Tag: tech hacks

Here Are All The Major Changes Coming To iPhones and iPads with iOS 12

On Monday, iOS 12 will arrive for iPhones and iPads.

Apple announced the upgrade to its mobile operating system in June, at its annual developer conference, WWDC.

iOS 12 includes some major new features, along with several changes designed to make using your iPhone or iPad a lot easier.

Among the notable additions: a standalone Measure app that’s like a virtual tape measure, tools to combat smartphone addiction, grouped notifications, and customizable animated avatars called “Memoji.”




iOS 12 Gives Older Devices A Performance Boost.

With iOS 12, older iPhones and iPads could feel like new again.

Apple is giving older devices a performance boost when the new software rolls out on Monday. It says apps will launch 40% faster, the camera will open 70% faster, and the keyboard will display 50% faster.

iOS 12 will be available for devices as old as the iPhone 5S.

Apple Has A Brand-New App Called Measure.

Measure helps you take measurements of real-world objects. The app uses your iPhone’s camera to virtually take accurate readings, letting you see the width, length, and height of things just by tapping your screen.

Plus, if you point Measure at a photo, it’ll automatically detect it and tell you the dimensions.

Apple’s Photos App Is Smarter And More Interactive Than Before.

Apple made a bunch of subtle updates to the Photos app, putting it on par with apps like the popular Google Photos:

Search suggestions. The Photos app can recommend searching for people, places, categories, business names, sporting events, or concerts. When you select a term, the app will pull up all photos related to that term.

Search refinements. You can search with multiple search terms too.

“For You.” The Photos app will automatically generate personalized items like memory movies, features photos, and “on this day” images.

Sharing suggestions. The Photos app will suggest photos and videos to share with the people who are in them.

When someone accepts the images from you, they’ll get a recommendation to share their photos back with you. Apple says that sharing is end-to-end encrypted and works via iMessage.

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How To Prevent Your Computer From Overheating (And Why It’s Important)

Keeping your computer running within safe temperatures is important, especially as the temperature rises outside. Here’s how to make sure your computer’s not overheating—and how to fix it if it is.

The cooling system of your computer is one of the most important features of the device.

Without the cooling system, the electrical components of your computer wouldn’t be able to function; overheating would damage the integral parts of what makes your computer work.

The heat has to be dissipated in order to keep everything working within safe operating temperatures.

Why an Overheated Computer Is Dangerous

Simply put, if your computer becomes too hot, it is possible to destroy and shorten the lifespan of the hardware inside your computer, leading to irreparable damage and potential data loss.

Besides losing your data, heat pecks away at your computer’s internal organs—the motherboard, CPU, and more—significantly shortening its lifespan.




Besides the most obvious reason to keep your computer cool, a hot computer will also run slower than a cooler computer.

So to prevent your computer from slowing down, make sure that it is running at a moderate or low temperature.

What Temperature Should My Computer Be Running At?

Because of the different types of computer makes and models out there, the safe temperature range your computer should run at varies.

The safe operating range depends on things like processor type, manufacturer, and other factors that make it impossible to give an answer that applies to all CPUs.

How to Check the Temperature of Your PC

Sticking your hand over your computer’s ventilation system or case isn’t an accurate way to judge how hot your computer is running.

So how do you determine how hot your system’s running? You’ve got a few options.

To check the computer’s temperature without additional software, you can check your system BIOS. Restart your computer, and on the boot screen, you should have an option to press a key (often Delete) to enter the BIOS.

Once you enter Setup, navigate the BIOS menu using the on-screen instructions. You should be able to find a menu that deals with the computer’s hardware monitors and CPU.

 

There should be a field that lists your CPU temperature. Rather not restart your computer to check the temp?

We don’t blame you. Plenty of system monitoring tools can give you a temperature read-out, like free Windows program HWMonitor, which displays the temperature of the CPU, each of the computer’s cores, video card, hard drives, along with the minimum and maximum values of each temperature.

Unfortunately, you’ll need to make sure that your hardware is supported because the program can only read certain sensors.

We’ve featured several system monitoring options in the past that can also handle these duties, like the cross-platform, previously mentioned GKrellM (Windows/Mac/Linux), system-tray friendly app Real Temp, Core Temp, and SpeedFan.

SpeedFan has the added bonus of being able to show how fast each fan is spinning, complete with RPM readings.

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Alternative Android Browsers That Beat Chrome at Its Own Game

Web browsers are one of the most important apps on any device. Having the right features and performance while browsing the web can literally change your entire experience.

Finding the right one can be difficult because there are so many options and the face of the web is changing all the time.

Let’s take a look at the best Android browsers of 2018 (so far)! You can also click here to see the best web browsers on most platforms!




Brave Browser

Brave Browser is one of the newer Android browsers. It came out in 2016 and has a variety of features. There is an ad blocker built-in.

Additionally, it can block third party cookies, block scripts, and it has HTTPS everywhere. Included is per-site settings just in case you need that.

It also boasts optimizations for speed and battery life improvements. You can even keep track of all the stuff that it blocks. In real world use, it is highly functional and even occasionally fun to use.

It also has most of the basic features like bookmarks, history, and a privacy (incognito) mode. The app is entirely free with no in-app purchases or ads.

Dolphin Browser

Dolphin Browser has seen a lot of success on Androidy. It has a decent set of features as well. That includes theming, flash support, ad-block, incognito mode, and some tertiary features like gesture controls.

There is also add-on and extension support if you need that. A lot of people swear by Dolphin Browser. It covers most of the bases and that’s more than enough to rank it among the best.

It’s definitely one of the best Android browsers.

Ecosia Browser

Ecosia is an environmentally friendly mobile web browser. It features all of the usual stuff like bookmarks, multiple tabs, a private browsing mode, and downloads.

It pulls from Chromium’s open source project. Thus, it looks and feels a bit like Chrome as well. The big draw here is the cause. The browser donates up to 80% of its profits to plant trees.

That isn’t a browser feature, but it’s definitely nice. This one is good for those who don’t need to browse the web often, but still want something that works well. The trees thing is a bonus. It’s also free.

Flynx Browser

Flynx by InfiKen Labs has come a long way since its inception. This unique browser works in a floating window as opposed to a full screen mode.

This allows for quick web browsing. It also doesn’t force you to leave the app you’re currently using.

When you click links, they open a little bubble on the side of the screen and the page will load in the background until you decide to click the bubble to read it yourself.

It also comes with a few other features, such as night mode. It’s something different in the Android browsers space.

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How To Hide Secret Messages And Codes In Audio Files

If you’ve heard about the recent viral stunt put on the web site for the latest Batman film, you know it’s possible to hide codes in an audio file. But did you know it’s actually really easy to do? Here’s how.

To encode, you’re going to need Coagula (Windows-only), and to decode you’ll need Sonic Visualizer (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux). You can watch the video above for a visual walkthrough, but here are the steps you need to follow:




1.Create an image you want to encode. White text on a black background works well, and it helps to have a small image without too much empty space. Save it out as a JPEG or BMP.

2.Open the image in Coagula and click the setting for “Render Image as Audio Without Blue/Noise.” Be sure to choose this option as the other rendering option will not work.

3.When you’re done a new audio file entitled “Coagula.wav” will be in the same folder as the Coagula application. You can either go grab that file or you can save it out to a location of your choice by choosing “Save Audio File” as from the file menu. That’s it. Message encoded!

4.To decode the message, open it in Sonic Visualizer. You’ll see the audio spectrum but not the message. To view the message, go to the Layout menu and choose “Add Spectrogram” (any of the options in the submenu should be fine). You may need to adjust the way you’re viewing it, but you should now be able to see your hidden message.

Pretty cool!

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How To Clean Up Your Messy Mac’s Desktop

Most of us have a tendency to use our Mac desktops as a dumping ground, saving files there that we access frequently; unfortunately, those files can pile up, turning your desktop into a hot mess.

As such, this is your Friday reminder to do yourself a favor and take a few minutes to clean up your Mac desktop. And use these tips to keep it tidy in the future!




1. Organize desktop items into folders

You can keep your desktop from becoming a mound of files by grouping your documents and images into folders.

Folders make it easier to keep track of related items, and they look nicer than random assortments of files over your desktop picture.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Click on the File menu.
  3. Select New Folder. (Alternately, hold down the command and shift keys and type n.)
  4. That will create a new folder on your Desktop. Name the folder.
  5. Drag the files you’d like to include in the new folder.
  6. Alternatively, you can select files on the Desktop you’d like to group together, then go to the File menu and choose New folder with selection to create a new folder that includes those items.

2. Align and sort desktop items automatically

You can also have the Finder align and sort items to keep any documents and folders you do have looking nicer and neater. You can do this by going to Finder > View and using the Clean Up and Sort By options.

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Click on Clean Up By.
  4. Options include cleaning up by name, kind, date created, date modified, size and tags. Select the criterion you’d like to clean up the icons by; the Finder will do the rest.
  5. Open the Finder.
  6. Select the View menu.
  7. Select Sort By to automatically sort items on the desktop by the criteria you set. If the icons have gone a bit askew, select Snap to Grid to get them to fall into a geometric pattern.

You can also adjust the size of the icons, spacing of the grid and other settings.

3. Customize desktop view options in the Finder

  1. Open the Finder.
  2. Select the View menu.
  3. Select Show View Options. (Alternately, hold down the command key and type j.)
  4. You can adjust icon size from small to large, adjust grid spacing, increase or decrease the size of label text and its position on the bottom or the right of the icon, and other criteria.

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How To Detect Monitoring Software On Your Computer

No you’re not paranoid’ your computer activities may be monitored. There’s a wealth of third party spying software now commercially available that can be stealthily downloaded onto your computer.

Perhaps you have business secrets someone would like, maybe you have a jealous spouse or partner who is snooping on you?

If you do have suspicions that your computer is being monitored you can soon find out by following the simple steps below.

If you work in an office, and especially a corporate environment, it’s very likely that your computer and emails will be monitored.

It might feel creepy but from the IT perspective it’s important for security reasons. By monitoring email for instance, attachments that could contain a virus or spyware can be blocked.




In fact, if you do work in a corporate environment you should assume that everything you do on your work computer can be seen.

And in a bid to keep up with technology some police departments are also taking to remote spying software though how widespread this is, we don’t know.

Of course as Wikileaks revealed, intelligence agencies around the world have been doing this for years, but their snooping has been done on a vast and indiscriminate scale, though of course they do zero in on individuals.

Third-party software

This is usually known as remote control software or virtual network computing (VNC) software and it allows someone to see why you are doing on your computer. However, it needs to be installed on your computer in the first place.

By checking in the start menu you can see which programs are running. Go to All Programs and look to see if something like VNC, RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC, LogMeIn, GoToMyPC and so on are installed.

If any of these programs are installed, then someone can connect to your computer without you knowing it as long as the program is running in the background as a Windows service.

Checking the ports

The above tasks are easy to carry out even for people without technical knowledge.

If you’ve checked the installed programs and you’re still reasonably suspicious that someone is monitoring you (and it’s not the TV telling you so) then as a next step you can check the computer’s ports.

There’s no need to recoil in horror, running the rule over ports is reasonably straightforward.

Ports are a virtual data connection in which computers share information directly, so if you’ve got spy software on your system, a port could be open to enable the data transfer.

Further help

These are the basic techniques to establish whether you are being spied on via monitoring software that has been stealthily installed on your computer.

And unless you’re being snooped upon by an intelligence agency or someone with deep technical expertise, you should be able to ‘out’ the snoop software.

If after carrying these steps you do still have suspicions then perhaps you ought to seek help from your local computer shop.

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Send & Receive SMS on Computer with This App!

Forget messaging apps like WhatsApp, Line and Viber, sending and receiving free text messages should not and is no longer restricted to smartphones only.

If you’re looking for a cross-platform iMessage-like service, this post is for you.

Today, we’re going to introduce to you a powerful cross-platform messaging app – mysms, which allows you to send and receive free text messages to other mysms users right from your desktop computer, regardless of it being a Mac or Windows.

Mysms may eventually be the only messaging app you’ll ever need on your smartphone.




Mysms Android & iOS App

To begin using mysms, get it on your smartphone first.

  1. Download and install mysms messenger app on your smartphones, iOS or Android.
  2. Register and activate your phone number by keying in your phone number and password for desktop and web access.

That’s it! Now let’s have a look how mysms Messenger works on different platforms.

Mysms on Smartphone

Mysms works like any other messaging app for smartphones: both sender and recipient must have mysms installed to start texting for free.

Then, they can start sending all sorts of messages, files, images, videos or even word documents.

Mysms on Computer

To send messages straight from your Mac or PC, just get mysms installed on your computer. Best of all, your messages will always stay in sync, no matter which device you’re using.

For Android users, you can even use mysms to send SMS via your network service provider, charges will apply.

If you want the flexibility to be in contact with anyone on the go via smartphone yet still have the comfort of sending messages from your computer, all for free, give mysms a shot.

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3 Ways To Cure The Cell Phone Dead Zone At Home

Can you hear me?” “Can you hear me now?” If most of your cellphone conversations begin this way — or if you’ve taken to hanging out a window just to get a signal — you’re not alone.

Spotty cellphone service can be especially frustrating when you have full bars in your building’s lobby or hallway but one measly bar as soon as you set foot inside your home.

It turns out, there are good explanations for why this occurs (no, the cellphone gods aren’t trying to punish you for posting too many selfies) and solutions that renters can easily implement. Here’s how.




Cause #1: The position of your building’s cellphone antenna

Cell carriers in all major cities position their cell sites close to the ground because that’s where most of the people are,” says Graham Caparulo, principal consultant for Diligex, a New York, NY–based managed IT services provider.

On the corners of buildings, you’ll see them 20 to 30 feet up, and they’re angled toward the street.” That doesn’t do you much good, especially if you live on the 30th floor of a high-rise.

Cause #2: Building materials can block radio signals

Tinted windows (especially the ones found on “green buildings”), concrete, and metal all interfere with cellphone reception — which is why you can often get more bars if you hold your phone out your window or step onto a balcony.

Cause #3: You live in a densely populated area

Have you ever noticed that your service is slower at night or on weekends, or when you attend a packed basketball game? The more people using a network, the slower it runs.

Each cell tower only has limited radio channels it can use,” says Caparulo. “When it’s full, you’ll have bars but can’t make a call or use data.

Solution #1: Invest in a cellphone booster

Invest” is the right word here, because a cell signal booster will typically set you back between $400 and $1,000.

A traditional cell signal booster takes in a signal on one end, amplifies it, and spits it out on the other end,” says Caparulo, who cautions that you have to have a good signal to work with in the first place, which may mean putting the booster’s antenna outside your window — a no-no in some apartment buildings.

Solution #2: Enlist a femtocell

A femtocell, also called a microcell, basically uses your Internet connection to back up your cellphone,” says Caparulo.

The device plugs right into your modem or router and uses your Internet connection as a cell signal booster.

Solution #3: Enable Wi-Fi calling on your smartphone

This feature, available on the iPhone 6 series and many Android phones, allows your phone to use your in-home Wi-Fi connection to make calls. (On the iPhone 6, go to “Settings,” then “Phone,” and it should be the first option.)

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3 Self-Destructing Messaging Apps Adults Need to Know

Let’s face the facts: most kids don’t spend a whole lot of time on Facebook and Twitter anymore. We know this because people don’t want their information shared with the entire world.

Self-destructing messaging apps with end-to-end encryption are taking over; these are apps that automatically destruct messages when the receiver reads them and/or sets a limit for how long the receiver can see a message before it gets deleted.

Both kids and young adults use them to prevent certain people (i.e. parents, and future employers, etc.) from seeing things in their chat histories.




These apps are dangerous in their own ways. Some of them aren’t as private as they say they are, while others might be too powerful for their own good.

We chose the 6 that give you the most variety in their usage and the ones we can all learn from the most.

So without any further ado, here are 6 self-destructing messaging apps your kid might have on their phone.

1. Snapchat

We’ve all heard of Snapchat. (It is the ultimate self-destructing messaging app.)

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world and is by far the most well-known self-destructing messaging app out there.

It’s so well-liked within the younger generations that, in 2016, Snapchat surpassed Facebook’s number of video views per day (10 billion vs. 8 billion).

It attained its popularity once people learned they had the option to share videos and photos in a ‘safe’ online environment with all kinds of lenses and face effects. You can set timers for these photos and videos to self-destruct once the person received it.

This allows teens and young adults to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public.

2. Telegram

In a nutshell, Telegram is WhatsApp with the ability to self-destruct messages.

There are a number of cool features you can use in the app. Its features includes a Secret chats section. This part of the app includes a self-destruct timer, which basically gives recipients a limited amount of time to read the message.

To use the timer, click the three-dotted button in a secret chat and tap ‘Set self-destruct timer.’ All the message you send afterwards will be received and self-destructed in that amount of time once the recipient opens the message.

3. Wickr

Wickr is a private messenger worth discussing… for good reason.

In one of their YouTube videos, they mention how end-to-end encryption is important, but it doesn’t tell the full story.

The real challenge is to distribute the user’s encryption key securely; an encryption key is what turns the data in your text message into an unreadable text, making it impossible for the human brain to understand.

Wickr has not one, not two, but five different encryption keys for every message you send.

It goes above and beyond limits by not only encrypting the message, but by adding more layers so that the sender knows that the recipient is the only person to decrypt the message.

In cryptography, this is called perfect forward secrecy. No one will be able to surveil the messages you send: not the FBI, not the NSA, not even Wickr themselves!

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You Probably Don’t Need A New Computer — Here’s Why

Computer shopping is fun for a select group of people and a big hassle for everybody else. There are plenty of terms you need to know, plus PC components you have to think about and computer-buying mistakes you need to avoid.

You’ll have to determine exactly what you need out of a new machine — you’ll need to think about the hardware you want and the software you need.

It’s also important to figure out when you should buy a new computer, both in terms of seasonal sales and product upgrade cycles.




But you also need to know when you really need a new computer and when you’re just itching to upgrade a machine that may work just fine for another year or two.

Read on to check out some of the reasons why you may not need a new computer as soon as you think.

You may be surprised to figure out that you actually can wait to spend all that money (and save the hassle of computer shopping for another day).

1. Your old computer is working fine

We all want the latest gadgets. They’re fun to read about and even more fun to get our hands on. But if you don’t need a ton of power to perform most of your computing tasks, chances are good your old computer is still working fine.

Checking email, editing documents, and browsing aren’t typically tasks that demand a lot of power from your computer.

Even if your computer is slower than it was when you first got it, chances are good that it isn’t sluggish enough to really slow you down.

2. You haven’t been maintaining your old computer

If your primary reason for shopping for a new computer is that your old one is too slow, then you may want to make sure that the slowness isn’t fixable.

Have you been running antivirus scans? And have you been uninstalling unneeded software? How about clearing out unneeded files to free up hard drive space?

Have you made sure that only the programs you need are starting up when you turn on the computer? And have you been keeping the operating system and all the apps you use up to date?

If you’ve been neglecting your computer, you should perform some much-needed maintenance before deciding it’s time for a new computer.

3. You can speed up your old computer

There are many reasons that your old computer may be running slow. But as it turns out, there are also some easy ways to speed up a slow computer.

You can make sure that your operating system and other software are updated. Or, you can clear out the clutter that accumulates over time.  You can also free up some hard drive space, and even check for spyware.

The point is that before you throw in the towel and give up on your old computer, it’s probably worth it to make sure that you can’t speed it up with an hour or two of maintenance.

You can even completely reinstall the operating system and start fresh with the computer you already have.

There’s one more practical reason to put off buying a new computer — to avoid the annoyance of setting up a new computer.

Unless you’re truly a computer nerd (and if you are, you probably aren’t looking for reasons to avoid buying a new computer), setup is annoying.

It can get time-consuming to do correctly and often involves uninstalling a lot of bloatware.

If you aren’t going to see much in the way of performance improvements or new functionality with a new computer, you may want to wait until the hassle of setting up a new machine is really worth it.

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