28 June 2014

Free Social Media Icons for your Website

Here are some of my favorite social media iconsets that are professionally designed, they are available as free downloads and can be used anywhere, including presentations, without restrictions. The collection includes flat icons, circular, long shadows, thin and minimalistic icons with thin edges, and more. Click the proof sheet images for the download links.


Cute Social Media Icons






Screen Shot 2014-06-28 at 2.47.52 PM


Find Free Images for your Website



Tip: Use reverse image search in Google to discover similar icon sets on the web.

This story, Free Social Media Icons for your Website, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 28/06/2014 under Facebook, Icons, Twitter, Internet

Responsive YouTube Player

Remember the YouTube experiment that resized the player dynamically? Now it's a regular YouTube feature.

"When using YouTube on your computer, the size of your video player will automatically adapt based on the available space in your browser window. If your browser is larger than a certain size, you will see a larger player by default. If you want to manually change the size of your video player, resize your browser window," informs YouTube.

Another change is that the "large player" setting is called "theater mode" and has a black background.

Here's a video that shows the new features:

Google Play Services Delivers Security Updates

One of the most important new features announced at Google I/O was that Google Play Services will deliver security updates.

Google Play Services started as a way to solve Android's fragmentation problem: instead of adding APIs to new Android versions, they were added to Play Services, which was bundled with almost any Android device and updated automatically by Google. Play Services became a clever tool that allowed Google to add new features to Android without waiting until phone manufacturers update their software.

Now it looks like Google can deliver timely security updates using the same software bundle. Apparently, Google uses a "Dynamic Security Provider, which offers an alternative to the platform's secure networking APIs that can be updated more frequently, for faster delivery of security patches."

Google Play Services is updated every 6 weeks and about 93% of the Android devices have the latest version.

27 June 2014

Android Developer Previews

This year, Google changed the way it releases new Android versions. Just like Apple, Google released a developer preview that allows developers to test their apps, add new features, tweak their UIs before regular users install the new Android version.

This make sense, considering that Android L (Android 5.0) is probably the biggest new release since Android 1.0. There's a new runtime (ART replaces Dalvik), 64-bit support, a completely new design language, there are a lot of new APIs and new classes of devices that require optimized interfaces.

"The Developer Preview lets you explore features and capabilities of the L release and get started developing and testing on the new platform. The L Developer Preview includes updated SDK tools, system images for testing on an emulator, and system images for testing on a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7 device." Only the latest of version of Nexus 7 Wifi is supported. "With the SDK Tools, and Nexus device images, you can get a head start on testing out your app on the latest Android platform months before the official launch. You can use the extra lead time to take advantage of all the new app features and APIs in your apps," informs Google.

A yearly major release with a few months of beta testing has a lot of advantages:

* bugs can be found faster and the final release will be better. There's a bug tracker for the Dev Preview

* Nexus phones and tablets are actually used as developer devices

* both iOS and Windows Phone allow developers to install early releases. Android is now more developer-friendly

* developers are expected to test their apps in the new Android version and take advantage of the new features, so Android apps will get better

* developers have more time to read about the latest features and to update their apps

* developers and power users feel important because they get to try the latest features faster

* there's more hype about the latest Android release: journalists and bloggers write more articles about the new features because not everyone wants to install "dev preview" software

* phone manufactures have a few more months to integrate, optimize and test their own software

* when the new Android version is publicly released, more devices will be updated (not just Nexus and Play Edition phones and tablets)

* new Android versions will get significant market share faster.

To sum up, Android developer previews are better for developers, users, phone manufacturers and for Google. Developers, manufactures and Google have more time to improve their software, while users will install a better OS and higher quality apps.

31 Premium Android Apps Available for Free on Amazon

Free Android Apps

The Amazon Appstore is giving away 31 paid Android apps, worth more than $100, for free. The offer will remain valid until tomorrow (28th June) and you can head over to Amazon.com to download the various apps that are available as part of this package.

The list includes popular Android games and utility apps like Splashtop (Remote Desktop), Plex (media streaming), Accuweather (ad-free version), Root Explorer (file manager), Travel Interpreter (language help) and MyBackup Pro (for backup).

If you have never downloaded Android apps from Amazon before, first install the Appstore on our phone and then login using your existing Amazon credentials. Once your Android phone is linked to Amazon, you will be able to purchase apps from the Amazon website and they’ll download automatically on your phone.

This story, 31 Premium Android Apps Available for Free on Amazon, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 27/06/2014 under Android, Internet

26 June 2014

Google's "Right to be Forgotten" Disclaimer

If you are in a EU country, you may have seen this message when searching for a name: "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe". It's displayed below the list of search results, but it's worth pointing out that the message only expresses a possibility:

"When you search for a name, you may see a notice that says that results may have been modified in accordance with data protection law in Europe. We're showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal," informs Google.

"The recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has profound consequences for search engines in Europe. The court found that certain users have the right to ask search engines like Google to remove results for queries that include the person's name. To qualify, the results shown would need to be inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive."

There's a form you can fill out and request that Google removes certain search results associated with your name. You also need to attach a legible copy of a document that verifies your identity.

Here's how the whole thing started:

On 5 March 2010, Mr Costeja González, a Spanish national resident in Spain, lodged with the AEPD (Spanish Data Protection Agency) a complaint against La Vanguardia Ediciones SL, which publishes a daily newspaper with a large circulation, in particular in Catalonia (Spain) ('La Vanguardia'), and against Google Spain and Google Inc. The complaint was based on the fact that, when an internet user entered Mr Costeja González's name in the search engine of the Google group ('Google Search'), he would obtain links to two pages of La Vanguardia's newspaper, of 19 January and 9 March 1998 respectively, on which an announcement mentioning Mr Costeja González's name appeared for a real-estate auction connected with attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts.

By that complaint, Mr Costeja González requested, first, that La Vanguardia be required either to remove or alter those pages so that the personal data relating to him no longer appeared or to use certain tools made available by search engines in order to protect the data. Second, he requested that Google Spain or Google Inc. be required to remove or conceal the personal data relating to him so that they ceased to be included in the search results and no longer appeared in the links to La Vanguardia.

AEPD rejected the complaint against La Vanguardia, but decided that the complaint Google was justified because "search engines are subject to data protection legislation". Google Spain disagreed: "search engines process all the information available on the internet without effecting a selection between personal data and other information". Data processing has multiple meanings: there are companies that process personal data and other companies that process publicly available data from the Web. Google also suggested that complaints should be directed to the sites that include personal information, not to search engines. Google sued in Spain and the lawsuit was transferred to the European Court of Justice. The Court of Justice decided that search engines process personal data.

"Google received 12,000 requests on the first day of its 'to be forgotten' campaign, in which Europeans have been given court backing to have certain links removed."

How to Sell Digital Products Online with Google Drive and PayPal

The web has made it incredibly easy for anyone to sell digital products directly from their website, Twitter, Facebook or even through email newsletters. The world is your marketplace and you can sell PDF books, MP3 music, photos, software programs, video courses, website themes, and everything else that can be downloaded.

While there are quite a few web services that let you sell digital content online for a commission (around 5% per transaction), I want to share a do-it-yourself solution that I have been using on my services website. You can see another example here on labnol.org.

The workflow uses Google Drive for storing files, PayPal for payments and Gmail for delivering content to the buyer. There’re no limitation on the size of files or the number of products that you can sell. There’re no bandwidth restrictions. There’s no middleman fees except for the usual PayPal charges. And people can purchase your stuff through PayPal or using their debit or credit cards.

Sell Digital Downloads with PayPal and Google Drive

paypal button

First, create a “Buy Now” button in your PayPal account for the product that you wish to sell online and assign a unique Item ID to the item (see screenshot above).

PayPal will now offer you the HTML code for the purchase button that you can embed in your website. Alternatively, you can copy the direct link – see example – to share your product over email or for selling on social media websites.

PayPal Buy Button

The next thing you need to do is upload the corresponding file to your Google Drive. When someone makes a purchase, the Google script will pull this file from Drive and send it to the buyer via Gmail as an email attachment. If the file is big, say the size >20 MB, the script will automatically share the file with the buyer and sends the shared link instead of the actual file.

The final step is to run the Google Script that will monitor your Gmail mailbox for any PayPal related transactions and sends the digital files to the buyer.

This is easy. Click here to make a copy of the PayPal script in your Google Drive and include the Item IDs and file names of all products that you are selling through PayPal. Next choose Run -> PayPal and authorize the script.

PayPal Items with Google Drive

That’s it. The script will read your Gmail mailbox every 5 minutes and will process all PayPal related emails. Once the files have been delivered to the buyer, the PayPal emails will moved to the archive. You can check out the Programmer’s Library for the annotated source code.

Later, if you release an updated version of your digital files, you can use Mail Merge with Gmail to let all your previous buyers know about the new version. You can put all the PayPal emails under a new Gmail label, extract the email addresses and use this list for your merge.

This story, How to Sell Digital Products Online with Google Drive and PayPal, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 26/06/2014 under Google Drive, Paypal, Internet

25 June 2014

Google Tests Site Info Cards for Mobile

Google Mobile Search experiments with adding the site info feature that shows information about sites from Wikipedia and the Open Directory. Google shows a three dot icon next to the snippet. Tap the icon and you can learn more about a site.

I used Chrome's mobile emulation feature and the cookie values from here to take these screenshots. For some reason, the experimental feature works only if you are not signed in to a Google account.

{ Thanks, Rubén. }

Huge Titles in Google Mobile Search

Google's mobile search interface has a new feature that makes titles bigger for search results that have sitelinks. For example, when searching for [amazon prime], the title of the top result is so big that it can't even be fully displayed, even if it doesn't have so many characters: "Amazon.com: Amazon Prime (One Year Membership)".

Here's the same search result, but for a slightly different query: [amazon prime membership].

I tested this for various navigational searches like [microsoft], [htc], [tesla], [stanford] in Google Search for Android, Chrome for Android and iOS and Safari for iOS.

{ Thanks, Lee. }

23 June 2014

[Poster] Which Creative Commons License is Right for me?

Creative Commons makes it easy for content creators to define a set of rules under which they would like the public to use their creative work. For instance, if you upload a photograph on the Internet, you can apply a Creative Commons license that would allow others to embed that photograph in a website or use in a presentation but not sell it commercially.

The important thing to note about CC licenses is that they are irrevocable. Thus, if you release your images under a particular CC license, others will always have the right to use them under that license even if you later decide to stop distributing the images under Creative Commons.

If you have been trying to understand the terms of the various Creative Commons licenses, this comic poster from CC Poland is a good resource to start with. There are 6 types of licenses with separate conditions attached to each of them and you got to understand them well before picking a license for your work.

creative commons poster

This story, [Poster] Which Creative Commons License is Right for me?, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 20/06/2014 under Creative Commons, Infographics, Internet