Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

GeeMail

Posted on April 23rd, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Google, Tech News | No Comments »

GeeMail is a desktop client for Gmail. You know how Gmail now allows offline support? GeeMail lets you do it from your desktop, without the browser. No configuration except logging in, offline support, cross platform. It is a free Adobe Air app.
Check it out, it works pretty well, and its nice to have a separate app instead of always having a firefox or chrome window open. GeeMail

CleverStat Google Monitor

Posted on April 6th, 2009 in Computer software/hardware, Downloads, Google, Webpage/SEO | No Comments »

Those of us with webpages…*raises hand. Well, by now, if you don’t at least sometimes think of SEO or how you are presenting your webpage to search engines, you really should start thinking about it. While you can tinker around with your html and layout, maybe change your writing a little, it’s very important to be able to track this progress.
Google Analytics and other tracking systems help greatly, but none of these inform you about SEO directly. In particular, Google rankings are quite influential in the amount of traffic you get to the site.
Free Google Monitor by CleverStat allows you to save a list of urls (your websites) and have a list of keywords for each site. It will batch search your ranking for those keywords, which lets you monitor your ranking without having to google search each one and count up and down for each url and keyword.
Test out Google Monitor and see if your SEO is doing anything for you in Google’s realm.

Google has a browser?!

Posted on September 3rd, 2008 in Google, Software/Hardware Reviews, Tech News | 1 Comment »

Yes, Google has recently released the beta of its new browser Chrome. It has been designed from the ground up for web applications with a focus on security and performance. Some of the features include a UI with tabs on top, an integrated privacy mode, and a task manager that can monitor and restrict individual tabs and plugins like processes. For more information take a look at the comic book Google produced to explain every aspect of Chrome.  I have been using the browser since yesterday, and it does seem to be faster than firefox especially when loading a whole bunch of tabs at the same time. Being that it is still in beta, Chrome is not without some issues. There are reports of some security flaws, even though Chrome is supposed to be more secure than other browsers. I experienced some problem with the controls in flash videos, but this was easily fixed putting the tab in its own window. Chrome still has a lot less features than Firefox, most significant being its lack of extensions. This is something Google is working on, and will perhaps be included in the final release. Even though it will not yet replace firefox, Chrome is a good, albeit minimalistic alternative.

Google looses German rights to “Gmail” name

Posted on June 29th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Dumb Things That Happen, Google, Time Wasters | 16 Comments »

“Google Germany spokesperson Stefan Keuchel told The Local via email on
Monday that the change from www.gmail.com is a result of a trademark
lawsuit with German businessman Daniel Giersch, who owns the German
trademark for an email service called “G-mail…und die Post geht richtig ab” for his paid email service.

According to Keuchel, Google’s action stems from a German court
decision in July 2007, which ruled that Google could no longer use
“Gmail” for its email services based on Giersch’s trademark.”

(from http://www.thelocal.de/12667/20080623/)

Okay, I’m no German speaker, but Google Translation yeilded “and the Post is right from” when I entered “und die Post geht richtig ab, ” so I’m guessing that the german mail service is basically “G-Mail – the mails always right,” or some other positive phrase about the good quality of the companies mail service. I don’t have the exact translation, but I get the point. Its still a catchy advertising slogan, no matter what language its in. I’d actually be really interested to know how long Mr. Giersch has held the German trademark for “G-Mail.” For once, I’m actally tempted to argue that he’s got it, and that Google should simply continue calling their service “Google Mail.” Much as I like a good deal of what Google does, just because their bigger doesn’t mean they automatically get international trademarks because they want them.

The Google Plane

Posted on June 11th, 2008 in Google, Time Wasters | No Comments »

I knew that Google had an airplane (a few actually), but I never knew where they kept it. . .

“The bummer about owning 767s and G-Fives is you need somewhere to land
them, preferably close to your office so you don’t have blow hours
stuck in traffic with all the plebes. Thankfully, resourceful Google
has already solved that problem–by cutting a deal with NASA to
use the government’s private runway next door to the Silicon Valley
Googleplex. And now Google has made the deal even more convenient, by
signing a broader deal to rent 42 acres of NASA land for 40 years on
which to build a new Googleplex.”

$1.3 million for the runway, and $3.66 million for the 42 acres. Not bad.
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/6/google_secures_nasa_land_and_767_runway_for_40_years

Check out this link if you want to know (and see) Google’s $15 million ex-Quantas 767, and some of the may locations its been over the past year or so. (Clickable map included.)

http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/6/where_in_the_world_are_larry_sergey_and_the_google_party_jet_

Read more about the Google Jet here
http://www.airlinepilotforums.com/archive/index.php/t-1441.html

Google Changes its Favicon

Posted on June 8th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Google, Photos/Videoes, Time Wasters | 12 Comments »

In case you haven’t noticed, Google has changed its favicon, the little box that shows up to the left of the address bar in Firefox and Safari (and somewhere in IE too, but I haven’t used it in so long, I forget where. . . . .).

For many people, this was quite a surprise, simply because Google isn’t in the habit of changing the design or layout of their pages or logos. They just don’t. Okay, so its just the little icon next to the adress bar. Its not that important in the grand scheme of things. So why the change?

From the official Google Blog :

You
may have noticed that Google has a new favicon, the small icon you see
in your browser next to the URL or in your bookmarks list. Some people
have wondered why we changed our favicon — after all, we hadn’t in 8.5
years(!). The reason is that we wanted to develop a set of icons that
would scale better to some new platforms like the iPhone and other
mobile devices. So the new favicon is one of those, but we’ve also
developed a group of logo-based icons that all hang together as a
unified set. Here’s the full set:”

And there it is. What I find really interesting is this block of favicons that didn’t make the cut, or were just ideas that were tried out. It’s no surprise to me how simple the final favicon is; Simple is quite often better, especially with such a small graphic.

Images and quote from the Official Google Blog,
http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2008/06/one-fish-two-fish-red-fish-blue-fish.html

UPDATE : In some random browsing, I noticed that the Google “G” with the blue background is a lot like the Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/) favicon,

.

It was similar enough to make me wonder for a second why the page I was looking at was connected to Google. . . . Maybe Googles new favicon needs some more work after all? I also have to say that I wondered why the Google “g” was done in such a funny lower case font – compare it to the Guardian “g” and its backwards.

What I wonder is how favicons will be used in the future. I mean, on a iPhone screen, I’d think that favicons might soon be integrated in new bookmarks, so that you just look for the favicon instead of reading the text. I’m not sure what you’d do if a page didn’t have a favicon, or how you’d store them on the mobile device, but its a thought.

And now, if you’re still curious, here the Favicon for FLB (the little logo on the left before HTTP:// ) :

Its the small version of our homepage logo,

26 Tricks to Tame Google Calendar

Posted on May 21st, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Google, How To's | 8 Comments »

Ever wanted to sync your Google Calendar with Outlook or Ical?
How about a desire to separate your business from your personal calendar events?

Take a look at this fast instructional article from PCWorld on 26 ways to get the most from Google Calendar.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,145844-page,2-c,webservices/article.html

Google to launch Friend Connect for the social Web

Posted on May 12th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Google, Tech News | 4 Comments »

“Google is expected to join the social network data portability crowd with “Friend Connect” on Monday. TechCrunch speculates

that Friend Connect will be a set of “APIs for Open Social participants
to pull profile information from social networks into third party
websites.”

Google will join Facebook and MySpace, which launched ways to port user data to partner sites this week. Facebook Connect
will provide the hooks to let users port their friends, profile photos,
events, and other data across the Web to partner sites.”

Dan Farber, from Cnet, here :

http://www.news.com/8301-13953_3-9941039-80.html?tag=nefd.pop?881

One of the particularly interesting quotes I found was this one :

“TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington reasons:

The reason these companies are are rushing to get products
out the door is because whoever is a player in this space is likely to
control user data over the long run. If users don’t have to put profile
and friend information into multiple sites, they will gravitate towards
one site that they identify with, and then allow other sites to access
that data. The desire to own user identities over the long run is also
causing the big Internet companies, in my opinion, to rush to become
OpenID issuers (but not relying parties).”

Arrington is saying that everyone wants to be “that” site that people gravitate to, and use as their main portal for their social network. But if no one is working on being a relying party, then who’s actually making sure good standards are created, and that user data can be openly (and safely) shared across multiple sites? I mean, I understand that companies that own social networking sites need revenue, which comes from ads, which are sold based on the number of people who use (and therefore see) the website and its associated ads.

It seems like theres this battle going on over the web; Free vs. Convienent. When social networking is free, people will gravitate to sites that they like. They don’t pay anything, so there’s noting stopping them from leaving one site for another if they don’t like what they’re getting. I’d think its in social networking sites best interests to make it so that user data CAN be shared easily. If it can’t, then users will go to sites where they can connect with more friends. On the other hand, some people will use social networking sites that are linked to other accounts they have (like email) just because its one less login to remember, one less thing to sign up for, and overall, its bundled with something they’re allready using. Not everyone is a social networking nut; It doesn’t help is JoeBobs Email and Social Networking can’t talk to the big social networks (like Facebook, etc.) It is after all supposed to be SOCIAL networking.

What I’m trying to say here is that its about time these social networking sites started working out ways to talk to and talk amongst one another. Its a lot like the early days of internet search engines. There were many small search engines, then there were the web crawlers, that would search multiple individual search engines, and then I think there were a few search engines that would search multiple web crawling search engines to come up with even more listings. You very quickly ended up with MANY ways of achieving the same thing, but all of them worked their own way. I say its about time we get some social network networking standards in place before things get out of hand.

Google Help Files

Posted on May 9th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Google | No Comments »

I know that most people who have used Google for more than just searching as hit upon the problem of needing help. Google has a large help center, that relies on topic hierarchy or, of course, searching. However, sometimes, you really just want a manual/help file. Well…if you append ?fulldump=1 to the address of a google help center, most of time, you will get…a full dump. An example would be http://mail.google.com/support/?fulldump=1
Note that all of the help pages are frequently updated so your version may become outdated quickly.
Check out the entire list of help page dumps so far at Google OS

17 Google Easter Eggs, Gags, and Hoaxes

Posted on March 29th, 2008 in Computer software/hardware, Google, How To's, Labs/Experiments, Lacking a Category, Software/Hardware Reviews, Time Wasters | 3 Comments »

I’m just going to let this speak for itself.

Okay, i can’t keep my mouth shut.
I reccomend the following from PCWorlds list as particularly interesting and worthy of exploration.

#3 : The three AM one looks pretty cool.  I haven’t been up till 3 to test it out, but it looks neat.
#4 : I remember reading about Gmail Paper.  There may even be a FLB post on it.
#7.  The Google Earth flight simulator.  The first time I heard of it, i didn’t believe it.  Surprisingly, Brian or Joe hadn’t heard of it either.  So off to Google Earth I went . . . and there it was.  No lie.
#8. Google calculator. One of the things i love about Google.
#12. The Picasa Bear. Just how many it will show is a mystery. . . but its a lot.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/142620-1/googles_top_17_easter_eggs_gags_and_hoaxes.html