A geek, a laptop, and some spare time.

Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Google Search Tip: Track Your Flight

Use Google to track your flight!

Use Google to track your flight!

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! But is it on time? Want to track a particular flight? Just type the airline and the flight number into the Google search box. The results will show information about the flight. You can see the terminal, gate, arrival and departure times, and if the plane is in the air, it will even give you a nice graphic to show you how far into the flight they are.

Weekend Roundup: Jonathan Winters Edition

Comedian Jonathan Winters

Comedian Jonathan Winters

Welcome to the weekend! Let’s take a gander at what caught my eye this week.

  • The Dayton Daily News, my hometown paper, highlights the alleged criminal mastery of one Israel Frost. He is accused of stealing an item from a local pawn shop, and then attempting to sell it back to that same store. Five minutes later.
  • Google Street View is a great way to take virtual trips around town, or around the world. The folks over at Google-Street-View.com have some of the better planned, and not so planned moments captured by those roving camera cars.

Have a great weekend!

Chrome Tips: Pinned Tabs and FavIcon Bookmarks

Using pinned tabs and FavIcon bookmarks can really save you space in Chrome.

Using pinned tabs and FavIcon bookmarks can really save you space in Chrome.

I’ve talked before about being a big fan of the Chrome browser from Google. But like any good tool, it takes a little know-how to get the most out of it. Here are two more tricks to add to your Chrome arsenal!

Pinning Tabs:

Pinning a tab.Some websites are so useful, entertaining, or integral to your online life that you always want them available. If you have a site that you use a lot, you can actually “pin” the tab. Pinning a tab has several advantages.

First, a pinned tab shrinks down so that only the site’s FavIcon shows, saving you valuable horizontal space. Second, a pinned tab loses that pesky ‘x’ button that closes the tab. (You know, the one you’re always accidentally clicking on while trying to click on the actual tab.) Third, if you are a tab-aholic, and have so many tabs open that they’re streaming off the screen, the pinned tabs will always stay visible on the far left. Handy! To pin a tab, right-click on it and select “Pin tab” from the menu. If you want to restore a tab to normal, right-click on it again and select “Unpin tab.”

FavIcon Bookmarks

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got bookmarks coming out your ears. If that’s the case, then space on your Bookmark Bar can really be in short supply. A great way to pack more bookmarks in is to just use a site’s FavIcon in the Bookmark Bar. This is an especially useful tip for all of those sites that you can identify just by their FavIcon. If the picture is enough, why waste space with words?

FavIcon Bookmark Bar

Plus it looks pretty cool!

To do this, the first thing you’ll need to do is make sure that the Chrome Bookmark Bar is displayed.  You can do this by clicking on the Chrome menu button (the three horizontal lines), then on Bookmarks, and finally on “Always show bookmarks bar.” You can also use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Shift+B (Windows and Chrome OS) and ⌘-Shift-B (Mac) to toggle the bar on and off.

Now when you add a bookmark, delete all the text out of the Name field. Now your bookmark is just the FavIcon!

Google Search Tip: Planetary Weigh In


I’ve got the whole world in my hands, more or less.

While not necessarily something that you need everyday, it is pretty cool to know the mass of the Earth. Just type in “Mass of the Earth” and take a look. You can also get the mass of the Sun, Moon or most any other planetary object at a moment’s notice. Try it out.

Google Chrome Tip: Growing Textboxes

I’m a big fan of the Chrome browser from Google. It’s lightweight, fast, and quite flexible. It also is chock full of fun extras that make it my browser of choice.

Here’s a tip for the next time you’re feeling a little cramped while typing something up in a text area online, such as on a blog or forum. Chrome allows you to click and drag on the bottom-right corner of a text box and expand it. Check it out:

This is the text entry box on a forum. If it feels a little cramped, click and drag down where indicated by the arrow.

This is the text entry box on a forum.
If it feels a little cramped, click and drag down where indicated by the arrow.

Now look at all the room you have. Very nice!

Now look at all the room you have. Very nice!

One last note. Site designers can, and sometimes do, disable this feature. (In fact, it’s disabled on the theme I use with this blog!) So if you find a site where it isn’t working, don’t worry about it. Otherwise, enjoy the freedom to stretch and grow those text boxes to your heart’s content.

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