Display archivesInstantly turn any YouTube video into an animated gif

August 17th, 2014
Depending on whether you love or hate animated gifs, this will be either excellent or horrible: to turn any YouTube video into an animated gif without having to download anything or mess with any application, substitute the “youtube” in the URL with “gifyoutube“.


For example, I’ll take this video of Felicia Day (creator of The Guild and Geek and Sundry) flying on a trapeze:


…and change the URL into this:


Enter a title for the gif (title is truncated, below), drag the video’s play head to the time where you want the gif to start, then set the number of seconds the gif should run, with a maximum of 10 seconds. Click the Create gif button on bottom, and it instantly creates the gif and gives you a URL that you can use.




The gif I created above has a URL of:


(And if you want to see Felicia Day doing a lot of other fun stuff, check out her channel, The Flog.)



Display archivesHow to Create a Gantt Chart in Excel

July 29th, 2014
Posted on LinkedIn. Tutorial with exercise files.




Need more Excel training?



Display archivesOneNote for the Kindle Fire

July 25th, 2014
Microsoft just released OneNote for the Kindle Fire, and the app is free. More info here.



Display archivesMicrosoft will merge all 3 versions of Windows

July 23rd, 2014
Call it E. Pluribus Windows: in a big shift from the Steve Ballmer days, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says Microsoft will merge all 3 versions of Windows into one OS that runs on all screen sizes.


This means developers can create universal apps that will run on any platform.


The Verge has more.



Display archivesAll-You-Can-Read from Amazon for only $10

July 18th, 2014
Amazon just introduced the Kindle Unlimited service: all you can read for $10/month, including audio books. The service works with any Kindle or device that has a Kindle app. There’s a catch or two, which you may or may not care about:


  • You don’t get to keep the books. This is more like a library, where you get to check out 10 titles at a time.
  • Amazon carries millions of titles, but Kindle Unlimited applies to “only” 600,000 of them. That’s a lot, but if the books you want aren’t among the available titles, the number might as well be zero.


This isn’t Amazon’s fault. Publishers in general don’t like offering unlimited deals, and although Amazon twists arms very hard (just ask Stephen Colbert), there’s only so much arm twisting they can do.



Display archivesLinkedIn is rolling out a publishing platform

July 14th, 2014
Last week, LinkedIn announced a new publishing platform for its members. So far, it’s by invitation, only – probably to members who have posted a certain amount or length of updates on their profiles. If you didn’t get the invitation, you can request one here. Eventually, it will be open to everyone.


This is a good opportunity to share your expertise with the general public, and hopefully with people who can give you business or hire you. The mechanics of writing an article is mostly the same as writing a regular post, except you aren’t limited to 689 characters, and you can use basic formatting:


However, the system is rough around the edges. It doesn’t accept HTML or CSS formatting, all images wrap text around them and you can’t change it, and even if you insert a small image, the system forces a large amount of padding around it. The result can cause a mess like this (from my first post: Calculating percentages of a total using Excel), and you can’t fix it:


Maybe because this service isn’t fully released, there is no link on the menu bar to get to your posts or create a new one. You have to know the URL: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/author/createArticle


I sent these concerns to LinkedIn, and they said “When many of our members ask for the same improvement, [the developers] try their best to get it done. However, due to the number of suggestions they receive, they usually don’t provide a timeline.” So we’ll see.


In the meantime, write some articles! It will help establish or burnish your professional credibility. And happy Bastille Day!