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Tricks & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘Browsing’


Contributed by:  Brian Clark


What are these random letters I have to type before I can submit a form on a web site?
Maybe you’re signing up for an account, or attempting to contact a company via their web site, and you’re frustrated that you can’t just click ‘Submit’ and be done with it!

Google, Yahoo! and others have been using this kind of barrier for a while now, and while, at times, it may be frustrating, there is a method to their madness.  Its called CAPTCHA, or Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart.  As the name implies, this tests to ensure a real person is filling a form, and not something automated.

Why go through all this trouble?
Without a CAPTCHA, automated programs written by unscrupulous people can automatically fill out a form thousands of times. Google uses it to stop spammers, among others, from signing up for a lot of Gmail accounts to send out ‘anonymous’ spam to other people around the world. Yahoo! employs CAPTCHAs for a similar purpose.

Other individual sites use CAPTCHAs to combat spam that is sent to the site owners through their own contact forms. Using this method, it ensures that their visitors’ emails are not lost in a flood of trash.

CAPTCHA techniques aren’t fail-proof, but they are evolving as fast as attackers find ways to have their automated programs, believe it or not, interpret CAPTCHA images without the aid of a human.
Tips to speed through CAPTCHA

  1. Often there is a refresh button – if you can’t read the letters, click refresh
  2. Be confident and submit anyway – if you’re wrong, it will reprompt you

Comic Relief…


More funnies… (couldn’t resist)

  1. Comic
  2. Comic

The latest version of Firefox, 3.5, was released today.  Tons of new features and bug fixes: location awareness (if allowed), faster browsing, a privacy mode, and new video, audio, and HTML support, to name a few.

How to get Firefox 3.5
Download via Softpedia or Filehippo
At the time of writing, the release is official, but Firefox’s main download page hasn’t been updated just yet.

What is Firefox?
Well first, what is a browser?  A browser is an application that loads web pages.  You probably know Internet Explorer (IE), well that is a browser by Microsoft that comes with Windows.  Just because it came included, doesn’t mean it is the best option.  There are others… Netscape (gone), Safari, Chrome, and more.

Watch the video to see a short walk through of the new features.

Something extra…
Take better photos this 4th of July:
Fireworks Photography Tips. Or see also How to Be a Better Photographer When on Vacation


How to Use Just One Password

March 26th, 2009


Windows/Mac:  LastPass is a free tool that remembers all your website login passwords. Sound a bit scary?  You have to login to LastPass first with a “master password”, then it will log you in to all your sites.  Walk away for a few minutes and it can automatically log you out.

You might have sites you visit often such as news, banking, magazine subscriptions, etc.  LastPass gives you ONE password to remember and does the rest of the work for you.  Fewer clicks, less to remember, get more done! =)

Video:  LastPass Introduction

Download:  Try LastPass now (click Get lastpass)

In the news…
AVG, our preferred anti-virus application and free for home use, just released their newest version: download AVG 8.5 (use left link).


Amazing Search Results

February 17th, 2009


Download www.cooliris.com (free) for amazing, visual search results in Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Safari.

Cooliris takes searching the web to a full screen, almost 3D experience.
Pan through pages of images by moving your mouse.  I just can’t explain this one; you really need to see it for yourself.  Here’s how it works:

  1. After you install Cooliris, search Google or your favorite search site
  2. On Google, click the Images link across the top
  3. Mouse over any photo for a link at the bottom left to load up Cooliris

You can search many other sites, including YouTube, and Hulu to play their videos right inside Coolirs.  Please, check this out when you have time to spare.  🙂

Learn more or get started now:  www.cooliris.com