Exporting Your Social Graph (Google+ vs Facebook)

As we reported earlier today, Facebook has made some changes to the Account Settings dashboard. The option to export (or backup) your profile is now in the center of the screen making it more visible. While going through the dashboard, I decided to give the export option a try.

Clicking on the Export account option will initiate the backup which once completed will be available to download. (An email notification will be sent.) The size of the backup generated in my case was 130MB, not surprising given the number of images I’ve uploaded since 2007. The Facebook backup is essentially an offline version of your profile. It has all your Messages, Notes, Wall posts, Pictures, Videos, Friend list and even the events. All of this information is presented as an offline HTML website, screenshot:


(You can export your Facebook Profile from the “Download a copy” link in your Account Settings.)

The archive has 3 folders, with your albums in their own sub folders. Launching the index.html file one can browse through his profile. I came across my first wall post that dates back to April 2007!

Google has been making a lot of noise about your data being your datawith Google+ so I decided to test the option. My Google+ profile is a meager 3MB. (I am not a Picasa user.) However, Google+ creates .vcf files of your circles. The .vcf file can be imported into Outlook, Gmail or any contact management application. This is much better than the static friend list prepared by Facebook. Besides this, the backup option is Google+ isn’t nearly half as good as the one from Facebook. Here’s a screenshot of Google+ backup folder:

google  export

The folder segregation is pretty good but inside plus_one is a HTML file of the links you +1-ed. The Buzz and Stream folders have several HTML files of the links and posts you shared. This representation is pretty useless offline. The Google+ backup does not create an offline HTML version of your profile. And here’s where I realized Facebook is much better.

(To get a backup of your Google+ profile, head over to Google Takeout.)

5 Windows Apps to Quickly Disable Stuff

Every so often, you   might want to disable something on your PC. However, you’ll need to dig deep down in the Control Panel settings to make that happen. Here are five apps that let you disable everything from your Aero Glass effects to your keyboard at the click of a button.

1. Disable the touchpad with TouchFreeze


Changing specific settings to automatically disable the touchpad when typing could be cumbersome, so TouchFreeze comes to the rescue. You needn’t fiddle with the Control Panel settings anymore – just install the utility and you’re done – the touchpad will not be active during typing if TouchFreeze is running.

2. Disable Aero Effects with Aerofoil


Aerofoil is a simple utility that runs from the system tray and lets you disable all snazzy Aero Glass effects in Windows 7 with a single click. You can also use it to switch between multiple power plans you’ve created.

3. Disable the keyboard with Kid Key Lock


Kid Lock disables standard and special keys on your keyboard and mouse buttons. Pretty useful when you’re going to clean your keyboard or if you have kids or pets in your home. The program runs from the system tray.

4. Disable the CapsLock key with Handicapslock

If you find yourself hitting the Caps Lock key often when you shouldn’t, chances are you want to disable it. A Lifehacker reader created an AutoHotkey script that activates the Caps Lock key only when it’s pressed twice, and you can download the same as an .exe from here.

We haven’t tried this ourselves, but give it a go and let us know.

5. Disable UAC Prompts with TweakUAC


If you never want to get annoyed by those User Account Control notifications that often pop up, download TweakUAC and just hit Leave UAC off. The UAC is completely disabled, so you’ll never get to see those again.

=== About the Author ===

Shankar writes at Killer Tech Tips, on everything ranging from keyboard shortcuts that make you productive to advanced Google search operators you may not know about. Check out his blog!

Free Kindle Books – Here’s Something For Christmas

I guess many of you might have received an Amazon Kindle as a present this Christmas. So what do you do with it now? You can read tons of books on it and also purchase books through the Amazon Kindle Store.

Free Amazon Kindle Books

But since you have just got that Kindle, why not give it a try with some Free Kindle Books? Yes, Amazon does have an option for users to download and read Free Kindle Books which do not cost you a cent, before you can go ahead and make your first purchase.

Interested? Well head over to Amazon’s Free Kindle Books page to download books including Serial by Jack Kiborn, The Wild’s Call by Jeri Smith, Star Wars by John Jackson MIller and several other books from a list of 40 books.

Do try this out before you head over to buy some really good books for the Kindle.

How to Open .daa Files?

Recently I downloaded a archive which contained a .daa file, this file is actually a CD/DVD image file also known as Direct Access Archive. The file is similar to a ISO file, but is a proprietary file format for disk image files which supports advanced features such as compression, password protection, and splitting to multiple volumes.

Related: How to Open .iso Files? | How to Open .rar Files?

What are .DAA files?

Direct Access Archive, or DAA, is a proprietary file format developed by PowerISO Computing for disk image files. The format supports features such as compression, password protection, and splitting to multiple volumes. Because of its proprietary nature, popular disk image mounting programs such as Alcohol 120% and Daemon Tools currently do not support the mounting of DAA images. – Wikipedia

How to Open .DAA file?

Like we said earlier, .daa files are proprietary and are licensed by PowerISO. PowerISO is a paid software, also they do not license out their format to others, so there are no freely available softwares to open .daa files.

We were able to extract the .daa file on Ubuntu using AcentoneISO a free software to mount and extract .daa files, for Windows users Techzilo has a nice tutorial on opening .daa files for free.

Windows Live Writer Wave 4 Keyboard Shortcuts

The one reason I have been delaying the upgrade to the new Windows Live Essentials beta was the removal of the Ctrl + L shortcut key for inserting images in Windows Live Writer. That was one of the most important shortcuts for me, and I really gave a damn to the new ribbon UI for inserting images.

Also Read: Ultimate List of Windows Live Writer Tips and Tricks

However, I recently upgraded to Windows Live Wave 4 including updating Windows Live Writer, because I found out that the shortcut key did exist, however, it was changed to Ctrl + J instead.

In addition to that Windows Live Writer Wave 4 also has several other shortcuts including those which allow you to apply paragraph and headline styles using . This feature was requested by me in my Windows Live Writer wish list.

If you want to know about more Windows Live Writer Wave 4 keyboard shortcuts, Aaron Bregel has put up the full list which can be viewed here. I found the image shortcut there too :-).

Switch To Chrome Incognito Mode and Vice Versa With a Single Click

The Incognito mode in Google Chrome is a great option for browsing websites privately and prevent your browser from recording all your information. However, launching Chrome in the Incognito mode takes a couple of steps and requires you to open a new browsing window and then go to the desired website.

IncognitoSwitcher is a Google Chrome extension that makes switching to the Incognito mode easier.  Once you install the extension, an incognito icon is added next to your address bar. Now, whenever you want to switch to the incognito mode, click on that icon and it will switch the mode without opening a new window. This way the browser mode is switched without interrupting your browsing experience. Whenever you want to switch back to normal mode, just click the icon once again.

Double clicking the icon would switch the whole window to incognito mode. You can also set keyboard shortcuts and switch between the two modes with a single key stroke. By default, Ctrl +i functions same as a single click and Ctrl + Alt acts as the double click.

Download IncognitoSwitcher from here.

[Via Ghacks]

Extend MS Office 2010 Trial Version For 180 Days

If your trial period of 30 days has run out on the latest Microsoft Office version 2010, don’t sweat. Trial extender lets you renew your trial period for another 30 days and you can repeat the drill up to 5 times. That comes to a total of 180 days of using latest MS Office for free. Trial Extender is based on a built-in feature so we assume it is safe and legal to use.

You do have to have a .NET framework installed on your machine but other than that there are no restrictions and no strings attached. The Trial Extender can be downloaded here. Hopefully in 6 months you would have had enough trial of the software and would have made a decision to buy it or not. This latest version of MS Office offers some great new features and we have already told you about some really good tips and tricks to optimize the software.

Extend Office 2010 Trial

Turn Multiple Wikipedia Pages Into a PDF Book

Wikipedia is no doubt one of the most commonly used websites for reference. It is the first place people turn to when looking to explore a new topic. However, reading all those pages online is not always easy, so, here is a way to organize multiple Wikipedia pages into a PDF book that can be downloaded, printed and read on your favorite mobile device.

Here are a few short steps you need to take to turn any set of pages into an eBook:

1. Go to Wikipedia and create a free account.

2. Enable the Beta interface.

3. Under the Print/Export menu on left side-bar, click on Create a book.

4. Now every article you visit will have an Add this page to your book option. Click on that to add as many articles to your book as you want.

Wikipedia Book

5. Once done, click on the show book button to see and download your book.

You can also give your book a title, create chapters, sort it alphabetically and download it as an OpenDocument. If you want to have it printed and delivered to you, there is an option to do that as well costing $7.90 for a book of up to 100 pages. While managing your book, you can simply drag and drop the items to re-arrange their order or click on the trash button to remove them quickly.

[Via DigitalInspiration]

DYK Thursday: Some More Awesome Google Search Tricks

In the last DYK, I had talked about some hoax pages that Google had created on April Fool’s Day. This time too, it’s about Google but I have brought some more interesting stuff that you would surely like.

Today, I am gonna tell you some easter eggs in Google Search. Check out!

  1. Nice trick: Go to Google.com. Search for “ascii art”. You will see that the Google logo has turned into a ascii code.
  2. The loneliest number: Searching for “the loneliest number” on Google will give you the result in calculator as 1!
  3. Wondering what is life? Google answers it!: Searching for “the answer to life, the universe, and everything” on Google will give you the answer from the calculator as 42! This was related to a film called “The Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy” in which they find out some answer through complicated calculations. Sorry, i don’t much as I haven’t seen the movie.
  4. Hmmm, I can see that!: Searching for “the number of horns on a unicorn” on Google will give you the answer as 1. [The actual reason behind this is that Google sometimes considers these words as strings. You can verify this y multiplying those words with another number. This applies for the above example too]
  5. Oh, is it?: Searching for “once in a blue moon” on Google search will give you the result as “1.16699016 × 10-8 hertz” in the calculator.

That looks like a small list, isn’t it? That’s all I could get for the “search tricks” this time. Will update it as and when I come to know about new ones.

To make this post a little longer, and entertain you for some more time, I have added some cool easter eggs here.

Picasa Easter Egg

If you are using Picasa, to process your images, then here is a cool easter egg.

Keep pressing Ctrl + Shift + Y, and you will see something really cute and cool! Check out the screenshot below. Thanks for the screenshot, Keith! [ Click on the screenshot to enlarge.]

Wow, that's so cute! I am sure girls who are seeing this are the first to try it! :)

Google Reader Easter Egg

Google Reader has a secret mode called the Ninja Mode. We had already covered it in one of the earlier posts. If you have missed that out, go ahead and check it here.

So, that’s it for today!

Tips For Increasing Your Dial-Up Connection Speed While Browsing

Many in India still use dial-up connections for surfing the internet. The reasons for this may be it’s cheaper rate or less usage of internet and many others. I was using dial-up connections about 9 months back and it really pissed me of while surfing on a dial-up connection. In this post, I have listed a few tips that you can adopt if you are using a dial-up connection.

Block Images From Sites

A single image is better than thousand words – but when it comes to dial-up you would be better to stick to words or you will have to wait for thousands of hours to load an image! You can block images getting loaded by changing your browser settings.

If you are a Firefox user, go to > Tools> >Page Info>> Permissions>> Load Images>> Uncheck “Use Default”>>Select “Block”.

You could block images in a similar way in Google Chrome and Opera.

Increasing Browser Cache Size

This can be a super awesome way to increase your connection speed! Let me explain you how this can help. When you visit any website, your computer stores some information from the website as cache memory. The more space you give for cache, the more it will store, and your internet surfing will become much speedier! You could check this article out for more information on how to do this.

Saving Frequently Visited Or Important Webpages

This is another trick that could be helpful in making you more productive while surfing. We visit many sites regularly (for example Gmail, Facebook etc). Saving those webpages offine, so that you don’t have to use your precious bandwidth every time could be a nice way of speeding up your internet connection.

Small Tip: Instead of visiting Gmail, Yahoo! to check your mail every time, you could use Outlook or any other offline email client. So, this will save you some bandwidth.

Reduce Using Multiple Tabs

Now, that we have a facility to use multiple tabs, we fill our browsers with too many tabs. But, this would make your internet surfing slow on a dial-up connection. The more tabs you open, more is the bandwidth consumption. It would be better to use a single tab or at the maximum 2-3 tabs at a time. More than that and you would have to wait hours before it gets loaded!

It would be better to get one webpage loaded faster, than to wait for 100 webpages getting loaded slower.

Using Basic Modes In Networking Sites

This tip would help you a lot if you use social networking sites. Many popular social networking sites always provide you two modes/versions. One a lighter one and the other a richer one. Like Orkut – Low bandwidth mode and Orkut-Normal mode, Facebook and Facebook Lite or Zapak or Zapak Lite and so on. So, always stick with the versions that use less bandwidth so that you can experience better speed.

Using Opera Turbo

Opera has a good feature for slow internet connections – Opera Turbo. This uses a unique compression technology while loading a webpage. You could check out more on this concept here.

These are some tips, I have used while on a dial-up connection. Please add your own tips to this post by using the comment section below.

You could also leave tips by mailing them to tips here: [email protected]