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These 10 units of measurement have fascinating roots

These 10 units of measurement have fascinating roots

Check out some units of measurement that have fascinating histories below:
BI Graphics_Units of measurement
source:Dragan Radovanovic/Business Insier

Menopausal Estrogen Therapy Doesn't Appear To Sharpen Women's Brains, No Matter When They Go On It

If you’re a postmenopausal women looking to keep your brain sharp (really, isn’t everyone?), a growing body of research shows that taking estrogen is probably not the way to go, even if you ask for a prescription as soon as your menstrual periods start to dwindle.
On the other hand, postmenopausal hormone therapy won’t dull your brain, either, according to a new study out this week. That’s reassuring for women who opt for estrogen to relieve symptoms such as hot flashes, which, along with prevention of osteoporosis, are the only Food and Drug Administration-approved reasons for going on the hormone.
The latest study on this topic, published online by the journalNeurology, investigated whether taking estrogen around the time of the menopause transition protects the brain, while going on it later doesn’t. The timing hypothesis has been circulating for at least a decade and a half or so, ever since the landmark Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) concluded that menopausal hormone therapy does not protect women against diseases of aging, such as heart attack, stroke or dementia, and, in s0me cases, might even increase women’s risk of them. As a result of the WHI, the proportion of postmenopausal women using estrogenplummeted, although millions still do.
Critics argued that most of the women in the WHI were too far past menopause to benefit from estrogen. The WHI had randomly assigned more than 27,000 women ages 50 to 79 to take either hormone pills or placebo pills. The majority were age 60 to 69, or roughly a decade to two decades past menopause.
Pfizer menopause drugs Premarin, right, and Prempro, which contain the hormone estrogen, sit on a pharmacy shelf. A new study confirms that going on estrogen after menopause does not help keep women’s brains sharp, no matter how long after menopause they start taking it. (Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)
“The question about timing, I think, is legitimate,” Dr. Victor Henderson, lead author of the new study, told me. Estrogen affects a range of tissues, each of which has to be considered individually as far as the timing of treatment, said Henderson, a professor of health research and policy and of neurology and neurological sciences at Stanford University.
For example, Henderson and his collaborators reported in March in theNew England Journal of Medicine that estrogen had a beneficial effect on study participants’ hearts only in those who had started taking it within six years of menopause. On the other hand, he said, research has shown that estrogen helps strengthen bones but increases the risk of stroke no matter how long after menopause women begin taking it.
Henderson’s findings about hormone therapy and the brain, as well as the recent findings about the heart, come out of the “Early vs. Late Intervention Trial with Estradiol,” or ELITE. Designed to answer the question of whether the timing of hormone therapy makes a difference on any tissue, ELITE enrolled two groups of healthy women. One group was fewer than six years past menopause, while the other was a decade or more past menopause. They were randomly assigned to take pills containing estradiol, a different type of estrogen than the one used in the WHI, or placebo pills.
(Because taking estrogen alone is known to increase the risk of uterine cancer, women assigned to the estradiol pills who still had their uteri were also given a vaginal gel containing progestin, another hormone that counteracts estrogen’s effects on the uterus. Because the women  weren’t supposed to know whether they were taking estradiol or placebo pills, those with a uterus assigned to the placebo pills were also given a placebo vaginal gel.)

Your iPhone or Mac could be hacked with an iMessage

Your iPhone or Mac could be hacked with an iMessage

There's a new warning for Apple iPhone and Mac users about a security vulnerability that could let a hacker infiltrate your device by sending you a rogue iMessage.
CNET reports the bug was discovered by a researcher from Cisco Talos. The company warned that hackers could send a .tif file (a type of photo file, like .jpg) via iMessage that, when received, can execute a code that gives the hacker access to your device's internal storage and stored passwords.
You may think you're safe as long as you don't click on any suspicious images, but unfortunately, that's not the case.
"A malicious image file can execute remote code," CNET's Iyaz Akhtar explained. "The problem is, certain applications like iMessage automatically render images by default. Remote code execution could also be achieved through MMS messages, attachments and web pages."
imessage.jpgThe flaw has been patched in the latest version of iOS, Apple's mobile operating system, and OS X, the Mac operating system, so to protect your device, be sure and update to iOS 9.3.3 or El Capitan 10.11.6 if you haven't already.
Or you can turn off iMessage by going to Settings, then Messages, and sliding the iMessage tab to "off."

12 Ways Windows Group Policy Can Make Your PC Better

A lot of people are unhappy with how Microsoft is handling Windows 10, so despite all of the surprisingly great reasons to upgrade, many are fighting tooth and nail to avoid upgrading at any cost.
The biggest complaint? Loss of control. Sure, there are some quick and useful hacks that you can try, including Taskbar customizations and tweaks to the Start Menu, but these just aren’t enough. Microsoft has taken away too many options.
One way around all of this is to use the Group Policy feature. If you’ve never heard of it before, don’t worry. It may be powerful, but it’s simple to understand. Keep reading to find out how you can start taking advantage of it now.

What Is Windows Group Policy?

Group Policy provides a centralized way to manage and configure all kinds of settings across all computers on a given Active Directory network. The settings are maintained by a domain controller and individual computers can’t override those settings.
However, computers that aren’t on an Active Directory network can still have their settings tweaked locally using the Local Group Policy.
Think of it like Control Panel, except a hundred times more powerful. With Group Policy, you can restrict access to parts of the system, force a certain home page for all users, and even run certain scripts whenever a computer starts up or shuts down.
In actuality, most of these changes to settings are little more than tweaks to the Windows Registry. It’s just that the Group Policy Editor provides an easy-to-use interface for managing all of those tweaks without having to manually scour the registry.
The one downside is that — natively (more on alternatives below) — Group Policy is only available to computers running Professional, Enterprise, or Education editions of Windows. If you’re on Windows Home, this feature alone may convince you to upgrade to Windows Pro.
Thinking about it? Check out our step-by-step guide that has everything you need to know about upgrading from Home to Pro.

Accessing the Group Policy Editor

Accessing the Group Policy Editor is easier than you think, especially on Windows 10. As with most things in Windows, there are multiple ways to access it. Here’s the fastest way, which is the method I prefer:
  • Open the Start Menu.
  • Search for Edit group policy.
  • Launch it!
I know I said earlier that Group Policy isn’t available on Home editions of Windows, but there is a workaround you can try if you don’t want to pay for an upgrade. It involves some basic system tweaks and the installation of a third-party Group Policy Editor.
If you’re interested, check out our step-by-step guide to installing the Group Policy Editor on Windows Home.

Useful Group Policy Tips and Tricks

The Group Policy Editor allows you to change thousands of different options, preferences, and settings, so it would be impossible to cram all of them into this single article.
It’s probably best if you DON’T experiment with the Group Police Editor. One bad tweak could render your system inoperable. However, here are several safe tweaks that you may want to implement right away.

1. Restrict Access to Control Panel

Control Panel restrictions are integral for business networks and school enviroments, but they can also be useful in the home for computers shared between multiple users when you want master control over everything.
To completely block the Control Panel altogether:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Prohibit access to Control Panel and PC Settings
But if you want semi-access to only certain parts of the Control Panel, you can set that up too using one of the two following settings:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Hide specified Control Panel items
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Control Panel > Show only specified Control Panel Item
Enable them and you’ll be able to indicate which Control Panel Applets you want to show or hide by using the canonical names provided by Microsoft.

2. Restrict Access to Command Prompt

Despite how useful the Command Prompt can be, it can also be a nuisance in the wrong hands, allowing users to run undesirable commands and circumventing other restrictions you might have in place. As such, you should probably disable it.
To disable the Command Prompt:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Prevent access to the command prompt
Note that enabling this restriction means that cmd.exe can’t be run at all — even during the execution of batch files in either .cmd or .bat formats.

3. Prevent Software Installations

There are many ways to block users from installing new software, which can help reduce the amount of cleaning and maintenance you need to do when careless users on the network inevitably install something bad.
To prevent software installations using Group Policy:
Computer Configurations > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Installer > Turn off Windows Installer

4. Prevent or Delay Windows Update

Forced updates are a highly controversial Windows 10 feature, but only you can decide how you feel about it and whether to disable them or not.
If you have Group Policy, then you also have the ability to defer big updates and upgrades for up to one year or pause them altogether:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > Defer Upgrades and Updates
Deferments can be indicated using months and weeks. Or you can select the checkbox labeled “Pause Upgrades and Updates”, which will turn them off until the next big update rolls around.
As it turns out, the Group Policy plays an important part in managing your Windows Update settings, but it isn’t the only way. Check out these other ways to turn off Windows Update.

5. Disable Forced Restarts

Assuming you’ve kept Windows Update enabled, one huge annoyance that you’ve probably run into more than once is the fact that Windows pesters you to reboot after updating. You can postpone up to a point, but eventually it’s out of your hands.
To disable these forced restarts:
Computer Configuration > Administrator Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update > No auto-restart with logged on users for scheduled automatic update installations
Once the setting is enabled, you’ll have to reboot your system (funny, I know) or you can just launch an elevated Command Prompt and run the following command:
gpupdate /force
This forces any changes made to your Group Policy to take effect.

6. Disable Automatic Driver Updates

Here’s yet another automated feature that Windows will run without your explicit knowledge or permission: driver updates. In theory, this is quite useful as it aims to keep your system as up-to-date as possible.
But what if you’re running a custom driver? Or what if the latest driver for a certain hardware component has a bug that causes your particular system to crash? These are times when automatic driver updates can frustrate you to no end.
To disable automatic driver updates:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Device Installation > Device Installation Restrictions > Prevent installation of devices that match any of these device IDs
For this to work, you’ll have to provide hardware IDs for the devices you don’t want automatic driver updates for. You can get these through the Device Manager, which you can do using these step-by-step instructions.
If you ever experience system instability or other issues due to a driver update, use the built-in Windows feature for driver rollbacks. It’s a good feature to know because one day it will save you a TON of headaches.

7. Disable Removable Media Drives

Are you the kind of person who would find a random USB drive on the ground, take it home, and plug it in to see what was on it? Probably not, but I’m sure you know someone who would do that!
The bad news is that randomly-found USB drives can be dangerous, which is why you might want to disable them altogether — especially in a business office setting. One malware-infected USB drive could bring down the whole network.
To disable removable media drives:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System > Removable Storage Access > Removable Disks: Deny read access
You’ll also see options for things like CDs, DVDs, WPD devices, and even floppy drives. Feel free to disable all of these as well, but USB drives are the main concern.

8. Turn Off Consumer Experience Promotions

It’s well known that Microsoft is collecting data from you, but until recently it was mostly for usability improvements and other practical benefits. With Windows 10, things went one step further with the Microsoft Consumer Experience.
Long story short, the Consumer Experience delivers personalized recommendations and notifications to you based on the data that Microsoft collects. The next time you see an ad in your Start Menu, this is why.
To disable the Consumer Experience:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Cloud Content > Turn off Microsoft consumer experiences

9. Turn Off Balloon and Toast Notifications

Desktop notifications can be handy, but only when they have something useful to say. Unfortunately, most of the notifications shown by Windows aren’t worth reading, and at worst can distract you and break concentration.
Here’s how to disable balloon notifications:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Turn off all balloon notifications
But starting with Windows 8, most system notifications switched over to toast notifications, so you might want to disable them instead:
User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Start Menu and Taskbar > Notifications > Turn off toast notifications
Either way, this is an easy way to kiss those distractions goodbye.

10. Turn Off and Hide OneDrive

Yet another way in which Microsoft tries to force people down a certain path is the persistent pushing of users towards OneDrive. It’s baked into the operating system and you can’t disable it without Group Policy or the Registry Editor.
Disable OneDrive by enabling this:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > OneDrive > Prevent the usage of OneDrive for file storage
This will remove the ability to access OneDrive from anywhere on the system, and it will remove the OneDrive shortcut in the sidebar of File Explorer. If it doesn’t work, try the alternative method for disabling OneDrive.

11. Turn Off Windows Defender

In Windows 10 Home, the only way to disable Windows Defender is to install a compatible third-party security suite. In editions of Windows 10 that support Group Policy, however, you can disable it without installing anything else.
To disable Windows Defender for good:
Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Defender > Turn off Windows Defender
That being said, we still recommend that you use a free security suite to maximize your protection against malware, viruses, etc. If not, at least install a one-time malware scanner that you can run monthly.

12. Run Scripts at Logon/Startup/Shutdown

This last tip is a bit more advanced and probably won’t be useful unless you’re comfortable with batch files and/or writing PowerShell scripts. But if you are, then you can actually run said scripts automatically.
To set up a startup/shutdown script:
Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Startup/Shutdown)
To set up a logon/logoff script:
User Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts (Logon/Logoff)
Doing this lets you select the actual script files and provide parameters for those scripts, so it’s pretty flexible in terms of what you can do. And, of course, you can assign multiple scripts to each trigger event.
Note that this isn’t the same as launching a specific program on startup. If you want to do that, then you’ll need to use this nifty Windows trick that few know about.

Take Back Control of Your Windows PC

If you feel beaten by Windows 10, don’t be. As we’ve shown, there’s a LOT you can control under the hood as long as you have access to the Group Policy feature. Is it enough of a reason to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro? We think so.
Other ways to take back control of your Windows PC include mastering all of the different settings, knowing everything that Control Panel can do, and exploring the hidden features of Windows 10.

How Do Mobile Emulators Even?

How Do Mobile Emulators Even?

 by   Jen Looper      

Every mobile developer’s professional life is dominated by those little moments where fingers hover over the keyboard while the developer waits patiently for a window to appear on the screen containing a version of the mobile app over which he or she has been laboring. Over the course of a day, these individual, hopeful pauses will culminate in a series of sighs of relief (or alternately, curses) as the mobile emulator does its job.
A great emulator is critical to the creation of a great mobile app. But what are emulators, even, within a mobile context? How do they work? Why are some better than others? Why are Android and iOS emulators so different? And what’s the difference between a simulator and an emulator? Let’s take a look.

Simulators and Emulators

Let’s first address the confusion between the two. An emulator is software that imitates “a machine executing binary code, while ‘simulation’ often refers to computer simulation” (wikipedia). The word “emulator” was coined in 1963 at IBM, where engineers developed products using a “new combination of software, microcode, and hardware”. If an emulator is more like a virtual machine, a simulator, on the other hand, is simply software that simulates that machine.
To get a better idea of the difference, I went straight to Telerik engineering – always a good solution when in doubt. Principal Front-End Developer Kamen Bundev explained not only the difference, but gave a short history:
“An Emulator is a version of the OS compiled for the desktop CPU, running in a Virtual Machine. In the early days of Android, the OS was not even compiled for x86 and the Virtual Machine was emulating the whole ARM CPU architecture, thus it was tens of times slower. Now, both Apple and Google provide x86 VM images, so the VM, if the CPU supports this, directly passes most of the calls to the underlying CPU and GPU, thereby emulating the platform much faster.”
Since an Emulator is a full OS virtual machine, our app needs to be deployed on it as on a real device, meaning an emulator takes more time to deploy than a simulator.
The eternal tradeoff between using a simulator versus an emulator, then, is one of speed versus accuracy. A simulator is only an approximation of a mobile device. An emulator is more full-featured – it may include the ability to leverage the hardware of a mobile device from within the emulator. Meanwhile, a simulator is often simply a shell – your app runs on your computer as a local program that is nested in a frame showing how it will look on various devices.
Sometimes a simulator is almost enough for the purposes of some mobile apps (such as ebooks, 2D games, basic line of business or educational apps). One of my earlier experiences with production mobile development, in fact, was with the very nice Corona SDK simulator which provided an extremely fast way to get a rough snapshot of an app in development, content-scaled for many different devices:

A simulator, however, will only get you so far in your quest to get your app into a production environment and onto clients’ devices.

The Right Tools

Not all simulators are created equal. Each framework’s engineers tend to either custom-build the simulator that suits it best or leverage native emulators to allow off-device testing. Cordova-based hybrid mobile apps which run in web views are particularly well-suited to be tested in custom simulators such as the web-based simulator embedded into the Telerik Platform. Here, the app simply runs in an iframe injected with a Cordova core and some of its core plugins mocked to enable simulating their real functionality. The simulator even includes tools to simulate hardware tooling such as setting location:

In addition, by presenting the simulator within a web page, the user can leverage the built-in developer tools such as those offered by Chrome or Safari to inspect the code and detect problems in the console.
Other frameworks that produce hybrid mobile apps have similarly solid simulator options, running as small browser windows. Ionic and Telerik AppBuilder (pictured above) are good examples. Mobile apps built with web technologies are probably the easiest to simulate.
Full-featured IDEs, as well, might offer built-in simulators and emulators that ease the mobile developer’s workflow. An excellent example is Visual Studio’s well-known emulator which is also available as a plugin for other IDEs such as Eclipse. Another good example is AppBuilder’s Desktop Client simulator which is built in and available to and available to LiveSync after you save:
What about non hybrid mobile apps, those that don’t run from within a Web View? How can the developer efficiently emulate an app without running it on device?

The iOS Garden

The new “Javascript Native” toolchains, runtimes and frameworks available to developers – including Titanium, React Native, Fuse, and NativeScript – have pushed the boundaries of the speed that a developer can reasonably expect of an emulator. These tools “utilize a JavaScript virtual machine to interpret JavaScript code, and…translate that code into the native APIs that build the app’s user interface.” The built app is ready to emulate in a native emulator, and developing from a CLI, such as NativeScript’s, leverages these native emulators when the developer builds using commands such as tns emulate ios or tns livesync ios --watch.
Given that we are so heavily dependent on native emulators if we are building apps using these JavaScript Native tools, our lives are heavily impacted by sub-par native emulators. For the Mac-owning developer armed with an installation of Xcode, the Xcode simulator is a perfectly acceptable, reasonably fast way to get an accurate view of an app in progress.
The Xcode simulator is engineered as a Mac app that runs binaries specially built for it. You can use it to test almost all of the functionality expected of an app on a device. Notable exceptions include hardware-specific elements that can’t be tested on a Mac, such as the iPhone accelerometer and GPS capabilities.
At its core, Xcode takes your code when you build it for use on the Xcode simulator and compiles it to create an .ipa file to be run on a i386 processor since the app is designed to run on MacOSX, iPhone/iPad/iPod emulators are i386. Thus code running on the simulator is built for i386, not ARM which is what is needed to run on a device. Bottom line, the Xcode simulator is designed to act like an iPhone but run on a Mac, and thus can never truly match an iPhone experience, although it can come very close.

The Android Swamp

On Android, however, the waters are considerably muddied. Why is it that there are so many varying Android emulators, such that this wheel continually needs reinventing? Unlike the Xcode simulator, which does not include any attempt to emulate an ARM processor, Android emulators have gone a different route, using an ironically-named (but Open Source) “Quick EMUlator.”
“The Android Emulator is based on QEMU (the Quick EMUlator) which (using KVM, a Kernel-based Virtual Machine only available on Linux ) emulates an ARM processor on your computer which has a x86 processor. I surely don’t need to explain why emulating a processor by software isn’t a very good idea if you want something reactive and usable.” (source)
The Android emulator is famous for being slow. Every Android developer has had cringeworthy moments in front of audiences or clients when the native Android emulator (Android Virtual Device or AVD, for short) – simply refuses to launch, or is so painfully slow that a session of standup comedy breaks out during the wait. Every framework that handles Android builds has to account for the terrible performance of Android emulators.
Xamarin, for example, uses the native Xcode simulator and makes available the native Android Emulator, warning that it’s very slow, offering tips to speed it up, and pleading for patience:
“The emulator takes a while to launch, so you may consider leaving it running after it starts up. You don’t need to shut down the emulator to re-deploy your app… The runtime installation may take a few moments, so please be patient.”
They have also rolled their own Android emulator called the Xamarin Player.
Some Titanium developers wrote an excellent blogpost discussing how to leverage Intel’s closed-source HAXM (Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager) as an alternative to KVM for machine emulation. HAXM makes it all a little better.
Some developers, however, have turned to entirely different Android emulators for app testing; I personally prefer Genymotion (shown below), which is based on the VirtualBox emulator.

When an Emulator Just Isn’t Enough

At some point, usually towards the late-middle phase of the app development cycle, it’s important to move away from simulators and emulators and get your app onto as many devices as possible. Side-loading to Android, using companion apps as shells for mobile apps, or doing a full development provisioning or private distribution to iPhones are all legitimate ways to test. I hope understanding how emulators work, however, and where they fit into your life as a mobile app developer, will help ease the pain of waiting for the emulators to get moving and deploy your app. In the meantime, just breathe!

Interesting Facts about JUNO (Jupiter) Spacecraft!

Interesting Facts about JUNO (Jupiter) Spacecraft!

  by Salman Gurung

Juno, the American spacecraft has entered the Jupiter's orbit after almost 5 years of its voyage. Rocketed off in August 5, 2011, it reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016! It marks another greater success for the mankind and its achievements on the farther Space exploration.
As suggested, it will help us to learn more about the formation of the Jupiter and its composition, gravity field, polar atmosphere and magnetic field.

Here are some of the interesting facts about the JUNO

  • JUNO took exactly 1766 days (4 years, 10 months) to travel to the Jupiter.
  • It traveled at the maximum speed of 38,000 km/h, making it the fastest air/spacecraft ever, and it weights exactly 3,625 kgs.
  • It was manufactured at the cost of USD 1.1 billion.
  • The spacecraft will orbit Jupiter 37 times over the course of 20 months at the speed of 0.17 km/s and at the height of 7,300 km.
  • It's the 2nd spacecraft to orbit Jupiter after Galileo (1995-2003).
  • JUNO derived from Greco-Roman mythology. It signifies the Juno Goddess.
  • It used Earth's gravity for gravitational slingshot and achieved the top speed of 3.9 km/s.
  • It is equipped with Juno cam, an ultraviolet spectrograph, a magnetometer, a microwave radiometer, Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper, Gravity science, Jovian Auroral Distribution Experiment, Radio/Plasma Wave Sensor, UV imaging spectograph.

“I view Jupiter as a missing link. Juno is not only going to help us better understand Jupiter, it’s going to help us better understand the universe around us and our place in it.” ~Barry Mauk, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory

A Beginner’s Guide to Android Kernels

A Beginner’s Guide to Android Kernels

When people mention the advantages of rooting, one of those words that get thrown around a lot is “kernel.” When I first started looking into rooting, I was never quite sure what a kernel exactly was. Obviously it wasn’t a piece of popcorn, but nobody ever sufficiently explained what a it did and why I should be interested in them.
However, once I did figure out what they were it certainly changed my attitude toward them. Swapping out your kernel is one of the best ways to take advantage of rooting and I highly, highly recommend you try it. With the right kernel, you can double your battery life or squeeze it for that extra performance. Understanding this concept is very helpful, and here’s why.

Alright, What’s a Kernel?

The term kernel comes from Linux, which is kind of the forerunner of Android. All Android phones come with a kernel installed on them. It is the communication link between hardware and software. One of its most important functions is Battery usage and the kernel dictates the life of your phone battery.
Your phone ships with the stock kernel. Phone manufacturers like HTC and Samsung are not exactly known for their willingness to take risks. The stock kernel put in your phone by the manufacturers is nice and safe that won’t ever break down.
The stock kernel provides a constant stream of battery power to the phone. It doesn’t matter if the phone is on or off or using lots of processing power. It sends a steady and totally safe amount of battery.
However, that safety comes with a price. A phone with the stock kernel uses the same amount of power even when not in use. That’s not very efficient. Plus, what if you want to run a processing-intensive app like an N64 emulator? More processing requires more power, but the stock kernel won’t scale up the amount of battery used.

New and Improved Kernels

This is where the Android community comes in. If you’re rooted and have some sort of recovery system like ClockworkMod or Amon-Ra installed, you can flash (install) a new kernel that’s more efficient.
The advantage of custom one is that they can output variable amounts of power. Say you want to save the battery. You can undervolt the phone’s processor. Undervolting is when you tell the kernel to only provide a tiny amount of power for the phone to run.
Undervolting does make your phone lag quite a lot, but its ability to save battery is incredible. I doubled my phone’s battery life with undervolting. A phone modified in this way with a custom kernel can seriously go days without charging.
Alternatively, you can overclock a phone. This is when the kernel outputs large amounts of power, amounts higher than the phone usually uses. This will eat through a battery extremely quickly, but it is great for apps that would lag otherwise (like N64 emulators). Not to mention everything loads extremely quickly when a phone is overclocked.
There are a few risks to installing a new kernel. If you tell it to use an amount of battery that’s too small, there is a chance that the phone won’t be able to turn on. This is called bootlooping, or when the phone cannot access enough power in order to start itself. However, there is a way around bootlooping, as we will discuss later.

Picking a Kernel

There are a million different options out there. That’s probably a good thing, seeing as there are about a million different phone-ROM combinations with Android. Finding a good one for your specific phone and ROM can be a bit difficult, though.
I recommend starting with Kernel Manager Lite. It’s a free app from the Android Market that will list out a couple popular kernels for some of the more popular ROMs like CyanogenMod7 and MIUI.
When deciding a kernel, people will throw a lot of different terms at you. You’ll see abbreviations like CFS, HAVS, and SBC. Keeping track of what everything means is a chore, so we’ll summarize.
Each abbreviation and item like overclocking and undervolting is a power mode that comes with that kernel. CFS, HAVS, and BFS are all power plans that scale the amount of power used up and down, depending on how much battery your phone requests. Each plan scales differently (faster or slower), but the concept is the same.

Terms Commonly Used with Kernels:

  • Completely Fair Scheduler (CFS) is generally more consistent and stable. Stock HTC kernel uses CFS.
  • Brain F*** Scheduler (BFS) is faster and generally gives more battery life but may be a bit inconsistent.
  • Hybrid Adaptive Voltage Scaling (HAVS) manipulates the phone voltage for a better battery life. Performance usually varies for different devices.
  • Static Voltage Scaling (SVS) provides a steady voltage.
You might also see SBC. That stands for Superior Battery Charging. Most phones battery percentage drops to 90% or so right after you unplug it due to the fast rate of charging. SBC charges a battery very slowly it doesn’t lose 10% immediately. Best used for charging phones overnight.
Undervolting and underclocking are different things but basically accomplish the same thing (saving battery). Overclocking is already explained.
When looking for a kernel, ideally you want one with as many of these features as possible. It’s nice to have choices. A good kernel comes at least undervolting, overclocking, and some sort of scaling plan (like CFS/HAVS/BFS).
If you don’t find any in Kernel Manager that look good, the last resort is lots of Googling. Just search “(your phone) (your ROM) kernels” and something from XDA Developers should come up.

Installing (Flashing) The Kernel:

Once you’ve found that perfect kernel that is compatible with your phone model and ROM, you have to actually install it. Download the kernel from whatever website or Kernel Manager. It should come as a .zip file. Copy that over to your SD card.
For installing a kernel, there are two options. If you pay for Kernel Manager Pro, the app will install the kernel for you. That’s the nice and easy way.
However, it’s not too hard to install a kernel without Kernel Manager. I wouldn’t recommend buying the Pro version. The other way to do it involves booting into recovery. If you don’t know how to do that on your phone, CM7’s wiki has a handy chart.
Once in recovery there are a few things that have to be done to prepare the way for the kernel. First and most importantly, make a nandroid backup of your phone. If anything goes wrong or if the phone gets stuck in an endless bootloop, this is how to fix it. Backups are very important.
There should be an option to “wipe cache.” Choose this and let it run. Next wipe the Dalvik cache. If you don’t see either of those options, look under “advanced” in ClockworkMod.
Now choose to install a .zip and choose the option to pick one from the SD card. Navigate to wherever you put the downloaded kernel. Pick the kernel and let it install. Once it’s finished, reboot your phone.
If everything went right, then you should have a new kernel. You can check by going to Settings > About phone > Software information and looking under “Kernel.” Hopefully, you’ll see the name of whatever kernel you flashed. Next step, controlling the kernel.

Apps for Kernel Management:

The kernel can work its magic now that it’s installed. However, you have to tell it to do so first. You can manually control it from the settings with certain ROMs like CyanogenMod. Everyone else will need third-party apps like SetCPU and Tasker.
SetCPU is simple and it works. Just tell it which power plan (undervolt, overclock, etc) you want to use and it does it for you. SetCPU works just fine with no glitches or anything. Just be careful how high you set the voltage- I crashed my phone once by overclocking it a little too much.
However, Tasker is my personal favorite app for the various purposes of controlling my kernel. Tasker automates certain processes, including kernel management. The best feature here is that you can set to app to automatically undervolt your phone every time the screen is off (like when you’re not using the phone).
This small change makes a titanic difference. Now my phone only uses a fraction of its battery power when it sits in my pocket. Instead of lasting about a day on a full charge, I can go twice as long without going near a power cord.
Of course, the ultimate judge of battery is how often you use your phone and how rigorously that usage gets. However, automated undervolting is a fantastic way to cut down on battery drain.

Final Thoughts

Installing a new kernel can be a bit dicey, but when done correctly there’s really a minimal risk. As long as you make a nandroid backup, there’s no reason to not try flashing a new, more efficient kernel. Besides, if you’re scared of diving into recovery mode you can just get Kernel Manager Pro to do the work for you.

Related Downloads:

Start a barcode (QR code) scanner on your phone and scan the QR code below. This will take you directly to the Android market to download the app. If you do not have a QR Code scanner app, choose one from the Best QR Code Scanner Apps for Android. CI setup CI setup is a Continuous Integration for Github and Bitbucket that monitors your code for bugs. It uses GitHub (or some other online service) to fetch repositories and Docker containers to run the build process.
It can be used as a service (free for public projects), or set up on a custom server for free.
On this page it is described how Drone was configured to build OpenWrt project hosted on GitHub.


Install and start Docker

This step depends on your build machine so it is not going to be covered here. Please refer to official Docker documentation and see how to install Docker on your machine.

Create Github application

Click the link and create a new application. In this example we are using:
Homepage URL: 
Authorization callback URL:
There you will get Client ID and Client Secret. You will use that in the next step.

Create Drone config file

On the host create the file /etc/drone/dronerc with the following content:


Create //.drone.yml// file

In this customized version the .drone.yml must be located on the path /var/lib/drone/.drone.yml. This path is now hard-coded. An example .drone.yml is given as follows:
  image: "sartura/drone-openwrt-builder:arch"
    - make defconfig
    - make -j8
Or to build with a customized configuration:
  image: "owrt/drone-openwrt-builder:arch"
    - make defconfig
    - wget '' -O .config
    - ./scripts/config/conf --alldefconfig
    - make -j8

Run Drone Docker container

We are hosting prebuilt Drone Docker images in Docker Hub using the owrt id. That said, if you have followed the above instructions and have Docker up and running this should bring up your own Drone instance:
docker run \\
  --volume /var/lib/drone:/var/lib/drone \\
  --volume /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock \\
  --env-file /etc/drone/dronerc \\
  --restart=always \\
  --publish=80:8000 \\
  --detach=true \\
  --name=drone \\

Drone customization

Since OpenWrt builds take a while to complete make sure to increase Timeout in Minutes to a maximum value of 900 minutes.


Builds for all architectures

At the moment only the defconfig is built. We should change it so every supported architecture is build tested with Drone CI.

Customization of the drone "continuous-integration/drone" string per architecture and donation

In the Drone CI version 0.4.2 shows hardcoded string on GitHub builds ("continuous-integration/drone"). We are going to chage this so it is clearly visisible which drone build what and if it was sucessful.

Package builds

When a pull request is made for a certain package we should build this minimal version of OpenWrt with the package in question and its dependencies. This can be done but additional scripting inside Drone CI system is needed.

Optimization of the build process

Now, on every pull request everything is built from scratch. We should optimize the process so it does not build the entire toolchain every time and that we use a mirror close to the build servers to download all 3rd party sources.

Not Getting Android OS Updates? Here’s How Google Is Updating Your Device Anyway

Not Getting Android OS Updates? Here’s How Google Is Updating Your Device Anyway

Android updates don’t matter anywhere near as much as they used to. Most Android devices don’t get timely operating system updates, but Google is updating more and more of the Android operating system in the background.
This is Google’s real plan for battling Android fragmentation: Update as much of the operating system and its apps as possible without going through device manufacturers or carriers. Older devices aren’t as outdated as they used to be.

Android 4.2, 4.3, and 4.4 Are Minor Updates

Android updates were once extremely important. For example, when Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich came out, it brought an entirely redesigned interface, performance improvements, and even APIs limited to Android 4.0. Certain apps wouldn’t run on devices without Android 4.0. Google Chrome required Android 4.0, so devices that were never upgraded from Android 2.3 Gingerbread still can’t use Google Chrome today. The leap to Android 4.0 was huge. Android 4.1 was also extremely important, making the interface much more smooth and less laggy with “Project Butter.”
Compared to Android 4.0 and Android 4.1, the most recent versions of Android are minor updates. Android 4.4 is the biggest update, bringing significantly reduced memory usage — but, if you have a device that came with a recent version of Android, it probably already runs well and these memory reductions are only nice to have.

Google Play Services Updates

Google is updating Android without actually updating the Android operating system. When a manufacturer wants to release an Android device, they have to negotiate an agreement with Google to get the Google Play Store and Google apps on their devices. As part of this agreement, Google reserves the right to update the Google Play Services component of Android on their own. This component automatically updates in the background on your Android device, and there’s no way for you — or the device’s manufacturer — to stop this from occurring.
Google has been adding quite a few features to Android through Google Play Services. These updates affect devices all the way back to Android 2.3 Gingerbread and 2.2 Froyo, released in 2010.
For example, Google has added the Android Device Manager device-tracking feature to nearly all Android devices thanks to a Google Play Services update. Just open the Google Settings app — this entire app was added via a Play Services update — tap Android Device Manager, and enable it. Google has also added an app-scanning feature that scans sideloaded apps for malware if you choose to enable it, making older devices more secure. These user-facing features were added to the Android operating system via a Play Services update without any interference from device manufacturers or carriers.
Google has also added new APIs for developers to use, including a more efficient location API that dramatically reduces battery usage. The old method required each separate app to wake up the GPS hardware and determine your location on its own.
These are the kind of updates that would require a complete operating system update on other platforms. However, Google has managed to perform an end-run around the carriers and manufacturers slowing things down and release updates for nearly all Android devices. If your device has the Play Store, Google is updating it.

Official Google Apps in Google Play

Google has also split more and more apps out of Android, releasing them as apps in the Play Store. This means that the app can be updated without updating the Android operating system, but it also means that you can install the app on old versions of Android.
How to Install and Use the Google Experience Launcher on Any Android Device
Google’s working on a new launcher for Android, one that seamlessly integrates Google Now. The Google Experience Launcher is officially... [Read Article]
Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Keyboard, Hangouts, Chrome, Google Maps, Drive, YouTube, Keep, Google+, the Google search app — these are all apps that update regularly from Google Play and can be installed on older devices. On Apple’s iOS, an update to a system app like Mail, Calendar, Messages, or Safari would require a completely new version of the iOS operating system. On Android, they’re automatically updating for everyone.
Android 4.4’s Google Experience Launcher has even been rolled out to other devices via an update to the Google Search app. You can easily enable it by sideloading a small enabler app. The Google Experience Launcher may eventually be available for easy, official installation on older devices.

What Will Still Require Operating System Updates

Certain things still require operating system updates. Operating system-level features like multiple user accounts, memory usage reductions, or support for new hardware standards like Bluetooth 4.0 can’t be rolled out in the background. They require new versions of the core operating system.
However, these updates are becoming less and less significant. Google is rolling out as many new features as possible via Play Services updates and app updates. They’re splitting out more and more apps from the Android operating system, making them available in Google Play so every device can update to them.
The reality is Android updates have become less and less significant. If you have a device with Android 4.1 or 4.2, you still have a very modern Android experience with most of the latest features. You can still use all the latest apps because Google has given you the latest APIs. Nevermind the version numbers  — Android fragmentation is improving.

This is Google’s plan to battle Android fragmentation, both for developers and users. Developers get access to the same APIs across all Android devices, while users get access to features and new apps quicker. So far, it seems to be working.

Installing ReactOS

Installing ReactOS

Icon speedy deletion.png Warning: Please bear in mind that ReactOS is still in alpha stage, meaning it is not stable or feature-complete and is not recommended for everyday use. Operating system bugs can and do result in corrupted file systems, overwritten partitions, and more. Do not install ReactOS on any computer containing important data without using a virtual machine or making full backups first.


System requirements

The minimum requirements to install ReactOS are:
  • RAM: at least 96 MB, recommended 256 MB.
  • Processor: x86 or x64 architecture, Pentium or later and compatibles; for more information see ReactOS ports.
  • HDD: IDE/SATA with minimum 450 MB of free space on the primary partition (please note that some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS):
    • FAT16/FAT32 primary boot partition.
  • Video: VGA compatible video card (VESA BIOS version 2.0 or later).

Hardware support

ReactOS has limited hardware support. Lists of hardware that have been tested can be found at the following:

Before installing

There are several things to be made aware of before installing ReactOS, or even obtaining the installation media. These include how ReactOS will be installed, limitations of the installation, and backing up existing data.

Installation strategy

The first consideration to make is whether to install ReactOS on a dedicated testing machine or in a contained environment, such as running on an emulator without direct disk access. The use of an emulator is preferable if the machine on which you will run ReactOS is your primary computer or if you have important data on the computer which you cannot afford to lose.
If you decide to install ReactOS on a disk drive that contains an existing operating system (such as Microsoft Windows XP), you should ensure that the drive is formatted with a file system ReactOS can access and write to (now, primary FAT32/FAT16 partition) and that there is sufficient free space on the drive such that ReactOS can be installed (now, >=450 MB). Furthermore, the current hardware limitations to which ReactOS is constrained must be identified and compared to the target computer system (e.g. that ReactOS has basic USB support as of the 0.3.14 release).
Once the available hardware and software situation is determined the installation media can be selected. For example, if your computer includes an ATA CD-ROM and an IDE hard disk that does not contain irreplaceable data, a good installation option may be to write an ISO image of the ReactOS installation media to a CD-RW and proceed to install ReactOS on the IDE hard disk via the CD-ROM.


The ReactOS setup utility and boot loader have a number of limitations. The most prominent are:
  • some SATA controllers may not work with ReactOS.
  • the boot partition must be the first FAT16 or FAT32 partition on the disk.
  • the setup utility cannot check the integrity of file systems.
  • the setup utility does not prevent users from performing dangerous and potentially destructive operations.

Getting ReactOS

Due to the current state of the project, the ReactOS Foundation does not offer official installation media for distribution. Installation CD-ROMs must be created by the user by writing an available image file to a CD-ROM.

Downloading the image file

Official ISO image files can be downloaded at one of the following locations:

Creating the Installation CD

The downloaded file is a compressed archive in ZIP format, containing a single file named "ReactOS.iso". The ISO image contains everything needed to create the CD.
  • Extract the image file from the archive into a temporary directory.
  • Burn the ISO image to a CD-R or CD-RW using any software of your choice.
When burning the ISO to disc, be sure it is written as an image file. Writing to the disc as another type of data will not work and render the Installation CD unbootable. Look for an option similar to "Burn from ISO" or "Write disk image".

Installing ReactOS

ReactOS goes through three stages during setup. The first two stages deal with the installation of the system, while the third stage is the first usable boot by the user.
  • First stage – Text mode setup, started when booting from a ReactOS CD-ROM.
  • Second stage – Booting to GUI installer. Input of user information and registering of files.
  • Third stage – Booting to desktop, user configurations.

Real hardware

  • Make sure your BIOS is configured to boot from the CD-ROM first.
  • Insert the ReactOS setup CD-ROM into a CD-ROM drive and reboot your computer. On the next boot, the ReactOS setup utility will start.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to install ReactOS on your computer.
  • After the installation has finished, remove the setup CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive and press Enter to reboot your computer. You can now start ReactOS by selecting it from the boot menu.

USB Installation

Due to problems with the USB stack it is NOT currently possible to install ReactOS from a USB stick or USB CD-ROM, the setup process will fail partway through. This worked previously but was broken several years ago by a rewrite of the USB code. See the LiveUSB page for more details, or watch this video-tutorial for different installation method:

Virtual Machines

A Virtual Machine is a software program that provides a virtual hardware platform. Software instructions that would be run on hardware are now interpreted by the emulator software. This allows you to "run" a different kind of computer hardware and its software in a window on your computer.

See also

  • VirtualBox – a free virtualization software for Windows, Linux and Mac (HOWTO)
  • QEMU – an open source machine emulator

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