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There's a lot to Snapchat.

Even for the young folks who make up the bulk of its users, there are lots of hidden features to uncover.

Luckily, we've done the hard work for you.

Here are the best Snapchat tips and expert tricks to take your snap game to the next level:

You've probably tried Snapchat's famous selfie lenses at least once. But did you know there are similar effects for your rear-facing camera? They're fun!

You've probably tried Snapchat's famous selfie lenses at least once. But did you know there are similar effects for your rear-facing camera? They're fun!
Snapchat

They're called World Lenses. You simply tap your screen while using your rear-facing camera to try them out.

 

Snapchat messages normally disappear within 10 seconds of being viewed, but you can stop them from being deleted right away by turning on "infinity" mode. The messages will still disappear after the recipient exists your conversation.

Snapchat messages normally disappear within 10 seconds of being viewed, but you can stop them from being deleted right away by turning on "infinity" mode. The messages will still disappear after the recipient exists your conversation.
Snap

 

You can draw with emojis. To get started, tap the pen drawing tool, then the star emoji under the color bar.

You can draw with emojis. To get started, tap the pen drawing tool, then the star emoji under the color bar.
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When taking a video snap, you can zoom in by swiping up on the screen. To quickly switch between your rear and front cameras while recording, just double tap on the screen.

When taking a video snap, you can zoom in by swiping up on the screen. To quickly switch between your rear and front cameras while recording, just double tap on the screen.
Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

You can stack filters on top of each other to create multiple effects. With one filter enabled, tap and hold on the screen and then swipe again with a second finger to add another filter.

 

You can create your own location-based filters for particular cities, neighborhoods, and even site-specific events like birthday parties and weddings.

You can create your own location-based filters for particular cities, neighborhoods, and even site-specific events like birthday parties and weddings.
Snapchat

Head on over to Snapchat's website to learn more.

When watching someone's Story, you can quickly send them a message by just swiping up.

 

Snapchat Stories no longer autoplay from person to person by default. But you can turn that feature back on by tapping the triangle icon at the bottom of the screen.

Snapchat Stories no longer autoplay from person to person by default. But you can turn that feature back on by tapping the triangle icon at the bottom of the screen.
Screenshot

 

If you're worried about Snapchat using too much of your phone's data plan or battery charge, turn on Travel Mode. You can find it under "Manage" in your settings.

If you're worried about Snapchat using too much of your phone's data plan or battery charge, turn on Travel Mode. You can find it under "Manage" in your settings.
Tech Insider

One of Snapchat's many quirks is the list of emojis it puts next to your friends' names. You can read the description of each Friend Emoji and even change the symbol used for each category by going to "Manage" in settings.

One of Snapchat's many quirks is the list of emojis it puts next to your friends' names. You can read the description of each Friend Emoji and even change the symbol used for each category by going to "Manage" in settings.
Tech Insider

A Snapstreak is the number of consecutive days you've snapped with a friend. It's represented by the number next to your friend's name. An hourglass emoji warns that your streak with someone is about to end.

A Snapstreak is the number of consecutive days you've snapped with a friend. It's represented by the number next to your friend's name. An hourglass emoji warns that your streak with someone is about to end.
Cassidy Hopkins/INSIDER

And yes, people are obsessed with keeping their Snapstreaks alive.

In your settings, you can choose to let anyone send you messages (if they know your username). You can also change whether you want your Story to be visible to anyone who adds you, or only people you add back. The "Custom" setting lets you block specific people from seeing your Story (but they can still message you directly).

In your settings, you can choose to let anyone send you messages (if they know your username). You can also change whether you want your Story to be visible to anyone who adds you, or only people you add back. The "Custom" setting lets you block specific people from seeing your Story (but they can still message you directly).
Tech Insider

 

Snapchat doesn't notify you when someone unfriends you, but you can always check by looking for their Snapscore, which sits next to their username. If it's not visible, they don't follow you.

Snapchat doesn't notify you when someone unfriends you, but you can always check by looking for their Snapscore, which sits next to their username. If it's not visible, they don't follow you.
Tech Insider

 

No service? No problem. You can shoot snaps without an internet connection and send them later when you get back online.

No service? No problem. You can shoot snaps without an internet connection and send them later when you get back online.
Tech Insider

You can save all your snaps to Memories, which you can find by swiping down from the Snapchat camera. There's a separate "My Eyes Only" section in Memories for snaps you don't want anyone else to see.

You can save all your snaps to Memories, which you can find by swiping down from the Snapchat camera. There's a separate "My Eyes Only" section in Memories for snaps you don't want anyone else to see.
Snap

Your Trophy Case is visible above your Snapcode. You unlock trophies as you complete certain activities in the app, like sending a certain number of snaps using video zoom.

Your Trophy Case is visible above your Snapcode. You unlock trophies as you complete certain activities in the app, like sending a certain number of snaps using video zoom.
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With the search feature, you can look up a particular contact, find the friends you talk to the most, or search for a specific event in crowdsourced stories no matter where you are in the app. Just tap on "Search" from the top of the screen.

With the search feature, you can look up a particular contact, find the friends you talk to the most, or search for a specific event in crowdsourced stories no matter where you are in the app. Just tap on "Search" from the top of the screen.
Snap

 

Not all conversations in Snapchat have to disappear. If you tap and hold on a chat bubble, you can save it for later. The next time you open the conversation, scroll up and you'll see what you saved. If you want to reset it so that it will disappear, tap and hold again. (When you save something, the app will notify the person you're chatting with).

Not all conversations in Snapchat have to disappear. If you tap and hold on a chat bubble, you can save it for later. The next time you open the conversation, scroll up and you'll see what you saved. If you want to reset it so that it will disappear, tap and hold again. (When you save something, the app will notify the person you're chatting with).
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You can search for stickers in a chat conversation with keywords. Just type a keyword, like "wow," love," or "dope" and tap the sticker button.

You can search for stickers in a chat conversation with keywords. Just type a keyword, like "wow," love," or "dope" and tap the sticker button.
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Snapchat supports group chats. Just select multiple people from your contacts when you're sending a message. You can name a group too.

Snapchat supports group chats. Just select multiple people from your contacts when you're sending a message. You can name a group too.
Snap

 

If you want a friend's name to show up differently in your contact list, just edit it.

If you want a friend's name to show up differently in your contact list, just edit it.
Tech Insider

If there's a publisher story you want to stop seeing, you can hide it from Snapchat by tapping and holding.

If there's a publisher story you want to stop seeing, you can hide it from Snapchat by tapping and holding.
Screenshot

 

There's a way to record video in Snapchat without any hands...

There's a way to record video in Snapchat without any hands...
Tech Insider
Source: This article was published businessinsider.com By Alex Heath
Categorized in Others

What our Google searches reveal about us. It’s not always the face we show to the world.

Your Facebook feed might be full of friends making posts about their “amazing” husbands. But data shows that in another tab on their Internet browsers, these users are telling Google that their husband is “annoying” “a jerk” or even “mean.” Everybody lies. That’s the message from a former Google data scientist. He says Google tells all. This hour, On Point: What our searches reveal about us.

 

Guests

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, former Google data scientist and contributing op-ed writer for the New York Times. Author of the new book, "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are."

Ethan Kross, director of the Emotion and Self-Control Lab at the University of Michigan, where he is also a psychologist and professor of psychology. Lead a study that showed Facebook can make users unhappy.

Paul Wicks, vice president of innovation for PatientsLikeMe. (@PaulLikeMe)

From The Reading List

New York Times: Don’t Let Facebook Make You Miserable — "It is now official. Scholars have analyzed the data and confirmed what we already knew in our hearts. Social media is making us miserable. We are all dimly aware that everybody else can’t possibly be as successful, rich, attractive, relaxed, intellectual and joyous as they appear to be on Facebook. Yet we can’t help comparing our inner lives with the curated lives of our friends."

 

WIRED: Maybe the Internet Isn’t Tearing Us Apart After All — "Suppose liberals and conservatives on the internet never got their online news from the same place. In other words, liberals exclusively visited liberal websites, conservatives exclusively conservative ones. If this were the case, the chances that two Americans on a given news site have opposing political views would be 0 percent. The internet would be perfectly segregated. Liberals and conservatives would never mix.

PLOS: Facebook Use Predicts Declines in Subjective Well-Being in Young Adults— "The human need for social connection is well established, as are the benefits that people derive from such connections. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling such needs by allowing people to instantly connect. Rather than enhancing well-being, as frequent interactions with supportive 'offline' social networks powerfully do, the current findings demonstrate that interacting with Facebook may predict the opposite result for young adults—it may undermine it."

Christiane Amanpour's 2017 Commencement Address At Northeastern University

Source: This article was published wbur.org By Jane Clayson

Categorized in Search Engine

We can thank Amazon.com, great enabler of our hoarding habits, for the ease with which we lead our sedentary lives. We've almost acquired enough material stuff to numb the all-consuming fears of death, taxes, the Death Tax, and other people that keep us from going outside at all anymore. Amazon's uncompromising love of efficiency makes it appealing to shut-ins, exciting to venture capitalists, horrifying to anybody who has to work for a living, and just so bloody convenient to busy consumers.

They have tax issues in the UK .. and everywhere else

Like any self-respecting brand-conscious Cthulhu of consumerism, Amazon has specialized, hive-like locations all over the world. These spawning beds occupy land in many sovereign nations, each with its own set of tax laws by which it expects Amazon to abide.

 

Until a few years ago, Amazon claimed its only physical office was its headquarters located in Seattle, WA — its many warehouses across the US were actually, technically owned by independent contractors. This might sound like a silly distinction, but it had major sales tax implications for the company, since Amazon could claim that its only true (i.e. taxable) location was in Washington. It meant that Amazon could offer the lowest prices without charging its buyers any sales tax. Throw in Amazon's eagerness to sell items at a loss just to push out the competition (more on that later), and you have a community-robbing scenario where Amazon outsells local competition, takes away local jobs, and doesn't even pay its fair share on Tax Day. Do you want joblessness and poverty? Because that's how you get joblessness and poverty.

Suspected of tax avoidance for years, Amazon's European offices finally came clean in 2015, and quietly decided to pay its share of taxes in the European Union. All it took to motivate "the everything company" was a scandal throughout the global business sector, starting with 2014's massive leak of controversial financial records relating to various multinational corporations. Allegedly, big corporations enjoy exploiting Luxembourg's tax loopholes. (Who knew?)

It's almost understandable. You don't like paying taxes, Amazon doesn't like paying taxes. Gargantuan conglomerations of corporatized, trade union-smashing, economy-killing planet poisoners — they're just like us! Except, you probably don't funnel your taxable chump change through holding companies in low-tax haven. We bet Euros to European donuts that you didn't have an almost two-decade-long understanding with Luxembourg's prime minister, which was interrupted unceremoniously by LuxLeaks. Furthermore, we doubt that the revenue you made from millions of online transactions during each tax year throughout the European Union was then systematically shuffled into Belgian holding companies, where it could be taxed in a lighter, gentler, and more loving manner than they would've been elsewhere in the EU. Other than that, you're just like them!

 

They were sued for using cookies to mine customers' private data

 

In this 2003 article on Amazon's algorithms, the company's mastery of sorting through data is revealed. Having been in the product-recommending game since 1994, Amazon has four more years of experience than Google with using private citizens' data to generate curated content. Nobody does it better, and that's where the trouble comes in.

You know those notices you see on sites that use cookies? They seem to be more prominent than ever, because cookies now have a lot of power … and it's not all delicious. Cookies track users' habits right down to the keystroke, and even the coordinates of your mouse's cursor in some cases. The data collected can tell an incredible amount of information about you, what you buy, what you read, what you chat about, what you post about, your browsing habits, who you are online, and when you are offline. Amazon uses Flash cookies to collect such data on private citizens for its targeted ads, and they collect a lot.

The question is, at what point does data collection become privacy invasion? Del Vecchio v. Amazon sought a court's opinion on the matter. The court's' answer was, "We don't understand the question because we can't imagine that the way we're already doing things might not be the right one." More or less. In the actual words of the court: "Demographic information is constantly collected on all consumers by marketers, mail-order catalogues and retailers … we are unaware of any court that has held the value of this collected information constitutes damage to consumers or unjust enrichment to collectors."

It sounds like the judge wasn't willing to break with precedent and do battle with the Amazonian beast's insatiable hunger for your sensitive information. Perhaps cuz he just scored some sweet free shipping on his new tablet.

 

Amazon uses intimidation to quiet dissent

Scary monsters intimidate us. Amazon, the two-day-shipping-taloned Gorgon of Globalization, uses intimidation to paralyze dissenters. In order to make it at Amazon, you must "obsess over customers," according to the company's founder in a letter to shareholders written back in 1997. If you're not obsessive enough, if you're not pathologically driven to work as hard as you possibly can to bolster the Amazon brand, or if you accumulate one too many strikes for standing still on the warehouse floor, you'll be chased out real quickly.

 

"Amazon is where overachievers go to feel bad about themselves," one former employee told The New York Times in 2015. "If you're a good Amazonian, you become an Amabot," said another former employee. An Amabot is the ideal Amazon employee — an automaton with human features, an exemplary android falling in line with the capitalists' march to nowhere. It's what every Amazon employee aspires to be. Just don't get caught violating the (Amazon) Prime Directive.

Amazon, as you'd expect, denies the allegations. Bezos went so far as to say that, if he worked at a company like the one described in the article, he would quit. Is that a promise?

A "screwup" once barred LGBT authors from getting on the Amazon Bestsellers list

 

Societal norms are always changing. Search engines must contend with filtering out unsuitable content, while returning appropriate results for users' queries. In particular, language about sex and sexual identity present a challenge to coders. How do we guide the customer to other "similar" products without running afoul of common decency?

In 2009, it looked like Amazon's bookselling department had suddenly found the answer. What do authors Annie Proulx, E.M. Forster, Jeanette Winterson, Gore Vidal, and D.H. Lawrence have in common? They're all hugely popular, yes, but also there's how their best books were algorithmically stripped of their bestselling ranks on Amazon in 2009, all because a "family-friendly" algorithm didn't approve of the books' sexual content.

A company employee chalked it up to a "glitch" and a "screwup." Thanks to the popularity of the Twitter hashtag #AmazonFail, and Bezos's ensuing PR nightmare, employees had to cut their Easter weekends short to go in and correct the code. According to the employee, once it was identified, it was easy to fix. Basically, some defective Amabot had switched the parameter for adult content from "false" to "true" on books containing any homosexual content at all, regardless of cultural significance. If it's that easy, what's to stop another seemingly politically motivated "glitch" from happening again — hashtags?

 

Amazon wants its employees to be workaholics, allegedly doesn't care about work-life balance

If the company's response to the #AmazonFail debacle tells us anything for certain, it's that Amazon has little regard for its employees' holiday weekends. Seriously, couldn't the company have released a statement and waited until after the holiday weekend to have employees fix the issue? Sure. Would Amazon's stock and reputation have recovered? Almost definitely. Yet, instead of letting employees enjoy their weekends, the company demanded immediate resolution of the issue to satisfy investors. Work-life balance? Please.

 

Amazon's disregard for its employees' well-being goes well beyond dragging coders in on Easter Sunday. In its enormous warehouses around the U.S., sat navs track employees by GPS in real time — think Google Maps for people — mapping out the most efficient paths to the item they need to ship. Get caught standing still or reading Grunge articles, and you get a text message from your boss to pick up the slack. Failing to do so results in immediate dismissal. If you're not fetching items, you're packing them with a functional foreman standing over you to ensure that you keep moving, all while machines tabulate your hourly output rate and ensure that you've packed the boxes in the right, most efficient way. In the immortal words of Pink Floyd, welcome to the machine.

It's all part of the Amazon Way, the brand's culture of ruthless efficiency, exemplified by a corporate initiative to coerce smaller companies into submission. It was called the Gazelle Program, so named for "the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle." Not only competitors but workers, too, must submit to the Amazon Way, or be eaten alive by the all-knowing, many-headed, cyborg cheetah.

Amazon profits from selling Holocaust denial propaganda, even where it's illegal to do so

You can buy pretty much anything on Amazon. It's like Silk Road except, instead of being a site where criminals can buy unregistered guns, illicit drugs, contracts for killings, and other contraband, it's a site for the legitimate sale of legal consumer goods … most of the time.

 

Amazon cares about meeting demand, edging out competition, and boosting stocks. Abiding by the content-specific laws of foreign governments is pretty low on their list of priorities. Like, if you live in a place where racist, anti-Semitic propaganda has been outlawed, Amazon will probably sell and ship it to you, anyway.

Yep, anybody can order Protocols of the Elders of Zion (fraudulent notes from a fictitious meeting of world-controlling Jews), or The Turner Diaries (a race war genocidal fantasy that has been called the "Bible of the racist right" by the FBI, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center), or Le Camp Des Saints from Amazon. Le Camp Des Saints is a French novel about the dangers of immigration. Spoiler alert: idiots' xenophobic fears confirmed! Collapse of civilization imminent!

That said, while certainly distasteful, these books are works of fiction, so it's possible to argue their cultural significance. Inexcusable, however, is Amazon's profiting on the sale of neo-Nazi diatribes like Synagogue of Satan and Did Six Million Really Die?, which presents itself as a scientific, skeptical expose, but is actually pseudoscientific humbug, hate speech in a lab coat. Amazon's complicity in the dissemination of neo-Nazi propaganda in the U.S. might not be a good look but it's (arguably) protected by the Constitution. In places like Germany, though, Holocaust denial is a criminal act punishable by a five-year prison sentence … unless you're Amazon, apparently, and you're just facilitating it.

 

Amazon encourages Prime retailers to price-gouge

It's a paradox, but for two decades, Amazon never turned a profit. (That changed only recently.) The company's modus operandi has always been to offer the lowest prices, even if it means selling products at a loss. If you're an Amazon retailer, you're pressured to cut prices. Most retailers end up abiding by the abrasive requirements, banking on Amazon's name recognition, customer base, and worldwide reach to make up for the lost revenue.

 

All of this is null and void, by the way, if the retailer offers free shipping for Amazon Prime products. According to a lawsuit filed in 2014, Amazon suggests raising prices on those items, in order to recoup the shipping costs. Tack on a few extra bucks to the retail price and call it "free shipping." Yeah, that sounds legit to us.

Kindle Direct Publishing is becoming the only choice for e-book publishers … and it's rigged

Amazon will distribute criticism of its own brand … for a cut of the profits, of course. In a testament to its monopolistic control, the company sells books that criticize its business practices and corporate culture. The implied message is that no criticism could bring down the Amazon brand, which is an ungodly sort of power. It's like the NFL promoting the Concussion movie, or Facebook promoting The Social Network, or a Catholic church offering the works of Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey in exchange for a donation.

Why can it afford to do this? It's the only game in town for e-book sellers, that's why. Amazon sells two-thirds of the world's ebooks, and it uses ruthless tactics like, until recently, employing industry insiders like Laurence J. Kirshbaum to push traditional publishers out of the picture. Kirshbaum was well-liked all across the world of traditional publishing, until he joined forces with Bezos.

 

Kirshbaum's fall from grace in the tabloids has been a strange one, but not necessarily as strange as his willingness to collude with Amazon to bring down the traditional book industry. It was Kirschbaum's then-good reputation that would facilitate the rise of the Kindle empire, and the downfall of bookstores.

Amazon disrespects religious and cultural traditions to make a buck

Amazon allegedly permitted retailers in Japan to sell the services of Buddhist monks for ceremonies — specifically, funerals. Naturally, the practice outraged some Buddhists. "Such a thing is allowed in no other country in the world. In this regard, we must say we are disappointed by an attitude toward religion by Amazon," said Akisato Saito, head of the Japan Buddhist Association.

If you're scratching your head and wondering how such an industry even arose, know that Buddhist temples in Japan depend upon alms. As one monk puts it, "Today, nobody comes to temples asking for us to perform funerals for their parents." Rent-a-monk services are basically a frowned upon way for monks to support themselves, a business out of which Amazon happily took a cut.

 

That's not the worst of it. A former corporate manager has alleged that he was the victim of racial discrimination. The plaintiff is an American of Syrian descent, who alleges that he endured "ethnically and religious tinged comments" from other employees at Amazon's offices in Detroit and Seattle. Working at the corporate office sounds almost as bad as working in one of the warehouses.

It's cooler to hate Wal-Mart than Amazon, but Amazon might be worse

Wal-Mart. Bunch of NAFTA-exploiting crooks and benefits-denying union-breakers, right? They open up shop, lay waste to local economies, and put hard-working ordinary people out of business. Good thing there's Amazon, so we can get all the same stuff at the same low prices and not feel bad about killing the world to satisfy our petty wants! We submit to its monstrous will, impossible speed, and limitless reach, because they don't make us drive anywhere.

Many-headed and cheetah-pawed, the treacherous Amazonian amalgamation perches atop the sun-parched remains of humanity's dreams. Weep not for humanity's dreams. Amazon has already promised to build new, luxurious cages with the dream-bones. Your Prime cage should arrive in the next forty-eight hours. USPS tracking information forthcoming.

Source: This article was published on grunge.com

Categorized in News & Politics

Sometimes, it occurs when a person suffers a nearly fatal accident or life-threatening situation. In others, they are born with a developmental disorder, such as autism. But a slim margin of each group develop remarkable capabilities, such as being able to picture advanced mathematical figures in one's head, have perfect recall, or to draw whole cityscapes from memory alone. This is known as savant syndrome. Of course, it’s exceedingly rare. But how does it work? And do we all hide spectacular capabilities deep within our brain?

In 2002, 31-year-old Jason Padgett, a community college dropout and self-described “goof,” was mugged outside of a karaoke bar. Two men knocked him down and kicked him in the back of the head repeatedly, leaving him unconscious. Padgett was checked out and sent home from the hospital that same night.

He’d suffered a serious concussion but didn’t know it, until the next morning when he noticed something peculiar. Upon entering the bathroom and turning on the faucet, he saw “lines emanating out perpendicularly from the flow.” He couldn’t believe it.

“At first, I was startled, and worried for myself, but it was so beautiful that I just stood in my slippers and stared.” It was like, “watching a slow-motion film.” He soon realized that he could see geometric shapes and fractals—irregular patterns that repeat themselves, in everything. “It’s just really beautiful,” he said. 

Padgett began to find that he could intuitively understand the mathematical nature of everything around him. Before, he never rose beyond pre-Algebra. After the incident, he became infatuated with fractals and pi. His perception had completely changed. He soon grew obsessed with all the shapes he found in his house.

 

In his memoir, Struck by Genius: How a Brain Injury Made Me a Mathematical Marvel, Padgett writes, “I noticed the light bouncing off a car window in the form of an arc, and the concept came to life. It clicked for me-­because the circle I saw was subdivided by light rays, and I realized each ray was really a representation of pi.”

Freehand fractal drawing created by Jason Padgett. Wikimedia Commons

He soon locked himself away and began drawing precise and beautiful geometric figures for days and sometimes, weeks at a time. Padgett is one of the few people on earth who can draw fractals accurately, freehand. He became a germaphobe too and rather than seeing it as a gift, he started to wonder whether or not he was mentally ill.

He’d acquired an exceedingly rare condition. Only about 70 people in the world so far have been identified with savant syndrome. There are two ways for it to occur, either through an injury that causes brain damage or through a disorder, such as autism.

 

We’re familiar with the autistic savant, like the 1988 hit movie Rain Man, where the main character, played by Dustin Hoffman, can count a large number of toothpicks spilled onto the floor, instantaneously. It’s estimated that around 50% of those with savant syndrome are autistic.

The other 50% are either due to an injury to the central nervous system or a developmental disorder. Some researchers believe at least 10% of those with autism have some form of savant-like talent. Acquired savant syndrome is far rarer.

World renowned savant Daniel Tammet. Getty Images.

Things changed for Padgett after he saw a BBC documentary about Daniel Tammet. The British, autistic savant can recite pi to the 22,514th place, speaks 10 different languages—two he made up himself, and performs intricate mathematical calculations in his head, at lightning speed.

He’s also a synthete, meaning he experiences numbers not only visually, but as colors and geometric figures, as well. (Synesthesia is the blending of the senses, like certain letters having corresponding colors or letters-flavors. Or how certain people claim to smell music, in addition to hearing it. Synesthesia occurs in a variety of ways and differs widely from one person to the next).

Other famous savants include British-borne Stephen Wiltshire, who can draw panoramic cityscapes accurately, from memory, Dr. Anthony Cicoria, an orthopedic surgeon from New York, who, after being struck by lightning, can suddenly play the piano, and Alonzo Clemens who, after falling on his head as a child, can sculpt any animal from memory—down to the minutest detail.

Padgett soon contacted psychiatrist Dr. Darold Treffert, who’s been studying savant syndrome for over 50 years. “The most common ability to emerge is art, followed by music,” Treffert told The Guardian. “But I’ve had cases where brain damage makes people suddenly interested in dance, or in Pinball Wizard.”

In 2011, Padgett underwent an fMRI, along with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It was discovered the left side of his brain had become more active, while the right side far less so. Dr. Treffert contends that savant syndrome has to do with neuroplasticity—the brains remarkable ability to repair and rewire itself. Studies have shown that those who have acquired savant syndrome often sustained damage to the front area of their left temporal lobe.

According to Dr. Treffert,

“Following an injury to the brain, there’s recruitment of undamaged cortex from elsewhere in the brain, then there’s rewiring to that undamaged area, and a release of dormant potential. It’s a compensatory mechanism involving areas that may have been dormant, or areas that are ‘stolen’ and their function changed.”

Scientists began to wonder, what if they were to induce such conditions. Would it trigger a savant-like state in a subject?

Scientists have developed a “thinking cap,” which can increase cognitive abilities. Getty Images.

 

Neuroscientist Allan Snyder at the University of Sydney, Australia, is doing exactly that, with what he calls the “thinking cap." This is a rubber strap with two conductors. It’s fastened around the head and provides low levels of electricity to incapacitate a certain part of the brain. Tests on subjects have shown it induces savant-like skills including improved memory, better attention to detail, more creativity, better proofreading skills, and even better problem-solving. These capabilities fade about an hour after the cap is removed.

We are just now entering a golden age of neuroscience, according to neurobiologist Nicholas Spitzer at the University of California, San Diego. Initiatives to unearth the secrets of the human brain are ongoing at numerous institutions around the world. Prof. Spitzer predicts that in the coming decades, besides advancements in imaging technology, we’ll be able to send nanobots inside the brain that are so small, they’ll be able to enter and travel along neurons. Moreover, they’ll be able to communicate back their findings through Wi-Fi.

We’ll also be able to attach implants that can hook our brains up to computers and Wi-Fi, giving us instantaneous knowledge, and the ability to control devices with our minds. It may also be possible to identify and stimulate innate capabilities and in this way, awaken one’s latent savant. First, we’ll have to figure out if everyone has the ability to become a savant or not. And if so, what’s required on a neurological basis to get us there.

 

To learn more about the thinking cap, click here: 

Source :  bigthink.com

Categorized in Science & Tech
GOOGLE has a funny way of telling you that it knows you’re up to no good.

It has swapped its smiley face for a winking face when you spend too much time browsing in Incognito mode — a tool favoured by smut lovers across the world.

The Sun reports going incognito leaves no trace on your web history so you can watch naughty videos without anyone else ever knowing.

But people who use the browser too much will notice a winking smiley in the corner of the screen.

 

If you open more than 100 tabs at a time it also should appear.

Google Chrome will put a winking smiley in the corner of the screen for heavy porn users
Google Chrome will put a winking smiley in the corner of the screen for heavy porn usersSource:Supplied

Chrome’s new message only appears on the Android version of the app, so if you’re browsing on iOS, you’re safe from judgment — for now.

We recently revealed how you can find the secret retro games hidden in the Google Chrome browser, including fan-favourites such as Pacman and Breakout.

You can also access a secret, unofficial version of Google Search — but be prepared for some surprising results.

Mystery Search is the hilarious alternate search engine that shows the results for the previous person’s search.

Author : Margi Murphy

Source : news.com.au

Categorized in Search Engine

A magistrate judge has ordered the federal government to turn over hundreds of pages of information about a super-secret spy-on-Americans program that is run by AT&T called Hemisphere.

 

WND reported only days earlier how shareholders in the communications company were concerned enough about the controversial program to prepare a resolution for the company’s coming annual meeting calling for an investigation and report.

 

And that had followed a report when privacy experts asked AT&T to shut down the program that has been called “Google on steroids” for accessing “trillions” of records when it is rented out to police agencies and others.

 

Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the groups fighting the use of private call information in the program, says the judge, Maria-Elena James, has found the federal government hasn’t justified its “excessive secrecy” about the telephone surveillance effort.

 

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare is Becoming Our Reality,” marshals the terrifying evidence to show the world of Big Brother is much closer than we want to admit.

 

“As a result, the federal government must submit roughly 260 pages of previously withheld or heavily redacted records to the court so that it can review them and decide whether to make more information about Hemisphere public,” EFF reported.

 

The program is run by AT&T in conjunction with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. It allows police almost real-time access to telephone call detail records.

 

 

 

AT&T has imposed requirements on police to conceal the program from the public, and it raises questions about First and Fourth Amendment protections, EFF said.

 

The recent court hearing was over documents the government was declining to disclose to EFF, which had filed a Freedom of Information Act request.

 

But James, who is in the federal court system in Northern California, said some of the records in question “did not qualify for protection under FOIA’s Exemption 5,” which protects attorney-client communications and the like.

 

“The court also ruled that even though the government showed other documents were eligible for protection under Exemption 5, it had failed to provide enough information to justify withholding the record,” the organization said.

 

The ruling also said government claims that releasing the records would interfere with law enforcement investigations was unsupported by evidence.

 

“The court also rejected claims that the names of telecommunications companies involved in Hemisphere could be withheld on grounds that they were confidential law enforcement informants,” EFF said.

 

 

 

The judge ordered hundreds of pages to be submitted to the court by the government, for review by the judge to determine when they need to be released or not.

 

EFF explained earlier: “Police refer to Hemisphere as a ‘Super Search Engine,” and ‘Google on steroids’ because it provides access to trillions of domestic and international phone call records dating back 30 years. Each day, approximately four billion phone records are added to the system, including calls from non-AT&T customers that pass through the company’s switches and even when a customer changes phone numbers.

 

“Hemisphere can also map social relationships and pinpoint locations of callers,” EFF said.

 

EFF pointed out that because of the company’s cooperation – it actually sells access to the data – law enforcement officials can get the details without going through a judge, and then the company imposes strict requirements to keep the program secret.

 

“AT&T and the police tried to keep Hemisphere secret. They failed,” wrote Adam Schwartz on the website for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

 

“The time has come to end the Hemisphere program. As a matter of constitutional law and basic privacy principals, the police should not be allowed, without case-by-case judicial oversight, to scrutinize our social relationships with a database of trillions of phone records.”

 

Privacy groups previously have complained about analysis of individuals’ telephone records, which can reveal personal details such as appointments at Planned Parenthood or calls to a local political party or a psychiatrist.

 

The New York Times exposed the Hemisphere program in 2013, and EFF later sued state and federal law enforcement agencies for more details.

 

 

Author:  BOB UNRUH

Source:  http://www.wnd.com/2016/12/feds-secret-super-search-engine-about-to-be-not-so-secret

Categorized in Search Engine

Viral videos are great for marketing because they are cheaper than other marketing methods, they are sharable, you have control over the message and its delivery, and their entertainment value makes them more memorable. If you have been making great videos and you still have a problem making them go viral, these tips will help you out.

1. Create Sharable Content

No matter how good a video is, it will not go viral if it does not entice people to share it. Creating a sharable video is important because people are more likely to watch a video that has been shared by those they trust. So, what makes a sharable video?

  • People are more likely to share a video that says something valuable or meaningful to them. Your video should strike a chord with your target audience. As an example, the “Save the Children’s Most Shocking Second a Day” video went viral because it was about a young British girl who was exposed to a life similar to that of a child in war-torn countries. The video brought a far-flung conflict that people were indifferent to closer to home.
  • Ensure your video is funny. People have a natural urge to laugh with others and they will, therefore, share a humorous video. Even when your message is serious, find a way of incorporating humor in the message. BuzzFeed, which specialized in viral content, lists funny photos and videos and if your video is funny enough, you could just feature here as well as on other big blogs, which means even greater viewership.
  • Contests are extremely effective in spreading the word about a video. You can view contests and giveaways as bribes – even people who are not interested in your message will view your video for a chance of winning.
  • Although it is okay to try to emulate success stories, you are more likely to achieve success if you are unique. Rehashed content and a mediocre message will not lead to shares. Brainstorm with your team to come up with the most unique content that people will want to share.
  • Consider creating a video that is inspired by the latest craze. Viewers are more likely to share something that is of great interest and that is trending.

 

2. Collaborate

You can collaborate with YouTube creators who may not be your traditional celebrities, but who nonetheless have a big and loyal fan base. You could approach such a YouTube creator to promote your video and his/her active fan base will be your first audience. As an example, YouTube stars like Jim Chapman, Caspar Lee, Dan Howell, Phil Lester, Pixiwoo, Joe Sugg, and Marcus Butler recently worked with Cancer Research UK in the“Stand Up To Cancer” livestream event on YouTube and the event went viral.

3. Quantity

When it comes to YouTube videos, quantity is just as important as quality. It is only when you release videos regularly that you will keep your audience active and interested. It’s just like friendship – you are more engaged when you talk often. It is also a game of probability – even if most of the videos do not go viral, there is a chance that a few will. Focus should be less on quality of the video and more on quality of the message.

4. Have a Wide Distribution Engine

Your video should fit in with your larger marketing vision. Consider sharing the same video on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and others since any of them could trigger the viral effect. Using multiple channels will give your marketing campaign a built-in echo effect. Concentrate on a handful of channels that you are good at and that you can optimize.

 

5. Have a Launch Strategy

In a recent article in The Guardian, Pierre Chappaz, the author, encouraged marketers to focus on the first 24 hours of release. He stated, “If nobody interacts with your video within the first 24 hours of release, it’s going to struggle to go viral. The reason for this is the complex and somewhat mysterious YouTube algorithm.” YouTube’s algorithm considers the interaction rate (shares, likes, comments) during the first 24 hours of release to determine ranking in its country charts.

6. Make your Videos Easy to Find

Think like search engines whose algorithms make it easy for audiences to find the information they are looking for. You can ensure your videos are easy to find by optimizing the titles and descriptions. Do keyword optimization and use other SEO tactics to not only ensure the videos are easy to find, but to also increase ranking in SERPs (search engine results pages).

7. Do Not Forget Mobile Users

Your video must be mobile-friendly since studies show that at least half of YouTube views are coming from mobile. If you have a link to your website, ensure your site has responsive web design for good mobile user experience.

8. Visit a Google Digital Garage

Digital Garage is a Google free program that helps small businesses and other organizations to learn the digital skills needed to make the most out of YouTube and the web in general. Visit a Digital Garage and get a mentor or sign up to get online training.

9. Shock and Awe

A big number of the videos that have gone viral on YouTube are those that are shocking or that touch on a controversial subject. When it comes to YouTube videos, do not shy away from being criticized, disliked or hated because the buzz will lead to more people who are interested in your message seeing the video.

  • Get others to submit your Content to Reddit

Consider getting involved in the Reddit community. You could then share your YouTube content for other users to upvote or downvote the content and for a chance of the content going viral. You should avoid the common temptation of simply submitting the content without involvement in the Reddit community because Reddit does not look favorably on people submitting their own stuff.

  • Create a Public Playlist

Annotations are used to interlink videos, but you should consider playlists since they are less distracting, more organized, and more useful for people who are browsing your videos. Playlists are also better than annotations because YouTube viewers often disable YouTube annotations. You can take advantage of public playlists by serializing your content, especially when producing a series of tutorials, since a playlist keeps all the content in the same place and it arranges the content appropriately. You could also use playlists for separating topical videos if your videos cover different topics.

  • Use Thumbnails

Although it is not good to judge a book by its cover, the fact is that many people base their decision on whether or not they will watch a video solely on how the thumbnail looks. A good thumbnail is one that exemplifies the quality and the content of the video since people are more likely to view a video when they feel you’ve put in the effort.

You should encourage users to engage in comments and to share. Link your video marketing campaign with other marketing campaigns (such as SMM by including social media icons) to have the best results. Watch viral videos such as “Girls Do Science” by Microsoft for tips on what makes a viral video.

Author:  Derek Iwasiuk

Source:  http://clapway.com/2016/12/10/wrong-12-secrets-making-viral-video

Categorized in News & Politics

Google has become such an ingrained part of our society that people simply say, “I Googled it.” The search engine counts millions of internet users among its loyal followers, often making it seem as if no other search engine is even relevant anymore. But, in actuality, Google has some stiff competition, and if you’re willing to look, you’re going to find numerous websites that are actually even better than Google, including:

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo-duckduckgo_com

Google’s in for some stiff competition when DuckDuckGo, now still a relatively secret search engine, spreads to the masses. Perhaps the biggest benefit of DuckDuckGo is it doesn’t collect nor does it share your personal information like Google does. In addition, DuckDuckGo doesn’t make users scroll through dozens of pages to find an answer. Let’s say you want to find out when the 2012 Presidential Election will be held. DuckDuckGo will return the answer at the top of your search page. Web users also enjoy the Web of Trust, which allows them to determine which sites are safe enough to visit, and pointless pages thrown up just to make revenue but without any real content never appear in search results.

 

Ixquick

StartPage by Ixquick Search Engine-ixquick_com

The self-described “most private search engine” in the world, Ixquick does not store users’ browsing histories, nor does it keep track of IP addresses, making it an ideal option for web browsers who want to keep their information private. In fact, all searches are encrypted to provide you with complete privacy.

Yippy

Yippy_com - Yippy Search Engine-yippy_com

Yippy is an ideal search engine for families and those who are fed up with adult sites ending up in their search results. The search engine promises extremely tight security. It asserts that it doesn’t store any of your private information, your search history, your email addresses, and other vital information. Search results return with a box on the left hand of the screen, allowing you to choose which way information is best presented to you: By time, by source, or by sites.

 

Gigablast

Gigablast - An Alternative Open Source Search Engine-gigablast_com

Gigablast advertises itself as the “Green Search Engine,” as it runs on wind energy, providing search results for an estimated 10 million web users. Gigablast has been around for nearly a decade, and the search engine searches through all websites on a particular keyword or phrase, rather than just individual pages. Parents can use the “family filter,” and Gigablast implements numerous spam filters to ensure users aren’t greeted with spam websites on search result pages. While Google, Yahoo, and Bing are currently the most popular search engines, particularly with English speakers, web users do have other options that offer them more flexibility, more privacy, and promise they won’t be inundated by spam and useless content that often show up in the search results from the more well-known search engines.

Blekko (Update: Blekko is now Watson fro IBM.)

Blekko Home Page

Blekko is a dream come true for those web users fed up with spam and being taken to pages from content farms and promises spam-free results. If a website’s content does not live up to Blekko’s strict requirements for quality, it isn’t included in the search results, quite a difference from Google. Users can also use the settings to ensure theirs searches are related to specific topics, such as news or the date content was published.

 

Author:  Shell Harris

Source:  http://www.bigoakinc.com/

Categorized in Search Engine

How can you trust a secret if you can't tell where it came from? Today, we are excited to share that the Internet Society is a proud supporter of the Cryptech initiative. From the website introduction:

Recent revelations have called into question the integrity of some of the implementations of basic cryptographic functions and devices used to secure communications on the Internet. There are serious questions about algorithms and about implementations of those algorithms in software and particularly hardware.

We are therefore embarking on development of an open hardware cryptographic engine that meets the needs of high assurance Internet infrastructure systems that rely on cryptography. The open hardware cryptographic engine will be of general use to the wider Internet community, covering needs such as secure email, web, DNS, PKIs, etc.

In his recent blog post on Pervasive Internet Surveillance, Phil Roberts enumerated some of the technical efforts underway in the IETF as a result of this past year’s ongoing revelations about unwarranted surveillance and data collection. The IETF is not the only organization involved in attempts to block or mitigate what some have characterized as an attack on the Internet itself. Recent announcements include attempts to secure email (ProtonMail, Darkmail, etc.), to secure your mobile phone (Blackphone), to put better tools in the hands of end users (leap.se), and to provide private messaging services (jabber/otr), to name just a few. There are also serious efforts to secure the routing and domain name infrastructure, which rely on underlying methods for generating and protecting strong keys for encryption.

 

All of these projects depend on strong encryption and strong keys as tools to both establish trust and to protect sensitive data. Sadly, trust in many of the components needed to achieve real secrecy has been undermined. Core components such as entropy, cryptographic algorithms, and purpose-built hardware have all been compromised. Some of this has been malicious, some was the result of pressure from governments, some was due to the failure of business practices in deployment, and some was the result of underfunded and understaffed volunteer efforts in maintaining widely used software. The combined result has lead to widespread doubt in formerly trusted institutions, developers, and vendors. For many, even those using these products and tools as part of their critical infrastructure, the process of key generation and key management is a black box.

Here is the paradox: how can you trust the generated secrets if you can't tell how the box was made? The Cryptech project poses the following riddle: when do you want your black box to be transparent? The answer: while you're building and configuring your own particular box.

The Cryptech effort began in late 2013 with a small group of engineers at a side meeting at IETF 88 in Vancouver. The project has strong support from the IETF and IAB chairs but the project is not limited to IETF participation. While early use cases included IETF protocols such as RPKI and DNSSEC, there was also interest from Certificate Authorities, the TOR Project, and others. Cryptech is aimed at those processes requiring a very high degree of assurance – normally provided by purchasing a Hardware Security Module (HSM) – but in this case they will replace the closed box with an open one. One of the project objectives says: 

“The intent is that the resulting open hardware cryptographic engine can be built by anyone from public hardware specifications and open-source firmware. Anyone can then operate it without fees of any kind.”

Stephen Farrell, an IETF Security Area Director, had this to say in supporting the project:

 

“The particular aspect that the cryptech folks are addressing is that there is somewhat of a crisis of confidence in the implementation of the cryptographic functions that underpin our most important Internet protocols. These functions are required for securing the web and for many other aspects of Internet infrastructure such as DNS security and routing security. Cryptech and the team that has been assembled could significantly help to alleviate these specific concerns by producing open-source hardware designs that can be directly used or re-implemented by others. A significant benefit of that is to provide confidence that the design and implementation is as free from potential nation-state or other interference as can be. While it may never be possible to achieve 100% confidence in that, it is definitely technically possible (though non-trivial) to do far better than we have to date – today we essentially have a choice between pure software cryptography or commercial hardware products for which its impossible to see what's "under the hood."”

The Internet Society is in strong agreement with this statement and has been an early supporter of this effort. We are actively encouraging additional partners. The project will need steady funding sources, active coders, good community review, and additional experts to audit and validate the project outputs.

The Cryptech team has been evangelizing the project and will be on hand at IETF 90for a project update. The briefing will be held on Wednesday, 23 July, during the lunch hour in the Quebec room of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto. Please come and bring your questions and your inputs.

Details of the Cryptech project can be found here: https://wiki.cryptech.is. The project is hosted by SUNET, but participants come from a variety of sources including academia, the open hardware and software communities, the TOR project, and the IETF. The team is committed to a transparent development process and early code is available at https://cryptech.is/browser.internetsociety.org

 

Please join us in this effort to help make the Internet a safer place.

Source:  internetsociety.org

Categorized in Market Research

Mac OS X has several amazing features that are hidden from the user. If you have been using Mac for a couple of years then, we are sure you would have stumbled across a few Mac hidden features. Many users are unaware of these secret Mac functions even after several years of using the Mac OS X. In this article, we have gathered 15 useful, lesser known Mac features that are sure to surprise you.

 

Merge Folders

 

You can easily merge the contents of two identically named folders but dragging one folder onto another prompts a Replace dialog message. So, the trick to merge two folders is to use Option – Dragging the folder which prompts an additional choice to merge folders. One folder containing contents of both source and destination folders will be created.

 

Merge

 

Create a Signature in Preview

 

 

It is easy to add a signature to your document in Mac. Open the document in preview and open the Annotations toolbar. Click on the Signature button and choose the Create Signature from Built-in iSightoption. Follow the on-screen instructions to add a signature to your document. You can save your signature for future use as well.

 

Signature

Quick Dictionary Access

 

 

You can quickly access the dictionary in Mac systems with these shortcut options. In older version of Mac OS, use ⌘⌃to bring up the definition of the world while hovering over the word. You can find the definition of a word by double tapping with three fingers in Lion version. Quick access to dictionary helps users find meanings to obscure words immediately.

 

Dictionary

Restoring Scroll Bars

Scroll bars by default are hidden in Lion version and are visible only when a user begins to scroll the page. This could be confusing at times and hence many users prefer to have the scroll bars on. You can have the scroll bars visible always by changing the default setting. Go to System Preferences, under General Category; select Always under Show Scroll Bars option.

 

scroll

Built-in emoji Support

 

 

It is extremely easy to insert emoticons in Mac OS X. It comes with a built-in emoji which allows users to insert special characters. Press ctrl +⌘ + space to open the window. This window contains an exhaustive list of special characters. You can choose the special characters and emoticons that you need from this window.

 

macemoji

Speech-to-Text Conversion

 

 

Dictation-typing in Mac OS works amazing well. You can convert your speech-to-text by pressing the function (fn) key twice and begin speaking. Your voice gets converted to text when you press function (fn) key one more time. The OS X types out as you speak.

 

voice-typing

 Easy Volume and Brightness Control

With this shortcut, volume and brightness control can be achieved quite easily. Hold ⇧ + ⌥ together to change the brightness in small increments. You can change your volume control without affecting the brightness control by just holding the ⇧ key.

 

change-sound-and-bringtness-in-quarters

Auto Complete of Words

 

 

Do you have trouble with spellings? This hidden feature will help you spell difficult words correctly as you type in iChat or TextEdit. Press F5 or Option + Escape to bring up an auto complete menu that provides a list of possible spellings to the word that you have started typing. This feature is extremely useful when you are typing official documents.

 

AutoComplete

Quick Duplicate Open File

Many of the apps on Mac lack the option of “Save As” to duplicate an open file. There is a way to achieve duplication of an open file without opening the File menu. Click on the filename at the top. This drops down a menu of options. Click on the option Duplicate which allows you to replicate the file.

 

DuplicateFiles

Hot Corners

 

 

This feature allows you to trigger certain events by touching the corner of your screen. You can enable hot corner setting by navigating to System Preferences -> Desktop & Screen Savers ->Screen Saver Tab -> Hot Corners. It is a very useful feature which allows you to disable screensaver, launch notification center and open applications.

 

hotcorners

Close Running Apps

Running apps take up a lot of RAM space and slow down your system. Here is a quick solution to close your running apps on Mac. Simply hold ⌘ + tab and continue holding ⌘ and tab through all open apps. When you reach the app that you want to quit, press Q. If you want to hide the app, press H.

 

CloseApps

Turn Off Notifications

 

 

Open your Notification Center and scroll down the side-loading bar until you find Do Not Disturb toggle feature. Turn it on and you will not receive any notifications for a day. It is a convenient way to focus on your work without being disturbed by notifications that pop-up quite often. You can also schedule Do Not Disturb feature to be turned on for a specific period of time or for a particular event. For example, you can have it turned off when display is mirrored to a projector output.

 

DND1

Delete Apps in Launchpad

Deleting apps using Launchpad is an easy way to cleanup old apps. Open Launchpad interface and hold down Option to launch the iOS –style wiggle mode. This will activate the close icons on apps installed through Mac App Store. You can click on the cross icon to delete unused old apps from the system.

 

Delete-Apps

Preview Files

 

 

Previewing files is really simple with this trick. Hold down the space bar when you select a file to preview the file. You can even preview image and video files with this option. You can switch between files while in preview by pressing the arrow keys.

 

preview-with-space

 

Create a New Desktop

 

Mission Control is a cool new feature in Lion. In Mission Control, you can create a new desktop easily. A ‘+’ tab appears at the top right while you hover your mouse in Mission Control. If you want to move a window to a new desktop, you can drop them into the ‘+’ tab. You can have a dedicated desktop by simply dragging and dropping windows into this tab.

 

New-Desktop

 

Source: lifehack.org

Categorized in Others
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