20 July 2013

Bing Makes Search Easier With Smarter Auto Suggest Features [Updates]



Web Search

Bing Search just got a big improvement with the introduction of seven new autosuggest categories. The seven new categories to help you complete your search queries cover brands, movies, albums, places, software, sport teams, animal species and more. The new categories arrive on top of the already existing People Autosuggest which was introduced in May. The autosuggest cues are powered by an underlying technology Microsoft calls Satori.

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Read full article: Bing Makes Search Easier With Smarter Auto Suggest Features [Updates]



Interview With J.Dash – This Hip Hop Tech Geek Will Teach You To WOP



j-dash2

If you know the name J.Dash, then you know what I mean when I say that it's time to WOP. I admit, I never would have considered interviewing J.Dash for MakeUseOf - I mean, we're not exactly an entertainment blog. Curious about someone cool enough to break out of such stereotypes, I had to jump on this interview opportunity and see if it was just a marketing gimmick, or whether J.Dash could really tech talk with us.

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Read full article: Interview With J.Dash – This Hip Hop Tech Geek Will Teach You To WOP



Chrome's App Launcher, Ready for Windows



Google has yet to officially launch the Chrome app launcher, but there's a simple way to get the launcher right now if you use Windows: go to this page and click "Get the launcher". If you're not signed in to Chrome, you'll need to do that. Probably Google uses Chrome's sync feature to enable the launcher.



Chrome adds a new icon to the taskbar and a new desktop shortcut, at least in Windows. The launcher shows all the apps that are also displayed in Chrome's new tab page. It also shows a search box that lets you quickly launch an app.









Chrome's launcher is connected to the new-style Chrome apps. Google wants to move from the old apps that were mostly bookmarks to some new apps that work offline, use powerful APIs that integrate with web services and devices like USB drives and Bluetooth speakers.



Some examples of new-style Chrome apps: Google Keep and Google+ Photos. Both apps work offline, while Google+ Photos automatically uploads the photos from an SD card.



{ via Engadget. Thanks, Florian K. }

3 Uncommon Ways to Use Your Laptop Touchpad



touchpad

Your laptop's touchpad seems like a simple, boring piece of technology, used only when no mouse is available. But touchpads can be fast and efficient. They have shortcuts for everything from easily scrolling to gestures for quickly getting around in Windows 8. Spend a moment learning your touchpad's tricks and configuring actions that work well for you. It will pay off when you can use your touchpad to get things done faster. For Windows 8 users, touchpads are a great way to add touch gestures to PCs without touch.

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Read full article: 3 Uncommon Ways to Use Your Laptop Touchpad



Try the New Google Maps (No Invitation Required)



You can now use the new Google Maps interface without requesting an invite. That's a great news, even though invitations weren't hard to get.



You first need to go to maps.google.com/preview and click "Try Now". Google explains that "the new Google Maps draws you a tailored map for every search and click you make. So whatever you're trying to find or wherever you're trying to go, you'll always have a map highlighting the things that matter most."



So what happens after clicking "Try Now"? You see this message: "Sign in with your Google Account to try the new Google Maps."






While search results are better if you are signed in and you also use Google+, it's strange to see that you need to sign in. After all, the mobile apps for Google Maps work even when you're not signed in.



After signing in, Google shows another message: "Almost there... During this preview, we may email you with product updates or to request your feedback. Please let us know what you think!"






Then you can finally use the new Google Maps.






You can sign out and Google Maps will continue to work.



I hope that the new Google Maps won't require a Google Account (or Google+) when it will replace the existing interface. Just like Google Search, Google Maps works well even when it doesn't return personalized results. Google found a way to personalize search results when you're not logged in, maybe Google Maps will do the same.

Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement?



feedly

Now that Google Reader is but a distant memory, the fight for the future of RSS is truly on. One of the most notable products fighting the good fight is Feedly. Google Reader wasn't an app or an add-on: It lived purely on the Web, so today I'll be looking at Feedly Cloud, a browser-based RSS reader that requires no external tools to use. We first reported about it as it went live on June 19, but now's the time to take a good, long look at it.

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Read full article: Feedly, Reviewed: What Makes It Such A Popular Google Reader Replacement?



Full-screen Gmail Compose Box



There are plenty of shortcuts for opening Gmail's compose box in a new tab or a new window. Not many people use keyboard shortcuts and opening the box in a new page is awkward, so Google decided to add an inline full-screen option.






It's not exactly full-screen, it's more like a maximized box that still lets you see your labels and your chat contacts. You can manually enable the "full-screen" mode every time you want to use it or set is as the default option.



"When this option is enabled, the compose window is centered in your inbox and expands to fit on your screen. In addition, the formatting toolbar is on by default. You can click on the expand button in the top right to switch to full-screen or set full-screen as the default by selecting Default to full-screen in the more options menu in the bottom right," informs Google.



As usual, this feature is gradually rolling out to all Gmail accounts, so check back later if you don't see it right away. Obviously, this only works in the new compose interface.

19 July 2013

8 Essential Tools For The Digital Hoarder



digital hoarder

Yes - I'm a digital hoarder - and my hard drive was so full I had to buy a 4TB NAS. Movies, music, photos, eBooks, stock footage -- I just know I'll get around to watching, listening, reading or making use of them someday. Without the proper tools (or counselling, probably) a collection like that can quickly grow out of hand. But I'm not here to judge - no, I'm going to enable you. These tools should help, at least until you realise it's time to purge yourself of these meaningly virtual things.

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Read full article: 8 Essential Tools For The Digital Hoarder



Is Amazon Prime A Good Deal?



amazon prime

Amazon’s Prime membership has been around for several years now and has, over the years, gained some notable upgrades. Once no more than a free shipping offer, Prime is now a streaming media service on par with Netflix and a digital library, too. Many people will find themselves staring at the $79 fee and wondering - is this really worth it? Or will I be flushing 80 bucks down the drain? Let’s take a closer look.

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Read full article: Is Amazon Prime A Good Deal?



Change Chrome's Search Engine to Google.com



Two years ago, I wrote a post about changing the domain used by Chrome when performing a search from the address bar. Chrome has changed since then and the trick no longer works.



Here's a simple way to change the Google domain from google.tld (your local Google domain) to google.com. The nice thing is that it works in the desktop Chrome, in Chrome for Android and Chrome for iOS.



1. Type google.com/ncr in the address bar and enter a query in Google's search box (don't use the browser's search box).



2. Close Chrome. If you're using the desktop Chrome, close all Chrome windows or click Exit in the menu. If you're using the mobile Chrome, press the home button and use your operating system's multitasking feature to force close Chrome Here are the instructions for iOS. Android instructions are different depending on the device you use: some Android devices have a button that shows a list of recent apps, while others require to press and hold the home button or double-tap it. Swipe Chrome's thumbnail to force close it.



3. Launch Chrome again, open a new tab and search for something using Chrome's built-in search box (omnibox).



4. You should see an infobar that asks you: "would you like to search with google.com instead of [your local Google domain]?". Click or tap "switch to google.com" and that's all.






The screenshot is from a Nexus 7, but this should work in Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android and iOS.



{ Thanks, Sushubh Mittal and Jérôme Flipo. }

Make Facebook Work For You, Not the Other Way Around



facebook work

I'm a Facebook addict. Up until recently, if I had a browser tab with Facebook open and it showed a notification that there was something new to see, I had to check it out immediately. Sounds familiar? It can be solved. I tested a long list of browser-based and desktop-based Facebook apps, and finally settled on three solutions that I felt performed this task best. These three solutions let you keep using Facebook, without Facebook taking over your life.

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Read full article: Make Facebook Work For You, Not the Other Way Around



3 Competitive League Of Legends Matches To Turn You Into A Fan



League Legends

Just in the past two weeks, we've learned of huge developments in the League of Legends eSports community. Professional League of Legends players are now being given visas, just like players from the NFL, NBA, and MLB. It's a big move to recognize these players in that same type of field. We've also learned that the 2013 World Finals will be hosted at the Staples Center in LA, an arena where some of the world's biggest events have been held.

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Read full article: 3 Competitive League Of Legends Matches To Turn You Into A Fan



Visit An HTML5 Playground With The Movi Kanti Revo Chrome Extension



Movi-Kanti-Revo-300x300

If you're chilling online and looking for something creative to enjoy, you should check out this awesome little animation by Cirque de Soleil. It's a lot like watching a DVD of Cirque de Soleil - except it's not the same at all. This time, the whole act is shown on the Web and the plot is controlled by you.

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Read full article: Visit An HTML5 Playground With The Movi Kanti Revo Chrome Extension



Visit An HTML5 Playground With The Movi Kanti Revo Chrome Extension



Movi-Kanti-Revo-300x300

If you're chilling online and looking for something creative to enjoy, you should check out this awesome little animation by Cirque de Soleil. It's a lot like watching a DVD of Cirque de Soleil - except it's not the same at all. This time, the whole act is shown on the Web and the plot is controlled by you.

Continue reading the article


Read full article: Visit An HTML5 Playground With The Movi Kanti Revo Chrome Extension



Yahoo Preps Username Recycle Program With Facebook Verification [Updates]



Yahoo!

Yahoo recently set out to recycle usernames that have not been accessed in over a year and will utilize Facebook verification to confirm ownership. The new program will allow existing users to claim these names while still retaining their data.

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Read full article: Yahoo Preps Username Recycle Program With Facebook Verification [Updates]



Lost Your Windows Administrator Password? Here’s How to Fix It



windows-password-change

You've lost control. All the accounts you can access on your Windows computer aren't Administrator accounts, meaning you're helpless to install software, update drivers or do any kind of administration whatsoever. Don't panic. There are several tools for recovering a lost Windows Administrator password. Some methods are legit, but required you to have thought ahead (unlikely). Others are legit but only work for Windows 8. Two more methods are sort of hacking, but perfectly legal to use on your own computer.

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Read full article: Lost Your Windows Administrator Password? Here’s How to Fix It



nano vs. vim: Terminal Text Editors Compared



terminal_text_editor_intro

Although Linux has become easy enough for practically anyone to use without ever having to use the Terminal, there are some of us who regularly use it or are curious about how one can control their system with it. In any case, one of the primary ways to use the Terminal is to configure text files Terminal text editors and control how certain programs or system services behave.

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Read full article: nano vs. vim: Terminal Text Editors Compared



18 July 2013

Take A Break: 10 Websites To Help You Relax For Two Minutes




It's incredibly important to take the time to relax occasionally. It doesn't do anyone any good to constantly be ON, to be working, to be stressed by the rigors of everyday life. In the same way you need to give your body a physical break every now and then, especially if you work with computers, you also need to give your mind a rest from time to time.

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Read full article: Take A Break: 10 Websites To Help You Relax For Two Minutes



Download Google Maps Offline on your iPhone and iPad



Learn a magical command that will let you download any area on Google Maps for offline use on your iPhone and iPad.


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Digital Inspiration @labnol This story, Download Google Maps Offline on your iPhone and iPad, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 18/07/2013 under Google Maps, IPad, IPhone, Software.



How To Rename Your Microsoft Account Name On Start Screen In Windows 8.1



CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL POST



Users who have been running Windows 8 or 8.1 operating system will know that Windows shows the account name of the user upper-right of the Start screen. While users who’re using a local account can quickly change the account name in Control Panel, renaming the Microsoft account name isn’t straight-forward. Follow the given below instructions [...]

Do You Watch What You Say Online? [We Ask You]




Piracy is an obvious way in which the two worlds collide, as we discussed last week. Another way the two butt heads is with the right to free speech and laws pertaining to libel. There have been countless examples of people saying something online which has got them into trouble in ways they could never have foreseen. Which leads us to this week's We Ask You discussion.

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Read full article: Do You Watch What You Say Online? [We Ask You]



What is Node.JS and Why Should I Care? [Web Development]



featured-node

JavaScript is a just a client-side programming language that runs in the browser, right? Not any more. Node.js is a way of running JavaScript on the server; but it's so much more as well. If you're at all interested in web development, you really should find out a little about Node and why it's making waves in the community. JavaScript is after all, just a language - there's nothing that says it couldn't be used on a server as well as in the user's browser.

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Read full article: What is Node.JS and Why Should I Care? [Web Development]



Share Your Screen With Anyone Using Screenleap For Gmail Or Chrome



screen-sharing-mac

Have you ever wanted to demonstrate something you do on your computer and wished you could easily share your screen? The Screenleap Chrome browser extension lets you launch a screenshare for part or all of your desktop from within Gmail. Your friend only needs the viewer URL to instantly view your screen from any browser on any device.

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Read full article: Share Your Screen With Anyone Using Screenleap For Gmail Or Chrome



3 Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things



complexequations

I have always believed that Excel is one of the most powerful software tools out there. It's not just the fact that it's spreadsheet software. No, Microsoft Excel 2013 simply has an awesome collection of built-in tools and features. Much of the power really lies behind the formulas and rules that you can write to manipulate data and information automatically, regardless of what data you insert. Here I show you how powerful formulas and conditional formatting can be, with three pretty useful examples.

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Read full article: 3 Crazy Excel Formulas That Do Amazing Things



Navigate Google Maps On The Browser As The Invite-Only Restrictions Are Lifted [Updates]



New Google Map

Have you checked out the new Google Maps recently? Well, if you did so a few days back you probably would have needed to wait for an invite after signing up for the preview. If you try it today, you won’t need to because the new Google Maps is available to all. The refurbished Google Maps was showcased back in May at the I/O Conference. Now, it's time to take a look on the Web.

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Read full article: Navigate Google Maps On The Browser As The Invite-Only Restrictions Are Lifted [Updates]



4 Ways To Copy Files (Faster) In Windows



file copying icon

Windows 7's file copy dialog is okay. It isn't the fastest when copying a large number of files. However, there are faster ways to copy files. The traditional Windows file copy dialog's worst problem is the way it stops and waits for input when it detects a problem, preventing you from leaving the process alone to finish on its own. Luckily, Microsoft improved this with Windows 8. If you're not using Windows 8 yet, you can get this feature on Windows 7 or even older versions of Windows.

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Read full article: 4 Ways To Copy Files (Faster) In Windows



AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up?



2013-07-05 05.39.28

Like a phoenix, Google Reader’s death led to its resurrection. After its death, half-a-dozen alternatives arose from Google Reader's ashes – some of which barely work. Others, however, eclipse even Google Reader’s functionality. One such beta software comes from a surprising source: America Online, or AOL.

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Read full article: AOL Reader: Feedly Competitor Or A Google Reader Alternative Runner Up?



YouTube Tests Center-Aligned Layout



Nedas Petravičius spotted a new YouTube experiment that changes the user interface: there's a bigger sidebar that's now overlaid, the Dashboard/Video Manager/Analytics menu has been moved to the right corner of the page and the Upload button is blue. The biggest change is that the video page is now centered.



YouTube's pages used to be centered, but they're now aligned to the left, ever since YouTube redesigned the pages and added the sidebar guide. There are many extensions and scripts that center the pages.












Here's a video:






{ Thanks, Nedas. }

17 July 2013

Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can’t



Search

We probably know all the Google search tricks, but there are still things that Google can't tell us at first glance. Google's a Hercules, but we shouldn't be shortsighted not to spot the midgets. Yes, if you really want to go into those little hidden lanes of the web you need to keep a roster of alternative search engines close by. Here's a roll call of some search engines which can grab for you what even Google can't.

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Read full article: Pause Google: 8 Alternative Search Engines To Find What Google Can’t



Technophilia 72 – Guest starring Tyler of HabitRPG.com



techophilia-technology-podcast

This week we sit down with Tyler Renelle, creator of motivational role-playing game HabitRPG. We’ll ask him which gamification system he used to motivate himself to create a gamification system. We highlight the best place to watch pandas online, right now. And a record number of people are using DuckDuckGo to avoid being spied on, but does it actually help?

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Read full article: Technophilia 72 – Guest starring Tyler of HabitRPG.com



Google Maps for iPad



Almost one year after Google Maps was removed from iOS and 7 months after Google released a Maps app for iPhone, you can finally install the Google Maps app on an iPad and actually use it. Installing the iPhone app on an iPad wasn't a good idea, so the web app was a good alternative.



It's interesting to notice that the new Maps UI was first included in the Google Maps for iPhone. After that, Google used it in Google Maps Engine Lite, then in the new desktop Google Maps, in the updated app for Android and now the circle is closed.



The updated Google Maps app for iPhone and iPad looks just like the Android app and has almost the same features: incident reporting, dynamic rerouting, integration with Zagat and Google Offers, Google+ recommendations, the "explore" feature that lets you find great places without searching for them, biking directions and navigation. There's no support for offline maps, but that's one of the few missing features in Google Maps for iOS.












When you first launch the app, Google Maps shows the following screen. The option to improve Google Maps by sharing anonymous location data is enabled by default. This means that Google no longer has to rely on Android devices to get traffic data.