22 February 2018

Falcon.io buys Komfo from Sitecore as social media management consolidates


 Falcon.io, a startup out of Denmark that helps businesses manage their presence across social media and messaging platforms, has acquired a competitor in a wider trend of consolidation in the market for such services. It is buying Komfo from customer experience software developer Sitecore, which itself was majority acquired by EQT for $1.1 billion in 2016. Falcon.io is not disclosing the terms… Read More
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The Top Productivity Challenges to Tackle Every Day


productivity-challenges

Do you feel unproductive, did your New Year’s resolutions fail, or have you lost steam? The bad news is, there are no secret tricks to achieve miracle productivity results. But stay with us, because the good news is we can help you. We’ll teach you how to tackle main productivity challenges one by one and equip you with the best tools to do so. Why You Feel Unproductive Was becoming more productive one of your New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you didn’t stick with it. But have you asked yourself why? Often we get a good start and then somehow seem...

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Chromecast Games Can Be the Best!


play-games-chromecast

If you own a Chromecast, you probably use it to stream videos and movies or view your photos on the big screen. But you can also play games on it with your mobile device. Finding those games that support Chromecast and are worth your time isn’t all that easy. So we have a list of casual games for you that are fun, simple to pick up and play, and connect to your Chromecast easily. 1. Tower Construction 3D How good are you at building a tower? Find out in Tower Construction 3D. As the crane moves back and forth, tap...

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Apple said to debut voice-activated Siri AirPods in 2018, water-resistant model in 2019


 Apple is preparing a couple of updating models of AirPods, according to Bloomberg. The popular fully wireless earbud-style headphones that Apple introduced last year are currently on track for a refresh in 2018 with the addition of a new version of the “W” line of chips that Apple created specifically to manage and improve Bluetooth-based connections between gadgets. The 2018… Read More

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Gartner reports first ever global decline in smartphone sales


 Global smartphone sales have not been firing on all cylinders for several years now but Gartner’s latest figures record the first ever decline since the analyst began tracking the market all the way back in 2004. Read More

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Apple said to debut voice-activated Siri AirPods in 2018, water-resistant model in 2019


 Apple is preparing a couple of updating models of AirPods, according to Bloomberg. The popular fully wireless earbud-style headphones that Apple introduced last year are currently on track for a refresh in 2018 with the addition of a new version of the “W” line of chips that Apple created specifically to manage and improve Bluetooth-based connections between gadgets. The 2018… Read More

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How to Make Pixel Paintings with Google Spreadsheets


You are using Google Spreadsheets for budgeting and project management but did you know that the same sheets application can help you create impressive pixel paintings in minutes? The Google blog recently published a story of two illustrators who created a bright and beautiful wall mural using Google Spreadsheets.

Marina and Mallory connected on Google Hangouts to plan and sketch out ideas, and creatively “hack” Sheets in order to make art: resizing cells into thousands of pixel-like squares, merging cells to create color blocks, creating vibrant color gradients with conditional formatting and cell values, and other cool things we had no idea you could do with Sheets.

The idea is simple. Each cell in the spreadsheet corresponds to a pixel in the painting. You compute the color of the pixel and make it the background color of the corresponding cell. Now resize the spreadsheet cells in small perfect squares and your spreadsheet will look exactly like the original artwork.

How to Paint with Google Spreadsheets

If you would like to create your own spreadsheet art but don’t have the time to carefully paint every cell manually, here’s a simple workaround for you. You can take any photograph, vector art, or any other image and use a Google Script to convert that bitmap image into spreadsheet art.

Here are some examples of art created with Google Spreadsheets.

Watch the video tutorial or open this Google Sheet for sample artwork.

Create Pixel Art with Google Sheets

It takes two easy steps to make pixel art with Google Sheets.

  1. Open the Google Spreadsheet template and create a copy of the sheet in your own Google Drive.
  2. Go to the Spreadsheet Art menu and upload the image from your desktop. You can use images of any size or resolution.

The underlying Google Script will now parse every single pixel of your image and write the corresponding hex color codes in the cells of the spreadsheet.

It will then set the background color of every cell same as the color of the corresponding pixel. If you have chosen the ’emoji’ option, the cell will be filled with the closes emoji that matches the color of the pixel.

In the last step, the script will resize the cells and turn them into perfect squares. That’s it. Your spreadsheet art is now ready.

The latest version of the Spreadsheet Art project can transform your pictures into emojis pixels as well. It takes the average color of the pixel, finds the closest emoji and adds it to the corresponding cell in the sheet. The emoji module is based on the work of Monica Dinculescu.

The end result may appear slightly pixelated (video) because we have used a small image as the source template but impressive nonetheless. You can download the Google Sheet as a PDF file or save it in Microsoft Excel format.

Check this Google Sheet for more examples.


The Best Alternatives to Google’s View Image Button


Do you miss Google’s View Image button? We’re talking about the button that let you open a new tab and see full-scaled versions of photos in Google Image Search. Unfortunately, that button was removed thanks to a new deal inked between Google and Getty Images. It makes using Google Image Search a little inconvenient for those who got used to the single click utility of the button. Fortunately, there are workarounds that prove the move was nothing more than just a small annoyance. The Best Alternatives to Google’s View Image Button The button was removed to make it harder for people...

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How to Create Custom Buttons in Trello for Repetitive Tasks


Computer and Notebook

Using third-party service Butler, you can create custom buttons that automate the repetitive actions you take in Trello. These actions can be related to cards or boards, and custom buttons will help you streamline your workflow to new levels. Butler can also recommend buttons for you based on the actions you perform the most often in Trello. How to Install the Butler Power-Up in Trello If you’ve never used third-party apps or “Power-Ups” in Trello, here’s how you enable them: To enable Butler, open Trello and go to the board you’ll be using it on. In the Menu on the right,...

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Twitter is (finally) cracking down on bots


 Twitter is cracking down on bots after it announced changes to its API that will massively reduce the impact of services that allow links and content to be shared across multiple accounts, i.e. the software that powers Twitter bots. So that means an end to services that let those controlling large numbers of accounts to batch tweet, follow users, retweet or like tweets. Twitter will continue… Read More
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How to Restrict Users From Changing the Desktop Wallpaper on Windows


People take great pride in the way their computers look, and hardcore Windows users love playing with light themes, dark themes, and desktop backgrounds. Given the amount of effort you put into choosing the perfect wallpaper, you may not want anyone else changing it the moment you step away from the computer, especially kids who have access to your machine. So, how do you stop other users from changing the desktop wallpaper on Windows? Keep reading to find out more. How to Restrict Users From Changing the Desktop Wallpaper on Windows To stop users from changing the desktop wallpaper on Windows,...

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You Can Now Add More People to a Messenger Chat


Facebook is finally making it easier to add more people to a call. Currently, if you’re having a one-on-one conversation with someone, you need to hang up, and start a whole new group chat in order to invite more people. But now, that is no longer the case. In many ways, Facebook Messenger has become a bloated beast of an app. And all of this when some of the most requested features are still missing. However, Facebook has now added something actually useful… the ability to add more friends to a call. Add More People to a Conversation One of...

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Intel ships update for newest Spectre-affected chips


 Intel has announced that the fix is out for its latest chips affected by Spectre, the memory-leakage flaw affecting practically all computing hardware. The patch is for the Skylake generation (late 2015) and newer, though most users will still have to wait for the code to be implemented by whoever manufactured their computer (specifically, their motherboard). Read More

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Google to acquire Xively IoT platform from LogMeIn for $50M


 Google announced today that it intends to buy Xively from LogMeIn, giving Google Cloud an established IoT platform to add to their product portfolio. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Google indicated it wants to use this purchase as a springboard into the growing IoT market, which it believes will reach 20 billion connected things by 2020. Read More
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A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad


 The pixel-peepers at DxOMark have shared some of the interesting metrics and techniques they use to judge the quality of a smartphone’s artificial bokeh, or background blur in photos. Not only is it difficult to do in the first place, but they have to systematize it! Their guide should provide even seasoned shooters with some insight into the many ways computational bokeh varies in quality. Read More

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A system to tell good fake bokeh from bad


 The pixel-peepers at DxOMark have shared some of the interesting metrics and techniques they use to judge the quality of a smartphone’s artificial bokeh, or background blur in photos. Not only is it difficult to do in the first place, but they have to systematize it! Their guide should provide even seasoned shooters with some insight into the many ways computational bokeh varies in quality. Read More

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Print Photos Like a Pro: Get High-Quality Prints Online or at Home


print-photo-like-a-pro

It can be hard to know what to do with your photos these days. You’ve probably got a hard drive containing thousands of them that never get looked at. And hundreds more that you put on social media in the hope that someone, somewhere might notice. Well, here’s the thing: no number of Facebook or Instagram likes can beat the sheer satisfaction of printing your favorite photo and hanging it on your wall. It’s so easy and affordable to print photos. And with a few choice tips you can ensure that you get professional-quality prints every time. Crop to the...

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Signal expands into the Signal Foundation with $50M from WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton


 Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned about Signal when I spoke with Moxie Marlinspike, the app’s creator, last year at Disrupt, was that it was essentially running on a shoestring budget. An tool used by millions and feared by governments worldwide, barely getting by! But $50M from WhatsApp founder Brian Acton should help secure the app’s future, through the newly founded… Read More

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The Best Graphics Cards in 2018 for Any Budget


best-gpu-2018

Whether for gaming, cryptocurrency mining, or video editing, a graphics processing unit (GPU) is an excellent investment. However, prices are currently absurd for most midrange and high-end cards. For the majority of gamers, a top-tier graphics card isn’t required. In short, most consumers should avoid buying high-end cards. You should only buy a stop-gap solution. That said, check out the best graphics cards in 2018 for any budget. Finding a Budget GPU: Define Your Needs Even within the overpriced GPU market, you still have needs. But what can you get that’s a reasonable price? What you’ll want for medium-graphics gaming...

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Nest rolls out a $5 cloud recording plan for its cameras


 Just a quick bit of news for those with Nest cams around the house: a new, cheaper Nest Aware plan is on the way. Nest has long offered two plans: a $10/month plan that lets you store the last 10 days of video history, and a $30/month plan that gives you 30 days of video history. This new plan will cost $5 per month and, yes, will give you five days of video history. Read More

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