Tagged With url hacking

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


A simple URL edit can open attached Office docs from Gmail in a sleek viewer, rather than the sometimes funky HTML option. The Google Operating System blog points out that Google's viewer—powered by Google Docs, but not requiring a sign-up at that service or a cluttered dashboard for existing users—works with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files just as easily as the PDF files Gmail already tells you it can handle. Simply replace the segment view=att with view=gvatt in the URL after you hit "View as HTML," and you'll launch a scalable, zoom-able, easier-to-manage viewer for your attachment.

Google Viewer for Gmail Attachments


We've already pointed out a Greasemonkey script that hides Google's new SearchWiki ranking buttons, but there are viable work-arounds for those not using Firefox or its page-styling Greasemonkey extension. The Google Operating System blog points out four other methods. Most clever and convenient among them is heading to your Experimental Feature settings and enabling any other experiment, like keyboard shortcuts, which disables SearchWiki buttons and notes until you clear out your browser's cookies. Also recommended: Signing out from your Google account and a URL-ending trick, detailed at Google Operating System's post.

More Ways to Hide Google SearchWiki


The latest entry in the URL-shortening service is Tr.im, and while there are a number of features that might make you switch from your current favourite, the most compelling is that with so few characters in the service's domain name, it creates really tiny URLs. A quick test for shortening the address to to Lifehacker got it down to a mere 17 characters, equivalent to abbreviated web addresses from is.gd. If you're a hard-core character counter, it's probably because you're a user of Twitter or similar services, and Tr.im will automatically send created links directly to your Twitter stream if you like. It also offers stats to keep track of where from and how many folks clicked through the link. A bookmarklet is available to make it quick and easy to trim a site's location while browsing. And you can also give a custom word for the URL or even add tags to improve searchability. Check out our Hive Five of best URL shrinkers for more tiny-fying solutions.



Free URL-shortening and password-protecting service HideLinks is a simple, useful service that's perfect for links you want to hold onto, but don't want anyone to necessarily see. Go ahead and joke about the most typical uses, but with the holidays approaching, many of us are doing our best to hide gift ideas and Amazon bookmarks from those who share browsers or provide tech support. Like TinyURL and its brethren, HideLinks also cuts gigantic search bookmarks into shortened links, and the service presents only a minimal few ads when prompting for a password. HideLinks is a free service; signing up allows you to review links you've posted through the site.



It can take awhile to figure out all the shortcuts and features in the ever-growing list of Google web applications. The Google Operating System blog unearths a quick URL hack to display a Google app's entire help file—normally split up on cross-linked pages—in easily-saved and printable HTML. Head to the app's "support center," usually found at, for example, mail.google.com/support/, and add ?fulldump=1 to the end of the URL. Hit the Google Operating System link for direct, download-able links to the most popular apps' full help files.

Download Google's Help Files


Google can reorder search and news results from the last day, week, a few months, or entire year by adding a small string to the end of the search URL. Just add this string—&as_qdr=d—to the address bar and hit enter. You'll get a custom drop-down box that lets you re-order results based on date. It's great for getting past the same top results you've already looked through, as well as grabbing only the newest links related to gadgets, software, or whatever else you're searching. Sadly it doesn't work on Google Images, but let us know in the comments if it does work on other Google searches.

Google: How to Access Filter by Date Dropdown Box


If you're regularly sent TinyURLs but have been burned one too many times by clicking through to an embarrassing link at the wrong time, head to TinyURL's preview page and enable previews. This old but useful feature will set a cookie in your browser, and henceforth all TinyURLs you click on with direct you to a landing page that will display the full link so you can make a more educated decision as to whether or not you should wait to visit the link. For similar solutions that change or preview TinyURL links on-the-fly, check out previously mentioned Embiggen bookmarklet or Tin Foil Hat.

TinyURL Preview


Find yourself on the wrong side of the ocean (or border) from a US-only YouTube video? Don't want to log in to glimpse a clip that might have content that's "inappropriate for some users"? Both are fairly easy to get around by slightly altering the video's URL, according to the Google Operating System Blog. Most YouTube URLs take the form of:


Note the 11-character code at the end, and place it like so:


The swift move brings up the widget normally used to play embedded videos—a bit over-sized, sometimes, but nicely distraction-free as well.

Watch restricted YouTube Videos


YouTube recently started offering video playback in higher-resolution, better-sounding formats like MP4, and that bump in quality can now be downloaded for desktop use as well. The Google Operating System points out two easy methods for grabbing files: A bookmarklet that adds a "Download as MP4" link to video pages when clicked, and a Greasemonkey script that automatically creates the link. Both require that you right-click and assign the to-be-downloaded file the ".mp4" extension, and both may violate YouTube's terms of use, but, as blog author Ionut points out, the same files are available in your browser cache after watching. Hit the link to grab the bookmarklet and Greasemonkey script for Firefox (and Opera) users.

Download YouTube Videos as MP4 Files


Web site NSFW.in is a URL-shrinking web application à la TinyURL with a twist, allowing users to share Not Safe For Work (NSFW) links without fear of compromising your poor, unsuspecting friend. When you follow a NSFW.in link (like this one, which actually is safe), you've got to confirm that you are indeed ready to view a web page that's potentially not safe for a work environment. Confirm, and you're through, reveling in the work-unfriendly filth of the dirty, dirty link. Now disperse, and share NSFW links across the internet with impunity!


YouTube announced in November that they would be testing out encoding videos at higher resolutions (and with higher-quality audio encoding). Now it appears that a small sampling of uploaded videos can already be seen at their higher resolutions, simply by adding a little tag to the end of the video's URL. To get a (slightly noticeable) bump in resolution, try adding &fmt=6 to the end of the address line. The trick, according to YouTube watchers, seems to work primarily with newer videos, and bumps the resolution from 320x240 to 448x336. Add &fmt=18 to the end of the URL, and you might get an MP4-encoded version, with better audio and a 480x360 resolution.

YouTube Tests Higher Resolution Videos


When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: like searching for exact phrases in quotes like "so say we all" or searching a single site using site:lifehacker.com gmail. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little text box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we're skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.


Frequently using Google Maps for directions? Reader Pham writes in with a simple but interesting way to save time when looking up directions.

Basically, the multi-step process of going to Google , typing in an address, clicking submit, etc., can be avoided by just putting all your info directly into the URL. For example typing this works: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=1683 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA


Whether you're a frequent user of large file-sharing sites like RapidShare or frequently get emails with messed-up formatting, you've likely had to spend time copying, pasting and trimming URLs to actually work. Linkrr, a free web utility, has a single purpose and fix for the problem. Type or paste in one or more URLs, and the site creates a page of click-able links, along with a button that can launch them all (assuming it can play nice with your pop-up blocker). Might be worth a bookmark for the next time Aunt Gertie sends along all those links to AOL photo galleries.