Sunday, 30 November 2014

Surf in Panoramic Mode

Browsers usually show one web page at a time. This is a similar situation on every browsers that I have tried and used. Although this is absolutely OK for everyday internet surfing, but sometimes this is not enough for some situations.

Ever done internet shopping and comparing prices from websites? To do this, we usually toggle from the opened tab to see similar items from different websites. There's nothing wrong with it but personally, I want to see these items side by side. Although there is a way to get round to it like opening two browsers and minimizing both windows to sit side by side . This takes a few more click and it seems like it is unnatural thing to do. Has the browser makers did not think of this and make an update so that we have this function  when we browse?

A new comer in the browser wars has acknowledge this shortcoming and made a new application that can do exactly like this.  And not only that, it is also  fast and worth a try

Download Polybrowser here.

Features.


1. Tab Browsing

Like the popular browsers, it supports multiple tabs(1) that can be opened in one browser window. The tabs can be dragged and positioned as you wish to keep your searches together.

2. Stiched Web Pages

The versatility of the stiched style of web pages is you can control the size of any of the windows so that the screen can accommodate more sites. This is useful when comparing like in shopping or researching for information. It is easy to change the width by dragging the middle of the stich(2) to either way. You can then navigate to each window by using the sliders(4) or by the arrow keys on your keyboard. The slider at the bottom of the screen will let you see all opened tabs like viewing a panorama picture.




3. Supports Multiple Search Engines

The program uses it's built in search engine, PolyFetch, which is powered by google but with a different interface. If you are not comfortable using it, you can easily change(3) it to popular engines like google or bing by customizing it.

4. Easy Access

Recently visited sites are usually tucked away on popular browsers. Polybrowser cleverly shows all visited sites on it's home tab. You can easily pin, launch or delete this pages(5) by clicking the corresponding button that appears when you hover your mouse over the thumbnail. Another clever thing that it does is it groups (6) similar websites into one speed launcher shortcut automatically.




Early Experience

Poly browser is still on it's early stage and it will need improvements as it goes. And here are some.

Polyfetch. It seems like it defaults to US contents. When I search for iphone 6, the search results show US apple store and other telecommunication companies in the US. As I am in the UK, this is not at all relevant to me. To get around it, I did put UK at the end of my search word.

Compatibility to Blogger. Whilst doing a post on the blogger flatform, I opened up two polybrowser tabs that show my edit page and a link site. Copying the link from the other site is not a problem but going to the edit page of blogger to paste it will not let me do it. The paste command is greyed or not active.

Having encountered these problems, I think the concept of this application is aimed for users to assist them and simplify complex tasks. But it does need to address these issues as users can easily change hearts when a vital function is missing. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

How To Outsmart Hackers on Text Files 2

Another way of hiding text file from hackers is to 'hide the texts inside a photo file code'. Not like physically hiding it by making it look like the background colour but by 'incorporating it' inside a code of a file! It does sounds complicated but it is not. You can do it very easy without the need of an expensive software. Here's what you will need.

  • A photo that you do not mind destroying or losing.
  • The Notepad program.

Here's what you will do.

1. Find a suitable photo.

A suitable photo is something you do not need and would not be sorry if you will lose it. Any photo file is OK. The larger the file size, the better.


2. Make the file extension visible.

In windows, the file extension is usually hidden. To make it visible whilst the folder of the file is opened in the windows explorer, go to Tools(2)>FolderOption(3)>then untick 'hide extensions for known file types'.  The file extension will show after you click apply.


3. Edit the photo extension to txt.

Right click(5) on the photo you want to use and choose rename(6) to edit the extension (in this case jpg) and replace the extension (7) to txt.


4. Open it the file.

Txt files are opened in default by the Notepad program. Double click to open it. The photo is now converted into codes(9). You can pick any where to type and hide your sensitive text file inside the code then save it.



 Allow the change by clicking yes. The file icon will transform to txt icon which looks suspicious.



5. Revert the name of the extension

You need to rename the extension file from txt. to jpg by following step 3. Just click yes(11) at the pop up prompt and the icon will be transformed(12).



6. You're done.

When somebody will click on the file, an error message will pop up. This will mimick a corrupted picture file and this will not make it look like something important to hackers and others. So this will not be a target for their suspicious eyes because only you will know what's inside it. You can read the file again by renaming (step 3) the file extension to txt and double click it to open.


Or you can right click on it and click Open With(13)>Choose Default Program(14)Click the '+' sign to expand choices(15)>Choose Note Pad(16)>untick the 'always use...'(17) then OK.


Saturday, 22 November 2014

How To Outsmart Hackers on Text Files 1

Hackers has one purpose, to "get in" without permission.  Clever already as they are, they become more clever everyday in dodging internet security softwares and antivirus programs. Like a virus in the real world, they dodge these "vaccines" by creating a different strain of themselves. Eventually, these vaccines will catch up again with them in due time, as security experts also take time in identifying and making a profile for the said infection or applying a patch to loopholes that the hackers learn and gain control of.

Scary as it is, but regular users like you and me can outsmart hackers with  practical computing skills. We can keep our sensitive files away from their watchful eyes even when they are able to gain access with our computers. I personally do this by camouflaging my files. And here's how.
 

Camouflaging

If you are forgetful or you have several log ins to several sites like emails, social media, banks, etc, then chances are sometimes you mix up your passwords and usernames. This confusion can lead to an account being locked out and  the recovery is painful specially when you also forgot the security answers on your account.

This happened to me many times and the obvious solution to this is to write it down somewhere. The most common place to write it down and hide this is inside the computer. And when hackers gain access to your computer, havoc begins. Outsmart them by making this passwords and user names "invisible" by camouflaging them.

The tool needed for this is already inside your computer. Access it on windows by clicking Start>AllPrograms>Accessories>Paint .

1.  Make a camouflaged text area, Click fill icon(1), Choose a black(2) background (if it has not been selected as default colour), then move your cursor to the empty area then left click(3) to fill. You can save this at his point or just minimise it.



 2.  Type your text on a text editor. (Start>All Programs>Accessories>Notepad)
The reason to do this is so that you can type and edit easier. Notepad is a basic text program that opens up quicker than other office suites.

After typing the texts, highlight it all then right click, and copy(4).



3.Make a camouflaged text colour
Go back to the saved camouflaged text area and define a text colour that is almost exactly the same as the background. Click Edit colour(5), then slide the slider(9)  up until the values come up to 7 (7). Then click OK.



4. Paste it.
After setting the text colour, click the font icon, drag the slider to cover the canvas, then click paste.


5. Here's the camouflaged file. In the first look, the canvas doesn't seem like hiding anything. Hackers do not expect you to hide something in here unless they know you have sensitive data on it. Just like leaving a spare key to under the  unsuspecting  rug or flowet pot.



6. How to read it.
 Just go to the fill icon(11) again, change the first colour to white(12) (change it byhighlighting it first and click a white colour on the pallette(12.2)), point your fill button(13) at any edge  of the canvas, making it sure to avoid any part of the text, then left click to fill.











Monday, 10 November 2014

Spy On Your Kid's Phone

Have you ever wondered as your kids grow up, the more secretive they become? They like to stay in their rooms most of the time. Annoying as it may seem but you do not see them often even when they are at home. They lock away themselves pretending to be busy with their lessons. But I bet they are busy with something else, with their phones! And most often they are chatting or texting with their friends.

This activity is not bothering me at all, because I know every number that my teen daughter calls, numbers that called her, numbers that she sent and received texts from. Even when she erases the call logs from her phone, still I can retrieve it. This is even without touching her phone, physically. Here's how.

1. Sign up to the network's account online.


The good thing about network providers is it is easy to set up an account with them. And they keep sensitive information about your call habits and everything is accessible online. Even sim cards on pay as you go tariff can be registered on the network's website. And if you do this, you can have an access on all communication traffic that occurred. This means even your kid erases the logs on her phone, you can trace the communication trail like calls, text messages and even data usage. Another benefit of this is you can see how much she has spent. On accounts with contract, you can see the call activities without waiting for the paper bill on the post by going to the unbilled usage tab.


2. Sign up to find my mobile account.


Check if your phone manufacturer has an extra service like finding your lost mobile. You can use google to search for this. I believe iCloud of Apple provides the same service. And if you have given your kid a samsung mobile, then you're in luck as samsung has this extra service.

What it does is it can trace back all calls that happened in the phone. Even if your kid changes sim cards. All forms of communication will be reflected on the account. And this can be accessed online whenever you need to see who she is calling or sending messages to.

If you have not set up a samsung account yet, you need to do that in her phone. Just get an excuse to set this up, 'say you need to install an anti theft software'. The samsung account is actually an anti theft service that will let you lock, erase the contents of your phone in case it gets lost. Or send a message to your phone even if the thief has taken out your sim or doesn't put any sim in it.

Here's how to set up.


1. Go to Accounts
  • Settings>General>under Accounts and Backup choose Accounts)
2.  Tap add account(2) and choose Samsung account(3) from the list. Then set up an account by providing a gmail email and a password of your choice. Make sure your password consists of a number, alphabet and a special character.
  • You may need to update samsung services if this is the first time you've accessed this feature

3. Activate remote control

Settings>General>Security>Remote Controls (under find my mobile)> and enter your Samsung Account password

4. You can confirm that it is activated by the green slider button(3) to the right.



Access samsung account online.

On your laptop goto
  • http://findmymobile.samsung.com/login.do
You can check the call logs by clicking this button(4). And depending if the mobile is online and how fast the data connection is, you can see your kid's communication activity here.


On your mobile Settings>General>Security>go to find my mobile webpage (under find my mobile) then sign in. The same with the PC version, you can see the call logs as long as your kid's phone is online.








Sunday, 9 November 2014

How To 'Download' ABS-CBN Content?

A pinoy friend has asked me the other day how he can download videos from ABS-CBN TFC.TV site. Knowing that this is a subscription site and there is no download button to press except play, I told him 'I can't'! Then he reminded me a post that says just that. He was referring to an old post that mentioned about downloading a content, although it was not the main topic, " how to reduce windows media player from buffering".

He was right. During the early days of ABS.CBN, the download button was still there. Now that it is  gone, and the URL of the streamed contents are hidden on Java Scripts or Active Scripts to prevent downloading a copy.

But an alternative is available if he really wants to own a copy of the videos or wants to play the same content offline. It is a bit complicated and needs patience. This is to record it on the fly, whilst the video is playing!

Note: This post is just to point out that there are still ways to copy videos in a creative way using free softwares. This is not meant to encourage readers to record without the copywrite owner's permission.

The Any Video Recorder.


This program basically records everything on your screen. You can also 'trim' the record window  to capture just the part of the screen you want to record. And the best part is, the output file is on MP4, so it can be played on virtually any device and any operating system.

Download the software from the link below and you need to install the bundled audio program to make it work.

http://any-video-recorder.com/


How to use it.

  •  Download, install and run Any Video Recorder software to your PC.
  • Under general settings(A) you can specify the directories(1,2) you want the videos to be saved in default by clicking browse or you can leave it as it is. For easier video search,  define the output video name(3).


  • Under video settings(B) you can also customize the output video quality and performance (4,5)according to your preference or according to your hardware capability. The higher number of bitrate and framerate, the clearer and smoother the resulting recorded video. But this needs higher processing power as well. You can experiment with the default numbers(25 and 6000) to start with.
  •  Click Record Now button to start recording videos


  • Navigate to your TFC.TV stream. The software should automatically detect the stream and open the recording interface. You can then manually set the area(7) for video recording. You can limit the recording by specific time(10) or choose automatic stop(11) Press the red "REC"(9) button to begin recording.
  •  You can pause(12) the video being recorded or stop the recording manually by pressing the button(13)

You can access the recorded video from the output directory that you have specified. Now you can easily play, copy  or transfer to view it from other devices.



Saturday, 8 November 2014

Use 64-bit Browser To Improve Surfing Experience

Handhelds dominates the world of gadgets because of their portability and use anywhere functionality, but practicality wise, I still prefer to surf the net properly, with a laptop, that has a full sized keyboard and larger screen than any handheld device. A problem that usually put off windows users is the fact that this product can't be left alone to stay in tip toe condition. As we use it each day, it becomes slower. And tidying and clearing up the files and folders to make it work faster become a tiring chore.

Another way of making our surfing experience faster is by using a 64-bit browser. You do need a 64-bit system to install it thought. 

How to know if  it is a 64-bit system?

1. If your laptop or computer is at least 3 years old, and if it has 4GB or more of RAM, then this might be compatible. 

2. You can also check it by clicking start(1), right clicking computer(2), then properties(3) and look under system(4).




Here's two of my favourite 64-bit browsers

If your system is 64-bit, then you are ready to download one or both of these superb browsers.
If you have one of them already and you are not sure if it is 64-bit, go to the menu(5), about (6), then you'll see which version (7) you have on the next page.



Why use 64-bit browsers?

64-bit browsers can process more memory (RAM) than 32-bit counterparts. The 32-bit can only process 3.7 RAM at a given time no matter how much RAM is installed in your system. The 64-bit goes beyond that. This means more data is processed at a given time. Also take note that websites are adding more and more codes every time that translates additional data to process at a given time. The faster these data is processed, the faster the page to load.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

How To Disconnect Your Kid's Device From Your Wi-Fi Discreetly

Having a wi-fi access has given us the convenience of online activity anywhere as long as the signal range permits. Juggling bills, shopping, being entertained and communicating can be done in less the hassle, effort and time.

But convenience has a price to pay, specially when your kids go online most of the time and telling them off has no effect. The  most effective way of censoring or monitoring their online activity maybe is by taking away the gadget and just give it to them when they really need it for school works. I find this also as the drastic way that leaves frown face at your back. I also admit that I did this several times and failed because I myself is a forgetful person( I forgot where I hide things). Turning off the router might sound as a good idea, but it is not. I run into problem the last time I turned it off, and spent half of my day fixing the wi-fi signal not working after turning it on. And one more problem is, all of us will not have an internet access.

So instead of hiding it every time I want them to stop, or turning the router off and leaving everybody without internet, I just control their devices not to connect by using the router's setting.


Here's how to do it.

My internet provider is sky, but the steps I will do is identical or almost the same to every router.

1. Log in to your router.


First is to see the default gateway. The default gateway is the ip address of your router in the form of numeric value. Whilst your computer is connected either by wire or wireless, click the start button (1) and type cmd(2) at the search box. Click cmd.exe(3) and at the command prompt, type 'ipconfig' (4)(without the qoutes) then press enter.

Scroll down until you see the wireless adaptor and wireless network connection.  See the value of default gateway(5), which is 192.168.0.1 in this case. Open a browser and type the number at the address bar. You can type it as it is or add 'http://192.168.0.1'(without the qoutes) then press enter.

Before you can proceed, you need to enter the default username and password(7), then log in(8) The default gateway can be obtained from the internet provider or written on a sticker somewhere on the router or you can search it online.


Common default router usernames and passwords

CompanyUser NamePassword
Aoladminpassword
BTadminadmin or password
Skyadminsky
Virginyour.name@adsl.virgin.netadmin


2. Choose device to disconnect 


 Once you have gained access into your router, click  wireless(9) so you can set up the preferred devices to connect to your router. Click set up access list(10) to activate access control menu.

 You can now tick the devices that you want to have an access to your router from the available wireless stations then click add. You need to repeat this several times as it only allow one selection at a time.



You may need to know the ip address or MAC address of the device you do not want to have wi-fi access.

On android go to settings>about device>status>wifi MAC address.

On iPhones go to settings>general>about


All wireless devices that you've allowed to connect to your router are listed under trusted wireless stations. When you are happy you can now tick turn access control on(11). The device that is not included in the list will no longer connect through your home router.

You can reverse this restriction by unticking the access control button.



Monday, 3 November 2014

Why My Internet Is Slow?


There are many factors affecting the speed of the internet(home broadband and data powered handheld devices), like the bandwidth the internet company provides, the number of connected devices and how powerful is the device to access the web. If the problem lies on one of these factors then we can not do much about it. But if it just day by day  gradually becoming slow then the problem might can be solved.
(For Windows XP, Vista, 7, & 8)

Why surfing become so slow?

Assuming that you do not have problem with the bandwidth, not too many devices sharing the router, and using not so old system, most of the time the problem lies with your browser. What happens is every time it visits a website, it gets dirty. Like a pair of boots that walked into a muddy field. This mud that accumulated in it's soles make it struggle to connect and bring the latest content of the site you want to visit. These "mud "consists of cookies, web histories, and add ons like useless search engines, shopping bots, and extensions. And if you use multiple browsers, then these "mud" is multiplied as much as the number of browsers you are using. As they are just grime at the sole of the  boots, they need to be eliminated to improve the surfing speed.

How to remove it?

You can manually clean the browsers one by one and cherry pick which one to delete or all at once in one interface by using a free software, the Auslogic Browser Care. This cleans the "mud" from top browsers like internet explorer, chrome and firefox.

How to use Auslogic Browser Care?

Begin with downloading the program at http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/, just scroll down to the browser care download link. Once installed, you need to close the browser you want to clean.

1. Click the browser(1) you want to clean and make sure it is closed or not active before you proceed.


2. From the interface you can see other browsers that are compatible with the program(6).

3. You can easily start cleaning the grimes and extensions you do not use. Cache and internet histories (2) which the browsers bring home whilst surfing the web, can be easily removed by just ticking the corresponding buttons and clicking clear data.

4. Add ons(4) that can be accumulated without your knowledge whilst downloading free apps or viewing movies can be safely removed by just selecting it from the list and clicking the bin icon at the far end of each entry. You have also the option to only disable it.

5. Homepage hijackers(5) can also be removed by choosing default from the drop down menu. The same applies when your search engine has been changed.


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