Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is income

Image result for Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is incomeRenters around Portland have been paying about 10 percent more than the national average as Bangor and Lewiston renters have seen costs drop through 2015.

That’s according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis that measures purchasing power in metro areas around the country.

While goods and services generally cost less in Maine metro areas, rents varied widely. Bangor was about 10 percent below the national average and Lewiston was about 20 percent below, and dropping.

 

The bureau combines that cost data with income statistics, delivering a better sense of where in the country people stand to get the most bang for their buck.

While the data does compare costs to per capita income, it doesn’t provide a detailed look at housing or rental affordability.

[Here’s where to find the most affordable homes in Maine]

The figures show that while rental costs are dropping, purchasing power per resident around Bangor and Lewiston still hasn’t grown as quickly as in the Portland area since 2008.

The chart below shows short-term changes on the vertical axis and the longer-term change, from 2008 to 2015, on the horizontal axis. Maine’s metro areas are in blue.

Image result for Rent in Portland is higher than average. But so is income

The figures show Portland-area purchasing power has grown more since 2008, at 5.6 percent, but it still lags the national average of 7 percent growth.

As opposed to overall income figures, the per-capita measure controls in some way for differences in population growth across the metro areas.

By that measure, Portland is above-average nationally. Bangor and Lewiston were behind, but showed signs of catching up in 2015 as they grew faster during that period than Portland.

 

As a whole, Maine’s per capita real personal income grew 2.8 percent from 2014 to 2015, lagging the national average of 3.4 percent.

[“Source-widgetsanddigits”]

How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90s

Image result for How to Make Your 4K Footage Look Like It Was Shot in the 90sSo many photographers have recently been dipping their toes in the world of video. You can edit photos like a pro, but maybe you just can’t seem to figure out video editing; it’s very complex – like an onion, so many layers – and now you have to deal with sound design! If you’ve used presets for your photo editing, then you should definitely consider plugins for your video editing. Red Giant sent us a copy of their recently updated Universe 2.1. Jump on in and see what it’s all about.

I’ve always been a fan of Red Giant ever since I learned the Pen Tool in AfterEffects using Trapcode Suite. Later, in my first “real” job, we relied heavily on Magic Bullet, specifically Looks. So, when they sent us a copy, I was super excited to try out Universe 2.1. I only used a few plugins for this video, but it’s ridiculous how many more there are.

There are six new tools and two updates to the suite:

  • AV Club: Mimic the lo-fi, noisy text you find on ancient video tapes, old infomercials, and local access cable channel shows.
  • Luster: Give your text a slick 1980s retro look. Luster applies a metal sheen to text and includes a refraction-based bevel for a glassy simulated 3D look.
  • Title Motion: Create text and shapes and then instantly add dynamic animations that bring them on and off screen. It’s great for titles, lower thirds, callouts, and more.
  • Ecto: Create haunting, evolving titles with this glowing fractal-based effect, inspired by “Ghostbusters” and “Stranger Things.”
  • Long Shadow: Apply a colored, long shadow to text, logo, or shape, for both classic and modern motion design.
  • Glo Fi II: Give text an ethereal, moody look by instantly adding silky smooth, self-animating, fractal-based glow effects to titles. A simple UI makes it easy to apply evolving, organic glows.
  • Line: This update adds the ability to add text at the start and endpoint of a line.
  • Holomatrix II: This update includes blurred, chromatic distortions, a new strobe effect, and much more.

Holomatrix II is so much fun! While I was testing it out, Patrick suggested I drop the hologram of Tupac in the background, but we figured that would be infringing on copyright, so we went with Princess Leia instead. Not only is this plugin fun, it’s so, so easy. They give you 85 presets to choose from within the plugin (just inside of the Holomatrix II tool), or you can set the parameters yourself and control anything you want. So, I started with their default preset and was able to choose how much distortion, speed, flicker; again, you have total control.

It’s one of the reasons I love plugins: they help you save so much time when it comes to editing, and they also teach you more about the program. I taught myself AfterEffects watching YouTube tutorials and breaking down plugins, seeing what each effect did. When it comes to the type of videos most of us are going to edit, you really shouldn’t be afraid of trying basic AfterEffects!

For the ridiculous 90s montage Lee filmed, I used the VHS plugin, which again, I can’t reiterate how easy it was to use. While all of this editing was done inside Premiere Pro, Universe 2.1 can be used in most NLE programs as well, such as Final Cut X, but be sure to check out Red Giant’s Compatibility Page if you’re using a different program.

Filming and editing this video was so much fun. I was able to play around with a lot of their plugins, and you should too! Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to using these plugins: they will save you time in editing, but might add time when it comes to exporting.

Universe 2.1 is really affordable too if you’re someone who uses plugins for your work. They have a monthly subscription for $20 or a yearly for $99.

All in all, I really enjoyed messing around with these different plugins. I am going to try to work on some more videos to show you even more of the plugins. Also, let me know in the comments below if you would want a mini tutorial on how to use any specific plugin! If you’ve never tried Red Giant Plugins, at least give the free trial a go! I think you’ll be glad you did.

[“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”]

Over 80 powerful VFX & color grading plugins now free to use in any major video editor

Image result for Over 80 powerful VFX & color grading plugins now free to use in any major video editorFXHOME (hitfilm.com) today released Ignite Express (hitfilm.com/ignite-express), a free suite of over 80 powerful plugins which transform editors like Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X and more, turning them into advanced visual effects toolkits.

From world-leading keying technology to 360° video effects and the ultimate light flares collection – this suite contains over 300 effects and presets in total and uses professional HitFilm technology to help editors generate impressive visual effects, achieve perfect grading, color correction and much more. Created to fit into any workflow, users can plugin and power up using Ignite Express on Mac or PC with the editor of their choice: After Effects, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, Motion, Sony Catalyst, DaVinci Resolve, NUKE, EDIUS, Media Composer and Vegas Pro 14 are all supported.

Hero shot
Hero shot

Ignite Express offers choice to video editors worldwide, with direct native support giving a smooth workflow and high performance every time. They can effortlessly scale up production value and dramatic flare in their next project with advanced VFX plugins, or experiment with hues, exposure, and hyperstylized effects to create their own signature film look. Ignite Express even contains advanced keying plugins for bold and believable composites, including a matte cleaner tool to seamlessly smooth edges.

With Ignite Express, we can help editors all over the world tell great stories, no matter their workflow,” says Josh Davies, Founder and CEO of HitFilm. “It’s important to us that everyone has access to our powerful technology, so we’re thrilled to be able to offer these free plugins and open up a new world of possibilities for video editors and creators worldwide.”

Ignite Express users will find even more advanced plugins available in Ignite Pro, which is available from the HitFilm store for $199. It contains over 150 plugins and offers further flexibility for video editors.

They [HitFilm] feel that helping future generations become masters of their craft is the right thing to do.” – Dan Cooper, Engadget

*ENDS*

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • For information about HitFilm’s products and services, please visit hitfilm.com.
  • For reviews and briefings, please contact [email protected]
  • The HitFilm YouTube channel has over 130k subscribers and provides free weekly tutorials and filmmaking techniques: youtube.com/user/FXhomeHitFilm
  • Media information, including a product description, logos and images can be downloaded here: hitfilm.com/contact

Ignite Express 2017 is FREE to download (hitfilm.com/ignite-express) from the 15th June 2017 for both Mac and PC.

Minimum requirements are:
• Apple Mac – OS X 10.10 Yosemite, 10.11 El Capitan or macOS 10.12 Sierra
• Windows PC – 64 bit version of Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10

ABOUT FXHOME, Makers of HitFilm
In 2011, Josh Davies set out on a mission to prove that professional grade post-production tools can be made available to everyone. HitFilm was created as an all-in-one video editing and visual effects software solution – at a fraction of the cost of other industry standard tools.

With over 1.3 million users, HitFilm is one of the leading post-production software tools in the industry, offering professional software options and unrivalled community support for the next generation of filmmaker.

What started as a big idea on a little budget, has grown to a global movement of filmmakers who share HitFilm’s vision for the future of video software.

[“Source-ndtv”]

Widgets in iOS 10: Notifications, streaming videos, 3D Touch and more

Apple’s use of the term “widgets” may not match what Android users consider a widget, but at the end of the day the two distinct approaches serve the same purpose: To provide snippets of information at a glance.

With iOS 10, widgets are still displayed in the Today view, and can still be accessed by sliding down the Notification Center and swiping to the left.

However, you can now access widgets in more places and they can and (eventually) do more.

More than just notifications on your lock screen

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

iOS 10’s lock screen has completely changed. Beyond the new unlocking method (which requires you to click the home button), you now swipe to the left to view your widgets. Using this same gesture, you can view widgets to the left of your main home screen on an unlocked device.

On an iPhone, you’ll see a single column, while on an iPad there are now two columns of widgets. You can edit the left and right side, or the single column but scrolling to the bottom of your widgets and tapping on Edit. Select the green “+” icon to add a widget, or the red “-” to remove one. Tap and hold on the three lined icon to put your respective widgets in order.

On a locked device, when you attempt to view a widget where personal information can come into play, such as the Activity widget, you will need to place your finger on the home button to unlock your device. Notice, you don’t actually press the home button to open the home screen. With your device unlocked, information in the Activity or Find My Friends (just two current examples) will fill in.

3D Touch

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Beyond iOS 10 widgets hiding just off the left side of your screen, apps that have been updated for iOS 10 can now show a widget when you Force Touch on its icon.

Pressing on an app icon reveals the standard shortcuts, plus a widget regardless of whether or not you’ve added it to your curated list in the Today View.

If you haven’t added a particular widget but want to, you can tap on the Add widget button when viewing it.

Streaming video, interaction and more!

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Now that we know how to access widgets in iOS 10, let’s talk about just what you can do with widgets.

While viewing your widgets, you will notice a button in the top-right corner of some widgets that says “Show more.” Selecting it will expand the widget. For something like the Calendar widget, you’ll see more of your upcoming agenda, whereas the Weather widget will show you the week’s forecast along with current conditions.

During the iOS 10 announcement, Apple used a sports app to demonstrate viewing stats for a basketball game and video highlights directly within the widget. This is an area of iOS 10 that will undoubtedly grow in feature set now that iOS 10 has officially launched and as developers begin to push updates to the masses.

[Source:-Cnet]

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]

How to force Flash updates in Chrome

The following guide walks you through the steps of checking the installed Flash version in Google Chrome, and forcing it to update if an outdated version is used by the browser.

All versions of the Google Chrome web browser ship with Adobe Flash installed natively in the browser. While Chrome does not support classic NPAPI plugins anymore, Chrome is still supporting PPAPI plugins of which Flash is one.

This is good usually for users who require Adobe Flash. The main reason why that is the case is that users don’t have to worry about the installed version of Adobe Flash too much, as Google takes care of the updating.

How to force Flash updates in Chrome

While this works fine most of the time, usually before or at the time Adobe releases updates for Flash, it may happen that Google is late to the party when it comes to pushing the updated version of Flash to Chrome installations.

This has the effect that Chrome users run an outdated version of Flash, and that should be cause for concern as that goes along with a truckload of vulnerabilities usually.

adobe flash ppapi download

Downloading and installing the latest Flash Player from Adobe won’t help in this case, as Chrome relies on the PPAPI version of Flash and ignores the NPAPI version that is installed from Adobe’s site.

Adobe offers Flash PPAPI versions for download, and that is one option that you have to update Flash in Chrome and Chromium. But, there is another option, one that is more comfortable than having to visit Adobe’s website, downloading the new Flash installer from it, and running it on devices that you want to update.

We talked about Chrome’s chrome://components/ page back in 2012 for the first time, and hinted at the possibility of using it to check for updates.

force-update adobe flash player chrome

Basically, what you want to do is the following to check for, download, and install Flash updates in Chrome:

  1. Load the internal chrome://components/ page by pasting it in the address bar and hitting the Enter-key (or typing it).
  2. Locate Adobe Flash Player on the page. You can check the version right then and there, or hit the “check for update” button underneath it right away.

This runs an update check. If Google has released an update, but not yet delivered it to your device, it will be downloaded and installed.

It is certainly a possibility that Google has not yet made available the update for Chrome’s Flash plugin. The check for updates fails in this case, and your only option is to head over to the Adobe website to perform the manual update instead. (via Computerworld)

Tip: you may disable Flash in Chrome entirely as well if you don’t need it.

Closing Words

Google is usually pretty fast when it comes to Flash updates in Chrome. But if you notice that Adobe released an update for Flash, and Google did not yet push it to your device, you may use the method to try forcing the update. (thanks Ilev, via Computerworld)

Now You: Do you use Flash at all anymore?

[Source:-Ghacks news]

Winston Churchill’s views on aliens revealed in lost essay

Winston Churchill

A newly unearthed essay by Winston Churchill reveals he was open to the possibility of life on other planets.

In 1939, the year World War Two broke out, Churchill penned a popular science article in which he mused about the likelihood of extra-terrestrial life.

The 11-page typed draft, probably intended for a newspaper, was updated in the 1950s but never published.

In the 1980s, the essay was passed to a US museum, where it sat until its rediscovery last year.

The document was uncovered in the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, by the institution’s new director Timothy Riley. Mr Riley then passed it to the Israeli astrophysicist and author Mario Livio who describes the contents in the latest issue of Nature journal.

Churchill’s interest in science is well-known: he was the first British prime minister to employ a science adviser, Frederick Lindemann, and met regularly with scientists such as Sir Bernard Lovell, a pioneer of radio astronomy.

This documented engagement with the scientific community was partly related to the war effort, but he is credited with funding UK laboratories, telescopes and technology development that spawned post-war discoveries in fields from molecular genetics to X-ray crystallography.

The Tizard Mission: Start of a special relationship?

ExoplanetImage copyrightNASA
Image captionIn the essay, Churchill outlines the concept of habitable zones – more than 50 years before the discovery of exoplanets

Despite this background, Dr Livio described the discovery of the essay as a “great surprise”.

He told the BBC’s Inside Science programme: “[Mr Riley] said, ‘I would like you to take a look at something.’ He gave me a copy of this essay by Churchill. I saw the title, Are We Alone in the Universe? and I said, ‘What? Churchill wrote about something like this?'”

Dr Livio says the wartime leader reasoned like a scientist about the likelihood of life on other planets.

Churchill’s thinking mirrors many modern arguments in astrobiology – the study of the potential for life on other planets. In his essay, the former prime minister builds on the Copernican Principle – the idea that human life on Earth shouldn’t be unique given the vastness of the Universe.

Churchill defined life as the ability to “breed and multiply” and noted the vital importance of liquid water, explaining: “all living things of the type we know require [it].”

More than 50 years before the discovery of exoplanets, he considered the likelihood that other stars would host planets, concluding that a large fraction of these distant worlds “will be the right size to keep on their surface water and possibly an atmosphere of some sort”. He also surmised that some would be “at the proper distance from their parent sun to maintain a suitable temperature”.

Churchill also outlined what scientists now describe as the “habitable” or “Goldilocks” zone – the narrow region around a star where it is neither too hot nor too cold for life.

Radar operator, 1945Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionChurchill supported the development of game-changing technologies such as radar

Correctly, the essay predicts great opportunities for exploration of the Solar System.

“One day, possibly even in the not very distant future, it may be possible to travel to the Moon, or even to Venus and Mars,” Churchill wrote.

But the politician concluded that Venus and Earth were the only places in the Solar System capable of hosting life, whereas we now know that icy moons around Jupiter and Saturn are promising targets in the search for extra-terrestrial biology. However, such observations are forgivable given scientific knowledge at the time of writing.

In an apparent reference to the troubling events unfolding in Europe, Churchill wrote: “I for one, am not so immensely impressed by the success we are making of our civilisation here that I am prepared to think we are the only spot in this immense universe which contains living, thinking creatures, or that we are the highest type of mental and physical development which has ever appeared in the vast compass of space and time.”

Churchill was a prolific writer: in the 1920s and 30s, he penned popular science essays on topics as diverse as evolution and fusion power. Mr Riley, director of the Churchill Museum, believes the essay on alien life was written at the former prime minister’s home in Chartwell in 1939, before World War II broke out.

It may have been informed by conversations with the wartime leader’s friend, Lindemann, who was a physicist, and might have been intended for publication in the News of the World newspaper.

It was also written soon after the 1938 US radio broadcast by Orson Welles dramatising The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. The radio programme sparked a panic when it was mistaken by some listeners for a real news report about the invasion of Earth by Martians.

Dr Livio told BBC News that there were no firm plans to publish the article because of issues surrounding the copyright. However, he said the Churchill Museum was working to resolve these so that the historically important essay can eventually see the light of day.

[Source:-BBC]

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]

Local SEO in 2017: 5 simple ways to dominate local search

local-marketing_295688708-ss-1920

If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.

Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.

1. Title and meta description tags still matter

Title and meta description tags are HTML elements that you can customize to reflect the content of your web page. The text of your title and description tags is displayed in search results. Think of this text as a “mini-ad” that you need to carefully craft.

Last year, Google increased the width of the main search results area to 600px. In light of this, the generally acceptable length for title tags is approximately 50 to 60 characters, and description tags can be approximately 160 to 200 characters. Take advantage of this space and use it wisely — and make sure you double-check that your titles and descriptions aren’t getting cut off in search results.

If you’re not sure how your title and meta description tags will look or how many characters you can get away with, try using an emulator like the one from SEOmofo or Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress:

SEOmofo Google SERP Snippet Optimization Tool

Writing titles and descriptions is considered an art in the SEO world. In a sea of competing search results, if this text isn’t unique, compelling and descriptive, then your click-through rate will suffer. Additionally, one extra word or character could cut off your text with the dreaded ellipses (…). This may not be a true tragedy, but it does look unprofessional, especially when it shows up in the middle of a sentence, making your title or description less impactful.

The lesson? This space is precious, and every character counts. Here are some tips:

  • Never waste space on page names that don’t provide helpful information.
  • Wasted Title Space
    • If you want to reach local customers, include the name of the city your business is in and/or the area your business serves (e.g., “Serving the Corridor of Iowa City and Cedar Rapids”).
    • Focus on using one targeted keyword and carefully place that keyword as close to the beginning of the tag as you can.

    Remember, if your business shows up in the search results, you have one shot to get that person to click on your link. Don’t blow it by wasting characters that won’t help convince a searcher you’re worth looking at.

    2. Online directories and citations

    According to Google, roughly four out of five consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. Yet many small businesses have not claimed even a single a local business listing online, which is a huge missed opportunity.

    It’s important that you get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories, like Yelp, Merchant Circle, Citysearch and others. You will also want to seek out respectable local directories to get your business listed on. Check with your local newspaper’s website and your Chamber of Commerce to see if they have a local business directory you can get listed on. You can also do a search for keywords like “[your city] directory” to find other local citation sites or directories.

    It’s also important to get your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators like Infogroup, Neustar (aka Localeze), Acxiom and Factual. Always make sure that your company’s NAP is consistent on as many of these directories and citation sites as possible. Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number and wrong phone number can create havoc when Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct. If Google’s not sure, they may display incorrect information — or not show your business at all in search results.

    3. Google My Business: Claim and optimize

    Google My Business (GMB) is considered a directory, but it’s a biggie, so it deserves its own section. It’s very important for local businesses to claim their Google My Business (and Bing Places for Business) page. It’s free and can get you incredible exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack:

    Google My BusinessTo claim your Google My Business page, visit google.com/business. There’s a verification process you’ll need to go through where Google will send a postcard with a PIN to your business’s physical location. (No P.O. boxes allowed.) Then you’ll simply log in and enter the PIN to verify your business.

    This verification process is necessary because Google wants to confirm that your business is legitimate, and that you are actually the business owner. Please note that according to Google’s terms of service, only the business owner can claim a GMB page. If you’re working with a digital marketing agency on your SEO efforts, you can then grant them permission to be a manager of your page — that way, you remain in control of your listing if you terminate your relationship with the agency.

    The next step is to optimize your GMB listing with a solid description, categories, business hours, types of payments accepted and so on. You also want to make sure to upload your logo and photos of your business, products or services. (It’s generally recommended that you upload at least three photos.)

    Fully populate each and every relevant section so that your listing is complete. If you’re a service business and don’t have a location customers or clients can visit, don’t worry; you can choose to hide your physical address as you’re setting up your Google My Business listing.

    As mentioned above, Bing also has a comparable page for local businesses called Bing Places for Business. The process is very similar to GMB, and you should definitely have your business present on Bing’s local directory, too.

    4. Online reviews matter

    Businesses are finally starting to realize the importance of online reviews from their customers. According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and seven out of 10 customers will leave a review for a business if asked by the business.

    There are several reputation marketing software and tool options you can use to track, manage and proactively try to get reviews. Here are some to check out:

    • Reputation Loop
    • Get Five Stars
    • Trust Pilot
    • Vendasta

    Additionally, many social media platforms, like Hootsuite and Tiny Torch, allow you to monitor and get alerts any time your brand is mentioned. Whenever a review is left about your business, positive or negative, be sure to respond to it. That shows other people reading the reviews that you, the business owner, care what your customers think.

    Two places where you should focus on getting reviews are your business’s Facebook page and Google My Business page. These are big ones. Many people turn to social media to see what their friends and family think about a business, so having good reviews on your business’s Facebook page can help to draw in prospective customers. Getting positive reviews on your Google My Business page is crucial because these reviews show up on Google when someone searches for your business.

    Google also notes that “[h]igh-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility,” which implies that reviews might factor into rankings on the local pack.

    5. Use local structured data markup

    Structured data markup — often referred to as “schema markup” or “schema.org markup” — can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines with more information about your business, like the products you sell, reviews you’ve collected, services you offer and so on.

    Only 31.3 percent of websites are using this markup — and most are only using the basics. You can make your local business stand out (and possibly rank higher than your competitors) if you add structured data markup to your site where appropriate.

    Google wants you to use structured data markup because it helps their spiders better determine what your site content is about. Google even offers a Structured Data Testing Tool so you can check to see if your markup is properly implemented.

    Google Structured Data Test TooIf the thought of coding freaks you out, you can also use Google’s Data Highlighter to mark up content with your mouse. (Note that your website will need to be set up with Google Search Console in order for this to work.)

    This is just of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to local SEO. Implementing the five local search tactics above will give you a head start on your competition. Get started today!

  • [Source:-Search engine LAnd]