Do you Google a person? In today's super connected world, often we are introduced to people via Facebook or Twitter and not exactly in person. If we have to know more about this person professionally a quick search on Google is useful. But Googling someone's name can also be considered weird behaviour. Here is a nice flowchart for us to decide when exactly is it appropriate to Google someone.
Some of the instances described are funny, life if you work for NSA, Google has already given you all the information, while some is sound advice that it is unwise to Google someone who is standing right next to you.
I came across a nice Chrome extension called Signal that allows users to edit emails that they have received. You might wonder why that is important, but it has it uses. We often use emails and mark them important or label them on Gmail to create a sort of to-do list for ourselves. Signal seems to extend that a little bit more.
Here I have installed the extension on my browser to test it and sure enough get the option to highlight and edit a particular email.
As you can see in the image above, I do not need any other information from this email except the highlighted part. You can see in the image below how the edited email looks like.
As you see the social icons and other unimportant text from the email does not show up.
This is very useful if you are have to summarize a long email into points or for highlighting and saving important parts like dates, addresses, phone numbers and email ids.
Here's a christmas present for all you video gaming nerds who played the epic 8-bit and 16-bit console games of past.
OpenEmu – a console game emulator, lets you run all the pixel games seamlessly.
As the name suggests, it's an open source project and a few days back, stable release of Mac app has been out.
To get started, download the Mac app from OpenEmu's website. Also download the Starter Game pack, and drop them in the app to import. That's all you have to do, to install a game, i.e. just drop the ROM file.
The app's design is strikingly good, which is not something you expect from a console emulator. You can build collections, categorise your games and rate them.
Games can be played in fullscreen and can be saved for resuming at a later time.
You can even plug in your game pad/controller and use it just like that. I tried with my Xbox 360 controller and it worked fine, though I did needed to install the Mac-specific driver. Controls can be changed in the preferences window.
On a whole, it's a polished and well made app. Also free, so why not give it a try?
While Google is showing this only for Christmas related queries, Facebook too has introduced its own easter egg in the form of animated snowflakes on its Android app. Just open a chat with someone using "chat heads" and we can see snowflakes falling on the profile pic.
Have you seen any more unique and interesting ways tech companies are celebrating Christmas festival with their users? Do let us know in your comments.
Music streaming services like Spotify and Rdio are pretty awesome, but there's an annoying thing about them – they aren't available in most non-US countries.
If you're in a country like India, where Spotify isn't yet available, here's a trick to get it working. Getting Spotify Free to work is easy, as all you need is a US proxy, but here we'll see Spotify Premium.
Spotify Premium is a paid subscription plan of Spotify with which you'll get unlimited access to music, on both mobile and desktop.
The problem here is, Spotify accepts credit cards only of the country you have signed up under. In this case, it's US. And it's obviously hard to get a US credit card.
The trick here is to use Entropay card for payments. It works because Spotify has recently released in Malta – that's the country Entropay is based off.
So here's the process.
Go to Tunnelbear and download the software. It's a VPN service for accessing US/UK-only websites.
Turn on Tunnelbear and choose US as country. It'll take a few seconds to connect.
If you are travelling by Indian Railways, it is a little difficult to track train updates on a phone. While IRTC website has its own reputation for being mocked for booking tickets, tracking updates is difficult. There is option of using Rail Radar which tracks train updates on a Google Map layout. Personally, I found RailYatri a useful website on my last train travel and hence I was tested out their Android app released recently.
The RailYatri app allowed me to choose from over 5000 trains and 8000 location. I could also set some stations and certain routes as my favourites. The big change is the push notification on various alerts like train delays and more. This means we do not have to track train status on a PC or phone but get updates automatically.
Ideally the app will use stations and trains marked favourites to push notifications on the phones. The alert cards on the app will show details like train cancellations, delayed start, accident sites, fog updates and more. So ideally these favourites should be set as soon as your trip is planned and not just on the day of the journey.
If you do not own an Android phone, try using the RailYatri.in website and set SMS alerts for updates on certain trains and routes.
The Chrome team at Google always does ambitious and interesting things. Be it the SPDY protocol, or Dart language or the recent Chrome apps which run outside the browser.
If you're on Windows, you probably did try the Chrome launcher. Now it's available for Mac OS X.
The launcher contains shortcuts to Chrome apps which you have installed. As you click an app icon, it'll be opened in a separate window (app icon shows up in the dock).
You can also search your browser history and bookmarks via the launcher.
Chrome Webstore is updated with a new category called 'For your Desktop' – which lists all the Chrome apps that run out of browser. The category includes some great ones like Any.Do, Google Keep, Wunderlist and more.
I use Google Keep on Android and web. The Chrome app is a good improvement over the web app, as it brings offline support, and runs in its own window.
Apparently Chrome apps have a long way to go, to reach the level of native apps. But nevertheless, it's a nice opportunity for web developers.
While Twitter frequently updates its Android and iPhone apps, that's not the case with the Mac app. Back in the year, it got updated when everyone thought it'll be discontinued.
A few days back, they brought another update to the app, making it more inline with design of their Mobile apps.
The stand out feature is, the Mac app will now show image previews, i.e. you don't have to click the pic.twitter.com links to view images. This is obviously a very basic feature which the app has missed. Don't want images filling your timeline? You can turn it off in settings.
Next up, is a more refined design for Twitter profiles, tweet details page and so on.
You can now see the cover image (or whatever it is called) on profiles page and it looks much better overall. Tweet details page now show all the mentions (not previously), retweets, favourites a tweet has got.
Update includes other small things like refined iconography.
The best part of the app is that, no features are taken out. It's the same iconic Mac app designed by Loren Britcher. The scrolling and transitions are just as smooth as before.
Twitter for Mac still does not have every single feature power users expect. And that's why Tweetbot exists. For example, the Mac doesn't sync timeline position with Mobile apps. Tweetbot does it perfectly.
Personally, I still love and use Twitter for Mac, that might change if Tweetbot comes to Android (highly unlikely).
Google has tied up with several e-commerce websites in India to bring together an online shopping festival. Basically online buyers can expect a lot of lucrative discounts on a variety of products. The 3 day festival is called GOSF (Google Online Shopping Festival). Yes, this is supposed to be India's version of "Cyber Monday".
Last year the GOSF kicked off to insipid enthusiasm and more importantly criticism of users finding that the discounts on offer were either not lucrative and in some cases, the prices were over-inflated and then a hefty discount applied.
This year GOSF will probably see a lot less of that, but it has not been an auspicious start as gosf.in the official portal crashed in the first few hours. Google India did tweet out that the site should be up soon. At the time of writing this post, the portal was up and running.
The Logic is missing
The online retail business in India is growing but I cannot help feeling that GOSF is an misplaced effort. Yes, it would be nice to have India's own "Cyber Monday" but there is logic behind the "Cyber Monday" phenomenon in the US. Thanksgiving holiday in the US is observed on every fourth Thursday in November. Many Americans have a long weekend off, which stretches from Thursday to Sunday. Some who go on vacation or travel do not have the option of availing Black Friday discounts which happen at retail shops on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
Having super discounts on Monday (Cyber Monday) means a lot of buyers can enjoy their vacations and still avail great discounts online. This also was useful initially as not all houses had an internet connections and people used their office computers to shop online. And offices opened only on Monday after the long weekend.
This while science or logic behind "Cyber Monday" is totally missing with GOSF. The attempt is novel but maybe it should be held every year the day after the festival of Diwali takes place in India. It is a traditional festival when Indians save up and shop during. Or atleast have this festival in the first weekend of the month, which is closer to the first of the month and is a time when many online shoppers have just got their salaries credited into their account.
What do you think of GOSF? Do drop in your comments.
The iPad Air WiFi edition is priced at Rs 35,900. It sports a 9.7 inch retina display with A7 chipset. It is based on 64 bit architecture and has a M7 motion coprocessor. It is the latest iPad in the series and weighs less than a kilogram. It is available in two colors – space grey and white.
16 GB – WiFi only Rs 35,900 & Cellular Rs 44,900
32 GB – WiFi only Rs 42,900 & Cellular Rs 51,900
64 GB – WiFi only Rs 49,900 & Cellular Rs 58,900
128 GB – WiFi only Rs 56,900 & Cellular Rs 65,900
iPad Air 16 GB WiFi edition is listed on Flipkart as Coming soon. You can choose to get notified once the product is available on Flipkart.
iPad mini with retina display starts at Rs 28,900. It is similar to the iPad Air is comes packed with A7 chipset, 64 bit architecture and a M7 motion coprocessor. It succeeds iPad mini and supports resolution of 2048×1536 and over 3.1 million pixels. It will be available in space grey and silver colors.
Your WhatsApp account has always been linked to your mobile number. But, with the latest update(s) on WhatsApp for all platforms, Android, iOS, BlackBerry, Nokia S40 and BlackBerry 10, you can now change your mobile number – that's porting your WhatsApp account to another number.
This new option Change number is available inside the Account settings tab – Settings > Account > Change number. The operation is really simple. Just enter your old mobile number and the new mobile number in that page, and WhatsApp will do the rest for you. This will move your account info, settings and groups to your new number.
For those using Nokia S40, go to Options > Settings > Change phone number.
Sadly there isn't an option for you to change number on Nokia Symbian and Windows Phone yet.
Things to note
Make sure that you have both your old mobile SIM and the new one plugged into different mobile phones. WhatsApp needs your new number to be active on a mobile device at the time of changing numbers.
Why this feature?
Most people always go about jumping from one carrier to the other. It is tiresome to take WhatsApp backups, import to the new mobile phone and then restore, isn't it?
Also, this feature is makes it easy for premium WhatsApp users to continue their membership hassle-free.