13 December 2014

Gmail Updates Right-Click Menu

Angelo Giuffrida spotted a small Gmail update and I wanted to share it with you:

"Not really groundbreaking, but interesting to note that Google updated the Gmail right-click menu. The line between Delete and the other options is new as it was previously just a 3 option menu without any additional spacing near Delete (or a line to separate that functionality)."

The menu divider separates non-destructive actions like "archive", "move to inbox" and "mark as read" from "delete".

{ Thanks, Angelo. }

10 New Languages in Google Translate

Google Translate now supports 90 languages and there are 10 new languages: Chichewa, Malagasy, Sesotho, Malayalam, Myanmar (Burmese), Sinhala, Sundanese, Kazakh, Tajik and Uzbek. "These 10 new languages will allow more than 200 million additional people to translate text to and from their native languages," informs Google.

The Translate Community feature helped Google improve its algorithms for some of the new languages. Regular users can help Google translate words and phrases, evaluate translation quality, validate translations and choose a better translation. In fact, one of the indicators for adding a new language to Google Translate is: "Speakers of the languages are eager to partner with us and offer their language expertise through Community tasks".

{ Thanks, Emanuele Bartolomucci. }

Christmas Decorations in Google Search

Just like last year, Google shows some special decorations when searching for [Christmas], [Hanukkah], [Festivus]. Christmas decorations are animated.

12 December 2014

Offline YouTube

One of YouTube Music Key's features lets you download music videos and watch them offline. Unfortunately, it doesn't even work for all music videos. If you're in India, Indonesia or Philippines, you'll be able to download other popular videos and you don't have to subscribe to YouTube Music Key.

"This feature lets you take videos offline to watch later during short periods of low or no internet connectivity. For videos where this feature is available, you can choose to add the video for offline viewing by tapping on the offline icon. Once taken offline, videos can be played back without an Internet connection for up to 48 hours, so you can enjoy YouTube videos without worrying about slow connections," informs YouTube.

But why limit this feature to 3 countries? "Asia has proven itself to be a mobile-first world in terms of smartphone adoption, but access to high-speed, affordable data remains a big challenge. Making these popular videos available for offline playback will help people move past the challenges of data connection, speed and cost to enjoy a smooth, buffer-free version of their favorite content," explains Jay Akkad, YouTube Product Manager.

The offline feature is available in the YouTube app for Android and iOS. For now, the catalog of offline-enabled videos is limited to some Hindi movies, music videos and some other popular videos. "To help monetize this initiative, this feature will be ad-supported, and ads will also show up in offline mode," informs BGR.

11 December 2014

Google Maps Promotes Google's Santa Tracker

When opening Google Maps, Google shows a card that promotes its own Santa Tracker. There's also a countdown: "X days till Santa takes off".

"On Christmas Eve we'll be proudly showcasing a Santa's dashboard, the technology that powers his sleigh during his around-the-world journey. We've received this special preview from one of Santa's many developer elves, who are hard at work in the North Pole helping Santa prepare for his big day. Santa's dashboard - featuring the latest and greatest in Google Maps technology and sleigh engineering - will allow you to follow his progress around the world, and also learn a little about some of his stops along the way," informs Google.

Google Drops Support for Security Questions

This is not that new, but I thought it's worth sharing. Google no longer supports security questions and you can't use them to access your account if you forget your password.

The "security question" section of the Google Account settings page informs users that "We no longer support security questions as a way to access your account. Please consider adding a recovery phone or recovery email address to keep your account secure." You can only delete your security question.

Security questions weren't a great way to protect an account since many answers could be guessed or found using a Google search. For example, Sarah Palin had her Yahoo email account compromised by someone who found the answers to her secret questions. "The hacker simply reset Palin's password using her birthdate, ZIP code and information about where she met her spouse — the security question on her Yahoo account, which was answered (Wasilla High) by a simple Google search."

Google Takeout Lets You Export Tasks and Saved Places

Google Takeout added 2 new services: Google Tasks and Maps (your places). You can export your tasks from Gmail, your Google Maps reviews and the places you starred or saved in Google Maps.

One of the reasons why some Google products are added to Google Takeout is that they're about to be discontinued and Takeout provides an easy way to export data. I assume that Google Tasks will be discontinued and replaced by other services like Google Keep or Google Now.

New Interface for Google Account Settings

The settings page for Google Accounts has a new URL: myaccount.google.com and a new interface powered by Material Design. The page is now responsive, it no longer uses tabs and it shows more information at a glance.

Some of the sections have been updated to Material Design, while others still use the old interface.

{ via Florian Kiersch. }

Take YouTube Videos Offline on your Mobile

YouTube users in India rejoice. You can now download YouTube videos on your Android or iOS device using the official YouTube app itself and watch the videos later while you are offline or on a slow connection.

It takes a few easy steps to download a video on the YouTube app. Open a video, tap the download button (see screenshot), choose the resolution for the downloaded video and it will begin to download on your device. There’s a new “Offline” section in the YouTube app where you can find a list of all videos that are currently in the download queue or available for offline watching.

Download YouTube Video

The offline feature is available on the YouTube app for both Android and iPhone.

Related: How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background

That said, there are certain obvious limitations. One, not every video available on the YouTube website is available for download. The offline mode is mostly disabled for music videos and movies.

Also, the downloaded videos can only be watched inside the YouTube app. I did some digging on Android and it turns out that YouTube saves the videos into smaller chunks as .exo files, a format that is not supported in other media players.

There are however no restrictions around the number of videos that you can take offline with the YouTube app, you are only limited by the free storage available on your iPhone or Android phone.

The story, Take YouTube Videos Offline on your Mobile , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 11/12/2014 under Android, IPhone, YouTube, Software.

My Maps in Google Drive

Custom maps created in Google My Maps are now saved in Google Drive. You can also create custom maps from Google Drive by clicking the "New" button, then picking "More" and "Google My Maps".

"Over the next week, all the maps you've created will also be accessible in Google Drive, so you can easily organize, manage and share them," informs Google. For now, I've only been able to find new maps, not the maps created before the Drive integration.

YouTube's Updated Autoplay Experiment

There's a new version of YouTube's autoplay experiment. Back in August, YouTube started to test an autoplay feature that automatically plays related videos. The feature is enabled by default and you can disable it.

The updated experiment has at least 2 improvements. YouTube now remembers when you disable autoplay and the feature is no longer enabled again when you play a new video. Another change is the "up next" screen that's displayed before the next video starts playing.

Here's how you can enable the experimental feature. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+:

1. open youtube.com in a new tab

2. load your browser's developer console:

* Chrome or Opera 15+ - press Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac

* Firefox - press Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac

* Internet Explorer 8+ - press F12 and select the "Console" tab

* Safari 6+ - if you haven't enabled the Develop menu, open Preferences from the Safari menu, go to the Advanced tab and check "Show Develop menu in menu bar". Close Preferences and then press Command-Option-C to show the console.

* Opera 12 - press Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac, then click "Console".

3. paste the following code which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=uGnSnmT-ukQ; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

4. press Enter and close the console.

Open a random video to see the autoplay feature. To disable the experiment, use the same instructions, but replace the code from step 3 with this one:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

Google Removes Old Firefox Start Page

Firefox's start page used to be a page hosted by Google: http://ift.tt/KACNjX. Firefox 4 changed this and switched to an internal page back in 2011. Google has now removed the customized homepage with Firefox branding and redirects to the regular homepage. You can still find the page in Google's cache.

The start page still used the black bar navigation menu, the old Google logo, the old Firefox logo and informed users that they're "not on the latest version of Firefox".

Bing Suggests Chrome Users to Switch to IE

I loaded Bing's homepage in Chrome for Windows and got this message: "Using Chrome? Make the switch. Get the faster Internet Explorer."

Switching from Chrome to Internet Explorer may seem strange. After all, Internet Explorer is bundled with Windows and all Windows users browse the Web using Internet Explorer if they don't install other browsers. The ad reminds Windows users that Internet Explorer has improved and they should install the latest version.

Google's homepage has promoted Chrome by using similar ads when loading the homepage in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Safari and other browsers.

10 December 2014

Phone Calls Tab in Gmail

Gmail added a tab that lets you make calls. If you've switched to Hangouts in the desktop Gmail interface, you should see a new phone icon at the bottom of the window. It shows a list of contacts that have phone numbers and it lets you search for names or phone numbers. Click a phone number to open an audio-only Hangouts window and dial the phone number you selected.

You can click "make a call" or use the search button to see the list of contacts. Google also suggests to "try our mobile apps for Android and iOS".

"Almost all calls to the U.S. and Canada are free from all countries where Hangouts calling is available. For the rest of 2014, the first minute of most calls to 25 countries are free, and you'll be charged for each minute after," informs Google. The list includes: China, France, Germany, Brazil, Russia, South Korea, Japan, India, United Kingdom.

Updated YouTube App for Apple TV

YouTube's app for Apple TV has a completely new UI that's more in line with YouTube's desktop and mobile interfaces. The updated app also includes personalized recommendations, shows suggestions as you type and lets you watch all the YouTube videos, not just some of them.

If you use Apple's remote, it's pretty cumbersome to enter a query. The new app shows search suggestions as you type and also displays search results, so it's easier to find a video.

YouTube's app now plays related videos automatically. You can pause the video and pick a related video from the list or you can sit back and watch some relevant videos picked by YouTube.

"The most consequential change is that YouTube videos on Apple TV will run with ads. Which also means that all of the videos that run on YouTube (most notably music videos) will now run on YouTube's Apple TV app," reports Re/code.

09 December 2014

Spider a Website with Wget – 20 Practical Examples

How do I download an entire website for offline viewing? How do I save all the MP3s from a website to a folder on my computer? How do I download files that are behind a login page? How do I build a mini-version of Google?

Wget is a free command line program – available for Mac, Windows and Linux (included) – that can help you accomplish all this and more. What makes it different from most download managers is that wget can follow the HTML links on a web page and recursively download the files. It is the same tool that a US soldier had used to download tons of secret documents from the army’s Intranet that were later published on the Wikileaks website.

You mirror an entire website with wget

You mirror an entire website with wget

How to Use Wget – Practical Examples

Wget is extremely powerful, but like with most other command line programs, the plethora of options it supports can be intimidating to new users. Thus what we have here are a collection of wget commands that you can use to accomplish common tasks from downloading single files to mirroring entire websites. It will help if you can read through the wget manual but for the busy souls, these commands are ready to execute.

1. Download a single file from the Internet

wget http://ift.tt/1vIGg56

2. Download a file but save it locally under a different name

wget ‐‐output-document=filename.html example.com

3. Download a file and save it in a specific folder

wget ‐‐directory-prefix=folder/subfolder example.com

4. Resume an interrupted download previously started by wget itself

wget ‐‐continue http://ift.tt/1vIGedo

5. Download a file but only if the version on server is newer than your local copy

wget ‐‐continue ‐‐timestamping http://ift.tt/QKGvIe

6. Download multiple URLs with wget. Put the list of URLs in another text file on separate lines and pass it to wget.

wget ‐‐input list-of-file-urls.txt

7. Download a list of sequentially numbered files from a server

wget http://ift.tt/1vIGedu

8. Download a web page with all assets – like stylesheets and inline images – that are required to properly display the web page offline.

wget ‐‐page-requisites ‐‐span-hosts ‐‐convert-links ‐‐adjust-extension http://ift.tt/1G9pBL0

Mirror websites with Wget

9. Download an entire website including all the linked pages and files

wget ‐‐execute robots=off ‐‐recursive ‐‐no-parent ‐‐continue ‐‐no-clobber http://example.com/

10. Download all the MP3 files from a sub directory

wget ‐‐level=1 ‐‐recursive ‐‐no-parent ‐‐accept mp3,MP3 http://example.com/mp3/

11. Download all images from a website in a common folder

wget ‐‐directory-prefix=files/pictures ‐‐no-directories ‐‐recursive ‐‐no-clobber ‐‐accept jpg,gif,png,jpeg http://ift.tt/1k1ZSxg

12. Download the PDF documents from a website through recursion but stay within specific domains.

wget ‐‐mirror ‐‐domains=abc.com,files.abc.com,docs.abc.com ‐‐accept=pdf http://abc.com/

13. Download all files from a website but exclude a few directories.

wget ‐‐recursive ‐‐no-clobber ‐‐no-parent ‐‐exclude-directories /forums,/support http://example.com

Wget for Downloading Restricted Content

Wget can be used for downloading content from sites that are behind a login screen or ones that check for the HTTP referer and the User Agent strings of the bot to prevent screen scraping.

14. Download files from websites that check the User Agent and the HTTP Referer

wget ‐‐refer=http://google.com ‐‐user-agent=”Mozilla/5.0 Firefox/4.0.1″ http://nytimes.com

15. Download files from a password protected sites

wget ‐‐http-user=labnol ‐‐http-password=hello123 http://ift.tt/1G9pBdT

16. Fetch pages that are behind a login page. You need to replace user and password with the actual form fields while the URL should point to the Form Submit (action) page.

wget ‐‐cookies=on ‐‐save-cookies cookies.txt ‐‐keep-session-cookies ‐‐post-data ‘user=labnol&password=123′ http://ift.tt/1mNFg9X

wget ‐‐cookies=on ‐‐load-cookies cookies.txt ‐‐keep-session-cookies http://ift.tt/1vIGglC

Retrieve File Details with wget

17. Find the size of a file without downloading it (look for Content Length in the response, the size is in bytes)

wget ‐‐spider ‐‐server-response http://ift.tt/1vIGg56

18. Download a file and display the content on screen without saving it locally.

wget ‐‐output-document – ‐‐quiet http://ift.tt/xD7Rux


19. Know the last modified date of a web page (check the Last Modified tag in the HTTP header).

wget ‐‐server-response ‐‐spider http://www.labnol.org/

20. Check the links on your website to ensure that they are working. The spider option will not save the pages locally.

wget ‐‐output-file=logfile.txt ‐‐recursive ‐‐spider http://example.com

Also see: Essential Linux Commands

Wget – How to be nice to the server?

The wget tool is essentially a spider that scrapes / leeches web pages but some web hosts may block these spiders with the robots.txt files. Also, wget will not follow links on web pages that use the rel=nofollow attribute.

You can however force wget to ignore the robots.txt and the nofollow directives by adding the switch ‐‐execute robots=off to all your wget commands. If a web host is blocking wget requests by looking at the User Agent string, you can always fake that with the ‐‐user-agent=Mozilla switch.

The wget command will put additional strain on the site’s server because it will continuously traverse the links and download files. A good scraper would therefore limit the retrieval rate and also include a wait period between consecutive fetch requests to reduce the server load.

wget ‐‐limit-rate=20k ‐‐wait=60 ‐‐random-wait ‐‐mirror example.com

In the above example, we have limited the download bandwidth rate to 20 KB/s and the wget utility will wait anywhere between 30s and 90 seconds before retrieving the next resource.

Finally, a little quiz. What do you think this wget command will do?

wget ‐‐span-hosts ‐‐level=inf ‐‐recursive dmoz.org

The story, Spider a Website with Wget – 20 Practical Examples , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 09/12/2014 under Linux, Software.