International stories and articles from our Flipboard mag.

NOV
24

Twitter to Restart Verification Process (And Take Some Blue Checkmarks Away)

Twitter to Restart Verification Process (And Take Some Blue Checkmarks Away)

(Credit: Twitter)

Twitter will officially resume handing out verified badges to notable users early next year. But the company will also take some badges away. “We recognize that there are many verified accounts on Twitter who should not be,” the company wrote in a blog post.

On Tuesday, Twitter introduced the revamped policy that’ll guide the verification process after the program was somewhat frozen for three years. For now, the policy is simply a draft. “We want to ensure that, as an open service, our rules reflect the voices of the people who use Twitter,” Twitter says, so it’s soliciting feedback on the policy from now until Dec. 8. 

Why is the verified badge so important? The blue checkmark was created to indicate someone’s account is indeed real, and not an imposter. However, some people have viewed the badges as an endorsement from Twitter itself. This sparked a controversy in November 2017, when Twitter gave a verified badge to the organizer of a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Facing outrage, the company hit pause on the verification program. Since then, Twitter has been quietly handing out badges to select users through backchannels. However, the public verification process was put on hold so the company could focus on securing the platform from election interference and misinformation. 

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NOV
17

Council Post: Different Platforms, Different Purposes: The State Of Social Media Today

Council Post: Different Platforms, Different Purposes: The State Of Social Media Today

Marketing and Communications Manager at Moors & Cabot Investments.

getty

No one seems to be able to agree on who coined the term “social media.” According to a Forbes article, three people have attempted to claim that accolade, and although one of them insists that he used the term as early as 1994, the earliest online citation is reportedly from 1997. Social media as we know it, though, seems to have been “born” in 1997 with the launch of a site called SixDegrees.com.

Different platforms have sprung up from time to time, each with its own purpose. This year has been an unusual one (to put it mildly), and with so much of our time now spent in the virtual world with virtual connections, it’s prompted me to think about how much time I spend on each of the most popular platforms and why.

Popular Platforms: Then And Now

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NOV
16

How to build a successful business model around open source software

Open source software is an increasingly important part of many organizations. Yet establishing sustainable business models to support open source development is a non-trivial problem because the underlying technologies are given away for free. 

But it’s still possible to build a successful business around open source software — I know, because my team already did it. KNIME has managed to establish a new business model for providing production-ready open source enterprise software, let explain how.

Unlike business models based on selling a proprietary version of an open source software application, we went for offering two separate but complementary pieces of software.

I’ve found this allows for a clear division between the open source application and the commercial offering so that individuals have the typical open source innovation climate, while the commercial software helps the organization productionize their results in a scalable and risk-mitigated way.

[Read: The new Chinese digital consumers your business needs to target]

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NOV
16

How to set up a VPN on Windows 10

How to set up a VPN on Windows 10
Microsoft

If you're taking advantage of Black Friday laptop deals by picking up a new Windows 10 ($145 at Amazon) machine, you may be considering adding a virtual private network to protect your online privacy. The easiest way to get your favorite VPN up and running on your Windows 10 device is to simply download your VPN's app from the Microsoft Store and install it, just as you did on your previous device or version of Windows. Using a VPN's app is also the best way to use that VPN's bonus features -- from ad-blocking to automatically selecting the fastest connections. 

But for the tech-curious, another option is to test drive Windows 10's built-in VPN client. It may sound tricky, but the process takes about 15 to 20 minutes and can be broken down into two main components: creating a VPN profile, and then connecting to the VPN. Here's the step-by-step guide for setting up your VPN on Windows 10. 

Read more: How to download Windows 10 for free

What you'll need

VPN service: Even though you're using Windows 10 to manage your connection to a VPN, you'll still need to choose which VPN service to connect to. The service you choose will determine who's running the servers you're about to connect to. 

Check out our updated list of the best VPNs we've tested this year to get a quick idea of which provider might be best for you. You'll find lots of options, including the fastest VPNs, the best cheap VPNs, the best iPhone VPNs and the best Android VPNs. But no matter which service you choose, keep an eye out for any red flags that might indicate a less-than-private service

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OCT
18

Does your YouTube channel feature products? You might be able to funnel shoppers to product pages

Adam Levy, The Motley Fool Published 7:00 a.m. ET Oct. 15, 2020

CONNECTEMAILMORE

Everybody's doing more online shopping these days, and that hasn't gone unnoticed by tech leaders. Facebook and Alphabet have expanded their shopping features over the last few months to capitalize on the trend.

After Facebook's early successes with social commerce, Google sees an opportunity to create similar features in YouTube. The push to get YouTube's two billion monthly active users to shop directly from the video sharing app could present a significant change to its business, accelerating revenue growth.

Shopping tags on YouTube

Instagram introduced shopping tags way back in 2016. The feature gives creators a way to link to pages where their audience can learn more about products featured in their photos and videos. It's since become a key piece of the FAANG stock's commerce strategy.

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OCT
18

Why pay for Office and Photoshop when you can get these alternatives for free?

Why pay for Office and Photoshop when you can get these alternatives for free?
Top-quality software that costs nothing.We rely on expensive computer programs to edit photos and video, deal with office work, and protect our computers from malware. But they're not our only options. Often, commercial studios will offer the most basic versions of their products free of charge. In …
Original author: Nield
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OCT
14

10,000 Vintage Recipe Books Are Now Digitized in The Internet Archive’s Cookbook & Home Economics Collection

10,000 Vintage Recipe Books Are Now Digitized in The Internet Archive’s Cookbook & Home Economics Collection

“Early cookbooks were fit for kings,” writes Henry Notaker at The Atlantic. “The oldest published recipe collections” in the 15th and 16th centuries in Western Europe “emanated from the palaces of monarchs, princes, and grand señores.” Cookbooks were more than recipe collections—they were guides to court etiquette and sumptuous records of luxurious living. In ancient Rome, cookbooks functioned similarly, as the extravagant fourth century Cooking and Dining in Imperial Rome demonstrates.

Written by Apicius, “Europe’s oldest [cookbook] and Rome’s only one in existence today”—as its first English translator described it—offers “a better way of knowing old Rome and antique private life.” It also offers keen insight into the development of heavily flavored dishes before the age of refrigeration. Apicus recommends that “cooks who needed to prepare birds with a ‘goatish smell’ should bathe them in a mixture of pepper, lovage, thyme, dry mint, sage, dates, honey, vinegar, broth, oil and mustard,” Melanie Radzicki McManus notes at How Stuff Works.

Early cookbooks communicated in “a folksy, imprecise manner until the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s,” when standard (or metric) measurement became de rigueur. The first cookbook by an American, Amelia Simmons’ 1796 American Cookery, placed British fine dining and lavish “Queen’s Cake” next to “johnny cake, federal pan cake, buckwheat cake, and Indian slapjack,” Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald write at Smithsonian, all recipes symbolizing “the plain, but well-run and bountiful American home.” With this book, “a dialogue on how to balance the sumptuous with the simple in American life had begun.”

Cookbooks are windows into history—markers of class and caste, documents of daily life, and snapshots of regional and cultural identity at particular moments in time. In 1950, the first cookbook written by a fictional lifestyle celebrity, Betty Crocker, debuted. It became “a national best-seller,” McManus writes. “It even sold more copies that year than the Bible.” The image of the perfect Stepford housewife may have been bigger than Jesus in the 50s, but Crocker’s career was decades in the making. She debuted in 1921, the year of publication for another, more humble recipe book: the Pilgrim Evangelical Lutheran Church Ladies’ Aid Society of Chicago’s Pilgrim Cook Book.

As Ayun Halliday noted in an earlier post, this charming collection features recipes for “Blitz Torte, Cough Syrup, and Sauerkraut Candy,” and it’s only one of thousands of such examples at the Internet Archive’s Cookbook and Home Economics Collection, drawn from digitized special collections at UCLA, Berkeley, and the Prelinger Library. When we last checked in, the collection featured 3,000 cookbooks. It has grown since 2016 to a library of 10,600 vintage examples of homespun Americana, fine dining, and mass marketing.

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OCT
07

Cut your monthly expenses by replacing Netflix, Hulu and more with free versions

Cut your monthly expenses by replacing Netflix, Hulu and more with free versions

Fall has arrived, and you might be looking to save some cash while staying entertained as the days get shorter and chillier. Luckily, you can swap out many of the services you pay for -- including Netflix, Hulu, Apple Music, DoorDash and Grubhub -- for free alternatives. The free choices may not get you the exact same thing, but can often get you pretty close, especially if you're one of the millions of people whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and you're looking to cut costs where you can.

Many of these free services operate with ads, unlike their paid counterparts. And the streaming services won't let you download stuff to watch or listen to offline. But some have decent free trials and deals that you can take advantage of now.

Here's how to replace all of the services you pay for with free ones. 

Peacock

Sarah Tew/CNET

Replaces: Hulu

Peacock, NBCUniversal's streaming service that debuted in July, offers a free, ad-supported tier with about 13,000 hours of content, including TV shows, movies, and some live news and sports. Standouts include Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, The Bourne Identity and Premier League soccer highlights. You'll also get episodes of current NBC shows like This is Us the week after they air. In January 2021, The Office will also stream free with ads on Peacock. 

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OCT
07

DHS warns that Emotet malware is one of the most prevalent threats today

DHS warns that Emotet malware is one of the most prevalent threats today

The malware known as Emotet has emerged as “one of the most prevalent ongoing threats” as it increasingly targets state and local governments and infects them with other malware, the cybersecurity arm of the Department of Homeland Security said on Tuesday.

Emotet was first identified in 2014 as a relatively simple trojan for stealing banking account credentials. Within a year or two, it had reinvented itself as a formidable downloader or dropper that, after infecting a PC, installed other malware. The Trickbot banking trojan and the Ryuk ransomware are two of the more common follow-ons. Over the past month, Emotet has successfully burrowed into Quebec’s Department of Justice and increased its onslaught on governments in France, Japan, and New Zealand. It has also targeted the Democratic National Committee.

Not to be left out, US state and local governments are also receiving unwanted attention, according to the CISA, short for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Einstein—the agency’s intrusion-detection system for collecting, analyzing, and sharing security information across the federal civilian departments and agencies—has in recent weeks noticed a big uptick, too. In an advisory issued on Tuesday, officials wrote:

Since July 2020, CISA has seen increased activity involving Emotet-associated indicators. During that time, CISA’s EINSTEIN Intrusion Detection System, which protects federal, civilian executive branch networks, has detected roughly 16,000 alerts related to Emotet activity. CISA observed Emotet being executed in phases during possible targeted campaigns. Emotet used compromised Word documents (.doc) attached to phishing emails as initial insertion vectors. Possible command and control network traffic involved HTTP POST requests to Uniform Resource Identifiers consisting of nonsensical random length alphabetical directories to known Emotet-related domains or IPs with the following user agent string (Application Layer Protocol: Web Protocols [T1071.001]).

Emotet’s success is the result of a host of tricks, a few of which include:The ability to spread to nearby Wi-Fi networksA polymorphic design, meaning it constantly changes its identifiable characteristics, making it hard to detect as maliciousFileless infections, such as Powershell scripts that also make post-infections difficult to detectWorm-like features that steal administrative passwords and use them to spread throughout a network“Email thread hijacking,” meaning it steals email chains from one infected machine and uses a spoofed identity to respond to trick other people in the thread to open a malicious file or click on a malicious link.

Below is a diagram showing some of the techniques employed by Emotet.

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SEP
24

Ring’s new Always Home Cam is a surveillance drone for your home

We’ve all heard about surveillance drones, but those are usually matters of international espionage, not security for your home. Amazon‘s Ring wants to change that: the company today announced the Always Home Cam, a drone that helps you keep an eye on your home while you’re gone. It sounds like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie, but it’s arriving next year for $250.

The drone is able to operate autonomously, though users can direct it to different rooms and paths. Like vacuum robots, it maps your home so you can tell it where to go without it bumping into too many things(the propellers are enclosed for protection, too).

The device is meant to allow you to survey your entire home without needing multiple cameras — something that could be particularly useful for people with large homes; suburban America comes to mind.

It films in 1080p, and can be can also be set to activate when Ring detects a disturbance or to travel along pre-set routes. I can see it being useful for monitoring your pets more closely (assuming it doesn’t freak them out) or checking to see if you left the stove on.

It is limited to indoor operation, however, so it won’t be able to keep an eye on, say, a large plot of land.

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SEP
02

3 Things You Should Do Right Now To Set Boundaries While Working from Home

3 Things You Should Do Right Now To Set Boundaries While Working from Home

No matter what happens with the Covid-19 pandemic, one thing is clear: Working from home is going to be with us for a while. In some cases, companies have decided their employees can work from home forever. Others have given their employees the flexibility to work home for the next year, or more. If you love the flexibility of working remotely, that's great news.

For a lot of people, however, working from home has been a challenge. I understand. I've been working remotely for years, and it definitely requires a high level of planning and organization in order to be productive

Part of that means setting boundaries between work and everything else that happens at home. If you won't do that, no one else will. If you don't create boundaries and systems that help you stay focused on what matters most, you not only won't be productive, you'll end up burned out--not just in your work, but in your life.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to create boundaries that will help you be productive, and help you thrive during this challenging time.

1. Shut the Door

Easily the most difficult thing about working from home is that you don't have the same physical separation between life and work. When you go to an office, you know you're there to work. When you work from home, it all runs together, unless you create a dedicated space to work and go there when it's time to get things done. 

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SEP
02

Hackers are exploiting a critical flaw affecting >350,000 WordPress sites

Hackers are exploiting a critical flaw affecting >350,000 WordPress sites

Hackers are actively exploiting a vulnerability that allows them to execute commands and malicious scripts on Websites running File Manager, a WordPress plugin with more than 700,000 active installations, researchers said on Tuesday. Word of the attacks came a few hours after the security flaw was patched.

Attackers are using the exploit to upload files that contain webshells that are hidden in an image. From there, they have a convenient interface that allows them to run commands in plugins/wp-file-manager/lib/files/, the directory where the File Manager plugin resides. While that restriction prevents hackers from executing commands on files outside of the directory, hackers may be able to exact more damage by uploading scripts that can carry out actions on other parts of a vulnerable site.

NinTechNet, a website security firm in Bangkok, Thailand, was among the first to report the in-the-wild attacks. The post said that a hacker was exploiting the vulnerability to upload a script titled hardfork.php and then using it to inject code into the WordPress scripts /wp-admin/admin-ajax.php and /wp-includes/user.php.

Backdooring vulnerable sites at scale

In email, NinTechNet CEO Jerome Bruandet wrote:

It's a bit too early to know the impact because when we caught the attack, hackers were just trying to backdoor websites. However, one interesting thing we noticed is that attackers were injecting some code to password-protect the access to the vulnerable file (connector.minimal.php) so that other groups of hackers could not exploit the vulnerability on the sites that were already infected.

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AUG
26

How To Use Social Media To Make Money And Not Waste Time

How To Use Social Media To Make Money And Not Waste Time

Social media platforms can make a brand or break a person. The key lies in taking the best bits and opting out of the worst. It’s working out what actually makes a difference and only doing that. With an intentional mindset, success is possible.

Here’s how to use social media to make money without wasting time.

How to use social media to make money without wasting time

Unsplash - Josh Rose

Don’t waste time

Definite, deliberate actions rather than mindless scrolling will mean your return-per-second is high. Don’t confuse busyness with effectiveness on social media. Without having a clear goal it will zap your time and your energy and you’ll have nothing to show for it.

Use it to produce in favour of consuming. Know the purpose of you being active on each platform. Develop acute awareness of when you are scrolling and checking instead of publishing and engaging. Follow as few people as you can, or don’t ever scroll the news feed. Limit your time to maximise productivity. Set timers whenever you are there, and stop when the alarm sounds.

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AUG
16

What to Do When You Want to Delete Yourself From the Internet

What to Do When You Want to Delete Yourself From the Internet

We review products independently, but we may earn affiliate commissions from buying links on this page. Terms of use.

(Image: WD Storage)

We'd all like to disappear some days. But none of us are ever alone, even when we're by ourselves, because the internet is always there. It's on our phones, on our tablets, and next to our bedsides in smart speakers that are always listening.

Privacy is a commodity we can't even pay for, but there are some things we can do to try to get some of it back. The first thing is simply to limit how much you personally post online.

Next, evaluate your social profiles. Social media platforms are where you've likely shared the most about yourself. According to WD Storage, 350 million photos are added to Facebook each day. You can go through your profile and erase photos and posts. Or you might opt to delete your Facebook account altogether.

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AUG
12

Google now lets you create an online business card. Here's how to make one for yourself | Pocketnow

Google now lets you create an online business card. Here's how to make one for yourself | Pocketnow

Published 12 August 2020, 02:51 EDT

We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.

When you search a celebrity or famous person’s name, you see a knowledge card that gives a brief intro about them at the top of the search results. If you ever wished (I definitely have. A lot!) that such an introduction for you appears when people Google search your name, you’re in luck. Google has launched what it calls ‘people cards‘ that will essentially serve as your virtual business card for the world.

In the people card form, you can write a brief intro about yourself and your business, highlight your website, add a profile image, mention your educational qualifications, and links to your social media handles. If you are looking to create a people card of your own, just follow these steps to create one:

Search the term “add me to Search” in your browser.Tap on the “Get Started” button that appears inside the “Add yourself to Google Search” box.On the next page, enter details such as name, location, a brief introduction, occupation, work details, website, and the rest of the fields you deem necessary.After filling all the details, tap on the preview button and then hit the Save button to create your profile card.

And this is how your people card looks when someone performs a Google search for your name:

Original author: Sarwar
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AUG
12

Google announces a ton of new tools and features to ease online education for everyone | Pocketnow

Google announces a ton of new tools and features to ease online education for everyone | Pocketnow

Published 11 August 2020, 22:18 EDT

We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links.

Google has today kicked off its global The Anywhere School event, as part of which, the company has made a ton of announcements to make virtual education easier for students as well as teachers. Notably, some of the features outlined in the blog posts have been announced before as well, but they are yet to roll out widely as of now.

Google Meet

Arrives in SeptemberGoogle Meet is getting a 7×7 grid tiled view that will allow users to see 49 participants at once.Jamboard, the company’s virtual whiteboard, is also making its way to Meet so that students can share ideas.Arrives in OctoberThe ability to blur the background or replace it during video calls.Teachers will be able to track virtual attendance.A new feature called breakout rooms will allow educators to split the class into separate groups for simultaneous discussions.Later this yearDetect raised hands to identify participants who may need help.New Q&A features and a polling tool.The ability to record a meeting and share it within 30 days before it expires.
More controls for meeting moderatorsModerators can stop participants from joining meetings after they’ve been evicted or denied entry twice.End the meeting for everyone when the class is over.Bulk accept or reject join requests.Disable chat and restrict who can do a presentation.A new setting that will allow the teacher to join first.

Classroom

A new to-do list on the Classes page to help students check the schedule of classes and projects, see what has been assessed, and more.Teachers will be able to share invite links with students to attend their class more easily than ever.Classroom will soon get support for 10 more languages, bringing the total number to 54.Teachers will also be able to assess the interaction between students with an engagement metrics tool.

Additionally, Google has announced a new app called Assignments for a school’s learning management system (LMS) targeted at institutions that don’t use Classroom. It will make it easier for teachers to grade and analyze student’s work, aside from allowing them to automatically create personalized copies of assignments and distribute them directly to students’ Drive.

Docs will soon get native citation tool as well, making it convenient for students to add and manage their sources directly in Docs by allowing them to insert in-text citations.

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AUG
11

7 UX Deliverables: What will I be making as a UX designer?

7 UX Deliverables: What will I be making as a UX designer?

What does a UX designer actually produce? Here, we will explore the concept of UX Deliverables, a term that describes the outputs of a UX design process during its various stages. The deliverables produced by UX designers vary according to their role in the design team and also depending on the methods and tools used by each role. We will provide an overview here of some of the most common types of deliverables.

A UX design process typically follows something similar to a design thinking approach, which consists of five basic phases:

Empathize with the users (learning about the audience)Define the problem (identifying the users’ needs)Ideate (generating ideas for design)Prototype (turning ideas into concrete examples)Test (evaluating the design)

The first two phases (empathizing and defining the problem) are often grouped into the term “User Research” – i.e., understanding both the nature of the users and how this affects their needs. A number of tools and methods can be used in each phase. Each tool or method might produce a different type of output (UX deliverable), but here we will focus on some of the most commonly used types to give you an overview of what you might be expected to produce in a UX design career.

User Research Deliverables

Personas

A persona is a fictional character which the designers build as a sort of user stereotype. It represents the typical users, their goals, motivations, frustrations and skills. Other information such as demographics and education backgrounds complete the persona. Depending on the scope of the projects, designers will generate a number of different personas to capture as wide a part of the audience as possible. Generating personas helps designers empathize with the users and demonstrate a thorough understanding of who they are and what they want to achieve.

Copyright holder: Rosenfeld Media, Flickr. Copyright terms and license: CC BY 2.0

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JUL
30

10 cross-platform commands all users should know

10 cross-platform commands all users should know

Learning the command line on any system can be daunting, so why not leverage that knowledge against multiple operating systems? Here are some that can help.

Image: Claudio Caridi, Getty Images/iStockphoto

As an admin, one of the things that irks me after a particularly long day is the switch over, or mental reset that comes with changing gears between Windows, Linux, or macOS. It may seem like a trifling nuisance, but it doesn't get any easier over time when you execute a long string and press enter, only to have the console attempt to process the command and end in failure.

It's those lost seconds that lead to minutes, then hours. Even worse is when you're trying to figure something out and can't quite get it, though you're sure the command is right. Only then do you realize that you're attempting to run a command from one shell in another.

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

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JUL
30

This flexible laptop could completely revolutionize the computer category

This flexible laptop could completely revolutionize the computer category
This flexible laptop could completely revolutionize the computer category | Yanko Design

By 07/30/2020

There’s nothing more disruptive than a product that challenges the presence of multiple markets. Meet the Paysage, a conceptual computing device that targets both laptop and desktop users with a unique hybrid design. Its design features a two-part construction – the main CPU, which sits within the keyboard-unit (like most laptops), and the screen, which rather than resting on the top of the keyboard, comes with a flexible construction that wraps around the top and the bottom, sandwiching the keyboard in between. The image above should fairly help illustrate what I mean.

This unique build is what sets the Paysage apart. Flip open half the screen and you’ve got yourself a standard laptop/netbook, equipped with a keyboard, trackpad, four USB-C ports, an Aux input, and its dedicated speakers. However, things get interesting when you realize that the entire keyboard unit detaches from the screen completely, leaving you with a much larger flexible display that you can open out and mount on a tabletop stand, giving you a desktop experience complete with a massive elevated screen and an external keyboard.

The Paysage was originally envisioned nearly a decade ago (and subsequently covered on YD too), and it’s only with recent advancements in flexible OLED displays that the Paysage seems more real. In its latest iteration, designer Kevin Depape details out the device further, with magnetic fixtures, connecting cables, and an overall design that seems like something Microsoft could pull off if they tried. A Surface DeskBook perhaps?!

Designer: Kevin Depape

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JUL
27

Ransomware: These free decryption tools have now saved victims over $600m | ZDNet

Ransomware: These free decryption tools have now saved victims over $600m | ZDNet

Over four million victims of ransomware attacks have now avoided paying over £600 million in extortion demands to cyber criminals in the first four years of Europol's No More Ransom initiative.

First launched in 2016 with four founding members, No More Ransom provides free decryption tools for ransomware and has been growing ever since, now consisting of 163 partners across cybersecurity, law enforcement bodies, financial services and more.

Together, they've released free decryption tools for over 140 families of ransomware which have been downloaded a combined total of over 4.2 million times – something which Europol estimates has prevented $632 million from being paid out to cyber criminals.

Among the top contributors to the project are Emisisoft, which has provided 54 decryption tools for 45 ransomware families, founding member Kaspersky, which has provided five tools for 32 ransomware families and Trend Micro, which has provided two decryption tools for 27 ransomware families.

Other cybersecurity firms which have provided multiple tools to No More Ransom include Avast, Bitdefender, Check Point, ESET and founding member McAfee.

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