Thursday, December 16, 2010

10 Movies for the Modern Tech Eccentric

 

It’s a great time to be a tech geek with a love for the cinema. Not only is film technology evolving at a breakneck pace, the subject matter for films is also targeting tech audiences in a more nuanced, fulfilling way (which is obviously good).Tron-Legacy-light-Cycle

The gaze in which technology enthusiasts are portrayed in film has changed too. The model of the “hacker” or “computer enthusiast” is still here, but in the best films, that model has evolved.

I set out to make a list that represents the current landscape of the film industry and technology (Only Hollywood… Sorry). You won’t find films like War Games, Hackers, The Matrix or The Net on this list. Whatever the respective merits of those films are (or aren’t), they’re not an accurate representation of where film and technology are today (That’s what i think…Let me know your views about this in the comments below).

In no descending order, here are 10 of the best movies for modern tech enthusiasts.


10. 2001: A Space Odyssey

2001_kubrick-640

Stanley Kubrick is the quintessential auteur; like Fellini, Hitchcock and Allen, his vision permeates every aspect of the final product and his style is unmistakable. This is true of nearly every Kubrick film, but it’s particularly true in the context of 2001: A Space Odyssey. An expansion of Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s short story, “The Sentinel,” Kubrick co-wrote the script with Clarke and set out to make, in his words, “the proverbial great science fiction film.”

Released in 1968 after five years in development, the film wasn’t exactly a hit with audiences or critics. Decades later, it is considered one of the most influential and important films in modern history. Its portrayal of the computer HAL, in many regards, shaped how computers and the overarching ideas of technology would be portrayed in cinema.

The thing about 2001 isn’t that it was especially prescient, certainly not in the way that Minority Report is. It’s very much a product of its time. Still, the film encapsulates the wonder of technology and raises questions about how machines intersect with our lives.

The film had a tremendous amount of influence on directors of the post-New Wave era of cinema, with filmmakers like George Lucas, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg all citing 2001 as key sources of inspiration. Its influence, especially when you look at films like WALL-E and TRON: Legacy, still continues today.


9. Minority Report


Tom_Cruise_Minority_Report_Blindfold

I wasn’t including Minority Report on this list, but more than eight years later, the film continues to influence the technology we use and develop.

What made Minority Report so striking in 2002 was its realistic and quite frankly, reasonable projection of how the world would look in 2054. From tablets with instantly changing/updating content, to touch- and motion-based UI controls, to stores that greet you by name and ask about your last purchase, very little about Minority Report, except perhaps for the “precogs” themselves, seems unreasonable.

Steven Spielberg worked with technology innovators and researchers when creating the film and designing its interfaces. Beyond that, it’s impossible to deny the influence Minority Report has had on consumer electronics and industrial design in general.

 


8. Collapsus


Collapsus.com is one of the most impressive film projects i had ever seen. Its press kit describes itself as “a new experience in transmedia storytelling that combines interactivity, animation, fiction, and documentary.”

The film is an exploration of the imminent energy transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources. Its plot reads like something out of a cyberpunk novella, which in and of itself, would probably make for interesting tech geek viewing.

What makes the film — an the entire project — so far beyond that is the way in which the material is created and brought together. Tommy Pallotta, who produced Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly and co-developed the rotoscoping animation technique of those two films, is the director of the project. Produced by SubmarineChannel, this is a project worth keeping your eye on.

 


7. WALL-E


wall-e_640

WALL-E, the story of a lonely, forgotten robot who loves Hello, Dolly! and manages to find love — and life — is one of Pixar’s best films.

Almost completely free from dialogue for the first third of the film, it’s incredibly impressive visually. Its story, which some criticized as being a morality play, is thought-provoking, especially in the context of how technology can make things easier, but also make living less of an experience.

For tech geeks, the Easter eggs scattered throughout the film — from the technology of the past to the Macintosh start-up sound — just round out this very cool film.

 


6. We Live in Public


poster

In her award winning documentary, We Live in Public, Ondi Timoner profiles Josh Harris, a dot com millionaire from the Web 1.0 bubble. Harris, who the film bills as “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of” was truly ahead of his time in his business plans for video and social communication over the Internet.

Harris was also ahead of his time when it came to living out his life in public. Long before Facebook ,YouTube and Twitter made sharing personal photos, videos or missives commonplace, Harris was living out his life in avant-garde public displays and streaming that content online.

Consequently, Harris also experienced the downside of living so publicly long before the privacy implications of Facebook became front page news.

 


5. Avatar


avatar-640

Not only is Avatar the most successful motion picture of all time, it’s also one of the most technically impressive.

Using a 3D camera system pioneered by director James Cameron, Avatar manages to toe the line between animation and live action in a way like never before. The story is secondary — Avatar is all about the journey. The visuals of the film, especially in 3D, go beyond what i and you can express in words.

Avatar, like Star Wars before it, has set the tone for how technology will be used in film going forward.

 


4. Inception


INCEPTION

Christopher Nolan is a geek’s geek. From Memento to The Dark Knight to Inception, he manages to create films that are intelligent, thought-provoking and not quite what you would expect.

i think Inception is one of the best films of the year. The film has many technical elements, but this is the sort of film that is more about the puzzle, rather than the gadgetry.

Still, the visuals, the music and the overlying subject matter — which the nature of the film necessitates we not spell out — makes this one of the best science fiction thrillers to come out in years.

 


3. Iron Man/Iron Man 2


ironman2-640

Historically, some of the best comic book films are also great tech films. Think about it; the gadgetry of  Batman, the mutated abilities of Spider-Man or the X-Men and the extra-terrestrial powers of Superman are all really well suited for the silver screen.

That said, one of the most impressive comic book films in recent years was Iron Man. It and its sequel Iron Man 2 manage to appeal to the die-hard comic book/tech geek, while still resonating with mainstream audiences.

Plus, Tony Stark and Stark Industries have some of the coolest gadgets around. In fact, aspects of the Stark character are purportedly based on a real tech titan, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison!

Watching Iron Man 2, who didn’t want a go with Tony’s personal communicator? I know I did.

 


2. The Social Network

The Social Network

When it was first announced that a “Facebook movie” was going into production, the world scoffed. When The Social Network was released this fall, we stopped laughing.

Perhaps more than any other film to date, The Social Network effectively captures the experience of hacking code. The film is about much more than just the website Facebook, but by the same token, it still manages to effectively bring the online experience to the big screen in a way that accurately portrays the reality of the experience — something past films like The Net and Hackers just never achieved.

The film has already been honoured by the National Board of Review and i expect to see the names David Fincher, Aaron Sorkin and Jesse Eisenberg pop up throughout award season (Golden Globe or Globes for sure and maybe an Oscar).

 


1. TRON: Legacy


TRON-LEGACY_4-640

When the original TRON was released in 1982, it was a breakthrough not only in how computers were portrayed on screen, but how computers and technology were used in the creation of motion picture. That didn’t mean that TRON received a warm reception. As writer/director Steven Lisbeger said in a TV interview last month, TRON was shut-out from the technical categories at the 55th Academy Awards because “what we did was considered cheating.”

Twenty-eight years later, the technical reception for TRON: Legacy is quite different. If you ask me “This film is going to be beautiful”.

Combining not just a technical story, but also 3D visuals a la Avatar and CGI motion-capture technology from the same company that did the visual work in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, this film is incredibly advanced.

In its story and its execution, TRON: Legacy is the sort of film that tech geeks yearn to see. It hits theaters on December 17, 2010 i.e., Tomorrow Open-mouthed smile.


So what are your picks for some of the best modern (or even classic) films for tech geeks in 2010? What films have you seen that best capture what it means to love technology? Let me know in the comments.


Fin :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Download Your Information

 

Having a copy of your information — whether that is on Facebook or any other service on the web — is an important part of controlling what you share.

Today while tweaking my settings on Facebook, saw a new link (maybe not so new for some of you) “Download Your Information” in Account Settings.

It is a tool that lets you download a copy of your information, including your photos and videos, posts on your wall, all of your messages, your friend list and other content you have shared on your profile. Within a zip file you will have access to your data in a simple, browseable manner.

facebook_DYI

After Clicking the Download button… Facebook will sent a confirmation mail at your email id that is registered with the Facebook (the one you use to login in into Facebook).

 

facebook_DYI_2

Its going to take a couple of Hours to generate the Archive……… (Took around an Hour in my case)

“Once you receive the email, you will have to re-enter your password and if you are using a public computer or one you do not use regularly, you may also have to solve a friend photo captcha or an SMS captcha via your mobile phone.”

Capture

Just click the link that you got in your Mail from Facebook…. and you’ll be forwarded to the download page… where you have to confirm your Facebook password to start the download…

Capture1

After confirming your password, the download button appears, that gives information about the ZIP file i.e, the size of the file……

Capture2 

Now, some questions that you might be interested in:


what is included in the file?

Your file will include the following information:

  • Your profile information (e.g., your contact information, interests, groups)
  • Wall posts and content that you and your friends have posted to your profile
  • Photos and videos that you have uploaded to your account
  • Your friend list
  • Notes you have created
  • Events to which you have RSVP’d
  • Your sent and received messages
  • Any comments that you and your friends have made on your Wall posts, photos, and other profile content

 


What are the benefits of downloading my information from Facebook?

Having a copy of your information — whether that is on Facebook or any other service on the web — is an important part of controlling what you share.
In addition, downloading a copy of your information may come in handy if it only exists on Facebook. For example, you may have lost your mobile phone, which contained many photos you took using that phone. If you had uploaded those photos to Facebook, then downloading your information lets you get copies of them back on to your computer.

 


“Unfortunately, there is no way to individually select which data you would like to download. You will have to download your file in its entirety.”

 

Warning: The file that you’ll download contains sensitive information. You should keep it secure and take precautions when storing, sending or uploading it to any other services

 


Fin :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Soluto – Trying to do what Microsoft Can’t

 

I know that most us always feel that our PC’s are getting slower. They are taking more time to boot, more time in processing information (running/opening software). Well, there’s a new guy in Techno Town named SOLUTO. Its only aim Is to reduce the wait. It’s a unique PC utility (windows only) that is designed to speed up the boot time of Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 Systems.

On Monday the website again opened its gates to download the software. As the download were down for quite a long time. The Program in now available in BETA, it gives you a detailed information about your Boot Time, startup Programs and how much time each boot process is adding to your overall boot time.

If you ask me, it really works. It cuts my boot time into half… approximately

                 From Here

        To Here


BEFORE


AFTER

Soluto displays the your boot time and processes every time you startup. (You can disable in by right-clicking on the Soluto icon and deselecting "Live Boot Progress.")

You can disable in by right-clicking on the Soluto icon and deselecting "Live Boot Progress.")

Soluto categorizes your boot applications into three categories: No-brainer (Green)(you can turn them off), Potentially removable (Orange) and Required (Grey)(core system processes that Soluto Uncle won't let you touch because if you did, you are in trouble, which he try to avoid all the time by managing your boot time). (Blue one are those processes which you have removed from your boot process)

Soluto's Home Screen

And after this.. once you identified which application (process) you want to deal with you can expand the details and can control it directly from your screen. You can "Pause" the application, which will effectively remove it from the boot process, or you can "Delay" it, which will change the service to run on a delay instead of directly during the boot process—which will get you to a working desktop a little faster.

Fullscreen capture 8312010 85128 AM

Soluto is definitely a crowd powered program, it collects the activity of users about what they do to a particular application/process (Pause/Delay/In Boot). Soluto will get better and better as more people uses it. It saves all it data in its so called “PC Genome”

From the Website :

“Soluto's PC Genome is a knowledgebase of PC frustration data built automatically through the usage of Soluto software. Its objective and statistical information, gathered and analyzed by Soluto, is also editable by the community.”

PC Genome

 

Fullscreen capture 05-Sep-10 14332 PM

Even though most of Soluto's crowd sourcing is done automatically, Soluto does have a wiki component for users to contribute descriptions and recommendations about boot processes. (All wiki contributions are reviewed by Soluto before they are published.)

wiki mode

To better understand how Soluto works, check out this short video which does a great job of explaining the software, how to use it, and how it can help you troubleshoot the boot process:

Soluto is free for the windows users. You can download it from Soluto’s website “www.soluto.com” or just click the big yellow download button below. Soluto is a free software, so I don’t think I am in trouble (piracy :P)

install


Fin :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last Tab Standing keeps your Google Chrome Window Open even if you close the last tab

 

Keep your Chrome window alive even after closing the last tab.

By default, Google Chrome exits the entire program when you've closed the last tab. Chrome extension Last Tab Standing prevents this from happening by opening an empty new tab page when ever you close your last tab.

From the Developer’s Page:

“A common complaint with Google Chrome is that closing the only remaining tab will exit the browser.  Some people prefer it this way; if you don't, you have your reasons.  This extension automatically opens a new tab instead of allowing the browser to close normally.  To exit the browser, simply close the new tab (or click the X button as usual).”

Not much to say about this. But If you don't like the default behavior—which I know is frustrating for some—Last Tab Standing is a nice fix.


Last Tab Standing is a free download, you can Install it from the link below.(Click the big Green Button):


Click to Install "Last Tab Standing"


 




Fin :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Firefox 4 beta 4 launched yesterday and features hardware acceleration... but will be off by default

 

  title

Firefox 4 beta 4 hits download servers Yesterday, and this latest build features hardware acceleration - although if you want to use it, you’ll have to switch it on.

As of today the code for Firefox 4 b4 is described as “mostly frozen”. Amongst the new features such as tab sets, previously known as tab candy (a feature that allows users to group tabs together and handle them as a single entity), is the use of Windows Direct2D to speed up the rendering of text and images on screen. This means that some of the workload will be shifted from the CPU and onto the GPU.

However, this feature won’t be switched on by default just yet. Here is a tweet by Mozilla VP of engineering Mike Shaver:

“b4 won’t have D2D on by default after all; just not quite ready to send it to that many users. soon!”

According to Mozilla’s planning notes, it wasn’t “confident enough to turn it on for all users” just yet.

Switching Direct2D acceleration on and off is pretty easy and just involved a little digging around in the about:config settings:

  • To turn on Direct2D: Go in to about:config and setmozilla.widget.render-mode to 6, andgfx.font_rendering.directwrite.enabled to true.
  • To turn off Direct2D, once it is on by default, setmozilla.widget.render-mode to 0.
  • To check whether you are running with Direct2D, go to about:supportand look at the bottom.

It’ll be interesting to see how this browser stands up against Microsoft preview platform for IE9 and Google Chrome.

 

 

You can download FireFox 4 Beta 4 by clicking the green button below:

  Download Now (9.31 MB)

 

 

Official Page – Firefox 4 Beta 4

 




Fin :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Proud To Be an INDIAN

 
Independence day is a good time to examine who we are and how we got here. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY ......... Other might have forgotten, but never can i, the Flag of my country..... furls very high, Happy Independence Day of India.
 
Happy Independence Day India
 
Original Image by Antoine Giessner

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Nokia India Offers Installment Scheme for Buyers


 Looking for a chance to buy new Nokia (specifically) phone but don’t have all the cash you need? Well Don’t worry. Now you can buy a Nokia phone with three EMI (Equated Monthly Installments Duh!!) and you don't have to pay any service charge, as that is taken care by Nokia. Open-mouthed smile

However, this offer is limited to Citibank, HDFC, ICICI and Standard Chartered customers who have credit card. Confused smileAlso, the phone has to be in the range of Rs. 7000 to Rs. 35,000. Crying face Another restriction in this service is that it is available only in 8 cities in India: Chandigarh, Delhi-NCR, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and Ahmedabad. Sad smile

nokia2

You’ll  need your or your Dad’s Credit Card to use this program? This program is definitely not made keeping the rural users in mind, and they are the ones who might need more schemes like this. Seriously!!  Nokia should introduce the same scheme for under 7k phones to help the rural users buy phones easily. Fingers crossed

In order to avail this program you have to register at the Nokia website here. Then you will be contacted by the Nokia Priority dealers. The process does not seem to be that user friendly and you will only get to use this program if the the Nokia Priority dealers contact you. Damn!! Otherwise, the current program looks good for the urban users, even though it is just restricted to few cities.
 

Fin :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Clean Your Computer

 

I have a dirty secret Surprised smile. I've never cleaned my computer. Sure, I've dusted my monitor, but I haven't taken off the cover or tried to reach the crumbs lurking inside my keyboard.

“Your computer could fry if you don't keep it clean.”

Dust clogs the vents behind your computer, which causes your CPU to heat up—and heat is the biggest cause of component failure in computers. Regular cleaning could save you costly maintenance fees down the road.

Keep your computer in tip-top shape by following this guide to a spotless computer system.

B and A 

 

NOTE : This post is not about malicious software

Trying to clean up your computer in the antivirus software sense? This link will guide you to  the Microsoft Security website. It provides instructions, a free safety scan, and a malicious software removal tool that you can download.

 


Preparation


You'll need:

  • screwdriver(s)

  • can of compressed air (available from computer dealers or office-supply stores) or vacuum cleaner (operate on slowest speed and use the blow function because we definitely don’t want your vacuum cleaner to suck your components – “You know what I mean”)

  • cotton swabs (do not use a cotton ball)

  • cleaning agent (cif clean, colin etc.)

  • paper towels or anti-static cloths

  • water

 

NOTE : Always turn your computer off before you begin and unplug all the cords.

 

Let’s get started :  


Step 1: Inside the case

Using a screwdriver, remove the side of the case that's opposite your motherboard. Touch as little as possible inside the computer, keeping fingers away from cards and cords.

Blow air around all of the components and along the bottom of the case, keeping the nozzle at least four – five inches away from the machine. Blow air into the power supply box (SMPS) and into the fan (from the back of the case). Lastly, blow air into the floppy disk dive and CD/DVD drives. And finally wipe the inside of the cover with a lightly moistened cloth before replacing it.

I’ll say doing this every three months if your case sits on the floor, if you have a comp. table, if you have pets that shed, or if you smoke (bad habit Steaming mad). Otherwise, every six to eight months is just fine.

 


Step 2: Outside the case

Run a cotton swab dipped in cleaning agent around all of the openings on the back of your case. Give them one swipe with the damp end of the swab and one swipe with the dry end. Do this as often as you clean the inside of your computer.

 


Step 3: Keyboard

Turn the keyboard upside down and gently shake it. Most of the crumbs and dust will fall out. Take a can of compressed air and blow into and around the keys. Next, take a cotton swab and dip it in cleaning agent. It should be damp, but not wet. Run the cotton swab around the outside of the keys. Rub the tops of the keys. If you have a laptop, follow the same procedure but take extra care with your machine. Do this monthly.

SPILLS Disappointed smile

 

If you have kids or li’l sister like me, you're worried about spills. If it happens, immediately turn off your computer, disconnect the keyboard, and flip it over. While the keyboard is upside down, blot the top with a paper towel, blow compressed air between the keys and leave it to air dry overnight. For laptops, liquid can easily penetrate the hard drive so turn the computer over immediately and and then leave it to air dry overnight.

Laptop spills need more attention because liquid can easily penetrate the keyboard and damage internal parts. For laptop spills, immediately turn off the computer and remove any external power source and other items plugged into it. Turn the laptop over, remove the battery, and then bring it to your nearest repair center to check for internal damage. Simply blowing compressed air into the keyboard and letting your computer air dry upside down overnight aren't enough because liquids can sit inside a laptop for days.

For all spills, be aware that anything other than plain water may cause severe damage, and never attempt to dry a keyboard or laptop in a microwave or conventional oven.Winking smile

 

 

 


Step 4: Mouse

Rub the top and bottom of your mouse with a paper towel dipped in cleaning agent. Open the back and remove the ball. Wash the ball with water and let it air dry. To clean inside the mouse, dip a cotton swab in cleaning agent and rub all of the components. Scrape hard-to-remove grime with your fingernail. Finally, blow air into the opening. Replace the ball and the cover. And if you have an Optical Mouse, just rub the top and bottom of your mouse with a paper towel dipped in cleaning agent. Do this monthly.

 


Step 5: Monitor

Moisten a paper towel or a soft, lint-free cloth with water. (You can also buy monitor cleaning products at computer-supply stores. Naaah!!) Don't spray liquid directly onto the screen—spray it on the cloth instead. Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor.

For laptop screens, I suggests buying a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

Finally, make sure that everything is dry before you plug your computer back in OR…………………Lightning

 


Fin :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do More With Your Middle Mouse Button

 


Supercharge your Mighty Middle One !!
 

Take a close look at your mouse. Chances are good that it has at least three buttons: left, right, and middle. (Note: Your middle button might be your scroll wheel, which on most mice is clickable.) I thought I'd home in on the middle button. Oh Yeah!!33746601-2-440-OVR-1

Why would I want to do that? Well, I just took an informal poll of about ten people (of course my friends and other friends), and guess how many of them actually use that middle button? A grand total of one. One! People, people, people...

 


Close Browser Tab Quickly

First up: browser tabs. I routinely have 10-15 tabs open in my browser at any given time. If I want to close a tab, I have to click it, then click the little X that appears on the tab. That's one more click than I prefer, and it brings into focus a tab I'm planning to close.  Confused smile Crazy, right?

If you middle-click any tab in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft IE, boom, it's gone. No need to make it visible first; no need to reach for the X. Just middle-click, boom Ninja.

 



Open Links In New Tab

When you middle-click a link in Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer (not sure about Opera, wait let me check….. ya opera too), that link opens immediately in a new tab.

Incidentally, you can accomplish the same thing by holding down the Ctrl key and left-clicking a link. But why bother with that when you can just as easily click the middle mouse button?

 


Open All Your Often-Used Sites

Let's say that you use Chrome or IE and you've organized a handful of favorite sites--you know, the ones you visit daily--into a folder. (Smart move)

Here's an even smarter one: You can instantly open every link in a folder, each in its own tab, by middle-clicking that folder. (Go On Try it… wait now don’t say that you don’t know “How To Create a New Folder in your Bookmarks Barwell here’s one for Google Chrome).

This works regardless of where the folder is located: your bookmarks toolbar, your navigation toolbar, even a pull-down menu. One middle-click of a folder and presto: every link therein opens in a new tab.

 


Scroll In Your Docs

Have you ever wondered what happens when you click and hold the middle mouse button? Glad you asked. This action activates a handy page-scrolling option in applications like Microsoft Word and Excel, Adobe Reader, Firefox, Chrome and Internet Explorer too.

In other words, when you click and hold the middle mouse button, you can then drag your mouse forward or back to scroll up or down the page, respectively. This feature is intended for folks who don't have a scroll wheel, but it works just as well with scroll wheels--and I know many people who prefer the speed of middle-click scrolling to the slow, steady pace of wheel scrolling.

 

 


Customize Your Scroll Speed

After the mouse itself, the mouse wheel is the single greatest navigation tool ever invented. Mine is spinning constantly, especially in Chrome, where I use it to zip up and down Web pages.

By default, however, one "turn" of the mouse wheel scrolls only a few lines at a time--and I want to move faster. Fortunately, there's a fairly easy way to adjust Windows OS scroll speed. Even better, there's a keyboard shortcut that can slow it down again for "precision" scrolling.

Here's how to change the default scroll speed:

  1. Go to Start Menu, then Click Run.
  2. In the Run Window type main.cpl and hit enter.
  3. The Mouse Properties Window will appear.

main[7] 

4.   Here in the Wheel Tab, you can change the Scroll Speed under Vertical and Horizontal  Section.

5.    After that just Hit enter and you are Done.


Fin :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Facebook Status Tips ‘n’ Tricks

 
With Facebook’s ever changing layout, and the fact that other social networking websites (you know what i mean) are continuously trying to give something new from there real-time updatable status messages, it’s easy to figure out some cool tricks for your humble Facebook status.
 
I’ve pulled together 5 great How-to tips that will help you get the most out of your status updates.
 
Perfect for new Facebook users, or anyone who is looking for a refresher, read on and let me know the ones you like in the comments below.
   

1. How To : Add Dislike Option to Your Facebook Status Update


Facebook  Status Dislike Button
“Like” buttons are every where on Facebook, and they’re every where on the web seriously Baring teeth smile. But what if you want to update your status or share something that your friends can “dislike?” I know, your friends can choose to “comment” on your post, but where’s the fun in that?
 
The clever Status Magic Facebook app can add a dislike button to any status updates posted via the app. And if you wanted to really mix it up you can actually customize the second emotion to anything, such as “love,” “hate,” “disagree” or even “LOLs.”
 

2. How To : Hide Status Updates From Certain People


privacy

Using Facebook’s general privacy settings (find these by hitting “account” on the top right of a Facebook page) you can select whether everyone, just friends or friends of friends can see your status updates. However, there is a way to narrow those options down even further.
 
You can select specific friend lists to see your status (college, may be work or special interest groups, etc.) or even individual people by name, which is useful for anyone organizing a surprise party Birthday cake.
 
To take advantage of these options, click the padlock icon just below your “what’s on your mind” box on your wall and a drop down menu should appear. Selecting “customize” will bring up more options such as “make this visible to” and “hide from” with the option to make your selection a default.
 

3.  How To: Pre-Schedule Status Updates

 
laterbro
 
While SocialOomph (TweetLater.com), Sendible and HootSuite offer the same kind of service, the simplest way to schedule Facebook status updates is by using the easy, free Later Bro service.

Just sign in with Facebook Connect, select your time zone, type in what it is you’d like to say, set the calendar and clock to when you’d like to say it, and punch it!  
 

4. How To : Tag People In Your Status Updates


tagging

This was quite a big deal when it was announced this past September, but from the amount of searches on the topic “how can I make someone’s name go blue in a Facebook status?” (funny right) it seems it’s not universally known.
To mention someone in a status update just type “@” (same as twitter Nerd smile copy cat) in the status bar and start typing their name as it appears on Facebook. An auto-generated list will then come up with people in your social circle whose name starts with the letters you’ve typed. The feature also works with pages, brands, events and companies.

Hit the name you want, complete the update, click share and the name will become a hyperlink (you won’t see the @ symbol) and will appear in blue text.
   


5. How To : Add Symbols In Your Facebook Status

symbols
Although there are plenty of emoticons that work with Facebook Chat, typing “:)” into Facebook’s status bar will not magically transform into a smiley yellow face. In fact, the only symbol you can create in a Facebook status update through the shortcut keys is a ♥, by typing “<3".

While this won't bother many Facebook users, others more used to punctuating their missives can copy and paste web-happy, universal symbols into the box, as you can see in the screen grab above.

PC users can also access some symbols by hitting “alt” + various number combinations (on a numerical keypad). So, while smileys are yet to hit Facebook statuses, you can annoy or amuse your buddies with symbols right now.



Fin :)