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Do You Exercise Your Eyes?

Do you? I never used to do it; and the reason for that - I didn't knew there are exercises for the eye! That was until I read about them a few days ago. A bit more searching on the web (read googling) brought up some really useful resources which I'm delighted to share with you all.

So here they are.

Mumbai Mirror Online has posted a neat article on some simple ways to not just exercise, but also to relax your precious eyes. The article covers eye relaxation techniques and exercises that you can easily include in your daily routine to relieve eye strain and fatigue. (Read full article)

WikiHow has got two separate wikis for this. One is to counter eye strain and the other deals with various eye exercises. (Read them: Relieve eye-strain, Eye exercises)

Hope you found this post useful. This is a must for people whose work involves being glued to the computer screen for long hours. Oh! You can probably make this as one of your New Year resolutions to practice this everyday.
And on that note....Tech Xpress wishes you all a very Happy, Healthy, Prosperous & Profitable New Year. May all the good things and times be with you.

Cheers!

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, December 30, 2007
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Identify/Detect a Two-Way or Transparent Mirror

A two-way mirror, sometimes called a one-way mirror or transparent mirror, acts like a mirror from one side and like a normal see-through glass from the other. This has been around since some time and many of you may have even noticed the ads from Saint Gobain.

Detecting a Two-Way Mirror
Two-way mirror is great technology, but which can be easily misused. So if you are concerned about a mirror placed in a private room, just do the following checks to find if it is a transparent mirror-

1. A normal mirror will be hung on the wall whereas a transparent mirror will mostly be installed into the wall to hide the room behind it.

2. Turn off the lights and use a light source like a small laser light or flash light against the mirror. If a room is present on the other side, it can be seen by you.
If you don't have any light source, just turn off the lights. You should be able to see the room on the other side of the mirror if it's brighter than your's.

3. Stick your face against the mirror and cup your hands around the eyes to darken the area on your side. The other room should be visible if there is some light there.

4. Tap on the mirror. If there is empty space behind the mirror, a hollow sound should be heard.

5. This is about the so called 'fingernail test' email which has been under circulation since a few years. But this may not work all the time.
Place you fingernail on the surface of the mirror. In a normal mirror, you should be able the see a gap between your nail & its reflection. You may not see that gap in a two-way mirror.
Again, this test will not work against all types of two-way mirrors.

I recommend using the first 4 steps as there is no reliable source for the 5th point.
If there are any other ways to detect this, let everyone know with your comments.
References: Wikihow


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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, December 16, 2007
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Capture/Record/Save Streaming Online Flash Video from 'ANY' Website

To save streaming flash video files from popular sites like YouTube, Google Video..etc isn't a big deal anymore. There are lots of software tools & web services available for that! However, each one of them only support a limited number of sites.

But what if you want to download video files from sites that aren't supported by these softwares & web services? Oh yes! It can be done with a small software called WebVideoCap.
Basically, when you are seeing a video in your web browser, the video is first cached by the browser. And WebVideoCap creates a video file from this cache.

Here's how you can capture flash video files with this software:
1. Run WebVideoCap and specify a folder where you want to save the flash video (flv) file. Click the 'Start Capture' button.
2. Now, open your browser and go to the site where the video is located and play it within the browser.
3. When the browser completes playing the video inside the Webpage, WebVideoCap saves the video file in the folder you specified earlier. After finishing, click the 'Stop Capture' button in WebVideoCap.


You can now play the video file in a flash video player.

Limitations:
1. One limitation is if the video is already in your browser cache, WebVideoCap won't save it. To overcome this, you have to clear the browser cache, start capturing from WebVideoCap again & reload the video web page.
2. Only flash videos can be saved. Other streaming media types aren't supported at this point.

WebVideoCap is a very small and easy to use utility with no installation required. Best of all, its Free! This one is certainly for the non-geeks.

Tested with Firefox on Windows XP. This should also work with Internet Explorer.
[Download WebVideoCap (Windows Only)]

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Sunday, December 02, 2007
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