Saturday

Windows 10S, Shockingly, Is Not Invulnerable

Microsoft Windows has the unenviable reputation as the operating system of choice if you want to distribute malware. Now, while Windows 10 is much more secure overall than Windows XP, the attraction for the bad guys is that Windows is really not very "locked down" environment. 

Windows main attraction is perhaps the vast amount of software that runs on it, which has historically also been it's downfall in terms of security. Windows software and freeware is readily available from myriad sources, and that can be a problem.

Monday

Home Rental vs Income In The USA

A report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition titled "Out of Reach 2017reports upon the relation of the cost of housing vs what an hourly worker needs to make to rent a 2-bedroom home in the USA in 2017. 

The study calculates the hourly rate based upon the housing not exceeding 30% of a persons budget, and upon the earnings of a single person.

While the primary purpose of the study is to highlight the difficulties facing a person making minimum wage as far as being able to afford such rental housing, it also shows how expensive housing has become, and really shows the differences in the various areas of the United States.  

California and some of the small North Eastern states are just crazy expensive, while in the middle of the country there are a good number of states averaging almost half  of those expensive states. In several ways, it's an eye-opener.

click to enlarge
Business Insider


Saturday

There's An App For That? Blurred Backgrounds

Smartphone cameras are pretty great - they are often of decent quality, and you probably always have it with you. You can add a bit of creative flare too, as most camera apps allow some editing/tweaking after that fact.

One pleasing effect that is readily accomplished with a "real" (such as a DSLR) camera is to manipulate the focus so that you have a blurred background - this can be useful in portraits for example, so the the eye is naturally drawn to the subject instead of the surroundings.

While you can get lens blur with some versions of the Google camera app, there may be an easier way to accomplish it via an app like AfterFocus. The app is available as a free and paid version for Android and Apple devices, and also includes some other effects such as creating a vignette effect (also sometimes pleasing in portraits).