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If you’ve been watching YouTube in the last year, you’ve probably seen plenty of advertisements for VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks. So, what’s the big deal anyways?

Why do we need VPNs?

The Internet is basically a connection of computers. Your computer, for example, is currently connected to the Medium computer and your browser has downloaded files from that computer and is currently showing them to you as this article. This is how we interact with all the billions of computers available on the internet.

On the other hand, a lot of these computers/sites/apps we connect to every day are owned by businesses that are incentivised to collect data about you in order to sell targeted advertisements. They collect information from you every time you use their services, and that information can include your IP address, which someone malicious can use to brute-force a connection to your device. …

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This week on the Sendy Spotlight we have our Graphic Designer, Valerie; telling us all about Design, how she ended up in this profession. Also, there’s some words for aspiring designers.

Hi, what do you do in your day to day at Sendy?

I’m a visual communication designer, in this context I’m a graphic designer.

What’s a Visual Communications Designer?

I take care of the company’s visual communication. This involves designing communication collateral in channels such as Print, Out of Home advertising like billboards and also digital advertising. …

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If you’d like to give a computer information to process, you usually have to type it out or use your fingers to tell the device what to do. On the other hand for you to receive information from a computer you can only use your eyes or your ears and in some situations even touch, but this system is limited because your computer can hold way more information than you can absorb into your brain. At the same time your brain can hold a lot more information than you give it. …

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In Android if you’d like to create a UI, you usually create an XML file, add your UI elements and connect them to your .kt or .java class. This connection is usually made by referencing the IDs of your various views using findViewById or maybe even you’ve taken it a step further and you’re using Data Binding to make it easier to show data in your UI. When your data changes, you also usually have getters and setters that process text or images whenever you need to, so your directory might look something like this:





If you have any custom Views you might end up having to also modify your attrs.xml and styles.xml files. This means that you have to split your focus across different files in order to create your UI. That’s called an imperative style of UI…

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Null safety is a way for Kotlin to get rid of probably the most common error you’ll come across if you develop in Java: NullPointerExceptions. These are usually caused by trying to do operations on variables that contain null values. In Java you usually deal with this by adding a try/catch block around the code that throws this error but Kotlin has taken it a step further.

The Java Way

If you have to declare a String variable in Java here’s how you do it:

String name;

At this point the String object isn’t initialised and it does not have a value yet, but in Java it’s possible to…

Ian Wambai

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