Posts tagged Beyond
When people think of search engines, the first name that comes to mind is often Google. It’s one of the most enduring brand names, and it has even worked its way into mainstream vernacular, and today many people substitute the phrase “searched online” for “Googled”. According to comScore, Inc., Google and its affiliated websites comprise 67.6% of the search engine market share in the United States, and, according to Netmarketshare 66.44% worldwide. Though prominent, Google is not the only search engine available. There are innumerable others that provide various interfaces, search algorithms, and other unique features. Many even base their search algorithms around specific philosophies, ones […]
The post Going Beyond Google: A Comprehensive List of Search Engines by @alexanderkesler appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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ReadWriteReflect offers a look back at major technology trends, products and companies of the past year.
Here at ReadWrite, we strive not only to see technology as something that shapes our world, but as something we can access ourselves, to make our lives better and more fun.
That’s the spirit behind ReadWrite tutorials, which are sometimes silly, sometimes practical, but always designed to teach you something new about technologies we rely on every day.
The tiny, customizable computer Raspberry Pi is affordable at about $30, so early this year I bought a designated one just for monitoring my aquarium. Tutorials one and two outline how I use my Raspberry Pi and a waterproof temperature sensor to text me information about the fish tank and let me know when it needs my attention.
I have also expanded on these two tutorials in a book, Make: Raspberry Pi and AVR Projects: Augmenting the Pi’s ARM with the Atmel ATmega, ICs, and Sensors, produced by Maker Media. The basics are the same, but the book also describes how to feed the temperature data into a MySQL database and interpret that into a graph you can access online.
Is your New Year’s Resolution to finally build your app this year? If so, I recommend WinJS, which has simplified the art of quickly producing an HTML5 app you can share online with friends, family, or anyone who you want to impress.
We all know it’s not safe to check secure sites like your bank account on public WiFi, which is where a Virtual Private Network comes in handy. With a VPN, you can experience secure browsing no matter who is providing your Internet.
I built this tutorial while I was myself learning how to build a VPN, so the part I am most proud of is that it includes a lot of troubleshooting based on real problems I experienced. Even better, the comments section has become an incredibly helpful FAQ since this was published.
These five mini-tutorials outline techniques I use over and over whenever I do a project using a Raspberry Pi computer, or a Python project in general. From learning the ins and outs of the SSH (secure shell) protocol to establishing a static IP, these five tutorials go over basic skills every Raspberry Pi owner should know, but that some advanced tutorials tend to skip.
For a jolt of confidence that anyone can truly become a programmer, I recommend learning to use an Arduino, the tiny, cheap microcontroller that knows how to communicate with sensors and outside stimuli the way your regular computer can’t. In just a few lines, this tutorial shows you how to make an Arduino communicate with an LED light, or with your regular PC.
I love my personal Twitter bot, which takes my tweets and garbles them in a way that will never stop being silly. Case in point:
To build your own, all you need is a new Twitter account and a phone number that isn’t already connected to Twitter (I recommend using Google Voice). My tutorial shows you how to connect an app to the Twitter API and get up and running in about 20 minutes.
Twilio Developer Evangelist Matt Makai and I teamed up to create two silly apps that are just for fun, but will also teach you quite a bit about using Python. (Matt also helped me with the Twilio integration on the fish tank text message tutorial further up.)
Yo was one of 2014’s one hit wonders, an app I was convinced anyone could make! And with Matt’s help, I proved it. We show you how to create your own Yo to annoy your friends, and you can use any word or expression in place of “Yo.”
The drinking game, titled Picture Roulette, was a result of the Flickr API not working the way we expected it to. Since Flickr is only as accurate as its users doing the tagging, sometimes a search for “turtle” might net you pictures of ice cream. Hence, a drinking game in which you are rewarded if your guess is correct.
I use GitHub to store my tutorials and, despite the drama this year, I remain a fan. However, I agree that we all need to do our part to keep GitHub’s community nontoxic and friendly. This tutorial is about contributing to projects in a way that should be most rewarding and effective, and I talked to GitHub’s Matthew McCullough to make sure that was the case.
I’m not casting judgement on whether it’s a good idea, but now that Twitter has made its emoji library open source, you can set them up to function anywhere on the Internet, including on your own website or app. I used and clarified Twitter’s own how-to in order to make this tutorial especially beginner-friendly.
Of course, ReadWrite is far from the only place to find helpful tutorials. For both Halloween and the winter holidays, I compiled other people’s tutorials so you can make some truly festive high-tech projects. Our resident graphic designer, Nigel Sussman, contributed fully accurate technical drawings that make the Halloween hacks a cinch.
As always, email me if you try a ReadWrite tutorial and have questions or comments. What tutorials would you like to see on ReadWrite in 2015?
Photo by Lauren Orsini
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When we consider the disruptive force that search is playing in the health care and education systems, it’s not such a gigantic step for us to leverage it to disrupt how we measure search campaign successes 2015.
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Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but columnist Jim Yu reminds us that the holiday shopping season is still in full swing.
The post Mobile SEO & E-Commerce Growth Beyond Black Friday & Cyber Monday appeared first on Search Engine Land.
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Mobile SEO & E-Commerce Growth Beyond Black Friday & Cyber Monday
Search Engine Land
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but columnist Jim Yu reminds us that the holiday shopping season is still in full swing. Jim Yu on December 2, 2014 at 10:09 am. 0; More. mobile-smartphone-analytics-ss-1920. As we come down off the high from …
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At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas the SEJ team had the opportunity to catch up with Jake Bohall of Virante, and Joe Youngblood of Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, about SEO trends. Jake discusses how he’s starting to see a shift towards SEO being integrated into all company practices, while Joe discusses some interesting new ways to build links. Hear them explain more about this in the videos and recaps below: SEOs Tools: An Interview with Jake Bohall Here are some key takeaways from the video: Jake believes the future of SEO is shifting more towards using tools and having people […]
The post SEO Trends For 2015 And Beyond: Interviews With Two Leading Experts by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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Last fall, Google introduced local product listing ads, which it is now calling “local inventory ads”, in the U.S. This week Google officially announced support for local inventory ads in the UK, France, Germany, Japan and Australia. These are product listing ads (PLAs) from nearby…
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On the surface, Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference last week was all about new developer tools—well, that and some upcoming features in Mac OS X and iOS, its computer and handheld operating systems. Step back, though, and you can see the outlines of something much bigger: a hint of how Apple sees its future beyond smartphones and tablets.
Brace yourself, because it looks momentous. Think of it as Apple’s plan for your new iLifestyle.
Gathering The Clues At WWDC
Some folks already live deep in the Apple ecosystem. But those iPhones, iPads and Macs were just the first step. Apple now looks to be laying a foundation for a much bigger and more pervasive platform that will bridge iOS and Mac OS X, and move outward from there to encompass practically every aspect of its users’ lives.
It all starts with developers. After years of restrictions, Apple offered numerous software changes that will start opening up its tightly controlled operating software in still-limited yet significant ways. It showered iOS developers with 4,000 new APIs (see our API explainer) and new access to long-desired functions. For instance, apps will be able to communicate with each other, reaching outside those limited and isolating “sandboxes”; they’ll also be able to tap the identity-verification functions of the TouchID fingerprint scanner introduced in the iPhone 5S last year.
The changes will make apps more useful and open up possibilities for new app-based innovations. And that process could get a boost from Swift, Apple’s new programming language, which is designed to make building iOS apps fast and easy work.
Meanwhile, Apple also took initial steps toward some entirely new fields—preliminary moves that are easy to discount because Apple didn’t draw that much attention to them.
In a “blink and you’ll miss it” portion of the presentation, Apple offered a (very) brief glimpse of HomeKit, its iPhone-driven foray into smart homes. The company didn’t offer many details at the time, and its developer document on the HomeKit framework is also fairly sketchy. But the idea is to cut through the clutter of scattershot connected-home approaches by providing a common protocol for automated lighting, climate and security systems so that “third-party apps”—i.e., on the iPhone—can direct them.
In a similar way, HealthKit aims to create a central repository for the jumble of data collected by health trackers and fitness apps, one that can be of use to both you and your doctor.
The big notion in both introductions is “unification.” That word is key to Apple’s plans.
What Apple Aims To Fix
There’s tremendous opportunity in smart homes, mostly because no one has managed to make them work well for the average consumer. In that sense, the connected-home industry is essentially broken.
Right now, wiring up your home involves wading through way too many complex decisions. Should you do it yourself or let Comcast manage it for you? You have to sort through standards (Zigbee? Z-wave? Insteon?) and weigh other options (hub or no hub? Wi-Fi or Ethernet? Throw in your lot with a single manufacturer or mix and match products?). Further complicating things is the fact that most of these approaches are incompatible, so heading down one path essentially means you have to start all over if you change your mind.
Apple has a knack for stepping into nascent, chaotic markets and imposing order with a streamlined offering that, often enough, turns into a blockbuster hit. It’s clearly betting it can do exactly that for smart homes. As the company put it in its developer documentation:
Home Kit makes possible a marketplace where the app a user controls their home with doesn’t have to be created by the vendor who made their home automation accessories, and where home automation accessories from multiple vendors can all be integrated into a single coherent whole without those vendors having to coordinate directly with each other.
Likewise, Apple wants to bring together the piecemeal information gathered by health and fitness apps and make sense of it all. There’s a lot of data from step trackers, heart rate monitors, smart clothes and such, and not all of it lines up.
See also: Why The Quantified Self Needs A Monopoly
In Apple’s vision, the iPhone will match up the metrics and fill in gaps where it can. Actually deriving meaning from all that data in ways that are useful to healthcare providers is a trickier proposition. So the company partnered with the Mayo Clinic and other healthcare centers for their expertise.
It’s not a stretch to think Apple will pull together its health and smart home initiatives. You can easily imagine HealthKit collecting data from connected health gadgets around the home, like digital scales and blood pressure monitors. That makes it a short hop from automating our lights to managing our health and wellness.
Take things just a step further, and Apple’s systems could learn our behaviors and anticipate what we need before we know it ourselves. Lights might change to a soothing color when the system knows I’m tense. My devices could power off automatically because bedtime is near. Diet notifications might land on my wrist as soon as I open the fridge between meals.
Now extrapolate just a bit farther—after all, Apple probably has. A few months ago, it got behind the wheel with CarPlay, its first attempt at pushing iOS into the automobile dashboard. A few months from now, CEO Tim Cook is expected to introduce a new wearable device. So instead of relying on other companies’ electronics, there may soon be a sweep of Apple products all plugging seamlessly into the iLifestyle.
What Apple Gets In Return: The New iLifestyle
Supposing Apple does unify the car, the wrist, the pocket and your desk to manage your home and your health, there’s no way around the fact that it’s going to know a lot about you. An awful lot. And if that’s Apple’s end game, there’s no doubt it will set privacy advocates on edge.
That’s where TouchID—currently, the iPhone’s somewhat gimmicky fingerprint scanner—might alleviate some privacy fears. So far, most talk about this biometric authentication has focused on whether it could be used for mobile security or payments. (PayPal is reportedly exploring that very notion.)
But TouchID could also easily emerge as the guardian of your digital lifestyle by requiring biometric proof of your identity before unlocking your health data or home controls—even your car. (That might be an especially compelling proposition should Apple mount the scanner on an iWatch.) The likely consumer message: You can trust the system because your literal hearts and homes are safeguarded by your own fingerprint.
None of this will happen overnight, of course. But Apple has laid down a serious iLifestyle foundation. Now all it has to do is deliver on it—and convince people that an Apple-branded way of life is what they wanted all along.
Images courtesy of Flickr users Jon Rawlinson (Apple store logo), Mackenzie Kosut (Apple home with view), Fauzan Alfi (Apple gadgets), Philipp Zumtobel (iWatch concept), Blake Patterson (Tim Cook in motion). Carplay image courtesy of Apple.
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You’re going to have to use every bit of your community management savvy to crank up your Google+ following to 1,000 and beyond. If you don’t yet have 1,000 followers on Google+, here’s how to go back to basics and grow that fan base.
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“Suppose Microsoft disappeared.”
It’s quite a hypothetical, given the software giant’s piles of cash and 130,000 employees. Yet Satya Nadella lobbed it in one of his highest-profile appearances as Microsoft’s new CEO, an on-stage interview Tuesday evening at the Code Conference with veteran tech journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher.
“What is that sensibility that gets lost?” Nadella asked. “What is it that’s not going to be expressed?”
Asking what the world would be like without Microsoft is Nadella’s way of forcing his colleagues to define what Microsoft stands for—and to erase the stench of failure from the company’s name.
Mossberg and Swisher pressed Nadella to explain why the company had missed the massive shift to mobile computing.
“We all walk into the future with our backs to it,” said Microsoft’s poet-CEO.
Instead of dwelling on Microsoft’s mistakes, Nadella said that it was the “hunt for … that inflection point that matters more,” and said we were entering a “post-post-PC era.”
In other words, Microsoft would do better trying to discover what comes after smartphones than trying to play catch-up in that market.
He suggested that tablet computing had untapped potential—an argument which dovetails nicely with the company’s recent launch of the Surface Pro 3.
What Microsoft was good at, Nadella said, was “building platforms, and building software for productivity.” Tellingly, he didn’t say “Windows,” and he didn’t say “Office”—Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar franchises which have defined its past two decades.
Tying Microsoft’s products together and forcing groups to work in lockstep was a thing of the past. The “One Microsoft” strategy is about having a coherent offering for consumers and developers, not tying all of its products together in ways that don’t make sense. That’s why Microsoft rolled out Office for Apple’s iPad before it had a touch-interface version ready for its own Surface tablet.
“That’s no longer going to be a tactic,” Nadella said.
Translating The Future
Nadella gave a concrete glimmer of his new vision for Microsoft with the unveiling of Skype Translator, a tool for real-time translation of voice conversations. A live English-to-German demonstration ran smoothly, though Steffi Czerny, the managing director of DLD Media, panned the quality of the translation.
Still, it was a showy act of technical prowess, combining the popular Skype chat tool with the years of research and development behind Microsoft Translator, and plenty of cloud-computing resources to make it all run.
And there was a bit of a hasty quality to it that itself spoke to Microsoft’s changing ways.
Asked whether Skype Translator, which Microsoft said would be out later this year, would be free or paid, Nadella punted. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ll figure it out.”
Nadella’s Microsoft doesn’t have all the answers, nor does it pretend to. Instead, it’s asking the right questions.
Photo by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite
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