Trying to pick the best Youtube videos of X time period is a lot like trying to pick your favorite flavor of ice cream when you haven’t eaten for two weeks. Everything just looks so good and tasty—or viewable—that it would be impossible to concoct a meaningful “Best Flavors Ever” list with even the slightest bit of accuracy. Everything just looks so scrumptious!
Well, the same problem is happening in our attempt to catalog the 25 greatest Youtube videos of 2010. And, to stretch the analogy even further, we’ve noticed that not everyone likes the same flavors of ice cream: Your Rocky Road of groin-hitting videos is our Orange Sherbet of pranks; Your Strawberry Katy Perry music video is our Chocolate cat movie; et cetera. In short, what you love isn’t necessarily what we love, and vice versa.
So how, then, do we come up with a “best-of” list? And more importantly, what's on it?
Can't go a week on any given tech site nowadays without seeing the "F" word. By that, of course, I'm referring to Facebook--and all the privacy implications for its users that have been arguing about on the Web for the past many weeks.
I'm not here to tell you that Facebook is good, evil, or a delicious chocolate-vanilla-strawberry mix. Make that decision yourself. What I can do, however, is point you to a wonderful tool for assessing your own privacy levels on the service. Trying to navigate Facebook's litany of settings and options for keeping this, that, and the other in (or out) of the public eye is indeed treacherous. Don't give up hope, though; salvation lies in the form of a tiny little bookmarklet that you can run on your profile at a moment's notice.
I'm not old, but I often find that the print versions of certain websites--literally, the button you click on that would otherwise format and send said articles directly to your hardware printer--are a lot easier on the eyes than their link-filled, advertising-drenched, "normal" counterparts.
But to get to this most sacred and pleasant of pages for any given article, you physically have to click the "print" button for everything you're trying to read. And when you're done, you have to back out an extra step in your browser--once to take you back to the "normal" version of the page, and once more to return to where you were previously. That's a lot of work just to treat yourself to a more eye-friendly format for Web text.
Of course, I wouldn't mention a problem if I didn't have a solution. In this case, the Chrome Extension "...Fit to Print" is not only an excellent, automatic solution for jumping to any site's "print" version, but it's also a clever play on a common journalistic phrase. That's bonus points right there.
It's only fair that Google's browser, Chrome, use a Google-based service in this week's extension of the week. The name of the add-on is Send to Google Docs, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out the ins and outs of this little tweak.
I was originally scanning around for an interesting way to tweak the functionality of a PDF in the Chrome browser. In stumbling across Send to Google Docs, I was intrigued by the solution: Rather than simply sticking more save options onto the download bar, Send to Google Docs gave a far better deal.
It's kind of annoying to have to wade through a bunch of PDFs on one's hard drive. Depending on your reader of choice, clicking through PDF after PDF can eat up a lot of system resources... and a lot of time. Why not just stuff these files in the cloud and let Google's speedy rendering engine take care of the rest? Or, better yet, allow Google to convert these PDF files into a format that can be edited straight through Google Docs itself?
Or, to be specific, I hate pulling up PDFs in my browser. No matter the reader or the complexity of the file, something invariably goes wrong whenever a PDF file crosses over the barrier between Internet and desktop. Unless you have a sharp eye for what you're clicking on (or a helpful icon to guide your path), you always run the risk of accidentally slapping a PDF into a new tab whenever you're surfing around in the ol' Firefox browser.
PDFs by themselves aren't evil. And sometimes you'll want to actually open a PDF via Firefox instead of taking the extra time to download it to your desktop and open up a reader. What Firefox lacks, in this regard, is control--ways to separate a unique PDF download from the typical bevy of files you grab on a daily basis.
Thankfully, there's an add-on that fixes that right quick.
It's been a busy week for BitTorrents! I've showed you how to download them, how to tweak the heck out of a great program you can use to download them, and how to remotely access your BitTorrent downloads through Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. You, young padawan, are now fully grounded in the ways of the torrent. But you are no Jedi yet...
The final task that awaits you isn't so much related to the act of downloading information via BitTorrent as it is contributing to the cloud of data that you're usually pulling from. Yes, that's right. You're going to learn how to make your own .torrent file for distribution via your tracker of choice. While I realize there's a handy feature in uTorrent that allows you do this rather effortlessly, you're limited to working on one torrent at a time via this method. What if you want to make a whole bunch of .torrent files corresponding to a larger number of files you want to make available for download?
In that case, you're going to need the Download of the Week: MakeTorrent. Click the jump to see how it works!