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TED, the folks behind the iconic TED Talks, is inviting anyone that recently graduated to upload their own graduation-themed TED Talk to the platform under a new #graduaTEDtalk page.
Google Lens has let users scan, save, and translate text using their smartphone cameras for years, but recent updates have added new features like text-to-speech narration, barcode scanning, and, as of the most recent update, the ability to snap photos of text—including hand-written text—and send the translated results directly to your PC.
BBC is testing out a new BBC Together tool that lets multiple users watch the same BBC content at the same time. Whatever you’re watching will be synced to the “host” user’s stream, so everyone will be seeing the same thing simultaneously without the need for third-party apps or browser extensions—all you have to do is create a special link using BBC Together and share with your contacts.
Donnnnnng. The classic Mac chime is a glorious way to let yourself know that your Mac is booting back up after a shutdown or reboot. But if I’m right, this friendly noise has been missing most new Macs for years. (I only have a MacBook Pro, and I can confirm that booting my MacBook has been boring and quiet for as long as I can remember.)
Google Drive is now available as a progressive web app (PWA) for desktop and mobile, giving users an alternative to launching the service in their regular browsers. PWAs look and feel like stripped-down apps, even though they’re basically living in a stripped-down version of your browser. They’re like the middle ground between apps and websites; while they still require an internet connection to open and run, they take up less space than apps and are often much faster to deal with than loading your full browser (and its many tabs).
Those of us who respect and appreciate proper apostrophe usage awoke yesterday to some upsetting news: John Richards, one of the most ardent defenders of the correct use of the apostrophe, is giving up. He posted his reasons for this decision on the website of the Apostrophe Protection Society, an organization he founded in 2001:
Coder Myk Bilokonsky asked Twitter for things “that everyone in your field knows and nobody in your industry talks about because it would lead to general chaos.” The answers came from all over, and they range from life-altering to useless. Some are cold hard facts, some expert analyses, some are unfounded opinions. Here are the most interesting, shocking, and informative.
Last year, we wrote about the troubling problem of Airbnb rentals with hidden cameras, spying on guests. (Back in April, a family even found a hidden camera live-streaming their stay at an Airbnb in Ireland.) But in our latest edition of Hack or Wack, we ask another important, related question: Would you willingly book a cheap hotel or Airbnb, knowing you’d be live-streaming your entire stay on YouTube?
When it comes to web searching, the privacy-conscious among us have probably already heard of DuckDuckGo. This week Fast Company wrote about an alternative to the search engine called Startpage, which if you’re a DuckDuckGo user is worth a look as well.
Medium, the blog platform/publisher that once wanted to revolutionize online media, has put its content behind a $5/month paywall. After a couple of free articles per month, you can’t read anything else without paying up. Unless you use Twitter.
A big part of being a kid is building things, deconstructing things and, in general, discovering how things work—that’s why we buy those starter science experiment kits and toy microscopes to encourage their curiosity. But it’s easy to run out of ideas to keep them interested in science, especially as they get older. Luckily for parents, Scientific American has for years been developing an archive of hundreds of science experiments for kids ages 6-12 to conduct with their parents.
At some point, we got into the habit of exclusively binge-watching shows at our house. While we do keep up with a handful of series as they’re airing, for the most part, we end up picking a show that has four or five seasons already available and then watching a few episodes each night until we’re done.
The design site Dimensions.Guide is a clip art library for designers, architects, and anyone else who needs precise scale drawings. Every scale drawing in its database is composed in the same clean line-art style. Drawings include sports equipment, cars, furniture, people (in various poses and sizes), computers and phones, plants and animals, room and landscape layouts, and even Marvel characters. And it’s all free to use in your own projects.
According to multiple reports, Netflix is testing a new pop-out player for those who use Netflix’s website to stream their favorite shows. While I tend to only use Netflix’s apps, there’s something elegant about this new approach—if you have access to the feature, clicking a little button on Netflix’s player will launch it in a separate floating window. This window sits on top of anything else you’re doing on your computer, which means it’s the perfect way to distract yourself when you have eight hours of joyful spreadsheets awaiting you at work.
The earth has been warming for decades, but year-to-year changes are hard to watch in real time. Was this winter really less snowy than usual? Now there’s a handy way to see how your area’s average yearly temperature has varied over time.
iOS: If you’ve ever taken an R-rated picture on your phone, odds are good that you know it exists somewhere in your photo library. I’m pretty forgetful, but I know I’d remember that fact. I mean, there’s the setup process—lighting is important!—the fact that you have to at least partially undress, the multitude of photos you’ll take before you settle on the one perfect one, the knowledge that you’re probably sending this to someone (and might regret that fact later), etc.
We love the convenience and feature-rich nature of the apps and products big corporations can offer you, but we’re also proponents of personal autonomy and control over your online experience. However, it’s one thing to just turn your back on the big corporations; it’s another to do so mindfully and ethically.
When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.