From The Tips Box: Google SSL, Stuttering Audio, Cleaning Blenders

Readers offer their best tips for searching Google securely from the address bar, fixing stuttering audio on old machines, and cleaning blenders without a dishwasher.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons — maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in — the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Add Google SSL Search to Your Browser's Address Bar

TheButcherfly shows us how to get encrypted Google searching in the Chrome Omnibar:

successfully Add google encrypted search to Google Chrome Omnibar:

1. Right click on the Omnibar and select edit search engines

2. Click on "add" button

3. Enter "Google Encrypted" in the name field, something like "ge" in the keyword field and copy/paste this "" in the url field.

4. Press ok and that's it.

This URL should also work in other browsers that allow custom search engines.

Fix Stuttering Audio on Lower-Powered Machines

Prairie Moon shares a trick to getting smooth audio on old or low-powered PCs:

I have a software media player, called 1by1, that does really nice crossfades on my notebook, flawless, no skips, what I call really smooth audio gradients.

Getting a desktop like mine to do the same thing, when its cpu is too slow and too old to be redeemed by a modern upgrade, more of a challenge. It doesn't say much for the hardware, but it makes me want to go on fighting with it until a new Win7 machine comes along, whenever that will happen. Money. It's always about money. And money priorities.

Anyway, I found a way to make old Betsy behave on XP. I turned audio hardware acceleration down by one notch. The default is Full acceleration. As I'm not a fulltime gamer, or even a part-time one, this tip doesn't spoil my fun.

If you have a similar problem and want to give this solution a go, do this:

- type mmsys.cpl in the Run box and press ENTER

- go to the Audio tab, Sound playback / Default device / Advanced / Performance tab / Audio playback / Hardware acceleration

- move the slider left, down to Standard acceleration. See if that makes the skips go away. If not, move it down by one more.

I used to use this same trick to make Media Player quit skipping. I figured that was all the tweak was good for, until I ran into this crossfade issue.

Once again, though my desktop is old, I have bent it to my will. :) Hope the idea works for others around here.

Clean Blenders by Blending Dish Soap

Photo by redjar.

Rob lets us know a quick and effective way for cleaning a blender:

It wasn't until my thirties that I discovered this time-saver for cleaning a blender. When you are finished using the blender, add hot water, add a squeeze of liquid detergent, and mix the two in the blender on high for about 15 seconds, and then rinse the container.'s that simple. As simple as it is, however, it eliminates the bits of bananas, the chunks of chutney, and pieces of peanut butter that tend to stick to the blender container when washed manually.

I love to procrastinate doing the dishes. However this tip makes actually cleaning the blender so much easier that my laziness performs some internal cost-benefit calculation and I end up cleaning it right there (so I can be more lazy later on). Furthermore, going on a smoothie kick in our household no longer yields epic marital battles!

Re-Subscribe to Promotional Email with Fake Addresses if Unsubscribing Doesn't Work

Wonsungi lets us know another way to avoid annoying promotional email:

If you keep receiving promotional email even after multiple "unsubscribe" attempts try changing your registered email to some non-existent address like [email protected]

Odds are the "change address" feature was more robustly tested than the "unsubscribe" one.

Of course, this only works for sites that don't have the foresight to validate your email addresses. If they do, you can always create a new, disposable email address that you send spam to.


    My favourite kitchen tip is to presort cutlery as you put it in the dishwasher (before it gets washed) - very satisfying to pull out a handful of knives and dump them in the correct area of the drawer without having to sort them out.

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