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Want to hide files and folders from your Linux desktop file manager? Jack Wallen shows you one handy method.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

You probably already know the traditional method of hiding files on the Linux command line. If not, any file that begins with a . will not be seen with the ls command, unless you add the -a option. Those same files and directories will be hidden from the file manager unless you explicitly tell the file manager to show those secreted files.

This is a handy way to hide sensitive information (such as app configurations and the like) away from prying eyes. Although not truly a means to security, it shouldn’t be overlooked as an additional layer.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

But, did you know there’s another method to hide files and directories from desktop file managers–one that makes it such that you can hide standard directories away from sight, without having to prepend a . to the directory name? This can come in handy for directories that already exist, and you cannot change their names (such as the ~/snap directory).

There are two caveats to this method. The first is that it behaves in similar fashion to the standard . directory. In other words, you can reveal those hidden files and directories in the same way. For instance, with the Nautilus file manager, hit the Ctrl+h key combination to hide or reveal hidden files/directories. The second caveat is that it doesn’t work with the command line. So even though Nautilus might not reveal those hidden files, the ls command will–even without the -a option.

Even so, this is still a very handy method of hiding files and directories. 

Let me show you how.

What you’ll need

The only thing you’ll need to make this work is a running instance of Linux with a desktop. You also should have some files and directories to hide (but that’s a given).

How to hide files and directories from the file manager

Let’s say you have three directories and two files to hide from the file manager. Those directories are:

The files to be hidden are:

To hide these files and directories from the file manager, create a new file with the command:

nano ~/.hidden

In that file you would add the following:

snap
code-server
PYTHON
somefile.txt
license.xml

Save and close the file. 

Close out your file manager and re-open it. You should no longer be able to see those files unless you instruct the file manager to reveal hidden files.

If you want to hide folders outside of your home directory, you have to create a .hidden file in the root of the folder to be hidden. For example, if you’re hiding directories or files in the root directory, issue the command:

sudo nano /.hidden

Say, for example, you want to hide the /opt folder. For that you’d create a .hidden file in / with the contents:

opt

Save and close the file, restart your file manager, and the /opt directory will no longer appear. 

Although this isn’t a foolproof way to hide files (as anyone who knows how to reveal hidden files and folders in the file manager can easily reveal them) it’s an easy method to hide any file or directory on your system.

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Editor’s note: This article was corrected by the author to include the sudo nano /.hidden command.

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NIST Scientists Get Soft on 3D Printing

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New method could jump-start creation of tiny medical devices for the body.

NIST Scientists Get Soft on 3D Printing

Illustration of a prospective biocompatible interface shows that hydrogels (green tubing), which can be generated by an electron or X-ray beam 3D printing process, act as artificial synapses or junctions, connecting neurons (brown) to electrodes (yellow). Image credit: A. Strelcov/NIST

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method of 3D-printing gels and other soft materials. Published in a new paper, it has the potential to create complex structures with nanometer-scale precision. Because many gels are compatible with living cells, the new method could jump-start the production of soft tiny medical devices such as drug delivery systems or flexible electrodes that can be inserted into the human body.

A standard 3D printer makes solid structures by creating sheets of material — typically plastic or rubber — and building them up layer by layer, like a lasagna, until the entire object is created.

Using a 3D printer to fabricate an object made of gel is a “bit more of a delicate cooking process,” said NIST researcher Andrei Kolmakov. In the standard method, the 3D printer chamber is filled with a soup of long-chain polymers — long groups of molecules bonded together — dissolved in water. Then “spices” are added — special molecules that are sensitive to light. When light from the 3D printer activates those special molecules, they stitch together the chains of polymers so that they form a fluffy weblike structure. This scaffolding, still surrounded by liquid water, is the gel.

Typically, modern 3D gel printers have used ultraviolet or visible laser light to initiate formation of the gel scaffolding. However, Kolmakov and his colleagues have focused their attention on a different 3D-printing technique to fabricate gels, using beams of electrons or X-rays. Because these types of radiation have a higher energy, or shorter wavelength, than ultraviolet and visible light, these beams can be more tightly focused and therefore produce gels with finer structural detail. Such detail is exactly what is needed for tissue engineering and many other medical and biological applications. Electrons and X-rays offer a second advantage: They do not require a special set of molecules to initiate the formation of gels.

But at present, the sources of this tightly focused, short-wavelength radiation — scanning electron microscopes and X-ray microscopes — can only operate in a vacuum. That’s a problem because in a vacuum the liquid in each chamber evaporates instead of forming a gel.

Kolmakov and his colleagues at NIST and at the Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste in Italy, solved the issue and demonstrated 3D gel printing in liquids by placing an ultrathin barrier — a thin sheet of silicon nitride — between the vacuum and the liquid chamber. The thin sheet protects the liquid from evaporating (as it would ordinarily do in vacuum) but allows X-rays and electrons to penetrate into the liquid. The method enabled the team to use the 3D-printing approach to create gels with structures as small as 100 nanometers (nm) — about 1,000 times thinner than a human hair. By refining their method, the researchers expect to imprint structures on the gels as small as 50 nm, the size of a small virus.

Some future structures made with this approach could include flexible injectable electrodes to monitor brain activity, biosensors for virus detection, soft micro-robots, and structures that can emulate and interact with living cells and provide a medium for their growth.

“We’re bringing new tools — electron beams and X-rays operating in liquids — into 3D printing of soft materials,” said Kolmakov. He and his collaborators described their work in an article posted online Sept. 16 in ACS Nano.

Reference:

T. Gupta, et al. “Electron and X-ray Focus Beam Induced Crosslinking in Liquids: Toward Rapid Continuous 3D Nanoprinting of Soft Materials.“. ACS Nano (2020)

Source: NIST




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Realme Q Series Phone Allegedly Spotted on TENAA, Key Specifications Tipped

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Realme Q series seem to be getting a new smartphone and it allegedly been spotted on TENAA, offering a glimpse of the possible specifications. A Realme smartphone with model number RMX2117 was spotted on the regulator’s website and it is being speculated that the phone could be a part of the company’s Q series that already includes one phone. The TENAA listing shows the phone sporting a 6.5-inch display and powered by an octa-core SoC clocked at 2.4GHz. The listing also hints that the phone may carry up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of onboard storage. Realme hasn’t officially confirmed any of the specifications.

As per the listing on TENAA, the smartphone with model number RMX2117 sports a 6.5-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) display with a 20:9 aspect ratio. Allegedly belonging to the rumoured Realme Q series, the smartphone supports 5G and is powered by an octa-core SoC clocked at 2.4GHz.

The Realme Q series phone may be launched in China in three RAM options – 4GB, 6GB, and 8GB, that may be coupled with three inbuilt storage configurations – 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The listing also shows a microSD card slot for storage expansion. It may be launched in four colour options – Black, Blue, Gray, and Silver.

The phone is seen featuring a rectangular camera module that includes a 48-megapixel primary sensor, an 8-megapixel snapper, and a 2-megapixel shooter. For selfies and video calls, the phone features a 16-megapixel camera at the front. The Realme RMX2117 smartphone packs a 4,900mAh battery. The handset runs on Android 10 and features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. The smartphone measures 162.2 x 75.1 x 9.1mm and weighs 194 grams.

The development comes a week after Realme vice president Xu Qi Chase teased the arrival of a new series, including the Q series, V series, and X series, with in a poster. Chase noted that the upcoming phone will be powered by a 5nm flagship chipset.


Redmi Note 8 or Realme 5s: Which is the best phone under Rs. 10,000 in India right now? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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How to remove the 3D Objects folder from File Explorer in Windows 10

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The 3D Objects folder is not useful for many users but removing it from File Explorer in Windows 10 requires a tweak of the Registry File. We show you how.

Image: scyther5, Getty Images/iStockphoto

In addition to the traditional Paint application, which has been a part of Windows since its beginning, Microsoft has also added Paint 3D to its list of standard Windows 10 applications. When combined with a touch display and a stylus or pen, Paint 3D can be a powerful tool for creating three-dimensional objects, a feature many artists and designers find useful.

SEE: 30 Excel tips you need to know (TechRepublic Premium)

However, if you are not inclined to use Paint 3D, you may find the prominence of a 3D Objects folder, and possibly several other folders, on the This PC screen of File Explorer obtrusive and unnecessary. Unfortunately, you cannot remove those folders from File Explorer with a simple change to default settings. That procedure requires an edit of the Windows 10 Registry File.

This how-to tutorial shows you how to remove the 3D Objects folder, and other folders, from the This PC screen of the Windows 10 File Explorer.

How to remove 3D Objects folder from File Explorer

Disclaimer: Editing the Windows Registry file is a serious undertaking. A corrupted Windows Registry file could render your computer inoperable, requiring a reinstallation of the Windows 10 operating system and potential loss of data. Back up the Windows 10 Registry file and create a valid restore point before you proceed.

To get a better idea of what we are talking about, open File Explorer in Windows 10 and then navigate to the This PC screen, as shown in Figure A. Take note of the default listing of folders in the right-hand window.

Figure A

a-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

We are going to concentrate our efforts on the 3D Objects folder, but this technique will work for any of the default folders listed in that section of File Explorer, if you know the code. Further, if you are running the 64-bit version of Windows 10, you will have to perform two edits.

Type “regedit” into the search box on the Windows 10 desktop and select the appropriate result to start the Registry Editor application. As shown in Figure B, navigate to this key (it’s a deep dive):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace

Figure B

b-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

To complicate matters, the subkeys in the NameSpace section are coded, so you have to carefully choose the key with this code (on my computer, it was in the second position, see Figure C):

{0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A}

Figure C

c-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

Right-click the key and select “Delete” from the context menu and confirm your action.

If you are running the 32-bit version of Windows 10, you have completed the procedure, however, if you are running the 64-bit version, you will have to perform a second edit. As shown in Figure D, navigate to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerMyComputerNameSpace

Figure D

d-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

As before, locate this coded key in the NameSpace folder, as shown in Figure E:

{0DB7E03F-FC29-4DC6-9020-FF41B59E513A}

Figure E

e-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

Right-click the key and select “Delete” from the context menu and then confirm your selection to complete the process. Exit out of the Registry File editor. The change should take effect the next time you open File Explorer.

The 3D Objects folder is located in the Users folder and will still be there after implementing this procedure, but it will no longer be displayed so prominently in the This PC section of File Explorer, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

f-remove-folders-file-explorer.jpg

To restore the 3D Objects folder to File Explorer, add the coded key back into the two NameSpace Folders using the Registry File Editor.

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