Maps with Piivot grows customers

Looking at a maps for navigating to a shop front or to an actual end destination is still very far from how most SME businesses understand they should present themselves online to be found in the digital world.  But including navigation is very much a key input to current digital advertising success in modern search.  Localisation of online products and services along with guides to those services provides the momentum for high quality on demand mapping for most searchers.  Finding prominence in score based Google search results has meant engaging with Maps, and at this time Google My Business Maps is the key platform in this narrowing localisation world.  There are many platforms such as Google Search, Facebook and Instagram for social.   Maps is also a separate platform.

Management of that Maps presence and its relevance has moved from simple to more complex as the competition for prominence in the local area real estate rises and new smart tools such as Piivot are introduced to provide the expert knowledge support so a business may, via a smartphone, update and manage Maps content and the relevant reviews whilst looking at the live results stats of these posts and reviews on the Maps platform.  Bridges to other social platforms are also options but for now Maps is the opportunity.

Ownership of the digital mapping data and the operations platform has been a clear integration goal of Google with Maps for over a decade.  The gradual acquisition by Google of the major competitors like Keyhole and Waze over the years has also brought some great complementary technology to Maps so when integrated into the GPS and Street View that has enabled Google to grow to be the major world player in this area.  Lesser operators such as Apple, an on and off again user of Maps on its devices, is once again branching out from the Maps platform and are again going to offer its own Apple Maps solution.  There are other mapping start-ups but today, it’s just Google.  That is our focus.

As Maps and mobility generally makes it easier to get around and with search results, if you add in any number of grouping verticals like target search reviews, product guides and the like, these work with Maps to really help the potential customer find a business.  Which business is then found first in these search results comes down to those that appear at the top on the maps along with relevant reviews, as the first appearing locations to find services, to eat and to shop.  This is the start of the now necessary multi touch engagement points necessary to build a customer’s trust prior to conversion.

Search stats show in major local areas many millions of people are searching each day on Google for all kinds of products and services.  Harnessing the Map platform is now becoming integral to localised searches and the use of longer tailed keywords can help your business turn these searches for your products and services into customers.  Intertwined with the usual search results are the ever-present paid ads and Google My Business Maps packs that, together with these search results provide an easy access to your business Map entry.  It also allows customers to post reviews, both positive and negative so that a potential balance may be displayed around a Maps entry.

To harness the Maps needs some application knowledge in how you can manage the navigation access and appear regularly as the most relevant on the Map sections.  It is just not luck.  A lot of that knowledge can be focussed by using products like Piivot that can optimise the submissions and add the key interactive content with reviews and work with Map entry optimisation services like JetLocal to improve relevance and expand customer reach in search.

When a customer goes digital search and looks for a service or product online, Map content, business reviews and any relevance rating may be included in the provided ranked search results.  In other words, when a potential customer tries a Google based search, the results displayed may be review summaries from online business reviews on Maps and consumer ratings.   Maps now play an integral part of the relevance of the results returned to the searcher and the navigation stream that started the Maps application is now taking a back seat.

Jet Digital

Why Reviews Work as the Modern SEO

In the evolving digital world over 90% of potential customers are using customer business reviews to make the purchasing  of products and service decisions and if you are to engage with the vast majority of your potential customers you need to be part of the conversation, engage with reviews and build trust.  Reviews are similar to customer feedback or a testimonial but are unique as they normally include both a rating and topical content.

There is an old view that word of mouth recommendations will always be the best form of business advertising and in some industry segments that used to be very true but the demographics of the customer bases are changing and younger customers who are digital natives are not holding true to that older view and now over 78% of customers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.  This is a continuing shift in activity that has become more pronounced every year and translates to sales to customers who spend based upon trust.

What is seen online does matter.  Apart from customer engagement reviews also build relevant content and this content marketing is a staple part of marketing strategies that generate leads.  Reviews can form an integral part of the nurturing of potential customers as more than 90% of customers who visit your landing page or site are not buying but building up their trust profiles so as to make that decision down the track.

Recent reviews help with website and Google My Business GMB ranking. It’s the modern part of search engine optimisation and search engines take a business’s relevance into account when deciding which business ranks on maps and in local search results.  New reviews can help existing SEO efforts and once your business has been found, people are more likely to click on your result.  Search continues to trend towards local based map searches and business reviews will continue to gain in importance as this trend continues.

Asking current customers to provide a review after a successful sale or service is delivered is the best time and automated tolls like Jet Piivot makes it easy over SMS.  Replying to recent reviews, even those that may not be the most favourable, will show potential customers that you take an interest in what customers may say and think about your business and signals you are always ready to engage to fix up even small issues.

More reviews on a Google My Business GMB, Map, Facebook or on your website that are relevant helps with both content and search relevance when customers are seeking suppliers or services.  A goal of having 5 or 10 reviews and then regularly adding reviews is a good plan to make reviews work for your business.  To get to that goal you can ask directly customers using simple request templates or upload or make a list of customers you can ask for a review.  Use that list to make review requests via SMS or email and then use a tool like Jet Piivot to send the request to ask them, show them, and remind them to post a review.  You will get reviews, and be on your way to getting your business more leads.

Why Google AMP Pages Are Leaving Facebook Instant Articles in the Dust



Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and Facebook Instant Articles are two cutting-edge web technologies released in 2015 that rapidly increase the load times of mobile pages. They are both fresh off the press, but already we can see that Facebook Instant is growing, while Google AMP is exploding in popularity. Why is this? You would expect that Google – the undisputed king of the world wide web – knows what it’s doing when it comes to webpages. Google has invented its own new form of webpage that uses every trick in the book of load-time optimisation. Whereas Instant is more basic, and its benefits are more limited to the Facebook website.

The stats

Google AMP pages currently account for 7% of all internet traffic (Source). That means that 7% of all webpages that you view are likely to be AMP pages already. Most of these are the big article publishers online like the New York Times. Many of these large companies have already gone full force into adopting AMP.

Meanwhile, Facebook Instant Articles has its own impressive stats. 1/3 of articles opened from Facebook are Instant Articles. You can see big newspaper and article companies adopting this technology also, because it helps them rank on this social media site. However, Facebook has never published stats on its total web traffic, so you can assume that it doesn’t rival AMP’s enormous presence.

The reason is that Instant Articles hold large weight on this social media site, but not elsewhere on the web. If you are a big article publisher, you will want to have both an Instant Article version and an AMP version of each article. This will optimise you for both platforms. But, when it comes down to it, the AMP article will get more pageviews because Google Search is a far higher traffic source than Facebook Newsfeed.

Facebook Instant Articles have impressive stats on Facebook ("shared 30 percent more often than mobile web articles, load 10x more quickly, and are 70 percent less likely to be abandoned." (Source)). However, this Instant page is entirely contained within Facebook and doesn’t work outside it. Therefore, the gains are only worth it for the big companies to which Instant seems to be tailored.

The technology

Both technologies have a similar concept at the most basic level. Facebook and Google traditionally provide outbound links to other pages. However, since 2015 they made a shift to holding the content no their own systems. So, in Instant and AMP, you never leave Facebook or Google to view the pages. This speeds up load times, because these big web services hold a lot of the page in their ‘cache’, and use this to basically have a lot of the page ‘pre-loaded’, so the viewer doesn’t have to wait for it to load.

But Google takes this further….

Google has created its own version of HTML called AMP HTML that is optimised from the ground up to load faster on mobile. It disallows slow-loading elements, it disallows most Javascript except within certain areas where it doesn’t make the page stop loading, and it requires all styles (CSS) to be inline (not linked in another file) and compressed.

Furthermore, you must specify all the dimensions of your HTML elements so that Google knows exactly how to lay the page out before it loads. Then flash! All the content loads all at once, without the viewer having to sit there, watching the content load on top of each other, calculating and recalculating as it goes.

Finally, Google AMP includes a script that implements many many other load-time optimisations. It’s like hiring a web development specialist to optimise your load times using all the tricks in the book, except it’s as simple as linking to the script in the code of your page.

Conclusion

So that explains it: Facebook Instant is beneficial for Facebook content, but is too burdensome for small to medium-sized businesses to implement. Google AMP increases the load-times of your webpages across the web on mobile devices, so is very worthwhile for a business to implement.

53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load according to Google research. Does your business website load quickly even with a poor connection? You should consider dLook AMP Pages to stop losing customers to page load-times (leave that to your competitors).

dLook AMP Pages »

How Google AMP Is Changing The Web Even More Than You Think



AMP is the newest, flashiest standard for writing mobile web pages. It’s fresh off the press from Google and it’s making mobile webpages load in a flash. Literally, it’s designed to load 3× faster in under a second and load all at once rather than gradually.

AMP is rapidly becoming an important standard on the web, and it is also very innovative in a number of ways. For these reasons, we are seeing a change in the way the web works right now because of this technology.

AMP is becoming the new mobile web standard

The premium standard for mobile sites used to be responsive design when the mobile web was young. Just having a webpage that didn’t make you feel like a cartoon sleuth when you viewed it on a mobile was the big thing 10 years ago. Now, the web have already become responsive. The next step is that the web will load differently on the mobile platform, due to the unique load-time challenges that this platform faces.

Check out the New York Times mobile site to see a website load in a flash.

When a web technology is this effective, it quickly spreads across the web and becomes a new web standard. Already, 7% of web traffic by top publishers was on AMP pages in 2017. You will be hearing a lot more about AMP in the future.

The new light web

AMP is really the pinnacle of a trend that has been coming to fruition for some time. The web is becoming demarcated in a new way: into the full-featured web, and the light web. The light web is the web of pages that load if the respective full-featured pages would take too long to load. A pre-mobile example is in Gmail if the page is taking too long to load, you can load the Basic HTML version (click this link to view it)

This concept has the potential to make the web far more accessible to mobile viewers. Not only do websites adapt visually to accommodate the smaller screen size, now they can adapt their data and processing requirements to accommodate the reduced processing power and internet speeds of mobile devices.

AMP’s light web will be much lighter than has ever previously been achieved (unless we talk about the first white background, blue link webpages of the 90s). In non-AMP mobile sites, some of the widgets are probably not loaded, some flashy styling is probably omitted, but still a lot of javascript is executed, and this slows down everything. In AMP pages, there are stringent restrictions on the code and styling that can be executed. Most javascript is forbidden, so the new light web really will be light.

Mobile pages will be separate pages entirely

This is an interesting result that has some minor web dev and SEO implications so far. But, in the pre-AMP days when responsively was the mobile standard, the desktop and mobile versions of the site were the same site. They just looked different because the formatting adapted to the different conditions. With AMP, the normal HTML (desktop) and AMP (mobile) versions of the site are different pages.

The main web dev implication is that if someone shares an AMP webpage, even a desktop web user who clicks the URL will go to the mobile AMP page. I would expect that Google will present a solution to this soon, because it seems like an easy auto-redirect for Google to make.

The main SEO implication is that you now have to optimise two sites rather than one. Except, it is easy to optimise them the same way, especially because Google search engine has a firm grasp on which HTML and AMP pages correspond to each other (this bidirectional link is one of the essential parts of AMP code). Except, it is easy to optimise them the same way, especially because Google search engine has a firm grasp on which HTML and AMP pages correspond to each other (this bidirectional link is one of the essential parts of AMP code). So really, the SEO is not a drastic change.

Google is shifting from an indexer to a host

This is a significant shift, because Google has until now been mainly a company that indexes the web within its own search engine and that is all. So people use Google’s search listings to click onto other sites. But with AMP pages, the content is cached on Google’s own server. So when you view an AMP page, you are actually still on Google. This is one of the reasons for the vast increases in speed. Google already has so much of your site loaded before the user even clicks on it (‘pre-loading’), then it just flashes onto the viewer’s screen.

53% of mobile users abandon a site that takes over 3 seconds to load according to Google research. Does your business website load quickly even with a poor connection? You should consider dLook AMP Pages to stop losing customers to page load-times (leave that to your competitors).

dLook AMP Pages »

Google’s New Technology (AMP) Can Make Your Mobile Site Load Instantaneously



Google’s new mobile technology is brand new and blindingly fast. It is accelerating mobile sites across the web, and entering the scene at an accelerated pace. The library was released in 2015 and already accounts for 7% of all web traffic by top publishers in the US (Source). It’s called Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), and if you have any kind of website, especially a business website, you should take advantage of this tremendous speed boost released by Google, because increasing numbers of people will be viewing your site on their phones.

We will explain what AMP is in a moment, but first….

The problem with slow loading sites.‍.‍.‍‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍.‍especially mobile sites

People just close the website….

When browsing the web on the desktop, many people hit the back button and click on an alternative site that will hopefully load faster…. However, there is the possibility that they will just leave that tab to load in the background while they do something else on the computer.

But, on mobile, people are far more inclined to just give up on your site and close it. Multitasking on mobiles is far less easy. You have people whose phones are too laggy, people who find it too fiddly to multitask on a small screen and—potentially the largest category—people who are not confident enough using their smartphone to do so. That’s why you see stats like these:

Google research reports that 53% mobile users abandon page that doesn’t load within 3 seconds

Does your mobile site take 3 seconds to load? How about on a 4G network, or a 3G network, on the train on the way to work when many people browse their phones. How about on a different browser on a different phone? There is no way to be sure every time, which is the clincher. But, you can dramatically reduce the number of people abandoning your site by using AMP to accelerate your page load times across the board.

What is AMP and how much does it increase mobile page load times

AMP is a web library made by Google. A web library is a collection of pre-made code with a functionality that you can load into your site by linking to it in the code of your webpage (your HTML code). It’s like, if you wanted your site to have a fancy drop-down menu, but didn’t want to code the entire thing yourself from the ground up, you could import a web library that contains the menu pre-made. AMP is like that, but it does far more for your site than a flashy menu.

How much can AMP accelerate page load times?

Here are some stats to illustrate just how well AMP works:

Google research shows that AMP pages load on average in less than 1 second.

Furthermore, AMP sites use 10 times less internet data

And, CNBC reports that AMP sites load 3.9 times faster than sites without APT.

How does AMP manage to achieve these kinds of performance gains?

Web developers have written volumes of blog posts and books on how to write HTML and JavaScript to optimise page load times. AMP is a library that implements a lot of this automatically. Some of its most significant optimisations are, in simple terms:

  • All the JavaScript codes of the website are executed at the same time, not one-by-one
  • The layout is calculated, then loads at once (in a flash). There isn’t that slow, resource-intensive method of arranging elements on top of each other as they load
  • All styling is within the code of the webpage itself, so the page doesn’t have to wait for it to load separately

Also: Google gives some special privileges to AMP websites in its search results

Google describes how it actually gives AMP mobile pages some special advantages in its mobile search results. It features AMP pages in special ‘carousels’ (card-like containers) within its search results. These carousels often contain an image from your site or content such as a video, text passage, business details or even restaurant menu. Plus, it will have the AMP logo on it, to assure mobile users that it is a fast site.

How can I get AMP on my mobile site?

AMP is an advanced web library that involves a little more than linking to in the HTML of your website. It involves adding specific AMP tags within your HTML to optimise the loading of those HTML elements. An ‘AMP site’ as recognised by Google, has to comply with its fairly strict standards of load-time optimisation, so the best way to make your mobile site an AMP site is to contact us at dLook on 2 9290 2821 or [email protected]

Does Reddit Cringe Too Hard?



There’s a type of content that that is a bit too enjoyable to consume. It makes you feel really good about yourself, albeit a bit guilty about what you may be thinking about someone else. It’s not the kind of content you are thinking of….it’s cringe content. Cringe gets shared around Facebook, 4chan and all the social media sites, but there is one site that seems to be the homeground of this content: Reddit.

But, there’s a problem with cringe: it hurts people, and it can even be bad for you.

The Epicenters Of Cringe

Some of the most popular and ‘best’ places where cringe content is shared on Reddit are:

  • r/cringe: The generic cringe Reddit. It’s the absolute epicenter of all of Reddit’s cringe.
  • r/iamverysmart: This is the subreddit “Where everyone is a quantum scientist…”. It’s where people screenshot instances where people try to make out that they are extremely intelligent whereas actually it is clear that they are just arrogant or un-self-conscious or unintelligent. To be honest, this is one of my favourite subreddits hedonistically not morally. It’s very entertaining to see the extreme delusions that some people have.
  • r/sadcringe: The subreddit that actually feels bad for the people they are cringing about, but nevertheless still cringes. Alternatively, some of this cringe content is so cringe that you can’t help but feel bad.
  • r/iamverybadass: “Do NOT mess with these tough people”. These people are making some big claims and saying some bad, insensitive things, usually online, so they must be really badass.
  • r/ihavesex: This is for screenshots of people who brag about having sex. Once again, it’s all too easy to see the image these guys want to portray versus how they actually come across.

Why Does Cringe Feel So Good?

It’s almost the same feeling as watching a carnival freakshow. It makes you feel good to be better than someone. It feels good to not have bad attributes, and I know from personal experience that if I used to have those bad attributes (pretensiousness), then I cringe even harder. It feels good to be better than your previous self.

From a social evolutionary perspective, it’s pretty obvious that cringing keeps people in line. It feels good to cringe and it feels bad to be cringed at, so everyone wants to be the cringe-er (not the cringe-ee), therefore people avoid doing things that make others cringe. It’s a way of enforcing social rules. (Food for thought: to what extent is society built on cringe?)

What’s Wrong With Internet Cringe?

Internet cringe is also like porn in the way that it is an emotion that evolved for good reasons, that has been exploited harmfully by the internet. Now that we can share so much cringe content to so many people, cringing becomes a bit problematic to both the people cringing and the people being cringed at.

Cringing Hurts People

Imagine realising that what you sent someone in a Facebook comment or even a private message was now on the front page of r/cringe ? You would read the comments saying things like *face punch* and *stabstabstab* and feel like the whole world hates you. You probably wouldn’t even comment on the cringe post, because you would just not want any more criticism (so Reddit would never even know how much they hurt you).

This is the dark side of cringe that is less well known. But, many people think that it will become well known when cringing really really hurts someone, and a subreddit like r/iamverysmart makes the news. For instance, what if someone’s towering ego is so demolished by a cringe post of them, that they actually commit suicide. It is far from unfathomable considering the deep emotions that anyone would feel if they saw themselves on one of these subreddits. If (or when) that happens, people will start to think about cringing differently.

Within the basic emotion of cringing, there is a feeling that they deserve to be cringed at. Whether this opinion is actually consciously held, let alone voiced, many people use this as their justification for cringing. But if someone is ‘bad’, you would want them to get better right? In terms of constructively helping people to improve, Reddit cringe is about the worst way possible. It is not meant to be viewed by the person being cringed at, and if it is, then it can be seriously damaging to their mental health. Cringing evolved to make people less anti-social in society, but the internet has pushed it beyond being constructive.

Cringing Hurts You

‘Cringe culture’ fosters a mentality that is overly critical, constraining and harsh towards others. You can see from some of the comments, that it activates a bully mentality that takes pleasure from the misfortune of others. It’s not healthy to get your own self-esteem from putting down others. It’s healthy to base it on your own personal achievements and attributes. Furthermore, it’s harder to have good self-esteem when you are cultivating a cringe mentality that is so critical. With such a focus on negativity, it is hard to see the positives within yourself.

A better subreddit: r/CringeBroke

r/CringeBroke is a subreddit that reposts times when Reddit cringing has gone too far. Your first reaction may be—but wait a second, this is cringing about cringing! It’s still cringing! Unfortunately, some posts on here are, but the moderators have a very strong anti-cringe attitude that tries to prevent this.

There Are Things We Just Can’t Even Imagine: The Limits Of The Human Imagination


What is the most imaginative thing you can imagine. Try really hard. Make it as bizarre as you can. Make sure that it is absolutely nothing like you have ever seen in your life. Make it as vast and extreme as you can. Exceed all your previous notions of magnitude with this thought. It’s pretty straining right? This was to demonstrate to you, the limits of your own imagination (in not a very rigorously scientific way, but at least a very tangible way).

I thought of: swimming through a sort of dense gas, with giant grass brushing down on me from above and having the weird feeling that this is the only place in the universe, despite the enclosed feeling of this coming from attempting to be aware of the whole vastness of the universe at the same time.

You can see that my example had several, and probably innumerable imaginative limitations. These are just some of the things that I didn’t invent myself: gas, grass, myself, feelings, the universe. Furthermore, I had special amounts of trouble imagining the vastness of the universe, and anything that didn’t involve me as having a human-like experience of the world, existing within a universe with the same basic laws.

Understanding what we cannot imagine is always going to be an attempt to imagine these unimaginable things. You will see from this article however that, after straining your imagination to the furthest extent, at the most we can only imagine imagining these things.

The Largest Thing We Can Think About

The psychology of the way we think about quantities is extremely fascinating. If we see 1-4 objects, we are likely to think of them as the actual number of objects they are. We are likely to think ‘That is four pencils’. If we see 5+ objects, we are increasingly likely to just think of them as ‘Some pencils’ or ‘A lot of pencils’, even if we can easily count them. It seems to be a way for our brain to save capacity, because, in most cases you don’t need to know the exact number every time, and if you do, it is almost instantaneous for you to consciously count them.

Therefore, if we gaze at a city skyline, we almost never think about the exact amount of people or buildings, the number is too large. We are just so used to accepting numbers that we cannot count as being ‘a lot’.

Furthermore, most people have heard the irony that one death is a tragedy, yet 10,000 deaths is a statistic. It’s a function of the same principle, that we are just designed to treat large quantities with a sort of flippancy in our minds.

The reason is, that with the quantity of 50, it takes a lot of mental effort to contain this in your head. If you try to actually hold the number 50 in your head, for instance by using dots, so 50 dots, it will be very difficult if not impossible. You have to go through and count each one, placing it in a 510 mental grid of dots and at the end you may have a clear 510 grid of dots in your imagination….or you might have a half-forgotten smudge.

But that’s only 50 dots. Now you can see the absolute impossibility in comprehending something like the size of the universe and Graham’s number.

The universe is so large that it is measured in light-years. Light (in a vacuum) travels at a speed of 299,792 kilometers per second (186,282 miles per second). In one year, it travels 9.461e+12km (9461000000000km) (5878792849757.42 miles). The universe is 156 billion light-years across. That’s 1.4758739E+24km (9.1706551E+23 miles). But, this is only the diameter of the actual spherical volume of the universe. It’s volume is 2.9534089E+73 km^3 (7.0856048E+72 miles^3). To write that out in full:

70856048000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000km^3

(7085604800000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 miles^3)

These kinds of astronomical calculations can fill a day with finding out the galaxy’s size in relation to the universe, your size in relation to the universe and et cetera. A fun activity would to make the most existentially despairing spreadsheet of all time by calculating these things.





But there are way larger things than the size of the universe…. Take Graham’s Number, which is so large that, literally, literally, if you were to comprehend it, your brain would implode into a black hole. Don’t believe it, watch the Numberfile video:

The number is so large that it requires a special notation that the video explains, and also my other article but this is it:

G = g64, where g1 = 3 ↑↑↑↑ 3, gn = 3 ↑9n-1 3

The entropy of this number within an area the size of your brain would be so great, that it would create a black hole. So, not even psychologically, but physically, your imagination is limited from ever comprehending this number.

So what is the largest thing we can think about?

The most complex thing we can think about may be the number of dots you can hold in your head at once. Then again, this is just my theory, I’m sure it is psychologically complicated by heuristics and different types of information

The vastest thing we can hold in our heads is possibly the size of our suburbs, because we have driven across them so often. Maybe someone who continually drives across the country for their job, like a truck driver, is able to comprehend a vaster area.

The Most Creative Thing We Can Imagine

Try and think of something that is completely different from anything you have experienced through your senses. It’s impossible. You can’t imagine anything that’s not like a planet or any kind of living thing or anything hot or cold or anything in between or any of the colours. This is a limit to the imagination but, does the limit reside within the imagination or within the universe?

It is very hard to answer this question, but we can make a good case for it being within our imagination. Basically, as it stands, we cannot imagine anything that we have not experienced, because our imagination is something that kind of rehashes memories in new ways. However, is this because we have virtually experienced every possible basic thing in the universe. After you have viewed a dot and no-dot, you can’t imagine anything else because only these two possible states are logically possible.

It is true that there are logical limits to our imagination. That is a limitation, but we can’t say that it is the universe’s limitation. While our brain is made of atoms and abides the laws of physics, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used to construct a system that obeys different laws. Turing completeness in computer languages demonstrates this concept, even though it could be said, philosophically, that all the things that we can model are still within the universe’s laws. But anyway, the strongest point is that we know that people who are blind from birth think and dream without colour. They have never experienced colour and have no comprehension of it within their imaginations.

So what is the most creative thing that we can imagine? Some would say that the highest works of art are those which rehash the artist’s experiences in the most novel ways. Take “Starry Night” by Vincent Van Gogh. The way that he twists the sky into a spectacle and uses upside-down hanging hair as a focus point is bizzare, and yet none of those things (sky and hair) have we not seen before. It is just extremely imaginative the way that he saw to use and combine them.

How Quantum Computing Will Change The World And When *You* Will Have One



Quantum computers will be the human race’s first real application of quantum theory. It will be our first form of quantum technology, and even the beginning of the Quantum Era. It’s amazing to think that this will happen in our lifetimes, and even more amazing when you find out how bizarre this technology actually is, and furthermore, the vast potentials it has across a number of areas.

Quantum Theory Quick Summary

Quantum field theory explains the way that matter and energy exist and operate at an extremely small (subatomic) scale. They don’t exist in definite ways. Instead, they have probabilities of existing either of two or more ways. This is called the uncertainty principle, and this nature and behaviour is called quantum mechanics or quantum physics.

Standard Computers Are Reaching The Limits Of Their Potential

In an ordinary computer, all processes and data are reduced to just 1’s and 0’s. In the circuitry of a computer, a ‘1’ means that there is a current flowing through a track on the circuit board, and a ‘0’ means that there isn’t. These tracks combine into switches that perform the most basic logical functions like ‘AND’, and these into modules that perform more specific functions like ‘1 + 1’, and vast numbers of these come together to make a computer work.

The problem is, that as computer processors get increasingly smaller, they are approaching the atomic scale. If one ‘AND’ gate equals one atom, then: How can we continue to make computers smaller and faster, and, If we do, then how can we prevent quantum mechanics from interfering with the way our components work?

Quantum Computers – The Next Step

Quantum computers are designed to work at a subatomic scale and they actually use the uncertainty principle to enhance their (theoretical) computing power by many orders of magnitude.

Instead of 1’s and 0’s (called ‘bits’), quantum computers have ‘qubits’, which are only probabilistically 1 or 0. A qubit could have a 30% chance of being 1 and a 70% chance of being 0 for instance. Why is this a good thing?

A computer with 6 bits, has 6 bits of information. Because you can describe those 6 bits in the simplest way, using those exact same six bits (1, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1).

However, a computer with 6 qubits will contain 2n bits of information, because of all the possibilities. 26 = 64, 224 = 16777216. Then, these possibilities are used to make quantum gates (like ‘AND’), and the entire computer is built up from there.

How Quantum Computing Will Change The World

Quantum computing is going to be very efficient for large computations. Basically, the different possible states within each calculation allow multiple calculations to be performed at once.

Some of the largest computational tasks that we currently do could each be improved by orders of magnitude. These include:

Chemical engineering and drug modelling

Possibly the advantage we most look forward to is the ability to model the ways that chemicals and drugs work in complex, realistic scenarios and at extremely small scales. This is predicted to cause a rise and maybe even a revolution in the fields of chemical and drug engineering.

Traffic control

Urban planning could also use these vast modelling capabilities to plan cities that have less traffic jams and bottlenecks. Furthermore, we could control our traffic system more effectively in real-time by connecting our traffic lights to this quantum computer.

CGI

Do you ever watch physics simulations just because of how satisfying it is?

You can expect to be seeing a lot more of this kind of thing in movies, and it’s going to look fantastic.

Other processing power-intensive effects that you will be fortunate to experience include detailed lighting and reflections. Some artists are already experimenting with things like reflective fluids, and we can’t wait to see what they can do with quantum computers.

Satellite surveillance

This is one outcome that might not be so positive, but satellite surveillance is going to get a lot more effective. Right now, government satellites drift around collecting vast amounts of visual data on on their own country and other countries, most of which is just chucked out because there is no way to analyse it all. But, if they had quantum-powered image recognition technology, they could detect certain people, certain activities and trends across entire countries. It’s very very concerning for our privacy.

AI

AI is still heavily reliant on software, but, it will get to the stage where the AI’s own intuitions will become more important than the code used to write it, and at this stage, quantum computing will give AIs a supreme boost (quite possibly surpassing human intellect).

Weather forecasting

Remember how weather forecasts used to be wrong basically most of the time in the 90s? That’s because their supercomputers were less powerful. The supercomputers used nowerdays are more accurate. Quantum computing will give us the ability to compute the weather systems of the world with very high accuracy and specificity.

Encryption

This is a way that quantum computing will be used in a very un-authoritarian way. Quantum computers could crack our current encryption methods in no time, but, it will enable a new encryption method that will be many magnitudes more secure. It is called ‘quantum key distribution’, and uses the uncertainty principle to….create large amounts of uncertainty over how to crack it.

When Will We Have A Personal Quantum Computer?

From what our current (very initial) quantum computing research is showing us, it seems that the large leaps in computing power will mainly apply to large calculations. For the everyday calculations used in Microsoft Word and web browsing, quantum computers probably wont change that much.

However, we can see the quantum computer being used by corporations, then governments, then universities, then gamers, and eventually, it may be cost-effective enough just to produce all computers with quantum processors. I can’t imagine people not wanting the ability to perform large computations on their computer if they want to, and I can’t not imagine the possibilities if every laptop was quantum. You could have games with truly realistic physics, such as rendering life-like water simulations in real-time. Quantum PCs would also probably be necessary if we were going to have artificially intelligent operating systems or programs.

So when will we have this??? As a very rough guess: 20 years until quantum computers are used by corporations and the government, then another 10 years until they are in our homes. I hope that is the case because honestly, I just want to experience the feeling of using quantum technology and looking at it (it will look like a normal computer) and imagining what is going on inside.

What If This Generation Is The First To Live Forever?



For the first time in history, some people have the feeling that they may never die. This may come as a very hard-hitting realisation for you, but technology may have the potential to make us immortal within 5 decades. Of course, there are so many uncertainties that you can’t bet your life on it.

The Basic Reason Why Many People, Especially On Reddit Believe They Will Never Die

There are a lot of people on Reddit talking about this on subreddits like r/Digital_Immortality, r/Futurology and r/longevity. Basically, there are predictions by Ray Kurzweil that biotechnology will stop ageing in 15 to 20 years. This will probably add years to our life. Then, you get to live long enough to take advantage of the next revolution in anti-ageing and so on. You will probably go through gene therapy, nanobot supplements, complete bodily fabrication and etc. Basically, you want to life at least 50 years, because this is when digital immortality may become possible. This is the point at which life extension will have progressed to immortality. So basically, if you are in your 30’s, you might make it. Then again, it depends on several major revolutions in health technology and also some other factors like money and politics.

The Current State Of Life Extension

Have you seriously looked into your life expectancy? It’s funny because not everyone is overly concerned with this number, probably for good existential and mental health reasons. However, I regard it as something that’s important to know for my survival. The life expectancy in most Developed Countries is about 80 years. But, this figure is being weighed down by problems that only affect certain sectors of the populations: obesity, no health insurance, binge drinking, smoking, serious illness and disabilities. If you are fortunate enough to be a healthy, recommended BMI, non-smoker who also eats well, then you can expect to live to 90+. With the advances in life extension technology that we can even conservatively expect, 100–115 is honestly not unlikely

Future Life Extension Technologies

Grafting And Personalised Organs

The technology that is taking off right now is grafting and personalised organs. The medical procedure of transplanting a dead person’s healthy organ to the living has been a revolution in medicine that we have already passed. Now, we are reaching the stage where we can grow human organs on or in genetically modified animals. This will be a revolution when it means that healthy organs are no longer a scarce, precious resource in medicine and we can start giving transplants to far more people. We will even be able to ‘farm’ blood of all, even the rarest blood types in these genetically modified animals, so blood shortages will become a thing of the past.

This area also involves cloning selective organs and transplanting them onto animals in order to ‘grow’ them. It also involves stem cells which have the ability to grow into any cell in the body.

Cryogenics

This is one that we already have actually, but it is in this category because it depends on future technologies. Currently, you can get your whole body frozen for $28,000 initial cost plus $30 per month. Then, you can chose to wake up at a time when science has found a cure to your disease or when it has discovered true immortality. However, no fully-grown animal has been successfully restored from cryogenics, leaving even the ability to restore you up to the capabilities of future medicine.

Anti-Ageing Drugs

Currently, we have a lot of ‘neuoprotective’ drugs that slow the brain-ageing processes that cause people to lose brain function as they pass 25 years old and eventually which leads to dementia. But this doesn’t come close to the possibilities in drugs that affect our enzymes and the activation of our genes. The aim is to ‘turn off’ the mechanisms that cause decline and death in our bodies.

Nanotechnology

Microscopic nanobots could repair the cells in our body. Creating things at this stage is complicated because the size and properties of atoms is what you are working with, so there is incredible delicate complexity. Increases in computing power, especially the advent of quantum computers will advance this field.

Cyborgs

Another possibility is the replacement of biological organs with mechanical ones. This already occurs with the bionic heart for instance, however future cyborg technology will probably be even more ‘organic’ in construction, by utilising substances that resemble our carbon-based flesh.

Future Immortality Technologies

All of the previous technologies can potentially increase lifespan to vast degrees, but none can be said to seriously promise immortality. The most serious possibility for true immortality is mind uploading.

Mind uploading is the idea that we could upload our minds into a computer system and leave our physical bodies and brains behind. Then we would be free of the process of ageing, of the body and brain. Of course, there are some problems to be solved first like: who will run the computers and how do we know if when we get uploaded that we will still be conscious or even the same consciousness.

How Can I Have The Best Chances Of Living Forever From Right Now?

Ok, you’re reading this and suddenly getting the burning hope and desire to live forever. Here are a list of things you can do:

Save Money

Life extension and immortality technology may come in your lifetime, but there’s no assurance that you will be able to afford it. Start saving now, because this stuff will probably cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars.

But, the longer you live the better your returns on investment. So if you make some long-term investments soon like in property, you could end up a very rich, long-living man or woman.

Be A Respectable Citizen

This life extension stuff will get very political and highly regulated. In order to be at the front of the line or even allowed to access this technology, you need to make sure that your government likes you.

Live A Healthy Lifestyle

It goes without saying that this will give you the best chances of reaching the age when these technologies become available. You should probably look into becoming vegetarian, intermittent fasting, complete foods, sleep, exercise, meditating and low sugar.

Donate To Life Extension And Immortality Organisations

We could be seeing these technologies multiple times faster if more people donated to SENS—one of the organisations spearheading this research.

Stay On The Right Side Of Politics

One of the formidable barriers to life extension being accepted and supported in society and politics are ethical concerns. We will list the ethical concerns here because it is up to you to make your own mind up:

  • Religion forbids ‘playing God’.
  • It is not fair to those who cannot access it, and it increases divides in society and the world.
  • It is not fair to those who have already died.
  • It will make us no longer human.
  • It will make you no longer ‘you’.
  • It’s not ‘natural’.
  • It may kill people.

Obviously, as the writer of this article, I have the temptation to thoroughly argue against each argument, but basically, even if you are concerned with some of these, does it outweigh the benefits of you or others living twice as long if not forever?

Main Reasons Why You May Never Become Immortal

Ok, lets bring it back to reality now. There are still a lot of reasons for you not to get your hopes up about immortality or even significant life extension. Consider the following:

  • Government regulations ban life extension technologies because they cannot be equally provided for all, or because of the simple fear of ‘Frankenscience’. This is more likely than you think when you consider that, at the early stage when 80% of people can’t afford the technology, they may vote to ban it out of envy.
  • You can’t afford it. Maybe it will cost millions of dollars.
  • Life extension fails because of some limitation with the human body. Mind uploading is still not ruled out, but that is too far in the future, and without life extension you aren’t going to live that long.

Unicode Poop: The New Emoji Under Consideration That Some Say Has Gone Too Far



It’s always funny hearing about the debates and controversies within the Unicode Consortium. This is the non-profit organisation that coordinates the development of Unicode—the standard that defines basically all our text on the web and on our PCs.

It is funny until you realise just how important the Unicode Standard is. It’s our new printed-word language, and many people don’t want to see it degrade in a similar way to how linguistic prescriptivists don’t want to see slang terms and neologisms added to dictionaries. Furthermore many contemporary writers are now using Unicode symbols and emojis within their writing, so the emojis they have access to will influence their writing and the ultimate direction of the literary world to an extent.

Hence you can imagine the controversy surrounding one of the current new emojis under proposal: the frowning-poop emoji. It’s not just a poop emoji—that may actually be useful—it’s a frowning poop emoji. It raises a lot of questions, like what is the actual purpose of this? And, what does a frowning poop mean?

Do We Want To See Poop Within Our Text? Should We Really Be Creating Unicode Swear Words?

This is one position on the issue and probably the most conservative. Some feel that there is an indecency and an unappealing quality in including faeces as a word within our digital lexicon. Furthermore, isn’t this a swear word? In creating a poop emoji, aren’t we creating a new synonym for sht or crp and doesn’t this fly in the face of traditional values?

“Organic waste isn’t cute” writes frowning-emoji opposer Michael Everson. This opinion is that emojis must be cute. I understand that they must have a certain style for consistency, and this must be one that is legible in small sizes, but it will be interesting to see whether emojis continue to be exclusively cute into the future.

Personally, I don’t agree with this particular argument and feel that swear words, as well as words for unappealing things have a legitimate usage in language. We need to be able to express unappealing things that exist in reality. So the original poop emoji (?) is acceptable. This isn’t to say that the frowning-poop emoji is in the clear though….

What Does A Frowning-Poop Mean Exactly?

This is the most valid, clear contention at the heart of the frowning-poop emoji debate, and you will quickly see it decent into philosophy. First politics, now yes, Unicode frowning-poop emoji philosophy.

The 12-page proposal for the frowning-poop emoji explains "For instance, if someone wants to share whether they had a healthy versus unpleasant bowel movement (particularly in the context of travel or gastrointestinal health), the smiling poo is limited and may not always be suitable." Is this overly-specific? It begs the question: how many emojis should we create?

Typographer Michael Everson of the Unicode Consortium is one of the most outspoken opposers to the frowning-poop emoji, and he responds: "Will we have a CRYING PILE OF POO next?" He continues: "PILE OF POO WITH TONGUE STICKING OUT? PILE OF POO WITH QUESTION MARKS FOR EYES? PILE OF POO WITH KARAOKE MIC? Will we have to encode a neutral FACELESS PILE OF POO?"

Everson sounds to be of the more conservative standing within the Unicode Consortium that posed resistance to other ambiguous emojis including the Face Without Mouth (?). The philosophical issue here is: should we make emojis with an intended purpose or, allow the writer to designate purpose to emojis when they use them? This is the old prescriptivism versus descriptivism debate of linguistics that we are back to. Basically, people will use emojis however they want anyway, but how purposeful versus interpretable should we make them in the first place? I think that we have to take a position somewhere between a basic smiley face (?) and a wishy-washy blur of colours. The frowning-poop seems to be too far into the interpretable side for my liking. It doesn’t exist in reality and it doesn’t represent an emotion.

How Many Emojis Do We Need?

Finally we need to address Everson’s slippery slope argument that continues….“[a] PILE OF POO WITH LOOK OF TRIUMPH, PILE OF POO SCREAMING IN FEAR [?]”. How many emojis should Unicode create? There are currently 239 emojis, and this number has exploded since 2015.

The problem with adding emojis is that fonts need to ‘support’ the emojis in order for the viewer to see them. For instance, this exploding head (?) has got limited font support so far, so you probably won’t be able to see it. For each new emoji, a lot of work needs to be put in by a lot of parties, so it is very different to the casual way that a new word gets adopted in a spoken language. For this reason, we should be limiting the emojis we create to things that are actually relatable and important. This means that Unicode shouldn’t include emojis that are this specific. Starting to create different emojis for every combination of thing and emotion e.g. ‘smiling face with horns’ (?) and ‘angry face with horns’ (?) is the first steps towards a momentous effort with no clear benefit.

Therefore

The frowning-poop emoji is just too random and silly for me, I have no idea how it even got this far to be honest.