25 January 2014

For Visual Thinkers: 2 Different Ways To Look At Your Evernote Notes



visual-thinking

Evernote is the closest (or at least, the most popular) digital relative of the old moleskin notebook. There’s just one slight hitch – Evernote organizes all the notes and notebooks in a flat, linear structure. Usually, it isn’t a problem at all if you are anything other than a visual thinker. Visual thinkers lean more towards free-flowing methods like sketchnoting and mindmaping. Visual thinking helps to break down the complexity of information and gives you another angle to look at it from. When it comes to working with information, a more visual approach also helps to re-organize the structure of...


Read the full article: For Visual Thinkers: 2 Different Ways To Look At Your Evernote Notes



24 January 2014

The Only Chrome Extension You Need For Gmail: mxHero Toolbox



gmail-extension

Gmail is our favourite email service here at MakeUseOf, but admittedly, it has a few shortcomings. For one, the inability to schedule emails to send them later is quite frustrating. Plus, it would be nice to be able to know when someone has checked your message, and maybe even get reminded to follow-up with those who haven’t. I’d never have guessed that someone would come up with an extension that solves all of these problems for free. And mxHero Toolbox not only does that, but also adds the ability to send self-destructing messages right from your Gmail! How To Send...


Read the full article: The Only Chrome Extension You Need For Gmail: mxHero Toolbox



The Only Chrome Extension You Need For Gmail: mxHero Toolbox



gmail-extension

Gmail is our favourite email service here at MakeUseOf, but admittedly, it has a few shortcomings. For one, the inability to schedule emails to send them later is quite frustrating. Plus, it would be nice to be able to know when someone has checked your message, and maybe even get reminded to follow-up with those who haven’t. I’d never have guessed that someone would come up with an extension that solves all of these problems for free. And mxHero Toolbox not only does that, but also adds the ability to send self-destructing messages right from your Gmail! How To Send...


Read the full article: The Only Chrome Extension You Need For Gmail: mxHero Toolbox



SkyDrive For Windows 8: The Cloud Storage And Modern File Explorer App



SkyDrive-Featured

With Windows 8, Microsoft included SkyDrive integration with every PC, and with Windows 8.1, they have pushed that integration even further. Now, the SkyDrive for Windows 8 app is a must-use for any Windows 8 user. Every person with a Microsoft account is given 7GB of storage for free, which is notably better than many alternative cloud storage services like Dropbox. Filling up that space is whatever you choose to put in your SkyDrive folder, as well as your PC’s personalization settings, and the app even works as a modern file explorer. Cloud Storage There used to be a desktop...


Read the full article: SkyDrive For Windows 8: The Cloud Storage And Modern File Explorer App



Google Search Uses Dropdown To Reveal More Information On Relevant Websites



google-search

The Knowledge Graph was a significant addition to the search results page. Google now integrates a bit more from it under each individual search result. A little dropdown menu just below the search results tells you more about the websites you see in the search results page. By including information on notable websites, Google gives searchers an opportunity to learn more about a website without needing to click through and searching for the information on their own. At a glance, it will help users source the relevant search information from an authoritative website. As you can see in the screenshot...


Read the full article: Google Search Uses Dropdown To Reveal More Information On Relevant Websites



Illegal NSA, Mac At 30, Facebook Vs Princeton, Top Gear Street View [Tech News Digest]



stop-spying-sunglasses

Today in Tech News Digest, the activities of the NSA are branded “illegal,” Microsoft posts record revenues, Apple celebrates the Mac turning 30, Hunter Moore is arrested, Facebook and Princeton argue over who will survive the longest, Twitter celebrates ‘A Year On Vine’, and the Top Gear test track is added to Google Street View. NSA Phone Data Collection Branded “Illegal” Now even internal federal watch dogs within the U.S. government know the #NSA needs to stop: http://t.co/vYO0bcbmvn — Restore The 4th! (@Restore_the4th) January 24, 2014 The program which saw the NSA (National Security Agency) collecting data from millions of...


Read the full article: Illegal NSA, Mac At 30, Facebook Vs Princeton, Top Gear Street View [Tech News Digest]



Live Calendar Tile App Adds Live Calendar To Start Screen In Windows 8/8.1



CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL POST



Ever since the first public preview release of Windows 8 back in 2011, we have been reviewing programs that help you customize look and feel of operating system and Start screen. We have already covered over 15 free tools to customize Windows 8/8.1 UI, including 6 tools to customize the default look of the Start […]

How To Use Your Downloaded Gmail Data



gmail-download

Google Takeout finally allows you to easily download a copy of your Gmail data. But Google gives you an MBOX file — and what can you do with that? It turns out you can do a lot with an MBOX file. It’s ideal for keeping an offline backup or moving all your emails to a new email service or Gmail account. Previously, getting an offline copy of your Gmail required downloading your entire Gmail archive over IMAP in Thunderbird. Now it just takes a few clicks on the Google Takeout website and you’re good to go. Import Your Gmail MBOX...


Read the full article: How To Use Your Downloaded Gmail Data



How To Use Your Downloaded Gmail Data



gmail-download

Google Takeout finally allows you to easily download a copy of your Gmail data. But Google gives you an MBOX file — and what can you do with that? It turns out you can do a lot with an MBOX file. It’s ideal for keeping an offline backup or moving all your emails to a new email service or Gmail account. Previously, getting an offline copy of your Gmail required downloading your entire Gmail archive over IMAP in Thunderbird. Now it just takes a few clicks on the Google Takeout website and you’re good to go. Import Your Gmail MBOX...


Read the full article: How To Use Your Downloaded Gmail Data



23 January 2014

Google Launches “Video Quality Report” To Benchmark ISPs With YouTube HD Streaming



youtube-video-quality

There are speed tests to compare bandwidths from ISP services, and then there’s the newly launched “Video Quality Report” from Google which subscribers and ISP providers can use to benchmark video streaming performance. It is only available in Canada for now, but expect it to be rolled out to the world gradually. The Google-powered yardstick uses YouTube HD playback to measure not only the speed of video delivery but also its quality. Google has servers around the world, and it usually picks the shortest route to deliver the YouTube video to a screen. The ISPs own network capacity is one...


Read the full article: Google Launches “Video Quality Report” To Benchmark ISPs With YouTube HD Streaming



Google Streamlines Search Options



Google removed a few specialized search options that were usually displayed in the "more" drop-down: recipes, patents, discussions, blogs, places. The list of links to services like Maps, Images, News, Flights, Shopping is reordered based on your query. This isn't a new idea, it was implemented a long time ago by Google, but now it's used more often.












{ Thanks, Rubén and Max. }

Make Gnome Shell Usable With These 12 Extensions



gnome_extensions_intro

With the creation of Gnome Shell, the Gnome team introduced a new paradigm to the desktop that was greeted with mixed reviews. While I agree that a new idea of what a desktop should be is necessary for innovation, what Gnome accomplished isn’t quite complete. But there’s a way to fix it. Gnome 3 came with an extension framework, which allows other developers to fix little usability issues users may have. After looking through the list of available extensions for Gnome Shell, I’ve found several that have made my Gnome desktop very nice to use – so much so that...


Read the full article: Make Gnome Shell Usable With These 12 Extensions



Beats Music Reviews, DoD BlackBerry Love, Winning Windows Phone [Tech News Digest]



beats-music-devices

Today in Tech News Digest, we compile a smattering of Beats Music reviews, Yahoo Search is made secure, the Department of Defense chooses BlackBerry, the saga of Banned Bluebook is revealed, Twitter expands its targeted ads, and Windows Phone is found to be beating the iPhone… in a handful of countries. Beats Music Reviews Beats Music has launched, with the maker of the overly expensive headphones and speakers now adding a music streaming service to its repertoire. Unlike its rivals Spotify and Rdio, Beats Music doesn’t have a free, ad-supported option. So, is the new kid on the block worth...


Read the full article: Beats Music Reviews, DoD BlackBerry Love, Winning Windows Phone [Tech News Digest]



Google's Info Cards for Sites



After a few months of experiments, Google's search pages now show the name of the site next to the URL. If you click the name, you'll see a small card with information from Wikipedia, including the logo, the owner, the year when it was founded and some awards.



"You'll see this extra information when a site is widely recognized as notable online, when there is enough information to show or when the content may be handy for you. The information you'll see is based on the Knowledge Graph, Google's interconnected understanding of the things that exist in the world. As we expand the Knowledge Graph, we expect to give you more information about more websites - making it easier for you to choose the right result," informs Google.












If your site, organization or company doesn't have a Wikipedia page, no info card will be displayed.

I’m Amit Agarwal, and This Is How I Work



I’m Amit Agarwal, and This Is How I Work


Amit Agarwal


The very-popular Lifehacker website did a little Q&A with me for their How-I-Work series.




This story, I’m Amit Agarwal, and This Is How I Work, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 23/01/2014 under Internet

How to Send Confirmation Emails with Google Forms



I maintain the India blogs directory and it accepts entries through a simple Google Form. The workflow is something like this – when someone submits the Google Form, an automatic confirmation email arrives in their inbox informing them that their details have been successfully submitted.


These are similar to canned responses in Gmail but for Google Forms. You may use the trick for sending welcome messages, acknowledge support requests, and more. Here’s a sample confirmation email generated and sent through Google Forms:


A sample auto confirmation email sent through Google Forms

A sample auto confirmation email sent through Google Forms



Send a Confirmation Email to the Form Submitter


The other day I got an email from N.Vamsi asking me how to setup these auto-responders using Google Forms?



Would you mind telling me how you have set up auto email updater for inputs taken from Google forms. I have seen your video tutorial on setting up Google forms and getting input values to an email address but auto email responder is something new! Do you have any tutorials for that as well?



This is easy and you can can add the auto-reply feature to your Google Forms in less than a minute. Here are the steps involved:



  1. Go to your Google Drive and create a new Google Form. Add any number of fields to the form but make sure you have a field called “Email Address” where the submitter will input their email address.

  2. Assuming that you are saving your Google Form responses in a separate spreadsheet, open that sheet and choose the Script Editor option under the Tools menu.

  3. Copy-paste the following script into the script editor and hit the floppy icon to save the script.

  4. Inside the Script Editor, choose Run – Initialize and authorize the script to send emails on your behalf.


That’s it. When anyone submits the form, they’ll get an automatic confirmation email in HTML. You will be included in the CC.


Google Script – Send Mail to Form Submitter



/* Send Confirmation Email with Google Forms */

function Initialize() {

var triggers = ScriptApp.getScriptTriggers();

for (var i in triggers) {
ScriptApp.deleteTrigger(triggers[i]);
}

ScriptApp.newTrigger("SendConfirmationMail")
.forSpreadsheet(SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet())
.onFormSubmit()
.create();

}

function SendConfirmationMail(e) {

try {

var ss, cc, sendername, subject, headers;
var message, value, textbody, sender;

// This is your email address and you will be in the CC
cc = Session.getActiveUser().getEmail();

// This will show up as the sender's name
sendername = "Your Name Goes Here";

// Optional but change the following variable
// to have a custom subject for Google Docs emails
subject = "Google Form Successfully Submitted";

// This is the body of the auto-reply
message = "We have received your details.<br>Thanks!<br><br>";

ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSheet();
headers = ss.getRange(1, 1, 1, ss.getLastColumn()).getValues()[0];

// This is the submitter's email address
sender = e.namedValues["Email Address"].toString();

for (var i in headers) {

value = e.namedValues[headers[i]].toString();

// Do not send the timestamp and blank fields
if ((i !== "0") && (value !== "")) {
message += headers[i] + ' :: ' + value + "<br>";
}
}

textbody = message.replace("<br>", "\n");

GmailApp.sendEmail(sender, subject, textbody,
{cc: cc, name: sendername, htmlBody: message});

} catch (e) {
Logger.log(e.toString());
}

}



This story, How to Send Confirmation Emails with Google Forms, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 22/01/2014 under Google Forms, Internet

What Do You Do When The Internet Goes Down? [We Ask You]



we-ask-you-logo

The Internet is a key ingredient in the lives of many people. This series of tubes is so pervasive that the MakeUseOf readership would rather give up alcohol, caffeine, and assorted body parts before they gave up access to the Web. That’s commitment for you. The problem is, however much a person loves the Internet, a solid connection can never be guaranteed. The Internet does, on occasion, go down, at which time everyone affected by the outage screams at whoever is in earshot in frustration and longing. And then… The Internet Is Down! What Now? We want to know, What...


Read the full article: What Do You Do When The Internet Goes Down? [We Ask You]



eCampus: Easily Rent or Buy Affordable Textbooks, And Sell Them Back



ecampus

Another outrageously-priced textbook? You’ve got to be kidding! How much of this are you going to take? You know there’s a better option than getting ripped off by your university bookstore, right? There are several reputable websites for saving students money on textbooks, eCampus being one of the very best. Did you know you can rent textbooks, instead of purchasing them? Or perhaps you have a pile of textbooks you no longer need, eCampus will buy them from you. Whether you want to buy, rent or sell your textbooks, eCampus is one way to beat college on a budget. Setting...


Read the full article: eCampus: Easily Rent or Buy Affordable Textbooks, And Sell Them Back



Make Room For A Relaxed Weekend — 5 Simple Tips To Beat Deadlines



deadline

Nothing can be more stressful than the threat of a deadline looming large. But, it does not have to be so. With just a few adjustments you can get your work done ahead of time. An ever-increasing number of people have jobs related to digital media, so much so that we have seen several new job titles in that arena. Global connectivity through the Web means that many jobs don’t resemble the old 9-to-5 routines. The weekday-weekend barriers have also been blurred to such an extent that working on weekends no longer raises any eyebrows. When this is the scenario,...


Read the full article: Make Room For A Relaxed Weekend — 5 Simple Tips To Beat Deadlines



How To Stop Your Windows Computer From Randomly Waking Up



windows-sleep

Waking up in the middle of the night is annoying, and it’s a problem that doesn’t just affect humans. Computers can have restless nights, too, tossing and turning as they turn on for no apparent reason, then go back to sleep after a set period of time. Besides wasting power, this constant on-off cycle can be a real annoyance (if you sleep near the PC) and can cause problems for both hardware and software. Fortunately, conquering your computer’s sleepless nights is probably easier than you think. Finding The Problem With The Command Line Before you start changing settings, it’s a...


Read the full article: How To Stop Your Windows Computer From Randomly Waking Up



22 January 2014

5 Tools To Help You Make The Most Of Your Rewards Accounts



rewards-programs

Many companies offer rewards programs — not just airlines, but also gas stations, rental car companies, pharmacies, grocery stores, and coffee shops, just to name a few. In recent years, more and more companies have been jumping on the rewards bandwagon as a way to retain customers, generate loyalty, and gather information on your spending habits. It’s easy to sign up for all of these programs, but it can be difficult to keep track of them all. Do you know how many Delta miles you have? What about Hertz points? Are you at the Gold level at Starbucks yet? If...


Read the full article: 5 Tools To Help You Make The Most Of Your Rewards Accounts



Coursera Launches Specialized Vocational Programs For Continuing Learners



coursera

Coursera has brought out “Specializations“. Diverging from the single-course track, Specializations are more focused multi-course series built around popular topics like Data Science, Cybersecurity, Android Development, and Foundations of Teaching. These specialized programs will be acknowledged by participating institutes with a Specialization Certificate on successful completion. The Specializations will mirror real-world requirements by enforcing a unique capstone project or exam before students are awarded a Specialization Certificate. Coursera is launching ten courses in the first salvo. Mobile Cloud Computing with Android (from Vanderbilt and the University of Maryland) and Reasoning, Data Analysis and Writing (from Duke University) are the two...


Read the full article: Coursera Launches Specialized Vocational Programs For Continuing Learners



Which Operating System Should You Choose For Your Next PC



pc-os

Buying a new PC? You have more operating system choices than ever. Windows is still popular, but Macs are now surprisingly affordable compared to higher-end Windows PCs. Google also offers Chromebooks that are simple and cheap, and Linux laptops are an option, too. You could even use an Android tablet or iPad with a keyboard as a laptop replacement. But which should you choose when it’s time to buy a new computer? We’ll give you an overview of all your choices, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a spoiler: There’s no one best option for everyone. Windows You probably...


Read the full article: Which Operating System Should You Choose For Your Next PC



Which Operating System Should You Choose For Your Next PC



pc-os

Buying a new PC? You have more operating system choices than ever. Windows is still popular, but Macs are now surprisingly affordable compared to higher-end Windows PCs. Google also offers Chromebooks that are simple and cheap, and Linux laptops are an option, too. You could even use an Android tablet or iPad with a keyboard as a laptop replacement. But which should you choose when it’s time to buy a new computer? We’ll give you an overview of all your choices, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a spoiler: There’s no one best option for everyone. Windows You probably...


Read the full article: Which Operating System Should You Choose For Your Next PC



Make Memes On The Go With Imgur’s New MemeGen App



Morguefile-Caprisco-News-1680x840

Last Summer Imgur, the most-used image hosting service on Reddit, launched a meme generator for the web, making it easy for users to create and host images in one place. Now, it is bringing that service to iOS with the launch of its dedicated MemeGen app. Users can now waste time making memes whether at home or on the go. The app is very simple, allowing users to simply choose their meme from the massive list, and add the text that overlays on top of said image. There is also a search feature that allows you to search for specific...


Read the full article: Make Memes On The Go With Imgur’s New MemeGen App



Useful Regular Expressions for your Google Forms



Your organization has a few vacant positions and you are planning to use the Google Forms service to prepare a pre-interview questionnaire for job applicants. You have created a form and it has all the standard fields where candidates can enter their name, email address, website URL, phone number, zip code and other essential details.


The form is ready for publishing online but before you make it live, how would you ensure that candidates have entered data in the correct format? And even if the format is proper, is the data itself valid? Can you add a CAPTCHA to Google forms to prevent spam bots? Can you include a profanity filter to block people from submitting entries that include obscene words?


When you are expecting dozens, or even hundreds, of responses in your Google Forms, it is always a good idea to have some rules in place and respondents data should be matched against these rules even before they submit the form. For instance, if your form is asking for a person’s year of birth, they should only be allowed to enter a number between 1900 and 2014.


Advanced data validation in Google Forms using RegEx (regular expressions)

Advanced data validation in Google Forms using RegEx (regular expressions)



Regular Expressions in Google Forms


Google Forms makes it relatively easy to add such advanced date validation rules to individual fields through Regular Expressions (or regex or regexp). Think of them as search patterns and every character entered in a form field is matched against that pattern – the form can only be submitted if the patter and the user-input matches.


Let’s understand this with a real-world example.


Say your Google form expects the user to enter their year of birth. At the time of designing the form, expand the “Data Validation” section below the form field (see screenshot above) and choose Regular Expression from the drop-down. Next select “Matches” in the other drop-down and enter ^(19\d{2}|20[0-1]\d)$ in the input field. The field will now accept input value like 1920, 2010 but would reject other values that fall outside the range.


Regular Expressions for Common Form Fields


A regular expression may appear gibberish but they aren’t so difficult to read and understand if you can know the basic rules of the language. What you see here is a compilation of some useful regular expressions that can be used to validate common form fields like URLs, phone numbers, zip codes, dates, etc.


1. Postal Address – allow only alphanumeric characters, spaces and few other characters like comma, period and hash symbol in the form input field.



[a-zA-Z\d\s\-\,\#\.\+]+

2. ZIP Code – the regex allows ZIP codes in standard formats and it matches both US and Indian pincodes.



^\d{5,6}(?:[-\s]\d{4})?$

3. Date – accept date input in the mm/dd/yyyy or mm-dd-yyyy formats.



((0[1-9])|(1[0-2]))[\/-]((0[1-9])|(1[0-9])|(2[0-9])|(3[0-1]))[\/-](\d{4})

Also see: Get Google Form Data by Email


4. Email Address – the regex below should match most common email address formats, including Gmail aliases that accept the “+” sign but there’s no perfect solution.



[a-zA-Z0-9_\.\+-]+@[a-zA-Z0-9-]+\.[a-zA-Z0-9-\.]+

5. URL (Web domain) – this is useful for fields that require the user to enter their website address and it even matches the upcoming TLDs like .directory or .restaurant. The other regex matches YouTube URL including those using the youtu.be domains.



https?\:\/\/[a-zA-Z0-9\-\.]+\.[a-zA-Z]{2,}
https?\:\/\/(www\.)?youtu(\.)?be(\.com)?\/.*(\?v=|\/v\/)?[a-zA-Z0-9_\-]+

6. Character Limit – the default text box in a Google form allows users to input any number of characters but you can impose a limit with the help of regular expression. Here we limit the input to 140 characters much like Twitter.



[\w]{1,140}

7. Phone Numbers – these are often a series of numbers preceded by an optional “+” sign and the area code may be inside brackets.



\+?\(?\d{2,4}\)?[\d\s-]{3,}

8. Price (with decimal) – if a form field requires users to enter a price of an item in their own currency, this regex will help. Replace the $ sign with your own currency symbol.



\$?\d{1,3}(,?\d{3})*(\.\d{1,2})?

9. Complex Password – only accept a string that has 1 uppercase alphabet, 1 lowercase alphabet, 2 digits and 1 special character. Also the minimum allowed length is 8 characters.



(?=.*[A-Z])(?=.*[a-z])(?=.*[0-9].*[0-9])(?=.*[^a-zA-Z0-9]).{8,}

10. CAPTCHA – Google forms do not offer CAPTCHAs but you can create one using regex. Here’s a simple captcha that requires users to answer a simple question – what is 2+2?



^(4|[Ff][Oo][Uu][Rr])$

Also see: Regular Expressions for Gmail Search




This story, Useful Regular Expressions for your Google Forms, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 22/01/2014 under Google Forms, Internet

Google Glass Movies, Android Malware, LogMeIn Logs Out [Tech News Digest]



fbi-agents-mulder-scully

Today in Tech News Digest, the FBI doesn’t want you Glassing in movie theaters, Beats Music launches, Android malware is on the rise, Music Timeline reveals changing tastes, LogMeIn goes pay-only, and Spotify steals our hearts. Google Glass At The Movies This sentence horrifies me for many reasons: “The MPAA then contacted Homeland Security, which oversees movie theft.” http://t.co/9qniid3Dfa — Ali Sternburg (@alisternburg) January 21, 2014 If the experience of one man in Ohio is anything to go by, Google Glass is likely to be banned from movie theaters. The unnamed man was, according to his account on The Gadgeteer...


Read the full article: Google Glass Movies, Android Malware, LogMeIn Logs Out [Tech News Digest]



Online Reviews Are Useful, With Common Sense Applied [We Ask You Results]



we-ask-you-logo

A huge number of websites now offer reviews, written by both professionals and ordinary folk, on everything you can imagine. You yourself may even have contributed a review of something you love, hate, or are indifferent towards at some point. But what does the MakeUseOf readership think about online reviews? This was the subject of last week’s We Ask You discussion, the results of which are presented below for your reading pleasure. Opinions About Opinions We asked, Do You Value Online Reviews? We had a great response to the question, with dozens of you considering us worthy of a little...


Read the full article: Online Reviews Are Useful, With Common Sense Applied [We Ask You Results]



21 January 2014

3 Projects To Use Computer Downtime While Re-Installing Windows



installing-windows

It’s creeping up on you like the dark and suddenly you notice it has happened again: It’s time to re-install Windows! When the lack of speed becomes unbearable, you can try to speed up Windows with a RAM upgrade or by removing the malware you might have picked up. The most thorough way to bring your computer back to speed, however, is to re-install the operating system; or restore, refresh, or reset Windows 8. Or maybe it’s not a speed issue at all, but you regret upgrading to Windows 8.1 and just found out that the only way to downgrade...


Read the full article: 3 Projects To Use Computer Downtime While Re-Installing Windows



Save Money On Textbooks This Semester By Renting With BookRenter



Books HD

The spring semester is upon us, and that means it’s book renting season again. This semester, don’t get ripped off by the inflated prices at your university bookstore. Instead, try renting your books from BookRenter. There are some tried-and-true tips for saving money on textbook rentals, but renting online is one of the first things you should learn to do as a freshman. Thankfully, BookRenter‘s website is simple, easy to use, and they have a wide selection of textbooks with fast shipping. From now until February 28, get 5% off 3 or more book rentals through this promotional link. Plus,...


Read the full article: Save Money On Textbooks This Semester By Renting With BookRenter



Post-Holiday Cleanup: 5 Recycling Tips You Can Takeaway From The Web



after-christmas

We’re a few weeks past Christmas and a lot of us may still be reeling from all of the clutter that accumulated over the holidays. You might be swimming in a sea of gifts that you don’t really want or plan to keep. (First world problems!) How can you clean up the post-holiday mess without being wasteful? Start the New Year with a clean environmental conscience. Here are some easy ways to repurpose your holiday mess in ways that will benefit someone else without extra cost to you. Sort Your Possessions The first thing you want to do is go...


Read the full article: Post-Holiday Cleanup: 5 Recycling Tips You Can Takeaway From The Web



Doing Data Science in the Cloud With ScraperWiki



scraper-wiki

If you’ve got the mental chops, a flair for programming and storytelling, and an eye for design, you can do worse than getting into data science. It’s the new big thing in technology; highly trendy and highly paid, with data scientists being sought by some of the largest companies in the world. ScraperWiki is a company that has long been associated with the data science field. For the past few years, this Liverpool based startup has offered a platform for coders to write tools that get data, clean it and analyze it in the cloud. With a recent refresh and...


Read the full article: Doing Data Science in the Cloud With ScraperWiki



Windows 7 Comeback, Yahoo On Top, iPhone 6 Phablet [Tech News Digest]



windows-7-smoke

Today in Tech News Digest, Windows 7 makes a comeback, Yahoo beats Google, Apple plays hardball with Samsung, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be a phablet, Feedly throws new features at us, and the Jamaican bobsled team go crowdfunding. Windows 7 Back By Popular Demand The success of Windows 8 is exemplified by HP offering Windows 7 on certain new PC’s and marketing and advertising it — Pratik Patel (@ppatel) January 21, 2014 HP is actively marketing new computers with Windows 7 as the default operating system. This is despite Windows 8 being the current version of Windows, and...


Read the full article: Windows 7 Comeback, Yahoo On Top, iPhone 6 Phablet [Tech News Digest]



Windows 7 Comeback, Yahoo On Top, iPhone 6 Phablet [Tech News Digest]



windows-7-smoke

Today in Tech News Digest, Windows 7 makes a comeback, Yahoo beats Google, Apple plays hardball with Samsung, the iPhone 6 is rumored to be a phablet, Feedly throws new features at us, and the Jamaican bobsled team go crowdfunding. Windows 7 Back By Popular Demand The success of Windows 8 is exemplified by HP offering Windows 7 on certain new PC’s and marketing and advertising it — Pratik Patel (@ppatel) January 21, 2014 HP is actively marketing new computers with Windows 7 as the default operating system. This is despite Windows 8 being the current version of Windows, and...


Read the full article: Windows 7 Comeback, Yahoo On Top, iPhone 6 Phablet [Tech News Digest]



Add Search Shortcuts on your Android and iOS Device



How do you search a popular website, say Twitter or YouTube, on your mobile phone? You would launch the browser, open the corresponding website and then use the search box inside that site. Or you would use the mobile app, if you have installed one.


There’s an alternate way as well. You may consider installing search shortcuts on the home screen of your mobile phone and they will help you perform searches on your favorite website with fewer steps.


Search your favorite websites with fewer steps

Search your favorite websites with a tap



Let’s dive right into an example.


Open the Safari browser on your iPhone (or iPad) and click here to open the search shortcut for Wolfram Alpha. A pop-up dialog will open but since we are installing the shortcut, hit the Cancel button to close that dialog. Now tap the Share icon in Safari and choose “Add to Home Screen” to add that search shortcut to your home screen.


The next time you want to search Wolfram on your phone, tap the Wolfram shortcut available on your home screen, enter the search terms and it will take you directly to the search results on the Wolfram website. That’s just one tap.


You can similarly add search shortcuts on your Android device using the newer version of Chrome browser. Open any of the search shortcuts listed below, “cancel” the pop-up dialog and then choose the “Add to homescreen” option under the main menu to place a shortcut on your homescreen for quick access.


Search Shortcuts for Android and iOS


Here are some ready-to-install search shortcuts for some popular websites that you may add to the homescreen of your Android or iOS device.



  1. Twitter Search

  2. YouTube Search

  3. Google I’m Feeling Lucky

  4. Wolfram Alpha

  5. Google Image Search

  6. Bing Search

  7. Amazon Search

  8. Google+ Search

  9. Wikipedia Search

  10. Facebook Search


Write your own Search Shortcuts


A search shortcut is essentially a little piece of JavaScript, much like a bookmarklet, that accepts input through a pop-up dialog and redirects the user to the search results page.


Writing one is easy. For instance, here’s the code for the Google I’m Feeling Lucky shortcut that automatically transports you to the first search result (useful when you don’t remember the exact URL of a site).



<!-- Page Title -->
<title>Feeling Lucky</title>

<!-- Touch Icon - This will show up on the home screen -->
<link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="lucky.png" />

<script>
var u = "http://ift.tt/1iiBXav;;
<!-- Show the input dialog -->
var q = window.prompt('What are you looking for?','');
if(q) {
/* If the user has entered input, redirect to search results */
u = u + "/search?&btnI=I%27m+Feeling+Lucky&q=" + escape(q);
window.location.href = u;
} else {
/* If the user hits cancel, show helper text and do nothing */
document.write("Add me to your home screen");
}
</script>

All you need to know is the URL of the search results page and use it in line #13.




This story, Add Search Shortcuts on your Android and iOS Device, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 21/01/2014 under Android, IPad, IPhone, Search, Internet

Which Operating System Should You Choose For Your Next PC



os

Buying a new PC? You have more operating system choices than ever. Windows is still popular, but Macs are now surprisingly affordable compared to higher-end Windows PCs. Google also offers Chromebooks that are simple and cheap, and Linux laptops are an option, too. You could even use an Android tablet or iPad with a keyboard as a laptop replacement. But which should you choose when it’s time to buy a new computer? We’ll give you an overview of all your choices, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a spoiler: There’s no one best option for everyone. Windows You probably...


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20 January 2014

Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



xdk-featured

Intel isn’t really a company you often associate with mobile app development. Whilst you almost certainly have an Intel chip chugging along in the computer you use to read this, their ventures into the mobile world weren’t as successful as they might have hoped, with few manufacturers deciding to use the Intel Atom chip in their Android devices. Seemingly, this hasn’t deterred them. They just threw their hat back into the mobile ring again with the Intel XDK IDE. This free development environment allows you to write applications using HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 and then test them against multiple devices....


Read the full article: Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



xdk-featured

Intel isn’t really a company you often associate with mobile app development. Whilst you almost certainly have an Intel chip chugging along in the computer you use to read this, their ventures into the mobile world weren’t as successful as they might have hoped, with few manufacturers deciding to use the Intel Atom chip in their Android devices. Seemingly, this hasn’t deterred them. They just threw their hat back into the mobile ring again with the Intel XDK IDE. This free development environment allows you to write applications using HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 and then test them against multiple devices....


Read the full article: Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



xdk-featured

Intel isn’t really a company you often associate with mobile app development. Whilst you almost certainly have an Intel chip chugging along in the computer you use to read this, their ventures into the mobile world weren’t as successful as they might have hoped, with few manufacturers deciding to use the Intel Atom chip in their Android devices. Seemingly, this hasn’t deterred them. They just threw their hat back into the mobile ring again with the Intel XDK IDE. This free development environment allows you to write applications using HTML5, Javascript and CSS3 and then test them against multiple devices....


Read the full article: Write Mobile Apps For Any Platform With Intel XDK



Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



super-mario-action-figure

Today in Tech News Digest, Nintendo admits the Wii U has failed, Chrome extensions are loaded with adware, the China Operating System is revealed, Paramount dumps 35mm film, Windows 8 is condemned as the new Vista, and Amazon wants to become the Nostradamus of online shopping. Nintendo Wii U Failure, Future Should Nintendo go software only? I’m on the fence. Seems inevitable. But: Atari & Sega. http://t.co/fSAOrhfqpi — Chris Dixon (@cdixon) January 20, 2014 Nintendo has admitted the Wii U is a complete and utter failure, announcing an operating loss for the current financial year and lowering its sales forecasts...


Read the full article: Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



super-mario-action-figure

Today in Tech News Digest, Nintendo admits the Wii U has failed, Chrome extensions are loaded with adware, the China Operating System is revealed, Paramount dumps 35mm film, Windows 8 is condemned as the new Vista, and Amazon wants to become the Nostradamus of online shopping. Nintendo Wii U Failure, Future Should Nintendo go software only? I’m on the fence. Seems inevitable. But: Atari & Sega. http://t.co/fSAOrhfqpi — Chris Dixon (@cdixon) January 20, 2014 Nintendo has admitted the Wii U is a complete and utter failure, announcing an operating loss for the current financial year and lowering its sales forecasts...


Read the full article: Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



super-mario-action-figure

Today in Tech News Digest, Nintendo admits the Wii U has failed, Chrome extensions are loaded with adware, the China Operating System is revealed, Paramount dumps 35mm film, Windows 8 is condemned as the new Vista, and Amazon wants to become the Nostradamus of online shopping. Nintendo Wii U Failure, Future Should Nintendo go software only? I’m on the fence. Seems inevitable. But: Atari & Sega. http://t.co/fSAOrhfqpi — Chris Dixon (@cdixon) January 20, 2014 Nintendo has admitted the Wii U is a complete and utter failure, announcing an operating loss for the current financial year and lowering its sales forecasts...


Read the full article: Wii U Fails, Google Chrome Fails, COS Fails, Windows 8 Fails [Tech News Digest]



Feedly Launches URL Shortener For Sharing What You Read With RSS



Feedly-Update-Article-Search-Custom-Sharing

Feedly has come out with a new URL shortening service that it hopes will foster more sharing and also promote its own RSS reader service. You can recognize it as feedly.com/e. A default URL shortener built into the popular reader application will also help Feedly users pack in more when they share something via Twitter. The feature is available for both free and pro customers of the service. You can activate it from Preferences and switch it off if you don’t want Feedly to gather link sharing analytics from your activity. Respecting the right of publishers to their content, the...


Read the full article: Feedly Launches URL Shortener For Sharing What You Read With RSS



19 January 2014

POLL: How Much Free Space Did You Manage To Get From Dropbox?



dropbox-space

Last week we asked you about CES, and gave you a chance to tell us what was your favorite new gadget this year. Personally, I thought this CES was pretty exciting, but it seems that most of you don’t agree. Nevertheless, one cool gadget did come out on top, and by quite a margin. There were 12 options in this poll, including the option to vote for “other”. To save you from having to read through an endless list of results, I’ll focus on those that did significantly better than their counterparts: Out of the 229 votes on this poll,...


Read the full article: POLL: How Much Free Space Did You Manage To Get From Dropbox?



What Is Creative Commons, And Should You Use It?



cc-unlock

While writing out your next academic paper, you look online for various images which are appropriate for what you’re talking about. Once you find something you like, you simply copy and paste it because, hey, who’s stopping you? More than likely, doing this is technically illegal. Not only that, but it applies to most content that you can find online — including posts/articles and videos. To make things easier on both content creators and consumers, Lawrence Lessig created the suite of Creative Commons licenses, a set of copyright licenses which clarify what you can do with content licensed with one...


Read the full article: What Is Creative Commons, And Should You Use It?