Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Omnibox History Sync Now Available in Chrome

P.S. I forgot to mention Dinu spotted this in Chromium, back in May: http://chromestory.com/2011/05/google-chrome-to-sync-typed-urls-and-browsing-sessions-now-in-chromium/

Omnibox History Sync, now available
Well, folks, the picture and caption say it all.  I updated my Cr-48 this morning to 0.15.950.0 and saw a message on the new tab page, telling me omnibox history sync is now enabled.  Hurray!

Now all I need is for Alex, Dinu, or someone else to explain or find out exactly what this means.  :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

New Google+ Look (Option) Arrives for Docs

Update:  I believe at least the Docs viewer is (for whatever reason) currently excluded from the new look.

Well, folks, the option for the new Google+ look (or integrated Google, if you prefer) is here.

Just go to a doc, spreadsheet, etc. and select, "Give it a try."

I'll let Alex and others do a complete dissection.  For now, I'm simply glad to see it getting a start.

What do you think about the new look?  Regardless, I think I'll need some time to get used to the loss of color.

Does Google Calendar Now Gray Out Old Events?

Update:  Thanks to a comment from reader Renji, I have learned this is, in fact, a setting in Google Calendar, called "Event Dimming," located in the settings page.  Glad to know I have some shreds of eyesight and sanity left.  Now, I'd like someone to clue me in on when this feature started (or, if it was months ago, let's just forget I asked).

Looking at my calendar, this morning, I believe Google Calendar has started to gray out old events, making it easier to focus on today's appointments.  Is this new and intentional, is it old, or am I just seeing things?  (You are instructed to disregard the red line in the first image.)

By the way, while I like Aviary's suite of tools, I get really annoyed with it's "user-friendliness" . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Reversing Our Moral Decay

The other day, I read an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal by Rabbi Lord Sacks, the chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth (in the United Kingdom).

Many have blamed moral decay for the recent riots in the UK
Rather than summarize the entire article for you, I will excerpt a few points and strongly urge you to read the rest:  In the recent British riots, of those charged with crimes,
60% had a previous criminal record, and 25% belonged to gangs.
This was the bursting of a dam of potential trouble that has been building for years. The collapse of families and communities leaves in its wake unsocialized young people, deprived of parental care, who on average—and yes, there are exceptions—do worse than their peers at school, are more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, less likely to find stable employment and more likely to land up in jail.
The truth is, it is not their fault. They are the victims of the tsunami of wishful thinking that washed across the West saying that you can have sex without the responsibility of marriage, children without the responsibility of parenthood, social order without the responsibility of citizenship, liberty without the responsibility of morality and self-esteem without the responsibility of work and earned achievement.
Indeed, I'm unsure whether many would agree there even is an objective morality, anymore.  On the other hand, there used to be.  Consider, for example, the words of President Thomas S. Monson, 84:
We have come to the earth in troubled times. The moral compass of the masses has gradually shifted to an “almost anything goes” position.
I’ve lived long enough to have witnessed much of the metamorphosis of society’s morals. Where once the standards of the Church and the standards of society were mostly compatible, now there is a wide chasm between us, and it’s growing ever wider.  (Priesthood Power, April 2011 General Conference.)
So what is the solution to this moral decay and ever widening chasm?  According to Lord Sacks, a return to religion.  According to British Prime Minister David Cameron, and as I understand it, a return to families.

The family must be the focus of our efforts to reverse moral decay
I am in favor of both solutions, with particular emphasis on the family.  In 1995, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints made a prophetic statement on the family, which reads, in part:
Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.
WE CALL UPON responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.  (The Family:  A Proclamation to the World.)
So, what can you and I do to reverse moral decay, in promoting the family as the fundamental unit of society?  We can vote, we can write letters to the editor, we can blog, we can tweet, we can email, we can shut off the vulgarity and violence found on TV, the Internet, and countless movies.  We can stand up and say, "enough is enough, and this is where I draw a moral line in the sand that I refuse to cross."

In closing, I love this quote, shared by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf and attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, “Preach the gospel at all times and if necessary, use words."  (Waiting on the Road to Damascus, April 2011 General Conference.)

What else are God's prophets and apostles teaching about the family and other important topics, today?  "Come and see."  (reference to John 1:45-46.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Automatic Sign-in for Google Sites in Chrome 15

Update:  I want to tip my hat to Dinu of ChromeStory, for spotting a glimpse of this in the Chromium code, back in June:  http://chromestory.com/2011/06/using-chrome-sync-you-are-already-logged-in-to-google-account/

Over the past couple days, I've stumbled across what I believe is a new feature in Chrome 15:  Enable automatic sign in for Google sites.

The functionality is a little less automatic than advertised, as it appears the feature allows me to manually click on "Sign in," which will enable me to avoid typing in my username/password.

Neato for people who want to avoid using LastPass.  For me, I prefer the full automation LastPass provides (I land on a site and LastPass fills in my credentials and logs me in).

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Obama Calls Bush Unpatriotic for $4T Spending -- Then Does the Same in 33% of the Time

How meaningfully delicious are campaign hope and change?  Take a look:

Oh, and guess when our very own President Obama called lonesome, "#43," unpatriotic for spending too much?  July 3, 2008.  Hmm.  That's surely not "Washington politics" at play, is it?  By golly, gee whiz.

Let me see if I'm understanding President Obama correctly:  Spending $4 trillion over 8 years is unpatriotic. Okay, so, spending $4 trillion in two and half years, after previously criticizing the former $4 trillion spending as unpatriotic? . . .  I guess spending the same amount in less than 33% of the time is, at least, "change."

On the other hand, I believe most would agree: "That's not the kind of change we need." (Although the country could use some more change -- $$ -- and a lot less spending.)

One last, parting question, posed by Ed Morrissey of hotair.com:  “If Obama can use the increase in the national debt to question Bush’s patriotism, doesn’t it follow that increasing deficit spending by 152 percent per month makes Obama 152 percent more 'unpatriotic' than Bush?”

Well, gentle CA readers, I'll let you decide.

(Formerly Caps Lock) Search Key on Chromebooks Can Also be Keyboard Shortcut List Trigger?

Okay, this title might look like a lot to take in, so let me set the mood for you:

I'm cozying up, down here in the law school basement, which I just (finally) found out about (in my third year of law school), thanks to a friend of mine, and getting ready to read for Real Estate Transactions.  Yes, please, hold in your excitement.

While I'm looking at the syllabus for the class, I'm surprised to see something -- when I accidentally tap the disabled (for me) new tab/search key (formerly caps lock), the keyboard shortcut list for the docs viewer pops up.  Za? That's right, CA readers, the disabled new tab/search key can also act as a one-key shortcut to pull up at least some Google services' keyboard shortcut list.


Who knew a disabled key could accomplish so much?
As I'm feeling the crunch to actually do the readings I set out to do, here in this dank room, filled with centuries old law books, I've tested this theory only in the Docs viewer, the Docs home page, and Google Reader.  The list showed up in the first two and defied me in Google Reader.

So, maybe this is just a Google Docs trick.  Why, just the one, though?  Why any, for that matter?

Anyway, which other Google services can you get this earth-shattering and delightful new trick to work for?  Please let me know.  Happy (hopefully non-law school) reading, to you.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Chrome OS Battery Status Notification Gets a Fun Face-lift

This one's for all you (fellow) hardcore Chrome OS/chromebook lovers.  If you've been involved with Chrome OS's development, over the months, I imagine you will have noticed how far the UI has come.  A recent change I noticed in the 0.15 (dev) build -- released Friday -- is when I click on the battery icon, I now see a big and nifty green battery, giving me a more visual display of what battery percentage I have left.


I love that bolt of lightning graphic

And we all want to be more green, right?
While maybe I'm less excited about this than, say, if my Cr-48's performance were to have jumped 50%, I do view this tweak, at a minimum, as some evidence that corroborates Google's claim that a chromebook is, indeed, a computer that gets better over time (where I definitely feel the reverse about my Windows machines).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: The Blessings of Scripture

My family and I read a scripture in 2 Nephi, the other day, that I feel closely applies to today's message:
Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.  (2 Nephi 12:8.)
I am amazed and saddened with how much we, as humans, currently glory in our own intelligence and learning, often, to the point of extolling ourselves for how much more advanced we are than our lowly forebears.

scriptural ignorance [previously] abounded because people lacked access to the Bible, especially in a language they could understand. Today the Bible and other scripture are readily at hand, yet there is a growing scriptural illiteracy because people will not open the books. Consequently they have forgotten things their grandparents knew.
I am so grateful for William Tyndale and other scriptural martyrs, who made it possible for us to have (in English) the volumes of scripture we so often take for granted, today.  What a marvelous blessing the scriptures have been in my life.

To learn more about the scriptures and what modern prophets and apostles have said about them, I invite you to visit lds.org page where I originally found this video and click on its various, surrounding links.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Chromebook Google Talk Launcher Explained (Kind of)

About a month ago, I wondered aloud what the Google Talk Launch[er] app was or did.  Now, I believe I can confirm that the whole point of the app is to launch another program, now an extension, rather than an app, Google Talk . . .

The app launches the Google Talk extension.

Here's the extension.
Another screenshot I wish I had taken yesterday, at work, is that Google Talk is now a browser extension, which can load at startup (on at least XP), absent even opening Chrome.  The new extension appears to do what the native program does:  Allow users to chat, etc., outside of Gmail.

So far as I can tell, if I have uninstalled the Google Talk extension, or for whatever reason, if it's just missing, the Google Talk Launcher app will send me to the Google Talk extension page in the Chrome Web Store, where I can install it . . .

At the end of the day, I think I've still find the answer to the question, "Why?"  In other words, why have an app where all it does is lead me to the functionality of an extension.  So, while I feel a little more in the know than last month's post, I'm still grasping at straws for the logic behind all this.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chromebooks' Secret Caps Lock Keyboard Shortcut Revealed

For all you kill joys who want the twitter version of this post, see my public Google+ entry:  https://plus.google.com/u/1/110524638589641892271/posts/37uSn9tnukz

I'm confident the rest of you Chrome OS and chromebook afficionados still reading are aware that chromebook machines very intentionally dispense with the caps lock key (hurray!).  In its place, we find the new tab/search key, which, unsurprisingly, opens a new Chrome tab with the cursor placed in the search/address bar (also called the "omnibox"), when pressed.  The re-worked key can also be disabled, which I prefer, as I often trip over it, much to my annoyance.

On the other hand, and as bamboozled as you may feel to hear this, I sometimes actually want to use all caps.  GASP!  Yes, my friends, it's true.

When I do dabble in typing insanity (using all caps), I like to get out of it as quickly as possible and usually feel burned out, holding down the shift key for a slew of letters, words, or, (the horror!), sentences.  I.e., I like keyboard shortcuts.
So, fellow keyboard shortcut lovers, rejoice!  Why?  Thanks to my man Aaron on Jay Lee's blog, we now know there is, in fact, a quick chromebook shortcut for capslock: shift+shift (shift on the left of the keyboard + shift on the right).

Behold!  There is a keyboard shortcut for caps lock (other than the caps lock key) -- look at the top-right.
Maybe this shortcut is undocumented in the alt+shift+/ overlay (map) because Google and the Chrome team want to avoid a return to SHOUTING! in the forums.  Well, guess what, Googlers, THE SHORTCUT IS OUT!

Just remember, if you find yourself TYPING IN ALL CAPS, and, after you scratch your head why, look to the skies (the top-right corner of your chrome window) to see if something is awry -- the caps lock function may be engaged.  So, Maverick, if you want to turn it off, then disengage!  (Press left shift + right shift.)

In conclusion, you now know how to quickly activate (and deactivate) caps lock on a chromebook, and please, gentle CA readers, use this power responsibly.  Thank you.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: The Book of Mormon (Scripture)

You may have heard about the Book of Mormon Musical on Broadway.  To my knowledge, it tracks a couple of missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ("Mormons"), as they encounter difficulty, trial, and, to put it gently, a whole lot of "stuff," in Africa . . .  So what about the book that shares the musical's name?  I love the Church's official response to the musical:
The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but The Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people's lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.
—Official Church Statement on the Book of Mormon Musical
And so it does.

And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it.  (Alma 34:8)
And I said unto him: Believest thou the scriptures? And he said, Yea.  And I said unto him: Then ye do not understand them; for they truly testify of Christ. Behold, I say unto you that none of the prophets have written, nor prophesied, save they have spoken concerning this Christ.  (Jacob 7:10-11)
I add my testimony to those of Amulek, Jacob, and so many Book of Mormon prophets that Jesus is the Christ, the One sent to suffer and atone for our sins.  I also testify that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ.  I invite you to gain this own witness for yourself, by following the  instructions given in Moroni 10:3-5.  I add my promise to Moroni's that if you will ask God with a sincere heart and real intent -- meaning you are willing to act on the answer you receive -- you will come to know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true.

To learn more about the Book of Mormon, its power and witness of Christ, along with its origins, I invite you to visit http://mormon.org/book-of-mormon/.  To learn more about how the Book of Mormon has impacted my own life, I invite you to click on the image, at the right, that says "I'm a Mormon . . ." (beneath the heading, "My Mormon.org Profile").

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts, questions, and comments, below.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 Scripture Study Tips for Latter-day Saints and All Scripture Readers

One of the many things I love about life is that we can each learn something new and benefit from it, every day. This morning, I came across another arrow in the student's quiver of tools for understanding the scriptures and would like to share it, along with a few additional tips for studying the scriptures:

1. LDS Scripture Citation Index

How many times has 1 Nephi 1:20 been quoted, by whom, and what did he/she have to say about it?
The LDS Scripture Citation Index provides an index of LDS scriptures (the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price).  Ever wonder what a certain verse of scripture means?  Look it up in the index column, on the left, and see how various speakers have expounded it.  I like how professor(?) E. Larsen explains how this works (see 6.).  For example, I love how Elder David A. Bednar expounds the phrase "the tender mercies of the Lord," from 1 Nephi 1:20.  If you missed them, I strongly recommend you read, study, and ponder his remarks, noting especially that those who are "chosen" by Heavenly Father become chosen by choosing Him (through keeping His commandments, etc.), rather than winning some kind of celestial lottery.

2. The Book of Mormon and Other Student Manuals

I especially recommend reading the BoM Student Manual in Google Chrome, for fast loading.
Latter-day Saints accept an open cannon of scripture and may, therefore, benefit from the inspiration and insights of modern prophets and apostles.  I love how the Book of Mormon Student Manual compiles many insights and explanations about the different verses I'm studying.  You can access even more manuals, such as for the New Testament, at institute.lds.org/eng/.

3. My Study Notebook from lds.org

Keep track of your studies with My Study Notebook
I'll avoid going into great detail, here, and simply note what may seem obvious:  My Study Notebook helps readers with an LDS account keep track of their thoughts, highlights, bookmarks, and more.  Whenever you want to study and search the scriptures, I strongly suggest you first go to https://lds.org/study-tools?lang=eng&clang=eng because it will log you into your study notebook home page, enabling you to quickly return to your most recent reading via a bookmark, which I'll discuss next, and ensure you're keeping track of your notes and highlights while studying (otherwise, you'll have to login when you want to annotate, highlight, etc., anyway).

4. Scriptures.lds.org Bookmark Tool for Keeping My Place in My Online Study

My friendly red bookmark helps me get back to where I left off in my reading.
Now that I'm starting to read the Book of Mormon again, from the beginning, I've decided to jump in and try doing it online at scriptures.lds.org.  I'm still undecided how I feel about reading the scriptures online versus actually touching them, as they're one of the few things I generally read off my computer screen.  With that said, I've come to appreciate the bookmark feature associated with My Study Notebook.  Access it by clicking on the bookmark button in the middle-left section of the bottom toolbar.  For the moment, I believe I can set a bookmark only at the top of the page, even though I though can slide the bookmark up and down.  Maybe it's because I'm on the development channel for both Google Chrome and Chrome OS.

That's all for today!  Please share your own thoughts and suggestions in the comments section or on my plus post: https://plus.google.com/u/1/110524638589641892271/posts/gGDz8nCSwGP

Will you also please let me know what questions you have about anything you read in today's post?

Happy studying!!

New Text Completion Tool in Bloger?

While writing another post, I came across what I believe is a new feature in Blogger: Text completion suggestions.

See the blue pencil next to the red dictionary with the Aa on it?
First of all, let me point out that you can show single suggestions or multiple suggestions.  I far prefer the single suggestions, as I seem get really distracted with the multiple suggestions, while the single suggestion almost seems like a convenient spell checker when I'm typing fast -- it can get annoying when it misinterprets my intentions.

How do I accept the suggestions?  Just press the space bar.  I'm unsure how I felt and about this functionality.  I feel a little wrong-footed with it.  On the other hand, I think I might really grow to love it.  What do you think?  Please sound off in the comments below or on my plus post: https://plus.google.com/u/1/110524638589641892271/posts/71FVRTtuRfr

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Today's Spiritual Message: Expressions of Love

Elder Richard G. Scott recently asked the following question:  "Do you tell your wife often how very much you love her? It will bring her great happiness. I’ve heard men tell me when I say that, 'Oh, she knows.' You need to tell her. A woman grows and is greatly blessed by that reassurance. Express gratitude for what your spouse does for you. Express that love and gratitude often. That will make life far richer and more pleasant and purposeful. Don’t withhold those natural expressions of love. And it works a lot better if you are holding her close while you tell her."  The Eternal Blessings of Marriage.

Life for me has, indeed, been far richer, more pleasant, and more purposeful, when I follow this counsel.  How could it bless your life?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Google Dictionary Has Gone the Way of All the Earth (It's Dead)

Update:  Thanks to reader John Hauxwell for reminding me that the Google Dictionary extension still works.  For me personally, I rarely use the click-on-the-book option because I'm huge on keyboard shortcuts and really prefer the full page view, over the extension bubble.  I do love the ctrl+click-on-a-word definition combination.

Boy, I'm an unhappy camper, today.  First, I lamented Print Preview's absence from Chrome OS, and now I mourn the loss of a dear friend:  Google Dictionary.

To die: to sleep; No more.
Whyyyyyyyyyy!!!!????!!!  I suppose Google wants to unify everything and make sure people use google.com for all their searching needs.  Maybe Google's just trying to humble me to the dust, today.
But I got there ahead of you, little Google—I reached a work-around [below] before you could completely alienate me, I understood the truth before you caught up, I fixed the problem with a work-around three hours ago, and the myth, the legend, the Google Dictionary is [still] truly mine!
I hope you Hairless fans out there appreciate that one.  Yes, I believe I have, in fact, found a work-around:

Did Google think I would be scared to violate Google Dictionary's marble tomb?
It's all thanks to a custom search engine I made:  http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=%s#hl=en&prmdo=1&q=%s&tbs=dfn:1&tbo=u&sa=X&ei=fN87TrauE8zC0AG47cWRCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CBgQkQ4&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.&fp=fdbe5bcf5e3c173e&biw=1600&bih=837  I'm unsure if it will work for everyone.  On the other hand, it's worked for me, every time, today, on a number of different searches.  Let me know if you want help setting it up.

Yes, like Dumbledore, though Google Dictionary's body decays in the white marble tomb in the grounds of Google castle, its power and functionality live on through alternate means.

Rest in peace, Google Dictionary

Print Preview Missing from Chrome OS???

This morning, I'm discouraged and rather hacked off to discuss something I finally realized, to my embarrassment as a proud Cr-48 owner, just yesterday:  Print Preview and its beloved print to pdf functionality are missing, ausento -- no where to be found in Chrome OS . . .

If it's ballyhooed in Chrome 13 stable, where in the world is Print Preview in Chrome OS?
At first, I assumed I was simply overlooking the Print Preview action button, somewhere.  Alas, after doing some research in the Chrome OS bug reports, I'm convinced the functionality is glaringly absent:  http://code.google.com/p/chromium-os/issues/detail?id=16082

On the other hand, from the looks of the same report, there are, thankfully, a number of people requesting (expecting?) this feature.

Another thing I'm confused about is the priority the Chorme OS team (as noted in the bug report, above) has given Print Preview:  "2 - Normal.  Desired for, but does not block, the specified milestone [14] release."  I'm perplexed that the Chrome team proudly declared Print Preview with print to pdf "finally" available in Chrome 13, yet it might miss Chrome OS 14 . . .  The Chrome team declared over 900 "users [from] around the world" (I'm glad this is an international concern) indicated, with stars, their interest in print preview for Chrome.  Maybe Chrome OS will start to get similar numbers, unless this functionality is added soon.

I'm really disappointed.  I definitely enjoy Print Preview and I love print to pdf.  Is this omission a department disconnect or something else?  If the functionality is baked into Chrome, itself, as a trumpeted and much awaited feature, why is it truant from its namesake OS!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chromebooks (finally) get file unzip!

That's right, chromebook, aficionados, the ability to unzip zip files has arrived (experimentally) on chromebooks, with perhaps minus the Acer, at the moment, via the latest dev build 0.14.811.15:  Press ctrl+alt+t (this is called "crosh") and type in experimental_storage enable and press enter.  Voila, I can now unzip files!  Big thanks to William for pointing this out to me:  http://chromeos-cr48.blogspot.com/2011/08/cr-48-dev-channel-update-01481115.html

See the Open archive action button on the right?
Same archive file, unzipped.
I assume this will land on the next stable release, so, in about six weeks (probably a touch longer, since Chrome OS 0.13 is still baking).  I'm really glad to have this obstacle removed.  While I rarely deal with zip files, I absolutely loathe having to do the back and forth of downloading/uploading.

Next, I really hope we'll get the ability to save files from a random site directly to Google Docs and unzip them (rather than just view and open certain files) there -- which seems to me would go nicely with the whole "new thought"/cloud computing concept.