Tag Archives: computers

How to remove news article suggestions from the Google Chrome browser on phones and tablets

In October 2017 I wrote about escaping the news and my difficulties with social media apps.  To continue with this theme, I discovered a method to remove news article suggestions from the Google Chrome browser on my Android Nexus 5x phone and Nexus 7 tablet.

Disable server-side suggestions to remove news article suggestions from the Google Chrome browser on phones and tablets

The left-pane of the three-panel image shows the Google Chrome browser displaying news article suggestions by default.  To disable this:

  • Enter chrome://flags in the browser search bar

The middle-pane of the image shows various browser settings in this well-hidden menu.

  • Scroll down to the setting labeled Show server-side suggestions on the New Tab page and select Disable in the dropdown box.  Press the Relaunch Now button that appears at the bottom to save the settings

The right-pane of the image displays new, blank Google Chrome tabs without any news article suggestions.

 

 

 

Writing immersive interactive fiction using near field communication (NFC) tags

I found a drawer full of near field communication tags and remembered this article I wrote a few years back.

Today's Author

Talented fiction writers are skilled at drawing upon their readers’ five senses–sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch.  But what if a writer had a way to truly immerse their readers into an environment where one could literally smell the zeppoles from the carnival stand or feel the forceful rush of wind from a moving passenger train past the platform?  The technology exists—sort of—in the form of near field communication (NFC) tags paired with mobile smartphone and tablet technology.

NFC tags are a form of radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips that cost mere pennies and are often sold in the form of self-adhesive stickers.  Requiring no self-contained power, NFC tags are easily programmed from freely-available software.  And when an NFC tag is physically “tapped” by an NFC-enabled smartphone or tablet, the tag issues commands to the smartphone to take an action like setting an alarm, starting an application, or for the purpose…

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Quest: Writing and Playing Text Adventure and Interactive Fiction

I read an article this morning about text adventure games and was reminded of this article I wrote a few years ago.

Today's Author

I recently stumbled upon Quest, software created and distributed under an open-source license by Alex Warren for individuals to write and play text adventure games and interactive fiction.  The platform is extremely flexible, allowing reading/playing in either a web browser, downloading to a PC for offline play, and even allowing the option for creating mobile application distributions.

Writing Quest Stories

Quest comes in two varieties for writing your own stories.  You can either download the open-source software for Microsoft Windows OS to create your masterpiece locally on your machine, or you can create a free account on the website to build your story online.  Key features include:

  • No programming skills needed
  • A full tutorial with illustrative examples
  • Write your story in any language
  • Ability to embed pictures, sound, and video
  • Encouragement to share your creation

Here’s an example of the web-editing interface:

Quest-Web-Editor

Reading/Playing Quest Stories

The homepage for Quest, http://textadventures.co.uk/

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Shrink a hard disk partition before upgrading to a smaller capacity solid state drive

Do you remember any notable events from the year 2011?  Pop culture websites tell me it was the year the band R.E.M. disbanded after thirty-one years, comedian Russell Brand and singer Katy Perry filed for divorce, and actor Charlie Sheen was fired from the hit television show Two and a Half Men.

The Windows 10 Disk Management console shows my primary hard drive volume reduced to 175GB
The Windows 10 Disk Management console shows my primary hard drive volume reduced to 175GB

I don’t recall significant personal life events attributed to 2011, but records show me in July of that year I bought a Dell XPS 17″ laptop to replace a two-year old Dell netbook that was a tad too small for everyday use.  I still use this laptop six and a half years later.

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