So far, all cloud storage services, with the exception of a few, follow the same formula – there is one root folder, the content of which is synchronized with the cloud. Anything and everything that is dropped into this folder is mirrored to the cloud server, and vice versa. There is no option to filter files based on user defined rules and process only those files that satisfy the conditions. The only limitation that is in effect is the maximum upload file size imposed by the respective services, if any.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Friday, April 26, 2013
The Microsoft SkyDrive desktop client is not supported in Windows XP. It’s probably right, because Windows XP is really old and Microsoft should be doing everything possible to dissuade people from using the operating system. But it’s still not fair to the millions of users who couldn’t upgrade for one reason or the other. Old hardware is a valid reason. So, if you have an old PC with Windows XP and you really need to have SkyDrive on it, here is how to do it.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Popular online virus scanning service VirusTotal, which can analyze user submitted samples for infection using more than 40 anti-virus scanners, has added a PCAP analyzer to its arsenal. The PCAP scanner can analyze network capture files (PCAP files) obtained from network traffic scanners like Wireshark or tcpdump, and analyze them for signs of infection, network intrusion and exploitation.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
A Windows computer has more than a hundred services running in the background. They perform various user functions including some core ones such as manage software installation and removal, crawl neighboring computers on the network and locate shared resources, track links to files on NTFS volumes, resolve and cache domain names, handle disk encryption and hundreds of others.
Have you heard of the camera called Lytro? It is a new type of camera (called plenoptic camera) that uses an array of microlenses to capture all the available light in a scene going in every direction. The camera software then uses this data to produce an image that can be refocused on any part of the scene after the image was captured. Lytro is also faster than conventional point-and-shoot digital cameras because there is no need to focus the lens before taking a picture. You can grab a Lytro for $399, or save the cash and use your existing DSLR camera to create Lytro-type refocus-able pictures.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Update: 3D Maps are now built-in in Excel 2016.
Microsoft has released a new 3D visualization tool for Excel that allows people to plot geographic and temporal data on a virtual globe and create interactive guided tours to share with others. The new tool, called GeoFlow, is available as a plugin for Excel 2013 and can be downloaded from the company’s website.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
If you are looking for an email program that is uncomplicated, yet rich in features, skip Microsoft Outlook or even Thunderbird and give eM Client a try. eM Client is an email program that is identical to Microsoft Outlook, but with one key difference. While Microsoft Outlook loves Microsoft services, like Microsoft exchange services, eM Client adopts Google services. EM Client has tight integration with Gmail, Google contacts, tasks, and calendars. If you use Google services a lot, I believe you will like eM Client.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Microsoft has just announced that it will be rolling out two-factor authentication to all Microsoft accounts within the next few days. The two-factor authentication will be made available, as an optional but recommended security measure, to all 700 million people that have accounts at Microsoft, and will be used across all products and services that require a Microsoft Account. This includes Windows 8, Windows Phone, Outlook.com, Xbox, SkyDrive, Office, and more.
Monday, April 15, 2013
XnViewMP (MP stands for Multi Platform) is an enhanced version of the image viewing software XnView that offers better compatibility with image formats, improved performance in terms of loading, image caching and multi-core processing, full native unicode support and the ability to load full bit depth pictures (8/16/32 bits per component). XnViewMP also comes with a powerful batch conversion module – the same one that powers XnConvert. Apparently, development of both XnView and XnViewMP is progressing in parallel, but if Wikipedia is to be believed, the superior XnViewMP will eventually replace all versions of XnView for all platforms.
A typical Windows computer has dozen of programs and processes running in the background, each reading, writing and modifying data on your hard disk. Under normal circumstances, you wouldn’t be worried about these programs and what files they are accessing, as long as you are confident that whatever the programs are doing is legitimate. But when a program starts malfunctioning and you need to troubleshoot it, you may want to know what changes are being made to the system. There are many utilities that can keep watch over folders and notify you of any changes in real-time. Here is a selection of them.
Friday, April 12, 2013
We seldom like to think about it, but death is inevitable. If your online life is equally important as your life in the real world, then you must make plans to what happens to your digital accounts, the data it contains and who controls it after you’re gone. We discussed this in some detail earlier, and compared digital afterlife polices of various companies.
Thursday, April 11, 2013
Who looks at the music player window while listening to music? I don’t, and I’m sure you do not too. I listen to music when I‘m working, the music playing softly in the background. To change tracks and adjust volume I use the dedicated media keys on my multimedia keyboard. If you are like me, you don’t need any flashy GUI to control playback on your music player.
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A color picker is an essential tool in a designer’s arsenal, whether he or she be a web designer, a software UI designer or a digital artist. The latter will probably do fine without a dedicated color picker, because all graphics software have one included. But web designers and software developers who need to juggle between multiple interfaces (code editor, image editor, browser etc), cannot be tied to a color picker that can be used only within a single program’s window. These people need a standalone color picker software.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The other day I reviewed a few photo organizing software, that helps you organize your pictures by moving them into appropriately named folders in your hard drive. Phototheca is a different photo organizer. Rather than physically moving files, Phototheca creates “virtual” albums of your pictures and then lets you view them by date, events, keywords and more.
Monday, April 8, 2013
Up until Firefox 19, you could stop an animated GIF by hitting the Escape key. This is no longer possible in Firefox 20. Furthermore, if an animated GIF is still loading and if the load is interrupted by pressing the Escape key or clicking the Stop button, the GIF is removed instead of keeping the partially loaded image. This can potentially break the page layout.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Imgur - a coalition of two word: “img” (short for image) and “ur” (short for “your”) – is an image hosting website started by a Redditor out of need for a decent solution for Redditors to upload and share image on the social news site, Reddit. Today it is the fastest growing and the biggest image sharing website on the Internet.
MyImgur is a desktop client for Imgur that was developed to help users easily upload pictures to the image sharing site. MyImgur offers full Imgur account support including the ability to upload to albums, create an album, delete albums and pictures, and so on.
Friday, April 5, 2013
Digital cameras have become ubiquitous, thanks to the little one built right into your cell phone, and they are fast approaching the image quality of compact digital cameras. According to one estimate, mankind has taken more than 3.5 trillion photos till date, and as much as 10% of those were taken in the last twelve months alone. That’s a lot of photos, and it is pretty evident that there is a substantial chunk on everyone’s computer.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
In late February, an internal memo, leaked from Yahoo’s head of Human Resources revealed a change of policy under the newly appointed CEO Marissa Mayer. According to the new rules, employees were prohibited from working from home - a move that was criticized by many. The argument the memo puts forward is that “in-person meetings boost the quality of decisions and business ideas”. You may or may not agree to Miss Mayer, but for an online company, outsourcing work to online contractors working from home is the very model based on which some of the most successful web companies are running on the Internet today. However, one cannot deny the fact that keeping track of outsourced employees and the projects they are working upon can be challenging. If you run an online business with many outsourced employees, you need an employee management system which you can monitor from a central place.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Self destructing messages allow people to send confidential messages to each other which, after reading, securely deletes itself, thus keeping the conversation private and eliminating any chance of the message falling into wrong hands. The concept of ephemeral messages gained mainstream popularity after the Tom Cruise starring Hollywood blockbuster “Mission Impossible”. Since then, several self-destructing message apps and services were launched. Let’s see how many of them are around.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Firefox has a nice feature called “Don’t load tabs until selected”. This setting can be found under the “Tabs” section in Firefox’s options window. What it does is prevent tabs from loading in the background until selected by the user. This is useful if you have configured Firefox to automatically load tabs from the last session at startup, or when you load a previously saved browsing session into memory. By not simultaneously retrieving and rendering multiple pages, Firefox’s startup time and responsiveness is dramatically improved.
If you have a smartphone, you probably use a to-do-list app or a reminder app that reminds you to do certain tasks, at certain times of the day. These apps are great if your life works like clockwork, but life is anything but predictable. Normal time-based task reminders don't work in real-life situations. Say you want to buy milk on the way back home from work. You set a reminder for 5 PM and it reminds you exactly at 5 PM. But chances are you might still be at work, stuck in traffic or you might have already reached home. Wouldn't it be great if an app can remind you to pick up milk when you are near a store? Localert does just that.
Monday, April 1, 2013
I have changed clipboard managers only twice in the past. Previously, I used Ditto and now it’s ClipX, which has been with me for the last five years. When you use a software for that long, it becomes a part of your computing life. The keyboard shortcuts on ClipX became my second nature. They are so ingrained in my memory that sometimes I try to use them on someone else’s PC. It takes a few moments to realize why these shortcuts aren’t working.
This is always a problem when you grow too accustomed to keyboard shortcuts on a particular software. They become a habit and then when you have to work on another computer or use an alternative software, you keep hitting phantom keys.
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