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laptop touchpad not working? here are 5 fixes

the touchpad is an age-old feature, having long since replaced the “pointing stick” (or what i liked to call the “nipple”) as the standardized alternative to mouse control on a laptop. but if your touchpad stops working while you’re on the move, or in any other situation when you don’t have a spare mouse handy, you can end up stranded.but don’t start training yourself to use windows with only a keyboard just yet. here’s our collection of tips on how to fix a malfunctioning touchpad (starting with the simplest).note: you’ll need an external mouse or touchscreen to go through with some of these tips. also, the following fixes are for laptops running windows os.1. re-enable your touchpad using the “fn” keythis happened to me several years ago. perhaps while trying to use a “fn” key to change the volume on my laptop, i must have disabled my touchpad by pressing the wrong button. for weeks i didn’t know what the issue was, which wasn’t helped by the touchpad function icon on my keyboard looking just like a monitor icon, and it took me a while to realise that maybe it was in fact a touchpad icon.while holding the “fn” key, press every function button (the “f” keys) with a symbol on it that looks like it could be your touchpad to see if it switches back on. (bear in mind, you might turn off your screen this way, so just press that button again if that happens.)2. remove other mouse drivershave you plugged a whole bunch of mice into your laptop ...





how to stay productive on flights when laptops are banned

hurtling through the air in a metal tube is an awe-inspiring feat of human ingenuity. despite this fact, very few people like airline travel. long wait times, invasive security procedures, uncomfortable seats and horrendous food have stripped traveling by air of its novelty. although air travel can be a drag, there is one bright spot: limited distractions from work.frequent fliers of the business world have long called airplanes their office in the sky; however, productivity at 30,000 feet has taken a huge hit recently. with talk about airlines banning electronics larger than a cell phone, anyone who uses flying to catch up on work is no doubt shaking in their boots. with laptops and tablets being relegated to checked luggage, it’s going to be harder to stay on top of work. before you give up and pop a xanax on your next flight, consider these alternatives.loaner laptops + your os on a usba ban on laptops and tablets will certainly rub some folks the wrong way. in an effort to appease travelers who might be resistant, some airlines are supplying business class (and above) customers with loaner laptops. while this is better than nothing at all, these loaners are bound to be horribly insecure. to make matters worse, they will presumably only offer the basics in terms of software. if you’re going to be using a loaner laptop, consider booting a portable persistent os off a usb.there are a ton of linux distros that can boot from a live usb, including ones that put an emphasis ...





the ultimate cord cutting kit subscription

are you one of the many entertainment fans who enjoy it but wish to not have to deal with messy cords and high fees from your cable subscriber? if you get the ultimate cord cutting kit subscription, you can put an end to that monthly bill. the kit includes a selecttv subscription, an hdtv digital antenna, and six free months of premium tv including hbonow, showtime, netflix, hulu, cbs all-access, slingtv, and amazon prime video. the selecttv subscription to over 400,000 tv episodes, 100,000 movies, 30,000 radio stations, as well as 2,000 live channels will be enough for any couch potato.massive library of tv shows, movies, live channels, radio stations, and more from over 150 countriesadditionally, you’ll get unlimited video on demand from any deviceover 2,000 curated channels, more than any cable servicestream over 30,000 radio stations from across the worldsix months of premium subscriptionsuse the pay-per-view deal finder to find the best price on a movie or tv showuse the subscription manager to find what premium content is available at no extra costget on-demand video and streaming channels from over 120 different countriesuse the hd antenna to watch more than 100 live local channelsuse either google chromecast or an hdmi cable to connect to your home tv.cut that cord for one year for less than $20.the ultimate cord cutting kit subscriptiontired of trying to play games on your smartphone and not being able to control the action the way you want? the wireless mobile gam...





how to fix your hacked wordpress site

every so often wordpress sites get hacked. you want to know how hackers access your site, how to spot if your site has been hacked, and then how to fix your site if it’s hacked? that’s what you’ll explore here.common ways hackers gain entrance to your sitedetermined hackers have many ways to gain access to your website. however, there are common ways known to grant access more easily.outdated free themes and plugins – updates to themes and plugins are announced in a changelog. more often than not these disclosures includes security updates that hackers easily take advantage of having known the vulnerabilities of websites running that theme or plugin that have not been updated yet. moreover, wordpress is updated often, and users who do not go with new updates run the risk of being vulnerable to hackers. another security issue with free plugins and themes is that their owners have little or no incentive to plug any security holes.hosting – if your host has a history of poor security, your website is automatically vulnerable. a study has shown that more than 40% of security breaches originate from hosts.weak admin and login details – leaving your wordpress admin login as “admin” and then a weak password leaves you at the mercy of hackers. since this is so easy, hackers regularly scan the internet using software to find websites with this weakness.php/database injections – hackers could gain access to the database of unprotected wordpress websites by injecting ...





how to sync google chrome data across multiple devices

if you find yourself jumping between different devices or computers, you may find it very annoying that all of your browsing data is “locked up” within various machines. for example, your main computer may have all your saved passwords and bookmarks on it which makes life a little trickier when you browse the web on your phone while on the move.fortunately, if you use chrome, you can use the sync system that google put into their popular web browser. with a sync set up, you can download all of your browsing data onto each device that uses chrome. this lets you get to all of your bookmarks, passwords, and even browsing history on any device that you use.first things first: attaching an accountof course, if we want chrome to sync our data between two devices, we have to let it know that we’re the one doing the browsing. to do this, we need to attach a google account to chrome which it will sync our data to. then, when we want to access our data from another chrome browser, we log into our google account there as well. this will let chrome know to sync our data with the other device.to set up the sync, open a chrome window if it’s not already running. look at the top right of the chrome window. you should see a button that looks like three dots or bars on top of one another. click this, and then click “settings”.at the very top of this new screen is the category “people.” under this is the option to “sign in to chrome.” click this option and you’ll be promp...





create your own windows 10 custom themes

in the windows 10 creators update, you can now download windows 10 themes from the windows store. but in addition to those microsoft-produced themes, you can also make your own windows 10 custom themes using the settings menu. here is how you can create and use your own windows 10 custom themes.opening the themes menu1. open “settings” from the start menu.2. click “personalization,” then click “themes.”3. this will open the themes menu which allows you to adjust your desktop background, choose theme colors, change your cursor and modify system sounds.change desktop background1. click the “background” button which displays the name of your current wallpaper underneath.2. select the type of desktop background you want from the drop-down menu.3. if you chose “picture” from the drop-down menu, you can now select an image to appear as your background. the five most recent desktop backgrounds will appear as thumbnails below “choose your picture.” you can also click the “browse” button to select different images from your computer.4. finally, you can choose how the image should be displayed under “choose a fit.”fill: resizes the image (if necessary) to cover your entire background but does not change the proportions of the imagefit: fits the entire image on screenstretch: changes the proportions of the image to cover your entire screen while displaying the whole image. this can seriously distort an image.tile: repeats the image as many times as necess...





understanding and preventing domain hijacking

domain hijacking can be painful if you are browsing the web and especially bad if you are the site owner. this article will cover in a bit of detail what domain hijacking is exactly, as well as tips to prevent and even reverse a hijacking.what is domain hijacking?to understand domain hijacking, you must have a simple understanding of what dns is. dns is also referred to as a “domain name system,” and it acts as an address book of sorts for the web. when you type a web address into an address bar, the browser sends a request to the dns which then matches the url to an ip address. after that, the content you requested is loaded. this all follows through your internet service provider.at the most basic level, domain hijacking is the redirection of a dns query to another address. sometimes these redirected addresses may be entirely different in looks from the intended site of visitation, and other times it may look just like the site you intended to visit in hopes that you, the user, will unknowingly enter personal information into the site.tips to avoid domain hijackingfirst and perhaps foremost, download a reliable piece of anti-malware software. there is a chance that if domain hijacking happens, it is not that the domain is compromised across the entire web, but rather that malware on your own machine is causing your dns entries to redirect to phishing and malicious sites. malwarebytes is a free program that is trusted as one of the best options out there for keeping your...





which browser do you use and why?

one of the most basic internet needs is a good browser. while at one time we may have only visited a browser once or twice a day, browsers are now used much more often and have so many more functions other than just “browsing” the web.that’s why everyone has their favorite. they’re used differently in so many different situations. some people have just one. some people have a handful. we asked our writers, “which browser do you use and why?”our opinioncorbin uses safari in macos high sierra, “mainly because it smokes the competition in speed, it features a reading mode that hides other web ui, and it focuses on text and images.” additionally, it prevents trackers.working on a linux system, ada uses firefox and chromium as his primary browsers. however, on almost a daily basis, she also uses opera, vivaldi, web, and qupzilla “because some of the tabs for my personal projects are open in them.” she uses so many because she can’t fit everything in just one or two browsers.phil uses firefox and makes use of the sync feature between windows, mac, and ios. additionally, he uses pocket to hold the links he needs access to. while he used to use safari, “there are a few suites it didn’t fully support, and i try to have only one browser.” he feels chrome “eats resources” in macos, but he’s not sure if that’s the fault of chrome.alex uses vivaldi on mac and windows. being chromium-based, “it’s fast and reliable, and you can use extensions from the...





the easy way of doing resumés, with novoresume

all of us have had that panic: there’s a great job available that you want to apply for, but they are requiring you to send a résumé, and it’s been awhile since you updated it. but who wants to dig up that file and revise/redo it?thankfully, novorésumé has a solution. this web-based résumé service makes organizing and creating your résumé a breeze. additionally, it allows you to craft cover letters and cvs as well.learning about résumésthere is nothing to download except your résumé once you get it finished. you can do it all at novoresume.com after signing up. i did most of it from the browser on my ipad.however, i did run across a few glitches. i couldn’t add four digits for the years of my work experience, and it would only allow me to rate myself “five stars” in one skill. i like to think i excel in several skills. i finished on my ipad, then had to transfer to my mac to fix those areas. however, the developer has assured me that the next version will be much more mobile-friendly.you don’t even have to know how to craft a résumé, as it’s just a matter of following a template. additionally, there is a page that will explain for you the “anatomy of a perfect résumé,” and after you have finished putting it all together, it will offer you tips to make it better.pricingyou don’t have to pay anything at all to create a great résumé. you can create a résumé for free right on the site. you will be offered predefined layouts to make a one-pa...





how to customize your linux terminal with pokemon skins

are you a linux user as well as a pokemon fan? if yes, then you are in luck. there is a fun new project in github that pokemon fans are going to love. with this script you can bring all of your favorite pokemon to the linux terminal. (it will work in mac and iterm2, too.) the following instructions will show you how to do it.install tilixpokemon terminal is compatible with both tilix and terminology terminals, but this guide is going to focus on tilix because it’s a bit easier to customize. the first step is to get tilix installed on your system, change a few settings, and lock it to the launcher.1. start by adding the terminix repository to apt. tilex will be available to install after this step is complete. open a terminal window and type:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/terminixnow that the repository has been added, you need to update apt to make it aware of the new packages. use the command:sudo apt updateafter apt has been updated, tell it to install the tilix terminal with the command:sudo apt install tilixconfigure tilix for pokemonnow that tilix is installed, you can launch it and change a few settings to make it look nicer with your new pokemon skins.open the unity bar and type “tilix” into the search box, then click the icon to bring up a new tilix terminal window. a warning may pop up. if it does, click ok. we’ll fix it in a moment.now, click on the session drop menu and select “profiles.”click “edit profile.”you’ll begin by clicking the ...





15 google search tips to make your online life easier

google search is, quite possibly, the most useful single thing on the internet. without it, it’s fair to assume we’d still be stuck in the age of asking jeeves to make himself more useful, and maybe today we’d be using verbs like “binging” it and “yahooing” it instead of “googling.”but do you know how to really get the most out of google search? until you’ve read this, our guess is “no,” so take a look at our google search tips to make your digital life easier.1. search exact phrasesif you’re looking for an exact phrase, use quotation marks around the keywords to view results containing that exact phrase. for example, "how to dual boot ubuntu and windows 10”2. exclude a wordif your search terms contain a keyword with several meanings, you can exclude one of the meanings by adding a hyphen (-) before the keyword. for example, the martian -book3. search a specific domainyou can search within a particular url by including the term site:example.com before or after your keywords.4. generate similar contentto generate content similar to what’s found on a url you already know, use the related: operator before adding the url.5. search for words in body copyto retrieve pages where all the keywords appear in the body of the page, type allintext: before the search term.6. find pages that link to specific urlstype link: before a url name, and you’ll be shown all the pages on google that link to it. this is particularly useful for seos who are searching fo...





5 popular document scanner apps for android

scanning a document doesn’t have to involve that large printer-size machine. all you need is your android device and a good scanner app. thanks to these apps that you can find for free on google play, scanning a document has never been easier.with the following apps you’ll be able to scan your document by simply taking a picture. not only that, you can turn your scanned document into a pdf and share it through services such as dropbox, google drive, evernote, and more!1. office lensoffice lens is one of the most popular scanner apps on google play. the app enhances, trims and creates pictures of documents and whiteboards that are readable. the app allows you to turn images into pdf, powerpoint, and word files.after scanning, you can save your files to onedrive, onenote, or your android device. tap on the “scanner” icon on the top-right and choose the type of document that you are scanning, whether it is a picture, the work whiteboard, a document, or a business card.don’t worry about scanning the document incorrectly since the app will guide you as to as where you should move your device for the perfect capture.you can even scan the document from a distance, and office lens will show you the zoomed version of it. the app works best with documents in german, english, spanish and simplified chinese.2. camscanner – phone pdf creacamscanner offers you the features you need to scan your documents efficiently. by using your phone’s camera, you can scan your invoices, r...





the super-sized ethical hacking bundle

the word “hacking” strikes a lot of fear in many people, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. it can be used for good. the super-sized ethical hacking bundle will show you that and will help you through understanding ethical hacking and how it works. you’ll learn about the negative side of hacking as well as the good side and will also be prepared to take the comptia security+ certification exam.the following nine courses are included in this bundle.bug bounty: web hacking – there’s money in legal hacking, being employed to identify and fix bugs on web apps, as even facebook and google paid out $5 and $6 million respectively. this course will show you how to find such a job.comptia security + exam preparation – you’ll learn basic security fundamentals as well as more advanced topics to have all the knowledge needed to pass the comptia security+ certification exam.ethical hacking using kali linux from a to z – one of the most popular ethical hacking tools is kali linux, and this course will show you the latest techniques with it and will simulate a penetration test for some hands-on experience.ethical hacking from scratch to advanced techniques – take steps closer to a new career in ethical hacking by learning how to bypass different security layers, and how to compromise computers, crack passwords, crash systems, and compromise applications.learn social engineering from scratch – learn how to hack into other systems as a way to protect yourself. in thi...





interesting screen capture tools to discover this week

our lives revolve around pictures now. but we don’t just take pictures of the things we do and the places we visit, we also take pictures of the things we do and the places we visit online so that we can easily share what we’re looking at. if you’re looking for an easier way to take screen captures, screenshots, screencaps, screen grabs, whatever you want to call them, these five software fit the bill.mwsnapmwsnap – this windows software allows you to take screen captures of the whole desktop, an individual window, an active menu, a control, or a fixed or free-floating area of the screen. it handles five different graphics formats and several graphical tools.five snapping modessupports five image formats and their color depth and quality settingssystem-wide hotkeyscopy and paste to clipboardprintingauto-saving and auto-printingauto-start in windowsminimize to the system traysharexsharex is an open-source software for windows. it allows you to take screen captures or screencasts of selected areas to be saved to the clipboard or hard disk. you can also upload them to over eighty different file-hosting services.free and open sourceno interruptive adslightweighteasy sharing of screen captureseighty destinations supportedcustomize your workflowssnipastewith snipaste, after you snip your desired part of the screen, you can paste it back as a floating window. additionally, you can convert text or color information from a clipboard into a floating window that you can then zoo...





add extra layer of security to windows 10 with dynamic lock

microsoft released the windows 10 creators update on april 11 adding a bunch of new functions to the operating system. one of the useful features coming with the anniversary patch is dynamic lock.what is dynamic lock?the windows 10 dynamic lock pairs your smartphone and computer using bluetooth and automatically locks your pc when your phone goes out of range. this new feature allows you to leave your computer secure, while you can go grab a coffee (or tea), chat with others, or do any other activity which requires you to be away from your pc. this function is the most useful for people who often get trolled by friends after they left their computer without locking it.pairing your phone with your pcthe first step to using dynamic lock is to pair your computer with your phone. on your pc, navigate to “settings -> devices -> bluetooth & other devices.” use the toggle switch to enable bluetooth and turn on your phone’s bluetooth as well. if you do not have a toggle switch (you can’t turn on bluetooth), you should follow these instructions:1. bring up the start menu. search for “device manager.”2. go to “view” and click “show hidden devices.”3. in device manager expand “bluetooth”.4. right click on “bluetooth generic adapter” and update the driver.5. restart.this should solve the problem for most users. however, if your device manager looks like the image below, then unfortunately you have no bluetooth connection and can’t use the windows 10 dyn...





how to play blu-ray on linux

blu-ray has been out for a long time now, so it seems crazy that there still isn’t a clear-cut way to play them in linux. that’s mostly because blu-ray is loaded with drm that hollywood doesn’t want open-source programs to be able to get past. unfortunately, this means that completely legitimate video players are robbed of the capability in yet another instance of drm hurting users instead of pirates.with all of that aside, there is an excellent program that is available for linux that can read blu-ray disks. it’s called makemkv, and it’s partially open source. that’s a big part of the reason you probably haven’t come across it in your distribution’s repositories. the closed source part handles reading blu-ray, while the rest of it is open, striking an unusual balance for this particular task. makemkv is available for free. its linux version is in a constant beta, so it’s not officially supported, but it does work.makemkv isn’t a video player, though. it just reads them. it can, however, convert what it has read into a stream that you can pick up with a video player like kodi that can play streaming content.install the packagesbefore you get started building, yes building, makemkv, there are some required packages for you to install. you’ll need vlc, too, because you’re going to use that to play your video later on.do note that the following instructions are done on ubuntu.open a terminal window and use apt to get the following packages:sudo apt instal...





how to low level format (or zero-fill) your hard disk

pretty much all of you will know about hard disk formatting, and we’d hazard a guess that many of you have done a bit of formatting yourselves. but there is a big difference between that and low-level formatting (llf) which wipes your hard drive on a deeper level, making old data extremely difficult to recover because it formats the physical sectors on the hard drive itself.an important thing to know is that the meaning of “low-level formatting” has changed over time, and this efficient formatting method has largely been replaced today by something known as “zero-filling.” here’s everything you need to know about this process and the tools you need to do it.low-level format vs. zero filllow-level formatting formats your hard drive past the point of no return because it wipes all existing sectors on the physical surface of your drive rather than just on the filesystem. it was used in the past to get rid of all existing data on old mfm hard disks permanently – useful if you had sensitive data that you wanted gone forever, were selling your hard drive, or if you had a severe virus, such as a boot-sector virus, which couldn’t be removed using the standard formatting process.today, modern (sata and ata) hard drives are low-level formatted upon manufacture and can’t technically be low-level formatted again in the same way as old mfm drives used to be. however, there are equivalent processes that carry out similar functions.  the modern equivalent to low-level fo...





top 5 bluetooth speakers for 2017 under $50

as summer is going into full swing, it is a perfect time to grab a new bluetooth speaker for poolside. this article will focus on the top five bluetooth speakers that can be found for under $50. these speakers will pack features such as waterproofing and multiple speaker playback support.1. cambridge soundworks oontz angle 3this particular speaker falls way under our $50 budget and just under $30 on amazon at the time of writing. that having been said, it usually retails for $100. by far, this speaker is the best on our list as there is not much it cannot do. it has a form factor small enough to fit in a cup holder, and there are two drivers, so volume and clarity is not as issue. if you are looking for something for the pool or just for the desk, you can not go wrong.2. anker soundcore bluetooth speakeranker has gained traction in the world of tech gear from its high quality cables and chargers, but they have recently joined the bluetooth speaker game. this speaker keeps a traditional rectangle design and touts a 24-hour playtime. similarly to other speakers on our list, this one features more than one driver for superior sound quality and overall loudness.3. og-evkin portable wireless bluetooth speakerthis speaker by og-evkin is by far the cheapest option on our list that has some sort of waterproofing. it has an ipx4 water resistance rating, so it would be great next to the tub or pool, but it isn’t submersible. the leds light up in various modes, and there is a clip to ...





a quick fix to solve iphone home button broken problem

apple’s iphones are designed with only one button on the front of the devices. before using your first iphone, you would think it is almost impossible to break the home button. this is not true. it is enough to accidentally drop your smartphone to the ground with the face down to break that special button which is responsible for many important functions, including unlocking your iphone (especially when you touch id is enabled).so let’s say you broke your home button on your device. now you are wondering whether your iphone can still be used or if you should bring the smartphone to a service center for somebody to repair it. fortunately, apple is aware of such issues with the company’s devices and have prepared a useful function in ios which you can use to replace the home button of your iphone.warrantybefore you consider using this function, you should check whether you (still) have a warranty on your smartphone. if you do, apple or the retailer you purchased the device from can replace the home button for free. you can easily check whether you are eligible for the replacement by visiting apple’s website.apple will ask you to provide the serial number for your hardware. by this, the company means the imei number – every smartphone has a unique one – which you can find in multiple places. if you previously synced your iphone with itunes, you can find the imei number there. if haven’t synced it or you do not want to use itunes, you can navigate to settings/genera...





check for bad drivers in windows with driver verifier

a faulty driver can cause a lot of trouble for a computer. the biggest telltale sign that something needs to be updated is the blue screen of death which is often caused by a driver tripping up. thankfully, we have blue screen error codes and memory dumps to tell us what’s going wrong. with this information we can then target the misbehaving driver and either update it or remove it entirely.things get a little trickier when error codes and memory dumps aren’t helping. perhaps the computer has a hard time pinning the fault on a specific driver. perhaps the computer doesn’t even experience a blue screen and locks up entirely without giving an error code or creating a dump. in these cases, what do you do?built into windows is the driver verifier. the driver verifier puts additional stress and strain on your system drivers to try to trigger a crash from it. if a crash happens, driver verifier then reports the issue via a bluescreen. the next time something’s going wrong and you need to stress-test your drivers, driver verifier might help you.a word of warningbefore activating the driver verifier, please note that driver verifier can lock you out of your own computer if you’re not careful! because driver verifier triggers a blue screen when it detects a bad driver, this can cause big issues if it detects one before you can fully load into windows. because you can’t get into windows to shut it off, the end result is a “boot -> load -> crash” loop that you might no...