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The Secure Hash Algorithm (SHA) has been perhaps the most instrumental tool in the fight against hackers during the beginning of the 21st century. Its ability to encrypt data without an immense amount of effort while demanding an inordinate amount of hardware to break it has kept our accounts and data safe for the better part of a few decades. This is why it may come as a surprise that all the major browser developers appear to be unanimous in the idea that SHA-1 should be abandoned completely in favor of its bigger brother, SHA-2. Why is everyone suddenly determined to phase it out by 2023, and why couldn’t both of them coexist?

Hashing Explained

In order to understand SHA, we have to look into the process and purpose behind hashing as a practice. A hash is a string that represents a particular asset but doesn’t substitute it. In simpler terms, unlike most cryptographic algorithms, you can hash a sentence but you cannot “un-hash” it. The only way this is useful is if the destination server doesn’t necessarily need to know the content of the data. Instead, it only needs to compare the hash of your input with the hash inside its database and authenticate you when both of them match. This is why hashes are so useful when storing account passwords; the server doesn’t need to know your actual password to authenticate you into a site.

Why Is SHA-1 Being Abandoned Then?

If hashes are so difficult to reconstruct into actual data, then why is it that everyone is in such a hurry to phase it out of existence? All of it has to do with hardware.

You see, a hash can be “hacked” if someone can stumble upon input that produces the hash that coincides with the value that a server has in storage. If your account password has the hash b27263b7466a56b1467822108f5487422d054bbb, a hacker only needs to find another piece of text (it doesn’t necessarily have to be your password) that could create that exact combination when it is hashed. It used to be extremely expensive to acquire the kind of hardware that could do this within a reasonable amount of time. In the year 2023, however, this could all be done with the help of a cluster of GPUs. As hardware becomes more powerful and cheaper, it will be so inexpensive to solve SHA-1 that even small-time hackers and enthusiasts could feasibly do this.

Meet SHA-2

To do away with the problems that have plagued SHA-1, SHA-2 has been created as a family of cryptographic algorithms with the purpose of making life extraordinarily difficult for well-to-do hackers. Since browsers and hosts will stop using SHA-1 certificates, the cost of hacking an account through the above-mentioned method would be astronomical. SHA-2 uses a maximum of 512 bits in its output, giving it the space it needs to ensure that any attempt to decipher and reproduce the string would take an unreasonable amount of time. Of course, this algorithm will also be broken at some point in the future and will eventually be replaced by another one that can continue the fight.

For the foreseeable future, however, SHA-2 will remain the champion of the Internet.

Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.

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Comment: Why The Worst Thing About The Macbook Pro Is Good News For Everyone

There’s a lot to love about Apple’s M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro. The return of ports, MagSafe charging, and even ProMotion are worthy upgrades before you even consider the performance gains and boosted battery life. We haven’t had the chance to test drive these notebooks yet, but it’s hard to imagine what could go wrong based on our experience with Apple’s standard M1 Macs.

Based on what we know so far, it’s actually rather difficult to land a joke about these Macs. I would argue that’s an effective test for predicting the overall reception of this generation of MacBook Pro.

Critiques that make viral jokes turn into permanent memes are the same dings that reviewers pick up on and contribute to the reputation of a product. The worst one could throw at the new MacBook Pro so far is that it:

has a notch but no Face ID

doesn’t have cellular

isn’t touchscreen

I admit that a notch on a MacBook does make me at least squirm, but the worst criticism being that the bezels are so thin that a notch exists around the webcam is pretty positive. Cellular should eventually come to MacBooks, but the big touchscreen story on these Macs is that Apple removed the one that received no love.

Compare that to the outgoing generation of MacBook Pros, a single generation of notebook that will be known for numerous keyboard repair programs, propping up an industry of dongle makers, and whatever happened with the Touch Bar.

And here’s where I admit something that’s changing about how I consider community feedback. Until now, I’ve admittedly been quick to dismiss criticism that seems to snowball into a meme until it feels baked in as the truth.

I really liked the look and feel of the butterfly keyboard and thought initial reliability issues were overblown, but switching back to a scissor switch mechanism was absolutely the right call. I judged the utility of the Touch Bar against that of function keys and considered it cool tech, but the best argument for it years later is that it has potential. And I was all aboard the dongle train when I needed to be, but the return of ports is honestly refreshing.

This internal recalibration on my part isn’t just from MacBook Pro course correcting. Critics panned the HomePod for its high price tag, I saw the value in it existing, and Apple killed the product to focus on the smaller version with the same feature set for a third of the cost.

What this tells me is that whether or not I agree with the initial round of criticism doesn’t matter. When the meme becomes the truth, Apple’s best move may be to listen and adapt. Fortunately for this generation of MacBook Pro, the memes aren’t quite as plentiful, which is a win for everyone.

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Microsoft’s Whidbey: Something For Everyone

LOS ANGELES — Microsoft’s pre-beta version of its Visual Studio .NET platform, “Whidbey”, is offering a trove of new simplified tools and features that should make developers jobs easier, while giving Microsoft critics new fodder, attendees at the Professional Developers Conference here said.

“There are a bunch of features that we’re adding for core language improvements. Edit and continue is one; there’s also one called generics, which is a way of enabling code reuse. So in general the main feedback depends on what kind of a developer you want to be.”

Prior versions of Visual Basic through version 6 had the “edit and continue” feature, but when Microsoft offered the version of Visual Basic .NET, the complexity of tracking a compiled application versus an interpreted application meant that .NET temporarily discontinued the feature, Montgomery said. “A lot of developers missed it. With Whidbey, it’s back.”

The new Whidbey features, many of which extend support for other development languages such as C++, are designed to help developers continue pushing Web services out to their end-users by writing in managed code of the .NET platform.

Like its “Yukon” SQL Server and “Longhorn” Windows operating system pre-beta builds unveiled at the PDC this week, the Visual Studio “Whidbey” tools are trying to help developers and architects simplify the process of designing and building applications, from simple Web and client applications, mobile applications, and global-scale, service-oriented applications, officials said.

Microsoft said the new functions include new Web services designer tools (code-named “Whitehorse”) that enable architects and developers to design service-oriented applications and operations infrastructure easily and simultaneously.

The “Whitehorse” tools deploy a drag-and-drop design surface to connect XML Web services, and then validate the resulting applications against the deployment environment using the System Definition Model (SDM), an upgrade with time and money savings in mind, said Marie Huwe, general manager of the developer tools division for Microsoft.

ASP.NET versions of Whidbey are also supporting themes and master pages in order to make it easy to create and maintain Web sites that have a consistent look and feel.

“With its current Windows version, Microsoft has placed in many safeguards that would discourage programs from installing unprompted,” Wilcox wrote Wednesday.

But officials noted that the .NET framework’s class-based development model, which updates the traditional flat API development model and is a native Web services environment, enables developers to express the same thoughts in less code and develop applications more efficiently, as well as securely.

Security is one of the main themes that developers need to think of as they of the PDC, as they adopt Web services based on open standards, said Eric Rudder, senior vice president of servers and tools for Microsoft.

For example, “think hard about levels of access control and run your components with the least possible privileges,” he told developers this week. “We do a lot of design where we see a lot of components running as admin- privilege, which can compromise the entire system if the component is compromised. And think about adding new defensive layers.”

In many instances, he added, boosting security at the development level is often a matter of getting “fresh eyes on the code” in order to be more proactive about secure design.

Whidbey is expected to be released into beta by the first half of 2004 with a release to manufacturing by the end of the year. SQL Server is also expected to be released on a similar schedule and Longhorn is widely expected to be released in 2006.

Why Is Avast Not Detecting Virus?

If you do not want to invest in a third-party premium antivirus software, Avast is one of the best free alternatives you can find right now. The application has received positive responses from many users, who appreciated the usability and functionality of the application.

However, there are some occasions when the application downright fails to work. If you suspect that your computer has a virus, here I shall discuss what you can do if you see Avast not detecting viruses.

Another reason why you may see Avast not picking up viruses is due to the Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service malfunctioning. The WMI infrastructure is responsible for maintaining the operations on all Windows versions. The antivirus failing to work may be related to this infrastructure, which will need troubleshooting.

Now that you have some idea regarding why you may see Avast malfunctioning, follow these solutions one by one to find the cause as well as troubleshoot the error as well.

For troubleshooting some error, you may have turned off Avast shields on your computer. In this state, Avast usually does not allow scanning and shows a notification for the same. However, if you turned off the notifications, this may be the reason why Avast is not detecting viruses on your computer.

Open the Avast UI, and you should automatically be directed to the menu. Enable the shields again, and run a full scan.

The next solution that you need to try is to update the virus definitions. If the software does not have the right tools to detect the virus or malware, the infected file will remain undetected on your computer. Update the app to receive the latest virus definitions. Follow these steps for the same:

Open the Avast GUI from the notification tray icon.

Under the Update tab, you will find the current versions of the antivirus program and the virus definitions as well.

If there are any pending software or definition updates, install these and check if the error persists.

The action center displays all the notifications that you receive on your Windows 10 computer. If the action center itself is broken on your computer, there is a chance that you may have missed the virus detection notification.

If you see Avast not picking up viruses, try troubleshooting the action center and check if the error persists. Your error should now be resolved.

As mentioned above, the WMI service is responsible for the proper operation of the Windows operating system. If the service gets locked up due to some reason, the Win32 apps on your computer will begin to malfunction. Restarting the service should free any locked-up cache, and therefore solving the error.

Follow these steps for the same:

Open a Run dialog using the shortcut keys Win + R.

Type chúng tôi and press Enter to launch the Windows Services Console.

Windows Management Instrumentation

If not, select the same from the drop-down menu.

Next, make sure that the service is running.

Now, check if the error persists.

If the Windows Management Instrumentation repository got corrupted due to a recent update or a change, there is a chance that the Win32 apps on your system may start misbehaving. This is one of the primary reasons why you may see Avast not detecting viruses on your computer.

If the solutions provided above did not help you, as a last resort you can try repairing the WMI repository. Although the repository is usually updated while Windows 10 updates as well, you can repair the library by using the elevated command prompt window.

Follow these steps for the same:

Open an elevated command prompt. To do so, open a Run dialog by pressing Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter. This will launch a command prompt window with administrative privileges.

winmgmt /verifyrepository

You will get the status of the WMI repository in a message.

winmgmt /salvagerepository

If you receive an error message, run the above-mentioned command again. Repeat this until you get a success message saying, ‘WMI repository is consistent’.

Restart your computer.

After you restart your computer, your Avast antivirus error should now be resolved.

So, there you have it. Now you know how to fix if you see Avast not detecting virus on your computer. Comment below if you found this useful, and to discuss further the same.

Grace Forrest: Everyone Is Talking About The Cup, Let’s Talk About The Casualties

Grace Forrest is the Founding Director of Walk Free, an international human rights organisation working to eradicate modern slavery.

While football fans are sitting back and enjoying the 2023 FIFA World Cup, others are carrying out the sombre task of putting to rest the bodies of loved ones who died in preparation for the global showpiece of the ‘beautiful game’.

Banners of football stars hanging from the side of buildings flap in the wind while down below, construction workers gather in the streets of Qatar’s capital, Doha, demanding they be paid their stolen wages. Since it was announced that Qatar would be hosting the highly anticipated tournament, thousands of workers, mostly migrants, have reported horrendous working conditions, stolen wages, and work-related deaths leading up to the most expensive World Cup yet.

Despite a chorus of unprecedented criticism, the shocking reports of forced labour among migrants working on the construction of Qatar’s World Cup reflect a wider issue: slavery is not a thing of the past. In fact, it is more common today than at any other time in history.

Qatar has been wrapped up in international criticism due to multiple allegations of human rights abuses against their migrant workers. However, this is far from the first time the world has seen such a strong reliance on forced labour. In fact, with almost 30 million people living in forced labour globally, it could be argued it is the foundation of our modern economy. Whether it be construction, manufacturing, agriculture, or domestic duties, forced labour touches virtually every part of the workforce.

The 2023 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery, produced by Walk Free, the International Labor Organisation, and the International Organisation for Migration, indicate there are almost 50 million people living in modern slavery today, with over half of those in situations of forced labour. That equates to more people living in slavery today than during the time of the transatlantic slave trade, one of the darkest chapters in human history. And the legacy of which persists today through the exploitation and dehumanisation of workers in low-income countries, to largely benefit wealthier, typically Western, countries.

Sadly, the mistreatment of workers during the construction of the stadiums and infrastructure for the 2023 World Cup is just one example amongst an ever-growing pile of case studies – from the technology we all rely on every day, to the coffee, tea and chocolate on the shelves of every supermarket. Businesses across all sectors are fuelled by exploitation because it is enveloped in the way our globalised supply chains function.

Reports of Qatar’s mistreatment of migrant workers have not just surfaced in the months leading up to the tournament. In 2023, Amnesty International accused companies within the host country of abusing their migrant workers, with workers reportedly madeto live in squalid and overcrowded accommodations, pay exorbitant recruitment fees, had their wages withheld, and passports confiscated[5] – all situations which constitute modern slavery. Many migrant employees working on the construction of football stadiums said they were being deceived about the type of work and their pay, as well as being threatened for complaining about conditions.[6] Reports of forced labour among migrant workers across Qatar became known six years ago, yet the mistreatment of workers continued well beyond this.

Migrant workers continue to be at much higher risk of experiencing forced labour, up to three times more likely than non-migrant workers. With limited access to local networks and information, migrants frequently need to look to third party sources. If information about labour rights and protection is not readily available, then employees can easily exploit workers. Migrants are also highly vulnerable when fleeing situations of violence and conflict, with their vulnerability persisting when disconnected from community and family support structures. Additionally, many migrants gain employment through recruitment agencies that rely on fraudulent practices, like charging exorbitant fees so that clients are forever bonded by debt. Although migrant vulnerability has been highlighted by Qatar’s World Cup, this work experience is not confined to one part of the world. In fact, both Australia and New Zealand have been home to exploitation across their migrant workforce. That is why it is imperative that the Australian Modern Slavery Act of 2023 be strengthened to tackle this now definitely growing problem.

There has been much talk about the legacy left behind for host countries of the FIFA World Cup. For Qatar, this means making history by being the first country in the Middle East to host one of the world’s greatest sporting events. This means reaping the enormous economic benefits of hosting and garnering international attention. Since its right to host was announced, Qatar has been thrusted onto the global sporting stage, already becoming the destination for future major events.  Qatar is set to host the 2023 Asian Football Cup and the 2030 Asian Games, while it is bidding for the Summer Olympics.

However, underneath the legacy of the glamourous stadiums and futuristic hubs, are thousands who died in the name of the beautiful game. Long after the ticket holders have witnessed the winning country lift the trophy and returned home, families of migrants will continue to mourn their lost ones. They will continue to live in deep economic uncertainty with their main breadwinner gone. How do we ensure that our pleasure in loving sport, does not come at the cost of the suffering of those who build the very stadiums we cheer in? How do we ensure games are not literally built on the same slavery record as the World Cup? If the true legacy of exploitation is never recognised, who is to say this will not remain the foundation for these games, not only in Qatar but across the globe.

With almost 50 million people living in modern slavery today, we need urgent, and immediate action. Confronting modern slavery requires addressing the world’s deep power imbalances.  Modern slavery thrives off injustice, hence we must address inequality – especially where it is happening in plain sight. The 2023 FIFA World Cup serves as an alarm bell, one that is loud and clear, demanding our attention. While many have tried to hold Qatar accountable for the human rights abuses committed over the last 10 years, we need to demand that same accountability from every business, organisation, and government around the world.

Grace Forrest is the Founding Director of Walk Free, an international human rights organisation working to eradicate modern slavery.

What Is .Net Developer And Why Is This Role Important?

blog / Coding What Does it Take to Become a .NET Developer? A Comprehensive Guide

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Today, if you’re a software professional, understanding what is .Net developer it is important so that you can consider it as a career option. After all, .Net has become crucial to software development. How did it happen? Here’s how: The year is 2002. Microsoft has officially introduced the first version of the .Net framework, a remarkable moment in the history of software development. Since then, .Net has witnessed multiple upgrades and has been recognized as a robust platform for developing high-performance software for websites and applications. 

According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey, .Net was ranked as the most popular framework among developers in both 2023 and 2023. Now, let’s take a detailed look at what it’s like working as a .Net developer in today’s application-driven environment. 

What is .Net Developer?

A .Net developer is a software professional or an Information Technology (IT) expert who designs user-friendly and highly scalable web applications. They collaborate with web developers and computer scientists to develop refined software solutions aligned with a client or company’s business needs. These skilled programmers are proficient in Microsoft’s .Net framework and work with programming languages to develop end-to-end software products. 

Responsibilities and Tasks of a .Net Developer

A .Net developer is primarily responsible for designing, developing, and implementing intelligent software applications. In fact, they focus on various aspects of web development, mobile application development, Machine Learning (ML), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and cloud applications. 

Here is a rundown of their day-to-day tasks: 

Programming .Net applications and platforms 

Identifying system requirements and designing functional software solutions

Modifying and re-writing code to improve efficacy 

Integrating data storage systems to maintain code quality

Offering technical support for desktop, mobile, and web applications 

The responsibilities of a .Net developer are likely to vary based on the industry, experience, job role, and location of the business. 

ALSO READ: What Coding Language Should I Learn to Succeed in Life?

What is the Required Skill Set for .Net?

A good .Net developer should possess a combination of relevant hard and soft skills to effectively carry out code processing and system design. These include:

Hands-on experience in the chúng tôi web application framework

Well-versed with front-end technologies like JavaScript, Angular, and HTML

Knowledge of web application lifecycle and development approaches

Cloud engineering expertise 

Advanced database technology skills

Sound knowledge of automated testing platforms 

The soft skills that .Net developers should have include analytical thinking, good communication, adaptability, teamwork, problem-solving, organizational mindset, and time management skills.  

Essential Tech Skills for .Net Developers

The .Net infrastructure features various tools, libraries, and frameworks that help broaden the scope of this beneficial software development platform. Further, it is important to learn about the key technical skills required to leverage the versatility of the .Net ecosystem. 

Expert in .Net Framework

A .Net developer must have a strong working knowledge of basic .Net languages like C#, F#, and chúng tôi to create fast and secure services, websites, and desktop applications on Windows. Moreover, they should also know how to access and operate class libraries like chúng tôi to develop scalable and secure applications with efficient controls. 

Expert in Front-End Framework

As a .Net developer, you may have to develop applications for mobile, web, desktop, or even devices. Also, this is where front-end development technologies come into the picture and define how an application interacts with the user. Having a working knowledge of front-end frameworks such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS will help you be more aligned with user demands and create immersive applications. 

Working with Databases

It is beneficial for .Net developers to gain hands-on experience with database systems, given how important it is to store and manage effectively today. Moreover, even though .Net is compatible with most databases, proficiency in at least one database system like SQL Server or Oracle is crucial for handling data. 

By now, you will have developed a clear idea of what is .Net developer, their day-to-day responsibilities, and the skills needed to become a competent .Net developer. If you’re keen on building a career as a .Net Developer, it will help to know some common interview questions that most employers ask. 

ALSO READ: The Top 10 Highest-Paying Programming Languages to Learn 

.Net Developer Interview Questions

The best way to start preparing for an interview for a .Net developer position is to get your basics right. Go over foundational concepts and learn about the key components of the .Net framework. To make your preparation easier, we have put together the 10 most commonly asked .Net interview questions.  

How does the .Net framework function?

What are CTS and CLS in the .Net language?

Explain the difference between reference type and value type

What are the key differences between managed and unmanaged code in .Net?

Is chúng tôi any different from ASP? If yes, how so?

How does .Net differ from other development frameworks?

What do we mean by role-based security in .Net?

What is caching? What are its different types?

Define cross-page posting. How does it work?

What is the difference between an interface and an abstract class? 

ALSO READ: Top 13 Full-Stack Developer Interview Questions and Answers to Prepare in 2023

To better understand what is .Net developer, let’s see how it differs from the role of a Java developer. 

.Net Developer VS Java Developer

While both Java and .Net  work on software applications, a Java developer works on multiple operating systems through its compilers, whereas .Net developers mainly work on the Windows operating system and its different versions. 

The most common programming languages that Java developers use are Scala, Groovy, JavaScript, and Clojure. .Net developers generally work with C#, F#, chúng tôi and C++.  For software development projects, Java developers are usually chosen for large-scale ones, whereas .Net developers are preferred for quick deliveries and application development.  

Now that we know what a .Net developer’s role is compared to that of a Java developer, here’s a quick look at the career prospects of .Net development as a profession.  

Is .Net Developer a Good Career?

.Net is widely used across the world for its versatility and simplicity. Thus, despite being around for over 20 years, it still tops the list of the most-preferred frameworks to work with for most developers. moreover, the demand for skilled .Net developers is continuing to grow at a significant rate. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the rate of employment for software developers is projected to grow by 25% from 2023 to 2030. 

Given that .Net is a one-stop solution for developing web, desktop, mobile, gaming, websites, and ML applications, and can be integrated across multiple data management and operating systems. Thus, it makes it a great prospect for both beginners and experienced professionals in the field. Since .Net is being widely used for enterprise-level development, employment with large technology or technology-driven companies is a viable option for professionals. 

What’s interesting is that while working with .Net frameworks, developers barely need to look at other stacks to get exposure to different platforms. The speed of development, tooling systems, support for multiple modern programming paradigms, and transformative impact on software development prove that .Net is here to stay. Now, check out the online coding courses at Emeritus and kickstart your career as a .Net developer. 

By Neha Menon

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