Google Launches Apps for Your Domain

In a country where most people access the Internet via cybercafés, a purely browser-based easy-to-use free collaborative office suite would lower initial backoffice costs for Philippine startups. That’s why I want young hotseating café-hopping Filipinos with good ideas and no money to get over their government-backed, academically-reinforced, cubicle-farmed Microsoft addiction long enough to check out Google Apps for Your Domain. Now all we need are decent broadband and easy payment gateways. Related posts: No related...

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Safely view PTB from office/work

While some of us are able to visit any site or blog from work, others are not as lucky. Some companies have policies that would not allow office employees to wander about online while at work. People have mastered the art of pretending to work bloghopping. Here’s a nice tool you might want to check out: Work Friendly The site basically rehashes your typical website or blog and makes it look like your regular Microsoft Word document. Available themes include Office 2003 Blue and Silver. Check it out. Disclaimer: Use at your own risk. Related posts: No related...

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Laptop protection

Jul 15, 06 Laptop protection

Posted by in Security, Tech Tips/Quick Fix

Fellow PTB blogger J. Angelo Racoma writes in Forever Geek about laptop theft.  Unfortunately, the original artcle gave all the tips but didn’t specify the tools.  So consider this an addendum to two already excellent articles… I’d say there are three major heartbreakers if you lose your laptop: you lose an expensive  piece of equipment, you lose valuable data, and you risk that your confidential data will be compromised. The most effective, the simplest, and perhaps the most overlooked tool to prevent laptop theft is the laptop cable lock.  Always keep the cable lock with your laptop bag. Use it whenever you have to leave the laptop unattended.  It doesn’t matter if you leave it for just a few minutes, in a secure office, in a hotel room, in your car, LOCK IT.  A few minutes can save you thousands of bucks. But disasters do happen.  If you lose your laptop, you lose valuable data that can be expensive, if not impossible, to recreate.  Imagine losing all your pictures, your downloaded music, your documents, your family videos.  The solution, which again is simple but is often overlooked, is to backup your data.  Backup solutions need not be expensive or complicated.  I use a free software tool called Allway Sync, which can be used to synchronize your hard disk with a USB drive.   It only copies the changed files so the syncing routine may not take too long.  I have an old hard disk that is in those enclosures that allow you to hook it up to a USB drive, and when I get home I simply plug the drive into the USB port and sync. But laptops can also contain confidential and sensitive information.  I am sure you have heard the news of customer information that were compromised because of a lost laptop.  As a further safeguard, it is wise to encrypt the data in your laptop.  Fortunately, encryption need not be expensive nor complicated.   The absolute, ultimately best tool for encryption is...

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How many people search for your URL?

While we’ve always been advised to get domains that are catchy, easily spelled and have good recalls, people will still search for them on Google or Yahoo. Inq7.net is undoubtably the most familiar website among Filipinos here and abroad, with a domain URL that spells the same as it is pronounced, some of our moms and pops will type-in the URL via the default search in their browsers (usually Yahoo!). Let’s see how popular the local websites are in terms of type-ins. One place to know about this is the Overture Keyword Selector. Let’s go over there and check on some websites: Search Term : Count ‘inq7’ : 27,652 ‘manila bulletin’ : 22,142 ‘manila tonight’ : 942 ‘tipidpc’ : 656 ‘pinoyexchange’ : 586 And here’s one for my blog, just for comparison: ‘blog yugatech.com’ : 160 All counts that based on last months data (May 2006). These numbers only represents type-ins on Yahoo and other Yahoo search properties. This tool, combined with Google Trends, could give you a good estimate of the total volume of search for any given keyword or phrase. Related posts: No related...

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90% of all comments are Spam

Akismet is a blog service and WordPress plugin against spam (and lately, included MovableType) and most of us who are blogging and running WP 2.0 is very familiar with this and can attest to its effectiveness. Since it was launched by Matt (of WordPress.org) in October last year, it has been a blessing to most WP bloggers out there. In the last 8 months that Akismet has been running, it has already caught over 39,568,714 spam comments, trackbacks and pingbacks while only just over 4 Million legit comments got thru. The numbers speaks for itself — 90% of blog comments are spam (and that’s just thru Akismet). The figure was around 64% when it was beta-tested in October 2005. The gap is widening every month and I will not be surprise if this ratio closes in to 99% by end of the year. Oh, that’s just from spam bots. How about real people trolling around blogs and posting comments just to get those unsolicited link love? Check out Akismet’s Live Spam Zeitgeist. And here’s a tip: If you’re running Akismet and you see spam getting thru, don’t just delete them. Tag them as spam so Akismet will learn from its mistake. Related posts: No related...

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Online Certification

One way to polish your resume is to have some vendor certifications attached to it. The drawback is that, unless your company is sponsoring the exams for you, you just might find the costs too prohibitive. Solution, Affordable Online Certification. While browsing around I found Brainbench and ExpertRating. They offer their own certifications that are affordable to the average Filipino’s pocket. The great thing about these certifications is that it’s not limited only to just tech courses (I even saw a medical transcription exam in Beta Testing at Brainbench.) Although Brainbench’s basic exams are around $40+, they do have free exams offered wherein you only have to foot the bill for the certificate ($14+, or you can always make do with the online version). The certification of Brainbench usually lasts for 3 years. Expert rating offers a cheaper price at $9+ per exam with $5 for retakes. The exams are usually composed of 40 questions and you are given a few minutes to answer each question. You are allowed to retake the exam in order to get a better score, however it will reflect on the history of the number of times you took the test. The online tests are also a great way of preparing yourself for vendor certificate exams. Now all you have to worry about is studying for the exam, but still, that is one variable out of the equation for getting certified. 😀 Related posts: No related...

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Neat Firefox Addons

I just loaded my Firefox with an IE tab and after installing it, I searched for some interesting Firefox addons that seems to be useful to me and here’s what I’ve gathered: IE Tab. We all have to admit this. We cannot give up our Internet Explorer browser. Why? Because there are certain pages that won’t load in Firefox. However, with the IE tab addon, you could now load the pages in an IE tab within your Firefox browser. Session Saver. What would you do if you were researching on something and suddenly, someone accidentally pulled the plug? Of course the answer here is not to strangle the person for it will not do any good. Thus, here comes Session Saver. It is like setting a restore point. Translate. If the web page you’re visiting happens to be in a different language and you’re already in a limbo on how you will have it translated without having to call for a translator, then this addon would be indeed useful for you. GMail Space. This is like using your GMail as an external hard drive. For instance, you want to take some files with you at home. And the problem is you do not have a hard drive with you. You could use GMail Space to store your files then download it again. Copy Plain Text. I could simply call this as the plagiarist’s favorite. Why? Because they don’t have to reformat the text in MS Word after pasting it. Related posts: No related...

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Try the new Yahoo!Mail beta

While everyone else is waiting to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta, people in the UK, Germany and France are already using it. So, if you want to switch to the new platform and try out the beta version, just do the following changes in your Yahoo! Mail account. 1) Login to your Yahoo! Mail and go to Options. 2) Select the Account Information tab and edit your Member Information. 3) In the Preferred Content filed, choose either Germany, France or UK. If you are to choose UK, it will ask you for a ZIP code — use this UB3 5AJ. 4) Save your changes. Login abck to your Yahoo Mail and you will be greeted with a page which will ask you if you want to try the new Yahoo! Mail Beta. 5) Select Yes and you’re on your way. {from GoogleOS} Related posts: No related...

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Maintenance 3.4 for Mac OSX

As a recent Mac convert, I thought I never have to do what I have been doing to my PCs since 1988: run Scandisk and Defrag regularly to keep my hard disk (a 20Mb at that time, would you believe?) healthy. And this has been a good strategy to keep our PCs running relatively smoothly (aside from shutting down rather than turning off one’s computer) for many years. I always thought that Apple’s disk management strategy make these programs obsolete, especially defrag. Unfortunately, with all the stuff that I have crammed in my G5, I have noticed a considerable performance loss. Enter Maintenance 3.4 According to its support link, it is: A simple Automator Action fused with AppleScript aimed at keeping your Mac running healthy. Features include: – Repair Permissions – Verify Preferences – Update Prebindings – Periodic Clean-up – Clean Cache – Update Locate, Whatis, LaunchServices Databases For those running 10.3.9 and below, the download includes Maintenance for a non-Tiger OS. Tried it once and the it worked like a charm. And it is as simple as running the scripts. The performance in my computer was almost restored to the time I first got it. One complaint, though. Since it performs clean-up functions, it managed to delete my user log-in pictures. So I have to restore them after every run. Other than that, Apple users should run this at least once a month, and this irritation is minor. Related posts: No related...

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Windows Registry Tweaks

I’ve had an experience where I tried uninstalling via the Control Panel’s Add/Remove Software but then the Uninstall failed due to some reason I do not know. Of course the high-risk way of doing uninstall is manually deleting the software in the Program Files and manually deleting the registries in RegEdit. RegEdit is the registry editor for Windows and you can access it via Start then, Run then type regedit and press Enter. And it is a crazy thing to do because you might delete registries that are not associated with the one you uninstalled manually. There’s a lot more that you can do with the Windows registry. You could tweak it in some way so that it would enhance your computing experience. If you have been experiencing applications hanging up that would make you want to bang your PC with a hammer, there’s a registry tweak that would allow you to automatically end that particular application or software. In this way, you do not have to access the Task Manager and stop the application from there. And if you have a PC at home and you have a set of users for it, there’s a tweak in the registry that would restrict a particular user from using a particular application. More of Windows Registry tweaks can be found here. Related posts: No related...

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