This week’s wallpaper is an image of monotone, gray, foggy forest. Slim bare tree trunks form rows while vegetation obscures the ground. Icons show up well on this misty, gray background. Read More
Automatically set Bing’s daily background as your wallpaper on Windows 10 and Android with these apps.
Microsoft’s search engine Bing may not be the most popular search engine, but it has the best wallpapers. Microsoft released two new apps, one for Android and one for Windows 10, which will automatically change your background to Bing’s daily background.
• Images are 1920 x 1200, you may have to adjust for higher resolution displays.
• You can set how often you want the background to change.
• The desktop app asks to set your homepage and default search engine to Bing during installation. Uncheck the “Set Bing as my homepage” and “Set Bing as my default search provider” boxes if you don’t want to keep those options.
• The desktop app will ask to install a browser extension called Give with Bing. The browser add-on doesn’t need to be installed to complete the installation.
• Images have the Bing watermark.
If you want the daily image with no watermark on Windows 10 you can use another program like the Dynamic Theme from the Microsoft Store. Features will be different or missing – for example Dynamic Theme uses Bing and Windows Spotlight images.
You can download individual Bing background images dating from 2010 forward with no watermark; point your browser to Bing Wallpaper Download. Read More
The Grand Theft Auto V: Premium Edition includes the complete Grand Theft Auto V story experience, free access to the ever evolving Grand Theft Auto Online and all existing gameplay upgrades and content including The Doomsday Heist, Gunrunning, Smuggler’s Run, Bikers and much more. You’ll also get the Criminal Enterprise Starter Pack, the fastest way to jumpstart your criminal empire in Grand Theft Auto Online.
If you don’t have a free Epic Games account, you’ll need to create one and download the Epic Game Store desktop program to play. If you have an Epic Games account, you’ll need to set up two factor authorization. Epic has recently made that a requirement for all accounts.
Due to the popularity of Grand Theft Auto, Epic hass a huge amount of volume on their servers. If you run into issues, keep trying. Using the Epic Games launcher has worked as well. Read More
After playing many action games like combats and fighting that feature violence, veracity and bloodshed, it may be great to seek a break or switch to some quick pick-up-and-play games that are immersed in tranquillity. If so, this arcade game Orbia: Tap and Relax fits the bill perfectly.
Orbia is suitable for players of all ages to experience, with its simple gameplay and high replayability. Tap anywhere on the screen to dash to the targets while avoiding pesky creatures, and compete against your friends to achieve hundreds of levels in this game with engrossing challenges.
This game app is designed with high-end graphics, using minimalistic and softly colored backgrounds, smooth landscapes and beautiful scenery, while well-polished sounds and incredible soundtracks accompany you through the game.
Released by JOX Development LLC for Android and iOS platforms, Orbia is a cute and charming arcade game worth a good dash, excellent for you to relax and test your reflexes either when you are staying at home or just waiting around somewhere. Read More
Remember PowerToys from older versions of Windows? Microsoft is bringing them back for Windows 10.
PowerToys was a set of utilities that added several useful tools to Windows from Windows 95 to XP. TweakUI, ClearType Tuner, SyncToy, Image Resizer and Taskbar Magnifier were some of the tools in PowerToys.
Fast forward to Windows 10. Microsoft has been working on bringing a set of PowerToys to Windows 10. They’ve been creating and adding them a few at a time, and the newest release is worth taking a look at. Two things make this release attractive - PowerToys is now self-updating, new tools are added automatically so you don’t have to visit the GitHub repository for new additions, and the File Explorer in the Preview Pane allows Markdown files (.md) and SVG (.svg) files to show in the preview. PowerToys are now in one file, you no longer have to download them separately.
Here’s the list of current set of PowerToys utilities according to Microsoft, links to go to the tool description, download link for all tools at the end of the article:
FancyZones is a window manager that makes it easy to create complex window layouts and quickly position windows into those layouts. Download link at the end of the article.
Windows key shortcut guide - The shortcut guide appears when a user holds the Windows key down for more than one second and shows the available shortcuts for the current state of the desktop. Download link at the end of the article.
PowerRename - PowerRename is a Windows Shell Extension for advanced bulk renaming using search and replace or regular expressions. PowerRename allows simple search and replace or more advanced regular expression matching. While you type in the search and replace input fields, the preview area will show what the items will be renamed to. PowerRename then calls into the Windows Explorer file operations engine to perform the rename. This has the benefit of allowing the rename operation to be undone after PowerRename exits. Download link at the end of the article.
File Explorer (Preview Panes)
File Explorer add-ons right now are just limited to Preview Pane additions for File Explorer. Preview Pane is an existing feature in the File Explorer. To enable it, you just click the View tab in the ribbon and then click "Preview Pane". Download link at the end of the article.
PowerToys will now enable two types of files to be previewed:
Markdown files (.md)
Image Resizer is a Windows Shell Extension for quickly resizing images. With a simple right click from File Explorer, resize one or many images instantly. Download link at the end of the article.
Window Walker (Text based alt-tab alternative)
Window Walker is an app that lets you search and switch between windows that you have opened, all from the comfort of your keyboard. As you are searching for an app, you can use the keyboard up and down arrows to see an Alt-Tab style preview of the windows. In the future, this will be merged into the Launcher project. Download link at the end of the article.
PowerToys currently supports x64, x86 and ARM processors and the file is free of malware according to VirusTotal. Read More
This week’s wallpaper is a photo of the Aldeyjarfoss waterfall in Iceland. The river flows through a narrow gorge flanked by basalt columns and pours over a drop, falling 20 meters (65 feet) into a large basin with basalt column walls. The blue green water sets off the basalt columns and some smaller waterfalls flow into the basin from other areas. Surrounding hills have scattered patches of low green plant growth, set under a cover of low clouds. Icons do well in most areas of this background. Read More
“Microsoft Office 365 combines the familiar Office desktop suite with cloud-based versions of Microsoft’s next-generation communications and collaboration services. It offers many benefits including security, reliability, compatibility with other products, over-the-air updates in the cloud that don't require anything from the user, single sign on for access to everything right away, and so much more.
Published by Wiley and available through TradePub, you can download this 320-pages ebook as a PDF format for free through May 15, 2020.
TradePub has been providing free books for many years. If you don’t have an account, the registration can be lengthy.
To get the book, register for a free account or supply your email if you have a TradePub account. A link is sent to the email address you supplied. Clicking on the link takes you to the TradePub site, click the download button to start the download. You may want to rename the download to something more specific.
If you’re not interested in Office 365, Microsoft offers a free version of Office online . The Office services aren’t as full featured as the paid versions but should be enough for most purposes. You’ll need a Microsoft account to use the free Office online. Read More
Google’s premium video conferencing system is now free for individuals with a Gmail address.
Meet, Google’s premium video conferencing system, was only available to G Suite users and educators. Now individuals with a Gmail address can use the service. Starting at the beginning of this month, Google announced it will be making Meet available to everyone, gradually rolling out over the next few weeks.
Right now you can chat as long as you like now, after September free accounts will be limited to 60 minute meetings. The free version will still have a 100 participant limit and other features like screen sharing, real-time captions, layouts that adapt to your preference, and the new expanded tiled view will still be available.
Meet is available via web browser and mobile apps for iOS or Android. Meetings can be also be started through Gmail or Google Calendar.
Google is emphasizing the security of Meet.
- It has controls to admit or deny entry to a meeting and mute or remove participants.
- A Gmail account is required to join meetings,
- Conference codes are complex
- Participants cannot join meetings unless they’re on the calendar invite or have been invited by in-domain participants - - - - - Meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
- Meet operates in a browser and via mobile apps there’s less vulnerability to attacks.
- Meet data is not used for advertising, and personal data isn’t sold to third parties.
Get this carefully curated collection of background images for Zoom for free.
The Public Domain Review has hand selected a collection of 15 backgrounds for Zoom from their collection. The backgrounds include fine art paintings, a 70’s space colony, a crazy quilt, lunar landscape, and photos from the South Pole.
Zoom backgrounds create a virtual background that displays an image or video as your background during a Zoom meeting. These hand-picked backgrounds are 1920 x 1080 px and can be used as wallpaper and backgrounds for your device.
The backgrounds have pretty detailed descriptions, individual high resolution download links, and links to the image source. Some have a link to buy the image as a fine art print.
You can download each background individually or all fifteen as a zip file. There's also a free coloring book of interesting images culled from their collection. If you like out of the ordinary coloring pages this might be of interest. Read More
If you’re having trouble with any Windows Services these downloadable registry files can reset them to their defaults.
Windows Services are a type of applications that run in the background and include system resources such as Windows Update, printing, file serving, network functions, error reporting, diagnostic services, and more.
From time to time a Windows Service might quit working; Windows Updates can cause some Windows services to stop working, registry keys can become corrupted, a service can be deleted or missing, and malware can change system functionality. Restoring a service back to the default will often fix the issue.
That’s where these downloadable registry files come in. It’s hard to find the defaults for registry keys that aren’t configured properly, and it’s time and energy intensive to change them by hand. Changing them manually can be risky, if you don’t get the keys figured precisely you can cause your device to have more problems or not work.
These three web pages maintained by Shawn Brink have the proper defaults for services running in Windows 7, 8, and Windows 10. Download and run the registry file to restore defaults for any service that isn’t working. The Windows 8 and Windows pages have the option to download all the files in one zip file. These three sites have an incredible amount of resources for Windows, if I'm looking for an answer to a Windows issue I can often find it here.
Note that some services may not be present on all systems.
Before making any changes to the registry, a system back up is recommended. Exporting the registry before making changes is also a good idea; if a problem arises the original registry settings can be imported. Changes to the registry can cause a system to become unstable or not working.
Recently an update from Microsoft caused Windows Update to stop working on my system. I spent some weeks looking at fixes, and none of the many suggestions worked. The issue turned out to be a corrupted registry entry. I downloaded the Windows Update registry file from the Windows 10 web page, ran it, restarted the computer, and Windows Update was back to normal.
PC World - Software
IDG heeft een strategische koerswijziging ingezet om in de Benelux uitsluitend verder te gaan met de zakelijke titels CIO en Computerworld. Vanaf 1 maart zal deze content bovendien verplaatsen naar de global sites van computerworld.com en cio.com, waar IDG de Benelux regio zal bedienen met zowel Nederlandstalige als Engelstalige content.
Samsung nodigde ons uit op de drie allernieuwste smartphones van dichtbij te bekijken. Daar maakten wij dankbaar gebruik van en wij delen onze bevindingen met je.
Dat je NAS tegenwoordig voor veel meer dan alleen het opslaan van bestanden kan worden gebruikt is inmiddels bekend, maar wist je ook dat je er virtuele machines mee kan beheren? Wij leggen je uit hoe.
Dankzij de FIDO2-standaard is het mogelijk om zonder wachtwoord toch veilig in te loggen bij diverse online diensten. Onder meer Microsoft en Google bieden hier al opties voor. Dit jaar volgen er waarschijnlijk meer organisaties die dit aanbieden.
Tegenwoordig moet je voor zo’n beetje alles wat je online wilt doen een account aanmaken, zelfs als je niet van plan bent online te werken of als je gewoon geen zin hebt om je gegevens te delen met de fabrikant. Wij laten je vandaag zien hoe je dat voor elkaar krijgt met je iPhone of iPad.
Er is een nieuwe zero-day-kwetsbaarheid ontdekt in Microsoft Internet Explorer. Het nieuwe lek wordt al misbruikt en een beveiligingsupdate is nog niet beschikbaar.
De nieuwe versie van Edge is gebouwd met code van het Chromium-project, maar in de standaardconfiguratie worden extensies uitsluitend geïnstalleerd via de Microsoft Store. Dat is gelukkig vrij eenvoudig aan te passen.
Microsoft gaf gebruikers enkele jaren geleden de mogelijkheid gratis te upgraden van Windows 7 naar Windows 10. Daarbij ging het af en toe zo ver dat zelfs gebruikers die dat niet wilden een upgrade kregen. De aanbieding is al lang en breed voorbij, maar gratis upgraden is nog steeds mogelijk en het is nu makkelijker dan ooit. Wij vertellen je hoe je dat doet.
Er is veel veranderd op de markt voor pc-browsers. Ongeveer vijf jaar geleden was er nog meer concurrentie en geheel eigen ontwikkeling, nu zijn er nog maar twee engines over: die achter Chrome en die achter Firefox. Met de release van de Blink-gebaseerde Edge van Microsoft deze maand kijken we naar benachmarks en praktijktests.
Cooler Master heeft het uiterlijk van z’n koelpasta-spuiten aangepast omdat het bedrijf het naar eigen zeggen beu is om steeds te moeten uitleggen aan ouders dat de inhoud geen drugs is, maar koelpasta.
Search Engine Watch
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Conversion Rate Experts
Right now, many individuals and organizations are reassessing their roles. Some face uncomfortable changes. Others face big, daunting opportunities. At Conversion Rate Experts, we find it easy to reposition our clients’ companies—and we’ve had some great successes from doing so. But when it comes to repositioning our own company, we notice we feel a psychological resistance. In this article, we describe some psychological phenomena that make people reluctant to adapt—even when it’s clearly the rational thing to do. This is one of a series of articles trying to help in these turbulent times. We have published advice to help with remote working, living in lockdown, finding opportunities to be valuable, selling remotely, and quickly writing pages to increase sales.
The world’s needs have quickly changed. Whole industries are in shutdown. Others are experiencing unprecedented demand. The shift has led to many new needs that are currently under-served. If you can identify them and provide solutions, there are huge opportunities to be had. We created the following flow to identify opportunities for our clients and for our business. It has been useful for us, so we are sharing it in the hope that it might help you—or your company. We imagine it won’t be fruitful in every case, but it can uncover opportunities for transformative breakthroughs. Many verticals are growing rapidly right now.
Cabin fever has always been one of the biggest challenges of remote working. Most solutions involve “getting out of the house.” What everyone’s doing now, though, isn’t remote working—it’s lockdown working. Lockdown working takes cabin fever to a new level, and demands different solutions. Our team members are based in eight countries worldwide—each under different levels of lockdown. We asked them what they are doing to overcome cabin fever. We’re aware that cabin fever is the least of many people’s problems right now. Many of our family, friends, and followers are having to endure much tougher challenges.
—includes the “vital few” copywriting techniques that have the greatest impact on profits. The needs and situations of most companies’ visitors have changed dramatically over the last week or so. We are helping our clients to rapidly adapt their websites and services. The following talk, “How to beat most professional copywriters,” is particularly useful right now—as a reminder of what to focus on—so we have edited its video and updated its slides. We have also added a transcript, so you can get the information quicker. Everything you need to quickly create incredibly effective pages, sales scripts, videos, and emails We are obsessive about copywriting.
Most remote-working advice is fluff. On this page, we are compiling answers to your remote-working challenges
Remote working can greatly increase your productivity. If you do it right. (Image credit: @pettyclegg.) What you’ll get on this page 100+ tips and resources (with more being added). Recent updates are highlighted in green. Practical advice and proven systems, based on our 14 years managing an international remote-working company. For entrepreneurs, managers, and employees. The media has been churning out nonsense tips. We are focusing on what works and what matters. If your remote-working question isn’t answered, submit it to us. Our goal is to help as many people as we can. Most articles about remote work miss the point Many guides to remote working are written by people who are new to it.
Selling remotely: A proven 11-step workflow to grow your business with remote sales calls and webinars
If coronavirus has forced you to start selling remotely, please don’t let this article overwhelm you. It has taken us over ten years to optimize the following workflow. Right now, your audience will sympathize with your situation. They won’t expect polish. They won’t be surprised if your kids walk in. Rather than follow the whole workflow, you might want to copy it and then delete all the parts that aren’t a high priority for you right now. Our entire workflow for setting up and presenting successful remote sales calls and webinars, including… Three reasons why we sell remotely—and why you probably should too.
We hope you are well. You may be working from home. Or perhaps you are still going to the office, but might be sent home at any moment. Maybe you’re a leader who hasn’t led a remote team before. Since our company began in 2006, it has been 100% remote. Our team members are spread across eight countries worldwide, and we have worked with clients in 37 countries. We have experienced almost every remote-working pain point there is. Fortunately, through a lot of trial and error, we have found solutions to nearly all of them. We are working hard to assemble some of our most useful in-house documents into a guide to remote working.
The following excerpt is from our in-house onboarding flow for new team members. We are publishing it as a series of articles, which we’re calling The Infinite Manager. The series describes the unconventional operating system that has enabled our small team to have such an impact on the web’s leading companies. In this part, we give an example of a simple flow we created, and the four types of benefits that flows give. One reason to create flows is so you can do all the hard thinking once. When you write down a flow for the first time, the written version augments your memory, so you can approach the work more logically.
sofatutor is an online educational platform, providing tutorials for school and college students to learn course topics and study for exams. A short video interview with the client “We’ve doubled the number of tests we are shipping,” says Stephan Bayer, CEO and founder of sofatutor. A transcript of the video “The experience with Conversion Rate Experts has been great. We’ve doubled the number of tests we are shipping now. And we’ve made more than a million euros in additional revenue, thanks to the optimizations we’ve made. “You can be, in our case, a German-speaking online product, with German copy on the website everywhere, and you can work with English-speaking experts, and you can achieve great results.
With CRO, you can transform almost every aspect of a business. In this article, we give examples that might inspire you to broaden the scope of your influence… While studying the analytics for client Morph Costumes, we noticed that visitors were searching for “Slender Man costumes.” Morph Costumes responded quickly, launching a Slender Man suit that became a top seller. (See our testimonial from Morph Costumes.) Beyond landing pages Many people wrongly believe that conversion rate optimization (CRO) is about arbitrarily tweaking page elements. Some think it’s limited to landing pages—which seems perplexingly arbitrary to us. CRO applies to every customer interaction in the business, through the whole customer lifetime experience.
“When something is described as a toy, that means it has everything an idea needs except being important. It’s cool; users love it; it just doesn’t matter. But if you’re living in the future and you build something cool that users love, it may matter more than outsiders think.”—Paul Graham You can find opportunities by searching for things that are growing fast but aren’t taken seriously yet. Public opinion tends to be a lagging indicator of success—so success often feels like finding money on the pavement, and then looking around suspiciously, wondering why other people haven’t taken it.
The following excerpt is from our in-house onboarding flow for new team members. We are publishing it as a series of articles, which we’re calling The Infinite Manager. The series describes the unconventional operating system that has enabled our small team to have such an impact on the web’s leading companies. Duplication is evil—because duplicated information leads to chaos The following diagram shows how: It’s extremely hard to manage an information-based company without creating a disorganized mess. One insidious cause of such mess is duplicated information. Software engineers know this well. They use the term duplication is evil.
Happy New Year! We hope your 2020 turns out to be as good as its name sounds. (Not since 1999 and 2000 have we had such good year names, and we won’t have another till 2222.) Here are some great resources we have recently shared with one another (We don’t profit from recommending things. We just love sharing things we think you’ll appreciate. You can see our other Tips and Tools articles here.) Take inspiration from projects that were completed “impossibly” quickly The Eiffel Tower was built in just two years and two months. Stripe’s CEO, Patrick Collison, has compiled a list of projects that were completed incredibly quickly.
As of today, we are accepting clients for the start of 2020 If you’re keen to start the year with a big success, then now’s the time to act. This year was our busiest yet, and we always become fully booked within several days of publishing a message like this. To explore how we can help, just submit this form → Our service is the culmination of everything we’ve learned from growing the web’s most sophisticated companies. Our recent advances include… We have created a new Competitor Analysis accelerator. We review your competitors, and then tell you the techniques you should adopt, the weaknesses in their marketing that you can exploit, and the weaknesses in your marketing that they could exploit.
The other day, we re-ran the accessibility tool tota11y on our website. The test suggested that our company’s green was slightly difficult to read for people with visual impairments. Not terrible, but not great. So, on the spot, we decided to change it to a shade that’s darker. We changed our green from #74A200 (left) to #42790C (right). Rebranding was far from our minds on that day, but we figured that functional improvement—and inclusivity—should take priority over any other aspects of branding. Which led us to think of… A 10-minute challenge to improve the accessibility of your website This holiday season, let’s give the gift of making the web accessible to more people.
(If you know an equivalent resource for Windows or Chrome, please let us know, and we’ll link to it from this page.) When you’re improving a website, you need to take many screenshots. Our team members take hundreds or thousands of them each year. So we were pleased when Corey Ginnivan of Appbot posted some extremely useful (and little-known) tips for taking screenshots with a Mac. To help our team members learn the techniques (along with a few tips of our own), we created the following video: A video showing how to take screenshots on Mac.
The following excerpt is from our in-house onboarding flow for new team members. We are publishing it as a series of articles, which we’re calling The Infinite Manager. The series describes the unconventional operating system that has enabled our small team to have such an impact on the web’s leading companies. In part 1, we explained why Meetings Managers (people who manage using meetings) are much less efficient than Flow Managers (people who manage using flows). In part 2, we showed how we manage our own work using flows. In this part, we describe the philosophy of management that inspired how we do things.
Tools and tips: A website accelerator; MailChimp tips; scanning documents; an accessibility tool; and a logo test
Here are some great resources we have recently shared with one another (We don’t profit from recommending things. We just love sharing things we think you’ll appreciate. You can see our other Tips and Tools articles here.) Make your website load much faster Quicklink is a tiny script from GoogleChromeLabs that makes your pages load almost instantly. It works by prefetching every link that’s currently visible in the viewport (so it works on every page except the page on which the visitor arrived). It works as follows… Detects links within the viewport Waits till the browser is idle Checks the user isn’t on a slow connection Prefetches URLs For that reason, it’s unlikely to work well on an e-commerce site that has many links on each page.
Would you like your business to become easier to grow each year? If so, you need what Warren Buffett calls a moat. We have written elsewhere about strategies to beat your competitors. One particularly effective strategy is to build what Warren Buffett calls a moat. A moat is an economic advantage that protects a company from the attacks of competitors. Ideally, a company would have multiple moats. A moat is an unfair advantage. Guy Kawasaki talks about how a business must identify its potential unfair advantages and then cultivate them. Why are moats so important?
Here are some great resources we have recently shared with one another (We don’t profit from recommending things. We just love sharing things we think you’ll appreciate. You can see our other Tips and Tools articles here.) Bring your designs to life with beautiful, realistic object mockups When we announced our Blueprint Report service, it took us over an hour to take the photos: We could have used Yellow Images instead. Yellow Images allows you to create object mockups (iPhones, iPads, mugs, T-shirts, etc.) from your designs, to show what they’ll look like in the real world.