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Realook Screen Protector Review

After looking around for a screen protector that could offer a better experience than Zagg’s (which has an orange peel effect and “increased grip’ that I don’t want on my touchscreen), I found that people were recommending screen protectors from a company called Realook. I had never heard of them before and I tried to do some research but I found that the company didn’t have an official website. I decided to take a risk and try the product based on the few forum reviews that I found.

Realook sends out two screen protectors in one package, and that single package costs less than one screen protector from Zagg. The protection film comes with one layer on top and one layer on bottom. There’s no wet install; it’s a simple peel and stick.

This had me worried about getting dust under the film or misaligning it, but with a careful install I managed to install it perfectly on my first try (and if you don’t, you have a second one to try again with). Realook takes care to help you with a perfect install by including two ‘tabs’ which you can use to lift the shield once it has been applied and remove dust, and an alcohol wipe to clean your fingers to avoid leaving fingerprints on the screen or on the film during install.

There’s no waiting time; your device will look perfect right after the install. Realook is the thinnest screen protector I’ve ever seen – it’s hardly visible, even at extreme angles. I’ve been asked what happened to my Zagg, and people don’t even notice that I have a new screen protector there. The film also has no display distortion. I had pointed out that my Zagg was creating small rainbows when I was looking at white screens, but Realook has no such problem. The feel of the film, the excellent picture quality, and the thinness of the product makes this a truly invisible screen protector.

I would highly recommend Realook to anyone. This is a screen protector with an insanely easy install process that is hardly noticeable on your device. It doesn’t attract fingerprints any more than the glass screen and it will protect your screen from scratches and keep your expensive device looking new (the actual protective film is difficult to scratch too). I still have Zagg’s film on the back of my device, but in my opinion Realook is clearly superior in every aspect for touchscreen protection.

Realook Screen Protector
Reviewed by w3techie.
Rating: 5
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Zagg Invisible Shield Review

Zagg Invisible Shield on a myTouch 4G Device

Last year I reviewed Zagg’s Invisible Shield on my iPod Touch, and now I’m writing a new, updated review of my experience with the Invisible Shield on my MyTouch 4G. I feel like my install on the myTouch was much quicker and smoother, perhaps because I already had prior experience installing one of these, or maybe because there aren’t as many curved areas to be covered.

What’s New

  • The solution came in a spray bottle and not in a small plastic tub. I liked this spray bottle.
  • The squeegee was a bit different, and it felt like it was easier to guide water out from underneath the Invisible Shield without moving the actual shield.

The Install

When I first took the plastic protectors out of their packaging I was taken aback; I thought that a mistake had been made in the order. One of the cutouts is one whole piece, and the other has some smaller cutouts on it. It took me a while to realize that the large piece was meant to cover the front, while the separate cutouts were for the back.

The install took under fifteen minutes from start to finish. The procedure is straightforward but I’ll clarify it below

  1. Thoroughly wash your hands with soap to get rid of any oils on your fingtips.
  2. Clean the phone screen of any dust, smudges, etc.
  3. Spray your fingertips with the installation solution to avoid getting fingerprints anywhere.
  4. Peel off the part that you’re installing and spray the back with the installation solution. Drench it so it’s easy to move around when you place it on the device.
  5. Place the plastic film on the device and move it around to finely adjust it.
  6. Use the squeegee to push air bubbles and installation solution out from under the protective shield. Be careful not to move the shield around while you’re pushing the solution out.
  7. Use a lint-free cloth to collect excess installation solution that you push out.
  8. Allow 24 hours for the protective coating to fully dry into place and for fine air bubbles to disappear.

The Invisible Shield isn’t difficult to install on any part of the device. The only slightly challenging part is installing on the lower back of the device where the device is slightly curved, but the Invisible Shield lays right on it. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the install. It is fairly easy alight the firm precisely where you want it and not get fingerprints or dust trapped under it.

Quality

The quality of the plastic film is excellent, as expected. You get a high level of “invisible” protection that only a few other products attempt to match. Zagg’s Nano-Memory™ technology is responsible for the light texture on the surface of the protective film, which provides durability and increased grip. I haven’t had any problems with raised edges or dust collecting around the corners, and the tiny air bubbles have disappeared less than a week after my install. I do notice a slight display issue (on a white screen it seems like there are faint colored lines – smaller than pixels) but I’ve seen that with every screen protector, and it’s easy to get used to. The film doesn’t give the display a dim or faded look. The quality of the product is outstanding.

Gallery

The Invisible Shield truly is invisible. This are some high-resolution photos of the film on the myTouch 4G.

Zagg Invisible Shield on a myTouch 4G DeviceZagg's Invisible Shield on the front of a myTouch 4G.Invisible Shield on myTouch 4G Alternate View

Zagg Invisible Shield covering the back of a myTouch 4G.

Conclusion

I would highly recommend Zagg’s Invisible Shield to everyone with an expensive device that they wish to protect. I sold my old iPod that was protected with Zagg’s full body shield, and the fact that it had no scratches on the mirror back raised it’s resale value by more than 40% over similar sales on eBay. The Invisible Shield will give you peace of mind and protection that outlasts the cheaper screen protectors.

The concept of a film to protect the entire body of a device is brilliant. Hard cases and rubber sleeves add extra thickness to devices and may make them more difficult to use. They also provide inferior protection against light scuffs and scratches. Today’s devices are beautiful, and protection like this allows us to show off our device’s beauty without sacrificing protection.

It’s “invisible” and it provides amazing protection – what more could you ask for?

Zagg Invisible Shield
Reviewed by w3techie.
Rating: 4
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Internal Linking Optimization

Google Webmaster Tools gives us a great tool to analyze the internal linking structures on our websites. Internal links are some of the most important links because webmasters have full control over how they link to their internal pages (this can tell search engines what the webmaster feels a specific page is relevant to). Thus, the anchor text that’s used on a link must be relevant to the content of the page it’s linking to. When you go into Google Webmaster Tools you may notice something strange for your website’s Links to Your Site.

Google is not showing the link anchor texts we expect.

What are these undescriptive anchor texts doing here?

This tool shows you how your content is being linked to, and allows you to make changes for better SEO. Here we see that w3techie is being linked to with the phrases “logo” and “log in with Facebook.” Where are these phrases seen on our site? The first is the Facebook login for our forum

Facebook login for w3techie Forum.

The Facebook login link shows on all forum pages, generating thousands of links with unwanted anchor text.

What about logo? A quick look into the forum’s source code shows the following.

ALT text in image source code.

The ALT text is 'logo', and is generating thousands of links to the forum's homepage with unwanted anchor text.

Even though the link title shows a nice description, Google uses the ALT text as the anchor text for this link.

It’s extremely important to optimize your website’s internal links because these are the only links that you have full control over (in location, number of links per page, anchor text, etc.) and the search engines know that the phrases a webmaster uses to link to other pages on their site must be representative of the content on the other pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Right below the logo on our blog, we have a tab with the text “Forums” that links to the forum homepage. Why doesn’t this anchor text appear in the top ways content on w3techie is linked?

Answer: Google only uses the first link on a page (whichever appears first in the source code) to a parrticular page in their ranking algorithm.

What are some other ways to optimize my internal linking?

Answer: Even though anchor texts are some of the most important places to optimize sitewide, you should also work on limiting links that appear sitewide (eg. footer links, sidebar links). Some links don’t need to be seen by search engines because they don’t offer additional content (for example, the “Mark Board as Read” link), and can be hidden. Just be careful that search engines see exactly the same content as guests. If you choose to hide a link from bots, hide it from all guests too! (Guest visitors to your forum shouldn’t need the ‘Mark Board as Read’ command anyway.) Every link you remove from a page will help send more link juice to other, more important (content-rich) pages on your site, so limiting sitewide links can go a long way!

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Do You Need an SSD?

You’ve probably heard about solid-state drives, the expensive new data- storage devices that are faster and more reliable than traditional disk drives.

You’ve probably asked yourself, “Do I need an SSD? Is it worth the price?”

I bought myself an SSD for my laptop not knowing what to expect. I knew the SSD would make it faster but I had no idea to what extent I would notice the performance benefit. Now that I’ve installed it and had a few days to test it out I’ll explain how an SSD could help you and if it’s worth the investment.

What is an SSD?

A solid state drive is a hard drive for your computer without the disk. A normal hard disk drive has multiple spinning disks from which data is written and read. In contrast, a solid state drive uses flash memory to store your data and has no moving parts.

What are the advantages of an SSD?

Because solid state drives have no moving parts, they are much more durable and reliable. A HDD is prone to mechanical failure from vibrations or drops – an SSD is not. No moving parts also means that an SSD works on less power than a HDD and could increase your laptop’s battery life. Flash memory is also much faster than disk drives.

Do you have technical data?

My laptop’s HDD ran at 5400 RPM and had a benchmarked read speed of about 60 MB/s. The SSD I bought benchmarks with a read speed at around 250 – 280 MB/s.  My HDD’s seek time was advertised at 12ms. The SSD’s seek time was advertised at .1ms (and benchmarks below 1ms at various file sizes. You’ll notice that most SSDs have similar speeds.

What are the noticeable performance benefits?

My laptop now boots up much faster. I can now turn it on and wait for it to start, instead of pushing the button and walking out of the room. I can also start programs right after boot with no delay. I even ran a test to show this new speed to my friends; I copied every shortcut I could find into my Startup folder and restarted the computer. Right after boot, applications started quickly launching on top of each other. The whole Microsoft Office suite, Photoshop, Skype, Movie Maker, etc. all launched in under 10 seconds. This amazed me; I’m no longer afraid of having startup programs. My computer feels very responsive and everything launches instantly.

Is it worth it?

For the price of my 60GB SSD one could buy a 1.5TB HDD. SSDs are still expensive and it can be hard to trade-off storage space for performance. Windows 7 can take up about 20GB on a fresh install with updates, and you’ll be putting software on top of that too. If you have a PC with expansion space it’s no problem, just put your operating system on the SSD and pictures, videos, and music on your HDD. If you’re looking to upgrade a laptop it can be harder to decide. There may be other, cheaper ways to increase performance, such as a RAM upgrade. If you’re serious about performance however, an SSD can bring a great performance boost at a great price.

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Prevent Form Injection

When I first wrote this article 7-8 months ago I was very disturbed about Captcha and still am. Why? First of all because it’s just plain inaccessible to everybody. You don’t have to have the slightest vision problems (or any other problem for that matter) to get in trouble when trying to decipher the more and more ridicules outputs from various Capthas. What I do like about Captcha is that it tries to stop spam and I’m sure it works great. In fact it works so great it also stops humans. How did it ever get this far (out) that we have to behave silly, obstruct our visitors with foolish solutions just to protect our inboxes?

Spam out of control

Spam is the Internet’s version of junk mail, telemarketing calls, leaflets, survy calls etc. All of this mixed into a single annoying electronic package. So how much is spam out the. I don’t think anyone knows exactly but Wiki has this to say about it! That is why I think we should do out outmost to prevent and stop spam. If there is any truth in the Wiki article then I think it’s safe to say… spam is out of control.

Captcha vs SpamTrap

So is there anything revolutionary about SpamTrap you may ask. Nothing revolutionary going on here. In fact I would say it’s a Captha clone outputting random questions in plain text with really simple answers instead of images. I believe It must be better using simple questions in plain text when compared to hopeless twisted letters and numbers.

SpamTrap features

So what is SpamTrap and what can it do for you! SpamTrap is NOT a guarantee against spam! It’s just another tool in the spam fighting toolbox, just like Captcha. The zip file contains a (x)html/php page (form.php) and a folder containing two inc files. The page works right out of the box. The only thing you need to do, is to change the recipient mail address and include the absolute path to your thank you page. Create one if you don’t have one. The form fields are labeled explicitly with their controls. The form can be used in a table based layout or as a css-based form page. That’s up to you.

Lets get started

Download SpamTrap.zip and unzip the file into your website directory. You need to change 2 values in the script. Below you’ll find the php code from the top of the form.php page. I’ve colored the code for easy editing: Green means edit and red means don’t edit.

< ?php include("php/v.inc"); include("php/q.inc"); $validator = new ValidateForm(); if ($HTTP_SERVER_VARS['REQUEST_METHOD'] == 'POST'){ $validator->addCheck('First_and_Last_name');
 $validator->addCheckEmail('Email_address');
 $validator->addCheck('Comment');
 if ($validator->validate() && checkAnswer()){
 //send email or another action to be performed
 $SendTo = "someone@somewhere.com"; /* Change this to match your email address /*
 $FromString .= "from: ". $validator->get("Email_address") ."\r\n";
 $Indhold .= "Navn: ". $validator->get("First_and_Last_name") ."\r\n";
 $Indhold .= "Email: ". $validator->get("Email_address") ."\r\n";
 $Indhold .= "Comment:\r\n".preg_replace("(\r\n|\r|\n)","\r\n" ,$validator->get("Comment"))."\r\n\r\n";
 $MailSuccess = mail($SendTo,$Subject,$Indhold,$FromString);
 header("Location: absolute path to your thank you page");
 exit;
 }
 }
 ?>


The cut and paste process

Copy the processing php code from the very top of the form.php page. Place the copied php code above the opening html tag on the page you want the form to appear on. When the changes to the receiver address and the location of the thank you page are in place you’re ready to cut’n’paste the form itself. Select the form and paste it where you want it to appear. Save your html file as form.php (or change the action […action=”form.php]” to what you want to call your form page) .

Copy the block of Error php code from the form.php page and place it like any other paragraph of text. A good place would preferably be above your form, or anywhere else you want errors to display. You’re done with your new form page. Now you just need to add the final bits and pieces to make your forms page look as you want it. If you don’t know how, then do a search for “css form styling” or something like that. Upload your page to your site and test. If the form submits, and you see the thank you page, and you get mail, then it works! Otherwise your site is not hosted on a php enabled server or something else went wrong.

DISCLAIMER:
Use the form/PHP at your own risk!

Adopted from Kim K Jonsson at GeekMinistry, 2007.
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