From The Tips Box: Faster Firefox, Serial Numbers

Readers offer their best tips for getting a better Firefox on Android, reading tiny serial numbers and storing secret files on your system.

Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Use Aurora on Android for a Faster Mobile Firefox

You probably know about the alpha “Aurora” channel of Firefox on the desktop, but reader Destructive Appetite notes that there’s actually an Aurora channel for Android, too:

Mozilla has actually had an Aurora channel for Firefox on Android for a while now. You can’t get it in the Google Play store, but you can get it from Mozilla’s page here — just make sure you have “Unknown Sources” checked off in Settings > Applications. I’ve been using it for the past few days, and I’ve got to say; I’m LOVING it. I was hooked onto Dolphin till now, but Aurora feels faster, and doesn’t take forEVER to load like the stable channels do!

Use Your Camera as a Makeshift Magnifying Glass

Barry Wood tells us how to accurately read those tiny serial numbers:

I’ve found that many devices these days are printing their serial numbers in something like 2-point fonts and it’s nearly impossible to read them. Instead of trying to find that magnifying glass you last used in the previous millennium, use the macro focus feature on your digital camera to snap a photo. You will be able to zoom in and read it perfectly.

You might not even need the macro mode; just putting your phone’s camera near the serial number could help, depending on how small it is.

Use a Different Extension to Hide Secret Messages or Files

E1M0 shares a simple way to keep things hidden on your computer without extra software:

There have been steganography tutorials featured here before, But if you want an easy way of secretly sharing simple messages, there is little to it. Create a text document, type a message, and rename it as an image (.png) instead of “name”.txt. When you go to open the image, you get an error, but if you change the file back to text, (.txt), you have your message.

This probably wouldn’t pass with ASIO, but if you’re just hiding a file or two enough so that the average person doesn’t see it, this will do just fine.

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