Friday, January 29, 2010

Great Google Chrome Extensions

Image representing Google Chrome as depicted i...Image via CrunchBase
I've been doing a little Extension hunting for Chrome lately and I have some to show off.

Here are kind of my general Extension/Add-On Commandments:

  1. Thou shalt not take my screen real-estate!
  2. Thou must not add advertisements...ANYWHERE!
  3. Thou Shalt not collect my private data and use it elsewhere
  4. Thou shalt work most of the time
  5. Thou shalt not slow down my browser significantly.
Five simple rules. Yet many Firefox extensions fail to meet them. Chrome seems to handle extensions better at-least in my personal opinion than Firefox does, however I do know that the current Chrome Extensions are much more limited than Firefox's. Firefox is the browser best known for it's extensions and it's amazing speeds and known by web devs to be the best at supporting new languages + tags.

Anywho Chrome is a browser that really focuses alot on Screen real-estate and speed.
So one of the things I wanted to find since my internet speed sucks horribly, was an extension that will actually speed up Chrome even more.

I found, FastestFox, a Firefox Extension ported to chrome. This extension has so many great features making browsing faster, my favorites are pagination(this means when you scroll to the bottom of a page, of a multi-page ordered site like a blog or a search engine result page it will automatically load the next page while you browse so you can just scroll down and it's there) and the behind the scenes speed improvements.

There is also a feature, that I haven't really used much where if you highlight something, a little popup appears and gives you options of what to do with the highlighted text, like Tweet it, Facebook, Myspace, wiki and Google it

I also use what is called One Number, I grabbed this one not because it's the best extension for Gmail, or anything like that, I grabbed it because it basically does what I had 4 different extensions doing, checking my gmail, Wave, RSS Feeds, and Google Voice, it's just not necessary to have so many extensions cluttering the toolbar so I got rid of them and now I use One Number.


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Have a Digital Valentines Day

I like doing creative things for my girlfriend and I'm sure many guys out there do too, so here's a list of gifts you can give your girlfriends that both reflect your love and geekiness.

My personal Favorite
This is the Think geek 8-bit dynamic life shirt
What it does is when you are close to your girlfriend both of your shirts will show a full amount of hearts, if you are separated, it will decrease the amount of hearts displayed!

It's also good for cheesy romantic jokes.



The Girl's Guide to dating a Geek

Girl's gotta know how to take care of her geek!










This one I came up with, it's a computer chip pendant, basically, get a computer chip, paint it red punch a hole in it and string some string through and there ya go.


Warning, this shirt requires a +12 in Charisma to wear.














The LED FLASHING SWEETHEART KIT


You have to make it yourself but it will be even more special
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Crowd-sourcing the web

Crowdsourcing, basically means to use others in order to accomplish a goal, usually the other people get rewarded somehow. click here for a more detailed explanation

I found a pretty cool site simalir to Google Image Labeler that basically makes research a game. You and a partner play a bunch of games that will actually send data from your game to the creator to enhance how search engines work and other data.

For example you're playing a word guessing game with a friend, you have to get your friend to guess the word by describing it.

Word: love

You: emotion felt between two people
teamate: hate
You: roses and hearts
teamate: love
Ding ding ding you win!

That data for both sides gets used to make search engines understand how humans think, making our results more relevant, for example, if you search for an emotion felt between two people, you may get the result love.
then if you search for roses and hearts, you may also get love.

Now for images, you and a partner are shown the same image, you both have to describe the image in detail, avoiding the words that each-other would use. Every unique word you guess you gain points, if you say the same common keywords you both move on to the next image.

This improves search because for example, computers have a hard time interpreting images, unlike humans, thus a human can make out detail in pictures and label that image. This makes searching for images retrieve so much more relevant results.

Anywho the site I discovered today is Gwap.com they have a bunch of games that are basically research games, they use players answers and questions to make search engines more powerful.

I gotta say most of the games are actually quite fun you should try em out, and you'll be contributing to world search engines!
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Google Building Maker

Google has a tool so that you can model a building in your area.

A lot of people know about Google Sketch up, some model creation software, this is no longer required in order to create building models apparently, Now you can create them using Google Building Maker. Your creation could show up on Google Earth! Imagine it, you are the virtual Architect, now known for building tons of buildings, and it was all free and you had fun!

Google Provides the images you make the model, you place it on Google Earth, Epic Win!




Try Google Building Maker Now!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Google Chrome OS: A look into Cloud computing and it's current problems

Many have heard about Google Chrome OS by now, since it's such a crazy idea. I personally love the idea of my computer essentially being mainly just a web browser, that's all I need, and more.

Here's what you can currently do with a web browser:
  • Browse the web.
  • Edit files, Documents, Images, Presentations, and spreadsheets.
  • store your files remotely(I don't use much space on my desktop computer's hard drive, because most of my computer is geared toward speed and the browser) all my files are backed up to the internet, and are able to be edited online.
  • listen to music, discover music.
  • Shop
  • IM, Email, Wave, voice and video chat.
  • Crunch Numbers(Wolfram Alpha)
  • Transfer Money
  • Read Books, magazines.
  • Watch Movies
  • Play games(mostly flash games, but there are some java, javascript, and other types of games)
  • Make Phone calls
  • Blog
  • read blogs
  • Use Social Networks
  • Instantly learn how to do new things, with online tutorials and classes
  • try beta products
  • Sell your possessions
  • watch videos(meaning other than movies, things like YouTube)
  • Advertise
  • Share files
  • AND SO MUCH MORE!
But there are some drawbacks to your operating system being mainly a browser.
  • Storage - You don't have complete control over where your files are stored, yes you may upload videos and files to online sites that you trust, but you rely on their security precautions for your data.
  • No internet - NO INTERNET, kinda a simple flat out problem, many sites are offering things like Offline modes for example Google Apps has offline features that download files to your computer so you can use them when you don't have an internet connection but the functionality is limited.
  • Using wi-fi on a plane costs money.
  • if a website goes down for maintenance, your files on it may be inaccessible.
  • video games are currently limited
  • you are limited to what the browser can support/handle.
  • There are more issues but these are the biggest I would say.


Monday, January 25, 2010

Offline Functionality Doesn't seem to work on XP

I've tried Offline on Google Docs numerous times but I've never managed to get the darn thing to work properly.

I've tried this on a couple different computers both using Firefox and also Chrome with Windows XP as the OS.

I suggest if you wish to use Google Docs Offline try finding a program for it or something because it doesn't seem to work very well yet.

To the Google Docs Team: please improve the feature, Thank you for your work, we love Google Documents!

in reference to:

"Offline"
- Google Docs - All items (view on Google Sidewiki)

WebMonkey - like a Wiki for Web Designers

I stumbled upon a site today that I have to say really seems useful.

It's called WebMonkey it's basically a wiki for web developers, it basically walks a person through how to design certain elements of websites. It's very nice. I like the fact that if I forget a common script that I use I can just search for it and pop it in.

Props to the WebMonkey developers I like the site and it's very web 2.0 I like the layout.

I highly reccomend this site to Beginner and Advanced web developers. Advanced developers can look at things like the cheat sheets, post some scripts for others to use on their sites, and help out some newbs.  Beginners can pretty much teach themselves through the site how to create a website.



Sunday, January 24, 2010

Google Chrome Bookmark Sync Shows up in Google Accounts in 2 places

a lot of people know about the fact Google is allowing you to Sync your Google Chrome Bookmarks to Google docs, in fact they even get their own folder on Google docs, but now they've added something interesting that's apparently incomplete.

I found when you go to https://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount
That there is a new icon, one for Google Bookmark Sync, I'm not sure what Google has planned here but the link is a dud, it takes you to Google.com, regardless of the fact it links to https://www.google.com/chrome?hl=en

I would expect that there will be a small set of settings at that link to control your bookmarks, how they get distributed, maybe select bookmarks you want synced and ones you don't want synced. I would definitely expect that we will be able to see our bookmarks at that url.

Google Nexus One Voice to Text Censors Bad words

I thought this was kinda funny when I heard about this, apparently Google set up the Nexus One so that you can text people and type just by talking, that's not totally new, however the funny part is when it comes to swear words it turns them in to symbols.

Google told Reuters the voice recognition cleans up bad words as a way to make sure it doesn't accidentally use a bad word where a non-offensive word was intended
A Google spokeswoman provided a statement suggesting that replacing curses with # symbols aimed less at enforcing etiquette than to ensure that offensive words don’t accidentally appear in transcriptions - a potential concern given the fact that voice recognition technology is still not perfect.

"We filter potentially offensive or inappropriate results because we want to avoid situations whereby we might misrecognize a spoken query and return profanity when, in fact, the user said something completely innocent," said Google.

In my opinion they prove a good point, my phone has a feature where I can text by talking, and well, it's pretty accurate but it's not all that uncommon for it to screw something up, and I would much rather have it bleep my words out especially if it thinks I said a swear word instead.



 Some rather interesting Voice to Text bloopers I've had while talking to people.
"I want to go out to eat with you" "I want to go eat you out"
"Whats up!?" "Fuck up"




In my case I kinda like the feature because as you can see, some inappropriate stuff has found it's ways into my conversations without me going for it.

I do think however this feature should be optional, it's freedom of speech.
.

Google Login Pages are all using HTTPS


I have just recently noticed, that all the login pages for Google accounts are secure and you connect to them via https. Don't quote me on it but I believe this could be due to the hacking scandal that happend earlier this year against Google(to retrieve account information) they stepped up the security, even though the actual login forms were secured If I remember correctly.

Memiary - Online Diary for the modern world

A lot of people now days want to write a diary, problem is, we're all too impatient to sit down and jam out an entry. One man has changed that. Now you can write a diary, where you enter 5 major important events of the day, that's it, no fluff, it takes no time at all to do, got 5 minutes? bam in the time it takes you to post on twitter you can post on Memiary. Memiary can also be set to send email reminders to you to encourage you to use it(for the more forgetful folk out there). Basically here's how it works, your entries are limited to a certain amount of characters, that way you can go into a ton of detail, however you feel less like you have to put in a ton. That way for little things you can make some quick notes to yourself about the day.

Memiary also allows you to plan things in advance, being both a diary and planner. Basically you can write entries in the future in-case you want to remember something down the road. Memiary allows you to tag your entries so you can find them later, like for example I use the tags so I can see when I've hung out with my girlfriend, also I have depression and I use the tags to jot down quick notes to myself about how I was that day so if my doctor ever asks me how I was on a certain day I can instantly show him related entries for every single day(or simply tell him what days I was feeling what).

I should probably let you know what Memiary means, Memiary is a combination of the word Memory and Diary. Mem-iary pronounced Memory, though I like to call it Memy-airy, and sometimes even Mem-miary. Don't refer to it as a Journal, a Journal is what little girls keep hidden under their mattress. It's not a Diary, you're cooler than that. It's a Memiary!

I highly suggest Memiary to anyone interested in starting their own diary, and definitely to people who have horrible memories(I'm one of them). Memiary is easy, addicting, and down right cool!



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Google Web history: How often do you Google?

Google Web History has a bad reputation for the fact that it's creepy as heck that Google has all this information on your browsing habits, but I have to say it's both funny and interesting if you look at it, it shows a calendar that displays how much you search, and also it displays your search count(since you made a Google account)

I went on Google Web History to find a program I searched for a long time ago, for one of my computers, I want to get it for my computer so I looked up my browsing history there instead of the history on my computer.

Ask your friends and see who searches more, maybe create a contest between your friends, person to Google More wins! idk it's an idea haha.