GNOME 3.16 is here with reimagined notifications and visual upgrades galore

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The latest version of the GNOME desktop offers a revamped notification system along with visual improvements, updated applications, and a trio of new application previews. In total, GNOME 3.16 includes a whopping 33,525 changes made by over one thousand people.

If you haven’t given GNOME a try in a while, you should. GNOME and the GNOME Shell desktop interface have improved dramatically from the initial GNOME 3.0 releases.

Notifications redesigned

The latest version of GNOME offers a revamped notification system. Notification banners now appear more to the center of the screen under the top bar, making them more noticeable and less likely to interfere with applications while you’re using them. Those notification pop-ups are still actionable, so you can click them to take the default action or click the buttons on them to perform other actions.


The old dedicated message tray has been removed. Instead, notifications that have already popped up appear in the calendar drop-down window. Click it to see notifications as well as event reminders, times for other locations in the world, and a calendar for the current month. The GNOME Project plans on adding weather information and birthday reminders to this drop-down interface in the future, making this drop-down a one-stop place to see exactly what’s happening.

It’s a bit like the centralized notification interfaces you’ll find on most platforms these days, from Windows 10’s Action Center to Chrome’s notifications interface to similar features on Android and iOS.

Foursquare, cats, and scroll bars

GNOME 3.16 offers other improvements too. The desktop interface has a more modern look, with more use of dark gray colors. Scroll bars now automatically hide for a minimal look, a bit like Google Chrome’s scroll bars.


The Files application saw some work, with larger previews in the grid and list views and a pop-up interface for quickly tweaking view settings. There’s a new, easier-to-discover undo function, so you can delete files just by pressing the Delete key—you can always undo that later, after all. The Image Viewer also received tweaks, with less interface chrome and more room for looking at your pictures.


The Boxes application is also improved, making it easier to work with and use virtual machines on GNOME. Automatic codec installation has been integrated into the GNOME Software application, and various applications saw other performance and bug improvements. Soon, you should be able to install fully sandboxed applications that will work on any Linux distribution from the Software application.

preview apps

You’ll also find preview versions of Calendar, a calendar application that can show information from your online calendar accounts; Books, an e-book viewer; and Characters, a character map application for quickly inserting characters that don’t appear on your keyboard

Three ways to keep your IT staff productive during downtime

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There’s no such thing as nothing to do in a well-run IT department. There may be stretches of downtime when your staff isn’t occupied with high priority tasks, but making good use of that time might make the difference between a business that maintains and one that excels.

Here are three types of projects that will both keep your IT staff busy and help the company run better as a whole.


Maintaining your own personal computer is reasonably easy. Maintaining 50 or more computers, most used by people who wouldn’t know a backup from a backdoor, requires significant investment in time and wetware. If you’re not creating a new system or putting out a fire, now would be a good time to do the boring chores of IT.

Check each PC to make sure that they’re all updated. Do their operating systems have all of the proper security patches? Are the applications up-to-date? The antivirus software?

Run diagnostic tests on all of your hardware. See what PCs are running hot and will therefore need a cleaning. Use a hard drive diagnostic program to predict drive failures before they happen.

The fact that you back up regularly doesn’t guarantee that your backup is any good. Test your company-wide backup system by restoring random files and drive images (on a spare drive, of course).


In tech, there’s always something new to learn, whether it’s programming languages, hardware, or the latest BYOD devices. Set up seminars where your IT staff can learn and stay abreast of relevant developments in their field, including new technologies and the latest in malware and security threats, so they can be better able to protect the company.

If you have the budget, bring teachers in from outside. If not, assign employees to give presentations on their strengths. For instance, you might have your top Ruby on Rails coder discuss his or her tricks and techniques, giving the rest of the crew an insight into how to better use this language.

Another option: Allow IT employees to attend training classes or conferences offsite on company time, and if possible, on the company dime. That way, each individual can gain skills, network with peers, and ensure your company is up to par with your industry.


Bring the IT staff together for a brainstorming session on how best to improve the company’s systems and workflow. Work together to examine how your network and company databases are designed, and reference them against similar companies. Note the weaknesses and bottlenecks. Implore your entire staff to contribute suggestions or complaints and aggregate their feedback to attain a more holistic perspective of your network’s performance.

Then, ask your IT staff how the systems should be designed in an ideal world. Many of the ideas will be unworkable; others unaffordable. But even those ideas might help inspire a solution that can be done and will improve the company. A proactive, forward-thinking approach to IT is often the only way to protect your processes from obsolescence.

Keeping your IT staff working during slow times does more than keep them busy. It keeps up morale, improves productivity, and results in a better company.

Windows 10 Preview coming to more phones

Microsoft Windows 10 for phones crop

you have a Nokia Lumia smartphone, your chances of running the Windows 10 Preview are looking up: According to Microsoft’s Gabe Aul, the company is set to open up Windows 10 Preview builds to a broader range of phones.

The Windows 10 Preview program opened up to smartphones back in February, but the initial preview builds worked only on a small number of Lumia devices. The reasons for this limited rollout were technical—Microsoft had to select phones with an OS partition large enough to handle Windows 10 until it had finished a partition-resizing feature known as Partition Stitching.

Partition Stitching is now ready to rock, according to Microsoft, so the Windows development team was able to expand the preview to include support for additional Lumia devices.

The expanded compatibility list includes 36 Lumia models, including the Lumia 1020 and Lumia 1520. The full list from Microsoft follows below:

Lumia 1020
Lumia 1320
Lumia 1520
Lumia 520
Lumia 525
Lumia 526
Lumia 530
Lumia 530 Dual Sim
Lumia 535
Lumia 620
Lumia 625
Lumia 630
Lumia 630 Dual Sim
Lumia 635
Lumia 636
Lumia 638
Lumia 720
Lumia 730
Lumia 730 Dual SIM
Lumia 735
Lumia 810
Lumia 820
Lumia 822
Lumia 830
Lumia 920
Lumia 925
Lumia 928
Lumia ICON
Microsoft Lumia 430
Microsoft Lumia 435
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 435 Dual SIM DTV
Microsoft Lumia 532
Microsoft Lumia 532 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 640 Dual SIM
Microsoft Lumia 535 Dual SIM

Microsoft stresses that this is a preliminary list and is subject to change: The company may add or remove models from the compatibility list as it fixes bugs—or finds new ones.

Microsoft hasn’t said when it plans to release the next build of Windows 10, but when it does, check back with Microsoft to see if it’s added support for your devic

Chrome OS beta has a new Launcher and it looks suspiciously like Google Now

google now chrome

Anyone who has used Android can attest to the usefulness of Google Now: After all, it conveniently presents useful bits of timely information—weather, traffic, news headlines, and so on—in a clear, easy-to-parse manner. Chrome OS users will soon be able to join the fun, though: According to Google’s François Beaufort, Google Now functionality will make its way into the upcoming Chrome Launcher 2.0.

This new launcher is the best way to start new activities on Chrome OS, like performing a Google search or launching apps, Beaufort wrote in a post on Google+. Search has been enhanced to help you find what you are looking for faster, apps you most often use right have been put at your fingertips, and the power of Google Now has been brought to your Chromebook.

The new Launcher 2.0 hits Chrome OS Beta Channel builds this coming week, though it’s still unclear when it will come to the stable builds intended for broader consumption  when it’s ready

Anyone who uses Chrome OS can join the Beta Channel, which allows you get at new Chrome OS features before they become available to everyone and provide feedback to Google. And it’s easy to do: Click your account picture when logged in as the owner, go to Settings  About Chrome OS, click More info, then click Change channel… to make the switch. Switching back to the stable channel will require you to wipe your machine, so be aware of this gotcha before you switch channels

How IT Pros Manage a 24-Hour Workday


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Today, every second of downtime equals lost revenue for almost any business, so resolving problems quickly is critical. That puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of the IT department, who are often on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. How do these unsung heroes cope with the stress of handling the responsibility of the 24-hour workday? We spoke to a number of IT pros to hear their tips and tricks.

Leverage Tech Tools for Automated Monitoring

While it may not reduce the anxiety of always knowing in the back of your mind that you’ll need to spring into action if something goes wrong, automated monitoring tools can reduce the busywork, and often allow you to identify and fix problems before they become catastrophic.

Tim Segraves, co-founder and CTO of Revaluate, a real estate startup, says, “As the sole technical founder on the team, I’m on call at all times. I use a number of tools for monitoring and alerting of when things go down or are operating with degraded performance.”

Segraves’ primary suite of tools includes the following:

  • Pingdom: This tool monitors website uptime and sends alerts if the site becomes unreachable.
  • New Relic: Segraves uses this to monitor server health. “You can configure alerts for when certain server parameters — CPU, memory, disk I/O — exceed given thresholds.”
  • MongoDB MMS: A tool that keeps tabs on the company’s MongoDB database. “It monitors the overall health of the database and the servers they run on and can alert us if there are problems.”

Tools like LogMeIn can also simplify the troubleshooting process by enabling quick and easy remote access to any desktop at the office.

Get Everyone in on the Action

Glenn Gillen, founder of Glu IO, says that the 24-hour IT workload “can definitely be stressful, but it turned out to be good practice for becoming a father.” He’s learned that it takes a village – or at least a dedicated, supportive staff – to make sure the ship keeps sailing.

In addition to monitoring tools to alert the appropriate technician if sites go down, he leverages a Slack chatroom so that everyone can stay informed. “This is great if I’m out, as it’s a convenient way to get an overview of what’s wrong from my phone.” Gillen says, “I also have alerts sent to my phone, email, and our HipChat room so the entire team is aware of any issues while I work on them.”

Of course, full-time support does limit Gillen’s leisure time. “If I’m on call it inevitably means I have to take my laptop with me everywhere, and we can’t go any places that I won’t have cell reception or might have difficulty getting out to use my laptop (so concerts are out of the question).”

That’s why a carefully constructed, closely monitored IT framework is crucial not only for every business, but for every IT pro’s personal sanity. If you can eliminate most probable problems before they manifest, all you have left are the improbable ones – and maybe enough time left in the week to relax

9 time-saving search tips for Google on Android and iOS Spotlight

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It’s easy to forget about the nondescript search box—you know, Google search on Android devices or “Spotlight” search in iOS—that sits on the home screens of our smartphones and tablets.

Indeed, the little Google search box has been there so long, I’ve ceased to even see it. Spotlight search on the iPhone and iPad fares worse, given that it’s completely hidden until you give your home screen a downward tug.

That’s too bad, given that Google and Spotlight search are two of the best time-saving tools on your Android or iOS device.

With a few taps on Google and Spotlight search, you can launch apps without opening the Application drawer or digging into home-screen folders. You can play music without opening the Music app first. You can call a contact, search for movie rentals in iTunes, check the weather, or even track a flight, all in one easy stop. And yes, you can search the web, too.

Read on for 9 great time-saving Google and Spotlight search tips, starting with…

Note: For most of the following search tricks, Android relies on Google Now, a “digital assistant” that can do things like suggest nearby restaurants, calculate how long your commute will take, and display recent scores for your favorite teams. As long as you have the most recent version of the Google search app installed on your Android device, you’ve probably got Google Now up and running.


Launch an app

Having multiple home screens and as many app folders as we want sure sounded like a good idea at the time—that is, until we had so many home screens and folders that finding the app we wanted to launch became like finding a needle in a haystack.

But with Google and Spotlight search on the case, you won’t need to hunt and peck for the specific app you want to open.

Instead, just head for Google or Spotlight and start tapping the name of an app—and within a few letters, the app’s icon should appear just below the search box.

Tap the icon, and boom—the app will open, no extra taps or swipes require

No need to dig through all your home-screen folders to find the app you want to launch. Instead, just head for Google or Spotlight and start tapping.

Pull up a contact

Need to call, text, or email a friend, colleague or loved one? Your first instinct may be to launch Android’s People app or Contacts on iOS, but there’s a better, faster way.

Just type the name of the contact you want to reach into the Google or Spotlight search box—and again, within a few letters or so, the name of your contact should appear

Need to find a contact fast? Just type the name into the Google or Spotlight search box.

Play some music or videos

Again, your first step when you want to play some songs or an album on your iPhone, iPad or Android device is probably to launch either the Music or Play Music app. And again, there’s an easier way (particularly when it comes to iOS’s increasingly confounding Music app).

Tap or open Google or Spotlight search, then start typing the name of a song, album, an artist—or, if you’re in the mood, a purchased TV show or movie—and matching music tracks will appear just below the search box.

Tap a tune, and let the music (or the movie) play

Ready for a little Johnny Cash? The Google search box on your Android device’s home screen will make quick work of your music search.

Map an address

Feeling a little lost? Yep, you guessed it—there’s a quicker way to find where you’re going than opening up Google or Apple Maps. Instead, just type any address into Google or Spotlight search.

With Google Now on the Android side, a map will be displayed right on your home screen.

For iOS, you’ll see a list of mapping results; tap one to jump directly to Apple Maps

Lost? There’s a quicker way to find where you’re going than first opening Google Maps or Apple Maps.

Search the web

Sure, you can search the web using the Google search box on an Android phone, but did you know you could do so with iOS’s Spotlight search, too?

Go ahead, try it—your web search results will appear just below the Spotlight search box, saving you the step of opening Safari first.

And as bonus, Spotlight will display any relevant Wikipedia hits just above your web results

Not only will Spotlight search the web for you, it’ll also show you top hits from Wikipedia.

Check the weather (Android only)

Will you need an umbrella today? Just tap “weather” into the Google search box for a summary of the local weather. complete with the current temperature and a five-day forecast.

Oh, and here’s a neat trick: see the slider just below the temperature? Slide it forward to 1 p.m., 6 p.m., or later for an hourly forecast of the current day, or any day you select in the five-day forecast

You can check the weather in a flash with a little help from the Google home-screen search box.

Search for mail messages (iOS only)

Trying to find a specific email message in your inbox? Well, you can tap on the Mail app in iOS, go to the All Mailboxes directory, drag down to reveal the search box, then tap in your search—or you can chop most of those steps and try this instead.

Just tug down on your home screen to open Spotlight search, then tap in some search terms—anything from the name of the sender to the subject of the message, some key words in the body, anything.

If any messages in your inbox match your search terms, they’ll appear just below the Spotlight search box. Tap a message to open it in the Mail app

Looking for a mail message? Spotlight search for iOS should be your first stop.

Create a reminder for yourself (Android only)

Would you rather tie a string on your finger than jump through all the necessary hoops to set up a reminder on your Android phone? Here’s a super-easy alternative.

Go to the home-screen Google search box and type something along the lines of, “Remind me to pick up lettuce at the grocery store.”

When you do, Android will set up a reminder for you, complete with a title (“Buy lettuce”) and blanks for a time and/on place—meaning, for example, you can set your Android device to trigger the reminder the next time you’re near a grocery store

The top 7 second-screen apps for supplementing your Major League Baseball experience

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When Major League Baseball gets underway next week, don’t limit your enjoyment to watching the game in person or on your living-room big screen. These days, apps running on a second screen—a smartphone or tablet—are becoming as integral to watching the game as cold beer and peanuts.

A second screen enhances your experience in ways that just aren’t possible any other way, delivering everything from analysis, player stats, and interactive features to tools for communicating with other fans watching the game.

We’ve rounded up seven of the best second-screen apps that belong on your smartphone or tablet this baseball season. Download and install one or more before Opening Day on Sunday to make sure you’re game ready when the ump yells “play ball!”

MLB At Bat

As second screen apps go, Major League Baseball’s eight-year-old At Bat is still the ace of the rotation. Even the free “lite” version has enough features to make any seamhead giddy, including breaking news, player stats, scores, standings, schedules, interactive rosters, and the ability to customize your homepage as a hub for your favorite team. You can also receive push notifications to alert you to game starts, lead and score changes, and in-game video highlights.

MLB at Bat

Still it’s worth ponying up for the premium features ($3 a month/$20 a year, free for MLB.TV subscribers). You’ll get access to a treasure trove of complete classic games in the video library, real-time box scores with pitch-by-pitch tracking, and each team’s live local radio broadcast for every game from spring training through the World Series. The last is particularly useful when you want to mute national network blowhards and tune in to your hometown broadcast team.

The iOS version of the app received several updates this season, including a new UI for all 30 team pages, player search expanded to include all active and historical players (both iPhone only), and Spanish language support. (Android, iOS, Kindle Fire)

MiLB First Pitch

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If you like keeping tabs on baseball’s prospects, download MiLB First Pitch. A companion to MLB At Bat, it provides similar coverage of 150 minor league clubs with scores, stats, news, video highlights and push notification game alerts.

As with the big–league app, the basis are free but you must buy into video streams of games—both live an on-demand—and other premium offerings, but it’s the best way to scout tomorrow’s stars while following their parent clubs on TV. Platoon it with At Bat for complete coverage of your favorite team’s entire organization. (Android, iOS)


If you prefer your baseball coverage from a third-party source, it’s tough to beat ESPN’s free flagship app (formerly Scorecenter). In addition to scores and standings, it will keep you supplied with a steady stream of injury reports, contract signings, and other breaking news from around the league. Swipe over to the ESPN Now tab for social media content from ESPN writers, teams, players, and other baseball insiders.


Designate your favorite team and you can receive alerts before games and get the latest news and videos about your club sent directly to your ESPN inbox. Best of all, you can use the app as a second screen for other sports after the Fall Classic. (Android, iOS, Windows Phone)

Beyond the Box

Twitter has transformed the way we watch TV, particularly sports, helping us connect in real-time around our favorite teams and most hated rivals. A skillfully curated Twitter feed can make you feel like you’re watching the game with your buddies at the neighborhood bar—but sifting through the dross to assemble one can be frustrating and time consuming.

Enter Beyond the Box. This one-dollar app provides a prefab timeline around your favorite sport. Powered by Twitter and Instagram, Beyond the Box pulls from thousands of sources—local and national media, fan blogs, team sites and the players themselves—to surround you with more baseball chatter than a little league ball field. In addition to the general feed for MLB (as well as the NFL, NBA, NHL, and more), you can create a custom news feed around your favorite team that will make their beat writers jealous.

beyond the box

A typical Beyond the Box feed will give you an aggregated stream of tweets, article links, images and videos. A Sunday afternoon snapshot of the MLB feed, for example featured commentary from writers Peter Gammons and Jayson Stark, an article from Baseball America, and a selfie of Toronto Blue Jays Jose Reyes and Jose Bautista driving to spring training in full uniform. All that’s missing is the Cracker Jack. (iOS)

iScore Baseball

Scoring a game by hand is a tradition that goes back to the earliest days of baseball; but in our digital age, this pen-and-paper activity could easily go the way of flannel uniforms and Pullman cars.

Thankfully, there’s iScore Baseball. This app turns your iPad into a digital scorebook, but you don’t have to know any of the arcana of scorekeeping to use it. iScore employs interview prompts to help you track the on-field action. Say the batter grounds out to first base: To record that play, tap the Out button and iScore will ask what kind of out was made. Select Ground Out and the app will ask you to tap on the diamond where the ball was hit and the position that made the out. As you record each play in this manner, iScore translates it all into scorebook speak. After the game, you can generate or email a completed scoresheet, box score, or team stats.


And if the idea of scoring a game for posterity seems quaint now that the web can serve up play-by-play stats for just about any matchup in history, consider that its greater purpose may be keeping you focused on the game amid the distractions of home. (iOS, Android; $10)

MLB PrePlay

With frequent pitching changes, manager challenges, and between-inning interviews slowing the pace of the game, it can be tough for the most hardcore fan to stay engaged. MLB PrePlay can help keep you focused on the action by adding a game within the game.

Rather than numb you with an avalanche of statistics, this free

MLB Replay

app tests your baseball IQ and predictive powers by having you guess the outcomes of the game while you watch. Before the first pitch is thrown, you make your picks for the winning team and the pitchers’ lines. Once the game starts, you make in-game predictions for each batter, such as will he get a hit, a walk, or an out. Extra points are earned by correctly predicting details about the types of hit or out.

There are additional between-inning challenges, such as predicting a 1-2-3 inning or the number of pitches thrown. A chat feature lets you trash talk with other fans watching the same game, and when the on-field contest is over PrePlay ranks your score against all that game’s other participants. PrePlay also offers a 1-on-1 challenge that pits you against a single opponent for one inning in a battle for bragging rights. (Android, iOS)


If you’re a fantasy baseball owner, you’ve got an additional stake in the season. This free app is your own personal scout, keeping you apprised of what all your fantasy players are doing while you’re tuned into the real games. You can track individual players or whole teams in real time, with enough stats to make a sabermetrician swoon.

ownersbox.The app also offers comprehensive reports so you can ferret out the hottest (and coldest) players to beef up your roster. Customize your notifications to alert you when one of your players steps up the plate, gets injured or otherwise makes news. And because OwnersBox also provides NFL, NBA, and NHL stats, you can keep using it once you’ve won your fantasy baseball league trophy. (Android, iOS

7 PowerPoint text effects that add sizzle to slides

microsoft powerpoint logo primary

Here’s one more secret to help your PowerPoint slides sell. You always need good, well-written content, engaging graphics, and chic animations. Now, add some flashy text to that mix—judiciously—to give your ideas more sizzle.

Special effects in PowerPoint are minimal, but you can combine effects to create some interesting visuals. Although not really classified as effects, the Text and Outline Fill provide several options such as Solid colors, Gradients, Pictures or Textures, and Patterns to get you started.

Open a template or a blank presentation. If blank, choose a background color, gradient, texture, or image. (Note: The fonts have been sized at 200 points for these exercises, so the effects can be easily viewed on smaller screens.)

1. Text Fill and Outline (from the Context menu)

On the first slide, type a word (HUES, in my example) as H, U, E, S in four separate text boxes (in a large, thick font). Highlight, then right-click the H and select Format Text Effects from the Context menu. In the Format Shape submenu, click Text Options, then click the first “A” (it looks underlined) for Text Fill & Outline. Note: If the text is not highlighted, the effects you choose are not applied.

Select a solid fill with a gradient line on the H, and a gradient fill with a solid line on the U. Preset (sample) gradients are available or you can create your own using the options in the gradient task pane. You can adjust the type, direction, angle, stops (number of gradient levels), colors, position, transparency, and brightness on both the fill and outline. You can also choose a number of style options to customize outlines.

slide1 h u text fx

Highlight the E and choose a Picture or Texture fill. This element can come from a file on your hard drive, the Internet, or an image copied and pasted onto your clipboard. Next, choose a line color that works well with the image. Highlight the S and choose a pattern from the Pattern library, then select the foreground and background colors and a matching outline.

slide2 e s text fx
2. Special effects (from the Ribbon menu) 

Special effects include Shadow, Reflection, Glow (+ Soft Glow), Bevel (a.k.a., 3D Format), Transform, and 3D Rotation.

The text must be selected to access the text effects menu. To select text, click anywhere on the target text box. Notice a new tab appears called Drawing Tools/Format.

Note: Monitors using low- to mid-resolution settings may truncate the word “Tools,” so the tab shows Drawing…Format). Click Format to view the Format groups.

On Slide 2, type four characters (or my example, TRAP) in four separate text boxes. Highlight the first character in your string (or choose T from my example). In the WordArt Styles group, notice the three, small, uppercase A’s on the right. Roll your cursor over these characters to view the associated submenus: Text Fill, Text Outline, and Text Effects, or click the tiny arrow in the bottom right corner to display the full effects menu.

A. Shadow

Choose a fill and outline color from the color palette for each of the four characters. Highlight the first letter T, and click the bottom “A” (Text Effects) in the WordArt Styles group. Roll your cursor over the first effect: Shadow, then choose a shadow preset from the list. With this letter still highlighted, click the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the WordArt Styles group. In the Format Shape submenu, click Text Options, and the center “A” (Text Effects). In the Shadow task pane, review the options: Color, Transparency, Size, Blur, Angle, and Distance, then customize your shadow. Repeat this process to add three more, different shadows to the remaining text.

slide3 shadow text fx

Note: You cannot use two of the same type of effects on one character—each letter is limited to one Shadow, Reflection, et cetera—but you can use multiple different effects on a single character—each letter can have one Shadow, one Reflection, and one Glow effect. Also, you can use more than one of the same effects on the same text block, as long as each character, word, or sentence is highlighted individually.

If you want to use more than one of the same effect (such as shadows) on the same character, here’s the workaround: Stack the characters (either aligned, offset a bit, or in different sizes) and apply one different shadow effect to each. In the example above, the R, A, and P all have stacked, double letters. The “R” has an Inner Shadow on the top letter and a Perspective Shadow on the bottom letter. The others are similar—two letters stacked, slightly offset, with a different shadow effect on each.

B. Reflection and Glow

Type a word (HEARTS in my example) in Slide 4, then add a Reflection and a Glow effect. Choose a fill and outline color, highlight the word, click the Text Effects “A” in the WordArt Styles group, and then choose a Reflection preset from the list. Repeat process and choose a Glow preset from the list.

You can change the Glow color, size, and transparency, and the Reflection transparency, size, blur, and distance in the Format Shape > Text Options > Text Effects submenu. To access, right-click the highlighted word and choose Format Text Effects from the Context menu, or click the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the WordArt Styles group.

slide4 reflectionglow text fx

C. Bevel – 3D Format

Type four characters (BLUE in my example) in Slide 5. Highlight the first letter, click the Text Effects “A” in the WordArt Styles group, select Bevel from the list. With this letter still highlighted, click the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the WordArt Styles group.

slide5 bevel 3d format fx

In the Format Shape submenu, click Text Options>Text Effects. In the 3D task pane, choose a Bevel, then customize the Depth, Contour, Material, and Lighting. Repeat this process to add three more, different Bevel effects to the remaining text. Note: Adjust the Width and Height of each Bevel to see some interesting effects. Then add some shadows, reflections, and other effects and see what happens. Have fun

What Wikipedia Can’t Tell You about Mobikwik

Science and technology have revolutionized today’s world into a global village. Online transactions are becoming common nowadays, but what attracts people more than anything else is ease of transaction. Mobikwik is a mobile wallet which was approved by Reserve Bank of India as reliable prepaid financial instrument. It has more than 8 million users nowadays with more than 50% users using Mobikwik Android App for making transactions. It gives the facility to store your money in a virtual bank account. You can make numerous online transaction from this mobile wallet. It gives the option to pay for your bills, Airtel online recharge via Mobikwik android app, payment for a bus ticket from the website and even payment for your pizza.

Mobikwik is available on website platforms. Nowadays, it is also available on numerous platforms, from a website to your tablet and mobile phone in the form of Mobikwik android/IOS/windows etc. It can be recharged by debit card, net banking, cash pay or credit card. Once you recharge it, you can make transactions from anywhere and for anything.

Mobikwik has freed people from the complicated electronic payment systems of internet banking. It makes the transaction one click system from your phone or computer without disclosing excess details of your credit or debit card. It also gives discounts and other offers to its customer, every time, they make a transaction.

Mobikwik also offers additional features of wallet money transfer (w2w) through which one can do his job by a simple click, and then, money can be transferred directly to his customers. This service also includes a convenient REQUEST MONEY feature by which you can alert anyone for his/her pending payment. In a few months more than 1.5 lakh money transfers take place via this service. This service has made 8 million users to make online payments. The credit of this huge success of Mobikwik goes to its credibility as well as its ease of operation, in a secure way. It also allows its user to transfer any amount, from one rupee to five thousand rupees in a single transaction. Statistics tell that more than one crore rupees have been transferred via this service. In order to assure security of transaction one time password OTP is created before any transfer.


What most people don’t know about Mobikwik is its new feature of the Airtel recharge facility. It offers Airtel recharge/DTH recharge and facility to pay utility bills. Mobikwik has got prior approval of this facility from Reserve Bank of India. You can fund up to 50,000 rupees in your online Mobikwik prepaid account. Currently, more than 2.5 million people are using this service for online mobile recharge and to pay bills. It can manage up to 75,000 tractions every day.

So, what makes Mobikwik a huge success, is its unique and simple way to make a secure payment from anywhere and for anything. Once you have recharged your Mobikwik online prepaid account, you can make transfers either by SMS or by call. It is all in one solution for your online DTH/mobile recharge, utility bill payments and online shopping.


Creating history: President Pranab Mukherjee to be a teacher for one day

Following the footsteps of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is going to interact with school children on September 4, the students of Class 11 and Class 12 will also be receiving lectures from none other than our President Pranab Mukherjee. The President will be holding a joint class for students of Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodhya Vidhalaya located in the Presidential Estate.

Teacher for a day!

The students will assemble on the ‘Knowledge floor’ and listen to their new teacher. The President is also expected to teach and impart knowledge to 100 teachers, as well. This idea was given by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia; the President liked the idea and gave his consent for the same. He gave a nod as he is a firm believer of the fact that a teacher is like a potter, who, with his soft and skillful hands, moulds the destiny of the student.

Pranab Mukherjee, on the eve of Independence Day, emphasised on providing quality education and encouraged the concept of “guru-shishya” (Teacher-Student) relation. “What has happened to quality (education), from base to apex? We recall the guru-shishya parampara with legitimate pride; why then have we abandoned the care, devotion and commitment that is at the heart of this relationship?” he had asked.

This will be the first time in the Indian history that any President will wear the cap of a teacher. On earlier occasions, however, Mukherjee and his predecessor A P J Abdul Kalam met and interacted with students on various occasions.