Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Privacy: Visually See How You're Tracked When Browsing (Firefox Add-on)

A new Firefox add-on called "Collusion" visually depicts the sites that are tracking your web surfing.  Online behavior profiling is big business, the revenues from the top online tracking companies is over $39 billion.

Collusion displays a dot matrix diagram composed of grey dots (sites you've visited) connected to red dots (sites that your browser passed tracking data that is used to monitor your online browsing).

For more inforemation or to download the add-on, check out the Collusion web site.

TED Video: Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers

Video Description: "As you surf the Web, information is being collected about you. Web tracking is not 100% evil -- personal data can make your browsing more efficient; cookies can help your favorite websites stay in business. But, says Gary Kovacs, it's your right to know what data is being collected about you and how it affects your online life. He unveils a Firefox add-on to do just that."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Article: Internet Backup Solutions (An Introduction to Cloud Backup Services)

Here is an excerpt from an article that provides a brief introduction cloud backup services: "Backing up data on your computer has always been critical. A long time ago floppies were used to backup your data, later it was CDs and then DVDs. Today there is no affordable external removable media capable of keeping up with modern multi-terabyte drives.

Even if you have an external drive or NAS (network attached storage), it can be damaged, lost, stolen or suffer data corruption. If you don't have an off-site backup, and your local backups are in-tact they can be damaged by fire, earthquake, or other natural disasters." (read the rest of the article)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Leap - Motion Control Gestures

Leap appears to be a very cool technology that supports accurate motion control that allows you to interact with your computer in three dimensions with natural hand and finger movements.  Its currently only in pre-order availability (US$69), but its supposed to be available in a few month for the Window 7/8, and Mac OS/X.

Setup is supposed to be easy. Just plugin the device to a USB port, load the Leap Motion software, and do a quick wave to calibrate it.

Personally I want to try it with Windows 8, it might be a great alternative to having touchscreens for a mouse for the new OS, for me the technology seems worth trying out.  I will post an update if I like it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photo tours in Google Maps

Google Maps offers a new feature called "Photo Tours" that allows you to experience landmarks from all around the world in 3D.  This site requires that the MapsGL feature be enabled in your browser.

The latest versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer browsers are supposed to support the MapsGL feature.  I was only able to get it to work properly in Google Chrome after I downloaded the MapsGL extension.

(More information about MapGL)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Article: Living in the Clouds (an Introduction Cloud Services and Storage)

Here is an excerpt from an article that provides a brief introduction cloud services and storage: "The term "cloud" has been over-hyped by many different businesses trying to distinguish their products or services in the market or from their competition. The word Cloud refers to products or services that requires an Internet connection to utilize it, often requiring a web browser." (read the rest of the article)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Windows 7: Creating a Recurring Alarm

You don't need a special program like Microsoft Outlook to have a recurring alarm that reminds you of regular events (such as: exercise, lessons, etc.).  You can create one with the Windows Task Scheduler.

  • Click the Start button in the Search field, type "task scheduler" and press Enter
  • In the right Actions panel, click Create Task...
  • In the General tab, type a name for the task, such as "Reminder: Attend Lecture"
  • Click the Triggers tab, and press the New button
  • In the “Begin the task” dropdown menu select "On a schedule" 
  • Under Settings select the appropriate interval that (e.g. daily, weekly, etc.) that is applicable.  Also select the appropriate Advanced Settings, such as "Repeat task every X hours".  Check the Enabled checkbox, then press the OK button.
  • Click the Actions tab to select what actions you want to happen to alert you (such as: running a program, sending an email or displaying a message on the screen).
  • Press the OK button when done.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Microsoft SkyDrive (Free Cloud Storage, with Local File Access/Syncing)

Microsoft offers a cloud storage service called SkyDrive.  If you already have a SkyDrive account you had 25GB of free storage space, but you better "opt-in" to keep it, otherwise you will lose it.  For new users who didn't already have an account will get 7GB free storage, and can opt to buy more space if needed.

Microsoft recently added a new feature to this service allows you to use Windows Explorer to access the file in your SkyDrive account on your local computer. You need to install the SkyDrive client on your machine and it will create a folder (located in the Users\<your user name>\SkyDrive path) on your PC that is automatically synced with the SkyDrive service in the cloud.