Sep 132017

Leaf: Simple Notes is another small notes or reminder extension for Google Chrome. Installing the extension follows the familiar permissions based method and the extension’s icon is added to the right of the address bar.

Click on the icon and the interface is shown. Simply type any text and optionally add relevant details. Notes are stacked to the right of the text area. Click on the header or title of an existing note and the few available options become visible.

Notes can be dragged and re-ordered. Any note can be moved to the top of the stack. Information on the note’s creation date is also available. A note can be edited by clicking the fourth icon (see screenshot) or by double clicking on it. Notes can of course be deleted.

A needed more recent addition is the search function. It is also helpful that is a find as you type search.

Leaf: Simple Notes is not the first minimalist notes extension and perhaps it is too simple but it serves its purpose well.

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Sep 112017

Simple Gmail Notes is a useful Google Chrome extension. It keeps permissions to a minimum and uses the user’s own Google Drive to store all data. For this alone it is a very good choice.

Although given the ‘notes’ name it is somewhat awkward to use for storing personal or random notes because one has to use a gmail email for the notes. An email that exists in one’s inbox is presumably sent by another person. For the purposes of this review and for using the extension later I sent myself an email.

Once the extension is added to Chrome reload gmail and click on an email to see the text area for the notes. One must log in to Google Drive and allow Simple Gmail Notes access. This has to be repeated on other computers where the extension is used.

There is no text formatting. The text area itself only features the text background color option but the extension’s settings page includes options for font color and text size. The title of the note can be configured here as well and titles appear much like a gmail label when viewing the email list.

Notes can be searched and notes history or revisions are enabled by default. These two features use the Google Drive page, when using these a new tab is used to navigate to the user’s Drive page. In a similar fashion there is an Add to Google Calendar option.

There is also a way to share notes, this requires signing up for a gmail account and all those sharing notes accessing it. Again, as mentioned earlier, this is not the most intuitive way to work with notes but Simple Gmail Notes is an interesting extension that works well inside a popular tool that many use.

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Sep 092017

  • The Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 space probes launched in 1977 are still calling home. Carrying only cassette tapes and 256KB of memory the two probes have entered the interstellar space – the region beyond our solar system – their weak signal send temperature and other information back to earth.
  • Gravitational waves are ripples in the structure of space that move at the speed of light. They cause the distance between objects to increase and decrease. Coalescing binary neutron stars may be one (barely) measurable source of gravitational waves.
  • Neutron stars, what remains of some stars after they collapse, can rotate up to 600~700 times per second.
  • The Sloan Great Wall is a giant wall of clustered galaxies measuring 1.3 billion light-years.
  • A gamma ray burst or supernova can release as much energy as our sun will in its 10 billion year life.
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