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Nikhil Vemu

Nikhil Vemu

1 day ago

7 Mac Apps That Are Exorbitantly Priced But Totally Worth It

Photo by Jack Carter on Unsplash

Wish you more bang for your buck

By ‘Cost a Bomb’ I didn’t mean to exaggerate. It’s an idiom that means ‘To be very expensive’. In fact, no app on the planet costs a bomb lol.

So, to the point.

Chronicle

(Freemium. For Pro, $24.99 | Available on Setapp)

Credit: LittleFin LLC

You probably have trouble keeping track of dozens of bills and subscriptions each month.

Try Chronicle.

Easy-to-use app

  • Add payment due dates and receive reminders,

  • Save payment documentation,

  • Analyze your spending by season, year, and month.

  • Observe expenditure trends and create new budgets.

Best of all, Chronicle features an integrated browser for fast payment and logging.

iOS and macOS sync.

SoundSource

($39 for lifetime)

Background Music, a free macOS program, was featured in #6 of this post last month.

It controls per-app volume, stereo balance, and audio over its max level.

Credit: Rogue Amoeba Software Inc.

Background Music is fully supported. Additionally,

  • Connect various speakers to various apps (Wow! ),

  • change the audio sample rate for each app,

  • To facilitate access, add a floating SoundSource window.

  • Use its blocks in Shortcuts app,

  • On the menu bar, include meters for output/input devices and running programs.

PixelSnap

($39 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

Credit: MTW

This software is heaven for UI designers.

It aids you.

  • quickly calculate screen distances (in pixels) ,

Credit: MTW
  • Drag an area around an object to determine its borders,

Credit: MTW
  • Measure the distances between the additional guides,

Credit: MTW
  • screenshots should be pixel-perfect.

What’s more.

You can

  • Adapt your tolerance for items with poor contrast and shadows.

  • Use your Touch Bar to perform important tasks, if you have one.

Mate Translation

($3.99 a month / $29.99 a year | Available on Setapp)

Credit: Gikken

Mate Translate resembles a roided-up version of BarTranslate, which I wrote about in #1 of this piece last month.

If you translate often, utilize Mate Translate on macOS and Safari.

I'm really vocal about it.

It stays on the menu bar, and is accessible with a click or ⌥+shift+T hotkey.

It lets you

  • Translate in 103 different languages,

  • To translate text, double-click or right-click on it.

  • Totally translate websites. Additionally, Netflix subtitles,

  • Listen to their pronunciation to see how close it is to human.

iPhone and Mac sync Mate-ing history.

Swish

($16 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

Swish is awesome!

Swipe, squeeze, tap, and hold movements organize chaotic desktop windows. Swish operates with mouse and trackpad.

Some gestures:

• Pinch Once: Close an app
• Pinch Twice: Quit an app
• Swipe down once: Minimise an app
• Pinch Out: Enter fullscreen mode
• Tap, Hold, & Swipe: Arrange apps in grids
and many more...

Credit: Christian Renninger

After getting acquainted to the movements, your multitasking will improve.

Unite

($24.99 for lifetime | Available on Setapp)

It turns webapps into macOS apps. The end.

Unite's functionality is a million times better.

Credit: BZG Apps LLC & Binyamin Goldman
  • Provide extensive customization (incl. its icon, light and dark modes)

  • make menu bar applications,

  • Get badges for web notifications and automatically refresh websites,

  • Replace any dock icon in the window with it (Wow!) by selecting that portion of the window.

This will help know weather or stock prices easily. (Credit: BZG Apps LLC & Binyamin Goldman)
  • Use PiP (Picture-in-Picture) on video sites that support it.

  • Delete advertising,

  • Throughout macOS, use floating windows

and many more…

I feel $24.99 one-off for this tool is a great deal, considering all these features. What do you think?

https://www.bzgapps.com/unite

CleanShot X

(Basic: $29 one-off. Pro: $8/month | Available on Setapp)

Credit: MTW

CleanShot X can achieve things the macOS screenshot tool cannot. Complete screenshot toolkit.

CleanShot X, like Pixel Snap 2 (#3), is fantastic.

Allows

  • Scroll to capture a long page,

  • screen recording,

    With webcam on,
    • With mic and system audio,
    • Highlighting mouse clicks and hotkeys.

  • Maintain floating screenshots for reference

  • While capturing, conceal desktop icons and notifications.

  • Recognize text in screenshots (OCR),

  • You may upload and share screenshots using the built-in cloud.

These are just 6 in 50+ features, and you’re already saying Wow!

Waleed Rikab, PhD

Waleed Rikab, PhD

6 days ago

The Enablement of Fraud and Misinformation by Generative AI What You Should Understand

Recent investigations have shown that generative AI can boost hackers and misinformation spreaders.

Generated through Stable Diffusion with a prompt by the author

Since its inception in late November 2022, OpenAI's ChatGPT has entertained and assisted many online users in writing, coding, task automation, and linguistic translation. Given this versatility, it is maybe unsurprising but nonetheless regrettable that fraudsters and mis-, dis-, and malinformation (MDM) spreaders are also considering ChatGPT and related AI models to streamline and improve their operations.

Malign actors may benefit from ChatGPT, according to a WithSecure research. ChatGPT promises to elevate unlawful operations across many attack channels. ChatGPT can automate spear phishing attacks that deceive corporate victims into reading emails from trusted parties. Malware, extortion, and illicit fund transfers can result from such access.

ChatGPT's ability to simulate a desired writing style makes spear phishing emails look more genuine, especially for international actors who don't speak English (or other languages like Spanish and French).

This technique could let Russian, North Korean, and Iranian state-backed hackers conduct more convincing social engineering and election intervention in the US. ChatGPT can also create several campaigns and various phony online personas to promote them, making such attacks successful through volume or variation. Additionally, image-generating AI algorithms and other developing techniques can help these efforts deceive potential victims.

Hackers are discussing using ChatGPT to install malware and steal data, according to a Check Point research. Though ChatGPT's scripts are well-known in the cyber security business, they can assist amateur actors with little technical understanding into the field and possibly develop their hacking and social engineering skills through repeated use.

Additionally, ChatGPT's hacking suggestions may change. As a writer recently indicated, ChatGPT's ability to blend textual and code-based writing might be a game-changer, allowing the injection of innocent content that would subsequently turn out to be a malicious script into targeted systems. These new AI-powered writing- and code-generation abilities allow for unique cyber attacks, regardless of viability.

OpenAI fears ChatGPT usage. OpenAI, Georgetown University's Center for Security and Emerging Technology, and Stanford's Internet Observatory wrote a paper on how AI language models could enhance nation state-backed influence operations. As a last resort, the authors consider polluting the internet with radioactive or misleading data to ensure that AI language models produce outputs that other language models can identify as AI-generated. However, the authors of this paper seem unaware that their "solution" might cause much worse MDM difficulties.

Literally False News

The public argument about ChatGPTs content-generation has focused on originality, bias, and academic honesty, but broader global issues are at stake. ChatGPT can influence public opinion, troll individuals, and interfere in local and national elections by creating and automating enormous amounts of social media material for specified audiences.

ChatGPT's capacity to generate textual and code output is crucial. ChatGPT can write Python scripts for social media bots and give diverse content for repeated posts. The tool's sophistication makes it irrelevant to one's language skills, especially English, when writing MDM propaganda.

I ordered ChatGPT to write a news piece in the style of big US publications declaring that Ukraine is on the verge of defeat in its fight against Russia due to corruption, desertion, and exhaustion in its army. I also gave it a fake reporter's byline and an unidentified NATO source's remark. The outcome appears convincing:

Worse, terrible performers can modify this piece to make it more credible. They can edit the general's name or add facts about current wars. Furthermore, such actors can create many versions of this report in different forms and distribute them separately, boosting its impact.

In this example, ChatGPT produced a news story regarding (fictional) greater moviegoer fatality rates:

Editing this example makes it more plausible. Dr. Jane Smith, the putative author of the medical report, might be replaced with a real-life medical person or a real victim of this supposed medical hazard.

Can deceptive texts be found? Detecting AI text is behind AI advancements. Minor AI-generated text alterations can upset these technologies.

Some OpenAI individuals have proposed covert methods to watermark AI-generated literature to prevent its abuse. AI models would create information that appears normal to humans but would follow a cryptographic formula that would warn other machines that it was AI-made. However, security experts are cautious since manually altering the content interrupts machine and human detection of AI-generated material.

How to Prepare

Cyber security and IT workers can research and use generative AI models to fight spear fishing and extortion. Governments may also launch MDM-defence projects.

In election cycles and global crises, regular people may be the most vulnerable to AI-produced deceit. Until regulation or subsequent technical advances, individuals must recognize exposure to AI-generated fraud, dating scams, other MDM activities.

A three-step verification method of new material in suspicious emails or social media posts can help identify AI content and manipulation. This three-step approach asks about the information's distribution platform (is it reliable? ), author (is the reader familiar with them? ), and plausibility given one's prior knowledge of the topic.

Consider a report by a trusted journalist that makes shocking statements in their typical manner. AI-powered fake news may be released on an unexpected platform, such as a newly created Facebook profile. However, if it links to a known media source, it is more likely to be real.

Though hard and subjective, this verification method may be the only barrier against manipulation for now.

AI language models:

How to Recognize an AI-Generated Article ChatGPT, the popular AI-powered chatbot, can and likely does generate medium.com-style articles.

AI-Generated Text Detectors Fail. Do This. Online tools claim to detect ChatGPT output. Even with superior programming, I tested some of these tools. pub

Why Original Writers Matter Despite AI Language Models Creative writers may never be threatened by AI language models.

The Mystique

The Mystique

7 days ago

Four Shocking Dark Web Incidents that Should Make You Avoid It

Dark Web activity? Is it as horrible as they say?

Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

We peruse our phones for hours. Internet has improved our worldview.

However, the world's harshest realities remain buried on the internet and unattainable by everyone.

Browsers cannot access the Dark Web. Browse it with high-security authentication and exclusive access. There are compelling reasons to avoid the dark web at all costs.

1. The Dark Web and I

Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash

Darius wrote My Dark Web Story on reddit two years ago. The user claimed to have shared his dark web experience. DaRealEddyYT wanted to surf the dark web after hearing several stories.

He curiously downloaded Tor Browser, which provides anonymity and security.

In the Dark Room, bound

As Darius logged in, a text popped up: “Want a surprise? Click on this link.”

The link opened to a room with a chair. Only one light source illuminated the room. The chair held a female tied.

As the screen read "Let the game begin," a man entered the room and was paid in bitcoins to torment the girl.

The man dragged and tortured the woman.

A danger to safety

Leaving so soon, Darius, disgusted Darius tried to leave the stream. The anonymous user then sent Darius his personal information, including his address, which frightened him because he didn't know Tor was insecure.

After deleting the app, his phone camera was compromised.

He also stated that he left his residence and returned to find it unlocked and a letter saying, Thought we wouldn't find you? Reddit never updated the story.

The story may have been a fake, but a much scarier true story about the dark side of the internet exists.

2. The Silk Road Market

Ross William Ulbricht | Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons

The dark web is restricted for a reason. The dark web has everything illicit imaginable. It's awful central.

The dark web has everything, from organ sales to drug trafficking to money laundering to human trafficking. Illegal drugs, pirated software, credit card, bank, and personal information can be found in seconds.

The dark web has reserved websites like Google. The Silk Road Website, which operated from 2011 to 2013, was a leading digital black market.

The FBI grew obsessed with site founder and processor Ross William Ulbricht.

The site became a criminal organization as money laundering and black enterprises increased. Bitcoin was utilized for credit card payment.

The FBI was close to arresting the site's administrator. Ross was detained after the agency closed Silk Road in 2013.

Two years later, in 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to two consecutive life terms and forty years. He appealed in 2016 but was denied, thus he is currently serving time.

The hefty sentence was for more than running a black marketing site. He was also convicted of murder-for-hire, earning about $730,000 in a short time.

3. Person-buying auctions

The British model, Chloe Ayling | Photo Credits: Pinterest

Bidding on individuals is another weird internet activity. After a Milan photo shoot, 20-year-old British model Chloe Ayling was kidnapped.

An ad agency in Milan made a bogus offer to shoot with the mother of a two-year-old boy. Four men gave her anesthetic and put her in a duffel bag when she arrived.

She was held captive for several days, and her images and $300,000 price were posted on the dark web. Black Death Trafficking Group kidnapped her to sell her for sex.

She was told two black death foot warriors abducted her. The captors released her when they found she was a mother because mothers were less desirable to sex slave buyers.

In July 2018, Lukasz Pawel Herba was arrested and sentenced to 16 years and nine months in prison. Being a young mother saved Chloe from creepy bidding.

However, it exceeds expectations of how many more would be in such danger daily without their knowledge.

4. Organ sales

Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

Many are unaware of dark web organ sales. Patients who cannot acquire organs often turn to dark web brokers.

Brokers handle all transactions between donors and customers.

Bitcoins are used for dark web transactions, and the Tor server permits personal data on the web.

The WHO reports approximately 10,000 unlawful organ transplants annually. The black web sells kidneys, hearts, even eyes.

To protect our lives and privacy, we should manage our curiosity and never look up dangerous stuff.

While it's fascinating and appealing to know what's going on in the world we don't know about, it's best to prioritize our well-being because one never knows how bad it might get.

Sources

Reddit.com

The Daily Beast

PYMNTS

Commons.erau.edu

The Sun

Investopedia

Startup Talky

Tom Smykowski

Tom Smykowski

8 days ago

CSS Scroll-linked Animations Will Transform The Web's User Experience

We may never tap again in ten years.

I discussed styling websites and web apps on smartwatches in my earlier article on W3C standardization.

The Parallax Chronicles

Section containing examples and flying objects

Another intriguing Working Draft I found applies to all devices, including smartphones.

These pages may have something intriguing. Take your time. Return after scrolling:

What connects these three pages?

JustinWick at English Wikipedia • CC-BY-SA-3.0

Scroll-linked animation, commonly called parallax, is the effect.

WordPress theme developers' quick setup and low-code tools made the effect popular around 2014.

Parallax: Why Designers Love It

The chapter that your designer shouldn't read

Online video playback required searching, scrolling, and clicking ten years ago. Scroll and click four years ago.

Some video sites let you swipe to autoplay the next video from an endless list.

UI designers create scrollable pages and apps to accommodate the behavioral change.

Web interactivity used to be mouse-based. Clicking a button opened a help drawer, and hovering animated it.

However, a large page with more material requires fewer buttons and less interactiveness.

Designers choose scroll-based effects. Design and frontend developers must fight the trend but prepare for the worst.

How to Create Parallax

The component that you might want to show the designer

JavaScript-based effects track page scrolling and apply animations.

Javascript libraries like lax.js simplify it.

Using it needs a lot of human mathematical and physical computations.

Your asset library must also be prepared to display your website on a laptop, television, smartphone, tablet, foldable smartphone, and possibly even a microwave.

Overall, scroll-based animations can be solved better.

CSS Scroll-linked Animations

CSS makes sense since it's presentational. A Working Draft has been laying the groundwork for the next generation of interactiveness.

The new CSS property scroll-timeline powers the feature, which MDN describes well.

Before testing it, you should realize it is poorly supported:

Firefox 103 currently supports it.

There is also a polyfill, with some demo examples to explore.

Summary

Web design was a protracted process. Started with pages with static backdrop images and scrollable text. Artists and designers may use the scroll-based animation CSS API to completely revamp our web experience.

It's a promising frontier. This post may attract a future scrollable web designer.

Ps. I have created flashcards for HTML, Javascript etc. Check them out!

Nitin Sharma

Nitin Sharma

10 days ago

The result of my side-hustle blog post with ChatGPT is remarkable.

It's free now.

Src: Pexels

Most content writers—including me—write about side hustles because they do well.

I wrote several articles on a profitable programming side hustle.

Later, I learnt about AI content-generating platforms like Jasper.ai and Copy.ai, which I thought were terrible because they required subscriptions and had bad content. Even I dislike automatic online posting.

Since ChatGPT is becoming more popular, I tried it. It's free now.

Note: I wasn’t compensated to write this piece by this tool. In other words, I don’t receive any payment from their founders. There is no affiliate link, and right now it is free to use. Also, ChatGPT can do a lot more than what I ever did.

Begin.

OpenAI account registration requires visiting the website (if you don’t have one). Just write anything into the chatbot and get a response.

Src: ChatGPT

First, I wrote about the top 10 2023 side businesses.

This came in seconds.

2023 is shaping up to be a year of growth and opportunity for entrepreneurs and side hustlers. With the rise of remote work and the growing gig economy, there are many income streams to consider launching in the coming year. Here are the top 10 income streams to launch in 2023:

  1. Virtual Assistant — The demand for virtual assistants is on the rise as more businesses move online. As a virtual assistant, you can offer administrative, technical, or creative services to clients remotely.

  2. Online Tutoring — If you have expertise in a particular subject, consider becoming an online tutor. There are many platforms that connect tutors with students looking for help with their studies.

  3. Freelance Writing — If you have a knack for writing, consider becoming a freelance writer. You can offer your services to businesses, bloggers, and individuals looking for content for their websites or social media platforms.

  4. Graphic Design — If you have a talent for design, consider starting a graphic design side hustle. You can create logos, banners, and other visual content for businesses and individuals.

  5. Social Media Management — Many businesses are looking for help with managing their social media accounts. As a social media manager, you can help businesses create and execute social media strategies to reach their target audience.

  6. Dropshipping — Dropshipping is a business model where you sell products without actually holding any inventory. You can partner with suppliers and ship the products directly to the customer on behalf of the business.

  7. Pet Sitting — If you love animals, consider starting a pet-sitting side hustle. You can offer your services to pet owners who need someone to take care of their pets while they are away.

  8. Home Cleaning — With busy schedules, many people are looking for help with cleaning their homes. As a home cleaning service provider, you can offer your services to help keep homes tidy and organized.

  9. Event Planning — If you have a talent for organization and planning, consider starting an event planning side hustle. You can offer your services to help plan and execute events for businesses and individuals.

  10. Online Teaching — With the rise of online education, there is a growing demand for online teachers. If you have expertise in a particular subject, consider becoming an online teacher and offer your services to students looking for personalized instruction.

In conclusion, 2023 is shaping up to be a great year for launching new income streams. Whether you are looking to start a virtual assistant business, become an online tutor, or offer home cleaning services, there are many opportunities to turn your skills and expertise into a profitable side hustle.

Better than most online side hustle posts, right?

Write about the top 10 programming side hustles to start in 2023.

I got this.

If you are a programmer looking to start a side hustle, 2023 is the perfect time to launch your own business. With the growing demand for software and app development, there are many opportunities for programmers to turn their skills into a profitable side hustle. Here are the top 10 programming side hustles to start in 2023:

  1. App Development — With the rise of smartphones and tablets, there is a growing demand for app development. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom apps for their needs.

  2. Website Development — Many businesses and individuals are looking for help with creating and maintaining their websites. As a website developer, you can offer your services to help design, build, and manage websites for your clients.

  3. Software Development — If you have expertise in a particular programming language, consider starting a software development side hustle. You can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom software solutions for their needs.

  4. Game Development — The gaming industry is thriving, and there is a growing demand for game development. If you have experience in game development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom games.

  5. Data Analysis — With the rise of big data, there is a growing demand for data analysts. As a data analyst, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to make sense of their data and gain insights from it.

  6. Machine Learning — Machine learning is a rapidly growing field, and there is a growing demand for machine learning experts. If you have experience in machine learning, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom machine learning solutions.

  7. Cloud Computing — With the rise of cloud computing, there is a growing demand for cloud experts. If you have experience in cloud computing, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to migrate their applications and data to the cloud.

  8. Blockchain Development — Blockchain technology is gaining popularity, and there is a growing demand for blockchain developers. If you have experience in blockchain development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom blockchain solutions.

  9. Artificial Intelligence — Artificial intelligence is a rapidly growing field, and there is a growing demand for AI experts. If you have experience in artificial intelligence, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to develop custom AI solutions.

  10. Virtual Reality — Virtual reality is an exciting and emerging technology, and there is a growing demand for VR developers. If you have experience in VR development, you can offer your services to businesses and individuals looking to create custom VR experiences.

In conclusion, 2023 is a great time to start a programming side hustle. Whether you are interested in app development, website development, or machine learning, there are many opportunities for programmers to turn their skills into a profitable business.

These two blogs show that AI can simplify blog authoring.

I asked some tough programming questions, and most were suitable.

The content may occasionally not be what we want, but it will almost always be very helpful to you.

Enjoy.