29 March 2014

Does The Fall Of Mt. Gox Mark The Beginning Of The End For Bitcoin? [MUO Debates]



financial-billboard

Does 2014 mark the beginning of the end for Bitcoin? Is this the end of the road for electronic currency? Why the melodrama? Well, Mt. Gox, the Bitcoin exchange, was allegedly hit with a series the of thefts totaling an astonishing 745,000 Bitcoins. It was probably just a matter of time, as hackers had been working diligently at breaking into Mt. Gox servers for years and grabbing the loot. Other exchanges claimed that the issues were isolated only to Mt. Gox servers, but that didn’t prevent investors around the world feeling a bit on edge about the security of this...


Read the full article: Does The Fall Of Mt. Gox Mark The Beginning Of The End For Bitcoin? [MUO Debates]



Find The Best Animal Healthcare Advice Online



animal-health-care

Do you own a pet? Well, MakeUseOf has a number of articles with advice on how to access human medical advice online. A few examples include articles on HealthTap and Doctors on Demand. However, a recent article on how to find reliable medical advice online got a reader asking for information on where to find the same kind of reliable health advice for animals. This article will, hopefully, fill the void. Animal healthcare advice is broadly categorized into two; medical advice for pets and advice for farm animals. There are dozens of online pet healthcare websites but the following are...


Read the full article: Find The Best Animal Healthcare Advice Online



28 March 2014

Rank With Your Images: 4 Ways To Make Your Images SEO Friendly



image-seo-optimization

Search engine optimization, typically called SEO, can make or break your site. SEO is the process of increasing your website’s visibility to search engines. It’s a popular topic but there’s one SEO-related issue that tends to be overlooked: image optimization. How much traffic are you losing due to poor image SEO? Yes, it’s true. Image searches can drive a lot of traffic to your website if you know what you’re doing. The trick is to understand how search engines work and format your images accordingly. Here are a few fundamental tips that will get you started. Image SEO Tip #1:...


Read the full article: Rank With Your Images: 4 Ways To Make Your Images SEO Friendly



Facebook Favorite For Chrome Is A Private Way To Save Posts For Later



facebook-favorites-chrome

Facebook itself only has “Like” and “Share” buttons, both of which publicly tell people what you think. But what if you want to save a post for later without broadcasting or endorsing it? Meet Facebook Favorite for Chrome. Solving A Facebook Problem One of the biggest problems I face on Facebook is that there is no easy mechanism to save a post privately. Sometimes, I come across articles and posts that I don’t like but I want to store them for later reference—there’s no way to do that on Facebook directly. What you Like on Facebook can tell a lot...


Read the full article: Facebook Favorite For Chrome Is A Private Way To Save Posts For Later



Office For iPad, NSA Database, Twitter Billboard, Google Naps [Tech News Digest]



office-for-ipad

Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft Office for iPad, NSA phone databases, Twitter’s partnership with Billboard, Facebook’s minor legal victory, Twitter photo tagging and sharing, and grabbing 40 winks with Google Naps. Microsoft Releases Office for iPad Microsoft has released Office for iPad, proving several years of rumors to be true. Office for iPad brings Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to Apple tablets for the first time, following on from Office landing on the iPhone in 2013. Office for iPad is free to download and certain features are available at no extra charge. However, if you want to edit documents rather...


Read the full article: Office For iPad, NSA Database, Twitter Billboard, Google Naps [Tech News Digest]



Google Latitude and Knowledge Graph



Google Latitude was the name of a Google product. When you search for [google latitude], Google now shows the physical coordinates of its headquarters.






This is powered by Knowledge Graph and it's no limited to the Googleplex. It also works for [pentagon latitude], [tour eiffel coordinates] and more.

Google Docs Adds-Ons For Students: These 5 Will Help You Write A Paper



google-docs-addon

Word-processing for students has long been the domain of Microsoft Word. The recent release of add-ons is making Google Docs an appealing free option. The five add-ons we are about to meet have the potential to become quick favorites for people working on research papers, essays, and collaborative projects. But, are they good enough to make Google Docs the go-to option? Google Docs won’t be toppling Word from the top of the heavy-duty text-editing list anytime soon, but add-ons like these will help keep it in the list of best alternatives to Office. It will make it more attractive for...


Read the full article: Google Docs Adds-Ons For Students: These 5 Will Help You Write A Paper



Rearrange Apps in Google's Navigation Menu



Google's navigation menu now lets you rearrange apps using drag and drop. You can now personalize the app launcher, just like you can drag and drop apps in Chrome's app launcher. Unfortunately, you can't add other Google services.





Google Contextual Search



Chrome Beta for Android has a flag called "Enable contextual search". You can find it by opening a new tab, pasting this in the address bar: chrome://flags/#contextual-search and pressing Enter. If you click "Enable" and "Relaunch now" at the bottom of the page, you'll enable this strange feature.






What happens after enabling the feature? Tap a word from a page and Google will display it at the bottom of the page next to other surrounding words and a Google logo. Tap the logo and Chrome sends you to an internal Google page you can't access. The URL starts with: http://ift.tt/1foDdTD and includes the word you've tapped, the context and the URL of the page.



It's not clear what's the goal of this feature, but I assume that Google might show some search results related to the words you've selected and the context.



{ Thanks, Jérôme Flipo. }

The Best of Gmail



Gmail shows an interesting ad for the mobile Gmail app. I spotted the promotional message in the Gmail sidebar: "The official Gmail app. The best of Gmail is only available in the official app. Try it now".






When clicking "Try it now", Gmail shows this inline box with 3 options to get the right Gmail app for your device: sending a link by SMS, scanning a QR code or visiting gmail.com/app on your mobile device.








Facing Writer’s Block? Get The Ideas Flowing With These 3 Daily Rituals



idea-maze

With just a few regular activities, writers can reduce their constant struggle for ideas. Writing is as much about coming up with a good idea as it is about articulating it. But we all know how elusive such ideas can be. Their hide-and-seek tactics have left us with the pesky writer’s block. Some writers live in fear of it, while some others dismiss it as a myth. The bottom line is that the lack of good ideas is one issue many writers face in common. Thankfully, you can overcome it with something as simple as a daily ritual. Here are...


Read the full article: Facing Writer’s Block? Get The Ideas Flowing With These 3 Daily Rituals



27 March 2014

Google Play Music Match



How to tell if a song from Google Play Music was uploaded from your computer or it was simply matched with a copy from Google's servers? Click the 3-dot icon next to the song's name in the desktop interface and see if you can find a menu item called "fix incorrect match". If so, you'll listen to Google's version of the song.






"In order to upload your music quickly, Google Play matches your music files with copies on our server. Occassionally we might match with the wrong song. Report the problem here and the song will be corrected to use your copy instead of the matched copy," mentions Google's dialog.






If you click "fix match", you'll get this message: "Please make sure that the computer where you keep this song is running Music Manager and is connected to the internet. The song will be uploaded again within the next day."






Google's copies have a bit rate of 320kbps, so many of your songs will be "upgraded". You can check this by clicking "edit info".





Google Play Music Mini Player and Browser Upload



There's a new experimental feature in Google Play Music Labs: it's called Google Play Music for Chrome and it lets you "control music playback with a new mini player, add your existing music collection, and download free and purchased songs without installing Music Manager."






The Labs feature only works in Chrome and it uses Native Client to bring many of the features of the Music Manager app to the browser (great news for Chrome OS users). It also lets you install a Play Music app that shows a mini player that lets you control your music.









The mini player doesn't work if you close the Play Music tab, so you still have to keep it open.






You can also upload your music directly from Chrome. You can pick your folders or use the iTunes library. By default, Google will continue to monitor your folders and upload new music.






This is the "media file permissions" dialog:






I've picked my Music folder.









You can continue to use Play Music while the files are uploaded. You can check the progress at the bottom of the window, in the left sidebar.






If you don't have a lot of files to upload, you can use drag and drop. Just drag the files the Play Music tab.






When you downloaded multiple files, for example when downloading an album, Google used to create a ZIP archive. Now you can set a download folder and all the files are automatically downloaded to that folder.









{ via Google Play }

Top 7 TV News Outlets That Accept Your Newsworthy Pictures And Videos



photography

7th July 2005 saw four bombs going off in London. It was one of the worst terror attacks on English soil. A year later, an anonymous Londoner received a citizen journalist award for his timely click of the aftermath. Broadcasters like the BBC featured his photo. The photo wasn’t a professional snap by media standards but Vicky Taylor, BBC News Interactivity editor and one of the judges in the prize jury said, I went with the pictures which were taken by people almost by chance. They did not set out to photograph an event, it just happened in front of...


Read the full article: Top 7 TV News Outlets That Accept Your Newsworthy Pictures And Videos



Turkey Twitter War, Gmail Snooping, BlackBerry Leaks, MS-DOS Secrets [Tech News Digest]



twitter-typography

Today in Tech News Digest, Twitter at war with Turkey, Google reading your Gmail, BlackBerry attacking leakers, Sony revealing Project Morpheus, Google comparing foodstuffs, MS-DOS giving up its secrets. Twitter At War With Turkish Government The best responses to Turkey’s Twitter ban: http://t.co/YeQqs4HxoM http://ift.tt/1p3Dimf — HootSuite (@hootsuite) March 26, 2014 Turkey recently banned Twitter, with the Turkish government deciding the social media site was a disruptive influence on the country’s citizens. Twitter isn’t giving up without a fight, however, and is taking decisive action to try and get the ban overturned. In an official blog post, Twitter spells out what...


Read the full article: Turkey Twitter War, Gmail Snooping, BlackBerry Leaks, MS-DOS Secrets [Tech News Digest]



Can I Install Windows 7/8.1 On Windows XP Computer?



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Windows XP, the most successful desktop operating system in terms of market share, is going out of support on April 8th, 2014. Microsoft has been doing its best to move Windows XP users to Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1, but millions of users are still happily using the aging Windows XP. A couple of days […]

Google Presentation and Drawing Apps Add Image Cropping, Masks and Borders



Google-Presentation-Drawing-Cropping-Mask-Borders

After cutting prices on storage for Google Drive and delivering new features on the Spreadsheet app (which are now available for everyone), Google has now turned its attention to the Presentation and Drawing apps. Since images are a big part of those, a new update brings simple image editing tools, like cropping, shape masking and adding borders. The cropping tool is pretty basic. When you upload or select any image in a slide, click the new “Crop” button in the toolbar. Drag and drop the the blue handles until the image has been cropped the way you want. A shadow...


Read the full article: Google Presentation and Drawing Apps Add Image Cropping, Masks and Borders



26 March 2014

Plan Ahead: The 5 Programs That Will Save You When Your Hard Drive Dies



hdd-plan-ahead

Sooner or later your computer’s hard drive will sing its swan song. You may be lucky and pick up on some signs that your hard drive is on its way out, or it may happen in a split second without warning. Even with a solid backup plan to protect your data, your backed-up files will be inaccessible until the hard drive is replaced. Even a day without your computer can cause problems, such as not being able to print important documents or submit project results. The following websites and tools provide ways for you to retrieve your data, no matter...


Read the full article: Plan Ahead: The 5 Programs That Will Save You When Your Hard Drive Dies



On A Diet? Google Lets You Compare Any Two Foods’ Nutritional Information



nutritional-info-google

You can now compare the nutritional content of any two foods by searching Google. This feature, announced in December but missed by many, gives would-be dieters a quick way to make decisions. Whether you’re avoiding carbohydrates or just generally interested in nutritional information, getting these comparisons couldn’t be quicker. Just type the two foods into Google, with the word “Versus”. For example, you might be curious about the relative merits of celery and carrots. Curious which morning beverage offers more caffeine? Type “Compare coffee vs tea” and you’ll see this: And, as NPR points out, with this tool you actually...


Read the full article: On A Diet? Google Lets You Compare Any Two Foods’ Nutritional Information



Deskman: The Advanced Desktop Security Manager For Restricting Access To PC Settings



restricted-access

Whether you’re a system administrator or a parent who wants more control on a public or group computer, it’s not easy locking down a computer, especially with customized restrictions. This is where Deskman from Anfibia will help tremendously (we previously reviewed their shutdown manager Switch). If there’s one thing they know, it’s customizing the PC easily and securely. This comes with a price, however — Deskman isn’t free, but we’re offering it to you for exactly that as part of MakeUseOf Rewards. Primary Features One-button security Kiosk mode Simple maintenance Tons of restrictions Block applications Safe web browsing Brief Overview...


Read the full article: Deskman: The Advanced Desktop Security Manager For Restricting Access To PC Settings



How To Search Google From Start Screen In Windows 8/8.1



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Without a doubt, Start screen is one of the most talked about and criticized areas of Windows 8 operating system. Even though Microsoft tried to enhance the Start screen with more customization options and even an option to boot directly to the desktop by skipping the Start screen, majority of Windows 8/8.1 users aren’t really […]

What To Wear: Compare Before You Shop For Your Next Apparel On picVpic



picvpic-clothing

I hate shopping for clothes. No, really. I do. I hate everything about it, from the blaring chart music emanating from the PA to standing in meandering queues which stretch to infinity, just so that you can try your $70 Urban Outfitters jeans in a stuffy, cramped changing room. Yeah, shopping for clothes sucks. With that said, ordering outfits online isn’t much better. Seeing if a T-Shirt or pair of jeans suits you is hard when you don’t actually have it in your hands. It’s hard to determine the quality of the stitching or fabric when it isn’t actually within...


Read the full article: What To Wear: Compare Before You Shop For Your Next Apparel On picVpic



Facebook Oculus Rift, HTC One M8, MS-DOS Source Code, IRS Bitcoin [Tech News Digest]



wearing-oculus-rift

Today in Tech News Digest, Facebook causes an Oculus rift, HTC One blah blah, Microsoft frees MS-DOS, IRS rules on Bitcoin, Disney buys into YouTube, Google launches Photowall, and lots of white guys wear the Oculus Rift. Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion “I Kickstarted the Oculus Rift, what do I get?” You get a lesson in how capitalism works. — Andrew Vestal (@avestal) March 25, 2014 Facebook has acquired Oculus VR, the company responsible for the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. In doing so, Facebook caused consternation from early supporters of the Oculus Rift who funded the development...


Read the full article: Facebook Oculus Rift, HTC One M8, MS-DOS Source Code, IRS Bitcoin [Tech News Digest]



Facebook Oculus Rift, HTC One M8, MS-DOS Source Code, IRS Bitcoin [Tech News Digest]



wearing-oculus-rift

Today in Tech News Digest, Facebook causes an Oculus rift, HTC One blah blah, Microsoft frees MS-DOS, IRS rules on Bitcoin, Disney buys into YouTube, Google launches Photowall, and lots of white guys wear the Oculus Rift. Facebook Buys Oculus VR For $2 Billion “I Kickstarted the Oculus Rift, what do I get?” You get a lesson in how capitalism works. — Andrew Vestal (@avestal) March 25, 2014 Facebook has acquired Oculus VR, the company responsible for the Oculus Rift virtual reality system. In doing so, Facebook caused consternation from early supporters of the Oculus Rift who funded the development...


Read the full article: Facebook Oculus Rift, HTC One M8, MS-DOS Source Code, IRS Bitcoin [Tech News Digest]



Google Launches Photowall For Chromecast To Share Images On TV



Google-Photowall-For-Chromecast-Share-Images-on-TV

The $35 Google Chromecast is fantastic if you want to transfer stuff from phone to TV, and it just got a whole lot better. A bunch of Googlers have developed a new app called Photowall which lets many phones transfer images at the same time to a Chromecast-equipped TV, for collaborative photo viewing. We had said that the recently released Google Chromecast SDK will lead to big things and this is the first one from Google’s own stable. Photowall will require a Chromecast connected to your TV and a smartphone, with all of those devices simultaneously connected to the same...


Read the full article: Google Launches Photowall For Chromecast To Share Images On TV



20 Tech Topics To Get Passionate About [We Ask You Results]



we-ask-you-logo

We here at MakeUseOf have technology oozing from our pores. We eat, sleep, and breathe tech to the point that our lives are somewhat consumed by this vast subject and all its various intersecting strands. We’re only here to entertain and inform you, the MakeUseOf readership, without whom this website would be absolutely pointless. So we asked you to tell us what instills passion in your hearts – the answer to which follows this overlong lede. 20 Shades Of Geek We asked you, What Tech Topics Are You Passionate About? The response was tepid, with only a handful of comments...


Read the full article: 20 Tech Topics To Get Passionate About [We Ask You Results]



Bring Back Forum Search, Recipe Search and More



Google Search used to have an option that allowed you to restrict results to forum pages. You'll often find helpful discussions and it's nice to be able to exclude blogs, news sites, videos, shopping sites when searching for a software bug or other tech-related issues.



Fortunately, you can still restrict results to discussions: just add &tbm=dsc to a Google Search URL.






This also works for:



- blog search: add &tbm=blg

- recipe search: add &tbm=rcp

- patent search: add &tbm=pts

- local search: add &tbm=plcs



Here's a screenshot for recipe search:






Blog Search and Patent Search also have standalone sites, while Google Maps is a good place for local search.

Crop Images in Google Slides and Google Drawings



Google Slides and Google Drawings now let you crop images. You can even crop them to fit a shape like a donut, a smiley face, a star, an arrow and more. This is called a mask and you can choose various shapes, arrows, callouts or equations.



Just select an image and click the "crop" button from the toolbar to crop an image. "Drag and drop the the blue handles until the image has been cropped the way you want. A shadow of the original image will be present to help you see how much you are cropping. Click Enter on your keyboard or click back onto your slide to save the cropped image," explains Google. To fit the image into a specific shape, select it, click the arrow next to the crop button and choose a shape.






You can also add a border to your image: click the line weight icon and change the line color.