Tag Archives: Google

Google Chromebook Pixel (2015): VLC Media Player Finally Available on Chrome OS

The much loved VLC media player is already available on every significant desktop operating system, and even a few obscure ones, with one major exception: Chrome OS. But that’s about to change.

The nonprofit VideoLAN organization on Friday announced that the free, open source, cross-platform VLC multimedia player is finally available on Google’s Chrome OS. Like the desktop version of VLC, the new Chrome OS iteration can play most video files, as well as network streams and DVD ISOs. It’s also a full audio player capable of playing even “weird audio formats” like FLAC.

“VLC is intended for everyone, is totally free, has no ads, no in-app-purchases, no spying and is developed by passionate volunteers,” VideoLAN President Jean-Baptiste Kempf wrote in a blog post. “All the source code is available for free.”

Source: Google Chromebook Pixel (2015): VLC Media Player Finally Available on Chrome OS

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What is ‘google keep’?

Taking notes on a windows pc is really a troublesome job. Opening a notepad or Microsoft word or onenote is not always convenient for bit lazy people like me, who rather prefer a direct note taking and keeping type application on the desktop.

The sticky notes of windows are nice, but have few drawbacks I think, like we can’t add a image to it, nor can we set a reminder to the note. When you have too many of them on your desktop, it’s a real mess to find the specific note you are looking for, scrolling through every note to find the desired one is cumbersome. I hunted a lot for a good friendly note taking device, and finally I think I found one, hence sharing here. This one is called ‘Google keep‘, a product by Google.

This product will definitely change your note taking and keeping experience in a windows pc. It’s probably going to work in non-windows pcs too, but I have no experience about it.

Benefits of  ‘Google keep’ which this author found are as the following-

  1. all notes which you will take will be directly from your desktop, no need to open any browser or application
  2. you can add reminders and works like calendars and tasks, and that too directly from your desktop; reminders also allow you to add locations
  3. it allows you to add pictures to your notes, good for students I feel
  4. accessible from other devices since they sync to your google drive
  5. you can add specific colors available in a tray to certain notes, if you wish
  6. you can either delete a note or keep to archives for future reference
  7. the notes can be read in full screen mode by maximizing its size (appears like google plus posts)
  8. finally the best thing, as for most products of google this note keeping device is search enables, which allows you to search your specific note

Demerit the author found:

1. if you save picture files like .png or .jpg etc. and if you don’t keep a copy of it anywhere else in the pc, it might be difficult to retrieve it since downloading once uploaded photos is difficult with google keep. It’s much easier to upload and download photo files in google drive rather.

2. For tasks you set with reminder, the reminder is probably not much reliable as the google calender. It don’t have good reminding alert system.

3. if you are using in on a pc, sometimes offline functioning is not satisfactory, it may not load all files you have kept on google keep.

However, its not necessary that you too will find this demerits, because google might have improved such glitches or may be the problems the author found with this product is not a generalized problem for all.

Here is how you can get it:

  1. You can get it directly from this link: https://drive.google.com/keep/
  2. To use it from your desktop- you need to download a desktop application called ‘Chrome App Launcher’ – you can get this from chrome webstore (available at google chrome browser)

Hope our long waited note taking problem will eliminate by the introduction of this new application ‘Google keep’.

Finally, lets thank  Google for bringing up such a good tool.

How to switch to a particular tab (e.g. the 5th tab) in google´s chrome browser directly using the keyboard?


We all probably know that pressing ctrl+tab can move us through the tabs that are already opened on a chrome browser, and probably in most other browsers too.

However, many of us probably are not aware of the feature that is available in chrome browser to switch to exactly the 3rd or 5th or 7th tab directly using the keyboard.

Simply, by pressing ctrl+1, ctrl+2, ctrl+3 and so on you can directly go to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and their following tabs respectively. Just by pressing ctrl+4 you can directly go to the 4th tab of your chrome browser.

But there is a limitation of this system, there is no way to go to tenth tab and onward, since there is no key with the numeric 10, 11, 12 etc. Nevertheless, when you have more than 9 tabs opened the ctrl+9 function will take you to the last opened tab, may the the 11th or 19th or something like that, depending on the what is the number of the last tab that is open. In such cases, ctrl+8 is the last key that follows the numeric order of the keys 1 to 8 and then it directly shows the last opened tab by pressing ctrl+9.

I found this feature to be present in the chrome browser of my Chromebook although not yet tested in other kinds of operating systems or browser. Probably, the feature will be present in other any chrome browsers.

How ‘Google sheets’ is better than Microsoft’s excel software?

‘Google sheets are are not shits but real spreadsheets.’ That is my introductory sentence for google sheets.

If you are new to the term ‘Google sheets’ let me introduce it to you. Its a ‘program’ or ‘software’ whichever way you might like to say it in tech language is something alike the Microsoft excel’s software. You may refer to this link to know about it in detail and experience it -https://www.google.co.in/sheets/about/

The biggest benefit of the ‘google sheets’ is that it is free, unlike the Microsoft’s office package (however Microsoft now a days provides an online version of its ‘office’ products free). Microsoft’s excel program can’t be run offline, unlike ‘google sheets’, unless you have the office software with excel component installed in your pc.

Besides being free I found excel sheet to be more user friendly for research or calculation purposes.  If you are not well acquainted to use the excel program of Microsoft or if there is no one to guide you in this regard you may want to explore its help window where tips are given. I found the Microsoft’s help sections quite robust and difficult to understand for person’s with less knowledge about computing especially in times when you are really short of time and patience. In contrast, I found google sheets approach quite simple, they have placed a ‘help’ item on the top of their product and on clicking to it a small search area appears which displays search results in seconds as you start typing.

Google sheets also make charts and diagrams automatically when you select certain part of your data, provided you are online. In the right lower part of your google sheet you can see a star icon glowing, when certain data are selected, and clicking it could show charts related to the selected area. I found this feature very much helpful you include this charts in your google sheet in expense of few clicks.

You can also make charts offline too, just click the ‘chart’ option from its drop down menu under the level ‘insert’.

Customizing or editing a pie chart or a bar diagram is much easier in google sheets than Microsoft’s excel program. Simply select the chart you want to edit and right click on it and  you will get self explained options to choose from and after doing little bit experiment with it you will make yourself flying with your charts on google sheets.

If you are a person who finds working in Microsoft excel difficult or requires other’s help every time, you must give google sheet a try. Even the Mac’s similar software probably don’t come for free offline.

Another interesting point about google sheets is that it has a ‘add-ons’ option though which you can add various features which might require.

However, some demerits are there with google sheets too. One is that certain features of it might not function when you are offline. But it has a offline format in which you can do a lot of work in absence of a internet connection.

One feature, I am not sure if google sheet has or not, but I am looking for is, how to transfer charts, data or diagrams to google docs from the google sheets directly with few clicks. Currently I am doing my research work by copying and pasting from google sheets to google docs.

So that was all about the review. Hope it will help you to make your choice.

Disclaimer: This piece of writing is based on the author’s individualized experiences and not a promotional writing. The author is an user of certain products of ‘Google’, ‘Microsoft’ and ‘Mac’.

WordPress spam commenters, recent stunts

If you are blogger, a common problem you may have faced, is the increasing number of spam comments on your blog. With my blogging experience on WordPress, I probably identified few spam stunts, which I am sharing here, for other bloggers, and specially those who have newly started blogging.

If you don’t know what are spam comments, an easy dilution may be – these are unwanted promotional or unsafe comments received to blog posts or pages, just like junk or spam emails.

If you don’t change the default spam comment prevention setting of WordPress blogs which are done via ‘Akismet’, they are quite helpful to block spam comments. My blog receives thousands of spam comments, and at the time of writing this post the figures are more than 5,380.

The spam blocking software at WordPress probably detect spams by identifying too many links, on a particular comment. Such is quite obvious, because a spammer who is probably willing to promote his product or willing to risk your computer by virus threat, needs to send you a link, otherwise spamming might not make any sense. Like I know or you know, that too many links in a comment can detect a comment as spam comment, the spammers also have the same information, and therefore they are changing their spamming practices also.

New spam comments, I detected on my blog are of following type, which didn’t get filtered by spam protecting software (reminds me that such software’s are man made, so man can bypass that)-

  1. the comments may not have any link, so they don’t look like spam comment, therefore the spam protecting software can’t detect it and it gets free entry in the blog (when your setting don’t moderate comments)
  2. sometimes such comments have an email address (in which commenter requests the reader to email)
  3. a query can haunt you if there is no link how can they promote their website or product, well they put their website address at the ‘comment form’ which any logged out user (i.e. non wordpress, twitter, google plus or facebook user) has to fillto comment. Interestingly the name of commenter is not like ‘Jon’ or ‘Sam’ rather it will be like ‘cheap pantaloons, click here’. This is one example, thousands of types of ‘commenters name’ are possible depending on their motive. As you click on the name of the commenter, they succeed to take you to their desired link.

Finally, an all time famous character of spam comments- comments are loose type i.e. with no relation to the post or page to which they are commenting. In my blog I experience the following frequently- suppose a post is related to  a topic ‘cancer’ and the spam comment is like- ‘your blog is very attractive, I will refer to my friends…. buy cheap garments at 60% discount from rubbish.. .com’.

If no one praises your blog, a spammer will always praise you, they always love you. Few samples of such ‘praise’ or ‘interest to your blog’ type comments from my experience can be like these-

  1. You have such a good blog, I want to follow you.
  2. Awesome writing, you explain thing so simply, I like to give you a follow
  3. Excellent post, I will refer your blog to my friends
  4. Can you refer me some good websites on this issue….
  5. I got problem while opening your blog can you look in to the matter
  6. Your blog is not displaying in google search, I can help you
  7. Finally if you are holding a domain account like .com etc. spammer says your SEO analysis is not effective or they can help you to increase your stats
  8. .
  9. .
  10. .
  11. ….. thousands more are possible, and sometimes hard to identify

I received a funny spam comment I recall, ‘40,000 followers guaranteed, 30$ per month’. Isn’t’ that weird, like burger or pizza, follower counts are sold too.

Spammers can be hackers, business promoters, criminally minded people and so on. If you are too young, a child, it’s wise to take your parental advise when you use blogs or emails or other social networking websites. Even for adults, who don’t have adequate knowledge about how to battle or deal with spam comments, may discuss issues with persons who hold enough experience or knowledge about computing and blogging.

Hope the above experiences will help other bloggers to deal with spammers better.

Wish you a happy and safe blogging!

no spam!
no spam! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to use google docs offline?


If you are a fan of Google docs, you must have wanted to use it when you are offline. Is it possible to use Google docs offline?

The answer is yes, you can not only read your Google docs file offline you can also edit it offline. Once you connect your device to the internet your offline work will automatically get synced. You can use it offline both in pc 💻 and mobile 📱 device.

To use it offline, you should simply enable it’s offline version.  Once you enable it it’s enabled for all doc files you have,  so no need to enable each file in offline mode.

Finally, how to enable the offline mode.  Simply go to this page (https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375012?hl=en) and follow the steps accordingly and your offline access will start.

 

Enjoy Google docs.