Saturday, June 15, 2013

GText Syncs Your Android's Text Messages Directly with Gmail

Chrome: Although Gmail can already send and receive text messages, it doesn't sync with your Android smartphone. Gtext, an extension from previously mentioned MightyText, sends and receives texts directly in Gmail using your mobile phone number. Since DeskSMS might not be taking new users, this is a great alternative just in time.

Just like MightyText—rightfully billed as the iMessage of Android—every SMS (and MMS) you send from Gmail syncs up with your smartphone (presuming you have the Android app installed, too). The interface works just like chat in Gmail, only you're actually sending text messages. You also get a handy "Compose SMS" button right beneath the standard email compose button you're used to. If you already have MightyText installed, you'll get up and running in about 10 seconds. If not, installing the app won't take much longer. For those of you who spend a lot of time in Gmail and hate switching to your phone to text, this Chrome extension is a must-install.

Gtext (Free) | Chrome Web Store

The Best Ways to Avoid Scars

Nobody likes getting cut up and dealing with a potential scar. While you'll find countless supposed remedies out there to avoid scars, The Wall Street Journal takes a look at which of these treatments really work.

As it turns out, according to Dr. Whitney Bower, the best way to avoid scars is good old Vaseline:

She recommends plain old Vaseline and a Band-Aid. Some patients prefer the texture of Aquaphor, an ointment which Dr. Bowe says also works well. The more ingredients in a moisturizer, she says, the greater the chance it can cause an allergic reaction. It is also very important to keep a healing wound out of the sun to prevent discoloration.

As far as those drug store remedies like Vitamin E or onion extract? Dr. Bowe says they're not really worth it. The same goes for most home cures like lemon juice, although she does suggest that honey is an excellent alternative if Vaseline isn't around.

Treating Scars: Which Remedies Work Best? | The Wall Street Journal

Photo by aturkus.

View the original article here

Make Something Great with PVC Pipe This Weekend

Although not one of the DIY All Star materials, people use PVC pipe to create all sorts of awesome things because it's cheap, sturdy, and versatile. This weekend, grab some at your local hardware store and tackle one of these fun projects.

PVC pipe works well for all sorts of creative endeavors. Videographers can make a simple shoulder mount for their camera, a stabilizer, and even a dolly. Musicians can make a microphone stand and a shock mount. For those who get creative on their computers, make this laptop stand instead.

PVC pipe can help you boost your productivity, too. You can use it to wrangle your desk cables or even the stuff inside your desk by making stackable drawer organizers. If you want organizers on your desk, you can make those too. This cord extension caddy makes it easy to manage lengthy cables. You can even make a trash can to hold the things you don't need anymore. To handle the extra bags, PVC pipe makes for a good trash bag dispenser as well!

You can upgrade your home in several different areas with the help of PVC pipe. If watering the lawn often proves difficult, you can create an efficient sprinkler system. Thicker pipe makes for an easy wine rack. The same idea works well for shoes, and you only need half of a big pipe to make a dish drying rack. When you need to hide a key, you can do so easily with a little pipe. If you're looking to get fit, you can go all-out and build a home bodyweight gym. If you prefer to bike, you can build a bike rack, too. Need a set of speakers? You can make those out of PVC pipe, too! If you need to match a specific color, you can stain the pipes.

Have a great Friday (and Memorial Day weekend)!

Listacular Creates Flexible To-Dos, Is Packed with Gestures

iPhone: There's already a glut of to-do list apps available on iOS, but Listacular is a new entrant into the fold that brings a beautiful interface, Dropbox syncing, and collaborative list editing to the table, and it's definitely worth a look.

Once you open the app, just hit the plus sign on the top right to create a new list or new item. When creating an item, an extra row on top of the keyboard lets you make it a checkbox, bullet point, or plain text in a variety of sizes. You can also indent items to create nested lists, which is much-appreciated by this longtime Clear user.

Once you're done creating items, you can swipe them to the right to mark them as complete, swipe far to the right to delete them, or swipe to the left to add due dates and alarms. They're (very) reminiscent of Mailbox and Clear's gestures, but they work really well here.

One fresh new gesture is pull to sync. Pull your list down, and instead of refreshing, the app will commit your changes to a Dropbox text file. If you share this file with friends' Dropbox accounts, they'll be able to collaborate on the list through the app. For example, I'm using this with my girlfriend to create a shared grocery list, and so far it works really well.

Listacular is free, but a one-time $2.99 in-app purchase will let you create more than three lists at a time.

Listacular (Free) | App Store via AddictiveTips

Google, Google, and More Google!

This week on the podcast we're talking about Google, Google, and more Google. Also, your questions about keeping to a budget, cold-emailing your dream job's company, and freeing up space on your iPhone.

Here's how you can listen to our episode:

Google I/O Roundup: We attended Google I/O last week and learned about what’s next for the company.

Gmail Users Can Now Try the New Hangouts: Gmail users can now try the new Hangouts right from Gmail, though it removes the ability to call phones with Google Voice. Luckily, you can revert back to the old chat if you want and Gmail calling will be officially restored in the near future.

Google Chrome 27 Out of Beta, Loads Pages 5% Faster: Chrome 27 is out of beta and available for download now. The biggest benefit: It'll load pages 5% faster. And voice search. Google Now in Google!

Google Unveils Play Music All Access, a Subscription Music Service: Google took the wraps off of Google Play Music All Access, a new subscription music service, that offers playlists and music suggestions based on songs you already own and love. The service is already packed with music from Google Play Music, and any songs you see you can play or turn into a streaming radio station.

Google Music All Access: Should It Be Your New Streaming Service? Google unveiled Google Play Music All Access, a subscription music and internet radio service that opens the door to millions of tracks, all intermingled with the music you already own. Sounds great, and the price is competitive, but should you ditch your current streaming service for it? Let's take a look.

Yahoo! Acquires Tumblr: Yahoo has acquired blogging service Tumblr to the tune of $1.1 billion, news that CEO Marissa Mayer posted to her own Tumblr (and subsequently, Yahoo's corporate Tumblr). They promise to keep it independent and "not screw it up."

Flickr Offers 1TB of Free Space for Your Photos, $50 Yearly for No Ads: Yahoo, in an attempt to make its photo-hosting service Flickr relevant again, decided to offer 1TB of free space to all users. The downside? Everyone who doesn't pay $50 per year gets ads.

Twitter Gets Two-Factor Authentication: Twitter finally added two-factor authentication and you should enable it right now. We probably don't need to tell you why, but just in case you forgot about social engineering hacks you want to enable this feature to protect yourself.

Is it appropriate to send my dream job a cold-call email asking about employment opportunities and, if so, how do I go about asking? Be clear you really want to work for them, not that you just really want the job. Try to get to know someone at the company by offering to buy them lunch or just stopping by to meet the receptionist, then ask for advice about how to approach the company. If sending them a cold email, be concise and ask what one has to do to get a job and when you should look for the next opportunity. Just asking for a job might get ignored unless your timing is perfect.How can I digitally catalog my mom’s belongings so the entire family of both Android and iPhone users can easily look up what box they’re in? The caller suggested Evernote and we think that's the way to go, too. Springpad might be one other alternative, or even a spreadsheet if you want something really simple (although Google Docs isn't fantastic on smartphones).I'm 20 and financially irresponsible, mostly because I eat out too much. How can I balance my budget and start cooking more? Budget with Mint or get a bank account that automatically saves money for you. To cook more, plan your meals. These simple recipes are a good place to start.Is there one good way to convert iPhone videos (quicktime,.mov) to a Windows Media Player format? Nope, not without spending some money on robust video conversion software. MP4 works pretty much everywhere so we suggest converting to that using Handbrake (free).I am a teacher and want to move to paperless classroom. Is there an easy way for lots of people to scan documents quickly? Looking to buy stuff for the classroom next year. Any products ideas? Doxie works really well, and you can move them around the class really easily. It integrates with Evernote so you can put all the scans into one notebook and share that notebook with the entire class. If you don't like Doxie, check out these alternatives.What do you recommend for freeing up space on iPhone? Transfer pics and video to a flash drive? Is that just drag and drop? Yes, you answered your own question. :) Plug in the phone on a Mac and open Image Capture to drag and drop files wherever you want. On a Windows PC, just access the phone like a drive and find your pictures and images in the DCIM folder like any camera. If you want to try and free up more space, you can see what apps are using the most space in the General section of the Settings apps. If something is using most of your iPhone's storage, you can go into that app and delete what you don't need.There are two ways to send in your question:

Please keep your questions as brief as possible. This means about 3-5 sentences for emails and 30-60 seconds for calls and videos. Your questions can be specific, but broader questions are generally better because they'll apply to more people. For example, "how can I breathe new life into my old PDA?" is much better than "what can I do with an old HP iPAQ 210?" Either way, we look forward to hearing from you!

Newspaper, Computer, Clock (by Brandon Hopkins), and Alert (by Dima Yagnyuk) provided by the Noun Project.

Infuse Beer with Flavor Using a French Press

A good beer is a good beer, but if you're interested in pushing the envelope a little bit and expanding your beer's flavor, it turns out you don't have to do a complicated soak or extract a bunch of oils. All you need is a French press, that little gadget most of us use to make coffee.

The French press is your favorite coffee maker, but it's useful for more than just your morning cup. Some people make tea, some people reconsitute dried mushrooms, and over at Serious Eats, Luis Tovar uses one to add even more flavor to his beer. All it takes is a few extra ingredients, three minutes of infusion time, and a press. You could even do the whole thing in the fridge if you're worried about losing carbonation or warming your beer.

You can say that if you're drinking a beer that you think needs more flavor infused into it, you should try another beer, but we have to applaud Luis' creativity here. He goes through six different already-great beers and infuses each one with additional flavor by adding ingredients like ginger, grapefruit, hops, coffee, lime, and mint. Hit the link below to check out some of the combinations, and get instructions on how to do it at home.

Use A French Press to Add Flavor to Your Beer | Serious Eats