Google shifts on email encryption tool, leaving its fate unclear

Google is asking developers to take over its effort to make end-to-end email encryption more user-friendly, raising questions over whether it’ll ever become an official feature in the company’s browser.

On Friday, the search giant said its email encryption tool, originally announced in 2014, was no longer a Google product. Instead, it’s become a “full community-driven open source project,” the company said in a blog post.

The tool is designed to work as an extension to Google’s Chrome browser that uses the OpenPGP standard to encrypt emails, ensuring that only the recipient can read them—and not the email provider or a government.  

The main goal of Google’s project was to make OpenPGP easier to use. It was announced amid growing scrutiny over U.S. surveillance efforts following disclosures from noted leaker Edward Snowden.

However, the search giant hasn’t made the extension officially available on its Chrome Web Store. Instead, the project’s source code has only been made available on GitHub, a software collaboration site, making the extension harder to install, especially for non-technical users. 

The GitHub page also hasn’t been frequently updated, so it’s unclear how serious the search giant has been about the effort, or if others will take up the project.

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But the GitHub page is offering the source code to what’s called E2EMail, a Chrome extension that works with Gmail. “At this stage, we recommend you use it only for testing and UI feedback,” the page says.
A screenshot of the E2EMail extension. 

Back in Dec. 2014, Google also said that its end-to-end encryption tool still wasn’t as “usable as it needs to be,” pointing to the problem of managing the public keys used in PGP encryption. Often, the keys necessary to exchange secure messages are held on a public server or sent via email, but the authenticity of the user providing them is never verified.

Last month, Google announced a separate open-source project, called Key Transparency, that tries to solve this problem. It essentially works as a lookup service for public keys. However, as a safeguard, all the logs can be audited to track for any suspicious activity.

In Friday’s blog post, Google said the Key Transparency project was “crucial” to the development of its end-to-end email encryption efforts.

“Key discovery and distribution lie at the heart of the usability challenges that OpenPGP implementations have faced,” it said.

Although Google’s email encryption tool is no longer a company-led product, Google is still hoping to integrate it with its Key Transparency project, according to the blog post. 

In the midst of Google’s effort, others are also developing new email encryption protocols, too. Last month, the developer behind Lavabit, an email service Edward Snowden used, released its own open-source encrypted email standard for surveillance-proof messaging. 

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Three Types Of Actors – Creative – Imitative And Stage Hacks!

What makes great acting? The answer is actually quite simple – inspiration. But what is inspiration and how does it occur?For many actors, inspiration is something that happens at random. Some nights they go on stage and everything flows extremely well and everything they do has meaning. Other nights, nothing feels right and they stumble through to the best of their ability, uninspired.The first man to address this issue was Konstantin Stanislavski. He was an Actor, Director and Producer during the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, and he formulated the first concise process for actor training, which he called ‘The System’. This later became the premise for ‘the Method’, developed by Lee Strasberg. Within Stanislavski’s investigation as to how the actor could inspire himself, he categorised actors into three types; creative, imitative and stage hacks.Creative actors are able to stimulate their instrument (the human body) to come alive on stage, using real experiences. They actually generate real experiences within their performances, which brings them to life.Imitative actors are not able to have real experiences on stage, but imitate what the character is experiencing. For example, in a scene where the character has an explosion of anger, an imitative actor would not actually experience any anger, but would rather imitate what anger looked like. Imitative acting is very common to this day and can be seen in many soaps, where imitation is the standard.Stage hacks are worse than all the rest. A stage hack is an actor who doesn’t really care about the character, but is more interested in themselves, the actor, and being adored by their audience. As a result, their performances fail to reveal the life of the character and although they may strut around with confidence and sound beautiful, their performance is emotionally empty.Stanislavski noticed that with his own performances, he was sometimes being a creative actor, and at other times, an imitative actor. He wanted to remain creative consistently, and started to understand where inspiration came from. He talked to a lot of actors of the time, including Elenora Duse, a brilliant Italian actress, and discussed how she approached roles. She told him that her own life was very challenging, she was drawn to drunk and abusive men, she was an Italian in America and spoke with a broken English accent, she was only as good as her last performance which dictated her future roles and that she had to carry all her costumes and belongings across America by herself! However, instead of seeing this part of her life as a distraction to her acting, she used it as inspiration. She understood that her own personal experiences could be used to inform the characters’ experiences.From this understanding, the Method approach to acting was born.

Source by Brian Timoney

Characteristics of Good and Bad Forums

It is important to distinguish between good Middle East business forums which you can gain a lot by using, and bad forums where you lose the valuable time you invest in using them and gain little by doing so. Below are some characteristics of both.- ContentAlthough content is user generated, a good Middle East business forum will always try to insure that most of the content posted by its users is useful and factual. This can be done by restricting the forum members to practicing and established people in the business or having knowledgeable moderators who know factual posts from nonsense ones.- MembersThe members are the cornerstone of any forum. They will be a key factor in whether the forum is a good or bad forum. A forum full of childish comments and useless posts will never help you with what you need; on the other hand a business forum with knowledgeable members who try to help each other will be of great use to you. It is easy to tell the type of members on any forum. Members with childish nicknames, bad grammar and awful spelling are defiantly the wrong kind of members. Members who use their real names, write well and present information useful to all are the right kind of members on any Middle East business forum.- SpamSpam is posts on a forum that is an advertisement, abusive, or otherwise unwanted. Spam can reduce the quality of your experience on a forum. A good Middle East business forum will do everything it can to minimize spam.- ModerationA good business forum will have proficient moderators who keep the forum clean and encourage discussions. They also answer members’ concerns about the forum, general questions, as well as respond to specific complaints. Having good moderators are a definite characteristic of a good professional Middle East business forum, while having bad or abusive ones is a characteristic of a forum.By considering those factors and choosing a good Middle East business forum you will gain a lot and keep away from the possibility of wasting time on useless forum. To read more articles about the topic and other related topics please visit

Source by Ahmed Mohey El-Deen

The Issues of Shareware and Freeware

The question of purchasing a software occurs with everyone. When you have a laptop or even a pc you will need at some point in time to acquire the proper software applications to keep files or modify them. In today’s time, there are many eye catching products to choose from. Some however are called freeware and others called shareware software. A new pc or laptop owner may be tempted by downloading free software as there is no price to pay for them. This can bring both opportunities and destruction if one is not careful in their decisions. As a browser on the Internet is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of freeware as the user may get stuck with big problems than before.Freeware is the term often associated with free software programs. Today there are many freeware programs available for users to pick from such as backup software, file backup software, anti virus, and more. Freeware can be found on download sites or on the providers own website. Freeware or free software allows users to do certain tasks with a free program. You can do whatever you want with the program so long as you do not try to resell it or distribute it to others. This means that you can use the software for your own purposes without any charge.With this free software there are some problems or issues that can occur. Viruses are a number one concern for those individuals downloading software from certain sites. With freeware one is never certain about viruses. The maker could create a new virus and enter into the unknowing individual’s pc and cause havoc. Or in some cases it may not be the manufacture of the software who implants viruses but outsiders who hack into the website of the program. Another issues is that there is no support provided by the manufacture of the software. You download the software but nobody will help you with any arising issues. This can be a issue if you are dealing with for example hyper v backup and need support.Shareware is different from freeware as the user must purchase the right to use the software. The buyer will pay a fee and is allowed to use the software on the dedicated laptop or pc. The advantage of shareware is that you will in many cases get full support for your technical problems and issues. This can be a lifesaver for those in business who are dealing with clients. Another advantage is the software is most likely of better quality. A freeware program will not have all the nice features as a shareware program simple due to the fact that the programmer has to get paid for the knowledge he/she acquired to write such a program. It would not make any financial sense for someone to put much energy into a software without financial compensation for their troubles. Another key issue is the point that shareware will most likely be virus free. So if you want a safe software that is virus free, shareware may be the best choice.

Source by Alexander Drake

The Purpose of Anti-Virus Software

Anti-virus software is software that you install on your computer so that you can be alerted when you have a virus. Anti-virus software will help to keep your computer safe against worms, viruses, Trojan horses, and other uninvited programs.The software can also help you clean your computer if you should happen to have a virus. The important thing to remember about anti-virus software is that you make sure to update it often so that you get the latest computer virus definitions installed into the software program. There is no point in having the anti-virus software if you’re not going to update it. You’ll be able to get updates from the vendor that sold you the anti-virus software, such as Norton.Many times you may already have anti-virus software on your computer in which case you be sure to uninstall it before installing your new software. To find out if you have virus software check under your Start menu to see if you one listed, such as McAfee or Norton. Keep in mind that just because you have anti-virus software already installed on your computer that it (1) might not be working, and (2) hasn’t been updated for a long time.Once you’ve installed anti-virus software on your computer you’re going to want to make sure that you use it correctly. Make sure that the settings in your computer automatically turn the anti-virus software on when you boot up your computer. You always want to be protected. If you’re downloading something off the Internet your anti-virus software will let you know if there is a problem.You can also use the anti-virus software to specifically scan any downloads, or files, that that have been sent to you via e-mail. If you are alerted that you have a virus your software will guide you with the right steps to removing it. Make sure that you don’t continue to use your computer until the virus, or worm that you have, is removed. You don’t want to send e-mail to friends and help in the spreading of the virus.

Source by James Hunt

How to Get Taller – 4 Ways to Hack Your Height and Cheat Mother Nature!

In today’s society, people, especially males, are often judged by their height. A tall man will most likely receive more job offers and have an easier time getting dates than a short man. While this is unfair, it is a fact of life that is not going to change anytime soon.   So what do you do if you’re a short guy? Besides surgery and growth hormones which are costly and painful, it is possible to add two or more inches to your height with a few crafty methods that do not involve sawing into your bones or injecting yourself with a hormone.  The primary key is that most people appear a bit shorter than they are because of poor posture and lack of physical exercise.  Poor posture and slouching can shrink a person’s height by two inches or more!  The best way to fix posture is through specific stretching exercises that focus on your core muscles which in turn will help strengthen and straighten your spine which will make you appear taller.  Four types of exercises you can start right now to get taller are:  1. Abdominal Crunches2. Seated Rows3. Reverse Flies4. Lateral Pull-Downs  These exercises focus on your core stomach muscles and your upper back and both are necessary to strengthen and stretch the critical muscles for increasing your height. Results are not going to happen immediately. You will need to stick to an exercise regimen for at least 6 weeks to start seeing results. However, if getting taller is important to you, the payoff will be worth it.

Source by Nick R Kellems

What to expect from the Trump administration on cybersecurity

Look for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to push for increased cybersecurity spending in government, but also for increased digital surveillance and encryption workarounds.That’s the view of some cybersecurity policy experts, who said they expect Trump to focus on improving U.S. agencies’ cybersecurity while shying away from new cybersecurity regulations for businesses. Trump is likely to look for ways for the National Security Agency and other agencies to assist the government and companies defend against cyberattacks, said Jeffrey Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a tech advisor during Trump’s presidential transition.”Cyber has to be top of mind for any view of the United States’ global strategy,” Eisenach said Wednesday during a discussion about Trump’s cybersecurity priorities. “If you’re not thinking of cyber first, I don’t know what you should be thinking about.”A proposed executive order from Trump on cybersecurity was leaked in January, but its formal release was postponed. Beyond the leaked drafts, it’s difficult to read the tea leaves of a Trump cyber policy, other cybersecurity experts said. Given Trump’s focus on fighting terrorism during his presidential campaign, he’s likely to push for greater surveillance powers, said Adam Klein, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. A foreign surveillance provision in U.S. law is set to expire at the end of the year, and Klein expects the Trump team to push for unfettered reauthorization.Trump “campaigned on vigorous counterterrorism efforts, and that is likely to lead [his] approach on surveillance and privacy issues,” Klein said. Trump may move away from former President Barack Obama’s attempts to balance privacy and national security, he said. The Department of Homeland Security has already talked about demanding social media passwords during border searches, Klein said. While he said he doubts the searches will happen, the discussion “suggests we’re in a new era here,” he added.Meanwhile, Trump and new Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both criticized tech companies’ resistance to encryption backdoors, Klein noted. Both called on Apple to assist the FBI with unlocking a terrorism suspect’s iPhone last year. Even if Congress doesn’t pass encryption legislation, the Department of Justice could aggressively sue tech companies that refuse to break encryption, he said.While Trump initially pushed for the cybersecurity executive order, related issues now seem to be on the backburner in his administration as he focuses on a travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, building a border wall, and other issues, said Denise Zheng, director of the Technology Policy Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.Drafts of the executive order assigned each cabinet official more responsibility for the safety of data within their agencies. Trump has also called for agencies to modernize their IT systems as a way to improve cybersecurity.One of the main cybersecurity issues going forward is Russian hacking and its impact on the presidential election, but that’s a “tough issue” for Trump to tackle, Zheng said.Trump should focus on encouraging agencies and companies to share cyberthreat information and on modernizing government IT systems, recommended Steve Grobman, CTO of Intel Security. The government’s legacy IT systems “were not designed to make use of modern security best practices,” he said.To help with private-sector cybersecurity, Trump should look for ways to expand cybersecurity training programs, Grobman recommended.And instead of regulations, Trump could look at tax breaks as a way to encourage companies to improve their cybersecurity, he added. “Positive incentives, rather than punitive regulations, will help produce real results,” he said.Grobman also called on the Trump administration to resist any urges to require encryption backdoors in tech products. Encryption backdoors in devices may prompt criminals to move to other encryption technologies that device makers have no control over, he said.”We need to test whether we’re solving the problem with the solution that’s being recommended,” he added.

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Internet Security – What Does it Actually Mean?

A computer that is connected to any computing network is under the risk of getting infected by malicious programs. One of the major computing networks that is often prone to get attacked is the internet. It is very important to know about what internet security means and what must one do to make his computer from internet threatsInternet security involves safety of all the internet account and all the data that is present in the computer in such a way that any access from an unknown source is blocked. The most fundamental way of protecting your online security is to make use of strong password which usually involves combination alphabets, numbers and special characters.You must check that Windows Critical Updates feature is activated or not. It can be activated by going into the Control Panel> System> Automatic Updates tab and choose the option that suits about when how do you want the updates to be installed.Next step you must take is to check that your computer has the following security programs installed: Firewall, Anti-virus and Anti-spyware. Make sure you regularly update such programs over the internet. Firewall is one of the most important programs as it checks all the inbound and outbound communication on the internet and provides utmost internet security. If any malicious activity is found, the Firewall will easily block it.  Choose an internet service provider that offers you spam and content filters. Spam mails contain dangerous email attachment, if your ISP’s spam filter blocks it, there will be no chance malicious programs to enter your computer by emails. Practices like avoiding clicking on flashy ads such as porn ads, game download ads, software download ads, etc can help you considerably in keeping your computer free from malicious program. Make use of a browser that has an in-built pop-up blocker.The internet security of your computer can be fortified by making use of above mentioned steps. It is also necessary to follow safe browsing practices to considerably minimize any threats that can be caused due to surfing online.

Source by Silki Garg

LinkedIn will help people in India train for semi-skilled jobs

Microsoft has launched Project Sangam, a cloud service integrated with LinkedIn that will help train and generate employment for middle and low-skilled workers.The professional network that was acquired by Microsoft in December has been generally associated with educated urban professionals but the company is now planning to extend its reach to semi-skilled people in India.Having connected white-collared professionals around the world with the right job opportunities and training through LinkedIn Learning, the platform is now developing a new set of products that extends this service to low- and semi-skilled workers, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at an event on digital transformation in Mumbai on Wednesday.Project Sangam, which is in private preview, is “the first project that is now the coming together of LinkedIn and Microsoft, where we are building this cloud service with deep integration with LinkedIn, so that we can start tackling that enormous challenge in front of us of how to provide every person in India the opportunity to skill themselves for the jobs that are going to be available.”LinkedIn also plans a placement product for college graduates that will help students finds jobs regardless of whether they studied at top universities or not, Nadella added.Microsoft announced earlier in the day its Skype Lite, a version of Skype that consumes less data. The company is also offering a ‘lite’ version of LinkedIn, reflecting the need for vendors to factor in low Internet bandwidth, usually running on low-cost and inadequately featured smartphones, when designing products for markets in countries like India.LinkedIn Lite works on 2G links and is four times faster than the original LinkedIn client, Nadella said.A large number of low-skilled and semi-skilled workers that Microsoft is targeting with its Sangam project still use feature phones, which will likely be a challenge as Microsoft tries to popularize the service.Nadella has also backed a controversial Indian government sponsored project to use biometric data collected from over 1 billion people as an authentication mechanism for a variety of services offered by both the government and the private sector.The project, called India Stack, aims to use a biometric system, called Aadhaar, to facilitate the digital exchange of information. Microsoft said on Tuesday that Skype Lite would support Aadhaar authentication, pointing out to potential uses of the technology such as for verifying the identity of a candidate for a video job interview. Project Sangam too offers authentication using Aadhaar.Skype Lite is another example of how India Stack is driving the company’s innovation agenda, Nadella said in Mumbai. He announced in Bangalore on Monday that the company’s end user products including Windows would be “great participants in the India Stack.”The Aadhaar project has been criticized by privacy activists for collecting biometric information such as the fingerprints and iris scans of people in a central database, which could be misused by both governments and hackers who might get access to the data.The government has been trying to extend the use of Aadhaar, initially designed for the distribution of government benefits and subsidies, to a variety of financial and other services.”It is indeed shameful that Microsoft is supporting the centralized surveillance project of the Indian government which has dramatically increased the fragility of the Indian information society,” said Sunil Abraham, executive director of Bangalore-based research organization, the Centre for Internet and Society.”As Indian citizens we must realize that Microsoft will have our biometrics or our authentication factors that can be used to frame us in crimes or clean out our bank accounts,” he added.

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