Quick Tip – Manage Desktop Notifications in Chrome OS

Desktop notification are a big part of the new Chrome OS.  Different apps and websites will be able to send you popup notifications that will show up in the Notification Center, which is located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen by the clock.  It’s a fast and handy way to keep yourself organized, but there is no dedicated Notification Center App.  So how do you manage which apps can notify you?

Notification Center Global Settings

To be able to turn on and off the Notification Center and set up whether or not apps have to ask for permission to notify you, follow these step:
1) Open Chrome
2) Click on the Google Chrome Menu Button in the top right hand corner of the Chrome Browser (Looks like 3 horizontal lines)
3) Select settings from the drop down menu
4) In the new settings tab, scroll down and select show advanced settings
5) Under the Privacy heading click content settings

6) Scroll down and and you will see a heading that says Notifications with your global setting.

You will also see a button for that reads manage exceptions.  Clicking this button will open the “Notifications exceptions”.  This new popup screen will show you what apps can send you notifications but they are all grayed out, so you really can’t manage them from that screen.  It will give you the apps names so that you can go into the specific apps one at a time or you could manage them in one spot from the…

Notification Center Settings

The Notification Center only shows up when you have received a notification.  So you can either wait for a new notification to arrive or send yourself a screenshot which will trigger a notification.
1)  Hold ctrl and the windows shuffle button in the top center row of the keyboard (it looks like 3 overlapping rectangles)
2) Click the number 1 that appears on the task bar by the clock in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
3) Click settings on the Notification Center popup.
From this new popup you can easily click the check boxes next to the app names of the programs that you want to allow notifications from.
Hope this helps and hopefully we will get easier access to the Notification Center in the future.

Quick Tip – Hidden Fun in the New Google Hangouts!

Google’s new Hangouts is a powerful new messenger service, but it’s not without it’s playful side.  Google has added a few fun tricks to liven up your conversations.  Just type these into the “Send a message”  box and enjoy.
These tricks only work on the desktop Hangouts and not the mobile version or in video chat

google hangouts
1) /ponies – Every time you type this in a different random pony, looking like something straight out of Ponyville, jogs across the bottom portion of the Hangout window.  Perfect for all the Bronies and Pegasisters out there.
2) /pitchforks – Every time you type this, a different angry, pitchfork carrying mob tromps along the bottom portion of the Hangout window.  Great for when you need a little backup in a heated debate.
3) /ponystream – The same adorable ponies from the /ponies trick run continuously across the bottom of the Hangout window in different directions.  This trick is only local and they don’t stop until you retype /ponystream, which I couldn’t type fast enough.  There are only so many overly cute little ponies you can handle before you finally snap!
4) /bikeshed – Typing this in will assign a random color background to the chat room you are in for all users.  This is my favorite feature.  It just makes the chat window a little brighter and happier.
5) /shydino – My least favorite of all the tricks.  Type this in an ugly little green dinosaur, looking more like Jabba the Hut then a dino, comes out and parks himself behind a little yellow house at the bottom of your messenger window.  Then he just sits there staring at you with his soulless black eyes burning into your skull.  He won’t go away until you type /shydino again.
6) ^^vvba(enter) – The Konami cheat code is by far the coolest of these tips, simply because you activate it using the Konami cheat code.  Make sure that that the cursor is in the “Send a message box” and use the arrow keys to enter in the up up down down left right left right that we all know and love.  When you hit b a it will not show in the box unless you goofed up somewhere in the beginning.  Finish it off by hitting enter and you will be reward with a pretty landscape messenger window background.  This only changes the local background.
I love when Google includes fun little bonus content for us in there products.  Have you come across any other fun tips to use in Hangouts.  Let us know in the comments below.

TinyCo and Marvel have announced the release of Marvel Avengers Academy

TinyCo and marvel have announced the release of Marvel Avengers Academy on Android and iOS. The free-to-play game enables players to connect to a number of Marvel characters, who have been reimagined as pupils at Avengers Academy, a faculty for super heroes.

The gameplay in Marvel Avengers Academy may delegate these characters to finish tasks that are timed, and resembles that of TinyCo’s Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, in that players will amass multiple characters progress. Gamers can spend premium money to speed up these tasks.

Players start with characters like Iron Man and Wasp, and may recruit additional free as well as superior characters to their Academy over time. These characters are voiced, with celebrities including John Cena (Hulk) and Dave Franco (Iron Man), amongst others, supplying their voices to the sport.

avengers academy hack

They’ll unlock new jobs for heroes to accomplish, as players build new buildings within their academy. Players are led through the game by a primary quest series, in addition to side missions. These side missions allow players to earn prizes including additional coins.

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Together with the game focusing on life around a college campus, players will likely have the ability to complete tasks attending celebrations, but also concerning not only combat training along with other super hero obligations and studying, as examples. Players will also have the ability to send characters.
In a recent interview, general manager of TinyCo, Jeremy Horn, told SocialTimes about the game.

Jeremy Horn: The Avengers Academy comic book collection, created by the amazing Bill Rosemann (Marvel Games creative director), was an important inspiration behind the sport! It was an invaluable resource as these precious superheroes were envisioned by us as college students. Bill became among our most significant partners for making the game at Marvel.

ST: The narrative in Marvel Avengers Academy seems to have humor as a significant theme. Was there a specific reason the team chose to go in this way, rather than make the game remarkable or more serious in nature?

JH: Not only did we desire to have these characters exhibit their exceptional personalities, we also wanted to really have a profound story that hits anxiety, risk, adventure, mystery essential mark of a fantastic Marvel storyline, but also relationships and wit! Every hero usually takes a break when the world have a great laugh and does not need saving. We would like our players to do the exact same in between the larger than life adventures they’ll locate in this game.

ST: Was the game created for a younger audience, or can you expect players of all ages to check it out?

JH: Marvel Avengers Academy created and was designed for players of all ages. We believe that players of any age can appreciate attending a super hero school and developing amazing superpowers.


Plenty of Capacity Left in Y2K Repair Industry

If most U.S. firms were well into their y2k repairs, this would be good news for the U.S. But most forms are not well into their repairs. This indicates that (1) most firms were still planning to do the repairs on their own and/or (2) they had not begun, and so they see no reason to hire a third-party service bureau.

If these repair firms were not operating at full capacity at this late date, then we can be skeptical about claims by American industry that the repair is on schedule.

ITAA concludes: “ITAA members report numerous instances of organizations establishing enterprise-wide Y2K program offices yet failing to create the internal mechanisms necessary to force compliance at the business unit level. In short, the Y2K program office remains significantly underutilized. Companies which confuse a Year 2000 public relations exercise with the steps essential for business survival place themselves at substantial risk. This ITAA survey indicates that a significant external capability remains largely untapped.”

Meanwhile, Peter de Jager and Capers Jones have said that a firm that did not have a repair program in place in November of 1997 will not finish it by 2000.

Can organizations coping with the Year 2000 (Y2K) software conversion gain access to the critical products and services needed to assist with this work? Many observers warn that, as a result of the pervasive nature of this issue, the fixed completion date involved, and the slowness of firms to respond to their system vulnerabilities, the available capacity of commercial Y2K providers to support many customers could evaporate as the century roll over nears. Excessive demand could severely impact the ability of solution providers to perform software conversions, to maintain products, to control price inflation, and to offer additional services, including software testing, to all buyers. . . .

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To help “take the pulse” of the Year 2000 marketplace, the Information Technology Association of America (ITAA) Software Division conducted a survey of IT companies in July, 1997. . . .

As readers will soon discover, this survey contains a surprising but unequivocal finding: while limited vendor capability to offer Y2K support is now viewed as a serious collective concern, IT companies view themselves individually as having the resources necessary to add Y2K clients. . . .

Here’s an important point: Most companies polled are not realizing significant sales revenue from Year 2000 work. Almost 53 percent told ITAA that Y2K accounts for less than 10 percent of total revenue and 77 percent said the date change accounts for 25 percent or less of total revenue. Only nine percent of respondents said that Year 2000 products and services account for 75 percent or more of their total revenue stream. . . .

Respondents appear to have clients in most major industries, with relatively stronger representation in government, banking, manufacturing, healthcare, utilities and telecommunications; and a relatively weaker presence in aerospace, wholesale, education, entertainment and energy. . . .

ITAA asked respondents whether they were experiencing sales growth or contraction of non-Y2K offerings as a result of Year 2000 issues. Fifty one percent indicated that sales are increasing. Of those who agreed, however, 34 percent registered mild agreement and just 20 percent strongly or very strongly agreed. Fifteen percent of respondents disagreed. Asked whether sales were decreasing as the result of Y2K issues, only 10 percent agreed.

•Companies see an industry-wide supply side capacity shortfall. From a “big picture” point of view, capacity is a serious problem for the Y2K solution buyer, according to survey respondents. Indeed, this question polled the highest degree of consensus in the entire survey. Eighty-two percent of respondents think supply side capacity is a serious issue. . . .

•Individual companies have Y2K capacity available. Survey respondents overwhelmingly told ITAA that they have the capacity to take on additional Year 2000 assignments. Asked if they have all the Year 2000 business they can handle for the next six months, over 80 percent said no. Forty-two percent either totally disagreed or strongly disagreed with this notion. Only four percent of companies appear to be contending with a full plate. . . .

•IT Companies are continuing to invest resources in the Y2K marketplace, despite what many are finding to be a disappointing reception. Respondents reported a mixed picture on Y2K sales and revenue. . . .

•Year 2000 workers are generally available in the U.S.; although some signals here are mixed. Worker availability appears to reinforce a soft commercial Y2K marketplace. IT companies told ITAA that for the most part they do not have problems finding technical or marketing personnel nor must they look off-shore to fill the ranks of their workforce. . . .

On the other hand, 41 percent of respondents indicated that they may have to increase prices in the next 90 days based on marketplace labor shortages. Thirty percent disagreed. Twenty-two percent adopted a “wait and see” attitude. . . .

•Experts continue to see Year 2000 demand. While customers may be slow to act, the nation’s most IT-savvy organizations continue to see a formidable marketplace for Year 2000 products and services. . . .

•Organizations must seize the moment. Numerous factors may account for the failure of firms to award Y2K contracts, including organizational inertia, conflicting priorities and opting for internal solutions.


Calvinistic Programmer Says He Isn’t Sure, But God Is

MirrorThis analysis by a former mainframe programmer appeared in the Calvinistic magazine, CREDENDA AGENDA (Feb. 1998). The author says that the y2k threat is real, widespread, and possibly dangerous. As for what it will do, he says it’s hard to know. Then he says that God is in control.

I, too, am a Calvinist. I, too, believe that God is in control. But this man’s analysis reminds me of a physician who diagnoses his patient and tells him “You have a problem.” The patient asks: “How big a problem?” The physician replies, “It’s hard to say.” The patient asks: “What should I do?” The physician answers: “That depends.” “Depends on what?” “On how serious the problem is.” “How serious is it?” “It’s hard to sanot too latey.” “Am I in danger of dying?” “Maybe.” “Will I live?” “Maybe.” “Doctor, what exactly are you telling me?” To which the physician then quotes our programmer verbatim:

“It is enough to know that God sovereignly orchestrates all things according to His plan. Whatever the outcome, it must be acknowledged that Christ has been granted all authority in heaven and on earth and will ‘reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet’ (1 Cor. 15:25).”

This programmer’s analysis of the technical program is today almost universal. We’re told that y2k is indeed a problem. But they don’t want to say just how big or what kinds of contingency plans — institutional and personal — are called for. They prefer to remain unspecific. I don’t blame them. But this lack of specificity is what keeps people complacent. “If it were a really big problem, the experts would tell us.” Well, the experts aren’t telling us.


By the time they do, it will be too late to take effective action.

Many of us who were employed programming mainframe computers decades ago were instructed to code date variables with 2-digit years. Dates such as July 4, 1976 were coded 04-07-76 and not 04-07-1976. Why? Because the cost of disk space was formidable back then. Since every personnel action or financial transaction had one or more dates associated with it, a large amount of money could be saved by reducing year codes from 4 digits to 2, so 1976 was merely represented by a 76. We all knew that this would cause a problem as the year 2000 approached, but almost nobody anticipated that the computer systems we were developing would still be around 20 or 30 years later. Besides, the money saved in reduced database storage seemed well worth it at the time. . . .

How widespread is this problem? The Y2K problem, to the extent it is embedded in legacy software, affects every time-related calculation: retirement, pensions, interest calculations, payments, etc. The problem is most serious in mainframe software systems, but to varying degrees other technologies may be affected. Systems that could malfunction include air traffic control, ATMs, banking, card entry, cars, credit cards, electric utilities, elevators, engines, factories, government checks, heating/cooling, insurance policies, medical equipment, office buildings, phone systems, safes, scales, security systems, sprinkler systems, thermostats, timers, and traffic lights. . . .

What does it take to fix the Year 2000 problem? Unfortunately there are no quick fixes. Some software utilities are on the market to expedite the repair job, but the only real solution is to go through computer programs one line at a time. . . .

Who is most vulnerable?

Companies and organizations that depend on old mainframe software, most notably banks, insurance companies, and particularly the government. This is where the conspiracy theorists have a heyday: What happens if the banks close? A ripple in the fractional banking system could bring the whole house of cards down in a short period of time. And would you really want to be in the midst of a major metropolitan area when thousands of individuals suddenly fail to receive their welfare checks? or their social security checks? or their government pensions? Such considerations have some literally moving to the country.