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Nearbuy and Little Internet merge, Paytm gets majority stake

BENGALURU:Discoveryand deals platforms Nearbuy and Little Internet have merged, and financial services platform Paytm has taken a majority stake in this combined entity, the company announced on Wednesday. The merged entity, is expected to be valued at about $100 million with a fresh capital infusion of $25 million by Paytm, according to a source briefed on the matter.

Nearbuy-Little combined is expected to be spearheaded by Nearbuy’s chief executive Ankur Warikoo, said the person cited above.

While the two brands will continue to exist independently, Little Internet founders Manish Chopra and Satish Mani would be moving on. Sequoia Capital, along with other investors of Nearbuy will continue to be shareholders of the merged entity.

“In the local commerce space, Little Internet and Nearbuy combined will own 88% of the market share,” said Warikoo, Nearbuy’s CEO without commenting on specifics of the transaction. “There are around half-a-million merchants in the organised retail space, which we would like to bring on our platform.”

ad028_merge Nearbuy and Little Internet merge, Paytm gets majority stake

This merger brings the total merchants’ count to over 40,000, as the companies look to expand that number to 100,000 by 2018-end. Customers would be able to access Nearbuy and Little Internet deals from the Paytm app as well once it’s integrated on the platform in the next month or two, added Warikoo.

This transaction comes as Paytm looks to boost its position in the offline space allowing its merchants to have the option of acquiring more customers by offering deals and discounts. In July, the payments company acquired a majority stake in online ticketing and events platform Insider.in, thereby allowing Paytm customers to access events listed on Insider.

“Paytm’s goal is to provide its base of over five million merchants, tools to expand their business and to offer its customers the opportunity to buy all categories of digital and physical goods,” said Vijay Shekhar Sharma, CEO, Paytm. Nearbuy (formerly Groupon India) parted from its parent Groupon in 2015. It was later rebranded as Nearbuy when Sequoia Capital pumped in $20 million.

Remote Town Gets Fiber Internet With a Little Help from a Drone

Bringing blazing fast Internet access to residents of remote rural communities isn’t high on the priority list of most ISPs. That may change, now that drones can be used to speed deployment.

Over in Wales, BT subsidiary Openreach just finished cabling up the small village of Pontfadog. Now each resident — in all 20 of its houses — can download to their heart’s content at blistering speeds as fast as 1Gbps… and they have a drone to thank for it.

The small quadrotor played a key role in the installation. It didn’t have enough raw power to pull the heavy fiber optic cable, mind you. Instead, the drone stretched a 100-meter pull line from two high points in the neighboring forest.

Once the line had been run, workers hooked the fiber on and carefully pulled it across the span. Today, bandwidth-related annoyances like buffering are a thing of the past. Videos streams no longer degrade into pixelated sludge in Pontfadog.

Chris Devismes, a retired teacher, told the BBC that the the new service “has made a world of difference.” Understandable, given that he shares his home with two teenagers with an exuberance for digital activities like binging on Netflix and lengthy Skype sessions.

Lawmakers in the U.K. are currently working on legislation that will guarantee high-speed Internet access to all residents by 2020. Openreach has already expressed its interest, but reportedly doesn’t want to commit to the government’s current terms.

Parliament is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. Openreach may want to order a few pallets of drones just in case they’re required to drastically shorten the timetable for rolling out more high-bandwidth connections. There’s plenty more terrain like what they dealt with in Pontfadog standing between Brits and their fiber.

 

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Our undersea internet cables are vulnerable to attack. Just one little snip would cripple us

If Russian submarines were to cut our data lines it would ruin our economy very quickly

 

With their whitewashed seafronts and jangling arcades, there are few better symbols of British national life than our seaside towns. Yet in a handful of these sleepy coastal communities can be found one of our nation’s most serious, and overlooked, security threats.

When we send an email, use a mobile or make a bank payment, most of us have a vague idea that it speeds to its destination via wireless signals, perhaps bouncing off a satellite en route. But the truth is that 97 per cent of global communications travel along a network of just 200 fibre‑optic cable systems that run along our oceans’ floors. 

This physical network is the indispensable infrastructure of the 21st century. Thin as hosepipes, these cables carry some $10 trillion of financial transactions a day and underpin the operation of every…

Google’s Pixel C tablet gets a little love in Android 8.1 preview with new launcher features from Pixel phones

Android just keeps getting better and better on phones, but Android tablets are very much neglected. There haven’t been any meaningful improvements to Android on tablets in years, but Google hasn’t totally forgotten them. In the latest Android 8.1 preview, the Pixel C tablet has gotten just a bit of attention.


76e9b_giftguide_schoon_13 Google's Pixel C tablet gets a little love in Android 8.1 preview with new launcher features from Pixel phones

The best gifts for Android users

A quick recap in case you’ve understandably forgotten, the Pixel C was Google’s last tablet release back in late 2015. It’s still the only tablet in the Google Store, even seeing major price cuts in some regions, and it’s also one of the few decent Android tablets available today, and the only one running Android Oreo.

Google has made a habit of quietly making changes to the Pixel C’s software to better align it with the Pixel smartphones, from adding new navigation buttons to a fresh launcher in previous updates. However, in this latest update, we simply get some new launcher features.

As Android Police notes, the Pixel Launcher on the C in the latest 8.1 developer preview brings a few features from the Pixel phones over to the tablet. That includes the redesigned “app shortcuts” menu that debuted on the original Pixel on Oreo, and we also get the ability to use changing icon shapes and toggle notification dots. Further, the app drawer now utilizes the full size of the tablet’s screen rather than being condensed to the center.

76e9b_giftguide_schoon_13 Google's Pixel C tablet gets a little love in Android 8.1 preview with new launcher features from Pixel phones 76e9b_giftguide_schoon_13 Google's Pixel C tablet gets a little love in Android 8.1 preview with new launcher features from Pixel phones 76e9b_giftguide_schoon_13 Google's Pixel C tablet gets a little love in Android 8.1 preview with new launcher features from Pixel phones

If you’re still using a Pixel C, you can check out these changes by either signing up for the Android 8.1 beta program, or by sideloading the launcher update.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

Earning a little more than threshold could boost cost of health insurance

MILWAUKEE — In a health care system teeming with fine print, here’s an oddity that middle-class people who buy insurance on their own, rather than through an employer, need to know: You might want to take a pay cut next year.

Consider the situation of a 63-year-old married couple with a projected household income of $70,000 next year. The lowest-cost health plan they can buy in Milwaukee County will cost them $24,034.80.

If that couple’s income falls to $60,000, however, the same health plan would cost them $24.

That’s not a typo. It’s the total premium for the year.

More: Trump’s move will lead to higher premiums for middle class consumers he’s vowed to protect

More: Trump seems supportive of bipartisan two-year deal for Affordable Care Act subsidies

The difference: At $60,000, they’ll qualify for a federal subsidy. At $70,000, they won’t.

“The disparity between the cost of health insurance for people eligible for the subsidy and middle-class people who are not is huge,” said Larry Levitt, a policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It stems in large part from the Trump administration’s decision to end certain payments to health insurers and steps that some states have taken in response.

“The uncertainty by the Trump administration’s action has destabilized the market and led to big premium increases,” Levitt said.

As a result, people who are close to the threshold for receiving the subsidies may want to give thought to steps they can take — there are several — to report less income on their tax returns for 2018.

The subsidies end at 400% of the federal poverty threshold — $48,240 for one person, $64,960 for two and $98,400 for a family of four.

More: Retirement dream — more money for travel, less for health care — tough to achieve

Being eligible for the federal subsidy — whether you’re $10 or $10,000 more than the cutoff — can translate into thousands of dollars in savings when buying health insurance. And for some people, talking to a tax accountant could be as important as talking to an insurance agent or broker this year.

Why a gold Obamacare plan may be cheaper than a silver one

For instance, people can contribute $5,500 to an individual retirement account, and anyone 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000. So a married couple 50 and older can contribute $13,000 a year to an IRA.

People who are self-employed can set aside much more through a simplified employee pension, or SEP, plan: 25% of their net earnings, up to $55,000 next year, according to the IRS website.

Bonus! Some consumers find free health insurance through Affordable Care Act

Money pulled from a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan is taxed as income. But money pulled from a Roth IRA doesn’t count when calculating modified adjusted gross income.

“That would not go on your tax return,” Schlichting said.

And on investments made outside of retirement accounts, only the gains are taxed, and those gains can be offset by losses.

The subsidies for the Affordable Care Act have always been based on income, not net worth.

Most of the roughly 20 million people who have gained health insurance through the law work in low-paying jobs that don’t provide health benefits.

This year differs from past years, though, because of the discrepancy in the cost of health insurance for people eligible for federal subsidies and those who are not.

Much of the difference stems from the Trump administration’s decision to not fund the additional coverage for people with low incomes to offset deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

Health insurers are required by law to provide the additional coverage, even though they aren’t being reimbursed for the cost.

More: With Obamacare repeal stalled, Senate panel to focus on stabilizing insurance market

To lessen the harm, most states allowed insurers to allocate those costs to plans in the mid-level silver tier on the marketplaces set up by the ACA.

The federal subsidy is pegged to a plan in that tier, but people can use that money to buy any health plan sold on the marketplaces. This is why people and families can save so much money on health plans sold in the lower-cost bronze tier, which have higher deductibles.

Still, insurers have priced all their plans higher this year because of the turmoil in the market, a move that has particularly hurt people who aren’t eligible for subsidies.

That’s why paying attention to the cutoff for the subsidies has become unusually important this year.

“For middle-class people buying insurance on their own, the price is becoming out of reach,” Levitt said. “And we are not really having a reasoned debate about how to deal with the rising cost of insurance for middle-class people.”

Follow Guy Boulton on Twitter: @BoultonGuy

Earning a little more than threshold could boost cost of health insurance

MILWAUKEE — In a health care system teeming with fine print, here’s an oddity that middle-class people who buy insurance on their own, rather than through an employer, need to know: You might want to take a pay cut next year.

Consider the situation of a 63-year-old married couple with a projected household income of $70,000 next year. The lowest-cost health plan they can buy in Milwaukee County will cost them $24,034.80.

If that couple’s income falls to $60,000, however, the same health plan would cost them $24.

That’s not a typo. It’s the total premium for the year.

More: Trump’s move will lead to higher premiums for middle class consumers he’s vowed to protect

More: Trump seems supportive of bipartisan two-year deal for Affordable Care Act subsidies

The difference: At $60,000, they’ll qualify for a federal subsidy. At $70,000, they won’t.

“The disparity between the cost of health insurance for people eligible for the subsidy and middle-class people who are not is huge,” said Larry Levitt, a policy expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation.

It stems in large part from the Trump administration’s decision to end certain payments to health insurers and steps that some states have taken in response.

“The uncertainty by the Trump administration’s action has destabilized the market and led to big premium increases,” Levitt said.

As a result, people who are close to the threshold for receiving the subsidies may want to give thought to steps they can take — there are several — to report less income on their tax returns for 2018.

The subsidies end at 400% of the federal poverty threshold — $48,240 for one person, $64,960 for two and $98,400 for a family of four.

More: Retirement dream — more money for travel, less for health care — tough to achieve

Being eligible for the federal subsidy — whether you’re $10 or $10,000 more than the cutoff — can translate into thousands of dollars in savings when buying health insurance. And for some people, talking to a tax accountant could be as important as talking to an insurance agent or broker this year.

Why a gold Obamacare plan may be cheaper than a silver one

For instance, people can contribute $5,500 to an individual retirement account, and anyone 50 and older can contribute an additional $1,000. So a married couple 50 and older can contribute $13,000 a year to an IRA.

People who are self-employed can set aside much more through a simplified employee pension, or SEP, plan: 25% of their net earnings, up to $55,000 next year, according to the IRS website.

Bonus! Some consumers find free health insurance through Affordable Care Act

Money pulled from a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan is taxed as income. But money pulled from a Roth IRA doesn’t count when calculating modified adjusted gross income.

“That would not go on your tax return,” Schlichting said.

And on investments made outside of retirement accounts, only the gains are taxed, and those gains can be offset by losses.

The subsidies for the Affordable Care Act have always been based on income, not net worth.

Most of the roughly 20 million people who have gained health insurance through the law work in low-paying jobs that don’t provide health benefits.

This year differs from past years, though, because of the discrepancy in the cost of health insurance for people eligible for federal subsidies and those who are not.

Much of the difference stems from the Trump administration’s decision to not fund the additional coverage for people with low incomes to offset deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses.

Health insurers are required by law to provide the additional coverage, even though they aren’t being reimbursed for the cost.

More: With Obamacare repeal stalled, Senate panel to focus on stabilizing insurance market

To lessen the harm, most states allowed insurers to allocate those costs to plans in the mid-level silver tier on the marketplaces set up by the ACA.

The federal subsidy is pegged to a plan in that tier, but people can use that money to buy any health plan sold on the marketplaces. This is why people and families can save so much money on health plans sold in the lower-cost bronze tier, which have higher deductibles.

Still, insurers have priced all their plans higher this year because of the turmoil in the market, a move that has particularly hurt people who aren’t eligible for subsidies.

That’s why paying attention to the cutoff for the subsidies has become unusually important this year.

“For middle-class people buying insurance on their own, the price is becoming out of reach,” Levitt said. “And we are not really having a reasoned debate about how to deal with the rising cost of insurance for middle-class people.”

Follow Guy Boulton on Twitter: @BoultonGuy

With $5 – and a little courage – you can make your iPhone’s speakers light up to music (AAPL)

The quest to customize your iPhone to the point that it’s the most unique iPhone on the street is ever ongoing.

For most of us, that means getting a unique case, or perhaps a case that costs as much as an iPhone itself, like the $1,345 Advent Collection case for the iPhone X.

There are also a “skins,” which are essentially full-body stickers that can give your iPhone a cool leather, metal, or wooden look.

In China, glowing iPhone speaker grills that light up to the beat of your music are apparently the “latest trend.”

It’s a cool effect, that will turn heads (especially if you’re someplace outside of China, where the flashing speaker style is still a novelty).  And, thanks to Filip from the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel, there’s a way for you to make your iPhone speaker grills glow.

With that said, the procedure to get glowing iPhone speaker grills is pretty involved, and certainly voids your warranty, not mentioning that it carries the risk of breaking your iPhone for good.

Check out the glowing iPhone speaker grills:

“Check this out, guys. I bet you’ve never seen anything like this on an iPhone.”

Filip from the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel starts off his video by saying “Check this out, guys. I bet you’ve never seen anything like this on an iPhone.”

I don’t want to burst Filip’s bubble, but I have seen something similar involving a glowing Apple logo on the back of iPhones. Filip himself has had videos of how to install a glowing iPhone logo on the back of iPhones, but I first saw it on David Cogen’s The Unlockr YouTube channel. Still, I haven’t specifically seen a modification that lights up an iPhone’s speaker grills.



The effect is undoubtedly pretty cool, and it will definitely make your iPhone more unique.

YouTube/EverythingApplePro

Filip describes it as a “visual synchronizer/visualizer for music,” as the lights react to the music you’re playing from the iPhone. The lights get brighter when you increase the volume, too.

Filip notes that the lights only work when the speakers are powered, which unfortunately means it wouldn’t work when you’re using headphones or have the iPhone connected to Bluetooth speakers.



There are even kits for older iPhone models, like the iPhone 6 and 6s that have only one speaker grill.

YouTube/EverythingApplePro

Filip hasn’t yet shown how it’s done on the iPhone X, however.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

See Also:

SEE ALSO: How to give your iPhone 7 a glowing Apple logo for less than $35

With $5 – and a little courage – you can make your iPhone’s speakers light up to music

Just in time for the holidays.

YouTube/EverythingApplePro

The quest to customize your iPhone to the point that it’s the most unique iPhone on the street is ever ongoing.

For most of us, that means getting a unique case, or perhaps a case that costs as much as an iPhone itself, like the $1,345 Advent Collection case for the iPhone X.

There are also a “skins,” which are essentially full-body stickers that can give your iPhone a cool leather, metal, or wooden look.

In China, glowing iPhone speaker grills that light up to the beat of your music are apparently the “latest trend.”

It’s a cool effect, that will turn heads (especially if you’re someplace outside of China, where the flashing speaker style is still a novelty). And, thanks to Filip from the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel, there’s a way for you to make your iPhone speaker grills glow.

With that said, the procedure to get glowing iPhone speaker grills is pretty involved, and certainly voids your warranty, not mentioning that it carries the risk of breaking your iPhone for good.

Check out the glowing iPhone speaker grills:

With $5 – and a little courage – you can make your iPhone’s speakers light up to music

2275a_screenshot%25202 With $5 - and a little courage - you can make your iPhone's speakers light up to musicYouTube/EverythingApplePro

The quest to customize your iPhone to the point that it’s the most unique iPhone on the street is ever ongoing.

For most of us, that means getting a unique case, or perhaps a case that costs as much as an iPhone itself, like the $1,345 Advent Collection case for the iPhone X

There are also a “skins,” which are essentially full-body stickers that can give your iPhone a cool leather, metal, or wooden look.

In China, glowing iPhone speaker grills that light up to the beat of your music are apparently the “latest trend.” 

It’s a cool effect, that will turn heads (especially if you’re someplace outside of China, where the flashing speaker style is still a novelty).  And, thanks to Filip from the EverythingApplePro YouTube channel, there’s a way for you to make your iPhone speaker grills glow. 

With that said, the procedure to get glowing iPhone speaker grills is pretty involved, and certainly voids your warranty, not mentioning that it carries the risk of breaking your iPhone for good.  

Check out the glowing iPhone speaker grills:

There’s A Way To Reach The Top Of Your iPhone Screen Even If You Have Little Thumbs

H/T Stephen Rankel !!!

BILL CRAWFORD: State leaders give little attention to stark health needs

Have Mississippi leaders become so accustomed to bottom national rankings that they don’t care anymore?

Take health rankings for example. Mississippi has ranked among the bottom three since 1990. You know it’s bad when the Mississippi State Department of Health posts on its web site, “Mississippi ranks last, or close to last, in almost every leading health outcome.”

Few state leaders probably spend any time trolling through health stats. Here’s a quick look. The stats are stark.

Consider death rates. Mississippi has the worst rate for infant mortality and ranks in the bottom three in death rates for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, septicemia, flu/pneumonia, kidney disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/nchs/index.htm).

Consider other health factors. America’s Health Rankings (www.americashealthrankings.org) puts Mississippi 50th in health for seniors and for physical inactivity, 49th in overall health, primary care physicians, and salmonella, 47th in obesity and infectious disease, 46th in chlamydia, and 45th in smoking. The National Center for Health Statistics shows Mississippi ranks worst in low birthweight and births to unmarried mothers.

Consider health insurance. Census data shows Mississippi ranks 46th in the percentage of population with health insurance coverage (www.factfinder.census.gov).. About 12% have no insurance. Mississippi did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare and has one of the lowest thresholds for adults to qualify for Medicaid medical coverage.

Not an uplifting story.

In the face of these stark facts, what has been the response from our state leaders?

Gov. Phil Bryant has mainly focused on keeping a tight rein on Medicaid spending and eligibility, but he did call for expansion of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s doctor training programs and health care zones. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn have mostly focused on keeping health related costs “within budgetary means.” They slashed funding for the State Department of Health, cut funding for the state trauma system, cut funding for Medicaid, reduced funding to hospitals for indigent care, and cut funding for the state’s tobacco-free program.

Pretty clear the low health rankings had little impact on budget decisions, huh?

Based on the rhetoric and actions of our state leaders, the solution to our low health rankings, along with our low rankings in education, infrastructure, economy, and opportunity (www.usnews.com), appears to be tax cuts.

However, tax cuts won’t address critical health needs like this one: “The state trauma system is severely underfunded,” Mississippi Hospital Association president Tim Moore told the News Mississippi network. “We know that the state doesn’t have the money to fund additional care there, but it needs to be done, so how do we do that?”

Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

PS – You can’t look into health disparities in Mississippi without noticing the significant disparities based on race. For African-Americans, infant mortality rates are 71% higher than for whites. Deaths are 24% higher for heart disease and 20% for cancer. The rate of chlamydia is six times that for whites, low birthweight 90% higher, and obesity 21% higher. The rate of uninsured persons is 13% higher. As for tax cuts, they mostly benefit non-African-Americans.

Crawford is syndicated columnist from Meridian. Email crawfolk@gmail.com.

BILL CRAWFORD: State leaders give little attention to stark health needs

Have Mississippi leaders become so accustomed to bottom national rankings that they don’t care anymore?

Take health rankings for example. Mississippi has ranked among the bottom three since 1990. You know it’s bad when the Mississippi State Department of Health posts on its web site, “Mississippi ranks last, or close to last, in almost every leading health outcome.”

Few state leaders probably spend any time trolling through health stats. Here’s a quick look. The stats are stark.

Consider death rates. Mississippi has the worst rate for infant mortality and ranks in the bottom three in death rates for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, septicemia, flu/pneumonia, kidney disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease according to the National Center for Health Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov/nchs/index.htm).

Consider other health factors. America’s Health Rankings (www.americashealthrankings.org) puts Mississippi 50th in health for seniors and for physical inactivity, 49th in overall health, primary care physicians, and salmonella, 47th in obesity and infectious disease, 46th in chlamydia, and 45th in smoking. The National Center for Health Statistics shows Mississippi ranks worst in low birthweight and births to unmarried mothers.

Consider health insurance. Census data shows Mississippi ranks 46th in the percentage of population with health insurance coverage (www.factfinder.census.gov).. About 12% have no insurance. Mississippi did not expand Medicaid under Obamacare and has one of the lowest thresholds for adults to qualify for Medicaid medical coverage.

Not an uplifting story.

In the face of these stark facts, what has been the response from our state leaders?

Gov. Phil Bryant has mainly focused on keeping a tight rein on Medicaid spending and eligibility, but he did call for expansion of the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s doctor training programs and health care zones. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn have mostly focused on keeping health related costs “within budgetary means.” They slashed funding for the State Department of Health, cut funding for the state trauma system, cut funding for Medicaid, reduced funding to hospitals for indigent care, and cut funding for the state’s tobacco-free program.

Pretty clear the low health rankings had little impact on budget decisions, huh?

Based on the rhetoric and actions of our state leaders, the solution to our low health rankings, along with our low rankings in education, infrastructure, economy, and opportunity (www.usnews.com), appears to be tax cuts.

However, tax cuts won’t address critical health needs like this one: “The state trauma system is severely underfunded,” Mississippi Hospital Association president Tim Moore told the News Mississippi network. “We know that the state doesn’t have the money to fund additional care there, but it needs to be done, so how do we do that?”

Things are likely to get worse before they get better.

PS – You can’t look into health disparities in Mississippi without noticing the significant disparities based on race. For African-Americans, infant mortality rates are 71% higher than for whites. Deaths are 24% higher for heart disease and 20% for cancer. The rate of chlamydia is six times that for whites, low birthweight 90% higher, and obesity 21% higher. The rate of uninsured persons is 13% higher. As for tax cuts, they mostly benefit non-African-Americans.

Crawford is syndicated columnist from Meridian. Email crawfolk@gmail.com.

How to make Windows 10 look and feel a little more like Windows 7

Change usually means improvements and new features, and Windows 10 certainly wasn’t short of them when it was launched back in July 2015.  But while fancy features like the Cortana digital assistant sound great, not everyone is keen on the new look.

The aesthetic updates weren’t that radical for those moving from Windows 8 to Windows 10, but those who upgraded from Windows 7 would have been in for quite a surprise. If you’re finding it really hard to adjust, some of these tweaks might make things appear a little more comfortable.

[Read more: Windows 10 Fall Creators Update – New features you can expect on your PC]

Tip 1: Bring back the Start Menu

The Start Menu may have returned in Windows 10, but not everyone’s keen on those live tile apps that appear. To get the Windows 7 style Start Menu back, download the free Classic Shell software.

We’ve tried this software and it works well on our machine. It doesn’t install anything extra, but it is third-party software so check you are happy with the terms before you download it.

Once you’ve installed Classic Shell, you should notice that the Start Menu looks more like what you’d expect from Windows 7 when you click on it. The old search bar is back too.

Tip 2: Hide Cortana

Cortana is a really useful digital assistant that you can control with your voice – to find out all the best things you can do with Cortana, click here.

But if you’ve installed the Classic Shell from Step 1 and brought back the familiar search bar, you may no longer need Cortana. 

To hide Cortana, simply right click on the taskbar and click Cortana.

Then click Hidden.

[Read more: Don’t like Windows 10? Here’s how to get rid of it]

Tip 3: Bring back the old-style volume control

If you prefer the horizontal volume bar from Windows 7, you can get it back too, although the process requires a bit of work. 

Follow these instructions carefully or you could cause your machine problems. The steps are straightforward but only carry out this process if you’re confident you can perform it 100% correctly.

1: First, click the Windows key + R on your keyboard. The Run box will appear; type regedit and hit OK.

2: The Registry Editor will then load. From the folders, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE then SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows NT and CurrentVersion.

3: right click on the CurrentVersion folder and click New, followed by Key. Name the key MTCUVC.

4: Click on the MTCUVC folder and right-click on the right side. Go to New and then DWORD (32-bit) Value.

5: Name it EnableMtcUvc, hit Enter and then double-click.

6: In the box that pops up, set the Value data to 0 and click OK.

The old volume control should then appear whenever you click the icon in taskbar.

Tip 4: Bring back the old time and calendar tool

Using the same process as the volume above, you can also get the Windows 7-style time and calendar tool.

1: In the Registry Editor, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, SOFTWARE, Microsoft, Windows, CurrentVersion and ImmersiveShell.

2: Right click on the ImmersiveShell folder and click New, followed by DWORD (32-bit) Value.

3: Name it UseWin32TrayClockExperience and hit the enter button.

Then double-click it and set the Value data to 1 before click the OK button.

 

[Read more: Looking for even more ways to make Windows 10 easier on the eye? Click here to try these 8 tips.]

This article was updated on November 11, 2017.

Get more on Windows 10



How a little-known computer network system changed the history of the internet

The game monitored your every move. “Touch a tile,” the game would say. When you touched a tile, it told you to now find a matching tile and touch it. The program instantly evaluated whether the two tiles were indeed legal by the rules of the game, and if so, the two tiles disappeared, bringing you one step closer to winning. However, the game was quick to identify a tile that was not “free,” meaning it was somehow blocked. What might feel like an easy, quick game could turn into a half hour, an hour, or more, the last thirty or forty tiles seemingly unmatchable. This is where the game’s addictiveness revealed itself: just when all appeared lost, players drunk on the gambler’s fallacy—I’ll figure it out this time—found a surge of motivation and then, having discovered all was indeed lost, rather than quit, they’d load a new game and start all over again.

Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church… oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

At the Internet Archive’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, on Wednesday, technologists, educators, archivists, and others fact-oriented folks gathered to discuss how they and the like-minded can save news from the memory hole – a conceit conjured by George Orwell to describe a political mechanism for altering the truth.

The event, Dodging the Memory Hole 2017, was the fifth such gathering since 2014, sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It comes at a time when news publishers in the US faces heightened hostility from the Trump administration, not to mention ongoing revenue pressure.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library, explained founder Brewster Kahle during his keynote presentation. The Archive’s goal, he said, is to provide universal access to all knowledge. In that it echoes Google’s self-avowed aspiration, but without the ads, data harvesting or commercial chicanery. And with a handy little copyright exemption.

The organization is based in an old and rather grand Christian Science church in the Richmond district of San Francisco, and it keeps online copies of books, audio and video recordings, texts, software, and more, like you’d expect from a digital library. It is best known, perhaps, for the Wayback Machine: a backup cache of 308 billion webpages scraped automatically from the public internet. The data is stored on servers in California with a total capacity of 35PB – 10PB of which we saw sitting at the back of the church.

dfb12_brewster_kahle Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church... oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle

To underscore the Internet Archive’s civic purpose, Kahle recounted how on May 1, 2003, the White House issued a statement about the Iraq war: “President Bush Announces Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.” That declaration was subsequently modified without notice to read: “President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended.”

Later, Bush’s statement was removed from the web, but remained preserved in the Internet Archive. It would be December 2011 before combat operations in Iraq actually ended, at least from the perspective of the Obama Administration.

“We want to make it so you can’t just take things off the net and put them down the memory hole,” said Kahle.

Kahle and others made it clear that today’s political climate has added a sense of urgency to digital preservation efforts. Following the 2016 election, the Internet Archive and its community of concerned archivists worked to capture 100TB of information from government websites and databases out of concern it might vanish. It’s a job with no end in sight.

“Things are very dangerous right now for internet content,” said Art Pasquinelli, LOCKSS partnership manager at Stanford University.

Information on the internet is being filtered and fractured through social networks, Pasquinelli suggested. It’s often presented without useful context. Data sets may become inaccessible.

dfb12_brewster_kahle Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church... oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

10PB of the 35PB stored at the Internet Archive … yes, sitting in the church’s cool air

If there’s any good news, it’s that the Internet Archive itself hasn’t been attacked directly, at least in a major way, to stop it from what it’s doing. “We don’t see people trying to modify the records that we’ve stored,” Kahle told The Register. “We haven’t felt like we’ve been attacked. We’ve been used mostly for the purpose that we’ve been designed for.”

The Internet Archive isn’t so much concerned with preventing the spread of misinformation as with making sure information of all sorts remains accessible.

“We’re not a good judgement organization, but we can build collections and make them permanent,” Kahle said.

Kahle would like to see social networks do more to make data available.

“I found it curious that Facebook didn’t have the ads that they used to run,” he said, in reference to the social network’s role in distributing and then losing divisive Russian-backed political ads and posts during the US presidential election. “And we probably don’t have those either, because we don’t archive Facebook very well.”

Among those presenting at the event, the focus was on tools for keeping information alive, like digital archiving software LOCKSS, and Robust Links, a proposal for adding more information to prevent reference rot online

Reference rot encompasses both link rot, when links on pages no longer work, and context drift, when content editing undermines past citations.

The Internet Archive has been fighting reference rot with bots. Mark Graham, director of the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive, said that the Archive worked with Wikipedia over the past year to find and correct some 3.8 million broken links.

“One of the problems we’ve been working on is trying to help make the web more reliable,” said Graham.

The Internet Archive has a couple of dreams, said Kahle. One is getting fresh copies of its data out of the US, because it’s good to have an offsite backup. Mirrors are held in the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, in Egypt, and a location in Europe. Another is the decentralized web. And then there’s the one about footnotes.

“We’d like to turn all footnotes blue,” said Kahle. “Wouldn’t it be great if PDF viewers – Preview on the Mac or the one that’s bundled into Firefox – were to go look for footnotes and turn them all into hypertext links?” ®

11 Little Mental Health Tips That Therapists Actually Give Their Patients

The goal of therapy is to give you the tools and strategies for navigating whatever is going on in your life—from stress or relationship issues to managing a mental health diagnosis. But a therapist isn’t going to just hand over some life-changing advice and call it a day.

“Most of the work of therapy happens outside the consultation room,” licensed clinical psychologist Alicia H. Clark, Psy.D., tells SELF. “The best progress happens when you apply what you’ve learned outside that setting, in your real life.”

The good news: This means that you have the power to enact real change in the way you think, behave, and cope on a daily basis. But you need to put in the work.

“There are 168 hours in a week,” licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D., author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells SELF. “It would be terribly arrogant on the part of a therapist to believe that your one-hour intervention will suffice to keep your clients mentally healthy for the rest of the 167 hours.”

But, we get it, therapy isn’t always accessible to everyone. So, while this isn’t meant to be a substitute for professional help, we asked mental health professionals to share the most impactful and least intimidating strategies that they typically give to their patients. If you’re looking for mental health advice that you can start acting on immediately, try some of these tactics:

1. Actually try writing your thoughts down.

Venting is awesome for a reason—it helps you get out your frustrations. That’s one of the reasons why it can be helpful to keep a mental health journal, David Klow, licensed marriage and family therapist, founder of Chicago’s Skylight Counseling Center and author of the upcoming book You Are Not Crazy: Love Letters from Your Therapist, tells SELF.

You don’t need to do anything in-depth or lengthy—just take five minutes or so a day to write down your thoughts, feelings, or ideas. This can be especially helpful if you want to keep track of changes in your moods or behavior over time (maybe to discuss with a therapist later). But it can also just be a place to work through something in a private, non-judgey space—something that you may not feel comfortable talking about just yet.

2. When you’re super stressed and overwhelmed, see if there’s any way to put a positive spin on it.

Stress happens, and it always sucks on some level—whether you’re overworked or overbooked or both.

Still, Dr. Clark says you can take those moments when you’re totally overwhelmed and try to look for the good in them. For example, if you’re stressed because you’re up against an intense work deadline, think about how that stress is actually helping to push you to get it done. “The sensation of pressure doesn’t have to be negative—it can be a positive challenge and motivating,” Dr. Clark says. Or, if you don’t have a free weekend to yourself in the next two months, consider how it’s pretty great that you’ve got such a rich social life these days. In many cases, it’s all about how you view it.

And, of course, if you’re chronically stressed and there really isn’t an upside, consider viewing that as a welcome warning sign that you need to find ways to scale back before you burn out.

3. Plan to take daily, low-key walks (and actually do them).

Sometimes you just need to step away from what you’re doing or dealing with and get some air. Sure, getting regular exercise is important for mental health, but even just taking regular, relaxing walks can be soothing for your mind. Plus, it may literally force you to take a breather when you need one.

“Getting out into the world and connecting with life is usually healing, as is the rhythmic nature of walking,” Klow says. “It can help get you out of your head and into the world.” Try taking a walk when you first get up or after dinner, or try scheduling 20 minutes into your work calendar to remind you to just step out for a bit.

4. Counter negative thoughts with positive ones.

Negative thoughts are just a part of life, but they don’t have to consume you. Instead of trying to ignore those thoughts altogether, try countering them with positive statements, suggests Dr. Mayer. For example, if you’re feeling anxious and regretful about staying in bed til noon one day, follow that with a reminder that you really needed some extra rest and alone time this week. You can get back out there tomorrow.

5. Make a list of “your people.”

You know the ones—these are the people you know you can always call, text, or email when you need to feel a connection, Klow says.

“By building a list of people that you trust, with whom you can talk to in times of need, you allow yourself a strong sense of not being alone,” he says. The next time you’re struggling, check out your list and reach out to someone on it. Then, work your way down if someone you love isn’t free to talk.

6. When you’re stuck in a negative thought spiral, write down two good things.

It’s hard to think of anything else when you’re really upset or frazzled, so this exercise is mostly about hitting pause and broadening your focus.

Just think of two or three positive things in your life in this moment—something that brings you joy, something you’re proud of, someone who loves you. This can help ease your feelings of angst and frustration, Dr. Clark says. “Gratitude is something I work with people to cultivate especially when life feels overwhelming and negative,” she adds. Even being thankful for a hot shower can help you reset.

7. Have a self-care arsenal.

Everyone has certain things or coping mechanisms that give them a boost when they’re feeling crappy, and you might not even realize what yours are, Klow says. Maybe it’s taking a bath, watching that one YouTube clip, putting on the sweatpants with three different holes in them, whatever. Just make sure whatever it is, it’s accessible when you really need it.

8. Talk back to your inner voice.

Everyone has an inner voice, i.e. the way you talk to yourself in your head or out loud. But sometimes that voice can be cruel—even though it’s ultimately dictated by you. It can tell you that you’re a failure or convince you to stress about something that you have absolutely no control over. “Most people have a loud inner critic which makes their life more stressful,” Klow says. “Learning to have a reassuring and soothing inner voice can make a big difference in improving your mental health.”

Obviously that’s easier said than done, but here’s a good place to start: When your inner voice is giving you really crappy freedback and advice, stop and consider how you would talk to your best friend in this situation. Then try to adjust your inner voice to talk like that. Chances are you wouldn’t tell your friend she’s doing everything wrong and everyone hates her. You’d probably tell her she’s overreacting, that she has no reason to think these things, and that she should focus on what she can actually control in the situation.

9. Ask yourself “and then what?” when you’re stuck on an anxious thought.

Ruminating over something that’s making you anxious isn’t going to achieve anything. But you can help push your thought process forward by forcing yourself to think ahead, Dr. Clark says. “This helps elucidate thoughts that are reasonable, probable, or sometimes even rational,” she says.

For example, if you keep worrying that you’re going to lose your job, ask yourself what would happen if that were the case. That might seem terrifying at first (you’d be strapped for money, you could lose your apartment, it could impact your relationship, etc.) but then follow those thoughts—what would happen next? Maybe you would look for a new job, find a cheaper apartment, take out a loan. Eventually your thoughts should come around to reasonable solutions to your biggest worries. You might even realize that these scenarios—while certainly anxiety-inducing—are highly unlikely to come to pass.

10. Think about your alcohol habits and whether you could stand to cut back a little.

Your alcohol intake doesn’t just impact your physical health—it affects your mind, too. So it’s important to consider your drinking habits when you’re aiming to improve your mental health, says Dr. Clarke.

If you find that you’re typically drinking more when you’re feeling depressed or anxious, or that you end up feeling worse whenever you drink, try cutting back on how much you have and how often you have it. Keeping a log of your drinking and your emotions before and after might also be helpful.

11. Have a bedtime ritual.

Quality sleep is a crucial part of your mental health, but it can be especially hard to come by when you’re struggling with anxious or depressed thoughts. So do everything you can to try to quiet your thoughts before you get into bed.

Since it’s unlikely you’re going to solve anything overnight, Dr. Clark recommends pressing pause on your thoughts and trying to get a solid night of sleep before diving back into things. That might include writing down anything you’re worried about so that you can get back to it tomorrow—and stop thinking about it now.

You can also look for winding-down activities that won’t work against you (the way staring at your phone or Netflix might), like coloring, journaling, or reading (as long as you set a stopping point in advance).

The bottom line: There are a number of small but impactful ways to improve your mental health every day.

Of course, this list is no substitute for getting help from a licensed mental health professional who can walk you through individual strategies that can help you. But hopefully this gave you a few ideas that you can use the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. Remember, don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for valuable resources to find help and support, or call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).

Related:

The setting that made me love my iPhone a little more

This fall, my iPhone’s ($849.00 at Apple) notifications have been out of control. And it’s all because of fantasy football.

I’m in two fantasy football leagues, both of which are on Yahoo. I use the Yahoo Fantasy Football app to manage my two teams (namely, to choose the wrong QB or WR to start each week) and get notifications from the app throughout the week, which keep me apprised of the health of my injury-riddled rosters.

Since I’m managing two teams, I get a steady stream of updates throughout the week as NFL teams issue their injury reports. These messages from Yahoo clog up my notifications, but I don’t want to risk turning them off and leaving my starting lineup full of players with pulled hamstrings, concussions or other maladies.

a313d_15n0903tmfantasyfootballstill0 The setting that made me love my iPhone a little more

Thankfully, I found a middle ground that doesn’t require me to disable Yahoo’s notifications altogether or delete the notifications manually each day. I can simply tell Yahoo or any app to stop leaving its alerts in my notification history. They arrive and then they disappear. 

Say ‘no’ to Show in History

Go to Settings Notifications and find the app or apps that are taking up more than their fair share of your notifications screen. You can access the screen in iOS 11 by swiping down from the top of an unlocked iPhone or swiping up from the middle of a locked iPhone.

Once you’ve selected your app (for the record, Yahoo’s Fantasy Football app is filed under “F ‘and not “Y”), toggle off Show in History.

a313d_15n0903tmfantasyfootballstill0 The setting that made me love my iPhone a little more


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

With Show in History off, I see my depressing injury reports from Yahoo as they arrive and then they’re gone — they don’t linger in my list of old notifications.

Tech Culture: From film and television to social media and games, here’s your place for the lighter side of tech.

Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool.

The NichePhone-S is a tiny little Android phone – The Verge

As Apple brings smartphones to bold new places, another company is trying to take us back to a simpler, calmer, and much cheaper time. FutureModel plans to release a surprisingly accurately named device called the NichePhone-S later this month that runs Android but doesn’t seem to do much more than make calls, send texts, and stream music. It’s similar in shape to a credit card and looks like an odd little calculator.

Engadget Japan called our attention to the device and has some hands on photos with it. According to the report, the phone will come out in Japan on November 10th and sell for around $95.

The phone is supposedly running Android 4.2, though I don’t know how you’d be able to tell. Its screen looks like a digital clock; it’s not clear that there’s any sort of detailed interface here. Apparently, though, you’ll be able to record voice memos, play back music, and connect to Bluetooth headsets. I will be seriously disappointed if there isn’t also a calculator function.

The whole thing looks reminiscent of the Light Phone, another super-minimalist device announced earlier this year. That phone can only make phone calls and doesn’t offer anything else — no texting, no Bluetooth, no apps. Just the ability to store some phone numbers. These devices certainly aren’t going to find a mass market audience, but the fact that they keep getting made suggests they’re at least tapping into some lingering desire for us all to log off Twitter and run into the woods.

The NichePhone-S is a tiny little Android phone

As Apple brings smartphones to bold new places, another company is trying to take us back to a simpler, calmer, and much cheaper time. FutureModel plans to release a surprisingly accurately named device called the NichePhone-S later this month that runs Android but doesn’t seem to do much more than make calls, send texts, and stream music. It’s similar in shape to a credit card and looks like an odd little calculator.

Engadget Japan called our attention to the device and has some hands on photos with it. According to the report, the phone will come out in Japan on November 10th and sell for around $95.

The phone is supposedly running Android 4.2, though I don’t know how you’d be able to tell. Its screen looks like a digital clock; it’s not clear that there’s any sort of detailed interface here. Apparently, though, you’ll be able to record voice memos, play back music, and connect to Bluetooth headsets. I will be seriously disappointed if there isn’t also a calculator function.

The whole thing looks reminiscent of the Light Phone, another super-minimalist device announced earlier this year. That phone can only make phone calls and doesn’t offer anything else — no texting, no Bluetooth, no apps. Just the ability to store some phone numbers. These devices certainly aren’t going to find a mass market audience, but the fact that they keep getting made suggests they’re at least tapping into some lingering desire for us all to log off Twitter and run into the woods.

Buying on internet exchange sites can be a little safer in Hamilton County


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 Buying on internet exchange sites can be a little safer in Hamilton County

Capt. Tom Butler knows it happens all around the country: Somebody finds an item online they want to buy. They meet the seller in person, only to be robbed. Or sometimes, the seller’s hawking stolen goods. For Butler, there’s a particular local case that comes to mind.  “A woman who found a car on Craigslist in the Greater Cincinnati area — she went to meet the gentleman selling this car,” Butler said. “She found she didn’t like the vehicle, she left. He followed her home, broke into her house and assaulted her and took $1,000.” The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t want that happening again. It’s opening a place in its lobby at patrol headquarters for buyers and sellers to meet in person. The sheriff’s office has partnered with OfferUp, an internet exchange site, to open the “meetup spot.” The area has surveillance cameras. There are armed, uniformed sheriff’s deputies nearby. “You just never know who you’re going to meet,” Butler said. “You don’t know what their intentions are. Most people doing it, they have good intentions. But there’s always that rare occasion when someone has other intentions.” Patrol headquarters is located at 11021 Hamilton Ave., just south of Interstate 275. The internet exchange area is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week.  Butler hopes it will prevent what happened to the woman from happening again. “If something like that were to happen, where they follow you, we have a record of who’s here and we’ll be able to investigate it if something like that were to happen,” he said.

 Buying on internet exchange sites can be a little safer in Hamilton County

HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office patrol headquarters, at 11021 Hamilton Ave., offers a safe place for people to meet in person to exchange items they found online.

 Buying on internet exchange sites can be a little safer in Hamilton County
 Buying on internet exchange sites can be a little safer in Hamilton County

COLERAIN TOWNSHIP, Ohio — Capt. Tom Butler knows it happens all around the country: Somebody finds an item online they want to buy. They meet the seller in person, only to be robbed. Or sometimes, the seller’s hawking stolen goods.

For Butler, there’s a particular local case that comes to mind. 

“A woman who found a car on Craigslist in the Greater Cincinnati area — she went to meet the gentleman selling this car,” Butler said. “She found she didn’t like the vehicle, she left. He followed her home, broke into her house and assaulted her and took $1,000.”

RELATED: Butler County Jail offers secure location to exchange online purchases

The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t want that happening again. It’s opening a place in its lobby at patrol headquarters for buyers and sellers to meet in person. The sheriff’s office has partnered with OfferUp, an internet exchange site, to open the “meetup spot.”

The area has surveillance cameras. There are armed, uniformed sheriff’s deputies nearby.

“You just never know who you’re going to meet,” Butler said. “You don’t know what their intentions are. Most people doing it, they have good intentions. But there’s always that rare occasion when someone has other intentions.”

Patrol headquarters is located at 11021 Hamilton Ave., just south of Interstate 275. The internet exchange area is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 

Butler hopes it will prevent what happened to the woman from happening again.

“If something like that were to happen, where they follow you, we have a record of who’s here and we’ll be able to investigate it if something like that were to happen,” he said.

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