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Browser makers cite coronavirus, restore support for obsolete TLS 1.0 and 1.1 encryption

Google, Microsoft and Mozilla have each issued reprieves to Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.0 and 1.1, aged encryption protocols that were to be bounced from browser support in March, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By common agreement, Google’s Chrome, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) and Edge, and Mozilla’s Firefox were to disable support for TLS 1.0 and 1.1 early in 2020. They, along with Apple – which produces Safari – announced the move a year and a half ago, noting then that the protocols had been made obsolete by TLS 1.2 and 1.3.

Apple, Google and Mozilla had committed to dropping support in March 2020, while Microsoft had only promised to purge TLS 1.0 and 1.1 sometime during the first half of this year.

But it was Microsoft that was most detailed about the TLS turnabout. “In light of current global circumstances, we will be postponing this planned change – originally scheduled for the first half of 2020,” Karl Pflug, of the Edge developer experience team, wrote in a post to a company blog.

(Microsoft has generally used the “current global circumstances” phrasing or something similar, rather than coming out and saying “COVID-19” or “coronavirus.”)

The plug-pulling of TLS 1.0 and 1.1 will only be delayed, Pflug continued. Edge – the newer, Chromium-based Edge, will reinstitute the banishment “no sooner” than Edge 84, currently slated to release around July 14. The older browsers in Microsoft’s inventory, IE11 and the legacy Edge, will disable the protocols by default as of Sept. 8.

Google will do things differently, even though, like Edge, it’s based on Chromium. Originally, Chrome 81 was to pose an interstitial warning users when they tried to reach a site encrypted with TLS 1.0 and 1.1; that version was supposed to appear March 17, but was postponed three weeks ago.

“Removal of TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 has been delayed to Chrome 83, which is expected to ship in late May 2020,” Google said in a document about Chrome feature and API deprecations. Chrome 83 – Google has already said it will skip version 82 – is scheduled to launch May 19.

Meanwhile, Mozilla chimed in, too, with more of an explanation than either of its rivals. Firefox 74, which debuted March 10, had disabled TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1; sites that didn’t support TLS version 1.2 or greater showed an error page when users tried to reach them.

Mozilla rolled that change all back. “We reverted the change for an undetermined amount of time to better enable access to critical government sites sharing COVID-19 information,” Mozilla said in a revision to Firefox 74’s release notes. Mozilla did not cite examples of the sites it said continued to rely on the older protocols, nor set a timetable for eventually rolling back the roll-back.

Apple has not posted any news about how its Safari will deal with TLS 1.0 and 1.1 during the coronavirus crisis.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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10 Ways to Restore Your Creative Energy Using Technology

Whether you’re a DIYer trying to solve a problem, a writer working on a new story, or a designer looking to spice up an old model, perhaps you need help restoring your creative energy.

This article is designed to help you restore your creative energy when it has upped and left you. Maybe one tip will do the trick, or perhaps you’ll have to work your way through the list.

1. Go for a Walk

If you’ve been working on the same thing for a long time, your creative juices may be running dry. If so, it’s time to take a break by doing something else entirely.

One simple idea is to go for a walk. It might not sound like much, but a short walk can reset your system and break the monotony of working.

If you’re feeling lazy, fitness trackers (the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitors

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The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring

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) can be of great help. These devices can help keep you motivated when doing exercise. Their constant feedback about the calories you burn will help you go the extra mile. You can even add friends on some of these devices and compare your activity data.

2. Get Rid of Distractions

Image Credit: MikeRenpening/Pixabay

If you’re unable to get creative because you open Facebook or check your messages every five minutes, you need to get rid of these distractions.

While smartphones are amazing devices, they can also make us less productive. To fix this problem, you can uninstall the distracting apps from your phone or disable notifications on your phone

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to work free from distractions.

You can also try apps that limit your time on social media. We recommend OFFTIME, Moment, or Flipd.

3. Have a Snack

Hunger can play havoc with our ability to get things done. A research paper published by Science Daily shows that our stomach produces ghrelin, a hormone that affects our decision making abilities and can lead to impulsive choices.

There are several helpful apps such as Noom that will not just find the right snack according to your cravings, but also find a way for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Once you’ve satisfied your stomach your brain may just let you get back to work.

4. Come Up With 100 Bad Ideas

Instead of coming up with something good, come up with something awfully bad. And a lot of it. So that there’s no pressure on you.

If you’re a writer, come up with 100 bad story ideas. If you’re a musician, come up with a 100 awful tunes. And if you’re an architect, come up with 100 bad designs for buildings.

You can create your list of bad ideas on apps like Evernote or Google Keep. These apps store all of their data in the cloud, meaning you can revisit it at any time.

The logic behind this method is that out of those 100 ideas, a couple will always turn out to be good. When you try to create something absurdly bad, you utilize a creative side that you hadn’t ever explored before.

5. Change your Surroundings

reorganize workspace
Image Credit: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

You don’t have to make big changes. Just change something in your environment. Replace the items on your desk and reorganize the space you’re in. If you work in a typical office cabin environment, try adding some colors to your cabin.

Make use of apps such as Houzz to give your home workspace a virtual makeover before investing any real money. You can also get ideas from Pinterest or Tumblr.

Fresh surroundings make way for fresh ideas.

6. Organize Your Thoughts Visually

There are several platforms that let you organize your thoughts in a better way to help your creativity. Websites like Coggle, Popplet, and MindMaster help you visualize your ideas using flowcharts or drawing tools.

This lets you get a better picture of your ideas and reach solutions faster.

7. Discuss Your Ideas Online

You’ll find several forums where there are experts who will happily share their opinion on your creative piece. For example, if you are an artist, you can showcase your art on DeviantArt and interact with other users. There’s a thriving community that can offer you support and inspiration.

Reddit is full of great communities on every subject you can think of. And you can either be a passive participant reading other people’s threads or an active member starting conversations. Either way, as you discuss things with others, you might find a creative angle you didn’t consider earlier.

8. Listen to Happy Music

Research suggests that listening to happy music can trigger creativity. Music is known to enhance cognition and improve memory and learning, which boosts creativity as well.

Maybe all you need to restore your creative energy is a little dose of happy music. And all you need to do to find it is open up your favorite streaming service—whether it’s Apple Music or Spotify—and search for “Happy Music”.

9. Meditate to Regain Focus

meditation apps
Image Credit: akiragiulia/Pixabay

It sounds cliche but if you get rid of all thoughts (or at least try to clear your current thoughts), you get to reach your spiritual side. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s the consistency that matters and not the duration. If you can spend just 3-5 minutes a day meditating, it can help your creative energies.

While most people have heard of meditation, many don’t try it because they find it difficult to focus. If you’re one of these people, you can seek help from meditation apps such as Insight Timer and Calm.

10. Enjoy a Little Humor

If you’re planning to reap the benefits of technology to be creative, have fun while you’re at it. Research suggests humor can enhance creative thinking as it lets you associate ideas more broadly and freely.

So don’t hesitate to watch funny videos on YouTube or to browse funny GIFs on Giphy.

Creativity cannot be forced. Let go of the pressure and have a laugh. But make sure online entertainment doesn’t become too much of a distraction for you. Remember, everything is good in moderation.

Carry on Training Your Brain

Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it for a long time, it will lose its strength. You need to flex it every day so that it stays healthy. While some people are naturally better at it, others can build it with practice.

To flex your creative muscles, keep training your mind constantly. You can do this by playing brain exercise games on your smartphone

The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS

The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS

These free brain games will challenge your mind and keep you sharp. Check out these challenging puzzles, word games, and more.
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How to Back Up and Restore Your Chrome Bookmarks Locally

Google Chrome Logo

Whether you want to back up all your bookmarks regularly in case something happens or you want to transfer them to another browser, Chrome lets you export bookmarks locally. Here’s how to back up and restore your bookmarks.

How to Back Up Your Bookmarks

To back up bookmarks in Chrome, click the Chrome menu icon at the top-right corner of your browser window and then go to Bookmarks > Bookmark Manager.

You can also quickly open the Bookmark manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+O.

Clock the menu icon, point to Bookmarks, then click on Bookmark Manager

From the Bookmarks Manager, click the menu icon and then select “Export Bookmarks.”

Click the menu icon, and then click "Export Bookmarks."

Put your exported bookmarks in a safe place and then click “Save.”

Navigate to a safe folder, and click "Save."

Note: Google saves your bookmarks in HTML format. You can import them into another browser or view its contents by double-clicking the file and opening it.

How to Restore Your Bookmarks

Google Chrome has two ways to import your exported bookmarks back into the browser. They both do essentially the same thing, so for this guide, we will use the “Import Bookmarks and Settings” tool.

Click the menu icon in the top-right corner of the browser, hover over “Bookmarks,” and then click on “Import Bookmarks and Settings.”

Click the menu icon, point to Bookmarks, then click on Import Bookmarks and Settings

From the drop-down menu, choose “Bookmarks HTML File” and then click “Choose File.”

Choose "Bookmarks HTML File" from the dropdown, and then click "Choose File."

From the file explorer, navigate and select the HTML file you previously exported and then click “Open.”

Locate the file, and then click "Open."

If you want your bookmarks to be shown in the bookmark bar, make sure to toggle on “Show Bookmarks Bar.” Click “Done.”

After the import has completed, close the dialog by clicking "Done."

That’s all there is to it. After you close the dialog, all your bookmarks will be in a folder on the Bookmarks Bar—or in Bookmarks Manager if the Bookmarks Bar is disabled—labeled “Imported.”

Your imported bookmarks can be found on the Bookmarks Bar or in the Bookmarks Manager in the folder "Imported."

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How to Restore Apps and Games to Your iPhone or iPad

Hand holding an iPhone showing the Apple iPhone App Store "Not on this Phone" menu.
Justin Duino

Did you just get a new iPhone or iPad you’re not restoring from a backup? Want a fresh start on your old device? After you set up your phone or tablet, it’s time to restore your favorite apps and games.

How to Find Previously Installed Apps

If you want a fresh start with your new iPhone or iPad, it’s best not to restore from a backup. A freshly reset iPhone or iPad is bug-free, crashes less often, and gives you better battery life.

Still, you want to access all your favorite apps. Sure, you can search and download each one, but there’s a better way to get a list of all your previously downloaded apps and games.

Open the App Store and go to the “Today” tab. Tap your profile icon in the top-right corner to see your account information.

Tap the profile icon.

From here, tap “Purchased.”

Tap "Purchased."

On the next screen, tap “My Purchases.”

Tap "My Purchases."

Here, you see all the apps and games you’ve downloaded or purchased using your iCloud account. The list is sorted in reverse-chronological order, so the most recent downloads appear first.

At the top of the screen, tap “Not on this iPhone/iPad” to see a list of apps and games you haven’t downloaded yet.

Tap "Not on This iPhone/iPad."

Find the apps you want to restore, and then tap the download icon to start the installation process.

Tap the download icon.

If you’ve built up a long list over the years, tap the “Search” box at the top to find a specific app in your purchase history.

How to Restore Apps From an iCloud Backup or Old Device

The only time you can restore apps from an iCloud Backup is when you’re setting up an iPhone or iPad. Starting with iOS 12.4 and onward, Apple changed this process. During the setup process, you see a screen called “Transfer Your Data.” From here, you can transfer apps and data wirelessly from your old iOS device or iCloud.

Tap “Transfer from iPhone/iPad” to transfer data wirelessly from an old device, or tap “Download from iCloud” to restore from an iCloud backup.

If your device is running iOS 12.3 or lower, you see the “Apps & Data” screen during the setup process. Here, you tap “Restore from iCloud Backup” and sign in with your iCloud account.

Tap "Restore from iCloud Backup."

Tap “Choose Backup,” and then select from your list of available iCloud backups. Next, you just wait until your iCloud backup is restored. All of your apps will download from the App Store automatically, and the backup will restore all of your app and game data. You won’t need to log in or set up your apps and games again.

How to Restore Apps From an iTunes Backup

If you’re on the 5 GB free iCloud tier, iTunes is a better way to make a full iPhone or iPad backup. Plus, if you choose the Encrypted Backup option, you can backup personal data, like Face ID, HomeKit data, and Health app data, as well. This way, when you restore your iPhone or iPad, all your apps and games, app data, iCloud data, and personal information are available in the same state they were in at the last backup.

Before you can restore the data on your new device, you need to back up your old one. If you still have it around, open iTunes on your Mac or PC, and then connect your iOS device. Click the “Devices” button from the top toolbar to go to the device management screen. From here, find the “Backups” section and switch to “This Computer” for the mode of backup. Click “Back Up Now” to backup your old iOS device.

To restore a backup from iTunes, connect your new device to your computer. Select your device from the toolbar and click “Restore Backup.”

Click "Restore Backup."

In the next popup, choose the backup you want from the list, type the password if it’s encrypted, and wait as your apps and games are restored to their previous states. When you see the “Hello” screen on your iPhone or iPad, you can use your device.

iCloud and iTunes backups are a package deal; they back up and restore every app and game on your device.

Use a Third-Party Backup and Restore App

In some cases, you might want more control over the backup process. For example, maybe you only want to back up and restore individual apps, games, or app data. In these situations, you can use a third-party iOS device management app, like iMazing.

Open the iMazing app, connect your iOS device, and click “Restore a Backup” to start the process.

Click "Restore a Backup."

The full version of iMazing costs $44.99, but it’s worth it if you don’t want to use iTunes to manage your iOS device.

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Something Disappeared From Your Mac? How to Restore 7 Common Items

Has a toolbar or a window disappeared from your Mac? Or maybe it’s a menu bar icon that has gone missing.

Sometimes one unintentional key press or a change in a mystery setting is all it takes to make items disappear from view. As we’ll see below, it’s often easy to bring such items back if you know where to look.

Let’s explore several common items that could disappear from your Mac and how you can restore them.

1. The Dock

Turn of Dock hiding option in Dock's context menu on macOS

Can’t see the Dock anymore? Does it appear only when you mouse over the bottom edge of the screen? That’s most likely because you’ve triggered the Dock’s auto-hide feature, either by:

  • Entering the full screen mode for the active app, or
  • Hitting the keyboard shortcut Option + Cmd + D accidentally

The shortcut toggles the auto-hide feature, so using the same shortcut again will restore the Dock to its always-visible status.

You can also toggle automatic hiding for the Dock from System Preferences > Dock. Look for the Automatically hide and show the Dock checkbox and enable or disable it as needed. You’ll find the toggle option tucked away in the Dock’s right-click menu too.

If the Dock still hasn’t made a comeback, you can reset it to its default settings. To do so, open the Terminal app and enter the following command:

defaults delete && killall Dock

Remember to hit Enter to execute the command.

2. The Menu Bar

Like the Dock, the macOS menu bar has an auto-hide feature, which you can toggle from System Preferences > General. Look for the Automatically hide and show the menu bar checkbox.

You can toggle the visibility of the menu bar with the shortcut Ctrl + F2 also. If this shortcut doesn’t work, ensure that:

  • macOS is set to use F1, F2, etc. as standard function keys under System Preferences > Keyboard > Keyboard.
  • You haven’t changed or disabled the default shortcut under System Preferences > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Keyboard.

3. Menu Bar Icons

macOS setting to show Wi-Fi status icon in the menu bar

Let’s say you want to restore the Wi-Fi status icon to the menu bar. To do this, open the System Preferences app and look for menu bar using the search box provided at the top-right.

In the search results dropdown menu, you’ll see several Show in menu bar items. (Notice the system icons you can choose to display.) Select the Show Wi-Fi status in menu bar option to access and enable that setting.

For any icons that you want to hide again, hold down the Command key, drag the icon out of the menu bar, and let go when you see an X mark next to the icon. Keep in mind that this works only for system icons.

You don’t have to worry about the Spotlight icon disappearing. It’s impossible to get rid of, accidentally or otherwise, unless you install a third-party app like Vanilla or Bartender.

4. Apps and App Windows

Mission Control view displaying all active apps and desktops on macOS

It’s easy to lose windows from sight when you’re working. You might click on the yellow Minimize button accidentally, or push a window out of view thanks to a misbehaving trackpad. If you’ve enabled hot corners for a faster workflow, reaching for any corner of your Mac’s screen by accident can force the active view out of sight.

Sometimes, app windows don’t respond as expected when you use the command switcher, making you think that you’ve lost a window. This happens, for example, when you switch to full-screen mode for a certain app and macOS automatically places that app on a separate desktop.

At times, it occurs when you open multiple windows of the same app in full-screen mode. In this case, only the latest window is accessible via the command switcher. Likewise, when you exit Split View by going full screen in either of the Split View apps, one of the apps might fail to appear when you hit Cmd + Tab.

In all cases, the easiest way to discover and recover lost windows is via these two macOS features:

  1. Mission Control: Displays an overview of all your active apps and desktops.
  2. App Exposé: Reveals all the windows of the active app.

Both views allow you to click on the “hidden” app or window to restore it.

You can trigger Mission Control with a four-finger upward swipe on the trackpad. Hitting the F3 key also works if you haven’t tweaked the default shortcut. To trigger App Exposé, you need a four-finger downward swipe gesture.

For both these features, you can switch to three-finger gestures via System Preferences > Trackpad > More Gestures.

5. Sidebars and Toolbars

View menu in Finder on macOS

In native Mac apps as well as third-party apps, you can restore items such as toolbars and sidebars from the View menu. If the app allows you to toggle the item in question, you’ll most likely find a corresponding View menu option for it.

This also applies to special views that are unique to each app. For example, you can use the View menu to toggle Tab Overview in Safari, Preview in Finder, and Notes Panel in Books.

6. Mouse Cursor

If you aren’t able to locate the mouse cursor or mouse pointer on your Mac’s screen, give the trackpad or mouse a quick shake. This makes the cursor temporarily bigger to help you spot it.

Is this trick not working for you? You might have turned off the corresponding macOS setting in the past—it’s enabled by default. To re-enable it, first visit System Preferences > Accessibility > Display. There, select the Shake mouse pointer to locate checkbox.

7. Specific Types of Spotlight Search Results

Spotlight settings on macOS

Can’t see web-based suggestions in Spotlight? Have specific types of data, such as presentations, disappeared from Spotlight results?

You might have disabled their display at some point. Let’s say you followed some online guide to improve Spotlight privacy. Then you most likely disabled Spotlight suggestions in keeping with the instructions. Or you might have decided you don’t need folders to show up in Spotlight.

Whatever the case, if you want to re-configure what’s visible in Spotlight search results, visit System Preferences > Spotlight > Search Results.

There, go through the list of data types available and select or deselect the relevant checkboxes to toggle their visibility as needed. Next, switch to the Privacy tab and add any folders or disks that you don’t want Spotlight to index.

If your apps are still missing from the search results, you might have to rebuild the Spotlight index

Can’t Find Mac Apps in Spotlight? Here’s the Fix

Can’t Find Mac Apps in Spotlight? Here’s the Fix

Searching for something on your Mac and find that Spotlight is bringing up nonsense? Here’s how to rebuild your Spotlight index and make search work properly.
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Playing Hide and Seek With macOS

No matter how good an operating system is, it’s behavior is sometimes unpredictable. Both technical glitches and user errors play a part in system malfunctions. Disappearing onscreen elements are a common occurrence. And now you know where to look to restore such lost items on your Mac.

Of course, there’s a lot more that can go missing and stay missing, such as photos, files, and folders. But you can retrieve lost data if you have the right data recovery software for your Mac.

After learning how to bring back items that often disappear from your screen, how about trying the opposite? Check out how to hide unwanted items on your Mac

How to Hide Virtually Anything on Your Mac: A Productivity Guide

How to Hide Virtually Anything on Your Mac: A Productivity Guide

Want a more productive workspace? Let’s go through every corner of your Mac and hide all of the stuff you don’t need.
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for improved productivity.

Explore more about: Mac Customization, Mac Tips.

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