karacter Is A Colouring Box For Audio

Image result for karacter Is A Colouring Box For AudioPlugin Alliance has announced the availability of karacter,  a new plug-in which they describe as an “exacting emulation, by Brainworx of  elysia‘s discrete class-A stereo saturator namesake, known affectionately as ‘The Coloring Box’ because of the wondrous ways in which it fattens and adds sparkle to tracks.” Here’s a press release with the full details…

karacter is actually a bundle of two plugins — karacter mix and karacter master, the former providing a straightforward set of controls for treating mono and stereo tracks, while the more surgical latter lets users process full mixes, stereo stems, and subgroups, thanks to its independent left and right channel controls or, in MS Mode, mid and side channels. Choose either, and characterful sounds shine forth for sure, separating them from the plugin pack. After all, elysia has a well-deserved reputation for building pioneering products of quality and distinction that really represent a paradigm shift in studio processing; plugins bearing the manufacturer’s notable name capably convey those admirable attributes in digital form.

For both the karacter mix and karacter master plugins provide three different modes with which users can paint project tracks with colorful harmonics — hence that (“Coloring Box”) tagline thrust upon their hardware counterpart. Creatively, the standard saturation mode makes for fattening gently while heightening (odd) harmonics — heavenly when it comes to mastering and also for adding subtle size to pristine-sounding instruments such as acoustic guitars and grand pianos. FET Shred mode mimics the pleasing distortion of a driven tube amp, adding a relative boost to (even) harmonics that transform clinical-sounding electric guitar and bass tracks into bad boys! Turbo Boost mode — only available in FET Shred mode — should surely carry a warning! Why? Waging total harmonic destruction, it hard-clips signal tops like a weed whacker and sounds superb whether used for far- reaching processing of individual tracks or being tasked with severe sound design duties.

Days of yore required racks packed with outboard gear to achieve elusive and highly-desirable styles of tonal saturation. Such serious outlay is not necessarily needed today, thanks to karacter… choose the desired saturation mode, then push it harder or softer using the Drive control to dial in ideal amounts of beautiful-sounding sparkle or meat-grinding grit. For floor-rattling bass tracks, turn up karacter’s Color control counter-clockwise to simultaneously jack up the saturated signal’s bottom end while softening its highs. Conversely, clockwise rotation of the Color control could rough out the smooth edges of clean FM (Frequency Modulation) synth tracks to dirty things up. Up top, try raining musical mayhem down on drum overheads in MS Mode by applying Turbo Boost to the kick and snare in the mid channel while creating crystalline-sounding cymbals on the side channel. Or overdrive the total kit to take things to the extreme! Either way, whether working on full mixes, drum subgroups, or stringed instruments, karacter’s Mix control can blend colorful distortion with pristine input signal to sculpt a perfect balance of girth and sonic detail. Duly transform tracks into beauty or beast with karacter!

Cutting — or boosting! — to the chase: karacter creates a wonderful world of tremendous tones and timbres courtesy of a carefully chosen small set of controls that can completely change the character of a sound, alongside a stereo M/S (Mid-Side) control that opens up several possibilities for creative effects. The choice is in there… and all keeping elysia’s well-deserved reputation alive and kicking (ass) within a convenient, creative plugin workflow without treading on the toes of any other saturator software solution out there.

Pricing and Availability:
karacter is available for purchase — as an AAX Native & DSP-, AU-, VST2-, and VST3-supporting plugin for Mac OS X (10.8 through 10.12), Windows (7 through 10), and Pro Tools 10.3.10 (or higher) — exclusively from Plugin Alliance for $199.00 USD.

Note that the proprietary Plugin Alliance Installation Manager means users can select, download, and install only the products and formats needed for their system.

[“Source-ndtv”]

4 SEO Trends to Look for in 2017

4 SEO Trends for 2017

It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start looking towards 2017, but this year is almost over. Now is the time to see what is going to be big in the search marketing industry in the coming months. We saw some big changes in 2016, and they are likely to carry over into 2017. We’ve compiled our top 4 SEO trends that we think will dominate the industry in the new year.

This isn’t to say that these are all new – you’ve probably already about most of these and even started working on optimizing for them. But whether or not these trends are new or not is beside the point, these are the trends that you need to keep your eye out for and get ready for in 2017.

SEO Trends for 2017

Mobile First Index

Mobile has already taken over the search marketing world. In 2015, mobile searches surpassed desktop searches for the first time ever. With this, Google said that mobile and desktop were equal. However, that’s not true anymore.

Google has since stated that it wants a mobile experience across all types of devices. Google recently announced it’s mobile first index. This is huge for the industry because now Google will crawl the mobile version of your site or responsive mobile version first, before the desktop version, and use that content to place you in the search results.

This shouldn’t be a problem if you use a mobile responsive version of your website. Also, there’s no need to start panicking right away – Gary Illyes, a Google engineer, has confirmed this update is still a few months away. However, this is something that everyone needs to be aware of and prepare for. For the entire guide on Google’s mobile first index, you can click here.

Video Content

Video content has been on the rise for a little while now, and it’s not going anywhere in the near future. In fact, a high power at Facebook even stated that video will become the main type of content by 2020. We aren’t sure about all that – as for right now, written content is still the norm, but that doesn’t mean that it will always be. It also doesn’t mean that you should have variety in your content either.

However, as new technologies keep developing, Snapchat, Vine, Periscope, and even Instagram, video is not going anywhere in 2017. Even Google is experimenting with video ads in the search results. There are multiple types of video content that you can implement into your search marketing strategy – webinars, step-by-step tutorials, Q&As, etc.

Try out a few videos in your content, maybe as an addition to one piece you already have and see how it does. If it performs well, which I think it will, you know maybe you should be placing more importance in video.

Voice Search

For a while, voice search was something that was floating around out there but wasn’t really playing a huge part in the search marketing industry. However, as mobile continues to increase and technology advances, voice search is gaining momentum. Today, 55% of teens say that they use voice search on a daily basis – with 56% of adults saying that they enjoy using voice search.

This trend is just going to continue to grow as we get into 2017. Why is this? As we stated earlier, with technology advancing, voice search is just another way that technology can make our lives simpler. Isn’t just talking to your phone a lot easier than typing, especially when you are on the go or trying to multi-task?

What makes this something to look for and optimize for is that voice searchers are not going to be entering the same phrases or keywords as someone who is typing on a computer or smartphone. Since voice searches are more like spoken word, you want to make sure you understand the searchers intent and market to that. Use question words like who, what, where, when, why, you need to optimize differently for voice search. Try reformatting your headlines into questions that include these question words.

Structured Data and Schema

Structured data really hasn’t been talked about as much as I thought it would be lately, but it is a very important in the SEO world. According to Search Engine Watch, structured data is information formatted in a way that can be universally understood. Through this structured data, search engines are able to understand a website easier and therefore gives them better SERP rankings.

Schema.org is structured data that was developed by Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Yandex, and it is a code that you can add to your website that allows all search engines to define it. While webmasters have been using this for a while, it’s been recently that Google has started to really use it to help crawl sites. Since it is making their jobs easier and helps them to display rich snippets in the search results, structured data and schema are going to continue to gain importance in the SEO world.

Look for structured data and schema to start playing an even bigger part in websites in 2017 and beyond. Search engines want to be able to crawl your website faster and easier, and with the advancements in this technology, they should start to implement it more.

Conclusion

Being mindful of these four trends will help you be more successful in your SEO efforts in the upcoming year. Make sure you optimize your search marketing strategies to account for these changes. Oh, and Happy New Year!

[“Source-smallbiztrends”]

8 of the Best Plugins for Securing Your WordPress Site

This article is part of a series created in partnership with SiteGround. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

How do you avoid getting hacked? Our last article detailed forty techniques for securing your WordPress site. This follow-up post is a quick reference of the best plugins that look after your security needs.

We’ve focused on highly-rated plugins that cover a range of security features, rather than one-trick-wonders. If your hosting provider doesn’t already have a comprehensive security solution, installing one of these would be a great first step in your security strategy.

Have we missed your favorite security plugin? Let us know in the comments.

1. WordFence

  • Cost: Free, Premium from $99/year
  • Active installs: 2+ million
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (3,048 reviews)

Wordfence Security is 100% free and open source. We also offer a Premium API key that gives you Premium Support, Country Blocking, Scheduled Scans, Password Auditing, real-time updates to the Threat Defense Feed, two-factor authentication, and we even check if your website IP address is being used to Spamvertize.

WordFence includes these security features:

  • Firewall. WAF with automatically updated firewall rules that block common WordPress security threats.
  • Blocking features. Real-time blocking of known attackers and malicious networks and other security threats.
  • Login security. Two-factor authentication, enforced strong passwords, security to lock out brute force attacks.
  • Security scanning. Scans core files, themes and plugins for malware and backdoors, and checks for files that have been changed.
  • Monitoring. Monitors traffic in real time including bots and reverse DNS, monitors for DNS changes and disk space.

 

2. All In One WP Security & Firewall

  • Cost: Free
  • Active installs: 500,000+
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (669 reviews)

A comprehensive, easy to use, stable and well supported security plugin… It reduces security risk by checking for vulnerabilities, and by implementing and enforcing the latest recommended WordPress security practices and techniques.

All In One WP Security & Firewall includes these security features:

  • User accounts security. Change the default admin username, check for user display names that are the same as usernames, password strength tool, stop user enumeration.
  • User login security. Login lockdown (brute force protection), log out inctive users, view failed login attempts, whitelist IP addresses, see who’s logged in, CAPTCHA.
  • User registration security. Enable manual approval, CAPTCHA, Honeypot.
  • Database security. Set the default WP prefix, schedule automatic backups.
  • File system security. Identify and fix insecure permissions, disable file editing from WP admin, monitor system logs.
  • htaccess and wp-config.php file backup and restore. Easily backup, restore and modify these important files.
  • Blacklist functionality. Ban users based on IP address or range, or by specifying user agents.
  • Firewall. Add firewall protection via htaccess, firewall rules that stop malicious scripts.
  • Brute force login and attack prevention. Cookie-based login prevention, CAPTCHA on login form, rename login form URL, Honeypot.
  • Whois lookup. Get full details of a suspicous host.
  • Security scanner. File change alerts, scan database tables for suspicious strings.
  • Comment spam security. Block IP addresses of spammers, add CAPTCHA to comment form.
  • Front-end text copy protection. Disables right click, text selection and the copy option.

 

3. iThemes Security

  • Cost: Free, Pro: 2 sites $80/year, 10 sites $100/year, unlimited sites $150/year, Gold $297 lifetime.
  • Previously called Better WP Security
  • Active installs: 800,000+
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (3,812 reviews)

iThemes Security Pro takes the guesswork out of WordPress security. You shouldn’t have to be a security professional to use a security plugin, so iThemes Security Pro makes it easy to secure & protect your WordPress website.

The free version gives you some protection, but the Pro version includes these security features:

  • Two-Factor Authentication. “Use a mobile app such as Google Authenticator or Authy to generate a code or have a generated code emailed to you.”
  • WordPress Salts & Security Keys. “The iThemes Security plugin makes updating your WordPress keys and salts easy.”
  • Malware Scan Scheduling. “Have your site scanned for malware automatically each day. If an issue is found, an email is sent with the details.”
  • Password Security. “Generate strong passwords right from your profile screen.”
  • Password Expiration. “Set a maximum password age and force users to choose a new password. You can also force all users to choose a new password immediately (if needed).”
  • Google reCAPTCHA. “Protect your site against spammers.”
  • User Action Logging. “Track when users edit content, login or logout.”
  • Import/Export Settings. “Saves time setting up multiple WordPress sites.”
  • Dashboard Widget. “Manage important tasks such as user banning and system scans right from the WordPress dashboard.”
  • Online File Comparison. “When a file change is detected it will scan the origin of the files to determine if the change was malicious or not. Currently works only in WordPress core but plugins and themes are coming.”
  • Temporary Privilege Escalation. “Give a contractor or someone else temporary admin or editor access to your site that will automatically reset itself.”
  • wp-cli Integration. “Manage your site’s security from the command line.”

 

4. Sucuri Security

  • Cost: Free, Basic $199/year, Pro $299/year, Business $499/year
  • Active installs: 300,000+
  • Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (260 reviews)

We keep your website safe and hack-free! The Sucuri Platform is a suite of tools designed for complete website security. With no additional cost or hidden fees, the Sucuri Platform is affordable, easy to deploy, and supported by a team of professionals at your disposal.

Sucuri forms part of the security solution of many quality hosting providers, including SiteGround. It’s a valuable tool for SiteGround to protect its clients’ sites from malware, because it scans every link that is accessible from the website homepage on a daily basis. It includes these security features:

  • Clean and repair hacked websites. “Professional security incident response team available 24/7/365.”
  • Attack and hack prevention. “A cloud-based WAF/IPS solution designed to stop hacks and attacks.”
  • Continuous monitoring. “Continuous monitoring and alerting of any security-related issues.”

The free WordPress security plugin includes these features:

  • Security Activity Audit Logging
  • File Integrity Monitoring
  • Remote Malware Scanning
  • Blacklist Monitoring
  • Effective Security Hardening
  • Post-Hack Security Actions
  • Security Notifications

 

5. Jetpack, which now includes VaultPress

  • Cost: Free, Personal ($39/year), Premium ($99/year), Professional ($299/year)
  • Active installs: 3+ million
  • Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (1,330 reviews)

Jetpack (by Automattic, who bring you WordPress) does more than just security. It basically brings the features of WordPress.com to the rest of us, which is appealing. For security and backup the paid plans includes VaultPress.

VaultPress is a real-time backup and security scanning service designed and built by Automattic, the same company that operates (and backs up!) millions of sites on WordPress.com.

VaultPress is now powered by Jetpack and effortlessly backs up every post, comment, media file, revision, and dashboard setting on your site to our servers. With VaultPress you’re protected against hackers, malware, accidental damage, and host outages.

VaultPress includes these security features:

  • Backups. “Comprehensive daily or real-time automated backups stored in our offsite digital vault, optimized for WordPress and better than your host.”
  • Restores. “Even during the most stressful moments we have your back. Restore your entire online presence quickly and easily without needing your host.”
  • File scanning. “Automatically detect and eliminate viruses, malware, and other exploitable security problems that may be hiding in your website.”
  • Automated file repair. “Fix detected viruses, malware, and other dangerous threats with a single click.”
  • Spam defense. “Protect your SEO, readers, and brand reputation by automatically blocking all spammers.”

 

6. BulletProof Security

  • Cost: Free, Pro $59.95 (one time purchase)
  • Active installs: 100,000+
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (302 reviews)

BulletProof Security Pro has an amazing track record. BPS Pro has been publicly available for 5+ years and is installed on over 30,000 websites worldwide. Not a single one of those 30,000+ websites in 5+ years have been hacked.

100% hack free website guarantee. If your website is hacked after installing BPS Pro, we will clean up your hacked website for free. We can easily offer that awesome deal because your website will never be hacked if you have BPS Pro installed.

The free version includes these security features:

  • One-Click setup wizard
  • .htaccess website security protection (firewalls)
  • Hidden plugin folders / files cron (HPF)
  • Login security & monitoring
  • Idle session logout (ISL)
  • Auth cookie expiration (ACE)
  • DB backup: full/Partial, manual/scheduled, email/zip, cron delete old backups, logging
  • DB table prefix changer
  • Security logging
  • HTTP error logging

The Pro version adds these features:

  • AutoRestore Intrusion Detection & Prevention System (ARQ IDPS)
  • Quarantine Intrusion Detection & Prevention System (ARQ IDPS)
  • Real-time file monitor (IDPS)
  • DB Monitor Intrusion Detection System (IDS)
  • DB diff tool: data comparison tool
  • DB status & info
  • Plugin firewall (IP Firewall): automated whitelisting & IP address updating in real time
  • JTC anti-spam/anti-hacker
  • Uploads folder anti-exploit guard (UAEG)
  • Custom php.ini website security
  • F-Lock: read only file locking
  • Additional logging options
  • S-Monitor: monitoring & alerting core
  • Pro Tools: 16 mini-plugins

 

7. SecuPress

  • Cost: Free, 1 site $57.60/year, 3 sites $144/year, 10 sites $288/year, unlimited sites $479/year
  • Active installs: 5,000+
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars (19 reviews)

Protect your WordPress with malware scans, block bots & suspicious IPs. Get a complete WordPress security toolkit for free or as a pro plugin.

If you are proactive, our free WordPress security plugin is a great choice! No time to activate weekly scans? Then SecuPress pro is the way to go. Our plugin takes care of everything with automated tasks.

SecuPress includes these features:

  • Anti brute force login
  • Blocked IPs
  • Firewall
  • Security alerts
  • Malware scan (Pro)
  • Block country by geolocation
  • Protection of security keys
  • Block visits from bad bots
  • Vulnerable plugins & themes detection (Pro)
  • Security reports in PDF format (Pro)

 

8. Security Ninja

  • Cost: Single site $29 (1 year updates/support), multi site $79 (1 year updates/support), forever unlimited $199
  • Active installs: 6,000+
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (6 reviews)

Security Ninja helps thousands to stay safe and prevent downtime due to security issues. 50+ tests will provide a comprehensive overview of your site’s security.

The free version lets you achieve the following:

  • Perform 50+ security tests including brute-force attacks.
  • Check your site for security vulnerabilities and holes.
  • Take preventive measures against attacks.
  • Prevent 0-day exploit attacks.
  • Use included code snippets for quick fixes.
  • Brute-force attack on user accounts to test password strength.
  • Numerous installation parameters tests.
  • File permissions.
  • Version hiding.
  • 0-day exploits tests.
  • Debug and auto-update modes tests.
  • Database configuration tests.
  • Apache and PHP related tests
  • WP options tests.

You can even more protection using these Pro modules:

  • Core scanner. “Easily monitor the state of your WP core files. Have a clear view of files that are modified but shouldn’t be and restore them with a single click.”
  • Malware scanner. “Powerful heuristic malware scanning algorithm will check all your themes, plugins, uploaded files and options table for suspicious content.”
  • Auto fixer. “If you don’t like creating backups, editing files, messing with code and getting your hands dirty – Security Ninja PRO will do everything for you. Fix security issues with one click.”
  • Events logger. “Monitor, track and log more than 50 events on the site in great detail. From user actions, to post edits and widget changes – Events Logger sees everything.”
  • Scheduled scanner. “Have Security Ninja do automatic, periodic scans of your sites, including scans of core files. If there are any changes you’ll be notified via email.”

[“Source-ndtv”]

Why Quarterback Is Again An Offseason Priority For The Cowboys

The biggest story of 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys was how they wound up with their new franchise quarterback through a combination of good evaluation and just plain luck. Dak Prescott proved to be far more capable than anyone dreamed. Arguably, he represents the greatest first-year return on draft investment ever, not just for Dallas, but for any team.

As good as that is for the Cowboys, it came with the unfortunate downside of ending the career of Tony Romo in Dallas with much more of a whimper than a bang. And it also means that there is a very familiar question facing the Cowboys again this year: Just what do they do about the backup quarterback situation?

In a recent mock draft, SBN draft maven Dan Kadar not only looked at who he projected for teams to take in the first round this year, he also addressed the question of whether each team should draft a quarterback. His answer for Dallas was succinct.

Should they draft a quarterback? Lol

That is funny, as well. It also is pretty much the wrong answer.

With Romo on his way out (and the whole story of where he might end up growing daily), the Cowboys now have exactly zero backup quarterbacks under contract. Kellen Moore and Mark Sanchez are both free agents. Even if the team should re-sign one of them, they still need at least two more camp arms. But camp arms and possible future backups are two different beasts, and the Cowboys have to be looking for the latter. Obviously they are not going to be looking to draft a quarterback early, but on day three, it becomes not just a possibility. It should be something of a priority.

It is certain that the team will want at least one experienced backup going into training camp, and that search would logically begin with Moore and Sanchez. Of the two, Moore would be the more likely option (signing both seems highly improbable). In the first installment of his breakdown of the roster, our own Mark Aggarwal laid out the logic.

Kellen Moore: Second String – As a favorite of Scott Linehan, there is a good possibility the Cowboys will re-sign him to backup Prescott. He knows the Cowboys system, has the trust of the coaches and should come relatively cheap.

That would result in more deja vu all over again, as having Moore as the incumbent backup to the established starter is exactly where the Cowboys were a year ago. Of course, Prescott does not have the injury and age concerns Romo had. But the team was clearly looking to upgrade at the position when they took Prescott in the draft, and that also still applies. The problem with Moore is that his ceiling just looks limited.

What the drafting of Prescott did show was that the staff, especially the coaches, were able to see something that others clearly missed (or at least were unwilling to move on before Dallas got its chance at the end of the fourth round last year). The odds are staggering against finding another Dak this year – but that wasn’t what they thought they had when they took him. They believed at the time they had a developmental quarterback with a lot of upside and good intangibles. This year, they should be combing the available quarterbacks for the same thing. They won’t find a second Dak – but maybe they can find Dak Lite.

The Cowboys have not had a history of taking quarterbacks in the draft in the years before Prescott was selected, but they also had a similar aversion to taking offensive linemen early before a certain Tyron Smith was drafted. His success led to a complete revision of the approach which led to adding Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, and indirectly to La’el Collins as well. Now that they hit the mother lode with Prescott, it would not be surprising to see them go back to that well.

However, this is seen as a relatively weak quarterback class, with no Jared Goff or Carson Wentz creating a sellers’ market for top draft spots to take perceived blue chips. The Cowboys do not want to force things here. They need to stick to their board, which they have been doing fairly well of late. If the value is not there, they will have to go the UDFA route (which, admittedly, they have also had some remarkable success at doing in the not too distant past). They can also consider signing another veteran backup, such as Josh McCown, but that is not a long-term solution. The goal for Dallas is to find a young arm with good football intelligence and processing speed to groom.

The ideal model here is the New England Patriots, who have a long history of drafting quarterbacks, making them look good, flipping them for draft picks, rinse, and repeat. Jimmy Garoppolo is the latest, and we all know about Matt Cassel as well. As much as we love to hate the hoodie, Bill Belichick is a master at this game. And there is nothing wrong with stealing an idea from the best.

What the Cowboys should be hoping for is a QB they have a third- or fourth-round grade on to slip into the sixth or seventh round, the way cornerback Anthony Brown did last year. Brown was the other real draft coup from last year, able to start capably when Morris Claiborne was injured, and now one of the cornerstones for rebuilding the secondary with so many key payers from last year also free agents.

If that happens, the Cowboys need to be ready to pull the trigger. There is no guarantee that they will solve the QB2 issue this time around, but it may take more than one shot at the target. They can’t be shy about making the pick if their scouting backs the move. Like it or not, it is a real need to address this year – as long as everything lines up properly.

[Source:-Blogging The Boys]

Five Potential Cap Casualties For The Dallas Cowboys In 2017

Our sister site Pride of Detroit, the SB Nation community for fans of the Detroit Lions, had an interesting piece earlier this week on Detroit’s potential cap casualties.

As teams around the league get ready for free agency, many have started cutting players to create some additional cap space. The New York Giants for example released Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings on Monday, freeing up $10 million in cap space. The Dolphins on Thursday released defensive linemen Mario Williams and Earl Mitchell to free up $12.5 million in cap space, and offensive tackle Branden Albert will likely follow either via cut or trade, clearing an additional $7.2 million in cap space.

For the Cowboys, Tony Romo is the most obvious candidate to be cut or traded, but he’s not the only one.

1. Tony Romo

Cap Saved: $5.1 million/Cash Saved: $14 million

The Cowboys can clear $5.1 million of cap space by trading or releasing Romo now, and could clear even more space by making Romo a June 1 cut, which would free up $14.0 million in cap space. However, as a June 1 cut, Romo would remain on the Cowboys’ books in 2018 with $8.9 worth of dead money counting against the cap.

Romo will not play for Dallas in 2017, and his impact on the 2017 salary cap will depend on whether the Cowboys find a trade partner for Romo or release him outright

2. Alfred Morris

Cap Saved: $1.6 million/Cash Saved: $1.6 million

Morris arrived in Dallas as a two-time Pro Bowler and a three-time 1,000+ yard rusher and was expected to share carries with Darren McFadden. That all changed when the Cowboys drafted Ezekiel Elliott and McFadden was injured, but in the end, he totaled just 69 carries for a career-low 3.5 yards per attempt, and was inactive when McFadden was back in the lineup over the final two regular season games and in the playoffs .

The Cowboys will restructure some big contracts to get under the cap by March 9, and may not need the $1.6 million cap savings from Morris, but they are likely to move on from him at some point, as they can get that type of production for a lot less.

3. Cedric Thornton

Cap Saved: $0.5 million/Cash Saved: $0 million

Cedric Thornton signed a 4-year, $17.0 million contract last year, including $9.0 million guaranteed, which means his entire $3.0 million base salary this year is fully guaranteed. The Cowboys can’t save any real money by cutting him, and the $0.5 million in cap savings isn’t going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things.

Thornton didn’t start a single game last year, and only played 262 defensive snaps, but he was fairly productive in the process, recording 18 tackles, 3 TFLs, 1.5 sacks, and 9 QB pressures, along with one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

The Cowboys will almost certainly stick with Thornton for now, but if they find an upgrade in free agency or the draft, that could change. If the Cowboys make him a June 1 cut, they could create $3 million in cap space for 2017 (though they’d be left with $3 million of dead money in 2018).

4. Joe Looney

Cap Saved: $0.8 million/Cash Saved: $0.8 million

On paper this looks like a substantial potential saving for a backup interior lineman who played just 156 snaps on offense, but those are “fake” savings as the Cowboys would have to find a replacement for Looney, and it’s not clear that that replacement would be any cheaper.

5. James Hanna

Cap Saved: $1.5 million/Cash Saved: $2.3 million

Hanna may come as a bit of a surprise on this list, and it’s unlikely that he would be a cap casualty. But there is a chance Hanna could get released with an injury settlement.

Hanna had developed into a solid No. 2 tight end behind Jason Witten, and the Cowboys signed him to a 3-year, $8.25 million contract extension in March 2016. But then Hanna entered training camp complaining about knee soreness and was subsequently placed on the PUP list with what was initially described as a “bone bruise.”

For Cowboys fans, “bone bruise” set off all kinds of alarms because that was the same description the Cowboys used to describe an injury that effectively ended the career of Anthony Spencer. In Spencer’s case the term was used as a euphemism for potential microfracture injuries, and those almost never resolve well.

In mid-August, Hanna and the Cowboys opted for knee surgery to address his knee issue, but that apparently didn’t result in a significant improvement, so Hanna underwent a second knee surgery in November.

The Cowboys are not going to cut Hanna now as they are going to wait and see how his recovery progresses. But if he is unable to play by training camp, the Cowboys could cut him, thereby creating $2.3 million cap space in 2017.

[Source:-Blogging The Bpys]

What’s Next For Cowboys Ezekiel Elliott? How About 2,000 Yards?

Over the next couple months there will be extensive discussions about who the Cowboys first round pick should be. The front office has been lights-out fantastic when it comes to their first-round selections with five of their last seven picks being All Pro players. And two of those All Pros have been selected in the last three drafts and achieved their All Pro status their rookie seasons. Zack Martin accomplished this in 2014 and then Ezekiel Elliott did it again last season. Being rookie standouts aren’t the only similarity between these two. Both picks came with a lot of criticism as draft pundits had different players penciled in for the Cowboys when their spot came up. Last season, the great debate centered around two remarkable collegiate athletes – Zeke and Jalen Ramsey.

The Cowboys finally ended the suspense on draft day by selecting the Ohio State running back sensation with the fourth-overall pick. And they haven’t looked back since.

Elliott was a remarkable choice. While it wasn’t hard to see how talented he was, it was exhilarating to watch him put in on display within the Cowboys offense. Elliott broke franchise rookie records left and right. In just his first season, he finished with the fifth-highest rushing output of any Cowboys player with 1,631 yards. And he scored the fourth-most rushing touchdowns in Cowboys history with 15. Only the great touchdown magpie, Emmitt Smith, had seasons with more. And he’s just getting started.

Recently, WFAA sat down and talked to Zeke’s mother and asked her how does he build on such an incredible start? Her response…

Silly moms and their outlandish predictions. Only this declaration doesn’t seem that absurd. Let’s do some quick math here.

Zeke averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season. If you couple that per carry production with the same workload that DeMarco Murray got in 2014, Elliott would finish with 1,999 yards on the season. Of course, it would be highly unlikely to see him getting his tape cut in Week 17 if he is close to eclipsing such an incredible mark.

Elliott’s rookie totals would have been higher had he played in the regular season finale. They also would have been higher if he didn’t get off to a slow start. Yes, he was still a rookie and had to learn some patience and build chemistry with his offensive line. During the first two games of his career, he only averaged 67 yards. But once he started allowing the holes to open up and found the creases, he went on a tear. Over the next four games he averaged over 140 yards per game.

Expect more big games from Elliott in 2017 versus games where he will be shut down. To reach the 2,000 yard mark, he’ll need to rush for an average of 125 yards a game. He has the skill to make the big runs and he will certainly have plenty of opportunities. The Cowboys offense had the most rushing attempts of any team in the league last season and they will continue to be a run-heavy team. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.

As talented as Elliott is, one of the most exciting things about him is his drive. Instilled in him as a child, he loves to compete. Both his parents were extremely athletic, including his mother who was a track star. His parents were committed to his education and has exhibited great family values as they helped him reach his athletic goals. In just watching the above video, you can see why this kid has so much fire in him and is so dedicated to his craft. He’s got big plans.

There’s no denying that Zeke can be a goofball. He showed up to the draft in a crop top, he jumped in the kettle, he chased down a crazed fan at the Pro Bowl, and he regularly reminds those watching that he needs the ball with his “feed me” gesture. But as much fun as he loves to have, he’s has an overwhelming desire to compete. Just ask his coach.Zeke’s getting to 2,000 yards. Whether it happens in 2017 or the year after, it’s coming. His mother said so and that’s good enough for me. Never question a women’s intuition.

[Source:-Blogging the eboys]

Telegram for Android gets themes in latest beta, code shows work on payments

Development releases of Telegram on desktop and Android show that users will be able to theme their apps through an easy-to-use menu. Technically, Telegram on desktop has had theme support ever since the 1.0 release last month, however, it was not easy to set a custom theme because you either had to code one for yourself or hunt one down in dedicated groups and channels.

The new theme selector in Telegram looks quite powerful, rather than having a marketplace of themes to pick, users can select the colour of each individual component of the messenger. Any themes you make will be accessible in the themes menu so that you can switch between them as you want. The beta also gives you the option of editing an existing theme and of sharing it with contacts.

One other feature was uncovered in the latest beta of Telegram, but it doesn’t appear to exist anywhere outside the underlying code just yet, meaning you can’t use it. It looks as though Telegram will soon include payment functionality. At this early stage, it’s impossible to know how it’ll work, but Telegram could seek to partner up with various financial bodies to incorporate their services into the app. Last month, Telegram’s CEO Pavel Durov said that calls will be coming to the app soon.

[Source:-Neowin]

3 Major SEO Steps for a Website Relaunch

3 Major SEO Steps for a Website Relaunch

You’ve had the same site for years. Finally, you get the funding for a new one. The team’s been working together for weeks and you’re finally ready to re-launch. Where do you start?

The website relaunch process is a critical time for SEO. It  involves planning, transition, and post-launch phases of activities to ensure that previously earned relevancy and authority are transferred from the old site to the new. Also to make sure there are no hidden issues that tank rankings and traffic.

The three phases will take a varying level of resources and time depending on the size of the site, as well as the goals of the site. A 50-page informational site will be much easier than a 50,000-page e-commerce website in many regards. Note that I’m assuming the new site is mobile-friendly and the UX team confirms it passes Google’s testing tools–a given in 2017.

Website Relaunch SEO Planning Excel File Image

Website Relaunch SEO Planning Excel File

Phase 1: Planning

This phase is crucial to project success. Speaking from experience, the goal is for the re-launch to be a well-planned process absent of surprises. In the planning phase, there are several important initiatives:

  • Page URLs
  • Keyword mapping
  • Title and meta descriptions
  • Canonical tags

Planning doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. It can be as simple as starting with an Excel file plotting page URLs for the new site. Hopefully up to this point a sitemap has been developed that you can work from. If you have a development or staging site in place, you can likely run Screaming Frog or your crawler of choice to export the HTML page files.

And if you’re not getting results when trying to crawl, it’s likely your developer is doing the right thing and disallowing all robots from indexing the site with a disallow “all” in the robots.txt file (robotstxt.org is a great resource). You might need to remove this for a moment while you crawl the site.

Once the URL list for the new site is set, you can make updates in your Excel file to optimize based on content structure and desired page groupings. You’ll likely need to work with your UX team and developer on this. From the page list, it’s easy to identify the pages that carry over from the old site and those that will change. Now you’re ready to identify the pages and sections that should be targeted for specific keywords.

After identifying the pages and focus keywords/topics on the new site, it is time to plan or write title and meta description tags. If you have a static site or one that requires manual tag writing, this is the time to get to work.

Write custom tags for each page and tailor them to the focus keyword(s) and relevant topics of the page. Don’t forget to follow best practices on the character length (Moz has helpful information for titles and descriptions). If you have a large site or one that’s very data-driven, you will likely need to write formulas for the tags you want for your development team.

For example, on an e-commerce site, write tag structure for category, sub-category, and product pages. This will include a lot of fill-in-the-blank slots from the database for the developer to map specific fields as well.

The last aspect of the planning phase requires questions of the technology you’re using on the new site, and of your development and IT teams. It’s the canonical aspects of the site to ensure that the search engines properly see one site for indexing. Beyond the more obvious needs where there’s known duplicate content (products in multiple categories), it’s important to understand if URLs with and without trailing slashes render as separate pages or redirect to one another.

Additionally, the root domain global 301s are important to plan and talk through at this phase. Changing these after the re-launch can be a risky and painful process. Switching all URLs to https after the fact can be a much bigger deal than it seems.

Phase 2: Transition

The second phase of SEO for a relaunch includes:

ADVERTISEMENT
  • 301 redirects
  • XML sitemap
  • Robots.txt

These items may start prior to launch and possibly alongside planning items, but they’ll be a focus when the site actually launches.

301 redirects are the most important aspect of a relaunch. I always expect to be on call when a site launches to catch missed 301s and other issues that arise. It’s important to plan–using the spreadsheet discussed earlier or other similar methods–to map out the old site pages to the most relevant new site page. In some cases, this is a straightforward process–and in other projects, it can take days or weeks of work.

To track down all old URLs that need to be redirected, don’t just crawl and look at the old (current) website. Do a “site” operator search in Google, and look at Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools to see what URLs the search engines index and deem important. Create this list and hand it to your dev team or implement it yourself through the CMS.

Once the site launches, you need to go back to your redirects list and spot check the old site links to make sure the redirects took effect. Make note of those that go to 404 pages or have issues. Also, make sure they are 301 redirects and not other server codes–there are a bunch of web based tools like redirectcheck.com to help you verify. Lastly, go back and perform that “site” search in Google again and click on links throughout the results pages to make sure nothing was missed or configured improperly at launch.

When your redirects are in good shape, it’s time to crawl the site and develop a new XML sitemap if one isn’t already automatically generated by your CMS. Whether it’s a dynamic or static sitemap, I strongly encourage you to manually review it. Make sure it’s void of duplicate or 404 page URLs. This is an important step because the search engines lose trust in your sitemap if there are errors.

When your sitemap file is in good shape and you have a solid robots.txt file on the site, it’s time to submit their locations to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools.

Phase Three: Post-Launch

With the launch phase complete, it’s time audit and test the site with these steps:

  • Redirects audit
  • Canonical audit
  • GSC/BWT tests & submissions
  • 30-day auditing
    • 404s
    • Tag issues
    • Canonicals
    • Indexing issues
    • Content and ranking issues
    • Overall traffic issues

In this final phase, some steps will repeat to include review of URLs, tags, canonical structures, redirects, and more. After all, there’s nothing worse than doing the right stuff to this point only to realize a month later that a minor detail was missed and traffic tanked.

Fortunately, Google and Bing provide great diagnostic information in GSC/BWT to make it easy to keep an eye on progress. Google Analytics also can help you to quickly flag any drops in traffic or problems.

It’s critical to monitor the health of the site and the implementation of planned and transition activities at least weekly after launch. This will ensure the search engines give the new site credit for relevancy, the authority status of your old site, plus the enhancements you made for the relaunch.

Don’t waste the time and approvals it took for your team to do a relaunch. Try a three-phased approach like this one to ensure the new site has a firm SEO foundation and promising future to provide a return on investment and opening new opportunities for your SEO strategy.

[Source:-SEJ]

Oracle Warns Developers About The End Of Java Plugins, Urges To Look For Alternatives

Oracle Is Giving High School A Make OverOracle this week issued a dire warning to developers, who still expect browsers to run code developed for Java plugins, to find an alternative. The software company is urging developers to find replacement solutions if they still use Java applets because Firefox is going to stop supporting them.

Java Browser Plugin Will Be Deprecated Soon

In a recent Oracle blog post, the Redwood City-based company announced that starting with Mozilla Firefox 52, which is set for release next month, the 32-bit version of the browser will no longer provide the requisite APIs for standards-based plugin support.

The software company announced in a recently published Oracle whitepaper last year, that supporting Java plugins in web browsers is only possible for as long as the vendors are committed to supporting standards-based plugins. Unfortunately, things are getting hard now for the plugins.

According to The Register, the developers behind all major browsers have just decided that the NPAPI framework may now come to rest, that is because there are now better and alternative ways to do multimedia stuff inside a web browser.

Google Chrome ditched plugins in 2015, followed by Microsoft IE and then, the Opera and Apple Safari. This means only one thing: the clock is ticking now for the plugins and there’s no effective way to stop it.

Oracle Urges Developers To Look For Alternatives

In a recent Oracle blog post, the software company advises developers to quickly find a different solution if they are still using the aging Java applets. Mozilla Firefox 52 will be on ESR (Extended Support Release) and will include NPAPI plugin support on board and will get a new release every six weeks or so.

But once Firefox support has reached its expiration date, which will be on 2018, it will be the end of the world for the Java browser plugins.

[Source:-UH]

Awesome vim plugins for writers

Awesome vim plugins for writers

Vim is one of the most popular text editors among programmers, web developers, and power users of GNU/Linux. This is not surprising, because Vim offers high-speed editing, has extensibility, and is pre-installed on most Linux-based distributions.

In addition, Vim offers great benefits to writers, regardless of whether they are technically minded or not. I personally use it not only for editing configuration files and web pages, but for writing blogs, software documentation, notes, and presentation slides. In my opinion, the only potential issue it has might be its relatively steep learning curve. I remember that it took me about two weeks to become comfortable working in it, but since then, editing any kind of text has felt noticeably more fluent compared to other editors I used before.

In this article, I will share a collection of plugins that help me create my documents more efficiently and with fewer grammatical, stylistic, and typographical mistakes.

Note: I use Neovim with a Qt-based GUI, however all of the plugins should all work with any stable versions of Vim as well.

Grammar and word usage

Even though the best way to make sure a text contains no grammatical mistakes is for a human to review it, a grammar checker is still valuable when no one has the time to proofread your work. The plugins vim-languagetool and vim-grammarous provide integration with LanguageTool, which checks for errors not covered by Vim’s spell checker. It currently supports 31 languages.

LanguageTool plugin

LanguageTool plugin

If you’re interested in a more lightweight solution (for English only), vim-wordy is a good choice. This plugin doesn’t depend on anything other than Vim, and it looks for mistakes in the current file based on weak wording, jargon, weasel phrases, and so on.

Thesaurus

A thesaurus can give you access to a wider range of vocabulary by listing synonyms of a particular word or phrase. The Multi-Language Thesaurus Query/Replacement Plugin checks for the available synonyms for the word currently under the cursor (or multiple words highlighted in visual mode) and enables you to replace them with any suggestion easily. The currently supported languages are English, Chinese, Russian, and German.

Some backends work with specific online services (for example, Thesaurus.com). Others require a local database, such as the one that you can download from Gutenberg.org or the English thesaurus for OpenOffice.

Thesaurus plugin

Thesaurus plugin

Typography rules

On a typical keyboard, only straight quotation marks can be found (the characters ‘ and “), and many decide this based on their own style guide. However, if you’d like to follow typography rules, use curly quotation marks and apostrophes. Similarly, use en dashes and em dashes instead of single hyphens (-), and three dots instead of an ellipsis.

Since I’m the type of person who generally pays attention to these rules, I have both UniCycle and vim-textobj-quote installed. When active, UniCycle turns all straight quotation marks into curly ones, three dots into ellipsis, and two or three hyphens into en dashes and em dashes, respectively. In addition to doing the same with quotation marks, vim-textobj-quote also provides navigation between opening and closing quotation marks, surrounding words with quotes, and so on.

Note: Digraphs and Compose keys are decent solutions, too, if you want to insert a character that is outside the scope of the above two plugins.

Distraction-free writing

As claimed by Cal Newport in his book “Deep Work,” the more distractions we encounter during our work, the less productive we become. Coming from my own experience, I can confirm this to be true. Fortunately, you can easily reduce (and restore) the editor’s potentially distracting visual elements whenever you’d like.

Having read the article on the blog titled, “The Darnedest Thing,” I’ve come across Goyo and LimeLight. Goyo disables or hides everything except the file content and the status bar, and centers the text using borderless splits (or, using Vim terminology, “windows”). The status bar is also stripped of everything but the most important parts, such as showing whether you are in insert or visual mode, messages of successful saving, etc. On the other hand, LimeLight dims all the paragraphs (specifically, the non-empty lines preceded and followed by empty lines) besides the active one, so that you can focus on the passage you’re currently editing.

LimeLight plugin

LimeLight plugin

Focusing on craftsmanship

I believe writing can be thought of as craftsmanship, because it takes time and careful concentration to convey your message effectively to the widest range of your audience as possible. For this, choosing the right tools is essential. I’ve chosen Vim and the plugins I’ve mentioned because I can focus on my work and deliver it faster.

[Source:-Open source]