06 April 2013

Facebook Announces “Home”, A Social Homescreen For Android [Updates]



Android users will soon have a new way to connect with their friends and family. Facebook announced on Thursday that it is releasing “Home”, a homescreen replacement app designed to provide Android users with a more social experience.


Home replaces the Android standard homescreen with a Facebook-inspired set of features, giving you access to photos, status updates, and notifications without having to open their Facebook app. Non-Facebook apps will be accessible within Home, and features such as Messenger can be used simultaneously with these apps.


Home’s shining star is the Cover Feed—a replacement for the general homescreen and your lock screen. As already mentioned, the standard features of Facebook will be accessible using the Cover Feed as soon as you turn on your phone, without even having to unlock it.



Home will launch in the US on April 12 for devices running Android 4.0 and up. The international version of the app will be released at an unspecified time. AT&T’s HTC First is set to come with Home pre-installed (also available April 12), and tablets are expected to receive the Home app within the next few months.


In case you were wondering, Facebook has offered some reasoning for the creation of Home. According to the social network, we use our phones to access Facebook on a near-constant basis anyway, so why not make the device itself more socially-oriented than task-oriented?


Should phones really be more socially oriented? Or is Facebook going too far?


Sources: Facebook via TechCrunch


The post Facebook Announces “Home”, A Social Homescreen For Android [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



What Is Onion Routing, Exactly? [MakeUseOf Explains]



Internet privacy. Anonymity was one of the greatest features of the Internet in its youth (or one of its worst features, depending on who you ask). Leaving aside the sorts of problems that spring forth from anonymous interaction, such as the lack of consequences, Internet privacy and anonymity is important for preventing some serious crimes, like identity theft.


And so when topics related to Internet privacy pop up, you’ll often hear of “private browsing” and “proxy servers” and such. But honestly, the Internet is never truly anonymous. For the most part, your activities can be traced back to you; the only difference is how difficult it is to trace your actions back to you. That’s where “onion routing” comes in.


The Basics Of Onion Routing


One way to understand onion routing is to start with the concept of proxy servers. A proxy server is a server that relays your connection through that server, which basically adds a step in the path of your data packets. If someone traced your IP address, they’d see it as the proxy server’s IP address instead of your home address.


But proxy servers aren’t exactly anonymous. They keep logs of all the traffic that passes through, which means that they can actually point back to you if necessary. For most activities, the proxy server is fine even though it’ll add a bit of latency to your connection. Your anonymity would not be entirely protected, however, if your proxy service was hit with a subpoena for your IP information.



Onion routing is like an advanced form of proxy routing. Instead of routing through a single unprotected server, it uses a network of nodes that constantly encrypt your data packets at every step. Only at the end of this “chain” of onion nodes does your data become decrypted and sent to the final destination. In fact, only this “exit node” has the power to decrypt your message, so no other node can even see what you’re sending.


Due to the multiple layers of encryption, which not-so-coincidentally resemble the layers within an onion, it’s extremely difficult to trace your information back to you as the source when you use onion routing.


A Simple Example


Have you ever heard of Tor? It’s a secure network that uses onion routing to keep all of your activity as encrypted and hidden as possible. Did you know that Tor actually stands for “the onion router”? If that name sounded weird to you before, now you know why it’s called what it is.



Anyway, here’s an example using Tor to help you visualize the process of onion routing a little better. This abstract example that takes you on the journey of a data packet through Tor’s onion routing.



  • Your computer has an onion routing client installed, which in this case is Tor. This client encrypts all data packets sent from your computer (Alice).

  • Your computer sends a data packet to Node A.

  • Node A encrypts your already-encrypted data packet and sends it to Node B.

  • Node B encrypts your already-encrypted data packet and sends it to Node C.

  • This cycle continues until the data packet reaches Node Z, which is the “exit node.”

  • Node Z decrypts all of the layers of encryption on your data packet and finally sends it off to the destination (Bob). Destination thinks your data packet originated from Node Z, not you.

  • When data is sent back to you, the chain is reversed with Node Z becoming the first node and your computer being the exit node.


As you can see, the multiple layers of encryption make it really hard to break into your data packets. It’s like a vault within a vault within a vault – even if you break into one, you still have to break into all of the rest.


How You Can Benefit From Onion Routing



One way to utilize an onion routing network is to set up your website within the network to keep it secret from prying eyes. For example, you can do this on Tor to make it so only Tor network users can view and access your site. Some people might use this opportunity for dark and nefarious purposes, but there are also legitimate reasons for hiding your site on an encrypted network.


If you’re interested, check out Chris’s tutorial on setting up an anonymous Tor site.


But for the most part, Tor is used to maintain your anonymity on the regular Internet that everyone else uses. Don’t want huge corporations like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to know everything about your browsing habits? Then set up a Tor client and start hiding your activity now. As far as I know, it’s the safest and most effective way to stay hooked up to the Internet while eliminating many privacy issues.


Conclusion


The takeaway? Just get it into your head that the Internet is not the anonymous free-for-all that it once had the reputation of being. Thanks to advancements in technology and logging methods, most actions can be traced back to the proper agent. Not to say that onion routing is foolproof, because all forms of security can be cracked, but the amount of effort needed to crack onion routing is enough to say that it’s an effective anonymizer.


If you’re a big privacy freak, you should look into the Tor network.


Image Credits: Actual Onion Via Shutterstock, People Network Via Shutterstock, Secure Website Via Shutterstock


The post What Is Onion Routing, Exactly? [MakeUseOf Explains] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



05 April 2013

5 Essential Websites For Planning A Trip To The Beach



A day at the beach is often imagined as the most relaxing vacation possible. But, like any trip, a visit to the beach isn’t always ideal. Coastal areas can have weather conditions dramatically different from those just fifty miles inland and water temperatures may be cold even when the weather is nice.


Just a few minutes of planning can ensure that your day (or week) at the beach is beautiful rather than windy, rainy or cold. Here are five websites that will help you decide when to travel.


Weather.com’s Marine Weather Page



This page is a solid weather source for people living in or visiting the United States who want to know simple, direct information about weather conditions. Just enter a location with 60 miles of the coast and you’ll be directed to not only local weather but also relevant sea conditions like temperature, wave height and tides.


You can also use this site to view the latest fishing forecasts and browse average coastal temperatures at popular locations on the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf shores. That’s handy if you’re planning a trip for next spring and want to see when ocean temperatures warm to your liking.


BuoyWeather



This website is a worldwide authority maritime conditions. Its key features is a map, powered by Google Maps, that lets users browse conditions by pinpointing an exact location rather than looking up a nearby city.


The site’s focus on sea conditions makes it particularly useful for beach-goers who own or want to rent a boat. Buoy can tell you if conditions or clear or dangerous, and it can do this for any region in world, not just North America.


Buoy’s only downside is limited information and forecasting for free users. If you’d like to see if conditions will be good tomorrow, the free site is fine. But if you want to know about next week you’ll have to go premium by paying $14.95 per month or $79.95 per year.


The CDC’s Skin Cancer Page



Excessive exposure is a serious problem for beach-goers, and while many people know that wearing sunscreen is a generally good idea, most don’t know what kind to buy, or what other items might be useful.


That’s where the CDC’s Skin Cancer Page is helpful. Despite the alarmist name, the page is less about skin cancer itself and more about ways to protect yourself from coming home with an uncomfortable, skin-damaging sunburn. For example, did you know that a wet t-shirt blocks far fewer UV ways than a dry one?


Besides offering useful information, the CDC’s page will let you build a checklist of must-have items like sunblock, sunglasses, portable shades and spare clothing. All of this will make your visit more convenient and keep you from looking like a human lobster.


Bing Travel



Many people who live near a coast will make a day trip, but there’s a good chance you’re not one of those people. That means you’ll need to plan your stay with a hotel and perhaps a flight, and for that you should probably turn to Bing Travel.


By itself, Bing Travel doesn’t offer much. What it does do, however, is act as a launchpad from which the other major travel sites can be reached. This makes comparison shopping easy, and while many travel sites do promise the best price possible or convenient side-by-side shopping, going through Bing ensures you’re receiving the most accurate (and lowest) prices. Plus, it’s tied into Bing Maps, giving you an excuse to enjoy Microsoft’s unpopular but shockingly good Google Maps competitor.


Local Tourism Sites



You’re probably not just planning a trip to “the beach”. You’re probably planning a trip to a beach, which mostly likely resides in or near a town. And that town probably has a local tourism site.


Finding a town’s tourism information is usually as simple as searching Google for “town name” tourism. Entering the state, principality or country can narrow down multiple results.


Local tourism sites can offer a lot of useful information. They’ll point out local businesses including restaurants and hotels, provide directions to the most popular beaches (and often public parks or campgrounds, if nearby) and some will even serve up printable coupons that can save you money on food and lodging.


Finally, local tourism sites can inform you of important trip information a national site would miss including local traffic problem, closures and special events. Nothing can spoil a relaxing, romantic day at the beach more quickly than a family weekend or fisherman’s conference you didn’t know about.


Conclusion


These websites will help you make your trip to the beach as picture-perfect as possible. Do you know of any other helpful resources worth checking out? Let us know in the comments.


Image Credits: Joe Shlabotnik, City of Newport Oregon


The post 5 Essential Websites For Planning A Trip To The Beach appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Nokia Music App For Windows 8



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Smartphone users who own Windows Phone powered devices have been enjoying the Nokia Music service for a while now with the help of official Nokia Music app. The premium music service from Nokia can now be enjoyed on your Windows 8 as well using Nokia Music app. Nokia just announced that Nokia Music app will [...]

Top 144 Do-follow Forums



Participating in forums relevant to your niche is one of the best ways to get relevant and targeted traffic to your sites and blogs. Internet forums are so widely used and have thousands of members that ask questions and engage in discussions and that large audience can turn into targeted traffic that can lead to lots of sales and subscribers.



Read More: Fully automated SEO solutions are tempting but also very risky!



If you have not utilized the power of forums in your Internet Marketing endeavors that you are really missing out.


Do-follow forums list




Plus the fact that any good Internet marketing strategy involves a diverse backlink portfolio, so getting links from different IP's and domains that are related to your site is the best way to higher SERP ranks, and forum sig links are decent places to get some links.



Read More: 5 SEO tips for your online store





Posting in do-follow forums can give you a nice backlink for link building and search engine optimization. The do-follow forum link comes from a link you set in the signature option of your profile, referred to as a sig link. This sig link appears at the bottom of your forum posts. So, every time you post that's a backlink! Remember to use a good anchor text for SEO but also make sure it is eye catching for the forum audience to get the click!



Read More: Submissions to the search engines in 2013



Make sure to read the TOS and Posting Rules to make sure that you will not get banned. Also check out all the topics available in the forum many of them have a section for website promotion, guides, articles and how-to where you can refer to your sites within the post itself. Make sure to sound like an expert (no typos) this can bring lots of traffic!



Read More: 10 ways to promote your blog and its posts



Getting targeted traffic from forum sites is one way to make money online right away, while waiting for SEO to take affect and SERP ranks for the organic traffic. Since most of the forum traffic is highly targeted they are much more likely to buy.


Do-Follow Forums with PR by Niche


Webmaster/SEO/Internet Marketing Do-Follow Forums

http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/ - PR7

http://forums.digitalpoint.com/ - PR7 - Post requirement prior to sig link

http://forums.seochat.com/ - PR6

http://www.daniweb.com/forums/ - PR6

http://www.zymic.com/forum/ - PR6

http://www.googlecommunity.com/forum/ - PR5

http://www.smallbusinessforums.org/ - PR5

http://forums.site-reference.com/ - PR4

http://www.websitebabble.com/ - PR4

http://affiliate-marketing-forums.5staraffiliateprograms.com/ - PR4

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.dreamteammoney.com/ - PR4

http://www.wickedfire.com/ - PR4

http://www.v7n.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.webdigity.com/ - PR4

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.ewealth.com/ - PR4

http://forums.seo.com/ - PR4

http://www.webmasterforums.com/ - PR3

http://siteownersforums.com/ - PR3

http://www.internetmarketingforums.net/ - PR3

http://www.webmasterdesk.org/ - PR3

http://www.internetmarketingforums.net/ - PR3

http://bbs.adultwebmasterinfo.com/ - PR3

http://www.im4newbies.com/forum/ - PR3

http://www.webmasterize.com/ - PR3

http://www.webworkshop.net/seoforum/index.php - PR3

http://w3seo.org/ - PR3

http://forums.seochat.com/ - PR3 - Member for 30 days before sig link

http://www.affiliateseeking.com/forums/ - PR3

http://www.webmaster-forum.net/ - PR3

http://www.webmasterforumsonline.com/ - PR3

http://allcoolforum.com/ - PR2

http://www.seorefugee.com/forums/ - PR2

http://9mb.com/ - PR2

http://www.searchbliss.com/forum/ - PR2

http://www.decentdiscussions.com/ - PR1

http://www.inboundlinksforum.com/ - PR1

http://www.directoryjunction.com/forums/ - PR0

http://www.webmastershelp.com/ - PR0

http://www.frogengine.com/forum/ - PR0

http://www.capitaltheory.com/ - PR0

http://www.gptboycott.com/forum/ - PR0

http://www.thegreennation.com/forums/ - PR0

DNForum.com - All about domains – PR4




International Webmaster/SEO Do-Follow Forums

Australia - http://www.australianwebmaster.com/ - PR3

IRISH - http://www.irishwebmasterforum.com/ - PR3

UK - http://www.davidcastle.org/BB/ - PR2

Phillipines - http://forums.seo.ph/ - PR0


Blogging Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.feedburner.com/ - PR7 - All Feeds Topics

http://forum.newsgator.com/ - PR6

http://www.feedforall.com/forum/ - PR5 - "Favorite RSS Feeds" thread to promote your blogs

http://www.bloggerforum.com/ - PR5

http://www.bloggertalk.com/ - PR5

http://www.bloggeries.com/forum/ - PR4 - Has a Show of Your Blog Thread!

http://www.blogtrafficschool.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.wtricks.com/ - PR0

http://www.blogodirectory.com/forum/index.php

http://www.rss-forum.de/ - PR7 - German Based Forum


Web Design/Development/Code/Photoshop Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.mysql.com/ - PR7

http://www.zymic.com/forum/ - PR6

http://developers.evrsoft.com/forum/ - PR6

http://www.htmlforums.com/ - PR5

http://www.geekpoint.net/ - PR5

http://www.talkfreelance.com/ - PR4

http://www.geekvillage.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.talk-mania.com/ - PR3

http://www.webmastershelp.com/ - PR0

http://www.adobe.com/support/forums/?ogn=EN_US-gntray_comm_forums - PR9 - Adobe and Flash topics


Electronics/Gadgets/Computers/Digital Hardware/Software/iPhone/Tech/IT Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.cnet.com/ - PR7

http://forums.amd.com/ - PR7

http://forums.microsoft.com/ - PR6 - choose Country and Forum Topic

http://forums.afterdawn.com/ - PR5 - Digital Media/DVD, Digital Cameras etc...No-Follow but allow sig link and very high traffic

http://www.aqua-soft.org/board/ - PR5

http://softwarecommunity.intel.com/isn/Community/en-us/Forums/ - PR5

http://forums.windowsforum.org/ - PR4

http://forums.xandros.com/ - PR4

http://forums.oracle.com/forums/categoryHome.jspa?categoryID=84 - Various PR

http://www.cultofiphone.org/forums/ - PR0

http://www.daniweb.com/forums/ - Various PR


Humor

http://www.funnyforum.org/ - PR0


Laptop/Notebooks Do-Follow Forums

http://forum.notebookreview.com/ - PR5

http://www.techsupportforum.com/ - PR5 - I think it's no-follow but has mass traffic

http://www.notebookforums.com/ - PR4 - Not sure if do-follow but allows sig link and has mass traffic and bonuses for posting


Video Gaming/Gaming Do-Follow Forums

http://www.gamespot.com/forums/index.html - PR8

http://www.bungie.net/Forums/default.aspx - PR8

http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/index.html?sid=1 - PR5

http://mygamebuilder.com/forum/ - PR3 - Has a special section for link dropping

http://forums.gentoo.org/ - PR0


Books Do-Follow Forums

http://www.bookforum.com/ - PR7

http://forums.onlinebookclub.org/ - PR3


VOIP Do-Follow Forums

http://forum.skype.com/ - PR6


Wedding/Bridal Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.onewed.com/ - PR4 - Sig link allowed after probation period and it's no-follow, but big traffic.

http://www.bunchobrides.com/ - PR2 - Not sure if do-follow, but lots of traffic


Tatoo/Body Art/Piercing

http://forum.tattootattoo.info/ - PR2


Work at Home Moms/WHAM Do-Follow Forums

http://www.wahm.com/forum/ - PR4


Science Do-Follow Forums

http://amsci-forum.amsci.org/archives/American-Scientist-Open-Access-Forum.html - PR7


Forum Software Do-Follow Forums

http://bbpress.org/forums/ - PR7


Owners and Admin of Online Communities Do-Follow Forums

http://www.theadminzone.com/forums/ - PR5


Math Do-Follow Forum

http://mathforum.org/ - PR8


Comics Do-Follow Forum

http://forums.comicbookresources.com/ - PR5


Photo Related Do-Follow Forums

http://www.flickr.com/help/forum/en-us/ - PR8

http://forums.photobucket.com/ - PR7

http://opensourcephoto.net/forum/ - PR3

http://forum.hot4s.com.au/ - PR3 (Australia)


Home and Garden Do-Follow Forums

http://www.gardenstew.com/ - PR5 - Blog link below each post and parses latest posts

http://www.blossomswap.com/garden-forums/ - PR4 - Parses latest posts near your username in forum posts

http://www.gardenweb.com/ - PR4 - Lots of Traffic!

http://www.homegardenguides.com/garden-forum/ - PR2


Education/Schools Do-Follow Forums

http://chronicle.com/forums/ - PR8


MIDI/Music Mixing/Musicians/Entertainment Do-Follow Forums

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums/ - PR5

http://www.votefortheworst.com/forum/ - PR4 - American Idol Vote

http://www.ableton.com/forum/ - PR3

http://forum.hot4s.com.au/ - PR3 - Australia based


My Space Forum

http://forums.myspace.com/s/4.aspx?fuseaction=forums.viewsubforum = PR6


Credit Cards/Banking/Money/Investment/Finance Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.wsj.com/ - PR6

http://paymentprocessing.cc/ - PR6

http://thehyipforum.com/ - PR4

http://www.diggsamachar.com/adrforum/ - PR2


Cellular/Mobile/SMS Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.cnet.com/ - PR7

http://cellphoneforums.net/ - PR5 - No-follow but lots of traffic

http://www.cellphonehacks.com/ - PR3


Dogs/Pets Do-Follow Forums

http://www.i-love-dogs.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.globalpaw.com/forum/ - PR4 - No follow but great traffic

http://www.chazhound.com/forums/ - PR4


Health/Vitamins/Weight Loss Do-Follow Forums

http://www.publichealthforums.com/ - PR3


Travel Do-Follow Forums

http://www.travelforum.org/ - PR4

http://forums.travel.com/ - PR4

http://forums.touristclick.com/ - PR3


Movies/Video Do-Follow Forums

http://forums.metacafe.com/ - PR6

http://www.movie-list.com/forum/ - PR5


Sports Do-Follow Forums

http://addictsports.com/baseball/ - PR4

http://www.baseballtalkpro.com/forum/ - PR2


Pagan/Witchcraft/Herbology Do-Follow Forums

http://www.paganforum.com/ - PR3


Cooking/Chefs/Food Do-Follow Forums

http://www.cheftalk.com/forums/ - PR4

http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/ - PR3

http://www.cookingjunkies.com/- PR3

http://www.cookingforums.net/ - PR2


Hosting/Web Sales/Domains/Design Do-Follow Forums

http://www.freehostforum.com/ - PR3


Real Estate Do-Follow Forums

http://www.realestateforum.com/ - PR3


Satellite TV/Dish Do-Follow Forums

http://dishnews.medianetwork.co.in/yabb2/YaBB.pl - PR2


Joomla Do-Follow Forum

http://forum.joomla.org/ - PR8


Horses Do-Follow Forums

For my friend Glenda

http://forums.delphiforums.com/dreamhorse


Various Topics

http://forums.delphiforums.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=index&webtag=delphicomz




If you guys know of any do-follow forums I missed please leave links in comments or contact me and I will add it to the list.



Read More: Search Engine Optimization Articles




Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? [We Ask You]



It’s now April, which means the one day of the year which celebrates jokers, pranksters, and trolls is over for another 12 months. I am of course referring to April Fools’ Day, an invented holiday that falls on April 1 each year. Some people love it, others hate it; there is very little middle ground.


In the real world most people don’t bother playing tricks on people for April Fools’, a fact we should all be grateful for. But the Web is a whole new ball game. And it seems to be getting worse. As someone who works online and who needs to be able to sort the fake news from the real news, I notice these things to the nth degree, but is it the same for everyone? And if so, does it bother you at all? This topic forms the basis for this week’s We Ask You discussion.


This Week’s Question…


We want to know, Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? It’s a simple question, but one which is likely to prompt passionate opinions on both sides. This probably only applies to those who are addicted to the Internet, because the rest of the population likely just takes a break from the Internet for this one day of the year. At least.


Every April Fools’ Day is the same, with Google playing numerous pranks on the public across its many services. Other companies tend to also get involved, though to a lesser degree. This year saw the likes of Sony, Nokia, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix, Roku, Toshiba, Virgin, Samsung, and Soundcloud all making an effort.



Some April Fools’ Day gags are easy to spot and shared across the InterWebs by eagle-eyed people. But others are either much more difficult to figure out or don’t get enough attention to be flagged as mere jokes. Here are 8 April Fools’ Day pranks you may have missed this year, but are they entertaining or just annoying?


Do you appreciate these efforts by companies both big and small to troll their users? Or does it instead wind you up to the point that you’d forego using the product or service that the prank is connected to? Do you think we should all embrace April Fools’ Day online? Or rally against it until the culprits are forced to cease and desist?


Drawing Conclusions


All comments will be digested to form conclusions in a follow-up post next week where we will detail what You Told Us. One reader will be chosen for the coveted Comment Of The Week, getting their name up in lights, the respect of other readers, and 150 MakeUseOf points to use for MakeUseOf Rewards. What more motivation than that do you need to respond?


We Ask You is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. The questions asked are usually open-ended and likely to necessitate a discussion. Some are opinion-based, while others see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps to fellow MakeUseOf Readers. This column is nothing without you, as MakeUseOf is nothing without you.


Image Credit: Sean MacEntee


The post Do You Love Or Hate April Fools’ Day Online? [We Ask You] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Cut The Crap, Facebook – Give Me What I Want To Read



Every since its launch, we’ve seen Facebook change. And change. Again, and again, and again. While many changes are actually for the best, there’s one thing these updates never fails to add to our news feed: more clutter. There’s also something our ever-growing list of friends never fails to bring to our news feed: even more clutter. Between Facebook’s ads, sponsored posts, and upcoming “personalized” news feed, and your friends’ posts about politics, religion, babies, cats, and weddings, it’s getting harder and harder to see the things that really matter.


Are you ready to change that? Don’t get too excited, I haven’t found a magic way to re-design your Facebook feed according to your wildest dreams, but there are ways and tools that can help you focus on what you’re really interested in, while doing away with noise, boring posts, uninteresting people you’re not sure why you ever friended, and unnecessary announcements. Whether you’re only interested in links, in photos, or in a specific group of people, there’s a way to focus your updates on what you want to see.


Facebook’s Built-In Options


facebook-declutter


There are several ways to use Facebook’s built-in options to de-clutter your news feed. These include changing the way your feed is sorted, manually hiding posts you don’t like seeing as you stumble upon them, customizing which friends appear on your news feed and what kinds of updates you’re seeing from them, and creating Facebook lists that can help you curate your news feed according to how much you care.


None of these things is complicated, but it does take some patience to go through your settings and fix things up. If you’re up for it, head over to Tina’s post about managing your Facebook news feed, and learn exactly who you can perform each of these actions.


Unwhatever.me [Chrome]


Unwhatever.me is only one of nine different extensions that can help you clean up your news feed easily. The extensions are available for Chrome only, which is a shame, but do a swift job of purging certain keywords out of your Facebook life.


unwhatever.me


After installing the extension, specify the keywords you want to filter out in the extension’s options, and watch the magic at work. You can also set up a photo feed to replace the posts that get filtered out. The extension comes with an Instagram feed already built it (grumpy cat), but you can easily change the tag to show pictures you’d like. If you change your mind and what to see a hidden post, click “undo” to view it.


unwhatever.me[15]


If you’re too lazy to specify your own keywords, sibling extensions such as Unbaby.me, Unpolitic.me, Unfoodpic.me, and Unwedding.me can you help you get rid of common annoying subjects you may not care about. All extensions are available for Chrome, and can be downloaded from the Unwhatever.me page.


Social Fixer


Social Fixer is a Facebook-cleaning old timer, and can be used for much more than simple news feed filtering. The extension is available for any browser you can think of, besides Internet Explorer, and adds various tweaks and features to Facebook.


social-fixer-


One of the features Social Fixer offers is filtering. This isn’t as simple as Unwhatever.me, but if you’re willing to spend a few minutes on tweaking it, you can set up your news feed to really show only the things you’re interested in. You can filter our certain people, apps, keywords, etc., and set up different actions for your filters.


You can use Social Fixer to create different tabs for your news feed, and filter your content into those tabs. You can then ignore certain tabs for as long as you want, and explore them only when you feel like it.


Learn more about setting up Social Fixer and creating filters.


The New New New News Feed


Facebook’s news feed keeps changing, and the latest iteration will offer another built-in way to filter your news feed. Want to see only photos? No problem. Only music-related updates? There’s a feed for that. As it looks right now, there’s not going to be a way to create actual personalized news feeds, except for the already-existing lists.


new-news-feed-


Will the new news feed help silence the news feed noise, or increase it? That remains to be seen, but you can go a long way to getting a de-cluttered and focuses feed even without it.


Know of other ways to see only what you care about on Facebook? Share in the comments!


Image Credit: Funnel image via Shutterstock


The post Cut The Crap, Facebook – Give Me What I Want To Read appeared first on MakeUseOf.



Desktop Notifications for Google Voice



Some readers of this blog spotted a new feature of the Google Voice extension for Chrome: desktop notifications. I didn't notice it, since Google Voice can't be used outside US.



"I've recently started getting notifications from the Chrome Google Voice extension every time I receive a SMS to my GV number. Of particular interest is the icon, which looks like an amalgamation of communications services' icons. Is it a harbinger of the new unified messaging service rumored to be on the way?" says Alec, a read of this blog.






Apparently, Google works on a new product called Babel that integrates Google Talk, Gmail Chat, Google+ Hangouts, Google+ Messenger. "You'll get a seamless messenger experience across Android, iOS, Chrome, Google+ and Gmail. From what we have seen, there is no mention of Google Voice or other services outside of the five we just mentioned, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't be there at some point. As of now, this is being tested internally as a cross-platform service," reports Droid Life.



{ Thanks, Alec and Evan. }


Improved Gmail Search Suggestions



A recent post from Gmail's Google+ page mentioned 2 new Gmail search features: enhanced contact suggestions with thumbnails and suggestions from your Gmail search history.



"If you've searched your email for 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' or other lengthy phrases, it just got easier to find what you're looking for. Autocomplete predictions in Gmail may now include your past Gmail searches. Past searches as well as the new contact thumbnails shown below are rolling out to all Gmail users globally, including Google Apps for Business customers, over the next few days."






Are contact thumbnails in Gmail search a new feature? Not if you've previously joined the Gmail Field Trail, which adds many other cool features that integrate Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Drive and Google Search.


Updated Google Search Interface for Tablets



Google updated the search interface for tablets to make it look more like the desktop interface. There's now a "search tools" button that replaces the wrench button, "more" is a regular menu and the icons for specialized search engines have been removed.



Here's the new interface:









... and here's the old one (screenshot from October 2011, when Google tested this interface):






This is a much more recent screenshot:






04 April 2013

5 Web Resources For New Chromebook Owners



chromebook resourcesThe Chromebook is a form factor that splits opinion, as we previously discovered when we asked you what you thought of the netbook-like devices from Google. However, the Chromebook isn’t going away anytime soon, with Google expanding the number of markets it’s selling Chromebooks in.


We’ve previously answered the question, What is a Chromebook? We’ve also given away a Samsung Series 3 Chromebook to one lucky reader, with our own Danny Stieben giving the device a positive review. Unfortunately all of this awesome can get a new Chromebook owner only so far, at which point they’ll undoubtedly turn to the Web for additional help and advice.


What follows are Web resources that could prove invaluable to any Chromebook owner struggling to get to grips with their new computer. It isn’t that the Linux-based Chrome OS is difficult to master – in fact it’s incredibly simple – but it takes some getting used to if you’ve moved across from Windows or Mac OS X.


Google Support


chromebook resources


Your first port of call should be the official Google support pages related to Chromebooks and Chrome OS. These pages cover all of the basics, explaining what Chrome OS is and how to initially set it up to get online and start using your new device.


Chrome OS is fairly intuitive to use, but it’s the slight differences between this and other operating systems that is most likely to cause the occasional headache. For those times when you get stuck and cannot easily find a solution to your problem online (perhaps at MakeUseOf Answers) there are links to the hardware manufacturers and the chance to contact a Chrome Ninja.


Chromebook Central


google chromebook resources


Chromebook Central is a forum for Chromebook owners built in Google Groups (unless and until it gets culled like Google Reader). This is the official community for those seeking help, advice, tips, and tricks related to the Chromebook, Chromebox, and Chrome OS.


This official stature means those running the site, moderating the group, and answering the questions really know their stuff. As usual with forums, it’s often a good idea to search for older entries related to an issue you’re having rather than blindly asking the question again. Thankfully Google is rather good at searching.


Chromebook Forum


google chromebook resources


Chromebook Forum is, as the name suggests, another forum dedicated to all things Chromebook. This is laid out in the more traditional bulletin board style and has more of a community feel to it where people discuss things rather than request, and get granted, an answer to an issue they’ve encountered.


There are sections dedicated to emerging news about Chrome OS, each of the models (including the Chromebook Pixel), technical help, an off-topic lounge, and even a marketplace for those seeking to buy or sell a Chrome device. You could, and likely will, spend several hours browsing the forum for topics of interest. Of which there are many.


OMG! Chrome!


google chromebook resources


OMG! Chrome! is a great site covering all things Chrome, as the name may have tipped you off. Being all things Chrome means it covers more than just Chromebooks, with the Web browser, extensions, and apps all included as well. But as the Chromebook relies on the Chrome Web browser so heavily that only adds to its appeal.


There is a section dedicated to Chromebook News, but digging deeper into the other categories is how new and existing Chromebook owners will wring worth from this site. How-to guides, Web app news, and extension reviews are all likely to appeal to regular MakeUseOf readers.


Chrome Story


chromebook resources


Chrome Story is a site very much in the same mold as OMG! Chrome! It’s wholly dedicated to all things Chrome, including the hardware that is powered by Google. With a minimalist look that eschews fancy graphics in favor of useful information, Chrome Story oozes style, though the typos and grammar issues are slightly off-putting. But then I am a grammar Nazi.


This is a site with Chromebook resources that deserves bookmarking as it’s updated on a daily basis. If a piece of news breaks that’s in any way related to Chrome (in all its various guises) then Chrome Story will have covered it. There are also how-to guides, hacks and tips, and a section dedicated to ‘Fun Stuff‘ for those who don’t take life too seriously.


Conclusions


If you’ve read this far then I suspect you own a Chromebook, perhaps as a secondary computer. If so then feel free to share other Web resources you’ve discovered that are designed to assist Chromebook owners learn Chrome OS inside and out. The five listed here are, after all, just a soupcon of what’s available.


The comments section below is also open to non-Chromebook owners who have found themselves reading this article by accident. Are you considering purchasing a Chromebook in the near future? If so, what one factor has turned you on to the fledgling Google form factor?


The post 5 Web Resources For New Chromebook Owners appeared first on MakeUseOf.



How To Install Deskthemepack File In Windows 7



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Desktop themes were first introduced with Windows 7 operating system and are part of Windows 7’s successor, Windows 8 as well. Computer users who have upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 8 probably aware of the panoramic desktop themes support as well. If you ever tried to install Windows 8’s panoramic themes in Windows 7, [...]

Amazon Brings File Syncing To Its Cloud Drive With A New Desktop Application [Updates]



Amazon is throwing its hat all the way in the ring of the battle for cloud storage supremacy with the introduction of desktop syncing for its Amazon Cloud Drive service. This puts it at a competitive level with other popular services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft SkyDrive. Prior to this update, the service was only available using the Web interface, which limited its use compared to the competition.


The new desktop application is now available for Windows and OS X, leaving Linux out in the cold on this one, at least for now. Amazon’s Cloud Drive desktop app is free to download, but you’re going to have to install Java in order to run the application. The Windows version comes bundled with Java, and Mac users will receive a prompt to install Java if they have not already done so.


Just like Dropbox, the app creates a new folder on your drive to which you can copy the files you would like stored in the cloud. Once there, you will have access to those files through any computer on which the app is installed, or through Amazon’s Web interface.



Sadly, Amazon has not launched mobile versions of the app (other than the Android photo syncing app), and focuses most of the functionality on its desktop app. This certainly limits the use of Amazon’s service, since many users will be looking to take their files with them on the road, and means that Amazon is still playing catch-up with Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive, all of which offer mobile applications for various operating systems.


Amazon is offering 5GB of storage for free, and the price for adding more data is reasonable when compared to the competition, which could make Amazon’s new Cloud Drive app a worthy alternative to the existing options.


Will you try Amazon’s new app? Does it bring something new to the cloud storage game?


Source: Web Monkey


The post Amazon Brings File Syncing To Its Cloud Drive With A New Desktop Application [Updates] appeared first on MakeUseOf.



What is website hosting?



The web hosting is provided by a specialized service provider (the host) that makes the site available to users.


Role of the host:




  • The host provides the connection via high-speed servers that are installed appropriate software (HTTP server, eg Apache)



  • The host secure servers.



  • The host provides users bandwidths required.



what is web hosting


Two types of web hosting: Shared or Dedicated


The shared hosting

Each server hosts multiple sites. The main advantage of this website hosting: shared hosting is appropriate in terms of cost and is often offered by providers creating pack, turnkey website.


Dedicated hosting

A single server hosting a site. The main advantage of this website hosting is that it meets the requirements of sites with large requirements of bandwidth, web space, etc.. The site administrator retains control and can manage it as he wishes. The host remains owner of the server. With dedicated hosting, several types of services are offered:




  • Dedicated Hosting "turnkey" or managed: hosting services manage the system (useful if you have no technical skills internally).



  • Virtual dedicated hosting: the technical division of the physical server, virtual server, uses only part of the resources of the physical machine.



Price of website hosting


It is not easy to give indicative prices for hosting a website. However, three criteria determine the price:




  • disk space,



  • bandwidth (which determines the number of simultaneous connections, depending on weight of the site - a site with the video requires much more bandwidth than plain text website)



  • computing power (CPU power).



Based on these criteria, the site hosting can cost a few dollars per month to very high amounts.