Some have come up against an aesthetic challenge to embracing Google Chrome’s fantastic “Create Application Shortcuts” feature.  The trouble is that when you create an application shortcut for a website using Chrome, the program assigns it the “favicon” of the linked website for the Windows icon—and favicons don’t tend to come in any pretty high-resolution varieties, as they are intended to be displayed next to the web address in the browser, inside of a very small space.  These icons are fine in the Start menu, where small icons are used anyway, but for the desktop or the Windows 7 taskbar, they can be pretty ugly.  When I set out for a solution, I found mostly confused discussion.  So, I worked out my own solution, a workaround, which I’m going to share with you now.

You will need to find an icon that you would like to use.  I great resource that I’ve found for high resolution, quality icons is IconArchive.  I always go there first for icons.  The icon I will use in this tutorial is from the Delikate icon set, by artist Kyo-Tux.  It is located here.  Wherever your icon comes from, it will need to be a file with the extension “.ICO”.

The first thing, of course, is to create the application shortcut you want.  Browse to the website you want to use as an application using Chrome, and then click the wrench icon in the top left.  Hover over “Tools”  and click “Create Application Shortcuts…”  Choose where you want the shortcuts to go, and press “Create.”

Now, locate the shortcuts you want to edit the icon for.  I usually don’t bother changing the icons in the Start Menu, but you can if you want to, using the same method described here.

Right-click on the shortcut.  If it is in the taskbar (as shown), you will need to right-click again on the title of the shortcut in the menu that pops up.  In the resulting menu, click on “Properties.”


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HOUSE:  Hugh Laurie as Dr. Greg House.  The third season of HOUSE premieres Tuesday, Sept. 5 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX.  ©2006 Fox Broadcasting Co.  Cr:  Andrew Macpherson/FOX

So, Hulu Plus has been available on Xbox Live for one week now. That’s what I was waiting for to give it a try. Well, it’s just ridiculous, friends. I already knew from early press releases that there would still be ads, which I was initially enraged about, but came to accept. I didn’t know that a HUGE portion of the library of current shows would not be available for streaming to devices (e.g. the only reason anyone is really going to consider paying $8/month for the service). My wife and I discovered this when we attempted to watch The Middle, almost immediately after signing up for the one-week free trial. We got a screen telling us that the program was “Web Only.” Turns out that this meant that show, along with a huge list of others, was only available for watching from a web browser on a computer. What’s the point, then?

Well, I decided that I had to share my thoughts with Hulu, even as many others already have, and did so by way of a comment on Hulu’s blog, specifically here.

This is the (lengthy) comment I left on the blog:

“This has clearly been stated dozens of times already here, and the deluge of spam comments is probably an indicator that no one here at Hulu even cares enough to read these comments, but I am so insensed about my experience with Hulu Plus that I have to comment anyway.

“I’m about to go into a pretty lengthy rant, so let me preface it with this one crucial point: Hulu IS major network television. The major networks jointly own Hulu, and so the interests of major networks ARE the interests of Hulu. There can be no disputing this, even as Hulu tries to paint itself as the hip anti-establishment alternative to getting your shows directly from the networks. If you doubt this, just check the second paragraph of the Wikipedia listing for Hulu, where the joint owners of Hulu are described as NBC/Universal, Fox/Newscorp, and ABC/Disney. (

“Hulu Plus, as a concept, has the potential to change the way people purchase television content permanently. With the ridiculous flaws currently plagueing the system, however, it’ll be dead within a year–I have no doubt. That is, of course, unless the problems are fixed. I feel uncertain about whether they’ll be fixed, though, because I have a feeling that some of the people involved want Hulu Plus to fail. I don’t know the numbers, but I’m guessing that advertising dollars still come easier for broadcast programs than for internet programs, and that the per-second rate is higher for broadcast as well. So, my impression is that someone realized this at some point between the announcement of Hulu Plus and the launch, and decided that it would have to fail in order to keep the revenue flowing in the old, more lucrative broadcast model. It’s sad, because more foresight would reveal that after the transition from broadcast to IP in market share, the revenue opportunities in the eventually dominant IP arena will inevitably climb, and in a new, changing environment, new rules can be written, meaning that a savvy driver could steer Hulu into charging more for ad time than the individual networks can now. A major selling point, once they claimed the larger portion of the audience, would be that most broadcast viewers will be skipping commercials via DVR, while Hulu viewers won’t have that option.

“Hulu, if you get your act together and fix this ridiculous web-only mess, and maybe drop the ads for at least SOME shows, you’ll have my money. I’ll stop giving my money to Charter Cable and TiVo, and just invest in Hulu and Netflix. I know you secretly don’t want me to do that, though, which is why I’ll probably be building myself a nice Ubuntu box out of an old P4 system, adding an $18 HDMI card to watch Hulu FREE and not have to give up on seeing certain shows on my HD set. If you try to keep me from using Linux, well just try to stop me from using an old XP license (because I’m not using any of those right now anyway). And hey, if you decide to arrest my web access completely (as you’ve already started to do by limited back-episodes of current seasons to Plus subscribers)–well, have you heard of ThePirateBay? Checkmate.

“(As I have demonstrated a willingness to pay for the product, if prevented from doing so, I have no trouble justifying use of torrents. Do they think they’ll stop me?, friends.)”

I’ve got fifteen minutes until the workday ends.  I don’t have time to start another work task, so I’m going to see if I can write a story in the short span of time.  Excuse typos, please.  Here goes:

This afternoon, shortly after lunch, I decided that I would travel through time.  I have always had a fascination with the concept of time travel, but unlike many others, I suspected that achieving that goal had less to do with technology than enlightenment.  I believe I have proven myself to be correct.

I locked my computer and went to the bathroom.  I knew that I could find privacy there, because no one ever talks to someone in a sealed bathroom stall.  I needed to focus, and I couldn’t have anyone bothering me.  I sat on the toilet, and looked down.  I tried closing my eyes, but, interestingly, that made it more difficult to focus my mind.  So I left them open.  I thought about life, about the fabric of spacetime, and about how much I wanted the workday to end.  I thought really hard about getting off of work, walking to my car, and driving home to enjoy a delicious meal of leftover homemade lasagna, courtesy of my wife.

I focused so deeply that I entered what seemed like a dream.  Time lost meaning.  I wandered through the experiences of my past, and found myself stumbling through other events that seemed unfamiliar.  I believed that I was at one with the universe.  I realized that I had to come back to the linear timeline.  I needed to land myself back on the timeline, at the end of my workday.  I suddenly realized that I was risking losing myself in the infinity.

I centered my mind around the thoughts that had initially aided my ascent.  Car, drive, lasagna.  Car, drive, lasagna.  I awoke again, back on that toilet from whence I had left only a moment, or perhaps an eon, ago.  I looked at my watch.  The time was 4:40 PM.  It worked!  I had skipped my workday.  I had traveled through time.

I got up, stretched, and headed back to my desk.  I nodded to Carl, my co-worker and cubicle-neighbor.  He looked at me oddly, and asked, “Are you okay?  It looked like you were passed out on the toilet for the last three hours.”


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