[This article is originally published in searchengineland.com written by Barry Schwartz - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Grace Irwin]

New markup from Schema.org including HowTo, QAPage, and FAQPage can be used to potentially show your content in Google in a brand-new way. Google previewed this in Singapore a couple of weeks ago

Google has confirmed with Search Engine Land that it has been testing for the past several months a new form of search results snippets: the way the search results appear to searchers. These new search snippets are in the form of FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&A (questions & answers) and How-Tos.

Akhil Agarwal notified us about this feature on Twitter, and Google has just sent us a statement explaining the test. Here is the screenshot presented at a recent Google event in Singapore:

Google FAQs QA and How Tos

A Google Spokesperson told us:

We’re always looking for new ways to provide the most relevant, useful results for our users. We’ve recently introduced new ways to help users understand whether responses on a given Q&A or forum site could have the best answer for their question. By bringing a preview of these answers onto Search, we’re helping our users more quickly identify which source is most likely to have the information they’re looking for. We’re currently working with partners to experiment with ways to surface similar previews for FAQ and How-to content.

These new snippet features give more insights into what the searcher can expect from that web page before deciding to click on the search result. Webmasters should be able to mark up their content with structured data and to have their search results be eligible to have question-and-answer previews shown — similar to how supporting metadata around the number of upvotes and the Top Answer feature works.

Google will soon open up an interest form to allow publishers and webmasters to participate in the FAQ and How-to formats shown in the screenshot above.

But if you review the Schema.org website, you can find a lot of this markup available already, including HowTo markupQA page markup, and FAQ markup. So if you want to get started early, consider adding the appropriate markup to the sections of your HTML.

Categorized in Search Engine

[This article is originally published in csoonline.com written by Darren Guccione - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Carol R. Venuti]

The dark web is part of the internet that isn't visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor to be accessed.

Dark web definition

The dark web is a part of the internet that isn't indexed by search engines. You've no doubt heard talk of the “dark web” as a hotbed of criminal activity — and it is. Researchers Daniel Moore and Thomas Rid of King's College in London classified the contents of 2,723 live dark web sites over a five-week period a couple of years ago and found that 57 percent host illicit material. 

You can buy credit card numbers, all manner of drugs, guns, counterfeit money, stolen subscription credentials, hacked Netflix accounts and software that helps you break into other people’s computers. Buy login credentials to a $50,000 Bank of America account for $500. Get $3,000 in counterfeit $20 bills for $600. Buy seven prepaid debit cards, each with a $2,500 balance, for $500 (express shipping included). A “lifetime” Netflix premium account goes for $6. You can hire hackers to attack computers for you. You can buy usernames and passwords.

But not everything is illegal, the dark web also has a legitimate side. For example, you can join a chess club or BlackBook, a social network described as the “the Facebook of Tor.”

Note: This post contains links to dark web sites that can only be accessed with the Tor browser, which can be downloaded for free at https://www.torproject.org.   

Dark web browser

All of this activity, this vision of a bustling marketplace, might make you think that navigating the dark web is easy. It isn’t. The place is as messy and chaotic as you would expect when everyone is anonymous, and a substantial minority are out to scam others. 

Accessing the dark web requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor. The Tor browser routes your web page requests through a series of proxy servers operated by thousands of volunteers around the globe, rendering your IP address unidentifiable and untraceable. Tor works like magic, but the result is an experience that’s like the dark web itself: unpredictable, unreliable and maddeningly slow.

Dark web search engines exist, but even the best are challenged to keep up with the constantly shifting landscape. The experience is reminiscent of searching the web in the late 1990s. Even one of the best search engines, called Grams, returns results that are repetitive and often irrelevant to the query. Link lists like The Hidden Wiki are another option, but even indices also return a frustrating number of timed-out connections and 404 errors.

Dark web sites

Dark web sites look pretty much like any other site, but there are important differences. One is the naming structure. Instead of ending in .com or .co, dark web sites end in .onion. That’s “a special-use top level domain suffix designating an anonymous hidden service reachable via the Tor network,” according to Wikipedia. Browsers with the appropriate proxy can reach these sites, but others can’t.

Dark web sites also use a scrambled naming structure that creates URLs that are often impossible to remember. For example, a popular commerce site called Dream Market goes by the unintelligible address of “eajwlvm3z2lcca76.onion.”

Many dark websites are set up by scammers, who constantly move around to avoid the wrath of their victims. Even commerce sites that may have existed for a year or more can suddenly disappear if the owners decide to cash in and flee with the escrow money they’re holding on behalf of customers.

Law enforcement officials are getting better at finding and prosecuting owners of sites that sell illicit goods and services. In the summer of 2017, a team of cybercops from three countries successfully shut down AlphaBay, the dark web’s largest source of contraband, sending shudders throughout the network. But many merchants simply migrated elsewhere.

The anonymous nature of the Tor network also makes it especially vulnerable to distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS), said Patrick Tiquet, Director of Security & Architecture at Keeper Security, and the company’s resident expert on the topic. “Sites are constantly changing addresses to avoid DDoS, which makes for a very dynamic environment,” he said. As a result, “The quality of search varies widely, and a lot of material is outdated.”

Commerce on the dark web

The dark web has flourished thanks to bitcoin, the crypto-currency that enables two parties to conduct a trusted transaction without knowing each other’s identity. “Bitcoin has been a major factor in the growth of the dark web, and the dark web has been a big factor in the growth of bitcoin,” says Tiquet.

Nearly all dark web commerce sites conduct transactions in bitcoin or some variant, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe to do business there. The inherent anonymity of the place attracts scammers and thieves, but what do you expect when buying guns or drugs is your objective?

Dark web commerce sites have the same features as any e-retail operation, including ratings/reviews, shopping carts, and forums, but there are important differences. One is quality control. When both buyers and sellers are anonymous, the credibility of any rating system is dubious. Ratings are easily manipulated, and even sellers with long track records have been known to suddenly disappear with their customers’ crypto-coins, only to set up shop later under a different alias.

Most e-commerce providers offer some kind of escrow service that keeps customer funds on hold until the product has been delivered. However, in the event of a dispute don’t expect service with a smile. It’s pretty much up to the buyer and the seller to duke it out. Every communication is encrypted, so even the simplest transaction requires a PGP key.

Even completing a transaction is no guarantee that the goods will arrive. Many need to cross international borders, and customs officials are cracking down on suspicious packages. The dark web news site Deep.Dot.Web teems with stories of buyers who have been arrested or jailed for attempted purchases.

Is the dark web illegal?

We don’t want to leave you with the impression that everything on the dark web is nefarious or illegal. The Tor network began as an anonymous communications channel, and it still serves a valuable purpose in helping people communicate in environments that are hostile to free speech. “A lot of people use it in countries where there’s eavesdropping or where internet access is criminalized,” Tiquet said.

If you want to learn all about privacy protection or cryptocurrency, the dark web has plenty to offer. There are a variety of private and encrypted email services, instructions for installing an anonymous operating system and advanced tips for the privacy-conscious.

There’s also material that you wouldn’t be surprised to find on the public web, such as links to full-text editions of hard-to-find books, collections of political news from mainstream websites and a guide to the steam tunnels under the Virginia Tech campus. You can conduct discussions about current events anonymously on Intel Exchange. There are several whistleblower sites, including a dark web version of Wikileaks. Pirate Bay, a BitTorrent site that law enforcement officials have repeatedly shut down, is alive and well there. Even Facebook has a dark web presence.

“More and more legitimate web companies are starting to have presences there,” Tiquet said. “It shows that they’re aware, they’re cutting edge and in the know.”

There’s also plenty of practical value for some organizations. Law enforcement agencies keep an ear to the ground on the dark web looking for stolen data from recent security breaches that might lead to a trail to the perpetrators. Many mainstream media organizations monitor whistleblower sites looking for news.

Staying on top of the hacker underground

Keeper’s Patrick Tiquet checks in regularly because it’s important for him to be on top of what’s happening in the hacker underground. “I use the dark web for situational awareness, threat analysis and keeping an eye on what’s going on,” he said will. “I want to know what information is available and have an external lens into the digital assets that are being monetized – this gives us insight on what hackers are targeting.”

If you find your own information on the dark web, there’s precious little you can do about it, but at least you’ll know you’ve been compromised. Bottom line: If you can tolerate the lousy performance, unpredictable availability, and occasional shock factor of the dark web, it’s worth a visit. Just don’t buy anything there.

 

Categorized in Deep Web

[This article is originally published in cnet.com written by RICK BROIDA - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon]

Google Maps is regularly being used by law enforcement, according to a New York Times report.

Not only is Google Maps tracking you, but a program called Google Sensorvault is potentially turning over your location data to law enforcement, according to a report from The New York Times. We'll show you how you make it more difficult for Google or at least not hand over the most granular data.

Keep in mind that a 2018 Associated Press investigation reported that even if you manually disable Google Location History, Google Maps and other apps may retain data about your whereabouts

We also recently learned that Facebook is tracking you even after you deactivate your account, so it's not just Google that you have to worry about. (Alternatively, you may want to at least turn off Facebook's facial recognition feature.)

The Web App Activity toggle will fully disable Google location tracking but good luck finding it unless you know exactly where to lookJPG

The Web & App Activity toggle will fully disable Google location tracking, but good luck finding it unless you know exactly where to look.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

"Google maintains that such location-tracking features are intended to improve your experience. But that notion is at odds with the definition of "off," said Princeton computer scientist Jonathan Mayer. "If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History,' then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," he said.

Indeed even when Location History is toggled off in your Google account settings

Feel free to disable Web & App Activity on Android, but keep in mind you'll lose out on a lot of location-based services.

Screenshot by Rick Broida/CNET

Indeed, even when Location History is toggled off in your Google account settings, AP discovered, actions like searching for something in your browser, checking automatic weather updates and opening Google Maps will record your location. Princeton researchers were able to verify AP's claims.

If you want to fully disable location tracking (which, keep in mind, will limit certain apps' location-driven capabilities), you need to disable another setting called Web & App Activity.

On Android: Venture into Settings, then tap Google > Google Account > Data & personalization. Now tap Web & App Activity and toggle the setting off.

On desktop (also for iOS): Open Google in a new tab, sign into your account if you're not already signed in, click your profile picture (upper-right corner) and then click Google Account. Now click Personal info & privacy > My Activity, then click Activity controls in the lefthand toolbar. Click the Web & App Activity toggle to turn it off. While you're at it, make sure Location History is toggled off here as well.

It bears noting that unless you're involved in a murder investigation, Google's location tracking has largely altruistic motives: providing personalized experiences, location-oriented recommendations and so on. Heck, it's how Google is able to serve up weather reports based on where you are. Of course, it's no doubt used for marketing and advertising purposes as well.

If that bothers you, now you can opt out -- for real.

Categorized in How to

[This article is originally published in popsci.com written by David Nield - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Issac Avila]

 

Your phone is logging your activity.

Every time you grab your phone to participate in a group chat, watch a YouTube video, or search the internet, you leave a digital trail of activity. This footprint can compromise your privacy the next time a friend borrows your device. It also puts your personal information at risk should your phone fall into really unscrupulous hands.

In this guide, we'll explain how you can prevent your device from logging and storing data where other people can easily stumble across it. We will focus on cleaning up your phone's local storage, as opposed to limiting the information that apps send to the cloud.

Go incognito

The web browser on your phone, like the one on your computer, offers a data-limiting incognito or private mode. When you open a session in this mode, the app will forget the pages you visit and the keywords you search as soon as you close the window.

However, private browsing doesn't make you invisible. For instance, if you log into Facebook's web portal in incognito mode, the social network will record your activity. Your internet service provider (ISP), will also see your browsing, and it may log your online behavior as well. To hide your browsing from your ISP, you'll need to rely on a Virtual Private Network (VPN) (more on that in this roundup of security gadgets and apps). But if you simply aim to clean up the record left on your phone's local storage, then this mode tidies up after itself very effectively.

The process for using this mode will depend on the browser app you prefer. For example, to launch incognito mode with Chrome, tap the Menu button (three dots) on the top right of the page and choose New incognito tab. If you forget to browse incognito, you can still clear your saved data. Just hit Menu > Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data.

For iPhone users who rely on Safari, tap the Show pages icon (two squares) on the bottom right of the screen and choose Private. Now, when you tap the Plus button to open a new window, it will be an incognito one. To erase data collected outside of private mode, open the Settings app and select Safari > Clear History and Website Data.

Erase messages

Unless you use a chat app with self-destructing messages, it will keep records of your conversations. Of course, most people like to check back on their old communications, but you don't need to preserve every moment of a years-long thread. You can delete these old conversations manually, or try a less time-consuming option: Automatically erase chat history after a set period of time has elapsed.

On iOS, open the Settings app, go to Messages > Keep Messages, and set messages to automatically disappear after 30 days. Within the app itself, you can manually erase conversations from the front screen: Swipe left on the thread and then tap the Delete button.

Unfortunately, not all chat apps offer this auto-expunge function. To leave no trace of conversations on your phone, you may have to turn to manual deletion. This may be time-consuming, but it isn't difficult. For example, in Android's default SMS app, Messages, you delete a conversation by long-pressing on it and then tapping the Trash icon on the top right of the screen.

Some apps make it easier to purge your entire history all at once. In the case of WhatsApp, open the app and head to Settings > Chats > Chat history > Delete all chats. Then make a note to regularly check back and re-erase your latest messages.

Another solution is to only send the aforementioned self-destructing messages. Apps with this option include Telegram MessengerFacebook Messenger, and Snapchat. For more information, check out our guide to self-destructing message apps.

Limit app logging

Each of the apps on your phone will take a slightly different approach to log your activities. Some of them let you avoid their gaze by using incognito mode, while others will stop tracking you if you ask.

For example, the Android version of YouTube (this is not yet available in the iOS version) just added an incognito mode, which doesn't track the videos you watch. To activate this mode, open the app, tap your avatar on the top right of the screen, and pick Turn on Incognito.

On the other hand, Google Maps will track your location by default, which lets it accumulate a lot of data about your real-world movements. To stop it, head to the settings: Launch the app, tap the Menu button (three lines) on the top left of the screen, and hit Settings (on Android) or the cog icon (on iOS). Within the settings, select Personal content and turn off the location history feature.

There are millions of apps on the market, with no hard and fast rules about how to keep them from recording your behavior. But in general, a good first step is to check for the aforementioned settings—incognito mode and stopping tracking.

If you don't find these options, you'll have to clear your activity manually. This process will vary depending on your operating system.

In Android, open Settings > Apps & notifications, pick an app from the list and hit Storage > Clear storage. This wipes all the data that the app has stored locally. Afterward, the app will behave as if you've installed it from scratch, so you'll need to log in again, set up your preferences, and so on.

On iOS, you won't find an identical option, but you can achieve the same effect by uninstalling and reinstalling an app. Open the Settings app, tap General > iPhone Storage, and select one of your apps. Then choose Delete App to wipe all of its data. Finally, re-install the program from the App Store.

It's not very practical to do this for all of your apps every day. But you might choose to run a manual clean-up at set intervals (say once a month), before you go traveling, or whenever you want to make a fresh start.

Delete search history

Many mobile apps store data locally and in the cloud, so they can sync your information to other devices. That means, to clear search logs from your phone, you'll have to wipe the records across multiple platforms.

For example, your Google account will store the history of searches you've run from your Android phone. To wipe these records, you actually have to access them from the web. Open your browser and head to your Google activity history page. Click the Menu button (three lines) on the top left, then Delete activity by. Set the time span and content type—to erase everything, those should be All time and Search, respectively—and click Delete. This will wipe your search history across all the Google-linked products you use, including Android and the Google search engine.

Categorized in Science & Tech

Time to face the facts. We haven’t yet reached the point where universal internet access is always available, no matter where we go. That can be frustrating, especially for busy Chromebook users who have projects to tackle, assignments to turn in, tasks to complete, and teams to work with.

Fortunately, just because your internet connection drops doesn’t mean you have to sit back and give up. Google has implemented several ways to use Chrome OS features offline, whether you need to read emails, work on documents, or carry out another task. Here’s how to do it!

Email

gmailoffline

The bad news is that there’s no permanent offline email solution for Gmail — at least, not yet. The good news is that Google is working on one, and, in the meantime, you can try out the beta. The problem with betas, of course, is that they tend to have flaws or bugs that still need to be fixed, so this option may not work perfectly for you. However, if you are stuck without email and desperately need to check for any previous updates, it may be more than enough.

Add to ChromeStart by enabling the feature. By far the easiest way is to use the Gmail Offline option available in the Chrome Web Store. This provides you with an option to “Add to Chrome” or “Visit Website.” Choose Add to Chrome to download the app, and restart Chrome.

If your Chrome browser isn’t currently open, open it and create a new tab. Look for the new Gmail Offline icon next to the taskbar and click it. This will load the offline syncing option, though you may have to go through a brief confirmation window first.Add Gmail Offline

It’s important to know what this app does. It will automatically sync all your messages and queued actions whenever Chrome is running and your internet connection is good. This allows you to see any of the latest emails or responses that you may have missed while your computer was online. It cannot magically send or receive emails that were created after you went offline unless you connect again. Not even Google is that good.

Documents

Google Docs I

For working on offline documents, we turn to Google Drive. Perhaps realizing just how many Chromebooks are used for schoolwork and on-the-go jobs, Google has worked to make all Drive documents accessible even when you aren’t connected to the internet… as long as you have the right setup.Settings Snapshot

First, make sure that Google Drive is fully updated — this isn’t usually a problem on Chromebooks, but double checking never hurts. You need a recent version of Drive to access offline features. Then, head over to your Chrome browser, log into Drive, and visit Settings, which is the first option housed beneath the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the window. Once there, look for the heading that says Offline next to a description that says, Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline. That’s pretty self-explanatory!

Make sure the box next to the Offline description is checked. Keep in mind that this solution has its limitations, however, especially when it comes to collaboration. Drive will save a state of the Drive document from the last time you connected to the internet, but it can’t do more than that. Say that your team is all working online at the office with a Google Doc, and you’re working offline in your car. Your team will be able to see and interact with each other’s changes in real time, but you will be working on your own version of the document. This can cause some issues when syncing up changes, so it’s a good idea to use this primarily for your solo work. Also, know that there are a few things that won’t work offline, including the online collection of Drive images, Google Forms, and web-based PDFs.

Web pages

Pocket-iPad

As long as you have a little time to prepare, you can also use Chrome OS to view webpages offline. There are a couple different options here, but we prefer the ease of use and features that come with downloading the Pocket extension. Pocket is a simple Chrome program that allows you to save articles, videos, and other types of content for later viewing, even when you are offline.

This is nice for long road trips when you want a bit of entertainment, but it can also prove valuable when working on work or school projects where you need access to information but an internet connection isn’t available in your work spot. Remember, however, that Chromebooks are light when it comes to storage and RAM, so trying to store too much content may lead to sluggish performance or crashes.

Scheduling

Calendar Offline

Google has extended its offline abilities to Google Calendar as well, which means that you can take a look at all your meetings, appointments, and reminders kept in Calendar whenever you want — even without internet service. It’s very easy to set up, too. As with Drive, open Calendar, click the gear icon in the top-right corner, and select Settings. At the top of the page, select the Offline option. If you have more than one Calendar, you can choose which you want to access offline.

There are some caveats, however. The version of your Calendar that you can view offline is read-only, meaning you won’t be able to make any changes to it. It also cannot sync with your other devices and import changes made elsewhere until you’re connected to the internet again. So make sure your calendar is set for the day before you go offline!

Notes

Google Keep

If you want to use your note application offline, you probably can — and this isn’t limited to just a single app. Evernote, for example, allows you to choose Offline Notebooks and select certain notebooks for offline viewing. Google Keep offers a similar feature, one that will save offline notes and automatically upload them later.

What else can you do offline?

Quite a lot, actually! Google allows third-party developers to offer offline features for their apps and extensions as well, and many have utilized the feature. There are at least a couple hundred apps in the Chrome Web Store that work offline. These include games like Angry Birds, productivity apps, publications like the New York Times, and apps that span nearly every other category you can think of. If you didn’t find your solution in our guide, peruse the Chrome Web Store for any apps you might want.

This article was published in digitaltrends by Tyler Lacoma

Categorized in Science & Tech

Are you getting mixed search results? Here we'll tell you how to use Cortana to narrow down your searches to get exactly what you're looking for on Windows 10.

When you talk about Cortana and search on Windows 10 is like saying the same thing. Sure, Cortana excels on an array of tasks, such as creating reminders, syncing notifications between your phone and PC, and even when using natural language, but the assistant is about a lot more.

Microsoft has designed Cortana as part of the next generation of search, which is about getting personal results and giving you things based on knowing your patterns without you having to ask.

On Windows 10, Cortana integrates with the operating system's local search feature to help you find local files and settings, and also with Bing to offer relevant search results from the web to answer any questions.

Here we'll explain and walk you through the steps to search for files, settings, and get relevant web search results using Cortana on Windows 10.

How to use Cortana to search on Windows 10

On Windows 10, there are two ways to search using Cortana: you can use the search box in the taskbar to enter your search query to find anything you need. Or you can start Cortana in listening mode using the "Hey Cortana" feature or the Windows key + Shift + C keyboard shortcut to ask the assistant to find anything you want.

 

You can use Cortana to find virtually anything on your computer or on the web. Typically, you'll use the assistant to find files stored locally on your computer or OneDrive, settings, and web results to answer more complex searches.

How to search files and settings using Cortana

While Microsoft has designed Cortana to make search super easy on Windows 10, you'll notice that you won't just get one answer. Instead, you will get a lot of results from different categories, because Cortana doesn't quite understand the context of your question unless you're specific.

For example, when you do a search, you will get results from any source that Cortana can search, including local files and settings, and web results using Bing.

If you want to get more specific results from a query, you have to do your search with commands that Cortana can understand, which are similar to those queries you use every day on your favorite search engine.

To narrow down your Cortana search to only files and settings and apps, you can use the following examples in the search box:

  • Apps: Mail
  • Documents: Business Presentation 2016
  • Folders: Personal Docs
  • Music: Bon Jovi
  • Photos: Veronica's Party
  • Settings: Windows Update
  • Videos: Vacation

In the examples above, you can see that you can quickly type a category and a colon to specify the search type followed by your search query, which will help Cortana understand exactly the type of search you want to perform.

As you type a query in the search box you'll get a number of shortcuts buttons to refine your search. But if you prefer typing to mousing and clicking, these quick commands can make your searches even faster.

If you prefer using the shortcut buttons, you can also click the More button on the top-right to see the complete list of categories you can search using Cortana.

Additionally, you can type a query in the search box, and click the title of the category to see more results.

If you're an Office 365 subscriber, you can even connect your account with Cortana to search email, calendar, people, and Office 365 documents.

Local search on Windows 10 Mobile works different

While the concept of search using Cortana also works on Windows 10 Mobilethere some limitations. For example, on the mobile version of Windows 10, you can't search for specific files and settings within the Cortana app.

If you're looking for an specific file, you either need to open File Explorer or OneDrive and use the search functionality within that app, and you need to open the Settings app to find any settings.

How to search the web using Cortana

Searching the web using Cortana is not much different than doing a search using your web browser using Bing or Google. However, there are a few things you need to know to get the best web search results.

 

To search the web using Cortana there is only one command you need to know: web: followed by the search term. The example below shows how you should type a web search query in Cortana:

  • Web: How to use Cortana on Windows 10

While the Web command defines the context of your search, you'll come across two types of results: Cortana instant answers within the app, which technically you don't have to specify, because it's already programmed to respond to particular questions. This is the logic that makes Cortana feel more intelligent.

Here are some examples of specific things Cortana can answer within the app:

  • NYC Weather
  • Microsoft Stock
  • What movies are playing near me?
  • What's the time in the UK?
  • How tall is Jessica Biel?

Here a few other examples searches you can do with the digital assistant:

  • News: This command brings up the latest trending news within the app.
  • Define: When you need a definition of a particular word, you can use the keyword define followed by the word. For example, define automobile. This command will trigger a search on Bing, and the search engine will use the Oxford Dictionary to provide the definition.
  • 42+8/23: Use math standard operators +, -, *, /, %, and ^ in the search box to calculate anything you want, and press Enter to bring up the calculator.
  • Translate: When you need to translate text to another language type translate and press Enter to open Cortana in translation mode.

Web search (left), recognized web search (middle), math search (right)

 

When you type a search that Cortana isn't programmed to answer, you'll only see related search terms. In which case, you'll need to press Enter to open Microsoft Edge and hope the Bing search result page shows up a link with the answer you're seeking.

Remember that everything you do with Cortana (unless is a local search for files and settings) is an online search, and Bing is responsible for it.

Don't you believe me? Try to disconnect your computer from the internet and see if Cortana can answer something as simple as 2+2

How to search with voice command using Cortana

Cortana has been designed to work with the keyboard and mouse, as well as with voice commands using natural language.

If you're using the hands-free feature, then simply say "Hey Cortana" followed by the search term. For example:

  • "Hey Cortana: How's the weather."

If "Hey Cortana" is not enabled on your device, then use the Windows key + Shift + C keyboard shortcut and say your search term. For example:

  • "How tall is Mount Everest?"

Remember you're not limited to say keywords in your search, just use natural language. For Cortana, "Can you tell me what is an automobile?" and "define automobile" are the same thing. However, the search experience may be different using voice commands and typing the query in the search box.

Source : http://www.windowscentral.com/how-use-cortana-search-windows-10 

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Google’s original mobile testing tool came out in 2014, and two years in the land of technology might as well be a lifetime. It was about time they came out with an update, and I’m happy to say it was worth the wait. According to Google, “people are five times more likely to leave a mobile site that isn’t mobile-friendly,” and “nearly half of all visitors will leave a mobile site if the pages don’t load within 3 seconds.” In other, more blatant words, it’s imperative that business owners optimize their sites for mobile.

Read below to find out how to use the newest version of Google’s mobile testing tool and make sure your website is meeting the needs of your mobile customers.

How to Get the New Google Mobile Testing Tool

First things first: you can access the tool from Google’s Search Console’s mobile usability report. Either way, once you’ve arrived at the tool, it’s as simple as entering your website’s URL into the search box, clicking “test now”, and waiting for the results. The home screen will look something like this:

google1

Then, once you enter a URL, your results page will look something like this:

google2

How to Interpret the Google Mobile Testing Tool Results

So now you know how to access the tool (it’s pretty self-explanatory and easy to use, thanks to Google!). Next, you need to know what those results mean. A test is worthless if you can’t use the results to make positive improvements.

In terms of the screenshot above, Google makes it pretty clear that the site is mobile friendly. The big green 99/100 rating for mobile friendliness is a pretty big giveaway. If you’re not looking for an in-depth analysis of your site, this might be just enough information to make you happy and send you on your way. However, you’d be missing out on some of the tool’s (not-so-hidden) features that could help improve your mobile site even more.

You’ll notice in the shot above that next to the mobile friendliness rating are ratings for mobile and desktop speed. Although Express scored high in the overall rating, they didn’t fare so well when it came to speed. This is just one example of the added information you get with the newest version of this tool.

If this was my site and my ratings, the first thing I’d work on fixing would be the speed of my site on both mobile and desktop.

One of the big differences between the old version of the tool and the updated version is that you now have access to this added information; in the past, all the tool said was whether or not your site was mobile friendly. Now, users have much more detailed information in the form of a 0-100-scale rating that discusses mobile friendliness, but also mobile and desktop speed.

Additional Features of the Google Mobile Testing Tool

Besides the new rating scale and the fact that you can get all three scores on one screen, Google has made another big change; they give you the option to have a comprehensive report sent to you that you can share with your team. If you click that button, a screen will appear that looks something like this:

google3

Google is nice enough to give you some mobile tips in an easy-to-read, easy-to-understand format even before receiving your free report (which they promise will arrive within 24 hours). Here is a report that I had sent to me for amandadisilvestro.com:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.46.11 PM

 

mobile tool

You can see that in the area where I scored poorly (mobile speed), Google tells me exactly what needs to be fixed. They even provide links that lead to technical support in case the team needs help fixing the problem. They’re pretty much taking the guesswork out of the whole thing, so truly optimizing a mobile site has never been this painless.

Possible Critiques of the Google Mobile Testing Tool

I do think it is interesting, and worth noting, that while there is a ton of information out there about how the tool works and how to use it, there isn’t a lot of information that explains the algorithm the tool uses in order to determine the three different ratings. All I was really able to determine was that it looks at things like CSS, HTML, scripts, and images and then evaluates how quickly (or slowly) it takes for your website to load.

So how do they determine where your site falls on the rating scale? Perhaps by how long it takes for your site to load past the 3-second mark, which they claim is the attention span people have for waiting on mobile sites. (Ironically enough, it takes longer than three seconds for Google’s site to complete its test.)

I became even more skeptical after coming across this article by Search Engine Watch. They did some more extensive tests and found that their site, along with Forbes, and many other sites, all received “poor” ratings for both mobile and desktop speed. In fact, the only site they could find that received good scores in all three categories was Google. When I did the test myself, I received the same results, as you can see below:

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.50.21 PM

I hate to be a skeptic and go around touting a conspiracy theory, but what’s up with that Google? Are all the other mobile sites out there really inferior to yours, or are you just trying to drum up business for your new tool?

Regardless of the critiques or potential fishy-ness happening, the tool is easy to use and is something I would recommend. After all, it’s free, and if you truly don’t believe what you see, then you don’t have to make any changes. If nothing else, it gets you thinking.

What do you think of Google’s new tool? Was your site able to score a “good” in more than one category? Comment in the section below and let us know what you think.

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/dont-miss-use-googles-new-mobile-testing-tool/168899/

Categorized in Search Engine

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

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

airs logo

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

Newsletter Subscription

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

Follow Us on Social Media

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