With all sorts of products and services available on the market these days, not having things like a makeup brush organizer when we want to go on a trip could make us feel at a loss. Hacks not only give us great alternatives, but they also make our lives easier.
This is why Bright Side is bringing you hacks inspired by your familiar, everyday items. Life sure seems easier and more fun with these handy hacks!
1. Removing stickers from metal surfaces is easier than you think.
You have 2 options and both require only 3 items.
- credit card
- a cloth
Remove the sticker from the metal surface and scrape the residue with a credit card. Apply a small amount of WD-40 onto the cloth and rub until the sticker peels away.
- a tbsp of coconut oil
- a cloth
- a tbsp of baking soda
Mix the coconut oil and baking soda together. With your finger, apply the mixture to the residue before wiping it away with a wet cloth.
2. If you burned your pan, don’t scrape it and leave scratch marks. Instead, use cola.
Pour some cola into the burned pan and bring it to a boil. Leave the pan to sit overnight and then just wash it off. Now it’ll be sparkling clean! Just like in this video.
3. Break a plate? Don’t worry! Just use tape and warm water to repair it.
Place the plate in a huge pot and pour enough milk to cover the whole plate. Put it over low heat for an hour. Allow it to cool before removing the tape and rinse it off. Watch this video for visual instructions.
4. Have a half-eaten bag of potato chips but no clip to close the bag? Just do a little bit of origami.
Fold the opening of the package toward the front of the bag several times. Then fold in both of the top edges toward the front and flip the entire fold backward to secure. If the chips don’t fall out when you turn the bag upside down, you’ve done it right! If you prefer to watch how this is done, click this link.
5. Instead of leaving the cord on the floor, why not use it to decorate your wall?
Save on wallpaper and avoid clutter by making your own art on the wall with the long cord of your lamp! All you need is your imagination and these cheap tools:
- adhesive tape
- super glue
Measure your cable with a string and tape the string to the wall according to your design. Trace the string with a pencil. Put the adhesive tape on the wall along the pattern you penciled in. Put a little super glue on the tape and place your cable on it. Hold the cable in place each time until the super glue dries. And there you have it, your own clutter-free unique design for all to admire! Click here for some more ideas on how you can create a cool design.
6. It’s not necessary to call a plumber for a clogged sink if you have baking soda, vinegar, and a bottle.
Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a bottle. When the mixture rises up, be sure to cover the mouth of the bottle and quickly turn the bottle upside down. Place the mouth of the bottle on the hole in the sink. Now all you need to do is wait for the magic to happen. It’s very quick and actually works! If you want to see it for yourself, just watch this video.
7. A homemade magnetic pot for your plant
You will need:
- a plastic mold
- a glue gun
- a magnet
- a raw egg
- a plant of your choice
Glue magnets onto the inside of a silicone mold. Next, pour the cement into the mold. Press an egg into the cement in the center of the mold. Leave it until the cement has hardened. Break the egg. Put fertilizer in the mold on top of the egg. Place your plant in the fertilizer. Feel free to place your plant against anything that the magnet can latch on to and don’t forget to water it! For the video, click here.
8. Make an unused book useful again by creating a levitating bookshelf.
You will need:
- 2 L brackets
- a drill
- a pencil
- a ruler
- wall anchors
- 4 screws
- a screwdriver or screwdriver gun
- an unused hardcover book
- Any paper, plastic or book cover to wrap the book with
Pencil the holes of the L brackets on the wall with 5 in (12.7 cm) between the 2 brackets. Drill the holes into the wall. Insert the wall anchors into the holes. Drive the screws into the holes after placing the L brackets against the wall. Measure paper as if to wrap it. On the flap of the paper on the back of the book, make 2 rectangles 5 inches (12.7 cm) apart and cut. Take out the wrapping paper and insert the protruding brackets into the holes. Place the book on the bracket by wrapping the book back again. Once you’ve placed a few more books atop the initial book, you will see floating books against your wall.
9. Cut a cake into layers with dental floss and a toothpick.
Cutting a cake into layers can be tricky. To get a uniform layered cake, use unflavored dental floss and toothpicks to cut the cake. Place toothpicks at the halfway point around the edges of the cake. Align the floss around the row of toothpicks. When the floss is fully wrapped around the cake, cross the ends of the floss and hold each end in each hand. Pull each end toward the other crossing hands making the floss go all the way through the cake. Take out the toothpicks and voila, one cake becomes 2! Watch how it’s done here.
10. Tea lovers, don’t throw away your used tea bags — they can be used to get rid of pests.
11. Save money on a phone speaker by making one yourself using items you already have at home!
You will need:
- 2 plastic or paper cups
- a toilet paper roll
- decorative tape (optional)
- An X-ACTO knife or regular knife
- a Sharpie or permanent marker
Trace a toilet paper roll on the middle of the cups. Cut out the holes. Place the bottom of your phone against the body of the toilet paper roll and trace. Cut out the slot. If using decorative tape, wrap the tape around the toilet paper roll and cut out the slot. Slide the toilet paper roll into the holes in the cups. Put your phone inside the slot to amplify the sound from your phone.
12. A doll can never have too many clothes! Create a dress using a glove.
Cut 1/3 of the index finger and the ring finger of a glove. Then cut 2/3 of the middle finger of the glove. Turn Barbie’s hands up and dress her by pushing her head through the middle finger and her hands through the index finger and the ring finger of the glove. Turn her around and tie the thumb and the pinky of the glove together. You’ve just made your first Barbie dress! You can also see how to do the trick in this link.
13. Reuse plastic to make accessories with your name on them.
You will need:
- a plastic food container
- a marker
- paper with a name or word written on it
- An oven
- metallic spray
- a necklace chain
- a necklace plier
Cut the flat part of the plastic food container you obtained from take-out food or a DIY store. Trace the outline of a name or a word you want to make into a necklace. Don’t forget to put 2 rounds on both ends of the name as this will be where the chain will go to hold the necklace. Cut it out. Bake at 350º F (177º C) until the plastic shrinks. Use metallic spray on the name. When it has dried, attach the gold chain to the holes at both ends of the name.
14. How to perfectly bandage your injured finger with Band-aid in just 2 steps
To keep the Band-aid in place on an injured finger, first, snip the middle on both sides of the Band-aid. Next, place the Band-aid on the injured area and stick it securely by crisscrossing the tape. Watch this video to see how it’s done.
15. Outgrow your army men toys? Turn them into a fruit bowl.
What you need:
- an oven
- army men
- a big bowl
- a bowl that can fit into the other bowl
- a stove
- metallic spray (optional)
Heat your oven to 300º F/148º C. Layer army men at the bottom of the bigger bowl. Place the smaller bowl on top of the army men. Put more army men in the gap between the big and small bowls. Bake in the oven until melted. If the bottom does not melt well, after taking it out from the oven, hold the bowl over a low flame and melt the army men until they turn into a green mass. Let dry and remove the bowls. Finish with metallic spray, if you have some.
16. Pressed for time to prepare for a party? A syringe could help you make finger food.
You will need:
- a syringe
- cuttable food that isn’t too loose (like bread, cheese, ham, and cucumbers)
- cherry tomatoes
Cut the mouth of the syringe. Use the syringe on all of the food (except the tomatoes) in a sequence of your liking. Stick a cut cherry tomato at the end of the stick before poking it through the middle and removing the food from the syringe. That’s it, your finger food is ready! See the step-by-step visual here.
17. Make your own beauty brush travel kit with a sushi mat.
You will need:
- a sushi mat
- a long elastic band
- a glue gun
- yarn or string
- a button
With the bamboo sticks in a vertical position, weave the elastic band through the second bamboo stick on the left. Secure it with a hot glue gun. Place your brush on the mat and weave the band to secure the brush. Do this for each brush you are bringing on your trip. Cut off the excess band and secure the end with a hot glue gun. Run a piece of yarn through the button and attach it to one end of the sushi mat. Roll the sushi mat. Wrap the mat with the yarn and secure it to the button. Cut any excess yarn. Handy and travel-friendly, isn’t it? You can also refer to this video.
18. To prevent blisters from new shoes, apply deodorant to the back of your feet.
19. Forget hooks — here comes the cute, multi-purpose tennis ball head.
To make this ball of cuteness you’ll need:
- a tennis ball
- a knife
- eyeball accessories or a marker or buttons
- a plastic suction cup
Cut a line across the tennis ball to make a mouth. Paste the eyeball accessories or buttons (or draw eyes using a marker) above the mouth area. Turn the ball around and make a hole big enough to fit the small end of the plastic suction cup. Stick the ball against a wall or a mirror. Hang a towel, keys, or anything else that can fit into the mouth of your new friend. For more ideas on how to use this cutie, refer to this video.
Which of these hacks have you tried? Show us the results! If you haven’t tried any, which would you try?
Look at How Much “Game of Thrones” Characters Have Changed Over 8 Seasons
During the summer of 2019, the final season of Game of Thrones aired. The show had gone on for almost 10 years which is a long time not only for the characters but also for the actors who portrayed them.
Bright Side is remembering what characters looked like in the very first episodes of the groundbreaking series and is comparing them to what they look like in the final season of the show.
1. Cersei Lannister
2. Jon Snow
3. Tyrion Lannister
4. Daenerys Targaryen
5. Sansa Stark
6. Arya Stark
7. Jorah Mormont
9. Jaime Lannister
10. Sandor Clegane
11. Brienne of Tarth
12. Samwell Tarly
13. Davos Seaworth
14. Theon Greyjoy
15. Brandon Stark
Did you watch Game of Thrones? Did you enjoy season 8? Tell us in the comment section below.
Baltimore’s ransomware attack, explained – Vox
Thirteen bitcoins are standing between the city of Baltimore and many of the services and processes its citizens rely on after hackers seized thousands of government computers at the start of the month. The ordeal has been going on for two weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight.
Here’s what’s happening: On May 7, hackers digitally seized about 10,000 Baltimore government computers and demanded around $100,000 worth in bitcoins to free them back up. It’s a so-called “ransomware” attack, where hackers deploy malicious software to block access to or take over a computer system until the owner of that system pays a ransom.
Baltimore, like several other cities that have been hit by such attacks over the past two years, is refusing to pay up. As a result, for two weeks, city employees have been locked out of their email accounts and citizens have been unable to access essential services, including websites where they pay their water bills, property taxes, and parking tickets. This is Baltimore’s second ransomware attack in about 15 months: Last year, a separate attack shut down the city’s 911 system for about a day. Baltimore has come under scrutiny for its handling of both attacks.
The ransomware attacks in Baltimore and other local governments across the US demonstrate that as ransomware attacks spread, and as common targets such as hospitals and schools beef up their online systems’ security, there are still plenty targets vulnerable to this kind of hack. It also exemplifies the conundrum that ransomware victims face: pay up and get your access back, or refuse — potentially costing much more in the long run.
What’s going on in Baltimore, briefly explained
Hackers targeted the city of Baltimore on May 7 using a ransomware called RobbinHood, which, as NPR explains, makes it impossible to access a server without a digital key that only the hackers have.
The Baltimore hackers’ ransom note, obtained by the Baltimore Sun, demanded payment of three bitcoins per system to be unlocked, which amounts to 13 bitcoins to unlock all the seized systems. The note threatened to increase the ransom if it wasn’t paid in four days, and said the information would be lost forever if it wasn’t paid in 10 days. Both deadlines have now passed.
“We won’t talk more, all we know is MONEY! Hurry up! Tik Tak, Tik Tak, Tik Tak!” the note said.
The city government is refusing to pay, meaning that the government email systems and payment platforms the attack took down remain offline. The attack has also harmed Baltimore’s property market, because officials weren’t able to access systems needed to complete real estate sales. (The city said transactions resumed on Monday.)
Baltimore Mayor Jack Young, who’s officially been in his office less than a month, said in a statement on Friday that city officials are “well into the restorative process” and have “engaged leading industry cybersecurity experts who are on-site 24-7 working with us.” The FBI is also involved in the investigation.
“Some of the restoration efforts also require that we rebuild certain systems to make sure that when we restore business functions, we are doing so in a secure manner,” Young said. He did not offer a timeline for when all systems will come back online.
The Baltimore City Council president also plans to form a special committee to investigate this latest attack and try to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
A similar attack using RobbinHood hit government computers in Greenville, North Carolina, in April. A spokesperson for Greenville told the Wall Street Journal that the city never wound up paying, and that while its systems aren’t entirely restored, “all of our major technology needs are now being met.”
More than 20 municipalities in the US have been hit by cyberattacks this year alone. And such attacks can be expensive, perhaps especially if targets say they won’t pay. In 2018, hackers demanded that Atlanta pay about $50,000 in bitcoins as part of a ransomware attack. The city refused, and according to a report obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News, the attack wound up costing the city $17 million to fix.
Ransomware attacks aren’t new — but we’re still figuring out how to deal with them
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry targeted tens of thousands of computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems in more than 100 countries. Officials in the US and the United Kingdom eventually blamed North Korea for the attack. Also in 2017, corporations in the UK, France, Russia, Israel, and Ukraine experienced ransomware attacks. US hospitals were also targeted.
Here’s how Timothy Lee explained for Vox what was going on and how ransomware had become more prolific:
The basic idea behind ransomware is simple: A criminal hacks into your computer, scrambles your files with unbreakable encryption, and then demands that you pay for the encryption key needed to unscramble the files. If you have important files on your computer, you might be willing to pay a lot to avoid losing them.
Ransomware schemes have become a lot more effective since the invention of Bitcoin in 2009. Conventional payment networks like Visa and Mastercard make it difficult to accept payments without revealing your identity. Bitcoin makes that a lot easier. So the past four years have seen a surge in ransomware schemes striking unsuspecting PC users.
Some ransomware schemes are so sophisticated that they even invest in customer service, helping victims who want to pay their ransoms navigate the complexities of obtaining bitcoins and making bitcoin payments.
Since then, a number of sectors and organizations have made improvements to their security practices to protect against ransomware. But the latest Baltimore attack exemplifies what a whack-a-mole game this is: One area improves its practices and hackers just go looking for another.
Recode and Vox have joined forces to uncover and explain how our digital world is changing — and changing us. Subscribe to Recode podcasts to hear Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka lead the tough conversations the technology industry needs today.
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