15 June 2013

Cool Websites and Tools [June 14th 2013]



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Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here....

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Read full post: Cool Websites and Tools [June 14th 2013]



So You Lost Your Best Friend? These Websites Can Help Locate Your Lost Pet



Feature Image

Having a pet, specifically a dog or a cat, can bring so much joy in your life. Something soft that you can cuddle with. Something you can share your thoughts with. Something that will love you back no matter what. But what happens when your best friend gets lost or runs away?What can you do to get them back as quickly as possible?

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Read full post: So You Lost Your Best Friend? These Websites Can Help Locate Your Lost Pet



Get More Out Of Pocket With These 6 Tips To Enhance Your Reading Experience



pocket.jpg

While Pocket is simple and easy-to-use, there are a few ways you can make the experience of using the service even better. Whether it's finding interesting ways to save content to your Pocket account, or to share that content with others, or even ways that improve how you can consume that content through Pocket, we've got you covered.

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IFTTT Introduces Support For Gmail Attachments [Updates]



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The automation giant IFTTT has just announced that their users can now make their Gmail automations much more powerful and effective by deciding how their email attachments are handled. Now included in the automation list is the ability to have your attachments automatically saved to cloud storage, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, Skydrive, Box, and Evernote. One recipe will even automate sending attachments to a "backup Gmail account".

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Save Yourself The Lines And Buy Great Digital Gifts With These Services



Digital-gifts-300x300

If a friend's big event has crept up on you, you may have just found yourself in the market for buying a last-minute digital gift, which you know will arrive in time for their celebrations. But what present will you get? And how? These days, buying virtual gifts for your friends and family is actually more common than you might think.

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Read full post: Save Yourself The Lines And Buy Great Digital Gifts With These Services



Google No Longer Mentions Data Sources



There's an entertaining video that shows 2 Google employees (Mike LeBeau and Amanda Rosenberg) finding answers to various questions using Google Glass.







One of the questions is: "who sings that song where the guy goes 'How Bizarre'?" Google Glass provides the right answer (OMC) and lists a few sites that mention this answer. I asked a similar question using the mobile Google Search app and Google displayed the following message below the answer: "mentioned in results below".






It's nice to see that Google understands verbose questions. Unfortunately, Google no longer mentions the sources that provide the answer. For example, a query like [everest height] used to return an answer, followed by a list of sources.






Here's how it looks today, after the upgrade to the Knowledge Graph:






Google extracts facts from various web pages, so listing some of the sources is appropriate and helps users find reputable sources of information. If the answer is wrong or it's no longer accurate, Google can always point to the sources. As Wikipedia says, "verifiability means that people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source".



Google mentions that the "Knowledge Graph isn't just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It's also augmented at a much larger scale because we're focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it's tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web."


14 June 2013

Twitter Silently Opens Up Its Analytics Service To Everyone, For Free [Updates]



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Without making a big deal about it, Twitter has silently opened its analytics services to the general public, letting any Twitter user view detailed account statistics for free. The tool is not perfect yet, which might be the reason for the silent launch, but anyone at all can give it a try and see what information can be gained from it.

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How to Extract Email Addresses from your Gmail Folders



Learn how to extract unique email addresses from your Gmail mailbox and export them as CSV files with the help of a simple Google Script.



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Digital Inspiration @labnol This story, How to Extract Email Addresses from your Gmail Folders, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 14/06/2013 under GMail, Internet.



Bing Maps Adds 270 Terabytes Of Bird’s Eye Imagery And Venue Maps Of Landmark Locations [Updates]



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Bing Maps made three key changes in a single sweep that's sure to make even die-hard Google Maps users take a second look. Bing updated its maps with the largest collection of "Bird’s Eye Imagery" locations; new detailed "Venue Maps"; and a "Report a Problem" feature to gather feedback from its users.

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Read full post: Bing Maps Adds 270 Terabytes Of Bird’s Eye Imagery And Venue Maps Of Landmark Locations [Updates]



How to Use Twitter as a Gmail Notifier



You can use Twitter as a Gmail notifier with Google Script. You can also receive SMS text alerts for new email messages on your mobile phone via Twitter.



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Digital Inspiration @labnol This story, How to Use Twitter as a Gmail Notifier, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 13/06/2013 under GMail, Sms, Twitter, Internet.



Cool Websites and Tools [June 13th 2013]



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Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here....

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Read full post: Cool Websites and Tools [June 13th 2013]



Reddit Upgrades Multi-Reddits For A More Customized Experience [Updates]



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The developers of Reddit announced on Friday that it will effectively introduce a new way of presenting its already-existing "multi-reddits". Users will soon be able to streamline the process of creating multi-reddits and be able to share them using unique URLs.

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The Web Hidden On The Web – FreeNet



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Last week it was officially announced that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has been mining data from cellular service provider, Verizon. People were, and are, freaking out! How could the government do such a thing? What kind of totalitarian state are we really in?

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Read full post: The Web Hidden On The Web – FreeNet



Google Stats



Sometimes it's a good idea to look at stats and see how many people use Google's products. Here are some official stats for the most important Google services and software:



Google Search - 1 billion users (September 2010), 100 billion searches per month (August 2012)



Google Maps - 1 billion monthly active users (June 2012)



YouTube - 1 billion unique users every month (March 2013)



Android - 900 million activations (May 2013)



Chrome - 750 million active users (May 2013)



Gmail - 425 million active users (June 2012)



Google Translate - 200 million monthly active users on translate.google.com (April 2012)



Google+ - 190 million active users in the stream, 390 million active users across Google (May 2013)



As you can see, there are at least 3 Google services that have more than 1 billion users: Search, Maps and YouTube. The number of Android activations is higher than the number of active users, since some of the devices are no longer used and there are users that have multiple Android devices.


Gramps Lets You Print Free Customised Family Tree Charts [Cross-Platform]




At some point in your life, you've probably considered looking into your family tree and making sense of it all. If you're the technical guru of the family, you've possibly also considered how you might digitise all the information your family has collected in order to make a neat-looking family tree to pass around to all the relatives. Gramps is free, open-source family tree making software which makes this part of the process is easy and completely free. Today we'll focus on building the best family tree printouts for you.

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Read full post: Gramps Lets You Print Free Customised Family Tree Charts [Cross-Platform]



Gramps Lets You Print Free Customised Family Tree Charts [Cross-Platform]




At some point in your life, you've probably considered looking into your family tree and making sense of it all. If you're the technical guru of the family, you've possibly also considered how you might digitise all the information your family has collected in order to make a neat-looking family tree to pass around to all the relatives. Gramps is free, open-source family tree making software which makes this part of the process is easy and completely free. Today we'll focus on building the best family tree printouts for you.

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Read full post: Gramps Lets You Print Free Customised Family Tree Charts [Cross-Platform]



I Bet You Didn’t Know Your Webcam Could Do This! 5 Tips To Help You Use Its Full Potential



webcam

Are you the kind of person that covers their webcam with a sticker, so nobody can spy on them? Almost every device now is equipped with at least one camera. They make virtual meetings a little more personal. You can visually interact with the other person, read facial expressions, and thus better understand how they feel. This subtle information adds a lot of depth to conversations. But webcams can do a lot more than enhance virtual conversations. Few of us use their full potential for fun, convenience, and safety.

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Read full post: I Bet You Didn’t Know Your Webcam Could Do This! 5 Tips To Help You Use Its Full Potential



I Bet You Didn’t Know Your Webcam Could Do This! 5 Tips To Help You Use Its Full Potential



webcam

Are you the kind of person that covers their webcam with a sticker, so nobody can spy on them? Almost every device now is equipped with at least one camera. They make virtual meetings a little more personal. You can visually interact with the other person, read facial expressions, and thus better understand how they feel. This subtle information adds a lot of depth to conversations. But webcams can do a lot more than enhance virtual conversations. Few of us use their full potential for fun, convenience, and safety.

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Read full post: I Bet You Didn’t Know Your Webcam Could Do This! 5 Tips To Help You Use Its Full Potential



Google's Calorie Counter, Not Just for Voice Search



When Google started to answer questions about nutrition, I wondered why the new feature was limited to voice search. Sure, you could use it in Android, iOS and even in Chrome for desktop, but why not show the same results in the regular search interface?



Now you can search for [how many calories are in popcorn?], [steak calories], [how much vitamin a is in a carrot?] and many other similar queries from any browser. Just type the query and you'll get an interactive info card and a long list of nutrition facts.






Chrome Frame Discontinued



Chrome Frame is a clever plugin for Internet Explorer that loads pages using Chrome's rendering engine if those pages include some code that requests this. It was released back in 2009, a few months after Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 8. Back then, Internet Explorer was the most popular browser, but it didn't include many HTML5 features and it was pretty slow.



"With Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster Javascript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions," explained Google back then.



Now Chrome is the most popular browser, Internet Explorer 9 and 10 added a lot of HTML5 features, while the outdated IE versions have a declining market share. Chrome Frame is no longer that useful and Google decided to discontinue it and "cease support and updates for the product in January 2014".



Chrome Frame was mostly used by companies. Google suggests IT administrators to deploy Chrome for Business and use the Legacy Browser Support extension to quickly switch to Internet Explorer for the older websites and apps that require IE. Another option is to keep using Chrome Frame even after January 2004 because it will continue to work.



Here's the video that introduced Chrome Frame:






And here are some browser market share stats from StatCounter:


































StatCounter - desktop stats


IE


Chrome


Firefox


Safari


March 2009


62.52%


1.73%


29.40%


2.73%


May 2013


27.72%


41.38%


19.76%


7.96%




{ Thanks, Sterling. }


13 June 2013

5 Ways to Blog On The Go with Android



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While the blogging craze has passed us, there are still plenty of good reasons to start a blog, whether it be to keep a personal record of your life, update your family, or keep your fans informed. There are a large number of different ways for you to get started with blogging, all of which are completely free and easy to use. Best of all, you can access many of these services right from your Android device via their respective apps. Here are five of the top blogging apps you can get on Android.

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How Google's Image Recognition Works



Just like Google Drive, Google+ Photos uses some amazing image recognition technology to make photos searchable, even if they don't have captions or useful filenames. "This is powered by computer vision and machine learning technology, which uses the visual content of an image to generate searchable tags for photos combined with other sources like text tags and EXIF metadata to enable search across thousands of concepts like a flower, food, car, jet ski, or turtle," explains Google.



Google acquired DNNresearch, a start-up created by Professor Geoffrey Hinton and two of his graduate students at the University of Toronto. They built "a system which used deep learning and convolutional neural networks and easily beat out more traditional approaches in the ImageNet computer vision competition designed to test image understanding." Google built and trained similar large-scale models and found that this approach doubles the average precision, compared to other object recognition methods. "We took cutting edge research straight out of an academic research lab and launched it, in just a little over six months," says Chuck Rosenberg, from the Google Image Search Team.



The paper, titled "ImageNet Classification with Deep Convolutional Neural Networks" [PDF], explains how this works. It uses supervised learning, 7 hidden weight layers and feature extractors learned from the data. "Our neural net has 60 million real-valued parameters and 650,000 neurons. It overfits a lot. Therefore we train on 224x224 patches extracted randomly from 256x256 images, and also their horizontal reflections."






Google says that the publicly available photo search feature recognizes 1100 tags. "We came up with a set of about 2000 visual classes based on the most popular labels on Google+ Photos and which also seemed to have a visual component, that a human could recognize visually. In contrast, the ImageNet competition has 1000 classes. As in ImageNet, the classes were not text strings, but are entities, in our case we use Freebase entities which form the basis of the Knowledge Graph used in Google search. An entity is a way to uniquely identify something in a language-independent way. (...) Since we wanted to provide only high precision labels, we also refined the classes from our initial set of 2000 to the most precise 1100 classes for our launch."



Some other examples of classes that are recognized: car, dance, kiss, meal, hibiscus, dhalia, sunsets, polar bear, grizzly bear. The system recognizes both generic visual concepts and specific objects. "Unlike other systems we experimented with, the errors which we observed often seemed quite reasonable to people. The mistakes were the type that a person might make - confusing things that look similar."


Google's Mobile Quick View Missing



Back in April, Google launched a cool feature for mobile search that loaded Wikipedia articles faster. Quick View loaded pages in less than 100 milliseconds from Google's servers thanks to a few tricks.



For some reason, the experimental feature is no longer available. The blue button is missing and Wikipedia articles are loaded just like any other search results. Maybe it's a temporary issue.






The Quick View sign-up form is still available. "Mobile quick view is an experimental new project that makes websites appear almost instantly (around 100 milliseconds) after you click on a search result. More and more people are searching on the mobile web, and we will continue to work together with webmasters on making it faster and better. Sign up below to get updates about participating in the mobile quick view field trial," suggests Google.