CategoriesHow To GuideTechnology

COVID-19 Social Distancing – How to Host a Netflix Party

The COVID-19 (corona virus) pandemic is keeping a large number of us isolated in our homes, which is leading to a great deal of boredom for many. Creative ways of socializing online are becoming more normal, as we wait for the situation to unfold. My favorite method of connecting with friends recently is Netflix Party. With Netflix Party, you can watch Neflix with your friends and family online. “Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.” –NetflixParty.com

The instructions for setting up Netflix Party are simple:

First you need to install Netflix Party on Chrome. Simply open your Chrome browser and go to https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/netflix-party/oocalimimngaihdkbihfgmpkcpnmlaoa?hl=en and click to install the extension on chrome.

Then after the extension is installed on chrome, sign into Netflix in your browser and pick the movie or show you want to watch with friends. There will be an “NP” in the upper right corner of your browser next to where your other extensions are listed. Click the “NP” and it will give you a link to share with your friends so they can watch and chat along with you. Please note: your friends must also have a Netflix account and must be logged in to join your party. Unfortunately, this is only available for Chrome at this time. If you’d like to watch Netflix Party videos on your tv, consider using an HDMI cable.

Here’s a video with some more detailed instructions:


That’s it! If you have any other creative ideas for socializing while social distancing, please leave them in the comments!

Follow author adezero on Twitter.

CategoriesHow To GuideInternetSocial Media

How to Save an Instagram Picture Without a Screenshot

An Instagram picture is a relatively easy way to share what’s going on in your life with friends and family. Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular and fastest growing social networks in the world. In this day and age of self-promotion, more internet users are flocking to Instagram where they can share images and videos of themselves or their products. One of the most common complaints about Instagram is that you cannot easily save pics posted by other users. Typically, screenshots are used to capture the image. This is not ideal because you must then crop the image and it could lose quality.

So is there a way to save this media without having to take screenshots? There is a relatively simple way to save any Instagram image from a computer which I will outline for you here. (Note: this tutorial works for desktop only, not mobile. This method has been tested in both Chrome and Firefox).

The first thing you will need to do is locate is the URL of the image. If you are viewing Instagram from a profile page, you can click on any image on the profile and it will take you to the direct URL. If you are viewing your Instagram timeline, you can click on the time-stamp of any image and that will also take you to the direct URL (see the time-stamp circled in the example below).

timestamp instagram

Once you have gone directly to the URL of the image you want to save, the next thing you will want to do is to find the image file by viewing the page source. This can easily be done by right-clicking the image itself and then clicking “View Page Source”.

view page source instagram

Now that you have selected “View Page Source” you will be taken to a new tab that shows the source code for the Instagram photo you want to save. It should look something like this:

instagram page source

The next thing you’ll want to do is find the URL inside of the source code for the image file you wish to save. This can easily be done by pressing Ctrl+F and searching for “jpg”.

ctrl f jpg instagram view source

The search will return multiple results for “jpg”, you will only need to locate the first result. It will be a URL located under the username and caption text for the image:

url for instagram photo view source

Once you have located the URL for the Instagram picture you want to save, highlight the URL and paste it into the address bar of a new browser tab. You will then have access to the image file you wanted to save. Right click the image and click “Save Image As”. You can now save the photo to your hard drive.

save instagram image from desktop

That’s it! Pretty easy right? Now you know how to easily save photos in high quality from Instagram without having to take a screenshot. One thing to note: photos taken by the original poster are copyright of the owner. Please be sure not to republish any copyright photos without permission.

Thank you to “Toro” for being our Instagram picture example today!

CategoriesHow To GuideLinuxPrivacy

How to Install Tor Browser for Linux

Do you use a Tor browser to make yourself anonymous on the internet? Want to make it better? Try using the Tor browser for a Linux machine running Ubuntu.

What is a Tor browser? It is a browser that works in conjunction with the Tor network. The Tor Network utilizes a technology called onion routing which is designed to encrypt internet traffic in layers. Every layer addresses to a node. Each layer knows only the next node or onion router the packet needs to be sent to or relayed to. This layering of internet traffic allows anonymous communication. All of this leads to accessing something called the Dark Web or Darknet which are sites that you normally can’t get to through Google or any normal browser.

The Darknet isn’t just a place where people go to do illegal activity. It also provides a refuge for whistleblowers. Journalists can utilize Tor browsers to ensure privacy and secure communication with their sources. While the Darknet does have its fair share of illegal activity, it also has areas where information can be freely accessed without censorship.

Understanding the Darknet

Normal websites use something called DNS or Domain Name Server. It simple terms it associates a website url to an IP address. When you type in https://www.google.com/ your computer sends out a request. This request goes to DNS servers that return the actual IP address that the website is. If you ever want to see this in action, go to the command line in your OS. Do a ping command to Google. This will allow you to see the actual IP address you are communicating to Google with. Tor browsing is different in that it doesn’t use DNS. This means that unless you know the specific address of the website, you can’t get there.

This also means that Google doesn’t index those sites either. For Google to present that page as a page result anytime you do a search, Google has to index the site. This means that Google scans the site for content. Each page is indexed by Google. That way, Google can present a possible result of your query. In these two major ways, these sites stay off the grid.

Why the Tor Network Needs Their Own Browser

Most browsers are designed to allow it to collect information about you as a user. It stores passwords so you don’t forget them. It stores browsing history so you know which sites you’ve been to. It also allows you store cookies on the computer. These cookies store information about you and other details. For the largest part, these cookies allow you to get advertisements based on your general interest. Have you ever been to Facebook and seen something advertised that you were thinking about buying? Now, clear out your cookies and go to the page. The advertisement that you see will be different. This is an example of how cookies are used. Unfortunately, these cookies can also be used to track you.

The downside to the Tor Network is that it only keeps secure communications within the network. Once the packet leaves the network, it is no longer secure. The Tor browser helps with this. The browser is designed as to not store any information on you. However, certain precautions still should be taken.

Why Use Linux Over Windows

There are a few reasons why you should use Linux over Windows. The first one is that Linus is open source. This means that anyone can look at the code, share and collaborate to make it better. At first thought, this sounds like a bad idea. However, the more people that can work on it the better it will be.

Another downside is that Linux doesn’t just automatically give you administrator privileges. Windows does this. The first person that sets up the computer with their profile normally has administrator privileges by default. This can be bad in that this allows the user to be able to do whatever they want. It makes it more difficult to get the user to do something when they don’t have the rights and privileges to do so.

The next downside to using Windows with the Tor browser is numbers. Hackers develop code that will affect as many as clients as they possible can in the shortest amount of time that they can do it in. This means that they will write code for whatever OS they think will impact the most people. Windows still has the market when it comes to OS. Hackers use this to their ability.

Installing a Tor Browser for a Linux Computer Running Ubuntu

The first step is going to the website. Go to https://www.torprogject.org. On the left side of the page, click on “Installing Tor on Debian/Ubuntu “. Scroll down to Option Two. There, it will tell you not to use the packages in Ubuntu’s universe. Next, the site gives you the link to Wikipedia page will show you the different Ubuntu versions. Next, there are a series of dropdown menus. Depending on what you pick on, you will get a list of instructions on how to set up Tor. For example, if you chose “Ubuntu Lucid Lynx” as your OS with the Tor version as “stable” come not from the source, it will look as below:

You need to add the following entry in /etc/apt/sources.list or a new file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/:

deb http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org lucid main

deb-src http://deb.torproject.org/torproject.org lucid main

Then add the gpg key used to sign the packages by running the following commands at your command prompt:

gpg –keyserver keys.gnupg.net –recv 886DDD89

gpg –export A3C4F0F979CAA22CDBA8F512EE8CBC9E886DDD89 | sudo apt-key add –

You can install it with the following commands:

$ apt-get update

$ apt-get install tor deb.torproject.org-keyring

Once that is done, you can move on to set two. Set two is how to configure your applications to use Tor. It’s important to note here that applications don’t natively use Tor automatically. This means that internet traffic that doesn’t use a browser will not be protected. You have to configure your applications to route their traffic through the Tor browser. Firewalls will need to be updated. After that, you should have a working Tor browser.

CategoriesHow To GuideInternetPrivacy

How to Install Tor Browser on Windows

One of the great things about the internet used to be the anonymity of it. You have the freedom to share information without compromising your privacy. However, with technology becoming ever better, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stay hidden on the web. If you are looking for privacy over the web, look no further than using Tor.

What Tor is

What is Tor and how does it work? To fully understand Tor, it needs be broken down into separate parts. That first part is called onion routing. Onion routing is a system designed to block any kind of efforts to track communications. It allows two ends to communicate to each other without letting either party know who exactly they are communicating with. It also ensures encryption.

The second part is the Tor network. The tor network is a large connection of servers that are operated by volunteers. These servers run onion routers that funnel internet traffic through virtual pathways. In simple terms, they scramble the traffic in a way that makes it almost impossible to track who is talking to whom.

The last part is a Tor browser. Most browsers are set up to store information on the user. If you allow your browser to store your password for any site, then it is tracking information on you. The normal browser stores cookie files and browsing history. Both of these are information stored on you so that it can either deliver a better service to you or deliver advertisements based on your general interests. Neither of these support efforts towards privacy.

Installing a Tor Browser on Windows

The first step to installing the Tor browser is to go to the website at www.torproject.org/download. Download the version for your operating system. Follow the installation directions in the same way for normal applications. Once the installation is complete, run the browser. From here, you’ll be able browse the internet anonymously with limitations.

There are limitations and considerations to using a Tor browser. First, the tor network only provides privacy and encryption while inside the network. This means that any communication passed once outside the network is vulnerable. Next, the tor browser does not protect all of your computer’s activity. If your computer is not going through Tor then it is not providing anonymity. Also, it does not protect against document downloaded through Tor while online. If you download a document while using Tor, do not open the document. If you must, start a virtual machine and open it within the machine while it isn’t connected to the internet. The last thing is not allowing plugins to run on the Tor browser. Plugin extend the functionality of a browser. However, they are extension that run on your computer that have the ability of opening holes in your security.

The Deep Web

While anonymity can provide a place to freely share ideas, it can also be a source of illegal activity. With that being said, the Tor browser allows you to surf websites that operate illegal and sometime immoral activities. Websites like “The Hidden Wiki” do not censor some material that others may find offensive. To sum it up, Tor browsing offers anonymity but at its price.

CategoriesHow To GuideLinuxOpen SourceUbuntu

How to Install Ubuntu from a USB Flash Drive


The above video shows how to install Linux Ubuntu 15.10 with a USB

(As of this writing – 14.04 is still the newest stable release, instructions for installing either version are outlined below:)

Don’t feel like paying for a Windows registration key with that OS? Ever thought about trying an open source operation system? There are many other options out there for people who want a newer OS but don’t want to pay for the cost of Windows. For example, let’s take a look at Ubuntu:

Ubuntu is an open source operating system that’s been around since 2004. It is based on the Linux operating system family. Its uses range all the way from personal computers and mobile devices to servers.

You can install Ubuntu easily even from a USB. First, go to the website and download the OS. If you’re interested in the desktop version of Ubuntu, you can go to http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop. They currently have two releases: 14.04.13 and 15.10. Each release has a version for either 64 bit or 32 bit. If you have less than 2 GB of RAM, download the 32-bit version.

You’ll download the file as an .iso file. An .iso file is a digital copy of a disc. Take this .iso file and place it onto your flash drive. Once this is complete insert it into the computer in which you wish to install Ubuntu.

The computer will need to boot from that flash drive. Most computers have a boot menu that you can get to when the computer first boots up. Once you access this, you can tell the computer to boot from that flash drive. After these changes have been made, you can then boot from the flash drive.

Once you are booting from the USB flash drive, you will see the normal menu to select your language. Go through the installation guide. You will be given the option to install Ubuntu on your computer’s hard drive.

The requirements to do this are pretty simple. Your USB flash drives needs to have around 2GB space. The Ubuntu site lists that it’s possible to have a 1 GB flash drive as long as the .iso file has enough space.

There are things to consider when using this method. One of them is speed. It would be faster to use a CD/DVD disk due to the limitation of standard USB 2. Also, it is possible to use other standards of USB such as 1.1. However, speed will be great affected. USB 3 can also be used.