4 Steps to Save your Kid from Uncensored TV and Gaming content

As parents we often feel hopeless against the type and quality of TV and gaming content being fed to our kids day in and day out. If you fear that uncensored TV and gaming content can corrupt your child, then with a little bit of introspection and creativity you can cope up with the situation.

At times it is often argued that there should be no ban on violent games or shows, as kids do not turn violent or rash by playing games or become influenced by TV shows. But those concerned about child safety and parents feel otherwise. They tend to directly blame games and TV content for the behavior of kids and teens.

Yes, it’s a kind of eternal debate where each end will hold the other responsible, with some taking sides for and against.

But then these are our kids that we should be concerned about. The marketeers and content producers will continue to target kids as they know they have a huge audience at their disposal that can be hooked on to anything no matter how mindless it might seem just in the name of entertainment. We should continue with our protests and debate on the issue as long as we can and as parents we can do more than that to help our kids.

Times have changed since we were kids. Over two decades ago there were few channels and fewer shows and gaming was limited. Today the kids are being hit with God knows what. With each passing day new ones are popping up now and then with 24×7 feed and access to all sorts of games is one the rise.

Though every kid or teen will not become violent, rash or naughty, but there is a chance that one in a thousand will try to imitate their adored fictional characters or heroes and end up hurting himself or some other kid.

How can you make sure that your kid is not among that one in thousands?

1. Take time out:

Our life has become too busy. To earn money and save some for the future we work hard and need some time for ourselves too, to unwind. But we have to be a little selfless here and take time out for our kids. We often find it very convenient when we are busy to make the kids watch TV or let them play games to keep them occupied.

But as soon as you finish off work, make sure that you can distract your kid’s attention away from the TV or game. You might have a job or even your spouse might be out on one. Whichever category you are in, spend some quality time with your kids whenever you are free even if you have to sacrifice a little time of yours.

2. Be Creative :

Think about some activity to distract your kid’s attention. You can do this by persuading him/her that the next thing you are going to do is more interesting than watching TV. So plan for some activity and make it sound very attractive as the marketing guy does to sell you stuff you never want. The only difference being here that, you are trying to sell your planned activity your kid needs.

3. Help your kid to differentiate:

Kids often tend to try out jumps and stunts that are depicted in the TV shows or games. Make them see the difference. It is not easy and takes some time before you can get your point through. You will have to often repeat the same points over and over, till your kids can learn to differentiate.

You have to do this patiently and it’s very important to be repetitive. Why? Because, the TV content is repetitive and that’s why your kid gets hooked to imitate the actions of the characters without understanding their fictional nature. TV content is less harmful if it’s not repetitive. More the repetition the more you will have to make you kid unlearn and learn to see the difference between fiction and real life. And avoid letting your kid see repeated TV shows of the same nature if you can. You can do this by alternating the locking and opening of different channels every other day.

4. Make a TV free zone:

Not everyone will be able to do it but you can give it a try. Make a no TV zone where your kid spends most of the time at home and sleeps. This way you can practically cut down the hours he/she is exposed to seeing a TV set. If you can’t remove the TV physically, you can try to unhook the Cable feed to the TV for a few hours. But remember you have to attend to your kids or make them busy in an activity to keep them occupied.

If you can save your kids early on from this uncensored TV and gaming content, you can help them through their teens and turn them into fine young adults. You were once a kid too. Introspect and proceed. Don’t be too dictating or harsh with your kids. Too much of coxing has a negative effect. Instead be patient and understanding.

Remember you can win this debate by simply spending more time with your kids and channelizing their energy creatively and constructively.

« Assembled PC vs Branded PC – 5 Buying Tips to Consider 5 Guideline Tips for Designing a Web Site » Insider Secrets for a PC or Laptop that will save you money

Tips to give you a head start that will not only save your data, but also your time and money on Windows XP or Vista PC/Laptop.

This goes beyond just installing anti-virus, anti-spy-wares and taking backups to boost the level of reliability of a PC or Laptop. You don’t have to panic and call for support every time, if you maintain your PC or Laptop with the following tips.

1. Install an anti-virus if you haven’t got one. Yes we all know their importance but we forget. Make sure that you regularly scan your PC. There are some that can go past the memory resident shields, so scan at regular intervals. And please never forget to up date their virus definitions from their sites whenever they are available. Even if you have no connection to Internet for a PC/Laptop, you can download it in a cybercafe or from your office PC/Laptop and then update your PC/Laptop. You can get a free one for your personal use from any of the ones listed below.

i. Avast Anti-virus

ii. AVG Free Anti-virus

iii. Clamwin Anti-virus

2. Install Spy bot protection. Spy bots are pieces of codes that sneak in through bugs and loop holes in programs you have installed or even from just visiting some sites. They exploit bugs in software’s security features and leave traces of codes in your PC/Laptop that can be exploited later on. They can be used for anything ranging from collecting your confidential information to being a part of an attack on websites. Protection from them is equally important. Use a secure browser like Firefox or Opera. They have a number of features that give you protection and are considered more safe. Use them for your daily Internet activities. As with Anti-virus protection, you have to keep your Anti-spy-ware definitions updated at regular intervals. Some good free ones are listed here.

i. Spy Bot Search & Destroy

ii. AVG Anti-spyware Free Edition

iii. Spyware Terminator

3. Make a backup folder on another partition of your disk for taking backups. Make sure when you buy a new PC/Laptop, you have an additional one installed. Keep in mind to periodically keep your files backed up. Not only will it help you in finding information easier in case of data corruption, you will save time and money by already having a backup ready, in case you have to reinstall your Windows.

4. Organize your PC/Laptop from the start and keep it that way for optimal performance. Don’t just go on installing software for the fun of it or trying it out. If you really need it only then install it. If you don’t know whether its going to be useful or not, then search about it on the Internet, find about its features from its documentation. Even if you have to install it, try it for a few days, if you find yourself using it frequently keep it, otherwise just remove it.

5. Make sure you have a password protecting the administrative account. Create a separate user and limit its rights by making it a Limited User. Do all your regular work from this user. Don’t use the administrative account for anything but doing important maintenance tasks or installing new software. Keep your Administrative account locked. Not only will it protect your Windows from getting corrupted, it will prevent many Spy bots from infecting your PC/Laptop though not all will be stopped. You still need an anti-spy-bot software. If you have more users using the same PC/Laptop, create a separate account for each one of them and give them limited rights too. Make sure they have an individual backup folder to backup their important files.

6. Keep a backup of your registry by setting up a restore point. Make this a habit. Set restore points whenever you make major changes to your Windows like installing software or at regular intervals. Not only will this help you in recovery of your Windows in-case of software malfunction, but you might be able to recover and restore your PC/Laptop to an original state before the files where corrupted by a spy-ware.

7. Many programs that you install or are installed have a memory resident program that load on in the memory when you switch on your PC/Laptop or when you quit them them they still stay active. While its a feature for quick access, but it can slow your booting time and even the working of your PC/Laptop. Look around the clock in the task bar, if you have too many programs loading, cut a few you don’t use frequently. If you start a program and quit it make sure its not still residing in the bar near your clock. Like when you quit messengers they instead of exiting place themselves in the task bar near the clock. Alter their functioning or exit them from the task bar.

8. Keep your Icons on the desktop to a minimum. Keep a few that you use regularly and don’t make a shortcut for everything on the desktop. Files that you downloaded should be in their respective organized folders. Not only it will help in presenting a better view to the wonderful desktop wallpaper you have put on, but it will speed up loading of Windows.

Keep these tips in mind and make them a habit. Not only will you save time, but there would be less frequent visits from your service engg. that will save you some money. And if you do call a service engg. in case of an emergency, he might just be amazed at how well organized your PC/Laptop is and how quickly he was able to finish his work.

PS. Keep watching this site for many more articles and tips to follow to help you in your PC/Laptop support. Personally I have given up using Windows about two years back. I have kept just one, for reviews and software testing purposes only.  No, I don’t use a Mac or DOS, I use Linux, the wonderful open source operating system that’s way ahead in security features and reliability. It has some amazing features and I will be covering Linux in the coming articles too.

Die Another Day

Our mind wants us to believe, what it perceives to be true, either based on facts or fiction. It can bend the truth in our favor or falsely justify things to make us believe in something that doesn’t seem right. The true psychic powers of the mind are still not known to man as science still struggles to unravel the mysteries of our thoughts and how correct is its capability of imagining stuff in the right way.

It all depends from one person to another. For some, a psychic perception could just be an imagination of ones mind, for others it might hold so good that they start believing in it. This debate can go on with both sides citing their own facts and opinions. Apart from who’s wrong or right, what we have to understand is that we have to shut out the negative energy and soak only the positive things that matter to us.

The power of belief has unlimited potential. This can either make us or break us. We have to be wise enough in choosing, how true is the thing we truly believe in. Our self belief serves as the foundation of the things that we do everyday. This self belief leads to actions in the real world. If we believe we can’t do a certain task we won’t be able to do it. If we believe by doing something we are going to invoke a reaction that is not going to be good for us, we simply stop or change directions.

It takes courage and a conscious effort to come out of a negative psychic feeling. I could have avoided the road trip by simply postponing it to get out of the situation, to avoid what my mind made me believe (about me dying in a road accident). To overcome this negativity, I had to make a sincere conscious effort to regain control of my beliefs. I knew, I would become more worried and miserable if I didn’t come out of this on top. Keep doing the right thing and die another day.

You have to rediscover the power of self belief whenever you face a similar situation. This self belief can make you lift mountains, make you do impossible tasks and help you grow and glow as a human. You shouldn’t worry whether you have psychic powers or not. You need not worry about luck or fate. What you should do is make an effort to believe in yourself that what you are going to do is the right thing and that this action is a step forward and not backward.

If you are stuck at some task, you can only finish it by making an effort to do it. You might complete it by finding another way or by simply putting in a reinforced effort. What matters in the end is that you went through with it and finished it off. There is no other feeling like that of accomplishing a goal or a task.

Remember: The real psychic power is in making a conscious effort to take the right decision and act on it with self belief.

Am I going to Die Today?

It is in human nature to get a little bit paranoid even if you never intend on getting edgy. We all have our own psychic fears hidden inside that can be triggered at any time for trivial reasons or wondering thoughts. How do you come to know that nothing bad is going to happen or the opposite, something bad is about to happen. Premonition is what we generally see in movies. Can our sixth sense really tingle like a spider and tell us about the impending danger?

Is premonition just the creation of the mind based on what others say or what we see happening around us? It is not by chance I choose to write this and make it the theme this week. To tell the truth, I have been a bit paranoid since the past two days. It’s one thing to be cautious and another to be paranoid. And this is for the first time I felt paranoid because of whats happened around me and what others have been saying.

A few days back, a couple well known to my family died in a car accident. The tire of their car had burst and it rolled on to collide with a truck killing them on the spot. You might say, this is hardly a thing to get paranoid about as hundreds are killed everyday on the roads. Yes, but then anything, big or small can trigger a paranoia in you. To compound the matter further, I came to know that a day before the happening, the gentleman in the accident had said that the car he was going to travel in can never meet with an accident as it was a very expensive one.

As I was going to take a road trip by car to my in-laws place for bringing back my kids and wife in the coming couple of days, my parents too had been cautioning me to drive slowly pointing to the accident. When I spoke to my wife, she was reluctant to come back with me and wanted to stay on a couple of days more asking me to postpone my trip. There were other smaller instances that seemed to point in the same negative direction, though it was just casual talk.

During the time you are alone, once you catch the fancy of premonition, it attracts your mind to think more about such things. The more you try to think away, the deeper it takes you in. With all sorts of thoughts about me dying in an accident on the road, I couldn’t help being sucked into this deep hole. The movies that highlighted premonition flashed in front of me. It was just getting worse.

All this made me build up this premonition of me dying today. I even considered about not taking the road trip or postponing it. But then I knew, if not today, tomorrow I would have to go and the more I delayed the more miserable I would be. My productivity had dropped to almost nil since the last two days as my mind was occupied by this.

After a lot of deliberation with myself, I decided to take this bull by its horns. I made up my mind that I will take this trip and find out whether I am going to die today or not. Believe me, I want to live, for I have many promises to keep and many goals to achieve. But then I want to live with courage and not in fear. I want to live free and not caged.

It’s around a 400 miles round trip and I have been on this road many times. If I die today, it will mean that there is such a feeling called premonition and we need to pay heed to it whenever we get it or it is just my turn to die. If I live to write another article here by tomorrow, it will again mean two things, either ‘am not good at predicting my death or this premonition thing is just a fictitious feeling build by our paranoid thoughts and fear.

Heads or Tails, I hope to see you here tomorrow and die another day.

Tips on How to Manage Time this Year

Setting new goals and making new resolutions isn’t enough. To make sure that you can achieve everything you have decided to, you have to be good at managing time. Efficient time management can lead to achieving your goals and completing tasks in time.

1. Fire up a word-processor or a spreadsheet program to write a list all the tasks you have to do. You can even do it on a sheet of paper. Use of a computer is recommended to save the rewriting time. Don’t worry about the priority of each task while making this list. Just get the list ready.

2. Once you are finished with listing all the tasks, scan it from top to bottom. Is there any task that can further be broken down in smaller sub-tasks? If yes, then break these further into smaller ones and list them below the main task.

3. Prioritize each main task by marking numerals like I, II, III, IV and so on in front of each task. If you have broken down some main tasks into sub-tasks, mark them with a, b, c, d and so on.

4. Rearrange the tasks according to their priority. This is optional for time management. You can continue using your marked priority list as it is.

5. Estimate the time you would require for completing each task. Indicate this time against each. You don’t have to be accurate but be realistic in general while writing down the required time. Keep in mind so as not to exceed the total time you plan to work in a day, after all you have limited hours for time management.

6. If you find that some tasks don’t fit in your stipulated working time for the day, mark them with an * or any other symbol to indicate that they will be tackled the next day.

7. There’s no fun in doing things if you aren’t going to take a break to reward yourself on working on your tasks. These small breaks not only ensure that you stay focused but are also necessary to help you relax.

8. Make sure that you return to work on your tasks each time you take a break. Keep in mind as an incentive that the sooner you finish all your tasks for the day, the more free time you will get at the end of your list.

9. Accommodate any urgent, last minute tasks after the one you are currently working on. Don’t let yourself get distracted in between and loose the rhythm.

10. At the end of the day move all unfinished tasks to the top of a new page or sheet for the next day. Take a few minutes to think what all you have to accomplish the next day and add those tasks to the list.

* If you get stuck on a task or it requires the intervention of others for completion, don’t wait and waste time. Instead mark the task as unfinished and move on to the next one on the list. Return to review the unfinished task later on or move it to the next day’s list.

You can use these points for time management at work, home, business or just about anywhere.

Remember to always plan Today for an efficient Tomorrow.

How to catch the time?

Time is running out fast. It’s already 5 days into the New Year. How do you catch time? It’s not easy but can be done if you plan well and stick to it. That’s how I was able to do another update of this site making it easier for you to find things on this site.

Another thing I will be starting this week is that from now on in addition to regular tips under different categories, I will be focusing on the ‘Theme of Week’. There will be more tips and articles related to the theme being highlighted for the whole week. You will be able to see some topics from the past on the Home page that you might have missed or forgotten. With some good Time Management Tips you can kick start your new year on the right foot.

Keep yourself posted with RSS or Email subscription as my revision of the website is almost over and I will be focusing on providing you with tips on a wide range of topics. Wooops… It’s time to catch the time :)

Why choose Linux and Open Source Software?

A product, whether a gadget or software, might have flaws in it. A product is never 100% perfect. Every other consumer will find some flaw, either in its design, the way it works or some bug in the software.

There is little you can do about design flaws in a gadget because it’s a closed proprietary product with you having limited access to the inner components or no means of modifying and solving the flaw. The same can be said in the case of a closed source proprietary software.

Developers try their best to rectify or contain bugs in software. As any developer will verify, once a product is released, it’s natural that some bugs might have been left untended or some new ones are discovered later during its usage. This is true for proprietary as well as open source software.

Then why should one go in for Linux and Open Source Software solution?

Imagine there are two cars available. One has an open design, comes with a detailed and complete repair manual and diagrams, aptly named the Open Car. The other has everything hidden under the hood with no repair manual, the Closed Car.

Over the years, the Open Car becomes popular as more people buy it because it is easy to repair. There is a vast community building up that helps others using this car. Every repair shop is able to easily repair the car as third party components are available. You can even go in stores and buy spares for this car. You can modify it in anyway you want. Add and remove features according to your preference and liking.

On the other hand, the Closed Car has limited repair facilities. Repair is expensive as spares are available only from the company. The car company has to put in a lot of their own resources to support it. You cannot modify it as you would be violating the company’s end user agreement.

Thus the Open Car is able to reduce its price tag and yet increase the market share but the Closed Car gets costlier to own and maintain.

Which car would you prefer to buy?

The same is with open and closed source software. As and when bugs are discovered or notified, the open source software gets updated more frequently than a closed source one. You are free to modify the open source software according to your needs all by yourself or hire someone to do it for you, without the fear of violating any end user agreements on modifications.

Whats more, you don’t have to pay for renewal of licenses for the next version of an open source software as it’s free to use in the first place. Whereas for a proprietary software, you will have to shell out money to use the next version.

From the security point of view, open source software outscores their closed source counterparts. Rapid security updates and fixes are available for fixing the loop holes in open source software. If you are more paranoid about the security of the software you are using, open source is at advantage. You can get it verified from a security analyst as its source code is readily available.

The only hampering point for Linux and open source software is when hardware and device manufacturers fail to release the details of their products for the benefit of open source development of drivers and compatibility.

Linux and Open Source Software gives you the real freedom to do things the way you want to. If this open model can be applied to things around us, the world would become a better place to live and care for.