Make Gmail Your Default Email in Windows

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If you use Gmail as your primary email, here’s how to set it as the default email service in Windows.

If you’ve tried to use links that share content via email (mailto links) you’ve probably run into errors or Windows attempting to open an installed email program.
You can change default programs for many file types and protocols in Windows, but Gmail is not available as an option because Gmail is an email service on the internet (as are Outlook, Hotmail and Yahoo). Since it isn’t installed in Windows, it’s not an option in default programs.

With a few steps, Gmail can be used as the default email in Windows. There are two parts to the process, neither is too difficult.
• The first part is to set Gmail as the default email in your browser. If you use more than one browser, set it as the default email in each browser.
• The second part is setting your browser (or the one you use most if you use more than one) as the default email in Windows.

Here's what you meed to do … Read More

Using Firefox? Update Now

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Mozilla has patched a vulnerability in Firefox that's being actively exploited by hackers, download the latest version to avoid issues.

A newly discovered vulnerability in Firefox has been patched and an updated version released. If you use Firefox, grab the latest version, here's how.

Firefox normally checks for updates when it's launched, but if you use it and haven't been prompted to download/update to version 72.0.1 download and install it manually or check for updates manually through the Help menu.

The vulnerability can allow an attacker to exploit Javascript code to silently enter a PC and install malicious code outside of the browser on the host computer. Firefox 72 had only been out a few days before the vulnerability was discovered and an update version was made available for download.

The bug was discovered by Qihoo 360 two days after the initial update was released.

The vulnerability is patched in Firefox 72.0.1 and Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) 68.4.1. Read More

Wallpaper of the Week: Yakushima Forest

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This weeks wallpaper is an image of Japan’s Yakushima Forest. Yaku cedar trunks and branches form a green canopy for the tangle of moss covered roots and rocks on the forest floor. Soft light showcases the variety of greens in this background. Icons show quite well on this background. Read More

Encrypt Your Files Before Sharing Confidential Documents

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Two best free file encryption utilities, namely AxCrypt and AES Crypt, are recommended in this article at Gizmo's Freeware. Both programs use the industry standard Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to securely encrypt files to protect your information from unauthorized access.

Alongside their desktop versions, both offer mobile versions so that you can easily decrypt a file on the move when you have received an encrypted file with the respective programs.

AxCrypt is free and good enough for use on a PC but unfortunately its mobile version is not free. It asks for a premium subscription after a trial period.

If a recipient wants to decrypt a file on a phone, it is then a wise move to use AES Crypt, a completely free open source software product available across multiple platforms including its mobile versions freely available.

Install Crypt4All Lite (AES) on your Android phones or tablets, or get AESCrypt on iPhone or iPad mobile devices. Both are compatible with files encrypted with AES Crypt.

Crypt4All Lite (AES) is ad supported but free for both encryption and decryption, while AESCrypt is only free for decryption and requires an in-app purchase for encryption. Read More

How to Get the Old Firefox About:Config Menu Back

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The recent release of Firefox has a redesigned about:config page. If you miss the old one, you can get it back with this tip.

The configuration editor in Firefox (about:config) lets you access and change advanced settings and preferences that aren’t available from the Options menu, allowing Firefox to be customized to a great degree.
Here are a few of the things you can change in the about:config menu:

Enable spell checking in all fields.
Open search bar results in a new tab
Open bookmarks in a new tab
Disable Unnecessary Animations
Disable Delay Time When Installing Add-ons
Stop Firefox from opening a window when you click on a link in an email program.

If you want the old About:Config menu back here's what you need to do … Read More

Happy New Year and Happy New Decade Greetings from Gizmo

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Another year has passed, and a new decade awaits us.

Some say this will be the most significant decade in more than 100 years. By the end of it we will probably know the direction Western civilisation will be heading for the rest of the 21st century. And the news may not necessarily be good even though we all hope dearly that it will.

Sitting here in Sydney Australia today I am surrounded by thick smoke from the scores of bushfires burning throughout the State. Hundreds of homes have been lost and sadly many lives. Ominously the weather forecast for the coming weekend suggests the carnage is not yet over. Thankfully I’m located in a relatively safe area though with these wild fires and catastrophic weather, the truth is nobody is truly safe.

Like the fires in California last Summer, these fires are unprecedented. The warming of the Arctic is unprecedented. The droughts in sub-Saharan Africa and the lower half of South America are unprecedented.

Now this is not an essay on climate change. Rather the point is that we demonstrably live in unprecedented times. And in a world of such grave uncertainty, nobody can predict what the 2020s will bring.

That same situation applies to the Internet. The invasion of our privacy is unprecedented as is the wealth, power and dominance of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple. Also unprecedented is lack of will from National Governments to reign in the excesses of these corporations.

If I awoke one morning in 2025 to hear the news that the internet had been sold to the tech giants, I would not be totally surprised. That’s because we live in times where anything seems possible however outrageous. Now I don’t think this will happen and dearly hope that it won’t, but the point is that it could.

This sounds pessimistic but the very same uncertainty could also lead to some unexpectedly positive developments in the 2020s. For example, there is growing consensus that many of the negative impacts of the internet are a direct consequence of the dominance of advertising. I fully agree, and in initiatives like the rewards tokens model being used in the Brave Browser, you can see the possible emergence of alternative funding models. Indeed, the Gizmo’s Freeware website survives largely on voluntary donations rather than advertising alone.

So, let’s hope that in the 2020s the age of advertising dominance of the internet will pass and with it the evils and excesses that have flowed from it. If that is the future of the internet, then we all can look forward to it.

But the future is the future and now is now so on behalf of all the volunteers who keep the Gizmo’s website going, may I wish you and all our valued site visitors, peace, good health and prosperity in 2020.

Gizmo

Read More

How to Disable SearchUI.exe in Windows 10

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If you find SearchUI.exe is using enough system resources to degrade performance, here’s how to disable it.

SearchUI.exe is part of Cortana – if you don’t use Cortana and it’s chewing through system resources and causing a significant slowdown you might want to disable it.

If you remove Cortana it doesn't appear in search from the Start menu but the underlying process, SearchUI.exe remains, running in the background. You might not notice it running but on some systems its resource use is very high and the system is slow to respond. You can change the SearchUI.exe status in the Services section, but it doesn’t always stay stopped or disabled and you may want to disable it permanently (the process can be reversed if you want to use Cortana again).

SearchUI.exe isn’t the same process that indexes Windows to provide search results, that would be SearchIndexer.exe and it should probably be left alone unless it’s causing problems. Disabling SearchUI.exe doesn't still let you search from the Start menu or Run box.

How to Disable SearcUI.exe … Read More

How to Find Out Where Shortened URLs Go

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Shortened links can lead to legitimate, safe sites or sites that aren’t safe and may harbor malware. Here are a few ways to see where those URL’s go before you click or tap on them.

Shortened links are all over – social media, email, newsletters, websites and affiliate links. Some sites, like Twitter, shorten all links posted in Tweets using their own service. Link shortening services like tinyurl and bitly are popular and anyone can create a URL using them.
How do you tell if the shortened URL link goes to a legitimate site?

One way is to use the preview function if the link shortening site offers one. Both tinyurl and bitly have preview functions that can be used from the address bar of a browser by adding a word or symbol to the shortened link. Here's how … Read More

Get Reverse Image Search in Your Browser’s Right Click Menu

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This add-on for Chrome and Firefox searches several image tools by right clicking on an image and choosing image search engines.

If you do any amount of reverse image searching normally you go to your preferred image search engine, add the image, and have it look for matches. With this extension, all you need to do is right click the image, choose Image Search Options and choose one or all of the image search engines. The list of search engines can be customized by adding, removing, reordering and renaming image search engines. It makes looking for images faster and easier. It’s available for Chrome and Firefox, and it’s working fine in Edge Chromium and Brave.

Firefox users will have a better experience out of the box with this add-on. It has a more recent update and lists 11 search engines, while the Chrome version lists four. The Chrome version can be made to display the same or any other search engines as the Firefox version lists.

Search engines can be added in the extension options in the Chrome version (Menu > More Tools > Extensions > Image Search Options > Details > Extension Options).

I added Microsoft Bing Visual Search to the Chrome extension (it's included in the Firefox version). It’s not the most popular search engine but I’ve had surprisingly good results from it on a number of occasions. Read More

An Open Source and Secure Messenger App Supporting Multiple Platforms

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Unlike WhatsApp, Signal is a secure messenger app developed under an Open Source project supported by grants and donations. It is available on several platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Mac and Linux.

Among many noteworthy features, Signal lets you send disappearing or self-destructible messages, add an unlimited number of group members, use a built-in image editor to sketch, crop and flip outgoing photos, broadcast messages, backup and restore data and more.

To use the desktop version of Signal, you will need to link your phone to Signal Desktop by scanning a QR code given. Once that's set up, you will be able to start secure chatting on the desktop without using your phone.

If you are using an Android device, you can even replace your default SMS/MMS app with Signal. In this case, sending messages to another Signal users is secure, but chatting with non-Signal users remains insecure. You won’t get confused as this app clearly indicates whether you’re sending a secure Signal message or unsecured SMS in a text input field.

Get your friends to chat using Signal, which is free and secure, with no ads and no trackers. Read More

Windows 10-upgrade nog steeds gratis

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.

Chrome, Edge, Firefox: Welke browser is het snelst?

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 herontwerpt koelpasta-tubes wegens drugsverdenkingen

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.

Zo installeer je Chrome OS op je (oude) computer

Google timmert al jaren hard aan de weg met Chrome OS en brengt samen met verschillende computerfabrikanten Chrome-apparaten uit met dat besturingssysteem. Maar je hoeft niet per se een dedicated apparaat aan te schaffen, je kan het systeem ook zelf op je (oude) computer zetten en wij laten je zien hoe.

Bespaar inkt en papier met deze tools

Je bespaart tijd, het milieu en je portemonnee met deze programma’s die het printproces ondersteunen. Sommige van deze tools maken er zelfs een wedstrijdje van en laten je gedetailleerde resultaten van je besparingen zien.

Google stopt met Chrome-apps

Google heeft aangegeven te stoppen met losse Chrome-apps. Het bedrijf is begonnen met het afbouwen van de ondersteuning van de apps en richt zich alleen nog op extensies.

Grote Windows 10-gat gebruikt om NSA te Rickrollen

Een kwetsbaarheid in Windows 10 zorgt ervoor dat gebruikers er niet meer op kunnen vertrouwen dat ze een legitiem domein bezoeken en dat gevaarlijke software van betrouwbare certificaten kan worden voorzien. Een onderzoeker heeft al aangetoond dat dit niet moeilijk is.

Zo repareer je het grote gevaarlijke Windows 10-gat

Een gevaarlijk Windows 10-gat moet met spoed worden gepatcht. Dat gaat niet altijd even vlot als je de automatische update afwacht en in dit artikel laten we zien hoe je de installatie van deze specifieke patch afdwingt.

Vanaf vandaag kan je aan de slag met Microsoft’s nieuwe browser

Windows 7 is niet het enige dat Microsoft deze week met pensioen stuurt, ook webbrowser, Edge, moet het veld ruimen. Vanaf vandaag kan elke Windows 10-gebruiker aan de slag met de nieuwe, op Chromium gebaseerde Edge.

Canonical lokt Windows 7-gebruikers naar Ubuntu

Windows 7 wordt niet langer ondersteund en verschillende organisaties doen hun best om gebruikers te laten switchen van Microsoft’s besturingssysteem naar iets anders. Canonical, de organisatie achter Ubuntu, doet ook mee.


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Tools and tips: the world’s fastest projects; 3X your speed with kaizen; and how to use heat maps

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.) Take inspiration from projects that were completed “impossibly” quickly Stripe’s CEO, Patrick Collison, has compiled a list of projects […]

Let us help you do something awesome in 2020

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 […]

A slightly fun, tenuously festive 10-minute accessibility challenge

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. Rebranding was far from our minds on […]

If you take lots of screenshots on a Mac, you’ll love these little-known tips

(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 […]

The Infinite Manager (Part 3): An exercise to make you rethink how you manage projects

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 […]

The Infinite Manager series

An unconventional way to manage your company We made the unusual decision to publish an extract from our in-house onboarding flow, which all new team members follow when they join us. It received so much positive feedback we have since published more, as a mini-series, which we’re calling The Infinite Manager. The articles describe the […]

Tools and tips: A website accelerator; MailChimp tips; scanning documents; an accessibility tool; and a logo test

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 […]

How to get an unfair advantage

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 […]

Tips and tools: Realistic mockups; email templates; full-page screenshots on mobile; and more

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 […]

Tips and tools: Optimize your forms; understand machine learning; become a Google Sheets ninja; and more

Understand how machine learning works—by reading these comics from Google Google has partnered again with Scott McCloud, who in 2008 created the comic that was used to announce Google’s new browser, Chrome. Google’s latest comics are about how machine learning works and how federated learning works. You’ll find them useful if you have a vague […]