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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson has been working with computers since long before the Start menu existed, and writing about them for more than a decade. He's always on the lookout for the best software and cool new ways of achieving things - whether with Windows, iOS, Android or online. He can be found on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

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A lot of what we all do with our computers these days is online. A very large proportion of us forego the comfort of an email client and rely instead on a web based mail service such as Gmail or outlook.com. In recent years there has been a big push from a lot of big name companies — the likes of Google, Adobe and Microsoft — to encourage their customers to work increasingly in the cloud.

It is likely that the widespread use of webmail has helped to make the idea of breaking away from the confines of desktop software, but the ever-increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets can probably also claim some responsibility. The ability to work on the move on a smaller-screened device is obviously very liberating, but there are new considerations to keep in mind. It is all well and good being able to work away from the desktop, but there will probably come a time when you want to work on a regular computer rather than a portable device. Of course, you can plug your phone or tablet into your computer and copy files back and forth as required… but this is too much like hard work!

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For most people, internet suffixes are not something that are given a great deal of thought, but they are part of life online. Wherever you are in the world, you can visit google.com to access the global page for the search engine, but there are numerous international variants available as well — google.co.uk for the UK, google.fr for France, google.cn for China. You probably don’t consider the existence of many suffixes or TLDs (top level domains) beyond a familiar handful.

Wherever you are in the world, .com is universally recognized, but each country has its own version as well. These are the addresses that most companies and individuals want to bag for their site — they are the ones that matter. Of course there are numerous other familiar TLDs: .org for charities and non-profit organizations, .gov for official governmental sites, but this is far from being the end of the story.

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Passwords dominate our lives these days; they are part and parcel of spending time online. There are now so many applications, service, devices and websites that require us to log into our secure account using a password that the sheer number of passphrases we have to remember has spiralled completely out of control.

For the best level of security it’s advisable to use a completely different password for each website and service — just off the top of my head I can think of 20 websites that I need to log into (there are probably at least double if I were to sit down and list everything properly); how the heck am I supposed to remember 20 completely unique passwords, each of which comprises a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols. Oh, and don’t forget… you’re meant to change these passwords every few weeks!

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Choosing the right Twitter name is important, just as it is important to choose the right email address. Opting for [email protected] may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but things look a little different when you have to use that address to apply for a job!

It’s the same with Twitter. When you first signed up for an account, you may not have given much thought to just how you were going to use the site. The time may well come when you wish you’d chosen a different username. In fact it is possible to change it — and you needn’t lose any followers along the way!

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Beeminder is a goal tracking service that is not quite like anything that has gone before it. It can be used to log a wide variety of things you might do, from the number of times you go to the gym each week, to how dedicated you are to clearing out the clutter from your inbox.

I’ve been a fan of Beeminder since my girlfriend introduced me to the site. I fell in love and started using it to track the number of articles I was writing and various other goals. Seeing a graph indicating my progress is often all the encouragement I need to stay on track and stick with what I’ve set out to do, and I decided to catch up with Beeminder co-founder Daniel Reeves to find out where the idea came from.

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There has been much said about Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader, and while for many people it is just another closure of a little used service, for lots of others it means losing a valuable source of news.

If you had come to rely on Google’s news reader to keep up to date with the latest news and posts from your favorite websites – including Web.AppStorm! – you could turn to Twitter to plug the gap. Here we’ll take a look at Twitter lists and show how they can be used as a viable alternative to RSS feeds.

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The internet can be frustratingly slow at times. This could be because of the time of day, a problem with your connection, the popularity of the site you’re visiting, or badly written pages. It could also be because of the sheer volume of advertisement, page analytics and other elements packed into a site.

Disconnect  is a free extension for Chrome that can be used to help not only speed up you online experience but also to make it more secure and private. These are pretty bold claims, so we thought we’d better take a look to see how it stands up.

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How many photos do you have littered across various devices and services? The ease with which we can now snap photos means that most of us now have thousands of images dotted across numerous online services.

Sick of having to jump from one site to another just to find the image you’re looking for? Trovebox is here to help. Consolidation is the order of the day as this is a service that enables you to pull all of your images into one place for ease of access.

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Apps that enable you to send contact information and files from one device to another have been available for years now, but when it comes to sharing websites, email is often the best bet. Yup: if you want to open the page you’re looking at on your computer in your phone’s browser, often the easiest way to move the link around is emailing yourself. That just doesn’t seem right.

While many web browsers now offer the option of syncing open tab sessions between computers,  the way synchronization has been implemented is not always ideal since they only work with other versions of the same browser. What if you use Chrome on your computer and Safari on your mobile devices?

This is where SendTab can help, making it possible to push tabs from one browser to another, on any device. Let’s see if it holds up to its promise.

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