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growth by creating more job opportunities for the young generation through communication and information technology.
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Together we can create a sustainable and ongoing progress for the society through communincation and information technology.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

iOS Screen Sharing

Try the New iOS Screen Sharing Today!
Be the first to connect to other iPhones and iPads.

More effective remote tech support to iPhones and iPads than ever before

Nvidia shares hits record

Nvidia shares hits record high as AI takes centrestage

Shares of Nvidia Corp touched a record high for the second straight day on Monday following yet another steep increase in the chipmaker's price target by a Wall Street analyst.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Mellow makes skateboard electric

Modular design, removable battery, and a novel kick assist mode feel like a genuine evolution of the idea

Electric skateboards are still fairly novel in the grand scheme of “ways to get around,” but for an inherently exciting idea, they’ve gotten awfully boring pretty quick. Boosted still makes the best one, and only a few competitors truly pressure that status. Meanwhile, a China-fueled race to the bottom has flooded the market with boards so full of compromise that many aren’t worth their more palatable $100 to $500 price tags.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Google Chrome

Google Chrome to start blocking autoplay videos in January

If you regularly plug headphones into your computer when browsing the internet, you likely know the evils of autoplay videos. One second you're browsing in peace, the next your eardrums are obliterated by an insanely loud advertisement.

Google is being the ultimate pal: In an upcoming update to its Chrome web browser, it will block any autoplay video that has sound. "Starting in Chrome 64," an official blog post noted Thursday, "autoplay will be allowed when either the media won't play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media."

How does Google know whether you've indicated an interest in the media? Chrome will register you being interested in autoplay videos when you add a webpage to your phone's home screen or when you frequently play media from a site on Chrome's desktop browser. Outside these parameters, autoplay videos will be paused until you click play.

A release schedule in the blog pegs the new feature for January 2018, when Google rolls out its next major Chrome update, Chrome 64. A similar feature was announced for Apple's Safari browser back at WWDC in June, and will be available starting Sept. 25 when MacOS High Sierra launches.

If you have a particularly deep resentment of autoplay videos, an update will come next month for Chrome 63 that'll allow you to block audio for specific, pesky sites.

Read more

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iPhone X VS iPhone 8

iPhone X VS iPhone 8

Established in 2008,Indira Bali was created with the aim to help improving and strengthen both local and national economic

Thursday, September 14, 2017

IBM Touts Top-Notch Security

IBM Touts Top-Notch Security in Next-Gen Linux Mainframe

IBM on Tuesday launched LinuxOne Emperor II, the second generation of its open source mainframe computer system, at the annual Open Source Summit in Los Angeles.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Kaspersky Software Banned for US Government Use

Kaspersky Software
Banned for US Government Use

The US government banned the use of Kaspersky security software in federal offices Wednesday, saying the Russian company has risky ties to Russian intelligence that threaten US national security.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke ordered all government offices to remove and replace any of the company's popular anti-hacker software in use within 90 days.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Apple iPhone X adopts facial recognition and OLED screen

Apple iPhone X adopts facial recognition and OLED screen

Apple has revealed a high-end smartphone with an "edge-to-edge" screen that has no physical home button.
The iPhone X - which is referred to as "ten" - uses a facial recognition system to recognise its owner rather than a fingerprint-based one.
Apple said FaceID can work in the dark by using 30,000 infra-red dots to check an identity, and was harder to fool than its old TouchID system.
It is Apple's most expensive phone yet.
A 64 gigabyte capacity model will cost $999 (£999 in the UK) when it goes on sale on 3 November. A 256GB version will be priced at $1,149 (£1,149 in the UK).

Monday, September 11, 2017

New iPhone - ‘iPhone X’

The expected three new phones will be called the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. — Reuters

Apple’s new phone to be called ‘iPhone X’, code leaks show

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Google’s new privacy dashboard makes it easier to see what Google knows about you

Google’s new privacy dashboard makes it easier to see what Google knows about you

Google will soon be rolling out design changes to its user-facing privacy and security dashboard, in an attempt to make it more touchscreen-friendly and more clear to users which Google products are storing their data.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Researchers turn to the universe in the name of quantum cryptography

Researchers in Germany had the Alphasat I-XL communications satellite send laser beams in the infrared range to a measuring station located 38,000km away, on the holiday island of Tenerife. They then analysed the light quanta of the laser beam, thus generating a code to be used to read an encrypted message. — dpa

Researchers turn to the universe in the name of quantum cryptography

The big iPhone 8 changes will likely cost you more than ever

The big iPhone 8 changes will likely cost you more than ever

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

Google Photos

Google Photos update now saves more internet data by caching videos

Sunday, September 3, 2017

iPhone 8 Siri

iPhone 8 might let you activate Siri with the sleep/wake button

Friday, September 1, 2017

Back up your computer

How to properly back up your computer

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance that you don’t regularly back up your computer. And why should you? After all, getting a laptop stolen or having a hard drive crash is the sort of thing that only happens to other people. Your files are fine, right?

Thursday, August 31, 2017

iPhone 8

iPhone 8 rumors:
New gestures, not a virtual home button, will control navigation

Update August 30, 2017: The iPhone 8 reportedly won’t have a virtual home button. Instead, it will rely on new gestures for navigation. Go to the “What’s the latest?” section for all the new details.

Apple is still selling tens of millions of iPhone 7s every month—but all everyone can talk about is what’s coming next. After all, 2017 marks the iPhone’s 10th anniversary, so Apple is reportedly gearing up to make this year’s model extra special.

If you passed on the iPhone 7 to wait for the iPhone 8—or the iPhone 7s or whatever name Apple decides to use—it sounds like the next phone could be the design refresh you were waiting for. Just don’t expect the headphone jack to return. We’ll keep track of the latest rumors and how plausible they are, and we’ll put them in one spot (this one!) so you can pop on over whenever you want to read the latest.

What’s the latest?

The rumor: After reading about all the hardware changes allegedly due for the iPhone 8, we had some questions. How will the virtual home button work? How do we access Siri? How do we get to the multitasking carousel? A new report from Bloomberg Technology answers many of them.

According to Mark Gurman, Apple is planning on introducing some interesting changes to the iPhone 8 version of iOS 11. Most notably, there will be a redesigned Dock with a new interface similar to the one on the iPad version of iOS 11, which is accessible from anywhere.

Below that will be a “thin, software bar“ across the bottom of the screen in lieu of a home button. According to Gurman, users will be able to drag the bar up to the middle of the screen to unlock the phone. A similar gesture will launch the multitasking carousel while using the phone, and then another flick upwards will close the app and return to the home screen. Apple will be embracing the camera notch at the top of the screen, “showing a definitive cutout at the top of apps with non-black backgrounds” and dividing the status Save and exit bar into two halves when on the home screen.

Plausible? Absolutely yes. Gurman’s sourcing is usually excellent, but even beyond that, the changes outlined here are smart and sensible. Without a home button, swiping and tapping will take on even greater prominence in iOS 11, and it seems Apple has struck a balance between simplicity and efficiency with the new bar at the bottom of the screen. Swiping up to both unlock and switch apps might actually be even more intuitive than tapping the home button, but we still have one question: Will we still be able to access Siri by long-pressing? 

Will Sept. 12 be the day?

The rumor: The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will hold an event at its new Apple Park campus on September 12 for the media and special guests. Apple will reveal three new iPhones: two iPhone 7 models, and a model “to mark the product’s 10th anniversary.”

Plausible? The rumor of the September 12 event date has picked up a lot of steam lately. The date makes a lot of sense; Apple could start taking orders at the end of that week, and the new iPhones would start shipping to customers by the end of the month. This is a pattern that Apple has done in the recent past.

Prices start at $999?

The rumor: The New York Times’ Brian X. Chen wrote an analysis on why the iPhone has been so successful for ten years. He also mentions that the upcoming iPhone release will include “a premium model priced at around $999,” according to his sources. He also says that the premium model will have a smaller bezel, facial recognition, and charging via magnetic induction.

Plausible? Chen’s report is consistent with rumors of a premium phone with a premium price tag. The features he mentioned also align with the rumors. It looks like the iPhone 8 is going to be an expensive phone.

iPhone 8 mockups

The rumor: iPhone 8 mockups, “prototypes,” and “dummies” are making the rounds in the tech media. People are creating physical models based on the rumored specifications and what was revealed in the HomePod firmware. If you’re interested in what people think the next iPhone will be like, here are a few stories and videos to check out.

Plausible? The HomePod firmware dig revealed a lot about the upcoming iPhone, especially about the screen, so the the mockups of the iPhone screen seem the most plausible. A lot of other thing about the design—like whether it will have a glass or metal back, and the camera alignment—is still speculative.
Limited production and no rose gold?

The rumor: The trusted analysts at KGI Securities are predicting some good news and bad news in terms of the new iPhone launch next month. Good news: Three new models—a 4.7-inch iPhone 7s, a 5.5-inch iPhone 7s Plus, and a 5.8-inch OLED iPhone 8—will arrive in September. This contradicts an earlier rumor that the OLED iPhone 8 was behind schedule and wouldn’t go on sale until late October. 

Now for the bad news: KGI is also predicting that only two to four million OLED units will be available at the beginning, with Apple ramping up production to 45 to 50 million later next year. Even worse? KGI said that the new iPhones will only come in three colors: black, silver, and gold.

Plausible? After previous rumors of delays, it sounds like Apple is willing to do anything to get the OLED iPhone out in time. Even if that means making only a very-limited supply at first, and having to sacrifice a wider range of color options.

It may also be wishful thinking, but it’s hard to believe that Apple would make a new special anniversary iPhone that does not come in a new exclusive color. Especially after the jet black and red options proved to be so coveted, and rose gold has now been embraced as a signature Apple color. Hopefully more color options will become available in 2018 as OLED production ramps up. Again, wishful thinking.

Facial recognition and all-screen confirmed?

The rumor: We’ve been hearing for weeks that the iPhone 8 will ditch the home button for a radical new design built around a new OLED screen that covers nearly the entire front of the handset. But as with all rumors, we’ve been skeptical. However, it appears as though an eagle-eyed iOS developer has uncovered the truth. 

Steven Troughton-Smith dug into an early firmware release for Apple’s upcoming HomePod speaker and found a treasure trove of information about the iPhone 8. Most notably, it seems to confirm that the iPhone 8 will dump Touch ID.  According to Troughton-Smith, the pre-release firmware includes several references to a new “BKFaceDetectStateInfo” string, which seemingly refers to a new face detection biometric system. The iPhone’s camera may also be able to recognize your face, even if it’s laying down on a table. Additionally, the firmware contains a small icon of the iPhone 8, and it matches up nearly perfectly with the rumors, right down to the camera cutout at the top.

The rumor, part two: And that’s not all the HomePod firmware has revealed. Troughton-Smith has unearthed a few more goodies about the next iPhone, most notably the likely screen resolution. He uncovered references to a resolution of 1125 x 2436, which would give the iPhone 8 a 5.15-inch 3x Retina display at 521ppi, making it the highest resolution iPhone screen ever. Back in February, highly accurate tipster Ming-Chi Kuo predicted this exact size for the iPhone 8. However, he explained that the full size of the screen would actually be 5.8 inches at 1242 x 2800, with part of the bottom reserved for the virtual home button and other functions. Troughton-Smith also discovered references to a “home indictator” rather than a home button, so it’s likely that Kuo was right on the money. Additionally, tap to wake functionality, a popular feature on Android phones, will likely make an appearance, but Troughton-Smith sees nothing to indicate under-the-display Touch ID.

Plausible? Um, yeah. Of all the rumors we’ve read—and that’s no small number—this is the most believable. Unless Apple is trolling us hard, it’s pretty clear that the iPhone 8 will have a new facial recognition biometric and a completely new design. While the pieces here don’t necessarily confirm the rumor that Touch ID will be going away, it certainly lends credence to the idea, especially in light of the home button-less image and home indicator reference. At any rate, with each passing day (and rumor) we’re getting more and more excited about the iPhone 8, whatever it costs.

Frickin’ laser beams in the friction camera?!

The rumor: We already know that Apple is hard at work at a killer AR framework that lets developers create amazing virtual experiences, but Fast Company reports that Apple is working to add a rear-facing 3D vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser system to the iPhone 8. What that means to us is a killer way to lock in on what the camera sees. According to the site, the new sensor will accomplish two tasks, enabling better depth detection for augmented reality apps, and implementing more accurate autofocus for photography.

As it stands Apple has done some amazing things with ARKit, but all eyes are on the iPhone 8 to bring it to the next level. Fast Company cautions that the feature might not be ready for this year’s phone—or might be limited to the higher-end models—but one thing is for sure: A laser sensor in the iPhone 8 would certainly give Apple a needed boost in the AR race.

Plausible? Apple’s augmented reality ambitions were all speculation until WWDC, but now that ARKit has landed, it’s clear that AR is a big part of Apple’s iOS roadmap. And the next iPhone is the perfect device to showcase what the new tech can really do. A depth-detecting laser sensor incorporated into a next-generation dual-camera system will instantly make the iPhone 8 the most intriguing handset for AR, giving it an edge that might actually make it useful for something more than capturing Pokémon at the park. 

Delayed wireless charging and a sky-high price tag?

The rumor: It’s all but confirmed that the iPhone 8 will have wireless induction charging built in, like many of its Android peers. There’s even some images that suggest a wireless charging coil. Some new speculation from Daring Fireball’s John Gruber suggests it might not be ready when the handset launches. In a tweet he writes, “I’ve heard that inductive charging … might be late, waiting for iOS 11.1 (a la Portrait mode last year).” One of the premier features of the iPhone 7 Plus is Portrait Mode, which blurs the background around your subject to create a depth effect, but early adopters had to wait a few weeks to get it. If you remember, the iPhone 7 launched on Sept. 16, but Portrait Mode didn’t arrive until over a month later, on Oct. 24. It would be a bummer if wireless charging were similarly delayed on the iPhone 8, but because Gruber also says the charger will be sold separately, we might be waiting a while before the accessories ship anyway.

Gruber also opines on the price of the iPhone 8, or as he calls it, the iPhone Pro. In a lengthy post on his site, he concludes that the new OLED model will likely start at $1,200 for 64GB of storage. That’s a sky-high price for sure, but rumors have been swirling about the four-figure price of the iPhone 8 for a while now.

Plausible? John Gruber doesn’t play the rumor game all that often, but when he does, he generally has solid information. As such, both of these nuggets are entirely possible. It’s not uncommon for Apple to delay features until they’re just right, so it would sooner delay wireless charging than ship a buggy version. Gruber also lays out a surprisingly compelling argument for such an expensive phone. In short, Apple will be fighting supply issues for months to come, so it needs to offer a reason for tens of millions of people to buy the regularly priced models releasing alongside it. A $300 difference in price would certainly fit the bill.

Goodbye Touch ID?

The rumor: After months of conflicting reports that put the iPhone 8’s fingerprint sensor either under the display or on the rear casing (as with Android phones), often-accurate KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has dropped a bombshell (via StreetInsider): The iPhone 8 won’t have a Touch ID sensor at all. Apple is reportedly dumping fingerprint support in favor of facial recognition, which will be enabled by a new 3D-sensing front camera. The report also backs the existence of the camera cutout at the top of the screen, which will give the 5.8-inch iPhone 8 bragging rights as the phone with the highest screen-to-body ratio, besting even the Samsung’s super-slender Galaxy S8.

Plausible? It’s starting to look like this is going to happen. A previous post on Reddit floated this idea, and now one of the most accurate tipsters in the Apple universe has backed the claim. Touch ID has had a major impact on the security of our iPhones, not just with unlocking, but also with secure files, Apple Pay, and App Store purchases.
In our experiences with facial recognition, it’s not nearly as accurate or convenient, and hackers have had better luck with spoofing it. We’ll have to see what Apple does here, but this seems like a worse move than killing the headphone jack.

Waterproofing and wireless charging

The rumor: The iPhone 8 will feature both waterproof capabilities and wireless charging, according to a report in Nikkei Asian Review. The information comes from Wistron, one of Apple’s assembly companies, which told shareholders on Wednesday that the new features will “alter the assembly process a bit.” Apple made last year’s iPhone 7 the first to be considered water-resistant, and we’ve heard previously that Apple is seriously considering wireless charging. It’s unclear, though, whether the all-new 2017 iPhone will sport these new capabilities.

Plausible? It makes sense that Apple would want to take the iPhone 8 one step further in terms of water-resistance, so making it technically waterproof is the next logical step. Apple is notoriously cautious in designating its products waterproof or even water-resistant, though, so we’ll see if the company makes this claim in the upcoming iPhones.

As for wireless charging, this seems likely. Apple joined the Wireless Power Consortium last year, and previous rumors have indicated that all new iPhone models being released this year will feature wireless charging. So if you’re going to bet on an all-new feature, wireless charging is as close to a safe bet as we’ll get before launch date.

When will it come out?

The rumor: There are conflicting theories regarding the iPhone 8’s launch window. Some have speculated that Apple may miss the traditional September launch window because a lot of custom-ordered parts, including pieces for the display, wireless charging, and printed circuit boards, won’t be ready by September, according to the latest findings from Nikkei Asian Review. The iPhone 7s models are expected to come out on schedule, however. 

In this report, an analyst from research company IHS Markit confirmed that Samsung is now the exclusive OLED supplier for the new iPhones, because Samsung specializes in manufacturing curved smartphone displays. However, the analyst says “Samsung is facing challenges in delivering what Apple wants,” even though they’ve cranked out close to 75 million curved iPhone displays so far.

This is not the first time we’ve heard that Apple has faced roadblocks during the iPhone 8’s production. This follows an earlier report from reputable KGI analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, which reported that the iPhone 8 will be out in October or November due to these supply issues. Previously, Digitimes reported that Apple was facing delays in developing its proprietary fingerprint sensor for the new OLED-equipped iPhone 8 (if, indeed, that feature will remain on the phone). Additionally, Japanese news site Macotakara reported that STMicroelectronics, the new supplier of the iPhone’s 3D camera sensors, needed more time to ramp up mass production. With all these production issues, some reports even suggest the iPhone 8 won’t come out until 2018. 

Rumors being what they are, analysts at JPMorgan had predicted Apple would take the wraps off its new iPhone at the Worldwide Developers Conference in June, based on a note obtained by 9to5Mac. This is something the company hasn’t done since 2010—and didn’t do this year, after all.  

Plausible? At first, it seemed very unlikely that Apple would miss its typical September launch date. Plus, Digitimes doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to iPhone rumors. But now that Nikkei Asian Review and Ming-Chi Kuo are jumping on board, this rumor gets a credibility boost. Apple is tinkering with assembling OLEDs for the first time, as well as incorporating new camera sensors and fingerprint sensors (if the latter is still a feature). If there were an iPhone model that required a little more time, the iPhone 8 would seem to be it.

We’re not surprised the JPMorgan prediction fell through. During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said people were pausing their iPhone purchases because they saw rumors of upcoming iPhones and wanted to wait. Announcing an iPhone 8 in June and not making it available to buy until September would all but kill Apple’s iPhone business—at least without hefty discounts to spur sales.

What’s with the delay?

The rumor: The 3D Touch feature on the iPhone 8 has been a real pain for Apple. According to AppleInsider, Apple is still trying to get 3D Touch to work properly on the iPhone 8, and this will push the production schedule to October or November. In addition, Apple is reportedly paying more than double to get 3D Touch on the iPhone 8. AppleInsider previously reported that TPK Holdings is charging between $18 and $22 to implement 3D Touch on the OLED iPhone 8. The same company currently charges between $7 and $9 per current iPhone. The price increase stems from the fact that implementing 3D Touch on an OLED display requires putting the sensors between a “glass sandwich.”

Plausible? Even if the iPhone 8 doesn’t come out until way later this year, Apple shouldn’t be too worried. A new, souped-up iPhone would be perfect for the holiday shopping season, and investors are already drooling about the higher demand it could trigger. It’s also possible that Apple has come across some unexpected costs in producing the all-new iPhone 8, especially because is the company’s first time building in an OLED display. The iPhone 8 is already rumored to command a higher price tag, so even if Apple has to pay more to provide the same features, its margins will remain intact.

Concept video based on CAD schematic?

The rumor: A new concept video has surfaced that renders some of the most prominent rumors about the iPhone 8. The video showcases the iPhone 8’s OLED display, as well as the vertically aligned rear camera system. Based on a factory computer-animated design schematic, the video is courtesy of French gadget leaker Steve Hemmerstoffer, known as OnLeaks on Twitter.

Plausible? Hemmerstoffer has a good track record when it comes to iPhone rumors. Last year, he posted a photo of the iPhone 7 case months before the device was unveiled. However, even Hemmerstoffer admits the latest video may not be 100-percent accurate because Apple is testing various prototypes of the iPhone 8. “I can’t confirm this is 100% accurate,” he tweeted. Watch the video below.

Mac World

#tech #apple #windows #electronics #design #mobile #first #speed #up #108 #project #macbookair #sublime #bootstrap #html5 #css3 #javascript #responsive #design #branding #logo #brand #graphic #desain #illustration #typography #love #artwork #graphics #computer #indirabali


The social network said its high-profile users were specifically targeted

Instagram hack
Celebrity contact details revealed

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Could the iMac Pro feature Intel’s new Xeon W processors?

Password Manager

Why you need a password manager

By now, you know you should be using unique passwords. Make it easy and painless with a password manager.

Monday, August 28, 2017

The computer that can smell explosives

Oshi Agabi envisages airports that will need no visible security system allowing people to just walk on to planes

TEDGlobal: The computer that can smell explosives

Nigerian Oshi Agabi has unveiled a computer based not on silicon but on mice neurons at the TEDGlobal conference in Tanzania.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Google Connects Depression Assessment Tool

Google Connects Mobile Searchers to Depression Assessment Tool

The National Alliance on Mental Illness on Wednesday announced that Google on mobile now provides people who search for the term "clinical depression" with a direct link to the PHQ-9 questionnaire used by medical professionals in the United States to evaluate patients for the disorder.

People can conduct a self-assessment by filling in the questionnaire online.

When someone conducts a Google search on mobile for information on "clinical depression," a link to "check if you're clinically depressed" will appear in the depression knowledge panel.

Clicking on the link will take the user to the PHQ-9 questionnaire.

NAMI hopes teaming up with Google will help raise awareness of clinical depression and lead sufferers to determine their level of depression and the need to seek help, said Mary Giliberti, the organization's CEO.

Clinical depression is a treatable condition, and the PHQ-9 can be the first step to getting a proper diagnosis, she noted.

Noble Effort

One in five Americans experience an episode of clinical depression in their lifetime, but only about half the sufferers receive treatment, Giliberti pointed out, and generally only after six to eight years.

"By making PHQ-9 easily accessible in the Clinical Depression Knowledge Panel, we hope that will help provide useful and insightful information to spur deeper research on the Web or to help you have more in-depth conversations with your doctor," said Google spokesperson Susan Cadrecha.

"The effort is noble, though I'd feel better if this project was managed by someone other than Google, with the appropriate medical background, oversight and protections, such as a major hospital," remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Privacy Questions

Because Google stores user data, there may be legitimate concerns that information entered into the PHQ-9 form would be retained.

"The privacy and security of our users is of the utmost importance," Google's Cadrecha told TechNewsWorld.

"We recognize that this information is sensitive and private, and Google will not store your responses or your results," she said.

"This speaks to trust, and whether management actually knows what the engineers who have set this up actually did," Enderle told TechNewsWorld.

"In the past, Google has been lax with regard to oversight," he added, so concerns about data retention are reasonable, "even though it clearly isn't an executive intent."

Google parent Alphabet already collects some data on consumers' health.

Its Verily Life Sciences division, formerly Google Life Sciences, in 2014 launched Project Baseline, which seeks to collect phenotypic health data from about 10,000 participants over four years.

The project will make de-identified data from the study available to qualified researchers for exploratory analysis.

Google Is Watching You?

"Google sees everything that moves through their portal," said Michael Jude, a research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

"At some level, everything's stored for some period of time," he told TechNewsWorld.

Google is "asking us to trust them not to store anything long term," Jude added. "However, the act of seeing this data lets it build profiles of users."

The company "probably already can build a psychological profile of its users from their searches and other user data," he speculated. "If a profile leaked, they could claim that it was simply from publicly disclosed data. How could anyone prove otherwise?"

Tech News World

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Troubleshoot and recover a Mac with a failed drive

Troubleshoot and recover a Mac with a failed drive

Hard drives failures can happen to anyone, including Mac 911 columnists. A relatively new hard drive bit the dust, requiring days of work to get back to status quo ante.

My wife has a 2011-era MacBook Pro and was barely keeping space free on its original 512GB hard drive. An upgrade made sense, and for a machine of that vintage, the cost of a 1TB SSD seemed too high. We opted for an affordable hard drive. I used a USB 2.0 enclosure to clone the existing drive via Disk Utility while booted into Recovery, which left us with a backup (the original drive) and the newly cloned drive, which I swapped into the computer. We also updated an existing SuperDuper clone as an additional safety policy. (Disk Utility lets you clone and restore drives, a nifty hidden superpower in Recovery.)

This worked just fine for six weeks, until she started to receive errors while using her mail client, restarted, and had screens of Matrix-like text scrolling down. Very quickly, it appeared the drive was damaged, not just corrupted. How did I diagnose this?

  • Zapping the NVRAM didn’t help.
  • Starting into single-user mode worked, as did performing the fsck command-line function to make sure a drive was left in the correct state for booting. However, the same symptoms resulted when exiting into a full startup environment.
  • The Mac could boot into Recovery, but Disk Utility couldn’t perform a repair on the drive, as it wouldn’t unmount.
  • I could launch Terminal in recovery to use the diskutil program to force the drive to unmount, but Disk Utility would always wind up reporting that it was unrepairable.
  • I used Target Disk Mode to mount the Mac onto another Mac to see if Disk Utility might be able to perform magic that way, and it also failed.
  • Sometimes, even a failing drive can be duplicated, but it was in too bad a shape for that, whether through Recovery mode and Disk Utility or Target Disk Mode.
I purchased and installed TechTools Pro 9.5, which can create a bootable Mac system that includes itself. I installed that onto an SSD I had handy, and after running through basic diagnostics that confirmed the Mac was fine, I used its Surface Scan tool to see if it could identify whether bad blocks (unusable small segments) on the disk. Sure enough, it started reporting piles of bad blocks and then stalled. (That’s not great behavior for utility software that’s supposed to cope with terrible system problems.)

Fortunately, we had the six-week-old clone—and I was kicking myself for not having updated it more recently—and a CrashPlan backup that was up to date as of just moments before the system went bad. Between diagnosing and running tests, it took parts of a full day.

CrashPlan hiccups

Restoring also took about a day due to the unfortunately outdated and somewhat primitive controls still found in Code42’s CrashPlan for Home. While I’ve used CrashPlan for many years, the company has held off on updates to its home product for some time, and it just announced on August 22 that it will no longer develop this version. It will stop working in October 2018. I’ve gradually switched my backups to Backblaze; my wife remained on CrashPlan as we have prepaid service that hadn’t expired yet.

We had set CrashPlan to archive just documents and media, not the entire disk, but the CrashPlan restore operation reported over 500GB to recover, excluding a 100GB music library that hadn’t changed and that we’d offloaded to make recovery faster.

After examining the overage, it seems that CrashPlan doesn’t properly recognize the “hard links” that iPhoto and Photos share. Hard links are a special form of Unix file reference that allows a single file to be represented as existing in multiple places on a hard drive. When you use Photos to upgrade an iPhoto library, rather than copy the entire contents, the app uses hard links to point to files in the iPhoto library. Apple chose this route as it saves enormous space.

However, my wife had only launched Photos, which caused it to create an updated library, but hadn’t actively used it. We could remove it from the drive and the restore process. This eliminated over 100GB of files that needed to be downloaded.

CrashPlan also fails to check whether a file to be restored is identical to one already stored on disk. It can only overwrite a file (whether identical or not) or create another copy of it with a unique name. This seemingly defeats the point of restoring. Even with gigabit Internet, CrashPlan ran its restore from between 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps, slowing things down further. 

Ultimately, we got back to status quo ante after losing a few days of access and many hours to restoration work.

Be better prepared

In the future, we’ve resolved to make two changes:
  • More regular creation of clones. SuperDuper lets you set a schedule, and you can just plug in a drive and let it run overnight (even though it might only take an hour or two). I have a drive permanently plugged into my iMac that makes a nightly clone, even as I also back everything up to the cloud.
  • Switch to Backblaze, even if you’re currently using CrashPlan, given that its inadequate home software won’t be improved. Check out our review of Arq, a potential local (and remote) network backup, or match Backblaze with local Time Machine backups.

Ask Mac 911

We’ve compiled a list of the questions we get asked most frequently along with answers and links to columns: read our super FAQ to see if your question is covered. If not, we’re always looking for new problems to solve! Email yours to including screen captures as appropriate. Mac 911 can’t reply to—nor publish an answer to—every question, and we don’t provide direct troubleshooting advice.


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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New WhatsApp

Now you can colour your WhatsApp status

Get ready for colourful status updates on WhatsApp. Earlier, this month Facebook-owned WhatsApp was reportedly testing a new feature that will allow users to post status updates with colourful background. The alleged upcoming feature was first spotted by Android Police website. The company has now started rolling out the coloured text statuses for its Android and iOS users.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

free macOS apps

25 free macOS apps every Mac user should have

Powerful Mac apps that won't break the bank

There’s something of a misconception when it comes to the Mac. While powerful tools like Photoshop or Final Cut Pro certainly have price tags commensurate with their robust feature sets, many of the greatest OS X apps won’t cost you anything more than the time they take to download them. And with the launch of macOS High Sierra right around the corner, we've expanded this list to include a new batch of apps to enhance your desktop experience.

A quick note before we begin. Apple has changed its security settings in recent version of macOS, so you’ll need to allow your system to open a couple of these apps. If a dialogue box pops up telling you a certain app was blocked from opening, head over to System Preferences, click the Security & Privacy tab in the first row, and select the General tab. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see an “Open Anyway” button next to the name of the app. Click it and then open the app as normal to properly launch it. You’ll only need to do this once for each app.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

macOS High Sierra

macOS High Sierra
Features, release info, system requirements, and more

We’ve updated this story with links to what's new in Metal 2.
The next version of Apple’s operating system for the Mac is called macOS High Sierra. While the OS is mostly about software refinements, it also lays the foundation for future innovations in the worlds of VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality).
You can learn more by taking a look at our favorite High Sierra features listed below. That’s followed by an FAQ, where you can get details on High Sierra’s release date, system requirements, installation instructions, and more.

A new file system

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


AI a big help in fight against terror content

YouTube, which a few months ago lost advertisers because of the terrorism-related content on its platform, says AI is proving to be a big help.

"Over 75% of the videos we've removed for violent extremism over the past month were taken down before receiving a single human flag," the company said in a blog post Tuesday.
YouTube also says machine learning has helped it remove more than twice the number of videos with extremist content at a faster rate.

Why Facebook's Willow Beats Apple's Saucer

Why Facebook's Willow Beats Apple's Saucer

Facebook knocked it out of the park with its financials last week, and a lot of its success comes from Zuckerberg's unique focus. Unlike other firms that jump from project to project, ranging widely from what makes them money -- like Google -- Facebook stays close to what made it successful. There is no stronger evidence than when you compare the two office projects from Apple and Facebook.
The huge Apple Flying Saucer (sadly, it doesn't fly) is nearing completion. Facebook recently announced it too was building a new showcase site, called "Willow," but Facebook was building the first arcology at scale.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Linux Convergence Dream

The Elusive Total Linux Convergence Dream

Regular readers know that I usually stick to the well-charted territory of essential terminal commands and practical overviews of Linux history, since they are immediately useful to newcomers.

Thankfully for beginners, the basics don't change very quickly -- but that's not to say that Linux is a stagnant ecosystem. Far from it. Linux can be found at the very frontier of emerging computer trends.
Most current events in the Linux community have little direct impact on the average desktop user, but one recent development that very much does is Canonical's decision to end development of Ubuntu's flagship Unity desktop. This was disheartening news for Unity fans this spring, but over the past few months it has been the subject of intense discussion throughout Linux developer and user circles for what it portends for the community at large.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Facebook Adds 4K to 360 Live

Facebook Adds Hardware, Software Vetting and 4K to 360 Live

Facebook on Tuesday announced several updates to its live-streaming platform, including a new hardware and software vetting program used to create 360-degree video.

Through its new Live 360 Ready Program, Facebook will review hardware and software and approve products that work well with its Live 360 offering. Products deemed "ready" for Live 360 will be allowed to display a Facebook Live logo on their packaging or website.
"Each camera's app or Web experience will enable you to interact with your friends and followers through direct access to Facebook's native reactions and comments," noted Facebook Product Manager Chetan Gupta and Product Marketing Manager Caitlin Ramrakha in an online post.
Facebook has approved 11 cameras and seven software suites so far.
Live 360 Ready cameras included Giroptic iO, Insta360 Nano, Insta360 Air, Insta360 Pro, ION360 U, Nokia Ozo, Z CAM S1, 360Fly HD, 360Fly 4K and 360Fly 4K Pro.
Live 360 Ready software packages included Assimilate SCRATCH VR, Groovy Gecko, LiveScale, Teradek, Voysys, Wowza and Z CAM WonderLive.
"The way we communicate is getting more and more visual, and live 360 video is the richest medium of all," said JK Liu, CEO of Insta360, maker of a Live 360 Ready camera.
"We're excited to bring Facebook users a way to go live in 360 that fits in seamlessly with the way they already use their phones," he told TechNewsWorld.

The 5 Technologies We Need to Change the World

The 5 Technologies We Need to Change the World

I just finished reading an interesting hard science fiction book called The Punch Escrow, by Tal M. Klein (a movie is in the works).

What makes the difference between hard and soft science fiction is that hard science fiction is based on science, while soft is, let's just say, far more imaginative. To be honest, I enjoy both types, and the soft stuff is a ton easier to write. Those pesky physical rules don't get in the way, and you don't have to do research.

The story takes place several decades in the future, and it revolves around the idea of quantum foam and teleportation. It points out why teleportation never may be practical, but it brings up the idea of human 3D printing, which could be used more effectively for space exploration.

However, it also would have a massive number of other uses, both good and bad, which got me thinking about what else could change our future in a massive way. I came up with a list of five potentially world-changing technologies.

I'll close with my product of the week: a book on management that could have a massive effect on your company's success, based on the black boxes used in airplanes. It's called Black Box Thinking.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Intel accuses Qualcomm

Intel accuses Qualcomm of trying to kill mobile chip competition

Intel says Qualcomm's patent spat with Apple is really about quashing competition from Intel.
Intel has jumped into the fray surrounding the Apple-Qualcomm patent spat by accusing the world's biggest maker of mobile phone chips of trying to use the courts to snuff out competition.

The chip giant made the allegation late Thursday in a public statement (PDF) to US International Trade Commission. The commission had requested the statement as part of its investigation into Qualcomm's accusation that Apple's iPhones of infringe six of Qualcomm's mobile patents.
Specifically, Intel said, the case is about quashing competition from Intel, which described itself as "Qualcomm's only remaining competitor" in the market for chips for cellular phones.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support

Microsoft Rolls Out Linux Support in SQL Server 2017 Release Candidate

Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its first public release candidate for SQL Server 2017, which includes full support for Windows, Linux and Docker containers.

SQL Server on Linux improves on earlier previews with several key enhancements, including active directory authentication; transport layer security to encrypt data; and SQL Server Integration Services that add support for Unicode ODBC drivers.

SQL Server 2017 has demonstrated faster performance than competitive databases or older SQL Server versions with new benchmarks, Microsoft said, including the world record TPC-H 1-TB non-clustered data warehousing benchmark achieved this spring using SQL Server 2017 on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and HPE DL380 Gen 9 hardware.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Security, Automation Tools

Red Hat Linux Upgrade Pushes New Security, Automation Tools

Red Hat on Tuesday announced the availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4 beta.
RHEL 7.4 includes new security and compliance features and streamlined automation, along with tools for improved systems administration.

This latest upgrade comes nearly three years into the series 7 lifecycle. It continues to provide enterprises with a rich and stable foundation for both existing applications and a new generation of workloads and solutions.

"RHEL 7.4 enables data centers to continue running mission-critical stuff. We rarely see the particular features any more. We just take the technology for granted," said Steve Almy, principal product manager for RHEL at Red Hat.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Google create stunning photos using Street View imagery

Google is using AI to create stunning landscape photos using Street View imagery

Google’s latest artificial intelligence experiment is taking in Street View imagery from Google Maps and transforming it into professional-grade photography through post-processing — all without a human touch. Hui Fang, a software engineer on Google’s Machine Perception team, says the project uses machine learning techniques to train a deep neural network to scan thousands of Street View images in California for shots with impressive landscape potential. The software then “mimics the workflow of a professional photographer” to turn that imagery into an aesthetically pleasing panorama.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

China blocking VPNs

China may not be blocking VPNs after all

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reported that the Chinese government would be requiring internet provides to block users’ access to personal VPNs. However, a new report published today in the state-run news site The Paper (spotted by Engadget) seems to contradict that report.

The statement from China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology says that “authorized” VPNs will be allowed to conduct business as usual, and that the new restrictions only apply to companies using unauthorized VPNs, a policy that the ministry notes has been in place since January.

That said, the statement in The Paper doesn’t really clarify which users are eligible for approval or how that process will work, leaving plenty of room for additional restrictions if the government decides to go that route. 

Monday, July 10, 2017


Spotify denies promoting 'fake artists'

Music streaming service Spotify has denied that some of its playlists contain music tracks by "fake artists".

A music industry publication listed 50 artists it claimed were not real.

They have racked up millions of streams by appearing on mood-based playlists such as Sleep and Ambient Chill, but many have no other visible profile.

However, one industry expert told the BBC Spotify was "not committing a crime" if it was commissioning tracks or buying production music.

"We do not and have never created 'fake' artists and put them on Spotify playlists. Categorically untrue, full stop," Spotify said in a statement.

"We do not own rights, we're not a label, all our music is licensed from rights holders and we pay them - we don't pay ourselves."

Low profile

Some of the artist names in the list, compiled by Music Business Worldwide (MBW), did appear to have a presence on other platforms - generally rival services such as LastFM and YouTube - when checked by the BBC, but most had no website or social media presence in their own right.

For example Relajar, which has racked up 13.4 million streams, comes up only on Spotify in internet search results.

"We're pretty sure A&R [artist and repertoire] teams from across the globe would love to hear about artists with no online presence who have managed to rack up millions of Spotify plays with their first few tracks," wrote MBW.

Mark Mulligan, from Midia Research, said that Spotify could be commissioning others to produce content which it then pays lower royalties for in return.

"Labels are scared because they suspect this is the thin end of the wedge, but it's not forcing those artists to do it," he said.

It was also possible that Spotify was buying existing production music from other companies, Mr Mulligan said.

Some artists choose not to attach their real names to this sort of material.

"We still don't have the smoking gun - there's no proof of payment," he said.

"This is getting creative about how Spotify might try to not have to pay out for all the music it plays.
"Ten years into the Spotify experiment, it still hasn't made a profit despite being the most successful music-streaming platform on the planet."


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