Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Nest Mini can make life easier, but they also present some privacy concerns. Doesn’t a device that responds to voice commands need to be listening all the time ? Let’s talk about that. If you think about how a smart speaker or smart display works, logic would tell you that they need to be constantly listening. After all, how can your device hear your “Alexa” or “Hey Google” command if it’s not listening? Well, you’re right. These devices are always listening, but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Listening vs. Recording When people hear that smart speakers are always listening, what they’re really afraid of is the possibility that the smart speaker is always recording them. That’s how humans listen, but that’s not what’s happening with smart speakers. This is an important distinction to make. When you listen to someone talk, you are essentially making a recording of the information in your brain. You remember what the … [Read more...] about Is My Smart Speaker Always Listening to Me?
Signal is the privacy-focused smartphone messaging app everyone seems to be using . You can also use Signal on a Windows PC, Mac—or Linux computer. It’s easy to install and register it to your Signal account. Privacy by Design Signal is published by the Signal Foundation and Signal Messenger LLC . These two not-for-profit organizations—based in Mountain View, California—were founded by Matthew Rosenfeld (aka ‘Moxie Marlinspike’) and Brian Acton . Together they continue the work started at Open Whisper Systems , one of Rosenfeld’s earlier start-ups. The Signal application is free and open source. Anyone can review the source code. The source code for the Signal Messenging Protocol (SMP) was reviewed by a joint team from the German CISPA Helmholtz Center for Information Security , the Swiss ETH Zurich University , Cisco , and the Canadian University of Waterloo . They declared the code clean, the motives pure, and the encryption rock-solid. Signal is … [Read more...] about How to Install Signal Desktop on Linux
DB Browser for SQLite lets you view and edit SQLite databases on Linux. You can design, create, and edit these database files, and peek inside the inner workings of other applications. Here’s how to use this SQLite GUI. The SQLite Database Project The SQLite database library and tools are a phenomenally successful open-source Structured Query Language (SQL) database project. So successful, in fact, it can justifiably call itself the most widely deployed database engine in the world. Since its initial release in 2000, SQLite has seen an absolutely staggering uptake. It’s inside every iPhone and Android phone, and Windows 10 or Mac computer. It’s also in every internet browser, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as countless other applications. The incredible reach of the SQLite database is due to its architecture. It’s a fast, lightweight library that’s incorporated (or linked , in developer-speak) in other applications. The database engine becomes an … [Read more...] about How to Use DB Browser for SQLite on Linux
We’ve all been there—you’re in the middle of a complex task in Google Chrome, but you need to restart or log out. Luckily, with one quick settings change, Chrome can remember all of your tabs and reload them automatically the next time you start your browser. Here’s how to set it up. First, open Chrome. In any window, click the three vertical dots button in the upper-right corner and select “Settings” from the menu. In the “Settings” tab, select “On startup” in the sidebar. In the “On startup” section, select the radio button beside “Continue where you left off.” After that, close the “Settings” tab. The next time you restart Chrome, all of your tabs will open again exactly where you left off. And if you ever want to experiment, you can also make Chrome launch with a set of favorite pages every time in the same “On startup” page in Chrome Settings. Just select “Open a specific page or set of pages” instead. Very handy! Of course, if you want Chrome to always … [Read more...] about How to Make Chrome Always Open Your Previously Open Tabs
It’s pretty easy to read the contents of a Linux text file line by line in a shell script—as long as you deal with some subtle gotchas. Here’s how to do it the safe way. Files, Text, and Idioms Each programming language has a set of idioms. These are the standard, no-frills ways to accomplish a set of common tasks. They’re the elementary or default way to use one of the features of the language the programmer is working with. They become part of a programmer’s toolkit of mental blueprints. Actions like reading data from files, working with loops, and swapping the values of two variables are good examples. The programmer will know at least one way to achieve their ends in a generic or vanilla fashion. Perhaps that will suffice for the requirement at hand. Or maybe they’ll embellish the code to make it more efficient or applicable to the specific solution they are developing. But having the building-block idiom at their fingertips is a great starting point. Knowing and … [Read more...] about How to Process a File Line by Line in a Linux Bash Script