Trio of Starbucks Rejects Delivers Java Fix to New Haven

IMG_1186.jpg

There is something wonderfully freeing about working in a food truck. The job seems to appeal to a certain free spirit, that individual who can’t quite fit into an office or even a kitchen in a restaurant. In a food truck, you are the king of your own domain. No bosses, no suit, just a view of whatever corner of the world you choose through a small window as waves of people come by to sample your wares. You listen to whatever music you choose, and approach the job whichever way you want.

The three New Haven 20-somethings who own and operate the Jitter Bus coffee truck in the Elm City — Dan Barletta, Paul Crosby and Andrew Mesiouris — are not huge fans of bosses. Having met as teenagers in West Haven, all three have been fired from Starbucks at one time or another. “You’re not cut out for this job,” Barletta says they told him when they let him go.

Well, joke’s on them. Now Barletta makes a living with his friends, working for themselves and each other, selling coffee on their own terms. Crosby, who has SINK and SWIM tattooed on the knuckles on his respective hands and was fired from a Starbucks in West Haven, says this has been the idea for him from the start. “It’s been my plan since I was in like fifth or sixth grade. It was a tattoo shop when I was young, but as I fell out of that, I grew into this,” he says.

Aesthetically, the Jitter Bus looks like what the Addams Family would come up with if they quit television and became do-it-yourself punks and tattoo artists. The old school bus is painted black with white designs hand-painted on. The Jitter Bus’ goth color scheme stands out amid the proliferation of brightly painted food trucks that populate our cities. Its one-year anniversary party was held back in March at Keys on Kites Tattoo & Gallery in New Haven’s Westville section, where they had a music show and raffled off a free tattoo.

The do-it-yourself attitude is not a hollow one. The guys in the Jitter Bus have built most of the mobile cafe’s components. Water tanks, counter tops, shelves, bus mechanics, even the swivel tray that holds the iPad cash register: all were built and designed by the three owner-operators.

On a blisteringly hot June day at their usual spot at the corner of Hillhouse Avenue and Grove Street, the boys on the bus are serving up hundreds of coffees ($2-$2.50), cappuccinos ($3.25-$3.75), cortados ($3.25), mochas ($4.25-$5), espressos ($2), chai ($3.50-$4) and the iced versions of all of them ($3-$5). Extra espresso shots can be added for 75 cents, and flavor shots of vanilla, hazelnut, caramel and coconut for 50 cents.

They get all their coffee from Connecticut, mostly from the Canton micro-operation Giv Coffee, and its excellent espresso blend Star Breather, sourced from Peru and Brazil with notes of dark chocolate, raisin and almond. Newington’s Saccuzzo Coffee Co. also provides beans, while pastries come from New Haven’s Whole G bakery and milk and cream from Connecticut-sourced Farmer’s Cow.

Despite the heat, there is a steady stream of people coming up for their usual fix. “We’re pretty much legal drug dealers,” says Crosby. “We sell it on the corner and everything,” Barletta adds after a laugh. The hundreds or even thousands of hole-punched loyalty cards oozing from every crack in the truck testify to the popularity of the truck and the regularity with which its patrons return. (While Hillhouse and Grove is their usual corner, the Jitter Bus is available for booking for events and festivals.)

A digital stroll through the Jitter Bus’ social media (follow The Jitter Bus on Facebook and on Instagram @jitterbuscoffee) reveals engine troubles, brutal weather, and the occasional celebrated appearance of Nari, a friend’s dog. The labor needed to make repairs on the bus, both Dan and Paul say, is the worst part about working for themselves. But still, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

[“Source-connecticutmag”]

ANTIVIRUS FOR ANDROID HAS A LONG, LONG WAY TO GO

ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS ON PCs have a mixed track record. While generally useful, they still have to play catch-up with evolving threats–and their deep system access has on occasion enabled even worse attacks. Now, as antivirus products gain in popularity for Android devices, they appear to be making many of the same old mistakes.

A key part of the current shortcomings stems from relative immaturity in Android antivirus offerings. Researchers at Georgia Tech who analyzed 58 mainstream options found that many were relatively easy to defeat, often because didn’t take a nuanced and diverse approach to malware detection. Taking on the mindset of an attacker, the researchers built a tool called AVPass that works to smuggle malware into a system without being detected by antivirus. Of the 58 programs AVPass tested, only two–from AhnLab and WhiteArmor–consistently stopped AVPass attacks.

“Antivirus for the mobile platform is really just starting for some companies—a lot of the antivirus for Android may even be their first iteration,” says Max Wolotsky, a PhD student at Georgia Tech who worked on the research. “We would definitely warn consumers that they should look into more than just AV. You want to be cautious.”

Modern antivirus uses machine-learning techniques to evolve with the malware field. So in creating AVPass, the researchers started by developing methods for defeating defensive algorithms they could access (like those created for academic research or other open-source projects) and then used these strategies as the basis for working out attacks against proprietary consumer antivirus—products where you can’t see the code powering them. The team will present on and release AVPass at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Free Pass

To test the 58 Android antivirus products and figure out what bypasses would work against each of them, the researchers used a service called VirusTotal, which attempts to identify links and malware samples by scanning them through a system that incorporates dozens of tools, and offering results about what each tool found. By querying VirusTotal with different malware components and seeing which tools flagged which samples, the researchers were able to form a picture of the type of detection features each antivirus has. Under an academic license, VirusTotal limited the group to fewer than 300 queries per malware sample, but the researchers say even this small number was adequate for gathering data on how the different services go about detecting malware.

Before this reconnaissance, the team developed a feature for AVPass called Imitation Mode, which shields the test samples submitted for antivirus scanning so the snippets themselves wouldn’t be identified and blacklisted. “The Imitation Mode is for our malware obfuscation,” says Chanil Jeon, another researcher who worked on the project. “We extract particular malware features and insert them into an empty app, so we can test which feature or which combination is important for malware detection.” The team worked with mainstream malware samples from malware libraries like VirusShare.com and DREBIN.

AVPass is an open source prototype, part of broader Georgia Tech research into machine-learning algorithms (like those used in antivirus) and the extent to which they can be manipulated and exploited. But it also serves as commentary on the evolving landscape of mobile defense.

Room To Grow

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that Android antivirus tools have an easier job than their PC equivalents, at least for now. “Android malware is not much of malware at all compared to PC malware,” says Mohammad Mannan, a security researcher at Concordia University in Montreal who has studied antivirus vulnerabilities. “They are just rogue apps in most cases, so they are far easier to detect.” And Mannan notes that though Android antivirus apps have a lot of leeway in the system, they aren’t as privileged as antivirus apps on PCs, which could potentially cut down on concerns that antivirus can sometimes be exploited as a security vulnerability in itself. “Mobile AVs run like a privileged app, but are still just an app in the end, not part of the operating system or kernel,” he says.

For now, though, the potential advantages seem overshadowed by the immaturity of the market. The AVPass team says that Android antivirus developers need to build out their products so the programs are looking for multiple malicious attributes at once. It’s much easier to sneak past one security guard than 10. And they note that their research would have been much more difficult and time-consuming if tools like VirusTotal were less specific in the information they disclose about each service.

“These results aren’t the most surprising,” Wolotsky says. “We knew going into this as security researchers that the mobile domain is much less advanced. We hope AVPass will give [antivirus developers] a way to see what works and what doesn’t, because I’m not sure they’ve had that.”

[“Source-wired”]

Trio of Starbucks Rejects Delivers Java Fix to New Haven

IMG_1186.jpg

There is something wonderfully freeing about working in a food truck. The job seems to appeal to a certain free spirit, that individual who can’t quite fit into an office or even a kitchen in a restaurant. In a food truck, you are the king of your own domain. No bosses, no suit, just a view of whatever corner of the world you choose through a small window as waves of people come by to sample your wares. You listen to whatever music you choose, and approach the job whichever way you want.

The three New Haven 20-somethings who own and operate the Jitter Bus coffee truck in the Elm City — Dan Barletta, Paul Crosby and Andrew Mesiouris — are not huge fans of bosses. Having met as teenagers in West Haven, all three have been fired from Starbucks at one time or another. “You’re not cut out for this job,” Barletta says they told him when they let him go.

Well, joke’s on them. Now Barletta makes a living with his friends, working for themselves and each other, selling coffee on their own terms. Crosby, who has SINK and SWIM tattooed on the knuckles on his respective hands and was fired from a Starbucks in West Haven, says this has been the idea for him from the start. “It’s been my plan since I was in like fifth or sixth grade. It was a tattoo shop when I was young, but as I fell out of that, I grew into this,” he says.

Aesthetically, the Jitter Bus looks like what the Addams Family would come up with if they quit television and became do-it-yourself punks and tattoo artists. The old school bus is painted black with white designs hand-painted on. The Jitter Bus’ goth color scheme stands out amid the proliferation of brightly painted food trucks that populate our cities. Its one-year anniversary party was held back in March at Keys on Kites Tattoo & Gallery in New Haven’s Westville section, where they had a music show and raffled off a free tattoo.

 The do-it-yourself attitude is not a hollow one. The guys in the Jitter Bus have built most of the mobile cafe’s components. Water tanks, counter tops, shelves, bus mechanics, even the swivel tray that holds the iPad cash register: all were built and designed by the three owner-operators.

On a blisteringly hot June day at their usual spot at the corner of Hillhouse Avenue and Grove Street, the boys on the bus are serving up hundreds of coffees ($2-$2.50), cappuccinos ($3.25-$3.75), cortados ($3.25), mochas ($4.25-$5), espressos ($2), chai ($3.50-$4) and the iced versions of all of them ($3-$5). Extra espresso shots can be added for 75 cents, and flavor shots of vanilla, hazelnut, caramel and coconut for 50 cents.

They get all their coffee from Connecticut, mostly from the Canton micro-operation Giv Coffee, and its excellent espresso blend Star Breather, sourced from Peru and Brazil with notes of dark chocolate, raisin and almond. Newington’s Saccuzzo Coffee Co. also provides beans, while pastries come from New Haven’s Whole G bakery and milk and cream from Connecticut-sourced Farmer’s Cow.

Despite the heat, there is a steady stream of people coming up for their usual fix. “We’re pretty much legal drug dealers,” says Crosby. “We sell it on the corner and everything,” Barletta adds after a laugh. The hundreds or even thousands of hole-punched loyalty cards oozing from every crack in the truck testify to the popularity of the truck and the regularity with which its patrons return. (While Hillhouse and Grove is their usual corner, the Jitter Bus is available for booking for events and festivals.)

A digital stroll through the Jitter Bus’ social media (follow The Jitter Bus on Facebook and on Instagram @jitterbuscoffee) reveals engine troubles, brutal weather, and the occasional celebrated appearance of Nari, a friend’s dog. The labor needed to make repairs on the bus, both Dan and Paul say, is the worst part about working for themselves. But still, they wouldn’t have it any other way.

[Source:-.connecticutmag]

ANTIVIRUS FOR ANDROID HAS A LONG, LONG WAY TO GO

ANTIVIRUS PROGRAMS ON PCs have a mixed track record. While generally useful, they still have to play catch-up with evolving threats–and their deep system access has on occasion enabled even worse attacks. Now, as antivirus products gain in popularity for Android devices, they appear to be making many of the same old mistakes.

A key part of the current shortcomings stems from relative immaturity in Android antivirus offerings. Researchers at Georgia Tech who analyzed 58 mainstream options found that many were relatively easy to defeat, often because didn’t take a nuanced and diverse approach to malware detection. Taking on the mindset of an attacker, the researchers built a tool called AVPass that works to smuggle malware into a system without being detected by antivirus. Of the 58 programs AVPass tested, only two–from AhnLab and WhiteArmor–consistently stopped AVPass attacks.

“Antivirus for the mobile platform is really just starting for some companies—a lot of the antivirus for Android may even be their first iteration,” says Max Wolotsky, a PhD student at Georgia Tech who worked on the research. “We would definitely warn consumers that they should look into more than just AV. You want to be cautious.”

Modern antivirus uses machine-learning techniques to evolve with the malware field. So in creating AVPass, the researchers started by developing methods for defeating defensive algorithms they could access (like those created for academic research or other open-source projects) and then used these strategies as the basis for working out attacks against proprietary consumer antivirus—products where you can’t see the code powering them. The team will present on and release AVPass at the Black Hat hacking conference in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Free Pass

To test the 58 Android antivirus products and figure out what bypasses would work against each of them, the researchers used a service called VirusTotal, which attempts to identify links and malware samples by scanning them through a system that incorporates dozens of tools, and offering results about what each tool found. By querying VirusTotal with different malware components and seeing which tools flagged which samples, the researchers were able to form a picture of the type of detection features each antivirus has. Under an academic license, VirusTotal limited the group to fewer than 300 queries per malware sample, but the researchers say even this small number was adequate for gathering data on how the different services go about detecting malware.

Before this reconnaissance, the team developed a feature for AVPass called Imitation Mode, which shields the test samples submitted for antivirus scanning so the snippets themselves wouldn’t be identified and blacklisted. “The Imitation Mode is for our malware obfuscation,” says Chanil Jeon, another researcher who worked on the project. “We extract particular malware features and insert them into an empty app, so we can test which feature or which combination is important for malware detection.” The team worked with mainstream malware samples from malware libraries like VirusShare.com and DREBIN.

AVPass is an open source prototype, part of broader Georgia Tech research into machine-learning algorithms (like those used in antivirus) and the extent to which they can be manipulated and exploited. But it also serves as commentary on the evolving landscape of mobile defense.

Room To Grow

If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that Android antivirus tools have an easier job than their PC equivalents, at least for now. “Android malware is not much of malware at all compared to PC malware,” says Mohammad Mannan, a security researcher at Concordia University in Montreal who has studied antivirus vulnerabilities. “They are just rogue apps in most cases, so they are far easier to detect.” And Mannan notes that though Android antivirus apps have a lot of leeway in the system, they aren’t as privileged as antivirus apps on PCs, which could potentially cut down on concerns that antivirus can sometimes be exploited as a security vulnerability in itself. “Mobile AVs run like a privileged app, but are still just an app in the end, not part of the operating system or kernel,” he says.

For now, though, the potential advantages seem overshadowed by the immaturity of the market. The AVPass team says that Android antivirus developers need to build out their products so the programs are looking for multiple malicious attributes at once. It’s much easier to sneak past one security guard than 10. And they note that their research would have been much more difficult and time-consuming if tools like VirusTotal were less specific in the information they disclose about each service.

“These results aren’t the most surprising,” Wolotsky says. “We knew going into this as security researchers that the mobile domain is much less advanced. We hope AVPass will give [antivirus developers] a way to see what works and what doesn’t, because I’m not sure they’ve had that.”

[Source:-Wired]

iOS 11 Beta 3 Now Available To Developers: iPad Improvements, Notification Center Upgrade, And More

Apple just rolled out beta 3 of iOS 11 for developers on Monday, July 10, for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The latest beta includes a list of refinements, performance improvements, bug fixes, and more.

That said, beta 3 still contains a number of bugs, which is to be expected, of course. You can read the list of known issues and bugs in the update’s release notes. Because beta releases are not very stable versions, developers should only install them on secondary or “testing” devices. It should not run on your daily driver, needless to say.

With that in mind, here are the things included in iOS 11 beta 3:

iOS 11 Beta 3: iPad App Switcher

The latest beta version finally restores the swipe-up-to-close gesture on the iPad app switcher. Previously, users had to hold down an app and tap the corresponding “X” button to close it entirely. Now, the interface involves simpler gestures to get things done. Users may also swipe multiple open apps to close them, as a commenter notes via 9to5Mac.

iOS 11 Beta 3: SOS

Canceled SOS signals will no longer send out notifications beginning with iOS 11 beta 3.

iOS 11 Beta 3: Notification Center

With iOS 11 beta 3, there’d be no need to swipe twice just to see “Earlier Today” in the Notification Center. In addition, the latest beta releases simplifies the interface by showing all notifications on the first swipe, which means users don’t have to swipe down to view unread notifications then swipe up once more to see earlier ones.

iOS 11 Beta 3: App Store

The App Store now lets user choose if they want video to automatically play. Users can configure it to stop autoplaying videos altogether or only when on a cellular network connection.

iOS 11 Beta 3: SafariServices

Developers can now take advantage of a new SafariServices API to improve authentication flow for onboarding. For example, when a user updates Twitter, they’ll be automatically logged in to the app once it finishes updating instead of re-entering their password.

There’s quite a list of changes not mentioned here, so feel free to check out 9to5Mac’s article to get the full release notes. Apple released iOS 11 beta 3 alongside new builds of macOS High Sierra and tvOS. It didn’t release a new beta build for watchOS, although that could arrive later in the week.

Check out our article to know the best iOS 11 features to look forward to. Also, check out our article to learn how to install these beta versions for your Apple device. Be sure you’re signed up for Apple’s Beta Software program, first and foremost.

Are you an iOS developer? Have you received the iOS 11 beta 3? Feel free to tell us how has the experience been so far!

[“source-techtimes”]

Google’s Chrome OS Launcher To Turn Chromebooks Into Touch-Friendly Devices

Google is working on a Chrome OS update that’ll make Chromebooks with touch screens easier to use.

The OS wasn’t exactly designed with touch controls in mind, but the Mountain View company seems to be changing plans with a new touch-friendly launcher.

Chrome OS Update To Bring Touch Controls To The Table

From the look of things, the new launcher is placed below the screen. When it’s pulled up, it’ll show a Google search bar and a couple of suggested apps. Now when it’s open in full by swiping up, it’ll give access to all the apps available.

Interestingly enough, it seems that when the voice search command is used, it’ll open up a new window in the Chrome browser with the user’s query keyed in.

The person behind the reveal is none other than Chromium evangelist François Beaufort, spreading the word via a Google+ post.

“The Chrome OS team is experimenting with a Touch-Friendly version of the launcher in Canary channel. Enable the chrome://flags/#enable-fullscreen-app-list flag, restart Chrome, and press the Search key to see it in action,” he says.

 

Chrome OS Touch-Friendly Controls Potential Release Date

For the uninitiated, Chrome has four release channels: Canary, Dev, Beta, and Stable. New features go through each one in that order.

With that cleared up, the new launcher is still in the Canary channel. That means Chromebook users won’t see a stable version just yet, but given Google’s track record, it’s a pretty safe bet to expect it to go live in about three to four months.

It should be mentioned that Canary is the channel with the latest features that undergo rigorous testing. In other words, bugs and crashes are common there.

Also, those interested in the code behind the new launcher can head on over to the Chromium Code Review page.

To boil things down, Chrome OS is getting a new launcher that’ll allow Chromebook users to use touch controls better.

Devices that come to mind here are from Acer, Asus, Samsung, and, of course, Google, particularly those that are set to get Android app support in the foreseeable future.

Before wrapping things up, don’t forget to check out our tips and tricks to make the most out of your Chromebook.

Are you excited to finally get better touch controls on your Chromebook? If so, feel free to drop by our comments section below and let us know.

 

 

[“source-techtimes”]

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan

Apple’s strategy of making macOS updates available for free from the Mac App Store and providing access to public betas of upcoming new versions has been very successful in encouraging us to keep our Macs updated. However, sometimes enthusiasm for the newest features can get the better of us and we upgrade in haste only to repent later.

There are several possible scenarios in which you may want to reverse and downgrade to an older version of macOS (or Mac OS X). You might install a public beta of a new version of macOS, and then discover it’s got bugs in it which break apps you depend on. And even when you upgrade to a new full version of the OS, you may find that features you relied on work differently or have disappeared.

Regardless of the specifics, the clear solution is to undo the update and revert to the version of macOS you were using before – but that’s sometimes easier said than done. In this article we show you how to downgrade macOS. Read next: macOS Sierra vs Mac OS X El Capitan

How to remove a macOS beta

The guide below works for both beta and full release versions of macOS. But there are some slight differences to the way you will approach the situation.

When you install a beta version of a new macOS upgrade, it’s good practice to install it on a separate hard drive. You can find out how to do that here: How to run macOS from an external hard drive.

That way you can test the beta while keeping your files and data safe from any bugs.

Nevertheless, if you’ve already installed a beta on top of your existing system, the process for reversing it is exactly the same as for a full version. Follow the instructions below to wipe your startup disk and re-install the latest full version of macOS.

Preparing to downgrade macOS

As with anything else, the key to minimising difficulty later is to prepare before you start.

The simplest way to reverse an OS update is to restore from Time Machine. So, if you’re not using Time Machine to make regular backups, start now, before you upgrade.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Time Machine

Make sure you have a recent, complete backup of your system. That backup can be on a directly connected external disk, hooked up by USB, FireWire or Thunderbolt. Or it can be on a Time Machine compatible network drive, like Apple’s Time Capsule. If you’re running macOS Sierra, the network drive can use the SMB protocol; older versions of macOS only support AFP for Time Machine backups.

If you’ve got a Time Machine backup and need to revert to an older version of the OS, read the next section. If not, skip ahead to Downgrade without a Time Machine backup.

Restore from a Time Machine backup

Before we begin, it’s important to note that when you restore from a backup, you’ll wipe everything on your startup disk. That means any work you’ve done since you upgraded will be lost. So… back it up.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: CarbonCopyCloner

You can use Time Machine to do this, too. If you don’t use Time Machine, clone your startup disk to a spare external drive or at the very least make a copy of any files you’ve created or modified since you upgraded. If you’ve got photos in the Photos app and you don’t use iCloud Library, manually export them to an external disk so you can re-import them later.

Once you’ve backed up everything you want to keep from the newer version of the OS, restart your Mac with the Time Machine disk connected and while holding Command and R until you see the Apple logo.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Utilities

When the options appear on screen, choose ‘Restore From Time Machine Backup’ and click Continue. Then select the Time Machine disk and select the backup you want to restore from – in most cases, it will be the most recent backup prior to installing the newer version of the OS. Follow the onscreen instructions.

If you backed up files from the newer OS using Time Machine, when your Mac restarts, click the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select Enter Time Machine. You can now navigate to the most recent backup and the files you want and retrieve them.

If you used another tool to back up your files, use its restore facility. If you copied them manually, copy them back.

Downgrade without a Time Machine backup

Do you have a bootable installer of the OS you want to revert to on an external disk?

If so, you can plug that in, select it as the startup disk and reboot. When your Mac has restarted, launch Disk Utilities, select the Erase tab and choose your Mac’s regular startup disk (the one with the new OS on it).

When the disk has been erased, restart while holding down Command-R and select Reinstall macOS from the Utilities window and select your regular startup disk. Follow the onscreen instructions and wait for your Mac to restart.

Normally when you re-install macOS and have a backup, you’d choose the option to migrate data from the backup to the fresh installation, but in this case the backup is a later OS than the one you’ve just installed, so migrating data is likely to lead to compatibility problems. If, however, you have a clone of your Mac’s startup drive from before you upgraded, you could migrate data from that. You’d still be without the files you created while running the newer OS, but you’d at least have a base from which to start.

You would then manually copy files created while you were running the newer OS from the backup you made before you wiped your Mac’s startup disk.

How to create a bootable installer

Haven’t got a bootable installer? Don’t panic. You can download installers for earlier versions of macOS from the Mac App Store, provided you’ve installed them from there in the past.

So, for example, if you downloaded and installed macOS Sierra from the Mac App Store then installed the public beta of High Sierra and now want to revert to Sierra, you can search for Sierra on the App Store and download it.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Installer file

Older versions of macOS won’t appear through normal search, unfortunately, but you can find them in the Purchased section.

Download Yosemite from Purchases

The important bit is that once it has downloaded, it will try to install. Don’t click anything that allows the installation to proceed, just quit the installation and a copy of the OS installer will remain in your Applications folder.

You’ll need to do this before you wipe your startup disk, obviously.

Here’s how to download and create a bootable version of an earlier version of macOS.

Once you’ve created a bootable installer using the instructions on that page, you can follow the instructions above to reverse a macOS upgrade.

Fixing common problems

Reversing an upgrade carries with it a number of wrinkles and pitfalls.

Most of these are due to changes in file formats and settings between versions of the OS. So, for example, if you create a document or work on a file in a new version, whether it’s a beta or full release, of macOS and then try and open it in an older version, it may not work.

To mitigate this, it’s wise to export any documents you’ve created or worked on in the newer OS in a standard file format. So, for example, if you use Scrivener or Ulysses, export documents as RTF files. That way, if the native files don’t survive the reverse upgrade, you’ll be able to re-import the RTF files.

Take screenshots of preferences and settings

Whenever you perform a clean install of macOS, which is what you’re doing here, it’s a good idea to take screenshots of any custom settings you’ve created in apps or in System Preferences. That makes it easier to re-create them later.

You should also make a note of user account and password details for anything you’ve set up while running the new version of the OS. If you don’t use iCloud or Chrome to synchronise bookmarks, it’s a good idea to export those and make a copy.

How to remove macOS Sierra and downgrade to El Capitan: Export bookmarks

And unless you’re using the migrate data option outlined above, you’ll also need installers and licence codes for apps you use. If those are downloads from the Mac App Store, you can just re-download them from the Purchased section in the App Store. If not, make sure you can download them from the vendor’s website. If you don’t use a password manager to store licence codes, make sure you’ve got a copy of them before you start.

Synchronise

If you use Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive or any other form of cloud storage, make sure your data is in sync before you start the process of reversing an upgrade. It’s easy to forget that the files that live in your Dropbox folder, or example, are local files and that while synchronisation is frequent, the loss of an internet connection will prevent it and you could have files in your local folder that haven’t yet been copied to the cloud.

Clicking on the cloud service’s logo in your menu bar should tell you whether synchronisation completed successfully and files are up to date.

If you use Gmail, iCloud mail or any other IMAP server for your email, make sure it’s up to date and any drafts you’ve composed recently have been synchronised. If you use a POP3 account you’ll have to manually back up the mail database and restore it after you reverse the upgrade. Or, if you only have a few messages you need to keep, forward them to a Gmail account – you could set one up especially for that purpose.

[“Source-macworld”]

Google brings its GIF-making Motion Stills app to Android

Google last year introduced an app called Motion Stills that aimed to help iOS users do more with their Live Photos – including being able to crop out blurry frames, stabilize images, and even turn Apple’s Live Photos format into more sharable GIFs. Today, Google says it’s bringing Motion Stills to Android, along with a few changes.

Obviously, Android users aren’t in need of a Live Photos image editing tool. Live Photos, after all, are a format Apple introduced back in 2015, allowing iPhone users to snap photos that animate with a touch.

And with the introduction of iOS 11 later this year, Apple is rolling out a number of built-in tools for editing Live Photos, further eliminating the need for third-party applications in order to do things like cropping, picking out a key photo, or applying effects – like the new loop effect that will make your Live Photos play more like a GIF.

It makes sense, then, that Google would now find a use case for some of its Motion Stills technology on its own Android platform.

The company says the Android app includes a new recording experience where everything you shoot is immediately transformed into short, sharable clips. To use this feature, you simply capture a Motion Still with a tap, like taking a photo. If that sounds a lot like Google is introducing its own take on Live Photos, well…you’d probably be right.

Another new feature called Fast Forward lets you reduce a longer recording into a short clip, as well. This works with recordings up to a minute long, and the video is processed right on your phone. You can adjust the playback speed from 1x to 8x after recording. Google details some of the technology it’s using to make this possible, including how it encodes videos with “a denser I-frame spacing to enable efficient seeking and playback;” and the use of “adaptive temporal downsampling in the linear solver and long-range stabilization.”

Or, in human speak, it’s making more stable, smoother clips you can easily share with friends, even if the original footage was super shaky.

The company shows this off in a sped-up clip of a bike ride over a dirt path:

Meanwhile, in terms of turning regular recordings into GIFs, Google introduced new technology as well. It says it redesigned its existing iOS video processing pipeline to use a streaming approach that processes each video frame as it’s recording. It then stabilizes the image while performing the loop optimization over the full sequence. Again, translated, this means you can quickly make a recording and immediately get a smoothed-out GIF to share as a result.

The company says the new app is meant to be a place where Google can continue to experiment with short-form video technology, and hints that some of the improvements may make their way to Google Photos in the future.

The Motion Stills app for Android is available as a free download on Google Play and works on Android 5.1 and higher.

[“Source-techcrunch”]

Google Quantum Computing Services Said to Be Available to Researchers

Google Quantum Computing Services Said to Be Available to Researchers

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google is offering science labs early access to its quantum machines
  • Google in May introduced a chip, called Cloud TPU
  • In 2014, Google unveiled an effort to develop its own quantum computers

For years, Google has poured time and money into one of the most ambitious dreams of modern technology: building a working quantum computer. Now the company is thinking of ways to turn the project into a business.

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has offered science labs and artificial intelligence researchers early access to its quantum machines over the internet in recent months. The goal is to spur development of tools and applications for the technology, and ultimately turn it into a faster, more powerful cloud-computing service, according to people pitched on the plan.

A Google presentation slide, obtained by Bloomberg News, details the company’s quantum hardware, including a new lab it calls an “Embryonic quantum data center.” Another slide on the software displays information about ProjectQ, an open-source effort to get developers to write code for quantum computers.

“They’re pretty open that they’re building quantum hardware and they would, at some point in the future, make it a cloud service,” said Peter McMahon, a quantum computing researcher at Stanford University.

These systems push the boundaries of how atoms and other tiny particles work to solve problems that traditional computers can’t handle. The technology is still emerging from a long research phase, and its capabilities are hotly debated. Still, Google’s nascent efforts to commercialize it, and similar steps by International Business Machines, are opening a new phase of competition in the fast-growing cloud market.

Jonathan DuBois, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, said Google staffers have been clear about plans to open up the quantum machinery through its cloud service and have pledged that government and academic researchers would get free access. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

Providing early and free access to specialized hardware to ignite interest fits with Google’s long-term strategy to expand its cloud business. In May, the company introduced a chip, called Cloud TPU, that it will rent out to cloud customers as a paid service. In addition, a select number of academic researchers are getting access to the chips at no cost.

While traditional computers process bits of information as 1s or zeros, quantum machines rely on “qubits” that can be a 1, a zero, or a state somewhere in between at any moment. It’s still unclear whether this works better than existing supercomputers. And the technology doesn’t support commercial activity yet.

Still, Google and a growing number of other companies think it will transform computing by processing some important tasks millions of times faster. SoftBank Group’s giant new Vision fund is scouting for investments in this area, and IBM and Microsoft have been working on it for years, along with startup D-Wave Systems.

In 2014, Google unveiled an effort to develop its own quantum computers. Earlier this year, it said the system would prove its “supremacy” – a theoretical test to perform on par, or better than, existing supercomputers – by the end of 2017. One of the presentation slides viewed by Bloomberg repeated this prediction.

Quantum computers are bulky beasts that require special care, such as deep refrigeration, so they’re more likely to be rented over the internet than bought and put in companies’ own data centers. If the machines end up being considerably faster, that would be a major competitive advantage for a cloud service. Google rents storage by the minute. In theory, quantum machines would trim computing times drastically, giving a cloud service a huge effective price cut. Google’s cloud offerings currently trail those of Amazon and Microsoft.

Earlier this year, IBM’s cloud business began offering access to quantum computers. In May, it added a 17 qubit prototype quantum processor to the still-experimental service. Google has said it is producing a machine with 49 qubits, although it’s unclear whether this is the computer being offered over the internet to outside users.

Experts see that benchmark as more theoretical than practical. “You could do some reasonably-sized damage with that — if it fell over and landed on your foot,” said Seth Lloyd, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Useful applications, he argued, will arrive when a system has more than 100 qubits.

Yet Lloyd credits Google for stirring broader interest. Now, there are quantum startups “popping up like mushrooms,” he said.

One is Rigetti Computing, which has netted more than $69 million from investors to create the equipment and software for a quantum computer. That includes a “Forest” cloud service, released in June, that lets companies experiment with its nascent machinery.

Founder Chad Rigetti sees the technology becoming as hot as AI is now, but he won’t put a timeline on that. “This industry is very much in its infancy,” he said. “No one has built a quantum computer that works.”

The hope in the field is that functioning quantum computers, if they arrive, will have a variety of uses such as improving solar panels, drug discovery or even fertilizer development. Right now, the only algorithms that run on them are good for chemistry simulations, according to Robin Blume-Kohout, a technical staffer at Sandia National Laboratories, which evaluates quantum hardware.

A separate branch of theoretical quantum computing involves cryptography – ways of transferring data with much better security than current machines. MIT’s Lloyd discussed these theories with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin more than a decade ago at a conference. The pair were fascinated and the professor recalls detailing a way to apply quantum cryptography so people could do a Google search without revealing the query to the company.

A few years later, when Lloyd ran into Page and Brin again, he said he pitched them on the idea. After checking with the business side of Google, the founders said they weren’t interested because the company’s ad-serving systems relied on knowing what searches people do, Lloyd said. “Now, seven or eight years down the line, maybe they’d be a bit more receptive,” he added.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Xiaomi Mi 5X Launch Set for July 26, Confirmed to Feature Dual Rear Cameras, MIUI 9

Xiaomi Mi 5X Launch Set for July 26, Confirmed to Feature Dual Rear Cameras, MIUI 9

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xiaomi confirms Mi 5X will be launched on July 26
  • It will come with dual cameras with dual LED flash module
  • It’s expected to be priced around CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 19,000)

Xiaomi will launch the Mi 5X, another variant for its successful Mi 5 smartphone after the Xiaomi Mi 5c, on July 26. The smartphone was leaked earlier this week in a multitude of promotional images, revealing its design, features, and specifications in abundance. Now, the Xiaomi has confirmed that the Xiaomi Mi 5X will be unveiled at an event slated to be held in China. Besides, the smartphone will come with Android 7.0 Nougat-based MIUI 9, which was earlier confirmed by the company to be released before August 16.

The Xiaomi Mi 5X will be unveiled on July 26, according to a teaser posted by Xiaomi on its Weibo account. The teaser contains an image showing actor Kris Wu holding the device that has a dual rear camera setup along with a dual-LED flash module, and at the centre sits the fingerprint scanner. According to the previous leaks, the Xiaomi Mi 5X is alleged to sport a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. It is said to be powered by the Snapdragon 625 SoC paired with 4GB of RAM. On the design part, it is likely to ape the iPhone 7 Plus and come in Black, Gold, and Rose Gold colour options.

As we mentioned, the Xiaomi Mi 5X will launch with MIUI 9 out-of-the-box. The MIUI 9 is Xiaomi’s next mobile OS iteration that will come with a design overhaul and Android Nougat. Xiaomi recently enlisted the number of devices that will be getting MIUI 9, which is slated to arrive by August 16. Talking about the pricing, the Xiaomi Mi 5X is rumoured to cost around CNY 1,999 or roughly Rs. 19,000.

Xiaomi India on Tuesday launched the Mi Max 2 in India at a price of Rs. 16,999. The Xiaomi Mi Max 2 comes with a huge 6.44-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display, 5300mAh battery, and 4GB RAM, and is the successor of the Mi Max that was launched last year. The Mi Max 2’s rear camera sports a 12-megapixel Sony IMX386 sensor with PDAF and dual-LED flash. On the front, it sports a 5-megapixel camera. The inbuilt storage is expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). Connectivity options include 4G VoLTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac , GPS/ A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.2, infrared, a 3.5mm audio jack, and a USB Type-C port.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]