Posts Tagged ‘google’

Something New to Spend Time Doing on Your PC

imageFound a new way to kill time on your computer.  Apparently Google has gotten scans of old newspapers from all over.  You might find a paper close to you among them.

I found one that goes back to 1794, here’s a sample of a “letter to the editor” of the Ottawa Times on June 25th, 1794:

“Sir, If you think the following merits a place in your paper, you have permission to insert it, from the author, who declines affixing his name to it, as a personal communication and interview gives you a sufficient knowledge and access to him.”   “When the convulsion of Empires, destructive or order and subversive of Government, agitate the Councils of State, the human mind is naturally urged to reflection’ the powers of man are necessarily impelled to action”

People certainly don’t talk like that anymore!  Here’s where to go look for a paper near you…

The Problem with “The Cloud” is the Government

Well, I’ve complained about the FBI before here, so I guess this is just one more page to add to “my file”, but a judge from San Francisco has ruled that Google must comply with a FBI request for information in spite of the fact they had no warrant for the information.  Then, the judge decided to put her ruling on hold until the 9th Circuit Court (better known as the 9th CIRCUS Court) could figure it out.

I know many of you are tentative about keeping your information “in the cloud”, which is just another way of saying in the Internet.  But though you might be fearing what the private companies might be doing with your information, you might want to take a closer look at how much our beloved government wants to take a peek at your information.

Yahoo News has a more detailed article about it from the AP.  Here’s the link:

Google’s Halloween Doodle

imageThe Google Doodle is that design you see when you go to  For special occasions they create unique designs, and for Halloween the doodle is a high-speed video of people at Google carving out these huge pumpkins to create a live Google Doodle.

On YouTube there is a full video on the making of the Google Doodle video here:

Call ANYONE in the US and Canada for FREE


If you have a Gmail account, did you know you can make free phone calls?  As long as you don’t mind using your computer as a telephone, Google lets you call any number in the United States and Canada for free.  If you have a laptop you can use the built-in mic and speakers, if you have a desktop computer you will of course need a mic and speakers.  Whether you have a laptop or desktop, I recommend you purchase a USB headset like the Logitech Clearchat (around $32) that will also let you listen to music with decent quality.  There is also a wireless USB version available for about $70 that allows you to walk around while still talking.  There are lots of USB headsets on the market, check Amazon or Newegg for the best prices.

If you don’t have a Google account, this is a good reason to get one.  Go to to create an account (of log in if you already have one.)  Once your account is set up, go to Gmail and on the lower part of the left column you’ll see “Call Phone”, just click on it and enter the number you want to call and presto, free phone call.  No tricks, gimmicks or limits.  Talk all day if you want to.

If you’re thinking “well what about Skype?”, to be completely free on Skype you can only call to another user also on Skype.  For about $30 a year you can get unlimited calling to the U.S. and Canada.  Both Skype and Google have very low rate to other countries.  I call friends in the Netherlands for 2 cents a minute (try that with AT&T!)

The quality with Skype is excellent, with Google it is ok but not as good – buy hey, the price is right.  So save those outbound cell phone minutes for the nights and weekends when you’ve got lots of them.

Gmail Tip: Filtering for All Unread Messages


If you use Gmail and pick and choose the messages you want to immediately read and save others for later, you may soon find you have to search to find those messages you haven’t read yet.  Here’s an easy way to see all those messages you haven’t looked at yet.  When you’re in your Inbox you’ll see the search the search box with the button marked “Search Mail” next to it.  Type (or copy and paste) the bolded text into the search box: label:unread and you’ll get just your unread mail as the results.  Now you can get caught up with your mail.

Have You Found Any Easter Eggs Lately?

imageWhy am I writing about Easter eggs approaching the holiday season?  Because Easter eggs aren’t just the cheerfully colored chicken eggs hidden during the spring, Easter eggs are also fun little secrets that programmers sometimes insert into their programs, DVD’s and web sites.  Here are a few examples of Easter eggs you can see for yourself…

Google Maps: Go go Google Maps and click on “Get Directions”.  In “A” enter “Japan”, in “B” enter “China”.  Down below you’ll see step by step directions – scroll down and read step 43.

Windows XP: Open up Notepad.  Type “Bush hid the facts”.  Save the file with any name and close it.  Now re-open it and you’ll see it didn’t like what you typed.

Firefox: Open a blank page in Firefix.  In the address bar (where you would normally see http://www……) type just this: “about:robots” (without the quotes.)

DVD’s: There are lots of web sites that show how how to find hidden Easter eggs in DVD’s, try going to, and  See if one of your DVD’s has an Easter egg in it.

Google Giving Free Wi-Fi to Holiday Travelers

Google is once again giving free wi-fi to airline travelers this holiday season.  Below is the press release:

Passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi for the holidays

November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011

This holiday season, Google Chrome has teamed up with AirTran Airways, Delta, and Virgin America to offer free Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi on every domestic flight from November 20, 2010 through January 2, 2011. These participating airlines have outfitted their entire domestic fleet with Gogo Inflight Wi-Fi, and we expect more connected passengers this holiday season than ever before!

Just bring a Wi-Fi enabled laptop or mobile device and stay connected to family and friends while you travel.

If you haven’t tried Chrome yet, you can download Chrome before you take to the skies.

Happy Holidays!

Google Chrome

Google is Adding Prioritizing to Gmail

IDG News reports that Google will be rolling about a “pre-release” or “experimental” feature for Gmail called “Priority Inbox”.  The idea is to save time by helping you get to your most critical messages first.  I imagine you will be able to find it in the Settings section under Labs, but as of this writing I don’t see it in my Gmail yet.

Google Fixes Gmail Problem

Google was having a problem the last few days with messages automatically getting re-sent, sometimes days later.  Apparently they found the bug and fixed.  I also had reports from clients of mine that Gmail was VERY SLOW in delivering messages, sometimes a couple of hours.  Today that also seems to be resolved, so perhaps they were related.  PCWorld has more details about the problem:


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