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Facebook has announced a raft of measures to prevent the spread of false information on its platform.

Writing in a company blog post on Friday, product manager Tessa Lyons said that Facebook’s fight against fake news has been ongoing through a combination of technology and human review.

However, she also wrote that, given the determination of people seeking to abuse the social network’s algorithms for political and other gains, “This effort will never be finished and we have a lot more to do.”

Lyons went on to announce several updates and enhancements as part of Facebook’s battle to control the veracity of content on its platform. New measures include expanding its fact-checking programme to new countries and developing systems to monitor the authenticity of photos and videos.

Both are significant in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica fiasco. While fake new stories are widely acknowledged or alleged to exist on either side of the left/right political divide, concerns are also growing about the fast-emerging ability to fake videos.


Meanwhile, numerous reports surfaced last year documenting the problem of teenagers in Macedonia producing some of the most successful viral pro-Trump content during the US presidential election.

Other measures outlined by Lyons include increasing the impact of fact-checking, taking action against repeat offenders, and extending partnerships with academic institutions to improve fact-checking results.

Machine learning to improve fact-checking

Facebook already applies machine learning algorithms to detect sensitive content. Though fallible, this software goes a long way toward ensuring that photos and videos containing violence and sexual content are flagged and removed as swiftly as possible.

Now, the company is set to use similar technologies to identify false news and take action on a bigger scale.

In part, that’s because Facebook has become a victim of its own success. With close to two billion registered users, one billion regularly active ones, and over a billion pieces of content posted every day, it’s impossible for human fact-checkers to review stories on an individual basis, without Facebook employing vast teams of people to monitor citizen behavior.

Lyons explained how machine learning is being used, not only to detect false stories but also to detect duplicates of stories that have already been classed as false. “Machine learning helps us identify duplicates of debunked stories,” she wrote.

“For example, a fact-checker in France debunked the claim that you can save a person having a stroke by using a needle to prick their finger and draw blood. This allowed us to identify over 20 domains and over 1,400 links spreading that same claim.”

The big-picture challenge, of course, is that real science is constantly advancing alongside pseudoscience, and new or competing theories constantly emerge, while others are still being tested.

Facebook is also working on technology that can sift through the metadata of published images to check their background information against the context in which they are used. This is because while the fake news is a widely known problem, the cynical deployment of genuine content, such as photos, in false or deceptive contexts can be a more insidious problem.

Machine learning is also being deployed to recognise where false claims may be emanating from. Facebook filters are now actively attempting to predict which pages are more likely to share false content, based on the profile of page administrators, the behavior of the page, and its geographical location.

Internet of Business says

Facebook’s moves are welcome and, many would argue, long overdue. However, in a world of conspiracy theories – many spun on social media – it’s inevitable that some will see the evidenced, fact-checked flagging-up of false content as itself being indicative of bias or media manipulation.

In a sense, Facebook is engaged in an age-old battle, belief versus evidence, which is now spreading into more and more areas of our lives. Experts are now routinely vilified by politicians, even as we still trust experts to keep planes in the sky, feed us, teach us, clothe us, treat our illnesses, and power our homes.

Many false stories are posted on social platforms to generate clicks and advertising revenues through controversy – hardly a revelation. However, red flags can automatically be raised when, for example, page admins live in one country but post content to users on the other side of the world.

“These admins often have suspicious accounts that are not fake, but are identified in our system as having suspicious activity,” Lyons told Buzzfeed.

An excellent point. But some media magnates also live on the other side of the world, including – for anyone outside of the US – Mark Zuckerberg.

Source: This article was published internetofbusiness.com By Malek Murison

Published in Social

Search Engines

Search engines on the World Wide Web are remotely accessible programs that let you do keyword searches for information on the Internet. There are several types of search engines and searches may cover titles of documents, URL's, headers, or full text. Keep in mind that the results you get from one search engine may not match the results you get from another search engine. In fact, they are often different due to the way each search engine behaves. Therefore, it may actually be beneficial to use more than one search engine on a regular basis.

In this section, we briefly look at Google and Yahoo!. Web pages are often dynamic and can change at any time. As a result, you may find that if either site changes, your experience with JAWS may be different than what is described here.

Google

EXERCISE: Use the link below to go to the Google Website and follow along with the instructions.

When you first go to the Google Website there is a blinking cursor in an edit box where you can type the word or phrase that you are interested in.

Google Instant is a search enhancement that shows results as you type. It is designed to predict a person's search by updating the page and showing results while you type. It is a time-saving feature. However, because the page is changing as you type this can sometimes cause problems for screen reader users. You may find a link on the page that reads "Screen reader users, click here to turn off Google Instant." If you choose this link it makes your searches using a screen reader much easier.

To change your preferences for Google you can do the following:

  1. Press INSERT+F7 to open the JAWS list of links.
  2. Choose the link Options, and then press ENTER. A links submenu opens on the Google site.
  3. Press DOWN ARROW to move to the link Search Settings, and then press ENTER.
  4. Beneath the heading Google Instant predictions is an On/Off slider bar. At the time of this writing, it does not read well with JAWS. Press ENTER on it to go into forms mode.
  5. Press DOWN ARROW on this slider bar to turn the feature off.
  6. Press NUM PAD PLUS to get out of forms mode.
  7. Press B to move to the Save button at the bottom of the page, and then activate it by pressing ENTER.

To begin searching, for users of JAWS prior to version 10.0, the first thing you need to do is press the ENTER key to go into Forms Mode with JAWS. Once you are in Forms Mode, you can then type in keywords that will define your search.

If you are using JAWS 10.0 or later, forms mode comes on automatically when you get to a Web page which has the focus set to a blinking cursor in an edit box. If for some reason forms mode does not come on automatically on your computer, you can also press ENTER to go into forms mode, or you can press INSERT+F5 to open the Select a Form Field dialog box for JAWS.

MAGic Tip: MAGic users, just click into any edit box and forms mode comes on automatically for you.

JAWS Tip: New since JAWS 10, JAWS users who use a mouse can also click into edit boxes and forms mode comes on automatically.

After you have typed in some text, press ENTER to activate the Search button.

Google only returns Web pages that contain all of the words in your query. If you find that you get too many "hits" or Web pages that match your search, you can enter more words in your search query to narrow the choices.

Using good keywords gives you better results. Be as specific as you can. For example, a search for the keyword "musicians" will yield far more results than a search for the keywords "Elvis Presley." You do not need to include "and" between terms, but the order in which you type your keywords will affect the search results. You can also search for a specific phrase by including words in quotation marks. Google searches are not case sensitive.

You can also use the following items within your keywords for Google searches:

  • - (minus) sign. Causes Google to exclude a word from your search. For example, "JAWS" can refer to a screen reading software or a famous movie. You can exclude many of the movie-related hits by searching for "JAWS -movie." (Be sure to include a space before the minus sign and no spaces between the minus sign and the word "movie.") Searches for JAWS with different conditions yielded the following results:
    • JAWS, about 50,600,000 hits
    • JAWS windows -movie, about 8,600,000 hits
    • "JAWS screen reader" (in quotes) about 62,000

As you narrow your search and use better keywords, you get more relevant results.

  • Putting a phrase into quotes tells Google to look for the exact words in that exact order.
  • You can search for something within a specific website by typing the word or phrase followed by site:FreedomScientific.com (where the dot-com changes to whatever site you are searching.

The I'm Feeling Lucky™ button takes you directly to the first Web page Google returned for your query. You will not see the other search results at all. For example, to find the home page for Stanford University, simply enter "Stanford" into the search box and choose the I'm Feeling Lucky™ button. Google takes you directly to www.stanford.edu, the official homepage of Stanford University.

Try typing different things such as names, phone numbers, and more to find people or things.

Try a search for Freedom Scientific. Use this link to go to the Google Web site. On the results page, there are a couple of things you can do to get more information about the results of the search:

  • The statistics of your search are typically placed between the search edit box and the search results. You can press DOWN ARROW a few times to find this line, or you can use the JAWS find command CTRL+F to look for the word "Results," and then read that line. For example, when testing this, the search found, "About 86,400,000 for freedom scientific. (0.22 seconds)." This can be useful if you need to narrow the search.
  • Google uses a "main" region to guide you to the search results. You can press R to move from one region to another.
  • The items found as a result of your search are placed on the page as both links and headings. You can press the navigation quick key H to move quickly among the headings that match your search. Since they are also links, you can press ENTER to activate them and move to those Web pages of interest.
  • Below each heading (and link) that match your search is a short synopsis of what that page is about. After pressing H to move to a heading (link), just press DOWN ARROW to read the text below it for more information.
  • Remember, you can also press SHIFT+H to move backward.
  • There is also a good structure to the headings. The heading level one on the page is the Google logo and link that will take you back to the main Google page. The search results begin to be listed after a heading level two. The matches found for the search are all level three headings.

EXERCISE: Google uses regions to make navigation easier. Explore them by pressing R to move from region to region, and then press DOWN ARROW to move into the next section.

You can also read through the search results page using normal reading keys or use INSERT+F7 to open the list of links and see what related links were found. Use the Move to Link button in the links list ALT+M) to move to a particular link and then down arrow through the associated text to find out if this might be what you are looking for.

In addition to the information displayed on the initial results page, there are often links to more pages of information that meet your search criteria. These pages are reached by activating the link for the number of the page. Usually, you will find links for additional pages 2 through 10 near the bottom of each page. Each page beyond the first page also contains a number of items that match your search.

NOTE: Look for a region called "content information" to move to these links quickly.

Google Search Tools

Google also provides easy-to-use search tools. For example:

  • "Weather Chicago" yields the current weather in Chicago
  • "25 kilometers in miles" convert kilometers to miles
  • "Define screen magnification" yields definitions for screen magnification
  • "Seafood restaurants 33716" yields restaurants that serve seafood in or near that zip code
  • And so on...

NOTE: For both the Google Website and the Yahoo! Website discussed in the next section, be sure to check out the other links on their sites for Advanced Search, Help topics, and more.

Yahoo!.com

Yahoo! is another search engine that many people use. The main Yahoo! the page also has more information on it, such as sports and news headlines, entertainment links, and links to many other items. This tends to cause the page to appear more cluttered than the Google site but may prove itself useful to you as well. As with Google, when you first go to the Yahoo! Website there is a blinking cursor in an edit box.

For users of JAWS prior to version 10.0, the first thing you need to do is press the ENTER key to go into Forms Mode with JAWS. Once you are in Forms Mode, you can then type in keywords that will define your search.

If you are using JAWS 10.0 or later, forms mode comes on automatically when you get to a Web page which has the focus set to a blinking cursor in an edit box. If for some reason forms mode does not come on automatically on your computer, you can also press ENTER to go into forms mode, or you can press INSERT+F5 to open the Select a Form Field dialog box for JAWS.

MAGic Tip: MAGic users, just click into any edit box, and forms mode comes on automatically for you.

JAWS Tip: New since JAWS 10, JAWS users who use a mouse can also click into edit boxes and forms mode comes on automatically.

After you have typed in some text, press ENTER to activate the Search button.

Yahoo! behaves very much the same way as Google and displays a list of hits of matching items. These are links to further resources, and each link here also has a text description taken from that source that matches your query.

After a Yahoo! results page loads, press the letter H to move to the different headings on the page. Below the heading Search Results, you find the main links that match your search. Each contains a short text synopsis below it and a link for a cached version. Since the headings are also links, pressing ENTER on one takes you to the Web page indicated. Beneath each heading/link is text that describes a little bit about that page. Press INSERT+F7 to use the list of links to explore the links, or you can also press TAB to move from one link to another.

NOTE: Yahoo now also uses regions on search results pages. Look for the "main" region to guide you directly to the search results area.

To find the number of matches, use the JAWS Find and look for the word "results" without the quotes. You should hear something like the following: "50,300,911 results."

Yahoo! also has links to other results pages, just as Google does. These links show as numbers 2 through 10 and are located near the bottom of the page.

Going Beyond the Search Engine Results Page

OK, so what happens when you choose one of the links you find on a search engine page? What strategies do you use to find the information you were initially searching for on the resulting page?

ANSWER: All of the strategies you learned in this series of Surf's Up lessons, including:

  • Use N to jump past a series of links to move to the next block of text that has at least 25 characters without a link.
  • Use the list of links (INSERT+F7) to look for links that begin with specific words.
  • Use the list of headings (INSERT+F6) to look for structure in the headings on a page.
  • Use the JAWS Find to search for words or phrases on a Web page.
  • Look for regions.
  • Use the Adjust JAWS Options list to change things as needed such as:
    • Stoppage refreshes
    • Search for attributes, acronyms, abbreviations, and more.
  • Use the Custom Label feature of JAWS to label unlabeled links or unlabeled form fields on pages that you visit often.

Read More...

Source: This article was published freedomscientific.com

Published in Search Engine

The "Internet of things" (IoT) is becoming an increasingly growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside of it. It's a concept that not only has the potential to impact how we live but also how we work. But what exactly is the "Internet of things" and what impact is it going to have on you, if any? There are a lot of complexities around the "Internet of things" but I want to stick to the basics. Lots of technical and policy-related conversations are being had but many people are still just trying to grasp the foundation of what the heck these conversations are about.

Let's start with understanding a few things.

Broadband Internet has become more widely available, the cost of connecting is decreasing, more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, technology costs are going down, and smartphone penetration is sky-rocketing.  All of these things are creating a "perfect storm" for the IoT.

So What Is The Internet Of Things?

Simply put, this is the concept of basically connecting any device with an on and off switch to the Internet (and/or to each other). This includes everything from cell phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and almost anything else you can think of.  This also applies to components of machines, for example, a jet engine of an airplane or the drill of an oil rig. As I mentioned, if it has an on and off switch then chances are it can be a part of the IoT.  The analyst firm Gartner says that by 2020 there will be over 26 billion connected devices... That's a lot of connections (some even estimate this number to be much higher, over 100 billion).  The IoT is a giant network of connected "things" (which also includes people).  The relationship will be between people-people, people-things, and things-things.

How Does This Impact You?

The new rule for the future is going to be, "Anything that can be connected will be connected." But why on earth would you want so many connected devices talking to each other? There are many examples of what this might look like or what the potential value might be. Say for example you are on your way to a meeting; your car could have access to your calendar and already know the best route to take. If the traffic is heavy your car might send a text to the other party notifying them that you will be late. What if your alarm clock wakes up you at 6 a.m. and then notifies your coffee maker to start brewing coffee for you? What if your office equipment knew when it was running low on supplies and automatically re-ordered more?  What if the wearable device you used in the workplace could tell you when and where you were most active and productive and shared that information with other devices that you used while working?

On a broader scale, the IoT can be applied to things like transportation networks: "smart cities" which can help us reduce waste and improve efficiency for things such as energy use; this helping us understand and improve how we work and live. Take a look at the visual below to see what something like that can look like.

libelium_smart_world_infographic_big

The reality is that the IoT allows for virtually endless opportunities and connections to take place, many of which we can't even think of or fully understand the impact of today. It's not hard to see how and why the IoT is such a hot topic today; it certainly opens the door to a lot of opportunities but also to many challenges. Security is a big issue that is oftentimes brought up. With billions of devices being connected together, what can people do to make sure that their information stays secure? Will someone be able to hack into your toaster and thereby get access to your entire network? The IoT also opens up companies all over the world to more security threats. Then we have the issue of privacy and data sharing. This is a hot-button topic even today, so one can only imagine how the conversation and concerns will escalate when we are talking about many billions of devices being connected. Another issue that many companies specifically are going to be faced with is around the massive amounts of data that all of these devices are going to produce. Companies need to figure out a way to store, track, analyze and make sense of the vast amounts of data that will be generated.

So what now?

Conversations about the IoT are (and have been for several years) taking place all over the world as we seek to understand how this will impact our lives. We are also trying to understand what the many opportunities and challenges are going to be as more and more devices start to join the IoT. For now, the best thing that we can do is educate ourselves about what the IoT is and the potential impacts that can be seen on how we work and live.

 Source: This article was published forbes.com By Jacob Morgan

Published in Internet of Things

The truth is out there but you'll never find it

Something for the Weekend, Sir? You can find anything on the internet apart from the specific thing you're looking for.

No wonder the boffins at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are bigging up the enormity of the task of decoding data from its recently rediscovered zombie satellite. They probably did a web search for the old system and came up with a blank.

The horror of horrors, this means they'll have to reverse-engineer the whole thing. What a nightmare. I mean, no one programs anymore, they just nick code snippets off Github and for the rest throw in a heap of lard-arsed libraries. Now they'll have to recreate it all from scratch.

Hang on, though. Surely, surely someone somewhere at some point saved references to the necessary source code in a document, and surely these ended up in a digital repository that can be accessed on the internet. Why can't they find it?

I imagine they found references to references. They probably unearthed news stories about the satellite, along with images, timelines, background information and so on. But not the program itself.

I repeat: you can find anything on the internet apart from the specific thing you're looking for. It's Dabbsy's Principal Law of Web Search.

Sure, I can find links generally related to what I'm hunting very quickly. Internet searching has never been so easy or reliable as it is now. However, I always seem to end up wading through stuff that's generally related to the prize I'm after, rather than the prize itself.

Surely the internet is big enough to contain all human intelligence. So why is it so difficult to find precisely the right thing when you need it? Truth or otherwise, as the gender-pay-imbalanced Mulder might say, it must be out there.

Perhaps I'm not searching the internet properly. This might be a reflection on my inadequate search skills. Like the public at large, I have grown lazy with unrefined web searches. Operators? Nah. Tags? Maybe next time. Quote marks? Such a pain. Boolean? Do me a favor.

Of course, another reason for it being so difficult to find exactly what you want could be because the internet is big enough to contain all human unintelligence. This fogs the search results with bollocks created by people who should never have been allowed near a wooden spoon let alone a computer.

It's a far cry from the strange old days when it was possible to draw a representation of the interconnections between principal internet sites on a large sheet of paper. Even at the beginning of the 1990s, the computer magazine I worked on at the time cover-mounted a giant fold-out poster optimistically labeled Map of the Internet. Bless.

In those days, you knew where your WWW search (as we called it) was going and if you couldn't find what you were looking for, it meant it wasn't there.

This was followed by a golden age in which the internet was still regarded as a sparkly wonderland from which all unimaginable things could spring. If you bought a book from the fledgling Amazon or a pair of second-butt snowboarding pants on eBay, you were ranked by friends and neighbours alongside Harry bleeding Potter in conjuring skills. Hell, if you simply managed to get an entire page on the Boo.com casual clothing retail website to fully load into Netscape using your dial-up access in under half an hour, you were Doctor fucking Strange.

There used to be a running gag in the early Noughties episodes of Nickelodeon cartoon series The Fairly Oddparents. Every time the main character Timmy Turner was caught with something weird or magical given to him by his fairy godparents, he'd be asked "Where did you get that?" and he'd respond "Er... internet".

It was a time when you could attribute/blame the internet for anything you wanted and people would believe it.

"Nice designer shades!"

Thank you. I got them off the internet.

"Nasty cold you got there, pal."

Yeah, I got it off the internet.

What we lost in exclusivity in the following years was surely made up for in terms of ease and speed of access. And, of course, search engines got a whole lot better.

That's the official line. I happen to disagree. What got better was search engine optimization. With the aid of clever phrasing by content marketers, this made it possible for only vaguely relevant content to appear to search engines as the exact thing you're looking for even though it isn't – the very opposite, in fact, to what SEO was supposed to achieve in the first place.

Rather than showing what you're searching for, search results show you links that marketers want you to click on instead. The whole point of SEO today is to direct you to content you don't want and didn't ask for.

As a result, I go hunting for a little bit of old zombie satellite code and all I can find are 47,000 links to George A Romero video clips and Walking Dead fan pages. Ho hum, does anyone have any old Fortran manuals?

"Hey, is that a printed software manual? Is it... ring-bound?"

Yup, I got it off the internet.

Source: This article was published theregister.co.uk By Alistair Dabbs

Published in Search Engine

Find Specific Information Faster With Google's Cache

Did you find the perfect search result but the website is down? Did the information recently change? Fear not, you can use this Google power search trick to find a cached image of the page and still find the precise information you need. 

As Google indexes Web pages, it retains a snapshot of the page contents, known as a cached page. This page is periodically updated with new cached images. 

  1. In the search results, click on the triangle next to the URL of your desired search term.
  1. Selected "Cached." (Your choices should be "cached" and "similar.")

Clicking on the Cached link will often show you the page as it was last indexed on Google, but with your search keywords highlighted. This method is extremely useful if you want to find a particular piece of information without having to scan the entire page. If your search term isn't highlighted, just use control or command-F and type in your search phrase. 

Limitations of Caches

Keep in mind that this shows the last time the page was indexed, so sometimes images won't display, and the information will be out of date. For most quick searches, that doesn't matter. You can always go back to the current version of the page and double check to see if the information has changed. Some pages also instruct Google to make historical pages unavailable through use of a protocol called "robots.txt."

Website designers can also elect to keep pages private from Google searches by removing them from the site index or "noindexing" them.

Once that is done, the cached pages are usually still available in the Wayback machine, although they may not show up in Google. 

Google Syntax to View the Cache

You can cut to the chase and go directly to the cached page using the Cache:syntax. Searching for AdSense information on this site would look something like this:

cache:google.about.com adsense

This language is case sensitive, so make sure "cache:" is lower case. You also need to make sure there is no space between cache: and your URL. You do need a space between your URL and your search phrase. It's not necessary to put the "HTTP://" part in the URL.

Note: Use Command/Control F to highlight keywords or jump to the desired spot.

The Internet Archive

If you're interested in the oldest archived pages, you can also go to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.   It's not maintained by Google, but the Wayback Machine has sites that are indexed as far back as 1999.

The Google Time Machine

As part of their tenth birthday celebration, Google introduced the oldest index they still had available. The old search engine was only brought back as part of Google's tenth birthday, and the feature is now gone.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Marziah Karch

Published in How to

Ever been frustrated with your Web search results? Sure, we've all been there! In order to search the Web more effectively, there are a few basic skills that you need to learn to make your searches less frustrating and more successful. In this article, we'll go over the top ten most basic Web search shortcuts that will make your searches more successful by bringing back relevant results the first time you use them. 

These are tried and true web search methods that will work in virtually any search engine and directory.Here are a few basic web search skills you need to have in order to have truly successful web searches. All of these tips can be used by anyone regardless of skill level. 

Use quotes to locate a specific phrase

top ten search tips

Probably one of the number one things that have saved me some serious Web search time over the years is the simplest - and that's searching for a phrase by putting it in quotes.

When you use quotation marks around a phrase, you are telling the search engine to only bring back pages that include these search terms exactly how you typed them in order, proximity, etc. This tip works in almost every search engine and is very successful in bringing back hyper-focused results. If you're looking for an exact phrase, put it in quotes. Otherwise, you'll come back with a huge jumble of results. 

Here's an example: "long haired cats." Your search will come back with these three words in proximity to each other and in the order you intended them to be, rather than scattered willy-nilly on the site.

Use Google to search within a site

top ten search tips

If you've ever tried to use a website's native search tool to find something, and haven't been successful, you definitely are not alone! You can use Google to search within a site, and since most site search tools just aren't that great, this is a good way to find what you're looking for with a minimum of fuss. This is a great way to easily find what you're looking for. Simply use this command within Google's search bar to search within a site: the word "site", then a colon, then the URL of the website you'd like to search within. For example; site:websearch.about.com "how to find people" plugged into Google will bring back search results only from this domain that are related to finding people online

Find words within a Web address

top ten web search tips

You can actually search within a Web address using the "inurl" command via Google; this allows you to search for words within the URL, or Uniform Resource Locator. This is just another interesting way to search the Web and find Web sites that you might not have found by just entering in a query word or phrase. For example, if you only want to find results from sites that have the word "marshmellow" in their URL, you would plug this query into Google's search bar: inurl:marshmellow. Your search results will only contain websites with that word in their URL. 

Use basic math to narrow down your search results

top ten search tips

Another Web search trick that's deceptively simple is using addition and subtraction to make your search results more relevant. Basic math can really help you in your search quest (your teachers always told you that someday you would use math in real life, right?). This is called Boolean search and is one of the guiding principles behind the way most search engines frame their search results. 

For example, you are searching for Tom Ford, but you get lots of results for Ford Motors. Easy - just combine a couple of Web search basics here to get your results: "tom ford" -motors. Now your results will come back without all those pesky car results.

Limit your searches to a specific high level domain

top ten search tips

If you'd like to limit your searches to a specific domain, such as .edu, .org, .gov, and more, you can use the site: command to accomplish this. This works in most popular search engines and is a great way to narrow your searches to a very particular level. For example, say you only wanted to search U.S. government-related sites for something. You could limit your search results to only government sites simply by typing site:.gov "my query". This will bring back results only from sites that are in the .gov high-level domain. 

Use more than one search engine

top ten search tips

Don't fall into the rut of using one search engine for all your search needs. Every search engine returns different results. Plus, there are many search engines that focus on specific niches: games, blogs, books, forums, etc. The more comfortable you are with a good variety of search engines, the more successful your searches are going to be. Check out this list of search engines for a wide variety of what you can use the next time you're looking for something. 

It's easy to skim the surface of your favorite search engine and only use the most prominent features; however, most search engines have a wide variety of advanced search options, tools, and services that are only available to those dedicated searchers that take the time to search 'em out. All of these options are for your benefit - and can help make your searches more productive.

In addition, if you're just starting out learning how to search the Web, it's easy to be overwhelmed with just the sheer amount of information that is available to you, especially if you're searching for something very specific. Don't give up! Keep trying, and don't be afraid to try new search engines, new Web search phrase combinations, new Web search techniques, etc.

Find a word on a Web page

top ten search tips

Say you're looking for a specific concept or topic, perhaps someone's name, or a business, or a particular phrase. You plug your search into your favorite search engine, click on a few pages, and scroll laboriously through tons of content to find what you're looking for. Right?

Not necessarily. You can use an extremely simple web search shortcut to search for a word on a webpage, and this will work in any browser you might be using. Here we go:

CTRL +F, then type in the word you're looking for at the bottom of your browser in the search field that pops up. Simple as that, and you can use it in any Web browser, on any website.

Widen the net with a wildcard search

top ten search tips

You can use "wildcard" characters to throw a broader search net in most search engines and directories. These wildcard characters include *, #, and ? with the asterisk being the most common. Use wildcards when you want to broaden your search. For example, if you are looking for sites that discuss trucking, don't search for the truck, search for truck*. This will return pages that contain the word "truck" as well as pages that contain "trucks", "trucking", "truck enthusiasts", "trucking industry", and so on.

Be specific

top ten search tips

 The more narrowed down you can get your Web searches from the beginning, the more successful your Web search usually will be. For example, if you were searching for "coffee", you'd get way more results back than you could use; however, if you narrowed that down to "roasted Arabica coffee in Detroit Michigan", you'd be more successful.

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Wendy Boswell

Published in Search Engine

There are millions of websites on the internet. Here, you'll find everything from CNN.com to YouTube cooking channels. But you might not realize what you're seeing online is only a fraction of what's really out there. Vast networks called the Deep and Dark Web are what's hiding beneath the surface.

You've probably heard about the Dark Web before, but there's a good chance the term "Deep Web" is less familiar to you. It's not as widely discussed as the Dark Web, even though it's much larger. And, the Dark Web sometimes gives the Deep Web a bad name because the two are often mistaken for one another. Click here to see five common myths about the Dark Web.

The Deep Web, however, is everything on the internet that isn't easily accessible to the average internet user. In many cases, you need a special web browser to access its content. In others, the content is hidden behind the firewall and security protection of private networks - typically, small businesses and corporations.

What regular search engines are missing

Nine times out of 10, a regular Google search will suffice and bring back the results you're looking for. However, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing only have access to information that has been indexed. This means any site that's marked as private can pretty much go undetected.

Just think of all the information that's being shared right under our noses. If you'd like to do a deeper search, these web browsers are what you need.

Deeperweb.com

Easing away from Google is no easy task. We've all become so familiar with how the search engine works, and how it will display our results. So, one of the best places to start is a site called Deeperweb.com. This search engine is powered by Google, so it organizes your results similarly to what you're used to.

Dogpile

This powerful search engine pulls its results from Google, Yahoo, and Yandex, digging specifically through the metasearch engine for the information you need. The benefit to you is that every search engine has its own method and algorithms for searching, and Dogpile uses all of them to pull the most extensive results.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a solid Google replacement, and it doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history. So, you don’t have to worry about targeted ads or being trapped in a search filter bubble, which actually means you get more results. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible. 

Yippy

This Google-type site called Yippy goes beyond producing search results and blocks adult content, including pornography, gambling sites, and other inappropriate websites.

Plus, the site protects your privacy. It will not collect personally identifiable information about you, like your name, telephone number, address or email address. That is, as long as you're in the United States. "Yippy will not track a U.S. citizen for any reason" unless required by court order, subpoena or required by law. If you're not in the U.S., Yippy said you're subject to tracking so that it can comply with government required protocols.

Tor

If you're considering Tor as an option for web browsing, be sure to do your homework. This free software has a dark side. Not the software itself, but the places to where it grants access on the internet. Tor gives you access to the Dark Web, a portion of the internet that is often used for illegal activities. However, there could also be information shared on the Dark Web that isn't shared anywhere else. Reporters often use Tor to uncover new leads or communicate privately with their sources. 

Specialty search engines

When you're hunting for information, sometimes you know exactly what you're looking for, and sometimes you don't. The sites above will help you search through a broad scope of information out there. However, when you need to narrow it down, these are amazing specialty databases you should check out.

  • Archive.org: Non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music and more.
  • Library of Congress: Sift through historical archives from the Civil War, Great Depression, World War I, World War II and other monumental events that shaped our country.
  • Osti.gov: Wondering what the government has been up to with all of its research? This helpful search engine puts that information right at your fingertips.
  • Smithsonian Libraries: Collections covering everything from anthropology to zoology.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Remember all of the information held in the Encyclopedia Britannica? It's still available. Here's where you'll find it.
  • Pipl.com: Want to know what's out there on the internet associated with your name, or a loved one? This site will search the Deep Web for that information.

A word of warning

One of the biggest advantages to common search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, is that they provide a certain level of protection. In the same way, it's less likely for a robbery to take place in broad daylight, it's also less likely for someone to post illegal things out in the open.

For this reason, the Dark Web has become the home to some pretty horrific online activity. Click here and listen to our special podcast explaining the Dark Web, and the things you should avoid.

Source: This article was published on Komando.com by Kelli Uhrich

Published in Deep Web

A few search terms can lead to an exposed Internet connection. That's apparently how an Iranian hacker accessed a dam in New York state.

Bad guys and good guys alike can use Google to find vulnerable targets online. What matters most, then, is who's fastest.

"Google dorking." It sounds goofy, but it could be just the ticket for a hacker looking to stir mayhem.

The search technique is one of several methods that bad guys can use to find vulnerable computer systems and trace them to a specific place on the Internet. All they have to do is type in the right search terms, and they're well on their way.

That's how an Iranian hacker found a vulnerable dam in the US, according to a The Wall Street Journal story that cited people familiar with the federal investigation into the security breach.

It's a troubling example of what security researchers have long known -- a computer system with out-of-date software is a sitting target. That's because information about old and buggy software and how to hack into it has a way of getting to the public very quickly.

Add dorking (or "Google hacking," a term preferred by some cybersecurity pros) to a growing list of tools that, used together, can help automate the process of finding and exploiting weak spots everywhere, from an element of a city's infrastructure to a surveillance camera in your home or the network of a business that holds records of all your personal information. Google is just one layer of this approach, and other search engines from Microsoft's Bing to the specialized Shodan.io can be substituted for it.

Experts say that with these tools, a hacker could roll out of bed, check his or her email and find alerts with information on how to hack you before breakfast.

"If you like it, then you can go attack it," said Srinivas Mukkamala, chief executive of cybersecurity company RiskSense.

"I don't need to know anything, and I can be a very bad guy.

What saved the day in the case of the small Bowman Avenue dam in Rye Brook, New York, is that at the time of the breach in 2013, the dam, undergoing maintenance, had been disconnected from the computer system that controlled it. Otherwise, the hacker might have been able to take control of the floodgate.

Similar techniques are known to have been used in espionage efforts.

Scary, right? But these search engines and alert systems are only making it easier to find information that's already public.

More important, said Mati Aharoni of cybersecurity company Offensive Security, these services help out the good guys much more than they could possibly help malicious hackers, who will get their hands on the information one way or another.

Aharoni trains people to use his company's repository of known hacking attacks, Exploit Database. The trainees are good guys who need to track down fatal flaws quickly, he said. Hackers already have access to illegal tools that guys good guys can't use. "We're helping to level the playing field."

Shodan CEO John Matherly, whose Shodan.io search tool is used by security companies to find specific computers, agreed. If you're a hacker looking for vulnerable systems, "you can do so fairly cheaply on your own," he said.

Hacking made easy

Layered on top of all the search services are systems that can send automated alerts. One is the Google Hacking Diggity Project. It draws on services like Google alerts, so you can get a message letting you know when a search engine indexes new information about a particular topic. Google is not involved in the creation or operation of Diggity.

A lazy hacker could conceivably use it to get an alert when a vulnerable system and a tool for hacking it are both available, RiskSense's Mukkamala said.

But Diggity creator Fran Brown said his tools help people who are defending websites and computer networks -- or, for that matter, Internet-connected dams -- to quickly find out when their systems are leaking sensitive information or have a known vulnerability.

"You basically can trip over dangerous and sensitive information just by Googling,

said Brown, co-founder of cybersecurity consulting firm Bishop Fox.

It's not clear how exactly the Iranian hacker got into the dam's systems after he reportedly found its location on the Internet using Google. He's been indicted along with six other Iranian hackers by the US Department of Justice for the dam attack and for attacks on banks.

He might have used the same vulnerability that flagged the dam in a Google dork search to break in, or he might have used a completely unrelated attack.

But the hack still highlights what can go wrong if a security flaw hangs around on a system after it goes public. When a manufacturer announces a fix, it's a race against time to patch up the problem. It's also a race that the people responsible for many Internet-connected systems are losing badly, said Michael Bazzell, a former cybercrimes investigator with the FBI.

"If that system hasn't been patched in the last few years," Bazzell said, "it's pretty trivial getting in."

This article was  published in cnet.com by Catalina Albeanu

Published in Internet Privacy

There are millions of websites on the internet. Here, you'll find everything from CNN.com to YouTube cooking channels. But you might not realize what you're seeing online is only a fraction of what's really out there. Vast networks called the Deep and Dark Web are what's hiding beneath the surface.

You've probably heard about the Dark Web before, but there's a good chance the term "Deep Web" is less familiar to you. It's not as widely discussed as the Dark Web, even though it's much larger. And, the Dark Web sometimes gives the Deep Web a bad name because the two are often mistaken for one another. Click here to see five common myths about the Dark Web.

The Deep Web, however, is everything on the internet that isn't easily accessible to the average internet user. In many cases, you need a special web browser to access its content. In others, the content is hidden behind the firewall and security protection of private networks - typically, small businesses and corporations.

What regular search engines are missing

Nine times out of 10, a regular Google search will suffice and bring back the results you're looking for. However, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing only have access to information that has been indexed. This means any site that's marked as private can pretty much go undetected.

Just think of all the information that's being shared right under our noses. If you'd like to do a deeper search, these web browsers are what you need.

Deeperweb.com

Easing away from Google is no easy task. We've all become so familiar with how the search engine works, and how it will display our results. So, one of the best places to start is a site called Deeperweb.com. This search engine is powered by Google, so it organizes your results similarly to what you're used to.

Dogpile

This powerful search engine pulls its results from Google, Yahoo, and Yandex, digging specifically through the metasearch engine for the information you need. The benefit to you is that every search engine has its own method and algorithms for searching, and Dogpile uses all of them to pull the most extensive results.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a solid Google replacement, and it doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history. So, you don’t have to worry about targeted ads or being trapped in a search filter bubble, which actually means you get more results. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible. 

Yippy

This Google-type site called Yippy goes beyond producing search results and blocks adult content, including pornography, gambling sites, and other inappropriate websites.

Plus, the site protects your privacy. It will not collect personally identifiable information about you, like your name, telephone number, address or email address. That is, as long as you're in the United States. "Yippy will not track a U.S. citizen for any reason" unless required by court order, subpoena or required by law. If you're not in the U.S., Yippy said you're subject to tracking so that it can comply with government required protocols.

Tor

If you're considering Tor as an option for web browsing, be sure to do your homework. This free software has a dark side. Not the software itself, but the places to where it grants access on the internet. Tor gives you access to the Dark Web, a portion of the internet that is often used for illegal activities. However, there could also be information shared on the Dark Web that isn't shared anywhere else. Reporters often use Tor to uncover new leads or communicate privately with their sources. 

Specialty search engines

When you're hunting for information, sometimes you know exactly what you're looking for, and sometimes you don't. The sites above will help you search through a broad scope of information out there. However, when you need to narrow it down, these are amazing specialty databases you should check out.

  • Archive.org: Non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music and more.
  • Library of Congress: Sift through historical archives from the Civil War, Great Depression, World War I, World War II and other monumental events that shaped our country.
  • Osti.gov: Wondering what the government has been up to with all of its research? This helpful search engine puts that information right at your fingertips.
  • Smithsonian Libraries: Collections covering everything from anthropology to zoology.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Remember all of the information held in the Encyclopedia Britannica? It's still available. Here's where you'll find it.
  • Pipl.com: Want to know what's out there on the internet associated with your name, or a loved one? This site will search the Deep Web for that information.

A word of warning

One of the biggest advantages to common search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, is that they provide a certain level of protection. In the same way, it's less likely for a robbery to take place in broad daylight, it's also less likely for someone to post illegal things out in the open.

For this reason, the Dark Web has become the home to some pretty horrific online activity.

Source : komando.com

Published in Deep Web

The penetration of mobile phones wasn’t fast enough in rural India during the early mobile days over a decade ago. However, the limited users of the handhelds were prompt enough to get carried away with the allurement of the web of free information. For them –long before they could figure out the technicalities of browsers –the gateway to connect with the universe was largely search engines especially Google. The iconic Google search --one of the classic examples of ‘humanisation of tech’, never ceased to entice its users all along. 



The scenario, however, has changed today. From an obtrusive shift in googling habit to domain-based search to an app culture, much has changed since then. People are more onto their apps than on web or online search. And the clear victim is Google. The universe of web –that people used to access primarily through Google Search, is gradually getting scrappy. The dark matter, which Google can’t crawl, index and present on search queries that users conduct, on the other side is gradually swelling at an astonishing pace. 

With 80% of the world information generated over the last two years alone, the web of crawlable information should have more diverse and democratic. However, the information entombed under social networks, single page architectures and most importantly the ever-growing apps is not only growing but also ushering in a new era where much of the information is getting locked for public access. 

With over four petabytes of data being generated by Facebook alone and over five lacs of new users joining the platform every day, the information appearing in search engine result pages (SERPs) isn’t in commensurate with the volume and variety of data being generated today. What happens when platforms such as Facebook and Twitter decide to be inaccessible to Search? After all, why would a reader conduct a web search when there is an app to do just that?

The threats to iconic Google Search

Dark Matter defeats the whole mission of Google which aims to put straight the world’s information and make it handy for everyone. On the flip side is the rise of domain-based search. 

The artificial intelligence team of Facebook has been working hard to ferret out the best search tactics for their platform. Lumos visual search system, developed by Facebook recently, can detect objects, scenes, animals, places, and clothes that appear in images or videos – and return relevant search results for users. 



With over 500 million tweets and 6,000 tweets every single second that are sent every single day, Twitter too has come up with several measures to filter out the noise and get the most relevant information you want. 

Forrester Research found that a third of online users started their product searches on Amazon, compared to 13 percent who started their search from a traditional search site. 

ComScore found that product searches on Amazon have grown 73 percent over the last year, while shopping searches on Google have been flat. Indeed, when it comes to search and overall web traffic referrals, Google is still the top referral source. 

Facebook is now the top referral source for digital publishers. All this translates to severe implications for Google which is increasingly failing to catch up with the change recently. 

The search behemoth makes hundreds of changes in its search algorithm to improve search results for 1.2 trillion searches per year globally. Ironically, some of its major search enhancements were directed towards promoting its own products . The search giant has bought millions of its own ads to display their products atop search results, over those of ad-buying customers. On the business side, too, Google Search revenue saw a decline for the first time in 2016. 



From the usability perspective, the nature of ‘online search’ has changed. But Google search per se is still stuck with Blue Links –despite initiatives such as Hummingbird and Knowledge Graph have been largely useful for users. 

The big fight to be the king of app search

Mobile search and YouTube are still driving Google’s growth and most these revenues derive from mobile. The mobile era is ruled by two giants –Apples’ iOS and Google’s Android. However, with Apple marking a move into web and app search, the big challenge ahead for Google is to prove its relevance in mobile search. 

Apple, which did a revenue sharing agreement with its rival in 2014 and received $1 Billion, is now trying to get more app results in their search tools. Google’s desperation showed up when it released a series of enhancements to embolden search for mobile, including in-App indexing. 

Between October 2013 --when the search giant released app indexing for a limited set of publishers, and August 2016, the company released over 13 enhancements to augment the visibility of app content in search. But is it enough for Google to survive in the app era? Probably not! 

The last words: Is it time to reimagine search?

Amit Singhal –the then chief of Google Search, in an interview with Recode said, ‘Google will not only survive the transition to mobile apps, but will thrive in it.’ However, the story looks different today with new approaches of search coming up.Jelly Search --created by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and recently acquired by Pinterest, reimagines search as a social network which gets you answers from real people. 

When Google first launch semantic search, it was a major search breakthrough which was not only competent enough to decipher complex queries, it also helped users find the most relevant information. 



Can Google turn the tide for one more time before companies like Apple or any other disruptor makes a serious entry? Because ‘search’ will continue to flourish, even if there is no Google! 

Author : Mastufa Ahmed

Source : http://www.in.techradar.com/news/internet/web/whats-wrong-with-the-iconic-google-search/articleshow/57556216.cms

Published in Search Engine
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