.03% 1.69%
September, 2015 29.86% 49.19% 11.46% 5.08% 2.41% 2.00%
October, 2015 31.12% 48.20% 11.28% 5.01% 2.67% 1.72%
November, 2015 31.41% 47.21% 12.24% 4.33% 2.90% 1.91%
December, 2015 32.33% 46.32% 12.13% 4.49% 2.79% 1.95%
January, 2016 35.05% 43.82% 11.42% 4.64% 3.07% 2.00%
February, 2016 36.56% 40.85% 11.68% 4.88% 3.94% 2.08%
March, 2016 39.09% 39.10% 10.54% 4.87% 4.32% 2.09%
April, 2016 41.71% 36.61% 10.06% 4.47% 4.73% 2.42%
May, 2016 45.63% 33.71% 8.91% 4.69% 4.99% 2.07%

Jason Weber, Microsoft's director of program management for Microsoft Edge, explained that different web browsers consume energy in very different ways, much like cars don't all consume gas in the same way. Some are more efficient than others. Some run like they're always in the city while others operate in a more efficient highway miles mode.

Weber contends that Chrome is a city driver. "When you’re browsing the web with Chrome, like city miles, it wakes up, sprints to next stop light, stops and then sprints to next stop light. It's one way to get through city, but uses a lot of gas," he said.

According to Weber, Chrome and Firefox are constantly talking to the operating system. He described it as waking up roughly 60 times a second (and sometimes up to 250 times a second).Edge takes advantage of its deeper integration with the operating system to wake less frequently, he claimed.

"Edge never wakes itself up ... We tell the OS that. 'Hey, we have work to do and you [the OS] tell us when it’s most efficient to do that work," said Weber.

For example, when you touch the screen of your Windows 10 touchscreen computer, the hardware wakes up, sends a message to the web browser on screen. If it's Chrome, Chrome then tells Windows 10 it needs to animate the screen to scroll up or down. With Edge, you can scroll the web page without, Weber said, waking it up. The OS is already there, ready to do the graphical work.

How do you know?

Having hours of more battery life on your laptop because you chose Edge over Chrome sounds amazing. But why should we trust these claims? Testing technology battery life is notoriously difficult. You have to have multiple test beds, with vanilla set-ups, nothing extraneous running in the background that could impact battery consumption and perfectly repeatable test scripts. Compounding this is the challenge of testing web page battery consumption. Every page is different and most of what consumes power happens in the background.

Weber acknowledged the challenge, but told me Microsoft had figured out a few ways to accurately test Web browser battery consumption. The team combined lab tests, telemetry from millions of Edge users, and a run-down test that it captured on video.

The lab tests were particularity impressive. They included 200 PCs, a mini, in-lab Internet, systems connected to voltage meters, and special computers with power-measurement chips built right onto the motherboard.

The video showed particularly impressive power gains. At one point, the system running Microsoft Edge ran 70 percent longer than the one running Google Chrome.

Next Level

Whether or not you believe Microsoft, the company is already busy ramping up power efficiency for the next, big Microsoft Edge release, which will arrive as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update later this summer.

According to a technical blog post by Microsoft Edge Program Manager Brandon Heenan, the Anniversary Update will address JavaScript access in background tabs. Instead of allowing JavaScript to continuously run in hidden tabs, it will slow it down to running once per second.

They're also re-architecting how Edge handles animations by removing duplicate frames at the beginning and end of loops.

However, no change may be more welcome that what the team plans to do with Flash. The Anniversary Update will make Flash a separate process and the system will pause any unnecessary Flash operations. It will also stop Flash if it becomes unstable, without impacting the rest of the browser session.

Source:  http://mashable.com/2016/06/20/microsoft-edge-battery-life/#81O68D2GhOqt 

Wednesday, 22 June 2016 12:13

Public Clouds Are the Future of Business

Google is in a war for the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) space, and at the moment it's pulling a distant third. Pitted against market leader Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the high enterprise adoption of Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is making up the market share ground by using Big Data and machine learning to optimize data center performance.

Diane Greene, Google's SVP and chief of all things cloud and enterprise computing, believes we've only just begun to see what the cloud can do.

"IT is over a trillion-dollar industry, and if all that is moving to the cloud that means there's huge opportunity, and we're still early on," said Greene. "Amazon started talking about their [AWS] revenues a few years ago and people went whoa, this is a big business."

Greene is one of the founders of VMware, and served as CEO of the cloud, data center, and virtualized software company from 1998-2008. During the Wired Business Conference today, Greene was asked how big a factor machine learning will be to the future of average businesses. In response, she pointed to how Google offers these kinds of tools to businesses as open-source with projects like TensorFlow and through features like image recognition, speech recognition and translation, and other machine-learning tools as-a-service within GCP.

Google SVP and Former VMware CEO Diane Greene

"Technologies like machine learning are changing every industry, and the enterprise is getting more aggressive at adapting to new ways of doing things," said Greene. "We use it in our data centers to reduce power consumption. We use data on weather, load, cooling, etc. and adjust the pumps to save significant percentages of power. Machine learning is making that kind of power savings possible, and I think it will be used in every industry to simply do things better."

The Business Appeal of Public Clouds

In a cloud space where even a player like Samsung is positioning to move off AWS by buying container company Joyent, the question of what type of cloud infrastructure a business should invest in is more prevalent than ever. In the debate of public vs. private vs. hybrid clouds, Greene backed up her argument for public clouds by looking to security, scalability, and the sheer engineering power to innovate behind IaaS.

"The reality is that the cloud is suddenly evolving faster than anyone expected," said Greene. "People say they'll support hybrid clouds, but on-prem is going to be a shrinking industry going forward. Big public clouds are the most secure place to be."

Greene also said the shift to public clouds is more about organizational change than a culture change for businesses. Enterprises are dealing with a whole new model of doing business, and looking to companies like Google to figure out the quickest ways to adapt to changing markets and technology.

"Organizationally, it's a whole new game when you support a big enterprise customer," said Greene. "It's not the same old enterprise, because you're not selling a product and saying 'enjoy!' You're saying okay, let's work together. You put your products on this cloud and we'll help you run them really well, and as you come out with new products and we come out with new innovations, we'll work to optimize your business."

As far as catching up to and surpassing AWS and Azure, Greene said Google is actively partnering with enterprise companies and expanding its cloud ecosystem. Don't expect Google to pull a Microsoft and use big-budget acquisitions to expand its reach in the enterprise space, though.

"We were thinking of acquiring Oracle," said Greene. "I'm just kidding!"

Source:  http://www.pcmag.com/news/345354/google-public-clouds-are-the-future-of-business

Google has just updated how it determines your business’s local ranking.Another week, another step towards Google becoming a damn sight more transparent than we’re used to. If it wasn’t enough that Google revealed its top three ranking signals for organic search last Friday, this Friday it revealed a new ranking signal for local SEO… Prominence.

As noticed by Mike Blumenthal, and reported by SEJ over the weekend, Google has updated its Google My Business help page.

This resource details how you can improve your local rankings with practical guidance on keeping your business information complete and accurate (physical address, phone number, category), verifying your location(s), keeping your opening hours accurate and managing customer reviews.It also lists the ways in which Google determines your local ranking…

How Google ranks your business for local search

Relevance

How well does your local listing match what someone is searching for? This is why you business information should always be fully detailed and accurate.

Distance

How close are you to the person searching for a particular term? Bear in mind that relevance will be the stronger signal. If a business is further away from a searcher’s location, but is more likely to have what they’re looking for than a business that’s closer, Google will rank it higher in local results.

Additionally, if a user doesn’t specify a location, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.And this weekend Google added another…

Prominence

Basically… How well known is your business?

Here’s the exact wording on ‘prominence’ from Google…

Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.

Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.

Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.Your business’s overall organic search presence is a ranking factor when it comes to local.So ultimately, all of your regular, everyday SEO practices that you do to boost your rankings, whether on-page or off, apply to local.

Customer reviews

It’s also interesting to note that has Google confirmed that customer reviews and ratings are factored into local search ranking. (Although be warned that there was a ‘probably’ in the original text above.)

Experts always figured this was true anyway. Moz previosly found that review signals are 8.4% of the overall ‘local ranking pie’.

moz-local-ranking1

But again, it’s just nice to get confirmation on these things.

Source:   https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/04/04/how-does-google-determine-my-local-ranking/

By the end of 2017, Facebook’s messaging app will look a whole lot different. Apart from a better messaging experience, this may also mean the end of phone numbers as we know it.Facebook messaging products’ vice president David Marcus believes phone numbers will eventually become obsolete as a form of communication

In an interview with Time magazine, Marcus said he believes chat apps will become so popular that they will replace phone numbers.

“The real question is, in a couple of years if you will need a phone number on a business card? Or if you’ll need a business card at all for people to find you,” the Facebook executive said.

“It’s a profound change actually, and I believe it’s really happening. People used to call your house, they didn’t call you. And so we went from calling your house, to calling your number, to calling you for real. It’s an interesting evolution,” he added.Revealing Facebook’s ambitious plans for this year, Marcus said by the end of 2017, Facebook’s messaging app “will look a whole lot different.”

Apple introducing new iMessage features to take on competitors

Speaking about the new Facebook Messenger inbox layout, which will show information like your friends’ birthdays as well as which of your friends are active on Messenger at a given moment, he said, “We believe birthdays are actually a really important thing, especially for your close friends. Birthdays, for [most] of your friends, you’re probably more inclined to write on their Facebook page.”

However, in some cases, you might want to message your friends on their birthdays but may not want to disturb them by calling. That’s where Marcus believes Messenger’s ‘Active Now’ feature will come in handy. As opposed to phone calls and texting, which are involved processes, ‘Active Now’ feature ensures that the friend you want to talk is available to chat, he explained.

Responding to a query regarding introduction of a reaction tool in Messenger, like tapping on a piece of dialogue to like it similar to the one announced by Apple recently, Marcus said it is on their long wish list to make group messaging better.

There’s a football game hidden inside Facebook messenger

The Facebook executive also hinted at the possibility of rationalising notifications to differentiate between those from humans versus chat bots. However, Marcus held that most of the notifications that we receive are from friends and further, one can preview the notification to know what it is. But, “If there are lots of interactions that actually notify people a lot, we can mute these notifications, or we can group them. Right now it’s not a problem, it’s a hypothetical future problem,” he said.

With reference to his blog post from January, in which Marcus revealed that there are innovations coming to Messenger this year, he said voice and video calling feature to Messenger was the first step in that direction.

“We’re really intrigued by, what are the next forms of real time communication? So we’re thinking about how do we actually reinvent a little bit those real-time communications,” said Marcus. However, he refused to give any hint about what’s coming next.

There’s a football game hidden inside Facebook messenger

Further, he said, Facebook is also considering investing in making photo sharing inside Messenger better.

Apart from that, Facebook is also looking to make groups a lot better. “We just want to make sure groups are really easy to create, that everybody can be included in them, and that they’re easy to find. I think it’s a really good group product, but I think it can become an awesome group product,” he added.

Explaining why companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft are making efforts to improve their chat apps, Marcus said one of the biggest factor is that people now spend more time on messaging apps than ever. Currently, over 900 million are on Messenger, while over a billion on WhatsApp. Marcus also said there was a time when SMS was a big thing. While it was instant and easy, he argued that in terms of capabilities SMS was very narrow.

Now, the prevalence of broadband connectivity on devices is allowing devices and operating systems to expand exponentially. “And as a result you can build compelling experiences inside messaging apps that solve a lot of the real problems, like the friction involved in downloading, installing and signing up for an app all the way to the shortfalls of the mobile web,” he added.

Source:  http://tribune.com.pk/story/1125313/facebook-going-kill-phone-number/

As expected, Apple has announced that its Siri digital assistant is coming to the Mac. The change means for the first time, people will have easy access to search from the macOS operating system — and search that isn’t Google.

Today, during its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple demonstrated how Siri will come to the next version of macOS — formerly OS X — the operating system that runs on Mac computers.

People running macOS “Sierra,” which comes out later this year, will be able to speak their queries to Siri and get information that goes beyond what the current built-in Spotlight search can do.

For instant, here’s a search Apple demonstrated today, speaking “search the web for pictures of falconry” to Siri, as shown below in a screen shot from the excellent live blog The Verge did of the WWDC keynote:

siri on mac

Notice how pictures from “web image search” results are shown. You can’t see in the screen shot, but these images come from Bing — something you can tell if you do the same search on an iPhone.

Now, compare that to what happens doing the same exact search on the Mac now:

Spotlight Search

No results at all. That’s because Spotlight search doesn’t search beyond the Mac. Occasionally, “Spotlight Suggestions” will appear that may route you to other sources like Wikipedia. But if they don’t for a particular search, there’s no way to continue on to the web or other sources off your computer.

It’s unclear if Spotlight search — which looks to remain an option alongside Siri — will allow you to also search beyond your Mac. On iOS, it does, and it would make sense for that to finally follow on the Mac.

The change means more potential exposure for Bing, Yelp and other partners that Siri taps into. It also further locks Google out of the Apple search ecosystem, as it isn’t a default Siri partner (though telling Siri explicitly to search Google on iOS does work and likely will for the Mac).

Google still remains the default for Safari. Last year, many expected that Apple might not renew with Google, as its deal was expected to be up. While no announcement ever came, clearly the deal is continuing.

Google might also have a new in. Apple has announced that Siri will open to developer integration, and Google might find ways to tap into that.

Source:  http://searchengineland.com/siri-comes-to-mac-251713

In December 2015, I interviewed an anti-revenge-porn activist who went to war against Hunter Moore, the “king of revenge porn.” Moore had hosted nude photos of her daughter, K, on his site. He hacked the photos from K’s email account, and their release caused her pain and humiliation. “I will carry the trauma of this experience with me for the rest of my life,” K said in court, during Moore’s sentencing. For his part, Moore—who once called himself a “professional life-ruiner”—was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.

When I wrote about the case, I decided not to use K’s name, only her first initial. Her mother is well known and the media has written about her a lot, so because of that attention, K’s name has also appeared many times in the press.

At this point, K is very publicly associated with Moore’s case. If you’re curious to see her full name, her age, her headshot, her IMDb page, just get on Google. She aspires to be an actress, and the search results tied to Moore are not the ones she wants for the rest of her life. I won’t contribute to the problem. It’s why I redacted her name in my original article, and why I’m continuing that practice here. K deserves to be forgotten.

By practicing a sort of reverse search-engine optimization, we can participate in a better, nicer, more ethical internet. 

In the early 1990s, internet luminary John Gilmore famously said, “The net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” In an age where social networks reign and have a say over what can or cannot be said online, this rule is no longer an absolute, but it rings true in many instances. Remove one torrent of the latest Game of Thrones episode, and another ten will spring up in its place. The internet does not like to forget.

In the European Union, this has led to the “right to be forgotten”—a legal right that people can exercise against search engines, forcing them to remove outdated or inaccurate information. It sprang from a case in Spain in which an old, irrelevant news story about an attorney’s financial embarrassments lingered in his Google search results, years after his circumstances had changed. A court ultimately forced Google to delist the news story from its search results. In 2015, Google reported receiving more than 400,000 right-to-be-forgotten requests. The company granted about 40 percent of them.

The worst-case scenario, of course, is that someone like Moore can potentially use the “right to be forgotten” to erase his misdeeds from history. And in the UK, it has been abused to censor embarrassing stories about public figures. The public has a right to know and to remember when people commit serious wrongs. But the internet doesn’t just remember scandal, corruption, and crime—it also remembers addresses, phone numbers, financial information, embarrassing photographs, and juvenile drama. Most of us have photos from freshman year of college we’d rather never see again, but they persist on Facebook in perpetuity. That’s nothing compared to the Google search problems faced by people like K, who, in her quest to have her nude photos removed from the internet, may have linked her name with the term “revenge porn” forever.

The world wide web is a magnificent library of knowledge, linked together by machine-readable text that can be crawled by search engines. Through sites like Google, you can penetrate an unimaginably dense world of words; websites, blogs, and articles that would otherwise remain obscure can easily be found.

In most cases, this is a good thing. We have never had this much knowledge and information available to us at once. It also means that an argument, which in the real world would have dissipated in a flash, can last forever. A single blog post can dog someone’s reputation for years.

To be fair, sometimes this is justified—for example, no matter how much money University of California, Davis, spends to remove online mentions of the incident, we shouldn’t forget that campus police pepper-sprayed student protesters in the face in 2011.

Still, there are many private people who simply don’t have a lot of search-engine hits for their name, and even a fly-by negative mention will float to the top, just because there isn’t much else. I’m not interested in being part of someone’s search-engine hell, and I imagine most decent people aren’t either.

Let’s set aside the legal “right to be forgotten” and think instead about the baseline of decency we want for ourselves—the kindness of forgetting. By practicing a sort of reverse search-engine optimization—refusing to supply the machine-readable text that makes search engines tick—we can participate in a better, nicer, more ethical internet. 

Source:  http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-kindness-of-letting-the-internet-forget?trk_source=recommended 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:10

Tips to Effective Internet Searching

Simple Keys To Search the Internet More Effectively:

1. Read the Help or Tips Menu

Know your Search Tool. What is the difference between a search directory and a search engine? The Help or Tips Menu will provide valuable information about how to perform an effective search. If you have not looked at Help, Tips, or other guides, you are probably not making the best use of the search tool.

2. Prepare to Search

Think about what you are looking for. Create a list of search terms that you can work with. Consider what is the best search tool for the job. Again, know your search tool--which one will find what you are looking. Do you want to use a search engine like Alta Vista or would you rather use a directory like Yahoo?
Table Matching What Your Search May Need with Search Tool Features
3. Start Simple and Take Advantage of the Search Tool

When you begin a search, use the simple mode to enter search terms.
Some of the major tools like Alta Vista, AskJeeves, and others have designed the simple mode for ease of use. Natural language searching, links to RealName and DirectHit for finding major sites, and other features like Lycos' First and Fast retrieve good results with minimal expertise. Although the advanced modes offers more control, the simple mode often offers an better results when beginning a search.
Refrain from entering a search with + and -, Boolean and, or, and not, parenthetical expressions such as Cleveland and (Indians or Tribe), and other advanced features before you have simply entered the search term or terms. If you are searching a phrase, however, the " " around the search will generally lead to better results (see #10).

4. Use Both the Advanced and the Simple Modes of Search Tools

A common misconception is that Advanced Search is for "advanced searchers." However, the information that you are looking for often dictates how you will search. Learning to work with the Advanced Search modes does not take much more time or energy to learn to use, and it allows you to work with more search options and retrieve sites that are more relevant.

5. Use Unique Terms When Possible to Retrieve More Specific Results

Search tools use language to retrieve results. The words you choose will determine the information you find. Since some terms generally have one or more meanings, less than perfect results are common when searching the internet. Try to use words that are specific and describe what you are looking for in unique ways. The "Clustering" or "Folders" feature in search tools such as Teoma, WiseNut, and All the Web and the "Refine" feature in Alta Vista can provide other terms to use when searching.
6. Use the Directories in Search Tools or Subject Directories

Directories, such as what is used by Yahoo, are available on most search tools and help organize sites into categories. Use these categories to focus your search. These search tool directories differ from the "guru" subject directories sites such as Digital Librarian and INFOMINE which list sites that are hand-picked by an individual or groups of individuals who maintain the site.

7. Use More than One Search Tools

Not all search tools are alike. A search will produce radically different results depending upon the tool used. Each tool has strengths and weaknesses. Take advantage of the strengths and use tools to your advantage. If you want to see this in action, try doing the same search on different tools. Compare the first ten sites retrieved by each tool. Viva la differance!

8. Use the MetaSearch Tools and Natural Language Tools to Begin and/or Refine a Search

MetaSearch tools, such as Ixquick Metasearch, Vivísimo, ProFusion, SurfWax, and others, search multiple tools simultaneously and are good tools to begin your research. Although the results are rarely as good as using an individual search tool, metasearchers are an excellent way to explore a topic and gather keywords and other information. After using a MetaSearch tool, refine the search by using the available features specific to each individual search tools.
Natural language searching, available on many tools such as AskJeeves, Alta Vista, and others allows a search to be formulated into a question. Translating a search into a question often helps to you refine the type of information you want to retrieve.

9. Use Capitalization When Appropriate or to Refine a Search

Not every search tool is case sensitive. However, you will not be penalized by using capitalization for a search such as "Martin Luther King" or "Southern Oregon University Library." Capitalization will often retrieve sites that have the search term in the title--this tactic is especially useful when searching for a terms that are not capitalized unless they are in a title (eg. Computers rather than computers).

10. Use Quotations or Other Symbols to Specify a Phrase

Search tools do not know whether a search is for "lesson" or "plans." The default is typically lesson or plans in simple searching. Use quotations to surround a phrase such as "lesson plans." However, again a word of caution, when using simple modes in some databases like Alta Vista, searching with quotation will often produce less effective results.

11. Keep Wading to a Minimum: Size of the Search Tool Does Not Matter

If you have not found what you are looking for in the first 20 to 50 sites, give it up and go no further. Either reformulate your search or try another search tool. Creativity is often the key to reformulating or rephrasing a search.

The discussion of how many pages are indexed in any particular search tools is generally discussed and in dispute. For the most part, this discussion is a moot point other than when trying to choose a tool for two reasons:

No one search engine is best. A sophisticated search requires many search tools.
The number of relevant sites is more important than the number of sites searched.

12. Use Find or Ctrl-F to Help Navigate Search Results

Often it is difficult to understand why a site is retrieved in a search. The Find or Ctrl-F feature will quickly allow you to search the text of a site and locate specific keywords. 

Source:  http://hanlib.sou.edu/searchtools/searchtips.html 

I am not a trained marketer. Yet I've been the chief marketer and run major teams for major brands. At my last in-house role, I took a company from 45 million to 100 million users, and was on the executive team during its acquisition for nearly half a billion dollars.

As a result, I recently had the honor of being asked to give the commencement address at my alma mater. As I was thinking about the advice I would give to my younger self, I couldn’t help but think of the career advice I give over and over again to early-career leaders, entrepreneurs and executives, in marketing and otherwise.

I thought I’d share.

What makes me great as a marketer is that I am fixated on being a great leader. I used to be a Lone Ranger type. As I matured, I realized that as a marketing leader -- as a business leader, period -- you can’t do anything big without an on-fire, whip-smart team. So I study, then practice and practice and practice, everything about leading and inspiring brilliant people. I study and practice creating conditions conducive to their brains doing their best work, and creating cultures that attract the geniuses I work with. I urge you to do the same. And to read "Boundaries for Leaders."

Do not become one of those bitter marketers or “creatives” constantly railing against data and metrics. Don't fight the waves. Learn to surf. Beautiful, sensual, emotional stories without outcomes and data? That's called art. I love art. But that's not marketing. 

Learn about business. Study Lean Methodology and apply it to your content and marketing programs. Read "The Lean Startup." Get very conversant in data -- especially content performance data. Cut through the noise and figure out what few data points really matter in understanding how your programs are moving the business.

Learn how to interpret them to get insight into what makes your Customers do what they do. Then constantly tweak and align your marketing to your Customers and what they want. Not what they should want, or what you want them to want. What they actually want to have happen in their real lives. Seriously, read "The Lean Startup."

Exercise Buddhist detachment from your content, your programs, even tough work relationships. Do more of what works, what inspires, what transforms. When it's not working, fix it fast or stop doing it. Acknowledge, commemorate and keep it moving. Get those resources back and reinvest them into the programs, campaigns or people that bear fruit.

Learn how to make business cases. If you can't ever get the resources to do what you need to do, you will get frustrated and bitter and you won't get the results you want. I was a consultant for much of my career, and the skill of making the business case for everything I propose to do helped become a clear, thoughtful thinker and strategist. This served me exceedingly well as an executive and in my in-house roles. Learning how to sell in your work and how to get is a necessary part of being a great marketer. Read "The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals."

Learn about humanity. Behavior change. Why people do what they do. Study behavioral economics. Neuroplasticity. How people get stuck. How they get unstuck. How they stay unstuck. Read "The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business." Read "Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength." Read "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness."

Become an expert on story and narrative. Literally study it, don't just use the word "story" all the time. Understand character, plot, conflict, climax. Take James Patterson's MasterClass on Writing. Read "The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories." 

Don't fixate on the channel. It's not about Instagram or Snapchat. Getting to product-market fit, getting people to care about what you do, that’s never about the channel. And, in fact, there will always be a new channel. If you understand human motivation, story and business strategy, you will be able to create products and content people care about, regardless of what the new digital channel of the day is.

Prioritize ruthlessly. Almost no one can work on three, really big, important priorities at a time. Feeling overwhelmed or frustrated is almost always a signal to revisit and double-down on prioritization. This mostly means making hard decisions that you can’t do awesome things you would love to do, because that would distract or take resources away from The Actual Most Important Thing.

Don't work on products or for companies that you don't find interesting. And really, by that I mean work only for companies you believe are out to solve real, human-scale problems that would make the world work better for your customers, even if the product itself isn't quite there yet or if you aren't personally the target audience for the product. If I don't leave the first meeting with a company talking to my friends about how intriguing the product or the vision or the people are, I generally don't work on it. 

Don't work for people you don't find inspiring or don't think you can learn from. You don't necessarily have to like them. But you should believe working with them will expand your capacity for greatness and your skills.

On the other hand, don’t overrule gut misgivings about hiring people, either. You should be excited about learning from those who report to you, too. And don’t expect others to work with you unless you will help them grow, too.

Make it your goal to leave the people in your wake -- your employees, teammates, peers, bosses and especially your customers, better off than than they were when they came into contact with you. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little. It can be as small as saying something encouraging at every opportunity. (Without blowing smoke.)

Study integrity. Decide to do whatever it takes to be a whole person with the capacity to face and handle the real facts of every situation. Read Henry Cloud’s "Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality."

If you work in marketing or product, understand your brief as a starting point in the conversation about what you should be working on. Don’t just accept a brief that doesn’t make sense (or isn’t appropriately resourced) from the start. In particular, push back if what you’ve been asked to do is not the thing that will actually solve the business issue. Don’t just push back, though, propose what will solve the issue and be able to explain your thinking as to why -- even if it’s never been done before.

Develop the practice of being still and thoughtful every day, for a moment. If you can journal or walk every day, that’s even better. Allow yourself to listen to that still, small voice that comes up all the time -- the more you honor it, the more it will whisper creativity, energy, wisdom and clear direction your way.

Occasionally, in times of transition, it will also whisper “I’m scared” or “I don’t know how to do this next thing” or “Wow I feel like an imposter in this situation.” Build the habit of interpreting that as a signal that you’re on the right track. 

Source:  https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/276228 

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