Posted on October 17, 2013 at 4:15 pm by Andrew Arnott

When social media attacks – favourite #AskBG tweets

Bert Pijls enduring #AskBG

There are a few basic rules to follow if you represent a brand trying to leverage the power of social media. Chief among them should be Don’t hold a Twitter Q&A session at exactly the same time as you deliver earth-shatteringly bad news to your customers. That’s what British Gas decided to do today when they got their Customer Services Director, Bert Pijls, to answer questions on Twitter using the #AskBG hashtag on the same day that they announced a 9.2% price hike. (more…)

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Posted on August 28, 2013 at 2:35 pm by Andrew Arnott

Avast not working: “system unsecured”, “not yet registered”

Reboot notice

Photo by Sparkfun Electronics

Here’s some help (hopefully) for anyone who uses Avast and finds that it suddenly and mysteriously stops working from one day to the next.

The Problem
Avast stops working after a reboot for no apparent reason (no changes made and working fine before). The Avast system tray icon shows a little cross and gives a status that the system is unsecured. Clicking the ‘Fix Now’ button does nothing. Also, it says ‘Not yet registered, 0 days remaining’ even though it is registered and the future renewal date is shown correctly. (more…)

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Posted on July 29, 2013 at 12:16 pm by Andrew Arnott

Chromecast the way forward for streaming content to your TV

Google recently unveiled Chromecast, which looks like it could really shake up the internet TV market or even the wider TV broadcasting market

Chromecast is a little dongle with an associated app that will wirelessly stream media from phones, tablets and PCs to any TV with an HDMI port. That means you can watch Netflix or YouTube videos on your TV while controlling the action with your phone/tablet/PC (and you can even switch between different devices midway through). All for $35 too. Looks great to us and such a better direction than Google TV.

We wrote about Google TV here on our blog 3 years ago and it’s interesting looking back at our opinions then and what has transpired since (particularly the failure of Google TV to take off). (more…)

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Posted on June 24, 2013 at 9:11 am by Andrew Arnott

Customizing the Hootsuite dashboard to create a cleaner, brighter theme

Tired of the dated, fussy design of the Hootsuite dashboard? I was, so I created a new cleaner version, which you can use on your own Hootsuite dashboard (if you use Chrome or Firefox).

Improved Hootsuite theme

Restyling Hootsuite

Here at vclever, we’re big users of Hootsuite, a social media dashboard that makes it easy to manage multiple accounts on Facebook and Twitter, amongst others. But the hideous appearance of the dashboard niggles at me. While others, like Twitter and Google+, have been rolling out beautiful new looks, Hootsuite’s three themes are starting to look a bit tired and dated thanks to thick shadows and strong gradients plastered everywhere, and colour-schemes that are less than tasteful.

Although I had better things to be doing at the time(!!), I decided to dabble with Hootsuite’s CSS using Chrome’s developer tools to make the appearance fresher, easier on the eye, cleaner and brighter. (more…)

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Posted on March 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm by Andrew Arnott

Annual design trends infographic from Shutterstock

Shutterstock infographic

Thought we’d share this infographic from one of the leading stock image providers – Shutterstock.

As a provider of stock media – from photos to vectors to videos – they are sat on a huge amount of data, so are in a great position to identify trends, not just from the images and media that people have bought, but also from what their users are searching for. (more…)

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Posted on January 6, 2013 at 9:54 pm by Andrew Arnott

A very quick way to show your site on mobiles and tablets

Our website on the Surface

If you want a pic of your website (or any other site for that matter) displayed on a variety of mobiles, tablets, laptops and monitors, placeit is an incredibly easy way to do it.

Just visit the site, choose the shot of the screen you want to use, drag in a screenshot or just type in the URL of your website and bingo, your site appears on the screen of your choice. You can use the images commercially (as long as you credit placeit) and it’s pretty cool if you want to cobble something together quickly.

The image above, showing our very own resplendent front page displayed on the Microsoft Surface, was of course generated by placeit.

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