02 May 2014

Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]



windows-xp-head

Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft patches Windows XP, Vine does a YouTube, Twitter experiments with muting, a Google Glass teardown, Amazon smartphone leaks, a real-life Dropbox, and the creator of Minecraft’s new game. Microsoft Backtracks On XP Support “DON’T USE WINDOWS XP WE WILL NEVER PATCH IT AGAIN EXCEPT WHEN WE TOTALLY PATCH IT AGAIN.” You blinked. http://t.co/moSpDAxJT2 — Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) May 2, 2014 Microsoft has released an emergency patch fixing the vulnerability recently discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer. As well as the expected patches for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has issued...


Read the full article: Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]



Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]



windows-xp-head

Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft patches Windows XP, Vine does a YouTube, Twitter experiments with muting, a Google Glass teardown, Amazon smartphone leaks, a real-life Dropbox, and the creator of Minecraft’s new game. Microsoft Backtracks On XP Support “DON’T USE WINDOWS XP WE WILL NEVER PATCH IT AGAIN EXCEPT WHEN WE TOTALLY PATCH IT AGAIN.” You blinked. http://t.co/moSpDAxJT2 — Scott Hanselman (@shanselman) May 2, 2014 Microsoft has released an emergency patch fixing the vulnerability recently discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer. As well as the expected patches for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has issued...


Read the full article: Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]



Lucidpress: The Free Online InDesign Alternative For Your Creative Needs



lucidpress

Adobe InDesign is a fantastic desktop publishing program, but is still prohibitively expensive for many who only need a casual page layout app. The monthly subscription model of the Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) is still not quite right for casual projects and minimal budgets. So, what is a casual designer to use as an InDesign replacement? After a bit of research, I decided to try Lucidpress. One of Lucidpress’s main advantages is that it’s a free InDesign alternative available online. For all the new Chromebook users out there who need a page layout tool, this is a major selling point...


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4 Hidden Benefits Of Learning A Foreign Language If You Are A Geek



language-featured

When you’re an Anglophone geek, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that you don’t have to learn a foreign language. After all, nearly every piece of software comes with an English localization. Most programming languages use English words and phrases. Indeed, English is overwhelmingly the language of the Internet. And yet, there’s never been a better reason and a better time to learn a foreign language. We’ve talked about ways in which you can learn a language over the Internet, but we’ve not really talked about the benefits learning a new language can deliver to a geek. Indeed, there...


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01 May 2014

Build Your Own Weather Dashboard In This Google Spreadsheet Master Class



weather-spreadsheet

“Computer! Show me all current weather conditions within 300 miles of my current location” “Yes Captain” “Now, show me the humidity levels for those locations, charted by longitude and latitude on a map” “Yes Captain” Would you like to turn your Google Drive account into an intelligent weather analysis system, and live out this Star Trek fantasy? Okay, you might not be able to turn Google Spreadsheets into an artificially intelligent computer system that will respond to your voice commands, but in this article I’ll show you how you can import weather data from the Internet and have your own...


Read the full article: Build Your Own Weather Dashboard In This Google Spreadsheet Master Class



Get Tech Skills You Need At These Top 7 Online Course Sites



learning-computer-skills

The 21st Century workplace isn’t any different from the amphitheaters of ancient Rome. You are fighting someone brandishing a tech skill in demand, or running to barely stay ahead of the corporate lion going cutting edge. There is no war here – it’s a battle every day. The great thing is that you will not end up as vulture feed. The Roman arena was a prison. The 21st Century workplace sets you free with multiple gates of learning. Online learning is a disruptive technology whose time has come. Even though, there are genuine criticisms against the effectiveness of massive online...


Read the full article: Get Tech Skills You Need At These Top 7 Online Course Sites



Looking For A Markdown Editor For Linux? Try These 3 Solid Options



linux-markdown

If you’re looking for a dependable Markdown editor for Linux, we have three great options for you to consider. Markdown is a excellent format in which to write all things Web. With easy-to-use syntax, it bridges the gap between plain text and HTML smoothly. While Windows and Mac users, and even Android users, have many Markdown editors to choose from, Linux users will find fewer options. Having said that, there are a few decent options for us Linux users; you’ll find a few of them below. But first things first: if you’re not sure why and how you should be...


Read the full article: Looking For A Markdown Editor For Linux? Try These 3 Solid Options



Do You Care What Happens To Google+? [We Ask You]



we-ask-you-logo

Google+ hasn’t exactly set the world alight. It’s done OK, building a sizable userbase thanks to Google’s insistence we all have a Google+ account – whether we want one or not. But it’s hardly Facebook or Twitter in terms of engagement. Which leads us to ponder whether anyone actually cares about Google+ and its ultimate fate. We suspect no one does, and that assumption, and the arguments for and against it, form the basis for this week’s We Ask You discussion. Google+, Google-, Google+-? We want to know, Do You Care What Happens To Google+? The future of Google+ is...


Read the full article: Do You Care What Happens To Google+? [We Ask You]



Education For All: Volunteer In Coursera’s Global Translator Community



coursera-news

Coursera is calling on volunteers. The MOOC platform has launched The Global Translator Community (GTC) program that will attempt to add translated subtitles to the 600 plus video courses on the site. Coursera observes that only 40% of “Courserians” live in English-speaking countries. Translated video courses will immediately open up educational opportunities to a wider swathe of people around the world. Once the program kicks off, translated subtitles will be displayed for all students through a “closed captioning” tool at the bottom of the video player. According to Coursera, the demand for translated subtitles for the video courses is a...


Read the full article: Education For All: Volunteer In Coursera’s Global Translator Community



5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With The WordPress Config File



wp-config

At the heart of every WordPress install is the wp-config.php file, a file so sacred and shrouded in mystery that every WordPress user knows it should never be touched. Or should it? In fact, there’s a lot of lesser known useful hacks that can be without damaging WordPress in any way, and it’s about time you took your WordPress skills up a notch. Read on for 5 of my favourite wp-config tricks. This article is strictly intended for self-hosted WordPress.org sites, not those hosted on WordPress.com (what’s the difference?). Before you start, know that you can potentially stop WordPress from...


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30 April 2014

4 Rules For Working With Tech Support When Your Site Goes Down



website-down-tech-support

How do you host your website? You might choose to host it on the bare-metal of a dedicated server, or on a cost-effective VPS. If you’re anything like me, you probably choose to host your site on a managed, shared-hosting package, mostly out of pure laziness. After all, who wants to do server management in their spare time? The other day, my website was automatically upgraded to the latest and greatest WordPress; version 3.9. Not long after, everything broke. Suddenly, I was unable to create new blog posts. I couldn’t log in. I couldn’t see my Jetpack statistics. Nothing worked....


Read the full article: 4 Rules For Working With Tech Support When Your Site Goes Down



What You Can Do With Gists on Github?



Github is the popular website among software developers for sharing code. The site hosts over 12 million open-source projects — including games, books and even fonts — making Github the largest code repository on the Internet.


Github offers another useful service called Gist that developers often use to dump their code snippets but Gists aren’t just for geeks and coders — they offer something for everybody. If you have ever heard of web apps like Pastebin or Pastie, Gist are similar but more polished, they are free of advertising and loaded with more features.


Gist – They aren’t just for Geeks!


Here are some areas where you can utilize the Gist service. And you don’t have to be a geek for this.


1. Write Text Anonymously


You don’t have to create an account at Github to use Gists. Just go to gist.github.com, write any block of text in the space provided and create a Gist. You can choose to have a secret Gist that will not be visible to search engines but only to those who know the URL of that secret Gist.


2. Track Changes like a Wiki


When you edit the content of a Gist that has already been published, the previous versions of the Gist are also preserved. You can hit the Revisions tab to track edits made over time and there’s a built-in diff engine that will visually highlight the changes between any two versions of a gist. This can also be used for comparing text files.


Compare File Difference


3. Publish Gists in Rich Text


While gists only accept plain text, you can use the Markdown format to publish your text in rich HTML format. You can add lists, images (hosted externally) and even Tables that are not supported in the original Markdown specification. When you are done writing the text in Markdown, remember to save the file with a .md extension.


markdown gist


4. Gist as a Writing Platform


While there exist plenty of writing engines — from Blogger to Medium to Tumblr — you can also Github’s Gist service to quickly publish your writings on the web. Create a Gist either in plain text or markdown format and then use roughdraft.io to publish that Gist as a standalone web page. It’s like integrating Readability with your Gists. And you can use emoji (smileys) too!


5. Host Single Page Websites on Gist


Bl.ocks is one of the most interesting applications built for Gists. You can write your HTML, CSS and JavaScript code in plain text, save the Gist as index.html and then use bl.ocks.org to serve the rendered version of that HTML web page as it should appear in the browser. For instance, here’s a live version of an HTML file that is hosted on gist.github.com.


There are bandwidth constraints obviously but bl.ock.org is still an excellent tool for hosting your HTML through Gists. The other alternative is Google Drive.


6. Maintain a Task List


You can use Gists to keep track of pending tasks (see example). The tasks are written in a special syntax in plain text but they are rendered as a list of check boxes.



- [x] Pick the flowers
- [ ] Call John 9303032332
- [x] Cancel cable subscription
- [ ] Book the flight tickets

You can check or uncheck the items and the source text will update automatically. If your Gist is public, anyone can see your to-do lists but only the gist owner can change the status of individual tasks.


7. Gist as a Web Clipper


The GistBox add-on for Google Chrome lets you save text snippets from web pages as public or private gists. You can even add labels, or #hashtags, to your gists making discovery easier.


8. Embed Gists in Web Pages


You can embed any Gist in your web pages with a line of JavaScript code. The embedded Gists maintain all the formatting and syntax highlighting and visitors to your website can easily clone (or fork) your Gist into their own Github accounts. There’s also a plugin and shortcode for embedding Gists in WordPress blogs.



<script src="http://ift.tt/1o3bYDJ;

9. Measure the Traffic


You can use Google Analytics to measure the traffic to your Gists. Since Github does not allow JavaScript code to run inside plain text Gists, we can use the GA Beacon to log visits in real-time to Gists.


Add this line to your Gists, save in Markdown format and it will add a transparent tracking image to your Gists.



![Analytics](http://ift.tt/1pOi6Ew)

10. Manage Gists from the Desktop


Gisto is free desktop application that lets you manage your Gists outside the browser. You can search Gists, edit the content of gists, view revisions over time and also share Gists. The app is available for Mac OSX, Windows and Linux. The other alternative is GistBox which is a web app.




This story, What You Can Do With Gists on Github?, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 30/04/2014 under Internet

Twitter Is Flatlining, Firefox 29 Is Radical, MacBook Air Is Cheaper [Tech News Digest]



heart-rate-monitor-fingernails

Today in Tech News Digest, Twitter flatlines, Firefox updates, MacBook Air cheapens, Xbox One lands, Udacity expands, and Vsauce measures. Twitter Is Flatlining It sucks that twitter has ruined every experience that one could possibly ever have huh — matt (@mattbuchanan) April 23, 2014 Twitter has reported its financial results for Q1 2014. The figures can be spun a number of ways depending on your point of view, but the ultimate truth lurking behind them all is that Twitter is flatlining to an alarming degree. The financials aren’t too bad. Twitter brought in revenues of $250 million during the last...


Read the full article: Twitter Is Flatlining, Firefox 29 Is Radical, MacBook Air Is Cheaper [Tech News Digest]



Watching TV: Anytime, Anywhere, On Every Device [We Ask You Results]



we-ask-you-logo

Watching TV is a completely different experience now than it was in the last golden age of television. The days when families would huddle around a square box spitting out a handful of channels full of scheduled content are long gone. Sadly. The range of options available for couch potatoes keen on watching television is vast. As we found out when we centered our We Ask You discussion on all things related to the television viewing habits of the MakeUseOf readership. TV Here, TV There, TV Everywhere We asked you, How Do You Watch TV? There was a healthy debate...


Read the full article: Watching TV: Anytime, Anywhere, On Every Device [We Ask You Results]



29 April 2014

Get Paid To Search With The Bing Rewards Program



bing-search

If you don’t use Bing, you may want to reconsider. A while ago, we compared Bing Images vs. Google Images as well as Bing Search vs. Google Search. Back then we declared Google as the winner but the past few years have seen gradual improvements to Bing, making it an actual contender as a search engine. But here’s the kicker: Bing pays you to search. It’s called the Bing Rewards Program. I’m fully aware that this isn’t an altruistic act by Microsoft. Yes, you can see it as a bribe to switch away from Google. Yes, there may or may...


Read the full article: Get Paid To Search With The Bing Rewards Program



Google Self-Driving Cars, HP Android Laptop, Oculus Rift Lag [Tech News Digest]



google-self-driving-car

Today in Tech News Digest, Google self-driving cars navigate cities, Microsoft owns Nokia, HP teases an Android laptop, a Secret expansion, BuzzFeed wants $1 billion, Joss Whedon gets In Your Eyes, and Oculus Rift demonstrates living with lag. Google Updates Us On Self-Driving Cars Google has offered an update on where its epic effort to make self-driving cars a reality stands at the moment. The big challenge being mastered right now is driving through city streets, with mastery of freeway driving having been achieved. Chris Urmston, the director of the project, claims Google’s self-driving cars have now completed more than...


Read the full article: Google Self-Driving Cars, HP Android Laptop, Oculus Rift Lag [Tech News Digest]



Relive History With 80,000+ British Pathé Historical Newsreels [Stuff to Watch]




Pathé News, known these days as British Pathé, has been responsible for recording some of the most important events in history – from global warfare to World Cup finals, and now much of the footage is available to watch on YouTube. With over 80,000 films to peruse, you would need years to get through them all – and there’s not a lot of order to the collection either. Regardless, if you’re looking for footage of well-documented cultural movements, news events and days that shook the world then British Pathé on YouTube is a great place to start. Queen Victoria’s Funeral...


Read the full article: Relive History With 80,000+ British Pathé Historical Newsreels [Stuff to Watch]



No Blog, No Problem — 3 Handy Apps To Help You Quickly Publish A Post



just-write-it

If a blog feels like too much work, feel free to cut it out of the equation. You can publish posts without one. Writer or not, you might wish to put your thoughts in writing when the mood strikes you. If you want to start a blog we have plenty of information to help you with that, including this definitive guide to WordPress and Joel’s article on easy-to-use blogging tools. But what if having to set up and maintain a blog to send out the occasional post does not appeal to you? Maybe you just want to contribute a few...


Read the full article: No Blog, No Problem — 3 Handy Apps To Help You Quickly Publish A Post



28 April 2014

Scapple Lets You Organize Your Thoughts However You Like



scapple

Need a better tool for brainstorming, or just organizing thoughts? Check out Scapple. This Mac and Windows note-taking software lets you write down ideas, move them around and connect one concept to another – and it couldn’t be easier to use. Scapple, in their own documentation, seems to intentionally avoid using the terms “mind mapping”, instead calling the product a note-taking app. The distinction is a wise one – the majority of earth-dwelling humans have no idea what “mind mapping” is, but almost everyone takes notes. Still, if you’re familiar with mind-mapping software, you might think you know what Scapple...


Read the full article: Scapple Lets You Organize Your Thoughts However You Like



12 Useful Tweaks To Make Ubuntu Feel Like Home



ubuntu-tools

Ubuntu is a pretty good Linux distribution to start out with, but there are some tweaks you might want to perform to get it to work and behave the way you want it to. This is especially true if you’re new to Ubuntu or Linux. If you’ve jumped over from Windows XP, you’ve made a good choice. Here we’ll show you some great tweaks that can go a long way to achieving desktop zen. Install Proprietary Drivers The first thing you should do is install proprietary drivers, if available. These drivers are provided by the manufacturer and generally allow your...


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SUPERAntiSpyware Is A Vital Tool In The Fight Against Malware



superantispyware

When it comes to detecting and removing malware, you might have used or at least heard of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. We’ve covered it before, but perhaps you want to try a different solution for your on-demand scanning needs. Even if you swear by Malwarebytes, it’s not a bad idea to scan with multiple one time-scanners once in a while. If you’ve been looking for a new tool to add to your security arsenal, perhaps SUPERAntiSpyware is right for you. Setting Up The name SUPERAntiSpyware (SAS) sounds a bit shady, almost like a fake antivirus program, but rest assured that it’s a...


Read the full article: SUPERAntiSpyware Is A Vital Tool In The Fight Against Malware



8 Things Most People Don’t Know About Amazon’s Bestsellers Rank (Sales Rank)



AmazonSalesRank

Amazon has various ways of ranking products, but one of the least understood seems to be the Amazon Bestsellers Rank (also known simply as ‘Sales Rank’). This post will hopefully help you understand , as a customer, which books are selling well in a certain topic, and as a seller, which products may be your main competitors. As a seller (or in the case of books, as an author) is your marketing is working? Armed with Amazon’s “secret recipe”, you also become a better buyer. Please bear in mind that Amazon does not explicitly state how the Bestsellers Rank is...


Read the full article: 8 Things Most People Don’t Know About Amazon’s Bestsellers Rank (Sales Rank)



Internet Explorer Flaw, Netflix Cable, Cortana Children, E.T. Found In Desert [Tech News Digest]



internet-explorer-pin-cushion

Today in Tech News Digest, an Internet Explorer flaw, government-built social networks, Netflix as a cable channel, ComiXology in-app purchases, Cortana hates children, a Codecademy makeover, and E.T. found in the desert. Internet Explorer Suffers Critical Flaw A new vulnerability is affecting Internet Explorer users. Follow these steps exactly: 1. Stop ever using Internet Explorer End of steps. — pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) April 28, 2014 A serious security flaw has been discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s much-maligned Web browser. The zero-day vulnerability is present in Internet Explorer 6 through 11 and could allow hackers to gain access to...


Read the full article: Internet Explorer Flaw, Netflix Cable, Cortana Children, E.T. Found In Desert [Tech News Digest]



27 April 2014

How To Upgrade Or Switch Linux Distros Without Erasing Your Files



linux-fedora-ubuntu

Do you find yourself switching between Linux distributions frequently? When upgrading, do you favor clean installations over in-place upgrades? Do you hate that you have to back up all your personal data, or else lose it? What if I told you that this doesn’t have to happen? It’s actually quite easy to switch between different Linux distributions or perform clean installations and still retain all of your personal data. We’ll show you what to do so that you’re all set up no matter your current situation. How Does It Work? What’s the magic that lets you keep all your personal...


Read the full article: How To Upgrade Or Switch Linux Distros Without Erasing Your Files