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If you browse the web in Incognito mode, everything you do is private, right? In a word, no.

Your internet service provider, for example, can still see your activity. This misconception has even turned into a legal battle. A proposed class-action lawsuit accuses Google of tracking users while in Incognito mode, among other things.

If Incognito mode isn’t genuinely private, why use it? I have a few practical uses you’ll want to try.

What does Incognito mode do?

While Incognito mode — in any browser — does provide more privacy than if you’re not using it, it doesn’t live up to the expectations that many have. So, what exactly does it mean to use incognito mode?

 

When you surf the web incognito, your browser doesn’t save your browsing history, cookies, site data or information you enter in forms. It does, however, keep any downloaded files or bookmarks created during the session. Not to mention the fact that your IP address and computer data are still vulnerable to hackers.

Your internet service provider can still see your activity, as can a school or employer providing your internet access or computer.

When using Incognito mode is a good idea

Now, you don’t have true anonymity in Incognito mode, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth using. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Signing in to multiple email accounts

It’s a pain when you want to check your personal inbox, but you’re logged into another account. Instead of using separate browsers or signing in and out of your accounts, use Incognito mode.

Try signing into your work email using your browser usually, then open an Incognito window for your personal account.

2. Shopping for gifts

Whenever you shop online for a gift, whether it’s for a birthday, anniversary, or Christmas, you want it to be a surprise. Targeted ads can ruin those special moments.

When you shop online, your browser keeps tabs on everything that you look for. Later, you’ll see ads pop-up on other sites that try to get you to come back to make the purchase — even if you already bought the item.

Those ads won’t only be displayed for you. If the person you’re buying the gift for uses your computer, tablet, or smartphone, they will see the same ads. Of course, this is going to tip them off as to what you’re up to. That won’t happen if you shop in Incognito mode.

3. Avoid auto-fill suggestions in the future

Ever need to find instructions for a DIY project on a site like YouTube? The platform is great for learning how to do pretty much anything these days. Need to know how to replace the battery in your car? No worries, there are tons of YouTube videos that will give you step-by-step details on how to do it.

But the need to change your car battery only comes around once every few years. You don’t want to be inundated with suggestions on how to change your car’s battery every time you visit YouTube or any other site for that matter.

 

You can avoid these annoying suggestions by searching in Incognito mode. When your battery dies three years from now, you can do another search for instructions without being bombarded with suggestions.

4. Booking travel

Some travel companies keep track of what you’ve searched for recently and will increase prices the next time you visit the site. If you use Incognito mode, you don’t have to worry about price gouging.

It’s not just the travel industry that does this, either. Many online shopping sites know when you’re stalking an item and could raise the price if you leave and come back later to buy it. Don’t leave it up to chance.

5. Getting out of your bubble

You’ve most likely spent much more time binge-watching TV shows or listening to music in the past few months than normal.

YouTube gives you suggestions on what to watch next based on your viewing history. If you want to step outside of your comfort zone, try searching for new videos in Incognito mode. That way, you’ll get a new perspective on entertainment that isn’t based on your past. You can do the same with your Google searches.

6. View a site as an outsider

Do you have your own website and want to see what it looks like to new visitors? You can check it out in Incognito mode for a fresh perspective.

There are many reasons to use Incognito mode, even though it might not be as private as you’d hope for. Take advantage of these ideas and you’ll never have to worry about ruining the surprise of a special anniversary gift again.

Staying safe online can quickly become complicated. From choosing strong passwords to being careful with what attachments you open to installing the right antivirus software, it’s easy to sink time and money into staying safe.

 [Source: This article was published in foxwilmington.com By KIM KOMANDO - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Live captions are an important part of the tech industry, and a big part of the reason why that is the case has to do with the fact that a lot of the people that are trying to use tech solutions are living with disabilities with hearing impairments being among the most common disabilities that people end up facing on a regular basis. Hence, a lot of tech companies have been working on live captions but the fact of the matter is that we haven’t seen anything quite like what Chrome has just done.

You see, the latest version of Chrome is going to feature support for live captions, marking the first time that a web browser has ever had anything of this nature all in all. Enabling the feature would make it so that you would start seeing a dedicated captions box, and any media that you play would start showing captions inside that box. This is useful because of the fact that not all companies emphasize live captions and making their technology accessible quite as much as they should be doing, and this is causing a lot of problems along the way.

 



If you want to toggle captions on then you need to start by having the latest version of Chrome Canary. Once you have the latest version, the next thing that you are going to have to do is type chrome://flags into the address bar, and when you see the option to search for flags put in “live captions”. A drop down menu will come up and if you select “enabled” all you would have to do is restart your browser and then you can start using the live captions. Once you have restarted the browser, go into accessibility section in your settings to switch them on or off and play any media to see if they are working properly.

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[Source: This article was published in digitalinformationworld.com By Zia Muhammad - Uploaded by the Association Member: Corey Parker]

Categorized in Search Engine

GOOGLE is the most popular search engine on the internet, with Microsoft's Bing a distant second. But which is better, and which is safer to use?

People can actually choose from more than 20 different search engines. Most, however, stick with the most popular search engines, particularly  (92 percent) and Bing (2.5 percent). Both Google and  Bing take online safety extremely seriously, making it very it very difficult to choose between them.

Google's sheer pervasiveness into the fabric of our everyday lives makes it very difficult to argue any other search is a credible challenger to its crown.

Google can help users narrow down what exactly they are looking for with specialised searches.

Users can browse through different categories pertaining to keywords, including: Images, Maps, News articles, Products or services you can purchase online, Videos and scholarly papers.

 

Like all search engines, Google uses a special algorithm to determine its search results.

And while Google shares some facts about its algorithm, the specifics are a company secret.

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Google vs Bing: The overwhelming majority of people stick with the most popular search engines - Google and Bing (Image: Getty)

This helps Google remain competitive with other search engines and reduces the chance of hackers discovering how to abuse the system.

Google uses automated programs called spiders or crawlers to help generate its search results.

What differentiates Google is how it ranks its results, which determines the order Google displays results on its search engine results pages.

The world-leading search engine uses the PageRank algorithm to assign each Web page a relevancy score.

A web page's PageRank depends on three main factors:

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Google vs Bing: Google can help users narrow down what exactly they are looking for with specialised searches (Image: Getty)

The most important factor is the number of other Web pages linking to the page in question.

Also, if the keyword appears only once within the body of a page, it will receive a low score for that keyword.

 

And the length of time a web page has existed ensures Google places more value on those with an established history.

Although Microsoft's Bing is also a search engine, it differs slightly to Google in the way it works.

But the way Bing works is relatively simple in comparison to Google.

Bing will scan all documents for the frequency of root words, meaning "running" will be shortened to "run" and will cut out the irrelevant words.

These frequencies are then given a hash value or an ID number.

So, when a term is typed into the search bar, the roots of the words are found, a hash value is calculated and found in a frequency table.

The outcomes that contain this result are called essential pages and only the highest-scoring pages will be chosen.

These pages then go through a second process called Click Distance.

Bing combines a page’s relevancy in addition to Click Distance – the number of mouse clicks it takes to find the content.

This is then analysed using URL depth property, with lengthier URLs considered less important due to their distance from the homepage.

So if a URL has numerous backslashes, Bing will not rank it, even if it is linked to from the homepage.

And although relevancy and click distance are important factors, Bing also factors a user’s search history when displaying search results.

Is Google or Bing safer?

Google Safe Browsing helps protect over four billion devices every day by showing warnings to users when they attempt to navigate to dangerous sites or download dangerous files.

Safe Browsing also notifies webmasters when their websites are compromised by malicious actors and helps them diagnose and resolve the problem so that their visitors stay safer.

Safe Browsing protections work across Google products and power safer browsing experiences across the Internet.

Google Chrome and other browsers use Safe Browsing to show users a warning message before they visit a dangerous site or download a harmful app.

Bing's SafeSearch helps keep adult content out of your search results.

There are three different ways you can turn on SafeSearch.

For individual accounts, choose SafeSearch options on the Settings page.

At a network level, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.

For an individual PC, map www.bing.com to strict.bing.com.

 

[Source: This article was published in express.co.uk By TOM FISH - Uploaded by the Association Member: Patrick Moore] 

Categorized in Search Engine

There's an old joke among Windows users: "Internet Explorer is the best browser to download a better browser with."

In other words, Internet Explorer — Microsoft's old flagship internet browser — has been around for years, and few people actually like it. That's a big reason why in 2015 Microsoft released Edge, their new and improved browser.

Microsoft has made a big effort with Edge to improve the browsing experience, and it's paid off. Microsoft Edge has enough features and benefits that it's actually a real alternative to more popular browsers like Chrome or Firefox.

 

This is especially true with the Edge's most recent update, which overhauled how the browser runs and operates.

Here's everything you need to know about Microsoft Edge, including what it offers, and how to download it on your PCMaciPhone, or Android device.

Microsoft Edge, explained

The newest version of Edge is what's called a "Chromium" browser. This means that it can run hundreds of extensions that were originally meant for Google Chrome users. This includes screen readers, in-browser games, productivity tools, and more. 

This is in addition to the extensions already in the Microsoft Store, which you can also use. If you can think of a feature you'd like the browser to have, there's probably an extension for it.

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You can find the Extensions menu by clicking the three dots at the top-right and clicking "Extensions." 

 

 

If you sign up for a free Microsoft account, you can sync your bookmarks, history, passwords, and more. This means that if you use Edge on a different computer, you'll have all of your browsing data available in moments.

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Like with Google Chrome, you can sync your browsing information to your email account. 

 

 

Reviews have also said that this new version of Edge runs faster than previous versions, putting it about on par with Chrome and Firefox.

If you'd like to give Microsoft Edge a try, you can download it from the Edge website, here.

The page should automatically detect whether you're using a Mac, PC, iPhone, or Android device. If you think the page has gotten it wrong, click the arrow next to the "Download" button to see all the available versions.

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[Source: This article was published in businessinsider.com By Ross James - Uploaded by the Association Member: Alex Gray]

Categorized in Search Engine

Unlock censoreship- and AWS-resistant websites.

Unstoppable Domains today launches its native, censorship-resistant crypto browser. Users can now surf the decentralized web and send crypto payments directly to site addresses ending in .zil or .crypto.

Blockchain Domains Built on Ethereum

Like domain names used for surfing the traditional internet, Unstoppable Domains offers enthusiasts an opportunity to host a site on the Ethereum and Zilliqua blockchains. 

Accessing these sites is also straightforward for those unfamiliar with blockchain-based technologies. Users simply add .crypto or .zil, like .com, to a corresponding Unstoppable Domain to navigate to different portions of the decentralized Internet. 

 

What initially began as a mechanism for easily remembering cryptocurrency addresses, has now turned into a suite of products from the San Francisco-based team. Sending cryptocurrencies from wallet to wallet required users to either memorize a 40-character string of letters, numbers and symbols or copy and paste this string of information. 

The former is cumbersome, while the latter has proven risky. 

In 2018, Bleeping Computer reported a type of malware that would monitor users machines for cryptocurrency addresses. If detected, whenever the user would attempt to copy and paste the address, the malware would swap the address with the attacker’s. This way funds would be sent directly to the attacker rather than the intended recipient. 

Thanks to upstarts like Unstoppable Domains and ENS Domains, both issues can be mitigated. The second step after uncensorable payments, has then been to build out uncensorable domains. 

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nsofar as many of the world’s most popular sites are built on centralized services like Amazon Web Services (AWS), taking down a website is not difficult. In the unlikely case that AWS ever shutdown, much of the Internet as we know it would also disappear. Conversely, websites built on a blockchain are protected from seizures and from being stripped of content. 

Many websites that use either a .crypto or a .zil are already available. When users download the Unstoppable Browser, they can use the Chromium-based browser to visit sites like cryptolark.crypto or timdraper.crypto.

Interested parties can download the browser for either Windows or MacOS today. 

 

Cosmos Dev Leaves Tendermint, Cites “Untenable” CEO as Reason

Zaki Manian walks after internal conflict.

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Tendermint Labs director Zaki Manian has resigned from his post. Tendermint is a core contributor to the Cosmos blockchain network.

Zaki Manian’s Recent Hint at a Departure

In early February, Manian tweeted his discontent with Tendermint CEO Jae Kwon, saying the co-founder “has obsessively focused on Virgo while neglecting and under resourcing IBC… threw a painstakingly planned hiring and resource improvement proposal out the window to become @BitcoinJaesus.”

He labeled the CEO’s conduct “an untenable distraction.”

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Manian intends to continue working on Cosmos, telling Decrypt:

“There are people inside the company that want to portray this as a power struggle between me and Jae, and this as an outcome and me threatening x, y and z. But it was really me saying I don’t see a way in this arrangement to get the work done. And the best way to get the work done was for me to leave.”

Tendermint Continues Development Work

Tendermint is yet to comment on the high profile departure. The company’s vision “to create open networks in order to manage conflict and empower people to align on universal goals to enact positive societal and environmental change” appears to have come unstuck at its own workplace. 

However, it does have a slate of over 100 projects in the Cosmos and Tendermint ecosystems. The Tendermint protocol is an interoperability network, on top of which Cosmos was built.

 

How Cosmos’ lead developer’s departure will impact the relationship between the two networks remains unclear.

China Sees Red: FCoin Transaction Fee Costs the Exchange Millions

Unique business model costs exchange its business.

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Chinese exchange FCoin today announced insolvency following internal “technical difficulties.” The platform’s founder has already announced a new project to help pay back the multi-million dollar capital reserve.

“The Route to Hell Is Paved with Goodwill”

So reads the first line of an ominous Reddit post from FCoin’s founder on Feb. 17.

The announcement from Jian Zhang, formerly the CTO of Huobi, indicated that it would not be able to process user withdrawals because the exchange had become insolvent. “It is expected that the scale of non-payment is between [7,000 -13,000] BTC,” said the executive.

The culprit behind such malpractice was the very mechanism that helped FCoin briefly become a top exchange in 2018. 

The exchange leveraged a unique “transaction-fee mining” reward to bootstrap adoption. In practice, this meant that for every trade fee paid on FCoin, the users would be reimbursed entirely in the exchange’s native token, FToken (FT). 

Users quickly flocked to the exchange, thus pumping the price of FT and inflating the exchange’s volumes on CoinMarketCap. At one point, the exchange overtook the likes of OKEx and Binance at its peak. 

Zhang indicated that the team raked in between $150 and $200 million at this time, with payouts to “old FCoin users” as high as 6,000 Bitcoin. Soon, however, this very mechanism became the exchange’s downfall. 

In its short existence, FCoin had been periodically paying out users slightly more than they could afford. The team did not notice this discrepancy due to poor analytical tools for measuring payouts. Even after they began buying back FT with company funds, a user base eager to leverage the underdeveloped business model had far outpaced the team’s ability to save a sinking ship. 

Still, in an act of good faith, Zhang is determined to payout all remaining withdrawal requests.

Over the next two to three months, the founder will fulfill all email withdrawal requests as part one of a two-part plan. The second part, relies on the success of a “new project,” said Zhang. He added: 

“Once the new project is on track, I will begin the long-term mail withdrawal process, which may take 1-3 years. In addition, for the other losses of FT and FMEX investors, I am also willing to use the profit of the new project to compensate. The specific calculation method will be discussed with you at the beginning of the compensation.”

At the time of writing, FT finished trading at ~$0.04, down from a high of nearly $0.30 in May 2019. FCoin reports a 24-hour volume in BTC/USDT of  approximately $115 million, according to CoinMarketCap. FT is the seventh highest-traded coin on the platform. 

Binance Cloud to Offer Exchange-in-a-Box Infrastructure Service

Binance set to enter the white-label market

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Binance is set to develop white-label crypto exchange infrastructure for use by smaller exchanges, allowing them to focus on regulatory compliance.

Binance Cloud Service Extends to Exchange Infrastructure

Binance’s cloud service was already hinted at by the exchange’s CEO, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, during an “ask me anything” session on Feb. 8. Their white-label exchange infrastructure will provide spot market and futures trading, bank API integrations, and fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange services. 

Exchanges will be able to rebrand the software infrastructure, to be hosted on Binance Cloud, to suit the needs of their local markets. A statement from the company explained:

“The Binance Cloud service is an all-in-one solution, featuring an easy-to-use dashboard that allows customers to manage funds, trading pairs and coin listings, as well as multilingual support, depth-sharing with the Binance.com global exchange, and more opportunities to collaborate with the ecosystem.”

White-Label Exchanges Nothing New

White-label crypto exchange infrastructure is not new to the industry. The current market leader is AlphaPoint, which claims to provide infrastructure to “over 100 exchange operators.”

Binance’s entry into the white-label market appears to be in line with the giant’s determination to redefine money and expand cryptocurrency access and services to a worldwide audience.

 

With Binance-powered matching engines, security, and liquidity solutions, new exchanges would be able to access instant workability and scalability. Startup exchanges have historically faced daunting setup costs, with many failing to gain significant market traction.

The 32nd largest exchange by 24-hour volume, according to CoinMarketCap, had less than half a million dollars in trading activity for the day at press time.

Read More...

[Source: This article was published in cryptobriefing.com By Liam Kelly - Uploaded by the Association Member: Bridget Miller]

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in pcmag.com By Max Eddy - Uploaded by the Association Member: Logan Hochstetler]

Once Incognito Mode is engaged in Maps, 'you can search and navigate without linking this activity with your Google account,' says CEO Sundar Pichai

Google first introduced Incognito Mode years ago with the release of the Chrome browser. Now, as part of a larger push to enhance consumer privacy, the search giant is adding Incognito Mode to both Google Search and Google Maps.

 

When Incognito Mode is engaged in Chrome, your activities aren't stored in your browser history. It also disables cookies, which are used to identify and sometimes track individuals around the web, and turns off browser extensions. It doesn't hide your online activity, as a VPN would.

Google Maps

Google first introduced Incognito Mode years ago with the release of the Chrome browser. Now, as part of a larger push to enhance consumer privacy, the search giant is adding Incognito Mode to both Google Search and Google Maps.

When Incognito Mode is engaged in Chrome, your activities aren't stored in your browser history. It also disables cookies, which are used to identify and sometimes track individuals around the web, and turns off browser extensions. It doesn't hide your online activity, as a VPN would.

 

Incognito mode for Google Maps will be similar, Google CEO Sundar Pichai explained in a blog post. Once Incognito Mode is engaged in Maps, "you can search and navigate without linking this activity with your Google account," he wrote.

Google Maps Incognito Mode

You may have noticed that when you search in Google, meanwhile, your old searches sometimes pop up again. Google uses your activity to tailor the results for you, but not so with Incognito Mode for Search.

Incognito for Google Maps and Search are coming later this year. Google has already rolled out an Incognito Mode for YouTube. "We strongly believe that privacy and security is for everyone, not just a few," said Pichai.

While this is an important move for Google, it's not yet clear what information will be saved when these new Incognito modes are engaged, and what the limitations will be. We have to assume that, like Incognito for Chrome, you won't be totally invisible.

Categorized in Search Engine

[Source: This article was Published in venturebeat.com By EMIL PROTALINSKI - Uploaded by the Association Member: James Gill]

Google today released the Suspicious Site Reporter Extension. As its name implies, the extension lets users report suspicious sites to Google’s Safe Browsing service. Google also highlighted that Chrome recently started warning users about sites with deceptive URLs.

Google’s Safe Browsing service provides lists of URLs that contain malware or phishing content to Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers, as well as to internet service providers (ISPs). Google said in September 2017 that Safe Browsing protects over 3 billion devices and that the number last month increased to over 4 billion devices. The service shows warnings before users visit dangerous sites or download dangerous files.

Now Google is opening Safe Browsing for submissions. In fact, the Suspicious Site Reporter extension is a two-way street. The extension’s icon shows when you’re on a potentially suspicious site. Clicking the icon will show more information about why it might be suspicious. You can also report it for further evaluation. If the site is added to Safe Browsing’s suspicious lists, those aforementioned 4 billion devices will be protected from it.

 

In addition, Google released Chrome 75 earlier this month. The latest version comes with a new warning to direct users away from sites that have confusing URLs. The feature compares the URL of the page you’re currently on to URLs of pages you’ve recently visited. If the URL looks similar but isn’t identical (say, go0gle.com vs. google.com), Chrome will show a warning that helps you get back to the right domain.

“We believe that you shouldn’t have to be a security expert to feel safe on the web and that many Chrome power-users share our mission to make the web more secure for everyone,” said Chrome product manager Emily Schechter. Given today’s news, that’s fair. But if you look at the competition, Chrome could be doing more.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

[This article is originally published in fastcompany.com written by JR RAPHAEL - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Grace Irwin]

Give your internet experience a jolt of fresh energy with these easily overlooked features, options, and shortcuts for Google’s browser.

These days, a browser is more than just a basic navigator for the web. It’s effectively a second desktop—a gateway to countless apps, sites, and services. And optimizing that environment can go a long way in increasing your efficiency.

Google’s Chrome, in particular, is full of hidden shortcuts, features, and power-user possibilities. Take the time to learn these tips, and watch your productivity soar.

(Note that most of the tips here are specific to the desktop versions of Chrome for Windows PCs and Macs and may not apply to the browser’s mobile variants.)

LEARN SOME HANDY HIDDEN SHORTCUTS

1. Want to open a link into a new tab in the background, so it won’t interrupt what you’re doing? Hold down Ctrl- or Cmd- and click it. To open a link in a whole new window, meanwhile, use Shift instead. (This’ll work within most areas of Chrome, by the way—including the History page and the dropdown history list within the Back button, which we’ll get to in a bit.)

2. You probably know you can press the space bar to scroll down a full page-length, but there’s another side to that shortcut: If you press Shift and the space bar together, Chrome will do the opposite and scroll up by a full page-length at a time.

3. If you ever close a tab by mistake, hit Ctrl- or Cmd-Shift-T. Chrome will reopen your most recently closed tab as if nothing had ever happened. (And you can do it multiple times, too, if there’s more than one tab you’d like to recover.)

 

4. When you have a bunch of tabs open and want to hang onto the entire session for later, hit Ctrl-Shift-D. That’ll let you save all your open tabs into a folder for easy future access. To restore them, right-click the folder within your bookmarks and select “Open all” or “Open all in a new window.”

save all your open tabs into a folder for easy future access

5. Skip a step and get info about any word or phrase in a page by highlighting it and then right-clicking and selecting the “Search Google” option. You can also highlight a word or phrase and drag it into Chrome’s address bar to achieve the same result—or drag it into the area directly to the right of your final tab to launch the search in a new tab instead of your current one. (Bonus tip: Those same dragging behaviors can also be used to open links.)

6. Save a link with a single click: Just click, hold down your mouse button, and drag the link up into Chrome’s bookmarks bar. Drop it wherever you want, and it’ll be there the next time you need it.

 

7. If you download a file and then want to move it somewhere specific, click on its tile in the download bar that appears at the bottom of the browser. You can then drag and drop whatever you downloaded directly onto your desktop or into any folder.

8. You can also drag and drop files from Chrome’s download bar directly into an online service—like Google Drive, for instant uploading, or Gmail, for inserting the file as an attachment in a new message.

9. Should you ever find Chrome mysteriously misbehaving, remember this command: chrome://restart. Type it into Chrome’s address bar, and your browser will restart itself and restore all your tabs and windowsin a jiffy. You never know when it might come in handy.

TEACH YOUR BROWSER SOME NEW TRICKS

10. With 60 seconds of setup, you can give Chrome its own quick-access scratchpad that’ll let you jot down thoughts right within the browser—no extensions required. All you have to do is paste a snippet of code into Chrome’s address bar. Click here or on the image below to view and copy the necessary code.

jot down thoughts right within the browser

…and then save the page to your bookmarks bar for easy access. The scratchpad supports text formatting (Ctrl- or Cmd-B for bold, Ctrl- or Cmd-I for italics, and Ctrl- or Cmd-U for underlining) and even has a built-in spell check feature. Just open it and start typing—and if you want to save your thoughts for later retrieval, hit Ctrl- or Cmd-S.

The scratchpad supports text formatting

11. Chrome’s custom search engine feature has tons of untapped productivity potential. First, you can use it to create simple shortcuts to pages you visit often—anything from favorite websites to internal Chrome pages or even the scratchpad described in the previous tip. Just open up Chrome’s settings, click the line labeled “Manage search engines,” then click the “Add” command next to the “Other search engines” heading. Type the name of the page in the “Search engine” field, the shortcut you want for it in the “Keyword” field, and the page’s full URL in the “URL” field.

 

For instance, if you want to be able to pull up Chrome’s settings simply by typing “cs” into your address bar, you could use “Chrome Settings” as the search engine name, “cs” as the keyword, and chrome://settings as the URL. To get to your new scratchpad quickly, you could use “Scratchpad” as the search engine name, “s” as the keyword, and the full string of code from above as the URL.

12. You can also use Chrome’s custom search engines feature to create shortcuts for searching any sites you want. The trick is to first find the full URL of the site’s own search system—so if you wanted to do it for Fast Company, you’d go to fastcompany.com, click the search icon in the upper-right corner of the screen, then search for a word like “test.” The site will take you 

With that knowledge in tow, head back to Chrome’s “Manage search engines” section and click the “Add” command. This time, type “Fast Company” in as the search engine name, “fastcompany.com” as the keyword, and ”—with “%s” taking the place of the actual query—as the URL.

create shortcuts for searching any sites you want

The next time you start typing “fastcompany.com” into Chrome’s address bar, you’ll see instructions telling you to press Tab to search the site. Set up similar systems for shopping sites, Wikipedia, dictionaries and thesauruses, travel sites, or anything else you search semi-regularly, and you’ll save valuable time by skipping steps and jumping straight to the info you need.

13. Want to be able to search your email directly from Chrome’s address bar? Create a new custom search engine with the name Gmail, whatever keyword you want (either “gmail.com” or some shortened command), and “https://mail.google.com/mail/ca/u/0/#search/%s” as the URL.

14. Search Google Drive from the address bar by creating a custom search engine with “https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/search?q=%s” as the URL.

15. Speaking of Google Drive, if you move between multiple devices during the day (and at this point, who doesn’t?), make your life a little easier by telling Chrome to save anything you download to a cloud-based folder. That way, you’ll be able to find important files from your desktop, laptop, smartphone, or any other device—regardless of where the download was actually performed.

First, you’ll have to install the desktop syncing program for your cloud storage service of choice. Most services, including Google DriveDropbox, and OneDrive, offer such utilities for all the common operating systems. Once you set up the program, you’ll have a folder on your local hard drive that’s always synced to a folder in your cloud storage.

Now, head into Chrome’s settings, click “Advanced,” and scroll down to the section labeled “Downloads.” Click the “Change” command and find or create an appropriate subfolder within your cloud-synced folder. Once you’ve followed those steps on any desktop computers you want connected, anything you download will be available everywhere you work—and always accessible via the cloud service’s mobile apps as well.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HIDDEN POWER TOOLS

16. Quiet annoying sites once and for all by right-clicking their tabs (where the title is displayed) and selecting “Mute site.” This recently added option will prevent the site from playing any audio on your computer anytime you visit it.

17. Prefer to avoid leaving a trail as you navigate the web? Open Chrome’s settings, click “Advanced,” and then turn on the toggle next to “Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic,” located within the “Privacy and security” section.

18. For additional privacy, take advantage of Chrome’s out-of-the-way option to create multiple user profiles and allow guest access to your browser. That’ll let someone else use Chrome on your computer without gaining access to all of your personal data (and without gunking up your history with whatever sites they visit). Look for the line labeled “Manage other people” in Chrome’s settings to get started.

 

19. Chrome’s History page—accessible by hitting Ctrl- or Cmd-H or by typing chrome://history into your address bar—has a powerful yet easily overlooked feature: an always-synced list of tabs you have open in Chrome on other devices. Surf over there anytime you want to find what you were last viewing on your phone, your tablet, or another computer.

20. The Back button in Chrome’s upper-left corner does more than you might think. Click it and hold your mouse’s button down, and you’ll get a pop-up history of recent pages viewed within your current tab

a pop up history of recent pages viewed within your current tab

21. Chrome can strip all formatting from copied text as you paste it—eliminating links, fonts, colors, and anything else you might not want to carry over. Once you’ve copied some text, hit Ctrl- or Cmd-Shift-V to give it a whirl.

22. Trying to look at a website that’s down—or need to step back in time and see how a particular page looked a while ago? Type cache:website.com into Chrome’s address bar, replacing website.com with whatever URL you want.

23. Let Chrome act as your file explorer: Drag and drop any image, video, or audio file into the browser to open it right then and there—and on Windows, try typing C:\ into Chrome’s address bar to browse your hard drive’s contents.

ENHANCE YOUR ENVIRONMENT AND ELIMINATE ANNOYANCES

24. Sick of getting those pop-ups asking if some site can send notifications through your browser? Turn off site notifications entirely by opening Chrome’s settings, clicking “Advanced,” then clicking the line labeled “Content settings.” Next, find and click the line for “Notifications” and turn the toggle at the top of the page off.

25. The next time you come across a text form on a website, give yourself a little space to think: Look for the two diagonal lines in the box’s lower-right corner. Click that area and drag downward, and ta-da: You can resize the text box to make it as large as you’d like.

resize the text box to make it as large as youd likeJPG

26. Chrome extensions can be incredibly useful, but they can also create a lot of clutter in your browser’s upper-right corner. Hide the extension icons you don’t need to see by right-clicking them and selecting “Hide in Chrome menu” from the options that appear. You can also just hover your mouse over the far right side of the address bar until you see a double-sided arrow appear and then drag the address bar toward the right to extend it and hide multiple extension icons at once.

And if you ever need to get to an out-of-sight extension icon, just open the main Chrome menu (the three-dot icon to the right of the extensions). You’ll see all of the icons there.

27. While we’re talking about extensions, did you know you can create custom keyboard shortcuts for opening extensions on demand?Some extensions even allow you to create shortcuts for specific commands. Type chrome://extensions/shortcuts into your browser’s address bar to set up your own.

Categorized in Search Engine

Google Inc. is making web browsing slightly less annoying for users with a host of new features.

Google Thursday released the latest version of Chrome to all Windows, Mac, and Linux machines. Chrome 64 comes with a stronger pop-up blocker, 53 security fixes and specifically fixes for the potential Spectre processor-based attacks.

The company starting rolling out Chrome’s anti-autoplay features in version 63 with the introduction of a feature that provides users with the option to disable autoplay videos on individual sites. Now with Chrome 64, Google expands these features with the ability to mute an entire site.

Google has also announced two new ad-blocking features to give users more control to mute the ads they see on Google, websites and in apps.

 

Here’s a look at the new features Google is rolling out:

Chrome 64

Mute an entire site

When you visit a site with annoying autoplay videos, Chrome 64 will now let you mute the entire site. Instead of users trying to find and mute the offending video, users can just right click on the relevant website’s tab and select to mute the entire site. If you later change your mind and want to hear the autoplay videos, you can follow the same process to unmute the site.

This feature replaces the previous “mute tab” option that was only temporary.

Stronger pop-up blocker

Chrome 64 also includes a stronger pop-up blocker that will protect users against sneaky redirects, such as third-party websites disguised as play buttons or transparent overlays on websites that capture all clicks and open new tabs or windows.

Although these redirects can be used maliciously to trick users, many redirects are unintentional, explains Ryan Schoen, a product manager at Google, when the upcoming feature was announced in November. “We’ve found that this redirect often comes from third-party content embedded in the page, and the page author didn’t intend the redirect to happen at all.”

Chrome 64 will now prevent these redirect tactics, whether intentionally abusive or not. While site owners can use the Abusive Experiences Report in Google Search Console to see if any of these tactics have been found on their own site. It will also offer advice on how their site can be improved.

Better ads

From Feb. 15, site owners will also need to ensure they comply with standards overseen by the Coalition for Better Ads.

“Starting on February 15, in line with the Coalition’s guidelines, Chrome will remove all ads from sites that have a ‘failing’ status in the Ad Experience Report for more than 30 days,” Google said. Site owners can “submit their site for re-review once the violations have been fixed.”

 

High-dynamic-range support for Windows users

Google is adding HDR support for Windows users in Chrome 64. Users will need a computer with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, an HDR-compatible monitor, and a graphics card.

Security fixes

Finally, Chrome 64 also contains 53 security fixes, which include 24 bugs reported by third-party researchers.

It also includes some of Google’s fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. Like other browsers, Google is disabling the SharedArrayBuffer feature to mitigate against the attacks.

In Ad Settings, users have more control over what reminder ads they see. Image via Google

In Ad Settings, users have more control over what reminder ads they see. Image via Google

New additions to ‘Ads Settings’ and ‘Mute This Ad’

Mute reminder ads

While reminder ads, those ads that follow users around the web once they have visited a site, can be useful, they can also be very annoying, especially if you never intend to return to the relevant site. Google is rolling out a feature to assist with this.

Advertisers tend to start showing reminder ads within a month of visiting their site. Muting reminder ads with Google’s new feature will last for 90 days.

Muting, however, will only apply to non-Google websites that use Google ad services. For websites and apps that don’t use Google ad services, users will be unable to mute reminder ads.

To mute reminder ads, sign into your Google Account Ad Settings > under “Your reminder ads,” click the X next to the relevant advertiser that you want to mute.

More control with ‘Mute This Ad’

Google introduced the “Mute This Ad” feature back in 2012 and it is now used by millions of users. After receiving 5 billion pieces of feedback from users who mute ads because they aren’t relevant, Google has removed 1 million ads from their ad network.

The tool has been updated with two new features. The “Mute This Ad” tool will work across devices where you are signed into your Google Account. Mute an ad on your smartphone and it will automatically be muted on your laptop.

Google is also expanding “Mute This Ad” to be available in more places and will work across more apps and websites that partner with Google to show ads.

Source: This article was published siliconangle.com By COLLEN KRIEL

Categorized in Search Engine

Over the past half-decade I’ve written extensively about web archiving, including why we need to understand what’s in our massive archives of the web, whether our archives are failing to capture the modern and social web, the need for archives to modernize their technology infrastructures and, perhaps most intriguingly for the world of “big data,” how archives can make their petabytes of holdings available for research. What might it look like if the world’s web archives opened up their collections for academic research, making hundreds of billions of web objects totaling tens of petabytes and stretching back to the founding of the modern web available as a massive shared corpus to power the modern data mining revolution, from studies of the evolution of the web to powering the vast training corpuses required to build today’s cutting edge neural networks?

When it comes to crawling the open web to build large corpuses for data mining, universities in the US and Canada have largely adopted a hands-offapproach, exempting most work from ethical review, granting permission to ignore terms of use or copyright restrictions and waiving traditional policies on data management and replication on the grounds that material harvested from the open web is publicly accessible information and that its copyright owners, by virtue of being making it available on the web without password protection, encourage its access and use.

 

On the other hand, the world’s non-profit and governmental web archives, whom collectively hold tens of petabytes of archived content crawled from the open web stretching back 20+ years, have as a whole largely resisted opening their collections to bulk academic research. Many provide no access at all to their collections, some provide access only on a case-by-case basis and others provide access to a single page at a time, with no facilities for bulk exporting large portions of their holdings or even analyzing them in situ.

While some archives have cited technical limitations in making their content more accessible, the most common argument against offering bulk data mining access revolves around copyright law and concern that by boxing up gigabytes, terabytes or even petabytes of web content and redistributing it to researchers, web archives could potentially be viewed as “redistributing” copyrighted content. Given the growing interest among large content holders in licensing their material for precisely such bulk data mining efforts, some archives have expressed concern that traditional application of “fair use” doctrine in potentially permitting such data mining access may be gradually eroding.

Thus, paradoxically, research universities have largely adopted the stance that researchers are free to crawl the web and bulk download vast quantities of content to use in their data mining research, while web archives as a whole have adopted the stance that they cannot make their holdings available for data mining because they would, in their view, be “redistributing” the content they downloaded to third parties to use for data mining.

One large web archive has bucked this trend and stood alone among its peers: Common Crawl. Similar to other large web archiving initiatives like the Internet Archive, Common Crawl conducts regular web wide crawls of the open web and preserves all of the content it downloads in the standard WARC file format. Unlike many other archives, it focuses primarily on preserving HTML web pages and does not archive images, videos, JavaScript files, CSS stylesheets, etc. Its goal is not to preserve the exact look and feel of a website on a given snapshot in time, but rather to collect a vast cross section of HTML web pages from across the web in a single place to enable large-scale data mining at web scale.

Yet, what makes Common Crawl so unique is that it makes everything it crawls freely available for download for research. Each month it conducts an open web crawl, boxes up all of the HTML pages it downloads and makes a set of WARC files and a few derivative file formats available for download.

Its most recent crawl, covering August 2017, contains more than 3.28 billion pages totaling 280TiB, while the previous month’s crawl contains 3.16 billion pages and 260TiB of content. The total collection thus totals tens of billions of pages dating back years and totaling more than a petabyte, with all of it instantly available for download to support an incredible diversity of web research.

Of course, without the images, CSS stylesheets, JavaScript files and other non-HTML content saved by preservation-focused web archives like the Internet Archive, this vast compilation of web pages cannot be used to reproduce a page’s appearance as it stood on a given point in time. Instead, it is primarily useful for large-scale data mining research, exploring questions like the linking structure of the web or analyzing the textual content of pages, rather than acting as a historical replay service.

The project excludes sites which have robots.txt exclusion policies, following the historical policy of many other web archives, though it is worth noting that the Internet Archive earlier this year began slowly phasing out its reliance on such files due to their detrimental effect on preservation completeness. Common Crawl also allows sites to request removal from their index. Other than these cases, Common Crawl attempts to crawl as much of the remaining web as possible, aiming for a representative sample of the open web.

Moreover, Common Crawl has made its data publicly available for more than half a decade and has become a staple of large academic studies of the web with high visibility in the research community, suggesting that its approach to copyright compliance and research access appears to be working for it.

Yet, beyond its summary and full terms of use documents, the project has published little in terms of how it views its work fitting into US and international standards on copyright and fair use, so I reached out Sara Crouse, Director of Common Crawl, to speak to how the project approaches copyright and fair use and any advice they might have for other web archives considering broadening access to their holdings for academic big data research.

Ms. Crouse noted the risk adverse nature of the web archiving community as a whole (historically many adhered and still adhere to a strict “opt in” policy requiring prior approval before crawling a site) and the unwillingness of many archives to modernize their thinking on copyright and to engage more closely with the legal community in ways that could help them expand fair use horizons. In particular, she noted “since we [in the US] are beholden to the Copyright Act, while living in a digital age, many well-intentioned organizations devoted to web science, archiving, and information provision may benefit from a stronger understanding of how copyright is interpreted in present day, and its hard boundaries” and that “many talented legal advisers and groups are interested in the precedent-setting nature of this topic; some are willing to work Pro Bono.”

Given that US universities as a whole have moved aggressively towards this idea of expanding the boundaries of fair use and permitting opt-out bulk crawling of the web to compile research datasets, Common Crawl seems to be in good company when it comes to interpreting fair use for the digital age and modern views on utilizing the web for research.

Returning to the difference between Common Crawl’s datasets and traditional preservation-focused web archiving, Ms. Crouse emphasized that they capture only HTML pages and exclude multimedia content like images, video and other dynamic content.

She noted that a key aspect of their approach to fair use is that web pages are intended for consumption by human beings one at a time using a web browser, while Common Crawl concatenates billions of pages together in the specialized WARC file format designed for machine data mining. Specifically, “Common Crawl does not offer separate/individual web pages for easy consumption. The three data formats that are provided include text, metadata, and raw data, and the data is concatenated” and “the format of the output is not a downloaded web page. The output is in WARC file format which contains the components of a page that are beneficial to machine-level analysis and make for space- efficient archiving (essentially: header, text, and some metadata).”

In the eyes of Common Crawl, the use of specialized archival-oriented file formats like WARC (which is the format of choice of most web archives) limit the content’s use to transformative purposes like data mining and, combined with the lack of capture of styling, image and other visual content, renders the captured pages unsuitable to human browsing, transforming them from their originally intended purpose of human consumption.

As Ms. Crouse put it, “this is big data intended for machine learning/readability. Further, our intention for its use is for public benefit i.e. to encourage research and innovation, not direct consumption.” She noted that “from the layperson’s perspective, it is not at all trivial at present to extract a specific website’s content (that is, text) from a Common Crawl dataset. This task generally requires one to know how to install and run a Hadoop cluster, among other things. This is not structured data. Further it is likely that not all pages of that website will be included (depending on the parameters for depth set for the specific crawl).” This means that “the bulk of [Common Crawl’s] users are from the noncommercial, educational, and research sectors. At a higher level, it’s important to note that we provide a broad and representative sample of the web, in the form of web crawl data, each month. No one really knows how big the web is, and at present, we limit our monthly data publication to approximately 3 billion pages.”

Of course, given that content owners are increasingly looking to bulk data mining access licensing as a revenue stream, this raises the concern that even if web archives are transforming content designed for human consumption into machine friendly streams designed for data mining, such transformation may conflict with copyright holders’ own bulk licensing ambitions. For example, many of the large content licensors like LexisNexis, Factiva and Bloomberg all offer licensed commercial bulk feeds designed to support data mining access that pay royalty fees to content owners for their material that is used.

Common Crawl believes it addresses this through the fact that its archive represents only a sample of each website crawled, rather than striving for 100% coverage. Specifically, Ms. Crouse noted that “at present, [crawls are] in monthly increments that are discontinuous month-to-month. We do only what is reasonable, necessary, and economical to achieve a representative sample. For instance, we limit the number of pages crawled from any given domain so, for large content owners, it is highly probable that their content, if included in a certain month’s crawl data, is not wholly represented and thus not ideal for mining for comprehensive results … if the content owner is not a large site, or in a niche market, their URL is less likely to be included in the seeds in the frontier, and, since we limit depth (# of links followed) for the sake of both economy and broader representative web coverage, 'niche' content may not even appear in a given month’s dataset.”

To put it another way, Common Crawl’s mission is to create a “representative sample” of the web at large by crawling a sampling of pages and limiting the number of pages from each site they capture. Thus, their capture of any given site will represent a discontinuous sampling of pages that can change from month to month. A researcher wishing to analyze a single web site in its entirety would therefore not be able to turn to Common Crawl and would instead have to conduct their own crawl of the site or turn to a commercial aggregator that partners with the content holder to license the complete contents of the site.

In Common Crawl’s view this is a critical distinction that sets it apart from both traditional web archiving and the commercial content aggregators that generate data mining revenue for content owners. By focusing on creating a “representative sample” of the web at large, rather than attempting to capture a single site in its entirety (and in fact ensuring that it does not include more than a certain number of pages per site), the crawl self-limits itself to being applicable only to macro-level research examining web scale questions. Such “web scale” questions cannot be answered through any existing open dataset and by incorporating specific design features Common Crawl ensures that more traditional research questions, like data mining the entirety of a single site, which might be viewed as redistribution of that site or competing with its owner’s ability to license its content for data mining, is simply not possible.

 

Thus, to summarize, Common Crawl is both similar to other web archives in its workflow of crawling the web and archiving what it finds, but sets itself apart by focusing on creating a representative sample of HTML pages from across the entire web, rather than trying to preserve the entirety of a specific set of websites with an eye towards visual and functional preservation. Even when a given page is contained in Common Crawl’s archives, the technical sophistication and effort required to extract it and the lack of supporting CSS, JavaScript and image/video files renders the capture useless for the kind of non-technical browser-based access and interaction such pages are designed for.

Of course, copyright and what counts as "fair use" is a notoriously complex, contradictory, contested and ever-changing field and only time will tell whether Common Crawl’s interpretation of fair use holds up and becomes a standard that other web archives follow. At the very least, however, Common Crawl presents a powerful and intriguing model for how web-scale data can power open data research and offers traditional web archives a set of workflows, rationales and precedent to examine that are fully aligned with those of the academic community. Given its popularity and continued growth over the past decade it is clear that Common Crawl’s model is working and that many of its underlying approaches are highly applicable to the broader web archiving community.

Putting this all together, today’s web archives preserve for future generations the dawn of our digital society, but lock those tens of petabytes of documentary holdings away in dark archives or permit only a page at a time to be accessed. Common Crawl’s success and the projects that have been built upon its data stands testament to the incredible possibilities when such archives are unlocked and made available to the research community. Perhaps as the web archiving community modernizes and “open big data” continues to reshape how academic research is conducted, more web archives will follow Common Crawl’s example and explore ways of shaping the future of fair use and gradually opening their doors to research, all while ensuring that copyright and the rights of content holders are respected.

Source: This article was published forbes.com By Kalev Leetaru,

Categorized in Online Research
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