09 February 2013

Can’t Express Yourself? Google Adds Over 1,000 Emoticons To Gmail’s New Compose [Updates]



Are you using Gmail’s new compose? If so, you’ve probably noticed that the emoticon icon does nothing but show a “coming soon” message. Not anymore. Google has rolled out over 1,000 emoticons for Gmails’s new compose, which you can add to your emails by clicking the “Insert emoticon” icon or with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+2.


The complete emoticon collection includes some familiar faces such as Google Talk’s square faces and “secret” animated crab, but if you scroll diligently you’ll find many different types of animated and non-animated faces, food items, animals, weather icons, and pretty much anything you can think of. If you can’t choose just one, holding the Shift button while clicking on emoticons will insert multiple ones into your email.


So how many emoticons are there, exactly? In a lengthy counting project, I counted exactly 1,324 emoticons, which is much more than the mere 150 available on the old compose. To be fair, TheNextWeb counted 1,287 emoticons in total, so according to them there are 37 less icons to enjoy, but no matter how you look at it, this is a huge collection.



If you’re using Google Apps, or if Google’s decided so for some reason, you might not see the emoticons yet. If you still see the “Coming soon” message when hovering over the smiley icon, don’t despair, Gmail’s emoticons will find their way to your account soon enough. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to disable emoticons in emails, but do let us know if you find one.


Is this good news or bad news for you? Will be using all these new emoticons in your emails, or are you dreading the emails you’re about to receive from now on?


Source: Google+ via TheNextWeb


The post Can’t Express Yourself? Google Adds Over 1,000 Emoticons To Gmail’s New Compose [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Can’t Express Yourself? Google Adds Over 1,000 Emoticons To Gmail’s New Compose [Updates]



Are you using Gmail’s new compose? If so, you’ve probably noticed that the emoticon icon does nothing but show a “coming soon” message. Not anymore. Google has rolled out over 1,000 emoticons for Gmails’s new compose, which you can add to your emails by clicking the “Insert emoticon” icon or with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+2.


The complete emoticon collection includes some familiar faces such as Google Talk’s square faces and “secret” animated crab, but if you scroll diligently you’ll find many different types of animated and non-animated faces, food items, animals, weather icons, and pretty much anything you can think of. If you can’t choose just one, holding the Shift button while clicking on emoticons will insert multiple ones into your email.


So how many emoticons are there, exactly? In a lengthy counting project, I counted exactly 1,324 emoticons, which is much more than the mere 150 available on the old compose. To be fair, TheNextWeb counted 1,287 emoticons in total, so according to them there are 37 less icons to enjoy, but no matter how you look at it, this is a huge collection.



If you’re using Google Apps, or if Google’s decided so for some reason, you might not see the emoticons yet. If you still see the “Coming soon” message when hovering over the smiley icon, don’t despair, Gmail’s emoticons will find their way to your account soon enough. At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a way to disable emoticons in emails, but do let us know if you find one.


Is this good news or bad news for you? Will be using all these new emoticons in your emails, or are you dreading the emails you’re about to receive from now on?


Source: Google+ via TheNextWeb


The post Can’t Express Yourself? Google Adds Over 1,000 Emoticons To Gmail’s New Compose [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Talk To ISS Astronauts On NASA’s First Google+ Hangout [Updates]



Always wanted to talk to an astronaut? NASA will be hosting its first live Google+ Hangout on February 22nd, and everyone is invited to watch. The Hangout will go live from the International Space Station (ISS), and will last one hour: from 11am to 12pm EST. Not only will you get to watch the astronauts live, you will also get the chance to ask them your very own questions in text or video.


One of the ways to submit a question to the astronauts is to record a 30 second video and upload it to YouTube. In the video, you should introduce yourself and say where you’re from, and then quickly ask your question before the 30 seconds are up. During the event, several videos with questions will go live and get answered, but in order to be considered you must upload the video by February 12th, and tag it with #askAstro.



If you can’t make it by Tuesday, or don’t want to expose yourself on video, there are several other ways to communicated with the ISS astronauts. During the live event, you’ll be able to ask questions on Google+, Twitter or YouTube by using the #askAstro tag next to your question. NASA will also start a special thread on their Facebook Page on the day of the event through which you can also submit your questions.


Once live, you can watch the event on NASA’s Google+ page or YouTube channel. According to NASA, “astronauts Kevin Ford and Tom Marshburn of NASA and Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency will answer questions and provide insights about life aboard the station.” So this is your chance to finally find out what exactly goes on on the ISS, and how it’s possible to sleep and exercise in near-weightlessness. Should be interesting.


Will you attend the Hangout on February 22nd? What will you ask the astronauts?


Source: NASA via Engadget


Image credit: NASA


The post Talk To ISS Astronauts On NASA’s First Google+ Hangout [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Permalinks for Google Drive Images



While Google Drive lets you upload any file, the support for files that can't be edited using Google Docs/Sheets/Slides is limited. For example, you can embed PDF files and videos, but Google doesn't offer permalinks for images.



So you've uploaded a photo to Google Drive and the only options are to download the file and link to the image page. But what if you want to embed that image in a web page or simply post a direct link to the image? You may think that right-clicking the image lets you copy the image URL, but that's not true. Even if you check the source code of a page or use features like Firefox's "view page info", you'll get a link that doesn't work.



Fortunately, there's an easy solution - replace this URL from the address bar:



https://docs.google.com/file/d/FILEID/edit



with:



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=FILEID



(where FILEID is a long sequence of digits and letters).



This only works if you've changed the visibility options to "public on the Web" or "anyone with the link" in the Share dialog.



Here's an example:






You can also use:



https://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=FILEID



to trigger a download and this works for any non-private Google Drive file, not just for images.



{ via Stack Overflow. Photo licensed as Creative Commons Attribution. }


Convert Images Hosted by Google to WebP



WebP is one of the best thing that happened after Google acquired On2 in 2010. While WebM doesn't have a strong adoption outside YouTube and Firefox started to support H.264 after a few years of fight, WebP is an image format that's already used by many sites and applications. It can replace both JPEG and PNG and you can use it to create images that are compressed more efficiently (by about 35%) and look better. "By converting PNGs and JPEGs to WebP, the Chrome Web Store was able to reduce image sizes by about 30% on average," informs Google.



The format is supported by Chrome, Opera, Android 4.0+ and there are many tools that help you convert images to WebP and view them. It's also interesting to find that all the images hosted by Google services like Picasa Web, Blogger and Google+ can be converted to WebP using a simple URL adjustment.



Here's an example of JPEG photo hosted by Google+:



https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b1qAbtG7VuI/TqON2f_eReI/AAAAAAAA4P4/r_5AKUt42rg/s633/DSC03146.JPG [57 KB]



To convert the photo to WebP, just replace "/s633/" with "/s633-rw/" ("/sNUMBER/" with "/sNUMBER-rw/") :



https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-b1qAbtG7VuI/TqON2f_eReI/AAAAAAAA4P4/r_5AKUt42rg/s633-rw/DSC03146.JPG [33 KB]



I'll also include the URL of a PNG screenshot from the previous post:



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aeOopCNVt3o/URVPw-F7c0I/AAAAAAABHlU/XIQiLthvLjQ/s640/new-gdrive-create-menu.png [21 KB]



Here's the WebP photo:



http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-aeOopCNVt3o/URVPw-F7c0I/AAAAAAABHlU/XIQiLthvLjQ/s640-rw/new-gdrive-create-menu.png [14.5 KB]


Third-Party Apps, More Visible in Google Drive



Google Drive updated the "create" menu. Now third-party apps are placed next to Google's apps and are easier to find. There's also a new option to "connect new apps" that displays the list of Google Drive apps (there are more than 100 applications). It's still an iframe for the Chrome Web Store collection, but you no longer have to open a new page to find an app. Another advantage is that you can filter the apps by category and restrict the search results to Google Drive apps. I've always found it weird that the Google Drive apps are listed in the Chrome Web Store, even though they don't require Chrome.









"The Google Drive Create menu now elevates Drive-connected apps to the same level as Google apps such as Docs and Sheets. This makes Drive-connected apps easier to reach and more visible to Google Drive users," informs Google.



08 February 2013

Download Google Chrome Portable Version 24.0.1



Google Chrome is the best and fastest web browser among web browsers software. Most of us use Google Chrome including me as our web browser for fastest access in the web. It has more than 310+ million users worldwide. If you are really a fan of Google Chrome and if you are very much used to it, then certainly you may wish to carry it wherever you go.





Now Google Chrome has released the latest version of Google Chrome portable version 24.0.1312.57. This latest version of Chrome portable is designed simply and stylish. You can have your,

Favorite bookmarks

Saved passwords

All History and everything that you want at any time.



You can simply install Chrome Portable setup file into your USB pen drive, and start web browsing from anywhere and from any PC. Portable Chrome is having all the features which you get in a usual Chrome PC version.




The Old Image Search, Still Available



The old Google Image Search interface is still available in the OneBox result that's displayed for some Google searches like [tropical birds] or [europe map]. If you add "image", "images", "photo" or "photos" to your query, Google will show 4 times more image results. It's like a simplified image search interface inside the regular Google Search.











3 Applications To View Your Entire Internet History In One Place [Windows]



I’ve run into a bit of a problem lately. I’ve started using one browser for basic purposes, then another for everything Flash-based (such as games). Flash just feels faster in one browser, without heavy add-ons or extensions, compared to another. And then how many IM clients do we all use? I personally still use ICQ! I’ve got friends there who refuse to budge. Skype is also a necessity.


How many programs must we run, simultaneously, that ultimately do the same job? It happens. Market share is a competitive thing. Having centralized data is very important to me though, and I feel it’s a major inconvenience (and stress to your system) to constantly have multiple processes open, especially for something as intensive as a browser. Luckily, I’ve discovered a way to bring together the history of all major browser, email, and IM clients.


MiTeC Internet History Browser



MiTeC Internet History Browser brings together your history from every major browser out there:



  • Microsoft Internet Explorer

  • Google Chrome

  • Opera

  • Apple Safari

  • Mozilla Firefox


You can choose to scan for your history automatically or load your data by a file. I’d recommend you click the top option at the main interface.



Shown above is how your history is viewed using the application. Everything can be viewed in chronological order. Near the top of the interface, there is a search field.



As you can see, multiple browsers work their way into the mix. They aren’t separated by tabs or anything like that. Everything is listed 100% chronologically. Clicking on one of the entries in your history will show when it was visited, what the exact URL is, and how many times you visited that page. You can then open that page in your default browser if you’d like to.


If you’re all over the place with browsers, it can be a headache to consider which browser you used to view what. MiTeC’s Internet History Browser turns it into an experience as if you were looking at your history all in a single browser.


MiTeC’s Email History Browser



MiTeC’s Email History Browser opens up with the same interface as the the last application. It supports the following email clients:




Unlike MiTeC’s Internet History Browser, Email History Browser comes with a tabbed view. You can see the names of each supported application at the bottom-left of the interface. The highlighted application is your current view. All accounts within that view are able to be seen above that area. All folders are also shown.


MiTeC’s Email History Browser is a very interesting way to search through all of your email accounts. The only problem is that you cannot actually load the body text of your emails in this application, only the headers.


You’ll notice the above screenshot is a little empty. I don’t use Windows Live Mail often, and when I do, it’s for my Windows Live Mail account (@live.com). I believe there is a compatibility issue, with Windows 8, when it comes to loading your @live.com/@hotmail.com address using MiTeC’s Email History Browser. It works fine in every other version of Windows.


MiTeC Internet Messaging History Browser



MiTeC’s IM History Browser may be the most interesting of the bunch, just because of how useful IM history really is. It supports the following clients:



  • Skype

  • ICQ 7

  • Windows Live Messenger

  • Yahoo Messenger



With the messengers supported, some may question the usefulness of MiTeC’s IM History Browser. ICQ and Yahoo! are practically dead, MSN is being phased out soon, and AIM isn’t supported. Nonetheless, it gets the job done for these messengers. Each messenger supports every account that you’ve ever logged in from and shows your message history in a chronological, tabbed view.


This application could be greatly improved by supporting Pidgin IM logs, but it’s surely useful if you use multiple messengers individually.


The coolest thing about all of these applications are that they are completely portable and they support a network connection! You can access the history of other PCs on your local network, and that is a huge feature all on its own.


All three of these tools are worth throwing on a flash drive. What do you think of them? Let me know in the comments!


The post 3 Applications To View Your Entire Internet History In One Place [Windows] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Make Windows 8 Suck Less With Classic Shell



classic shell for windows 8Make Windows 8 usable for people who think it’s not. Add a start menu to the desktop and tweak the way Explorer and Internet Explorer behave, all thanks to a piece of software called Classic Shell. If you like tweaking your user interface, and miss the options provided by previous versions of Windows, you’ll love this software.


To say Windows 8 is controversial would be an understatement. While many love the new security and speed of Redmond’s latest offering, some wish there was an optional way to avoid the Metro interface – including most of the MakeUseOf staff. Forcing a touch-based interface on a mouse-and-keyboard loving populace probably isn’t the smartest thing Microsoft’s ever done – even if it could help them sell a couple of phones someday.


So I’m glad there are ways to make Windows behave a little more like the operating system we know how to use properly. Classic shell gives you exactly the start menu you prefer, whether that’s the one from Windows 7, XP or even older versions of the OS. It also lets you tweak Windows Explorer, adding a customizable toolbar and letting you make other changes to the classic shell in Windows 8.


The Start Menu


Install Classic Shell and you’ll see it immediately – a start menu! The button will stick out like a sore thumb at first but you can configure it to blend in with Windows 8 quite nicely. Here’s how it looks on my computer:


classic shell for windows 8


Once you install Classic Shell, Windows automatically boots to the desktop – nice if you’d rather avoid Metro’s distractions and get right to work.


Do you want to change that, or anything else? Right-click the start menu and you’ll find a “Settings” button. From here you can change the style of start menu you want:


classic shell windows 8


You’ll find a wide variety of options; just be sure to hit the “All Settings” options so you can see all tabs. You can make your start menu work exactly the way you want, so check it out.


Explorer


Many people like the new Windows Explorer, but if you’re not one of them Classic Shell is here for you. With it you can make the file manager behave just the way you remember. When you launch it you’ll see a new toolbar in Explorer. Click the Classic Shell button on it and you can configure things, including what does and doesn’t show up in your toolbar:


classic shell for windows 8


Again, you can configure just about anything here. Explore the options and you’ll be blown away.


Conclusion


My wife – a brilliant physicist who is also very computer savvy – recently had cause to replace her computer. The new machine came with Windows 8, with which she was initially frustrated.


“I’m just not sure how I’m supposed to use this,” she said. The Metro apps, which she accurately deemed “Internet stuff”, didn’t seem that useful for most of the things she spends her time doing: crunching data, preparing presentations and taking notes while reading at the same time.


Her plan was to install Windows 7 until I pointed out Classic Shell. It provided the means to get used to Windows 8 without throwing old workflows away completely.


I think Microsoft made a mistake in not making more of their Metro features optional. People love Windows and have workflows worked out using it. Why try to change everything in one swift blow? Classic Shell helps, at least. Install it if you’re feeling the way my wife did.


If you want more help, be sure to check out Chris’ piece on resolving Windows 8 niggles or his piece on making Windows 8 faster. Or, if you want to learn more about Microsoft’s latest operating system, be sure to check out our full, free manual for Windows 8. It goes over all of the new features, teaching you how to use the Metro interface and get the most out of the new configurations.


Thoughts? Leave them below, as always. I’ll be around for the after party.


The post Make Windows 8 Suck Less With Classic Shell appeared first on MakeUseOf.



07 February 2013

How to Download / Backup your FeedBurner Email Subscribers List



One of the services offered by Google is FeedBurner, it is a good tool to manage site’s feed(s). FeedBurner is an email subscription service and it is commonly used by a lot of bloggers to serve their readers. FeedBurner offers so many features such as subscription management, email branding, customizable delivery and communication preferences, and a lot more.


It’s a good thing to back up / download FeedBurner Email subscribers list for any future use such as moving to another service like MailChimp, Feedblitz, Aweber and the rest. Follow the steps outlined below to download your FeedBurner email subscribers in excel or .csv format.


Steps to Download FeedBurner Email Subscribers List

1. Login to your FeedBurner account

2. From your FeedBurner dashboard, click on the feed you want to backup.

3. After selection, click on the ‘Publicize’ tab


backup-feed-email


4. Click on “Email Subscriptions” on Left side of the page.


backup-feedburner-email-list


5. Now Go to the bottom of the page and click on View Subscriber Details


dowmload-feed-email


6. Now click on “Export: CSV” option and save the excel file in your hard disk.


backup-feed-email-list


Now that you have downloaded your FeedBurner subscribers list, you can save it in a safe drive or upload it to cloud storage for easy retrieval whenever it is needed.



Google Drive Site Hosting



You can now create sites in Google Drive, but it's just a nice trick, not a full-fledged feature. To get started, create a new folder, right-click the folder and use the "share" feature to make the folder public. All the files of the site you want to create will be placed inside this folder.



Unfortunately, you can't create the HTML, JS and CSS files in Google Drive using the default apps, so you need install a third-party app like Drive Notepad, Neutron Drive or create these files using a native text editor or HTML editor. Make sure you have all the required files, including a file named index.html. When you upload the files to the folder you've just created, disable the conversion option.



Click the index.html file and then click the "Preview" button to see a live version of your homepage. The files are hosted at googledrive.com and have long URLs you can't customize. Here's an example.






Another downside is that you can create multiple files that have the same name, so a new version of the index.html file doesn't replace the existing file, but it adds a new file. You can always use the "manage revisions" option, but it would be nice have a traditional folder feature. For now, it's a good idea to use the Google Sync apps.



{ Thanks, Michael. }