Friday, December 11, 2009

Facebook Privacy - New & Improved?

The latest Facebook Privacy announcement has raised a lot of concerns among users and privacy experts alike. Unless you have already seen the privacy wizard on facebook (or ignored it, as many have) you are likely to see it as soon as you sign in your facebook account.

While the new privacy setting are suppose to make it easier for the user to control his/her information, the recent changes are drawing a mixed reaction from the audience. Here are the 5 key areas of concern:

Search Settings:Many users are complaining that the option in the search settings to turn their profile 'public' has been now turned on, although many seemed to have specifically turned it off years ago. This has recently been done in order to make info on facebook more accessible to search engines and if you don't want to have a public profile, do yourself a favor and make sure that your index settings are 'off'. Just go to Settings>Privacy Settings>Search to check if you are being indexed or not.

Personal Information: Seems like under the new privacy setting of facebook your 'private' information is no longer private. That's because facebook doesn't think that it should remain private anymore. Turns out that most of your information including your profile picture, friends list, gender, fan pages, location and networks will be turning up on the search results after all.

Friends List: Turns out that while you can still control the list of friends from appearing on your profile page, it's privacy setting is no longer available on the privacy page. See the small pencil icon right above your friend's list? Well, it turns out that you need to click on that and uncheck the 'show my friends on my profile page' option, if you want your friends list to remain private.

Password Protection: Seems like facebook tried adding another layer of protection to your account! When you try to change your privacy setting you will be asked to give your password one more time before you can make any changes. However experts are confirming that this isn't quite working out as it should. They are still have timeout issues in this area.

More Control: Where facebook is taking away some of the control from its users, it is also giving you a lot more control in some places. For instance, now you can even control who sees your latest updates and shared content. Don't want some of your friends to see your latest update? Customize it! ;)

Word of Advice: Check your facebook privacy settings immediately!

Facebook's latest privacy setting are getting a mixed reaction from the audience. And yes, there are things that you might want to delete from your Facebook account now (since it will show on your profile otherwise), it just goes to show that anything you put on the internet is public in the end. Maybe Facebook's latest privacy settings are not such a bad thing after all, as it will surely make you think twice before sharing anything on the internet again.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quotes from the Golden Compass (the Northern Lights)

I started reading the Northern Lights by Philip Pullman a few days back and I was mesmerized by the intensity and dept of the novel. Like Harry Potter (or perhaps it's wrong to compare as both are classics in their own regard) the Northern Lights (also known as The Golden Compass) bewitches you from the very first line and takes you on an interesting journey in Lyra's world.

Some of the dialogues of the characters and the narrative itself (at places) offers such dept in thought and philosophy that one can't help but begin to ponder upon it. And the concept of daemons is not only clever but completely fantastic. Truth be told, we all have our own daemon we fight against or listen to and Philip Pullman very intelligently gives these daemon of ours the character and essence that gives them a persona of their own (but nevertheless of it's owner). These daemons are but only our inner conscience... the little voices in our head that speak to us.

All that said and done, here are a couple of quotes from the book the Golden Compass:

"...there are two worlds: the world of everything we can see and hear and touch, and another world, the spiritual world of heaven and hell. (There is possibility of) the existence of numerous other worlds, like this one, neither heaven nor hell, but material and sinful. They are there, close by, but invisible and unreachable."

"(It is) the duty of the old, to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old."

"There's no tongue that's so tied, when tying's needed, as the one that babbles most bewhiles. Babbling covers a lot of secrets."

And those of you who have read the book will love
the movie. However those of you who have watched the movie without reading the book will not only be lost in places but will end up being disappointed.

Monday, November 23, 2009

10 Best New Moon Posters

The New Moon mania is still going strong. So today I decided to bring to you a collection of 10 best New Moon Posters available online... need I say more? Check them out :)


Friday, October 30, 2009

5 Freelancing Mistakes You Will Regret

As freelancers we all end up making a couple of mistakes that we eventually learn from. Sometimes we learn the hard way but it's a lesson well learned.

Given below are the 5 mistakes most of us end up making in our freelancing careers:
  1. Charging Low: Anyone who has ever freelanced knows exactly what I'm talking about. While many of us end up accepting slave wages for many projects initially, we must know exactly where to draw the line. Underpricing, up to a certain level is alright, especially when you are an amateur in the field. However charging low gradually will lead the client to believe that your work is of lower quality and that you are desperate. That is why you need to price well and ask for what your work is worth. While building up a clientele is also important, asking for lower charges after a couple of projects will only end up degrading you and your work.
  2. Not Getting it in Writing: Don't ever underestimate the power of writing. And that goes for getting all your terms and condition written down clearly when starting a project with any client. Many a times Freelancers end up taking the client's word for something and end up regretting it when the client either point blankly refuses to have made such a claim or changes their mind after you have completed the project. Getting the need and requirements of your client as your own terms and conditions in writing as well will give you a clear cut idea about the project and will save you from a lot of hassle and disappointments.
  3. Not Being Clear: Another mistake which most freelancers end up making is of not being very clear. When you make a clear agreement with the client you end up saving yourself major future trouble. Be clear about the requirements from both ends (yours and the clients). As client can sometime end up changing their requirements as they go along, make sure that you are very clear and understand everything before starting work on a project.
  4. Being too Proactive: No need to be too proactive when it comes to starting a project after initial contact from a potential client. Serious clients will reach out to you actively and will not hesitate in drawing up a contract. Only the non-serious clients will back out before the project is complete. That can be deflating. That is why make sure that you pay special attention to point# 2 & 3.
  5. Losing Client to a petty Demand: Sometimes it is worth giving a discount. If you have a huge project and your client is making an issue about your charges being too high, make sure that you give the client a good discount, instead of losing a client. Making a client feel special by giving them a good discount will not only be good for your business but will also make the client come back. I know that's what I did... With a couple of initial huge projects I offered my clients a small article or two free. This way they pay you what you ask and quit whining about the cost ;)
Sure it's good to learn from your own mistakes but it's even better to learn from the mistakes made by others and avoid it yourself.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Money Matters - The Freelance Rant

Freelancing can teach you a whole a lot about money matters than any other job. Since it rarely provides with a steady paycheck, freelancing helps promote financial responsibility and a more creditworthy saving and spending.

While maintaining a stable income on the freelancing road is tricky business, still there are many who have made good money treading on this path.

Here are 5 Reasons Why Freelancing = better Money Matters:

>> Cut back on Apparel costs: Since working from home means that you can wear anything (be it lounging around in your PJ's all day) you really need not worry about spending a fortune on clothes, shoes and accessories every month. This not only helps cut back on cost as it allows you to wear casual clothing, which is practical and more more cheaper, but it also lets you save up that money.

>> Save up on Car and Fuel: By not going to an office you save up big time on fuel costs and car maintenance bills. You might even entirely give up on a car altogether (if it works for you). That in turn means no car insurance or registration payments etc.

>> No more Extra Expanses: 9-5 jobs lead to stress which in turn leads you to indulge in stress-revealing trips and expensive vacations. But these are so not needed when you are a freelancer because then you become creating a work schedule around your play time ;)

>> Save up on Office-related Taxes: No more 9-5 means no more office related taxes. Now no one can cut back taxes from your monthly payment.

>> Timely Raise: Working as a freelancer means that you get to give yourself a raise when you deserve one. No need to worry about asking the boss for one or feeling subjected to overload of work with the increase in payment. A good raise every year is what you can easily give to yourself if you are a freelancer.

So there you have it... A few more reasons for why Freelancing is All That!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Why Freelancing is All That!

It's Happening, it's Real and it's All That!

Despite its various challenges, freelancing is still One of the Best Jobs in the world as it gives you:

>> Control... Over your time, over your money and over your life! You don't have to depend on a boss to reap the merits of your hard work.

>> Freedom... to do things your way! You get to decide where you work and how. Staying out late at night, catching your favorite show, enjoying a holiday with the family or taking out time to celebrate with friends... you can plan your work around everything you want to do.

>> Time for the Things you Love... Where working on a full time job can leave you stressed out and miserable most of the times. Being a freelancer allows your to focus on things you love to do along with your work. It allows you to decide the kind of living you want to have and not forsake your happiness.

>> Job Security... Since you are your own boss you need not worry about getting fired or laid off. Sure, most of the times you have to work really hard to maintain a solid income but at least you don't have to worry about losing all of your income at once.

>> Unlimited Opportunity... Having the freedom to work at anything and everything that you want, freelancing offers you unlimited opportunity. There are many freelancers who have gone on to create successful businesses with the variety and creativity they offer in their field.

And yes, freelancing is all-that and much more! Of course if you are new in this field then getting clients will be the biggest challenge for you in the beginning. But once you get the hang of freelancing, there is little that anyone can do that will make you leave it for good.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hooked to Freelancing - Why I Stuck to Freelancing

Freelancing is all but fun and although many people get lured into it because of the apparent comforts it offers (because it's said to be "all that"), the truth is that it's not exactly everyone's cup of tea. Today I thought of sharing with you a few facts about freelancing. Facts that got me...
1) hooked to freelancing,
2) still has me hooked after all this time and
3) makes me think twice about going for a 9-5 job again.

Here's why I decided to stick to Freelancing:
1) Comfortable Week Plan: Allows me to work as I want and when I want. I sometimes spend 3 continuous days working and give myself off for 2 days or work every alternate day or however I desire. The best part is that I make my own schedule and can give myself long weekends after tiresome projects.

2) Coz I'm the Boss, that's why!: Best part about freelancing is of course being your own boss. But this isn't just as easy as it sounds. Unless you are willing to take responsibility for your own actions, nag yourself about deadlines and keep yourself up to the mark... freelancing just isn't for you. And sure it has it's down side too but to be honest, if handled well, freelancing is the best job in the world. Because you don't work for some company, you get no office politics, you can create your own leisure time etc etc.

3) It's My Way or the Highway: I not only get to choose what projects I take but also decide how much I charge, when I socialize, make time for myself and do as I please because I have the authority to have it my way.

4) Enjoy Work: If you have a flair for what you do and can have things your way, then freelancing is the way to go. And why not? Give or take a few things it all comes down to the fact that freelancing offers you a relaxed schedule and much peace of mind. No matter what time of the day or what season, with freelancing you get to enjoy every weather and every time of the day. No more 9 - 5. You can work at whatever hours suit you well.

So there you have it... my basic reasons for sticking with freelancing after all this time and despite other possibilities. Although I've summed it all up in just 4 points, all this rant about generally comes down to the 'sense of control' you feel when you're in-charge. Even though sometimes you end up working over 40 hours a week but in the end it's all worth it as you make your own choices and no one gets to boss you around expect you! ;)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Paint the Change - Call for "Positive Pakistan"

DawnNews and I Own Karachi are joining hands to clean up Karachi!
Vandalized or graffiti walls will be cleaned up and beautified with art created by students and volunteers. The theme of the artwork is 'Positive Pakistan.'

So far 18 towns in Karachi have committed themselves to supporting our endeavors. More people are required to come together, volunteer, and get involved as this is a project for the community, by the community.

More details on Karachi MetBlogs

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crimson Collection - 10 Red Wallpapers

Turn for my favorite color to make a cheery note! Today it's Red Wallpapers all over and as an extra special treat, its 10 crazy red wallpapers for your PC.

And so with today's post we end this colorful wallpaper masquerade. Until next post... Cheers!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Going Green - 5 Lush Wallpapers

Going green in keeping with the spirit of the week. Enjoy the fresh wallpapers... Cheers!

Images Source: Click wallpapers to view source

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beautiful Pakistan - Images & Snapshots

In keeping with the spirit of Independence, here are some beautiful images from Pakistan. Enjoy!

and Happy Independence Day everyone! :)

Images Source: | | | | |

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

10 Colorful Wallpapers for a Happy PC Mood!

Did you know that your desktop wallpaper is likely to have an affect on your mood? Since it's normally the first thing you see soon after your PC starts up it generally ends up determining your mood for the remaining day. So, why not make sure that it turns your mood around for the better? Even in the most darkest of days I depend on my desktop wallpaper to make me feel all better. And why not? Colors and images effect our minds to a great extent. So much so that sometimes even the most depressive of moods can take a swing for the happy side.

That is why starting from today we are celebrating a month of color on this blog. Every week I will bring you dozens of creative and cheery wallpapers in keeping with our theme for this month. Today we start with the 10 most colorful wallpapers that are not only cheerful to look at but will also make you feel happy when they are on your desktop :)

~ Cheers