How to Enable/Disable Multiple File Downloads in Chrome

chrome logo

By default, Google Chrome asks for confirmation when a site tries automatically to download files in succession. However, if you want to block all attempts regardless of the site, or maybe you would rather blacklist a specific website, here’s how.

Sometimes when you download a file in a browser, the website will try to download another file immediately after the first finishes. While there are legitimate circumstances—like a file conversion site—there are sites who used it maliciously to force virus or harmful scripts to download without your knowledge or permission. However, for security reasons, Google Chrome now prompts you when a website tries to download multiple files.

How to Disable Multiple Automatic File Downloads

Fire up Chrome, click the menu icon, and then click “Settings.” Alternatively, you can type chrome://settings/ into the Omnibox to go directly there.

Click the menu button, and then click Settings

Once in the Settings tab, scroll down to the bottom and click “Advanced.”

Under Settings, click Advanced at the bottom of the page.

Scroll down to the Privacy and Security section and click on “Site Settings.”

Click on Site Settings

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How To Use Voice Dictation In Google Docs

Since the late 90s, it has been possible to type text documents on your computer using nothing but your voice. Who can forget the fanfare of Dragon Naturally Speaking’s release in 1997? With just a microphone, you could talk at your PC and it would do its best to recognize and write down what you said.

It sounded great on paper, but this early voice recognition technology was more frustrating than useful. You had to speak at a snail’s pace, with the intonation of a robot. Even then, you’d be lucky to achieve even 70% accuracy.

While there was plenty of optimism that voice recognition would be the main way we used our computers in the future, things haven’t really turned out that way. At least not yet.

While voice assistants like Siri and Google Assistant get daily use for quick searches, questions, or common device functions, physical interfaces are still where it’s at. When it comes to typing up documents, it’s almost unheard of that anyone prefers voice dictation.

It is a pity, because without spending a cent, you have access to a voice dictation solution far superior to what everyone was so excited about two decades ago. The freely-available Google Docs cloud application has a robust and almost 100% accurate voice dictation solution.

Typing With Your
Voice in Google Docs

The
first thing you should know is that proper voice dictation is only
available through the Chrome Browser. If you’re using the Google
Docs app on a mobile device, then you can still use the Google
keyboard microphone to dictate text, but it doesn’t have the same
feature set as the proper solution we’re discussing here.

Before heading over to Google Docs and jabbering away, we need to make sure that your microphone is working properly. In Windows 10 you can do this by right-clicking on the speaker icon in the notification area. Then click on Open Sound Settings.

On this screen, under Input you should see the microphone level jump around as you speak into the mic.

If you are using a laptop with a built-in mic or a desktop webcam with the same, then you may not always get the results that you want. While these mics are pretty good these days, a good condenser desktop mic or good quality headset mic can make a dramatic difference in how well you’re understood.

Now, having checked that the mic does work, we can head over to any Google Docs document. Place the cursor where you want to insert the dictated text.

Now, click on Tools and then Voice Typing. You can also use the keyboard shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+S.

You’ll see a small popup with a picture of a microphone. Click on the mic icon to start dictation. Everything you say will be written down in real-time.

Voice recognition happens on powerful cloud systems, so you’ll need a working Internet connection for this to work.

Fixing Mistakes

Occasionally
Google will get words wrong. You don’t have to switch off voice
dictation to fix this. Just move the cursor with your mouse and fix
the incorrect word as usual. Google will learn from your corrections.

Editing With Your
Voice

In addition to typing out sentences, you can also do some formatting and editing with voice controls as well. There’s an extensive list of commands that let you (among others things) select text, apply formatting, cut, copy, paste and so on.

You can even navigate around the page, moving the cursor or scrolling the entire document. If you learn enough commands, you may never have to touch your computer to write at all.

How to Remotely Open a GUI Application With PuTTY

SSH on laptop concept
Eny Setiyowati/Shutterstock.com

Want to remotely access a Linux machine and launch a graphical application? PuTTY to the rescue, thanks to the “enable X11 forwarding” option. You can even do this from Windows—all you need to do is quickly install an X server.

The PuTTY program was initially written for Windows, 20 years ago. It has been ported to many other platforms since. It is a graphical application that provides a terminal window and remote connection to other computers. Typically, the connection is made using SSH, but other protocols are supported.

As well as the traditional terminal window command line interface, PuTTY can be configured to open graphical applications on the remote computer.

Installing PuTTY

If PuTTY isn’t already installed on your computer, you can install as follows.

On Windows, download PuTTY from the web.

To install PuTTY on Ubuntu, use this command:

sudo apt-get install putty

sudo apt-get install putty in a terminal window

To install PuTTY on Fedora, use this command:

sudo dnf install putty

sudo dnf install putty in a terminal window

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What Is Slack, and Why Do People Love It?

Slack's logo

Slack is a workplace chat app that’s so popular, the company that owns it was valued at more than $20 billion. You’ve probably seen it mentioned in the news. If you haven’t used it yet, here’s what you need to know.

What is Slack?

Slack is a workplace communication tool, “a single place for messaging, tools and files.” This means Slack is an instant messaging system with lots of add-ins for other workplace tools. The add-ins aren’t necessary to use Slack, though, because the main functionality is all about talking to other people. There are two methods of chat in Slack: channels (group chat), and direct message or DM (person-to-person chat). Let’s take a quick look at the user interface.

The Slack interface with the instance name, list of channels and DMs, and the chat window
Slack

There are four main things to pay attention to in Slack:

  1. The name of the Slack instance.
  2. The list of channels you’re a member of.
  3. The list of people you’ve direct messaged.
  4. The chat window.

When a customer wants to start using Slack, they choose a name for their Slack instance. This then becomes part of the unique URL. So, if Wile E. Coyote wants to create a Slack instance for ACME Slingshots, his Slack instance would be https://acmeslingshot.slack.com/. Wile E. can then invite anyone he wants to be a member of his Slack instance.

Channels in Slack can be public, meaning any member can see and join that channel, or private, meaning only members of that channel can see it or invite others to join. DMs are always private, although they can include up to 8 people.

The chat window is where all the actual communication happens. You can read any reply to messages, use emoji reactions, add gifs, see RSS feeds, set reminders, get add-in notifications, and various other bells and whistles. But more than anything, this is where you talk to people.

What’s So Great About Slack?

When Slack came along, there were no real competitors in the market. That’s not to say there weren’t other chat apps, but Slack combined an intuitive UI with both group and person-to-person messaging. It also allows companies to have a measure of control over who can use it through the invitation system. Other tools could do the same, but without the same usability (Campfire, now BaseCamp, was an obvious one). None of the traditional vendors (Microsoft, Apple, IBM, Sun, and so on) had anything comparable to Slack.

This lack of corporate size was also a benefit. Slack was small enough to be responsive and quick when it came to adding new features, like emoji reactions (great for users) and 2-factor authentication (great for admins). For some users, the fact that Slack wasn’t owned by a big traditional vendor was benefit enough, but that doesn’t explain why Slack is so popular.

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How to Sell Your Old iPhone for Top Dollar

iPhone 8s Plus lying on top of three $100 bills.
Mykola Churpita/Shutterstock

The iPhone has one of the best resale values of any smartphone. You’ll get more money if you sell it yourself and skip the trade-in. Here’s how to prepare your iPhone, pick a price, and make the sale.

Before You Start, Create a Backup

If you’re selling your old iPhone to buy a new one (rather than switching to an Android device), the first thing you should do is create a backup. This allows you to transfer the backup to your new device, along with all your personal data, apps, and other information.

The best way to create a backup of your iPhone is by using iTunes on a Mac or PC. You can also create backups using iCloud, but these can take a long time to complete if you aren’t already doing so, and the restore process takes a lot longer, too. iCloud backups are limited by the speed of your internet, so the backup and restore procedure can take hours or even days.

Windows users can download iTunes from Apple’s website.

  1. Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using a Lightning cable.
  2. Wait for the device icon to appear in the top-left corner (screenshot below), and then click it and select your iPhone.
  3. On the Summary tab, click “Back Up Now” and wait for the backup process to complete.

Click the Device Icon in iTunes.

Check “Encrypt iPhone Backup” to save sensitive data, like passwords, Wi-Fi network credentials, Health data, and HomeKit data. You’ll need to create a password to do this. You’ll also need this password to restore the backup to your new iPhone at a later date. We recommend using a password manager to save it for you.

Click the Box next to "Encrypt iPhone Backup."

When you’re ready to restore this backup to your new iPhone:

  1. Turn on your new iPhone and follow the setup procedure to activate the device.
  2. When prompted, choose “Restore from iTunes Backup,” and connect your iPhone to the same Mac or PC you used to back up your old iPhone.
  3. Click on the device icon in the top-left corner, and then choose your new iPhone.
  4. On the Summary tab, click “Restore Backup,” and then choose the backup you made previously. Type your password if you chose to encrypt your backup, and then wait for the process to complete.

Create an iCloud Backup

If you’re backing up your iPhone to the cloud, you can always restore it from iCloud instead, when prompted. However, restoring from iCloud takes much longer than restoring from a Mac or PC, so we recommend doing it locally.

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