tech and geek stuff
Curvature Pen Tool coming to Photoshop
Anyone who's tried to make a complex selection in Photoshop, especially if there are sweeping curves involved, will know what a powerful tool the Pen Tool is. It's a bit of a dark art to master though,...
Getting hook bending off the hook
Bending of a hook into wire to fish for the handle of a basket by crow Betty 15 years ago stunned the scientific world. Cognitive biologists studied tool making in an Indonesian cockatoo. Other than crows,...
AI uses bitcoin trail to find and help sex-trafficking victims
Follow the moneyAPA-PictureDesk GmbH/REX/Shutterstock By Timothy RevellAfter Kubiiki Pride’s 13-year-old daughter disappeared, it took 270 days for her mother to find her. When she did, it was as an escort...
Google to ask users who search ‘clinical depression’: Are you depressed?
Google is rolling out a tool that will prompt U.S. users searching for “clinical depression” to take a self-assessment. Story continues below A screen will ask users to “check if you’re clinically depressed,”...
Turning human waste into plastic, nutrients could aid long-distance space travel
Imagine you're on your way to Mars, and you lose a crucial tool during a spacewalk. Not to worry, you'll simply re-enter your spacecraft and use some microorganisms to convert your urine and exhaled carbon...
The best free back to school software 2017
With students everywhere preparing to head back to school and college, it's time to make sure you and your kids are prepared with all the essentials for the coming term or semester.Whatever the subject...
Find your next must-play game by flying through a virtual galaxy
Just so many stellar releases to choose fromFrederic J. Brown/AFP/GettyBy Douglas HeavenThe constellations spin dizzyingly, 15,000 stars against the blackness. Click, zoom in, and individual dots pop...
Iolo System Mechanic
CCleaner might be the biggest name in PC maintenance, but it’s not the only tool that promises to clean up unnecessary files and give your machine a performance boost. Iolo System MechanicDownload here:...
Paint.NET is a powerful, easy-to-use image editor that offers features similar to those that you’ll find in Adobe Photoshop and GIMP.Paint.NET features layers, enabling you to edit specific areas of your...
PhotoScapePhotoScape There are many great free image editors out there – GIMP and Paint.NET among them – so can PhotoScape differentiate itself from the crowd? The answer is a resounding yes. Why you...
WikiLeaks: CIA tools could infiltrate MacBooks, iPhones
Armed with a fresh set of leaked documents, WikiLeaks said Thursday that the US Central Intelligence Agency has developed tools to infect Apple products like iPhones and MacBooks.The tools, which date...
The best free software for writers 2017
Plan and write without distractionsThe best free software for writers1. FocusWriter2. WriteMonkey3. Celtx4. LibreOffice Writer5. SigilRead on for our detailed analysis of each programWriters tend to make...
Nvidia releases FRAPS-like tool for benchmarking and analyzing VR performance
reader comments 2 Share this story The FCAT VR tool can be used to get a detailed picture of your system's VR performance in specific games. Nvidia Like FRAPS or the standard FCAT, data is spit out in...
Helpful(?) coding tips from the CIA’s school of hacks
Enlarge / The logo of the CIA's Engineering Development Group (EDG), the home of the spy agency's malware and espionage tool developers. reader comments 13 Share this story There are thousands of files...
Uber’s “Greyball” tool helped company evade authorities in Portland, Paris
EnlargeOli Scarff/Getty Images reader comments 23 Share this story Uber has been using a tool called “Greyball” to identify authorities in markets where the ride-hailing service is curtailed or outright...
How Uber used secret Greyball tool to deceive authorities worldwide
The program, which involves a tool called Greyball, uses data collected from Uber's app and other techniques to identify and circumvent officials. Uber used these to evade authorities in cities such as...
The best free anti-ransomware tools 2017
Free anti-ransomware toolsThere are two main types of ransomware: the kind that encrypts your files (and sometimes threaten to delete them), and the kind that locks you out completely by preventing you...
AP, Other Media Ask Judge to Order Release of iPhone Records
The Associated Press and two other news organizations asked a judge Monday to force the federal government to reveal how much it paid for a tool to unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, California,...
Pinterest's new visual search tool uses camera lens instead of text
Pinterest today introduced Lens, a new visual search tool that uses machine vision to detect objects in the real world and suggest related items on the service. Lens, which is now in beta, is a tool inside...
Twitter is being used in classes to help students learn Arabic
Can tweeting in Arabic help you learn the language?Etabeta/Alamy Stock PhotoBy Nicole KobieTwitter can sometimes feel like a language of its own, but one lecturer is using the social media site as a tool...
Ants craft tiny sponges to dip into honey and carry it home
Soaking up a liquid lunchJ. Coelho/CC-BYBy Kata KaráthAnts may be smarter than we give them credit for. Tool use is seen as something brainy primates and birds do, but even the humble ant can choose the...
Developers tell Facebook: This is how you fight fake news
Outside developers are taking Facebook’s fake news problem into their own hands — adding pressure on the company to act faster to address a well-documented problem that critics say contaminated political...
Top 6 best PC system tuning tools for business
Note: Our best PC tuning tools round-up has been fully updated. This feature was first published in November 2012.As soon as you take your shiny new PC out of the box and switch the machine on, it starts...
Google Introduces a New Version of Its Sites Web Page Tool
New features in Google Sites make it easier for enterprises to create project web or wikis sites and distribute content internally, the company says. Google this week introduced a completely revamped...
Microsoft Trolls Small Biz With Outlook CRM Tool
Microsoft this week introduced Outlook Customer Manager, a new cloud-based tool that aims to help its small businesses clients stay on top of their customer relationships. The new service organizes everything...
Raw Masterclass: IntroductionYou've probably heard of it, even read about it too. But what is this mysterious thing called 'raw'?Raw files are simply a type of image file produced by cameras. They contain...
Media outlets sue FBI for details on iPhone hacking tool
Gannett, the parent company of USA Today, and Vice Media LLC joined the complaint with the AP, seeking to learn more about the mysterious transaction that cut short a legal dispute in which the government...
Crows are first animals spotted using tools to carry objects
Not so birdbrainedAuscape/Universal Images Group/GettyBy Agata Blaszczak-BoxeNew Caledonian crows have figured out how to move two things in one fell swoop. The adept tool users have been filmed inserting...
Review: Download review: PhotoScape review
PhotoScape is primarily a photo editor, but this label doesn't really do it justice - there is much more to it than basic retouching. There's also an image viewer, a batch editing function, a built in...
Well-travelled chimps more likely to pick up tools and innovate
Find the honeyAndrew Bernard/Kibale National Park, UgandaBy Colin BarrasSpot a tool-using chimpanzee in Uganda’s Budongo Forest, and you could probably say it’s come a long way – in more ways than one....
Criminals plant banking malware where victims least expect it
reader comments 3 Share this story A criminal gang recently found an effective way to spread malware that drains online bank accounts. According to a blog post published Monday, they bundled the malicious...
New Google Tool Helps With Voter Registration
A new Google tool can help users get detailed state-by-state information on how to register to vote for the November elections. Google is offering help to individuals looking for information on registering...
New tool to measure polarization of light
Researchers have developed a new tool for detecting and measuring the polarization of light based on a single spatial sampling of the light, rather than the multiple samples required by previous technologies....
To tool or not to tool? Clever cockatoos make economic decisions about tool use
Cognitive biologists studied tool-related decisionmaking in an Indonesian cockatoo. They found that the animals seemed to carefully ponder about their choices: while doing so the animals scrutinized details...
This experimental Windows 10 feature will rid your computer of preinstalled apps
Annoying pre-installed software (aka bloatware) isn't just annoying; it can be a security disaster waiting to happen. Bloatware has been a problem for the Windows operating system for a long time, but...
Microsoft tests new tool to remove OEM crapware
Windows 10 already includes ways to clear out applications and data to repair misbehaving systems or prepare them to be sold, courtesy of the Refresh and Reset features added in Windows 8. Microsoft is...
The $1b tool keeping you transfixed
Netflix studied the habits of its customers worldwide to determine which shows viewers like to binge watch and which ones take more time to digest. Some of the results might be surprising. Photo: Getty...
Round up: The best free tools for anonymous browsing 2016
Anonymous browsing softwareAnonymous browsingOnline privacy is a hot topic, with even world leaders weighing in on the subject. Many of the big-name websites and companies will track your activities to...
Round up: The best free software for writing 2016
The best free writing softwareBetter than Microsoft WordWriters tend to make a very big deal of their tools, whether those tools are delicate pens or ancient typewriters. Increasingly, though, they'll...
New Google Tool Tests Mobile Performance of Websites
In addition to helping Website owners assess how fast and friendly their sites are on mobile devices, the tool offers fixes as well. Google has released a new tool that it says lets Website owners test...
Black Duck's Free Tool Digs Out Open Source Bugs
Black Duck Software this week released Security Checker, a free tool based on the company's Hub open source security solution. Security Checker is a drag-and-drop, Web-based tool that allows users to determine...
No more get-out-of-jail-free card for CryptXXX ransomware victims
Aurich LawsonFor the past month, people infected with the CryptXXX ransomware had a way to recover their files without paying the hefty $500 fee to obtain the decryption key. On Tuesday, that reprieve...
Gifs.com launches a new tool to augment your animated gifs
The team who brought you gifyoutube.com is back. Having been part of gifs.com for a while, their new tool still lets you convert many video formats into gifs but adds a host of functions to your...
Twitter Rolls Out Tool to Combat Online Abuse
Twitter says it’s making it easier for users to report abusive tweets. The social media company boasts some 320 million users, but has come under fire for not taking online abuse seriously. The new tool...
Facebook adds Hindi transliteration feature on Android app: Here’s how it works
Comments By: Tech Desk | Updated: April 25, 2016 3:21 pm Facebook has a new transliteration tool, which will let Android users type directly in Hindi. Facebook Android users will now be able to type in...
Opera browser, sought by Chinese buyers, embeds anti-censorship tool
BEIJING (Reuters) - Norwegian online browser and advertising firm Opera Software ASA has embedded a tool aimed at circumventing censorship into its latest desktop app, potentially complicating a bid for...
Capital One open sources Cloud Custodian AWS resource management tool
Capital One is a huge organization with lots of compliance issues related to being a financial services company. It also happens to be an Amazon Web Services customer and it needed a tool to set...
Got a minute? That's how long it takes MIT's Web app to find a bug
If you've got a minute, you've got enough time to find bugs in your Ruby on Rails-based Web application. It's not because you're necessarily oh so adept at debugging your own code (though you may be),...
How to unlock files encrypted by Petya ransomware for free
The cybersecurity community has struck a fresh blow against ransomware with the release of a new tool which decrypts files locked through the Petya ransomware family. The spread of ransomware through...
Reddit's Blocking Tool Balances Free Speech With Right to Ignore
Reddit this week announced that it has extended the reach of its blocking tool, which was introduced in 2011 to let users fight harassment. The tool previously focused on blocking private messages; now...
Facebook's new tool lets the blind 'see' photos
Facebook has launched a new tool to help the blind and visually impaired help "see" images on its site.While a number of assistive technologies are already available to help the blind read the...
Facebook tool helps blind users 'see' photos
Facebook is rolling out a new tool that helps users with visual impairments "see" photos by describing what's in them.(Photo: Christopher Schodt, USA TODAY) SAN FRANCISCO — A new Facebook tool will help...
Facebook’s tool to help the blind “see” images just launched for iOS
Facebook has launched a tool, Automatic Alternative Text, for blind and visually impaired people to “see” images on the site. For people using screen readers to identify what’s...
Facebook's Safety Check malfunctions after Pakistan bombing - CNET
Facebook apologized after its automatic Safety Check tool asked people thousands of miles from a terrorist bombing about their well being. Facebook Facebook activated its Safety Check tool to help people...
Top Android news of the week: Supreme Court; Kernel patches; Accessibility tool
Security update fixes kernel vulnerabilityGoogle has released a security update that addresses a kernel vulnerability exposing it to hackers. The update allows systems to detect if affected apps are installed....
Review: Chain Monkey takes the guesswork out of motorcycle chain adjustment
It's dirty work, adjusting motorcycle chains. At least, it is on my bike, which gets cleaned exactly as often as it rains. There's also a bit of back and forth trying to get the right amount of chain...
Elliptic takes in $5M for its blockchain forensics tool
UK fintech startup Elliptic has pulled in a $5 million Series A round to keep building out its blockchain forensics tool. Its transaction-tracing technology mines the public Bitcoin ledger to identify...
If Apple cooperates with FBI, iPhone leaks grow far likelier
Suppose Apple loses its court fight with the FBI and has to produce a software tool that would help agents hack into an iPhone — specifically, a device used by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters....
An iPhone-hacking tool likely wouldn't stay secret for long
NEW YORK (AP) — Suppose Apple loses its court fight with the FBI and has to produce a software tool that would help agents hack into an iPhone — specifically, a device used by one of the San Bernardino...
Adobe launches Experience Design CC, a new tool for UX designers
Adobe today launched the first public preview of its new Experience Design CC tool, which was previously known as Project Comet. Experience Design CC is the company’s first tool that is purpose-built...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark