Senin, 30 Juli 2012

0 Yet Another YouTube Homepage Experiment

Last month, I reported that YouTube tested a new interface for the homepage. Now YouTube experiments with a slightly different version of the UI. There are some useful new features, but also many poor choices.

The new experiment puts all the recommended videos in the activity stream and you can no longer restrict the stream to uploads. If you click the "my subscription" link from the sidebar, you can hide the recommendations. YouTube shows too many recommended videos and they're not always relevant.

The right sidebar only shows recommended channels and topics instead of the list of video recommendations. Another change is that you can mouse over an item from the activity stream, click the arrow icon and access options like: "hide this activity", "unsubscribe", "only show uploads from this channel". There are also some new filtering option for subscriptions: click the arrow next to the search box from the left sidebar and you can sort the channels by name, new activity or relevance (the default option).







To try the new experiment, check the updated guide from this post.

Minggu, 29 Juli 2012

0 3 Questions to Inspire Action in the Face of Fear

I sat at my desk, waiting for the inevitable.

That morning I put my letter of resignation in my boss’ mail bin. He was out of the office at a meeting at the time and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he came back and checked his mail to discover the fact that I had found a new (and better) job.

Normally, I wouldn’t be afraid of something like this, however, my boss had a bit of a temper
(he once yelled at a coworker after a meeting to the point that the other guy actually fainted in the middle of the hallway and they had to call an ambulance to take him to the hospital!).

Every second that ticked by, brought more and more dread to me. I knew that, as time marched forward, the unavoidable moment would come where I would have to have one of those uncomfortable conversations.

Finally, it happened.

The little speaker on the phone at my desk crackled and I heard him say, “Clay, please come to my office.” My hands were actually starting to shake as I stood up and made the most anxiety-filled walk of my life. What would happen next? Would I be leaving work that day a free man ready to start my new career, or would I be leaving escorted by a few paramedics down to an ambulance?

Fear is a difficult thing to deal with for most people. It can keep us trapped in situations that don’t make us happy. Bad relationships, unrewarding careers, and stifled dreams often come to mind. But, if you want to get unstuck, break away from the shackles of fear, and finally get into action moving toward what you want in life, here are 3 questions you can ask yourself to help put things into perspective:

What is the worst thing that could happen if you do this and fail? 
Understandably, no one wants to focus on the negative. Many of us have studied positivity or personal development for a while now, and we know that you’re always supposed to focus on the good and what you want, right? But let’s be honest here. We don’t always get our way all the time, and no matter how much we focus on the positive, chant affirmations, or do things to lift our spirits, there isn’t a way to get what you want 100% of the time--at least not that I’m aware of (but if you do know a way to get what you want ALL the time, please contact me and let me know!).

There’s always a risk of failure, and it’s important to weigh that risk. Usually, the risk is fairly small (you might not get that date, you might lose a few dollars, or waste a few hours). Other times, the risk may actually be great, and it’s important to get clear on that too (like say if that parachute doesn’t open, you get locked up in prison, or your career or reputation is ruined). Either way, it’s important to really name the worst case scenario here so that you can actually get a real grasp over the thing you dread.

What are the consequences of not doing this? 
It can be difficult to take action and deal with things that frighten us. Often, it can seem easier to simply not take action, but this is a choice in itself with consequences of its own. If you choose to not do anything and keep with the status quo, what will that do to you and your life? What opportunities will you miss out on and regret? How will you feel in 5, 10, or 20 year’s time, looking back and wondering about what could have been?

Many times not acting on a desire to do something can result in a pattern of passivity in our lives. We get accustomed to not taking action and we hesitate, procrastinate, and put off doing things in all areas of our life. Although it may seem easier to just keep going the way you are or put off making that decision for “a little while,” you must realize that this is a decision as well and take note of repercussions of staying on the path you’re already heading down.

What would happen if you tried this and succeeded?
The last question I want you to ask yourself, is what would happen if you actually succeeded at what you’re thinking of doing? Is it worth the effort? Is it worth the effort to muster up the courage and ask that person out, possibly have a joyful relationship, and possibly build a lifetime of memories? Is it worth the effort to embrace your fears and start your own business, earn a comfortable living doing something that you love, and work on your own terms? Is it worth it to finally say enough is enough and start that diet, lose all that weight you’ve felt self-conscious about, and live a longer and healthier life? Chances are, if you really want to do this, there is a huge possible benefit to your life.

If you can focus on the benefit, you will feel much more motivated to move forward and take action than to continue to let fear hold you back.

Weighing Your Options
Once you have the answers to these questions, ask yourself if the possible loss of failure is worth not pursuing the possible success. Is the cost of inaction worth the safety of avoiding the failure? Is it worth the sacrifice of the success? Is the risk of taking the action and possibly getting the success you’re striving for worth possibility of the worst case scenario? There is no way for me to make this decision for you, but once you get clear about the realities of the circumstances, you’ll be in a much better position to make an informed choice. I like to remind myself of a quote from Benjamin Desraili, “Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” Oh, and for what it’s worth, I left work that day standing on my own two feet. Oftentimes, the worst case scenario never happens.

Written on 7/29/2012 by Clay Andrews. Clay writes for a personal development and relationship advice blog called The Path to Passion, where he shares ideas on how to build a successful relationship by improving on the one thing you can control in your relationship--yourself. Visit The Path to Passion and say "Hi." He likes meeting new people. Photo Credit: epSoS.de

Sabtu, 28 Juli 2012

0 Seven Great Ways to Make Your Good Intentions Last


How often have you made a New Year’s resolution, only to give up by February?  How often have you started a new diet on Monday, only to give up by Wednesday?

All of us have good intentions for positive change in our lives. We come up with great goals – like losing weight, getting fit, writing a book, changing career, quitting smoking, cutting down on caffeine. All too often, though, our good intentions don’t last very long.  

Here’s how to boost your chances of success. Try one or more of these seven tips today:

  • #1: Don’t Take On Too Much
    Let’s say you’ve decided to overhaul your life. You want to lose weight, find a new career, improve your relationships and keep your home neat and tidy.

    Those are all perfectly good goals … but by tackling them all at once, you’re shooting yourself in the foot before you’ve even begun on your journey to success. Instead of trying to take on everything all at once, pick just one or two goals to focus on. That way, you’ll be far more likely to stick with them.

  • #2: Be Accountable
    Accountability is a powerful motivating force. If you’re the only person who knows about your goal, it’s very easy to scoff those cookies, skip that run, or ignore your daily word count target on your book. When other people are involved, though, you’ll be much more likely to do what you’ve said you’ll do.

    You can be accountable to just one person – perhaps someone who’s working towards a similar goal to you. Or, if you want, you can be accountable to lots of people – how about posting your weigh-in results on Facebook, for instance?

  • #3: Keep Track
    Recording your progress has two great benefits: it lets you see how far you’ve come, and it encourages you to stay mindful about your goal. For instance, if you find yourself eating “just one little treat” which you know you shouldn’t be having, then a food diary can help you realize how much those little extras are adding up.

    There are lots of ways you can track your progress towards your goal. You might keep a spreadsheet, noting down daily or weekly activities; you could check off days on your calendar; you could keep a diary and write about how you’re feeling and whether or not you’re making progress. Find a technique that works for you.

  • #4: Build on Existing Habits
    Much of what we do each day is habitual. The time you get up, your morning routine, what you eat for breakfast, whether you grab a coffee on the way to work … all habit.
    When you want to add new habits into your life, it can be useful to build on an existing one. For instance, if you want to get better at eating breakfast, you could try having a banana right before you jump in the shower: that way, you’re less likely to forget altogether.

  • #5: Focus on the Benefits
    Sometimes, it’s tough to stay motivated when you’re working towards a long-term goal. It might feel like you’re doing a lot of work without much reward in sight.

    Remind yourself on a regular basis about why you’re doing this. For instance, if you’re eating a calorie-controlled diet to lose weight, the benefits of this might be that you’ll be healthier, and you’ll feel more confident about your body.

  • #6: Enjoy the Process
    As much as you can, try to find ways to enjoy your journey towards your goal: not only will you be happier for it, you’ll also be more likely to actually stick with your good intentions.

    If your goal is to exercise on a regular basis, for instance, look for forms of exercise that you truly enjoy (and there’ll be at least one or two)! That could be swimming, cycling, walking, running … or even something a bit quirky like fencing, playing Frisbee, or trampolining! You don’t have to be in the gym every day to be active.

  • #7: Don’t Think “All or Nothing”
    One of the reasons why we give up on goals is because we fall into an “all or nothing” mindset. If you’ve ever attempted to diet, you’ve probably experienced this: as soon as you “break” your diet by eating a bag of chips or a slice of cake, you decide that you might as well give up for the rest of the day – or the rest of the week.

    However, a small slip isn’t going to make a big difference to your overall progress – unless you let it. Instead of trying to be perfect, aim to work towards your goal 80% of the time, and don’t worry for the other 20%. Yes, you might make slightly slower progress, but you’ll also be much more likely to reach the finish line.

What good intentions do you have for your own life right now? What are you doing to help them to last? Let us know in the comments…
Written on 7/28/2012 by Ali Luke. Ali is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and a writing coach. She blogs about writing on her site, Aliventures.com, and has a free ebook "How to Find Time For Your Writing" available when you join her writing newsletter here.Photo Credit: LeI4nd

Kamis, 26 Juli 2012

0 Handwriting Recognition in Google Mobile Search

Google's mobile search site has a new feature: handwriting recognition. Instead of using your mobile device's virtual keyboard to type the query, you can just write the letters with your finger.

This feature is disabled by default, but you can enable it on your mobile phone or tablet, by visiting the settings page, tapping "enable" in the "handwrite" section and then saving the settings.


"Say you're standing on a busy street corner, in a bumpy taxi ride, talking with a friend, or sitting on the couch with your tablet. Handwrite enables you to search by just writing letters with your finger most anywhere on your device's screen — there's no keyboard that covers half of the screen and no need for hunt-and-peck typing," suggests Google.

While this feature could be useful for short queries or popular queries that only require entering a few letters and using Google's suggestions, it's more efficient to use the virtual keyboard instead of writing each letter.


Google's Handwrite feature works for iOS5+ devices, Android 2.3+ phones and Android 4.0+ tablets and it's available for 27 languages.

0 Actively Discussed on Google+

Google shows a new annotation next to some web search results and image search results: "actively discussed on Google+". If you click "show", Google displays a recent Google+ post that includes the URL.

The feature is potentially useful, but it needs some fine-tuning because the Google+ posts aren't necessarily popular, while some search results don't need special annotations.




It's interesting to notice that Google+ popularity is a ranking factor for Google's search engine even when you're not logged in.

0 YouTube's Carousel Experiment

YouTube tests yet another homepage interface. This time, the interface is called "carousel" and it doesn't show videos from your subscriptions. For some reason, YouTube redirects users to youtube.com/lohp when they try to load the homepage, but this page returns an error if you're not part of this experiment.

The experimental homepage has a simplified layout: it only shows a long list of popular videos from various channels and categories like "news" and "music".



Here's how you can try the latest YouTube experiment. If you use Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari or Internet Explorer 8+, open youtube.com in a new tab, load:

* Chrome's JavaScript console (Ctrl+Shift+J for Windows/Linux/ChromeOS or Command-Option-J for Mac)
* Firefox's Web Console (Ctrl+Shift+K for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-K for Mac)
* Opera's Dragonfly (Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux or Command-Option-I for Mac)
* Safari's Web Inspector (how to do that?)
or
* Internet Explorer's Developer Tools (press F12 and select the "console" tab)

and paste the following code, which changes a YouTube cookie:

document.cookie="VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE=eKxEWQ3xcc8; path=/; domain=.youtube.com";window.location.reload();

Then press Enter and close the console. Go to youtube.com/lohp to see the experimental interface.

Rabu, 25 Juli 2012

0 New Interface for Google Calculator

Google's OneBoxes start to become interactive gadgets. After launching a new mobile weather OneBox and an updated unit conversion OneBox, it's time for Google Calculator to morph into a calculator app.

Just type a query like [73-45] in the search box and you'll get more than just the result. Google also displays a mini-calculator with real buttons for digits, parentheses, arithmetic operations, trigonometric functions, exponential and logarithmic functions.


It's certainly more efficient to just type the expression you want to calculate, but some people might prefer the traditional buttons. They can search for [calculator] and use the new Google Calculator interface.

It's worth noting that Google's calculator doesn't mimic a standard pocket calculator: you can enter a long expression with multiple operations and Google doesn't display the result until you press the "=" button. This way, you can enter "3+3*3" and still get the proper result. Another thing to keep in mind is that you can't press the "1" button and then the "sin" button to compute sin(1), you should press the "sin" button first and then enter the argument of the function. There's no persistent "clear" button, but you can long-press the "delete" button.

{ Thanks, James. }

0 Use Your Real Name on YouTube

Now that YouTube uses Google Accounts and integrates with Google+, it's a lot easier for Google to bring more Google+ features to YouTube.

You can now use your full name on YouTube. Just go to YouTube's settings page, click "advanced" next to your email address and click "Begin using my full name on YouTube".


What will change after enabling this feature?

1. Your full name from your Google+ profile will replace your username on YouTube.

2. Your channel title and photo will change.

The YouTube username can still be used to log in and the channel URL will stay the same.

Google's goal is to use the same identity on YouTube, Google+ and other Google services so that it can provide an unified experience. For example, other people that know you will find your YouTube videos much more easily if you're using your full name and your photo. YouTube's commmenting system can also improve if people use their real identity.

Obviously, not everyone will want to drop their username, especially if they like/need anonymity or their username is very popular. That's probably the reason why this feature is optional.

A Google spokesperson told LA Times that "YouTube will let people change their usernames back if they decide to start using their full name. (...) New users can still set their YouTube name however they want. The prompt comes up only for users who have a Google+ profile."

"You'll see this option when you upload or comment on YouTube (...). For partners, brands, and organizations, you won't see this just yet. In the coming months we'll be working on new options to give you even more control over your presence on YouTube," informs Google.

{ Thanks, Katty. }

Selasa, 24 Juli 2012

0 Google Tests an Expanded Knowledge Graph Box

Google tests a new feature of the knowledge sidebar: a link that invites you to "explore more". The Knowledge Graph section doesn't allow Google to show more than 5 related people, books, albums, movies, so the experiment displays more of them below the search box.

For example, when you search for a movie and click "explore more", Google shows more cast members. You can use the arrow icons to switch to a different category.


{ Thanks, Maarten. }

Minggu, 22 Juli 2012

0 How Minimum Targets Can Mean Maximum Progress

Do you tend to set yourself ambitious, challenging targets – like “work out for an hour every day” or “write 1,000 words a day”? You might have managed to reach that target on Day 1, and Day 2, perhaps even Day 3 … but if you’re like most people, life probably got in the way and you ended up ditching that target completely.

There’s nothing wrong with a big goal – but on a day to day basis, that big goal needs to translate into little steps.  Instead of setting yourself an ideal target for each day, try setting a minimum target. 
This should be something you can easily complete – no excuses!
  • Over-Ambitious Targets Don’t Work
    Although big, challenging targets might seem like the best way to make fast progress, they often won’t work. For instance, if you tell yourself you need to work out for an hour every day, as soon as a few busy days come up, you’ll end up skipping the gym completely.

    If your targets are too ambitious, you might go for days or weeks without making any progress at all towards your goal.

    Try it: Look at some of the goals in your life right now. Are there any which you’ve let slide, because your targets were too ambitious? What new target could you set yourself?

  • Minimum Targets Help Build a Daily Habit
    You don’t necessarily have to work towards your goal every single day – but when you’re getting started and building new habits, daily action is often a great way to create momentum.

    With a minimum target, it’s easy to build up a string of daily successes – meaning you’ll be more likely to hit that target again the following day. After all, if you’ve successfully done 15 minutes exercise for 10 days, you don’t want to break the streak just because you’re feeling a bit lazy on Day 11.

    Try it: Put a check mark on your calendar for every day that you achieve your minimum target. See how long you can make the string of successes.

  • Small Amounts of Time Add Up
    You might think that 15 minutes a day isn’t enough to make meaningful progress towards a goal. If you’re aiming to write a book, for instance, you might only complete one or two paragraphs in 15 minutes.

    Those 15 minutes quickly add up, though. If you write for 15 minutes every day for a month, you’ll have worked on your book for 7.5 hours – about the same as a full workday.

    Try it: Work out what you’d accomplish this month if you hit your minimum target every day. There’s a good chance this might be more action towards your goal than you managed in the previous month.

  • You Can Do More Than the Minimum!
    One of the key reasons to adopt a minimum target, of course, is that it’s a minimum. There’s nothing stopping you going further – and, in fact, there’s a good chance that you will have the time and energy to do more than your daily 10 or 15 minutes.

    Often, the hardest part of working towards a goal is simply sitting down and getting started. When you know you only need to do 15 minutes, not a whole hour, it’s much easier to get going. (And the funny thing is that you may well end up doing that whole hour after all…)

    Try it: On days when you’re struggling, it’s absolutely fine to just do the minimum. On a good day, though, try doing a little extra – perhaps 5 or 10 minutes more.
Your turn … what goal or goals are you working towards right now? What minimum target could you set yourself? Let us know in the comments!

Written on 7/22/2012 by Ali Luke. Ali is a writer of fiction and non-fiction and a writing coach. She blogs about writing on her site, Aliventures.com, and has a free ebook "How to Find Time For Your Writing" available when you join her writing newsletter here.Photo Credit: stuartpilbrow

Kamis, 19 Juli 2012

0 Google's Weather OneBox for Tablets

Google has a new tablet interface for the weather OneBox. It now looks more like an application and it includes more information: precipitation, humidity, wind speed, hourly weather forecast, 10-day forecast. The OneBox is interactive and you can select an hour or a day to see the forecast.

"When you type [weather] into Google on your tablet, you'll see the current weather and you can scroll through the hourly and ten-day forecast. You can also toggle the Precipitation and Wind buttons to check out the percent chance of precipitation and wind direction/speed, respectively," informs Google. It should work for iPad and Android tablets.




Ironically, the desktop weather OneBox has less information than the mobile OneBox (both the smartphone interface and the tablet interface). The smartphone UI was more colorful, but now it looks just like the tablet OneBox. Sure, it's more likely that you'll need weather information when you use a mobile device, but the desktop interface used to be richer and more comprehensive.



{ via Search Engine Roundtable }

0 Google Tests a Share Link for Search Results

Google tests a new "share" link for search results pages. The link lets you share a search result on Google+ and it replaces the "+1" button, which only added a page to the "+1" section of your public profile.


The "share" link is only displayed when you mouse over the search result, just like the "+1" button. When you click the link, Google shows the standard Google+ dialog for sharing content. Unfortunately, you can't "+1" pages.


I think it's a bad idea to replace the "+1" button with the "share" link. The "+1" button works as a social bookmarking tool: you're not only bookmarking pages, but you also help other people find useful pages (and they help you). When you "+1" a page, your action is not automatically broadcast to everyone that follows you, so you're likely to use it more often. The "share" link creates a Google+ post, so you might only use it to share important things.

It's not clear why Google didn't enhance the "+1" button from search results pages by adding the sharing feature that's already available for the regular "+1" button used by so many sites. This way you could both "+1" a page and share it with other people.

0 Customize Blogger Permalinks

Until now, Blogger automatically generated the URL of a post using the first words from the title. If you want to customize the URL, there's a new "permalink" option in the "post settings" sidebar. When you create a post, click "permalink", enable "custom URL" and type the file name. You can only customize the file name (it's highlighted in the following example):

http://googlesystem.blogspot.com/2012/07/custom-blogger-url.html

... and you can only use alphanumeric characters, underscore, dash and period.


It's important to note that you can choose a custom URL only when you create a post and you can't change it later.

Why use this feature? Create shorter permalinks, use different keywords in the URL, improve search rankings. "A site's URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organizing your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans," suggests Google.

As a side note, there's a mistake in the help center page for this feature: "Because Blogger automatically creates the URL from information from your post title, your URL would change should you decide to edit the title. This would result in broken links, and fewer visitors to your blog." That used to be a major annoyance in the pre-2006 Blogger, but it's no longer the case today.

0 Usage Examples in Google Translate

Google Translate has a new button that shows word usage examples from the web. This works for both original text and the translated text, but it's no limited to single words: Google can also find examples for longer texts and even translate them for you.

"At Google we're always curious about new words from around the world, from all languages, and we think one of the best ways to understand and make sense of new words is by observing them in their natural habitat. Our latest feature does just that by providing you with example sentences taken from fresh new stories around the web," explains Google.


There's also a "select all" button that selects the entire translated text, so that it's easier to copy.


{ Thanks, Emanuele and Dean. }

0 Chrome Extensions Not in the Chrome Web Store, More Difficult to Install

Chrome 21, currently in beta, brings bad news to those who install extensions from third-party sites. Users will no longer be able to install extensions, apps and user scripts by simply downloading them and clicking "install" in a Chrome box.

Chrome 21 shows a message that's actually inaccurate: "Extensions, apps and user scripts can only be instlled from the Chrome Web Store." When you click the "learn more" link, you'll found there's actually a way to install .crx files: just download them, open their folder and drag them to Chrome's extensions page (Tools > Extensions).


"Previously, any website could prompt you to add an extension into your browser. In the latest version of Google Chrome, you must explicitly tell Chrome that you want to install these extensions by adding them through the Extensions page," explains Google. The reason for this change is that Google can only find and remove malicious extensions in the Chrome Web Store. "Online hackers may create websites that automatically trigger the installation of malicious extensions. Their extensions are often designed to secretly track the information you enter on the web, which the hackers can then reuse for other ill-intended purposes."

Most likely, this change won't affect too many users and it will encourage developers to submit their extensions to the Chrome Web Store. Power users will complain that it's more difficult to install user scripts from sites like userscripts.org and extensions from sites like chromeextensions.org. Maybe Google could add an option in the settings page that lets you disable this security feature.

Update: There's a command-line flag that disables this feature: --enable-easy-off-store-extension-install. Use the instructions from this page to add the flag. Please note that the feature is available starting with Chrome 21 (right now it's in the beta channel, but it will be in the stable channel next month).

{ Thanks, Sterling and Ruben. }

Sabtu, 14 Juli 2012

0 10 Google Features for Slow Internet Connections

It's not easy using Google services when your Internet connection is very slow. Here are some helpful features:

1. Gmail's basic HTML mode - http://mail.google.com/mail/h/. It doesn't have all the features of the regular Gmail interface, but it lets you read messages and compose mail. This interface uses JavaScript sparingly and every click means a new page request. The good news is that there isn't much too load, so the basic HTML interface is better suited for slow connections. You can even set it as the default interface.

2. Disable Google Instant from the search preferences page. Just enable "never show Instant results" and click "Save" so that Google never tries to load search results as you type the query. Google will still show suggestions, but you can disable this feature by using this URL.

3. YouTube Feather is an experimental interface that's intended to "serve YouTube video watch pages with the lowest latency possible". You can still play videos, check related videos, subscribe to channels and read a few comments, but these are all the features that are available. Since your connection is slow, it's a good idea to select "240p" from the list of resolutions.

4. The old Google image search interface is better for slow connections, but you should bookmark this URL to use it. Unfortunately, you can't switch to the old interface and the "switch to basic version" is placed at the bottom of the page in the standard version.

5. Chrome's click-to-play feature is great because it loads content that requires plug-ins on demand. That means you have to click a gray box to load Flash content, Java applets etc. It's an excellent alternative to extensions like FlashBlock and it's built into Chrome. How to enable click-to-play in Chrome? Type chrome://chrome/settings/content in a new tab, press Enter, enable "click to play" in the "plug-ins" section and click "OK".

6. Google's transcoder available at http://google.com/gwt/n is optimized for mobile devices, but it also works on a computer. Just type the URL of a page and Google will display a compressed version of the page with smaller images, simplified layout and no JavaScript.

7. The text-only Google Cache lets you load a simplified version of the page directly from Google Cache. Sometimes it's an old version of the page, but at least it loads fast. You can get this version by clicking "text-only" in the header of the regular cached page, but that's not efficient. There's also this URL you can use:

www.google.com/search?strip=1&q=cache:www.domain.com
(replace www.domain.com with the URL of the page)

8. Chrome's custom user agent feature is great if you want to pretend you're using a different browser. If your connection is really slow, pretending that you're using a smartphone has an important advantage: many sites will load the mobile interfaces, which are lightweight. To change the user agent in Chrome, open the developer tools (Ctrl+Shift+I for Windows/Linux, Command-Option-I for Mac), click the "settings" button at the bottom of the window, click "user agent", enable "override user agent", select "Android 4.0.2 - Google Nexus" or "iPhone - iOS 5.0" from the list and disable "override device metrics".

9. Google Public DNS is a simple way to speed up your browsing experience if the DNS service you're using is slow. "The DNS protocol is an important part of the web's infrastructure, serving as the Internet's phone book: every time you visit a website, your computer performs a DNS lookup. Complex pages often require multiple DNS lookups before they start loading, so your computer may be performing hundreds of lookups a day," explains Google.

10. Use a browser that supports SPDY, a new protocol "designed for low-latency transport of content over the World Wide Web." Right now, SPDY is supported by Chrome and Firefox, while many Google sites use it.

If Chrome or Firefox aren't good enough, use a browser optimized for slow connections: Opera and enable Opera Turbo, a feature that uses Opera's servers to compress pages and their resources. Opera uses Google's WebP image format to save even more data and show crisper images. The average compression ratio for Opera Turbo is about 60%. Turbo is also available in the Opera Mobile app for Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and you can use the Opera Mini app for a higher compression ratio (up to 90%). Opera Mini can be installed on most phones, including feature phones and the iPhone.

0 Find Public Google Docs

Google Docs and Google Drive don't offer the option to find public files, but you can do that using Google search. Now that the Google Docs robots.txt file allows search engines to index most of the public files, you should be able to find them, assuming that there are some links that point to them.

Search engines only index the files that are "public on the Web". By default, files are private, but you can change the visibility from the "Share" box.

Here are some useful queries that let you find public Google Drive/Docs files (you can append some keywords to the queries):

* [site:docs.google.com/document/d] - find text documents

* [site:docs.google.com/presentation/d] - find presentations

* [site:docs.google.com/drawings/d] - find drawings

* [site:docs.google.com/file/d] - find files: images, videos, PDF files, Microsoft Office documents and more (you should click "repeat the search with the omitted results included" since there are many files with similar titles)

* [site:docs.google.com/folder/d] - find folders (collections of files and other folders)

* [site:docs.google.com/open] - find other documents, folders and files (the links redirect to other URLs)

Public spreadsheets and forms can't be indexed by search engines.

0 The Game of Life Easter Egg

Google shows a clever Easter Egg when you're searching for [conway's game of life]. It's a low-key simulation of John Conway's model devised in 1970. "The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, alive or dead. Every cell interacts with its eight neighbours, which are the cells that are horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent," explains Wikipedia.


It's not an actual game because it doesn't require input. There's an initial configuration and all the other configurations are obtained by applying 4 rules:

"Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbours dies, as if caused by under-population. Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation. Any live cell with more than three live neighbours dies, as if by overcrowding. Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction."

Conway's Game of Life is a cellular automaton and it can emulate a universal Turing machine.

You can pause Google's simulation and even hide the search results by clicking the maximize button. If you don't like the Easter Egg, click the close button and it disappears. There's also a simplified version of the Easter Egg for smartphones and tablets, but the controls are missing.


{ Thanks, Dan. }

Jumat, 13 Juli 2012

0 Fire-Walking New York City

[Image: Combustible City by Common Room].

The New York-based group Common Room will soon be publishing and displaying in their space a series of walks around the city, walks that, in their words, "demonstrate, at four different spatial scales, the agency of combustion in shaping the city’s architecture, infrastructure and imaginary [sic]."

Devised and authored by Adam Bobbette, the tours will include sites and experiences such as walking "the perimeter of the great fire of 1835," exploring the "former sites of fire towers in Manhattan," and more:
Additionally, the tours recount the history of the fireproof building, the epistemological relationships between panoramas, hot air balloons and fire towers, the changing shape of water in the city, and the hyperreality of prevention. Together, these tours reveal another city nested within New York City, a city in plain view but rarely considered; this city is constituted by and through the management and care for its own inherent fragility, this city is named Combustible City.
I'm reminded of a recent book on my wishlist for the summer: Flammable Cities: Urban Conflagration and the Making of the Modern World by Greg Bankoff, which describes itself as "the first truly global study of urban conflagration." Bankoff "shows how fire has shaped cities throughout the modern world, from Europe to the imperial colonies, major trade entrepôts, and non-European capitals, right up to such present-day megacities as Lagos and Jakarta. Urban fire may hinder commerce or even spur it; it may break down or reinforce barriers of race, class, and ethnicity; it may serve as a pretext for state violence or provide an opportunity for displays of state benevolence. As this volume demonstrates, the many and varied attempts to master, marginalize, or manipulate fire can turn a natural and human hazard into a highly useful social and political tool."

Bobbette's fire walks of New York City will be on display at Common Room from July 16-August 16, and I believe more information will be available soon on their website.

(Previously on BLDGBLOG: The Fires. Thanks to Carlos Solis for the tip!)

0 Google's Interactive Unit Conversion OneBox

Google updated the unit conversion OneBox and this time it's interactive. For example, you can search for [10 pounds in kg], get the result and quickly change the number of pounds or kilograms directly from the OneBox. You can also select a different unit of measurement from the list: metric ton, gram, stone, ounce.



Google's gadget even lets you change the conversion type and switch to a different category: speed, length, temperature, volume, area, fuel consumption, time or digital storage. The gadget is only displayed for common measurement units, so you'll still see the old interface when you search for [10 pascals to Torr] or [2 radians to degrees].


Now you no longer need iGoogle's metric conversion gadget.


{ Thanks, Diego. }

Kamis, 12 Juli 2012

0 Wake up to beautiful lashes

Advertorial


Do I look weird here or what? 

It is because I am missing something...



Figured it out yet? It's LASHES!



I simply cannot do without them!

There are many ways to get gorgeous, prominent lashes... Mascaras, falsies, extensions, perming, and even implants! Us girls will do just about anything to get our peepers to look brighter and bigger. ;)

So today I will be talking more about eyelash extensions!! As the older readers probably know, I am a big fan of lash extensions and I have been doing them with the same beauty salon since 2005. I'm such a loyal customer!!

This salon is Carragheen!


A little back story... Back in 2005 it was very uncommon for people to stick on falsies. If you do it people will think you are mad and have on way too much makeup. Falsies were mostly only used during photoshoots! Everyone used mascaras, but I always found mascara to be very time-consuming to put on... Not to mention the end result is highly dependent on the length and curl of your original lashes, and mine were not fantastic.

Then one day, I saw on another girl's blog that there was something called "eyelash extensions". This was the beginning of the lash extensions trend and not many people did it.

That blogger showed the before and after picture on her blog and I WAS SOLD. I cannot emphasize this enough... For someone who was constantly trying to make her lashes longer this was a freaking dream come true!!

I immediately called the number and booked an appointment with a girl called Cherlyn. Back then Cherlyn ran a one man show in Burlington Square. She did lash extensions for me, and I was so happy with the results, I went back to her for 7 years till today!


WHY LASH EXTENSIONS ARE AWESOME:

1) And this is the best reason... You wake up beautiful!! This is something that falsies and mascaras cannot beat!

Everyday you wake up and you are already half made up. You save time on your makeup routine, and on lazy days where you do not put any makeup at all you still look decent! That's why everytime I go on holiday I try to get extensions on, because during holidays you have to wake up early and you don't want to waste extra time fussing with eyelash glues etc. It's hasslefree!

2) It can look very natural, completely like REAL long lashes, or look very ultra thick and dramatic. It's all up to your perference!

3) Lash extensions usually last about 1 month to 3 months if you take good care of them.


Here are pics of me getting my lash extensions on!


Arrival at Carragheen, which is very conveniently located at 12A Liang Seah St, across Bugis Junction. I love the salon because it is so nicely decorated with an ocean/beach theme.


All the rooms come with nice, clean, comfy beds. The extensions take at least 30 mins to finish so it's great for a nap too! :D

As I've mentioned Cherlyn has been my beautician for so many years now. From a little one-man-show she ran to the 2 storey salon Carragheen is now, she has retained and gained so many customers only because she is always honing her craft and making sure her customers get the best and newest products and technology.

She has been a pioneer at lash extensions and I've seen her change so many glues and lashes until her technique has improved beyond recognition! She is a crazy perfectionist! Not to mention all her staff are personally trained by her. They are all very skilled!

When the lash extensions trend exploded in Singapore there were many... I wouldn't call them beauty salons... more like just shops set up by enterprising China ladies... claiming to do lash extensions too. Sometimes their services can go as low as $30. The prices may be cheaper but I will not advise anyone to go to these salons... Their beds (sometimes you don't even get a bed) are usually not sanitary and neither are their products. If glue isn't tested properly it can cause allergic reactions or worse! During lash removals it is also very important to be ultra gentle because rough tugging can cause your own lashes to fall off. It is better to just pay a bit more and go a trained, certified lash professional to do it for you.

Ok enough talking let's start!


First my eye makeup is removed!


A surgical tape is placed under my lashes... Don't worry it doesn't stick to your bottom lashes!!

You can pick from a selection of lashes...




The Princess Series where the lashes come in a bundle and gives a more dramatic look...








Or the Natural Series where the lashes come in singular form 
and turn out super natural and soft-looking.


Cherlyn is doing the Princess Wild lash for me because... I love drama!


Stick stick stick and one eye is done!! Tadah, see the difference!? The amazing glue she uses is very lasting yet won't sting your eyes.


Both eyes done!! You may notice the lashes also look a bit brown because she chose a subtle brown lash for me. :D


The effect is very pretty!! No photoshop I swear.

You may notice that two of my bottom lashes got stuck to the top. It isn't because of the extensions, it just accidentally got caught when I blinked. Easily took them out.


Was so pleased because I usually will not step out of the house without some eyeliner but with no eye makeup at all I already look pretty! :D

The lashes sort of form an eyeliner for me, elongating my short eyes and making them all fluttery.

Of course, you can still put makeup on if you want!! I love how Carragheen has a professional makeup counter there so you can use their products to touch up your makeup. :p



With makeup, even better! Love love love it!!

Interested to give lash extensions a try? I know you guys have a lot of questions so I will try to answer them!!



1) Will lash extensions cause you to lose your own lashes?

No. If you do not tug them off yourself and go to a good Lash Professional to remove them, there is no reason why you should lose your own lashes. However, I will say it is sometimes difficult to resist pulling them off even though you know it is bad for you, like plucking dead skin off your lips.

2) What happens after a month to 3 months?

Your own lashes grow out, pushing the extensions out. Or the glue is worn out, making the extensions loose. Some may drop out, others may dangle loose. When this happens you can go for a touch up with your Lash Professional, or choose to remove the lashes completely.

3) How do I "maintain" extensions for as long as possible?

As much as possible try not to wet them. This seems crazy but it is actually easy to wash your face without wetting your extensions at all!! If you swim, wear goggles.

4) Are they uncomfortable?

They are not uncomfortable to me unless they become very loose.

5) Can people with very sparse and short lashes do extensions?

Mostly, the answer is yes, except in very severe cases. It is best to book an appointment with Carragheen and have them assess.

6) Do I still put mascara on the lashes?

No you don't.


7) Is it painful?

No pain at all.


If you are keen to give lash extensions a try, I've got good news!!

The usual price of Princess Wild Lash is $95.

BUT JUST FOR XIAXUE READERS, 
it is $59 only!! 

Especially only for you guys!

Princess Natural Lash is even less at $49!!


Not only that, you get 1 session of Natural/Day Make-Up worth $58 FREE!!!

AND AND AND... As you get your extensions done Carragheen will also pamper your skin by giving you Silk Poreless Mask worth $30... ALSO FREE!!!

ALSO WORTH IT PLEASE!!!

Terms and conditions:

- To enjoy the promotion, readers are to present an electronic copy upon redemption. You can just printscreen what I wrote above on your mobile to show Carragheen!

- Subject to availability.

- By appointment only.

- Not applicable with other promotions or vouchers.

- Promotion valid till end of July 2012.


As you all know, it is now the GSS season so there are also other treats available at Carragheen:





If you don't want the Princess series of lashes, you are still entitled to the 15% off the Natural Series for single eyelash extensions... And you are still entitled to the makeup session and mask. Nice isn't it?

In order for you to get the Silk Poreless Mask, just click HERE to go to Carragheen's facebook page and click like + share on their GSS promotion.

CARRAGHEEN


12A Liang Seah Street


Telephone : 6222 3376


Email : info
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