Monday, March 27, 2017

Monthly Archives: November 2015

How To Share A USB Printer Over Your Network In Windows 10

Windows 10 has made both big and small changes to how things are done in the OS. Many features continue to work much the same way they did in older versions of Windows but almost as many things have changed. If you previously used a USB printer, sharing it with everyone over your network was pretty easy. All you had to do was go to the Share tab in the printer’s properties and share it with everyone. The share tab is gone in Windows 10 and how you share a USB printer in Windows 10 has changed. Here’s how to find the share option for sharing a USB printer over your network in Windows 10. Open the Control Panel app and go to Devices & Printers. Right-click the printer you want to share and select ‘See what’s printing’ from the context menu. This opens the printer’s jobs’ window where you can see all active and queued print jobs. Open the Printer menu and select Sharing. This opens the properties window for the printer and here you have a Share tab. Go to the Share tab and enable the ‘Share this printer’ option. You can enter a different name for the printer if you like. Click Apply and everyone on your network should now be able to send print jobs to the printer you just shared. This works for when you have multiple systems connected to the same WiFi network but are not necessarily part of the same home or work group. Why Microsoft chose to hide this little option like that is a mystery but rest assured if you don’t find an old setting, feature, or option in Windows 10, it’s not necessarily gone. It’s just moved. Read How To Share A USB Printer Over Your Network In Windows 10 by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

Why Are Websites Suddenly Asking Me To Save Cookies?

Cookies, not the chocolate chip kind, have long been a familiar term to anyone who uses the internet. It’s our general understanding that websites store cookies on our computer. Occasionally, someone will write about ‘privacy’ and ‘tracking’ concerns regarding these cookies upsetting people. The more naive ones, and even some of the sensible ones, will think they’ve accidentally installed a massive spying program on their computer and their every click is now being tracked. That’s not what cookies do. Storing cookies allows websites to remember preferences and retain browsing sessions. For example, if you start shopping on Amazon without logging into your account, and close the tab either accidentally or on purpose, when you next visit the site, the items you previously added to the shopping cart will still be there. Why? Because cookies. If you’re alright with websites saving cookies, then you might simply be wondering why there is a sudden need for your explicit agreement to saving them. The answer to that is a new law passed under the EU e-Privacy Directive. The law states; a person shall not store or gain access to information stored, in the terminal equipment of a subscriber or user unless the requirements of paragraph (2) are met. (2) The requirements are that the subscriber or user of that terminal equipment- (a) is provided with clear and comprehensive information about the purposes ofthe storage of, or access to, that information; and (b) has given his or her consent.Regulation 6 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) Here’s what the cookie consent pop-up might look like, and how it reads. The law basically means that when people visit a website that stores cookies in their browser, they must know that it is saving them. They must also know what the point of saving these cookies is, and they have to agree to it. There are exceptions to the law. When saving a cookie is absolutely necessary, i.e. without saving it you cannot use the website or service in question, the website doesn’t need to ask for your consent to save a cookie. It is assumed that you grant it by using the website or its service. For example; cookies needed to remember the things you’ve added to your shopping cart will be exempt as they are necessary to allow you to purchase an item. The good news is that first and third party ad tracking cookies are not exempt from the law and will require consent from the user to save to your browser. You can read the comprehensive directive issued by International Commissioner’s Office via the link at the end.The document gives a brief history of the law, defines terms and parties, and assists website owners and users alike regarding compliance. Read Guidance on the rules on use of cookies and similar technologies Read Why Are Websites Suddenly Asking Me To Save Cookies? by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

Reload Broken Images In Firefox Without Refreshing The Page

Internet Explorer gets slack for a lot of things; being too slow, being a security risk, not supporting CSS well, causing your system to slow down, causing WW 2, etc. I stopped using Internet Explorer years ago but I do remember one particular ‘feature’ that it had, that neither Chrome nor Firefox support. It was a feature that allowed you to reload a broken image and it was beyond helpful. Consider yourself going through a large photo album on Imgur of a really great DIY project and finding out that a few images didn’t load. The only thing you can do is refresh the page and wait for the images to download fresh. Image Context Menu is a Firefox add-on that adds a ‘reload’ option, among others, to the right-click context menu. With the add-on installed, you can individually reload broken images, or images that failed to download without reloading the whole page. Install Image Context Menu and browse away until you find a website or an Imgur album with lots of images. In the event that an image fails to load, right-click where it ought to have appeared and select ‘Reload image’ from the context menu. The add-on will load the image leaving everything else on that page untouched. The add-on also adds two more helpful options; Open Image in New Tab which is already present in Chrome by default, and Search Image on, which isn’t available on Chrome, that lets you reverse search an image on Google, Bing, and Yahoo. It also has a ‘reload all broken images’ option for when there are several broken images on a single page. Instead of right-clicking each one, simply right-click on an empty area of the page and select the reload all images option. Download Image Context Menu For Firefox Read Reload Broken Images In Firefox Without Refreshing The Page by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

How To Change Your Nickname In iOS Game Center

Game Center is an excellent feature in iOS that lets you challenge other players anywhere in the world. It’s because of this feature that games like Tall Chess and Letterpress are possible. The sheer joy of being able to challenge a random stranger to a game and to have someone to play with when your friends don’t like the same games as you do make it awesome. When you first create an Apple ID on a brand new iOS device, you are asked to set a Game Center account. The account is associated with your Apple ID so there isn’t any real setting up. All you have to do is select a nickname which is what other players see when they look at your profile. If you accidentally ended up with a typo in your nickname, or later decided you wanted a much better, cooler, and very serious one, here’s how you can change it. Open the Settings app and go to the Game Center preference. Scroll down to where it says ‘Game Center Profile’ and tap the name you see there. You will be taken to the Game Center profile page where you can edit your name under the Nickname field. It will warn you if you select a name that isn’t available. When you first set up a Game Center nickname, it tells you what characters you can’t use, however, it doesn’t do that when you’re editing it. So, just a little heads-up, no underscores. Tap ‘Done’ and the name will be updated in the Game Center app. Your gaming achievements remain untouched and you get the better, cooler, tougher name you wanted. Read How To Change Your Nickname In iOS Game Center by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

What Is The Difference Between An HDD And An SSD?

If you’re looking to build a PC, or perhaps ready to upgrade your laptop to a newer, faster, more powerful model, you will likely have to familiarize yourself with the major components that collectively contribute to its power. The components depend on your needs which may involve games, running heavy software, or watching movies and looking at cat pictures. If you were to start looking at pats of laptop models now, you will come across something somewhat new; SSD drives. For years now, laptops and desktop PCs have used HDD i.e. Hard Disk Drives but the changing market now has models that come with an SSD i.e. a Solid State Drive. If you’re wondering what the difference between the two is, this post breaks it down for you. SSD and HDD differ in a lot of ways but the one major difference between the two is their structure. An Hard Disk Drive is a mechanical device with spinning (i.e. moving) parts like the spindle, the platters carrying the disks, and the read/write head that moves over the disks to read and write data, among others. A Solid State Drive is simply a chip, or set of chips arranged together, depending on the capacity. There are no moving parts. An easy way to understand what it means to have no moving parts is to look at a USB. It has no read/write head, or even data disks. These two storage devices derive their names from their structural make-up. An HDD is a storage device with mechanical moving parts whereas an SSD is made up of chips. The structural differences aren’t the only difference though. Here’s a brief comparison between the two types of drives. Hard Disk Drive Solid State Drive Is significantly cheaper in comparison Is going to cost considerably more than an HDD. Even a USB of the same capacity will cost less. It’s safe to say that an SSD is one of the more expensive storage devices at present Overtime, and with larger files stored on an HDD, fragmentation can occur Fragmentation doesn’t occur on an SSD An HDD is more commonly available in lots of different capacities. An SSD is available in limited storage capacities and it isn’t available everywhere. An HDD can break i.e. shatter if you attempt to move your laptop or computer while the drive is still running. Although HDDs have become better, and more reliable, it is still prone to shattering due to its structure A solid state drive can’t shatter like an HDD. It’s not advisable that you smash it with a hammer and expect it to survive but you don’t need to worry about it breaking. An HDD is noisy. Some are less noisy, some are more noisy, but they are definitely noisy. An SSD is quiet as a mouse because it has no moving parts. Compared to SSDs, an HDD is slower at reading and writing data. An SSD is much faster at reading and writing data than an HDD. These drives are often preferred by gamers for a better gaming experience. And that’s why gaming laptops and PCs generally cost more Although energgy consumption by an HDD is not huge, we’re comparing it to that of an SSD and it’s higher. An SSD consumes significantly less energy than an HDD and it won’t heat up much. An HDD is likely to heat up much more than an SSD of equal capacity An HDD weighs more. An SSD weighs significantly less than an HDD making the laptops that they are used in weigh less. If weight is an issue for you when you buy a laptop, consider looking at models that come with an SSD These are the major differences between the two types of drives. With SSD being the newest technology, it’s obviously more expensive. People recommend it for its reliability. HDDs are considered to be the storage equivalent of work horses. If you decide to go with an SSD, you will likely have to pay more for less storage space and the availability of the drive may be a problem. Read What Is The Difference Between An HDD And An SSD? by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

Enable Compression Tool In VLC Player To Fix Movies With Loud Action And Quiet...

Interstellar is an excellent movie that I got to see in a theater with surround sound. I’d recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat even though I still have my doubts about what Matthew Mcconaughey was saying at times and I’m partially deaf from the loud sound track. This is, unfortunately, a thing with some movies. Literally every sound from a car stopping suddenly to the phone ringing, is super loud but when the actors talk, it sounds as though the movie were filmed in a library during working hours. It’s annoying and most people who watch movies on their computers will resort to increasing and decreasing the volume to spare their ears. If you use VLC player though, it has a compression tool that you can enable and it will fix the problem altogether. Here’s how it works. Open your movie in VLC player and go to Tool>Effects and Filters. In the Adjustments and Effects window that opens, go to the Compressor tab and enable it. You can go with the default settings if they handle the volume fluctuations well, or you can customize them. Enabling compression will allow VLC to automatically manage the volume so that it stays at the same level when it gets too quiet or too loud. If you’re wondering how VLC player can handle this oft-occurring problem when movie makers refuse to deal with it post-production, the answer lies in what the compressor tool does. When you play a movie in VLC player, you set the volume to one that you’re comfortable with. When the sound is too quiet, the compression tool detects it and increases the volume. When the sound suddenly gets too loud, the tool reduces it so that you don’t hurt your ears. Read Enable Compression Tool In VLC Player To Fix Movies With Loud Action And Quiet Dialogue Sounds by Fatima Wahab on AddictiveTips - Tech tips to make you smarter

How to Install The Latest Arduino IDE 1.6.6 in Ubuntu

Quick tutorial shows you how to the latest Arduino IDE, so far its version 1.6.6, in all current Ubuntu releases. The open-source Arduino IDE has reached the 1.6.6 release recently with lots of changes. The new release has switched to Java 8, which is now both bundled and needed for compiling the IDE. See the RELEASE NOTE for details. For those who don’t want to use the old 1.0.5 version available in Software Center, you can always follow below steps to install Arduino in all Ubuntu releases: Replace the words in red for future releases 1. Download the latest packages, Linux 32-bit or Linux 64-bit, from the official link below: www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software Don’t know your OS type? Go and check out System Settings -> Details -> Overview. 2. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T keys. When it opens, run below commands one by one: Navigate to your downloads folder: cd ~/Downloads Decompress the downloaded archive with tar command: tar -xvf arduino-1.6.6-*.tar.xz Move the result folder to /opt/ directory for global use: sudo mv arduino-1.6.6 /opt 3. Now the IDE is ready for use with bundled Java. But it would be good to create desktop icon/launcher for the application: Navigate to install folder: cd /opt/arduino-1.6.6/ Give executable permission to install.sh script in that folder: chmod +x install.sh Finally run the script to install both desktop shortcut and launcher icon: ./install.sh In below picture I’ve combined 3 commands into one via “&&”: Finally, launch Arduino IDE from Unity Dash, Application Launcher, or via Desktop shorcut.

How to Install 0 A.D. Alpha 19 Syllepsis in Ubuntu via PPA

The nineteenth alpha version of 0 A.D., a free, open-source game of ancient warfare, was released yesterday. PPA’s ready for Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 14.04, and Ubuntu 12.04. 0 A.D. Alpha 19 named ‘Syllepsis’. It features new victory modes, a ceasefire game mode, attack coordination, 3 new skirmish maps, new animals, visual replay, and eight times maximum map height support. See release note. Install 0 A.D. from PPA: There’s an official PPA repository for all current Ubuntu releases and derivatives. Follow below steps to add PPA and install the game. 1. Add 0 A.D. PPA Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, paste below commands and hit Enter: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wfg/0ad Type in your password when it asks, no visual feedback so just type in mind, and hit Enter to continue. 2. Install or Upgrade the game. If you have a previous version installed on your system, upgrade the game by launching Software Updater and installing available updates after checking for updates: Or you may run below commands one by one in terminal to refresh system cache and install (or upgrade) the game: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install 0ad 3. (Optional) Uninstall remove the PPA via Software & Updates -> Other Software tab and remove the 0 A.D. using Software Center.

How to Install GIMP 2.8.16 in Ubuntu 16.04, 15.10, 14.04

GIMP image editor 2.8.16 was released on its 20th birthday. Here’s how to install or upgrade in Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 12.04 and their derivatives, e.g., Linux Mint 17.x/13, Elementary OS Freya. GIMP 2.8.16 features support for layer groups in OpenRaster files, fixes for layer groups support in PSD, various user inrterface improvements, OSX build system fixes, translation updates, and more changes. Read the official announcement. How to Install or Upgrade: Thanks to Otto Meier, an Ubuntu PPA with latest GIMP packages is available for all current Ubuntu releases and derivatives. 1. Add GIMP PPA Open terminal from Unity Dash, App launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, paste below command and hit Enter: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp Type in your password when it asks, no visual feedback so just type in mind, and hit enter to continue. 2. Install or Upgrade the editor. After added the PPA, launch Software Updater (or Software Manager in Mint). After checking for updates, you’ll see GIMP in the update list. Click “Install Now” to upgrade it. For those who prefer Linux commands, run below commands one by one to refresh your repository caches and install GIMP: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gimp 3. (Optional) Uninstall. Just in case you want to uninstall or downgrade GIMP image editor. Use Software Center to remove it, or run below commands one by one to purge PPA as well as downgrade the software: sudo apt-get install ppa-purge sudo ppa-purge ppa:otto-kesselgulasch/gimp That’s it. Enjoy!

How to Install Wireshark 2.0 in Ubuntu 15.10 Wily

Wireshark has reached the new table 2.0 release recently and it has been made into Ubuntu 16.04′s official repositories. Here’s how to install Wireshark 2.0 in Ubuntu 15.10 using a PPA. Wireshark 2.0 features a completely new user interface that provides a smoother, faster user experience. It has been fully rewritten in Qt5. It also has new protocol support, new file format decoding support, new dialogs, capture options, and many other improvements. See the release note. Install Wireshark 2.0 in Ubuntu 15.10: UPDATE: The official Wireshark PPA just updated with the 2.0 packages, available for not only Ubuntu 15.10, but also Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 and Ubuntu 12.04. 1. Add PPA. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T key combination. When it opens, paste below command and hit enter: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wireshark-dev/stable Type in your password when it asks, no visual feedback so just type in mind, and hit Enter to continue. 2. Install / Upgrade Wireshark. If you have a previous installed, launch Software Updater. After checking for updates, you’ll see this popular network protocol analyzer in the list. Install the updates and done. Or, paste below commands one by one and run to update repository cache and install/upgrade the software: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wireshark 3. Remove PPA. The PPA also contains many other applications for 15.10 Wily, check HERE. You can keep the PPA or select remove it via below command once Wireshark 2.0 is installed. sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:nicola-onorata/desktop && sudo apt-get update

How to Install NVIDIA 358.16 Driver in Ubuntu 15.10, 14.04

NVIDIA 358.16, the first stable release in NVIDIA 358 series, has been announced with some fixes to 358.09 (Beta) and other small features. NVIDIA 358 added a new nvidia-modeset.ko kernel module that works in conjunction with the nvidia.ko kernel module to program the display engine of the GPU. In a later driver release, the nvidia-modeset.ko kernel driver will be used as a basis for the mode-setting interface provided by the kernel’s direct rendering manager (DRM). Thew new driver also has new GLX protocol extensions and a new system memory allocation mechanism for large allocations in the OpenGL driver. New GPUs GeForce 805A and GeForce GTX 960A are supported. NVIDIA 358.16 also supports X.Org Server 1.18 and OpenGL 4.3 How to Install NVIDIA 358.16 in Ubuntu: Please don’t do it on production machines unless you know what you’re doing and how to undo it. For the official binaries, please go to nvidia.com/object/unix.html. For those who prefer an Ubuntu PPA, I’d recommend the Graphics Drivers PPA. So far, Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 14.04 are supported. 1. Add PPA. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, paste below command and hit enter: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa Type your password when it asks. No visual feedback, just type in mind and hit Enter to continue. 2. Refresh and install new driver. After adding PPA, run below commands one by one to refresh repository cache and install new driver packages: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install nvidia-358 nvidia-settings (Optional) Uninstall: Boot into the recovery mode from the grub menu, and drop into root console. Then run below commands one by one: Remount the file system as writable: mount -o remount,rw / Remove all nvidia packages: apt-get purge nvidia* Finally back to menu and reboot: reboot To disable/remove the graphics driver PPA, launch Software & Updates and navigate to Other Software tab.

Install Intel Graphics Installer in Ubuntu 15.10

Intel has announced a new release of its Linux graphics installer recently. Ubuntu 15.10 Wily is required and support for Ubuntu 15.04 is deprecated in the new release. The Intel® Graphics Installer for Linux* allows you to easily install the latest graphics and video drivers for your Intel graphics hardware. This allows you to stay current with the latest enhancements, optimizations, and fixes to the Intel® Graphics Stack to ensure the best user experience with your Intel® graphics hardware. The Intel® Graphics Installer for Linux* is available for the latest version of Ubuntu*. How to Install: 1. Download the installer from the link page. The current is version 1.2.1 for Ubuntu 15.10. Check your OS type, 32-bit or 64-bit, via System Settings -> Details. 2. Once the download process finished, go to your Download folder and click open the .deb package with Ubuntu Software Center and finally click the install button. 3. In order to trust the Intel Graphics Installer, you will need to add keys via below commands. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, paste below commands and run one by one: wget --no-check-certificate https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg -O - | sudo apt-key add - wget --no-check-certificate https://download.01.org/gfx/RPM-GPG-KEY-ilg-2 -O - | sudo apt-key add - NOTE: While running the first command, if the cursor is stuck and blinking after downloading the key, as above picture shows, type your password (no visual feedback) and hit enter to continue. Finally launch Intel Graphics Installer via Unity Dash or Application launcher.

Install FeedReader RSS Client in Elementary OS Freya

FeedReader is a modern desktop client for popular RSS-Web-Services such as TinyTinyRSS, ownCloud News or Feedly. The application features: Desktop notifications Fast search and filters Full articles instead of previews for known sites Tagging (plugin needed for Tiny Tiny RSS) Sharing to “read-it-later” services like Pocket and Instapaper Handy keyboard short-cuts Keep all your old articles as long as you like Consistent formating of articles automatically saved state of the UI The application requires at least GTK+ 3.12. So only elementary OS Freya or Ubuntu 15.04 and higher are supported at the moment. The most recent release is FeedReader 1.4, features ownCloud News support, memory leaks fixes, sync and other improvements. How to Install FeedReader via PPA: Open terminal from App Launcher. When it opens, run below command to add PPA: add-apt-repository ppa:eviltwin1/feedreader-stable After that, refresh your system repository cache and install the client by running below commands one by one: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install feedreader For those who don’t want to add PPA, grab the the .deb package in Trusty series from the PPA web page. Project page:launchpad.net/feedreader

Flatabulous – Best Flat Theme for Ubuntu

Flatabulous is a new GTK theme said to be the best flat theme for Ubuntu and other Gnome based Linux Systems. The theme is based on the Ultra-Flat theme. It was designed specially for the Unity environment on Ubuntu. Here are some screenshots: Like theme? Below is how to install the GTK theme as well as Ultra-Flat icon theme: 1. Download the GTK theme from the link below: Flatabulous Theme Zip Then extract the archive so that you have the result folder shown below: 2. Open a new Nautilus (file browser) window. Press Ctrl+H to view hidden file folders, and create .themes folder under user’s Home directory if not exist. 3. Move Flatabulous-master folder from the Downloads folder to .themes folder. OK, now apply the theme by launching Unity Tweak Tool (available in Software Center) and navigate to Theme page. For the Icon Theme, go to: noobslab icon repository page Select download .deb package for ultra-flat-icons, ultra-flat-icons-green, or ultra-flat-icons-orange. Finally install it via Ubuntu Software Center. For those who prefer adding a PPA, open terminal and run below commands one by one to get the icon theme: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/icons sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install ultra-flat-icons ultra-flat-icons-green ultra-flat-icons-orange Also apply the icons via Unity Tweak Tool -> Icons page. via: github.com/anmoljagetia/Flatabulous

Install Komodo Edit 9.3 via PPA in Ubuntu 15.10, 14.04

Komodo IDE finally reached the 9.3 release with language updates, new features and tons of improvements. Here’s how to install its free and open-source counterpart Komodo Edit using PPA. Komodo 9.3 added support for PHP 7 and Python 3.5, syntax highlighting & checking support for Lua, syntax highlighting support for Swift, Mustache, R Lang. The new release also features: CSS, LESS, and SCSS auto-completions and code browsing A new Console pane Auto multi-caret for HTML/XML tags Support for Elastic Tabstops. (disabled by default) Package Manager 2.0 with more functionality, ie. uninstall, update, etc. Quick Bookmarks Auto-wrap delimiters while having text selected. In-line Syntax Checking updated language icons. quick start options on new tab and much more at the release page. How to Install Komodo Edit 9.3 in Ubuntu: Mystic Mirage is maintaining a PPA with most recent Komodo Edit packages well integrated with the default Unity Desktop. Ubuntu 15.10, Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 15.04, Ubuntu 12.04 are supported so far. 1. Add Komodo Edit PPA. Open terminal from Unity Dash, App launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, run command: sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:mystic-mirage/komodo-edit Type your password in mind when it asks, since there’s no display due to security reason. 2. Install the editor in below ways. After adding the PPA, you can install or upgrade Komodo Edit by: Synaptic Package Manager: Software Updater if a previous release installed. running below commands one by one: sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install komodo-edit For those who don’t want to add PPA, grab the .deb installer directly from THIS PAGE. Uninstall: Remove the PPA by launching Software & Updates and navigating to Other Software tab. Remove the editor using Synaptic Package Manger, or by running apt-get command with remove option: sudo apt-get remove komodo-edit && sudo apt-get autoremove

Why Freemium HR Tech Services Are Still a Good Idea

Troubles tripping up technology unicorns are spilling over into human resources (HR) tech, a development that could spook small to midsize businesses (SMBs) deciding whether or not to shift personnel tasks to cloud services. At this point, though, it's not enough to stop an SMB from making a switch; if anything, it's a great time to check out what's available. For a while, the world of unicorns—privately held, venture-backed start-ups that hit $1 billion in value—was filled with rainbows and initial public offerings (IPOs). At long last, venture capitalists and other investors are questioning how sound those companies are and if they'll ever be profitable. Fidelity Investments exemplifies the trend. In recent weeks, the mutual fund giant marked down investments in a number of high-profile unicorns including Snapchat, Dropbox, and Blue Bottle Coffee. Fidelity's change of heart hit the HR tech business when it downgraded an investment in Zenefits, the HR tech start-up that offers free, cloud-based HR services that are subsidized by fees small business clients pay the company to be their employee benefits broker. Until now, Zenefits has been an HR industry wunderkind, raising more than $583 million, and getting payroll giant and one-time partner ADP to settle competing lawsuits. Earlier this fall, though, Fidelity cut the value of its investment in Zenefits by 48 percent, dropping the two-year-old start-up's total valuation almost in half to $2.34 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. Fidelity reportedly took action after Zenefits missed revenue goals for the year, which led the company to trim costs by cutting pay and freezing job openings. Business Model Still StrongBut Zenefits's current woes don't mean the company's business model is inherently bad. Freemium services (where companies give away a basic product as a teaser for upgraded, fee-based features) are a mainstay of tech companies that market to consumers and other businesses. But the model is still a relatively new one in HR tech. Zenefits was one of the first to build a business around it, offering a platform at no charge to entice SMBs to make the company their benefits administrator. It caught on because, until very recently, start-ups and SMBs with one to 1,000 employees didn't have a lot of options for low-cost, cloud-based, turnkey HR tech. Many SMBs that size have no standalone HR department, which makes an all-in-one tech suite that managers and employees can use extremely attractive. It's a growing market; although small businesses remain lower-than-average adopters of all HR tech, more are buying enterprise-wide HR solutions at a much earlier stage than in years past, according to the 2015-2016 HR Systems Survey from Sierra-Cedar published earlier this fall. Getting something for nothing is pretty appealing, given that SMBs with fewer than 2,500 employees spend an average of $394 per worker per year for HR tech, plus seven or eight related HR modules, according to the Sierra-Cedar survey. Zenefits's Popularity Stirs CompetitionZenefits's popularity has other cloud-based HR tech vendors reworking their businesses to compete head on. Start-up CoGo also offers SMBs a free HR platform that includes hiring, onboarding, time-off requests, and recordkeeping. On Nov. 11, CoGo agreed to sell a "significant" equity stake to employee benefits provider Digital Insurance. The deal allows GoCo to offer SMBs a benefits administration module with access to a network of benefits advisors, something the company claims Zenefits doesn't offer, according to a statement about the deal. Zen Payroll, an online payroll processor for SMBs, is so serious about expanding beyond its core business that, in September, the company changed its name to Gusto. After testing offering benefits and workers' compensation administration, Gusto is offering both in California ahead of a nationwide rollout, according to Fortune. (Gusto isn't a free service; prices start at $29 per month plus $6 per person.) Other HR tech vendors charge from $1 to $8 per month per employee but keep adding new features. For example, ZipRecruiter, a jobs platform that aggregates postings from 100 other job boards into a single site, recently expanded to offer an employee onboarding module. Early indicators are positive, according to Ian Siegel, cofounder and Chief Executive of ZipRecruiter. "We have a base of 100,000 customers to offer the product up into and it's being rapidly adopted," said Siegel. "We have thousands of customers on the platform. What's going to happen is ZipRecruiter, Zenefits, and Gusto are going the full-service brokerage route. The three of us ultimately will probably build very similar products in that we're all going to have payroll, benefits, and recruiting components. But there will be fine nuances of flavor between us." To Siegel's point, in late November, Zenefits added a payroll to its feature lineup, which also includes modules for stock options and other features designed to appeal to fast-growth start-ups. "Starting a business is so much easier than it was five years ago," said Matt Epstein, Zenefits Vice President of Marketing at Zenefits, in a recent interview. He likens the service to Workday, which successfully took on more established HR tech companies such as Oracle and SAP, and raised $637 million in a 2012 IPO by selling a native, cloud-based HR tech platform. If investors such as Fidelity continue to reexamine their holdings in tech unicorns and other tech vendors—including those in HR tech—SMBs would be wise to keep tabs on what's happening. Even so, it's no reason to shy away from switching to cloud-based HR services, especially given how many vendors are courting SMBs with new services and low prices. If you're ready for a change, take steps to understand what's involved in signing up with a new vendor and what the implementation process will be like. It wouldn't hurt to have a contingency plan, just in case the unicorn or start-up you team up with fails to find that pot of IPO gold.

Lightweight PDF Viewer ‘MuPDF’ 1.8 Released [How-to-Install]

MuPDF, a free, open-source, and lightweight PDF and XPS viewer, now reaches the 1.8 release with new features, improvements and various fixes. MuPDF is a lightweight PDF viewer and toolkit written in portable C, which also reads XPS, OpenXPS and EPUB documents. It works on Windows, Android, and Linux. The renderer in MuPDF is tailored for high quality anti-aliased graphics. It renders text with metrics and spacing accurate to within fractions of a pixel for the highest fidelity in reproducing the look of a printed page on screen. What’s New in MuPDF 1.8: Headline changes: New OpenGL-based barebones desktop viewer. New URW fonts with greek and cyrillic. 64-bit file support. Ghostscript proofing mode (source only; not in shipped binaries). EPUB improvements: User style sheets. GIF images (also for CBZ). Table of contents. CJK text. Page margins. Many bug fixes. Bug fixes: Updated FreeType to version 2.6.1. Various font substitution bug fixes. Fix setjmp/longjmp behaviour which could cause optimizing compilers to misbehave. In addition, mudraw has been merged into mutool, use mutool draw to use mudraw. How to Install MuPDF 1.8 in Ubuntu: There are Android, Windows installers, and source tarball available in its official download page. For Ubuntu and derivatives, you can either build the viewer from the source or use my personal binaries in PPA. Method 1: Open terminal from Unity Dash, App Launcher, or via Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut key. When it opens, run below commands one by one to add my PPA and install MuPDF: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntuhandbook1/apps sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install mupdf mupdf-tools Method 2 For those who don’t want to add PPA: Depends on your Ubuntu edition (e.g., 15.10, 15.04, 14.04, and 12.04), and OS type (i386.deb for 32-bit and amd64.deb for 64-bit) select download the .deb packages for mupdf and mupdf-tools from the link below: MuPDF in PPA page Finally click install the packages via Ubuntu Software Center. How to Use: The PDF viewer doesn’t have a launcher. To use it, right-click on the file and select it from the “Open With” option. To set default, go to file’s context menu -> Properties -> Open With tab -> select MuPDF from list -> finally click ‘Set as default’ button. For mouse behavior and key bindings run man mupdf command in terminal. Uninstall: You may remove the PPA by launching Software & Updates and then navigate to Other Software tab. Also remove MuPDF via Ubuntu Software Center if you want.

Freshdesk vs. Zendesk: Battle of the Help Desks

IT departments can respond to customer and employee requests faster and in more helpful detail—without the hassle of convoluted ticketing—when they're working within a fast, efficient help desk solution. Freshdesk and Zendesk are two of the most comprehensive help desks out there, but not all help desks are created equal. Freshdesk already came out on top in a head-to-head comparison against Spiceworks, but Zendesk is much stiffer competition. Both are affordable software solutions for small to midsize businesses (SMBs) that offer custom forms and reporting, a deep knowledge base, and various ticketing options and integrations. However, each one has clear strengths that may render it a better fit for your business. Below, we stack up the key features, strengths, and weaknesses of Freshdesk and Zendesk. Business Plans and PricingFor its basic Essential plan, Zendesk begins at just $5 per agent per month (billed annually) or $9 per agent per month (billed monthly). This entry-level plan gets you unlimited email and social channels, a basic knowledge base, a Web widget and mobile software development kit (SDK), and predefined responses or macros for up to five agents or users. Zendesk's Team plan, which begins at $19 per month, ups that to 10 users and adds a branded help center, customer portal, business rules, performance dashboards, and a public apps marketplace. Then there's the Zendesk Professional plan, which begins at $49 per month, and includes community forums, multilingual content, and analytics. Finally, Zendesk's Enterprise plan, which begins at $99 per month, includes custom agent roles, added forms, and controls. Both the Professional and Enterprise plans include unlimited users and a free trial (which the lower-priced tiers don't offer). Zendesk also makes you pay for voice calling and for live chat capabilities for more than one agent. Freshdesk offers a free 30-day trial and includes four different tiers priced at flat rates on a per-agent basis (billed annually). Freshdesk's Blossom tier costs $16 per agent per month, and offers social support channels, community forums, and a gaming mechanic. For $25 per agent per month, Freshdesk's Garden tier adds live chat, and multiple products and locations. Following this is the $40 per agent per month Estate tier that offers enterprise reports, portal customization, and custom agent roles. Freshdesk's $70 per agent per month Forest tier adds IP whitelisting and custom email servers. Freshdesk offers 24/7 email support and access to its knowledge base at no extra cost. Zendesk's pricings structure starts out lower but its pricing scales up faster than does Freshdesk. Plus, itemizing a core feature such as live chat as a separate service makes it less cost-effective than Freshdesk (which includes live chat with every tier but its most basic one). Edge: Freshdesk Ticket ManagementFreshdesk's tickets are simple to generate and manage, and can be assigned to individual agents or in bulk. Freshdesk also includes unlimited email ticketing, a dedicated call center, private note functionality on tickets, a rich text editor, and what the company calls "agent collision detection" integrated with team inboxes to prevent IT overlap on a ticket. Additional features in Freshdesk include in-ticket contextual customer information, smart suggestions for IT solutions, and ticket merging over multiple channels. Freshdesk also offers a long list of integrations, and can reply to commonly asked customer questions on incoming tickets with automated responses written by IT. These automated responses provide the relevant information and IT saves time by keeping the most common types of tickets off of the IT department's plate. Zendesk's ticketing interface combines all email, phone call, live chat, help center search, and social media support questions in a single view. The interface highlights conversations in need of attention, indicates which support agents are handling what tickets, and allows agents to service multiple requests at the same time. The interface does all this while surfacing relevant information from a large marketplace of integrated apps and services including JIRA Service Desk. Zendesk also tracks all of the ticketing data to provide productivity analytics on individual employees and teams. Zendesk also uses customized, editable ticket views with notes functionality. There are also automated tools called Triggers, which implement business rules to streamline workflows regarding when tickets are opened and solved (in common or custom-use cases). Both Freshdesk and Zendesk have comprehensive ticketing features including clear workflow management, automated processes, and customization options. It's a dead heat. Edge: Even To ITIL or Not to ITIL?The most polarizing line of demarcation among help desk software solutions is whether or not a service adheres to the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), a set of guidelines for "best practice" IT services management. ITIL is published as a series of five volumes, each of which covers a different stage of the IT service management lifecycle: service strategy, service design, service transition, service operation, and continual service improvement. The difference here is simple: Freshdesk supports ITIL and Zendesk does not. The more complex question you need to answer is whether or not your business should care. Larger enterprises that need to worry about service-level agreements (SLAs) and penalties should opt for Freshdesk, which has the ITIL-aligned change management capabilities. ITIL can be limiting, though. It doesn't pertain to customer service requests sent via social media, a medium that Zendesk (free from ITIL support) fully services as another customer support stream. Freshdesk includes social network ticketing as well but not to the same intuitive degree in terms of back-and-forth within a social network that's fully integrated into the platform. ITIL is important for many businesses but, in the larger scheme of things (with social media an ever-growing component of customer support), most help desks would be better served without the constraints of ITIL. Edge: Zendesk Interface and Knowledge BaseFreshdesk's knowledge base includes FAQs, technical documentation, product tutorials, and tips, and it automatically displays knowledge base suggestions when customers create a ticket. Freshdesk's knowledge base also includes GIF embed functionality to make a knowledge base article a bit more fun. As for the employee interface and the user portal, Freshdesk offers a feature-packed, easily navigable, and almost completely customizable user interface (UI). It includes a Help Desk Rebranding Settings page with options for customizing logos and URLs. The page also offers branding customization that includes the hexadecimal color choice for headers, tabs, and backgrounds. Freshdesk's dashboard is also gamified with Freshdesk Arcade, a productivity-boosting system that uses "quests," badges, and points to encourage swift and accurate ticket resolution. Zendesk approaches its knowledge base with a bit more customizability, allowing a business to create its own Self-Service Community that includes a knowledge base, community forums, and customer portal with 24/7 support. However, only the Professional and Enterprise plans offer round-the-clock email, phone, and chat support. The Essential and Team plans also don't give employees access to the internal knowledge base. The Self-Service Community is available via the Web, mobile devices, and Facebook and Twitter. Zendesk's UI can be customized with themes and design to match your company's brand, and it also includes a performance dashboard with gamified principles. The UI is simple but its views allow agents to easily see all recently added or unsolved tickets, with customizable preferences. It also displays information such as ticket expiration time. This is one area in which Zendesk is a bit more user-friendly than Freshdesk. Freshdesk's UI and knowledge base leave nothing to be desired from a functionality perspective, but Zendesk gives you a bit more in terms of customization on both fronts. Edge: Zendesk Extra GoodiesFreshdesk puts a strong emphasis on security features including IP whitelisting and custom email server options available at its most expensive tier. Every Freshdesk account also comes with custom SSL-encrypted server protection. There is also an array of reporting options and analytics including customer satisfaction surveys and 16 different types of reports tracking metrics. Metrics offered include ticket response and resolve time, load analysis, top agent performance, and team productivity comparisons. However, one thing Freshdesk lacks that Zendesk offers is built-in asset management. Zendesk also offers a variety of analytics tools including data synchronization and custom insight reports for its top two pricing tiers, and Google Analytics for Help Center integration in all plans except the basic. Zendesk also offers Zendesk Benchmark to all plans, which is a service for measuring customer satisfaction for your business and your competitors. In terms of security, Zendesk also offers SSL encryption along with agent device management, two-factor authentication (2FA), and some higher-level features for the more expensive plans (such as audit logs, a sandbox test environment, and business rules analysis). Zendesk is no slouch but Freshdesk's security and reporting capabilities are a bit more robust. Edge: Freshdesk Bottom LineZendesk has the wider popularity and the edge in UI usability and customizability. However, its pricing tiers and separate live chat subscription make it less affordable for businesses that are looking for key features at a lower price point. Zendesk's social ticketing component and asset management functionality shouldn't be overlooked, though. If your business doesn't need ITIL compliance, it may be the better fit for your organization. Both of these services are capable platforms on which to build your company's help desk department, but Freshdesk's edges in pricing, ticket management, reporting, and security make it our pick in this heads-up help desk software comparison for SMBs. Recommendation: Freshdesk

OnePlus Offers USB-C Cable, Adapter Refunds

The devices "are safe to use with the OnePlus 2, but are not exactly playing nice with non-OnePlus devices. OnePlus is offering refunds on its USB-C charging cables and adapter after a Google engineer warned that they could be dangerous. The devices "are safe to use with the OnePlus 2," OnePlus said, but they're not exactly playing nice with non-OnePlus devices. "Many of you have bought them to use with your other USB Type-C devices. That may be fine, but depending on the devices and power sources you're using them with we can't guarantee full compatibility with those products," OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei wrote in a forum post. As a result, OnePlus will offer refunds on USB-C products purchased on its website. The cables included in the box with your OnePlus 2 are not eligible since OnePlus considers them to be safe. Customers in North America and Europe can apply online; those in India and China can take their cable or adapter to a OnePlus repair center. The offer is good through Dec. 31. "In the meantime, our team has already begun developing improved Type-C cables and adapters," Pei said. "We'll keep you posted when they're ready for release." The move comes after Google engineer Benson Leung warned people not to buy the OnePlus USB-C cables. "It is not spec compliant (uses a 3A identifier resistor instead of the "Default USB Power" one), and may cause damage to your charger, hub, or PC USB port" on the Chromebook Pixel, Nexus 6P, or Nexus 5X, he wrote on Google+. Leung has been reviewing third-party USB Type-C cables on Amazon after he became fed up with early cables from third-party vendors "that so blatantly flaunt the specification." "I want to hold them to task," he said earlier this month. According to Pei, the issue with the USB-C devices from OnePlus is that "our cable and adapter use a 10kΩ resistor, but according to version 1.1 of the Type-C port standard, these products should be using a 56kΩ resistor. "The cable and adapter are designed for a maximum of 2 amps of power, but the resistor will allow fast-charging devices to try to draw more power than a power source may allow," he continued. "This could result in damage to the power source (third-party charger, USB port, etc.) if the device and power source do not have an internal mechanism to self-regulate the amount of power flowing to or from them." For those who want a OnePlus device, meanwhile, the company is dropping its invite-only process for Black Friday and letting anyone buy one now through Nov. 30. The company is selling its OnePlus 2 and OnePlus X smartphones, as well as other accessories. [embedded content]

Samsung Galaxy S7 Rumors Tip Return of MicroSD Slot

Samsung Galaxy S7 rumors abound ahead of a likely reveal at Mobile World Congress 2016. It's no secret that Samsung will have a follow-up to its Galaxy S6 next year, but exactly what the S7 will offer is up for debate. A report on Monday from Italy-based news outlet HD Blog says the microSD slot will return on the S7 after it was nixed in this year's Galaxy S6 and Note 5. Samsung may also adopt USB-C, though the blog says that's still up in the air. Look for two sizes: a 5.2-inch phone with the standard "flat" display, and a 5.7-inch Edge version similar to the Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge+ available now. In addition to talk of screen sizes, HD Blog claims the device will come with either the Samsung Exynos 8890 processor or Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820. Some reports suggest we'll see the Galaxy S7 in January, though conventional wisdom suggests it won't arrive until the spring. HD Blog points to March's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is when the Galaxy S6 was revealed last year. Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Samsung is the world's largest smartphone maker in total volume, but it has lost ground to rivals like Apple and China-based Huawei. The company in 2015 decided to launch fewer smartphones in an attempt to focus consumer interest, but challenges remain.