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Get Most Out from your Google Calendar App!

INTRODUCTION

Google Calendar is one of the most productive app I have ever used. It may not for you, but with the knowledge of features it has, I’m sure you will use it more often in your day to day activities. In order to get most out of it the first thing you need to do is look at all the smart features it provides. Let’s take a look! 🙂

FEATURES

ADDING AN EVENT

2This might sound too novice. Of course you can add events using your Google Calendar App. But there is more to that. You can add the location of your event and add people to the same event. Plus you can invite the same people if you wish to. Also you can control notification alerts according to your requirement. Additionally you can add related attachments from Google Drive too. This is helpful if you have a booking confirmation from a hotel or such like.

GETTING NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

Yes! Now you can get local holidays with Google Calendar App. Never need to run for a physical calendar again. All you have to do is, Open the app >> Click on three stripes >> Go to Settings >> In ‘More’ section select ‘Holidays’ >> Add your preferred country. Ex: Sri Lanka. There you go! Now the device will sync with all local holidays including “Poya Days.”

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GETTING RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS

If you wand religious Holidays such as: Christian, Jewish,

Muslim, and Orthodox, you can follow the process below.

Open the app >> Click on three stripes >> Go to Settings >> In ‘More’ section select ‘Holidays’ >> Add your preferred Religious Holidays.

 

 

ADDING REMINDERS WITH GOOGLE KEEP

If you are using Google Keep oftenly, you can set those Google Keep reminders attached to the Google Calendar too. This is a great way to keep up with your reminders. When you go through in your calendar you repeatedly get a chance to see all of your reminders.

6

ADDING BIRTHDAYS

You don’t need to miss your loved ones birthdays, do you. 😀 You can add birthdays to show on your Google Calendar. These birthdays will automatically sync from your G+ (only from circles) and from your contacts, or you can also manually add if you want. Note that the birthdays are not notified as other reminders or events. You need to have a widget on the home screen or open the app in order to see birthdays.

CONCLUSION

Google is developing everyday. Some of these features were not there when I first used Google Calendar App. In order to keep update with the app, you need to explore yourself. I hope you enjoyed my article. If so, share among your friends to let them know too.

~ Happy Exploring!

final

How to Avoid Annoying Redirects on Android Mobile Phones

Introduction

Many of you may have wondered how you go to these spammy sites without your knowledge or concern. Many even get afraid of thinking that the mobile phone got a virus or a malware. But these are not viruses or malwares. Mobile browser redirects are something far more annoying than a viruses even though it may not do much harm. I have tried to avoid so many ways to get rid of these annoying redirects and I finally found my self a way to avoid them. This trick may too bug you for a while as you may have to manually add safe sites for exception list. Anyway I hope it will help to many people those who use mobile phone browser and Facebook everyday. If you have any suggestions and comments, please feel free to do so as I am a novice in this matter. 😀

spam

Instructions

Okay! Here is how I figured it out. As usual I searched in Google for solutions to avoid redirects. There were some articles saying to delete some folders and install some anti-virus guards. Believe me, I have 3 paid anti-virus guards installed on my mobile but none of them could overcome the problem. So there was this one site where it showed how to disable javascript on your browser. I applied it and checked and vola! It worked. 😀 Redirects stopped and no annoy at all. But there is a catch for this. Disabling javascripts will allow some web pages to misbehave. It will not show things as it should be. So if you want a particular web page to behave as usual you need to add that site address to the exception list.

hhhh

Feels like more annoying? 😛 Anyway, give it a try. You may find it useful as it’s on your mobile and not in your PC or laptop. Here how it is done:

Android Mobile Phone:

  1. Open ‘Chrome’ browser.
  2. Go to ‘settings’.
  3. Go to ‘site settings’.
  4. Go to ‘Javascript’ and disable it.
  5. Add exception web site addresses for your ease by clicking ‘Add Sites’.

Facebook: (This applies only after disabling javascripts on Chrome)

  1. Open ‘Facebook’.
  2. Go to ‘App Settings’.
  3. Enable ‘Links open externally’.

bbb

Outcome

By doing so you can open facebook links without a fuzz. If you experience that some of your favorite sites that didn’t bother you doesn’t work properly you can always add the main site address to the exception list. For example you can add www.teckwire.lk for the exception list. You don’t need to add every single site addresses in it to operate accordingly. You can also add your main search address to this list too. I have put www.google.lk for my ease. I have currently applied this method to my android mobile phone. You can test it on your apple and windows phone and see whether it works. I tried to apply for a windows phone but I couldn’t find a way to disable Javascript. You can read more about advantages and disadvantages about javascripts from the link here : http://www.jscripters.com/javascript-advantages-and-disadvantages/. Hope you enjoyed my article. Please feel free to comment and share the experience.

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Happy Reading !

Telnet සබඳතාවකින් Star Wars බලමුද?

මෙය කියවන ඔබ සියල්ලන්ම පාහේ Star Wars චිත්‍රපටි මාලාවෙන් එක් චිත්‍රපටයක් හෝ නරඹා ඇති බවට සැක නැත (නරඹා නැත්තම් ඒ බව අන් අයට නොකිව මනාය). නමුත්, මෑතකදී තිරගත වූ එහි නවතම චිත්‍රපටය ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ සමග චිත්‍රපට මාලාව කලින් නරඹා ඇති/ නැති සියල්ලන්ම නැවතත් මුල සිට Star Wars චිත්‍රපට සියල්ල නැරඹීමට පෙළඹී ඇත; මන්ද චිත්‍රපට මාලාවේ අවසන් චිත්‍රපටය නිකුත්වූයේ ද දැනට දශකයකට පෙර බැවිණි! මෑතකදී කොළඹදීද එවන් ‘මැරතන්’ දර්ශනයක් පැවැත්වුණි.

සත්‍ය කතාව නම්, සම්පූර්ණ චිත්‍රපටයක්ම command prompt වින්ඩෝවක් හරහා ප්‍රචාරය කිරීම ප්‍රායෝගික නැත. ඔව්, මේ සම්පූර්ණ චිත්‍රපටයම නොවේ. එහෙත් ඒ නිසාම Star Wars: Episode IV මුල්ම චිත්‍රපටයේ කොටසක් ඔබේ පරිගණකයෙන් දැකගැනීමට ඇති අවස්ථාව මගඅරින්නෙ ඇයි!

Telnet යනු ඉතාමත් ප්‍රාථමික මට්ටමේ ජාලකරණ ප්‍රොටොකෝලයකි (a networking protocol). නමුත් ඒ ගැන කම්මැලි විස්තර කිරීම් වලට නොයා අපි කෙලින්ම වැඩේට බහිමු.

Telnet සබඳතාවක් හරහා command prompt තුළින් Star Wars නරඹන අයුරු:

Windows සඳහා:

නවතම Windows මෙහෙයුම් පද්ධති සතුව ඍජු Telnet පහසුකමක් නොමැති වුවද, ඔබට එය එක් විධානයකින්ම නැවත ලබාගත හැකියි.

  1. ඔබේ පරිගණකයේ command prompt වැඩසටහන විවෘත කර පහත විධානය එහි ඇතුළත් කර, Enter ↵ යතුර ඔබන්න.
    pkgmgr /iu:"TelnetClient"
    පරිගණකය ඔබෙන් පරිපාලක අවසරයක් ඉල්ලුවහොත් මුරපදය ලබාදෙන්න.
  2. Command prompt වසා දමා නැවත විවෘත කර පහත විධානය ඇතුළත් කර, Enter ↵ යතුර ඔබන්න.
    Telnet Towel.blinkenlights.nl

Linux හෝ OS X සඳහා:

Star Wars චිත්‍රපටය ASCII යතුරු හරහා නැරඹීමට සරලවම ඔබේ Terminal අයදුමේ පහත විධානය ඇතුළත් කර, Enter ↵ යතුර ඔබන්න.

telnet towel.blinkenlights.nl

චිත්‍රපටයෙන් ලබාගත් සේයාරූ කිහිපයක්:

මේ සලරුව, command prompt නොමැති ජංගම දුරකථන පරිශීලකයින් වෙනුවෙනි:

Easily switch between network Profiles

With the connected nature of today’s lifestyle it is very common that you need to work with your laptop in at least two different networks(LANs) for a day. Upon changing the networks if it requires IP, DNS and Proxy changes, it is a great hassle. Most of the people find it annoying to do this task, this change is specially needed if you are changing form a static IP environment to dynamic IP environment and vise-versa.

For example you may have a WIFI network in your office where you have to configure a static network and DNS IPs and relevant Proxy IPs and port settings. Whereas at home you may have a WIFI network with dynamic network IPs (DHCP), automatic DNS settings and No proxy requirement. Thus in office you need to configure all relevant settings to use the laptop in office network, and when you come home and want to connect to the home WIFI network, you need to change settings again to DHCP.

Wanna know a simple way to switch between networks easily without installing any software?

This is by saving relevant network settings in a batch file (.bat) and running it in the relevant network to change the settings as needed.

In the following example, I will show how to switch between different WLANs

Download folder from below link and extract it into your C Drive (C:\IP Settings)

You will have following files

.bat files – staticip.bat and dhcp.bat

.reg files – ProxyEnable.reg and ProxyDisable.reg

You just have to run the .bat files according to the requirement

If you want to change your IP settings to a static environment with DNS and Proxy settings, you have to run the staticip.bat file.

Or if you want to change your IP settings to a DHCP environment with no DNS and no Proxy settings, you have to run the dhcp.bat file.

But before doing so, you need to change the parameters inside the files to your own settings

Thus to edit the files right click the relevant file and click edit, the file will open in notepad

staticip.bat

network1

Static.bat file has static IP settings for the WIFI network, network IP, subnet mask, default gateway, primary and secondary DNS. Further this enables the Proxy settings as well. This static.bat file call the ProxyEnable.reg file for this task

ProxyEnable.reg

network2

You need to edit these static .bat file and ProxyEnable.reg file with your relevant IP settings

dhcp.bat

network3

dhcp.bat file changes WIFI connection settings to DHCP for both network IPs DNS. Further this disables Proxy settings as well. This dhcp.bat file call the ProxyDisable.reg file for this task

ProxyDisable.reg

network4

Download the files here. [wpdm_file id=1]

The perfect swap in C++

So you are coding this cool app and you need to swap two variables. How does a good programmer do that in C++? The STL (Standard Templates Library) provides the std::swap function which does exactly what we want.

[code language=”cpp”]int a = 10;
int b = 12;
std::swap(a, b);[/code]

That’s easy. But hey, why don’t we go ahead and see actually what std::swap does behind the scenes? A grep in the Apache STL implementation gives us:

[code language=”cpp”]template <class _TypeT>
inline void swap (_TypeT& __a, _TypeT& __b)
{
   _TypeT __tmp = __a;
   __a = __b;
  __b = __tmp;
}[/code]

Woah, all the underscores! But don’t panic just yet. All it does is the grade-school swapping:

[code language=”cpp”]T tmp = a;
a = b;
b = tmp;[/code]

Hmm. That is perhaps the most straight-forward swap implementation. But how does it perform? Look again.

[code language=”cpp”]T tmp = a; // a copy of ‘a’ is created
a = b;  // a copy of ‘b’ is created
b = tmp;  // a copy of ‘tmp’ is created[/code]

That’s a lot of copies for a simple function! What if we could just ‘swap’ the two values without copying?

We google around a bit and find out that the above std::swap implementation is actually the old way of doing things. The new C++11 implementations does this differently. So we check the C++11 include files.

[code language=”cpp”]template<typename _Tp>
  inline void
swap(_Tp& __a, _Tp& __b)
   {
   _Tp __tmp = _GLIBCXX_MOVE(__a);
  __a = _GLIBCXX_MOVE(__b);
   __b = _GLIBCXX_MOVE(__tmp);
  }[/code]

That’s more confusing than the previous one. Again, don’t panic. We can simplify the things. _GLIBCXX_MOVE is defined to be std::move. Let’s just call it ‘move’. So the above function is roughly similar to:

[code language=”cpp”]T tmp = move(a);
a = move(b);
b = move(tmp);[/code]

Now we are scratching our chins. At first glance, the implementation looks much similar to the grade-school swap. And then, there’s this move-thingy. Okay, looking back, we remember that the elements were ‘copied’ in the grade-school algorithm. Instead, it looks like the variables are ‘moved’ here.

And we are right! In the first line, tmp is set to the value of a, while the variable a is (temporarily) invalidated. No copying is done. The previous memory location of a is now the territory of tmp. In the next line, a is set to the value of b, while b is invalidated. Finally, b is set to the value of tmp, and tmp itself is invalidated, which we don’t need again anyway. And the result? The two values are swapped without any copy operations!

How does this moving really work? C++11 introduces the so called “rvalue references”. The ‘move’ function returns the rvalue of the input parameter without triggering a copy construction.

[code language=”cpp”]T &a = x; // normal (lvalue) reference
T &&b = y; // rvalue reference [/code]

A full description will not fit in this post, but you can go through this nice little introduction on rvalue references. You might also want to refresh your memory about lvalues and rvalues.

And let’s call it a day and meet again with another little C++ adventure.

http://www.open-std.org/jtc1/sc22/wg21/docs/papers/2006/n2027.html

Auto-matic typing in C++

C++ is a statically typed language by design. In other words, you have to specify which data type your dear variable is supposed to be. If you declare myCoolVar to be an integer, you can’t let him play with his string friends. Type checking is done at the compile time. So myCoolVar will soon be caught red-handed if it goes matchmaking with a string or a vector.

This is contrast to the radical kids in the block like Python and Ruby who don’t care whom their variables play with. They call themselves dynamically-typed. A washed up floating point might become a variable with a character in a few moments.

Cool as it may sound, dynamic typing is not for everyone. C++ is mostly used where performance and reliability are key factors. Thus the C++ standard has always insisted on strong, static typing. But even if you haven’t been programming since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, you may know that it’s not always easy to remember and explicitly declare the correct variable type. The new C++ standard, or C++11  as it’s known, aims to change this.

C++11 isn’t exactly new to the city. Most compilers around, including gcc and Microsoft C++ compilers, now include support for C++11. Among the dozens of improvements it has brought, let’s have a look at the auto keyword.

Suppose you want to take the length of a C++ string called myStr. Easy-peasy. myStr.length() is the way to go. But wait. The return value of the length() function is string::size_t. Besides from being hard to type in, it’s not easy to remember all these return types either. That’s when the auto keyword comes handy. Instead of,

[code language=”cpp”]string::size_t len = myStr.length();[/code]

you can simply write

[code language=”cpp”]auto len = myStr.length();[/code]

The compiler detects the return type of myStr.length() and makes len a variable of that type. So very convenient.

Not convinced? Suppose you have a map of objects that you need to iterate. How do you initialize the iterator?

[code language=”cpp”]std::map<char,int>::iterator it = myMap.begin();[/code]

Ugh. That isn’t the nicest code snippet you’ve written. But hey, we have our friend auto:

[code language=”cpp”]auto it = myMap.begin();[/code]

Skadoosh! Auto has automagically made it an std::map<char,int>::iterator, because that’s the return type of myMap.begin()! Now that does look nice.

What if I want to declare a variable with a default value?

Suppose you want to declare a variable that holds the length of a string. But you first need to set it to zero.

[code language=”cpp”]auto len = 0;[/code]

Ha! That is wrong! This would make len an int, not string::size_t. But C++11 has an answer for that as well. You can use the decltype keyword like this:

[code language=”cpp”]decltype(myStr.size()) len = 0;[/code]

This declares len as a variable of type returned by myStr.size(), but still initializes it to zero.

Is this dynamic typing?

No, not really. Even though it appears as if auto changes a variable’s type dynamically, it actually happens during the compile time. It’s just that you don’t have to explicitly code the type of the variable, the compiler does that for yourself. Which is mighty sweet of C++11.

Is it safe to use auto?

Isn’t letting your variables roam free considered as bad parenting? No. Not only is it safe to use auto in your C++ code, it’s even recommended that you use it wherever possible. Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of the C++ language himself, advocates its use. Just make sure that your compiler is updated to support C++11.

Image Credits : http://geekandpoke.typepad.com/geekandpoke/2010/01/best-of-both-worlds.html

Thoughts on buying a camera

“What camera should I buy?” is a question I get asked a lot. The problem here is, most people ask expecting an answer including an SLR. If I catered to that, I should be answering “The most expensive one you can afford”.

But I don’t do that. I just try to help people. So the first question I ask is, what do you want to do with it? This question is usually met with an array of blank looks. Or maybe a “To take pictures, duh!” kind of response.

Of course, the main reason is, people think the SLR is a camera. This is a technical misconception. The SLR is designed to be a System.

A step above we find Medium Format cameras, which is even more so. Let me simplify. The pure SLR buy is a body only. You can’t do anything with that. Its like a car without tires. You need to accessorise. First and foremost, a lens. Just like a car’s tires, this comes in many, many configurations. Do you need road tires, off-road tires, snow tires, studs or chains, what width, what tire profile, wet weather optimised or dry weather optimised, racing slicks, semi grooved racing tires? With a lens, zoom or prime, zoom range, aperture, macro capability, tilt shift ability, focus motor, weather sealing? General purpose do-it-all or specialized? And this is just the first accessory of the System! This is why it is so important to get the “what do you want to do with it” question right.

Most people are surprised when they ask me and I tell them to get a point and shoot. My reasoning is quite simple. If your photography is at a simple curious clicking stage and you haven’t figured out what you want to do, a point and shoot is where you can figure that out without making a very expensive mistake. A P&S is an all round package, vs a specialist system. I’ve said it before, in ideal conditions, a good high end P&S can outperform a basic DSLR with a base level lens. I know it, as I have lived it, when I upgraded to my DSLR, I used to use both my P&S and DSLR at the same time, and the results can be astonishing. The DSLR starts coming into its own when the conditions start getting difficult, and the more expensive DSLRs start proving their worth as things get even more difficult, but for what most people want, memories to share on Facebook and Instagram, its really not worth it.
Want to see the proof? These are three of my favourite pictures, all taken with a P&S –
Blue-Tailed Bee Eater
The Sentinel
Reflections

The issue, as I see it, is that most people want a camera as a status symbol, more of way to show people your wealth than anything actually to do with taking pictures. In that case, yes, please, buy the most expensive system you can find, and help fund the R&D cost for the developing line and help bring down the cost for the rest of us.

And besides, it can be generalised that most people want cameras mostly for taking pics of far off wildlife during trips, or to take pictures of people at weddings. That whole market of people who want a camera to take pictures of themselves in the mirror have pretty much moved to camera phones. Both of these options can be very expensive. When it comes to wildlife, there is no getting around the fact that a decent zoom lens to capture far away creatures will be costly. Weddings, even a normal lens will do, with even entry DSLRs able to shoot high ISOs that even pro photographers from just 20 years ago would be just jealous of. But naturally, the more image quality becomes important, the more expensive it gets.

My advice is, unless you want to get into the subject at least a little seriously, by which I mean be willing to learn enough that you don’t buy and SLR and use it only in auto mode, its better to chose a P&S. My general recommendations are to either pick one of the Superzooms (some people refer to it as bridge cameras, or SLR-like, because of the shape), or a toughened P&S, the waterproof, dustproof, shockproof ranges, which will let you take pictures underwater. Reasoning in simple. You will get shots that your friends with more money than sense who bought an SLR purely to show off will not be able to get, at least not without spending a great deal of money. To match the superzoom P&S range, you need to spend well over $10,000. The Canon SX50 can reach 1200mm in SLR terms. The Canon EF 1200mm SLR lens alone costs around $100,000 and is only made to order, and while the exact number made is not know, its supposed to be about 10. And that is stuck on one length, you can only take pictures of people about a mile away, while the SX50 will happily zoom out to take a picture of 25 people trying to pose for a group picture at a wedding.

Taking your very expensive SLR underwater requires a waterproof casing that will cost at least $2000, while a smarter person will happily click away underwater with a ~$300 P&S. And THE most important thing, the best shots you take are taken with the camera that is with you. You can buy a very expensive DSLR setup, but when it reaches the point that you need to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime to carry it around for more than ½ an hour, you simply leave it at home, and miss all the wonderful opportunities that people are happily clicking away with their $100-$400 P&Ss. One of my friends, a full time professional photographer recently picked up a waterproof point and shoot to take with him when going on casual trips like to Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa, where he can drop it, get it wet, get sloshed and party in peace without worrying about having to take care of his expensive SLR gear. And I think the time is not far off when I will do the same.“What camera should I buy?” is a question I get asked a lot. The problem here is, most people ask expecting an answer including an SLR. If I catered to that, I should be answering “The most expensive one you can afford”.

But I don’t do that. I just try to help people. So the first question I ask is, what do you want to do with it? This question is usually met with an array of blank looks. Or maybe a “To take pictures, duh!” kind of response.

Of course, the main reason is, people think the SLR is a camera. This is a technical misconception. The SLR is designed to be a System. A step above we find Medium Format cameras, which is even more so. Let me simplify. The pure SLR buy is a body only. You can’t do anything with that. Its like a car without tires. You need to accessorise. First and foremost, a lens. Just like a car’s tires, this comes in many, many configurations. Do you need road tires, off-road tires, snow tires, studs or chains, what width, what tire profile, wet weather optimised or dry weather optimised, racing slicks, semi grooved racing tires? With a lens, zoom or prime, zoom range, aperture, macro capability, tilt shift ability, focus motor, weather sealing? General purpose do-it-all or specialized? And this is just the first accessory of the System! This is why it is so important to get the “what do you want to do with it” question right.

Most people are surprised when they ask me and I tell them to get a point and shoot. My reasoning is quite simple. If your photography is at a simple curious clicking stage and you haven’t figured out what you want to do, a point and shoot is where you can figure that out without making a very expensive mistake. A P&S is an all round package, vs a specialist system. I’ve said it before, in ideal conditions, a good high end P&S can outperform a basic DSLR with a base level lens. I know it, as I have lived it, when I upgraded to my DSLR, I used to use both my P&S and DSLR at the same time, and the results can be astonishing. The DSLR starts coming into its own when the conditions start getting difficult, and the more expensive DSLRs start proving their worth as things get even more difficult, but for what most people want, memories to share on Facebook and Instagram, its really not worth it.
Want to see the proof? These are three of my favourite pictures, all taken with a P&S –
Blue-Tailed Bee Eater
The Sentinel
Reflections

The issue, as I see it, is that most people want a camera as a status symbol, more of way to show people your wealth than anything actually to do with taking pictures. In that case, yes, please, buy the most expensive system you can find, and help fund the R&D cost for the developing line and help bring down the cost for the rest of us.

And besides, it can be generalised that most people want cameras mostly for taking pics of far off wildlife during trips, or to take pictures of people at weddings. That whole market of people who want a camera to take pictures of themselves in the mirror have pretty much moved to camera phones. Both of these options can be very expensive. When it comes to wildlife, there is no getting around the fact that a decent zoom lens to capture far away creatures will be costly. Weddings, even a normal lens will do, with even entry DSLRs able to shoot high ISOs that even pro photographers from just 20 years ago would be just jealous of. But naturally, the more image quality becomes important, the more expensive it gets.

My advice is, unless you want to get into the subject at least a little seriously, by which I mean be willing to learn enough that you don’t buy and SLR and use it only in auto mode, its better to chose a P&S. My general recommendations are to either pick one of the Superzooms (some people refer to it as bridge cameras, or SLR-like, because of the shape), or a toughened P&S, the waterproof, dustproof, shockproof ranges, which will let you take pictures underwater. Reasoning in simple. You will get shots that your friends with more money than sense who bought an SLR purely to show off will not be able to get, at least not without spending a great deal of money. To match the superzoom P&S range, you need to spend well over $10,000. The Canon SX50 can reach 1200mm in SLR terms. The Canon EF 1200mm SLR lens alone costs around $100,000 and is only made to order, and while the exact number made is not know, its supposed to be about 10. And that is stuck on one length, you can only take pictures of people about a mile away, while the SX50 will happily zoom out to take a picture of 25 people trying to pose for a group picture at a wedding.

Taking your very expensive SLR underwater requires a waterproof casing that will cost at least $2000, while a smarter person will happily click away underwater with a ~$300 P&S. And THE most important thing, the best shots you take are taken with the camera that is with you. You can buy a very expensive DSLR setup, but when it reaches the point that you need to be built like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime to carry it around for more than ½ an hour, you simply leave it at home, and miss all the wonderful opportunities that people are happily clicking away with their $100-$400 P&Ss. One of my friends, a full time professional photographer recently picked up a waterproof point and shoot to take with him when going on casual trips like to Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa, where he can drop it, get it wet, get sloshed and party in peace without worrying about having to take care of his expensive SLR gear. And I think the time is not far off when I will do the same.

10 Bad Tech habits to break in 2013

1. Using your phone while driving – It maybe to take a call, even worse type or read a SMS but using your phone while driving is far worse than a bad habit, it is a deadly habit. Why take the risk? Pull over, take the call and then resume your journey. You can also use a Bluetooth headset which auto connects the calls.

2. Not putting your phone on silent – how many times has a sudden ringing phone completely distracted everyone during a meeting, a religious sermon, at the movie theatre or hospital. It only takes a couple of seconds, make sure you do it.

3. Having weak passwords – With the numerous online services used these days, we tend either to have the same password or simple passwords. Don’t wait till someone hacks into your account, use complex, different passwords for your critical accounts. For non vital services you can have one complex password. Or you can always try a password manager software such as Lastpass or Dashlane but make sure you dont forget the primary password.

4. Not backing up your data – Everyone has their precious data that they would hate losing. It could be your child’s photos, or your business financial data or even maybe your degree assignments. Even knowing the importance of the documents we still fail to backup to a portable or virtual drive. Take 10 minutes to backup your files to dropbox or google drive today. Dont wait till it’s too late

5. Using your laptop on the bed – When you keep the laptop on the bed, the air ventilators get blocked and will lead to the laptop overheating. This could be damaging to your laptop, even worse it could start a fire on your bed.

6. Getting hooked to too many TV series – There are so many interesting and addictive TV series, that you find it hard to choose which one to watch. However following too many of them will eat up a lot of your time. Better keep yourself limited to one or two TV series at the most. Also avoid watching multiple episodes at a stretch. Remember life is short, don’t waste it on loads of TV series.

7. Not properly shutting down your laptop Many a time when we are in a hurry we just snap the lid on the laptop and takeoff. Sometimes closing the lid will not result in your laptop going to Sleep mode. Moving around with an operational hard disk is obviously not good. Take a few seconds to manually initiate the sleep mode. Also remember to properly shutdown your PC from time to time as I am sure it would like to have a regular break.

8. Ignoring privacy settings – It is reported that 25% of facebook users still ignore the privacy setting. If you don’t lock your door intruders will come and steal your data. Keep your personal data private by properly configuring those privacy settings.

9. Using your phone/tablet at inappropriate times – we all know that we love to use the smartphone all the time, but there are instances when u flat out shouldn’t. You might be having meals with the family, having a meetup with friends, or on a date. In these instances please keep your phone aside, it is there to connect with people not to disconnect with them.

10. Keeping your tech gadgets unclean – In a recent study, researchers found over 500 types of bacteria on mobile phones, keyboards, mouse and desktops. Take a wet wipe and clean those dirty gadgets once a week. If once a week is not possible try starting to do it atleast once a month.

8 Useful Google Chrome shortcuts

With time we spend online ever increasing, it is useful to know shortcuts that will make your browsing experience better. Below i have listed 8 useful shortcuts for the Google chrome browser that many people are unaware of. Check them out and save time and clicks, while you can also impress friends and colleagues with them.

Chrome Shortcuts