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Most web browsers do save your browsing data and they keep this data with them until you manually delete it. This data includes the cookies placed by various websites, cache files, form data, and so on. In most cases, this can be useful as it allows you to check out your history and revisit the sites that you have visited last week. However, if you are sharing your computer (or browser) with others and you don’t want others to find out which sites you have been surfing, you may want to set an action that automatically clears data when you quit your browser. Here’s how you can get your Google Chrome and/or Mozilla Firefox to do that.Automatically Clear Data in Google Chrome
Unfortunately, Chrome doesn’t have an option to clear all the data when you quit it. It only allows you to clear the cookies when you exit the browser. But there is an extension in the Chrome Web Store that aims to fill this missed functionality. Here’s how you can use it:
1. Launch Google Chrome on your computer.
5. Scroll down to the “EXTRA” section and you should see an option that says “Delete private data when Chrome closes.” That is the option that you need to tick-mark to make Chrome clear all the data when you exit it.
You are done.
Your browser has been successfully configured to clear all the website data when you exit it.Automatically Clear Data in Mozilla Firefox
Unlike Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox comes with the functionality to auto clear data when the browser is exited. Here’s how you can set it up:
1. Launch Mozilla Firefox on your computer.
5. You can now see some more options that you can configure for your browser. One of these options is “Clear history when Firefox closes.” Tick-mark this option as it allows you to clear the website data when you quit the browser.
You are done.
Firefox will now clear all the data you selected in the above step when you exit the browser.Conclusion
If there is a queue behind you waiting for you to leave the computer so they can use it, it is a good idea to set up the above functionality. This way, no one will be able to see what you have been doing with various websites on your computer.
Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who’s written thousands of posts about various tech topics on various sites. He specializes in writing about Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android tech posts. He’s been into the field for last eight years and hasn’t spent a single day without tinkering around his devices.
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My MacBook Pro “System Data” is taking a large amount of disk space
To your surprise, you see a grey bar “System Data” that seems to occupy way more space than you think it should. In the example above, the System Data takes an astonishing 232 GB of precious storage.
Why does my Mac system require so much space? What does it contain? Is it safe to remove some of those system data files? How do I regain more storage space?
Questions like these may easily get to your head. Although my Mac now has a decent amount of free disk space and I tend not to store large files on my Mac these days, I’m always wary of files that are taking up more space than they should.
I have no idea why “System Data” is greyed out while “Documents,” “Music Creation,” “Trash,” etc. allow you to review the files based on size and type.
My hunch is that Apple does this on purpose to prevent users from deleting system files that could lead to serious issues.
What is System Data on Mac?
During my research, I found many people report that Apple counts application leftovers (e.g. Adobe video cache files), disk images, plugins & extensions in the System Data category.
CleanMyMac X is perfect for this kind of analysis. Since I tested the app in our best Mac cleaner review, it immediately came to my head when I saw “System Data” was greyed out in Storage.
Note that CleanMyMac isn’t freeware, but the new “Space Lens” feature is free to use and it allows you to scan your Macintosh HD, and then show you an in-depth overview of what’s taking up disk space on your Mac.
Step 3: The file breakdown below indicates that some Library and iOS Support files are the culprits.
The interesting part is that the System file size shown in CleanMyMac is much smaller than the size shown in System Information. This puzzles me and makes me believe that Apple definitely has counted some other files (not real system files) in the System category.
What are they? I have no clue, honestly. But as reported by other Mac users who experienced the same issue, they said Apple also considers app caches and iTunes backup files as System files.
But even after adding this amount to the original system files returned by CleanMyMac, the total size is still a bit less than what’s returned in System Information.
If cleaning the System Data is still not enough to bring your Mac’s available disk space to a normal level (i.e. 20% or more), check out the solutions below.
What Else Can I Do to Reduce System Data on Mac?
There are tons of ways out there. Here are a few of my favorites that should help you get back a decent amount of space quickly.
1. Sort all files by size and delete old large files.
On my MacBook Pro, I found a few large videos that could be transferred to an external drive.
2. Delete applications that you don’t use.
I have no idea why macOS also counts storage taken by third-party apps into “System Data”, but deleting these apps definitely helps me regain quite some disk space. All you have to do is select the apps and hit the “Delete” button.
3. Clean Trash and other unnecessary files.
In the same “System Information” window, I also found these two categories “Music Creation” and “Trash” were taking 2.37 GB and 5.37 GB. I don’t use GarageBand, I certainly don’t know why “Music Creation” is taking away so much space. So I have no hesitation but to hit the “Remove GarageBand Sound Library” button.
Meanwhile, don’t forget to clean “Trash”. Since macOS doesn’t automatically delete files sent to Trash, it can add up very quickly. However, it’s better to take a closer look at the files in Trash before you hit the “Empty Trash” button.
4. Remove duplicate or similar files.
It then scans them and returns all the duplicate files that might be worth removing. Of course, it’s always a good practice to review them before doing so. You can also read more from our detailed Gemini review here.
Wrapping It Up
Ever since Apple introduced the Optimized Storage feature, Mac users got the option of saving space by storing content in the cloud. Apple also has several new tools that make it easy to find and remove unneeded files.
That bar under the Storage tab is beautiful. It does allow you to get a quick overview of what’s taking up the most space on our hard drive. However, it still lacks insights into the “System Data” category as it’s greyed out.
Hopefully, the guides above have helped you figure out the reasons you’ve got so much system data, and most importantly you’ve reclaimed some disk space — especially for new MacBooks pre-installed with flash storage — every gigabyte is precious!
If you’re like most people, you rely on browser autofill to complete annoying web forms. Browser “autofill” automatically fills your information into fields in web forms based on information you’d previously entered into these fields.
The bad news is that malicious third parties and black-hat hackers can use this autofill feature in browsers to trick you into giving away your sensitive information. A white-hat hacker from Finland, Viljami Kuosmanen, who is also a web developer, showed in his GitHub demo that attackers could hijack the autofill feature in plugins, password managers (and such tools), and browsers.
Long before Kuosmanen, ElevenPaths security analyst, Ricardo Martin Rodriguez, had discovered this browser autofill vulnerability in 2013. So far, Google hasn’t found a solution to this vulnerability.Spilling your sensitive information unknowingly
On Kuosmanen’s proof-of-concept demo website you’ll see a simple web form consisting of only two fields – name and email address. However, the form has many hidden (i.e. out of sight) fields on there; these hidden fields include address, organization, phone number, city, postal code, and country.
To test your browser and extension autofill features, you can use the proof-of-concept site Kuosmanen had set up. On submitting the form I noticed that it’d grabbed more information than I gave. I used the latest Mozilla Firefox for this test and was amazed at how much information I spilled out.
In Chrome auto-filling financial data triggers a warning for websites without HTTPS. In my experience Kuosmanen’s form attempted to collect the date I filled the form, my address, my credit card number, CVV, credit card expiration date, my city, country, email, name, organization, phone, and postal code.
The form even tried to collect some metadata on my browser type, my current IP address and more. See my screenshot below.
Apple Safari, Google Chrome, and Opera were all vulnerable during a Kuosmanen attack test.
In January 2023 Daniel Veditz, Mozilla’s principal security engineer, said that Firefox browsers cannot be deceived into programmatically filling out text boxes. Firefox users are safe from browser autofill attacks (at least for now), as the browser doesn’t have a multi-box autofill system. Mozilla’s Firefox browser makes it mandatory for users to manually select pre-filled data for each text box in a web form.Conclusion: turn off your browser autofill feature
The easiest precaution to take against phishing attacks is to turn the form autofill feature off in your browser, extension settings or password manager. Your browser autofill feature, by default, is turned on.To turn autofill off in Chrome:
1. Go to the browser’s “Settings.”
2. Find “Advanced Settings” at the bottom of the page.
3. In the “Passwords and Forms” area uncheck “Enable Autofill.”To turn autofill off in Opera:
1. Head to Settings.
2. Go to “Autofill” and turn it off.To turn autofill off in Safari:
1. Go to “Preferences.”
Nicholas Godwin is a technology researcher who helps businesses tell profitable brand stories that their audiences love. He’s worked on projects for Fortune 500 companies, global tech corporations and top consulting firms, from Bloomberg Beta, Accenture, PwC, and Deloitte to HP, Shell, and AT&T. You may follow his work on Twitter or simply say hello. His website is Tech Write Researcher.
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For several years, Google has allowed users to automatically back up pictures and videos from their phone over to the cloud directly using Google Photos’ Back up & sync functionality. Although the backup process happens well on its own, users were limited to deleting all the backed-up content manually. This meant that you had to open the Google Photos app and use its ‘Free up device storage’ option every time you wanted to delete files that you had already backed up.
The company is now providing a new way to free up storage on your phone by letting you delete your backed-up media automatically after a certain period. This comes in the form of an update to the Files by Google app which now has a new Smart Storage option. In this post, we’ll explain what Smart Storage is all about and how you can use it to delete backed-up media from your Android smartphone.
What is “Smart Storage” and how does it work?
Google has released a new ‘Smart Storage’ feature for its Files by Google app on Android that allows you to permanently delete media from your phone that has already been backed up to Google Photos. Smart Storage can thus help you clear your phone’s local storage by deleting media that has already been uploaded to Google Photos’ cloud servers.
When you turn on Smart Storage, the app will delete all the pictures and videos that have been backed up to Google Photos but are still available on your device locally for more than 60 days after the backup was complete. Because of the 60-day limit, your media doesn’t get deleted as soon as you’ve backed it up but stays on your phone for up to 60 days in original quality before getting deleting.
This is important as many users back up their pictures and videos in reduced quality to upload as much stuff as possible but may need the backed-up media in original quality on their phones for some time so they can share it with others or on social media.
The automatic deletion will also occur if your device’s free storage is less than 25% of its total capacity, according to this Google Help page. This means, your backed-up media may get deleted even if they’ve been saved on your phone for less than 60 days if your phone’s storage is running low.
Once your backed-up media has been deleted from the location storage of your phone, you will still be able to access your pictures and video inside the Google Photos app or on the web but it will only be available in your chosen quality of backup.
What do you need to use Smart Storage?
Smart Storage is a new feature that isn’t natively present on Android but is instead only available on the Files by Google app. So, before you proceed to do anything, make sure you have the latest version of the Files by Google from the Google Play Store, first and foremost. Once that’s out of the way, you still need to ensure you have the following things:
You own a Pixel device (Pixel 3, 3a, 4, 4a, 5, and 5a series smartphones)
Your phone is running the latest Android 12 beta. Google’s support page confirms that the Smart Storage feature is currently only visible on devices running Google’s upcoming mobile OS – Android S, more commonly known as Android 12.
How to Permanently Delete Media that has been backed up to Google Photos on Android
Once you’ve made sure you have all that you need to use the new Smart Storage feature, you can start using it on your Pixel device to free up some storage from your phone. To get started, open the Files by Google app on Android and tap on the Hamburger menu button (the one marked by three horizontal lines) at the top left corner.
In the sidebar that appears on the left, select the ‘Settings’ option.
On the next screen, enable the ‘Smart Storage’ feature by tapping the toggle adjacent to it under ‘Hidden suggestions’.
A prompt will appear asking you whether you wish your backed-up media to be deleted automatically. Here, tap on ‘OK’.
The Smart Storage feature will now be enabled and you should now see a notification at the bottom confirming this.
The Files by Google app will now delete your backed-up media on its own when your pictures and videos are at least 60 days or older or if your phone’s free storage is under 25% of its total capacity.
That’s all you need to know about automatically deleting backed-up media on Android.
How to Access Skype Directly from Your Browser [Calls, Meetings] Most convenient steps to make calls from Skype Web
Skype has achieved massive popularity, it has millions of active users and dedicated clients for all platforms.
This service is also available as a web app; however, not all web browsers work well with this platform.
In today’s article, you will know which browser is best for Skype Web and how to use it on any browser.
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Do you want to use Skype in browser and make calls and messages to your friends and families? This article has brought the methods to do it.
Skype is a popular messaging service, and it’s available on all platforms, both desktop, and mobile. It has apps on all modern platforms. But, what about the unsupported platforms? It would be great if you could use this service on a browser. Right?Can you use Skype in the browser?
You can easily use Skype in any supported web browser. Microsoft made this chat app available to use in browsers years ago. In fact, the browser experience is pretty much similar to the desktop client of this platform.What browser works best with Skype?
You can use any web browser from Microsoft or any Chromium-based browser to access Skype web. However, Opera is the best desktop browser that can give you the best experience with this platform because of its performance and compatibility.How do I call Skype from my browser? 1. Access Skype Web from a browser 1.1 Opera, Chrome, Edge, and other Chromium web browsers
Download Opera or any browser you prefer and install it on your PC.
Open this browser and go to Skype for Web page.
Log in with your Skype/Microsoft Account credentials.
Start using Skype on the web.
Thanks to its low hardware requirements, Opera will be perfect for handling services such as Skype. Last but not least, a pop-out video player in Opera can come in handy for video calls while multitasking.
More so, you can enhance Opera with extensions like the Skype Messenger extension.
Opera is the most powerful and fast-performing web browser right now that works great with Skype Web.
Free Visit website1.2 Firefox and other unsupported web browsers
It’s important to mention that this service is fully available only in Opera, Microsoft Edge, and Google Chrome. To use Skype Web in the Mozilla Firefox browser, you must follow the above tricks.
The latest version of Firefox, partially support Skype. However, the above steps are still necessary to be able to use it without annoyance.2. Make the call
After accessing it from your web browser, you can call your friend or family member in the normal way you used to do it from the app.
However, while calling, your browser may ask for Microphone and Camera access. Allow it to make the call.Skype browser vs. App
Skype web and app had a huge difference in the past. However, in recent days, the gap has been very smaller. You can do everything in the web version that you could do in the app.
Though Skype is available on all major platforms like Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux, there are some platforms where it may not be available. In this case, if that platform has a desktop web browser, Skype for the web is the only way.
You could also use Skype for business in a web browser. However, Microsoft has retired this service and has brought Teams as a replacement. So, rather than finding out tips for Skype for business, you should move to MS Teams.
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I bet most of us! At least in the initial days.
This error occurs when dealing with categorical (string) variables. In sklearn, you are required to convert these categories in the numerical format.
In order to do this conversion, we use several pre-processing methods like “label encoding”, “one hot encoding” and others.
In this article, I will discuss a recently open sourced library ” CatBoost” developed and contributed by Yandex. CatBoost can use categorical features directly and is scalable in nature.
“This is the first Russian machine learning technology that’s an open source,” said Mikhail Bilenko, Yandex’s head of machine intelligence and research.
P.S. You can also read this article written by me before “How to deal with categorical variables?“.Table of Contents
What is CatBoost?
Advantages of CatBoost library
CatBoost in comparison to other boosting algorithms
Solving ML challenge using CatBoost
End Notes1. What is CatBoost?
CatBoost is a recently open-sourced machine learning algorithm from Yandex. It can easily integrate with deep learning frameworks like Google’s TensorFlow and Apple’s Core ML. It can work with diverse data types to help solve a wide range of problems that businesses face today. To top it up, it provides best-in-class accuracy.
It is especially powerful in two ways:
It yields state-of-the-art results without extensive data training typically required by other machine learning methods, and
Provides powerful out-of-the-box support for the more descriptive data formats that accompany many business problems.
“CatBoost” name comes from two words “Category” and “Boosting”.
As discussed, the library works well with multiple Categories of data, such as audio, text, image including historical data.
“Boost” comes from gradient boosting machine learning algorithm as this library is based on gradient boosting library. Gradient boosting is a powerful machine learning algorithm that is widely applied to multiple types of business challenges like fraud detection, recommendation items, forecasting and it performs well also. It can also return very good result with relatively less data, unlike DL models that need to learn from a massive amount of data.
Here is a video message of Mikhail Bilenko, Yandex’s head of machine intelligence and research and Anna Veronika Dorogush, Head of Tandex machine learning systems.2. Advantages of CatBoost Library
Performance: CatBoost provides state of the art results and it is competitive with any leading machine learning algorithm on the performance front.
Handling Categorical features automatically: We can use CatBoost without any explicit pre-processing to convert categories into numbers. CatBoost converts categorical values into numbers using various statistics on combinations of categorical features and combinations of categorical and numerical features. You can read more about it here.
Easy-to-use: You can use CatBoost from the command line, using an user-friendly API for both Python and R.3. CatBoost – Comparison to other boosting libraries
We have multiple boosting libraries like XGBoost, H2O and LightGBM and all of these perform well on variety of problems. CatBoost developer have compared the performance with competitors on standard ML datasets:
The comparison above shows the log-loss value for test data and it is lowest in the case of CatBoost in most cases. It clearly signifies that CatBoost mostly performs better for both tuned and default models.
In addition to this, CatBoost does not require conversion of data set to any specific format like XGBoost and LightGBM.4. Installing CatBoost
CatBoost is easy to install for both Python and R. You need to have 64 bit version of python and R.
Below is installation steps for Python and R:
4.1 Python Installation:pip install catboost
4.2 R Installationinstall.packages('devtools') devtools::install_github('catboost/catboost', subdir = 'catboost/R-package') 5. Solving ML challenge using CatBoost
The CatBoost library can be used to solve both classification and regression challenge. For classification, you can use “CatBoostClassifier” and for regression, “CatBoostRegressor“.
Here’s a live coding window for you to play around the CatBoost code and see the results in real-time:
In this article, I’m solving “Big Mart Sales” practice problem using CatBoost. It is a regression challenge so we will use CatBoostRegressor, first I will read basic steps (I’ll not perform feature engineering just build a basic model).import pandas as pd import numpy as np from catboost import CatBoostRegressor #Read trainig and testing files train = pd.read_csv("train.csv") test = pd.read_csv("test.csv") #Identify the datatype of variables train.dtypes #Finding the missing values train.isnull().sum() #Imputing missing values for both train and test train.fillna(-999, inplace=True) test.fillna(-999,inplace=True) #Creating a training set for modeling and validation set to check model performance X = train.drop(['Item_Outlet_Sales'], axis=1) y = train.Item_Outlet_Sales from sklearn.model_selection import train_test_split X_train, X_validation, y_train, y_validation = train_test_split(X, y, train_size=0.7, random_state=1234) #Look at the data type of variables X.dtypes
Now, you’ll see that we will only identify categorical variables. We will not perform any preprocessing steps for categorical variables:categorical_features_indices = np.where(X.dtypes != np.float) #importing library and building model from catboost import CatBoostRegressor model=CatBoostRegressor(iterations=50, depth=3, learning_rate=0.1, loss_function='RMSE') model.fit(X_train, y_train,cat_features=categorical_features_indices,eval_set=(X_validation, y_validation),plot=True)
As you can see that a basic model is giving a fair solution and training & testing error are in sync. You can tune model parameters, features to improve the solution.
Now, the next task is to predict the outcome for test data set.submission = pd.DataFrame() submission['Item_Identifier'] = test['Item_Identifier'] submission['Outlet_Identifier'] = test['Outlet_Identifier'] submission['Item_Outlet_Sales'] = model.predict(test) submission.to_csv("Submission.csv")
That’s it! We have built first model with CatBoost6. End Notes
In this article, we saw a recently open sourced boosting library “CatBoost” by Yandex which can provide state of the art solution for the variety of business problems.
One of the key features which excites me about this library is handling categorical values automatically using various statistical methods.
We have covered basic details about this library and solved a regression challenge in this article. I’ll also recommend you to use this library to solve a business solution and check performance against another state of art models.
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