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If you think you’re allergic to your AirPods or AirPods Pro, then that makes it at least two of us. But in all honesty, I suspect this number might actually be much higher than that.

Symptoms of AirPods allergy

This coming paragraph will likely sound like it’s straight out of WedMD, but bear with me and check whether you’ve experienced any of these symptoms:

Swelling inside of your ear

Itchy ears or ear canal

Red and sensitive ears


Oozing and ear drainage

Discharge of clear liquid leaking out

Scabby, crusty, and flaky ears

Clogged ears or ears feeling full

Ear infection

I know, gross!

I’ve personally experienced all of these symptoms, and I still experience them from time to time. However, I have found ways to mitigate these issues.

How to prevent an allergy to AirPods

Know what AirPods are made of

According to Apple, AirPods, EarPods, and Beats earphones may contain nickel, acrylates, methacrylates, plastic, silicone, stainless steel, and thermoplastic elastomer. If you know for a fact that you are allergic to any of these materials, then maybe AirPods aren’t the right earbuds for you. If that’s the case, don’t lose all hope quite yet, and check out these upcoming tips.

Make sure your AirPods fit properly

Are your AirPods too small or too big for you? If they don’t fit to begin with, then this might cause some irritation or inflammation of the ear, potentially leading to more painful symptoms.

If you have AirPods Pros, you should conduct a fit test to find out what the correct ear tip size is for you.

Clean your AirPods

Isn’t it obvious that you should periodically clean your AirPods? But are you actually doing it on a regular basis?

Grime, dirt, lint, sweat, earwax, and god knows what has been in contact with your AirPods, which in turn are in contact with your ears. The least you can do is give them a good cleaning. We have a pretty good article on how to clean the ear tips and case of your AirPods and AirPods Pro that I suggest you check out.

If you work out and sweat a lot with your AirPods, I’d probably suggest cleaning them every single day.

Clean your ears

Don’t take this in a bad way, but are your ears clean?

A few years ago, I had the terrible habit of going surfing, then going for a walk with my AirPods directly after. My ears were clean, but not really… They were still full of salt and sandy water. This is when I reached peak AirPods allergy. Once it became obvious to me this was a bad idea, I stopped doing that and made sure my ears were always clean before putting AirPods in.

I’m not suggesting cleaning your ears every time you’re going to wear AirPods. All I’m saying is that you should maybe review your habits and see if there is room for change.

Additionally, avoid lotion, cologne, sunscreen, and whatnot in your ears.

Don’t insert anything into your ears

The itchiness and irritation are sometimes so unbearable that you just want to scratch the inside of your ears with an icepick. Well, don’t!

My favorite instrument of choice was a wooden toothpick that I would sometimes use to scratch my ear canal until I bled. It took me a while to learn to resist that temptation, but I’m glad I did.

In short, you should never put anything in your ears other than a Q-tip from time to time. Ears are extremely sensitive, and just scratching them with your nails could tear the skin, which in turn would make it more prone to infection.

Try foam tips instead of silicone

Now that AirPods Pro I’ve been out for a while, we have quite a few third-party options available for tips. One such option is replacement foam tips. I personally have not tried these, but I’ve heard good things about them. Our review editor Jim Gresham likes his Comply AirPods Pro memory foam tips a lot.

Alleviate the allergic reaction with cortisone

The best thing that has worked for me on top of some of the tips described above is applying just a little bit of cortisone cream in my ears when it’s flaring up. Cortisone is available over the counter in the US, and the one I use contains 1% of hydrocortisone. I use it as needed 2-3 times a month. I put a tiny bit of cream on a Q-tip and rub it inside my ear. The relief is usually pretty quick and lasting, as long as used with the other tips mentioned above.

Cortisone is usually my last resort, and I really try not to make it a habit because I don’t like the idea of having cortisone in my ears. If you’re considering giving it a try, please talk to your doctor about it first.

The last thing you want to do

I think I would be silly not to mention the most obvious thing you can do to prevent an AirPods allergy. Simply don’t wear AirPods and try to find a replacement.

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19 Best Airpods Tips & Tricks For The Apple User

The Apple AirPods are not just your regular earphones. They’re more than that. They come equipped with many features that make attending to calls and listening to music much more convenient.

To get the most out of your AirPods, you need to learn a few Airpods tips and tricks. These tips will teach you how to use certain functions on your AirPods and even help you uncover hidden features.

Table of Contents

How To Know Which AirPods You Have

If you want to verify the generation of your AirPods, you can do that by finding the model number written on your AirPods and matching it with Apple’s model numbers list.

Take both of your AirPods out of the case and find the model numbers underneath the pods.

If it’s A2084 and A2083, then you have AirPods Pro.

If your model numbers are A2032 and A2031, you have AirPods (2nd generation).

If the model numbers are A1523 and A1722, you have the 1st-gen AirPods.

Finding what charging case you have is also easy.

If your charging case has the model number A2190, it’s an AirPods Pro charging case with wireless charging.

If your case has the model number A1938, it’s a wireless charging case for 1st and 2nd-generation AirPods.

The charging case with model number A1602 is the lightning charging case for both 1st and 2nd gen AirPods.

What Do The Various Lights On The AirPods Mean

Your AirPods charging case displays various lights. Each light has a meaning and tells you something about your AirPods.

White light: This means your AirPods are ready to be paired with a device.

Amber light while the AirPods are in the case: Your AirPods are being charged.

Amber light without the AirPods in the case: Your case has less than one charge remaining on it.

Amber blinking light: There’s an issue with pairing.

Green light while the AirPods are in the case: Your AirPods are charged.

Green light while the AirPods are not in the case: Your case is charged.

How To Connect AirPods To An iPhone

Pairing your AirPods with an iPhone is just a matter of tapping a button.

Open the lid of your case while the AirPods are still in it.

Bring the case near your iPhone.

You’ll see a prompt on your iPhone. Tap Connect to pair your AirPods with your iPhone.

How To Connect AirPods To Other Devices

Your AirPods work with almost all Bluetooth-enabled devices out there. But the pairing process is different than that of the iPhone. Here we show how to connect your AirPods to an Android device. You can use the same steps to connect your AirPods to other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Some of the AirPods functions you use on your iPhone won’t work on your Android and other devices. However, there are some AirPods controller apps that you can use to access Apple-exclusive features on your non-Apple devices.

How To Change The AirPods Controls

The AirPods come with double-tap gestures that let you perform actions like changing the music track and pausing your music without using your iPhone. These gestures are customizable and you can change them if you want.

Make sure your AirPods are paired with your iPhone.

Open the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Bluetooth.

Tap the i icon next to your AirPods.

Tap Left in the Double-Tap AirPod section to change the left double-tap gesture.

Select one of the actions from the list on your screen.

Tap Right and choose an action for the right AirPod.

How To Change The AirPods’ Name

Like how you can change the AirDrop name on your iPhone and Mac, you can change the AirPods name, too.

Tap the Name field.

Enter a new name for your AirPods.

How To Adjust The AirPods’ Volume

The Apple AirPods don’t come with volume rockers so you’ll need to use the volume control buttons on your device to control the AirPods volume.

How To Find Your AirPods

Just like how Apple lets you find your lost iPhone, you can find your lost AirPods as well.

How To Check The AirPods Battery Level

You can check the battery level of your AirPods on both your iOS and Android devices.

Open the case lid while one of your AirPods is still in it.

Bring the case near to your iPhone and you’ll see the current battery levels.

If you’re on Android, do the above steps after installing the AirBattery app on your phone.

How To Charge Your AirPods

Charging your AirPods is easy and you don’t need to plug them into anything with a cable.

Place your AirPods in the charging case.

Your case will start charging your AirPods.

How To Charge The AirPods Case

The charging case holds a significant amount of battery but you’ll need to charge it once every two or three days, depending on your usage.

If yours is a wireless charging case, place it on a Qi-certified wireless charger and it’ll start charging.

If yours is a lightning charging case, plug one end of the cable into your case and the other end into a charger or USB port on your computer.

How To Check Your AirPods’ Firmware Version

Your AirPods run a certain version of firmware which you can check from your iPhone.

Your AirPods firmware version will be listed next to Firmware Version.

Use Automatic Ear Detection

Your AirPods come with a feature that routes the audio from your iPhone to your pods as soon as you place your pods in your ears. You need to enable this feature before you use it.

Turn on the Automatic Ear Detection option.

How To Change The Active Microphone For Your AirPods

Both your AirPods come with a microphone and you can manually choose which AirPod’s microphone you want to use.

Launch Settings, tap Bluetooth, and tap the i icon next to your AirPods.

Tap Microphone at the bottom.

Select one of the options available on your screen.

How To Accept An Incoming Call With Your AirPods

If you get a call while using the AirPods, you can accept the call by just tapping your AirPods.

If you have AirPods Pro, press the force sensor to accept the incoming call.

If you have 1st or 2nd-generation AirPods, double-tap on either of your AirPods.

You can use the same gestures to hang up a call.

Get Your AirPods To Announce The Caller Names

Your AirPods can tell you who’s calling if you’ve enabled caller announcements on your iPhone.

Launch the Settings app on your iPhone and tap Phone.

Tap Announce Calls on the following screen.

Choose the Always option.

Use Your AirPods To Listen To The Sounds Around You

You can hear the live sounds around your iPhone with your AirPods.

Go to Settings on your iPhone and tap Control Centre.

Select the Customize Controls option.

Tap the + (plus) sign for Hearing.

Pull up from the bottom of your iPhone to open the Control Center.

Tap the hearing icon.

Tap the Live Listen option.

Use One Pod To Make AirPods’ Battery Last Longer

You don’t necessarily need to use both your pods at a time. You can simply use one of the AirPods while the other is being charged. This way, when you’re out of battery on one pod, you can use the other one while that first one is being charged.

How To Unpair Apple AirPods From Your iPhone

If you no longer wish to use your AirPods with your iPhone, you can unpair and remove them from your phone.

Open the Settings app and tap Bluetooth.

Tap the i icon next to your AirPods.

Tap Forget This Device to unpair your AirPods.

8 Important Security Tips For Web Developers

Software is increasingly becoming an integral part of modern businesses. The increasing demand for software means that developers have to work incredibly hard to keep up. Businesses are requiring faster application delivery while web development grows more complicated. For instance, with tight deadlines,

web developers

have to build applications that can adapt to any device, integrate with other services, and port to any platform. On top of that, they must create applications that can withstand increasingly complex attacks. 

The problem is that with the growing demand and changing requirements, web developers often find it hard to keep up. Some development aspects tend to be overlooked, and security is a major culprit. While security is increasingly becoming an important part of development, most web developers are not following some basic

security principles

. Consequently, there are numerous applications with serious security vulnerabilities. This article seeks to outline important security guidelines every web developer should follow.

1. Implement security testing

With hackers inventing new techniques everyday, security testing is necessary to enhance the security of your web application. The objective of web application security testing is to find out how vulnerable an application may be and establish whether its resources and data are protected from potential attacks.

Learn more about testing


2. Know what you should protect

An important security principle every web developer should follow is only storing the data they need. To establish which data you should store, ask yourself how much it would hurt the company or the client if the data was compromised. There is really no need to store sensitive customer data such as their credit card numbers and addresses. 

3. Encrypt sensitive user data

If you must store any sensitive information in your database, ensure it is encrypted. Storing unencrypted data in your database can easily land you and your company in hot water. You don’t want to lose customers’ sensitive data because you kept it in plain text in your database. Encrypting sensitive data is even more crucial in shared hosting environments or large companies, since not everyone with access to the data can be trusted to not exploit it. 

4. Make use of a VPN

Additionally, depending on the website you are working on, you may have access to crucial client data, which can be devastating if it’s compromised. Schematics, financial information, patent information, and a lot more can get into the wrong hands if you’re not careful with your security.

Masking your IP

using a VPN eliminates the risk that this data faces.

5. Keep your software updated

When trying to gain access to your database, a cybercriminal will always try to exploit the path with the least resistance. In most cases, the path of least resistance is found in insecure and

outdated software

. To minimize the risk of being hacked, be sure to thoroughly patch and update your application. 

Another important thing you must do is to disable unused software. It is common to find companies with software linked to their systems that are not in use. If left unchecked, unused software provides an easy pathway for hackers. 

6. Apply the principle of least privileges

Sometimes, external attackers are not the biggest

threat to your data

. It may be an ill-informed end-user with several system privileges. By reducing user privileges, you minimize the risk of security mistakes from uneducated end-users. 

In every IT system or web application, it’s prudent to give users only the privileges they really need as opposed to giving all users the same access level. The principle of least privileges keeps your system more secure by eliminating the risk of abuse by unqualified users. It also eliminates unprivileged users from the blame in case of a breach. 

7. Use server-side and client-side validation

For enhanced security, be sure to perform both server-side and client-side validation. Server-side validation helps to prevent malicious input, such as someone planting their code into your database. Client-side validation helps to prevent user mistakes such as forgetting a field or entering data incorrectly. 

8. Sanitize user input

There should never be direct communication between user input and the database. It should be sanitized and validated to enhance data integrity and prevent common attacks such as SQL injection. 


8 Tips For Aspiring Indie Game Developers

Pokémon Go has certainly changed the landscape of gaming. Can you imagine hiring an Uber driver just to drive you around for your searches? Or, how about meeting that special person while on the hunt? These things are really happening right now. And Indie game developers are taking notice. If you think you have a great idea for a game, and you are committed to developing it, by all means, go for it. But as you do, keep these important tips in mind.

Making Money Needs to be Secondary

If you look at the statistics, you already know that a huge number of indie game developers are not making money hand-over-fist. They are into game development because they have a passion for an idea. Making money comes from marketing, and that comes after the game is developed and published. If you don’t have a passion for your idea, then you will not have passions for marketing it either.

Know Your Shortcomings

You may be using great game development tools, but, ultimately, there will be some coding tasks that may be beyond you. At this point, acknowledge your shortcomings and get the help you need, even if you have to pay for it. iOS game development is complex, and there is nothing embarrassing about admitting that you do not have all of the coding skills you need. Find a reputable iOS game development firm, preferably one that will throw in some marketing as well.

Ensure that You have a Market

Unless you are developing a game just for the fun of it, you will need to do some research. Is there really a market for a game such as yours? The makers of Candy Crush didn’t just decide one day to make the game. They did their homework and discovered, based upon current popular games, that there was a large niche audience to which they could appeal. You need to do the same.

Replayability – It’s Pretty Critical

You don’t want a game that will be played once and forgotten. You want a game that will be played over and over again because either there are levels to reach or because players can compete with their previous success. And, even better, make it social. When players can invite friends to play with them, you keep adding ambassadors who can do a lot of marketing for you.


Don’t let your game remain static. Add new features and publicize them. One of the best ways to do this is to ask existing players what other features they would like to see. It goes without saying, of course, that you will also be committed to fixing any bugs.


You have probably offered your basic game for free, but upgrades are fee-based. After all, how else will you make any money? To grow your fan base, you may offer “freebies” for a certain score or level being reached. And, you can also offer freebies if any players find bugs and bring them to your attention. These efforts will grow a fan base and sharing.

Yes, You Do Have to Market

“If you build it, they will come” is a great movie line, but it is not in the least bit relevant to marketing a game app. Marketing your game involves lots of strategies and tactics even though they are not tough. Using social media, requesting reviews on game app review sites, guest blogging and even contracting with the services of an app marketer should all be within your bag of marketing tricks.

Be Patient

The overnight success of “Flapping birds” is the exception, not the rule. So, be patient, be responsive to your current users, and keep updating and marketing. If you give up on a game too soon, you may be sorry Get busy on other projects while you continue to monitor, market, and improve.

How To Prevent Eye Strain From Monitors

We often spend a lot of our time looking at monitors, but how often do we consider the damage they may be doing to our eyes? Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to prevent eye strain, and some of them are just little habits you can implement into your daily life!

1. Perform Eye Exercises

This may sound complicated, but eye exercises are anything but! Every twenty minutes of looking at a monitor, take twenty seconds to look at something that’s at least twenty feet away. Eye doctors name this the “20-20-20” method. It breaks up the stress that’s put on your eyes from looking at a monitor.

If there’s nothing in your immediate line of sight that’s 20 feet away, use this time to walk about as well. Sitting down while working all day can also be unhealthy, so this gives you an excuse to take a walk and look somewhere else for a moment.

2. Make Your Monitor’s Light Easier on the Eyes

You can adjust the light being emitted from your monitor to help reduce eye strain. Windows 10 has a Night Light mode, and the program chúng tôi is able to do a similar job.

Some monitors even have an additional setting that makes the light easier on a user’s eyes. For example, Philips uses Low Blue mode, Benq has Low Blue Light mode, and HP has Blue Light filter. All of these soften the brightness of the light at the monitor level.

3. Wear Glasses that Reduce the Blue Light

If you wear glasses while you type, why not enhance them with the ability to prevent eye strain from monitors? There are plenty of models of glasses out there that use a special lens that filters the blue light, keeping your eyes safe from the glare of the monitor.

4. Adjust Monitor Distance

Keep your monitor between 40 to 76 centimeters from your eyes – that’s around 16 to 30 inches. Ensure the monitor is around the same level as your eyes and is angled slightly away from you. This will help reduce the strain your eyes undergo when making out the text on the screen.

5. Blink More!

This is easier said than done when you’re watching your favorite TV shows or in a tense moment during a gaming session, but it has to be done. We have a tendency to stare at monitors without blinking, and it’s a good idea to manually perform a few extra ones to ensure your eyes are getting the moisture they need.

6. Reduce Any Glare on Your Monitor

You wouldn’t stare at the sun or a bright light for more than a few seconds – so why stare at its reflection for extended periods of time? If you find there’s a light source that’s reflecting off of your monitor’s screen, try to reduce or eliminate it. Not only does the extra light put redundant strain on your eyes, but it also makes things harder to read, causing you to focus more.

An Eye for an Eye Strain

Many of us interact with monitors every day, but only a few think about how it affects their eyes. Now you know some of the ways that staring at a screen can harm your eyes and how to avert the strain.

Have you ever suffered from eye strain from using a monitor too much? How did you solve the problem? Let us know below.

Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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Buying A Cheap Pc With 8 Gb Ram: Shopping Tips

What is the cheapest PC you can buy that can sport 8GB of RAM? You would think this was a simple question, and within a few minutes of online shopping you could figure it out. Alas, this has turned into Yet Another Project, and I am nowhere near the answer.

Why would anyone want such a machine? Any 32-bit version of Windows can’t use much beyond 3 GB of memory. If you are going to effectively use 8 gigs of memory, you need a 64-bit operating system. I actually have one that I am using right now – my Mac OS. But getting a Mac with all that memory means getting their pricier Mac Pro desktop. And while you can save some money by getting a used Mac Pro, by the time you bulk it up with enough RAM and disk, it isn’t much of a bargain anymore.

My reason for all this RAM is to host a collection of virtual machines for testing purposes. VMs consume a lot of RAM, and there are situations where I want to be able to run more than one VM at a time for testing networking products. I have been using the desktop VMware Workstation along with Fusion on my Mac, and have quite a collection of VMs now that I use in my tests. But my Windows PCs only have 2 GB of RAM, so I can’t really run more than one VM at a time. I needed something more powerful. A few months I had a client that sent me a DVD with seven different VMs on it to use for a series of tests.

So I thought to contact a system builder friend of mine and I ask him to spec out for me what I called a “white box ESX PC” – ESX is VMware’s virtual server operating system, and it is designed for this purpose, to run a lot of VMs on a single physical piece of hardware. And while ESX technically isn’t 64-bit, it can run very effectively with lots of memory.

But getting the right configuration was tricky, because it is also not designed to run its VMs on an ordinary hard disk that you would find in your average desktop. There are some discussion forums on this topic, but we were in uncharted territory.

So then I went online and starting poking around to see if I could order a desktop PC with 8 GB of RAM and be satisfied running the 64-bit Vista OS. I first went to Dell, mainly because I buy a lot of Dells and can find my way around their Web site. Back in the day when megabytes were a lot of RAM, Dell was one of the first vendors to sell PCs with 4 MB installed. But despite this history and familiarity, it wasn’t easy to search their Web site for an 8 gig PC. Lenovo has one line, the ThinkCentre M58, which sells for about $1200. HP has none that I could find on their Web site, which is odd because when I went to Newegg’s Web site I could find more than 20 configurations, some of which were pretty capable HP machines, all for around $1000.

David Strom is an expert on Internet and networking technologies who was the former editor-in-chief at Network Computing, Tom’s chúng tôi and chúng tôi He currently writes regularly for PC World, Baseline Magazine, and the New York Times and is also a professional speaker, podcaster and blogs at chúng tôi and

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