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how do ubuntu-based distros differ from ubuntu

if you are a seasoned linux user, you most likely know what a “ubuntu-based distro” means, but for new users, it is often very confusing. so is “linux mint” another version of ubuntu, or is it another version of linux? this article will explain the significance of ubuntu-based distros compared to ubuntu itself and what “ubuntu-based” means.debian, ubuntu, debian-based, ubuntu-basedbefore i go into ubuntu-based distros, like linux mint, let’s clarify ubuntu itself. ubuntu is free open-source software anybody can modify and use as a basis to create their own ubuntu-based distro.ubuntu itself is a distro that also doesn’t start from scratch. it’s based on debian linux. canonical (the company behind ubuntu) took some debian files and created a new, more user-friendly distro called ubuntu. debian is one of the most popular linux distros out there with tons of features, but for a non-technical user it’s more complicated to use than ubuntu. i guess this is the main reason why ubuntu became so popular – ease of use, coupled with decent functionality.however, since tastes (and needs) differ, as great as ubuntu is, it can’t possibly appeal to everybody. one user needs one thing, another needs something totally different. while you can get ubuntu and install all the additional software on your own, this takes time, and not all packages will work. it’s easier, especially for a newbie, to get a ready-made distro with the stuff you need. this is where ubuntu flavo...





5 useful chrome extensions for automating repetitive browsing tasks

working in today’s fast-paced world can be daunting. there is so much to do with so little time available. thankfully, automation is fast becoming a solution available to everyone. activities such as filling out forms and job registrations are no longer tedious. complex activities like scouring the internet for information are now automated even!if you are looking for ways to automate your daily repetitive browsing tasks, these five extensions for your chrome browser will automate your web experience.related: gmail automation: 5 useful google scripts to automate your gmail1. chromium browser automation (cba)the chromium browser automation is a simple extension for your browser. it’s a full-featured automation tool that helps you avoid repetitive activities.it can help you automate simple activities like filling out forms while still being complex enough to support scripting and injection.some of its major functions:record: here you can record activities you are currently carrying out on your web browser. record in this sense does not mean a screen recording. it means that the extension stores all your interactions with the web page.play: this feature allows you to “play” your recorded interactions. this means you will be able to fill out a form again, re-access your email or delete a bookmark with a simple click of a button!injection: this is for the more advanced users – web developers. you can inject your scripts into a web page to see how it affects site performa...





5 of the best sites to learn english for free

if you are trying to learn english and you are looking for good sites where you can do so for free, the choice is huge. there are hundreds of sites for learning english, and they offer various activities – grammar, listening, and speaking. this list is comprised of five of the best sites for english learners of various proficiency levels.1. bbc learning englishbbc is probably one of the first places that comes to your mind when you think of learning english. it’s an institution with traditions in teaching english, and you are right if you think that their site – bbc learning english – is a good starting point. the site offers a huge selection of learning material for learners of all levels. i especially like their great resources for advanced learners because while you can find a gazillion of sites to cover the basics, good advanced stuff is harder to find.related: the best language exchange apps for android to easily master another language2. british councilthe language courses of the british council are very popular worldwide, and their site doesn’t disappoint either. it does have resources for all levels, but similarly to bbc learning english, it’s a good choice for more advanced learners. it’s the definitive guide for the ielts test. of course, even if your level of english isn’t that high, there is still a lot to check there.3. english grammarenglish grammar has a special place in the heart of english learners, so i decided to include a site specialized i...





how to encrypt your emails on macos

as the corporate use of private data grows, consumers are more and more interested in protecting the content of their sensitive communications. many messenger apps offer end-to-end communication, but email remains the most popular method of communication. without email encryption, your emails can be spied on by any interested observer. this article will show how you can encrypt your emails with macos using pgp and send encrypted emails with mail.app or any other email client.keep in mind that no pgp client can encrypt “to” or “from” addresses. email servers need those in the clear to route your message. they also can’t encrypt your subject line, so keep it generic.related: pgp encryption: how it works and how you can get starteddownload and install gpgtools1. download gpg suite from the gpg tools website. gpg tools is a long-running open source project based on pretty good privacy or pgp. it’s a reliable source, but you can see for yourself by reviewing the code on their github page.2. mount the dmg and double-click on the “install” icon to install gpg suite.generate your key paira key pair includes a public and private key. the public key is shared with people who want to contact you. use your private key to “unlock” received emails. the private key is for your eyes only!1. the first time you open gpg suite, you’ll be prompted to generate a key pair. you can also click the “new” icon in the toolbar.2. type in your name and email address associated w...





new malware targets internet explorer users via office

are you one of those people who are just so comfortable using the outdated internet explorer that you’re refusing to move on and use something updated like the edge, chrome, or firefox? here’s another reason why you need to retire that old horse to the glue factory.a hacking group has released a new malware set to attack those using windows with internet explorer once they open an office file, according to researchers from qihoo 360’s core security unit. what can you do to protect yourself from this new malware?zero-day exploitthe hacking group is taking advantage of a zero-day exploit in internet explorer, known as a “double kill” vulnerability. it’s a previously unknown and unpatched exploit that uses the user account control bypass, as well as reflective dll loading, fileless execution, and steganography.the researchers report the hackers, an advanced persistent threat (apt) group, is using the ie vulnerability on a “global scale.” they get to the exploit through an office document that is infected with the “double kill” vulnerabilityto set off the malware, windows users have to be using ie and choose to open the office file. both components need to be at play, as once they open the infected office document, it launches a webpage in the background that sends the malware from a remote server.the fixthe researchers who discovered this malware and exploit have reported their findings to microsoft and are suggesting a patch be created.microsoft told zdnet, ...





save 15% on element classic by sengled soft white smart led bulbs

we all know the major advantages of led light bulbs: they last longer and are more energy efficient. but the big negative is always the price. that’s what makes this a great deal. you’ll get a 15% savings when you purchase a four-pack of element classic by sengled soft white smart led bulbs.these light bulbs offer a flexible setup as you can connect them to your element hub, echo plus, smartthings or wink. they come with the sengled element home app to help you control them, but you can also control them using voice controlwith the ios or android app, you can turn the lights on and off, dim or brighten them, and set them to a certain schedule, as long as they are connected to a sengled element hub. the app will also allow you to control the lights even when you’re not at home.with alexa or google assistant, you can control the lights with voice commands to turn them on and off, adjust the brightness, and more, as long as a compatible hub is installed as well.the element led bulbs will save on energy use, up to 80%, compared to incandescent lighting.you can get a four-pack of these soft white led bulbs at 15% off for just $32.99. they are also available individually and in eight-packs and in a daylight color.buy now!





10 great lxde themes - make tech easier

this article is part of the linux desktop themes series:when it comes to linux desktop environment aesthetics, the lxde desktop environment is probably the weakest. the default skin it comes with, to be frank, is kind of dated and bland. not to worry! since this desktop environment is on linux, you can tear it apart and make it look however you’d like!so why not make a list dedicated to great themes you can install right now into your lxde session? i should mention, since this is lxde, you’ll be able to use both xfce4 themes as well as gtk2+ themes. (and the panel even has support for images if you want.)note: the instructions to install each one of these themes are located on the page you download them from.1. candidothere’s something very pleasing about candido‘s simple flat aesthetic. folder icons and windows are slick, sharp and angular, giving the whole thing a business-like and authoritative feel. little touches like shadowing give it a bit of texture, too, making it a tasteful, textured flavor of flatness. it’s a little bit old-school mac in some ways, a little bit windows in others; it’s a great, grey and lightweight choice.2. lxde panel backgrounds collectionas you know, lxde can use gtk+2 themes, but because of the way that the lxde desktop is built, you can also use images for panel themes. the lxde panel backgrounds collection is probably the perfect theme set for lxde, and that’s why i’ve put it at the top of the list. it comes with a whole bun...





craft beer apps that are worth checking out

given that both artisanal brews and smartphones are a hit with younger generations, you’d expect some overlap between the two, and indeed, there are dozens of craft beer apps. frankly, though, only a few of them are any good. craft beer is a very decentralized movement, so getting up-to-date data about beers and breweries can be quite difficult. that said, some apps have pulled it off pretty well, and you may find a few of them quite useful.1. untappdthis is the biggest, and arguably best, craft beer app out there. think of it as facebook meets yelp, for beer: it has lots of reviews, ratings, and social tools. your local breweries and pubs are likely to be listed, and if you’re lucky, they’ll update their beer lists with some regularity. you can find ratings for just about any beer in existence, though typing works way better than the barcode scanner.untappd lets you check in, see what your friends have been up to, see special events, see trending beers and breweries, track the beer you’ve tried, and even discover new beers based on your past beer ratings. because it does so many things, though, it does seem a bit cluttered. you’ll have to do some exploring to figure out all its functions.android | ios2. barlybarly is a minimalistic, nicely-designed app that does a few things very well: it helps you find local bars, see what’s on tap, and figure out which beers you would be most likely to enjoy. perhaps its best feature is that it lets you customize your personal ...





great android games you can play on chromebook

chromebooks have been going strong for a while now, but one way in which they’ve been lagging behind is in the way of gaming. now that android apps are becoming increasingly available to use on chromebooks, everything’s changed, as you can play the best android games on google’s  lightweight laptops.not all android games are available on chromebooks (yet), but a good bunch are, and many of them even have mouse-and-keyboard controls. here are the android games that have proven our no-nonsense chromebooks can double as excellent gaming devices.pandemicif you’re a board game aficionado, you’ll know that pandemic is all the rage in all the hipster board game joints. this co-operative game tasks you and several other players with containing a series of deadly diseases that threaten to wipe out humanity.each player has a unique role, such as the medic who’s particularly nifty at wiping out diseases, or the researcher who discovers cures quickly, and each turn is a suspenseful race against the spreading diseases-by-way-of-cards. best enjoyed on a touchscreen chromebook, which essentially turns your screen into a giant digital board.plague inc.or maybe you just want to watch the world burn? if that’s the case, then plague inc. could be more your tipple. here, you are the disease, trying to outwit pesky humanity as it tries to contain your pestilent spread of virulent particles.different diseases work in different ways, ranging from bacterial nasties to the more irreve...





how to check for 32-bit apps in mac

just recently apple revealed that support for 32-bit apps on macos will soon be phased out of the operating system. users on the latest version of the os are seeing a warning dialog when opening 32-bit apps. it’s very similar to the process used with ios when that operating system dropped 32-bit app support. you probably have at least some 32-bit apps on your computer (apple, embarrassingly, has several of their own). how do you check for 32-bit apps on your mac?related: 6 necessary apps for mac you should download right nowwhat’s happening to 32-bit apps?on april 12th macs running high sierra (10.13.4) started displaying alert windows when launching 32-bit applications. this warning advises users that 32-bit applications need to be updated by the developer to “improve compatibility.” if you click the “ok” box, the application launches normally. you can also click “learn more …” to visit an apple knowledge-base article about why this is happening.the language could be clearer, but this is the first sign that apple is phasing out support for 32-bit apps on macos. in a future unspecified version of macos, 32-bit apps will no longer launch. to keep their apps working, developers must update their applications for 64-bit architecture.the dialog box doesn’t say when support for 32-bit apps will be phased out entirely, but it’s probably not any time soon. apple gave ios developers nearly three years to update their 32-bit apps to 64-bit before shutting down 32...





keep your home safe with zmodo wireless home security camera, for less than $50

you can never do enough to keep your home safe. that means if you’ve been thinking of installing security cameras in your home, you probably should to keep everything safe, and there’s no better time than the present. you can get the zmodo wireless two-way audio hd home security camera (2-pack) with night vision and take care of all your security needs.you’ll have no worries about the setup of these two security cameras, as you only need to turn them on and then configure the network. it takes mere minutes. even though you get two cameras, just one can cover 115°, meaning an entire room will be covered, and that’s without having to pan or tilt the camera.these security cameras have built-in mics to allow you to converse with whoever you spot outside your house. you can both hear them and talk to them. they also feature night vision, which helps, as we know that we’re most concerned with things that go bump in the night, and this will allow you to see exactly what and who is bumping around.additionally, the cameras are equipped with wifi and will send push notification alerts to your smartphone when there is motion detected so that you can keep on top of what’s going on outside. the full ... hd video will provide clear footage that you can review through the zmodo app for both ios and android or via a browser.you will also enjoy the three-year manufacturer warranty that includes a 60-day return for refund and a lifetime of us-based support..get this pair of camera...





5 lesser known download managers for mac

mac has a number of download managers available for it, and a quick google search will tell you what all the most popular download managers are. however, it doesn’t end there. there are a few download managers that aren’t that famous but that work really great and help you download files using various ways.in the following roundup we cover five lesser-known download mangers for mac from our software discovery section.1. progressive downloaderprogressive downloader is a download manager for macos with multi-thread downloading support and tight integration with your favorite internet browser.integration with all major browsersbuilt-in ftp/sftp browserautomatic search for the fastest servers availablesupport for appscript and automator2. wfdownloaderwfdownloader is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, batch/bulk download application for your machine that lets you quickly download a bunch of files at once.organized batch downloadingeasy to useproxy supportstrong resume supportdownload entire tv series, animes, mangas, videos, music, image galleries & wallpapers, etc., from supported sitescross-platform3. freerapid downloaderfreerapid is an easy to use java downloader that supports downloading from rapidshare, youtube, facebook, picasa and other file-sharing services, including the newer ones like mega.co.nz.simply copy and paste your links from a browser to this application. freerapid downloader will handle the rest itself. no more clicking or uncomfortable waiting.it is a jav...





how to install adobe creative cloud apps in linux

adobe’s suite of creative cloud apps are relied upon by many people for professional and personal use, but these programs have not been ported to linux officially despite incessant requests from linux users. this is presumably because of the tiny market share that desktop linux currently has.despite this, the community has found ways to bring adobe apps to your linux desktop through wine. but it can be difficult to get the creative cloud suite working in wine due to compatibility issues with the multiple versions of the setup program available from adobe’s website.to solve this problem, corbin davenport created an installation script that helps you install any of the adobe creative cloud apps on linux without all the hassle. the script takes care of all the necessary configuration details and makes use of a lot of patches and tweaks to get things working.installing playonlinuxthe creative cloud script was made to work with playonlinux which is a gui front-end for wine that allows you to easily install and use numerous apps and games designed to run with microsoft windows, so you need to install that first. here’s how to install playonlinux on the following linux distributions:ubuntu and ubuntu-based distributionssudo apt install playonlinuxdebiansudoapt-get install playonlinuxfedorasudo dnf install playonlinuxopensusesudo zypper install playonlinuxarch linuxsudo pacman -s playonlinuxother linux distributionseven if your distribution does not have playonlinux in its repo...





gmail users hit with spam that appeared to come from their own account

twenty years or so ago we still thought of that congealed luncheon meat as spam. but now it’s infiltrated all of our lives and has nothing to do with anything edible, although some may say it’s just as unsavory.we’re talking about spam in your email inbox. we get so much that we each have spam mailboxes, folders just for all that spam we get to keep it out of our way. some gmail users were hit with some very interesting spam recently. it appeared to come from their own account.gmail spamout of all the email groups to get hit with spam, for it to be gmail users is particularly interesting, as gmail does a great job, better than many email servers, in filtering out unwanted spam. so those hit with this spam must have been particularly perplexed.and the messages definitely appeared to be spam by examining the content. the one appearing in a forbes writer’s email offered an “easy loophole to turn $10 to $100,000.” forgetting the obvious grammatical error, such a promise is obviously spam.the text underneath urged the recipient to view a “controversial video” that would expose the “hidden method russian traders” use to convert that paltry sum of money into something bigger. or at least it tried to – the bad grammar made it difficult to figure out what they were really going for.the real sender of this message and the others got the messages through by using the bounce. many email servers won’t accept an email they suspect is spam if it can’t be delivered ...





how to uncover unauthorized connections in windows

people like you are spending more and more time online every day. you get the information you need from the internet by way of the connections your computer makes with outside sources. most of the time these connections are perfectly safe, but there may be malicious interactions taking place below the surface. your computer may be transmitting private information, and you don’t even know it.if you suspect your computer has malware or a security issue, there are some easy ways to see all of the connections it is making. viewing a record of open ports and processes could expose unauthorized connections or transmission of data.there are several tools available that display connection data for you. this article provides you with two online tools and a windows process to use for this purpose.related: how to monitor and see network/internet traffic from any application [windows]using powershellto access your connections using powershell, first press win + x. the power user menu will open. this menu gives shortcuts to various tools in windows.next, select the option for powershell (admin). you need to have admin privileges to run this tool.type this command:netstat -abf 5> activity.txtand press enter. at this point your computer will start recording the connections that are being made and save them to a text file.now let the program run for several minutes. you can continue working on something else if you’d like.stop the recording of the data by pressing ctrl + c.type “activi...





how to make sure a browser extension is safe before installing it

browser extensions can be handy. they make your everyday tasks a lot easier by only having to click once to access your notes, for example. but there are some things to keep in mind before you click on that install button.they can also do things such as collect your info, use your system resources and even install adware. if you don’t want a browser extension watching your every move, it’s a good idea to see if the extension is trustworthy before you install it.investigate the developer behind the extensionone way you can make sure that the extension you’re thinking about installing is safe is investigating the developer. you can do this by clicking on the developer’s name next to the words “offered by.” the link should take you to the developer’s site and give you more information.if the link doesn’t take you anywhere or the site or takes you to a site that doesn’t tell you much about him/her, then you should think twice about installing the extension. a trustworthy extension will give a lot of information about the developer.make sure to read all of the permissionsthose who create dangerous extensions know that you’re in a hurry and that there’s a good chance that you might not even read the permissions. chrome extensions don’t work like android where you can decide what permission to allow and which ones to deny, you accept all of them.if an extension is asking for more permission than you think it should, it’s best not to install it. for example...





open-back vs. closed-back headphones - which one should you get?

when buying headphones, what do you look for first? perhaps you’re considering over-ear vs. in-canal, or you’re keeping a close eye on the sound quality specifications for the best sound. there’s one specification that’s not immediately obvious as to what it means: open-back vs. closed-back headphones. these may sound somewhat foolish, but they both have their advantages and disadvantages and should be considered when purchasing a pair of headphones.open-back vs. closed-back headphonesclosed-backclosed-back headphones have a solid shell around each speaker to stop any sound from leaking out. as a result, when you listen to music on a pair of closed-back headphones, the sound doesn’t escape out into the environment and creates a feeling as if the music is “in your head.” at the same time, any sounds from the outside are muted out as you’re listening to music. the end result is a sound that dominates your hearing and leaves little room for anything else.closed-back headphones are great if you want to keep the sounds of the outside world from interrupting your audio experience. from people who enjoy getting lost in the music to those who use music for meditation, closed-back are the perfect choice for users who want to silence everything around them for a brief moment. due to how closed-back headphones trap sound, they also have a positive effect on those around you. if you plan to listen to music in the library or on a train, for example, closed-back headphones...





rock on with sony xb950b1 extra bass wireless headphones for $110 off

with the advent of our digital devices comes the necessity of a good pair of headphones, and for those cases, you want to go with the best. you want a good brand, like sony. and now you can get the sony xb950b1 extra bass wireless headphones with app control for $110 off. it’s quite the deal.if you like to listen to your music loud and really rock it out, these are the headphones for you, as they feature extra bass. it will make the music you listen to sound stunning. additionally, it includes the sony headphones connect app so that you can optimize the sound.with the bluetooth and nfc connectivity, it means you never again have to deal with the irritation of having wires get in your way. it makes them even more simple to use.these headphones will sound so good, you won’t be able to bear taking them off, but that’s okay, as the battery life can last up to eighteen hours. you can even take those phone calls that come in through the headphones with the built-in mic.get these headphones now for 56% off at just $88.buy now!





can police search a phone without a warrant after death?

gone are the days of the “dumb” phone era when the only information you stored were contacts, sms messages, and call times. today there’s a treasure trove of data in each person’s phone, some of it showing intimate details that one wouldn’t want to be released to the public.we’ve seen police attempt to crack phones that belong to living suspects with little success, but what about dead people? there is a bit of precedent here, as police in miami used a dead suspect’s finger to try and unlock his phone to search through it on april 20th, 2018. although it may seem complicated, the legal territory here couldn’t be any less murky, and we’ll dive right in!getting through some initial legal stuffalthough i will often use us law in this example (since the case i mentioned happened in that country’s territory), it’s challenging to find significant outliers when it comes to the rights of dead persons. most countries tend to agree on how they treat deceased individuals’ property or bodies. therefore, when a crime occurs resulting in the death of a person, their body is an essential piece of the puzzle and usually comes into the possession of authorities attempting to investigate the crime. this means that funeral plans may be put off for a while.but what about personal property?if police investigate a crime that involved a death and the person who died had a phone on their person, it enters evidence like any other object. in most countries, it’s pretty much c...





how to password-protect folders and files in linux

suppose you share your laptop with various classmates or coworkers. you have administrative rights on the machine, but you have a small fear that their prying eyes could get into a directory you don’t want them to see. it may be in your interest to password-protect that folder.when using linux you can restrict users from file access with a few simple commands. this article will discuss the benefits and limitations of using file ownership and groups as a password-protection measure.creating a new userunix-based machines utilize a directory structure that makes use of ownership to allow and prevent access to files. your user, for example, is likely granted a home directory, “/home/username”, and has specific rights on your machine. it may own files and folders in that home directory, so it can access them freely. in contrast, it can’t freely access files the root user owns.examination of a root-owned directory may reveal its permissions, owner, and group as something like drw------- root root, meaning the root user can read and write in that directory but all other users cannot. when you try to use files in that directory, you will need to either change to the root user or give yourself superuser privileges – both of which should require a password.you can use that same logic to password protect a directory you care about. try it now by creating a new user named “protector:”sudo useradd --no-create-home protectorthis command will make a new user without a home dir...