Monday, 27 October 2008

Google Earth on the iPhone

Most of you have probably already heard this,  Google Earth is now available for the iPhone. Watch the video below, you'll definitely feel like myself and want to get rid of that old crappy cellphone and get an iPhone. For a complete review of the Google Earth on the iPhone, check out the Google Earth blog

Google Provides Advice for Saving Energy

One of the main reasons I am a fan of Google is their environmental attitudes. On a recent blog post, they posted a link to an energy saving calculator and also a list of tips to save money. They also posted the point that if 80% of Americans closed their fireplace flue instead of leaving them open, $6 billion could be saved in 1 year. Heres some more Google new/links:
  • Gmail  now has new labs feature called Canned Responses. This allows you to save those common replies and send in other email messages.  

New Gadget for Google Docs Spreadsheets

Just got this from the Google Docs blog. The folks over there have been working with a company called Viewpath that deals with project management solution. Anyways, they have added a Gantt chart gadget which is a  bar chart that illustrates a project schedule. Check out the video below.

Friday, 24 October 2008

Gmail Has Emoticons!!

It has finally happened, Gmail  finally has emoticons, and a good selection. Check out the pic below. Gmail just keeps getting better, especially if you have the labs option selected. Way to go Google!!

Thursday, 23 October 2008

New Gmail for Mobile 2.0

If you own a Blackberry or J2ME-supported phone, your in luck. There is a new version available for you that makes Gmail for Mobile faster, more reliable, and has basic offline support for most of the above mentioned phones. To find out more details on this, check out the official Gmail blog post  and also the video below. To download it, just visit Now I want a phone that can actually run this, maybe Santa will bring me one. 

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Adsense + Google Analytics

Just read this from the Adsense blog, Adsense users will now be able to look at more data with Google Analytics.All users do not have this feature yet, but will so in the near future. Since I am too sick with a cold to type anymore, check out the original post for more details. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Project Draw: Another Advancement in Cloud Computing

The photo above is taken from the online vector graphics editor called Project Draw. This program is free, and to save the project all you need to do is set up an account, it may take a maximum of 2 minutes to setup and it requires the use of Google Gears. When compared to desktop based graphics editors, Project Draw is somewhat basic. There are a limited number of shapes present, a few line styles (i.e., dashed, solid etc), line width and colour can be varied, curves can be drawn and connected, and objects can be placed as layers. There a few more features but these are the major ones. Hopefully more advanced editing options will be added and people can move away from their desktop and enter the cloud.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

New iGoogle Interface + More News

The coolest news item of the week is the revamped iGoogle (iG)  design. This now features full canvas views for gadgets and support for full feed reading (check out the Reader gadget). So, in the pic below, when I click on Google Docs, the gadget panel will switch to just Google docs. As you will notice, the tabs are gone and replaced with a navigation panel. I am a huge fan of this new design. Now for the rest of the news in the world of Google. 

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Unable to Access Google Apps!!

Well folks, it has happened again, some people have gone again without access to Gmail and Google Apps. On August 12th, they had a similar problem. This recent one started on Wednesday afternoon of this week with users not being able to access their Apps/Gmail (thank goodness it never affected me) accounts and some had to wait up to 24hrs to regain access. I don't know what I would do if this happened to me, I'm a Gmailholic and constantly looking at notifications from my Google Talk labs edition. Google is putting out great products, but when problems like this occur, I feel that they should get some of these products out of beta and put the "highly reliable" stamp on them. 

Friday, 17 October 2008

$Google's Profits: Show Me The Money!!$

Looks like Google keeps bringing in the dollaz, their profit topped analysts' estimates which is quite amazing with a slowing economy. Its 3rd quarter profit per share was $4.92, analysts estimates were at $4.75. Since I am far from being an economists, check out this article  on the cbc website.  

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Dreaming About Cloud Computing    

Approximately 1 week ago I took about a short nap, and after this I realized that I thing about cloud computing a lot. During this nap I dreamed about having online access to all of my work documents and fun files, I could retrieve my music playlists from anywhere, and work on vector based graphics at home. Will this dream come true in the future? I think yes. When Google Docs was released a few years ago, I was totally amazed. If someone had told me in 2000 that word processing, spreadsheeting, and creating presentations could all be done online, I would have called them crazy. Although these are somewhat limited when compared to their desktop counterparts, they have features that can create high quality documents for everyday use. Cloud computing is also evolving at a rapid rate. New features are constantly being added to Google Docs, and some other applications such as the Zoho suite have even more advanced features (especially their presentation software). Besides the standard applications, cloud computing is also getting into other realms such as graphic editing. Today I discovered Project Draw which is feature-rich web-based vector drawing application. Although not as complete as Corel Draw, it again gets the job done for those common everyday documents. Besides the current state and rapid advancement of cloud computing, the infrastructure is also improving. Browsers are becoming faster and Google's browser Chrome emphasizes the use of online applications with its Create Application Shortcut menu option. This combined with increased internet speeds, more efficient data centers, and greater allotment of online disk space (Gmail in 2005 had a 1 GB storage, now it is >7 GB, more than the hard drive on my 2001 laptop!!) will all help speed up the evolution of cloud computing. To summarize, cloud computing is here to stay and will continue to increase in popularity as desktop applications move to the cloud. In the future we'll all be saying, "I can't believe we stored our data and ran our applications from our desktop computer, we were so primitive!!"

Google Docs Has Footnotes!!

Google Docs keeps adding great features. Footnotes can now be added, all you have to do is click on Insert and than Footnote. These will appear on screen in the document margin. When printed, they will be at the bottom of the page and the same is true when exported as a .pdf. For the other file formats they will appear at the end of the document as endnotes. Hopefully the next thing on the list for Google Docs will be an equation editor and .pdf editor. 

Update 12:10 p.m.: This feature was available at 6 a.m. ET, I tried accessing it at 8:30 a.m. ET and it was removed from the Insert menu, must have been some bug with it. When it is working again I'll includ
e a screen shot.  

Update 2:30 p.m.: The new Footnote feature is now accessible, check out the screenshot below. 

Monday, 13 October 2008

Open Office 3.0: Too Many Downloads

I just tried to download OpenOffice 3.0 and got the following message:

"Apologies - our website is struggling to cope with the unprecedented demand for the new release 3.0 of The technical teams are trying to come up with a solution."

Anyways, I've been using the beta of this for 4 months and it is excellent, much more stable than previous versions and it supports the new Microsoft file formats. This combined with Google Docs should meet all of your needs.

Full TV Episodes Now on YouTube

Well folks, life is all about change. I have decided to get rid of Google Roundup :( and instead include a weeks summary of Google related news along with a major story. The major story of this post is that some full-length TV episodes are now available on YouTube. The original Star Trek along with 90210 are available plus a few more, but these are only available in the US, I tried to view them but I received the following message: "This video is not available in your country." Boo!!!! I hate when this happens, and it happens a lot, not just for YouTube but when I try to view shows from any of the major American TV networks. Of course, there will be advertisements in these full episodes, in pre-, mid-, and post-rolls. Thats all I have to say about this because I can't actually view any episodes. Here goes a summary of other Google related news:

  • A buried pyramid has been recently discovered in the Peruvian desert. Check out a view of it in Google Earth.Also take a look at marine protected areas in Google Earth, which are part of a plan developed at the 4th World Conservation Congress.

  • If your and Mac user, Picasa Web uploader now allows easily export of a movie from iPhoto '08 and geotagging info will now be preserved in any photos with this update.

  • For Google Sites users, stemming and synonym support has been added for search. Also, an option has been added to search "my sites" or "all sites." For more details on this check out the Google Sites blog.
  • Advanced IMAP controls are now available in Gmail labs. The coolest feature is that folders can be chosen for synching with IMAP.
  • Here is another bit of YouTube news. It now has "click-to-buy" links which are retail links placed on the watch page beneath the video. These are content related, and are products like songs and video games.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Enjoying Apple iPond Nano 4th Gen

This is an  unrelated Google post, but I had to put it out there. I have been an iPod user for 8 months now, my girlfriend purchased a 8 GB 3rd Gen iPod nano for me last Christmas, and I absolutely love it. Walking to work is much more enjoyable, but the primary use is for video playback. I have the universal dock and composite cables, so I can easily rent a movie with iTunes and watch it on my JVC televesion. Anyways, I returned the favour/gift and purchased the 4th Gen. iPod Nano (8 GB) for her graduation, she is amazed by it. Feature wise it is similar to the 3rd Gen, the look is much different, but the biggest difference is that when turned horizontal, the screen also turns such that the image is also horizontal. This feature is called the accelerometer and can be also used with games, basically actions on the screen responds to iPod movement/orientation. Check out the video below, super cool!!
My iPod

           iPod 4th Gen Accelerometer in Action

New Google Earth Imagery

Hi everyone, I just got this info from the Google Earth blog. In the next few months Google Earth is going to get a bunch of new satellite imagery. The resolution is amazing (0.5 m/pixel), check out the pic below. I think it looks much sharper than the current images. Also, if your a Google Earth fanatic, you should definitely check out the Google Earth blog

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Adsense + Video Games

Today Google announced that if you are a developer/publisher of web-based games, you'll be able to place ads within them. I realize that advertising is a key part of economics/business, but it seems like its everywhere these days and I feel overloaded by it. Check out the videos below and the Official Adsense post for more details.  

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Wearing the Gmail Goggles

Many of times as a university student I wore the drunk goggles, now its time to wear the Google Goggles. I should mention that whenever I see the word goggle, I think it is google. Anyways, many of times I have sent emails that I shouldn't have, Gmail has a partial solution to this. The new feature is called Mail Goggles and it checks your alertness to see if you really want to send that email by doing simple to complex (difficulty can be set) problems with a time limit. By default, the Mail Goggle time is set to late night and on the weekend, but this can be set to anytime or any day. This is an excellent feature, and will hopefully reduce my number of apologetic emails. Enjoy!!!

Setting up Mail Goggles

Mail Goggles

Google Roundup for September 29th-Ocotber 6th

On the Google front, it has been rather quiet for the past week. The biggest item was the Google Blog Search, but I already covered it this week. Here goes another round of Google Roundup:
  • Check out this KML file to view the location of Minaret Lake, where Steve Fossett crashed his plane. If you didn't know who this guy was, he was an adventurer who flew solo around the world in a balloon, check out this Wikipedia article about him. Look at this Google Earth Blog post for more information.
  • New cities have been added to Google Earth that have 3D buildings and some cities such as Washing DC have a KML network link file to report on the status of fire hydrants.

  • Read about Google's analysis of how fossil fuels can be decreased significantly by 2030. Read a summary of this on the Official Google Blog. Also check out the graph of how Google's servers/data centers are more energy efficient than average ones. Google, what a company hey?
  • YouTube Insight has been improved with the addition of a new feature called Hotspots which shows the highs and lows of viewership. Pretty neat for people who want to know when and possibly why people are abandoning their video.

I think I made a mistake above, their was quite a bit of news, and I seemed to really enjoy adding photos this time around. Life is about variety hey? Cheers.

Monday, 6 October 2008

New Google Spreadsheet Interface

Hello Everyone, hopefully Monday morning is going better for you than me. Anyways, Google spreadsheets has a new interface, check out the pic below. I only played around with it for about 10 minutes, the layout of the interface made things flow well. The only complaint, and this is a big one, I could not figure out how to view formulas for cell contents. 
Update: After enjoying a large coffee and an apple, I found where the formulas are at in cell contents. Near the lower left bottom of the screen. Yes!!!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

New Redesigned Google Blog Search

Heres some good news for us bloggers out there, Google has created a new homepage for new homepage for Google Blog Search. This looks and feels very similar to Google News whereby blog posts are placed in categories (top stories) on the left panel, and the main page has top/new blogs listed covering a range of topics. When a category is clicked on from the left panel, this goes to top/new blogs within that category. Then when the number of stories for a blog topic is clicked, in this example, Microsoft talking about its new cloud, a graph of number of blogs vs. time is shown. As a side note, it seems like Microsoft is constantly trying to catchup with Google these days. I think that this will be a great way for bloggers to increase traffic. In the past I would try to read a few blogs everyday, but finding what I wanted to read was difficult. It was if blogs were just thrown out there, no real organization, and if you might find what you wanted to read. This is an excellent way of organizing blogs and telling which topics are popular.

New Google Blog Search Homepage

Blogs Within a Topic

#Blogs vs. Time