Thursday, 30 August 2012


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of GFI for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Viruses, malwares, and other threats has been the sources of unpleasant experiences online. In fact they make us  limit our online activity. I know some friends that lost money whilst banking online, and others that were victimised by hackers and lost their email accounts. Others experienced a slowdown in their computer's performance, owing most of this from viruses, malwares and other threats.

Did my friends have antiviruses? Yes they do, a copy of an internet security suite provided when they purchased their machines, which I suspect as trials only and might have been expired and no longer update the important  definitions.

They might have thought that what they have is enough until it's a little bit late.  It is very important to have antivirus, whether a premium one or not, as long as it continue to update the things it is protecting it from. It is  like wearing a helmet before riding  a bike.

Antivirus needs definitions updating to become immune or effective to known threats. Like our own immune system, we need to be exposed to the virus to form antibody against it. Or we need to have a shot or immunisation. Immunisation sometimes causes discomfort in our body as a consequence. In computers, whilst antivirus is updating its definitions, a "discomfort" may also occur, like performance slowdown, caused by high resource usage of the updating antivirus.

 In my experience, I encountered the same problem like sluggishness in my system when the antivirus updates and also when it do the sceduled scan. This means that whilst the antivirus is doing it's things, productivity is affected, and there's nothing more sensible to do  than make a coffee for myself and wait until the update is finished. And further delay happens when it starts scanning, this time I can make a coffee for myself and for my wife, and chocolate for the kids, with a little chitchat before I can use the computer again!
 Did you also experience this? I guess you did at some point.

The Vipre
Vipre antivirus is very different from the others I have used before. Although I can say that the previous antiviruses has done their job in protecting my computer, this antivirus stealthily does its things. Vipre scan your computer without slowing down your system. This means you can continue what you are doing online whilst it is searching for malwares and viruses in your system. The program also silently fetches or updates virus definitions without you noticing. Another good thing is the update can be set to every hour to refresh and look for new definitions for optimum protection. This boost my confidence of doing things online  because I know my computer is protected from the newest possible viruses or threats.

 If you regularly import or access files from other computers with USB sticks or other memory cards, or you allow your friends to use your computer to see their files on a USB stick, chances are there might be hidden threats in those storages that can create havoc in your system and you don't notice it before it's too late. With the Vipre, you will feel more secure and confident that threats from portable storages will be screened and blocked before they can enter your system. An option to automatically scan any attached USB device on your computer is built in. You just need to tick to perform automatic scanning.

The scan can be scheduled any time and any day without complicated settings. Just choose the day and tick the time and it does this automatically.

There are also other built in tools to play with that can give further online security, like secure file eraser, history cleaner and pc explorer.

And not only these extras, Vipre is also designed to protect and look for rootkits, trojans, worms, keyloggers, dialers, adwares, and malicious scripts. A true all in one protection indeed. 

Don't just take it from my experience, you can try it yourself. It is very easy to download the 28.2MB installation files and the installation is quite quick. It is recommended to disable or uninstall the existing antivirus before installing Vipre.

And just in case you run into trouble using the software, a US based customer service is free and always available. For further information about this product, go to their site at

Visit Sponsor's Site

Sunday, 26 August 2012

S-Voice's Practical Application

This post is a part of mobilers mission.
One of the features of Samsung S-III  is the S Voice, a SIRI equivalent to apple fans. It is a virtual mobile digital assistant that can talk back to the user when asked a question. It can be helpful and handy specially with trivia like questions, as long as the answer is located on it's data base, or explore the internet as needed to fetch for the best answer.

How to use it?

As the data base which is the source of it's intelligence is located somewhere at samsung servers, the S Voice needs an internet connection to work. It can be from 3G/HSPDA connection provided by your mobile company or through a wi-fi network.

The application can be started by a double tap on the home button, or by a tap at the application's icon shortcut button.

What does the S Voice can do?

Practical uses

Placing a call and sending a message

Dozens of tasks can be performed by the S-Voice through voice command, like calling somebody on your contacts. This function is useful when your hands are tied up to something and doesn't have the chance of fiddling your device to bring up the list of your contacts.

Another situation is when you are out in bright day light and the brightness of your screen is set to automatic mode, chances are you can not see the things being shown at your screen. Then you ask yourself how can you make a call? You like to change the setting of your screen but will not be able to because you do not know where to press.  With the S-Voice, just double tap the home button and command S-Voice to call anyone in your contact. Or you can dictate which number to call if the number is not yet in your contacts. You can as well send a text with simple messages, which is quite very handy, in fact one of my favourite and most used S-Voice function.

Set up alarm time easily

Another favourite is the easy way to set up the alarm with S-Voice. Just say wake me up at 6:30 and an alarm  for 6:30 am is set. Say wake me up at  8:30 pm or 20:30, S-Voice will set up 8:30pm alarm. Very useful and you can do this with your eyes closed, especially when you are too lazy to fiddle with the buttons and icons after another tiring day.

Play a specific MP3 music file

Say "play " and S-Voice plays your MP3 music stored within the phone, specify the title of the song like "play Smile" then the MP3 with "smile" title plays. Brilliant, specially when you have hundreds of music within your device and you do not have the time searching for the title of the music manually. S-Voice really saves you time and effort with this.

And other uses

Turning on applications

The S-Voice can open up native applications that are available within the phone, like calculator, browser, camera, and other downloaded applications like facebook and tweeter. You can actually update your status on both social networks by just dictating it to S-Voice. Unluckily I can not make a screenshot with this as the phone opens up the page after I dictate the command.


S-Voice uses google maps when you want to use it as a navigator. But instead of dictating post codes, which S-Voice does not understand, the full address is needed. On my experience, it is useful in locating specific places like tube stations. Tell S-Voice to navigate to a name of a tube station and google map takes care of the rest. You need to enable first the  location services when you want this function.

And more

It can also open up simple phone settings, other phone functions like bluetooth, voice recorder, downloaded applications and many more. See screenshot below on the things S-Voice can do.

My personal thoughts

I can not deny that S-Voice made some of the task sweat free and easier to use on some applications than manual fiddling. It can be refined to help people with visual impairments and help them have confidence in having and using a mobile phone. This would be a good news to blind users.

The only thing that I do not like is the fact that it still needs internet to work even with the basic commands like  opening up an application  or dialling a number. I hope in the future the artificial intelligence needed to perform these basic functions will be built into the device and does not need internet access.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Watch ABSCBN News Video Before Going Live at the Website.

The sudden change at the site interface of ABSCBN site has been bundled with problems experienced by the users. Comments like the site takes sometime to load, the video resolution is crap, and the upload for new contents are very late. I do agree on these and I myself  prefer the earlier interface.

But did you know that you can actually watch the video for the day before the webmasters update the video posts at the new website? Yes you can with a simple tweak from the old code from the old website using the original video player which is windows media player!!!

Below are the few complaints about late uploading from the raged subscribers.

Here's how you can do it.

1. Go to the old website's news section  address at and just close the migration advisory dialogue. You can see that there is an old post from yesterday, August 14, and  it has not been updated yet. See my computer clock and date, They have not updated yet although it is now around 5pm in the UK. I agree to the complaints, the website's update is late!

2. Right click the LOW bandwith selection and click copy link address, if you are using other browsers, the dialogue might say copy URL.

3. Then open up windows media player and right click any empty space from the top of the player, then click FILE, OPEN URL then at the pop up window, right click and paste.

4. The URL you have copied from episode August 14 should be automatically appear and goes something like this.

Move your cursor to the date code,  20120814 whilst still in the pop up window.

5. Inspect the date code and change or delete 14 and retype into the date today which is 15.

Here's the new full link.

6. Press OK , then the player downloads the content and you need to type in your old username and password, the usual password you use with the old website, and the video will then play. You are now watching the upload for the day although the main website has not been updated!

*** This tweak may not work every time, It will only work when the upload has been done but webmasters has not updated the site yet. This also only works whilst the old site is still live!

Do you remember the videos do not play with apple devices before? I think this is the reason why. The new player is especially enhanced for iPad and apple products.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

How to Dial Access Number and Destination Number Automatically

The internet has changed the way we communicate.  Right now, we can call friends and relatives virtually from anywhere with internet connections. As long as we have the minimum requirements, like internet, preferably broadband supplied by an ISP company or mobile network, computer or any internet connected devices that have access to VOIP or instant messaging programs. Using these applications can save you a fortune in making international calls, which is otherwise not cheap using a conventional phone.

However, this set up has limitations, when you are up and about and away from your home's broadband internet. It can be impractical to carry along laptops,  netbooks or tablets to make an international free calls. Another problem is if the contact has crappy or no internet at all.

In the real world, mobile phones are still the most appropriate device to carry and use to call somebody abroad, specially with offline contacts, anywhere. With the advancement of the telecommunications infrastucture and smartphones, the mobile network operators has driven down the prices of international calls into something similar or even lower than a local calls. Mobile operators can provide you a sim card that is used directly to call abroad without dialling any access or PIN numbers. Others use calling cards with access numbers and PIN's.

Inconvenience with calling card credits and other similar international calls method

Calling card system or other similar methods using access numbers and PIN's are easy to top up, but may not be convenient to use when you do not know how to set up your dialling method.  Companies like just dial let you purchase a calling credit by texting a code like bcall to 80550. This will give you a £5 credit for calling abroad. A text message will be sent  with instructions on how to use your credit.

Traditional dialling

The screen above shows the amount of credit, the local access number and the PIN number. The PIN is only used when you use your credit using a different mobile phone other than the one you purchased your calling credit. The local access number which is 2 in this case, can be dialled directly from the phone you made the  purchase from without entering the PIN. It will then ask you to enter the phone number you wish to dial. This is the most annoying part especially when you can not memorise the country code + area code + mobile or land line number in your head and the worst scenario is when the destination number is within the contacts list of the phone you are using. Going back to your contact list and selecting the number of your contact to hopefully dial it automatically doesn't work when you are engaged in a call. The traditional solution is to write the number in a piece of paper and dial it manually, everytime you are asked to. This might not suite everybody's convenience and you wish there is a way in dialling the access number + the destination number automatically.

Smart dialling

The solution is to edit the access number and add wait symbol ( ; ) or pause(,) between the access number and the destination number.

Format is below:
Two touch operation

Access number    +  wait symbol  +  destination number

One touch operation

Access number    +  pause symbol  +  destination number

On an Android Phone  (two touches using wait, one touch using pause)

1.Create a contact and type in the access number then press sym to show the wait symbol, (or pause for one touch operation), followed by the complete destination number. Save it and you are ready to dial automatically.

2. When you dial the created contact, the network will prompt you to continue dialing the destination number which is already pretyped, you just need to press yes.

On an iPhone(one touch operation only)

Unfortunately the iPhone doesn't have a wait button, but still you can use the pause (,) symbol instead to create a one touch direct dialling. The format is

Access number    +  pause symbol  +  destination number

***I tried using pause instead of wait  which  created a one touch operation but sometimes I run up to problems like the mobile signal is drifted into somebody else conversation, other instance it made me answer a call from one caller calling her sister while I was dialling my overseas contact, the person at the other end told me that she was making a call and I answered the phone. Weird!!!! It reminded me of having a party line during the era of old rotary landline phones! With this experience I will recommend the two touch operation, using wait symbol , rather than one touch using pause.

On a regular mobile

When making a direct number with access number plus destination number, you can use pause button by pressing the * button until p appears on your screen.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Top 3 Facebook Security Features


Hacked account is one the most annoying experiences of having a social networking account, particularly facebook. Once hacked, the hacker takes control of your account profile and the annoyance starts there. He can post anything on your behalf and can send spam messages to anyone in your contact lists. He can send anything he wants with your name taking all the discredit. And he doesn't stop there as he can go a lot further. He can change your password, personal details and other details like email verification for account reactivation, until you can no longer log in to your own account.

Did you know that there are security features included within facebook that can detect if your account is compromised? These features can be a source of information whether it's time to change passwords or if your account has been taken over by a hacker. It can also protect you from accidental exposures when you forgot to log out using a public computer or somebody else's. All you have to do is to enable these built in security features. You can explore and try these features by clicking at < home drop down menu, account settings, security> so that you won't fall into the same fate of a hacked account like the one below.

1. Secure browsing

When enabled, facebook will use https in logging in. This will add a layer of protection on what you send like user name and password online. Using https instead of the plain http will make your online activity encrypted. This makes it difficult for hackers to see what you are doing or what's you're typing in. Just in case he see's your screen remotely, or intercepts the packets of information you are sending. The hackers could not hack what they "could not" see.

2. Log in notifications and log in approvals.

After enabling this feature, the next time you log in, a check point (pic 1) will let you enable the device you are logging  into by naming it and saving it into your list of machines to access your account. In the future, when you or somebody tries or have already logged in into your account from any other devices, a notification (pic 2) will be emailed into your log in email telling you about this. If you did not logged in to this device then you could easily secure your account by clicking the link secure your account on the email.

If you prefer to be notified by a text message instead of emails,  log in approvals will send you a code to the mobile you set up with this security feature when you use an unrecognised device. I am not just sure if you will be charged whilst receiving a notification.

All of the recognised devices will be listed and you could just unauthorise  any device by clicking remove opposite the device's name.

3.Active sessions

Wherever your Facebook account is accessed by you or by somebody, the activity is logged with the time of access, the approximate location, the device name (the name you've given to the device when you enabled log in approval), and the application you used. The approximate location is guided by the ip address being used. You can see the ip address by hovering your mouse over the address detected. In case you do not recognise the location or ip address and any of the logged data, you can just click end the activity to log out your account. This security feature is also useful when you forgot to log out when using a public internet cafe or when you used your friend’s device.

The data below says that my FB account is active in six different devices and have not logged out properly.

My Thoughts

These built in security features are useful in tracking the activities of your account online. Just in case somebody got their eyes on your account and start logging in as you. You can track and stop the device they log in from and and stop the device from accessing your account just incase you've used other devices to log in but forgot to log out and the device remembered your credentials. Built in features may not at all times protect your account from all threats, but it is better to turn those on than to stay unprotected at all.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Samsung's Android Music Application

This post is a part of mobilers mission.
The Official Top 40 Chart is brought about by Samsung to it's android mobile users. What is unique to this music application is the ability to download the top songs for the day, everyday, without much effort from the user. It can be set into auto mode and the device starts the music download  through wi-fi during the night whilst you sleep. The music is ready for you in minutes or when you wake up in the morning.

The playback is continuous and do not suffer from buffering like other internet radio playbacks because it doesn't need any internet connection to play the music which is already downloaded. This means uninterrupted playback and no other sort of  disruptions compared to streaming music providers.

There's a fresh track everyday as the music's popularity differs day after day. Meaning the top 1 song might come out as top 41 the next day. When this happens, it won't be on your device the following morning.  The good news is, you will always have the top 40 everyday, without any effort at all. Very clever and no sweat at all!

Personal Top 40 playlist.
If not all in the top40 download is appealing to you, you can choose which one to listen by just clicking the star button opposite to the song. This will be included in your favourites folder and you have the option to start playback only from this folder. And if  you change your mind, it is easy to clear the selection and start over again.

Keep the music.
You can also keep the music that you fancy to have forever by choosing the buy it button. You can also create your personal top music collection, according to your taste from your favourite artist or music genre. You can even share it with your online friends at a touch of a button with an easy to access sharing button for the most popular social network sites. Information about the track is also at easy reach with just a push of a button.

With extras.
Aside from giving you the latest top of the list music, the application can also fetch the latest news of your favourite artists to keep you up to date from their latest gigs and albums offered at the moment. It's not just music but information at the same time in one clever application.

Another go factor for this application is it is free to try for a couple of weeks and if you are happy with the simplicity and easy interface, the flawlessness and cleverness of the playback, and the no sweat music updates then an optional £1 a week subscription is all you need to continue enjoy the service!

Try it by downloading the application from google play. Just type in official top 40 at the search box! Or learn more of this application at Official Top 40 !

Friday, 3 August 2012

The Samsung S3 and the Novice User

This post is a part of mobilers mission.
The latest handset from Samsung's surely is making a buzz. The S3 had 90 million preorders worldwide before it's release. Could it be because of it's new and powerful features, or plain brilliant marketing strategies? Or maybe with it's unusual but simple characteristics and uniqueness amongst other mobiles?

As a regular user, I may not be able to explain most of it's new and powerful features but will discuss the S3 according to my feelings the first time I handled the device.


The S3 comes in two variants, marble white and pebble blue. It's box is somewhat made out of ordinary carton although sturdy, it doesn't have that expensive feel compared to the S2. It is also thinner but almost similar in length. Opening the box uncovers the phone inside. It has the second largest screen next to the Galaxy Note and amongst other mobiles that I have seen, a 4.7 inch amoled screen. Underneath the little flip cover is the warranty and quick start guide. Going further, the two piece charger is cleverly tucked inside along the white hands free accessory and lithium ion battery. Assembling the mains charger is quite easy, if you know something about lego toys, then you can do it in seconds.

The phone takes a micro sd expansion memory and a micro sim. If you bought yours sim free, then you need to buy a micro sim or you can  make your regular sim into microsim. It is quite easy using a tool, but if you want to sweat a bit and try your luck, then there are online suggestions on what to do. I would recommend to buy a cutter because I failed  in making one myself before. The other advantage of using a proper tool is, if you want to use the fashioned microsim later on, you can put it back with the cut out and just put a tape at the back. Because if you will buy an adaptor later, the cost of an adapter is as much as the cutter. Get a sim cutter here!

To add more storage capacity to the 16GB built in memory (32GB and 64GB are also available depending on location), a microsd slot is located near the microsim cage. The device can take up to 64GB capacity card which you can buy  cheaply online or from high street retailers. Buy micro sdcards here!

The case

My first impression about the case specially the battery cover is it is plasticky and can crack easily. I was wrong, it is made from polycarbonate material that is very durable. It is a high impact and high temperature resistant material. The cover glimmers with it's nicely brushed polycarbonate property, which makes it look  pretty and expensive. Overall, the phone is lightweight at 133 grams despite the size.

The screen

Upon turning on the phone, the usual galaxy splash screen greets the eyes, this time with full beauty and clarity. This is the beauty of a LED screen, where backlighting is already replaced by individual LEDs. This makes the picture vividly clear and stunningly sharp. As the LED only gives off enough light according to what colour it wants to show, rather than continuously like in backlighted devices, hence battery power is also saved.  It is protected by the latest generation gorilla glass 2 that  promises lightweight, clarity, scratch resistance and robustness. The full dimension of the device is 136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6 mm.

It is worth considering a screen protector, to make the device more stunning and to keep it's value with time. See some nice covers here.

The battery

The battery promises more time to enjoy the unit than previous samsung S variants. It is a 2100 mAh lithium ion battery that can give users a talk time of  up to 22.5 h in 2G, 11.6 h in 3G, and standby power of up to 830 h (2G), 770 h (3G). And because it is removable, changing the battery when the end of life, which is inevitable on all devices, is easy and affordable. A clear advantage over rival products.

The processor

To help speed up things, a 1.4GHZ 4 heads or quad processor cores are installed coupled with 1GB of ram. I began to think of the top of the line computers years back with this specification put in together to form a mean multitasking mobile phone. As the modern swissknife  gadget of today, these features are important, especially when playing HD videos, 3D games and among others that require massive computing ability and power. It is also necessary to balance power and performance so that they can co exist in one device.

This is one of the features that is more advanced than other smart phones.

The features I like

As a regular user I am contented to these features of the new Samsung S3

Bigger screen

If you are a games enthusiast then the screen of this phone is a joy to use.  Bigger screens can show as much graphics and can let you appreciate every scene of the game. The on screen menu and qwerty board is easier, more practical and more accurate than typing on a cramped screen. Enabling landscape view will provide a decent screen for movie entertainment playbacks during boring travels.

Comfortable and secure feel

The size is massive compared to other smartphones, but surprisingly lightweight. The feel of it in my palm is comfortably secure unlike other smartphones that without an additional body case, it is prone to slips and falls even how careful you hold on to them.

Automate phone card dialling procedure 

Using the built in wait or pause function, you can automate your call using a phone card or any similar way to call your destination using an access number, PIN number and destination number by using this format.

Access number + (;) wait or (,) pause + destination number

Swipe to call or text features

This lessens the steps when you call or text somebody. At the contacts list, just swipe your fingers to the right to make a call and it dials the number selected. Swipe it in the left direction will bring you into texting menu. When enabled, the device can also dial the contact that is on your screen by putting the phone close to your ears. You can enable this feature by going into the settings, motion, tick motion activation, and turn on direct call.

Swipe to screen capture

I call this karate swipe myself as you swipe the side of your palm, like doing a karate chop, from right to left or vice versa into the screen to make a screen shot. This is more convenient than pressing combination buttons. Specially when your phone has a commercial casing that the power button is slightly unreachable because of the thick case. Enable this under motion, hand motion.

20 burst mode 

The front facing camera has a 1.9MP resolution whilst the back has 8MP. It has a feature to capture 20 photos in a second and an option to automatically select the best captured photo. This is useful for taking subjects in motion and letting the phone's software to choose the which one is the best shot. You can enable this by going into the camera function, enabling burst shot, and turning best photo on.

During video capture, this phone can also take still photos at the same time, saving you time in turning the camera mode into video and still photo, and making it sure that you do not miss a once in a lifetime shot.

Big screen output

With a compatible MHL attachment, you can see your movies, photos, games, documents on a big telly. Better option than taking the whole collections of DVD's when going on a holiday. Get yours here.

Sound Quality

Both the sound quality from media playback and voice calls are superb even if the volume is on maximum. It is crisp and clear surround sound.

There are a lot more advanced features of this phone that are fantastic and would like to try like how it is easy to share things through s beam, wifi direct, bluetooth, and new technology like NFC and among others. I know that  these full load of features will let  the more adventurous users  eager to discover more of what it can offer everyday!


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