Monday, February 10, 2014

How to disable the camera shutter sound in Android

Most Android devices have the basic same functions across all manufacturers and carriers but when it comes to the little things, camera settings for example, some have more features then others. It comes down to what the manufacturer and/or mobile carrier decide to include or exclude.

I recently wanted to disable the camera shutter sound on my Sprint Samsung Galaxy S4. I looked in the camera settings and found all sorts of different settings but there is nothing that allows me to control the shutter sound. A web search turned up a small app called Enforced Stream Silencer. It's a safe and easy way to silence the camera shutter sound and the best part is it works on non-rooted devices.

To install. Visit the Enforced Stream Silencer homepage on your mobile device.
Select the link under Link to APK: to download the EnforcedStreamSilencer.apk to your device.
Open the EnforcedStreamSilencer.apk to run the installer. Be sure to activate it once it is installed.

Open the apk and choose Install

The next option is Open

Then select the box next to Disable STREAM_SYSTEM_ENFORCED

Once there is a check mark in the box then Enforced Stream Silencer is activated.
Press the Home button to exit the setup.

Windows 8 Update Notifier

Windows 8 does not alert users to new Windows Updates like previous versions of Windows. Some people like Windows to "be quiet" and not alert them to updates for various reasons and Microsoft decided to stop the alerts in Windows 8. For those of us who do rely on notifications to important Windows Updates this is a good free solution. Patch Tuesday is easy to forget about especially when we have never needed to remember it, until now.

Windows 8 Update Notifier Homepage
"Windows 8 do not offer a desktop notification about new available Windows Updates. You can choose the option "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download them" within the Windows Update Settings, but you will not be informed about new updates via a popup on the desktop (as it was in windows 7). Only on the logon screen you can see a hint in the bottom right corner."

Windows 8 Update Notifier does not install or run by default at startup so be sure to see the documentation page for install instructions and Screenshots if you prefer to have it running all of the time.

The instructions  tell you to place the WindowsUpdateNotifier.exe in your Startup folder located at:
  • C:\Users\{User Name}\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Simply Cut/Paste or Copy/Paste WindowsUpdateNotifier.exe from where you downloaded it to into the Windows Startup folder.

Newer versions of Windows 8 Update Notifier allows for Windows Defender updates to install automatically. When monthly Patch Tuesday updates are ready you will have to open Windows Update and download/install them manually.

Features- Is shown as a icon in the system tray
- Inform about updates via a popup
- Search for new updates every hour (by default)
- Open the windows update dialog by clicking the popup (or via the context menu)
- Disabling popup-notification temporarily (updates will be searched but no popup will be shown).
Can be useful for disabling notifications during presentations.
- If connection to the update-service can not be established, retry every 30 seconds. for 10 times.
- Four icons states: "searching", "updates found", "no updates available", "not connected"
- Settings dialog for changing update interval and configuring the app as auto startup.
- Select between two popup-styles: The Windows 7 Style and the Metro Style.
- Support for automatically installing Windows Defender updates

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Should you turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome?

My browser of choice is Mozilla Firefox but I do give the Google Chrome Browser it's fair share of use. Today I was looking in the Google Chrome Browser settings and noticed a few things under the 'Privacy' settings that I was not familiar with. I'm not a huge privacy advocate when it comes to the internet because I know when it comes down to it privacy and the internet just don't go together. I do however like to know just what information I putting out there and block anything I consider to be too intrusive.

This is what caught my eye and both are enabled by default in Google Chrome.

  • Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors 
  • Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar
Both of those descriptions are better known as the 'auto-suggest' feature. While auto-suggest is a very useful feature and  as expected Google is using it to collect information on users. What they don't tell us though is that you are sending Google everything you type in the address bar or the Omnibox as Google has named it. To me that is going way too far.

Should you turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome? While the information collected is in raw data form and it's unlikely Google knows exactly who is doing what my answer leans towards yes, you should turn it off.

How to turn off auto-suggest in Google Chrome.

  • Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar. 
  • Select Settings. 
  • Click Show advanced settings and find the "Privacy" section. Deselect the "Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors" checkbox to disable the feature.