Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Get Someone Else To Do Your Odd Jobs With Airtasker

Get Someone Else To Do Your Odd Jobs With Airtasker:
get odd jobs doneYou know something like this has happened to you before. You’re stuck trying to work out the supposedly obvious IKEA manual for something you just bought; you’re staring at your miserable garden wondering if you’ll ever get the time to cut it; you’re looking for a new flat, but too busy working to find the good listings. So, where do you go to find someone who can get those odd jobs done for a small fee? Airtasker is the new answer.
Airtasker is an Australian site designed to put willing workers in touch with people who need a small job done. It’s intended to be for one-off, fairly simple tasks – many of which can be fulfilled online. In some ways, it could be considered a market for ad-hoc virtual assistants, except that it extends into the real world too. There’s plenty of people who are asking for help with plumbing, gardening and poster distribution. You could too!

How Does Airtasker Work?

Airtasker works by allowing people to post and complete small jobs either locally or online. Senders post a task with an appropriate wage listed and Runners will offer to do the work for them, similar to the way Fiverr works but the other way around. Senders view Runner profiles and choose which Runner will complete the job. Once a Runner is selected the Sender can’t back out of the transaction and will pay the Runner either by PayPal or Cash On Delivery (COD), although a Sender can opt to choose no-one for the job.
get odd jobs done

Posting A Job

For starters, your task needs to be legal and not of a sexual nature. There’s a list of marketplace rules you should read before you post anything. But within these limits you’re able to be as inventive as you like. What work do you need done that someone else can conceivably help you with? Okay, maybe don’t get as weird as the people on Fiverr!
odd jobs
As described above, the basic process of posting a job on Airtasker is fairly straight-forward. It’s also free! Once your job is in the system, the main thing for you to do is to check the Runner profiles to ensure you’re getting the right person. Runner profiles will show reviews from previous jobs they’ve completed so that you can see they are reliable.
odd jobs
Local work can only be posted for Australian cities at this stage. However, if you have an online job you need done, you can list it in Australian dollars.
odd jobs
Senders can also browse the Runners and decide to hire someone directly. This will ensure that the Runners get notified directly when you post a job and are therefore more likely to apply for it.
hire odd jobs

Become A Runner

If you want to earn a little bit of extra money, sign up to be a Runner. You can specify your city (which is currently just Australian cities), but there’s no need to. International users are accepted and can easily work on the online tasks. Just remember that the site is still in the early stages and will be discussing payment in Australian dollars for now.
hire odd jobs
If you like the sound of a job but you think the price is too low, you can always make an offer. If the Sender doesn’t get a lot of interest in their posting they might consider your offer seriously.
hire odd jobs
Runners pay a fee to Airtasker on completion of the task of $2 + 5% of the fee. To collect fees, Airtasker obtain credit card details or bank details when you bid on a task. However, they won’t take funds until you win the bid.


Airtasker have a number of tools to establish trust between Senders and Runners. Reviews and references are the start, but they also check PayPal details are exact and ensure phone numbers are correct with SMS verification.

Meanwhile, social connections to Facebook and Twitter help to establish a person’s real-life identity. A user who has completed these checks is given a verification badge to make it easier to spot them.
get odd jobs done

Give It A Go!

Airtasker have a free iPhone application available for both Runner and Senders to make use of. It looks as though Airtasker intend to become more international in the future, but as you can see there is still room for a global market within the current framework. Sign up and let them know via feedback where you’d like to see Airtasker appear locally next!

3 Free Voice Chat Programs For PC Gamers

3 Free Voice Chat Programs For PC Gamers:
free voice chatVoice chat is an important part of the online gaming experience, yet PC gamers are left behind the consoles in this respect. It’s the one (big) disadvantage of gaming on the computer. Yes, we get to install whatever we want – but we also don’t have mandated, centralized services for things like free voice chat.
Of course, there are a number of companies that try to rectify this by offering simple, free voice chat for players. Let’s have a look at three of the best.

Vivox C3

free voice chat
Recently I was tasked with finding a simple, client-to-client voice communication solution to use with a friend while gaming. Since it was only going to be two of us, a server-client offering seemed like overkill. But we also had no intention to participate in a larger community.
Vivox C3 is the software we settled on. A relative newcomer, it’s a very simple client-to-client offering that showcases Vivox’s voice communication technology. It’s built to use few resources while also providing excellent voice quality. From our experience, that’s exactly what it does.
Voice chat programs are not known for being easy to use. C3 isn’t as intuitive as it could be, either – but compared to the competition it looks like it was designed by Steve Jobs. The interface is attractive, navigation is quick and stability proved rock-solid. There’s also Facebook and phone integration, though it uses a separate service called Bobsled.


voice chat
The Xfire service started in 2003 as a gaming instant messenger and community. At the time of its introduction, gaming messengers were popular because they also served as game launchers. You could talk with friends, form groups for multi-player, then launch the game to play.
Steam and other online stores with built-in communities featured have infringed on this traditional territory, so Xfire now offers free client-to-client voice chat to keep relevant. This service is accessed using the “chat rooms” section of the messenger. Anyone can create a chat room with voice chat.
The application is quick, but it also feels a bit outdated. It looks a bit like an application designed in 2003 that has been slightly remodeled but never properly updated. The voice chat quality also seems inferior to C3, though it’s still quite usable.
Of course, the benefit of Xfire is that it’s, well, Xfire. You can launch games, you can message (with voice or without), you can find servers, you can download files and you can manage in-game screenshots. There are arguably better solutions for each individual task, but Xfire combines it all into one package.


free voice chat
Although the client-to-client model is the easiest to set up, there aren’t as many features for managing the chat and they tend to incorporate features unrelated to voice chat that you may not need. The main advantage of client-to-client is its ease of setup and use, but for larger groups of people, the server-client model makes more sense.
There are a number of client-server options available, but the one that I find the easiest to use is Mumble. It’s an open source project, and such software is often intimidating, but that’s not the case here. Installing the client and using it is easy as pie and there’s even a detailed audio setup wizard that can be used to precisely calibrate your microphone and speakers for the clearest voice communication possible.
The only disadvantage with Mumble is the same found with all server-client setups – you need a server, and the strain placed on the server can be a problem if a lot of people are connected. You’ll need a good network adapter and a connection with plenty of bandwidth if you want to host large groups. If you don’t have both you can have someone else to host the server for you – but that, of course, isn’t free.


Which voice chat solution is the best? There’s no easy answer.
I use C3 because I play with a few friends and we need a simple, easy to install, easy to use option. If you like to play with friends and you’d also like to have some integrated gaming related features, like a launcher, Xfire is a good option. If you want to host large groups of gamers, Mumble is ideal.
There are of course many other options, like Ventrillo, TeamSpeak and more. If you’ve used another free voice chat service that you think is a good, free alternative, let us know about it in the comments.
Image Credit: Plantronics Germany

Bookmark & Save YouTube Videos For Later With Video History for YouTube [Chrome]

Bookmark & Save YouTube Videos For Later With Video History for YouTube [Chrome]:
save youtube videosYou can think of this Chrome extension as the “Read-It-Later” for YouTube videos. It performs nearly the same job for YouTube videos as does the so named browser add-on does for webpages. Online video bookmarking services exist. We have taken brief looks at video bookmarking tools like Radbox. Then there are cool tools like Zootool, and YouTube’s own Watch it Later feature. Watch It Later has a little limitation of only allowing videos that follow YouTube’s new embed style.
So, where does the Chrome extension called Video History for YouTube fit in? On the high table surely, because the YouTube Chrome extension has a few more tricks up its sleeve which makes managing all the YouTube videos you watch (or intend to) a little easier.

View YouTube Videos Later

Video History for YouTube works straight out of the box. After you install the Chrome extension, the icon resides in the browser’s address bar and monitors videos on webpages you visit. Any YouTube video on the webpage you land on is automatically added to the extension’s Browsed Videos list.
save youtube videos
The extension does not selectively pick up the embedded videos…it lists them all. But you can selectively watch them later and delete the ones you aren’t interested in. A little numeric on the extension’s icon tells you the number of unwatched YouTube videos on the Browsed Videos list.
save video from youtube
You watch the video within the extension interface itself instead of on YouTube. Certain age restricted videos will need to be played on YouTube itself. The video list is stored locally on the browser side and can be cleared easily.

Subscribe To Your Favorite YouTube Channels and Get Notifications

Video History for YouTube is a manager for the channels you subscribe to. Video History for YouTube monitors your account and the channels you follow on YouTube. You can setup the extension with your YouTube username and it will notify you when there is new content in any of your favorite channels. As you can see from the screen below, the Subscriptions page is divided into three sections –
save video from youtube
New content that’s uploaded to a channel is collated under New Items. These are the ones which you haven’t watched so far. The watched videos go into the Old Items list. Your own uploads occupies the third section. You can treat the New Items and Old Items as an ‘inbox’ and ‘archive’ respectively. When you are done watching the fresh videos, you can archive them under Old Items. You can go back and watch them later too.

Catch What’s Going Viral

A few days ago, I had published a post on 7 Best Viral Video Websites To Watch What’s Buzzing Now. Video History for YouTube gets its data from YouTube and gives you a dekko at what’s trending on the online video website. You can browse the most popular videos on YouTube over the course of the week, month, and all time. You can click on I am done watching this after you play the video.
save youtube videos
Video History for YouTube also allows you to search for YouTube videos from within the extension.
Video History for YouTube is a neat YouTube related Chrome extension. If you have a gargantuan appetite for YouTube videos, then this is the one for you. Beware of a few quirks though. For instance, the Google Suggest aided search didn’t work for me. I typed in my own keywords. I haven’t tried it out on many sites, but the comments suggest that it might not work with some YouTube embeds. Leaving these little quirks aside, Video History for YouTube still sounds like an efficient bookmarking ‘watch-it-later’ service for YouTube.
Also Follow: The 101 Best Chrome Extensions
Take it for a spin and let us know in the comments if you liked the Chrome extension.

How To Add A Snooze Function To Gmail Without Using Third-Party Apps

How To Add A Snooze Function To Gmail Without Using Third-Party Apps:
add a snooze button to gmailAn overflowing inbox is a problem, and one almost everyone has to face daily. We’re all trying to avoid leaving a huge stack of unread e-mails in our inbox, but let’s face it, we can’t deal with everything the minute it comes in. The confusion a full inbox creates is sometimes so big, it becomes a reason to delay answering all by itself.
There are many solutions and add-ons to create e-mail reminders and have e-mails return at specific times, but if you’re a DIY kind of person, or simply like to try new things, there’s a way to add a snooze function to Gmail without installing or using any third-party app. This method employs App Scripts, but you don’t have to know how to code in order to use it. Installing this function is quick and easy, and best of all, completely free.
Simply follow this step-by-step guide and you’ll be snoozing e-mails in no time.

What Is Gmail Snooze?

Gmail Snooze is a script that creates a new snooze label in your Gmail account, along with 7 new sub-labels. When you want to snooze an e-mail for 3 days, simply move it to the matching label, and the script will do the rest of the work. After the right number of days, the e-mail will re-appear in your inbox, where you can promptly snooze it again. Or alternatively, deal with it.
add a snooze button to gmail
The script is verified by Google, so you don’t have to worry about adding it to your Gmail account.

Setting Up Gmail Snooze

Setting up the script is easy and take only a few minutes. To start, go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet. In the Tools menu, choose “Script editor…”.
snooze gmail
In the script editor, erase whatever’s there by default, and paste in this code:
var MARK_UNREAD = false; var ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL = false; function getLabelName(i) { return "Snooze/Snooze " + i + " days"; } function setup() { // Create the labels we’ll need for snoozing GmailApp.createLabel("Snooze"); for (var i = 1; i 0) { if (newLabel) { // Move the threads into "today’s" label newLabel.addToThreads(page); } else { // Unless it’s time to unsnooze it GmailApp.moveThreadsToInbox(page); if (MARK_UNREAD) { GmailApp.markThreadsUnread(page); } if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) { GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Unsnoozed") .addToThreads(page); } } // Move the threads out of "yesterday’s" label oldLabel.removeFromThreads(page); } } } }
After pasting in the code, click on the disc icon to save your script, and give it a name. Once you’ve done that, click on the “Select function” dropdown menu and choose “Setup”. Now click on the run button (the gray triangle). You will have to authorize the script before you can run it.
snooze gmail
Now switch over to Gmail and look at your labels. A new “Snooze” label has now appeared. If you expand this new label, you’ll find  7 new sub-labels. Of course, this doesn’t have to be expanded in order to work, so it won’t create too much unnecessary clutter.
snooze gmail
It’s now time to set the script’s trigger. Since the script works by days, it should run every night and advance a snoozed e-mail from label to label, until it pops back into the inbox.
To set up the trigger, go back to the script editor, click on the Resources menu and choose “Current script’s triggers”.
gmail snooze button
A prompt will inform you that there are currently no triggers, and will offer you to add a new one. In “Run” choose the moveSnoozes function. In Events, click on Time-driven, and then choose “Day timer” and “Midnight to 1am”.
gmail snooze button
You can, of course, choose something different as a trigger, but considering how the script is made, this is the most logical option. That’s it, your Gmail Snooze is set up and ready to work!

Using Gmail Snooze

It’s  now time to put Gmail Snooze into action. When you encounter an e-mail you wish to snooze, mark it, click on the “Move to:” menu (folder icon) and find the right label for the amount of time you wish to snooze the message for.
gmail snooze button
When you click on the label, the message will disappear from your inbox and will be placed in its respective folder. If you look at the labels on the left pane, you will be able to see the snoozed e-mails waiting there. The moveSnoozes function will run every night between midnight to 1am, and move all your snoozed e-mails one label forward. When the time is up, the snoozed e-mail will re-appear in your inbox.

Removing Gmail Snooze

If you’ve decided you don’t want to use Gmail Snooze anymore, it’s easy to remove. Access the script editor again, and on the left bar, choose the Gmail Snooze script, then click on File –> Delete.
This will revoke access for the script from your Google account (you can check the list here to see that it’s been removed). What it won’t do, is delete the labels it has created. To do that, simply click on the Snooze label on the left pane and choose “Remove label”. This will remove all the sub-labels as well. Just be sure you’re not accidently deleting snoozed e-mails along with the labels, these will be lost forever!
add a snooze button to gmail

Final Thoughts

Using the Gmail Snooze script might not be the most refined or exciting way to snooze e-mails, but it’s a great way to get into the world of App Scripts, which, when you figure them out, can help you automate and customize Gmail even further. It’s free, and doesn’t require any third-party apps, which is always a plus. It’s an awesome way to snooze e-mails, which is easy to remember and easy to execute. Unlike other methods, this is something I can really see myself using.
What about you? Will you give Gmail Snooze a try? Do you use something different to control your overflowing inbox? Share in the comments!
Clock image via Shuttertock