Signal is a secure encrypted messaging app. Think of it as a more private alternative to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Skype, iMessage, and SMS. Here’s why you should seriously consider switching to Signal. Why Signal Is Special Signal is available for Android, iPhone, and iPad. There’s also a Signal desktop client for Windows, Mac, and Linux. To join, all you need is a phone number. It’s free. The user experience of Signal is just like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and other popular chat apps. It’s a messaging app with features like one-to-one messages, groups, stickers, photos, file transfers, voice calls, and even video calls. You can have group chats with up to 1000 people and group calls with up to eight people . Signal isn’t owned by a big tech company. Instead, Signal is developed by a non-profit foundation and is funded by donations . Unlike Facebook, Signal’s owners aren’t even trying to make money. Signal doesn’t try to gather a bunch of data on you or show … [Read more...] about What Is Signal, and Why Is Everyone Using It?
CES looked a bit different this year after going all-digital, but that didn’t stop companies from unveiling new products. After careful deliberation, the How-To Geek and Review Geek teams have awarded the following 11 products with How-To Geek’s Best of CES 2021 awards. Before jumping into the awards, Review Geek has been hard at work covering all of the CES 2021 announcements that you need to know about. Head on over there if you’ve missed anything from the internationally renowned trade show. Best in Show: Kensington StudioDock In order to stand out from everything announced at CES 2021 and win Best in Show, a product needs to make an entrance. The Kensington StudioDock did just that, causing most of the team to say, “I want that.” Using the StudioDock in conjunction with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, you can turn your iPad Pro or Air into an iPadOS iMac. Use the two built-in wireless chargers and the optional Apple Watch charger (which is coming soon) and … [Read more...] about Best of CES 2021: The Top Products Coming This Year
You might think that switching from Facebook Messenger to old-fashioned text messages would help protect your privacy. But standard SMS text messages aren’t very private or secure. SMS is like fax —an old, outdated standard that refuses to go away. Your Cellular Carrier Can See Your SMS Messages With SMS, messages you send are not end-to-end encrypted. Your cellular provider can see the contents of messages you send and receive. Those messages are stored on your cellular provider’s systems—so, instead of a tech company like Facebook seeing your messages, your cellular provider can see your messages. Cellular carriers store the contents of those messages for various amounts of time . Messages are often only retained for several days, but they store metadata (which number sent a message to which number, and at what time) for even longer. These records could be subject to subpoena in legal proceedings—for example, text message records are a common form of evidence in divorce … [Read more...] about Why SMS Text Messages Aren’t Private or Secure
On February 1, 1991, John Romero, John Carmack, Tom Hall, and Adrian Carmack officially founded id Software. The group went on to revolutionize the game industry with franchises such as Wolfenstein , Doom , and Quake . Here’s a look back at id Software over the last 30 years, with a little help from those legendary developers. id Software: The House That Keen Built The story of id Software began in the late 1980s, when John Carmack, John Romero, Adrian Carmack (no relation to John), and Tom Hall developed games for a mail-order disk magazine company called Softdisk , located in Shreveport, Louisiana. After John Carmack devised a breakthrough scrolling technique for PC games in mid-1990, Hall, Romero, and Carmack created a new platform game— Commander Keen —based on the technology while secretly moonlighting at Softdisk. Soon the talented group began communicating with Scott Miller of Apogee Software , a pioneering shareware publisher. After some … [Read more...] about From Keen to Doom: id Software’s Founders Talk 30 Years of Gaming History
When it comes to smartphone cameras, it’s not all about the hardware anymore. Modern smartphones automatically use “computational photography” techniques to improve every single photo you take. Using Software to Improve Your Smartphone Camera Computational photography is a broad term for loads of different techniques that use software to enhance or extend the capabilities of a digital camera . Crucially, computational photography starts with a photo and ends with something that still looks like a photo (even if it could never be taken with a regular camera.) How Traditional Photography Works Before going any deeper, let’s quickly go over what happens when you take a photo with an old film camera. Something like the SLR you (or your parents) used back in the ’80s. When you click the shutter-release button, the shutter opens for a fraction of a second and lets light hit the film. All the light is focused by a physical lens that determines how everything in the photo will … [Read more...] about How Computational Photography Improves Smartphone Photos
Last week we took a look at some of the basics to installing and upgrading a hard disk in your PC. This week, we’re going to look at the many problems that pop up when install a new drive. Installing a disk is one of the easier upgrades you can perform, but it’s not without its headaches. In this edition of Hardware Upgrade, we’ll try and quickly squash as many common problems that we can. If you’re currently having trouble with a hard drive installation, or have solved problems in the past, tell us about them in the comments, so that other readers can share your experience as well. And if you missed the first part of this two part article, you might want to check it out before reading this one. Check And Prepare The New Drive As we discussed in part one, your drive will likely be one of two basic types: a IDE (also known as PATA) drive, or a SATA drive. If you’re upgrading a particularly old system, your machine might have issues with SATA drives—issues that can’t be … [Read more...] about Hardware Upgrade: How To Install A New Hard Drive, Pt 2, Troubleshooting