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Cyber Living posts the specifications or details of the latest mobile phones and tablets with some thought comments on the device You can find them by clicking the MOBILE?TSBLET DEV on the menu bar above. Or you can click this link Mobile and Tablet Devices

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For personal computer/notebook problems and tips, refer to PC PROB from the menu or click this link Personal Computer Problem Solutions.

What's in the world with Philippine ISPs

Discussions about Philippine Internet Service Providers (ISPs) particularly problems users are encountering but are not getting any solutions.

  • Tips or work around to these problems to improve browsing experience.
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  • Or better yet, send me a message on our contact form if you want a dedicated article to your problem on this site.
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    SEO Tips

    Tips to improve your rankings on Search Engine Resuts Pages (SERPs).

    Sunday, December 30, 2012

    The server's security certificate is not yet valid

    I Turned on my computer, my machine stopped booting and I was prompted with a check sum error. I ignored the error and pressed F1 then waited until my machine finished booting. Went to Google logged in and got the red screen that says "The server's security certificate is not yet valid". Why?

    The reason is because my date and time is set way back in January 1, 2006. When I tried to log in at Google, it saw that I am someone in the past trying to access the server in the present and because of this, I was denied access.

    I changed my date setting and tried logging in again, this time it signed me in immediately.

    Why did I have my date set-up way back in 2006? That is because the button battery that powers the internal clock  of my machine was drained so every time I power up (if I unplug) my computer I get a check sum error because it has reset to its factory date. Fixing this at start up by going to the BIOS would be better but adjusting it at windows does the same thing.

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    Other Posts
    Autoconnect your USB 3G Modem
    Nokia N97 mini as a modem

    Sunday, December 23, 2012

    PSY and his Gangnam Style hits over a billion

    Sorry but I just got to post this. The viral video that originated from South Korea Psy's Gangnam Style has just hit over a billion hits.

    As of this writing (12/23/2012), it is now at 1,010,321,921. This is a milestone as far as youtube videos are concerned because it is the first and only video to have reached, even surpassed the 1 billion mark.

    There have been reports, from the doomsayers, that Psy's Gangnam Style is connected to the end of the world due to predictions from Nostra Damos about horses and the figure 999. The former referring to his dance style and the later refers to hits. This plus the information from the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world at Dec. 22, 2012 has made these reports to persist.

    This might be one reason that has propelled the already very popular video to beyond 1billion hits. Coming in  way below in second place is Justin Bieber's Baby. Sorry Bieber fans, this horse riding Korean guy has outdid you.

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    Saturday, December 22, 2012

    Can't access my yahoo account after clearing my cache

    Has anyone ever experienced this?

    I opened Chrome and logged in to Yahoo and everything is fine after some time, I decided to clear my cache as I am experiencing some slow down with my browsing. This action would cause me to re-login to everything from google to facebook and yahoo.

    But for some reason all the others do not have problem logging me in except for yahoo. Once my cache is cleared, it gives the Invalid ID or password message. No matter what I do (even using the full Yahoo ID) does not work. Even using other browsers so I am guessing it is some security feature from Yahoo?

    Does anyone know the reason behind it?

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    Other Posts
    Reasons why I ditched do follow commenting for SEO optimization
    PSY and his Gangnam Style hits over a billion

    Friday, December 21, 2012

    Reasons why I ditched do follow commenting for SEO optimization

    When you ask a lot of blogger out there what is the best way to drive traffic to your site, almost instantly what comes to their mind is blog commenting and I will tell you why.

    Blog commenting, specially dofollow high PR sites, provides you with the much needed PR juice from their site flowing to your site. And the higher PR your site enjoys to search engines like Google gets you high on search results and if your PR is high enough, you could end up at the top spot. As a result, more people will be clicking on your link at the search results thereby giving you more traffic. This is the reason why many bloggers spend an equal amount of time to blog comment as they are on writing posts to their blog.

    They will also tell you about guest posting which is practically the same thing as to blog comment except that instead of commenting you submit an article to a blog owner in return you will get a link back to your site, that is if your article gets accepted.

    Problem I found is that most blogs are nofollow and the ones you find to be dofollow are moderated and are very strict in the sense that they don't just give you a link just because you commented once or twice. Such an act is only regarded as a spam. That is however understandable because a blog needs its regular readership to be an active site and thus only regular visitors are rewarded with with a link back to their site that is dofollow.

    To check if you landed on a do follow blog site, look for the dofollow icon. Do follow blog rolls usually have this. However you can also check by right clicking on the backlink of a comment and look for the <a href=" rel="nofollow"> tag. If you see the rel="nofollow" tag then that site is a nofollow.

    One more reason they don't just give out dofollow link is because that would hurt their PR as they will be sharing it with you. So you see, creating backlinks (for me) is just too much work.

    There is also an on-going concession these days that backlinking does not seem to be as important as the days old with search engines' algorithm no longer as simple as before. Now, algorithms consider the niche where you posted your comments as compared to yours.

    Aside from the time spent doing commenting, there is always that danger of the page you have linked going south which will consequently affect your PR as well. Please note though that I am not totally abandoning this method. When I come across a blog and find myself commenting, I will drop a link to my site.

    What I do instead
    I am not saying that it does not work, it still does and many can prove that it does. It's just that in my case creating authentic content coupled with proper keyword research for each of my posts works better for my search engine optimization (what is SEO?).

    Creating authentic content, I guess, is self explanatory. As for keyword research, what I mean is properly researched keywords placed to my blog posts. All one has to do is use Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Simply search Keyword Tool in google and click on the top result.

    Search for keywords relating to your next post, check for its popularity as well as its competition and pick those that are popular but with lesser competition and those are the ones that you have to place on your content.

    By doing this, I am now getting trickles of traffic coming from searches such as Google and Yahoo! Something that I have not seen when I was just doing blog commenting. May not be by the volume but at least I am going somewhere.

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    Saturday, December 15, 2012

    Turn you mobile phone into WLAN hotspot

    Has anyone heard about Joikuspot? I was looking at my phone's installed apps and my focus turned into Joikuspot.

    I searched and found out that this actually turns your phone into a wireless router. The one bundled on my phone comes with a 10 days trial period after which you need to buy the license to continue using Joikuspot (note by the way that I am not connected to JoikuSpot and am not getting anything featuring them here). You may download it here.

    It is recommended that you have an unlimited data plan to enjoy the benefit this app provides.

    Other alternatives to the Joikuspot are:
    Mobile Hotspot

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    Nokia N97 mini as a modem

    You guys know by now my problem with my current ISP with its ZTE MF 180 3G USB modem (as explain in detail here). In my last update on that post, I said things are already getting better but I was wrong. That is why I have to find some ways to connect to the internet without always getting disconnected. One thing I did was to do an autoconnect via the network connections panel (as dicussed here). But I need something better than the autoconnect because is still slow I am not getting the full service of what I am paying.

    In my last desperate attempt for a better connection, I took my smartphone (in this case Nokia N97 mini) inserted my SmartBro SIM and plugged it to my USB port. Luckily, I have previously installed the Nokia suit on my computer so all I have to do is click on the connect to the internet once my phone was connected to my computer (here is the link for the Nokia Suite download in case you don't have it). Observed for an hour if I will get disconnected and surprise! surprise! not disconnection whatsoever! Even with my favorite torrent downloader downloading a file, youtube, facebook, continued searching with google and yahoo all at the same time. For 1 hour! My connection continued for the next hour and the hour after that, well the entire night actually.

    However, I noticed that I only get 460Kbps of internet speed when I know that I could have up to 1Mbps speed. So I disconnected again then went back to network connections and created a new connection from there. Note however, that this connection is still 460Kbps but right clicking this new connection and clicking on properties, one can change it up to 921Kbps (the fastest speed). It is not 1Mbps but at least it is close to that.

    Now I can sleep knowing I have a reliable internet connection.

    If you got the same problem or have better solution or you can't follow my blubbering above but want to know how I did it please leave a comment below.

    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Autoconnect your USB 3G Modem

    Nowadays many of us use the wireless networks offered by ISPs using the USB 3G modem. That is because of the advantage that it gives us, which is mobility.

    But like most users of this devices, we often experience frequent disconnections specially during peak hours. And if you are like me who is tired of clicking the connect button on the interface that came along with the device, you'd wish that you have a tool you can use to automatically click that button for you. This way you can leave your monitor and still your download software can continue once you are autoconnected.

    But you know what? You actually have it already. All you need to do is go to your network connections panel (for XP users: Start - All Programs - Accessories - Network Connections), look for your connection and adjust the options (Right Click and choose properties then click the options tab).
    Network Connections (Start-All Programs-Accessories-Network

    Properties Window. Click Options tab

    For Redial attempts, put a number as high as you want depending on your disconnection frequency. In my case since I get disconnected a lot, I put the highest number possible. For Time between redial attempts, choose 1 second (the shortest time possible) then click on the radio button beside Redial if line is dropped to select it. Lastly, click on the ok button and you are set.

    Now you can stand up and do your chores or go to work and when you are back your download is complete.

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    Wednesday, December 5, 2012

    Proxy servers, do they really hide your IP?

    Be careful using proxy servers

    When you enter the search term free proxy servers, a lot of results come up. But do they really perform as you intend them to? Many of us are looking to mask our IP while browsing the internet for anonymity.

    My search brought me to this site that continuously updates
    lists of servers offering free proxy servers. I choose one
    (hilighted in blue)

    But beware because many of those servers offering free proxy don't actually hide your IP. What's more, they might be getting your secure information like passwords and bank account.

    Here is my IP address before adding a proxy.
    Here is my proxy after adding a proxy, close my browser,
    opened my browser and checked my new IP. There is no
    change whatsoever!

    I had this experience where I used a proxy server but failed to take it out before opening my Yahoo! mail account and in just minutes, my Yahoo! Account has already been compromised. I had to report this to Yahoo! And got control back to my mail the next day. Good thing I don't have sensitive information on my mail.
    Yahoo! account compromised and can't log in. I got
    control back to my accounta day after reporting it.

    What do we get from this experience? Never use proxy server when transacting with your bank or using a credit card or similar things. Doing so will certainly bring desaster on your part.

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    How to register your SmartBro to UNLISURF before it automatically connect to the internet.

    Use your phone to register for a promo.

    I have found it annoying that Smart's Broadband plug-it using ZTE's MF180 USB modem automatically connecting even before you could register your precious load to their UNLISURF promo.

    I mean, what is with this interface anyway with so limited options you can set. Not even to turn off auto connect when the modem is inserted to the USB port. And if you are like me who could not follow the way to change the interface, then your fifteen pesos is automatically charged and you can only use it for a few minutes (30 minutes?).

    So here is what I do. Upon reloading my account, or if I still have enough load and I know my promo registration has expired then I do these few steps first.

    I take off the SIM from the modem and put it on my cellphone (any kind will do). I then use the phone to register for another promo like UNLISURF 200 send it to 2200. I then wait for the confirmation that I am registered before taking it the SIM out of my phone and replacing it on the modem. After which, it is safe to insert your modem into the USB port without worrying of unnecessarily getting charged when you intended to use that money for a promo.

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    Monday, December 3, 2012

    How to prevent people you don't know from calling you in Skype

    Just recently I have been receiving calls from skype from someone that I don't know. Naturally I did not take the call and just hang-up. Then the person called again. I was waiting for someone so I could talk to her so I changed my privacy setting and only allowed persons on my contact to be able to call me.

    If you have the same problem just click on Tools - Options. On the window the will appear click Privacy and click on "people on my contact list only". That is it.

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    Viewing page offline

    To save on bandwidth or lessen your connection time, save the page.

    To view a web page offline only takes a very simple and few steps to make. There is actually two ways that I can think of that you can do this. Here is how:

    Using Save As:
    1. Open the page you would like to view offline. Wait until all the content is fully loaded.
    2. When it is fully loaded, go to your browser's File menu and click Save As (for Chrome click on Customize and Control menu located at the upper right corner of the Chrome window) and select the location you want to save the page.
    3. Open it later on any browser of your choice.

    Save to PDF (for Google Chrome)
    1. Open the page you would like to view offline. Wait until all the content is fully loaded.
    2. After it has completely loaded, click on print from the Customize and Control menu (located at the upper right corner of the Chrome window).
    3. Under destination, click change and select Save as PDF.
    4. Click save and choose the destination on your hard disk where you wish to save it. Now you can view the saved page later on PDF reader.

    Note: For IE and Firefox, you can save it as XPS and open it with your browser.

    This is useful when you want to read an article and you don't have the time at the moment and you're going somewhere bringing your notebook or tablet with you. Who knows your destination don't have an internet connection.

    But then this is more useful for those who are on a prepaid internet and want to save on your time being connected to the internet. Or if you are like me whose connection at the moment is very slow and want to save on bandwidth.

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    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    SmartBro promos also available on your mobile

    For months I have been using my buddy SIM to browse the internet through my mobile phone. But the promos of Smart Buddy and SmartBro are different. For Buddy, although it is unlimited surfing also, there is a data limit. That if the download limit is reached your subscription automatically stops even if there are still time remaining on the promo you have availed. SmartBro on the other hand does not have a data limit so no matter how much data was downloaded. This, however, needs a little minor adjustment, that is to change the APN to "smartbro" without the qoutation marks. Just go to your phones network or connectivity settings and change the APN to smartbro. This should also work with other network like Globe's Tattoo. Simply determine the correct APN.

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    Other Posts
    Extend Your Mobile Browsing Time
    How to prevent people you don't know from calling you in Skype

    Sunday, November 25, 2012

    Extend Your Mobile Browsing Time

    My portable cellphone charger powered with 2 AA
    rechargeable batteries.
    If you are like me who don't like bringing a notebook or a tablet around but still browses a lot using a mobile phone, then you are already aware that you are only limited to a couple of hours before your battery goes low.

    I even uses my phone to update my blogs as I go around (yes folks I do go out) to do other stuff like meet with friends, play outdoors with my son and do some errands.

    If such is the case and you want more surfing time without your battery going out on you, you might want to try what I call portable battery charger.

    These are the ones that you carry with you to charge your battery even without an outlet to plug your charger as they are either powered by AA sized batteries or has their built-in battery where you charge them before you go out.

    I prefer the former to the latter as I have several rechargeable AA batteries at home that I also use for my camera's external flash. What's more, when the batteries are discharged, I can always run to a store to buy AA batteries (not the rechargeable ones) as substitute.

    One thing to remember though when you decided to buy one. Check first your charger's output voltage and power (or capacity in mA) and this is what you should look for. The power may not be the exact value as long as it is higher then you should be okay. This is to ensure that you will not be overloading your charger as well as your battery and avoid burning the batteries and/or charger.

    Try it, you will love it. I did, mine just fits right into my pocket.

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    Viewing page offline
    SmartBro promos also available on your mobile

    Saturday, November 24, 2012

    Smart Bro always disconnecting

    Problem: Smart Bro keeps disconnecting

    Brief History: A few weeks ago, I have purchased Smart's Starter Kit (STARTER Plug-It). I choose this against Globe's Tatto because  I am constantly moving between two homes about 40 Km apart and on one of them, I can only get signal from Smart and not from Globe even if it is only Edge. At least browsing is still possible with my mobile using an Edge connection.

           These kits have about 120 hours (about 5 days) of free internet out of the box. During those period, surfing the internet was seemless. Never had any problem what so ever. When the free period is over, my problems started. Immediately after the free period expires, I got disconnected and was unable to connect any more. I then tried to load using the reload card (did I say I got the prepaid?) but still unable to connect. I tried my Buddy SIM on the dongle and it works pretty well. So, I checked the SmartBro interface and went to the settings tab but has very limited options there and despite some suggestions I got through Googling, I still could not connect. By the way, comparing the settings panel for Tattoo and SmartBro, Tattoo's settings panel seems to have more options (if memory serves me right), but that for another story.

           Make long story short, I ended calling their customer support. They asked me questions like when problem started, where is my location and such basic questions. So far so good. Then the rep on the other end asked if after the free period I got automatically disconnected and I said YES. So he told me that they will be checking on my account and for the meantime I will monitor my connection within 24 hours. So I did.

           24 hours passed and what do you know, I can connect again! I said Yes! I told myself at least they are not as bad with after sales service as others have been reporting.

           Several hours later, another problem started. I am now getting disconnected every 30 seconds or so. For the whole night I ignored it as I can still load a page and read it. I just have to restart the connection after wards, thinking maybe it will be just for the night and things will return to normal again by the next day.

           Morning came, I checked my connection and still the same happens. 30 seconds (well not all the time, sometimes I get 1 or 2 minutes if I am lucky but not more than 5 minutes of continuous connection) then my connection is out again. Funny thing is the interface is still showing I am connected.

           How do I know? Because on the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del to bring up the Task Manager window) under Networking tab, I don't see my SmartBro connection. I did a ping to Google as well (Click Start button - I am using XP then click run type "cmd" or "command" without the qoutation marks to bring up the DOS shell window and type "ping /t" then press enter key without the qoutes. To terminate the ping, press CTRL+C) and I get an error message "ping request could not find host...".

           Since I am moving to the other house, I did not bother reporting the problem. Still thinking that maybe when I get back, all is going to be normal once again.

           After a week, I got back and tried connecting again. Still same thing happens. So I called their hotline (*8888) to report on the problem. Asked me several questions. In the end the rep guy told me that he will have to make a report and that I will have to monitor my connection within 24 hours.

    Report number: 418363218
    Time and date of call: 11/24/2012 at around 9:00 am

           This now brings us to the present......So much for a brief history huh! hehehe.

    Now: 24 hours has come and gone. Still getting intermittent connection. Now windows and other installed programs are asking for updates but could not do so because of the intermittent connection specially my security tools.

           I called back. Me and the guy at the other end went through the same process like the previous day.

           Asked the same questions already asked yesterday like where do I live, how many bars do I see on the interface, how long is the disconnection. Then asked me to be put on hold so he could check something. Came back after like 1 or 2 minutes and asked me a question or two more then told me that he must make a report. The event that happened so far is the exact same thing that happened yesterday: asked questions, hear the clicking sound of a keyboard (obviously filling-up a custom form for the kind of problem I have), then excuses himself (making me wait several minutes) and return to tell me he needed to make a report. This time, I am a bit more prepared so I then asked why the need for a report again when it was already reported yesterday and the same questions I answered today were answered already yesterday. His reply is so that their tech could make adjustments needed for the problem in my area, well to be fare this makes sense. I asked, so how long will this adjustment take (thinking to myslef that probably they are already doing some adjustments but needs more time)? He told me normally it would take about 24 hours. Well 24 hours has passed from the first report and nothing has changed. I was already told twice to monitor my connection within 24 hours. Wait 24 hours it is....

    Report Number: 418473230
    Time and date of call: 11/25/2012 at 9:42 a.m. (end of call)
    Customer Rep: Anthony (Last name withheld)

    Update (11/25/2012): Connection still getting disconnected although not as previously stated anymore. Now my connection lasts for 5 minutes or so. But this is still not acceptable as the speed is very slow. Software update is still impossible. 12 more hours to wait, but won't be able to give you updates since I am moving to my other home. Will be updating next weekend. Until then!

    Note: This is already quiet long so I need to stop for now. I have copied my pings and other things I have made and will update this post with visuals later on. If you have the same problem or other problems, share them with me so I know I am not the only one. hehehe! Bye for now.

    Update (11/30/2012): Connection is still the same. Just subscribed to SmartBro UNLISURF for 2 days and what I got is a limited surf of 30 seconds for each connection, that is from 10:00p.m. to past twelve midnight.   So I said enough and I called back at Smart's customer service hotline. And for a change I instantly got connected to a service rep. I normally get an answer for about 10 minutes or more of waiting. But this time it was very, very quick. Like I did not even hear the music they usually play to make you wait.

    Anyway, to my update. After our brief good evenings, I told them I am having problem with my connection and that it frequently gets disconnected and added that I am having this same problem since around two weeks ago and that I have been previously been given 2 report numbers and asked him if he wanted to get the last report number. To be honest I did not understand his reply  but I gave the number anyways.

    That is when the usual questions were asked. Asked my location, my name, where was the device connected was it on a notebook or a desktop? I said desktop. What is my OS? I said XP. Then the usual wait for a minute or two to check the service in my location. After two minutes(I was already enjoying the music on the phone when...), he came back and told me that there is nothing wrong in my area and that there is no report of any service maintenance or something in my area.

    And so I pressed the question,  so why am I getting disconnected? Asked me If I have tried to connect the device on other pc but told him no but that I have used the sim on my phone in another location without any noticeable interruption. But I quickly added that that was a cellphone and that I may not be able to detect it like in a pc and that my connection is only edge.

    Then he asked me to try to restart the device by disconnecting it. At the same time he asked me to restart my PC. I already told him that I have done that already a few times tonight but I obliged and restarted everything. While I am restarting it was somehow implied that maybe it was my desktop having a problem. So I told him that I have a reasonable number of processes running tonight around 40+ and that my memory usage tonight is around half of the commit charge. I have also checked already for possible virus although I don't think virus would affect connectivity.

    He said he was very sorry and due to the several reports that I have made already, this thing has already been hilighted.

    I also mentioned that this thing normally happens during peak hours. After hearing this, he goes off again. When he came back he said that due to the new information I have given them regarding when I normally get a lot of disconnection, he will have to make a report and that I will have to.....well we already know the rest of where this goes. So another 24 hours it is.

    By the way, it is already past 1 a.m. at the time of this update and I already have a steady connection.

    Oh before I forget, I learned a new thing from this guy: All the while my notion was that the canopy and this mobile broadband are the same but actually it is not. The canopy has a different signal from mobile broadband. The canopy relies on line of sight while mobile broadband seems not because you can take it where ever you go so line of sight is no issue and therefore jitter does not apply to mobile broadband (for the  jitter part, I still have to check its truthfulness).

    Here are some screen shots I took last week.
    Ping to Google has timed out and time is too long.
    After several second of pinging, connection is lost.

    Task Manager capture showing network usage. Taken while
    trying to watch in YouTube which of course keeps buffering.

    Even Smart website can't load. Notice also SmartBro interface,
    it can't load properly due to very poor connectivity. Even if
    SmartBro is already disconnected (check the task manager),
    the interface shows that it is still connected.

    Download and Upload speed the same at 20Kbps? Isn't this
    dial-up speed from way back? If I am not mistaken dial-up is
    even faster than this. result the following morning.


    Update (12/01/2012): Just want to give abrief status update to my internet connection. It seems that whatever Smart did is working. Now I don't have as much and as frequent disconnections but still gets disconnected. At least now I can watch videos and download a 10mb file.

    I have observed though that my disconnections seem to be related to how much data I download. It is like there is a qouta of data you are allowed for a certain amount of time and when your data download continuous, the disconnection happens. Not sure but that is only my opinion. Might want to test this some other time.

    But for now, I am quite satisfied with my connection. So to the Smart guys, good job. Reserving my thanks though until I am satisfied that this is going to be a permanent thing. keeping my fingers crossed.

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