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The Spring Cleaning Software You Need to Tidy Up Your Computer (And Keep it That Way)

BERLIN, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 04: Symbol photo. A man is typing with his hands on a keyboard of a MacBook Pro on February 04, 2020 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Felix Zahn/Photothek via Getty Images)

admit it, you’ve got a ton of junk on your computer. No, not stacked on top of your computer, but on your desktop screen and in the file paths lurking below the surface, in downloaded detritus and folders long covered with pixelated dust — what does “reports-final-finalforrealthistime” even mean?

All that clutter adds up to extra work for you by slowing down your machine’s performance and making it hard to get anything done, whether it be finding a file, clearing space, or just letting you see the picture of your adorable kid you set as your desktop background.

Want to get on top of your files in 2020? Here’s the software you’ll need to get your machine organized, and hopefully keep it that way.

CCleaner

Available on: PC, Mac, Android

Price: Free, $19.95 (one year subscription)

CCleaner is great for dealing with the easily-accumulated clutter clogging your computer. For avid web users, CCleaner wipes data stored in browsers, including temporary files that can take up precious space, history logs that make it easy to identify you, cookies that store information like login credentials, and more.

But that’s not all. Designed to keep every part of your PC or Mac running smoothly, CCleaner can clean up and remove low level system files responsible for crashes or errors, old logs you’ll never need or read, and lets you easily uninstall apps that could be slowing down your computer. Buying the professional version nets you access to more features, like scheduled cleanings, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you’re overdue for one.

Gemini 2

Available on: Mac

Price: $19.95 (one year subscription), $44.95 (one-time purchase)

If you’re an avid photographer, hoarder of music, collector of memes and their variations, or just love making sure you don’t have multiple copies of files you only need one of, Gemini 2 might well be the app you need to keep duplicates at a minimum. It scans your entire Mac for similar and/or identical files, then presents them to you for perusal or disposal.

Getting rid of duplicate files is a huge help when it comes to reorganizing, but detecting similar files — like the eighteen pictures you took of your sleeping puppy from the same angle — can really free up space, and get you to focus on the photos that really matter to you. Of course, you can always change your mind later, as Gemini 2 only gets rid of them for good once you tell it to.

Price: $40

If you’re a Windows user with enough duplicates to make your hard drive spin (well, spin faster than usual), check out File Juggler. While there’s no circus tricks involved, File Juggler can organize your files based on preset or custom rules you can enable and disable with a click. It works with all kinds of files, and can categorize them based on nearly every aspect of their existence, including metadata.

Its most powerful feature, though, might be how it handles documents and text. File Juggler can look inside files like PDFs for keywords and dates essential to your organizing style, filing them away accordingly.

Hazel

Available on: Mac

Price: $32

Hazel may be my favorite utilitarian application. Essentially an organizational assistant for your Mac’s files and folders, Hazel makes everything from tagging and renaming to moving, uploading, and deleting as simple — or complex — as you want it. It works by following rules you make using its menu of options, which you can apply to specific folders where your files go, or are supposed to go.

Just assign Hazel a place to monitor (like a few folders, or your cluttered desktop) and watch it work. Its filtering tools are pretty thorough, and lets you pick and choose from various settings associated with your files. Download bank statements often? Hazel can monitor your download folder for PDFs, detect any files matching multiple factors (including name, file size, file type, and more), and drop them where you want them, keeping you organized without you lifting a finger. Put imported photos into one folder, automatically delete or archive documents, automatically tag your images with the proper names and comments.

Onyx

Available on: Mac

Price: Free

Onyx is the utility app for more advanced Mac users. It can double-check your system to see if everything is running smoothly, handles cleanup and maintenance, and can rebuild any corrupted elements should something go awry.

Where Onyx really shines, though, is in its more granular customization options — options which should only be pursued by a more advanced tinkerer, or at least someone prepared to deal with a temporarily disabled computer should they check the wrong box. You can alter how the dock functions, how the Finder appears, customize what wallpaper you see when your Mac boots up, and more. It’s the tool every power user should have at their disposal.

By Patrick Lucas Austin February 14, 2020

Source: The Spring Cleaning Software You Need to Tidy Up Your Computer (And Keep it That Way)

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Microsoft Just Released An Antivirus App For Macs

Microsoft Defender for Mac finds a malicious file during a scan (Microsoft)

Microsoft’s Iaan D’Souza-Wiltshire penned an announcement heralding the debut of Microsoft Defender for Mac. It’s essentially the same app as Windows Defender on Windows 10. The name needed a tweak, of course, since it’s built for machines that aren’t running Microsoft’s own operating system.

Microsoft Defender offers Mac users the same kind of protection that its Windows counterpart offers Windows users. It provides real-time detection of threats, performs on-demand scans of USB drives, and automatically keeps malware definitions and detection logic up-to-date.

For now, Microsoft Defender is only available as a limited preview. It’s the first step in bringing a whole new group of users under Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) umbrella.

Surprised to see Microsoft releasing an app like this for Mac computers? Don’t be.

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Just a few months ago we saw a similarly unexpected announcement from Microsoft. The browser that had been purpose-built for Windows 10, Edge, was being torn down and rebuilt and would use the same code that powers Google Chrome for a foundation.

Then Microsoft doubled down on the surprise factor. Not only would the new Edge browser use Google code, but it was also going to run on Macs. Microsoft last released a web browser that ran on Macs way back in 2003.

The two companies have been fierce competitors on numerous fronts over the years, but there have also been some surprising collaborations. The most famous was when Microsoft saved Apple from possible bankruptcy in 1997 with a $150 million investment.

Really, if you wanted to put a social networking label on the relationship between Microsoft and Apple, you’d have to go with “it’s complicated.” Battling the threat of global malware is complicated, too, and it’s great to see that Microsoft isn’t going to let a little rivalry get in the way of that mission.

Lee started writing about software, hardware, and geek culture around the time that the Red Wings last won the Stanley Cup. The two aren’t related in any way, however. When he’s not catching up on tech news or blogging about it, you can find him watching or playing baseball and doing his part to ensure the next generation of geeks is raised properly.

Source: Microsoft Just Released An Antivirus App For Macs

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For three decades we’ve been helping people to protect their digital worlds. From a small, dynamic company we’ve grown into a global brand with over 110 million users in 202 countries and territories. Many things have changed, but our core aspirations, philosophy and values remain the same – to help build a more secure digital world where everyone can truly Enjoy Safer Technology.

Richard Marko, Chief Executive Officer, ESET

ESET began life as a pioneer of antivirus protection, creating award-winning threat detection software. Now, ESET’s goal is to make sure that everybody can enjoy the breathtaking opportunities that technology offers.Today, our security solutions allow businesses and consumers in more than 200 countries and territories to make the most of the digital world.

Related imageWe will enable our users to enjoy the full potential of themselves and their technology in a secure digital world.Working with ethical and passionate people, we are building a safer technology environment for everyone to enjoy. We are doing this through education and our commitment to research and development.

 

 

 

The Mystery Of Apple’s Missing MacBook

With the release of the Mac Pro this week, and the 16-inch MacBook Pro last month, Apple’s deskbound MacOS machines have been pushing the price point higher and higher, with increased specs for professional users.

What about those at the lower end of the portfolio, looking for an alternative to a Windows 10 laptop, those who want to keep their mobile devices in the same ecosystem, those who have a long relationship with Apple’s MacOS computers but find the rising price is too high for them to upgrade? And how can Apple bring new users to the platform

In short, where is the entry level MacBook, the point where everyone can start their journey? Right now, there isn’t one.

The lowest priced MacBook in the current portfolio is the MacBook Air, with a starting price of $1099 for 8 GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD based storage. I’m pretty sure that a laptop with prices starting at over a grand would not be considered an entry-level laptop by many customers.

Why should Apple be looking at a lower price point for a MacBook? It’s worth taking into account the amount of effort that Apple is putting into cloud-based services and applications. Perhaps the answer to an entry-level MacBook would be to follow Google’s path with the Chromebook options, push everything into a new branch Apple’s walled garden with improved services to match the offering from Google, while keeping the option of local applications and processing power for intensive tasks.

Arguably Apple has already something similar on the books. Take an iPad, add the Smart Keyboard Cover, and you have your equivalent of the Chromebook. The advantage of this solution is that Apple brings the consumers closer into Apple’s garden, with almost every transactions pushed through the App Store and the thirty percent rake, more opportunities to upsell users into Apple’s subscription-based services, and a good chance of locking them into Apple’s hardware eco system for the medium- to long-term.

Whether you consider a tablet and keyboard combo running the closed iPad OS a suitable replacement for a entry-level MacOS powered laptop is the big question.

I suspect Apple believes the answer is yes. Personally I’m in the no camp. While the iPad can hit some of the same functions as a laptop, the MacBook range is about delivering more power, more flexibility, and more customisation than the restricted options present in the iPad.

The MacBook family addresses and solves different problems than the iPad family. Not all of these problems are $1099 problems, but they are problems that countless consumers need addressed. By keeping the entry point to MacOS at such a high level, Apple is ignoring a significant market.

A software and services approach requires the widest possible user base. The wider the base you have, the more you can upsell. Apple needs a diverse product range that meets the needs of as many potential customers as possible. It doesn’t need to fight in the $199 Chromebook market, but Tim Cook and his team should consider the need for a competent laptop in the $799 to $999 range.

Now read how Apple turned the iconic MacBook brand into a supporting player…

Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over ten years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies, some for long periods of time, others for commissions, one-off pieces or a series of articles or shows. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and picked up a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside contributions to Radio 5 Live, the BBC World Service, presenting Edinburgh local radio’s coverage of the General Election. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and Google Plus.

Source: The Mystery Of Apple’s Missing MacBook

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Watch more Top 5: http://bit.ly/1N5SGJ6 Sure there’s a touch strip above the keyboard, but Apple’s new MacBook Pros are lacking in a number of ways. Apple’s new mainstream MacBook Pro: http://bit.ly/2eW6gWX Does the new Macbook Pro revolutionize laptops?: http://bit.ly/2eQbdmr Watch more Apple News: http://bit.ly/1X0DYcp Read the CNET review: http://cnet.co/2efTYra Subscribe to CNET: http://bit.ly/17qqqCs Watch more CNET videos: http://bit.ly/1BQxrGw Follow CNET on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CNET Follow CNET on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cnet Follow CNET on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cnet/ Follow CNET on Snapchat: CNETsnap

Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

At the start of October, Apple was riding high following the launch of the iPhone, new online services were opening for business, and a number of new products were hiding in plain sight ready for a launch before Christmas. There was also every expectation that these products would be boosted by a second event in October. Well, it’s the end of October, and there hasn’t been an event.

It looks like Apple has decided that October’s second-line product launches are not going to get the exposure and the oxygen of a staged event. AirTags are still waiting to be activated, the AirPods Pro were launched by press release yesterday, and the iPad Pro has been deemed ‘good enough’ to get through the holiday season before a potential update in March 2020.

And a triumphant return of a large-screened MacBook Pro in front of the gathered excitement of the geekerati has been denied. Once it was a powerful statement of computing power and prestige, now it’s a tool to help sell more iPhones and subscriptions.

The update to the 16-inch MacBook Pro has been trailed throughout the year. Expectations have been rising from reports at the start of the year on Apple’s portfolio, through movement in the supply chain,  to the leaks that suggested production had started on the units earlier this month.

There is even evidence of the new laptop tucked away in a beta of MacOS Catalina with a nod towards the 16-inch form factor in the system icons. And let’s not forget the AirPods Pro. They require MacOS 10.15.1, and the eagle eyed will note that, as the digital presses roll on this editorial, MacOS 10.15.1 is to yet available to the public.

The new laptop would fill the void left behind by the loss of the 17-inch MacBook Pro in 2012, would reinvigorate Apple’s laptop range, bring back a physical escape key, and fix the embarrassment of the butterfly keyboard once and for all.

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an event at the Steve Jobs Theater in... [+] Cupertino, California (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

© 2019 Bloomberg Finance LP

Everything was there for a launch, everything was there for an event that would allow Apple to explain its new strategy of a Mac ecosystem tightly tied to the iPhone, iPad, and online services. Everything was there for Apple to return to the ‘large screened laptop’ with the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was effectively the same size as the 15-inch model.

Everything was there except the drive and determination to push the Mac as a platform in general and the MacBook Pro specifically.

So yes, dear faithful geekerati. Go and buy the new MacBook Pro when it arrives. Go and develop your apps for iOS and iPadOS on it. Go and edit the films and TV series for Apple TV+, the games for Apple Arcade , the podcasts for (er) Podcasts… but don’t expect the genre-defining MacBook Pro to get any public recognition from Tim Cook.

Now read more about the first release of MacOS Catalina, and if you should upgrade…

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am known for my strong views on mobile technology, online media, and the effect this has on the public conscious and existing businesses. I’ve been following this space for over fifteen years, working with a number of publishers, publications and media companies. As Scotland’s first podcaster, I continue to be a prominent voice in the rise of podcasting and new media online, and received a British Academy (BAFTA) nomination for my annual coverage of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You’ll find me on Twitter (@Ewan), Facebook, and at my own site.

Source: Missing MacBook Pro Confirms Laptop’s Lost Reputation

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After many years using MacBook variants I’ve made the switch to Windows. I’ve used every version of MacBook Pro and MacBook Air that have been released. My current laptop of choice is the Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon / Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Extreme.Turns out switching from Mac to Windows isn’t as painful as I expected. FOLLOW ME IN THESE PLACES FOR UPDATES Twitter – http://twitter.com/unboxtherapy Facebook – http://facebook.com/lewis.hilsenteger Instagram – http://instagram.com/unboxtherapy

The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

We are amidst the 4th Industrial Revolution, and technology is evolving faster than ever. Companies and individuals that don’t keep up with some of the major tech trends run the risk of being left behind. Understanding the key trends will allow people and businesses to prepare and grasp the opportunities. As a business and technology futurist, it is my job to look ahead and identify the most important trends. In this article, I share with you the seven most imminent trends everyone should get ready for in 2020.

AI-as-a-service

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. As I highlighted in my book ‘Artificial Intelligence in Practice’, most companies have started to explore how they can use AI to improve the customer experience and to streamline their business operations. This will continue in 2020, and while people will increasingly become used to working alongside AIs, designing and deploying our own AI-based systems will remain an expensive proposition for most businesses.

For this reason, much of the AI applications will continue to be done through providers of as-a-service platforms, which allow us to simply feed in our own data and pay for the algorithms or compute resources as we use them.

Currently, these platforms, provided by the likes of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, tend to be somewhat broad in scope, with (often expensive) custom-engineering required to apply them to the specific tasks an organization may require. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored applications and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuses left not to use AI.

Today In: Innovation

5G data networks

The 5th generation of mobile internet connectivity is going to give us super-fast download and upload speeds as well as more stable connections. While 5G mobile data networks became available for the first time in 2019, they were mostly still expensive and limited to functioning in confined areas or major cities. 2020 is likely to be the year when 5G really starts to fly, with more affordable data plans as well as greatly improved coverage, meaning that everyone can join in the fun.

Super-fast data networks will not only give us the ability to stream movies and music at higher quality when we’re on the move. The greatly increased speeds mean that mobile networks will become more usable even than the wired networks running into our homes and businesses. Companies must consider the business implications of having super-fast and stable internet access anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots, and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever, leading to advances in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart machinery. Smart cities

Autonomous Driving

While we still aren’t at the stage where we can expect to routinely travel in, or even see, autonomous vehicles in 2020, they will undoubtedly continue to generate a significant amount of excitement.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has said he expects his company to create a truly “complete” autonomous vehicle by this year, and the number of vehicles capable of operating with a lesser degree of autonomy – such as automated braking and lane-changing – will become an increasingly common sight. In addition to this, other in-car systems not directly connected to driving, such as security and entertainment functions – will become increasingly automated and reliant on data capture and analytics. Google’s sister-company Waymo has just completed a trial of autonomous taxis in California, where it transported more than Xk people.

It won’t just be cars, of course – trucking and shipping are becoming more autonomous, and breakthroughs in this space are likely to continue to hit the headlines throughout 2020.

With the maturing of autonomous driving technology, we will also increasingly hear about the measures that will be taken by regulators, legislators, and authorities. Changes to laws, existing infrastructure, and social attitudes are all likely to be required before autonomous driving becomes a practical reality for most of us. During 2020, it’s likely we will start to see the debate around autonomous driving spread outside of the tech world, as more and more people come round to the idea that the question is not “if,” but “when,” it will become a reality.

Personalized and predictive medicine

Technology is currently transforming healthcare at an unprecedented rate. Our ability to capture data from wearable devices such as smartwatches will give us the ability to increasingly predict and treat health issues in people even before they experience any symptoms.

When it comes to treatment, we will see much more personalized approaches. This is also referred to as precision medicine which allows doctors to more precisely prescribe medicines and apply treatments, thanks to a data-driven understanding of how effective they are likely to be for a specific patient.

Although not a new idea, thanks to recent breakthroughs in technology, especially in the fields of genomics and AI, it is giving us a greater understanding of how different people’s bodies are better or worse equipped to fight off specific diseases, as well as how they are likely to react to different types of medication or treatment.

Throughout 2020 we will see new applications of predictive healthcare and the introduction of more personalized and effective treatments to ensure better outcomes for individual patients.

Computer Vision

In computer terms, “vision” involves systems that are able to identify items, places, objects or people from visual images – those collected by a camera or sensor. It’s this technology that allows your smartphone camera to recognize which part of the image it’s capturing is a face, and powers technology such as Google Image Search.

As we move through 2020, we’re going to see computer vision equipped tools and technology rolled out for an ever-increasing number of uses. It’s fundamental to the way autonomous cars will “see” and navigate their way around danger. Production lines will employ computer vision cameras to watch for defective products or equipment failures, and security cameras will be able to alert us to anything out of the ordinary, without requiring 24/7 monitoring.

Computer vision is also enabling face recognition, which we will hear a lot about in 2020. We have already seen how useful the technology is in controlling access to our smartphones in the case of Apple’s FaceID and how Dubai airport uses it to provide a smoother customer journey [add link]. However, as the use cases will grow in 2020, we will also have more debates about limiting the use of this technology because of its potential to erode privacy and enable ‘Big Brother’-like state control.

Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is a catch-all term that covers several new and emerging technologies being used to create more immersive digital experiences. More specifically, it refers to virtual, augmented, and mixed reality. Virtual reality (VR) provides a fully digitally immersive experience where you enter a computer-generated world using headsets that blend out the real world. Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital objects onto the real world via smartphone screens or displays (think Snapchat filters). Mixed reality (MR) is an extension of AR, that means users can interact with digital objects placed in the real world (think playing a holographic piano that you have placed into your room via an AR headset).

These technologies have been around for a few years now but have largely been confined to the world of entertainment – with Oculus Rift and Vive headsets providing the current state-of-the-art in videogames, and smartphone features such as camera filters and Pokemon Go-style games providing the most visible examples of AR.

From 2020 expect all of that to change, as businesses get to grips with the wealth of exciting possibilities offered by both current forms of XR. Virtual and augmented reality will become increasingly prevalent for training and simulation, as well as offering new ways to interact with customers.

Blockchain Technology

Blockchain is a technology trend that I have covered extensively this year, and yet you’re still likely to get blank looks if you mention in non-tech-savvy company. 2020 could finally be the year when that changes, though. Blockchain is essentially a digital ledger used to record transactions but secured due to its encrypted and decentralized nature. During 2019 some commentators began to argue that the technology was over-hyped and perhaps not as useful as first thought. However, continued investment by the likes of FedEx, IBM, Walmart and Mastercard during 2019 is likely to start to show real-world results, and if they manage to prove its case, could quickly lead to an increase in adoption by smaller players.

And if things are going to plan, 2020 will also see the launch of Facebook’s own blockchain-based crypto currently Libra, which is going to create quite a stir.

If you would like to keep track of these technologies, simply follow me on YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or head to my website for many more in-depth articles on these topics.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

Bernard Marr is an internationally best-selling author, popular keynote speaker, futurist, and a strategic business & technology advisor to governments and companies. He helps organisations improve their business performance, use data more intelligently, and understand the implications of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, blockchains, and the Internet of Things. Why don’t you connect with Bernard on Twitter (@bernardmarr), LinkedIn (https://uk.linkedin.com/in/bernardmarr) or instagram (bernard.marr)?

Source: The 7 Biggest Technology Trends In 2020 Everyone Must Get Ready For Now

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In this Intellipaat’s top 10 technologies to learn in 2019 video, you will learn all the trending technologies in the market in 2019. The end goal of this video is to educate you about the latest technologies to learn and all the top 10 trending technologies you can watch for in order to make a fantastic career in IT technologies in 2019. Do subscribe to Intellipaat channel to get regular updates on them: https://goo.gl/hhsGWb Intellipaat Online Training: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S AI & Deep Learning Training: https://goo.gl/amnqEK Blockchain Training: https://goo.gl/CgDPyu Cloud Computing Training: https://goo.gl/PY2nbX Big Data Hadoop Training: https://goo.gl/NJaDuf BI Tools Training: https://goo.gl/SbkRXT DevOps Training: https://goo.gl/zz15qn Salesforce Training: https://goo.gl/zN3tLj SAP HANA Training: https://goo.gl/x2Jiu7 Python Programming Training: https://goo.gl/8urtdD Oracle DBA Training: https://goo.gl/LhYLTS Are you interested to learn any of the trending technology 2019 mentioned in the video? Enroll in our Intellipaat courses & become a certified Professional (https://goo.gl/LeiW5S). All Intellipaat trainings are provided by Industry experts and is completely aligned with industry standards and certification bodies. If you’ve enjoyed this top technologies to learn video, Like us and Subscribe to our channel for more trending technologies of 2019 tutorials. Got any questions about the top technologies to learn in 2019? Ask us in the comment section below. —————————- Intellipaat Edge 1. 24*7 Life time Access & Support 2. Flexible Class Schedule 3. Job Assistance 4. Mentors with +14 yrs 5. Industry Oriented Course ware 6. Life time free Course Upgrade #Top10TechnologiesToLearnIn2019 #TrendingTechnologies2019 #Top10ITTechnologiesIn2019 —————————— For more Information: Please write us to sales@intellipaat.com, or call us at: +91- 7847955955 Website: https://goo.gl/LeiW5S Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intellipaato… LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/intellipaat/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Intellipaat

5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

We buy our own products and put them under the same testing methodology so that you can easily compare them. Unlike most websites, we do not get our products directly from the manufacturers, which means our units aren’t handpicked and actually represent what you would buy yourself. We spend a lot of time comparing the products side-by-side to validate our results and we keep them until they are discontinued so we can continually go back and make sure our reviews are always accurate.

You don’t have to spend a small fortune to get a decent monitor. Whether you’ll be using it for schoolwork, the office, or gaming, there are budget monitors that can fit any need. Cheaper monitors are usually smaller, though, and most of them have 1080p resolutions, which isn’t ideal for everyone.

We’ve reviewed 71 monitors, and below you’ll find our picks for the top 5 budget models that are available for purchase in 2019.

Dell P2417H: The best cheap monitor

Dell P2417H

Dell P2417H – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

The Dell P2417H is the best budget monitor that we’ve tested so far. This 24”, 1080p monitor delivers decent picture quality, and has a great response time and low input lag, perfect for casual gaming. This is also a good monitor for office use, as it has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place in an ideal viewing position and it looks great when viewed at an angle, thanks to the IPS panel.

This is a pretty bare-bones monitor, with very few additional features. There is a built-in USB hub, with two ports on the back, and two ports on the side, which can be very convenient. It doesn’t have any extra gaming features, like FreeSync, but it has low input lag and a great response time, so it’s still a good choice for casual gamers.

Unfortunately, like most IPS monitors, the Dell P2417H doesn’t look as good in a dark room, and it can’t get very bright, which might be an issue if you’re in a bright room.

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Dell P2217H: The best compact budget monitor

Dell P2217H

Dell P2217H – RTINGS.com

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Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 22″

If you like the Dell P2417H but want something even smaller and more portable, check out the Dell P2217H. This monitor is a slightly smaller variant of the other Dell, and it offers nearly identical performance.

The small size of this monitor is great for mobile professionals, as it’s relatively compact and easy to carry. There’s no quick release on the stand, though, which isn’t ideal. This monitor has the same inputs as the larger model, including the useful built-in USB hub.

Unfortunately, it has slightly worse black uniformity than the P2417H, which isn’t great for dark room viewing. Otherwise, this is a decent monitor for most uses.

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ViewSonic XG2402: The best cheap gaming monitor

ViewSonic XG2402

ViewSonic XG2402 – RTINGS.com

RTINGS.com

Type: TN

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 24″

If you want better gaming performance than the Dell P2417H and Dell P2217H offer, the ViewSonic XG2402 is the best cheap gaming monitor that we’ve tested so far. This monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, and it has excellent motion handling and low input lag. This monitor also has a great selection of inputs, and has a built-in USB hub on the back, similar to the two Dells.

This monitor delivers a great gaming experience. It has an excellent 144Hz refresh rate, and it has an impressive response time, so your favorite games have very little blur behind fast-moving objects. This monitor also supports FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected to a recent NVIDIA graphics card.

Unfortunately, this monitor’s TN panel isn’t great for dark room viewing, and the image degrades when viewed at an angle. Overall, though, this is a great budget gaming monitor that should please most gamers.

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Samsung C27F398: The best budget gaming monitor for a dark room

Samsung C27F398

Samsung C27F398 – RTINGS.com

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Type: VA

Resolution: 1920×1080

Variable Refresh Rate: FreeSync

Size: 27″

If you want a larger monitor with good dark room performance on a budget, check out the Samsung C27F398. This 27”, 1080p monitor delivers decent overall picture quality, with very good motion handling and great low input lag. The VA panel on this monitor delivers much better dark room viewing than the ViewSonic XG2402, as it produces deep, uniform blacks.

This monitor delivers a good overall gaming experience. It supports AMD’s FreeSync variable refresh rate technology, even when connected via DisplayPort to a recent NVIDIA graphics card. This monitor is limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, though, which might disappoint some gamers.

Unfortunately, like the ViewSonic, the image on this monitor degrades when viewed at an angle, which isn’t ideal for some uses. Overall, though, it’s a good budget gaming monitor.

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Dell U2415: The best budget office monitor

Dell U2415

Dell U2415 – RTINGS.com

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Type: IPS

Resolution: 1920×1200

Variable Refresh Rate: No

Size: 24″

The Dell U2415 is the best budget office monitor that we’ve tested so far. It delivers decent picture quality, okay motion handling, and low input lag. The 1920×1200 screen is a bit better for multitasking, and the stand has great ergonomics, so it’s easy to place the screen in the ideal viewing position.

Like most IPS monitors, this one has great wide viewing angles. This is great for sharing your screen with someone else, like clients or coworkers. This monitor gets decently bright and has good reflection handling, so there shouldn’t be any issues seeing the screen in a bright room.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look as good when viewed in a dark room, as it has mediocre contrast and bad black uniformity. Overall, though, it’s a good office monitor for most people.

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This guide may have been updated. To see all measurements and the current recommendations for budget monitors, please go here.

Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website.

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Source: 5 Best Budget Monitors Of 2019

 

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Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

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Ask a bunch of security professionals what makes a secure password and you’ll get a bunch of different answers. Some will argue that it’s all about length, others that randomness and complexity are king while everyone will agree that password reuse is never acceptable.

Some will still argue that giving passwords an expiry date, after which they must be changed, is an essential part of the business security policy picture. It would appear that, with the arrival of the Windows 10 May update, Microsoft is finally no longer going to be amongst that latter group. According to Aaron Margosis, a principal consultant with Microsoft, Windows 10 will no longer recommend “ancient and obsolete” periodic password expiration in the security baseline settings starting with the May update.

While being most welcome, it has to be said nobody I have spoken to in the information security business saw that coming. Not least as the arguments for password expiration have been comprehensively dismantled for some years now yet Microsoft has not shown any inclination to jump from this particular sinking security ship.

The security baseline configuration has been part of the Windows staple diet for organizations wanting secure operating system settings out of the box for many years. It is actually a whole set of system policies that make good sense as a starting point for secure postures for many and as the default positioning for some. Things become problematic for organizations when they undergo an audit which uses the Microsoft security baseline and penalizes them for non-compliance if they have something other than the current 60 day Windows password expiration default maximum.

Yet, as Margosis writes “recent scientific research calls into question the value of many long-standing password-security practices such as password expiration policies, and points instead to better alternatives such as enforcing banned-password lists and multi-factor authentication.”

The United States National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) has been recommending password expiration is dropped from security policy since 2016. Now it seems that Microsoft has finally caught up and will be dropping the requirement starting from Windows 10 (1903) and Windows Server (1903) onward. This makes perfect sense to me as someone who has been following information security trends for the best part of three decades.

Things have changed over those years, not least the technology that now enables threat actors to crack simplistic passwords in the blink of an eye. Forcing users to change passwords over relatively short timeframes inevitably leads to those users choosing the simplest, and therefore most memorable, passwords possible. Stand up everyone who has never seen incremental numbering of short passwords in a corporate environment. I’m guessing everyone is still sitting down.

The days of simplistic passwords changed often are long gone, replaced by longer and more complex ones which don’t expire but rather are reinforced with those banned password lists and multifactor authentication for example. “While we recommend these alternatives, they cannot be expressed or enforced with our recommended security configuration baselines,” Margosis says “which are built on Windows’ built-in Group Policy settings and cannot include customer-specific values.” What Microsoft isn’t doing is changing baseline requirements for minimum password length, history, or complexity.

It also isn’t stopping organizations from configuring password expiration if they must, for regulatory compliance reasons for example. “The password-expiration security option is still in Windows and will remain there,” Margosis says, adding “by removing it from our baseline rather than recommending a particular value or no expiration, organizations can choose whatever best suits their perceived needs without contradicting our guidance.”

Please follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find more of my stories at happygeek.com

I have been covering the information security beat for three decades and Contributing Editor at PC Pro Magazine since the first issue way back in 1994.

Source: Microsoft Confirms Change To Windows 10 Passwords That Nobody Saw Coming

Asus Just Gave You 1 Million Reasons To Switch From Windows To Linux

Cyber-security and antivirus company Kaspersky dropped a bomb on Asus laptop users this week, revealing that malware was distributed through the Asus Live Update utility. It masqueraded as a legitimate security update, and even boasted a “verified” certificate — hosted on Asus servers — to make it appear valid. Kaspersky has deemed this attack “one of the biggest supply-chain incidents ever.” Such attacks spiked 78% between 2017 and 2018. This shouldn’t raise alarms for just Asus users. It should prompt you to seriously consider whether you want Windows on your PC. Because the possibility of this ever happening on a desktop Linux OS like Ubuntu is minuscule.

My own Asus Republic of Gamers laptop — now running Linux

Jason Evangelho

How Serious Is ShadowHammer?

In the long tradition of scary codenames for such attacks, Kaspersky has labeled the attack “ShadowHammer.” The company says that according to its statistics, more than 57,000 users of Kaspersky Lab products (such as Kaspersky Anti-Virus) have already installed it. However, they estimate that its true reach extends to 1 million Asus computers.

To my knowledge this is only eclipsed by the infamous CCleaner attack, which was distributed to 2.7 million Windows PCs.

The motivations for the malware attack are unclear, but it apparently targeted only 600 specific MAC addresses. Once found, the attack would escalate to install more software to further compromise the system. There doesn’t seem to be a reason that the attackers couldn’t have activated this on every single computer affected.

For an informative and detailed discussion on this attack, listen to TechSnap Episode 400.

What’s even more frightening is that Kaspersky discovered the same type of technique used against the Asus Live Update software was also leveraged against three other vendors. The company promised to reveal more substantial information at an upcoming Security Analyst Summit in Singapore.

When contacted by Kaspersky, The Verge reports that Asus evidently denied the attack originated from its servers. In a follow-up press release, however, Asus did acknowledge that this was a “sophisticated attack” on its Live Update servers.

No apology was issued. This is not how you build trust. (Especially since this is far from being the first security blunder Asus has made.)

Asus has since patched the Live Update software and issued a tool for users to determine if they owned one of the specific computers targeted. Given the circumstances, I’m not even going to link to it, but it’s available via this press release page.

An FAQ posted alongside the press release has a stinging piece of advice for users who were affected by the malware attack: “Immediately run a backup of your files and restore your operating system to factory settings,” it states. “This will completely remove the malware from your computer. In order to ensure the security of your information, ASUS recommends that you regularly update your passwords.”

What really rattles my cage about this situation is the fact that Kaspersky uses the word “teaser” in the URL associated with its ShadowHammer post, as if this is some kind of movie trailer. Then the company warns that three other Asia-based software vendors were attacked using the same method without revealing who they are.

But all of this information is just background for the real point I’m trying to make.

Why Ubuntu (And Linux In General) Is Safer

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Dell put forth considerable effort into making the popular XPS 13 the perfect Ubuntu laptop

Jason Evangelho

Consider how many companies have independent control over the software and hardware inside your Windows PC. Intel, AMD, Dell, Nvidia, Realtek among several others. The vast majority of the code they use running on your computer is not open source. That means it’s not subject to inspection by the hundreds of millions of people using it. The code can’t be independently verified. The code comes from multiple locations across multiple update utilities.

On Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, my firmware updates, software updates and security updates come from a single source: the operating system’s built-in software center.

This next part is important: only a select few individuals at Asus are responsible for ensuring the software and firmware being sent through the Asus Live Update utility is safe. And it’s almost certain no one at Microsoft saw the code before it before it went out to those 1 million Asus laptop users.

Rather than base my entire argument about Linux being safer on personal experience or subjective opinions, I reached out to Alex Murray at Canonical. Murray is the Security Tech Lead for Ubuntu, a Linux distribution used by hundreds of millions. It powers everything from IoT devices to home desktops; supercomputers to the web servers delivering the majority of your experiences on the internet. Netflix is powered by Ubuntu, as is Amazon Web Services. Outside your home, Lyft and Uber are powered by Ubuntu.

My question for Murray was straightforward. Can something like ShadowHammer happen on Linux?

Murray admits that while this sort of attack is a possibility on Linux, it would be a lot harder to pull off.

Ubuntu is based on Debian, one of the the largest and most mature Linux distributions available. “Many of our source packages originate from Debian where we add Ubuntu-specific patches on top,” Murray says.

As such, Murray explains that there are “many, many people who can detect any possible malicious changes to a software package.” That’s the beauty of open source. Changes are submitted publicly, and every line of code can be scrutinized.

Of course, there needs to be a more elaborate system of checks and balances that doesn’t rely solely on community.

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Alex Murray, Ubuntu Tech Lead at Canonical Ltd.

Alex Murray

“Various teams of Canonical employees are responsible for maintaining the packages in the ‘main’ section of the Ubuntu software archive, and as such we provide further review and oversight of the source code in these packages,” Murray says. “Importantly, only trusted individuals are allowed to publish software package updates, which again raises the bar to prevent this kind of attack. Finally, we have a strong and dedicated community of developers and users who help to provide an even further level of ‘community’ oversight as well – which gives us a good defense in depth approach to detecting this kind of attack.”

In a nutshell, this means even if a trusted developer is compromised, there are various other individuals who will likely take notice.

But even that isn’t enough, so Canonical takes things a step further.

“From an end-user point of view, Ubuntu uses a signed archive approach where each package is cryptographically hashed and the list of hashes signed in such a manner that our package manager will not install packages which fail the signature and integrity checks,” Murray explains.

This means that even if an Ubuntu mirror (an external software source not directly managed by Canonical) was compromised and someone uploaded malicious copies of packages there, it would fail the signature check and would not be installed.

“We offer digital signatures to verify the integrity of the installation ISO images as well,” Murray says. “So together with the repository signatures, users can be confident that the software they are downloading and installing is what is published by Ubuntu, and with all the various reviews outlined above, we have many opportunities to detect any possible malicious changes to the software packages being published.”

Beyond these methods of ensuring security for its users, I’d recommend this article which explains in detail how Ubuntu delivers system updates and why it’s a more elegant and less frustrating experience than on Windows.

Securing Firmware Through The Blockchain

Firmware updates are an often overlooked — but easily manipulated — potential attack source. One of my favorite Linux distributions, Pop!_OS, uses the power of blockchain to ensure that the firmware updates being delivered to its users have no possible way of being manipulated. And they take an amazing approach to their server setup.

“Firmware updates are delivered using a build server, which contains the new firmware, and a signing server, which verifies that the new firmware came from inside the company,” writes parent company System76. “The two servers are only connected via a serial cable. The lack of a network between the two means that one server cannot be accessed if entry is achieved through the other server.”

System76 sets up multiple build servers alongside that primary one. For a firmware update to be verified, it must be identical on all servers. “If even one build server contains a compromised firmware update, this update cannot proceed to signing and will not be delivered to our customers,” System76 says.

This is very similar to how cryptocurrency mining works, and is arguably a more useful and forward-thinking implementation of blockchain.

Choose Linux

The bottom line is that Windows has too many potential attack points, most of which are not directly overseen by the very company who develops the operating system. The vast majority of the code cannot be audited by the community. There are less checks and balances in place to ensure that these attacks are prevented. After seeing how Ubuntu and various other Linux distributions ensure the security of their users, the Microsoft Windows approach starts to seem a lot less sane.

And if you’re wary of Linux because you think its archaic and not user-friendly, here are some articles that may change your mind, including one to help find the perfect OS to suit your needs:

Talk to me on Twitter | Listen to my Linux Podcast

Since joining Forbes in 2012, I’ve contributed to gaming and technology features on PCWorld and Computer Shopper. You can also find me on Jupiter Broadcasting where I h…

Source: Asus Just Gave You 1 Million Reasons To Switch From Windows To Linux

Meet The Taiwanese Tech Giant That’s Due To Make The Next iPad Mini

https://www.pivot.one/share/post/5c7cf9041d57e710cc4091ef?uid=5bd49f297d5fe7538e6111b6&invite_code=JTOJYV

Business Does Not Need the Humanities But Humans Do – Gianpiero Petriglieri

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Sometimes a simple story is all it takes to capture complex issues, or so it seems. Take this one. A few years ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost a game of Scrabble to a friend’s teenage daughter. “Before they played a second game, he wrote a simple computer program that would look up his letters in the dictionary so that he could choose from all possible words,” wrote New Yorker reporter Evan Osnos. As the girl told it to Osnos, “During the game in which I was playing the program, everyone around us was taking sides: Team Human and Team Machine………..

Read more: https://hbr.org/2018/11/business-does-not-need-the-humanities-but-humans-do

 

 

 

 

 

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