All posts by nerdZero

Using Google Voice Search Hotword Chrome Extension Outside the US

Google Voice Search Chrome Extension
Google Voice Search Chrome Extension

Yesterday Google released a new Chrome extension that allows you to initiate a voice search from the Google search page by simply saying “OK Google”, much like you do in Google Now for Android or iPhone. This is a very handy feature that works quite well.

Unfortunately for those outside of the US, this feature won’t work by default. There is an easy workaround though.

By default, if you try to go to google.com outside if the US you will be redirected to your country specific page. E.g. In Canada you will be redirected automatically to google.ca

Since you’re not on google.com, the Google Voice Hotword Extension won’t work.

The workaround is as follows:

That’s it. The ‘ncr’ at the end of the URL stands for No Country Redirect. Using this will force your browser to use google.com instead of your country specific search page.

Another tip:

  • One thing to be aware of is that going to the /ncr version of the Google search page will result in a cookie being set on your browser. This cookie will make your browser use the /ncr version all the time. If you still want to use your country specific search page sometimes and don’t want to have to delete the cookie each time, simply do your search by using an incognito window to perform your voice search (⌘-Shift-N on Mac). The cookie will only be set for that window so you’re good to go anytime you want to go back to using your country specific search page.

Google Voice Search Chrome Extension

Fix ‘Unkown host’ Error on Mac

Have you ever had one of your websites become inaccessible on only one of your computers? The site loads up fine on every other machine you try it on but on this one machine, nada. If you try to ping the domain you’ll likely be presented with an ‘unknown host’ error.

If your computer is a Mac you will likely first think to try dscacheutil -flushcache . However, this will not work for you unless you are using an older version of OS X. Now what you’ll have to do is the following:

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder

In most cases this is what will work for you. I won’t bore you with a lengthy explanation of why. Just try it.