Firefox Quantum Updated

Well will you look at that – there is life in the old girl. 11-12 years ago I switched over to Mozilla Firefox and vowed never to switch back to Internet Explorer. I loved Firefox and it has always been a really good browser to use but then I started using Google Chrome and it felt better and more flexible and faster than Firefox. Oh dear, what to do?

So for many, many years now I have been using both at home and at the office. At home I open both browsers and open up various tabs on each to go to various things I wanna see online. Though my current process at work works solely on Chrome so I end up using that a lot more. But now and then at work I will try to get online using Firefox if I feel like using the old familiar. This early morning as I switched on my laptop and started up Firefox she updated automatically to the latest version.

Mozilla claims its updated web browser is twice as fast as its last one, and uses a lot less memory than the competition—Google Chrome in particular. It’s called Firefox Quantum, and it might give the web’s most popular web browser a run for its money. Firefox Quantum is twice as fast as the previous build of Firefox, according to the company’s benchmark tests comparing Quantum to both Chrome and the previous version of Firefox. Its memory tests showed a noticeable decrease in memory usage compared to Google Chrome on Windows 10 and Linux; on macOS 10.12, memory usage was pretty much the same.

Try it out.

11 Years of This URL

I have just renewed my website URL for the 11th year running. Awakeanddreaming.org is booked for the next year, 365 days from November 14th. I first booked this URL back in November of 2006 just a couple of months after I made the move from Thrikkakara to this apartment in Kacheripady. A friend of my cousin had started his own internet website service and webspace reselling business and I contacted him to set me up with a URL. I called him up and he asked me which url I wanted and I checked out a few.

It’s been over a decade so I can’t remember exactly all of them but I think I checked out and came up with 4-5 final choices :

  • countroshculla.com
  • roshanmenon.com
  • rgkonline.com
  • rgkmenon.com
  • awakeanddreaming.com

I finally decided to get awakeanddreaming but couldn’t get the .com version. So it was a toss up between awakeanddreaming.net or awakeanddreaming.org and I should have taken the .net but they had a discount for the .org URLs and I though, what the heck. I remember I had to pay him through the money order option for the first couple of years as netbanking was still new for us.

And like that this name stays on.

Social Media I Use

I dunno about you but I am addicted to Social Media – to the point that I prefer to stay indoors and not be very social and instead connect via my laptop or my smartphone.

Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, WordPress, Instagram – these are the big four that I am usually always online at when I am not at work. Sometimes at work I can still check Facebook and Twitter. And ofcourse Flickr has all my photos that I shoot on a regular basis. I have an on and off love affair with Pintrest and even went a whole year or more without access it. But I am back on it and I love it again. I have two Tumblr accounts – one for general stuff and the other for just Star Trek – but I haven’t used it in about 3 years.

Something that is not the norm as far as Social Media is concerned is 500px which is a photo sharing website and it is awesome but they recently reduced the free upload option to 7 a week instead of the 20 pics a week which came with the free account. The payment for a year, with a discount that I have is almost $60 and since I live in India that is a big amount to pay for uploading pics, especially since I haven’t sold any yet.

Youtube is ofcourse my jam! It has replaced tv for me and I love it for the vlogs, the professional done channels and the music, especially the live concert clips which is amazing for me.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Vlogs & Other YouTube Channels I Watch

Youtube Channels that I watch on a regular basis – these are the vlogs and other kinds of channels that I watch regularly. I am not counting in very professionally done videos or channels like FBE / Buzzfeed / Facts /

  • Ken Domik’s Vlogs / KBD Productions
  • Truck Josh Vlogs
  • Greg’s Kitchen / Grego (vlogs)
  • Trekyards
  • Geekology
  • Bowlestrek
  • Jack On The Go/Cooking With Jack
  • Irish Tekkie
  • My Virgin Kitchen
  • MLKKAEFEnterprises
  • Rob Chapman

Safeguard Your Cubs

At what age should children be allowed to use social media, and how much parent involvement do they need?

I think parents should be vigilant and not even allow kids to use the internet without someone like an adult being there nearby until say kids reach the age of 16-17. I know kids will hate me for saying this but I find that kids can get themselves into all kinds of trouble and let’s face it, at those teenage years there is too much hormones and not enough brains! Kids can be stupid!

If not a parent then a stricter and wiser older sibling or cousin will do. Do not take it for granted that your kids will known better and will not be the kind of kid who falls into the traps that you see kids in the news or movies falling into. Your kid is not that special (maybe to you but only to you) and he or she could use that guiding hand. Keep a parental lock handy, keep a software that blocks website that you do not want junior to be snooping around on.

I have seen or heard about too many kids, mostly young girls, getting into trouble because they trusted the person at the end of the online conversation. Then they get blackmailed into doing things that they shouldn’t because they gave the guy(s) their home number, sent enticing pics or something. Predators are everywhere and we need to be ever vigilant to safeguards the young cubs in the pack. It’s a tall order but it’s worth it in the end.

Prompt from 29 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS at The Sits Girls

Selfie Overload!

Is Social Media Making Us More Narcissistic?

Yes in so many ways. I guess we all have some narcissistic streak in all of us but at different levels. Some have very small doses of it – I for one, atleast think that I have very little of it because, hey even I have a low opinion of myself.

Once in a while taking a few selfies is well understood and it’s fun to do. Having a great hair day? Nice new outfits? At a new location or a funky, happening place? At a party with friends? At a concert or a sporting event? Sure! Meeting friends after a few years? Excellent! All of these I can understand. Your current profile pic for your various social media accounts has become a bit old and stale? Go for it!

What I do not understand is taking 100 selfies in a week! Some guys are at fault too but I notice, atleast where I live that it is mostly girls under the age of 25-26 who do this. Go to the bathroom – takes 150 selfies! What the hell? I think that taking so many selfies is akin to some kind of mental disease.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Beware Parents Of The Blue Whale Game

Just came to know about this online game called Blue Whale challenge. What an uproar on this! Parents, do some damage control and talk to your kids! This seems ridiculous to me that a teenager could actually do this but I forget that the teenaged years are filled with a rollercoaster of emotions and hormones. They are also easily influenced. I would say parents also have a part to play in this – teach your kids right versus wrong. School teachers also take heed. Let your friends, neighbours and relatives know that their kids can reach out to talk to anyone rather than get absorbed in completing the ridiculous challenges and tasks that the game gives you and then commit suicide at the end.

The list of 50 challenges has been translated from Russian and can be found here. Please be safe, please do not attempt anything from this. Parents and other adults, if you have teens and young adults in your family please ensure that you are approchable and that they can come and talk to you about anything. You could prevent more unnecessary and meaningless deaths.

Watching You Play With Your JoyStick!

Do You Like Watching Other People Play Video Games?

No! Absolutely not. I cannot think of anything more boring than watching someone else playing a video game. I myself do not play a video game, online, on pc or otherwise. I used to play a bit and that too just a handful of games. A few racing games, football (FIFA mostly but I had another one as well), EA’s NHL, Doom and Duke Nukem. I played them many years ago in the 90s and early 2000s and they were on a standalone pc with no access to the internet.

I didn’t have internet at home back then so I never played online games, I just played against the computer or if a cousin was at home visiting my family I played against them. During the summers of 1998-99, I had some cousins come on down to India from Scotland and they had a Sega video game deck and we played a lot of FIFA and Sonic the Hedgehodge and some other stuff but FIFA was our favourite as we guys were all football fans and we played a lot of tournaments.

Watching some of my cousins playing their turns were boring enough; I couldn’t wait for my turn and would read a novel or watch tv in another room in the meantime. Watching someone else play? Like on Youtube – people are crazy. Anyways, that’s not for me.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?

Do Apps Help You or Just Waste Your Time?

I think yes we need some good apps. I  go through the list of apps on Google Play store every week or so and decide if I want to try one out and see if it’s useful. I currently have apps for my fav sports teams (2-3 only), Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Uber, my banks (2) and payment options, my mobile service provider, WordPress, PayTM (an online payment option that many services uses), two apps for movie tickets, TapZo (which has a lot of offers for discounts), a screenshot app and a couple of games.

I don’t like keeping too many games or apps on my phone. And oh I have two apps – one that cools down my phone’s processor when it heats up and the other cleans up data and trash. That’s it! I don’t think that’s a lot. I will have a few more as the days and weeks go by. I will surely have some photo apps and the like. I think it’s great that we can have so many useful apps. I don’t think they are a waste of time but what it does is eat up a lot of your data. I currently get 5 gigs with my new phone plan and I can easily get 2 GB more and still stay under my budget for how much I want to spend on my phone! That is awesome.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

ISP Issues….Again!

I’m getting really tired of my ISP, Asianet Broadband. For almost three years (it will be three years by the end of July) I was happy with them but nowadays, they are sucking really badly. Once in a while Asianet’s service would go down but they usually fixed it within 3-4 hours and since it’s only once in a while, that was pretty much ok. I mean, these kind of things go down right? It’s not flawless and I don’t expect any such service to be flawless. But I do expect solutions for the issues.

Lately though it’s been bad. For a few weeks now I have noticed that the connection goes down atleast once in a week and then it started going out almost on a daily basis. An outage like yesterday, which was city wide I believe, is understandable and they fixed it in 4-5 hours. But then again today it goes down. I have had so many days of outages that it’s crazy. And their customer care is so robotic. The people who attend to your calls in their call center, have been given nothing to work with. It’s mostly girls who can check your status and then raise a complaint with a generic statement.

Seriously it’s so funny and yet not funny when I call them. Most of the girls who pick up (it’s mostly girls for some reason) try to speak rather fast when they know there is an outage, promising that the issue has been raised and that it will be fixed as soon as possible and seem in a hurry to just close the call. I get the same answer each time. Finally today I asked for a supervisor and she said the same thing. I was also promised a call back by 6pm which never happened. Shows you what kind of customer care they are running right now. It’s pathetic!

Amazon India Buying

I usually used to buy mostly on eBay but I’ve recently become an Amazon convert for several things. Back in 2015 October I made my very first really big purchase on Amazon India and that was this laptop I am typing on. My Dell Vostro 3558 Corei3 15 in. But other than that it’s been mostly eBay. However I recently began using Amazon a lot more and signed up for Prime and well, I have bought a few things online. This weekend too I was browsing and going through things and I bought just a couple of things.

First up is the first Fidget Spinner I have bought. I want to see just what the fuss is all about. I also bought this neat looking football design bottle opener for my beers. Mind you I don’t have the items yet.

Amazon’s grocery list is also kinda good. My first purchases are these two 1 litre juices from a company, Paper Boat I have known about but haven’t seen in the supermarkets in my town. They have lots of products and they come in nice packaging.

Oh and I also bought these three items that you see here for a friend who was leaving the company I work for. I knew she wanted a diary/journal with a lock that you see here on the left. This one was the nicest that I could find. Then I bought a steel travel mug for her since she loves coffee as much as I do and a leather covered pencil stand as well. I also bought her a poster but I can’t find an image for that poster.

Online Policies

How do you manage your online privacy? Are there certain things you won’t post in certain places? Information you’ll never share online? Or do you assume information about you is accessible anyway?

I think I do post a lot of my feelings and other stuff online. More so on my blog than on say Facebook and Twitter. Now, a lot of my relatives, friends, former school/college mates, casual friends and colleagues are on my Facebook. It’s different than say on my blog. I control everything on my blog whereas in Facebook it’s different. I don’t post as freely as I do on Facebook as I do on my blog or Twitter for that matter. I’m not one of those people who only posts profile pics all day long or post sugary happy nonsense.

I know people who read my blog are much less compared to those 660 souls who are on my Facebook feed regularly (well most of the 660) and the problem is not every one is on the same wavelength as me. So I censor myself and sometimes keep a few things off the TL. But I still do post a lot of things that’s on my mind, my reaction to things happening in the world. This is one reason I do not add current colleagues on Facebook – I don’t want to go to work and have colleagues commenting their like or dislike about my views over coffee. I know some people are sensitive as fuck when it comes to things that are said against what they like but they have no problem in dissing things that they don’t like or agree with. I feel that if it is my Facebook page, I should be able to post anything I damn well want to and those who don’t like it -either ignore it or fuck off. There is an unfriend button for a reason.

But I still hold back because I don’t like people writing essays attacking me on my profile page posts. So I avoid but I will also unfriend or block a person if they get too bitchy for my taste. Discussions are fine but being a prissy little bitch, not so much. Blogs, though are different. Get off my website, I will ban you from commenting if you annoy me. Create your own website and post a 1000 articles as to why your view is different. Respect the right for me to do mine.

My Twitter Follower Analysis

  • 40% of my followers are from India – no surprises since I am from India myself and a lot of these tweeps are people I know personally.
  • 21% are from the USA and 18% from Canada – no surprises due to my love for movies, music, NHL, tv shows, scifi and horror.
  • 10% is from the UK – mostly Arsenal FC fans.
  • Arab nations, a few African countries have 0.1% each – no surprises there. I’m not even sure about the 1.7% from the UAE! Mostly ex-Muslim Atheists Tweeps I guess.
  • And 0.4% in Pakistan! OK, I am aware of one person, anyone else?
  • 2.4% is from Australia – and 0% from New Zealand! C’mon Kiwis, show me some love!
  • 0.4% from the Phillippines, 0.1 each from Malaysia, Indonesia & Vietnam!
  • Assorted Western European nations all have 0.1% each but none from Russia! With my ardent love for Vodka??
  • My fellow Malayalees consist of 17.2% of my followers – next highest state or provincial area is Ontario with 6%!
  • 7.1% are from England (not a state I know)
  • 4.4& are from Karnataka, mostly Bangalore and mostly my fellow Mallus (c’mon, I see you hiding behind your plate of beef fry)
  • 10% of my followers live in my hometown of Kochi, the next highest at 3.3% is from Toronto!

Freedom Of Facebook

Is it a website’s job to moderate the content users post, or should users have freedom to say what they want? Is there a happy medium? If so, how would you structure it?

This one is interesting. If we are talking about Facebook then I think that everyone should be able to say whatever they want and post whatever they want on their personal page as well as any page or group that they create. And unless they are calling for harm (like physical harm or murder / killing and or destruction of land or property) to befall other people or animals or something like that. Then Facebook should intervene and either give a warning before yanking away the page or group or go ahead and pull the plug.

Otherwise I think everyone should be able to say whatever they want and then sit back and listen to the comments and criticisms, satire, jokes and poking fun at for saying what it is that they just said. You can and have full rights to delete, block or ban such comments or people as long as it is your own page or group. And ofcourse the spam. Everyone hates spam and spammers and spam bots. Get them off.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com

Uber Useful

Uber to me is relatively new. I first started using the services of the multinational transportation company in December of 2015. At that time I was stuck doing excessive shifts due to a crunch situation in our company. Hence 12 hours or more was the norm and because I was in a day shift I wasn’t eligible for the company cab option. I don’t have a vehicle and public buses stop running after 8pm in that area as well which made it difficult for me to get back home. I didn’t have the Uber app as I used a BlackBerry and hence I would ask help from colleagues to book me an Uber. Once the driver reached the office, I would go down and tell him that I would pay in cash.

In December and January I must have used Uber in this manner, borrowing a colleague’s phone to do the booking, atleast 10-12 times. February came along and I didn’t have much use of it but I knew that this is a great way to travel in Cochin, unless it was within the main city areas, for which the autorikshaw is the best option if you don’t have a vehicle of your own. In mid February I was told that I would be sent to Gurgaon for 2 weeks and I knew that getting the Uber app was a necessity while I stayed there.

As it so happened I was also looking to change my phone from a BlackBerry to an Android based device. So in late February I bought a new Samsung Galaxy and the very first thing I did as soon as I put in my SIM card was to install Uber. Even before any other app (to be fair, it came with Facebook, Twitter and a few others right outta the box)! And a day or two later I booked my first ride using my own phone. Since then I had used Uber quite a few times; to and fro the office, going to Lulu Mall, booking it for my parents to go for a wedding and come back.

It’s become an essential option for people like me and I don’t see me using the normal taxis unless it’s for a much longer distance like to another city or so.

Personal Facebook Policy

I wonder what other people’s Facebook & Twitter rules are. I usually will add / accept invites from people I know and even people I haven’t met but who I share common interests with. These are usually from FB groups on Star Trek, Atheism, Horror movies, other science fiction shows like BSG, Stargate and music groups. This is usually after we have had quite a few interactions on the group in questions and or notice that we have several groups in common.

I do not add my uncles and aunts (except for a couple who will be cool about most of the stuff that others will balk at) and no kids! My nephews and nieces are a no no. Hmmm what about colleagues? I have a policy – I do not add people who are working in the same office as I do. No way in hell. Unless ofcourse I knew them from before and I had already added them, then it’s fine. But otherwise I do not add them or accept friend invites no matter what. It is a policy I stick by. Ok, I might make an exception if they are super friendly with me and we are really close. But otherwise no. It’s just not a good thing to do.

I often have to delete or ignore friend requests from colleagues because of this. When I meet them I will apologize and tell them and explain and hopefully they get it. I just don’t like it if an issue comes up and then it is discussed in details at work the next day.

Google & Rescue

What was the last thing you searched for online? Why were you looking for it?

I use google a lot. For a lot of things, day in day out. Sometimes for checking on spellings, meanings and usage in sentences. To check for facts, to find out new things that I do not know about or had ever heard about before, to reconfirm and get the details that I need for something that I need to have details for.

I search for movies, music, details of movies, images, wallpapers, themes and everything else on sports and television series and all that. Google is my dictionary, novelty store, entertainment search, my library and my think tank. We are so reliant on Google and yet people are still so ignorant in these times when information is at the tip of their fingers and all it takes is a little typing of the keyboard to find the needed data and educate yourself about the topic at hand and yet stick to their biased opinions.

Use Google, find the right websites, go through the details and see if they make sense, are from a legitimate source (check if the data is genuine by rechecking as to who posts it) and then make your points based on it.

Prompt from The Daily Post at WordPress.com