Audiobooks

I know it has been a really long time; have been a little busy lately, but mostly lazy. So here goes my first post of the year 2019. And happy New Year by the way .

I started listening to audiobooks recently since I hadn’t done that at all. I started listening to audiobooks on my long boring commutes instead of listening to music. Initially, the experience felt weird. It actually felt like I was trying to actively do something while driving and I kept thinking that I should be concentrating on driving than listening to a book. It was definitely distracting and if I had to concentrate while taking turns or looking for the green light at signals, I would not have concentrated on the audiobook. I would end up rewinding and listening to the part I had missed.

This continued for a couple of days. I persisted to see if I can make this work. The result was quite good. I finished Elon Musk’s biography, listened to the remainder of A Storm of Swords, which I was reading, all within 15 days. I definitely would have taken much longer had I just tried to read these books. Listening to audiobooks while driving feels more natural now. I still miss parts of the audio when I have to concentrate more on driving in certain situations and that is how it should be. Safety should be the topmost concern.

My preferred method of enjoying a book is still reading but this seems more practical to me. I ended up finishing two books in 2 weeks which I would have taken a couple of months probably if I had been reading. Listening to audiobooks is how I would be able to finish books quicker with my present lifestyle.

A word of caution though. Driving is an active process. When you are in traffic,you have to give preference to driving over listening to an audiobook. If you don’t get used to the experience of listening while driving quickly, you probably should stop listening.

I have tried audiobooks from audible.in and audiobooks.com.The plans on audible are more economical and specific for India too. Both sites offer a free trial period/ free book.

Happy listening!

Diablo 3 on Nintendo Switch!

It is official now. Nintendo and Blizzard have announced officially that Diablo 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch. The announcement says, this fall. The game is already up for pre orders on sites like Amazon, Best Buy and GameStop. These websites mention the date of release as 21 December,2018.

The game on the Switch is called Diablo 3: Eternal Collection and includes the original Diablo 3, its expansion Reaper of Souls and the Rise of Necromancer pack.

I had read about the launch of Nintendo Switch last year and was not very excited about it then because of lack of support for 4K gaming.

I looked up online to see how Switch is doing around the world. Nintendo has not officially launched Switch, or for that matter, any of its consoles, in India. I was happy to know that it has strong sales in the U.S. and is doing pretty well. I looked at the intro video too and Nintendo continues to amaze me with its innovations.

For the uninitiated, the Switch is a console cum handheld gaming device launched about an year ago by Nintendo. You can insert the handheld device into a dock connected to the T.V. and game on the T.V. like a normal console or you can remove the handheld device from the dock, attach the joy cons to the handheld and start gaming on the go, instantaneously. For more clarity watch this video.

It is very convenient to just pull the device out of its dock and start playing on the handheld, just like that. The library of games seems to have expanded quite a lot with lot of 3rd party games along with the exclusives.

The games I felt most like trying are Zelda Breath of the Wild and of course Mario Oddyssey. I would play Skyrim too, yes, it is available on Switch.

I have been a gaming fan and a Diablo fan in particular for almost 20 years now. Being able to play Diablo 3 on the go is a very exciting prospect. It is so enticing that I am tempted to buy a Switch to just play Diablo 3 on it!

Jio Gigafiber registrations open, Samsung Galaxy Note 9 out

I’ve been a little busy lately. In other recent developments, Reliance Jio has started accepting registrations for  Jio Gigafiber from August 15th on this website. What this really turned out to be was that Jio was just guaging interest from different locations of the country. The areas with highest amount of registrations are going to get connections faster. So, this is not really a registration for a new connection, it is registration for interest.

Meanwhile, Samsung launched the latest edition of the Note series- the Note 9. Is it really an upgrade from last year’s Note?

The battery has got a worthy upgrade- it’s 4000 mAh now. The screen size has gone up by 0.1 inch with resultant minor increase in the phone dimensions. The processor and GPU get an obvious upgrade. The minimum storage size is now 128 GB. There is an upgraded Bluetooth enabled intelligent S pen.

If you have a Note 8, except for the battery upgrade, there is nothing compelling enough to jump to Note 9, in my opinion. Better stick to 8. Older Notes may well consider the upgrade.

 

Password managers

Password managers are applications/extensions that help manage your passwords. They help store multiple passwords and IDs of various logins that you might have. The password managers do all this in a very secure environment.

Why use a password manager?

Many people may ask why we need to use a password manager. Isn’t it much easier to use a single password or maybe use a pattern of passwords for various logins?

It is indeed very convenient to do so. However, from a security point of view, you are doing the worst possible thing. If a hacker gets access to the password, all your logins are compromised.

And you can’t possibly remember multiple strong passwords.

This is where password managers come to our rescue. A password manager has a master password or pattern or code or a password USB key to open all other passwords. Most password managers also generate random passwords which you can store for specific logins and the password manager remembers them for you. So, all you need to remember is the master password.

You may believe that this itself is a security compromise as all passwords will be compromised if the master password is hacked. That is true, but password managers keep things secure by using high level encryption security. It is difficult to hack a security app.

Also, someone hacking the master password of a password manager is a problem, if the password manager stores everything online. Online storage is convenient as cross platform, multiple device access and sync are all possible only when passwords are stored online.

You eliminate this problem by using an offline, single device password manager. However, you lose the convenience of anywhere, anytime access to your passwords.

Conclusion 

A compromise is possible. You can use an online access password manager to store your not so important passwords and either memorize your important passwords (main email id, bank account) or store them in an offline, single device password manager. You might as well write them down on a paper and store them in a safe.

Password managers available 

There are many password managers out there. I have mentioned a few popular ones. 

Norton identity safe is a free app which provides cross platform, multi device access. Last pass free version is another popular application. The premium version adds a few non essential features. Other free versions of paid apps like Dashlane, KeePass are also good enough for personal use.

KeePass has an offline version as well.

p.s. I do not have any financial interests in the products mentioned above.