Sunday, 28 December 2014

Who Tweeted It First on Twitter?

Twitter has recently opened up their archives making it possible for anyone to search the entire Twitter database ever since the first tweet was published in 2006. This time-sorted archive of billions to tweets will be extremely helpful for research and more so when you are trying to find out who broke the news first on Twitter or who the original source of a quote is.



To give you an example, if you want to know who said something first on Twitter, say the iPhone, you can head to Twitter’s advanced search, choose a range of dates and dig through the old tweets. If a match is found, you further narrow down the date range and repeat until you find the oldest matching tweet.
There’s a little problem though.
It takes lot of trial-and-error to find the first tweet for any topic. You have to first guess a range of dates when that tweet was probably sent and keep narrowing down that range. The Twitter API does let you search tweets within a date range but, as you have noticed in the Twitter archiver, the API doesn’t return tweets older than a few weeks and thus you’ve to perform searches for old tweets manually.


Moving Files between your Android and Desktop Gets Easier with AirDroid 3

The AirDroid app is probably the easiest way to manage your Android phone from your Mac or Windows PC. It lets you quickly transfer files between your phone and your computer, or from one Android phone to another, without requiring any USB cables.

The newest version of AirDroid – version 3.0 – is even better.
Earlier, if you had to transfer a file from the computer to your Android phone via AirDroid, you had to open a special web page in your web browser, authenticate the connection and only then were you allowed to download or upload files.




Now AirDroid has released dedicated clients (software program) for both Windows and Mac that mostly bypasses the need for a web browser. Once you have installed the AirDroid software on your computer, you can simply drag one or more files to the desktop app and the files are instantly transferred to your Android device. It just works.
The transfer happens extremely fast if your computer and your phone are connected to the same WiFi network. However, if one of your devices is not on LAN, you can still send your files via the cloud. The files stay in the cloud for a week before they are permanently deleted.
You can view your phone call logs and also reply to SMS messages from the computer. It is however not possible to initiate phone calls from the desktop. And certain old features, like the ability to capture remote screenshots and photographs using your phone’s camera, still require the web browser.

How to Easily Find the Biggest Files in your Google Drive

What do you do when your Google Drive is running out of storage space? You either add more storage or the inexpensive option is that you clean up your Drive and delete the large files that are hogging up the bulk of space. But how do know where these big files are hiding in your Drive?




If you switch to the List View in Google Drive (the list icon is near the Settings gear), it will show the sizes of all your files but unfortunately there’s no option to sort that list by their sizes. Also, Google Drive doesn’t support a Gmail-style size search operator so, unlike your emails, you cannot search for big files in Drive.
There’s however an easy workaround. While you are in Google Drive, go to bottom left corner and you’ll see a link that shows how much storage space you have used. Hover your mouse over that link and then choose Google Drive. Voila! The list you now see is sorted by size and the largest are listed at the top.
You can use the URL – drive.google.com/#quota – to directly access the list.
The list only includes non-native file formats since the native Google files – like your Google Documents or Google Spreadsheets – do not count towards the available quota.

How to Save Money While Shopping Online in India

Online shopping is convenient and you often get better discounts than what the local shops have to offer but if you can do a little more research, you may end up saving even more. Here are some online shopping tips and websites that may help you get the best deals while shopping online in India.



Online Shopping Tips to Save Money

1. Use Comparison Shopping

There are dozens of credible shopping sites in India and it may therefore take time and effort to determine which of them offers the best deal on a particular product. Comparison shopping sites like Junglee.comMySmartPrice.com,PhoneCurry.com and Scandid.in aggregate prices from multiple online retailers (through XML feeds and web scraping) making it easier for you to compare prices.
A downside is that some of these comparison shopping engines may not have price data from all the popular retailers so the lowest listed price may not always be the lowest on the Internet.

2. Find Discount Coupon Codes

Some shopping sites accept coupon codes that you can apply during checkout for some additional discounts on your final bill. Google is of little help here since coupon codes expire very soon but there are quite a few coupon aggregating sites –CouponDunia.in and CouponRaja.com for example – where you may often find active coupon codes for most online stores.
The coupons are neatly organized by stores and the listings are sorted by their expiry dates. Popular US coupons website RetailMeNot.com too has an India-specific section that aggregates coupons from Domino’s Pizza, eBay, Myntra and other popular online shopping sites.
You should also consider subscribing to the email newsletters of your favorite shopping sites and discount codes may sometimes land up in your mailbox.

3. Earn CashBack on Online Purchases

Coupon codes aren’t the only way to save money on your online purchases. Sites like CashKaro.com and Pennyful.in offer cashbacks on your regular purchases as long you visit the shopping site through the special links listed on these cashback websites.
It works something like this. You create an account at CashKaro and it will provide you links to various retailer sites where cash back offers are available. You visit the shopping site through these special links, make the purchase as normal and the cashback amount will be paid to you once a threshold is reached.

4. Set Price Alerts

You can use the price tracker to know when the online prices of any item drop. Just put all the items you wish to buy in a Google Spreadsheet and the tracker will monitor their prices for you. You can also use the Amazon’s Junglee to set price alerts.

5. Watch Deals on the Social Web

Most online shopping brands in India are active on Twitter and some of them do regularly post offers and deals on these channels. It may thus be a good idea to like /follow you favorite retails on the Facebook and Twitter so you’ll stay in the loop. You can also follow @DealsForGeeks on Twitter to know about upcoming deals on mobile and tech products.
Popular A-Z shopping sites like flipkart.comAmazon.inSnapdeal.comeBay.inand Infibeam.com have dedicated pages where they list ongoing offers – you may want to monitor these pages or at least put them in your browser bookmarks.

Get Daily Email Reports of your Google Drive Activity

The  Google Drive website includes an Activity Stream to help you monitor changes to the various files and folders contained in your Drive. Whether you upload a file, move a file from one folder to another or change the sharing permissions, your actions will get logged. This is especially useful for users who have shared files in their Drive that can be edited by external users.



The Activity Stream is however not available inside mobile apps and you’d have to log into the Google Drive website website daily to see what files and folders have changed recently.

Know What’s Changed in your Google Drive

There’s however a simple workaround. Instead of checking the activity stream manually, you can configure a Google Sheet and it’ll send you a daily email report (screenshot) of all the files in your Drive that have been created or modified in the past 24 hours. And it just takes 30 seconds to set up the monitoring.
  1. Click here to make a copy of the Drive Monitor in your Google Drive.
  2. Put your email address in the cell E1 highlighted in Yellow. This is where the daily email reports will arrive.
  3. From the file menu, choose Spreadsheet settings and choose your default Time zone. The modification time in the report will use this time zone.
  4. Go to the Google Drive Report menu in the sheet (see screenshot below) and choose Authorize. Allow the script access to your Drive – it needs to do this to know what has changed.
  5. Go to the Report menu again and choose Schedule reports. The script is now running in the background and it will email you the Drive report every 24 hours. You’ll get the first report immediately.

Take YouTube Videos Offline on your Mobile

YouTube users in India rejoice. You can now download YouTube videos on your Android or iOS device using the official YouTube app itself and watch the videos later while you are offline or on a slow connection.
It takes a few easy steps to download a video on the YouTube app. Open a video, tap the download button (see screenshot), choose the resolution for the downloaded video and it will begin to download on your device. There’s a new “Offline” section in the YouTube app where you can find a list of all videos that are currently in the download queue or available for offline watching.

















The offline feature is available on the YouTube app for both Android and iPhone.

That said, there are certain obvious limitations. One, not every video available on the YouTube website is available for download. The offline mode is mostly disabled for music videos and movies.
Also, the downloaded videos can only be watched inside the YouTube app. I did some digging on Android and it turns out that YouTube saves the videos into smaller chunks as .exo files, a format that is not supported in other media players.
There are however no restrictions around the number of videos that you can take offline with the YouTube app, you are only limited by the free storage available on your iPhone or Android phone.

How to Prevent Gmail from Trimming your Email Signature

Gmail has this annoying habit of trimming content that it thinks is repetitive or not relevant to the ongoing email conversation. For example, if you reply to an email message, the recipient will only see what you have written and everything else in the thread would stay hidden until they manually click the 3 dots (ellipsis) that say “Show Trimmed Content.”

This doesn’t always work as expected though. Gmail may sometimes hide your actual reply if it contains content identical to other messages in the thread. Also, if you attach a signature to your outgoing email messages, the recipients are unlikely to see your signature because Gmail will hide that portion under the ellipsis.
This GIF illustrates the problem. I sent an email to a contact and this is how they see it. Only the reply is visible to her but not my email signature.

Stop Gmail from Hiding your Signature

You want your customers and contacts to see your email signature because it has your phone number, website address and other contact details but Gmail is likely to conceal that part. And, unfortunately, they do not offer an option to opt-out or disable trimming.
There’s a workaround though. Gmail “trims” your signature because it is identical. If you can make your email signature unique for every message, Gmail will not trim it on the recipient’s screen.
While you are composing a new message in Gmail, or replying to an existing thread, click the 3 dots to expand the trimmed content and append some unique text after your signature. You can maybe add a random number and set it to light-gray so that is almost invisible to the recipient but still manages to trick Gmail into think that is is “unique” content.

Things You Should Do After Installing WordPress

It  takes two easy steps to install WordPress but you should tweak some of the default settings to further optimize the performance and also improve the security of your WordPress website.



Optimize your WordPress Installation

These suggestions are only applicable to self-hosted WordPress.org sites and not WordPress.com blogs. Also, I assume that you are running WordPress on Apache under Linux. Let’s get started:

1. Move out the media upload folder

WordPress store all your uploaded images and files in the wp-content/uploads folder. You should however move this folder outside the main WordPress folder, preferably on a sub-domain. Thus your WordPress backups will be more manageable (the uploaded files and themes can be backed up separately) and, most important, serving images from a different domain will allow parallel downloads in the browser improving the page loading time.
Open your wp-config.php file and add the following lines to change the location of the wp-content folder. You may also deselect the option – “Organize my uploads into month- and year-based folders.”
define( 'WP_CONTENT_URL', 'http://files.domain.com/media' );
define( 'WP_CONTENT_DIR', $_SERVER['HOME'] . '/files.domain.com/media' );

2. Remove unnecessary meta tags from WordPress header

If you look at the HTML source code of your WordPress site, you will find a couple of meta tags in the header that aren’t really required. For instance, the version of WordPress software running on your server can be easily retrieved by looking at your source header.
<meta name="generator" content="WordPress 4.1" />
This information is a good hint to WordPress hackers who are looking to target blogs that are using the older and less secure versions of WordPress software. To completely remove the version number and other non-essential meta-data from your WordPress header, add this snippet to the functions.php file found in your WordPress themes folder.
  remove_action( 'wp_head', 'wp_generator' ) ;
  remove_action( 'wp_head', 'wlwmanifest_link' ) ;
  remove_action( 'wp_head', 'rsd_link' ) ;

3. Prevent people from browsing your folders

Since you would not like anyone to browse your WordPress files and folders using the explorer view in web browsers, add the following line to your .htaccess file that exists in your WordPress installation directory.
Options All -Indexes
Also make sure that there’s a blank index.php in the wp-content/themes and wp-content/plugins folder of your WordPress directory.

4. Disable HTML in WordPress comments

The comment box in WordPress allows commenters to use HTML tags and they can even add hyperlinks in their comment. The comments have rel=nofollow but if you would like to completely disallow HTML in WordPress comments, add this snippet to your functions.php file.
add_filter( 'pre_comment_content', 'wp_specialchars' );

5. Turn off Post Revisions in WordPress

WordPress includes a helpful document revisions feature to help you track changes to post edits and you can also revert to any previous version of your blog posts. Post revisions do however increase the size of your WordPress wp_posts table as each revision means an additional row.
To disable post revisions in WordPress, open the wp-config.php file in your WordPress directory and add the following line:
define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);
Alternatively, if you would like to retain the Post Revisions functionality, you may just limit the number of posts revisions that WordPress stores in the MySQL database. Add this line to the wp-config file to only store the recent 3 edits.
define( 'WP_POST_REVISIONS', 3);

6. Change the Post Auto-Save Interval

When you are editing a blog post inside the WordPress editor, it will auto-save your drafts as-you-type and this will help in recovering your work in case the browser crashes. The drafts are saved every minute but you can change the default duration to say 120 seconds (or 2 minutes) by adding a line to your wp-config.php file.
define( 'AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 120 );

7. Hide the non-essential WordPress RSS Feeds

Your WordPress installation generates multiple RSS Feeds – the blog feed, article feeds, comments feed, category feeds, archive feeds, etc. – and these are auto-discoverable as they are included in the HTML header of your blog pages using the <link> meta tag. If you just want to publicize your main RSS feed and remove the other feeds from the , add a line to your functions.php file:
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'feed_links', 2 );
remove_action( 'wp_head', 'feed_links_extra', 3 );

8. Maintain a Single RSS Feed, Redirect Others

In the previous step, we simply removed the RSS feeds from printing inside the site header but the RSS feeds still exist. If you would like to have only one RSS feed served through FeedBurner and disable all the other feeds, add this to your .htaccess file. Do remember to replace the feed URL with your own.
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
 RewriteEngine on
 RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !^.*(FeedBurner|FeedValidator) [NC]
 RewriteRule ^feed/?.*$ http://feeds.labnol.org/labnol [L,NC,R=301]
</IfModule>

9. Disable WordPress Login Hints

When you type a non-existent username or an incorrect password while logging into WordPress, it will provide a very detailed error message telling you exactly whether your username is wrong or the password doesn’t match. That could offer an hint to people who are trying to break into your WordPress blog but, fortunately, we can disable the login warnings.
function no_wordpress_errors(){
  return 'GET OFF MY LAWN !! RIGHT NOW !!';
}
add_filter( 'login_errors', 'no_wordpress_errors' );

10. Enable 2-factor Authentication

This is highly recommended. If someone gets hold of your WordPress credentials, they will still need your mobile phone to get into your WordPress dashboard.
Unlike Dropbox or Google, 2-step authentication isn’t part of WordPress but you can always use the Authy plugin to enable 2-factor authentication.

11. Change the Permalink Structure

Do not use the default Permalink structure of WordPress since it is bad for SEO. Go to Options -> Permalinks inside your WordPress dashboard and change yourWordPress Permalink structure to something like:
Option 1. /%post_id%/%postname%
Option 2. /%category%/%postname%/%post_id%/

12. Add Favicon and Touch Icons

Your WordPress theme may not even include references to the favicon (favicon.ico) or the Apple touch icons but web browsers and feed readers may still request them from your server. It’s always better to serve a file than returning a 404.
First, create a 16×16 favicon.ico and a 144×144 apple-touch.png file and upload them to the home directory of your blog. Then add this line to your .htaccess to redirect all apple touch icon requests to that particular file.
RedirectMatch 301 /apple-touch-icon(.*)?.png http://example.com/apple-touch.png

13. Disallow Indexing of WordPress scripts

You want Google and other search engines to crawl and index your blog pages but not the various PHP files of your WordPress installation. Open the robots.txt file in your WordPress home directory and add these lines to block the bots from indexing the backend stuff of WordPress.
User-agent: *
Disallow: /wp-admin/
Disallow: /wp-includes/
Disallow: /wp-content/plugins/
Disallow: /wp-content/themes/
Disallow: /feed/
Disallow: */feed/

14. Make the Admin a Subscriber

If your WordPress username is “admin,” create a new user and grant them administrator privileges. Now logout out of WordPress, log in as the new user and change the privilege of the user “admin” from Administrator to Subscriber.
You may even consider deleting the user “admin” and transfer any existing posts /pages to the new user. This is important for security reasons because you don’t want anyone to guess the username that has administrator privileges to your WordPress installation.


WELCOME TO MY BLOG

WELCOME TO MY BLOG