John Naughton: Data-hucksters beware: online privacy is returning | John Naughton

Next May, an EU regulation will enshrine the protection of personal data into law and not even Brexit is going to stop it

Next year, 25 May looks like being a significant date. That’s because it’s the day that the European Union’s general data protection regulation (GDPR) comes into force. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it’s a date that is already keeping many corporate executives awake at night. And for those who are still sleeping soundly, perhaps it would be worth checking that their organisations are ready for what’s coming down the line.

Related: UK citizens to get more rights over personal data under new laws

Advertising Age concludes that the new regulation will ‘rip the global digital ecosystem apart’

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Digital Inspiration Technology Blog How to Copy a Formula Down an Entire Column in Google Sheets

You are working inside a Google Spreadsheet where a formula needs to copied down to the last row of the sheet. There are several ways to solve this problem.

The easiest approach to copy down formulas is to use the fill handle in Google Sheets. Write your formula in the first row of your spreadsheet, and then point your mouse to the lower right corner of the formula cell.

fill-down-sheet-formula.gif

The pointer changes into a fill handle (black plus symbol) that you can drag to the last row of the sheet. The fill handle will not just copy down the formulas to all the adjacent cells but also copies the visual formatting.

If you need to copy the formulas across cells but sans any formatting, select the cell that contains the formatting and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the clipboard. Next select the range where that formula needs to applied, right-click, choose Paste Special and Paste Formula only.

copy-formula-without-formatting.png

Apply Formula to the Entire Column in Google Sheets

If you have hundreds of rows in a Google Spreadsheet and you want to apply the same formula to all rows of a particular column, there’s a more efficient solution than copy-paste – Array Formulas.

Highlight the first cell in the column and type the formula as earlier. However, instead of specifying a single cell as a parameter, we’ll specify the entire column using the B2:B notation (start from cell B2 and go all the way down to the last row of column B).

Then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter, or Cmd+Shift+Enter on Mac, and Google Sheets will automatically surround your formula with ARRAYFORMULA function.

arrayformula-entire-column.gif
TAX: ArrayFormula(ROUND(B2:B*18, 2))
AMOUNT: ArrayFormula(B2:B+C2:C)

Thus, we are able to apply the formula to the entire column of the spreadsheet with only a single cell. Array Formulas are more efficient as they process a batch of rows in one go. They are also easier to maintain as you only need to modify a single cell for edit the formula.

One issue that you may have noticed with the above formulae is that it applies to every row in the column where you have only want to add formulas to rows that contain data and skip the blank rows.

This can be done by adding an IF contain to our ARRAYFORMULA so that it doesn’t apply the formula the any of the blank rows.

Google Spreadsheet offers two functions to help test whether a cell is empty or now.

  • ISBLANK(A1) – Returns TRUE if the referenced cell is empty.
  • LEN(A1) <> 0 – Returns TRUE if the referenced cell not empty, FALSE otherwise

Our modified Array Formulas would therefore read:

Using ISBLANK(Cell Reference):

arrayformula.png

Using LEN(Cell Reference)

sheet-arrayformula.png

Use Array Formulas inside Column Headers

In our previous examples, the text of the column titles (like Tax, Total Amount) was pre-populated and the formulas were only added to the first row of the dataset.

We can further improve our formula so that they can be applied to the column header itself. If the index of the current row is 1, calculated using the ROW() function, the formula outputs the column title else it performs the calculation using the formula.

=ArrayFormula(IF(ROW(B:B)=1,"Tax",IF(ISBLANK(B:B),"",ROUND(B:B*18, 2))))

arrayformula-first-row.png

Auto Fill Formulas into Google Form Submissions

ARRAYFORMULA functions are particularly useful for Google Forms when the form responses are getting saved inside a Google Sheet. You cannot do live calculations inside Google Forms but they can be performed inside the spreadsheet that is collecting the responses.

You can create new columns inside the Google Spreadsheet and apply the ARRAYFORMULA to the first row of the added columns.

As soon as a new form submission is received, a new row would be added to the Google Sheet and the formulas would be cloned and automatically applied to the new rows without you have to copy-paste stuff.

How to Use VLOOKUP inside ARRAYFORMULA

You can combine ARRAYFORMULA with VLOOKUP to quickly perform a lookup across an entire column.

Say you have a “Fruits” sheet that lists the fruit names in column A and the corresponding prices in column B. The second sheet “Orders” has fruit names in column A, the quantity in column B and you are supposed to calculate the order amount in column C.

arrayformula-vlookup.png

=ArrayFormula( IF(ROW(A:A)=1, "Total", IF(NOT(ISBLANK(A:A)), VLOOKUP(A:A, Fruits!A2:B6, 2, FALSE) * B:B, "")))

In simple English, if the row of the current cell is 1, ouput the column title in plain text. If the row is greater than 1 and the column A of the current row is not empty, perform a VLOOKUP to fetch the price of the item from the Fruits sheet. Then multiply that price with the quantity in cell B and output the value in cell C.

If your VLOOKUP range is in another Google Spreadsheet, use the IMPORTRANGE() function with the ID of the other Google Sheeet.

Please note that you may have to use semicolons in the spreadsheet formulas instead of commas for some locales.

John Naughton: Why a computer could help you get a fair trial | John Naughton

Recent research suggests that AI could make a valuable contribution to the judicial process

In 1963, an American attorney named Reed Lawlor published a prescient article in the journal of the American Bar Association. “In a few years,” he wrote, “lawyers will rely more and more on computers to perform many tasks for them. They will not rely on computers simply to do their bookkeeping, filing or other clerical tasks. They will also use them in their research and in the analysis and prediction of judicial decisions. In the latter tasks, they will make use of modern logic and the mathematical theory of probability, at least indirectly.”

Related: Rise of the racist robots – how AI is learning all our worst impulses

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John Naughton: The car is dead, long live the car, thanks to Tesla | John Naughton

Established carmakers may scoff at Elon Musk’s firm, but like Apple and the iPhone, it heralds a massive shake-up of the auto industry

Two interesting things happened last week. One was Tesla’s delivery of the first batch of its Model 3, the company’s first “affordable” car. (If you think $35,000, about £26,500 – is affordable, that is.) The second was a “diesel summit” held in Berlin, a meeting where the bosses of Germany’s leading car manufacturers (VW, BMW, Audi, Ford, Porsche and Daimler) got together with ministers to ponder the industrial implications of the emissions-cheating scandal and the decisions of the British and French governments to outlaw petrol cars and vans from 2040.

Although no one in the car industry will say so, diesel technology has been a dead duck since the emissions-cheating scandal erupted, followed by the revelations of how polluted London’s atmosphere has become, with emissions of nitrous fumes from diesels being blamed for much of the problem. And the fallout is already being seen in the sales figures. In January, for example, UK registrations of new diesel cars were 4.3% down on a year ago, while petrol car sales were up by 8.9%. If you’re a rural resident who doesn’t worry too much about the environment or resale value, then you can already grab real bargains in the diesel car market. And for the time being petrol heads can feel (relatively) cleaner than thou. But ultimately, the game is up for the internal combustion engine.

Related: Tesla Model 3 doesn’t have a key – and seven other things we learned

The significance of the new Tesla is that it represents an embodiment of what cars will be from now on

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Digital Inspiration Technology Blog How to Search Videos within a YouTube Channel on your Mobile Phone

YouTube, the second largest search engine after Google, offers extremely powerful search commands but there’s one important search functionality that YouTube is yet to include in its mobile app for both Android & iPhone.

You cannot search for videos within a specific YouTube channel while using YouTube on a mobile phone or tablet. For instance, if you would like to search for Tesla videos that were uploaded on the MKBHD channel, you simply can’t do that from your mobile phone.

youtube-video-search.jpg

This search-within-channel feature has been available for long on YouTube’s desktop website – see screenshot – but none of the YouTube apps have it yet. This is surprising considering the fact that more than half of video views on YouTube now come from mobile devices.

That’s where our mini YouTube search engine can help. Sign-in with your YouTube account, enter a search query, select any YouTube channel that you are subscribed to and it will show a list of all matching videos within the selected channel.

seach-youtube-channel.jpg

The app builds a list of all channels that you are currently subscribed to and prepares a nice drop-down with the channels sorted by name. The drop-down also features the channel icons so it is easier for you to find the channel you are looking for.

Also, if you have multiple YouTube accounts, you can click the “Logout” link to sign-out from the current account and log in to any other account. The app requests read-only access to your YouTube account and does not store any of your data anywhere.

If you are a desktop uses, you’ll probably never need this site but for mobile users, our mini YouTube search engine could be worth bookmarking until YouTube incorporates this missing feature to their native apps.

Related: How to Copy YouTube Playlists

Digital Inspiration Technology Blog How to Search Google Drive Like a Pro!

You have lots of files in your Google Drive and it can take some effort to find that elusive file you’ve been looking for. For instance, how do you quickly find the sales presentation that James shared with you last week? Or how do you locate a specific resume among the hundreds of other PDF files in your Google Drive folders?

Like Gmail and Twitter, Google Drive supports a plethora of advanced search operators that will help you quickly find the exact file you’ve been looking for. You can use search operators on the Google Drive website and the Drive mobile apps. Chrome users can type drive.google.com in the search bar, press tab and enter the search query.

How Search Works in Google Drive

Google Drive, by default, will return files where the search query matches the file’s title, the content or the file’s description. It can also identify objects inside photos so a search for “birthday” may retrieve images of cakes in your Drive.

google-drive-search-results.png

Drive will also perform a OCR and search for text inside images and scanned PDFs. I have stored a scanned copy of my Aadhaar card in Google Drive. I only remember the first few digits of my Aadhaar number but that is sufficient to locate the scanned image of the card in Drive.

How to Find Files in your Google Drive

You can use search operators to filter your search results in Google Drive.  Multiple search operators can be combined with boolean operators like AND or OR (in capitals) to further narrow down your results and find the exact file or document you’ve been looking for.

google-drive-search.png

Google Drive Search Tips & Tricks

Find Google spreadsheets shared by your colleague James
type:spreadsheet from:James

Find Photos or Images containing photos of cakes
type:image owner:me cakes

Find files in trash that were modified today
is:trashed after:2017-07-28

Find PDF files that are shared with me
type:pdf -owner:me

Find files that are shared with me and added to my Google Drive
in:myFiles -owner:me

Find all folders in my Google Drive that are created by me
type:folder -owner:me

Find presentations that I’ve shared with my secretary
type:presentation to:secretary@domain.com

Tip: You can also use the Google Drive Auditor add-on to generate a detailed list of users who can access your Google Drive files.

Find all files that I’ve recently viewed or added in Google Drive
Click “Recent” in the sidebar or use this link

Bonus Tip: Find the biggest files in Google Drive

Gmail offers the larger_than and smaller_than search operator to find all the space-hogging emails in your account. Google Drive offers no search by size operator buy you can use this special link – http://ift.tt/1yjGn44 – to sort files by size and the ones taking the most space would be listed at the top.

Digital Inspiration Technology Blog The Easiest Way to Extract Email Addresses from your Gmail Account

Introducing Gmail Address Extractor, a web app that parses email messages in your Gmail mailbox, finds all the email addresses in them and stores the list in a Google Sheet. You can export the sheet as a CSV file and import into Google Contacts, Outlook address book, MailChimp, or any other mailing list software.

The online extractor app can find email addresses that are contained in the message body, the email signature, the subject line and the FROM, TO, CC, BCC & Reply-To fields of the email message. The app cannot, however, extract emails from file attachments.

gmail address extractor

Getting started is easy and requires no software installation. Just go to emailextract.pro and sign-in with your Gmail or Google Inbox account. You can also sign with your G Suite (Google Apps) account.

The app can pull email addresses from any label in your Gmail account or you can specify advanced search criteria and email addresses would only be extracted from the matching email threads. For instance, you could set the advanced search rule as from:paypal newer_than:7d and only PayPal emails received in the last week will be processed.

You can extract email addresses from messages that come via form submissions, email addresses of customers that are found inside the PayPal and Stripe receipts, email addresses of your newsletter subscribers and so on.

If you would like to extract email addresses from all Gmail folders in one go, choose “Anywhere” in the label drop-down.

After you’ve specified the search criteria, you need to select the email fields for extraction and the destination Google Sheet where the email addresses would be saved. The sheet will automatically remove any duplicate email addresses that it may encounter during the extraction.

extract-email-fields.png

Once the email addresses are in the Google Sheet, you can use filters inside sheets to exclude addresses from certain domains.

Email Extractor runs locally in your browser and not a byte of your email data is shared or uploaded anywhere. It does require a one-time authorization to various Google services since the app needs to read Gmail messages and save the list in a Google sheet in your Google Drive. You can read the app’s privacy policy to learn more.

The extractor app is completely free for lite users if you need to process less than 300 email messages. For large mailboxes, the pricing is $29 USD and you can process an unlimited number of email threads with the paid edition.

The app is also available as a Gmail addon in the Google Store. It works with Gmail only but if you can import your Yahoo or Outlook email message into Gmail, the addon can process them as well.

Also see: Save Gmail Messages in Google Drive

Digital Inspiration Technology Blog How to Add the Facebook Messenger Chat Widget in your Website

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Facebook Messenger, with more than a billion monthly users. enables brands to have real-time one-on-one conversations with their customers. Businesses can also embed Facebook messenger buttons on their website and visitors, whether they have a pre-sales question or need to resolve an issue, can initiate a conversation with the simple click of a button.

The only downside with embedded buttons is that visitors will have to exit your website to send a message through Facebook Messenger. Wouldn’t it be nice if people could stay on your website and yet be able to message you through Facebook?

Well, that’s possible with the help of the Facebook chat widget (demo).  The widget sits in the corner of your page and when someone clicks the Facebook Messenger icon, a non-intrusive chat window pops up where visitors can type and send you a private message.

Here’s a live demo of the Facebook chat widget.

Embed Facebook Chat Widget

It takes one easy step to integrate the Facebook Chat widget in your website. 

All you to do is copy-paste the simple piece of code below anywhere in your website template and it will add the widget to all your pages. Remember to replace digitalinspiration with the vanity URL (name) of your own Facebook page.

<style>.fb-livechat,.fb-widget{display:none}.ctrlq.fb-button,.ctrlq.fb-close{position:fixed;right:24px;cursor:pointer}.ctrlq.fb-button{z-index:1;background:url(data:image/svg+xml;base64,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) center no-repeat #0084ff;width:60px;height:60px;text-align:center;bottom:24px;border:0;outline:0;border-radius:60px;-webkit-border-radius:60px;-moz-border-radius:60px;-ms-border-radius:60px;-o-border-radius:60px;box-shadow:0 1px 6px rgba(0,0,0,.06),0 2px 32px rgba(0,0,0,.16);-webkit-transition:box-shadow .2s ease;background-size:80%;transition:all .2s ease-in-out}.ctrlq.fb-button:focus,.ctrlq.fb-button:hover{transform:scale(1.1);box-shadow:0 2px 8px rgba(0,0,0,.09),0 4px 40px rgba(0,0,0,.24)}.fb-widget{background:#fff;z-index:2;position:fixed;width:360px;height:435px;overflow:hidden;opacity:0;bottom:0;right:24px;border-radius:6px;-o-border-radius:6px;-webkit-border-radius:6px;box-shadow:0 5px 40px rgba(0,0,0,.16);-webkit-box-shadow:0 5px 40px rgba(0,0,0,.16);-moz-box-shadow:0 5px 40px rgba(0,0,0,.16);-o-box-shadow:0 5px 40px rgba(0,0,0,.16)}.fb-credit{text-align:center;margin-top:8px}.fb-credit a{transition:none;color:#bec2c9;font-family:Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:12px;text-decoration:none;border:0;font-weight:400}.ctrlq.fb-overlay{z-index:0;position:fixed;height:100vh;width:100vw;-webkit-transition:opacity .4s,visibility .4s;transition:opacity .4s,visibility .4s;top:0;left:0;background:rgba(0,0,0,.05);display:none}.ctrlq.fb-close{z-index:4;padding:0 6px;background:#365899;font-weight:700;font-size:11px;color:#fff;margin:8px;border-radius:3px}.ctrlq.fb-close::after{content:'x';font-family:sans-serif}</style>

</div> <a href="http://ift.tt/2v7dS3q; title="Send us a message on Facebook" class="ctrlq fb-button"></a> </div> http://ift.tt/2tJvr9G;script%20src=

http://ift.tt/2tJsXYA

The widget would work across all sorts of websites including Blogger & WordPress blogs, WooCommerce stores, and most static HTML websites. It would however not work with the new version of Google Sites as they do not offer an option to embed JavaScript in pages.

When visitors send a message via the Facebook Chat widget, it goes right to the inbox of your Facebook Page. As the business owner, you can install the Facebook Pages Manager app on your mobile phone to view and respond to messages.  The customer will be notified of your response inside their Facebook Messenger app.

The message history is preserved forever, there’s no limit on the number of messages you can receive in a day and your page can simultaneously receive pages from multiple visitors.  The widget also invites the visitor to like your Facebook Page.

One more thing. If the web page is using an ad blocker or if they have disabled social plugins, the widget nicely defaults to the messenger button.

John Naughton: The rebirth of Google Glass shows the merit of failure | John Naughton

The much-mocked wearable computer, refashioned as an aid for factory workers, is the latest success born of a commercial flop

Remember Google Glass? It was the name coined for spectacles developed by Google’s (now Alphabet’s) X division (the company’s intellectual sandpit in which engineers develop way-out ideas). Looking at first sight like a cheap pair of non-prescription reading glasses, Glass functioned as a kind of miniature head-up display (a transparent screen that allows users to read data without having to change their viewpoint). Over part of the right-hand lens was a small rectangular block of glass which functioned as a miniature computer monitor. Inside the right-hand support (the part that goes over your ear) Google had packed memory, a processor, a camera, speaker and microphone, Bluetooth and wifi antennas, an accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and a battery. So when you put on your spectacles you were, in fact, donning a tiny wearable computer.

Glass was first announced in 2012 and made available (for $1,500) to select early adopters (dubbed “Glass explorers”) in 2013. It went on sale to the general public in May 2014. In technical terms, it was an amazing piece of miniaturisation. Driven by voice commands, it had quite impressive functionality. You could tell it to take a photograph, for example, or record a video of what you were looking at. Similarly, you could call up a Google search about something you were looking at and have the results displayed in surprisingly readable form on the tiny screen – which appeared to be suspended some distance ahead of you in space. In that sense, Glass looked like the realisation of a dream that early tech visionaries like Douglas Engelbart had – of technology that could usefully augment human capabilities with computing power.

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John Naughton: Come friendly robots and take our dullest jobs | John Naughton

As the legal chatbot DoNoPay shows, automation may only affect the repetitive parts of white-collar work. The middle classes can breathe again

We are currently going through one of those periodic phases of “automation anxiety” when we become convinced that the robots are coming for our jobs. These fears are routinely pooh-poohed by historians and economists. The historians point out that machines have been taking away jobs since the days of Elizabeth I – who refused to grant William Lee a patent on his stocking frame on the grounds that it would take work away from those who knitted by hand. And while the economists concede that machines do indeed destroy some jobs, they point out that the increased productivity that they enable has generally created more new jobs (and industries) than they displaced.

Faced with this professional scepticism, tech evangelists and doom-mongers fall back on the same generic responses: that historical scepticism is based on the complacent assumption that the past is a reliable guide to the future; and that “this time is different”. And whereas in the past it was lower-skilled work that was displaced, the jobs that will be lost in the coming wave of smart machines are ones that we traditionally regard as “white-collar” or middle-class. And that would be a very big deal, because if there’s no middle class the prospects for the survival of democracy are poor.

Related: Robotics, AI​​ and 3D printing could close UK’s productivity gap

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