What happens if a bad actor turns off your heat in the middle of winter, then demands $1,000 to turn it back on? Or even holds a small city’s power for ransom? Those kinds of attacks to personal, corporate, and infrastructure technology were among the top concerns for security experts from the SANS Institute, who spoke Wednesday during the RSA conference in San Francisco.

Some of these threats target consumers directly, but even the ones that target corporations could eventually “filter down” to consumers, though the effects might not be felt for some time.

The seven deadly attacks

Here are the seven most dangerous attack vectors, according to SANS, and what, if anything, you can do about them:

1. Ransomware: Ransomware surfaced more than 20 years ago, but it has since evolved into a seriously scary form of malware: crypto-ransomware, which encrypts your files and demands payment to unlock them. It’s an ideal way for bad guys to attack: Ransomware spreads like a virus, locks up your data independently, and forces you to contact the criminals for payment and recovery, according to Ed Skoudis, an instructor at the SANS Institute.

What you can do: Practice “network hygiene:” patching your system, using antimalware, and setting permissions and network-access controls to limit exposure—once a PC is infected, you don’t want the infection spreading to other PCs on the network. Remember that ransomware is being monitored by actual people, with whom you can negotiate: “Your best bet is to appear small and poor,” Skoudis said, to try to reduce the amount you’ll pay.

2. The Internet of Things. The next stage of the evolution in consumer products is connectedness: Everything from baby cameras to toothbrushes are using wireless protocols to connect to each other and the internet. That, in turn, has left them vulnerable to hacks. Worse still, IoT devices are now attack platforms, as the Mirai worm demonstrated.

What you can do: Change the default passwords. If your smart-home gadget doesn’t allow it, either return it or wait (or petition the manufacturer) for firmware that allows a custom password. You can also take further steps to insulate connected devices by disabling remote access, using a separate dedicated home LAN for IoT devices, as well as a dedicated cloud account for controlling them, Skoudis said.

3. The intersection of ransomware and IoT. Last year, an Austrian hotel was hacked, disrupting its keycard system. Such attacks could eventually migrate to your home, holding your smart thermostat hostage (and set at 40 degrees, say) until you pay up.

What you can do: Right now, this sort of attack is more theoretical than anything else. But it’s something to think about as you start building out your home: How much automation is too much? “You have to ask yourself, what is the right balance between man and machine?” said Michael Assante, director of industrials and infrastructure for SANS.

A summary of the 2015 attack on then Ukraine power stations, as provided by the SANS Institute.

4. Attacks against the industrial Internet of Things. In 2015 and again in 2016, unknown hackers took down power stations in the Ukraine, leveraging the growing trend of automated, distributed systems against the power company. Fortunately, first responders were quickly able to manually flip the breakers and restore power. But there’s no guarantee that will always be the case—and what happens if Pacific Gas & Electric or Con Edison’s infrastructure is hacked?

What you can do: As consumers, not much. Infrastructure organizations are going to have to decide whether to operate with intelligent systems, or shut them down. Scaling up with increased automation can help lower your power costs—but the penalty may be increased vulnerability to outside attacks, Assante warned.

A summary of the 2015 attack on Ukraine power stations, as provided by the SANS Institute.

5. Weak random number generators. Truly random numbers are the basis of good encryption, securing Wi-Fi and a broad range of security algorithms, according to Johannes Ulrich, the director of the SANS Internet Storm Center. But  “random” number generators aren’t truly random, which makes the encryption they’re based upon easier to crack. This gives an edge to criminals, who may exploit this and unlock “secure” encrypted connections.

What you can do: This is a problem for device manufacturers to solve. Just keep in mind that your “secure” network may in fact be weaker than you think.

6. An over-reliance on web services. More and more, apps and software are talking to and incorporating third-party services, such as Docker or Azure. But there’s no real certainty that those apps are connecting to the expected entity, or whether an attacker is stepping in, stealing data, and returning false information.

What you can do: Again, this is a problem for developers. But Ulrich warned that mobile apps are becoming increasingly vulnerable—so even if an app isn’t trying to steal your data, the “service” that it thinks it’s connecting to may be.

7. SoQL Attacks against NoSQL databases. This is another developer problem, but it could affect data collected about you. For years, SQL injections, where executable code was forced inside of a SQL database entry field, were one of the scourges of the internet. Now, as developers move away from SQL to NoSQL databases like MongoDB, they’re finding that those databases aren’t as secure as they should be. 

Author : Mark Hachman

Source : http://www.pcworld.com/article/3170201/security/what-happens-if-your-thermostat-is-hacked-researchers-name-the-top-7-security-threats.html

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Amazon (AMZN) has been awarded a patent for a giant flying warehouse that acts as a launchpad for drones to deliver items within minutes.

The U.S. e-commerce giant described plans for an "airborne fulfillment center" (AFC) such as an airship or blimp that would float at an altitude of around 45,000. The airship will be stocked with lots of products.

When a customer places an order, a drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will fly down and deliver the package. Amazon insists that this would require little power because the drone would be gliding down rather than having to take off and land.

"When the UAV departs the AFC, it may descend from the high altitude of the AFC using little or no power other than to guide the UAV towards its delivery destination and/or to stabilize the UAV as it descends," the patent filing explains.

Amazon's filing reveals several uses for the warehouse blimp. One example is at a football match where customers may want certain items such as food or merchandise. Ahead of the game, the AFC could stock up on items and deploy these during the game with drones when they are ordered. The airship could also be used as a giant advertising board, allowing customers to order the items on display. All of these can be ordered "within minutes".

The drones would be able to communicate with each other via a mesh network to give information such as weather and route. UAVs could also recharge on the airship.

Amazon's filing explains that the blimp would remain in the air and be refueled and replenished using a shuttle. This could be a smaller aircraft capable of docking onto the AFC and unloading products as well as fuel.

If this plan saw the light of day, Amazon would likely need regulatory approval from aviation authorities which could be complex.

The patent filing was awarded in April this year but only circulated this week. It's not the first patent that Amazon has been awarded regarding drone deliver. In July, a patent showed how Amazon was thinking about tall buildings and structures such as lampposts or churches as docking stations for drones to recharge. Another patent described how drones would "talk" to each other to plan routes and communicate.

Amazon successfully trialed its first delivery by drone in the U.K. earlier this month and is pushing ahead with plans to make this widely available. The U.S. firm files and is awarded many patents but it does not necessarily mean the ideas will become reality.

Author: Arjun Kharpal
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/fbc8db06-eaed-3392-8fcf-9435a9e12d49/amazon-wins-patent-for-a.html

Categorized in Science & Tech
Just Eat has delivered its first take away with a delivery robot to a customer in Greenwich, launching a pilot project that will involve transporting food in the city using autonomous vehicles. 
 
Following extensive testing, Europe's biggest online delivery food company Just Eat has become the first in the world to successfully transport a takeaway with a robot. 
 
The maiden delivery comes months after the company said it would be testing the robots in the area. Just Eat announced the partnership with Starship Technologies, makers of slow moving pavement droids, back in July and said it would start robotic deliveries later that month. 
Starship's robots are autonomous and unlock with a code sent to the customers' phone
 
 
Starship's robots are autonomous and unlock with a code sent to the customers' phone CREDIT: JUST EAT

Just Eat has plans to expand the use of robotic delivery drivers in the capital in a move that could long term see the number of human drivers employed by restaurants cut back. The robot, which has been tested in more than 40 cities across Europe, costs around £1 per delivery compared with the £3 to £6 it costs for a human courier.
 
"We are delighted to add robot home delivery to the Just Eat service," said Graham Corfield, UK managing director of Just Eat. "Now that we are live in Greenwich, we're working towards a larger rollout of the pilot programme across London in the New Year."
 
The futuristic courier, created by two former co-founders of Skype who launched Starship Technologies in 2014, is a six-wheeled automated trolley that travels at speeds of up to 4mph.
 
It can carry up to 10 kilograms or three shopping bags and has a range of 10 miles, meaning it can transport food within a two to three mile radius, which takes 15 to 30 minutes. The robot can direct itself and avoid obstacles using a GPS signal and nine cameras, but it is also monitored remotely at all times.
 
Customers cannot choose to have the Starship robot deliver food, but will be alerted in the app if one is on its way to them. When the robot arrives, the customer receives a notification with a code that unlocks the pavement robot. 

Author:  Cara McGoogan

Source:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/

Categorized in Science & Tech

With over 1 million apps in the Apple App Store, finding useful, must-have iPhone apps can be a difficult process.

The following is a list that showcases 21 of the best, must-have iPhone apps that you may not be familiar with, and includes iPhone applications for news, weather, productivity, games, photography, and finance.

If your favorite iPhone app isn’t on the list, tell us in the comments below!

News/Weather

#1: Umano

Too busy to read? With Umano, you can listen to articles from the world’s best publishers and bloggers narrated by professional voice-actors. Whether commuting, working out at the gym, or cooking at home, let Umano accompany you and enrich your day.

umano

#2: Prismatic

Prismatic is the home for all your interests. You select your interests and topics and Prismatic will curate and find stories based on the popularity of the post. You can comment on stories, talk with friends, and share the articles via Twitter and Facebook.

prismatic

#3: Feedly

Without Google Reader, Feedly has taken over as the de facto king of RSS news readers. You can import your Google RSS feeds into Feedly and easily share content on Twitter, Facebook and Google+, either directly or using Buffer. The app also integrates with Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote.

feedly

#4: theCHIVE

theCHIVE is the world’s largest photo blog showcasing original galleries of funny photos & videos, epic fails, beautiful girls, groundbreaking photography, and art from all over the world.

theCHIVE

#5: Effing Weather

Tired of the same old weather app? Well, download the Effing Weather app and get over 100+ funny phrases that tell you the current weather such as:

– Are you Effing kidding me?
– Why don’t you tell your friends on Facebook how Effing hot it is
– For today’s Effing forecast, look outside

Productivity

#6: TalkTo

With TalkTo, you can text message with millions of local business in the US and Canada. You can see answers to other shoppers’ questions, and can ask your own.

talkto

#7: Glympse

Don’t text and drive. Glympse is the easiest way to safely share your location with someone in real time. Recipients receive a link allowing them to view your location in real-time.

glympse

#8: Sunrise Calendar

Sunrise Calendar is by far my favorite calendar app. Some of my favorite features include the ability to see faces and profiles of people you are meeting with using LinkedIn, the weather forecast based on your location, and smart icons based on the topic of your meeting.

sunrise

#9: Clarity

Are you struggling with a certain part of your business? Clarity makes it easy for you to find, schedule and pay for expert advice over the phone to grow your business. Experts are categorized based on their specialties and you can see reviews for each expert before booking a call.

Games

#10: Fun Run

I don’t play too many games on the iPhone, but Fun Run is one that both my 5-year-old son and I enjoy. Fun Run is an online, real-time multi-player game where you can play with up to four players simultaneously. Play with your friends or get matched with random players from around the world!

fun_run

#11: Your Extra Life

YourExtraLife is a real-life game. You can progress by completing challenges in cooking, nightlife, romance, culture, altruism.

The app comes with pre-crafted challenges. To complete a challenge, you must submit a picture to prove it and judges within the community verify that your picture does match with the challenge.

yourextralife

#12: Revel

Revel is a real-time, multiplayer, photo scavenger game. It combines game elements of bingo and a scavenger hunt where you hunt for and photograph people, scenarios and objects. Once you get 5 in a row – you win!

revel

#13: Lumosity

Designed by neuroscientists, Lumosity trains your memory and attention. Used by over 50 million people worldwide, Lumosity creates a Personalized Training Program that challenges your brain.

lumosity

#14: Find a Way, José

Find a Way, José is a great puzzle game where you attempt to move blocks in an effort to get the main character, José, to his bottle of tequila.

find_a_way_jose

Photos

#15: Cut Me In

Cut Me In is an easy to use app that allows you to crop yourself out of your original photo and superimpose yourself on a funny or unique background.

cut_me_in

#16: Momentage

With Momentage, you can craft and experience moments through combining photos, videos and SoundImages into a single post to create a vivid storytelling moment on your iPhone. Share your moments with the world or with just your friends.

momentage

#17: Frontback

Frontback takes a unique spin on the photo taking experience. Take a photo with the front camera, another with the back camera, and share them both in a single image.

frontback

#18: POP – Prototyping on Paper

Do you have an idea for an iPhone app? POP is one of the easiest way to quickly make a prototype. Draw your idea on paper, take a picture of your drawings, and finally link each screen in POP. You will have a working prototype within minutes.

pop

#19: 4 Snaps

Created by 16 year old teen, Michael Sayman, 4 Snaps is a social picture snapping and guessing game where you pick a word and take four pictures that best represent your chosen word. Then it’s your friend’s turn to guess the word based on your pictures.

4snaps

Finance

#20: Toshl

Toshl is a simple to use personal finance manager. It easily tracks income and expenses, organizes your bills, and allows you to manage your budget. New York Times says “of all the apps for monitoring spending, one of the hardest to beat is Toshl Finance.”

toshl

#21: Level Money

While a lot of finance apps show you a myriad of information (mostly meaningless), Level Money shows you exactly how much money you have left to spend given your budget. All you have to do is connect your bank account

Author:  Steve Young

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

Categorized in Science & Tech

Gartner, Inc.

Increasingly, the world is becoming an intelligent, digitally enabled mesh of people, things and services. Technology will be embedded in everything in the digital business of the future, and ordinary people will experience a digitally-enabled world where the lines between what is real and what is digital blur.

Rich digital services will be delivered to everything, and intelligence will be embedded in everything behind the scenes. We call this mesh of people, devices, content and services the intelligent digital mesh, and this forms the basis for our Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2017.

Gartners Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends For 2017

Intelligent

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have reached a critical tipping point and will increasingly augment and extend virtually every technology enabled service, thing or application. Creating intelligent systems that learn, adapt and potentially act autonomously rather than simply execute predefined instructions is primarily battleground for technology vendors through at least 2020.

Trend No. 1: AI & Advanced Machine Learning

AI and machine learning, which include technologies such as deep learningneural networks and natural-language processing, can also encompass more advanced systems that understand, learn, predict, adapt and potentially operate autonomously. Systems can learn and change future behavior, leading to the creation of more intelligent devices and programs.  The combination of extensive parallel processing power, advanced algorithms and massive data sets to feed the algorithms has unleased this new era.

In banking, you could use AI and machine-learning techniques to model current real-time transactions, as well as predictive models of transactions based on their likelihood of being fraudulent. Organizations seeking to drive digital innovation with this trend should evaluate a number of business scenarios in which AI and machine learning could drive clear and specific business value and consider experimenting with one or two high-impact scenarios.

Trend No. 2: Intelligent Apps

Intelligent apps, which include technologies like virtual personal assistants (VPAs), have the potential to transform the workplace by making everyday tasks easier (prioritizing emails) and its users more effective (highlighting important content and interactions). However, intelligent apps are not limited to new digital assistants – every existing software category from security tooling to enterprise applications such as marketing or enterprise resource planning (ERP) will be infused with AI enabled capabilities. Using AI, technology providers will focus on three areas — advanced analytics, AI-powered and increasingly autonomous business processes and AI-powered immersive, conversational and continuous interfaces. By 2018, Gartner expects most of the world’s largest 200 companies to exploit intelligent apps and utilize the full toolkit of big data and analytics tools to refine their offers and improve customer experience.

Trend No. 3: Intelligent Things

New intelligent things generally fall into three categories: robots, drones and autonomous vehicles. Each of these areas will evolve to impact a larger segment of the market and support a new phase of digital business but these represent only one facet of intelligent things. Existing things including Internet of Things (IoT) devices will become intelligent things delivering the power of AI enabled systems everywhere including the home, office, factory floor, and medical facility.

As intelligent things evolve and become more popular, they will shift from a stand-alone to a collaborative model in which intelligent things communicate with one another and act in concert to accomplish tasks. However, nontechnical issues such as liability and privacy, along with the complexity of creating highly specialized assistants, will slow embedded intelligence in some scenarios.

Digital

The lines between the digital and physical world continue to blur creating new opportunities for digital businesses. Look for the digital world to be an increasingly detailed reflection of the physical world and the digital world to appear as part of the physical world creating fertile ground for new business models and digitally enabled ecosystems.

Trend No. 4: Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) transform the way individuals interact with each other and with software systems creating an immersive environment. For example, VR can be used for training scenarios and remote experiences. AR, which enables a blending of the real and virtual worlds, means businesses can overlay graphics onto real-world objects, such as hidden wires on the image of a wall. Immersive experiences with AR and VR are reaching tipping points in terms of price and capability but will not replace other interface models. Over time AR and VR expand beyond visual immersion to include all human senses. Enterprises should look for targeted applications of VR and AR through 2020.

Trend No. 5: Digital Twin

Within three to five years, billions of things will be represented by digital twins, a dynamic software model of a physical thing or system. Using physics data on how the components of a thing operate and respond to the environment, as well as data provided by sensors in the physical world, a digital twin can be used to analyze and simulate real world conditions, responds to changes, improve operations and add value.

Author:  David Cearley

Source:  http://www.forbes.com

Categorized in Future Trends

Personally, I’m amazed at the technology we have available to us. It’s astounding to have the power to retrieve almost any information and communicate in a thousand different ways using a device that fits in your pocket.

There’s always something new on the horizon, and we can’t help but wait and wonder what technological marvels are coming next.

The way I see it, there are seven major tech trends we’re in store for in 2017. If you’re eyeing a sector in which to start a business, any of these is a pretty good bet. If you’re already an entrepreneur, think about how you can leverage these technologies to reach your target audience in new ways.

1. IoT and Smart Home Tech.

We’ve been hearing about the forthcoming revolution of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) and resulting interconnectedness of smart home technology for years. So what’s the holdup? Why aren’t we all living in smart, connected homes by now? Part of the problem is too much competition, with not enough collaboration—there are tons of individual appliances and apps on the market, but few solutions to tie everything together into a single, seamless user experience. Now that bigger companies already well-versed in uniform user experiences (like Google, Amazon, and Apple) are getting involved, I expect we’ll see some major advancements on this front in the coming year.

2. AR and VR.

We’ve already seen some major steps forward for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) technology in 2016. Oculus Rift was released, to positive reception, and thousands of VR apps and games followed. We also saw Pokémon Go, an AR game, explode with over 100 million downloads. The market is ready for AR and VR, and we’ve already got some early-stage devices and tech for these applications, but it’s going to be next year before we see things really take off. Once they do, you’ll need to be ready for AR and VR versions of practically everything—and ample marketing opportunities to follow.

3. Machine Learning.

Machine learning has taken some massive strides forward in the past few years, even emerging to assist and enhance Google’s core search engine algorithm. But again, we’ve only seen it in a limited range of applications. Throughout 2017, I expect to see machine learning updates emerge across the board, entering almost any type of consumer application you can think of, from offering better recommended products based on prior purchase history to gradually improving the user experience of an analytics app. It won’t be long before machine learning becomes a kind of “new normal,” with people expecting this type of artificial intelligence as a component of every form of technology.

4. Automation.

Marketers will be (mostly) pleased to learn that automation will become a bigger mainstay in and throughout 2017, with advanced technology enabling the automation of previously human-exclusive tasks. We’ve had robotic journalists in circulation for a couple of years now, and I expect it won’t be long before they make another leap into more practical types of articles. It’s likely that we’ll start seeing productivity skyrocket in a number of white-collar type jobs—and we’ll start seeing some jobs disappear altogether. When automation is combined with machine learning, everything can improve even faster, so 2017 has the potential to be a truly landmark year.

5. Humanized Big Data. (visual, empathetic, qualitative)

Big data has been a big topic for the past five years or so, when it started making headlines as a buzzword. The idea is that mass quantities of gathered data—which we now have access to—can help us in everything from planning better medical treatments to executing better marketing campaigns. But big data’s greatest strength—its quantitative, numerical foundation—is also a weakness. In 2017, I expect we’ll see advancements to humanize big data, seeking more empathetic and qualitative bits of data and projecting it in a more visualized, accessible way.

6. Physical-Digital Integrations.

Mobile devices have been slowly adding technology into our daily lives. It’s rare to see anyone without a smartphone at any given time, giving us access to practically infinite information in the real-world. We already have things like site-to-store purchasing, enabling online customers to buy and pick up products in a physical retail location, but the next level will be even further integrations between physical and digital realities. Online brands like Amazon will start having more physical products, like Dash Buttons, and physical brands like Walmart will start having more digital features, like store maps and product trials.

7. Everything On-Demand.

Thanks to brands like Uber (and the resulting madness of startups built on the premise of being the “Uber of ____”), people are getting used to having everything on demand via phone apps. In 2017, I expect this to see this develop even further. We have thousands of apps available to us to get rides, food deliveries, and even a place to stay for the night, but soon we’ll see this evolve into even stranger territory.

Anyone in the tech industry knows that making predictions about the course of technology’s future, even a year out, is an exercise in futility. Surprises can come from a number of different directions, and announced developments rarely release as they’re intended.

Still, it pays to forecast what’s coming next so you can prepare your marketing strategies (or your budget) accordingly. Whatever the case may be, it’s still fun to think about everything that’s coming next.

Author:  Jayson DeMers

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/

Categorized in Future Trends
1. The term “surfing” the internet was coined in 1992 by an upstate New York librarian Jean Armour Polly, aka “Net Mom.”
2. The most played song on Spotify is “Wake Me Up” by Avicii.
3. The first tweet was sent on March 21, 2006 by Jack Dorsey:
 

4. Mark Zuckerberg’s original Facebook profile number ID is 4.
5. The first YouTube video was uploaded April 23, 2005. It’s called “Me at the zoo,” and features Jawed Karim, one of the founders, at the San Diego Zoo.
6. A single Google query uses 1,000 computers in 0.2 seconds to retrieve an answer.
7. The original Space Jam website is still live.
8. So is the You’ve Got Mail site.
9. 16% to 20% of the searches Geoogle gets each day have never been Googled before.
10. Chinese social network Sina Weibo has 280.8 million users.
11. Twitter has 250 million users.
12. 500 milion tweets are sent ever day.
13. Tila Tequila had 1.5 million friends on Myspace.
14. The inventor of the modern world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
15. Mr. Berners-Lee uploaded the first image to the internet. It is of a joke band of women from the nuclear research lab CERN.
16. The first website is still online.
17. The most commonly searched question beginning with “What is” in 2013 was “What is twerking?
18. The most expensive keyword for Google AdWords is “insurance.”
19. The GIF format was invented by Steve Wilke, an engineer at Compuserve in 1987.
20. Mr. Wilhite maintains the correct pronunciation of the term is “jiff.”
21. He is clearly wrong.
25. Today, the Internet is 8,354 days old. Check HowOldIsTheInter.net to keep up to date.
26. “Gangnam Style” by Psy is still the most viewed YouTube video of all time. It’s been viewed over two billion times.
27. The first email was sent in 1971 by Ray Tomlinson to himself. He doesn’t remember what it said.
28. The first spam email was sent in 1978 over ARPNET by a guy named Gary Thuerk. He was selling computers.
29. The first registered domain was symbolics.com.
30. The world record for the fastest time to log into a Gmail account is 1.16 seconds.
31. The world record for fastest texter is held by a Brazilian teenager.
32. This is what Google looked like in 2004:
33. 2.58 million people still pay for AOL.
34. It cost AOL over $300 million to mail all those CD-Roms back in the day.
35. At one point, AOL accounted for about 50% of all CD-Rom discs being made.
36. It took only 5 years for the internet to reach a market audience of 50 million users.
37. This is what Facebook looked like in 2004:
38. There were over 7 million Geocities sites before it was shut down in 2009.
39. Angelfire is still up.40. Mark Zuckerberg had a pretty sweet Angelfire page.
41. One million babies have been born from people who met on Match.com.
42. Online daters spend an average of $2
43. per year on online dating.
44. 33% of female online daters have had sex on the first online date.
45. 10% of sex offenders use online dating.
46. The Amazon logo is indicating you can get everything from A to Z (look at the arrow):
47. Before the world wide web (the modern internet invented in 1989, people traded ASCII porn on the internet during the ’70s and ’80s.
48. We now spend more time browsing the web on mobile devices than desktop computers.
 
49. There is a subreddit devoted to chicken nuggets that look like other things.
50. This is the NeXT computer that Tim Berners-Lee used to create the World Wide Web:
Source:  buzzfeed.com
Categorized in Science & Tech

OS X El Capitan (version 10.11) is the twelfth release of OS X, of Apple Inc.‘s server and desktop operating system for Mac computers. It was released on September 30, 2015, for end users as a free upgrade through the Mac App Store. With the release of this version the major focus was put on Apple performance and user experience.

 

This edition has been introduced with some hidden features that users would surely want to explore in order to retrieve 100% out of it. Some of these remarkable features are:

 

1. Spotlight Search is Smarter

 

El Capitan helps to find stuff quicker with refinement in spotlight search. Let’s assume you want to invoke information regarding sports information, video search and stock quotes, all the results will come up with more or less details in the Spotlight box. And the size of the search box is not fixed anymore; you can drag it to the height you want.

 

 

You can invoke Spotlight search by clicking the magnifying glass in the right top corner of the menu bar. You can move the box of search results anywhere you want. Type in the search string and if the result set does not fit in the box then you can drag it down by placing the cursor on the bottom edge.

 

 2. Searching in common language

 

There is a chance that you have worked on a document last week but you forgot what you have named it. Never mind. Open the Documents and search document, assuming we have ordered the documents by date. Or type into the Spotlight search something like “Documents that I have worked on last week”, then results will appear in box. You can also speak the command, by pressing the Function button twice.

 

 

3. Simultaneous display of windows on the screen

 

We can open two programs at the same time parallely in the full-screen view to easily locate the track of live windows. Each running program is assigned half of the display, but you can adjust the relative portion of the windows.

 

We can minimize the running window by holding the green full-screen button, one of the three provided buttons (red, amber and green) which are on the top left hand side of each window. After holding, its shape will change showing that it’s ready to be snapped. Then drag it to top of the screen. Click on the other program and it will automatically fit into the other half of the screen. Thus both are accessible and live.

 

 

4. Wiggle to enlarge the cursor

 

Sometimes we can’t find the cursor; El Capitan provides the answer to this problem. Wiggle the mouse to find the cursor. Once the mouse is wiggled, it enlarges the cursor massively so you can find it. It remains large as long as you wiggle and returns to the normal size once you stop which saves time.

 

5. Mail Enhancement

 

Mails have a number of enhancements when used in full-screen mode. While composing a message in full screen, one can swap over to another conversation or click on their inbox which makes copying a text from another email or adding attachments from one message to another message by dragging them easier.

 

 

If a mail comes containing a phone number or an invitation to an event, there is a toolbar at the top of each message which can be used to add content to apps like Calendar and Contacts. A right swipe will mark mails as read or unread and a left swipe lets you delete messages.

 

6. Photos Enhancement

 

El Capitan comes with the addition of third-party editing tools within the Photos app. All the Photo editing apps in the Mac App Store will be sharing their tools with Photos, so it’s possible to edit images with these apps without actually leaving the Photos app. Thus in the Photos app when you tap on the “More” button, it will show up all third-party apps that it is supporting.

 

 

7. Safari

 

As a part of Safari’s improvement, there is now a Pinned Sites feature that shows frequently visited websites on the left side of the tab bar. So when a website is pinned, it keeps on updating in the background, thus when you are viewing it again it will always have recent info. Such a feature is good for sites like Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter, which you use often.

 

8. Maps

 

The Maps app has a new Transit view feature, which displays subway, walking, bus, train, and ferry routes, for planning a trip that involves mass transit routing in advance. Before, getting transit directions required using a third-party mapping service.

 

 

9. Disk Utility

 

The useful and widely used disk utility in EI Capitan has been overhauled and now looks prettier than ever. You’ll find multiple options and new additions in disk utility, like a repair permission feature.

 

Enter the password when asked. The disk will be checked and any error which persists will be reported and will be fixed if possible. Disk utility is indeed helpful to fix disk related errors. If the problems cannot be fixed using disk utility or if it’s crashing, it’s time to use a reliable third party tool like Mac Data Recovery Guru and move all your important data first. Mac Data Recovery Guru is especially helpful when a disk is about to fail or stopped responding and you don’t want to lose all your crucial files and folders..

 

 

10. Hiding Menu Bar

 

You can hide the Menu Bar that runs across the top of the screen as well as the bottom. Go to System Preferences, choose General in the options, and then select the box marked automatically hide. This means that you can opt for a screen that’s completely clean.

 

Undoubtedly, these features make the latest El Capitan more powerful and of course a must try version of the OS X. Once you start exploring these hidden treasures of the Mac OS X 10.11, you will definitely start admiring it.

 

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Science & Tech

Google has announced exactly when you’ll be able to get your hands on Daydream View, the new headset it created for Daydream-ready Android phones, including the Pixel and Pixel XL. The View headset will arrive in the Google Store online, and at retailers in the US, Canada, the UK, Germany and Australia on November 10 for $79 US.

Pricing in the other countries varies, but is mostly in line with current exchange rates; retail partners also vary country-to-country, but include Verizon and Best Buy in the US, as well as Best Buy and Carphone Warehouse in Canada and the UK, respectively, along with select carriers.

If you’re not already familiar, Daydream View is a headset created by Google to work with its new Daydream VR platform, which is built into Android Nougat. The View was designed by Google to be easy to set up, convenient to use and comfortable to wear, and is aimed at helping make sure even VR first-timers can jump in and get the most out of the experience.

View ships with a Daydream View controller, which is a simple motion-enabled remote you can use to navigate VR experiences in Daydream. It also includes wrist strap for making sure you don’t lose track of said remote while you’re using VR.

Daydream View works completely wirelessly, automatically detecting when you slide a Pixel or Pixel XL in and switching the device to VR mode. I got the chance to use View briefly at Google’s launch event for the Pixel, and it’s comparable to using something like Samsung Gear VR, and provides a great VR starter experience for those who own a Daydream-compatible smartphone (it’s a very short list right now).

Daydream VR is launching with a number of apps ready to go from the Play Store, including Hulu VR, Google Play Movies (in a virtual theater environment) the Guardian VR and Gunjack 2. We’ll have more in-depth impressions of Daydream in our upcoming review, but if you’re excited about it now, I can safely say that it’s a good way for Pixel owners to dip your toes into VR without much cost.

Source: techcrunch.com

Categorized in Science & Tech

While many people mourn the end of summer, there is one thing it always brings; the release of the next iPhone. Now that Apple has released the most recent incarnation, many people wonder if they should jump in and buy the latest version, especially since iOS 10 is available for the majority of iPhones still walking the planet.

Before you make a final decision, here are five reasons the iPhone 7 should be on your shopping list this year.

1. Storage in Spades

With the release of the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has decided that they want to make storage a priority. All versions of the newest devices offer twice the hard drive space of previous versions. In fact, it appears the previous 16 GB options in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S lines are also a thing of the past.

If you are one of the many people who use their phones for photos and video, more memory is always welcomed. And speaking of photos…

2. Higher Quality Photos

The iPhone 7 camera has seen some notable improvements as well. You have the ability to shoot RAW images, making photos easier to edit in post, and video can be shot in stunning 4K. Image stabilization is included, helping you to take crisper pics in many conditions.

The f/1.8 aperture lens is also improved, and you get the quad-LED flash to brighten up darker, or low-light, conditions. The use of the camera remains simple, and the included editing options are what you would expect from a phone at this price point.

3. Water Resistant

Taking a cue from other smartphone producers, the iPhone 7 is the first version that is officially water resistant on its own. Individual connections are waterproofed, avoiding the need for physical plugs to be in place. This may be a relief to those among us who have had an iPhone ruined by accidentally dropping it into the small sources of liquid, like a cereal bowl or puddle.

While it isn’t completely waterproof, you shouldn’t have to worry about bringing your phone out in the rain, or answering a call when you’re still dripping from the shower. It can also be submerged for up to 30 minutes, as long as the depth is only a couple of feet.

4. Improved Home Button

The home button saw improvements with the addition of the Apple Taptic Engine. In fact, it isn’t even technically a button anymore.

When you press it, it does produce a sensation similar to the feel of an actual button-press. This allows it to feel more familiar without having to actually perform in a mechanical fashion. You can even customize the buttons “click” response to be more satisfying to you personally, which is an interesting addition.

5. Faster Performance

The iPhone 7 finally brings a quad-core processor to the iPhone line, and that is coupled with 2 GB of RAM (the same amount of RAM as found in the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus). This lets the phone seem more responsive than previous iterations.

Apps can appear to open almost instantaneously, and games should run more smoothly. If you tend to have a lot of apps running in the background, the increased processing capabilities should help keep everything running more smoothly than previous versions of the iPhone allowed.

Should You Give the iPhone 7 a Try?

Just like every new edition of the iPhone, everyone wonders whether now is the time to upgrade, or if they should wait. If you are one of the many who found themselves running out of memory for photos, then switching to the iPhone 7 may be worth it just for the additional memory. It is also a great choice for people who have a lot of apps running in the background at all times, or those who see their iPhone 7 as a portable gaming device.

Otherwise, most iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus users will likely still be happy with their current phone. For every other loyal iPhone user, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do bring some notable improvements to the table that can make it worth the cost to upgrade.

Source:  lifehack.org

Categorized in Science & Tech
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