Monthly Archives: January 2011

Removing Browser Toolbars

If you’ve used the Internet for any amount of time, chances are that you’ve seen  or used a toolbar in a browser before.

While toolbars can be useful, sometimes after downloading too many, a browser can become cluttered and bogged down. Sometimes, however, people can accidentally or unknowingly download and install toolbars while they’re trying to download another program.

Some of the more popular toolbars may include the Google Toolbar, Yahoo! Toolbar, as well as the Bing Toolbar, both of which allow users to perform searches, as well as provide the user with one-click access to news, finance information, e-mail, and more.

In addition, various websites, services, and companies offer toolbars as well, with one example being Zynga, which is the company that created the popular FarmVille and CityVille games. The Zynga Gamebar is a free toolbar that enables players of either FarmVille or Mafia Wars to know when updates are available for their games, as well as other information.

However, if a browser has too many toolbars, they can be hidden or even uninstalled completely, which will help to free up viewing space, and perhaps even speed up the browser.

If you’d like to hide a toolbar and you’re using Internet Explorer 8, you can do so by right clicking below the address bar and unselecting the toolbars that you would like to hide. Should you want the toolbar to be displayed again, you can simply follow the same steps to do so.

Mozilla FireFox users can hide their toolbars in a similar way to Internet Explorer users. To hide toolbars in Mozilla FireFox, you should right click near the address bar, until you see a menu with the toolbars that are present in your browser and then unselect the ones that you’d like to remove. The same process can be used to unhide the toolbars again.

Another way to remove toolbars in Mozilla FireFox would be to go to the “Tools” menu and then click on “Add Ons”. From there, you should click on the “Extensions” button, where you should be able to remove certain toolbars completely.

In order to remove some toolbars completely, either in Mozilla FireFox or Internet Explorer, you may have to do so from the “Uninstall a Program” section of the Control Panel. Once you’ve opened the Control Panel and clicked on the “Uninstall a Program” link, which is located under the “Programs” section, a window containing a list of the programs that are installed on your computer should open.

All you need to do in order to remove a toolbar is find the toolbar you’d like to remove in the list, click on it, and then click on the “Uninstall” button, located above the list.

Hopefully this post has provided a good amount of information about toolbars and how to hide or remove them if they’re taking up too much space in a browser. If you have any tips or information about removing toolbars, please feel free to post a comment below!

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FaceBook Security Update

As you may already know, yesterday FaceBook posted a new blog post, announcing two new security features.

The first new security feature is that users can now access FaceBook over a secure, “HTTPS” connection. Previously, FaceBook used a secure connection to encrypt users’ log in data, but as of this update, users can choose to use FaceBook, entirely with a secure connection.

Some people who may want to enable a connection using “HTTPS” include those who frequently access their FaceBook accounts from a public computer, such as at a library, school, airport, coffee shop, as well as other public places.

If you would like to enable “HTTPS” on your FaceBook account, you can do so by logging into your account and then clicking on the “Account” button, located at the top right side of the page. From there, you should click on the “Account Settings” link, which will take you to a page that contains a list of your FaceBook account’s preferences and settings.

After that, you should scroll down and click on the “Change” link, located right above the “Account Security” section. Then, you should check the box for “Secure Browsing (https)”, which will enable you to access FaceBook from a secure connection whenever it is possible to do so.

Also in this section, there is an option for users to receive an e-mail whenever a new computer or mobile device accesses their FaceBook account, which may be something that you should consider using if you frequently use FaceBook in a public place.

However, enabling a secure, “HTTPS”, connection for your FaceBook account will cause pages on FaceBook to load slower, as encrypted pages take longer to load. In addition to this, some features on FaceBook are not currently supported with a secure connection, including a variety of third-party applications.

According to FaceBook’s official blog, they will be rolling out this new feature over the next couple of weeks.

Another new security feature that was announced yesterday is “social authentication”, which is a new way for users to verify that a human is trying to access their account and not a computer trying to “game the system”.

Instead of the regular “Captcha” system that many websites use, which displays a string of text that users have to type into a box to verify that they are an actual person and not a computer or spammer, FaceBook will be using “social authentication”.

Social authentication is similar to a “Captcha” system, in terms of its purpose, but rather than displaying a string of text for users to enter, it will display a few pictures of people they’re friends with on FaceBook. In order for users to verify themselves, they will have to identify the friend who is in the pictures.

According to FaceBook, they will continue to test the new social authentication feature and gather feedback on how to make this and other features useful and more secure.

If you’d like more information about these security updates to FaceBook, you should check out this blog post, from the official FaceBook Blog.

Eric Schmidt to Step Down as Google’s CEO

Recently, Google has announced that Eric Schmidt, their current CEO since 2001, will be stepping down from the position in April and will be replaced by one of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page.

However, Schmidt will not be leaving the company altogether; he will remain with Google as the Executive Chairman of the company and will focus on things, such as working “externally, on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.”, according to a post on Google’s official company blog.

Larry Page, one of the Google’s co-founders who will be taking over as CEO of Google starting on April 4, will be focusing on leading product development and technology strategy, which according to Google’s blog post, are his greatest strengths.

Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google with Page in September of 1998, while the two were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, has decided to devote his time and energy to working on strategic projects and in particular, new products.

As Google’s Executive Chairman, Schmidt will be focusing wherever he will be able to add the most value and will serve, internally, as an advisor to Page and Brin.

For more information regarding Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, stepping down from his position in the company, you should check out this post on Google’s Official Blog, as well as this article on TechCrunch.

Eric Schmidt to Step Down as Google's CEO

Recently, Google has announced that Eric Schmidt, their current CEO since 2001, will be stepping down from the position in April and will be replaced by one of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page.

However, Schmidt will not be leaving the company altogether; he will remain with Google as the Executive Chairman of the company and will focus on things, such as working “externally, on deals, partnerships, customers and broader business relationships, government outreach and technology thought leadership.”, according to a post on Google’s official company blog.

Larry Page, one of the Google’s co-founders who will be taking over as CEO of Google starting on April 4, will be focusing on leading product development and technology strategy, which according to Google’s blog post, are his greatest strengths.

Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google with Page in September of 1998, while the two were Ph.D. students at Stanford University, has decided to devote his time and energy to working on strategic projects and in particular, new products.

As Google’s Executive Chairman, Schmidt will be focusing wherever he will be able to add the most value and will serve, internally, as an advisor to Page and Brin.

For more information regarding Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, stepping down from his position in the company, you should check out this post on Google’s Official Blog, as well as this article on TechCrunch.

Steve Jobs to Take Medical Leave of Absense

According to a release from Apple, Inc. today, it appears as though Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, will be taking a medical leave of absence.

However, Steve Jobs will continue to stay on as Apple’s CEO and will still be involved in major decisions during his leave.

Below is what Jobs sent to Apple employees in an e-mail today, which I obtained from the BusinessWire website.

Team,

At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as CEO and be involved in major strategic decisions for the company.

I have asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all of Apple’s day to day operations. I have great confidence that Tim and the rest of the executive management team will do a terrific job executing the exciting plans we have in place for 2011.

I love Apple so much and hope to be back as soon as I can. In the meantime, my family and I would deeply appreciate respect for our privacy.

Steve

The exact reason for Steve Jobs taking this medical leave of absence is not known, but in the past Jobs has had some health problems, including a rare form of Pancreatic Cancer in 2004, which he was able to beat, as well as undergoing a liver-transplant in 2009.

The last time Jobs took time off from the company, Tim Cook took over Jobs’ duties as CEO, which is similar to what is happening in this situation.

Cookies

14th August 2007 / Day 226

Picture Credit: Flickr – Mrs Magic

When you think of cookies, you probably think of sugar, dough, and the taste or smell of freshly baked cookies.

However, since this is a technology blog, we’re not going to be talking about the kind of cookies that are in the picture above, but rather pieces of information that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. These kinds of cookies may also be known as web cookies, browser cookies, or HTTP cookies.

Cookies have many different uses, such as for storing your log-in credentials for a website, such as FaceBook, or Yahoo! Mail, when you choose the “Keep me logged in” or “Remember me” option. Some other uses for cookies may be recording and storing your preferences for a website, remembering what items are in a shopping cart, or storing the identifier when you’re connected to a connection that is server-based.

While cookies may seem complicated, they’re really only a text file that contains the data that is being stored. Cookies can also be stored on your computer for varying amounts of time, from only a few minutes to an indefinite period of time.

When you visit a website that wants to store a cookie on your computer, it is sent to your computer by a server, as an HTTP header. Then, when the server wants to access the information contained in the cookie, it is sent back to the sever.

However, not all cookies are used for “good” purposes. There are some cookies, such as tracking-cookies, which can be used track which websites a user may be visiting, which may potentially violate the user’s privacy. Tracking cookies can be removed quite easily, though, by clearing your browser’s cookies or by running a program, such as CCleaner, by Piriform.

If you would like to clear your browser’s cookies and you are using Internet Explorer, you can do so by going to “Tools” and then to “Internet Options”. From there, you should click on the “General” tab and then select “Cookies” and whatever else you’d like to erase from the list. Then, you should select “Ok.”

If you use Mozilla FireFox, you can clear your cookies by going to “Tools” and then to “Clear recent history…”. From there, you should be able to choose what you would like to clear from your browser, including cookies, by clicking on the arrow next to “Details”, selecting what you would like to clear or delete, as well as selecting the time frame you’d like to clear things from. Then, you should simply click on “Clear Now”, which should clear or delete whatever it was that you chose to clear.

For for information about cookies, I would suggest that you check out Wikipedia’s article on HTTP cookies.

iPhone on Verizon

As you may have already heard, earlier today Verizon announced at their press conference in New York City that the iPhone 4 will be coming to its service next month, something that many people have been waiting for and anticipating for quite some time.

According to this article on MobileCrunch, the Verizon iPhone seems to be identical to the version that is offered on AT&T, except for the fact that the iPhone will be running on CDMA technology, rather than GSM. Users will still be able to browse the Internet, text, send pictures, video chat using FaceTime, as well as the many other features that are available on the iPhone 4.

However, there is one feature that the iPhone will have on Verizon that it does not currently have on AT&T, which is the ability to use the iPhone 4 as a Wi-Fi hotspot. With this feature, a user could provide Wi-Fi access to up to five different devices, which is a pretty nice feature if you’d like to use your laptop or other device and aren’t able to find an Internet connection nearby.

As for the pricing of the device, the 16 GB model will cost $199.99 and the 32 GB model will cost $299.99, both of these prices with a two-year contract.

There is a great chart on Engadget comparing the iPhone on both Verizon and AT&T, which compares various things about the phones, including the assumed plan pricing, upgrades, and more.

For more information regarding the iPhone 4 coming to Verizon, you should check out this blog post from MobileCrunch, as well as this comparison chart from Engadget.