25.June 2018 NEW YORKNow54°F

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Jim BevinJune 25, 2018
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2min20

The internet is full of freebies; if you know where to look, that is. You might get surprised at how much free stuff is being offered online. There are actually a lot of websites that offer various free items, but you also need to be cautious since there are also a lot of scammers out there in the digital world.

Why are Things being Offered for Free?

There can be several reasons why users choose to offer free items on the Internet. It could be done as part of a marketing campaign, or simply because of a phenomenon called “Freecycling”. Freecycling is centered on the idea that many people have used items that are still useful but aren’t being used.

Instead of throwing them away and wasting their usefulness, the owners of those things offer them to the general public for free.

Freecycling: Is it Safe?

Dealing with a stranger on the Internet can be pretty risky, so it is always advised to proceed with care. It also wouldn’t hurt to use some common sense when you’re transacting with someone you haven’t met before.

Of course, you can always deal with your used and surplus items by donating them or giving them to somewhere like The Salvation Army. Evidently, it is a much safer way than Freecycling.

Top 5 Trustworthy Websites and Apps with Freecycling Offers

In this article, you will learn about some of the most trustworthy websites and apps that offer free stuff, whether you’re hunting for a certain book or a used cabinet.

So, without much further ado, here are the websites and mobile applications that you can turn to in finding the best Freecycling offer.

  1. Craigslist

Craigslist is an American classified advertisement website that has various sections from jobs to housing and for sale items and services. It has a mixed reputation, so users are advised to use caution and a bit of common sense when interacting with total strangers. Among other things, it is a great source of Freecycling offers.

  1. Yerdle

Yerdle is a smartphone app-based service for trading used goods. It is created and managed by a San Francisco-based company with the same name. Yerdle describes itself as the “people-powered store”. The main idea of the company is so unique in that the more stuff you give away, the more credits you earn. You can then use these credits to purchase things that interest you in Yerdle without having to use the money. It is truly one unique Freecycling experience.

  1. FreeStuff.com

FreeStuff.com gives people access to some free samples of common household items, varying from laundry detergent to cosmetics and shampoo. It lets people save money on many items and lets them try out new brands for free.

  1. FreeSamples.org

FreeSamples.org is a portal that gives people access to different free product offers, ranging from household products to coupons for products and local restaurants. It is highly advised to visit the portal every day since offers are being updated daily.

  1. The Freecycle Network

The Freecycle Network, also known as TFN or simply Freecycle, is a nonprofit organization that is registered in Arizona and as a charity in the UK. Freecycle is made up of almost seven million members worldwide. Its objective is to keep usable items out of landfills. Membership is free.

Freecycling is a great way to get “junk” off of your hands without the need to pay someone to pick it up.  Over time we all tend to have useless “things” that accumulate in our living space, things that we are illogically attached to.  Hoarding is a major problem for many of us and Freecycling can offer a great way to clean out some space for a clean state of mind.  And of course, what is the sweetest part about Freecycling?  You can pick up free inventory and sell it!  Just put aside some storage/warehouse space and like magic, you have free inventory to resell all over the world.


AdminJune 24, 2018
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2min360

When buying a Wi-Fi router, one should prioritize strong network security; however, most people tend to neglect that part.

Ultimately, people generally care about the speed of internet connection and the range that the router can cover. Sadly, these two things eclipse the most important part.

Importance of Keeping Your Wi-Fi Network Secure

For those who aren’t familiar with the term, network security is the protection of access, misuse, and hacking of files and libraries in a computer network system. One of its important aspects is multi-layered security.

Networks with weak security come across several threats, which include but not limited to viruses, worms, spyware, adware, and identity theft.

So, it is particularly important to remember that your Wi-Fi network doesn’t just cover your house or office. It could also possibly extend over 200 feet through the air. If you aren’t prioritizing your network security, you might risk other people gaining access to it.

Drawbacks of Having Weak Network Security

When you have weak network security, people can maliciously connect to your wireless router or network and can cause theft or damage to your system.

For example, one of the things that can happen is that person can view all the files on your computer or other devices and spread a virus. Someone could also monitor all the websites that you visit, copy your usernames and passwords, and read all your emails as they travel through the network.

On top of all this, a hacker could also choose to slow down your device and the Internet connection speed. The worst thing that could happen is that someone could send spam emails and/or perform illegal activities using your Internet connection, such as downloading or uploading child pornography.

Therefore, it is extremely vital that you take preventive measures in securing your devices while protecting your network at the same time.

Strengthening Your Network Security

Most individuals, as well as companies, go to great lengths to make sure that unauthorized users cannot gain access to their Wi-Fi Network. However, since Wi-Fi signals are frequently broadcasted throughout the immediate area, hackers feel enticed to get access.

Below you will read about tips and best practices that you can make use of to ensure that your router, as well as your internet gadgets, stay safe.

First, make sure that your router is updated with the latest firmware. Get your router’s IP address and jot it down and store it somewhere safe. Access your router’s web dashboard by entering the router’s IP address into a web browser and check the latest firmware version. If there is an available update, install it and let the router restart. Repeat this step every three to six months.

Second, set a unique username and password. When setting up your router, make sure to use the unique and memorable username and passwords. The problem with weak usernames and passwords is that anyone within range of your router could log in and change its settings, which could potentially open up your network to the outside world.

Third, replace your router every few years. It is strongly recommended that you change your router every three to five years. Some routers are occasionally being discontinued by manufacturers, who stop supporting them with firmware updates, which in turn leaves the routers vulnerable to future cyber threats.

The best way to check this is to look up your router on the manufacturer’s website and try to learn about its firmware releases. If there is no recent update, the router has probably been discontinued.

Other things you could do is to use Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), check for rogue Wi-Fi Access Points, and make a separate network available for guests.


AdminJune 24, 2018
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2min370

A Web browser, also called a browser, serves as your window and acts as your access point to the World Wide Web. They are a tool used to search for various sites, and they display the site you see in the window. Therefore, it is very important to choose the best browser when you are surfing on the Internet. However, some people sometimes overlook the importance of the browser.

In this article, you will learn about different Web browsers and their features that make each of them distinctive.

Advantages and Importance of Choosing the Right Web Browser

Before we discuss the advantages and importance of choosing the right Web browser, I want to make sure that you are not mistaking a Web browser from a search engine.

A Web browser is used to access various sites and Web pages, whereas a search engine is used to search for something specific using certain keywords. However, both of them are software applications.

The first advantage we have on our list is Web standards. Web standards form the foundation of the Web publishing. Basically, they are technical specifications that determine the methods for building and designing websites. It is important for websites and Web browsers to follow the same set of rules to accomplish a universal uniformity of appearance.

Second is browser compatibility. It is closely related to the previous element since both websites and Web browsers would need to follow the same Web standards for them to be compatible. Third, we have browser development. Through web development, browsers reach their full potential by developing standards, protocols, and guidelines. And last we have browser qualities. A browser can have several qualities, but the most important one is the ability to load Web pages quickly no matter how complex the content is.

Features that Make Each Web Browser Unique

Although most Web browsers function the same way, there are bound to be features that can only be found on a specific browser. Of course, given how quickly browsers are being updated these days, it isn’t surprising to find that the best features of one browser are copied by their competitors.

For Google Chrome, they have SPDY, a protocol that Google has created to fight their browser’s slowness. Currently, Chrome is the only one working with SPDY-enabled websites. They also have a separate process for each tab. This ensures that when one Web page goes down, the OS cuts off the danger, which ensures that the other tabs are still working fine.

For Firefox, they have deep extensions. All the other major browsers have a plug-in structural design, but only Firefox provides a deep, sophisticated API. They also have cross-browser sync, which means that all the work you’ve done on one device can be synced into other devices. Most browsers offer to sync in only one direction.

For IE 9, they have their emphasis on energy efficiency. Measuring browser energy consumption is a new idea, which Microsoft is leading, claiming that IE9 is the most energy-efficient browser. IE9 also have jump lists and site pinning.

For Safari, they have easy user agent alterations. In this instance, the name of the browser in every page request is considered as the “user agent”. Safari lets you change the name of the browser by providing a submenu that offers a wide range of user agent strings.

And for Opera, they have email integration. Opera 11 offers its users the ability to supervise their emails while they are browsing. They also offer proxy caching; it allows browsers to fetch data from Opera’s collection of servers, which will result in data being delivered faster and it is customized only for Opera.

The Final Assessment

The right Web browser can make a huge difference in your everyday browsing, whether your main concern is better security, faster performance, or more flexibility by the use of downloadable extensions.

Here is the final list of the best Web browser, highlighting their pros and cons.

First on our list is Mozilla Firefox. Firefox offers very fast online browsing, and it’s also light on system resources, as well as its strong privacy tools. Mozilla made its biggest update and that’s what made their browser so impressive.

Second, we have Google Chrome. Chrome also offers fast performance, and it’s infinitely expandable. However, it is quite resource-hungry. It’s one of the heaviest browsers in terms of its use of resources.

Third, we have Opera. Opera has an excellent turbo mode as well as an integrated ad-blocker. However, it has fewer plug-in than its rival browsers. Opera is an underrated browser that proves to be a great choice for those with slow connections.

Fourth, we have Microsoft Edge. Edge provides very fast performance, hammering through benchmarks. Its integrated reading mode makes complex sites more pleasant. The only downsides are its subpar library of extensions and it’s few features, which doesn’t really help it stand out.

Lastly, we have Internet Explorer. What’s great about IE9 is it makes frugal use of resources, and it has a clean design. The greatest drawback is that it has poor plug-in support. It won’t be able to offer you a more customized browsing experience like Chrome and Firefox can, for instance.


AdminJune 21, 2018
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1min450

After facing one scandal after another, Facebook, one of the largest social networking websites with 2.2 billion users worldwide, is adding more safeguard measures to protect their users from sexual predators and cyberbullies, among other things.

The company made this decision to quell the public’s outcry and to address the various critical issues of internet safety today. Nowadays, with the various social media platforms available, it is hard to track and ensure the safety of children on the Internet. With these new safeguard measures, Facebook is opening a new door for social networking safety.

Safeguarding Users from Bullies and Predators

Facebook is banning convicted sex offenders from the website. Additionally, they will regulate older users’ capacity to search other users under the age of 18.

“The agreement marks another watershed step toward social networking safety, protecting kids from online predators and inappropriate content,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

Chris Kelly, Facebook’s Chief Privacy Officer, also said, “Building a safe and trusted online experience has been part of Facebook starting from its conceptualization. The attorney generals have shown great leadership in aid to address the critical issues with regard to internet safety. We applaud them for all of their efforts in continuing to set high standards for all internet users.”

Working Hand in Hand to Protect Young Internet Users

The attorney generals have been working with two of the largest social networking websites, Facebook and MySpace, for months in order to establish tighter controls.

“Social networking sites, which encourage teenagers to come to their website, have a responsibility to keep those kids safe,” said Roy Cooper, an Attorney General from North Carolina. “We have already two of the largest social networking websites agreeing to take significant steps to protect the children from predators and pornography.”

Changes Being Considered for this Safeguard Measure

There were a lot of changes proposed so as to maintain a level of security in compliance with the new safeguard measures. Facebook agreed to a number of changes to ensure that they would do their part and to ensure internet safety, not only for children but for other users as well.

First, they will guarantee that companies offering their services on the site will comply with its safety and privacy guidelines. Second, they will keep tobacco and alcohol ads from users who are too young to purchase those products. Third, they will delete groups or users whose comments and images indicate that they may positively involve incest, pedophilia, bullying, or other inappropriate content. Fourth, they will be sending messages as warnings when a child is in danger of giving out personal information to an adult. And lastly, they will assess and re-assess users’ profiles when they ask to change their age, which would ensure that the update is legitimate and is not intended to let adults pretend that they are children.

“We are going into a new age in social networking safety,” said Blumenthal. “This

the agreement is open-ended in picturing advances in technology that will permit even stronger steps in the future toward protecting children’s safety.”


AdminJune 20, 2018
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1min680

Twitter has recently announced that it will put more live news events in your timeline and notifications, which may include live videos. It might also send users customized push notifications on events that they may be interested in.

Twitter’s new feature will save you the hassle of finding new accounts to follow in order to keep up with current news and events. They are designed to help users find the best and most relevant tweets for current or ongoing live events, like a basketball game or breaking news.

Twitter is also currently trying out topic tabs in its “Explore” tab. It is reconstructing the Explore tab to focus on these new features. There are new sections focused on different interests: Trending, a customized “For You” tab, and more specific content areas, such as News and Sports.

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What is the Feature About?

The foundation of the redesign is a new screen that comes with a few interesting elements. Frequently, there will be a live video at the top, which is followed by a brief summary of the event. Below the live video, you will see tweets grouped into different categories: first, and possibly the most important, is “Recap”, which will most likely get you caught up on what you might have missed and gives you a detailed summary of the event. Second is “Latest”, which will be a list of more recent tweets. Later on, there may be other tabs that will be added, which will include one that is called “Top Commentary”.

This idea aims to bring the masses something that power users of Twitter already know how to do, which is to find the best tweets through searching and following the right accounts. So, during an unexpected calamity, for instance, you might not know which users to follow, but Twitter does and will show you the relevant tweets.

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Ensuring the Prevention of Fake News

Since we are talking about “news” on a “social media” platform, it is unavoidable to think about the credibility of the news being shown on this new feature.

Joanna Geary, the Director of Curation at Twitter, ensures that fake news and abuse from users will be prevented. Geary said that the new feature will not be the same thing as hashtags on Twitter; although relevant tweets may be included, as long as hashtags are used appropriately.

The content of these screens will come mostly from tweets chosen by a combination of computer algorithms and human curators. Whether a push alert will be sent or not will also depend on both computer algorithms and human curators.

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Will this be a New Direction for Twitter?

Keith Coleman, Vice President of Product, says that this new feature does not mean a new direction for Twitter, but rather it is an evolution of a direction that the company has been going towards for such a long time now. Coleman says that the company’s aim is to be the “bird” on your shoulder that tells you what you need to know.

“It’s part of a much bigger strategy for us,” Coleman says. “This is going to be a much longer arc in the transformation of Twitter.”


AdminJune 19, 2018
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2min560

In late May Facebook admitted to an extremely embarrassing bug. It was one that let 14 million online users share their posts in public, even if they had previously chosen a more restricted option, such as “friends of friends”. Users who may have been affected were alerted on the site’s newsfeed.

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A Privacy Bug was Discovered

The bug, which was said to have automatically changed the users’ privacy setting, was active between May 18 and May 27. Although Facebook was able to stop the error on May 22, they could not make the posts revert to their previous settings until five days later.

To serve as a warning, the company sent a notification to the 14 million users that were affected. They had also set the users’ posts to the previously suggested setting.

Officially, Facebook disclosed that the bug, which was live last month, switched the suggested share setting on some users’ posts to the public setting. Facebook usually sets its suggestions for sharing based on users’ settings and previous activity; although in this instance, a software error caused the default setting to be set to public, regardless of whether users had previously chosen to share with only their circle of friends.

Facebook’s Position in This Scandal

According to Facebook, only four days worth of posts could have been accidentally shared, and the company has also adjusted the privacy settings back to private, too. So, to some extent, your secrets are safe, unless someone saw them, of course.

The company has fully expressed their regret and sympathy. Here is the full statement from Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan:

“We’d like to apologize for this mistake. We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their Facebook posts. We have fixed the issue. And starting today, we are letting everyone affected know and asking them to review any posts they made during

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that time. To be clear, this bug did not affect anything people had posted or shared before, and they could still select their viewers just as they always have.”

How Did Everything Start?

The company said that it was testing out a new feature, one that would suggest people share featured profile items publicly. Instead of that happening, Facebook accidentally set “public” as the default for posts, too. If users shared or made a post on Facebook during that time and didn’t notice that your default setting had changed, they would have broadcast it to the world.

This isn’t the first time that the company had made such a critical mistake. Recently, there was the Cambridge Analytica scandal that involves the collection of personally identifiable data of up to 87 million Facebook users and almost certainly a much greater number. It was considered as “inappropriate”, and Facebook apologized amid public outcry and fallen stock prices.  After a chain of scandals, especially after the Cambridge Analytica scandal, people are beginning to wonder whether it’s worth it to keep their Facebook accounts active. Facebook is also losing young users at a rapid pace. All these issues remind us of the life and death cycle of older social media networks such as MySpace. With all that said, the Facebook stock is going strong and is currently in an uptrend and Facebook itself is still a profit titan with over $40 billion US dollars in profit for 2017 alone. So as of this writing, it appears that the Facebook privacy bug has had little impact on Facebook since the incident occurred nearly a month ago.

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