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There is a myth on the Internet that any photo out there can be taken and used without payment and/or attribution. Make sure you are not a victim of this myth by protecting your work with My Watermark.

Some people seem to think that if they find an image they like on Google Images, then they can just take it and use it how they please. If you are the owner of that photo, being exploited like that both cheapens your work and possibly loses you licensing fees. So the solution is to watermark the image, to make it obvious that the image is yours. My Watermark is a portable application that helps you do this quickly and easily.

My Watermark is a small portable application which you can place inside your Dropbox folder or on a USB stick. When you start it up, its first drawback becomes immediately evident–the app is donationware, which in this case means it’s free to use, but for as long as you don’t donate a minimum of $10, you are going to see a nag screen every time you start the app up, and every photo you watermark with this app for will have the developer’s website URL on it.

If you find this app useful, and you think you are going to use it often, then just donate the $10. It will entitle you to use all of the developer’s other software on his site too. So it may end up becoming a good deal for you. If you refuse on principle to pay money for software, you will have to learn to live with the website URL on your photos–or find another similar program such as TSR Watermark.

When loading photos into My Watermark, you have to load the folder where the picture or pictures are located. The app will then begin to generate thumbnails for each picture. The app claims this will speed things up, but I found that, while generating those thumbnails, the app was extremely slow and unresponsive, therefore frustrating to use. So if you have a lot of images in the target directory, it may be better to go off and make a cup of coffee while they all load.

Once they have loaded, you will then see that you have various options open to you. First, you need to type the text that you want as your watermark (such as your name). Then, you can specify the position of the watermark, the font, the color, and most importantly, the transparency. I have found that it is much better to have a softer looking watermark with a bigger transparency, so the picture itself is not ruined. But everyone will have their own tastes and the program allow you tweak these to your liking.

Once the watermark has been made to your satisfaction, have it made and copied to your computer.

As you can see above, the watermark is really good quality, although you can’t use images instead of text. The process is so painless that if you don’t like the watermark, you can just go back in and redo it in a couple of minutes.

Despite the initial speed issues and the nag screen getting you to cough up some cash, this is a nice little app that could end up paying for itself, when opportunistic people are discouraged from stealing your pictures and conveniently forgetting to pay you.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

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Aoao Watermark For Photos: Easily Watermark Your Photos

One way to do this is by placing your own customized watermark on the photos and other images. There is a lot of software available for watermarking your photos, and Aoao Watermark for Photos is one such software that makes the task easy by doing all the heavy lifting for you.

Features

Image Watermark: Along with the text watermarks, you can also use images as watermarks. Using images as watermarks is particularly useful when you want to use your company logo or other image as the watermark.

Watermark Library: Aoao Watermark for Photos comes with the Watermark Library which hosts 150+ free watermark images.

Batch Watermarking: Unlike other watermarking software, Aoao is capable of watermarking all your photos or images in a batch. The good thing is that the added watermark will automatically adjust according to your image size and other settings.

Installation and Usage

You can download the Aoao Watermark for Photos from their official website. Once downloaded, install it like any other software. Don’t worry, there is no adware.

Once installed, launch the application. As you can see, the interface itself is straightforward and easy to use.

This action will take you to the “Add Watermark” screen. Here, enter the watermark text and customize it as required. You can also customize the way the watermark text looks like. As you can see, the watermark text I added is “MakeTechEasier.”

That’s all there is to do, and it is that simple to use Aoao Watermark for Photos to watermark all your photos and images.

Conclusion

Aoao is a simple software which does the work as it should. If you are a photographer or just a person who works with photos and other images on a daily basis, then software like Aoao Watermark is a must to protect your work.

Aoao Watermark for Photos

Vamsi Krishna

Vamsi is a tech and WordPress geek who enjoys writing how-to guides and messing with his computer and software in general. When not writing for MTE, he writes for he shares tips, tricks, and lifehacks on his own blog Stugon.

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Manage Your Photos With Kphotoalbum

Owing to the steady improvement of cameras on mobile devices, we now take more photos than ever before. We dump them into digital storage to make room for more and dread the day we’ll have to find that one photo from 2004 because we never took the time to properly organize our photos.

It doesn’t have to be like that. There are many photo managers for Linux, but their primary purpose is often just viewing and basic editing. KPhotoAlbum is a small but powerful KDE application that can organize many photos at once. Unlike Digikam, KPhotoAlbum isn’t trying to be all things to all people – instead, its developer opted for the philosophy of doing one thing, but doing it well.

Installation

KPhotoAlbum offers the source for compilation. For (K)Ubuntu users, you can install via the PPA:

sudo

add-apt-repository ppa:dominik-stadler

/

ppa

sudo

apt-get update

sudo

apt-get

installkphotoalbum Usage

Annotating and Organizing Photos

KPhotoAlbum offers several levels of categorization, but it’s flexible and doesn’t force you to use all of them. Still, it’s important to clarify the terminology.

1. Categories

Categories are the top level; they appear as icons on the home screen. You can remove the default ones and create your own, even give them custom icons. Categories are easily managed from the “Settings” dialog. Here you can set the defaults for untagged images.

2. Subcategories

3. Tags

Let’s say you want to manage a stock photo collection. First you’d create categories (“Free,” “For commercial use”…), then sub-categories (“Business,” “People,” “Objects”…) and finally tag images based on what they represent (“clock,” “computer,” “woman eating salad”…).

Now you can add tags by typing them into boxes below each category and pressing Enter. Use the “Options” menu at the bottom to customize this dialog.

4. Labels, Tokens and Stacks

“Labels” and “Tokens” are great for in-depth organization, but to the average user they’re probably an overkill. “Stacks” function like virtual folders within a tag or category, and you can use them to save space in the thumbnail view.

Navigation and Search

1. Scopes 2. Histogram (Timeline)

3. Viewer 4. EXIF Search

Also accessible from the “Home screen”, EXIF Search helps you find images based on criteria pulled from metadata.

Privacy, Export and More

KPhotoAlbum offers a neat privacy option to lock and password-protect photos from viewing. You can remove selected images from the database, open them in external tools, merge duplicate versions of photos and view database statistics. To add a single folder to the database, open the terminal and navigate to your main photos folder (the one KPhotoAlbum is using), then type:

ln

-s

/

path

/

to

/

single

/

folder .

/

Now you should be able to edit images from that folder.

Conclusion

KPhotoAlbum is not a magical solution. You still have to annotate manually, but it makes the process efficient and eliminates the need to rename image files; you can leave those “DSC00XY.JPG” filenames and just tag them in KPhotoAlbum.

It’s really fast; it imported my gigantic wallpaper collection in less than a minute. The newest version (4.6 at this time) boasts features like face recognition and Age View. KPhotoAlbum might have a steep learning curve, but there’s a great PDF handbook if you get stuck. Perhaps it’s not for everyone, but designers and professional photographers will surely appreciate it.

Ivana Isadora Devcic

Ivana Isadora is a freelance writer, translator and copyeditor fluent in English, Croatian and Swedish. She’s a Linux user & KDE fan interested in startups, productivity and personal branding. Find out how to connect with Ivana here.

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Save Money And Protect The Environment By Repurposing Your Old Outdoor Gear

Most hikers and campers have at least one torn and tattered piece of gear they refuse to let go. Those are the items that tell the stories of what we’ve seen, where we’ve been, and the muddy canyons and thorny bushes we’ve gone through to get there.

But just because a beloved jacket or tent has seen better days doesn’t mean it should go in the trash. In fact, you can often repurpose your old gear by using it to create something new. This has the simultaneous benefits of giving new life to a valuable item, saving you cash, and keeping perfectly usable materials out of the landfill.

Good for you, your wallet, and the environment

New gear is expensive, and so are the materials to make your own. So it only makes sense to save yourself potentially hundreds of dollars in new equipment by repurposing and salvaging what you can from items that seem to have fulfilled their purpose.

But it’s not only your bank account you’ll be doing a favor—there’s also the waste factor. Synthetic materials like those often used in technical clothing and gear are, well, synthetic, which means they don’t decompose like natural fabrics. When you dispose of them, they pile up in landfills, overflowing them and hurting the environment..

The average American throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles every year, so if more crafty outdoors people chose repurposing over trashing, it could make a big difference.

And while saving money and helping the environment are great reasons to preserve buckles, belts, and fabric, you might find yourself repurposing worn items for more sentimental reasons. Our gear has helped us get through mountains, valleys, and everything in between—no wonder it’s hard for us to let go. But with a little creativity, you don’t actually have to.

“It’s cool to give old things new life and a new story to tell,” says Chase Anderson, program coordinator of the Outdoor Product Design and Development department at Utah State University.

And if there’s anything outdoor people love, it’s a good story.

Repairing vs. repurposing

Before you deconstruct a perfectly adequate piece of gear in order to salvage its parts, make sure the item cannot be repaired. Sometimes washing or re-waterproofing items like tents and rain jackets, or patching small holes in sleeping bags or puffer coats, can make them last months or years longer.

Still, sometimes, it’s time to call it—your beloved stuff sack or backpack is worn beyond repair. You might think all you can do is toss it, but there are likely many parts and pieces that are in good working order and perfectly usable on other outdoor gear or DIY projects.

Identifying useful materials

There are a lot of yards of waterproof fabric up for grabs here. Laura Pluth/Unsplash

Before you drop your gear in the garbage, give it a once-over and look for anything you might be able to use—you’re looking for things like large squares of fabric from a tent floor or rainfly, the internal frame of a backpack, zippers and buckles from a hip pack, and straps and webbing from an old pair of sandals. You can often salvage zipper pulls, metal poles, bungees, hook-and-loop strips, and elastics, too.

After you’ve stripped your items down, see if you can recycle any of what’s left. Often, aluminum or titanium tent poles, broken plastic buckles, or metal bits and pieces fall into this category. Still, we recommend you check with your local waste authority before dropping items in the recycling bin.

Even if you can’t use some (or any) of the parts you’ve collected, consider donating them to programs like USU’s outdoor product design and development department—which teaches students design principles, aesthetics, and technical skills in the outdoor product design space—or a local repair or craft shop.

Develop your skills

After you’ve stockpiled a few materials and you’re ready to start creating new from old, you might be tempted to jump into a project, but Anderson recommends first building a skill set that will help ensure success.

Sewing is a big one, but don’t think you have to be an expert to make gear. “Start simple,” Anderson says. “And slowly move up to items with zippers, or buckles, or multiple seams.” That includes things like jackets or backpacks.

In general, a solid base of tools and skills is never a bad idea. YouTube is a great resource for learning how to do everything from sewing to tying knots. If you’re not much of an online learner, check out your local craft supply stores and colleges—they usually offer courses for students of any age.

Project ideas

The key is to start with small project. Leave that DIY camping tent for when you master the sewing machine. jacqueline macou / Pixabay

If you’re just developing sewing skills, don’t start by making your own waterproof multi-pocket jacket. Instead, practice by using fabric from retired gear or clothing to patch holes or tears in newer items. Then you can move on to simple projects, like cutting a pattern out of a threadbare base layer and sewing a face warmer. Anderson’s students have made beanies by cutting and sewing a pattern out of an old sweater, or crafted covers for ski goggles and sunglasses out of jacket lining and an old bungee cord or shoelace.

And don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Anderson has seen students replace malfunctioning zippers on jackets with buttons or snaps, and come up with an idea for a new chalk bag after digging through boxes of scraps.

I recently had to retire an old backpack. Most of the fabric was worn, torn or tattered, and the bits that were still in good condition were too small to use for other projects. However, I was able to remove several yards worth of straps and webbing, a dozen or more buckles and D-rings, some usable elastic, foam, and the lid of the backpack. I cleaned many of these pieces and used them with some fabric from a leaky inflatable outdoor lounge to make a simple ultralight daypack that would have likely cost me around $50.

One thing to keep in mind, though—never use repurposed materials to make any gear or equipment meant to save your life. This includes items like climbing harnesses, safety ropes, and avalanche airbags. These items must be in perfect condition to perform properly, so you should always buy them new.

Tips and tricks

Obviously, the idea is to make something new using as much recycled material as you can, but if you start a project and don’t have everything you need, don’t hesitate to visit your local craft or art supply store to get it. And if you’re worried about mismatched fabrics, don’t be—part of the beauty of repurposed products is their uniqueness and the story behind it. And if that doesn’t convince you, consider outdoor brands like Cotopaxi, which are famous for their beautiful, mismatched gear made with fabric scraps from their other products. If they can get away with it, so can you.

As for the actual making, Anderson recommends you design your project in cardboard or paper as you practice and experiment with forms and construction. Don’t jump straight into using the expensive materials before you know what you’re creating.

And if you’re struggling for ideas or aren’t sure where to start, find inspiration in the outdoor community by searching for influencers and websites (like Patagonia WornWear or gear repair shops) that celebrate up-cycled and repurposed gear. Browsing through their feeds will definitely help you see products and materials in a new way.

Once you start seeing scraps not for what they were, but for what they can be, you’ll not only save cash on new and original gear and keep non-recyclable materials out of the landfill, you’ll also be giving the items you love a new life.

Protect From Ldap Injection Attack

Introduction to LDAP Injection

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What is LDAP Injection?

LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. It can be defined as a protocol that is vendor-neutral and works on the layer over the TCP/IP stack. It is used to introduce the authority checking and authentication mechanism in the web application to ensure its safety and is very frequently used while developing web applications. LDAP is used very often in web applications that are being used over the internet or intranet. Therefore, it is essential to the web application to go with LDAP as it is a very common and important factor that facilitates the secure development of the web application.

LDAP can also be defined as the set of standards used to perform security checks to find out if the user has all the permission to access the existing system. There are several ways to make the checks, but eventually, the motive of all the checks is to ensure the safety of the web application. It prohibits the unauthorized access of users that do not have the proper privileges. Based on the rights that the user hold for the particular web application, it ensures that the user could be able to access only those things to which they are entitled to. Though it is used to take care of the web application’s security, it can also be tricked by hackers to extract the juice from the application.

Performing LDAP Injection with Example

The web application has to take the input from the user in order to process it further. The attacker can take leverage of this if the value entered by the users is not sanitized properly and directly goes to the database for execution. Here we will see how the LDAP injection could be launched on any web application prone to this attack.

The query mentioned above will be transformed into LDAP friendly command so that the application makes it easy for the query to be executed well.

In the above case, if the value submitted by the user is not sanitized, it can lead to getting the name of all the existing users by putting “*” in the input box. An asterisk denotes all the available options, so when the database will process the asterisk rather than any particular username, it will be given all the objects stored in the LDAP database. The actual query that will be executing in the database will be

findingLogin="(&(usrid="+username+")(userPwd={MD5}"+base64(pack("H*",md5(pass)))+"))";

When the data is not sanitized, and the database accepts the asterisk value to the process, the code will be like below.

As soon as the above vulnerable code runs into the LDAP database, it will through all the objects stored in the LDAP database and will lead to cause harm to the web application. The hacker will use the outcome of LDAP injection to abuse the system and cause a security breach.

How can you Protect yourself from LDAP Injection Attacks?

If there is a vulnerability in the application, there must exist its remediation as well. There will be barely any vulnerability that cannot be resolved or fixed to protect the system. In the same way, there are several ways that can be used to protect the web application from LDAP injection.

The very first and most essential way is to sanitize the input before taking it further for processing. The input submitted by the user has to be validated if it matches the requirement that suites whatever the application is expecting through that text field. For instance, if the user tries to submit any special characters in the text field asking for the name, the user should be alerted that they cannot fill special characters in that field. That is the client-side validation. Now the server-side validation will also be required to ensure the data provided is genuine.

The next one is to configure LDAP, keeping safety in mind. The LDAP configuration should be done to restrict unauthorized users to make any malicious changes to the system. Also, the next one is, the outcome of the LDAP query must be limited and cannot disclose any data that could lead to security breaches. If the data are not sufficient to harm the system, the attacker will not be able to affect the web application in any way, even if they were able to launch the LDAP injection attack.

Conclusion

The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol provides the way to the application to ensure that the user who is trying to access the system is properly authenticated and authorized to use the system. It is very important to consider LDAP while taking care of all the security concerns. The system should be ample to strong to not let any hacker launch an LDAP attack. As the LDAP database holds very lucrative information, the administrator has to ensure that the input from the user has been sanitized very carefully, and the configuration has to be done by keeping all the security factors in mind.

Recommended Articles

This is a guide to LDAP Injection. Here we discuss what is LDAP injection, its examples, and how to protect against LDAP injection attack. You can also go through our other related articles to learn more-

Slashgear 101: Does Instagram Own My Photos?

SlashGear 101: Does Instagram own my photos?

The short answer is no, Instagram doesn’t own anything of yours (at the moment) – but once January 16th, 2013 rolls around, there’s a few more words attached to that simple assurance. What we’re talking about today is the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy updates to Instagram laid down this week that’ll be taking effect on the 16th of January, 2013, many of them put in place to better tie them up with Facebook as their new owner. What many have found right out of the box is a few key phrases that appear very much to have Instagram taking control of the entirety of your library of photos hosted with them – we’re going to talk briefly here about what their jargon actually has to say.

This means first that you, by signing into Instagram, agree that you’re posting your content publicly. The follow-up clause there simply states that users other than yourselves also have the right to access the content you share “consistent with the terms and conditions” of the Privacy Policy and the Terms of Use – this is vague enough to fit many, many different models as the rest of the Privacy Policy text as well as the Terms of Use say many different things about your content that, taken alone, could mean very different things. Next is a piece of the 1 INFORMATION WE COLLECT segment of the Privacy Policy, right under “Information you provide us directly:”

This means, basically, that Instagram acknowledges the fact that they host the photos you post. Also in the Privacy Policy is a rule about what Privacy actually means, hinging it on the ability of an app (whichever app you’re using) to make it “private” and leaving it at that – this alleviates Instagram from fault should the app you’re using make your photo public on accident – or if Instagram prefers, public because the app in question hasn’t agreed with them on what “private” really means.

“Any information or content that you voluntarily disclose for posting to the Service, such as User Content, becomes available to the public, as controlled by any applicable privacy settings that you set.”

Added in this privacy section is a note on how your photos will likely live on forever, no matter what you do:

Then there’s the big doozy: in the Rights section in Instagram’s new Terms of Use, number one on the list essentially grants Instagram (and Facebook) rights over your photos from top to bottom. Note the vagueness of the limits and the pointing back toward the Privacy Policy which, again, is vague in and of itself enough to have you speaking in legal circles.

Then there’s the lovely pointed length of text guaranteeing the Instagram and Facebook team the right to use not only your photos, but your own likeness, name, username, and metadata as well to sell to “a business or other entity” of any kind “to help us deliver interesting paid or sponsored content or promotions.” That’s the part where Instagram and Facebook own (and can sell) all of your photos.

And just for good measure, Instagram has made it clear that they don’t have to tell you when they’re working with paid services, sponsored content, or anything of the like:

“You acknowledge that we may not always identify paid services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as such.”

What do you think? Sound like a set of rules that might have you thinking twice about taking photos of your prized unique napkin drawing? Or do you just take photos of objects and people you don’t mind being sold without your consent and for profit with no monetary compensation given to you for the work?

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