Day: September 16, 2022

Technology Business

What is ‘the merge’? The Ethereum crypto update token users

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Ethereum, the blockchain network behind the world’s second-largest crypto token ether, just completed a major software upgrade that could revolutionize the cryptocurrency universe, some experts say.

The upgrade, called “the Merge” by crypto enthusiasts, promises to lower Ethereum’s energy consumption and attract more users. Climate activists have long criticized digital assets because producing them uses enormous amounts of electricity and generates large CO2 emissions. The University of Cambridge and Digiconomist estimate that the two largest crypto-assets, Bitcoin and Ethereum, together use around twice as much electricity in one year as the whole of Sweden.

Crypto-production’s high energy consumption is due to “proof of work,” which is the way transactions are verified and more digital assets are produced. By upgrading its software, Ethereum is changing the process to “proof of stake,” which will lower energy consumption, attract more users, and speed up transactions, experts say.

“The Merge might be one of the most important events in history” for digital assets, said Jacky Goh, CEO, and Founder of Rewards Bunny, a platform that rewards shoppers with cashback in either cryptocurrency or U.S. dollars. “It will make Ethereum more usable and scalable, and there will be better adoption.”

What is proof of work (PoW)?

To confirm a transaction on the blockchain, people must solve complex mathematical puzzles using powerful computing power. Once the puzzles are solved, the transaction is added to the blockchain ledger and the person, or miner, who solved the puzzles first is rewarded with cryptocurrency. This is also how new cryptocurrencies are released.

What is proof of stake (PoS)?

This method replaces miners with “validators” who put their cryptocurrency up as collateral to create new blocks. Instead of individuals competing to be the first to solve the same mathematical puzzles to create new blocks, a

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Technology Business

Sierra Leone delays full switchover to new currency

Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone is to delay the phaseout of its old currency until next spring, the central bank said.

On July 1, the West African country stripped three noughts off its banknotes in a bid to restore confidence in the inflation-hit currency, the leone.

The old and new notes both remain in circulation for the moment.

The transition period was due to end on October 1, when the old leone ceased to be legal tender, but has now been extended for six months, the bank announced late Thursday.

“The transition period of 1st July, 2022 to 30th September, 2022 (wherein both the Old Leone and the New Leone shall be legal tender) is hereby extended to 31st March, 2023,” it said on social media, without elaborating.

The public will be able to swap the old currency for the new one between April 1 and 15, 2023, it said.

President Julius Maada Bio introduced the re-denominated currency this summer in a bid to stop its freefall.

Shoppers needed huge quantities of the old banknotes for the simplest transactions, and unscrupulous bank tellers sometimes pilfered notes from sealed bundles of bills.

The new 10-leone note is the equivalent of 10,000 old leones and is worth around 70 US cents.

Sierra Leone’s eight million people live in one of the poorest nations in the world. The former British colony ranks 182 out of 189 countries on the United Nations’s Human Development Index.

The economy, which is heavily dependent on its diamonds and other mineral wealth, was devastated by a civil war that ran from 1991 to 2002 and left about 120,000 dead.

Efforts at rebuilding were set back by an Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016, a fall in world commodity prices, the coronavirus epidemic and the war in Ukraine.


Sierra Leone to suspend

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Software

Download WinLock – MajorGeeks

WinLock ensures that only authorized people can access sensitive information on your computer and designates time limits for use.

This security tool will allow you to restrict your users from accessing essential system resources like Control Panel, Desktop, and system registry and disable Windows hotkeys (Alt-Ctrl-Del, Alt-Tab, Ctrl-Esc, etc.), hide the Start button and taskbar. And it runs from the system tray and requires a password to access any available settings.

WinLock loads automatically with Windows and allows you to add an optional startup message, provide audio notification, and set the time limit. Once reaching that limit, Windows is summarily shut down. You can toggle the timer on and off from the tray. It also lets you deny access to selected files, applications, Explorer windows (Recycle Bin, My Computer, etc.), USB and hard drives, filter Internet content, and prohibit access to questionable Websites. When enabled, there is no way around it without the proper password.

WinLock Features:

  • System restrictions – disable command prompt, Control Panel, Safe Mode, etc.
  • Time-limited access – control how long other users can use the computer
  • Restrict Start Menu – hide the selective Start menu items, block context menus
  • Control Internet access – allow access only to the trusted sites only, and block all others
  • Sofware filter – block access to the downloaders, games, messaging clients, or CD burners
  • Hide drives – hide your system and network drives in Windows Explorer
  • Logging – monitor changes to the Windows shell and writes these changes to the log file

    Similar:

  • How to View Full Details of Any User Accounts in Windows
  • Reset Your Local Account Password In Windows 10 & 11
  • 9 Ways to Sign out of Windows 10 & 11


  • Limitations:
    The standard version includes the above features. The Pro version is $31.95 and additionally includes:

  • Guest
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    Software

    Download VSDC Free Video Editor

    VSDC Free Video Editor is purpose-designed for quickly editing video files and creating videos of any complexity involving various visual and audio effects.

    The program offers supreme functionality and still provides a simple and intuitive interface, allowing you to produce videos with a bare minimum effort. VSDC Free Video Editor provides a nice feature in its Non-linear video editor; this means that it will enable objects to be placed in any position on the timeline with any size. Additionally, the location and shape of those objects are fluid and can change with time.

    VSDC Free Video Editor comes pre-loaded with a broad set of preconfigured profiles, enabling you to create videos for the most popular multimedia devices. These profiles include but are not limited to DVD players, iPod/iPhone/iPad, PSP, smartphones and regular phones, Xbox, Sony PlayStation, Zune, Archos, Creative Zen, iRiver, Blackberry, and MP4 players. It also supports virtually all audio/video/image and codec formats. No additional conversion tools are needed to edit your files, making it a self-contained media studio.

    VSDC Free Video Editor Features:

    Visual and audio effects

  • You can apply various visual and audio effects to your videos to achieve the necessary result. Since the number of available visual effects is very high, they are split into five categories for navigation: color correction, object transformation, object filters, transition effects, and special fx.
    Subpixel accuracy
  • Objects in a scene are positioned with subpixel accuracy, which makes for smooth animation, rotation, transformation, and precise relative positioning.
  • Sub-pixel resolution standard
  • Voice over standard
  • Mask tool standard
  • Chroma Key standard
  • Technical support standard

    Similar:

  • How-to Edit Your Videos With the Microsoft Photo App
  • Video: How to Disable Video Tips In Windows 10 & 11


  • Limitations:
    Free version contains the above features. The price for the Pro version is $19.99 and includes the

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    Software

    Download Alt-Tab Terminator – MajorGeeks

    Alt-Tab Terminator is a sleek utility designed to enhance the default Windows ALT-Tab functionality by enabling a replacement screen that is perfect for previewing and managing running applications.

    The goal of the Alt-Tab Terminator is to provide you with more control over previewing windows. Now, this is simple enough to perform through the default ALT-tab process, but it is quite limited in scope due to the simple dialog provided. Enter Alt-Tab Terminator, which will replace your machine’s default with enhanced task management capable preview window. Additionally, it can also be set up to replace the Win-Tab key combo used for hopping between your various tasks on multiple desktops. It can also display a preview of the entire desktop as well as the name of the application.

    Alt-Tab Terminator places all your opened windows inside a tidy task list that will allow you to navigate more efficiently through your keyboard’s dedicated keys. A few minor personalization settings can be utilized, like the color scheme and compact/full-screen modes, depending on your preferences.

    Alt-Tab Terminator Features:

    Task Preview: Visualization is the key point. Alt-Tab Terminator shows you the exact live desktop preview of the application you want to switch to, even if it has multiple child windows.

    Quick & Easy Navigation: Navigate through the task list with the keyboard (Tab, Arrow Keys, Home, End, etc.) or the mouse – place the mouse pointer over a task or use the mouse wheel.

    Clear Large Labels: Multiple window titles are arranged on a vertical task list; a large icon is placed by each one of them. Finding the right window has become much quicker.

    Similar:

  • 8 Ways to Open Task Manager in Windows
  • How to Customize the Windows 10/11 Taskbar
  • How to Add or Remove Quick Launch Toolbar in Windows
  • How to Add Color to
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    Software

    Security and compliance issues hold back innovation

    Three quarters of C-suite executives responding to a new survey say that compliance challenges and security challenges limit their company’s ability to innovate.

    The study from software delivery platform CloudBees also shows executives overwhelmingly favor a shift left approach, a strategy of moving software testing and evaluation to earlier in the development lifecycle, placing the burden of compliance on development teams.

    For 83 percent of C-suite executives the shift left approach is important for them as an organization, 77 percent say they are currently implementing this security and compliance approach. This is despite 58 percent of C-suite executives reporting that shift left is a burden on their developers.

    “These survey findings underscore the urgent need to transform the software security and compliance landscape. As DevOps matures, security and compliance have taken center stage as a source of significant friction,” says Prakash Sethuraman, chief information security officer, CloudBees. “While shift left is a popular talking point, it is not yielding the desired results. Instead, it is further burdening development teams and taking their attention away from value-added work. What’s needed is a new mindset and a fresh approach, one in which security and compliance are continuous and actually speed innovation.”

    The survey also shows a drop in the confidence of software supply chain security and compliance, as well as a greater focus in this area. In 2022, 88 percent of executives say their software supply chain is secure or very secure, down from 95 percent in 2021. In addition, 33 percent believe their software supply chain to be completely compliant — a decrease of 19 percent from the previous year. Plus, 86 percent are focusing more on compliance now than two years ago, and 82 percent express more concern about attacks.

    You can read more and get the full report on

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    Software

    Download SSuite NetSurfer Web Browser

    SSuite NetSurfer Web Browser is a privacy-minded browser that runs via WebView2 runtime control (the internal web engine of Microsoft’s Edge browser) and is designed to ensure no tracking, data collection, etc., occurs while you are browsing.

    It has been said that Google now employs ex-US intelligence agents for assistance with data collection; this is a concern for anyone utilizing their services for browsing, etc. So, in response, SSuite decided to craft a browser of their own to help circumvent these practices. This browser runs directly off of WebView2 runtime control. For security reasons, SSuite NetSurfer Web Browser does not support extensions.

    SSuite NetSurfer Web Browser is capable of blocking social media and site trackers as well as cookie management. It also includes a private mode function that provides complete data collection and tracking protection.

    Upon seeing some comments from MajorGeeks users, SSuite Netsurfer Web Browser’s author has added an internal ad-blocker option to the app.

    If you are looking for a straightforward privacy-oriented alternative browser, give SSuite NetSurfer Web Browser a shot and browse as privately as possible.

    Similar:

  • How to Change the Default Search Engine in the Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge
  • How to Manage Passwords, Payment Info, and Addresses in Chromium-Based Microsoft Edge
  • How to Enable Dark Mode for All Sites in Microsoft Edge
  • How to Clear Browsing Data When Microsoft Edge is Closed


  • Editor’s Note:
    Make sure the WebView2 control is installed on your system; if not, or you don’t wish to have Microsoft’s Edge browser installed, simply download and install the WebView2 runtime control. This will then enable NetSurfer to run perfectly on your system. The WebView2 installer is also included in the portable version.

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    Software

    Download Advanced SystemCare Ultimate – MajorGeeks

    Advanced SystemCare Ultimate is a powerful and full-scale PC security and performance utility. It provides you with a one-stop solution to protect against viruses, ransomware, and other malware to maximize your system security and privacy, as well as clean, optimize, and speed up your PC.

    With the latest world-leading Bitdefender antivirus engine and the greatly improved IObit anti-ransomware engine, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate 15 brings your PC’s security to a much higher level. It protects your PC against various viruses, malware, spyware, adware, Trojans, keyloggers, bots, worms, hijackers, etc., and prevents your files from being encrypted by ransomware. Moreover, the upgraded System Protection, Privacy Protection, and Browser protection further protect your PC against phishing scams, cryptocurrency mining attacks, suspicious emails, and other online risks in real-time, remind you timely about homepage & search engine modifications, block annoying ads, prevent unauthorized accesses to your sensitive data, and hide your real online identity by disguising your digital fingerprint, bringing you a safer system and an anonymous online browsing experience.

    Besides providing you with a safer system and online environments, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate also delivers you a powerful one-click approach to get a cleaner and more responsive PC. It helps you clean up junk files, leftovers, invalid shortcuts, and registry entries, sweep privacy traces, update outdated programs and drivers, and fix disk errors, system weaknesses, and security holes. Meanwhile, Advanced SystemCare Ultimate provides plenty of other features to optimize further and boost your PC. It can help you stop unnecessary startup items from making your PC boot up faster, clean RAM intelligently to get a smoother system, accelerate network and browsers in an all-around way to let you surf online freely, automatically update your installed programs to their latest versions at the earliest time, monitor your PC’s RAM/CPU/Disk usage, CPU/GPU/Mainboard temperature, and fan speed

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    Software

    Three-quarters of organizations have suffered an API

    Over three-quarters (76 percent) of respondents in a new survey have suffered an API security incident in the last 12 months, primarily caused by dormant/zombie APIs, authorization vulnerabilities, and web application firewalls.

    The research from Noname Security also shows that 74 percent of cybersecurity professionals don’t have a complete API inventory or know which APIs return sensitive data.

    Shay Levi, Noname Security’s CTO and co-founder, says, “Our research has exposed a disconnect between the high level of incidents, low levels of visibility, effective monitoring and testing of the API environment, and misplaced confidence that current tools are preventing attacks. This emphasizes the need for further education by security, AppSec, and development teams around the realities of API security testing.”

    Among other findings 71 percent of respondents are confident and satisfied that they are receiving sufficient API protection. Less than half (48 percent) of respondents have visibility into the security posture of Active APIs.

    Only 11 percent of respondents test APIs for signs of abuse in real-time, and 39 percent test less than once per day and up to once per week. 67 percent of respondents are confident that their DAST and SAST tools are capable of testing APIs.

    There are some interesting geographical variations, more UK respondents (28 percent) have full API inventories and know which return sensitive data, compared to the US (24 percent). However, in the US 44 percent have visibility into their complete inventory of APIs, but are not aware of those returning sensitive data, compared to 38 percent in the UK. This tends to suggest that US organizations are more concerned with API-driven growth than securing existing APIs.

    There are variations across teams too, 81 percent of CISOs say that they have experienced an API security incident, while only 53 percent of AppSec professionals said they

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    Software

    Microsoft Teams for Windows, macOS and Linux insecurely

    Researchers from cybersecurity firm Vectra have issued a warning that Microsoft Teams stores authentication tokens in an unprotected form that could easily be abused by hackers.

    The desktop apps for Windows, macOS and Linux all store authentication tokens in cleartext, and this can be used by an attacker to steal an identity and log into accounts. This is clearly worrying, but what is more concerning is Microsoft’s reaction; the company says that the issue does not require “immediate servicing”.

    See also:

    The issue was discovered last month by researchers from Vectra’s Protect team. Described as an “attack path that enables malicious actors with file system access to steal credentials for any Microsoft Teams user who is signed in”, the attack can be performed without the need for elevated privileges.

    The problem stems from the fact that Teams is an Electron-based app, and there is no support for encryption.

    Writing about its findings, Vectra says:

    Our research discovered that the Microsoft Teams App stores authentication tokens in cleartext. With these tokens, attackers can assume the token holder’s identity for any actions possible through the Microsoft Teams client, including using that token for accessing Microsoft Graph API functions from an attacker’s system. Even worse, these stolen tokens allow attackers to conduct actions against MFA-enabled accounts, creating an MFA bypass.

    Microsoft is aware of this issue and closed the case stating that it did not meet their bar for immediate servicing. Until Microsoft moves to update the Teams Desktop Application, we believe customers should consider using the web-based Teams application exclusively. For customers who must use the installed desktop application, it is critical to watch key application files for access by any processes other than the official Teams application.

    As Microsoft is in no rush to fix the potentially very serious issue, the

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    Software

    Why virtualization is making enterprise data warehouses

    For many years the database has been at the heart of enterprise IT. But the shift to the cloud has led to massive challenges with migrations proving both slow and expensive.

    A different way to approach this is to use virtualization, allowing existing applications to run on any modern cloud platform without being rewritten or replaced. We spoke to Mike Waas founder and CEO of Datometry, a SaaS database virtualization platform, to find out more.

    BN: How does vendor lock-in of databases hurt the industry?

    MW: Databases are a critical component of the modern IT stack. Because they have very proprietary query languages, drivers, and tools, databases hold an incredibly strong lock on their customers: in order to switch databases, all applications need to be rewritten and reconfigured.

    However, over time enterprises are being held back by legacy database systems. What once was a modern database has become a liability. Legacy systems cannot satisfy the business’ ever-increasing needs and as a result, the competitive posture of the enterprise suffers. The older the legacy system, the more pronounced the impact on the business.

    Besides affecting customers directly, vendor lock-in also lowers or even eliminates competition in the market. Over time, database vendors have become complacent. Once they are entrenched with a market segment, the need to innovate is reduced, much to the customers’ detriment.

    But it’s not just customers who are hurting. Startups and innovators in this space are affected negatively as well. They need to overcome the incumbents’ vendor lock-in to reach new customers and are up against an extremely high barrier-to-entry.

    BN: What are the challenges IT leaders face when migrating databases?

    MW: Database migration is the poster child of an 80/20 problem. In the beginning the project comes along well and success seems certain. However, as 80/20 problems

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    Software

    Download Steam Inventory Helper – MajorGeeks

    Steam Inventory Helper for Chrome and Edge is meant to help improve your Steam market and inventory experience.

    The Steam Inventory Helper extension is designed to rectify some of the flaws in the Steam web UI, allowing you to focus on buying and selling items. Using it will additionally help find the lowest prices for games. Several customization options are available to make your entire experience more efficient, and it may even save you some bucks.

    Steam Inventory Helper Features and Tools:

  • Displaying item prices directly in your steam inventory
  • Quickly selling items in bulk. Auto-accept feature, auto-adjust price (by Steam) feature
  • Quick pick and count items from a trade offer with no duplicate, no trash (for Dota 2 items) option
  • Quick buy for items on listing page and newly listed tab with one click
  • Show desktop notifications when you have new trade offers (make sure to allow Google Chrome to run in the background).
  • Display warning messages on items with custom names, descriptions on the market page
  • Check item price directly in your trade offer window via mouse-over
  • Calculate the total trade offer sum/value directly in the trade offer window
  • Quick buy set of items with custom dialog
  • Filter items on “My sell listings” tab
  • Change the default number of rows on listing pages
  • Buying Steam trading cards right on the in-game cards page
  • Auto ignore/block friend invites with Steam level below the threshold

    All functions are built based on the Steam community website and Steam WebAPI with some tweaks to eliminate unnecessary steps.

    Similar:

  • How to Disable Steam Popups & Notifications
  • How to Hide Your Gameplay Activity in Steam Profile and Chat
  • How to Categorize Your Steam Games With Collections
  • How to Create a Shortcut to Steam Games on the Desktop or Taskbar
  • How to Fix ‘Update Queued’
  • Read more Read More
    Software

    Download Mouse Manager – MajorGeeks

    Mouse Manager lets you control what the extra buttons on your mouse do. Advanced Mouse Manager adds application-based profiles and translations.

    Mouse Manager takes advantage of the general disuse of these two extra buttons by letting you reconfigure what happens when you press them. Namely, it allows you to set these buttons to any keyboard key or series of keys you choose. So, if you set the Fifth Button to the letters H, E, L, L, and O, every time you press the Fifth Button on your mouse, your computer will think you typed “hello” on the keyboard.

    Each set of replacement commands or macro instructions for the fourth and fifth mouse buttons are stored in a profile, and each profile can be enabled through the handy Tray icon.

    The interface of Mouse Manager is straightforward. Most of the time, you probably won’t even pay attention to it after you’ve configured it, but the Tray icon will always be there if you want to toggle a profile or turn off the program for a moment. The actual interface is opened with a single left-click on the Tray icon, which contains three simple tabs: Settings, Profiles, and About. The Settings tab is fairly simple: The top checkbox, labeled “Enable Mouse Manager,” simply turns the program’s functionality on or off without having to stop and restart the program. If you ever need to go back to your mouse’s normal use, you can uncheck this box and hit the “Save” button. Below that is the all-important “Start with Windows” checkbox: chances are you’ll want this checked, so you don’t have to open Mouse Manager yourself every time your computer starts.

    Similar:

  • Change Double Click to Single Click to Open Files and Folders
  • How to Enable Mouse Pointer Trails
  • How to Enable or Disable
  • Read more Read More
    Software

    Download Google Drive – MajorGeeks

    Google Drive is a cloud file storage and synchronization service encompassing Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Google Drive permits collaborative editing of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, forms, and more.

    Google Drive. Keep everything. Share anything.

    Create & collaborate

  • In Google Drive, you can create new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations instantly. Work together simultaneously on the same doc, and see changes as they appear.

    Work better with the products you use daily

  • Gmail: Say goodbye to bulky email attachments. Send a link from Google Drive in Gmail, and everyone automatically has the same file, the same version.
  • Google+: Your videos and pictures in Google Drive are instantly available in Google+, so you’re never more than one click away from sharing with your circles.
  • Powerful search: Google Drive helps you get to your files faster. Search for content by keyword and filter by file type, owner, etc. Google Drive can even recognize objects in your images and text in scanned documents.

    View anything

  • Open over 30 file types right in your browser, including HD video, Adobe Illustrator, and Photoshop, even if you don’t have the program installed on your computer.

    Google Drive with your favorite apps

  • Create, open, and share files from various apps directly in Google Drive.

    Share the way you want

  • You can share files or folders with anyone, and choose whether they can view, edit, or comment on your stuff.

    Start a discussion

  • Create and reply to comments to get feedback and make files more collaborative.

    Go back in time

  • Google Drive tracks every change you make, so a new revision is saved when you hit the save button. You can look back as far as 30 days automatically or choose a revision to save forever.

    Similar:

  • How to Back Up Google Drive
  • How to Reset or Reinstall Windows
  • Read more Read More
    Technology Business

    California 1st with law protecting children’s online privacy

    Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, a Democrat, and her daughter, Josephine, 2, look up to the Assembly Gallery during the legislative session on Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. California will be the first state to require companies that provide online services attractive to children to put the child’s interest first, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022. Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

    California will be the first state to require online companies to put kids’ safety first by barring them from profiling children or using personal information in ways that could harm children physically or mentally, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

    “We’re taking aggressive action in California to protect the health and wellbeing of our kids,” Newsom said in a statement announcing that he had signed the bill. He noted that as a father of four, “I’m familiar with the real issues our children are experiencing online.”

    The bill requires tech companies that provide online services attractive to children to follow age-appropriate design code principles aimed at keeping children safe. Companies will eventually have to submit a “data protection impact assessment” to the state’s attorney general before offering new online services, products, or features attractive to children.

    Facebook parent company Meta said it has concerns about some of law’s provisions but shares lawmakers’ goal of keeping children safe online.

    “We believe young people should have consistent protections across all apps and online services they use, which is why we support clear industry standards in this area,” the social media giant said. It called the law “an important development towards establishing these standards.”

    California 1st with law protecting children's online privacy
    Facebook’s Meta logo sign is seen at the company headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., on, Oct. 28, 2021. California will be the first state to require companies that provide online services attractive to children to put the
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    Branding

    Patagonia In The Making: My Founder’s Story

    In April 2017, the authors of Legacy In The Making visited me at Patagonia’s headquarters, in Ventura, California, to talk about the legacy I’m building as the founder of Patagonia. We talked about a lot of things, some of which I’d never spoken about before. Afterward, when they asked me if I’d share some of those insights and stories in the foreword to their book and I made it clear: I never wanted to be a conventional businessman. I liked climbing rocks, not corporate ladders.

    “Exactly,” they responded. “That’s why we asked you.”

    It’s true. I never set out to be a businessman. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about business with Chouinard Equipment and Patagonia, the two outdoor outfitters I founded. But I’m a creature of the 1960s. I never liked authority. I was a rock climber. Back when I started climbing at the age of 19, the gear was poor quality. The pitons—the metal spikes you drive into cracks—were made of soft iron and were designed to be used once and left in place. The attitude back then was about dominating the mountains, conquering them and leaving all your gear behind to make it easier for the next party. I didn’t share that attitude. I had a different ambition.

    I wanted to climb without leaving a trace so that the next party and every party after that could experience the climb as I had—in its natural state. To do that, I needed a new kind of piton that you could remove and reuse over and over as you ascended. Since nothing like that existed at the time, I decided to design it myself. I bought an old coal-fired forge from a junkyard, built a small shop in my parents’ backyard, taught myself how to blacksmith, and began

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    Technology Business

    TikTok adds authenticity feature that mirrors BeReal

    A new TikTok Now feature prompts users to take spontaneous photos or videos using front and rear cameras of smartphones, putting its own spin on rival social network BeReal.

    TikTok on Thursday added an authenticity feature that has been a winner for French app BeReal, taking a page from Meta’s playbook by copying a rival.

    The social media giant described its TikTok Now feature as “a daily photo and video experience to share your most authentic moments” using a smartphone’s front and rear cameras simultaneously.

    “You’ll receive a daily prompt to capture a 10-second video or a static photo to easily share what you’re up to,” TikTok said in a post.

    TikTok said the Now feature was available on the app in the United States and will be rolled out worldwide in coming weeks.

    People have been flocking to BeReal, a new social network app that calls on users to share true glimpses of their lives rather than cherry-picked moments.

    Once a day, BeReal prompts users to take photos of what they are doing, giving them two minutes to post.

    The app uses front and rear facing cameras on phones, putting “selfies” into context.

    The approach is a sharp contrast to the carefully curated images common on Instagram and Facebook.

    “The ideal of BeReal is you are just in a moment—where are you and what are you doing right now,” said Jennifer Stromer-Galley, a professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies in the United States.

    “Our lived lives, not our best lives—maybe you are walking the dog or in your pajamas eating cereal.”

    Launched two years ago by French entrepreneurs, BeReal has seen its popularity surge in recent months.

    BeReal’s rise signals that people are tired of polished online images that don’t reflect actual life, Creative Strategies tech analyst

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    Computer Forensics

    What Is Online Extortion

    Online extortion is a serious problem that is becoming more and more common. If you have been a victim of online extortion, you are not alone. In this blog post, we will define online extortion, discuss some common scenarios, and offer some tips on what to do if you find yourself in this situation. 

    What is Internet Extortion? 

    In short, Internet extortion is when someone threatens to release information or take action that will cause you harm unless you pay them money or meet some other demand. The information or action that the extortionist threatens to take can be anything that would damage your reputation or cause you financial harm. For example, an online extortionist may threaten to release embarrassing photos or videos unless you pay them $500. 

    Common Scenarios of Online Extortion Scams   

    There are many different ways that online extortion can play out. Some common scenarios include: 

    • Theft of sensitive data such as customer information or company secrets: In this scenario, the extortionist may threaten to release the stolen data to the public unless you pay them a ransom.  
    • DDoS attacks: In a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, the attacker inundates your website with so much traffic that it crashes. The attacker may then demand payment to stop the attack and allow your website to come back online.  
    • Malware attacks: In this type of attack, the attacker infects your computer with malware that either locks you out of your system or encrypts your files. The attacker will then demand payment for you to regain access to your system or files. 
    • Social Media Attacks: In this scenario, extortionists, or sextortionists, create dozens of catfish profiles and flirt their way into getting their victims to exchange explicit content, then threaten to expose them online if they do not receive
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    Software

    Image for Windows – hard drive imaging tool

    Once the many options are waded through and you discover the default settings are the ones to use,IFW is pleasantly simple to use. It has proved 100 reliable and is fast in use. The recommended recovery disk is the GUI version of Image for DOS,which loads almost instantly and makes recovery probably the fastest. Whilst others are still loading,the job has almost finished. Pricing very reasonable and with excellent support. Review details
    Comes with a Linux and a DOS version also. I like the Linux version on a bootable CD that it creates for you. It images everything (Windows, Linux, DOS, Data) so don’t let the word Linux scare you away. You can image the drive while it’s not being used for anything else. It doesn’t “fake” validation of an image that might be corrupt. During imaging, it will check byte-for-byte to let you know if something is wrong so you can fix it and that’s the feature that has sold me. The DOS version won’t work with a USB keyboard if you use a USB hard disk or USB optical disc in the process. The Linux version does not have this limitation. When operating from the bootable CD, the interface is graphically crude and there’s no mouse functionality but that diverts power to the process so that it is fast and reliable. All you need can be done from the keyboard alone. All imaging software packages require intimate computer knowledge. Review details
    My 2007 review was for IFW version 1.70 C. I have upgraded to V2 and still is – at least for myself –
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    Software

    Bulk Image Downloader – download images from galleries

    For what they charge this software, it ought to be able to download images and galleries from virtually anywhere and that is just NOT the case. Even when it DOES work it downloads everything but the kitchen sink, icons, banners … you name it so you pretty much wind up with a mixed folder full of junk sitting on your hard drive. Don’t waste your time with this, it does not do what they claim it does, it’s just a waste of someones programming effort. Review details
    I have really tried for 2 weeks to understand the quirks in this app. There are some sites where it works very well. There are other sites, too many, where the operation is very flakey, or abortive. I have repeatedly been told that it downloaded xx files and go to the folder to find almost anything – thumbnails, banners, all kinds of garbage in addition to, usually but not always, jpegs that I selected. I just finished a round where I got none that I selected even though the pix were listed as downloaded. I have Win 7, 64 bit, just reinstalled in an attempt to get some of my other flakey apps to settle down, but either BID is incompatible or it’s a beta version. I’m thinking of making XP a 2nd OS so I can use Reget Pro which has been a trusted app for years, but not with MS new crap OS’s, like many other apps which I have depended on for a long time. Thank God Collomb updated ” unlocker ” to help me defend against those Redmond morons. Review details
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    Software

    block JavaScript and Flash in Firefox

    NoScript started out with some problems but has progressed to becoming much more stabilized. The latest upgrades show much improvement and can help users to stay afloat and fight rogue websites, etc. that want to become invasive on your computer. Overall, it is a very good product that should be used if you care enough about helping to protect your computer from invasions in JavaScript that can be shielded and fought off.


    Review details

    Here’s the thing. It’s brilliant and your web pages do very well with it and it’s faster and all that. Problem is that today javascript is so pervasive that in order to do ANYTHING including view most pages, print, you have to turn on SOME Javascript. And by the time you sift through the PAGES, the 30 or 40 different Javascripts, the nested layers of recursive script, you may as well saved yourself some time and simply turned off the add-on and loaded it all.


    Review details

    This comes in very handy to help block harmful scripts from getting on your system. Some claim you have to be highly technical to use it, not true, it sort of learns as you go. If you get to a web page you trust or need to allow something you know is good, you do that. If you don’t need it, let it be blocked.

    There is the argument that some sites depend on advertisement but that’s a moral debate, not whether this is a good app or not.
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    Software

    LibreOffice – complete office productivity suite

    It’s huge, but so is MS Office. It has broad capabilities, and, for free, it’s by far the best available. However, it has the same problems as any other large volunteer-based software project: features and updates are added based on volunteers’ personal interests. As an American I admire their dedication to supporting every possible language and culture on the planet, but it doesn’t benefit me and it adds to the package size. Meanwhile, features that I would like to see (features that have been in MSO for a long time) never make it on to the wish list. . This is nonetheless one of the shining examples of how great the internet and its many enthusiastic volunteer developers can be, and I thank them for their work. Review details
    Sure, use this fine office suite if you don’t mind using nearly half a gig of disk space. If you just need a Word replacement I suggest Atlantis. If you need a full office I suggest Softmaker. Review details
    LibreOffice never fails to impress me with its rapid development cycle and continuous addition of (useful!) new features. By now it already incorporates all essential and convenience (like “hide empty space”) features I like in other office suites, and there are some “hidden” gems in it, like the excellent LibreLogo programming language to create drawings. Stability-wise it is on par or better than Microsoft Office. Its user interface uses the now “old school” multi-toolbar and menu-oriented access, but for me, as a long time computer user, it is a plus. (Still, since the new 5.2 version they even
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    Software

    Vivaldi – a customizable web browser

    This Web Browser is the only one for me.
    Its support for people who prefer the keyboard cannot be topped.


    Review details


    To mention a few
    – Multiple themes: dark, blue, …
    – Multiple search engines (Bing, Google, …) at the address field, search field, the right-click menu
    – Installing Google Chrome extensions: uBlock Origin, High contrast, Click&Clear, Google Translate
    – Capturing pages, toggling images, …


    Review details
    Liking this a lot so far. It’s fast, stable, nice looking and fairly configurable. Would recommend.


    Review details

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    Software

    all-in-one system cleaning and maintenance

    It does do good cleaning where it needs to but for the love of god this thing takes way too long for the program to open which is unacceptable for my standards. Not sure how fast it open on the devs machine but on mine it takes up to 2 mins. I cant use this being i dont know what its doing while taking that long to load. I have to pass this one by sadly.


    Review details

    I’ve used many disk cleaners and in my experience this is the only one that doesn’t clean “too much.” It is an improvement over the built in windows disk cleanup tool and I’ve experienced no performance hits or anything being broken after using this program. It’s the only one I use right now. I’ve tested bleachbit, privazer, ccleaner and a few more that aren’t worth mentioning. I feel this one is the safest out of all of the cleaners out there except the built in windows disk cleanup.


    Review details

    I have found this program to be superb in all it’s functions. The developers have also laid it out in such a way an everyday person like myself can smoothly navigate throughout all it’s function


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    Software

    keep your computer running at optimal speed and efficiency

    For quite some time my Windows Defender had stopped working. I tried countless remedies from numerous sites, and read through Windows suggestions for a long time. I came across Tweakpower and thought I would try it. I had been getting the message “Virus protection managed by corporation” or something close to that. I used the Tweakpower repair option, and to be honest it didn’t fully fix it the first time, I felt this may have been to my not using it correctly. I tried twice more and my Windows Defender became fully functional after a long time of not working. Persistence paid off with giving it a couple of tries.
    I was very pleased with my experience of using this program. I was also glad to be able to download a portable version to use.


    Review details

    You cannot set full screen and see the close resizing does not work either. Minimizing the screen is
    off the screen and must be dragged back.


    Review details

    Best cleaning, tuning and optimizing tool around. You’ll find nothing better. To henerey773, I see you are not familiar with computer programs, you must always go to Options, there you find SkipUAC. It’s not an autostart object as you mentioned. Look at Google.
    If you uncheck Each Folder display settings in PluginCleaner, you’re folder settings will not be lost. Good luck henerey773!


    Review details

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