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Go and Back up Your Computer Now

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tell me, when was the last time you backed up your computer? Last year? Two years ago? Ok, I think we have a problem. And it’s a serious one.

Random computer resets and data losses happen more frequently than you have ever imagined. Although, I haven’t ever lost all of my data, still, sometimes, unintentionally, I lose data from thumb drives or smaller disk partitions on my computer. And let me tell you, it’s nothing to be looking forward to.

So even if you don’t care about it, make backups because who knows when you’ll lose it–forever. I believe in making backups regularly twice or three times a year, just for peace of mind.

There are many options available in 2022, and most of them don’t require any additional hardware (hurray!). Ok, so let’s start.

Offline Storage

The first way of backing up, I’d like to talk about, is having an actual hard copy on your disk. It’s the most costly one, but if you’re able to spend around $70 on an HDD 2 terabytes hard drive, you just made an investment for years to come.

I believe that a 2 TB hard drive is everything you’ll ever need. Modern backup software replaces old backups with new ones, so the total size of the backup doesn’t grow but stays the same.

So how to set it up? On Mac, go to preferences and choose “Time Machine.” Select your external disk, click “back up automatically,” and leave it. MacOS will take care of everything else. You can specify how often you’d like to back up in options. And if you want to replace the old one or create a separate copy every time (I wouldn’t recommend it, for an apparent reason – money).

When you start backing up, you’ll see the first backup will take a lot of time. It’s normal, don’t worry! Every future backup will take seconds since the software replaces specific parts (parts where it detected changes).

That’s it. Now, in case of an emergency, you’l have to take three steps. First, start up your Mac in recovery mode and reinstall the software. Then plug in your backup disk and reinstall data from there. Simple as that. After approximately 2 – 3 hours, you should be good to go.

Cloud Storage

If you’re not keen on spending $70 on hard drives or don’t have enough ports on your computer to handle a hard drive, you can use cloud storage. In 2022 you have a ton of options at your fingertips.

If your company provides you with free cloud storage, you can use it for your backup. If you have little data, you can go with iCloud or Dropbox, where you have 2 to 5 GB of free storage available. For more demanding users, google offers free 15 GB of storage. But if you want to, you can pay a dollar a month to upgrade to over 50 GB of storage. The only downside of backing up in the cloud is that it’s not automatic. You have to manually upload files to the server, which for some of us, is a struggle.

That’s where applications such as Backblaze, PCloud, Koofr, or DriveDX come into play. These apps work just like macOS’s Time Machine, but online. That means you don’t have to buy and take care of a physical hard drive, though you still need to pay.

There are two ways, a subscription or a one-time purchase. You may ask, “what’s the point if I already pay for Dropbox or Google Drive?” When using mainstream cloud storage options, you have to upload files manually. And in cloud-backup dedicated services, everything happens automatically.

My way of storing data

Above I described two ways of backing up your devices. But I didn’t tell you that it only makes sense if you’re physically storing your data locally on your computer’s hard drive. My way of storing data is quite unusual since I didn’t find many other people doing the same thing.

In my opinion, it’s much more convenient to store everything on the cloud. No exceptions. This way, I don’t need to make backups since everything is stored securely. I pay a monthly fee and get sufficient storage so that I don’t have to worry about backing up my devices any longer.

This way of storing data enables me to quickly access every file I’d ever need from every computer plugged into the internet.

And here I must say something especially important. Remember to always, ALWAYS turn on Two Factor Authentication. And if your cloud service of choice has this option, turn on Triple Authentication. If you choose to store everything in the cloud, remember that everyone can access your files only with your email and a brute force script. So turn on text authentication, turn on email authentication and create a long and strong password. And if you can, select an option to send a notification to your phone when the system detects an unauthorized login.

Closing Thoughts

To sum up, I believe in the power of backing up your devices regularly. But let’s be realistic. Having to think about backing up your devices, even twice a year, is still something to worry about. That’s why I think the best way never to be bothered about data losses is to keep everything in the cloud.

Keep calm, and do not keep your files locally.



Critical Threat to the Entire Internet

Reading Time: 3 minutes

On November 24, an Alibaba employee – Chen Zhaojun, discovered a glitch on the Minecraft website. The flaw pertains to a program that lets developers log changes in databases. The vulnerability is called Log4shell, and you probably never heard about it, but it turns out that implications related to it are relevant to all of us.

It didn’t take much time for hackers to start taking advantage of this flaw by stealing data and even taking control over iPhones. The tweet below shows how a hacker was able to change the name of an iPhone remotely.

And it isn’t Apple alone that is in danger. Many other companies have experienced or will experience very shortly even worse hardships. Log4j is an Apache (database manager tool) software that plays a vital role in logging changes in all different sorts of apps. Apache is used by virtually every major e-business company around the world.

By Monday, December 13, A cybersecurity firm reported that in the span of 72 hours, over 800,000 attempted exploits had been executed. The cybersecurity company claimed it was “the most serious vulnerability on the internet in recent years.”

Amazon Web Services could be the most detrimental since millions of websites are hosted there. Amazon Web Services is a vast network of super fast servers that offer many major tech companies worldwide incredibly high computing powers. Thousands of businesses store their application data, such as private user data, including photos, messages, comments, and online activities. Microsoft, IBM, Cisco, Google, and Valve have all found vulnerabilities in their systems and have already taken necessary actions to prevent further damage.

What’s the most dangerous is that the yet unpatched glitch lets hackers control servers remotely with level 1 admin authority control. Hackers, then, will be able to do everything they want with stored data and use high computing power however they want to. We can predict it would be used for password breaking and deciphering modern encryption algorithms used by small websites storing user data and ending up on banks and government services and setting up cryptocurrency mining machines.

Unfortunately, it’s a back-end problem, not a user-front problem. That means that an ordinary computer user cannot do anything to help fix the bug. We can only hope Apache and other tech companies will work together to fix the issue once and for all.

On December 14, 2021, Apache addressed disturbed companies by releasing the latest update, Apache Log4j 2.16.0, and thanking Apache Logging Services Project Management “for working around the clock.” All businesses must update their database software as soon as possible.

Funnily enough, according to experts, the flaw has existed since 2013. It just goes to show how complex computer programs are. I find it incredibly fascinating that such a dangerous flaw existed in open source software unnoticed for over eight years. App developers know that the more intricate the app, the more bugs there are. Sadly the number of vulnerabilities grows exponentially.

Therefore, Log4shell will be fixed for good, like all bugs are. Unfortunately, after patching it, three more will likely appear in its place, and the fight goes on and on. What can we do? What every software company has told us for the last 30 years: “update your software regularly.”

Google, Apple, and Microsoft are always on the watch for new bugs and vulnerabilities to repair. These companies release small software patches every month, even before a given glitch becomes public.

We can split hackers into two camps: those with good and bad intentions. A bad hacker takes advantage of discovered glitches, and a good hacker does the opposite – they attack internal systems and check security systems. Every glitch a good hacker detects is reported and quickly fixed. What’s more, companies often rent hacking services and pay them for discovering bugs.

That’s why these annoying alerts on your computer asking you to update software to the latest version are being released so often. At the end of the day, it’s all about preserving privacy.



Facebook’s metaverse is insignificant

Reading Time: 3 minutes

The idea behind Facebook’s Metaverse is brilliant. It truly is. But I find it incredibly difficult to believe hordes of people would buy Facebook’s headsets with a 1080p camera and stereo mic. Personally, I wouldn’t like to meet with people wearing any data harvesters from Facebook on their bodies. By wearing Facebook’s products, you surrender your privacy. Simple as that.

I really don’t want to talk about Zuckerberg’s latest project because I only give him free publicity by doing so. But it’s essential to make my point.

Metaverse is ambitious. In fact, too ambitious. Facebook believes they can build the whole world right away, and to be fair, they are delusional. Let’s assume Metaverse exists for a second, though. The problem of this digital world is three-fold. Firstly, as a developer, you don’t know anything about writing programs that would run on Metaverse. Secondly, the programming language lacks libraries and frameworks to enable developers to create apps efficiently. Thirdly, there’s no user base with devices. Zero. Facebook sold like a dozen oculus sets, but that’s it.

In short, sure, the hype factor is here, and everyone is excited about Metaverse. But still, without any of the above three aspects, Metaverse doesn’t exist outside of Facebook’s marketing team.

On the other side of the “spectrum” are Apple, Google, and Microsoft. Apple is told to release its next “big thing” in the next year. The next big thing will be either a VR or AR headset. No matter which headset Apple will introduce, Apple’s digital world will outgrow Facebook’s Metaverse from day one.

source: The Wall Street Journal

The graph above illustrates the projection of sales of AR glasses in the upcoming three years. As you can see, it’s forecasted that Apple will sell almost five times more units than Facebook will, only in the first year. What’s more, in 2025, Facebook is predicted to be the second smallest player on the market.

The reason Apple will destroy the competition lies in the above three factors that are absolutely essential for creating the digital universe. And Apple, one year before the predicted release of AR glasses, already fulfills 3 out of 3 factors.

Around six years ago, Apple introduced its new programming language – check. In 2017, they released ARKit – a set of APIs, libraries, and frameworks for working with AR objects and AR realties – check. And lastly, Apple has been building a user base since the day iPhone launched (now standing at whopping 900 million active iPhones) – check. And a great majority of the active iPhones can run AR apps.

That gives Apple essentially all there is to dominate the AR market overnight by simply pushing a software update. What’s more, the developer base already knows the process of developing AR apps for iOS.

Now let’s talk about another critical aspect – computing power. To run AR programs, you need enormous computing power. The hardware must run tens of billions of operations every second, fit in a small box, and be highly energy-efficient (meaning how many operations you can make out of a battery charge). And wow, what a surprise! For more than ten years, Apple has been developing precisely these kinds of chips. The ones that are both extremely energy efficient and have unmatched performance. This fact already creates a tremendously significant competitive advantage over Facebook.

Another significant aspect of AR is the number of use cases. With Facebook’s oculus, you can play games, call friends and watch some videos on youtube. I’d say that’s pretty limited. Thus, to survive, Metaverse will need to extend capabilities that will take time to develop. Apple will offer many more, besides the above use cases, such as maps, music, tv, podcasts, and fitness services from the launch day. So, the services that Apple offers are much more wide-ranging than Facebook’s offering.

Closing Thoughts

This relatively long analysis was supposed to show you why Facebook’s Metaverse has no significant future and how their competition will relegate them to the background in the upcoming years. Facebook’s failure will lie in almost every area of creating the digital world, starting with the user base with digital-world-running capabilities, going through chip performance, and ending on limited use cases.

Of course, the subject of the digital world becomes much more complex when we start discussing the effects of living on the internet on the human psyche. For now, though, I wanted to focus only on the technological aspects of this matter.


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SwiftUI – The Future of User Interface

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Over two years ago, Apple announced SwiftUI – a Swift framework for a simple and intuitive user interface (UI) structure design. It was Apple’s newest addition to its programming language – Swift, introduced just six years ago. In short, SwiftUI lets you design efficient UIs and see live previews while doing so. It is a powerful tool that is already changing how we write and create UIs by combing interactions with interface elements with code.

How did it look in the past?

When Swift first came out, developers utilized a tool called UIKit. UIKit, which was released 11 years ago, has been a powerful tool for creating high-performing apps. Although, it is complex for newcomers and often unintuitive to use, programmers need to test UIKit apps from every angle to be sure the UI does not break.

The same thing happens while building UIs in web or Android apps development. To get the results you want, you have to spend a lot of time playing around with the layout, fixing occasional glitches and errors, and then waiting for a compiler to produce a preview. Then you make changes, refresh the preview, and so on and so on.

Approach of SwiftUI

Because SwiftUI is a relatively young framework, SwiftUI learned a lot from most of the most significant programming languages and frameworks to create the perfect tool for developers. It connects two techniques – a WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get) approach and the traditional programming method explained above. This combination lets you switch between each method with ease.

For instance, you want to create a text field with “Hello world!” inside. In SwiftUI, you can either write Text(“Hello world!”) or right-click with your mouse on the preview screen on the right-hand side and select “new element,” and then choose “Text.” Moreover, you can drag around each element on the screen to place it in the location of your choosing.

Ok, nothing new here. But what if I told you that the code on the left-hand side auto-updates each time you make a change on the preview view? Well, that’s what SwiftUI is capable of doing. SwiftUI is a mix of programming and previewing. Essentially, you can start creating a UI on the screen on the right and, later on, precisely control the behavior of elements in the source code view.

Why is it important?

SwiftUI is a game-changer for ordinary people who are new to the programming world. Its minimal and straightforward structure is easy to understand; thus, amateurs can create their first apps in just a few minutes! To prove that, I will show you a simple app that displays the text “Hello world!” written in UIKit (on the left side) and SwiftUI (on the right side).

SwiftUI and UIKit side by side

There are a couple of problems with UIKit. First of all, what does “@IBOutlet” mean? Secondly, “weak var”? What is that? I have been programming for a while, and I have never encountered a “weak” variable. Then we override a function, and only then can we start writing our UI. Of course, this is why programming is a hard job. It requires time and effort to learn it, but the learning curve for many people is too steep. When we set high barriers, fewer people try coding.

UIKit for beginners is a lot to process at once. The code is simply unreadable—even developers sometimes struggle to reference a given file in the future. UIKit has too much code around it, which makes it more challenging to read.

On the other hand, SwiftUI looks friendly and inviting. Code is easy to understand and not terrifying. When someone comes across SwiftUI code, they instantly know where to start. In larger projects, the difference between SwiftUI and UIKit becomes even more evident.

Project in UIKit (source:
The same project in SwiftUI (one file only! Plus a preview screen)

UIKit uses 2+ files, while SwiftUI only has one. UIKit utilizes a Storyboard tool to generate visual designs and link layout elements to the code. For instance, if you want to change UI, you need to make sure that the reference to the source code is in sync with the code and the other way around. UIKit is messy; you have to take care of both the code and visual layout separately. SwiftUI, on the other hand, is neatly written in a single file.


The future of programming lies in people. Until now, programmers and designers lived in different worlds. A designer would create a mockup of the UI of an app and then send it to a programmer to implement the interface into the app. With SwiftUI, this is no longer the case. Nowadays, a designer can quickly learn the basics of creating UIs with Apple’s newest framework.

The more people can create apps or have a basic understanding of developing apps, the more it helps them in various ways. SwiftUI enables people with zero experience with programming to start their journey and give them live feedback. In the 21st century, the ability to code slowly becomes a crucial skill all across the board.



Introducing Netflix Games

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The market for mobile gaming has been steadily growing ever since Apple introduced App Store for iPhones back in July 2008. In the last few years, major tech giants noticed a possibility there – they started offering access to libraries of games for a monthly fee.

Let’s be clear, this market, though still relatively young, is already very competitive. There is Apple Arcade, from Apple, Microsoft’s Game Pass, and Stadia (Google). Each of them is, on average, two years old.

Just in two years, Stadia, Game Pass, and Apple Arcade expanded their libraries exponentially, with Microsoft leading the industry. So, how does Netflix Games stack up to the competitors? Let’s take a look.


Although Netflix’s latest service seems to be attractive to many users worldwide, it’s only available to a handful of them at the moment.


Netflix Games began testing in August this year, and users in Poland were lucky to try the new service first. In Fall, Netflix expanded to other countries, including Spain and Italy.

For the time being, Netflix Games is available only for android users globally, who can already enjoy brand new games on their phones. According to Netflix, Apple consumers will need to wait a little longer.


Netflix claims its new service will come with no additional fees and no in-app purchases while preserving Netflix’s premium feel – no-add experience.

As of November 3, the catalog of games is poor. However, Netflix didn’t come empty-handed. There are five games available for android users – two Stranger Things (Netflix’s original series, which premiered in 2016) titles and three indie games.

Though, for now, the service can’t boast about a wide range of games—like they can with tv-series and movies on their streaming platform—Mike Verdi, Netflix Vice President for game development, already assured more titles would be coming in the upcoming months.

How to play?

Since the new service is accessible only for android users, you won’t find a guide on how to play Netflix games on iOS.


There are two ways to download shiny new games on your android mobile device: via the Netflix app and Google Play Store.

After updating Netflix app to the latest version, you’ll notice a new tab at the bottom called “Games.” There, you can browse the catalog, read descriptions, see pictures and even watch previews of gameplay. When you’re ready to download, you’ll be redirected to the Google Play Store page, where you’ll be asked to click on the download button.

When you’d like to download games via Google Play Store, search for “Netflix Games,” and you should see something like this.

When iOS?

Unfortunately, iOS and iPadOS users will need to wait a little while. According to Netflix, Netflix Games will be coming to iOS “in the coming months.”

Given Apple’s history with other companies trying to omit App Store’s strict rules, Netflix Games may not be coming to iOS at all. Just a couple of months ago, Apple banned Microsoft’s Game Pass app from the App Store.


Apple has a strict policy over what apps get accepted to the App Store and which do not. For instance, developers cannot make apps that make it possible to download apps outside of the App Store. The only way of installing apps on iOS is via App Store. However, other companies, such as Google, came out with another solution after their gaming service was rejected on the same basis.

The answer is pretty simple – a browser. Yes, that’s right. Technically speaking, developers can “publish” their apps on the web and make them available under their domain name. Though available on android as an app, iPhone users can access Google’s gaming service only via the web.


Even though the chances of Netflix succeeding in publishing their Gaming app on the App Store are pretty slim, there is another solution. So don’t worry, iPhone friends, Netflix Games, will be available on your devices someday either way.


Netflix Games became available to all android users on November 3 with a small catalog of games. Netflix promised more new titles to come in the upcoming weeks. The service comes with no additional fees or in-app purchases and ads, so the premium feel of Netflix continues to be reflected here as well. We expect Netflix yet to announce the app for iOS users, which in my opinion won’t be coming at all.


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