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
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
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.
The standard version includes the above features. The Pro version is $31.95 and additionally includes:
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
Free version contains the above features. The price for the Pro version is $19.99 and includes the
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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”.
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
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
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:
All functions are built based on the Steam community website and Steam WebAPI with some tweaks to eliminate unnecessary steps.
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.
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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.”
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
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
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.
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.
There are many different ways that online extortion can play out. Some common scenarios include: