NPM users can now connect a Twitter account as a recovery method

Developers who use NPM, the popular JavaScript package manager, will now be able to connect their Twitter and GitHub accounts to the software as a recovery method.

The move was announced Tuesday along with a handful of other features meant to combine enhanced security with usability for the GitHub-owned package manager.

In a blog post, GitHub said that the changes would make it easier for users to secure their accounts, while also streamlining some security features that users had found burdensome.

“The JavaScript community downloads over 5 billion packages from npm a day, and we at GitHub recognize how important it is that developers can do so with confidence,” wrote GitHub product managers Myles Borins and Monish Mohan. “As stewards of the npm registry, it’s important that we continue to invest in improvements that increase developer trust and the overall security of the registry itself.”

GitHub and Twitter accounts can now be used as recovery options for NPM.
Image: GitHub/NPM

Besides the ability to connect Twitter and GitHub accounts as an authentication method, GitHub also announced that the use of two-factor authentication (2FA) for login and package publishing on NPM would be made easier.

Per the blog post, NPM had previously trialed the use of enhanced 2FA logins in a public beta release, but after feedback from the community, decided that certain features should be tweaked in order to be more user-friendly. This included adding a “remember me for 5 minutes” option so that users who successfully authenticated could disable 2FA prompts for a short period of time.

“Account security is significantly improved by adopting 2FA, but if the experience adds too much friction, we can’t expect customers to adopt it,” Borins and Mohan wrote. “Early adopters of our new 2FA experience shared feedback around the process of logging in and publishing with the npm CLI, and we recognized there was room for improvement.”

The improved security features are being made available in NPM 8.15.0, released July 26th, the post said.

As a core part of the open-source software ecosystem for the JavaScript programming language, NPM has been targeted by a number of malicious actors over the years. One of the main strategies has been for attackers to take control of packages by purchasing expired domains registered to package publishers and using these to set up email accounts that can be used to receive password reset emails for the package. In light of this, increasing the use of 2FA when logging into NPM accounts stands to create big security improvements.

NPM’s parent company, GitHub, is also working to improve security on the larger code-hosting platform: earlier this year, the company announced that all users who contribute code would need to have some form of 2FA enabled by the end of 2023.

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Steam survey hints at a GPU market recovery

Valve’s latest monthly report might give a clue that the PC industry is recovering from its component shortage that has dragged on for over two years.

In its monthly user survey, Valve’s data shows that gamers accessing Steam were doing so from PCs running a higher number of Nvidia Ampere graphics cards. The RTX 3080 graphics card saw a 0.24% increase in usage during the month of May, while the RTX 3070 GPU saw a 0.19% increase.

Of course, cheaper and more readily accessible cards still remain the most common, but the growth is certainly encouraging to see. It coincides with recent drops in GPU pricing and increases in supply.

AMD components have also made an appearance on the survey, with the RTX 3060 increasing 0.18% and the Radeon RX 6800 XT increasing 0.15%.

These stats are pivotal as they hint that more and more gamers are getting access to these high-end GPUs, both as desktop parts and in gaming laptops, which have been scarce in recent months.

The overall graphics card increase has also seen AMD gain some market share against the consumer favorite, Intel at 1.24%. However, the competitor remains in a staunch lead with an overall 67.19% of users.

On the CPU side, the survey also uncovered that processors on the PCs used on Steam have steadily increased from four cores to six cores over the last five years, as noted by PCWorld.

Previously, a four-core CPU was the most common, but this May survey continues to show growth in higher core count processors. Approximately 33% of PCs on Steam were running four-core CPUs, while over 50% of PCs were running six-core systems.

Both Intel and AMD have introduced high-core CPUs beyond six, with even eight, 12, and 16 cores to its mid-range component line. Still, six seems to be the new standard for the average PC gamer, especially now that Intel has increased its CPU’s core count with the 12th-gen Alder Lake chips.

Lastly, Valve’s survey continues to show increases in Windows 11. The update is 0.41% away from being installed on every five PCs. Additionally, over 50% of those surveyed had 16GB of RAM.

Editors’ Choice

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Tech News

iPhone 13 Internet Recovery supports portless design rumors

Although Apple has embraced USB-C in Macs and iPads, it still clings to its proprietary Lightning technology on the iPhone. If the never-ending rumors finally come to pass, Apple’s smartphone might skip USB-C altogether. Year after year have seen talk about an iPhone without any port whatsoever but, according to one Apple news site, Apple is laying the foundations for addressing the most critical problem that a portless design would have.

Apple has slowly been doing away with the need for ports and cables on its iPhones, embracing wireless technologies instead where possible. It has done so for audio and has embraced wireless charging with the new MagSafe technology. Data transfer is more or less also covered by its AirPlay and related features.

The one last thing that Apple still needs to address is how restoring an iPhone still requires connecting a Mac or PC with a cable. According to Appleosophy, that is the puzzle that the company has given both software and hardware engineers to solve. Software developers are looking into multiple possible methods for this “Internet Recovery”, which can wirelessly do the process, with or without a nearby computer.

The more interesting challenge, however, is how this could be performed without at least a Lightning port. One option presented was to use pogo pads hidden inside the SIM card slot, almost mirroring the Apple Watch and Apple TV. Apple’s requirement, however, excludes any option of hiding such a port behind flaps and doors.

The site does warn that these solutions are still in their early phases and aren’t yet up to Apple’s meticulous standards. Whether they will be finished in time for the iPhone 13’s launch, however, is also still uncertain, presuming Apple is targeting this year for these features in the first place.

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The Best Data Recovery Software for 2021

If you accidentally delete important files or photos, all hope is seemingly lost. Fortunately, if you lost files due to a failing hard drive or accidentally deleted them, data recovery applications may help get them back.

Before downloading and running any recovery software, you should stop using the faulty drive, if possible. The only time you should use it — especially if it’s potentially going to fail soon — is to back it up to a secondary drive.

Also, consider calling a professional data recovery company, as no software will work if your drive fails. The same goes for if you lose data from a modern SSD, which are notoriously difficult to recover data from.

The best recovery software at a glance

Stellar Data Recovery

Stellar Phoenix

Compatible with internal and external storage, physical media, and even cameras, Stellar Data Recovery is considered by many to be the best data recovery tool available today. It can recover lost partitions and data from encrypted drives, clone entire disks, and even create a system startup disc if your system fails to boot.

Available for MacOS and Windows 10, Stellar Data Recovery offers a free version that recovers up to 1GB of data, like deleted photos, videos, and critical files. It supports NTFS, exFAT, and FAT (16/32) partition formats. However, for additional features and unlimited data recovery, you’ll need a premium version. Pricing starts at $80 for the Professional version up to $100  for Premium.  If you’re looking to recover RAID data, the Technician version sets you back $200.

Stellar Data Recovery might not be the cheapest option available, but it’s your best shot at recovering anything from just about any storage device.

Download for Free

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard

EaseUS might have a lot of different applications on offer, but they are all related to storage. Whether it’s preemptively backing up files or recovering them later, its main focus is keeping your data safe. The company’s Data Recovery Wizard is one of the best tools for helping you find any lost file.

With the ability to recover files following hard drive damage, lost partitions, virus attacks, and more, it can recover more than 1,000 different file types, so whatever you’ve lost, it stands a good chance of getting it back.

If you’re only looking to recover a small amount of data or want to try it out before committing to a paid option, give the free version a try. The Pro version will set you back $150, but it gives you unlimited data recovering and free technical support for life, as well as upgrades to new versions of the software as it’s released.

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Prosoft Data Rescue 6

Data Rescue 6 continues to improve on the already excellent Data Rescue service, a perfect option for at-home Windows 10 and MacOS users with much data to recover.

The software provides a very intuitive interface with several basic options: Scan a drive to recover files, review a preview scan to make sure you got everything, and manage your drives to help save the data. The software also includes a handy file preview option so you can make sure the file is the right one — or is in a readable state — before you download. You have the option to get email notifications about when a scan is complete, too.

Data Rescue 6 is ideal for those who may not be sure where to begin. More experienced users will appreciate advanced search options and Time Machine compatibility. You can get a free demo to test the software on a minor recovery, but the standard license starts at $19 per year while the full license costs a whopping $428 per year.

Ontrack EasyRecovery

KLDiscovery is a company that offers a professional data recovery service, so that should act as a real testament to the effectiveness of its Ontrack data recovery software.

Considered to be a more professional tool than others on this list, it’s comprehensive and incredibly fast at recovering files from all sorts of file volumes. It’s compatible with both Windows and MacOS, and you can even start and stop your file recovery as and when it’s convenient for you.

The basic free version gives you a 1GB recovery trial, while the $79 Home version offers unlimited recovery and most of the core features. For advanced features, like raw recovery and disk cloning, you’ll need the Professional edition or higher, which starts at $109. RAID recovery requires the Technician version, which costs a hefty $499.

Whichever version you choose, you can also order a CD backup of your recovery software for $10, should you run into boot issues with your affected system.

Clever Files Disk Drill

Clever Files Disk Drill is another prominent file recovery tool that offers a complimentary and paid version. This tool can effectively support internal and external hard drives, cameras, memory cards, and much more. You can quickly recover any file with Clever Files Disk Drill whether you’re using a Windows 10 or macOS PC.

One exceptional feature is the “Recovery Vault,” a unique file storage system that can prevent files from disappearing. Recovery Vault remembers information related to your deleted files and serves as a backup recycling bin when things go wrong. Even if you want to delete files forever, Disk Drill can recover them without even storing the entire file.

The free version offers users 500MB of recovery storage. However, it does allow you to view any number of files to see what you can recover before paying for an upgrade. The Pro plan starts at $89, but an extra $20 can give you a lifetime upgrade. This particular plan lets you recover files from up to three devices. You can also opt for the Enterprise version and enjoy all the wonderful features and more for $499. Though, with the Enterprise plan, you have an opportunity to receive a 50% discount if you already own a competitor’s product equal or close to Disk Drill or are updating from an earlier version. Educators, government organizations, and nonprofits can also receive a 20% discount.

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