The Best Gifts For The Pen And Paper Lover In Your Life

Sure, modern technology is great but there’s still plenty of room for stylish pens, classy notebooks, and other gifts for the traditional writer in your life. Here are our favorite gift ideas for the pen and paper fan on your gift list.

We’ve got great looking notebooks for writing down your creative ideas, smart pens that make even the messiest of scrawls look good, and even a book that provides you with some great inspiration. There’s sure to be something here to entice your loved one.

Moleskin Evernote Notebook ($27)

Moleskin notebooks are great. They’re stylish, practical, and super easy to store in your messenger bag. Odds are your loved one already has a few so how about you buy them one a little bit different from the rest? This Moleskin Evernote Notebook is designed with Evernote in mind. You simply write in the notebook and the Evernote app’s Page Camera feature works perfectly with it, capturing your notes so much more smartly than if it was in conjunction with other notebooks.

Each smart notebook comes with a 3-month subscription to Evernote Premium which tosses in a bunch of extra features for avid Evernote users. It’s a neat way of combining traditional and modern note taking, and sure to impress your pen and paper lover.

Moonster Leather Journal ($30)

This Moonster Leather Journal looks like something out of an Indiana Jones film. Made from soft and supple dark brown genuine water buffalo leather, it’s durable and distinctive looking. Naturally tanned with special oil, you can create your own distressed vintage style by rubbing your hands across it. It really looks quite special and original.

Inside the tome are 120 sheets of blank, cream-colored paper just waiting for you to start writing your memoir or epic novel. Its rustic charm will endear you towards using it more than any ‘regular’ notebook.

Fisher Space Pen Bullet ($18)

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A Facebook Bug Exposed Photos for Nearly 7 Million Users

Facebook announced this morning a bug in its Photo API system that potentially exposed photos to third-party app developers—even if you didn’t post the picture. The bug existed from September 13th thru the 25th.

The nuts and bolts are pretty simple here. Facebook offers APIs to app developers to allow them to build additional tools using Facebook as a foundation. One such tool involves the Photos API, which lets developers request access to users’ photos to provide a variety of utilities. When users grant access to their photos, however, it’s generally restricted to timeline photos.

This newly-announced Photo bug, however, allowed up to 1,500 apps to access all user photos, including ones shared to Stories or in the Marketplace. What’s more, is that it also allowed these developers to see photos that had been uploaded but never posted—drafts, in other words. If you upload a picture but don’t follow through with posting, it’s automatically saved as a draft (unless you specifically delete it).

Facebook claims the bug affected “up to 6.8 million users and up to 1,500 apps built by 876 developers.” Those are some pretty big numbers, and while Facebook has fixed the issue, it’s alarming that it took three months for them to disclose it to its users. This is just another point in a long list of issues Facebook has been dealing with over the last several months.

Facebook said it would notify users who were potentially impacted by this bug with a notification on its network, so keep an eye out for that.

via Facebook Developers

What’s the Difference Between Accessibility and Full Disk Access App Permissions in Mojave?

MacOS recently started using an Android-like permissions system, where apps must ask to access certain resources like your location or contacts. Two of the most permissive options are “Accessibility,” which grants access to “control the computer,” and “Full Disk Access,” which sounds like it does the same thing. They’re listed separately in security settings, though, so what’s the difference?

Accessibility vs. Full Disk Access

Accessibility is the more common of the two and allows an app to control and listen to the system outside of its own container. This is often used for apps that extend system functionality or run processes in the background, such as productivity apps like Alfred. Third-party drivers for devices like game controllers and special mice will show up here as well.

The reason it’s locked down though is that the same permission could also be used for malware that listens to keystrokes or spies on your behavior. You don’t have to worry though, because that’s the exact reason this system is in place; if you accidentally run a malicious application from a non-trusted source, you’ll have to allow it to spy on you manually. And so long as you don’t do that, you’ll be fine.

Full Disk Access is a little different and doesn’t quite mean complete access to your drive. Certain apps like backup solutions, virus scanners, and hard drive cleaners need access to scan all of your files, including ones locked down by the system and used for other apps like Safari and Messages. It doesn’t give the same permissions to listen to input and control the system as Accessibility does, so it’s possible for an app to request both permissions.

It’s also not something you should be afraid of, as it is just marking an app as trusted so that it can access your data. You’ll still only want to enable apps that have a good reason to be scanning your whole drive, but in reality, there’s not too much locked down behind the “Full Disk Access” permission.

However, this doesn’t give the application root access, which would give it the ability to delete or modify the system files macOS uses to run. You’ll have to put in your password manually if an application wants root access.

Changing the Security Settings

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No, You Don’t Need Antivirus on a Chromebook

Recently, Malwarebytes announced an antivirus for Chromebooks (through its Android app). But here’s the thing: that’s complete bullshit. You don’t need an antivirus on Chrome OS; I don’t care how they try to sell it.

See, Chromebooks (Note: this applies to Chrome OS in general, but for the sake of simplicity we will continue to use the term “Chromebook”) are inherently secure. That’s one of their biggest selling points—they’re impervious to viruses. To put it simply, viruses on Chrome OS don’t exist. So what’s Malwarebytes selling point? Since Chromebooks can run Android apps, they have the same vulnerabilities as Android devices.

Give me a break. That’s not even remotely true.

RELATED: 8 Things You Might Not Know About Chromebooks

Why Chromebooks Don’t Need Antivirus

Like we said earlier, there is no such thing as a virus for Chrome OS. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is because of sandboxing. Every tab you open—be those in the Chrome browser or a standalone web app—runs in a virtual sandbox. That means if the system identifies an infected page, the “infection” only exists within that tab; it has no way of making its way to the rest of the system. And when you close that tab, the sandbox is killed with it. Thus, no infection.

If by some wild chance a type of malware comes along that finds a way out of this sandbox, Verified Boot continues to protect the system. Every time a Chromebook starts up, it checks the integrity of the operating system. If it detects an anomaly—which means any system modification—it will repair itself. The only exception here is if you’ve enabled Developer Mode, which disables Verified Boot and allows modifications to the system. This, of course, isn’t recommended for the majority of users.

Past that, Chromebooks get regular updates, bringing security fixes with each one.

The Malwarebytes Argument

While admitting that Chromebooks are inherently secure, Malwarebytes also somehow claims that they “can still get infected.” This is presumably by Android apps because the version of software it’s marketing for Chromebooks is its Android app. The thing is, Android apps also run in a separate container (sandbox), so anything that happens within the Android environment can’t hurt the rest of the OS.

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The Best Smart Thermostat For Your Amazon Echo

If you tend to always fiddle with the thermostat in your house, a smart thermostat can be a nice upgrade. If you want one that works with Alexa and the Amazon Echo, you have some options.

Best Integration: Ecobee4 ($249)

If you’re looking for a smart thermostat that you’ll know will work with Alexa and your Amazon Echo seamlessly, then the Ecobee4 is your best bet. Hell, it already has an Echo smart speaker built in!

That’s right, the Ecobee4 is not only a smart thermostat, but it also doubles as an Echo Dot of sorts, killing two birds with one stone, especially if you don’t already have an Echo in your home. And even if you do, you can move the current one to another room where you’ve always wanted another Echo device.

Aside from the built-in Echo capabilities, the Ecobee4 has all the smart essentials you’d want, like setting a schedule, remote control, room sensors, geofencing, a vacation mode, and more.

And of course, you can control it with your voice and do things like adjust the temperature, set a specific comfort setting, change between heating and cooling, or just ask Alexa what the temperature is in a certain room in the house (if you use room sensors).

Best User Interface: Nest Learning Thermostat ($249)

If you don’t think the Ecobee4 is quite your speed, or if you just want a smart thermostat that’s the easiest to use, we think the Nest Learning Thermostat fits the bill.

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