Since the brief announcement of Microsoft’s new browser, codenamed Spartan, numerous leaks have been made surrounding its appearance and functionality. Based on what has been presented so far, evidence suggests that this will be a key piece of Microsoft’s Windows 10 platform.
This week, a BGR report claimed that Spartan will be integrated with Microsoft’s Cortana. For those that aren’t aware, this is a personalised digital assistant. According to one source in particular, this is reliable information and The Verge reciprocates.
Since Microsoft is building Cortana into Windows 10 (both desktop and following mobile release for smaller tablets and Windows phones), it’s safe to assume that Cortana integration is a sensible move. Especially when using your phone, it is convenient to know you can say some actions such as: “go to Twitter” or “check the status of Northern line underground service.”
Spartan will introduce digital inking support “that allows Windows 10 users to annotate a web page with a stylus and send the notes and annotations to a friend or colleague,” according to The Verge. Annotated web pages will be able to be stored within OneDrive “that can be accessed by any browser across multiple platforms,” The Verge stated.
The Verge additionally reported that Spartan will enable users to group tabs however they choose, dividing personal and work related tabs if desired. One of my contacts confirmed that there will almost definitely be a “grouped tabs” setting in Spartan to assist users to more efficiently maintain the context of where links derived from. It is possible that Spartan will enable users to open numerous sites in group tabs alongside one another, so they can make cross comparisons of prices of a new phone for instance without having to toggle between tabs.
Tech news site Neowin posted a mockup earlier this week based on what were said to be actual screenshots of an early Spartan version. One source had stated that this screenshot and mockup accurately depicted how Spartan is evolving from a user interface perspective. Despite this, due to the fact that Spartan was designed using a multitude of new UI design elements for Windows 10 that have yet to be released publicly, it’s difficult to get an great idea at this point as to how Spartan may look towards to end.
Neowin additionally noted that Spartan would take over from “Modern” IE, aka the Windows Store/Metro style IE variant that was built into Windows 8. Meanwhile, The Verge stated that sources say Spartan will be a Windows Store app — and one that will actually be downloadable from the store.
At this point in time, IE isn’t an app that Windows 8 or Windows Phone users get via the Windows Store or Windows Phone Store; instead it’s a part of the OS platform. By making Spartan an app, Microsoft should be able to update it with more ease.
Microsoft is expected to demonstrate and discuss Spartan for at least some time on January 21st during the Windows 10 preview event which will be hosted in its home city of Redmond, Wash.
Since we’ve just entered a new year, it makes sense to ditch any old habits previously causing you unnecessary hardship. In the case of tech, I’ve included a list to help you deal with an assortment of common practices and in turn, will help to make you more proficient.
1. Using The Same Password For Multiple Sites
It is never wise to use a replica password for multiple sites because if a hacker is able to breach even one of those sites then they will have access to your personal details and could use that information to access other sites. Of course, it’s inconvenient to have numerous passwords, especially if you’re relying solely on your memory. For that reason, I recommend trying a password manager application such as Keepass. If you’ve never used a password manager before, it is able to store your usernames and passwords for you, and is accessible offline. Try it here.
2. Not Backing Up Your Precious Files
Always ensure that you take the time to backup any files that you deem important. On most occasions, it will only take less than a few minutes and you will avoid the depressing reality of potentially losing something that holds significant value. There are apps that simplify this process by automatically backing up an items to the cloud.
There are many options available. If you’re accustomed to using Google, you can use either Google+ on iOS or the photos app on Android in order to set up auto backup. Dropbox is able to offer the same functionality if you activate the camera upload setting. On the other hand, if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you are able to take advantage of unlimited storage of your photos in addition to Amazon Cloud Drive app.
3. Not Being Careful Regarding Your Social Settings
It’s easy to visit social media sites like Facebook and to see content that other users have posted but when was the last time you really considered your own privacy settings and addressed what other users can view from your profile. Diving into social media settings can seem a bit daunting but it’s worth taking the time to build understanding of your visibility online before it has consequences on your outside life.
4. Running Flash All Day On Your Device
We are all guilty of watching a lot of online videos on our computers or streaming flash games but sometimes it can become a little overwhelming for our computer systems. As a result, the built in fans have to speed up more to try and cool down the device. You should stop running flash all the time. If you’re a user of the Google Chrome browser then you should check out, FlashControl. Whereas, if you’re a Firefox user, you should try FlashBlock. By using these browser add-ons, flash will not load automatically when visiting a site unless you manually white-list it within the add-on settings or click the flash item to load it. You’ll be surprised just how much battery life you save once you have configured the add-on settings to suit your browsing preferences.
Smart folders in OS X is a feature that you may never have had to use however once you take advantage of it, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without. The feature displays files by a search filter that you customise, and the results gathered are updated on the go as you add, change and remove files. The benefit of using smart folders is that they keep your files in the same place whilst only showing aliases of your files. Smart folders are merely a supplement of your file structure rather than a replacement. In reality, the feature is an even more helpful tool if you have ever encountered any files with barely any structure at all.
In this blog, I will be discussing how you can set up and deploy smart folders on your Mac.
There are two methods you can follow in order to achieve this. Firstly, you can open Finder and choose File > New Smart Folder (alternatively, press the keyboard shortcut: Option-Command-N). The other option is to open Finder and to just enter a search term within the box provided in the upper-right corner to initiate a smart folder based on a keyword.
Regardless of the method chosen, you will wind up with a Finder window. Whilst entering your search term, Finder will provide ways of extensively defining the term and refining your search beneath the search box, using such criteria and filenames, kinds as well as dates. For instance, under Filenames, select the Name Matches section and Finder generates a drop-down menu to the search box labeled Name. At this stage, you can select to search for files in which your search term appears solely within the Filename or Everything.
You can take it a step further and refine your search by introducing new criteria. Click the “+” button in the section beneath the search box. The default attribute chosen is File Size, however you can click that attribute and select Other to open a window containing dozens of attributes. If any of the ones displayed in the window seem particularly useful then you can check the box beside them and they will be added to the menu below File Size for simplified access.
As you introduce new attributes, the search results change accordingly. Once you are content with your smart folder, select the Save button beneath the search box. Give your folder a name and choose a location for it. If you don’t want it to show up in the left sidebar of Finder windows, uncheck Add To Sidebar.
To edit an existing smart folder, open it, select the gear icon next to the search box and select Show Search Criteria. This will make the banner visible beneath the search box alongside your criteria, which can be edited or using the “+” and “-“ buttons add and take away criteria.
There are numerous attributes when it comes to creating smart folders and thousands of combinations which can be taken advantage of. In addition to smart folders based on keywords, for example taxes or a client’s name, I personally find the following two smart folders to be incredibly helpful:
“File size is greater than X” to locate large files consuming space on my Mac’s cluttered hard drive.
“File extension is X” to view the DOC, XLS, PDF or JPEG files on my system.
There are umpteen more smart folder attributes that you can associate to various types of media creation. This includes audio, video and photography. If you own a Mac and use smart folders then tell us your favourite or most useful creations in the comment section below.
From my perspective, there are three main methods within the Mail app in OS X in which you can prevent a number of emails from overloading your inbox.
There are two obvious options. You can either delete messages (this is the most straightforward process and should be performed occasionally regardless). Alternatively, you can archive emails in Apple Mail – this will hold them in the main section leaving them accessible from the All Mail box.
A more efficient way is to use Mail’s Export Mailbox feature. Full disclosure: this feature in particular requires some upfront work. Specifically, you would need to create mailboxes for groups of messages. That being said, if you choose to follow this method then you can export your mailboxes, which generates an .mbox file on your computer.
To kick things off, let’s back up. To create a mailbox, open Mail and navigate to Mailbox > New Mailbox. Your mailboxes are displayed on the left hand side of the application window. You can drag and drop messages to your mailboxes, which coincidentally removes them from your Inbox. With this in mind, you are already gaining a level of control over your Inbox.
When it comes to exporting a mailbox, click the mailbox option from the sidebar and select Mailbox > Export Mailbox. On the other hand, you can right-click on the mailbox in the sidebar and choose Export Mailbox. Subsequently, choose a destination for the .mbox file. Lastly, click Choose.
(It is worth noting that if you export the same Mailbox after it becomes overloaded with messages once again, Mail will not overwrite the originally exported .mbox files but actually creates a new file. For instance: AcomplishedTasks 2.mbox)
Now, exporting a mailbox does not get rid of its contents. Subsequent to exporting, if you wish to erase a mailbox’s messages, you will need to delete the mailbox itself or, if you plan to keep the mailbox but not the messages then you will need to move all of its messages to the Mail’s trash.
If you decide that you would like to view messages that had previously been exported then you are able to import them back to Mail or an alternate email application; the .mbox format is common and therefore can be read by many different types of email clients. To import back to Mail, open Mail and navigate to File > Import Mailboxes. After this, choose Apple Mail from the import window and select Continue. Finally, locate and click the .mbox file you wish to import and select Choose. For the individually imported mailboxes, Mail generates an Import folder within the On My Mac sidebar area.
Today’s rampant security threats are evermore complex, therefore users should be more informed and proactive in their approach to dealing with any that might breach their system. Fortunately, various programs and tools have been developed over the years to help combat the internet threats and prevent user experience from being ruined. I have drawn up a helpful list in this article, describing the most effective ways that you can lower the risk of infection and attack.
1. Install reliable anti-virus
There are many computer users who think that free antivirus applications, for instance those included alongside an internet service provider’s bundled service, are adequate enough to protect a computer from virus or spyware infection. Contrary to this belief, such free anti-malware programs typically don’t provide decent protection from the increasingly growing list of threats.
Instead, all Windows users should install professional, business level antivirus on their PCs. Choosing this alternative antivirus option means you’ll receive more frequent security updates throughout the day (in turn this provides timely protection against vulnerabilities that are fast-emerging). It will also help to protect against a much larger range of threats (for instance: rootkits), and enable extra protective features (such as custom scans).
2. Perform daily scans
There will be times where viruses and spyware threats elude a system’s active protective operations and infect a system. The sheer volume and number of potential and unique threats make it inevitable that especially clever infections will outsmart security software. In another circumstance, users may without realising, instruct anti-malware software to give a virus or spyware program permission to run.
Regardless of where the infection came from, initiating entire, day-to-day scans when it comes to the system’s overall hard drive introduces an additional layer of protection. These daily scans can be incredibly valuable when it comes to detecting, isolating, and eradicating infections that originally escaped the attention of security software.
3. Keep anti-malware applications up-to-date
Antivirus & anti-spyware programs require standard signature as well as database updates. Devoid of these critical updates, anti-malware programs have an inability to protect PCs from the latest threats.
In early 2009, one of the leading antivirus providers AVG released statistics making it apparent that many serious computer threats are secretive and are always on the move. A lot of these infections are short-lived, however they’re estimated to infect up to a figure as shocking as 100,000 to 300,000 new web sites per day.
The market for cloud storage services has been growing rapidly over the passing years thus increasing the availability of free storage. In this article, I’ve provided a rundown of the best free online storage sources and the specifications of each one.
2014 has been a fantastic year for technology. From wearable devices to cloud storage services, it’s hard not to get sucked into it all. Between updates to Dropbox and Google Drive, and an overhaul from Apple’s iCloud Drive, Amazon’s Cloud Drive and Microsoft’s OneDrive, access to cloud storage is now even more straightforward and more affordable than previously envisioned.
Despite the fact that cost continues to decrease, free storage is always an irresistible prospect. Let’s take a look at how to get free storage from your favourite storage providers. If you wish to upgrade to more than the available free space then you should consider the various paid options on offer.
For starters, let’s address the service that doesn’t offer any extra storage sans payment outside of the initial available space: iCloud Drive. Apple gives users of this service 5GB of free data, but beyond that you’re going to have to pay. You are able to view the monthly storage plans, which range from roughly £0.79 to £14.99 on a monthly basis here.
Microsoft’s OneDrive service is free for the first 15GB of storage space, with the chance to gain an additional 8GB from backing up your photos using the mobile app (equivalent to 3GB), and inviting friends and family to sign up for the service. For each person who signs up via the link you’ve sent, you’ll receive 500MB of storage (with a max of 5 people for a total of 5GB).
Even though the total available free space comes to an impressive 23GB for the OneDrive service, paid Office 365 subscribers can claim unlimited storage as soon as the new service is rolled out to the public.
Amazon Cloud Drive
Amazon’s Cloud storage service remains free for basic users, with a base of 5GB free storage space. Although, Amazon Prime members are able to take advantage of one major upgrade – unlimited, free photo storage. Technically it’s not free considering you have to subscribe to the service but, as yet another perk added to the service, one has reasonable grounds to call it a freebie.
Standard files, including music and videos, are still limited to the 5GB of space.
Box offers 10GB of free storage for its basic personal accounts. On top of this, you can earn additional storage through installing its app on particular devices. Starting from May 2014, here is a list of applicable devices which if installed on will allow you to take advantage of additional storage.
From the list, the most notable devices include: Sony’s Xperia, various LG models in addition to HP Windows PCs, Dell and Samsung ATIV tabs.
The level of free storage unlocked is dependent on the device you use to sign into your box account.
Passwords were originally created as a simple yet standard method for protecting user data. Unfortunately, over the years this approach to security has become ever-susceptible to attack from hackers who are coming up with increasingly advanced ways of intercepting personal details. This has forced us into a position where we must frequently rack our brains to come up with a hard-to-remember phrase. Can passwords still be considered reliable for keeping our systems and services secure?