Dec 18, 2014

How to Prevent Gmail from Trimming your Email Signature

Gmail has this annoying habit of trimming content that it thinks is repetitive or not relevant to the ongoing email conversation. For example, if you reply to an email message, the recipient will only see what you have written and everything else in the thread would stay hidden until they manually click the 3 dots (ellipsis) that say “Show Trimmed Content.”

This doesn’t always work as expected though. Gmail may sometimes hide your actual reply if it contains content identical to other messages in the thread. Also, if you attach a signature to your outgoing email messages, the recipients are unlikely to see your signature because Gmail will hide that portion under the ellipsis.

This GIF illustrates the problem. I sent an email to a contact and this is how they see it. Only the reply is visible to her but not my email signature.

Gmail - Show Trimmed Content

Stop Gmail from Hiding your Signature

You want your customers and contacts to see your email signature because it has your phone number, website address and other contact details but Gmail is likely to conceal that part. And, unfortunately, they do not offer an option to opt-out or disable trimming.

There’s a workaround though. Gmail “trims” your signature because it is identical. If you can make your email signature unique for every message, Gmail will not trim it on the recipient’s screen.

While you are composing a new message in Gmail, or replying to an existing thread, click the 3 dots to expand the trimmed content and append some unique text after your signature. You can maybe add a random number and set it to light-gray so that is almost invisible to the recipient but still manages to trick Gmail into think that is is “unique” content.

The Gmail Bookmarklet

There’s another one-click option. Add the “Trick Gmail” bookmarklet to your browser bookmarks and, while replying to an email thread, just click the bookmarklet. Remember that you have to click the bookmarklet while the reply or compose window is open in Gmail.

Trick Gmail

The bookmarklet will add an almost invisible random string (see screenshot) to your existing email signature, Gmail would consider that text as unique and won’t therefore hide it on the recipient’s computer.

Gmail Signature

In the Gmail bookmarklet, we are appending the unique message ID that is supplied by Gmail itself but you can add any text including the current date and time or even some random quote. More bookmarklets here.

The story, How to Prevent Gmail from Trimming your Email Signature , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 18/12/2014 under Bookmarklets, GMail, Internet.

via Digital Inspiration Technology Blog

GTK 3.14, Nautilus 3.14 Land In Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet [Quick Update]

Quick update for Ubuntu users planning to use Ubuntu 15.04: GTK 3.14 has landed in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet. And of course, the default Ubuntu themes, Ambiance and Radiance, have been updated with GTK 3.14 support.

Furthermore, Nautilus, an application that wasn't updated in quite a while and was still at version 3.10, has been updated to version 3.14:

However, Nautilus isn't the only application that was updated to version 3.14 in Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet. A while back, GNOME Terminal (until this update, Ubuntu was using an ancient 3.6 version), GNOME Screenshot, GNOME Calculator and Evince were also updated to 3.14.

As for Ubuntu GNOME, well, GNOME Shell, GNOME Control Center / Settings Daemon are still at version 3.12 (along with most of the GNOME apps like Weather, Clocks, Bijiben and so on), but these will probably be updated to 3.14 as well, considering that there's still time, since Ubuntu / Ubuntu GNOME 15.04 is in alpha and it's scheduled for release in April, 2015.

GTK 3.14 and Nautilus 3.14 are currently available in the Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet proposed repository, but they should be promoted to release soon.

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

Dec 17, 2014

Get A Global Menu In MATE 1.8 With TopMenu (PPA For Ubuntu And Linux Mint)

One of the most requested MATE features is the addition of a global menu applet. However, such an applet (called TopMenu) already exists, though it's not available in any PPA and that prevents many Ubuntu / Linux Mint users from installing it.

To make it easier to install, I've packed TopMenu in a PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 (requires using Ubuntu MATE or upgrading to MATE 1.8 via PPA) and 14.10 as well as Linux Mint 17 and 17.1 (MATE edition, obviously).

TopMenu is compatible with MATE 1.8 (a MATE 1.8 panel applet is shipped) and it fully supports GTK2. According to its Wiki page, GTK3 is partially supported (I didn't encounter any functionality issues in my test) and there are additional plugins for Qt4 and Mozilla apps (Firefox and Thunderbird). I should also mention that unlike Unity's AppMenu, TopMenu doesn't autohide and it's always visible when an application is focused.

Here are a few TopMenu screenshots taken under Ubuntu MATE:

TopMenu - GTK2 app

TopMenu - GTK3 app

TopMenu - Qt app

TopMenu Firefox extension

The PPA below provides both the GTK2 and GTK3 packages as well as the Qt4 plugin. I've also built the Firefox/Thunderbird extension, but I didn't package it and it's available as a separate download - or you can build it yourself.

For technical information about TopMenu, see its Gitorious page.

Important notes (please read!):

  • TopMenu is not considered stable and according to its wiki, GTK3 is only partially supported, so you may encounter bugs or it may not work at all for you

  • I had to tweak TopMenu GTK3 to render properly (some colors were hard-coded and it didn't respect the panel colors) but it's still not perfect and some stuff won't look properly - for instance, when using a transparent panel;

  • if you want to remove TopMenu installed from our PPA, use "purge" instead of remove (this should completely remove it: "sudo apt-get purge libtopmenu-*");

  • TopMenu from our PPA only works with MATE 1.8. To be able to use it in Ubuntu 14.04 (if you don't use Ubuntu MATE 14.04), you'll have to install the latest MATE via PPA.

How to get a global menu under MATE 1.8 with TopMenu in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

1. Install TopMenu

Firstly, let's install TopMenu. To add our PPA and install TopMenu for MATE 1.8 in Ubuntu 14.04 (if you don't use Ubuntu MATE 14.04, you'll have to install MATE 1.8 via PPA) / 14.10 or Linux Mint (MATE edition) 17 / 17.1, use the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/mate
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libtopmenu-gtk2 mate-topmenu

The commands above will add the PPA and install the GTK2 version of the TopMenu (required by the GTK3 and Qt modules) and the TopMenu MATE panel applet.

To get a global menu for GTK3 applications, you must install "libtopmenu-gtk3":

sudo apt-get install libtopmenu-gtk3

To get TopMenu to support Qt4 applications, install "libtopmenu-qt":

sudo apt-get install libtopmenu-qt

For Firefox and Thunderbird global menu support, download and install THIS extension (to install it, simply use drag and drop) or build the extension yourself.

Arch Linux users can install TopMenu via AUR: for GTK2 | GTK3 | Qt (you must load it manually as explained on the TopMenu wiki).

Other Linux distributions: see the instructions @ TopMenu wiki.

2. Once TopMenu has been installed, log out and log back in.

3. Adding the TopMenu applet to the MATE 1.8 panel.

Before adding the TopMenu applet to the MATE panel, it's important to mention that the default MATE "Menu Bar" will stop working so instead of this applet, you'll have to use either the "Main Menu" applet or "MATE Menu" applet. If you have the Menu Bar applet added to the panel, remove it before proceeding!

To add TopMenu to the MATE panel, right click the panel in an empty area and select "Add to panel" and add "TopMenu Panel Applet":

Then, open some application that has a menu (try it with a GTK2 app firstly, like Caja), move the menu to the position you want it to be displayed, right click it and select "Lock to panel". If you don't do this, the TopMenu applet position will reset after a logout.

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

Dec 11, 2014

Take YouTube Videos Offline on your Mobile

YouTube users in India rejoice. You can now download YouTube videos on your Android or iOS device using the official YouTube app itself and watch the videos later while you are offline or on a slow connection.

It takes a few easy steps to download a video on the YouTube app. Open a video, tap the download button (see screenshot), choose the resolution for the downloaded video and it will begin to download on your device. There’s a new “Offline” section in the YouTube app where you can find a list of all videos that are currently in the download queue or available for offline watching.

Download YouTube Video

The offline feature is available on the YouTube app for both Android and iPhone.

Related: How to Play YouTube Videos in the Background

That said, there are certain obvious limitations. One, not every video available on the YouTube website is available for download. The offline mode is mostly disabled for music videos and movies.

Also, the downloaded videos can only be watched inside the YouTube app. I did some digging on Android and it turns out that YouTube saves the videos into smaller chunks as .exo files, a format that is not supported in other media players.

There are however no restrictions around the number of videos that you can take offline with the YouTube app, you are only limited by the free storage available on your iPhone or Android phone.

The story, Take YouTube Videos Offline on your Mobile , was originally published at Digital Inspiration by Amit Agarwal on 11/12/2014 under Android, IPhone, YouTube, Software.

via Digital Inspiration Technology Blog

Dec 10, 2014

Canonical Announces Snappy Ubuntu Core, A Transactionally Updated Flavor For The Cloud

Canonical announced "snappy" Ubuntu Core yesterday, a new cloud-optimized Ubuntu edition that uses transactional updates.

Below you can watch the snappy Ubuntu Core introductory video in which Ubuntu and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth explains how snappy Ubuntu Core works:

(direct video link)

But what exactly is snappy Ubuntu Core? This new Ubuntu cloud flavor uses Ubuntu Core (a minimalist version of Ubuntu) as it base, which runs on a read-only system partition and uses "snappy" instead of apt-get or debs.

Snappy is an adaptation of the click packaging system developed for the Ubuntu Phone. A snappy package consists of a tarball with all the files needed to run an application or framework, with no imposed directory structure, no dependencies, and a single metadata file which contains the package name, version and binary file paths.

The snappy system and applications are confined by the AppArmor kernel security system, keeping each part of Ubuntu in a separate, read-only file. This ensures that all the installed applications are completely isolated from each other, similar to what Canonical is doing on the mobile phone.

Thanks to this, snappy applications don't need to be reviewed, so developers can deliver their applications faster.

Furthermore, snappy uses a "transactional" (or "image-based") update mechanism (for both the system and applications), which means that each update can either completely succeed or completely fail, without "partial failures". Before each update, snappy backs up the data and rolls back if the update fails, so the system is never in a broken / incomplete state.

On top of that, updates on Ubuntu Core are smaller than regular package updates because only the difference between the old and the new version is downloaded (delta updates), instead of getting the whole package.

"All of that is designed for Docker, because it gives you a transactional base for transactional application ecosystem. And so, the very first snappy application we're shipping is Docker itself", says Mark Shuttleworth.

This should bring faster, more reliable and of course, more secure updates, solving issues like the recent ownCloud removal from the Ubuntu repositories (ownCloud had to be removed from the Ubuntu repositories because it was very complicated to update and, being a community package, no one from the community stepped up to update it), with an easy way of rolling back if something goes wrong.

Also, although not new, snappy should also fix the broken dependencies and maintainer scripts (postinst, etc.) problems which, even though not common for packages in the official Ubuntu repositories, can occur with third-party packages.

So how exactly is snappy different from other existing transactional systems? On his blog, Mark Shuttleworth writes:

"There have been interesting developments in the transaction systems field over the past few years. ChromeOS is updated transactionally, when you turn it on, it makes sure it’s running the latest version of the OS. CoreOS brought aspects of Chrome OS and Gentoo to the cloud, Red Hat has a beta of Atomic as a transactional version of RHEL, and of course Docker is a way of delivering apps transactionally too (it combines app and system files very neatly). Ubuntu Core raises the bar for certainty, extensibility and security in the transactional systems game. What I love about Ubuntu Core is the way it embraces transactional updates not just for the base system but for applications on top of the system as well. The system is just one layer that can be updated transactionally, and so are each of the apps on the system. You get an extensible platform that retains the lovely properties of transactionality but lets you choose exactly the capabilities you want for yourself, rather than having someone else force you to use a particular tool".

More on Mark's blog blog

Try snappy Ubuntu Core

Snappy Ubuntu Core (currently in alpha) is available on the Microsoft Azure cloud and as KVM images which can be downloaded for local Linux desktop development however, it should available on more certified clouds in the coming weeks.

If you want to give snappy Ubuntu Core a try, either as a KVM image for local development on Ubuntu or as a cloud image on Azure, you'll find complete instructions HERE.

References / more information:

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog

Dec 9, 2014

Ubuntu Developer Tools Center Renamed To Ubuntu Make, Sees New Release

Ubuntu Developer Tools Center, a project to allow easy installation of common developer tools, has reached version 0.2. With this release, the project was renamed to Ubuntu Make, based on name proposals from the community.

For now, Canonical is focusing on Android developers with Ubuntu Make, allowing easy installation of Android Studio and Eclipse, but in the future, the tool will also target Go, web and Dart developers.

Ubuntu Make 0.2 was released today and and besides the name change, it brings a fix for the Android Studio installation, which reached the 1.0 milestone and also, ADT was removed because "upstream doesn't provide any bundle anymore as this tools is deprecated in favor of Android Studio", mentions the Ubuntu Make changelog.

It's also important to mention that Android Studio doesn't ship with the Android SDK any more but it can be installed from the Android Studio Setup Wizard:

Why doesn't Canonical provide these tools directly in Ubuntu Software Center? None of Didier Roche's (the main Ubuntu Make developer) articles mention this however, Alan Pope, Engineering Manager at Canonical, posted a comment on WebUpd8 a while back, saying that "With Software Center (or indeed any repo) someone has to build packages and submit them, with this, they don't. They get the latest crack with one command", so it looks like it's simply easier to provide these tools with Ubuntu Make.

Install Ubuntu Make

The latest Ubuntu Make is already available in the Ubuntu 15.04 Vivid Vervet official repositories so if you're using Vivid, install it via Ubuntu Software Center or using the following command:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make

Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10 users can install Ubuntu Make by using its official PPA (the PPA has changed so if you've added the old UDTC PPA, remove it and add this one instead!). To add the PPA and install Ubuntu Make, use the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/ubuntu-make
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-make

You can then use the new "umake" command ("udtc" still works for now) to install Android Studio and / or Eclipse in Ubuntu.

To install Android Studio using Ubuntu Make, use:

umake android

To install Eclipse, use:

umake ide eclipse

("umake ide" also works, but when the tool will get support for more IDEs, this will install all of them)

To remove Android Studio or Eclipse, simply append "--remove" at the end of the commands above. For instance, to remove Eclipse, use:

umake ide eclipse --remove

If you want to help with the Ubuntu Developer Tools Center development, report bugs, etc., check out its GitHub page.

via Web Upd8 - Ubuntu / Linux blog