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Olivia Russell

Olivia Russell

 
  • Technology is advancing so rapidly these days — and we rely upon it so readily — that we hardly notice innovations anymore.
  • But we've actually come a long way since the dawn of the internet and mobile devices.
  • Here are 40 totally amazing technological advancements that we don't even notice anymore.

We don't have hover crafts or teleportation just yet, but we've come pretty far technologically since the dawn of the internet and mobile devices.

In our busy everyday routines, we rely upon that technology to do a lot for us. And that technology is constantly changing.

As a result, it's easy to forget just how advanced some of it is.

But we'd be left scrambling if all of our innovations, from our smartphones to our high-speed internet, ceased to operate.

Here are 40 technological advancements so ingrained in our daily lives that we don't even notice them anymore.

Many of us rely a great deal on our smartphones these days. Just two decades ago, we didn't have these portable lifesavers that can do just about everything for us.

Many of us rely a great deal on our smartphones these days. Just two decades ago, we didn't have these portable lifesavers that can do just about everything for us.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Now we can manage our lives with the tap of a finger, from scheduling bill payments to shopping for groceries.

Now we can manage our lives with the tap of a finger, from scheduling bill payments to shopping for groceries.Jenny Kane/AP

And we can keep our lives in our pockets for as little as $300. The first portable computer, on the other hand, cost $1,795 in 1985.

And we can keep our lives in our pockets for as little as $300. The first portable computer, on the other hand, cost $1,795 in 1985.Antonio Villas-Boas/Business Insider

Instant news alerts on our phones allow us to stay connected and aware as a collective society.

Instant news alerts on our phones allow us to stay connected and aware as a collective society.Business Insider

Online dating apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge have replaced how people have traditionally and organically met people.

We no longer have to stress about remembering login information when smartphones can save all of that for us.

We no longer have to stress about remembering login information when smartphones can save all of that for us.Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Who uses buttons anymore? Many devices, like smartphones, store kiosks, and laptops, use touch-screen technology now.

Who uses buttons anymore? Many devices, like smartphones, store kiosks, and laptops, use touch-screen technology now.Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Biometric authentication used to be reserved for spy movies. Now we can use our thumbprints to unlock our phones.

Biometric authentication used to be reserved for spy movies. Now we can use our thumbprints to unlock our phones.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Our watches don't just keep time anymore. Now we can use smartwatches as extensions of our smartphones to take phone calls or send text messages.

Our watches don't just keep time anymore. Now we can use smartwatches as extensions of our smartphones to take phone calls or send text messages.Steve Kovach/Business Insider

Paper road maps are next to extinct thanks to Global Positioning Systems, or GPS. Apps like Apple Maps and Google Maps make it easy to type in our destinations and go.

Paper road maps are next to extinct thanks to Global Positioning Systems, or GPS. Apps like Apple Maps and Google Maps make it easy to type in our destinations and  go.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What's a blind spot? Rearview cameras in our cars make reversing a breeze.

What's a blind spot? Rearview cameras in our cars make reversing a breeze.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Toyota released the Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid electric car, worldwide in 2000. Since then, more cars that can either completely or partially operate on electric power have hit the road.

Toyota released the Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid electric car, worldwide in 2000. Since then, more cars that can either completely or partially operate on electric power have hit the road.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Platforms like Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, and Getaround have normalized riding in a stranger's vehicle or staying in a stranger's home, completely transforming how many of us travel.

We can listen to music or podcasts with tiny speakers that go into the ear instead of the big and clunky headphones we used in the past.

We can listen to music or podcasts with tiny speakers that go into the ear instead of the big and clunky headphones we used in the past.Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Bluetooth isn't just for hands-free headsets anymore. Now we can sync our phones to speakers or our car stereos, home security systems, and other things.

Bluetooth isn't just for hands-free headsets anymore. Now we can sync our phones to speakers or our car stereos, home security systems, and other things.Richard Drew/AP

We had to wait days — sometimes weeks — for our messages to reach us via snail mail. But messages sent over email reach us in seconds.

We had to wait days — sometimes weeks — for our messages to reach us via snail mail. But messages sent over email reach us in seconds.Damian Dovarganes/AP

Streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube put cat videos, award-winning TV shows and movies, music videos, and so much more right at our fingertips.

Streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube put cat videos, award-winning TV shows and movies, music videos, and so much more right at our fingertips.Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock

No need to pay $15 for a movie ticket. There are big-budget, quality movies headed straight to our Netflix accounts all the time.

No need to pay $15 for a movie ticket. There are big-budget, quality movies headed straight to our Netflix accounts all the time.Netflix

Rushing home to catch a new episode of our favorite shows is a thing of the past. Now we can use DVR to schedule recordings of the programs we choose in advance.

Rushing home to catch a new episode of our favorite shows is a thing of the past. Now we can use DVR to schedule recordings of the programs we choose in advance.Iain Watson/Flickr

Bulky, beastly televisions have been replaced with sleek, high-quality, and flat screen TVs.

Bulky, beastly televisions have been replaced with sleek, high-quality, and flat screen TVs.Gerry Broome/AP

Devices equipped with 4G allow us to connect to the Internet wirelessly, like on a bus for instance. That speed will only increase when the next generation, 5G, rolls out in coming years.

Devices equipped with 4G allow us to connect to the Internet wirelessly, like on a bus for instance. That speed will only increase when the next generation, 5G, rolls out in coming years.Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We can use our devices with WiFi to access the internet without needing a physical connection, which is a massive improvement on the days of yore when we needed an Ethernet cable.

Personal news travels fast thanks to social media platforms, which allow us to stay constantly tuned-in to the lives of our friends and family.

Personal news travels fast thanks to social media platforms, which allow us to stay constantly tuned-in to the lives of our friends and family.Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Debit and credit cars have rendered carrying cash in our wallets less of a necessity. And the chip-and-pin credit cards are making these transactions more secure than ever.

Debit and credit cars have rendered carrying cash in our wallets less of a necessity. And the chip-and-pin credit cards are making these transactions more secure than ever.Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Source: USA Today

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have given people access to large amounts of information right at their fingerprints.

Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo have given people access to large amounts of information right at their fingerprints.Jeff Chiu/AP

Whether it's a TV, a speaker, or the lighting in our homes, we're able to alter the settings of our home devices from the comfort of the couch thanks to technology

Whether it's a TV, a speaker, or the lighting in our homes, we're able to alter the settings of our home devices from the comfort of the couch thanks to technologyJason Trim/Flickr

Voice-activated assistants like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri allow us to use our voices to control technology, a feat people years ago only dreamed would exist in the future.

Voice-activated assistants like Amazon's Alexa or Apple's Siri allow us to use our voices to control technology, a feat people years ago only dreamed would exist in the future.Oll Scarff/Getty Images

With wireless speakers, we can amplify our music without the need for cables.

With wireless speakers, we can amplify our music without the need for cables.Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Before music libraries were a staple of the smartphone, the iPod was the most efficient way to listen to music on-the-go. Apple's 2001 release of the first iPod Classic was the beginning of the end for CDs.

Before music libraries were a staple of the smartphone, the iPod was the most efficient way to listen to music on-the-go. Apple's 2001 release of the first iPod Classic was the beginning of the end for CDs.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Apple iTunes launched in 2001 in conjunction with the iPod, transforming the CD collection into a digital music library for users.

Streaming music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have taken the digital music library one step further, giving users easy access to a vast library of streamed content.

Streaming music platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have taken the digital music library one step further, giving users easy access to a vast library of streamed content.Avery Hartmans/Business Insider

Platforms like FaceTime and Skype operate over the internet, making work conferences, long-distance relationships, and family check-ins a cakewalk.

Work messaging systems like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Skype have also normalized remote work, allowing employees to connect regardless of office location.

Work messaging systems like Slack, Google Hangouts, and Skype have also normalized remote work, allowing employees to connect regardless of office location.Mark Lennihan/AP

"The cloud" has also been a game changer for businesses, whose employees can remotely access information instead of from a physical hard drive.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

We can strap on a pair of goggles and enter a new world with virtual reality.

We can strap on a pair of goggles and enter a new world with virtual reality.Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Wii sports and the Microsoft Kinect got us used to the idea of waving our arms around to play games. Nowadays, apps like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger let us turn our faces into video game controllers.

Wii sports and the Microsoft Kinect got us used to the idea of waving our arms around to play games. Nowadays, apps like Snapchat and Facebook Messenger let us turn our faces into video game controllers.Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

E-readers like the Amazon Kindle provide users with the ability to carry thousands of books in a single, slim tablet.

E-readers like the Amazon Kindle provide users with the ability to carry thousands of books in a single, slim tablet.Hollis Johnson

The launch of the tablet provided the perfect medium between the compact smartphone and the readability of a desktop.

The launch of the tablet provided the perfect medium between the compact smartphone and the readability of a desktop.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Before smartphones came installed with front-facing cameras, selfie posers had to fly blind. Without that piece of tech, it'd be difficult to snap a shot of yourself properly.

Many people have traded in their film cameras for digital cameras, and even their phones. With digital photography, we can shoot endless photos, see what we've got, and re-shoot if we're not pleased with the result.

 

Source: This article was Published businessinsider.com By Katie Canales

There’s no mention of ‘fake news,’ though

There are more young people online than ever in our current age of misinformation, and Facebook is developing resources to help youths better navigate the internet in a positive, responsible way. Facebook has launched a Digital Literacy Library in partnership with the Youth and Media team at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The interactive lessons and videos can be downloaded for free, and they’re meant to be used in the classroom, in after-school programs, or at home.

Created from more than 10 years of academic research and “built in consultation with teens,” the curriculum is divided into five themes: Privacy and Reputation, Identity Exploration, Positive Behavior, Security, and Community Engagement. There are 18 lessons in total, available in English; there are plans to add 45 more languages. Lessons can be divided into three different age groups between 11 and 18, and they cover everything from having healthy relationships online (group activities include discussing scenarios like “over-texting”) to recognizing phishing scams.

The Digital Literacy Library is part of Facebook’s Safety Center as well as a larger effort to provide digital literacy skills to nonprofits, small businesses, and community colleges. Though it feels like a step in the right direction, curiously missing from the lesson plans are any mentions of “fake news.” Facebook has worked on a news literacy campaign with the aim of reducing the spread of false news before. But given the company’s recent announcements admitting to the discovery of “inauthentic” social media campaigns ahead of the midterm elections, it’s strange that the literacy library doesn’t call attention to spotting potential problems on its own platform.

 Source: This article was Published theverge.com By Dami Lee

Microsoft's visual search is graduating from beta, now rolling out for everyone on iOS.

following a short period of beta testingMicrosoft Edge is now rolling out an intelligent visual search for everyone. The addition brings the iOS version of the app up to par with its Android counterpart, which picked up a visual search in June. But beyond that, there are a few other neat features tagging along in this update as well, including paste-and-search and the option to choose from more default search engines.

As for the highlight feature of this update, visual search lets you quickly snap a photo or choose one from your camera roll, then search the internet for information based on whatever you snapped. Microsoft is talking up the feature's usefulness for shopping, helping to track down items of clothing, for example, that you like. That's also bolstered by a built-in barcode scanner, which can be used to find deals on items. Visual search can be used to find more information on landmarks around you as well.

Here's a full look at all of what's new in this update:

  • Intelligent visual search gives you a cool new way to find contact info, identify landmarks, or find similar images based on a photo
  • Support paste and go/search in address bar
  • Choose from more default search engine options
  • Performance improvements

And if you're signed in with a work or school account, there are a few other goodies to check out:

  • See your organization's home page
  • Securely access intranet sites from home
  • See mobile browser activity on your PC's timeline

If you're giving Microsoft Edge a shot on your iPhone or iPad, you can check out all of these new features by grabbing the latest update from the App Store now.

Source: This article was published windowscentral.com By DAN THORP-LANCASTER

One thing has remained a constant in the search industry: frequent – and often dramatic – changes in technology.

As SEO professionals, it’s necessary for us to continue to evolve in order to remain effective.

Today, we’re at a point where this is occurring faster and more dramatically than ever before.

While some of the previous changes to search affected specific tactics, the ones we will face in the future — changes that we already face on a smaller scale now — will tend to impact search on a more strategic level.

These technological advances will completely revolutionize search.

There’s a Revolution Calling

Some of you may be relatively new to search and haven’t yet seen a groundbreaking change in the industry.

Others who have been around a little longer may remember what seemed like massive changes due to algorithm updates like PenguinPanda, and going even further back, Florida.

A much smaller group of industry veterans likely remember what search engine optimization was like in the days before Google, when links weren’t even a ranking factor.

But the dramatic change that we’ve seen over the past two decades will be just a drop in the bucket compared to the change we will face in the coming years.

Technological advances will completely revolutionize the industry, creating a tremendous opportunity for proactive and intelligent SEO practitioners, but likely also create chaos and collateral damage on a scale that the industry has not yet seen.

If we expect to remain competitive in the coming years, it’s essential that we’re aware of these technologies and that we understand them as best as possible. That will require a combination of:

  • Analyzing relevant patents or closely following the work of those who do, like Bill Slawski and Roger Montti.
  • Consistently conducting large-scale experiments to prove or disprove theories.

That last part is critical because while a patent may say that something will work a certain way, the results in the real world are often very different.

That being said, these are the technologies that will revolutionize the way we think about search — and probably far sooner than we expect.

1. Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Talk of artificial intelligence and machine learning have hit a fever pitch in the last few years as the technology behind them have advanced at a rapid pace. However, as far as they’ve come, they still have a long way to go.

I like to compare the behavior of AI to that of a drunk toddler. Sometimes it gets things right, but just as often, it gets things wrong, and every so often, it does something completely embarrassing, ridiculous, and even terrifying.

Artificial intelligence, powered by machine learning, has the potential to be an amazing and positive force in powering search engines, but it still has a lot of growing up to do.

Right now, in its infancy, it’s still crawling around in Garanimals PJs with a pacifier in its mouth. In a few years, it will be more like an angsty teenager screaming “You don’t understand me!” while eating Tide Pods — but it will also be a lot closer to delivering useful results more consistently.

And by results, I don’t just mean spitting out 10 choices, or even one, in response to a query plugged into a search field. I mean that it will go so far outside of the traditional concept of a search engine by anticipating and predicting our needs long before we even think about them.

I’ll call this predictive search.

Here’s an example: I can sometimes be geographically challenged, so when I leave an appointment, I typically open my map app and click my office address to guide me back.

This is a perfect example of where AI and machine learning can shine.

When my appointment is over, rather than me having to manually open my map app and enter the address of my next appointment, Google can evaluate whether I’ve been to the address of my next appointment before, and spring into action by either:

  • Automatically opening my map app with the next address on my calendar ready to go if it’s somewhere new,
  • Offering a prompt if it’s somewhere I’ve been a few times,
  • Or simply not opening at all if it’s somewhere I go frequently.

But this technology can go far beyond that, offering assistance in more creative ways, and through channels, most people have never even considered.

Sure, we’re all familiar with conducting a search through a website, app, and even devices like Google Home, but what about when search engines start to use data from a variety of sources to predict our needs before we ever conduct a search?

Artificial Intelligence SEO

An Exciting (Or Terrifying) Future?

Imagine if your children came home from school sick — if you’re a parent, this doesn’t require much imagination because as much as we love them, we have to admit that kids are like disgusting little germ factories, and the schools we send them to for a large portion of their day are basically turbocharged Petri dishes filled with near weapons-grade pathogens.

So, predictably, you succumb to whatever mutated plague they happened to bring home from their fellow germ factories, and you end up calling in sick the next morning.

Shortly after emailing your boss to tell him that you won’t be in, the clients and coworkers you were scheduled to interact with later that day all receive an email too — but not from you. AI identified and interpreted your email message to your boss, and automatically informed everyone else on your calendar for that day that you wouldn’t be in.

Later, after a brief NyQuil-induced coma, you emerge from your bedroom, still bundled in pajamas and a robe, with hair a mess and breath that could gag an opossum, to answer a knock at your from a door.

There, on the ground before you, sits a small package from Amazon that you don’t recall ordering. Tearing into it, you find three bottles of kombucha tea, a package of throat lozenges, and a bottle of echinacea and vitamin C.

“Where did this come from,” you wonder? Then you remember that you discussed being sick with your wife last night in the same room as your Alexa. (Mental note: move Alexa out of the bedroom.)

As creepy as this scenario may sound, it’s all well within the realm of possibility for artificial intelligence, and I believe we’re not too far off from it becoming reality. A reasonably conservative estimate could put it as soon as five years. However, Jim Hedger and I discussed this topic on a recent episode of Webcology, and he believes it could be closer to a year or two.

The hardware is already here, and thanks to the rapid adoption of personal assistant devices in recent years, such as Google Home, Siri, and Alexa, comfort with the idea of a device that’s always listening is becoming the norm.

The only thing missing is AI that’s smart enough to perform these type of tasks well on a consistent basis.

That’s advancing at a shocking pace thanks to the existence of appropriate hardware, widespread adoption of the technology, and the use of machine learning, taught through voice search, to train or teach the complex artificial intelligence algorithms how to perform.

2. Voice Search

I’ve been in this industry long enough to remember when it made sense to create an individual page for every possible variation of a keyword, including common misspellings.

As you might imagine (or as you may remember), this created a lot of garbage online.

Fortunately, the thinking on keyword research has evolved dramatically over the last two decades, first slowly transitioning from a rigid keyword-based approach to a more natural topic-based approach, then blending that topic-based approach with natural language. By natural language, I mean search terms that model how you might speak to another human being.

This most recent evolution is largely thanks to voice search.

voice-search-sej

Voice search has technically been around for a long time, but it didn’t really take off until about 2013 when smartphones like the iPhone and Android became common. That put the power of the internet into the hands of the average person no matter where they happened to be, but without the convenience of a keyboard and mouse, making voice search an easier and more convenient option.

While it may seem like one type of search query is the same as any other, voice search is an entirely different creature because the results are so intent-driven.

For example, if I search for a restaurant we have here in Tampa called Texas de Brazil from my desktop, a search engine knows that I’m probably looking for information about the restaurant, so the first organic result will be their website. If, on the other hand, if I conduct that same search using voice search via a mobile device, I probably just want to know how to get there.

Ultimately, you need to think beyond the search query and think about what problem a user is most likely trying to solve with that search query. Provide that and your likelihood of performing well in voice search will increase.

As voice search continues to grow, it will become an increasingly valuable component in the machine learning that enables search engines to refine the “brains” behind their AI.

Natural language queries combined with a growing understanding of related entities will create an AI that is capable of thinking rather than simply retrieving data that matches a keyword-based query.

The US Search Awards 2018 - Join the search party!
The US Search Awards is back for 2018. Regarded as the premiere celebration of SEO, PPC and content marketing in the US, 2018 will be bigger than ever.

Unlike keyword-based queries, natural language queries, in which we’re speaking to a search engine through a device, give search engines an opportunity to learn from users and respond in real-time by analyzing a variety of factors, which could include:

  • Does the user appear to have found what they needed from the result provided, or did they quickly return to make another query?
  • If the user didn’t find what they needed from the result provided, did they then ask for the next result, modify their initial query, or did they rephrase the query entirely?
  • Does the user switch from voice to traditional search? Did they appear to find what they needed at that point?
  • Is the user’s voice relaxed and at a normal conversational volume, or agitated and raised? Has it changed at some point during this process?

Machine learning can determine which results best satisfy users under which circumstances and then pass that data back to a centralized repository where it can be compared with data from other devices; data that shows a statistical improvement in delivering what the users want can be implemented into the core algorithm in real time, resulting in an algorithm that teaches itself at an exponential scale.

But the ability of voice search to teach artificial intelligence how to understand our language goes far beyond simply returning relevant results

This technology could also be used to “crawl” what I would imagine has to be trillions of terabytes of data available from podcasts and video, which is currently completely invisible to search engines.

It would be a game changer because instead of relying on titles, descriptions, and tags, the actual audio content within MP3 and video file could be analyzed, opening up a wealth of new content to searchers.

To take this to the next logical step, it could also evaluate the individual frames within a video file in the context of the audio content of that video, and begin working to understand video as well.

This would enable whichever search engine first developed this technology to provide a wealth of information that their competitors couldn’t, and would provide additional leverage in search for proactive marketers who have invested time into building a library of useful podcast episodes.

3. Mobile Search

As the foundational technology that enabled voice search to become useful, mobile search has already revolutionized search, but it will continue to do so, perhaps on an even larger scale than it has already.

The most obvious role it has played is in enabling users to more effectively navigate the web in an efficient environment. No more pinching and zooming — instead, it gave us responsive websites that can dynamically adjust for optimal use on whichever device it’s being viewed on.

But the mobile search goes beyond smartphones and tablets. Think of small wearable devices, like smart watches, all the way up to internet-enabled vehicles. Basically, any device that could enable users to conduct a search on the go.

We’re already at a point where over half of all searches are conducted on a mobile device, and that percentage will continue to increase as we adopt new types of devices in greater numbers. As that happens, mobile search becomes increasingly important.

So what matters in mobile search today?

Search intent plays a huge role, both because there is limited screen real estate on which to display results, and because when a user conducts a search on a mobile device, there is usually a very specific and immediate need.

Unlike on a desktop, where a user may be simply gathering information, a user conducting a search on a mobile device is likely looking for, or en route to, a particular location.

For example, if I search for Thai restaurants from a mobile device, it’s a safe assumption that I’m looking for one near my current location, and if I search for a particular Thai restaurant from a mobile device, I most likely want reviews and directions.

Speed is also a critical factor for search in general, but it’s especially important in mobile search because mobile devices lack the bandwidth and processing power of desktop computers.

Frankly, this is an area that most people fail miserably in because a lot of web designers and developers lack the expertise to properly optimize a website for speed.

This means optimizing media files, reducing HTTP calls, and leveraging caching and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs).

But that’s just barely scratching the surface.

Truly optimizing a website for mobile is equal parts art and science, and often requires a fair amount of trial and error to get it just right.

If you want to do a deep dive into the future of mobile search, Cindy Krumrecently published a comprehensive four-part series titled “Mobile-First Indexing or a Whole New Google?”

But mobile search soon will go well beyond traditional thinking, and even beyond bleeding edge thinking of the day.

While today we may think about websites when we discuss mobile search, in the near future, they may not even be a factor.

Think this sounds ludicrous?

Remember, it was just a few years ago when most people thought catering to mobile was insane. Now mobile accounts for more than half of all web traffic.

How Could Websites Become Irrelevant to Mobile Search?

Current technology requires search engines to crawl, parse, and interpret every individual webpage.

This is time consuming, costly, and inefficient.

While schema markup is helping to make this more efficient, it’s still not an ideal situation.

What would be ideal, at least for search engines?

4. Content Hosted by Other Entities

If we hosted our content on servers provided by search engines, the need for them to expend massive resources crawling the web disappears because they would already have it.

Before you discount this idea as crazy or dangerous, you need to realize that it’s already taking place.

Google has been hosting the files for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) for years now.

While this clearly benefits search engines, it also provides tremendous benefits to users and marketers as well.

The question is will it be used for good, or will the search engines abuse our content, cutting us out for their own gain?

I think the risk is high enough, especially considering Google’s past history, to scare enough people away from the idea entirely.

For now, at least.

What Does the Future Hold?

In the same way that many video rental stores ended up with an inventory of useless Betamax players and video cassette tapes, it’s inevitable that you’ll invest time, money, and resources into search technology that eventually gets dropped or changed dramatically.

Those of you who are old enough to understand that reference have also probably been around the SEO industry long enough to have already seen examples of this, such as Google authorship.

The technology that I’ve discussed in this article is already here. Some aspects of it may be at the bleeding edge, but it’s going to be advanced and in common use long before most people have a chance to react.

The key to success in the SEO industry over the coming years will be to adapt to this new technology early and aggressively.

In some cases, you’ll find yourself at a dead end, but that’s the nature of early adoption to any technology.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal.com By Jeremy Knauff

In addition, Chrome will mark all HTTP websites as not secure.

Google announced it is making changes to how Chrome, their web browser, labels HTTPS and HTTP sites in the future. Starting in September 2018, Google will be removing the “Secure” wording and HTTPS scheme in Chrome version 69. Plus, in July 2018 in Chrome version 68, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”.

Here is how the Chrome treatment for HTTPS pages will change:

img src="https://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2018/05/chrome-https.png" alt="" width="640" height="310" srcset="https://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2018/05/chrome-https.png 640w,

Then in October 2018 with Chrome version 70, Google will start showing the red “not secure” warning when users enter data on HTTP pages. Google said “previously, HTTP usage was too high to mark all HTTP pages with a strong red warning.” But the pendulum has swung to HTTPS, and now it feels comfortable going forward with this change.

Here is a GIF of this in action in Chrome 70 for HTTP pages with user input:

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Barry Schwartz

It is estimated that only 4 percent of the Web is visible and 96 percent of the Web is invisible or Deep Web

You’ve probably heard about the Deep Web; it becomes more well-known circa 2013 when the FBI took down the Silk Road drug marketplace. This brought widespread attention to the level of underground activity that goes on in this place on the internet that’s not accessible to anyone using a standard browser.

In essence, the Deep Web refers to any Internet content that, for various reasons, can’t be or isn’t indexed by search engines like Google or Bing. This includes dynamic web pages, blocked sites, limited access networks, intranets, and more. It is estimated that only 4 percent of the Web is visible and 96 percent of the Web is invisible or Deep Web.

Here is a graphic from OpenText which puts things in perspective.

Here are some of the things you may not have previously associated with the Deep Web:

1.Cannabis, cannabis everywhere – light drugs are the most-exchanged goods, with cannabis being the most traded drug. This was followed by pharmaceutical products like Ritalin and Xanax, hard drugs, and even pirated games and online accounts.

2.Hitmen for hire – hitmen are available on the Deep Web with prices varying based on the preferred manner of death or injury and the target’s status.

3.Doxing information is widely available – which is a huge concern if you’re a public figure. Doxing is the act of researching and broadcasting an individual’s personally identifiable information such as date of birth, address, emails and phone numbers. One site—Cloudnine—lists possible dox information for public figures, political figures, and celebrities.

4.Child exploitation is rampant on the Deep Web – as a father of two girls, this is one of the most horrifying findings to me. It includes sites which host child pornography or snuff films that feature children.

5.The Deep Web is a match made in malware heaven – as it hosts command-and-control infrastructure for malware. The hidden nature of sites like TOR and 12P and other services makes it easy to host and hide malware controlling servers on the Deep Web. One such malware is CryptoLocker, a ransomware which encrypts victims’ personal documents before redirecting them to a site where they have to pay to regain access to their files.

6.Bitcoins – are the currency of the Deep Web, frequently used when purchasing illegal goods and services. To ensure it maintains its anonymity, Bitcoin-laundering services have surfaced to help increase the anonymity of moving money throughout the Bitcoin system. By “mixing” Bitcoins through a spidery network of microtransactions, users end up with the same amount of money but a harder-to-track transaction trail.

7.Unfortunately, it’s too huge for law enforcement to track – as everything is encrypted, determination of attribution is difficult, and constant fluctuations mean that law enforcement agencies face a tough job when it comes to regulating and monitoring the Deep Web.

What does this mean for security?

While a majority of normal Internet users will not find the use for the Deep Web, organizations need to understand the goings-on beneath the surface of the Deep Web so that they can protect their customers from the cybercriminal activities happening within it.

Organisations need to implement a means of early detection and countermeasures against these threats, as they will, sooner or later, find their way to victimize users.

The future of the Deep Web

There is an ongoing race between the criminals who inhabit the Deep Web and law enforcement agencies, with the criminals working on technological developments to improve the stealth of their activities and finding new ways to become even more anonymous and untraceable.

One thing that will definitely grow in the future is the “shadow marketplace” which was previously brought to light by the FBI sting on Silk Road. Transactions on the Deep Web guarantee high anonymity, with Bitcoin technology allowing both sellers and buyers of illegal assets to bypass any external regulatory financial authorities. In fact, Bitcoin technology will probably develop to more advanced levels, making the cryptocurrency even less traceable than it is today.

The anonymity offered by the Deep Web will continue to raise a lot of issues and be a point of interest for both law enforcers and Internet users who want to circumvent government surveillance and intervention. As such, IT security pros like you and I need to continue keeping tabs on the Deep Web as its role on the Internet grows.

Source: This article was published cso.com.au By Dhanya Thakkar

Conducting academic research is a critical process. You cannot rely solely on the information you get on the web because some of the search results are non-relevant or not related to your topic. To ensure that you only gather genuine facts and credible data for your academic papers, check out only the most trusted and incredibly useful resources for your research.

Here's a list of gratuitous and best academic search engines that can help you in your research journey.

Google Scholar

Google Scholar is a customized search engine specifically designed for students, educators and anyone related to academics. It allows users to find credible information, search journals, and save sources to their personal library. If you need help for your best essays, citations for your thesis and other researches, this easy-to-use resource can easily find citation-worthy materials for your academic writing.

iSEEK- Education

iSeek education is a go-to search engine for students, scholars and educators. It is one of the widely used search tools for academic research online. iSeek offers safe, smart, and reliable resources for your paper writing. Using this tool will help you save time, effort and energy in getting your written work done quickly.

Educational Resources Information Center - ERIC

ERIC is a comprehensive online digital library funded by Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. It provides a database of education research and information for students, educators, librarians and the public. ERIC contains around 1.3 million articles and users can search for anything education-related such as journals, books, research papers, various reports, dissertations, policy papers, and other academic materials.

Virtual Learning Resources Center - VLRC

If you're looking for high quality educational sites to explore? You must check out VLRC. This learning resource center is the best place to go when you're in search for useful research materials and accurate information for your academic requirement. It has a collection of more than 10,000 indexed webpages for all subject areas.

Internet Archive

Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library, enables users to get free access to cultural artifacts and historical collections in digital format. It contains millions of free books, music, software, texts, audio, and moving images. Capturing, managing and searching different contents without any technical expertise or hosting facilities made easier for you through this search engine.

Infotopia

Infotopia is Google alternative safe search engine that gives information and reference sites on the following subjects: art, social sciences, history, languages, literature, science and technology and many more.

Source: This article was published hastac.org By Amber Stanley

Thursday, 18 January 2018 15:20

Trust is not a strategy for cyber security

Let’s talk seriously about industrial cybersecurity: What you don’t know can hurt you.

Industrial cyber security is all over the news, and not in a good way. Our most vital industries – including power, water, nuclear, oil and gas, chemical, food and beverage, and critical manufacturing – are under attack. The gravity of the situation became clear when the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security went public in October about existing, persistent threats. Virtually or not, bad actors are among us.

Unlike physical attacks, cyber attacks are nonstop. Cyber hackers have graduated from simple mischief and denial-of-service attacks to ransomware, theft of competitive information, interception or altering of communications, the shutdown of industrial processes, and even knowledge manipulation through the news and social networks (it’s bigger than just politics). Who knows what’s next?

Digitalization and connectivity are heightening cyber risk, though they are foundational to the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, Big Data analytics, and artificial intelligence. Breaching a single connected operational technology (OT) device or system puts everything on the network at risk.

Low-security and small networks provide easy access for bad actors, whether they’re traditional hackers, black-hat hackers making money on the dark web, nation-states, or malicious insiders. Human error and negligence also are cyber risks.

To establish and sustain cybersecurity and restore the confidence of the public, greater awareness of threats and ownership of risks are imperative. In addition to mastering basic security measures, the industry needs to detect and respond to attacks with persistence and resilience. Trust is not a strategy.

Fortunately, industrial software, technology, equipment, and service providers are fast ramping up their defenses, and dozens of new cybersecurity technology and services firms are offering to help. Consultants, legislators, regulators, and standards bodies also have prominent roles, but it is the end users, ultimately, who must put the cybersecurity puzzle together.

Here, several industry and cyber professionals weigh in about industrial producers’ cybersecurity risks and responsibilities and offer their actionable recommendations.

How bad is the problem?

When companies are surveyed about their top business risk, the answer increasingly is cybersecurity, says Alan Berman, president, and CEO of the not-for-profit Disaster Recovery International Foundation (DRIF). The IoT – now a $3 trillion to $6 trillion industry – is opening new doors to cyber hackers. An estimated 50 billion connected devices (handhelds, sensors, etc.) are in use already.

Speaking at the Society of Maintenance and Reliability Professionals (SMRP) 2017 Conference, Berman noted that cyber hacking has matured to become a sophisticated industry seeking to penetrate devices and systems through the weakest link in the chain, with the goal of profitability. “It is a business and we have to deal with it as a business,” he explains.

The weakest link could be a vending machine in the plant, Berman says. “Once hackers get on the network, they can get into everything,” he says. “When that happens, it could be months before the breach is discovered. What looks like a malfunction could actually be a hack.”

Until there’s awareness within the maintenance organization of the security risks associated with adding or replacing a connected device, the number of cyberattacks an organization sees will continue to rise, says Howard Penrose, president of MotorDoc.

Penrose has easily uncovered industrial cybersecurity gaps using Shodan.io, a search engine for finding internet-connected devices. In one case, “We found numerous points of access to different IoT devices using (the organization’s) default passwords, including links to the documents with those passwords,” he says. “In another case, an OEM had installed software on wind generation systems that allowed them to be turned on or off with a smartphone app.”

Most people equate cybersecurity to the network or IT, but the things that go “boom” in the night are on the industrial control system (ICS) side, says Joe Weiss, managing partner at Applied Control Solutions. “Not enough people are looking at this,” he says.

Weiss has been compiling a nonpublic ICS cyber-incident database that he says already contains more than 1,000 actual incidents, representing about $50 billion in direct costs. Each new entry serves as a learning aid or reminder; often they’re logged in his cybersecurity blog.

“People worry about the IT/OT divide, but the real divide is what comes before and after the Ethernet packet,” suggests Weiss. “Before the packet is where the Level 0,1 devices live (sensors, actuators, drives), and that’s where cybersecurity and authentication are lacking.”

As managing director of ISA99, Weiss recently helped start a new working group for Industrial Automation and Control System Security standards to address the cybersecurity of Level 0,1 devices.

Fear or fight?

Digitalization adds significant value despite the cyber risk. “Don’t fear connectivity – the benefits are too great,” says Eddie Habibi, founder, and CEO of PAS Global. On the other hand, he cautions, the threat of cyber attack is imminent and proven; critical systems are vulnerable; and “every minute, day, or month that you put off securing your systems, they remain at risk.”

Malicious code can sit dormant on a network for months or years before it suddenly activates, explains Habibi. The consequences can be significant to safety, production, the company’s reputation, insurance costs, and even the cost of borrowing for organizations that are not considered secure. “It’s beyond the theft of data; it’s now hitting the bottom line,” he adds.

While OT operators face all of the cybersecurity risks common in IT environments, many of the tools used to mitigate those risks are not available for OT networks, observes Chris Grove, director of industrial security at Indegy. He notes the following crucial distinctions:

  1. OT networks are not designed from the ground up with security in mind, meaning that industrial controllers are not typically protected with authentication, encryption, authorization, or other standard security mechanisms.
  2. A successful cyber attack on an OT network could have safety, financial, and environmental implications.
  3. It is much more difficult to monitor OT networks than it is to monitor IT networks because of the lack of monitoring tools, the proprietary protocols in use, and network isolation.

With the right tools, such as those developed for OT asset discovery and for tracking of user activity and changes to operational code, operators can identify risky configurations, malware, human errors, and insider attacks.

“Security is not a static thing,” cautions Dr. Allan Friedman, director of cybersecurity initiatives at National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in the U.S. Commerce Department. “It needs to be adaptive, resilient, and scalable.” He continues: “For example, don’t assume that an air-gapped system (unplugged from any network infrastructure) will stay that way. Improperly trained personnel may establish new connections, or the USB drive used for a software update may carry an infection.”

Security by design and necessity

Trust is the new currency; more regulations are coming, and cybersecurity is not an option because we are moving toward digital at the speed of light: Dr. Ilya Kabanov, global director of application security and compliance for Schneider Electric, made these three points at the ASIS 2017 international security conference.

Kabanov urges OEMs to embed privacy and security in the products themselves. “It is not security vs. innovation; security requires innovation,” he explains.

Richard Witucki, the cyber security solutions architect at Schneider Electric, agrees. “Since security by obscurity is no longer a viable option, it is incumbent upon manufacturers such as Schneider Electric to embed cyber security directly into their products,” he says. “By doing this, we enable the end users to take a much more defense-in-depth approach.”

Schneider Electric’s approach includes actively training its development teams and engineers in secure development life-cycle programs, incorporating established security controls into its products, and conducting exhaustive internal and external testing. The ISA99/IEC 62443 set of standards was chosen because it addresses cybersecurity at several levels, including the products, the systems, and the development life cycle of the products and solutions.

“We all rely on products that control our critical infrastructure to perform as expected,” Witucki says. “Ironically, because these systems are so reliable (e.g., PLCs controlling a seldom-used diesel generator for 20 years), they have now become a vulnerability within the shifting threat landscape.”

Predictive maintenance (PdM) system and service providers are also tackling cybersecurity. Paul Berberian, the condition monitoring specialist at GTI Predictive Technology, has heard customer comments ranging from “It is not an issue” and “Nothing in the plant is connected to the outside world,” to concerns about internal secrets being vulnerable through an internet connection.

“Maintenance and reliability departments want to use PdM technology, but some don’t want to fight the battle internally with IT,” explains Berberian. “In my opinion, the concern for most of these companies is that hackers will be able to find a way into their plant network through the PdM data portal.”

To mitigate this risk, GTI uses SSL certificates to ensure the security of its sites; it requires encrypted usernames and passwords for access; it encrypts the stored data, and it uses a secure (HTTPS) web address.

Operational security technology partnerships are also forming. “Manufacturers and utilities want a single, accountable provider with a reputation like Siemens’ rather than a dozen suppliers,” says PAS Global’s Habibi.

The Siemens-PAS partnership looks to help companies that are struggling to establish adequate cybersecurity regimens. The PAS Cyber Integrity analytic detection engine identifies and tracks cyber assets, enabling fleetwide, real-time monitoring of control systems. Forensic and analytics technologists at the Siemens Cyber Security Operations Center apply their expertise to this information so they can dig deeper and provide a more robust response to potential threats.

“There is a 100% probability that any company will suffer from a cyber attack, and these attacks travel with lightning speed – how resilient will your response be?” asks Leo Simonovich, vice president and global head of industrial cyber security at Siemens.

What should you do right now?

First, master the basics: access controls, backup and recovery, software updates and patching, network segmentation, system hardening, and malware prevention on endpoints. Consider using a search engine like Shodan.io to quickly gauge risk exposure.

Cybersecurity should be treated like lean manufacturing and Six Sigma initiatives; it should be a continuous process reviewed and assessed on a regular basis, says Schneider Electric’s Witucki. “It is not a goal, but a journey,” he says.

He suggests selecting a cybersecurity standard appropriate to your industry and organization and then focusing attention where it is needed most with a gap analysis or risk assessment. This starts with an inventory of all computer-based assets (hardware, software, etc.). “When you consider some of this equipment may have been operating for 20 years inside an enclosure, you start to understand why this may be difficult,” adds Witucki.

GTI’s Berberian’s urges both industrial solution providers and end users to establish a strategy and security protocol that suppliers must meet. “A strategy that everyone understands, other than ‘We will never use the cloud,’ is most helpful,” he says.

To secure complete operating environments, companies must begin by addressing the fundamentals: discovery, prioritization, monitoring, and protection of their assets, advises Siemens’ Simonovich. He also advocates that company leaders consider addressing OT cybersecurity as one of their core responsibilities. This requires ownership, a strategy that looks at the challenge holistically, and strategic partnerships with best-of-breed companies.

NTIA’s Friedman suggests the following when acquiring new equipment or devices:

  1. Ask questions regarding security: What are the risks, and how can they be mitigated?
  2. Employ basic security hygiene: Use strong passwords and security credentials; apply patches promptly; employ network segmentation; and “know what’s under the hood” (e.g., which operating system is used).
  3. Partner with other sectors and organizations on design principles: Your problems probably aren’t unique, and others may have developed useful security solutions.

Ensure that the default passwords are changed, especially in the settings of variable-frequency drives, energy monitoring devices, and other connected systems adds MotorDoc’s Penrose. Also, never let a vendor bypass security to connect to the network. “We once found that a USB WiFi card had been installed on a secure network so a vendor could access the system remotely, eliminating the isolation of the critical system's network,” he says. He adds that if the IT personnel are capable, they should be performing device vulnerability analyses.

Indegy’s Grove says that while active, passive, and hybrid ICS security monitoring approaches all have advantages, a hybrid approach is likely to provide the best value for most organizations because it “gives organizations total visibility into their OT network and environment.”

Applied Control Solutions’ Weiss reminds us that it isn’t always clear what is or isn’t a cyber event, and SCADA is not a fail-safe to identify potential cyberattacks. By design, in some cases it may not detect critical malfunctions. Weiss suggests getting involved in the new ISA99 working group and sharing your ICS cyber incidents with him (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Finally, and perhaps of most importance, cautions Schneider Electric’s Kabanov, everyone from executives to end users must decide whether cyber protections make sense. If they don’t believe they do, they’ll work around them.

Much more needs to be done to protect the critical industrial sector. The bad actors already are planning their next move. What’s yours?

Source: This article was published plantservices.com By Sheila Kennedy

Thursday, 14 December 2017 12:54

Basic Sourcing Techniques You Can Use Today

What are your most effective sources for finding talent? Do you leverage job postings? Ask for employee referrals?

These are both successful ways to fill a position. In fact, each one can play an integral role in your recruiting.

The only downside is that they’re reactive. You have to wait for the talent to come to you, in hopes that the right candidate is among them.

What you need is the ability to aggressively seek and go after ideal candidates. You need to build an active pipeline to fill today’s requisitions, make connections for hard-to-fill roles, and prepare for future needs.

You need to be proactive.

Luckily, there are several sourcing techniques you can start leveraging right now:

Boolean Sourcing for Google

Boolean sourcing allows recruiters to search for candidate information from all over the web.

You can find resumes and cover letters that are stored within personal websites, job boards and social platforms by using a unique set of search commands.

These commands tell search engines exactly what you’re looking for, and help drill down your search results to reveal the candidates who truly align with your requisition.

Getting started with boolean sourcing is as simple as learning some basic commands. The following operators work best when used within Google.

OR The command OR will return results containing at least one of your specified keywords or phrases. For example, entering programmer OR developer OR engineer would produce results containing any of these terms but not necessarily all of them.
"" Use quotations to return sites containing the exact phrase you’re searching for. For example, the senior manager would return pages containing either of these keywords, but "senior manager" would only return pages containing that exact phrase.
- Use the minus or dash command "-" before a keyword to return pages that exclude that word. For example, if you searched "marketing -manager" your results would exclude any pages that contain the word manager.
* Use the asterisk (*) within your query to identify a placeholder or wildcard terms. For example "Master's degree in *" would return pages containing the phrase "Master's degree in Marketing," "Master's degree in Computer Science, " etc.
() Brackets are for grouping Boolean phrases, and are generally used in more complex search strings. For example, if you searched for (Engineer or "Software Developer")(CISCO OR Microsoft OR HP), your results would show pages containing any of your job title keywords that also contain one of the company keywords. This is a great combination for finding talent who has worked for one of your target competitors.
site: Use the command site: to search pages within a specific website. For example, search for Facebook profiles by entering site:facebook.com. Searching for site:facebook.com "web designers" Phoenix would return Facebook profiles containing both keywords Web Designer and Phoenix.


Use these basic commands to create more elaborate search strings and effectively find candidates through Google. By adding more criteria to your search queries, you can produce more relevant results and ultimately find the best candidates who align with your job.

Job Board Sourcing

You can also leverage most online job boards to proactively source your candidates. Look for the option to search or source the job board's resume database by using common keywords your prospects would use.

Social Sourcing

Leverage the social platforms where your prospects already spend a lot of their time. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook offer unique tools to proactively find your next great hire.

In March 2013, Facebook released Graph Search. It’s a free tool that allows anyone to use specific queries to search for individuals. Find people who work for a specific industry, near a special location or for a particular company.

Here is an example of a common Facebook Graph query:
Facebook Graph

Twitter is also a great tool for sourcing candidates. Use its search engine to identify professionals by specific keywords, phrases, and locations. The best part is that Twitter is an open network, so you’re free to connect with anyone.

You can also find candidates on LinkedIn by using the Boolean logic you’ve already learned. After you replace the italicized words with your keywords, enter this powerful search string into Google to return precise LinkedIn profiles:
site:linkedin.com "web designer" "location * Greater Phoenix Area"

Go After Your Talent

Identifying qualified candidates is the most critical part of the recruiting process. It can also be the most difficult—especially if you're waiting around for the right job seekers to apply. Instead, set yourself up for success by proactively finding them yourself.

But before you get started with methods like Boolean, job board, and social sourcing, make sure you have a clear understanding of the job you’re recruiting for and the keywords your prospects may use during their job search.

Knowing how your candidates describe themselves and which terms resonate with them will give you a head start on your proactive search for talent.

Initiate Conversation

When you finally find the candidates you’re looking for, connect with them! Send them a message about your available position and ask if they would be interested in the opportunity. For more tips on reaching out to candidates, read Candidate Sourcing: Get More Replies to Your Contact Emails.

Credit: NASA

Intro

Early this Saturday (July 17) morning EDT, NASA's Dawn spacecraft will rendezvous with the asteroid Vesta. This will be our best look yet at an asteroid, and what the probe digs up could help scientists answer several questions about this and the hundreds of thousands of asteroids that populate the solar system.

Most asteroids, including Vesta, reside in the doughnutlike ring of the main asteroid belt that peppers the space between Mars and Jupiter. Other asteroids whirl in tight circles closer to the sun than the Earth, while a large number of them share planets' orbits. Not all asteroids are so happy to stay put, though: Some asteroids' orbits take them on planet-crossing swings through the inner solar system.

Given this variety of asteroids, some notably strange ones have popped up over our two centuries-plus of observations since the first asteroid, Ceres, was spotted in 1801.

In honor of Dawn's historic mission, here are seven of the solar system's strangest asteroids. (Note that space rocks out beyond the orbit of Jupiter, although somewhat asteroidal in nature, are classified as different bodies, and so we'll leave those alone for now.)

Ceres: A water-logged sphere?

Image result for Ceres: A water-logged sphere?

The biggest asteroid by far is Ceres which explains why it was discovered first and it makes up about a third of the asteroid belt's mass. The object is so hefty that it's the only asteroid that has the gravitational strength to pull itself into a sphere.

On account of this roundness, Ceres is also considered a "dwarf planet," a designation it shares with four other objects in the solar system, including Pluto.

After scoping out Vesta, the Dawn spacecraft will journey on to Ceres, arriving in 2015. Once there, the spacecraft will gather data to help scientists learn more about Ceres' composition. The object is probably the "wettest" asteroid, with large stores of water in its interior as ice, though also possibly as a liquid layer beneath the surface.

Baptistina: The mother of the dinosaur killer

Image result for Baptistina: The mother of the dinosaur killer

It's a name that, had they survived into modern day, dinosaurs (intelligent ones with language, at least) would curse: Baptistina.

Baptistina is the name of one of the youngest families of asteroids in the asteroid belt. 
(Families of asteroids are swarms of objects that share orbital characteristics, and are often named after their most prominent member.)

According to computer models, Baptistina and its swarm were spawned some 160 million years ago by a smashup between a 37-mile-wide body (60 kilometer) body and another object about 106 miles (170 kilometers) in diameter. That cataclysm created hundreds of large objects, some of which then drifted into a collision course with Earth.

One or several of these rocky shards of shrapnel then plowed into our planet 65 million years ago and helped doom the dinosaurs. The impact gouged out the Chicxulub crater, now buried by the Yucatan peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico. [Read: What If a Giant Asteroid Had Not Wiped Out the Dinosaurs? ]

The 100-million-year Baptistina barrage did not spare the Moon, either. A meteorite scooped out the giant Tycho crater about 109 million years ago.

Kleopatra: A metal dog bone with moons!

Image result for Kleopatra: A metal dog bone with moons!

Many asteroids, believe it or not, have a moon, and some even sport two satellites. Kleopatra has two moons, which were named Alexhelios and Cleoselene earlier this year. To boot, the metallic asteroid has an unusual dog-bone shape.

The asteroid is roughly 135 by 58 by 50 miles (217 by 94 by 81 kilometers) in length, height and width. Its moons Alexhelios and Cleoselene are, respectively, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) and 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) in diameter.

Hektor, the biggest Trojan

Image result for Hektor, the biggest Trojan

Like Kleopatra, Hektor is very elongated, with length and width dimensions of approximately 230 by 124 miles (370 by 200 kilometers). Hektor has a moon as well. Unlike Kleopatra, however, Hektor is not found in the main asteroid belt; instead, the dark, reddish body dominates as the biggest of Trojan asteroids stuck in Jupiter's orbit.

These rocks lurk in what are known as the L4 and L5 Lagrangian points two of the five zones in an orbit where the gravity of two bodies (in this case, Jupiter and the Sun) balances out. L4 and L5 lie ahead and behind, respectively of Jupiter.

In reference to the combatants in the ancient poet Homer's epic Iliad, the L4 asteroids are known as the Greek camp and the L5 group is the Trojan camp. Although named for the Trojan hero, Hektor is actually in the Greek camp.

Themis: Icy giver of life?

Image result for Themis: Icy giver of life?

Themis, a large main belt asteroid, stands out as the first and only asteroid known thus far to have ice on its surface.

In 2009, observations in infrared light confirmed the presence of this ice, as well as carbon-containing, or organic, molecules.

These characteristics make Themis and similar bodies called main belt comets good candidates for having delivered water and carbon some of the ingredients of life to the surface of a young, hot, dried-out Earth some four billion years ago.

Toutatis: A tumbling dumbbell

Image result for Toutatis: A tumbling dumbbell

Named after a Celtic god, Toutatis is one of the oddest asteroids. Instead of rotating in an orderly fashion about an axis, the double-lobed object chaotically tumbles. This unpredictable movement partially derives from Toutatis being composed of two bodies barely in contact with each other and from the influences of both Earth and Jupiter's gravity.

Toutatis' path through the solar system has it sweep close to Earth, but because the asteroid's orbit is chaotic, its exact path and how close it might come to us centuries from now cannot be well predicted.

Like some other asteroids, Toutatis is said to be a like a "rubble pile" fragments of rock that have gravitationally come back together after a collision, but left many gaps between them.

Apophis: The alleged Doomsday rock

Image result for Apophis: The alleged Doomsday rock

Toutatis has made some close shaves to Earth, and passed within 1,000,000 miles (1.61 million kilometers) of Earth, or about four Moon distances, back in 2004. Yet some rocks have made notably closer passes, and the one that has most alarmed astronomers and the public alike is Apophis. 

Discovered in 2004 and named after the Greek word for the evil Egyptian god of darkness, Apophis will return to the neighborhood in 2029. At the time, scientists calculated that its impacting Earth on that future pass were as high as 1 in 40, but subsequent measurements have now relegated that possibility to almost nil .

Panic peaked in December 2004, and Apophis achieved a ranking of 4 on the Torino scale, the 10-point scale that rates the risk of an object colliding with Earth (10 being an unquestioned apocalypse). Although Apophis is now deemed a 0 for its 2029 pass, it will zoom a mere 18,600 miles (30,000 kilometers) above Earth's surface.

A number of these other so-called Near Earth Objects, or NEOs, have yet to be cataloged. Yet some that have pose no threat, and benignly share Earth's orbit. At least four examples exist of asteroids that follow Earth in horseshoe-shaped orbits; a new one, designated 2010 SO16, was found earlier this year.

Source: This article was published on livescience.com


 

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