Microsoft is ending support for Windows 10 Mobile. Which means Windows 10 Mobile is deader than dead. It also means Microsoft’s foray into the mobile market is over. So much so that Microsoft is actively advising people to switch to Android or iOS.
Windows 10 Mobile has been a bust since it debuted in 2016. We dubbed its arrival a “tech launch failure,” and things didn’t get any better from there. Now, three years on, Windows 10 Mobile is being put out of its misery, with Microsoft ending all support.
As indicated in this Microsoft support note, Microsoft’s support for Windows 10 Mobile will end on December 10, 2019. After this date there will be no “new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free assisted support options or online technical content updates”.
The “automatic or manual creation of new device backups for settings and some applications will continue for 3 months, ending March 10, 2020”. And “some services including photo uploads […] may continue to work for up to another 12 months”.
Pour one out for all three people who still use Windows Phone. ? https://t.co/nBSGsmdvGT
— ??? Jony Ive (@JonyIveParody) January 18, 2019
Microsoft makes it clear that your Windows 10 Mobile device will not simply stop working on December 10, 2019. However, because “there will be no updates after that date,” Microsoft is recommending “customers move to a supported Android or iOS device”.
Unlike Windows 7, which has been replaced by Windows 10, the end of Windows 10 Mobile signals the end of the line completely. Microsoft has ceded the market to Android and iOS, and is focusing on developing apps and services for the competition instead.
This is a crying shame for Microsoft, but also for consumers who wanted more than a binary choice when it came to mobile operating systems. Unfortunately, Microsoft was too slow to realize that mobile was the future, and both Apple and Google filled that void.
Microsoft was never a major player in the mobile market. Windows Phone had its fans, but we said goodbye to Windows Phone in 2014. And everything that has happened since suggests we were right to do so, despite what commenters said at the time.
Read the full article: Microsoft Ends Support for Windows 10 Mobile
Source: MakeUseOf | 20 Jan 2019 | 12:30 am(NZT)
There are so many films out there, and so little time to watch them. When you’re ready to kick back and enjoy a movie, you don’t want to waste time figuring out what to watch. So here are five of the fastest ways to find a good film.
These sites recommend films that are currently showing in theaters as well as old films worth watching. If it’s the latter, you might want to check which movies you can stream on services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
StayIn uses a Tinder-like interface and a quick series of questions to figure out what sort of mood you are in, and recommends a movie based on that. It’s a browser-based app that also works well on mobile screens.
The questions are written like a human would ask (and sometimes include profanity too). So instead of “Choose a genre”, it would ask something like, “Are you in the mood for some action?” You have to click Yes, No, or Don’t Care on each question card. Don’t think too much about it, go with your gut.
When you’ve sorted these filters enough, StayIn will give you recommendations for movies to watch, complete with their basic details. It’s one of the quickest ways to get a film worth watching.
There are some great movies that mess up their conclusion. Then there are films that seem to build up to the end, and the climax is what makes the whole film worth watching. If you’re looking for the latter, End Rating is a quick way to find such movies.
The site gives movies two types of ratings. One is a general film rating, which is indicated in green. This seems to be based on movie ranking sites like IMDb or Metacritic. Then there is the rating in orange, which is where users rate the film’s ending.
Among the top-rated films in this are the likes of Limitless and The Usual Suspects. You haven’t seen The Next Three Days? Well apparently, the ending makes the movie worth watching since it got a 100/100. What’re you reading this for, go see it.
There is no searching or clicking around at Suggest Me Movies. Open the site and you’ll get a new film recommendation, complete with its IMDb rating, a trailer, genres, and quick details about the plot and cast. It’s like the classic StumbleUpon website, but only for films.
If you want, you can customize these recommendations with a few filters. Set start and end years, genres, minimum IMDb score, votes, and up to three keywords to search in actor names or the synopsis.
You won’t always get a winner with Suggest Me Movie, and there are quite a few foreign film recommendations. But if you don’t like what you see, just click the Suggest Me Movie button again to get a new pick. This simplicity is hard to beat.
LazyDay is one of the best-tagged film catalogs to get movie recommendations. You can search for almost anything and get a film in the results. For example, you might search “Character says I love you” or “Stabbed with a needle” and you’ll get a result for it at LazyDay.
The results have everything you’ll need about a movie to make a decision, including a trailer, a quick synopsis, and the IMDb rating. You don’t even need to go away from the results to find these things, it’s all available without leaving the page, which makes your search much faster.
If you can’t make up your mind and are feeling too lazy to search, LazyDay also offers “Random Picks” so you don’t have to decide. That’s quite nice, isn’t it? Sometimes, all you want is to not think, and be catered to like TV used to do.
We all know IMDb is a great database of everything you’d want to know about a film. That includes its Parents’ Guide to find and avoid inappropriate movie scenes for kids. But what if you’re the kid and you want to watch something with your folks, or anyone else, without feeling awkward? Turn to CringeMDB.
The website lets you search films between 1995 and 2017 to find which ones are safe to watch with folks and which ones will make you cringe at a scene or two. But rather than the search function, you should use CringeMDB for theater releases.
The “In Theaters” and “Upcoming” tabs have movie posters showcasing what is playing in cinema halls right now, and films that are set to release soon. You can plan your outing accordingly, and save yourself a few blushes.
Naturally, this list is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to film recommendation websites, apps, and engines. We’ve talked about many of them before, but if you’re looking for quick ways to find movies, then you should check out Movie of the Night.
Like Suggest Me Movie, it gives you only one recommendation at a time, but in this case, you set some criteria for it first. The website is a part of our list of five recommendation sites to find new movies, which also includes a cute app to find a movie that is common ground between you and your date. Try it out.
Image Credit: Krowten/Flickr
Read the full article: 5 Fastest Ways to Find a Good Movie or Film Worth Watching
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 5:30 pm(NZT)
One of the most iconic cell phones in history could be poised to make a comeback, as it looks like the Motorola Razr is set to return in the form of a foldable $1500 smartphone. The announcement of the upcoming phone hasn’t been confirmed just yet, so, for the time being, we need to treat it as a rumor.
Currently, Motorola is owned by Lenovo, and it looks like the company is aiming to cash in on the nostalgia many phone owners have towards the Razr. For many, it was the first “cool” cell phone they ever owned, so it would make a great deal of sense for the company to try to target owners of the original phone.
And if $1500 is out of your budget, the Moto G5 Plus is a much more budget-friendly option from the same company.
According to Wall Street Journal, the phone is scheduled to launch as soon as February and it will be exclusive to Verizon in the US.
The report says that it will be a foldable phone, which means that Lenovo and Motorola could actually beat Samsung to the market for devices with a folding screen.
Remember the Razr? Motorola's once-popular flip phone is being revived—this time as a $1,500 smartphone with a foldable screen. https://t.co/rLYHstwAEg
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) January 16, 2019
Unfortunately, we don’t know too much else about the phone. According to Digital Spy, the device will have a Snapdragon 855 processor and will apparently have an OLED foldable touchscreen that won’t crease or snap, but that’s about all we know for now.
The less exciting part of the rumor is the price, as it appears that the phone will retail for a whopping $1500. To put that price into perspective, the 128GB Google Pixel 3 retails for $999. Obviously, we don’t have another folding phone to compare it to, but we can definitely say that this won’t be a budget-friendly smartphone by any means.
As mentioned, the phone is rumored to hit the market as soon as February, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear more concrete details about its specs and features.
The WSJ report indicated that Lenovo is planning to manufacture 200,000 of the luxury phones, so while it won’t necessarily be limited, it does look like there will be a finite amount of devices available.
Want to know more about folding phones? Check out our breakdown of what to expect from the foldable phone future.
Read the full article: Motorola’s Razr Is Coming Back as a High-End, $1500 Smartphone
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 8:30 am(NZT)
Annoyed by an Android app that you can’t uninstall?
The app you’re trying to remove probably came preinstalled on your device. It might have been provided by the manufacturer, your mobile network, or as a part of Android itself.
Don’t be discouraged; you can still remove unwanted system apps from Android. It’s tricky, but not impossible. We’ll show you how.
Before you start deleting apps, you should spend a few moments considering just why you want to get them off your phone.
Reasons why you might want to remove the app include:
Unfortunately, removing these apps isn’t as easy as it could be. It depends on whether you’ve rooted your Android device or not.
Deleting preinstalled apps isn’t possible in most cases. But what you can do is disable them.
To do this, head to Settings > Apps & notifications > See all X apps. Select the app you don’t want, then tap the Disable button. This will revert the app to its initial version and block it from showing up on your phone. It stays installed and takes up space, but will never run.
However, this won’t work for all apps. In older Android versions, you could open your app drawer and simply hide apps from view. These days, it’s a lot tougher.
Fortunately, you can at least tidy up preinstalled bloatware apps and games from your home screen. Long-press an app icon and drag it to the Remove from home screen box at the top of the screen. This may vary depending on your version of Android.
Well done; you’ve hidden the app (although it remains installed on your phone).
Prefer to hide the app altogether? A replacement launcher is ideal for hiding apps, and it’s easier than rooting your phone. Most third-party launchers let you remove any app from the list. But remember that it will still be on your phone, hidden away in the background.
Check out our favorite Android launchers for some recommendations.
Rooted, or considering rooting your phone? If so, removing bloatware is easy using these utilities.
The first app you might think of for dealing with unwanted apps on your Android device is Titanium Backup. It can handle any app you throw at it, whether downloaded from Google Play or preinstalled.
The free version features tools to backup and uninstall apps, while the paid version delivers dozens of additional features.
Titanium Backup has so many features that it can seem difficult to use at first. After launching, give it root permission, then tap the area describing the device storage. Once the list of apps compiles, scroll through to find the one(s) you want to remove. Select them, then tap Uninstall.
Deleting bloatware, freezing apps, and more is possible with the pro version of Titanic Backup. It’s so powerful, it made our list of the best root apps for Android.
Offering the option to disable and enable system apps, NoBloat Free also includes an app deletion tool. This gives you the ability to create backups of system apps and restore them.
All this means NoBloat Free is the best option for root users who just want to get rid of bloatware. You won’t be distracted with endless additional features; NoBloat does the job simply.
The premium version gives you enhanced features such as blacklisting system apps, batch operations, and exporting settings.
This app offers an easy way to erase and move system apps. System App Remover provides a useful classification system that quickly identifies the apps you can remove. As some might be system apps, and vital to Android, this is pretty useful.
System App Remover is ad-supported and performs the removal process quickly.
Along with this key feature, the tool supports moving apps to and from your SD card in bulk. You can also manage APKs and track down older app versions.
Download: System App Remover (Free)
There is one other solution for removing unwanted apps from your Android device: flash a custom ROM. While most people don’t need a custom ROM anymore, they can prove useful in cases like this.
While it might take a bit of research to find out which new ROM will fulfill your needs, the solution can leave you with a stripped-back version of Android that you can keep particularly close control of.
Looking for a custom ROM designed for users with an eye on performance and privacy? Copperhead and Omnirom are two good options for your rooted Android device. After you’ve selected one, follow our guide to installing a custom Android ROM.
If you do opt for a custom ROM, check first that it’s not going to add its own bloat to your phone.
We’ve looked at several options, but how you remove unwanted Android apps really depends on whether you can root your phone.
To recap, the full set of options are:
Remember, if you just need to free up space, consider moving apps to your SD card.
Read the full article: How to Remove Unwanted Apps on an Android Device
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 6:00 am(NZT)
Your Mac’s Dashboard app lets you keep all kinds of useful dynamic information handy with free configurable widgets. If you have written this off as worthless, it might be time to reconsider and give it another shot.
To help you warm up to Dashboard again, let’s explore nine useful widgets that you won’t find in the default set that ships with the app.
The calculator widget that comes with Dashboard is quite basic. If you prefer a more feature-rich option that can replace a scientific calculator, try the PCalc widget.
PCalc is primarily available as a macOS and iOS app with Notification Center support. This costs $10, but you can get the Dashboard version for free.
Download: PCalc (Free, premium version available)
DashNote lets you create, edit, delete, pin, and search your Simplenote notes from Dashboard. Once you install the widget and log in with your Simplenote credentials, your existing notes show up instantly. You’re now ready to take new notes as usual.
For functions like tagging and enabling Markdown, you’ll have to use a full-fledged Simplenote app or the web version of the service.
If you don’t have a Simplenote account, try the Notefile widget for note-taking from the Dashboard. Since Notefile doesn’t have a search mechanism, it’s best to use the widget if you don’t have too many notes or if you want a temporary scratchpad.
Download: DashNote (Free)
If you’re expecting a package delivery, Delivery Status can let you know when it will arrive and even track its transit route. All the widget needs from you is the order number or tracking number for the package.
Delivery Status supports quite a few popular delivery services, and you can add more manually. Like PCalc, this app offers a free widget alongside a paid app that includes Notification Center support. Why not try the Dashboard version for free first to see if you like it?
The widget is really handy to have if you’re based in the US. If you live elsewhere, give the freemium app Parcel a shot. It doesn’t come with Dashboard support, but it has a Notification Center widget.
Download: Delivery Status (Free, premium version available)
Heard of the Keyboard Viewer menu bar utility on macOS? Symbol Caddy is similar to this, but does a much better job overall. It helps you find and insert special characters, like accent marks and currency symbols.
The widget is quite user friendly and stays out of your way. It has a couple of modes: Keyboard and HTML. The first mode copies the character you select to your Mac’s clipboard, while the second copies the character’s HTML code.
Download: Symbol Caddy (Free)
The widget displays up-to-date values for four common currencies by default. You can switch to different currencies by tweaking the corresponding dropdown menus.
To add more currencies, visit the settings by clicking on the tiny info icon at the bottom-right of the widget. Here, you’ll find a few extra options such as namewise sorting and widget skins.
Download: Currency Converter (Free)
Scheduling meetings across time zones can be a pain. That’s why a time zone tracking utility is essential for anyone who coordinates with people overseas. (Ask anyone who works at MakeUseOf—our staff is scattered across the world.)
Timescroller is one such utility with Dashboard access. It ensures that keeping tabs on the time in various cities is effortless.
You’ll see the current time in the widget for the default list of cities. Drag the slider at the bottom to check different times. You can add as many cities to the list as you like from the widget’s settings.
Download: TimeScroller (Free)
News Reader is a simple widget to help you stay up-to-date on the feeds of your favorite websites.
You’ll have to open the widget settings to delete the default feeds and add new ones. Here, you can also select a new update frequency for feeds from one of the available presets.
Download: News Reader (Free)
If you want a quick way to eject external volumes without accessing Finder or the desktop, the Eject Volume Dashboard widget is ideal. There’s also a menu bar app called Ejector for this task, but why crowd the menu bar even more?
Download: Eject Volume (Free)
You can get any part of a web page to show up on Dashboard as a custom widget called a web clip. This macOS feature is great if you want to track, say, Twitter trends, Amazon deals, or our latest articles without opening your browser. You’ll still need an active internet connection, of course.
To create a web clip in Safari, visit the website that’s you want as the source for your widget. Next, click on File > Open in Dashboard to grab the relevant part of the web page and turn it into a widget.
Want to learn more about web clips and get inspiration to create custom ones? Read our mini guide to web clips.
Dashboard can be a great way to keep bits and pieces of information handy but hidden, especially when you use it as an overlay instead of a Space. To configure this setting, visit System Preferences > Mission Control. There, all you have to do is select As Overlay from the Dashboard dropdown menu.
You’ll also want to memorize the keyboard shortcut for Dashboard—it’s F12. Feel free to set up a new custom shortcut from System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Mission Control. Look for the Show Dashboard checkbox.
Dashboard hasn’t received a proper makeover in a while and has a bit of a retro look to it. But that doesn’t stop it from being valuable. Speaking of Dashboard, it’s just one of the useful features you aren’t using on your Mac.
Read the full article: 9 Mac Dashboard Widgets You’ll Actually Use
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 5:00 am(NZT)
Valentine’s Day is a day for love and romance. But who says it can’t be spent playing games with friends, family, or your sweetheart?
From kids’ parties to adult get-togethers to texting with a friend across the country, check out these enjoyable Valentine’s Day games.
Many schools and daycare facilities like to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fun party for the kids. To keep them entertained and enjoying the festivities, these cool party games are ideal.
This cool Valentine’s Day game for kids lets you form a few teams with members working their way through each station. Kids have one minute to complete a different game in each area. Whoever wins the station scores a point for their team. After 15 minutes, tally up the points to see the winning team.
Here are just a few of the games for the stations:
Get some of those colorful candy hearts and lay them out on a table. Each child must stack as many hearts into one single-file tower as they can within a minute. If a stack falls over, they must begin again. The one with the highest stack gets a point.
Grab some candy corn (Valentine’s-themed, of course) and a paper or plastic plate. Then, let the kids stand up as many pieces of candy corn on the plate as they can. The one with the most standing after a minute gets the point.
Put those candy corns and hearts onto a plate with an empty plate next to it. Then, hand the kids a set of chopsticks and see who can move the most candies from the full plate to the empty one. The point goes to the one with the most moved candies.
For more games that you can add to the Valentine’s Minute to Win It lineup, visit the Makoodle website.
Using a blackboard or whiteboard, start up a game of Valentine’s Day Pictionary. This version is played exactly like the classic one. Divide the kids into two teams and put a list of Valentine’s Day words and phrases into a hat (or bowl).
One child will pull a word or phrase from the hat and draw it for their team to guess. Use a timer if you’d like to limit the time for each team to draw and guess. If they guess right, they get a point and then it’s the other team’s turn to do the same.
Rotate who draws each time until everyone has had a turn. At the end, the team with the most points wins.
For a neat printable game, hand out some pencils and see how good the kids are at matching up the famous couples.
Who is Shrek’s sweetie pie? What character completes Miss Piggy? And what about Mickey Mouse—who is his love?
With characters from cartoons, fairy tales, movies, and television shows, kids just pop in the partner for each name. Purple Trail provides 20 characters on the list with an answer key just in case you aren’t sure yourself. Plus, you can add more couples for even more fun. Whoever guesses the most right wins.
Maybe you’re planning a group gathering of your own when cupid arrives this year. For some great games that adults can play, these options will keep the party going.
This first game could be played at a party for kids as well. But it really fits in great for an adult party ice-breaker, especially for singles.
Cut hearts out of construction paper and then cut or tear each one in half. Try to make those cuts as different as you can. Put all the halves into a bowl and as each guest arrives, have them grab one. Then, throughout the party, the guests must find who has the matching half of their heart.
There isn’t any scoring or winning with this game. But for a large party, it can get conversations (and maybe even relationships) started.
Who’s Who? is a fun game for movie buffs. Get some sticky notes and something to write with. Then, put the title of a movie onto each one like one of these romantic comedies you can watch right now.
As your guests arrive, stick the notes to their backs so they don’t know which move they have. Throughout the party, guests will ask other guests questions about their movie to see if they can figure out what it is. You can give a prize to the one who guesses first for some extra incentive.
If you like how this game sounds, you could go beyond movies with a different theme too. Try it with romantic song titles or common Valentine’s Day gifts.
Speaking of romantic songs, Name That Love Song is a nifty party game. Find some of those mushy love songs and write down several lines from each song onto pieces of paper.
Then, when you and your guests are sitting around chatting, start the game. Either give each person a piece of the paper with the song lyrics, or have them pull out of a hat. Next, have each person read the lyrics in an extremely dramatic way. See which guest can guess the name of the song first.
Have each person read their lyrics and of all the guests, the one with the most correct answers wins.
Whether you and your significant other like to work together or prefer playing games to boost your relationship, we have a few mobile games for you. These are specifically for two players, enjoyable, and easy to pick up and play.
Dual is a local two-player game, so you just need your mobile devices and either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. You can choose from three modes: Duel, Deflect, or Defend. The goal for the Duel mode is to tilt your device to avoid bullets while shooting them at your partner at the same time. See who is the last one standing in this classic mode.
If you would rather work together, the Defend mode lets you team up to take on your attackers. Deflect mode lets you score by curving a ball onto your partner’s screen. Note that Deflect and Defend only come with the full version of the game. But only one person needs that version for both people to play.
Red Hands is like the good old game of chicken. This one tests your speed and reflexes using just one device. With one player on each side of the screen, the attacker taps to slap the hand of the defender. The defender must tap to move their hand out of the way at the right time.
The attacker scores for each successful slap of the defender’s hand. The first player to score 10 points reigns supreme.
Bounden is an interesting game where your only choice is to work together. Using one device, you take hold of one end. Then, tilt it as you twirl, spin, and move your body in a dance of love. Your goal is to move the device so that it follows a path of rings.
The game offers tutorial videos starring the Dutch National Ballet, eight different dances, and classical music by Bart Delissen. It’s a great Valentine’s Day game for creating something together. So let the dance begin!
When pals are across the miles and spending Valentine’s Day alone, texting games to play with friends can bring a smile to everyone’s face. These cool games are simple and fun, and don’t even require an internet connection.
Story Time is an entertaining texting game to play with a friend or family member. Plus, you can play with more than two people.
One person begins by texting the other a word or sentence. The other person replies with a word or sentence building off of the first’s. The point is to create a story together.
You can use a theme if you like. Maybe you would both love a mystery story, heroic adventure, or simple comedy. Or just make it a surprise based on each other’s contributions. No matter what, the story is sure to become an entertaining one!
Take a Trip is somewhat of a word game. One person starts by texting “I am going to X and am taking X.” Both words that replace the X must start with the letter A.
The next person takes their turn doing the same thing by filling in the blanks, but must use the letter B. The game continues until you make your way through the alphabet. Just think about the hilarious combinations you can each come up with for this texting game. Good luck when you hit those tough letters!
One more awesome texting game is called Stack Words. The first person starts by texting a word within a category that both choose together like food, cars, or cities.
Your pal takes their turn to text a word in that category, but it must start with the last letter of your word. For example, if the category is cities, you might text Chicago. Your friend’s response must start with the letter O, so they may reply with Orlando.
The game can continue on as long as no one gets stuck. So, it could take days or even longer. But you can chat along with way and have fun at the same time.
No matter your plans this Valentine’s Day, you can have a blast with some of these fun games. And if you enjoyed what these games brought to your relationship, make sure to check out the apps every couple should be using.
Image Credit: avemario/Depositphotos
Read the full article: 12 Sweet Valentine’s Day Games for Every Age
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 4:00 am(NZT)
Maybe you’ve got a bedroom like The 40 Year Old Virgin’s bedroom, or perhaps you’re a box hoarder, keeping trinkets from your childhood in a box, affording it occasional glances. Sometimes, you might even take the lid off.
But just lately, you’ve realized that perhaps the time has come to stop hoarding toys. You need to make some money, perhaps to help pay for a large expense, such as a car, mortgage down payment, or even a wedding.
It’s time to let someone else play with your old toys. Here’s how to sell your used toys for cash, and actually make good money doing so.
Over the years, I’ve personally sold a lot of toys on eBay, to the extent that at one point I was buying and selling at the same time, turning it into a quite profitable side job.
While I was focusing on G1 Transformers toys (the originals are the best; the new franchise is an example of how CGI is ruining modern movies) and 1970s-80s Lego sets, the tips and tricks I picked up apply to any toy in reasonably good condition (and some that aren’t).
But your figures might be something else entirely. Perhaps you have vintage Scalextric or Hornby trains; you might own some rare A-Team figures, or 1950s friction spark guns. You might be the proud owner of a complete Star Wars toy collection, or have boxed, pristine comic book figures.
Whatever toys you own, they can be sold for cold, hard cash.
Before we proceed, a quick reality check.
You’re reading this because you have some toys, games, or figurines, perhaps even MIB (“mint in box,” meaning the item is in mint condition, and in the original box) or BNIB (“brand new in box,” as before, but never opened), and you’re considering selling them to make money.
Perhaps you enjoy looking at them. Or else you like playing with them (hey, we won’t tell), or you don’t, but you’re happy to know they’re in your basement/attic/storage garage.
The fact is, you won’t feel happy about selling these items unless you feel that it is time to move on, and that you have outgrown them. Until that happens, unless you’re desperate for the cash, keep them. You’ll regret it if you don’t.
To get started, you need to know that what you’re planning to sell is worth. At this stage, you don’t need to take anything off any shelves or get anything out of the attic.
If you know what you have, and what condition it is in, you can research its value.
Admittedly, eBay may not be the best place to find this information. While you’ll certainly get a general idea of what the value is of recent sales of the same or similar items (using the Advanced search option and checking Sold listings before clicking Search on your search term), it’s worth heading to specialist collector sites that deal with the collectible figurines, toys, and games you’re considering selling.
You’ll find such sites with a quick Google search, and here are some advanced searches to bookmark while you’re at it.
Once you’ve decided it’s time to say goodbye to your prized possessions, box them up.
But first: clean them! If your much-loved toys have been sealed in a box, then they’ll be fine, although the box itself may need a dusting.
For toys that have lived a bit, it’s time to get the toothbrush, a clean paintbrush, Q-tips, and paper towels out, along with a small amount of water that should be used conservatively. With older toys, missing stickers will leave residue, so you’ll need a suitable removal solution that doesn’t damage the surface.
When you’re done, leave them overnight before checking again for any dirt and dust that needs removing.
Missing stickers, guns, spoilers, heads, wheels; toys of all shapes and sizes find themselves slowly shrinking as bits get knocked off or just lost.
Toys with small parts are the usual suspects, but the most susceptible must be LEGO bricks and minifigs. These hard pieces of plastic find themselves trodden into carpets, stuck in air vents, and hiding under your car seat.
It doesn’t have to be small toys, either; accessories can be a problem. I once lost a He-Man sword in my parents’ back garden for 11 years. Finding it again, completely by chance, was an amazing feeling.
So, if you don’t want to sell your old toys them incomplete, eBay is your friend. There’s a very good chance that someone has the missing item you’re looking for, whether it’s stickers/decals, instructions, or accessories.
I’ve even bought an empty 1970s Lego box from eBay to complete an existing set and increase its value.
Forget your smartphone camera (unless you’re rocking a new iPhone or top-of-the-line Android). Good, clear photos come from DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. If you have access to one of these, you should certainly be putting it to good use.
For toys with damage, make sure you take a good photo of the affected area; give the potential buyer all the information they need, and no excuse to back out of any sale. Always photograph the item in its best state, and boxed if possible, with uniform lighting and a white background.
Our guide to making sure your photos sell your goods online should help.
You have several options for selling your vintage toys. Collectible or otherwise, they’ll sell both online and offline.
Looking for a way to sell your collectible figures offline? Try:
Second hand stores: these often buy and sell old toys, although they won’t pay what the item is worth. After all, they’re trying to make a profit.
Auction houses: if you’re looking for the best price, and the widest audience, then selling your toys through an auction house is wise. You’ll have to pay a commission, however.
If you’re choosing to sell online, you should start off with the online version of an auction house: eBay. While you’ll probably find some online locations for specialist toy sales, eBay is too big to overlook.
Similarly, you should take the time to evaluate the possibilities of Facebook. It is now simple to sell your old stuff on Facebook, with groups dedicated to buying and selling almost everything.
You can sell on various online marketplaces, but you’re probably going to be using eBay the most, certainly at first.
As with any online listing, you should add all the necessary information. If you’re using eBay, its automation tools may be useful, but overall take the time to write your own description. Use item specifications if necessary.
You might also include a personal memory of the item, such as when you first bought it. Anything that can give a potential buyer an idea of your relationship with the item you’re selling is useful. It makes your listing memorable, and helps it to stand out, which is important with so much competition.
Meanwhile, if the item is a limited edition or comes with certification, highlight this, and photograph it too. It can add significant value, and again serve to make your listing more valuable.
Wherever you’re selling the item, make sure you clearly describe it in the listing title, using its most recognized name, followed by the condition it is in. This is useful both for the listings page of the site you’re using, and any search engines that might be indexing the listing site or its sub-categories.
For instance, “Original Transformers G1 Soundwave BNMIB w/Buzzsaw Cassette” tells the reader that the item is a Generation 1 Transformer figure, is “Brand New, Mint in Box”, and comes with the Buzzsaw cassette transformer. This works far better than “1980s Transformer Cassette Player”—searches on eBay and Google will be for “Soundwave,” “Transformers Soundwave,” or “G1 Soundwave”.
Second guess what potential buyers might type into Google to find your item, and work with it.
Are you able to ship the item safely?
You need to think about this before listing it to sell, so do your research to find a courier or postal service that will ship the item safely and securely. If you’re expecting to make some good money from older toys, you don’t want them to get lost or damaged in transit.
Also, make sure that there is an option for the buyer to take out insurance.
You know all about listing on eBay, right? Perhaps you’ve done it before, or perhaps you’ve read our guide to making money on eBay. Or you might be avoiding it completely, preferring to list your classic toys for sale on dedicated websites and forums.
But you will need people to know about the auctions. What better way to do this than to share the auction on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and/or Instagram?
Social media contacts might like to know about the sale or have friends that might like to know more.
Additionally, specialist websites might have a forum or Facebook page where you can alert fellow members to your sale. Be careful to abide by the site rules, however, and avoid spamming and repeated posts. Suffice to say these are frowned upon.
Ultimately, this is a choice that you must make, and then stick to the decision. Either you need the money or the space, or even both, or you don’t. But if you feel as though you’re going to regret selling these items, don’t list them in the first place.
Prioritize; avoid messing people around. Be honest in your dealings, and if the money for a single item looks like it could be ridiculously large, consider using escrow (eBay has an escrow option for just such an occasion).
Thinking you could make a business out of selling old toys on eBay? Check our list of critical tips for selling more on eBay.
Read the full article: 9 Tips for Making the Most Money When Selling Old Toys
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 3:00 am(NZT)
Do you think there’s only one version of Firefox? In fact, there are many alternative versions of the browser, providing experimental features or development tools. The good news is that they are all available for you to use and experiment with.
We’re going to go through what all the versions offer, like Beta and Nightly, and tell you how they differ from each other and how they connect. We’ll also show you how to downgrade from them if necessary.
There are five different versions of Firefox. Here’s what they all offer.
This is the standard version of Firefox that most people use. You may see it referred to as Firefox Quantum. It’s the name Mozilla gave the browser after it had a large update at the end of 2017, offering improved speeds and less memory usage.
Mozilla Firefox (originally called Phoenix) has been around since 2002. It took its name from the mythical bird that rose from the ashes. In this story, those ashes were the Netscape Navigator browser.
Firefox is free and open-source. Usage peaked in 2009 but declined when Google Chrome entered the scene. However, it’s still the second-most popular web browser for desktop.
Firefox Nightly is for active users who volunteer to test and report bugs. It’s the version to use if you want access to all the cutting-edge features in development, long before they hit the mainstream browser.
Each day, Mozilla developers write code that gets merged into a code repository. That code is then compiled for testing and this is the Nightly build you use. It receives updates twice daily.
As such, this is the most unstable version of Firefox. It’s more likely to crash and have bugs. Mozilla collects usage statistics anonymously to help improve the browser.
As the Nightly code matures, it moves into the Beta version of the browser, before eventually being made available for everyone.
Firefox Beta allows you to test about-to-be-released features. It’s the version to use if you to use functionality unavailable to the masses, but with confidence that it’s been tested beforehand.
While Beta is still intended primarily for testing, it’s geared more towards the general public than Nightly is.
It’s the most stable pre-release build but is still prone to crash and have bugs. Like Nightly, it also collects anonymized information about you to help Mozilla fix any problems.
Once the Beta code has matured, it then moves into the general release branch for everyone to use.
The clue is in the name for this one: Firefox Developer Edition is aimed at developers. More specifically, those people who are designing, building, and testing things on the web.
This version allows developers to receive these particular features sooner than they would in a normal release. However, unlike Nightly and Beta, the Developer edition is stable and isn’t designed as a test environment.
It also uses a dark theme by default. Because developers only work in the dark, or something? Don’t worry, though, you can enable dark mode in the standard version of Firefox too.
Firefox ESR is for organizations who control their client’s desktops—businesses, schools, governments, and so on—and need to maintain Firefox on a large scale. It doesn’t have the latest features but still gets important security patches.
Unlike the standard version of the browser, which is updated regularly, versions of Firefox ESR are supported for more than a year. At the end of the period, no further updates will be given to that version, and an update to the next version will be offered.
Occasionally, regular users may want to use ESR. For example, Windows XP users were advised to do so when the vanilla version of Firefox stopped supporting the operating system.
Firefox Nightly and Developer Edition will install as separate programs. You can uninstall these via Windows key + I > Apps. Beta and ESR will overwrite the standard version of Firefox. If you want to revert back from either, simply reinstall Firefox.
Ideally, don’t use anything but the latest version of Firefox. Old versions are vulnerable to threats.
Consider using Firefox Extended Support Release if you want to downgrade. Maybe, you don’t want the latest features but want to stay protected.
Still want to downgrade? First, visit Mozilla’s directory of Firefox releases. Click the browser version you want, then your operating system. For example, win32/ for 32-bit Windows and win64/ for 64-bit Windows.
Next, click the language version you want. For example, if you’re an English speaker in Great Britain choose en-GB. For the United States choose en-US.
Finally, click the “exe” link to download the installer. Open it up and follow the wizard. Your chosen version of Firefox will install.
Note that Firefox will automatically update.
To prevent it doing so, click the menu button > Options, then scroll to the Firefox Updates section. Set Allow Firefox to as Check for updates but let you choose to install them. The steps required for this task might be different in some older versions.
Who knew there were so many different versions of Firefox? Hopefully, now you understand what they all do and which is the best version for you.
If you’re sticking with the general public version of Firefox, but still want to expand its functionality, don’t fear. You can do that through add-ons.
Check out our article on the best Firefox add-ons, which covers everything from security, tab management, design, and much more.
Read the full article: What Are the Different Versions of Firefox (And Which One Is Best for You)?
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 2:00 am(NZT)
Email security protocols are the structures that protect your email from outside interference. Your email needs additional security protocols for a very good reason. The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) has no built-in security. Shocking, right?
Numerous security protocols work with SMTP. Here’s what those protocols are and how they protect your emails.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and its successor, Transport Layer Security (TLS), are the most common email security protocols that protect your email as it travels across the internet.
SSL and TLS are application layer protocols. In internet communication networks, the application layer standardizes communications for end-user services. In this case, the application layer provides a security framework (a set of rules) that works with SMTP (also an application layer protocol) to secure your email communication.
From herein, this section of the article discusses TLS as its predecessor, SSL, was fully deprecated in 2015.
TLS provides additional privacy and security for communicating computer programs. In this instance, TLS provides security for SMTP.
When your email client sends and receives a message, it uses the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP—part of the transport layer, and your email client uses it to connect to the email server) to initiate a “handshake” with the email server.
The handshake is a series of steps where the email client and the email server validate security and encryption settings and begin the transmission of the email itself. At a basic level, the handshake works like so:
TLS is very important as the overwhelming majority of email servers and email clients use it to provide a base-level of encryption for your emails.
Opportunistic TLS is a protocol command that tells the email server that the email client wants to turn an existing connection into a secure TLS connection.
At times, your email client will use a plain text connection instead of following the aforementioned handshake process to create a secure connection. Opportunistic TLS will attempt to start the TLS handshake to create the tunnel. However, if the handshake process fails, Opportunistic TLS will fall back to a plain text connection and send the email without encryption.
Forced TLS is a protocol configuration that forces all email transactions to use the secure TLS standard. If the email cannot transit from the email client to the email server, then on to the email recipient, the message will not send.
A Digital Certificate is an encryption tool you can use to secure an email cryptographically. Digital Certificates are a type of public key encryption.
(Unsure about public key encryption? Read sections 7 and 8 of the most important encryption terms everyone should know and understand. It will make the rest of this article make much more sense!)
The certificate allows people to send you encrypted emails using a predefined public encryption key, as well as encrypting your outgoing mail for others. Your Digital Certificate, then, works somewhat like a passport in that it is bound to your online identity and its primary use is to validate that identity.
When you have a Digital Certificate, your public key is available for anyone that wants to send you encrypted mail. They encrypt their document with your public key, and you decrypt it with your private key.
Digital Certificates aren’t limited to individuals. Businesses, government organizations, email servers, and almost any other digital entity can have a Digital Certificate that confirms and validates an online identity.
The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an authentication protocol that theoretically protects against domain spoofing.
SPF introduces additional security checks that enable a mail server to determine whether a message originated from the domain, or whether someone is using the domain to mask their true identity. A domain is a part of the internet that falls under a single name. For example, “makeuseof.com” is a domain.
Hackers and spammers regularly mask their domain when attempting to infiltrate a system or scam a user because a domain can be traced by location and owner, or at the very least, blacklisted. By spoofing a malicious email as a healthy working domain, they stand a better chance of an unsuspecting user clicking through or opening a malicious attachment.
The Sender Policy Framework has three core elements: the framework, an authentication method, and a specialized email header conveying the information.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an anti-tamper protocol that ensures your mail remains secure in transit. DKIM uses digital signatures to check that the email was sent by a specific domain. Furthermore, it checks if the domain authorized the sending of the email. In that, it is an extension of SPF.
In practice, DKIM makes it easier to develop domain blacklists and whitelists.
The final key in the email security protocol lock is Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC). DMARC is an authentication system that validates the SPF and DKIM standards to protect against fraudulent activity stemming from a domain. DMARC is a key feature in the battle against domain spoofing. However, relatively low adoption rates mean spoofing is still rampant.
DMARC works by preventing the spoofing of the “header from” address. It does this by:
DMARC instructs an email provider on how to handle any incoming emails. If the email fails to meet the SPF check and/or the DKIM authentication, it is rejected. DMARC is a technology that allows domains of all sizes to protect their name from spoofing. It isn’t foolproof, however.
Got an hour to spare? The video above details SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in great detail using real-world examples.
Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) is a long-standing end-to-end encryption protocol. S/MIME encrypts your email message before it is sent—but not the sender, recipient, or other parts of the email header. Only the recipient can decrypt your message.
S/MIME is implemented by your email client but requires a Digital Certificate. Most modern email clients support S/MIME though you will have to check specific support for your preferred application and email provider.
Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) is another long-standing end-to-end encryption protocol. However, you’re more likely to encounter and use its open-source counterpart, OpenPGP.
OpenPGP is the open-source implementation of the PGP encryption protocol. It receives frequent updates, and you will find it in numerous modern apps and services. Like S/MIME, a third-party can still access the email metadata, such as the email sender and recipient information.
You can add OpenPGP to your email security setup using one of the following applications:
The implementation of OpenPGP in each program is slightly different. Each program has a different developer putting the OpenPGP protocol to use encrypting your emails. However, they’re all reliable encryption programs you can trust with your data.
OpenPGP is one of the easiest ways you can add encryption to your life across a variety of platforms, too.
Email security protocols are extremely important because they add security to your emails. On their own, your emails are vulnerable. SMTP has no inbuilt security and sending an email in plain text (i.e., without any protection, readable by anyone that intercepts it) is risky, especially if it contains sensitive information.
Want to understand more about encryption? Learn about five common encryption algorithms and why you shouldn’t trust your own encryption to protect your data.
Read the full article: 7 Common Email Security Protocols Explained
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 1:00 am(NZT)
Staying informed about the weather keeps you prepared for your day and can even serve as a good conversation starter for small talk with strangers. Checking the weather on your phone makes it easier than ever.
While your iPhone includes the built-in Weather app, sometimes it doesn’t offer enough detailed data. If you want something more, there are a ton of options on the App Store. These are the best iOS weather apps we’ve found.
When it comes to weather, it’s hard to beat The Weather Channel.
The Weather Channel app for iPhone greets you with a simple interface that still manages to pack in a ton of detailed information. You’ll get the daily, hourly, and even a 15-day forecast, along with wind speed, humidity, and UV index information. The app also informs you of any weather-related road conditions in the area. It rounds out with news stories and videos about local and national storms, or scientific discoveries relating to weather and nature.
Think of The Weather Channel app as your go-to for all your weather needs, including related news. It’s free to download, with occasional ads. You can remove these ads through a $4 in-app purchase.
Download: The Weather Channel (Free)
For those seeking even more detailed weather forecasts and radar maps, MyRadar is worth a download.
MyRadar is fast and super easy-to-use for anyone. It opens up to a full HD map that displays live radar of the weather in your general vicinity. In addition to the weather maps, you get an hourly and five-day forecast as well, with precipitation graphs, humidity, dew point, and visibility details.
All the data in MyRadar comes from raw NOAA weather radar data, which in turn comes from the National Weather Service (NWS). Thus, you know that the data reflected in MyRadar is as accurate as it comes.
The main download of MyRadar is free with occasional ads, and comes with all the basics you need. However, you can remove ads with a $3 in-app purchase. Other premium features, such as Hurricane Tracking, are available through in-app purchases.
Download: MyRadar Weather Radar (Free, in-app purchases available)
When you want minute-by-minute weather forecasts, Dark Sky is your best bet.
Dark Sky has been around for some time, and has become a favorite among many weather nerds. It provides down-to-the-minute weather reports for your precise location, and even gives you weather predictions for the next hour. This is especially useful if there is rain or snow.
You can review the hourly forecast for the next 24 hours, as well as a seven-day forecast so you’ll stay informed of the upcoming week. The global maps in Dark Sky can show you precipitation or temperature through beautiful color-coded legends.
If you like, enable Weather Notifications for next-hour precipitation, daily summaries, severe weather alerts, and umbrella or sunscreen reminders. There’s also an option to create a custom notification for whatever conditions you want to know, so you’ll never be caught off guard.
Dark Sky is a paid app, but you don’t have to worry about subscriptions or any features locked behind an in-app purchase.
Download: Dark Sky ($4)
If you want an informative weather app with a mix of sarcasm, snark, and wit, then you should check out CARROT Weather.
CARROT features a gorgeous interface that still displays all the information that matters. You’ll find your current temperature, what it feels like, precipitation chance, wind direction and speed, plus an hourly and 7-day forecast.
The feature that sets CARROT apart from others is that you’re greeted with a snarky computer AI (named CARROT) every time you launch the app. She’s full of personality and will give you a random quip on launch, providing you with witty takes on current events or news in the tech industry.
CARROT Weather proves that weather apps don’t need to be boring. While CARROT Weather costs $5, it also offers is “The Premium Club.” This is a subscription that includes features like notifications, customization, alternative weather data sources, and background Apple Watch updates. The Premium Club costs $4 a year or $0.49 monthly.
If you like the idea of CARROT Weather, we’ve covered other entertaining weather apps too.
Download: CARROT Weather ($4)
Yahoo Weather brings the weather to life with a stunning interface that focuses on actual photographs from where you are.
With Yahoo Weather, you get accurate hourly, five-day, and 10-day forecasts that will keep you prepared no matter what the weather brings. All the weather information is displayed as an overlay on top of a Flickr photograph of your location, which reflects the current weather conditions as well.
So if it’s raining right now, the photograph will display rain. This helps you visualize how it looks outside, making it feel more personalized.
True weather geeks can customize Yahoo Weather to display as much or as little information as you want. There’s the option to show live radar maps, precipitation information, sun and wind, and much more.
Download: Yahoo Weather (Free)
Weather Up is the revamped version of Weather Atlas. It’s great for those who want to personalize their weather data.
With Weather Up, you’re able to save multiple locations and give them a custom name and icon, making it easier to recognize your favorites. Hourly and 10-day forecasts keep you up-t0-date for the entire week. Weather Up also focuses on beautiful live weather maps that are easy to read and show you just how the weather looks at any time.
If you opt for a Weather Up Pro subscription, you’ll get even more useful features, including the Event Forecast. With this, you’ll be able to get the forecast for any upcoming events in your calendar, so you’ll know how to dress ahead of time. This feature alone makes the Pro subscription worth it, especially if you have a lot of outdoor events. Pro costs $2 monthly or $10 a year.
Download: Weather Up (Free, subscription available)
For those who want a simple and clean weather app that’s just as informative, Weather Line the way to go.
Weather Line is a weather app made specifically for quick glances throughout the day. You’re able to swipe through multiple saved location; each locale displays a line graph for the hourly, daily, and even monthly forecast. You’ll also get data such as humidity, precipitation, dew point, wind, UV index, and more. If it’s raining, there’s a graph that shows you how heavy the rainfall is for the next hour.
A feature that makes Weather Line stand out from the competition is that it keeps monthly averages, which helps make travel planning easier. All data in Weather Line comes from NOAA and Forecast.io, so it’s fairly accurate and precise.
Weather Line is another premium app, but it has no subscriptions or in-app purchases.
Download: Weather Line ($3)
You have are many options for getting the weather on your iPhone, but our personal favorites are Dark Sky and CARROT Weather. Dark Sky gives incredibly detailed up-to-the-minute forecast information, and CARROT has a beautiful interface and a ton of personality.
If these didn’t do it for you, we’ve also covered other great weather apps that are fun to check daily.
Read the full article: 7 Best Weather Apps for iPhone
Source: MakeUseOf | 19 Jan 2019 | 12:00 am(NZT)