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Top web browsers 2019: No end in sight for Firefox’s losses

If Firefox were a ship, it would be becalmed on a flat sea, loosened seams leaking faster than the hand-worked pumps can empty the bilge, passengers springing overboard and swimming toward other vessels – those with sails bearing rivals’ logos.

According to data published Sunday by analytics company Net Applications, Firefox’s share for November slumped to 8.2%, down half a percentage point. It was the seventh month in the last 12 in which Firefox spilled share, the fifth where the loss amounted to a half point or more.

From 2005, when Firefox was scratching its way out of the single digits in an insurrection against Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), the browser has posted lower shares only three times, all in a short stretch of 2016 when Firefox bottomed out at 7.7%. That time, the browser clawed back to 13% (in October 2017) before again shrinking.

Unless something suddenly stems Firefox’s current free-fall, the browser will return to that low point of 7.7% by June, according to Computerworld‘s forecast, which relies on Firefox’s 12-month average. That same forecast predicts the open-source browser will dip under 8% as early as January.

Mozilla’s efforts to make Firefox more attractive as a browser choice have failed to move the share needle. From its November 2017 “Quantum” relaunch to its recent emphasis on the hottest browser topic – privacy in general, blocking ad and site trackers more specifically – the improvements and enhancements have been accompanied by collective shrug. Or worse, a step toward the exit.

Historically, Firefox has been the counterweight to the then-current leader, first IE, then Google’s Chrome. Firefox’s flirtation with irrelevancy as exhibited by its smaller user share may see that counterweight go weightless. Microsoft’s decision to adopt Google’s browser technology for its reborn Edge strengthened the monoculture. Sans Firefox, the browser choice becomes Chrome or near-Chrome.

Chrome: Settling into its spot?

During November, Chrome lost a quarter of a percentage point, dipping to 67.2%, the browser’s lowest mark since June.

While the loss was little more than a rounding error and could not be considered a threat to Chrome’s dominance by any stretch, Google’s browser may be close to its upper-end limit.

Last month’s share was identical to Chrome’s number at the start of the year, for one, so for all the wild swings — up 2.3 points one month, down 1.7 points the next — it ended where it began. And although Chrome shed three-quarters of a percentage point in the past six months, in the last three the movements were a wash, hinting that changes to share have slowed.

The forecast based on the 12-month average foretold some gains — Chrome should make the 68% mark by June — but the prophesied increase was significantly less than a month ago, when the prediction contended Chrome would hit 70% by mid-2020.

IE edges Edge

Microsoft’s browsers recovered three-tenths of a percentage point in November, the second straight month of share gains (and only the fourth time that’s happened in the last five years). IE+Edge ended November at 12.8%.

That total was tallied of two browsers, IE and Edge, with the increase credited entirely to the ancient and obsolete IE, not the at-least-newer Edge: IE climbed four-tenths of a point to 6.8% while Edge fell a tenth to 6%.

Because Windows 10’s share of all operating systems also declined, Edge remained with an 11.2% share of all Windows 10 browser activity, the level it’s been stuck at for a full quarter.

Measuring Edge against Windows 10 will soon be impossible, as the revamped browser — Microsoft tossed its own technologies and built a new Edge from Google’s Chromium – will reach release status Jan. 15, launching for Windows 7 and 8.1 as well as 10, not to mention macOS.

Whether Edge’s remodel will result in a jolt to its user share is unknown. Microsoft is, if not counting on Edge’s phoenix-rising, eager to put a thumb on the scale to boost the chances; it will automatically replace the original homegrown Edge with the Chromium-based version rather than wait as users do what they do best, stick with the status quo.

Edge may never gain much ground in Net Applications’ measurements. The California metrics vendor best quantifies individuals’ browsing activity, and while Microsoft wouldn’t object if that group dumped Chrome for a Chrome clone, there’s good evidence that the retuned Edge is a corporate play.

Elsewhere in Net Applications’ numbers, Apple’s Safari gained half a percentage point for the fourth consecutive month, climbing to 5.3%, and Opera Software’s browser remained flat at 1.3%. Safari’s increase came as macOS climbed six-tenths of a percentage point to 11.6%, a record for Apple’s operating system. For November, Safari’s share of macOS rose to 45.6%, the highest mark since December 2017, showing that it is possible for a browser to convince customers to ditch Chrome for a browser they’d used before.

Net Applications calculates user share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers that render the websites of Net Applications’ clients. The firm tallies visitor sessions to measure browser user activity.

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Feeling Depressed? Here Are the Top 4 Good News Websites

If you turn on the news or scroll through it on your phone, you’ll be bombarded with fear-inducing and often upsetting headlines. Mainstream news tends to focus on conflict, disaster, scandal, and politics, not subjects commonly thought to make us feel good.

Many people are left feeling overwhelmed by this onslaught of negativity. But, there is an alternative—you just need to know where to look.

If you need help getting a daily dose of good news, we can help. Here are the five best positive news websites.

Positive news---a website with only good news

One of the most prominent good news websites is Positive News. Founded in 1993, the organization aims to produce independent positive news stories.

They refer to this type of writing as constructive journalism, which doesn’t focus on negative and conflict-ridden headlines. Positive News is a quarterly magazine, as well as an online publication.

In 2015, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign titled #OwnTheMedia. This turned Positive News into a co-operative, essentially making each of the 1,500 backers a co-owner of Positive News. This is an unusual model for journalism and keeps the publication accountable to its vision.

The site publishes stories on a wide range of topics, including society, environment, lifestyle, science, and economics. Positive News is a UK-based organization, so some stories do have a more British slant to them. However, they are aware of this and have an entire section devoted to global positive news stories.

Good News Network website

A common theme among positive news websites is their longevity. The Good News Network has been operational since 1997 and has amassed an archive of over 21,000 positive news stories.

The so-called Good News Guru, Geri Weis-Corbley, has been at the helm since founding the site. Like Positive News, Good News Network has its own regional slant, covering some of the best positive news in the USA.

If you want to support the site, you can become a member by donating. Good News Network is also an excellent choice for those on-the-go, thanks to the site’s mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Instead of opening your regular news app, or Facebook, while in line at the grocery store, tap open the Good News Network app instead. If you really can’t avoid social media, then try out these obscure social media apps for when you get bored

8 Obscure Social Media Apps for When You Get Bored

8 Obscure Social Media Apps for When You Get Bored

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as well.

For those who prefer their news in podcast form, the site also produces the Good News Gurus Podcast. They also acknowledge that good news doesn’t end at the US border, so the site has an entire section dedicated to positive world news. There’s even a Spanish language section of the site.

Unlike some positive news websites, Good News Network is not a non-profit organization. This is because they want to show that you can be a viable and profitable business while still focusing on the positive things in life.

The Optimist Daily positive news website

While other positive news websites tend to take a slower approach to journalism. The Optimist Daily is focused on the here and now. The site’s aim is “to accelerate the shift in human consciousness by catalyzing 100,000,000 people to start each day with a positive solutions mindset.” The site doesn’t aim to be an alternative to the mainstream news.

Instead, it wants to be a positive outlet, where people can get the good news of the day. That doesn’t mean you have to stop reading traditional news altogether, though. You can use the most trustworthy news websites

12 Best News Sites You Can Trust

12 Best News Sites You Can Trust

Want the best news sites around? This list of top-ranked news sites kill fake news stories and publish credible content.
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to scratch that itch. The site is provided for free thanks to its subscribers, known as Emissaries.

Some phrases used to describe the site sound like they were taken from a new age self-help guide. But, beneath the flowery language, their mission is the same as other positive news websites; to spread good news today and minimize negativity.

The Optimist Daily doesn’t just focus on good news, though. It also has a substantial archive of personal development tips and techniques, too.

r/UpliftingNews feel good news subreddit

Reddit isn’t a website that people associate with good news. The site is more commonly linked with controversy for its more infamous subreddits. However, Reddit can offer you good news for a change.

The Uplifting News subreddit describes itself as “a place to read and share positive and uplifting, feel-good news stories.”

The subreddit first launched in 2012, and the community is now 15.2 million strong. The moderators do an excellent job of keeping the discussion focused and, for the most part, good-natured. When things do veer off into less desirable territory, other users encourage each other to stay focused on the positive and not descend into squabbling.

Although, if you want to read only good news, you can opt to ignore the discussions and use the subreddit as a place to discover positive news stories instead. With such a diverse membership, the site is also a great resource for positive world news, too.

If you’re new to the site, you may want to check out the best Reddit sites and apps for beginners as well.

The Happy News positive newspaper website

Although we’ve covered some of the best positive news websites, you may still be wondering if there are any good news newspapers out there. Fortunately, there are. The Happy News is a quarterly newspaper by British writer and illustrator, Emily Coxhead.

The 32-page newspaper launched in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Since then, it has delivered on its promise to give readers something to smile about. News items are arranged chronologically by month, and each issue is centered around a specific theme.

There is even a section called Everyday Heroes, which takes a look at some of the most inspirational people and organizations, as nominated by The Happy News readers. The newspaper is available as a subscription and can be shipped worldwide.

The Best Good News Website for You

If traditional media is to be believed, we live in a world that is frightening, scary, and dangerous. It can be exhausting to turn on the news each day and be presented with some of the most upsetting and negative news stories. It doesn’t have to be this way, though. These positive news websites (and one good news newspaper) offer feel good news and can help give you a happier outlook on the world.

Even with these positive news websites in your life, you may be after more ways to make your day brighter. In which case, try out these positivity apps to boost your spirits

5 Free Positivity Apps to Manage Mental Health and Boost Your Spirits

5 Free Positivity Apps to Manage Mental Health and Boost Your Spirits

Everyday life can really wear you down. Try these helpful apps that can manage your mental health and boost your spirits.
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Get Unlimited Access to Over 1,000 Courses From Top Instructors With StackSkills Premium

To stay competitive in the job market today, it’s essential to keep learning new skills. Investing in your future is always a good move, but some courses can be pretty expensive. StackSkills Premium is a platform that gives you access to over one thousand video courses for a low monthly price. The library includes content from more than 350 top instructors, covering design, code, IT, business, finance, and more. Right now, you can get an Annual Pass for $59 via MakeUseOf Deals.

A World of Learning

StackSkills Premium is the ultimate online learning environment for professionals and side-hustlers alike. The platform has a vast range of courses, delivered by true experts. You can choose to focus on specific interests or add a variety of skills to your résumé.

Browse through the library and you will find courses on IT, development, graphic design, finance, business, marketing, and many other niches. The training ranges from beginner to advanced levels, with new courses added every month. You also get access to quarterly Q&A sessions with instructors and a neat progress tracker.

Unlimited Access for $59

StackSkills Premium is normally $25 per month. With this deal, you can enjoy a 7-day free trial and then pay just $59 for one year of unlimited access.

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Top web browsers 2019: Chrome seesaws yet again

Chrome last month continued its seesaw in user share, throwing away most of the gains it had made the month prior while remaining fully in charge of the browser market.

According to data published today by California analytics vendor Net Applications, Chrome’s share for October dropped by 1.1 percentage points to 67.4%. It was the fourth straight time that Chrome shed some of its share the month following an increase of one point or more. In September, Chrome had recorded a boost of 1.3 points.

The up-down has not always resulted in a net gain for each months’ pairings, and when increases have outweighed losses of the month previous, the upside has been small. That’s why over the course of the past 12 months, Chrome has climbed by just one percentage point.

Yet the difference between Chrome, the browser leader, and the next in line – Microsoft’s Double-mint twins of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge – was 54.9 points, nearer the high end of the 12-month range between 51.7 and 56.5. That metric shows that Chrome’s position is solid. Very solid, in fact.

Computerworld now forecasts that Chrome will return to 68% shortly (within three months at the most) and crack 70% by June. Even if its seesaw keeps at it.

Firefox slips

One of the unanswered questions in Browser Land is whether Mozilla’s Firefox can survive. Can the browser, which kicked off renewed competition in the space – when it launched in 2004, Microsoft’s IE had eradicated all rivals – keep its head above the proverbial water, say, above the very-minor-browser marker of 5%?

Good question.

Firefox lost one-tenth of a percentage point during October, ending the month at 8.6%. Although that wasn’t Firefox’s nadir of the past 12 months, it was the third-lowest number during that period and the sixth-lowest overall (or at least since the browser crawled out of the single digits in early 2006).

It’s almost painful to watch Firefox struggle to sustain its share, much less grow it. In October, the browser’s user share was below the median for the past 12 months (9.1%) and significantly under the median for the 12-month span before that (November 2017-October 2018, 10.2%).

Although Mozilla continues to stress Firefox’s privacy chops – the latest upgrade added tools that block social media networks’ trackers – that has not resonated enough with potential users to bring large numbers to the browser.

By Net Applications’ data, Firefox’s near future looks weak, but not necessarily bleak. Using the browser’s average movement over the last 12 months, Firefox should remain above 8% for the next year, dipping below that only in November 2020. But if the past six months are a better clue, Firefox is in trouble: That forecast would put the browser under 8% as soon as January, under 7% by June and below 5% as soon as December 2020.

(The difference in the two predictions? The six-month average contains three months of large, more-than-half-a-point losses, which dominated the total. Those three months were diluted in the 12-month average.)

How long will Microsoft maintain IE?

Microsoft’s recovery from September’s all-time browser low wasn’t much of a come-back, but it was better than nothing. In October, the Redmond, Wash. company’s browsers snatched back some of the share they lost the month before, adding four-tenths of a percentage point to up its share balance to almost 12.5%.

The firm’s total was, as always, composed of two different browsers, IE and Edge. And the increase was neatly split between the pair, each adding about two-tenths of a percentage point to the kitty. IE climbed to 6.4%, while Edge edged up to 6.1%.

Windows 10’s share of all operating systems climbed at almost the same rate, so Edge simply kept its share of Windows 10’s browsers at the same 11.2% of September. That mark, remember, was the lowest of the year so far, but not a record low. (The latter would be the 10.9% in September 2018.)

Meanwhile, IE’s increase translated into a slight boost in its share of all Windows browsers, ending October up two-tenths of a point to 7.3%. That IE’s portion of all Windows browsers has fallen by about a fourth – a year-ago, the number was 10.6% – is proof of its fast fade among customers.

Within months, Microsoft will finalize its “full-Chromium” Edge, which will feature an integrated IE mode that replicates that browser for the corporate users who still need it – notably IE’s ActiveX controls – to run aged web apps and obsolescing intranet sites. At some point after the new IE’s debut, Microsoft will forcibly replace the old Edge on Windows 10 PCs (and likely push it onto the Windows 7 systems being serviced by the for-a-free Extended Support Release (ESR) after that OS’s public retirement) with the new.

Computerworld has speculated that Microsoft will eventually purge IE from Windows machines and tell the few customers then still needing the browser to instead rely only on the mode inside Edge. That forecast has been driven by IE’s quickly-declining share. A year from now, going by its performance over the past 12 months, IE will be run by less than 3.5% of all Windows users, just not enough to warrant a separate application.

Elsewhere in Net Applications’ data, Apple’s Safari gained half a percentage point for the second consecutive month, climbing to 4.8%, and Opera Software’s browser stayed dropped a tad to 1.3%. Safari’s increase came in the face of a dip in macOS, which lost about six-tenths of a percentage point in October. That drop in macOS – expected as it was because September’s nearly-two percentage point leap was clearly not realistic – contributed to pushing Safari’s share of Apple’s operating system to 43.9%, the highest it’s been since March 2018.

Net Applications calculates user share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers people use to reach the websites of Net Applications’ clients. The firm tallies visitor sessions to measure browser user activity.

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Top 8 Internet Fraud and Scams of All Time

As long as the internet has been around, malicious people have used it to rip others off. Between fraudulent sites, email scams, and other forms of deception, countless people have lost billions of dollars to internet fraud and scams.

Let’s take a look at some infamous examples of online fraud and scams, many of which people still fall for. By pointing them out, you can better recognize the worst offenders to keep yourself and loved ones safe.

1. Email Phishing

App Store Phishing Receipt Email

While cyber fraud takes many forms, it’s often done through email since that’s a ubiquitous and cheap method of attack. As a result, one of the most common scamming examples is the general phishing email.

In this scam, you receive a message claiming to come from a legitimate entity, such as your bank, email provider, or online retailer. The email lets you know that the company has made some changes and needs you to confirm your information to make sure everything is up-to-date.

If you follow the link in these fishing emails, you’ll be brought to a fraud site. While it might look like the real page, entering your credentials here will send them right to scammers.

Review our tips on how to spot a phishing email

How to Spot a Phishing Email

How to Spot a Phishing Email

Catching a phishing email is tough! Scammers pose as PayPal or Amazon, trying to steal your password and credit card information, are their deception is almost perfect. We show you how to spot the fraud.
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so you don’t fall victim to them. It might sound silly, but scammers have evolved to create much more advanced phishing schemes.

2. Tech Support Scams

One of the most concerning internet fraud cases in recent years is the onslaught of tech support scams. In this scheme, someone calls you and pretends to be from Microsoft or a computer security company. They convince you that your computer is infected with some kind of malware and coax you into letting them remotely control your machine.

From there, they might cause actual damage to your system by stealing your data or installing ransomware. They’ll then try to sell you a worthless “security suite” or demand payment for their “services,” getting upset if you refuse.

This scam is easy to fall for if you get caught up in the caller’s lies. But by being aware of it, you can know what you should do about tech support scams

What Should You Do About the Windows Tech Support Scam?

What Should You Do About the Windows Tech Support Scam?

If Windows Tech Support calls you, it’s a scam. But what should you do? Hang up, lead the callers on, or report them?
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in case you’re ever contacted with one.

3. Online Dating Scams

While online dating has a lot of benefits, it’s also a hotbed for cyber fraud. Criminals use online dating to get money from legitimate users by building fake profiles and trying to get others to fall for them.

Usually, online dating scammers have limited profiles with few pictures and not much additional info. They’ll often profess love at an unusually early point and try to get you to chat on an alternative app, so the dating site doesn’t shut them down.

To take your money, the scammer will ask often you to “cover the cost” of something. This could be a plane ticket to supposedly come meet you in person, or shipping a package they send to you. Of course, they’ll never actually meet up with you or even contact you via video chat.

If you use online dating services, you must know how to spot and avoid online dating scams

How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scammer: 8 Red Flags

How to Spot and Avoid an Online Dating Scammer: 8 Red Flags

Do you date online? Here are several tips and red flags to help you spot and avoid scammers on online dating sites.
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so you don’t become a victim.

4. Nigerian 419 Email Scams

This is one of the oldest internet fraud examples in the book. Someone from a country (often Nigeria, but not always) contacts you via email in broken English. They explain that a rich person they know has died and the money has nowhere to go; if you can help them get the funds out of the country, they’ll give you some as a reward.

Of course, this is completely bogus. If you follow along, they’ll continually ask you for money to cover various “expenses” associated with the fund movement, until you realize they’ve been stealing from you all along.

Due to their notoriety, these types of emails usually go straight to your spam folder, so you probably haven’t seen one in a while. But if you do, simply ignore it and move on. There’s no reason to fall for this classic scheme.

5. Social Media Fraud

Facebook Messenger Video Scam Message

Attackers have many ways to steal from you on social media

5 Ways Hackers Use Facebook to Steal From You

5 Ways Hackers Use Facebook to Steal From You

Thought privacy was the only thing at risk when using Facebook? Here are five other ways Facebook can compromise your security.
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, including taking your money. One popular method is abusing your trust with your social media friends. For example, if someone on your Facebook friend list has their account hacked, the attacker might contact you through a Facebook Messenger.

In many cases, they’ll send a video link with a sensational message like “OMG, is it you in this video?” that tempts you to click on it. If you do click, you’ll go to a dangerous site programmed to infect your computer with malware.

Other times, the scam is more personal. The hijacked account might send you a message saying that they’re in trouble with the law, or need money to cover a hospital bill after a bad accident. If you take this at face value, you’ll end up sending a thief—not your friend—money.

6. Buying and Selling Scams

Like online dating, purchasing and selling products online is another popular activity that’s been tainted by fraud. Whenever you buy something online or sell your own goods, you must stay vigilant to avoid scams.

What to watch for often depends on the service you use. As an overview, we’ve covered eBay scams everyone should know

10 eBay Scams to Be Aware Of

10 eBay Scams to Be Aware Of

Being scammed sucks, especially on eBay. Here are the most common eBay scams you need to know about, and how to avoid them.
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, whether you’re a buyer or seller. You can apply that general advice to other online shopping destinations, too.

Avoid buying from random websites unless you’ve vetted them through reputable reviews. If you sell goods on Craigslist or similar sites, meet in a public place and only accept cash for the transaction. And if someone offers to pay you more than the item’s listed price in exchange for shipping it to a foreign country, it’s a scam.

7. Fake Virus Warnings

fake malware messages website ads

Most people trust that antivirus warnings mean something is wrong with their computer, which is why attackers create fake virus warnings to trick you. This example of internet fraud can take the form of browser popups, phony websites, or even malicious apps that generate fake messages.

These might demand payment to “unlock” full security features, or offer a phone number that will connect you to scammers. Fake virus messages are even more insidious with the rise of ransomware. These lead you to believe you’re the victim of an actual ransomware attack, while they’re actually nothing more than simple websites prompting you to pay money.

Make sure you know how to spot fake malware warnings

How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus & Malware Warnings

How to Spot and Avoid Fake Virus & Malware Warnings

How can you tell between genuine and fake virus or malware warning messages? It can be tough, but if you stay calm there are a few signs that will help you distinguish between the two.
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so you don’t walk into a trap.

8. Fake Charities, Sweepstakes, and Others

Don’t put it past scammers to take advantage of a tragic event. Often, after a natural disaster that makes international headlines, fraudsters will reach out via email or other methods to collect money for a “good cause.” Of course, they’re just looking to capitalize on people’s generosity following these events.

Like phishing emails, you should never respond to unsolicited messages like this. If you want to donate to a charitable cause, visit it directly and make sure it’s a reputable organization.

Charities aren’t the only kind of fake message that you’ll run into. If you receive messages claiming that you’ve won a lottery you never entered, have uncollected debt on an account you know nothing about, or similar, ignore it. These are scams trying to take your money.

These scams can also arrive by SMS, so watch your texts as well as your email inbox.

Stay Vigilant Against Dangerous Internet Fraud

We’ve reviewed some of the most notorious examples of online fraud. While you might be familiar with one or many of these, it’s important to spread awareness as much as possible. As more people learn to recognize these scams, they’ll become less effective and hopefully go away for good.

Not all fraud examples take place online. Review the major signs that you’re on the phone with a scammer

7 Telltale Signs You’re on the Phone With a Scammer

7 Telltale Signs You’re on the Phone With a Scammer

Thieves use all sorts of phone scams to rip you off. Here are some telltale signs that you’re talking to a scammer on the phone.
Read More

so you don’t fall for phone rip-offs.

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Top 10 Conspiracy Web Sites

There is a global threat to all our freedoms: the New World Order, controlled by the Illuminati, and delivered by globalist politicians. Or is it the imminent alien invasion? The opening of the gates of Hades? Or is it the mind tricks of the entertainment industry?

These are all conspiracy theories, of course, and barely scratching the surface. Looking for more? Read on to find the top conspiracy forums and conspiracy websites, this side of the New World Order.

Perhaps the ultimate website for conspiracy theories right now, Conspiracies has everything you could possibly need. All major conspiracies (and a few more unusual ones) are featured here.

Want theories about Jesus Christ, or the idea that Elvis faked his own death? Is there a war on cash? These ideas are explored, but without any conclusive results. This makes the site a great gateway to the world of conspiracy theories.

You’ll also find links to video documentaries, books, and other merchandise.

The Hollow Earth conspiracy theory
Image Credit: C. Durand Chapman/Wikimedia

Jump up and down too hard and you might just fall into a new world. Well, no, not really, and not in this conspiracy theory. After all, the Earth is pretty big, and the “wall” between this world and the one beneath is many hundreds of miles deep.

Inside, the theory says, there is a central sun, roughly where you might picture the Earth’s core. Here, creatures and UFOs dwell, including lost tribes of Vikings. Our Earth Is Hollow details everything you need to know about the Hollow Earth conspiracy theory.

It is, of course, extremely unlikely that the planet is hollow. But plenty of respectable people have either contributed to this theory or been taken in by it.

For a more general look at conspiracy theories, Decrypted Matrix is a good place to visit.

Using a blog-like format, it indexes many popular conspiracy theories, giving you the chance to comment. Everything from 9/11 to JFK can be found here, along with many others besides.

One entry that caught my eye was the claim that the Gulf Oil Spill “proves” that Adolf Hitler is alive and well, playing an intense 80 year-long game of 4D chess at the age of 130. Who wouldn’t be convinced by that?

One of the trademarks of many conspiracy sites is overall poor web design. Is this the sign of a cluttered mind or just ignorance about the importance of how information is presented to how well it is received?

The Illuminati Conspiracy Archive (ICA) has a very nice, almost academic design, with well-organized information. There are no real rants here, thank goodness, which leads to the site having greater credibility.

You’ll find the usual conspiracy fare within—Bilderbergers, Trilateral Commission, and of course, Freemasonry.

On Godlike Productions, you’ll find material on UFOs, aliens, Illuminati/NOW/Bilderberger and more. Often, most of the discussions just end up leading back to the cause behind anything being UFOs and aliens.

This is a conspiracy theory-themed forum, so rather than reading a blog or news site, you’ll find threaded topics.

Godlike Productions is probably best known for its interview with an alleged former-Illuminati Grand Master, Leo Lyon Zagami. Sadly, he doesn’t really say anything to convince anyone.

Probably the most popular site for all conspiracy-like things.

The focus here is mostly on UFO-related stories and “evidence”. The stories aren’t always terribly well researched or written as a lot of them are reader-submitted, but the layout is easy to use and read.

ATS has been running for quite a while and in that time has performed some self-censorship; panicked deletion of posts. This often happens with contemporary events, so for the best results, stick to the UFO material.

7. Reddit

The home of online discussion on pretty much every topic under the sun, Reddit is unparalleled. It doesn’t have just one awesome conspiracy board—no, Reddit has two.

Described as a platform for free-thinking, the r/conspiracy board hopes “to challenge issues which have captured the public’s imagination, from JFK and UFOs to 9/11.”

Meanwhile, the r/actualconspiracies subreddit is aimed at finding genuine conspiracies. For example, a contemporary topic is the arrest and sudden death of Jeffrey Epstein.

They say that, “Actual conspiracies exist. We ferret them out. No bullshit.”

Not strictly a conspiracy theory (more of a cult) this is the place to go to learn more about our Earth.

You think you know it all, but in fact, our planet isn’t a ball and it doesn’t orbit the sun. No, Earth is flat, like a disc, and the sun flies across the sky daily, casting light upon the surface.

Clearly this is absolute nonsense, but the Flat Earthers reckon they’re onto something. In the past 15 years, the popularity of this belief has risen considerably. While not a conspiracy theory itself, the Flat Earth Society peddles a fair few of them, however, such as the lack of existence of a horizon.

No, really.

YouTube is another home for a host of conspiracy theories. Some are grouped into channels, while others are simply uploads of old TV shows on the topic.

For a more balanced look at popular conspiracy theories, the Uncovered channel approaches them from both sides. This is a channel that has been running for several years, has 1.82 million subscribers, and basically should be on your conspiracy website radar.

9 Insane Conspiracy Theory Websites to Check Out

By now you should have more conspiracy theories and websites that you can tell anyone about. Time to shut all the doors and windows, use a VPN, and don that tinfoil helmet. Not sure where to start? Here’s a recap:

  1. Our Earth Is Hollow
  2. Decrypted Matrix
  3. Illuminati Conspiracy Archive
  4. Godlike Productions
  5. Above Top Secret (ATS)
  6. Conspiracies
  7. Reddit
  8. The Flat Earth Society
  9. YouTube

Remember: If you think you’re being watched, you probably are. Take the time to cover the webcam on your laptop, tablet, and smartphone

Why You Should Disable or Cover Your Webcam Right Now

Why You Should Disable or Cover Your Webcam Right Now

If you aren’t careful, hackers can easily gain access to your webcam and spy on you without your knowledge. So you have two options: disable the camera or cover it up.
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The Top 13 Twitter Pick-Up Lines to Try When Sliding Into DMs

Like most social media applications, Twitter has a way of connecting strangers from different parts of the globe. It isn’t odd to hear about how some people went from being strangers to life partners just from sending one DM with a Twitter pick-up line.

“How did they do it?” you ask. Well, for starters, it was probably an innovative pick-up line and not your generic “Hey! Can I know you better?” opener.

So, if you have someone on your Twitter timeline that you would love to kick up a romance with by sending a DM, then you have a lot to learn about Twitter pick-up lines from these examples.

Making Use of Twitter Pick-up Lines

Three times out of 10, Twitter pick-up lines—not unlike Tinder pick-up lines

10 Best Tinder Pick-Up Lines That Actually Work

10 Best Tinder Pick-Up Lines That Actually Work

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—can be likely to get you a date with someone you fancy.

However, there are a few mistakes that could impact your chances of success, including:

  • Use of awkward lines
  • Saying inappropriate words
  • Making a confusing delivery

Most times, individuals carve their pick-up lines around the appearance of the receiving party. It usually leads to the receiver finding the line offensive and closing the gates of possible conversation.

To think of a good pick-up line, you need to learn how to look beyond the obvious and place emphasis on context.

  • Be intriguing
  • Grasp the attention of your audience
  • Leave an opening for a conversation

Doing the above can get you a chat or hangout invite like the ones below:

Twitter Pick-Up Lines That Worked

DMs offer you with the opportunity to have a private conversation with a follower or someone you have an interest in.

However, if you are going to use this approach,  you need to make the conversation opener worth responding to. Examples are below:

1. Math Tutor

Starting the conversation with something random, but purpose-driven enhances the curiosity of the party receiving the DM. As a result, they cannot help but respond.

The follow-up to that response is what determines if you can go on to have a meaningful conversation.

2. Can You Help?

A significant percentage of humans let their empathy lead their actions. Therefore, when formulating a Twitter pick-up line, you can try the angle of needing help.

However, doing this can go two ways, either they find it funny or not.

3. Food Puns

The Top 13 Twitter Pick-Up Lines to Try When Sliding Into DMs 0a1 321x355

Show your wit and humorous side, but ensure you keep it clean.

You can check out Laff Gaff for more classic food puns in case you need the inspiration.

4. Lost, but Found

The Top 13 Twitter Pick-Up Lines to Try When Sliding Into DMs my bad my ball rolled in here whats up wit 24961327 295x355

This opener is so out of there that it is hilarious. Being a little original with your pick-up lines shows how creative you are. It also tells the receiving party that you care enough to try to impress them.

5. Find a Unifier

The Top 13 Twitter Pick-Up Lines to Try When Sliding Into DMs at t lte 22 02 damn girl you must be a pitcher 41928936 227x355

Before laying down your Twitter pick-up line, how about you do some research on the person you intend to send it to? The timeline of your crush is an excellent way to tell what their interests are.

6. Be Creative

Twitter pick-up lines

One thing we can say about humor and creativity is that ten times out of 10, you are likely to elicit a response.

7. Know Your Alphabets

Being politically correct about everything may not get you your crush. But, giving them an opening to correct what you may have “gotten wrong” just might.

8. Be Corny

You can be corny when typing out your Twitter pick-up line. But, always ensure your delivery is smooth like the guy above.

9. Start With a Compliment

Most times, it is the simplest things that get you the best results. Paying a compliment to your crush lets them know that you have been paying attention. Their response to that compliment also serves as an indicator of their receptiveness to more conversation.

10. Go for the Kill

Why beat around the bush when you can just make your point clear immediately? Who knows, you might end up with a positive outcome. However, it is important to note that responses to that approach will differ based on personality.

11. Discuss Their Tweet

You know how Twitter was built on the ideology of people sharing their thoughts? Well, how about using the shared thoughts or actions of your crush to start a conversation?

This is another avenue to let your crush know that you actually pay attention to what they share.

12. Location = Future Baecation?

Thinking of how to approach your crush? Well, asking for their location should not hurt. There are various ways to turn such a simple question to an avenue for future hangouts or a discussion about living areas.

13. Have We Met Before?

Playing the “I think I know” you card is another great way to get your crush to open up. It does not necessarily have to be a lie, but at the same time it may not be the truth. However, in love and war, anything goes.

After Your Twitter Pick-Up Line Works

Having sent a Twitter pick-up line to the DM of your crush, you got a positive response. But, then what?

The Twitter DMs may be the low-pressure alternative to have more private conversations as opposed to the timeline. However, this does not mean it is without its pitfalls.

Therefore, for a pick-up line to be deemed successful, you need to take the conversation offline as soon as you can.

The fact that you are using a pick-up line to attract the attention of another individual means there is a subtext involved. It is the same subtext you would assume when making use of Match, OkCupid, or Tinder

Tinder vs. OkCupid vs. Match vs. Happn: Differences Between Dating Apps

Tinder vs. OkCupid vs. Match vs. Happn: Differences Between Dating Apps

With so many different dating apps out there, how do you know which one is the right one for you? Don’t worry, here’s a breakdown of the four most popular choices.
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. That is, you are willing to start something with the other party. Grasp hold of the next opportunity you get in the conversation to either get their phone number or suggest an outing.

Twitter Pick-Up Lines: Final Thoughts

Forget what you might have heard about social media ruining romance and instead focus on the positive impact social media has made on society

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6 Positive Effects Social Media Sites Have on Society

There are good things about social networking. Here’s our exploration of the positive effects of social media and why it’s good.
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. A lot of individuals have met their significant others through the use of social media applications such as Twitter.

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Top web browsers 2019: Microsoft’s browser share falls to record low

Microsoft’s browsers stumbled last month, dropping share like a lame Netflix series and falling to a record low after wiping out all of 2019’s gains, plus more.

According to data published today by analytics company Net Applications, Microsoft’s browser share for September – composed of Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge – fell 1.8 percentage points to 12%, an all-time low. To put the decline in perspective, the browsers accounted for a user share of 12.4% at the first of this year and hit a high of 14% in April.

More than two-thirds of that decline was attributed to IE, which plummeted by nearly 1.4 points, falling to 6.1%, a record low for the browser that once lorded if over the web. Edge also slid in September, losing four-tenths of a percentage point and dropping to 5.9%. Edge’s slip erased almost all of its gains in August, when the Windows 10-only browser reached a record high.

Because of the concurrent rise in Windows 10’s share of all operating systems, Edge’s raw decline translated into a more substantial drop in its share of Windows 10’s browsers. That number fell to 11.2% in September, the lowest level all year.

Although the “full-Chromium” Edge, the version Microsoft’s building using technologies from the Google-dominated Chromium project, is under construction, the browser’s future is cloudy at best. Clarity won’t come until Microsoft finishes the Chromium-based Edge and forces that onto Windows 10 users, something the company has said it will do at some point after launch.

IE fared even worse in a comparison with all the other browsers that run on Windows. By Net Applications’ numbers, IE accounted for only 7% of all Windows browsing last month, also a record low. Microsoft kept IE on support only because some organizations require it for aged apps or intranet sites, but that rationale has faded fast: In the last 12 months, IE’s share of all Windows declined by 60%. Another year like that and IE will be an afterthought run by fewer than 5% of Windows users.

Firefox scratches, survives another month

Firefox added three-tenths of a percentage point to its user share in September, wrapping up the month at 8.7% and marking the second straight month of keeping things in the black. Even so, it was fourth consecutive month that Firefox remained under 9%, tying a record set in May, June, July and August 2016.

Although it was another month that Firefox scratched out some gains, the browser still stands on shaky ground. Because the last 12 months shows a decline of nearly a percentage point, Computerworld‘s revised forecast – based on the 12-month average – has Firefox slipping under 8% about mid-2020.

For all of Mozilla’s work on Firefox – from the redesign two years ago to its aggressive adoption of anti-tracking and pro-privacy measures – nothing has kicked the browser into sustained growth. A year ago, Firefox’s share was 9.6%; when Mozilla introduced Firefox Quantum in November 2017, the share was 11.4%. Only three of the past 18 months recorded shares of 10% or more.

Chrome commandeers more share

Google’s Chrome put another 1.3 percentage points on its frame, weighing in for the month at 68.5%, just a tenth of a point off the record high set in July.

Last month, Computerworld noted the odd pattern to Chrome’s share, stretches when the browser would add share one month, lose much of it the next. That continued in September – this has been regular as the proverbial clockwork since February – when Chrome went on its growth spurt after shedding 1.4 points in August.

If the tick-tock continues this month, October should be a downer for Chrome.

But as Computerworld has said before, what counts is the long-term movement of a browser. There, Chrome has done well, adding 2.1 percentage points to its share over the last year. Another sign: The 68.5% of September was the second-highest mark for the browser, edged out only by July’s 68.6%.

Chrome’s gains, stymied as they have been at times by losing months, put a new spin on Computerworld‘s prediction of its future. Using the 12-month average, the forecast pegs Chrome at more than 69% in November and over 70% by May.

Computerworld has Net Application records going back to January 2005, so it’s possible to compare Chrome’s prowess today with IE’s of yesteryear.

Google comes off second best there – for now, at least – because IE’s share was an astounding 89.4% that month. The remainder was split among rivals, including Firefox (at 5.6%), Apple’s Safari (1.7%) and Netscape’s Navigator (2%). It wasn’t until December 2008 that IE’s share fell to about where Chrome’s is now.

Elsewhere in Net Applications’ data, Apple’s Safari grew by half a percentage point to 4.4% and Opera Software’s browser stayed where it was at 1.4%. Safari’s increase was the second straigh,t but was a due entirely to a nearly-two percentage point leap by macOS that put the operating system in unknown territory (and likely on shaky ground; macOS’ 11.6% simply won’t stand up).

Net Applications calculates user share by detecting the agent strings of the browsers people use to reach the websites of Net Applications’ clients. The firm tallies visitor sessions to measure browser user activity.

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Top 10 file-sharing options: Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, OneDrive and more

Formerly YouSendIt, Hightail features an interface built around shared Spaces, making it well-suited for group collaboration. When you create a new Space, you name and define the project’s goal. You can request approvals on video, photo, and other files in your Space from others; track all recent activity; and keep drafts private but still share them with access codes.

Hightail plays well with other file sharing services, too. You can drag and drop files into a Space from your computer, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Hightail is versatile, with third-party app integration, apps for iOS and Android, and macOS and Windows apps, with automatic desktop folder syncing.

There are two different types of plans: file sharing (meant for individuals) and creative collaboration, which includes file sharing and additional features meant for teams. Hightail recently downgraded the file-size send limit from 250MB to 100MB for its free ‘Lite’ plan, unfortunately, and increased its pricing.

Free account storage space: 2GB

Free account max file size: 100MB

Paid accounts: Pro, unlimited storage, $12/month; Teams, unlimited storage, $24/user/month; Business, $36/user/month. (See plan details.)

Paid account max file size: Pro, 25GB; Teams, 50GB; Business, 100GB.

Additional features with paid plans: Expiration date control; delivery notifications; tracking for sent files; password protection; phone support.

Time to upload 195MB file: 49 sec.

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Check Website Traffic With These 7 Top Tools

Checking your website’s traffic isn’t hard with the right tools. But checking another website’s traffic? A lot more difficult.

Most sites don’t publish their stats for public viewing, so accurate traffic numbers are hard to come by. At best, you can look for a website’s “advertising page,” which may include marketing materials, demographic information, and yes, monthly traffic data.

But when that’s not available, your only option is to rely on a website traffic estimator. Since these are never 100 percent accurate, we only recommend using them to compare traffic of sites in relative terms—and even then, you should only compare estimates from the same tool.

1. Check Website Traffic With SimilarWeb

this is a screen capture of SimilarWeb a web traffic analyzer

SimilarWeb is my estimator of choice when I want to see what kind of traffic a website gets.

The real value of SimilarWeb is its Top Website Rankings page where you can see the top ranking sites according to category and country (limited to the top 50 for free users), but it also lets you search for a specific domain and see that particular site’s stats.

When you look up a site, you get three points of data right away: global rank, country rank, and category rank. These are awesome for website competition at a glance. But if you scroll down, you can see the engagement stats: monthly traffic, average visit duration, pages per visit, and bounce rate.

Keep scrolling and you’ll see a bunch of other details, such as traffic source breakdown, top referring sites, social media traffic, audience demographics, and more. All of it’s available for free, solidifying this as the best website traffic estimator tool.

2. The Most Accurate Website Stats: Quantcast

This is a screen capture of Quantcast which is a traffic analyzer

Quantcast is probably the most accurate traffic estimator tool currently available, but it comes with two important caveats: first, its accuracy is spotty from site to site, and second, its data set is severely limited compared to sites like SimilarWeb or Alexa.

This is due to how Quantcast works: a website must set up Quantcast’s data collection feed, which allows Quantcast to start collecting data and estimating traffic for that site. Quantcast cannot accurately estimate traffic for sites that don’t participate. Therefore, you won’t find stats for most lesser-known websites on Quantcast.

That being said, when a site is tracked, Quantcast offers a lot of amazing data to pore over. The demographic breakdown is especially insightful, which includes visitor ethnicity, shopping interests, media interests, occupations, and political affiliations.

3. The Best Website Traffic Checker: Ahrefs

This is a screen capture of Ahrefs

Ahrefs is a powerful search engine optimization tool for webmasters and is mainly used for mining all kinds of search traffic-related data—both for your own sites and for competitors’ sites.

Not only can you see accurate measures of a site’s monthly search traffic, but you can see detailed breakdowns of where that traffic is coming from and what kinds of keywords are bringing the traffic. You can also see backlink information, such as which other sites are linking to the site, how often they’re linking, and how that data changes over time.

Unfortunately, while Ahrefs is the most powerful tool in this list, that power comes at a price. There’s no free plan, but you can try a seven-day no-restrictions trial for $7. After that, it costs at least $99 per month for the lowest plan. It’s expensive, but the data is good.

4. Track Website Traffic With SEMRush

This is a screen capture of SEMRush which is a traffic analysis website

SEMRush is primarily a search engine optimization tool, meaning you’d use it as a website owner to help find and target keywords that bring you more search engine traffic. However, as a regular web surfer, you can use it to see what kind of search traffic a site gets.

Just to be clear, SEMRush won’t give you absolute traffic numbers—if that’s what you’re looking for, turn to SimilarWeb or Quantcast. SEMRush is best when you only care about search traffic and you want to compare search traffic patterns between sites. For that, SEMRush tends to be the most accurate.

SEMRush shows you top keywords for a given site, but on top of that, you can see actual numbers and search engine positions for those keywords. You can also filter the stats by country, allowing you to see search patterns on a regional basis.

Note that SEMRush is a freemium tool. As a free user, you get 10 free searches per day and only get access to a basic overview. You’ll need a paid plan to unlock higher limits and more data, and they start at $100 per month.

5. See Basic Site Traffic With Alexa

This is a screen capture of Alexa which can track web traffic

Alexa is probably the first tool that popped into mind when you went looking for a website traffic estimation. Unfortunately, Alexa has dumbed down its free option so much over the years that it’s almost useless now.

Search for any website and you’ll see its Global Alexa Rank and Country Alexa Rank, plus a simple chart showing its rise and fall in ranking over the past year. You’ll also see limited demographics and keywords information. It’s quite stingy but suffices if you just want to compare two sites and see which one is more popular.

If you want to see more than the limited data you get as a free Alexa user, you’ll need to upgrade to the Insight plan—and that costs $79 per month. You can sign up for a seven-day free trial, but you’ll have to enter your credit card details and make sure you cancel before the free trial ends.

This is a screen capture of SitePrice a website traffic analyzer

SitePrice is actually a website value calculator and not a traffic estimator, but it does include traffic estimates in its value calculations. When you look up a site, just scroll down to see the estimated traffic and revenue stats, including daily pageviews, daily unique visitors, and daily ad revenues.

You’ll notice that these values are way off from what you’d find on, say, SimilarWeb or Quantcast. That’s because SitePrice pulls its data from several sources (including SimilarWeb and Quantcast) and averages them to get a more “accurate” reading. It’s up to you whether you trust it more or less.

Other nifty stats include search engine visibility, backlink counts, domain age, and top competitors. Also, remember that this tool is just an estimator so don’t take its website valuations at face value.

This is a screen capture of Traffic Estimate which is a traffic analyzer

Traffic Estimate may not be the best-looking estimator tool, but it serves its purpose in a pinch. The estimation graph shows you a website’s traffic patterns over the past year, and you get a numerical traffic value for the past 30 days. It’s pretty simplistic—perhaps too much.

Scroll down and you’ll see data on which keywords are targeted by the site. This is helpful to explore which other sites are the main competitors for this site. There isn’t much beyond that. For best results, use Traffic Estimate as a supplementary tool in conjunction with the others on this list.

How Popular Are Your Favorite Websites?

You’ll notice that two oft-recommended tools are missing from this list: Alexa and Compete.

If you want to see traffic estimates for websites using Alexa, you’ll need to sign up for the Advanced plan which costs $149 per month, and that’s way too expensive when you can get similar estimates elsewhere for free. As for Compete, it was shut down at the end of 2016.

Now that you know how to estimate a website’s traffic, why not check out our roundup of the best websites on the internet

The 100+ Best Websites on the Internet

The 100+ Best Websites on the Internet

Here are the best websites on the internet to serve every one of your needs, broken into convenient categories for easy browsing.
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 and see how popular they are?

Image Credit: Rawpixel/Depositphotos

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