Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Guard The Cloud! (Dropbox 2-Step Verification)

About a month ago, Dropbox, one of the larger cloud storage companies, confirmed that it was indeed hacked. They've now deployed a 2-Step Verification process before allowing any new devices or sessions to access your account. I highly recommend you activate it ASAP if you use their service!

Simply log into your Dropbox web account online

Go to Settings by clicking on your Account name on the upper right hand side of the website

Click on the Security tab

Then scroll down and enable the Two-Step Verification.

Follow the instructions.

Make sure you have your mobile phone handy since Dropbox will send you a verification code. Or if you have an Android or iOS device, you may use an authenticator app and scan the QR Code instead.

This may be a bit of an inconvenience, but it's much better than having your data compromised.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Have Some Class. (A Memory Card Class Review)

Memory cards are everywhere. Digital cameras, portable music players, video recorders, voice recorders, and mobile phones. Most devices come with free cards when you purchase them. But not all memory cards (or even memory chips for that matter) are made equal.

Why is memory class important? It depends what your device needs the memory for. Most music players can work with the slowest memory cards since mp3 playback doesn't demand high speed transfer. On digital cameras, specially DSLRs, a slower memory card will take longer to save each photo taken, thus giving you longer time before the photo shows up on your view screen. Video cameras, specially HD recorders, require the fastest cards due to their continuous data stream which has to be saved as quickly as possible otherwise you risk dropped frames or worse, not having the clip saved at all.

Memory card speeds are usually printed on the card itself or on the box they came in and are indicative of the respective MINIMUM transfer speeds the card can handle.

(Source Wikipedia)
and so on...

But what about on Android phone? Do they make a real-world difference? Yes they do. Even if your phone doesn't require a fast card, it can usually handle faster data. This in turn has a domino effect on the over-all performance of your phone.

This means faster access to data and apps that are saved on the card. The difference between a Class 2 and Class 6 card can speed up start up time, or allow faster multi-tasking. My Xperia originally came with a basic Class 2 microSD card. The more apps I installed, the slower my phone seemed to become. This is due to the bottleneck created by the card to access the card's content. I upgraded to the Sandisk Mobile Ultra microSDHC card which is a Class 6 and has the added benefits of being waterproof and temperature tolerant (Although a side note, most SD cards are quite durable and can withstand quite a bit of physical abuse already)

Are Class 6 (and higher) cards worth the upgrade? Yes they are. The higher the better, although for everyday tasks, anything above class 6 won't make that much of a difference anymore unless you're doing heavy HD video or audio recording. It's a quick and cheap way to upgrade the overall performance of your Android phone (or any gadget that uses a memory card)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

App of the Day: Philippine Shipping Mobile Apps

If you love to shop online like I do, or just need to send packages to your friends or family in the provinces, package tracking is quite essential. Up until recently in the Philippines, these had to be done on a desktop web browser. Mobile apps are far more convenient to use and usually more reliable.

Thankfully, Air 21 and LBC have free mobile apps that offer live tracking and other shipping tools for your convenience. Containing tools and information such as rate calculators and branch locations, it gives customers easy access to the most useful logistic services.

Both apps are quite easy to use. Simply enter the airway bill number and you get a detailed report of the location of your package. While rate calculators are usually accurate, if you have an odd sized package or a very heavy one, it's still best to give the company a call to get a better estimate on shipping costs.
For int'l packages, FedEx and DHL have their own respective apps as well. UPS only has an app for iOS (Boo!)

Links to download the free apps are here:

**disclaimer: I'm affiliated with Air21 and FedEx Philippines and was asked to review their app and its functions**

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rainy Monday App of the Day: iTyphoon

Due to the recent storm flooding in the Philippines, I'm posting a very helpful app that allows you to track incoming LPA (low pressure areas) and storms.

iTyphoon has a great interface showing both the weather report as well as a tracking map with the current and predicted path of the storm. iTyphoon is available for free on both Android and iOS. Head on over to Google Play for the Android version, and the App Store for the iOS version!

Typhoon2000.ph on the other hand, is a private website that consolidates links and reports from various weather sites and sources in one place. For more detailed reports, and satellite images, this is the place to visit.

Past Tech Gospels

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