Google Chrome: How to make it faster, smarter and better than before // thnxz to pcworld.com – @pcworld Cc/ @awawro @MarcoChiappetta


Power extensions

If you don’t already have the latest version of Google Chrome installed and running properly on your system, take those preliminary steps now. Afterward, open the Chrome Web Store, and you’ll see an overwhelming array of Chrome apps for augmenting your browser with games, music players, and social networks. The extensions we’ll focus on here are designed to make Chrome leaner, meaner and more efficient.

FastestChrome: As its name would lead you to expect, FastestChrome adds a few useful time-saving tools to your Chrome browser. Its features consist mainly of surface-level stuff, such as displaying a pop-up bubble with an explanation of a word whenever you highlight one, and providing the option to look up that word on any of four different search engines (Wikipedia, DuckDuckGo, Surf Canyon, and of course Google.)

FastestChrome automatically loads the next page of a website and shares the definition of any word you highlight in Chrome.

The extension also lets you choose to automatically transform written URL text into clickable links (which makes reading email messages from less tech-savvy friends a lot easier), and its Endless Pages feature automatically loads the next page of a website (think Google search results or an eight-page Vanity Fair article) so you won’t waste precious seconds clicking Next and waiting for the page to load.

Google Quick Scroll: This extension whisks you straight to the search terms you’re looking for on any given website. With Google Quick Scroll installed in Google Chrome, every time you click through a search link, a tiny box containing a preview of the text highlighted in your search result will pop up in the bottom-right corner of your browser. Click that box, and Chrome will take you there without further ado.

Chrome Toolbox: Install the Chrome Toolbox to open multiple bookmarks in a single click, to cache unsubmitted form data so you can avoid retyping it each time you create a new profile, to magnify images and video right from within your browser, and in general to make Chrome twice as useful as it already is.

Experiment at your own risk

To reach Google Chrome’s hidden experimental options, first launch Chrome; then typechrome://flags/ in the address field, and press Enter. You’ll jump to a page containing an array of experimental options, a few of which directly affect browser performance. To see other hidden Chrome menus that you can access via the address field, typechrome://chrome-urls/ in the address bar and then press Enter. The ‘flags’ page is where Chrome parks all of the hidden and experimental options, so that’s where we’re headed.

The hidden ‘flags’ menu in Google Chrome is home to various experimental options that can influence the browser’s performance.

At this is the point, we’d normally offer a disclaimer about messing around with experimental features in an application—but Google has handled that task quite well on its own. The first thing you’ll see when you reach Chrome’s flags options is a huge warning that reads as follows:

Careful, these experiments may bite! WARNING These experimental features may change, break, or disappear at any time. We make absolutely no guarantees about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on, and your browser may even spontaneously combust. Jokes aside, your browser may delete all your data, or your security and privacy could be compromised in unexpected ways. Any experiments you enable will be enabled for all users of this browser. Please proceed with caution.”

Though the stuff we’ll discuss doing in this article is more likely to cause simple rendering errors or to adversely affect performance than to wreak any major havoc, caution is appropriate.

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Lápidas con códigos QR: el cementerio ahora es multimedia


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Smartphones para rendir tributo a los seres queridos

Resumir la vida de un ser querido que ha fallecido en tan sólo una pequeña descripción grabada en piedra puede ser algo del pasado con la introducción de un código interactivo en las lápidas.

La compañía funeraria Chestear Pearce de la ciudad de Poole, en el sur de Inglaterra, ofrece añadir códigos de respuesta rápida (QR por sus siglas en inglés) en las lápidas que conectarán los smartphones con memoriales ilustrados con imágenes, videos y contribuciones de la familia y los amigos.

El director de la funeraria, dijo que los códigos QR hacen posible que los visitantes descubran mucho más sobre la persona enterrada bajo la lápida que simplemente la edad, la fecha de nacimiento o muerte y el típico pasaje bíblico o cita literaria que normalmente suele inscribirse en ellas.

“Trata de mantener vivo el recuerdo de las personas de diferentes formas”, dijo a Reuters el director, Stephen Nimmo.

“Cuando pierdes a alguien, ya sea de forma repentina o tras un proceso prolongado, puedes atravesar muchas dificultades. Hablar de ello es muy importante, y mantener su recuerdo también, y eso es lo que hace este añadido”, sostuvo.

Los códigos QR, códigos de barras que se pueden escanear con ‘smartphones‘ o escáneres QR, permiten a los usuarios acceder a información en Internet y se utilizan frecuentemente en campañas publicitarias. Leer más “Lápidas con códigos QR: el cementerio ahora es multimedia”

Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers


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Designers love analog tools. No wonder. These tools lets us physically interact with interfaces and speed up the design process, like paper prototyping. What takes hours in the digital world can be sketched out in a matter of minutes.

That’s why analog methods of prototyping are especially valuable right at the beginning of projects – when speed matters the most. Working with paper, or perhaps a whiteboard, can accelerate the speed of our learning loops. Sketch, feedback, sketch, feedback, sketch feedback – you can go through dozens of iterations in one day and you’ll set solid foundations for the rest of the work. Consider it kind of premium insurance. Getting rough feedback quickly can save you a lot of work.

No wonder, according to research by Todd Zaki Warfel, paper prototyping is still the most commonly used prototyping method! Yes, while we tend to disagree if we should code prototypes or just use prototyping software, the use of analogue tools in our design process is unquestionable! Honestly, I don’t know any designer who is not going through early stage paper prototyping sessions.

Of course in paper prototyping we pay the price of low-fidelity and while it might not be a problem for your team to discuss lo-fi deliverables, in my experience, it’s always a problem for stakeholders. To avoid misunderstandings and accusations that you’re playing with paper instead of working, just make paper prototyping an internal method for your team.

Analogue methods are supported by User Experience pioneers such as Bill Buxton, author of Sketching User Experience and Carolyn Snyder author of Paper Prototyping. They highly recommend breaking away from the computer once in a while and collaboratively work on the analog side of the design moon. According to them, paper prototyping:

  • keeps all team members motivated (as they can easily participate in paper prototyping sessions)
  • lets designers iterate quickly and gather feedback very soon in the process
  • gives designers freedom since paper has no boundaries

preview large goodprototypingbook design tools design tips design

And though many believe that the rise of tablets may end paper prototyping in the next couple of years, I’d disagree. The physical nature of paper prototyping, its speed and straight forward form (understandable by anyone), makes it unbeatable by any digital gadget. Tablet devices are just another medium of digital prototyping (perhaps better than computer, who knows…) than replacement of analog methods.

In recent years we can observe attempts to optimize paper prototyping by the creation of dedicated tools. I tried most of them and I’m addicted to some (UXPin, UI Stencils). They hugely improved my workflow. Dedicated paper prototyping tools gave me speed that exceeds everything that I tried before. I feel more professional with a well crafted notepad in hand than a crumpled piece of paper with messy sketches on it. This confidence helps me discuss my analog work both with teammates and stakeholders. Most of the tools that I present below have been around for couple of years and I guess they’re doing great.

My fingers are crossed for these brave entrepreneurs.

Have fun!

Note: At the end of article I listed some of my favourite printable templates – they are ready to use and FREE!

UXPin – Paper prototyping notepads



Popular paper prototyping notepads with an original idea. User Interface elements are printed on separate sticky notes, which let you quickly create prototypes and iterate by re-sticking parts of the interface. Additionally, notepads are equipped with a sketchbook (with printed browser/iPhone), project kick-off and personas forms, as well as diagramming, gridded, paper. Hard-covered, well-designed and beautifully crafted books are $29.99 with free DHL delivery to USA, Canada and EU, if you buy any 3 of them. Since people from Google, IBM, Microsoft use them – UXPin notepads has sort of become an industry classic.

Finished prototypes can be auto-converted into digital, HTML, wireframes by UXPin App and this is one of the coolest things I have ever seen in the User Experience Design field.

Phone Doo – Magnetic boards  Leer más “Paper Prototyping and 5 Analog Tools for Web and Mobile Designers”