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There May Be a OnePlus 9E With OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro

We're almost certain that OnePlus will launch the OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro as its next flagship devices. However, a new rumor from leaker Max Jambor claims the company could also bring a OnePlus 9E to the market with those other flagship devices.

What Will The OnePlus 9E Feature?

Unfortunately, we don't know too much about the OnePlus 9E, so we can only speculate. According to the leak, it's slated to be the third device in the OnePlus 9 line of phones, but it's not clear whether it'll be between the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro or under the OnePlus 9 as a more budget-friendly flagship device.

Based on the use of the "E" moniker from other manufacturers such as Samsung, it would make sense for the rumored phone to fall below the regular OnePlus 9. Samsung released the Galaxy S10e with similar specs to the Galaxy S10, but with a lower screen resolution, smaller battery, and lesser camera system. It'll be interesting to see if OnePlus elects to go the same route.

If the OnePlus 9E does end up being a more affordable device, hopefully, it is also smaller. OnePlus tends to keep its flagships on the larger side, with both phones in the OnePlus 8 line packing screens bigger than 6.5 inches. The company is missing out on buyers who want the performance of a flagship with a more pocket-friendly form factor.

OnePlus 9 Hype Mode Activated

While we don't know much about the other OnePlus 9 devices, we have heard that they are slated to launch in mid-March, but the company hasn't officially confirmed that.

We also saw a leaked render of the phone. It showed a triple camera system on the back and a hole punch camera on the front.

As far as the specs go, not much has leaked, so we'll have to wait until OnePlus offers an official presentation to determine what the phone will bring to the table. Either way, we're extremely excited to get our hands on the next-generation of OnePlus flagship devices based on what the company has done in the past.

The OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro were killer phones that really helped establish OnePlus as one of the top smartphone makers in terms of quality. With the OnePlus 9 devices on the horizon, it'll be interesting to see how the company manages to push things forward. Releasing a third device to capture a wider range of the price spectrum could be a smart move, but the phones need to deliver for that to matter.

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The best Cyber Monday deals still available

Here is our roundup of the best Cyber Monday deals that are still available around the web. There are still significant discounts on everything from Apple devices to accessories, video games and more. But you better hurry, we don't expect these prices to be around much longer.
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Developer Successfully Boots Windows 10 on Apple’s New M1 Chip

Apple's new M1 processor has caught the headlines for all the right reasons. It is fast, power-efficient, and hitting benchmarks in all the right places. Yet, there are still surprise to come, as screenshots of Windows 10 ARM64 edition running on Apple's new silicon have emerged.

Not only that, but the Apple M1 processor appears to provide better benchmarks than the Windows 10 ARM edition reference device, the Surface Pro X.

The Apple M1 Chip Runs Windows 10 ARM Edition

Developer Alexander Graf tweeted a screenshot of the Windows 10 Task Manager, displaying the Performance tab. The tab shows a mysterious CPU type, "virt-5.2." Graf confirmed that this is the Apple M1 chip, running Windows 10 ARM edition.

Graf took a version of Windows 10 ARM64 Insider Preview and ran it through a custom version of the popular virtualization tool, QEMU. After virtualizing, Graf ran it through the Apple Hypervisor.framework, Apple's virtualization tool.

The combination allowed Graf to not only boot Windows 10 ARM64 Insider Preview on Apple's M1 chip, but to record some pretty decent benchmarks, too. You can see the benchmarking test results on Geekbench.

While these numbers may seem confusing, there are a couple of standouts. Notably, the virtualized M1 chip recorded a single-core score of 1288 and a multi-core score of 5449, considerably higher than the Microsoft Surface Pro X's single-core score of 762 and multi-core score of 3005 on Geekbench.

Windows 10 Running Natively on M1 Silicon?

Seeing Windows 10 ARM64 running on the Apple M1 chip is surprising, but not completely unexpected. The Apple M1 chip uses an ARM-based design, which opens up questions about running Windows natively on the hardware.

In an interview with Ars Technica, Apple's Senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi, said:

That's really up to Microsoft. We have the core technologies for them [Microsoft] to do that, to run their ARM version of Windows, which in turn, of course, supports x86 user-mode applications. But that's a decision Microsoft has to make, to bring to license that technology for users to run on these Macs. But the Macs are certainly very capable of it.

The prospect of native hardware support is perhaps closer than we think.

If Alexander Graf's virtualization project sounds exciting to you, and you want to help out or just want to poke around the interesting patches, you can explore the Implement Apple Silicon Support project. It is a little complicated, but as Graf says, the outcome is "pretty snappy."

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The Next Chrome Update Will Fix Windows Security Issues

A new Google Chrome update should relieve the issues many users are currently experiencing while using the browser with Windows 10's integrated antivirus tool.

The issues stem from a bug that triggers when Windows Security is set to scan the local storage, locking users out of files, slowing Chrome down, and causing a general nuisance.

Related: The Best Antivirus Software for Windows 10

Update Google Chrome, Resolve Windows Security Issues

The issue stems from how Google Chrome and Windows Security interact when a new file is introduced to the system. As per the Chromium commit:

Antivirus programs and other scanners may briefly lock new files, which can lead to frequent problems with saving bookmarks and other files that use the ImportantFileWriter. This attempts to deal with this by retrying the racy ReplaceFile step a few times.

When you create a new file or conduct a Google Chrome task that stores data on your computer, Windows Security scans the local storage to make sure you're not downloading malware or other nasties. The frequency of access might accidentally place a temporary lock status on the files, as Windows Security believes something bad is going on, even when it isn't.

Consequently, Google Chrome runs terribly slow.

This isn't inherently bad behavior, either. You want your antivirus to scan for potentially malicious files and to protect your system. However, if that process fails, as it is here, it can cause issues.

If Chrome Is Lagging, Hit Update

The Google Chrome development team has already found a solution, with the next edition of the browser set to retry the file several times before an error occurs.

So, if Google Chrome is running slow on your computer when you download a file or create data via another method, make sure to download the next Chrome update as soon as possible.

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Is 2020 the Year of the Linux Malware Pandemic? | MakeUseOf

Its reputation for security means Linux is often thought to be less vulnerable to the kinds of threats that regularly plague Microsoft Windows systems. Much of that perceived security comes from the relatively low number of Linux systems, but are cybercriminals starting to see value in choosing quality over quantity?

The Linux Threat Landscape is Changing

Security researchers at companies such as Kaspersky and Blackberry, along with federal agencies like the FBI and NSA are warning about malware authors increasing their focus on Linux.

The OS is now recognized as a gateway to valuable data such as trade secrets, intellectual property, and personnel information. Linux servers can also be used as a staging point for infection of wider networks full of Windows, macOS, and Android devices.

Even if it’s not the OS running on your desktop or laptop, your data is likely to be exposed to Linux sooner or later. Your cloud storage, VPN, and email providers, as well as your employer, health insurer, government services, or university, are almost certainly running Linux as part of their networks, and chances are you own or will own a Linux-powered Internet Of Things (IoT) device now or in the future.

Multiple threats have been uncovered over the past 12 months. Some are known Windows malware ported to Linux, while others have been sitting undetected on servers for almost a decade, showing just how much security teams have under-estimated the risk.

Many systems administrators might assume their organization is not important enough to be a target. However, even if your network isn’t a big prize, your suppliers or clients might prove more tempting, and getting access to your system, via a phishing attack, for example, may be a first step to infiltrating theirs. So it's worth evaluating how you protect your system.

Linux Malware Discovered in 2020

Here’s our round-up of the threats that have been identified over the last year.

RansomEXX Trojan

Kaspersky researchers revealed in November that this Trojan had been ported to Linux as an executable. The victim is left with files encrypted with a 256-bit AES cipher and instructions on contacting the malware authors to recover their data.

The Windows version attacked some significant targets in 2020, including Konica Minolta, the Texas Department of Transport, and the Brazilian court system.

RansomEXX is specifically tailored to each victim, with the name of the organization included in both the encrypted file extension and the email address on the ransom note.

Gitpaste-12

Gitpaste-12 is a new worm that infects x86 servers and IoT devices running Linux. It gets its name from its use of GitHub and Pastebin to download code, and for its 12 attack methods.

The worm can disable AppArmor, SELinux, firewalls, and other defenses as well as install a cryptocurrency miner.

IPStorm

Known on Windows since May 2019, a new version of this botnet capable of attacking Linux was discovered in September. It disarms Linux’s out-of-memory killer to keep itself running and kills security processes that might stop it from working.

The Linux edition comes with extra capabilities such as using SSH to find targets, exploit Steam gaming services, and crawl pornographic websites to spoof clicks on advertisements.

It also has a taste for infecting Android devices connected via Android Debug Bridge (ADB).

Drovorub

The FBI and NSA highlighted this rootkit in a warning in August. It can evade administrators and anti-virus software, run root commands, and allow hackers to upload and download files. According to the two agencies, Drovorub is the work of Fancy Bear, a group of hackers who work for the Russian government.

The infection is hard to detect, but upgrading to at least the 3.7 kernel and blocking untrusted kernel modules should help avoid it.

Lucifer

The Lucifer malicious crypto mining and distributed denial of service bot first appeared on Windows in June and on Linux in August. Lucifer’s Linux incarnation allows HTTP-based DDoS attacks as well as over TCP, UCP, and ICMP.

Penquin_x64

This new strain of the Turla Penquin family of malware was revealed by researchers in May. It’s a backdoor that allows attackers to intercept network traffic and run commands without acquiring root.

Kaspersky found the exploit running on dozens of servers in the US and Europe in July.

Doki

Doki is a backdoor tool that mainly targets poorly-set up Docker servers to install crypto miners.

While malware usually contacts predetermined IP addresses or URLs to receive instructions, Doki’s creators have set up a dynamic system which uses the Dogecoin crypto blockchain API. This makes it difficult to take down the command infrastructure as the malware operators can change the control server with just one Dogecoin transaction.

To avoid Doki, you should ensure your Docker management interface is properly configured.

TrickBot

TrickBot is a banking Trojan, used for ransomware attacks and identity theft, which has also made the move from Windows to Linux. Anchor_DNS, one of the tools used by the group behind TrickBot, appeared in a Linux variation in July.

Anchor_Linux acts as a backdoor and is usually spread via zip files. The malware sets up a cron task and contacts a control server via DNS queries.

Related: How to Spot a Phishing Email

Tycoon

The Tycoon Trojan is usually spread as a compromised Java Runtime Environment inside a zip archive. Researchers discovered it in June running on both the Windows and Linux systems of small to medium-sized businesses as well as educational institutions. It encrypts files and demands ransom payments.

Cloud Snooper

This rootkit hijacks Netfilter to hide commands and data theft amongst normal web traffic to bypass firewalls.

First identified on the Amazon Web Services cloud in February, the system can be used to control malware on any server behind any firewall.

PowerGhost

Also in February, researchers at Trend Micro discovered PowerGhost had made the leap from Windows to Linux. This is a fileless cryptocurrency-miner that can slow your system and degrade hardware through increased wear and tear.

The Linux version can uninstall or kill anti-malware products and stays active using a cron task. It can install other malware, gain root access, and spread through networks using SSH.

FritzFrog

Since this peer-to-peer (P2P) botnet was first identified in January 2020, 20 more versions have been found. Victims include governments, universities, medical centers, and banks.

Fritzfrog is fileless malware, a type of threat that lives in RAM rather than on your hard drive and exploits vulnerabilities in existing software to do its work. Instead of servers, it uses P2P to send encrypted SSH communications to coordinate attacks across different machines, update itself, and ensure work is spread evenly throughout the network.

Although it is fileless Fritzfrog does create a backdoor using a public SSH key to allow access in the future. Login information for compromised machines is then saved across the network.

Strong passwords and public key authentication offer protection against this attack. Changing your SSH port or turning off SSH access if you’re not using it is also a good idea.

FinSpy

FinFisher sells FinSpy, associated with spying on journalists and activists, as an off-the-shelf surveillance solution for governments. Previously seen on Windows and Android, Amnesty International uncovered a Linux version of the malware in November 2019.

FinSpy allows the tapping of traffic, access to private data, and the recording of video and audio from infected devices.

It came to public awareness in 2011 when protestors found a contract for the purchase of FinSpy in the offices of the brutal Egyptian security service after the overthrow of President Mubarak.

Is it Time For Linux Users to Start Taking Security Seriously?

While Linux users may not be as vulnerable to as many security threats as Windows users, there is no doubt the value and volume of data held by Linux systems is making the platform more attractive to cybercriminals.

If the FBI and NSA are worried, then sole traders or small businesses running Linux should start paying more attention to security now if they want to avoid becoming collateral damage during future attacks on larger organizations.

Here are our tips for protecting yourself from the growing list of Linux malware:

  • Don’t run binaries or scripts from unknown sources.
  • Install security software such as antivirus programs and rootkit detectors.
  • Be careful when installing programs using commands like curl. Don’t run the command until you fully understand what it's going to do, start your command line research here.
  • Learn how to set up your firewall properly. It should log all network activity, block unused ports, and generally keep your exposure to the network to the minimum necessary.
  • Update your system regularly; set security updates to be installed automatically.
  • Make sure your updates are being sent over encrypted connections.
  • Enable a key-based authentication system for SSH and password to protect the keys.
  • Use two-factor authentication (2FA) and keep keys on external devices such as a Yubikey.
  • Check logs for evidence of attacks.

 

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How to Capture and Share Screenshots on the PS4 | MakeUseOf

Do you want to brag about how good you are at PS4 games? Then let your friends discover your gaming skills, not by you telling them, but by them seeing your screenshots. It’s pretty easy to take game screenshots on the PS4; here we show how you do just that.

Use the Share Button to Take a Screenshot on the PS4

The easiest way to take a screenshot on the PS4 is to use the Share button. This button is located on your PS4 controller, and one press of this button takes and saves a snap of your current screen.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to the screen that you want to capture on your PS4.
  2. Press and hold down the Share button on your controller for about two seconds.
  3. An icon will appear on the left of the screen or monitor indicating your screenshot is captured.

Your screenshot has been saved in your gallery.

Use the Share Menu to Take a Screenshot on the PS4

The Share menu is another way to take a screenshot on the PS4. Unlike a single press of a button, this method requires you to choose an option from a list to capture the screenshot.

You can access this option as follows:

  1. Access the screen that you want to take a screenshot of.
  2. Press the Share button on your controller.
  3. Select the option that says Save Screenshot.
  4. Your PS4 will capture and save your screenshot.

Accessing Your Saved PS4 Screenshots

Your PS4 saves all your screenshots in a single app, and that makes it easier to view them all at once.

You can open the screenshots gallery as follows on your console:

  1. Go to the main screen on your PS4 and select Library.
  2. Select Capture Gallery on the following screen.
  3. Select Start and then choose All.
  4. You’ll see all the screenshots that you’ve ever captured on your PS4.

Copy PS4 Screenshots to a USB Flash Drive

If you want to bring your PS4 screenshots to other devices, you can do so by first copying your screenshots to a USB storage. The PS4 has an option to copy content to USB devices and that’s what you can utilize to do your task.

Just make sure your USB flash drive is formatted in either exFAT or FAT32 filesystem, and then follow these steps to copy your screenshots over to your drive.

  1. Plug-in your USB drive to your PS4.
  2. Access your screenshots by heading to Library > Capture Gallery > All on your console.
  3. Highlight the screenshot you want to copy, press the Options button on your controller, and choose Copy to USB Storage Device.

Changing PS4 Screenshot Settings

Your PS4 offers a couple of options to change how your screenshots are captured and saved. You can tweak these options as follows on your console.

Change the PS4 Screenshot File Format

By default, the PS4 saves your screenshots in JPG format. If you do not prefer this, the other option is to save your screenshots in PNG.

Here’s how you go about doing that:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your PS4.
  2. Head to Sharing and Broadcasts > Screenshot Settings.
  3. Select Image Format and choose the new default format for your screenshots.

This doesn’t convert your existing screenshots; your future screenshots will use the newly specified format.

Take a PS4 Screenshot With a Single Keypress

By default, your console requires you to hold down the Share button a few seconds to take a screenshot. If you don’t want to wait these “few seconds”, you can configure an option on your PS4 to then take screenshots with just a single press of the Share button.

You can configure that as follows on your PS4:

  1. Access the Settings menu on your PS4.
  2. Go to Sharing and Broadcasts > SHARE Button Control Type.
  3. Select the Easy Screenshots option.

Now a single press of the Share button will capture a screenshot of your screen.

Brag About Your Gaming Skills With PS4 Screenshots

You can use your PS4 screenshots in many different ways. You can, of course, use them to brag about your skills, and then you can use them to show your friends something new you’ve found in a game.

The PS4 offers many features including the ability to take screenshots, copy data to USB drives, and even host gaming parties with your gaming buddies.

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How to Extend Laptop Battery Life With Custom Windows Power Plans

Windows power plans are a great way to manage your computer or laptop. Working in combination with the latest and greatest processors, your laptop's battery life can now last for over 10-hours, depending on the make and model.

Custom Windows power plans allow you to modify how your processor and other hardware components switch from low-power, low energy modes to high power modes and then back again.

So, here's how you craft a custom Windows power plan to extend battery life and save power.

What Is a Windows Power Plan?

A "power plan" is simply a collection of settings in Windows that determine how certain features operate. Windows power plans are not laptop specific. You can create and use a custom power plan on any Windows 10 computer, though the power plan options will vary depending on hardware.

Windows 10 includes three default power plan options:

  • Balanced: Windows 10 balances your system performance with energy consumption in relation to your system hardware. This means your CPU speed will increase as required and reduce when not.
  • Power Saver: Windows 10 reduces your system performance to save battery power. Your CPU will run at lower speeds as much as possible, while other power savings come from reduced brightness, switching the screen off quicker, switching your hard drive or Wi-Fi adapter into power saving mode, and so on.
  • High Performance: Windows 10 cranks the performance dial up but increases power consumption. Your CPU will run at faster speeds most of the time, your screen brightness will increase, and other hardware components will not enter power-saving mode during periods of inactivity.

Although the Windows 10 power plans attempt to help increase performance or battery life, they're not perfect. Furthermore, you can override the power plan through your regular usage. For example, you can switch the power saver power plan on to reduce your screen brightness, but it doesn't stop you from cranking it back up again.

At times, the use of certain applications will force you to switch power plans, too. If you want to play an intensive game on a laptop, for example, you will have to leave the power saver power plan to enable your CPU to run at full capacity. Games and other CPU intensive activities will ignore the power plan restrictions on CPU performance, using CPU turbo boost as required.

How to Switch Windows Power Plans

There are a couple of ways you can switch between power plans on Windows 10.

Desktop Power Plan Switching

On a desktop computer, the fastest and easiest method is to input power plan in your Start Menu search bar and select the Best match from the results.

The Control Panel Power Options page will open. Select your preferred plan, and you're good to go.

Alternatively, you can press Windows Key + I, then input power plan in the Settings app search bar. Select Edit power plan to open the Control Panel page.

Laptop Power Plan Switching

If you're using a Windows 10 laptop, you have an alternative power plan management option. As you're using a battery-powered device, there is a battery icon in your system tray.

Select the battery icon to reveal the power plan slider. Slide to the left, and you're increasing your laptop battery life (power saver plan). Slide to the right, and you're increasing your laptop performance (high-performance plan).

You can right-click the battery icon and select Power Options to open the power plan Control Panel Power Options or use the shortcuts in the previous section.

Creating a Custom Power Plan to Save Battery Life and Reduce Power Consumption

Sometimes, none of the default power plans suit your requirements. You might use a laptop with a portable battery and want to extend both devices' battery life. In that instance, you can customize a power plan to suit you.

To create a custom power plan, select Create a power plan from the Control Panel Power Options menu, on the left of the window. Give your power plan a name and select the existing plan you want to base your plan upon.

When you create a custom power plan on Windows 10, there are a few settings for you to consider.

1. Turn Off the Display and Put the Computer to Sleep

The first two settings are the easiest to tweak. How long do you want your display to remain idle before switching off, and how long should the computer idle before switching to sleep mode?

On portable devices, Windows 10 provides an option for On battery and Plugged in. You might have to play around with timings to find your sweet spot. If extending your custom power plan is all about power saving and battery life preservation, set the numbers as low as possible.

Display Brightness

Wondering where the display brightness toggle setting is? Microsoft removed the option to set display brightness (as well as adaptive brightness) through your power plan in Windows 10 update 1809. The move is infuriating, as the display brightness option was another handy power saving factor you could customize.

You can still change how bright your display is without the toggle. Tap the Notification icon on the bottom right of your screen to open the Action Center. At the bottom of the panel is an adjustable brightness slider.

Don't discount the power savings an even slightly dimmed monitor will deliver. Power savings vary between monitors, but according to this tip from Harvard Law School's Energy Manager, reducing your computer monitor brightness from 100-percent down to 70-percent can "save up to 20% of the energy the monitor uses." You might not notice that 30-percent brightness reduction too much, but you'll note the extra battery power!

2. Advanced Sleep Settings

The sleep timer in the basic settings isn't the only adjustable option. The Windows 10 power plan advanced settings hide a host of customizable options. Select Change advanced power settings to open the advanced menu.

You'll find three additional sleep options; Sleep after, Allow hybrid sleep, and Hibernate after. Hybrid sleep attempts to combine the sleep and hibernate mode into a single mode and is intended for desktops, so ignore that for now.

You can switch out the option to put the computer to sleep with hibernate using a combination of the "Sleep after" and "Hibernate after" options. If you set the sleep timers to Never, and set a time for the hibernate timers, your computer will hibernate instead of sleep after a certain period.

The best option for maximum battery preservation is a combination of the two. Allow your computer to enter hibernation mode after a certain period, rather than keeping it exclusively in sleep mode (which uses more overall power).

What Is Hibernate?

Hibernate dumps your system RAM to your hard drive and then shuts down your computer, which drastically cuts (but does not completely eliminate) power draw. Furthermore, your computer's state saves to your hard disk, so you don't run the risk of losing data when the battery gives out (a common problem with sleep).

Restoring from hibernation takes longer than the effortless sleep restoration, so that's another consideration.

3. Processor Power Management

Display brightness helps reduce power use and increase battery life. But it isn't the only thing affecting power consumption on your custom power plan. The amount of power your CPU uses depends on how you use it. Running a demanding program (or multiple programs) can cause your power draw to increase drastically, regardless of the power plan you use.

The Processor power management option controls your CPU output, providing a percentage amount for the minimum and maximum state.

If your maximum state is set to 100-percent, your CPU will use its full capacity when required. Whereas, if you set the maximum state to 50-percent, your CPU will use less capacity (though not exactly half as the percentage amount implies). That is to say, if you have a 2.0GHz processor and set the maximum processor state to 10-percent, your laptop won't use just 200MHz of its potential.

The processor power management option is somewhat like an underclocking tool, allowing you to use fewer CPU resources. In turn, you'll save some power and battery life.

It isn't a perfect science. You'll have to experiment with the best option for your device along with the applications you regularly run.

4. Wireless Adapters and Graphics Settings

If you're using an Intel system, you'll find an Intel Graphics Settings option in the advanced power plan menu. This option lets you define a default level of graphics for your integrated CPU graphics settings, switching between Balanced, Maximum Battery Life, and Maximum Performance. If you're looking to extend battery life and reduce power consumption, switch to Maximum Battery Life.

Another power-saving option in your custom power plan is Wireless Adapter Settings. Your wireless adapter can periodically power down to save battery life. Changing this setting adjusts the period before the Wi-Fi adapter sleeps. For maximum battery life, switch to Maximum Power Saving.

5. Other Settings

There are a lot of settings to fiddle with in the advanced power plan options. But, There's a number of settings that have no meaningful impact, even when they work correctly. Irrelevant settings include those listed under desktop background settings, USB settings, power buttons and lid, and multimedia settings.

Some of these, like desktop background, have laughably little to do with power draw. Whether or not your computer's background changes every minute, three minutes, or ten minutes is completely irrelevant.

Other options, like changing the speed with which your hard drive turns off, are theoretically useful. Still, the component in question uses so little power that its impact on battery life is difficult to notice outside of carefully constructed, instrumented tests.

A mechanical hard drive, for example, demands between one and three Watts while active—but spends the vast majority of its time at idle, consuming just a few tenths of a Watt. Solid-state drives use even less power.

You could spend weeks testing these settings with a wattmeter and a stopwatch and never obtain a quarter of the gains you'll receive by decreasing the brightness of your display when it doesn't need to be at its maximum. Don't waste your time; focus on the fundamentals.

Save Battery Power with a Custom Power Plan

Your Windows 10 power plan can save your battery's charge, but there are limits to how much it can do. As you have read above, the biggest power savings come from turning your screen brightness down and using idle modes more efficiently. You can also attempt to moderate the type of work you do while using your battery power. For example, stick to word processing and emails while using the battery, rather than rendering a giant 3D image.

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The Incredible OnePlus Buds Are $55 Today Only | MakeUseOf

I think we can all agree that the Apple Airpods run the show in the world of true wireless earbuds. Whether they're the best is debatable, but the Airpods are most definitely the space's household name.

However, if you're not looking to spend a ton on a pair of earbuds, you should give the OnePlus Buds a try. They're packed with features, and they're currently on sale for $55, which is the lowest price they've ever reached.

OnePlus Buds Cyber Monday Sale

Currently, Amazon has the OnePlus Buds on sale for $54.99, which is a solid 30 percent off the original $79.99 price tag. For a pair of true wireless earbuds from a reputable brand like OnePlus, this is about as cheap as you're going to find.

The OnePlus Buds have received rave reviews across the internet. Starting with Amazon, the earbuds have over 3,000 reviews and a solid 4.0 rating.

Plenty of websites have also provided reviews of the OnePlus Buds, and they're generally quite positive. For Example, PCMag gave them a 4/5 rating, saying, "The simple, stylish OnePlus Buds earphones offer excellent wire-free sound quality for significantly less money than Apple's AirPods."

One drawback of the OnePlus Buds is that you need an OnePlus phone to truly take advantage of everything they can do. However, even if you don't have an OnePlus smartphone, you can still enjoy the great sound they bring to the table. Just some of the more advanced features are lacking.

This Deal Won't Last!

Don't snooze on this deal because Amazon has them marked down for Cyber Monday, which means they won't be on sale for much longer. If these sound like a pair of earbuds that you'd like to own, make sure to jump on Amazon and snag a pair.

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Music Leaking Site ‘Kingdom Leaks’ Announces Imminent Closure

According to the music industry, the main threat to artists and labels from a piracy perspective is the availability of stream-ripping platforms and tools. On the other hand, however, a much more traditional threat also remains an issue.

Recording labels have long lamented the fact that insiders and other people with access to new music have made it available to others in advance of commercial release. Whether those are promo copies, so-called ‘dubplates’ in the vinyl scene, or even CDs liberated from the packing department of a manufacturing facility, early leaks can cause headaches – especially when they make it online.

Of course, leaks appearing online has been the standard for two decades already. The availability of music releases on streaming platforms simultaneously across borders has helped dampen the problem but it still hasn’t eradicated it. In fact, some sites specialize in ensuring content gets online as quickly as possible.

Kingdom Leaks – Leaking Music For Seven Years

While there is no shortage of music leaking sites, Kingdom Leaks (in one form or another) has been around for roughly seven years. That’s quite a feat considering the content on offer. And, despite operating in a niche, the site still manages to pull in an estimated two million visits per month, with many users looking to grab music as far in advance of release as possible.

While this particular party was enjoyed by fans while it lasted, it’s clear that Kingdom Leaks will soon be pulling down the shutters for the last time.

“It is with a heavy heart and great sorrow that today I announce the shutdown of Kingdom Leaks. This was not a decision made lightly or abruptly, nor was this choice made because of legal pressure, a data breach, or anything of that nature,” site operator Lord Kingdom says in a final statement.

“The simple but unfortunate reason is this: mR12 and I have decided to move on, and there is no safe way to hand over the website to another party out of concern for the safety of everyone involved since the site’s inception 7 years ago.”

Shutting Down For Personal Reasons, Jan 1, 2021

While many site operators can run on to ripe old ages without a hitch, Lord Kingdom says he has other ‘real-life’ matters on the agenda that require him to move on, with Kingdom Leaks (KL) firmly behind him.

“With a baby on the way and getting married next year, this is something that I need to put in the past, officially,” he writes.

“This reality has left us at the following decision: we will be permanently shutting down our servers on January 1st, 2021. All user and site data, including that which is stored on PassTheLeaks, will be permanently deleted.”

Those familiar with the site will recognize PassTheLeaks as one of the domains offered as an option for people trying to download music from KL, which is presented via related service Filecrypt. The news that all of this content is set to be deleted will come as a disappointment to users but according to Lord Kingdom, the topic won’t be revisited and the decision to close “is final”.

Not Everyone is Disappointed That Kingdown Leaks is Closing

For many years, copyright holders and their anti-piracy partners have been working hard to have content uploaded by Kingdom Leaks delisted from Google. It will come as no surprise that the BPI takes the lead in the sheer volume of content targeted, closely followed by French music group SCPP and international music organization IFPI.

One of the other anti-piracy companies regularly trying to suppress KL is UK-based anti-piracy company AudioLock. If Kingdom Leaks keeps its word and closes down in just over a month’s time, AudioLock will have less work to do. Speaking with TorrentFreak, however, company founder Ben Rush says that he won’t be sad to see the site go.

“Kingdom Leaks has been around a long time and has a strong user base who are kept updated through various social media feeds of every new release. It covers a lot more rock and metal content than other similar sites and protects links from automated tools that take them down,” Rush says.

AudioLock’s owner says that Kingdom Leaks’ utilization of link encryption (Filecrypt) has meant that the site has been able to keep itself alive, driving its popularity but at the expense of artists who are struggling in the current climate.

“Now without the revenue from live events [due to COVID-19], we are seeing labels seeking to boost existing stream and download revenue by protecting it from piracy. This pressure combined with the site’s popularity will have made it a prime target,” he explains.

Kingdom Leaks Admin Asks Users To Consider Spotify

In what could be an important departing post, Kingdom Leaks admin mR12 (who is also a VIP uploader on The Pirate Bay) has penned an ‘essay’ on why people should be considering Spotify in their music consumption habits moving forward.

“As Kingdom Leaks comes to an unfortunate but inevitable close, you may be considering how your music needs will be sustainably met in the future. Many will understandably and reasonably move to other music blogs, other download sites, and with good cause,” he writes.

“I am not writing to condone these moves; however, I would like to argue, through a serious and practical consideration of the actual need that must be filled, that Spotify is the solution many people are looking for but simply don’t know it or haven’t given it enough consideration.

“I want to show that, yes, Spotify is worth $120 per year, and perhaps more importantly for those of you reading this, that Spotify is compatible with partial music piracy, which I believe is the most optimal and hassle-free solution for the vast majority of people.”

Time will tell how many soon-to-be-former users of KL find his arguments persuasive but Ben Rush is hoping that Kingdom Leaks’ passionate music-fan users will move to legal platforms rather than pirate sites.

“The harsh reality is that if these users want to have releases made by the labels and artists they enjoy, then they need to support them now. Without this support, there will be many labels who will no longer exist, and many artists unable to continue to create music,” he says.

“Show your appreciation and support to the labels and artists that mean so much to you. Secure their future by purchasing directly from the label itself or from legitimate platforms.”

It may have taken seven years but at this point (and if only partially), some kind of consensus appears to have been reached.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

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How to Set Up a Raspberry Pi Media Server: 7 Ways | MakeUseOf

One of the most popular uses for the low-cost Raspberry Pi computer is as a media center. While a Model A or Raspberry Pi Zero, will work, you'll get the best results with a Raspberry Pi 3 or 4. Although models offer superior performance, all models can deliver a compact, affordable, low-power, media center solution.

Several Raspberry Pi media server options are on offer. We're going to walk you through them below, looking at the features, advantages, and disadvantages of each.

Why Use a Media Server Distro for Raspberry Pi?

Various media server solutions are available for Raspberry Pi. These range from video only servers to audio-only solutions, with most handling all types of media.

We've rounded up the best media server solutions for Raspberry Pi:

  1. ReadyMedia
  2. Kodi
  3. Mopidy
  4. OpenMediaVault
  5. Plex Media Server
  6. Pi Music Box
  7. Emby

But which media center application should you install on your Raspberry Pi's SD card?

1. Build a Raspberry Pi DLNA Server With ReadyMedia

Formerly known as MiniDLNA, ReadyMedia requires installing on the standard Raspberry Pi operating system. Start by mounting the disk drive(s) with the media data on, and then use the standard installation command:

sudo apt install minidlna

Unlike the other examples here, some manual configuration is necessary, as described in the video.

Once installed, ReadyMedia is compatible with DLNA/UPnP-AV, which means that any DLNA-compatible device on the same network should be able to detect your Pi. Your Raspberry Pi DLNA server will then stream media to the device.

Fast, lightweight, and easily configurable, ReadyMedia is the option to choose if you just want to stream your media. For media indexing, consider other solutions.

2. Raspberry Pi Media Streaming With Kodi

Perhaps the most recognized name in this list, Kodi is available for the Raspberry Pi.

While Kodi's best days are undoubtedly behind it, Pi has several Kodi builds available, full distros such as LibreElec and OSMC. LibreElec is available for the Raspberry Pi 4, but OSMC is currently unavailable beyond the Raspberry Pi 3.

However, you can also install Kodi manually to an existing Pi operating system using:

sudo apt install kodi

But wait a minute. Aren't the Kodi-based media servers in fact media centers? Well, they're both, which is how they come to be in this list.

The provision of DLNA/UPnP means that Kodi (and its forks) can be used as a media server.

If you're already using a Kodi-based distro, then you don't need a media server as you already have one. To enable, open

  1. Settings > Services > UPnP
  2. Here, enable Share video and music libraries through UPnP

You can now stream content from your Kodi-based system to other devices on your network.

Related: Choose the Best Kodi for Raspberry Pi

3. Mopidy Music Server for Raspberry Pi

Looking for an audio-only media server solution for Raspberry Pi?

With support for custom extensions and Python, JSON-RPC, and JavaScript APIs, Mopidy is more than just a music server. Potentially the most powerful Raspberry Pi music server available, it can play tracks from

  • A disk-based library
  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • Google Play Music

In the accompanying video, Mopidy is installed on a Raspberry Pi embedded in a retro cassette player. With the buttons and volume hooked up to the Pi's GPIO, audio playback is via a custom Mopidy extension.

NFC tags in the cassettes prompt playback of specific Spotify playlists. This is just one way that Mopidy's extension support can enhance your audio enjoyment. Learn more at www.mopidy.com.

Download: Mopidy

4. Build a Raspberry Pi Streaming Server With OpenMediaVault

Admittedly closer to a NAS than a media server, OpenMediaVault is the smart choice for Pi owners wishing to access their media files from any device on the same network.

Setup is straightforward, but lengthy. You may run into initial problems mounting any hard disk drives that you have connected to your Pi. This should be quickly overcome, however, enabling you to configure the system correctly.

Among the features with OMV are support for a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) and stats to assist in system monitoring. There is also EXT3/EXT4/XFS/JFS filesystem support and RAID can be set up for HDD mirroring.

SSH, FTP, TFTP, SMB and RSync are all supported for direct connection to your OMV device. You'll typically access it via a web browser, however, by opening the IP address.

Various plugins are also available for OMV, such as a USB backup feature and other tools to extend functionality.

Download: OpenMediaVault

5. Raspberry Pi Plex Media Server

If you prefer to simply stream from a desktop or dedicated media server to your Raspberry Pi, seek out Plex. A popular name in home media streaming, Plex can be used to stream content to all manner of devices.

Thanks to Plex's popularity, you'll be able to enjoy media streamed via Plex on a wide selection of devices. Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS. Meanwhile, media streamers such as Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and many Smart TVs also have Plex clients.

You'll even find clients for current and last-gen consoles, Windows, macOS, Kodi, and even models up to Raspberry Pi 3.

Note that Plex demands that your files are named in a specific format. This enables the software to pull the appropriate metadata from the web. Doing so gives you details about the media files in your library, e.g. album or DVD covers, track listings, etc.

This support page from the Plex website explains file organization and naming.

As things stand, Plex should be your first choice of media server. Use the Plex Media Server build for Raspberry Pi for the best results. And remember, you can also subscribe to Plex Pass for even more features.

6. Build a Raspberry Pi MusicBox

Described as the Raspberry Pi's "Swiss Army Knife of streaming music" Pi MusicBox streams cloud audio to a connected speaker. This might be from Spotify or other online services, or local or networked music from your NAS. There is also support for TuneIn and other web radio services, and podcasts from iTunes.

Pi MusicBox has USB audio support, as well as wireless connectivity with Spotify Connect, AirTunes/AirPlay, and DLNA streaming. This means that music served through your Raspberry Pi can be played back on any mobile, tablet, or Smart TV.

Sadly, Pi MusicBox hasn't been updated since 2017. However, it is based on Mopidy (above) so if you're looking for a preconfigured Mopidy solution, try this. Learn more about the software at www.pimusicbox.com.

Download: Pi MusicBox

7. Set Up the Emby Media Server on Raspberry Pi

Emby is a media server solution with support for photos, videos, and music. Apps stream your data to Android, iPhone, iPad, and Windows tablets, Android TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Roku, and consoles.

Parental controls can be set up with Emby, making this the perfect family-based home media server for Raspberry Pi. Emby fulfills the multiple roles of Raspberry Pi photo server, video server, and audio server.

There's also DLNA support to simplify the streaming of content to and from your server.

Several options are available to install Emby. The simplest solution is to use the DietPi low-footprint Raspberry Pi distribution. With this installed, you can simply select the Software Optimized menu option then Emby Server.

Learn more about Emby at emby.media.

Related: Turn Your Raspberry Pi into a Media Server With Emby.

Build a Media Server With Raspberry Pi 4 and Below

We've presented you with seven options for setting up your Raspberry Pi as a media server, capable of delivering movies, photos, and music to devices around your home at the touch of a button.

Set up for each solution is fast. You should have a Raspberry Pi media server up and running in minutes, ready to stream files across your home with ease. It's just one of the great uses for a Raspberry Pi---whatever the model.