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While we in New York cower behind cans of overpriced and underflavored Amy’s Soup, those spoiled techies out in Mountain View, California–the location of Google headquarters–announced a whole mess of new Android stuff today. Here’s what you need to know.

Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean): Android 4.2 is not that big of a deal, especially compared with the last version, Ice Cream Sandwich Android 4.1, which brought Google Now (an honest-to-god revolution) and Project Butter (a huge improvement in regular use of Android phones). Android 4.2 has: Miracast, which does basically the same thing as Apple’s AirPlay. It’ll require a box or a new kind of smart TV to work, though LG says all of its future smart TVs will have it (and LG’s TVs are quite good). The new Android also has a screensaver mode, which, fine, whatever, and multiple user support so all members of a household can use the same tablet while keeping their apps and settings and stuff. And there’s a panorama mode called Photo Sphere, which lets you take a complete spherical view of your surroundings. That’ll actually make for some pretty cool photos, I think.

Oh, and Google Now is better! It’ll now reach into your Gmail–I know, I know, creepy, but Google Now always straddled that line between creepy and useful–for stuff like flight and hotel information.

Google Nexus 10

Nexus 10: Made by Samsung, start to finish, the Nexus 10 is the first 10-inch tablet with the Nexus name. “Nexus,” remember, denotes an Android product not made by Google but made under very close supervision–the idea is that this is the pure vision of Android, from its makers. This is what Google thinks an Android tablet should be, along with the smaller Nexus 7. It’s hardware is undeniably great; a higher pixel density than even the iPad 3’s “Retina Display,” 2GB of memory (that’ll help it run tons of apps at once), a quad-core 1.7GHz processor, and a lighter body than the iPad 3, at 1.33 pounds to the iPad’s 1.44. And it’s $100 cheaper than the iPad, starting at $400 for the 16GB and $500 for the 32GB. (There’s no LTE model yet, and no 64GB model.)

Of course, what really matters with tablets isn’t hardware, but software, and Android tablets have never quite figured out how to cajole developers into making lots of quality apps fit for the larger screen. Hopefully Google gets that process going!

Google Nexus 4

Nexus 4: The new Nexus smartphone, this one made, for the first time, by LG. Good news first: super-dense 4.7-inch screen (good, I mean, for folks with Dikembe Mutombo-sized hands), fast quad-core processor, 2GB memory, Miracast support, wireless charging. Cool!

Now the bad news: The Nexus 4 is, right now, a T-Mobile exclusive in the US. It’s only available in 8GB and 16GB sizes, and doesn’t support superfast 4G LTE, because the T-Mobile network doesn’t super superfast 4G LTE. That…kind of sucks.

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Here’s Everything Apple Announced At Its 2023 Wwdc Keynote

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Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference represents one of the company’s biggest events of the year. While the actual sessions and seminars are geared toward people who make apps and software in the Apple ecosystem, the keynote typically includes some juicy announcements. We often get to see what’s coming down the line in the next versions of iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS. Plus, Tim Cook and his pals will often pull back the curtain on new hardware products that we’ll see later this calendar year.

WWDC is a digital-only event again this year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it looks like the announcements could be both plentiful and impactful. Rumors have suggested that we may get larger, more powerful MacBook Pro computers based on Apple’s own silicon. We won’t know until Tim Cook and the rest of the Apple crew take to the highly produced, virtual stage.

The WWDC keynote starts at 1 p.m. Eastern time (10 a.m. Pacific), and you can watch in the YouTube player embedded above. I’ll also be watching along and pulling out the most important bits to post below. It’s one of just a few chances we get each year to nerd out about operating systems and we’re not going to pass that up.

What happened last year at WWDC 2023?

Apple Silicon was the big news at WWDC last year. The company officially announced that it was breaking up with Intel and making its own chips to power its computers. It’s hard to believe that was just one year ago. We already have several really excellent M1-powered computers, and a burly M1-toting iPad Pro in the lineup.

As usual, last year also gave us a look at iOS 14 MacOS Big Sur. We’ll expect to see similar development updates for the various operating systems this year. Speculation suggests that iPadOS may get a big update since the M1-powered iPad Pro has so much horsepower under the hood now.

iOS 15

Tim Cook takes the stage at the virtual WWDC.

We’re starting off talking about iOS. Predictably, it’s called iOS 15. This year, FaceTime is getting an update, which includes spatial audio to make it seem as if the people are in the room with you. Face Time will also now use machine learning to cancel out background noise on your microphone.

Finally.

Share Play adds another dimension to FaceTime calls. Users to pull in music from Apple Music to listen together. It also works for video playback. It will work with HBO Max, Hulu, Disney+, Twitch, and Tik Tok. This is big game for teens who already do this kind of co-watching.

Share Play will work with video streaming via FaceTime.

Messages

You’re not always in the mood to video chat, but Apple has updated its texting app as well. The updates here seem more incremental from the start. Messages is getting more integrated into the other Apple Apps. Apple Music will keep track of playlists that other people send you. The Photos app will do the same by creating a dedicated place to keep photos your friends have messaged you. It also works with News.

Focus

Notifications are getting easier to ignore.

Notifications are getting a redesign, which includes a Notification Summary mode, which will keep track of all you notifications and show you what it thinks is important. Setting “do not disturb” mode will also now alert people who are texting you in Messenger about your status.

Focus groups allows you to tell the phone what kind of notifications you want. During Personal time, for instance, it’ll give you notifications from friends and entertainment apps. Set a work Focus, however, and you’ll get email and Slack notifications. The device learns about your habits to try and hone these behaviors.

Live Text

The iPhone Camera will now recognize text and make it selectable. iOS 15 will go back in your photo library and pull out text it sees in the images. You can also easily scan notes into editable text. This all feels very Google-y.

Spotlight

When you search in your device now, Apple will throw more rich results at you. It can dig into photos and create more robust sets of results that show you images and other types of media in addition to links. Curious to see how far this goes.

Memories

Apple’s photo features have felt like they’re lagging compared to Google Photos for quite some time, but Apple is trying to change that. Apple can now pull in songs from Apple Music in order to make intelligent slide shows with photos from your camera roll. It uses AI to make what it calls Memory Mixes. I’m looking forward to making a slide show of my homemade pizza photos set to a Cannibal Corpse soundtrack.

Wallet

That’s a cool ID.

Apple is doubling down on the iPhone as a key by working with big hotel chains. You’ll be able to tap to open hotel doors soon. More importantly, some states will soon allow Apple Wallet to hold an official copy of your ID. Apple says Airports will be the first partners so you can use your Wallet app when boarding planes.

AirPods

iOS 15 will bring some specific features to Apples AirPods headphones. Conversation Boost focuses the microphones on the person talking in front of you and lets you allow the extent to which AI wipes out background noise.

Siri can now automatically read notifications to you when it thinks it’s important. So, if you ask Siri to tell you about your shopping list when you get to the store, it can do so.

Find My works better with AirPods now. It works similarly to the hyper-specific location tech found in the AirTags.

iPadOS

Widgets get a redesign.

With iOS out of the way, it’s time to talk about Apple’s bigger touchscreen device. The company has been working to differentiate iPadOS since it splintered of from iOS recently.

Widgets

You can now add Widgets from the Widget gallery to the home screen among the apps. Most of the popular first-party widgets are getting a revamp to use more of the screen space. App Library now lives in the dock as well, so you can get to it quickly. This is going to make me feel guilty for not organizing my iPad apps.

Multitasking

There’s a new control on the top of iPad apps, which relates specifically to multi-tasking. It will give users immediate access to multitasking options without having to dig through settings or memorize gestures. Multitasking was useful but also very annoying before this.

There’s now a “shelf” feature that sits at the bottom of the screen and keeps track of all the windows you have open in a specific app. that could be helpful for people like me who have way too many Safari tabs open all the time.

Notes

This seems handy if I don’t forget about it immediately.

Apple now allows for tagging users and tracking changes in Notes, which sounds a lot like Google Docs. Quick Note now offers Note features in a portable app that recognizes what app you’re using. So, you can bring up the Quick Note tool while you’re using Safari and quickly save the URL to the note.

Translate

Once relegated to iOS, Translate is now coming to the iPad. It supports Auto Translate, so you can put the device between you and another person and then talk in real time. Translate works system-wide, so it can even analyze photos and tell you what a word means in the scene.

Privacy

Now Apple is diving into a wider privacy discussion. It will be interesting to see how this goes over with app developers. Apple is beefing up the anti-tracking tech in Mail by blocking tracking pixels, and Safari by now obscuring your IP address.

The new Apple Privacy Report will tell you what personal information your apps access over a seven day period. It also keeps track of the third party URLs with which those apps communicate. Apple really wants to control app tracking.

Siri

Siri will now handle much more on-device voice processing. You shouldn’t have to ping the internet for Siri to turn on the flashlight, and now it won’t have to. Because Siri is doing the voice processing on-device, the entire service should also be faster, which enables more consecutive requests without having to resummon the voice assistant with a button press or voice command.

iCloud

Apple is adding a new way to get into an account you’re locked out of. You can add a friend who can help you get back into a device.

You can also now designate a legacy contact who can request your information after you die without a lot of legal hassle.

The paid iCloud subscriptions are now going to be called iCloud+. It enables a more secure method of browsing through Safari and the service will protect your email address. It looks like there are quite a few new security updates to iCloud and it won’t raise the price of the service.

Health

Apple is adding three new Health tracking features in iOS 15. Walking Steadiness builds on Apple’s already established techniques for monitoring how you walk. It tracks the length of your steps and the timing of each step. Using this information, it can make inferences about the likelihood that you’ll fall. It can give you a warning if it thinks you’re at risk. Then, it can recommend exercises to do in order to improve your balance.

The second new feature involves tracking results for lab tests. The Health app now provides specific descriptions of the results and charts to show if your results are within normal levels.

Trends will look more closely at your health data to see if it can figure out some patterns that are emerging. If you’ve been binge-watching yourself into oblivion, it will send you a push notification to tell you to get more exercise.

The Health App can also now share information directly with your doctor. Apple is partnering with digital health record companies so it can share information about specific aspects of your Health without relying on you to convey the information.

You can now share your health data with family members.

Health features also now allow users to share information directly with their family. So, if you have an elderly parent you want to keep an eye on, you can do so in real time by viewing their lab results and vital signs.

WatchOS 8

Apple says the Breathe app has gotten much more popular in the next year. It’s getting new animations to go with it now. In addition to the regular Breathe app, it now includes Reflectsions, which give you prompts to think about as you meditate.

Apple says the Photos Watch face is the most popular it offers. It’s getting a revamp to include a Portrait display mode. It can also now pull in photos from Memories for more options.

The updates on Watch are cool, but very granular.

Home

We’re getting a whole segment dedicated to HomeKit. You’ll soon be able to ask a HomePod Mini to play something on the Apple TV using Siri voice commands. That’s a handy feature I’ve used on Google and Alexa’s platforms for a while.

Starting in the fall, you’ll be able to select HomePod Mini as the speakers for the Apple TV. HomePod Mini is also getting access to spatial audio and lossless audio later this year.

Starting in the Fall, Siri on HomePod will recognize different voices, which is another handy feature that Google has offered for a while.

Siri is now coming to other smart home devices, so you can directly talk to other gadgets.

MacOS

Apple says its next release is focused on helping you do “even more,” which is a pass from me. I do not want to do more.

The new macOS is called Monterey. We’ve already got a look a lot of the new features that will also work in macOS. The FaceTime updates, as well as the Share Play stuff all works on Mac as well as iPhone and iPad. You’ll also get the updated Notes app and Quick Note. Buying fully into Apple stuff is starting to pay off even more.

Universal Control

A single mouse and keyboard will no move easily between an iPad and a Mac.

This is cool.

Sitting the iPad down next to the MacBook essentially makes the iPad into a smart display. You can drag and drop files between the two, which is impressive. It works with more than two devices, so you can also integrate an iMac.

The Mac also gets AirPlay now. This is really interesting and I’m curious to see how it works in the real world. Seems like there could be some compatibility issues at first, but this looks really handy if it works flawlessly.

Safari

If you’re a lazy scumbag about tabs like I am, you may appreciate Apple’s new tab design in Safari. They have gotten a visual redesign, which makes them more appealing and also changes them to the color of the page you’re viewing.

Tab groups allow you to organize tabs and do things like sharing an entire group at once via email. This looks handy if I can convince myself to use it.

Clean up your tabs on iPhone.

The tabs and tab bar work across devices. They sync instantly between a Mac and an iPad. iPhone gets a new tab bar that makes it easier to organize them on the smaller screen.

At this point, we’re getting into the more developer-specific news. If you’re not building apps for the iPhone, this probably won’t have much relevance to you.

Ign Expo Day 1: Everything Announced So Far

Yesterday, we saw the first of the four-day IGN Expo. So far, it’s been packed full of brand new game announcements which we’ll be sharing with you below.

We’ve put together all the brand new trailers, interviews, and first-look gameplay videos, so keep reading for the latest announcements. There’s something for everyone here, whether you love fantasy RPG games, FPS, or classic platforming titles.

Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX

Fans of the Sega platforming games will feel right at home with this title. Alex Kidd brings a fresh new look to a classic gaming genre. Vibrant graphics and new gaming mechanics make this a title that fans of retro games and new gamers alike will love.

Beyond Blue

If you love the Blue Planet documentary series, this looks like a fantastic game for you. Beyond Blue is the ultimate relaxing exploration game to sink some time into. This game has been announced for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 users to explore the deep seas at leisure.

Borderlands 3 – Bounty of Blood DLC

Borderlands fans have been treated to yet another DLC, which is impressive seeing as though the game isn’t that old. Bounty of Blood was previewed at the Expo along with an exclusive interview with Creative Director, Matt Cox to give you the rundown on everything new.

Chivalry 2

The grisly medieval combat game, Chivalry 2 is finally making its way onto console! Chivalry 2 will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One as well as the next-generation consoles, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. With a cross-play function, it’s now possible to match up with gamers who don’t share the same platform as you.

Demon Turf

Here’s another fun little platformer to try out. Demon Turf has all the retro platform-feel that we know and love but in a 3D format. There’s plenty of physics-driven combat and multiple realms to explore within this colorful world.

Dual Universe

On the lookout for a vast MMORPG to get stuck into? Well, with Dual Universe there’s a whole universe to explore. You’ll be traveling across the stars, all while taking part in out-of-this-world battles. The new trailer shows some of the gameplay on offer as well as the arsenal of weapons and spaceships you’ll get to play around with.

GTFO

Fans of the first-person shooter GTFO will be pleased to see some great updates announced at this year’s Expo. This brand new update brings some fantastic new weapons, introduces new enemies, as well as some new lore and exciting expeditions to get involved in.

Metal: Hellsinger

If you’ve been looking for a new rhythm-based game to scratch that itch, Metal: Hellsinger looks like one of the most inventive and fun FPS titles we’ve seen in recent years. You’ll be shooting through hordes of enemies to a heavy metal soundtrack which includes the likes of Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquility and Alissa White-Gluz of Arch Enemy.

Mortal Shell

If you’re a fan of “souls-like” games, Mortal Shell is a promising new take on the genre. With fantastic fantasy visuals, interesting combat, and sinister-looking enemies, this certainly looks like a game we’ll be checking out when it’s released.

An exclusive look at the gameplay was unveiled at this Expo as well as some details on the beta launch. You’ll be able to try out the beta version from July 3rd.

Observer: System Redux

If you loved the sci-fi horror game, Observer, then this is one for you. Observer: System Redux is a huge rework of the original game from 2023. This version will have upgraded visuals, new puzzles and interrogation sequences to try out.

The next-gen version will be released in time for the brand new console launches, so this will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

Pathfinder: Kingmaker

From tabletop game to PC-only RPG, Pathfinder is finally coming to consoles in August. This game, for those who are unfamiliar with it, is inspired by the likes of Baldur’s Gate and Fallout. The console version will feature a new turn-based mode as well as six new DLC packs.

Rustler (Grand Theft Horse)

This great-looking game has taken the old-school Grand Theft Auto formula to a whole new level. Played in a top-down medieval world, this piece of gameplay footage shows a couple of interesting missions – one of which where you bully people into a church.

Second Extinction

Who doesn’t love a co-op dinosaur shooter game? Second Extinction is a new game from a new studio featuring all the dinosaur fighting you’ll ever need. From the makers of Mad Max and Just Cause, this could be an interesting one to look out for, but if you’re not sold yet, take a look at the exclusive gameplay above.

The Riftbreaker

We also had a chance to see some gameplay from the RTS base-building title, The Riftbreaker. The busy-looking environment looks a joy to play around in and the base and wall building looks greatly satisfying. If you’re looking for a fix of base defending action, be sure to check this one out.

The Waylanders

Making its way to Steam’s Early Access on June 16th, this Kickstarted party-based RPG will see players exploring lush landscapes, engaging challenging foes and there’s even a little bit of time traveling thrown in for good measure.

Some of the great minds behind Mass Effect, Dragon Age, and Pillars of Eternity helped create this game which makes it well worth checking out.

Voidtrain

This may seem a bit weird at first, but Voidtrain looks like an interesting take on the survival genre. You’ll take on the role of a crew member on an inter-dimensional train as it makes its way through worlds filled with dangerous creatures and interesting surprises.

Wasteland 3

Following on from the success of Wasteland 2, this title is set to be bigger than ever. This expanded trailer gave us a look at some of the factions we’ll be able to interact with, as well as some teasers about the overall story.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood

Any fans of tabletop ports out there? In a genre that has done well in recent years, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is set to improve on the formula for those who love the idea of ravaging about as an eco-terrorist Werewolf. We couldn’t glean too much info from the trailer, but we’ll be sure to keep an eye out.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

We also got to see a bit more of an in-depth look into the newest Yakuza title. This exclusive gameplay video showed off some of the party mechanics, job system, and story mechanics we have to look forward to when this releases.

Final Word

That’s all the biggest announcements we have to show you so far from the IGN Expo. This is just a roundup from day one, so we’re expecting to have plenty more news over the coming days to bring to you.

Be sure to check back soon for more announcements, trailers, and gameplay footage. What do you think of the announcements so far? Is there a particular game that’s stood out to you? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Apecoin Staking Is Live: Here’s Everything You Need To Know

It’s official, ApeCoin staking is live, and as of December 12, the first $APE rewards have accrued. But whether you’re an early Bored Ape holder that claimed every subsequent Yuga Labs airdrop, or an NFT enthusiast who only recently purchased their first bit of $APE, staking can seem like a daunting task. A process that has long been a facet of the crypto industry, if done right, staking has the potential to be a significant win for token holders. But if mishandled, it can have catastrophic consequences.

With so much misinformation being circulated throughout the metaverse, it’s become more important than ever for Web3 communities to do their due diligence before jumping on a bandwagon. The same is true with ecosystem expansions like ApeCoin staking. So to clear up any would-be misconceptions and to provide a one-size-fits-all approach to ApeCoin staking, we’ve created a short but effective guide stuffed with everything any Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) member should know.

What is ApeCoin?

First, a bit of background on ApeCoin/$APE. Although at times, the moving parts of Yuga Labs, BAYC, and ApeCoin can seem one and the same, it’s important to make the distinction between each entity. While Yuga and its NFT offering are forever bonded as creator and creation, ApeCoin was created to exist separately from the Yuga empire.

The ApeCoin Logo. Source: ApeCoin

At its core, ApeCoin is the native token for the BAYC universe, not the Yuga ecosystem. Billed as a “token for culture, gaming, and commerce used to empower a decentralized community building at the forefront of Web3,” it was conceived by the ApeCoinDAO, which was formed solely to create and launch ApeCoin.

You can learn more by reading nft now’s full article on the topic here, but those are just the basics of ApeCoin. As a cryptocurrency created for the benefit of BAYC universe inhabitants and NFT holders, ApeCoin is nothing less than the lifeblood of the BAYC ecosystem. And now, those within the BAYC ecosystem can lock up their $APE in a smart contract and reap benefits over time through staking.

What is staking?

Crypto staking has been an integral part of the blockchain ecosystem for years. In its most basic form, it can be thought of as a sort of decentralized, high-yield savings account. With a general savings account, bank members can lock up their funds and receive interest on their balance over time. During this period, banks often use members’ locked-up savings to lend out to others, ensuring that the bank always has sufficient liquidity for use by members.

Staking is essentially the same and asks users to lock up their token holdings to be used for liquidity to receive interest over time. One major difference between traditional savings and token staking (other than the fact that one is crypto/blockchain-based and one is not) is that interest rates for staking are often much higher than those for bank savings. While this is common knowledge to those who have engaged in decentralized finance (DeFi), general Web3 enthusiasts might be shocked to find that, while banks offer an average of 0.19 percent interest on savings accounts, even the lowest level of ApeCoin stakers could earn roughly 3.83 percent in a single year.

How to stake ApeCoin

So, how do you stake ApeCoin, and how do you start accruing interest on your staked tokens? First, let’s get the most important piece of information out of the way. Only ever trust information from the official ApeCoin, Yuga Labs, or Bored Ape Yacht Club Twitter accounts. Similarly, only ever stake ApeCoin via chúng tôi or with trusted centralized exchanges like Binance that have been confirmed through official ApeCoin channels. These channels include those of prominent blockchain infrastructure company Horizen Labs, which is responsible for the ApeCoin staking system buildout.

Starting December 5, $APE holders had the option to pre-deposit funds in preparation for rewards accrual to begin on December 12. With that period now over, rewards for staked $APE are now live and accruing, and all ApeCoin or BAYC NFT holders can join in on staking. Unfortunately, due to regulatory concerns, ApeStake is not available to residents of the United States, Canada, North Korea, and more (see the full list here).

Until secondary staking channels have been established with additional centralized exchanges, users of these geoblocked territories will need to either stake by way of Binance, directly via the open-source smart contract, or by using a VPN. For those unfamiliar, VPN stands for “virtual private network.” A VPN works to protect users’ online activity and privacy by hiding their true IP address and creating a secure, encrypted tunnel to access the internet. By and large, utilizing a VPN to engage with staking on chúng tôi has been the most popular workaround by users in the U.S. and Canada.

But, once a user has gained access to ApeStake, staking is as easy as connecting a software wallet and validating a transaction. But while ApeCoin staking benefits can be significant, they are not created equal for all within the BAYC universe. Depending on how much $APE you hold, and whether or not you own a Bored Ape NFT (or Kennel Club Dog or Mutant Ape), your benefits could vary greatly.

ApeCoin staking rewards

When staking $APE, users will have to decide which pool to allocate their holding. To begin, there are four primary staking pools, accessible to those with either BAYC (or related) NFTs and $APE tokens. Within the first year of staking, 100 million $APE will be released across staking pools as rewards. Here’s what that looks like divided up:

$APE Staking Pool: 30,000,000 $APE Tokens

BAYC Staking Pool: 47,105,000 $APE Tokens

MAYC Staking Pool: 19,060,000 $APE Tokens

BAKC Staking Pool: 3,835,000 $APE Tokens

While staking $APE directly is relatively straightforward, those hoping to stake their BAYC or related NFTs will need to take part in a commitment process beforehand. To complete this process a holder will need to own the NFT(s) at the time of staking, commit the NFT(s) utilizing $APE, and designate their paired pool if applicable. It might as well be noted that whether you stake an NFT or just straight-up ApeCoin, you’ll need $APE to engage with the staking system.

The initial staking period will feature the following staking caps and future period caps will be voted upon by the ApeCoin DAO.

BAYC: 10,094 $APE

MAYC: 2,042 $APE

BAKC: 856 $APE

It’s also incredibly important to note that if a BAYC NFT holder sells their NFT while it’s committed, they’ll lose all of their staked $APE. ApeCoin strongly recommends that users uncommit their NFTs before selling, stating that users should “think of a BAYC or MAYC [NFT] like a box that holds $APE. If you sell the box, the new owner gets the box plus all of its contents.”

All in all, the most important takeaway for those looking to stake their tokens is that knowledge is power. Always triple-check the source of information and the websites/services you use. To learn more about ApeCoin staking, including how to keep your assets safe in the process, visit the official ApeCoin website here, in addition to chúng tôi to get started.

Everything You Need To Harness Rain And Greywater At Home

Right as rain. Lucy Engelman

Whoever said money doesn’t fall from the sky hadn’t mastered the art of harvesting precipitation. A carefully ­coordinated system can render drizzles and downpours safe to use in all your indoor-plumbing fixtures and water-hogging appliances—and ­augment your home’s reliance on the utility company too.

SIFT

Meet the Leaf Eater Advanced.

Rain has a pesky habit of knocking loose all kinds of crud you don’t want flowing into your home. As a first line of defense, the Leaf Eater Advanced pre-filter attaches to your gutter’s downspout to keep large debris out of the water supply. Its 0.955 mm screen is fine enough to sift out everything from mosquitoes to leaves. $33.

From the downspout, runoff enters the 200-gallon Poly-Mart Rainwater Harvesting Tank, where a filter basket catches any left-behind floaters. If enough drops fall to fill the drum, a pipe up top sends overflow into your regular storm drains. At capacity, the barrel weighs more than a ton, so it needs to sit on concrete or another solid surface. $326.

Nestled inside the tank, the ­Grundfos SBA-3-45-AW Automatic Pump includes a floating extractor buoy that pushes cleaner, more-oxygenated surface water into the home first. An integrated controller unit automatically stops the pump when the tank is empty, switching your water supply back to the regular, public works. $660.

FILTER

The Viqua 12GPM Integrated Rainwater Purification System.

Before it flows to fixtures, enough H2O passes through the Viqua 12GPM Integrated Rainwater Purification System to feed about five simultaneous showers. A carbon filter removes some odors and flavors, while a UV disinfector stops disease-causing organisms from reproducing. The resulting liquid meets most indoor water-quality codes. $1,040.

REUSE

The Aqua2Use GWDD Greywater Recycling System.

Drain lines from showers, sinks, and washing machines (no toilets!) flow into the Aqua2Use GWDD Greywater Recycling System. A series of increasingly fine membrane filters cleanse water of soap, some oils, dead skin, and hair, readying it to run through your lawn- or garden-irrigation setup. Warning: It’s safe for plants to drink, but not you. $622.

This article was originally published in the March/April 2023 issue of Popular Science, under the title “Rain, Rain, Stow Away.”

Here’s How To Remove Malware From Android

Now, you might wonder, where can Android phones pick up malware? Android operates on an open-source platform. This allows you to download files and apps from various sources. And apps and files from third-party sources are generally unsafe for the Android system. Some of them can be configured in a way to get a hold of your sensitive data.

What is Mobile or Android Malware?

Before you get to know how to remove malware from Android devices, it would be better to have a good understanding of malware. Android or mobile malware, often mistaken for viruses, includes Trojan horses, worms, and spyware. And they are a lot different than viruses.

What Makes Malware Different from Virus

Malware is basically an umbrella term. Any malicious software or program that enters your device without your consent can be termed malware. Considering that, you can say that virus is a type of malware. It attaches itself to a program, which can range from media files to applications to documents.

Examples of Malware That Has Attacked Android Phones in the Past

There are tons of Android malware out there. But some of them are more common than others. Here’s a brief description of the ones that have caused a ruckus on phones in the past:

Caribe

Android/Filecoder.c

This is ransomware that came to light in 2023. And as ransomware, it locked all the files and forced the owners to pay to access them.

OpFake

It is a Trojan horse that can secretly send multiple text messages. This malware also has the ability to ask for administrator rights on the device. And if you grant the rights, it gets exclusive access to everything.

Loki Bot Spyware

This is another Trojan horse that can steal your usernames and passwords. In addition, it can access highly sensitive data, including your banking info and other credentials.

How Vulnerable Is Your Android Phone to Malware?

Android phones, in general, are more vulnerable to malware than iPhones. After all, the iOS of iPhone is closed-source. That closed ecosystem hinders users from downloading and installing third-party apps.

But over time, the Android security system has seen multiple upgrades. Even so, malicious app developers find a way to bypass Android’s security and install their malware on your phone.

Nonetheless, the main thing is that the more updated your Android phone is, the less vulnerable it is to being attacked by malware. And the less updated or older your device is, the more vulnerable it will be to malware attacks.

How Can You Tell If Your Android Phone Has Malware

There are some classic signs that can tell you whether your Android phone has been infected with malware. They are:

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Apps will stop functioning properly and will crash more often

There will be increased data or resource usage

Your device will send texts and links to the saved contacts without you knowing

The Android phone’s battery will start to drain rapidly

Your device can get excessively hot without you doing anything

There can be strange apps in your app library

You get redirected to different web pages on your browser

How to Remove Malware from Android

Noticing the classic signs of malware on your Android device? Here are the steps that you can take to remove malware from Android:

Scan and Remove Malware with Your Android Phone’s Built-in Security Program

Most Android phones these days will come with a dedicated security program. For example, Samsung has Device Care, and Xiaomi has Security Scan. Check whether your phone has such a program and do a full system scan. See if the program has detected threats. If so, remove the threats immediately.

Use Android Safe Mode to Remove Malware

To get into Android safe mode, hold onto the power button and wait for the power menu to show up. Once it does, tap and hold onto the “Power off” or “Shut down” option. The Android phone will then reboot to safe mode. Observe if your phone is working normally.

If not, you need to manually go through all the installed apps and uninstall the suspected apps. Some Android apps may not want to uninstall. In that case, you will need to use ADB or a Debloater tool.

Clear Your Browser Cache and Enable Google Play Protect

Applications store website cache to make the sites load faster when you revisit them. Clearing them may make the sites load a little slower when you visit them again. But with the cache cleanup, you can also erase the connection between your phone with malicious websites.

Also, you should enable Google Play Protect. It scans every app you install regardless of where you have downloaded them. To enable it, get into Google Play Store, tap on your profile, select Play Protect, and turn on Google Play Protect.

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