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There’s Alfred and Quicksilver for the Mac, tools that make help you get tons done just with your keyboard. On the PC, there’s Launchy that does much the same thing. And even in apps like Sublime Text, you can just type in the Command Palatte to get stuff done without resorting to hard-to-remember keyboard shortcuts or your mouse.

On the web, though, the best alternate we have is bookmarklets — typically javascript-powered bits of code that make sharing and tweaking sites simple. In Safari, you can access the first 10 in your bookmarks bar with simple CMD+number shortcut, but everywhere else you’ll have to click your bookmarklet or make workarounds for the ones you use most. It’s far from the efficiency of keyboard-driven launchers.

That is, unless you install the new Backtick.

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My former workplace had very restrictive IT policies and so every computer was locked down, which meant that to install any software, you needed the administrator password. And the last time Canonical released a new version of Ubuntu, it was a living nightmare for me. I needed to download that OS as quick as possible to write about it, but as anyone who has downloaded Ubuntu on day zero knows, it’s pretty much impossible to do that through the direct HTTP download. And here I was, stuck on a PC that wouldn’t let me grab it off the torrent like I usually do.

How I wish I knew about BitTorrent Surf at that time…

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The modern browser is becoming more than just a tool to get to the internet. It’s now almost synonymous with our usage of a computer itself. Most of the things we do are online, and a lot of times, each task requires certain websites to do the job.

OverTask, an extension for Google Chrome, wants to help you sort through the websites you visit when you are doing anything. It’s been getting a lot of buzz about its ability to automatically “convert tabs into tasks”. It’s unclear how that works, but we were intrigued and took it for a spin.

Unfortunately, OverTask seems as confused in its execution as it does in its idea.

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Reditr is hands-down the best Reddit client you will have seen, bar none. That is a pretty big statement to make right at the top of the review, but honestly, there is simply no competition to this one.

A few years ago, Twitter’s constant barrage of information got too much for most of us to handle. We needed a client that could help us make sense of it all, one that could sort the chaos and cut through the clutter. If you have used Tweetdeck, you know how much more awesome Twitter is with it.

Reditr is Tweetdeck for Reddit. If Reddit is overwhelming, This free app for Google Chrome simplifies the social network with features which, once you see and use them, you wonder how you ever used Reddit without them.

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Everyone wants something different to happen when they hit that little “New Tab” icon or press Ctrl+T. Chrome already has a pretty nifty ‘speed dial’ page with recently visited or favourite sites. Some of us want a version of that on steroids, like with Speed Dial 2.

Consider what you usually start a new tab for. It’s either to check one of your social networks (that post on Facebook, the snarky comment on Twitter or what your friend just ate on Instagram), see the latest updates in some of your favourite sites, or just check a file in your Dropbox or Google Drive.

OneFeed wants to put all of that data in a one-glance spot when you hit that New Tab button. It’s ingenious, and yet, I really don’t know why no one thought of this before. After using it for a little over two weeks, now when I hit Ctrl+T, I no longer rush to type out an address in the URL bar — I actually look at the page so that I’m saved typing or a click.

And there’s a lot more awesomeness under the hood. (more…)

Listening to music via a browser normally involves YouTube – and by association the terribly annoying Vevo. If I wanted advertisements before a song I’d turn on the radio. Soundcloud is an alternative but unfortunately caters mostly to the Alternative genre.

The Drive Tunes extension for Chrome however promises a seamless listening experience straight from your Google Drive. As with most things good and Googly – it’s free, it works and isn’t chock full of malware.

On the face of thing’s all is well. But is it usable? Is there even a point to a browser music player? Oh, and does it play nice with Google’s other offerings? The plot thickens.

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Like most people today, I prefer to save the majority of my files on cloud storage services, especially the work attachments I get in my emails. This helps me access my work files no matter where I am. For the past few days, I’ve been looking for a simple way to save all my attachments automatically to my Dropbox account so that I don’t have to upload them every time I receive an email. I did try IFTTT to see if I can create a recipe but it didn’t allow me to save the attachments in my Box or Dropbox account. It did save the copy of the email as text files, but that’s it.

Finally I found what I was looking for, in the form of Kloudless for Google Chrome.
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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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Unified notifications are everywhere these days, and are built into the latest version of every major mobile and desktop OS. On the web, though, notifications are a mixed bag. Chrome supports notifications from web apps, but you’ll have to have your favorite app open to get notifications, and few support them as is. You’re better off relying on email notifications and keeping Gmail open in Chrome all day if you don’t want to miss out on anything.

That is, unless you install Chime, a new beta extension for Chrome. It’s the notification center the web has been needing, and it just might make more sense than most mobile notification centers do anyhow. Let’s take a look.

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