Computer Software is Your Friend is a multi-author blog that aims to help computer users with day to day issues, along with providing relevant news, quick tricks and tips to people who request them.

Ubuntu 13.04 Available for Download!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

It's been a long road, though not longer than most, but the next iteration of Ubuntu Linux is available for stable public use! Dubbed Raring Ringtail, Ubuntu 13.04 features a plethora of new features and performance improvements on features previously available. Stay tuned for our full review! For now, let's take a look at what's changed:

Sync Menu

Ubuntu 13.04 features an all new sync menu. This menu will let you control various controls of Ubuntu's cloud storage solution, Ubuntu One. Monitoring recent/current transfers as well as turning on or off the sync couldn't be easier to access.

Ubuntu One Sync Menu

Social Media

Thanks to settings introduced in 13.04, you can now turn on and off certain social media accounts, as well as their containing options, without losing all your login configurations. 

New Social Media Settings


Speaking of social media, you now have a social lens in the Unity Dash, letting you view recent status updates, tweets and any other shenanigans your buddies may have been up to. This lens will also allow you to comment, reply, like, or even retweet what you decide to preview.

Unity's Photo Lens, Photos From my Facebook

In addition, there have been multiple background improvements to Unity, making it smoother as well as faster. 

Session dialogues are now themed to look like the rest of Unity in the effort to unify and complete the look.

Unity-themed Session Dialogue


  • Workspaces is no longer included in the Unity Bar by default
  • Firefox, LibreOffice, Python and File Manager as well as other software included has been updated to their latest versions at the time of release
  • Ubuntu 13.04 is based off of the v3.8.8 upstream Linux kernel
  • Social networking is handled now by the Friends application rather than the Gwibber backend used in previous model
There are a ton more bits and bots that have changed, but these are the ones deemed most important. Be on the lookout for more Ubuntu news, reviews and gadgets that you can use!

Apple Announces 2013 Worldwide Developer's Conference

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Well, it's 2013. Another year, another product; or so we hope. Apple's famous WWDC is just around the corner. For those who don't know what WWDC is, here's an explenation from Apple:

developers from around the world will learn about the future of iOS and OS X®, enabling them to create incredible new apps with innovative features. WWDC will also feature more than 100 technical sessions presented by over 1,000 Apple engineers, hands-on labs to help developers integrate new technologies, as well as the popular Apple Design Awards, a showcase of the most outstanding apps available through the App Store℠ and Mac® App Store.
The conference is set in San Francisco and will span out for five days between June 10th and June 14th. The conference provides an opportunities to meet and greet with other developers, as well as make connections, chatting about things like business strategies and their next big thing.

Tickets will go on sale on April 25th, tomorrow, at 10am Pacific Daylight Time (PDT).

We look forward to gathering at WWDC 2013 with the incredible community of iOS and OS X developers.
-Philip W. Schiller, SVP of worldwide marketing at Apple Inc

Windows 8.1 May Bring Back the Start Button

Monday, April 22, 2013

Windows 8.1 leaks have been occurring left, right, and center these days along with not only rumors, but confirmed code. So far we've heard of 'kiosk mode', and that Windows 8.1 will feature a boot to desktop option, but something else seems to be astir in the tech blogosphere.

According to The Verge and their sources who are familiar with Microsoft's plans have revealed that the Start button that everybody misses so dearly is set to return to a desktop near you! While ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley previously wrote on the matter, it's only recently that we are receiving multiple confirmations for these plans.

Many say the Microsoft killed the start button, when is not the case. They've simply moved it off screen. Out of sight, where you can't see it. They've created a steep learning curve for those not technologically inclined and made it difficult, for those who are forced to work with Windows 8, to adapt. While Microsoft previously explained their reasoning, customers have still been begging for the portal to return to it's original positioning.

Google bringing Google+ Comments to Blogger

Saturday, April 20, 2013

We've all heard or read comments in our lifetimes and whether they've been verbal or digital, they're still a part of our lives. Blogger's rendition of the comment system is, to be generous, under par. Google's solution is one that many a geek, and Gmail owners alike, will appreciate.

Google's social network, Google+, has comments, right? Well now they're bringing those comments to Blogger.

Starting today[,April 18th], you can bring Google+ Comments to your Blogger blog.
To do so, you can head over to the Google+ section in your Blogger sites' account page and check off the "Use Google+ Comments on this blog" checkbox:

What'll Happen?

Once enabled, you will begin to see comments from all over Google+, including those made on your blog, appear in one place. This place will be the article. Pulling comments that are made via Google+ will help you see how much people are actually talking about your content. Ready? Let's go!

How does it work?

Well, it's pretty simple. You won't be seeing anything you're not supposed to see. Users have the option to comment publicly, within their own circles, or even just to specific people. This allows for a more personal experience when commenting on various blogs.

While browsing comments, users have the option to see all the comments, sorted by time, just the top ones, or just those from people in their circles. In all cases, you'll still only be able to see the comments you're allowed to see. This allows for more meaningful sharing.

We're on board and you should be too! You'll soon begin to see the switch from Disqus, over to Google+ comments. Most users who have a YouTube or Gmail account should have their Google+ account activated by now and we believe that this'll help you guys connect with us. Sound off in the comments below with your opinion on the article, the decision to bring Google+ comments to blogger and what you think will become of this system.

Canonical to Remove Ubuntu One Music Store from Rhythmbox in Ubuntu 12.04, 12.10

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What might already be known is that the next version of Ubuntu, 13.04, will be shipped without a music store in Rhythmbox. What might not be known is that Canonical has made the decision to remove the store from Rhythmbox in 12.04 and 12.10 as well.


So where's this decision coming from and why so sudden? Seems that it's just too much work for the actual benefit being achieved from the plugin.

Devs say that the plugin is too much of a chore to maintain and develop. However, with browser-based interface of the store being more functional and much smoother, users shouldn't miss the Rhythbox plugin too much. 

It's Not All Bad

Although the plugin's full implementation into Rhythmbox may be going down the drain, the store isn't. Music can still be browsed and previewed through using the Unity Dash in 12.04 and 12.10; however, purchasing music via the Dash will have to wait until 13.10's release. Though, thanks to the Dash, you can purchase music and listen to it regardless of what music player you have.

Music from the store will still continue to sync with Ubuntu One and appear in Rhythmbox (if set up) and still be available to stream for those who have subscribed to the service.

Are you looking forward to purchasing music via the dash and what music player do you use? Sound off in the comment section below!

Google Rolling Out Fresh New Look For Google Play

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Google's been looking to give a nice refresh to Google Play for a long time it seems and now they're just starting to roll it out. Putting focus on the variety aspect of the store, the new look will feature suggested content with infinite scrolling .

Google Play Phone DemoGoogle Play Tablet Landscape Demo

The new look will also focus on bigger showcases that jump off the page. Similar content will be grouped together and the checkout process has been revamped to help you get to your content as fast as possible. This way you'll be able to get into the latest James Bond film or fill your mind with Stephen Kings latest genius!

The refresh is being pushed starting today for phones and tablets running Android 2.2(Froyo) and above. People will continue to receive the new look over the next few weeks.

Get ready for a simpler Google Play.

Image Credit: Google

Google Introduces x-default hreflang HTML Attribute

Google is the largest and most popular search engine website out there and they're always looking for better ways to serve their customers and web developers alike. Today, they've introduced a new way for developers to point the search engine to the right web page depending on the user's location around the world. The new rel-alternate-hreflang annotation is it.

Let's take a look see shall we!

  • example.com/en-gb: For English speakers that live in the UK
  • example.com/en-au: For English speakers that live in Australia
  • example.com/en-us: For English speakers that live in the US
  • example.com/: This homepage would show users a country selector and would be the default page for visitors worldwide
Webmasters would be able to specify  rel-alternate-hreflang annotation by using the following HTML tags:

<href="http://example.com/en-gb" hreflang="en-gb" rel="alternate">
<href="http://example.com/en-us" hreflang="en-us" rel="alternate">
<href="http://example.com/en-au" hreflang="en-au" rel="alternate">
<href="http://example.com/" hreflang="x-default" rel="alternate">

This cluster of tags will tell Google's search engine algorithms which website is for which location around the world.

Google says:
The new x-default hreflang attribute value signals to our algorithms that this page doesn’t target any specific language or locale and is the default page when no other page is better suited. For example, it would be the page our algorithms try to show French-speaking searchers worldwide or English-speaking searchers on google.ca.
This x-default hreflang attribute value would also apply to web pages that alter content dynamically based on their geolocation as well as their Accept-Language defaults. It would specify that such a page does not target a specific language or region.

Image Credit: Google

Chrome Notifies you of Others Having Difficulty Too

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A new feature has been introduced into Chrome that notifies you when others are experiencing difficulty reaching a website. Here's what it looks like:

Google Reader to be Laid to Rest and Others

Earlier today Google has announced that Google Reader, along with other things, will be retiring some time this year.

While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.
It's sad to see Google Reader go, however it's all in the best spirit:

...as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products. We think that kind of focus will make for a better user experience.
Hopefully we'll get that promised better experience and all be happy with whatever alternative we're able to find!

Facebook's new Graph Search Includes Web Inquiries Powered by Bing

Sunday, March 10, 2013

While many of you have already jumped on the Graph Search bandwagon, it's not too late to find out a little more. We have recently learned that Facebook's new Graph search can perform web inquiries, these being powered by the Microsoft web search engine, Bing:

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