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He might be called the international rock star of computer security. Having testified before Congress and given well-regarded speeches the world over, when Bruce Schneier talks about security, experts listen. A prolific author, he has penned articles for publications ranging from Wired to The Guardian to the Sydney Morning Herald. His books include Applied Cryptography , which delves into the science of secret codes, and Beyond Fear , which details how to protect security on the personal and national level.
His recently released book, Schneier on Security, dissects issues like data mining, the industry power struggle over controlling PC security, and why some risks are overestimated while others are underestimated.
In this interview, the security guru discusses a plethora of security topics – including how to protect your own PC.
What is the single biggest threat to our technological security at this point?
The single biggest threat is the technology itself. Technological systems, especially newer ones, are exceedingly complex—and complexity is the worst enemy of security. This is true for a number of reasons. One is that in our rush to build new systems, we generally ignore security or only pay attention to it at the last minute. But the other is that complex systems, especially non-linear and tightly coupled systems, are naturally less secure.
There’s really no solution to this problem; we’re not going to give up our new technological systems just because of security concerns, but it is something we need to be constantly aware of.
More on this topic by Bruce Schneier
Fear of identity theft seems to be at exceptionally high levels, with constant headlines about hijacked credit cards and bills run up without the account owner’s consent. Is the threat from identity theft as bad as it seems?
In the U.S., not really. The extreme cases get the press, but in the main, identity theft is a solved problem. If someone manages to open a credit card in your name, he makes an average of $1,350 in fraudulent purchases—but you’re not liable for that. Your median out-of-pocket cost for new account fraud is only $40, plus ten hours of grief to clean up the problem. This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t require companies to be more vigilant with our personal information, though. The privacy issues are much bigger than identity theft.
More on this topic by Bruce Schneier
Are there security risks that are far greater than we know? That is, some issues that don’t get much coverage but are in fact quite serious?
Corporate crime—both fraud and espionage—gets less coverage than personal crime. Companies have an incentive to keep incidents out of the public eye, so they are more likely not to talk about them. When mandatory disclosure laws were passed a few years ago, we learned that companies were losing personal data far more often than they admitted. Almost certainly they are suffering other damages as well.
It seems as if there’s a national passion for data mining, largely in hopes that it will detect terrorists before they act. Do you agree with our apparent enthusiasm for data mining?
Data mining is great for some things, and terrible for others. Its success story is credit card fraud prevention. Right now, data mining systems are looking through credit card transactions, watching for signs of card theft and other sorts of fraud. This works because 1) there is a large data set of attacks to use to generate predictable patterns, 2) criminals tend to do the same things over and over, 3) fraud reduction is easily quantifiable, and 4) the cost of false alarms is low.
Compare this with detecting terrorism: 1) there are very few attacks, 2) they’re mostly different, 3) it’s hard to quantify what a reduction in risk looks like, and 4) the cost of false alarms is very expensive. So while I have an enthusiasm for data mining as a security tool, it’s only in areas where it makes sense to use it.
More on this topic by Bruce Schneier
Continued: Securing Your PC
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Don’t worry–we’ll walk you through what you can sell and how you can get the best price possible, so you can turn your tech antiques into 2010’s latest and greatest.What Should I Sell?
If you don’t plan properly, you could potentially spend so much time selling your old gear that you’d get a better hourly rate of return by spending 30 minutes taking your tech to a recycling center and picking up a side job washing windshields on the expressway.
Before you start listing your stuff on eBay, you need to sort out what’s worth your investment of time to sell them. That, of course, depends on how much you value your time, but we have a few suggestions for you.Easy to Sell: Laptops, Desktops, Smartphones
Laptops are prime candidates for resale, though your price will depend heavily on the model’s age and initial price.
Higher-end business or professional laptops can be compelling buys even if they’re two to three years old, especially if they have a current operating system and decent specs.
Desktops are similar to laptops; models that were midrange to high-end three years ago can sell for a price roughly equivalent to a current low-end to average model, but budget desktop PCs are significantly harder to resell.
Smartphones are fairly easy to sell–older BlackBerry models are still viable for business-minded smartphone shoppers who don’t want to deal with a new contract.
If you’re still under contract and want to switch phones or carriers, however, you may be better off trying out a cell-phone swapping service like CellTradeUSA or look around for a barter on Craigslist so you can arrange a transfer of service with someone who wants your phone instead of selling your phone outright and getting slapped with the massive Early Termination Fee.Not-So-Easy Money: Portable Media Players, Digital Cameras, and Other Gadgets
Portable media players and other gadgets are kind of a mixed bag. iPods are probably the easiest MP3 player to sell (particularly the iPod Touch), and devices that haven’t dramatically changed their core functionality in between generations (the Amazon Kindle, for example) can find a buyer.
Likewise, specialized gadgets like the Kaossilator tend to stay at a fairly fixed price for a niche eBay audience.
Instead, newer cameras are competing by offering different in-camera features and powerful zoom lenses–not necessarily image quality. However, older new-in-box point-and-shoot models show up almost every week in our Deals slideshows, meaning it’s not quite so easy to get a good price for your older used model.
Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras can sell better than used point-and-shoots for two reasons: first, like point-and-shoot cameras, newer DSLR models are aggressively offering more features (HD video recording, for one) but not significantly increasing image quality, meaning that older models are still plenty usable.
Second, many newer photographers may be priced out of the new DSLR market and would be happy to take a used model off your hands for a slightly cheaper price. Also, if you’ve taken good care of your lenses and you don’t need some of them, selling them can be a good way to raise some cash.Not Recommended: HDTVs, Displays, Inkjet Printers, Storage Devices
But like HDTVs, monitors are a pain to ship, so you’ll probably be sticking to Craigslist to unload your old display.
A new inkjet printer is generally fairly inexpensive (subsidized by high ink prices, no doubt), and the printer industry doesn’t seem to add features all that quickly, so it’s probably more sensible to keep your printer until it breaks, because it’s harder to sell a used printer when new ones are relatively cheap (and therefore more compelling to would-be buyers).
Start with your local Craigslist posting–shipping a gigantic printer can be a tremendous pain, and might eat into your bottom line. Brand names matter, too–so your HP, Epson, Canon, or Lexmark printer has a better shot than a lesser-known brand.
Storage media is kind of a strange item to sell used–after all, your storage needs typically don’t decrease, and by the time you’re done with a drive, it’s probably going to be: (1) much smaller than the mainstream drives out there, and (2) well on its way to drive failure.
If you do decide to sell your hard drive or old memory cards, follow the steps in our video, “How to Completely Erase a Hard Drive“ (not the ones involving the hammer, though) to make sure no one else gets their hands on your data.How (and Where) to Sell Your Tech Sell to Your Social Networks
Since he was local, my friend had no problem handling questions before the sale, delivering the PC over and dropping off some extra S-Video cables when the ones he originally sold me didn’t work, and offering to refund my money if I wasn’t happy with the purchase after playing with it for a week. Meanwhile, my buddy got to save the cash and hassle of boxing and shipping the PC and dealing with eBay and PayPal fees.
Had I tried to buy the same PC on eBay, I would likely have had to swallow the cost of the extra cables, and if I decided I wanted a refund, the PayPal dispute process probably would have taken weeks. Buying through Craigslist would have been even worse–once the cash leaves my hands, the seller typically isn’t responsible for anything.Save Your Time, Sell to Gazelle
Selling on eBay and Craigslist can often take up more time than you initially expect, and the hassle of managing and shipping multiple eBay auctions–or setting up a time and place for your Craigslist customer meetups–often isn’t worth it. This is especially true for older items that don’t always sell on the first post or listing.
To cut down on the time and effort you spend on each sale, you may want to consider going to a handful of Websites cropping up that serve as a broker for sales of used tech.
and BuyMyTronics will let you immediately get a price quote on (most) of your used stuff. Just go to the site, pick your device from the menu, and fill out a few details such as the device’s condition and included equipment (manuals, cables, and so on), and you’ll get an estimate.
Of course, what Gazelle and BuyMyTronics offer in convenience, they take in price. I decided to compare the pricing for two laptops on eBay, BuyMyTronics, Gazelle, and Craigslist to see what the differentials were, and the results were fairly telling.
A first-generation Macbook I sold to an acquaintance for $550 would have sold for about $600 on eBay (averaging the recent Completed Listings), though that would have been reduced to $525 after the $75 in PayPal and eBay fees.
On Craigslist, people were asking for $600 and up, though it’s hard to know how many people were successfully selling at that price.
For a Lenovo s10 IdeaPad netbook, on the other hand, the difference wasn’t as large: Craigslist and eBay were both around $230 ($195 or so after eBay and PayPal fees), while Gazelle offered $147 (though it didn’t have the laptop in the database); BuyMyTronics wasn’t able to provide an automatic offer.
The verdict: Stick to the bigger sites for big-ticket items like PCs–the extra trouble is most likely worth the massive price difference. However, for older cell phones, cameras, and other gadgets which you just want to get rid of (and might not miss if they were recycled free of charge), sites like Gazelle can help you clear out your tech drawer with minimal fuss.Swap Your Smartphone
If you’re stuck in a cell phone contract and need an upgrade, a handful of Web sites can help you find someone willing to take your place so you won’t have to pay the dreaded Early Termination Fee (plus the new activation fees for your new provider).
Ideally, you find someone who wants what you have and has what you want–and you pay the site a fee of about $25 to connect the two of you. Once that happens, you’ll still need to see what your specific providers need to perform either a “transfer of contract” or “change of financial responsibility”–both parties will probably need to pass their new carrier’s credit checks, for example.
If you’re nearing the end of your contract, however, you might want to just bite the bullet and pay the Early Termination Fee (which is typically prorated according to the remaining time on the contract)–or live with your phone until the contract expires (and a newer, shinier phone comes out).
Alternatively, you can find sites that specialize in buying and selling used cell phones, like chúng tôi You probably won’t get much cash for older phones, but if you need to get rid of models that won’t sell on eBay or Craigslist, you can still get a few bucks for them (or recycle them for free).Step Up Your Sales on eBay and Craigslist
I prefer Craigslist over eBay, because you don’t have to pay any fees (which can add up to over 10 percent of your final sale price), and you’re free to negotiate the price you want instead of getting low-balled in an auction.
First off, check out this eBay Fees Calculator to figure out how much you’d have to pay for an eBay auction. If you decide to opt for eBay, read “How to Buy and Sell on eBay Scam-Free” and “Laptop Selling Tips for eBay“; if you need to do your own photography, add the oldie-but-goodie “Shoot Products for eBay” to your reading list.
On the other hand, if you’re going to brave the Craigslist frontier, read “10 Craigslist Tips for Power Users,” “Craigslist Expert Tips: Better Ways to Buy And Sell,” and “Keep Clear of Craigslist Scams.”When to Sell Your Stuff
Once you’ve figured out what you can sell and how to sell it, the next question you need to ask is when. This is particularly important for tech gear that you need to stay current on; with equipment like work PCs, high-end photo and video cameras, and smartphones, selling before the big announcement of the next-generation gear could mean a difference of as much as 10 to 20 percent of your selling price–and in just a day or two.Work Your Warranties
Buyers are also more likely to buy a used PC (or camera, or other device) with a manufacturer’s warranty because buying a used PC online is like buying a used car online–you don’t even get a test drive, much less a checkup with a mechanic. If you buy a lemon and the seller vanishes, you might still be able to get a usable PC out of it.
Even if your warranty is nearing the end, however, you can still get it to add a few bucks to your sale price. I just prepped a first-generation MacBook for resale, and the first thing I did was take it in to the Apple Store in the last few days of warranty coverage because it wasn’t recognizing ethernet connections.
While the techs had it, they found a whole bunch of other problems that I hadn’t, including a monitor inverter issue (which caused the display backlighting to dim), a hard drive close to failure, and some problems with the logic board–all of which got replaced (and the hard drive upgraded to 160GB since they didn’t have any 60GB drives left), complete with a clean Snow Leopard install and a few cosmetic parts replaced.Timing Is Everything: Trade Shows and Product Cycles
It used to be that you could count on all the new tech gear for the year to show up at big trade shows, such as CES, MacWorld, and E3. As a result, everyone dumped their stuff right before the show, while it was still fairly current, and bought the new stuff as soon as they could.
Lately, it’s not quite so predictable as it used to be, given that larger companies seem to just announce new stuff whenever they feel like it. But it’s still certainly worth following product cycles for products you’re tied to, especially if it’s a certain brand or product line that you’re depending on.
If a new BlackBerry aimed at the international traveler market just came out, you can bet that another one probably isn’t going to come out for six months at the earliest (probably closer to a year). Also, keep in mind that the end of November through the beginning of January (from Black Friday to Christmas and CES) tends to be full of heavy discounts and new product announcements, meaning you probably want to sell your stuff well before that season to avoid competing with slashed retail prices.Just Sell It Already
Photograph: Rob CardinFor example, if you have a perfectly good point-and-shoot camera that’s three years old (an Olympus FE-280, for example), but you’re itching for one with better video capture, higher resolutions, and better in-camera features, you might decide that the $23 you could get for it from Gazelle isn’t worth it. If it won’t tide you over until the camera you want is more affordable, find a creative use for it–or give it to someone who would make could use of it.Prepare Your Products
Before you make the sale, you’ll want your used tech looking its best. Dings and scratches can take a hefty chunk out of the resale price, and eBay buyers might have grounds to initiate a PayPal dispute if they discover damage that wasn’t reported in the auction listing.
You’ll also want to protect yourself–if you’re selling something with onboard memory or a hard drive, you’ll want to make sure that your data is cleanly wiped before handing it off.
Desktops are easier to clean than laptops because you have more access to the inside. Start by opening it up and grabbing some canned air from your local electronics store to blast out that dust.
If you don’t have canned air handy, you can use a low-power handheld vacuum–preferably using the narrow tapered nozzle–to suck up what you can.
Once you’ve tidied up a little bit, use some twist-ties to keep the internal wiring as orderly as possible, and shoot a few pics so potential buyers know you know your stuff. All the tips in “Preserve Your Mac’s Resale Value” apply to PCs, too.
Also, if you don’t want to (or can’t) include your software licenses for common apps like Microsoft Office or Photoshop Elements, consider downloading a few open-source applications like OpenOffice and GIMP instead.
Keep in mind that if you’re a regular indoor cigarette smoker, your gadgets may have suffered. Smoke can stain plastic cases, get sucked into PC fans and accumulate inside, and leave a long-lasting smell on your electronics that don’t bode well for resale purposes, and can actually be a health hazard to people opening up the case.
Cameras have a few specific cleaning tips, especially if you’re selling a DSLR model (point-and-shoots typically don’t give you as much access to the camera’s guts). You’ll want to look for fungus growing inside the camera, in the shutter, and on the mirror.
After that, make sure the memory card compartment is clean and none of the pins are bent. If the lens filter is scratched, take it off or replace it with a new one–they tend to be pretty cheap. Those of you who are completely confident in your camera repair skills could clean the image sensor yourself–it can add to the potential resale value and save you the $100 or so that a professional store would charge.
However, you can also risk causing permanent damage, so don’t do it unless you know what you’re getting into.
Printers typically have their own self-cleaning modes, so there is little you can do outside of running it through those a few times. Make sure you have the USB/ethernet cables (if necessary) and power cables, because they’re a pain to replace.
For all PCs, hard drives, and other devices with memory (cameras and memory cards, portable media players, smartphones) you’ll want to do a clean wipe of all your data. If possible, use DBAN to completely clean out your storage so no one can undelete your data and start snooping through your old files.
Smartphones, media players, and cameras should have a “Factory Wipe” or “Restore Factory Settings” option that reverts your device back to a factory-clean condition.
No matter what you’re selling, you’ll get a better price for it if you have the original box, manuals, included software, accessories, and cables.
If you’re missing some of them, it’s probably not worth your while to try and track them down; even for necessary items like batteries and power cords, you’d be lucky to make back what it cost for you to buy another one in the final auction price.
CyberGhost VPN is an anonymity software for Windows that will help you hide & protect your online identity & privacy. Today, on the Internet, anything is possible – even your computer getting hacked and your data stolen. As a result, anonymity over the internet has become a must! When you are an anonymous user, you can hide your IP address, and no one can steal your private information from your PC, and consequently, you can protect your online identity and protect your computer from being hacked!
Read: What is a VPN, and Why should we use a VPN?CyberGhost VPN Review
CyberGhost is an anonymity VPN solution for Windows that completely hides and protects your identity online. CyberGhost is available in two variants, CyberGhost Premium, and CyberGhost Free. The features are as follows:CyberGhost VPN Features
CyberGhost VPN is a package for frequent surfers and permanent Internet users to satisfy every desire in terms of surfing, downloading and streaming. For anyone who wants to use the Internet without constraints.
Additional protection for mobile devices (PPTP)
Access to Free servers, Premium servers, and VIP servers
Guaranteed availability without any waiting times
Includes Premium support
CyberGhost has now added new streaming services unblock for SkyGo, BBC One, chúng tôi ORF and Comedy Central, as well as brand-new server locations in Strasbourg, Berkshire and Barcelona.
Features in a nutshell:
Easy to set up
Excellent user interface
Unlimited access to 3,500+ servers in 60+ countries
Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Amazon Fire Stick, Linux & more
Simultaneous connections for up to 7 devices with one subscription
45-days money-back guarantee
Automatic Kill Switch
High speed streaming for Netflix apps
Secure access to global content
Doesn’t keep logs
Located outside of the Five Eyes (Based in Romania so no government spying!)
Unlimited Data – Peer-to-peer (P2P) torrenting allowed
Extra layer of protection when connected to public WiFi
Includes safety features that block malicious websites and tracking.
TIP: Download this VPN to give your Windows the Ultimate Privacy Shield.Anonymity Test
The app works really well in anonymizing my computer. It completely changed my IP address.Email Test
My guess was right – this app doesn’t support email protocols. I mean, you can’t send emails anonymously with this software. You would need to add an exception for your email protocols or else you wouldn’t be able to send emails from your PC!
After you add an exception for your Email Provider, you will be connected to the email service with your own IP only and NOT with any other anonymous IP.
If you are a privacy-conscious individual who would like to keep your location private and secret, I would like to strongly suggest that you check CyberGhost, which is fast and considered to be one of the best software.Buy CyberGhost VPN
CyberGhost Premium VPN for 7 devices costs $63 for 1.5 years, but other options are available as well. You can buy CyberGhost Premium VPN from their online store and stay safe & private.
The USD prices are as follows:
$3.69/mo – billed $88.56 every 2 years
$2.75/mo – billed $99 every 3 years
$5.99/mo – billed $71.88 every 12 months.
They offer a 45-day money-back policy.
I use CyberGhost on my Windows Desktop, laptops as well as my Android Phone and iPhone.
UPDATE: Cyberghost has discontinued the Free version.
Stay safe, surf anonymously!
In the early days of voice recognition, you’d be lucky to get half your words recognized, even if you spoke slowly like a robot. These days every smartphone has a voice assistant of some sort that can quickly take down notes for you or perform tasks such as opening applications.
However, if you have a Windows 10 computer, you can also control Windows 10 with your voice. This is more than just a cool feature. It can be a real productivity booster and, for people with certain disabilities, an effective way to take control of their computer.
Table of ContentsControl vs Dictation
Do you want to control Windows 10 with your voice or do you simply want it to write down what you say? Voice control is a different function from dictation and some users are often confused between the two concepts. If all you want to do is simply talk and have the computer write what you say, you don’t have to go through all of the effort to set up speech recognition.
For example, Google Docs has an excellent voice dictation feature that uses the power of the cloud to turn your speech into text. If you’re a macOS user you can even use Apple’s built-in system.
This article is about voice control, rather than voice dictation. In other words, we want to use Windows and accomplish general tasks without the use of a keyboard or mouse.Choosing The Right Microphone
If you want to control Windows 10 with your voice, you’ll need to give the computer some way to hear you. If you’re using a laptop or have a desktop webcam, you already have a basic microphone at hand, but these aren’t always going to work well for voice recognition.
Since you’d already have these mics, it can’t hurt to try voice control with them, but a better class of microphone will undoubtedly make things better. We’re using a Samson Go microphone here.Telling Windows Which Mic To Use
Before you can start giving your computer orders, you need to specify which microphone it should use. Since Windows supports multiple mics at once, it can sometimes choose one as default that’s not optimal for voice control.
In the Window that pops up,under “input” choose the mic you want the system to use from the dropdown list.Setting Up Speech Recognition
To start the process of activating speech recognition on your Windows 10 computer, open the Start Menu and type Speech Recognition. Then, open it.
Next you’ll see this wizard, which will walk you through the setup process.
Next you need to choose which type of microphone you’re using. We’re using a Samson Go mic, which stands on the desktop (or clips to a screen) so we’ll choose Desktop Microphone.
The next screen will instruct you on how to set up your mic. It differs for each mic type, so we won’t show that here.
Now read the sample text to help Windows calibrate your mic.
Now you’ll see an option to let Windows read through your documents, to get a sense of your vocabulary and phrasing. It’s up to you whether you’d like to do it. If you have documents with irrelevant content or have privacy concerns, feel free to disable this.
OK, we’re almost there. Now all you have to do is choose your activation mode.
Basically you need to decide whether you want speech recognition to be switched on by speaking a keyword, which means it’s always listening, or through a keyboard shortcut.
Now you have an opportunity to print out a reference card with common commands.
Honestly, most people won’t need this since you can always look up the commands when you need to, but if you’re preparing the computer for a disabled or less tech-savvy user, this is handy to print out and put up near the computer for reference.
Finally, after choosing whether to run speech recognition at startup, you’re given the option to do the tutorial. If you haven’t, you should! For those who have gone through the tutorial, just skip it.
When speech recognition is running, you’ll see this on your screen.
Activate speech recognition using your chosen activation method, though Windows Key + Ctrl will work as a toggle regardless. As a test, just say Start Menu with the “listening” indicator on. The Start Menu should pop up immediately. Refer to the official reference card for more commands.What Now?
With the basic setup done, you’re pretty much ready to control your computer using just your voice. You may however want to train Windows more so that voice recognition becomes more accurate. You’ll find the training application under the speech recognition setting you first used to set up voice recognition.
The more voice samples WIndows has, the better the system will work. That being said, if you’re getting a lot of missed or misheard commands, take a few minutes to train up your voice recognition system.Cortana and Third-Party Options
It’s nice that Windows 10 comes with a built-in speech recognition app to control Windows 10 with your voice, but is there a better alternative? The truth is that desktop speech control is a rather niche area. It’s often relegated to being an accessibility feature. So there aren’t that many third-party options.
Interestingly, Windows 10 has a completely separate voice activated system in the form of Cortana. As a voice assistant, Cortana isn’t designed to be a voice-based replacement for the keyboard and mouse, but there is quite a bit of overlap between the two systems. Have a look at what Cortana can do, it might be better suited to your specific needs than the general-purpose speech recognition system.
As for third-party voice control, there’s not much out there. The biggest name at the moment is Dragon Speech Recognition from Nuance. They were early pioneers of computer speech recognition and probably have the most experience of any company in the field. This is an option worth exploring if you have complex or mission-critical speech recognition needs.
If you predominantly function from your PC or just need a really good option that will ensure that you can work peacefully from one device (PC), sending and receiving messages plays a pretty crucial part.
Fortunately, we are past that archaic age when one absolutely had to have their phone for messages. Especially card OTPs and important communication that directly communicate with your phone number and not WhatsApp or other messengers.
Also, if you’re someone who uses SMS service for marketing or reminders, it can get pretty tedious when you need to juggle between devices. All of these inconveniences have some quick and simple solutions.
So without any further ado, let us check out how to send SMS from your PC.
Messages App by Google
The best part about Google is that it can sync all our devices with very little effort involved in the process. Most of us use the stock messaging app on our phones so this feature is not apparent till you get the Messages app by Google for your phone. Also, ensure that you’re logged into your Google account from the Chrome Browser. Once you do, the process is fairly simple. Just follow these steps.
Download the Messages App from the Play Store.
Open it and set it as the default messaging app when prompted.
Tap on the three-dot menu on the top right and select the Messages for web option.
Once you do, a page will open asking you to scan a QR code.
Open the QR code scanner by tapping on the option.
Now, open your Chrome browser and go to this link.
Scan the QR code that will be displayed on your computer/laptop screen.
A webpage version of the app will open to allow you to compose and send messages.
Use a Chrome Extension
This one is specifically for Gmail users. The Send Your Email to SMS (text) extension is available on the Chrome Webstore and once added to your Chrome, becomes an added feature that you can avail the next time you compose a mail.
Keep in mind that the first 10 messages you send using this service is free, but after that, you need to purchase a plan. Here’s how you can go about it:
Add the Send Your Email to SMS (text) extension to your Chrome Browser.
An icon will appear next to the Send button.
Use a website service
There are quite a few websites available to enable you to send messages from your PC. Here are a few that offer their services for free or a small fee.
The SendLeap application is fairly new on the Google Play Store. This nifty little application allows users to send and receive text messages from their Android device to their PC. It’s limited in features but does what it claims to pretty well.
Download from Play Store: SendLeap
Install for Windows: Windows 64 bit
This website is pretty comprehensive in its offerings. From timely sync to a schedule message option, it goes above and beyond to ensure that you can customize your message on different levels before you have to send it.
Also, you can access this service on all your devices as long as they can run the app and have a browser that can accommodate the extension. Mightytext works without any trouble on Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer and can also run as an independent app on any PC.
Download from Play Store: mightytext
Install the extension/app for PC and browsers: mightytext
This service is similar to mightytext, except that it allows you to subscribe to your favorite publishers and brands for notifications and updates.
Besides that, you can send files and even connect your WhatsApp to this website. The integration is pretty cool and handy if you have difficulty managing your messengers.
Pushbullet is a paid service though. You can enjoy the Pro version for $4.44 per month as part of their yearly discounted plan.
Download from Play Store: Pushbullet
Install the extension/app for PC and browsers: Pushbullet
How to use these website services
Download and install the application on your Android device.
Set up the app by creating/ logging into (in case of Google) your account as well and granting the app necessary permissions to run.
Wait for the application to sync your messages and contacts to the website/application on your PC.
Enter the number or name of the person to whom you wish to send the message to.
Now enter your message.
Hit the send icon when you are ready to send the message.
Unlike earlier, arguably premature efforts to transform tablet computing into a mass-market reality, today’s models are here to stay. The new wave of slates is rolling in fast and furious, offering a tsunami of diverse options for every user.Break From the Past
The concept of a tablet PC isn’t new, but its definition has radically changed. What we used to call a tablet was just a laptop with a screen that swiveled around and folded back, yielding a bulky machine that was uncomfortable to carry as a slate and awkward to use as a laptop. That unsatisfactory hybrid was simply where the state of technology took us in previous efforts to create “tablet” or “slate” computers.
Today’s tablet is exactly what the name implies: a thin slab, dominated by its screen. These slender systems generally max out at 1.5 pounds, and few of them take up more space in your bag than an old-fashioned composition book would. The software for tablets has changed, as well. Instead of struggling to run a full-fledged version of Windows, which requires a significant amount of processing power and isn’t optimized for use with a touchscreen, most new tablet models released nowadays run a relatively lightweight, touchscreen-focused mobile operating system such as Apple iOS or Google Android.
In the coming year, we are bound to see an astounding array of new tablets, including offerings from every major computer and phone maker, in many different sizes.Form: A Clean Slate
As yet, few rules constrain this burgeoning category, so you should expect to encounter a multitude of assorted designs, ranging from tiny slates that are barely distinguishable from iPods to devices that rival a netbook in size and power.
The most popular slate so far is the Apple iPad. The iPad measures 9.5 inches tall by 7.5 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick and carries a 9.7-inch screen. Because the iPad is about the size of a typical spiral-bound paper notebook, it looks and feels familiar to most users on an unconscious level.
But a number of new devices, including the Samsung Galaxy Tab, are challenging the notion that so large a tablet is ideal for mobile use. The 7-inch screens that these machines carry make them more portable than the iPad, and major wireless carriers are lining up to offer them with 3G service.
Meanwhile, at the larger end of the spectrum, a company called Kno is producing a line of Linux-based slates aimed at the textbook market. Inspired by bulky college texts, the Kno tablets measure 14 inches diagonally; a planned future release promises a foldable double-slate format that will enable students to view two full-size pages at once.
If you want a tablet with a roomy screen but 14 inches is too big for your taste, you can look forward to another contender from an established laptop manufacturer: Asus has announced that it has plans to begin producing a Windows 7-based slate equipped with a 12-inch screen.
Simultaneously, e-book readers such as the Barnes and Noble Nookcolor are seeking to compete with the tablet category. The Nookcolor runs Android 2.1 but is optimized for reading and for apps that B&N chooses to offer (it lacks Google’s Android Market); nonetheless, with its 7-inch color display and support for apps, it blurs the definition of a tablet.
It’s too early to tell whether users and the industry will ultimately favor a particular size and format for tablets, though the diversity of early slate offerings suggests that if a standard does eventually emerge, it won’t happen for quite some time.
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