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Which Popular Website’s Name Is The Result Of A Misspelling?

An example of one of the early Google logos
Google

Answer: Google

When Sergey Brin and Larry Page sat down to register the name and domain of their young search engine, they wanted a name that invoked a sense of the magnitude of information their search engine indexed. What better word than googol—a mathematical term that stands in for 10 to the hundredth power, or 10,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000,­000.

If Googol was what they were going for, then how did we end up with Google instead? While Brin and Page might be brilliant computer scientists, they’re terrible spellers.





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13 Creepy and Disgusting Websites to Share With Friends

Looking for something out of the ordinary to spice up your travels around the web? Whether you love grossing yourself out or are looking for weird links to send to your friends, take a look at some of the most disgusting websites we’ve collected here for you.

Of course, the internet is home to some truly vile content, but we won’t share anything grotesque here. To fill in the gaps, we’ve also included some creepy websites so you can scare yourself in different ways.

Pathology Gross Site

You don’t have to look beyond the human body itself for some disgusting imagery. Our first gross site catalogs human organs in various states of health and disease.

Have a look at the System Pathology section for organs in the systems of the body, or General Pathology for types of diseases and injuries.

Feeling itchy? Have a look at Skinsight to view pictures of rashes and other skin conditions. Enter an age group, sex, and body location, and you’ll see images of common rashes for that area.

Insect Images Site

Hate creepy crawlers? This website provides plenty of pictures of insects for you to peruse. You’ll find beetles, ants, cockroaches, termites, and much more.

If you’re feeling especially daring, check the bottom for images of spiders, scorpions, and other frightening creatures.

There’s truly a page on the internet for every topic, as this nasty website proves. Number Two Guide provides you with all the poop-related content you could want, including a poop dictionary, poop stories, and a poop calculator to figure out how much you’ve pooped in your life.

If you dare, visit the Ratings section, where people upload pictures of their poop for others to rate (for some strange reason).

Texas Justice Last Words

The state of Texas publishes the last words of all inmates that it executes. You can read a basic profile of the offender and their crime, then click Last statement to read what they said before their death.

This one falls more under the creepy banner than disgusting. It’s definitely unsettling to read the final statements of those who committed heinous acts.

Continuing with the “last words” theme, this site collects information about planes that crashed due to mechanical issues, sabotage, or human error. You can browse the 100 worst plane fatalities of all time, read about unusual incidents, or browse a map of crashes.

The creepiest content on the site, however, is on the Last Words page. This collects transcripts (and audio files, in some cases) of the dialog exchange spoken in the cockpit shortly before the crashes.

Ever wonder how long you’ll live for? This page claims it can predict the date of your death. Enter your name, date of birth, sex, height and weight, and whether you use tobacco, alcohol, or drugs. Using this, it will “figure out” how much longer you have left to live.

Of course, there’s no way that a simple web form like this could know when you’re going to pass. But it is a bit creepy seeing exactly how much time you supposedly have left.

Heaven's Gate Website

Heaven’s Gate was a well-known religious cult, mostly due to the group’s mass suicide in 1997. They believed that by “leaving their bodies” as Comet Hale–Bopp approached, they would be able to board a UFO trailing behind the comet and ascend to a higher level.

As it turns out, the Heaven’s Gate website is still up and running. Two unknown surviving members of the cult maintain the website, though it hasn’t changed since 1997 when it received an update right before the suicide.

It’s weird to read through the material on the site decades later, knowing how its followers met their end. You can read excerpts from the cult’s book, as well as transcripts of speeches made by the leader just days before they all died. The contact email from the site still sends responses, too.

Another unsettling site, this resource collects all sorts of info about the massacre at Columbine High School that happened in April 1999. You’ll find data on the victims and shooters, along with surveillance photos, audio logs, details of the aftermath, and much more.

It’s horrifying to read the gritty details of such a deadly event, but it’s worth a look if you can stomach it.

World Births and Deaths

This page acts as a visualization of all the births and deaths occurring around the world. After it loads up, you’ll see an icon pop up on the globe to represent every birth and death.

Of course, this is an estimation based on trends, not a real-time feed of actual events. But it’s uncomfortable to see death popping up so many times right in front of you, especially if you uncheck Show births and only watch deaths.

Looking for strange links to send your friends? This bizarre website


Weird but Cool: 25 Most Bizarre Websites You Haven’t Seen




Weird but Cool: 25 Most Bizarre Websites You Haven’t Seen

The internet is a large place with tons of useful websites, but here are several websites that crank up the weird-but-cool factor.
Read More

is a strong contender. It’s not a particularly gross site like some of the others but gets points for being outright weird. Every time you refresh it, the page loads all kinds of random images and text, along with sounds in the background. It’s a great page to send to a buddy to mess with them a bit.

Florida’s Sunshine Skyway Bridge is one of the largest sites for suicides in the United States. Strangely, you can find an entire website dedicated to this.

It holds information on each suicide attempt that’s happened on the bridge, stills from security cameras, and resources about what people are doing to stop the deaths. It’s oddly specific and sad to peruse just like the other death-related pages listed here.

Creepypasta Site

If you’re well-traveled on the internet, you may have heard of creepypastas. These are made-up horror stories that people create to scare others. Slender Man is a well-known example.

Suspend disbelief for a while and browse creepypastas to your heart’s content on this site. You’ll find something to shock and disgust you.

Disgusting Websites and Creepy Links to Enjoy

We hope you enjoyed these gross website links, whether to satisfy your own curiosity or trick a friend. There are certainly many more disgusting websites online, but they’re so repulsive that we didn’t want to include them here. Search at your own risk!

If you enjoyed these pages, you might want to dig deeper and check out the best dark web sites


The Best Dark Web Websites You Won’t Find on Google




The Best Dark Web Websites You Won’t Find on Google

The dark web isn’t for everyone, but it’s worth exploring some parts of it. Here are the best dark web websites.
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5 Websites That Teach You How to Hack Legally

If you’re an ethical hacker, it can be hard to put your skills to the test without harming anyone. Fortunately, there are resources that give you a sandbox to hack in, giving you a place to learn while also keeping it legal.

Here are some websites to test your mettle against without getting into trouble.

The Google Gruyere website

Google Gruyere is the web giant’s entry into the hacking world. The website is full of holes and uses “cheesy” code, hence its cheese-related name. Even the website is cheese-themed!

Once you’re ready to start, Google Gruyere will give you a few challenges to perform. Google Gruyere features deliberately weak and vulnerable code for you to exploit. The problems highlight these weak areas and give you a task to perform. For example, one challenge has you inject HTML alert boxes into the website’s snippets feature, which fire when the user loads the page.

If you get stuck on how to complete a challenge, don’t worry. Each mission comes with some hints to help prod you in the right direction. If these don’t help, you can view the solution and implement it yourself to get a feel of how the exploit works.

The HackThis website, trying a "Real" mission

Not many websites actively invite you to hack them in their title, but HackThis is one exception. Of course, you’re not hacking the actual website, but it does give you challenges to try.

HackThis has a wide variety of challenges in different categories, so you’re bound to find something to test you. There are fundamental challenges and difficult challenges to try depending on your skill level. If you want to try busting simple CAPTCHA codes, there’s an entire segment for that.

There’s even a “Real” category which includes fun fictional scenarios where you hack a website for a client.

The best part about HackThis are the hints. Each puzzle has a dedicated hints page where you can talk to members of the forum and discuss where you’re going wrong. The members will never give you the solution so that you can figure it out yourself without spoilers.

The BWAPP website

While hacking websites are useful, there are some bugs and exploits that they can’t cover. For example, these websites can’t host challenges that involve taking down a website; if they did, nobody else would get a turn afterward!

As such, you’re best off performing more devastating attacks on a self-hosted server, so you don’t damage other people’s websites. If you’re interested in this area of hacking, try the buggy web app (bWAPP).

The main strength of bWAPP is its sheer number of bugs. It has over 100 of them, ranging from Direct Denial of Service


What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains]




What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains]

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(DDoS) weaknesses to Heartbleed vulnerabilities to HTML5 ClickJacking. If you want to learn about a specific vulnerability, there’s a good chance bWAPP has it implemented.

When you want to give it a shot, download it and run it on your target system. Once it’s running, you can launch attacks at it without worrying about annoying a webmaster.

Download: bWAPP (Free)

The OverTheWire website, showing the challenges available.

OverTheWire features wargames and warzones for more advanced hacking sessions. Wargames are unique hacking scenarios, usually with a little bit of story to spice things up. Wargames can be a competitive event between hackers, either as a race or by attacking each other’s servers.

While this may sound complicated and scary, don’t worry. The website still features lessons ranging from the basics to more advanced tricks. It does require a Secure Shell (SSH) connection to use, so be sure to learn SSH if you want to try OverTheWire. Thankfully, there are easy ways to set up SSH in Windows


4 Easy Ways to Use SSH In Windows




4 Easy Ways to Use SSH In Windows

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, so it shouldn’t be too big a hurdle.

OverTheWire has three primary uses. First, you can play through small games with increasing difficulty to learn how to hack. Once you’ve gained some skill, you can download wargames with unique backstories for a more immersive experience.

There’s also the warzone, which is an exclusive network designed to work just like an IPV4 internet. People can put vulnerable, hackable devices onto this network, and others can use them to practice their hacking skills.

At the time of writing, there is an exercise that replicates when Kevin Mitnick hacked computer expert Tsutomu Shimomura in 1995. Now you can put yourself in Mitnik’s shoes and see if you can crack the security yourself!

The HackThisSite website, performing one of the basic challenges

Another website that’s cordially inviting you to hack it, Hack This Site is a fantastic learning resource. It stretches from beginner-oriented lessons to hosting a dedicated phone line for phone phreak attacks.

Some of the missions have a little story to keep you engaged with the lessons. For example, people on the Basic course will go toe-to-toe with Network Security Sam. Sam is a forgetful man who’s adamant on storing his password on the website, so he never forgets it. Every time you crack his security and discover his password, he adds more security to his website.

The “realistic” exercises are also enjoyable. These are fake websites set up for you to hack with a specific goal in mind. You may be rigging a voting system to get a band to the top spot, or undoing the work of spiteful people who hacked into a peace poem site.

Each puzzle comes with a dedicated thread on the forums where you can get help. The problems and discussions have been around for a long time, and users have posted lots of helpful resources. Again, nobody will outright tell you the solution to each challenge, so you don’t have to worry about spoilers. If you’re willing to do some research, however, you’ll find their hints and tips more than enough to solve your puzzle.

Do These Websites Promote Illegal Hacking?

As you browse these websites, you may realize that malicious people can use these same skills for evil. Some of the “realistic” missions have you breaking into a library system or a band rating website, for example. It’s easy to assume these websites are training people to be evil agents.

The truth is, if these websites didn’t exist, nefarious hackers would still get their resources on the dark web. Meanwhile, website developers—the people who need to learn hacking techniques the most—wouldn’t have anywhere legal to learn and test these hacking techniques.

Developers would make the same errors over and over, while hackers would take advantage of them using the dark web to spread resources and tutorials.

As such, by making this information public, it gives web developers the practice they need to secure their websites. In an ideal world, all web designers will learn how to protect their websites this way, thus preventing malicious agents from using this knowledge for evil.

Learning How to Hack

If you want to learn how to hack, there’s no better way than to do some hacking yourself. Fortunately, you don’t need to target your local hairdresser’s website; give these legal hacking websites a try instead.

If you want to take your skills further, why not try an ethical hacking online class


Why You Should Learn Ethical Hacking with These Online Classes




Why You Should Learn Ethical Hacking with These Online Classes

Hacking is a legitimate career choice now. The cybersecurity industry is always on the lookout for good ethical hackers. These five Udemy course introduce you to this world.
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Use an Internet Blocker to Block Websites and Get Work Done – LifeSavvy

woman wasting time on social media
13_Phunkod/Shutterstock

Websites, social media, and more can all be enormous time wasters. If you’re facing an important deadline or struggling with a tough task, using a tool to block digital distractions can help you stay focused.

So how does it work? An internet and website blocker works by blocking designated sites (or even the entire internet!) for a specified period of time. Sometimes you have to go to extremes to hone your focus. It’s a cold turkey withdrawal from all the beeps, dings, and notifications that keep you wanting more—but it’s not forever. That’s the key, knowing you can go back to it after you’ve finished the task at hand.

Certain blockers allow you to specify which sites you can still access, such as a site you need for research. You can install the blocker on all devices, including your phone, allowing you a brief reprieve from the world of social media. For some people, this works better than simply silencing their phone (especially if you want to be reachable for emergency calls).

A great one to get started with is Freedom. It can cover all your devices for less than $2.50 a month. It blocks everything—or whatever you specify—for a set amount of time (you pick the length of time). There’s something reassuring about knowing you have one hour set aside for work, but that social media will be accessible after that time (kind of like knowing you have a cigarette break in an hour, right?).

If your distractions lie within specific sites, such as Facebook, you can try StayFocused. This is an extension for Google Chrome. You set the time limits for your favorite sites; when that time is reached, the site is blocked for the rest of the day. It’s a great way to keep track of how much time you spend on social media. You might think it’s not much, but an hour or two can slip by just like that. Even though social media is fun, it’s basically death to your productivity.

Looking for more ideas to stay on top of your productivity? Check out 5 Simple Techniques to Boost Your Productivity.





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Tips On Designing Creative Websites That Will Wow Your Clients

The global market keeps getting bigger and bigger, which should be good news for web designers – but there’s a catch.

The clients you can expect to serve are more sophisticated and want creative websites, not just the regular HTML and CSS.

You can’t deliver just anything and expect them to be happy. You’ll also have some serious competition to contend with. As a consequence, your website must adequately address an ever-growing need for improvements. Like in flexibility, responsiveness, and conversion optimization.

Fortunately, the cloud has a silver lining; and a bright one at that. Tools to meet these challenges and address them head on are readily available. With the most notable case in point being Be Theme, the largest and most versatile WordPress theme of them all.

With a tool like Be Theme at your fingertips, you’ll be more than able to successfully handle any challenge that comes your way.

Then, it’s simply a matter of following these 5 simple steps to design creative websites. They are eye-catching, impressive in their ability to convert visitors to users and guaranteed to put smiles on your clients’ faces.

 

5 Steps to Building Astoundingly Creative Websites

Step 1: Choose a Mesmerizing Color Palette

The color palette you use can make a difference between a so-so website and an attention-getting one. Choosing one should not be difficult if you follow a few simple rules:

  • its colors need to attract instant attention;
  • they need to be on-brand, and;
  • the color palette you select needs to visually support the message your app or website is designed to convey

Artist features BOLD color touches that will instantly attract attention.

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This Be Theme pre-built website is another great example of what can be accomplished with an eye-grabbing color palette.

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Carbon8 is an example of how to align the color palette with the website’s brand. It is done with its clever use of various shades of green. Note how the deep green element draws visitor’s eyes to the center of the page.

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BeInsurance features a subtle, crisp color palette. It perfectly reinforces a strategy of using crisp, clear images to gain the clients you need.

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BeFestival is a great example of using a color palette designed to appeal to a larger audience.

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Step 2: Display Crystal-Clear Photos and Images

This step should be obvious. A crystal clear presentation suggests the business behind it goes the extra mile. That is when it comes to clearly present their products and services. Using the best images you can get your hands on can give you an extra edge over the competition.

BeStylist is an example of the advantage of displaying images with flair. The crisp image definitely supports the intended message.

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Or, try something like RansomLTD; minimalist, yet crisp and powerful.

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A pre-built website like Zajno illustrates how crystal-clear pics can be used to display your creativity.

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The Design Shop employs flair and creativity to entice visitors with crisp and compelling images of your products.

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Step 3: Show Visitors How Your Creativity Benefits Them

Creativity isn’t about you. It’s about serving your visitors. It can be extremely effective when it helps them imagine themselves actually using your product or service.

BeMarketing’s homepage video illustrates another way to show people how they can benefit from using your products.

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Lane illustrates a fabulous approach you can use to express your structural design perspectives.

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BeSimple takes a minimalist approach. It’s the typography and way the text is presented rather than the text itself that’s effective.

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BeTravelBlogger provides the basis for a travel blogger’s dream site. You can use it to present your travel adventures and escapades with a super-cool layout of graphics and snippets.

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Step 4: (Over)use “White” Space

Yes, it’s true. White space is a design element you can sometimes overuse without causing harm. In fact, in many cases “more is better”, as is obvious in the following examples.

Makespace has a clean design that allows the eye to focus on key elements, imagine, and create.

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BeSketch & The Drive New York are two examples where plenty of white space is used to great effect.

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When white space is part of the brand it can really help to drive the message home. BeIcecream is an extreme example of how plenty of white space can be used to great effect.

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Step 5: Make Your CTAs Grab Them By The Eyeballs

If you don’t have CTA buttons that can’t be ignored, your website isn’t going to convert as many visitors into users as you hoped or planned. You want those buttons to be big, bright, and bold enough to make people feel they absolutely have to be clicked on.

BeDrawing’s CTA button is above the fold as it should be, and it clearly stands out. You can’t help but notice it the instant you’ve finished reading the headline. Its centering on the page makes it serve as a gate that invites visitors to enter.

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Stuart makes effective placement and use of 3 clearly defined CTA buttons.

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Your CTA can match other elements on the page and still easily attract attention. A great example of this is BeKids, where the color of the button matches the color of other hero section elements.

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Building Creative Websites – a Summary

Follow these surefire steps (with the help of a surefire website building tool) and you’re well on your way to satisfying the most demanding of clients. Crisp, stunning visuals, a cleverly chosen color palette and the clever use of white space, images that enable visitors to see themselves using your products, and the all-important bold and beautiful CTA buttons give you the combination for success.

Success typically breeds additional work. Sometimes web design is not as much fun as it used to be. If you suddenly find yourself juggling projects and deadlines to the point you’d be better off using pre-built websites.

You’ll find the most generous gallery of more than 450 creative websites on Be Theme that you can customize to your liking. Start using them now and you’ll never have to worry about juggling projects and deadlines!

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of Be Theme –]



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The 7 Best Freelance Jobs and Which Websites to Search for Them

 

Get to the office, punch in, count down the hours, punch out? I don’t do any of that, and neither do 18 percent of all workers around the globe. We choose to work from home instead of pursuing traditional careers thanks to the best freelance jobs available.

There’s no reason why you can’t work this way too. It’s not easy, of course. Tax complications and running a solo business can hobble you. But it has its perks! You are your own boss, you work your own hours, and you live every day doing what you love.

Here are the top freelance jobs out there right now, plus relevant search tools and sites to help you find those jobs. Good luck!

1. Web or Mobile Developer

Web development and mobile development are two of the highest-in-demand programming jobs right now. Java, Swift, Python, Ruby, JavaScript—whatever language you’re fluent in, there’s likely someone out there looking to hire you.

But as lucrative as programming can be, keep one thing in mind: working with non-programmers on programming-centric projects (like web and mobile apps) is often frustrating. Be ready to pull out your hair as you bounce from one unreasonable client to the next.

Where to find freelance web or mobile developer jobs:

Want to work for a startup? Then Product Hunt and AngelList have the two best job boards to check out. White Truffle is an option if you want to get anonymously matched with best-fit tech companies. WordPress Jobs is good for WordPress developer positions. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong with general programmer-centric job boards like GitHub Jobs and StackOverflow Jobs.

2. Transcriptionist

Transcription is easy to do but hard to do well. You’ll go crazy if you don’t use a transcription pedal and dedicated transcription software. But with such equipment, and with fast typing skills, it’s one of the best freelance computer jobs.

A pedal allows you to control audio playback—play, pause, rewind, fast forward—using your foot so your hands can stay on the keyboard. The best value option for new transcriptionists is the Infinity USB Foot Pedal. For software, we recommend the industry-leading Express Scribe Pro.

General transcription can earn a modest rate, but medical and legal transcription can demand much more. If you have any background in the medical or legal fields, you may want to focus there and leverage your experience for better rates.

Where to find freelance transcriptionist jobs:

TranscribeMe requires that you pass a test, then sends you work as it becomes available, starting at $20 per audio hour. Quicktate and iDictate are sister sites that both offer freelance transcription jobs that are paid by the word. You can also check out transcription postings on FlexJobs.

3. Photographer

These days, freelance photography is the most effective way to make money from photography. Most lucrative photography businesses can be run solo or with a partner, including wedding, product, and real estate photography.

But professional photography is hard. Really hard. Particularly because you’ll likely run into unforeseen legal issues for photographers. Then again, if you’re skilled at snapping shots and marketing yourself, you can earn a six-figure income working part-time hours.

Where to find freelance photographer jobs:

For photojournalism, check out Journalism Jobs. Otherwise, you should visit The Creative Loft for the best freelancer jobs in photography. You could also visit local restaurants and real estate agencies and ask if they’re interested in improving their businesses with better photos.

Another option is to sell your own stock photos online


The Top 8 Websites to Sell Your Stock Pictures




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You can make some money with photography by creating and selling stock photos. Considering how expensive cameras, lenses, and accessories can be, it’s a great way to offset those costs.
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4. Writer or Editor

Writing has long been one of the best self-employment opportunities. All you need is a computer and a working internet connection to get started. Beyond that, developing your expertise comes through practice and feedback.

Anyone can become a freelance writer/editor. However, you may need to slog through many unsavory gigs at the beginning while you hone your skills, build your portfolio, establish new contacts, and prove yourself a strong writer/editor.

Where to find freelance writer and editor jobs:

Freelance Writing Jobs is the first place you should look because it has all kinds of writing positions: reporting, copywriting, blogging, ghostwriting, technical writing, etc. BloggingPro and FlexJobs are both solid for finding freelance jobs online, and if you’re good at networking, you could find success using LinkedIn Jobs.

5. Web or Graphic Designer

Logo, website themes, infographics, posters, brochures, pamphlets, email newsletters, PowerPoint presentations, UX design… the possibilities are endless if you want to be a freelance graphic designer.

But freelance design can be stressful because you’re always churning through clients, more quickly than in other kinds of freelance work. However, if you really impress your clients, they may be open to keeping you on retainer for all their design work!

Where to find freelance web and graphic designer jobs:

Behance Jobs can be a good starting point for graphic design, illustration, web design, and UX design. Other starting points include Fiverr and 99designs, but you’ll need to put in effort to find the jobs worth doing. If you aren’t careful, you could find yourself severely underpaid for your work.

6. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant is more than just a remote secretary—the scope of your tasks will depend on the needs of the client. And if you get a good client, this can be one of the best freelance jobs from home.

Basic administrative tasks could include taking phone calls and maintaining schedules. More advanced tasks may involve managing a website, coordinating in-depth research, creating PDFs from source material, etc.

The details of a particular virtual assistant gig will be (or at least should be) mentioned in each job posting.

Where to find virtual assistant jobs:

FancyHands is a virtual assistant service where you get paid per task you complete. You can define your own hours, and there’s a career advancement path for those who want to do more than just per-task jobs. ZipRecruiter and FlexJobs can provide good leads for virtual assistant positions as well.

7. Voice Actor

The voice acting industry is competitive: it’s hard to stand out and you need both skills and equipment to produce the quality of work that clients will love. Unless you’ve been blessed with a magical voice, you’ll probably need voice coaching as well.

But if you think you can cut it, and if you’re serious about becoming a top talent, you can make a comfortable living as a freelance voice actor. Types of voice acting include commercials, audiobook narration, public announcements, training videos, promotional materials, and even entertainment media like animation and video games.

Where to find freelance voice actor jobs:

There are three reputable sites for serious voice actors: Voices, Voice123, and VoiceBunny. They’re all free to use, but Voices and Voice123 provide even better results if you sign up for their premium account plans.

Other Freelance Jobs and Career Options

You could look into Airtasker and easy ways to earn money online for pocket money rather than full-blown job positions.

Otherwise, consider looking into tech jobs that require zero coding skills


Coding Isn’t for Everyone: 9 Tech Jobs You Can Get Without It




Coding Isn’t for Everyone: 9 Tech Jobs You Can Get Without It

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and entry-level technical support jobs.

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How an iPhone Vulnerability Allowed Websites to Hack iOS Devices

You may have heard about the discovery of a hack which targeted iPhone devices via websites for years. Google announced it had uncovered the issue as part of its Project Zero security analysis mission, and it showed how hackers could have accessed thousands of devices over a two year period.

So how were websites able to hack iPhones? And what should you do to keep yourself safe from these types of hack? We’ve got all the details you need to know.

How Websites Were Able to Hack iPhones

ai fight hackers

Here’s how the security issue worked, as revealed in August 2019 by Google Project Zero. Traditionally, people thought it was hard or even impossible to hack iOS devices as long as they weren’t jailbroken. To hack an iOS device requires knowledge of a “zero day vulnerability”.

This is a vulnerability which has not yet been disclosed to Apple or to the security community. As soon as Apple discovers a vulnerability, it patches it. This means that as soon as a vulnerability becomes widely known it is almost immediately fixed.

In the case of these hacks, however, websites were able to hack iPhones which visited them. The hackers achieved this using 14 different vulnerabilities, which were combined into five attack chains.

An “attack chain” is where several vulnerabilities are used in concert to attack a device. Any one of the vulnerabilities would not be enough to hack a device on its own, but together they can. All together, hackers could use the vulnerabilities together to install an “implant” onto a device which could run as root.

That means it bypassed the operating system’s security protocols and had the highest possibly level of security privileges.

Just visiting one of these sites was enough to install a piece of monitoring software on your device. More concerningly, Google said it estimated that thousands of people visited the sites every week. This leaves the possibility that hackers could have infected thousands of devices over several years.

What the Hacks Were Able to Do

The list of privileges that the hack gained access to is worryingly comprehensive. The implant was able to locate devices in real time, see call and SMS history, look at notes in the Notes app, look at passwords, listen to voice memos, and view photos. It was even able to see encrypted messages like those shared on apps like iMessage, Telegram, or WhatsApp


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.

The implant was able to view encrypted messages because it had access to the database files on the phones. These files allow you to read and send encrypted messages. The operating system should protect these files from third-party apps. But because the implant had root access, it could see these files and use them to read encrypted messages.

It could also upload emails from the phone to the hacker’s server. Or it could copy all of the contacts stored on the phone. The real-time GPS tracking is particularly scary as it meant that the hackers could see the current location of a user at any time and follow their movements.

Who the Hacks Affected

Apple released a statement addressing the issue. It said that “the sophisticated attack was narrowly focused, not a broad-based exploit of iPhones ‘en masse’ as described”. It also said that “[t]he attack affected fewer than a dozen websites that focus on content related to the Uighur community”.

The Uighur people are a minority ethnic group who are native to China. They suffer repression and extreme government control over their religious and social practices by the Chinese governemnt. The implication in the Apple statement is that the Chinese government may have used the iPhone malware to spy on Uighur people in particular as a method of monitoring and controlling them.

Apple accused Google of “stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised”. This implication was that most iPhone users needn’t worry about the hacks as they only targeted a small minority of people. However, all users should be aware of the fact that the vulnerabilities exist and were used to thoroughly compromise devices for two reasons.

Firstly, the use of these vulnerabilities to target a minority group for persecution is something all people should be concerned about. Secondly, it demonstrates that iOS devices are not immune to exploits and that iPhone users do need to be aware of security issues.

Additionally, it is worth considering what the potential danger of this hack could have been. The fact that only a small minority of people were targeted is not the result of limitations of this vulnerability. The hackers were only interested in targeting this one group. However, if they had wanted to, they could have used this same method to infect iPhones on a much broader scale.

What Should iPhone Users Do About the Hacks?

iphone wont connect

Although this news is scary, iPhone users don’t need to panic. Apple patched the vulnerability some time ago. As long as you are running iOS 12.1.4 or above, you are now immune to this particular attack. This shows why it’s so important to update your device’s software regularly. Companies usually fix security issues like this in the latest versions of their software.

If you think your device has been infected by the malware, you should update it to the latest version of iOS as soon as possible. The phone will reboot as part of the installation process. The new software and the reboot will remove the malware from your device.

Unfortunately it’s not possible to run antivirus software on iOS. This means there’s no way to check your device for future threats like this malware. The best thing you can do to keep your device safe is to update it regularly.

iPhone Users Should Learn About Security Threats

Although the iPhone is still a very secure device on the whole, it is not perfect. As this issue demonstrates, it is possible to hack iOS devices and steal huge amounts of data from them.

To help keep your iPhone safe, you can learn about iPhone security apps and settings you must know about


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Browsers Are Bringing Automatic Dark Mode to Websites

Chrome logo over a dark background with dry ice smoke clouds.
nalyvme/Shutterstock.com

Dark mode is now everywhere, including in iOS 13 and Android 10. Web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge have embraced dark mode, too. Now, browsers are bringing automatic dark mode to websites thanks to a feature called prefers-color-scheme.

Websites Can Now Detect Dark Mode Like Apps Can

YouTube's webside with the dark theme enabled

Some sites offer dark modes today. For example, you can enable dark mode on YouTube, Twitter, or Slack in a few clicks. That’s pretty cool, but who wants to enable this option separately each time they visit a new website?

When you enable dark mode on Windows 10, macOS, iOS, or Android, the applications you use all know you’ve enabled dark mode and can automatically enable it. Google Chrome doesn’t even have an easy-to-access dark mode option. Chrome just automatically adjusts itself based on your overall operating system choice.

In the past, there wasn’t a way for websites to automatically implement dark mode. Even if your browser’s interface goes dark, websites will continue using their bright backgrounds. You have to manually enable dark mode or use a browser extension that forces dark mode.

It wasn’t web developers’ faults—they had no way of detecting whether dark mode was enabled on your device. That’s changed with a new cascading style sheets (CSS) feature websites can take advantage of.

It’s Already In a Browser Near You

Enabling dark mode in Windows 10's Settings app

The answer to this problem is prefers-color-scheme, a CSS feature that websites can use to ask your web browser whether you have dark mode enabled. A web page can use a different theme depending on whether you have dark mode enabled or disabled.

This feature was only recently added to modern web browsers in 2019.

  • Google Chrome for all platforms (including Android) has supported it since Chrome 76, released on July 30.
  • Safari for iPhone and iPad gets it with Safari 13 as part of iOS 13 on September 19.
  • Mozilla Firefox has supported it since Firefox 67, released on May 21.
  • Safari for Mac has supported it since Safari 12.1, released on April 5.
  • Microsoft Edge doesn’t support it, but the new Chromium-based Edge browser will.

This isn’t an option you select in your browser itself. Just choose between light and dark modes in your operating system, your browser will obey the change, and websites can follow along and automatically enable dark mode if they like.

So Where Are the Dark Mode Websites?

While this feature is live today and working in all the popular browsers, it’s very new. Dark mode comes to iPhone and iPad with the new iOS 13. On the Android side, only Android phones with the new Android 10 have dark mode support. Even Google Chrome on desktop has only supported prefers-color-scheme for a few weeks.

It’s just so new. You likely won’t encounter many websites that use prefers-color-scheme to automatically enable dark mode yet.

That will hopefully change in the future. Websites can now respect your dark mode preference and automatically follow it. Web developers have a new option they can take advantage of.

We love dark mode. Now that it’s an option on all the latest operating systems, we’ll be excited to see it spread across the web.

RELATED: Dark Mode Isn’t Better For You, But We Love It Anyway





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The 6 Best Websites to Find the Meaning of a Song

Have you ever wondered how to find the meaning of a song? You probably like a lot of music, but the best songs are usually ones with lyrics that make you ponder when you really consider them.

Next time you want to get lyric interpretations from a song, you can turn to the internet. Here are the best sites for looking up the meanings of songs, whether official or through someone else’s perspective.

SongMeanings Site Search

Arguably the best song meanings website, SongMeanings.com has been around for decades. Look up any song, and you’ll find lyrics and (hopefully) comments discussing them. In 2011, the site partnered with LyricFind in order to officially license lyrics for many songs.

On the main page, you’ll see top artists, trending songs, and recent comments. If you aren’t interested in any of those, simply search with the bar at the top. This will show songs, albums, and artists that match your query. If you browse an artist page, you can easily see how many comments each of their songs have.

You can read comments without logging in, but you’ll need to make an account to contribute to the site. The site allows you to respond to other people’s comments, as well as add your own. If you register, you can also edit lyrics if you find a mistake.

At the time of writing, the site contained nearly 1.1 million lyrics and 1.7 million comments, so you’re bound to find a discussion on a song you like. It’s a great first stop when you want to see what other people think of a song.

Songfacts Website

This one provides something a little different than song interpretation websites. Instead of people offering their thoughts on what a song means, it collects interesting bits of info on specific music tracks.

The homepage has highlighted artists and songs, as well as interesting categories (such as “songs with beverages in the title”). Search for a song or artist using the bar at the top—just note that Songs is the default, so you’ll need to switch to the Artists tab manually if you search for one.

Once you select a song, you’ll see various Songfacts about it. Not all of these have citations, though some of them do link to relevant interviews or videos. While there’s no way to confirm these facts are 100% correct, the site doesn’t let visitors add them. Thus, you can be reasonably sure the information is accurate.

Some bands also have “Artistfacts,” which are similar factoids that concern the band as a whole. Take a look and maybe you’ll learn something new about your favorite bands.

Genius Lyrics Website

Genius has provided users with the ability to look up the meaning of songs since 2009. While it was originally founded as Rap Genius with a focus on hip-hop music, it’s since branched out to cover every genre.

Like the other sites, you can search for a song or artist using the top bar. Take a look at top tracks for an artist if you like, then click a song. You’ll see its lyrics, along with information about the track’s recording.

The rest of what you see depends on the song. Some include artist-sourced information about the track or even the whole album. Otherwise, Genius’s key feature is that you can annotate certain lyrics and add your thoughts on them. You’ll see a gray highlight around lyrics someone has annotated. Click them to take a look.

You can view these without an account, but you’ll need to sign up to take full advantage of the site. This allows you to post your own annotations, suggest improvements to what others have added, and upvote/downvote annotations. You can also leave a comment if you don’t have anything specific lines to annotate.

Lyric Interpretations Website

This site isn’t as polished as the above, but it’s still worth stopping by if your search for a song meaning hasn’t been satisfied yet. Search for a song or select one from the homepage, and you’ll see various interpretations posted by other users.

Everyone who visits the site can rate these interpretations from one to five stars. The best ones rise to the top, but of course this doesn’t mean they’re the official meaning.

If you’re looking to discover more music with interesting lyrics, you’ll see categories on the site’s sidebar that you can explore. These include “songs that tell a story” and “songs about not being good enough,” among others.

LyricsMode Website

This site isn’t popular as the above, so you might struggle to find lyrics on it. But it’s still worth mentioning in a collection of song meaning websites.

Like the others, you’ll see feeds of hot tracks and artists on the homepage. Search for something you’d like to dig into using the top bar, and you can read the track’s lyrics.

On the lyric page, you can either highlight a specific bit of the lyrics and explain them, or leave a comment to explain the overall meaning. Neatly, you can also highlight some lyrics and click Request to ask the community what they think that part means.

Wikipedia Song Lyrics Background

Still can’t find information about the lyrics of your favorite song? Try turning to Wikipedia if nothing else has given you the answers you seek. While it’s not a proper lyrics meaning website, you’ll often find a bit of backstory on albums and songs when you look them up.

Simply search for the name of the song you want to look up. For singles and other popular songs, Wikipedia typically includes a dedicated page with information about the song’s performance, reception, and other information. You’ll sometimes find background or meaning info in a dedicated section or the intro.

If you can’t find any info on the particular track, try looking at the album’s entry. There might be more detailed info on certain tracks or the album’s overall themes there. You should also take a look at enhanced Wikipedia tools


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if you enjoy using it to search for lyrics.

How to Figure Out a Song’s Meaning, Made Easy

Next time you want to find the meaning of a song, you now know where to look. Most of these websites are built on people like you who want to dig deeper into their favorite music.

Thus, after you discover the meaning of some lyrics, why not pay it forward and comment on a few songs yourself? You never know who will appreciate it in the future.

If you’re looking for some new music, why not look into some timeless ways to discover fresh tunes


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The 10 Best Psychology Websites to Help Educate Yourself

Psychology is one of the most interesting things you can study. At its core, it explores human behavior and explains why we do things the way that we do.

Psychology is also a valuable tool for healing interpersonal relationships, but it’s a difficult field to study because the web is full of pseudo-science. When browsing Google, it’s hard to escape BuzzFeed personality quizzes and clickbait “studies.” How do you get around this mess?

Well, here are some of the best psychology websites. Through these, you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know.

1. Online University Courses

The best place to start is an introductory psychology course taught by an expert. Schools such as Yale, Oxford, and MIT sometimes offer free online psychology courses for beginners.

Because these courses are free, you won’t earn credit. However, you will receive a world-class introduction to psychology. You can also find supplementary info on the YouTube channel YaleCourses.

Additionally: you can take an online introductory statistics class


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. Statistics are key for understanding study results.

2. Explore Psychology With Khan Academy

Khan Academy is one of the best online tools for beginners. They don’t have a ton of resources, but the ones they do post are great.

Their lecture series begins with human development and the role of genetics in behavior. They then touch upon classic psychological areas for beginners, including personality theories and disorders.

Many of the online psychology courses offered by Khan Academy come with supplemental materials. As well, you can study for the MCAT or similar tests with their review questions.

3. Understanding Key Psychology Experiments With Simple Psychology

Simple Psychology Website

Experiments form the backbone of what we know about human psychology. Many experiments are so famous that lecturers only refer to them in passing, as they expect you to know the key points.

Online psychology courses can be difficult


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, so take every opportunity that you can to make things easier on yourself! Use Simple Psychology’s overview on famous experiments to help: they’re listed by their titles under the “studies” tab in the top menu.

If you’re looking for a gentle introduction to psychology, Crash Course (created by Hank and John Green) is the way to go.

The Crash Course YouTube channel offers bite-sized lectures on academic subjects at a high-school level. There are a ton of videos, but each video is under twelve minutes long.

This series covers many of psychology’s biggest hits. It’s a great way to review difficult concepts by yourself.

Psych Central Website

Assessments and analysis are key to studying psychology. While Psych Central offers several great resources, one of its biggest strengths is a list of psychological tests and links.

Now, we need to caution that these tests should not be used for diagnostic purposes. Some of the tests on this list are more legitimate than others, too!

True psychological assessments must be performed by trained professionals. However, online psychology tests are important for understanding what assessments look like and how they work.

With that in mind, spend some time exploring these psychological tests and quizzes. Take note of how the questions are phrased, research the theories linked to each assessment, and have some fun learning about yourself!

You can also learn more about your “life’s purpose”


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with these additional online tests.

6. Get to the Source With APA.org

APA Website

The American Psychology Association (APA) is a major authority when it comes to an academic study on how the mind works. Its website is a never-ending treasure trove of information for professionals, researchers, and students alike.

APA’s educational psychology website also offers detailed overviews on most psychological conditions. Additionally, they cover:

  • New research involved in the discipline.
  • New ways to get involved in psychology research, politics, and education.
  • Opportunities to learn from the professionals involved.

Another great resource on their website is the “Psychology Help Center,” which offers advice to those considering therapy or treatment.

7. Pursue Big Ideas With TED Talks

Once you grasp the psychological basics, you can appreciate its impact on our world. TED Talks are short, powerful speeches by global experts working in technology, education, and design. The site is divided by subject, and there are over a hundred psychology TED Talks available!

Right now, the psychology videos range from:

  • Mental illness.
  • The reliability of memory.
  • The power of perseverance.

Often a single video will grab your interest and send you down a whole new path of research and learning.

If you like the engaging style of TED talks, but want more in-depth discussions, consider listening to podcasts


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instead!

Practical Psychology is a YouTube channel I personally enjoy. It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking for easy info on psychology and how it affects our everyday lives.

Practical Psychology is perfectly designed for the average YouTube viewer, and it’s similar to Crash Course Psychology at #4 on our list. Video topics range from the dangers of limited thinking to the habits of highly effective people.

Mind Hacks Psychology Blog

Mind Hacks is a “news and views” psychology blog that publishes insights into neuroscience. Despite the simplicity of the blog’s design, the coverage is broad and the analysis is complex.

This broad coverage can make Mind Hacks difficult to navigate, but a fan-made psychology Wiki helps readers locate topics of interest. In each article, authors Dr. Tom Stafford and Dr. Vaughn Bell summarize and explore recent studies.

If you want to read more scholarly research, this psychology blog is a great place to start! Their statistics and methods are well explained, and you can follow up with their list of referenced articles.

10. Follow Academic Research With Google Scholar

Google Scholar Home

The psychology websites listed above are amazing for learning the basics. However—if you want to follow psychology in its truest form—your best bet is to go to the primary source.

Google Scholar makes psychology as simple as possible. A quick search directs you to journal articles, books, and PDFs of interest. You can also set up alerts to track authors, topics, or journals of note. Additionally, you can save important papers to your library.

If you want to read more, try something from this list of Google Scholar’s most popular psychology journals.

Where Can You Go From Here?

One of the best things about psychology is the number of directions you can take when researching the different subcategories online! There are so many areas of psychology, and it’s impossible to run out of things to learn.

If you want to find some great trivia to use at your next dinner party, here are some psychological reasons why video games are so addicting


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