Highlighter Tool

HighlighterHave you ever been reading an article online and wished you could highlight a passage?  Even better – share the highlighted portion with friends?  Awesome Highlighter lets you do just that in several different colors!  After you highlight text/pictures on a web page, you can add a note or just click done. (There is a 2000 character limit.)  Next, you are given options on how to distribute this information, including creating a short link automatically, emailing, copying to clipboard, or sharing via social media sites.  The parts you’ve highlighted are the only ones that show up on the share.  How cool is that??

More on the SOPA/PIPA Strike

Strike Headline

Fight for the Future, one of the driving forces behind yesterday’s internet strike against the SOPA and PIPA bills, reported in an email that the protest succeeded in getting the attention of lawmakers.  Before the protest, only 5 senators spoke out against the bills.  Now, the count is 35!  For more details about how the strike went, see the SOPA Strike website.

The fight is not yet over.  It will take 41 solid “No” votes to permanently stall PIPA (and SOPA) in the senate.  Please continue to contact your legislators (easy email form!) to let them know you value your freedom online.

SOPA / PIPA Threatens the Internet As We Know It.

You may or may not have heard of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect – IP Act), but if either of these becomes law, the Internet will cease to be a free exchange of creativity and ideas.  [Insert personal opinion disclaimer here.  ;-)] While I will agree that piracy is an issue and it robs creators of deserved remuneration, the vague language used in these bills could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands.

I found this quote in an informational vide0 (below) particularly disturbing:

“…the government and corporations could block any site, foreign or domestic, just for one [copyright] infringing link.  Sites like YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook would have to censor their users or get shut down since they become liable for everything users post.”

For more information, please view this short video:

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

If you feel so moved, please let your representatives know what you think of these bills.

The Name Engine

I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time remembering names.  If I have to read a complicated-looking name without having heard it?  Forget it!  Thankfully, I found a site called The Name Engine [link].  They have pre-recorded the correct pronounciations of the names of locations, brands, athletes, entertainers, politicians, newsmakers, and more!  If you saw the word “Kyrgyzstan“, how would you pronounce it?  Click the word to see if you were right.

Happy Computing!


Problem Steps Recorder

Recording signI just learned about a wonderful troubleshooting feature included  in all versions of Windows 7.  I can’t believe Microsoft hasn’t made a bigger deal about this tool!  It’s called Problem Steps Recorder.  If you encounter an issue that you can reproduce, but can’t easily show or explain to someone, this tool can help.

For example, if I found that clicking a link crashes my internet browser, I can just let the webmaster know the page address and which link caused the problem.  However, if I find that only a certain combination of clicks and other actions lead to a crash, that may be more difficult to explain accurately.

Enter Problem Steps Recorder.  If I click the “Start” orb, type “psr” (without quotes) and hit enter.  A control bar will appear.  After I click “start recording”, it will record all of the steps I take, including a text description of where I clicked and a picture of the screen during each click.  The text I’m typing will not be recorded.  If this information is important to the troubleshooting process, I can use the “Add Comment” feature to annotate the steps.  When I stop recording, the information can be saved to a zip file and emailed to support.

As a support professional, I can attest to how important it is to be able to see the screens people are talking about.  With so many possible variables on any given machine, a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

If you’d like to learn more about Problem Steps Recorder, see the dedicated Microsoft support page.