Thursday, 27 September 2012

A Simple Way to See your Passwords Hidden Under Asterisks

Reveal Hidden Passwords
Web browser hide passwords under asterisk characters for improved security.
Say you are on the Gmail login page and the web browser, as always, has auto-filled the username and passwords fields for you.
This is convenient because you can sign-in to your account with a click but because you have not been typing these saved passwords for a while now, you don’t even remember the Gmail password anymore.
All web browsers, for security reasons, mask the password fields in login forms behind asterisk characters thus making it impossible for passersby to see your secret string.
There’s however an easy workaround that will let you convert those asterisks into the actual password and you don’t need any external utilities or bookmarklets for this.

Reveal the Hidden Password

Right-click the password field and then choose “Inspect Element.” This will open the document inspector window and all you have to do is replace the word “password” with “text” as shown in the video above.
What we have done is changed the type of the <input> field from “password” to “text” and hence the password is revealed as the text input fields are never masked.
Also, the above demo was created in Google Chrome but you can use it across all browsers including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari. In the case of IE, press F12 to open the Developer Tools window and then press Ctrl+B to activate the element selection mode.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Remove the Ghost Profiles from your Facebook Friends List

Do you have an account on Facebook? Try this.
Facebook Friend Count
Go to and note the number of friends that you have as calculated by Facebook. Now count the number of profiles listed on the page as that is actual number of friends you have on Facebook. The two numbers may not always match with each other.
Why would that happen?
The reason is simple. If you are friends with John Q Public on Facebook and he later decides to delete or deactivate his Facebook account, that “ghost” profile will still remain a part of your Facebook friends circle. You need to manually “unfriend” all these deactivated profiles for Facebook to reflect the correct friend count.
The other problem is these deactivated “ghost” profiles won’t show up in your Facebook friends list so how do you break the connection with them? Here’s a workaround:

Deactivated Facebook Profiles in your Friends List

Hit the search box on the page and type a letter. Facebook will now show all friends that have that letter anywhere in the name and the one difference is that Facebook will now list even the deactivated profiles in the search results.
You can easily recognize the deactivated profiles as they will have the default Facebook silhouette for their profile picture. Unfriend these non-existent profiles one by one and repeat the search with another alphabet.
Update: Dayal Purohit writes why he would not prefer to remove the “deactivated” profiles from his Facebook list:
If someone has deactivated, it does not mean that person has permanently deleted his/her Facebook account. Also only you can see which of your friends have deactivated their facebook accounts temporarily for whatever reason.
No one who can see your friends list knows it. Also even when deactivated, the account retains all relations with respect to ‘lists’ that you maintain. unless the person who has deactivated his/her Facebook account has no importance to you, it is not necessary to remove that person from friends list.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Put Facebook Chat in Firefox Sidebar & Talk from Any Web Page

Like Google Talk, you can also run the Facebook Chat application from Firefox sidebar.
The advantages are that you need not open your Facebook homepage to see a list of friends that are online and second, you can talk with Facebook friends while reading any web page in Firefox.
firefox-sidebar To run the Facebook chat messenger from Firefox sidebar, press Ctrl+Shift+B to open the Bookmarks Organizer.
Now go to Organize -> New Bookmark and type the following address:
Also tick the check-box the says "Load this bookmark in the sidebar". You may save this under "Bookmarks Toolbar" so you can open Facebook chat window in a single click.
You can do something similar in Opera – Press F4 to open the Opera sidebar and drag the above Facebook link onto that Opera Sidebar.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Send your Facebook Updates to Grandma via Post

Imagine this. Your parents, your cousins and everyone else in the family is active on Facebook but for your grandparents who either don’t use a computer yet or find Facebook too confusing and therefore stay away from it.
facebook as printed newspaper
You don’t want your sweet grandma to miss all the family updates because she is not on Facebook but how to keep her in the loop without the computer? Well, the good old way – print your status updates and any photos that you may have recently uploaded to Facebook on paper and send them to her via snail mail just like a newspaper.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to do anything manually.
There’s an interesting Facebook service called PostEgram that will automatically create full-colored printed newsletters of your status updates and your Facebook photos and it will send them to your loved ones via post.
It works something like this. You authorize the app with Facebook Connect so that it can access your pictures and status updates. Then select profiles of your Facebook contacts who you want to include in the newsletter. Finally, pay via PayPal and you are done.
MakeFacebook Newsletter
The service starts at $5 per month but you can use the coupon code “BLISS” and they’ll deliver the first issue of your “Facebook Newsletter” for free but only to addresses in US and Canada.
Not just grannies, you may also use this service to share your Facebook status and photos with family members and friends who are on Facebook but are currently in locations where don’t have Internet access. Thanks @nttd.

Google Engineer Develops Tool for Generating RSS Feeds from Google Plus

Google Plus does not offer RSS Feeds but you can easily generate feeds on your own using a new Chrome app developed by Eric Koleda, an engineer working with the Google Apps Script team. Here’s a  sample Google+ Feed create using this tool.
Follow Google+ Profiles and Pages via RSS Feeds

Create RSS Feeds for Google Plus

To get started, open Feed+ inside Chrome and it will request access to some of your Google services. Say yes and you are all set to create RSS feeds from Google Plus. You can generate RSS feeds for individual profiles, business pages and for search results on Google Plus.
The generated RSS feeds are public and thus you, or anyone else, can subscribe to these feeds in any news reader. FeedBurner, for some reason, does not recognize these feeds as valid though I could easily subscribe to them in Google Reader.
And now that you have an RSS Feed for your Google Plus profile, you can easily cross-post updates to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and everywhere else using the IFTTT service. You may also refer to my previous tutorial on how to publish RSS feeds to Twitter for more options.
If you are to ever disable a particular Google Plus feed, simple delete it from the Feed+ app inside Chrome. Also, you only need the Chrome app for managing the feeds – the Google Plus to RSS conversion happens in the cloud.
Google Plus APIs do not include details about Circles else it would have been more convenient to have a single RSS feed per Google+ circle rather than having to generate separate feeds for every member of a circle.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Build a PDF Slideshow with your Facebook Photos

Photo Slideshow in PDF
If you have pictures on Facebook,you’ll absolutely love the Pick&Zip app.
It’s a simple web app that lets you download complete photo albums from Facebook to your computer with one click. You can either download the photos as one zip file or as a beautiful PDF slideshow.
The app is fast, intuitive and you wish Facebook offered something similar as a native feature. You may not only download your own pictures from Facebook but even your friends’ albums or pictures where you have been tagged.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

How to Find the Song Used in a YouTube Video

You have just finished watching a video on YouTube and really liked the song that was playing in that video. Unfortunately, you couldn’t recognize the name of the song and the video description too has no information about the track.

What’s that song in the YouTube Video?

Here are some tricks to help you find the name of a song that’s used in a YouTube video:
Option #1 – Some videos on YouTube include background music from YouTube’s Audio Swap Library and it is relatively easy to determine the audio track in such cases. Here’s how.
While you are on a YouTube video page, click the video statistics button (available below the video player) and you will see detailed information about the song including the name of the artist and the album. This trick will only work for videos that are using music from the Audio Swap Library.
Option #2 – If a YouTube video includes a popular sound track, you can use a music identification services to figure out the name of that song. These services can identify instrumental music as well.
First install Shazam on your mobile phone, launch the app, play the YouTube video on your desktop and bring the phone near the computer speaker. Alternatively, if these apps aren’t available for your mobile phone, you can use Midoni  on the desktop computer to identify the YouTube music.
Option #3 – Twitter can also help you in your research.
Put the YouTube video ID (not the video URL) in the Twitter Search box and you’ll see a list of all tweets that mention that video. Maybe some of these tweets will have more information about the video or you can consider contacting the people who shared that video on Twitter for clues. This is a good option when you are trying to research foreign music.
I recommend searching Twitter for YouTube Video IDs instead of URLs as people may use different URLs in tweets but the ID in the URL will always be the same.
Option #4 – If you can understand the lyrics of the music video, transcribe the first few lines and put them in Google. Obvious solution but worth including in the list.
Option #5 – For popular YouTube videos, you may even find the song name from the comments section itself because there could be other people who are just as curious as you to learn more about that song.
Here’s the trick. While you are on a YouTube page, click the “All Comments” link and set the sort order “by thread” – now press Ctrl+F to open the browser’s Find box and search for keywords like “song,” “music” or even “tune.”
When nothing works, compose a new YouTube Message, put the name of the YouTube user who uploaded the video in the TO box and send him a message with your query. They may get back to you with the name of the song. Good luck!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

The Best Tools for Uploading Files to Amazon Glacier

Learn about some of the best tools (or clients) that will let you upload files and folders from the desktop to your Amazon Glacier vaults for backup.
Amazon Glacier is the most cost-effective online backup service ever and, sensing a strong demand, developers have been busy writing tools (or clients) that will allow users to easily upload files from the computer to Amazon Glacier vaults for backup. The first batch of these Glacier Clients is now available and some of them are pretty impressive.
Before we explore the tools, let’s quickly recap some essential Glacier jargon:
  • Vaults – A Vault is like a main folder where you store your files and folders. You may create multiple vaults (like HomePC or MyPictures) in your Amazon Glacier account for better organization.
  • Archives – The stuff stored inside your Glacier Vaults are called Archives. You can zip multiple files and folders on the computer and upload them to your Amazon Vault as a single archive. Consider encrypting files for improved security.
  • Region – This is like a physical data center where you would like Amazon to store your files (or vaults). The storage costs (see pricing) for Amazon’s US East data center is lower than Tokyo so you may want to keep this in mind before picking a default region for your Glacier Vaults.

Amazon Glacier Clients

To get started, sign-up for Amazon Glacier - you’ll need a credit card for completing the sign-up process though you won’t be charged at this time. Next go here  to generate your secret Access Keys – all clients will need these for interacting with your Glacier Account.
Now that you have all the required information, let’s explore the various Glacier Clients:
1. Fast Glacier – This is the first Glacier client that hit the shelves almost a week after Amazon released Glacier and since then, this Windows-only tool has been updated to support multi-part uploads (for uploading large files). Fast Glacier has an easy UI and it can upload individual files as well as full folders. The tool is free for personal use while a commercial licence is available for $29.95.
Amazon Glacier Client
Fast Glacier is free and allows you to backup individual files as well as folders
2. Glacier Uploader - A Java based client for Amazon Glacier meaning you will need JRE on your computer to get this to work. The upside is that since it uses Java, Glacier Uploader will work on Mac, Windows and Linux machines. The name is “Glacier Uploader” but the same tool may also be used for downloading your archives.
3. CloudBerry Backup - If you are looking for a tool to continuously backup your files and folders to Glacier at set intervals, CloudBerry Backup is a good choice (15-day trial, $29.99). In addition to Amazon Glacier, the same tool can also be used for backing up your files to Amazon S3, Google Storage and Microsoft Azure. It offers a wizard based approach making it easier for anyone to create backup jobs.
Amazon Glacier for Backup
A proper backup client for Amazon Glacier that watches your files and folders and automatically uploads them to Glacier.
4. Cloud Migrator- As the name suggests, Cloud Migrator lets you copy files from one cloud to another cloud. You can use the service to transfer files from Amazon S3 to Amazon Glacier directly in the cloud* or even for copying files from your FTP server to Glacier. The service is free in beta phase though you cannot transfer more than 1 GB of files at this time.
[*] Otixo is a similar cloud-based file transfer service that also supports Google Drive and Amazon S3 but they are yet to add support for Glacier.
5. Magora – This is again a Windows-only Glacier client with a GUI but you may also use the tool from the command line. I like the  simple interface but you can only upload files one-by-one and there’s no support for uploading folders.
Glacier Windows Client
A simple Glacier client for Windows that allows file uploads one at a time
6. Cloud Gates – This is not exactly a “client” but with Cloud Gates, you can use Amazon Glacier from any FTP software (like CyberDuck or FileZilla).
Cloud Gates transforms your Glacier (and Amazon S3) storage into an FTP server which you can also mount in your Windows Explorer (or Finder in Mac) as a new drive and upload files with easy drag and drop. The service is free and there are no limits on the file size that you can upload to Glacier via Cloud Gates but eventually, they do plan to charge for the service.
Please do note that once you upload your files to Glacier, they are not immediately available in your AWS console and may take couple of hours to show up. The service is mostly designed for storing files that you don’t need frequently

Use Google Authenticator without the Phone

Google Authenticator secures your online accounts with one-time passwords. You can even generate verification codes on the desktop while the phone is away.
Google Authenticator makes your online accounts more secure. You need to enter the regular password and a one-time password generated on your phone (or tablet) to log into any online account* where 2-step authentication is enabled.
Google Authenticator
Google Authenticator generates one-time passwords on your mobile phone

Tip #1: Use Google Authenticator on Multiple Devices

The Authenticator app is available for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone and BlackBerry mobile phones. If you however carry two or more of these devices, like an iPad and an Android mobile phone, you can configure the app such that same code is generated on all your devices. This is handy because you can then pick the one-time code either from your phone or the tablet for logging in.
The trick is fairly straight-forward. While you are scanning the QR code with Google Authenticator on one device, launch the Authenticator app on your other devices and scan the same QR code image with them. Just make sure that the system time is the same on all your devices and you can then use either of them to log into your online accounts.
If you have already configured two-step authentication for an account on one device, you may have to temporarily disable 2-step authentication for that account and then re-enable to simultaneously configure it across all your devices.

Tip #2: Use Google Authenticator on the Desktop

You may run into a situation where you are working on the desktop (or laptop) computer but the mobile phone, that is required for generating one-time passwords, is another room or you probably left it at a friend’s place.
Not a problem as you can also generate verification codes in your desktop browser without requiring the Google Authenticator app. All you need is is the GAuth add-on for Chrome and you are good to go. The only difference is that instead of scanning QR codes, here you will have to enter the 16-digit secret key to add an account manually.
The security tokens are stored locally in your browser using HTML Local Storage and thus you don’t have to enter them again.
Google Authenticator on Desktop
[*]  Gmail (Google), Dropbox, Dreamhost, WordPress, LastPass and quite a few other web apps now support 2-step verification using the Google Authenticator app. See Lifehacker for a complete list of supported apps.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Send Postal Letters Anywhere in the World Through Internet

Learn how to send real letters (snail mail) using email – the services will print, fold, envelope, add postage stamps and send out the letter to the destination address via postal mail. You can also upload photographs, Word or PDF documents and send them using the computer.

There are three reasons why you may want to send emails as paper letters using snail mail:
  1. Your relatives live in remote villages where they don’t have computers let alone access to Internet.
  2. our grandparents know computers but they’ll probably feel more happy if you could send them emails and photographs in printed form.
  3. You are trying to reach a busy person who gets a few hundred email messages per day. Your email may get lost in the clutter but if you take the snail mail approach, chances are high that he or she will at least read your message if not respond to it.

How to Send Email as Snail Mail?

Print your email message, insert it into an envelope, rush to the nearest post office, buy some postage stamps and drop the letter in a post box.
Well that’s one of the option but it involves too much work so we’ll shift attention to some automated email to snail mail services that enable us to send paper mail right from the computer at our home.
These web based letter printing and dispatching services work more or less the same way. You send then an email or upload the document as Word or PDF on to their servers, make the payment online and they’ll send the letter via regular postal mail to the specified physical address.

Email to Postal Mail Services – A Comparison

PricingColored PrintingPayment OptionsWhat’s Unique?
Postal Methods$1 for US addresses and $1.5 for international addressesNoCredit CardsMore useful for bulk mails as price decreases with volume
Mail a Letter$1 for US addresses and $2 for international addressesYesCredit Cards, PayPal, Google CheckoutYou can add a self addressed envelope with the letter
Postful$1 for US addresses and $1.5 for international addressesYesCredit Cards, PayPal, Google CheckoutYou can send colored photos as postcards
EZGram$1 for US addresses and $1.6 for non-US addressesYesCredit Cards and PayPalSupports USPS Priority Mail for quick delivery
L-MailAround $1 – depends on countryNoCredit Cards and Debit CardsSupports Braille and audio letters
Click 2 MailRecommended for bulk mailYesCredit CardsSupports Product Flyers, Booklets and Postcards
Email 2 Postal$1 for US addressesNoCredit CardsSupports handwritten envelopes and greeting cards
PC 2 Paper$0.8 for UK and $1.5 for non-UK addressesYesCredit Cards, Paypal and NochexOffers a real UK based postal address for incoming post

All the web based post mail services discussed above let you send letters from anywhere in the world to any other destination. There are some country specific services like Via Post (for UK), Pixel Letter (for European Union), Snail Mail Me (for Canada) and India Post (for residents of India) that may turn out to be cheaper if are sending letters to any of these countries.
Also, of the services listed above, only L-Mail has offices (or rather printing stations) in quite a few international locations (including Mumbai in India) and thus it can deliver mails more quickly (and cheaply) depending upon the destination address. And if you insist on sending colored letters or documents, Postful may be a good choice as they don’t charge extra for colored prints.

Friday, 7 September 2012

See your Facebook Friends on a Google Map

Meet an interesting mashup that will help you visualize the geographic location of your Facebook friends on a Google Map with a click.
facebook on google maps

WhereMyFriends is an interesting mashup that will show the geographic location of your Facebook friends on a Google Map. You simply connect your Facebook Account with WhereMyFriends and the app, within a minute or two, will fetch the location of all your Facebook friends and puts them on a map.
You can hover or click on any of the pins on the Google map to see the names of all friends who are in that particular location.
There’s one downside though. When you create a Google Map of your Facebook friends, it is public by default and there’s no way to change this setting. That mean others can also view your friends list and their respective locations like in this example.
WhereMyFriends will help you visualize the geographic location of your friends as mentioned in their Facebook profile. However, if you would like to see where they are based on their Facebook check-ins, check out Nearby Friends – another neat app that display your friends’ recent Facebook Places check-ins on a Google Map

Monday, 3 September 2012

How to Connect Laptop to a Television Screen

This tutorial describes how you can connect your laptop or notebook computer to your television screen using standard ports like S-Video, VGA or DVI.
Sesh wants to watch YouTube videos and web photos on his large TV screen and is wondering if there’s an easy way to connect the laptop computer to the TV.
Well, there are several ways to connect your computer to a Television depending on what ports are available on your PC and your TV (we used an HP Windows computer and a Sony Bravia HDTV for this example).

How to Connect Laptop to TV – Step by Step

Step 1: Most computers have an S-Video port that can be connected to the S-Video input of your TV screen using a very cheap S-Video cable (this cable is round with 4 or 7 pins). If you have an older monitor, you can use the 15-pin VGA cable to connect the computer to the TV and it will offer better picture quality than the S-Video cable.
s video
S-Video Cable
vga cable
VGA Cable
DVI Cable
DVI Cable
The newer HDTVs and laptop computers have DVI ports so a DVI Male to Male Cable or DVI to HDMI Adapter Cable can be used to hook the computer display and the TV. The DVI to HDMI cable can be used when your HDTV doesn’t have an DVI port but does have an HDMI port.

Connect the Audio RCA Cable for Sound

Step 2: Now that you have connected the computer to the TV using a physical cable, you need another cable to transmit the sound as all the above cables only transmit the video but not the audio part.
Mini to RCA Audio Cable
You need a 3.5mm Mini Plug to RCA Cable Stereo to connect the audio line out from a notebook to your TV. The red cable connector goes into the red socket of your TV, black connector into the black socket while the black connector goes into the 3.5mm headphone jack of your computer.
Step 3: Open the “display settings” on your Windows computer and activate the output to the TV screen. You can either mirror content of your computer on the TV or extend the display just like a dual monitor screen.
If you are using Windows 7, press the keyboard shortcut Windows + P to quickly access the display settings or search for “Connect to External Display” in the Windows Run box.
Step 4: Pick up your TV remote and switch to “External Inputs” from the menu. You will need to change the default “Video 1″ to a different selection which may be “HDMI 1″ or “Video 2″ depending on how you have made the connection.
Important: Make sure that you connect the physical cable to the TV before turning on the computer as sometimes it may fail to recognize external display. You may also need to change the screen resolution of your TV using the Display settings in your Control Panel else the picture may sometimes appear distorted

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Find the Person Behind an Email Address

Know the email address of someone but nothing more? Learn techniques to help you uncover the location and other details of the email sender.
You get an email from a person with whom you have never interacted before and therefore, before you reply to that message, you would like to know something more about him or her. How do you do this without directly asking the other person?
Web search engines are obviously the most popular place for performing reverse email lookups but if the person you’re trying to research doesn’t have a website or has never interacted with his email address on public forums before, Google will probably be of little help.
No worries, here are few tips and online services that may still  help you uncover the identity of that unknown email sender.
#1. Find the sender’s location
Location of Email Sender

Open the header of the email message and look for lines that say “Received: from” followed by an IP address in square brackets. If there are multiple entries, use the IP address mentioned in the last entry.
Now paste the IP address in this trace route tool and you should get a fairly good idea about the location of the email sender.
#2. Reverse email search with Facebook
Facebook email search
Facebook has 450 million users worldwide and there’s a high probability that the sender may also have a profile on Facebook.
Unlike LinkedIn and most other social networks, Facebook lets you search users by email address so that should make your job simpler. Just paste the email address of the sender into the Facebook search box and you’ll immediately know if a matching profile exists in the network.
If you are able to locate that person on Facebook, download his profile picture and then upload it to Google Images (click the camera icon in the search box). This acts as a reverse image search engine so you can locate his other social profiles where he may have used the same picture.
#3. Check all the other Social Networks
You can use a service like Knowem to quickly determine if a profile with a particular username exists in any of the social networks.
If the email address of the send is something like, there’s a probably that he or she may have created accounts of some other social network using the same alias “green_peas” – put that in to confirm.
#4. People Search
Reverse Email Search
Finally, if nothing works, you should try a people search service like Pipl and Spokeo – both services let you perform reverse email lookups but Spokeo has a more comprehensive database than Pipl.
Other than regular web documents, Spoke also scans social networks and even the whois information of domain names to find any bit of information associated with an email address. However, some of the results returned by Spokeo are only available to subscribers.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

How to Block all Facebook Applications Forever

Do you hate getting invites from friends requesting you to install Facebook apps and games that are of little interest to you? Would you like to permanently block all those annoying Facebook apps that post messages to your wall without asking?
If you are someone like me who primarily uses Facebook to connect with family members but with no interest in Facebook apps, you can choose to permanently opt-out of the Facebook apps platform. This will make your profile inaccessible to all other apps and you therefore won’t get any invites or wall posts in future.
To disable the Facebook apps platform, log in to your Facebook account, select Privacy Settings under Account and then click “Edit your settings” under the Applications and Websites section. Here you’ll see an option to turn off all the platform applications with a single click.

The Easiest Way to Add Device Frames to your Mobile Screenshots

Learn how you add to device frames of Android, iPhone and iPads to your mobile screen capture using email itself. No Photoshop required.
Try this. Capture a screenshot of your mobile phone or tablet screen and send the image as an email attachment to
Alternatively, if your mobile or tablet device doesn’t support the screen capture function, like some of the older versions of Android, you can just snap a photograph using your phone’s camera and send it to the above email address.
Within seconds, Mailchimp will send you a reply containing the same screenshot image but with a device frame added to the original image. Here’s an example:
Standard Screenshot Image
Fig A: Standard screenshot image captured on an iPad
iPad Screenshot with the iPad Frame
Fig B: The same iPad screenshot but with the iPad Frame
The Mailchimp service automatically detects the mobile device on which the capture was made, probably using the image’s EXIF data, and adds the corresponding device frame to your capture.
If you would like to add a different device frame to your mobile screenshot, simply write the target device name in the subject line of your email message (for example, iphone) and MailChimp will add the required skin to your screen capture.
In the next example, the original screen capture was done on an Android Galaxy S phone but the final frame is that of an iPhone. The device screenshots look beautiful and you don’t really need Photoshop to illustrate your mobile captures anymore.