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Will Lockett

Will Lockett

21 days ago

The World Will Change With MIT's New Battery

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Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 month ago

A Search Engine From Apple?

Apple's search engine has long been rumored. Recent Google developments may confirm the rumor. Is Apple about to become Google's biggest rival?

Here's a video:

People noted Apple's changes in 2020. AppleBot, a web crawler that downloads and caches Internet content, was more active than in the last five years.

Apple hired search engine developers, including ex-Googlers, such as John Giannandrea, Google's former search chief.

Apple also changed the way iPhones search. With iOS 14, Apple's search results arrived before Google's.

These facts fueled rumors that Apple was developing a search engine.

Apple and Google Have a Contract

Many skeptics said Apple couldn't compete with Google. This didn't affect the company's competitiveness.

Apple is the only business with the resources and scale to be a Google rival, with 1.8 billion active devices and a $2 trillion market cap.

Still, people doubted that due to a license deal. Google pays Apple $8 to $12 billion annually to be the default iPhone and iPad search engine.

Apple can't build an independent search product under this arrangement.

Why would Apple enter search if it's being paid to stay out?

Ironically, this partnership has many people believing Apple is getting into search.

A New Default Search Engine May Be Needed

Google was sued for antitrust in 2020. It is accused of anticompetitive and exclusionary behavior. Justice wants to end Google's monopoly.

Authorities could restrict Apple and Google's licensing deal due to its likely effect on market competitiveness. Hence Apple needs a new default search engine.

Apple Already Has a Search Engine

The company already has a search engine, Spotlight.

Since 2004, Spotlight has aired. It was developed to help users find photos, documents, apps, music, and system preferences.

Apple's search engine could do more than organize files, texts, and apps.

Spotlight Search was updated in 2014 with iOS 8. Web, App Store, and iTunes searches became available. You could find nearby places, movie showtimes, and news.

This search engine has subsequently been updated and improved. Spotlight added rich search results last year.

If you search for a TV show, movie, or song, photos and carousels will appear at the top of the page.

This resembles Google's rich search results.

When Will the Apple Search Engine Be Available?

When will Apple's search launch? Robert Scoble says it's near.

Scoble tweeted a number of hints before this year's Worldwide Developer Conference.

Scoble bases his prediction on insider information and deductive reasoning. January 2023 is expected.

Will you use Apple's search engine?

Colin Faife

1 month ago

The brand-new USB Rubber Ducky is much riskier than before.

The brand-new USB Rubber Ducky is much riskier than before.

Corin Faife and Alex Castro

With its own programming language, the well-liked hacking tool may now pwn you.

With a vengeance, the USB Rubber Ducky is back.

This year's Def Con hacking conference saw the release of a new version of the well-liked hacking tool, and its author, Darren Kitchen, was on hand to explain it. We put a few of the new features to the test and discovered that the most recent version is riskier than ever.

WHAT IS IT?

The USB Rubber Ducky seems to the untrained eye to be an ordinary USB flash drive. However, when you connect it to a computer, the computer recognizes it as a USB keyboard and will accept keystroke commands from the device exactly like a person would type them in.

Kitchen explained to me, "It takes use of the trust model built in, where computers have been taught to trust a human, in that anything it types is trusted to the same degree as the user is trusted. And a computer is aware that clicks and keystrokes are how people generally connect with it.

The USB Rubber Ducky, a brainchild of Darren Kitchen Corin

Over ten years ago, the first Rubber Ducky was published, quickly becoming a hacker favorite (it was even featured in a Mr. Robot scene). Since then, there have been a number of small upgrades, but the most recent Rubber Ducky takes a giant step ahead with a number of new features that significantly increase its flexibility and capability.

WHERE IS ITS USE?

The options are nearly unlimited with the proper strategy.

The Rubber Ducky has already been used to launch attacks including making a phony Windows pop-up window to collect a user's login information or tricking Chrome into sending all saved passwords to an attacker's web server. However, these attacks lacked the adaptability to operate across platforms and had to be specifically designed for particular operating systems and software versions.

The nuances of DuckyScript 3.0 are described in a new manual. 

The most recent Rubber Ducky seeks to get around these restrictions. The DuckyScript programming language, which is used to construct the commands that the Rubber Ducky will enter into a target machine, receives a significant improvement with it. DuckyScript 3.0 is a feature-rich language that allows users to write functions, store variables, and apply logic flow controls, in contrast to earlier versions that were primarily limited to scripting keystroke sequences (i.e., if this... then that).

This implies that, for instance, the new Ducky can check to see if it is hooked into a Windows or Mac computer and then conditionally run code specific to each one, or it can disable itself if it has been attached to the incorrect target. In order to provide a more human effect, it can also generate pseudorandom numbers and utilize them to add a configurable delay between keystrokes.

The ability to steal data from a target computer by encoding it in binary code and transferring it through the signals intended to instruct a keyboard when the CapsLock or NumLock LEDs should light up is perhaps its most astounding feature. By using this technique, a hacker may plug it in for a brief period of time, excuse themselves by saying, "Sorry, I think that USB drive is faulty," and then take it away with all the credentials stored on it.

HOW SERIOUS IS THE RISK?

In other words, it may be a significant one, but because physical device access is required, the majority of people aren't at risk of being a target.

The 500 or so new Rubber Duckies that Hak5 brought to Def Con, according to Kitchen, were his company's most popular item at the convention, and they were all gone on the first day. It's safe to suppose that hundreds of hackers already possess one, and demand is likely to persist for some time.

Additionally, it has an online development toolkit that can be used to create attack payloads, compile them, and then load them onto the target device. A "payload hub" part of the website makes it simple for hackers to share what they've generated, and the Hak5 Discord is also busy with conversation and helpful advice. This makes it simple for users of the product to connect with a larger community.

It's too expensive for most individuals to distribute in volume, so unless your favorite cafe is renowned for being a hangout among vulnerable targets, it's doubtful that someone will leave a few of them there. To that end, if you intend to plug in a USB device that you discovered outside in a public area, pause to consider your decision.

WOULD IT WORK FOR ME?

Although the device is quite straightforward to use, there are a few things that could cause you trouble if you have no prior expertise writing or debugging code. For a while, during testing on a Mac, I was unable to get the Ducky to press the F4 key to activate the launchpad, but after forcing it to identify itself using an alternative Apple keyboard device ID, the problem was resolved.

From there, I was able to create a script that, when the Ducky was plugged in, would instantly run Chrome, open a new browser tab, and then immediately close it once more without requiring any action from the laptop user. Not bad for only a few hours of testing, and something that could be readily changed to perform duties other than reading technology news.

James Brockbank

2 months ago

Canonical URLs for Beginners

Canonicalization and canonical URLs are essential for SEO, and improper implementation can negatively impact your site's performance.

Canonical tags were introduced in 2009 to help webmasters with duplicate or similar content on multiple URLs.

To use canonical tags properly, you must understand their purpose, operation, and implementation.

Canonical URLs and Tags

Canonical tags tell search engines that a certain URL is a page's master copy. They specify a page's canonical URL. Webmasters can avoid duplicate content by linking to the "canonical" or "preferred" version of a page.

How are canonical tags and URLs different? Can these be specified differently?

Tags

Canonical tags are found in an HTML page's head></head> section.

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.website.com/page/" />

These can be self-referencing or reference another page's URL to consolidate signals.

Canonical tags and URLs are often used interchangeably, which is incorrect.

The rel="canonical" tag is the most common way to set canonical URLs, but it's not the only way.

Canonical URLs

What's a canonical link? Canonical link is the'master' URL for duplicate pages.

In Google's own words:

A canonical URL is the page Google thinks is most representative of duplicate pages on your site.

— Google Search Console Help

You can indicate your preferred canonical URL. For various reasons, Google may choose a different page than you.

When set correctly, the canonical URL is usually your specified URL.

Canonical URLs determine which page will be shown in search results (unless a duplicate is explicitly better for a user, like a mobile version).

Canonical URLs can be on different domains.

Other ways to specify canonical URLs

Canonical tags are the most common way to specify a canonical URL.

You can also set canonicals by:

  • Setting the HTTP header rel=canonical.

  • All pages listed in a sitemap are suggested as canonicals, but Google decides which pages are duplicates.

  • Redirects 301.

Google recommends these methods, but they aren't all appropriate for every situation, as we'll see below. Each has its own recommended uses.

Setting canonical URLs isn't required; if you don't, Google will use other signals to determine the best page version.

To control how your site appears in search engines and to avoid duplicate content issues, you should use canonicalization effectively.

Why Duplicate Content Exists

Before we discuss why you should use canonical URLs and how to specify them in popular CMSs, we must first explain why duplicate content exists. Nobody intentionally duplicates website content.

Content management systems create multiple URLs when you launch a page, have indexable versions of your site, or use dynamic URLs.

Assume the following URLs display the same content to a user:

  1. https://www.website.com/category/product-a/

  2. https://www.website.com/product-a/

  3. https://website.com/product-a/

  4. http://www.website.com/product-a/

  5. http://website.com/product-a/

  6. https://m.website.com/product-a/

  7. https://www.website.com/product-a

  8. https://www.website.com/product-A/

A search engine sees eight duplicate pages, not one.

  • URLs #1 and #2: the CMS saves product URLs with and without the category name.

  • #3, #4, and #5 result from the site being accessible via HTTP, HTTPS, www, and non-www.

  • #6 is a subdomain mobile-friendly URL.

  • URL #7 lacks URL #2's trailing slash.

  • URL #8 uses a capital "A" instead of a lowercase one.

Duplicate content may also exist in URLs like:

https://www.website.com
https://www.website.com/index.php

Duplicate content is easy to create.

Canonical URLs help search engines identify different page variations as a single URL on many sites.

SEO Canonical URLs

Canonical URLs help you manage duplicate content that could affect site performance.

Canonical URLs are a technical SEO focus area for many reasons.

Specify URL for search results

When you set a canonical URL, you tell Google which page version to display.

Which would you click?

https://www.domain.com/page-1/

https://www.domain.com/index.php?id=2

First, probably.

Canonicals tell search engines which URL to rank.

Consolidate link signals on similar pages

When you have duplicate or nearly identical pages on your site, the URLs may get external links.

Canonical URLs consolidate multiple pages' link signals into a single URL.

This helps your site rank because signals from multiple URLs are consolidated into one.

Syndication management

Content is often syndicated to reach new audiences.

Canonical URLs consolidate ranking signals to prevent duplicate pages from ranking and ensure the original content ranks.

Avoid Googlebot duplicate page crawling

Canonical URLs ensure that Googlebot crawls your new pages rather than duplicated versions of the same one across mobile and desktop versions, for example.

Crawl budgets aren't an issue for most sites unless they have 100,000+ pages.

How to Correctly Implement the rel=canonical Tag

Using the header tag rel="canonical" is the most common way to specify canonical URLs.

Adding tags and HTML code may seem daunting if you're not a developer, but most CMS platforms allow canonicals out-of-the-box.

These URLs each have one product.

How to Correctly Implement a rel="canonical" HTTP Header

A rel="canonical" HTTP header can replace canonical tags.

This is how to implement a canonical URL for PDFs or non-HTML documents.

You can specify a canonical URL in your site's.htaccess file using the code below.

<Files "file-to-canonicalize.pdf"> Header add Link "< http://www.website.com/canonical-page/>; rel=\"canonical\"" </Files>

301 redirects for canonical URLs

Google says 301 redirects can specify canonical URLs.

Only the canonical URL will exist if you use 301 redirects. This will redirect duplicates.

This is the best way to fix duplicate content across:

  • HTTPS and HTTP

  • Non-WWW and WWW

  • Trailing-Slash and Non-Trailing Slash URLs

On a single page, you should use canonical tags unless you can confidently delete and redirect the page.

Sitemaps' canonical URLs

Google assumes sitemap URLs are canonical, so don't include non-canonical URLs.

This does not guarantee canonical URLs, but is a best practice for sitemaps.

Best-practice Canonical Tag

Once you understand a few simple best practices for canonical tags, spotting and cleaning up duplicate content becomes much easier.

Always include:

One canonical URL per page

If you specify multiple canonical URLs per page, they will likely be ignored.

Correct Domain Protocol

If your site uses HTTPS, use this as the canonical URL. It's easy to reference the wrong protocol, so check for it to catch it early.

Trailing slash or non-trailing slash URLs

Be sure to include trailing slashes in your canonical URL if your site uses them.

Specify URLs other than WWW

Search engines see non-WWW and WWW URLs as duplicate pages, so use the correct one.

Absolute URLs

To ensure proper interpretation, canonical tags should use absolute URLs.

So use:

<link rel="canonical" href="https://www.website.com/page-a/" />

And not:

<link rel="canonical" href="/page-a/" />

If not canonicalizing, use self-referential canonical URLs.

When a page isn't canonicalizing to another URL, use self-referencing canonical URLs.

Canonical tags refer to themselves here.

Common Canonical Tags Mistakes

Here are some common canonical tag mistakes.

301 Canonicalization

Set the canonical URL as the redirect target, not a redirected URL.

Incorrect Domain Canonicalization

If your site uses HTTPS, don't set canonical URLs to HTTP.

Irrelevant Canonicalization

Canonicalize URLs to duplicate or near-identical content only.

SEOs sometimes try to pass link signals via canonical tags from unrelated content to increase rank. This isn't how canonicalization should be used and should be avoided.

Multiple Canonical URLs

Only use one canonical tag or URL per page; otherwise, they may all be ignored.

When overriding defaults in some CMSs, you may accidentally include two canonical tags in your page's <head>.

Pagination vs. Canonicalization

Incorrect pagination can cause duplicate content. Canonicalizing URLs to the first page isn't always the best solution.

Canonicalize to a 'view all' page.

How to Audit Canonical Tags (and Fix Issues)

Audit your site's canonical tags to find canonicalization issues.

SEMrush Site Audit can help. You'll find canonical tag checks in your website's site audit report.

Let's examine these issues and their solutions.

No Canonical Tag on AMP

Site Audit will flag AMP pages without canonical tags.

Canonicalization between AMP and non-AMP pages is important.

Add a rel="canonical" tag to each AMP page's head>.

No HTTPS redirect or canonical from HTTP homepage

Duplicate content issues will be flagged in the Site Audit if your site is accessible via HTTPS and HTTP.

You can fix this by 301 redirecting or adding a canonical tag to HTTP pages that references HTTPS.

Broken canonical links

Broken canonical links won't be considered canonical URLs.

This error could mean your canonical links point to non-existent pages, complicating crawling and indexing.

Update broken canonical links to the correct URLs.

Multiple canonical URLs

This error occurs when a page has multiple canonical URLs.

Remove duplicate tags and leave one.

Canonicalization is a key SEO concept, and using it incorrectly can hurt your site's performance.

Once you understand how it works, what it does, and how to find and fix issues, you can use it effectively to remove duplicate content from your site.


Canonicalization SEO Myths

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Taher Batterywala

Taher Batterywala

12 days ago

Do You Have Focus Issues? Use These 5 Simple Habits

Many can't concentrate. The first 20% of the day isn't optimized.

Elon Musk, Tony Robbins, and Bill Gates share something:

Morning Routines.

A repeatable morning ritual saves time.

The result?

Time for hobbies.

I'll discuss 5 easy morning routines you can use.

1. Stop pressing snooze

Waking up starts the day. You disrupt your routine by hitting snooze.

One sleep becomes three. Your morning routine gets derailed.

Fix it:

Hide your phone. This disables snooze and wakes you up.

Once awake, staying awake is 10x easier. Simple trick, big results.

2. Drink water

Chronic dehydration is common. Mostly urban, air-conditioned workers/residents.

2% cerebral dehydration causes short-term memory loss.

Dehydration shrinks brain cells.

Drink 3-4 liters of water daily to avoid this.

3. Improve your focus

How to focus better?

Meditation.

  • Improve your mood

  • Enhance your memory

  • increase mental clarity

  • Reduce blood pressure and stress

Headspace helps with the habit.

Here's a meditation guide.

  1. Sit comfortably

  2. Shut your eyes.

  3. Concentrate on your breathing

  4. Breathe in through your nose

  5. Breathe out your mouth.

5 in, 5 out.

Repeat for 1 to 20 minutes.

Here's a beginner's video:

4. Workout

Exercise raises:

  • Mental Health

  • Effort levels

  • focus and memory

15-60 minutes of fun:

  • Exercise Lifting

  • Running

  • Walking

  • Stretching and yoga

This helps you now and later.

5. Keep a journal

You have countless thoughts daily. Many quietly steal your focus.

Here’s how to clear these:

Write for 5-10 minutes.

You'll gain 2x more mental clarity.

Recap

5 morning practices for 5x more productivity:

  1. Say no to snoozing

  2. Hydrate

  3. Improve your focus

  4. Exercise

  5. Journaling

Conclusion

One step starts a thousand-mile journey. Try these easy yet effective behaviors if you have trouble concentrating or have too many thoughts.

Start with one of these behaviors, then add the others. Its astonishing results are instant.

Bob Service

Bob Service

3 months ago

Did volcanic 'glasses' play a role in igniting early life?

Quenched lava may have aided in the formation of long RNA strands required by primitive life.

It took a long time for life to emerge. Microbes were present 3.7 billion years ago, just a few hundred million years after the 4.5-billion-year-old Earth had cooled enough to sustain biochemistry, according to fossils, and many scientists believe RNA was the genetic material for these first species. RNA, while not as complicated as DNA, would be difficult to forge into the lengthy strands required to transmit genetic information, raising the question of how it may have originated spontaneously.

Researchers may now have a solution. They demonstrate how basaltic glasses assist individual RNA letters, also known as nucleoside triphosphates, join into strands up to 200 letters long in lab studies. The glasses are formed when lava is quenched in air or water, or when melted rock generated by asteroid strikes cools rapidly, and they would have been plentiful in the early Earth's fire and brimstone.

The outcome has caused a schism among top origin-of-life scholars. "This appears to be a great story that finally explains how nucleoside triphosphates react with each other to create RNA strands," says Thomas Carell, a scientist at Munich's Ludwig Maximilians University. However, Harvard University's Jack Szostak, an RNA expert, says he won't believe the results until the study team thoroughly describes the RNA strands.

Researchers interested in the origins of life like the idea of a primordial "RNA universe" since the molecule can perform two different functions that are essential for life. It's made up of four chemical letters, just like DNA, and can carry genetic information. RNA, like proteins, can catalyze chemical reactions that are necessary for life.

However, RNA can cause headaches. No one has yet discovered a set of plausible primordial conditions that would cause hundreds of RNA letters—each of which is a complicated molecule—to join together into strands long enough to support the intricate chemistry required to kick-start evolution.

Basaltic glasses may have played a role, according to Stephen Mojzsis, a geologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder. They're high in metals like magnesium and iron, which help to trigger a variety of chemical reactions. "Basaltic glass was omnipresent on Earth at the time," he adds.

He provided the Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution samples of five different basalt glasses. Each sample was ground into a fine powder, sanitized, and combined with a solution of nucleoside triphosphates by molecular biologist Elisa Biondi and her colleagues. The RNA letters were unable to link up without the presence of glass powder. However, when the molecules were mixed with the glass particles, they formed long strands of hundreds of letters, according to the researchers, who published their findings in Astrobiology this week. There was no need for heat or light. Biondi explains, "All we had to do was wait." After only a day, little RNA strands produced, yet the strands continued to grow for months. Jan Paek, a molecular biologist at Firebird Biomolecular Sciences, says, "The beauty of this approach is its simplicity." "Mix the components together, wait a few days, and look for RNA."

Nonetheless, the findings pose a slew of problems. One of the questions is how nucleoside triphosphates came to be in the first place. Recent study by Biondi's colleague Steven Benner suggests that the same basaltic glasses may have aided in the creation and stabilization of individual RNA letters.

The form of the lengthy RNA strands, according to Szostak, is a significant challenge. Enzymes in modern cells ensure that most RNAs form long linear chains. RNA letters, on the other hand, can bind in complicated branching sequences. Szostak wants the researchers to reveal what kind of RNA was produced by the basaltic glasses. "It irritates me that the authors made an intriguing initial finding but then chose to follow the hype rather than the research," Szostak says.

Biondi acknowledges that her team's experiment almost probably results in some RNA branching. She does acknowledge, however, that some branched RNAs are seen in species today, and that analogous structures may have existed before the origin of life. Other studies carried out by the study also confirmed the presence of lengthy strands with connections, indicating that they are most likely linear. "It's a healthy argument," says Dieter Braun, a Ludwig Maximilian University origin-of-life chemist. "It will set off the next series of tests."

Trent Lapinski

Trent Lapinski

8 months ago

What The Hell Is A Crypto Punk?

We are Crypto Punks, and we are changing your world.

A “Crypto Punk” is a new generation of entrepreneurs who value individual liberty and collective value creation and co-creation through decentralization. While many Crypto Punks were born and raised in a digital world, some of the early pioneers in the crypto space are from the Oregon Trail generation. They were born to an analog world, but grew up simultaneously alongside the birth of home computing, the Internet, and mobile computing.

A Crypto Punk’s world view is not the same as previous generations. By the time most Crypto Punks were born everything from fiat currency, the stock market, pharmaceuticals, the Internet, to advanced operating systems and microprocessing were already present or emerging. Crypto Punks were born into pre-existing conditions and systems of control, not governed by logic or reason but by greed, corporatism, subversion, bureaucracy, censorship, and inefficiency.

All Systems Are Human Made

Crypto Punks understand that all systems were created by people and that previous generations did not have access to information technologies that we have today. This is why Crypto Punks have different values than their parents, and value liberty, decentralization, equality, social justice, and freedom over wealth, money, and power. They understand that the only path forward is to work together to build new and better systems that make the old world order obsolete.

Unlike the original cypher punks and cyber punks, Crypto Punks are a new iteration or evolution of these previous cultures influenced by cryptography, blockchain technology, crypto economics, libertarianism, holographics, democratic socialism, and artificial intelligence. They are tasked with not only undoing the mistakes of previous generations, but also innovating and creating new ways of solving complex problems with advanced technology and solutions.

Where Crypto Punks truly differ is in their understanding that computer systems can exist for more than just engagement and entertainment, but actually improve the human condition by automating bureaucracy and inefficiency by creating more efficient economic incentives and systems.

Crypto Punks Value Transparency and Do Not Trust Flawed, Unequal, and Corrupt Systems

Crypto Punks have a strong distrust for inherently flawed and corrupt systems. This why Crypto Punks value transparency, free speech, privacy, and decentralization. As well as arguably computer systems over human powered systems.

Crypto Punks are the children of the Great Recession, and will never forget the economic corruption that still enslaves younger generations.

Crypto Punks were born to think different, and raised by computers to view reality through an LED looking glass. They will not surrender to the flawed systems of economic wage slavery, inequality, censorship, and subjection. They will literally engineer their own unstoppable financial systems and trade in cryptography over fiat currency merely to prove that belief systems are more powerful than corruption.

Crypto Punks are here to help achieve freedom from world governments, corporations and bankers who monetizine our data to control our lives.

Crypto Punks Decentralize

Despite all the evils of the world today, Crypto Punks know they have the power to create change. This is why Crypto Punks are optimistic about the future despite all the indicators that humanity is destined for failure.

Crypto Punks believe in systems that prioritize people and the planet above profit. Even so, Crypto Punks still believe in capitalistic systems, but only capitalistic systems that incentivize good behaviors that do not violate the common good for the sake of profit.

Cyber Punks Are Co-Creators

We are Crypto Punks, and we will build a better world for all of us. For the true price of creation is not in US dollars, but through working together as equals to replace the unequal and corrupt greedy systems of previous generations.

Where they have failed, Crypto Punks will succeed. Not because we want to, but because we have to. The world we were born into is so corrupt and its systems so flawed and unequal we were never given a choice.

We have to be the change we seek.

We are Crypto Punks.

Either help us, or get out of our way.

Are you a Crypto Punk?