Sunday, 27 December 2015

Know If Your Account Has Been Hacked

The sites we visit mostly ask for our details and create an account before we could use their service or view contents. We think that there is no problem of sharing our information. What could go wrong is beyond our imagination, but for a hacker, personal information is a valuable treasure that they can mine and exploit for their own gain.

Email, usually is our form of identification to this sites, and the worrying part is, as we usually use  the same email and  password across the sites we create our accounts. Websites can vary in terms of security, and even the most secure ones can be vulnerable to an attack from a persistent and creative hacker.

Another problem that add to this is well known sites are keeping this a secret until they have solved their security problem and the days that they keep this a secret is enough for the costumer's information to be leaked.

Thankfully, there are several online sites that can tell whether your email and password are compromised. These site are very easy to use, just type the email or user id and you will be alerted if there was a breach in your account.

See if you've been hacked at



Once you are at the site, just type your email or user name and hit the return button. Below is the result of my user name that made me change my password straight away.


Below is a list of the top sites that has been compromised. See if it's also the time for you to change your password.








Friday, 25 December 2015

Bluetooth Not Working

Bluetooth is a straight forward interface of transferring data or service from a device to another. Pairing is easy and as long as they are in range, within 10 meters or depending on the type of the device, file transfer is just a push away.

Last night, the should be easy task of transferring a Christmas carol from my phone to a better sounding mobile phone was failing. I tried many times and the result was still the same, it could not recognise the other bluetooth recipient, although both were paired properly.

What went wrong? I was already giving up of what could be the culprit was. Investigating further, the music file was loaded with the music player, and the bluetooth button there is not for transferring files but for play output service to another external bluetooth speaker! No matter how much I would try would not detect any bluetooth device with bluetooth multimedia playback as  my other phone  doesn't have this kind service.


I just realised that not all bluetooth buttons are the same, I got out from the music player and navigated manually to the music files (My Files), checked the file to be shared then tapped the share button(1),  the correct bluetooth file transfer button appeared(2), and the bluetooth recipient (3) with the right protocol service (file transfer) was detected.




Sunday, 20 December 2015

Practical Tip For Old Smartphones: Use As A MIDI Xmas Player

The problem with smartphones is they depreciate very fast. Their value is like a plane that  nose dived in a short time causing every value of it disappears in a wink. The transition from one model to another is just too fast!

So what do you usually do, recycle, give away to charity, sell on eBay and other used mobile buying sites?

Options.

Selling may be a good  if you are happy to accept how low the price will be, postage might even be more expensive than the item itself!  Giving it away may be a better option if the recipient doesn't mind a jurassic models.

But keeping it as music player is I think better than the other two. You can load up your music on it and use  as a portable player and connect it to your car instead of using your main phone and save battery in the process. You might be thinking of not enough memory at this point, as older smartphones may only have an available 1GB or less of storage. This may look short specially with the mp3 format, but using MIDI format can fit more files that you can imagine.

Storage not enough.

The usual decently compressed mp3 file needs at least 3.5MB of storage but the MIDI just needs less than 100KB. With this equation we can say that 1 mp3 music is equal to 35 MIDI's, which is a lot.

Why MIDI.

MIDI's by the way are not really music files but set's of instructions to a MIDI player which is usually built in to electronic devices like mobile phones, karaoke machines and computers. These instructions control the pitch, tone and loudness of the sound to be emitted by the device, and as they are just instructions compared to the physical sound by mp3's, they require less space  the only downside is they do not contain vocals, only electronic sounds.

 As we are in the christmas season, you can squeeze all christmas carols you want in that little space and use your device as a Xmas chime player under your Xmas tree, instead of buying lights with built in Xmas carol player. You can load your old smartphone with MIDI music from the free royalty MIDI's below.

Free MIDI's

http://www.midiworld.com/search/?q=christmas%20carols
https://freemidi.org/artist-349-christmas-P-1
http://www.download-midi.com/search/keyword/christmas
http://www.mfiles.co.uk/midi-files.htm

Once downloaded, you can transfer it via bluetooth or by USB cable. If your old phone do not have bluetooth connection, but can access the internet, you can download MIDI'd directly using the links above. Or if you have already downloaded it to your computer, you can email it as an attachment and open and download it from your old smart phone.

If you have an old HTC device, check if it has the dre beats logo on it, as they deliver studio-quality audio  with an external speaker.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

How To Repair a Misbehaving Browser

Internet connection is affected by many factors, from the hardware itself and it's settings and from the obvious internet company and the router. Lately, I have my head scratching again because of  my browser, google chrome, can not connect to the internet. The error "timed out loading session" or " it takes too long to load the page" keep on flashing on the the screen.

Is the internet really not working? I tried to use another browser, firefox,  to connect and it does this without any problem. I was a bit skeptic that it could just be using the page cache,  so I flushed all the cached pages and typed a google search. But yes it did connected without any problem. The antivirus was also updating without a problem. So my doubt was set aside, I do have a working internet and there is a problem with the browser. So this needs to be fixed.

You do not need to uninstall it. If you still have the installation file, ChromeSetup.exe, on your system which is most probably at your download folder, just click on it to reinstall, otherwise you need to download it from this link.


The installer will again download the necessary file and overwrite the corrupted component that rendered the program not to work. 


Last Words.


This is another lesson for me, because sometimes I uninstall programs I no longer need. But having two browsers does not hurt at all and could be a life saver when a problem like this  happens. Softwares can misbehave from time to time and browsers are not an exemption.

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