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Google's top trending searches from the year

Google processes trillions of search requests each year, and on Wednesday the Mountain View, Calif.-based company revealed which terms dominated its search engine in 2016.

Many of the phrases, unsurprisingly, reflect national events, news topics and other phenomena that rose to prominence throughout the year. The top trending search term is “Powerball,” which is in reference to the $1.56 billion jackpot that three ticket holders won in early 2016. “Prince,” “Hurricane Matthew,” “Pokémon Go” and “Slither.io” claimed the rest of the top five, while “Trump” and “Hillary Clinton” rounded out the end of the list.

Last year, the number one trending search term was “Lamar Odom,” the former NBA and reality TV star who was found unconscious in a Nevada brothel last October. “Jurassic World” and “American Sniper” also placed high on Google’s rankings from 2015.

 

The term “trending” means that these words and phrases held the highest spike in traffic over a sustained period of time in 2016 as compared to 2015. See below to check out the full list of search queries that made it into Google’s top 10 trending list.

1. Powerball
2. Prince
3. Hurricane Matthew
4. Pokémon Go
5. Slither.io
6. Olympics
7. David Bowie
8. Trump
9. Election
10. Hillary Clinton

Author: Lisa Eadicicco
Source: http://time.com/4598647/most-popular-google-search-2016

Categorized in Search Engine

Fond of these images

From Pokemon Go phenomenon and iPhone 7 to Donald Trump and Deadpool, Reuters visualized the Top 10 Google searches of 2016 in order. Take a look.

Pokemon Go

The blockbuster game, released in July and developed by Niantic, uses augmented reality and GPS mapping to make animated characters appear in the real world. Players walk around real-life neighborhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters overlaid on their smartphone screens like a scavenger hunt.

 

iPhone 7

In September, Apple unveiled an iPhone 7 that features a high-resolution camera and the option of a jet-black glossy finish but notably lacks the traditional analog headphone jack.

 

Donald Trump

 

The Republican president-elect, who will be sworn in on Jan. 20, ran an unconventional and controversial campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump, who was accused of racism and misogyny during the campaign, made promises such as building a wall on the southern U.S. border, cracking down on Muslims entering the country and restricting the influx of Syrian war refugees.

Prince

The music superstar was found dead in his home in a Minneapolis suburb in April after an accidental, self-administered overdose of an opioid painkiller. The intensely private musician, whose hits included "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry," was found dead in an elevator at his home at the age of 57, shocking millions of fans around the world and prompting glowing tributes by fellow musicians.

Powerball

The record $1.6-billion jackpot in January was the largest lottery prize ever offered in North America, and no other lottery in the world had ever featured a jackpot of that size that could be won on a single ticket. Three winning tickets were sold in California, Florida and Tennessee.

David Bowie

David Bowie, the visionary British rock star who coupled hits such as "Space Oddity" with trend-setting pop personas like "Ziggy Stardust," died at age 69 in January of liver cancer, just two days after releasing what appears to be the parting gift of a new album.

Deadpool

Marvel's Rated R anti-hero movie, starring Ryan Reynolds, tells the story of former Special Forces agent turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who undergoes a rogue experiment to treat his cancer. The operation leaves him scarred but also with powers that allow him to heal quickly and Wilson, soon Deadpool, seeks revenge on the man who carried out the experiment. The film has pulled in an estimated $760 million worldwide.

Slither.io

The massive multiplayer online game lets users control a snake avatar, consuming multicolored pellets as they attempt to grow the longest snake against other users playing the game in real time.

Suicide Squad

The DC Comics anti-hero movie, released in August, follows a rogue group of anti-heroes with special powers - Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Boomerang, Killer Croc and El Diablo - who are held hostage by Gotham's government to use as weapons to protect the city. Many critics panned the film, which has a 26 percent rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes. The flurry of negative reviews led tens of thousands of people to sign an online Change.org petition calling for Rotten Tomatoes to be shut down.

 

Author: Michael Cooney
Source: http://www.networkworld.com/article/3154934/software/top-10-google-searches-of-2016-in-pictures.html

 

Categorized in Search Engine

Nothing may have had as bad of a year as the Internet.

The Internet has been hit with an onslaught of criticism and suffered several setbacks in 2016: from relinquishment of American control over web address management, introduced surveillance measures in the United Kingdom, social media backlash for users’ hate speech and terrorist affiliations, to censorship and fake news.

The Obama administration let a contract with an American corporation expire at the very end of September, so that a central portion of Internet governance control could be handed over to an international bureaucracy.

Now countries like China, which have vastly different perspectives on freedom of speech than America, will have a say in how Internet addresses will be managed.

In October, a large portion of websites were shutdown for the majority of the Northeast in America. Now that power has been shared with other countries, such attacks could be harder to overcome and thus could become a severe and regular problem for America’s internet infrastructure, which is absolutely critical for a number of things like the country’s electoral process, national security and commerce.

The U.K. passed a surveillance bill in November that significantly expands the government’s spying powers, namely over the Internet. The Investigatory Powers Bill is considered so expansive, it’s informally called the “snoopers’ charter.” The European Union’s top court ruled the measure was illegal because it calls for the “general and indiscriminate” retention of people’s online web traffic, but it remains to be seen if the ruling will ultimately matter.

 

“The U.K.’s new Investigatory Powers bill sets a chilling precedent for surveillance and online free speech in the West,” Ryan Hagemann, technology and civil liberties policy analyst at the Niskanen Center, told the The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Americans should definitely be concerned about the expansion of surveillance authorities in Europe, especially with the rising tide of ethno-nationalism and right-wing populism throughout much of the continent.”

Tech platforms like YouTube and Twitter have engaged in censorship by removing accounts such as ones associated with the alt-right — going against the companies’ usual mindset of being absolutely for free speech.

In fact, there are a number of instances of Silicon Valley burying conservative news, from Facebook’s trending list, to Google’s search engine.

These same tech companies have been sued over the past year by a number of people, including the family members of the victims of the Orlando Night Club shootingthe Paris attacks, and Palestinian bombings. The plaintiffs in these cases argue that tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter are complicit with terrorists because such evildoers use the platforms they offer, thus providing “material support.”

Several legal experts and lawyers told The Daily Caller News Foundation that such legal actions are unsubstantiated and misguided because of multipleexplicit laws already on the books.

 

“Those lawsuits are going nowhere. Service providers can’t be held liable just for providing accounts to bad speakers who would use the accounts to convey bad messages. See, e.g., Fields v. Twitter,” Eugene Volokh, professor at the UCLA School of Law, told TheDCNF.

Yet, several parties are still suing these tech companies, potentially harming the sanctity of freedom of speech on the Internet.

Along with first amendment concerns, there were heated battles between law enforcement and tech companies over encryption, which touches upon the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, amongst other principles.

The FBI demanded that Apple unlock the iPhone 5c of Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the two San Bernardino shooters. A federal court at the time agreed and ordered that Apple do so, which CEO Tim Cook said would require creating a new technological tool.

Cook called it “unprecedented” and “chilling” since “building a version of iOS that bypasses security in this way would undeniably create a back door. And while the government may argue that its use would be limited to this case, there is no way to guarantee such control.”

Cook states that if it had created such a tool, encryption, the process of encoding data so only the authorized parties can see it, would have been compromised, thus significantly harming people’s online privacy.

And there’s the fake news dilemma, where people are worried that uncorroborated stories are becoming too available for people to see on the Internet. People have called on Facebook to fix the problem since it’s a social media platform where news is disseminated.

Mark Zuckerberg named Snopes, a media outlet, as one of the entities that will help them in labeling stories as “fake news.” This will likely lead to subjective censorship of conservative viewpoints, since Snopes almost exclusively employs people who are left-leaning.

So while the bleakness for the Internet in 2016 was fairly apparent, what does 2017 have in store?

While Hagemann says its always difficult to make predictions, he thinks because of “the battles over encryption here in the U.S., the passage of the Investigatory Powers bill in the U.K., and the year-end focus on fake news, the Internet isn’t the electronic frontier it used to be.”

“The reality of politics and policy have crept into cyberspace. I think 2017 will be the year the last vestiges of cyberfrontier life finally wither away,” Hagemann explained.

So as the Internet becomes increasingly pervasive in society, so too will the questioning of its role.

“In the end, the Internet is just a reflection of the real world, warts and all. In the short run, I’m sure we’ll continue dealing with issues like fake news, terrorist recruitment through social media, and concerns over government surveillance. In the long run, however, I’m definitely optimistic for the future of humanity, in both the real world and the world of atoms,” Hagemann concluded.

Author: Eric Lieberman
Source: http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/01/2016s-assault-on-the-internet-was-brutal-will-2017-be-worse

Categorized in Internet Technology

The meme that 2016 has been the “worst year ever” has certainly had a lot of material to work with in these last days before 2017 arrives.

But while many have found Internet culture in 2016 to be irredeemable, this past year wasn’t all bad on the Internet for us as individuals. So I asked some of my colleagues to send me stories about where, personally, they found the good on the Internet this year, for one last look at some of its small bright spots, before we get on with the task of finding 2017 to be even worse.

Self-care lists

In the midst of a 2016 that bombarded us with wave after wave of hate and fear, Tumblr’s self-care master lists were my refuge. Even just seeing the tips in numbered order , helpfully suggesting different self-soothers, felt calming in its own way. “Put on comfy clothes.” “Drink some water.” “Play with a pet.” “My personal favorite: this master list of master lists . Even if you can’t change the world, a bath bomb can. Or more accurately, maybe someone nice on Tumblr can, gently reminding you to indulge in some bath bombs. “You deserve it” — sometimes I wish I could wrap those three words around me forever. — Julia Carpenter 

The country of New Zealand 

Somehow, among all the churning badness of Twitter culture, I managed to make a friend on the platform. That friend is a dairy farmer in New Zealand, whom I had to contact in February to confirm that he did, in fact, send a picture of his dog to someone to have it rated on a scale of 1-10 (it’s a long story; digital culture is a weird beat). He replied with a beautifully-told email in response to what was, essentially, a random reporter asking him for a couple of fact confirmations.

 

See all those likes and retweets? Those came mostly from New Zealanders, because what followed was a long-lasting absorption into “New Zealand Twitter,” which has been mostly delightful. For months, Twitter’s algorithm decided (correctly) that those tweets were ones I’d like to see again:

Making a friend on the Internet isn’t a monumental achievement, but for me, in this year where we’ve learned a lot about the real-life consequences of the worst parts of Internet culture, it helped to remind me of what I used to like so much about being online in the first place. — Abby Ohlheiser

Goldendoodles

Most days, scrolling through my Facebook news feed can feel like an assault on my peace of mind. As has been well-documented this election cycle, Facebook has become deeply partisan, emotional and vitriolic — and yet every day, I return. Yes, it’s partially because it’s my job to be on Facebook. But I’ve also discovered the most wonderful community on Facebook in the form of a public group somewhat inelegantly named “Goldendoodle’s friend and family!!” or GFAF, as I’ll call it.

GFAF is composed of nearly 6,000 goldendoodle owners and lovers who literally post pictures of their dogs cuddling with teddy bears, riding in the passenger seat of cars, or running around the house fresh from a bath. Members also exchange food recommendations, behavioral challenges and tips for combing through doodles’ matted hair.

For the uninitiated, goldendoodle owners are a bit … obsessive. But you can’t blame them. Goldendoodles, a designer dog mix of a poodle and a golden retriever, are truly the most perfect form of animal. They possess the poodle’s intelligence and the retriever’s allegiance. Their eyes are deeply emotive, and they look like giant teddy bears. Also, they’re hypoallergenic.

Doodle owners know this, and in GFAF, they’ve found their people. It’s a full-throated and elated celebration of these dogs who are just so darn cute. GFAF members live all over the country and undoubtedly hold myriad political beliefs, but in this group, they can all agree on this one thing. It’s a welcome break from the rest of the Internet — even for those of us without goldendoodles. — Alex Laughlin

 

Ron Lehker, the 90-year-old Redditor

Nearly every day this year, a now 91-year-old man living in Washington, D.C., has slowly climbed the stairs to his third floor attic, set his cane aside, and sat down in front of Reddit.com. Ron Lehker’s grandson first got him hooked in January. He posted a photo of his white-haired, blue-eyed grandfather on the “Ask Me Anything” thread.  “I Am 90 Years Old — An officer during WWII, a retired educator, and more engaged with society today than I’ve ever been before. AMA!” More than a thousand questions flooded in.

Hi! If you would want everyone to know one thing, what would it be?

How much porn do you watch?

Would you say your love for your new partner is the “same” as the love you had for your wife of 43 years?

Ron carefully reads each inquiry, then leans back in his chair and thinks deeply about what his 91 years have taught him.

“OMG! I love the new social media,” he wrote to the person who asked about his love for his wife. “Such a fascinating way to connect, yet so sterile in its ability for us to get acquainted …”

It’s been nearly a year since people started asking questions, and Ron’s AMAs are buried deep in the mountain of nonsense on Reddit. But all that matters to him is that every person who reached out to him gets a response, even if no one else reads it. Ron provides wisdom on love and loss, religion and politics, living and dying.

He is the Internet in its purest and best form: connecting people who need each other, even if they’ll never meet. — Jessica Contrera

 

Group chats

2016 has been a pretty weird year for anyone who likes to spend time online. This year, however, I’m thankful for a corner of the Internet in which I’ve found solace: group chats.

To be clear, there is nothing new about group chats. I discovered them like I discover most popular things: late and then aggressively. There’s a good chance you’ve been in a group chat if you’ve ever used GroupMe, WeChat, Gchat, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Kik or Instagram DMs. They’re actually hard to avoid.

The particular chat that rekindled my love with the Internet happens to be a Facebook Messenger chat with some friends from college.

Some of them still live in our college town, others have moved, and it spans a couple of graduating classes. While we were all friends in college, we weren’t any sort of tightknit group at the time. The chat itself started sometime last February as a forum to discuss Kanye West’s then-new album “The Life of Pablo,” and, well, we never stopped. We still discuss music, but the conversations have meandered into television, sports, employment, unemployment, “graduate school?” and the general aspirations and fears of 20-somethings on the precipice of “real” adulthood. We roast each other. We coach each other up before job interviews. We have inside jokes. We go into the settings and change each other’s display names (in November, they were all Thanksgiving related; this month, they’re all Christmas puns). Mostly, it’s very friendly, and we’re all pretty positive and supportive with each other.

 

People’s online personas don’t always match with who they are in real life. I’m a reserved person IRL, and I tend to steer toward the more performative, less personal social networks like Instagram and Twitter. It’s been nice to have a closed-off platform, with people I trust, where I can relax and be the big ol’ goofus I am. There’s an element of trust in a closed group, and it’s a stark contrast from virtually every other second I spend on the Internet. — Ric Sanchez

The Teens 

Source: GiphyThe teens never asked for much.

And yet, they are benevolent bunch, giving us so much when we’ve given them so little in return. Considering what we have gifted them — melting polar ice caps that threaten our way of life and a national debt well into the trillions — you’d think the teens wouldn’t be so generous. But it is their altruism, as evidenced by their ceaseless production of the purest memes, that I am most thankful for this year.

Whether I’m scrolling through my Instagram Explore tab or checking Tumblr, I know the boundless creativity of the teens will always greet me, pulling me out of whatever spiraling sense of despair I’ve found myself in. Be it their PSAT memes , their enthusiastic support of their peers , their ability to create a cultural phenomenon out of a frog on a unicycle that once appeared in a physics textbook or their array of viral challenges , the teens are creating some of the most wholesome content on the Internet.

I — we — need the teens now more than ever. In a country plagued by increasing divisiveness and less-than-wholesome political discourse, I fear that the only people capable of bringing us together are the teens and their memes. — Tanya Sichynsky

Author: Abby Ohlheiser
Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/these-were-our-bright-spots-on-the-internet-in-2016/ar-BBxLMmV

Categorized in Internet Technology

To me, deciding on my 'Smartphone of the Year' is a curious challenge. The choice can't simply be 'the best phone' because everyone has a slightly different criteria for what makes the best phone. If I were to think about it empirically and go for the phone that fits the majority of people's criteria I wouldn't have the best phone, I would have 'the average phone of the year' that upsets the least number of people.

For a smartphone to pick up my personal award it needs to say something about itself, about the manufacturer behind it, and it needs to reflect the smartphone industry over the last twelve months.

So, with just a little bit of scene-setting and discussion about the phones I'm placing in third and second place, let's find out my smartphone of 2016.

Third Place: Jolla C, by Jolla

I've known that the Jolla C would be in the running for a long time for the award, because for the middle six months of the year it was the perfect use of 'proof by negation' of what the smartphone industry required from a smartphone in 2016.

 

The Jolla C hardware might look a touch underpowered, although it has been built to a very low price of around 170 Euros. With a SnapDragon 212 System on chip, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage and a 2500 mAh battery, the real strength is in the software. It runs a 'clean' version of Sailfish OS which flies even on these apparently low specifications.

Around one thousand handsets were released (as 'developer editions') and offered over the summer months - a short run that was almost instantly snapped up by the faithful. It made some waves online, but no more. Here was a small company, making the hardware, putting on the software, and distributing the machine. Sailfish OS is compact, designed for a 'buttonless' smartphone relying solely on touchscreen input, with genuine multitasking on top of a robust Linux-based OS. It's robustness was proved on this low-priced Nexus-like device.

Author: Ewan Spence
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2016/12/31/iphone-7-plus-galaxy-s7-edge-jolla-smartphone-of-the-year/#182255f6d1ff

Categorized in Internet Technology

It has already been a record-setting year for hacking scandals, and the headlines show no signs of slowing as we reach the end of 2016. Today's hack of Netflix's Twitter account by hacking collective OurMine is only the latest development in a year that has seen digital security become an issue of national security and election year politics.

OurMine, which is "a self-described white hat security group," said it was just testing Netflix security. The group suggested Netflix contact it to find out more about the hack. OurMine tweeted its message this morning, along with an email address and logo, to the nearly 2.5 million Twitter followers of @netflix, which is Netflix's U.S. account. "At least two more hacked tweets were sent. All of them have since been deleted, presumably by the Netflix social media team," according to CNET.

In previous years, most network intrusions have targeted enterprises and large corporations. But this year we saw a much more diverse field of victims, ranging from celebrities, technology CEOs, political parties, and even the Olympics.

More Political Hacks

Perhaps one of the most disturbing trends in 2016 has been the increased use of hacking to achieve geopolitical goals. Hacking groups linked to either the Kremlin or Russian president Vladimir Putin have been accused of reverting to Cold War tactics to weaken and delegitimize countries seen as political rivals.

 

A hack of the World Anti-Doping Agency's database, resulting in the publication of private medical records for several U.S. athletes, was attributed to a group of Russian hackers going by the names "Team Tsar" and "Fancy Bear." The group was also accused of hacking the Democratic Party’s network to find embarrassing information about then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The attack against the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign appear to have been part of an orchestrated effort by Russia to use cyberwarfare to undermine the U.S. electoral process. While it's impossible to say what, if any, effect the hack had on the election of Donald Trump, the hack has escalated tensions between the two countries and caused no small amount of alarm within the U.S. intelligence community.

And it isn't just national security that was in the spotlight in 2016. The year also saw a big jump in ransomware attacks, with individuals being targeted by hackers who encrypt their data in to extort cash out of them. Perhaps the largest such attack this year featured the San Francisco transit system, which was targeted by a ransomware attack that resulted in travelers receiving free rides over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Individuals in the Crosshairs

Several high-profile individuals in the technology sector have also been targets of attacks this year, including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. And Twitter's former CEO Dick Costolo and current CEO Jack Dorsey also suffered from hacks.

 

Most of these attacks seem to have come from well-known hacking collectives such as OurMine. But an independent hacker going by the handle "Lid" was able to hijack the Twitter account of Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe.

Hacks weren't just about digital defacement and a chance to embarrass political opponents, though. This year also saw the second largest bitcoin hack in history, resulting in the theft of more than $65 million of the cryptocurrency.

But it wasn't just digital currency that was stolen this year. A gang of Russian hackers also managed to break into more than 330,000 point-of-sale machines running software by Micros, an Oracle company. The hack hit cash registers used in food chains, hotels and retail stores.

And speaking of hotels, the U.S. hospitality industry suffered one of its largest hacks ever when 20 hotels owned by HEI Hotels and Resorts discovered malware running on point-of-sale machines used throughout the country. That hack may have resulted in the theft of customer data including account and credit card numbers.

This year there was even information about past traditional hacks involving the theft of users' email addresses and login information. Yahoo reported that in 2013, it suffered the largest breach in history, involving more than 1 billion user accounts. That exceeds the hack of 500 million accounts in 2014 that the company also reported this year.

Author: Jef Cozza
Source: http://www.toptechnews.com/article/index.php?story_id=132004JYDLHC

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 

IT WAS a good year for imaginative military innovations. From Star Wars-style speeders to an inescapable surveillance drone, many of the futuristic advances seem straight out of science fiction or Hollywood blockbusters.

Here are some favourites from 2016.

STAR WARS-STYLE SPEEDERS

Remember those speeder bikes in Return of the Jedi that raced through the air? The US military may get to zoom around the battlespace on a real-life version in the not-so-distant future.

Malloy Aeronautics and SURVICE Engineering Company teamed up to further develop Malloy’s Hoverbike for the US Army Research Laboratory. The craft is called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle, or JTARV.

Capable of potentially reaching speeds of 180km/h, JTARV could carry teams rapidly and nimbly — it could even fly around a war zone delivering about 135 kilograms of supplies by itself.

JTARV also provides stealth advantages, including a small physical footprint since it flies through the air, rather than drives on the ground. It also has a reduced acoustic signature.

These real life speeders wouldn’t require runways or traditional landing zones, giving teams lots of flexibility.

Return of the Jedi anyone?

THIS HUGE COMBAT TRACTOR IS A SWISS ARMY KNIFE

Meet the 32-tonne armoured combat vehicle that’s the ultimate tractor — albeit one that can punch holes through concrete, fire rockets, and carve safe passage through minefields for soldiers.

 

BAE Systems’ Terrier is affectionately known as the Swiss Army knife of combat vehicles because there isn’t anything it can’t tackle. A multi-tool on a giant scale, the Terrier is a number of critical vehicles all in one. It can quickly adapt to tackle a range of important tasks. It even has an eight-metre arm.

Terrier can destroy enemy runways, rip holes in concrete compounds where terrorists hide, and dismantle bridges.

This mammoth machine beast can even unleash Python rocket-propelled explosives to destroy concealed improvised explosive devices, protecting dismounted troops.

Like tractors found all throughout the United States, Terrier can lift, grab and move things. But it is next-level — its front loader system can lift five tonnes. It can move a staggering 300 tonnes of earth per hour.

The Swiss knife of army tanks.

SURVEILLANCE DRONE TERRORISTS CAN’T ESCAPE

It looks like a Star Trek Bird of Prey, and acts like a drone that terrorists cannot escape: A new military aircraft that’s powered by the sun and can conduct missions without landing for 45 days.

 

Airbus Defence and Space calls the new drone the High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS), but it’s been dubbed the Zephyr.

What’s a “pseudo satellite”? It has satellite-type capabilities like extreme surveillance but is on demand with the flexibility and versatility of an unmanned aircraft. This sort of capability could prove particularly handy for special operations teams.

Unlike a satellite, the Zephyr can be landed, modified with alternative tech, and quickly re-launched to provide different capabilities as required.

The Zephyr could fly without landing to provide the military with non-stop high-resolution imagery for a remarkable month and a half, and it could give teams accuracy down to 6-inch resolution.

Flying at about 20km high at a fixed location, Zephyr can see over 400 kilometres to the horizon and provide imagery in excess of 621 square kilometres.

While the Zephyr won’t be flying in space, it can get awfully close. The drone can reach heights higher than 70,000 feet. At those heights you can see the curvature of the earth.

The High Altitude Pseudo Satellite.

SUPERMAN-STYLE VISION FOR HELICOPTER PILOTS

New technology means US military helicopter pilots will be getting amped-up “Superman-style” vision to help them tackle dangerous environments.

 

Degraded Visual Environment, or DVE, is a frequent threat to military aircraft masking hazards and making it tough to land and fly. Visibility can be degraded by bad weather like rain, snow, dust and fog — but also by things like brown-out.

In a brown-out for example, the pilot loses his or her visual reference with the ground when sand, dirt and dust get kicked up. The airframe can drift and collide with the ground or other structures causing the helicopter to land hard or even roll over.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, chose Honeywell to create tech to help pilots defeat extreme DVE and “see” crucial details. The tech is called synthetic vision and provides pilots with a 3-D view of the landing zone on their flight displays. In spite of tough conditions, it builds a picture using a number of state-of-the-art sensors.

Dangers like other aircraft, telephone wires, vehicles and personnel near the landing zone — as well as unexpected terrain — would no longer be hidden by brown-outs.

Ultimately, military pilots could have such enhanced vision that even small holes and ditches around the landing zone will be revealed.

DVEs are a big challenge for all militaries, but with this tech US pilots would have the advantage of being able to safely operate where others cannot.

New technology means US military helicopter pilots will have far superior eyesight.

NEW MARINE CORPS COMBAT VEHICLE THAT “SWIMS”

A nearly 34-tonne armoured fighting vehicle... that swims? Marines will have a new Amphibious Combat Vehicle with even more power to storm the beaches in future battles.

The Amphibious Combat Vehicle prototype, or the ACV 1.1, was created by BAE Systems and IVECO Defence, and unveiled at Modern Day Marine. The vehicle combines a high degree of protection with amphibious and land capabilities.

This new armoured assault vehicle can launch from a ship at sea and then travel by water at speeds of six knots, ready to launch attacks on the shore.

Surf? Not a problem for this vehicle. The ACV 1.1 can continue to charge forward in spite of nine-foot plunging surf.

Once it reaches ground, it can attack enemy forces at 112km per hour and unleash some serious firepower.

Author: Allison Barrie
Source: news.com.au

 

Categorized in Others

Facebook & Google dominate the list of top best applications of 2016. Know the full list here!

Facebook And Google Dominate The List

Facebook (FB) might not be as cool as Snapchat in terms of its geo filters or YouTube in terms of watching tons of videos. However, it still on top as the most popular app in the US, according to a Nielsen report for 2016 published Wednesday.

"From new digital devices coming to the market (and grabbing headlines) to the growing interest in virtual reality thanks to new apps, 2016 was a big year for digital. As the year comes to a close, Nielsen looked at some of the top trends in digital, including the top U.S. smartphone apps and operating systems."

According to Tech Crunch, mobile applications from Facebook and Google dominated the new list of the year’s top apps released today by Nielsen. Not surprisingly, Facebook again grabbed the number one spot on the list, with more than 146 million average unique users per month, and 14 percent growth over last year.

In fact, Facebook scored several spots on the top 10 chart, thanks to its affiliates such as the Facebook Messenger and Instagram. The FB Messenger came in the second place this year. The app proves that it can have over 129 million unique monthly users. The third spot is YouTube, with over 113 monthly unique viewers.

 

The apps with the highest year over year change, Nielsen said, were Amazon App, which grew 43 percent and Instagram, up by 36 percent over 2015, as reported by Tech Wire. The survey conducted is a majority of smartphone owners use Android devices (53 percent), while 45 percent use IoS phones. A mere 2 percent use Windows phone, and the once mighty Blackberry now claims only 1 percent of users.

Top Mobile Apps Of 2016

Facebook took first and Facebook Messenger took second place in Nielsen's ranking. Instagram, which Facebook bought for $1 billion in 2012, was 2016's eighth most popular app, with 74 million average monthly users. The photo-sharing app's user number grew by more than one-third from 2015.

The search engine titan, Google, claimed five spots on the Top 10 list, with a combined 508 million users across its popular apps. There five apps are YouTube, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Play and Gmail.

YouTube, the mega-popular streaming site it owns, was Google's largest contribution, with 113 million people using the app. Google Maps followed with 105 million users. Google Search, the Play Store and Gmail had 103 million, 99 million and 88 million users, respectively.

 

Methodology

"Nielsen’s Electronic Mobile Measurement is installed with permission on panelist smartphones (approximately 9,000 panelists ages 18+ with Android and iOS handsets). The panelists are recruited online in English and include Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American, Native American and Alaskan Native and other mixed racial background consumer representation.

This method provides a holistic view of all activity on a smartphone as the behavior is being tracked without interruption. Data is based on Nielsen’s monthly survey of 30,000-plus mobile subscribers aged 13 and up in the U.S. Mobile owners are asked to identify their primary mobile handset by manufacturer and model, which are weighted to be demographically representative of mobile subscribers in the U.S. Smartphone penetration reflects all models with a high-level operating system (including Apple iOS, Android, Windows and BlackBerry)."

Author: Monica U Santos
Source: http://www.itechpost.com/articles/69647/20161229/top-mobile-apps-2016-facebook-google-dominate-list.htm

Categorized in Others

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

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

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

Here are just four reasons to despair about 2017.    

Trump

President Trump

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

 

Nuts to all of that.

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

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

Global Economy

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

 

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

Machzikei Hadas synagogue Ottawa swastika racist Nov. 17 2016

Prejudice

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

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

Journalism

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

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

Happy New Year.

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

Categorized in Future Trends

This year will be seen as a watershed moment for mobile, with nearly every change reflecting mobile's now-dominant contribution to search.

Aloha, here we are again — coming down from the high of holiday e-commerce, the Q4 scurry of lead gen and the calm before year-end reporting starts churning. Let’s take a breather and look back on all of the changes in PPC that came flying at us in 2016.

First, let’s get one thing out of the way. In last year’s year-end roundup, I said Yahoo might be worth paying attention to in 2016 due to the renegotiated search deal with Microsoft and CEO Marissa Mayer’s stated commitment to mobile search. So long ago. It did seem like Yahoo might just be able to gain steam back then. Now, that steam is gone like the data of over a billion user accounts.

The final adieu to the Yahoo Bing Network came in February, and for many advertisers, that was the last time Yahoo entered their campaign heads. Sure, if you advertise with Bing and/or Google, your ads typically show up on Yahoo, too, but other than the water cooler talk about who was going to buy Yahoo that developed into, “Will Verizon still buy it and at what discount,” Yahoo held little relevance for search marketers in 2016.

So, moving on to all the stuff that made 2016 a giant year in PPC! We’ll start with the biggies that impact most everyone and move to more specialized updates.

Major, major changes this year

There are always changes in paid search, but 2016 were not your garden variety year. There were fundamental updates that will continue to have repercussions in the years ahead. The was a lot less frustration, however, in 2016 than in the last year of major changes — when Google unleashed Enhanced Campaigns in 2013. 2016 can be seen as the year mobile truly took hold as the primary focal point in paid search, with some reports showing mobile now accounts for 60 percent of searches in the US. Desktop results were changed to reflect mobile. That mobile-preferred check box for ads went away, and mobile bids can now be used as a foundation for campaign bidding. Enhanced campaigns did its job.

 

Google upped its PR finesse in 2016. It announced advertisers would have to rewrite all of their ads at the same time that it announced device bidding is coming back. Desktop and tablet were re-separated for bidding, and it’s now possible to have mobile be the base bid. Maybe you’re not even doing anything differently yet, but knowing you can set a tablet bid adjustment or make a campaign mobile-first whenever you want feels so empowering, right? Well played, Google. Bing, which was never as restrictive with device bidding as Google to begin with, is currently piloting new bid adjustment ranges, but still makes desktop the base bid.

We first reported the biggest change of the year — Expanded Text Ads — was being tested in April. ETAs went live for everyone at the end of July. The new ad format upends how advertisers have written text ads since the inception of AdWords, more than 15 years ago. The transition hasn’t been without its bumps — Google pushed the cutoff for being able to edit and add standard text ads until January 31, 2017, after seeing

slower-than-expected

adoption of the new longer text ad format. There was the headline truncation kerfuffle, which mostly seems to have been remedied with a narrower font, but for the most part, advertisers have taken the changes in stride, on the promise of better CTRs.

2017 will be the year we really see how ETAs perform. Early results have been mixed, with some advertisers seeing dramatic bumps in click-through rates and others seeing, well, meh. Bing added support for ETAs as well, and rolled them out globally in October for much-welcomed parity between the two platforms in this area.

The ushering in of ETAs was made possible, of course, by the removal of text ads in the right rail on desktop, which also made desktop echo the layout of mobile results. It was quickly pointed out that longer titles and description copy in ETAs also have a way of making text ads look even more like organic listings. And speaking of making ads blend in with their organic surroundings, let’s not forget 2016 was the year of the green ad label. Green replaced the yellow in the ad labels next to the display URLs in text ads, which also happen to be green like their organic counterparts. (Want to see how Google’s color treatment of text ads has changed over the years? Here it is.)

 

Now for two announcements that generated a ton of interest but essentially had zero impact this year. First, the Google AdWords redesign. Some advertisers do have alpha access, but there are still a lot of elements missing before the new look is ready for prime time. Still, that didn’t tamper interest in some of the very handy visualizations in the new design. We’ll have to wait until 2017 to get the full Material Design treatment that Google Merchant Center and AdSense got this year. Second, Microsoft is buying LinkedIn. The deal hasn’t closed yet, but Microsoft’s Lynne Kjolso told the audience at SMX Advance this year that discussions of advertising scenarios were already happening shortly after the announcement.

Shopping & retail

With Amazon being Amazon, and Facebook’s Dynamic Product Ads, and even Pinterest’s Promoted Pins, gaining adoption, Google is under pressure to squeeze everything it can from product search and its product listing ads. And squeeze it did this year. Carousels of product listing ads (PLAs) are now showing up in Google Image SearchYouTube and third-party retailer sites.

Google also opened Shopping campaigns up to Customer Match, allowing advertisers to retarget customers with product listing ads with bids tailored to those audiences or excluding those audiences from Shopping campaigns.

Google started looking at ways to get more from all those broad product searches, like “cocktail attire,” this year. The most innovative but perhaps least likely to succeed of these is the shop the look format for apparel and home products that pull images from partners such as Curalate and Polyvore (owned by Yahoo, so there you go) and link to a set of product ads based on the looks. The other broad query PLA format called Showcase Ads initially showed off retailer collections. But one recent variation on this featured new and used clothing on outlet-related searches.

Oh, and Purchases on Google — aka the buy button-like feature that lets consumers shop from a PLA on their phones — is ticking along in pilot mode. Ralph Lauren, Ugg and Staples are among the brands that continued to test it this year.

Google took a big step in standardizing product data in Google Shopping by requiring GTINs for brand-name products that are sold by multiple retailers in product feeds.

 

Another big change for sellers was Google’s announcement that retailers and brands must have at least 150 ratings in the past 12 months for seller ratings to appear in their ads. That was up from just 30.

Also, for manufacturers, it’s worth pointing out that Manufacturer Center is still alive. Introduced last year, but flying far under the radar, Google’s Manufacturer Center is where brands and original manufacturers can provide a primary source for their product data used in Google Shopping. Manufacturers that use it can get some pretty nifty insights into how their products perform across Google in the analytics dashboard, such as clicks made on their products versus competing products. This year, Google reduced the amount of data it’s requesting in Manufacturer Center, apparently because most weren’t providing complete information anyway.

Local and Maps

Local got a shake up this year with the introduction of ads in the local pack, Promoted Places pins in Maps, exposure for local inventory ads in Maps and Knowledge panels, developments in store visits metrics, and pulling Google Maps out of the Search Partners network.

Ads started showing up in the Local Finder, the listings that appear next to the Map after a user clicks on “More places” from the search results, in April, around the same time Maps was moved into general search ad inventory. Later that month, Google started testing a purple “Ad” label on Local Finder ads and a corresponding purple pin on the map on Android and desktop. That didn’t last in the local finder, but the purple labels and pins did roll out in Google Maps.

And the big development in Maps, Promoted Places, has been in testing for a good part of the year. Retailers such as Walgreens, MAC Cosmetics and Starbucks have been testing the ads on Android that feature the brand logo in the pin and can include promotions.

 

Though still limited to a handful of metro markets in California, another area to keep an eye on in the local space is Google’s Home Services Ads program. This year, HSA opened up to HVAC services and electricians, and the whole program finally rolled out to mobile.

Google’s efforts to connect online campaigns with offline impact continued in 2016. Its store transactions measurement is still in beta, and there weren’t really any announcements around that this year, but Store Visits continued to gain traction in AdWords. Google announced it had measured more than one billion store visits from AdWords in 11 countries as of May (it’s now available in 14 countries). Store Visits also expanded to Display Network campaigns. Finally, Store Visits data became available in distance and location reports in Adwords. (The distance report is an unsung resource for advertisers with physical locations).

Audience targeting

Google has been steadily shifting from a focus on intent targeting to audience + intent targeting, thanks to market pressure from social networks Facebook. 2015’s Customer Match was the first big step in this area.

Big news in audience targeting is demographic targeting — age and gender — rolling out, and the ability to target similar audiences in search coming out in beta.

This fall, Google announced it would at last start to support cross-device retargeting. Google’s head of search ads, Jerry Dischler, made several announcements on audience targeting for search at SMX East in October: Cross-device retargeting was extended to Retargeting Lists for Search ads (RSLA), demographic targeting for age and gender in search ads was rolling out of beta, and similar audiences for search is now in open beta. These all add up to big possibilities for refining the way we execute search campaigs in 2017 and beyond.

Analytics & reporting

This year, Google unveiled the Analytics 360 Suite in May. The a la carte premium suite includes the rebranded versions of Google Analytics Premium, tag manager and Adometry attribution tools, as well as a new data management platform, a testing and optimization tool and a reporting and data visualization service. The nice thing is, the freeloaders got gifts, too. A free version of the reporting and visualization platform, Google Data Studio, rolled out early this summer. This fall, a free version of Google Optimize for landing page testing and optimization went into beta (sign up here).

Ad extensions

A quick rundown of what happened in extension land this year:

  • Bing launched a Social Extensions test in March that seems to have faded away.
  • Sitelinks started showing up in swipeable carousels. The new Price extensions started off as a list and then shifted to swipeable carousels.
  • Affiliate extensions didn’t get much fanfare when they rolled out, but I’m hoping to see some case studies on how these are working for manufacturers in 2017.
  • Message extensions came out of beta. There is a lot of promise in this extension, and it will be interesting to see the kind of support Message extensions receive next year.
  • Visual Sitelinks test started running in late fall. On mobile, each sitelinks displays with an image in a swipeable carousel card. (No, it’s not just you, the swipeable card carousel showed up all over the place this year.)  I’m not so sure about these, but we’ll see.
  • The Promotions extension beta launched ahead of Black Friday. From what I’ve heard so far, this also holds lots of promise.

Honorable Mentions, in no order particular order

Google added native inventory to the Display Network and introduced a responsive ad format to fill it. The responsive ads can run across the GDN, including in the newly available native ad inventory. Advertisers can convert text ads to responsive ads in Editor now. It looks like more may be in store for responsive ads soon.

Conversions became the king of measurement in AdWords, as Converted Clicks went off to into the sunset this fall.

Salesforce users can now import their lead data right into AdWords.

A whole bunch of weird stuff happened in AdWords Keyword Planner, presumably thanks to bots. And Google added forecasting and trend data for those with active AdWords campaigns.

Google banned payday loan adskinda sorta.

Here’s something I was excited about when it was first announced, but have yet to do anything with and am jealous of those who have: AdWords Campaign Groups.

Google started shutting down its Compare products in the US and UK early in the year — a big deal to the industries affected (credit cards, auto insurance, mortgages and travel insurance).

Google updated automated bidding in AdWords and introduced Portfolio bid strategies to make it possible to set distinct CPA targets at the ad group level.

In the US, those giant car ads, Model Automotive Ads (just rolls off the tongue), came out of beta on mobile, along with nearby dealer ads.

Christmas came early for Mac users with the release of Bing Ads Editor in June.

And that’s a wrap on 2016. Expect to see the trends we say this year — audiences; attribution, including online-to-offline; mobile; and automation — continuing to influence change in the year ahead.

Author: Ginny Marvin
Source: http://searchengineland.com/2016-paid-search-biggest-changes-266326

Categorized in News & Politics
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