Monday, March 31, 2014

The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

Not the best book in the world, but taking the slant on the relationship of former presidents with current presidents and with other former presidents does give insights that you likely were unaware of, especially concerning Eisenhower, Truman, Bush 41, Nixon, and even Hoover. Although it appears to be 641 pages in the Kindle edition, it's actually more than a hundred pages shorter than that because pictures, acknowledgments, and notes make up more than 100 pages at the end.

PS: N.B. The use of the Oxford comma. The Oxford comma, so-called because the Oxford University Press style guidelines require it, is the comma before the conjunction at the end of a list. If your preferred style is to omit the second comma in "red, white, and blue," you are aligned with the anti-Oxford comma faction. The pro-Oxford comma faction is more vocal and numerous in the US, while in the UK, anti-Oxford comma reigns. (Oxford University is an outsider, style-wise, in its own land.) In the US, book and magazine publishers are generally pro, while newspapers are anti, but both styles can be found in both media.

The two main rationales for choosing one style over the other are clarity and economy. Each side has invoked both rationales in its favor. Although those who side with the Oxford comma clearly have right and righteousness on their side, and those who oppose it clearly are wrong and wrong-headed, here are some quotes that have served as shots exchanged in the Oxford comma wars.

Pro: "She took a photograph of her parents, the president, and the vice president."
This example from the Chicago Manual of Style shows how the comma is necessary for clarity. Without it, she is taking a picture of two people, her mother and father, who are the president and vice president. With it, she is taking a picture of four people.

Con: "Those at the ceremony were the commodore, the fleet captain, the donor of the cup, Mr. Smith, and Mr. Jones."
This example from the 1934 style book of the New York Herald Tribune shows how a comma before "and" can result in a lack of clarity. With the comma, it reads as if Mr. Smith was the donor of the cup, which he was not.

Pro: "Zinovieff shot over five hundred of the bourgeoisie at a stroke—nobles, professors, officers, journalists, men and women."
George Ives, the author of a 1921 guide to the usage style of the Atlantic Monthly Press, gives this example to show how making the comma before "and" standard practice is more economical. This way, the reader will know for sure that if it's missing, there's a good reason. Here the reading is that there were both men and women among the nobles, professors, officers, and journalists. Without the expectation of the Oxford comma, the reader has to work harder to figure out that men and women aren't two additional groups on the list.

Con: "There are certain places where for the sake of clarity and good form the presence of a comma is obligatory, but on the other hand a too liberal use of this form of punctuation tends to slow up the pace of the reading matter and to create confusion and hesitancy in the mind of the reader."
The 1937 New York Times style guide put economy on the side of the no comma rule. Use when necessary—otherwise, it's just clutter to slow you down.

Pro: "...use the comma between all members of a series, including the last two, on the commonsense ground that to do so will preclude ambiguities and annoyances at negligible cost."
Wilson Follett, in his 1966 Modern American Usage, advocates for the comma on the grounds that it can't really hurt.

Con: "All those commas make the flag seem rained on. They give it a furled look. Leave them out, and Old Glory is flung to the breeze, as it should be."
This complaint was addressed to Harold Ross, the founding editor of the New Yorker, by James Thurber, who preferred "the red white and blue" to "the red, white, and blue." Ross, a notorious defender of the serial comma, was impressed by Thurber's argument and responded, "write a piece about it, and I'll punctuate the flag any way you want it—in that one piece."

Pro: "This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God"
A probably apocryphal book dedication, this example has been a favorite of pro-Oxford comma language blogs for a while. Without the comma before "and," you get a rather intriguing set of parents.

Con: "The English are rather more careful than we are, and commonly put a comma after the next-to-last member of a series, but otherwise are not too precise to offend a red-blooded American."
H.L. Mencken, who did not use the serial comma himself, implies, in this quote tucked into a supplement to The American Language, that there is something prissy, pedantic, and altogether un-American about the extra comma.

?: "By train, plane and sedan chair, Peter Ustinov retraces a journey made by Mark Twain a century ago. The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector."
Languagehat dug this gem out of a comment thread on the serial comma. It's from a TV listing in The Times. It supports the use of the Oxford comma, but only because it keeps Mandela from being a dildo collector. However, even the Oxford comma can't keep him from being an 800-year-old demigod. There's only so much a comma can do.


Not quite as boring as Veronica Mars but nearly so, and far more stupid.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Automating Your Smart Device

There are apps that will let you automate just about any function you want it to on your smart device. For example, they change settings depending on location, send every SMS as a mail to GMail, automatically reply to an incoming SMS, turn off Wifi when the battery is almost empty, turn off Wifi when you leave your home, turn Wifi on when you arrive at home, turn on the airplane mode in the evening and turn it off in the morning, make weekly backups of files, and much more. Two of the best are Tasker and Automagic Automation, although they cost a couple of dollars.

Veronica Mars

It's too boring, indeed numbingly so, to merit a review.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Versatility of the Kindle App

If you bemoan the supposed inability to do something reading an ebook viz reading a physical book, the bemoanment is misplaced, wrong, and wrong-headed. Anything you can do with a physical book, you can do with an ebook, and actually, there are many things you can do with an ebook that you cannot do with a physical book. For example, if you want to know the definition of any word in an ebook, just press on the word and up will pop the definition. If you want to do any kind of search in an ebook, that's just a click away. Bringing up the table of contents likewise is just a click away. While the precise way that all the "tricks" an ereader can do varies by the device and app you are using, if you can think of something you want the ereader to "tell" you about or in what you are reading, it can be done.

How to Rescue a Smartphone That Got Wet

Step 1. Without wasting time, turn off your phone. Do this within seconds of the accident -- even before you dry it off with your t-shirt. The goal is to cut the power before any water has a chance to hit the circuitry and short circuit it.
Step 2. Dry the outside of the phone with a lint-free towel, paying close attention to any ports, speakers, and microphones. Disassemble any parts -- like the SIM card and battery -- and dry them, too.
Step 3. Place the device and parts in a zip-top storage bag, along with a handful of silica gel packets. These are desiccants often found in new products (like shoes and bags), along with some grocery items (like beef jerky). They're designed to be very efficient at absorbing moisture. Collect them as you find them for emergencies like these. Or, you can order silica gel packets online.
Step 4. Wait 72 hours. This is probably the hardest part, but rest assured that you'll be OK, even if you haven't checked Instagram in three days.
Step 5. Power your phone on. Three days have passed, giving the desiccants ample time to absorb the moisture. If you did everything right, your phone should be back in business.

A few important notes

Here's the deal: Much of this method relies on chance and a little luck. The most important part is that you rescued your phone quickly, and that it was powered off before any liquid hit the circuit boards.
Know that even if you were able to revive your phone, there's a chance that any water contact (or worse, chemical- or salt-laden water contact) will corrode the parts over time. So if a year later, your phone begins to die a slow and painful death, you'll know why.
Finally, your warranty is void. All phones have a water indicator that tells the manufacturer it went for a swim. The iPhone 5S's water indicator, for example, can be found inside the SIM card slot. When it gets wet, it changes color from white to red.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Triage for Strange Computer Activity

If your computer or smart device starts doing something strange or otherwise is not right, first, do no harm. Then, follow these steps:

1. Reboot.

2. Turn off anything you've installed that runs in the background such as an ad-blocker.

3. Type the symptom you are experiencing into The Google and look for a fix.

What not to do: Do not take the device into Data Doctors. They will charge you $50 to do an analysis which supposedly will uncover a plethora of un-sourced malware for which they would charge your $250 to "clean." It's a scam.

Correcting Siri's Mispronounciations

The Siri personal assistant in Apple’s iOS 7 responds to verbal commands and even answers back, but if you find the software is mispronouncing names, you can correct it. When you hear the program bungle your name, or anyone else’s, tell it, “That’s not how you pronounce that” or “That’s not how you pronounce my name.”
Siri will ask you to say the name properly and then present you with three different versions to play back. You can listen to each variation and then select the one you want to use. If none hit the mark, tap the “Tell Siri again” option and try again until the software comes up with a better match.

How to Make the Font Bigger in Chrome

 Click on the menu icon on the right side of the page and select Settings. On the Settings page, scroll down and click “Show Advanced settings.”
On the Advanced page, go to the Web Content section and use the drop-down menu to select a text size. If Chrome is set to the default Medium size, you can choose Large or Very Large to bump up the type size on pages that allow the browser to modify the display. Click the Customize Fonts button to make further adjustments to type size and style.

Curved Screens

This year, marketers have new bait: curved screens on phones and televisions. LG and Samsung, for example, both offer a curved-screen phone and new, high-end televisions with curved displays.
After spending some time with both, I can tell you this: The new gimmick works on TVs, but not on phones — at least not yet.
Full Explanation:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

LastPass Just Got Way Better

If you access any websites or apps that require you to log-in, LastPass will do it for you automatically. It used to be clunky for logging into apps, but now it's smooth, fast, and easy. LastPass also is a fabulous tool to store any and all information and access it from anywhere. It's the best program/app ever! It's free for use on computers and $12/year on smart devices (one fee will cover all your devices). It's the best $12 you'll ever spend.

HTC One (M8)

While not a great seller, the HTC One was named best smartphone of the year in 2013. Its successor, the M8 is now available and making quite a splash (although it's not waterproof). It looks great, feels great, and has terrific sound. That said, like the iPhone, its battery is not replaceable. This is a huge negative because batteries die far more often than one might imagine. Also, if you have a phone with a replaceable battery, you can always have a back-up charged battery so that you never have to wait for your phone to charge should it run low.

Best Recipe App

Culinary Pal gives you recipes by voice. It not only gets the recipes for you, but uses voice control and reads recipe ingredients and directions to you at your own pace.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why Transponders Can Be Turned Off

Many of you have asked why it is so easy for someone in the cockpit to turn off the transponder. Here are the principal answers:

Basically everything that consumes power on a aircraft can potentially cause interference, short-circuits, or otherwise jeopardize the safety of flight and therefore must be switchable. Sometimes the switch is in the form a button, otherwise by a fuse. In that context, there are several particular reasons that the transponder can be turned off.
If the transponder malfunctions, it may cause interruptions to all ATC surveillance in an area. There have been instances in the past that due to a fault in the transponder it was basically acting as a jammer.
In one particular incident it took a while before the aircraft that caused it was identified and after requesting the pilot to switch of the transponder, secondary surveillance was restored.
Another reason is that when the aircraft is at the gate, the transponder is switched of to reduce the amount of radio transmissions. 100 aircraft on the surface of a large airport can produce a massive Radio Frequency noise, which negatively affect radar systems. When taxiing, radar replies are useful for aircraft identification, hence the transponder is switched on at pushback or engine start.

PS: While that question had a straight-forward answer, there is absolutely no reason, or excuse, given that GPS technology can tell where billions and billions of cars are and where they are headed and at what speed etc, why the "black box" (data recorder) data is not transmitted and stored in a similar way on the internets.

Hitman Pro Alert 2.6

If you or a family member has ever gotten Crypolocker or other such malware that encodes your personal data and will not uncode it without your paying a ransome (of $400 or more), you know it is not a pleasant thing to have happen. Besides exercising the usual safety precautions, you also should install Hitman Pro Alert 2.6. It is free and small.

Download Link:

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and The Wrong Box (1966)

Even people such as myself who are not as big Wes Anderson fans as other people are, it is impossible not to like The Grand Budapest Hotel. The characters, including their make-up, wardrobes, and accents, are totally delightful (or totally villanous if their role so insists). The dialogue is crisp and clever. While you can guess what will happen next in nearly every scene, that will not dampen your eagerness to watch and see.  And to top it off, it's a very funny movie.

IMDb Link:

If you like The Grand Budapest Hotel, you will love The Wrong Box, with an amazing cast bringing together everyone's favorites from Beyond the Fringe and an appearance by Peter Sellers that is unforgettable. Although separated by decades and taking place in different parts of the world, TWB might be the first movie to focus on a tontine and TGBH might be the second to mention a tontine, and like TGBH does a wonderful job on focusing on greed and human foibles. Unfortunately, TWB does not appear available for streaming, but it can be bought on DVD from Amazon and likely elsewhere.

IMDb Link:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Top Picks for Best Free Antivirus Software

Discussion And Comparison
Comodo Antivirus is my top pick for advanced users or for Intermediate users who are okay with an antivirus software which will occasionally ask them for input. However, if you do not fall into those categories, or for any other reason find it to not be a good fit for you, then you will likely find my next pick suitable. Comodo Antivirus uses the cloud to facilitate the detection of the most recent malware, as do many other Free Antiviuruses reviewed in this article. However, Comodo also incorporates a Behavioral Blocker, which will automatically sandbox all software which it does not know for sure is safe. Thus, the user is protected from nearly all malware, which will either be detected by the antivirus component or sandboxed by the Behavioral Blocker. 
Avast! Free Antivirus
Avast! Free Antivirus is has very good protection rates. Avast has many different protection shields, boot-time scanning, a behavioral blocker, an internet site ratings plugin, script malware protection, access to cloud-based protection, and a limited (non-configurable) sandboxing feature. It's arguable whether their ratings plugin offers comparable levels to WOT, but the script malware protection can prevent certain browser exploits, a feature not available in any of the other free AV's reviewed.

Panda Cloud AntivirusPanda Cloud Antivirus is Panda's successful attempt to jump on the free antivirus bandwagon. It is an excellent choice for average users, who may find both Comodo Antivirus and Avast too confusing. It has a simple interface, completely automated features, access to cloud-based protection, and is very good at protecting a computer. The detection level is generally very high. Panda Cloud Antivirus has a behavioral blocker and web protection, which will also help increase your security.

AVG Anti-Virus Free EditionAVG Anti-Virus Free Edition is also a decent choice for a free antivirus. Although this venerable antivirus has had some shaky results in detection in the recent past, it now offers a high level of protection. My analysis of the results, as discussed in the methodology section, does show that it does a decent job of protecting your computer. However, it appears that the above Antivirus products tend to do better. Also, it comes with advertisements (but they can be disabled).

Avira AntiVir Personal EditionAvira AntiVir Personal Edition is another free antivirus product which has a very good reputation. However, the free version was not tested by either of the three testing organizations I referenced in my methodology. Therefore, I cannot recommend it above any of the previuosly mentioned products.

Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition
Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition is another free antivirus product which has a very good reputation. However, the free version was not tested by either of the three testing organizations I referenced in my methodology. Therefore, I cannot recommend it above any of the previuosly mentioned products.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cloak: Maybe the Most Useful App Ever

Most social apps facilitate your linkage to other people. Cloak does the opposite. It is an anti-social app. It enables you to locate with some precision people you want to avoid. It will warn you if any of them get close so you can take evasive action. Unfortunately, it is not yet available for Android devices but it should be coming soon.

Apple App Download:

By-Passing the Windows 7 Log-in Screen

If you don't want to see the Windows 7 log-in screen when you boot-up, but would rather just go to the desktop, it is easy to "fix" the computer to do so:

1. Click on Start and and type in to the search box: netplwiz and hit Enter.

2. Highlight the user that you want to be or already is the log-in user.

3. If the box that reads "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer" is checked, uncheck it and hit Apply and then OK.

4. If that box already was unchecked, check it, hit Apply and then OK, and then uncheck it and hit Apply and then OK.

PS: You still might see the log-in screen after your computer's screen-saver has been on and you wake-it up. To by-pass that log-in screen, right-click on the desktop and hit Personalize/Screen Saver and un-check the box that says "On resume, display logon screen" and hit Apply/OK.


While no browser is totally secure, Firefox turns out to be the least secure browser.

Explanatory Article:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Texting From a Tablet

There are free apps that will allow you to text over the wi-fi connection of you Apple or Android tablet. Google Voice is one, and there are many others.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Captain Phillips (2013)

If you like predictable, drawn-out (it said it was 2h15m but went even longer), essentially boring, you will love this movie. That is not to say the underlying story is not gripping. But, it's way past the time Tom Hanks should be making movies that involve war, the ocean, or Somali pirates.

IMDb Link:

Malaysian Air Flight 370

Just in case you missed anything, this is not to be missed:

Media Coverage Link:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Shipping With USPS

The USPS appears to have cleared up the buggy things that had infected its shipping website. It's now easier and better than ever, both for flat-rate shipping and custom shipping. If you're still making trips to the post office, you're making a big mistake, and if you're shipping and going to UPS or FedEx you're making not only a bigger, but also a costllier, mistake.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Binks Midtown (Phoenix Restaurant)

Binks Midtown is in the space that used to be Sophie's which was run by a total nut and was to be avoided at all costs. The space has been re-done and is very pleasant, although unless you want loud music that is intended to drown out the noise from Osborn, and want to eat outside, ask to be seated on the back outside area. The setting is unfancy but not unattractive. The noise level is excellent, i.e., you actually can hear people at your table, even if you can also hear people at other tables. The food is wonderful, and spiced or otherwise done in unusual ways, with an emphasis on freshness. The prices are not quite as good as you think at first once you realize there are no side dishes included with the meal, but even so, the prices are not bad. And the service is indescribably impeccable. You truly are made to feel like you are the most important table in the restaurant, and that likely is the case for everyone else that is there even though of course they do not realize your table is the most important one.


Brisket Recipe

Many have tried, but most have failed. This will work:

1. Buy a good quality brisket. Have it trimmed (some fat is good but too much fat is no good).

2. Put in tin foil thing, season with salt and garlic powder on both sides; add a half cup of water and onions or shallots or both.

3. Cover with tin foil and put in oven at 325.

4. Flip brisket every hour. Add a little water if necessary but it's very unlikely it will be needed.

5. Add sauce at the 4-hour mark or when it gets tender if it's not at 4 hours. You can be creative with the sauce but try 1-part Bull's Eye Original with 2-parts ketchup.

6. Remove from oven and wait for it to cool. Then slice it against the grain and add some of the sauce into the slices and put in refrigerator.

7. Next day, heat at 325 for 1 to 1.5 hours and serve.

8. When you're asked for your recipe, be sure to give credit where you got it.

Amazon's Return Policy

It  might be different for non-Prime members, but Amazon's return policy is terrific. It takes just a few clicks to authorize a return and a few seconds later a UPS label will arrive by email. Sometimes there will be a return shipping charge but it is at a bargain rate (indeed, even less than USPS flat rate boxes). And the refund will issue just moments after the package is scanned in at the UPS drop-off. So, if you have any doubts about whether what you order will be suitable, savings through eBay (where returns can be difficult and costly and disputes are cumbersome to resolve (again, unlike Amazon)) might not be the best choice.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Amazon Locker

Amazon Locker is a shipping destination you can select to store your package in a nearby, secure bin, will hold your order for three business days after you receive a pickup code by text or email. If all the Amazon Lockers are full when the courier tries to deposit your package, you should get a message that the delivery was unsuccessful — and that another attempt will be made the next business day.
For those who live in situations where package delivery often results in a collection of missed-attempt door tags, Amazon Locker can serve as a useful alternative. To use it, you need to log into your Amazon account and search your local area for any nearby locker locations. If you find one, add it to your Amazon address book so you can select it as a shipping destination. (Amazon Lockers tend to be big yellow cabinets found in grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience shops.)
When your package is delivered to your locker location, Amazon sends you a text or email message with a pickup code. Once you enter the code on the locker’s keyboard, the compartment with your package should pop open so you can collect your goods. For security reasons, a different pickup code is sent with each order.
The service is free to use, but not every item Amazon lists can be delivered to a locker. Textbook rentals, “Subscribe and Save” offers or merchandise not directly sold or fulfilled by Amazon are among the orders that do not qualify for locker delivery. Some objects are too big to fit in an Amazon Locker, so make sure the item you ordered weighs less than 10 pounds and is smaller than 16.5 inches by 13.8 inches by 12.6 inches.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cool E-Greeting Cards

Punchbowl greeting cards are way cool. They "look and feel" to the eye just like real greeting cards with envelope and stamp and all.

Website Link:

Cellphone Battery Life Extenders

After exhaustive study of some of the top battery life extender covers, here in chart-form are the results of that study:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Your Next Computer

While many factors can go into deciding which computer to buy, there is one "must-have" feature: a solid state drive instead of a hard disk drive. Not only is a solid state drive more reliable because it does not have any moving parts, it will make the computer much much faster in booting up and executing programs and everything else. And computers with solid state drives costs no more than ones with hard disk drives. In fine, why hard disk drive computers are even made any more is as much a mystery as the Malaysian Air flight.

Monday, March 10, 2014

It Can Really Pay to Check Your Wireless Plan

The competition has been heating up among the major wireless carriers. Just because you have a 2Y commitment on your phone or no commitment does not mean you cannot switch to a better and less expensive plan. The carrier websites can be confusing because they target new customers, preferring to keep existing customers on their current (more expensive) plans. So, do not expect your carrier to alert you to the possibility to switching to a better/cheaper plan. But, if you call, and ask a rep to quote you alternatives to your existing plans, you might be very pleasantly surprised to learn how you can get exactly what you're getting now but at a lower price or even more than what you are getting now at a lower price.

Fog Proofing a Mirror

As an alternative to buy a fog-proof mirror, here are some good, inexpensive ways to fog-proof a mirror with a simple spray or wipe on: Anti-Fog made by Rain-X or even just Rain-X; WD-40; shaving cream; Purple Magic; liquid hand  soap; and SalClear.

Free Tool RKill Can Help Clean a Malware Infected Computer

A common tactic of malware these days, which can make getting rid of an infection difficult, is to blocked your security software from running. Fortunately, there is also a useful free application called RKill that can be useful in this type of situation. RKill does not itself remove malware. It is to be used in conjunction with an anti-malware program. The purpose of RKill is to stop a malware infection from blocking or disabling your regular anti-malware program. It works by killing known malware processes and removing Windows Registry entries that stop a user from employing their normal security applications. Its use should be followed immediately by running a regular anti-malware application to actually clean out the malware.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Extending Android Battery Time

Android gets a bad rap for short battery life, but that's only if you stick with its default settings. Make these simple adjustments to give your phone or tablet a battery boost.
Disable location reporting and history
GPS is a huge battery hog, as it harnesses data from the phone's GPS chip, cell phone towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots to find your location. The more a phone surveys your location, the more battery it uses. And that goes beyond just Google Maps.
Location reporting and location history are two GPS-based services with somewhat unclear motives. According to a Google Help page, the services can be used in conjunction with any other Google Apps, and may be used to improve your experience.
Chances are you can probably live without them, so disable these two features by going to Settings > Location > Google Location Reporting.
Disable Google Now cards
Now is an unmatched personal assistant, but some of its services -- which come in the form of informational "cards" -- are tireless battery drains.
For example, a card titled "Nearby places" shows you nearby attractions when you travel to a place that Google recognizes is out of your usual routine. Cool? Yes. Necessary? No.
To disable cards, go to Google Now, then scroll down to the very bottom, and tap the magic wand. Here, you can pick the cards you actually need. As a general guide, the GPS-reliant cards will demand the most battery, so disable cards like "Travel time" and "Nearby places" to see a battery boost.
Wi-Fi scanning
It's well-known that when Wi-Fi is left enabled, more energy is used. However, on Android, even when Wi-Fi is disabled, a phone could still be searching for networks.
To make sure this isn't happening, head to Wi-Fi settings > Advanced. Here, uncheck the option for Wi-Fi scanning.
Going forward, you'll have to connect to Wi-Fi manually, but you'll get a longer battery life in return.
Use the battery tool
If you're unsure how energy-demanding an app is, or you're wondering why your battery is draining so quickly, use the Battery tool. The feature shows you which apps use the most battery, with the top two items almost always being Screen and Wi-Fi.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Malwarebytes for Android

Malwarebytes is an excellent free app to protect your Android device and to find it if you lose it. Even if you have a security app installed, there is every reason to add this extra layer of protection and no reason not to.

Download Link:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Simplifying Gmail's Look

Gmail is just about the perfect e-mail client. As time goes by, however, Google tweaks the look and feel of Gmail, adding new features while removing or changing others. If you'd like to have some say about how your Gmail experience goes, Gmelius is a browser extension for ChromeFirefox, and Opera which lets you customize what elements show up on Gmail and where. The extension is incredibly simple to use. Head to your extensions page, locate Gmelius in the list, and click the Options link to open Gmelius's checkbox list of Gmail features you'd like to change or remove.

Gmelius Download:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Modern New Tab Page

The old new tab page (the page that comes up when you click on the little tab next to the last opened web page) in Chrome was wonderful. But with Chrome 33, it's terrible. There are various extensions that allow you to get back to the old new tab look, such as with New Page Redirect, but most of them are flawed and difficult to use. The extension Modern New Tab Page, though, is terrific. It makes for a beautiful new tab page that is more functional than the old one, easier to use and more customizeable. You can even include the logo for each website link you put on it (just go to Google/Images and put in the name of the logo you want, add jpg to the search, copy the chosen logo to create a link, and past the link where indicated on the new tab block).

Modern New Page Download Link:

Here is a screen shot of what the New Tab Page might look like, but remember, you can put anything on it you want:

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Fixing Chrome

If something goofy starts happening in Chrome (like words on a webpage being highlighted and underlined which turn out actually to be ads in disguise), and everything else you try to fix it (e.g., seven different malware scans in regular and safe-mode, installing a script controller which does a partial work-around), disable all your extensions and then re-enable them one at a time and there is a good chance you will find the offending extension, which might even be one you've had on without problem for quite a while. Amazingly, when you re-enable the rest of your extension, Chrome will have "remembered" your settings under each and even where each had been placed by you.