Month: January 2018

Tips & Tricks: Android DIY Digitize Negatives

If you have some old negatives that you want to digitize or just see what’s in them, then your phone camera may help. The negative effect available in your phone’s camera app can show the picture inside negatives with full colors. Simply hold the negatives against a light bulb and put camera lens against it. When you will turn on the negative filter in the camera app, you will see a colored picture instead.

Don’t expect great quality. You cannot use this method to digitize the photos and frame them in your home. Although it’s good enough to see colored images. If you are interested in digitizing negatives with great quality, then you’ll need few extra tools as well. Check out this DIY method to digitize old negatives with reliable quality using your smartphone camera.

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Tech Terms: DHCP

Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is a protocol for assigning dynamic IP addresses to devices on a network. With dynamic addressing, a device can have a different IP address every time it connects to the network. In some systems, the device’s IP address can even change while it is still connected. DHCP also supports a mix of static and dynamic IP addresses.

DHCP Simplifies Network Administration
Dynamic addressing simplifies network administration because the software keeps track of IP addresses rather than requiring an administrator to manage the task. This means that a new computer can be added to a network without the hassle of manually assigning it a unique IP address. Many ISPs use dynamic IP addressing for Internet subscribers.

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Tips & Tricks: Android HDR Photos

You can take high-quality photos with great detail using the HDR feature of your phone. The HDR feature basically takes multiple photos of the scene and then uses areas with best light exposure to create the perfect image. If there is a bright and dark light issue in any scene, then HDR photo will offer the best results.

Tech Terms: IP Address

IP address is short for Internet Protocol (IP) address. An IP address is an identifier for a computer or device on a TCP/IP network. Networks using the TCP/IP protocol route messages based on the IP address of the destination. Contrast with IP, which specifies the format of packets, also called datagrams, and the addressing scheme.

The Format of an IP Address
The format of an IP address is a 32-bit numeric address written as four numbers separated by periods. Each number can be zero to 255. For example, 1.160.10.240 could be an IP address.

Within an isolated network, you can assign IP addresses at random as long as each one is unique. However, connecting a private network to the Internet requires using registered IP addresses (called Internet addresses) to avoid duplicates.

Static Versus Dynamic IP Addresses
An IP address can be static or dynamic. A static IP address will never change and it is a permanent Internet address. A dynamic IP address is a temporary address that is assigned each time a computer or device accesses the Internet.

The four numbers in an IP address are used in different ways to identify a particular network and a host on that network. Four regional Internet registries — ARIN, RIPE NCC, LACNIC and APNIC– assign Internet addresses from the following three classes:

  • Class A – supports 16 million hosts on each of 126 networks
  • Class B – supports 65,000 hosts on each of 16,000 networks
  • Class C – supports 254 hosts on each of 2 million networks

The number of unassigned Internet addresses is running out, so a new classless scheme called CIDR is gradually replacing the system based on classes A, B, and C and is tied to adoption of IPv6. In IPv6 the IP address size is increased from 32 bits to 128 bits.

What is My IP Address?
To view your IP address you can use the ipconfig (IPCONFIG) command line tool. Ipconfig displays all current TCP/IP network configuration values and refreshes Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and Domain Name System (DNS) settings.

To launch the command prompt from a Windows-based computer click: Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. Type ipconfig and press the Enter key.

You can also use Google search to find your IP address. Type “what is my IP address” as a search query and Google will show the IP address of the computer from which the query was received as the top search result.

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Tips & Tricks: Android Camera Flash

I have always kept my Android phone’s flash to “Always on” mode thinking more light leads to better pictures, boy was I wrong. The story is actually opposite. The flash is there to help you take pictures in areas where there is no or less light, it is not a replacement for natural light or even room light.

Taking pictures with the flash leads to awkward light patches in the picture and shadow disbalance. You should only use flash where there is less light and you are sure turning on flash will help get a better photo. Simply put, treat flash as the last resort; not an enhancer.

Tech Terms: Chromebook

Chromebook is a category of notebook computers and mobile devices that runs Google’s cloud-based Chrome OS operating system. While they lack the processing power and higher-end features of standard laptops, Chromebooks are built primarily for Web surfing and are optimized for this purpose with the Google Chrome web browser as well as near instant-on and instant-resume capabilities.

These are fast computing devices that rely on the Google Chrome browser, with most applications and data that users will access, residing in the cloud, like Google Docs and Google Drive, rather than storage and applications that reside on the physical machine.

Updates and Protection
The two main selling points of a Chromebook are built in security and automatic updates. Chromebooks come with the tools to defend against viruses, malware and other known security issues.

A Chromebook is also designed to automatically update when connected to the Internet, removing the need to manually download and install patches, new versions, security updates and so on.

Chromebooks and Android Apps
Today, Chromebooks have improved processing power that supports Intel Core processors and HD 1080p displays. Newer Chromebooks, like the Google Pixelbook or Asus Chromebook Flip offer touchscreens, USB ports and can run Android apps natively in addition to having an improved Chrome OS experience. Some Chromebook manufacturers also offer incentives including speakers and 100-GB Google Drive space for free.

The First Chromebook
The first retail Chromebooks (2011) were produced by Samsung and Acer and feature both Wi-Fi and 3G capabilities, Intel Atom processors, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB SSDs for storage, and either 11.6-inch (Acer) or 12.1-inch 1280×800 (Samsung) screen.
Note that users looking for a Windows 10 and Microsoft app experience, such as OneDrive and Office 365 can choose a product called a CloudBook.

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Tips & Tricks: Android Camera and Barcodes

Your Android phone camera can also scan and read barcodes and QR codes to interpret information. You may have already seen offers behind products asking you to scan the code to get more information, etc. Well, this information can easily be interpreted using a barcode scanner app.

Tech Terms: Consumerization of IT

Consumerization of IT (“consumerization”) is a phrase used to describe the cycle of information technology (IT) emerging in the consumer market, then spreading to business and government organizations, largely because employees are using the popular “consumer market” technologies and devices at home and then introducing them in the workplace.

Consumerization of IT Security Concerns
Consumerization of IT not only refers to the use of personal consumer electronics at work — like iPhones and tablet PCs — but also online services, including online data storage, Web-based email services (“web mail”), and social media or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Consumerization of IT is driven by employees who buy their own devices, use their own personal online service accounts, install their own applications and then connect to the corporate network with the device, often without the organization’s knowledge or approval.

For small business, corporate and government organizations, the biggest challenge for IT is that employees using unapproved technologies and devices at work is a network security risk, but even with that understanding is the knowledge that these devices will still come in to the workplace and be used by employees, even if corporate security policies are in place.
Companies Embrace Consumerization of IT
Many companies today have realized that by embracing the consumerization of IT, this will not only save money and increase business agility, but also improve employee productivity.

One popular initiative is called BYOD (“bring your own device”). This phrase has become widely adopted to refer to mobile workers bringing their own mobile devices, such as smartphones, laptops and PDAs, into the workplace for use and connectivity on the corporate network.

Instead of fighting employees who want to BYOD to work, many corporations allow employees to use their own mobile devices at work and implement a “BYOD policy” to help IT better manage these devices and ensure network security is not compromised.

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Tech Terms: CrashOverrride Malware

CrashOverrride is an industrial control system cyberattack launched in December 2016 that created a massive blackout in Kiev, Ukraine. Also known as Industroyer by security firm ESET, CrashOverride is a form of malware developed with capabilities to control electricity substation switches and circuit breakers on a wide scale.

The Industroyer / CrashOverrride malware doesn’t need to target any zero-day exploits or unpatched security vulnerabilities to do its damage; instead it communicates directly with industrial hardware through communication protocols that were designed many years in the past without significant security in mind.

Following in the Footsteps of Stuxnet and BlackEnergy
CrashOverride also isn’t the first form of malware to target electricity substations, as it followed an attack known as BlackEnergy that created a blackout in the Ukraine in 2015.

The CrashOverrride / Industroyer malware also shares similarities with the Stuxnet malware that targeted an Iranian power plant in 2010 and which also used its ability to communicate directly with industrial hardware to do its damage.
These forms of malware have brought to light just how vulnerable industrial environments — and most environments in our increasingly Internet of Things (IoT) world — can be to cyberattacks.

Defending against them requires a multilayer approach that can be difficult to apply when dealing with hardware and software systems that were developed many years ago without sophisticated — or even basic in many cases — security measures taken into consideration.

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Tips & Tricks: Take Photo with Volume Keys on Android

The best advice I have ever given to my wife; as quoted by my wife herself (not sure if it was a taunt or appreciation, though). On most Android phones, you can easily take a photo just by holding any of the volume keys. Taking a photo with the on-screen virtual button can be a bit cumbersome, especially while taking selfies.

Using volume keys for taking pictures offer a firm grip leading to less distortion. Additionally, if you like shooting selfies with the rear camera, then it will save you from that awkward moment where you pose and try to blindly tap the virtual button without success (been there, done that).