Clara Johnson

Clara Johnson

When you’re writing a paper or conducting a research-intensive project, you might turn to Wikipedia for a quick examination of the material. As informative and entertaining as this “collaborative online encyclopedia” can be, Wikipedia is generally not considered a credible source to cite in your college-level research papers. Even Wikipedia itself encourages readers to carefully evaluate the information because “anyone can edit the information given at any time.”

Popular search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, are often loaded with advertisements and can really hamper your effectiveness, sending you down one research rabbit hole after another. You need a list of search engines that are reliable, reputable, and free.

However, some search engines only have a citation, or index info, on articles – not the full-text.

“I recommend students search in the library databases for any articles that are not in full text in these engines, or reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if they need extra help to find sources,” said Tracy Ralston, Post University Library Director. “For instance, we have access to Lexis-Nexis Academic, which has more access to statutes, law journal articles, etc. than Lexis Web. Plus, we have a huge variety of sources (journal articles, newspapers, online videos, etc.) that go way beyond these search engines.”

So, as stated on Wikipedia, “Remember that any encyclopedia is a starting point for research, not an ending point.”

With that in mind, here are … 7 of the Best Educational Search Engines for Students:

1) Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC)

One of the best deeper web search engines designed for academic research, ERIC is maintained by the U.S. Department of Education. You’ll find more than 1.3 million bibliographic records of articles and online materials just a click away. The extensive body of education-related literature includes technical reports, policy papers, conference papers, research syntheses, journal articles, and books.

2) Lexis Web

Indispensable for law students and research projects that require legal citations, Lexis Web populates this search engine with validated legal sites. It’s easy to narrow your search by site type (blog, news, commercial, government) and filter by jurisdiction, practice area, source, and file format.

3) Google Scholar

This must-have search engine for research lets you easily find relevant scholarly literature, such as books, theses, abstracts, and articles, across many disciplines and sources. Google Scholar ranks documents by taking into account the full text, where the document was published, who authored it, and how often and how recently it has been cited in other scholarly literature. Find literature from academic publishers, professional societies, universities, court opinions, and other credible organizations.

4) Microsoft Academic (MA)

Enjoy fast access to “continually refreshed and extensive academic content” from more than 120 million publications including journals, scientific papers, and conferences. Because MA is a semantic search engine, not a keyword-based one, it uses natural language processing to understand and remember the information contained in each document. It then applies “semantic inference” to glean the intent of your search and delivers rich, knowledgeable results that are relevant to your needs. MA 2.0 debuted in July 2017 and gives users even more personalized and improved search capabilities.

5) Wolfram Alpha

Find dozens of ways to put this “computational knowledge engine” to work for you. Need to compute the frequency of a musical note or better understand your brain’s anatomy? No problem. Just type in your question, and your answer immediately pops up. Not only a go-to education search engine, this fun tool is great for your downtime because it includes categories like Sports and Games and Surprises, in which you can search for jokes, tongue twisters, and famous lines.

6) iSeek Education

This targeted search engine was created for students, teachers, administrators, and caregivers, and all content is editor-reviewed. You have access to hundreds of thousands of trusted scholastic resources provided by universities, government, and reputable noncommercial sites. Numerous filters in the sidebar make it easy to quickly target your results and refine your search by topic, subject, resource type, place, and people. Instantly identify lesson plans, school subjects, activities, and grade levels.

7) ResearchGate

Science majors love this dynamic social networking site for scientists and researchers that not only provides access to the work of 13 million researchers, it lets users ask them questions. ResearchGate’s collection of publications and the frequently updated “news from our members” blog provide a vast array of works that cover timely topics including culture, the environment, politics, health, science, and space.

Source: This article was published blog.post.edu

In researching high-growth professional services firms we found firms that did systematic business research on their target client group grew faster and were more profitable.

Further, those that did more frequent business research (at least quarterly), grew the fastest and were most profitable. Additional research also confirms that the fastest growing firms do more research on their target clients.

Think about that for a minute: Faster growth and more profit. Sounds pretty appealing.

The first question is usually around what kind of research to do and how it might help grow your firm. I’ve reflected on the kinds of questions we’ve asked when doing research for our professional services clients and how the process has impacted their strategy and financial results.

There are a number of types of research that your firm can use, including:

  • Brand research
  • Persona research
  • Market research
  • Lost prospect analysis
  • Client satisfaction research
  • Benchmarking research
  • Employee surveys

So those are the types of research, but what are the big questions that you need answers for? We looked across the research we have done on behalf of our clients to isolate the most insightful and impactful areas of inquiry.

The result is this list of the top 10 research questions that can drive firm growth and profitability:

1. Why do your best clients choose your firm?

Notice we are focusing on the best clients, not necessarily the average client. Understanding what they find appealing about your firm can help you find others just like them and turn them into your next new client.

2. What are those same clients trying to avoid?

This is the flip side of the first question and offers a valuable perspective. As a practical matter, avoiding being ruled out during the early rounds of a prospect’s selection process is pretty darned important. This is also important in helping shape your business practices and strategy.

In our research on professional services buyers and sellers, we’ve found that the top circumstances that buyers want to avoid in a service provider are broken promises and a firm that’s indistinguishable from everyone else.

Notice that this chart also shows what sellers (professional services providers) believe buyers want to avoid. Notice that many sellers misjudge their potential client’s priorities. Closing this perception gap is one of the ways that research can help a firm grow faster. If you understand how your prospects think you can do a much better job of turning them into clients.

3. Who are your real competitors?

Most firms aren’t very good at identifying their true competitors. When we ask a firm to list their competitors and ask their clients to do the same, there is often only about a 25% overlap in their lists.

Why? Sometimes, it’s because you know too much about your industry and rules out competitors too easily. At other times, it’s because you are viewing a client’s problems through your filter and overlook completely different categories of solutions that they are considering.

For example, a company facing declining sales could easily consider sales training, new product development, or a new marketing campaign. If you consult on new product development the other possible solutions are all competitors. In any case, ignorance of true competitors seldom helps you compete.

4. How do potential clients see their greatest challenges?

The answer to this question helps you understand what is on prospective clients’ minds and how they are likely to describe and talk about those issues. The key here is that you may offer services that can be of great benefit to organizations, but they never consider you because they are thinking about their challenges through a different lens.

They may want cost reduction when you are offering process improvement (which, in fact, reduces cost). Someone needs to connect the dots or you will miss the opportunity. This is similar to the dilemma of understanding the full range of competitors described above.

5. What is the real benefit your firm provides?

Sure, you know your services and what they are intended to do for clients. But what do they actually do? Often, firms are surprised to learn the true benefit of their service. What might’ve attracted a client to your firm initially might not be what they end up valuing most when working with you. For example, you might have won the sale based on your good reputation, but after working with you, your client might value your specialized skills and expertise most.

When you understand what true value and benefit of your services, you’re in a position to enhance it or even develop new services with other true benefits.

6. What are emerging trends and challenges?

Where is the market headed? Will it grow or contract? What services might be needed in the future? This is fairly common research fodder in large market-driven industries, but it’s surprisingly rare among professional services firms.

Understanding emerging trends can help you conserve and better target limited marketing dollars. I’ve seen many firms add entire service lines, including new hires and big marketing budgets, based on little more than hunches and anecdotal observations. These decisions should be driven by research and data. Research reduces your risk associated with this type of decision.

7. How strong is your brand?

What is your firm known for? How strong is your reputation? How visible are you in the marketplace? Answers to each of these questions can vary from market to market. Knowing where you stand cannot only guide your overall strategy, it can also have a profound impact on your marketing budget. An understanding of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses can help you understand why you are getting traction in one segment and not another.

8. What is the best way to market to your prime target clients?

Wouldn’t it be nice to know where your target clients go to get recommendations and referrals? Wouldn’t it be great if you knew how they want to be marketed to? These are all questions that can be answered through systematic business research. The answers will greatly reduce the level of spending needed to reach your best clients. This is perhaps one of the key reasons that firms that do regular research are more profitable.

9. How should you price your services?

This is often a huge stumbling block for professional services firms. In my experience, most firms overestimate the role price plays in buying decisions. Perhaps it is because firms are told that the reason they don’t win an engagement is because of the price. It is the easiest reason for a buyer to share when providing feedback. 

However, if a firm hires an impartial third party to dig deeper into why it loses competitive bids, it often learns that what appears to be price may really be a perceived level of expertise, lack of attention to detail or an impression of non-responsiveness. We’ve seen firms lose business because of typos in their proposal — while attributing the loss to their fees.

10. How do your current clients really feel about you?

How likely are clients to refer you to others? What would they change about your firm? How long are they likely to remain a client? These are the kinds of questions that can help you fine-tune your procedures and get a more accurate feel for what the future holds. In some cases, we’ve seen clients reveal previously hidden strengths. In others, they have uncovered important vulnerabilities that need attention.

The tricky part here is that clients are rarely eager to tell you the truth directly. They may want to avoid an uncomfortable situation or are worried that they will make matters worse by sharing their true feelings.

Understanding the key questions discussed above can have a positive impact on your firm’s growth and profitability. That is the real power of well-designed and professionally executed business research.

Source: This article was published accountingweb.com By Lee Frederiksen

News flashes and sound bites are constantly calling our attention to the latest hacks or threats to our cybersecurity that seem to be filling our social media news feeds and television reporting circuits. While there are plenty of bad actors out there hell bent on doing us harm, symbiotically living in the digital ethers and layers that make up the vast web, there are companies and organizations working in the background to protect and remediate any potential disasters.

Some of these online threats pose significant harm to our lives, our businesses and our finances. Some of them are easy to detect, while others have become increasingly challenging and more sophisticated over the years. They sometimes involve massive bot-nets of millions of devices all acting in concert with one another, and sometimes they're far more individualistic in nature, with specific high-value targets that involve social engineering and location tracking to ensure that their cryptic intentions are fulfilled.

If you've ever been the victim of a phishing scam online or you've ever had someone hijack your profile or social engineer you or your employees to gain access to critical corporate information and infrastructure, or to steal any amount of money from you through methods such as Instagram money-flipping, then you know just how painful this process is. Oftentimes, we search for ways to exact our revenge, usually falling flat on its face due to the anonymity of the World Wide Web.

So, how do you go about protecting yourself from these online threats and cyber criminals who are determined to extra money and valuable information from you?

Clearly, there is no full-proof method to protect yourself. As technology evolves, so do our methods for combating these online threats. However, that doesn't mean that the threats stop. They also evolve. They get smarter, more efficient and more scalable as the near-limitless reach of the web gives them unfettered access to potential billions of dollars in crimes against unassuming individuals and businesses from across the planet.

What Are The Top Online Threats In Cyberspace? 

While there are numerous threats that exist at every turn on the internet, there are 10 very significant threats that pose malicious harm to us. Understanding what these threats are that exist on the web and learning how to combat them is integral to conducting any semblance of business or personal activity these days. Falling for these is painful to say the least, but even more so when you didn't even see it coming from miles away.

One of the biggest and most challenging uphill battles here when it comes to online threats to our security is actually determining whether or not a visitor is human. Bots that crawl the web, or that are designed to somehow infiltrate systems and drop malware generally don't behave like humans. However, this isn't always something that's straightforward. How companies go about detecting automated software and threats in cyberspace has a lot to do with their potential to fall victim to these scams.

Not only is it important to institute a good set of habits when it comes to dealing with online threats like this, but it's also important to stay in-the-know. The more informed you are, the better off you and your employees will be. It's important to note that whatever you do, threats are always evolving. Locate reputable companies that you can work with to help alleviate some of the stress that failure might cause in this arena.

#1 -- Ransomware

One of the biggest ongoing concerns and threats to our digital existences has been the proliferation and exponential rise of ransomware. You know, the type of thing that locks you out of your computer with an impending countdown that signals the digital death of your entire virtual existence. As it counts down, threatening to encrypt every last shred of data, you realize the peril that digital criminals can inflict on their unassuming victims.

Your choices? According to Tod Beardsley, Director of Research at Rapid7, a firm dedicated to thwarting these types of attacks through some of their wildly-popular software platforms such as Nexpose and Metasploit, you should never pay the criminals because you don't know the outcome of whether your information will in fact be restored, or simply vanish into thin air.

Redundant backups should be a priority for you. Backup to an external drive somewhere on your network and to the cloud through DropBox or another provider. Rapid7, which oftentimes stress tests other corporations by hacking in an effort to expose security loopholes, working to ensure that networks are safe from potential attacks, knows a thing or two about this. Companies rely on their teams to ensure that they're protected, and they're often the first phone call many make when an attack like this and others do actually happen.

#2 -- Phishing schemes

A large majority of people get caught up in phishing schemes. Phishing schemes are engineered to get you to click on things and oftentimes they seem harmless. Simply click on a link and it will go to some URL. That's it. However, as harmless as they seem, phishing schemes can lead to to a number of major online security breaches if you're not careful. By paying close attention to what you're clicking on, you'll better be able to mitigate these types of attacks.

Once you're ensnared in this type of scheme, it's hard to untangle yourself. There are phishing schemes for bank accounts, email accounts, big e-tailers and other service providers that have massive footprints. The goal? Gain access to the consumer's account to do the most damage. If you think you were the victim of a phishing scheme, and you entered in your username and password somewhere online and things didn't seem right, immediately change all your passwords.

Another important thing to note is that most people use the same (weak) password across a variety of services such as Gmail, Facebook and online banking as one example. Never do that. Always use different passwords and ensure that they're not simple passwords to begin with. If a cybercriminal gains access to one service, you don't want them gaining access to the others. You should also be changing up your passwords every few months or so.

#3 -- Man-in-the-middle (MIIM) attacks

One of the most sophisticated threats that exist online are man-in-the-middle attacks. I've seen these threats firsthand and know just how malicious they can be. Everything seems okay all the way to the final point of entry (even when using 2-factor authentication). This malware sits on your computer and waits until you've entered in all your credentials, then it actually swaps out the server that receives the communication and even communicates back to you.

Throughout all of this, everything seems fine. Nothing seems amiss. That's why it's such a sophisticated online threat. You almost don't know that anything is happening when it actually is happening. You have to be very wary of what you download to your computer and what reputable sources they're coming from. Virus software is not going to help you in most cases here because these threats are always evolving.

Oftentimes, MIIM attacks are a result of phishing schemes that installed latent software on your computer that sits dormant for some time until you begin accessing the proper network or until its recorded the right keystrokes. It then substitutes its own intercepted server right when you submit your credentials to login.

#4 -- Ad fraud

Online ad fraud is far more widespread than anyone could possibly imagine. This is likely one of the biggest cyber-threats that seems to go under the proverbial radar. Few people know that they've been scammed by sophisticated ad fraud systems after it's occurred. Publishers simply see views increasing and most ad platforms don't provide high specifics as far as direct views on every single ad impression or click, leaving most people in the dark.

In a recent conversation with Tamer Hassan, CTO of WhiteOps, a firm deeply entrenched in the fight against automated ad fraud, they've taken this fight to a new level by developing a platform that actively measures 500 to 2000 technical metrics to determine whether the person viewing the ad is in fact a human or a robot. This software analyzes several layers at a time and its the leading platform amidst the largest publishers in the world.

This impressive system developed by Hassan and team runs silently in the background, with no impact on the speed or latency of ad serving or delivery. In fact, most publishers are now building White Ops' software into their contracts, stating that violations in ad clicks and views from bots will result in non-payment of revenues. This human verification on the web is potentially one of the most lucrative types of fraud that so many cybercriminals are working to exploit and companies are working to protect against.

#5 -- Social media schemes 

Instagram (IG) money-flipping schemes and many others social media scams have surfaced in recent years. Considering that IG is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, it's no wonder that unscrupulous cybercriminals are targeting individuals who are in desperate situations, looking to make a few hundred or a few thousand dollars quickly. These IG money-flipping schemes have become so widespread that the company can only take down 1 money-flipping scam for ever 3 that are being created.

In a recent conversation with Evan Blair, co-founder of ZeroFox, a firm specializing in social media security, he tells me that 70% of companies are using social media for business but that a large majority of those companies are uninformed about potential impersonations of customer service representatives or duplication of accounts and impersonation of profiles, until it's too late. In fact, there's little that many of the most popular platforms like IG can do to safeguard against the windfall of social engineering and phishing that is constantly occurring against companies at any given moment.

However, this isn't just a risk to digital security; cybercriminals are now using IG and other social media sites to physically track and harm well-to-do executives, celebrities and other high-profilers such as athletes and even politicians. Without a good system to thwart such attacks, most businesses and individuals are completely left lost in the dark. That's likely why so many of the world's leading companies and affluent individuals rely on ZeroFox's groundbreaking platform to thwart and mitigate such attacks.

#6 -- Bitcoin scams

Bitcoin scams have been on the rise recently, especially since the cryptocurrency leaves little in the way of traceable information and unlike with the banking sector, the transactions are irreversible. For those particular reasons alone, cybercriminals have been flocking to the Bitcoin platform. In fact, a large part of their criminal activity is dealt with in Bitcoins for a great majority of their malware attacks that include ransomware and other hacking initiatives.

Considering that Bitcoin valuations have been fluctuating and that there is little in the way of current regulations in the marketplace, this will only continue to get worse. Be very wary of paying for things in Bitcoin and in clicking on any URLs that look deceiving. Read the URLs thoroughly enough to ensure that it's not a variation of a popular domain name, something that hackers and cybercriminals tend to do often.

If you feel like you've been the victim of a Bitcoin scam, it's best to contact the FBI or your local law enforcement agency. Bitcoin does have built-in protections such as wallet backups and multi-signatures, but that doesn't mean that scams don't happen. Cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated by the day so be careful and avoid anything that looks suspicious.

#7 -- Social engineering

Social engineering isn't a new threat. In fact, criminals have been using social engineering hacks in person for ages now. However, when it comes to fraud and other crimes occurring online, this threat is certainly on the rise. With the layer of anonymity that the internet affords, it's no wonder that social engineering works so well in this medium. Most aren't that careful about who they interact with or what type of information that they give out or expose online.

It's not inherently difficult for a criminal to Google the web to find information about a person in an effort to social engineer a scam against them. They can discover their occupation on LinkedIn, their family members or children on Facebook, where they are through Instagram or what they're talking about on Twitter. They can then work to infiltrate those profiles and take over a person's entire social media presence, and use that control to take over email accounts and eventually bank accounts and so on.

It's important to be very careful about who you interact with and what information you expose to the general public. Utilize the privacy features on platforms like Facebook or Twitter and be sure not to share too much personal information on platforms like Instagram. If you do, make your profiles private so that not everyone can track your every movement.

#8 -- Targeting employees to compromise corporate networks

Another major online threat involves directly targeting employees to compromise corporate networks. Since some employees act as the gatekeepers into their corporate networks, there's no surprise that this is on the rise. For example, a large part of the wire fraud that occurs happens because cybercriminals successfully target the right employees to compromise the company's corporate network, allowing them almost unfettered access and approval to steal millions of dollars with ease.

Vulnerable employees also act as a gateway into a corporation's email servers, files and databases, where these cybercriminals can do massive amounts of damage. Employees need to be very careful on social media networks about who they interact with or through what phishing schemes that they click on and unknowingly provide credentials to. ZeroFox's game-changing software helps to alleviate a large part of this worry for most large companies, but not everyone is proactive enough to engage in their services.

Without using a company like ZeroFox, most corporations have no idea about what threats exist out there to their employees or their networks, and it really is one of the most revolutionary platforms that exists out there. Either way you cut it, employee education is a must here to ensure any potential attacks are thwarted before they even begin.

#9 -- Tracking movements for physical targeting

One massive online threat that exists, which can also help put your physical safety into peril, is the tracking of movements through social media and other channels. For consumers, this is an enormous risk, especially for those individuals that aptly portray a lavish lifestyle, traveling around the world. When cybercriminals know that you aren't home, it's simple for them to break into your home and steal your belongings.

You don't need to be uber-wealthy in order to be targeted. Criminals will target all types of individuals through social media channels, able to see when they're home and when they aren't. If you go on vacation, be careful of what information you're sharing and whether or not your profile is public or private. If you don't have home security systems installed and don't want to be a victim of a crime, be very wary about what you share.

Much of this remains common sense, but our physical security can also be put at risk if criminals know where we're going and learn what our routines and schedules might be. They can use that information to do all sorts of bad things to us, virtually and physically, so be very careful.

#10 -- Customer service interception

One of the gatekeepers to any company are their customer service representatives. They are one of the most proliferous category of employees who are interfacing with the clients on a daily basis. However, as skilled as they might be at their jobs, they are often unaware of the online threats that most cybercriminals pose when interacting through a number of mediums. In fact, cybercriminals are known to replicate profiles and post throughout social media to draw attention to unassuming individuals.

They do this in an effort to gain access to accounts, alter the awareness of the general public and to funnel or filter payments and other inquiries that might otherwise alert companies to something that's amiss. This is an enormous threat to businesses, and those without a system like ZeroFox or something similar, will most likely be unaware until the very last moment that a crime actually occurs.

Not only is this bad financially speaking, but it's also bad for a company's reputation. When a customer is angry, they often don't care whether they were speaking to an imposter or the actual company's representative themselves. At that point, it's usually too late to put out the fire. If you're a business and you're serious about your company's online security through social media channels, it's important to invest in a platform to help you mitigate such attacks.

 Source: This article was published forbes.com By R.L.Adams,

Google search is usually used in it’s non-advance form, just putting the keyword in box and hit enter. After that Google does rest of the magic. You might have heard the most polite google user, the sweet Nan who is putting “Thank you” and “please” in every google searches. Google even praises 86-year-old for polite internet searches.

Luckily there is still faster and advance way of getting your search done without being too polite with Google. There are advance tips, tricks and technique in google which can be used to achieve the custom or filtered searches in google.

As in fast moving lifestyle everything need to be done efficiently, this is even true for Google Search.There are many hidden secret in Google search, knowing those tips, tricks and techniques can make you the master at doing Google search, as you will be able to focus on your search by narrowing it down with advanced google operators.

By getting you acquainted with these advanced searches tips and tricks we are making sure that you will be able to find the hidden information rather easily, for instance looking for a specific information or keyword in the website. Also, Searching for a specific word phrase in url or negating some of the keyword while searching will be easier for you. This kind of search is known as Google Advanced Search technique and tricks.

With these right tricks and techniques you can find right results…

Google advanced search is used for specific complex searches, which are not easily accessible through simple Google search. Advance google search option has some requirements about your desired search for a better result rather than simple one.

Example:

  • Medical universities of certain cities.
  • Searching a book with a specific title, heading, description or author.
  • Google advanced search has more accurate and filtered result than normal search. Google advanced search works on special Input queries.

Why we use advanced google search?

Google advanced search option provides more favorable results in less time.
Google advanced search helps you find accurate result.

We are going to give you a lot of google’s advanced search tips and techniques right here. These techniques will help you to find your result more accurately in a very short time.

Google Advanced search options

1. Search in Page Title

Title page tag is an HTML tag for a web page, it defines what page is about. If you are dealing with coffee machine and want to know more about your competitors in the similar domain, you can search in the page title and see what kind of product do they have.

Example

  • allintitle: ‘place your search query here’
  • intitle: ‘place your search query here’

How to use
Searching for “best coffee machine” in title page

2. Search in anchor text

Anchor text is a hyperlink text, which is shown as highlighted in a blog or web page. Like you can hyperlink a productivity technique text in your blog.
User google searches you can even search in the anchor text which is hyperlinked, this is one of the technique for SEO which is used quite heavily to gain more points from google when comes to page ranking.

Here is how you can search in anchor text
Example

  • allinanchor: ‘place your search query here’
  • inanchor: ‘place your search query here’

How to use:

3. Search in URL

If you are writing a blog, it will be good to know what are the existing blogs out there with similar keywords or title, the best to do is to search in the URL of blogs or website, you can use the bellow “allinurl” for this purpose

Example

  • allinurl: ‘place your search query here’
  • inurl: ‘place your search query here’

How to use

4. Search Missing Words

Find missing words in phrases by using star technique. Just place the star signs around the missing words.
How to use

  • better to be *pirate then*
  • What can we gain you *if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates*

5. Search Result By Time

Google “search result by time” technique allows you to find your result in a specific time period. Like if you are a follower of a blog, but you missed last month’s posts then this trick help you to find only previous one month posts.
First, search your query then after result adds “&tbs=qdr:h” at the end of SERP URL.
Example

  • &tbs=qdr:m – Results from past month,

How to use:

  • Search your result first like site: yodiz.com scrum
  • After result appearance add the code (&tbs=qdr:m) in search result url

Some other options

  • &tbs=qdr:s – Results from past sec,
  • &tbs=qdr:n – Results from past minute,
  • &tbs=qdr:h – Results from past hour,
  • &tbs=qdr:d – Results from past day,
  • &tbs=qdr:w – Results from past week,
  • &tbs=qdr:y – Results from past year,

6. Search Result by Date

You can also search your desired result in a specific date range. After searching your result place the operator bellow at the end of url.


Example

  • &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:(Start Date),cd_max:(End Date)

How to use:

  • &tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/01/2010,cd_max:2/06/2012

7. Search using TO or OR

If you want to search result with several keywords then use word “TO” or “OR”.
How to use:

  • football worldcup 2009 to 2016
  • agile or scrum -rugby

8. Translate Quickly

If you need the translation of words then this simple google advanced search trick helps you a lot.
Example

  • translate [word] to [language]

How to use:

  • Translate “how are you” to spanish

9. Looking For Comparison

You can easily find comparison of two different product

How to use:

  • Italy VS Germany
  • EU vs UK

10. Exclude From Search Result

If you are searching for something and don’t want certain information appear in your search then use “-” before the keyword to excluded in search.

Related...

How to use

  • SW development methodologies -waterfall
  • best agile books -site:www.amazon.com

11. Search for Differences

If you are searching difference between two words, then simply put the “ “|”” between two titles.
How to use:

  • Agile “|” waterfall

12. Quick Calculation

If you are in a restaurant and want to know about tip percentage of the bill, then this simple google advanced search calculator will help you a lot.

How to use:

  • Tip calculator

13. Online Timer

Search online timer on google by simply type timer.

14. Search for Title, Text in a Site

To Find Specific Title, Text on Site easy this trick.
Find those pages whose titles are “Agile”, text of the page is scrum and find on yodiz.com site only.

Example

  • intext:(Query) intitle:(Query) site:(Site URL)

How to use

  • intext:scrum intitle:Agile site:yodiz.com
  • intext:coffee intitle:chocolate – site:*.com

15. Search Time

If you want to know about the exact time of your location then type “time” and city name simply in google search box..

How to use
Time Oklahoma

16. Know Your IP Address

Search your IP address by just simply type IP address in google search box.
IP address

Search By Location

If you want to find a specific result like best IT universities in USA the replace this code in your search engine box. Find a specific result on a specific location:

How to use:

  • USA: “Film Schools”

17. Convert Counting

If you want to convert a big amount of counting in english then use this simple easy trick.
Example

  • Counting= Language

How to use

  • 11,200,670,000= Eleven billion two hundred million six hundred seventy thousand

18. Search Related Sites

If you are a chef and want to search other sites for recipes, or you are fond of reading blogs and searching more blogs then use this trick to find more similar sites.

Example

  • Related: ‘place your search query here’

How to use

  • Related: bestbuy.com
  • related: producthunt.com

19. Search Origin Of Word

If you are looking of any words origin then simply type Etymology before the word.

Example

  • Etymology (Word, Name, Place)

How to use

  • Etymology admiral

20. Specific Complex Search

If you want to find a result from a specific site with a specific phrase, and exclude some keywords also, and want to search in a specific time period then alter this given trick to your search.

  • Site:techcrunch.com ”mobile”-apple 2014..2015

21. Search By File Type

Find PDF documents with a specific topic.


How to use

  • filetype:pdf Scrum vs kanban
  • Filetype:doc (Search Query)
  • Filetype:ps (Search Query)
  • Filetype:doc (Search Query)
  • Filetype:xls (Search Query)
  • Filetype:ppt (Search Query)
  • Filetype:rtf (Search Query)

22. Search By Domain Extension

If you are looking a special government, educational or training site then use this technique to get more efficient way.
How to use

  • site:.org OR site:.edu OR site:.gov “cancer research”

23. Search On a Specific Site

If you want to search a specific result from a specific site then use this technique.

How to use

  • site mit.edu admissions

24. Find Recipes

If you are fond of eating or want to search any food item then use the given trick to get more accurate result.
Example
Recipe site: ‘place your search query here’
How to use

  • recipe site: ratatouille

25. Search Site Cache

If you want to search any site cache then simply type cache: now place site address.

26. Search for Exact Phrase

Use quotation marks for an exact phrase search, with same words in the same order.
Place quotation marks (“) around the phrase you’d like to search for.

How to use

  • “31 Most Common Bad SEO Mistakes and Practices To Avoid”

27. Online Stopwatch

Search online stopwatch on google by simply type stopwatch.

Source: This article was published yodiz.com By Yodiz Team

New web crawler from TSignal doesn't care who you are

Developers are working on a privacy-focused search engine that goes beyond the likes of DuckDuckGo.

DeepSearch from TSignal is an AI-based search engine that does not collect any user information, according to the team behind the project. The crawler-based engine aims to maintain user privacy while offering unbiased information discovery.

"TSignal does all the heavy work in-house, including crawling, language detection, indexing, ranking etc, while DuckDuckGo results are based on Bing/Google APIs," TSignal founder Vipin Kumar told El Reg. "DuckDuckGo is basically another front-end for Bing/Google with some tweaks."

TSignal has built its own engines, algorithms and stack, which handle, index and rank all data. The search engine has already indexed more than 4 billion web pages, according to its developers, with plans to index 100 billion more pages over the coming months.

The search engine's rank algorithms are completely AI based and its stack is "extremely fast", with 90 per cent of queries delivered in less than 200ms, according to Kumar. "There is no human curation of results at any stage," he added.

TSignal's DeepSearch

The project is pitched against the likes of Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Yandex. TSignal promises that it does not track its users with cookies, JavaScripts or with any other technologies in any form, not even for the sake of better or personalised results.

DeepSearch is currently at the alpha stage. Some features, such as query auto-correction and suggestions – commonplace with other search engines – are not yet available. It also does not currently index news or social media websites, but adding this support is a priority.

"We completely respect users' privacy," Kumar concluded. "Users' communications/search history are personal data and should be treated as such and should not be used in any form. The platform provider is just the messenger." ®

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By John Leyden

The platform wants to empower AI researchers and developers to advance their research without constraints of data resources, say its backers

Three Chinese internet majors have set up what is claimed to be the one of the largest open databases for artificial intelligence (AI) in the world, aimed at helping global talent advance AI research by harnessing the huge data pool generated by China’s 750 million internet users.

Sinovation Ventures, a venture capital firm founded by veteran tech investor Lee Kai-fu, Chinese online search major Sogou and mobile internet firm ByteDance jointly launched on Monday, the “AI Challenger”, a platform for open datasets and programming competitions for AI talent around the world.

The three companies said they would together invest tens of millions of yuan in the coming three years to make the AI Challenger one of the world’s largest platforms that will empower AI researchers and developers globally to advance their research without the constraints of data resources.

“We have already entered the era of AI. If AI is the engine that powers the development of our society, data is what fuels the movement of the engine,” said Lee Kai-fu, whose Sinovation Ventures is betting hugely that AI will disrupt a wide range of traditional industries with applications like autonomous driving to machine translation.

If AI is the engine that powers the development of our society, data is what fuels the movement of the engine
LEE KAI-FU, SINOVATION VENTURES

The participants of 2017 AI Challenger competition will be given access to three databases in September, all being the largest in the world of what’s publicly available in their respective categories, including datasets for English to Chinese machine translation and human skeleton key points.

The research results of such datasets can be applied to several sectors, from English-Chinese machine translation to autonomous driving. Winners of the competition will be awarded with a total of 2 million yuan in cash rewards and career opportunities at the three firms.

Where is China’s Silicon Valley?

The three companies said at the launch ceremony in Beijing that the AI Challenger platform was expected to expand over time, by data size and category, such as medical data.

The platform is launched in the wake of the release of China’s national AI development plan in late July. In the three-step roadmap, China has stated its goal to become a global leader in AI by 2030.

“Talent and data are the two pillars for AI development,” said Zhang Hongjiang, head of Technical Strategy Research Center with ByteDance, whose AI-powered news product Toutiao recommends articles and videos based on the different tastes of individual users.

“By providing data, we hope we can attract more talent in developing and designing AI algorithmic models,” he said.

Source: This article was published scmp.com By Meng Jing

Ebay this morning announced its plans to introduce new image search capabilities that will allow the company to better compete with the likes of Pinterest, Google and Amazon, all of which already support the use of photos in order to connect online shoppers with products of interest. There are two parts to eBay’s implementation of visual search: Image Search and Find It on eBay.

With Image Search, eBay users can snap a photo with their phone or upload one from their camera roll to find listings on the site that match the item in the photo. The other, Find It on eBay, is a feature in the eBay app and on the mobile website which allows you to share images you find on the web, including on social media, and then “share” that image into eBay to find related listings.

The company says the two new offerings were developed using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies that eBay already has embedded in its site. For shoppers, what this means is that the more people turn to image search to discover products across eBay’s catalog of over 1.1 billion items, the more the results will improve.

Above: Image Search

Ebay also notes that the size of its catalog and age of its service could give it an advantage in this space.

“…eBay is at a technological advantage due to the rich set of user-generated images and item data we’ve accumulated through the years,” noted Noted Mohan Patt, VP of eBay’s Buyer Experience, in a statement about the launch. “By applying machine learning technology, eBay can deliver a fast and reliable shopping experience backed by one of the world’s largest commerce data sets.”

The company is not without its competition, however. Amazon’s existing mobile app lets users shop using photos they snap with their phone’s camera, or via barcodes they scan, while Google more recently took on Pinterest’s visual search feature with its April introduction of a fashion image search feature that could surface apparel, in addition to the handbags, sunglasses, and shoes, it already handled. And of course, Google has had a search-by-image feature for years that goes beyond finding products.

Meanwhile, Pinterest touted in February how its visual discovery engine connects 150 million users worldwide with the 100 billion “ideas” they’ve saved to its site.

Of course, not all of Pinterest’s saved images are those for products, unlike on eBay.

Above: Find It on eBay

Other e-commerce businesses are rolling out visual search functionality of their own, developed for their particular vertical. For example, home furnishings site Wayfair introduced a visual search engine this May, which can help users find sofas, chairs, tables and other furniture they like.

Ebay is a bit late to the game in terms of putting a fully featured visual search tool directly into consumers’ hands through its flagship mobile app and mobile website. However, it’s not the first time it has leveraged image recognition technology in some capacity. Last fall, for example, eBay introduced a high-end furniture shop on its site called eBay Collective, which used a visual search engine that leveraged technology from its acquisition of visual search company Corrigon.

The company also experimented with a very similar search-by-photo technology with the launch of its Messenger app, ShopBot last year. While the bot overall wasn’t all that useful, you could see where eBay was going with the visual search feature – users could simply upload a photo of something they like, then ShopBot would return related results from eBay’s listings.

Neither of the two newly announced visual search features are available today, so they can’t be tested and reviewed at this point.

Instead, eBay says that Find It On eBay and Image Search will be rolling out this fall. At launch, Image Search will be supported on both Android and iOS while Find It On eBay will arrive on Android.

Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Sarah Perez

Installing Tor on Android and iOS devices is not as difficult as you may think.

You can safeguard your online privacy when you are using an Android or iOS device to browse the internet by using TOR. TOR hides and occasionally changes your IP address when you are online. Thus, when you are using TOR on either of these devices, your privacy and identity will be safe when you visit social media sites or any other sites on the internet. Here is a detailed guide on how you can successfully install TOR on your Android or IOS device.

How to install TOR on an Android Device

1: Download Orbot

You will have to download Orbot from any the credible app stores available. You can download it from Google PlayAmazon App Store or even from the website of the developer, which is the Guardian Project.

2: Install Orbot on your device

It is easy to install Orbot on your Android device, thanks to its highly intuitive installation wizard. Here is how the setup wizard looks like at first glance when you are just about to start the actual process of installing Orbot on your Android device

TOR Install (1)

3: Select the features you would like to run via Orbot

If your device is rooted, you will have to choose the particular applications you would like to access via Orbot. The process of selecting the apps that you would like to use via Orbot is simple and straightforward. However, if your device is not rooted, you may skip this step of the process by choosing the option that lets you proxy all the apps on your device through TOR.

4: Give Orbot Superuser access for rooted devices

If your Android device is rooted, you will have to give Orbot super user access for you to proceed with the installation process. Granting the app superuser access at all times ensures that you will be able to use Orbot when you are opening any app on your rooted Android device at any time.

This is how the screenshot for the stage when you have to grant Orbot superuser status to the apps on your Android device looks like.

5: Reboot your device

You will have to reboot your device at this stage of the installation process to allow Orbot to access all the apps on your device. If you attempt to open your mobile browser at this stage, it is likely that the browser may not function as desired. Therefore you may have to restart your device at this stage of the installation process.

6: Check your IP address

TOR Install (3)

Once you have reset your device, you will have to visit any website that checks your IP address. The purpose of this activity is to confirm that your traffic is getting re-routed via a proxy server and that you have a different IP address from your original one. If the Orbot installation process has been successful, you will get a different IP address. Here is a screenshot of how things should appear at this stage of the process.

6: Make configuration for some applications

You may have to configure some apps on your mobile device for you to use Orbot successfully. In this case, you may have to go to the ‘settings’ section of every particular app you would like to configure and make the necessary changes.

For some apps, you may have to download and install particular add-ons for you to use the apps on Orbot successfully.

7: Start using your device

Once you have successfully gone through the five steps that have been outlined above, you will be able to use TOR for your Android device. One important thing you need to note is that TOR will change your IP address at times. The occasional changes to your IP address are essential in making you anonymous online. Here is a screenshot of how things look like when you check your IP address once you complete the process of installing TOR on your Android device.

How to install TOR on an IOS Device

The procedure of installing TOR on your IOS device is similar to that of when you are installing the app on your Android device. However, there are slight variations that you have to keep in mind when installing TOR on your iOS device. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can set up TOR on your iOS device so you may enjoy the level of anonymity and online privacy that TOR offers to its users.

1: Download the TOR browser from Apple App Store

You will have to visit the App Store on your iOS device as the first step of the process. Once you access the app store, you may have to search for the TOR browser. You will see a list of alternatives. Choose the TOR-enabled browser that suits your needs. Here is a screenshot of what you should have when you are just about to tap on the ‘Get it’ button on the app store.

Remember that you may have to buy some apps from the Apple App store.

2: Install the app on your device

Once you successfully download the TOR app, you will see a button asking you to install it on your device. You will have to tap on the button to allow the installation process to commence. Remember that it is at this stage that the highly technical aspects of setting up TOR on your iOS device begin.

The installation process takes a few minutes. Here is a screenshot of what you are supposed to have on your device just before you tap the ‘install’ button.

3: Connect to TOR

Once you have successfully downloaded and installed TOR on your iOS device, the device will prompt you to connect to the TOR network. You will have to select this option to enable the TOR browser to start working on your device.

Remember that this stage is similar to that of installing TOR on your Android device during which you have to reconfigure some apps so that they work on TOR. Similarly, you may have to select to use the TOR app on particular apps on your iPhone device. However, the good news is that the process is straightforward.

4: Start using TOR to browse

Once you have successfully gone through the steps that have been outlined here, you will be ready to use TOR when browsing the internet on your iOS device. TOR helps to safeguard your online privacy by changing your IP address. As it is the case with installing TOR on your Android device, you may find it necessary to check if the installation has been successful by testing your IP address. If the installation has been successful, you will realize that you have an IP address that is different from the previous one.

In conclusion, it is easy to install the TOR app on your Android as well as an iOS device. The most important things you need to keep in mind are that you may have to reconfigure some apps on your device to make them compatible with TOR. Also, in the case of Android devices, the level of complexity of the process largely depends on whether your device is rooted or not.

Source: This article was published hackread By Ali Raza

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 17:33

How can we stop algorithms telling lies?

Algorithms can dictate whether you get a mortgage or how much you pay for insurance. But sometimes they’re wrong – and sometimes they are designed to deceive

Lots of algorithms go bad unintentionally. Some of them, however, are made to be criminal. Algorithms are formal rules, usually written in computer code, that make predictions on future events based on historical patterns. To train an algorithm you need to provide historical data as well as a definition of success.

We’ve seen finance get taken over by algorithms in the past few decades. Trading algorithms use historical data to predict movements in the market. Success for that algorithm is a predictable market move, and the algorithm is vigilant for patterns that have historically happened just before that move. Financial risk models also use historical market changes to predict cataclysmic events in a more global sense, so not for an individual stock but rather for an entire market. The risk model for mortgage-backed securities was famously bad – intentionally so – and the trust in those models can be blamed for much of the scale and subsequent damage wrought by the 2008 financial crisis.

Since 2008, we’ve heard less from algorithms in finance, and much more from big data algorithms. The target of this new generation of algorithms has been shifted from abstract markets to individuals. But the underlying functionality is the same: collect historical data about people, profiling their behaviour online, location, or answers to questionnaires, and use that massive dataset to predict their future purchases, voting behaviour, or work ethic.

The recent proliferation in big data models has gone largely unnoticed by the average person, but it’s safe to say that most important moments where people interact with large bureaucratic systems now involve an algorithm in the form of a scoring system. Getting into college, getting a job, being assessed as a worker, getting a credit card or insurance, voting, and even policing are in many cases done algorithmically. Moreover, the technology introduced into these systematic decisions is largely opaque, even to their creators, and has so far largely escaped meaningful regulation, even when it fails. That makes the question of which of these algorithms are working on our behalf even more important and urgent.

I have a four-layer hierarchy when it comes to bad algorithms. At the top there are the unintentional problems that reflect cultural biases. For example, when Harvard professor Latanya Sweeney found that Google searches for names perceived to be black generated ads associated with criminal activity, we can assume that there was no Google engineer writing racist code. In fact, the ads were trained to be bad by previous users of Google search, who were more likely to click on a criminal records ad when they searched for a black sounding name. Another example: the Google image search result for “unprofessional hair”,which returned almost exclusively black women, is similarly trained by the people posting or clicking on search results throughout time.

One layer down we come to algorithms that go bad through neglect. These would include scheduling programs that prevent people who work minimum wage jobs from leading decent lives. The algorithms treat them like cogs in a machine, sending them to work at different times of the day and on different days each week, preventing them from having regular childcare, a second job, or going to night school. They are brutally efficient, hugely scaled, and largely legal, collecting pennies on the backs of workers. Or consider Google’s system for automatically tagging photos. It had a consistent problem whereby black people were being labelled gorillas. This represents neglect of a different nature, namely quality assessment of the product itself: they didn’t check that it worked on a wide variety of test cases before releasing the code.

Image of Jobcentre Plus

 Algorithms are used to approve applicants before their CVs are viewed by human eyes, which can lead to discrimination. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA

The third layer consists of nasty but legal algorithms. For example, there were Facebook executives in Australia showing advertisers ways to find and target vulnerable teenagers. Awful but probably not explicitly illegal. Indeed online advertising in general can be seen as a spectrum, where on the one hand the wealthy are presented with luxury goods to buy but the poor and desperate are preyed upon by online payday lenders. Algorithms charge people more for car insurance if they don’t seem likely to comparison shop and Uber just halted an algorithm it was using to predict how low an offer of pay could be, thereby reinforcing the gender pay gap.

Finally, there’s the bottom layer, which consists of intentionally nefarious and sometimes outright illegal algorithms. There are hundreds of private companies, including dozens in the UK, that offer mass surveillance tools. They are marketed as a way of locating terrorists or criminals, but they can be used to target and root out citizen activists. And because they collect massive amounts of data, predictive algorithms and scoring systems are used to filter out the signal from the noise. The illegality of this industry is under debate, but a recent undercover operation by journalists at Al Jazeera has exposed the relative ease with which middlemen representing repressive regimes in Iran and South Sudan have been able to buy such systems. For that matter, observers have criticised China’s social credit scoring system. Called “Sesame Credit,” it’s billed as mostly a credit score, but it may also function as a way of keeping tabs on an individual’s political opinions, and for that matter as a way of nudging people towards compliance.

Closer to home, there’s Uber’s “Greyball,” an algorithm invented specifically to avoid detection when the taxi service is functioning illegally in a city. It used data to predict which riders were violating the terms of service of Uber, or which riders were undercover government officials. Telltale signs that Greyball picked up included multiple use of the app in a single day and using a credit card tied to a police union.

The most famous malicious and illegal algorithm we’ve discovered so far is the one used by Volkswagen in 11 million vehicles worldwide to deceive the emissions tests, and in particular to hide the fact that the vehicles were emitting nitrogen oxide at up to 35 times the levels permitted by law. And although it seemed simply like a devious device, this qualifies as an algorithm as well. It was trained to identify and predict testing conditions versus road conditions, and to function differently depending on that result. And, like Greyball, it was designed to deceive.

Keyboard with shopping-cart icon key highlighted

 In 2015, e-commerce business Poster Revolution was found guilty of using algorithms to collude with other poster sellers to set prices. Photograph: Bob Handelman/Getty Images

It’s worth dwelling on the example of car manufacturers because the world of algorithms – a very young, highly risky new industry with no safety precautions in place – is rather like the early car industry. With its naive and exuberant faith in its own technology, the world of AI is selling the equivalent of cars without bumpers whose wheels might fall off at any moment. And I’m sure there were such cars made once upon a time, but over time, as we saw more damage being done by faulty design, we came up with more rules to protect passengers and pedestrians. So, what can we learn from the current, mature world of car makers in the context of illegal software?

First, similar types of software are being deployed by other car manufacturers that turn off emissions controls in certain settings. In other words, this was not a situation in which there was only one bad actor, but rather a standard operating procedure. Moreover, we can assume this doesn’t represent collusion, but rather a simple case of extreme incentives combined with a calculated low probability of getting caught on the part of the car manufacturers. It’s reasonable to expect, then, that there are plenty of other algorithms being used to skirt rules and regulations deemed too expensive, especially when the builders of the algorithms remain smug about their chances.

Next, the VW cheating started in 2009, which means it went undetected for five years. What else has been going on for five years? This line of thinking makes us start looking around, wondering which companies are currently hoodwinking regulators, evading privacy laws, or committing algorithmic fraud with impunity.

Indeed it might seem like a slam dunk business model, in terms of cost-benefit analysis: cheat until regulators catch up with us, if they ever do, and then pay a limited fine that doesn’t make much of a dent in our cumulative profit. That’s how it worked in the aftermath of the financial crisis, after all. In the name of shareholder value, we might be obliged to do this.

Put it another way. We’re all expecting cars to be self-driving in a few years or a couple of decades at most. When that happens, can we expect there to be international agreements on what the embedded self-driving car ethics will look like? Or will pedestrians be at the mercy of the car manufacturers to decide what happens in the case of an unexpected pothole? If we get rules, will the rules differ by country, or even by the country of the manufacturer?

If this sounds confusing for something as easy to observe as car crashes, imagine what’s going on under the hood, in the relatively obscure world of complex “deep learning” models.

The tools are there already, to be sure. China has recently demonstrated how well facial recognition technology already works – enough to catch jaywalkers and toilet paper thieves. That means there are plenty of opportunities for companies to perform devious tricks on customers or potential hires. For that matter, the incentives are also in place. Just last month Google was fined €2.4bn for unfairly placing its own shopping search results in a more prominent place than its competitors. A similar complaint was levelled at Amazon by ProPublica last year with respect to its pricing algorithm, namely that it was privileging its own, in-house products – even when they weren’t a better deal – over those outside its marketplace. If you think of the internet as a place where big data companies vie for your attention, then we can imagine more algorithms like this in our future.

There’s a final parallel to draw with the VW scandal. Namely, the discrepancy in emissions was finally discovered in 2014 by a team of professors and students at West Virginia University, who applied and received a measly grant of $50,000 from the International Council on Clean Transportation, an independent nonprofit organisation paid for by US taxpayers. They spent their money driving cars around the country and capturing the emissions, a cheap and straightforward test.

Car undergoing emissions test

 In 2015, Volkswagen was found to have used a malicious algorithm to deceive the emissions test. Seven VW executives have been charged in the US. Photograph: Patrick T Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty

What organisation will put a stop to the oncoming crop of illegal algorithms? What is the analogue of the International Council on Clean Transportation? Does there yet exist an organisation that has the capacity, interest, and ability to put an end to illegal algorithms, and to prove that these algorithms are harmful? The answer is, so far, no. Instead, at least in the US, a disparate group of federal agencies is in charge of enforcing laws in their industry or domain, none of which is particularly on top of the complex world of big data algorithms. Elsewhere, the European commission seems to be looking into Google’s antitrust activity, and Facebook’s fake news problems, but that leaves multiple industries untouched by scrutiny.

Even more to the point, though, is the question of how involved the investigation of algorithms would have to be. The current nature of algorithms is secret, proprietary code, protected as the “secret sauce” of corporations. They’re so secret that most online scoring systems aren’t even apparent to the people targeted by them. That means those people also don’t know the score they’ve been given, nor can they complain about or contest those scores. Most important, they typically won’t know if something unfair has happened to them.

Given all of this, it’s difficult to imagine oversight for algorithms, even when they’ve gone wrong and are actively harming people. For that matter, not all kinds of harm are distinctly measurable in the first place. One can make the argument that, what with all the fake news floating around, our democracy has been harmed. But how do you measure democracy?

That’s not to say there is no hope. After all, by definition, an illegal algorithm is breaking an actual law that we can point to. There is, ultimately, someone that should be held accountable for this. The problem still remains, how will such laws be enforced?

Ben Shneiderman, a computer science professor at the University of Maryland, proposed the concept of a National Algorithms Safety Board, in a talk at the Alan Turing Institute. Modelled on the National Transportation Safety Board, which investigates ground and air traffic accidents, this body would similarly be charged with investigating harm, and specifically in deciding who should be held responsible for algorithmic harm.

Estate agents' signs

 Algorithms sift through historical data to value homes. In the US, one homeowner is suing Zoopla for knocking $100,000 from the value of her property by drawing on the wrong data. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

This is a good idea. We should investigate problems when we find them, and it’s good to have a formal process to do so. If it has sufficient legal power, the board can perhaps get to the bottom of lots of commonsense issues. But it’s not clear how comprehensive it could be.

Because here’s where the analogy with car makers breaks down: there is no equivalent of a 30-car pile-up in the world of algorithms. Most of the harm happens to isolated individuals, separately and silently. A proliferation of silent and undetectable car crashes is harder to investigate than when it happens in plain sight.

I’d still maintain there’s hope. One of the miracles of being a data sceptic in a land of data evangelists is that people are so impressed with their technology, even when it is unintentionally creating harm, they openly describe how amazing it is. And the fact that we’ve already come across quite a few examples of algorithmic harm means that, as secret and opaque as these algorithms are, they’re eventually going to be discovered, albeit after they’ve caused a lot of trouble.

What does this mean for the future? First and foremost, we need to start keeping track. Each criminal algorithm we discover should be seen as a test case. Do the rule-breakers get into trouble? How much? Are the rules enforced, and what is the penalty? As we learned after the 2008 financial crisis, a rule is ignored if the penalty for breaking it is less than the profit pocketed. And that goes double for a broken rule that is only discovered half the time.

Even once we start building a track record of enforcement, we have ourselves an arms race. We can soon expect a fully fledged army of algorithms that skirt laws, that are sophisticated and silent, and that seek to get around rules and regulations. They will learn from how others were caught and do it better the next time. In other words, it will get progressively more difficult to catch them cheating. Our tactics have to get better over time too.

Police perform a stop and search in Harrow, London.

 Predictive policing algorithms use historical data to forecast where crime will happen next. Civil rights groups argue that these systems exacerbate existing police prejudices. Photograph: Stuart Emmerson/Alamy

We can also expect to be told that the big companies are “dealing with it privately”. This is already happening with respect to fighting terrorism. We should not trust them when they say this. We need to create a standard testing framework – a standard definition of harm – and require that algorithms be submitted for testing. And we cannot do this only in “test lab conditions,” either, or we will be reconstructing the VW emissions scandal.

One of the biggest obstacles to this is that Google, Facebook, or for that matter Amazon, don’t allow testing of multiple personas – or online profiles – by outside researchers. Since those companies offer tailored and personalised service, the only way to see what that service looks like would be to take on the profile of multiple people, but that is not allowed. Think about that in the context of the VW testing: it would be like saying research teams could not have control of a car to test its emissions. We need to demand more access and ongoing monitoring, especially once we catch them in illegal acts. For that matter, entire industries, such as algorithms for insurance and hiring, should be subject to these monitors, not just individual culprits.

It’s time to gird ourselves for a fight. It will eventually be a technological arms race, but it starts, now, as a political fight. We need to demand evidence that algorithms with the potential to harm us be shown to be acting fairly, legally, and consistently. When we find problems, we need to enforce our laws with sufficiently hefty fines that companies don’t find it profitable to cheat in the first place. This is the time to start demanding that the machines work for us, and not the other way around.

Source: This article was published theguardian By Cathy O'Neil

Sunday, 28 May 2017 23:43

How to Unlock Your Phone

Mobile phone carriers don't want you to leave, especially if they helped pay for your phone. Most of the phones sold in the U.S. (except for Verizon phones) are "locked," meaning they can't be taken to another carrier without being unlocked. From the carriers' perspective, it's a way to stop customers from leaving before they've paid out their contract or installment plan.

Because we're a country fragmented between the GSM and CDMA technologies and several different frequency bands, unlocking a phone doesn't mean you can use it on any other U.S. carrier. But depending on the phone, you may be able to use it on a different U.S. carrier, or with foreign carriers for lower rates than you would pay roaming on your own provider.

It also helps to unlock a used phone before you sell it on a site like eBay. That will raise the price you get, because more people will be able to buy and use your phone.

In late 2013, the U.S. wireless carrier association (CTIA) agreed to adopt standards that would allow subscribers to unlock their paid-off phones by February 11, 2015. That's made things easier, but there are still a lot of requirements and caveats.

Why Unlock Your Phone?

The simplest reason to unlock your phone is to use it on another GSM network. That could be AT&T, T-Mobile, one of the virtual carriers that uses those networks, or a foreign GSM carrier. AT&T and T-Mobile now give service plan discounts for bringing your own phone.

The reason to use an unlocked phone while traveling abroad is because you can use either a global SIM card or a local carrier's SIM card, which would offer much lower rates than roaming with your U.S. carrier. You'd lose your standard U.S. phone number for the duration of the trip, though.

U.S. GSM virtual carriers compatible with unlocked phones include Cricket, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk, H2O Wireless, Black Wireless, Ready SIM, and many others.

Large CDMA carriers, in general, do not accept unlocked phones. That means you can't move an unlocked phone over to Verizon, Sprint, Boost, or Virgin.

However, some small virtual carriers on Sprint's network will accept unlocked Sprint phones (and only Sprint phones) - carriers like Ting, Expo Mobile, EcoMobile, and Credo Wireless. The small virtual carrier Page Plus accepts unlocked Verizon phones.

There are third-party sites that purport to sell "unlock codes," but they're generally pretty shady. Avoid them.

How To Unlock an AT&T Phone

AT&T's unlocking policy depends on what kind of customer you are.

If you aren't an AT&T customer and you're trying to unlock an AT&T phone that you bought used, the phone must be fully paid off, not attached to a contract, and not reported lost or stolen.

If you're a postpaid customer, that all has to be true, and you also have to have had service for 60 days. If you're a prepaid customer, kick that up to six months.

If you fulfill these requirements, go to AT&T's Unlocking Page to submit a request. AT&T will send you instructions on how to unlock your phone within two days.

How to Unlock a T-Mobile Phone

T-Mobile's unlocking rules require you to use your phone for a certain amount of time and pay it off before unlocking. Also, you can only request two unlock codes a year.

Phones on monthly plans must have been active for 40 days and either completely paid off if they're on a no-contract plan, or at least 18 months into a 24-month contract. Prepaid smartphones must have been active for a year or have used $100 in refills.

If you fulfill those requirements, call 1-877-746-0909 or use the online chat on TMobile.com and ask to unlock your phone. They'll send you instructions within two days.

How to Unlock a Sprint, Boost or Virgin Phone

Sprint, Boost, and Virgin (which are all parts of Sprint) now all have the same unlocking policies. You only need to bother unlocking Sprint phones if they also contain a GSM radio (like the iPhone 6 does) or if you're moving them to a Sprint-based virtual carrier like Ting or Credo Wireless.

Sprint has a complex, confusing set of unlocking policies. You can read Sprint's main unlocking policyprepaid unlocking policy, and unlocking FAQ for details, but here are the basics.

If you just want to use a Sprint world phone (such as an iPhone 6) with a foreign SIM card when you travel abroad, it basically just needs to be a live device on an account that's been active for 90 days. This form of unlocking won't allow it to be used on non-Sprint U.S. networks. Go to sprint.com/sww to get this unlock.

To unlock a Sprint phone, the phone must be fully paid off or out of contract, and not reported as lost or stolen. If it's prepaid, such as a Virgin or Boost phone, the phone must have been used for 12 months.

But wait! Unless you bought your phone after February 19, 2015, only iPhone 5s, 5c, 6, and 6 Plus models are truly unlockable on Sprint, Virgin, or Boost. According to Sprint, phones bought before February 19 will require a code to move to another Sprint-compatible carrier, not a true SIM unlock.

Phones bought after February 19, 2015 may be fully SIM unlockable, but remember, because of that year-long active requirement, you probably won't be able to SIM-unlock most Virgin or Boost phones until 2016. You will be able to CDMA unlock them to use on another Sprint-based carrier, or international unlock them for internation SIM use, though.

Call 844-665-6327 to unlock your Sprint phone, 888-322-1122 to unlock a Virgin phone or 866-402-7366 to unlock a Boost phone.

This Reddit thread helps decode what Sprint is doing.

How to Unlock a U.S. Cellular Phone

U.S. Cellular's unlocking policy says that it will unlock any postpaid phone that is paid off or out of contract, and any prepaid phone that was activated more than 12 months ago. 3G devices can be unlocked by calling 888-944-9400, but for LTE devices, you must stop in at a U.S. Cellular store.

How to Unlock a Verizon Phone

Verizon 4G LTE phones are sold unlocked. You can use them on any supported carrier on demand.

If you have a Verizon 3G Global Ready device, most of them are unlocked; any locked devices can be unlocked by request by calling 888-294-6804. If your phone asks for an unlocking code, try "000000" or "123456" before calling for help.

Verizon's full phone unlocking policy is online.

How to Unlock Other Carriers' Phones

Cricket will unlock GSM phones that have been in use for 6 months (either current Cricket or former Aio phones). Stop into a store, call 800-274-2538, or chat online.

MetroPCS will unlock any GSM phone that's been active for 90 days; stop into a store or call 888-863-8768.

Phones from TracFone and Straight Talk that were put on the market after January 2014 can be unlocked after 12 months of use as per the company's unlocking policy. Call your brand's customer service number to ask.

Source: This article was published on pcmag.com by SASCHA SEGAN

Page 1 of 9

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

airs logo

Association of Internet Research Specialists is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Newsletter Subscription

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

Follow Us on Social Media

Book Your Seat for Webinar GET FREE REGISTRATION FOR MEMBERS ONLY      Register Now