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Tag: ANNOYANCES

Lost AIM access in Gmail chat? Check your language settings

Did you know that you can chat with your AIM buddies using Gmail's built-in chat? It's actually been a feature since 2007, but at some stage it seems like Google hid it away. For some reason, if you're using any display language other than English (US), you can't use the AIM integration. Fortunately, it's just a matter of hitting Settings in the top right of Gmail and changing the Gmail Display...

Comment Blocker for Google Chrome mutes the trolls (and everyone else)

So you just hunkered down to read a glorious thousand-word epic about why the Web loves cats -- only to find yourself staring at hundreds of comments which ruined your reading experience with their harshness. If only you'd had some sort of filter for your browser which could hide those sections so you could read in peace! There's shutup.css, which automatically blocks comments on every site it...

Solve Media's CAPTCHA replacement might have ads, but they're still an improvement

At times, fighting with multiple CAPTCHA codes is more painful than having to hear "Party in the U.S.A." playing on the radio for the umpteenth time in a single day. I understand the point of a CAPTCHA, but there have just been too many times where the squashed, skewed letters are far too mangled to comprehend. Enter Solve Media, who think they've got a solution which is not only superior, but...

How to block ads or annoying services like Tynt in any browser, on any computer -- without additional software

Now, we've previously covered extensions for both Chrome and Safari 5 that stop Tynt from ruining your copy/paste party, but if you've got administrative rights to whatever computer you're currently using, you can put a stop to more than that. You can block services like Tynt -- or even entire ad networks -- once and for all with nothing more than a text editor and admin rights. All you...

Windows tip: How to remove Skype from the taskbar

I love Skype. I use it daily and consider it to be one of the best applications installed on my system. However, recent Skype versions started exhibiting a pretty annoying feature: they stick around on your Windows 7 Superbar (and possibly on the taskbar in earlier versions of Windows, but I haven't tested that). No matter how many times you click the X to close Skype's window, it still sits...

Tynt Blocker Chrome extension stops Tynt from adding junk to your clipboard

If you've ever copied text from a website only to see an annoying "read more" message attached when you paste it, you've probably run across Tynt. Sites like The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle and even TechCrunch use Tynt to add analytics links to your clipboard when you copy text, so they can tell site owners what their readers are copying. Most people just delete the extra crap after...

FixWin offers one-click fixes for loads of Vista and Windows 7 annoyances

Microsoft's FixIt solutions generally work well, but sometimes they just take way too long to run -- especially on Vista and Windows 7. Some of them also require a little more interaction than I'd prefer: I know where the registry key is to fix that stupid bug where DVD drives disappear from My Computer, I just want a point-and-click way to do it! Fortunately, The Windows Club has a nice...

Clever app keeps your mouse from jumping between monitors too quickly on dual-display setups

Running dual (or triple, or quad) displays has gotten a lot more common of late, thanks in part to constantly falling monitor prices. Some things about multiple displays can be a little frustrating -- minding the divide, for example. If you have Windows set to extend your desktop, your mouse moves instantly from one screen to the next. That can be bothersome when a program's controls (like a...

Facebook lays the smack down on FB Purity Userscript developer

I've never been one to install Userscripts, but there is one that I almost always install: Facebook Purity. It's always been great at cleaning up the white noise generated by all the stupid social games my friends on Facebook seem to be so obsessed with. But it seems as though the Facebook police aren't too happy about how this script alters the content they display in your feed. First, they...

How to turn off Google Buzz, or just close some of its privacy loopholes

Google's been bragging about how many users are on its new Google Buzz service, but a lot of those people want to turn Buzz off. We're already discovering major privacy loopholes in Buzz (okay, the whole thing feels like a privacy loophole) like people's private, backup email addresses being exposed through @replies, and everyone being able to see who you follow. For the Buzz-haters out...

Automatically disable your touchpad while you type with TouchFreeze

One thing about laptops that drives a lot of my customers nuts is the touchpad. If I had a nickel for every time someone brought a laptop in complaining that their mouse pointer suddenly jumped somewhere else on the screen and messed up their typing, I'd have at least $10.15. Hey, I'm in a small town - that would nearly count as an epidemic. TouchFreeze is a tiny, open source program...

Automatically dismiss nag screens (and much more) with ClickOff

With free software, it's a given that you're going to encounter the occasional nag screen. You know, those in-your-face pop-up messages that remind you about an enhanced professional version or remind you that you haven't checked for updates in ages. ClickOff is terrific at rubbing out annoying nag screens. Launch the program, switch to any window and press control + alt + d to add it to the...

Workbench rant: software annoyances I can do without

When I'm fighting with someone's bogged down, crapped up computer, I've got enough problems to keep me busy. Surprisingly, big manufacturers don't seem too concerned. They're more than happy to contribute to my frustrations in subtle ways that will eventually drive me completely insane. Bloated drivers. Ok, fellas, what's the deal? Why do OEMs feel the need to cram drivers for every OS into a...

5 very basic things Windows 7 still isn't any good at

While I'm generally pleased with Windows 7 so far, I've found myself shaking my head every now and then. In some instances it's obvious that Microsoft has been paying attention. Other times, not so much. I've noticed five issues so far that, though minor, leave me wondering if Microsoft is going to be able to pull off a really great OS by its projected mid-2009 release. .ZIP Files Windows 7...

Use RepairIE to tweak, lock down, and fix Internet Explorer

Fire up the half-megabyte, portable RepairIE and you're presented with five tabs to help make administering Internet Explorer an uncomplicated process. Configuration options are broken down into appearance, features, network connections, search, and security. To change a yes/no option, simply double click it and confirm your action. RepairIE provides an incredible number of options for...