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Why You Should Remove Xiaomi’s Default MIUI Cleaner App?



Two weeks ago, India banned 59 Chinese apps, citing that they “pose a threat to sovereignty and security of our country.” The list includes some of the most downloaded Android and iOS apps such as TikTok, UC Browser, ShareIT, and the app that concerns Xiaomi users — Clean Master by Cheetah Mobile.

The Indian government said Clean Master and other Chinese apps have been “stealing and surreptitiously transmitting users’ data in an unauthorized manner to servers which have locations outside India.”

Clean Master, as the name suggests, is a cleaner app that promises to clear the junk files on the device and boost performance. Although Android cleaners ironically work against the device (more on this below), the bigger problem with Clean Master is that it is owned by Cheetah Mobile. Cheetah Mobile has been under the radar of privacy experts long before India noticed suspicious activity around its apps. The Chinese company has previously been caught in ad fraud and user data theft.

While CleanMaster has been removed from the Google Play Store and App Store in India, it is still being pushed as a default cleaner app in Xiaomi, one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in India.

How to remove Xiaomi’s MIUI Cleaner app?

All Xiaomi and Redmi devices come with a cleaner app pre-installed known as MIUI Cleaner app. If you go into the app settings, you will notice that the app uses the Clean Master definition. Apart from that, the app brings up “Cheetah Mobile” a number of times in its privacy policy.

Unfortunately, Xiaomi doesn’t allow users to uninstall or even disable several default apps (also known as Bloatware), and one of them is MIUI Cleaner app. But here is a workaround to remove MIUI Cleaner app —

A Windows PC
USB cable to connect the device to the PC
USB debugging turned on the Xiaomi device

  • Connect your Xiaomi device to PC using the USB cable
  • Allow the USB debugging prompt on your device
    USB debugging Android Prompt
  • Download and extract ADB tools
  • Go to the extracted folder. Right-Click and choose “Open PowerShell Window here”
    How to use ADB tools
  • Type in the command “adb devices” and hit Enter
    ADB tools for deleting android apps
  • You will now see a number and “device” under the list of devices attached
  • Type in the command “adb shell,” press enter, then type, “pm uninstall –k —user 0 com.miui.cleanmaster” and hit Enter.
  • Remove the USB cable and restart your Xiaomi device

And that’s it, this process will remove MIUI Cleaner app. It is a universal process to remove pre-installed apps on any Android device. In other words, you can follow the same method if you have a Realme, Oppo, or any other Chinese smartphone.

Previously, Mi browser was accused of collecting data from users. You can use this method to remove the Mi browser or any default apps. What you need is the app’s package name and insert it in the “pm uninstall –k —user 0 <app package>” command. Use App Inspector to find out the exact name of the app.

Alternatives to Xiaomi MIUI Clearer

Over the years, Android has become extremely efficient in handling apps and background services. It intelligently allocates resources to apps and pauses apps that are not being used frequently. Most cleaner apps offer a performance boost which is simply force-quitting all background apps. While it may give a performance jump, it can create problems with Android’s way of doing things.

The only useful feature of a cleaner app is allowing users to delete unwanted apps and data under one roof. However, in return, it may collect user data. That being said, if you still want a cleaner app, you can start with SDMaid which does a pretty good job and keeps your data secure. Alternatively, you can also choose from our best cleaner apps list.

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The pandemic has changed how criminals hide their cash—and AI tools are trying to sniff it out



When economies across the world shut down earlier this year, it wasn’t only business owners and consumers who had to adapt. Criminals suddenly had a problem on their hands. How to move their money?

Profits from organized crime are typically passed through legitimate businesses, often exchanging hands several times and crossing borders, until there is no clear trail back to its source—a process known as money laundering.

But with many businesses closed, or seeing smaller revenue streams than usual, hiding money in plain sight by mimicking everyday financial activity became harder. “The money is still coming in but there’s nowhere to put it,” says Isabella Chase, who works on financial crime at RUSI, a UK-based defense and security think tank.

The pandemic has forced criminal gangs to come up with new ways to move money around. In turn, this has upped the stakes for anti-money laundering (AML) teams tasked with detecting suspicious financial transactions and following them back to their source.

Key to their strategies are new AI tools. While some larger, older financial institutions have been slower to adapt their rule-based legacy systems, smaller, newer firms are using machine learning to look out for anomalous activity, whatever it might be.

It is hard to assess the exact scale of the problem. But according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, between 2% and 5% of global GDP—between $800 billion and $2 trillion at current figures—is laundered every year. Most goes undetected. Estimates suggest that only around 1% of profits earned by criminals is seized.

And that was before covid-19 hit. Fraud is up, with fears around covid-19 creating a lucrative market for counterfeit protective gear or medication. More people spending time online also creates a bigger pool for phishing attacks and other scams. And, of course, drugs are still being bought and sold.

Lockdown made it harder to hide the proceeds—at least to begin with. The problem for criminals is that many of the best businesses for laundering money were also those hit hardest by the pandemic. Small shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs are favored because they are cash-heavy, which makes it easier to mix up ill-gotten gains with legal income.

With bank branches closed, it has been harder to make large cash deposits. Wire transfer services like Western Union—which usually allow anyone to walk in off the street and send money overseas—shut their premises, too.

But criminals are nothing if not opportunistic. As the normal channels for money laundering closed, new ones opened up. Vast sums of money have started flowing into small businesses again thanks to government bailouts. This creates a flurry of financial activity that provides cover for money laundering.

Breaking the rules

The upshot is that there are more demands being placed on AML tech. Older systems rely on hand-crafted rules, such as that transactions over a certain amount should raise an alert. But these rules lead to many false flags and real criminal transactions get lost in the noise. More recently, machine-learning based approaches try to identify patterns of normal activity and raise flags only when outliers are detected. These are then assessed by humans, who reject or approve the alert.

This feedback can be used to tweak the AI model so that it adjusts itself over time. Some firms, including Featurespace, a firm based in the US and UK that uses machine learning to detect suspicious financial activity, and Napier, another firm that builds machine learning tools for AML, are developing hybrid approaches in which correct alerts generated by an AI can be turned into new rules that shape the overall model.  

The rapid shifts in behavior in recent months have made the advantages of more adaptable systems clear. Financial regulators around the world have released new guidance on what sort of activity AML teams should look out for but for many it was too late, says Araliya Sammé, head of financial crime at Featurespace. “When something like covid happens, where everybody’s payment patterns change suddenly, you don’t have time to put new rules in place.”

You need tech that can catch it as it is happening, she says: “Otherwise by the time you’ve detected something and alerted the people who need to know, the money is gone.” 

For Dave Burns, chief revenue officer for Napier, covid-19 caused long-simmering problems to boil over. “This pandemic was the tipping point in many ways,” he says. “It’s a bit of a wake-up call that we really need to think differently.” And, he adds, “some of the larger players in the industry have been caught flat-footed.”

But that doesn’t simply mean adopting the latest tech. “You can’t just do AI for AI’s sake because that will spew out garbage,” says Burns. What’s needed, he says, is a bespoke approach for each bank or payment provider.

AML technology still has a long way to go. The pandemic has revealed cracks in existing systems that have people worried, says Burns. And that means that things could change faster than they were going to. “We’re seeing a greater degree of urgency,” he says. “What is traditionally very long, bureaucratic decision-making is being accelerated dramatically.”

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Proteus, the Shape-Shifting and Possibly Non-Cuttable Material



How cool would it be if there was a material that couldn’t be cut or drilled into? You could make the baddest bike lock, the toughest-toed work boots, or the most secure door. Really, the list of possibilities just goes on and on.

Proteus chews through an angle grinder disc in seconds.

Researchers from the UK and Germany claim that they’ve created such a magical material. It can destroy angle grinder discs, resist drill bits, and widen the streams of water jet cutters.

The material is made of aluminium foam that’s embedded with a bunch of small ceramic spheres. It works by inducing retaliatory vibrations into the cutting tools, which turns the tools’ force back on themselves and quickly dulls their edges.

The creators have named the material Proteus after the elusive and shape-shifting prophet of Greek mythology who would only share his visions of the future with those who could get their arms around him and keep him still. It sounds like this material could give Proteus a run for his money.

The ceramic spheres themselves aren’t indestructible, but they’re not supposed to be. Abrading the spheres only makes Proteus stronger. As the cutting tool contacts them, they’re crushed into dust that fills the voids in the aluminium foam, strengthening the material’s destructive vibratory effect. The physical inspiration for Proteus comes from protective hierarchical structures in nature, like the impact-resistant rind of grapefruit and the tendency of abalone shells to resist fracture under the impact of shark teeth.

How It’s Made

Proteus recipe in pictures.

At this point, Proteus is a proof of concept. Adjustments would likely have to be made before it can be produced at any type of scale. Even so, the recipe seems pretty straightforward. First, an aluminium alloy powder is mixed with a foaming agent. Then the mixture is cold compacted in a compressor and extruded in dense rods. The rods are cut down to size and then arranged along with the ceramic spheres in a layered grid, like a metallurgical lasagna.

The grid is spot-welded into a steel box and then put into a furnace for 15-20 minutes. Inside the furnace, the foaming agent releases hydrogen gas, which introduces voids into the aluminium foam and gives it a cellular structure.

Effects of cutting into a cylinder of Proteus with an angle grinder.

According to their paper, the researchers tried to penetrate the material with an angle grinder, a water jet cutter, and a drill. Of these, the drill has the best chance of getting through because the small point of contact can find gaps more easily, so it’s less likely to hit a ceramic sphere. The researchers also made cylindrical samples without steel cladding which they used to test the compressive strength and prove Proteus’ utility as a structural material for beams and columns. It didn’t fare well initially, but became less compressible as the foam matrix collapsed.

The creation process lends some leeway for customization, because the porosity of the aluminium foam can be varied by changing the bake time. As for the drill bit problem, tightening up security is as easy as adjusting the size and/or density of the ceramic spheres.

In the video after the break, you can watch a chunk of Proteus eat up an angle grinder disc in under a minute. Some may argue about the tool wielder’s technique, but we think there’s something to be said for any material that can destroy a cutting disc that fast. They don’t claim that Proteus is completely impenetrable, but it does look impressive. We wish they would have tried more cutting tools like a gas torch, or experimented with other destructive techniques, like plastic explosives, but we suppose that research budgets only go so far.

Images via Nature

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Online Shopping Websites | 6 Best Online Stores For All Your Needs



Online shopping websites have emerged as one of the most essential parts of our lives. Especially now when Coronavirus lockdown is still in force in India, a lot of people depend on online shopping for all their necessary to other needs.

There are several apps available that offer various products, including electronic gadgets, household products, home decor stuff, and a lot more to list. Nowadays, online shopping websites try to offer a full-fledged package of everything you need from on-demand movies to all the accessories you want.

However, finding the best and the most authentic online shopping websites is a task in itself as there are thousands of them available on the internet. To enhance your experience, we have curated a list of best online shopping websites for all your needs.

Also Read: Shein Alternatives | Best Online Clothing Stores In India

6 Best Online Shopping Websites For All Your Needs

  1. Flipkart
  2. Amazon
  3. Paytm Mall
  4. Snapdeal
  5. Shopclues
  6. Tata Cliq

1. Flipkart

Flipkart can be said to be one of the most trusted and used online shopping websites. It offers a broad range of products, including gadgets, home decor products, personal care products, and others. Flipkart also promises next day delivery for selected products.

You get massive discounts in the festive seasons on different products and Flipkart’s online clothing store. Apart from that, Flipkart has a Super Coins feature that makes it different from other online shopping apps on the list. The Super Coins can be used to get an additional discount on Flipkart purchases and even to buy a subscription of other apps or services.

Not only this, but Flipkart also offers you different EMI options for all sorts of purchases. The app also provides a video section in which you can enjoy various shows and movies. The Flipkart app also offers a games section in which you can play mini-games to win different rewards. The video and the games section is only available in the Android and iOS version of Flipkart.

2. Amazon


Amazon is another e-commerce site that has a range of products, including gadgets, home decor stuff, online clothing store, and a lot more. The website has different sections, including Amazon Sale, Today’s deals, Computers, Mobiles, Pantry, and Books from where you can hop into the store of your choice.

This online shopping platform also provides mind-blowing cashback rewards and has a grocery mart too where you can grab anything from dairy products to noodles and then add it to your Amazon shopping cart. The unique aspect of Amazon is that it offers a service named Amazon Pay that allows the user to make transactions like paying electricity bills, phone recharge, flight, and train ticket bookings.

Amazon Pay is one of a kind feature that makes the platform stand out of the crowd. Apart from that, Amazon also offers a Prime membership at affordable rates via which you can get faster deliveries, better discounts. You also get access to the Amazon Prime Video that is a streaming vertical of the platform where you get original shows, movies, and a lot more to binge-watch.

3. Paytm Mall

online shopping websites

If you are looking for an online shopping website that can offer the most unbelievable discounts, then Paytm Mall is the best fit for you. From clothing accessories, laptops, headphones, home decor to your day to day grocery and household, Paytm mall has everything for you.

You can start with the shopping app by selecting the categories and sub-categories in the online store. You can also get customized gifts for different festive occasions. Paytm mall has a large number of refurbished products too that are tried and tested.

Paytm mall has the best customer support, and it even offers a 100% refund in case of any issues regarding your order. The platform also provides newly launched products at an exclusive price. Moreover, you can also access the Paytm mall via Paytm app on your Android smartphone or iPhone.

4. Snapdeal

online shopping websites

Snapdeal, one of the household names when it comes to online shopping, can be said to be a cheap clothing website available on the list. Apart from that, it has an extensive collection of products, including home appliances, gadgets, clothing, and refurbished products too.

However, Snapdeal was unable to leave a mark in the online shopping vertical like Flipkart and Amazon as it has a limited number of products. Moreover, the platform lacks interactive offers that make might want you to visit it less.

Google Play Store reviews of the app said it has an average customer care service. The representatives are unable to solve the queries most of the time. Moreover, the delivery performance of the app is not that good as compared to other online stores.

5. Shopclues


We can’t miss mentioning ShopClues while talking about online shopping and cheap clothing websites. It is a made in India site that offers a wide range of products with the best offers. From grocery to the latest gadgets, you can purchase anything from Shopclues on unmatchable prices.

You get different categories and sub-categories on the homepage of the website. You can head towards the section of your choice and add the products to your cart or purchase them instantly. The app also offers a section named Budget Bazaar that offers deals starting from INR 89. In addition to that, Budget Bazaar provides products at 50% to 80% discount rates.

The online store offers up to 80% discount on selected gadgets occasionally and an additional discount on selected payment methods. The best part about the app is that it promises and delivers the products at a rapid speed.

6. Tata Cliq

online shopping websites

Tata Cliq can be said to be the most sorted online shopping website available on the list. It comes with a user-friendly interface, and the categories and brands are placed individually. This allows you to shop without messing around with hundred of sub-categories.

The major categories include Fashion, TV and Appliances, Electronics, Jewellery, and home furnishing. You can choose between the popular and the featured brands’ section to get the best deals and high discounts.

The filters offered by Tata Cliq for purchases are very convenient as you can select the exact price range, size, and even color of the product you want to buy.

Online Shopping Websites: Choosing The Best

The above mentioned online shopping websites can provide you the best shopping experience along with unmatchable service and interactive interface. All the sites have something unique and different to offer to their customers. We will update our lists in case of any new website launch or if a major feature is introduced. So, don’t forget to check the list out after a while.

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