Saturday, July 30, 2011

Change File Program Association, Icons And Context Menu Actions With Types

Windows has a utility called Default Programs that allows you to configure or change the default applications associated with specific file extensions. This feature was added to Windows XP through Service Pack 1, and comes default in later versions of Windows. While the Default Programs utility was revamped and made more useful in Windows Vista and 7, a particular feature found in Windows XP edition of the utility was taken away. That was the ability to change the default action when a file with a specific extension was double-clicked in Windows Explorer.

OneLiner Moves Firefox Location Bar to Tabs Toolbar

Remember what the most annoying feature was when Internet Explorer 9 was made public to the world the first time? It was the toolbar. On IE9, the address field, the navigation buttons and the tabs shared the same toolbar space with the result that there wasn’t enough for all. The toolbar was already full with just a few tabs opened. Following user complaints, Microsoft provided users a way to move the tabs to a dedicated toolbar. But now Firefox users can experience that horrible claustrophobic feeling with an experimental add-on that Mozilla has released.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

View RAW Images in Windows 7 And Live Photo Gallery With Microsoft Camera Codec Pack

Microsoft has released a Camera Codec Pack for Windows 7 and Windows Vista that enables Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Explorer to display RAW image files from more than 120 DSLR cameras. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack also makes it possible to edit raw images extending Live Photo Gallery’s file viewing and editing capabilities beyond JPEG, PNG, and TIFF.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

G+me for Google Plus Collapses Stream While Keeping Live Updates

Just like Twitter and Facebook, the Google+ stream suffers from the overwhelming problem of too many updates in too less time. I wrote about a few ways to tackle this problem like muting users and changing the default stream to a user or circle. G+me for Google Plus is a new Chrome extension that offers the best solution possible – automatically collapsing messages and comments.

Monday, July 25, 2011

10 New Windows 7 Themes [July 2011 Edition]

Here is another round of Windows 7 themes. Please read the instructions provided by the theme author to learn how to use it. Often the author provides links to wallpapers, icons etc. which makes it possible to achieve the exact look as shown in the screenshot. These needs to be downloaded and applied separately or using separate tools, some of which has been previously discussed here. 

Also checkout the June and May collection and previous collection of Windows 7 themes – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Windows Firewall Notifier For Windows 7 and Vista

Windows 7 and Vista’s built-in firewall lacks a proper interface due to which configuration of the firewall is beyond most casual users. Free programs such as Windows 7 Firewall Control gives users more control on Windows 7 firewall allowing users to create application rules, zones, forward ports and more. Windows 7 Firewall Control converts the default Windows firewall into a full fledged firewall program. But if you are looking for something in between no control and full control, you should try Windows Firewall Notifier.

Cloud Turtle File Explorer For Amazon S3, Nirvanix and Timeline Cloud

Cloud Turtle is a new free desktop utility to upload, download, explore and manage files on three different cloud storage services - Amazon S3, Nirvanix and Timeline Cloud. The software can multi-task operations such as upload, download and delete. It has a simple, dynamic user interface that can be changed to your preferred layout, it throttles bandwidth, contains a complete history log, has auto retry of failed tasks, and can pause and resume uploads and downloads.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Google Image Search Now Shows EXIF Data

Google has been making a lot of new improvements to Google Image Search lately – date annotations, restoration of the image size filter and addition of a date filter. Alex Chitu has discovered another new change – the image search engine has started showing EXIF data of photos, which incidentally was another top requested feature by the Reddit community.

Move Selected or Any Facebook Photo Album to Picasa

Shortly after Google+ was launched, a service called Move2Picasa came into being that automatically moved your Facebook photo albums to Google Picasa, and thus made them available through your Google+ account. Move2Picasa is overtly simple and offers no control on which albums are moved. If that doesn’t sound impressive, here is a new Facebook to Picasa photo migration utility that you will definitely like.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

How to Get Back The Old Facebook Chat or Hide Offline Friends in The New One

A few weeks ago, Facebook rolled out video chat and during this roll out they changed the layout of Facebook as well. The chat window is no longer a pop-out window that can be opened or minimized when needed. Now instead, it’s a permanently visible section on Facebook, sticking to the right of the screen and showing a selection of your friends including those online and offline.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Photoshop Tip: How to Reduce Size of PSD Files

compress-psdPSD, Photoshop's native file format, is an impressive one because it stores an image while preserving practically every imaging options available in Photoshop. These include layers with masks, color spaces, ICC profiles, transparency, text, alpha channels, clipping paths, and more. This allows you to save your work and return back at any time to make changes or continue working on it from where you left.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Visualize Websites in 3D With Tilt Firefox Add-on

Mozilla has released a cool, experimental Firefox extension named Tilt that lets you visualize any web page has if it’s a 3-dimensional entity. The extension takes the DOM structure of the webpage and layers each node based on the nesting in the tree, creating stacks of elements, each having a corresponding depth and being textured according to the webpage rendering itself. The visualization is drawn using WebGL.

MultiMi: All-in One Desktop App For Email, Social Media and File Sharing

We live in the cloud, but desktop applications are still a rage. Almost every other day a new desktop program for a web-based service is released, and they are all downloaded in droves. In the past, we have come across desktop applications for social media sites (Facebook, Twitter), file sharing services (Google Docs, Box.net), photo sharing services (Picasa, Flickr) and others like Google Calendar, Facebook chat and so on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cocoon: Web Proxy Firefox Privacy Add-on Goes Free

Cocoon is a privacy add-on for Firefox that adds an extra layer of security to Internet browsing by securely routing all traffic through a proxy server. The benefit of using a proxy server, as any privacy conscious individual will tell you, is that it offers anonymity to the user. But Cocoon does not connect to any available public web proxy like most other proxy add-ons do. Cocoon’s proxy servers are guarded by the Security-Enhanced Linux, which we are told was developed by the United States' National Security Agency (but it’s open source), and the connection takes place over SSL.

CustomExplorerToolbar Adds Custom Buttons to Windows 7 Explorer

Previously, I showed how you can add Copy, Paste, Cut, Delete and other buttons to the Windows 7 explorer toolbar. The process involved taking ownership of the registry editor program and then adding multiple keys to the registry. It was tiresome, and many users found it difficult to follow. If you wished there was a utility that did this for you automatically, now there is.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Search Your Favorite Sites From Windows 7 Explorer With Search Connectors

Windows 7 has a feature called Search Connector that gives users the ability to search and view results on remote locations, such as websites, right within Windows Explorer window. You can use the regular search box in Windows Explorer and results are displayed just like the way it does when searching your own content, including thumbnails, keyword highlights and even file previews.

Automatically Share Google+ Post With Twitter And Facebook

Start G+ is an extension for Google Chrome that does many things at once. One among this is it automatically cross posts whatever you share on Google+ to both Twitter and Facebook.

Before you can start cross posting you have to connect your Twitter and Facebook account to Start G+. You can do this from Start G+ button on the black Google navigation bar at the top. Once this is completed, open Google+’s sharing form and you should see a Facebook and Twitter icon underneath to indicate that your post will be shared to those social networks as well. To turn off sharing simply click the icons once.

Find Out Who Removed You From Their Google Plus Circle

Although Google Plus notifies you when someone adds you to their Circles, it doesn't inform you when you're being removed from them. Thankfully, a browser extension will fix this.

Similar to the Unfriend Finder extension for tracking friends who removed you from their Facebook’s friend list, GoogleMINUS is a browser extension that sends you live notifications when someone removes you from their Google Plus Circles.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google Adds Search For Recent Images Option

Today, Google announced two important changes to the Google Image Search service. One is the ability to search for recent images, which was hitherto, impossible to do, and the other is the return of the ‘Larger than size’ and ‘Exactly’ image size option to the main page. Both are important additions that will allow people to get more relevant search results.

Hotmail Introduces “My friend’s been hacked” Security Feature

When someone’s email account gets hacked, it’s usually the friends who find this out first, unless the hacker has completely booted the owner out of his inbox by changing the password. This is because friends are the ones who start receiving spam mails or plea for money. When this happens, what one normally does is call their friend or contact them on an alternate email address to let them know that their email account has been compromised. Now Microsoft has introduced a new system that allows friends to report hacked accounts to Hotmail directly.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Find Who’s Connected to Your Wi-Fi Network With Wireless Network Watcher

The first line of defense for your Wi-Fi network is encryption, which encodes the data transmitted between your PC and your wireless router. This is necessary to prevent other users from connecting to your network and taking a free ride at your expense. The more serious issue is securing your communication from hackers and trouble makers in general.

Automatically Play YouTube Videos at Preferred Quality or Size

Often videos on YouTube are available in multiple sizes. If the original uploaded video was high definition 1080p, you can also watch it in 720p and 360p and sometimes even as low as 240p. Usually, YouTube videos by default play at high quality such as 480p and 720p if available. This suits people who prefer watching videos at high resolution, but bad for people who have old computers or their connection is not fast enough or there are bandwidth caps the user cannot afford to go over.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Get RSS Feeds of a Twitter User

Last May, Twitter unceremoniously killed off access to RSS feeds with the redesign of their website’s interface. Twitter has also been cracking down on application that duplicates functionality already offered by the site and its official apps to prevent third party apps from competing with Twitter. It’s evident that Twitter wants you to come to their site to use it. The killing off of the RSS feeds is to force users to visit Twitter or use one of their official desktop clients to read updates.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to Save Time Configuring Your PC After Windows Re-Installation

Practically every Windows user loathes the entire exercise of formatting and reinstalling Windows. The actual installation of the operating system is not a pain, in fact, it’s the breeziest part. It’s the part after the installation that takes colossal amount of time – reinstalling drivers and software, and generally configuring the computer to make it behave like it did before the user reinstalled Windows.

EyeNetra – $2 Eye Testing Tool For Smartphones

Imagine if you could use your smartphone to get your eyes tested in less than a minute without visiting your ophthalmologist or without access to thousand dollars bulky diagnostic machines and laser scanners? That’s exactly what a team of researchers led by Ramesh Raskar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised – a small plastic lens that can be clipped to a cell phone screen, and a software that can accurately determine a person’s vision prescription on the spot, making quick, inexpensive diagnoses of refractive vision errors a reality, especially in remote areas.

MAGIX Music Maker Silver 17 is Free Until July 31

MAGIX Music Maker Silver 17 is a stripped down version of MAGIX’s commercial offering - Music Maker 17 Pro, which is a digital music mixing software packaged within a slick interface and plenty of features for both serious musicians and hobbyists. MAGIX Music Maker Silver 17 is a special edition, designed for first time users and is available completely free of charge until the end of this month.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Pin Web Apps to Windows Taskbar With Pokki

Pokki is a new application platform, starting out on Windows but could eventually move to the Mac and Linux, that brings smartphone-like app experience to the Windows desktop. Like Windows gadgets, Pokki allows you to run individual applications on the desktop – called Pokkies – that are pinned to the taskbar and can be launched quickly with a single click. However, unlike gadgets, Pokkies are built on open web technology such as HTML5, CSS and Javascript, which makes it easier for web developers to build apps for the desktop.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

iMacsoft Free DVD Ripper For Windows is The Best You Can Get For Free

iMacsoft Free DVD Ripper is a totally free DVD ripping program for Windows with features usually seen only in commercial products.

I have reviewed a fair number of DVD ripping programs in the past – a majority of them happens to be paid software. When compared to freeware DVD ripping programs, the commercial programs always had an edge over the free ones. They always had a better interface, had exhaustive support for media file formats and built in profiles for different portable devices and media players. I was eager to see a free DVD ripper that was at least half as decent as the paid ones.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Start Menu XP Adds Fly-out Menus, Groups to Windows 7 Start Menu

Miss Windows XP’s start menu - the one where menus fly out from the All Programs group, instead of scrolling inside a tiny space as in Windows 7 and Vista? Start Menu XP is a new program that gets rid of Windows 7’s scrolling start menu and brings back the old fly-out functionality that was the standard for all menus until Windows Vista.

Access Google+ From Anywhere With Surplus Chrome Extension

Surplus is an extension for Google Chrome that allows you to access Google+ notification, share, read and post comments, all from the browser’s interface without being on the Google+ website. The extension provides full browser integration, complete with desktop notification. You can even switch between several Google accounts.

Use Facebook From Within Google+

Google’s new social networking site Google+ has taken over the internet like a storm. The initial impressions have been very positive and many Facebook users have already migrated to Google Plus. But make no mistake, Facebook is here to stay, which means we now have two social networking profiles to maintain. Two browser tabs for two social networks? Nope, that’s not how we do things.

Gmail Gets New Inbox Styles

Last year, Gmail introduced Priority Inbox – a different inbox layout where emails are separated by importance, read or unread, or messages marked with stars. Starting today, Gmail will roll out several new inbox styles to help you manage your mail in the way that works best for you. Once it’s turned on for your account, you can easily choose a style from the tabs at the top of your inbox.

Windows Live Essential 2011 Build 15.4.3538.0513 Released

The Windows Live Team has released an update to the Windows Live Essential 2011 pack of applications that contain popular utilities such as Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Photo Gallery, and Windows Live Movie Maker among others. The update labeled 15.4.3538.0513 brings full support for SSL in Windows Live Mail, and the latest Bing bar, aside from a number of performance and quality improvements. Microsoft has not released a full log of the changes, instead highlighted a couple of key fixes.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Automatically Restart Firefox When Memory Usage Become Too High

Firefox has a known history of being a memory hog – leave it open for long enough with multiple tabs open, and it will slowly drain away your computer’s memory. The so called ‘memory leak’ has always been a problem with Firefox as long as I can remember. Even Mozilla acknowledges the existence of the memory issue and as a workaround it recommends periodic restart of Firefox to bring the browser’s memory usage down to reasonable levels.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to Save Money on Your Mobile Phone Bill

billsMobile phones are important devices that a number of people use every day. While these handy tools are great for staying connected, they can also be costly. If you find your mobile phone bill steadily rising, you can take some measures to keep your monthly fees down. From eliminating unnecessary features to switching plans, there are numerous ways to easily control your monthly mobile expenses.

Winners of Binverse Accounts Giveaway

Last week we had a great giveaway contest sponsored by the popular Usenet service provider Binverse. It generated quite a bit of interest among those who entered the sweepstake, and from the comments I could see that many have never used Usenet before. Some were eager to get an account, while others had no idea what Usenet was but still left their name because it was free. Indeed, this is a great opportunity for people to try out Usenet.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

HardlyWork.in Disguises Facebook Into An Excel Spreadsheet

HardlyWork.in is a new addition to the crop of application that are the bane of every office and nightmare for every employer. Like the recently mentioned ExcellBook, HardlyWork.in allows Facebook users to login to their account and access their news feed, wall posts, read comments and everything else from an interface that has been sculpted to look like Microsoft Excel.

Add Weather Forecast to Your Google Calendar

If you use Google Calendar to plan your appointments and events, it will be nice if you can obtain weather forecast in your calendar. That way you can decide whether to organize a hiking trip or opt for a movie – right there - without visiting any weather program or weather website.

Do you know you can get weather forecasts in Google Calendar without using any plugins or additional tools?

Cannot Boot Into Windows Safe Mode? Try SMFixer

In Windows, Safe Mode is diagnostic mode where the operating system loads as few executable modules as possible and usually disables devices, except for the minimum necessary to display information and accept input. Under Safe Mode, Windows has reduced functionality, but the task of isolating problems become easier because many non-core components are disabled.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hollywood Director Releases Movie ‘A Lonely Place for Dying’ to BitTorrent

Justin Eugene Evans, the writer and director of ‘A Lonely Place for Dying’ released the first part of the movie to BitTorrent via the VODO services recently, opting for BitTorrent over traditional movie distribution channels. The cold war spy thriller starring James Cromwell will be broken into five installments which can be downloaded through VODO and it's network of online distributors. The first part was released on June 30. The fifth and final installment will be available after the film's theatrical release beginning in January, 2012.

Enable Group Policy Editor on Windows 7 Home

Group Policy is a set of rules which control the working environment of user accounts and computer accounts. Group Policy provides the centralized management and configuration of operating systems, applications and users' permission of what they can and cannot do on a computer system. Group Policy is often used to restrict certain actions that may pose potential security risks, for example: to block access to the Task Manager, restrict access to certain folders, disable the downloading of executable files and so on.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Free Game ‘Food Force’ Teaches Kid Challenges of Food Relief Operation

Food Force is an educational game published by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2005, intended to generate awareness among the younger generation about global hunger, and how the WPF works by enabling kids to take on the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis.

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