Tuesday, May 31, 2011

7 Chrome Extensions That Help You Look Up Words & Meanings As You Browse

7 Chrome Extensions That Help You Look Up Words & Meanings As You Browse: "

chrome word meaningsBloggers, wordsmiths, and writers of all hues live in a sea of words. Thanks to the web, we also live most of the time in our browsers. Looking up words for their meanings and definitions is no big deal. A glut of free online dictionaries has made it a matter of a selection and click. Helping you further are right-click context menu searches, browser add-ons and extensions. Just like any other browser, Chrome has its own legion of extensions that help us look up words and meanings as we browse.

The Chrome Web Store is where we are headed. Now let’s pick up seven extensions that make word searching not only easy, but also fun and educational.

Google Dictionary (by Google)

chrome word meanings

This dictionary extension has probably seen the most downloads. On a webpage, you can double click on any word and see its complete definition displayed in a bubble. The extension supports multiple languages and also can translate a foreign word to your default language. Clicking on the reference link takes you to the Google Dictionary page where you can see more web definitions on the word. You can set language and other choices from the Options menu of the extension.

If you want a word meaning with a right click, install the Context Menu Button for Google Dictionary.

Dictionary Lookup

word definition add on

This dictionary extension sources word meanings from Wiktionary, but what’s more revealing is the Dictionary Lookup Options page which tells you all about the handiness of this browser helper. The Content section allows you to streamline the information that you want to get with a click of the mouse. The meanings are displayed in a clean and minimal inline box. You can set the extension to show other info like usage examples, audio pronunciation and synonyms. You can also lookup manually-entered queries using a shortcut which displays a small lookup box.

Quickrr Dictionary

word definition add on

You can search for a dictionary meaning by clicking the address bar icon and entering the word in the field box. Quickrr also lets you lookup Google Dictionary, Google Image Search, and Wikipedia for the word. This extension could benefit from a richer display of meanings as it seems a bit too simplistic.

Image Definitions for Dictionaries

word definition extension

To enhance your vocabulary, it pays to use words in sentences and also visualize them with the help of real world images. This extension solves part of the recommendation by sourcing relevant images from Flickr and inserting them into the three online dictionaries it supports – Google Dictionary, Google Search (using the define: operator), and the Urban Dictionary. You can set it to search for ‘Safe’ images from the extension’s Options.

Urban Dictionary Search

word definition extension

If you are talking about Urban Dictionary and if you want to look up the usage of a slang or a colloquial word, then this handy extension is just the thing to have in your Chrome browser. Click on the icon and enter the word. You will be taken to the page with the meaning in a trice.


word definition extension

If you are in any way interested in the English language then this phrase comparison extension is a must install. This extension is for the grammar buffs who would like to see which among two phrases is a better fit. You can compare two phrases and also contextualize them to see their usage in real world sentences.

Codec Dictionary

chrome word meanings

So far, we have catered to the English buffs. As this is a tech website, you could also do a bit with the Codec dictionary. It’s a dictionary for multimedia geeks who want to look up words like DivX, colorspace, transcode etc. I have found it to be useful on more than one occasion. All the definitions are under 300 characters.

Remembering the meanings of all words that we are bombarded with every day may be a problem. Looking up their meanings and their usage context certainly is not with the help of these educational extensions. Do you have one installed in your Chrome extension gallery?

SuperTinTin – Skype Video Call Recorder
Record and save your audio and video conversations on Skype or MSN. Easy to use.

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How To Not Get Sued for File Sharing (And Other Ideas To Avoid Being Treated Like a Criminal)

As of July 2006, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued over 20,000 music fans for file sharing in just under three years. In 2004, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) joined this misguided, anti-consumer crusade. Filing lawsuits against anonymous "Doe" defendants, the RIAA and MPAA seek to uncover the identities of P2P users and force them to pay thousands of dollars in settlements. Many innocent individuals are being caught in the crossfire.
While there is no way to know exactly what the RIAA and MPAA are going to do or who they are going to sue, users of publicly-accessible P2P networks can take the following steps to reduce their chances of being sued:
  • Make sure there are no potentially infringing files in your shared folder. This would ordinarily mean that your shared folder contains only files 1) that are in the public domain, 2) for which you have permission to share, or 3) that are made available under pro-sharing licenses, such as the Creative Commons license or other open media licenses, and
  • Remove all potentially misleading file names that might be confused with the name of an RIAA artist or song (e.g., "Usher" or "Madonna") from your shared folder
  • Disable the "sharing" or "uploading" features on your P2P application, if your application allows it (see below).
    We hate this option -- it blocks your non-infringing sharing, and it doesn't get us any closer to a real solution that gets artists paid while making file sharing legal. But, at the moment, it does appear that turning off sharing will reduce your chances of becoming a lawsuit target.
    This can usually be accomplished in the "Options" or "Preferences" of your P2P application by removing all shared directories and sometimes setting an explicit option not to share files or to allow zero uploads. The specific method will vary depending on your P2P application, but looking at a few examples can give you the general idea.
    EFF suggests (but cannot guarantee) the following links for instructions (you can also try Google searches for ("turn off sharing"+the software's name):
Note: Not all clients allow you to turn off "sharing."
If you use software such as BitTorrent and eDonkey (as well as related clients like Azureus and eMule, respectively), you will automatically be uploading whatever you are currently downloading. In eDonkey, these files may appear in search results and thus become visible to the MPAA and RIAA. In BitTorrent, you must connect to a BitTorrent "tracker" to download a file, and your Internet address is visible to anyone else -- including the MPAA or RIAA -- connected to that tracker. In these instances, you may be at greater risk.

Additional Considerations:
Operating a public BitTorrent tracker that connects users to infringing material may put you at greater risk of being sued.The risk appears to increase with the number of connected users, the number of infringing files associated with the tracker, and the apparent availability to the general public. If you run a public tracker, being vigilant in removing potentially unauthorized files is advised. The RIAA has targeted subpoenas at users who allow their computers to be "Supernodes" on the FastTrack P2P System (used, for instance, by KaZaA or KaZaA Lite). In order to further reduce the risk of having your ISP subpoenaed or of being sued yourself, we recommend that you make sure your computer is not being used as a Supernode. To learn more about Supernodes and how to make sure your computer is not one, look here: Disabling the Supernode function with KaZaA (PDF 331k).
The RIAA and MPAA have sued college students for using publicly-accessible file sharing networks, including systems like i2hub. However, with one particularly notable exception, the RIAA and MPAA have not targeted users downloading or uploading music over closed, college campus intranets -- in other words, students sharing with other students at the same school over the school's own network. Tracking intranet infringements is practically more difficult, though not necessarily impossible.
Similarly, the RIAA and MPAA have not targeted file sharing through instant messaging systems, closed networks such as WASTE (http://waste.sourceforge.net/), and other sharing tools in which users can limit access by third-parties.

What if I've Already Been Sued?

If you receive notice that your ISP has been subpoenaed for your name and address or if you have already been sued, consider contacting EFF or www.subpoenadefense.org, where you can find information about how to defend your privacy and a list of attorneys willing to help. Contact your ISP and ask the people there to notify you immediately if they receive a subpoena seeking your identity.
These links may provide helpful information:
If you receive a cease and desist letter from the RIAA, consider contacting Chilling Effects, where EFF and several law school clinics are creating a gallery of cease and desist letters along with basic information about the claims being made and your rights online.

Want a solution that gets artists paid while protecting P2P file sharing?

We do too! Join or donate to EFF and:
  1. Sign our petition to Congress and take a stand against the P2P lawsuit campaign.
  2. Learn more about alternatives to the lawsuit. EFF's file sharing pages gather together some of the best ideas and describe how similar sorts of technology changes have been handled in the past.
  3. Tell a friend, family member, colleague or even stranger on the street about the damage that the RIAA is doing to the Internet, innovation, and consumer choice. There are over 57 million Americans who use P2P file-sharing -- more than voted for President Bush -- and millions more worldwide -- so chances are good that the person sitting next to you on the bus, walking beside you on the sidewalk or driving in the car in front of you is using file-sharing, too. Start the conversation.

How To Shrink & Extend Volumes Or Partitions in Windows 7

How To Shrink & Extend Volumes Or Partitions in Windows 7: "

extend partition windows 7When you have a large hard drive and some space to spare, it may make sense to create more than one volume on this hard drive. For example you could use additional partitions to separate system files and installed programs from personal files or to open up an entire volume as a network drive.

In Windows 7 and Windows Vista, resizing your volumes or re-partitioning your hard drive has become a lot easier than in previous Windows versions. However, there are still a few pitfalls that will require you to use third party applications rather than the internal Windows Disk Management tool. In this article I will show you how to change the size of volumes or create new ones and which tools to use.

Windows Disk Management

As mentioned above, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are equipped with a Disk Management tool. With this tool you can partition your hard drive, shrink or expand volumes, and create new ones. I will walk you through the process as seen on Windows 7.

To launch the Disk Management tool go to > Start and type > partition in the search box. From the results click > Create and format hard disk partitions.

extend partition windows 7

You will now see a list of volumes and their properties. They can refer to several hard drives or partitions on a single hard drive. Below is a screenshot of what my single hard drive setup looks like.

shrink partition windows 7

Right now I have three volumes (C, D, and E) and some unallocated space.

Example 1:

Let’s say you have a single hard drive and a single volume called C on which your operating system and all your programs are installed and on which you keep all your personal files. You have several GB of free space and want to create a new volume or partition called D to store all your personal data. You do not have any unallocated space.

Before you can create a new volume, you must free up space from which you can create it, meaning you have to create unallocated space. To do this, right-click on > C and select > Shrink Volume… Windows will take a moment to query the volume for available shrink space.

shrink partition windows 7

In my example, I only have 6217 MB available for shrinking. That’s because I already freed up 9.77 GB in unallocated space for this demonstration. You should leave at least 5 GB of free space on your C volume for Windows updates, program installations, and general Windows operations. Keep in mind that 1GB equals 1024 MB, in other words, leave at least 5120 MB of ‘available shrink space’ on C. Once you have decided on the amount of space to shrink, click the > Shrink button and wait a moment.

You will now see the space by which you shrinked C as unallocated space right next to your C volume. To create a new volume, right click > Unallocated and select > New Simple Volume…

shrink partition windows 7

The Volume Wizard will guide you through the process. You can decide how much of the unallocated space you want to assign to the new volume, you can pick a drive letter, and a file system.

partition windows 7

For the changes to come into effect, you have to reboot the computer.

Example 2:

Let’s say you already have two volumes called C and D. You want to shrink C and then add the unallocated space to D. You would go about it just as in the previous example, only that after creating the unallocated space, you would not create a new volume, you would attempt to extend volume D.

When you have unallocated space, you can in theory extend any partition by that space. Simply right-click the respective partition and select > Extend Volume… Now you might realize in frustration that this option is greyed out and hence not available.

partition windows 7

This is a limitation of Windows 7. You can only extend a volume with unallocated space that is located to its right. So in my setup, I could extend C, but I cannot extend D. This is when you need to turn to third party applications. I recommend EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition.

Another limitation in Windows 7 is that you can only shrink or extend NTFS or unformatted partitions.

EASEUS Partition Master Home Edition

In principle, this tool works the same as the Windows Disk Management tool. The difference is that it offers more features and is a lot more flexible, for example because you can extend a partition, regardless of where the unallocated space sits.

Right-click the respective partition and select > Resize/Move partition.

partition windows 7

In the window that opens you can either enter the numbers or drag the little balls on either side of your volume to change the size or move the partition.

move partition

When you’re done click > OK. In my example, the result looks like this:

extend partition windows 7

To make the changes come into effect, you must reboot your computer. Note that since the entire volume has to be rewritten, this process can take quite a while. Moreover, you should make a backup of your data before you are moving a partition!

If you found this post helpful, you might also be interested in the following articles:

How many internal hard drives and partitions on each drive do you have and if you have more than one, what do you use them for?

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How To Turn On Your PC With Your Android Phone Using Wake-On-LAN

How To Turn On Your PC With Your Android Phone Using Wake-On-LAN: "

android wake on lan appIf you’re a techie, one of the first things you do when you walk in the door is turn on your computer. Perhaps you simply tap your keyboard or mouse, or maybe you press the power button. Either way, you have to be at your computer before you can start it.

Wouldn’t it be easier if your computer was ready for you as soon as you sat down? If you own an Android device, that’s possible thanks to a free app called PC Auto Waker. The setup can be a little complex, but the payoff makes it worthwhile.

The Quick & Easy Setup

android wake on lan app

Once you’ve downloaded PC Auto Waker off the Android marketplace, you’ll need to set it up so that it has the ability to communicate with your computer. It depends on 802.11 WiFi, but it’s not necessary for each computer to have WiFi hardware. The PC you’d like to wake only needs to be connected to a broadcasting WiFi router.

The basic setup consists of three steps. First, you’ll need to enter a name for the computer you’re going to wake. This name DOES NOT have to be the same as the computer’s network name. This is merely a way of identifying the computer in the app’s interface.

android wake on lan

After that, you’ll need to enter the MAC address of the target computer. Do a Windows Search for ”cmd” to open your command line interface, then type ipconfig/all and press enter. The MAC address will appear as a string of six two-digit numbers labeled Physical Address.

Finally, you need to enter the SSID of the wireless network the target computer is connected to. It’s not necessary to enter any security information, regardless of whether the WiFi network is secured or not.

Once you’ve handled all of that, it’s time to see if you’re set! Place your computer into sleep or hibernate mode, and press the Wake All button in the PC Auto Waker app. If it works, great! If not, you have a few other settings to mess with.

The Nitty-Gritty Setup

If your computer did not wake it’s probably because the computer is not set up to accept a Wake-On-LAN packet. Fortunately, most computers can be configured so that they will accept it.

android wake on lan

First, restart your computer and enter BIOS. This is done by entering the correct key at boot, which should be indicated on the POST screen that appears before Windows beings loading. Once you’ve entered BIOS, look for the Wake-On-LAN setting and enable it. You’re likely to find this along with other settings related to power management or networking, but BIOS vary from computer to computer, so you’ll have to do some digging of your own.

android wake on lan app

Once you’ve enabled Wake-On-LAN in BIOS, you’ll need to make sure Windows is configured properly as well. Do a Windows Search for Device Manager and open it, then navigate down to Network Adapters. Right-click on the one you use to connect with the Internet and then click Properties. On the Power Management tab you will find three checkboxes. If they’re not already checked, do so.

This should clear up any trouble that’s causing PC Auto Waker to malfunction.


PC Auto Waker is an awesome app. Once you have it set up, your computer will start as soon as your phone makes a connection with your WiFi network. This means you can walk in the door knowing that your PC is already starting. It’s magic!

What do you think about it? Are there any similar Android wake on LAN apps that do a better job? If so, let us know about them in the comments.

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