Make Tech Easier http://www.maketecheasier.com Uncomplicating the complicated, making life easier Thu, 07 Nov 2013 06:45:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.1 Upgrading to Windows 8.1 – What Have Changed For the Default Appshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/default-app-for-windows-81-upgrade/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/default-app-for-windows-81-upgrade/#respond Thu, 07 Nov 2013 00:25:19 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82251 Many default apps in Windows 8 were upgraded with additional functionality with the Windows 8.1 upgrade. Let’s look at the changes to Windows 8.1 apps.

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windows-8.1-app-updatesMany default apps in Windows 8 were upgraded with additional functionality with the Windows 8.1 upgrade. This includes cosmetic changes, added features and even new, enhanced apps. Let’s look at the changes to Windows 8.1 apps.

Here’s a look at the default app upgrades in Windows 8.1.

windows-8.1-alarms-app

Alarms is a brand new default app brought to Windows 8.1 that does exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to set up an alarm, multiple alarms, use a timer or a stopwatch as you need them.

windows-8.1-calculator-app

One of the missing apps from Windows 8 finds its way back into Windows 8.1 in a fully loaded app-style Calculator. You have access to a standard calculator, along with scientific functions and a converter.

windows-8.1-food-drink-app

Windows 8.1 introduced several enhanced apps that go beyond your default app on a PC. These include Bing Health & Fitness and Bing Food & Drink. The latter gives you access to recipes, a recipe collection you create, along with health tips and cooking techniques. Health & Fitness lets you track your own fitness goals, as well as giving you videos to help properly exercise. You can look up medications, fitness programs and more.

windows-8.1-help-tips

Help & Tips is a Metro-style app that helps walk users through Windows 8.1. It’s thorough, includes written instructions and video tutorials, as well as help icons that pop up to show you things as you begin using Windows 8.1. This one app should’ve been included from day one of Windows 8.

The former Mail, Calendar, Messaging and People suite of apps still come standard with Windows 8.1. However, they’ve all seen major upgrades that make them more functional and integrated within the Windows OS.

The Mail app saw the least amount of updates, mainly adding drop and drag support along with being able to pin individual mail folders to the Start Screen.

The Calendar app was completely redesigned from the ground up.

windows-8.1-calendar-app

It’s easier than ever to add events, modify them and set reminders on your PC.

The Photos app didn’t see any cosmetic changes, but the ability to import photos from mobile devices as well as other sources was finally added to the app.

The Messaging app was fully redesigned. It’s now a fully integrated, Skype-driven messaging app that allows you to add accounts from Google,

windows-8.1-reading-list-app

Reading List is a new app that allows you to save materials from online to read later. In essence, it’s a built-in RSS reader in some ways but presented like a magazine.

Scan is a new built-in scanner utility that makes it easier to setup and use a scanner you may have connected to your Windows 8.1 PC.

windows-8.1-sound-recorder-app

The Sound Recorder app is new, too, and allows users to record sound, music and more as they use a PC. This is a rudimentary app with basic recording and playback features

Some of the app changes are so minor, you may not even notice. Enhanced apps, like the Bing Health & Fitness and Food & Drink, are worth looking at. If you’re looking for more Windows 8.1 functionality, the Alarm and Calculator apps make all the difference. There’s something for everyone in these Windows 8.1 app upgrades, so make sure to take the time to check them out.

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How To Use Airplay Mirroring From iPhone/iPad To Apple TV, Mac or Windows PChttp://www.maketecheasier.com/use-airplay-mirroring-iphone-ipad/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/use-airplay-mirroring-iphone-ipad/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2013 22:25:20 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83288 Airplay Mirroring lets you mirror your iOS screen's to an Apple TV or a Mac. This turns out to be a incredibly useful while doing presentations and demos.

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Airplay-MirroringAirplay Mirroring is a fantastic feature of iOS present on the iPhone and iPad. It lets you mirror your iOS screen’s device, and basically everything that you do on it, to an Apple TV or a Mac computer. This turns out to be a incredibly useful feature while doing presentations and demos, creating screencasts or videos, or if you just want to showcase your iPad/iPhone photos on a bigger screen.

And the best past: Airplay Mirroring is incredibly easy to use as long as you have the right setup and software. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s needed and how to use Airplay Mirroring on the iPhone and iPad.

Airplay-Mirroring-Main

1. An iPhone 4S/ iPad 2 or newer, running iOS 5 or any later version of iOS.

2. If you want to mirror to Apple TV: a 2nd gen or 3rd gen Apple TV running software version 5 or later.

3.If you want to mirror to a Mac: OS X Mountain Lion (or later) , a supported Mac, and an app to support mirroring. The list of supported Macs is:

  • iMac (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer)
  • MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer)

Two main apps that allow you to mirror your iPhone/iPad screen to a Mac are Reflector  and Air Server . Both of these apps offer free trials, are available for $14.99 for a single user license, and have other licensing packages for multiple users. Both these apps also work on Windows PCs. I tried Reflector for iOS 6 and Air Server for iOS 7, and both seem to be really good.

Airplay-Mirroring-Airserver-Settings

4. A WiFi network. All devices taking part in the AirPlay Mirroring must be on the same local WiFi network.

Installing these apps is very easy. Once you purchase (or try) these apps, a file will automatically download onto your PC/Mac. On Macs, the installation is very easy. All you have to do is drag the app into your Mac’s Applications folder, and you’re done. Once you open the app, it will ask you whether you want to try or buy the app. If you choose to try the app, Reflector has a limitation. It will automatically shut down after 10 minutes and will then need to be restarted. Also, after I had used Reflector 2 times, the app started telling me that my trial had expired. Try Air Server, that’s better.

Airplay-Mirroring-Airserver

On Windows, installing Reflector is nearly identical, with the only difference being you will need to allow Firewall access for the app.

1. Open up the Multitasking Bar on your iOS device. This can be done by double-tapping the Home button. If you are on a iPad, you can open the multitasking bar by using a swipe up gesture from the bottom bezel, provided you have enabled multitasking gestures in Settings.

2. Now that you can see the multitasking bar, swipe on the recently used apps list from the left to the right. This will need to be done once on an iPad and twice on a iPhone. Swipe until you see the Airplay Mirroring icon.

Airplay-mirroring-iOS-6-1

3. Tap on the Airplay Mirroring icon. This will bring up a popover dialog showing you various devices that are available to mirror to on your WiFi network. Note that you will need to have Reflector or Air Server open on your PC/Mac for the it to be available to mirror to.

Airplay-Mirroring-iOS-6-3

4. Tap to select either the Apple TV or the Mac and tap to toggle the Mirroring button below the device name to On.

Airplay-Mirroring-iOS 6-2

5. To turn mirroring off, bring up the Multitasking bar again. Swipe left to right  to reveal the AirPlay Mirroring icon (just as you did above), tap on the AirPlay Mirroring icon, and tap on the entry for the iPhone/iPad.

Airplay-Mirroring-iPad-Mac

1. Open up the Control Centre on your iOS 7 device. This can be done by swiping up from the bottom of the screen on the iPhone as well as the iPad.

AirPlay-Mirroring-iOS-7-1

2. In the middle of the screen, you should now see a Airplay button. Click on it.

3. Select the device you would like to mirror your iOS device’s screen to.

Airplay-Mirroring-iOS7- 2

That’s it. This really is a superb feature that’s so easy to use.

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Watch Movie Trailers on Netflix Before Watching in Chromehttp://www.maketecheasier.com/watch-movie-trailers-on-netflix/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/watch-movie-trailers-on-netflix/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2013 18:25:26 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83301 The Netflix Trailer Button Adder extension lets you watch movie trailers on Netflix before watching in Chrome. Here's how.

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netflix-movie-trailer-thumbNetflix is a great subscription service for movies and TV shows, but one huge thing that it’s missing is the ability to watch movie trailers. Sure, there are sites like Trailers for Netflix and Rotten Tomatoes, that let you view trailers of movies available on Netflix, but require you to use another website. Netflix Trailer Button Adder, a Chrome extension, changes that. It lets you watch movie trailers on Netflix so that you can better decide if you’d like to watch a movie or not.

This Chrome Extension adds a 'Watch Trailer' button to Netflix.

Since it is an extension, you simply add it to your Chrome browser and then visit Netflix.com. You should see a “Watch Trailer” button underneath each movie image; it also works for TV shows too. Once you click on the button, a video will pop-up for you to watch; it appears that all of the videos are from YouTube, which is also nice if you’re an active YouTube user.

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Run Automated Scripts Over SSHhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/run-automated-scripts-ssh/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/run-automated-scripts-ssh/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2013 15:50:20 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83309 Running automated scripts over SSH can be a difficult task since it requires you to enter a password for every connection. Here is how you can overcome this problem.

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ssh-teaserWe’ve shown you how to use SSH to transfer files securely. But there’s a major issue with SSH’s default behaviour. You are only connected with the remote machine after you’ve manually entered the password which rules it out for any tasks you want to run unattended. Or does it?

Here’s a quick lowdown on how the OpenSSH CLI tools (scp and sftp) work so that you can better appreciate the issue. When you want to copy over files to or from the remote host, you can use scp which automatically initiates a SSH connection to the remote host. Every time you run a scp command it establishes a new connection to the remote. So if you have multiple scp commands you’d be entering the same password several times.

This is why you wouldn’t want to use scp in any scripts you want to run unattended. There’s also the fact that if you have multiple accounts on several machines on the network, you’d have trouble memorizing unique, strong passwords for each.

To overcome this problem, you need to switch OpenSSH’s default authentication mechanism to a key-based system.

By default OpenSSH only uses keys to authenticate a server’s identity the first time a client encounters a new remote machine:

$ ssh admin@atlantis.remote.com 
The authenticity of host 'atlantis.remote.com (atlantis.remote.com)' can't be established. 
ECDSA key fingerprint is da:e8:a2:77:f4:e5:10:56:6d:d4:d2:dc:15:8e:91:22. 
Are you sure you want to continue connecting (yes/no)?

When you respond by typing “yes”, the remote host is added to the list of known hosts. So in addition to the server authenticating the client by asking for a password, the client also authenticates the server using a key.

Similarly, you too can get yourself a set of keys to prove your identity. OpenSSH uses a pair of keys to prove your identity and create a secure connection to a remote server. The private key is for-your-eyes-only and is used by your OpenSSH client to prove your identity to servers. Then there’s the public key which you’re supposed to keep under all your accounts on all the remote machines you want to SSH into.

To create a key, on your client enter:

$ ssh-keygen
Generating public/private rsa key pair.
Enter file in which to save the key (/home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa): 
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): 
Enter same passphrase again: 
Your identification has been saved in /home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa.
Your public key has been saved in /home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.

Remember not to leave the passphrase empty and make note of the location where the keys are stored. The “id_rsa” file is readable only by your account, and its contents are encrypted with the passphrase you supplied during generation.

The next step is to copy the public key to the remote server. Assuming you wish to login into user “admin” on the remote machine called “atlantis.remote.com”, you can move the keys with a single command:

$ ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub admin@atlantis.remote.com
admin@atlantis.remote.com's password:

After you’ve provided the passphrase for your private key, the public key will be automatically placed in the correct location on the remote server, which by default is the “~/.ssh/authorized_keys” file.

When you now ssh into the remote machine, you’ll be prompted for your passphrase. The only advantage of using keys is that instead of authenticating you with a password that’s transmitted unencrypted, the remote server and your client establish your identity based on the keys.

Also you can now ssh into several remote boxes using the same passphrase, as long as these remote machines have your public key. So you don’t have to remember multiple passwords.

But you still can’t run scripts without being interrupted for passphrases.

Related: How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication for SSH Connection

OpenSSH bundles a tool called ssh-agent, that keeps your private keys in memory. Once an agent is running, instead of prompting you for passphrases, the SSH clients will interact with the agent.

You can start the agent with “ssh-agent /bin/bash“, assuming you are using the bash shell.

Any commands which require access to your OpenSSH private keys will be intercepted and answered by the agent.

When the agent runs, you need to equip it with your keys. This is done by invoking the “ssh-add” program that by default loads the keys from the default identity file (~/.ssh/id_rsa).

$ ssh-add 
Enter passphrase for /home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa: 
Identity added: /home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa (/home/bodhi/.ssh/id_rsa)

Now when you log into the remote computer with “ssh admin@atlantis.remote.com“, you’ll be allowed without entering the passphrase!

Similarly, scp and sftp will also be able to connect to the remote hosts without ever asking you for a passphrase. So you can now schedule and run scripts that manipulate files on a remote machine automatically.

Also now that you are using keys, it’s a good idea to disable authentication via passwords. To do this, edit the remote server’s config file (/etc/ssh/.sshd_config) and change the “PasswordAuthentication” parameter from “yes” to “no”. From now on, if anyone tries to connect to your SSH service who doesn’t have a public key on the server, they will be denied access without even seeing the login prompt.

Image credit: Karunakar Rayker

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3 Lightweight Media Players That Won’t Hog Your System Resources [Windows]http://www.maketecheasier.com/3-lightweight-media-players-windows/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/3-lightweight-media-players-windows/#respond Wed, 06 Nov 2013 00:25:29 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?post_type=post-ideas&p=82304 If you are looking for a lightweight media player that couples capability with a tiny footprint, here are three choices that you may wish to take a look at.

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music-iconIt seems Microsoft is bent on moving Windows away from a media provider. While the latest versions of the operating system – 8 and 8.1 – still contain Windows Media Player, the company has opted to make its Media Center package a paid option for Pro customers. And event though Windows Media Player is still available, it has never been an ideal solution, and iTunes has never seemed to get along too well with the Windows operating system.

For a fair number of people, consuming media on the computer is a primary function. So where should customers of the Microsoft operating system look for answers, for a solid app that couples capability with a tiny footprint? Here are three lightweight media players that you may wish to take a look at.

Simply because the app doesn’t bog down your computer doesn’t mean it won’t do anything. Foobar2000 has support for MP3, MP4, AAC, CD Audio, WMA, Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, Musepack, Speex, AU, SND and  a few others.

music-foobar2000

It also features gapless playback, advanced tagging, support for ripping Audio CDs as well as transcoding all supported audio formats using the Converter component, customizable keyboard shortcuts and an open component architecture that allows third-party developers to extend the functionality of the player.

The user interface is customizable as well. Layout Editing Mode can be activated either by choosing its option in “Main Menu -> View -> Layout”, or by clicking the appropriate button on the toolbar (if enabled).

While it is not the most lightweight of these three apps, MusicBee features the most functionality, while still remaining quick to launch and keeps memory usage fairly low.

Features include the ability to add and edit tags, the ability to search for additional music information online, creation of playlists, CD ripping, music synchronization, customize features and add plugins (which may slow it down a bit) and a spectrum visualizer that lets you fine-tune the sound quality.

music-musicbee

We have saved the lightest for last. MPC-HC is an open source music app and, its latest build has full support for Windows 8.1. The app is, like the previous two, customizable.

The process for opening files is a bit different – to open a file, you don’t get a standard browser window, but a list of recently opened files in drop-down format along with a Browse button that then offers an Explorer window. The app also opens with audio turned off, so you will need to click it on each time.

music-mpc-hc

Media Player Classic, which is what MPC stands for, is capable of playing most major music codecs and is well documented and supported by the community. It has the added bonus of also being an excellent video player.

All three of the lightweight media players named here are very good choices and the decision will largely come down to personal taste. MusicBee is the most feature-rich of the three, while MPC-HC is the lightest. However, Foobar2000 is probably the most popular among Windows users and represents a nice compromise between the two ends.

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Secure Your Yahoo Account With Second Sign-in and App Passwordhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/secure-yahoo-account-with-second-sign-in/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/secure-yahoo-account-with-second-sign-in/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2013 18:25:45 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83276 Yahoo has added a feature called Second Sign-in that allows you to secure Yahoo account with two factor authentication. Here's how you can enable it.

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yahoo_securityIt is difficult to be too safe online, and numerous services such as Facebook and Twitter have added extra security options to help protect their users. The primary means of protecting any online account is through the use of a password, but this can easily be learned by other people and used to gain access to your accounts.

A large number of sites have enabled two-factor authentication. This means that in addition to your password, you also need to enter a special code that is send out to your mobile phone. This helps to increase security because it means that simply knowing your password is not enough – so it matter less if someone else learns it.

Yahoo has taken a slightly different approach to the idea with a feature called Second Sign-in. You’re probably aware that Facebook maintains a list of devices (computer, phones, tablets, etc) that you have used to access your account. Should a login attempt be detected from an unknown device, you will be asked to verify it.

Yahoo’s Second Sign-In feature works like a combination of these two methods, and it will alert you if someone tries to access your account without authorization. You will need to have your mobile available in order to get set up, and you should then pay a visit to the Yahoo website, sign into your account and then head to “Account Settings”.

Once you are signed in, look to the “Sign-In and Security” section and click the “Set up your second sign-in verification” link.

yahoo setup second sign in verification

Click “Get Started” and then ensure that you current mobile number is associated with your account. If you have changed numbers or there is no mobile number in your profile, you can follow the on-screen instructions to add one.

If you are adding a new phone or not, a security SMS will be sent out that contains a code you need to enter to complete the process.

yahoo enter verification code

From this point onwards, whenever Yahoo detects a login attempt from an unrecognized device or location, a verification code will be sent out to your mobile. Access will be blocked to your account until this code is entered at the website, thereby blocking the attempts of anyone else to access your data.

But Yahoo’s security options do not end there. Second Sign-In is not compatible with all apps – and it is likely that you have a number of desktop and mobile apps associated with your account. To get around this problem, you can also use App Passwords and you will be prompted to set this up after Second Sign-In. Start by clicking the “Generate password” button.

yahoo generate password

When prompted, type the name of an app that you need to generate a password for and click the “Generate Password” button.

yahoo generate app password

The password that is displayed to you will need to be entered into the app – such as Yahoo’s mobile app on your phone – in order to verify that it is you trying to access your account rather than someone else.

Apps can be added at any time – you many encounter others that are incompatible with Second Sign-In – by clicking “Manage your app passwords” link in your Yahoo account settings.

yahoo manage app passwords

From here it is also possible to remove an app from your account. This is useful if you either stop using an app, or you lose your phone that has an app that makes use of App Passwords.

That’s it! Your Yahoo account is now more secure.

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How To Enable Offline Dictation in OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/enable-offline-dictation-in-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/enable-offline-dictation-in-mavericks/#respond Tue, 05 Nov 2013 15:50:18 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83073 Apple improved its Dictation service in Mavericks and made it available offline. Here's how you can make full use of this offline Dictation feature.

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Offline-Dictation-Mac-TeaserLast year, when OS X Mountain Lion was introduced, a new feature, Dictation, was also introduced to the blogosphere. This Dictation service gives users a quick way to enter text into practically any application’s text input fields by simply speaking into your computer’s microphone, provided the application supports the aforementioned feature.

A bad thing about this service is that it requires an Internet connection to work. When you speak, the audio sample is sent to Apple’s servers, where it is converted into corresponding text, and return to your Mac where it is inserted into the application. This unnecessary requirement made a quite useful service somewhat inconvenient, especially if you wanted to enter longer paragraphs. It also made having an active internet connection necessary for using the Dictation feature, which made some people quite disappointed.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Mic

In Apple’s new highly anticipated OS X Mavericks, Apple has changed this by offering offline Dictation, a local service that runs on your machine instead of requiring to connect to Apple’s servers.

This much-needed change comes with a couple of key benefits as outlined below:

1. No Active Internet Connection Required – Instead of requiring users to wait for audio samples to be uploaded and processed by Apple, you can use this service even when there is no network connection available.

2. Continuous and live dictation – Instead of limiting the length of spoken phrases and then waiting for the entire audio recorded to be returned as text, you can now see the live processing of your phrase as it is entered word for word into your document as you speak it.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Main

If you want to enable this offline Dictation feature, simply open up ”System Preferences” and go to the ”Dictation and Speech” section. Here you will find a checkbox, ”Use Enhanced Dictation”, which allows offline use and continuous dictation with live feedback.

One thing to note is that enabling this feature requires a fairly large download, about 491 MB in size for me. Some others have reported it between 700 and 800 MB, so we suspect that this is dependent on your chosen language.

Offline-Dictation-Mac

Once the download has completed, you can dictate text just as you used to before,using the shortcut specified in the Dictation and Speech preferences. The only difference will be that the transcription will now happen locally on your Mac instead of on Apple’s servers. This feature allows the words to appear “live” as you speak, resulting in a much more enjoyable and useful dictation process. Some people has commented that this new feature has made Dictation more inaccurate, but we didn’t experience any major mistakes.

There are also a number of dictation commands to help you with the formatting and punctuation. These are just the same as they are in Mountain Lion, however they become much more useful with this new enhanced dictation feature. Apple provides a full list which can be accessed here, and it contains things like “all caps”, “smiley face”, “new paragraph” and “next line”.

Offline-Dictation-Mac-Apple

This is only one of the many addition Apple made to Mac Mavericks. However, we feel that this is not enough for Dictation to be a serious competitor to commercial alternatives such as Dragon Dictate. For example, Apple should add a quick and easy way to edit existing text and correct transcription errors, without using a keyboard or mouse. It would also be great if the system automatically learnt from your corrections over time, or allowed manual training through the addition of tricky words such as names and places to the dictionary.

Maybe in OS X 11?….

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3 Inconvenient Truths About Gaming Computershttp://www.maketecheasier.com/truths-about-gaming-computers/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/truths-about-gaming-computers/#comments Tue, 05 Nov 2013 00:25:22 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83265 While building a gaming computer, many people have the wrong perception of the importance of PC gaming hardware choices. Let's explore a few of these problems.

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gaming computerOne of the reasons people modify their computers extensively is to be able to play hardcore games. Who doesn’t like having complete control over what games they play, and what graphics they have? The release of Grand Theft Auto V on Xbox 360 has left much to be desired, since the console’s graphics system was slightly sub-par compared to what one would consider at the time a high-end computer. What if Rockstar Games would have released a version for PC on the same day? Would people still buy the Xbox 360 version? While the PC can far outperform gaming consoles, sometimes the day those consoles see a store shelf, there still is a lot wrong with people’s perceptions of the importance of PC gaming hardware choices. It’s time we explored a few of these problems.

gamingpc-expensivegfx

My rule of thumb is: If I can get an average of anywhere between 25-30 frames per second from my games, my graphics card is fine. People obsess compulsively over the frame rate their cards deliver as opposed to focusing on hitting a sweet spot and sticking with it. The most difficult thing for most people to accept is that their investments were in vain. This is particularly true of those who pay more than $1300 for a graphics card. Usually, graphics cards in the range of $300-500 work just fine with most games. It’s not your job to get a card that works with a new game. You’ll see this theme recurring a lot in this article.

gamingpc-cpu

The truth is that most games don’t rely so heavily on your CPU. They need your GPU (graphics card) more since that’s what they use to render graphics. A dual-core heavyweight can perform just as well as a quad-core counterpart. You don’t really need a $1000 CPU to get your game rolling. And if you do, something’s seriously wrong with the developer. Here’s a secret: In all likelihood, any of Intel’s earliest iterations of the i7 can outperform most consoles of its day. If a game developer releases a PC version and a console version, but the PC version is chewing on your CPU relentlessly, you can bet they really don’t care about their PC users. Don’t let them do that.

gamingpc-keyboard

You’ll accomplish nothing with a gaming keyboard/mouse unless:

  1. You’re used to handling tons of different specialized buttons in your daily life (or you don’t mind the learning curve), or
  2. You’re playing games with so many complex functions (read: World of Warcraft) and you can’t really do without the special keys.

Let’s be clear, though: When I talk about gaming equipment, I’m talking about the hardcore stuff, like Logitech’s G19 keyboard or Razer’s Ouroboros mouse. Don’t get me wrong. They’re good, for the purposes they serve. However, for most gamers, a sturdy, decent keyboard and mouse combination works without a hitch. You don’t need to go out and spend $800 on the latest crazy gear.

The gaming world has gone a bit far in terms of hardware. If you want to disregard everything mentioned above and future-proof your PC, go ahead, but do a cost-benefit analysis first. Is it more feasible to have that shiny new graphics card today for $1500, or would you rather buy it in 3 years when its price has dropped to $400? If you feel compelled to forego what I said, that’s your right. But take some time. Think about things a little bit. Be patient.

And if you have any other suggested inconvenient truths, please leave a comment below. We’d all love to see it!

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Post to LinkedIn From The Notification Center in OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/post-to-linkedin-in-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/post-to-linkedin-in-mavericks/#respond Mon, 04 Nov 2013 18:25:44 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83092 In addition to Facebook and Twitter, OS X Mavericks also lets you post to Linkedin from the Notification Center. Here's how to set it up.

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Post to LinkedIn From the Notification Center in MacIf you’re still getting acquainted with OS X Mavericks, you may not be aware that you can post to LinkedIn right from the Notification Center (in addition to Messages, Twitter and Facebook). If you’re like me, you didn’t think to check “Internet Accounts” in System Preferences to see if anything had changed. If you’re an active LinkedIn user, this can really come in handy for you. Here’s how to set it up.

Follow these steps to add your LinkedIn account to the Notification Center in OS X Mavericks.

1. Head over to “Internet Accounts” in System Preferences. You can do this by going to the Apple menu and then System Preferences, or simply by searching for “Internet Accounts” in Spotlight.

2. Click on LinkedIn in the right column, enter your user name and password, and then click “Next.”

3. Read over the message that lets you know what signing into your LinkedIn account on your Mac will do (add your connections to Contacts, let you share links from Safari, etc), then click on “Sign In.”

That’s it, you’re done. Now when you open the Notification Center, you should see the LinkedIn icon at the top, right after Facebook.

Image Credit: Coletivo Mambembe

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Transfer Files Securely Using SCP in Linuxhttp://www.maketecheasier.com/transfer-files-securely-using-scp/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/transfer-files-securely-using-scp/#respond Mon, 04 Nov 2013 15:50:08 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82863 The attraction of SSH is that the connection between the two machines is encrypted. You can also securely transfer files using the scp command.Here's the complete guide.

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scp-between-linux-computers-200pxThe most common way to get terminal access to a remote Linux machine is to use Secure Shell (SSH). To work, the Linux server needs to be running a SSH server (OpenSSH) and at the other end you need a SSH client, something like PuTTy in Windows or the ssh command line tool on Linux or other Unix-like operating systems such as FreeBSD.

The attraction of SSH is that the connection between the two machines is encrypted. This means that you can access the server from anywhere in the world safe in the knowledge that the connection is secure. However the real power of SSH is that the secure connection it provides can be used for more than just terminal access. Among its uses is the ability to copy files to and from a remote server.

To prepare the server, you need to install the openssh-server package. On Ubuntu, you can install it from the Ubuntu Software Center or using the command line:

sudo apt-get install openssh-server

Next, you need to discover the IP address of the server. On Ubuntu, the IP address is shown in the Network applet in System Settings or you can use the command line:

ifconfig

In the output, look for the line starting with inet under eth0. In this example the IP addres of the server is 192.168.1.101.

ifconfig-inet-address

To test the SSH connection, move to the Linux client machine and type:

ssh 192.168.1.101

Where 192.168.1.101 is the IP address of the server. Enter your username and password when prompted and you will be connected to the remote machine. If you get a question about the “authenticity of host can’t be established” just answer “yes” to the question. It is a security check designed to make sure that you are connecting to your actual server and not an impostor.

Now that you have tested the SSH connection, you can start to copy files between the two machines. Secure copying is achieved using the scp. The basic format of the scp command is:

scp /filepath/to/file/to/copy user@IP-address:localpath

For example, to copy the file “backup.zip” from the local machine to the “backups” folder in the home directory of user “gary” on the remote server with the IP address of 192.168.1.101, use:

scp backup.zip gary@192.168.1.101:backups/

Similar to when you connect using ssh, you will be prompted for the password. You won’t be prompted for the username as that was specified in the command.

You can also use wild cards like this:

scp *.zip gary@192.168.1.101:backups/

To copy a file from the remote server to the local machine, just reverse the parameters:

scp gary@192.168.1.101:backups/backup.zip .

Notice the dot at the end of the command which means “the current directory,” as it does with the standard cp or mv commands.

And the same with wild cards:

scp gary@192.168.1.101:backups/*.zip .

To recursively copy a directory to a remote server use the -r option:

scp -r backups/ gary@192.168.1.101:backups/

And to copy a recursively copy a directory from the remote server to the local machine use:

scp -r gary@192.168.1.101:backups/ .

If you don’t want to place the incoming files in the current directory (note the dot at the end) then you can specify a different directory name:

scp -r gary@192.168.1.101:backups/ backups-from-server/

scp is a powerful and yet convenient way to copy files to and from a server without have to setup FTP or other file sharing servers. It has the added bonus that it is secure (something that can’t be said for a default FTP installation). To progress further, try experimenting with the -C option, which enables compression during the copy or the -l option which limits the bandwidth during the copy.

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Switchr Task Switcher: “Alt + Tab” For Your Android Phonehttp://www.maketecheasier.com/switchr-task-switcher-android/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/switchr-task-switcher-android/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 00:25:56 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=81814 Desktop users can press "Alt + Tab" to switch apps. Switchr Task Switcher for Android gives you the "Alt + Tab" feel on your Android phone.

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switchr-thumbUsing a smartphone of any kind these days means you have apps and lots of them. While a lot of the devices out there have some method to change from one app to the other, many people don’t know how to do this quickly. Usually it’s head back to the home screen, and click the app to open. The other common way is to go to the app drawer, sift through the sea of apps to find what you are looking for.

Going through the Google Play Store, you can find a few task switcher apps to help you change from one app to another. They have varying degrees of ease of use. Switchr is a really easy to use task switcher app for Android to help you change your apps quickly and easily with a swipe of your finger. Let’s take a look at how you can use Switchr to be more efficient.

Head on over to the Google Play Store and download Switchr. When you have it up and running, you can walk through the quick tutorial. The tutorial will show you the basics of operating Switchr.

Using Switcher to change apps is pretty smooth. The free version doesn’t let you change the active edge so you’ll be touching the upper left edge of your screen.

switchr-active-edge

You’ll see that area flash when exiting the wizard. To change apps, swipe from the upper left of the screen toward the middle. That’s all there is to it.

All of the apps you’ve previously opened will be accessible to the free version of Switchr.

switchr-no-running-apps

With the upgrade, you can access more apps and also whitelist and blacklist app that might appear in the list. If you swipe to switch an app and it isn’t the one you want, you can zig-zag your finger on the screen touching the active edge, then to the center, then back to the active edge and back to the center without lifting your finger.

switchr-change-apps

When you are switching apps, you will see a semi-see through image of the app icon so you know which app you are changing to. The free version offers only one view.

switchr-layout

Related: Swapps: An Alternative Multitasking App For Android

You might not think that an app switcher is useful in Android. Let me give you a couple of examples on how you might use an app switcher to be more efficient.

1.If you are on the web and need to quickly change back and forth to your calendar or note taking app to copy and paste information.

2. Laptop users many times like to use the keyboard shortcuts. Since there really aren’t keyboard shortcuts on Androids, this will be like your “Alt + Tab” keyboard shortcut.

3. You have other apps on your Android which use gestures like Dolphin browser and want to carry that into other areas of your device.

Overall, I thought Switchr worked great. I played with the sensitivity a little to make it less sensitive so I didn’t activate it accidentally. Once I got the hang of using it intentionally, I really started to see the benefit. I liked using it to quickly from whatever I was doing to change to an IM then back. I usually have a lot of apps open so I rarely need to go to my home screen anymore.

How do you quickly change from app to app?

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Date/Time Missing In the Menu Bar in Ubuntu 13.10? Here’s the Fix!http://www.maketecheasier.com/date-time-missing-ubuntu-1310/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/date-time-missing-ubuntu-1310/#respond Sun, 03 Nov 2013 22:25:38 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83140 If you upgraded to Ubuntu 13.10 and find the date time indicator missing in the menu bar, here's the fix.

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If you have upgraded your Ubuntu machine to Ubuntu Saucy 13.10, one of the things that you might find missing is the date/time indicator in the menu bar. And if you visit the “System Settings -> Time and Date -> Clock” section, you might find that the option to add it to the menu bar is greyed out and disabled.

date-time-greyed-out

If you are having this problem, here’s the fix.

1. Reinstall indicator-datetime. It should be installed by default, but just in case you have removed it unknowingly, it is best to run the install command again.

sudo apt-get install indicator-datetime

2. Next, we are going to reconfigure the date time:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure --frontend noninteractive tzdata

3. Lastly, restart unity.

sudo killall unity-panel-service

That’s it. The date and time indicator will appear in the menu bar now.

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Protect Your Sensitive Data by Clearing Your Chrome Sync Datahttp://www.maketecheasier.com/clear-chrome-sync-data/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/clear-chrome-sync-data/#comments Sun, 03 Nov 2013 18:25:02 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82960 While Chrome's sync feature is convenient, it can be dangerous if your account is hacked. Protect your sensitive data now by clearing your Chrome sync data.

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clear-chrome-sync-data-thumbChrome has a convenient sync feature that lets you access your history, passwords, bookmarks, open tabs and more across devices. While it is indeed useful, it can also be dangerous – especially if your account is compromised. Since this sensitive data is connected to your Google account, a hacker can easily gain access to all of it just by hacking your account.

If you’re worried about this happening, your best bet is to clear out your Chrome sync data altogether and stop using the feature. Here’s how to do that.

Follow these steps to clear your sync data in Chrome.

1. Go to Google Dashboard (you may need to verify your password even if you are already signed in).

2. Click on the “Manager Chrome Sync” link, which is underneath the “Chrome Sync” section.

3. On the next page, click on the “Stop and Clear” button at the bottom of your data.

You’ll see a warning notification letting you know that you can’t get your data back once cleared, and it may take several hours for it to complete. Just click on “OK” and you’re done.

via Tech-Recipes

Image Credit: elhombredenegro

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How to Use Emoji in Mac OS X Maverickshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/use-emoji-in-mac-mavericks/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/use-emoji-in-mac-mavericks/#respond Sun, 03 Nov 2013 15:50:25 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=83081 Want to insert smilies and symbols into your tweets and/or Facebook status messages? If so, here's how you can use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.

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emoji-mac-os-x-mavericks-thumbIn the past, we’ve shown you how to use Emoji characters on your Mac without installing any type of software. However, in OS X Mavericks, Emoji is accessed a little differently. Don’t worry, it’s actually much easier and more convenient than before. So, here is how you to access and use Emoji in Mac OS X Mavericks.

1. Click in a text area – wherever you’d like to insert an Emoji character. For instance, you may want to include one in a tweet via the Notification Center.

2. Press the following keys on your keyboard altogether: Control + Command + Spacebar. You should now see small window pop-up containing Emoji characters.

The Emoji characters window in Mac OS X Mavericks.

Much like on a mobile device, you can switch between people, nature, objects, places, symbols, and more; plus you can access your recently used and favorite Emoji characters.

3. Click on a character to insert it into the text area and the window will disappear. Then use the keyboard shortcuts to bring up the window again if needed.

While some may think this is a kind of useful feature, others are sure to find it very handy – especially since you can also insert letterlike symbols, technical symbols and bullets/stars from the same window.

Image Credit: Mark McLaughlin

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Enhance Your Online Security. 7 Encryption Tools to Protect Your Datahttp://www.maketecheasier.com/7-encryption-tools-to-protect-data/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/7-encryption-tools-to-protect-data/#comments Sat, 02 Nov 2013 23:25:18 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=81307 In this article, we will show you various encryption tools that you can use to encrypt your data, be it emails, chat or even local data in your computer.

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privacy-encryption-thumbSecuring yourself and your data on the Internet is becoming harder all the time. The problem with most of the Internet services is that they tend to change their features and privacy policies so frequently that the user can’t keep pace with all the changes. We have already discussed ways to delete your personal data from the Internet. In this article, we will show you various tools that you can use to encrypt your data, be it emails, chat or even local data in your computer.

If you are using web email services like Gmail, Outlook.com or Yahoo Mail, all your emails are already saved in encrypted format in the server. Nevertheless, it is good to double-encrypt important mails so that only you or the person who knows the decryption key can read the messages.

Encipher.it provides a JavaScript code snippet to password protect your message in the web mail and send it in encrypted format (AES).

1. Go to Encipher.it help page and drag and drop the bookmarklet to your browser’s toolbar. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox are supported and their variants should also work.

2. Go to your Email inbox and compose a new email. Once you are done composing the email, click the “Encipher.it” bookmarklet.

privacy-encipher

3. This will open a popup asking you to enter an encryption key. You can enter any password of your choice.

4. You will also be able to specify a lifespan for your email, after which, the email will be destroyed.

privacy-encipher-2

5. When the receipient receives the email, he will need to click the link inside the email which will then prompt him for the decryption key. If he has the key, he will be able to read the message.

privacy-encipher-3

Microsoft Outlook has a built-in feature for encrypting all outgoing emails. If you are using Mozilla Thunderbird, you may want to install Enigmail addon to sign and encrypt emails sent from Thunderbird. You can download Enigmail directly from the addons site.

Enigmail will add OpenPGP message encryption and authentication to Thunderbird. Installing and configuring Enigmail is quite easy if you are using the setup wizard.

privacy-thunderbird

After a series of configuration steps and generating the certificate, you will be able to encrypt messages directly from the Compose window.

privacy-thunderbird-1

If you are using an all in one messenger like Pidgin, you may want to use OTR plugin for Pidgin. OTR stands for “Off the Record” messaging. Basically, the OTR plugin will provide encryption, authentication, deniability and perfect forward secrecy to all the services which we use through Pidgin.

privacy-pidgin

Most cloud storage providers encrypt the communication link between the client computer and the storage server but the data saved in the cloud storage is not encrypted. This poses a risk of data leakage if the storage provider gets hacked. For your own safety, you should always encrypt data before synchronizing it into the cloud. Google Drive, SkyDrive and Dropbox are the three main cloud storage providers. So we will concentrate on securing these services. Here are the tools that you can use for cloud data encryption and security:

4. CloudFogger

CloudFogger is a Windows software which saves files in specific folders in encrypted form so that data are encrypted before they get sync to the cloud. CloudFogger will also let you encrypt single files using the Windows Explorer context menu.

5. SharedSafe

privacy-chained

SharedSafe is another software which takes a different approach to encrypting data from CloudFogger. It will encrypt files in Dropbox folder and/or your email account (IMAP) and/or an FTP location.

6. BoxCryptor

BoxCryptor is another software dedicated to encrypting and securing data in your Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive and other major cloud storage providers. BoxCryptor creates a virtual drive on the local system which gets encrypted before being uploaded to any online cloud storage. It uses AES 256 and RSA encryption algorithms.

Now that we have secured majority of our Internet activities, we also need to keep our important data secure which is stored on our hard drives. TrueCrypt is a very good disk encryption software which you can use to create a password protected virtual disk on the hard drive.

privacy-truecrypt

Anything stored inside the password protected disk will be encrypted and will not be visible to all users. TrueCrypt is also able to encrypt entire partitions or a storage device like a USB Flash drive.

The above list is not definitive. There are tons of encryption tools that we didn’t manage to cover. Feel free to let us know what we have missed.

Imge credit: Businesswoman holding tablet pc by BigStockPhoto

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How to Initiate a Safe Boot and Run in Safe Mode on a Machttp://www.maketecheasier.com/safe-boot-on-mac/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/safe-boot-on-mac/#comments Sat, 02 Nov 2013 17:25:50 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82976 If you need to troubleshoot an issue on your Mac, the best way to do this is to initiate a Safe Boot and run in safe mode. Here are the steps to do so.

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mac-safe-boot-thumbSometimes you may need to initiate a Safe Boot on your Mac and run in Safe Mode in order to troubleshoot and/or fix an issue, such as: corrupt applications and data, damaged fonts and files, constant freezing and crashing. With Safe Boot, your Mac will start up with just the minimal system extensions, preferences and fonts needed to run.

To make things clear: Safe Boot is the process of forcing your Mac to start up using the bare minimum system resources, while Safe Mode is the mode your Mac runs in once a Safe Boot is initiated. So, here’s how to initiate a Safe Boot and run in Safe Mode.

Follow these steps to initiate a Safe Boot and boot into Safe Mode on your Mac.

1. Shut down your Mac – if it’s not already shut down.

2. Press and hold the Shift key – before pressing the power button.

3. Start your Mac while still holding the Shift key.

4. Continue to hold down the Shift key until you see the login screen. This could take a few minutes and you may see a progress bar underneath the Apple logo while starting up.

5. Login to your Mac. You should see “Safe Boot” in red at the top right corner of the login screen; this verifies that you have done the Safe Boot correctly.

Now you can do what you need to do, and restart when you’re done.

Image Credit: Ricky Romero

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The New My Yahoo Service: A Good Alternative to iGooglehttp://www.maketecheasier.com/my-yahoo-alternative-to-igoogle/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/my-yahoo-alternative-to-igoogle/#comments Sat, 02 Nov 2013 14:50:30 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82867 The death of iGoogle might be the chance for Yahoo to rise again as it has been busy revamping its My Yahoo home pages to welcome iGoogle users.

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yahoo logoThe days of the home page may have faded in recent times, with the death of services like iGoogle, but that does not mean nobody wants this type of functionality any longer. There is still a place for the ability to centralize all of the things you care about in one location, making it a breeze to check news, sports results, weather, email and more.

Yahoo, as opposed to killing this feature as others have been doing, is choosing to move in the opposite direction, announcing that it has been busy revamping and improving its My Yahoo home pages for all customers who wish to take advantage of the service. In fact, the search company actually is holding out open arms to welcome disenfranchised Google users.

As you can see, there are a number of options to choose from – over the years, Yahoo has purchased countless services, including some very popular ones like Flickr. But customers can also integrate rivals such as Gmail into the brand new My Yahoo site. Upon first visit you can simply click “Get Started” – there is nothing to do here, it is only a splash page.

The new version even allows for the import of iGoogle, raising memories of other dead Google products, most recently the much lamented Reader.

The first thing you will be prompted for is to choose a background theme for your new page. There are ten images to pick from, but sadly no option to upload your own image. From this same dialogue you can also decide on a layout – two, three or four columns, and you can choose some interests, such as news, sports, technology, travel and several more.

my-yahoo-get-started

Click “Show my page” and you will be presented with your home, but there is still customization ahead of you. So far you have only taken care of the most basic of options.

At the top right you will spot three buttons – Add content, Choose themes and Edit layout. This is a good place to start, but still is not all you can change.

The initial choices you just made during setup are slim and may have had you wondering if that was all you could get. The answer is no, and the “add content” button is where you will want to head to.

Categories are spread down the left column, while the options contained in each appear in the main window. Ones with a check mark are already enabled. If you wish to add another the simply click its Plus button. Strangely, once you have enabled an app from here, you can not click it a second time to disable. Instead, if you change your mind, you must exit this box and remove the app from the My Yahoo page by clicking the gear icon at the bottom right and choosing “remove” – you will be prompted to confirm your decision.

my-yahoo-add-content

As the name implies, this simply a way of changing the background image of your custom homepage. The same choices presented earlier are present, but there are a number of additional ones as well. Sadly, there is still not an opportunity to upload your own custom image.

This is virtually no different than it was from earlier. It’s simply a way to change your mind if decide add or subtract columns from your page design.

my-yahoo-edit-layout

As previously mentioned, each app shows up in your homepage as a separate tile, a similar concept to the Windows 8 Start page, and each has a gear icon at the bottom. Clicking this icon provides an option for removing that particular tile, but all provides a way of editing the settings for that particular item. You can choose between viewing it in either full or compact mode. You also get your choice of how many items you wish it to display – anywhere from one to ten.

Many tiles, such as Yahoo News, contain a “Read More” link at the bottom. Clicking this will whisk you away to the main page for that particular service, be it news, sports or something different.

Some tiles, like the sports scoreboard, contain a dropdown menu at the top, allowing to choose from options such as trending, NFL, MLB (in the scoreboard’s case) and others.

What if you do not like the layout of the items on your page? That is an easy change, as well. For instance, let’s say I would like to see my weather at the top because its important to me, and I don’t wish to scroll down to locate it. Simply locate a blank area of tile and move your mouse pointer over it. The arrow will become a plus sign with little arrows pointing in each direction. Now you can click and drag the tile to your desired location.

my-yahoo-moving-tiles

By default your page is named “My Main Tab” (it’s at the top left). Click on it to change the name. You can also click the plus button to create an additional tab, providing the opportunity for you to arrange tiles by categories however you wish.

As with any Yahoo property there are tiny icons at the top right for your account and email and a search bar across the top center of the screen.

Yahoo has been making a number of changes since Marissa Mayer took over as the CEO. The new My Yahoo is just one of the ways the search giant hopes to win back its audience. The page is sleek and elegant looking, it loads quickly and has a lot of functionality and potential to become even more useful as additional features get added.

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Is Android 4.4 Worth Buying a New Phone?http://www.maketecheasier.com/android-4-4-worth-buying-a-new-phone/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/android-4-4-worth-buying-a-new-phone/#comments Fri, 01 Nov 2013 23:25:44 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82985 Android 4.4 took the world with its new set of features and promising performance improvements. But is this new OS really worth getting a new phone for? Let's take a look!

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android-kitkat-thumbAndroid 4.4′s announcement took the world by storm with its new set of features and promising performance improvements. But is this operating system really worth getting a new phone for? Or will it suffice to wait for an update from the manufacturer of your current older phone? We’ll discuss this and also include some of the tasty features that make Android 4.4 live up to its delicious name (Kit Kat).

I personally didn’t like Android’s previous iterations since they seemed to be only marginally less bloated than their predecessors, and I’m still not sure how much the processing power boost that new phones have arrived with actually helped. Some would say that higher-end phones and tablets are the reason why people have had better experiences with new versions of Android. I think the performance increases were there, but not necessarily disruptive enough to broaden the spectrum for mid-range consumers.

That said, Android 4.4 has concentrated heavily on decreasing its resource usage while still maintaining the same feature-rich interface that Android users have enjoyed in previous versions. In fact, its focus on performance is more pronounced by its new memory monitoring interface, which allows you to more precisely manage your memory usage.

android4.4 - system memory

Most of the performance increase comes from the unification of certain system aspects. A lot of regular functions of Android have been consolidated into one unified set, as opposed to treating each object separately. It would be difficult for me to break this down, but just know that Android has cleaned house a bit on lots of its bloated areas, making the interface much smoother even on older mid-range and even some low-range devices.

Besides routine improvements such as minimized battery usage, Android 4.4 brings with it a new set of features that may or may not be interesting, depending on your subjective needs:

  • Wireless printing is now a possibility without the help of third-party methods.
  • The status bar is no longer black. It goes off on a gradient, meaning that you’ll have just a teeny bit more screen real estate to play around with.
  • Communications apps are more unified. The default SMS app merges with Google Hangouts.
  • A new launcher makes Android look less cluttered.
  • Searches through Google Now will lead you into a third-party app, if available.

These are just a few of the many features that Android has added to its repertoire. It’s up to you to judge how relevant they are to you. If you notice, though, there’s a significant focus on converging different apps and getting them to interact with one another in different manners (such as Google Now’s new search feature and the SMS/Hangouts fusion).

Maybe not. First, get in touch with your mobile device’s manufacturer and ask them if they will offer an Android 4.4 update. If they say no, you may continue pondering getting a new phone. Otherwise, why get a new one when the new OS appears on your current device?

So, if your manufacturer says no, is a new device worth it? Is a few new and fancy features worth a few hundred dollars? Or maybe you’re looking for a performance upgrade from a slightly sluggish phone that’s struggling to keep up with current apps. Either way, the decision is not going to be easy. But at least you know exactly what to expect out of the OS. And with this information, you’ll have the ability to make a more informed choice.

What is your opinion?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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FindBar Tweak for Firefox Lets You Search For Text in All Tabshttp://www.maketecheasier.com/search-for-text-in-all-tabs-firefox/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/search-for-text-in-all-tabs-firefox/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2013 21:25:52 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82955 The FindBar Tweak add-on for Firefox lets you instantly search for text in all tabs and windows, as opposed to just a single tab. Here's how.

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findbar-tweak-thumbIf you’re a regular internet user, then you’re probably familiar with the “Control + F” (or “Cmd + F”) search shortcut that works in all modern browsers. It’s an invaluable keyboard shortcut that brings up the find bar at the top or bottom of a web page (depending on the browser you’re using), and lets you search for text within the web page you’re browsing.

While this is extremely useful and a huge time-saver when it comes to finding specific words on the current tab, FindBar Tweak for Firefox lets you go a step further. This add-on gives you the ability to search for text in all of your tabs, not just the current one.

The current find bar in Firefox without FindBar Tweak.

To use it, install the add-on (no restart needed) and you should immediately see a “find in all tabs” option when you bring up the find bar. To search for text in all tabs, click on “Find in All Tabs” at the end of the bar to open a search results window. Enter the text that you’re looking for and you’ll see the results for all your open tabs.

Use FindBar Tweak to search for text in all tabs and windows in Firefox.

If you have multiple windows open, FindBar Tweak will look through the tabs in those windows as well. Click on an item and you’ll immediately be taken to where it is on the page  – even if it’s in another tab or window. If you keep a lot of tabs open at all times, this tool is sure to help boost your productivity.

Image credit: Steampunk Victorian Search Document Icon

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How to Disable the Smart Zoom Feature in OS X Mavericks Safarihttp://www.maketecheasier.com/disable-smart-zoom-mavericks-safari/ http://www.maketecheasier.com/disable-smart-zoom-mavericks-safari/#respond Fri, 01 Nov 2013 17:25:41 +0000 http://www.maketecheasier.com/?p=82904 Enjoying the newest version of Safari in OS X Mavericks, but hating the new zoom feature? Here's how to easily disable the smart zoom feature.

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How to Disable the Smart Zoom Feature in OS X Mavericks SafariAre you enjoying OS X Mavericks’ new version of Safari, but hating the double tap to zoom feature? This feature is called “smart zoom” and it’s triggered with a simple double-tap on your mousepad. While this feature can be useful for quickly zooming in and out of websites and images, it can also be annoying since it’s so easy to trigger by accident.

If you’re wondering how to disable the smart zoom feature for Safari, it’s actually quite simple.

1. Open System Preferences and click on the device you’re using, such as Mouse or Trackpad (for me, it’s Trackpad on my Macbook Pro).

Follow these steps to disable smart zoom in Safari - OS X Mavericks.

2. Now you’ll need to find the smart zoom feature. For me, I found it under the “scroll & zoom” tab, however if you selected “Mouse” then you may find it under the “point & click” tab.

Wherever you find it, uncheck the box next to smart zoom to disable it. That’s it! No more accidentally zooming in on web pages when browsing in Safari.

via Guiding Tech

Image Credit: theilr

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