Latest StoriesHow-To
    How To Check JPEGs for Photoshopped Modifications
    Ever wondered if a digital photo has been manipulated? Sometimes it’s all too ( hilariously) clear when an image has been altered, but when crafty photoshoppers have been at work, it’s hard to be sure what’s real. But now thanks to a handy online tool, anyone can perform a quick forensic check of a JPEG picture and easily see which sections might be fake.

    error level analysis (ELA), which checks quality level across the image and highlights sections that seem to be off from the rest of it. Here’s how this ELA utility separates truth from fiction.
    Essential Tips for Proper Posture for a Day at Your Desk
    We all fall victim to poor posture in front of our computers. Whether leaning back in the chair with legs up on the desk or slouched on the couch laptop awkwardly perched on the thighs, we think we're comfortable when, in actuality, we're doing long-term damage to our bodies. 

    Many of us have no choice but to spend our hours in front of a desk at work, and when we get home our leisure time is more of the same. John Morrell, a professor of mechanical engineering and material sciences at Yale, has created a mechanical chair fitted with force-sensitive resistors that vibrate when the body does not make contact with them. This forces the body to maintain proper posture for fear of constant agitation. 

    Morrell's contraption cost nearly $1000 to outfit ($70 in electronics and an $850 industry-standard Herman Miller Aeron chair), but you can save your body and your bank account a lot of stress with these little changes.  
    How To Print From Your Phone for Free with Dropbox
    What’s cooler than printing? Well, lots of things--but one of those things is wireless printing. We may be stuck with these ugly, awkward devices for a few more years until our country’s dead paper obsession winds down, but remote printing at least gives us the option to produce paperwork without being tethered to a printer in a stuffy office. We spend more time on our phones than our desktops these days, and that calls for a mobile printing solution. That’s where Dropbox comes in.

    With a Dropbox account and a simple script, you can print whatever you want from a web-enabled phone. It’s free and easy--here’s how.

    How To Easily Cut and Remove Backgrounds from Photos
    Masking backgrounds and pulling out objects is one of the more tedious and common processes in Photoshop. If you have a person standing in front of one background and you want to use the magic of image editing and put him in front of an entirely different background, you need to isolate him from the rest of the picture. The addition of the Quick Select tool in Adobe Photoshop CS3 was a great start, but it's not the only way to tell Photoshop that the background is a different part of the picture from the foreground or the subject.  

    How To Micromanage Your Windows Startup Routine
    Windows almost never simply boots. Once you start loading your computer with software, it collects several applications and utilities it will run every time you start. Office has them, Adobe has them, and even iTunes has them. Many of these programs don't even offer the option of disabling them within their own settings; once they're installed, they're lodged securely in your startup routine. 

    Chaos In Your Inbox: Turn Off Gmail's Conversation View
    Do you remember the dark age of email, the time before threaded messages became standard? Grouped conversations work wonders for a crowded Inbox, keeping conversations neat and tidy no matter how long they get. Up until iOS4 launched, the lack of threaded email support was quite possibly the most common complaint leveraged against Apple’s smart phone. Everyone loves Gmail’s conversation format, right?

    Well, apparently not. Enough crazies out there petitioned for an option to turn off threaded messaging that Google finally responded, adding Conversation view to the Settings menu. If you feel like deleting snippets of a conversation to make your email archives confusing and disjointed, now’s your chance! If you don’t see the option in settings yet, check back over the next couple days--Gmail updates usually take a few days to roll out to the entire userbase.
    How To Watch Blu-ray Movies on Your Mac (It's Not Pretty)
    Blu-ray support on OS X is something of a mystery. According to Steve Jobs, digital download services like iTunes are, in fact, the future, and will ultimately replace physical disc-based formats. And although that future is a long way off — at least, in terms of features and quality — it means the popular Apple OS won't be getting proper support for the format anytime soon. But regardless of what our black turtlenecked overlord thinks, consumers are buying the high-definition discs in droves — and Mac users have no way to enjoy them.

    How To Take Phone Screenshots with the Android SDK
    As we all become more enamored with customizing our smart phones, it makes sense you might occasionally want to show off what you've done. The problem is that Android makes it a pretty spectacular pain to actually take screenshots of your phone. If you root, there are a number of apps you can use to take screens. But if you're not rooted, with a little setup the Android SDK can be used to capture screen shots easily, and with great results. 

    How To Bring Aero Peek to Mac OS X with HyperDock
    The Dock is one of OS X's defining features, but not everyone is a fan. For some, Microsoft's iconic taskbar is the only way to go, and the release of Windows 7 only added further features to improve its functionality. 
    In fact, compared to other operating systems, Apple's Dock is starting to look a bit dated. It's pretty, sure, but lacks some of the tricks found in more modern application launchers. Perhaps that's why the idea of HyperDock is so great, augmenting previously-limited functions, and bringing Windows-only features like Aero Peek and thumbnail previews to the OS X world. 

    How To Properly Merge Social Networking Contacts on Android
    Ever since Android 2.0 debuted on the Motorola Droid, Android has been doing some very interesting things with social networking contact integration. When you tap on a contact's profile picture almost anywhere in the UI, you will get a few way to bug them, as well as their last social networking status. The system might also pull their profile pic from Facebook to Twitter. Android is usually spooky good at figuring out who's who in your contacts. 

    How To Better Control Your Android Phone's Notification LED
    A feature we can always appreciate on an Android phone is the notification light. Users of BlackBerrys can certainly see the appeal here. When your phone receives a text message, email, or anything else, the notification light will let you know. It's been a little inconsistent which phones will have this feature. Some ship without an LED notification light. On some handsets, like the Nexus One, it is inside the trackball. Other phones like the Droid have it under the glass front near the top of the phone. 

    Xmarks Shutting Down Syncing Services at the End of 2010
    Yesterday was a sad day for syncing service Xmarks--CTO Todd Agulnick posted on the Xmarks blog that they’ll be shutting down their servers and closing up shop within 90 days. Since its introduction as a Firefox syncing add-on in 2006, Xmarks has grown to over 2 million users across four web browsers and synced over 1.2 billion bookmarks. Despite pouring years of effort into making Xmarks a profitable venture, working bookmark recommendations and crowdsourced data into search results never took off, and advertisers never got on board, either.

    When their recent talks to sell the company fell through, Xmarks had no choice but to close down. We hope everyone affected by the business closure finds new work elsewhere--Xmarks undoubtedly played a big role in pushing bookmarking services forward. What was once a niche add-on is fast becoming a necessary component of modern browsers.

    How To Fix Video Interlacing in Your Movie Files On the Fly
    Have you ever watched a video on your computer and noticed the picture breaking up into misaligned arrays of horizontal lines whenever there's a lot of motion on the screen? It's called interlacing, and it can ruin an otherwise well-encoded and -rendered video.  
    Video interlacing is the technical relic of video production decades ago. From the early days of video, interlacing was used to make footage seem smoother without requiring more information to be transmitted. Each full frame of video is split up into two fields of alternating lines. Instead of displaying the full frames in their entirety one after the other, the two fields of each frame are drawn in succession, producing a consistent image while appearing smoother than it would look otherwise. Progressive scan, which involves drawing the whole frame without breaking it into fields, can produce higher resolution video at the same framerate but requires higher bandwidth. While that bandwidth is readily available now and most HDTVs are 1080p (progressive-scan screens with 1,080 vertical lines of resolution), interlaced video remains an issue with a lot of media. 

    How To Reset Your Android Phone's Default Home Screen
    Android has been called an operating system of Easter eggs. In all honesty, we can't really dispute that claim. There are things Android does that are completely non-transparent. One of the functions that users are not immediately aware of, is the control of default apps. When a new app is installed, it can take over functions usually reserved for an system app. With all the strange carrier/ manufacturer user interfaces coming out, many users are looking into home screen replacements. It can be frustrating to constantly be changing defaults for something as important as the home screen launcher. 

    How To Use Virtual Desktops for Smart Window Management
    For some people, one screen just isn't enough. And while we've covered the advantages of using multiple monitors in the past, that type of setup isn't always as realistic as we might like. Size constraints, a lack of funds, or a myriad of other reasons might be keeping us from reaching that triple-screen nirvana, which leaves us to maximize what little space we have as much as possible.  
    built-in for years, while Mac users were given Spaces with OS X Leopard. Windows users, however, have long been left out of the fun.

    That leaves third party utilities to pick up the slack, and a number of them happen to work quite well. 

    How To Get to Gmail's Priority Inbox Faster on Android
    In case you missed our rundown of the new update to Gmail for Android, it now has some support for Gmail's Priority Inbox. While we'd like to see some more of the full Gmail features in this implementation, the way they have chosen to do it offers a great time saving ability.
     You can easily get to your Priority Inbox from the home screen with a shortcut. Here's how. 
    How To Completely Customize Mouse Buttons for Individual Apps
    Yesterday, I wrote about a little app called Volumouse, that can let you change your computer's volume levels with the mouse wheel. It's a handy trick, but it's only the tip of the iceberg that is mouse button customization. While Windows offers a few options and many high-end gaming mice include their own software for button assignments, I've yet to find a tool as powerful as the free (but donation-accepting) utility X-Mouse Button Control for configuring mouse behavior. 

    Four Tiny Utilities to Get More Control Over Windows Audio
    Windows offers plenty of options and settings for sound playback, but they're by no means a complete and comprehensive way to control how you listen to things on your computer. While many keyboards have multimedia controls and you can always physically turn the dial on your speakers, you're often left with clicking on the little speaker icon in the lower-right-hand corner of the screen to change settings.