fbpx

We explain the Dark Web, how it differs from the Deep Web, and how to access the Dark Web using Tor.

The internet is a much, much bigger place than you probably realise. You know about Facebook, Google, BBC iPlayer and Amazon, but do you really know what's lurking beyond those user-friendly and respectable websites? 

This is but a tiny corner of the internet, and the Dark Web and the Deep Web loom in much shadier corners. Using Tor you can access them, but should you even want to visit the Dark Web or the Deep Web?

Let's take a tour to help you make up your mind.

 

What is the Dark Web?

The Dark Web is a term that refers specifically to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and cannot be found by using traditional search engines or visited by using traditional browsers.

Almost all sites on the so-called Dark Web hide their identity using the Tor encryption tool. You may know Tor for its ability to hide your identity and activity. You can use Tor to spoof your location so it appears you're in a different country to where you're really located, making it much like using a VPN service.

When a website is run through Tor it has much the same effect.

Indeed, it multiplies the effect. To visit a site on the Dark Web that is using Tor encryption, the web user needs to be using Tor. Just as the end user's IP address is bounced through several layers of encryption to appear to be at another IP address on the Tor network, so is that of the website.

There are several layers of magnitude more secrecy than the already secret act of using Tor to visit a website on the open internet - for both parties.

Thus, sites on the Dark Web can be visited by anyone, but it is very difficult to work out who is behind the sites. And it can be dangerous if you slip up and your identity is discovered.

You can also read our in-depth guide to using Tor if you want to know more about using the web anonymously and sending messages securely. 

Why would I want to use the Dark Web?

Not all Dark Web sites use Tor. Some use similar services such as I2P, for example, the Silk Road Reloaded. But the principle remains the same. The visitor has to use the same encryption tool as the site and - crucially - know where to find the site, in order to type in the URL and visit.

Infamous examples of Dark Web sites include the Silk Road and its offspring. The Silk Road was (and maybe still is) a website for the buying and selling of recreational drugs and a lot more scary things besides. But there are also legitimate uses for the Dark Web. (Also see: Is it legal to buy drugs online?)

People operating within closed, totalitarian societies can use the Dark Web to communicate with the outside world. And given recent revelations about the US- and UK government snooping on web use, you may feel it is sensible to take your communication on to the Dark Web.

The Dark Web hit the headlines in August 2015 (and many times since) after it was reported that 10GB of data stolen from Ashley Madison, a site designed to enable bored spouses to cheat on their partners, was dumped on to the Dark Web.

Hackers stole the data and threatened to upload it to the web if the site did not close down, and they eventually acted on that threat. Now the spouses of Ashley Madison users have received blackmail letters demanding they pay $2500 in Bitcoin or have the infidelity exposed.

In March 2015 the UK government launched a dedicated cybercrime unit to tackle the Dark Web, with a particular focus on cracking down on serious crime rings and child pornography. The National Crime Agency (NCA) and UK intelligence outfit GCHQ are together creating the Joint Operations Cell (JOC).

What is the Deep Web?

Although all of these terms tend to be used interchangeably, they don't refer to exactly the same thing. An element of nuance is required. The 'Deep Web' refers to all web pages that search engines cannot find.

Thus the 'Deep Web' includes the 'Dark Web', but also includes all user databases, webmail pages, registration-required web forums, and pages behind paywalls. There are huge numbers of such pages, and most exist for mundane reasons.

We have a 'staging' version of all of our websites that is blocked from being indexed by search engines, so we can check stories before we set them live. Thus for every page publicly available on this website (and there are literally millions), there is another on the Deep Web.

The content management system into which I am typing this article is on the Deep Web. So that is another page for every page that is on the live site. Meanwhile our work intranet is hidden from search engines, and requires a password. It has been live for nearly 20 years, so there are plenty of pages there.

Use an online bank account? The password-protected bits are on the Deep Web. And when you consider how many pages just one Gmail account will create, you understand the sheer size of the Deep Web.

 

This scale is why newspapers and mainstream news outlets regularly trot out scare stories about '90 percent of the internet' consisting of the Dark Web. They are confusing the generally dodgy Dark Web with the much bigger and generally more benign Deep Web.

What is the Dark Internet?

Confusingly, 'Dark Internet' is also a term sometimes used to describe further examples of networks, databases or even websites that cannot be reached over the internet. In this case either for technical reasons, or because the properties contain niche information that few people will want, or in some cases because the data is private.

A basic rule of thumb is that while the phrases 'Dark Web' or 'Deep Web' are typically used by tabloid newspapers to refer to dangerous secret online worlds, the 'Dark Internet' is a boring place where scientists store raw data for research.

How to access the Dark Web

Technically, this is not a difficult process. You simply need to install and use Tor. Go to www.torproject.org and download the Tor Browser Bundle, which contains all the required tools. Run the downloaded file, choose an extraction location, then open the folder and click Start Tor Browser. That's it.

The Vidalia Control Panel will automatically handle the randomised network setup and, when Tor is ready, the browser will open; just close it again to disconnect from the network.

Depending on what you intend to do on the Dark Web, some users recommend placing tape over your laptop's webcam to prevent prying eyes watching you. A tinfoil hat is also an option. If you're reading this to find out about torrent files, check out our separate guide on how to use torrent sites in the UK.

The difficult thing is knowing where to look on the Dark Web. There, reader, we leave you to your own devices and wish you good luck and safe surfing. And a warning before you go any further. Once you get into the Dark Web, you *will* be able to access those sites to which the tabloids refer. This means that you could be a click away from sites selling drugs and guns, and - frankly - even worse things.

Aggregation sites such as Reddit offer lists of links, as do several Wikis, including http://thehiddenwiki.org/  - a list that offers access to some very bad places. Have a quick look by all means, but please don't take our linking to it as an endorsement. It really isn't.

Also, Dark Web sites do go down from time to time, due to their dark nature. But if you want good customer service, stay out of the dark!

And do heed our warning: this article is intended as a guide to what is the Dark Web - not an endorsement or encouragement for you to start behaving in illegal or immoral behavior.

Source: This article was published techadvisor.co.uk By Matt Egan

Categorized in Deep Web

Use Facebook Advanced Search to Find All Kinds of Things

A search for people who like cats on Facebook

Facebook advanced search is more a concept than a function. The world's largest social network had a standalone advanced search feature in the early days of its history but released a new service called Graph Search in early 2013 that essentially replaces the older advanced search features with a powerful new search engine.

To do an advanced search on Facebook, it's best to sign up for the graph search feature if you haven't already activated it and start learning how it works.

Our "Facebook Search Guide - Intro to Graph Search" provides an overview of how it works and the types of content you can look for and find with the so-called Graph Search. This article provides screenshots and explanations of more advanced query types and refinement options.

Reviewing the Basics

To start searching, remember you can just click on the Facebook logo or your name in the upper left corner and type any query. You can search for people, places and things matching all kinds of different traits or criteria, including geography, dates and clicks on the "like" button.

 

Two general filters you likely will use are "friends" and "like," since those refer to friend connections and use of the "like" button throughout Facebook.

Also remember, it's smart to pay attention to the phrasing suggestions Facebook presents in a drop-down list whenever you start typing a query. OK, that's it for basics, ready to move on?

Query Phrasing Examples

Let's start with a general query not restricted to friends. You might type, "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats."

When I did this, the query turned up more than 1,000 people who matched the search, so Facebook presented two suggested phrasings that sought clarification on whether I meant "cats" as an animal or "cats" as a business. Those suggestions are shown in the image above.

When I specified the "animal" type of cats, Facebook presented a list of matching users, with a vertical stack of profile photos of people who live in Chicago and have clicked the like button on cat photos.

Facebook also asked if I wanted to see people who had liked "Cats & Dogs," the movie. And if I clicked the "see more" button, it offered "West Chicago" as a refinement option.

Click the "NEXT" button below to see the list of additional filters that Facebook typically shows for people searches like this one.

Facebook people search filter

Advanced Search Filters for Chicago Cat Lovers

Running an advanced Facebook search like "people who live in Chicago, Illinois and are single and like cats" can produce so many results that you'll have to refine the query if you want to see any meaningful results.

The image above shows the typical people search filter box that is available on the results page for any query involving people. I've found that using this box is the best way to narrow a Facebook people search.

 

As you can see, the box allows you to refine Facebook people search results by gender, employer, hometown, employer and so forth.

Each of those filters has additional sub-categories you can choose. For example, under "friends," you can select one of these:

  • My close friends
  • My friends
  • Friends of my friends
  • Not my friends
  • Friends of Joe SixPack (substitute any friend of yours for Joe)

Okay, let's look at a totally different example, this one involving Paula Deen and restaurants. It will allow us to explore the "places" bucket of content and the "like" button.

Click "NEXT" for a new example.

Facebook restaurant search

OK, let's try an advanced Facebook search involving restaurants. Say you're a Paula Deen fan and you start typing a query that says something general: "restaurants liked by people who like Paula Deen..."

Facebook may ask you to be more precise, since there are so many restaurants liked by Paula Deen fans.

It may suggest you look at Savannah, Georgia restaurants, in Deen territory. It also will likely offer suggestions for types of restaurant queries that it can handle, as shown in the image above. It may rank them by popularity, such as Asian, American, Mexican and so forth.

If you typed a more general phrase, leaving out a connector such as "by," and simply said "restaurants like friends Paula Deen," it would offer more precise versions of that query, such as restaurants...

  • liked by my friends who like Paula Deen (public figure)
  • liked by friends OF Paula Deen (person)
  • Cafes liked by my friends who like Paula Deen

You get the idea.

Next, let's explore more general searches for based on geography, religion and political views. click "Next" below to see examples.

Facebook Graph search makes it easy to do a search by city, because one powerful search parameter for people on the social network involves geography.

You can find Facebook friends by city using either the city where they currently live or their hometown. Both are examples of structured data Facebook stores about users, making it easy to search.

You can also do a Facebook search by city for people you don't know, and based on the privacy settings of each individual, see a list of people living in particular cities who use Facebook that you are not friends with.

 

I started with a general search on "People who live in Los Angeles, California" and it helpfully told me: "Your results include people who've lived in Los Angeles, California at any time. you may want to limit your search to Current Los Angeles, California residents." As I phrased the question different ways, it also asked if I wanted people who live IN L.A. or people who live NEAR L.A.

The "see more" button prompted me to check for "my friends" who live in L.A. I clicked that option, and it spit out a list of my 14 friends who happen to currently live in or near Los Angeles, along with a list below that of friends of friends who live there.

Advanced Facebook People Search Filters

The filter box for refining "people search results" even further is accessible through a small rectangular tab or label on the right, usually overlaid on the visual search results. What the label says varies with the type of search; in this case it said "14 Friends" since that's how many matches I had. But it usually has three tiny stacked, horizontal bars. When you click on that little label, the filter box opens up with many more options for narrowing(or broadening) your search.

The people filter offers all kinds of basic and advanced refinements. They are classified under headings such as "Relationships & Family, Work and Education, Likes and Interest, Photos and Videos," and so forth.

Sort People by Political or Religious Views?

These filters are very granular, and some are potentially controversial. They allow you, for example, to sort people by their age range, religious views (Buddhist? Catholic? Christian? Hindu? Jewish? Muslim? Protestant), and political views (Conservative? Democrat? Green? Liberal? Libertarian? Republican?) You can even specify what languages they speak. Some filters get into highly personal areas and, therefore, have privacy implications that worry many people.

The image above, for example, shows the religious views options in the search filter box. It's similar to the political views box.

The political views filter, along with the ability to search on who "liked" Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, allowed me to easily sort my friends into those favoring the Democratic or Republican party, at least around the time of the 2012 election. That was a new thing for me--I'd never seen anything like that before--a bunch of profile pictures of my friends sorted by political views.

Extend Your Search in Other Ways

In my L.A. people search, the "extend this search" area at the bottom of the filter box suggested that I might want to expand my search to see "photos of these people," or "these people's friends," or "places where they've worked."

A remarkable variety of search options, indeed. Click "Next" to see more search examples, this time involving apps and who uses them.

Finding Facebook Photos Lots of Friends Like or Commented On

Facebook photo search filters

One of my favorite Facebook searches is quite simple: "Photos I have liked."

Despite all the time I've spent on Facebook, I've actually clicked the "Like" button on just under 100 pictures. They obviously moved me, so it was fun going back and looking at them all again.

The "refine this search" button allowed me to also change my query easily to see all the photos that my friends have liked (provided their privacy settings allowed that.) That, of course, turned up the volume on the results, producing more than 1,000 photos.

 

Facebook's search results counter seems to stop at 1,000; when your results exceed that amount, it won't tell you how many more there are, just that there are more than 1,000. At least, that's what happened in all my trials.

You can do a lot of more specific photo searches similar to the example shown above, in which I searched for photos my friends took at zoos and aquariums. The background imagery shows photos that matched my query, and the filter box popped up on the right after I clicked the little horizontal bars previously mentioned.

I had fun playing around with this one using the filter box (shown on the right), especially using the "commented on" and "liked" filters to see which of my friends had commented and what they said.

(More examples of photo searches are available in our Introduction to Facebook Searching. Also, see our basic Facebook Photos Guide for general info on using pictures on the social network.)

Click "Next" below to see ways you can search for Facebook apps used by your friends.

Facebook Apps Your Friends Use

Facebook apps friends

Another interesting Facebook search you can run is "Apps my friends use."

Facebook's advanced search will spit out a list of apps with their icons in order of popularity with your friends, or which ones are most used by your pals.

Beneath the name of each app, it will list the names of a few friends who use it, along with the total number of your friends who use it.

Beneath the names of your pal, it will show a couple of other links allowing you to run additional, related searches. They are outlined in red in the image above.

Clicking "People" will produce a list of a bunch more people who use that app, not necessarily limited to your friends. This one is kind of creepy, but if you have not restricted the privacy settings for your use of this particular app, you could show up in the search results to anyone running a search like this.

Clicking "similar" is less creepy and more useful; it will show a list of other apps similar to that one.

Also fun is using Graph Search to find Facebook apps friends use. Facebook app search is a powerful capability of the new search engine. Here are a few specific queries Facebook may suggest relating to apps if you type apps and friends into the search bar, besides the most obvious one, "apps my friends use":

  • Apps my friends use that I use
  • Apps used by my friends who joined X (where X is a group you belong to)
  • Sports apps my friends use
  • Books apps my friends use
  • Apps my friends who live nearby use
  • Movies apps my friends use

As always, the suggested searches likely will vary based on your personal connections, likes, and interests on Facebook.

That's it for this tutorial. Now go explore the blue search bar. Have fun, and try not to get too creeped out.

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Leslie Walker

Categorized in Search Engine

If you need to do a little bit of sleuthing about someone, the Web can be a fantastic resource. Track down an address or a phone number, find a long-lost school friend, or simply verify information with this list of the best six people search engines on the Web. All of these search engines are hyper-focused on finding only people-related information.

These resources are free to use, at least for initial searches. Some sites will charge for detailed searches. Should you pay to find someone online? It really depends on the kind of information you're seeking.

1-Pipl

Pipl

Pipl is a people search engine that scours the Invisible Web for information; basically, what that means is that you're going to get more than just the usual search engine results for whatever name you might be searching for.

Pipl searches across social networking services, search engines, databases, etc. to find tidbits you might not usually find on a rudimentary search using a more generalized search engine.

 

One interesting thing sets Pipl apart: It offers special services for nonprofits at a steep discount in order to create more ways for these organizations to help their clients. 

2-Wink

Wink searches across what you would find using a regular search engine as well as across social communities, online profiles, etc. You can also use Wink to manage your online presence by creating a profile with it.

You can claim and add various places where you might be active online, and manage them all in one convenient place. If you're looking for small tidbits of information across many different sources, Wink is a good choice to continue to put the clues together about whatever you might be looking for. 

3-Facebook

Facebook

As one of the world's largest social networks with hundreds of millions of people accessing it daily, it makes sense to use Facebook as an incredibly useful tool to find people online. You can use the social media platform to search for people you went to high school and college with, as well as work colleagues, friends from elementary school, and non-profit organizations.

Facebook is also great for finding people in specific geographic locations living in your local area that you might not know about, as well as any kind of association, club, or group. 

 

While many people keep their Facebook profiles private and only give information to those visible in their immediate circles of friends and family, others do not. When a profile is public, it allows anyone who finds it immediate access to a person's posts, photos, check-in statuses and other personal details.

4-PeekYou

PeekYou adds an interesting twist to the world of free people search engines; it allows you to search for usernames across a variety of social networking communities.

For instance, if you want to learn more about the person who uses the handle "I-Love-Kittens"; PeekYou will show you anything else that username might be doing on the Web. There is an astonishing amount of information you can dig up on someone using only their username

 

5-LinkedIn

linkedin.jpg

Use LinkedIn to search for professional networks that other people are involved in. When you add your business profile to the network, you can pick up quite a few details about people. 

By signing up for your own profile, you can view other LinkedIn users' profiles. This lets you can see where someone works, who they work with, their former positions, current or former supervisors, any kind of recommendations they might have received, and much more.

Depending on privacy settings, you might not be able to see everything that someone on LinkedIn has provided in their profile. In addition, if you are a registered user on LinkedIn, the fact that you looked at someone's profile typically will be made known to them. 

6-Zabasearch

Zabasearch is a free people search engine that scours freely accessible public information and records. Everything found at Zabasearch is culled from public domain information, such as databases, court records, and phone directories. It's a smart place to start a search because of all the public information it retrieves and shows in one place.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Jerri Collins

Categorized in Search Engine

Search multiple social networks at the same time on this free website

What is it? A free search engine to help journalists find posts about certain topics on social networks.

How is it of use to journalists? Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful channel for sourcing stories, but with the number of platforms now around it's becoming more difficult to stay on top of the chatter.

It may be that you're looking for reactions on social about certain news events, or you might be trying to find eyewitnesses, photos or videos from the scene of a story.

With Social Searcher, you can search for keywords on multiple platforms at the same time.

The social networking search engine supports a wide variety of platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and YouTube.

 



You can save individual searches you may need to perform more often, and use advanced filters to help you find what you're looking for quicker.


search results social searcher
Screenshot of search results.

Social Searcher enables you to search based on 'post types', for example, and find results that include links, photos, videos or any combination of media.

Each search also comes with its own analytics dashboard, where you can see the most popular related hashtags, the overall sentiment of the posts (i.e. if the language denotes a positive view of the topic), or other keywords that are often featured alongside the terms used in your search.

Social Searcher is free to use for up to 100 searches a day, after which you can choose from a number of pricing options available.

These include additional features such as the ability to save individual posts, access web mentions of keywords, and use the 'monitoring' service.

'Monitoring' enables you to save the mentions history, access advanced analytics and export data as a CSV file.

Social Searcher started out in 2012 as an Android app allowing users to search through Facebook without logging in and has since expanded to become a comprehensive tool for finding posts on social media.

 Source: This article was published journalism.co.uk By Catalina Albeanu

Categorized in Search Engine

The company’s revamped app and browser extension will block ad tracking networks from companies like Google and Facebook

DuckDuckGo is launching updated versions of its browser extension and mobile app, with the promise of keeping internet users safe from snooping “beyond the search box.”

The company’s flagship product, its privacy-focused search engine, will remain the same, but the revamped extension and app will offer new tools to help users keep their web-browsing as safe and private as possible. These include grade ratings for websites, factoring in their use of encryption and ad tracking networks, and offering summaries of their terms of service (with summaries provided by third-party Terms of Service Didn’t Read). The app and extension are available for FirefoxSafariChromeiOS, and Android.

 

The ability to block ad tracking networks is probably the most important feature here. These networks are used by companies like Google and Facebook to follow users around the web, stitching together their browsing history to create a more accurate profile for targeted advertising. DuckDuckGo says its software will “expose and block” these trackers when it can find them. Although, in the cat and mouse game of advertising vs. privacy tech, it won’t always be able to catch them all.

DuckDuckGo has long been a small fish in a big pond (or should that be a small duck), but its pitch to users continues to prove popular. At the beginning of 2017, it celebrated 10 billion searches since its creation in 2009. This figure now stands at 16 billion — an increase of more than 50 percent in less than a year.

According to DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg, this shows the appetite for privacy online is only getting stronger. And, says Weinberg, the more people that use tools like DuckDuckGo’s, the more tech companies will be forced to reconsider their business model. “We’ll collectively raise the Internet’s privacy grade, ending the widespread use of invasive tracking,” writes Weinberg. It’s ambitious, to say the least.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By James Vincent

Categorized in Search Engine

Group of 11 British MPs flew to Washington at a cost of £30,000 to taxpayers. But why?

The usual practice at the start of a select committee hearing is for the chair to thank the witnesses for having made the effort to come. At the digital, culture, media and sports committee’s latest hearing on “fake news,” it was the other way round. For the first time in parliamentary history, an entire committee had upped sticks and decamped to the US.

Quite why they had chosen to do so was not altogether clear. As far as anyone was aware, GoogleYouTube, and Facebook all had senior executives working in the UK who were just as qualified to give evidence as their US counterparts. But on the off chance that the committee was hell-bent on hearing from the Americans, you’d have thought it was a great deal cheaper and much less of an organizational nightmare to fly them to the UK. After all, some of them were halfway to London having already flown 3,000 miles from Silicon Valley to join the committee in Washington.

Some might call it a nice winter break at an estimated cost of £30,000 to the British taxpayer. The 11 MPs preferred to call it thoroughness and, to mark the occasion, they had had special lapel badges made for themselves. Every trip abroad deserves a souvenir. And after a day or so to acclimatize and recover from jet lag – the committee flew out to the US on Tuesday – everyone was gathered in an echoey white hall at George Washington University for a 9 am the start.

 

First in the firing line were Richard Gingras, a dead ringer for Donald Sutherland as well as being vice-president of news at Google, and Juniper Downs, the global head of public policy at YouTube. Both were at pains to say how pleased they were to be there, how much they admired the work of the committee and how much they hated the fake news. Just in case anyone had not been paying attention to this, they repeated how much they hated the fake news.

The committee chair, Damian Collins, is a much shrewder operator than he sometimes appears and probed them rather more forensically than they expected on just how much they put the profit principle above such dreary considerations as monitoring fake news and making sure people weren’t using their platforms to influence election outcomes. “We’ve got 10,000 raiders to make sure people don’t misuse the Google search engines,” Gingras insisted. In which case, Collins observed, why was it that when you typed in Jew, the auto-complete function more often than not took you to an antisemitic website? Gingras shrugged. No one was perfect.

“It’s mission critical for us,” said Downs, when asked what Google-owned YouTube did to ensure the veracity and provenance of the news videos posted on its site. “We spend tens of millions of dollars on security.” She was then asked how much YouTube made in total. Downs bounced up and down in her chair nervously. “I don’t know,” she squeaked. Collins filled her in: $10bn. So YouTubewas spending 0.1% of its earnings on security. Downs shrugged. Sounded plenty to her.

Things didn’t improve when Facebook’s Monika Bickert, its head of global policy management, and Simon Milner, its policy director for the UK, Middle East, and Africa, got their turn in front of the committee. Milner’s appearance was especially baffling as he is a Brit through and through and could far more easily have been questioned in London.

Like Google and YouTube before them, the Facebook execs were mortified that anyone might have been using their websites for anything other than the greater glory of self-improvement. In fact, they were so appalled that they were now voluntarily implementing security measures that the regulators had recently imposed on them.

None of it was terribly enlightening. Just about the only thing we did learn was new media execs talk the same bullshit the world over. And 11 MPs probably didn’t need to travel 3,000 miles to discover that.

Source: This article was published theguardian.com By John Crace

Categorized in News & Politics

FOR ALL THE hype about killer robots, 2017 saw some notable strides in artificial intelligence. A bot called Libratus out-bluffed poker kingpins, for example. Out in the real world, machine learning is being put to use improving farming and widening access to healthcare.

But have you talked to Siri or Alexa recently? Then you’ll know that despite the hype, and worried billionaires, there are many things that artificial intelligence still can’t do or understand. Here are five thorny problems that experts will be bending their brains against next year.

The meaning of our words

Machines are better than ever at working with text and language. Facebook can read out a description of images for visually impaired people. Google does a decent job of suggesting terse replies to emails. Yet software still can’t really understand the meaning of our words and the ideas we share with them. “We’re able to take concepts we’ve learned and combined them in different ways, and apply them in new situations,” says Melanie Mitchell, a professor at Portland State University. “These AI and machine learning systems are not.”

 

Mitchell describes today’s software as stuck behind what mathematician Gian Carlo-Rota called “the barrier of meaning.” Some leading AI research teams are trying to figure out how to clamber over it.

One strand of that work aims to give machines the kind of grounding in common sense and the physical world that underpins our own thinking. Facebook researchers are trying to teach software to understand reality by watching the video, for example. Others are working on mimicking what we can do with that knowledge about the world. Google has been tinkering with software that tries to learn metaphors. Mitchell has experimented with systems that interpret what’s happening in photos using analogies and a store of concepts about the world.

The reality gap impeding the robot revolution

Robot hardware has gotten pretty good. You can buy a palm-sized drone with HD camera for $500. Machines that haul boxes and walk on two legs have improved also. Why are we not all surrounded by bustling mechanical helpers? Today’s robots lack the brains to match their sophisticated brawn.

Getting a robot to do anything requires specific programming for a particular task. They can learn operations like grasping objects from repeated trials (and errors). But the process is relatively slow. One promising shortcut is to have robots train in virtual, simulated worlds, and then download that hard-won knowledge into physical robot bodies. Yet that approach is afflicted by the reality gap—a phrase describing how skills a robot learned in simulation do not always work when transferred to a machine in the physical world.

The reality gap is narrowing. In October, Google reported promising results in experiments where simulated and real robot arms learned to pick up diverse objects including tape dispensers, toys, and combs.

Further progress is important to the hopes of people working on autonomous vehicles. Companies in the race to roboticize driving deploy virtual cars on simulated streets to reduce the time and money spent testing in real traffic and road conditions. Chris Urmson, CEO of autonomous-driving startup Aurora, says making virtual testing more applicable to real vehicles is one of his team’s priorities. “It’ll be neat to see over the next year or so how we can leverage that to accelerate learning,” says Urmson, who previously led Google parent Alphabet’s autonomous-car project.

Guarding against AI hacking

The software that runs our electrical gridssecurity cameras, and cell phones is plagued by security flaws. We shouldn’t expect software for self-driving cars and domestic robots to be any different. It may, in fact, be worse: There’s evidence that the complexity of machine-learning software introduces new avenues of attack.

Researchers showed this year that you can hide a secret trigger inside a machine-learning system that causes it to flip into evil mode at the sight of a particular signal. The team at NYU devised a street-sign recognition system that functioned normally—unless it saw a yellow Post-It. Attaching one of the sticky notes to a stop sign in Brooklyn caused the system to report the sign as a speed limit. The potential for such tricks might pose problems for self-driving cars.

The threat is considered serious enough that researchers at the world’s most prominent machine-learning conference convened a one-day workshop on the threat of machine deception earlier this month. Researchers discussed fiendish tricks like how to generate handwritten digits that look normal to humans but appear as something different to software. What you see as a 2, for example, a machine vision system would see as a 3. Researchers also discussed possible defenses against such attacks—and worried about AI being used to fool humans.

Tim Hwang, who organized the workshop, predicted using the technology to manipulate people is inevitable as machine learning becomes easier to deploy, and more powerful. “You no longer need a room full of PhDs to do machine learning,” he said. Hwang pointed to the Russian disinformation campaign during the 2016 presidential election as a potential forerunner of AI-enhanced information war. “Why wouldn’t you see techniques from the machine learning space in these campaigns?” he said. One trick Hwang predicts could be particularly effective is using machine learning to generate fake video and audio.

Graduating beyond boardgames

Alphabet’s champion Go-playing software evolved rapidly in 2017. In May, a more powerful version beat Go champions in China. Its creators, research unit DeepMind, subsequently built a version, AlphaGo Zero, that learned the game without studying human play. In December, another upgrade effort birthed AlphaZero, which can learn to play chess and Japanese board game Shogi (although not at the same time).

That avalanche of notable results is impressive—but also a reminder of AI software’s limitations. Chess, Shogi, and Go are complex but all have relatively simple rules and gameplay visible to both opponents. They are a good match for computers’ ability to rapidly spool through many possible future positions. But most situations and problems in life are not so neatly structured.

 

That’s why DeepMind and Facebook both started working on the multiplayer video game StarCraft in 2017. Neither have yet gotten very far. Right now, the best bots—built by amateurs—are no match for even moderately-skilled players. DeepMind researcher Oriol Vinyals told WIREDearlier this year that his software now lacks the planning and memory capabilities needed to carefully assemble and command an army while anticipating and reacting to moves by opponents. Not coincidentally, those skills would also make software much better at helping with real-world tasks such as office work or real military operations. Big progress on StarCraft or similar games in 2018 might presage some powerful new applications for AI.

Teaching AI to distinguish right from wrong

Even without new progress in the areas listed above, many aspects of the economy and society could change greatly if existing AI technology is widely adopted. As companies and governments rush to do just that, some people are worried about accidental and intentional harms caused by AI and machine learning.

How to keep the technology within safe and ethical bounds was a prominent thread of discussion at the NIPS machine-learning conference this month. Researchers have found that machine learning systems can pick up unsavory or unwanted behaviors, such as perpetuating gender stereotypes, when trained on data from our far-from-perfect world. Now some people are working on techniques that can be used to audit the internal workings of AI systems, and ensure they make fair decisions when putting to work in industries such as finance or healthcare.

The next year should see tech companies put forward ideas for how to keep AI on the right side of humanity. Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and others have begun talking about the issue, and are members of a new nonprofit called Partnership on AI that will research and try to shape the societal implications of AI. Pressure is also coming from more independent quarters. A philanthropic project called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund is supporting MIT, Harvard, and others to research AI and the public interest. A new research institute at NYU, AI Now, has a similar mission. In a recent report, it called for governments to swear off using “black box” algorithms not open to public inspection in areas such as criminal justice or welfare.

Source: This article was published wired.com By Tom

Categorized in Science & Tech

Searching for people online? Looking for an email address? Look closer to find friends old and new as well as business contacts with these email address directories and people search engines. Here are your best bets.

1-Pipl People Search - Free People Search Site

In real time, Pipl scours databases and directories such as ICQ, Amazon profiles, flickr, or SEC records to find information and people web search engines do not see. More »

2-Intelius People Search - People Search Site
Accessing various public records, Intelius provides comprehensive email address search for the U.S. and can reveal the person behind an email address, too. More »

 

3-LinkedIn People Search - Free People Search Site
LinkedIn worldwide network of professionals can be searched by name, industry, company, region and more. Of course, LinkedIn offers means to get in touch. More »

4-LexisNexis Public Records - People Search Service
For serious research: LexisNexis's public records and private database search covers hundreds of millions of people and businesses.

5-PeopleSmart - People Search Service
PeopleSmart finds people competently and relays messages to their email addresses so you can contact them. In addition, PeopleSmart can look up the person behind an email address in reverse email search. More »

6-Data.com Connect - Free People Search Site
Data.com Connect helps you find business contacts—across companies and countries, with many a criterion to narrow your search. More »

7-Facebook People Search
You can find everybody on Facebook (and just about everybody is on Facebook after all) by college, company, school, or name. More »

8-yasni - Free People Search Site
yasni scours social networks, the web, blogs, Amazon wishlists, and its own records for whomever you seek. If your search is fruitless, you can swiftly create a missing person ad. More »

9-FreshAddress.com - Free People Search Site
FreshAddress.com links old and new email addresses, but it's always up to date database can also be searched for other criteria. More »

10-EmailSherlock.com Email Search
EmailSherlock smartly searches directories and public records but also web services such as online calendars to return data and details about the person behind an email address. More »

11-Spokeo - Reverse Email Address Search Site
Spokeo's reverse email search shows you the name, photos, videos, social networking profiles, blogs, and non-email contact information behind an email address. More »

12-MyLife - Free People Search Site
Hand MyLife a name and approximate age, and it will often find the person you seek. After registering, you can see their details, too. More »

13-Myspace.com Discover People
The space to meet friends on the web was once heavily populated. You can still find ways to get in touch with artists, though, and possibly old friends on Myspace.com. More »

 

14-Plaxo Business Card Search
After becoming a Plaxo member yourself, you can search—and contact—others in their directory. More »

15-InfoTracer
InfoTracer aggregates publicly available information—from Social Security records to blogs and business ownerships—for search by name, location, and also email address. More »

16-Email Finder Reverse Email Lookup - People Search Site
Email Finder finds more than email addresses. It looks up the person behind an email address, in fact, with a detailed profile—for members only.

17-Reunion.com People Search - Free People Search Site
After registering yourself (which puts you in the directory), Reunion.com turns up comprehensive results that get you back in touch with people you knew. You can also search by school, for example, and find out who's looking for you. More »

18-XING - Free People Search Site
Popular in Europe, XING helps you find and connect to businesses and their people. More »

19-ICQ White Pages - Free People Search Site
Search the directory of ICQ users with numerous criteria to find old and new friends and their email addresses. More »

20-PeekYou People Search - Free People Search Site
You can search PeekYou's profiles for people (and a way to contact them) by name, company or school. More »

21-ThatsThem.com
You can search ThatsThem.com by name and address or, for reverse lookups, by email address with, in my experience, mixed results. More »

 

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Heinz Tschabitscher

Categorized in Search Engine

Life online has been rough lately — for the billions of people who use the Web every day, and also for the tech giants behind much of the world’s hardware and software.

Meanwhile, amid hacks and misinformation, the Internet is entering a new frontier. Connected devices, or the Internet of Things, are introducing the Internet to even more private aspects of our lives.

First, the latest news:

A massive cybersecurity breach at Equifax exposed millions of Americans’ most sensitive data, from Social Security numbers to home addresses. The aftermath yielded even more digital drama: erroneous tweets, fake websites and phishing scams.

 

At Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg has admitted politically motivated Russian accounts used the social network during the recent US presidential election. “I don’t want anyone to use our tools to undermine democracy,” Zuckerberg had to aver.

Across the Atlantic, Google is facing a staggering $2.7 billion antitrust fine from the European Union. Officials say the search giant is depriving Internet users of choice and depriving its competitors of a fair shake. (Google disagrees and says it’s actually improving user choice and competition.)

And on the African continent, the government of Togo knocked the Internet offline amid growing protests. Social media sites, online banking and mobile text messaging were blocked — a blow to freedom of expression and other democratic ideals.

Headlines such as these are reminders that online life is deeply entwined with offline life. What happens on the Internet affects our pocketbooks and even our democracies.

All of this is happening as the Internet of Things grows exponentially. In the ’90s, the Internet was tethered to our desktops. Last decade, it leapt onto our phones and into our pockets. Now, the Internet is becoming pervasive: It’s entering our cities, our cars, our thermostats and even our salt shakers.

As a result, the connection between online life and all other aspects of life is deepening. Five or 10 years down the line, the implications of another Equifax hack, or another Internet shutdown, will be far greater.

What do we do? Right now, the Internet of Things is at an inflection point. It’s pervasive but also still in its infancy. Rules have yet to be written, and social mores yet to be established. There are many possible futures — some darker than others.

If we continue forward with the Internet’s current design patterns — controlled by a handful of Silicon Valley giants, with personal data as currency — those darker futures will likely prevail. Internet-connected bedrooms, cars, pacemakers and dialysis machines would be beholden to companies, not individual users. Personal data — captured on an even more granular level — would remain currency, and threats such as hacking would extend to even more intimate areas of our lives.

There are already sobering examples. Consider My Friend Cayla, the Internet-enabled toy that the German government labeled an “illegal espionage apparatus.” Cayla is a seemingly innocuous, Barbie-like doll. But Cayla records conversations, hawks products to impressionable youngsters, and is vulnerable to hackers.

Even good news raises murky questions. Tesla recently gave its customers affected by Hurricane Irma a battery boost — a noble gesture. But some Floridians and journalists questioned the implications: What happens if someone other than Tesla gains access to a fleet of vehicles? This is a concern about connected cars that long predates Hurricane Irma.

 

Alternatively, we — Internet users and consumers — can demand new, better design patterns. The Internet of Things can adopt an ethos akin to the early Internet: decentralized, open source and harmonized with privacy.

Here, too, there are examples. A growing number of technologists ask not only what’s possible but also what’s responsible. At the recent ThingsCon event in Berlin, creations from this movement were on display.

We encountered the concept of the Internet of Things trust marks — third-party labels that signal whether a device sufficiently respects privacy. We were introduced to Simply Secure’s Knowledge Base, a tool kit instructing developers and designers how to make privacy-respecting, secure products. And we saw SolarPak, a backpack created in Senegal that’s equipped with a solar panel. It collects energy during the day to power a small LED lamp at night, allowing students to study.

These are ideas and devices that solve problems, as many technology products do. But they also put responsibility first; data collection and planned obsolescence aren’t part of the equation.

This isn’t a simple issue. Big tech platforms do have an important role to play in making the Internet of Things more responsible and ethical. But the dynamic of so few controlling so much of our lives is simply too risky. As we welcome the Internet into more intimate parts of our lives, individual consumers and users must remain in control. And loud consumer demand alone isn’t enough: Regulators and industry leaders need to take steps, too. Together, we must ensure new hardware and software put responsibility ahead of flashiness and profit.

Source: This article was published wtkr.com By CNN WIRE

Categorized in Internet of Things

AMID ONGOING CONCERN over the role of disinformation in the 2016 election, Facebook said Wednesday it found that more than 5,000 ads, costing more than $150,000, had been placed on its network between June 2015 and May 2017 from "inauthentic accounts" and Pages, likely from Russia.

The ads didn't directly mention the election or the candidates, according to a blog post by Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos, but focused on "amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum—touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." Facebook declined to discuss additional details about the ads.

Facebook says it had given the information to authorities investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. "We know we have to stay vigilant to keep ahead of people who try to misuse our platform," Stamos wrote in the post. "We believe in protecting the integrity of civic discourse, and require advertisers on our platform to follow both our policies and all applicable laws."

 

Speculation has swirled about the role Facebook played spreading fake news during the 2016 election. Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, has gone so far as to wonder whether President Trump's tech and data team collaborated with Russian actors to target fake news at American voters in key geographic areas. “We need information from the companies, as well as we need to look into the activities of some of the Trump digital campaign activities," Warner said recently.

Brad Parscale, digital director of the Trump campaign, has agreed to an interview with the House Intelligence Committee, and maintains he is "unaware of any Russian involvement in the digital and data operations of the 2016 Trump presidential campaign."

Wednesday's revelation is a new wrinkle in the ongoing Russia investigations. In July, Facebook told WIRED it had found no indication of Russian entities buying entities during the election.

In the larger context of political ad spending, even $150,000 is a nominal amount. According to a report by Borrell Associates, digital political-ad spending totaled roughly $1.4 billion in 2016. And yet, this finding exposes what seems to be a coordinated effort to spread misinformation about key election issues in targeted states.

Facebook is remaining tight lipped about the methods it used to identify the fraudulent accounts and Pages that it has since suspended. One search for ads purchased from US internet addresses set to the Russian language turned up $50,000 worth of spending on 2,200 ads. Facebook said about one-quarter of the suspect ads were geographically targeted, with more of those running in 2015 than 2016. According to The Washington Post, some accounts may be linked to a content farm called Internet Research Agency in St. Petersburg.

Facebook said it is implementing changes to prevent similar abuse. Among other things, it's looking for ways to combat so-called cloaking in which ads that appear benign redirect users to malicious or misleading websites once people click through. That allows bad actors to circumvent Facebook's ad review process.

But while Facebook may be able to limit what people can and can't buy on its platform, it doesn't change the fact that social media has created a stage for anyone looking to spread false information online, with or without ads. As the $150,000 figure indicates, this finding is but a small fraction of a much larger problem.

Source: This article was published wired.com By ISSIE LAPOWSKY

Categorized in Social

airs logo

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

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

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

Follow Us on Social Media