Browsing Tips: Start Google’s Chrome Browser Always in Incognito Mode

There are times when you are on the move and you want to work on the Internet from a public computer, without leaving any traces.  Reach the shortcut to the Google Chrome browser.

  • Right click on it.
  • Select properties.
  • Once in the properties tab, look for target box.
  • You will the find the short cut path leading to Chrome. exe
  • Leave a space after the “Chrome.exe” and enter a hyphen /dash.
  • Type “incognito” without the quote marks next to the hyphen.  (Make sure that there is just one  single space between the “.exe” and the hyphen () Do not include the ” ” (quote marks).
  • Click OK.
  • Now double click on the Chrome short cut.  It opens in the incognito mode.

Chrome Incognito mode edit

Click on the image for a larger view.

Luca Grementieri, of Javafactory came out with an extension for Chrome.  Once you install the extension Incognito Switcher, a single click on the extension icon opens your Chrome browser into a new ‘incognito’ window.  You can try that too.

Good luck with your private browsing.  Be good, don’t be naughty.  🙂

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Windows 7 Tips: How To Add More Shortcuts To Send To Menu

I picked up this Windows 7 tip, somewhere on the net.

Select a folder or a file, right click and the Send to menu displays more options, than the Windows 7 default.  Look at the picture here.  It is quite useful to me.  I can configure my Send To menu with my personal preferences.

Configure your Send To Options

Learn how to add more options to your Send To menu, from the Geek here.

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How to Shrink Those Firexfox Browser Tabs

Kyosuke Takayama says that he would prefer his Faviconize the way it is and he doesn’t “..intend to add a feature. “stay simple, stay small” in his own words.  Though it is a nifty extension, the last time I checked, it had a download count of 871,611.  Shows it’s popularity.

For someone who has a very small screen acreage, be on her Net-book or laptop or likes to have many browser tabs open, ‘faviconize’ is a wonderful Firefox extension.  It shrinks the ‘tab’ width and makes more screen room.

See the image here:  Look at the space those tabs occupy.

Normal view of Firefox tabs before Faviconize

After installing the “Faviconize” extension, look at the additional space made. (Click on the images for more detail)

Thinner Tabs - after installing faviconize

“Faviconize” shrinks the tab to the size of a favicon the website uses. Kyosuke, thoughtfully added a few options too.  Once installed, under Tools>Extensions> navigate to Faviconize and click on the options.  One of the option is you can set a ‘default’ to a particular site to always open in the ‘faviconized’ size.  The other option is, you set a key board short cut of your choice.

Yes, of course I am using it.

You can add “Faviconze” here.

Download the latest Firefox here.

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Sandeep, take me to this url!

When you are on the net, there are many instances where you come across web URLs that you may visit.  You need to copy the url and then paste it in the address bar opening a new window or a tab to visit that site.  Sandeep Kothari came out with a solution.  He created a Firefox extension for folks like us.  His “Take Me To This URL” does precisely that. Once you install “Take Me To This URL” extension, all you have to do, when you come across a website text link is, select it and right click to show your context menu.  In the context menu you will find, “Take me to this URL”.  Point your cursor at it and click!  Bingo! The plain text URL to the selected website opens up either in a new tab or a window depending on your browser settings.

Click on the image to see detail.

Take me to this URL - Firefox Extension

Thank you, Sandeep for making life on the net easier!  🙂

You can download the Firefox extension “take me to this URL” here.

Download the latest Firefox here.

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Ever Heard of Solar Christmas Lights?

Ever Heard of Solar Christmas Lights?

This year Solar Christmas Lights are going to spread the message through out the world that festivals do contribute to making this world go green.   During the festive season Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are expected to raise the awareness of people about green and clean energy.  Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs will also increase the focus on Solar power and hopefully technologies that are involved in harnessing the abundant Solar energy will get a boost.

What are LEDs ?

Solar Christmas Lights are made of LED’s (Light Emitting Diodes) that consume much less energy than your traditional tungsten filament or CFL light.  They are more efficient compared to the traditional lights that need color filters.

How do they work?

A light sensor when triggered by sun light, activates the solar cells on a controller board, which in turn charge a  battery.  The energy charged battery powers the Solar Christmas Light LEDs.  A bright Sun produces about 1000 watts of energy for each square meter of the earth.  Solar Christmas lights burn brightly for almost up to fifteen hours after a full charge.

Solar Christmas Tree at Rockfeller Center, New York

Energy Efficient

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are energy efficient lights with distinctive look.  They are cost efficient and last longer.  Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs do not burn out but fade out over a period of time.  Besides a single bulb fading out in a string does not affect the other LEDs.  The energy savings made compared to the traditional lights is quite substantial.

Lasts Long

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs work for almost ten years.  This is almost twice the time of the incandescent bulb.

Safe

Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs are safer too. Since they do not generate much heat they are safer to hang on the Christmas trees.   Solar Christmas Lights with LEDs come in durable and sturdy plastic cases and do not break easily.  Hence they are comparatively safer and are less risky especially when children and pets are around.

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Increase Your oDesk Rating 5/5

I came across Mike Stratton on oDesk way back in 2009.  He had then posted a project Increase Your ODesk Rating 5/5 –  Fictional Story of Encouragement. The intriguing project title  drew me to it.  Leave alone the ranking and the money, Mike was talking about, it was for a noble cause.  Besides it would help me assess my creative skills.  Mike should like it enough to publish it on his site.

I did not submit my bid immediately.  I had to make sure that I had something to write about in Mike’s own words , “a personal story of encouragement/ empowerment”.  I had to write a fictional story in about 500 words.

When I woke up the next morning, I had the story outline.  When I sat before my keyboard it took me something like sixty minutes to complete it. You can read the story here.

Thank you Mike, for giving me that break.

Please, leave your comment here to let me know what you think about Mike, his initiative and my story.

Thank you.

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3 Tips to bid on Guru’s Best Projects and become a Winning Guru

This is about a feature  “Add to Watch List” on Guru.com, where you go to pick your freelance projects.

You are busy.  You are busy with your content.  You are that busy you don’t even have time to log into your Guru account and check out those projects. And that is pretty bad news. You are busy now. But what about tomorrow, when your current assignment ends?   You will have to find a new project, bid on it and win it to keep you occupied.  It could take an other three days to three weeks and may be beyond.

Don’t despair.  Not all is lost.  Guru has a nifty feature.  “Add to Watch List”Log into your Guru account.  Click on the “Get Work” tab.  Set your search filters of your choice and now you have a list of all those projects that are open.  Neatly tabulated under various headings and they include Employer Statistics too.  IMHO, this is the most important column.  It informs you a great deal about this client.  (Read Employer = Potential Client = Client.)  It informs you if this potential client had paid her bills.  The number of projects she had posted and the kind of rating the providers gave them.

1 – The FIVE STAR rated client is the best.  That means none of our clan had any issues with this client.

2 – How much did this client pay?  A couple of thousands.  Oh.. I like this client more.  She’s been around for some time.  She knows how the system works.   She deserves your complete professional attention.  One you would like to retain for ever and be in her black book.

3 – Does she pay all her bills?  She does. Fantastic.  You ought not miss her projects.

What do you do now?  You are busy with your current project and yet do not want to leave this excellent potential client.

That’s where your Guru’s feature “Add to Watch List” comes in.  You just click on that tab “Add Watch List” and it goes into your “Add Watch List”.

Now you can go to your My Account and there under your “Manage Your Proposals”, reach your  “Watch List”.  Click on it, to go to your “Watch List”.Filter your watch list projectsYou can also set your filters from the drop-down list that provides you four options.  The first one is “Newly Listed”, then “Ending First”, the third is “Project Budget – Highest first” and the fourth is the “lowest first”.  Set your filters here and Guru will deliver all your watch-list projects  neatly tabulated.

At one glance you can now check out the best of the projects, the best paymaster, saving you plenty of time.Guru Add to Watchlist OptionsThere are also other filters that hide all those projects you have applied for, projects that viewed, those that need on-site work and vendors only projects.

Keep working on your projects, make some time go to your “Watch List” and present your bids.  That way you can keep both your hands busy all the time.  What you say?  🙂

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My Favorite Feedback

Carl Shapiro said, “Positive feedback makes the strong grow stronger and the weak grow weaker.”

It is the feedback like this that keeps me going!  This is one of the many positive feedback’s that my client’s at oDesk gave me. You can read them here.

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3 Simple Tips To Win Paying Jobs on oDESK

As a professional freelance writer who is interested in building an online freelance writing career, there were times when I used to quite often visit oDesk.  The frequent visits were to check for openings and apply for almost all the potential jobs.  And then I used to get messages like this:

“Hello Anil,

You have not been selected for the job opening ‘ Ghost Writer‘.
* Reason candidacy was ended: Job Opening Expired
from oDesk.(Emphasis mine).The undeniable underlining hope was that it would take me closer to a successful freelance writing career.  I was yet to learn the tricks of the freelancing trade.  I did not know then that I was wasting my time and effort applying for some of those ‘freelance content writing openings’ that were very clearly saying ‘DO NOT APPLY’.  Surprised?  Don’t be.

The signs were all there.  The thing was I did not know how to read all those signs then.  I do not claim to be any wiser now.  But then I think I am better off from where I began working on oDesk, having spent more than 50 productive oDesk hours (you can check my oDesk history) and made some pretty decent money with freelance writing.  It included, website content writing, product descriptions (more about it in future), press release news, ghost writing for employment related blogs, some Internet research apart from other jobs.

Those little known ways that helped me, didn’t they?  So I would like to share them with you so you too can save some time.  You can invest that time in improving your chances of quickly finding ‘paying jobs’ and make some more money.

The First Tip
I subscribed to “Job alerts” a feature that you will find under your ‘My Profile” tab.  Half the clutter is out.

I get my job alerts into my inbox.  The jobs of my choice walk into my ‘inbox’.The Second Tip
When I visit the job posting on oDesk, the first thing even before I read the job posting is, check to see if the ‘buyer‘ is ‘oDesk Verified” for ‘Payment’

If the buyer is not ‘verified’ then you need to think twice before applying.  Is this buyer really serious about the job?  IMHO, I do not think this buyer is either professional or serious.  Out goes this from the list.The Third Tip
I check the ‘Buyer Facts’.  If this buyer became a member and posted this job the same day, this buyer too is ‘out‘.

The reason?  Well, I think this buyer doesn’t need my attention because, this buyer is not willing to tell me how she is going to pay me and when she is going to pay me, if at all she is going to pay me.So, there you have a buyer, who is not “oDesk payment verified” and the ‘oDesk Buyer Facts’ has nothing to tell you, so what would you do?

You love the gig and want to ‘do’ it.  Go ahead.  Be my guest. You can always give this gig a try and may be you will be introducing a great buyer to all of us here at oDesk.

Bonus:
The bonus is you can avoid all those “Candidacy Ended“, “project was canceled“, “Project expired” messages and unnecessary disappointments that keep crawling into your in box.
* With thanks to Brian Clark, the Copyblogger.
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How to drum up your business?

Jose Feliciano, store – owner of Five Star Pets,a pet food store of Miles Town says that during a recession advertisement dollars are hard to come by. A small business owner, Jose feels that every dollars needs to be conserved to offer the best range to the thrifty customer that drops in.  Anne, a single mother and a part time sales person says sales at their store had begun to perk up ever since her employer, Jane had begun to advertise in the local news paper.

“It is always better to be seen at the convention, than the flea market”, says Liz, a gift and souvenir stores owner.  Incidentally Liz imports novelty and gift items from China.  Liz is on the road most of the time and conventions are the places where she feels she is able to drum up more business and get  to add new ones to her rolodex and eventually to her shipping list.

Conventions add value

Conventions are better organized and it is much easier to set up the show and it takes much less time to get the word out to potential customers.  It brings in a touch of professionalism to the business – especially to the one-man-army-bands. It helps to get to know the different market conditions.  The reps are there who bring in their new lines. Networking with the other players is easy.

Do conventions cost more?

Though at the end of the day, booth rentals and advertising costs, flyers, bill boards add up to  overheads, there is also the cost of the give-aways to count.  The get- to-know-dinners do add value to the relationship though it adds up to the costs.  But then they are all evened out by the business one does.  Out of towners obviously need to factor in their motel rents and parking charges.  Some of the convention centers charge additional fees for power and phone lines but then according to Peter Brown, a small business coach, “every dollar spent here is worth it.  You get a place, you get your buyer and he’s got the money.  You get to know the right guy who calls the the shots.  So it is that much easier and quicker to close the deal.  Everything under one roof and that includes your press-bureau too. I always advise my sellers to plan their presence.  That way they can keep their own expenses down”.

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