Thursday, January 26, 2017

Top 5 Free Video Chat Services

There are many video chatting services out there, but only a few truly stand out. Here are the top 5 video chatting services available for free.


5. FaceTime

FaceTime is incredibly simple to use. Simply open your FaceTime app on your phone or laptop and call your friend. It's that simple. However, there are some cons to it.
Pros:
- Simple and intuitive
- Mobile-friendly
- Can flip video on mobile
- Good video quality

Cons:
- Not available for non-Apple/old Apple products
- Not available in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, or Pakistan
- No text messaging
- No group calling

While it doesn't have many cons, the downsides that FaceTime does have affect the product a lot. The fact that it's not usable if you are trying to call someone with a non-Apple/old Apple product or you are using a non-Apple/old Apple product cuts out a huge slice of the userbase.

4. Messenger Video Chat
To use Messenger video chat, simply open up Facebook or Messenger, go to the top right and click the film camera icon that's to the right of the phone icon. Once you click this, you'll be redirected to a separate window, where a loading animation will play along with the profile picture and name of the person you're calling. When they pick up, you'll see a fairly standard video calling platform, where you can enable video, audio, fullscreen, change the settings, or end the call. Here, the screen will mostly be filled with the other person's screen with a little inset screen of your camera.

Pros:
- Most people have messenger
- Simple and intuitive
- Mobile-friendly
- Can call a group
- Can flip video on mobile

Cons:
- Only works on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
- Not available in China or other countries where Facebook is blocked
- Bad quality video

3. ooVoo
ooVoo is pretty simple to use. First, you download it, open it up, and then add your friends by their username or phone number. After that, you can call them or message them. It's similar to Skype.

Pros:
- Available on almost all platforms
- Mobile-friendly
- Can call a group
- Can text message
- Can record video calls

Cons:
- No voice calls
- Outdated interface
- Not a particularly large user audience



2. Google Hangout
Google Hangout is a video chatting service that a lot of people have heard of, and it's extremely useful. FaceTime users will be familiar with the interface. It's very simple, you just click on someone to call them. You can do video calls, group calls, and messaging.

Pros:
- Available on almost all platforms
- Simple and intuitive
- Mobile-friendly
- Can call a group
- Can call mobile numbers
- Can text message
- Can message a group
- Integrated with other Google services

Cons:
- No voice calls
- Infrequent updates
- Not optimised for back-to-back encryption





1. Skype
Skype is one of the most popular video chatting services out there. It's extremely useful, and used by almost everybody. Here are the reasons why it's my number one pick.

Pros:
- Available on almost all platforms
- Simple and intuitive
- Mobile-friendly
- Can call a group
- Can call mobile numbers
- Can text message
- Can message a group
- Can share screen

Cons:
- Bad VoIP security


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to make your Gmail Inbox Organized



I have seen tons and tons of students open their mail and have their 'inbox' as a dump of mail from all sorts of places. You can easily manage your mail. To have a cleaner inbox, go to your settings which can be located under the gear symbol on the top right. Go under the tab 'Inbox'.  From here you can choose your preferred sections, markers, and filters.

Filters are especially important. Isn't it annoying that you get mailed your attendance from every single class? Well just create a filter on that specific email address. Make sure you include the words 'attendance' though because you might miss some crucial information!


I personally have my inbox with three sections "Important and Unread", "Starred", and "Everything Else". I also have it so a section disappears if it's not being used. I always archive what I am not currently using instead of throwing it in the trash. DO NOT put your mail in trash, archiving it is so much easier as it makes your inbox cleaner and you can always refer back to mail.

Your Presence in Different Social Media



I am sure a lot of you have several different social media accounts. What's important to note is that in every single social media website, you have to behave a certain way as it depends on who you share information with. This is key because nowadays, employers and colleges look at social media accounts for what type of person you are. The following list is ordered by most professional presence to least professional presence.




Twitter

Twitter is one of the most used websites on the internet. Several politicians and celebrities use it. It is seen as a place for a professional to share their work and talk to others who are in the same profession across the world. For example, a teacher would follow the school and faculty of their school. They would also follow and may tweet at educational institutes and colleges. LinkedIn is a similar platform and is more professional because it is for users to find careers posted by companies across the world and is taken very seriously.


Facebook

Facebook is a more open platform because users often have family, coworkers, and additional friends on their friends list. Although a user still may not be able to post offensive posts as family members and coworkers can still see their posts. However, a user may still be able to complain about a rough day at work or at school and friends and family members may seem content to help ease the situation. Facebook often has way more photos than twitter and users can share pictures of their experiences or trips to show their close friends and relatives.



Instagram

Instagram is a much more open platform. Users may only have a couple of family members following their Instagram, but several friends and strangers may also follow the user. Since in Instagram users are required to post a picture and there is no text, a user may be much more open to this posting pictures of just about anything on there. The user can choose to be offensive and political as only the close friends may see it. Snapchat is a further representation of this as snaps (pictures) taken by the user are deleted after a day of taking it, pushing the user to get less private.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Cam Scanner for Handy Scanning

Have you ever wanted to scan a document during class? Have you ever felt too lazy to scan using your scanner at home? Cam Scanner is an iPhone / Android app that allows scanning of documents through iPhone cameras. Using Cam Scanner, scanning could be done anywhere at anytime.

Download Cam Scanner here for iPhones
Download Cam Scanner here for Androids

Using Cam Scanner is simple.

First, download and open the app. Tap the camera icon to take a photo of the document that you want to scan.


Then voila! the document got scanned.


Using this, we could scan documents we got from teachers on the spot and keep a digital log of the school work we completed. Sometimes taking a photo just doesn't provide the best view of the documents, so why not use Cam Scanner, a handy scanning app available for both iPhones and Androids?

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

What is the Dark Web?



We often hear the word "Dark Web" being thrown around in articles and conversations, but do you really know what is it or what it does? This blog post aims to take away some of the mysteriousness that surrounds it and showcase what really is

THE DARK WEB

Many may not know, but it was actually created by the US government. In the mid 1990s, US military researchers created a technology that allowed intelligence operatives to exchange information completely anonymously. They called it 'Tor', which stands for 'The Onion Router'.
As part of their strategy for secrecy, they released Tor into the public domain for anyone to use. Their reasoning was simple: the more people using the system, the harder it would be to separate the government's own messages from the general noise. You can't be anonymous on your own.
Tor spread widely and today, is a critical part of the so-called 'dark web': a network of untraceable online activity and hidden websites, of which Tor hosts approximately 30,000. And that anonymity has attracted a huge range of people; all who want to keep their activities hidden.

How does the Dark Web work?
The deep web is a term that refers to sites and pages unavailable to the general public and not indexed by traditional search engines, like corporate intranet sites, private social media posts, and pages with nofollow search tags.

Above the deep web hovers the clearnet, the traditional internet and mobile web used by billions of people around the world. "The clearnet is secure, and encryption is used to move secure data from place to place all the time. SSL guards passwords and protects credit card information during e-commerce transactions"(Corera, BBC). But the very nature of the clear internet is that anonymity is rare. Computer and mobile IP addresses are constantly logged and easily traced. Cookies help web marketers track online activity and analyze behavior.

What differentiates the so-called Dark Web is the method by which sites are accessed. The Dark Web, or darknet, is a network of sites with encrypted content, accessible only with a secure suite of secure-browsing tools, like Tor. "Tor -- an acronym for the onion router -- is a package of open-source security tools written for a customized version of the Mozilla Firefox browser, compatible with Windows, OS X, and Linux. The software encrypts user traffic and passes the IP address through the complex of Tor nodes" (Lamo, Quora).

These 'onion layers' help protect the user's anonymity and provide access to similarly protected websites. These sites range from forums to wiki pages to blogs and function much like clearnet sites. Dark Web domains frequently employ non-memorable, hashed URLs with the .onion top level domain. These sites block inbound traffic from all non-secure internet connections. (Patterson, ZDNet)

"Personal and work computers often house mission-critical data, like sensitive files, passwords, and health records. Because Tor can be used and the Dark Web can be accessed on a traditional home PC, security professionals rely on additional security tools like the Tails operating system. Tails is a Linux distribution that can be installed on and run from a portable flash drive. By accessing the Dark Web via Tails, user behavior is never logged locally, and it is significantly more challenging for malicious software to harm the host PC."
Source: Patterson, Dan. "How the Dark Web Works." ZDNet. ZDNet, 12 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.zdnet.com/article/how-the-dark-web-works/>.

Image result for edward snowden

One example of such people are whistle blowers. One of the most recent and perhaps most famous figures to do this is Edward Snowden, pictured above. A former contractor for the CIA, Snowden used Tor to pass unauthorized classified information on to the media that detailed the scale of internet and phone surveillance undertaken by American intelligence agencies. Without access to Tor, that information might not have become public. Whistle-blowers are able to pass their information on to journalists through the anonymity of Tor. There are also websites like Global Leaks which use Tor technology, enabling whistle-blowers to upload their information anonymously without fear of censorship or retribution.
Source: Lamo, Adrian. "What Is the Deep/dark Web and How Do You Access It?" Quora, 31 Jan. 2017. Web. 17 Feb. 2017. <https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-deep-dark-web-and-how-do-you-access-it>.

Another such example are activists. Syrian activist, Reem Al Assil was one of the first people to use Tor during the Syrian uprising. She claims it protected her from the country’s secret police as she was able to deny being involved in anti-government activity. Tor was instrumental in the Arab Spring, enabling activists to organise demonstrations and disseminate information, anonymously. According to the Tor Network, the system has been used all over the Middle East and Africa to undermine repressive regimes.
Source: Corera, Gordon. "BBC IWonder - What Is the Dark Web and Is It a Threat?" BBC News. BBC, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z9j6nbk>.

However, people also use the Dark Web for illicit activities, such as organizing terrorist activities, drug trading, and even contracted assassinations. The anonymity provided by the Dark Web is perfect for people that are breaking the law because it is extremely difficult for law enforcement agencies to discover and track these activities.

Do the pros outweigh the cons? Some experts believe that internet anonymity is vital for people living in countries where you can be arrested, tortured, and killed for the things you do online. This is why the US government was instrumental in developing the technology, and why the US State Department continued to fund Tor over the years. However, others believe that it is not enough; the amount of illegal activities are way too frequent and too dangerous and thus the Dark Web should be shut down completely.

The Dark Web is an amazing piece of technology that is capable of doing lots of good, yet it will also reveal the most twisted and perhaps sickening aspects of human nature. It is up to you to have a viewpoint on it and decide whether the pros outweigh the cons.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

3 Ways to Shut down an app (Mac)

Hey there! Having a problem with shutting off one of your apps? Here are three simple ways to shut your app off and it should be used as your final solution! 

1. The basic: Command + Q 

It quits the app immediately!

2. Command-Option-Esc: It opens up a force click application window. Choose the application you want and click enter to force quit it! 





3.Control–Command–Media Eject : Now you will want to use this if nothing else is working and your entire computer is frozen. What it does is it forces all apps to quit and restart the mac. If any documents have been unsaved, you'll be asked whether you want to save them or not.


Thank you for visiting, this was a very short blog post to help users in case they caught a glitch in an app and wanted to quit it. 


Monday, January 9, 2017

Online Learnings

What is Online Learning?

Online learning is a way of studying without needing to attend the class on campus. You can study anywhere, outside at a cafe or your bedroom.


Taking online courses might not be a bad thing, here are 7 advantages of Online Learning. 



1. Learn where ever you want!

Picking up a online course is very convenient. You don't have to attend to the campus, instead you can study wherever you want to, in a coffee shop, a library or at home. 

2. Comfort!

Having comfort by not stressing out to go to campus on time, having to sit on an uncomfortable chair for lectures. Instead, you can stay home and study in a place where you are comfortable in. Being at home studying is effortless to get ready. 


3. Online Courses looks good on Resumes.

An online program will always look good on your resume, no matter what you are applying for. It shows your potential of commitment to self-learning, and in developing new skills. 

4. Self-paced!

Learning online, doesn't affect anyone other than yourself, since you are learning on your own, you can learn in your own pace, without having to be in a class where the pace isn't suitable for you. 


5. Lower Cost!

Online courses are usually cheaper than classes that are held traditionally in the campus, some online courses are even free of charge.

6. Variety of Courses

Studying courses on the internet, have many benefits, and one would be having variety of courses. You can choose your specific ideal courses to study, instead of having fewer options of courses to choose from on the campus.


7. Avoid commuting. 

Having to travel from one place to another might be annoying. Sometimes snowstorms or other problems occur, school would be canceled, and if they don't, you would struggle to travel to your school or college, and if you worry about safety, you would missed the class, this is an issue. But having to study on an online course/class, you wouldn't have to face these problems, and avoid commuting, wasting money on fuel, and wasting time to travel.





Thursday, January 5, 2017

Online Learning. Is school really necessary?



As we are in the age of fast-growing technology, we humans need to start adapting to do this rapid change. The internet has impacted our society so much that we cannot survive without them, but it has also brought many benefits. Many things that we were not able to access was now accessible, we are able to connect to people around the world faster. One of the things that internet brought to us was the ability to learn things that we do not know of. Now we are able to look up so many things from remedies for sicknesses to the discovery of new planets. Since these information are so easy to obtain through the internet, it arouses a big question, "Is Schools necessary anymore?"
My answer to this question is OF COURSE, teachers are there to inspire students, educate students, and guide students. Without teachers students would turn out to be dramatically different. These days teachers are very under-recognized, we need to give them more credit than we currently do. Although we can learn multiple things through the internet, we cannot obtain the experience of having an teacher teach us. What do you think about teachers?Do we need them?Is the internet really enough?