Pay just $19 for professional QuickBooks training

The QuickBooks 2019 Master Class

Business owners have to be smart with their money. Why? Because profit matters, and the more, the better.

You can get more bang for your buck and ensure long term success by learning financial management with the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class. Save 87 percent off the normal value of this popular web course and pay just $19 for a limited time.

Eliminate the need to pay big bucks to a professional bookkeeper.

Never heard of QuickBooks? It’s one of the world’s most popular business accounting software packages. Geared towards small and medium-sized business, it can eliminate the need to pay big bucks to a professional bookkeeper, allowing you to inject more cash back into your business.

But, like anything else, it does have a bit of a learning curve. That’s what makes the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class such a great option. It’ll acquaint you with the latest version of the software and illustrate its many features so you can get it to work quickly.

Here’s what you get:

  • Seven hours worth of high-quality training content that’s accessible 24/7
  • Lessons on how to use QuickBooks to manage your business’ finances
  • Create reports, summaries, and analyses
  • A certificate of completion on passing the included quiz

A professional bookkeeper can set you back hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year. QuickBooks, by comparison, costs just a fraction of that total. Learn how it works with the QuickBooks 2019 Master Class, now price dropped from $150 to just $19

The AAPicks team writes about things we think you’ll like, and we may see a share of revenue from any purchases made through affiliate links. To see all our hottest deals, head over to the AAPICKS HUB.

Warnings will appear for Android apps not targeting Oreo or higher by 2020

Xiaomi Mi A2 Android Oreo

According to Google, over 95 percent of malicious Android apps caught by Google Play Protect are targeting older Android versions. The malicious app creators do this to avoid runtime permissions, even when installed on devices with the latest version of Android.

Things get more complicated and dangerous when you have apps downloaded from sources which aren’t the Google Play Store.

To combat this, by the end of this year Google Play Protect is going to start warning users if they try to install an app from any source that doesn’t target Android API level 26 or higher. In other words, if you try to install an app with a recent update that isn’t targeting Android 8.0 Oreo or newer, a warning will pop-up telling you that app could be unsafe.

Editor’s Pick

Google is hoping this pop-up warning will “shame” developers into updating their apps to more recent API levels, while simultaneously preventing at least some users from going forward with the installation of what could be a malicious app.

This change will affect apps installed from any source, such as competing app stores from Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, etc. It will also affect sideload installations like those from Epic Games, where millions of Android users download Fortnite.

At the Google Play Store, things will be even more strict. For new Play Store apps and apps receiving new updates in 2020, developers will be required to target API level 28 or higher, which is Android 9 Pie. Since Google controls the Play Store, it can deal with developers directly who don’t comply.

Older apps that aren’t being updated will be unaffected by these new rules and apps designed for older versions of Android will also still be allowed.

NEXT: Google lays out how it plans to fight disinformation in lengthy white paper

DxOMark: Galaxy S10 Plus is the best overall smartphone shooter

Samsung Galaxy S10 Prism Back

Yesterday, DxOMark scored the Xiaomi Mi 9 as the third-best smartphone for taking photos. Now, the scores are in for the flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, and it looks like it’s going to steal a lot of the Mi 9’s thunder.

According to DxOMark, the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus is now the best overall smartphone camera system for still photography. Its overall score for photos and video is matched by the Huawei Mate 20 Pro and the Huawei P20 Pro, but the Galaxy S10 Plus selfie cam blows those devices out of the water, making it the best full package choice.

The Galaxy S10 Plus received a score of 114 for its rear lens when it comes to still photographs, the same score as both the Mate 20 Pro and the P20 Pro. It also scored a 97 for video, the same score as the Mate 20 Pro but slightly lower than the P20 Pro (which scored 98).

Editor’s Pick

It would appear then that it’s mostly a tie between the three, but the dual-lensed selfie cam on the front of the Galaxy S10 Plus sends it flying past its peers with a score of 96, much higher than the Mate 20 Pro (75) and the P20 Pro (72).

In other words, when it comes to taking photos, the Galaxy S10 gives you the complete package which no other device alone can match.

Interestingly, the Xiaomi Mi 9 is still the top winner when it comes to video footage with a score of 99, the highest score ever given by DxOMark. However, it could be that the phone received that score because the Mi 9 defaults to 4K video recording instead of the usual 1080p most devices use as a default. Therefore, the score might be a little skewed.

Some folks don’t put much stock into DxOMark scores, but the Galaxy S10 Plus matching the two best smartphone camera systems and beating out even the Google Pixel 3 when it comes to taking selfies is pretty impressive.

NEXT: DxOMark finally debuts selfie camera testing suite

Apply now to go to Google I/O 2019, which will cost you $1,150 if you get in

Google I/O 2019 is months away at this point but is closer than you might think. Today, registration applications are open if you’d like to try your luck at attending one of the biggest events of the year when it comes to all things Google.

Remember, this is an application to register, not an actual registration. Google will randomly select registrants from the no doubt thousands and thousands of applications it will receive from people all around the world.

You have until February 27, 2019, at 5:00 P.M. PST to get your application in.

Editor’s Pick

Before you rush off to try your luck, keep in mind that if you do get into Google I/O 2019, it’s going to cost you a pretty penny: a single ticket is $1,150. If you are currently an active full-time student, professor, faculty, or staff of a high school or higher education institution, you could get a discounted ticket which knocks down the price to $375.

To fill out the application, you’ll need to give Google your credit card information. Google will place a temporary deposit hold on your account to complete the application. If you get in, the full ticket price will then be charged. If you don’t get in, the deposit hold will get returned to you within seven days after February 27.

Click the button below to try your luck!

Hands-on: The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active and Galaxy Fit are here! (Video)

Samsung didn’t just announce four new smartphones (and the Galaxy Fold) at its Unpacked event — it also took the wraps off three new wearables: the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung Galaxy Fit, and Samsung Galaxy Fit E. Here’s what you need to know about these new Samsung fitness devices.

Don’t miss: Samsung Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, and S10e hands-on

Samsung Galaxy Watch Active: A sportier Galaxy Watch

2018’s Samsung Galaxy Watch is a decent fitness device, but it isn’t exactly the easiest smartwatch to take with you during a workout. It resembles more of a bulky hiking watch than a sleek fitness companion.

Enter: the Samsung Galaxy Watch Active. This new Samsung smartwatch is sleeker and will likely appeal to more users due to its simpler design. It’s about the same size as the last-generation Gear Sport, with its 1.1-inch AMOLED display. That display also has a resolution of 360 x 360 pixels.

Samsung removed the rotating bezel in favor of a sleeker design.

While it sports an overall sleeker design, that comes at a cost — the Galaxy Watch Active doesn’t come with a rotating dial like other Samsung watches. Users will unfortunately have to rely on touching and swiping the display to navigate around the software interface. It’s also worth pointing out the Watch Active also omits a rotating side button like we’ve seen on Wear OS devices. It’s an odd move, for sure, since many fitness-focused wearables prioritize non-touch navigation as some people find touchscreens difficult to use during workouts.



New to the Galaxy wearable lineup is blood pressure monitoring. Starting March 15, Watch Active users can download the My BP Lab app, developed with the University of California, to help keep track of their blood pressure levels throughout the day.

Elsewhere, the Galaxy Watch Active has quite the impressive specs sheet. It comes with an optical heart rate sensor, a built-in GPS, an NFC chip for Samsung Pay, a 5ATM water resistance rating, as well as a MIL-STD-810G rating. It also supports Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi, though there is no LTE option.

The Samsung Galaxy Watch Active will be available in the U.S. starting March 8, 2019 for $199.99 at Samsung.com and other retailers. If you pre-order the Watch Active from February 21-March 7, you’ll receive a free Wireless Charging Pad.

Check out the full list of Samsung Galaxy Watch Active specs below:

  Samsung Galaxy Watch Active
Display 1.1-inch full-color always-on display
360 x 360 resolution
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Memory 768MB RAM
4GB storage
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.2
Wi-Fi b/g/n
NFC
A-GPS/Glonass
Sensors Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Barometer
Heart rate
Ambient light
Processor Dual-core Samsung Exynos 9110
1.15GHz
Battery 230mAh
WPC-based wireless charging
Durability 5ATM + IP68
MIL-STD-810G
Compatibility Samsung Galaxy, Android 5.0 or above with more than 1.5GB RAM

iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above

Software Tizen-based Wearable OS 4.0
Dimensions and weight Case: 40mm
39.5 x 39.5 x 10.5mm
25g

Strap: 20mm

Colors silver, black, rose gold, sea green

Samsung Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e

Left to right: Samsung Galaxy Watch Active, Samsung Galaxy Fit, Samsung Galaxy Fit e, Samsung Galaxy Buds

Samsung also announced two new fitness trackers: the Samsung Galaxy Fit and Samsung Galaxy Fit e.

This will presumably be a more affordable option for those who want to keep an eye on their activity. The standard Galaxy Fit features a built-in heart rate sensor, a .95-inch full-color AMOLED display, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer onboard, though there’s no built-in GPS. The Galaxy Fit e makes some sacrifices, presumably to reach a lower price point. The Galaxy Fit e features a smaller PMOLED black and white display, drops the gyroscope, comes with a smaller battery, and charges via pogo pins.

Both devices will automatically track walking, running, biking, rowing, and elliptical workouts, or you can track up to 90 different activities from the Samsung Health app on your phone.

Interestingly, the Galaxy Fit and Galaxy Fit e run on software Samsung is calling Realtime OS. The company says this will provide an easy-to-use software experience, with support for smartphone notifications, alarms, calendar alerts, and weather.

The full list of Samsung Galaxy Fit specs are below:

  Samsung Galaxy Fit Samsung Galaxy Fit e
Display .95-inch full-color AMOLED
120 x 240 resolution
282ppi
0.74-inch PMOLED
64 x 128 resolution
193ppi
Memory 512KB internal RAM, 2048KB external RAM
32MB external ROM
128KB internal RAM
4MB external ROM
Connectivity Bluetooth Low-Energy Bluetooth Low-Energy
Sensors Heart rate
Accelerometer
Gyroscope
Heart rate
Accelerometer
Processor MCU Cortex M33F 96MHz + M0 16MHz MCU Cortex M0 96MHz
Battery 120mAh
NFC wireless
70mAh
Pogo charging
Durability 5ATM water resistance
MIL-STD-810G
5ATM water resistance
MIL-STD-810G
Compatibility Samsung Galaxy, Android 5.0 or above with more than 1.5GB RAM

iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above

Samsung Galaxy, Android 5.0 or above with more than 1.5GB RAM

iPhone: iPhone 5 and above, iOS 9.0 or above

Software Realtime OS Realtime OS
Dimensions and weight 18.3 x 44.6 x 11.2mm
24g (with strap)
16 x 40.2 x 10.9mm
15g (with strap)
Colors black, silver black, white, yellow

The Galaxy Fit will be available in Q2 2019, though no pricing details were announced.

Thoughts on the new Samsung wearables? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check out our related Galaxy S10 launch day coverage below:

Samsung Galaxy Fold specs: Samsung’s foldable is formidable

Samsung finally gave us a good look at the Galaxy Fold, its first foldable smartphone. This bendy device is an entirely new form factor that opens and closes like a book. A screen on the outside lets you use the Galaxy Fold like a phone, and a larger screen on the inside lets you use it like a tablet. It costs crazy lots of dollars, but just might have the “wow” factor to back up Samsung’s lofty claims. What’s it packing? Find the full list of Samsung Galaxy Fold specs below:

Samsung Galaxy Fold specs

  Samsung Galaxy Fold
Cover Display 4.6-inch HD+ Super AMOLED
21:9 aspect ratio
Main Display 7.3-inch QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED
4.2:3 aspect ratio
Processor 7nm 64-bit octa-core SoC
RAM 12GB (LPDDR4x)
Storage 512GB (UFS3.0)
Cameras Cover camera: 10MP selfie camera, ƒ2.2 aperture

Rear triple cameras:
16MP ultra-wide camera, ƒ2.2 aperture
12MP wide-angle camera, Dual Pixel autofocus, OIS, ƒ1.5/ƒ2.4 apertures
12MP telephoto camera, PDAF, OIS, ƒ2.4, 2X optical zoom

Front dual cameras:
10MP selfie camera, ƒ2.2 aperture
8MP RGB depth camera, ƒ1.9 aperture

Battery 4,380mAh
Fast charging compatible on wired and wireless
Wired charging compatible with QC2.0 and AFC
WPC and PMA wireless charging
Software Android 9 Pie
Network 4G LTE
5G NR
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
GPS

The outer display measures 4.6 inches and has Quad HD+ resolution in the 21:9 aspect ratio. That’s fairly tall and narrow. When the Fold unfolds, a 7.3-inch QXGA+ screen is within. It has more of a square shape. More importantly, apps that are running on the outer display will seamlessly transition to the inner display and expand to reveal more content. This is called App Continuity, something that Google added to the Android platform. Samsung is the first device maker to really put it to use.

Samsung says it engineered and tested the hinge, which relies on Samsung’s Infinity Flex display, to open and close hundreds of thousands of times.

A mysterious 7nm, 64-bit, octa-core processor powers the Galaxy Fold. Samsung didn’t say if the chip is from its own Exynos line or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon line. The processor is paired with 12GB of memory and 512GB of storage.

This phone has a ridiculous number of cameras: six. One selfie camera on front, three cameras on back (ultra-wide, wide, telephoto), and two cameras facing the user when the Fold is unfolded in tablet mode. The cameras are mostly carried over from the broader Galaxy S10 range.

The Galaxy Fold has to be one of the most expensive phones in the world. It costs a whopping $1,980 for the entry-level 4G LTE version. There’s no word on how much the 5G version will cost. Look for the Galaxy Fold to reach stores on April 26.

The Galaxy S10 has an Instagram mode and Adobe Premiere Rush

Samsung Galaxy S10e front

Samsung announced at its Unpacked event that it is bringing an Instagram mode to the Galaxy S10. This partnership with the social network adds a new shooting mode to the handset’s camera app.

When the Galaxy S10’s camera is launched, users will find the new Instagram mode alongside other options such as panoramic mode and slo-mo. After snapping a photo, customers will be able to edit and customize the image with the social network’s various text and sticker options and then upload it directly to Instagram Stories.

There’s no word yet on if Samsung will bring this feature to older Galaxy handsets.

Samsung also announced that it is working with Adobe to bring an optimized version of Premiere Rush to the flagship lineup. In case you didn’t know, Premiere Rush is a mobile version of the company’s popular video editing software that’s made for mobile devices. The app is specifically aimed at creators who want a full suite of editing tools on their phones and tablets.

Editor’s Pick

For now, Adobe Premiere Rush is only available on iOS. Samsung stated that the app should be coming to the Galaxy S10 later this year. Let’s hope that it isn’t launched as a Galaxy exclusive like Fortnite was.

Learn more about the entire Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup here.

RFID blocking wallets – what are they, and should you get one?

Lowcards

Even in this age of Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, where you can use virtual payments to purchase items in real stores and restaurants with your smartphone, the “old fashioned” credit card and debit card isn’t going away anytime soon. With that said, many people who use them are afraid that the payment information that’s on those cards could be lifted by hackers, even if they remain inside a wallet.

That fear includes the newer credit and debit cards that have RFID chips inside. That’s why some folks who use those kinds of cards are buying RFID blocking wallets, which are supposed to keep hackers from taking your payment information. But what is an RFID blocking wallet, and do you even need to get one? That’s what we are going to talk about in this article.

What is an RFID credit/debit card?

RDIF stands for “Radio Frequency Identification”. The hardware inside an RFID-based device is basically a small chip and a radio antenna. RDIF chips are used in a number of products and devices. For example, you can tag luggage with an RFID chip so you can track it and never have to worry about losing it during a flight. RFID chips are also used to track and identify livestock animals and even pets.

In the case of an RFID credit and debit card, the chip contains your payment information, and you can simply touch the card to a compatible reader to pay for items, rather than swiping a card with a magnetic strip or inserting the card with another chip.

What is an RFID blocking wallet?

There are many concerns that hackers could use devices to intercept the radio signal that is generated by an RFID credit or debit card and lift your payment info from that card, even if it is in your wallet. If you buy an RFID blocking wallet, it should block any radio waves generated by your RFID card, and thus you should be safe from any hacking attempts.

Do you need an RFID wallet?

The short answer to this question, in our opinion, is “Maybe”. While it’s true that the vast majority of RFID chips in credit cards have not been skimmed by radio hackers, it has been reported out in the wild by a few people. Therefore, getting an effective RFID blocking wallet should give you an extra amount of security, as well as some peace of mind. In other words, while the odds of being hacked aren’t ultra-high it doesn’t hurt to be safe, rather than sorry later.

Best RFID blocking wallets

Here’s a look at the best RFID blocking wallets you can buy at the moment, and as you will see there’s quite a variety to choose from; from very traditional wallets to high-tech products to keep your credit cards safe.

Alpine Swiss Men’s RFID Wallet

Here’s a very traditional men’s wallet from Alpine Swiss, with slots that will hold up to 10 credit and debit cards, plus an ID window slot. According to the company, this RFID wallet will shield them, while also allowing other cards that use different frequencies, such as ID badges, hotel cards, and some transit cards, to be used while still inside the wallet. The leather material comes in three colors (black, gray and brown) and its available on Amazon for $14.99.

Roco Aluminum Money Clip RFID Wallet

If you are the sort of person who prefers a money clip-style wallet to store your cash and cards, check out this sleek looking product from Roco. This minimalist design can keep your RFID credit cards safe from hackers thanks to its aluminum material. Even with its slim design, you could hold as many as 20 credit cards inside if you really wanted to. You also have your choice of several different colors and designs for this money clip. It’s available on Amazon for $14.95.

Slimfold RFID Wallet

This RFID wallet comes from SlimFold, and it’s a pretty cool product for more than just its radio blocking features. It’s made of a special material that the company calls Soft Shell and it’s supposed to be just 0.55mm thick, which makes the wallet itself extremely thin. It can still hold up to 8 credit cards, along with cash. Once more,  the material is also waterproof and is extremely durable. All of those features come at a high price; the SlimFold RFID wallet costs between $45 and $48 on Amazon, depending on which color option you pick.

Ranger RFID Wallet

Here’s another pretty slim RFID blocking wallet from Ranger. It’s made of steel which should keep any skimming hacker away from your credit card info. While it’s extremely slim, it can still hold up to 8 credit or debit cards. Finally, this wallet comes with a flat multi-purpose tool, which can come in handy in certain situations. The flat rectangular tool can be used as a bottle opener, a  1/4 tool driver, a wrench that can support several U.S. and metric sizes, and a flathead screwdriver. You can get this RFID wallet from Amazon for $36.

Bryk RFID Wallet

RFID wallet

Our final RFID wallet comes from Bryk, and as you can see its a pure stainless steel product, which makes it look great as well as offering a material that should block RFID signals. It even comes in a very nice case if you want to give it to a family member, co-worker or friend as a gift. It also comes with a latch that should keep your cards and cash secure and safe against physical issues and threats. It can hold up to seven credit or debit cards, and it even comes with a lifetime guarantee. You can get the Bryk RFID blocking wallet in regular stainless steel, or in a black stainless steel color, from Amazon for the price of $15.97.

That’s our look at RFID wallets and why it might be a good idea to get one. Are you thinking about getting such a wallet? Let us know in the comments!

Get a Microsoft certified systems expert education for $49

The Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle

There’s no need to make sacrifices in your career if you’re unhappy in your current job. If you’re interested in trying something new and exciting, we’ve got just the thing for you. 

Prepare to be a well paid and respected Microsoft certified systems expert with the Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle, offered now for just $49.

Prepare for a career as a certified IT expert.

This package includes lifetime access to four courses that will prepare you for a career as a certified IT expert. Upon completion, you’d be qualified for a wide range of positions in an ever more demanding field.

Even better, the training in this package can be easily understood by anyone. Even if you have no experience with computers, you can prepare for a new, high-paying career. If you do work in the field already, this is an inexpensive opportunity to upgrade your education.

Here’s what you get:

  • Over $1,190 worth of elite training for less than $50
  • Lifetime access to four courses and over 60 hours of high-quality content
  • Preparation to become a successful Microsoft certified solutions expert
  • Ability to learn from anywhere, at any time, and at your own pace

Build a technical foundation with the Ultimate MCSE Certification Training Bundle, now for just $49.

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‘Reverse search warrants’ for Google data becoming a privacy nightmare

GPS Location Navigation Icon

  • Reverse search warrants are becoming more commonplace.
  • Minnesota, in particular, is using reverse search warrants more and more, which raises questions of public privacy.
  • Reverse search warrants are requests made to Google for sometimes massive amounts of public data to help solve crimes.

In Minnesota, there have been at least 22 so-called “reverse search warrants” granted since August 2018. A new report from MPR News dives deep into the new trend of police requesting reverse search warrants from local judges, and how these warrants could potentially be a huge violation of public privacy.

A normal search warrant requires probable cause and a named suspect for approval. However, reverse search warrants instead ask for data related to the general public in a certain area at a certain time. Using this general data, police look for clues and anomalies and work backward from there, hoping to eventually identify suspects for crimes.

In most cases, reverse search warrants are issued to Google due to that company having the largest database of information related to location data through the smartphones we all carry around with us every day.

In one Minnesota case, in particular, police requested a reverse search warrant related to an in-home invasion and burglary. The judge in charge of the warrant decision took all of 10 minutes to decide to issue the request to Google. Google then provided the police with anonymized smartphone data for the following:

  • Every smartphone used in a six-hour window in several square miles surrounding the neighborhood home.
  • Every smartphone used in a 33-hour window in several square miles surrounding a grocery store owned by the victims, which is in a dense urban area.

MPR News doesn’t disclose how many different data points Google provided police, but judging from the requests it would likely be thousands or possibly even over a hundred thousand data points — meaning thousands and thousands of people.

Google is handing over thousands of smartphone data points to help police officers narrow down suspects.

Using this information, the police got to work trying to pinpoint anomalies in the data. They eventually discovered that one particular smartphone was in the vicinity of the house where the crime was committed around the time it would have started. That smartphone moved away from the house right before the 911 call was made, making the owner of the phone a suspect.

Since the data was all anonymized by Google before giving it to the police, the police then had to obtain another warrant requesting Google to give them the name and related information connected to that smartphone.

As stated at the top of this article, Minnesota police have done this at least 22 times since August.

Editor’s Pick

It’s easy to see how this is a privacy and civil rights nightmare. In the case of this burglary, the smartphone in question could have been owned by a neighbor who was standing in his own backyard adjacent to the victim’s home. He could have been out there for a bit after hearing a strange noise, then have gone back into his house right before the 911 call was made. In that case, police would have obtained the data of an innocent man and possibly taken him in for questioning based on that data. That would likely end up on a police blotter, further tarnishing that man’s reputation.

That’s just one hypothetical example of how dangerous these methods can be.

MPR News

The MPR News article also mentions that the way police officers ask for these reverse search warrants can be confusing for judges. For example, in the case mentioned above, the police requested the data by giving the judge GPS coordinates instead of a map. When a judge sees nothing but GPS coordinates, they likely won’t have much of an idea of what they mean. But if the judge got to see a map and thus have a good idea of just how wide a net the police were casting, they might have balked. As mentioned earlier, the judge only took 10 minutes to approve the reverse search warrant.

Finally, in the specific home invasion case discussed here, police didn’t even really need the reverse search warrant: without Google’s help, based on vehicle descriptions and a confidential informant, the police narrowed down a list of suspects without using the Google data. However, the Google data will help their case and could help determine if the suspects were part of other crimes in the area.

What do you think? Are reverse search warrants a valuable tool to protect the public, or is this a violation of our privacy? Let us know what you think in the comments.

NEXT: Google’s new permissions policy could cripple popular sex workers’ safety app