Securely Browse Gmail and Facebook

Browsing via HTTPS (HyperText Transport Protocol – Secure) combines the normal HTTP with SSL/TLS protocol and provides encrypted communications between the host (webserver) and the client(your PC). The advantage of using HTTPS is that no-one can sniff/snoop the data packets and eavesdrop on the data as it’s encrypted.

Enable secure browsing on Facebook
Login to your facebook account and select Account > Account Settings from the top right corner.

Find the “Account Security” section and check “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) whenever possible.

Enable secure browsing for Gmail
Gmail by default tries to provide HTTPS whenever possible. To disable or re-enable this feature (if you have disabled it in the past) all you have to do is: Login to your Gmail account and click on the settings icon (gears) on the top right corner.

Next, under the General Tab, find “Browser Connection” and select “Always use https” (this is also gmail’s default setting) if the other option is selected.

That’s about it. Gmail will use HTTPS for all future logins

Roundup: Best Android phones available in India

Here is a roundup of the best android based smartphones available in the Indian Market today. They have been divided according to the price ranges: 32k-25k High-end expensive smartphones; 25k-15k High-end high priced and 15k-10k Budget android smartphones. Phones below the 10k line haven’t been mentioned here.

Price Range: 25k-32k
Dell Steak / Dell Mini 5

Priced at INR 31286, Dell streak is one of the most highly priced Android phones available in the Indian market today. At 5 inches, it’s sort of like a hybrid between a smartphone and a tablet.
Pros: Sturdy, Huge 5″ display with true wide 16:9, dual LED Flash, Dual cameras, 4/16 GB Internal storage with extra 512 MB ROM for OS and 512 MB RAM, Gorilla Glass
Cons: Expensive, Bulky, poor phone aesthetics, WVGA Screen doesn’t match sharpness/contrast ratio of an AMOLED or even an SC-LCD, comes with Andriod 1.6 – needs to be manually updated to2.2

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc

Priced at INR 28499, Xperia Arc is Sony Ericsson’s most pricy smartphone in the Indian market.
Pros: Big 4.3″ display, sleek form factor with just 8.7 mm height, Bravia display engine, Microphone comes with Noise Suppression
Cons: User Interface is not as cool and responsive as the Samsung variants, hogs battery, just 512 MB internal memory.

Samsung Google Nexus S

Priced at INR 27999, having features similar to the Galaxy S and without and AMOLED screen, the Nexus S in India is a big turn-off.
Pros: Overall a good phone with decent specs, native Android UI, NFC Chip, Has LED flash, 16 GB internal, decent 4″ display
Cons: Unreasonably priced – Features are comparable to that of a Samsung Galaxy S i9000/SC LCD i9003 which are priced so much lesser, Indian release doesn’t come with an AMOLED screen yet.

Dell Venue

Priced at INR 27579. Unlike the Dell Venue PRO which runs Windows Mobile 7, the Dell Venue runs Android 2.2 Froyo.
Pros: 8 MP Camera, Corning Gorilla Glass, AMOLED WVGA Screen, Sturdy phone
Cons: Dell Stage UI is slow and sluggish, Low speaker volume, Low internal memory 1 GB

HTC Incredible S

Priced at INR 26749. Unlike other phones using android, this one does have a Notification LED behind the top speaker to notify unread messages and missed calls. Incredible also features rotating buttons at the bottom, which is a feature not found in any other smartphone.
Pros: Good 8 MP camera, font-facing 1.3 MP camera, 768 MB RAM, SRS WOW HD using headset, HTC Sense v3.0 UI, Notification/Status LED indicator
Cons: 1.1 GB Internal Memory, No HDMI Out, Not as fast and responsive as the Desire HD

HTC Desire HD

Priced at INR 26399, the HTC Desire HD comes with Sony’s S-LCD technology
Pros: 768MB RAM, 4.3″ display, Rubberized edges and sturdy body
Cons: Resource Hungry – drains battery and needs frequent charging, No HDMI out, No AMOLED, Li-Ion 1230 mAh battery – lowest in its class

Price Range: 15k-25k
Samsung Galaxy S I9000

Priced at INR 24999, this is one of Samsung’s fastest selling models (after Samsung Galaxy S LCD I9003). Its features are comparable with the SLCD i9003 model, with the exceptions that i9000 has higher internal memory and comes with a Super-AMOLED screen.
Pros: 4″ SAMOLED display, 16 GB Internal memory, PowerVR SGX 3D graphics Engine, MP4/DivX/WMV/H.264 support by default, Secondary font-facing camera
Cons: No LED indicator – makes it very hard to know new SMS and missed calls, No HDMI out

HTC Desire Z

Priced at INR 24999, it is one of the few phones that come with a full QWERTY keyboard on the Android platform. However, this Z-hinge keypad adds to the bulk of the mobile and the fact that HTC models have a metallic body just adds to the weight.
Pros: Full-QWERTY keypad, Aluminum unibody casing gives a very sturdy build, good for heavy texting
Cons: Too Bulky and heavy, Li Ion 1300 mAh battery, WVGA screen

HTC Desire

Priced at INR 21999, HTC desire was one of the initial phones (and HTC’s flagship Android phone) to hit the Android market and is widely regarded as one of the best Android phones.
Pros: 3.7″ AMOLED, Solid body, good on-screen keyboard
Cons: Low battery life (but better than that of Desire HD)

Motorola MILESTONE

Priced at around INR 22400, this is Motorola’s full qwerty Android phone in the market. But the design and aesthetics of the Milestone is a turn off. It looks like a device from the 90’s.
Pros: Slim QWERTY keyboard which is pretty good compared to all other QWERTY smartphones, Good display
Cons: Bad aesthetics, 600 MHz processor, Low 133 MB storage, Low 256 MB RAM

Samsung Galaxy S LCD I9003

Priced at INR 19900, this is the best bang for your bucks. Its features are comparable to the Nexus S/Galaxy S i9000.
Pros: 1GHz processor, 4 GB Internal, 5 MP camera, Front facing Secondary VGA Camera, Swype text input
Cons: No LED Indicator, Uses up a lot of batter when GPS and GPRS are enabled, No external button for camera, Sometimes sluggish on opening contacts and messages (when there are a very high number of entries on page)

Price Range: 10k-15k
Samsung Galaxy Ace S5830

Priced at INR 15490, this is the best selling android phone in the 15k range. Although a good buy for 15.5k, if you can pitch in a few more bucks, Samsung Galaxy SL is a way better option. Check Comparison.
Pros: 5 MP Camera, 800 MHz ARM Processor – excellent for a 15k phone, GSM/3G support, A-GPS Support, DNSe sound, Accelerometer present
Cons: TFT HVGA Screen, Resolution is just 320 x 480 pixels – unlike all the above mentioned ones which have 480x800px resolutions, Video Recording is QVGA at 15fps,

HTC Wildfire

Priced at INR 13199, HTC Wildfire is a reasonably priced Android 2.1 handset. The 3.2″ screen supports a resolution of 240 x 320 pixels, which is okay but low compared to the smartphone standards set by higher end Samsung Galaxy and HTC models.
Pros: 5 MP Camera + LED Flash, Reasonably priced, responsive touchscreen
Cons: Camera quality is just above average, 528 MHz processor – Some apps and games might show lagging

Dell XCD35

Priced at INR 12990, the DELL XCD35 comes with significant advancements made to the XCD 28. For just over 12k, it comes with a 3.5″ screen that has a 480x800px resolution. Dell XCD35 is known by the name San Fransisco Orange outside India. A similar configuration can be found for approx 10k on a LG Optimus one (see below)
Pros: 600 MHz processor, 3.5″ screen size, 480×800 px resolution – All these features for a low price.
Cons: 256k color screen, 256 MB/150 MB Internal memory, Comes with Android 2.1 installed, Some apps and games might show lagging.
Buy Dell XCD35 from Flipkart.com

LG Optimus One P500

Priced at INR 10299, this is one of the most decently priced budget phones available for Android. The configurations are decent for its price. Naturally, you cant compare the performance with the high end phones.
Pros: Cost, 1500 mAh battery, 600 MHz processor, supports 3g/Wi-Fi HSDPA 7.2 Mbps,
Cons: 170 MB Internal Memory, 320 x 480 pixels resolution, 256k Screen, Some apps and games might show lagging.

Six Killer Tips for Amazing Gmail Productivity

Most of us use Gmail. So, here are a few tips that will definitely boost your Gmail productivity (if you haven’t done them already)

Displaying only Unread mails in your Inbox
Your unread mails might be scattered across multiple pages. Here’s a way to display all the unread emails in a single page. Gmail adds a hidden label “unread” when a new mail makes its way into your inbox. In the search box, type “label:unread” or “is:unread” to filter and show only unread mails in your inbox.

Know How Gmail treats dots and pluses in your Gmail ID
Continuing from an earlier post, here’s what you should be knowing about dots and plus symbols in Gmail. Imagine your Gmail ID is my.gmail.id@gmail.com :

Gmail doesn’t recognize dots(.) in your ID. So, my.gmail.id@gmail.com is the same as mygmail.id@gmail.com and mygmailid@gmail.com
Gmail ignores characters after a plus(+) sign in your ID. So, my.gmail.id+feedburner@gmail.com and my.gmail.id+spammer@gmail.com would work just as good.
The above two points can come quite handy. Say you are registering on a suspicious site. You could very well register using m.y.gmail.i.d@gmail.com or my.gmail.id+spamCHECK@gmail.com. This way, if some spam starts coming in your inbox, you can know the source. Of course, this method cannot be used to completely eliminate spam on your Gmail account, as Kurt Wismer had pointed out.But you sure can categorize your incoming mails.

Centralize all your emails to one single Gmail account

You might be having multiple email/Gmail accounts. Switching between accounts is indeed a pain and an unnecessary waste of time. Centralize all your emails by setting up a forwarder to your most used Gmail address so that you can check all your mails from one single account. Create filters to label them if necessary, to easily distinguish mails.
Furthermore, goto Settings > Accounts and Import > Send mail as and add your other email addresses. Gmail will send a confirmation link to the added email address and you can then send mails using the verified address from a single Gmail login.

Turn on Keyboard Shortcuts

Turning on Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts can increase Gmail productivity many folds. Go to your inbox and hit Shift + / ( ? ) to bring up the shortcut cheat-sheet. You can also know if keyboard shortcuts are enabled or disabled there.

Enable Essential Gmail Lab Features

Click on the Labs Icon on the top right corner of your Inbox and enable apps you think would be helpful. Handy ones like Authentication icon for verified senders, Inbox preview, Inserting images, Right-side chat, Undo Send and Sender Time Zone can really increase your Gmail productivity.

Enable Offline Mode
Finally, enable the “Offline Mode”. Say you’re traveling on a plane and wished you could use the time to draft some replies or read some starred conversations. Gmail’s offline mode can be of great help.
Goto Settings > Offline and enable it. Please note that Google Gears needs to be installed first. Once the offline feature is up, you will see a synchronization icon on the top. You can click it to see the current syncing status. You will now be able to view it even without an internet connection. According to Google’s help group, around 10,000 messages will be downloaded and archived. That’s the next best thing to being online on Gmail, ain’t it?

Mortal Kombat 10 MKX PC requires 30.4 GB download

After the initial hiccups, MK10 requires downloading one massive update of 30GB.

When it first launched, steam downloaded 3GB from the net and allowed the users to play initial campaigns while downloading the 23 other files in the background. This however caused the game to crash for many users and there was a slew of comments on Twitter, Reddit and Steam Forum.

Quickly, MK10 was made into a 15GB download and users were also awarded 10,000 Koins for the hassles.

Finally, MK10 is now available for play only after a 30GB download, that includes the entire game in one go.

So, PC users, be warned. There is a massive 30.4 GB of download before you can start playing the game.

The only advantage is that this massive pack contains the DLC characters. Enjoy!

Update: May 9, 2015

MKX gets a new 15 GB patch! This fixes the save issues that some users have been facing. It’s very weird that minor issues like this one needs a 15 GiB patch