How to combine Facebook with Google+

Posted in Howto, Websites on September 2nd, 2011 by Andy
A combine harvester cutting a field of wheat

Combining stuff is cool

There’s a lot to like about Google+, but if you’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook it’s a pain to change networks. So it’s nice to know you can mash them both together.

You’ll need to install the Start Google Plus extension:

Chrome: SGPlus

Firefox: Start Google Plus

This not only allows you to post to both networks simultaneously, but will squeeze all your FB content into your G+ page. There are some other extensions that will add Facebook as a separate tab, but this one can seamlessly weave both sites together. Nice.

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Google Chrome goes stable for Linux and Mac

Posted in Computers, Linux, Mac, Ubuntu on May 27th, 2010 by Andy
Google Chrome icon

Chrome has been doing well, gaining new users faster than any other browser

Google’s rising star Chrome is now officially out of beta on the Mac and Linux.

They’ve bundled a couple of new features in with the release, such as expanded syncing (it now syncs other personal settings in addition to bookmarks). Otherwise it’s the same polished browser that you’ve come to expect.

Ubuntu users who’ve already plugged into the Google repo can upgrade by hitting the following apturl: Chrome for Linux. Macbois and folks with a non-Debian flavoured Linux can download a standalone version (you’ll have to keep it up-to-date yourself if you do).

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All-singing and dancing Google notifier for your PC

Posted in Computers, Linux, Windows on December 12th, 2009 by Andy
Sod going to multiple=

Sod going to multiple inboxes, get it all from one place

Googsystray is a notifier gizmo for Google Voice, GMail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, and Google Wave. It sits in your system tray and notifies you by popups or sound. I particular like the way you can set a threshold of new items in Reader before it bugs you. It’s also the only decent Google Voice notifier out there. Having everything combined into one lightweight notifier is nice and tidy, too.

Available for Windows and Linux. No love for the Mactards sorry!

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Google Chrome for Mac and Linux

Posted in Computers, Linux, Mac, Ubuntu on December 8th, 2009 by Andy

Google Chrome iconGoogle have launched the beta of their Chrome web browser for Mac and Linux.

Until now people using non-Windows machines have been forced to use the open source Chromium branch of the project, but now we’ve got an actual release. As a beta it may still be a little wobbly, but probably less so than using daily builds of Chromium.

The verdict so far: it’s nice. Desktop integration is good, and if anything it seems even faster than Chromium. Yikes!

Get it here:

Linux (both 32-bit and 64-bit RPM and DEB, nice one Google!)

There’s also a Linux repository available to get automatic updates. I’d highly recommend this, it’s important to get security updates for a browser.


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Howto: Install Google Chrome Operating System

Posted in Computers, Howto, Linux on November 20th, 2009 by Andy
Use a Google account to log in

Use a Google account to log in

Blimey, the rumours were true! Google have released an early version of their netbook system Chrome OS into the wild.

You could try compiling it yourself, but there’s pre-compiled VMWare disk images available already (they work fine in Virtualbox too, btw) If you want step-by-step instructions you can check out Techcrunch. Otherwise proceed straight to the downloads:

Torrent (280MB)
~720MB total.

The interface is built around the familiar Chrome web browser

The interface is built around the familiar Chrome web browser

To log in, use your Google account (or better yet, a fake one you’ve made just for this).

As expected, Chrome OS turns out to be a totally browser-based experience. It’s totally about using Google’s web services, with no locally installed software available, although Gears means you should be able to keep using the system even when you’re offline. This should keep the overall size of the system down to a miniscule size, and Google have said they’re keen for all Chrome OS netbooks to use solid state drives. The small system footprint should keep this affordable, and performance will doubtless be through the roof. The system may lack a lot of features you’d get in Windows 7 or Ubuntu Netbook Remix, but it’ll be blazing fast!

Lots more info, including some details of what’s under the hood, can be found on the Ubuntu forums. Enjoy!

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Rumours from the Internet: Chrome OS next week?

Posted in Computers, Linux on November 14th, 2009 by Andy
Sneak peek of Chrome OS available soon? Maybe?

Sneak peek of Chrome OS available soon? Maybe?

Ludicrously unreliable internet rumours, gotta love ’em!

But this one’s a doozy: the Washington Post’s technology bods have a “reliable source” that says Google will be releasing an early version of their Chrome Operating System into the wild within a week.

This could be a complete load of rubbish, or we could be getting a super-buggy dev build of it on a limited release. Or we might get a reasonably usable system on public beta. Who knows? Well, we will in a week’s time I guess.

In the meantime, have some screenshots of parts of the system that people have nicked off some servers that Google “accidentally” had facing the internet. Needless to say, it’s just the same familar browser with some interface bits for OS functions cobbled on.

Hopefully, more on this in a few days…

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Notification doodads for Google Wave

Posted in Computers on November 8th, 2009 by Andy

Google_Wave_logoOne of the main problems with Google Wave so far is that there’s no way to know if someone has replied to your wave, making the whole real-time aspect of it a bit pointless.

Looks like that’s about to change, check out these notification extensions for Firefox and Chrome:

Google Wave Add-on for Firefox

Google Wave Extension for Chrome

(To use the Chrome plugin, you’ll have to be using a version of Chrome which supports extensions. That means a fairly recent version of the developer’s branch of Chrome/Chromium)

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Google confirms the rumours: a Google OS is coming

Posted in Computers, Linux, Tech, Ubuntu, Windows on July 8th, 2009 by Andy

microsoft-vs-googleThere’s been constant rumours of a Google operating system since the dawn of time. A while back they let slip that inside the Googleplex they use a customised version of Ubuntu (called Goobuntu, naturally). Lately they’ve developed their Chrome browser and the Android mobile operating system. Since they compete against the likes of Microsoft already, surely it was just a matter of time before they attacked Redmond where it hurts: the desktop OS?

Google says it’s all true

Chrome OS will be a lightweight Linux distro aimed at the netbook market. All they’ve said so far is that they aim for speed and focus on the web. Presumably that means plugging right into Google’s excellent range of cloud services, as Android does.

They’ve also said they will use a “new windowing system”, by which they probably mean this distro won’t be wearing either Gnome or KDE. Hopefully that isn’t going to break compatibility with the vast number of existing Linux apps, which would be a massive shame for users.

No word either on whether Google will be maintaining their own repo, or whether they’ll be piggybacking on one of the established distros. Also under wraps is which browser this web-centric OS will be running. Android runs Webkit and Google have strongly promoted Firefox for years, but the obvious choice would seem to be the Chrome browser.

So not a lot of detail, but tantalising news indeed. Netbooks pre-installed with Chrome OS should be available in late 2010.

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Set Gmail as your email client on Ubuntu

Posted in Computers, Howto, Ubuntu on June 23rd, 2009 by Andy

gmail-iconGmail is awesome. It’s nice to have a single interface for your mail no matter what machine you’re on, but what about those pesky mailto links, and apps that want to launch a full-on email client? Well, here’s a wee hack that will set your Ubuntu system to launch Gmail in your browser instead trying to launch Evolution.

Go to System > Prefs > Preferred Apps and set the email option to “Custom”. Copy and paste the following code into the box provided:

perl -MURI::Escape -e ‘$to= shift; if ($to =~ /^([^\?]+)\?(.*)$/){$to=$1;$args=”&”.$2;$args=~s/\&subject=/&su=/};$to =~
s/^mailto://i; exec(“firefox”,””.URI::Escape::uri_escape($to).$args);’ %s


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