Getting hands-on time with apps, games, and other software before they’re technically ready for prime time can be fun. And it’s not only cool for you, but your feedback also helps the developers fine tune the experience on multiple devices and under varying sets of circumstances. Google gets this, so it actually has a special section of the Play Store just for early release software. RELATED: How to Install Apps Not Found in the Play Store on Your Android Device This “Early Access” arena is exactly what it sounds like: a place for developers to upload nearly-finished-but-not-complete apps and games for people to try out. These apps and games are stable enough for you to install and play around with, but they may have certain quirks or errors that can potentially hinder the experience. Like I said, the idea is to let you get an idea of what to expect, as well as help the developer work out any kinks as they arise. It’s a win-win. Accessing this section of the Play … [Read more...] about How to Get Early Access to New Android Apps and Games in the Play Store
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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
Signal secures all your conversations with end-to-end encryption, offering more privacy and security than your average chat app. But Signal offers some other useful security options. Here’s how to take advantage of them. Enable Registration Lock to Protect Your Signal Account Your Signal account is tied to your phone number, with no need for a password at all. When you first register for Signal (or re-register a device at a later stage), Signal will verify who you are by sending a code to your number. Enter the code to prove you are who you say you are and you’re good to go. But what happens if someone gets access to your phone number? While this might seem like an unlikely eventuality, it’s within the realm of possibility. Someone could steal your smartphone’s SIM card or fool your phone service provider into transferring your number to a new SIM using social engineering techniques . With access to your phone number, someone could gain access to your entire Signal … [Read more...] about How to Make Your Signal Chats as Secure as Possible
Creating random data to fill an Excel workbook is as simple as adding a few little-known formulas. These formulas come in handy when honing your Microsoft Excel skills, as they give you fake data to practice with before you risk mistakes with the real thing. Use the Formula Bar To start, we’ll enter one of a few formulas in the Formula bar. This is the window below the ribbon, found here. From there, it’s about adding the data you want and then doing a little cleanup. Adding Random Numbers To add an integer at random, we’ll use the “RANDBETWEEN” function. Here, we can specify a range of random numerals, in this case, a number from one to 1,000, then copy it to each cell in the column below it. Click to select the first cell where you’d like to add your random number. Copy the following formula and paste it into Excel’s Formula bar. You can change the number inside the parenthesis to fit your needs. This formula picks a random number between one and 1,000. … [Read more...] about How to Create Random (Fake) Datasets in Microsoft Excel