Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to block text messages from unknown senders on your Android

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Are you receiving more spam lately in your phone’s inbox? Do you want to filter out strange messages from your normal conversations with known contacts and friends? While it’s near-impossible to stop people from sending your unwanted texts outright, you can at least hide their texts from view.

Spam message settings for Android

Who can benefit from this guide? For one, people with celebrity status certainly wants a peace of mind, but they can’t help if their phone numbers get easily spread to fans and other potentially annoying people, no matter how reserved they are in sharing their contact number. On the other hand, just about anyone can receive spam messages when their number has been randomly chosen in automated spam sending.

Note that this blocking feature is only available in select Android devices. For instance, I made this guide using my Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Other flagship Galaxy devices (such as the S3 and S4) should have the feature too. Certain mobile carriers or networks also provide anti-spam measures, so be sure to check out your provider’s customer service/support website.

 

To block unknown senders:

Open your phone or tablet’s Messaging app, which is usually located in your home screen, but can always be found in your Apps list.

Press your device’s Menu button and select Settings.

Scroll all the way down until you reach the Spam message settings section. Enable Spam settings to enable Block unknown senders.

Once you’ve enabled the option, all incoming messages from phone numbers that haven’t been added in your phone’s contact list are considered as spam messages and therefore redirected to the spam folder.

If there’s already an unknown sender that has sent a SMS message, you can alternately tap and hold the message. Among the list of actions, select Register number as spam.

Register number as spam

The spam message settings also let you manually add/register specific numbers so that their future messages get blocked. Similarly, you can also specify phrases that, when detected in a message, cause messages to be blocked.

 

Enabling such protective measure help eliminate trash and junk texts in your inbox. But it can’t be helped that, through these methods, certain important messages (despite coming from a supposed anonymous contact) will get mixed along with the real spam. That’s why, you still have to check your Android device’s spam folder from time to time.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Top Favorite Ice Cream Flavors

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Vanilla or Chocolate

Whenever I ask my friends what their preference in ice cream is, I mainly hear either chocolate or vanilla to be the best ice cream flavor. Unsurprisingly, I happen to agree that these two are the most craved for. After all, who can resist the tempting urge of pure indulgence that one experiences in chocolate, especially when it is served with mixed nuts? On the other hand, vanilla aficionados say their flavor is the best with no debate needed to prove it. Vanilla is so popular that a handwritten copy of its original ice cream recipe, which dates back to the late 1700s, is archived in the Library of Congress. Truth be told, both flavors have their unique, remarkable tastes that to consider them as the default flavors in ice cream is quite agreeable.

The Benefits of Growing Up in the Country

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Not everyone finds the experience of living in a rural area to be soothing and pleasant. In fact, many people who hail from a bustling city may find the sparse population and farmlands to be awfully boring. However, I beg to differ. Growing up in the country has several benefits in appreciating nature, living costs, and both interpersonal and intrapersonal growth.

Country Living by Thomas Kinkade

Aside from parks and small patches of greeneries, cities have very few locations where one can value nature. The country, on the other hand, contains vast spaces full of trees and grasslands. Parents need not worry about their kids getting exposed to pollution since the environment is almost in its pristine condition. Besides clean surroundings, expenses in the country tend to be cheaper. Food and other necessities are abundant and reasonably priced that starvation is hardly existent. A relaxing life in the country also gives every person a time to think for himself or herself and others. Without the tedious preoccupations that commonly plague the cities, relationships are formed with a solid foundation.

Granted, there is also a negative side to country living. For instance, there are fewer jobs available for the fresh graduates. Shopping areas and public services are spread out too thin that travelling back and forth takes quite a while. Furthermore, medical attention may not be as advanced as their urban counterparts. To some, these are critical factors that discourage city dwellers to find a new home in the country.

Understanding the benefits of living in a quiet, distant area is hard, especially to people who are used to urban life. However, people won't be able to fully recognize what it is like in little country towns until they have actually tried staying there.

How to Build a Desktop Computer

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Assembling a desktop computer from scratch seems like a daunting task, especially to anyone new to computer hardware. Oftentimes, buying a PC as a set is the easier choice. What many do not know, however, is that buying the individual components and building the computer yourself are more practical. Through the latter, you have complete control over how to spend your budget and what type of system you are looking for. By doing a few research and taking some time and effort, you can get your ideal do-it-yourself (DIY) desktop computer as well as a great sense of accomplishment.

Desktop CPU Internal Components

To start with, you must first identify and assemble the essential parts needed to get your computer up and running. You need to acquire the following internal components:

  • Power supply unit (PSU), which provides the DC power needed by other internal components
  • Motherboard, which is the central printed circuit board where other electronic components are inserted into
  • Processor, also known as the central processing unit (CPU), which acts as the brain of your PC
  • RAM, which stands for random access memory, where the processor stores data currently being handled
  • Hard drive, which permanently saves important data even when the computer is turned off
  • Optical drive, which burns and reads data from optical discs
  • Graphics card, which lightens the CPU load by handling video-related processing

Besides the components encased within the computer tower or chassis, you will also need to buy the following external components:

  • Monitor, which is your computer's main output to display visual data
  • Keyboard, which is your main way to input data by typing
  • Mouse, which controls the pointer displayed on the screen

The components found in the lists above are the most common parts of a desktop computer. Depending on your needs, you might also want to buy a printer, touch-enabled displays, and others. Confirming that each component is compatible with one another is important so as to avoid problems when you turn on your new computer for the first time.

Once all the necessary parts have been bought and assembled, you can turn on your computer and then install the important software. The operating system is the most important, because all other software can't be run without it. Depending on your need, you also need to buy a word processor, a spreadsheet program, as well as video games for the occasional leisure time. If you know where to look, many of these applications are available online and free to download. Again, just take some time and effort to accomplish this task.

If you are still hesitant to build a computer on your own, simply ask a technophile in your family to do it for you. Also try learning the know-hows yourself so that you can take care of your PC, should a problem arise and no help is nearby. The deed may seem daunting at first, but it can be eventually rewarding for you. Good luck!

 

Additional Resources:

How to Assemble a Desktop PC

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Offline Multiplayer Android Games to Play on a Single Device (Part 2)

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This post is a continuation of my previous list of Android games that you can play locally together with a friend on just one smartphone or tablet.

For a recap, here are some reasons why people are still better off with offline multiplayer games:

  • No need of a fast, active Internet connection that can be expensive when using mobile data
  • Not everyone has an Android device
  • If they do have a device, compatibility and connection issues are possible
  • For your friends with gadgets running on other platforms (e.g., iPhone on iOS), not every game offers cross-platform multiplayer
  • Always more fun to play together in person
  • More active social interaction

Please note that most of the games below requires a multitouch display.

Slingshot Racing

By Crescent Moon Games
Genre: Racing | Play Store Link: Paid

Slingshot Racing

Slingshot Racing is not the typical racing game, but instead comes with a gameplay that makes good use of touchscreen devices: using a grappling hook, you slingshot around corners to speed up throughout the race. The controls is quite simple to learn and yet challenging to master. Supporting both tablet and phone devices, the game boasts stunning visuals and 3D effects.

For offline multiplayer mode, up to four players can play on a single device. Mini tournaments can be set up or an instant random selection can be chosen to start playing immediately.

Orbital

By bitforge Ltd.
Genre: Brain & Puzzle | Play Store Link: Free (trial), Paid

Orbital

Orbital has you situated at the bottom of your device’s screen as a cannon that spits out colorful orbs. These orbs must be hit a couple of times to disappear and give you points. Just as long as your orbs don’t travel within your cannon’s territory, you can collect as much points as you want.

The game can be played in either single or two-player settings, with three game modes to choose from: Pure, Supernova, and Gravity. You can also compare your scores through the online leaderboard and Facebook.

Pocket Soccer

By RasterGrid Entertainment
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported), Paid

Pocket Soccer

Anyone who has played the classic table-top game known as button football can appreciate this reinterpretation that offers a quickly paced and exciting gameplay. Unique soccer fields, balls, and other game elements await to be unlocked as you play different game modes.

Pocket Soccer screenshotPocket Soccer screenshot 2Pocket Soccer screenshot 3

With more than 70 countries you can represent, you can compete against the AI or your friends. It’s a simple game and yet can get very addictive.

Crust

By Nordic Mobile Labs
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free

Crust

Crust is a revival of the cave flying game genre that was quite popular during the 1990s. The campaign offers eight story chapters where you traverse between planets, discover new weapons, and destroy enemy fighters.

Up to eight players can play in the cross-platform online multiplayer mode. If a constant Internet is not available, you can play along with another friend in spit-screen multiplayer mode. You can either play as teammates in co-op story mode or compete against each other in hardcore deathmatch.

Jungle Hangman Multiplayer

By ThirioNL
Genre: Brain & Puzzle | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported), Paid

Jungle Hangman

Debate regarding animal rights set aside, this game is just like any hangman game. What makes it different is its use of animals in lieu of the stick figure. Apparently, this app is also the first online Android version of hangman.

Jungle Hangman screenshot 1 Jungle Hangman screenshot 2Jungle Hangman screenshot 3

Jungle Hangman can also be played in local multiplayer or single player.

Buzzer Arena

By: Villmagna
Genre: Casual | Play Store Link: Free

Buzzer Arena

If mini-games are your thing, then download Buzzer Arena. As many as four players can play on one display, be it on a smartphone or tablet. With a history that records your wins and losses, you and your friends can determine who the best is in the battle of wits and quick reaction.

Mini-games range from basic arithmetic problems (Equation), fast counting (Insect Swarm), and good timing (Goalgetter) to quick pathfinding (Treasure Maze), color matching (Color), and more. The app is certainly fun during drinking games, party games, or educational games.

OLO

By Sennep
Genre: Brain & Puzzle | Play Store Link: Free

OLO

Given its minimalistic approach in graphics, OLO is a simple game of skill and strategy for two players. You can download it for free and enjoy finger flicking on touch-enabled devices with your friend.

For a complete set of game rules, you can visit the official website at ologame.com. While converted to adapt a touch-based gameploy and become more entertaining, OLO is originally a web app. As such, it uses hardware acceleration for CSS translation that may or may not be supported by your device, therefore possibly affecting performance.

Multiponk

By Fingerlab
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Paid

Multiponk

Multiponk boasts high-definition graphics and realistic physics, giving a perfect simulation of a real wooden board. Seven games are available, with various bonuses, ball sizes, paddle slice effects, and music themes to choose from to further customize your playing experience.

The game simply requires you to use one finger to control the paddle. Only two players can compete together on a single smartphone, while as many as four people can play simultaneously on one tablet.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Offline Multiplayer Android Games to Play on a Single Device

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A lot of Android games today are designed with social features that most likely require an Internet connection. If you’re off the grid, you’re out of luck. But, it’s not the end for Android gamers who prefer playing with friends on a single device (i.e., offline multiplayer). There are still game developers out there who occasionally release games meant to be played by more than one person without needing another smartphone or tablet. Not everyone can afford the gadgets anyway, even more so when they need to spend for mobile data too. That latter fact also reminds me that online or Wi-Fi multiplayer games don’t always provide the same fluidity that couch multiplayer games offer.

Offline Multiplayer Android Games

Scrounging the Internet and the Google Play Store made me discover fun Android games, listed below. I didn’t bother ranking them since they have their own merits. Depending on the type of gameplay you want, you can find great games to try out here in my list. These are meant to be played with friends in person so as to guarantee a much-needed intimate and social satisfaction.

Please note that most of the games below requires a multitouch display.

Fruit Ninja

By Halfbrick Studios
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported), Paid

Fruit Ninja THD Free

Fruit Ninja puts you in the role of a stealthy martial artist to hack and slash, um, fruits. It doesn’t really improve your skills to become a true ninja warrior, but it still is damn addictive as you enter a fruiting slashing spree and hear the squishes and splats of apples and bananas.

In multiplayer mode, two players compete for a higher score within the time limit. The more combos and the fewer trap bombs they hit, the better their performance is. The game requires a splitscreen view that uses ample space for slashing, which means only Android tablets are compatible. There’s Fruit Ninja to be had for smartphones, but for singleplayer modes and global online rankings only.

Paper War

By Sillycube
Genre: Casual | Play Store Link: Free (with in-app purchases)

Paper War for 2 Players

There are three versus modes available for two persons playing simultaneously. First is the Shoot mode, where each player uses a fixed cannon to attempt to bringing down the opponent’s aircrafts and be the first to reach the target score. The Tap mode has players press and kill as many enemy planes as they can within the time limit—with accidental taps at your own planes counted as your opponent’s score! Finally Cannon modes lets players fire cannonballs at each other, putting in mind the wind direction and force for a direct hit.

According to the developer, this app is still in ‘beta’ and is slated to have more mini-games in the future. Besides the aforementioned three modes, there are more to unlock when you pay for the app’s premium version.

2-Player Reactor

By cool cherry trees
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported), Paid

2 Player Reactor

This exciting app challenges players to a “battle of reflexes,” or how fast they can react to as many as 17 mini-games. The graphics is simple, which the dev describes as a good way to let players focus in the games more, instead of getting distracted by superfluous visual effects. This also means a wide array of Android devices can install and run this offline multiplayer app.

Reactor also comes with a paid version that allows up to four players, not just two. It also gets rid of the advertisements and adds more game modes, difficulty levels, and more.

Guerrilla Bob THD

By Angry Mob Games
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free (lite version), Paid (full version)

Guerrilla Bob THD

If you want something more stunning for your eyes, then this 3D cartoon shooter is for you. Control mercenary Bob as he faces an army of thugs through deserts, canyons, and ghost towns. Unlike most of the games on this list, Guerrilla Bob offers a co-op gameplay, letting you and your friend unfold the story together as a team.

Only the THD version—the one that’s designed for tablets—offer the splitscreen multiplayer. On the other hand, your friend can join your adventure using his phone or desktop computer through cross-platform WiFi multiplayer.

Glow Hockey 2

By Natenai Ariyatrakool
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported)

Glow Hockey 2

Play air hockey on your Android device just as how you would in real life. You have a paddle that you control by dragging it across your playing field, in order to hit the puck and drive it down the opposing player’s goal or keep it from getting into yours. 

The game supposedly features smooth and responsive gameplay, as well as realistic physics. But in my actual experience, the paddle is slow to react to my finger swipes, making the game unpredictable and ensuring victory hard to accomplish.

Wordsmith

By Second Breakfast Studios
Genre: Brain & Puzzle | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported), Paid

Wordsmith

Do you want to know how your vocabulary knowledge fares against that of your friends? Wordsmith, while admittedly lacking the fast-paced actions in many multiplayer games, is the recommended app for those looking for an intellectual challenge. Bring back the old days of the classic tabletop game Scrabble to your Android device.

Wordsmith sample screenshot

If you want to take the game up a notch, check out Wordsmith Tournament. It’s basically the same game but allows up to 32 players competing in a bracket to determine the best wordsmith of all!

The Hardest Game Ever 2

By Second Breakfast Studios
Genre: Casual | Play Store Link: Free (ad-supported, with in-app purchase)

Hardest Game Ever 2

This very addictive series of mini-games are, at heart, meant to be played by a single person. But many of the games only lasts for less than a minute and the success rate is very low. In other words, you and your friends can easily take turns in attempting to finish a game and obtain a good score/grade.

Hardest Game Ever 2 screenshot

While free, the app is riddled with rather obtrusive advertisements that somehow detracts its replay value. Luckily, there’s an in-app purchase available to disable ads and allow instant retries during game overs.

Worms 2: Armageddon

By Team 17 Digital Limited
Genre: Arcade & Action | Play Store Link: Paid

Worms 2 Armageddon

The popular classic PC game is now on Android, fully equipped with brand new weaponry and customizations. Don’t forget more mayhem and explosions! Of course, the tried-and-tested weapons we’ve learned to love are still here: Holy Hand Grenade, Sheep, Concrete Donkey, etc.

Up to four players on a single Android device can rally their wriggling teams and enjoy this game through the pass-and-play, hot seat multiplayer. Twelve game styles can be chosen from, such as Fort Mode and Sudden Death. A custom game style can also be configured.

Got an offline multiplayer Android game to recommend?

So far, these are the games that I suggest for you to play with your friends together without needing another device. If you know a game that is not in the list, comment below. More Android games can be found in my next list.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Common Writing Mistake: Ignoring the Reader

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No matter who you’re working for, the boss that you answer to in the field of writing is ultimately the reader. We’ve already discussed that shoving an unfinished work to your readers is a big no-no. But besides that, writers often focus on themselves and people of less importance instead of prioritizing their existing followers and potential customers. For instance, they cater more to the needs of their publishers, perhaps compromising the integrity of their writing just to accomplish that.

Ignoring your existence

In other cases, writers just love to talk about themselves. But that begs this question: why bother writing something that has an obvious sense of narcissism? Unless you’re a popular icon recognized by people worldwide, people don’t really care about what personal experiences you wrote down. Don’t get me wrong. It’s okay to get personal, as long as you’re able to provide something your readers can relate to, that they can be interested in.

Spongebob Nobody Cares

The world doesn’t revolve around you; truth be told, there are others. Get rid of this egotism.  One way to do that is to put yourself in the shoes of your reader. You need to experience how they live so that you can relate to them. Your writing is your interpretation of your chosen subject, and to describe the latter through information obtained firsthand is far superior and more relatable than info based on other sources.

Choice of words is important as well. Remember, the readers are the final consumers of your writing. If you want them to connect to your work, you need to handle them to the emotional level. Appropriate your composition to the level of reading comprehension of your readers. This same rule applies to tone, formality, etc., depending on the type of composition.

Get off your ivory tower; mingle with the people! Choose the right words. Let your readers connect to your writing.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Common Writing Mistake: Not Completing What You’ve Started

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Okay, so we’ve dealt with a very common writing problem—the mistake of not starting—in my previous post. But while some people find it usually hard to begin something, finishing it is even a more arduous task. Starting is actually easy, especially when you already have the idea formed in your head. On the other hand, finishing is hard since you need to connect the dots. You need to make sure that a train of thought is followed from the beginning to end of your composition.

CollegeProblems 584 Writing

In my case, I actually find excitement when starting any new projects, be it writing an article or coding a computer program. The problem lies in failing to find the will to complete the whole thing. Writing itself is, after all, the hardest part of the whole writing process. From time to time, another idea is formed inside my mind and tempts me to focus on it instead of the current work that I need to accomplish. They only add up to the usual weapons of mass distractions that we get fired upon. Furthermore, procrastination is still an issue here for everyone. People often are relaxed and don’t feel the anxiety in the beginning, but only to become overwhelmed by the pressure as the deadline nears.

Weapons of Mass Distraction

So how do you fix such predicament? Before anything else, do not start multiple projects simultaneously, so that you don’t have to divide your time trying to finish everything. Focus on one and one alone. People who make a living through writing can use money as their sort of driving force. No finished output implies no means of paying the bills. They could also lose their jobs if they continue their lazy habit.

You can also practice letting go of your emotions and reservations so that all you have to do is write. Withhold any plans to reward yourself until you complete your project. Do not pamper yourself without justification. Aim for the end of your work, no matter how long this composition should be.

Not finishing is a common writing mistake that you need to correct. After all, you just can’t publish your work and leave your readers hanging on in the middle of a sente-

Image sources: Flickr & Tumblr

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Common Writing Mistake: Procrastinating or Not Starting

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Postponing any writing task is a habit that’s common to many writers (including me who often leaves this blog to rot). A couple of reasons come to mind as to why we keep holding off from starting to write something. In my case, I always use the excuse that the idea is already in my mind, that realizing it in written output only takes a few moments. Therefore, I ask myself why I should do it now when I can simply start later right before the deadline; I can finish it immediately anyway. That, truth be told, is actually an expectation and never a certainty. Some unforeseen problems may always arise and become impediments to completing my work.

CollegeHumor Procrastination

Besides overconfidence, writers also procrastinate because of getting overwhelmed by the prospect of writing a project, especially major ones. Some complain about suffering from writer’s block, which is the inability to start writing or continue an existing one. Similarly, some more might say they’re just passing the time until inspiration strikes them. Yet some others find it easier to do just about anything other than writing, eager to get distracted even on unproductive routines.

So, how do you overcome this common writing mistake of not starting? First off, get a pen and a piece of paper already (or open Word if you like to type instead)! You just have to start on anything. Just write whatever occurs in your mind. When a lot of text has been jotted down, you can organize them so that they follow a train of thought. Your initial output from this method may be mediocre in quality, but you can always review your work and rewrite. This is especially important for the beginning part of your writing since that’s what that catches the attention of readers and maintains their interest to continue reading your work.

Levels of Procrastination

Even if you also use my excuse that the idea is already inside your mind, you might still forget it. You might even regret that you did not jot your idea down, especially when it’s provoking, genuine, and mind-blowing. To put it short, anything in mind that comes relevant to your writing project, just write it somewhere!

And what about that spark of inspiration? To me, it’s rather an illusion. Such occurrence don’t just happen for no reason. In my opinion, inspiration is more like a sheer force of will to pull yourself together and write already. Even writing just one word is a good start. By then, all you need to do is think clearly and concentrate, trying hard to never be sidetracked by unrelated things. It’s you and you alone who can do this. Good luck!

Photo sources: CollegeHumor & Chibird

Reaction Guys – Meme History

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The reaction guys are four IGN employees who attended the E3 conference in 2003 and 2004 and whose reaction to the announcement of Nintendo’s then-new game titles were pictured. The meme is usually a four-paned comics where the initial reaction can either start with disappointment or excitement over something lame or awesome and the consequent reaction can then be the opposite. The reaction guys is also known as Gaijin 4koma, which stands for “4-frame foreigners” in Japanese.

Reaction Guys - Naked Girl That is Really a Dude

Origin

In 2003, Nintendo announced the game, Pacman vs., for the Gamecube platform at the E3 2003 Expo. While later reviews were generally positive, four IGN reporters (Matt Casamassina, Craig Harris, Chadd Chamers, and Peer Schneider) were shown to be rather impartial to the game’s unveiling.

Reaction Guys - Something Lame and Disappointing

Flash forward to the E3 2004 Expo, the same people were pictured and shown to be quite elated after hearing the announcement of a new Zelda title known as Twilight Princess.

Reaction Guys - Something Awesome and Exciting

Usage

The comics is typically established with the following formula:

  1. First pane: something lame or boring
  2. Second pane: reaction guys getting bored
  3. Third pane: something awesome or fantastic
  4. Last pane: reaction guys in ecstasy

The setup can be reversed; the reaction guys are at first seen being quite happy about something but turn out to be mislead and deceived, therefore showing a disappointed reaction at that point.

Best of Reaction Guys

Reaction Guys - Ugly and Pretty Katy Perry

Reaction Guys - Justin Bieber Dies

Reaction Guys - Naked Girl Body That is Really A Guy's Armpit

Reaction Guys - Saiyan Levels

Saiyan picture via DeviantArt

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Online Jobs Hirings You Should Not Apply

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If you are already an experienced freelancer currently looking for work online, you probably have a list of things that tells you when to skip applying on a job posting and proceed to checking the next one. Newbies, on the other hand, are quite new to making money online that they don’t see the warning signs that indicate if a job offer is a scam/hoax, not worth the time and effort, and posted by a terrible client/employer.

The list below are my red flags that I use to crosscheck the worthiness and credibility of job postings. While this list is made for finding real employment in oDesk, some of the items may also apply for other online job marketplaces such as Elance and Guru.

 

The average bid of interviewees is very low.

While you cannot possibly know the exact individual bids of your fellow contractors, oDesk shows the average bid of both applicants and those who are being interviewed for the job. If the average is low among interviewees, then obviously the client is only interested in low bidders who they can exploit by giving strenuous tasks for minimum pay. It’s worth noting that low bidders tend to produce outputs of mediocre quality. These types of contractors and clients deserve each other, but I digress.

Outrageous qualifications and tasks are demanded but the budget is small.

Similar to the situation above, there are postings that enumerate quite a lot of responsibilities as well as qualifications. Given these long demands, the client can be safely assumed as already experienced in hiring online employees. That and they also know how to exploit by promising a very low pay. Your best move? Do not apply.

Payment method is not verified.

Odesk guarantees payment for hourly contracts, but that cannot be fulfilled if the client has not verified his or her means to pay you. We can assume that the client is maybe a first-timer and that we, the contractors, may urge him or her to clarify their payment method before doing any work. The possibility also exists that these unverified employers will turn out to be scammers.

There are too many interviewees.

While freelancers already have created their online portfolio to showcase their skills, some clients still want you to undergo some sort of tests. They may ask you to write a sample article and insert a keyword phrase for SEO purposes. Unfortunately, too many applicants may be interviewed and asked for a sample. These samples turn out to be the actual job that is simply divided to applicants who are not actually hired and have done the client’s work for free.

Client has a terrible feedback.

Working online for more than three years has taught me to apply on jobs by clients who are oDesk veterans. That way, I can at least verify that they have hired someone before and made payment. I can also check their feedback and rating to see if their work history is great, which means their previous contractors had a great time working with them.

Granted, it’s quite insulting to ignore first-time clients in oDesk. I myself should be actually grateful that, as a newbie contractor back then with no feedback and rating, I got accepted by an understanding client who trusted me right away and never doubted my competence.

 

There are more many signs to consider when spotting a scam among legitimate job postings. If you want to know more, a forum thread in oDesk extensively discuses job warning signs.