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Friday, July 19, 2019

Geek Trivia: It Wasn’t Until The 1840s You Could Buy Which Of These Foods In Solid Form?

It Wasn’t Until The 1840s You Could Buy Which Of These Foods In Solid Form?

  1. Licorice
  2. Honey
  3. Granola
  4. Chocolate

Think you know the answer?



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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Daily News Roundup: Slack Will Reset Some User Passwords

Slack is resetting some user passwords after it became apparent hackers stole them in a previous breach. The hackers compromised Slack’s systems in 2015, copied encrypted passwords, and installed code to record plaintext passwords as users entered them.

In 2015, Slack discovered that hackers had compromised its systems. The hackers managed to make their way into Slack’s infrastructure and breach a database that stored usernames and passwords.

Thankfully, Slack properly hashed the passwords, which means they are encrypted and far less useful. Unfortunately, the hackers also installed code that would record plaintext passwords as users typed them in. When Slack discovered the problem, it tightened its security, removed the bad code, and reset passwords for anyone it thought had been affected by the breach.

Recently, someone contacted Slack through its bug bounty program with a list of compromised username and password combinations. The list was accurate, and when Slack investigated, it realized these passwords were in use during the 2015 breach. While the company thought it had discovered all compromised passwords at the time and reset them, that wasn’t the case.

Now, as a precaution, Slack is resetting all user passwords created at or before the 2015 breach. Slack says the reset affects about 1% of users and will contact them directly with instructions for the reset.

If Slack does contact you, you should also change your login details everywhere else if you reuse your passwords. If you do reuse passwords, you should stop. Breaches are now a common occurrence, and the safest thing to do is use a unique randomly generated password for every site. We recommend using a password manager for that purpose. [TechCrunch]

RELATED: Why You Should Use a Password Manager, and How to Get Started

In Other News:

  • Firefox will alert users of breached passwords: Speaking of breached passwords, Firefox wants to make you aware of when your passwords are compromised. If you save your passwords to the browser they will be checked against Have I Been Pwned. If Firefox finds any matches, it will notify you. [TechRadar]
  • A vulnerability in Bluetooth could reveal your location: Your Bluetooth devices are supposed to make secure connections, so only you have access to them. Unfortunately, the way many Bluetooth devices generate random connection information doesn’t prevent bad actors from tracking devices. Someone could place a series of beacons in a location, like in a mall, and track your movements. Android isn’t affected, but iOS and Windows is, and Fitbit is the easiest of all to follow. [Engadget]
  • Google removed apps designed for stalking from the Play Store: Google removed seven apps from the Play Store for violating its policies on commercial spyware. The apps touted that once installed; they could track location, record contacts, call logs, and the context of text messages (including encrypted services like WhatsApp) of a spouse, employee, or children. The apps came with instructions to install on a victim’s phone, then obfuscate the app so the phone’s owner wouldn’t know. Good riddance. [Gizmodo]
  • Microsoft showed off holographic language translation: In a novel HoloLens demonstration, Microsoft showed off a digital translator at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference. The hologram looked remarkably like the presenter and spoke with similar mannerisms as well. But it spoke in Japanese, whereas the presented spoke in English. Microsoft says live translation will be possible with this hologram, although the demo was a staged script. Pretty neat stuff. [The Verge]
  • Google starting to warn about apps not meant for children: Google previously told developers they would have to specify an intended age range for their apps. Now the company is starting to roll out “not designed for children” warning on apps that report an age range above children. Developers can even choose to apply the label proactively. Good stuff. [9to5Google]

The zombifying ant fungus is even more horrible than we already thought.

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How to Draw and Edit a Freeform Shape in Microsoft PowerPoint

powerpoint logo

PowerPoint gives you complete customization over shapes—merging shapes, changing the curvature of a shape’s lines, and even drawing your own. If you want to do the latter, here’s how.

Draw a Shape in PowerPoint

If you can’t find the shape you’re looking for, then you can draw your own. To do this, head over to the “Insert” tab and then click the “Shapes” button.

Select shapes in Illustrations group

A drop-down menu will appear. Head over to the “Lines” section and locate the last two options. These options are the freeform shape (left) and scribble (right) tools.

freeform and scribble in shapes

Freeform: Shape

Selecting the freeform shape option lets you draw a shape with straight and curved lines. To draw a straight line, click a point on the slide that you would like to start the line, move your cursor to the endpoint, and then click again.

Freeform straight lines GIF

To draw a curved line, click and drag your cursor.

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How to Restrict Data in Google Sheets with Data Validation

Google Sheets Hero image.

If you use Google Sheets to collaborate with others, you can prevent people from typing the wrong data in your spreadsheet’s cells. Data validation stops users from inserting anything other than properly-formatted data within specific ranges. Here’s how to use it.

RELATED: How to Create Shareable Download Links for Files on Google Drive

How to Use Data Validation in Google Sheets

Fire up your browser, head to the Google Sheets homepage, open a spreadsheet, and highlight the range you want to restrict.

Highlight all the cells to which you want to add some data validation.

Click “Data,” and then click “Data Validation.”

Click Data, and then click Data Validation.

In the data validation window that opens, click the drop-down menu beside “Criteria.” Here, you can set a specific type of input to allow for the selected cells. For the row we’ve selected, we’re going to make sure people put in a four-digit number for the year a movie was released, so select the “Number” option. You can also select other criteria, such as text only, dates, a pre-defined list of options, items from the specified range, or your custom validation formula.

Click the drop-down menu next to "Criteria" and select the form of validation you want to use.

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