Exploring the digital life.

Chrome Extension – Stylish

Restyle the web with Stylish, a user styles manager. Stylish lets you easily install themes and skins for many popular sites.

This is one of my favorite extensions for Chrome. I use it most for one reason, my Blue Scroll Bars style: This style changes the scroll bars in things like TweetDeck, Gmail and Google+ from hard to find light grey to a nice shade of blue.

Gplus tdeck

via Chrome Web Store – Stylish.

NASA Uses World Cup Ball As A Lesson in Aerodynamics

Did you know the ball used for the 2014 World Cup has a name? It’s called the Brazuca. And it is much better than the Jabulani that was used in 2010. Well, at least from a goal tender’s point of view. The Brazuca flies much better than the Jabulani which had a tendency to not spin and be unpredictable in the air.

Real world examples of things people can grasp like the game of soccer (aka football) make for nice teaching tools.

“Sports provide a great opportunity to introduce the next generation of researchers to our field of aerodynamics by showing them something they can relate to,” said Rabi Mehta, chief of the Experimental Aero-Physics Branch at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

via NASA Turns World Cup into Lesson in Aerodynamics | NASA.

Disney Parks Using Augmented Reality in Cool Ways

Disney is using augmented reality to put you in the Star Wars Universe. You’ll need the Aurasma app which is available for both Android and iOS.
Check out this video from Disney Parks:

Google buys Satellite Maker Skybox

Google said on Tuesday it had boughtSkybox Imaging, a company that provides high-resolution photos using satellites, for $500 million in cash.

Go onto Vimeo and do a search for what Skybox can do. Whoa.

A sample:

Google Pays $500M for Satellite Maker Skybox, for Photos and Eventually Internet Access
Those cameras up in the sky can see quite a lot.


Yahoo News Digest

This app is pretty nice. You get 2 news digests a day. You don’t have the ability to tell it what stories to serve you but it is a nice way to stay on top of big stories. You can quickly skim headlines then tapping on a story takes you to a summary and links to relevant tweets and videos and other reference.
Recommended for news junkies.
Yahoo News Digest

Full Firefox and Chrome Installers for Offline Installs

LifeHacker has handy links to the full installers for Firefox and Chrome in case you need them handy in a spot with marginal broadband. Or so you can install a fresh PC and not have to ever launch IE.

Download Full Firefox and Chrome Installers for Offline Installs
The default web-based installer for Firefox and Chrome download the necessary setup files during installation. If you want to install Firefox and Chrome offline or save them for later, download the full installers instead.


The story behind the world’s most viewed photo

You may not recognize the image by its name, “Bliss,” but you’ll know it when you see it.


The story behind the wallpaper we’ll never forget
From today on Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. The one thing everybody will always remember of Windows XP is desktop image ‘Bliss’, with it’s gre…


How to boot Windows 8 in safe mode and scan for viruses

When I suspect viruses or malware on a Windows PC I like to start it in Safe Mode and run my scans there. This prevents things from starting up and enables the utilities to do a better job in finding the bad stuff and cleaning your PC.

In previous versions of Windows you had to be quick about mashing down on your F8 key to get into safe mode to fix problems. Thankfully, now in Windows 8 you can tell the OS to boot up into safe mode, making this process easier. The trouble is, how you actually do that is easy yet a bit convoluted. Here’s a quick how-to:

From Start screen:

Type PC settings and click on the PC Settings icon
Click on Update and Recovery
Click on Recovery
Under Advanced startup, click restart now
Click Troubleshoot
Click Advanced options
Click Startup Settings
Click Restart
Your computer will reboot and present a menu of options. Choose #4 for Safe Mode

Now, if you want to scan your computer from malware and viruses, follow these steps after the reboot.

After the PC reboots:

Go to Start screen
Type Windows Defender
Select the Full option and click Scan now
The scan will start. Could take awhile depending on how full your hard drive is.
When the scan complete you can reboot

How To Create a Google Calendar Entry from a Search Query

I stumbled across this. Probably been around a while, who knows. Anyway, simply go to Google or in the address bar of Chrome, start typing your query like “add to calendar meeting friday 1pm to 3pm” and start your search. You’ll be presented with a Create event dialog and once you click the link an event will be created in your Google calendar. You’ll then have the ability to edit your entry and provide more details.
Typing dates works too. For example: “add to calendar meeting june 3rd 1pm to 3pm”. Doing “add to calendar meeting tonight” gave me an entry dialog of 7:00 to 7:30. Still, half the work was done.


Google Play Music’s new mini player is cool yet flawed

Have you see it yet? You get to it in Google Play Music by click the gear icon then clicking Labs. Then enable Google Play Music for Chrome and save your changes. 
Then when you are playing some music you can pop out the mini player to control your music. Even click the dice in the middle to start listening to a random song from your library.

That is all great and everything but I have to have the full Chrome browser up and running. Granted, that is most of the time, but there are other apps that can continue running in the back ground if you have allowed them to do that. I think if I could do that with the Music app it would get more use.

If you haven't looked at any of the other Labs items, have a look at the descriptions of them and give them a try as well.