To take full advantage of Google's "dark room" for your photos, be sure your settings are up to date in your Google Account.

Go to:
And click Google+ on the left. Then go down to the Auto Enhance section and choose Normal or High. I chose normal. You can always go to High on a photo by photo basis later when you are reviewing your photos.

Also, be sure Auto Awesome is checked. This way, you'll get extra photos "gifted" to you when Google can make something cool with them like an animated gif.

More details about Auto Enhance are here:

And it should be noted that the Photo Editor does not currently work in Windows 8.1. No sure why as I thought these features were part of Chrome and web standards but I guess there is some kind of hook in the OS as well. Not sure they're right, it doesn't work.

Google Quantum A.I. Lab hopes to get people thinking about quantum computing without needing a giant textbook.

The modpack contains new blocks that react in the same way subatomic particles do, expressing characteristics of quantum entanglement, superposition and observer dependency. 

Google Releases Quantum Mechanics Mod for Minecraft
Google Quantum A.I. Lab hopes to get people thinking about quantum computing without needing a giant textbook.

Decided to put Linux Mint 15 on this 3 year old netbook. Trying the XFCE version as because it seemed lighter on resources.  Install went pretty easy. Had to do a little research on getting the wireless working but it wasn't that bad.

No OS is going to magically make the screen and keyboard bigger but this might help it a little and gives me a reason to poke around in Linux. The size and weight of this device is perfect for Travel. Several times I've had it in my backpack all day because I didn't want to leave it in the hotel and it is hardly noticeable.

My next goal is seeing if I can figure out adding a second network connection so I can use this as an access point for sharing the connection to other devices locally. I had a Windows utility for that and it worked great. Seems like something Linux can handle.


If you have a recent HP laptop, it likely came with Synaptics software for the TouchPad (trackpad, mouse, etc.). This software enables your trackpad do more things than just move the mouse and select objects on screen. This is even more true if you have Windows 8. HP thinks you might want to emulate touch on a non-touch device and they ship with these settings defaulted to on. The problem with this is that some of these features will drive you insane.

To fix this, you need to go to the control panel. In Windows 8, at your Start screen, just start typing Control Panel and it should turn up in your search. From there, in the Hardware and Sound section you'll see the Synaptics applet. Click on that to run it. There are a ton of options. To its credit, Synaptics does include little animations that indicate what each option turns on or off. Click on each one to become familiar with what it does and then make your changes as needed. Some of the options have a settings menu of their own which is indicated by a gear icon that shows up when you click to select that option.

The things I always turn off are "Enable Edge Swipes" which mimics swiping in from the edge of your screen to bring up the Charms bar in Windows 8 (HATE is not a strong enough word for that one.) Another is "Pinch Zoom" because it just gets in the way. Also, under the tapping menu, "Tap again and drag". If you have Tap again and drag enabled and you try to use a really interactive site like Google Street View, you will want to throw your laptop across the room. Just turn that off, you'll thank me later.

Microsoft provides little helper programs to automate getting your various Windows issues fixed. I had seen some of these in the past as one-off solutions but I hadn't seen them all gathered into one nice place until I stumbled across them today.

You'll find help for categories like Windows, Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Entertainment and Office. There is also an Other category for  things like Windows Server, Exchange, Dynamics, SQL Server and other things.

If you find yourself with a problem or have to support Windows at home or in the enterprise, have a look at these automated tools tools. You might be able to fix a problem and save a lot of time.

Microsoft Fix it Solution Center: troubleshooting software issues
Automatically diagnose and repair common software problems in Windows, Internet Explorer or other Microsoft products with Microsoft Fix it solutions.

Google today launched Mobile Backend Starter for iOS, simplifying server-side development for app developers on Apple’s mobile platform. This adds support for iOS to the Mobile Backend previously released for Android back in June.

The point of mobile backends is to let mobile developers build connected mobile apps without writing server-side code.

To get started with Mobile Backend Starter for iOS, you will have to provision your backend on App Engine, download the iOS client zip file or clone from the GitHub repository, and run the sample on a physical device .

Google brings Mobile Backend Starter, its one-click deployable cloud backend for Android, to iOS
Google today launched Mobile Backend Starter for iOS, simplifying server-side development for app developers on Apple’s mobile platform. Mobile Backend Starter is a Google App Engine …

Microsoft has not yet patched this hole. I suggest going to the fixity site mentioned in the article and patching you system even if you don't use IE on a daily basis. They'll probably get it into next week's patch Tuesday updates but better to be safe.

Public release of IE exploit could spark widespread attacks
An exploit for a vulnerability that affects all versions of Internet Explorer and has yet to be patched by Microsoft has been integrated into the open-source Metasploit penetration testing tool, a move that might spur an increasing number of attacks targeting the flaw.