Wednesday, September 05, 2012

‘Visual History for Chrome’ makes your browser history fun, useful

‘Visual History for Chrome’ makes your browser history fun, useful:
We’ve mentioned a number of ‘history’ extensions for Chrome previously, but this one is my favorite. ‘Visual History for Chrome’ displays your URL history visually, as nodes of various sizes that are related to each other according to order that you have visited websites.
This is the kind of software that doesn’t need to be described too much; all you need to do is look at the screenshot, and you will get it at a single glance.
Visual History for Chrome (more…)
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Control your PC’s ‘loudness’ with Sound Lock

Control your PC’s ‘loudness’ with Sound Lock:
Sound Lock is a free app that can impose limits on the loudness of your PC’s audio. Loudness is different from ‘volume’, and what Sound Lock does is actually turn down the volume that might accompany sudden loud scenes or the transition to another media file, and will hike it up when the loud segment dies down, so you get a uniform level of loudness without unpredictable hikes.
Sound Lock is designed for situations such as late-night video watching when you might not want to bother those around you with sudden volume spikes; Sound Lock will prevent these from happening.
Sound Lock Screenshot (more…)
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Considering A Personal Domain? Here Are Some Cool Uses For It

Considering A Personal Domain? Here Are Some Cool Uses For It:
uses for a personal domain
Even if you’re not a fan of blogging and don’t have an amazing new website to launch, a personal domain can be an awesome tool to own for fun or self promotion: from a customized start page with your favourite services accessible in one click anywhere in the world, to a full on CV or résumé showcasing your talent.
Today I’ve gathered together tons of fantastic ideas for what to do with a personal domain.

Buying Your Domain

Of course, you know about .com domains, but did you know about .me ? The .me domain is technically the country-code top level domain (ccTLD) for Montenegro, but it’s found a niche for personal websites and can be purchased by anyone; GoDaddy is currently selling them for less than $10. This is the only cost for using many of the services I’ve listed below, though for some you will require your own hosting too, or a premium upgrade for use with a custom domain.

Host Your Own Website At Home

Using the free DynDNS service, you can point that domain to your public IP address; Justin wrote a ful guide on how to set up the router side of this; you’ll also need to install some kind of web server (typically a specialised linux distro) on a spare PC, a virtual machine, or as an application on your desktop.

Make Your Own Start Page

Most browsers now have the ability to show you a selection of your most visited websites, but for a more attractive and customizable start page consider a static and easily editable site such as Estacado  or StartPage.rwt  - both require no code knowledge, but must be hosted somewhere.
uses for a personal domain

Virtual Business Card

personal domain ideas
Nancy covered quite a few virtual business card services before, but my favourite is for it’s sheer simplicity, though using your own custom domain does require a premium $20/year account.

If you have hosting, consider the simple but free Digital Business Card WordPress theme; you can also a run a full blog there, too.

Virtual CV or Résumé

One step up from a pithy little virtual business card, a full web CV will soon be commonplace as the world migrates it’s entire conciousness to an interconnected online entity. Stay ahead of the crowd so you needn’t be laughed at when you offer potential employers a paper copy.
Angela wrote about earlier this year, a visual résumé service that uses your LinkedIn profile to automatic generate the relevant graphics. The results are pretty stunning, and of course completely customizable.
personal domain ideas
Unfortunately, there’s no option to host on a custom domain, so for now your only recourse is to redirect your personal domain to is a similar service, but not quite as slick in my opinion.
personal domain ideas

Your Own Customized Email Address

If you have control of the server where your domain is located (such as a MediaTemple Virtual Private Server), you can use the standard CPanel or Plesk to set up as many unique email addresses as you want – including a catch-all. Catch-all means that any emails sent to any address at the domain that aren’t specifically set up already will just be forwarded to the address you set. You could use this just like a GMail alias for spam protection, or perhaps for giving out personalized email addresses to contacts (“, anyone?)

Google Apps

Even if you don’t have hosting, you can still install Google Apps – the free version allows up to ten users to have full access to all the Google Services you specify including Gmail. For more information on this, I recommend our free PDF guide to Google Apps.
Setting up Google Apps is quite a daunting process, but really not difficult. You simply need to edit the CNAME and MX records for your domain – found in the DNS Manager of wherever you purchased the domain. These are simply pointers that tell services communicating on your domain where to route things; web services, or email, being the most well known ones.
how to use a domain name
In the case of GoDaddy, enter the configuration screen for the domain, and click DNS Manager. Just click the quick add button for new entries, or edit existing ones. Follow the instructions careful, and be sure to wait 24 hours for changes to be live.
In fact, to just configure the MX records for GMail, you can use the GoDaddy GMail wizard here.

Custom URL “Shortener”

This may be a little pointless if you have a long name, but provided you also have some hosting setup with MySql and PHP capabilities, you are free to set up your own URL shortening service using YOURLS. Simon wrote a full guide to this before, so I’ll just point you there and be on my merry way.
how to use a domain name
Note that if you have Google Apps set up, you can install an app specifically for the task of URL shortening without needing any hosting.

Setup Your Own Web Proxy

School filtering systems getting you down? Tired of the dictatorship UK government blocking your PirateBays? Set up your own proxy, then laugh in their Orwellian faces as you float around untethered on internet waves of freedom.
uses for a personal domain
Again, this will require your own hosting, and again, Simon has you covered: read his full tutorial here.
Do you think we missed something? What’s your favourite way to use a personal domain?

Your All-In-One Guide To Building The Perfect Resume

Your All-In-One Guide To Building The Perfect Resume:
perfect resumeWhether you just graduated, are returning to school or are looking for a new job, within or outside your career, you need a resume. But not just a resume. You need a great resume. One which will stand out among the rest and help you land that job which you’re hoping will make some positive impact on your life.
My first tip of advice before you even start is to not get lost in the resume, but remember what you’re trying to accomplish. Not only does your resume reflect you, but it also attracts or repels certain kinds of employers. Obviously you want the good ones, and your resume can be that filter. That said, however, you always need to stand behind what is on your resume because ultimately you are what makes the difference in the interview and job.
Lastly, you might be thinking “Writing a resume has nothing to do with technology.” Au contraire. It has everything to do with technology… unless you write yours with a feather pen on animal hide.

The Most Important Part Of The Resume

What would you consider the most important part of a resume? Your education? Skillset? Experience? Vast knowledge in a specific area? In my opinion, all of those are great, but none of them are the most important aspect of your resume. The most important part of your resume is your contact information. Think about it.
If you were an employer looking through vast amounts, or even just a few resumes and you stumbled upon one that “wowed” you, but included no contact information, what would you think? What would you do? First off, a thought might occur that they aren’t attentive to details enough to even remember to include it. Second, you might not have the time or even care to try to find their contact information. Perhaps it was even in an email signature or something and you have it somewhere, but you are likely to not put much effort if they can’t even do that much.
Next, it’s important where it goes. As tempting as it may be, don’t place your contact information (or anything really) in the header or footer. The primary reason being that if you submit your resume online to a transposing database, the header and footer are likely to be missed in the scanning for key words and phases. This is because most just scan through the body of the resume.

A One Page Resume? Really?

There is a common thought out there that your resume shouldn’t extend one page, unless you are something special. And sadly, students in high school and universities are learning this still. I cannot count the times I was told this in school, even college. In fact, my last semester before I graduated I was applying for a job and asked an instructor for her input on my already stellar resume (I thought so, anyways). This was one of the things she told me to do – only make it one page. But when looking at my resume, that was clearly unrealistic. I had far too many valuable experiences to just cut them out, even if they all weren’t completely “relevant” to the job I was applying for – which I’ll cover later.
The answer to your question is “No. You don’t have to make it one page.” However, there are some guidelines to follow here:
  • Don’t add filler information, larger font or extra spaces just to make it two pages.
  • Don’t make the font too small and hard to read to make it fit to one or two pages.
  • It should be equal. If it’s two pages, make it a full two pages.
  • If it spills just over one page, tweak your resume until it fits.
  • Focus on content, not length. Once you have quality content, then make the size adjustments.
As you might see, they somewhat contradict each other in a way, but I think you should understand it. These are the tips that helped me. I can’t remember how or when I learned them. It was likely a combination or the Internet, school (very minimal) and personal experience through self-teaching.

Create A Clean, Easy-To-Follow Layout

In some ways, this goes right along with how many pages you have. You definitely want to customize the layout to the number of pages that you have. There are a couple aspects in having an easy-to-follow resume. First, you must have a nice template. You don’t want something busy or obnoxious. Something that makes it easy to find the information the interviewer is looking for. Another side, however, is less about the actual template and more about how you position your content.
Be consistent. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you do something one way in an area of your resume, do it that same way throughout the rest of it. If you change how something is positioned. If necessary, make that same change in all other areas of your resume. You want your resume to flow, not have your interviewer feel like they’re in a chaotic abyss of words when reading your resume.
As far as choosing a template goes, there are tons of them. If you’re using Word, Microsoft has several. The internet is full of ideas and there are even ways to use LinkedIn to create your resume for you. Although, I wouldn’t necessarily condone only using that as your main resume, but it’s a nice option. What I did was get an idea from a resume I saw and created one for myself, making custom tweaks here and there to my liking, while keeping the basic layout the same. It doesn’t matter what template you choose, as long as it meets the requirements of being easily read.
perfect resume
There are also a lot of ways to make your resume. From infographics to clever designs to videos. However, though these are very cool, I don’t personally feel they’re very practical… especially not for all careers across the board. Some careers strive for creative individuals that stand out from the rest – these are the kind of resumes that fit. All other careers simply should have pretty basic resumes. That doesn’t mean it has to be boring to read. Just like a story, you want the interview to feel engaged when reading it, to be impressed when they set it down… or better yet, not be able to set it down, but to continue to look through it.

Be Concise, But Thorough.

how to write a perfect resume
Content plays a huge role in whether your layout looks lean or not. You can have a great looking template, but not an easy to read resume. This is likely due to your content not being as clear and concise as it should be. Keeping things as short as possible is important. Let me put an asterisk by that though. You don’t want a vague resume. Meaning, you want to be thorough and avoid short, one to two word lines. It’s ok to have sentences  and explain yourself in your resume. This was something I learned by myself as well.
In high school, I felt as if they pushed your resume to summarize your professional life. And to an extent you want it to, but not too much to the point that you have dwindled down every skill and experience. In fact, many of the cliched phrases and sayings for resumes are derived from this very principle of “minimalism.” Again, you want to be concise, and certainly not redundant, but you need to make sure that you are also explaining who you are, what you’ve done,and maybe even why you have done it.

Impress, But Be Honest

how to write a perfect resume
Obviously you want your resume to stand out from the rest. You’ve gone to great measures choosing a killer template, creating excellent content… oh, content. About that. Reread everything you’ve got on your resume. How much of that have you literally accomplished? Have you specified your extent of knowledge in that skill or experience? Let’s say you have “Managed a team to create… blah blah blah.” Did you really manage the team? Or did you just observe them? Perhaps you did help manage the team, but in that phrase, it sounds like you were the sole manager. Were there others of equal stature whom you worked with to manage the team? These are important things to include. I have found myself being a little overzealous when writing/editing my resume and often need to step back and look at things a little bit more realistically.
In the image blow you can see I chose the word “assisted.” There are a lot more powerful words that sound better, but essentially that is all I did and it wouldn’t be right to set a bar higher than what my skill level depicts. Also, the majority of the time, being honest will impress.
how to write a perfect resume

Forget References

a perfect resume
Ok, so don’t literally forget them. But don’t add them, not mention anything referring to them on your resume. For a long time I added “references available” in the footer. Then I read how that is not really necessary since employers assume that you will have references, especially if you’re “sharp” – which your resume will often indicate. Employers typically will ask for references later.
However, depending on the situation, they do sometimes ask for references at the same time of the resume (or sometimes, you just know they’re going to want them right away). In these situations, I do include three references which are the most relevant to the job I’m applying for. I have a separate resume created with my references already in it so all I need to do is swap out any references, if I so desire, change their contact information and send it away.
That is an exception though. For the general resume that you might hand out and certainly for any public resume of yours which you post to the internet, leave out the references. If the employers like what they see, they’ll contact you for more. It also gives them a reason to contact you for more, and indirectly tells you they’re interested. The more contact you have with them the better so you don’t want to give them everything they want right away, unless of course they directly ask for it.

Grammar, Grammar, Grammar

Grammar. I can’t emphasize it enough. I’ve said it four times and I still don’t feel that you quite understand what I’m getting at. Alright, so I’ll assume that you do. Honestly though, this is one of the most important aspects of your resume. I’d almost say it’s right below remembering to add and having proper placement of contact information. If you don’t have an outstanding skillset expressed on your resume, but have flawless grammar, you’re already above average. It doesn’t just show that you know how to make a resume, but that you pay attention to detail. Detail that also will be expected on the job, no matter what you do. If you have trouble with this, don’t just do it on your resume, practice it in every day life so that when you do get a job, you don’t disappoint.
As you can see, even I mess up grammar occasionally. Although it doesn’t happen often.
a perfect resume

One Resume Doesn’t Fit All

I’ve already mentioned this briefly when referring to having multiple resumes, one with and one without references. However, it doesn’t stop there. I highly recommend you tweak your resume per job. Slightly adjust your objective to match what you are expecting from that job and what they are looking for. Add any skills that you have that may be more relevant to the job. Just adjust the overall focus of your resume to that company. It should also relate to the cover letter you write to them and include many of the same things.
Since graduating, I’ve applied at several places which are very different. Not all of the places were paying, some volunteer, like zoos, but many still requested a resume. From an avian sanctuary to two zoos to several vet clinics, my resume had a lot of tweaks. Had I not created multiple versions, I would have been in a mess and would have been constantly changing and editing what I wanted that particular organization to see.
a perfect resume
Instead of having to make the whole thing again, I recommend saving it as another version, opening that version and making the changes, then saving it again. That way you don’t overwrite your other versions of resumes. I also recommend having PDF and DOC versions of your resume. Personally, I prefer sending a PDF version versus a DOC version. Most of the time that is what employers want anyways.

Manage Your Resumes

After creating resume after resume, you will soon realize that they need to be managed some how. If you’re somewhat unfamiliar with file management in general, I encourage you to read my article about that. In that article I talk about naming your files according to what is included in them and also dating them. This is especially important with resumes. It’s nice to know what resume is for what job. For instance, I have a resume for a vet assistant position, a zoo keeper position and for working at an avian sanctuary. Plus, I have my general resume. It would be impossible to keep all of these straight it they didn’t have a proper description.
Along with describing, dating the file name is also important. Not just when you initially created it, but as you update it, change the name to when you last updated it. For me, I just go by month and don’t really need to get more specific than that. This has proven very helpful because I might have forgotten about adding something recent to my resume, but will be reminded when I see it hasn’t been updated for two months.
Lastly, put all your resumes in one folder. If you want to access these from other places, online cloud backup and sync applications like SugarSync and Dropbox are excellent solutions. It also is in your benefit to use such programs since they have file versioning and live updating to automatically detect and save any changes you make.

Tell A Story

perfect resume
Remember that your resume is basically a timeline of your professional life. At first it may seem bleak, especially if you don’t have much professional experience. But be creative. Share about what life experiences you’ve gone through. Have you done Eagle Scouts? What about volunteer work, specifically in your area of interest? What extra curricular activities did you do in school? What skills have you taught yourself through your interests in a particular career? These are all things that you can include and should include on your resume. There are so many more things as well, but hopefully those questions will trigger some ideas for you to compound on and work with.

Conclusion – It’s Only The Beginning

So you’ve finished your resume. Congrats! Now I’m going to tell you that your resume is an ever growing, ever changing, live document. It will never be finished. For now, you are content with it. But soon you will think of something else to add or do something else that should be put on there. This is fine and you shouldn’t get discouraged about the never ending resume work. In fact, be proud that yours doesn’t sit around outdated.
Your resume is just the first part of your presentation. Like I said in the beginning, you are what makes a difference. Be sure that you can back up everything on your resume, and if in doubt, allow a little leeway to go beyond what you wrote in your resume. If you don’t agree with something here, I am more than willing to hear your argument and embrace different viewpoints.
Have you developed a resume based off these guidelines already? How has this article helped you in creating your newly refined resume? If you haven’t created a resume yet, are there any additional questions I can help with?
Image Credit: Resume via Shutterstock | Are You Sure Your Resume Is Accurate? via Shutterstock |  Why Did I Move To The Moon? via Shutterstock

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Catch Image Thieves With Who Stole My Pictures And Also Put It To Five More Uses [Firefox]

Catch Image Thieves With Who Stole My Pictures And Also Put It To Five More Uses [Firefox]:
who stole my picturesIn the course of my blogging career, I have always been respectful of the people who have made the effort to upload their work of photographic art on the web. Open licensed for free use or even otherwise, it always falls upon us to credit the photographer for his work. Failure to do so is less of bad etiquette and more of outright stealing. I sure know the feeling because I hate it when someone lifts my written posts and copy-pastes it without permission.
When it comes to textual works, we have seen how easy it is to catch the copycats. But what about pictures and photographs? Is image search that easy? Probably not; but that’s not to say it is impossible because image search technologies have evolved.
Making an effort to defeat image plagiarism is this simple Firefox extension called Who Stole My Pictures.

A Simple Firefox Add-on

Who Stole My Pictures is a Firefox add-on that basically works like a reverse image search. Reverse image search is a just a different take on your traditional keyword based search. Here instead of using a keyword, you use an image instead. Specialized search engines are used which use their algorithm to find similar images. Who Stole My Pictures (WSMP) can be thought of as a meta-reverse image search engine as it uses dedicated reverse search engines like,,, and Each has its own way of finding out images using the reverse search.
WSMP is really a very simple no-frills add-on in itself. It works from the right-click menu after you install it as you would any other Firefox add-on.
You simply right-click on the specific image and then choose the search engine you want to use. You can also click on Open all in tabs and get them all to work for you together.
who stole my pictures
Results will be displayed in separate tabs for each search engine. It will obviously also depend on the downtime state of the browser. E.g. I found Baidu consistently down for me. Google and TinEye gave the most reliable results.
stole my pics
If you have a particular preference, you can go into the Options and select the search engine you want to display in the right-click menu. Remember, the checked out search engine will play no further part in the image search.
who stole my pictures
The final option – Upload Local Image to – does exactly as it says. You can upload an image from your desktop and use (probably the most well-known reverse image search engine) to find similar images.

5 Uses of a Reverse Image Search Engine Apart From A Plagiarism Check

It is a small world and sooner or later you fill bump into the copyright infringer. But a reverse image search like WSMP has a few other uses you can put it to.
  1. Find out a higher resolution version of the same image.
  2. Find out if it’s too common an image, and you could do better with a bit of exclusivity.
  3. Find out in what other context the same image has been used. For instance, I have often discovered a few more cool websites using reverse image search.
  4. Find out the source of image. Who knows…it could be a valuable stock of other images you can use.
  5. Find out the photographer behind a particular picture, and check out his other works.
Who Stole My Pictures may be a simple extension. But as you can see from the five other uses above, the benefits are many if you can find the right use for it. Do you have your own requirements for a reverse image search? Do you think reverse image search or image search alone has really evolved, or is there still lots to be done? Shout out in the comments.