Apr 23, 2017

How to Unsubscribe from Mailing Lists and Junk Newsletters in Gmail

Unroll.me is a free online service that lets you easily unsubscribe from email newsletters and other bulk messages in Gmail. You, however, will have to grant complete access to your Gmail mailbox and to your Google Contacts for Unroll.me to automatically remove your email address from various mailing lists.

This morning, it was revealed that Unroll.me is silently scraping your Gmail mailbox and selling the data to Uber. Maybe it is hidden somewhere in the terms of service that the app can share your data with other companies but who actually reads the fine print. If this worries you,  here’s a simple guide on how to block the app from accessing your Gmail emails in future.

Christian Heilmann’s tweetFeature request for Gmail: automatically find and follow the unsubscribe link in all highlighted emails – prompted me to build an automated system for unsubscribing your Gmail address from the bulk senders. Here’s how it looks like:

Unsubscribe from Gmail Bulk Messages

How to Unsubscribe from Email Newsletters in Gmail

What I have now is a simple Google Script that parses the content of bulk emails and finds the unsubscribe link. If an unsubscribe link is found, the script opens the link and your email is automatically unsubscribed. In some cases, the bulk sender would require you to send a message to a special email address to unsubscribe and our Google script can do that as well.

The big advantage is that don’t have to grant access to your Gmail account to any third-party service and you can add subscription emails to the unsubscribe queue from any email client including desktop and mobile apps. Let’s get started:

  1. Click here to copy the Gmail Unsubscriber sheet to your Google Drive.
  2. Go to the Gmail menu in the sheet (see screenshot above) and choose Authorize. All the script access to your Gmail account. It is an open source Google Script that runs in your own Drive and not a single byte of data is shared with anyone.
  3. From the same menu, choose Start and pick a name for your Gmail label (the default is Unsubscribe). Save your changes

The Gmail Unsubscriber program is now initialized and running in the background. You can now apply the Unsubscribe label to any email message in Gmail and you’ll be automatically unsubscribed in 10-15 minutes. Everything is logged in the Google Sheet so you know what’s happening behind the scenes. Give it a try!

Also, the solution works everywhere – you can apply the label to unwanted subscription newsletters on the Gmail website, mobile apps for Gmail on iPhone & Android or even third-party email clients like Microsoft Outlook (move the email to the Unsubscribe folder) or Apple Mail.

How Gmail Unsubscribes from Mailing Lists

All legitimate bulk email senders include a List-Unsubscribe field in the message header that contains an URL or email address for unsubscribing from a mailing list. Here’s a screenshot:

List-Unsubscribe Header in Bulk Emails

You can view these details by opening any bulk message inside Gmail and choosing “Show Original” from the menu. In other cases, the unsubscribe link may be included in the message body with the anchor text like “click here to unsubscribe” – the script is smart enough to recognize all such links, it opens them for you and removes your email address from the mailing list.



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Apr 15, 2017

Using WhatsApp as a Private Store for your Documents and Notes

WhatsApp is a perfect messaging app for staying in touch with friends and family. It is super-fast, works on nearly all phones (including desktop computers) and Facebook has no plans to charge WhatsApp users.

You have been using WhatsApp primarily for text messaging and calling but there are a couple of other interesting uses for WhatsApp that will help boost the utility value of this app even further. Other than communicating with the external world, you can also use WhatsApp to:

  1. Capture and save ideas, notes, voice memos, scanned documents and everything else in you own private storage space that is accessible from everywhere.
  2. Quickly transfer web links, documents, screenshots, and other files between your computer and phone without having to sign-up for another service.

whatsapp-group.png

The idea is simple. You create a new virtual contact inside WhatsApp and, everything that you wish to capture privately, you can just share it with this virtual contact.

It is not possible to send WhatsApp messages to your own number but there’s a simple hack to get around this problem. Create a new WhatsApp group with just a single participant – you. Here’s how:

  1. Open WhatsApp on your phone and create a new group.
  2. Add any contact from your address book to this group. Give your group a name and save.
  3. Now go to the group in WhatsApp, tap the subject to view the list of participants.
  4. Tap and hold the lone participant in this list and remove them from the group.

That’s it. What you now have a private store in WhatsApp that is visible only to you and accessible from the web (desktop) and your mobile phone.

If you wish to transfer a document from computer to phone, open web.whatsapp.com on the computer, send the file to this group and it will instantly become available on your phone. There’s search built-in so you can easily find messages by keyword later.

Thank you Sidin Vadukut (blog, books, twitter) for this useful tip.



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Google Can Remember Things for You

How do you remember important things that you think you might forget? Some rely on their brain to memorize information while others prefer  writing things down on post-it notes. There are ton of digital note-taking apps – from Evernote to Trello – that can also help you remember anything with ease.

There’s another interesting option from Google that you may wish to explore for remembering things. It’s called Google Assistant, the voice assistant app that is now available on newer Android phones. If you don’t have one, you can still use Google assistant inside the Google Allo app that is available for both iPhone and Android.

google-remember-things.png

Let Google Remember Things for you

To get started, say “OK Google” to launch Google Assistant on your phone and then say “Remember ..” followed by information you would like Google to remember. For instance, you could say:

  • Remember my favorite color is blue
  • Remember that my registration number is Z1234
  • Remember that I parked the car in the 2nd level
  • Remember that my hotel room safe code is 6666

You can launch the Google Assistant anytime later and ask Google for information that was previously stored.

How to ask what Google remembers?

You could say something like “What did I say about my favorite color?” or “What’s my registration number?” If Google is unable to understand your question, you could say “What did I ask you to remember” and it will show a list of 5 most recent things you’ve asked Google to remember.

google-assistant.png

How to Clear Google’s Memory?

If the list has grown big, you can also use your voice to instruct Google to forget things it remembers. You could say “Forget what I said about my favorite color” or say “What did I ask you to remember” and tap the “Forget #” option to erase any of the listed items from Google’s memory.

 



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How to Easily Switch between Multiple Google Accounts

Lots of us maintain multiple Google accounts for a variety of reasons. Maybe your day is mostly spent inside Gmail and Google Calendar associated with your work account but you prefer to store files inside Google Drive of your personal Google Account.

Google does make it easy for you to sign-in to multiple Google accounts simultaneously so you don’t have to log out of one Gmail account to check emails of the other one. Simply go to http://ift.tt/1QPMLv5 and sign-in with the other Google account inside the same browser session.

Sign-in is Easy, Switching Accounts is Difficult

One you are logged in, click your profile image in the upper right and select any Google account from the drop down to switch to that account.

switch-gmail-accounts.png

The default account, the one that appears on top of that list, is the one that you signed in with first. Thus, if you type mail.google.com in your browser’s address bar, you’ll always be taken your Gmail account. If you need to set another Google account as the default one, you’d have to sign-out of all existing accounts and sign-in first with that account.

That’s obviously too many steps for users who have to constantly juggle between multiple accounts. So here’s a simple URL trick that will help you switch between Google accounts quickly.

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Accounts

Go to the Gmail website and press Ctrl+D (or Cmd+D on Mac) to bookmark the Gmail website.

gmail-bookmark.png

Click the Edit button to modify the bookmark. Here add ?authuser=email@gmail.com after the last slash(/) symbol and append the shortcut to the bookmark name as shown below. We use the short “gw” meaning Google Apps for Work Gmail.

gmail-multiple-signin.png

Repeat the steps for all your other Gmail accounts.

You can now type gw in the address bar to quickly launch your work Gmail account even if that account may not be your default Google account.

If you are a keyboard ninja, shortcuts are a much faster way to do things that using your mouse to click a bunch of menu items. The trick works with all Google Apps services including Google Drive, Contacts and Calendar.

http://ift.tt/2phT8CI
http://ift.tt/2ohfxeQ
http://ift.tt/2pi6AXq

You should check out the most important Google URLs.



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Apr 13, 2017

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Available For Download

Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus

While the Ubuntu website has yet to be updated, Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) is already available for download.

The new version brings updated applications and various under-the-hood improvements, along with bug fixes. As expected, Compiz and Unity have only received minor improvements and bug fixes.

On the other hand, Ubuntu 17.04 includes the GNOME 3.24 stack for the most part (GTK3 along with Totem, Disks, Calendar, and so on). There are some missing bits, but this is still pretty important, as Ubuntu didn't use the latest GNOME since Ubuntu 12.10 / GNOME 3.4.

Unity and Compiz in Ubuntu 17.04



As you probably know, Ubuntu will switch to GNOME (Shell) by default starting with Ubuntu 18.04 (to be released in April, 2018).

However, even before this announcement, Unity 7 was in maintenance mode, with the focus being Unity 8. It did receive some features, like the option to move the launcher to the bottom in Ubuntu 16.04, but only bug fixes for the most part.

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) is no different. Both Unity and Compiz only had some minor changes and bug fixes, such as:
  • keep the screen locked if autologin or nopasswdlogin is enabled;
  • if scale-factor is not set, find and set right scale for HiDPI displays;
  • dropped click scope from the default list of favourites;
  • fixed lock screen not covering the entire desktop on HiDPI display with draw-user-backgrounds unchecked;
  • fixed issue that made it impossible to exit screensaver if a menu or application grabs the screen;
  • fixed bug preventing switching to the copy / move dialog;
  • fixed bug that caused users to be asked to unlock the screen twice after closing the guest session;
  • Compiz Move plugin: add options for only showing the window shape (outline, rectangle);
  • Compiz: added option to disable blend in grid plugin.

Complete changelogs for Unity and Compiz.

I should also mention that while Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu and Canonical, has recently said that Canonical is ending their "investment in Unity8", Ubuntu 17.04 ships with an experimental Unity 8 session by default, just like Ubuntu 16.10.

Here's a Unity 8 screenshot I took under Ubuntu 17.04 (by the way, Unity 8 now works in VirtualBox):

Unity 8 Ubuntu 17.04


Defaults and other changes


Ubuntu Software 17.04

Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus ships with GTK 3.24 and GNOME 3.24 applications for the most part.

Not all the bits were updated to version 3.24 though. The exceptions are Nautilus (3.20), Terminal (3.20), Gedit (3.22), Software (3.22) and Evolution (3.22).

Besides the applications mentioned above, Ubuntu 17.04 ships with Firefox 52.0.1, Thunderbird 45.8.0, LibreOffice 5.3.1, Transmission 2.92, Shotwell 0.22+git, Rhythmbox 3.4.1, Totem 3.24.0, GNOME Disks 3.24.0, GNOME Calendar 3.24, GNOME System Monitor 3.24 and Evince 3.24, on top of Unity 7.5.0 (+17.04.20170407) and Compiz 0.9.13.1 (+17.04.20170109).

Under the hood, Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) ships with Xorg server 1.19.3, Mesa 17.0.3, Ubuntu Linux Kernel 4.10.0-19.21 based on the upstream 4.10 Linux Kernel, PulseAudio 10.0, and systemd 232.

Here's a quick list of changes in the Linux Kernel since the version used in the previous Ubuntu release (Linux 4.8 for Ubuntu 16.10):
  • Linux 4.9 (more information: Kernel Newbies | Phoronix):
    • AMDGPU virtual display support;
    • better AMDGPU GPU reset support;
    • shared data extents and copy-on-write support for XFS;
    • support for new ARM machines, including Raspberry Pi Zero and LG Nexus 5;
  • Linux 4.10 (more information: Kernel Newbies | Phoronix):
    • initial Intel Graphics Virtualization Technology support;
    • improved writeback management;
    • Nouveau Boost support, which allows new graphics cards to go up to their "boost" frequencies, and not just the highest standard frequency;
    • support for Intel Turbo Boost Max 3.0 and Intel Cache Allocation Technology.

Other changes in Ubuntu 17.04:
  • Ubuntu now includes support for printing without printer-specific drivers. Among the supported printers are IPP Everywhere and Apple AirPrint printers, but also some PDF, Postscript, and PCL printers;
  • the default DNS resolver is now systemd-resolved;
  • for new installs, a swap file will be used instead of a swap partition;
  • gconf is no longer installed by default;
  • this release does not include 32bit powerpc.


Download Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus)


Download Ubuntu 17.04 | official release notes (includes instructions for upgrading from older Ubuntu versions)

Important: all non-LTS Ubuntu versions are only supported for 9 months. Ubuntu 17.04 will be supported until January 2018.

Official release notes and download links for the Ubuntu 17.04 desktop flavors:


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Pandora Radio Client Pithos 1.3.0 Released, Available In PPA

Pithos 1.3.0 was released recently and is now available in its official PPA, for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 and 16.04. The new version brings support for MPRIS playlist and tracklist interfaces, improved accessibility UI, and more.

Pithos

Pithos is a Pandora Radio (only available in Australia, New Zealand and the United States) client that supports Pandora features such as love / ban / tired, allows creating, editing and switching between stations, and more.

The application integrates tightly with the desktop, providing notifications, MPRIS v2 support (it integrates with the Ubuntu Sound Menu / GNOME Shell, etc. ), media keys, can inhibit the screensaver and so on.

Pithos 1.3.0 includes a complete MPRIS implementation thanks to the addition of playlist and tracklist MPRIS interfaces.

With the GNOME Shell Media Player Indicator extension, Pithos exposes the current playlist and station list in the indicator (these need to be enabled in the extension settings):

Pithos

Pithos

This feature does not work with the Ubuntu Sound Menu due to an upstream bug.

Another change in Pithos 1.3.0 is the addition of a new plugin that allows controlling the systemd logging level (or completely disabling it) for Pithos. The logs since last reboot can be printed by running Pithos with the "--last-logs" command line argument.

Other changes in Pithos 1.3.0 include:
  • added dynamic rating and cover icons based upon theme colors;
  • added symbolic icon;
  • added man page;
  • improved handling playlist expiration;
  • improved search in stations list;
  • improved UI accessibility;
  • improved libsecret support;
  • removed libnotify dependency in favor of a custom notification implementation (the reason for this is that libnotify does blocking I/O);
  • fixed disabling keybindings plugin when using keybinder;
  • fixed notification icon trying to load on Wayland;
  • fixed failure to reconnect on login expiration;
  • fixed some plugins not being enabled by default;
  • fixed handling error on MPRIS plugin failure.

Also, compared to the Pithos version available in the official Ubuntu / Linux Mint repositories (1.1.2 for Ubuntu 17.04 and 1.1.1 for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18), the application has received quite a few improvements, including a keyboard shortcuts window, more quality options, the password is now stored with libsecret, along with bug fixes. 

The UI was also updated to use header bars and the stations dropdown now uses a popover.

Pithos currently has only 2 contributors and it could use more devs. If you can help, see its GitHub page.


Install Pithos in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 or 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x


An older Pithos version is available in the official Ubuntu repositories. To install it, simply use the following command:
sudo apt install pithos

Ubuntu 16.04, 16.10 or 17.04 / Linux Mint 18 users can install the latest Pithos by using its official PPA. To add the PPA and install Pithos, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pithos/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pithos
If you don't want to add the PPA, you can grab the deb from HERE.

For installing Pithos in other Linux distributions (including Flatpak), see the install section on its homepage.

Report any bugs you may want @ GitHub.


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Apr 7, 2017

New KDE Connect Indicator Ubuntu / Linux Mint PPA

The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) PPA maintainer is not available any more, and I was asked to create a new PPA. 

KDE Connect Indicator

Since I'm a KDE Connect Indicator user myself, I couldn't say no, so I created a new KDE Connect Indicator PPA, which provides packages for Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 and 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x.

I didn't upload packages for Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x because I couldn't build the latest KDE Connect for this Ubuntu version due to newer dependencies, and Ubuntu 14.04 has a pretty old KDE Connect version.

The KDE Connect Indicator (fork) developer is also looking for someone that can create and maintain Flatpack and Snap packages. If you can help, see THIS bug report.

In case you're not familiar with KDE Connect Indicator, this is an indicator / tray for KDE Connect. Using KDE Connect, you can mirror Android notifications on the desktop, easily send and receive files from an Android device to your desktop (and the other way around), control desktop media players from Android, share the clipboard between your Android device and desktop, and more.

Check out our KDE Connect Indicator fork article for more information.


Install KDE Connect Indicator fork in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via new PPA


As a reminder, KDE Connect depends on quite a few KDE packages. You may want to save the KDE package list that's installed to make it easier to remove in the future, in case you want to remove them ("apt autoremove" won't remove all of them, at least in Ubuntu).

To add the new KDE Connect Indicator fork PPA and install the app in Ubuntu 17.04, 16.10 or 16.04 / Linux Mint 18.x, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/indicator-kdeconnect
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-kdeconnect

You can also download the latest KDE Connect Indicator deb from GitHub, but you won't receive updates through your system's update manager. For Ubuntu 16.04 and 16.10 / Linux Mint 18, you'll also need a newer KDE Connect version for the indicator to work. KDE Connect 1.0.3 is available for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18 and Ubuntu 16.10 in the PPA.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.


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Apr 6, 2017

Polo Is An Interesting New GTK3 File Manager (Beta)

Developed by Tony George, who's also behind other fairly popular applications such as Selene Media Converter, TimeShift backup tool, and more, Polo is only available for users who donate for now. The stable release will be available for all users, however, those who donate will get a few extra features.

Polo File Manager

Polo is a new file manager that aims at providing features that are missing from popular file managers. The application is currently in beta, and it lacks some feature, but it already looks very promising.

For example, the developer wants to include built-in support for multiple cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive and others, using rclone as a backend.

Another feature that's missing in many graphical file managers is being able to browse archives as if they were folders. This is another feature that Polo should get before its first stable release. There should also be a built-in GUI for creating archives, similar to the one used by 7zip in Windows.

These two features are currently not available in Polo.

The current Polo beta 3 already includes quite a few interesting features though. The file manager supports tabs, along with multiple panes. You can use 2 panes, either vertical or horizontal, and even 4 panes:

Polo File Manager

There are context menu items to easily copy files or folders from one pane to another, as well as a middle toolbar that provides these, along with other options.

Another cool feature available in the Polo Beta 3 version I tested is session support. Polo remembers the last session and it reloads it the next time it runs. It restores not only open tabs and the pane layout, but also open directories.

The Polo toolbar and pathbar are highly configurable, allowing you to enable or disable various buttons:

Polo File Manager

You can also configure the toolbar to display large icons, show only labels, labels beside icons, and use a dark background.

Polo File Manager
Polo file properties - audio info

Polo File Manager
Polo bookmarks

Other Polo features worth mentioning:
  • multiple views: list, icons, tiles and media;
  • easily open folders as root (with pkexec support);
  • extended details when replacing existing files;
  • statusbar that displays the number of files, folders (including hidden), along with available disk space and a disk space indicator, and the filesystem type;
  • bookmarks support (web browser-like: a star is displayed at the right of the pathbar);
  • media view: when Polo detects you're browsing a folder containing photos or videos, it switches to a 256x256 size icon view to make it easier to browse through items;
  • media info in the file properties dialog, which displays EXIF tags (such as exposure, iso, camera model and much more) and audio info (artist, album, track name, along with audio format, bit rate, etc.), PDF metadata, etc.
  • tabs can be renamed;
  • keyboard shortcuts;
  • toolbar button and context menu to open current folder in a terminal.


Work in progress


Besides built-in cloud service and archive support, the developer also wants to add support for Nemo extensions in the future. 

The audio preview feature that was available in Nautilus 2, which allowed hovering over audio files to preview them, might be implemented as well.

One feature that won't be implemented is desktop handling (drawing the wallpaper / desktop icons).

I should also mention that in its current state, Polo is not suitable for daily use.

While in my test, I only encountered two major bugs (very slow copying folders with a large number of files and the app crashes when entering a folder with a large number of images), there are a few major features that are missing, like support for drag'n'drop and trash, along with many missing bits and pieces (like type-ahead). And, of course, there are some bugs as well. But that's to be expected since Polo is beta software.

The next beta version is expected to be released on April 8.


Getting Polo file manager


Like I mentioned in the beginning of the article, Polo is currently only available for users who donate. The stable version will be available for all, with some extra features for donors.

Check out the Polo tag on Tony George's website for how to donate, along with more information about Polo, including completed and pending feature status.


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