This one’s for the anti-clickers. Despite fast Internet connections and zippy PCs, web designers still like to organize really long content into multiple pages. That can be for financial reasons (more clicks equals more ads thus more revenue) or just because the designer thinks it’s more manageable for the reader. Visual content in particular suits itself well to slideshows.
But the downside for the user is you have to constantly click through to the next page, whether it’s a Google search, or a lengthy news article. All that clicking can interrupt your concentration.
There are a whole bunch of add-ons that try to solve this problem. To save you a few clicks they automatically load multi-page content while you scroll. I’ve been trying out a bunch of these add-ons. Some work really well, some don’t work at all, and some seemed a little sketchy.
“Quick! The boss is coming shut down that MLB stream!”
Too late, you’re caught.
Lucky for you, the boss pulled up a chair to watch the game too, but you can’t always count on near misses to get you through your slack-off time at work. That’s why it’s good to know about a great little tool available in the Chrome Web Store called Panic Button from the VPN specialists at HideMyAss.
Here’s a fun tip to get your week off to a good start: an easy and free way to turn your PC into an audio streaming center that broadcasts to almost any web-capable device in your house. This can be handy if you don’t have access to Spotify on a game console, or you have audio tracks on your PC that you don’t have on your smartphone or tablet.
Whatever the reason, Stream What You Hear (SWYH) can help send audio to pretty much any device on the same network with a web browser or UPnP/DLNA functionality. This Windows-only software takes whatever’s pumping through your sound card and turns it into an audio stream. You can even mute the streaming PC and your other devices will keep rocking.
To be sure, this is what you’d call a low-buck solution with some drawbacks. For example, let’s say you’re partying to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and an audio alert for instant messaging or Skype starts ringing; you’ll hear it on the receiving device. That has its advantages if you need that alert while you’re in the kitchen, but isn’t so great if you want uninterrupted music.
I end up talking a lot about Chrome extensions and apps partly because it’s the browser I use every day, and partly because so much active development is happening on Chrome. But today I’ve got a great tool for all the Firefox users out there who open a lot of tabs at once or are tired of videos auto-playing in tabs that aren’t the main focus.
The Firefox add-on Open Link in Silent Tab gives you the option to open a tab without loading the corresponding webpage. Once you switch to that tab the page automatically loads. The downside to this is it will slow down your browsing a bit since you’ll have to wait for the page to load. But it also makes it easier to have multiple tabs open without slowing down the whole program and also means you don’t have a bunch of auto-playing videos going off at once.
We’ve talked about anti-tracking extensions before. These are the tools that prevent online advertisers from tracking you online, allowing you to retain your privacy. There are many to choose from—including Disconnect, DNT+, and Ghostery—but recently AVG came out with a new extension for Chrome called Crumble that’s worth trying out.
AVG already offered an anti-tracking extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. The difference with Crumble is that it doesn’t rely on blacklists. Instead, Crumble is designed to identify and block tracking cookies on its own without the need to rely on a central database of domain names.
Have you ever noticed a direct relationship between the amount of email you get and your level of hatred for the service? I have, and that’s why I’m always trying to find different ways to tweak email and streamline it as much as possible through filters, labels/folders, and so on.
I’ve been trying out a service called InboxVudu that helps pare down your email to only the essential stuff. There are other service that do this such as Gmail Inbox, but I find Google’s solution messy and overwhelming.
Google’s search results are pretty darn good in general. Most of the time I find what I’m looking for on the first page. But there are times when a simple keyword or plain language search just won’t do.
When that happens, it’s good to know about Google’s search tools that let you refine your results with a few simple filters.