Thursday, February 14, 2008

Google Docs Loves Me! (This I know...)

I use Google Docs a good bit. I find them very useful for little things. I never thought to try to replace my Excel with it, but for a small sheet that I might collaborate with others on, Google Docs is simply faster and easier to use. Since they are so useful, I might have occasionally thought that I was in love with these apps. What I never realized until today was that Google Docs loves me! They have styled the page today using pink and hearts in place of stars. It's very cute.

qv: [Google Docs]

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Google delivers "Free GPS" to every cell phone

With it's new "My Location" feature, Google Maps for Mobile has finally let most of us determine (approximately) where we are in the world by looking at our cell phones.

How to use it?
  1. Load the new version of Google Maps for Mobile.
  2. Press the Zero key.
GMM then uses information gleaned from your local cell towers to approximate where you are on it's map. This is useful for you, because you could then ask Google where the closest lunch spot might be. It's good for Google because they are giving you reasonably useful information based on where they think you are.

What's next?

That means Google will soon be able to put adverts alongside the the location data it delivers and stores might be able to use such an advertising platform to deliver promotional information to your phone that might actually be useful to you. I'd like to know if there was one coffee shop or another that might care to issue a coupon for me to step into there shop as opposed to someone else's.

This video explains how My Location works:

qv: Google Maps for Mobile with My Location

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Welcome Your Day listeners -- this way to Google Streets Post

If you are first visiting this blog because you heard today's segment on Your Day about Google Streets, then you may want to read this longer post over at the ThinkHammer Blog which was the genesis of today's radio segment.

qv: [ThinkHammer Blog]

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Think Greenville is back!

www.ThinkGreenville.comI first started toying with the idea of "Think Greenville" in April of 2003. I thought to make something commercial of it, then got busy with other things. It's always been in the back of my head, but languished for lack of cycles on my part. In the past two weeks, I have relaunched it twice again. First I relaunched it using Blogger but quickly and accidentally invoked a DNS demon that rendered it unavailable for six days! (It's a long story.) As it was recovering from its torpor, I decided that what I really wanted was something of an art project. The goal of ThinkGreenville is to have my own little spot to celebrate the fun, beautiful, cool, and interesting bits of Greenville's downtown area. It's now hosted using the delightfully svelt bloghost Tumblr.


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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Google themes make me happy...

Google is the default center of my search universe, and I use their personalized home page as my default home page. They have now launched themes for the service which deliver cute time of day appropriate scenes wrapped around your selected theme.

qv: [Google Personalized]

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Secret Weapon for organizing clubs, and non-profit oranizations -- Google Groups (now out of beta)

Coordinating the volunteers of small clubs and organizations is a challenge. Email has made this communication quicker, but not always surer. You not only need to swap ideas among members, you also need something of a repository of ideas so that you have continuity as volunteers come on and off the group.

Google Groups gives clubs, interest groups, and non-profit organizations the tools they need to communicate with their members. The new version (released today) extends their services beyond just delivery of email. Google Groups now lets you share web pages, and resource files and all of the services have custom permission settings which allow you to be selective about who sees and edits the information on those messages, files, and web pages.

Today's Announcement from Google Groups:

New Options for Custom, Private Web Pages Take Groups Beyond Message Boards

Starting today, the latest version of Google Groups can give your group its own easy-to-build home on the web for sharing and maintaining information, including tools for creating customized web pages that help you give your group its own special look and feel. Whether you're running a forum for technology lovers, sharing the latest reviews from your book or wine club, posting practice schedules and team information for your soccer league, or planning a neighborhood barbecue, Google Groups gives you a colorful, central place to collect photos, documents, links, messages, and more over time.

Web products for groups have traditionally focused on an email thread or message board format; they've been largely text based. Google Groups, however, now provides a richer forum for group collaboration with the following new features:
  • Pages. Create and contribute to shared web pages with simple drag, drops, cuts, pastes, and clicks (i.e., no coding).
  • Customized look and feel. Select pictures, colors, and styles to express your group's style.
  • Member profiles. See who else is in the group and read their profiles. Personalize your own profile with a photo and other details.
  • File sharing. Post documents that anyone in the group can access.
  • Easy reading of group discussions. Read easily in a Gmail-style interface.
Group owners have a variety of options for managing access to the group. They can choose to make all content completely private and visible only to group members, or they can offer their pages and resources up to the world. There are also options for controlling viewing and editing capabilities for individual group members.
qv: Google Groups

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Google plans to spend up to $600 million on data center in NC

MapAccording to the AP, Google will build a data center in Lenoir, NC:
Search engine giant Google Inc. will expand its high-tech infrastructure into a small town in western North Carolina, creating up to 210 jobs and investing as much as $600 million, state and company officials said Friday.
Hmmmm.... Lenoir, not Blythewood as previously hoped by The State newspaper..

qv: Google plans to spend up to $600 million...


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Google opening data center in South Carolina?

Google believed to be considering massive data center near Blythewood, SC

The State Reports

The proposed $200 million to $800 million data center, which could be built in two stages, could employ as many as 600 people.

The complex would include eight 10-acre warehouses chock-full of computer servers...
qv: The State

Where is Blythewood, SC?


Friday, December 15, 2006

New Google Toolbar for Firefox

The new beta version of the Google Toolbar lets users to create, label and manage bookmarks for their favorite sites with a single click. Bookmarks are now saved to a user's Google Account, making them accessible from any computer. For example, if a user bookmarks an interesting news article at work that they want to read later, they can now easily access the saved bookmark from their home computer by simply logging in to their Google Account.

qv: [New! Google Toolbar Beta]

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Santa has taken flight on Google Earth!

Google has announced Santa's flight and the web page is now active. For the next 12 days you can look for presents on Google Earth and watch Santa in flight on the big day.

I'm giddy with excitement!

qv: [Track Santa on Google Earth]

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Friday, December 08, 2006

Santa will be hiding toys on Google Earth

From the Google Earth Newsletter:
Santa Sits
'Tis (almost) the season, and when Christmas Eve finally arrives, Santa Claus fans all over the world will be able to track his minute-to-minute whereabouts, with the help of some friendly elves and Google Earth. Be sure to visit starting on December 12th to learn more.

Santa Tracker is a KML file, viewable in Google Earth that shows a 3D SketchUp model of Santa flying around the world delivering presents on the evening of December 24th, Christmas Eve. This year, Santa will also be hiding some giant toys in Google Earth. Beginning on December 12th, Santa will leave a clue outside of his house at the North Pole up until his flight on December 24th. Each clue can be used to find a city where a giant SketchUp model of a toy is hidden. Each day, the location of the toy from the day before will be revealed. Don't forget to visit the website on December 12th to see Santa.

Just four more days until Santa appears on Google Earth! (I hope he brings that red wagon I've been asking for.)

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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wanna know if you are totally hip to what's going on right now?

How many of the following can you explain in one breath?
1. britney spears
2. valentin elizalde
3. cyber monday
4. christmas wallpaper
5. national weather service
6. nativity
7. christmas tree
8. kate winslet
9. kendra jade
10. charlie brown christmas

What do they have in common? They are this week's top gainers in the Google Zeitgeist. How can Google claim to have a clue to the Zeitgeist? Well, if zeitgeist means the spirit of the time, and as a group we all end up searching for the things we think about, then Google is as good a place as any to catch the spirit of the (online) world. Peer into the many minds of the world's citizens by country on their zeitgeist by country page.

Always totally hip to tech, but not nearly so on pop culture, I couldn't tell you anything about numbers 2 and 9. Until I click the links, I won't know if they are tennis players or porn stars. That puts me at eight out of ten and in my system that's earns me a grade of "B."

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Google Maps for Mobile adds GPS, but where is the Blackberry support?

Google has announced GPS support for their Google Maps for Mobile. Alas, only the Samsung Helio is supported in this initial release. I have used Google Maps on my various Blackberry phones with great success. I have been amazed at just how slick they have been able to make the Blackberry Client. Pan, Zoom, routed directions, and the satellite view all work to the amazement and delight of anyone I show it to. The satellite view really is amazing when you are in an area with good pictures. The only missing feature is the ability to start routing a map from wherever you are, especially if you don't know exactly where that is. I understand that keeping the GPS unit on in the Blackberry would be an incredible drain on the battery, but allowing the software to just ask "Where am I?" on an as needed basis would be a great help with much less impact on battery life.

Blackberry owners unite! Beg Google for GPS support for the Blackberry!

qv: [Google Blog - Get Lost]

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Google, Yahoo, Micrsoft Agree on sitemaps -- Hmm....

The Press Release starts:

In the first joint and open initiative to improve the Web crawl process for search engines, Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft today announced support for Sitemaps 0.90 (, a free and easy way for webmasters to notify search engines about their websites and be indexed more comprehensively and efficiently, resulting in better representation in search indices. For users, Sitemaps enables higher quality, fresher search results. An initiative initially driven by Yahoo! and Google, Sitemaps builds upon the pioneering Sitemaps 0.84, released by Google in June of 2005, which is now being adopted by Yahoo! and Microsoft to offer a single protocol to enhance Web crawling efforts.
Now added to The Infinite List Of ToDos --create sitemaps for my websites.

qv: Sitemaps

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

First post with new Google Beta Blogger

It looks like Google has made the new version of Blogger available for all blogs now. This blog is posted via ftp to my own hosting service, a configuration not previously was not supported by the beta Blogger while they were testing. Google says it works. I guess I'll know in a minute or two. This is my first post using the new version of Blogger.

ps: Google still refers to this new version of Blogger as Beta Blogger. Wasn't the last version of Blogger a beta as well? And doesn't this name sound like some sort of heart medicine?

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