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Autoplay, Machine, Emails, and More

At long last, the current version of Chrome (which you should have if you are using it on a regular basis, since it automatically updates) will block many automatically playing videos so you don’t embarrass yourself in a public space with suddenly blasting audio. Chrome will still play those from sites designed to play videos automatically, like YouTube and Netflix.

Learn Like a Machine

Machine learning projects for kids can help children (or adults young at heart) learn more about how computers can be taught to learn. Machine learning is what drives autonomous cars, helps decide on loan applications, recognize faces, and powers many recommendation websites. One place to start is the website machinelearningforkids.co.uk, which uses Scratch, a simple, block-like programming language, to help you learn more about machine learning. And it all will run in your web browser.

Do Not Disturb

You can control when you get bothered by your smart phone by using the Do Not Disturb features available for both Android and Apple phones. You likely know about Airplane mode, which pretty much cuts you off from calls, texts, and the Internet, but sometimes you want a select few emergency contacts to filter through. When you use Do Not Disturb features, you can silence everything or let through certain emergency contacts or types of messages. Different options are available on Android and iOS: dig through them to find what can really work for you without having your device annoy everyone at your next event or meeting.

Keep Your Cookies

Firefox now has an extension to isolate your Facebook cookie “crumbs” from following you around the other sites you browse. Straight from Mozilla, the parent organization that makes Firefox, you can get the Facebook Container Extension. Go to addons.mozilla.org and search for Facebook Container.

Early Morning Email

Timing your emails to get a response might seem like common sense, and research by Boomerang and Yahoo Labs shows that sending email to arrive in someone’s inbox in the morning hours, from 7 to 9 am (and earlier in the week), generates the best response. Of course, if you know your recipient has different work hours, adjust the sending to correspond to the beginning of their work day.