Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Google Hand Turkey

UPDATE 6/1/2015. - Updated with link to Google Doodle Archive
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Build yourself a share-able hand turkey via Google's Thanksgiving Day doodle.  (Now Archived)

https://www.google.com/doodles/thanksgiving-2011

You can share it after you customize it via an email link or through the new Google+ social networking site..

Google says this Google Doodle will stay up through Thanksgiving Day (Thursday).

Gobble Gobble.

READ MORE

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Sunrise, Sunset

Need to know when sunrise or sunset is?  Check out this handy site.  Just choose your location on the handy Google map, and it will tell you the times for both!

Check it out here:  http://www.sunrisesunsetmap.com/




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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Let the Google Clock tell you the time.

http://googleearthclock.cwandt.com/

The numbers from the clock are taken from Google Earth images.



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Friday, September 23, 2011

NASA Ring Tones Just Launched

NASA Logo
UPDATE 5/31/15:  This is one of the most popular tech tips available here on OneCoolTip.com.  We've added more instructions on how to install the ringtones to your smartphone both iPhone and Android.

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What could be more geekier than NASA ringtones?

Check out the new collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions.

You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong's "One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind" every time you get a phone call.

Or, you can hear the memorable words "Houston, we've had a problem," every time you make an error on your computer.

NASA has included both MP3 and M4R (iPhone) sound files to download.UPDATED

https://www.nasa.gov/audio-and-ringtones/ 

To install the NASA sounds and ringtones for iPhone, read detailed instructions:
http://www.nasa.gov/connect/sounds/iphone_install_directions.html

To install the NASA sounds and ringtones for Android devices, NASA recommends downloading and installing their app available from the Google Play store:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.nasa

Note: The ringtone option is available from the main page of the app in the MENU option.

UPDATE: NASA also launches a new image gallery with over 138.000 images from 70 collections.  Learn more HERE

Source: NASA

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Secret Twitter Photo Search

Twitter logo
UPDATE 6/1/2015 - Updated with current instructions on how to search and filter Twitter results including Advanced Search.

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It's not so secret anymore.  In the years since this OneCoolTip first posted, Twitter has added additional search capabilities to its site.

Twitter has become the "go to" app for up-to-the-moment searches.

But with this enormous stream of information comes the challenge of how to filter unwanted results.

Fortunately, Twitter now has advanced search tools.

But first things first.  To do a photo search, enter your keyword(s) in the search box on the Twitter main page.  When the results are displayed, you can limit them to photos by selecting the "Photos" option in the top bar across the results.

In the example below, I searched for "cat" and then limited the results to just photos.

Twitter Search constrained to Photos


Twitter Search More Options Drop Down MenuIn addition, there are additional options besides "Top", "Live", "Accounts", "Photos" and "Videos".  Click the "More Options" link to show these options.

You can limit the results to just from people you follow or even from near your location.

Finally, there is a comprehensive "Advanced" Search option available at: https://twitter.com/search-advanced

The "Advanced" Search option page allows you to search full or partial words as well exact phrases and even hashtags.  Or even results that do not contain key words.

You can also search by accounts and account mentions.

And a very useful advanced search is to limit by date.

All of these options are great tools for finding the information you want from the very popular Twitter site.


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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Skype for iPad Officially Released

UPDATE 6/22/15: Skype for Web allows you to use skype only from a PC web browser.  Learn more HERE.

Skype has released an iPad version of its popular video software.   The new version made a brief cameo last night and was pulled from the Apple iTunes store.  But it's back for good, officially.

You can download the new version HERE.

Check out the new video on the new Skype for iPad app:

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Do You Love?

Google has a new tool out that is not yet widely know called What Do You Love available at http://www.wdyl.com

This new sites lets you do a really comprehensive search on topics.  Results are then returned for images, videos, maps, and most of the other Google tools.

Looking for information on Cats on Google?  A search on WDYL returns a quick overview of Google's tools on the subject:



So check it out on What Do You Love!


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Google's Les Paul Doodle is Here to Stay!

This week Google celebrated the life of legendary guitarist and inventor Les Paul with a very cool Google Doodle.

The playable and recordable doodle was put up for Paul's birthday on Thursday, June 9th.  And held over by popular demand to Friday.

But it now has a permanent home at http://www.google.com/logos/2011/lespaul.html

So rock on all you Google fans, Rock On!

For those who missed the very playable Google Pacman Doodle, it's also still available at   http://www.google.com/pacman/

And for a list of all Google Doodles, click HERE.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Now You Can Dial

[Cross-posted from http://www.DailyDross.com .  Here's an old-school OneCoolTip on how to dial a phone from the good folks at AT&T!]

You think it's tough teaching your parents how to use the Internet?  Think about how hard they had it when they had to learn to dial a telephone!

This AT&T video from the 50s shows how to dial a phone.

Hey's, it's tough to do!

So let's practice:
  • Be sure of the right number
  • Wait for the dial tone
  • Refer to the number while dialing
  • Turn the dial until the finger hits the finger stop
  • Avoid confusing the letter "O" with the number "0"
  • The difference between ringing and busy signals



Source: AT&T Tech Channel


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Sunday, June 5, 2011

World Class Education Online at the Khan Academy

For all of our advancements in technology, education has changed very little in the past 100 years.

Kids go to school, listen to their teachers then come home to struggle doing their assignments using only their memory, text books and maybe good notes to guide them.

Don't even ask a parent to help.

But what if there was another way?

Not to replace the role of teachers, but to help students understand subjects from world-class experts in the materials.

It's already here.

The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization created in 2006, by Salman Khan.

It's mission is "providing a high quality education to anyone, anywhere".

The website supplies a free online collection of more than 2,300 video tutorials stored on YouTube teaching mathematics, history, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and economics.

In this ideal new world, students watch the videos and then use the in class time to work with others, collaborating with each other and their teachers.

And anytime they need to get a refresher on the subject, a short video will guide their way.

Each video tutorial is about 10 minutes long.  Why 10 minutes?  Because that's the limit YouTube placed on the original videos.  But after posting, Khan has learned that a 10 minute video is the right amount of time to understand a topic.

To browse the library of video lectures, click HERE

As a sample, here is an example of Sal explaining simple equations.







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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Create a Word Cloud with Wordle

Wordle: Gettysburg AddressPerhaps you've seen a "Word Cloud" before but didn't know how to make one.

Use Wordle to do it, http://www.wordle.net/

You can add text (perhaps copied and pasted from a web page or text document) or add a URL to let Wordle create your word cloud.

After it is created, you can format and even save to the public directory.


As an example, this word cloud is Abraham Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address shown as a Wordle Word Cloud.





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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Extend Your iPhone’s Battery Life

Update 6/20/15 - a few new tips now at
- How To Extend Your Smart Phone Battery Life

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Low Battery.

It's a common warning for iPhone users.

Is it because the battery is terrible or because iPhone users really, really use their phones more than other devices?

It's the latter.

The Apple iPhone.  It is the most amazing phone ever.  And that means that users use the phone for voice, text, and a wide range of computing uses.

And these activities all drain the battery.

So what can you do?

Here are my favorite two tips for extending battery life on the iPhone.

First, be sure to keep your iPhone out of the sun or other hot place like your car or the glove box.  Heat will significantly degrade your iPhone's batter life.

Second, close any app that you are not using.   While multitasking can be useful, it can drain your battery.  Double click on the home button and then press and hold on the multitasking app icons.  Then click the "x" to close them.

Other things you can do to extend battery life:
  • You should also keep your iPhone upgraded to the latest software available for your phone.  Apple engineers often include such mundane things as extending battery life in upgrades.
  • Minimize use of location services: Applications that use location services such as Maps may reduce battery life. To disable location services, go to Settings > General > Location Services.
  • Turn off push notifications.  Many apps use the Push Notification service to alert you of new data. To disable push notifications, go to Settings > Notifications and set Notifications to Off. 
  • Fetch data less often.  The more often email is fetched, your battery may drain quicker. To fetch new data manually, from the Home screen choose Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data and tap Manually. 
  • Turn off Wi-Fi: If you rarely use Wi-Fi, you can turn it off to save power. Go to Settings > Wi-Fi and set Wi-Fi to Off. 
  • Turn off Bluetooth: If you rarely use a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn off Bluetooth to save power. Go to Settings > General > Bluetooth and set Bluetooth to Off.
  • Use Airplane Mode in low- or no-coverage areas.  You won't be able to make or receive phone calls.  To turn on Airplane Mode, go to Settings and set Airplane Mode to On.
  • Adjust brightness. Dimming the screen is another way to extend battery life. Go to Settings > Brightness and drag the slider to the left to lower the default screen brightness. 
Finally, it's often useful to have power chargers wherever you are.  Having your phone fully charged makes your iPhone experience a bright one!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Playing it Safe on Facebook

With so many people on facebook, hackers and spammers are having a field day spreading their mischief among the world's largest social networking site.

Most often users may see that a friend's account is posting unusual messages.

Don't click that link!  Or your account may suffer the same fate.

But if this happens, here is what facebook says you should do:

 If your account has been taken over and used to send spam, you should follow these steps immediately:
  • If you can’t reset your password because the email address you use to log in has changed, or if your account has been disabled, visit our help page.
  • Make sure you have up-to-date security software on your computer, run a scan, and remove any malicious files. If you don’t do this, and your computer is infected, your account may be taken over again. If you don’t yet have protection for your computer, you can download a complimentary six-month subscription of McAfee security software. Learn more on the Software tab.

If a friend’s account has been taken over and used to send spam, you should follow these steps immediately:

  • Tell your friend to check out this Page and follow the steps above.
  • Warn those who received the spam not to click on it, and to delete it from their Walls and Inboxes.

In addition, here are a few more tips to keep in mind.
  • Don't click on unusual links, even if posted by one of your friends.
  • Use the "mark as spam" button to remove a post and mark it as potential spam post. Click the "x" after a post to access the "mark as spam" option.
  • Don't download applications that you are not sure about.
  • If you think your account has been hacked, go to www.facebook.com/hacked to alert facebook and lockdown your account.



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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Check In with Foursquare

Do you want to be a mayor?  That could be a lot of work in the real world.

But you can become the mayor of your local Starbucks.  Or local hangout.  Just for being close by.

And by using the new Foursquare app on your iPhone, Android, Palm or Blackberry device.

Foursquare is a social-networking app enables users to connect with friends and discover new places and things to do around town.

You'll earn points and badges based on how many times you check-in to certain locations.

And if you check-in often enough, you can become the mayor.

So, what's the point of being the mayor of a location?

Mostly bragging rights.

However, some Foursquare-friendly locations offer a free premium like discounts and free items just for checking in or becoming the mayor.

Go check it out.  Learn more at Foursquare.com




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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let Google Search Your Desktop

UPDATE 6/1/2015.  Sadly, Google has discontinued the Desktop Search tool.  Microsoft dramatically improved the search function within Windows and Google's normal business model of displaying ads next to search results would creep people out when displayed next to results from a PC's disk drive. (Although DS never did that, there was no way to make money for Google in the future).  While there are some other apps, Google's was the best.
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Where did you put that file?  Or that email?

Searching for documents on your PC can be a nightmare.  So many documents.  So many emails.

Sometimes it's like searching for a needle in a haystack.

But Google offers an elegant solution.

Their free program, Google Desktop, indexes your hard drive the way Google's own servers index the Web. Your search results are returned on a web page similar to when you do a real Google web search.

After you download and install the software, Google Desktop gets to work indexing your hard drive.  If you have a lot of files, this can take a while.  Just sit back and relax.

You'll be able to find those files in no time.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yahoo Upgrades New Mail to All Users

Yahoo has started making its newest version of its e-mail service available to all of  its 284 million users.

The company unveiled a test version of the new service last fall. 
The redesigned service now includes integration with a number of social media including Facebook and Twitter into Yahoo's e-mail service. Users can post messages to Facebook and share notifications and updates from Twitter and Facebook from a new Updates tab.
Users can chat with Facebook, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger contacts within Yahoo Mail.
Users can upgrade to the new version online. A demo video is also now online.

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Take a Screenshot on an iPhone

Do you ever need to take a screenshot on your iPhone?

You're in luck.

This mostly unknown feature has been built into the iOS operating system since version 2.0.

To capture the screen image or take a screenshot just press the Home button and Sleep/Wake (On/Off) key at the top of the mobile device simultaneously at the same time.

You'll hear the camera shutter click and your screenshot will be saved the camera roll on your phone.

You can then view and send your newly saved image to others by email or SMS like all other photos.

Now you know!



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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Don't be Smurfed! Beware of in-App Purchases

UPDATE 6/12/2015: Since this post was originally posted in 2011, both Google and Apple have improved their online stores to warn users that apps have in-game purchases.  Nothing like losing some court cases and refunding millions of dollars to get a company to change.  But parents should keep their passwords safe and ensure the settings are secure so that in-app purchases must be approved.

When is a Free Game not free?

When you can buy in-app items that cost real money.  Your money.

To the shock of many users, free games, downloaded from iTunes onto mobile phones, allow users to purchase items for the games from within the application itself.

Many parents have received unexpected and costly iTune charges because they allowed their children to use their iPhone or iPods with the mistaken belief that these games were "free".

This problem is not just limited to Apple devices.  But the iPhone devices and the iTunes store have made the headlines.

A well-documented story appeared in MSNBC late last year and involved the iPhone game "The Smurf's Village.

While The Smurfs Village is indeed "free" to download, items within the game can cost.  Especially, apparently, smurfberries.  At $59 a pop for a cart.

So what can you do?

  1. Update your iPhone, iPod or iPad to the latest version of the iOS operating system.  This updated version requires the iTunes to be re-entered before an in-app purchase can be made.
  2. Keep your iTunes password safe from other users.
  3. Go to Settings, General and change the In App option to not allow purchases within applications.
  4. Always read the notices before you download an application from the iTunes store.  And open it again to read any notices about the option to purchase in-app items.

So with a little knowledge and common sense, you can avoid being smurfed!


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