Google Dictionary Shutdown – I Hate You For the First Time

In 2009, Google added it’s own dictionary, called Google Dictionary. Many people used it and loved some of the features, such as the ability to “star” some entries and recall them later.

Old Google Dictionary logo

On August 5th, Google suddenly declared that it had shut down Google Dictionary. This prompted a flurry of questions in the Google support forums. One person in particular voiced their concern in a big way:

You shut down “Google Dictionary”. I HATE you for the first time.

If you go to the Dictionary site now, you’ll see Google’s sweet little message telling you that “Google Dictionary is no longer available.”

google dictionary not available

In response to a few furious users, Google employees responded with the following explanations.

Hi everyone,

As many of you know, we’ve recently introduced a dictionary tool into Google Web Search to help you quickly look up the definition of a word,. Because the dictionary tool offers the same functionality as Google Dictionary, we’ve decided to discontinue dictionary.google.com.

For your definition needs, you can type your query right into the search box and use the dictionary tool located in the left-hand panel on the results page, or you can type [define (your word)] right into the search box.

I want to thank those of who who’ve been loyal users of dictionary.google.com and welcome you to share your feedback on how the dictionary tool can be improved.

Cheers,

Kelly

Google is right about that. You can still access most of the same functions from the normal search box at Google.com, by typing the word “define” in front of the word you want to search for, as shown in the following image.

 

Google definition search

If you click on the word “More >>” at the end of the first result, you’ll be tossed over to what’s left of the now defunct Google Dictionary page. So, all is not lost, except for the “star” feature.

There are some nice alternatives if you still want quick access to dictionary definitions. The first one is the Google Dictionary extension for Google Chrome web browser. This extension allows you to double click on any word in a web page and get a quick pop-up definition. It’s very nice, and once again, clicking on the “More >>” link sends you over to the old Google Dictionary page.

image of google dictionary extension at work

If you are using the Firefox web browser, I recommend the Answer.com addon. After installing it, point at any word, hold the Alt key (Ctrl in Linux) and click. A pop-up will appear on the screen, explaining the term.

Firefox Addon for Answer.com definitions

Now you can comfortably keep on HATING Google, while looking up every crazy word in the world.

 

Mobs and Riots – British Solution is Social Media Censorship?

ban social mediaThis year we’ve seen democracy protests in Egypt, flash mobs in Cleveland and Chicago, and most recently, rioting, looting and fires in England. What do all of these have in common? They have all been enabled to some extent by social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

What is the most natural reaction of a big government to a problem caused by social media? Naturally, they try to ban or censor it. We saw this happen in Egypt, when Mubarak shut down the internet. We’ve seen how Pakistan has shut down Facebook. It seems like more and more countries are following China’s great example for isolating people from news and social networks.

So what would you expect from the politicians of Britain? It looks like the impulse to protect people from the Internet (for their own good) isn’t absent in Britain, after the riots there. A report from EFF.org (the Electronic Frontier Foundation) provides a quote from Prime Minister Cameron which displays another misguided swipe at free speech in social media:

…when people are using social media for violence we need to stop them. So we are working with the Police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality. I have also asked the police if they need any other new powers.

video of London riots

Is this what England needs? Do they need police powers to censor social media? Of course they do, after all, it worked so well in Libya and Egypt. We’ll know more about what’s going to shake out from the rhetoric once members from social media services Facebook and Blackberry RIM meet with UK government officials on the 25th of August.

I hope that freedom wins over a restrictive political solution. As Ben Franklin once said “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.

The police need more understanding of how social media works, and not more power to stop it from working.

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #32

freeware-sign2

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper Heals Virus Infected Systems

by Pallab De | Tuesday, 31st May 2011 | Comment | Share

WINDOWS Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper is a system rescue disk creator that can be used for removing nasty virus and other malware infections by running an offline scan. Read More »


OpenPetra: Administer Your Organization With Open Source Advantage

by Soumen Halder | Tuesday, 31st May 2011 | Comment | Share

open-petra-logo

OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE Often non-profit organizations have to buy costly administrative software packages to run their organization. It is a heavy cost burden for organizations with low budgets. OpenPetra is an outcome of an effort keeping in mind such organizations. Read More »


DVDvideosoft Free Video to Flash Converter Review

by Guest Posts | Thursday, 26th May 2011 | 1 Comment | Share

dvd-videosoft-video-2-flash

SOFTWARE Do you need to embed a video into your website or blog? Do you want to present your products or services but don’t know how? The free program will help. Read More »


Less Chrome HD [Firefox Addon]

by Guest Posts | Tuesday, 24th May 2011 | Comment | Share

before-after

SOFTWARE Had you heard that you can autohide the location toolbar in the newest versions of Google Chrome? Now you can do this in Firefox. Read More »


Have Better Control Over Windows Networks With Checklan Basic 1.2.2

by Soumen Halder | Monday, 23rd May 2011 | Comment | Share

checklan-basic-clip-01

SOFTWARE Checklan Basic 1.2.2 is an agentless network monitoring tool used for asset management both locally and remotely. It helps to create in a simple and effective way , an inventory of all computers in the network. Read More »


New National Flag with Clock Screensavers [Freeware]

by Clif Sipe | Sunday, 22nd May 2011 | Comment | Share

nfs-flag-clocks

SOFTWARE NewFreeScreensavers has released several new national flag clock screensavers. The most recent are USA Digital Clock, Poland Digital Clock, Poland Analog Clock, Ukraine Digital Clock , Ukraine Analog Clock, Nigeria Digital Clock and Nigeria Analog Clock. Read More »


What is MAFIAAfire? Is Mozilla a Terrorist Organization?

by Clif Sipe | Saturday, 21st May 2011 | Comment | Share

mafiaa-fire-logo

DISCUSSIONS Why is Mozilla now the target of a take-down notice from U.S. Homeland Security and what the heck is MAFIAAfire? Read More »


Fly On Desktop Great Joke or Great Pet?

by Clif Sipe | Tuesday, 17th May 2011 | Comment | Share

fly

SOFTWARE Have you ever had a fly land on your monitor or notebook screen? Now you can get a free pet fly whenever you want one. Read More »


Best 3 Firefox Addons to Protect Your Privacy

by Guest Posts | Monday, 16th May 2011 | 2 Comments | Share

no_script_logo

ONLINE SECURITY Firefox offers many addons and today’s users are more concerned than ever before about their privacy and security. These top 3 addons will help you protect and manage your privacy on the web. Read More »


Send Large Files Easily with WeTransfer

by Clif Sipe | Sunday, 15th May 2011 | 5 Comments | Share

file-share-ico

ONLINE STORAGE Need to send large files to someone? You could use any one of several online file storage sites, or set up your own FTP server. These all take time and require setup. There are easier ways. Read More »


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.

New National Flag with Clock Screensavers [Freeware]

[Windows Only]

It’s ok to be a little crazy about the country you live in. In fact, if you’re crazy enough, you may want to grab a cool flag and clock screensaver. Take a look for yourself. Don’t be afraid to grab one or two. The screensavers there are always safe to install.

nfs-flag-clocks

Here’s a video showing what these look like in motion.

Warning!

There are plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

flag-themeIf you have Windows 7, be sure to check out this national flag desktop theme. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

What is MAFIAAfire? Is Mozilla a Terrorist Organization?

mafiaa-fire-logoWhy is Mozilla the target of a take-down notice from U.S. Homeland Security and what the heck is MAFIAAfire?

Back in December of last year, I asked a simple question: is Homeland Security Now Working for the Recording Industry?. In the article, I explained how the MPAA and RIAA (Movie and Music industry groups) have bribed the U.S. Congress with millions of dollars and now have ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), a division of DHS (Homeland Security) in their pockets.

ICE has seized dozens of website domains over the last few months, supposedly to crack down on piracy and copyright infringement. Several new sites were taken down this week and new targets were likely suggested to ICE by the MPAA or RIAA. In a congressional hearing last month, ICE director John Morton admitted that his organization was acting on tips from industry representatives,and other leads.

Here’s what you’ll see if a site was taken down by ICE.

Fly On Desktop – Great Joke or Great Pet?

flyHave you ever had a fly land on your computer monitor or notebook screen? Yes, and you are tempted to swat the little beastie, but you sure don’t want to break the screen, do you? Now you can bring this dilemma to life with a simple program that puts life-like flies all over your desktop.

flyondesktop2

FlyOnDesktop is a 673kb download and installs on WinXP, Vista and 7. Once installed it can be set to run automatically when Windows starts. You’ll find a fly icon in the system tray and right clicking on it lets you set the number of flies spawned at startup.

I found the best setting was one fly. When you see one of these flies on the screen, they look very real. They even walk around the same way real flies do.

Tip: Double-clicking a fly will remove it from the desktop.

Be sure to check out some of the jokes and pranks we’ve written about over the last few years.

Disclaimer: No real flies were harmed during the production of this post.

arrow-down-double-3 Download FlyOnDesktop

This software is highly recommended and safe for all ages.

techiebuzzrecommendedsoftware1

Send Large Files Easily with WeTransfer

file-share-icoWhat can you do if you want to send an entire CD to someone? Sending large files as an email attachment is usually a problem. Most email providers have limits on the size of attachments. For example, Yahoo’s and Gmail’s limit is 20mb, with Hotmail trailing behind at 10mb.

You could use any one of several online file storage sites, or even set up your own FTP server. These all take time and usually require some setup. There are easier ways to send large files if you don’t want to waste time.

we-transfer

A new service called WeTransfer allows you to attach several files, up to 2Gb in total, and send a download link to a person or group. There is no sign-up required. You can use any fromaddress you wish and include a short message to the recipients.

WeTransfer couldn’t be much easier to use. However, if you need alternatives, take a look at YouSendit, which has been around a long time and is just as easy to use.

I like to use WinDroplr, which allows you to quickly upload and create short URLs to share in email, Facebook or Twitter. It’s fast and easy but it requires you to install a simple program on your PC.

One of my rock-star friends likes to use Box.net to share his unique creations online. It’s free, and you can even mount Box.net as a virtual drive on your PC.

What’s your favorite method for sending large files to people? Be sure to tell us in the comments below.

Comodo Program Manager – Maximum Control of Your Programs

[Windows Only]

Many years ago, I ran into some software from Comodo and I was impressed with its quality. To this day, Comodo continues to offer free system and security software that competes quite well with software you’d have to pay for. Recently, I saw something called Comodo Program Managerand I decided to give it a try.

4 New Mothers Day Screensavers

[Windows Only]

Does your mother have to be a geek to appreciate a new screensaver for Mother’s Day? I don’t think so. Take a look and don’t be afraid to grab one or two. The screensavers here are always safe to install.

nfs-happy-mothersnfs-mothers-daynfs-Mothers-Day-HeartnfsMothersDayHeart2

Warning!

There are plenty of free screensavers and wallpapers on the net, but you have to be careful to visit only safe websites when you are looking for them. As many of you have learned by now, not all free screensavers are created equal. Many times, free means that you have to install stupid toolbars, adware and other unwanted junk along with the screensaver. That’s not true of the ones at NewFreeScreensavers.

arrow-down-double-3 Screensaver Download Page

W i n d o w s 7 t h e m e s?

czech-spring-win7-themeSpring is here. If you have Windows 7, be sure to check out the Czech Spring Desktop theme. If you don’t have Windows 7, you can still snag the wallpapers by using this trick.

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I’ve downloaded and installed several of the screensavers at this site and never had a problem with any of them. These screensavers are safe, totally free, and there are dozens more to check out once you visit.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)

Freeware Fridays | Top Tools of the Week #31

freeware-sign2

In case you haven’t seen them, here are the most recent posts in our Freeware category. We hope you enjoy reading about these freebies, and maybe you’ll find a keeper in the mix.


Flock Browser Official End of Support

flock-icon-250x250

Zynga bought the Flock web browser in January. Their recent decision to kill the Flock browser has not made them any friends in that social browser community.

 

uTorrent 3.0 Beta Introduces Streaming, Comments, and Ratings

uTorrent-3-Beta

uTorrent 3.0 adds a bunch of new features including comments, ratings, streaming, and extensions.

 

Unlock Ribbon UI for Windows Explorer, and Other Hidden Features in Windows 8 with Windows 8 Tweaker

Windows-8-Tweaker

Unlock hidden Windows 8 features like Advanced Task Manager, Ribbon UI for Windows Explorer, native PDF viewer, and native webcam application with Windows 8 Tweaker.

 

Google Toolbar 7 Adds Instant Search To Internet Explorer 9

google-toolbar7-internet-explorer

Some good news for Internet Explorer users. Google has recently released a new version of Google toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox. Google Toolbar 7 making your web browsing faster, simpler and instant.

 

Digsby Acquired By Tagged; Will Offer Standalone Client

digsby_logo

Digsby, the popular multi-protocol IM and social networking client has been acquired by Tagged; a social discovery engine for finding new people.

 

Microsoft Safety Scanner Scans Your PC For Virus, Spyware and Malicious Software

Microsoft Safety Scanner

Over the past couple of years or so, I have used Microsoft Security Essentials as my only virus and malware protection tool. The Free Antivirus tool from Microsoft is definitely worth installing on your PC.

 

Encrypt and Password Protect Your Notes in Evernote

Evernote

I have come to love Evernote as a note-taking and idea collecting software. I have used it extensively for the past couple of years or more to store bits and pieces of information that has come in handy all through these years.

 

More New Easter Screensavers

easter-screensavers

NewFreeScreensavers has released 9 more Easter screensavers. Don’t be afraid of the eggs and cute animals. They’re safe to use and promise not to bite.

 

Opera 11.10 Released; Features Faster Turbo, Prettier Speed Dials, and More

Opera-Barracuda-Speed-Dial

Opera 11.10 includes a host of new features including enhanced speed dials, faster Turbo mode, seamless plugin install, and a power saver mode.

 

Splashtop OS New Version for Laptops and Netbooks

splashtop-download

If you ever need to get on the internet quickly, you might want to give this operating system a try. Their motto is "Splashtop – the fastest way to the web". It’s free and it installs inside of Windows.

 


Be sure to let us know if you have a favorite freebie you’d like to see posted here. Our comments (below) are always open to you.