Earlier today, Facebook announced a new feature to their site which involved video-calling and group chat in collaboration with Skype. This new feature involved giving current Facebook chat users the ability to video call their friends.
If you are someone who are not sure how to use this feature, here is a simple step-through on getting that done.
Step 1: Head over to http://www.facebook.com/videocalling
Step 2: Click on the "Get Started" button on this page.
Step 3: Now click on the name of contact you want to chat with and then click on the Video calling icon in the chat window.
Step 4: You will be prompted to download a plugin for your browser. This is only a one-time process, so you will be able to video chat in the future without having to install this plugin again. According to reports this does not work yet on Opera and on Linux based operating systems. I tested this with Google Chrome and it worked perfectly fine.
That’s it, you will now be able to video call and group chat with your friends using Facebook. Video calling however is only limited to one person at this time.
Right now the Facebook video calling is very buggy and you might see messages as seen in the screenshot above. However, the quality of the call is excellent if you are able to call someone that is.
If you are on Windows 7, Internet Explorer 9 allows you to pin a website to the Windows taskbar, and access the website pages directly without having to open Internet Explorer first. The unmatched visibility on users’ desktops results in increased traffic for a website. This also gives an app-like feel to the website or web app.
To pin a website, just grab the tab and drag it down to your taskbar. Apart from the one-click access, a pinned site also allows you to right-click on the icon to get a list that directs you to particular content on the site. Some pinned sites can also notify you that content has changed on the site. While pinned Facebook alerts you of the Facebook notifications for your account, pinned Hotmail notifies with a number corresponding to the new email in your inbox.
Microsoft has now launched a new service Pin My Website to encourage website owners to add the pinned site functionality to their websites. The site provides an online wizard to guide you to few steps that would give you a code snippet that you can use on your website to take advantage of this function. Microsoft claims that pinned sites gain traffic, and these steps take an average of only 36 seconds to complete!
In the first of a total of four steps, all you need to provide is your contact details and basic site information like site’s name and URL. You will also need to provide an icon for your main site.
Jump List items act as entry points into the website even when the browser is not running. The next step requires you to list the commonly used destinations and tasks that apply to the whole site.
A dynamic Jump List can contain items that will automatically change over time, to give access to periodically updated information like news updates. To use this feature, your site must expose an RSS feed with the items that you want to show on the Jump List.
The last optional step enables you to add a pinning notification bar on the top of your webpages. This bar prompts IE9 users to pin your site.
Once you complete the four steps, you can generate the code to use on your site and allow IE9 users on Windows 7 to pin your site to their taskbar.
Google recently launched a new design which sports a new Black menu bar with grey colored text. The new menu bar is an eyesore and is being hated by many people.
If you are someone who does not like the new design change by Google, here are few ways to disable or change it back to an earlier version with white background and blue links (coming soon). Right now you completely disable the black menu bar on all Google pages.
The trick uses a Greasemonkey script so you will need a compatible browser or user a workaround to run Greasemonkey scripts in Opera, Internet Explorer or Safari.
Like I said, right now I just hide the bar completely, but I am working on modifying the script to change the black bar to an earlier version of Google. Stay tuned for updates on this post to know when it has been updated. I have tested the script and it works in Opera, Firefox and Google Chrome. I am still testing it in Internet Explorer 9.
In the meantime, have fun without the ugly black bar in Google Search. You can download and install the Google Black Bar hider script from here.
Update: You can also return back to the classic toolbar for Google by installing this script.
Earlier today, Google launched a new social networking service called Google+. Google+ is Google’s latest service in the social networking segment and will compete with the likes of Facebook and Twitter.
In the past, Google has little success with some big projects including Google Buzz, Google Wave and even their recent +1 button. However, just like Gmail and Google Music Google tries to build interest in their services by keeping it as invite only.
Most of the services Google launch are made available in US first, just like the invites for Google Music. Similarly, Google+ is also invite only right now and you can apply for an invite directly.
There are no direct invites being sent out right now but you can get yourself an invite by visiting this link. Additionally, you can learn more about Google+ service by visiting this link.
From the looks of it, this one definitely looks interesting.
Update: Google+ is now open to everyone with a Google+ account, please visit https://plus.google.com and sign in with your Gmail account to get access to Google+.
Update 2: Don’t miss out on some really good articles on using Google+ along with several other editorials we have written for you.
Back in April 2011, we had posted an article about the new features in Yahoo Mail Beta. Though Yahoo Mail has improved a lot, it has also added a little bit of annoyance by making the preview pane hard to find.
On the said post, several users have been discussing how to show the preview pane in Yahoo Mail beta, but it looks like most of the information available might not be helpful.
I recently wanted to enable this feature in my own account and found going around circles with no preview pane in sight. Turns out that the Options -> Mail Options -> General -> Show all messages in a scrolling list (with Preview Pane option) does not change anything.
However, I found another trick which can be used to display the preview pane in Yahoo Mail Beta. The trick is really silly but not many people will be aware of it.
In order to enable the preview pane in Yahoo Mail, go to your Inbox and click on the "Switch view" button next to the "Actions" button. From the available option select "In Scrolling List (With Preview)" option. Yahoo Mail will say that it needs to refresh the page to change the settings. Click on Ok and you should now see the preview pane below the email messages.
I have tested this change in multiple browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer 9. Unfortunately, the new version of Yahoo Mail Beta does not support Opera. If you aren’t able to see the preview button in Yahoo Mail, you might want to try going to options and changing the settings.
If the above solution does not work for you, you can try logging in to Yahoo Mail using another browser and making the changes. The change is sticky, so it will then reflect across all browsers.
Firefox 5 was released before schedule with far less fanfare than Firefox 4. Firefox 5 is now also available for Ubuntu. If you have already upgraded to Firefox 5, you might be able to enjoy all the latest features it has. However, a lot of users are complaining about Firefox 5 crashing after installation among other problems.
Though there is no specific reason for Firefox 5 crashes, you could try out one of the several solutions listed below to see if it helps to solve your problem.
One of the main reasons behind Firefox crashing could be a bad installation. This could be caused due to several reasons. One of the solutions would be to backup your Firefox data and then completely uninstall it from your system.
Once you have done that, download Firefox 5 again and do a clean install. This should more likely than not stop FF5 from crashing.
Disable All Extensions and Themes
When Firefox is updated, some outdated extensions could cause problems which might lead to crashes. Firefox add-on manager provides you an easy way to disable out-dated extensions. Make use of the add-on manager to disable those extensions and restart Firefox to see if that solves your problem.
Use Different Profile
If you are not keen on uninstalling and installing Firefox or cannot disable the Firefox add-ons, you could try creating a fresh new profile in Firefox. You will instructions on creating and managing new Firefox profiles in this Mozilla support article.
Now you might not be a programmer, but you can run some basic crash debugging by going through the points listed in the Mozilla support topic. You can submit your crash reports to Mozilla or contact them to see if there is a solution to your problem.
If none of these work, try downloading an older version of Firefox and installing it to see if it solves those crashes. If not, you could switch to a temporary browser like Google Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer 9 till an update is available from Firefox.
A recent study about iPhone passcodes revealed that several users use unsecure passcodes for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. This study shows that people are more than vulnerable if their mobile phone or gadget lands in the hands of intruders.
While it is easy to create strong passwords with password creation tools and more, not many take the time to do it. If you are someone who uses any of the most common passcodes for iPhone or the most common passwords on the internet, it is time to buck up a bit and create a stronger and secure password for your device.
If you are an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad user, here is a simple way to create stronger passcodes for your device.
How To Use Strong Passcodes on iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad
Step 1: Go to the Settings App on your device.
Step 2: Go to the General option and then click on the option "Passcode Lock". This will prompt you to enter your current passcode. Enter the same and click on the "Done" button.
Step 3: On the passcode screen, click on the "On" button next to Simple Passcode and change it to "Off". You will now be prompted to enter your current passcode, followed by an option to create a new alpha-numeric passcode. You can create very strong passcodes using alphabets, numbers and special characters.
Performing these three easy steps will allow you to protect your iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad better than the 4 digit passcodes. You can always create strong passwords using the tips and tools mentioned above in this article.
A few days ago, I was hit with a flood with emails in my inbox from Twitter saying that someone had mentioned me in a tweet and some which said that my tweet had been marked as a favorite by someone.
Now, I was surprised since the only emails I used to receive prior to this was for direct messages (I have them on to search direct messages on Twitter and archive them). I checked around and saw that it was because Twitter had turned on some new email alerts for me without me explicitly telling them to do it.
If you have been hit with lots of email messages from Twitter recently, you can disable the Twitter email alerts for replies, mentions and favorites by visiting your Twitter profile.
To do that, go to your Twitter profile page and click on the "Edit your profile" link. On the profile page click on the "Notifications" tab. You can also visit this link (https://twitter.com/settings/notifications) directly in your browser.
You can uncheck the boxes next to the notifications you do not require. Once you do that Twitter will stop sending you email alerts. The new email alerts system might be useful for some people, but I feel that Twitter should have kept these options as opt-in rather than opt-out by default.
Google Webmaster is definitely one of the best tools any site owner can use to find out how his/her site is performing in Google. In addition to showing search queries, backlinks and sitemaps, the service also has features such as search statistics, site hacked notifications, site performance to measure website load time, outdated software notification and content analysis among other things.
Another feature that Google Webmasters has is the ability to remove a URLs from Google’s search index. However, the earlier process was a bit tedious. Today, Google has rolled out a new Remove URL tool which simplifies the process of removing URLs from the index.
To Remove a webpage from Google’s index, you will need to login to your Google Webmaster account and administrate the site you want to remove the URL from.
Now Click on the Site configuration in the left hand side menu and select “Crawler access”. On the Crawler access page click on the “Remove URL” tag and click on the “New removal request” button to start the process for removing a website.
The new URL removal tool allows you to remove the page from Google index and cache, remove the page from the cache or remove an entire directory.
The new simplified process makes it easier for users to remove content since they don’t have to first block the content now. With the help of the removal request, users can remove any webpage from the website they own. Additionally, they can also remove the page from Google cache.
Google cache usually stores pages for a long time even after the original webpage is deleted, so allowing users to remove pages from cache is a extremely helpful step.
You must note that the removal of URL from the index is only temporary and will last for 90 days. During this period Google may crawl the page but it will not display it in Google search. For permanent removal, users will need to return a 404 or 410 status for the page or block the page from being crawled by using robots.txt or the noindex meta tag.
Important Note: Remove URL tool is only available to people who own those websites. If you are an individual and don’t own the content you are looking to remove, you might want to visit the Webpage removal request tool.
Earlier Today, Google launched Google Music at Google I/O 2011. The new music service will seamlessly integrate with Android mobiles and Android tablets.
Sadly, the service will be limited to US only for the initial period and there is no information on when it will be rolled out to other countries. Google Music is a service which gives you access to your personal music collection without the need to use wires or sync. You can add your music collection to Google music and access it from the web or any other compatible Android device.
If you are interested in trying out the new service, you can request a beta invite for the service by visiting http://music.google.com. You can learn more about Google Music by visiting this page.