Today I have four "internet hints" to share. These are things that I had difficulty finding solutions for; so I'm publishing them here to make it easier for others to find.
Disable GMail's spam filter
As you might have observed, I use Apple's Mail application to manage my emails. But only a very few would have noticed that I use a GMail email account.
The beauty in using 3rd party email applications is that you need not be online to view and manage your emails. There are also numerous other advantages that I won't bother to mention. But if you're like me, you'll find that you never check the web-mail interface — that is, you will rarely access your e-mails from a web-browser interface. I would only ever use the web-browser interface if I don't have access to my computer (if I'm at school, for instance).
Why is this a bad thing? Because some email providers have in-built spam/junk mail protection. When your email arrives at your email provider's server, it is automatically filtered to see if it is suspected spam. If it is suspected to be unwanted mail, then it is automatically moved to your online "spam folder". Although this sounds like a good thing, sometimes they make mistakes; normal email from a friend may be considered spam, and sent to your spam folder accidentally.
Because I use the POP protocol (as opposed to IMAP) to retrieve my email for my Mail application, I cannot retrieve any messages that are moved to the online spam folder. That means that if somebody sends me an important email that accidentally gets sorted as spam, I will not receive it.
What is the solution to this? Turn off/disable/remove the spam filter. You must do this from your web-browser interface. GMail, however, provides no such option to completely disable the spam filter. But there is a workaround that I found (see here)
My iTunes RSS
On my Interests page, I have a section dedicated to Music. I had this really cool My iTunes Widget that showed the latest albums and songs that I'd purchased from the iTunes Music Store:
The problem with it, however, was that by default it shows the latest albums that I've purchased, to which it displays only 11. I want it to show the latest songs that I've bought. If only there was an RSS feed of the music I've purchased.
Turns out, there is! Although it took me ages to find. When I go to the feed in my web browser, I found that the http:// protocol is replaced with feed://. This caused problems when I was trying to embed the feed on my site, but that is easily fixed by restoring the replaced "feed" to "http".
Download YouTube Videos
Just Google that phrase and you'll find a bunch of dodgy websites with pornography advertisements on the side. There is a much better way, and nicely streamlined "proper way" to download YouTube videos, which I found in this blog post. Or if you're lazy, don't bother going to that post, just add the following link to your favourites/bookmarks:
Bypass YouTube Age Restriction
YouTube is no doubt fantastic. However, I feel that some YouTube videos ought not to be considered "inappropriate for some users" (namely people younger than 18). Take for example, this one, which is the video clip by Al Bino: "It's a beautiful day... for cancer". That video clip is considered "inappropriate content" because too much arses and breasts are exposed. Plainly, I disagree that this video is worthy of being censored from YouTube's minors. Interestingly, ALL YouTube videos play back on external sites — even censored ones. But not every censored YouTube video is embedded on external websites, and it would be tedious trying to find the ones that are.
Fortunately, a few months ago I accidentally stumbled upon a workaround. I thought that I had discovered this on my own, but the chances are that anything newly discovered has been discovered before (as was the case for me). But still, it was something I found on my own. Essentially, if you replace the "watch?v=" section of a YouTube url with "v/", it begins playing (taking the space of the entire browser window). I later discovered that using this method you could watch all non-private YouTube videos2 — including censored videos.
Anyway, you probably don't care about how I made the link — The chances are that you just want the link already. So I won't hold off any longer, just add this link to your favourites/bookmarks:
Well, those are my internet tips for ya. Enjoy!
~ James Kanjo
googlemail Google Mail turn off junk mail
watch adult YouTube videos