Sunday, March 11, 2018

How to Copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet?

Sunday, March 11, 2018 0
It' really a great fun to have such a tool that can copy all the links from a Web page simply by dragging the mouse selection over it or can open all the the selected links in a new tab at once. I am talking about just the links and not the links with anchor texts. Yes, There are tools available that can make your job easier and you can do wonders using them. Specially, someone who are doing research or preparing a slideshow, creating a technical guides or any types of document or for publishing work. For anything that require you to do a lot of research or dig into the internet resources using search engines, you will want to open multiple tabs from the search engine results. Sometimes you will also need to copy all the links from the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) into a spreadsheet. Imagine, how easier all the above mentioned task could be, if you can achieve them in single mouse click.

If you still haven't figured out what I am trying to say. In a simple way, there are tools that let you extract all the links from a search engine results page or any web page to clipboard. It also allows you to open all the links in a new tab with a single mouse click. You can choose to open them in a new tab or copy the links into a spreadsheet without having to individually open each of them. This could really be very helpful for those preparing a sort of documents where they need to refer to some links from SERP. Someone who needs to open all the link in one click to make the job easier or anyone who is doing SEO and wants to collect the list of bookmarking sites or directory name in a spreadsheet, would want to bookmark this page. Here are few tools that work with Chrome browser.

How to Copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet?

#1. Linkclump ( Free )

This is one of my favorite tools that let you copy, open in a new window or tab, bookmark all the links on the current page in one click. The best thing about this tool is that, you can assign separate command for different tasks. Using this tool is very simple , just press and hold the letter Z and left mouse button and drag the cursor over the Links and they all will open in new tabs when you let go off the keys.

How to Use

  1. Download and add the Linkclump extension in your Chrome Browser.
  2. By Default, Linkclump tool only has one action "Opened as New Tabs" enabled which open all the selected links from a page to a new Tab.
  3. You will have to set the other actions with your desired key combination.
  4. When you install the Linkclump extension, you are asked to add a new action command at the same time. If you did not notice this option, you can right click on the Linkclump icon in the browser toll bar at the top right and select "Options".
    Linkclump to copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet
    Linkclump to copy all the Links from Google Search Results into a Spreadsheet
  5. Click "Add Action" button under "Actions".
  6. Select the command key and mouse button option to activate the action. I chose "Left Mouse button + X" key.
    Create new action in Linkclump
    Create new action in Linkclump 
  7. Select one of the four options under Action and hit save at the bottom.
  8. I chose copy and now when ever I press and hold the letter X and + left mouse button then drag it over the links on a page, and it copies all the links to clipboard.
  9. Now I would go to a notepad or spreadsheet and paste it there. Watch this small video on how to add an action and how to copy all the links from Google Search results into a spreadsheet.

Best Features

  • You can choose from one of the four options :- Open in a New Window, Open as New Tabs, Bookmark, Copy to clipboard.
  • Select your own custom keys to activate the action.
  • Smart select option if enabled, chooses only important links that it thinks. You may want to turn this off first so that all the selected links can be opened.
  • You don't need to worry about scrolling the page while selecting links to be copied or opened in a new Tab. The page scrolls up automatically when you drag the mouse towards bottom.
  • The best feature is the option to include or exclude a link containing certain words.
  • You can set time delay after which link should open in a new tab.
  • Supported on Windows, Mac and Linux.

This tool was very helpful to me when I needed to copy the link of tens of images from a WebPage and paste it into a Word document. It could also be a great help for a programmer or web developer as they need to define multiple images URL sometimes. They can upload all the images and copy their URL with single click. Another similar tool for Google Chrome are Open selected links, Links Grabber and Link Klipper, which are explained in next section. 

#2. Open Selected Links

As the name suggests, this tool scrape the links from selected area on a web page. Be it images, video, text links or form links, it collect them all and let you open them in new tabs. It doesn't allow you to copy links to clipboard. The best thing about this tool is that it adds an option in context menu and filter links for images, Video or Audio.

How to Use

  1. Download and install the browser extension.
  2. Restart the browser and select the area containing links and right click on selection.
  3. Choose "Open Selected Links" and select "All" to open all the links in selection in new tabs. 
    Open Selected Links tools for extracting links from a Web page
    Open Selected Links tools for extracting links from a Web page
  4. You can choose to select the images to just open image links in new tabs.

#3. Link Grabber

This tool works in a different way. It grabs or extracts all the links on a page in one click. You don't get an option to copy links from a selected area. Once the web page containing links is opened, simply click on Link Grabber icon in the browser tool bar menu to extracts all the links in a new tab. You can also right click on the web page and select Link Grabber from the context menu to open all the link in a new tab.
Link Grabber to Grab all the links from a web page
Link Grabber to Grab all the links from a web page
This tool also allows you to filter duplicate links and you can even group links by domain. Once you have grabbed all the links and it is opened in a new tab click on the Copy button to copy them all or simply select the links you want to copy. Copy and paste them into a spreadsheet.
Copy the grabbed link into a Spreadsheet or Microsoft Excel

4. Link Klipper - Extract all links

This is another simple but very useful tool for copying or extracting links from a web page. I believe, this tool was built keeping in mind the person who usually scrape or extract a lot of links from a web page and paste them into a spreadsheet like Microsoft Excel. Link Klipper will let you export all the links in CSV or TXT file. But again this tool will copy all the links even the unwanted one. Selection does not always work not at least on the Google Search result.

Among all the above mentioned tools, I found Linkclump the best. It is very neat and cleat. Simple to use just drag the selection area and keep copying the links. You might be wondering if there is any similar to Linkclump tool for Firefox browser. Don't worry, you have got Snap Links Plus and Multi Links Plus exactly similar to Linkclump.

For Firefox

5. Snap Link Plus

This tool is almost the same as Linkclump for chrome. It lets you copy links from a rectangular selection area or you can chose to open then in new tabs. It is very lightweight to you Firefox browser and simple to use.

How to Use

  1. Hold the right mouse button pressed and drag the mouse over the area of a web page you want to scrape links from.
  2. While you are dragging the mouse you also see a selection rectangle with number of links it has grabbed.
    Web Page link extractor for Firefox extract Web Page links into a SPreadsheet
    Web Page link extractor for Firefox
  3. If you want to just copy the links, press "Ctrl+C" keys while you see the selection rectangle with number of links it has grabbed. Once the links from selected area has been copied the selection rectangle will disappear.
  4. If you do not want to copy links but rather open them in new tab. Just let go off the right mouse button after selecting the area on a web page.
I hope this article has been a great fun as well as a great help for you. If you come across any new technologies or something more powerful, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below. Those were few browser extensions that are the best in their category.
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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

How to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac?

Tuesday, March 06, 2018 0
This article is specially written for those who are unable to boot their Mac in normal mode or Mac boot process stuck at grey screen with Apple logo and a loading bar. In such situations, your important data is at stake. You can't boot your Mac and can't copy the data over to an external hard drive or USB disk. But there is still a way to boot your Mac and recover data from there. The only way your Mac can boot for sure is "Single User Mode". In Single User Mode(SUM) you need to first mount USB or external drive to copy data over to it. This post will show you simple steps to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac.

Warning: In SU Mode, your Mac boots in root user environment. Root user can make any changes and delete any files on your Mac. So if you have never used this command line environment or UNIX and Linux OS, make sure you type every command very carefully. Also make sure the USB disk or external drive that you are going to mount in SUM on mac, is formatted on Mac. If not formatted on Mac, You can format it under FAT32 filesystem on windows. Only the FAT32 file system of Windows platform is what I have found working flawlessly. exFat is another file system type that is supported by both Mac and Windows but it is formatted differently on both the platform. The cluster size is different in both the systems and that results in producing "Unsupported sector Size (0)" error during mounting any USB or external disk on Mac.
Unsupported Sector Size Error While Mounting USB
Unsupported Sector Size Error While Mounting USB - Single User Mode
The another problem that may come into your way to mount USB or external drive in SU mode is SIP (System Integrity Protection). In some Macs, you may not be able to mount USB external drive under single user mode due to SIP. You may encounter errors saying Invalid Signature; Trust Cache is disabled or Untrusted kext are not allowed, which appears after executing the mount command. So you need to disable the SIP on your Mac first.

This post can be very helpful for those trying to recover some important data from Mac which is almost died or can not boot. Here are the steps that you need to follow in SUM if your Mac can boot to SUM; If you don't want to read all these steps, you can also watch this YouTube video for a complete steps on how to mount a USB drive and copy data from internal hard drive to USB disk in SU mode on Mac.

How to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac?

#1. Boot your Mac in SU mode by holding "Command+S" keys combination during startup.
#2. Let go off the keys when you see a black screen with white text scrolling.
#3. Wait for a few seconds until you see the last line written as "Localhost: root#".
#4. Type the following command.

/sbin/fsck -fy

fsck command will run a series of check on root drive and will make sure all the error are fixed. If it finds any issue, the command will try to repair it. Once the command has executed successfully, it will show a message “File system was modified” or “The volume (name) appears to be OK”. When you see the second message move on to the next step otherwise run the fsck command again until you get the second message.
#5. Type the following command to remount the root partition in read and write mode. By default, it's mounted read only.

/sbin/mount -uw /

#6. Now type the following command to get an idea of what all disk devices are currently listed by your system.

ls /dev/disk*

When I typed the above command on my Mac, I got the following disk devices with their name.
Listing All the Disk Drive Names
Listing All the Disk Drive Names SUM
#7. Now connect the external USB disk or external hard drive to one of the USB ports on your Mac. And type the same command "ls /dev/disk*" again and note down the name of the external hard drive or USB disk that you just connected. This would be the new name added to previous list and most often it is always the last disk name in the list. In my case the last one was disk4s1 and that is my Kingston USB stick.
Finding the Disk Drive Name for USB disk in SU Mode
Finding the Disk Drive Name for USB disk in SU Mode
My MacBook Pro has got multiple disk drives because I have got three different partitions of the internal hard drive. Each of them has Yosemite, macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra respectively. #8. Now that you have got the name of the external USB drive. Your next step is to mount it, so that you can copy the data over to the USB device in SU Mode. Type the following command to create a mount point ( Just a folder or directory where the external disk will be mounted ).

mkdir /Volumes/usb

#9. Enter the following command to check the Filesystem of external USB drive.

fstyp /dev/disk1s2
Find the FileSystem type of a USB Disk or External Drive
Find the FileSystem type of a USB Disk or External Drive
My USB stick was formatted in FAT32 on windows and that's why it clearly showed msdos. Note down the Filesystem type listed here.

#10. Finally type the command to mount USB or external drive in single user mode on Mac.

mount -t msdos /dev/disk4s1 /Volumes/usb

Replace disk4s1 to whatever name your USB stick or external hard drive has got on your Mac. And replace /Volumes/usb to any mount point you created for your USB drive.

Note:- In case the USB disk or external hard drive is formatted in Mac OS Extended Format or you see the Filesystem type as HFS then type mount -t hfs instead.

mount -t hfs /dev/disk4s1 /volumes/usb

mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac
Mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac
When I ran this command I got some error despite turning the SIP off. I just ignored the error message and tried to create a test folder on the newly mounted USB disk. And much to my delight, It did work. I even disconnected the USB disk and connected it to a Windows PC to confirm that the test folder I created on Mac shows up on Windows.

Now you can use the CP command to copy the files and folders from the internal disk to a USB disk or external hard drive. Use the following command:

cp -pr /Users/username/Desktop /Volumes/usb

Copying Files from internal HD to External Disk in Single User Mode
Copying Files from Internal HD to External Disk in SU Mode
The -r flag is used for copying all the files recursively. So if you are trying to copy the whole folder including all the files inside it, you must use -r flag. The -p flag is used to preserve following attributes of each files being copied over.

"file mode, group ID, user ID, modification time, access time, file flags, Access Control Lists (ACLs) and Extended Attributes (EAs)"

How to unmount the USB disk before unplugging it from Mac?

After you have copied all the important files, you would want to take out the USB disk from Mac. Use "umount" command to do that, then type the command "exit" to restart or "shutdown -h now" to shut down your Mac.

umount /dev/disk4s1
shutdown -h now

That was all about how to mount USB or external drive in Single User Mode on Mac. And how to copy data from Mac when it is unable to boot normally.  I hope the above information would fulfill your need and save your time and money. In case you have any question or unable to do it yourself feel free to contact me through comment section below or Skype me. 
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Saturday, March 3, 2018

VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro

Saturday, March 03, 2018 0
This became an interesting issue to me when I first came to know about it. When I started to use VPN service to connect to my business network I found out that the VPN service get disconnected immediately after closing the lid of my MacBook Pro. It was so frustrating to sign into the VPN Service again and re-connecting to business network and opening all other apps required to accomplish my task. I would think If there is a way to stop this crippling behavior and keep myself connected to the work all the time even when my MacBook is in sleep mode or the lid is closed. In this post, I will share with you some simple tricks to prevent your VPN connection drop after closing the lid of MacBook Pro or when the Mac goes to sleep.

A large number of Mac users have noticed that the issue occurs because their Mac will immediately disconnect from WiFi network when it goes to sleep mode. Which causes all the services dependent on internet to disrupt and eventually loses the VPN connection as well. But for me, after digging the information around Apple support communities and different other forums, I found that this option is controllable through system preferences on every Mac. There is an option called "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" under Energy Saver preferences. It turns most of the network services off to save power, when your Mac goes to sleep. You can prevent this from happening, simply by turning this feature off. And for some Macs, turning the Power Nap ON allows you to stay connected with VPN connections that use a certificate to authenticate, not the VPN connections that only use password to connect.

Prevent VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro

Just follow the below mentioned steps:
  1. Choose Apple menu and select system preferences.
  2. Click to open "Energy Saver".
  3. Click the Battery tab, and uncheck "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option.
    VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of MacBook Pro
    Disable Put hard disks to sleep when possible option Desktop
  4. For some Mac Models check the box for "Enable Power Nap while on battery power" option.
    Enable Power Nap while on battery power on MacBook Pro
    Enable Power Nap while on battery power on MacBook Pro
  5. Now click the Power Adapter tab and do the same things as mentioned in step 4 and step 5.
  6. Also make sure "Wake for Network Access" option is checked.
  7. Now connect to your VPN network and close the lid of your MacBook Pro or leave your desktop to go for sleep. Once the system is in sleep mode or the lid is closed, try to open the lid and wake the system up and check if the VPN connection is still alive. I am sure this will work fine now.

Power Nap

Power Nap is a new feature introduced in newer Mac. It allows Mac computers with flash memory to perform a number of useful task even when the Mac is asleep. It can be enabled in both situation on battery and when plugged in. Here are few activities that your Mac can perform when power Nap is enabled and it is asleep.
  • Check and download new Mails.
  • Update Contacts, Calendar, Reminders, Notes and other documents stored in iCloud.
  • Keep Find My Mac service active and update the location of your Mac so that it can be accessed and wiped out even when asleep.
  • Keep the VPN and Software update services active as well.
  • Run Time Machine backup.

Important Note:- 

Power Nap is not available on all Mac model. Here is the list of Macs that support Power Nap.

iMac (Late 2012 and later)
MacBook Pro (all models with Retina display)
MacBook (Early 2015 and later)
MacBook Air (Late 2010 and later) - Requires OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 and later
Mac mini (Late 2012 and later)
Mac Pro (Late 2013)

Also the above method to prevent VPN Connection drops after closing the Lid of Mac will not be applicable in the cases where Mac is asleep for a long time. When you leave your Mac idle for a long time, it enters into a kind of deep sleep mode known as Safe Sleep or Standby Mode. It helps Mac conserve even more energy by turning off the power to some hardware parts such as RAM and USB buses.

Also, as another option - a forceful workaround suggested by John, you can control the Network Interface behavior whether it should turn off or not on user logout. In order to do this, you will need to find out the short name of the network interface which is currently active. Here are the steps that you need to follow.
  1. Open Terminal app from /Applications/Utilities folder.
  2. Type command "ifconfig" and hit enter.
  3. Note down the name of interface having status as active. Interface name usually appears on the left and looks something similar to en0 or en1. In my case also it was en1. The "ifconfig" command will give an output something similar to what is written below.
ether 00:00:00:00:00:00
inet6 0000::000:0000:0000:0000%en1 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x5
inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast
media: autoselect <full-duplex>
status: active

4. Now type the following commands without quotes, to prevent the wireless card from shutting down in case of logout or sleep.

$ "cd /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/Apple80211.framework/Versions/Current/Resources"
$ "sudo ./airport en1 prefs DisconnectOnLogout=NO"
    That was all about the VPN connection issue where it used to get disconnected as soon as I would close the lid of my MacBook Pro. Un-checking "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" option actually fixed this issue for me. I hope yours will be fixed too. Just in case, it doesn't work for you then feel free to ask any question using the comment section below.
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    Friday, March 2, 2018

    How to Place or Integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger Platform?

    Friday, March 02, 2018 0
    This post is aimed for blogger or blog owner or maybe anyone who monetize their website with Google AdSense. AdSense has been recognized as the best advertising and content monetizing platform among bloggers and publishers. Earlier, whenever publishers used to publish a new content, they would also determine the location inside the content to place AdSense code. If they are using a dynamic website or a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento or others. They usually set the location or slot just once to place ads and the ads location gets filled with live Google ads automatically across all web pages once the page is loaded. This mechanism used to keep the same ads display format across the site wide. Now with AdSense Auto Ads, all this has become much easier. We will learn what Adsense Auto ad is and how to Place or Integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger Platform?

    Think of a situation where you have placed 5 ads on a single page. Some of your web pages have bigger content and are equivalent to more than 5 pages or can be 10 scroll long. All your ads are placed in such a way that a user would see all of them in 2 scroll and when he scrolls down past there is no ads. In this situation, the publisher is losing out on potential revenue or opportunity to monetize the content past two scroll. Some of the publishers does't know where to place the AdSense ads code to get highest attention or exposure or impression. They don't know which location of a web page gets highest clicks or highest visibility which could turn out to be the highest revenue generator by placing the ads code there.

    This is why Google introduced the Auto Ads feature in AdSense. By implementing AdSense Auto Ads, you let Google decide how to place different formats of AdSense ads at different locations determined by Google and its algorithm. As per Google "Auto ads use machine learning to make smart placement and monetization decisions on your behalf, saving you time. Place one piece of code just once to all of your pages, and let Google take care of the rest." Yes, If you are using WordPress, Blogger, Joomla or any other CMS platform, you just need to place Auto Ads code once inside the header and it gets loaded across the whole website. In this post I would only show you how to place or integrate Google AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger platform. In order to do this, you need to first enable the the AdSense Auto Ads and get the code.

    How to Enable AdSense Auto Ads?

    1. Login to your AdSense Account.
    2. Select My Ads from the list in the left pane.
      How to Enable AdSense Auto Ads
      How to Enable AdSense Auto Ads
    3. Choose Auto Ads under Content.
    4. Click Setup Auto Ads on the right. In case you have already enabled the Auto Ads or have implement the page level ads such as Anchor Ads or Vignette Ads. You will find them listed under Global Settings. 
    5. Click on the Edit icon and choose which all formats of the AdSense ads you want Google to place through Auto Ads.
      Toggle to Enable or Disable Any Ads Format
      Toggle to Enable or Disable Any Ads Format
    6. Turn them all and hit save at the bottom.
    7. Now Click "Setup Auto Ads" button at the top right corner and copy the ads code.

    How to Place or Integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger Platform?

    1. Once you have got the AdSense Auto Ads Code. Go to HTML to XML parser.
    2. Paste in your code in the box and click Encode.
    HTML TO XML Converter
    HTML TO XML Converter
    3. This will convert the HTML code into XML code readable by blogger. And the code would look something like this.

    &lt;script async src=&quot;//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js&quot;&gt;&lt;/script&gt;
         (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({
              google_ad_client: &quot;ca-pub-2643394205XXXXXXX&quot;,
              enable_page_level_ads: true

    4. Now copy the Ads code in XML and go to blogger dashboard. Select theme option from the left menu.
    Edit Blogger Theme to place or Integrate the AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger
    5. Click Edit HTML and press Ctrl+F to find html tag </head>.
    6. Once found, place the Auto Ads code in XML , just above the closing head tag </head>.
    Place or Integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger Platform
    Place or Integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger Platform
    7. Click Save theme button and you are done.

    Auto Ads would start delivering after around 20 minutes from placing the ads code. So, That's how you place or integrate AdSense Auto Ads in Blogger platforms. Here are few benefits or good qualities of Auto Ads.

    Features and Benefits of AdSense Auto Ads

    1. AdSense Auto Ads uses Machine learning to decide when and where to place ads so that it perform well as well as provide better user experience.
    2. Auto Ads will automatically find the available ad space that are likely to perform well. It places the ads there and limit the maximum number of ads to show on one page while complying with the AdSense policy.
    3. With Adsense Auto Ads, you don't need to worry about policy violation ever.
    4. You just need to place the ad code once for each page.
    5. Highly Customizable :- Auto Ads can be easily customized. For example, you can anytime toggle one or more of the Ad formats to turn off and on.You can have separate Ad Format combination ( Text, Text & display, In-article, In-feed ) for separate pages or URL group. You can create as many URL groups as you want and define what all types of Ads should be running on those URLs.
    6. Ads are optimized automatically for all devices - Computers, Mobile and Tablets.
    7. If you are already using page-level ads like Anchor Ads or Vignette Ads then you do not need to place any code as it's the same. Just toggle to turn different ads format from global settings.
    8. You do not need to remove the previous AdSense Ad units which were placed manually. No need to remove your old Adsense Ad code.
    9. It increases the publishers revenue by finding the best Ad Space and filling the space with high revenue generator and high performing ads.
    So that was all about the AdSense's new Auto Ads and how to place or integrate AdSense Auto Ads into Blogger platform. I have already implemented this and it really has increased the daily earnings. I hope you can now place the code yourself. Feel free to ask any question through comment section below.
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    Tuesday, February 27, 2018

    Set up Amazon Fire TV Stick with voice remote and convert your normal HDTV into Smart TV

    Tuesday, February 27, 2018 0
    Just like the smart phones which evolved from the basic phones, smart TVs have similarly evolved from basic TV boxes. It used to have a dumb box with a simple operating system software capable of only changing one programming or frequency to other. Later on TV manufacturer introduced some new features such as gaming, on-demand video-rental services and music stations. They originally called it "connected TVs" and later started branding it as "smart TVs".

    What is a smart TV?

    A Smart TV Screen
    A Smart TV Screen
    The term "smart TV" was actually used to denote any TV that has the capability of connecting to the the internet and access streaming media services. Imagine how convenient and entertaining moment it could be if you can play any video of your choice from YouTube, Dailymotion, or Vimeo and check Facebook notification, watch movies of your choice on your TV set whenever you want. Yes, you can do all of these on a smart TV. Smart TVs use either a built in Wi-Fi or a wired Ethernet connection to connect to the internet and also come with a web browser. Smart TVs come with a number of entertainment apps such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Pandora, Hulu, Vimeo, HBO GO, NBC, FOX NOW, NFL, Fox News, Tubi, Crackle, Firefox browser, plenty of gaming apps and much more. You get a lot of contents to watch and can never be bored with your TV, all you need is an internet connection.

    Should I buy a Smart TV?

    Except for the internet capability, smart TVs are not much different from normal HD LED TVs. However, Smart TVs are expensive compared to the normal TVs. You can get a 43-inch normal HD TV at the price of a 32-inch smart TV.  If you are already owning a HD TV, buying a new smart TV will only compound your money woes. Nowadays Smart TVs are diminishing their importance while the external smart TV boxes or sticks are becoming more popular. There are also some security concerns regarding smart TVs with built in cameras and microphones as a hacker who may be able to break in can watch you through the camera and listen in. As a result of which people are preferring external smart TV box or TV stick over Smart TV set.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick is also one of such devices that convert your normal HD TV into a smart TV. There are a number of  TV boxes or sticks which can connect to the internet and stream digital content to your non-smart TV. Some of the major devices are Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV stick. In my previous post we have discussed about Chromecast device by Google and how Chromecast can convert your normal HDTV into Smart TV just in $39. In this post we will be covering a similar device from Amazon which is Fire TV stick with Alexa Voice Remote which costs $39.99 from Amazon.com ($29.99 as of writing),  £39.99 from Amazon.co.uk and ₹3,999 from Amazon.in. So why spend so much money when you can get the same quality and features as a smart TV just for $39.99.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick can convert your HDTV into a smart TV at Rs 3999 only.

    You can even cast your favorite entertainment, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, Hotstar or Prime Video straight from your phone or iPad to TV using a third party app with Fire TV stick. Now the next question is which one will be best for you: Amazon Fire TV Stick or Google's Chromecast.

    Amazon Fire TV Stick or Google's Chromecast

    Google Chromecast or Amazon FIRE TV Stick:

    Both the devices are regularly touted as rivals as both are built for streaming content but still they are different in their approach.
    Google Chromecast is for those who are clear what they want to watch, for this you just open an app on your device and then simply cast it to your screen. Similarly Fire TV Stick encourages the habit of browsing all around just we do in our old TV. If you are looking for lot of Prime Video content then the fire TV Stick will surely amuse you and Chromecast will suits for rest where you can use it with a variety of other apps.One of the major benefits of Amazon Fire TV Stick is the voice commands and not to forget universal search. Amazon has named this Voice remote "Alexa". Amazon fire TV stick is easier to operate because navigation is almost the same as older TVs.

    How does Amazon Fire TV Stick work?

    Once you have signed in to your Amazon account, the stick will display a menu option on the screen. You can choose from a list of available internet channels, which are shown in the form of apps. These apps will allow you to watch different types of content as you need. Most of the apps that you may need are pre-loaded, however, you can download and install various other apps for different channels and gaming purpose as you need. You may need to sign in to different apps with their respective login and password. The best part is that, you can access thousands of "channels" offering TV programs, movies, music and more, all without connecting to a TV antenna. It simply connects to the internet and download the streaming contents to your TV. It is portable and can be taken anywhere. It also allows you to access compatible video and audio format stored in your PC.

    What all do you get with Fire TV Stick?

    The Fire TV Stick comes in a beautifully designed box from Amazon and contains the following items:

    • Fire TV Stick
    • Remote
    • HDMI Cable / Extender
    • USB Cable
    • Batteries for Remote
    • Power Adapter
    • Quick start guide
    What all do you get with Fire TV Stick
    What all do you get with Fire TV Stick

    How to Setup Fire TV Stick?

    Setting up Fire TV Stick is very easy and you do not need to spend hours on the phone with a technician or a customer service rep. Here are the simple steps to setup your Fire TV Stick.

    1. Connect the power adapter 

    Connect the smaller end of the Power Cord to the Micro-USB port on your Fire TV Stick, and the other end to the Power adapter. And connect the Power adapter to a Power outlet.

    2. Connect the Fire TV Stick to your TV 

    Now connect the Fire TV stick to one of the available HDMI ports on your TV. You may use the included HDMI adapter or extender to make sure that the stick fits securely into your TV. Also note down the HDMI Port name, you have connected the stick to.

    3. Select the input Source for your Fire TV Stick

    Now turn the TV on and select the right input signal source which would be the HDMI port you plugged the Fire TV stick into. Once right input signal source is selected, you will see a loading screen with "Fire TV Stick logo".

    4. Set up and pair your remote 

    Insert the AAA size batteries that came with the Fire TV Stick. The Fire TV Stick remotes are normally paired automatically. Just in case, it does not pair then press and hold the Home button on remote for 10 seconds to bring it to "discovery mode".

    6. Connect the Fire TV Stick to the Internet 

    Once the remote is paired and working. Follow the on screen instruction to connect your Fire TV Stick to the internet. The default connection type is WiFi.  The stick will scan all the available WiFi network and show you the list. Select the WiFi network and press OK. Type the password using remote and on screen keyboard.

    In case you want to connect the stick to the internet using wired connection then you need to buy Amazon Ethernet adapter for Amazon Fire TV devices that connects to the Micro USB port on Fire TV Stick.
    Fire TV Stick Setup
    Fire TV Stick Setup to convert your Normal HDTV into a Smart TV

    7. Register your device 

    Once you are connected to the internet. You will be asked to register your Fire TV Stick to your Amazon account. If you purchased the stick from your own Amazon account then its already registered. Once you have registered the device, you will see a "Welcome Video" with useful tips on how to use Fire TV Stick.

    Specification of Amazon Fire TV Stick
    Hardware Specs

    1st Version of Fire TV Stick: 
    Processor : 1.2 GHz Broadcom BCM28145 Dual Core
    Memory: 1 GB
    Storage: 8GB Internal Memory
    WiFi: 802.11n
    Bluetooth: Version 3.0

    2nd Version of Fire TV Stick: 
    Processor : 1.3 GHz Broadcom BCM28145 Dual Core
    Memory: 1 GB
    Storage: 8GB Internal Memory
    WiFi: 802.11ac
    Bluetooth: Version 4.1

    Video Resolution: Same in both version 720p or 1080p

    List of Famous Channels Available through the Fire TV Stick:

    Amazon Prime videos
    Watch ESPN
    Watch HGTV
    CBS AllAccess
    BBC News
    Watch Food Network
    Disney Junior
    Hulu Plus
    MLB TV Premium
    iHeart Radio
    History Channel
    NBA Game Time
    PBS Kids
    Bloomberg TV
    Huff Post Live
    And, of course,

    Some of the channels mentioned above require monthly subscription and may be available for a free 30-days trial. Additionally, you can subscribe to a cable TV service such as Direct TV or Sling TV and install their apps to watch live TV shows through Fire TV Stick without any antenna or cable box. Most of the majorly used apps are pre-loaded, while others can be downloaded and installed from the Apps library.

    Apps that can be installed and run on Fire TV Stick
    Fire TV Home Screen
    Fire TV Home Screen 

    Thousands of apps from News, entertainment, movies and games to Live TV are available for Fire TV that can be downloaded from Amazon Fire TV app store. Some of the very common and most famous apps are Firefox for Fire TV, NBC Sports, Amazon Shopping for FireTV, Facebook, Tubi, Candy Crush Saga, Spotify, PlayStation Vue, VLC for Fire, Food Network, CBS Sports, Discovery GO - Fire TV, TED TV, Solitaire, Netflix, Weather, etc. You can see the full list and find the app of your choice from the store. There are apps available for screen casting as well that you need to install on both the devices - Fire TV Stick and the smart Phones. One of such Apps for screen casting is All Screen Receiver. Once the apps are installed on both the devices you can cast the screen of mobile or tablet to your HD TV through Fire TV Stick.

    What all countries does Fire TV Stick work in?

    Here is the list of countries that support Amazon Fire TV  and Fire TV Stick:

    United States
    United Kingdom (UK)
    India [Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation) only]

    Though, Fire TV Stick Basic Edition with Prime Video content is available to more than 100 countries. As per Amazon "Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices are available for sale for shipping to the U.S. from Amazon.com, to the U.K. from Amazon.co.uk, Germany and Austria from Amazon.de, and Japan from Amazon.co.jp. Fire TV Stick (2nd Generation) ships to India from Amazon.in."

    For details you can visit: https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=201624360

    Pros and Cons of Amazon Fire TV Stick


    1. Fire TV Stick is faster and more stable.
    2. Comes with Alexa Voice Remote
    3. Comes with reasonable Price.
    4. You can find various regional and global apps from the apps library. Some of the majory used apps are Netflix, HBO GO, SonyLIV, JioCinema, Amazon Prime VIDEO, Hotstar and much more.
    5. You can mirror your laptop and mobile screen.
    6. Supports good Dolby digital sound which gives a great experience.
    7. It allows you to set a screen saver that runs in state of being idle for sometime.
    8. Most importantly, it has parental controls feature.
    9. Has the ability to regulate the amount of data used in streaming.


    1. Designed more specifically for Prime members. 
    2. Alexa Voice remote does not work for all the Apps.
    3. Watching Video at 480p is not available to select if you want to save data. Always run on higher quality.
    4. If you switch to another input source, the device does not go to sleep or power off mode. And thus it will keep consuming the data.
    5. Screen cast or mirroring does not work great as some video lags.Which is why some videos run in slower motion.
    6. Due to long ongoing competition and fight between Google and Amazon, the YouTube app is no longer available to Fire TV. But you can still watch YouTube through a browser.
    7. Fire TV is still not supported in many Asian and European countries.
    That was all about the setup procedure of Fire TV Stick and converting your normal HDTV ( High Definition TV ) into smart TV. I have tried to point out some major Pros and Cons of Fire TV Stick and the its accessories.  After reading this article I am sure you would be able to find out which one is suitable for you Amazon Fire TV Stick or Chromecast. Feel free to ask your question in the comment section below. I would love to answer your queries. 
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    Thursday, November 9, 2017

    Diverging from Boring Presentations

    Thursday, November 09, 2017 0
    Ask your colleagues to create a short presentation on any topic. As a result 90% of them will look absolutely alike. There is a big problem with making the audience engaged in any topic as most of templates were used by other companies and not even once. Such presentations seem boring and not new. There are certain ways on improving the look of company’s performances and lectures. Some of them cost a fortune, the others are pretty cheap.
    Diverging from Boring Presentations
    Diverging from Boring Presentations

    Designer Templates

    When looking for something new, managers tend to check only those websites that belong to official sources. However, young designers have their own hosts for storing artworks. Thousands of high quality templates are offered by https://poweredtemplate.com/ at the lowest price. Some other sites offer their thumbnails for free. But you should mind that images of exclusive design should be paid for.

    Presentation template storages usually have other useful thumbnails to offer, like:
    • Diagrams;
    • Charts;
    • Google slides themes;
    • Word thumbnails;
    • Print Templates.

    Hire a Designer

    If you hate the idea anyone could use a thumbnail before you buy it - hire your own professional designer. That is a nice opportunity to stand out at any event. An employee would create any image according to company’s brief or provide unique pictures that display his or her own view on given topic.
    Designer template for Presentation
    Designer template for Presentation
    Having a designer in team means working out some unique style for all products of inner and outer use. If your work aims winning more customers - make all your products look elite by giving them a sense of uniqueness with some impressive design.

    Most of companies do not hire designers to keep them at the office as specialists as they usually ask for very high salaries. They prefer working with freelancers and talented students. Such cooperation has many benefits:
    • company pays for closed project (for result);
    • freelancers work 24\7;
    • company gets complete control over project;
    • freelancers are more experienced;
    • there always is an opportunity to check designer’s reputation before signing a contract.
    Ask Google

    Most of people do not realize the true power of modern Internet search system. When sparing some time and effort we are more likely to discover some new approaches for our presentations.

    Big enterprises often share their most successful work samples on the Internet. Of course, copying anyone’s work is a crime and that might end up at the court. But how about a thorough research? Find a few presentations that would impress you and your team and create something even better than that adjusting regular thumbnails from image banks and other free websites for your slides.

    Some companies often take some professional images of their team and office to add them as background. There is nothing wrong with using some experience of manufacture giants. Such system helped many companies find their own style.
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    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    Increasing Cyber Crime and how to avoid becoming a victim of it? (Heimdal PRO Review)

    Wednesday, November 08, 2017 0
    It seems like almost every week there is a new type of malware or ransomware making headlines, threatening our online security and bringing an organization to its knees. The stolen funds, hard drive encryption, theft of confidential corporate information and bad publicity are front page news. Cyber criminals are becoming smarter and using innovative techniques to get into someone's computer and access valuable data. 

    Given the evolution of information technology, almost every organization is adopting or migrating to emerging technologies, such as cloud, social and mobile computing, to interconnect their different offices for exchanging information and conducting business online. This has not only increased their online presence but also their exposure to security threats and cyber crime. Cyber criminals are not only targeting businesses but individuals too. Nowadays everyone is connected to the internet almost all the time either through wireless or mobile data and thus no one is immune to cyber threats. And after so many cyber criminal incidents, I must say that antivirus alone is not enough to protect your PC from such malicious viruses, malware or ransomware. So the big question is "How can you protect yourself or your organization from cyber threats?"

    As attackers employ advanced innovative techniques and exploit security vulnerabilities, you must keep yourself up to date with the latest developments and research on cyber threats to avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime. If you are running a small business or working as an IT professional for an organization, you must also adopt strict cyber security measures in order to respond to these increased threats and protect your business or company from any types of cyber threats such as hacking, virus attacks, spyware, malware, or ransomware attacks, etc. Here are some cyber security basics that everyone should be aware of.

    How do you protect yourself from cyber threats and avoid becoming a victim of cyber crime?

    #1. Keep your software up to date

    First thing’s first, make sure you keep all your third party software and operating systems up to date. Obsolete and outdated software is more vulnerable to cyber attacks as it has many loopholes and flaws. Keeping them all as up to date as possible at all times closes the vulnerabilities and mitigate exploits which alone stops more than 85% of cyber attacks targeted towards vulnerable software.

    #2. Use a good Antivirus program and keep it up to date

    Antivirus, if updated regularly, can protect your computer from being hacked or infected with viruses, Malware, Ransomware, as it always scans files transferred or downloaded to your computer from external sources.

    #3. Use a Good firewall and Internet Security Suite

    Firewall actively monitors your network traffic as it filters every incoming and outgoing data packet in order to prevent unauthorized apps or internet users from accessing your private network while it is connected to the internet. So basically, it acts as a barrier to keep foreign elements out of your computer and your private network. Though the firewall can filter data packets, it’s not very effective in recognizing malicious worms, malware and most viruses, so it can't make you 100% safe online. Due to the advanced sophisticated technologies used by attackers, firewall has become obsolete now and a more powerful and proactive preventive solution is required, as almost every week there is a new type of malware or ransomware detected. So the new  solution, known as Internet Security Suite, is being used to detect most viruses, poorly configured Wi-Fi networks, spam emails, silent installations of spyware and malware, which a normal firewall or antivirus can’t detect.

    Now the question is "how many of such software solutions do you need?" and "are they effective enough to provide you with full security and keep you completely safe online?" and, most importantly, "are they proactive enough to fight against the current evolving and emerging security threats?" 

    After reviewing multiple antiviruses and internet security suites, I stumbled upon one of the best security software named Heimdal which is unique in its type as it does not only block incoming attacks, ransomware, banking trojans, phishing attempts, but also updates or patches third party applications in order to close vulnerabilities and mitigate exploits. Most importantly, its professional version, Heimdal PRO, doesn't rely on analyzing the malware's code or its behavior like antiviruses do. It uses advanced traffic monitoring and filtering technologies to protect your PC from any types of malicious content and security threats. Before we move further, let me explain how Heimdal is different from other internet security products. Also just to check its effectiveness we also installed it on our system and ran several security checks and it passed them all, so we rate it 5 out of 5. Read this review to understand how effective an internet security software should be.
    Heimdal PRO Review
    Heimdal PRO Review

    What is Heimdal ?

    Heimdal is a security product designed to run as supplementary protection or to create an additional layer of security to antivirus on Windows PCs. It is designed by highly skilled cyber security experts from a Denmark-based company known as Heimdal Security. Their security product and resources, such as free courses on cyber security and cyber security alert section on their blog, have been featured in top news and media outlets from all over the world, among them being Forbes, PC Mag, The Guardian, Business Insider, Info Security, The Inquirer, and many more.

    Also remember that Heimdal doesn’t replace your existing Antivirus or firewall, but is rather designed to enhance and compliment these security product. As we already discussed,  antivirus alone is not enough to give you 100% protection from viruses, malware or other such malicious content. It is a lightweight security product, which doesn't utilize much memory and resources on your PC, and makes your security arrangement 100% complete after it is installed along with a traditional antivirus program. Heimdal comes in three different versions:

    1. Heimdal Free   

    Compatible With:  Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 ( 32 and 64 Bit) and Any Antivirus and Anti-malware product

    Features :

    • Keeps your vulnerable third party apps up to date automatically, in the background (silently, without any user interruption).
    • Resolves critical security vulnerabilities in your software.
    • Provides one-click safe install for new Apps.
    • Comes with a Very Simple interface that anyone can use.
    • Free technical support.
    Compatible With:  Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 ( 32 and 64 Bit) and Any Antivirus and Anti malware product
    Heimdal PRO costs only €34 or $44 for 1 PC with 1 year license, but more plans are available on their website. It also offers a free 30-day trial period for Hemdal PRO so, if you want to test it, simply download and install it, no credit card or billing information is required. Heimdal Security is currently offering a whopping 60% discount on winter sale, so the 1 PC license for 1 year cost you $17.60 only. Click the banner below to grab the discount.
    Heimdal PRO guards you against attacks antivirus can't block!


    All the features of Heimdal FREE included, plus:
    • Advanced Internet Traffic Scanning and Filtering
    • Traffic-based Malware Detection
    • Online Banking Security
    • Robust protection against: Malware, Adware & Spyware, Ransomware, Botnets, Browser & DNS hijacking, Email Spam and Malware Distribution, Exploit Kits, Fileless Malware, Keyloggers, Macro Viruses, Malicious Traffic Redirects, Malvertising, Phishing, Whaling, Pharming, Potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), Remote Access Trojans , Rogueware, URL & SQL injection, Zero Day Malware.

    3. Heimdal CORP

    Compatible With:  Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 ( 32 and 64 Bit), Any Antivirus and Antimalware product, Citrix Zenapp 6.5 and above, Xenserver 7.6 or above, VM Ware Hyper V, Windows Server 2008-2012
    Pricing: Contact Heimdal Security 
    It is the corporate version of Heimdal Security Software which offers all the features of Heimdal PRO, plus centralized management and statistics for all the PCs running Heimdal in your company.

    Why Heimdal?

    As hackers or cyber criminals are becoming smarter and using advanced techniques to penetrate private networks, antivirus alone is not capable of protecting against such attacks, so you need a solution which works alongside your antivirus and add an extra layer of security to your computer. Heimdal is that type of security software which is easy to install, lightweight and does not hog your computer’s memory and processing power. It updates and patches all your vulnerable third-party software, silently, without any effort on your side.

    It's important to note that it's not an antivirus, but a product with a different approach to internet security. The key difference between Heimdal and antivirus is that Heimdal focuses on the advanced Traffic Scanning and Filtering to fight against incoming attacks, 2nd generation malware, ransomware, rootkits, phishing, financial Malware, banking Trojans, botnet inclusions, drive-by attacks, data leakage, etc. It scans all your HTTP, HTTPS and DNS traffic, not just the URL typed in the browser's address bar like other antiviruses or internet security suites do.

    How to install Heimdal and how effective is it?

    The installation and setup of Heimdal PRO is very simple. You just need to download the installer from the official website. Click here to download Heimdal PRO free for 30 days. The installer named Heimdal.DeliveryLauncher.msi is just 756 KB in size.

    1. When you run the installer, it downloads the rest of the installation and setup files, which are around 34 MB in size. It is available in three different languages: English, Danish and German. During installation it also checks if your PC already has Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 and downloads it from Microsoft's server if not found.
    Heimdal PRO Installation
    Heimdal PRO Installation
    2. Select the custom install location or leave it default as C:\Program Files (x86)\Heimdal and click next.
    3. Choose to activate a free 30-day trial if you do not have a license key, or select the second option “I want to activate Heimdal PRO/CORP” if you have a license key. Type the license key and click Activate.
    Heimdal PRO Review
    Heimdal PRO Review
    4. Click the install button once it is activated successfully.
    5. Now it will ask you to configure the product, which is pretty straightforward. Or you can leave it as default and simply click next to complete the set up.
    Heimdal PRO Setup-1
    Heimdal PRO Setup-1
    Heimdal PRO Setup-2
    Heimdal PRO Setup-2
    6. Now after the setup is complete, it will show the status of your system and, if it’s the case, a message that your computer must be updated. Once it has scanned your system and updated your vulnerable software, it will display a message in green, confirming that your computer is healthy.
    Critical Message about the system- Heimdal Pro
    Critical Message about the system
    Healthy System Status
    Healthy System Status
    7. Heimdal comes with a very simple interface that anyone can understand, split into Overview, Traffic Scanning, Malware Engine and Patching System. First, click on the Traffic Scanning tab.
    Heimdal PRO – Traffic Scanning
    Heimdal PRO – Traffic Scanning
    8. The "DarkLayer GUARD" in traffic scanning checks whether the domains your computer connects to are harmful by looking into Heimdal's database of known Malicious domains. Just to check this feature, I tried to visit some harmful websites and Heimdal PRO blocked them, displaying the following message:
    Website Blocked by Heimdal PRO’s DarkLayer GUARD
    Website Blocked by Heimdal PRO’s DarkLayer GUARD
    Harmful Website Blocked by Heimdal PRO’s DarkLayer GUARD
    Harmful Website Blocked by Heimdal PRO’s DarkLayer GUARD
    9. The second tab, Malware Engine, allows you to turn Malware scanning on or off. The VectorN Detection feature analyzes your internet traffic and blocks known, newly discovered, or unknown malware, by detecting internet communication patterns in your internet traffic.
    Heimdal PRO - Malware Engine
    Heimdal PRO - Malware Engine
    10. The third interface "Patching System" shows you the list of outdated apps and their status whether they have been updated and patched or not. It also shows you the list of some recommended apps based on their popularity.
    Heimdal PRO - Patching System
    Heimdal PRO - Patching System
    11. Apart from the easy to manage interface, it also has an activity report section where it shows various useful information about Heimdal PRO’s activity during the last 7 days. The general tab in Activity Reports shows the number of scanned and blocked domains, the number of scans made by the Malware Engine and the VectorN detections, the number of software apps it monitors and the number of patches applied in the last 7 days.
    Heimdal PRO Activity Report
    Heimdal PRO Activity Report
    12. Under the General tab, you can go into more detailed reports by clicking on Software Patches, Infections Detected, VectorN Detections, or Websites Blocked.
    Software Patches Report
    Software Patches Report
    Report of Harmful Websites Blocked by Heimdal PRO
    Report of Harmful Websites Blocked by Heimdal PRO
    So if you are looking for an effective and powerful internet security software, I recommend giving Heimdal PRO a try, as it is lightweight and available at a very reasonable price with so many rare features.

    Now let’s get back to the basics of cyber security and the practices we should follow to prevent our PC and data from cyber attacks. Apart from the above mentioned major steps and the software installation, you should also do the following.

    #4. Use unique and strong passwords for each website, change your default password as soon as possible
    #5. Enable two-factor authentication wherever available
    #6. Avoid connecting USB flash drives or hard drives you don't trust to your computer.
    #7. Carefully read the message and permissions while installing a new app and don't just keep clicking on the next button.
    #8. Don't send or upload sensitive personal data via email or cloud sharing, if necessary, do encrypt it in a zip file before sending or uploading it.
    #9. Make sure the website is secure by looking at the padlock sign in the address bar before entering your personal or financial information.
    #10. Avoid using or logging into your main accounts on public computers or while connected to a free shared Wi-Fi network.
    #11. Regularly back up your important files to avoid losing them
    #12. Review your social media security settings and security questions. Change them immediately if you suspect someone knows them.
    #13. Most importantly, keep yourself always updated with the latest trends, development and research in the field of cyber security, as it gives you important information on how to avoid being a victim of new emerging threats and what precaution you should take. Almost all major software manufacturers keep updating their blog with such incidents, causes and remedies. Heimdal 's security alerts section on their blog is one of such places where you can find the latest information on hot researched topics and breaking news about new threats and their evolution. You can also subscribe to their blog to be the first to know and stop cyber attacks.
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