20 7 / 2011

Ok,

So Chrome is an awesome browser right now, and I use it for afew reasons.. those reasons I will share with you now. First and foremost I use “account sync”, which means that whenever I am at a computer that has Chrome I can make it look and feel like “my” browser. How does it do this ?, well if you login to the browser it will sync all your saved bookmarks, applications and shortcuts to the browser your using. So, if I was at work and I add a new bookmark or application to the Chrome browser, when I get home that bookmark will be synced to my home browser. Thats pretty handy. Here’s where that option is.

So, now you can make the browser look and feel how you like where ever you are. Another thing I like to do is set the download location to my desktop. Why ?, I can’t tell you how many times i’ve downloaded a pdf, an image or a word document and then had No Idea where that file has downloaded too! ( I exaggerate, I know, but you might not ) So in preferences you can set that here.

Next, lets look at some plugins for the browser that really accelerate the usability. I will give you a quick idea what the plugin does, and a link to download it. Here are the extensions that I currently used and afew highlights that we are going to look at..

also, how to get to the extensions I am going to talk to, open a new tab and click on the web store

Ad Block, allows you to Downloads extension, this add’s a little icon on the right of the URL bar is a quick link to see your downloads folder, but like I have shown above if you set your download location to the desktop you wont really need this.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/nccjoeeljedbmkidebclpoabijggpbdp?hl=en-US

Flashblock is an extension for the Google Chrome that blocks all Flash content from loading. It then leaves placeholders on the webpage that allow you to click to download and then view the Flash content. If you see a grey circle with an arrow it in, this is flash software that you can enable by clicking it IF you have this extension active. Why would you use this ? Flash is old clunky technology and with it disabled your browser can really fly as it will not load the flash item and will load the HTML code faster. *Note: sometimes items that are flash wont load cause of this tab but WONT show you its flash. This can be confusing so I would suggest you only use it if you are an advanced browser user.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cdngiadmnkhgemkimkhiilgffbjijcie?hl=en-US

Reload all tabs, all software can crash, and browsers are no exception. So what happens if you had 3 or 4 tabs open and the browser crashes and they all close ? Thats where this little extension comes in handy. When you open Chrome again, it will load all the tabs that closed right where you left them ! ( if any of those tabs need a login, you will have to login again for security )

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/midkcinmplflbiflboepnahkboeonkam?hl=en-US

Instapaper is a website that you can sign up to ( www.instapaper.com ), and what it does is save webpages. What I mean by that is, say you come across a great article on, I dunno, growing orange tree’s but you know you arn’t going to get to it for another 6 months. Instead of printing out the page or adding it to your bookmarks you can setup an Instapaper account and it will save that page into your account for you to read later. You can also access instapaper via a mobile device by a corresponding app also.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/liamajdghafnpofaconeimppimbdbhgi?hl=en-US

And lucky last, Voice Search. Thats right, voice search. Minority Report communication with your computer is now possible. Add this extension and any “field” that you usually type into will get a little microphone symbol. Click that symbol and you will be able to say what you would usually type. Very cool.

Link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/hhfkcobomkalfdlmkongnhnhahkmnaad?hl=en-US

this is the icon to click,

So thats it for now, if you have any questions please leave a comment below.
Cheers,
Steve

02 6 / 2011

NFC Micro-Sd

So, this nifty little trick will bring NFC ( Near Field Communication ) to any mobile device that can accept a micro-sd card ( no iOS devices ). The theory of NFC being that you can pay for things with a swipe of your phone, no wallet, no pin, nothing. With certain retail restraints like the purchase can’t be over $100.

While the Tech Guy in me loves the idea of having this technology to speed up time at the checkout, checkouts now have self-serve options, so you spend less time in the shop anyway, cause lets face it you are only buying milk and chocolate on the way home anyway. I can see NFC being the start or continuation of humanities ultimate laziness. 

Soon we will have TVs that can do skype, browse our watch list on ebay and order a pizza from dominos right from our flatscreens. The internet is getting fast enough that alot of people are leaving the city to work in rural area’s and tap into their workplace from home. While there is the social media element in our lives these days, to me social media is like visiting a relative in jail. They are behind glass and living in a completely different world on that side of the glass. We choose to share elements of our lives, sometimes unconsciously, but typically consciously to get a reaction / conversation started. We strive for human contact and conversation, but its easier to do it over facebook cause it takes 0 effort.

So, how does this all come back to my forecast of NFC leading humanity to its ultimate laziness ? People seem to be happy to detach themselves further and further from community and real human interaction. This is just another piece of technology made to further lead us in that direction. Don’t get me wrong, its not “companies” making things to lead us this way. They simply react to focus groups and the market telling them what we want and they go and make it.

If you want to be the next pioneer in tech, think of something you do daily that you have to have human contact for and build a product to replace it. Design.Build.Sell.Done.

I love tech, but are people going to realise we are going too far before its too late or react after we’ve gone past that point..

~Steve

Photo from Engadget.com