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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Microsoft Windows 10 controlled folders feature

Windows 10 will hide your important files from ransomware soon

Microsoft is making some interesting security-related changes to Windows 10 with the next Fall Creators Update, expected to debut in September. Windows 10 testers can now access a preview of the changes that include a new controlled folder access feature. It’s designed to only allow specific apps to access and read / write to a folder. If enabled, the default list prevents apps from accessing the desktop, pictures, movies, and documents folders.



“Controlled folder access monitors the changes that apps make to files in certain protected folders,” explains Dona Sarkar, head of Microsoft’s Windows Insiders program. “If an app attempts to make a change to these files, and the app is blacklisted by the feature, you’ll get a notification about the attempt.”

The new controlled folder feature is designed to protect against viruses and ransomware from locking machines out of certain folders. Ransomware has hit the headlines recently as WannaCry and Petya wreak havoc on older Windows machines worldwide. Microsoft is also including exploit protection into its Windows Defender software in Windows 10, which should help prevent viruses and malware from exploiting vulnerabilities in the first place.

Source:
Indirabali


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Google faces $2.7B fine

Google faces $2.7B fine for skewing search results for shoppers

The fine from the European Union is twice as big as predicted -- and there could be more to come for the search giant as EU regulators look into Android.

The European Union just served notice that it will not go easy on Google.
EU regulators on Tuesday slapped Google with a 2.42 billion euro ($2.72 billion) fine for favoring its own shopping services in its search results over those of rivals.

"What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules," said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in a statement. "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate. And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation."

The fine is the biggest antitrust penalty the EU has ever applied to a single company, exceeding the $1 billion fine handed to Intel in 2009. It also far exceeds the $1.2 billion estimate that experts watching the Google case predicted.

Tuesday's action against Google is yet another dustup in a series of confrontations between European bureaucrats and Silicon Valley giants. The EU, for instance, has been pushing Facebook, Twitter and others to do more to fight hate speech and terrorist activities on social media. Ireland, meanwhile, has squared off against Apple over tax payments.

In addition to being a huge regulatory setback for Google, the new ruling suggests the EU won't cut Google any slack -- bad news, given its ongoing investigations into Android and search advertising.
In the Android case, the EU is investigating whether Google may be crushing its rivals in the apps and services market by insisting Google services be preinstalled on all phones running Android. The company has also been accused of blocking rivals in online search advertising. Both cases could potentially result in further fines for Google.

The Android case could conclude within the coming months, but there's no word yet on the advertising case.

The new $2.7 billion fine comes as a result of a seven-year investigation by the EU into whether Google was giving priority to its own needs over the needs of European shoppers. The Competition Commission has found that the internet giant systematically abuses its dominance in search to promote its own shopping services. European regulators also found that Google actively demotes rivals in its results through use of algorithms, making them less visible to consumers.


If Google does not stop this practice within 90 days, its parent company, Alphabet, will be charged a further 5 percent of its average daily global revenue in additional fines, Europe's Competition Commission said in a press conference livestreamed on Facebook.

Google defended its approach to presenting search results, saying it disagrees with the EU's decision and will consider an appeal after it reviews the details.

"When you shop online, you want to find the products you're looking for quickly and easily. And advertisers want to promote those same products," Kent Walker, Google's general counsel, said in a statement. "That's why Google shows shopping ads, connecting our users with thousands of advertisers, large and small, in ways that are useful for both."

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a  tech policy think tank, called the EU ruling a bad deal for consumers, who, it said, had benefited from Google's product comparison tool.
"The decision in this case shows the fundamental problem with the EU's approach to antitrust issues: It is willing to take heavy-handed actions to protect competitors, at the expense of consumers," ITIF President Robert D. Atkinson said in a statement. "The only real beneficiary of today's ruling is the EU's treasury."

Google's fines are to be paid straight into the EU budget, helping to finance the European Union and reduce the tax burden on individuals in member states.

Sumber:
Indirabali



Don't throw it away!

Don't throw it away! What to do with old electronic devices

When you've bought a new tablet, smartphone or laptop, what should you do with the old one? Many old devices languish in bottom drawers or, worse still, end up in the trash.
Next time you have an unwanted device on your hands, think again. Taking old electronic devices to retailers or local collection points is an option, but you can also continue using old devices that are still working, give them away or sell them to help protect the environment. Here are some alternatives to our throwaway culture:

1) Repair it


Whether it's a Blu-ray player, toaster or mobile phone, if a device has broken after its warranty has expired and having it fixed is too expensive, it's always worth giving it a go yourself.
The website repaircafe.org, for instance, lists skilled amateurs or professionals who may lend you a hand. There are many other similar initiatives to be found online. It's also worth looking out for websites and videos offering step-by-step instructions for fixing various devices.

2) Carry on using it

You've been offered a new smartphone to go with a new contract, or you've seen an amazing discount on a huge flat-screen TV. Temptation is everywhere, but consumers should always consider whether they really need a new device.
In the case of mobile phone contracts, restraint may even pay off in the long run. "Many providers offer a lower monthly rate if you use your own device," says Germany's Federal Environment Agency (UBA). Or you can switch to a prepaid contract.

3) Convert it


Even if your mobile phone, computer or notebook no longer serves the purpose you originally bought it for, you might still be able to use it for something else.
An old computer - whether it's a PC or a notebook - can often be turned into a secondary device which you use for network storage or as a server, and a smartphone could be used for music or an internet connection. An old router can be converted into a WiFi repeater.

4) Give it away

"Check whether your device is suitable for secondary use," advises the UBA. If it is, you're bound to find someone who will benefit from it.
Tablets are a good alternative to regular computers for older people, who are often just starting out with computers and the internet so don't need anything fancy. They could also be of interest to families with children.
Consider selling old devices through classified ads or online auctions. In both cases, you should make sure you delete your personal data from the device.

5) Buy second-hand

You can also do a lot for the environment by opting to buy devices second-hand. "If you don't need to have the latest device, you can save a lot of money with a used smartphone," the UBA points out. This also applies to a number of other devices, from digital cameras to computers

Source:
Indirabali


Monday, June 26, 2017

iOS 11 Betas Now Available

iOS 11, macOS High Sierra Public Betas Now Available, Here's How to Install

iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra were both unveiled at WWDC 2017 this year, and their developer previews were made available right after. Now, the public betas for both the new software versions have gone live, and can be experienced right away. Both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra bring a lot of new features. iOS 11 gets an improved Siri, redesigned Control Centre, and iMessage integration to Apple Pay, while macOS High Sierra gets the new APFS system, Safari improvements, and much more.

So, how do you get access to the iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra public betas? Sign in to the Apple Beta Software Program with your Apple ID, and follow the instructions to enrol your device. Answers to most questions regarding the Apple Beta Software Program can be found on the FAQ page.
Despite being public betas, these early versions are quite buggy and could hinder your overall smartphone experience, and you can un-enrol from the iOS and macOS public beta program whenever you want by seeing the steps here.


As we mentioned, with iOS 11, Apple introduced improvements to Siri, a redesigned Control Centre, and several other features. Siri gets the ability to translate speech, its voice is more neutral for both genders, its interface becomes more visual, and a whole lot more. Additionally, iOS 11 also brings a ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature, and also introduces indoor mapping and other improvements to Apple Maps as well. Apple Pay also gets person to person payment and integration into iMessage. There is also a new Apple Pay Cash account, which is where users will receive money from other users. Apple Photos also gets some new tweaks, especially to Live Photos which gets a bunch of new looping modes. Lastly, the App Store also gets a major redesign, which actually looks a lot like Apple Music.

The macOS High Sierra software update brings a host of new tweaks and upgrades including an improved Safari, machine learning, and Apple's new file system, to name a few. macOS High Sierra's Safari also brings automatic Autoplay blocking, which will detect when videos are trying to autoplay and auto silence them. Apple is also bringing a much-needed ad tracking blocker through the use of machine learning. Mail will get a full-screen split-view so that your inbox can be seen on one side, and the message you're composing on the other. Photos is also getting an overhaul as well with features like better facial recognition and improved sorting. The Photo Book printing service built into Photos is being opened up to third parties. Lastly, APFS - the file storage system that is used on most of Apple's other products is now going to be the default on macOS with High Sierra.

Source:
Indirabali

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Jobs 'hated' a Microsoft exec

Apple started making iPad because Jobs 'hated' a Microsoft exec

The iPhone might never have existed if Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn't "hate" an executive at Microsoft. 

Scott Forstall, the former head of Apple's software business and the man who created iOS for the first iPhone, on Tuesday said Jobs couldn't stand an executive at Microsoft who talked to him about plans for styluses and tablets. 

Jobs, who was famously anti-stylus and instead favored using fingers on touchscreens, was annoyed with that Microsoft executive so he and Apple started work on their own tablet, which eventually became the iPad. 

"iPhone had a very circuitous route by itself," Forstall said Tuesday during an event at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. "We'd been working on a tablet project, which has a really odd beginning. It began because Steve hated this guy at Microsoft."

The panel was one of the first times Forstall has spoken publicly since leaving Apple in October 2012. 

Forstall's recount backs up Jobs' own, given in Walter Isaacson's authorized biography "Steve Jobs". It revealed the tech icon said, "This dinner was like the tenth time he talked to me about it, and I was so sick of it that I came home and said, 'F**k this, let's show him what a tablet can really be'." Read more here.    

Apple introduced the first iPad in 2010 -- three years after the first iPhone -- but it actually started development on its tablet before its phone. Forstall said that changed and Apple shifted to a phone following a conversation he and Jobs had. 

Jobs and others at Apple had started to realize that phones were something that could hurt iPod sales as more people listened to music on those devices, Forstall said. Jobs had seen an internal demo for tablet software and asked Forstall and his team to "shrink it down to something ... small enough for a phone size."

Once Jobs saw the phone software, he put the iPad on hold to create the iPhone first. 

The iPhone became the best-selling phone model and helped Apple become the most profitable company in the world. It now generates more than two-thirds of its revenue from the iPhone. 

Forstall led the creation of software for Apple's first iPhone, which hit the market a decade ago. He worked closely with Jobs and had a reputation within the company for being difficult to work with. 



Tim Cook, who became CEO in August 2011, fired Forstall for reportedly failing to take responsibility for problems with Apple Maps. It was the company's first attempt to release its own mapping software to replace Google Maps, but it was half-baked when it was released in September 2012, offering misleading directions and incorrect geographical data. Cook issued an apology shortly after its introduction, saying he was "extremely sorry" for releasing a product that fell short of Apple's commitment to users.

Does the Mac still matter? Apple execs tell why the MacBook Pro was over four years in the making, and why we should care.

Source:


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lenovo shows off

Lenovo shows off an absurd laptop concept with a flexible screen

Lenovo has some wild ideas to share. At an event in New York today, the company showed off its idea of the future of personal computing with an image of a bendable laptop with a flexible display; a built-in keyboard; and even the signature ThinkPad pointing stick, or mouse nub — whatever you want to call it. With this concept, most of the interaction would happen over voice commands or a stylus. Lenovo says that this concept would be achieved through “advanced materials” and “new screen technologies.” That’s not very specific.



As much as I want to believe, I have to point out that this concept isn’t likely to happen, at least not for a while. We’ve seen flexible displays at CES events for years, and yet, we have no flexible displays in our daily lives. The concepts that have come out as physical prototypes, are often so thick that we wouldn’t even get a truly flexible experience like Lenovo is portraying. Plus, integrating stylus technology is only going to make this harder to build.



Also, can you imagine navigating your browser with only your voice? That sounds like a nightmare. But hey, I’m not here to crush dreams. I’m merely here for skepticism. Enjoy Lenovo’s vision of the faraway future.

Source;
Indirabali



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Facebook wants to save the world

Facebook wants to save the world. You've got work to do

For the past six months, Mark Zuckerberg has been zigzagging the US on a well-publicized, whirlwind tour to chat with people outside the insular bubble of Silicon Valley. Along the way, Facebook's CEO met with Ford factory workers in Michigan, cattle farmers in Wisconsin and community leaders in New Orleans.

But while Zuckerberg's been attracting headlines and fueling speculation he wants to run for office, behind the scenes, another member of Facebook's top brass has been on a low-key meet-and-greet of a different kind.



Zuckerberg's longtime friend, Chris Cox, has been on a fact-finding mission with some of the nearly 2 billion people who use the social network every month. Cox, Facebook's product chief, has met with community leaders from Facebook Groups every two weeks to find out what they need from him. 

Cox and Zuckerberg have been spreading the gospel of Facebook -- the company's oft-repeated mission statement of "making the world more open and connected." But on Thursday, during its inaugural Facebook Community Summit in Chicago, the company announced a change in its mantra. Facebook's new mission: "Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."

"'Closeness together' is the operative idea," says Cox, sitting in a wood-trimmed conference room behind his desk at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California. "We've now connected a lot of people through our services, and we really want to push the thinking towards closeness -- which is more than connectedness."

Facebook Groups are the public and private communities that exist outside your general news feed -- like the Hillary Clinton group Pantsuit Nation or the Lady Bikers of California, a group for women motorcyclists. Cox has been meeting with the moderators of groups like that. One trip took him as far as Lagos, Nigeria, earlier this year to meet with young, aspiring graphic designers.

Cox says reaching 2 billion Facebook users, which is expected sometime soon, seems like a good time to re-evaluate the company's mission. That's why on Thursday it's also introducing new features for Facebook Groups, including an analytics tool that lets administrators see engagement metrics.

There's also a good business reason for Facebook to invest in Groups. The more people share on Facebook, the more the company can woo marketers and advertisers. The Groups service could also be an avenue for people to share their interests in more specific ways. That's especially important as Facebook tries to fend off rivals like Snapchat, where lots of young users spend their time.
'More division'


Meanwhile, Zuckerberg and his team have been grappling with some existential questions about Facebook's role in the world lately. Some of President Donald Trump's detractors blamed fake news circulating on the platform for tipping the scales in Trump's favor during the US election in November. The company has also been hammered over everything from violence and death livestreamed on the site via Facebook Live, to charges of perpetuating "filter bubbles" that warp our outlooks by pretty much only showing us stuff on our news feeds that already aligns with our personal views.

At a Facebook event in February, Zuckerberg, 33, acknowledged there's "more division" in the world now than there has been in a while. Later that month, he posted a nearly 6,000-word manifesto detailing Facebook's new modern-day ethos, including using artificial intelligence to thwart terrorism recruitment and making the social network a vessel for civic engagement.


The next step, he said, is convincing people to talk to one another more. And he believes Facebook's Groups feature can help make that happen.

"Online communities make our physical communities stronger," Zuckerberg said during a speech in Chicago on Thursday. Facebook has begun using artificial intelligence programs to suggest communities to people already, and he said it's working. "It's going to strengthen our overall social fabric and bring the world closer together."

As we walk through Facebook's Frank Gehry-designed headquarters, billed as the largest open office in the world, I ask Cox how much the new mission and focus on community has to do with the election. "There were a lot of factors," he says. "There's a lot going on in the climate of 2017."

Others think Facebook is finally reckoning with its influence.

"They recognize the role they play in terms of actually driving social structure," Bob O'Donnell, president of Technalysis Research, says. "Pardon the metaphor, but I think Facebook is  a young adult now. It realized, 'Oh shit, I'm not a kid now. I have all these responsibilities.'"

Source:
Indirabali

Facebook, Twitter 'addicts' are happier

Facebook, Twitter 'addicts' are happier, claims study

WASHINGTON: Facebook, Twitter and other social media users regard themselves as less unhappy than their friends, a study has found.

The research also found that people with the most number of connections on social media are happier that those with fewer friends.

For the purpose of the study, which used data from Twitter, reciprocal followers were defined as "friends" and users with the most connections were defined as "popular."


"This analysis contributes to a growing body of evidence that social media may be harmful to users who 'overindulge' in these services since it's nearly impossible to escape negative comparisons to their friends' popularity and happiness," said Johan Bollen, from Indiana University in the US.

The study builds upon a phenomenon known as the Friendship Paradox, which finds that most people on a social network have fewer connections on average than their friends, since the most popular users intersect with a higher-than- average number of social circles.

The study is the first to reveal that these more popular users are also happier on average, inflating the overall happiness level of a user's social circle - an effect the researchers dubbed the "Happiness Paradox."

"This study suggests that happiness is correlated with popularity, and also that the majority of people on social networks aren't as happy as their friends due to this correlation between friendship and popularity," Bollen said.

To conduct the analysis, researchers randomly selected 4.8 million Twitter users, then analysed the group for people who followed one another on the network, creating a social network of about 102,000 users with 2.3 million connections.


The team then narrowed their focus to individuals with 15 or more "friends" on the network, after which they analysed the sentiment of these users' tweets, a common method in computer science and marketing to assess whether digital postings are generally positive or negative in tone.
This created a group of 39,110 Twitter users. Users with higher positive sentiment were defined as "happy."

A statistical analysis of that final group found that 94.3 per cent of these users had fewer friends on average than their friends. It also found that 58.5 per cent of these users were not as happy as their friends on average.

"In other words, a majority of users may feel that they're less popular than their friends on average," Bollen said.


"They may also have the impression that they're less happy than their friends on average," he said.
"Overall, this study finds social media users may experience higher levels of social dissatisfaction and unhappiness due to negative comparison between their and their friends' happiness and popularity," Bollen said.

"Happy social media users may think their friends are more popular and slightly happier than they are - and unhappy social media users will likely have unhappy friends who still seem happier and more popular than they are on average," he said.

Source:
Indirabali


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Google Launches Go-To Job

Google Launches Go-To Job Aggregation Site

Google on Tuesday announced a highly anticipated launch of its new job search aggregation technology, following last month's announcement of its Google for Jobs program at the company's annual I/O conference.

The initiative will allow Google users to search for jobs either on mobile devices or personal computers, and to use a set of filters to obtain highly targeted results pulled from many different sites across the Web.


During his keynote presentation last month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai noted that the company has wanted to use its machine learning capabilities to find ways to make an immediate impact on people's lives.

Google has invested a great deal of time, effort and resources to enhance its machine learning for job search capabilities over the past year, Pichai noted, pointing to last year's introduction of a Google Jobs API, a vertical machine learning model.
Machine Learning

The Google Jobs API utilizes two proprietary ontologies to deliver results that match both employers' and job seekers' needs. The occupational ontology, based on the O*Net Standard Occupational Classification, includes 30 broad job categories on top, followed by 1,100 occupational families, and then 250,000 specific occupations.

The skill ontology includes 50,000 specific hard and soft skills with various relationships.


The Google search technology allows users to filter job searches by various criteria -- for example, commuting distance or specific methods of transportation -- such as bus, rail or car. It can filter by seniority, benefits, employment type or other information.

Google tested the API with several partner firms, including Johnson & Johnson, FedEx, CareerBuilder and HealthSouth.

Eighteen percent of applicants at Johnson & Johnson were more likely to apply for work once the technology was added to the mix, Pichai said. The technology was able to search for jobs across all levels of experience and wage levels, including jobs that are particularly hard to search for, such as retail and hospitality jobs.
"The Google Jobs API on the J&J careers site enables candidates to find open positions across the company in a much more intuitive and relevant way," said Sjoerd Gehring, global vp of talent acquisition at Johnson & Johnson.
"Based on completely different search technology and a different taxonomy, the Google Jobs API is able to serve up more relevant jobs which the candidate might have missed out on otherwise," he told TechNewsWorld. "Ultimately, this partnership brings more relevant jobs to candidates, creating more economic opportunity."

Threat Level

Google is working with a number of different organizations -- among them LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Facebook -- to bring users the most comprehensive job listings possible, said Nick Zakrasek, a product manager at Google.
Google is publishing open documentation for all job providers -- including third-party platforms and direct employers, whether large or small -- so that their job openings are more discoverable, he added.

The Google technology competes directly with Indeed, which also aggregates job searches across multiple sites, noted Michael Jude, a research manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
However, "our experience shows clearly that search is useful only if it has all the jobs," said Paul D'Arcy, senior vice president at Indeed.

"For this reason, Indeed focuses on comprehensiveness, working relentlessly to get every job on Indeed, including jobs from 3 million employers that post directly to Indeed. Most of these jobs are not available on any other job site," he told TechNewsWorld.

"Job search is one of the most important searches in one's life," he continued. "We've always assumed the largest companies in the world would enter the jobs space. Indeed's strategy remains the same: We continue to focus on relentlessly innovating to help people get jobs. This is our sole mission, and we have nearly 5,000 employees dedicated to building the technologies and services that provide job seekers the best chance to get hired."

Google had no information to share regarding how its service compares to Indeed, said spokesperson Susan Cadrecha.

However, "to ensure even more jobs are listed over time, we're publishing open documentation for all jobs providers, from third-party platforms or direct employers, big or small, detailing how to make their job openings discoverable in this new feature," she told TechNewsWorld.

Facebook earlier this year launched its own job search capabilities, but that effort is not likely to have much of an impact, Frost's Jude told TechNewsWorld, due to the stigma many employers associate with using social media sites for job searching.

Facebook's partnership with Google may have brighter prospects, however.


"We launched the ability to apply to jobs on Facebook to make it faster and easier to find the right job," said Gaurav Dosi, product manager at Facebook.

"We've been thrilled to hear from people and business owners alike that Facebook has helped take the work out of their search," he told TechNewsworld, and "we think this partnership with Google will make everyone's search that much easier."


What Google Gains

The new job search technology will serve two purposes, said Zach Fuller, an analyst at Midia Research.


It will function as a driver of additional revenue by making Google act as a recruiter for talent, while diversifying the stream from Adwords-based advertising, he told TechNewsWorld. It also will serve as a testing ground for Google's AI capabilities.

"By implementing AI into the process, I perceive it is a way for Google to familiarize users with what will be a core technology for the company," Fuller said. "You have to wonder what took Google so long to do this," remarked Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

"Google is definitely behind the curve on searching for jobs, but with the largest search engine in the world, it makes perfect sense that using Google would be more natural for people because we 'google' for everything," he told TechNewsWorld.

It's possible Google may have another motive -- gathering additional information to find talent for its own company, McGregor suggested.

"With the high competition for critical high-tech talent," he said, "this may give Google a leg up on the job pool."

Source:
Indirabali

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Microsoft Expands Linux

Microsoft Expands Linux Container Support in Windows Server

Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server.

Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system, in an online post last week.


The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.

"This means customers will no longer have to deploy two separate container infrastructures to support both their Windows and Linux-based applications," Chapple wrote.

What's more, Windows Bash also is coming to the next edition of Windows Server. That's good news for developers.

"This unique combination allows developer and application administrators to use the same scripts, tools, procedures and container images they have been using for Linux containers on their Windows Server container host," Chapple explained.

Slimmer Nano Server

Microsoft also has improvements in store for the container performance of its Nano Server productm Chapple noted.

Nano Server, introduced in 2015, is a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers.


"The idea was to make it tiny, and allow each developer to add only the necessary elements for their specific micro-services to it," explained Ben Bernstein, CEO of Twistlock.

"It's more compliant, stable and secure," he told LinuxInsider. "The image does exactly what the developer adds to it and nothing more -- no weird under-the-hood elements."

The next release of Windows Server will focus on making Nano Server the very best container image possible, Chapple wrote.

Customers will see Nano Server images shrink in size by more than 50 percent, which will decrease startup times and improve container density, she noted.
Targeting Pain Points

Reducing the size of an operating system inside a container is important for reserving resources for the primary application running in the virtual box.

"Ideally, you'd want the underlying operating system to be zero, because you want it entirely out of the way," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

"This isn't there yet," he told LinuxInsider, "but it's very thin and gets out of the way as much as possible."

The size of Windows containers is one of three pain points with Microsoft's implementation of the technology, noted Amir Jerbi, CTO of Aqua Security.

"The size of Windows containers compared to Linux containers is very big -- over 1 gigabyte," he told LinuxInsider. "This will reduce that by 50 percent."

Running Linux containers natively on Microsoft server and Linux tools on Windows make things simpler for shops using both operating systems, Jerbi added.
Linux Dominates Containers

Microsoft's container strategy aligns the company with current customer demand, Jerbi said.

" Organizations are looking to normalize operation processes and tools," he noted. "Having a single platform that runs both Windows and Linux containers helps with that."

Microsoft's moves reflect its recognition of the state of the container space.

"In reality, 99 percent of container images are Linux images," observed Twistlock's Bernstein.

"Since we are talking about containers that act as micro-services and, in turn, engage with each others' containers, a Windows-containers-only environment is not realistic," he pointed out. "For Microsoft to bootstrap any usage of Windows containers, it must support usage of existing Linux images."

Containers have become important for developing software in today's application environments. They can shorten development cycles. They allow software to be run anywhere -- on premises or in the cloud. They also can simplify the development process because of the multitude of ready-made images.

"Studies show that containers boost productivity," Bernstein said, "which is why software product companies want to adopt them."

Source:
Microsoft has decided to expand its support for Linux containers in the next release of Windows Server.
Linux containers and workloads will work natively on Windows Server, said Erin Chapple, general manager for the server operating system, in an online post last week.
The company also will extend Window Server's Hyper-V isolation capability, which was introduced in the 2016 release of the operating system.
"This means customers will no longer have to deploy two separate container infrastructures to support both their Windows and Linux-based applications," Chapple wrote.
What's more, Windows Bash also is coming to the next edition of Windows Server. That's good news for developers.
"This unique combination allows developer and application administrators to use the same scripts, tools, procedures and container images they have been using for Linux containers on their Windows Server container host," Chapple explained.

Slimmer Nano Server

Microsoft also has improvements in store for the container performance of its Nano Server productm Chapple noted.
Nano Server, introduced in 2015, is a purpose-built operating system designed to run born-in-the-cloud applications and containers.
"The idea was to make it tiny, and allow each developer to add only the necessary elements for their specific micro-services to it," explained Ben Bernstein, CEO of Twistlock.
"It's more compliant, stable and secure," he told LinuxInsider. "The image does exactly what the developer adds to it and nothing more -- no weird under-the-hood elements."
The next release of Windows Server will focus on making Nano Server the very best container image possible, Chapple wrote.
Customers will see Nano Server images shrink in size by more than 50 percent, which will decrease startup times and improve container density, she noted.

Targeting Pain Points

Reducing the size of an operating system inside a container is important for reserving resources for the primary application running in the virtual box.
"Ideally, you'd want the underlying operating system to be zero, because you want it entirely out of the way," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
"This isn't there yet," he told LinuxInsider, "but it's very thin and gets out of the way as much as possible."
The size of Windows containers is one of three pain points with Microsoft's implementation of the technology, noted Amir Jerbi, CTO of Aqua Security.
"The size of Windows containers compared to Linux containers is very big -- over 1 gigabyte," he told LinuxInsider. "This will reduce that by 50 percent."
Running Linux containers natively on Microsoft server and Linux tools on Windows make things simpler for shops using both operating systems, Jerbi added.

Linux Dominates Containers

Microsoft's container strategy aligns the company with current customer demand, Jerbi said.
" Organizations are looking to normalize operation processes and tools," he noted. "Having a single platform that runs both Windows and Linux containers helps with that."
Microsoft's moves reflect its recognition of the state of the container space.
"In reality, 99 percent of container images are Linux images," observed Twistlock's Bernstein.
"Since we are talking about containers that act as micro-services and, in turn, engage with each others' containers, a Windows-containers-only environment is not realistic," he pointed out. "For Microsoft to bootstrap any usage of Windows containers, it must support usage of existing Linux images."
Containers have become important for developing software in today's application environments. They can shorten development cycles. They allow software to be run anywhere -- on premises or in the cloud. They also can simplify the development process because of the multitude of ready-made images.
"Studies show that containers boost productivity," Bernstein said, "which is why software product companies want to adopt them."
- See more at: http://www.technewsworld.com/story/Microsoft-Expands-Linux-Container-Support-in-Windows-Server-84623.html#sthash.LaYvUNm1.dpuf

Monday, June 19, 2017

New Nvidia graphics chip

The new Nvidia graphics chip for slimmer gaming laptops

Nvidia's chief executive Jensen Huang has debuted a range of new products recently that expand beyond its traditional gaming focus, such as cars.

If you want to squeeze the highest frame rate and the highest level of detail out of a video game, you'll be unlikely to go for a gaming notebook.

Despite becoming increasingly slimmer and more powerful, these laptops haven't been able to compete with many of their desktop counterparts. And if they can, they have usually been anything but portable and notoriously dependent on a power outlet nearby.

Nvidia's new graphics chips of the MaxQ series are to change this to some extent.
The versions of the GeForce GTX 1060, 1070 and 1080 presented at the Computex expo will use up less power and space, the manufacturer says.

This would allow them to be used in Ultrabooks, a class of particularly slim subnotebook computers.
There's also a new "whisper mode" to help keep fan noise at a minimum. It is designed to manage image refresh rates and graphics settings in games dynamically, thus making the power consumption more efficient.

As a result, the fan will have to turn less quickly, reducing the noise that has characterized many gaming notebooks. AMD has also introduced a similar technology with Radeon Chill.
Nvidia has yet to reveal whether future notebooks will be able to run complex games while running on batteries. A smaller laptop design would also affect the size of the built-in batteries.

There has also been no word so far on retail prices for the slim gaming notebooks.
The first devices with MaxQ specifications are set to be released late in June, with manufacturers including Lenovo, Asus, Alienware, MSI and HP, says Nvidia.

Source:
Indirabali

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Apple’s Cook has a reason

Apple’s Cook has a reason for breaking silence on cars: opinion

Apple is typically hush-hush. Last July, when every form of life on Earth knew Apple was six weeks away from releasing a new iPhone, Cook wouldn't acknowledge it. 

"I don't want to talk about phones that aren't announced,” he told a stock analyst. Mind you, Apple Inc had unveiled overhauled iPhones in September or October in each of the previous five years.  

That's Apple. Many companies are secretive, but Apple’s air of mystery is more mysterious than most. 

That's why it was so odd to hear Cook tell Emily Chang that his company is working on technology that could power self-driving cars or other things. And yes, that wasn't a secret. You've been reading on Bloomberg about Apple's automotive ambitions for a while now, and the company had to apply for public permits from regulators to test-drive its autonomous car prototypes. 

Still, it was unusual for Cook personally to give more than a hint of what Apple is cooking in its laboratories, and it's intriguing to ponder why he felt motivated to be a bit more revealing now. Let me offer a couple of semi-educated guesses about Apple's possible motives. 

Apple knows it can't go it alone in cars. It takes a village to make an iCar. If Apple winds up making the underlying software and systems for driverless cars, it most likely needs a coalition to bring them to life. Apple must work with automakers, car parts makers and regulators. It needs cooperation among disparate Apple product groups and it needs to win over the driving public. To do all of that, it’s helpful to say out loud what you're working on. 

Apple wants credit for innovation. Cook in another recent interview said Apple didn't get enough credit for its role in artificial intelligence, one of the cornerstone technologies of self-driving cars, because the company doesn’t talk about its plans for the future. Cook said Apple doesn't “sell futures” as other companies do. Then in the Bloomberg interview he ... dabbled in future selling. 

By keeping itself in the conversation about self-driving cars, Apple, which has so far been a laggard in this emerging field, can build credibility with technologists. It may also get some slack from investors who are scrutinising Apple's recent spending surge on research and development, to US$10.8bil (RM46.18bil) in the last 12 months. 

It wouldn't hurt, either, if Apple's valuation got a little of the fairy dust from Tesla Inc. The carmaker's shares trade at a stratospheric 65 times Tesla's estimated adjusted earnings for 2019. Apple is trading at 13 times analysts' fiscal 2019 expected earnings under generally accepted accounting principles.  

It's still not clear what Apple will actually do with autonomous technology or how it might make money doing so. “We'll see where it takes us,” Cook said. 

That's fine. The world doesn’t need full disclosure from Apple. Just a few hints will do.

Source:
Indirabali

Two-factor Authentication

How to set up two-factor authentication on all your online accounts

Just about any account you own on the internet is prone to being hacked — and one of the easiest ways to add an extra layer of security is to enable two-factor authentication. Also known as two-step verification or 2FA, the process gives web services a secondary access to the account owner (you!) in order to verify a login attempt. Typically, this involves phone number and / or an email address.
While 2FA doesn’t totally cloak you from potential hackers, it is an important step in preventing your account from being accessed by unauthorized users. Here’s how to enable 2FA on your accounts across the web.

Apple

2FA is currently offered to Apple users on iOS 9 or Mac OS X El Capitan or later. We don’t make the rules!

iOS

The steps are minorly different depending on how updated your iOS software is. For those using iOS 10.3 or later, you can enable 2FA on your Apple ID by going to “Settings” > [Your Name] > “Password & Security.” You can turn on 2FA to receive a text message with a code each time you log in.
Those using iOS 10.2 or earlier, the settings are under “iCloud” > “Apple ID” > “Password & Security.”

Mac OS

Click the Apple icon on the upper left corner of your screen then click “System Preferences” > “iCloud” > “Account Details.” (You can shorten this step a bit by typing in iCloud on Spotlight.) Click on “Security” and you’ll see the option to turn 2FA on.
The remainder of the steps, from either iOS or Mac, are the same. You can opt for Apple to send you a six-digit verification code by text message, or a phone call.

Instagram

Even though you can access Instagram from a web browser, at this time you can only turn on 2FA from its mobile app. Head over your profile and click the hamburger menu on the upper right corner. Under the Account section, you should see “Two-Factor Authentication.” Toggle “Require Security Code” on to receive a text message with a login code to your account’s phone number each time you sign in.

 Facebook

Under the hamburger menu on mobile apps or the upper right side on a web browser, click “Settings” > “Security and Login,” or go to https://www.facebook.com/settings?tab=security. Under the section “Use two-factor authentication” you will have the option of registering your phone number to receive a code each time you log in, or have Facebook send a push notification to your phone to authorize or deny the login attempt.

Here, you can also set up a Security Key to log in through USB or NFC, or pre-generate a Recovery Code in case you’re traveling abroad where you will not have cell service.

If you prefer to not use 2FA each time you log in from the same device (say, your personal laptop or phone) you can also set up your trusted devices under the “Authorized Logins” menu. This will allow you to grant access to bypass 2FA for devices currently logged in to your Facebook account.

Twitter


On either the Twitter mobile app or browser version, click your profile avatar and find the “Settings and privacy” menu. Under “Account” > “Security” (or https://twitter.com/settings/account, as a shortcut), you can toggle on “Login verification” to make Twitter text your phone number a code to log in.
Just like other services mentioned above, you can generate a backup code to use when you’re traveling and will be without internet or cell service, or even create a temporary app password that you can use to log in from other devices. The temporary password expires one hour after being generated.

Amazon


Go to the Amazon homepage and log in. From your Account homepage, find “Login & Security” and click the edit button on “Advanced Security Settings.” To set up, click “Get Started” and Amazon will walk you through registering your phone number, or you can opt to use your preferred authenticator app by syncing it through a QR code. 
Once verified, you can select trusted devices to bypass 2FA or generate a code to login via a mobile app.

Google


The easiest way to turn 2FA on across your Google account (i.e., Gmail, YouTube, or Google Maps) is by heading over to the main 2FA landing page and clicking “Get Started.” You’ll be asked to log in then enter a phone number before selecting to receive verification codes by text message or phone call. Like Facebook, you can also choose to use “prompts” that allow you to simply click “Yes” or “No” when a login attempt occurs, or generate a Security Key with a USB stick.
Here, you can also generate backup codes for offline access. Google generates 10 at a time, and they’re designed to be single-use each so once you’ve successfully used one, cross it out as it will no longer work.

Snapchat


From the app’s main page, tap the gear icon and look for “My Account,” followed by “Login Verification.” Select SMS to receive a code for each time you log in. Once 2FA has been enabled on your Snapchat account, you can add trusted devices or request a recovery code for when you’re planning to be somewhere without cellular service.

Slack


To enable 2FA, you’ll need to access the “Account Settings” page from either 1) clicking on your username on the upper left corner to open a drop down menu > “Profile & Account” > clicking the gear icon, 2) clicking on your own username from the chat window and selecting “Open account settings,” or 3) heading to my.slack.com/account/settings. The second option under your username should be to enable 2FA.
From here, if you have multiple email addresses, you may need to select a default one before moving on to picking whether you’d like to receive a passcode by SMS or through an Authenticator app. More on that at the bottom of this post. After you verify your account with a six-digit code, 2FA will be enabled.

Microsoft


Log in to your Microsoft account and find the “Security settings” menu. Choose to set up 2FA and you’ll get walked through the steps with your phone number similarly to the process outlined for all other services above. For when you lack cell service, click “App passwords” to generate a unique, one-time use password to log in.

Dropbox


From your Dropbox homepage on the web, click your profile avatar and find “Settings” > “Security.” Scroll down a bit to find “Two-Step Verification” — there it will tell you the status of your 2FA. Click to enable to turn the feature on and enter your phone number to verify.

WhatsApp


Open up WhatsApp, and find the Setting menu. Look under “Account” > “Two-step verification” and hit enable. You can enter your phone number just like everything else on this list, or choose to input your email as an alternative place to receive the verification code.

Having an associated email with your WhatsApp account is important since the service won’t let you reverify yourself if you’ve last used WhatsApp within seven days and forgot your PIN. So if you can’t wait a week to reverify for whatever reason (lost phone, can’t remember your PIN), it’s helpful to have an email to log yourself in or disable 2FA. In the same vein: be cautious of emails encouraging you to turn off 2FA if you didn’t request it yourself.

PayPal


On the main dashboard, click the gear icon and find “Profile and settings.” PayPal doesn’t explicitly call the feature out as “Two-Factor Authentication” so you’ll need to look for “Security Key.” Click this to set up what’s basically your 2FA by entering your phone number, verifying with the SMS code, and continuing as normal.
If you lose your phone, change numbers, or decide to revoke authorization rights, come back to this menu in the same steps outlined before to make adjustments.

Authenticator apps


For everything else not listed here, we recommend using authenticator apps to keep track of verification codes so you can get them sent to you without requiring cellular service — useful for when you’re traveling abroad and have access to only internet. Popular options include Authy, Google Authenticator, or HDE OTP (iOS only). These apps follow mostly the same procedure when adding a new account: scan a QR code associated with your account and it will save it in the app. The next time you need to login, just open up your app to find the six-digit code required to get past security.

These extra steps are great for adding a layer of security on all your accounts, but remember that you should be changing and updating your passwords regularly even with 2FA enabled just to stay in tip-top shape.


Source:
Indirabali

Friday, June 16, 2017

Samsung smartphones vulnerable to hacking

Millions of Samsung smartphones vulnerable to hacking, claims researcher: Company denies

NEW DELHI: Despite being among the world’s leading technology companies, it seems that Samsung hasn’t done enough to secure its smartphones against hackers.

According to a report by a security researcher, the company has failed to review the domain of an app that comes pre-installed on Samsung devices.

6 tips to protect yourself from becoming a ransomware victim.
    1. This weekend’s global online extortion attack reinforces the need for businesses and other large organizations to update their computer operating systems and security software, cybersecurity experts said. The attack largely infected networks that used out-of-date software, such as Windows XP, which Microsoft no longer offers technical support for. “There’s some truth to the idea that people are always going to hack themselves,” said Dan Wire, a spokesman for security firm FireEye. “You’ve got to keep your systems updated.” The attack that authorities say swept 150 countries this weekend is part of a growing problem of “ransomware” scams, in which people find themselves locked out of their files and presented with a demand to pay hackers to restore their access. Hackers bait users to click on infected email links, open infected attachments or take advantage of outdated and vulnerable systems.
      This weekend’s virus was particularly virulent, because it could spread to all other computers on a network even if just one user clicked a bad link or attachment. Lawrence Abrams, a New York-based blogger who runs BleepingComputer.com, says many organizations don’t install security upgrades because they’re worried about triggering bugs, or they can’t afford the downtime. Here are five tips to make yourself a less-likely victim.
    2. Once your files are encrypted, your options are limited. Recovery from backups is one of them. “Unfortunately, most people don’t have them,” Abrams says. Backups often are also out of date and missing critical information. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the “shadow volume” copies some versions of Windows have. Some ransomware does also sometimes targets backup files, though. You should make multiple backups — to cloud services and using physical disk drives, at regular and frequent intervals. It’s a good idea to back up files to a drive that remains entirely disconnected from your network.
    3. The latest ransomware was successful because of a confluence of factors. Those include a known and highly dangerous security hole in Microsoft Windows, tardy users who didn’t apply Microsoft’s March software fix, and malware designed to spread quickly once inside university, business and government networks. Updating software will take care of some vulnerability. “Hopefully people are learning how important it is to apply these patches,” said Darien Huss, a senior security research engineer for cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, who helped stem the reach of the weekend attack. “I hope that if another attack occurs, the damage will be a lot less.” The virus targeted computers using Windows XP, as well as Windows 7 and 8, all of which Microsoft stopped servicing years ago. Yet in an unusual step, they released a patch for those older systems because of the magnitude of the outbreak. “There’s a lot of older Windows products out there that are ‘end of life’ and nobody’s bothered to take them out of service,” said Cynthia Larose, a cybersecurity expert at the law firm of Mintz Levin.
    4. Using antivirus software will at least protect you from the most basic, well-known viruses by scanning your system against the known fingerprints of these pests. Low-end criminals take advantage of less-savvy users with such known viruses, even though malware is constantly changing and antivirus is frequently days behind detecting it.
    5. Basic protocol such as stressing that workers shouldn’t click on questionable links or open suspicious attachments can save headaches. System administrators should ensure that employees don’t have unnecessary access to parts of the network that aren’t critical to their work. This helps limit the spread of ransomware if hackers do get into your system.
    6. Some organizations disconnect computers as a precautionary measure. Shutting down a network can prevent the continued encryption — and possible loss — of more files. Hackers will sometimes encourage you to keep your computer on and linked to the network, but don’t be fooled. If you’re facing a ransom demand and locked out of your files, law enforcement and cybersecurity experts discourage paying ransoms because it gives incentives to hackers and pays for their future attacks. There’s also no guarantee all files will be restored. Many organizations without updated backups may decide that regaining access to critical files, such as customer data, and avoiding public embarrassment is worth the cost. Ryan O’Leary, vice president of WhiteHat Security’s threat research center, points out that this weekend’s hackers weren’t asking for much, usually about $300. “If there is a silver lining to it, you’re not out a million dollars,” he said. Still, “My answer is, never pay the ransom,” Abrams said. “But at the same time, I also know that if you’re someone who’s been affected and you’ve lost all your children’s photographs or you’ve lost all your data or you lost your thesis, sometimes $300 is worth it, you know?”

According to a report by a security researcher, the company has failed to review the domain of an app that comes pre-installed on Samsung devices.


Chief technology officer at Anubis Labs, Joao Gouveia told Motherboard website in an interview that there a huge possibility for hackers to compromise millions of devices as Samsung has forgotten to renew the domain, which was used to control the stock app installed on its devices.

It’s worth mentioning that Samsung smartphones launched in 2014 came with a pre-installed app called S Suggest. The main task of the app was to suggest apps to the users on the basis of their pre-installed apps. However, the South Korean manufacturer discontinued the app in 2014 and left the domain to expire, not renewing it.

As the app’s domain expired, the security researcher was able to control it. This means that hackers can also use the domain to compromise millions of Samsung smartphones out there.
Gouveia told Motherboard website that in the time span of 24 hours, he discovered that there were 20 million connections from around 2.1 million devices, which attempted to revive the content from the domain. This entire scenario highlights that numerous millions of devices were left vulnerable to the hackers.

Nevertheless, Samsung has rejected all these claims and also released an official statement for the same. The company said, “The access to the domain does not allow you to install malicious apps, it does not allow you to take control of users’ phones.”

Back in April this year, Samsung faced a similar situation when a security researcher revealed that its Tizen operating system is not as secure as thought.

Speaking to Motherboard website, an Israeli researcher named Amihai Neiderman revealed that Samsung’s Tizen OS has the worst code he has ever seen.

Source:
Indirabali

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Securing Your Linux System Bit by Bit

Securing Your Linux System Bit by Bit

As daunting as securing your Linux system might seem, one thing to remember is that every extra step makes a difference. It’s almost always better to make a modest stride than let uncertainty keep you from starting.
Fortunately, there are a few basic techniques that greatly benefit users at all levels, and knowing how to securely wipe your hard drive in Linux is one of them. Because I adopted Linux primarily with security in mind, this is one of the first things I learned. Once you have absorbed this lesson, you will be able to part with your hard drives safely.
As you might have deduced, the usual way of deleting doesn’t always cut it. The most often-used processes for deleting files — clicking “delete” in the operating system or using the “rm” command — are not secure.
When you use one of these methods, all your hard drive does is mark the area where the deleted file used to be as available for new data to be written there. In other words, the original state of the bits (1s and 0s) of the deleted file are left intact, and forensic tools can recover the files.
This might seem like a bad idea, but it makes sense. Hard drives are designed to optimize hardware integrity, not security. Your hard drive would wear out very quickly if it reset the bits of a deleted file to all 0s every time you deleted a file.
Another process devised with hard drive lifespan in mind is “wear leveling,” a firmware routine that saves each new file in a random location on the drive. This prevents your drive from wearing out data cells, as those near the beginning of the drive would suffer the most wear if it saved data sequentially. However, this means it is unlikely that you ever would naturally overwrite a file just through long-term use of the drive.
So, what does it mean to “securely wipe” a hard drive?

Moving Raw Bits

Secure deletion involves using a program to overwrite the hard drive manually with all 0s (or random data). This useless data overwrites the entire drive, including every bit of every saved and deleted file. It even overwrites the operating system, leaving nothing for a malicious actor to exploit.
Since the command line is usually the simplest way of going about manual operations like this, I will go over this method. The best utility for this is the “dd” command.
The “dd” commamd can be used for many things besides secure deleting, like making exact backups or installing Linux distributions to USB flash drives, but what makes it so versatile is that whereas commands like “mv” and “cp” move around files as file objects, “dd” moves data around as a stream of raw bits. Essentially, while “mv” and “cp” see files, “dd” only sees bits.
What “dd” does is very simple: It takes an input and sends it to an output. Your Linux system has a stream of 0s it can read located at /dev/zero. This is not a normal file — it’s an endless stream of 0s represented as a file.
This will be our input for a wipe operation, for the purpose of this tutorial. The output will be the device to be overwritten. We will not be overwriting an actual running system, as 1) you probably wouldn’t want to; and 2) it actually wouldn’t work, because your system would overwrite the part of the system responsible for performing the overwrite before the overwrite was complete.
Securely erasing external storage devices, like USB flash drives and external hard drives is pretty straightforward, but for wiping your computer’s onboard hard drive, there are some extra steps involved.

The Live-Boot Option

If you can’t use a running system to wipe an onboard drive, how do you perform the operation? The answer is live-booting. Many Linux distributions, including those not explicitly specialized for the purpose, can be loaded and run on a computer from a connected USB drive instead of its onboard drive. When booted this way, the computer’s onboard drive is not accessed at all, since the system’s data is read entirely from the USB drive.
Since you likely installed your system from a bootable USB drive, it is best to use that. To live-boot, we have to change the place where the computer checks to find an operating system to run by entering the BIOS menu.
The BIOS is the firmware code that is loaded before any part of any OS is run, and by hitting the right key at boot time, we can access its menu. This key is different on different computers. It’s usually one of the “F” keys, but it might be something else, so it might take a few tries to figure it out, but the first screen that displays should indicate where to look.
Once you find it, insert the live-boot USB, reboot the computer directly into the BIOS menu, and select the option to change the boot order. You should then see a list of storage devices, including the inserted USB. Select this and the live system should come up.

Locating the Right Address

Before we do any deleting, we have to figure out which address our system assigns to the drive to be deleted (i.e., the target drive). To do that, we will use the “lsblk” command, for “list block devices.” It returns information about attached block devices, which are essentially hard drive-type devices.
Before running the command, take note of the target drive’s storage size, and detach all devices connected to your computer EXCEPT the drive storing the system you are live-booting from. Then, run “lsblk” with no arguments or options.
$ lsblk
The only device that should appear is your onboard hard drive and the live-booted USB. You will notice that “lsblk” returns a name (under “NAME”) beginning with “sd” and then a letter, with branching lines to the same name appended with a number. The name the branches originate from is the name of the “file” serving as the address of the drive in the /dev directory, a special directory that represents devices as files so the system can interact with them.
You should see an entry with the size of the USB drive hosting the live-boot system and a path under “MOUNTPOINT”, and (only) one other entry with the size of your target drive with no mount point listed. This second entry gives you the address for the output of “dd”. For instance, if your target drive corresponds to the name “sdb”, then that means /dev/sdb is the address.
However, to identify the address of an external drive you want to delete, run “lsblk” once with no device attached, check the (single) entry against your onboard drive’s size and make a note of its address, connect your target drive, run “lsblk” again, and check that its size corresponds to that of one of the entries in the output.
The output of the second “lsblk” command should now return two entries instead of one, and one of them should match target’s size. If your system is configured to automatically access inserted drives, you should see a path including “/media” under “MOUNTPOINT”, but otherwise the target drive should list nothing in that column.
As these addresses correspond to hard drives, it is important to be EXTREMELY careful to give the right one, because otherwise you will delete the wrong drive. As I noted earlier, if you accidentally give the address of your running system as the output, the command will immediately start writing zeros until you stop it (by hitting “Ctrl-c”) or your system crashes, resulting in irrecoverable data loss either way.
For example, since the letters are assigned alphabetically starting (usually) with the running system, if a single connected external drive is the target, it probably will be addressed as /dev/sdb. But, again, check this carefully, because it may be different for you.

Foiling Identity Thieves

Now we’re ready to delete. All we do is invoke “dd,” give /dev/zero as the input, and give our target (for this example, /dev/sdb) as the output. “dd” is an old command from the time before Linux, so it has a somewhat odd syntax. Instead of options prepended with dashes (“-“), it uses “if=” for “input file” and “of=” for “output file.” Our command, then, looks like this.
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdb
Depending on how big the target drive is, and how fast your processor is, this could take a while. With a powerful processor wiping a 16-GB flash drive, this could take as little as 10 minutes. For an average processor writing over a 1-TB drive, though, it could take a whole day. You can do other things with your computer (though not with that terminal), but they probably will be slower, as this is a comparatively processor-intensive task.
Though this is probably not something you’ll do often, knowing how definitely will serve you well in the rare instances when need to. Identity theft from forensically analyzing discarded drives happens all the time, and this simple procedure will go a long way toward defending against it.

Source:
Indirabali

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