Category Archives: Tips

Push Feedly articles to Microsoft Teams

Are you an informationholic? Do you wish you can share interesting stories with your teams to help extend their knowledge as well? Well now there is! After much trial and error, I figured out how to push articles from Feedly (my most favorite digital media aggregation tool) to Microsoft Teams (Microsoft’s answer to Slack with Office 365 subscriptions). For this solution we will use the following services:

  • Feedly Pro or Feedly Teams, sadly, cannot use Feedly Basic as it does not support the next requirement
  • IFTTT (If This, Then That), free, but to link to Feedly service, you need Feedly Pro or Feedly Teams.
  • Microsoft Teams
    • NOTE: you can use a similar configuration below but have output to Office 365 Groups or general email as well if you prefer or do not use Teams in your office. This article, however, focuses primarily on MS Teams.

The general concept is, when you see an article you are interested in, you can add notes and highlights to the article, then finally save the article to a personal board.  These features are actually new to Feedly and you can read more about them here (this is actually what finally got me to buy a subscription to Feedly Pro) – https://blog.feedly.com/boards/

Once the article is saved to a personal board, the IFTTT service will automatically pick it up, then POST a message immediately to the Microsoft Teams channel of your choosing.  An important note: In IFTTT we will be using Applets which are much easier to build compared to a full recipe which IFTTT provides support for as well. This means we will be limited to creating one applet per channel. If you want a single article to push to many channels, you will need to create separate applets or create a recipe without using the GUI (i.e. developer method, and beyond my current skill :-P)

Ok, let’s dive in and see what we have.

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How to hide table borders in Confluence, per page

So I had a recent challenge with page formatting Confluence v.5.9.X and wanted to share how I solved it.

Objective

In a Confluence page, I wanted to include multiple Panel Macros, each containing column and row formatted content but without the borders. The goal is to show team member profiles with Image on the left and supporting text content aligned right, example below.

Sample of Table without border

Problem

Confluence contains the concept of Sections, but you can not have sections withing a Panel Macro (or within any Macro at that, only macros within a section). Next obvious option is tables, but Confluence tables do not provide the ability to define styling of the table per page, only in the global Space configuration, which as a normal user, I do not have access to.

Table Options

Solution

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**Updated** Skype misbehaving? Upgrade today! and a helpful tip for the future

UPDATE:  Appears that the Check for Updates in the Skype app is not pushing version 7.18 automatically (i.e. it is not marked as a “recommended update” yet from MS), you have to manually download the update from Skype.com for now.


 

So I forgot to post a notice a month ago (shame on me) but at the time, Skype version 7.17.X (for Windows) had 2 crippling issues:

  1. Messages would appear our of order for different individuals, and,
  2. Messages refused to mark as read, unless you manually right click on the contact and select “Mark as read”.

Personally, I saw issue #2, not so much issue #1, but many saw one or the other (or both). At the time, the best solution was to download an older build and go back to 7.16.X.

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Hidden Gem: Creating GIFs with SnagIt

Recently I have been on a kick with creating GIFs to help provide visual reproduction at work, but did not want to deal with MP4s. I originally used SnagIt desktop app to create the video (I LOVE SnagIt, and Camtasia at that) then I used an online tool to convert. This worked but, way too many steps. But what if I could do it with SnagIt directly?

I did some searching on SnagIt community site and came across this blog  Techsmith has a free (YES FREE) extension for Google Chrome browser that lets you capture either screen grabs or videos (more details here). And now (well back in November 2014), one of the export options is GIF (if video is recorded under 20 seconds).

Sadly, this feature is not built into SnagIt Desktop or Camtasia, too bad… hopefully in future release it will be added. At least there is a workaround. 🙂

Recap of Week of November 30 (Sorry forgot to post this!)

Around the Blogosphere

Another nail in the coffin for Internet Explorer.

Late last week, Microsoft has announced the ending of support for all versions of Internet Explorer (IE) with the exception of IE 11 (announcement here, https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/WindowsForBusiness/End-of-IE-support). This decision ends years of heartache and suffering of our talented Front End Development team as earlier versions used unique rendering engines, causing excess hours, tears and sweat. But this move is not to push IE 11, but it’s more powerful and well-planned heir, Microsoft Edge.  If you are not aware, Microsoft Edge is the new browser that was released with Windows 10 earlier this year. Unlike Internet Explorer’s rocky history with excess bloat, Edge is very light, and extremely fast (beating out the likes of Firefox and Chrome!). As mentioned, this is a well-planned browser by Microsoft, with that said, Edge currently does not provide all the same features and capabilities that you would find in Chrome and Firefox, one of the biggest missing features is Extensions, but just like Windows 10 OS, Microsoft is continually enhancing it, and we should see Extensions introduced by mid next year with Windows 10 “Redstone” release. To learn more about MS Edge, check out this video – http://www.winbeta.org/news/windows-10-depth-microsoft-edge-video

Adobe admits death of flash by reinventing Adobe Flash Professional

We are a step closer to complete and utter destruction of Adobe Flash with the announcement that Adobe will be launching a rebuild Adobe Flash Professional to become Adobe Animate CC. http://techcrunch.com/2015/12/01/adobe-puts-another-nail-in-flashs-coffin/

Rumor: iPhone 7 ditches headphone jack… Really?

Although I agree the headphone jack is one of the largest ports left on the iPhone, but do we really need a thinner iPhone? Doesn’t that just mean the camera sticks out even more? Chinese paper thinks Apple’s next goal is to kill off the headphone jack like they successfully did with the CD-ROM (yes, I really did write that!)

Source: http://www.theverge.com/2015/11/30/9820416/apple-rumors-headphone-jack-lightning-port-iphone

Great Site for Deal Tracking

Lifehacker has an awesome deal tracking site called Kinja Deals, highly recommend following them.

http://deals.kinja.com/

Best Interview Questions, Provided by the CEO’s of the world

I have to say, my most favorite one is Jeff Zwelling:

“A hammer and a nail cost $1.10, and the hammer costs one dollar more than the nail. How much does the nail cost?”

http://www.businessinsider.com/famous-execs-share-favorite-interview-questions-2015-11

UX Development Tool for iOS and Android

Interesting new platform called Fuse that helps with UX development by providing real-time streaming to your devices.

https://www.fusetools.com/

Apple has Swiftly moved their Swift Programming Language to Open Source

Like how I played on words there 😉 Read more here – https://swift.org/

Everything about Nothing Recap

How to Kill (Hide) Status Bar in Firefox (without Add-Ons)

See past articles here.

Hybris Blank

No new articles published this week, but see past articles here.

Check your English Spelling and Grammar online today!!!

Many of us here work tirelessly online, writing in Confluence, JIRA, Facebook (hihi), LinkedIn, and Blogging. But when working online, we are provided very limited spelling tools and no grammar check tools.  That has now changed! Introducing www.grammarly.com, a free* online service that plugs into Safari (for you Mac ♥ers), Chrome (for those caught between worlds) and Firefox (slowly becoming archaic with Chrome and MS Edge??). This tool provides convenient mechanism to check your writing in real time, identifying possible spelling and grammar issues and providing fast, easy to use interaction to correct your writing.

Correction1

As you write, if a spelling error occurs, it will be displayed with either a red underline for spelling errors, or green underline for grammar error. Left mouse tap and then see options of how to fix your error as shown above.  You will need to sign up for an account (Free) then install the plug-in to your browser of choice. There is a premium option available that checks more advanced grammar issues and plug-in for MS Office (PC only) however, many of the most common issues are covered by their free service. I am working on getting Premium service as I am a very active user of Word and Outlook, so I will report back later on the paid experience.

As a workaround for paid service (or if you are a Mac ♥er), Grammarly has an option to upload you document to their site directly (after you login) to perform online correction.

Other bonus features of Grammarly are:

  • Thesaurus, highlight a word and see available synonyms.

Correction2

  • Dictionary, when not in an edit box, highlight a word to get an instant dictionary

Correction3

Hope this helps! If you have any questions or need help, let me know!  I have experience with Windows 10 Pro and Chrome, but I should be able to help with other OS and browsers

NOTE:
I did notice some limitations with Atlassian JIRA when working in quick edit mode (tap on a field in Read mode to modify content of that field only instead of opening full edit form) , but you can get around it by tapping “edit” to open the edit form of a ticket instead of using quick field edit feature. I have reported this issue to Grammarly and hope to work with them on a solution in the future, at least there is a workaround.

Happy correcting!

Facebook… you battery hogging, social addicting app! How iOS 9 uncovered a dark truth

Like as many of you, I am a facebook “junkie”. More so, probably, because I am living halfway around the word and it is my key lifeline back to my friends and family back in the US. I am also a geek that likes technology (though I am usually a little behind the curve or I’d have to file bankruptcy for how quick technology evolves). Anyway, if I can’t afford new hardware, I try to keep up with latest software (usually free to be hip, or at least relatively cheap) and that is how we came to be in this article. I am a proud owner of an iPhone 5 (yes, 5, not 5s 😛 though I do have my eyes set on the new Windows “Premium” Phone, but I digress). Being a fan of “new” stuff, I installed iOS 9 Public Beta 2. Of its MANY tweaks and improved stability (some I will touch on in later articles), I’d like to talk about the highly improved battery management page, more specifically, the battery usage.

Apple has now made battery a priority by giving it a dedicated slot on the Settings Home Page

20150726_135908000_iOS

After opening the Batter management page, you will see a variety of options. For this article, I am going to skip over the Low Power Mode (awesome as it is and deserves its own post) and go directly to the Battery Usage portion of the screen. This lists all the apps usage of the battery in X time frame. This listing is not new though, we had it with iOS 8, but there is a new twist… you can now get HOW the app is using it. Is it because of actual activity, background services, audio, etc. These tell tale signs are first spelled out when you open the screen:

20150726_141102000_iOS

You can even go further by taping the clock icon next to the Time Periods, this will give you the real juicy details and where the title of this article comes into view. You see, Facebook is a killer on my iPhone’s battery for me. When I looked at iOS 9 Battery Usage, I noticed Facebook used 32% of my battery life and an extra note was listed “Background Activity”… hmm. So I tapped on the clock icon and what do I see…

20150723_234417000_iOS

FACEBOOK! you Battery Hogging App!!!! I lost 32% of my battery and most of it was for BACKGROUND SERVICES!!! What the heck Facebook! Since Messenger is the only component of Facebook I need persistent data from and now that is a separate app which is no where in my top app usages, I jumped over to Facebook settings screen and turned off that service in a hurry!

In Facebook’s defense though, I think I know what is happening. When I am scrolling through the newsfeed, Facebook is going several entries ahead so the experience is as seamless as possible. My guess is most of that is because I jump out of facebook to look at email, Feedly or simply turn off my phone. This causes the app to run in the background (even for a short bit) to build new entries in my feed.

Even if this is true, why every time I open the app in “warm start” it actually resets completely!!!