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Corey Parker

Corey Parker

TED talks on psychology rank as some of the most-watched and highest-rated of all-time, most likely because people are endlessly fascinated with themselves.
 
Some of the talks deal with happiness and success, and others with memory and motivation. But all of them provide an important window into what makes us tick.
 
Here are a handful to get you better-acquainted with the organ between your ears.

"The optimism bias" by Tali Sharot

Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist, discussed in her 2012 talk the value of seeing the world through rose-colored glasses. There are three main benefits to optimism, she says.

 

 
The first is that high expectations (not low ones) lead to greater happiness, since people tend to believe in themselves and explain away bad outcomes. The second is that anticipation alone makes us happy — we feel good looking forward to something.
 
Lastly, optimism is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It isn't just related to success, Sharot says. It leads to success.

"The riddle of experience vs. memory" by Daniel Kahneman

"The riddle of experience vs. memory" by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman
Psychologist Daniel Kahneman spoke in 2010 about the two ways we find happiness: in the moment and in our memories. People must keep each in mind when trying to create happiness, he says.

 

For example, according to Kahneman's research, the experiencing self is twice as happy on a two-week vacation over a one-week vacation, but the remembering self isn't, since no new memories are being formed.

"What makes us feel good about our work?" by Dan Ariely

Humans aren't motivated by money or power alone.
 
As behavioral economist Dan Ariely explained in his 2012 talk, people need to feel like their work is valued and that they're making progress toward a goal.
 
 
Ariely recounted an experiment in which people stopped working far earlier when the researchers destroyed their work before assigning a new task. The takeaway: People are motivated when they feel appreciated.

"The surprising habits of original thinkers" by Adam Grant

UPenn psychologist Adam Grant remarked in 2016 that some of history's most original thinkers organized their time in interesting ways to achieve maximum creativity.
 

 

 
Specifically, Grant says people should put off their projects for a bit so they can let disparate ideas congeal into something original. It's not quite procrastination since it's intentional, but it comes close.
 
In other words, waiting until the 11th hour really might help you work better.

"The psychology of your future self" by Dan Gilbert

"The psychology of your future self" by Dan Gilbert
poptech2006/flickr
People are really good at remembering the past, but pretty lousy at imagining the future, psychologist Dan Gilbert remarked in his 2014 talk.
 
 
As a result, we tend to underestimate how much we'll change in the coming years. We succumb to what Gilbert calls the "end of history illusion," in which we constantly assume now is when we're our most authentic selves.
 
Except, now is always a different time, and we do change whether we imagined it or not.

"Grit: The power of passion and perseverance" by Angela Duckworth

We say some people are "mentally tough" or "gritty" as if they were mere personality traits. But UPenn psychologist Angela Duckworth has found that stick-with-it- quality to be vitally important in accomplishing our goals.
 

 

 
In her 2013 talk, Duckworth highlights how repeatedly getting up after failing cements what the psychologist Carol Dweck has called a "growth mindset." People see themselves as fluid creatures, capable of adaptation and progress.

"How we read each other's minds" by Rebecca Saxe

MIT neuroscientist Rebecca Saxe explains in her 2009 talk the concept of "theory of mind.
 
"As the brain forms, kids develop the skill of placing themselves in other people's heads around age 5. It's a key skill for developing empathy, because it allows people to imagine what life would be like in someone else's shoes.
 
Adults rely on this mind-reading ability all the time; it's how we know when to ask if everything is alright and when to stay quiet, just to listen.

"How to buy happiness" by Michael Norton

"How to buy happiness" by Michael Norton
TED
Harvard professor Michael Norton shared in his 2011 talk the findings from research on giving.
 
While we may want the newest toys as kids, Norton's research has shown the quickest way to boost your happiness is to give, not receive.
 

 

 
No matter the size of the gift, his studies have shown much larger increases in wellbeing when people spend on others instead of treating themselves.
Source : This article was published in businessinsider.com By Chris Weller

It’s no exaggeration to say that a large portion of the working class would absolutely love to work from home. No traffic, no meaningless water cooler chat, no extraneous distractions to deal with. Sounds like a dream come true.

But is there really money to be made working in your pajamas? You bet. You just have to get in the right industry, and you’ll find you can create a steady cash flow regardless of whether or not you got dressed in the morning. Some of the best paying jobs that allow you to work from home are:

1. Clinical Regulatory Affairs Director

As a regulatory affairs director, you’ll be tasked with planning, preparing, and submitting products that have been clinically tested and approved to the national and international markets. Working from home, you’ll document the trial process, as well as create the marketing documentation to accompany the product being sent for approval. Snaring a position as a work from home affairs director will also snare you a lofty $150K a year.

 

2. Supervisory Attorney

Not all lawyers spend their days in court. Many people with law degrees who are also members of the Bar opt to simply act as advisers to those in need of legal assistance. These attorneys may focus their efforts on other aspects of the law rather than criminal cases, such as tax or real estate law. By making themselves available through telecommunications, they can reach a far wider clientele than if they were to practice locally. You’d still need to be a member of the Bar in the state in which you plan to practice, though. Going this route would earn you around $117K per year.

3. Senior Medical Writer

Like many technical writing gigs, senior medical writers can work remotely as they review medical information and translate it into various medical documents. They also may be tasked with reviewing and editing documentation created by peers and supervisors, proofreading for typographical and factual errors. Attention to detail is an absolute must when dealing with medical writing, and you also must have a medical or science degree to your name to be considered for the job. If you’re qualified, you can end up making $110K a year as a senior medical writer.

 

4. Environmental Engineer

Environmental engineers aren’t necessarily homebound, but most of their paperwork can be done from anywhere they please. These engineers design and assess pollution reduction and prevention approaches and plans, and analyze the best course of action for municipalities to take. As mentioned, they will often have to work in the field while conducting research and collecting data, but they’ll be able to take the information home with them to study and report on from the comfort of their own living room. Like medical writers, environmental engineers’ salaries fall around the $110K mark.

5. Director of Quality Improvement

Regardless of the industry, all companies strive to be the best they can be. A quality improvement director works to design and develop best practices related to systems administration and data architecture. If that’s too much jargon for one sentence, basically these employees analyze what a company is doing well, and what it could improve upon, and reports back to the managers and CEO. Quality improvement directors are natural leaders who have knowledge of on-going trends regarding quality, safety, and reliability within the industry. Working remotely on quality improvement could net you $100K a year.

 

6. Senior Software Engineer

It shouldn’t be a surprise that computer programmers can work from their home computer. Software engineers develop and design software, maintain oversight of programs, manage development teams, and troubleshoot issues colleagues face throughout the process. Collaborating online may actually be more effective for software engineers, as they won’t have to leave their work stations to discuss progress, and can continue to work on their projects seamlessly. A talented software engineer can bring home around $100K for his contributions to a company.

7. Director of Business Development

As a director of business development, you’d be tasked with managing large sales territories and maintaining steady revenue, while simultaneously researching ways in which to increase your business reach and income. You also would collaborate with directors in other territories and develop programs in order to increase coherency throughout different areas. Directors of business development will often have to travel and make in-person sales pitches, but a majority of their work can be done remotely. Working as a director can earn you around $100K or more, depending on your success.

 

8. Research Biologist

One advantage of working from home as a biologist is you’ll never be pressured into saving a beached whale. All kidding aside, research biologists usually specialize in a specific area of biology, such as microbiology or wildlife studies. They conduct research and analyze test results, then report back to their company regarding their findings. Like environmental engineers, research biologists will sometimes have to go into the field to conduct research, but can do the rest of the work from anywhere they feel comfortable. Although not as hefty as some of the other salaries on this list, research biologists can earn around $93K a year working mostly from home.

Source: This article was published on lifehack.org by - Matt Duczeminsk

It looks like security researchers have reached an important milestone in the ongoing war against malware. A new search engine has been revealed which can be used to sniff out malware command-and-control servers around the world. Under the Malware Hunter banner – not to be confused with the Malware Hunter software – this search engine looks to bring malware distribution to a halt in the near future.

MALWARE HUNTER IS A POWERFUL TOOL

It is not hard to see why security researchers around the globe are quite excited about the Malware Hunter search engine. Having a viable solution to discover command-and-control servers will provide to be useful when it comes to thwarting malware and ransomware attacks in the future. The tool is created by Shodan and Recorded Future, who are trying to become an industry leader in the fight against global cybercrime.

 

The way malware Hunter works is as follows: it uses search bots crawling the Internet for computers configured to act as a command-and-control server. It remains unclear if this will yield a lot of positive results, though, as C&C servers may very well reside on the darknet for all we know. Moreover, not every server will easily give up its location either, which could prove to be quite problematic.

The Malware Hunter search engine comes with a feature that will trick these servers into giving up their location, though. To be more specific, the search engine will pretend to be an infected computer reporting back to the server in question. Assuming the server will acknowledge the request and respond, the search engine will log its IP and update the Shodan interface in real time. This provides researchers with invaluable information when it comes to locating these servers and shutting them down as quickly as possible.

 

What makes the search engine so powerful is how it is capable of probing virtually every IP address on the Internet today. This means the algorithm is constantly looking for new computers that may act as a malware command-and-control server. Quite an intriguing development, as it should reduce the amount of time during which malware remains a problem.

In most cases, once the C&C server is shut down, the malware will no longer cause harm. Then again, some newer types of malware have shown a way tor remains a big threat even when they fail to communicate with the central server. It remains unclear if Malware Hunter will be capable of doing anything about these attacks as well. For now, this search engine is a big step in the right direction, though.

It is important to note Malware Hunter is capable of identifying several dozen C&C servers used for Remote Access Trojans. Given the recent surge in Remote Access Trojan distribution, this is quite a positive development, to say the least. The team is hopeful Malware Hunter will detect other major threats in the future, including botnets, cryptominers, and backdoor trojans.

This article was published in themerkle.com By JP Buntinx

When Google demoed Android Nougat for the first time almost a year ago at Google I/O 2016, Instant Apps was one of the features that stood out, as a trick the iPhone didn’t have at the time and still doesn’t have now. But as hot as it may be, the feature wasn’t ready for public consumption when Google released the final Nougat build last year. However, things might change soon, as Google is apparently getting ready to enable it on devices running Android 7 as well as phones and tablets running older Android versions.

Instant Apps will let users enjoy instant app experiences on their smartphones without actually downloading a particular app for. Assuming it works as described, the feature will solve a bunch of problems.

 

First of all, it’ll help save storage on the phone, as you won’t have to keep an app installed just because you might have to use it every now and then. Secondly, you won’t have to buy an app to try it since developers will be able to offer a portion of an app to test for free. Finally, the Instant Apps features will work on most Android devices out there, not just Nougat-based ones, as it’s built on Google Play Services.

Looking at the code in the latest version of Google Play Store, 9to5Google discovered that Google might be getting ready to roll out Instant Apps. The code reveals that users will be able to enable or disable the feature and choose which Google account to use with an app.

Here’s Google’s demo of Instant Apps:

9to5Google also mentions several new features in the Google Play Store 7.8 update, including a Google Play app discovery service, a pre-registration rewards features for apps, and a new security branding for Verify Apps — that’s Play Protect.

 

The original version of this article on BGR.com

The Hubble Space Telescope has given us many incredible views of the universe. From stars and nebulas shining hundreds of light-years away, to views of closer cosmic objects like Mars and Jupiter, the Hubble provides frequent reminders of just how small we are.

A new, particularly striking photo taken by Hubble and released today drives that point home yet again. 

The image reveals new details of a huge cluster of galaxies called Abell 370, which is located about 6 billion light-years away from Earth. 

 

While at first you might think that the densely packed objects shining against the blackness of space in this photo are stars in some cluster in the Milky Way, in reality, every single one of them are galaxies.

If you look closely at the photo, you should be able to see spiral galaxies that look like our own along with yellow-tinged elliptical galaxies that don't look as familiar.  

The Abell 370 photo also shows off a particularly cool cosmic coincidence that Hubble can exploit to humanity's advantage. 

The huge galaxy cluster actually warps the fabric of space and time surrounding it, allowing the cluster to act as a huge lens, magnifying and distorting a spiral galaxy behind it, NASA said in a statement. The more distant galaxy itself is actually twice as far from Hubble as Abell 370. 

You can see this lensing effect in the image: The streaks and lines bordering the middle of the cluster represent distortions caused by the cluster's immense gravity.

 

Gravitational lenses also serve a serious scientific purpose in that they give researchers a view of what lies behind some of the largest structures in the universe. 

This isn't the first time that Hubble has peered into a dark part of space only to come away with a photo revealing the light emitted by thousands of galaxies billions of years ago. 

A ground-based image of the galaxy cluster.
A ground-based image of the galaxy cluster.

Image: NASA, ESA and Digitized Sky Surv

The first Hubble deep field is still one of the best space photos ever taken (and this space reporter's personal favorite). 

In 1995, not long after spacewalking astronauts repaired the Hubble's camera, scientists turned the telescope to a blank patch of sky and instructed it to take 342 exposures over the course of 10 days. 

Hubble found something unexpected and amazing. Instead of coming away with a series of blank images, the space telescope revealed about 3,000 far-off galaxies hidden within that blank patch of the night sky.

Since that time, NASA scientists have periodically used the Hubble to take more of these kinds of images, revealing never-before-seen galaxies that are allowing us to learn more about just how full our universe really is. 

The newest photo marks Hubble's last "Frontier Field" image, which was a campaign that photographed six galaxy clusters over the course of 560 orbits of Earth using 630 hours of telescope time.

 

 This Albert Einstein robot can help you learn science

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This article was published in Mashable By Miriam Kramer

Space is big and dark, and since there is no air, no one can hear you scream as you float away forever and ever and ever. But those are only the human-sized terrors that space has to offer our nightmares. Because, as you will see, if you step back a few thousand light years from your simple humanoid perspective, you will discover that the universe contains some much stranger, much larger, and much more terrifying mysteries than you ever thought to be afraid of.

"Wow" signal

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In 1977, the Big Ear radio telescope at Ohio State University was busy listening. Big Ear was built in 1963 for the purpose of listening to wideband radio emissions from the stars, but in 1973 it was converted for the use of SETI (the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence), and began searching the skies for more specific narrowband signals that might indicate intelligent life. Being the 1970s, however, the analysis of the incoming radio signals wasn't particularly complex—mostly recording frequency, signal strength, and bandwidth—but in 1977 it was good enough for the operators to know it had picked up something interesting.

 

In August 1977, astronomer Jerry Ehman was looking at computer printouts of the signals received by Big Ear over the previous few days, when he came across a sequence of numbers and letters that have since become famous. 6EQUJ5 might seem innocuous, but along with other data, it represents a continuous narrow band signal of around 1420 megahertz, from a fixed point in space in the constellation Sagittarius, that gradually grows in strength and then fades as the radio telescope orientation passes across its source (an explanation of the sequence can be found here, provided by Mr. Ehman himself). When Ehman saw this sequence on the paper, he was so surprised he circled it and immediately wrote "Wow!" in the margin, hence the name.

Over the years, Ehman and others have repeatedly searched for the signal again, and tried to come up with more mundane explanations for its existence. But after ruling out aircraft, asteroids, reflected terrestrial signals, space farts, and the Bat Phone as alternate sources, the only explanation they haven't been able to rule out is … extraterrestrial intelligence.

1991 VG

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In 1991, American astronomer James Scotti spotted something strange in the sky. From his first observations, he made predictions about where the object would show up again, but when he pointed his telescope in that direction, he failed to spot the object. Because it was so weird, the standard assumptions he had made about its likely speed and direction were wrong, and it was only by accident that he caught another glimpse of it in a later observation.

 

When he put two and two together, he realized that this strange object was circling the Sun in a very similar orbit to the Earth. This is quite rare for a natural object, because the proximity of Earth and its gravitational field will usually disrupt its orbit, sending it off on a new path. The only realistic explanation was that the object was some remnant of the various big-budget Cold War space launches, like a Saturn 5 second stage, or some Russian hardware. But when the course of the object was plotted backwards to its last close Earth approach around 1973, it failed to match up with any of the known launches of that era, leaving the whole thing a mystery … or a possible alien space probe.

Eridanus Supervoid

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Space is pretty big, and although there are lots of stars and galaxies and such flying about, there's also a lot of, well, space—that's why it's called that. And while astronomers are used to talking about large gaps between objects, one has been found that leaves even space experts speechless.

The first hint of the Eridanus Supervoid's existence turned up during a survey of the Cosmic Microwave Background, which is the electromagnetic remnants of the earliest moments of the Universe still whizzing about in space. When the clever people were looking at their results, they noticed a "cold spot" in the direction of the Eridanus constellation. Subsequent observations identified the Eridanus Supervoid as an unexpectedly large — and very empty — bit of space, around one billion light years in diameter. Even by astronomical standards, that's a pretty large piece of real estate … or real vacuum, if you prefer. Other voids have been found before, though this supervoid is so large that it can't be explained by current theories of the universe, which is pretty worrying.

 

Nevertheless, scientists love the opportunity to propose a new theory, and some of them are quite creative. The most straightforward idea proposes the existence of a super, super, super-massive black hole with the mass of thousands of galaxies. This would have the power to suck in all stars, planets, dust, light, dark matter, and cosmic microwave background radiation for huge distances, growing ever stronger with each meal. Black holes are always exciting, and incredibly massive ones even more so, but science has an even more terrifying theory cooked up too.

See, instead of a black hole, some researchers have proposed that the void is actually evidence of a parallel universe, no doubt with hordes of technologically advanced and ruthless aliens just waiting for a chance to evict us. More work is required to give greater credence to this theory (the parallel universe, not the aliens), but let's hope it's not true. One universe is quite enough to feel insignificant in — we don't need a few thousand more around the edges to devalue our life goals even further.

ASASSN-15lh

ASASSN-15lh.jpg

Supernovas are some of the largest explosions humans are ever likely to witness, and like most loud bangs, it doesn't take too many before we start getting used to them. That is, until an even larger bang happens — then you sit up and take notice. That is the case with ASASSN-15lh, a superluminous supernova first observed in June 2015, that originated 2.8 billion light years away (and thus, 2.8 billion years ago!).

What makes ASASSN-15lh special is that scientists can't explain it. Unlike a regular supernova, ASASSN-15lh was ten times brighter, and considerably more powerful. Also, when astronomers analysed the light it was emitting, they couldn't find evidence of the hydrogen that should have been present. The best explanation involves something called a magnetar—a kind of magnetic neutron star—that by rapidly spinning with a powerful magnetic field, could provide extra energy to the expanding ball of superheated gas. However, it didn't take long for ASASSN-15lh to emit more energy than a magnetar should have been able to provide, and it just kept on going. Months after it first bloomed, it was still giving off more energy than the entire Milky Way galaxy we reside in.

But the strange didn't stop there. The usual behavior for a supernova consists of a bright flash, followed by a slow fading. And while ASASSN-15lh initially followed this course, a few months after it started to fade, the ultraviolet light started to increase again. This is not entirely unknown behavior for supernovas, but the light being emitted didn't fit the usual pattern. Scientists are still at a loss to fully explain the biggest bang known to mankind since the first one, and that's pretty scary.

KIC 8462852

KIC_8462852.jpg

A popular way to look for planets these days is to measure the amount of light a star is giving off. When a planet passes in front of its host star, it will cause a small, but detectable, drop in brightness. And by measuring the frequency of these dips, plus the size, it's possible to determine much about the nature of the planet, like if it is potentially habitable and thus home to alien life. Sometimes, however, the telescopes doing the observing see things that are harder to explain.

 

KIC 8462852 is a star in the Cygnus constellation approximately 1400 light years away from Earth. Unlike a star with a planet in orbit, this star displayed brightness dips of up to 20 percent, and they definitely weren't regular. One explanation was a cloud of comet fragments that found their way into a tight orbit around the star, but another theory proposes something a lot more concerning.

In 1960, physicist Freeman Dyson proposed a theory that an intelligent alien civilization might grow to a point where it required more energy than could be generated on a single planet. He theorised that such an advanced civilization might be able to construct a massive orbiting structure called a Dyson Sphere, that would be able to capture a significant proportion of the solar energy of a system's star and make it available to the population. Such a "megastructure" would capture most of the visible light of the star, but would still emit some infrared radiation, and would therefore be identifiable.

A variation of this theory, known as a Dyson Swarm, has been proposed as an explanation for what's happening around KIC 8462852. In this scenario, the civilization is building a swarm of orbiting satellites to achieve a similar goal to the sphere, but without the complications of trying to actually build a ball around a star.

Any civilization that is capable of building even a Dyson Swarm would be so far ahead of us technologically, we can't even imagine what they are capable of. And while NASA has found no evidence of radio emissions coming from that part of the sky, if they are capable of constructing Dyson Swarms, they have probably found a quicker way to communicate over large distances than electromagnetic radiation … not to mention quick ways to eradicate inferior galactic neighbors.

 

The Great Attractor

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Have you ever had a nightmare where you're trapped and being dragged towards your inescapable doom? Well, you might not want to know, but on a galactic scale, we are living that nightmare right now. That's because, at a speed of 2.2 million kilometers per hour (human-fast, space-slow), the Milky Way, its companion galaxies, and various galactic hangers-on are all moving towards an area of space we don't know much about. The speed at which we are moving implies an area of space creating a massive gravitational force, roughly equivalent to 10,000 galaxies. And since it is sucking in everything within a considerable distance, this mysterious region has been dubbed "The Great Attractor." And if that isn't terrifying enough, we also can't see it.

 

The Great (and terrifying) Attractor sits in a region of space referred to by astronomers as the "Zone of Avoidance," which is ironic, because we can't avoid it. It's called that because it sits exactly on the other side of the densest part of the Milky Way, thus observing it through all those stars and massive clouds of space dust is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, astronomers have turned some of their instruments in the direction of the attractor, and determined that while there are a bunch of previously undiscovered galaxies in that region, there are still not enough to explain the force being exerted.

 

This leaves the true source of our eventual doom as either a previously inconceivable gravitational mass that we can't identify, or perhaps the interstellar equivalent of an internet dating serial killer: obscuring its identity behind a perfectly crafted profile to entice everyone within reach and draw them inexorably into their grubby space-van with blacked-out windows, dirty carpet, matching shovel accessories, and an entire superclusters' worth of chloroform..

This article was published in grunge.com by Albert Lakey

How many times have you seen posts on tech sites about “hidden iPhone features” and thought to yourself, these tricks aren’t really hidden at all. We’ve even had a few articles here on BGR with tips that were indeed unknown to most users, but the savvy iOS device owners out there were undoubtedly familiar with at least a few of them.

Well, in this piece we’re going to tell you about 25 hidden features that are really, truly hidden. As in, you could look through your iPhone from now until the end of time and you wouldn’t find any of these tricks unless you know what you’re looking for.

In the past, many of the hidden tips we’ve seen on sites and even covered here are simply things that are buried in the Settings app in places people normally wouldn’t look. These are great things to know — plenty of people would make their camera flash blink with incoming messages if they knew that they could, for example — but they’re not really “hidden” or “secret,” per se.

 

Each of the tips that follow below, however, are completely hidden. There is no indication that these functions exist in iOS, and we guarantee that most users don’t know about them. In fact, we also guarantee that even the savviest iPhone owners among you will find at least one or two things you didn’t already know. In fact, ran this list past a friend who works at Apple and there were a few things that even he didn’t know.

Enjoy.

Redial: In the Phone app, press the green call button on the keypad screen to make the last dialed number appear.

Clear cache: Make your iPhone run faster by clearing out the cache in several of Apple’s apps using a secret trick. In the App Store, Podcasts, Music, Game Center, iMessage and Phone apps, tap on any single tab icon at the bottom of the screen 10 times in a row.

Make TouchID work faster: Save the same fingerprint multiple times as different entries and TouchID will work much faster. This is especially useful on older phones like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5s.

Spotlight conversions: Remember when we told you how easy conversions are in our post on Google search tricks? It’s even easier for iPhone users — just open Spotlight and type something like “20 euros in GBP,” and it will instantly perform the conversion.

Spotlight math: Want to do a quick math problem? No need to open the Calculator app, just pull down to open Spotlight and type it right there.

Delete numbers in the Calculator: Speaking of the Calculator, you can delete single digits when you tap the wrong number by swiping left or right on the screen where the numbers appear.

Clear RAM to make your phone run faster: Hold down the power button until you see “Slide to power off,” then let go and hold down the home button until the screen goes blank and your home screen reappears.

Burst mode: Hold down the camera’s shutter button to shoot in burst mode.

Remote shutter: Use the volume up or down button on your headphones to snap a photo in the Camera app.

 

Turn the flashlight off: How many times have you turned your flashlight on and wished that you didn’t have to swipe open the Control Panel again to shut it off? We’ll save you a step: simply swipe up on the camera icon on your lock screen and the flashlight will turn off.

3D Touch while drawing: All of the drawing tools and the eraser are pressure sensitive in the Notes app.

Close multiple apps at once: Double-tap the home button to open the app switcher and you can use two, even three fingers to slide multiple apps closed with one swipe.

Recently closed tabs: Want to reread this article on your phone but you forgot what site you were reading it on in the first place? Simply tap and hold on the + symbol in Safari on the tab carousel view to open a screen that lists all of your recently closed tabs.

Desktop version of a site: We all know you can request the desktop version of a mobile site in Safari but it’s easier to do than you think. Just hold down the reload button in the URL bar.

Peek at tabs: Not sure you want to open that tab in the Safari tab carousel? A 3D Touch will let you Peek at it first.

 

Peek at bookmarks: Did you know you can use 3D Touch to Peek at bookmarks before you open them?

Edit reminders: 3D Touch an item in your Reminders app to edit the time or add a location.

View only unread emails: So you don’t practice “inbox zero” like I do but you only want to see unread emails in your inbox. Tap the Mailboxes link in the top right corner of the Mail app and then tap Edit. Tap the circle next to “Unread” and you’ll have a new folder that contains only your unread emails.

Save a draft with one swipe: In the Mail app, tap on the subject line and swipe down to the bottom of the screen to save a draft.

Quick Reply: When you get a notification at the top of the screen that you have a new iMessage or SMS, pull the notification downward to reply without leaving the screen you’re on.

Hidden level(s): Slide to the left in the Compass app open the level. Then place your phone flat with the screen facing away from the ground to reveal a bubble level.

Artist Peek: 3D Touch an artist in the Music app to Peek at their music.

Reenable Low Power Mode: When Low Power Mode automatically shuts off as you charge, you’ll get a notification on your lock screen that it has been disabled. Swipe left on that notification to turn it back on.

Find an iPhone’s owner: Did you find a lost iPhone in a bar? Simply ask Siri, “whose phone is this?” and it will show you so you can get in touch with him or her and return it.

 

Reachability: This is one of the new iPhones’ best features and there are still SO many people who don’t know about it. Double-touch (don’t tap, touch) on the home button and the entire screen will shift down so you can reach the top without shifting your grip.

This article was published on foxnews.com By Zach Epstein

Many school administrators love Chromebooks, precisely because Google's stripped-down operating system is like a pair of rubber training wheels for children who can't be trusted to drive a full-fledged OS. Microsoft is banking on schools purchasing laptops with Windows 10 S installed, because the company's new operating system severely limits which apps users can install while giving IT administrators fine control over your system.

Unfortunately, Windows 10 S also locks users into Microsoft's ecosystem, forcing you to use Edge as your browser and Bing as your default search engine while preventing you from installing a number of really important apps that don't appear in the Windows Store. If you're an educator, the lack of choice should give you pause and, if you're buying a laptop for yourself or your child, these training wheels are probably a deal breaker.

If you want to use Chrome, Firefox, Opera or pretty much any browser other than Edge, you should not get a laptop with Windows 10 S. In its support FAQ, Microsoft writes that:

 

"Microsoft Edge is the default web browser on Microsoft 10 S. You are able to download another browser that might be available from the Windows Store, but Microsoft Edge will remain the default if, for example, you open an .htm file. Additionally, the default search provider in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer cannot be changed." (emphasis mine)

I just checked the Windows Store, and I can't find any other major browsers there (or even minor ones). There's an entry for Opera browser, but when you install it, you just get a window with a download button which directs you to opera.com to actually download the app.

Opera App

Perhaps some day, Google and Mozilla will get their browsers into the Windows Store. However, even if that happens, Edge will still be the default browser which opens any time you click a link in an email, a chat app or anywhere else in Windows 10 S. And every time you search by typing a query into Edge's address bar, you'll get results from Bing, with no option to change it to Google.

 

Now, to be fair, many people like using Edge browser, which is fast and has a clean UI. However, if you need any kind of browser extension to make a website work, you probably won't be able to use it on Edge. At present, Edge has only 32 extensions and, unlike Mozilla and Google who let anyone publish an extension, Microsoft hand picks the few developers that can do it.

image_3101161493757768

Some web services just can't work with Edge right now. For example, at work, we use a single sign-on service called Okta, which requires a plugin to work, a plugin which isn't available for Edge. A number of conferencing apps, including Bluejeans and Zoom, require either plug-ins (which Edge doesn't have) or downloadable apps, which aren't in the Windows Store. My mother is a college professor who sometimes grades standardized tests on the weekends, and the online tool she is required to use will only work on Chrome or Firefox.

 

Microsoft says that Windows 10 S will work with every app in its Windows Store. However, nearly two years after the store launched with Windows 10, a lot of the most important programs aren't available in the store. Here are a few of the many apps which weren't available when I wrote this article:

  • Visual Studio Community / Professional / Enterprise -- Microsoft's own development tool is not in its store so forget about teaching kids to program Windows apps on their Windows 10 S computers.
  • Adobe Photoshop / Adobe Premiere -- You can get the lightweight Adobe Photoshop Express and Photoshop Elements, but forget about the professional versions of Adobe's creative suite.
  • Notepad++ -- My favorite text editor is great for coding and building web pages. You won't find it in the store. There are other text editors in the store, though.
  • Android Studio -- Kids who want to learn how to build apps for Android phones and tablets won't be able to get Google's official development kit.
  • Google Drive -- You can visit Google Drive in your browser in Windows 10 S, but none of the Google client-side apps, including Google Drive, are in the store.
  • Slack / Hipchat -- The two popular group chat apps aren't available in Windows Store.
  • OpenVPN -- There are VPN apps in the Windows Store, but not this popular freeware program.
  • WhatsApp -- Lots of kids chat with this, but they can't on WIndows 10 S.
  • iTunes: Need to interface with your iPhone or download some media from Apple's store? Get a different Windows.

Hopefully, the developers of these apps and others will work with Microsoft to get into the Windows Store. It's almost certain that Microsoft will move its own apps (ex: Visual Studio) into the store at some point too. However, as of this writing, there are so many gaping holes in the store coverage.

For some schools, Windows 10 S's restrictions may initially be a strength rather than a weakness, but if those institutions want to use an education app that's not in the store or a web tool which won't function with Edge, they could have buyer's remorse. Fortunately, Microsoft is going to offer its EDU clients free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro, which I can imagine many of them using.

For individual users who are considering purchasing a Windows 10 S-powered computer like the Surface Laptop, Windows 10 S makes no sense at all. Would you really want to limit what apps and browsers you can use, right out of the box? Isn't the main benefit of Windows over Chrome OS the wide variety of software and services that you can use?

 

If you've been following Microsoft for a few years, you'll remember Windows RT, a failed version of Windows 8, which also only ran special Store apps. RT failed because of its lack of apps and Windows 10 S faces most of the same challenges. There's just one major improvement: any Windows 10 S user can pay $49 to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro, which can run every Windows program in the world and any browser you want. I expect a lot of people to pay that fee.

This article was  published in laptopmag.com by Avram Piltch

Internet of Things search engine Shodan has launched a new crawler that scours the the Internet for servers that manage botnets.

Shodan has been used by security researchers to uncover, for example, recent ransacking unsecured databases and a multitude of other connected things that shouldn't be exposed to the internet.

A new search service, dubbed Malware Hunter, targets infrastructure known as command and control (C2) servers that cybercriminals and sometimes government sponsored hackers use to control infected computers. Specifically, it’s looking for C2s that host remote access trojan (RAT) software, which are used to control an infected computer’s webcam to record video footage or audio of victims, or log keystrokes.

 

The service is jointly operated with Recorded Future, a threat intelligence firm, which provides an application protocol interface (API) that offers access to data from multiple sources, such as Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) from it’s own research and others, including Team Cymru. Shodan uses this data to scan the internet in search of IP addresses that match known RAT signatures already collected by Recorded Future.

Malware Hunter searches for malware servers by having its web crawler pose as an infected client that is reporting home. Since it doesn’t known which IP address is malicious, the crawler reports to every IP address on the internet as if the target is a malicious C2 and a positive response confirms that the IP address is one. Shodan will then display the IP addresses in its results.

Recorded Future notes the signatures are based on full packet capture data collected by numerous researchers from different RAT families. The packet captures contain RAT controller responses to requests made to the RAT controller’s listener port.

“Analysis of RAT controller responses within these packet captures leads to digital fingerprints that can be subsequently used in tandem with an Internet scanner to identify live instances of RAT controllers, and in some cases the RAT operator’s home IP address and approximate geographic location,” explains Recorded Future’s VP of threat intelligence Levi Gundert in a technical report.

Shodan has signatures for a number of well known RAT families, including Black Shades, Dark Comet, njRAT, XtremeRAT, Posion Ivy, Net Bus, and Gh0st RAT. The search engine identifies between 400 and 600 RAT controllers on any day.

Malware Hunter is meant to be more aggressive than existing methods, such as using honey pots, or using the Google owned malware aggregation service VirusTotal. The search engine is equipped to run port scans for servers, routers, webcams, and other port listening devices with the aim of helping researchers identify infected computers before a RAT variant grows too powerful.

Recorded Future claims that using the Malware Hunter methodology, a Shodan scan from early 2015 returned 633 RAT controller IP address. It crossed checked that with VirusTotal, which had matching malware results for 153 of the IP addresses, demonstrating that the service can find instances even before they’re submitted to VirusTotal.

"The capabilities that Malware Hunter brings to security researchers and threat analysts will greatly help the community's ability to track RAT family proliferation and other attacks and prevent them from taking the internet hostage," said John Matherly, founder of Shodan.

 

Anyone can start using the Malware Hunter search service today so long as they have already setup a free tier Shodan account.

This article was  published in cso.com.au by Liam Tung

A few search terms can lead to an exposed Internet connection. That's apparently how an Iranian hacker accessed a dam in New York state.

Bad guys and good guys alike can use Google to find vulnerable targets online. What matters most, then, is who's fastest.

"Google dorking." It sounds goofy, but it could be just the ticket for a hacker looking to stir mayhem.

The search technique is one of several methods that bad guys can use to find vulnerable computer systems and trace them to a specific place on the Internet. All they have to do is type in the right search terms, and they're well on their way.

That's how an Iranian hacker found a vulnerable dam in the US, according to a The Wall Street Journal story that cited people familiar with the federal investigation into the security breach.

 

It's a troubling example of what security researchers have long known -- a computer system with out-of-date software is a sitting target. That's because information about old and buggy software and how to hack into it has a way of getting to the public very quickly.

Add dorking (or "Google hacking," a term preferred by some cybersecurity pros) to a growing list of tools that, used together, can help automate the process of finding and exploiting weak spots everywhere, from an element of a city's infrastructure to a surveillance camera in your home or the network of a business that holds records of all your personal information. Google is just one layer of this approach, and other search engines from Microsoft's Bing to the specialized Shodan.io can be substituted for it.

Experts say that with these tools, a hacker could roll out of bed, check his or her email and find alerts with information on how to hack you before breakfast.

"If you like it, then you can go attack it," said Srinivas Mukkamala, chief executive of cybersecurity company RiskSense.

"I don't need to know anything, and I can be a very bad guy.

What saved the day in the case of the small Bowman Avenue dam in Rye Brook, New York, is that at the time of the breach in 2013, the dam, undergoing maintenance, had been disconnected from the computer system that controlled it. Otherwise, the hacker might have been able to take control of the floodgate.

 

Similar techniques are known to have been used in espionage efforts.

Scary, right? But these search engines and alert systems are only making it easier to find information that's already public.

More important, said Mati Aharoni of cybersecurity company Offensive Security, these services help out the good guys much more than they could possibly help malicious hackers, who will get their hands on the information one way or another.

Aharoni trains people to use his company's repository of known hacking attacks, Exploit Database. The trainees are good guys who need to track down fatal flaws quickly, he said. Hackers already have access to illegal tools that guys good guys can't use. "We're helping to level the playing field."

Shodan CEO John Matherly, whose Shodan.io search tool is used by security companies to find specific computers, agreed. If you're a hacker looking for vulnerable systems, "you can do so fairly cheaply on your own," he said.

 

Hacking made easy

Layered on top of all the search services are systems that can send automated alerts. One is the Google Hacking Diggity Project. It draws on services like Google alerts, so you can get a message letting you know when a search engine indexes new information about a particular topic. Google is not involved in the creation or operation of Diggity.

A lazy hacker could conceivably use it to get an alert when a vulnerable system and a tool for hacking it are both available, RiskSense's Mukkamala said.

But Diggity creator Fran Brown said his tools help people who are defending websites and computer networks -- or, for that matter, Internet-connected dams -- to quickly find out when their systems are leaking sensitive information or have a known vulnerability.

"You basically can trip over dangerous and sensitive information just by Googling,

said Brown, co-founder of cybersecurity consulting firm Bishop Fox.

It's not clear how exactly the Iranian hacker got into the dam's systems after he reportedly found its location on the Internet using Google. He's been indicted along with six other Iranian hackers by the US Department of Justice for the dam attack and for attacks on banks.

He might have used the same vulnerability that flagged the dam in a Google dork search to break in, or he might have used a completely unrelated attack.

But the hack still highlights what can go wrong if a security flaw hangs around on a system after it goes public. When a manufacturer announces a fix, it's a race against time to patch up the problem. It's also a race that the people responsible for many Internet-connected systems are losing badly, said Michael Bazzell, a former cybercrimes investigator with the FBI.

"If that system hasn't been patched in the last few years," Bazzell said, "it's pretty trivial getting in."

This article was  published in cnet.com by Catalina Albeanu

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