Monday, 18 March 2019

A Guide about How to Use Android Without Google

A Guide about How to Use Android Without Google

Do you want to know how to use Android without Google? Then read on. Compared to other operating systems, right now, an enormous number of people are using Android as their OS. One of the major reasons behind this aspect is its ‘easy to use’ interface and the liberty, which it gives to its users. But there are many users who are not happy about confining themselves within the barriers of Google and want to use Android without all that ‘Googly-ness’. So, if you are one of them, you will be happy to know that it is possible to use Android without Google, if you have the right sets of tools. Therefore, here we are going to guide you about how to use android without Google.

How to use Android without Google: At first, you have to know the reason behind why you want to do this 


According to the perception of most of the people, Google is something, which makes Android more impactful. Google play, Google services and the constant synchronization with your Gmail account are some of the most substantial features that Google has to offer to Androids.

But, there are several people who consider it as an issue when Google tries to know so much about, how they are utilizing their phones and as a result of that they grab the conclusion that the Android devices are not their cup of tea. So, if you are someone who likes the leniency of the Android devices but don’t like Google to intervene your privacy then an Android phone which is free of Google is the best option for you.

To make that happen, you have to go through some fiddling without which, it will not be possible for you to strip off Google from your existing Android device. You have to remove the Google-fied operating system, which is shipped on your phone and replace it with something else. So, let us dig a bit deeper about the matter and let us know how to use Android without Google.

Things you need to know if you are thinking of how to use Android without Google 


To make this happen, the first thing you need to do is to find the appropriate Android phone, which can be used in this purpose. This process will require wiping of your phone so that it can flash its custom ROM. Hence, you have to find a phone, which has a good ROM support. You can go for the phones that have unlocked bootloader and can work properly for custom ROMs. The most substantial step: How to use Android without Google

For the test, let us take a phone, which has Lineage OS installed in it. Take it out right from the box and you will find out that it is very easy to set up. All you have to do is to tap and it will be ready to go. There is no need of signing in as there is no Google service in the device.

Now, the question may arise that- where to find the apps? The device is empty as there is no play store in it. Well, you don’t have to worry because as Android is an open source, you will find some good as well as trustworthy AppStore alternatives which you can use. Here are two must trustworthy alternatives of AppStore:

1. Amazon underground- After Google play store, Amazon Android holds the largest number of apps in its bucket, which will allow you to install your favorite apps without the obligation of Google.

2. F-Droid- Compared to other Google Play alternatives, it is a bit underrated, but it is an amazing option for you if you want to use only open source software. The best part about this open source software is that everything that you will find here is free of cost.

Apart from all these, there is also a third option, which you can look for: APKMirror. The full form of it is Android package Kit, which is a website that hosts APK, which mirror all the free apps that you will usually find in your Google Play Store. All of these APKs are uploaded by the users and APKMirror verifies each of them. So, you can trust them without any hesitation as they are the legit copies taken from the Google Play Devices. They are not pirated and have nothing to do with spyware.

It doesn’t matter what you want to do, you need to enable the ‘unknown sources’ even if you want to install the Appstore itself along with any apps from the said store. So, this is how to use Android without Google.

Things which you will miss without Google 


We have already discussed that the Google services enhances the value of Android, it is a very obvious fact that it will lose that value, if there is no Google in your Android device.

You will not be able to sync your contacts, which will be a big issue for certain people. Putting all your contacts manually again will be a really big deal. To avoid that situation, you can back up your contacts by exporting them, before you make your Android device Google free.

Also, you are going to miss several other things like Gmail, Google play, Google Maps, Password sync and Chrome bookmark; and many more things. Keep one thing in your mind that, while installing apps from play store alternatives if you can see that it requires Google play services, be sure that it will not work on your Google less phone.

You can look for MicroG: And Alternative 


Recently, a project has been launched named MicroG, which mimics everything that you will find in play store, except it is an open source. This is another option you can opt for; you are confused about how to use Android without Google. But make sure of one thing if you are opting for MicroG, your ROM must support signature spoofing.

So, if you want to make your Android device free of Google and confused about how to use Android without Google you can look for the above written points.

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Magnonic Devices Could Transform the Electronic Industry

Magnonic devices which are based on magnonic currents could transform the electronic industry. Magnonic currents are actually quasi-particles that are associated with waves of magnetization or spin waves. This could be present in certain magnetic materials.

The performance of electronic devices have been dependent on electrical currents. Over the years, the electronic devices have been getting smaller. There will be a time when there will be a limit on the performance of the electronic devices based on electrical currents. This is seen in electronic devices like transistors which are getting smaller and there will be a limit in its performance based on electrical currents.

This is where the magnonic devices based on magnonic currents comes in. Though the magnonic currents will be the future for the industry, the scientists have still to figure out how to control the magnonic currents. However, there has been great development in figuring out how the noise is associated with the propagation of magnon current.

Development of magnonic devices


The first step towards the development of practical magnonic devices is the study of noise associated with the propagation of magnon current. This study was undertaken by the engineers at the University of California, Riverside.

The noise or fluctuations in any flow of current will be the basis to figure out whether an electronic device is suited for any of the practical applications. It is the noise which is the contributing factor towards the performance of a device. The engineers are studying how the noisy magnons will help them to develop better devices.

Conventional electronic currents


As of now, electronics is dependent on metals or semiconducors which are conductors of electricity. When the electrons pass through these materials, scattering occurs.This results in heating, electrical resistance and energy dissipation. Due to heating, there is energy loss that takes place.

In the case of smaller devices and chips that have more transistors, the energy loss occurs rapidly due to heating. A stage is reached where the devices cannot be made any smaller.

Magnonic Devices should operate at low-power levels


There is a new type of material that has magnetic properties obtained from spin. Each unit of spin waves are known as magnons. Though magnons are not true particles like electrons, their behavior is like those of electrons and can be treated in the same way as electrons.

In an electrically insulated material, there can be a spin wave that moves through it and transmit energy, without any movement of electrons. Thus the magnons propagate without much generation of heat and in effect not much loss in energy.

The new magnonic devices can be created for information processing as well as storage and sensory applications where magnons are used instead of electrons.

A team led by Alexander Balandin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, made a chip that generates magnonic current. The spin wave or magnonic current is generated between the transmitting and receiving antennae.

The results from the experiment showed that magnons are not noisy at low-power levels, but at high power, the noise was fairly unusual. There were varying fluctuations that interfered with the performance of the device.

This shows that the magnonic devices should operate with low-power levels. The main goal to process information is to adopt low power.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

How to Get a Dark Mode on the Google Chrome on Mac OS?

How to Get a Dark Mode on the Google Chrome on Mac OS?
If you are a Mac user and you use Google Chrome as your surfing engine, then you should be interested as you will find a dark mode of chrome, which you can utilize in Mac Mojave. According to some reports, this dark mode has arrived in the chrome canary update for the Mac OS, which is the version 72 of the chrome. But, you will not get the dark mode in such a way where you can set it as a default. To get that, you have to get the completely black version of the browser.

How to make the chrome browser dark? 


Well, it is very easy to turn your chrome browser dark. All you have to do is to select the Just Black skin from the Chrome themes page, which you will find in the chrome web store. There, you will get 14 color pallets, which includes the color black and that is essentially the dark mode. It will turn your menu bar black. Here is the step by step guidance.

  • Find ‘Just black’ skin.
  • After that, click on add to chrome.
Apart from black, there are some other color pallets, which you will find in the list of themes including black and white which will turn your currently opened tab lightened and the other tabs dark.

How to get the true dark mode on the Mojave? 


If you want to get the true dark mode as your default mode of the Mojave’s dark mode, you either have to wait for a bit or you have to follow certain steps. Here is the list of steps, which you have to follow if you want to get the dark true dark mode as your default mode.

1. You have to download the Chromium, which is considered as the open source developer version of Chrome. You can download the dark mode from Chromium.

2. After you are done with downloading and installing Chrome, you have to move the move the Chromium on the applications folder.

3. If you want that Chrome must use the Dark mode when you have selected the dark mode for Mac Od type, you have to type the following terminal:

/Applications/Chromium.app/Contents/Mac OS/Chromium—enable-feature=DarkMode

4. If you want your chrome to use the dark mode for all of the time, the terminal, which you have to type is

//Applications/Chromium.app/Contents/Mac OS/Chromium—enable-feature= DarkMode

If you have typed the first lump of code, you must know when you have selected the Dark Mode for your chrome on your Mac, you chrome will mimic the same darker interface.

How to turn on the dark mode in Mac OS opening system preferences? 


It is also very simple to turn on the dark mode on your Mac OS opening system preference. All you need to do is to follow two steps.

  • You have to click on general.
  • Click on the dark.
So, these are the methods to turn on the dark mode on your Google Chrome on Mac OS.

Friday, 1 March 2019

LG Xboom PK5 – Water Proof Portable Speaker

LG  Xboom PK5 – Water Proof Portable Speaker
LG has recently announced its latest product, Xboom PK5 speaker. It is said to be water proof portable speaker in partnership with Meridian with a built in 5,200 Ah battery.XboomPK5 is considered to be an ideal speaker which can stream the tunes over high fidelity Bluetooth connection.

This speaker can provide a synchronised multi-colour light show and is an ideal speaker with its awesome audio effect. The LG Xboom PK5 comes at a cost of Rs.14,990. However the retailing comes at Rs 5,000 at Amazon India. With regards to design and portability, an LG Xboom PK5 speaker has been envisioned considering the portability. In size the portable Bluetooth measures around 220 x 129 x 119 mm.


A mesh grille features the front area of the speak providing a glimpse of the dual tweeters and woofer. This comprises of the LED lights surrounding the dual tweeters that tend to bink according to the rhythm of the music. The frequency, colors of the LED lights can be either designated, can be switched off totally or kept at random. One will find 8 controls inclusive of `Clear Vocal’, Enhanced Bass, towards the top of Xboom PK5. You will also find a trigger for voice assistant/LED control besides the standard power, volume high and low/pause buttons.

Good Music – Voice Command 


Total package is accommodated in 1.2 kg weight comprising of a built-in lithium-ion battery of 5,200 Ah. It provides 18 hours of music playback on an individual charge. The speaker can be utilised on any Type-C cable and a normal smartphone charging adapter of battery recharging. The LG Xboom PK5 has built-in microphone functionality enabling you to link to phone calls from the speaker. Moreover one can also perform voice search through these speakers without the use of the smartphone.

However with support of Google Assistant, the search can be activated from the smartphone. A voice search button is available on these speakers. You can activate the button on the speaker to trigger the smart assistant features on your phone. It tends to play good music utilising voice command.

The Xboom PK5 also provides good bass performance with the help of the double passive radiators. You can request a song, control music playback or even get involved with other voice interaction functions which is possible only on Android or iOS device. This is enabled with voice activation technology and music streaming service subscription.

The Xboom PK5 Default Settings – Balanced 


The speakers’ default settings of the mids, lows and highs seem to have a balance to the extent that all three can be identified with ease. This is seen when the volume seems to be at its maximum. LG states that the APT-X HD which in built-in, sustains the original quality of the sound on the Xboom PK5 speaker.

You can pair the smart device with the Xboom PK5 through Bluetooth to gain continuous streaming, wirelessly. With the built-in Multi Colour Lighting, you can relish a pulsating colourful display which automatically beats with the rhythm of the music. With the help of several customizable lighting modes, one has all the tools to enhance the party atmosphere for any given occasion

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Google Docs API allows users to Automate many of the Things they did Manually

Google Docs API
Google recently announced an API for Google Docs. This new Google Docs API will allow users to automate many of the things that they did manually in the company’s online office suite. The Google Docs API which had been in developer’s preview since last April has now been opened up to all developers. The last developer preview launched at last year’s Google Cloud Next 2018.

Google Docs API: 


The REST API allowed developers build workflow automation services for users, create documents in bulk and also build content management services. Developers could also set up processes that would manipulate documents after the fact in order to update them. The Google Docs API also features the ability for users to delete, insert, move, merge, as well as format text. Insert inline images, work with list among many other things.

Google Docs API’s import/ export function also allows you to use Doc in internal content management systems.

Companies that use Google Docs API: 


Many companies had built solutions on the new Google Docs API. Some of these companies include names such as Netflix, Zapier, Final draft and Mailchimp. Zapier had integrated the google Docs API with its own work flow automation tool in order to help users create their own offer letters which would be based on a template. While Zapier did this, Netflix used Google Docs API to build an internal tool that would help engineers in gathering data and automating documentation flows.

For those of you having to fill out forms or invoices, instead of doing it multiple times and changing the template every time you do, you can now have product info and numbers automatically filled in for you. This new Google Docs API will make life much easier for all and sundry. Google Docs API aims at removing much of the repetitive tasks by automating it.

Google Docs API allows you to read and write documents using programs. These programs then integrate your work across all Google Docs saving you a lot of time and hassle.

To help in getting things started with the new Google Docs API, Google has developer guides, reference docs and a quick start guide. The Developer guide helps you in learning how to implement some of the most important features in Google Docs. The reference Docs contains details about API types and methods.

Many at times at the work place we find ourselves copying the same thing over and over again, Google Docs API is aimed at removing that very thing. They do this by automating most of the repetitive functions, leaving us with a few tasks. Some of the things that google docs API helps at eliminating is copying information form one document to the other and filling out forms at work.

Google Docs API is primarily intended to help out with invoicing but can be adapted to do just about anything that you need done in docs. This new API will remove a lot of repetitive tasks at the workplace.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Rietspoof Malware on the Rise

Rietspoof Malware on the Rise
Rietspoof malware a new malware discovered by  security researchers is spreading via instant messaging sites like Facebook messenger and Skype. Researchers have said that this new form of malware develops in stages. The rietspoof malware was first discovered in August of last year but had not been taken seriously. An uptick in distribution in the last month has got the rietspoof malware back in everyone’s attention.

Rietspoof malware and its role: 


The main idea behind the rietspoof malware is to infect victims and then persist on the host victim. The malware does this so that it can download other malware onto the host device depending on orders from a central command and control server.

The rietspoof malware gains persistence by downloading an LNK file which is a shortcut file onto the host computer. This tends to be a risky area for malware as most security/ antivirus products know to look at this folder when running security scans. But rietspoof malware has all the legitimate certificates allowing the malware to bypass any security scans.

The actual rietspoof malware consists of four stages. The malware itself is dropped onto the host computer somewhere in the third stage. The last stage is the stage when a more serious malware is downloaded. The last stage malware can cause serious disruption to the computer.

Rietspoof Malware known as a “dropper” or “downloader”: 


The rietspoof malware has come to be known as the “dropper” or “downloader” by those in the tech world. This is because the malware is being used to download other more serious malware onto the computer after it itself has taken root.

Since it is only meant to download a more potent version of malware, its functionality is also reduced. The Rietspoof malware can only download, execute, upload and delete files and in a more serious scenario delete itself when in emergency. However even with this limited functionality, it can still cause serious damage.

Avast the researchers behind discovering the rietspoofmalware, say that since they have discovered the malware, the malware has changed its C&C protocol and gone through some modifications. This had led them to believe that the malware was still being developed. Avast says that they are still not sure whether they’ve got to grasps with the entirety of the malware.

Rietspoof malware not the only “dropper” on the rise: 


“Dropper” or “downloader” malware is on the rise. Rietspoof malware is not the only malware that has developed in the previous months. A malware known as Vidar has helped criminals distribute ransomware and has also obtained passwords on their behalf.

The rietspoof malware downloads itself in stages and offers no information on what hosts it picks. Since its discovery back in August, it was initially thought of to be in its early or developmental stages, since then theRietspoof malware has really begun to pick up speed.

At present the end goal of the rietspoof malware, the choice of targets and exact infection chain remain unknown.

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

10 tricks that will make YouTube even more fun

10 tricks that will make YouTube even more fun
YouTube is considered to be the second largest social media link with over a billion users and about a third of internet users. Watching over millions of hours of video daily has a tendency to rack billions of viewers each day. YouTube being the largest search engine in the world tends to provide SEO enhancement helping in audience growth. Google has now come up with some interesting new additions to YouTube making it more user-friendly. YouTube has made some additions in its Android and iOS app providing the users with new experience. The following tricks would provide more insight on how your YouTube watching could be more enjoyable.

1. Turn any YouTube video to a GIF with the use of URL 


GIFs areloved by all, though the knowledge of making them is not everyone’s cup of tea. In order to create a GIF from a YouTube video, it is essential to opt for a video to be watched on YouTube. On locating the URL towards the bottom of the browser, add GIF before the name of the domain, to read `www.gifyoutube.com/[your-video-tag]’ This will take you to gif.com. Your video will be uploaded and is ready for editing. Then you will find a display of menu options towards the left area together with a timeline bar at the bottom of your video wherein one can set the duration of the GIF. Moreover one can have the liberty of cropping its frame adding captions and much more. On clicking `create gif’ towards the top right it will prompt for a GIF title with set of tags. On clicking `next’, you then arrive at a landing page to share your newly created GIF. Viewers can only download the GIF to an offline by file only by signing with gifs.com

2. You can effortlessly see the written transcripts of people's videos. 


Many are unaware that YouTube tends to generate a written transcript for each video that is uploaded on its website. Any viewer has access to the transcript unless the user tends to hide it manually from viewers. Having a transcript handy saves the trouble of getting information without the need of manually doing it. To view any transcript of a video, you could open the video in YouTube. Then on clicking the `More’ tab below the video title, opt for `transcript from the drop-down menu. If the viewer does not see the options it means that the user had chosen to hide the transcript.

3. Can do things quickly with these keywords shortcuts 


Various keyboard shortcuts can be utilised on YouTube wherein `k’ could be utilised to play or pause a video, while `j’ is utilised to rewind 10 seconds. `I’ is used for 10 seconds fast-forward and `m; can be utilised to mute the video. Moreover on clicking any number from one to nine, tends to take the viewer to the section of the respective video displaying the percentage of the video which has been viewed.

4. End to the age – restriction 


Should you come across an age restricted video in You-Tube and still intend to view it, you can watch it by eliminating `/watch?v=’ from the URL of the video and thereafter open it without the need of logging in. If the video is liked by the viewer, the same can be downloaded which can be done with a simple URL trick. You could add `pwn’ before the URL of the YouTube video and click enter. This would navigate the user to a service enabling you to download the video in various formats. Though it seems an easy trick which can be utilised for any and every video, one needs to be cautious while downloading any copyrighted videos.

5. Playing video on indefinite loop 


One can play a video on YouTube in an indefinite loop by pressing the right button and selecting the `loop’ option. This will enable the video to begin repeating incessantly.

6. Do you have a slow internet connection? 


Set default video accordingly to suit it. If your internet connection tends to get slow, one can evade having to wait for the same to buffer. This can be done by going to `www.youtube.com/account playback’ and the click on `I have a slow connection. Never play higher-quality video’.

7. Look out for your preferred #Artist 


One will get an assortment of videos of preferred artist by navigating with a hashtag in YouTube search bar. This function can be done on desktop, mobile website and YouTube app.

8. Sing Karaoke 


If one would prefer to sing along YouTube video on some of their favourite songs and is unable to recall the lyrics, the option of Musixmatch is the solution. You could install this browser extension that will add lyrics to YouTube video as they begin to play. You can then have the lyrics accompanied with the video.

9.Use Google Trends to navigate and compare familiar YouTube search footings over time 


This could be a great marketing tool in creating smart keyword option. However many are unaware that it can be utilised in comparing the popularity of specific YouTube search queries. All that needs to be done is to open Google Trends and edit search footing in the `Explore topics’ search bar towardsthe top. On arriving at the page, you could click on `Web Search’ which gives way to a drop-down menu. Opt for `YouTube Search’ which filters YouTube searches.

10. Clear YouTube History 


YouTube search or watch history can be cleared. YouTube enables this by pausing your history so it can stop recording what is searched and watched from the point forwarded or goes through your history deleting certain videos. In order to delete the history on desktop or mobile device you could go to `Watch History’ menu. Here you can clear all watch history – permanently clear the record of videos watched , `pause watch history’ – stop recording videos watch going forward or individually remove videos from history by tapping the X or ellipses near the videos. For additional instructions on deleting items from your YouTube watch history, YouTube has a Help article which will provide the necessary assistance.

Monday, 11 February 2019

First Clipper Malware Discovered on Google Play

Clipper malware
Android/Clipper.C impersonating MetaMask on Google Play
Clippper malware was discovered on Google Play, the official Android app store. This malicious malware was discovered in Feb 2019.

What is the clipper malware? 


Addresses of the online cryptocurrency wallets have a long string of characters that includes alphabets and numbers.These addresses are basically long for security reasons. The users generally copy and paste the addresses using the clipboard instead of taking the trouble to type them out.

The people who steal the cryptocurrency, take advantage of this lapse and replace the wallet address in the clipboard. This is the clipper malware.

The attacker intercepts the address on the clipboard and changes it to the address belonging to him.
The user then ends up with the wallet address that has been switched by the attacker.

Though the clipper malware is relatively new, where the cryptocurrency stealers alter the address, it is considered an established malware.

The origins of clipper malware


The clipper malware was first discovered in 2017 on the Windows platform.

Later it was noticed in the shady Android app stores in the summer of 2018.

In August 2018, the first Android clipper malware was discovered. It is sold on underground hacking forums and subsequently seen in shady Android app stores.

The clipper malware was also hosted on download.cnet.com. This is one of the most popular software hosting sites. This malware was discovered by ESET researchers.

In February 2019, the malware was found on Google Play, which is the official Android app store.

How does the clipper malware function? 


The clipper malware was detected on the Google Play store. This malicious malware was found out by ESET security solutions. The malware, Android/Clipper.C, impersonates a genuine service known as MetaMask.

The clipper malware basically steals the user’s credentials and private keys in order to access the user’s Ethereum funds. This malware can also change the Bitcoin or Ethereum wallet address of the user and replace it with the address of the hacker. The wallet address of the user is replaced by the wallet address of the hacker using the clipboard.

When and how was the clipper malware discovered? 


On 1st Feb 2019, the ESET security solutions discovered the clipper malware, Android/Clipper.C on Google Play, the official Android app store. This was then intimated to the Google Play security team. They immediately removed the app from the Store.

This hacking targets the users who make use of the mobile version of the MetaMask service. The MetaMask service runs Ethereum decentralized apps in the browser without any need of running a complete Ethereum node.

Currently, the MetaMask service is not offering the mobile app. They are available as add-ons for desktop browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

Previously too, malicious apps were discovered on Google Play impersonating MetaMask in order to access the victim’s cryptocurrency funds.

Security measures against clipper malware


Users should update their Android devices and use reliable mobile security solution.

Download apps from the official Google Play store.

For any Google Play search, stick to the official website of the app developer or service provider for the link to the official app.

For any sensitive transactions involving information or money, double check every step.

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Mono-Live Gadget Review: Mobvoi TicWatch S2

Mono-Live Gadget Review: Mobvoi TicWatch S2
Here’s a budget friendly smart watch up for review. The Mobvoi TicWtach S2 was launched recently with the TicWatch E2. Both are similar except for a few minor differences. The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 has a more sportier feel to it than its predecessor. Overall the Mobvoi TicWatch S2 is good value for money making it an excellent gift to give a loved one this Valentine’s day. Its better than expected battery life, sturdy quality and big enough display make it a worthwhile buy. But enough chit chat. Let’s get more to the specifics of the watch.

Design of the Mobvoi TicWatch S2: 


Just like its predecessor, the Mobvoi TicWatch S2 tends more towards the bulky side of things. The watch is just shy of 13mm in thickness but pulls off that extra bulk well. This is important when it comes to working out in such watches. You don’t want it to be too clunky and get in your way. Its light weight feel, although it does not look anywhere near light weight, is courtesy of the polycarbonate material it is made of.

The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 is definitely a step up from its predecessor when it comes to build. The TicWatch S was more plasticky and felt cheap. Coming to the S2 and E2, the S2 feels a lot more sturdy and well- built as compared to its launch partner. The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 has also got a MIL- STD- 810G rating. This is a mark of durability and ruggedness as defined by the US military. So you know you’re getting the real deal with this watch.

Coming to the Screen Of the Mobvoi TicWatch S2: 


The mobvoi TicWatch S2 comes with a 1.39 inch circular screen. It has a 400 by 400 resolution AMOLED display. This gives you a pretty sharp picture quality for a watch coming in at the price that it does. Ok, if you peer up close to the screen you may notice pixels, but on a day to day basis you won’t see any of them.

The screen is pretty bright and can be seen even while outdoors on a bright sunny day. However the Mobvoi TicWatch S2 does not come with ambient light sensors so you’ll have to adjust the brightness on your own.

The watch also has an always on kinda display mode going on, which displays the time as well as other things when not in use too. This is a step up over what you get in smart watches like the Apple watch that does not display anything when not in use. However you may have to charge this thing often because of this little feature.

Getting to the Software in the Mobvoi TicWatch S2: 


The Mobvoi TicWatch S2 comes with a Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip along with 512MB RAM and 4GB storage. This is similar to what’s in the Mobvoi TicWatch E2. With this kind of chip in the watch, apps fire up quickly without any delay. However Google Assistant may be a little slow to bring up on the watch.

Monday, 4 February 2019

In a Stumble for Apple, a FaceTime Bug Lets iPhone Users Eavesdrop

FaceTime Bug
A critical flaw allows eavesdropping on other FaceTime users, very easily. Apple has disabled one of its communication software features while waiting to deploy a patch. For three months, it has been possible for others to activate the microphone and camera of your iPhone remotely. The major bug in the FaceTime app was revealed on Monday, January 28th.

As reported by the US site 9to5Mac, the software flaw results from the group call function set up by Apple in October with the update iOS 12.1 to call up to 32 people simultaneously. It allows anyone to spy on a contact whose iPhone is running iOS 12.1 or later, even if they decline their call.

The major security flaw allowing eavesdropping affects the latest version of iOS. This bug has just been detected. It appeared with one of the new tools introduced on iOS 12, the group video call on FaceTime.

With this FaceTime bug, users can remotely listen to conversations on other iPhones even before their call is accepted. Even more disturbing, this critical flaw is easily exploitable and has been reproduced by many users on social networks, and Apple has already recognized the problem.

Unfortunately, since Facetime is not yet an App on the App Store, it will probably have to wait until an update of iOS. While waiting to deploy a patch, Apple has decided to suspend group calls on FaceTime. This will naturally limit the exploitation of this flaw.

This is not the first time that Apple has recognized a significant security breach in one of its systems. In November 2017, MacOS High Sierra allowed you to log in to a protected session as an administrator without a password. A fix was deployed the next day.

How does the fault work? 


A video posted on Twitter shows how the FaceTime bug works. An iPhone user initiates a FaceTime call and then inputs own number into the field dedicated to adding other participants to the conversation. The recipient’s microphone then starts, without even answering the call.

Internet users also noticed that it was possible to activate the front camera if the recipient pressed the power button or volume of his iPhone, a manipulation that usually ignores the call. These two bugs have also been observed on Macs.

When you call someone from FaceTime, and before they answer, you can drag the screen up to add another person to the conversation. This third person can be your own phone number.

That’s when a group video conference starts with the audio turned on. The first called number can then be listened to without having to accept the conversation. The transmitted sound is bi-directional, the added person can therefore also listen to the exchange.

How to disable FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad? 


Even though Apple has disabled Group Facetime from their server it is recommended that you manually disable it. You can easily disable FaceTime on your iPhone or iPad. Open the Settings and locate Facetime. Slide the toggle from green to grey to switch off Facetime.

Apple has said in a comment to Buzzfeed that they are aware of the bug and will issue a patch later in the week to fix it.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Google Makes Learning Fun and Easier through: 13 Google for Education Tools

Sometimes learning can be tough and boring. There are times when you wish you could just lay back and rest. This may not be because you are lazy but are due to learn something that you find a little bit difficult. In such cases learning needs to be made simpler and not only that but also focused and fun. Google plans on doing just that through their Google for Education tools. Google plans on bringing the learning initiative to Chromebooks with easy student access and to make learning easier.

Learning through Devices a Part of Google for education tools: 


Google plans on launching a number of devices in 2019 with a view to providing learning. There will be more than 25+ devices or so that Google plans on releasing in the year 2019. There will be a choice from the Asus Chromebook Tablet CT100 to convertibles like the Acer Chromebook Spin 512. The Acer Chromebook Spin will have a 3:2 inch screen ratio for a larger display, so that viewing is made easier on it. There will also be other devices such as the Lenovo 300e Chromebook and clamshell devices such as the Dell Chromebook 3400.

Chromebooks are not the only devices that Google has lined up as part of its Google for education tools initiative. Google also has something for educators too. After all learning is not the only criteria but teaching is just as important if students have to learn well. Educators will have the Google Pixel Slate and the Pixelbook as options to teach with.

Customize your settings and Save your Work with these Google for Education Tools: 

Google allows you the option of customizing your settings with multilayered security settings, individual profiles, automatic updates and data protection. The thing that is great with this tool is that you can now access all these settings no matter what you device you’re using. You just log into your account and presto! All your settings are the same as you set them as on the device you logged in previously.

Google has also added in this option for all types of learners be it those with visual impairments, auditory problems and more.

Be Internet Legends with Google for education tools initiative:

Google has now started an online safety program in partnership with experts up at Parent Zone. Primary school teachers can now order the Be Internet Legends curriculum pack all for free. There are also new languages added to the pack including Arabic, Italian, Belgian, Polish, and will be soon coming in Turkish as well.

Plan with Google for Education Tools: 

As part of Google for Education Tools initiative, Google makes planning for teaching a course easier with its new Classwork page. Not only that, but Classroom has a new look and feel to it, promising to make work easier.

Jamboard an Interesting Google for Education Tool: 

You can create, edit and view Jams- a collaborative whiteboard space right on your Chromebook or from a Chrome browser or alternatively from the jamsboard app as well. Jamsboard allows you to modify frames and switch between drawing to keyboard shortcuts while jamming. You’ll even be able to add images shortly. Interested users can also head on to Jamsboard for a free course on Student agency and engagement.

Bringing Augmented and Virtual Reality to the Education Front: 

As part of the Google for education tools initiative, students can now create VR tours using Tour Creator on the Chromebook. They can then view their creations through a guided app using the Expeditions Android app. Google is also translating its most popular tour guides into Arabic, Hindi, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, French and Spanish.

Locked mode and Gradebook as Google for education tools: 


While on locked mode on the Chromebook students will not be able to browse away from their quiz unless they submit their answers.

The Gradebook on the Chromebook allows teachers to check answers and compute average for the class as well as calculate grades by weighted average or total points. Making a teacher’s life much more easier and faster.

Learning Coding as a part of Google for education tools initiative: 


Google recently introduced First + Scratch 3.0 which is the latest version of coding to be taught to kids. This version is complete with lesson plans,new videos and digital materials. The lesson plans will also be easily shared via Google Docs. To learn more about the latest version you can check out Google’s First Starter Guide.

Be Job Ready with these new Skills: 


Google for education tools now includes teaching new skills like critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, communication and digital skills. These skills are based on the UK Essential Digital Skills Framework and the Computing National Curriculum in England. All this will be available on the new English and Digital Skills website in the UK.

Hands on with Google for Education Tools: 


This new tool allows you to save your experiments across all your devices through your G Suite Education account. Google has also released new training modules and lessons on the Google for Education Teacher Center as well as Scholastic. If you’re more the hands on type then you can check out the new Science kit from Arduino for middle school or the new science journal app with Go Direct line of classroom sensors.

Learn about Travel using these Google for Education Tools:

Google earth also features in as a Google for education tool. You can now bring the whole world to your classroom with no download necessary. Students can learn about streets, learn about the weather, volcanoes and about sea temperature. Google makes learning interactive by showing layers and areas, distances and 3D views of things. This makes learning a lot more easier and understandable.

These Google for Education Tools are all set to make learning easier and more understandable for students. Their interactive content and ease of learning makes these tools a must have for anyone wanting a brighter future.

Tips to Convert Videos to the Best Format

Do you want to convert your video to the ‘best’ format for a particular device or platform? On the surface that may sound easy, but how do you identify the best format – and what should you look for?
While there are several ways that you could find the best format and convert your videos to it, these tips should help make it a lot easier:

  • Make sure the format has hardware support

    For a video to be played, the format needs to be supported so that the device or platform it is viewed on is able to decode it. However that decoding can take place either using software or hardware.

    The problem with software decoding is that it requires a lot of processing power – especially for high quality videos. That is why as a rule the ‘best’ format should always have hardware support.

  • Factor in the compression

    Part of the video format (i.e. the video codec) will dictate the type of compression that is used to encode and store the video. Newer formats normally have more efficient types of compression, meaning that they can compress the same quality of video to a smaller file size than older formats.

    As you can imagine this is an important factor because the ‘best’ format should compress the video to the smallest file size possible while maintaining its quality. However it is complicated by the fact that it takes time before devices have hardware support for newer formats built-in.

  • Try working backwards based on how the video will be used

    Instead of trying to identify the best format based on its hardware support and compression, you could work backwards based on how the video will be used. For distribution formats such as MP4 with H.264 are the best option, and the same goes for online videos.

    In general MP4 with H.264 is a ‘safe’ format for most devices, but you could check if HEVC is supported seeing as it has better compression rates.

See how these tips can help you to convert your video to the best format? Once you’ve identified what it is, all you need to do is use a video converter to switch your video to that format. For example you could use Movavi Video Converter to convert QuickTime to MP4, AVI to FLV, MPG to MKV, and so on.

Regardless of how you approach it, following these tips should help you to end up with a format that has the best possible compression while still supported by the hardware of the device it will be played on. That is as good as it gets, and should allow you to enjoy high quality videos without taxing your processor (or storage) too much.

Thursday, 10 January 2019

Android Version of Chrome could be leaking your information

Android Version of Chrome could be leaking your information
Android is the most used software system around the world with over 2 billion users worldwide. The immensely popular, Android comes with a number of pre downloaded apps that users can get their hands on after switching on their phones. But now as news of a flaw in the software causes many users to start losing faith in Android, here’s all we know of the problem so far….

The problem has to do with the Android version of Chrome which is the most used browser on Android. Security experts associated with the problem have said that they have found a shock issue relating to the Android version of Chrome.

More on the issue associated with the Android Version of Chrome: 


Experts up at the Nightwatch cybersecurity have said that there is a shock issue with the Android version of Chrome. This issue could potentially lead to the popular browser leaking a phone’s information. Information such as the firmware model of the phone, security patch level and hardware model are all susceptible to the leak.

The Android version Chrome is not the only Google app that comes with such problems. Security experts have also commented on WebView and other Chrome Tabs on Android that too discloses the phones private information.

Any other Android apps running on Chrome to render web content will also be susceptible to the flaw.

What this Flaw on the Android Version of Chrome means for you? 


With the Android version of Chrome be susceptible to leaks, it means that no Android device is really safe. But what all this translates for you is that the information so obtained through the flaw can be used to track users and also fingerprint devices.

Besides this users phones vulnerabilities can also be determined and then used to get further information form the phone. This is not even the main part of the issue here. Experts say that the flaw pertaining to the Android version of Chrome was discovered back in 2015.

What Google did About it? 


As experts submitted the initial report pertaining to the bug back in 2015, Google gave a partial fix only in October 2018 for version 70. The fix is supposed to hide the firmware information and retain the hardware model identifier.

All versions of the app seem to be affected and users are encouraged to update to the latest version.
As for WebView users, this fix is not applicable and app developers should manually override the user agent configuration in their respective apps.

 

Fake apps on the Google Play Store: 


Recently fake apps were discovered on the Google Play Store. These apps have reportedly been downloaded tens and thousands of times. These apps were found on the Google Play Store and hid themselves as PDF readers, scanners and converters.

The apps themselves seem to be genuine but don’t offer the functionality that they were intended for. These apps are meant to increase the download count for other related apps and also to improve their ratings.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Essential Guide to Google Pixel 3

Google Pixel 3
The Google Pixel 3 has a lot to offer but are you using it to its full potential? Maybe not? Then here are a few tips and tricks that are sure to improve your Pixel 3 experience. Not only that, you will be able to get more done in a short amount of time with these new tricks.

But before looking at what the Pixel 3 really has in store for you, you need to first ensure that your phone is trick- ready. By that I mean that you need to enable developer mode to get the most out of these tricks. You can do this by going to settings and then scrolling right to the bottom of the screen and tapping “about phone”. From there, go on to tap rapidly the “build number” to enable developer mode.

Accessing Notification Shade on the Pixel 3: 


This may not be a new feature on the Pixel 3 but has to be definitely enabled for you to quick access all your notifications from any screen.

You can enable this feature by going into the settings app and enabling it. Once done you’ll have to swipe down twice, while on any screen, to access all your notifications.

Get rid of the Notch on Pixel 3: 


There are ways to get rid of the notch which can be an eye sore for some. The notch on the Pixel is not really worth it as it does not do much and has no tech packed into it. But point to note, no matter what method you adopt you won’t be able to get the display portion on either side of the notch to work.

Besides going into settings and disabling the notch you can even download the Nacho Notch app from the app store to disable it.

Quick Launch Camera: 


You can get to the camera app by simply double clicking the sleep/wake button, when your Pixel 3 is awake or locked. This also allows you save space on your home screen by not needing to have the camera app there. Again you can enable this feature from the settings app by going into system and then gestures.

Another one in the Camera App: 


This feature allows you to switch between front facing and rear cameras by a simple gesture. To enable it all you have to do is go to System in the settings app and then to gestures and enable “Flip camera”.

Getting Daily Wallpapers on the Pixel 3: 


You can get daily wallpapers on Google Pixel 3. Android offers a lot of options when it comes to wallpapers, even more than what Apple do. You can get wall papers from third party launchers too. It is also possible to get wallpapers on the Google launcher as well, but with maybe a few more steps.

Enabling Dark Mode on Google Pixel 3: 


It took the people up at Google a while to get the new Dark mode to our phones, but in the end they came through. So now, in order to protect your eyes from the whiteness of the menu, especially during night, you can enable dark mode by again going into settings.

Friday, 4 January 2019

Great Expectations from the biggest Tech Show, CES 2019

The biggest Tech show, CES 2019 is around the corner. Every techie is waiting with great anticipation for announcements from the tech giants with regard to wearables, smartphones laptops, TVs, cars and much more.

About CES 2019


CES 2019 will run from Jan 8, 2019 through Jan 11, 2019 at Las Vegas. This show has come a long way since its inception in 1967 and is organized by the Consumer Technology Association, that includes 2,000 consumer tech companies in the US. The CES 2019 is not open to the public, but only to bloggers, journalists and electronics trade.

The main venue is the Las Vegas Convention and World Trade Centre (LVCC). Along with Westgate Las Vegas and Renaissance Las Vegas, this area is referred to as Tech East. At this location, most of the big names have their stalls. At the Tech West, there are the hi-fi and audio stalls set up. The Tech South is where the VR, AR and gaming stalls are present.

The exhibition covers around 2.7 million square feet with eleven venues and 24 different categories of products.

The CES 2019 will attract around 180,000 people who will represent 155 countries. There may be almost 6,500 media personnel and 4,500 companies participating at the exhibition. Most of the big names in the tech industry will showcase their products with the exclusion of Apple.

All the reports regarding what will be launched and other announcements will be on Jan 6, 2019 and Jan 7, 2019. On these two days there will be press conferences and presentations.

Great expectations from CES 2019


Artificial Intelligence: 


There are going to be devices that are voice-controlled. We will see Google Home embedded in TVs, lightbulbs and other devices and smart speakers that run Alexa.

According to I.P. Park, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics, will showcase their company’s vision for AI. AI will be used for complex systems whereby the devices become smart and will know exactly what you want. We can expect smart tech in everything which will include AI powered security cameras, memory chips, televisions, golf gear, etc.

Self-driving cars:

At last year’s event, around two dozen companies showcased self-driving vehicles. Cars that are driven by AI programs that make decisions and also come with solid-state Lidar sensors, 5G chips. Cars are getting smarter and greener besides being autonomous.

5G Networks: 


Most of the brands will be going all out to bring 5G networks with faster speeds and next-gen technology that connects everything like cars and computers to smart homes.

Foldables: 


At the CES 2019, there will be foldables like the giant TV screen, smartphones, laptops and tablets. At the CES 2018 there were 8K televisions that were launched. At the CES 2019, one can expect OLED sets, 80-inch 8K TVs and also Alexa and Google Assistant embedded into the TV.

Tech for the Ladies: 


There will definitely be more tech products for the ladies to bridge the gender gap. We can look forward to skin-care devices controlled by smartphones and beauty apps powered by AI.

From 3rd-gen Ryzen processors to wireless charging and cameras with new image sensor and a longer zoom range will be showcased at CES 2019. In terms of processors, we could see the 10-core processor too at the event and Nvidia will reveal its GeForce RTX Mobility graphics cards at the CES 2019.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Terahertz Laser for Sensing and Imaging Outperforms Its Predecessors

Terahertz Laser
Terahertz Laser is a high powered laser developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology for chemical sensing and imaging. The Terahertz laser designed by the researchers of MIT, has three goals which includes high constant power, tight beam pattern and broad electric frequency tuning.

Terahertz Laser to be used by NASA on its 2021 mission to study our Galaxy’s origin


NASA has chosen the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission to study more about our galaxy’s origin. With the help of a high altitude, balloon based telescope carrying photonic wire lasers, they will detect emission of gases like oxygen, nitrogen and carbon from the interstellar medium, which is the material between the galaxy’s star systems.

The Terahertz laser could also be used for skin and breast cancer imaging, detection of drugs and explosives and many other applications.

The design of the Terahertz Laser


The design of the Terahertz laser is unique which uses pairs of efficient wire lasers and sync their oscillations. On combining the output of the pairs there will be a single, high power beam with minimum beam divergence, which is the angle the beam moves away from its focus over distance. The individual paired lasers can be fine-tuned to obtain improvements in resolution and fidelity in measurements. All these give rise to less noise and higher resolution in order to achieve more cost effective and reliable chemical detection and medical imaging.

In the past, people have made a laser with high beam quality or with high continuous wave power or have done frequency tuning in lasers. But all the designs have one of the factors lacking. Ali Khalatpour, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, who is also the author on the paper describing the Terahertz laser in Nature Photonics says that this is the first time where all three metrics are present in the chip-based Terahertz laser.

NASA has chosen the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission


NASA will be using the Terahertz laser for its 2021 mission to detect gas emissions from the interstellar medium. By procuring data over a few months, they will get insight into the birth of the star and evolution. They will get more knowledge of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud Galaxies which are close by.

NASA selected a new semiconductor based terahertz laser which is suitable for spectroscopic measurement of oxygen concentrations in terahertz radiation. It is a band of electromagnetic spectrum between microwaves and visible light.

Achieving three metrics in chip-based terahertz lasers


Researchers had developed new types of quantum cascade lasers known as photonic wire lasers. These were bidirectional and hence less powerful. This issue was sorted out by placing mirrors within the laser’s body. Since the terahertz radiation is too long, and the terahertz laser is small, it was difficult to fix it within the laser so much so most of the light travels outside the laser’s body. In the laser that NASA selected they developed a design to control how the electromagnetic wave travels along the laser and emit in one direction. They were able to obtain high efficiency and beam quality, but it did not allow for frequency tuning.

To overcome this, the researchers applied the concept of pi-bonding to the lasers, enabling close connections between the wire lasers. This coupling allowed phase locking of two or more wire lasers.
To obtain frequency tuning, they used tiny knobs to alter the current of each wire laser, which changes the refractive index. This change in refractive index together with coupled lasers, gives rise to a continuous frequency shift to the pair’s center frequency.

The researchers are building a system with a high dynamic range of more than 110 decibels which can be used for many applications including skin cancer imaging. Since skin cancer cells absorb terahertz waves more strongly than healthy cells, the terahertz lasers will be able to detect them.



With terahertz lasers having the three performance metrics, they can improve imaging capabilities and can be used in other applications.