WOWD the realtime search engine

first_img WOWD (a deliberate word play on “crowd”) works in a different way to the other search engines, and focuses on identifying new trends, news, and popular topics and pages on the Internet. Users download the WOWD browser application, and then every web page they visit is automatically nominated for inclusion on the search engine’s results page. This is a little like Digg and similar sites in which people vote for their favorite pages, except that WOWD does the voting automatically.Mark Drummond, CEO of Wowd Inc., told the summit attendees that people do not have time to look for what’s hot on the Net, and need a fresh alternative to the reference-style search engines of the last decade, which he claims are not good discovery tools. WOWD aims to present dynamically updated results as an alternative to sites such as Google, whose results are slow to change. Drummond expects WOWD to attract users who are interested in what is popular, and who see search facilities as an additional feature.The founder of WOWD, Boris Agapiev, said that WOWD transfers control from impersonal data centers to individuals. Unlike previous search engines, WOWD does not use web crawlers or other conventional page ranking mechanisms, but instead taps into a ” distributed cloud architecture”, in which users who have downloaded the software become, in effect, both the web crawler and data storage center to build up the search index. The more often users visit a page, the higher the page is ranked. The WOWD home page has three tabs: Hot List, Search, and My Pages. The Hot List is available to everyone and results by Popularity. The list can also be ranked by Freshness, but this (like many other features) is only available once you have downloaded the free browser application. Results are constantly updated, allowing you to see at a glance which sites are being most often visited by people who have downloaded the application.Downloading the free application releases features such as a recommendation search engine and the option of searching through the user’s own search history. The software also enables WOWD to store of bits of the search index on the user’s computer. Each piece of information is stored on several computers so it remains available even when the user’s computer is shut down. The algorithm used in this peer-to-peer system is called “Kademlia”, which is used in peer-to-peer file sharing systems.Privacy is protected because the site does not index pages protected by encrypted protocols, and because users actually access and index web pages they visit through another person’s computer, which protects against the collection of cookies or password protected information.According to Drummond, since the advent of real-time applications such as Twitter and Facebook people are more interested in real-time, fresh information than in the sometimes dated results of traditional search engines, and WOWD aims to satisfy this growing preference. WOWD also has economic advantages for the company: using each user as a data storage center means the system could be infinitely large, since there is no need for expensive infrastructure such as massive data storage centers, since the cloud of users essentially form the search engine. The users also share the cost of the utility charges, but at an additional cost of a few dollars a year, are unlikely to notice.The WOWD browser application is available for the Mac, Windows, and Linux.© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further Search engine branding to be examined by researcher This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (PhysOrg.com) — The beta version of WOWD, the Internet’s newest search engine, was launched last week at the 2009 Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco. It aims to differentiate itself from other search engines such as Google and Yahoo by identifying the most popular sites in real-time and by becoming, in effect, the Skype for search. Citation: WOWD, the real-time search engine (2009, October 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-wowd-real-time.html WOWD logo.last_img read more

Study shows brewers yeast hybridizes in wasp gut

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Italy, Uruguay and Spain has found via lab study that common brewer’s yeast not only mate in the guts of wasps, but interbreed with other yeast species, producing hybrids. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study and results and why they believe their findings could have implications for both environmentalists and manufactures of yeast based products. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: “Social wasps are a Saccharomyces mating nest,” PNAS, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1516453113 These findings, the team notes, could have serious implications for not just wine growers or bread makers, but for environmentalists as well. Here they suggest is evidence of a fundamental part of the ecological cycle that was not known to exist. They wonder if other insects might be playing a similar role for other yeast or fungus types, such as bees or ants. They plan to continue the work to find out. Crabro wasp looking outside from a wasp’s nest in a tree. The image suggests how crabro wasps could transport yeasts from different environments, harboring yeast species isolated from tree bark, such as Saccharomyces paradoxus and some Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and strains from species mainly found in wine, grape berries, and wineries, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Credit: Carlotta De Filippo Researchers find wasps are the key to yeast’s ability to survive through wintercenter_img Explore further Brewer’s yeast, a type of fungus, is used to make alcoholic beverages and bread—its use has been the focus of study for thousands of years, yet, as the researchers with this new effort note, little is known about it outside of the laboratory. To learn more, they started with the findings four years ago by another team—that brewer’s yeast lives inside the guts of wasps while the wasps hibernate. They collected five different strains of the yeast and put them on grapes which were fed to wasps and then turned down the heat, causing the wasps to hibernate. After two months the researchers found that approximately one third of the yeast population had mated with yeast of a different species. After four months that number went up to 90 percent, proving , they claim, that yeast not only mate in wasp guts, but also interbreed.Taking the experiment a step further, the researchers found that the interbred strains tended to be more hardy inside the wasp gut then those that were not—over time, the pure breeds actually died off. This, the researchers claim, proves that wasp gut reproduction is a major driver of yeast diversity in nature. And , they add, that suggests that yeast are dependent on interaction with insects for evolutionary development. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Study shows brewer’s yeast hybridizes in wasp gut (2016, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-brewer-yeast-hybridizes-wasp-gut.html The wasp and the grape: a worker hornet (Vespa crabro) feeding on a grape in a Tuscan vineyard in October. The image shows how Vespa crabro can break and eat grape berries, moving S.cerevisiae yeasts and other microorganisms. Credit: Stefano Turillazzilast_img read more

Group suggests adding tag to resurrected extinct animal names

first_img As technology improves, scientists often find themselves faced with addressing overlooked classification issues—scientific naming is no exception. As researchers develop new methods of bringing back extinct species or improving old techniques, the resultant organisms are very nearly copies of their extinct ancestors. Currently, there are three main resurrection methods. The first is back breeding, in which a species is bred over time to resemble a bygone species. Another is cloning, in which ancient reproductive material is placed in the uterus of a living close relative. Finally, there is genomic engineering, in which information that is missing from samples of a target species is filled in using DNA from a close modern relative. None of the techniques result in creation of a creature that is an exact copy of the original species, and that is at least partly why the authors suggest adding a tag to their names.The authors give examples of how the new tag could be used, changing Mammuthus columbi to Mammuthus recr. columbi, for example. In some cases, if the new species is not a close copy of the original, the group suggests that a new species name be given, such as Mammuthus recr. Americanus.The idea of changing the name of resurrected species is not new. The International Union for Conservation of Nature published guidelines three years ago offering possible ways to classify resurrected species. The authors with the new effort suggest a more standardized format. They suggest that not only will it make things less confusing for scientists, it will help environmentalists develop specific guidelines for preventing the species from going extinct again.If the international community agrees with the suggestion and governing bodies move forward with the idea, there are still likely to be some issues that will be difficult to resolve. For instance, researchers want to determine how much extinct DNA in a living animal’s genome qualifies for tagging. Also, some may not agree with the tag chosen because, as some in the field have already pointed out, current resurrections are not actually copies of ancient species—they are hybrids. Citation: Group suggests adding tag to resurrected extinct animal names (2017, June 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-group-adding-tag-resurrected-extinct.html (Phys.org)—A group of scientists from several institutions in Germany has suggested that extinct animals that are resurrected through scientific means be given a tag on their name to indicate their origins. In a Policy Forum piece in the journal Science, the group suggests adding the tag “recr” to scientific names given to resurrected creatures to make sure they are not confused with the original. More information: De-extinction, nomenclature, and the law Science  09 Jun 2017: Vol. 356, Issue 6342, pp. 1016-1017 DOI: 10.1126/science.aal4012 , http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6342/1016SummaryThe concept of de-extinction, aimed at restoration of extinct species, is controversial (1). Improvements in de-extinction techniques (back-breeding, cloning, and genomic engineering) now provide the opportunity to attempt to resurrect extinct species (2, 3). Up to 25 extinct animal species have been proposed as candidates for de-extinction (4) on the basis of their high public profiles, availability of well-preserved DNA, existence of closely related species who may serve as host or surrogate parents, and availability of suitable habitat in the case of planned reintroductions (1). From a legal point of view, it will be crucial to clarify how de-extinct species will be classified, in particular, in relation to their potential conservation status under national and international law. We discuss implications for conservation laws, which largely depend on nomenclature, and laws regarding the release of genetically engineered species, which do not, and argue for unique naming of de-extinct species. Journal information: Science A mammoth task—how do we decide which species to resurrect?center_img Explore further © 2017 Phys.org The Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). Credit: Wikipedia. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Salman clocks five years on Twitter

first_imgBollywood superstar Salman Khan has completed five years on micro-blogging site Twitter.With more than 11 million followers, the 49-year-old may be a little behind with the numbers when compared to the other two Khans – Shah Rukh and Aamir, who have over 12 million followers, but has always kept fans updated by interacting with them on regular basis.“5 yrs on twitter! Thx to arbaaz,” Salman tweeted on Monday. The Dabangg Khan completed five years on Monday. He was trending on Twitter by the keywords #5YearsOfSalmanOnTwitter.Salman, who made his Bollywood debut with 1988 film Biwi Ho To Aisi, also shares a fan following of more than 20 million on Facebook. The actor will next be seen in Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan, in which he will star opposite Kareena Kapoor Khan.last_img read more

IOA officials tell Bach their opposition to Sports Bill

first_imgMiffed at the “interference” of sports ministry in its affairs, Indian Olympic Association on Monday told the visiting International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach to convey to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi its opposition to the Sports Code of the government in its current form.Bach, visiting the country for the first time since being elected as IOC chief in 2013, had a meeting with top IOA members at a city hotel that lasted an hour. The IOC chief also had an hour-long meeting with sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal at the same hotel. Sonowal was assisted by sports secretary Ajit Sharan and Sports Authority of India director general Injeti Srinivas.  Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaFormer IOA secretary general and IOC member Randhir Singh also attended both the meeting. Later, Sonowal hosted a lunch for the visiting dignitary which was attended by top IOA and sports ministry officials and minister of state information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Abhay Singh Chautala, who served as president of the IOA during the 14-month suspension from the IOC, told reporters after the meeting the members have told Bach to convey to the PM that they would oppose the Sports Bill as it “interferes” with the autonomy of the IOA.“For some time, there has been this issue of the implementation of the Sports Bill. The earlier Congress government had tried to implement this Sports Bill and the current BJP government is also saying that it will implement the Bill,” said Chautala, an INLD MLA in Haryana. Also Read – Endeavour is to facilitate smooth transition: Shastri“There has been interference in the affairs of IOA from the sports ministry which is undermining the autonomy of the IOA under the Olympic Charter. This will harm Indian sports,” Chautala, now a Haryana Olympic Association official, said. IOA’s objection to the Sports Code centers around two major issues, age limit of 70 of the office bearers of the IOA and the cutting into size the importance of the state units of the IOA.last_img read more

Cops conduct special drive on highways to put brakes on recreational speed

first_imgKolkata: A week after the Ferrari accident at Pakuria in Howrah on National Highway 6, police conducted special drives on national highways to check “recreational speed driving” of premium cars on Sunday morning.A large section of premium car owners go out for “recreational speed driving” on Sunday mornings on the stretches of national highways, which are mainly straight and pass through thinly populated areas.But the police have now started taking necessary steps to check the same after the accident of the Ferrari car on June 3, in which a businessman from the city, Shibaji Roy, was killed and a 21-year-old woman was critically injured. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsA senior police officer said that the policemen carried out a special drive with an intention to check such activities on the national highways and at the same time, to create awareness among people.The police maintained a strict vigil on the stretches of national highways which are straight and pass through less populated areas.It may be mentioned that speed metres are installed at different places along national highways. Using the same, the police identified cars plying at a high speed, violating the traffic norms. A car can ply at a maximum speed of 120 km per hour on highways. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAt the same time, the police carried out awareness campaign so that people who often travel on highways, do not violate traffic norms.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched a state-wide awareness drive, Safe Drive Save Life, to check road accidents and it also helped in bringing down the rate of accidents in the state.Now, the special drive is going to curb the problem on national highways as well, said a police officer.This comes at the time when there are around 35 such people in Kolkata who own super expensive cars. Each of the cars cost between Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore.But according to experts, there are apprehensions of a decline in sale of such cars at least for the time being, with the accident that claimed a life last week. 13 such cars were sold in Kolkata in 2017.last_img read more

Major breakthrough WBSU identifies proteins facilitating entry of JE virus inside brain

first_imgKolkata: The Microbiology department of West Bengal State University played a significant role in a new study conducted by National Brain Research Centre (NBRC), where it has identified proteins which facilitate the entry of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) virus inside brain cells.The study points out that JE, a leading form of viral encephalitis is caused by mosquito-borne JE virus, which belongs to the same genus as dengue and yellow fever.The research team of NBRC has identified two brain cell proteins — PLVAP (Plasmalemma vesicle-associated protein) and GKN3 (Gastrokine3) that facilitate the entry of the virus into brain cells. It may be mentioned that JE infection occurs when viral attachment proteins interact with cellular membrane proteins of host cells.”There were around six such proteins that were under consideration on part of the research team. However, analysis of these proteins would have been time consuming and an expensive affair. In this context, NBRC research group collaborated with our research team,” said Sibani Chakraborty of WBSU’s Micro biology department.She further said the department’s bioinformatics section identified two brain cell proteins — PLVAP and GKN3 those are present on neuronal cell surface. “These findings helped in identifying their role in the viral entry into the neurons,” added Chakraborty.The experimental work performed by NBRC has been carried out in laboratory mice.The identification of host proteins, important for viral entry into neurons, provided the researcher team with candidates, whose targeting may be useful to block viral infection thus reducingdisease severity.Researchers have found that reducing PLVAP receptor in neurons decreased JEV entry and upregulating (increasing) them increased the viral entry on the other hand. “We are planning to collaborate with some pharmaceutical companies to identify potential drug/drugs which may be able to block this receptor proteins,” Chakraborty maintained.The research team included Dr Anirban Basu, Sriparna Mukherjee, Nabonita Sengupta, Irshad Akbar, Noopur Singh of NRBC Manesar, Ankur Chaudhuri and Sibani Chakraborty of WBSU and Arindam Bhattacharyya of Calcutta University and Amol Ratnakar Suryawanshi (Institute of Life Sciences, Bhubaneswar).The study has been published in the journal — ‘Scientific Reports’.last_img read more

Depression in HIV patients may up heart attack risk

first_imgHuman immuno-deficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals already suffering from depression are at an increased risk of experiencing a heart attack than those without the mental health condition, finds a study.The findings showed that HIV-infected patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) – a mood disorder causing a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest – had a 30 per cent greater risk of having an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) or heart attack. With the advent of highly effective antiretroviral therapy and improved survival, people with HIV-infection are living longer. However, they are now at an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThis elevation in heart attack risk decreased by 25 per cent after further adjustment for other variables, such as hepatitis C infection, kidney disease, alcohol or cocaine abuse or dependence and haemoglobin levels, the study said.“Our findings raise the possibility that similar to the general population, MDD may be independently associated with incident atherosclerotic CVD in the HIV-infected population,” said Matthew S. Freiberg of the Vanderbilt University School in the US. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThere is an urgent need to identify novel risk factors and primary prevention approaches for CVD in HIV, the researchers concluded in the paper published online by JAMA Cardiology. For the study, the team included 26,144 HIV-infected veterans without heart disease at baseline (1998-2003) participating in the US Department of Veterans Affairs ‘Veterans Aging Cohort Study’ from April 2003 through December 2009.last_img read more

Veteran Bengali theatre personality dies

first_imgKolkata: Veteran Bengali theatre personality Biplab Ketan Chakraborty died after prolonged illness early Friday. Chakraborty, who was suffering from liver diseases for a long time, died at his Dhakuria residence in South Kolkata at around 4 am, his family said. He was 72 and is survived by dancer wife Dipali Chakraborty and actress daughters Sudipta Chakraborty, Bidipta Chakraborty and dancer Bidisha Chakraborty. Earlier, he was treated in a private hospital. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life A prominent face in group theatre movement, Chakraborty had been involved with the ‘Chetana’ theatre group from the 70s till early 90s and essayed a pivotal role in ‘Marich Sangbad’, a popular production in Bengali theatre. Later he founded ‘Theatrewala’ group which had staged a widely acclaimed production ‘Kancher Dewal’. He was a popular face too on small screen earning acclaim in mega-serials like ‘Janmabhoomi.’ Chakraborty had also acted in Bengali films ‘Chander Bari’ and ‘Bhalobasar Anek Naam’.last_img read more

Chowringhee fire due to short circuit in equipment

first_imgKolkata: Forensic experts have pointed out a short circuit in electrical equipment inside the fashion designing institute as the probable reason behind the fire that gutted an office in the multi-storeyed building situated on the 4th Floor of 60 A, Chowringhee Road near Exide Crossing on Friday morning. A portion of the roof of the building caved in due to the fire.”Prima facie, it appears that electrical short circuit has caused the fire. There were many electrical gadgets including computers inside the office of the institute. We have collected some samples and we will examine them for conclusive evidence,” said Wasim Raja, senior scientist of state forensic institute. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA senior forensic official present during the inspection said that it was difficult to collect samples as the debris of the collapsed roof is lying here and there in a precarious condition. Officials of the building department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation inspected the site and labourers were roped in to clear the debris. “The process of clearing the debris is time-consuming. The labourers who are doing the work have to remain very careful as the building is very old and is prone to further damage. Our aim is to ensure that normal activities in the building resume as quickly as possible,” said local councillor Ashim Basu. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe state Fire and Emergency Services department on Saturday sent a notice to the owner of the building seeking a report on what measures he had put in place in terms of fire-fighting preparedness. Dipak Mukherjee, managing director of Mookherjee Estates Private Limited, a realty company, owns the building. Residents of two apartments in the building have shifted elsewhere and will return only after CESC restores the electric connection and KMC restores the water supply line that has been damaged. Meanwhile, a fire was reported from a mobile harbour crane at Haldia Dock at around 8.30 on Saturday morning. It soon spread to the 13 number berth. However, 10 fire tenders rushed to the spot and prevented the flames from spreading further.last_img read more

Man hacked to death in North 24Parganas

first_imgKolkata: A youth identified as Asif Gazi (35) was hacked to death by a woman on Tuesday morning at Bashirhat in North 24-Parganas.The woman and her two associates were reportedly beaten up by local residents before they were handed over to the police. According to sources, the woman identified as Maruva Bibi lives at Matia in Bashirhat. Her husband Azizul Dafadar, who is a cook, lived in Kolkata. Bibi claimed that Gazi was a Bangladeshi resident and he worked in a local bheri. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataShe said he frequently disturbed her as he knew that her husband lived in Kolkata most of the time. She further said Gazi told her to leave her husband and get intimate with him. Dafadar’s mother claimed that her son and daughter-in-law used to reside in a house near her home. When Dafadar used to leave home for work, Gazi used to visit her with an intention to have physical relationship with her. On Tuesday morning, Bibi along with Dafadar and one of his friend arrived at Kholapota More in Bashirhat on a bike where Gazi was having tea at a roadside tea stall. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBibi went to Gazi and started interacting with him. After a few minutes, she allegedly started slapping him. When Gazi tried to defend, Bibi took out a knife and started stabbing him. Local residents rushed to stop Bibi from attacking Gazi and managed to nab all three of them and snatch the knife. Gazi was declared brought dead after he was rushed to a local hospital. Bibi and her two associates were manhandled by the local residents. The trio was assaulted in front of the police. Later, three of them were arrested. It is suspected that Bibi stabbed Gazi as he harassed her. Cops are trying to find if there is some other angle in the case.last_img read more

Red Means Stop The Curious History of Traffic Lights

first_imgEveryone is familiar with the red, yellow, and green stoplights at busy intersections keeping the traffic flow going smoothly, but did you ever wonder how they came to be in all of our cities and towns? Long before people were driving automobiles, horse-drawn wagons were clogging up intersections, and it was becoming dangerous for pedestrians. According to the BBC, John Knight, a manager in the railroad industry, suggested using the same type of device the trains used.Traffic lightsThe railroads used a box with a small sign that flipped between stop and go and was lit up at night by a nearby gas lamp. The only drawback was that someone had to operate it manually. The first light was put up at Bridge Street and Great George Street in Westminster, London, in 1868.The signal worked well, and Westminster was discussing getting more. Just a few weeks later a gas main leaked and caused the light to explode, injuring the man stationed to operate the signal. The installation of more lights was scrapped.In 1896, with the introduction of the automobile to the public, the idea of traffic lights was revisited. By this time there were several men working on plans for traffic lights.The First Electric Traffic Light in BucharestAccording to Google’s digitized patent records, Ernest E. Sirrine filed patent number US976939A on April 4, 1910, for a Street Traffic System that used signs that would flip up or down, like the signal in England, but would do so automatically on a timer. It was first used in Chicago that same year.In 1912, Lester Farnsworth Wire of Salt Lake City, Utah was appointed to head up the first traffic division in the city. Wire took his job very seriously and decided that, instead of officers standing out in the elements directing traffic, he would design an electric traffic signal.A traffic light in Stockholm in 1953.There were only red and green lights and the box was placed on a tall pole right in the middle of the intersection. It was powered by the electric trolley lines above. At first, an operator was still needed to stand in the weather and flip the switch, but in 1914 Wire added an enclosed platform for the operator.The only problem was that the light boxes looked like birdhouses, which either amused or annoyed the townspeople. Local kids often vandalized the boxes. Wire had waited too long to file his patent and was unable to do so.The installation of a traffic signal in San Diego in December 1940James Hoge of Cleveland, Ohio won the patent rights to the electric stoplight with his independent design in 1913. Patent number US1251666A was awarded on September 9, 1913. His lights lit up the words “stop” and “move” and were installed in Cleveland in 1914. Hoge’s lights were the first that could be paused when emergency vehicles needed to get through.In 1917 William Ghiglieri of San Francisco patented the first light that used solid red and green lights.Traffic light in Israel Photo by פוטו ארתור (אברהם) רוסמן CC BY 2.5Detroit policeman, William Potts, also used the railroad signal system as a basis for his design, but he added the yellow caution light we see today. Potts’ light was installed at Woodward and Michigan Avenues, and the city bought fifteen more.Another Clevelander, Garrett Morgan, patented the fully automatic three-light traffic signal in 1923. His invention was bought by General Electric for forty thousand dollars. General Electric was able to retain the monopoly, and the traffic light evolved into what it is today.The “walk” signal for pedestrians came about in the 1930s and was tested in 1934 in New York. In 1947, John S. Allen filed patent number US2503574A for his design which included the possibility of adding advertisements.Read another story from us: The Strange Ways People Stayed in Touch Using Barbed WireTests are currently being done with “smart” technology allowing traffic signals to sense the traffic flow and adjust accordingly.last_img read more

Seize the Season

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Sometimes it snows in Albuquerque, New Mexico, during the holidays and sometimes it doesn’t, but there’s one thing Chris Padilla, 31, and Shannon Jacques, 34, can always count on: It’ll be the busiest time of year for their business on eBay and their retail drop-off store. “When it comes to holiday selling around here, it’s a huge push of people coming in,” says Padilla, whose business, E-Sell4Dollars (eBay User ID: e-sell4dollars), has weekly sales of between $6,000 and $9,000.Padilla also knows that the holidays are a make-or-break time, because that’s when push really comes to shove. Every one of the thousand details that come with running a business on eBay becomes more critical than ever, from carrying the right products to making sure orders get to last-minute gift-givers in time. “Shipping is crazy,” Padilla says. “If you have 300 to 400 packages going out and you have to have them out in a couple of days, it can be a challenge.”Preparation is the key to surviving and prospering during the holiday madness. “Like anything else, luck favors the well-prepared,” says Todd Lutwak, eBay’s senior director of seller development. “The more you think about this and the earlier jump that you get, the better off people usually are.”Early BirdsOne seller’s early start may look like a late start to someone else. Barry A. Goldblatt, owner of Epower2go Inc. (eBay User ID: epower2go) in Plano, Texas, reached PowerSeller status only three months after starting on eBay. Goldblatt, who’s been selling online through other channels for years, says January is not too soon to begin preparing for the year-end holidays. In January, conventional retailers liquidate unsold inventory at steeper discounts than at any other time of year. So shortly after New Year’s Day he’s not just thinking about what he’ll sell during the next holiday season, he’s actually buying inventory. “The only way you [can] compete is to go to other sellers and retailers and pick up what they’re dumping after a big season,” says Goldblatt, 59.For other sellers, clearing the shelves may assume more importance than stocking them. Padilla, for instance, has to clear space in his drop-off location for the flood of items customers bring to him to sell over the holidays. While clearing space is important, it doesn’t require starting a year in advance. “Usually, we’ll start preparing the store the month before the holidays,” he says.You can decide when to start prepping by coordinating your schedule with the holidays you are serving. “Know the calendar and work backward,” Lutwak says. “Know when things like Hanukkah are, and go 15 or 20 days back.” That amount of time should give you the opportunity to get your items listed, complete the listings, receive payments and ship the items for delivery before the holiday in question, he says. “During the holiday season, buyers are incredibly sensitive to delivery times,” he adds. “So you’ve got to work from those days backward.”You may want to start working even earlier to make sure all your systems are tuned up for the expected rush. For instance, design holiday listing templates well ahead of time so you’ll be able to quickly place items for sale when the time comes. Padilla creates templates featuring holiday-themed décor, such as Christmas lights.Earlier still, begin building inventory so you won’t run out of hot items just when demand peaks. It’s important to purchase inventory at an economically feasible price, but you can’t buy something just because it’s cheap. Before acquiring any inventory, Goldblatt checks eBay listings to see how many other sellers offer the same or similar items. “If you’re not careful, you’ll buy something that 20 or 30 other people are already selling on eBay,” he says. “Then you can only compete on price.”Lutwak suggests paying attention to your own shopping experiences when deciding what to stock for the holidays. Start buying for your gift list as early as you can and take notes when you see shortages of popular products developing. Those items might be good candidates for your own eBay sales. “If you’re having trouble finding quantities in October, it’s a pretty good indication that come the holiday season, that stuff might be even more scarce,” Lutwak says.While looking for mass-produced goods that are inexpensive or in high demand, keep a sharp eye out for products that are always in short supply. “Look for the magic eBay buzzwords–limited edition, exclusive and so on,” Lutwak says. When you have something truly rare or even one-of-a-kind, what you paid for it assumes much less importance, and competition from other sellers becomes almost irrelevant.Best PracticesGood listing practices always carry great relevance, and the holidays are no exception. “The standard listing best practices apply: Write a great item title, use the proper keywords, have a great picture,” Lutwak says. “If you’re selling multiple quantities, using a listing subtitle is a good idea. And be concise. Give the buyer all the information they need to make a purchase decision without scrolling.”Some other practices come into play at the holidays. As one possibility, Lutwak suggests adding gift-giving recommendations. A listing for a toy, for instance, might describe it as a great gift for both boys and girls ages 5 and under. “During the holiday season, people are shopping for others and not really themselves,” he says. “It’s really good to say, ‘This is a great gift for the man who has everything,’ and that sort of thing.”Goldblatt sets up gift-giving categories on his site and tries to write titles for them that sizzle. For example, he picked “Palm Pilot Riot” for a category consisting of items related to Palm Pilot handheld computing devices. He takes time to shoot extra-sharp pictures and packs more of them into his listings than at other times. “You have just a few seconds to get somebody’s attention,” he says. “If it takes more than a few seconds to find something they want, you’ve probably lost them.”Descriptions also become more detailed. “If somebody’s buying a gift, they want to know everything about it,” Goldblatt says. “Was it new in the box? Was it properly stored? We try to answer every question that we can without being so verbose that the customer won’t read all of it.”Timing is everything during the holidays–more so than at other times of the year. While most sellers use the conventional seven-day listing, they may leave listings up for fewer days as the gift-giving days get closer to make sure listings will be completed in time for payment and shipping. Alternatively, Padilla says, sellers will use 10-day auction-style listings for special items to give bidders plenty of time to submit their offers. He’ll create listings as short as one day for things like tickets for events that are taking place very soon.Standing OutCreating effective listings isn’t the only move eBay sellers can make to rise above the crowd of sellers that appears during the holidays. Standing out starts with knowing who you want to stand out to, says iRebound owner Pedro Rivarola (eBay User ID: pjcrr1), who sells about $1,500 worth of exercise equipment on eBay each week. “I have a profile of my buyers,” says Rivarola, 58. “Most of them come from California, and most are women between [their] late 30s and late 60s. So I need to have that in mind.”Having an accurate customer profile comes in handy when executing strategies that are designed to help you stand out. For instance, offline advertising is a key component of many holiday-season selling plans. Rivarola mails post cards and catalogs to addresses he’s collected from past customers and can use the profile data he’s created to identify lists of other likely customers.To encourage people to give him a try, Rivarola offers free goodies such as T-shirts to people placing orders. “I need to give away something,” he says. “I need to make them believe that they’re [getting] a great deal by buying my product.” Don’t forget your eBay status when you’re looking for a way to stand out with offline ads. Rivarola includes his PowerSeller status, positive feedback rating and Detailed Seller Rating comments on his postcards and other mailers. “They will trust that because eBay is a reputable company, and my feedback is 100 percent positive,” he says.Direct mail isn’t the only channel you can or should use to bring buyers to your listings. “We do a lot of advertising through the local paper, and we do advertising online,” Padilla says. “We are also all over the Yellow Pages, which has worked out for us. If people are looking in the collectibles and antiques categories there, they’ll find a color ad with our name on it.”If shoppers are searching for gifts on eBay, they are often looking for hard-to-find items not available in their local stores or, even more frequently, for affordable prices–depending on the category and specific item. Goldblatt believes good pricing starts with good buying. “I have this idea that there needs to be a 4 to 1 ratio between what an eBay seller could buy something for and successfully sell it vs. what a standard retailer could do,” he says. This means that if an item retails for $10, for example, an eBay seller has to get it for no more than $2.50 to be able to reliably sell it for a profit.The holidays are also a good time to go beyond the auction-style listing format, Lutwak says. That’s because shoppers may be in a hurry and therefore uncomfortable with the delay and uncertainty of an auction. These buyers want other shopping formats such as Buy It Now so they can move on to the next item on their shopping list. “I’m not telling people not to sell in the auction format,” he says. “But that time of year is a good time to also sell in another [format], such as Fixed Price.”Another way to approach pricing is to use the Best Offer feature on Fixed-Price listings. “It’s a great feature on eBay, and we’ve enhanced it this year,” says Lutwak. Best Offer allows you to automatically accept an offer over a specified amount. “Say you have a product you sell for $100,” says Lutwak. “You can tell the system, I’ll accept any offer over $94. If someone makes an offer of $97, it’ll say go.”One time you’ll want to go with an auction-style listing is when you have a hot item that’s sure to draw attention from many motivated bidders. However, take care not to set the bid floor too high. “People on eBay don’t like auctions that start off too high,” says Padilla, who urges his clients to set bid prices at no more than $9.99 for almost everything.Your customers won’t like everything they buy, of course, and sometimes they’ll want to return items. When that happens, most sellers who have a perfect feedback rating have a no-questions-asked policy. “If they don’t get it or it gets there broken, we don’t argue,” says Goldblatt. Instead, they apologize and offer to replace the item at no cost–including shipping–or they immediately issue a credit. “We try to make it as simple as possible,” he says. “There’s probably no way to maintain 100 percent positive feedback ratings as we get bigger, but our goal is to do that for as long as possible.”Clearly, Padilla offers great customer service: He has sustained perfect feedback ratings on more than 5,000 transactions. He also does not change his policies during the holidays. “We always try and keep firm on our return policies,” he says. “We say everything is sold as-is. However, if we ever get a buyer who has a concern or is not satisfied, we always try to offer other options. We’ll get them to send it back and we’ll replace it if it’s something we have more than one of. We really try to work with them.”Shipping for SuccessWorking with customers during the holidays means making sure they get their purchases in time to give as gifts on the appropriate day. For this, Goldblatt emphasizes shipping items as soon as possible. “Typically, if someone orders in the morning, it ships that afternoon,” he says. “If it’s ordered in the afternoon, it ships the next day. We ship Priority Mail, which is reasonably fast.”Rivarola offers express shipping as an option during the holidays, but few take advantage of it because of the cost–his trampolinelike rebounders weigh 37 pounds, which means rapid shipping costs a lot. “We can do it, but it will be quite expensive,” he says. “And we cannot just give [express shipping] to them for free unless we raise the price.”Speaking of costs, this year shipping is going to cost more across the board than it has in the past, Goldblatt says. He and other eBay sellers have all had to cope with higher prices from their shipping suppliers as fuel costs have climbed. The preferred coping strategy is to pass it on to customers, despite the occasional complaint. “We can’t take a hit on shipping,” he says. “We have to sell it for what it costs us to ship and pack.”Fortunately, there’s one solution to shipping and packing conundrums that doesn’t cost a penny: Include clear, honest and detailed shipping information in every listing. That’s especially important during the time-strapped holidays, Lutwak says. Padilla likes to use a table or matrix showing the date items need to be purchased by for them to arrive for the holiday. “We push that to make sure buyers know when they have to get their item paid for if they want to have it in time,” he says.Tables and matrices don’t work so well when it comes to international shipping. The vagaries of customs procedures in different countries mean shipments can be unexpectedly and unavoidably held up, Padilla says. “With international shipments, it’s hard to fully guarantee anything, because it’s so dependent on the customs offices.” Despite the reliability issue, Lutwak urges sellers to offer international shipping. New shipping features on eBay make it easier than ever to print labels and obtain discounts from shippers for international deliveries. And depressed U.S. currency valuations make U.S. sellers more competitive than ever to shoppers in other countries, he says. Also, international shoppers already represent a big market. Says Lutwak, “During the last holiday, I had certain electronics sellers tell me that more than 50 percent of the business was international business.”No matter where they come from, shoppers always like to save money on shipping. Padilla leverages that love of discounts by offering reduced shipping on multi-item purchases during the holiday season. “A lot of Stores won’t do that because it requires a lot more work,” he says. “But we see an increase in sales when we do. If [customers are] looking through your Store and you offer combined shipping, they’ll look for something else they can buy so they can save on shipping.”Service CountsEven offering truly remarkable savings may not help if customer service falls short. And good customer service is largely just a matter of being ready and willing to communicate with customers about what concerns them, says Rivarola. “When you understand the issues of others and you are behind your product whatever happens, you say, ‘Call me anytime, and I will solve it, whatever it takes,'” he says. “That’s real customer service.”Sometimes during the holiday rush, sellers mistakenly try to take shortcuts on answering questions, especially when they’ve made extra efforts to write listings that answer almost any conceivable question, Lutwak says. He points out that many holiday shoppers have never done business with you or even on eBay, so when they ask questions, it may not be because they don’t know the answer. They sometimes just want to reassure themselves that a responsive individual is behind that listing. “Answering questions quickly is always a really good best practice,” Lutwak says. “Often when buyers see you answer a question, you’ll see a bid or purchase.”After a purchase, it’s a good idea to send out a comprehensive e-mail announcing that the product has shipped, thanking the customer for the purchase and prompt payment, and providing other information such as tracking numbers and expected delivery dates. Rivarola goes even further than that, mailing a handwritten thank-you note to every customer. “It takes a little more time,” he says, “but that’s the way it should be.”Goldblatt regards the opportunity for this kind of after-sale follow-up as one of the best features of the holidays. Sure, the end of the year is a critical period for all kinds of sellers, not just those on eBay. But most, if not all, sellers hope to be in business for well beyond this holiday season. So Goldblatt aims to take advantage of the extra traffic to drive more than this year’s sales.”It’s a time when we get a lot more visitors, and we know that,” Goldblatt says. “So we’re also using it to build business for succeeding years and get more people to connect to us via the mailing list. That’s really where we’re headed.”Mark Henricks writes on business and technology for leading publications and is author of Not Just a Living. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global August 1, 2008 15 min readlast_img read more

BlackBerry to Bring Popular BBM App to Android and iOS Devices

first_imgMay 14, 2013 If you’re one of the many smartphone users who made the jump from a BlackBerry to an iPhone or Android device, one feature you might be missing most is BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), which allows you to instant message with other BlackBerry users. Or, perhaps, it’s the one reason you’ve decided to stay with BlackBerry since other operating systems don’t offer it.Either way, that’s about to change. BlackBerry announced today that it is bringing BBM to Android and iOS devices. BlackBerry said the app will support iOS6 and Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or higher. It should be available sometime this summer, pending approval from the Apple App Store and Google Play.Related: BlackBerry’s New OS, Smartphones: What’s in it for Business Users?With the BBM app, Android and iPhone users will be able to send and receive multi-person chats and share photos and voice notes. Another feature, called BBM Groups, allows users to organize their contacts into specific groups of up to 30 people.It’s a big move for business users who prefer the immediacy of messaging over the internet — as BBM does — compared to texting, which can be slower and eats up data on your mobile plan. It will also allow individuals to expand their pool of family, friends and colleagues with whom they will be able to send instant messages over their smartphones.BlackBerry also announced BBM Channels. Like LinkedIn’s new Channels feature, it allows BlackBerry users to follow the businesses, brands, celebrities and groups they are most interested in.Related: Beyond Smartphones: Mobile Innovation That Could Change the Way You Do Business  Enroll Now for Free Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowcenter_img 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience.last_img read more

4 Industries That Are Undergoing Revolutions

first_img 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. September 7, 2016 Technology is always moving forward; the various industries that utilize those tools typically aren’t very far behind. And while just about every industry is shifting in some form or fashion, a few are poised to undergo significant change.Related: How Technology Along With Innovation is Helping Entrepreneurs Build Successful Startups4 Industries in flux — the biggest kind No industry ever rests in place, but some clearly move faster than others. If you’ve spent any time studying technology trends and predictions, you may be aware that the following four industries are moving forward at lightning pace. But, do you know why?1. Home Automation One of the fastest-moving segments in the marketplace is the home automation — or “smart” home — industry. By 2022, the home automation system market is expected to be worth roughly $78.27 billion. That’s a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.46 percent, from this year through 2022.Much of the growth in this industry is rooted in safety, security, and environmentally friendly solutions that reduce energy dependence and keep more money in the pockets of homeowners. We’re watching companies invest billions of dollars into such items as smart locks, wireless video surveillance devices, energy-efficient appliances, customizable lighting and more.The interesting thing about the home automation industry is that the technological infrastructure already exists. So do a flurry of companies, getting into this area. “But the biggest hurdle facing smart home companies today isn’t other companies — it’s a lack of consumer understanding and education,” Greg Roberts, vice president of marketing at Icontrol Networks, said in his guest blog on CTA Tech.“To overcome that hurdle, companies need to band together and technologies must operate together seamlessly so consumers can pick and choose the devices that best fit their needs,” Roberts said. In other words, it’s marketplace adoption that is currently holding the industry back from the massive explosion that’s bound to happen sooner rather than later.Just how long it will take for consumers to jump on board is yet to be seen.Related: Shiny New Gadgets to Smart Homes and Beyond: A CES 2015 Preview2. The sleep industryCompared to home automation, the sleep industry may seem boring and archaic, but I can assure you that it is not. There’s a lot of technology and innovation that goes into developing sleep solutions which allow people to fall asleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed.“I think that within the next five-to-ten years we are going to see technology play a bigger role in sleep optimization,” Michael Hughes, founder and CEO of PlushBeds said in an interview with Mattress Clarity. “More and more today, we see new technology implemented into everyday household items which improve our quality of life.”By 2019, experts have suggested, the global market for sleep aids will reach a whopping $76.7 billion. That’s a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.6 percent. The sleep apnea segment of the market alone is expected to grow at an 11.3 percent CAGR.Entrepreneur Moe Kittaneh has been tracking the industry for some time and says he expects tools and tactics such as mobile phone apps, wearable activity trackers, customizable mattresses and even innovative medical therapies to continue to improve in the coming years.3. Retail The retail industry has also undergone a significant amount of change in the past decade. The introduction of ecommerce as a serious threat to brick-and-mortar shopping has caused massive ripples; and large and small companies alike are being forced to pivot and shift in new directions.In 2016, the novelty of online shopping has worn off and the retail industry is finally able to breathe again. Ecommerce is now a staple in the industry, and we’re beginning to see new technologies and innovation respond.For multi-channel retailers, “click-and-collect” shopping is another trend that has become quite popular. Merchants like Kohl’s, Walmart and Home Depot let customers shop online, place an order and then pick it up in store. But we’re seeing some companies take this to an entirely new level.“Nordstrom is also looking into using mobile to streamline the in-store pickup experience,” notes VendHQ.com. “In May 2015,” the site pointed out, “the retailer started testing a service that lets customers text or call their Nordstrom associate as they near the store. The store employee will then head down and meet the customer outside, so they won’t even have to get out of their car.”On the ecommerce side of things, retailers are becoming increasingly reliant on analytics and finding strategic ways to utilize the information they now have. As a result, they’re able to customize shopping experiences and deliver more meaningful information and offers to individual customers.4. Travel We can’t overlook the travel industry. There’s a lot happening there and consumers are the direct beneficiaries of an evolving system that prioritizes convenience, speed and specialization.One of the major trends here is a move toward mobile-first. From finding and reserving airline flights on your phone, to actually using that same device as your boarding pass, this space has a lot happening.In Australia, we’re even seeing the possibility of biometric cloud passports that would totally eliminate the need to carry around the traditional booklet. The technology — which lets travelers simply swipe their finger across a scanner — already exists. Right now, it’s a matter of getting the right approval and creating a global system that will allow for paperless passports.It’s also impossible to deny the steady growth associated with alternative travel accommodations. No longer are commercialized hotels the only option.Thanks to sites like Airbnb and Home Away, travelers have the ability to find cost-effective and personalized solutions in just about any city. This personalization makes traveling more comfortable and affordable for millions of people around the world.Finally, better wifi and more in-flight technology are changing the convenience of flying. Instead of being wasted time, flying — especially for business travelers — is now barely any different from sitting in the office.Keeping an eye on the future What does the future hold for these industries? If we knew the answer, we’d all be pretty wealthy investors. What we can be fairly certain about, though, is that home automation, sleep, retail and travel are all being revolutionized from the inside out.Related: From Innovative Trains To Bar-Coded Tickets, 15 Things That Will Make Your Rail Travel EasyThe industries you see today will look much different three, five and ten years down the road. From both a consumer and entrepreneurial perspective, this is more than exciting to watch. Register Now » Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

How User Behavior Is Scoring Points in the Gaming Industry and Could

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. How Success Happens Listen Now December 15, 2017 5 min read Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. If you think the gaming industry is represented by the somewhat pathetic image of a 35-year-old male playing Age of Empires in his mother’s basement, you are sorely mistaken, because gaming is so much more than that. Related: How Technology Will Change the Future of Gaming IndustryIn fact, this $78.61 billion industry is a poster child for modern engineering, typically adopting new technologies before other sectors do and showing itself to be one of today’s most successful industries when it comes to understanding its customers (who, yes, are typically 35-year-old men).Indeed, gaming is a technology powerhouse constantly investing in more and more powerful machines and infrastructure. That investment has created a global ecosystem of gamers and communities responsible for generating for this sector more earnings than either movies or music.So, what does the future hold for gaming? “Strong growth will continue as more online casinos open in China and other Asian countries,” predicts NewZoo, an online games market research group. “Established markets have reached maturity and have less room for revenue growth, [meaning that] new markets will open up and increase access to gaming activities.”Today’s gaming industry, in short, is still managing to grow those margins by getting smart with data. And while big data in gaming has been around for years, only recently have AI-powered SaaS platforms been able to achieve user-focused behavioral analysis.The next phase of gaming software advancements, then, will likely rely heavily on integrating behavioral analytics to understand gamers’ tendencies and preferences. Games empowered with that kind of information can be calibrated in real time to hold user attention, increase purchases and grow the bottom line, all of which are tactics I’ve covered on my podcast.Behavioral analyticsThe goal of behavioral analytics is to identify what behaviors cause what actions. What steps did the user take before he or she made an in-app purchase? Was there a point in the game that turned the user off or caused a loss in interest? How long will a user play without winning before he or she quits?This type of path analysis, attached to a time frame, is allowing game marketers to create better user experiences.Reated: 3 Growth Strategies for Mobile Gaming“Today’s current measure of KPIs in gaming are only the headlines about your players,” Dan Schoenbaum, CEO of Cooladata, a behavioral analytics platform for online gaming, said on my podcast. “The people who manage games today already need to leverage behavioral analytics. They experience a large number of players who play on free, so the ability to convert them to a paying player is huge. If you understand user behavior, you can drive up retention, which is absolutely crucial.”Optimization for retentionGame-developers don’t just want someone to download or play their game once; they want the game played again, and again, and again. Long-term engagement creates loyalty, and that is the best way to gain a competitive edge.To achieve long-term engagement, analytics and tools must be in place to measure player engagement over a period of days, weeks or other time period; they must also be accessible and easy to understand.Schoenbaum recommends looking at user behavior through the lens of product optimization: “Following user paths, combined with specific time frames, allows game managers to glean new insights for different players, optimize their path and increase conversion rates,” Schoenbaum told me.Predicting, to be proactiveAt this point, gaming companies’ data warehouses and customer databases contain a wealth of data. Not only is that data valuable for analyzing past user behavior, but it’s valuable for game marketers, to shine a light on consumer patterns. Insights like these indicate who will purchase again, how much they’ll spend and the churn rate for those customers overall.A recent illustration of the future of predictive analytics comes from the partnership between Zodiac, a cloud-based software platform provider, and Tophouse Media, a digital media company. A match-up like theirs aims to bring predictive analytics to game marketers so they can better understand their customers and fine-tune their planning and forecasting.Moves like this across the industry also allow gaming operators to be more accurate and precise in their marketing strategies, while reducing spend and maximizing return.Identifying issues  Another intriguing aspect of predictive analytics is its capability to predict abuse or addiction — related to gaming in terms of the problem of gambling addiction. Understanding customers with this problem, in fact, is one of the top uses for today’s analytics activity.A leading money-gaming company in Europe, Pentaho, is an example: It’s using big data and predictive analytics to create a “360-view of customers, which, among other things, helps to identify those customers who show signs of gambling addiction.”As our world becomes increasingly more digital, identifying technology will play a significant role in moderating game mechanics.Leveraging data to stay aheadOnline games must have a unique user experience, but they also need back-end support to iterate quickly and cater to individual users.“Gaming is a hyper-competitive industry, and those who succeed are implementing unique identification capabilities, people-based approaches, and proactive behavioral campaigns,” Schoenbaum said.Related: Infographic: The Gaming IndustryIn sum, deploying analytics has transformed most brands and entire industries into tech companies. This billion dollar industry is expected to generate 2,857 petabytes of data per month in 2018. So, game marketers that take the time to understand that 35-year-old man in his mom’s basement will actually cross the threshold into a lucrative online gaming platform.last_img read more

Trails Lossless Web Navigation experiment by Mozilla

first_imgTrails: Lossless Web Navigation experiment by Mozilla by Martin Brinkmann on January 29, 2017 in Firefox – Last Update: May 22, 2018 – 54 commentsTrails is a new lossless web navigation experiment by Mozilla with the aim to fix the tabbed browsing issue of losing information during navigation.The traditional tabbed browsing model has not changed all that much in the past 15 or so years. The majority of modern browsers supports tabs, and browsers keep track of the browsing history of each tab individually.Mozilla visualizes the current — flawed when it comes to the preservation of information — tabbed browsing procedure in the following way:Imagine a search for a restaurant that makes the perfect pizza. You fire up your web browser, and start the search on your favorite search engine.Results are displayed, and you click on a result (Yelp in this case).You browse Yelp, find a restaurant that interests you, and open its link. This link is opened in a new tab.Problem 1: The new tab has no connection whatsoever to the restaurant search history.Imagine going back to the first tab to browse Yelp a bit more to find another restaurant.Problem 2: Loading content in tab 1 will lose navigation history information.What Mozilla means by that is that the actual navigational trail does not include all user actions, not that the actual information is lost (as you may load opened sites using the browsing history for instance).A look at TrailsTrails is part of Browser.html, a Mozilla research project.The goal of trails is to construct not only a window into web content but a narrative of user activity. Our hope is that our work might help advance the state of browsing closer to the ideal of a tool that enhances our cognitive process, rather than increasing our cognitive load.Mozilla tries to preserve the whole browsing of a user using Trails, not just what is preserved right now by tabbed browsers.So, Trails preserve information that would otherwise get lost due to navigation but won’t change what users see when they use the browser.Mozilla hints that Trails might enhance the user experience in other ways, such as providing options to share entire trails and not just URLs, allowing annotation of trails, collaboration, or persisting trails.It is not clear right now how Mozilla would implement Trails in a browser like Firefox. A short demo has been uploaded to YouTube, but it shows Trails not in an actual browser interface, but on its own.Closing WordsIt needs to be noted that Trails is an experiment right now that may or may not find its way into Firefox at one point in time.While it is certainly true that some information is lost, I’m not sure if there is a really a need for something like Trails as it may add complexity to the browser depending on its implementation.While the actual trail “how did I get there” may be lost at times, tabs are usually opened in relation to one another, and users may open pages in new tabs when they don’t want to lose information displayed on the current tab.  (via Sören Hentzschel)Now You: What do you think of Trails?SummaryArticle NameTrails: Lossless Web Navigation experiment by MozillaDescriptionTrails is a new lossless web navigation experiment by Mozilla with the aim to fix the tabbed browsing issue of losing information during navigation.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more

GlassWire 2 launches with Virustotal support Evil Twin detection

first_imgGlassWire 2 launches with Virustotal support, Evil Twin detection by Martin Brinkmann on December 15, 2017 in Software – 15 commentsGlassWire released version 2.0 of the personal firewall and security program for Microsoft’s Windows operating system.The new major version of the application includes improvements and new features including support for Virustotal scanning, Evil Twin detection, high DPI support.We reviewed GlassWire back in 2014 when the application was first released, and published a feature comparison of all paid GlassWire versions of the application a year later.GlassWire 2.0 is a free upgrade from version 1 of the software program. Users who run into activation issues are asked to contact GlassWire support to resolve the issue.GlassWire 2.0The first thing that existing users may notice when they upgrade their copies of the program to version 2.0 is that the interface has changed. It is not a complete overhaul of the interface but more a modernized version of the old interface. Users who work on high DPI screens benefit from support of high resolution monitors in GlassWire 2.0.VirusTotal support is one of the main new features of GlassWire 2.0. The feature is not enabled by default; go to Settings > Virustotal, and click on the unlock button there to enable it. You may then check “enable manual file analysis by VirusTotal” and/or “automatically analyze all apps with network activity with VirusTotal”.Apps with network activity are automatically scanned using the VirusTotal service if you check the latter.Manual checks can be run by double-clicking on apps and selecting the virus scan option that is displayed then.GlassWire 2.0 supports firewall profiles, another new feature. The firewall is only available in commercial versions of GlassWire. Profiles are set of rules, e.g. block all but whitelisted applications, that you may switch between.Use cases include creating profiles for different network environments or activities. You could create a locked down profile for important activities such as online banking for instance using the new profile functionality.GlassWire improved the firewall further in the new version. It syncs now with Windows Firewall, and checks the integrity of the default firewall of the Windows operating system on top of that, and may restore it if things were changed since the last scan.You find scans for new processes under firewall if you have enabled the automatic VirusTotal integration of the application. Any new process is sent to VirusTotal automatically after enabling automatic scans.Another new feature of GlassWire 2.0 is Evil Twin Alerts. GlassWire monitors WiFi networks, and it warns users now if the Mac address of WiFi access points change.A new type of network attack is known as an “Evil Twin” attack. This type of attack occurs when someone sets up a new WiFi access point with a name similar to your current WiFi access point. GlassWire watches out for these types of attacks by warning you if the Mac address of the WiFi access point you’re on changes. Of course if you’re using something like a mesh network with repeaters you may get occasional alerts, but as GlassWire learns these new access points over time the false alerts should stop. Also, if the WiFi access point you’re on loses its password you’ll also be alerted.The usage tab lets you switch between day, week and month statistics now. It lists apps, hosts and traffic types that use the most traffic.GlassWire 2.0 comes with several minor changes as well:Remote connections can be established by hostname, not only by IP.A new 7-day free trial for free users.Option to enable/disable GlassWire’s “Things” network scanning.Option to select a different time format.Closing WordsGlassWire 2.0 improves the firewall and security application for Windows significantly. Virustotal integration is a great new feature, and so is the integration of firewall profiles and better support for Windows Firewall.Now You: Do you use a firewall on Windows?Summary12345 Author Rating3 based on 8 votes Software Name GlassWireOperating System WindowsSoftware Category SecurityLanding Page https://www.glasswire.com/ Advertisementlast_img read more

17 sunsoaked photos from Winter Pride in Gran Canaria

first_imgGay Pride Maspalomas rocks Gran CanariaWorld Tourism with IGLTA2017 turns to a Rainbow in St. Petersburg, Florida5 gay beaches every guy needs to visit in his lifeRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/photos-winter-pride-gran-canaria/ 9. Wet and White Party@emanuel.pucci | Instagram10. Voila!@sacatusvacacionesdelarmario | Instagram11. Dragtastic@winterpridemaspalomas | Instagram12. How to take a selfie with a drag queen@miguelangelhayworth | Instagram13. Speedos were popular@luis22gabriel | Instagram14. Foam party@astrid_dede | Instagram15. Foam fella@_marvel_freak_ | Instagram16. Leather love@magnus___maximus | Instagram17. Seeing green@stepanenkoap | Instagram18. Ressurecting Priscilla fantasies on the famous Gran Canaria sand dunes@robertolino | Instagram GAYSTARNEWS- Poolside fun in Maspalomas | Image: @redbearuk | Instagram eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Winter Pride offered a whole week of fun and frolics in the sunshine, with associated events at the many gay bars and clubs in the Yumbo Center. There’s also a Pride Walk, attracting around 12,000 participants, and a main stage at the Yumbo, which played host to performances from Sonique, Corona, Livin’ Joy, Cristina Ramos and many other producers of dance classics.Check out some of the images from this year below. Next year’s event dates have already been scheduled for 5-11 November.1. Unicorns spotted in Gran Canaria@wildepraline | Instagram2. Protect those scalps from the sun, boys!@marcal1978 | Instagram3. Sonique ‘Feels So Good’ Clarke and friend@lovespiritdrink | Instagram4. Mermen@ben_de_kamp | Instagram5. Gladiators@freeinlove81 | Instagram6. On stage at the Yumbo@highheelsperformance | Instagram7. Glitter Gran Canaria@marcodelacruzbln | Instagram8. Main stage area at the Yumbo@jonabz26 | Instagram Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… The fourth Winter Pride Maspalomas concluded yesterday in Gran Canaria. The Spanish island, which actually lies off the coast of Africa, is one of Europe’s most popular gay hotspots throughout the year – thanks in part to the consistently warm weather.last_img read more

South Dakota considers ban on teaching about gender identity in schools

first_imgLawmakers in South Dakota are considering banning public school teachers from talking about gender identity in elementary and middle schools.‘No Promo Homo’Critics say this could target transgender people in the same way some states limit discussion of homosexuality in schools. South Dakota Education Department spokeswoman Mary Stadick Smith told The Star Tribune in an email that the she’s not aware of gender identity being taught in schools.The billThe proposed bill, S.B.160, says:‘No instruction in gender identity or gender expression may be provided to any student in kindergarten through grade seven in any public school in the state.’The sponsor of the bill, Republican Senator Phil Jensen, believes the issues of gender identity and expression aren’t age appropriate. He argues that these topics could ‘get in the way’ of learning other subjects.‘I think we need to be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic,’ he said.Jensen has been called South Dakota’s ‘most conservative lawmaker.’ In the past, he’s compared LGBTI people to pedophiles. He was also vocal in passing a law that ensured adoption agencies could discriminate against same-sex couples looking to adopt on moral or religious grounds.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) According to GLSEN’s public policy director Nathan Smith, South Dakota would become the first state in the nation to ban instructors from teaching about gender identity/expression, should this law pass.GLSEN, a national organization focused on safe schools for LGBTI children, has reported that seven states have laws that forbid the ‘promotion of homosexuality’ in classrooms. These laws are referred to as ‘no promo homo laws.’ The seven states that enforce them are Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas.‘It’s maybe a little different in the way that it’s crafted and maybe a little different in the way, sort of the population that it targets, but the underlying concerns are the same for us as they would be in a traditional “no-promo-homo” law,’ Smith told The Star Tribune. ‘We think that it’s bad broadly for LGBTQ students in South Dakota.’Students in states that have ‘no promo homo’ laws reported higher rates of bullying and less peer acceptance among LGBTI students. Students in these states also have fewer resources (such as Gay-Straight Alliances) and are less able to access relevant school health services. GAYSTARNEWS- Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… LGBT Witch-hunt: North Carolina no longer welcomes transgender travelers and residentsCourt ruling: LGBTQ people are not born that waySchool teacher fired because she married the love of her lifeRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/south-dakota-considers-ban-teaching-gender-identity-schools/last_img read more