Friday, March 30, 2012

April 1 2011 on YouTube

April 1 is coming, and we will hopefully see more funny hoaxes and pranks in traditional and online media. To bring in a spirit of the All Fools Say earlier, I would like to remind you on the video posted on YouTube a year ago.

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This day, YouTube presented the top viral videos of 1911, yes - 1911.

"Today, we celebrate 100 years of YouTube, and we thought we would reflect on our inaugural year with a re-print of our first blog post from 1911. In honor of this milestone, today's homepage is a reproduction of how you might have viewed it 100 years ago. Check out some of the most popular videos of the time and be sure to try out our new upload mode which summons a horse-drawn carriage to pick up your video submission from your home."

Make your day – read about great hoaxes and pranks -

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Welcome Google Play!

Last week, my Android smart phone suddenly asked me to accept the conditions of the application Google Play, I was not familiar with. As appeared, it was sign of a new marketing move of Google. It was a day of Android Market death, giving way for a new successor – Google Play.

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Google claims this is more than a name change. The Google Play Store not only replaces Android Market, but also extends it, adding other types of digital content such as eBooks, music, video content and more. So, under the Google Play label, the company hopes to consolidate all of its purchasable digital content on one platform.

This move is another step in the competitive struggle with Google's biggest mobile rival, Apple, which already employs such a strategy with its iTunes store which offers digital books, apps, music, movies and more.

Video Presentation

Simply put, with Google Play you can now:
  • Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks.
  • Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games.
  • Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks.
  • Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles.

So, Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore are all joining the new Google Play. On your Android phone or tablet, the upgrade may have already started or it will be addressed over the coming days. Your videos, books and music apps (in countries where they are available) will also be upgraded to Google Play Movies, Google Play Books and Google Play Music apps. The music, movies, books and apps you’ve purchased will continue to be available to you through Google Play—simply log in with your Google account like always.

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All your stuff is stored in the cloud. All your downloaded content can be seen on your mobile device or found online at No special software is required, no wires or syncing needed, and it's free to use.

If you like something on Google Play, you can share posts about your favorite books, music, movies, games or apps to your circles on Google+, email, or text message in a single click.

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Note that the Google’s current offerings vary by the location.  Here’s what Google Play will initially offer by country:
  • U.S.: Apps, Movies, Books, Music 
  • UK & Canada: Apps, Movies, Books 
  • Australia: Apps & Books 
  • Japan: Apps & Movies
  • Others: Apps

The Google Play Store can be found here:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Humans vs. Computers: Infographic Comparison

Once, about 10 years ago, my son – he was 5 at the time – asked me: “Daddy, there are so many things computer can do, which I cannot, so sometimes I want to have such capabilities. Do you think computer also wants to be able to do, what I can do?”

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Yes, he was born in the computer epoch, and he does not understand in depth of his heart how could we live without these smart machines and multiple large and small smart gadgets, helping us everywhere.

The evolution of computers has made countless things possible for humans to do. Our trusty computer is capable of doing a number of things in the least amount of time making it a very convenient household appliance. Nowadays, a computer is a necessity as it can speed up the way you do your work, shopping, research and so much more. In the beginning, humans put a lot of effort into conditioning computers and networks to work the way we thought was optimal. It turns out that computers are so highly organized that we are now being conditioned by them!

The high tech computers development is lighting fast. Remember DOS Operating systems? It was not so far back in time. Remember 5.25-inch diskettes? You may still find them in the rural garage sale.

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There are multiple Science Fiction stories, offering futuristic and catastrophic, funny and sad views on the possibility of the computers domination. But, how far more does technology have to advance before its starts to live up to science fiction? How long do we have before our computers rule the world? Below is a light hearted look at computers vs. humans’ infographic comparison as of today.

Monday, March 12, 2012

5 Free Apps to Block Unwanted Calls on Android Smart Phone

She was crying aloud, and my wife sitting on the passenger seat of the car curiously followed up my phone conversation… They have separated two weeks ago, but he is calling her three times a day, driving her mad. She was ready to change the phone number, and she was asking for advice…

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What can I say? Since my friend has a smart Android phone, there is no need for her to change the number. There are quite few applications, and I would say, mostly, good applications, allowing blocking calls from the particular number, or multiple numbers, you decided to blacklist.

In this post, I will provide some brief listing of the top freeware Android applications, which will do for you what personal assistant can do – filter your incoming calls.

  1. Mr. Number

Mr. Number is probably one of the most applications for Android to block unwanted calls and SMSs. It is equipped with really powerful call blocker. You can block texts and calls from a person, a business, a prefix, or the world. Block calls and texts from any phone number, any area code or prefix, all private and restricted calls, or block everyone except your contacts. You can chose to pick up and hang up on some callers, and send others to voicemail – decision is yours, and the applications gives you all necessary tools for that.

Among other distinctive features is automatic reverse lookup for every number that is not in your contacts, outbound and inbound. So, you can catch the unwanted person calls even when call is made from unfamiliar to you number. Note that this Caller ID feature is only available in the US for now.

Rating: 4.4 (from more than 46K reviewers)

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  1. Call Control – Call Blocker

Call Control – Call Blocker is also belongs to the group of the leading Android applications on the market for blocking unwanted calls and SMSs. The interesting feature is pre-loaded Community Blacklist, generated from Community reports and FCC complaints, blocking thousands of spam and unwanted calls / text messages right out of the box.

The problem that the application switches to Light version with limited features after 14 days of trial period. In Light version, your personal blacklist is limited to 3 numbers only.

Rating: 4.3 (from 16K reviewers)
  1. Call Blocker

Call Blocker is another free application for calls and messages filtering. Among extra features its ability to backup your contact list to transfer it on another phone, even on another platform as Symbian or Blackberry. The same disadvantage as in the previous program - some additional features, as Private Space (ability to hide some icons from the main screen), for example, are available in the premium version of the program only.

Rating: 4.3 (from more than 10K reviewers)

  1. Private SMS & Call

Private SMS & Call is a simple and straightforward application which allows blacklisting and blocking SMSs and phone calls as firewall.

Rating: 4.3 (from about 10K reviewers)

  1. Call Filter

Free version of the Call Filter supports blocking unwanted phone calls only, so if you need to add SMSs, you will have to migrate to the PRO version, or choose another program from the list.

Rating: 4.2 (from more than 9K reviewers)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

2 Best Mobile Applications to Avoid Speed Traps

As long as I am a driver, I always remember people were flashing their headlights at oncoming traffic, trying to warn fellow drivers on the speed traps and police cars on the road. Whether it's right or wrong, that sort of helpfulness has gone high-tech.

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At first, there were anti-radars. In some countries they are legal, in other – they are outlawed. The lack of the international consistency tells a lot on the controversial subject. Let’s admit, if we are not violating any traffic laws, we should not be afraid of police. Definitely, I refer to the civilized countries only, where traffic police is not one of the multiple money extorting government-supported groups. So, the gadget assists the violators to get unpunished? True, and wrong. Look on the topic from other perspective. Driver gets warning and slows down, “wakes up”, becomes more alert and assertive. The overall outcome is quite positive. That is why, most of the schools and government buildings are equipped with radar-type devices, forcing the passer-by cars, equipped with anti-radar to slow down.

With Internet penetration, the new web communities were developed, sharing information among users on speed traps, hidden cameras, and other annoying elements of the enforcement agencies. However, their usefulness was quite limited before these services became really mobile, in a form of smart phones applications. In this post, we will review several apps for your mobile phones.

  1. Trapster
Trapster, is probably one of the most popular such applications. With improved mobile phone GPS and location detection, it allows users of iPhones, Blackberies, Droids and other GPS devices to do much more than just warn of speed traps, but to offer tips on enforcement cameras and road hazards. With nearly 15 million users (reporting on more than 5 million traps), chances are the road you’re driving at any given time has somebody reporting what’s up ahead. You can also make it a mobile social network, spotting your friends on the road in real time…kind of the smartphone equivalent of CB Radio.

The app can deliver voice alerts as you approach a trap or if you exceed a speed limit. You have the option of becoming a member of Trapster's network and reporting speed traps, cameras, or other traffic hazards, or confirming existing ones. Users can also mark road hazards, breakdowns, and construction sites for the benefit of their fellow drivers. On trips over unfamiliar roads, this app is essential.

Video Presentation:

  1. Waze
Another very popular app is Waze. It also works with the major smartphones, but it functions more like an online driving community. You get tips on how to outsmart traffic jams, directions and navigation info and, of course, warnings of traffic enforcement zones. You can even make it a game, racking up points by making frequent reports. Just drive around with the app on and it gathers and shares traffic conditions, alerting you to slowdowns and hazards up ahead.

Video Presentation:

Sources and Additional Information:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

iPad2 Security Flaw

The worrisome security flaw has been reported by respectable 9to5Mac site. You can call it a software bug, or you can call it a special feature. In any case, you should be aware on that, as it may cause you some unpleasant surprise if some notes, saved on your tablet, will get to somebody, they were not intended for.

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And now watch the video:

As you can see in our video above, a Smart Cover can essentially unlock an iPad 2. The person who unlocks your iPad 2 will not have complete access to your iPad, but will be able to gain entry to whatever you locked your iPad 2 on. If your iPad 2 went to sleep in Mail, Safari, Messages, Contacts, or Maps, you can imagine the sorts of personal information that can be viewed on your iPad. If you left your iPad 2 on its home screen, the person can view which applications you have on your device, control media from the multitasking bar, but not much else.

How to re-create it:
1) Lock a password protected iPad 2
2) Hold down power button until iPad 2 reaches turn off slider
3) Close Smart Cover
4) Open Smart Cover
5) Click cancel on the bottom of the screen

Temporary solution is after the break: You can temporarily fix this bug by disabling Smart Cover unlocking in the iPad 2 settings menu under the General tab.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Should you take marriage compatibility test before your marriage?

When you are in love, you want to be forever with your sweetheart. You get married, and you are happy as never before, and then you notice that your beloved partner starts gradually changing. And maybe you are changing yourself? Or you both are changing? Or…?

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Marriage is an important phase in people’s life. It is the union of two persons from different places, different families, different cultures, different mindsets who join to supposedly live together for the rest of their life. Not far ago, arranged marriages were typical in most cultures. But now most of the mainstream American parents have not much authority to dictate their offspring whom to marry and when. So, young people make this decision more or less independently from the peer pressure. But are these love marriages are happier than arranged marriages in the past? Hard to say, since no statistical data may accommodate in full the fact of public perception. Divorces were not acceptable due to the cultural, societal, and religious guidelines, while now the most common remaining limitations are purely financial and children behalf.

BTW, for arranged marriage benefits, interesting results were received in the recent research performed in India, the country, where arranged marriage is still acceptable. A study performed by the University of Rajasthan, compared love strength in love marriages and arranged marriages, using an American love scale, called the Rubin Love Scale. And obtained results were amazing (at least for me). As expected, love in the love marriages starts out very high. And then over time it decreases, which is also understandable. And in the arranged marriages, the love at first is relatively low. That is also can be easily explained: in some cases the people barely know each other, sometimes they’ve had a half an hour of contact in total before they got married. The unexpected results come when it is found that it increases gradually, surpasses the love in the love marriages at about five years. And 10 years out it’s twice as strong.

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OK, let’s assume that the results are valid, and there is the food for thoughts. What makes arranged marriage substantially more successful than love marriage? May be, because parents or other responsible people can more or less objectively judge both sides, and their vision is not blurred by passion. May be because they do not base their decisions on subconscious attraction, but rather on the clean personalities’ evaluation for the marriage compatibility?

Where I am leading? No, not towards arranged marriage, and not against love as ruling factor for making the important decision. I just recommend stopping for a moment and performing compatibility testing before making the formal arrangements.

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Marriage compatibility tests, available online and offline, are instruments, giving couples an evaluation and a general idea as to their differences in personality and their relationship in general. On the simplest term, they are regarded as a relationship checkers. Couples who want to know more about their partner and discover each other’s strengths and weakness often indulge in this practice. This includes commonalities and personality differences. You may have the chance to date your partner and yes, you do become aware of who they really are but this happens through a very gradual process over an extended period of time. Using a marriage compatibility test, you can complete this process much more quickly and more in depth.

In a marriage compatibility test, there are NO right or wrong answers. All answers just offer insights into who you are as long as you provide your answers truthfully. Generally, questions cover issues about your personality type, relationship lifestyle and your day to day routines. Thus, it gives you a general idea about each other’s differences, strengths and weaknesses that can lead to a better understanding of yourself and your partner. Any possible conflicts can be identified and dealt with through the therapeutic process. As a result, issues can be worked through before things get out of hand.

And that is the main point: not necessary the compatibility issues should cause your separation. You may enter to marriage with open eyes and clear understanding on what and how you will have to deal with that.

There are multiple tests, you can do online, starting from the serious psychological questionnaires and ending with humorous love strength tests. While the value might be different, even the most stupid test can help you to discover your partner thoughts, personality traits, wishes and desires. More you do, better you know the person, you are going to marry. And LOVE matters, it really is!

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Jung Marriage Test

Jung Marriage Test is probably one of the most serious attempts to check if two people are compatible and have good chances to be happy together. It is based on a personality type, defined by the three criteria introduced by Carl Jung:
  • Extraversion - Introversion
  • Sensing - Intuition
  • Thinking - Feeling

And the forth criteria added later by Isabel Briggs Myers.
  • Judging - Perceiving

The different combinations of the four criteria define sixteen possible personality types. The type formula is denoted by the first letters of the combination, e.g.

ENFP - Extravert Intuitive Feeling Perceiving

Once you know the type formula and strength of the preferences of both partners in a matching couple, it is possible to calculate the index of compatibility (MatchIndex) between the partners. MatchIndex is of such great importance that, practically, its role may be decisive one in the partners' relationships.

A high MatchIndex ensures good and stable long-term relations. If the partners' MatchIndex is low, then in the vast majority of cases the relationships are subject to conflict.

This test is not free, but the cost of $6 is quite affordable, and worth investing.

Other Tests

Other tests, offered in this post, are free for all, but they are not so sophisticated than the first one. In any case, try and see:

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