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Cortana: Microsoft

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Source: Cortana: Microsoft

5 little-known features in iPhones

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Unless you’re constantly messing around with your iPhone’s settings, most people don’t dig into the Accessibility features in iOS unless they need to solve a specific problem. That said, there’s actually a few great features hidden in those options that everyone can make use of, even if you don’t need them.

The iPhone’s accessibility options are pretty fantastic and cover a lot of ground. They’re also easy for anyone to enable and play around with under Settings > General >Accessibility.

Here are a few cool things you might not realize you’re iPhone can do.

Read text aloud with voiceover or speak selection

If you don’t mind being read to in the robotic voice of Siri, you can set up your iPhone to read any text you want aloud to you. Turning it on is incredibly easy:

Head into Settings > General > Accessibility

Turn on VoiceOver

Turn on Speak Selection

Now, when you select a block of text you’ll get the option to speak it out loud. That’s not all though, as IT World points out, if you select the first line of a block of text and then swipe down with two fingers your iPhone will read everything on that page out loud to you.

Get LED flashes for notifications
For whatever reason, the iPhone doesn’t have a good system for providing a visual alert other than the screen turning on. If you want an alert that draws a bit more attention than just the screen, the LED notifications are pretty handy.

Just head into Settings > General > Accessibility, and tap the LED Flash for Alerts button to enable it. Now, when you get a call or other notification, the LED flash on the backside of your phone will light up.

Enable custom gestures with AssistiveTouch
The AssistiveTouch option in iOS is one that few of us bother messing around with. The point of AssistiveTouch is to help people who have problems with the touchscreen, and subsequently you can do all kinds of cool stuff with it, including creating your own set of gestures:

Turn on AssistiveTouch in Settings > General Accessibility > AssistiveTouch

Tap the new icon in the top left corner of your screen Tap the Favourites button Tap the “+” to create a new gesture. Here you can enable you own gestures. This is useful in all kinds of ways. The blog Here’s The Thing has a few examples, including making scrolling easier:

For example, to scroll up on a lengthy web page without actually swiping, you could just call up the AssistiveTouch menu, tap Favourites, and then the icon for your new “swipe down” gesture.

Now tap the screen, and it’ll obediently scroll down just as if you’d swiped it.

The AssistiveTouch setting is actually incredibly helpful for all kinds of things, including taking screenshots without having to tap the power button and home button at the same time, and using your phone’s home button when it’s broken.

Enable different vibration patterns for different contacts
The custom vibration setting has moved out of the Accessibility options in iOS 6, but since that’s where it started in iOS 5 we’re still happy to include it here. Essentially, it makes it so you can set up custom vibration alerts for your contacts so you know who’s trying to get a hold of you without ever looking at your phone.

In iOS 6, just click on a contact, select Vibration and then choose Create New Vibration. Now tap out whatever vibration you want. If you’re still on iOS 5, you can find the setting under Settings > General > Accessibility > Custom Vibrations.

Enable guided access to lock off apps when you hand your phone to kids (or strangers)
Guided Access was introduced in iOS 6 as a means to make it easy for pretty much anyone to use an iPhone without messing anything up. Guided Access can restrict your iPhone to just one app, disable parts of the screen, or turn off any of the hardware buttons. As Cult Of Mac points out that makes it great for when you need to hand your phone over to a friend or child.

To enable it, head into Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access. To enable it when you’re in an app, just triple-click the home button, pick the settings you want, and hand it over to the person who wants to borrow your phone. I’ve found this especially helpful in those awkward situations when someone asks to borrow your phone to make a call.

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6 tips to improve your laptop’s battery life

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Working on the go and your laptop has run out of juice? This problem plagues most laptops as they tend to lose their battery capacity over time. But worry not, as there are several ways to improve laptops’ battery life without too much trouble.

So, here are 6 ways to improve your laptop’s battery life.

Display
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Similar to phones, laptop screen is also a power guzzler. Keep the brightness as low as possible. Also, If you also have keyboard backlighting, turn it off.
External devices
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Any external device plugged in the USB port constantly draws power from your laptop. Removing them after use conserves battery.
Overheating
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Overheating leads to the internal fans to run faster – which in turn consume more battery. Use a laptop cooler to keep the temperature at bay.
Hibernate
Instead of putting your computer on standby, choose to hibernate – it saves the state of your computer and shuts down the computer and saves battery.
Windows power plans

Laptops running windows have built-in power plan settings. You can choose various items such as display brightness, when to turn off the display/hard-drives and USB power. Use these to improve your laptop battery life.
Battery Case

This application records the battery discharge cycle and also shows a detailed battery status including consumption, manufacturer, wear level etc. It also shows CPU and hard drive temperature to indicate any overheating.

STUCK IN RECOVERY:DO NOT PANIC

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ERROR 1015 RESOLVED…..

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                                                                    How to fix iPhone 3g error 1015 on windows

The first basic step we need to follow, when ever we get 1015 error for the first time, is to press the power and home button, both at the same time on your iPhone to reset the phone and if the problem still persists, then you need to follow the given steps one by one:Image

Step 1: You need to download iOS 4.2.1 for iPhone3G and then download Recboot on windows.

Step 2:

Download the latest version if Apple iTunes. If you already have iTunes installed on your  computer, update it using the update option.

Step 3:

Switch your iPhone into recovery mode.

Step 4:

Start Recboot.

Step 5:

Now connect your iPhone usning USB to your PC and while holding the Shift key, click on the “Restore” option in iTunes and browse your iOS 4.2.1 file

Step 6:

You need to wait till your iTunes restores you iPhone to iOS 4.2.1. In the end of the process, after some time you will get the Error 1015 in iTunes, near the end of the process. You need not worry about that, because now we will use recboot to rectify this error. As soon as the error occurs, your iPhone will automatically switch into recovery mode. Now click on the “Exit Recovery” button in the Recboot window. Your iPhone will restart and boot normally.

If you face any issue in restoring process or the iPhone does not restart even after pressing the “ Exit Recovery” button in Recboot, and you still get the same error on your iPhone, I recommend you to do the Jailbreaking process withRedsn0w 0.9.6b1.

Note: The Jailbreaking process can be done with any of the versions of Redsn0w which start with 0.9.6.

Note: For iPhone 3G wishing to unlock the phone for using with different carriers should not use Redsn0w because Redsn0w will  update the phone baseband to the latest version, which will make unlocking the iPhone practically impossible.

You need to follow the below-given steps to jailbreak iPhone 3G with Redsn0w 0.9.6 b1:

  1. Firstly, you need to download either iOS 4.1 or iOS 4.0 (which ever is the preferred one) for iPhone 3G.
  2. Next step is to update the firmware of the phone to the latest downloaded firmware(.ipsw file). This can be done by using the latest version of iTunes.
  3. Download Redsn0w 0.9.6b1 for Windows using this link:redsn0w_win_0.9.6b1.zip
  4. extract the downloaded zip file and run Redsn0w.
  5. Click the “Browse” button and select the .ipsw file for the downloaded firmware.
  6. Click the “Next” button. Redsn0w will start patching the kernel and will prepare the jailbreak data.
  7. Then, tick the checkbox corresponding to “Install Cydia”, click “Next”. Also select other options if required. For example, users who do not need multitasking can uncheck the “Enable multitasking” option
  8. Turn off the device and connect the device via USB cable to the computer, and press the “Next” button.
  9. Now switch the mode of your iPhone to DFU (this can be done by holding “Power” button and then pushing “Home” button along with that for about 10 seconds. After 4-5 seconds, release “Power” the power key but keep  the “Home” button pressed until installation begins.
  10. Wait until Redsn0w completes the jailbreaking of your iPhone.
  11. Your iPhone will automatically restart as soon as the jailbreaking procedure is finished.

Note: If windows users see the process stuck at “Waiting for reboot” for more than 20 seconds, then try disconnecting and reconnecting the phone to the computer. Try using a different USB port on the computer, or if you used a USB hub, then connect the device directly to a USB port instead of the hub.

Quick fixes to Android’s 6 common problems

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Given the open nature of Android, users tend to experiment, slowing down the device after some time. Here are six tips to get your Android device back in tip-top shape without too much fuss.

Free up storage space

Over time, your device’s internal storage gets occupied by cache files, apps and files leftover when you remove apps. One of the simplest ways to get this storage space back is by moving apps to the microSD card. We recommend the free AppMgr III app as it supports batch moving of apps from internal storage to microSD card and vice versa. 

Also, camera images eat up lot of storage, so move your existing images to the memory card. In camera settings opt to save images on the memory card to save internal storage space.

Free up RAM

All running apps take up some amount of RAM. You don’t need this step if your device has 2GB or more of RAM, but with 1GB or less — you will notice slowdowns if you install too many apps. Some apps (system apps for instance) need to stay on for the device to work, others don’t. 

Clean Master (by KS Mobile) is a great app that can keep your Android device in peak condition. Not only does it free up device RAM, it can also clean up internal memory, help with app uninstalls and remove temporary files. A one-click ‘boost’ button widget is automatically added to your home screen.

Boost the performance

After a few months, most Android users notice a drop in performance. It may become slower to navigate, take longer to open apps while games and video playback shows random frame drops. To regain lost performance, there are a number of things you can do. Remove any unwanted apps and widgets as they eat up your resources by running in the background. You can also stop all the fancy menu animation effects (usually in Settings > Developer options > Window and Transition Animations). 

You can also use a task killer such as Super Task Killer Free. It kills running tasks after a set period of time or via the desktop idget to speed up phone performance. Using launchers like Nova, Nemus or Lightning will also make your device a lot faster. These launchers consume fewer resources and are highly customisable to suit a user’s requirements. You can even use the free AVG Antivirus app to boost performance. It has a built-in task killer, battery optimiser and a data usage monitor.

Remove bloatware

Bloatware is the collective term given to pre-installed apps on your device that you never asked for (and you may never use). Unfortunately, these apps remain on the device even if you perform a factory data reset. This may include apps from the device manufacturer itself, third-party (sponsored) apps or even Google apps that you don’t use. You can’t uninstall them, but one simple method to make sure that these apps don’t bother you is to disable them.

Head to the application manager in Settings, click on all and click on the apps you want to disable. The only available option to completely remove them is to root the device and use an app like Titanium Backup. Even flashing a custom ROM to replace the original Android OS will remove all bloatware. However, rooting and custom ROMs will void warranty.

Fix random crashes/freezing

There are a number of ways your Android device can get infected by malicious apps that slowdown your device and lead to random apps crashes. Direct download of apk files from websites /forums and at times fake apps from the Play Store itself (remember the fake BBM apps a few weeks back?) can corrupt your device. Install the free Clueful app and run it to identify the risk levels of apps installed on your device. 

The app classifies apps according to high, moderate or low risk — you can uninstall the high-risk apps immediately to get rid of any conflicts the app is causing. The mobile Security and Antivirus app by Avast comes with a Privacy advisor along with a powerful virus /malware scanner. It identifies and provides detailed information about apps installed on your device to help identify a reason for crashes.

Improve battery life

It’s unfortunate that battery technology has simply not kept pace with hardware. Given limitations of weight and size, most manufacturers use batteries that should last most users a day (roughly 10 to 12 hours of use). You may find that over time, battery life does decrease — partly because of normal battery wear & tear and partly because of your usage. 

An app called Battery Doctor (by KS Mobile) has enough options to satisfy both casual and power users. You can better manage remaining battery life using the included widgets. Advanced users can configure various battery saver modes and schedule functions to save more power. If this doesn’t work for you, try Easy Battery Saver (by 2Easy Team).

10 most difficult tech firms for interviews

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Interviews can be hard for anyone, but several companies tend to make the interview process difficult in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. Technology companies are particularly notorious for making the interviews tough, posing difficult questions to assess how applicants fare on various criteria.

Professional networking website Glassdoor has released the list of companies with the most difficult interview processes. We bring to you the technology with the toughest interviews, as well as details like average span of the interview process and the kind of experience that the interviewees have. Click to find out the 10 tech companies with the most difficult interviews:

ThoughtWorks

ThoughtWorks grabbed the top spot among technology companies when it came to the most difficult interview process, with an average difficulty rating of 3.9. Seventy three percent of the interviewees surveyed by Glassdoor reported a positive experience, while 14% had a bad experience.

The typical interview process at ThoughtWorks lasts 43 days, with interviewees giving it an employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5.

Google

Google has an average difficulty rating of 3.6 out of 5, with a typical interview lasting 37 days. Sixty four percent interviewees had a pleasant experience, while 23% had a negative experience, with the company getting an average employee satisfaction rating of 3.3.

Hubspot

Software maker HubSpot has an average difficulty rating of 3.5 and employee satisfaction rating of 4.1 out of 5. The interview process takes 20 days on an average and 62% people had a good interview experience, while 27% had a bad one.

Avaya

Avaya takes the fourth spot in the list, with average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 2.9. Eighty six percent interviewees had a good experience, while 10% experienced a bad time, with the average process time being 30 days.

Microsoft

Software titan Microsoft secured an average difficulty rating of 3.4, while its employee satisfaction score is 3.7. The average interview process lasts 29 days, with 70% respondents having a positive experience and 14% reporting a negative time.

Sapient

With an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8, Sapient takes the sixth spot in the list. Average interview process at Sapient takes 12 days, with 76% respondents having a good experience and 13% having a negative time.

Citrix

Citrix grabs the seventh position in the ranking, with an average difficulty score of 3.4 and employee satisfaction rating of 3.8. The overall interview process on an average takes 29 days at the company, and 56% people report a positive experience and 26% have a negative time.

Nvidia

Nvidia gets an average difficulty rating of 3.4 and employee satisfaction score of 3.8. The company on an average takes 22 days to complete an interview; 81% people in the survey had a positive experience, while 7% had a bad one.

Informatica

Informatica scores 3.4 in terms of average difficulty of the interview and 3.9 in employee satisfaction. In the survey, 83% of the respondents said they had a positive experience, while 11% had a negative time; average length of interviews at the company is 19 days.