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As the Internet slowly but surely starts transitioning from the old and widely used HTTP format to the new HTTPS secured format, you will start to see more and more browsers block access to HTTP websites purely from a security standpoint. So if you still constantly access websites using the less secure HTTP format, this article will show you how to force them to use HTTPS.

How to Block/Hide Cookie and GDPR Warnings Displayed By Websites.

Online security is one of the most important yet difficult areas of life in an always-connected Internet environment. It seems like every day there is a new and emerging threat or vulnerability discovered that threatens to leave us all wide open to some kind of financial or personal information theft.

Although viruses, malware, stalkerware, ransomware, and phishing scams make up most of these threats, accessing and browsing insecure websites that still use the now outdated HTTP format can also leave a person vulnerable. If you are using a modern and up to date browser like Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome or Opera, your browser will generally warn you if you are entering a website that isn’t secured by HTTPS. If you’d like to learn a little more about the differences between HTTP and HTTPS I suggest checking out the following Wikipedia page which explains everything in detail.

Can You Force HTTP Websites to Use HTTPS? You Sure Can!

Now that you understand the fundamental reasons for the need to switch to HTTPS, you can begin the process of forcing websites to use HTTPS instead of HTTP. To begin you will need to download a small extension called HTTPS Everywhere, which is available for Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera.

HTTPS Everywhere is a collaboration project developed between The Electronic Frontier Foundation and The Tor Project, so before you add the extension to your browser, it’s worth checking out both developer websites for a little more information.

Download HTTPS Everywhere For Opera.

Download HTTPS Everywhere For Firefox.

Download HTTPS Everywhere For Chrome.

Related: How to Securely and Anonymously Share Files of Any Size Using the Tor Network.

If you would rather completely block all HTTP websites, you can tick the Block all unencrypted requests box in the extension. This will prevent all HTTP websites from being displayed, instead showing the following message. Keep in mind that the extension for Google Chrome is still in beta phase so it may be a little overprotective or buggy at times.

Related: How to Send Self Destructing Emails From Gmail. (Time Erased Emails)

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How To Use Cortana Instead Of Google Now On Android

Cortana and Google Now/Google Assistant are battling it out for the wooden spoon of virtual AI assistants. Neither has quite the A-list status of Siri, which by way of being first past the post and, admittedly, being more responsive to your everyday needs, is at the head of the pack.

But Android users can’t have Siri, so we may as well move on. What we can have now is Microsoft’s virtual assistant based on that blue lady in the Halo games, Cortana.

Here’s how to get your hands on it as well as reasons why you’d want it instead of Google Now, Assistant, or whatever they want us to call it these days …

How to Replace the Google App with Cortana

To properly put Cortana through its paces on Android, you should set it as your default voice assistant for a bit just so you can get a feel for it in day-to-day use. To do this, first install the Cortana app from the Play Store.

Once you’ve done that, there are a couple of ways to go about the next bit. The simplest approach, which may not work for everyone, is to long-tap the Home button on your Android device to bring up Google voice search.

If, however, your Home button doesn’t automatically go to your voice assistant, then you should make the Search Assistant the default action when you double-tap (or maybe long-press) your Home button.

Once you’ve done that, double-tap or long-press the Home button and select Cortana as the default search assistant.

How Good Is Cortana vs. Google Now?

Cortana on Android still feels like a work in progress, which is fair enough considering Google’s option has been dominating Android devices for years while poor Cortana has had to turn up on Google’s doorstep after the resounding failure of Windows Phone.

Once you’re in Cortana, it has a very similar feel to Google Now, though it won’t be able to draw on your Google search history to get an idea of what kind of stuff you’re interested in. (You’ll need to use Bing for that.)

Cortana’s well integrated with certain Android apps, and if you ask it to send an email, navigate to places, or add something to your calendar, it will generally use the default app for those functions.

However, at this point it’s not quite as robust as Google Assistant, and be prepared for more specific questions to redirect you to Bing’s search results instead of giving you the answer you want straight away.

Conclusion

Cortana is definitely worth a try if you fancy a change of scene, and it has some interesting features in the pipeline, such as the option to access it directly from your Android lockscreen. It also has several unique features of its own, such as ‘My Day’ which shows you information that it thinks is relevant to planning the day ahead, as well as the abilities to tell you a joke and sing you a song!

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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How To Download Entire Websites For Offline Use

Wi-Fi seems to be available pretty much anywhere. In addition, mobile data plans are becoming increasingly generous and speedy. However, there are occasions where you may be caught without access to the Internet. Anyone who flies knows the pain of a flight without Wi-Fi. Fortunately, if you’re stuck in a situation that bars access to the World Wide Web, there is a way to access your favorite website. All you need to do is download it. Downloading an entire website is also handy for those who want to archive a site in case it goes down.

Best Websites to Download

While all of the tools listed below can and will download any website, just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should. We suggest that you target websites that have lots of text and a minimal amount of pictures. Furthermore, it might be a good idea to download a site that doesn’t get updated often.

HTTrack

SiteSucker

Cyotek WebCopy

Cyotek WebCopy is a tool that allows users to copy full websites or just the parts that they want. Unfortunately, the WebCopy app is only available for Windows, but it is freeware. Using WebCopy is simple enough. Open the program, pop in a target URL and you’re off to the races. As we’ve mentioned, many modern websites are huge, so downloading an entire website can be a real test in patience. Fortunately, WebCopy has a robust number of filters and options, allowing users to grab only the parts of the website they actually need.

GetLeft

This open-source website grabber has been around for some time, and for good reason. GetLeft is a small utility that has the ability to download the various components of a website, including HTML and images. GetLeft is also very user-friendly, which explains its longevity. To get started, simply fire up the program and enter the URL address of the website you want to download and where you want it to download to. GetLeft then automatically analyzes the website and provides you with a breakdown of the pages, listing subpages and links. You are then able to manually select which parts of the website you want to download by checking the corresponding box.

Image credit: Download

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How To Check The Security Of An Https Connection In Chrome

Most people who use the internet already know that the padlock icon in the URL bar means that the site is secure, but you may not realise exactly what that means or how secure your connection really is with that padlock.

The padlock is a visual indication that your connection to the website has been secured using HTTPS. HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a version of the HTTP protocol that uses encryption to secure your data from prying eyes.

Encryption is a process of scrambling data with an encryption cipher and key so that it can only be read by using the decryption key. You can think of it as a lockbox, you can write a message, lock the box, and then only someone with the right key can open the box to read the message. This keeps your data secure from hackers trying to steal account details.

One key piece of information you should know is that the encryption and security of HTTPS only verifies that your connection to the website you typed in the URL bar is secure. It doesn’t imply that the website is secure, or even that it’s the website you meant to browse to. Many phishing and malware websites are moving to use HTTPS as it becomes more accessible, so it’s not safe to just trust any site that uses HTTPS.

Tip: A “phishing” website tries to trick you into submitting sensitive data, such as account information, by faking a legitimate login page. Links to phishing sites are often sent via email. Malware is a catch-all term for “Malicious software” it includes viruses, worms, ransomware, and more.

Note: You should never enter your username and password, or other sensitive information such as bank details over an insecure connection. Even if a site has the padlock and HTTPS, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be careful with where you enter your details.

Chrome Developer Tools

In the security panel overview, there are three sections of information, Certificate, Connection, and Resources. These cover the details of the HTTPS certificate, the encryption used to secure the connection, and detail if any resources were served insecurely respectively.

Certificates

The certificate section states which certificate authority issued the HTTPS certificate, if it is valid and trusted, and allows you to view the certificate. Beyond verifying that the website you’re connecting to is run by the person who owns the URL, the certificate doesn’t directly affect the security of your connection

Tip: HTTPS certificates work on a chain-of-trust system. A number of root certificate authorities are trusted to issue certificates to website owners, after they prove that they own the website. This system is designed to prevent hackers from being able to generate certificates for websites they don’t own, as these certificates won’t have the chain of trust back to a root certificate authority.

Connection

The “Connection” section details the encryption protocol, key exchange algorithm, and encryption algorithm used to encrypt your data. The encryption algorithm should ideally say “TLS 1.2” or “TLS 1.3”. TLS, or Transport Level Security, is the standard for negotiating encryption configurations.

TLS versions 1.3 and 1.2 are the current standards and are considered secure. TLS 1.0 and 1.1 are both in the process of being deprecated as they are old and have some known weaknesses, although they are still adequate security-wise.

Tip: Deprecated means that their use is being discouraged and steps are being taken to remove support.

The predecessors to TLS were SSLv3 and SSLv2. Almost nowhere supports either of these options anymore, because they have been deprecated due to being considered insecure since 2024 and 2011 respectively.

The next value is the key exchange algorithm. This is used to securely negotiate the encryption key to be used with the encryption algorithm. There are far too many to name, but they generally rely on a key agreement protocol called “Elliptic-curve Diffe-Hellman Ephemeral” or ECDHE. It is not possible to determine the agreed encryption key without using third-party network monitoring software and a deliberately weakened configuration. Explicitly not supporting access to this information in the browser means that it can’t be compromised by accident.

The final value in the Connection section is the cipher suite used to encrypt the connection. Once again there are far too many to name. Ciphers generally have multipart names that can describe the encryption algorithm used, the strength of the cipher in bits, and what mode is being used.

In the example of AES-128-GCM as seen in the screenshot above, the encryption algorithm is AES, or the Advanced Encryption Standard, the strength is 128-bits, and the Galois-Counter-Mode is being used.

Tip: 128 or 256 bits are the most common levels of cryptographic security. They mean that there 128 or 256 bits of randomness making up the encryption key being used. That’s 2^128 possible combinations, or two multiplied by itself 128 times. As with all exponentials, the numbers get very big, very fast. The number of possible 256-bit key combinations is roughly equal to some low-end estimates of the number of atoms in the observable universe. It is unimaginably difficult to correctly guess an encryption key, even with multiple supercomputers and centuries of time.

Resources

The resources section shows any page resources, such as images, scripts, and stylesheets, that were not loaded over a secure connection. If any resources were loaded insecurely this section will highlight red and provide a link to show the specific item or items in the network panel.

Ideally, all resources should be loaded securely as any insecure resource could be modified by a hacker without your knowledge.

More information

You can see more information on each domain and subdomain that were loaded by using the column on the left of the panel. These pages show roughly the same information as the overview although Certificate transparency information and some extra details from the certificates are shown.

Tip: Certificate Transparency is a protocol used to counter some historical abuses of the certificate issuing process. It is now a mandatory part of all newly issued certificates and is used to further verify that the certificate is legitimate.

The origin view allows you to look through each of the domains and subdomains that loaded content in the page, so you can review their specific security configurations.

Star Wars Builders Use The Force

Sitting in the California desert, Andy Woerner’s rocket-powered replica of a Star Wars X-wing fighter looks fully prepared to make a run at the Death Star. But for Woerner and his rocket club, building the ship was as big a challenge as what the rebels faced in that galaxy far, far away.

With no specs, they started by measuring a circa-1980 toy model. From that they designed their 21-foot-long plywood version using a CAD program. No detail was overlooked—for example, to get the four 60-pound wings to open and close like the movie’s fighter, they took a tiny 2.3-horsepower electric motor from a radio-controlled helicopter and linked it to a complex series of gears, chains, and shafts.

Unfortunately, the real Force affecting the X-wing at the desert rocket show was gravity, and when it began flying erratically, the group had to blow it up by remote control. Still, Woerner hopes he instilled a love of rocketry in the many kids who got to sit in its cockpit beforehand. No doubt, as Yoda might say, an unforgettable experience, it was.

How it works

Cost: $7,000

Time: 2 months

Co-pilot

Using an inflatable ball as a frame, the group made a fiberglass mold of R2-D2’s head, sat it on a plastic turntable, and hooked that up to the motion system from a radio-controlled boat so they could turn the head from a distance.

Landing

Just before the rocket reached roughly 700 feet, a series of charges was supposed to release four parachutes—on the wingtips, the nose, and the tail—allowing the fighter to land intact.

Self-destruct

When the rocket veered on its ascent, the team activated the parachute charges all at once via radio control, turning it into a fiery mess of plywood and parachutes, while keeping it away from the crowd.

The fighter in action

Additional images of the X-wing fighter rocket at Plaster Wars 2007

Getting the fighter into position. John Gilhooley

The back of the X-wing. John Gilhooley

The X-wing’s rocket thrusters. John Gilhooley

Some of the X-wing’s inner workings. John Gilhooley

The X-wing’s cockpit. John Gilhooley

The X-wing rocket in flight. John Gilhooley

The X-wing goes down in flames. John Gilhooley

Other impressive Star Wars projects R2-R9 droid

You know R2-D2, but do you know R2-R9? Courtesy of Jerry Greene

Cost: $12,000

Time: 3 years

Engineer Jerry Greene built this R2-R9 droid, seen in Episode I of the Star Wars series, because, he says, everyone makes R2-D2s. Working with the members of an international droid-builders club, he drew up blueprints and then machined and cut the parts of his all-metal robot. Using an R/C helicopter remote, he can steer it, activate a fog machine inside to simulate a smoky breakdown, and even play various audio clips. A flash drive storing prerecorded R2 sounds from the movies is hooked up to a sound card and a pair of speakers hidden behind two vents. And yes, the kids—and adults—love it.

Ultimate lightsaber

Those hilts are quite elaborate. Courtesy of Todd Clay / Ultra Sabers

Cost: $175

Time: 1 week

What’s the point of having a lightsaber if you can’t duel with it? Tired of mass-marketed sabers that were constantly breaking, Alex Buckner decided to redesign them. Rather than stringing the lighting throughout the plastic blade, as the official commercial version does, he placed a powerful LED in the handle so that aggressive Jedi throwdowns wouldn’t damage it. Now he makes the lightsabers full-time and offers inexpensive DIY kits for aspiring knights and lords.

Y-wing fighter

The Y-wing doesn’t have wings, exactly, but it does look like a “Y.” John Gilhooley

Cost: $500

Time: 9 months

Todd Mullin and the club Punk Rocket Science chose to fashion a rocket from a different rebel ship, the Y-wing fighter. They found drawings and blueprints online and began by building and flying an 18-inch scale model. Then they made a 13-foot-long version from plywood, with cardboard tubing for the rockets. Paying meticulous attention to detail, the group even smeared black paint over a coat of white for that grungy Star Wars look. They also added fiberglass and fine-sanded the pods on each side (the Y-wing doesn’t actually have “wings”) for durability and hooked up a parachute ejection system. Once the altimeter registered an increase in pressure, indicating descent, the parachutes would pop. Sadly, it never got that far. After liftoff, the charges controlling the chutes blew early, causing the pieces to crash to the ground and giving the Empire the last laugh.

This story has been updated. It was originally featured in the January 2008 issue of Popular Science magazine.

Fabricjs � � How To Set Polygon Objects Properties Using Function Instead Of Constructor

We can create a Polygon object by creating an instance of fabric.Polygon. A polygon object can be characterized by any closed shape consisting of a set of connected straight line segments. Since it is one of the basic elements of FabricJS, we can also easily customize it by applying properties like angle, opacity etc.

Syntax Parameters

key − This parameter accepts an String which specifies the property we want to set.

value − This parameter accepts the value to be set for the property.

Example 1: Creating an Instance of fabric.Polygon() and Adding it to our Canvas

Let’s see a code example of how we can create a polygon by creating an instance of fabric.Polygon. It can be seen that we have added the properties of “top” and “left” by using the constructor.

Creating an instance of fabric.Polygon() and adding it to our canvas

var canvas = new fabric.Canvas(“canvas”); canvas.setWidth(document.body.scrollWidth); canvas.setHeight(250);

var polygon = new fabric.Polygon( [ { x: -20, y: -35 }, { x: 20, y: -35 }, { x: 40, y: 0 }, { x: 20, y: 35 }, { x: -20, y: 35 }, { x: -40, y: 0 }, ], { top: 50, left: 50, } );

canvas.add(polygon); Example 2: Using a Function to Set the Properties of Polygon Object

Let’s see a code example to see how the Polygon object looks like when a function is used to set the properties. Here we have initialized a function called addProperties which adds properties of “stroke”, “left”, “fill”, “top” and “selectable” using the set method. As we call the function, these properties will be added to the object.

var canvas = new fabric.Canvas(“canvas”); canvas.setWidth(document.body.scrollWidth); canvas.setHeight(250);

var polygon = new fabric.Polygon([ { x: -20, y: -35 }, { x: 20, y: -35 }, { x: 40, y: 0 }, { x: 20, y: 35 }, { x: -20, y: 35 }, { x: -40, y: 0 }, ]);

function addProperties(obj) { obj.set(“stroke”, “red”); obj.set(“left”, 100); obj.set(“fill”, “black”); obj.set(“top”, 70); obj.set(“selectable”, true); }

addProperties(polygon);

canvas.add(polygon); Conclusion

In this tutorial, we used two simple examples to demonstrate how to set Polygon objects properties using a function instead of constructor using FabricJS.

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