Monday, May 11, 2015

Make Google Chrome Use Less......Everything

Chrome, Google's internet browser, was originally designed to stay out of your way and be a minimal browser, but now it's an entire application platform. Chrome manages to burn through a lot of battery life, especially on Macs. Also, if you have a PC with low amounts of RAM, Chrome seems to take up a lot of memory. Even after you close it, Chrome still continues to run in the background. It continues to take your battery life and a lot of your memory, so when you really want to close Chrome fully, you have to right click the Chrome icon and select Exit Chrome. If you installed Chrome apps that continuously need to run in the background, you may just want to disable it. All you need to do is right click the icon for Chrome system and uncheck "Let Google Chrome run in the background." This will shut down Chrome altogether when you close your Chrome browser windows.

If you haven't noticed by now, browser extensions will completely slow down your browser, they take up more of your memory, and drain you system resources. If you are using Chrome, you can what the browser extensions are doing to your system by clicking the menu icon, going to More tools, and clicking Task Manager. The items that appear that begin with "Extension:" are the browser extensions that Chrome is running. Uninstalling an extension that's lets say using over 100 MB of RAM, that's draining your battery power dramatically, and if you don't really need it could help drastically.

Every browser extension doesn't show up in this list, however. Some of them don't run as their own processes and some include scripts that run when you are loading web pages that provide their features. Running these other scripts will take more CPU and help drain more of your battery so make sure you are uninstalling these extensions that seem to be taking up resources in the task manager.

You may see a "Background Page" if you check your Chrome Task Manager. It's different than an extension or app and they consume memory and CPU resources. For example the Google Drive background page appears when you enable offline access to your documents in Google Drive. It causes a background page to continue running even if you close all your Google Drive tabs. This background process syncs your offline cache with Google Drive. If you don't really use the offline documents feature, then you could go to the Google Drive website, go into the Settings screen, and be sure to uncheck the Offline option. You won't have to deal with a background page, but you won't have offline access to your Google Drive documents.

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Another thing to be sure to do, in Chrome, to help save some of your battery is to enable click-to-play plug-ins. All you have to do is open Chrome's Settings page, click "Show Advanced Settings," then click "Content Settings," and finally under Plug-ins click "Let me choose when to run plugin content." It will keep Adobe Flash and other plug-ins from running in the background, because a lot of Flash advertisements popping up will help destroy your battery. By enabling click-to-play plug-ins, it will only allow specific Flash content to run, as well as doing the same with other plug-ins.

Saving memory can become a bit of an issue and running multiple tabs at once can take a lot of that memory. If you want to save memory and some battery power then try not to have a bunch of tabs opened. This can have too many web pages running in the background and use CPU resources, as well as taking up your memory and battery life. Just bookmark or save some web pages in a read-it-later service like Pocket, to prevent some of those pages from constantly running.

Chrome can be a bit of a hassle with all of its browser extensions and features. You could always try running a different browser like the Safari browser. It's way better on your battery life when using Macs. If you're using Windows on a PC with a low amount of RAM, then running Mozilla's Firefox will help take up less of your memory. Also using Internet Explorer on Windows will help your battery last longer. If you're just using a modern PC, then using up a lot of memory shouldn't be an issue if you have enough of it. The major issue of running Chrome is how it effects your battery life. Just be sure to uninstall those unnecessary browser extensions and close those tabs you don't NEED open and you should be just fine.

Content originally published here

Friday, May 1, 2015

Apple Watch Malfunctioning for People with Tattoos

The Apple Watch could be a great product for you....unless you have tattoos, that is. Apple is officially warning people who have tattoos that their Apple Watch might be having trouble getting reliable heart rate readings due to your ink. The company recently updated its Apple Watch support documents to note potential problems for some people with tattoos after people started complaining about it online.

According to the new document, "Permanent or temporary changes to your skin, such as some tattoos, can also impact heart rate sensor performance. The ink, pattern and saturation of some tattoos can block light from the sensor, making it difficult to get reliable readings."

When people are going through their workout the heart monitor on the Apple Watch uses a method known as photoplethysmography (PPG). This method shines a green light onto the skin and looks for the change in absorption that comes with each pulse. During regular activity the watch measures infrared light reflection. This is supposed to use less power than the green LEDs but if a wrist has too much heavy ink on it then the watch would have trouble shining a light through it.

The good news is that not all tattoos will cause a problem. iMore has tested several tattoos and discovered that solid red and black ink caused the biggest issues, causing extremely inaccurate readings and/or complete failures. Lighter colored ink only produced slight inaccuracies and it was also noted that patterned or variegated ink didn't seem to cause any problems at all.

This is important because fitness tracking is one of the main features of the Apple Watch. In addition to that, a recent report from Consumer Reports noted that the heart rate monitor is just as accurate as the group's highest-rated chest-worn monitor. Sure there are a ton of other reasons to buy the Apple Watch but just know that if you have tattoos you could experience some technical difficulties.

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Content originally published here