Rachel Bilson

Rachel Bilson

  • Halide is a new camera app developed by former Twitter and Apple employees.
  • It's super easy to use but adds advanced camera functions.
  • It costs $2.99 and is available for the iPhone now.

Earlier this week, a former Twitter employee and former Apple designer joined forces to release a new camera app called Halide. It's loaded with functions that both advanced and casual photographers will love.

The gist of Halide is simple. It's not about applying filters or anything like that to your photos. Instead, it just provides really easy gesture-based functions that can help you take better pictures.

Halide is $2.99 and is available from iTunes now. Here's a look at what it can do, in case you're a little wary of spending that much on a new app.

This is the main Halide screen you see when you open the app.

CNBC Tech: Halide

Todd Haselton | CNBC


Slide your finger along the focus dial to bring near or far objects out of focus manually.

CNBC Tech: Halide 2

Todd Haselton | CNBC


Tap this small button in the corner to apply a red hue to objects when they're in focus. This is on more advanced cameras, and it works really well here!

CNBC Tech: Halide 3

Todd Haselton | CNBC


Slide your thumb up and down on the screen to adjust the exposure. Slide up to increase it (brighten), or down to decrease the exposure (darken.)

Handout: halide

Halide


There are plenty of other options, too, like the ability to snap raw photos, add your GPS location, overlay the app with a grid for better positioning and more.I don't typically use advanced camera apps because they tend to have too many unnecessary features, but Halide is really easy to use.

Source: This article was published on cnbc.com by Todd Haselton

A change in how cancer is treated means more people will benefit from immunotherapy.

In a first for precision medicine, a cancer drug has won regulatory approval based on the genetic characteristic of tumors, rather than their location in the body.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it had approved Keytruda, an immunotherapy, for patients who have genetic glitches in so-called “mismatch repair” genes.

Mutations in these genes mean their cells don’t fully repair errors in DNA. That can trigger cancer, but it also makes their tumors particularly susceptible to drugs like Keytruda, which is marketed by Merck.

In a statement, Richard Pazdur, acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, called the approval “an important first for the cancer community.”

Precision medicine is the idea that medical treatments should be personalized to an individual’s genetic makeup, or other information about them. But up until now, cancer therapies have all been approved to treat cancer based on where it is located, such as in the breast or lung.

Keytruda is the first that can be given to anyone who harbors one of two relatively rare genetic abnormalities, and is suffering from a solid tumor, such as pancreatic or lung cancer. Olivier Lesueur, managing partner at Bionest Partners, a consulting firm, calls the approval a “breakthrough in the way we see and define cancer.”

Keytruda works by unleashing the body’s immune system to attack tumors, and was first approved to treat advanced skin cancer in 2014. Such drugs, called checkpoint inhibitors, have had remarkable success, including saving the life of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The downside of immunotherapy is that not all patients seem to benefit, for reasons that remain uncertain.

With the new approval, the number of patients expected to benefit could grow substantially. About 4 percent of all advanced cancers—up to 30,000 patients a year in the U.S.—harbor the genetic abnormalities that Keytruda can treat, says Dung Le, oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Immunotherapy.

“This drug is going to reach patients we would not have offered the therapy to before,” says Le.

The new approval only applies to patients for whom traditional treatment, like chemotherapy, has already failed. But genetic tests to identify patients with mismatch repair genes are widely available and cost $300 to $600, says Le. Keytruda itself costs around $150,000 a year.

Merck won a so-called “accelerated” approval based on a clinical trial involving just 149 patients with 15 different types of cancers at Johns Hopkins and four other hospitals. In the trial, about 40 percent of patients experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors.

One of those patients is Adrienne Skinner, 60, of Larchmont, New York, who endured surgery and a year of chemotherapy after being diagnosed in 2013 with advanced ampullary cancer, a rare and deadly gastrointestinal cancer.

In April 2014, Skinner joined the Keytruda study. She was a candidate because she was born with Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition in which her DNA repair genes don’t work correctly. After just a few months on the drug, a surgeon examined her and told Skinner her tumor had disappeared.

Skinner continued on the drug for another two years and says she now feels like her normal self again. She works full-time, goes to the gym most days, plays tennis, and does yoga. If not for the drug, she says, “I’d be dead by now.” 

Source: This article was published on technologyreview.com by Emily Mullin


Friday, 21 April 2017 23:56

25 Apps That Will Save You Lots of Money

Apps don’t just have to be time wasting or money draining. Check out these 25 money saving apps that will not only help you save you money, but also better manage your finances.

For General Finances:

1. Mint

The “Beyoncé” of personal finance apps; this little powerhouse allows you to keep track of all your financial activity from all your accounts: checking, savings, retirement—you name it! Every transaction is automatically recorded and categorized. Mint makes note of your spending patterns and creates a budget. Additionally, on the iPad, it generates graphs to give you visual representations of your net worth and cash flow. For those worried about security, the app is password protected and there is a way to deactivate access from your phone through the Mint website. It is a fantastic way to keep tabs on your overall financial health and be able to spot potential problems. (Plus, it’s free!)

Available for: iOS and Android

Never miss a bill payment again with this great app from SnapTap. Passcode-protected BillTracker allows you to keep all due dates and amount totals in one place and even gives you notifications for impending payments. Due dates are highlighted on the calendar for quick views.

Available for: iOS

 

3. You Need a Budget (YNAB)

The name says it all: YNAB is an incredibly detailed but easy-to-use budget interface. The software operates by four simple rules: 1) Give every dollar a job, 2) Save for a rainy day, 3) Roll with the punches, and 4) Live on last month’s income. YNAB’s goal is to change the way you manage money and to create stress-free finances. The app is supplemental to the $60 software you purchase for your Windows or Mac and is meant to allow users to check their transactions and budgetary restrictions on-the-go. If you are looking to turn your finances around or gain a better understanding of your financial situation, purchasing the software is well worth the investment.

Available for: iOS and Android

For Shopping:

4. Shopkick

Over six million people are already using Shopkick to browse products, find inspiration, and discover great deals at stores like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, and more. Users are able to earn points by making purchases, inviting friends to join, and even by just walking into the stores. Then, the points can be transformed into gift cards at partnering stores. The icing on the cake is the slick new design—a shopper’s dream!Available for: iOS and Android

5. Ibotta

Ibotta allows shoppers to earn real money for shopping. Start by perusing the different offers in the product gallery and choose the ones you’re interested in. Every time you compete a “task” (like sharing on Facebook, taking a poll, or watching a video), pending cash is added to your account that can be accessed once you actually purchase the product from one of the 50 retailers partnered with Ibotta. Once the purchase is verified, cash is put into your PayPal account or turned into gift cards.
 
 
Available for: iOS and Android

6. RetailMeNot

“Thousands of coupons in your pocket.” Browse coupons and deals from J Crew, Victoria’s Secret, Starbucks, Target, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Forever 21, Bloomingdale’s, and hundreds more! Save the coupons you want to use for easy access and get notifications for coupon expiration dates. You can also search for deals at the nearest stores. Don’t worry about printing the coupons; all you have to do is show your phone at the register. Talk about convenience!
 
Available for: iOS and Android


7. SnipSnap

Like RetailMeNot, SnipSnap is a mobile coupon haven. However, this one also lets you take pictures of printed coupons from many retailers and turns them into digital, mobile-ready ones. You can also browse the online directory and see the coupons that friends have “snipped.”Available for: iOS


For Groceries:

8. Grocery iQ

Stay on task and avoid impulse purchases with this incredibly detailed grocery shopping list platform. Not only can you build grocery lists by searching through the millions of products in the app’s database, but you can use voice recognition or barcode scanning. Grocery iQ also has a store locator feature and offers coupons. This app is a must-have for busy families or for anyone trying to keep their grocery budget under control.
 
 
Available for: iOS and Android

9. SavingStar

SavingStar is a digital coupon app for thousands of grocery stores and drugstores that is linked to your individual store loyalty cards. (Yes, you have to have loyalty cards to get rewards.) You choose the digital coupons you want to use and the reward is applied to your loyalty card and when you reach $5 in savings, you earn cash! You can even opt for your cash savings to go towards donations for the charity American Forests.
 
Available for: iOS and Android

For Local Deals:

10. Groupon

Redeem Groupon deals (as much as 50-90% off!) on everything from restaurants to retailers to hotels. You can search by location to find deals closest to you. Groupon consistently offers great, diverse deals and they even have options tailored for the holiday season. It’s also a great way to step out of your comfort zone and try out new places.
 
 
 
Available for: iOS, Android, and Windows


11. LivingSocial

Similar to Groupon, you can use this app to gain hand-held access to all of LivingSocial’s deals. Search for amazing discounts in your own city and get alerts on fun local events. Save on hotels, restaurants, and other places. Also, the discounts are great for gifts. An added bonus: if you share a discount you received on your social media accounts and three of your friends purchase the same deal, you’ll get yours free of charge!
 
Available for: iOS, Android, and Windows

12. Amazon Local

“Save up to 75% in your city.” Use this app to find Amazon-level deals on the go. What’s great about Amazon Local is that you can search for deals and buy them instantly right from your phone. You are also able to set specific preferences or favorites so that the application knows what offerings you are most interested in purchasing. Like the other discount apps mentioned, there is no need to print out coupons or vouchers.
 
 
Available for: iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire

13. Scoutmob

An exceptionally well-designed and clever app (love the “Stache Cam” feature), this is an excellent option for those living in a big city; it is only available in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, DC. In addition to finding great discounts at different eateries and shops, you can also search through articles and other local happenings.
 
Available for: iOS and Android

For Those in Financial Trouble:

14. DebtTracker Pro

For those working their way out of debt, DebtTracker Pro can serve as a payoff plan and can help you keep track of your road to financial recovery. Users are able to choose their strategy for overcoming debt and the app not only recommends payment strategies but sends reminders when payments are due. There is a visual reminder of how close you are to your goal (sorted by account) to serve as further incentive. Getting out of debt is a long and difficult process, but this app will help keep you organized.
 
 
Available for: iOS

For TV Addicts:

15. Viggle

An app that awards you for watching TV?! Viggle lets users “check in” to whatever show they’re watching and earn points to be redeemed for rewards from Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, and other great brands. You can earn additional points by testing your television IQ and playing games. The app also allows you to interact with friends. (Note: sometimes the “audio sampling” feature can be buggy.)
 
Available for: iOS and Android

For Military Families:

16. Military Cost Cutters

This app is a must-have for military personnel and their families. This free application allows veterans to find military-friendly businesses in their area that offer discounts for their service. You are able to search by city, state, and zip code for best results. Additionally, you can leave comments on your experience.
 
Available for: iOS and Android

For Travel:

17. GasBuddy

Gas prices can be a major headache, but with GasBuddy, you can find the cheapest gas prices closest to you! Additionally, for every gas price you report, you earn points towards winning the weekly $250 prize for gas. With over 32 million visitors, the app remains extraordinarily up-to-date on your best gas deals.
 
 
 
Available for: iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows

18. Hotel Tonight

This international app allows you to find incredibly low prices on last-minute hotel bookings. Amazingly, you can arrange same-day bookings until 2 a.m. and for multiple nights. This service is a lifesaver for everything from unexpected layovers to spontaneous vacations. Hotel Tonight is constantly adding new locations and has stellar 24/7 customer support to keep their customers happy.
 
Available for: iOS and Android

19. Compare Bookings

Not only does Compare Bookings let you search for hotel options wherever you are, but you can compare deals from all the best travel sites (like Priceline, Travelocity, and Expedia) to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. It’s not just for hotels: you can also find promotions for cruises, car rentals, and other travel expenses.
 
 
 
Available for: iOS and Android

20. BestParking

Trying to find affordable parking (especially when traveling in an unfamiliar city) can be stressful and a put a strain on your wallet. BestParking will help you avoid parking garage rip-offs by directing you towards the closest and cheapest parking options. In living up to their promise for accuracy, any report of inaccurate pricing is backed up with a $5 Starbucks giftcard.
 
Available for: iOS, Android, and Blackberry


For Professionals:

21. Expensify

Expensify is designed with easy expense reporting in mind, which makes it ideal for salespeople or traveling business people. Photograph receipts, keep track of miles traveled, and record other travel expenses all on one platform to make your life a little easier. The great part about the receipt photography is that the app is able to read the values on the receipt so no manual entry is necessary. If you’re no good at keeping track of your receipts, you can also import credit transactions digitally.
 
Available for: iOS, Android, Windows, and Blackberry

For (Hungry) College Students:

22. Campus Special

Campus Specials brings you the best deals on restaurants and eateries around your college or university. Not only that, you can order right from your phone for pick-up or delivery. The more often you use the app, the more rewards you can earn to be redeemed at your favorite local food joints. Say bye-bye to the typical Ramen-based college diet!
 
 
Available for: iOS and Android

For Gamers:

23. GameFly

Most gamers have heard of (and used) Gamefly, and the app just further solidifies the brand as a fantastic, money-saving resource. Browse for, rent, pre-order, or purchase your favorite games at killer prices, as well stay in the loop on the latest in video games news. Earn GameFly rewards and use coupons to save you even more money. The “Game of the Day” app is particularly nice feature that highlights a free or discounted game every single day.
 
Available for: iOS and Android


For Smartphone Users:

24. Onavo Extend

Are you hit with data overage charges month after month? Onavo Extend allows you to not only keep track of your data expenditure through monthly reports but actually compresses your data and extends your plan! According to the website, you can save up to 80% on your data usage. Not bad for a free app!
 
Available for: iOS and Android

25. Appsfire

Appsfire offers free and highly discounted apps every single day. By filling in a little bit of information, the app can make you a list of recommended downloads to suit your interests. Additionally, you can set up a wish list with notifications for deals or discounts on the apps you want to purchase. You can also avoid unimpressive apps by scrolling through ratings and get a heads up on “the next big thing” by browsing through trending applications.
 
Available for: iOS and Android
 
Source: lifehack.org
Thursday, 20 April 2017 13:43

The best web browser 2017

When did you last try a new browser?

THE BEST WEB BROWSERS

1. Google Chrome

2. Opera

3. Microsoft Edge

4. Mozilla Firefox

5. Vivaldi

Read on for our detailed analysis of each browser

Most of us tend to choose a web browser and stick with it for years. It can be hard to break away from your comfort zone – especially when you've become used to its quirks – but trying a different browser can greatly improve your experience on the web.

Whether it's enhanced security, improved speed, or greater flexibility through customizable options and plugins, the right browser can have a huge effect on your online life. Here we've put the biggest browsers through their paces (plus one that you might not be familiar with) to identify the one that does the best job of ticking all those boxes, but if you have a particular concern then read on to see if there's an alternative that might be better suited to your needs.

1. Google Chrome

With Chrome, Google has built an extendable, efficient browser that deserves its place at the top of the browser rankings. According to w3schools' browser trend analysis its user base is only rising, even as Microsoft Edge's install numbers are presumably growing. Why? Well, it's cross-platform, incredibly stable, brilliantly presented to take up the minimum of screen space, and just about the nicest browser there is to use.

Its wide range of easily obtained and installed extensions mean you can really make it your own, and there's support for parental controls and a huge range of tweaks and settings to ensure maximum efficiency.

But there are downsides, and potentially big ones. It's among the heaviest browsers in terms of resource use, so it's not brilliant on machines with limited RAM, and its performance doesn't quite match up to others in benchmarking terms. And with Google's tentacles running through it, you might be uncomfortable with the ways in which your browsing data may be used.

Download here: Google Chrome

2. Opera

An underrated browser, Opera's killer feature is a superb Turbo mode for slow connections

It's sad that Opera makes up only around 1% of the browser market, because it really is a quality browser. It launches fast, the UI is brilliantly clean, and it does everything its rivals can do with a couple of extras thrown in for good measure.

The key reason we'd at least recommend having Opera installed alongside your main browser is its Opera Turbo feature. This compresses your web traffic, routing it through Opera's servers, which makes a huge difference to browsing speed if you're stuck on rural dial-up or your broadband connection is having a moment.

It reduces the amount of data transferred too, handy if you're using a mobile connection, and this re-routing also dodges any content restrictions your ISP might place on your browsing, which can be mighty handy. Opera automatically ducks out of the way if you're using secure sites like banks so your traffic is free and clear of any potential privacy violation.

There's also an integrated ad-blocker - which can be switched off if you're morally inclined in that direction - and a battery-saving mode which promises to keep your laptop going for longer.

Download here: Opera

3. Microsoft Edge

Edge - Microsoft's new, user-friendly browser - offers full integration with Windows 10

The default 'browsing experience' on Windows 10, Edge is an odd one. Quite why Microsoft needs to be running a pair of browser products in tandem is beyond us. The company's reason, it seems, is that Edge represents the more user-friendly end of Redmond's offering while Internet Explorer scales a little better for enterprise.

Integration with Windows 10's core gimmicks seems to be Edge's main strong point. It happily runs as a modern-skinned app on Windows 10's tablet mode, and works with Cortana. It's also highly streamlined for the current web age, doing away with insecure protocols like ActiveX and forcing you into Internet Explorer if you want to use them. We're more used to browsers failing to render newer pages than we are to being told off for visiting older corners of the web.

Curmudgeonly grumbles aside, actually using Edge is a perfectly pleasant experience. It's super-quick, hammers through benchmarks, its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more palatable, and by sandboxing it away from the rest of the operating system Microsoft has ensured that Edge won't suffer the security breaches of its older brother.

Download here: Microsoft Edge

4. Mozilla Firefox

A divisive choice these days - Firefox is very flexible, but can feel sluggish with lots of plugins installed

Once the leader in overall popularity in the browser war, Firefox is now now a slightly sad third place. It's not clear why; while it lags behind its main competitors in terms of design, keeping the search and URL boxes separate and leaving buttons on display where others have removed them, it's regularly updated on a six-week schedule and has a raft of extensions available.

Firefox tends to hit the middle-to-bottom end of benchmark tests, however, and we did find it a little sluggish to a barely noticeable extent. Recent additions like built-in support for Pocket and Hello aren't going to be to everyone's taste, but some will love them. And that about sums up the Firefox of today; incredibly divisive, despite being a solid browser with a quality rendering engine.

If you're looking for an alternative take on the same structure, Waterfox may fit the bill. It's built on Firefox code, removes many of the restrictions and integrations of the main release, and purports to be one of the fastest browsers around.

Download here: Mozilla Firefox

5. Vivaldi

Build your own ideal browser with Vivaldi's unique docking and tab-stacking features

Here's something a bit different. We all spend probably far too much time sitting in front of our web browsers, and up-and-comer Vivaldi wants to make that as pleasant and personal an experience as possible. Itself build out of web technologies like Javascript and node.js, Vivaldi can adapt its colour scheme to the sites you're using, and indeed the structure of its interface is entirely up to you.

There's a built-in note-taking system, you can dock websites as side panels while using the main window to do your main browsing, and we love its innovative tab stacking tech, which allows you to group up tabs and move them around to avoid the crowding that so often plagues other browsers.

It's not the fastest and it's not the most fully featured, lacking any official support for extensions, but Vivaldi is relatively new and we don't doubt it'll receive further expansion as time goes on. It's a refreshing and creative take on web browsing, and one to watch in the next couple of years.

Download here: Vivaldi

6. Microsoft Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer is fast and efficient, but less expandable than Firefox and Chrome

Microsoft Internet Explorer has seen some ups and downs in its long tenure, from dominating the browser charts to languishing behind its main two competitors. This is partly an issue of choice - particularly the browser choice that Microsoft was forced to give customers after a court ruling - and partially because older versions fell behind the rendering and compatibility curve.

There are no such issues with Internet Explorer 11. It's clean, powerful, highly compatible, and it demands less of your RAM and CPU than equivalent pages would on Chrome or Firefox. Plus it one-ups both of them on WebKit's Sunspider benchmark.

That's not to say this browser is perfect. Google's V8 benchmark sees it struggling, and IE isn't quite as able to handle add-ons and extensions as many of its competitors. So while there's no reason to avoid IE like there might once have been, if you're looking for a more customised browsing experience you're out of luck.

Download here: Microsoft Internet Explorer

7. Tor Browser

Not just a browser – Tor offers a whole package of browsing tools with security at its heart

Tor Browser is, perhaps unjustly, most regularly associated with the seedy underworld of the dark web. While it's true that you can use this web browser to access otherwise unlisted sites, Tor's privacy aspects - where your traffic is routed through random nodes the world over, making it very hard to track - are its real asset.

Tor Browser is really a package of tools; Tor itself, a heavily modified version of the Firefox extended support release, and a number of other privacy packages that combine to make it the most secure browsing experience you're likely to find. Nothing is tracked, nothing is stored, and you can forget about bookmarks and cookies.

You'll need to alter your browsing habits to ensure that you don't perform actions online that reveal your identity - Tor Browser is just a tool, after all - but for a secondary browser useful for those private moments it's a great choice. Run it from a USB stick and nobody need even know you have it at all.

Download here: Tor Browser

Source: techradar.com

While fingerprint sensors were once hailed by many companies as the end of smartphone pins, that might not be the case.

If you thought your fingerprint was unique, think again.

There are actually many similarities across human fingerprint patterns, something researchers say could be exploited by hackers to break into your phone.

A new report suggests that hackers could potentially use partial prints to fool the fingerprint security system on mobile devices. These partial prints would theoretically be able to unlock the smartphones of those individuals whose fingerprints contain matching patterns. Researchers have dubbed this print the “master print.”

It reveals that the fingerprint-based authentication systems in smartphones use small sensors that do not capture the entire fingerprint. Instead, they scan and store partial fingerprints. Furthermore, many phones allow users to store more than one of their fingerprints on their device, and identity is confirmed when a fingerprint matches any of the stored fingerprints.

This means that fragments from multiple different fingerprints can be used to create a synthetic partial print to unlock many devices.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The green boxes show the locations of 5 MasterPrints detected in 5 different full fingerprints from an optical fingerprint data set.

The green boxes show the locations of 5 MasterPrints detected in 5 different full fingerprints from an optical fingerprint data set.

Fingerprint sensors are a form of biometric authentication, which allows people to use their own bodily traits to sign into their devices. Also included under the umbrella of biometrics are facial recognition and retina scans.

The study’s co-author, professor Nasir Memon of New York University, said in an interview that hackers could potentially take fragments from multiple different fingerprints to create a synthetic partial print that could be expected to unlock many devices.

When his team culled images of fingerprints to create a synthetic partial print, they reported matching of between 26 and 65 per cent of users.

“I was very surprised. When the idea occurred to me to explore it, the numbers were very surprising,” Memon said. He added that while running tests with his lab students, he ordered the results to be double checked because the matches were so high.

 
 
 
 
 
 
The images correspond to the top 5 partial fingerprints that were selected as MasterPrints from a fingerprint data set. Together, these 5 MasterPrints span different portions of the full fingerprint, which in turn increases the probability of falsely matching with a large number of partial fingerprints.

The images correspond to the top 5 partial fingerprints that were selected as MasterPrints from a fingerprint data set. Together, these 5 MasterPrints span different portions of the full fingerprint, which in turn increases the probability of falsely matching with a large number of partial fingerprints.

While Memon doesn’t believe fingerprint sensors should be removed from the sign-in process entirely, he warns that they may not be the most reliable method to use on their own. “I think fingerprints are very conveniently placed on phones, but they’re more of a visibility feature rather than a security keeper,” he continues.

The iPhone 5s popularized the fingerprint scanner in 2013, and it has appeared in multiple mobile devices since then. Individuals who rely on their device’s fingerprint scanners must first let their device memorize their prints.

On an iPhone, this process involves (after navigating to the Settings page and scrolling down to the Touch ID option) tapping the screen repeatedly to let the device recognize the nuances of the fingerprint. When that’s complete, the user will receive a prompt to alter the position of their finger (likely their second finger or their thumb) and repeat the process until the device has memorized that angle as well.

On Android phones, the process varies depending on the brand and manufacturer.

Due to several factors however, including limited storage on smartphones and the reduced size of the fingerprint sensor in smartphones, mobile devices are only able to capture partial images of the users’ fingerprints.

Aditi Roy, a post-doctoral researcher who co-authored the report, warns that despite the convenience of mobile fingerprint sensors, users shouldn’t rely on them for sensitive transactions.

“The fingerprint-based authentication system is very convenient from users’ point of view. However, unless it is made more secure to different types of attacks (one of which is described in our research), we should not rely on it fully. Especially, this is true in sensitive work like financial transactions. For example, when mobile banking and credit card payment are conducted on these devices,” she says.

Memon goes on to explain that there are several potential solutions to this problem, but that none have been readily integrated by smartphone vendors yet. Some of these include increasing the size of the sensor or increasing the resolution of the fingerprint itself.

Users can also take precautions by limiting the number of fingerprints they store on their devices, or changing the settings on their device to require the pin to unlock it after a certain amount of time. Memon states that the best way to protect your phone however, is to use a two-factor authentication system requiring both a pin and a fingerprint on certain occasions.

“The pin still remains a solid way to protect the phone. We kind of hear about fingerprints being unique, but that’s really just a small part of it. If you take many small parts, you can match any of them. A lot of the work in biometrics is done with the anticipation of the random attack,” Memon goes on.

The study’s co-authors agree however, that while users don’t need to abandon the fingerprint sensor entirely, they do need to be cautious about how much they rely on it. It looks like we won’t be able to say goodbye to passwords and pins just yet.

Source: globalnews.ca

Sunday, 29 January 2017 23:49

Advanced Google search tips and tricks

Google tips

Type a word into Google's search box and it searches the internet for it. Then it returns the results via the PageRank algorithm it paid patent holder Stanford University £336 million in Google shares for.

This weights results based on their perceived usefulness and puts more useful ones nearer the top. And it works pretty well, but can return a torrent of information that's hard to sift through. Type in 'cheese' or 'socks' or 'fishmonger' and you'll get results on those topics, but sometimes it pays to narrow down the search to avoid being swamped by results that, while not irrelevant, aren't precisely what you were looking for.

Happily, Google has several built-in tools to help you do this narrowing, and they're all available from the search box, with no extra add-ons required.

1. Site search

If you know the site where the article appears, narrow down the search using the 'site' command. Type site:techradar.com Windows 10 to search TechRadar for Windows 10.

Or type site:.ac.uk dinosaurs to search UK universities, or site:.mil aliens to find aliens held by the US military. Exclude a term by typing '-', so for instance site:.mil aliens -conspiracy.

2. Get definitions (and calculate)

Type define: followed by the word that's perplexing you into the search box to get a definition. You can do the same thing to get answers to arithmetic problems: tap in the digits with +, -, * and / (without spaces between them) to get a result on a calculator (which you can then use for more maths).

Searching for the answer to life the universe and everything returns 42, by the way.

3. Google Instant and autocomplete

Google Instant sends your search terms to Google while you're typing, and attempts to predict what you're going to input.

As you can imagine, we're regular visitors to techradar.com, so typing tech in the search box means it autocompletes to the site name, with the word 'technology' further down the list. You can turn this on and off in Search Settings at www.google.com/preferences.

4. Image search tricks

Google image search is a powerful tool for tracking down pictures. Input search terms, and you'll be taken to a screen of images, with the most relevant ones at the top. As you scroll down, it's not uncommon to find baffling inclusions – make sure Safesearch is turned on in Search Settings (see step 3) to ensure these don't become risque.

5. Advanced image search

If you have requirements for the image you're looking for, head to www.google.co.uk/advanced_image_search where you can filter images by size, aspect ratio, colour, type and format.

You can choose words to omit from the search, search only within pages you've visited and ensure the image is suitable for you to use in a publication or website without violating copyright.

6. Reverse image search

Reverse image search is useful for finding similar images to one you already have, for identifying the source of an image, or for finding a larger version of an image.

Click the camera icon in the Google image search box, and you can paste in the URL of an image on the internet or drag and drop one from your PC into the search box.

Click 'Search Tools' to refine the search.

7. Time/date range and more

The Search Tools button is available on any search – click it on a web search to narrow down results by time, or country (perhaps to omit American results when you're searching for Washington in Britain, say).

Drop down the time-range menu to set a custom range within which your results will fall. Choose both dates, then click the 'Go' button to perform the search.

8. Google Flights

Search for air travel flights and prices at Google Flights. If you have flights booked, and have allowed Google to include private information in results, search the flight number and departure and landing times will appear.

If you've booked through Google Flights, or had confirmation sent to a Gmail, the information will be added to your Calendar.

9. Get the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button back

A much-loved part of Google used to be the 'I'm Feeling Lucky' button that takes you to the first result for any search. It's a harder to find these days, as Google Instant constantly updates your results and many people search with the Return key rather than clicking.

To get it back, turn off Google Instant in Search Settings (see step 3) and go to the Google home page.

10. Whois

Find out who owns a website using the 'whois' operator. Type it as a search query including the web address, for example whois:techradar.com and click the top result.

Our example doesn't throw up anything unusual, but if you believe a site is indulging in abusive behaviour, however, a whois search will lead you to an email address, so you can report it to the domain's registrar.

Author: Ian Evenden
Source: http://www.techradar.com/how-to/internet/advanced-google-search-tips-and-tricks-1322689

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwired - Jan 18, 2017) - Marketers will now have a much easier time identifying influencers, thanks to Insightpool's new Universal Search. Within seconds, brands that have specific campaign targeting needs can quickly find influencers who match their program goals, by searching 600 million profiles using criteria such as interests, geographic location, and brand affinities. Cox Media Group is one of the first clients taking advantage of the new feature in Insightpool's expanding influencer marketing platform.

"Insightpool took the Rare Country Awards to the next level by connecting our readers to the industry's biggest names in country music, helping make it our most successful campaign to date, earning 80 million plus impressions and close to one million votes from fans across the country," said Scott Markle of RareCountry.com, part of the Cox Media Group. "Because of our success, we're eager to leverage the new Universal Search. With access to millions of influencers, we'll be able to identify the most relevant influencers to continue to boost our social engagement and reach new audiences."

For brand marketers, finding the right influencers for campaigns used to require a great deal of time and effort -- manually sifting through individual social network profiles, searching for specific topics, and creating Excel spreadsheets of potentially relevant campaign participants.

With Universal Search, brand marketers can search for influencers across 100 social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other niche social communities such as Yelp!, Reddit, and Weibo. Additionally, they can view key insights by influencer segment to understand follower size and reach, conversation sentiment, frequency of activity and other characteristics. Marketers not only save significant time in selecting the right influencer, but also gain more detailed information about the influencers most likely to actively engage in their strategic campaigns. This leads to higher performance and conversions.

"This is the largest influencer database on the planet," said Insightpool CEO Devon Wijesinghe. "Other influencer platforms offer fewer than 100,000 at most. The real benefit with Universal Search lies in its pure simplicity -- using a familiar search bar to find the most relevant influencers. It used to take days to identify the right people for a campaign. Now it takes seconds."

This story appeared first in Adweek.

Author: Marketwired
Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/insightpool-launches-worlds-largest-influencer-182743874.html

You know that good communication skills are essential to rise to the top in business. Communications skills can endear you among your peers, raise your value among your superiors, and cause you to be admired among those subordinate to you. So, how can you develop them to meet your true potential? Here are some helpful tips for improving your business communication skills.

1. Practice Your Listening Skills (and Your Paying Attention Skills Too)

Business communicationListening requires a bit more than not talking while someone talks.

When others are speaking, are you really listening? We often confuse ‘listening’ with ‘being quiet’ but just because you aren’t talking while others are talking doesn’t mean you’re really listening. Learn to turn off your own internal dialogue and truly tune into what others are saying. It often helps to repeat what you’ve heard so that you know you’re paying attention and they know it too.

2. Collaborate, Don’t Dictate

Lectures, monologues, and ramblings don’t belong in business communications. If you find you’re speaking more than a few moments (except when giving a presentation or leading a demonstration), stop. Simplify what you’re trying to say as much as possible. Allow others to offer their input on the issue. Communication is about give and take, not dictating how things are going to be or how you think they should be.Vmoso Mobile Collaboration ad

3. Pay Attention to How You Spend Your Leisure Time

You probably didn’t expect this to be on the list. What do the TV shows you watch, the things you read, and your hobbies have to do with business communications? Well, the answer is twofold. First, they have the potential to expose you to new perspectives and important current events that help you grow your business intelligence. Odds are people who watch an hour of reality television daily aren’t going to be as capable of carrying a business-oriented conversation as well as those who spend their free time reading business journals and networking with successful mentors. Second, you will glean tremendously useful ideas and insights from more intellectual pursuits than from watching or reading less helpful material during your off time.

4. Invest in the Right Communication and Collaboration Tools

If you’re depending on email and social media for your communications, you’re probably receiving a lot of useless and redundant information and perhaps missing out on the most important conversations. A collaborative tool like Vmoso is the ideal way to streamline communications, collaborate on important projects, and build meaningful business relationships.

5. Don’t Wait Too Long to Bring Up Sensitive Issues

Allowing a situation to build and fester is a recipe for a breakdown in communications. It’s much easier, effective, and more professional to address an issue as soon as it pops up, while it’s still in its infancy, than to wait until it grows into a big, ugly, angry monster. Most of the time, a quick, direct discussion can resolve any interpersonal or professional issues without negatively affecting the relationship.

6. Learn to Have and Use a Good People Memory

Business communicationDedicating time and energy toward remembering important bits and pieces of your coworkers’ lives can pay off big time.

Is Sheila a morning person, or is it better to approach her with a problem later in the afternoon? Does Samuel prefer a bagel when you swing by to pick up breakfast, or is he more of a sausage biscuit kind of guy? Is it Tuesdays or Thursdays that Becky has to leave as soon as possible to get her child to his orthodontist appointment? Do these little details seem meaningless to you? People are important. When you can remember details about their personal lives, it shows that you care for them beyond their work. This fosters a deeper, more meaningful relationship that will spill easily into a better, more rewarding business relationship.

As you can see, becoming a better communicator sounds a lot like becoming a better person. Any personal improvements you make in your own life flow readily and steadily into your work life. Now, take your skills to the next level with an audit of your communications tools in 10 Ways Your Current Communication Tools Are Wasting Your Time.

Author: BroadVision Admin
Source: http://www.broadvision.com/en/blog/6-tips-for-improving-your-business-communication-skills

In the X-Men comic books, Wolverine’s mutant power is an accelerated healing process, allowing him to regenerate damaged tissues within seconds.

Now, a new material could see Wolverine’s self-healing talents replicated in real-life.

Researchers including several from the University of California, Riverside, have developed a new self-healing substance that regenerates itself opening up the possibility of creating robots that repair themselves.

The findings, which were published in the journal Advanced Material, represent the first time researchers have created an ionic conductor, meaning materials that ions can flow through, that is transparent, mechanically stretchable, and self-healing.

The material has potential applications in a wide range of fields. It could give robots the ability to self-heal after mechanical failure; extend the lifetime of lithium ion batteries used in electronics and electric cars; and improve biosensors used in the medical field and environmental monitoring.

“Creating a material with all these properties has been a puzzle for years,” said Chao Wang, an adjunct assistant professor of chemistry who is one of the authors of the paper. “We did that and now are just beginning to explore the applications.”

This project brings together the research areas of self-healing materials and ionic conductors.

Inspired by wound healing in nature, self-healing materials repair damage caused by wear and extend the lifetime, and lower the cost, of materials and devices. Wang developed an interest in self-healing materials because of his lifelong love of Wolverine, the comic book character who has the ability to self-heal.

Ionic conductors are a class of materials with key roles in energy storage, solar energy conversion, sensors, and electronic devices.

Another author of the paper, Christoph Keplinger, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, previously demonstrated that stretchable, transparent, ionic conductors can be used to power artificial muscles and to create transparent loudspeakers – devices that feature several of the key properties of the new material (transparency, high stretchability and ionic conductivity) – but none of these devices additionally had the ability to self-heal from mechanical damage.

The key difficulty is the identification of bonds that are stable and reversible under electrochemical conditions. Conventionally, self-healing polymers make use of non-covalent bonds, which creates a problem because those bonds are affected by electrochemical reactions that degrade the performance of the materials.

Wang helped solve that problem by using a mechanism called ion-dipole interactions, which are forces between charged ions and polar molecules that are highly stabile under electrochemical conditions. He combined a polar, stretchable polymer with a mobile, high-ionic-strength salt to create the material with the properties the researchers were seeking.

The low-cost, easy to produce soft rubber-like material can stretch 50 times its original length. After being cut, it can completely re-attach, or heal, in 24 hours at room temperature. In fact, after only five minutes of healing the material can be stretched two times its original length.

Timothy Morrissey and Eric Acome, two graduate students working with Keplinger, demonstrated that the material could be used to power a so-called artificial muscle, also called dielectric elastomer actuator. Artificial muscle is a generic term used for materials or devices that can reversibly contract, expand, or rotate due to an external stimulus such as voltage, current, pressure or temperature.

The dielectric elastomer actuator is actually three individual pieces of polymer that are stacked together. The top and bottom layers are the new material developed at UC Riverside, which is able to conduct electricity and is self-healable, and the middle layer is a transparent, non-conductive rubber-like membrane.

The researchers used electrical signals to get the artificial muscle to move. So, just like how a human muscle (such as a bicep) moves when the brain sends a signal to the arm, the artificial muscle also reacts when it receives a signal. Most importantly, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the ability of the new material to self-heal can be used to mimic a preeminent survival feature of nature: wound-healing. After parts of the artificial muscle were cut into two separate pieces, the material healed without relying on external stimuli, and the artificial muscle returned to the same level of performance as before being cut.

Source:  http://canadajournal.net/science/researchers-create-wolverine-inspired-self-healing-material-54301-2017

Today, if you lose your arm in an accident or on the battlefield, there's no way to get it back. You join the two million other amputees in America who have to rely on ineffective prosthetics or else just make do without. But geneticist Michael Levin at Tufts University is hopeful that his work will someday allow us to grow back our lost limbs.

Levin, who is the subject of a recent Popular Science feature, manipulates the way electricity flows through cells to create six-legged frogs and other Frankensteinian creations. Such as this two-headed worm:

The video above was posted by Adam Piore, author of Popular Science's feature about Levin as well as an upcoming book on bioengineering.

For now, Levin's research is mostly limited to experiments in simple, "cold-blooded" creatures like these flatworms. If all goes well, he could move on to humans in a few years or decades. Here's what that might look like.

Author: Sarah Fecht
Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/technology/these-two-headed-worms-could-help-scientists-regrow-lost-limbs/ar-BBxEwy5

 

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