ultraspare change

all sorts of things

10/23/09

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The Power User's Guide to Google Chrome, 2009 Edition [Google Chrome]


Google Chrome has come a long way in the past year, steadily adding subtle but useful features for power users. Let's take a fresh look at Chrome's current offerings—especially for those willing to brave its early developer builds.

Not long after Chrome's release, our 2008 Chrome Power User's Guide covered its best features for savvy surfers, such as keyboard shortcuts and startup switches. We won't rehash those here; instead we're going to round up the new stuff that's come out since in both the stable and developer build of Chrome. (For reference, as of writing, the stable build of Google Chrome is version number 3.0.195.27, and the developer release is version 4.0.222.12.)

Turn Chrome into a Site-Specific Browser with Application Shortcuts

If webapps like Gmail have replaced desktop apps like an old-school email client for you, you'll like Chrome's ability to act as a site-specific browser (SSB) with Application Shortcuts. Chrome's minimal interface makes it a great candidate to get the heck out of your webapps' way, and just act as a window to it. To put a Chrome Application Shortcut to Gmail, Google Reader, Twitter, Facebook, or any other webapp you like to keep open in a separate window, open the site in Chrome. From the Page menu, choose "Create application shortcuts." From there decide to put your shortcut on the desktop, quick launch bar, and/or Start Menu. You can create as many Application Shortcuts as you like to all your favorite webapps or sites. When you open your webapp from the Application Shortcut icon, you won't see Chrome's address bar, or tabs, or your bookmarks bar. Any link that you click inside the application window will open in a different window in a full-on instance of Chrome.

Assign Keywords to Your Search Engines

One of Chrome's most touted features is how you can search the web by just typing into its address bar (a.k.a, the "omnibox"). To search specific sites, you can even type certain domain names (like "youtube.com") and then press Tab to search that site specifically. However, power users want to configure custom searches to happen in as few keystrokes as possible. Like Firefox's keyword bookmark capabilities, you can assign a keyword to a search engine bookmark in Chrome, which uses the %s variable to pass parameters to the URL.

To do so, right-click in Chrome's address bar and choose "Edit Search Engines." There, you can add, edit, or remove searches and assign keywords in the Keyword field.

Using this technique you can, for instance, update Twitter with a keyword as well as search Lifehacker.com via Google. (Set the URL to http://google.com/search?q=site:lifehacker.com+%s and the keyword to lh. Then, to search Lifehacker's archives in Chrome, type lh "your search here" into the address bar.)

Customize the "New Tab" Page

Chrome's other slick headliner feature is its "New Tab" page, which displays a grid of frequently-visited web site thumbnails that help you get to where you're most likely to go when you create a new tab. That list is more customizable than ever, with options to rearrange the thumbnails (just drag and drop) and pin thumbnails to specific locations on the grid (hover over a thumbnail and press the thumbtack button to do so). If you don't need so much eye candy, you can switch to a list view by clicking on the view buttons on the upper right.

Get to Know New Chrome Startup Switches

Last year we covered several Chrome startup switches that let you do things like use multiple user profiles, always start Chrome in a maximized window, and disable certain features like Flash or JavaScript. Today there are three more startup switches worth mentioning. The --bookmark-menu switch adds a bookmark button to Chrome's toolbar. The -incognito switch starts up Google Chrome in private, incognito mode. Finally, Greasemonkey fans will want to try the --enable-user-scripts switch to see if their favorite scripts work in Chrome. (A few other steps are required; here's how to get Greasemonkey user scripts going.)

Choose Your Chrome Theme

As if ad-heavy web sites weren't enough, web browser themes can add even more visual distractions to your surfing experience. However, since Chrome's—well, chrome—is so minimal, its themes are less annoying than in other browsers. I prefer Google's more muted in-house themes, but there are more vibrant artist themes as well. To activate a theme, from the Wrench menu, choose Personal Options, click "Get Themes." Choose the theme you like from the Themes Gallery and click the "Apply Theme" button under it.

Master Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts for Managing Tabs

Every power user has a few essential keyboard shortcuts in their arsenal, and Chrome offers some mouse-and-keyboard combinations for managing tabs, too. Like Firefox, you can middle-mouse-button click any link to open it in a background tab (or Ctrl+click for the same result). Shift+Click opens a link in a new window, Shift+middle+click (or Shift+Ctrl+click) opens a link in a new tab and switches to it, and Alt+click saves the contents of a link to your computer.

Switch to the Dev Channel Release for Extensions (and More)

Brave devotees to Google Chrome want to take advantage of its open development, and subscribe to the developer channel of early Chrome releases to get a preview of new features. Using Chrome's Channel Changer tool you can switch from the stable release to the no-guarantees-on-stability beta or developer build. The risk you take in running into unexpected bugs is worth it for features the early builds offer. In the current Developer build version 4.0.222.12, you can sync your bookmarks, test extensions, and pin tabs. (Also, Mac and Linux users can finally try out Chrome via the developer channel, as a stable release is not yet available.)

(Dev Build Only) Synchronize Your Bookmarks

You use Chrome at home and at the office, and you want your bookmarks synced in both places, In the dev build of Chrome, from the Wrench menu, choose "Sync my bookmarks" to save your Chrome bookmarks in your Google account. (You'll have to sign in to start syncing.) If you're already using the Xmarks extension for Firefox or IE, you can use that in the dev build of Chrome, which includes the foundation of extension support with a few alpha add-ons ready for testing.

(Dev Build Only) Install Extensions

Chrome's extension support is still young, but several alpha/beta extensions give you a glimpse of Firefox-like extension goodness in Chrome. Here are a few of our favorite Chrome extensions.

  • Gmail Checker: While it doesn't appear to work for Google Apps accounts (someone? prove me wrong?), the Gmail checker puts the number of unread messages in your inbox on Chrome's bottom toolbar.
  • Xmarks: Our favorite bookmark syncing extension for Firefox and IE is available for Chrome dev build testers as an alpha version. You must sign into Xmarks and sign up for the alpha test to get the Chrome extension.
  • AdSweep and Adblock+: Scrub annoying flashing ads from your favorite web sites.
  • Session Saver: As previously covered, this extension enables multi-tab saving and reloading.
  • WOT: Integrates web site reputation ratings a la Web of Trust into Google Chrome.
  • LastPass: Adds deeper auto-fill password management to Chrome.

To view and manage what extensions you've got installed in Google Chrome, from the Wrench menu, choose Extensions to open the Extensions manager, where you can reload, disable, and uninstall extensions.

(Dev Build Only) Shrink and Affix Tabs with "Pin Tab" Option

Finally, a tiny little tab feature that everyone seems to love is available in the dev build of Chrome: the ability to shrink a tab down to only its favicon, and pin it to your tab bar. Right-click on any tab and choose "Pin tab" from the context menu to try it out.

What other power tips for Chrome, stable or developer build, are out there? Share your best ones in the comments.

Gina Trapani, Lifehacker's founding editor, strongly suspects 2010 will be a big year for Google Chrome. Her weekly feature, Smarterware, appears every Wednesday on Lifehacker. Subscribe to the Smarterware tag feed to get new installments in your newsreader.


Send an email to Gina Trapani, the author of this post, at gina@lifehacker.com.

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Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China | ChinaHush

"these were the results of sacrificing environment and blindly seeking economical gain.” -- the photographer

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Untitled

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88 Examples of Incredible Aerial Photography | Inspiration | instantShift

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10/22/09

Giant seagull appears behind Nine newsreader Peter Hitchener | TV | News.com.au

lol! (via @myeugene)

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Hitler Flummoxed by “Balloon Boy” Hoax – Neatorama

this movie will never die.

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10/20/09

IMG_1113


IMG_1113, originally uploaded by iquanyin.

this one came out nice (iphone art)

Top 15 Most useful Google Chrome Plugins and Addons

As we know Google Chrome is becoming Popular day by day, Here I am presenting 10 Most useful Google chrome Plugins & Addons to make your chrome more reliable.

1.) Google Chrome Backup
This plugin helps to Create Profile, Add Existing, Delete Profile, Backup, Restore, Create Shortcut, Show Details .

Download Link

2.) Portable Chrome
Small version of Google chrome for your thumb drive. Just unzip the download to your thumb drive and run ChromeLoader.exe. All your Chrome settings and profile information now save to your thumb drive.

Download Link

3.) XChrome – A Google Chrome Theme Manager
XChrome is a theme manager for Googles Chrome browser, it allows users to install a skin in seconds without having to move default.dll around and it allows you to view the author and various other details before installing.

Download Link

4.) Chrome Pass
ChromePass is a small password recovery tool that allows you to view the user names and passwords stored by Google Chrome Web browser. For each password entry, the following information is displayed: Origin URL, Action URL, User Name Field, Password Field, User Name, Password, and Created Time.

Download Link

5.) Google Chrome Channel Chooser
Google Chrome publishes new releases to the Dev channel frequently. The Dev channel gives the community access to upcoming features, features in development, and the latest bug fixes. We can use feedback from Dev channel users to improve and iterate on feature ideas, and make sure that the latest features work properly before we release them to a wider audience.

Download Link

6.) Google Chrome Dual View Plugin
This plugin splits the viewing pane into two halves and lets you browse two sites simultaneously.

Download Link

7.) AdSweep (AdBlock)
AdSweep is a small addon that aims to hide advertising from the web pages you visit. In technical terms, AdSweep is a user javascript that defines CSS rules based on the web site you are visiting to hide elements of the page that show advertisements.

Download Link

8.) Google Page Rank / Alexa Rank Checker
This plugin allows Google Chrome user to check the PageRank of the page you are browsing. It’s a bookmarklet(a bookmark containing JavaScript) in practice, you can also use it in FireFox, Safari or Inetnet Explorer.

Download Link

9.) Googlepedia Extension For Chrome
Once the plugin is installed, it shows you a relevant Wikipedia article along with your google search results and clicking on the links in the article triggers new google searches.

Download Link

10.) Customize Your New Tab Page
Users don’t have much power over what is shown in the new tab page. Custom New Tab is a Chrome extension fully compatible with Chrome 2.0.180.0 that allows you to change how it looks.

Download Link

11.) Mcafee Site Advisor Bookmarklet
When you are surfing on a site and want to know what Mcafee Siteadvisor has to say about the site you are surfing, just click on that bookmarklet once, and a new tab will open which will give you all the details and ratings of that site.

Download Link

12.) Create Chrome Themes with Chromium Theme Creator
With this tool, to build the themes\default.dll file is far from a click.

Download Link

13.) AdBlock for Google Chrome
Its not an addons or Plugins, it is just a tutorial from which you can block ads on any sites.

Download Link

14.) Greasemetal – Greasemonkey for Chrome
Greasemetal is a userscript runtime for Google Chrome. The runtime hosts userscripts (tiny javascript files that modify the webpages being displayed) to be executed on Google Chrome, similar to what Greasemonkey does for Mozilla Firefox, or Greasekit does for Safari.

Download Link

15.) Google Chrome Theme Starter Kit
Google Chrome Theme Starter Kit contains 276 images from original ‘default.dll’ (which is a image library for default Chrome theme).

Download Link

That’s All for now. If you do have more Addons & plugins then Reply below, we will add your plugin manually.

[via Chrome Plugins, Google Chrome Addons, Chrome Fans]


coolest: greasemetal (greasemonkey type deal, but for chrome). this spells many great things for the future, a la firefox.

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10/19/09

Shh...Cyborg Spy Beetles Released by DARPA « Wonderment Blog

wow

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Library Grape: DOJ Puts a Stop to Idiotic Medical Marijuana Raids

I like to see Glenn Greenwald feeling happy and vindicated:

This is one of those rare instances of unadulterated good news from Washington:

The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.

The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

Criminalizing cancer and AIDS patients for using a substance that is (a) prescribed by their doctors and (b) legal under the laws of their state has always been abominable. The Obama administration deserves major credit not only for ceasing this practice, but for memorializing it formally in writing. Just as is true for Jim Webb's brave crusade to radically revise the nation's criminal justice and drug laws, there is little political gain -- and some political risk -- in adopting a policy that can be depicted as "soft on drugs" or even "pro-marijuana." It's a change that has concrete benefits for many people who are sick and for those who provide them with treatments that benefit them. So credit where it's due to the Obama DOJ, for fulfilling a long-standing commitment on this issue.

Read his post on the implications of this eminently sensible change.

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Placebos Are Getting More Effective. Drugmakers Are Desperate to Know Why.

interesting

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6 Things Your Body Does Every Day That Science Can't Explain

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Library Grape: More Evil Done in the Name of Health Insurance

Why the Democrats aren't running with ads 24x7 highlighting stories like this is beyond me:
In the state of New York, insurers are legally prohibited from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims. So when Guardian, a major insurance company, was faced with the high-cost claims of 37 year-old muscular distrophy victim Ian Pearl, it decided to cancel its entire line of coverage in the state of New York rather than pay for Pearl’s claims. In an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times, it was revealed that one executive at the company refers to patients like Pearl as “dogs” that the company can simply “get rid of”:

Legally barred from discriminating against individuals who submit large claims, the New York-based insurer simply canceled lines of coverage altogether in entire states to avoid paying high-cost claims like Mr. Pearl’s. In an e-mail, one Guardian Life Insurance Co. executive called high-cost patients such as Mr. Pearl “dogs” that the company could “get rid of.”

A federal court quickly ruled that the company’s actions were legal, so on Dec. 1, barring an order by the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Mr. Pearl will lose his benefits.

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Random users Google Voice mail is searchable by anyone? : Boy Genius Report

does this mean i shouldn't use it for my international espionage activities?

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Bad guys now launching attacks through hacked Facebook apps

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10/18/09

Kazle: A Social Multi-Tasking Tool That Brings All Your Social Networks Into One Place

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Link by Link - In Trafigura Case, The Guardian and Twitter Untie Gag Order

i love how useful twitter is....and wikileaks too! cool: trafigura's toic waste dumping is secret no more!

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