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The NFT ecosystem is bracing for impact. In a few short weeks, the wildly successful and controversial NFT marketplace and aggregator Blur will end its offer of doubling loyalty points for users who bid and list on its platform — with big payouts of its native token, $BLUR, expected to land in the hands of its most active users. 

Rewarding users for participation is a good thing in theory, a concept that certainly aligns with Web3 principles of all boats rising in the tide. But Blur’s strategy of leaning into the NFT pro-trader demographic by alluring them with staggered token rewards could backfire spectacularly for the platform — and have a profound ripple effect on the rest of the NFT sphere as well. Is Blur backing itself into a corner? 

Success in jeopardy 

When Blur came onto the scene in October 2023, it rapidly became the top NFT marketplace by volume, dethroning OpenSea, the reigning marketplace champion of the past six years. That success only became more acute after Blur launched $BLUR, its native ERC-20 governance token, on February 14, whose value at the time of writing is hovering around $0.80. 

The token launch marked the end of Season 1 of Blur’s token reward system for its users. The airdrop payouts were substantial; according to some estimates, 34 wallets received over 500,000 tokens, with another 23 earning over a million $BLUR. 

The aftermath of $BLUR’s launch saw activity on the marketplace surge even more than it had done previously; in terms of weekly trading volume, the platform has outperformed OpenSea by as much as $417 million and as little as $97 million between February 20 and April 10, according to Dune Analytics. February 14 also marked the beginning of Season 2’s token reward era, whose double points-earning window was originally scheduled to end on April 1 but was delayed until the beginning of May. 

This is further incentivization to keep users engaged and help uphold the platform’s volume numbers well above that of its biggest competitors. Users who bid more often accumulate greater points, leading to a bigger airdrop at the end of the season. While Blur has yet to announce exactly when Season 2 will wrap, the company has alluded to “something new” when its double points reward scheme ends.

But cracks in Blur’s high-performing armor have begun to reveal themselves. Ever since the marketplace’s rise to dominance, significant swaths of the NFT community have pointed to the uncomfortable fact that just a handful of Blur’s biggest traders can sway the floor prices of entire NFT collections as they stumble over each other to token farm. Projects ranging from the biggest PFP collections in existence to some highly sought-after fine art NFTs such as Art Blocks projects, suddenly found their pricing increasingly tied to large-scale and lightning-fast trading action at the hands of a few as opposed to Web3 community sentiment and organic price action. 

Pacman (Tieshun Roquerre), Blur’s co-founder, has argued that this kind of activity is typical of traditional finance and that the movement of the NFT ecosystem’s biggest market makers — like Franklin and Machi Big Brother, two legends in the NFT pro-trader sphere — is just fundamentally going to look different than what Web3 is used to.

Ultimately, Roquerre claims Blur’s success is good for the NFT space. But not everyone is convinced of that claim’s legitimacy, including some of the community’s biggest and most well-known and respected names, nor of the premise that Web3 needs to be a place that replicates every aspect of traditional finance. 

Just listened to @PacmanBlur defend his focus on traders and collectors. Noticeably absent from his list of stakeholders is creators. GL with that.

— chúng tôi (@gmoneyNFT) April 2, 2023

Apart from the controversy surrounding Blur’s strategy is the potential for the platform’s token farming-supported volume action to drop on May 1, when Blur’s double points reward system comes to an end. While the platform has not revealed what it will do beyond this date to continue incentivizing activity on its platform, some are speculating that Blur is unlikely to continue doubling its point reward system for bidders or increase it beyond the current rate. This could lead to a sudden drop in activity on the platform, resulting in floor prices that have been influenced by the marketplace’s trading action to likewise take a hit. 

This floor-supporting dynamic is reinforced by Blur’s points reward mechanism: bids placed on the platform that are closer to a collection’s floor price result in a higher amount of rewards for the user. Take away (or lower) the incentive for Blur’s market-influencing pro traders to continue to prop up that floor, and the result could spell a fall for those collections. 

Blur’s big traders bow out

One of the most worrying signals for Blur (and for the collections whose floor prices are being propped up by this kind of trading) is that its most prominent players have bowed out after realizing thousands of ETH in losses while token farming on the platform. 

Franklin (who has now deactivated his Twitter) and Machi Big Brother recently pulled back from the platform and NFT trading in general in a somewhat dramatic fashion and at least partly for the losses incurred. Franklin’s losses from his activity on Blur total in the above 500 ETH range, while Machi Big Brother has reportedly lost roughly 5,000 ETH from his trades. Blur traders hope that a future token airdrop can help offset the losses they’ve incurred by trading on the platform, but doing so would require a massive payout from the marketplace. In Machi’s unfortunate case, he’d need to earn millions of $BLUR tokens to offset his losses.

Franklin’s departure (and Machi’s current ambiguous attitude toward NFT trading) has already been felt in the market. Bored Ape Yacht Club’s floor price fell from roughly 58 to 52 ETH after Franklin hurriedly sold dozens of Apes to pay off loans from BendDAO, a service that lets users put up NFTs as collateral for ETH loans, and to recover from thousands of ETHs worth of losses from a rug pull scam. But that market effect could be a tiny drop in the bucket compared to what might happen if Blur’s traders don’t feel the need to stick around. 

Bracing for impact

All told, both Blur traders and the NFT ecosystem at large are tensing up as they approach the platform’s May 1 deadline. Assuming that Blur cannot maintain the current state of its double-rewards points earning system, there appear to be few positive outcomes for either the platform or its users who have incurred any significant losses by trading on it. 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that Blur would have a token airdrop on May 1. It has since then been corrected. However, the bidding and listing points for Blur’s Season 2 Airdrop will remain doubled until May 1.

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Windows 10 Deactivated Itself After Update

Windows 10 Deactivated Itself After Update [6 Quick Fixes] Surefire fixes to restore your activation in no time




If Windows 10 deactivates itself after an update, it might be because of corrupt system files.

A quick yet effective solution to this issue is to perform a system restore to a time when your PC is working well.

Another effective fix is to repair the broken system files using built-in tools or dedicated software.

Have you updated your operating system to Windows 10, and it quickly deactivated itself after some time? If so, don’t worry: you’re not the only one.

Turn out this is a big issue with Windows 10, but luckily, this article will show you how to fix this problem quickly.

1. Run an SFC scan

The first thing you need to do if Windows 10 deactivated itself is to search for faulty system files. Running the SFC scan should fix or replace any file causing problems.

2. Validate your product ID via Command Prompt 3. Reset your PC 4. Use System Restore

With this, your system should return to a time when it was working well.

5. Clean install Windows 10

If you still cannot fix the Windows 10 deactivated itself issue after applying the fixes above, you might need to perform a clean install of the OS.

While this process can be time-wasting, it will help reactivate your PC, as you will need to enter the activation key during the installation. For everything, you need to make it successful, check our guide on how to clean install Windows 10.

6. General activation solutions that may help you

However, if you don’t want to resort to complex and irreversible solutions, such as clean installing Windows 10, follow the steps below.

Indeed, a few users confirmed that these methods worked for them, but the fact is that some of these solutions may help you activate the OS. You’ve got nothing to lose if you try them out.

6.1. Launch the Activation Troubleshooter

You could run the Activation Troubleshooter if the digital license activation failed after Windows 10 deactivated itself. This tool will check for activation conflicts and hopefully resolve them.

6.2. Run a full system scan

Expert tip:

Perform a full system scan to detect any malware running on your computer. You can use Windows’ built-in antivirus, Windows Defender, or third-party antivirus solutions.

Finally, install all available updates, including the optional ones.

6.4. Check your disk for errors

Launch Command Prompt as admin.

Copy and paste the command below and hit Enter: chkdsk c: /r

If you get any prompt, press the Y key and wait for the command to finish running.

Some users reported they could activate Windows 10 after checking their disk for errors. Of course, perform this check on the disk where you installed the OS.

6.5. Clean your temporary files and folders

The simplest and quickest manner to delete your temporary files and folders is to use Disk Cleanup. Using your computer or browsing the Internet, your PC accumulates various unnecessary files.

These so-called junk files may affect your computer’s processing speed, causing apps to respond slowly and triggering various error codes. In rare cases, they can even push Windows 10 to deactivate itself.

If all the above methods fail to address this problem and you can’t use your key to activate the OS, try contacting Microsoft Support. You can chat online with a Microsoft Support Engineer or call Support directly.

With this, we can conclude this guide on how to fix the Windows 10 deactivated itself issue. All that is left for you to do is follow the instructions carefully, and you should regain your activation status.

If you want to know how long you can use Windows 10 without activation, check our detailed guide for all the necessary information.

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Turning A Personal Tragedy Into A Life

Turning a Personal Tragedy Into a Life-Saving Mission SED alum launches nonprofit to prevent dating violence

Malcolm Astley (SED’82) and Mary Dunne with their daughter, Lauren, at her high school graduation. She was murdered by an ex-boyfriend weeks later. Photo courtesy of Malcolm Astley

Malcolm Astley spent his childhood trying to understand what makes people tick. His parents were mental health practitioners, so dinnertime at the Astley house touched on such difficult questions as, “What makes people violent?” Astley (SED’82) continued to pursue these questions at the School of Education, where he earned a doctorate in counseling and human development. “My solution was to aim toward prevention, with the view that if educational institutions could be shaped appropriately, they could head off a lot of problems,” says Astley, a former Lexington, Mass., elementary school principal and a member of the Wayland School Committee. “It’s ironic that I’ve ended up in this position.”

Heartbreakingly ironic, because on the evening of July 3, 2011, Astley’s 18-year-old daughter Lauren paid a visit to her ex-boyfriend and never came home. Nathaniel Fujita, who Lauren’s friends said was struggling after the couple’s breakup, is serving a life sentence for murder, and Astley is left grappling with how his only child could be dead, why Fujita killed her, and how to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening to someone else.

In response to Lauren’s death, Astley and Mary Dunne—Lauren’s mother—established the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund shortly after her murder. The nonprofit works to promote educational programs and legislation that raise awareness about healthy teen relationships and that prevent dating violence. “It was an effort to put something in the place of something so dear that had been lost,” says Astley, his voice catching. “And that’s what humans rightly do—try to keep creating in the midst of destruction.”

The fund’s top priority is developing and passing legislation that requires K–12 education on healthy selves and healthy relationships in Massachusetts public schools. Such education can have a significant impact: research from the National Institute of Justice shows that classroom- and school-level interventions, including teaching about healthy relationships and encouraging students to report incidents to school officials, led to a 32–47 percent reduction in sexual violence victimization and perpetration in 30 New York City public schools. In Massachusetts, funding for healthy relationship education was cut following the recession in the early 2000s, Boston magazine reported. In cooperation with state legislators, Astley’s fund proposes incorporating safe relationships education into existing anti-bullying legislation. “The schools’ plates are so full,” Astley acknowledges. “But this ought to be number one, in my view.”

The fund’s second and related priority is to support awareness and prevention by training guidance counselors, helping boys and men find positive solutions to dating violence, and sponsoring related arts presentations in Massachusetts schools and venues. Two of these presentations are “You the Man,” a one-man show depicting various male characters’ responses to a partner violence situation, and “The Yellow Dress,” a one-woman show about a high school girl murdered by her boyfriend.

The fund also sponsored a performance of “You the Man” at Wayland High School. Assistant Principal Allyson Mizoguchi says the show hit the mark where previous performances and assemblies on the topic hadn’t. One male student told her, “I liked how the performer told the story; it was much better than being lectured to.”

Repeatedly talking about Lauren’s death isn’t easy, but Astley says it’s good for him. “It’s a way of grieving, and trying to heal and prevent agony for other young women and their families and communities. That in some way helps balance Lauren’s death and absence.” Looking back on all that people have achieved in human rights over the centuries, he told Rothman’s students, makes him hopeful about saving other young people from Lauren’s and Nathaniel’s fates. “I’m quite optimistic,” he told them, “despite the edge in my voice.”

Julie Rattey can be reached at [email protected].

A version of this story was originally published in the fall 2013/winter 2014 edition of @SED.

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How To Turn Your Ipad Into A Mac

For many consumers these days, a Mac of any type can be a really difficult purchase to make. Some individuals find the price too difficult to look past. This makes some people feel that there are no alternatives toward getting a Mac, with some refurbished models still considered quite high. However, there is a great alternative to purchasing a Mac – get an iPad. Today, we will go over the steps to make an iPad the best Mac alternative that it can possibly be. From products to applications, you can find yourself with a “Mac-Pad” in no time.

The Hardware

A great option to look into is Apple’s refurbished service. Many consumers cringe at the sight of the word, refurbished, but it is really not as bad as you may think. Refurbished, for those who don’t know, simply is when a gadget is returned to Apple and prepared for resell. This can range on the best side as a consumer wanting a different color iPad, and on the worst side, it being an iPad with a glitch that was fixed like new by Apple.

It’s important to remember that you aren’t really sacrificing anything with such a purchase. For $419 currently for a regular $499 iPad with WiFi and 16GB, you are saving some money. In addition, Apple has the previous model, the iPad, that garners even more deals. In addition, it’s important to remember that the iPad 3 is expected to at least be announced in the coming month. With reports of the possibility that Apple will keep the iPad 2 on the market at a lower price, you can find yourself with a better deal if you wait a bit longer.

The Cases: ZaggMate and ZaggFolio

The most important aspect of using your iPad as a Mac is to have the right casing. At the moment, the best company providing the most authentic iPad keyboard casing is Zagg. They have two models, the ZaggMate for the iPad 1 and the ZaggFolio for the iPad 2. Both models use Bluetooth to connect your iPad with the keyboard. The iPad itself is supported on a built-in stand, offering a laptop-feel angle. The case also has iPad specific keys and access to iPad controls like silence and volume rocker. If the $99 price tag is a little much for you, Apple also offers bluetooth keyboards for $49.99. These are the same keyboards used for iMacs, offering the exact feel as a desktop. However, you must purchase a case separately, which in the end will equal out the price.

The Applications

In addition to the hardware, you must also have the software for your iPad to match. The exact software you would need differs. Here is a nice list of almost every application on my Mac right now that has an iPad equivalent. I found a match for just about each application.

Skype for iPad

This is the obvious replacement of my Skype for Mac. All of the key features are still present with the iPad version. All you have to do is sign in with your Skype account and you can get a call started in no time. Individuals with the iPad 2 will be able to have a video conference with the iPad version of this application as well. You can hold calls with both other Skype for iPad users and Skype for Mac users (and Windows). If you want to make it into a mobile phone, a feature your laptop can’t do out of the box, then you can pay a bit more and enable landline calling with Skype. This is a Skype for Mac feature as well.

iMovie for iPad

I’m a bit surprised at how many people don’t know about iMovie for iOS, but it does exist. iMovie for iOS offers many of the same features that is on the Mac. All you have to do is drag and drop media into the timeline, tap and drag to extend or shorten clips. With an addition of photos and music, you can create a great project right on your iPad. Want to narrate a funny event? No problem, just tap to record audio, and then add it into your project. Once done, you can export your high definition project to YouTube and various other social networking websites.

Pages for iPad

Pages for iPad allows you to create beautiful documents for print and sharing on your iPad. Apple offer you with various beautiful templates to create a unique document. You can add text, change color, and even add some photos to brighten up the document. Interrupted while making your creation? No problem, iCloud will save everything you were doing and will allow you to continue when you can. You can also create charts within the application, allowing you to show the data in your paper in a much better way. Once done, you can export you document to various word processing programs, even including Word, or you can make it available online for viewing. At $9.99, this is a much economical option compared to Microsoft Office for Mac.

Keynote for iPad

Keynote is Pages for iPad’s friendly cousin. Where Pages excels in documents, Keynote impresses with slideshows and power points. You can create amazing presentations right from your iPad with Keynote for iPad. Just like with Pages, Keynote allows you to use various templates, add images and text, and even add other types of media into your project. You can have your project on an automatic loop or have it manually change slides. Your presentation can be exported afterwards to Powerpoint, as a PDF, and more. If you want a desktop quality presentation on your iPad, Keynote is for you.

Internet Service

The subject that differs the iPad from a laptop is the subject of Internet. The iPad has the option out of the box to either have a Wi-Fi or 3G option. A majority of modern laptops only have the option of Wi-Fi. Unless you have a data card, this is usually the only option you are presented with when on your laptop.

Some Advantages and Drawbacks

Ari Simon

Ari Simon has been a writer with Make Tech Easier since August 2011. Ari loves anything related to technology and social media. When Ari isn’t working, he enjoys traveling and trying out the latest tech gadget.

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Hack Old Usb Drives Into A Mini Raid On A Mac

Most of us have a lot of old USB thumb drives lying around. Sometimes you just got a new larger capacity or less grubby looking one, but often you just accumulate them as they are the most popular storage medium and are used and discarded as needed because they are cheap.

Once they have served their purpose, the ones you don’t use just sit in a drawer or on a desk until you throw them away or lose them (and you don’t even remember it existed). But what if you could combine them and make a higher capacity drive to plug into a media player in a TV or back up your USB drives that are in use?

This article explains how to turn old USB drives into a mini RAID to give them new life.

What is RAID?

RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. A RAID combines multiple drives into a single “logical unit” for the purposes of what is called data redundancy or performance improvement, so in other words, either secure, fast, big, or combos of all three.

Data is spread across the drives in one of several “RAID levels” depending on the intended use. Each RAID level contains different levels of error correction, distribution of data etc. but we don’t need to know all that – the three modes we will concern ourselves with here are “striped”, “mirrored” and “JBOD”.

“Striped” combines drives of equal size as a large fast unit. “Mirrored” takes one drive and copies it to all the others continuously so it is secure; the data never gets lost because it’s backed up multiple times automatically. If one drive fails, it can be replaced. JBOD (meaning “Just A Bunch Of Disks”) chains together drives of any size and makes them a continuous logical drive.

Obviously the mode you choose depends on the use. Striped is faster, Mirrored is the best backup but JBOD uses every drive you have and makes a big drive.

Hacking a Mini RAID for Mac OS X

To make a collection of USB drives into a RAID on OS X is simple. First plug all the USB drives you have into a USB hub. (See above) They will all show up on the desktop.

All the drives you have attached show up in the panel.

You will be presented with a range of options: naming the RAID and which type of RAID you want to make, either mirrored, striped or concatenated (JBOD). In this case, we will select concatenated as the drives are of assorted 4Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb sizes. If they were all the same, you can use striped or mirrored. 

Note: you CAN use drives of different sizes in the other two modes but the drives will be partitioned to be the same size as the smallest drive.

Drag every drive you want to be a part of the RAID. Warning: Do this carefully as these drives will be formatted and you DON’T want to include your system drive by accident.

You will see the projected final size of the finished drive in the panel above the drive window.

Press the “Create” button and you will be warned that you are about the delete all these disks and make them into a RAID.

When it’s finished and the drive has “spun up” . . .

. . . the new drive virtual unit will be displayed on the desktop ready for use.


If you have a bunch of old USB drives, this is a good way to make good use of them rather than throwing them away. One thing to note is that old USB drives, especially USB 1.0, are slow, so it will take a while to copy stuff to them, but hey, you have a free SSD drive of much higher capacity than the component parts, so speed is a luxury. Obviously faster USB 3.0 drives will be better if have them.

Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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Hackers Turn A Canon Eos Camera Into A Remote Surveillance Tool

The high-end Canon EOS-1D X camera can be hacked for use as a remote surveillance tool, with images remotely downloaded, erased and uploaded, a researcher said during the Hack in the Box security conference in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

The digital SLR camera has a ethernet port and also supports wireless connection via a WLAN adapter. That connectivity is particularly useful for photojournalists who can quickly upload the photos to a FTP server or a tablet, according to German security researcher Daniel Mende of ERNW.

However, the camera’s connectivity was not designed with security in mind, said Mende. “If a photographer uses an insecure network like a hotel Wi-Fi network or a Starbucks network, than almost anybody with a little bit of knowledge is able to download images from the camera,” he said.

Easy attack route

The camera can be accessed by attackers in a number of ways, Mende said. Because FTP upload mode sends information in clear text, credentials and the complete data transmission can be sniffed, so uploaded pictures can be extracted from the network traffic, Mende said.

The camera also has an DNLA (Digital Living Network Alliance) mode that allows the sharing of media between devices and requires no authentication and has no restrictions, Mende said. DNLA uses the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) networking protocols for discovery, and media can be accessed via HTTP and XML in DNLA mode, he said.

“In this mode, the camera fires up like a network server,” Mende said, adding that every DNLA client can download all images from the camera. Because a browser can serve as a DNLA client, it’s relatively easy to do this, he said. “In this mode, it is also not hard to get your fingers on the footage, you just have to browse to the camera and download all images you like.”

The camera also has a built-in web server called WFT server that does have authentication, he said. But the authentication method used has a 4-byte session ID cookie that can easily be overcome via brute force with six lines of Python script, said Mende.

“Checking all IDs takes about 20 minutes because the web server is not that responsive,” Mende said. But whoever figures out the ID can get access to stored photos on the device and to camera settings, he said. “You could for instance make yourself the author of a photo. That would come in handy when you try to sell them,” Mende said.

Alternate hack

Attackers can also gain remote access to the camera’s EOS Utility Mode, which comes closest to gaining root access on the camera, Mende said. The utility mode allows users to wirelessly control the camera through Canon’s EOS Utility software interface, which provides Live View functionality, movie mode, and the ability to wirelessly transfer images from a camera to a remote computer.

Accessing the camera in that mode wasn’t as easy as gaining control via FTP or the session ID, according to Mende.

To access the mode, an attacker has to listen for the camera’s GUID (Globally Unique Identifier) that is broadcasted obfuscated.

The attacker than needs to de-obfuscate the authentication data, disconnect the connected client software, and connect to the camera using the PTP/IP protocol, or picture transfer protocol that is used to transfer images to connected devices, according to Mende’s presentation.

“We not only can download all the taken pictures, we can also get a more or less live stream from the camera,” Mende said. “We’ve successfully made the camera into a surveillance device.”

Attackers are also able to upload pictures to the camera in Utility mode, he said.

Canon has not fixed the vulnerabilities yet, according to Mende, who said he wasn’t able to find anyone at Canon willing to listen to him. “The camera is designed to work exactly like this. From Canon’s point of view, there is probably no bug,” Mende said.

“[But] people who use the camera should be aware of this. That’s why I’m standing here today without speaking to Canon,” he told conference attendees.

Canon EOS-1D X owners should take countermeasures to prevent the attacks from succeeding, said Mende. They should only enable network connections in trusted networks, he said. And users should always use a secure password for trusted WLAN networks, he said.

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