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Oct 7, 2013, 12:59 PM

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iGoogle terminating; tweaking Chrome

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If anyone has been using iGoogle for your browser's start page, you will have noticed the message each day reporting the termination of this service at the end of this month. A personalized start page, configured to be the page that opens when you call up your browser (whichever one you use), can be populated with convenient gadgets giving current news, data and links. Think weather, news headlines, stock market reports, sports scores and the like -- hundreds of gadgets/widgets exist, mini-applications which run in little boxes you can place on your page.

I have been testing some replacements for the expiring iGoogle service. The best seem to be Protopage and igHome, both are stable and flexibly configured. Convenient widgets on Protopage for me are: AccuWeather for my town (Fortín de las Flores), Breaking News-Mexico, Random Quotes in Spanish, and Google Translate, plus some US/intl news sources. igHome has more gadgets available: most of the above, three Spanish vocabulary builders (Word-, Verb- & Idiom-a-Day) and a even gadget that samples all the new MexConnect articles. igHome also seems to allow more flexible sizing of the gadgets you select. When iGoogle goes away, I will most miss the Nahuatl Word of the Day feed, not available from the other services.

Here's a fix if your browser of choice is Chrome. Google recently made changes to the New Tab page. Before, it opened a display of large tiles for your most recently opened webpages, with a second page (to the right >) for your chosen web apps, identified there by labeled large tiles. Now the New Tab page opens with much smaller web history thumbnails, a big Search box, and any webapps you use accessible by clicking a new icon. That icon opens a popup box of a small number of your webapps only identified by graphic icons. Here's the fix to get rid of that superfluous, space-eating, Search box (you use the address bar at the top of the browser window for searches, right?), and restore utility to the display of webapps.

Open a new tab in Chrome, and go to the following address: chrome://flags
Scroll down to the entry "Enable Instant Extended API" and click into the dropdown box there to select "Disabled"
Result: the new changes to the New Tab go away and Chrome behaves like it did before.

Hope these hints can help some folks,

Veracruz has to be the best kept secret in Mexico. -&-

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