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Scammers are always on the lookout for a new international scare. People act irrationally when they’re afraid, and scammers utilize this blind fear to trick people to do what they please.How Scammers Use the COVID-19 Fear
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and as the world fights back against COVID-19, scammers will adapt to the current events and tweak their scams to accordingly.How to Combat COVID-19-Based Scams
As you can tell, COVID-19-related scams try to get people to act on impulse. As such, it’s a good idea to only trust the news coming from trusted sources. If you want to donate, be sure to give to verified charities instead of a random email sender.Staying Safe in Worrisome Times
Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.
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The situation isn’t different in terms of cyberattacks and other malicious online activities either. We are fast approaching the era of quantum computers, theorized to be even 158 million times faster than the fastest supercomputers we have today. You can certainly understand that once the first quantum computer enters the scene, the current systems and technologies will become obsolete instantly.
Once quantum computers and, by the same token, quantum attacks become a reality, they will not only be devastating, but it will already be too late to fight them. As you can see, the issue here is that we have to work on this today, not in the years to come.Present Issue of Future Problems
Let’s get things straight first — quantum attacks won’t be here for a while. Quantum computers are still being worked on, and no one is even close to creating the first machine of this kind. This means that attacks based on such technology are not yet a reality.
However, both smaller startups and industry giants like Google and IBM are already working on these computers. For example, IBM’s Condor processor, which uses 1,121 qubits, is set to be released in 2023 and could indicate a massive breakthrough in the current race for quantum technology.
Now, the present issue with future quantum attacks is twofold:
1. They will become a reality at some point — it’s only a matter of time.
2. Even though they may not be able to crack the encryption, hackers can steal valuable data today and try to decrypt it in the future when the technology allows them to do so.US Government’s Awareness of the Problem
Due to this issue, which requires immediate attention, many companies — and even the US government itself — have already begun working on a solution. Or, to be more precise, they’ve started planning around it.
The US government has stated that there is a significant possibility that various hackers are stealing data, not to crack it now but to keep it, with the hopes of decrypting it in the future. They are well aware that current levels of encryption are often uncrackable with conventional means. But they are likely counting on the fact that these pieces of information will be susceptible to cracking eventually.
It’s worth mentioning that current encryption algorithms are breakable by conventional computers, at least in theory. That’s because they can hypothetically find the solution to decrypting them, but they would require thousands of years to do so.
Hackers know that quantum computers could test all possible combinations in only eight hours due to their sheer complexity compared to traditional machines. In other words, current state-of-the-art encryption systems used by online banking platforms would instantly become obsolete.
That’s why we need to put more emphasis on the real issue. We shouldn’t speculate on when the new attacks will become a reality. Instead, we should focus on how to solve them because it’s vital to stay ahead in cybersecurity. After all, it’s the only way to ensure proper protection is implemented in the future.What Can Be Done Now to Prevent Future Quantum Attacks?
The good news is that companies are working on creating solutions as we speak. They know that the data stolen now will be endangered in the future, which is why we already have a few algorithms verified to be quantum-resistant.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has already chosen four algorithms that can create mathematical problems that both current computers and future quantum computers will have great difficulty solving.
For general encryption, the algorithm that has been chosen is the CRYSTALS-Kyber algorithm. On the other hand, the algorithms chosen for digital signature protection are FALCON, SPHINCS+, and CRYSTALS-Dilithium.
SPHINCS+ is the only one that uses hash functions, while the rest use structured lattices, a specific collection of math problems.
NIST primarily recommends CRYSTALS-Dilithium, as it believes this is the primary algorithm for digital signatures. FALCON is recommended for apps with smaller signatures, while SPHINCS+ should be used as a backup solution.
Regular companies can already start moving on to the new post-quantum cryptography systems, but businesses in the blockchain space will have more difficulties due to the inherently decentralized nature of their industry. Moving away from the current security solutions would possibly break the decentralized aspects of blockchain.
However, even though it’s difficult, it’s not impossible. The QANplatform has already implemented CRYSTALS-Dilithium in its security layer and QAN XLINK protocol. The company will also use it in its QAN public blockchain. This way, it will demonstrate that these platforms can stay protected in the future world of quantum computers and quantum-based attacks without sacrificing what makes them decentralized.Bottom Line
Even though we are in the early stages of finding a concrete standard for post-quantum cryptography, NIST is already encouraging security experts to explore the new algorithms and the ways of introducing them into their companies’ systems.
It’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve in cybersecurity, as that’s the only way to protect your business. Breaches are constantly increasing in number and scope, and we have no way of knowing if hackers will keep that data until they find a way to decrypt it. That’s why it’s vital to protect your information now before it’s too late.
The Instagram tactics of the top US companies
The Fortune 500 is, put simply, a list of the 500 most valuable US companies based on revenue. These are all enormous businesses, with trillions in combined revenue. It’s a mix of all different kinds of businesses, so some will be digital leaders whilst others may be laggards. TrackMaven have analysed the official Instagram accounts of all the Fortune 500 companies which use the platform. By doing so, they’ve given us an insight into how top brands use Instagram, but also reveals some mistakes that they’re making, so you can learn from their mistakes as well as their triumphs.How many top US companies use Instagram?
Fortune 500 companies are ranked by revenue, and interestingly we see that the higher revenue companies are considerably more likely to use Instagram. It’s also worth noting that even among the top 100 the adoption rates are still only slightly over half. If you’re a B2B business whose customers are extremely unlikely to be on Instagram, then it seems their view is, there isn’t any point wasting time and budget on it. However for any B2C businesses we’d strongly recommend it. Instagram use is growing quickly, so even if only a small segment of your target demographic is currently using it, it’s worth establishing a presence early so you’re there when more and more of your customers become users.When do top brands post on Instagram?
Top brands tend to post during the working week and are slightly more likely to post on Thursdays and Fridays.
They are also far more likely to post during work hours, with the lunch break being the time with the most posts.But when is best to post for engagement?
Just because big brands tend to post during the working day, it doesn’t mean they’re definitely posting at the most effective times. TrackMaven analysed brands posts to see when they were getting the most engagement, and found that posts were considerably more likely to get engagement on Sundays, which is when brands were least likely to post.
Similarly, the times that got most engagement were outside of working hours, which was when brands were least likely to post. When you think about this, it makes perfect sense. Instagram is a social network for friends sharing photos – people won’t be using it as much at work.
It’s particularly interesting to see that the time with the very lowest engagement per post (12 noon) is also the time with the most posts by brands. It’s best to avoid posting at times when people’s feeds are overwhelmed by brand posts.How can engagement be boosted?
Engagement on Instagram, like that for other social networks, depends on the quality content and well targeted messaging that chimes with its audience. But it’s impossible to measure that quantitatively, so instead, TrackMaven looked at certain special characters used in posts to see if they had any effects on engagement.
It looks like brands often over-use exclamation marks, and so customers aren’t engaged by them. Questions clearly go down well, leading to slightly more engagement, and hashtags are generally effective.Who does it best?
Starbucks, Old Spice and Taco Bell lead the pack of top US companies when it comes to engagement on Instagram. These brands all tend to use high-quality images, bright colours and have an upbeat, happy tone.
? All Frappuccinos half price 3 – 5pm until 22nd May ? #MyStarbucksRewards members get Happy Hour 3pm until close. #frappuccinohappyhour
The simple answer is no. Procreate is exclusively available on Apple iPad and iPhone as it is designed for iOS only. That means you cannot simply purchase and download Procreate on a Windows PC or laptop.
I’m Carolyn and working online as a digital artist for over three years has led me to explore every possible option when it comes to accessing Procreate on different systems and devices. So I’m here to share some of my hours of extensive research with you on this topic.
In this article, I will explain why Procreate is not available on Windows and explore some alternative options in an attempt to overcome this hurdle in your quest to use this amazing app.
Is Procreate Available on Windows?
No. Procreate is designed for iOS only. And according to this official Procreate Twitter reply, they don’t have plans to develop for Windows. They also say that the app just works better on Apple devices.
Is There a Way to Run Procreate on Windows?
Note: I highly recommend you not to try the methods introduced below without a touch screen device, and just a friendly warning that your ability to create on the app is severely limited and you may risk damage to your PC system.
There are some swirling rumors online that a couple of system emulators can be used to download Procreate on a Mac or Windows PC. Sounds dodgy right? I thought so too, so I took a little deep dive into the topic and this is what I found.
According to a blogger, users can download emulators such as NoxPlayer or BlueStacks but this information appears to be false.
BlueStacks is an android emulator and gaming platform. It’s mostly used by gamers in order to enhance the gaming experience. According to a recent Reddit thread, the BlueStacks program is an Android-only emulator and cannot be used to download Procreate on a Windows device. It appears that NoxPlayer is in a similar position.
The blogger also suggests using iPadian, which is a simulator rather than an emulator. This means users have the ability to experience the iOS system on their Windows devices.
However, this is more of an exploratory option as users can witness the Procreate program as it would appear on an Apple device but will not have full capabilities to actually use the app.
Here are some other questions you might have about using Procreate for Windows. I’ll briefly answer each of them below.
How Do I Get Procreate for Free?
You can’t. Procreate offers no free trial or free version. You must purchase and download the app on the Apple app store for a one-time fee of $12.99.
Can I Get Procreate Pocket for Windows?
No. Procreate Pocket is an iPhone version of the Procreate app. This is only available on Apple iPhone devices and is not compatible with Windows, Mac, or any Android devices.
Are There Any Free Apps like Procreate for Windows?
Yes, here are two that I recommend: GIMP allows you to create artwork using graphic tools and a drawing feature. This software is completely free and compatible with Windows. Clip Studio Paint offers a free 30-day trial or up to 3 months free after committing to a monthly plan once the trial period ends.
The moral of the story is: if you want to use Procreate, you need an iPad. Otherwise, you may risk subpar artwork or network viruses from accessing sketchy download software.
If cost is holding you back, it’s almost always a better idea to invest in the real deal rather than trying to find ways around it. This may lead to even higher costs if you have to replace your Windows PC or laptop.
Remember to always do your due diligence and research thoroughly any websites or software that offers an epic loophole to your problem. There is always risk online and the only way to limit that risk is to gain knowledge and do your research.
The majority of professional photographers use photo editing presets to help limit the time spent editing photos. Many photographers will create their own photo editing presets based on their personal style. However, it’s also common to buy presets from other people since it saves the time of creating the presets. Photographers may not use a preset for every photo they edit, but they are a valued tool for improving one’s editing workflow.
Are Presets Necessary For Photographers?
A preset is a combination of pre-made photo editing adjustments that control exposure, brightness, clarity, contrast, etc. There are also sliders that turn the greens bluer, mute out the reds, crush the shadows and add vignettes. You can develop your own or even buy various presets for the kind of photography you shoot. These presets can be made to apply subtle brightening adjustments or go more in-depth with selective adjustments and other creative effects. Every preset you create can be developed according to what you think fits your style or niche.
Presets are not a one size fits all approach, nor are they a magic wand that will automatically make all your photographs look perfect. You have to adjust them according to the particularities of each picture. You have to consider many factors when using a particular preset on a batch of images – the light, the colors in the photographs, the textures, or what mood you want to convey.
While some desaturated greens may look good in a particular photograph, applying the same combination of settings on others may not give off the same vibe. Likewise, a vignette works for some pictures but can be an eyesore on others. Just because a preset looks great with one photo doesn’t mean it will look the same on another.
In a nutshell, presets are a very convenient way to edit many photos more quickly while only worrying about the minor changes you have to make afterward. They provide a quick starting point for any edit and are among the best time-saving tools available for photographers.Why Presets May Not Be Ideal For You
With that said, presets aren’t necessarily suited for every photographer. For example, if you mainly use Photoshop to meticulously edit your photos, then a preset wouldn’t offer much since every photo requires something different.
If you treat every edit a little differently, then presets probably won’t be super helpful.
But if you want to make your photos have a consistent feel, then presets are the easiest way to achieve that!
What Is The Advantage Of Using Presets?
How freakin’ awesome is that?
After all, if selling presets you already use adds revenue to your business, then why the heck not? Your presets can not only help you improve your editing workflow but also add actual money to your pocket. Score!
Do Presets Work On All Photos?
Although presets can be applied to any photo, that doesn’t guarantee it will look the way you want. Since every image has different exposures and colors to work with, it’s difficult for a single preset to look perfect every time. Instead, try developing groups of presets for specific types of photos, such as a sunset preset group or a portraits preset group, for example.
You can apply any preset on any photo, albeit that doesn’t mean that it will turn out great every time. Your preset is not the only thing that is responsible for the final result. Unfortunately, when it comes to editing, there’s no easy way out. You can simplify your work by applying a preset to your photos, but you still have to do some refining to make your presets look perfect. This will all depend on the image you’re working with!
Before you use a preset, there are a couple of things to consider. First, the picture has to be reasonably good before you apply the preset. The best preset ever made still won’t make a bad photo good, so get it right in camera!
Second, the preset has to fit the feel of your photos somewhat. For example, a preset that was made for enhancing beautiful sunsets won’t look good on a photo of the milky way. This is simply because the contents of the photos are completely different and require different adjustments to look their best.
Although presets can be applied to any photo, that doesn’t mean every preset will look good with any photo. A preset with low contrast can make a portrait unexpressive, while that low contrast combined with muted colors might make that portrait beautifully moody. Learning the right combinations between your presets and images will ultimately help you establish your own personal style. Not to mention help make your edits look amazing every time!
Who Should Use Presets While Photo Editing?
Photographers who want to edit many photos in a limited amount of time and demonstrate a consistent style will feel like they are getting a lot out of presets. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional.
Professional photographers frequently use presets when time is of the essence. For example, they are perfect for wedding and event photographers. If you have thousands of photographs to pick from and edit, it just saves you so much time. After importing and culling your photographs, all you have to do is apply the preset – either someone else’s or yours – to all your pictures and make some minor adjustments.
It’s a good idea for photographers to experiment and play around with presets to see if they’re something they can grow accustomed to. You can also buy presets and use them to reproduce a specific style of editing or mood that you aren’t sure how to replicate otherwise.
Is It Cheating To Use Presets?
Presets essentially do one thing. They affect the mood and the color scheme of your image. The rest of the charm lies in the story behind your photography, and that’s where your personal style can shine through. Photography is all about combining a set of skills into a comprehensive, visually pleasing result, not about adding a filter or just pressing a button. More often than not, if you lack the technical abilities to take a great photograph, your preset isn’t going to do any good.
So don’t worry; using presets doesn’t make you a cheater. No matter how great the preset you’re using is, it will never make up for a badly composed photo. Sometimes you will have to make minor changes to a photo; other times, you will have to change every initial setting. As you experiment with your presets, you can do your best to refine them over time. But no matter how consistent it may be, you will still have to make some additional alterations to your image.
It’s okay to use presets, but you need to make sure you’re using them for the right reasons. You shouldn’t use other artists’ presets for the sole purpose of editing your photos as quickly as you can, without learning anything from the whole process and without further developing your skills.
Like many things, when used for good, presets are a thing of great value. They can help define your editing style, make your photos stand out, and best of all, save you some time along the way!
– Brendan 🙂
What To Know
ChatGPT: A language model created by OpenAI designed to generate natural responses to user queries.
Microsoft’s Bing’s gains: Microsoft has integrated the latest GPT-4 model into the new Bing, making it a really strong contender to Google search after all these years.
Google Bard’s Debacle: The live demo of Google’s own AI chatbot ‘Apprentice Bard’ is criticized for producing inaccurate results to simple queries; Google loses $100 billion in market value.
Language-based AI models are all the rage in the world today, and OpenAI’s ChatGPT is at the center of it all. From writing an essay to delivering computer codes on demand, there’s a long list of possibilities that open up with ChatGPT (and similar chatbots): a potentiality that is looking to transform and upend the Google-led search engine industry.
With Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar backing for the next generation of web search, folks at Google find themselves behind the eight ball, staring at a very real downturn in their ad-based revenue source.
But how have the stars aligned for ChatGPT, and Microsoft by extension, to take such giant strides as to cause panic to a giant like Google and leave them red-faced? If you’re not familiar with the meteoric rise of a startup like OpenAI and its industry-disrupting chatbot ChatGPT, you need to be.
Related: Is GPTZero Accurate? Can GPTZero Detect ChatGPT? Here’s What Our Tests Revealed
1. ChatGPT: A tech that makes Google feel like a stone-age artifact
Within five days of its launch, no less than a million users flocked to ChatGPT to explore the platform. The number has since rocketed to more than 100 million. By comparison, TikTok and Instagram took many months and years (respectively) to garner that many users. But what is ChatGPT in a nutshell? Let’s hear it from the horse’s mouth.
Traditionally, if you want to find information on a topic, you open Google, and you google for it (an act that has reserved its own verb). You get a bunch of links to websites where the answer may be found. But it’s you who has to scour through them to get what you need. ChatGPT, on the other hand, is designed for one thing only: to cut down on all that search and literally tell you, in a conversational style, whatever it is that you’re looking for.
Fed on a massive data set of books, articles, and the world wide web, ChatGPT’s technology leverages OpenAI’s GPT3 AI platform – the largest neural-language model ever produced, tuned to understand human queries and generate appropriate responses.
2. Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar backing
Co-founded by Elon Musk and Sam Altman, ChatGPT has been in the news ever since its inception in 2023. But Microsoft has been the most notable investor, with prior investments in 2023 and 2023, and a whopping $10 billion investment in 2023 to accelerate ChatGPT’s development and integrate it ever so closely with its own services.
OpenAI’s previous success came with Dall-E, an AI-based text-to-image tool that turns text prompts into realistic, often surrealistic, images. And now, with ChatGPT, OpenAI has really upped the stakes when it comes to how we, the users, interact with the web.
Clearly, Microsoft has struck gold with ChatGPT. At a time when the Google-dominated search engine industry is ripe for a transition, Microsoft is definitely ahead of the curve even as other competitors look to develop their own AI-based chatbots. However, they are still far behind what ChatGPT is able to do.
3. ChatGPT’s Bing Integration
Microsoft has already integrated the latest version of the ChatGPT technology (GPT-4) into its new Bing search and Edge browser. What we know as ChatGPT thus far was only a demo of its capabilities, a preface to what’s about to come. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman recently called ChatGPT a cool but horrible product, one that “was really not designed to be used”, and claims the new AI-powered Bing offers better utility in terms of search. Such claims may be well-intentioned, but they are yet to be tested on a wide scale since the new Bing is only available to a limited number of users, and one needs to sign up and be waitlisted first in order to preview it.
4. Google set to lose a buck
The success of ChatGPT and the ongoing development of other similar AI tools have had Google scratching its head for a way to get back in the race. But it is not that Google doesn’t have anything to offer. It did launch its AI-language model LaMDA in 2023 but may have missed the bus in launching a user-oriented product early enough. That is where its latest offering, the Apprentice Bard, a homegrown AI chatbot, comes into the picture, albeit only to make a bad situation worse.
5. Apprentice Bard’s (in)ability to keep up with the evolving industry
In all respects, Google’s scramble for a response in the form of Bard was rushed. In the live demo presentation, Bard faced criticism for generating inaccurate results for a simple factual query – something that the next-gen of search/query platforms ought to do.
It was clear to anyone watching the presentation that Google had shot itself in the foot, and sure enough, Google’s stocks came tumbling down, costing the tech giant $100 billion in market value.
But that is not to say that ChatGPT doesn’t have its own faults and inconsistencies. It, too, has had problems generating factually correct answers in the past. Sam Altman had said much about it. But the debacle around Bard’s factual inaccuracies, that too during a live presentation, was plain unfortunate and cost Google dearly. And to think that it happened just a day before Microsoft unveiled the new Bing with integrated ChatGPT.
Google’s ‘Code Red’ may have been issued to speed up the development of its AI services, but an undercooked chatbot has only managed to leave them red-faced with nowhere to hide.
6. Demo debacles and industry concerns
Bard’s opening disaster has raised the perennial question of trust when using AI-driven chatbots. Cutting corners and producing inaccurate results is one thing. But there are larger issues yet to be addressed, such as chatbots posting racist, misogynist, or xenophobic language. Such problems have plagued chatbots before and had to be taken down before they could reach a wider audience – the same reason why Google kept Apprentice Bard away from the public’s eye until they decided to go ahead with it anyway.
The OpenAI team has kept filters to prevent users from receiving offensive responses. For instance, you can’t tell it to write a racist story. You’ll only end up with a polite refusal from the bot. But, in the early days of ChatGPT, users had reported similar issues with ChatGPT as well.
However, this may not be replicable as OpenAI has made the filters more stringent since then. Nevertheless, it does highlight the key problem of AI. Contextual nuances may be lost on a chatbot, but they are often assaulting obvious to humans.
7. All’s not well in AI wonderland
The next crop of AI chatbots will need to seriously address concerns over quasi-scientific claims and offensive content that can sometimes come already baked into the AI itself. Microsoft’s Bing and Edge may have integrated the latest GPT model in their services (with Microsoft 365 products soon to get that upgrade), but only time will tell how it is received globally. In the meantime, Google will have to pull up its socks and get ready for the long grind in an industry that will soon be transitioning away from traditional search engines to AI-powered chatbot integration that is here to change a whole lot for a whole lot of people.
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