Posts matching the query string: Tag=Google.

My ratings (R) are from 1 to 9. My Dates are also permalinks. Click on the column headers to sort Jots. Feel free to use the address bar like a command line interface by setting the optional query string parameters: Dtm1 (10, 20, 30, YYYYMMDDhhmmss), Dtm2 (YYYYMMDDhhmmss), IsJot (Jot or Not), Tag (zero+ times), NotTag (zero+ times), OrderBy (PostForDate, PostTitle, PostLink, PostText, PostSource, PostRating, PostSize) & Desc(Desc), and Limit(integer).

  1. Time for templates! TAGS: Cool. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. Office. TECH.
  2. Knol TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Wikipedia.
  3. 10gen TAGS: Cloud. Computers. Databases. Free Libre. Google. JavaScript. Open Source. Programming. TECH.
  4. Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search TAGS: Cyber Life. Google.
  5. Google Maps for walking TAGS: Conditioning. Cyber Life. Google. Health. Maps.
  6. Cyber Rules TAGS: Cyber Life. Family. Google. Kids. My Stuff. Security. Shopping. TECH. Wikipedia.
  7. Google Chrome TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. Open Source. TECH.
  8. Chrome keyboard shortcuts TAGS: Browser. Chrome. Google. TECH.
  9. Issues with Spreadsheets right-click menu in Google Chrome: fixed in new Google Chrome version TAGS: Browser. Flash. Google. Office. TECH. Videos.
  10. Kindle 2.0 by Amazon TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Engineering. Gadget. Google. Hardware. TECH. Text.
  11. Specify your canonical TAGS: Browser. Cyber Tech. Google. HTML. Microsoft. Standards. TECH. Yahoo!.
  12. One Number to Rule Them All TAGS: Audio. Communications. Cyber Life. Google. TECH.
  13. Gmail Sidesteps the App Store TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Programming. TECH.
  14. Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1) TAGS: Apple. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. My Stuff. TECH.
  15. A New Breed of Netbook? TAGS: Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Open Source. Software. TECH.
  16. A Speedier Google Chrome for all users TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Google. News. TECH.
  17. Google Bookmarks Extension for Chrome TAGS: Browser. Cyber Tech. Google. TECH.
  18. Free is not a business model TAGS: Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Economy. Google. Money. TECH.
  19. Rich Internet Apps TAGS: Animation. Apple. Browser. Cyber Tech. Firefox. Google. Microsoft. Programming. Standards. Sun Microsystems. TECH. Videos.
  20. Head in the clouds TAGS: Amazon. Books. Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Images. Photos. Reading. Software. TECH. Videos.
  21. Digital Media and e-Books TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Audio. Books. Computers. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Family. Gadget. Google. Hardware. Inspiring. Kids. Music. My Stuff. Reading. Software. Standards. TECH. Text. Videos.
  22. Chrome versus Firefox 2010-02 TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Firefox. Google. TECH.
  23. How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome TAGS: Browser. Cyber Life. Cyber Tech. Firefox. Google. TECH.
  24. Multitasking the Android Way TAGS: Cyber Life. Gadget. Google. Operating System. TECH.
  25. About Music Beta by Google TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Cyber Life. Google. Microsoft. Music. TECH.
  26. Review of my software usage TAGS: Amazon. Apple. Cyber Life. Google. Hardware. Microsoft. My Stuff. Software. TECH.
  27. Gmail Categories TAGS: Cyber Life. Google. Ramblings. TECH. Thoughts.
20080906 134859 Z Update to Google Chrome's terms of service googleblog.b … es-terms-of.html Browser, Chrome, Cyber Tech, Google, Legal, TECH Ha ha! Like I told my Sys Admin on the day that Chrome was released: The Chrome EULA was a non-issue. They updated it to a not evil version: "11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services."
20080906 140432 Z Mozilla Releases Firefox 3.1 Alpha 2 tech.slashdo … 0256207&from=rss Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH So they'll be incorporating some of Chrome's features like the ability to drag and drop tabs between windows. Sweet. And the JavaScript engine might even be faster than Chromes? Hooray!: The public benefits from browser wars!
20080907 132335 Z Little things that matter … that-matter.html Cyber Life, Google, TECH The problem was that an event in Google Calendar would occupy the entire horizontal space and you couldn't click on the same time slot if you wanted to add a new event. But now there will always be a few pixels of gutter space on the right that's clickable. A simple, elegant, and useful solution!
20090305 161753 Z New in Labs: Multiple Inboxes … ple-inboxes.html news.zdnet.c … html?tag=nl.e550 Cyber Life, Email, Google, TECH One of the nicer things to come out of Google Labs for Gmail lately. It will save me a few clicks.
20090305 201226 Z Four changes to Gmail contacts … il-contacts.html Email, Google, TECH Sweet little upgrades. All worthy.
20090505 144612 Z Wolfram Alpha and Google Face Off www.technolo … 22585/?nlid=2001 Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Science, TECH I saw the various stuff on Wolfram Alpha yesterday, including the video Stephen Wolfram discusses Wolfram|Alpha: Computational Knowledge Engine []. It looks cool, but there was a feeling of a stacked deck, i.e. the questions were coached so as to get good results. This Technology Review article asks other sorts of questions. Google of course has to deal with a broader user base that asks a broad range of questions.
20090506 175726 Z Patent reveals Google's book-scanning advantage … 10232931-76.html Books, Google, Reading, TECH, Text For those of you who, like me, worried about Google roughly handling thousands of books while they try to speedily scan them in: Apparently they don't have to mash any of these books onto scanners. It's a hands-off process that can also adjust for the curvature of the paper.
20090617 204843 Z Firefox 3.5 RC good so far Browser, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, Standards, TECH Firefox 3.5 RC good so far. A jump from 3.0.11 to 3.5 sounds nice! Improvements include: Private browsing mode, TraceMonkey JavaScript, location aware browsing, native JSON, web worker threads, Gecko layout upgrades, HTML 5 support. A lot of this sounds like Google Chrome.
20090625 014038 Z Let's make the web faster … /speed/articles/ www.reddit.c … _the_web_faster/ Cyber Tech, Google, TECH Some of the tips are good, but from the reddit thread, you'd think the whole thing sucked.
20090707 165414 Z Google Apps is out of beta (yes, really) googleblog.b … -yes-really.html Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, News About time!
20090708 203726 Z Firefox stability to get a boost with multiprocess browsing arstechnica. … ess-browsing.ars news.slashdo … owsing?art_pos=6 Browser, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google A nice benefit from competing with Google Chrome.
20090729 161712 Z Yahoo Gives In to Microsoft, Gives Up on Search … 90728_826397.htm … ves_Up_on_Search Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Money, News, Yahoo! So Yahoo search (~20% share) will effectively become Microsoft Bing search (~10%), and will become the clear 2nd place search engine following Google with 65%. This smells of the death of Yahoo. Yahoo stock went down 11% after this news came out: "Stocks slump on Yahoo, durables" []
20090806 122838 Z Google Chrome Theme Gallery /tools.googl … hemes/index.html Browser, Chill, Cool, Cyber Tech, Google Fun stuff. I like to apply a theme or skin now and then for a change, but I usually revert to "standard" after a while.
20090810 150842 Z An Operating System for the Cloud www.technolo … 23140/?nlid=2255 Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Operating System, TECH A review of the operating system (OS), from where it's been with the mainframes and Microsoft, to where it is with Microsoft, Apple, and Linux, to where might go with Google. The review could have been more in depth but the potential of the article is nice.
20091112 003351 Z The Go Programming Language … ch?v=rKnDgT73v8s Google, Programming, TECH Ooh. One of the most exciting new programming languages in years. They had me at no parentheses for if statements!
20100104 192618 Z Apple, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Hardware, Reading, Software, TECH We need more tablets! Apple, Google, Freescale, etc. Not just eBook readers, but cheap expandable touchable Internet tablets.
20100225 035022 Z Exclusive: How Google's Algorithm Rules the Web … +Stories+2%29%29 Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google I thought they didn't let anybody look behind the curtains.
20100310 200158 Z The Beast File- Google (HUNGRY BEAST) … ch?v=dv4j4bguYYk Cyber Life, Google, Videos It's not too bad, here in the belly of the beast. This is so well done that you think Google made it themselves!
20100502 153258 Z Top 10 Things You Didn't Know Google Maps Could Do lifehacker.c … nt=Google+Reader Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Geography, Google Making an convenient tool even more so.
20100505 022026 Z Google acquires BumpTop: Will Android get a 3D facelift? deals.ventur … bumptop-android/ Cyber Life, Google, Operating System, TECH I had read that Google acquired BumpTop earlier, but this article has the TED Talk video where BumpTop CEO Anand Agarawala demos it. I'm itching for that Google tablet!
20100625 161154 Z SVG Flowchart Shapes via Google Docs Chart, Cyber Tech, Free Gratis, Free Libre, Google, Images, TECH I've been playing with Google Drawings (in Google Docs). You can save a Google Drawing as .svg. This also means that you can use save their shapes (especially flowchart shapes) and use them in stuff like Inkscape. You can also go to to get other shapes. I'm trying to avoid stuff Microsoft Visio and OpenOffice Draw.
20100630 164224 Z Ctrl+; working for Google Spreadsheets in Chrome Browser, Cyber Life, Google I just noticed that the Chrome got the keyboard shortcut to enter the date (Ctrl+;) to work for Google Spreadsheets in Chrome. Maybe they'll eventually get the date shortcut (Ctrl+:) to work too. The only other big request would be for vertical tree-style tabs (although I can weakly fake the latter with a vertical task bar in the OS).
20100818 172603 Z Google launching a Chrome OS tablet on Verizon, goes on sale November 26 … ovember-26-2010/ Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, TECH And my birthday is in October too!
20101011 160145 Z Google is testing cars that drive themselves … Google, TECH, Transportation Google-driven cars have been on the streets in California for months now! I'd go for it!
20101206 184946 Z Discover more than 3 million Google eBooks from your choice of booksellers and devices googleblog.b … lion-google.html Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Reading, TECH No rumors, no maybes, no fanfare. Instead Google eBooks [] is announced and is here. An eBook store where the stuff is readable on lots of devices.
20101207 171047 Z Google Maps for Android Now Faster, Smoother, in 3D and Works Offline … with-the-compass Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Mobile, TECH Bionic maps!
20110511 153923 Z Android Makes the Jump to Home Appliances www.dailytec … article21600.htm Gadget, Google, TECH I like the idea. Just the other day I was looking at Google TV and the idea of using my Android phone as the remote control would solve the problem of the missing remote control!
20110713 162038 Z html href tel Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, HTML, Standards, TECH I've noticed that more places are making links like this: <a href="tel:1-888-357-1516">1-888-357-1516</a> (1-888-357-1516). With Gmail on a browser, that brings up the Google web phone. On a mobile phone, clicking on such a link uses the phone. I have no use for it now but it's interesting.
20110718 221421 Z Picasa storage increased Cyber Life, Free Libre, Google, Images, Videos So Picasa now has "Photos up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and videos up to 15 minutes won't count towards your free storage." if you use Google Plus. That's practically free unlimited storage space!
20110817 144128 Z Same post in FB and G+, but more responses in FB Cyber Life, FaceBook, Google, TECH Same post in FB and G+, but more responses in FB, eh. Google needs to open up G+. Sure Google made mistakes, but I liked it when Google was bold and came out with beta products.
20110817 145140 Z Google, Money, TECH Still in shock about Google buying Motorola for 12.5 GUSD. In contrast YouTube only cost them 1.65 GUSD.
20110913 182750 Z Google secret plan to improve web apps draws heat www.cbsnews. … in20105416.shtml Browser, Google, JavaScript, Open Source, Standards, TECH Dart, Google's new language (previously Dash), may be a threat to JavaScript and Google may be "open-washing"? Don't be evil!
20111104 215225 Z Google +1 play Cyber Life, Google, TECH Don't mind me, but I'm playing with sticking the Google +1 button site wide. I also stuck in some microdata.
20130408 174534 Z Report: Google Fiber Coming to Austin as Cities Race to Boost Web Speeds Read more: business.tim … oost-web-speeds/ Cyber Life, Google, News, TECH More evidence that points toward Google Fiber as more than just an experiment. Cable ISPs need real competition!
20130408 175602 Z Mozilla takes a fresh look at Google's WebP image format … bp-image-format/ Animation, Firefox, Google, Images, Standards, TECH .webp has lossy, lossless, EXIF, color profiles, alpha channel, and animation! This could beat out JPG, PNG, and GIF!
20140522 211600 Z gMath Help mathtechtips … /gmath-help.html Cool, Google, Math, TECH, Writing I just noticed this awesome Add-on for Google Drive Documents, called g(Math). It allows you to add equations and graphs with LaTeX syntax!
20140528 220338 Z A First Drive Chill, Cool, Gadget, Google, TECH I would settle for cruise control and automatic lane alignment, but it seems like Google self-driving car is pretty decent.
20150225 153825 Z Different first page header? /productforu … 8pYMU/discussion Google, Software, TECH, Writing Glory! After 26 pages of forum discussions since 2011-09-28, Google Documents now allows you to have a first page with a different header/footer from the other page. 0-index!
20150306 172716 Z Angular 2: Built on TypeScript blogs.msdn.c … -typescript.aspx Google, JavaScript, Microsoft, Programming, TECH The upcoming open Angular 2 by Google will be built on the open TypeScript by Microsoft, especially since features of AtScript by Google will be incorporated into TypeScript. While people may not like the incompatibility between Angular 1 and 2, people should like ECMAScript 5/6/7 awareness and collaboration betwen Google and Microsoft!
2008-07-17t16:02:38 Z | TAGS: Cool, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Office, TECH
Time for templates!
Time for templates! []
Google just announced that they now have templates for Google Documents [] and they already have hundreds of templates! Since it's by Google the templates are searchable and rated. It's also a creativity showcase for what you can do with Google documents.
2008-07-24t02:07:40 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Wikipedia
Knol [] [VIA:]

Google just launched Knol, a Wikipedia alternative that is closer to, Suidoo, or HubPages. The Knol site defines a knol as "an authoritative article about a specific topic". Basically an author can write a knol alone or in collaboration with specific authors or any other registered author. Knol authors can have their name verified via phone or credit card. Knol authors also get a share of Google AdSense revenue on their knols.

The value of Knol to the average user is not so much the searchability but that the articles are rated (in theory the best article on a topic will rise to the top), the authors are verified to a small degree, and the authors have tighter control over their content. What Knol lacks that Wikipedia has is the hyperlinking between articles. Also because of the limited authoring per knol, knols will probably tend to create echo rooms where everyone who likes one view of a topic will favor one knol, while those who favor another view will favor another knol; By contrast since Wikipedia have unlimited authorship, they authors fight back and forth until they come to a more neutral and balanced presentation of the topic.

2008-07-25t16:07:00 Z | TAGS: Cloud, Computers, Databases, Free Libre, Google, JavaScript, Open Source, Programming, TECH
10gen [] [VIA:]

10gen [] has just arrived as an open-source alternative in the cloud computing arena (apps and data hosted on a hundreds of servers knitted together to form a cloud or grid or virtual super computer). There are of course the big players like Google App Engine (GAE) [], Amazon Web Services, Yahoo, and IBM, as well as smaller players like KickApps [].

As an example of its open-source nature, 10gen has an open-source, scalable, object database instead of a relational database. Contrast this with GAE's proprietary BigTable that uses GQL and no joins. One of the cooler things about 10gen is that it uses JavaScript! Lately I've been loving using JavaScript for both client-side and server-side coding. Contrast this with GAE's use of Python with Django. Both 10gen and Google say that they'll support other languages later.

Personally I'm torn because while 10gen just got $1.5 million in venture capital, Google is more of a sure thing.

2008-07-28t15:13:32 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google
Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search
Ex-Google engineers debut 'Cuil' way to search [] just came out today. It's a search engine (pronounced "cool") made by former Google employees that claims to be better: A larger index (186 billion Web pages crawled but 120 included); Uses fewer servers; Better user privacy []; Larger entries for search results; More pictures in search results; Greater use of horizontal space; etc.

Looks good so far. A bit laggy but it is their first day. Oddly enough, it couldn't find anything for "JavaScript null".

The article quoted US search engine marketshare (via comScore as of 2007-05): Google 62%, Yahoo 21%, and Microsoft 8.5%, totaling 91.5%. This article (comScore Media Metrix Search Engine Ratings []), shows these ratings for 2007-07: Google 43.7%, Yahoo (including AltaVista, AllTheWeb, and Overture) 28.8%, MSN 12.8%, AOL 5.9%, and Ask 5.4%, totaling 96.6%.

2008-08-09t03:08:05 Z | TAGS: Conditioning, Cyber Life, Google, Health, Maps
Google Maps for walking
I stumbled upon this new feature of Google Maps entirely fortuitously. I was wondering what the walking/running distance was between home and work, so I looked up the directions in Google Maps, lo and behold!, there in addition for directions by car and public transportation, there was one for walking directions! Apparently Google was sneaking this feature out to the public around a month ago ( I poked around and apparently there are various sites like Google Map Pedometer [] that use Google Maps as a pedometer for walking/running routes.
2008-08-20t17:20:31 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Family, Google, Kids, My Stuff, Security, Shopping, TECH, Wikipedia
Cyber Rules
Cyber Rules []

I just made a page called Cyber Rules. It will probably change over time so this post will contain the original version.

Simple rules and guidelines for safety, etiquette, and excellence online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.).

Kids, Teens, and Parents Online

I'm a programmer but I'm also a parent.

  • For kids: Have a few simple rules that are easy to remember. Rules, not long-winded speeches.
  • For teens: The same rules apply, but once you're 18 you're responsible for yourself.
  • For parents:
    • Rules are not a replacement for relating with your offspring, checking on them, and educating them.
    • Minors are human beings and have an increasing need for privacy and trust as they get older.


  • Don't give out personal information like your real name, age, phone number, address, or your photo.
  • Don't buy anything online without a guardian.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs.
  • Don't click on a link in an email.
  • Beware of links that take you off site.


  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.


  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.
  • Use Google [].
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.

Safety Online

  • Assume that anything you say (type, do, post, access, etc.) online (the Web, cyberspace, online shopping, IM, chat rooms, email, messageboards, etc.) is permanenently recorded and may turn up for the whole world to see soon or anytime in the future.
  • Online shopping:
    • Use a separate email for online shopping.
    • Use a separate credit card for online shopping.
    • Ensure the site is who they say they are. A Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) padlock in the browser helps.
    • Ensure that your info is encrypted during transmission. A SSL prefix for the address (https://) helps.
  • Don't download stuff besides pictures and PDFs. Executables (.exe) in particular are high risk.
  • Don't click on a link in an email. Especially not from a supposed bank or porn site.
  • Beware of links that take you off site. The text may say one thing but the link may differ.

Etiqette Online

  • Try to behave online as you would in real life.
  • Don't type in ALL CAPS. IT CAN BE VERY TIRING.
  • In casual online communications, don't correct someone else's spelling, grammar, or punctuation.
  • If you are new to a message board, then read the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).
  • If you are going to radically change the subject, then don't hijack, but rather start a new subject.
  • Use a meaningful title on your email/post/comment. "IMPORTANT!!!!" or "Please read" aren't useful -- they just look like spam.
  • Keep communications between as few people as possible. For example, don't send to the group when you can send to one person.
  • Cyber shorthand can be convenient but mind your audience. Only the most common ones (like FYI for "for your information") will be known by broader audiences.

Excellence Online

  • Learn and practice touch typing until it is intuitive.
  • Use a mouse or equivalent until it is intuitive.
  • Use Wikipedia [], the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Share your knowledge with the world!
  • Use Google []. Share calendars and documents with your family that you can access from any browser.
  • If you have to choose between real life or cyber life, choose real life.
  • Twitter is for ninnies.
2008-09-03t20:32:09 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, Open Source, TECH
Google Chrome
Google Chrome []

A brand new browser by Google called Chrome [] came out yesterday. I've tried it out at work on Windows XP and at home on Windows Vista Ultimate.

On the front end, the best thing about it is that it's fast. Not just a bit faster but 2 to 20 times faster. The interface is very clean and minimalist. There are a lot of little front end niceties like all textarea controls on forms are now resizable. The "Omnibox" combines the URL address bar (ALT+D) and search bar (CTRL+E) into one as is done Opera. The root of each URL is highlighted in the Omnibox (IE8 does this too). The Omnibox provides unobtrusive suggestions (for stuff you've visited, likely searches, popular sites, etc.) as you type instead of nasty auto-completing. Chrome also gives the user more real estate by hiding the status bar (which shows as you type) or hiding the bookmarks bar (CTRL+B).

Chrome is built upon the open source WebKit, hence it has ties to Konqueror and Safari. However they also have developers from Firefox too. FYI: The major browser rendering engines are Gecko (EG Firefox), Trident (EG Internet Explorer), and Presto (EG Opera), and WebKit. The speed gain has a large contribution from the JavaScript virtual machine by V8. Chrome increases security and stability by sandboxing just about everything. Multiprocessing within a browser is a great idea for which Google will get a lot of credit for (evne though it was done by Opera since 1994 and will be in the Internet Explorer 8). I like how having the tabs on top provide a visual reminder that each tab is a separate process. I like how you can access Chrome's Task Manager (via a menu or SHIFT+ESC), much like you can access Window's Task Manager.

Chrome is missing add ons or extensions, which users of Firefox become dependent upon. Chrome will almost certainly have add ons as time goes on. This is a good time to review the Firefox extensions I use.

The things I don't like about Chrome:

Here are some of the better links to Chrom right now:

BOTTOM LINE: I love it! I want a few things that only Firefox has right now, but I think they're coming to Chrome.

2008-09-04t17:46:03 Z | TAGS: Browser, Chrome, Google, TECH
Chrome keyboard shortcuts
Chrome keyboard shortcuts []

Yesterday I made a post on Google Chrome. Today I bothered to look into its Help and discovered that some of my complaints are actually already dealt with. (Silly me but apparently all three of these shortcut are already in Firefox but I've lost track of which features are via add ons.)

Yesterday I said "I like the Omnibar but I want an easier on-the-fly method to change which search engine I'm using.". Apparently there is a way! If you go to Options then manage the search engines, you can set a key word for each search engine. EG: I've set the key word for Wikipedia as "wiki"; To use search Wikipedia from the Omnibar, I just type in "wiki" and then whatever I'm searching for. Easy!

Yesterday I said "Gestures should be built into browsers." However the main reason I use gestures for is to go back or forward in the tab's browsing history. I've always thought that ALT+ARROW was too much in comparison to a mouse gesture, but Chrome has BS or SHIFT+BS. Sweet!

I did not mention the ability to undo a close tab, but I use it all the time. Apparently CTRL+SHIFT+T can un-close the last 10 tabs. This is supposed to compliment CTRL+T (which opens a new tab). I wonder if they experimented with an alternate shortcut for un-close by complimenting it with the close tab shortcut: CTRL+SHIFT+W compliments CTRL+W?

So really I'm just waiting for Add Ons!

2008-09-24t15:10:48 Z | TAGS: Browser, Flash, Google, Office, TECH, Videos
Issues with Spreadsheets right-click menu in Google Chrome: fixed in new Google Chrome version
Issues with Spreadsheets right-click menu in Google Chrome: fixed in new Google Chrome version []

Ah! It's about time that Google fixed their own app running on their own browser.

Note 1: I used Chrome as my primary browser for a week after it came out, but as much as I love the implementation of tabs on Chrome, I can't live without the Tree Style Tab add on for Firefox and the Google Bookmarks via the Google Toolbar in Firefox.

Note 2: I love how Google docs finally implemented an automated table of contents feature (Inserting items: Table of contents []) just like they have with Google Sites.

Note 3: Since Chrome came out, youtube has been working inconsistently. Right now youtube videos play on Chrome but not on Firefox for my machine Windows XP, but on my Windows Vista machine youtube videos play on Firefox but not on Chrome.

2009-02-10t16:48:11 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Engineering, Gadget, Google, Hardware, TECH, Text
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon
Kindle 2.0 by Amazon [] [VIA:]

Sweet! I think this version of electronic books will burst the dam, and we will finally see a shift away from paper books. This is different from the fading of paper newspapers because that was due to the Web. The Kindle 2.0 will succeed because of the confluence of wireless 3G technology, cloud data technology, Web integration in a light and natural way, paper-like rendition, the right physical size and weight, longer battery life (4 days to 2 weeks), Apple-like design, and, most importantly, commitment by a big player with big bucks, and a core strong interest in seeing this thing through.

At Amazon, we've always been obsessed with having every book ever printed, and we know that even the best reading device would be useless without a massive selection of books. Today, the Kindle Store has more than 230,000 books available, plus top newspapers, magazines, and blogs. This is just the beginning. Our vision is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds on Kindle. We won't stop until we get there.

Kindle 2.0 by Amazon: Easy to readKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Many books in oneKindle 2.0 by Amazon: Thin as a pencil

Google has been working on scanning in millions of public domain books, and they are working on getting those and other books available for mobile devices ("How Google Is Making Books Mobile" []), but the cell phone form factor is too small.

Amazon is the right company for e-books. Kindle accounts for 10% of what Amazon sells --I had no idea that Kindle was that big! I also like how they understand the reading experience of the "disappearing book":

The most elegant feature of a physical book is that it disappears while you're reading. Immersed in the author's world and ideas, you don't notice a book's glue, the stitching, or ink. Our top design objective was to make Kindle disappear--just like a physical book--so you can get lost in your reading, not the technology.
2009-03-26t16:48:50 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Tech, Google, HTML, Microsoft, Standards, TECH, Yahoo!
Specify your canonical
Specify your canonical []

This is a new link to include in HTML headers for the purpose of URL normalization [W]. It's supported by big players such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

Here are a few other related links:

It's so easy to implement, that I just tweaked my site to have it on almost all pages in just a few minutes.

2009-04-02t16:16:29 Z | TAGS: Audio, Communications, Cyber Life, Google, TECH
One Number to Rule Them All
One Number to Rule Them All []

The best explanation of Google Voice that I've seen so far.

Users will soon be able to register, sign up for a phone number in a local area code, and add multiple landline and cell-phone numbers to an account. When someone calls a Google Voice phone number, all the registered phones ring at the same time.
It's the voice equivalent of an e-mail address. Once you register a number, the idea is that you never have to worry about which phone you are using, even if you switch offices, homes, or cell phones.
Google Voice is also largely about unification. No matter which phone you use, there is one portal for all voice-mail messages. You can play them on the Web, save them as MP3 files, and even post a voice-mail message on a website using an HTML embed feature. Conference calls are also easy: just answer an incoming call to add it to the current one.
When a caller leaves a voice mail, Google Voice automatically records and transcribes the message, then sends the transcription to you via e-mail.
Google Voice lets you send and receive text messages--again, by routing them between existing carriers. You can view a list of every SMS message you have ever sent, which is a highly useful feature. It's easy to review a history of placed, missed, and recorded calls. You can also import contacts from various address books. And you can easily disable one or more phones using a feature called Do Not Disturb.
2009-04-13t15:46:12 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Programming, TECH
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store
Gmail Sidesteps the App Store []

The article is about mobile apps and the blurring distinction apps on mobile devices and web apps on mobile devices. I can see my company making mobile web apps in the near future.

This paragraph summarizes the technologies involved:

These features include a graphics tool called Canvas, "persistent storage," and an "application cache," explains Shyam Sheth, product manager on Google's mobile team. Canvas is something of an alternative to the popular Adobe Flash software that's commonly used to create graphics and animation on the Web. Persistent storage provides a way for data, originally on a remote server (such as Google's e-mail servers), to be stored locally, on the device. The HTML 5 application cache keeps important information about an application on the device that allows it to open quickly, as if it were running directly on the hardware instead of remotely. The iPhone version of Gmail uses only HTML 5, whereas Android uses a combination of HTML 5 and Gears (a Google software add-on that enables its Web apps to run offline).

This paragraph explains a major reason of why to do it. Cross platform programming is annoying!

Sheth says that there are a number of advantages for developers who build mobile applications via the Web. While there are only three major operating systems for desktops that developers need to learn, there are tens of mobile-device platforms with various different requirements. Applications can be built on the Web and need to be modified only slightly for different mobile devices. "Given the number of platforms we have in the mobile space," says Sheth, "we really need a unifying platform . . . That's why Google is so heavily investing in the Web becoming the common platform."
2009-04-30t15:47:13 Z | TAGS: Apple, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, My Stuff, TECH
Looking at the HTC Dream (aka T-Mobile G1)

My phone contract is up for renewal this May. I'm either going with a minimal phone that can phone, text, and takes pictures, or I'll go with a full smart phone.Here's the most in-depth look at the T-Mobile G1 phone: THE DEFINITIVE IN-DEPTH REVIEW: Optus HTC Dream with Google Android [].

I've also gathered basic stats to compare the G1 against the Apple iPhone:

Weight133 g158 g
Display3.5" 480x3203.2" 480x320
Camera2 Mpix3.2 Mpix
CPU620 MHz ARM 1176528 MHz ARM 11
RAM128 DRAM192 DDR SDRAM + 256 MB Flash
Storage8 or 16 GB built in1-8 GB microSD
Data Port30 pin dock connectorUSB
Audio Port3.5 mmUSB or USB with 3.5 mm dongle
RechargeDock to USBUSB
Battery Talk5 h5 h
Battery Standby300 h130 h
Battery Replacementdealer onlyyou or dealer

The G1 is appealing because I make heavy use of Google for email and calendar. Since my name is George, having a phone called "G1" has some ego appeal. It is also a pleasing coincidence that the G1 was released on my birthday in 2008.

2009-04-30t15:52:10 Z | TAGS: Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Open Source, Software, TECH
A New Breed of Netbook?
A New Breed of Netbook? []

It's a netbook running on a cell phone chip thus it's cheap, energy efficient, and it runs on Google's free (libre and gratis) Android operating system.

Currently, many netbooks use Intel's Atom processor, which is built using the x86 architecture found in most of the company's desktop, laptop, and server chips. Most netbooks get about an hour of power per battery cell. On an ARM-based notebook, Solis says, it could be possible to get eight hours from a three-cell battery. Of course, while long battery life is appealing, there is a definite trade-off. "If you're looking for a powerful speedy laptop, then these netbooks aren't for you," Solis says. "But if you're looking for something that can last you all day without recharging, and that's at an even lower cost than most netbooks, then these might work."
2009-05-22t18:22:45 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Google, News, TECH
A Speedier Google Chrome for all users
A Speedier Google Chrome for all users []

Google doesn't like versions (Gmail is still beta) so they're not making a big deal of upgrading the browser from Chrome 1 to Chrome 2. The upgrades seem trivial: Improved Tab Page? Please, I hardly use that. Full Screen Mode and Form Autofill? Umm, features that most browsers already have? The upgrades in speed and stability are less sexy but more important. I noticed right away that Chrome can finally play Youtube.

However Chrome still needs just three things:

People like me are eager to switch because as much as we love Firefox, it's still a memory hog.

PS: Google: The keyboard shortcuts to enter date (CTRL+;) and time (CTRL+:) in Google Spreadsheets are still broken for Chrome.

2009-06-10t20:46:11 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Tech, Google, TECH
Google Bookmarks Extension for Chrome
Google Bookmarks Extension for Chrome []

Apparently you can play with extensions for the Google Chrome browser. The only extension I really wanted for Chrome is access to Google Bookmarks. So here's what I did:

It puts your Google Bookmarks in Chrome's "Other bookmarks". Chrome updates syncs its bookmarks with Google Bookmarks every time open up Chrome. It's not perfect: Changes to your Chrome bookmarks do not sync your Google bookmarks, and are forgotten each time you open Chrome because it resyncs with Google Bookmarks. Instead use the star for Google Bookmarks on the bottom left.

2009-07-08t21:45:04 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Economy, Google, Money, TECH
Free is not a business model
Free is not a business model []

A renewal of the old saw: "There's no such thing as a free lunch". The article lists three ways that seemingly free things make money.

Advertising. As we've seen from Google Apps, non-intrusive advertising does seem to be accepted even for business use when it's perceived as funding free use of the application. SaaS vendors should be cautious, however, as we have no confirmed evidence even that Google (let alone anyone else offering ad-funded apps) makes enough from advertising to cover its costs.
Freemium. Distributing a free version in order to reach a wider market, among which some customers will decide to pay for premium services, is well established. It's worked for some open source vendors and for SaaS vendors with mass-market appeal as 37signals and As I've discussed previously, the trick is to target the right free users to yield a sufficiently lucrative conversion rate.
Syndication. I’m not sure about the name — it may end up being called something else — it’s the least developed of the three, but I think it holds the greatest potential. What I mean by syndication is delivering third-party services within an application and taking a commission on the sale.

The article doesn't cover other sites that are free because they are running on other people's money. For example: Twitter has no ads, freemium, or syndication, because right now they're living off of venture capitalist money. Also there's gold in the data they collect. The same applies to Quicken which provides free online personal finance software. The same would apply to whoever comes out with a popular Web-based personal health record [W].

Other organizations that provide free stuff via other people's money include not-for-profit organizations (like Wikipedia) that run on donations and public works (think roads, police, NASA, school lunches, etc.) that run on tax dollars or are subsidized.

2009-07-10t19:13:15 Z | TAGS: Animation, Apple, Browser, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, Microsoft, Programming, Standards, Sun Microsystems, TECH, Videos
Rich Internet Apps

Just a quickie tech review:

2009-07-22t15:55:16 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Books, Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Images, Photos, Reading, Software, TECH, Videos
Head in the clouds

I've always been a "head in the clouds" sort of fellow. I'm forgetful and my mind wanders off and follows threads that catch my eye. So it's no wonder that when it comes to technology, I'm ready for the cloud.

Google already has a lot of my personal data in Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Documents, Google Notebooks.

Surprisingly Google is not generous with storage space at Picasa, because then I might dump all my photos there. Perhaps they're still working on that GDrive or they're worried about the massive amounts of porn pictures people would upload. Perhaps Flickr is the way to go. I don't make many videos, but we need something similar for that.

Intuit or Quicken handles my personal finances. I already pay most of my bills automatically online.

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

I'd like to have my Personal Health Record (PHR) at some place like Google Health or Microsoft Health Vault. I'd like to be able to manage my family's PHRs too. I'd like to be able to import/export my PHR and import/export data from any health provider's Electronic Health Records (EHRs).

Journals or blogs already exist. I'm not so much into the social aspect of blogs but others are. For social two-way "journaling", I think short and fast via Facebook works fine, or a group mailing list. Twitter works for even lighter talks with the masses. RSS readers are OK, but they don't rank like Digg or Reddit.

Apps that are on or offline, smart phone, netbook, or desktop are in the flux and sort of annoying. Phones need bigger and better lenses: We don't need SLR lens but something bigger than a pinhole.

Yada, yada, yada. All this computer cloud stuff still doesn't compare to following the clouds that float by in my own head.

2009-07-28t16:42:14 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Audio, Books, Computers, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Family, Gadget, Google, Hardware, Inspiring, Kids, Music, My Stuff, Reading, Software, Standards, TECH, Text, Videos
Digital Media and e-Books

In my post Head in the clouds, I stated the following:

I'd like to Amazon (or Barnes and Noble) to sell and store digital media like ebooks, videos, and music. There are some books that are so beautiful or big or both that I'd prefer a print copy, but for most books, an ebook would do. I don't want physical media disks at my house getting scratched and broken. I don't mind them using some consumer-mindful form of Digital Rights Management (DRM) to ensure that I'm not stealing. I'd like to supplement the DRM digital media with DRM-free media from other sources like Google Books and the Gutenberg Project, PDFs, MP3s, etc. Perhaps I'd store it at GDrive. In any case, I should be able to stream digital media (if I'm online) or download them (at least temporarily) for access either on or offline.

The whole topic of digital media is a big topic. These days I'm focused on digital books but they're all related.

Before I continue, let me just quickly jot down the sub-topics:
  • Media types.
  • Physical size.
  • Device features.
  • Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.
  • Social media.

Media types

Media types is a seemingly easy sub-topic. The media types are essentially text, pictures, audio, video, and apps. Simple enough. That's the media that the user receives (and the device outputs). The user however also sends "media" (and the device inputs). This includes text, voice, movements, and selections. There are other nuances such as the streaming aspect (EG: radio), the asynchronous aspect (EG: email), and combinations (EG: comics). A lot of sight, sound, motion, and time sensing, but not much in the way taste, touch, or smell. Things like the Wii do some motion and momentum input/output too.

Physical size

This is actually seemingly simple too.

Device features

Device features will vary greatly between makers and models initially, but as the technology matures, the differences between makers and models of the same class will become more subtle.

Content and Money: Creator, seller, and buyer.

This is the real heart of the issue. The users/buyers are most concerned about the content, but these days the content is tied to the money.

Users have three kinds of content:

There have been three stages of content:

How do the creators and sellers control the copying of the media? And how can they ensure that they get their fair share of the buyer's money? In the digital media industry, the first medium to face this problem head on has been the music industry. Pirating (or illegal copying) of music still occurs. For a while it seemed that the answer was digital rights managment (DRM), but this seemed to hamper on the buyers right to legally copy media for which they had paid for. So far it seems that the answer is not DRM, but to trust that people will honor copyright laws and pay the seller (and hence the creator) their money. A comparison of online music stores [W] shows that the most successful don't use DRM. The available formats (such as mp3, aac, m4a, aiff, wav, ogg) are trivial given all the available converters.

Copyrighted digital text is in the news lately because e-book readers started becoming good enough and popular enough that major books are being sold in digital format. The different e-book readers are using DRM and different files.

Here's a quick review of different e-book formats. See also Comparison of e-book formats [W]. Some of them can implement DRM.

  • .txt. Simple text. Preferably UTF-8, but Unicode, windows-1252, iso-latin-1, or even ASCII will do.
  • .htm. Simple HTML. Variants include .chm, .lit, and plucker.
  • .pdf. Portable Document Format. Practically universal. Many things can be exported or printed to PDF.
  • .rtf. Rich Text Format.
  • XML based:
    • .opf. Open eBook
    • .epub. Supercedes .opf
    • .mobi, .prc. Mobipocket. Based on .opf. Available to the iRex/Philips iLiad e-book reader.
    • .azw. Amazon Kindle e-book. Based on .mobi.
    • .arg. Arghos Diffusion.
    • Digital Accessible Information System (DAISY)
    • .fb2. FictionBook.
    • Text Encoding Initiative.
  • .tr2, .tr3. TomeRaider.
  • .ps. PostScript.
  • .djvu. DjVu. Especially for images.
  • .pdb. eReader (formerly Palm Digital Media/Peanut Press). For Also used by the Barnes & Noble Plastic Logic e-reader.
  • .lrf, .lrx. Broadband eBooks. For the Sony Reader.

Here are the major e-book readers (see more at List of e-book readers [W] and their primary formats:

Just to make it explicit, one of the issues is that with DRM and no standard format, if you buy stuff from one store, then you have to use their reader. If you want to buy stuff from two stores, then you need two readers, and so on. In contrast, you can buy a CD from any store and play it on any CD player.

The digital music industry went through this DRM issue, i.e. it was a real world experiment done with real creators, sellers, and buyers. The result is that overwhelming majority of buyers are honest folk who will respect copyright laws and will pay the sellers and the creators their money. DRM tried to control illegal copying, but actually it was a stumbling block for buying and fair buyer use of media that they legally paid for. I guess that the print media has a years of physical media experience that it has to over come in this digital media world. Copyright laws still apply. Just because it is easier to copy, doesn't make it legal, and the numbers show that the greater sales without DRM are worth the losses due to piracy. The print media probably also has a psychological issue of going without DRM because digital songs are $0.99 while digital books are $9.99. In any case, print media will experiment with using digital print, and, like digital music, may drop DRM after they run through the same experiment but with text instead of audio, and with different prices and different uses.

Social media

Let me gripe a bit about some of the hoops I, as a buyer, have to go through:

My wife bought a Kindle 2 and then the price dropped. Learning from her experience, I want to get a Kindle DX --as soon as the price drops. We each have our own accounts at Amazon. A DRM protected Kindle book must be associated with an Amazon account and can be accessed on up to 6 Kindle-compatible devices, where each device is registered to the same Amazon account. A Kindle-compatible account can only be registered with one Amazon account at a time. This gives us several options:

  1. Buy Kindle books via both of our separate Amazon accounts. If I wanted to share a Kindle book with her (or any one else), then I'd have to lend someone my Kindle DX, or have an extra Kindle registered to my account that I could lend. Neither option sounds very good. She could also just buy the same book on her own account but that's not sharing something I own --it's buying it again. Separate accounts does have the advantage of privacy in that we could each purchase Kindle books that we don't want the other to know about.
  2. Buy Kindle books via just her Amazon account. My Kindle DX would be registered to her account. We would be able to share books, but we would have the same Kindle book list, plus I would also be able to see her non-Kindle book purchases and info at Amazon.If we got a 3rd Kindle for the family in general, then we could put particular books on that Kindle, but they could also connect to Amazon with the Kindle and see all our other books.
  3. Create a new family Amazon account and use that for buying Kindle books. Our Kindles would then be registered to the family Amazon account. This scenario is exactly the same as the previous scenario except that we could continue to use our separate Amazon accounts for non-Kindle purchases and thus have privacy for that stuff from each other.

FYI: The scenario is roughly the same for Barnes & Noble, where the e-books are tied to an account. There is the added difference that Barnes & Noble uses .pdb, whose DRM scheme is also tied to a credit card.

In actuality, my wife, my kids, and I are pretty open and we don't care who sees whose books or Amazon purchases so we're going with option #2. With non-DRM e-books the scenario becomes much easier. We can share copies of e-books that we bought within our family. We know that it would be illegal to copy it and give it to others. Perhaps we should be allowed to lend copies to friends that expire in a week. That should whet their appetites so they might buy the book for themselves. On the other hand wouldn't all those broke college students find some way to get free copies of the books they need? People have to realize that if the sellers and creators don't make money, then how can they continue to give us good content?

In one sense digital print has been around for a while: The Web has lots of text! Social digital print has also been around for a while: Email! Blogs! Groups! Facebook! The "social" aspect of digital media as in songs and books however, is only just starting. It's not just a matter of finding out what's hot as in Pandora, Spotify, etc., but of discussing, note taking, excerpting. Of the e-book readers, only the iRex/Philips iLiad has serious note taking features. Each e-book should have at least one site that's a jumping point for discussions centered around the book.


Anyhow this post is getting a little long. What I do with books is find them, buy them, read them, bookmark my place, take notes, look things up, share them with folks, and reference the books. I'd like to be able to do the same thing with e-books, but with the advantage of portability, some connectivity, and digital notes. I'm tempted by the Apple tablet because it has color, video, and can take notes, but it would also need a big book store, free connectivity, and better battery life. Amazon and Barnes & Noble should continue to compete against each other for a cheaper e-book reader that can take better notes and can read e-books from more sources. The big thing is that more and more books should be digitized. The World Wide Web is amazing, Google is amazing, Wikipedia is amazing. The ability to access all the books, old or new, from anywhere would be amazing too!

2010-02-09t16:10:29 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH
Chrome versus Firefox 2010-02

I periodically compare Firefox (FF) and Chrome (C). Here's how I compare them now:

The improved Google bookmarks extension was probably the single most important difference for me. But since that's fixed, this may be the month that I switch to Chrome. May the browser wars continue!

2010-09-14t16:01:10 Z | TAGS: Browser, Cyber Life, Cyber Tech, Firefox, Google, TECH
How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome
How to Enable Vertical Tabs in Google Chrome []

You can add vertical tabs to the Chrome browser in Windows with these steps:

  1. Right-click your shortcut to Chrome.
  2. Select "Properties".
  3. Add --enable-vertical-tabs to the end of the "Target" field.
  4. Open Chrome

It's not quite as good as the TreeStyle tabs Add-on in Firefox but it's getting there.

Chrome is so close to matching Firefox. I have a list of feature differences between the various browsers but between Chrome and Firefox, here are my top differences:

Here are a few things that I used to have an issue between the browsers:

2011-05-10t17:59:40 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Gadget, Google, Operating System, TECH
Multitasking the Android Way
Multitasking the Android Way []
One of the first things that the Verizon person did on my new phone was install "Advanced Task Killer". I let it happen but a task killer is not necessary because Android handles it automatically. You can do it manually if you feel like it: Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, Running, click an app, then Force stop.
2011-05-11t17:40:27 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Microsoft, Music, TECH
About Music Beta by Google
About Music Beta by Google []

The music cloud wars are upon us.

Get your music from anywhere (Apple, Amazon, etc), sync them and store them at Google's cloud. Like Amazon Cloud Player, you don't have to worry about space. Apple's music cloud should be coming out soon. Microsoft?

It shouldn't just be music though. It should be contacts, books, videos, photos, files, whatever. Key issues include syncing multiple sources, monetizing, and selecting subsets for when your offline with little space.

2011-12-28t17:10:29 Z | TAGS: Amazon, Apple, Cyber Life, Google, Hardware, Microsoft, My Stuff, Software, TECH
Review of my software usage

I periodically do a review of my software usage -- especially if I've gotten a new computer! However this year I'll emphasize software on my phone and tablet.

Hardware and Operating System:

Games: Lots available for phone, tablet, comp, console, physical, etc. These are more for my kids.

Comics: Just read in print or online with a big screen!

Reading: Going with e-books if available. Hesitating on digital NGM because we love the print.

News: Perhaps we all check the news too often!

Audio: I don't do lots of music, but so far I like Amazon's handling of music better than Google and Apple. Yay radio!

Media: I watch YouTube and Netflix, but I don't do much TV, otherwise cable and Hulu might be interesting.

Phone: I use the fewest phone minutes in my family. Waiting for phone wallets to mature.

SMS/IM: Yes, my family texts/chats often!

Email: I prefer to do email at a full computer. Urgent communications should be done by phone or text.

Social: I prefer to do social sites on a full computer. I do Facebook, but barely do Twitter and the rest.

Office and Files: I prefer to do office stuff on a full computer but I love having centralized simple text files that my wife and I can both access. I'd really like to log my workouts in my Google Docs spreadsheets but the interface is a clunky.

Maps: Mobile maps is important when you're travelling.

Utilities: A calculator with basic science functions should be built-in!

Special Apps:


Non-mobile computer software brief version:

2013-08-13t22:02:11 Z | TAGS: Cyber Life, Google, Ramblings, TECH, Thoughts
Gmail Categories

Gmail had Labels and Filters. Then it added Smartlabels (Bulk, Notification, and Forum) in Labs (and is still in Labs). Then it added Categories as Tabs and Labels (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums) not through labs (possibly because it's the "graduate" version of Smartlabels).

I've been using Gmail's tabbed Categories for a few weeks now and I have been fairly satisfied. It has convinced me to get rid of a few labels and filters that I had before. For example: I used to have a Label and Filter I called "ADMIN", but it effectively functioned like "Notification" in Smartlabels, which in effectively functioned like the "Updates" Category.

However, there's always something. Here are three minor issues I have Categories so far:

1. Occasionally a new message will appear in the west for a Category Label, but will not appear in the Category Inbox Tab. Odd and a little annoying. Possibly just an asynchronous issue.

2. My guess that Gmail starts with what it thinks should go in each Category. Gmail probably starts by pre-identifying known social sources (like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus), promotional sources (like Amazon, Microsoft Store, and GrubHub), and update sources (like banks, Mint, and credit cards). Then Gmail probably learns which sources should go in which Category after you drag them into another Category several times. HOWEVER, I have been dragging emails from one Category Inbox Tab to another, but Gmail seems to be slow on learning my preferences.

3. When you have an email open in one Category Inbox Tab and switch to another, Gmail keeps that email open. Some people may like that, but I think it's a bit confusing to step away from Gmail for (gasp!) a few minutes, and then come back to find some email open that is not part of the currently selected Category Inbox Tab.

Over all, Categories automatically gives lots of people functionality that was only available to "power users" that tweaked their Gmail account.

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