Author Archives: Penny

The new Google Motion

Google Motion schematic

In a previous article, I wrote about 9 Gmail features to help keep your e-mail under control. Today, you can add one more to the list to make an even 10. Google just released Google Motion. This new system is great for anyone who spends a lot of time in front of the computer every day. Get moving and check it out today!

Posted in E-mail, Humor | Tagged April Fools, e-mail, Gmail, Google Motion | Leave a comment

Controlling who sees what on Facebook

Facebook gives you a somewhat overwhelming number of different settings to use to control what information is accessible to others and what information you see from friends/pages/apps. This article is about how to find those settings and also how to set up named lists of friends/pages to use to control those permissions and filters. Creating a list Some Facebook settings include a customize option that allows you to enter names of individual friends to either include or exclude from viewing your content. Rather than listing each friend for each setting, it’s easier to create a predefined, named list of individuals. … Continue reading

Posted in Facebook | Tagged blocking, Facebook, filters, lists, permissions, privacy, privileges | 1 Comment

User control of the Blogger comment form

Figure B: Full page form

This post is about a bookmarklet that I use when submitting multiple comments to a blog run on the Blogger platform. It standardizes the input window. This functionality isn’t of much value unless you’re submitting several comments in succession, for example, when entering a giveaway. There are three possible settings for Blogger blog comments. When you look at the end of the comments section at the bottom of a Blogger post, you’ll see either an embedded form (Figure A) or a link to Post a Comment (Figure B). In the latter case, if you click on the link, you’ll get … Continue reading

Posted in Entering giveaways, Web browsing | Tagged Blogger, bookmarklet, comment form, pop-up window | Leave a comment

Is that site down?

Have you ever sent out a message to your friends asking, “Is it just me, or is such and such a site down?” If you want a quicker answer, try It’s a simple, no-frills website that does just one thing. It checks if it can make a connection to the URL you give it. You type a URL in the box and hit enter. It comes back with one of two messages. Either “It’s just you. is up.”  or “It’s not just you! looks down from here.”

Posted in Great sites, Web browsing | Tagged great site, internet connectivity | 4 Comments

Why verifying every entry before a drawing is unnecessary

round 3

When I first started entering blog giveaways, I noticed some bloggers posting something to the effect of, “I verify all entries.” Initially, I thought those bloggers must mean that once the random number generator picked a number, the blogger would verify that entry (and the corresponding mandatory entry if applicable) and disqualify it if it weren’t valid. It turns out I was wrong. There are some bloggers out there that verify every, single entry before drawing a winner. This post is for them. If you’re verifying every entry before drawing a winner because you want to clean up spam and … Continue reading

Posted in Hosting giveaways | Tagged hosting giveaways, odds, statistics, verifying entries | 7 Comments

Why “username at domain dot com” isn’t fooling the spammers

A long time ago, when the World Wide Web was in its infancy, all the web developers used a “mailto link” like for e-mail addresses on their websites. A reader could simply click on the link, and her favorite mail reader would pop up with the “To:” and possibly even the “Subject:” lines pre-filled. Those days were good. However, the spammers, or more accurately, the e-mail harvesters, quickly realized that they could pad their e-mail lists by grabbing all the mailto links on a page. A few web developers got clever and dropped the link, putting addresses into their … Continue reading

Posted in Entering giveaways, Web browsing | Tagged e-mail address, spammers | 7 Comments

A quick way to sign your blog comments

bookmarklet shown in Firefox bookmark toolbar

I’ve entered over 3,700 blog giveaways to date so a number of my posts over the next month will be related in some way to entering giveaways. To enter most of these contests, you leave a comment(s) on a blog post. When entering at blogs that use the Blogger platform, it can get a bit tiring adding your e-mail address to each comment. There are a few different ways to make this go faster, but I find a “bookmarklet” to be pretty easy. A bookmarklet is a bookmark/favorite that runs a snippet of javascript code rather than goes to a … Continue reading

Posted in Entering giveaways, Web browsing | Tagged bookmarklet, Firefox, Internet Explorer | Leave a comment

9 Gmail features to help keep your e-mail under control

Gmail logo

I love my Gmail accounts (yes, that’s plural). Like many areas of my life, my e-mail accounts are not perfectly organized, but the systems and bits of organization I do have in place, make things work fairly smoothly. Here are nine features that keep me from dreading opening my mail. The features marked “webmail” apply to the webmail client for Gmail, but those features have counterparts in many mail readers such as Thunderbird and Outlook. 1. Starring (webmail) – Have you ever read an e-mail message that needed a response, but not had time to send the response that moment, … Continue reading

Posted in E-mail | Tagged e-mail, Gmail | Leave a comment, a great reference for foreign language verbs


I’m trying to learn Italian. One of my practice activities is to try to read things written in Italian. Since I’m at the beginning of the learning curve, I’ll recognize a few words then flip-flip-flip through the translation dictionary to figure out the next one. This works great with nouns and certain other parts of speech, but verbs can be difficult. Can you imagine someone who doesn’t speak English coming across the word “is” or “was”? How do you look that up in a translation dictionary when it has no resemblance to the base form of the verb, “be”? Somehow, … Continue reading

Posted in Great sites | Tagged foreign languages, great site, verbs | Leave a comment


I stressed about this initial post for awhile. What could I write that would be entertaining or enticing enough that it would bring people back to my blog? It finally occurred to me that it didn’t really matter that much. While this is the first post I’m *writing* for the blog, if it is the first post you’re *reading* on my blog, well, then you’re probably a friend of mine who came to support me from the beginning so I don’t have to impress you anyway. If you’re anyone else, you likely came to the site either through the main … Continue reading

Posted in About | 2 Comments