Sunday, February 24, 2013

Apple and the new iWatch

A series of reports this week in the United States have all-but confirmed that Apple is developing a smart watch as it seeks to repeat its trick with the iPhone and iPad and spur a new market, writes Christopher Williams.

The details of the device are sketchy, but it is claimed its features could include a curved touchscreen made from a new type of flexible glass, an array of sensors to monitor exercise patterns and heart rate, “wave and pay” function, access to maps, voice control and wireless integration with the iPhone. That could allow the wearer to take calls and read messages without having to delve into their pocket or bag, or mean the iphone would know when it was in its owner’s hand an unlock automatically.

Apple reportedly has a team of 100 product designers working on the project, indicating it is beyond the experimentation phase and heading towards production.It is claimed that Foxconn, the contractor that assembles iPhones and iPads in vast Chinese factory complexes, is in talks with Apple about the device, as well as working with component suppliers on efficient microchips and displays.

Read article

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Five Tools to Protect Your Privacy Online

Five Tools to Protect Your Privacy Online
Five Tools to Protect Your Privacy Online

Sovereign Man   Notes From The Field
Five Tools to Protect Your Privacy Online
Feburary 15, 2013

We've discussed many times before--hardly a month goes by without some major action against Internet users... from Obama's 'kill switch', to ACTA, SOPA and PIPA, to stasi tactics against people like Kim Dotcom.

Online privacy is becoming more important by the day. And nobody is going to give it to you, you have to take steps yourself to secure it.

Below are five different tools and services that will get you started:

1. Tor Browser 

Tor is a great weapon in the fight for online anonymity as it allows you to surf the web without giving up your location and other personal data to the websites you visit.

The Tor Browser Bundle is the easiest and most secure way to get started; simply download it, and start surfing the web with the Tor Browser. It's available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Read More Link on Right
Learn more about and download the Tor Browser Bundle here

2. Duck Duck Go 

If you want privacy, don't search with Google.

Google store all of your searches to customize ads for you, but even worse, they can hand over the whole list of searches to any government agency that are curious about what you've been looking at for the last couple years.

A better alternative is Duck Duck Go, a completely anonymous search engine that does not store any information about you or your searches. The search results are essentially identical to Google's, so there's no loss of quality.

Search with Duck Duck Go here

3. HTTPS Everywhere 

HTTPS Everywhere is a plug-in for Firefox and Google Chrome that tries to force a website to connect in secure mode, thus encrypting your traffic with the website you are visiting. This makes your browsing more secure because it prevents eavesdropping thieves or state-mafia from intercepting your unencrypted Internet traffic.

Download HTTPS Everywhere here

4. Cryptocat

Cryptocat is an encrypted chat that beats Facebook and Skype when it comes to security and privacy. If you want to chat in private then this is one simple solution. It's also open source, which means you can see the full code and be sure there are no government "backdoors" built in.

Read more about and download Cryptocat here

5. Silent Circle

Silent Circle is a new player on the market, but it is founded by "old" players in the security and encryption industry. One of the founders, Phil Zimmerman, is also the creator of PGP, one of the most-used encryption platforms in the world.
Silent Circle is a suite of products offering:

- Encrypted email
- Encrypted video chat
- Encrypted phone calls
- Encrypted text messaging

Silent Circle is the only service on this list that is not free. But having the gold standard of encryption may be worth it for you. It is for me.

Read more about Silent Circle here

Bottom Line 

You can set up most of the tools we discussed in 5 minutes. Each of them will go a long way in securing your privacy online.

Do you have a recommended tool or service that should be on the list?
If so, please leave a comment and share it on our website.

Until tomorrow,
Senior Editor, 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Computers & Internet: how much does your computer tell others about you

Computers & Internet: how much does your computer tell others about you
Computers & Internet: how much does your computer tell others about you

Have you ever had the feeling your computer is watching you? That somehow it knows what you were looking at yesterday, or last year?

And that rather than being your technological ‘friend’ it behaves more like a slick second-hand car salesman?

You fancied flying to Paris so you checked out airfares . . . and before you knew it, your Facebook page was plastered with advertisements for hotels on La Rive Gauche.

Your daughter bought a record by One Direction. Now, the family computer is bombarded with ads for boy band concerts.

It is all because of something on your computer called a ‘cookie’. The origins of their name are unclear, but cookies are vital to the running of the internet.

When you visit a website, that site places a unique cookie on your computer so it recognises you when you come back. It allows the website to remember your login details and other pieces of information to save you entering them again and again.

If, say, the site offered up weather information, it might remember that you were interested in conditions over a particular town, and so on.

These devices — known as ‘first party cookies’ because they involve an exchange of information only between you and the site — make shopping on the internet possible.

If you shop for groceries over the internet, for example, cookies allow you to update your shopping trolley day after day, returning as you remember to add new products before moving to the virtual checkout at the end of the week.

And cookies can remember your credit card details to save you having to enter them over and over again. So far, so good.

Problems arise when advertisers get involved. You may think all the websites you visit as you use the net are free, but they aren’t.

In return for using them you automatically part with slices of information about yourself that can be used to send advertisements to the pages you look at as you surf.

This happens because of ‘third-party’ or ‘tracking’ cookies. These are placed on your computer by companies who profit from finding out what interests you or what — from your searches — you are looking to buy.

During one 15-minute surfing period, one investigator’s computer was inundated with 600 cookies, 350 of which were the tracking variety.

Read more: 

Friday, February 8, 2013

People want privacy - finally a service to protect your privacy on calls, texts, and email

People want privacy - finally a service to protect your privacy on calls, texts, and email
Surveying consumers in 11 countries around the world, the research firm said 68 per cent of respondents said they would select a 'do not track' feature if this was easily available.

Mark Little, a principal analyst at Ovum, said Internet users were increasingly getting more access to new tools to 'monitor, control and secure their personal data as never before'.

The recent scandal involving privacy breaches by mobile messaging service WhatsApp and lingering concerns over data use policies on Facebook and Google are prompting Internet users to be more guarded, Ovum added.

A new app promises to encrypt all your smartphone communications to make them look and sound like gibberish to anyone trying to listen in.

Startup tech firm Silent Circle say their system is 'a secure information service' which can allow users to communicate via voice, text message, email and even video without fear of being tapped.

The app is already available on both iPhone and Android, and its functionality has recently been broadened to allow users to not only communicate securely but also easily send encrypted files.

The team behind Silent Circle includes Phil Zimmerman, inventor of PGP ecryption, which is still considered the standard for email security, and Phil Zimmerman, former chief scientist at PGP corporation and the developer of Apple's whole-disk encryption.

In an interview with MailOnline, Mr Callas, now chief technology officer at Silent Circle, described it as a 'secure information service.'

‘It’s a subscription service that lets you do secure voice, video and email using a standard mobile device,' he said.
‘Let’s say you are in a war zone, or you are a business traveller in China,’ he said. ‘You might want to talk to someone back home and talk to them about what you are doing there that might be of interest to the local wiretapping environment.’

Silent Circle’s kind of customers, Mr Zimmermann says, ‘see the hacking that’s going on internationally, they know that a lot of services they use collect information and use it to target ads’.

‘People say I’m being watched all the time now. It’s not a Big Brother thing, it’s a little brother thing; it’s all these little things that are eroding our basic privacy.’

Read more:

Stop Procrastinating: 10 FREE SEO Actions To Take To Jump Start Your Web Presence: Internet Marketing For Your Web Site

Stop Procrastinating: 10 FREE SEO Actions To Take To Jump Start Your Web Presence: Internet Marketing For Your Web Site
Stop Procrastinating: 10 FREE SEO Actions To Take To Jump Start Your Web Presence: Internet Marketing For Your Web Site

The way of the future for almost any business is online marketing. Sure the older generation is more accustomed to using the yellow pages but even that is changing.

"For the first time, half of American adults ages 65 and older are online.' PEW, Jun, 2012

"These are the most popular online activities across all generations .....

  • Email
  • Search engine use
  • Seeking health information
  • Getting news
  • Buying products
  • Making travel reservations or purchases
  • Doing online banking
  • Looking for religious information
  • Rating products, services, or people
  • Making online charitable donations
  • Downloading podcasts"

Ready to get your marketing effort in full swing? 

Here are ten PROVEN SEO TECHNIQUES to boost your web reputation. And, don't forget, this doesn't happen overnight ... it takes time. For example, don't setup your blog and expect to be receiveing instant feedback or 5,000 visitors a month. 

... you have to work it the old fashion way - sweat equity.

1. The most obvious - setup a free blog and make start posting - at least - once a week. If you are serious about marketing then do one post a day.

2.  When you produce a blog post use the labels to accent your marketing slogans, product/service features.

3.  Distribute your blog to your social networks: Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter at a bare minimum.  This can be done freely or you can use a paid service to do the distribution automatically when you publish your post.

4.  Produce a wikipedia page for your organization. Keep n mind this is not a sales page. It is an information page to give you street cred.

5. Join social networks and make new friends - expand your sphere of influence. Click here to see 10 most popular, or a listing, or as an info graphic.

6. Find a forum that is related to your product or service and join it. Answer some questions and get your name established. Meet new friends. Click here for a list. Or google/bing your interest plus the word "forum." For example, if you were selling red wagons you would google or bing "red wagon forum" or "kid toys forum" or "wagon wheel forum"  .... you get the idea.

7.  Add your web site to your email signature. If you don't know how then google or bing this phrase "how to set up email signature in xxx" and fill in "xxx" with your email service - gmail, hotmail, yahoo .... you get the idea.

8. Get a customer testimonial and add it to your web site. Better yet, add that testimonial to your email signature. 

9.  Make a video and put it on youtube. Then embed or link that video into your blog or web page. Not sure how to do that? Google or bing this phrase "how to embed youtube video on web site." Youtube has a high pagerank so connecting that video to your stuff will help improve your pagerank - guaranteed. The higher your pagerank the more visibility in search engines you will have.

10. Complete a request to Google Local Places and Bing Local Places to add your business. This will get your biz displayed in the search results with a thumb tack in the local map on searches that match your key words.

Folks there you go - then FREE steps to jump start your marketing. Get'er done and have some fun too!

Steu Mann is an SEO Specialist. He has been successfully working with online technology since 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @EzWebManifest. If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe to receive Free Web Site Tune Up Tips in the future. He can be reached at 406.285.1778.

SEO - internet marketing case study on a real business

SEO: No business can afford to be missing out on potential customers, a case study on a real business
No business can afford to be missing out on potential customers. The power of exposing your business to a receptive audience on the internet just keeps expanding.  It has been proven in many ways that performing search engine optimization (SEO) and integrating  internet marketing strategies are best practices for any business web site, but do they work and how?  This article covers a real business that implemented these practices and the results achieved in a specific timeframe. 

The Business

Pristine Detailing Services,,  is a family owned business in Souther Oregon thats been around for several years. They are professional vehicle detailers with an actual brick and mortar shop where they get ‘er done. Their comprehensive services are unmatched in the local area and they have an excellent reputation from their clients. They offer more that just “wash and polish” services as they remove minor scratches and paint buildup, rejuvenate headlights, do steam cleaning, and a whole lot more to revitalize any vehicle. Pristine Detailing in Ashland is recognized nationally as they qualified to be members of the Air Force One Detailing Crew. Additionally,  they were selected to participate on the detailing team for the Museum of Flight in Washington to detail a B-29 Super Fortress. Your get the picture, theses folks are no ordinary detailing shop.

Before Implementation

Pristine had a static web site of a few ages which they put together in their spare time.  Suffice it to say that their old site was never indexed with the search engines so it cannot be found at the internet archive web site.  

On that current site the best practices were invisible. They had no social marketing links.  The content was not capturing the attention of visitors which was evidenced by a pagerank of zero and only five backlinks. There were no invitations or opportunities to visitors that allowed a free connection, i.e. subscription. Lastly, there was no e-commerce ability in place.

When checking the search engines the web site of Pristine Detailing was invisible. They could not be found by their biz name or any key phrase on the first two pages of search results. A recent report found that 93% of all internet traffic comes from a search engine (Forrester 2006).

Mark and Travis had one saving grace working for them in the search engines, which demonstrates the power of social marketing. In this case they didn’t do that marketing, one of their customers did it for them. Nicole was so satisfied with the work on her family car by Pristine that she went out to YELP,, and put in a five star review about them. Her review was the first entry on the first result page in Google for their two key phrases: auto detailing ashland and pristine detailing. Unfortunately, clicking that YELP link took the user to YELP and not to the Pristine Detailing Services site.

42% of users studied selected the topmost search listing from the results. This was far and away the most-clicked single link position in the study. However, it is still interesting to note that the majority (58 percent) of all users studied did not select the top search result.” Nielsen Norman Group, 2005

Building A Web Presence

Mark and Travis have a couple of CDs packed with photos displaying the before/after look of their work but no where to put ‘em. They decided the best approach was using the web site as a show case using those photos. And, they wanted to get on the first page of the search results. At that time when you googled “pristine detailing” they were not even listed in the addresses with a thumbtack on the map that Google displays for matching search results.


The current web site content is designed around photos of the vehicles they have serviced.  The site design uses colors and textures that represent a quality, subtle look. Today, site visitors get educational information starting at the home page where there are several videos to choose from. To satisfy social networking, buttons for FaceBook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, and a Blog were added  Their blog is connected to the Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter accounts to insure every post is distributed automatically. With their upgraded site they now have an  assortment of features available:
  1. Gift certificate sales can be purchased
  2. Testimonials are available from every page
  3. There are two galleries:videos and pictures
  4. Educational articles are available: FAQ, Odor and Germ Control
  5. Ability to receive payments on line is in place

SEO best practices were built into their new web pages and standard internet marketing techniques were implemented. A major result was they obtained search engine results ranking on the first page - in Goolge, Bing, and Yahoo -within 90 days of publishing the new site on their two key phrases. 

I don’t suggest measuring search engine results by googling a business name because potential customers don’t know your business name; they are more likely to find you by your services, products, or marketing slogans. However, it’s worth noting that pristine is a common key word with auto detailers across the country. Even so, today they are easy to find found by “pristine.” For example, when you google or bing “pristine ashland” they are the first result.

Steu Mann is an SEO Specialist. He has been successfully working with online technology since 1997. Follow him on Twitter at @EzWebManifest. If you enjoyed this article, you can subscribe to receive Free Web Site Tune Up Tips in the future. He can be reached at 406.285.1778.