Category Archives: Opinion

My opinion about something; quite possible anything!

You Probably Shouldn’t Deactivate Your Twitter Account

Everything's missing!

If you’re considering deactivating your Twitter account, whether to tackle social media addiction or for other reasons, you might want to read this post and reconsider.

First, a little backstory: I decided to take two weeks off Twitter in mid-November because I was wasting all my time in it. Simply logging out of Twitter on my PC and smartphone didn’t work, so I decided to deactivate my account and delete the Twitter apps. After a few days of back-and-forth tussle, I emerged victorious and stayed off Twitter for ten days. When I reactivated my account in early December, nearly everything was missing.

This is what I have learnt in the process:

 

Your account data will not be restored immediately

I deactivated Twitter on 23rd November, but was back a day later to tweet some crap (I had to!). When I logged in, all my user lists were empty (followers, following, lists). It didn’t bother me much because my timeline was still updating. Plus, Twitter had warned about delays in data restoration.

After tweeting the aforementioned “crap”, regret set in and I deactivated my account again (I know, I have issues). I reactivated my account about ten days later, and again found all my lists were empty. No big deal, because delays! But things were different this time – my timeline was completely dead. I actually had 0 followers and was following 0 people.

As I looked around, I found more missing stuff. All the mentions were gone from my Interactions tab (a quick search surfaced those tweets, so they were obviously still there but weren’t showing up in the Interactions tab). All the images I had uploaded were gone (the tweets associated with those images were still there). Worst of all, the 800+ tweets I had favorited were also gone (I spotted this after a couple of days). I use Twitter as a complementary bookmark service, so losing all my favorites was a bummer. Again, I did not pay too much attention to all this, because Twitter says it can take up to 24 hours for your data to be restored.

Some of your data may not be restored at all

48 hours passed, and not a single thing had been restored, so I set out to contact an actual person at Twitter. It’s notoriously hard to find someone to talk to at a free online service company (it’s free, don’t complain!), and thankfully that wasn’t the case here. I found a contact form quite easily, and sent an email to The Twitter Support Institution. An email from Cheerful Twitter Employee arrived the next day saying everything was fixed. I am impress, Twitter!

Except, that wasn’t really the case. My followers and following lists were back, my timeline was flowing like butter again, my…no, that was it. Mentions, images, and favorites still missing. I sent another email stating this, didn’t get any answer for three days, so I emailed again. Cheerful Twitter Employee promptly closed the support ticket and let me know that Twitter engineers are on it, and I need not check back. Here’s a snapshot of the full conversation. None of the missing data has been restored since.

I want to be optimistic, and hope that the Twitter engineers will indeed fix this issue one day. Then again, I have been hopeful of getting Login Approvals (two step authentication) in my Facebook account for over a year, and I still don’t have it.

 

Twitter will delete your account after 30 days

Unlike Facebook, which will retain your deactivated account indefinitely, Twitter will delete your account if you don’t reactivate it within 30 days. Now, this won’t come as a nasty surprise or something – Twitter warns you very clearly during the deactivation process. You will also get email alerts when the deactivation period approaches 30 days. Still, something to keep in mind if you’re considering staying off the Internet for more than a month.

 

What you can do instead

So, the bottom line is that you shouldn’t deactivate your Twitter account. The entire process might go off very smoothly in your case, but chances are things will break. It’s certainly not as seamless as deactivating/reactivating Facebook.

That doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to stay away from Twitter (or any other service that you’re addicted to). Log out of Twitter from all your devices. Delete all your Twitter apps and bookmarks. Remove all traces of Twitter from your browser history – this way, the browser won’t recommend Twitter when you start typing ‘t’. Install a tool that will outright block Twitter for a period of time.


While we’re talking Twitter addiction, why not follow me there! I am not a complete disaster, I swear.

2 Reasons Why You Might Want To Ditch MS Security Essentials, And Why Shouldn’t

mse Combined with a capable firewall, Microsoft Security Essentials is currently the best and most hassle-free solution available for Windows. If you don’t agree with me, one of us is a monkeynut.

However, it has a few quirks (two, to be specific) that may drive you to using another security tool (a cracked Kaspersky or Norton, maybe?). So we’ll see what these two quirks are, and why you should rather ignore them and keep using this awesome tool.

#1 Revoltingly long first update

Microsoft Security Essentials takes a ridiculous amount of time to update for the first time (just after you install it). On a slow connection, it can be as long as an hour or more! Since future updates are all automatic and silent, this is likely the only time you’re gonna notice the update, and naturally you feel pissed off. People assume it’s always gonna take that long to update (which would be outrageous), and uninstall it without thinking twice. This is not true. The subsequent updates are small and fast as any other antimalware program. So why the gigantic first update? Lets see.

You must have noticed that the MSE installer is surprisingly small (about 8 MB) as compared to other antimalware tools. However, this is because the installer simply installs the core MSE program. Absolutely nothing that’ll protect your computer – the scanner, real-time engine and the malware definitions – come with this installer. After MSE is installed, it downloads and adds these components during the first update. Hence the huge, long update. The solution is just to be patient the first time.

Also, you can simply minimize or close the MSE window when its updating without stopping the update itself, and let it do its job.

#2 Revoltingly long time to remove malware

If you’ve ever been in a situation where MSE detects anything over 10 infections on an external drive or something, you must be knowing it takes just too much time to wipe those out. Most other antimalware that I’ve used suspend/quarantine/kill malware in a matter of seconds. But MSE will often take more than just a few minutes to get the task done. Sometimes it can take upto 20 minutes, or might pretend to just plain hang (while it clearly hasn’t). This can lead you to falsely assume that MSE can’t remove malware effectively.

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about it. For now. Remember that MSE is still very young (not even a year old, to be exact) and the upcoming version 2 might very well take care of this issue. For the time being, just put MSE in the background, leave it to do its job, and get back to your own work. Be assured that it will remove the malware it detects, no matter how long.

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MSE is a really, really good security product that doesn’t deserve to be ditched for these minor quirks. If you’re currently paying for your PC security, you should seriously stop now and get MSE instead. Lifehacker tries to explain why.

My First Ever Hardware Review : The Samsung N150 Netbook

NP-N150_4_Large

I love gadgets. I didn’t have one until yesterday. Okay, I do have an HP laptop and an LG dumbphone since two years, but neither is the kind of stuff I’d call a gadget.

Yesterday, I got my first ever gadget gadget – a Samsung N150 netbook! I’m a big fan of netbooks – they’re tiny, light, and they won’t toast your crotches, like my Pavilion has frantically tried to do ever since I bought it. India being a poor country, you’d expect netbooks to be wildly popular and available everywhere. Nope. They are available, but for a I-want-this-model-only freak like me, this is not the place you go shopping for netbooks.

After reading tons of online reviews, checking out the design and battery life of various models, and asking 279 real world people about a good netbook (everyone was like, WTH is a net-thing!), I zeroed in upon the Asus EEE-PC 1005P. It was not to be found anywhere I and my sister and me brother-in-law looked, Bangalore included. My next choice was the Toshiba NB305, which is very popular with netbook critics for superb build quality and all. It was not to be found anywhere I and my sister and my brother-in-law looked, Bangalore included. My third choice was the Samsung N210, which promises EEE-PC like 11 hours of battery life. It was not to be found anywhere I and my sister and my brother-in-law looked, Bangalore included. Choice no. 4 was the Samsung N150. It was not to be found anywhere I It was found, and shipped to me!

So here I am, on my first ever netbook, writing my first ever review of the first ever cool gadget I’ve ever owned. I hope not to doze you off this post. 🙂

Specs

One reason why I was not so keen on the N150 was because the specs mentioned by Samsung were not quite up there with the other three models. It had a 160GB hard drive, no Bluetooth, only 8.5 hours of claimed battery life, etc. However the model I’ve received (still labelled as N150), has spicier specs, namely

  • 2 GB memory, instead of just 1 GB
  • a 250 GB hard drive, that gets an impressive 5.8 Windows experience rating
  • Bluetooth (not that I use it much, but still useful for some quick file transfers with my dumbphone)
  • The Samsung battery life enhancer software, which allows your netbook to sleep using very little power

Software wise, there’s the disgusting Windows 7 Starter with a boatload of crap tools (and McAfee, for crying out loud!) which I’ve removed already. I’m also fancying a move to Jolicloud or Ubuntu Netbook Edition. So, all this software talk can be put to rest for now.

Heat

Heat was one of major issues with my HP Pavilion laptop (The CPU would get to 95C temperature, and the casing over 70C). That’s all but gone with this netbook. It just doesn’t get hot! The vent of the left side admittedly gets a bit warm, which is quite expected and not uncomfortable at all.

Keyboard and Touchpad

The keyboard is quite comfortable. It’s small for my huge hands, but I type with two fingers (still!) so that’s not much of a problem for me.

The touchpad is quite another story. It’s as big as a fifth of my palm, and it’s weird! Maybe it’ll be better after I peel the sticker off it, but it just feels so tiny and stupid. Those multitouch gestures are quite fun, but my two fingers are huge enough to cover the entire touchpad and cause undesirable clicks and all. I think Samsung could’ve moved the keyboard a little bit up and made the touchpad larger.

Display

Matte finish for the win! Seriously! With my HP laptop it was always frustrating to see my face on the screen all the time, unless I was in some super dark room doing super secret stuff. 😉 That’s totally gone, and I can even use this netbook on the balcony in broad daylight. I love non-glossy screens.

Battery

All of the other three models I was looking for would apparently last for 7 or more hours. This one doesn’t. I’ve been using it off and on since yesterday night, and so far it’s been running for about 5:15 hours on roughly 85% of the battery charge. Usually it should last 6 hours or more with the ‘Samsung Optimized’ or ‘Power saver’ power plans and normal usage, but for me it’ll probably max out at 5:30 hours as I plug in my EVDO modem to access the internet all the time. Still, anything above five hours is huge. My previous laptop lasted 2 hours on battery when it was new, and now it barely stays over six minutes.

Price

It cost roughly Rs. 18,000, which is quite cheap in my opinion. However, once again the ASUS 1005P is cheaper at Rs.17,500 and yet has longer battery life. Samsung’s hardware and design is quite better than that of ASUS, so that little extra cost shouldn’t hurt that much.

Everything else

That’s all I had to say in my review. If you want to read an actual Samsung N150 review, you’ll find it here.

Lets wrap it up

So here’s my view of the Samsung N150 in short –

PROS

  • Tiny and lightweight (applies to all similar netbooks)
  • Sturdy build; feels good in your hands
  • Non-glossy display
  • Nice keyboard
  • Enough USB and other ports, decent webcam, and all those petty hardware things
  • Doesn’t get hot
  • Fully supported by Jolicloud, and nearly fully supported by Ubuntu Netbook

CONS

  • Battery life could be better, especially as the rivals (and even Samsung N210) provide 7+ hours of battery life
  • Touchpad. Oh my God.
  • The Intel Pinetrail Atom processor. (applies to all similar netbooks)
  • Windows 7 Starter and all the added crapware

I’m very strict, so I’ll give the Samsung N150 a 7 out of 10, which should be taken as really good. Of course, I wish I had tried other netbooks so I could compare them all, but I haven’t and you’ll need to rush to Laptop Magazine and similar other websites if you’re looking for comparing stuff. And never come back for hardware reviews before August, 2012, because there won’t be one. Have a good day. 🙂