Microsoft has released the ‘Bing Top Searches of 2012 Report’ – a list of the top most searched keywords, celebrities and events performed by users of the Bing search engine. Usually this kind of data is published in mid to end December, but this year Microsoft decided to release it almost a month in advance.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Storage space is limited on mobile devices and tablets. The most money can buy is 64GB on a tablet and 32GB on the smaller form factor of phones, but even these are prohibitively expensive devices. Budget conscious customers usually settle on a lower spec device such as 4GB or the moderately priced 8GB and 16GB phones and then extend the storage capacity with memory cards, which are surprisingly cheap these days. But even microSD cards are space limited to a maximum of 64GB. Even more frustrating is, most phones wouldn’t support memory cards higher than 32GB. Besides, you still need phone memory to install apps.
Friday, November 23, 2012
Two years ago we looked at some of the solutions that were available at that time for cataloguing the contents of our wardrobe and managing the same from our computer, creating matches, deciding what to wear etc. There were no good wardrobe organizing apps for Android at that time. Today, we have a handful, and we are going to find out which works best.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
There are plenty of image processing software - from expensive professional tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom to free software such as Gimp and Picasa. With a few exception, most of them can handle RAW files well as far as viewing and light processing is concerned. For advanced RAW processing and correction people generally use Adobe products or the software that comes with their digital camera. While most software try to strike a balance between functionality and simplicity, Photivo is all about “raw” power. If you thought Adobe Lightroom is powerful, you haven’t seen Photivo.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
If you are running an older generation Android phone and have no immediate plans to upgrade, here’s some good news – Mozilla had just announced that it has made Firefox for Android available on phones using ARM’s older v6 architecture. The open source browser has been out for a while but until now was available only on Android 2.2 and up, running on phones equipped with ARMv7 processors. The update will enable Firefox for Android to run on at least 500 million more Android phones, Mozilla estimates.
In Windows Vista (and later in Windows 7 and now in Windows 8), Microsoft introduced a visual drive space indicator in the form of a colored bar that show up against a drive when you open Windows Explorer. Looking at the indicator you can quickly tell how much the drive has filled and how much space is available. The indicator appears blue when there is plenty of space left, but once the drive consumes more than 90% of the available space, the indicator turns red. The trouble is, percentage is not always a good measurement of free drive space.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Traditionally, program installers would place shortcuts of installed programs on the desktop, start menu and occasionally and optionally on the quick start menu. Now that the start menu is gone, on Windows 8, where does these shortcuts end up on? Right, on the start screen. Previously, a couple of additional shortcuts on the start menu didn’t matter because the start menu was small, didn’t expand more than it is necessary and the icons themselves were tiny. On Windows 8’s start screen, the icons are fat and thick. Install a handful of programs and your start screen will elongate by another foot or so.
Facebook’s current layout, the so called Timeline, features a prominent, large cover photo that some people are using in a lot of different creative ways. Timeline is also available for Facebook Pages that people can use to promote their website or business or event. Although you can change the cover photo as often as you like, it’s meant to be static – something which you design and leave it for at least a few weeks or months like a redesigned website. However, there are times when you may want to change the cover photo frequently and periodically to match event dates or some special promotion that you are running or plan to run. So, here is how you can do that.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
One Year Ago: Best Subtitle Support in Media Player, Fake Incoming Calls, Automatic Photo Retouching and More
A hand-picked selection of articles published between November 4 and November 17 of previous years.
1 Year Ago
Friday, November 16, 2012
Microsoft has released an update to the SkyDrive app that brings the much requested selective synchronization functionality to the service. Selective synchronization gives users the ability to sync only selected folders on their computer to SkyDrive. Now before you start celebrating, let me explain – selective synchronization in SkyDrive is not what you might be expecting. Microsoft’s implementation is different and whether or not you can benefit from this new feature will depend entirely on how you use it.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Google’s latest Chrome Experiment is an amazing visualization of 100,000 stars in the vicinity of the solar system. The 3-dimensional map actually plots a hundred thousand stars that you can explore by zooming in and out and flying around the galaxy. Zooming in reveals the names of the most prominent stars close to our sun, and if you click on the star's name, Google provides an excerpt about the star (pulled from Wikipedia) as well as a digital rendition of what it looks like.
Windows 8 apps that you install from the Store comes with their own Metro/Modern tiles that show up on the Start Screen. But standard programs that are installed on the Windows 8 desktop appear as classic icons on the Start Screen, which doesn’t blend with the rest of the icons. Thankfully, there is a tool called OblyTiles that allows you to customize these tiles by adding your own images or icons.
Windows 8 has been around for at least a year now, if you start counting from the Consumer Preview and even longer if you consider the Developer Preview as the first public introduction to the operating system. Granted, Windows 8 changed a lot since the early previews and only started to take shape post the Release Previews. That gave modders about six months to tinker around with the theme files and come up with something that still works with the final build. Looking at the custom visual styles that are currently available, I would say the designers are only starting to warm up. But still, here is our first collection of visual styles that beat the default look.
While there aren’t many third-party themes available for Windows 8 yet, they are coming – it’s a trickle right now but their numbers will continue to build as Windows 8 become more mainstream. So, you want to try them out, don’t you? Not so fast. As with previous editions of Windows, Microsoft doesn’t allow users to install third-party visual styles, or in other words, unsigned themes on Windows 8. And just like with previous editions of Windows, the restriction is easy to override. One simply needs to edit or patch a few files - in Windows 8’s case, those files are themeui.dll, Uxlnit.dll and uxtheme.dll.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Everybody knows how to watch Hulu or listen to Pandora outside the US - connect to a proxy, or get a VPN account that has servers located within the US. This way you route traffic between your computer and Hulu’s website through the US-based proxy/VPN server and thus fool Hulu into thinking that you are located in the US.
There are plenty of options out there when it comes to playing music. You can use something general purpose like VLC media player or more specific like Clementine or Media Monkey or Foobar, or even the default Windows Media Player is pretty good. These music players have the added advantage of being able to manage our music collection, edit tags, play Internet radio and do a whole lot of other things. If you are looking for a simple and efficient music player that is low on system resources without compromising on functionality, Winyl makes a great replacement.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Customization options for Windows 8’s start screen is limited and largely disappointing. There are a few garish backgrounds to choose from and only a few color choices. Microsoft decided that users should stick to the background patterns they provided and nothing else should be allowed. Obviously, users aren’t pleased because they are used to changing the desktop background, a freedom they have been enjoying ever since there was a desktop. Workarounds and third party tools started emerging not long ago. Now desktop customization software publisher StarDock has released a new tool that removes all limitations Microsoft set on Windows 8 start screen.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Windows 8 has an improved screenshot capturing function that lets you capture a screenshot and save the image to the hard disk in one sweep. This can be executed by pressing the Windows + Print Screen keys together. The screenshots are saved in C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\Screenshots folder with filenames Screenshot (#).png where # indicates the screenshot index counter. Each screenshot you take increments the index counter by one. So far, so good. But it has been observed that the index counter keeps on counting even after you have deleted some or all the screenshots in the folder. Looking at the index counter, thus, one can easily tell how many screenshots you have captured till date.
Every once in a while, a website would get hacked and user’s information and login credentials publicly revealed. Those who got burnt would scamper to change their passwords. If they are lucky they would get away with it, but sometimes they are not. Often disasters like these could be easily avoided by securing your account with two-factor authentication. What is two-factor authentication? Well, for the umpteenth time, two-factor authentication is a security process in which the user provides two means of identification, one of which is typically a physical token such as a card and the other is something that could be memorized such as a PIN or password. In the context of web services, the user’s cell phone becomes the physical token.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Clementine, the Amarok inspired cross-platform music player, has reached version 1.1 and it brings along a number of new features, a couple of more music sources and support for podcasts among other things.
Clementine, which already supports a fair number of online services, has expanded the player's streaming support by adding two more sources: Soundcloud and jazzradio.com. Clementine can now steam music from nearly a dozen services which include Spotify, Grooveshark, Last.fm, SomaFM, Magnatune, Jamendo, SKY.fm, Digitally Imported, JAZZRADIO.com, Soundcloud, and Icecast.
Sunday, November 4, 2012
One Year Ago: Instagram Filters in Photoshop, Encrypted Private Chat, Ejecting Removable Drives and More
A hand-picked selection of articles published between October 21 and November 3 of previous years.
1 Year Ago
Friday, November 2, 2012
Envy iPhone users for their superb camera quality? Well, Android users now have something to brag about – a phone with real DSLR features.
Camera FV-5 is a camera application for Android 2.2 and above that features manual camera controls typically found on DSLR cameras. Things like exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, shutter priority mode and such, which are usually off-bounds to phone camera, are brought to your fingertips, literally.
A camera is a mechanical device, and just like any piece of mechanical equipment, it will eventually fail. The life of an SLR or Digital SLR...
Today a good part of the internet is run by bots. A bot is simply a program or an algorithm that behaves as if it was an actual human doing ...
Whenever the computer is lagging or some application is taking too long to respond, we usually fire up task manager and look under the Perfo...
Recently, my brother-in-law bought a new Sony Bravia HD-Television that plays videos directly from USB drives. Everything was going find unt...
If you have changed the default Facebook profile picture and uploaded your own, it’s fine. But if not, then why not replace that boring pict...
Organizing your movie collection is much more than making a list of it. Apart from helping you to quickly browse through your personal co...
Are you running the same mouse cursor (pointer) that came with Windows XP or Vista? How boring! If you can change your desktop wallpaper and...
Let’s say you and your friend are preparing for an all important exam that is going to decide the course the rest of your life takes. Your f...
Did you ever wish there was an undo button on your PC so that if you mess up something you could just press it and everything returns back t...
A Content Management System without a database seems so unorthodox that one might feel that it shouldn’t have been put into practice in the ...