Monthly Archives: April 2010

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Set Google Voice as Your Skype Caller ID

Click here to read Set Google Voice as Your Skype Caller ID

A Google Voice number, one that rings all your phones, makes good sense as the caller ID number for outgoing Skype calls. Google Voice blocked the verification SMS that Skype needed until recently, but Google’s flipped the switch and made it convenient.

John, a Lifehacker reader and fan of Google Voice and Skype, tipped us off to a tweet from a Google Voice team member that indicated the Google Voice/Caller ID setup now works. You’ll have to respond to the SMS sent to your Google Voice number, but once you do, people you call with Skype’s “Skype Out” service won’t see a random string of digits, but a number they can actually call you back on. More »

(Via Lifehacker.)

How To Create Stunning Presentations Using Text Images

00 Text Image.jpgI guess it’s true that there’s a first time for everything. After years of watching people doing presentations, I finally got to create my own.

I wanted my first time to be special, so I tried to find ways to make sure that mine was not going to be ‘just another boring presentation’. I noticed that most people paid too much attention to data and sacrificed the appearance. On the other hand, there are others who create a presentation that is too ‘flashy’ which distracts the audience from the real content.

The perfect combination would be to use related beautiful images to complement the content of the presentation. Then your audience can digest your content without getting bored.

Creating The Perfect Images

There are many ways to acquire perfect images that go along with the content of your presentation. You can create your own, or find and use somebody else’s.

If you are a good photographer with lots of stock photos, then the first option would not be a problem. But for those whose image capturing skills are below par, the easiest method to create your own image is to make the text itself as the image.

This is a trick often used by one of the greatest presenters out there: Steve Jobs.

create presentations

The key is minimal use of text and extra time on tinkering with font properties and background. For example, I would like to present the statistic of blogs from Technorati. Some copy and paste routines would give me something like this:

create presentations

To modify the data into text images, I cut out the fat and deleted most of the text. I also changed the written numbers with real numbers to add some drama.

create presentations

Then I did a quick change of the font type, size and color using ‘Formatting Palette‘. I assigned white for the title and dark grey for the content.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

You can also use the ‘Format – Font’ menu for more comprehensive options.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

I added some shadow and reflection to spice things up a little bit.

how to create effective powerpoint presentations

Centered text is so static and boring, so I moved them around.

And the last step was changing the background using right click and ‘Format Background

01g Format Background.jpg

I chose a simple 90 degrees linear gradient color fill from dark to light to further emphasize the text.

01h Linear Gradient.jpg

I clicked ‘Apply’ and here’s what I came up with.

01i Final Result.jpg

Be sure to add real life context to the presentation. Using the blog statistic example, I’d show my audience the stunning slides while saying something like this: ‘In 2009, Technorati said that there were more than 130,000,000 blogs out there. That’s as much as all Japanese people in the world.’

Adding Real Images

To take things a little bit further, you can also use real stock photo images. My favorite way to get free to use and free to modify photos is downloading them from Flickr. Just be sure to use the Creative Commons licensed ones.

To find photos within that category, you can use Flickr Advanced Search while ticking on the CC boxes.

02c Flickr_ Advanced Search Creative Common-1.jpg

Or you can use Quix and ‘fc’ command for faster results.

02d Quix search Flickr.jpg

Use the downloaded image(s) for the background of your slide(s), and you can get something like this:

02f With Image.jpg

Using text images (and real images) is just one of the simple and easy tricks that will boost your presentation several levels above boring.

(Via MakeUseOf.com.)

A Guide To Setting Up Your iPad

After a little prompting, any 5 year-old can navigate Apple’s newest piece of hardware, the iPad. The touch screen technology literally makes it easy to tap on an application and start viewing media, typing text, or navigating the web.

There are settings under the hood of iPad which may not be so obvious to new users. If you’re an experienced user of an iPod touch or an iPhone, this article on how to set up an Apple iPad may not be of much use to you.

But if you’re new to Apple’s mobile devices – perhaps a recent owner of the iPad – then you will need to be familiar with the various preferences settings for the iPad. This is part one of a two-part series about the system preferences (note: the settings described here are based on the Wi-Fi version of the iPad, not the iPad 3G version.)

General Settings

Let’s start off with general settings. Click on the Settings icon on the homepage of iPad. The default settings for your iPad are typically okay, but there some settings you may want or may need to change based on how you use the device. Some of this information is based on the official iPad User Guide (PDF), as well as my own recommendations as an experienced user of the iPhone and iPad. The PDF guide is great, but does not always include useful screenshots.

how do you set up an apple ipad

1. About

Clicking on About will give you a general overview of the content on your iPad, including how many songs, videos, photos and applications you have installed. It reminds you of the memory capacity of your iPad and how much you have available.

The list, as you can see, also includes the model and serial number, which you should copy and keep a part of your records just in case the device is ever lost or stolen.

how do you set up an apple ipad

2. Sounds

These preferences refer to sounds you hear when, for instance, new mail arrives or is sent. If hearing these sounds for various features bugs you, simply click them off. I generally like hearing the keyboard click when I’m typing, but I don’t need to hear a beep for new mail and calendar alerts.  Your preferences and needs may be different.

how do you set up an apple ipad

3. Network

When you first turn on your iPad, if there’s a free Wi-Fi network available, the device will automatically try to link to the network. This is where you would go if you need to manually connect to a Wi-Fi network. The VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, which is used within businesses and organizations ‘to communicate information securely over a non-private network.’ You may need to ask a network administrator for the settings you need to configure for a VPN (see the iPad Manual for information).

4. Bluetooth

If you have a Bluetooth device like a set of headphones, speakers, or a Bluetooth keyboard, you can turn on Bluetooth so it can locate those devices.

setting up an ipod

5. Location Services

Location Services is used for the Maps and location aware applications of your iPad to determine your approximate location when your iPad is turned on and your Wi-Fi is enabled. The iPad Wi-Fi + 3G uses cellular networks and GPS to determine your location. Doesn’t hurt much to keep it enabled.

6. Auto-Lock

This setting automatically closes and locks your iPad after a designated period of time. Increasing the time will often reduce the battery charge, so you should probably leave it at default.

7. Passcode Lock

Use this setting if you use a designated passcode for unlocking your iPad. If you travel a lot, you might want to use this setting just in case your iPad is ever lost or stolen. Additional settings will erase data on your iPad after a specified period of time.

setting up an ipod

8. Restrictions

If you have kids and you want to restrict them from using Safari, installing applications, viewing explicit videos and TV shows, etc. then you will want to check out the settings for this area.

setting up an ipod

9. Home

This a handy preference for quickly navigating to the Home, Search or iPod page of your iPad. When you double-click the Home button, it will take you to your selected preference. A single-click of the Home button takes you to the Home page, so I don’t see why there’s any reason to use this setting for Home.

how to set up an ipod

10. Date & Time

The default settings for the date and time information in the status bar at the top of the screen will probably be okay, but this is where you’d change those settings if you travel to different time zones or countries.

11. Keyboard

Theses settings refer to what happens when you type on the built-in keyboard software or an external keyboard. I recommend enabling all these features for they assist you in typing faster on the iPad. Auto-Correction corrects common misspellings; Auto-Capitalization capitalizes the first word of each new sentence you write (as long as there is a period before the new sentence.) Doubling-clicking on the Shift key of the keyboard will lock the caps key and all the  letters you type will be in uppercase. The ‘,’ shortcut lets you double-tap the space bar to enter a period followed by a space when you’re typing. There’s no reason to turn this off.

how to set up an ipod

how to set up an ipod

12. International

The default for these settings are based on the country where you purchased the iPad, so they typically don’t need to be changed. But this is where you can change the settings for different languages and logistical information.

how to set up an ipod

13. Accessibility

These settings are mainly for visually impaired users, or people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a physical or learning disability.

ipadgeneralsettings_3.jpg

14. Battery Percentage

This setting displays the percentage of battery charge next to the battery icon in the upper-right-corner. I see no reason to turn it off.

15. Reset

Lastly, if you for some reason need or want to get back to the first default settings for the iPad, this is the place to do it. If for example you decide to sell your iPad, you will want to reset all the settings and erase content for the new owner.

ipadsettings_44.jpg

Well, that’s it for general settings. If you’re an experienced iPhone/iPod touch user or iPad owner, let us know what settings you use in this area.

(Via MakeUseOf.com.)

Netflix For The iPad

Seeing as today is April Fools Day, no one seems to have any idea which stories to believe and which to think are bogus. Yesterday, the blog AppAdvice had an exclusive story that Netflix was bring a free app to stream movies to the iPad. Plenty of people thought this was just an early April Fools joke because, quite frankly, it seemed almost too good to be true. But it is very true. The app is now live in the App Store.

Assuming you’re a Netflix member, the new iPad app lets you watch as many movies as you want (assuming they’re available on Netflix’s Watch Instantly service) streaming to the device. Yes, this gives you access to some 20,000+ movies and television shows. You can also browse movies and manage your queue from the app. And you can even pick up watching them from where you left off on your TV or computer.

And since the iPad is currently WiFi-only, you don’t have to worry about streaming over 3G, so performance should be good. It will be interesting to see what happens with this app when the WiFi + 3G models of the iPad hit later this month.

And yes, the app is currently iPad-only — there is no iPhone or iPod touch version. At least not yet.

(Via TechCrunch.)