How much do you know about the Earth you live on? The countries and capitals, the great oceans and rivers, the mountains and the land—geography is essential to be a citizen of this world, and there are easy ways to learn about our planet.
There are free online academic courses to learn geography, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. You’ve probably learned the basics already and forgotten about it. It’s time to re-learn or test your knowledge.
Even Google jumped into the game with the Google Earth Natural Wonders Quiz last year. But that’s not enough. The world is a large place, so let’s get exploring.
You have more than 200 friends. And you know enough things about them that you can recall easily. So why can’t you learn the names, locations, and capitals of the 195 countries in the world today?
Web app Globehead uses the system of spaced repetition to teach you the three basics of any nation in the world. Faced with a map of the world, you can click a country or have the app pick one for you. Through a series of questions, you’ll find out where it is and its capital.
These questions are repeated in different ways, so as to drill them into your memory. Every time you log on, Globehead will ask these questions again, fulfilling the principles of spaced repetition. It might be a good idea to make Globehead your homepage, so that you keep learning about a few new nations and improving your geographical knowledge.
GeographyNow isn’t just for kids. Paul Barbato, more commonly known as Barby, is an engaging and entertaining host for short videos to learn everything you need to know about every country in the world, as well as continents, regions, and other formations.
The videos are typically 10 to 20 minutes long and cover a wide gamut of interesting information about the country. It includes how the nation was formed, its current geopolitical issues, the salient geographic details about the land and its surroundings, and more. Barby narrates all of it through funny and cool videos, often play-acting with friends to deliver historical facts.
Along with all that, there is also a short flag-specific video, explaining the history of that flag. If you weren’t already interested in how nations build a flag and the meaning behind it, Barby’s videos will kindle a new thirst for knowledge.
Darron Gedge’s Geography Channel is a fantastic resource for educational videos about geography. Gedge focuses on geography and not geopolitics, which means it is more about the natural formations of Earth.
That’s not to say he ignores man’s role in it. His latest video, for example, is about coastal erosion and the methods we can use to reduce it. The previous video talked about the causes of water pollution.
Through live demonstrations, infographics and illustrations, and simple language, Gedge is able to turn complex geographical information into easy-to-understand videos. It’s great for kids, but also for adults who don’t know where to ask their questions for fear of looking stupid.
Nothing comes close to Seterra as a simple geographical game to find locations on a political map. It’s not restricted to the globe alone, as you can drill down to continents and countries, finding states and provinces, major cities, or other important points in them.
The USA is best covered in the app, with maps for states, capitals, original colonies, cities, rivers, geophysical regions, and even the civil war. Each continent has maps to test your knowledge of its major physical features, and some other countries have extra material too like the USA.
Additionally, Seterra provides printable PDFs of most of these maps so you can hand them out in a classroom, or simply test yourself against your friends as a party game.
Seterra has everything for free on the internet, but the mobile apps have a few restrictions in the free version. Try them out, and if you like it, the $1.99 price is worth unlocking all maps and quizzes.
Much like the Spelling Bee tests spelling, National Geographic hosts an annual competition for students to test geographical knowledge. Whether you’re a student or a full-grown adult, the GeoBee Challenge app is a nice way to test your own geography and learn some more too.
There are 15 rounds of quizzes, with five questions in each round. Each question has multiple-choice answers and a time limit. Once you pick your answer, the app takes you to the correct location on a map. It’s a cool interactive way to test your knowledge, and even apply some lateral thinking.
For example, one of the questions was, “Which city, known for its Cajun and French influences, was devastated by hurricanes?” In the choices, even if you knew New Orleans was hit by hurricanes, you’ll now also learn that it has heavy Cajun and French influences.
Obviously, no article dealing with learning more about the world through technology can be complete without mentioning Google Maps. It is one of the best free resources on the internet, and Google actively encourages teachers to use it in classrooms.
If you don’t know where to look, start with these Google Maps and Google Earth gems. It has things you didn’t know you wanted, from seeing a timeline of how areas around the world have changed over the years, to playing a game of “where in the world is this” with Street View images.
Read the full article: Do You Know All Countries and Capitals? 5 Geography Quiz and Learning Apps
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 4:30 pm(NZT)
For most people, the primary purpose of their keyboard is… typing! For a keyboard to truly be good, it’s all about making typing as comfortable as possible while maintaining as much speed and efficiency as possible.
Keystone is a new mechanical keyboard that aims to reinvent all the key aspects of typing. Rather than just making things more comfortable, it actively works with you to get stuff done faster.
It all sounds quite promising, and if all of the planned features happen, this might be a keyboard that both people using their computer for work and play will need to keep on their radar.
Input Club, the company behind the Keystone keyboard, is really pushing the fact that its device can detect how far down a user presses the keys and how hard they tend to press them. With this technology, a whole slew of new features become available.
Using Adaptive AI, the Keystone is able to tell how hard and far users press the keys, and it will adjust how far you need to press the key to send a signal to the PC. For heavy-handed users, this will prevent accidental keystrokes. For light typists, it’ll make it so users don’t need to push the keys down any harder than they’re comfortable with.
Ideally, this will also limit the amount of pain typists experience as they will be able to use the keyboard in exactly the way that’s comfortable for them.
This feature also applies to gamers, as the same pressure-sensing features will apply there. Since gamers tend to spend hours at a time sitting behind their keyboard, this can prove to be a big deal.
Pressure-sensing is also useful for performing a variety of functions on the keyboard. For example, pressing down halfway can do one thing, while pressing a key fully would do something else.
The keyboard is also fully programmable, so creators will be able to customize keys based on what they need, including the use of macros.
Some other things worth noting about Keystone include swappable SILO switches, multiple levels of clickiness, programmable RGB lighting, and super-fast response time.
Input Club is seeking funding for its new mechanical keyboard on Kickstarter. It has far exceeded its funding goal already, so it should find its way into the hands of backers soon enough, assuming the manufacturing process goes smoothly.
Backers interested in ordering a Keystone keyboard for themselves can do so starting at $149. The price varies depending on the mechanical switches, whether you choose a tenkeyless (TLK) model or a full-size model, among other options.
As with all Kickstarter projects, there are certain risks involved for backers, so make sure you’re aware before you jump in and throw down your hard-earned cash.
Read the full article: Keystone Reinvents the Mechanical Keyboard With Adaptive Typing AI
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 8:30 am(NZT)
Instagram is making changes to the way it handles account suspensions and bans. The changes are designed to keep the social platform free from content that breaks Instagram’s rules while also helping users understand what they have done wrong.
All social platforms have rules. Some have more rules than others, and some users have bigger issues abiding by these rules than others. Some users push things so far that they end up getting banned for repeatedly breaking the rules.
Instagram’s Community Guidelines cover pornography, bullying, harassment, and more. Instagram will disable or even delete your account if you continually break these rules. However, it is now rolling out changes designed to keep Instagram free of these issues.
Instagram outlined the changes in a post on the Instagram Blog. The company explains that these changes will help Instagram “quickly detect and remove accounts that repeatedly violate our policies” and keep Instagram “a safe and supportive place”.
The first change means that an account can be removed for committing “a certain number of violations within a window of time”. Until now, Instagram has only targeted accounts that “have a certain percentage of violating content”.
— Instagram (@instagram) July 18, 2019
The problem with the former policy is that it meant clever users could stay under the percentage threshold. Therefore avoiding having their account suspended. Under the new policy, Instagram will have more leeway to detect and remove troublesome accounts.
The second change is all about keeping users better informed and able to appeal against content that has been deleted. From now on, when Instagram deletes a post for breaking its guidelines, the company will notify the user to warn them that their account is at risk.
It will also inform them which post or posts have been removed and why. Users will then be able to appeal against the decision, and if Instagram decides it has deleted content by mistake, the post(s) will be restored and the violation struck from the record.
As Instagram grows more popular, these changes are important. Not only to help keep the platform free of unsavoury content but also to help right wrongs, such as breastfeeding mothers who have had their posts removed for violating the rules regarding nudity.
As well as the actual rules maintained and managed by social platforms, there are those unwritten rules longtime users instinctively know they need to follow. And Instagram is no exception. So here are the things you should not be doing on Instagram.
Read the full article: Instagram Now Warns You When You Break the Rules
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 6:30 am(NZT)
GPS is great for recovering your device when lost or stolen and navigating while driving with Google Maps. And it’s especially nifty because GPS works even when disconnected from the internet. Just download your maps ahead of time!
But how about using an Android phone as a GPS tracker? It may not be the most reliable option, and it does comes with some not-so-insignificant drawbacks, but it can get the job done if you’re desperate. Here’s how to turn your Android phone into a GPS tracker.
Note: These instructions are based on a Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 8.0 Oreo, but the steps should be relatively similar for most Android devices.
Most Android devices released in 2014 or later have a built-in feature called Find My Device (formerly called Find My Device). This service constantly pings your device’s location back to Google’s servers so that Google knows where your device is. You can then use Google’s web interface to see where your device is at any given time. You’ll need a Google account to use this feature.
Note: In order to activate this service, you’ll need to allow four permissions: 1) the ability to erase all data, 2) the ability to change your screen unlock password, 3) the ability to lock the screen, and 4) the ability to turn off functions on the lock screen.
The nice thing about Find My Device is that it’s not just a tracker—it lets you control the device from afar in the above-mentioned ways. Learn more in our overview of Find My Device.
Once enabled, all you have to do is launch a web browser, navigate to the Find My Device dashboard, and sign into your Google account (the same one associated with your device).
Once you’re logged in, select the device you want to locate, click the Locate button for said device, and it’ll show its last known location and how long ago it was last spotted. It’s fairly accurate in my experience, but I live in an urban environment; it can be off by up to 20 meters in areas with poor GPS visibility.
If you don’t like Find My Device for whatever reason, you can always resort to one of the many third-party alternatives available on the Google Play Store. These apps are easy to install and you don’t really have to do anything beyond creating an account to use them.
There are two that we recommend:
1. Lookout: Lookout is an all-in-one security solution where device tracking is just one of its many features. As such, it might be too bloated if device tracking is the only feature you’re interested in. But if your device currently lacks a good antivirus app, you might as well use this one and kill two birds with one stone.
2. Prey: In practical usage, Prey is very similar to Find My Device. Its one big advantage is availability across multiple other platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and iPhone, so you can track ALL of your devices from anywhere.
Most of these are marketed as anti-theft and anti-loss security apps for Android—and they’re certainly useful for those purposes—but you can use them for straight-up tracking if you so wish.
Once your device is set up as trackable, whether using Find My Device or a third-party app, there’s only thing left to do: attach the device to the person or object that you want to track. Obviously, this is much easier said than done.
Want to know how to track a car with a cell phone?
The easiest and most effective option is to use a magnetic car mount. Most two-piece kits come with a magnetic insert (that you place inside your device case) and a magnetic base (that you attach to whatever you want to mount). With a good model, the magnetic force should be strong enough for your phone to “snap” onto the base and stay there securely.WizGear Universal Stick-On Magnetic Car Mount WizGear Universal Stick-On Magnetic Car Mount Buy Now On Amazon $11.99
The WizGear Universal Stick-On Magnetic Car Mount is easy, convenient, and affordable. It’s a stick-on model that uses an adhesive, and contains 10 magnets for maximum magnetic strength.WizGear Universal Suction Cup Magnetic Car Mount WizGear Universal Suction Cup Magnetic Car Mount Buy Now On Amazon $14.99
If you don’t trust adhesives, you might consider the WizGear Universal Suction Cup Magnetic Car Mount. It’s a lot more conspicuous than the stick-on variant, but the suction cup is strong and may be worth the trade-off.Pop-Tech Universal Adhesive Metal Mounts Pop-Tech Universal Adhesive Metal Mounts Buy Now On Amazon $4.99
Don’t have a phone case? You can use adhesive metal plates instead, such as these Pop-Tech Universal Adhesive Metal Mounts. They stick right onto the back of your device and let you use magnetic mounts per usual.
While your Android device can work as a tracker in a pinch, don’t expect it to pass for a serious tracking device. There are three main drawbacks that you should be aware of, and if any of these drawbacks prove problematic for you, then you should consider using a dedicated tracker instead:
In other words, don’t convert your Android phone to a GPS tracker unless you have no other options. For an alternative that’s more accurate and reliable, consider trying something like the Spy Tec Portable GPS Tracker.
Looking for a GPS tracker for your kids? How about a phone watch:
Read the full article: How to Use an Android Phone as a GPS Tracker Device
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)
What’s that? You don’t like the way Windows 10 looks and acts? We can’t imagine why—the operating system goes through extensive testing and is widely regarded as the most stable and enjoyable platform on the market.
Okay, we’re joking. If you want to change the way Windows looks and acts, keep reading. These are some of the best tools to customize Windows 10.
Customizer God—which is compatible with Windows 7, 8, and 10—should be your go-to tool for changing anything about the way the icons in Windows 10 look.
There are new icons for the Start menu, the taskbar, your drives, the battery, the login screen, the time and date, and a whole lot more.
The app is also easy to use. You don’t need any specialized knowledge, just install it on your system and start tweaking.
Download: Customizer God (Free)
TweakNow PowerPack is more geared towards customizing the way Windows 10 behaves rather than the way it looks.
For example, you can set up an automatic shutdown which will turn off your computer at a specific time, optimize your system’s RAM usage, and create a special shortcut for CPU-intensive apps that can automatically assign the highest CPU priority level and free up sufficient RAM.
And then there’s The Virtual Desktop module helps you set up four custom-designed desktop configurations that you can match with your mood and your work requirements.
There’s also a menu with more than 100 hidden Windows settings, a registry cleaner (which you should use with caution), and a revamped start-up manager.
Download: TweakNow PowerPack (Free)
Winaero Tweaker is a Windows 10 tweak tool. It has rolled together several of the old standalone Winaero customization apps into a single interface.
The software boasts an enormous number of features which are way too numerous to list in this article. Here’s a small sample to give you an idea of what is possible:
In addition to Windows 10, the app is also compatible with Windows 7 and Windows 8. The app is still under active development, with a new release rolling out every three or four months.
Download: Winaero Tweaker (Free)
Ultimate Windows Tweaker is a lightweight (495KB) and portable Windows app that you can use to customize Windows 10 (as well as Windows 7 and 8).
Indeed, it is one of the best Windows 10 customization tools you’ll find; it offers more than 200 Windows tweaks for you to play with. You will find privacy tweaks, security tweaks, performance tweaks, context menu tweaks, search tweaks, and a whole lot more.
In addition to all the above, Ultimate Windows Tweaker also doubles as a Windows 10 taskbar customization software. For example, it lets you change the Battery, Date and Time, and Volume layouts, and show or hide Frequent folders and Recent files.
Download: Ultimate Windows Tweaker (Free)
Although Ultimate Windows Tweaker lets you make some changes to the taskbar, if you want a more holistic level of control, check out Taskbar Tweaker. It is the best Windows 10 taskbar customization app.
The app has a small amount of cross-over with the native Windows 10 taskbar configuration tools, but the majority of what it offers cannot be achieved by fiddling with the registry or using Windows’ own settings.
Some of the taskbar customizations offered by Taskbar Tweaker include:
Download: Taskbar Tweaker (Free)
Folder Marker is as much about productivity as it is about customization. Quite simply, it lets you color-code folders with a single click of the mouse.
But the options don’t stop there—you can also set folders being as High-Priority, Low-Priority, Completed, Important, and Private. If you’re working on large projects with lots of shared files and folders, it’s a great way to stay on top of your tasks.
The app can also work with several folders at once and can be set up with more sub-categories for an extra level of control.
The paid version adds features such as applying selected icons to all subfolders and adding custom icons.
Download: Folder Marker (Free, premium version available)
Be warned: Rainmeter is something of a rabbit hole. Once you get the hang of the app and learn how to tailor it for your needs, it’s hard to stop fiddling and create your own unique Windows 10 mods. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a way to customize the Windows 10 desktop, there is no better tool.
Rainmeter works on the concept of “skins”—but that’s a bit of a misleading term. In practice, a skin can be as simple as a calendar widget or as complicated as an entirely new desktop showing everything from network usage to the latest news.
There are some default Rainmeter skins that beginner users can run. For the best experience, you need to learn how to create your own custom skins with this ultimate Windows 10 tweaker.
Download: Rainmeter (Free)
Some of the designs are seriously funky—but they require some external add-ons in order to work. Windows doesn’t play nicely with third-party themes that haven’t come directly from the Microsoft Store.
UltraUXThemePatcher is the most common tool you’ll need when using third-party themes. Given the nature of the app, it will modify your system files. Make sure you make a full backup of your important data and that you create a system restore point before you go any further.
Download: UltraUXThemePatcher (Free)
Customizing Windows 10 is also an exercise in patience. If you couldn’t find what you were looking for in this article, don’t worry. We’ve written about lots of tools for specific parts of Windows elsewhere on the site.
Whether you want to bring back desktop gadgets, change the login screen message, or even create your own interactive wallpapers, we’ve got you covered.
Read the full article: The 8 Best Tools to Tweak and Customize Windows 10
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 4:00 am(NZT)
Here’s everything you need to know on how to hide data in Excel and manage the information you want to work with.
When you type text in a cell, and the text is wider than the cell, the text overflows into the adjacent cells in the row. If there is any text in the adjacent cell, the text in the first cell is blocked by the text in the adjacent cell.
You can solve this by having the text wrap in the first cell. But that increases the height of the entire row.
If you don’t want to show the overflow text, even when there is nothing in the adjacent cells, you can hide the overflow text.
Select the cell containing the text that’s overflowing and do one of the following:
On the Format Cells dialog box, click the Alignment tab. Then, select Fill from the Horizontal dropdown list and click OK.
The overflow text in the first cell does not show even when there is nothing in the cell to the right.
Comments in Excel allow you to annotate your worksheets. This is useful when collaborating on worksheets. You can set reminders or add notes for yourself or for others to explain formulas or how to use part of a worksheet.
You may want to hide comments if there are many on your worksheet. The comments could make it hard to read your data.
By default, cells with comments contain a small colored triangle in the upper-right corner called a comment indicator. These indicators can also be hidden by going to the Excel options as we will see further down.
The options under For cells with comments, show in the Excel Options and the Show All Comments option on the Review tab are linked.
Comments are a must for effective collaboration. So take the effort to learn all about managing comments in Excel if you share a workbook in a group.
You can’t hide cells themselves, but you can hide cell contents in Excel. Maybe you have some data referenced by other cells that do not need to be seen.
To hide the contents of a cell, select the cell(s) you want to hide (use Shift and Ctrl to select multiple cells). Then, do one of the following:
On the Format Cells dialog box, make sure the Number tab is active. Select Custom in the Category box.
Before changing the Type, note what’s currently selected. This way you know what to change it back to when you decide to show the content again.
Enter three semicolons (;;;) in the Type box and click OK.
The contents in the selected cells are now hidden, but the value, formula, or function in each cell still displays in the Formula Bar.
The hidden content is still available to use in formulas and functions in other cells. If you replace the content in a hidden cell, the new content will also be hidden. The new content is available for use in other cells just like the original content.
To show the content in a cell again, follow the same steps above. But this time, choose the original Category and Type for the cell on the Format Cells dialog box.
When you hide a cell, as described in the previous section, you can still see the contents, formula, or function in the Formula Bar. To completely hide the contents of a cell, you must hide the Formula Bar also.
On the View tab, uncheck the Formula Bar box in the Show section.
You can also hide the Formula Bar on the Excel Options dialog box.
Go to File > Options. Then, click Advanced on the left and uncheck the Show formula bar box in the Display section on the right.
By default, when you enter a formula in a cell, the formula displays in the Formula Bar and the result displays in the cell.
If you don’t want others to see your formulas, you can hide them. One way is to hide the Formula Bar using the method in the previous section. But anyone can reveal the Formula Bar again.
You can securely hide a formula in a cell by applying the Hidden setting to the cell and then protecting the worksheet.
Select the cell(s) for which you want to hide the formula(s) and do one of the following:
On the Protection tab, check the Hidden box. Then, click OK.
You still need to protect the sheet to hide the formulas.
Click Protect Sheet in the Protect section on the Review tab.
On the Protect Sheet dialog box, make sure the Protect worksheet and contents of locked cells box is checked.
In the Password to unprotect sheet box, enter a password to prevent others from unprotecting the worksheet. This is not required, but we recommend it.
By default, Select locked cells and Select unlocked cells are checked in the Allow all users of this worksheet to box. You can check boxes for other actions you want to allow users of your worksheet to perform, but you may not want to if you don’t want other users to change your worksheet.
Enter your password again on the Confirm Password dialog box.
The formulas in the selected cells do not show in the Formula Bar now. But you still see the results of the formulas in the cells, unless you’ve hidden the contents of those cells as described in the “How to Hide and Unhide Certain Cells” section above.
To show the formulas again, select the cells for which you want to show the formulas and click Unprotect Sheet in the Protect section of the Review tab.
If you entered a password when protecting the sheet, enter the password on the Unprotect Sheet dialog box that displays. If you didn’t protect the sheet with a password, no further prompts are displayed.
The formulas won’t show just yet. Reverse the process you followed to hide the cell contents now and turn off the Hidden setting for them.
Select the cells for which you hid the formulas and do one of the following:
Uncheck the Hidden box on the Protection tab and click OK.
The formulas for the selected cells will now be visible in the Formula Bar again if you haven’t hidden the Formula Bar.
If you want to remove one or more rows or columns from a worksheet, but you don’t want to delete them, you can hide them. The process for rows and columns is almost similar with the exception of the keyboard shortcut.
To hide one or more consecutive rows, first select the rows. Then, do one of the following:
The selected rows are replaced with a double line in the row headings and a thick line where the rows were. When you click anywhere else on the worksheet, the thick line goes away. But you can tell where the hidden rows are by the missing row numbers and the double line in the row headings.
Cells in hidden rows and columns can still be used for calculations while hidden.
The fastest way to unhide a single row. Hover your mouse over the hidden row marker, and when the mouse pointer turns into a split two-headed arrow, double click it.
You can also use the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+9
Unhide specific adjacent rows. Select the rows above and below the hidden rows. Then, do one of the following:
Unhide all rows in a worksheet. Click the Select All button (the little triangle at the intersection of the row and columns on the top right).
What if you hide the first row? This method of unhiding doesn’t work on the first row of a worksheet because there is no row above the first row.
To select the first row, click in the Name box to the left of the Formula Bar, type in “A1” if the hidden row is the topmost in the sheet or “A2” if you are using column headings as in the screenshot below. Press Enter. Then, press Ctrl + Shift + 9.
The hide option in Excel is similar for both rows and columns. Select the column or consecutive columns you want to hide, and do one of the following:
The same double line and thick line you see when hiding rows display in place of the hidden columns. The column letters are also hidden.
To show the columns again, select the columns to the left and right of the hidden columns. Then, do one of the following:
If you’ve hidden the first column (A), you can unhide it as you do for when you hide the first row.
The fastest way is to drag the colored line to the right and reveal the first hidden row. Hover your mouse over the marker you see in the screen below till the cursor changes into a double-headed arrow. Drag to the right.
To select the first column, click in the Name box to the left of the Formula Bar, type in “A1”, and press Enter. Then, press Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero).
There are some instances when the unhide keyboard shortcut doesn’t work. Instead of using the shortcut, you type “A1” and Enter to select the hidden column. Then, go to Home > Cells Group > Format > Visibility > Hide & Unhide > Unhide Columns.
If you’ve hidden a lot of rows and columns, you can unhide all the hidden columns at once.
Select the entire worksheet by clicking in the box between the row and column headers or pressing Ctrl + A. Then, press Ctrl + Shift + 0 (zero) to unhide all the hidden columns.
You can also right-click on the row or column headers while the entire worksheet is selected and select Unhide.
Hiding data is a simple but useful skill to learn in Excel, especially if you plan to use your worksheets in a presentation. Enter all the data you need, even if you only need some data for calculations or some is sensitive or private.
Read the full article: How to Hide and Unhide Anything You Want in Microsoft Excel
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 3:00 am(NZT)
How many online accounts do you have? Can you remember all the different passwords for them? Or are you risking your security by using a single password, with one or two alternatives?
There’s no need to put yourself under pressure to remember passwords. Get rid of that notebook with all your passwords and PINs scrawled down—after all, it’s a massive security risk!
Instead, try a password manager. Let’s look at RememBear, a password manager with free and premium options that’s secure while also being fun and easy to use.
Password managers keep your user accounts safe. They’ll work with any website or app: social networks, games, banking, shopping, online payments, and government sites.
Reasons to use a password manager include keeping your account credentials safely encrypted and having a secure password generator. Other key reasons include not having to remember dozens of passwords, as well as using a single memorable master password.
Many browsers include a built-in password manager, so you’re probably using one already. But is it the best choice for you to use? Probably not. What you need is a dedicated password manager, such as RememBear.
Many password managers are available, from the free-to-use tools in Chrome and Firefox to various subscription offerings. So why would you opt for RememBear?
Well, one good reason is the fact that RememBear is a stablemate of TunnelBear, a popular and respected VPN service. The company has now turned its attention from encrypted connections to secure passwords, and the results are great.
Importantly for anyone looking to secure their online accounts, RememBear is free to use for a single device. Want to sync passwords via the secure cloud to other devices? Then you’ll need to subscribe to the modest $3 per month service.
When considering any new service, paid or otherwise, it is important to know what you’re going to get for subscribing. Various features are available to free and premium RememBear users that make your online life more secure than ever.
For example, you can store login details, credit cards, and secure notes in your RememBear account, fully encrypted. Later, you’ll use these details to easily autofill login boxes and credit card fields online with a single click. That means RememBear automatically and securely types your email and password, so you never have to. RememBear even stores one-time codes for two-factor authentication.
With a secure password generator built into the software, creating a new password is simple. Meanwhile, end-to-end 256-bit AES encryption ensures strong security. There’s also support for face and fingerprint ID on mobile, which is more convenient than typing your master password each time.
Paid account holders, of course, get to use RememBear on multiple platforms. Apps are currently available on Windows and macOS, along with iOS and Android. Browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.
In addition, RememBear has been independently audited by tech auditing company cure53. This means you can use it with confidence, in the knowledge that the tool has been vetted from conception to release.
Finally, to ensure you have set up your RememBear account correctly, the process is gamified. You’ll earn achievements for each step of the process. It’s fun, and certainly helps you to focus on setup rather than getting distracted by all the available features.
RememBear’s guided setup is a painless experience, making it one of the most user-friendly password managers on the market.
Before you get to this, however, you must set up a master password, as well as create a backup kit. This comes in the form of a QR code and accompanying 29-character key that are required to unlock your account, in addition to your master password. You can either make a note of the details, or print out the backup kit and keep it safe. If you lose your master password, you won’t be able to log in, so it’s vital you don’t forget it.
The main portion of RememBear setup revolves around importing passwords from another password manager, such as your browser’s. After that you can gain achievements by installing a browser extension, setting up a credit card, and adding a secure note.
Note that you can also enjoy 30 days of the premium service with a free signup, giving you the chance to try out RememBear across all your devices.
Another key feature of RememBear is two-factor authentication (2FA). Rather than relying on Authy or Google Authenticator, RememBear builds this technology into the app. The result is a 2FA experience that’s almost as seamless as the auto-completed usernames and passwords.
You’ve probably used 2FA at some point, as it’s supported on a variety of websites. The key aspect of this is that it prevents someone who has your username and password from accessing your account. In addition to these credentials, they need a numeric key that changes regularly—only you will have that.
But 2FA can be a bit fiddly. It slows the process down when you’re logging in; one wrong keystroke and you must start again with another sequence.
This is why the inclusion of the feature in RememBear is so significant. You can use your mobile device to get a picture of the QR code your 2FA-supporting website displays, or use the handy scanner to scan a QR code right in the desktop version. On subsequent occasions, the code will generate in RememBear, streamlining your secure login. Even better, on desktop, RememBear will automatically copy your 2FA code when it autofills a login.
To create a new RememBear login, simply click the Add New button at the bottom of the app. You can also summon it from your browser. The app will even detect when you login to a website and offer to store the credentials.
Passwords, credit cards, and notes are all secured in your RememBear account thanks to secure 256-bit AES encryption. This is almost impossible to hack and is widely considered safe, secure, and reliable.
This makes it perfect for everything you want to keep safe in RememBear.
Many password managers are available, so why should you choose RememBear? We’ve covered the features above, but what if the strong encryption of your account credentials, credit cards, and notes isn’t enough for you?
Well, RememBear is free for single machine use, with a premium option for multiple devices across desktop and mobile. In a marketplace where several password managers services have consolidated their positions, RememBear manages to do something different.
RememBear is arguably the easiest-to-use password manager available. It’s perfect for those who want a great design and experience, while also enjoying ironclad security. Given how important it is that everyone use a secure, encrypted password generator and vault, ease-of-use is crucial. If you’re new to password managers, or are thinking of ditching your existing service, RememBear should be your top choice.
Read the full article: Never Forget a Password Again With RememBear Password Manager
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 2:30 am(NZT)
Microsoft Office packs a lot of features, but some of these are more confusing than helpful. One feature that might have thrown you for a loop is the Microsoft Office Upload Center.
The Office Upload Center was introduced in Office 2010 and lives on today. Let’s examine what this feature actually does, and see if it’s possible to disable the Microsoft Office Upload Center.
Older versions of Office were designed to save documents, spreadsheets, and other Office files only to your local storage drive. However, the integration of OneDrive and an emphasis on cloud storage in modern versions led to the inclusion of the Upload Center.
Its purpose is to help ensure smooth file transfers when uploading to (or working with documents on) “web servers,” as the info page puts it. In effect, this means when you save files to OneDrive or remote servers, such as SharePoint.
By default, when you click Save on a document, Office saves a local copy of the file to your system. It then tries to upload a copy of this file to OneDrive or whatever other online location you’ve selected. If all goes well, you never notice a problem. However, issues can arise if you’re on an unstable connection or run into a sync error.
Despite what you might think, the Upload Center isn’t useless. Microsoft’s Upload Center help article explains a few situations where it’s useful: mainly when you’re working on a remote file and lose the connection. This can occur if the server you loaded the file from goes offline. The Upload Center can also come in handy by letting you know when a file upload has finished.
On a spotty connection, you can save the document at any time to have a local copy, and the Upload Center will take care of updating the server copy when it reconnects. As mentioned, it also lets you know of syncing errors sooner rather than later.
If you upload dozens of documents at once to a company server, or frequently deal with poor wireless connections, the Microsoft Upload Center is useful and you probably shouldn’t disable it. For those who only work on the occasional file in Office or don’t ever use OneDrive, it’s unnecessary and you can hide it if you wish.
Maybe you don’t mind the Upload Center doing its work behind the scenes, but want to keep its icon out of your system tray. In that case, you can remove the icon without completely stopping the program.
You’ll need to launch the Upload Center app to do this. The easiest way to do so is by searching for Office Upload Center in the Start Menu. Once there, you’ll see a box containing any pending uploads. Click Settings above this box to open the options menu.
This is a simple settings menu that doesn’t offer you many options. Uncheck the Display icon in notification area option to remove the Office Upload Center from your System Tray.
Note that even after you’ve done this, the program is still running when needed. You can open it anytime using the same method as above.
You might have noticed that there’s no easy way to disable the Office Upload Center. When you right-click the icon in your System Tray, there’s no option to close it. So what do you do if you want to totally disable the Microsoft Upload Center?
There are a few workarounds available for this, but they vary based on what version of Windows and Office you have. Because of this, it’s difficult to show one specific method for removing the Office Upload Center.
We’ll point out a few methods that some have claimed worked for them, though your mileage may vary. But first…
For most people, trying to remove the Office Upload Center isn’t worth the hassle. It’s a part of Microsoft Office, and it’s not terribly invasive. In most cases, only business users will save documents to SharePoint or remote servers. Thus, for an average user it only comes into effect when saving to OneDrive.
You should only see the Upload Center when an error occurs. If this happens often, it’s probably not an issue with the Upload Center, but rather your network connection. You should diagnose your internet connection issues instead. Once that’s fixed, you can hide the Upload Center and carry on like it’s not even there.
There’s no official method for turning it off, so take the below workarounds with a grain of salt.
OneDrive is included as part of Windows 10, and by default works inside Microsoft Office. Some users report that disabling this integration stops the Upload Center from running. It’s easy to do, so it’s worth a try.
Open OneDrive’s options by right-clicking its icon in your System Tray and choosing Settings. On the Office tab, uncheck the box labeled Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open.
Reboot, and the Office Upload Center should no longer load. Note that turning this off will disable some of Office’s collaboration features, however.
Inside your Microsoft Office installation folder are many files that Office needs to run properly. A few of them are related to the Upload Center, so you can potentially disable it by messing with these.
Follow the path below to locate the main Office folder on your PC. This example uses Office 2016; depending on what version you have installed, the Office16 folder may have a different number:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
Inside this folder, you’ll find an MSOSYNC.EXE program, which handles files syncing. There’s also a file called MSOUC.EXE, which is the actual Upload Center app. You can delete these, or change their name, to prevent them from running.
But this could introduce errors, and Office will likely recreate them before long anyway. So this is most likely a short-term solution.
I hate Microsoft Office Upload Center with a cold passion. This thing should not exist.
— Paul Thurrott (@thurrott) July 20, 2015
Many of the past methods for removing the Microsoft Office Upload Center only work on older versions. There’s no longer an MSOSYNC.EXE entry in the Startup tab of the Task Manager, but it’s worth checking for that if you’re using an older edition of Office.
Some Office 2013 users claim that disabling a task from the Task Scheduler can stop the Upload Center as well. In the Task Scheduler Library panel on the left, you should see an entry titled Microsoft Office 15 Sync Maintenance for [username]. Right-click this and choose Disable to stop it from running.
You can also find the MSOSYNC.EXE entry in the Task Manager and kill it. But you’ll need to do so each time you reboot your PC, and it could pop up again when you save a document in Office.
Otherwise, the main method of disabling the Office Upload Center seems to be editing a Registry entry. When we checked this, the value that once appeared for the Upload Center was no longer present.
We don’t recommend editing the Registry for something so minor anyway, as doing so incorrectly could damage the Registry and the small benefit is really not worth it. The Upload Center could easily come back with a future update even after doing this.
The Upload Center is useful for some people, but not much more than an afterthought for others. For most people, hiding it should be enough, but hopefully one of the workarounds proved successful if you really hate the utility.
For more PC pruning, check out unnecessary Windows programs you should uninstall.
Read the full article: How to Disable the Microsoft Office Upload Center
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 2:00 am(NZT)
For some, being a freelancer is a lifestyle choice. Maybe you like the adventure of “being your own boss” or the thrill of taking on a new project. For others, freelancing is something that was forced upon them. Given a chance, they’d rather be doing something else.
Regardless of the reasons why you’re freelancing, there’s a lot of work that goes into being a successful one. There are a lot of missteps that can happen, too.
Here are the worst mistakes you can make when you’re working as a freelancer.
Freelancing is a booming industry. As of 2018, over 56 million Americans were working a freelancing gig. Before you officially join the freelancing ranks, however, you need to study your market and plan how you’re going to make some money.
You need to know:
Are there a lot of people working in your field, but not a lot of demand? Are there a few people working, but a lot of need for that particular product?
If you don’t do this legwork, you’ll get stuck scrambling. Worse, you might end up losing money because you invested your start-up costs and your time incorrectly. Be cautious about how you approach your field and be logical.
A lot of freelancing is done online. Not exclusively, of course, but with the emergence of email as one of our main forms of communication, proper online etiquette has become the #1 tool in the freelancer’s kit.
If you’re a remote worker like myself, email is one of the ways that you talk with your clients. If you’re a newly minted freelancer, you might think that you don’t need to worry about the customer service skills that go along with it. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
As a freelancer, your reputation and your ability to get new jobs depend heavily on three things:
How will people know that you’re easy to work with when you’re not physically there? Through your emails, of course, and how you communicate.
If you’re rude or unresponsive when you’re talking to your clients or suppliers, word will get out that you’re not the best person to do business with.
Worried about sounding your best? Here’s how to write the perfect professional email and make a good first impression.
It’s true, you don’t need a super fancy portfolio to get things done. Sometimes all you need is a bio page, a contact form, and maybe a few testimonials.
If you don’t have a basic website, however—or worse, a bad one—it can really affect the ability of others to contact you. It can also affect your perceived professionalism in the eyes of the public.
If you’re selling digital services, how are you going to convince potential clients that you know your stuff when your webpage looks like it’s from the Web 1.0 era? How are you going to convince people you’re a good copy editor if your portfolio is full of errors?
You can’t, to be honest. The only option is to give that website a facelift. Make sure to get some feedback on it before it goes live, too.
When you’re a freelancer you need to think about how people are going to hire you. Specifically, you need to think about how they’re going to reach out.
Back in the “olden” days of the 1990s (we know, we’re dating ourselves), freelancers could list their services through phonebooks, newspaper ads, or business cards. These small snippets of information usually included their name, their location, and their phone number, so potential clients could ask them specific questions before visiting.
Even though a lot of freelancing is now online, many of those rules still apply. When freelancing, you need to have your contact details square and center. They should include:
The downside to online freelancing is that there’s more competition: a hell of a lot more. Instead of competing on a regional scale, you’re now competing globally.
If you make it hard for people to give you their money, they’ll immediately drop you for someone who can. Everyone’s looking for convenience.
When you first started working as a freelancer, there might have been a point where you said “I can be my own boss. I don’t have to stick to a schedule or wake up early because I work from home!”
Oh boy, how wrong that is.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean that you can treat your “workspace” the same you would your bedroom. Sure, you can set your schedule so you can start later in the day, and you don’t have to commute, but working from home can bring a lot of distractions.
You’ll get distracted by chores, or watching TV. You’ll get distracted by your phone or running errands. Soon, you’ll stop keeping your workplace clean.
Your “office” and your “house” will become one and the same because your brain will tell you that you’re not on the clock. This is a surefire way to destroy your productivity.
Try these simple to-do list tools to keep you focused and get more done in the hours you set for yourself.
Finally, the absolute worst mistake you can make when you’re a freelancer is not doing your taxes. Seriously, file your taxes! We can’t stress this enough.
No one likes tax time, of course, but if you struggle with calculating your taxes hire an accountant. Use a tax filing service that is local to your region. Be well aware of your local financial laws.
Just because you’re working for yourself does not mean that it’s not regular “work”, with deductions wrapped up in that. If you don’t do your taxes and you’re caught withholding money, the penalties for it can be extreme. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
These are some of the mistakes you can make when you’re freelancing, along with a few tips on how you should rectify them. If you follow these steps, you’ll avoid torpedoing your career.
Wondering what else you have to think about if you’re considering this job path? Here’s how to build your own online brand as a freelancer.
Read the full article: Want to Be a Freelancer? Avoid These 6 Critical Beginner Mistakes
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 1:00 am(NZT)
Finding free ringtones for iPhone isn’t quite as cool today as it once was. Others online might scoff, and your chosen tone could elicit glances from coworkers. But maybe you’re itching to set a custom ringtone of the Stranger Things theme song.
Custom ringtones are like those stickers on your school bag; they make your iPhone feel a bit more personal. Unlike that sticker, unique ringtones tell you when someone special is calling. And they help you avoid reaching for your phone when your friend’s device blares the same Reflection or Marimba tune. It’s also a good source of nostalgia.
The short answer is from anywhere. Today, you can create ringtones from the songs you own without spending a dime. You don’t even need to lug around a MacBook for this; your iPhone and the GarageBand app will do:
If you are not familiar with GarageBand, this tutorial walks you through the steps to create custom ringtones with your iPhone.
Even though this is simple, you might not want to put in that effort. Why go through the steps yourself when there are apps like Ringtone Maker and websites like Zedge to download free iPhone ringtones from?
Try these websites below to see if you like the lazy option better.
While ringtone apps are a quicker way, ringtone websites existed before apps became the standard. Also, the app itself might not be free. You might find an old classic on these sites that’s not available elsewhere.
So let’s head there and grab that beautiful sonic alarm for free.
Zedge finds a place on all lists covering free ringtones for iPhone (or any phone, really). Pick up ringtones that are natural sounds, or go for popular songs across genres like classical, pop, rock, country, soundtracks, etc.
The active community on Zedge stocks the site with the latest ringtones, wallpapers, sticker packs, and video clips. All you have to do is use the powerful search box to narrow down to your choice or pick up a ringtone from the Trending lineup.
If you like, you can buy Zedge Credits and pick up exclusive content that carries celebrity branding.
In addition to the web app, Zedge also has an app for Android and iOS. When using your browser, just click on the tone to play it. Download it to your computer with a click, then you can transfer it to your iPhone.
You’ll find some funkier ringtone categories on CellBeat. Drum, Bass, Children, Gospel, Hip Hop, Political, Soul, and even a Political category are the ones I found scrolling down the long list. Of course, a few empty categories without any ringtones are a minor irritation.
The information for each ringtone is quite detailed. Use the Most Recent, Most Downloaded, Highest Rated, and Most Views filters on them to download the right ringtone for your iPhone.
iPhone and Android ringtones are available as M4R and MP3 files respectively.
Searching for an even more unique ringtone? Try categories like Pets and Animals, Sayings, and World on Tones7. I picked up the Harley Davidson ringtone for my iPhone here.
Of course, there are also the usual categories if you want to stay conventional. The good news is that it gives you enough to search and download for your iPhone or Android device. Plus, all ringtones are free.
Notification Sounds has a minimalist look about it. And that continues into its collection of original free ringtones. The absence of loud songs as ringtones is a relief. All the ringtones here are sourced from digital and analog synthesizer sounds.
The little description of the ringtones is a nice thoughtful touch. This site’s ringtones are given under a Creative Commons license and you can download them as MP3, M4R, and OGG files. M4R is compatible with iOS devices.
You must select your device before this site lets you see the ringtones. This helps to get right to the ringtones that work with your phone. After you register and log into the site, search through the Hot, New, Best, or Editor’s Choice filters to narrow down your choice.
The site claims that there’s a vast library of 25,718 free iPhone ringtones. All free ringtone files are contributed by the community. You will also find a lot of India-specific ringtones among those from all over the world.
The only little annoyance is that there’s a small waiting time before the M4R file download starts. A small banner nudges you to sign up for a Premium account and skip the wait.
MeloFania will help you make your own ringtones for free online. Upload your own song or grab it from YouTube. Clip the part you like, then download it for your iOS device as an MP3 or M4R file.
The site also showcases Featured ringtones that are all available as free downloads. The search bar is good enough, or you can look through the huge alphabetical list of artists for someone specific.
Audiko is a simple site with a clean look. Pick up a fresh ringtone from genres such as rock, dance, rap, soundtrack, classic rock, pop, and others. For some inspiration, try scanning through the list of the Top 100 Ringtones for the year. You’ll have to register with the site to download more than five ringtones.
Audiko also lets you create your own custom sounds from your music collection or via an online audio file. Download the ringtones as M4R files for iPhone, or go with the MP3 version for other phones.
There are several other ringtone sites you can search through. Here’s a small selection:
The popularity of long musical ringtones might have dropped, and it may not even sit well with mobile phone etiquette today. But there’s no doubt that custom ringtones are still unique aural signatures you can carry around.
If you find the standard ringtones on your iPhone boring, then clip your favorite song, download a ringtone app, or just download a hip tune from one of these sites. All that’s left for you to do is import that ringtone file onto your iPhone.
Read the full article: Get Free Ringtones for the iPhone With These Sites
Source: MakeUseOf | 23 Jul 2019 | 12:00 am(NZT)