Google Chrome in the Speed of Light

The reason I went Firefox 3 on my new PC just recently is to feel the rush of having a browser that leaf through web pages at the speed of light, sadly it’s a dim lighted alley full of tumbleweed in a not-so-sunny afternoon.  That’s why I feel so exhilarated when finally I have my hands over this new browser in town that everyone is frantic about—The Google Chrome.

Never mind the other features but the speed alone makes you glued to your seat and wanting to browse more web pages like you’ve never done before.  Although the absence of add on and extensions makes you reminisce your old love with Firefox, I’m quite sure the Google team behind this hype wouldn’t let up this Beta version to be a Beta forever unless those people is fond of idiosyncrasy.

Google chrome’s features are clean, professional and crisp. Spotless as it may seem,  it’s quite functional in every step, you can toggle tabs left and right—most useful for multi tasking geniuses out there.  And for those regular Einstein of secretive world, Chrome has this incognito page where you can leave no trace of your browsing prowess for the FBI, CIA, Interpol or your mother in law to trace. Yep, cookies and registries are never recorded as you browse through incognito mode; bookmarks are never saved in that method unless you get back to the ordinary browsing page.  That I think sets Chrome apart from the other browser around the Cyber World.

There is one disappointment though, no Google toolbar yet available for chrome, and how much I needed those page rank feature of Google toolbar, in short, Firefox  is still handy pending the full version of Google Chrome. Most of Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3 features can be found in Google Chrome plus the fact that it is almost 5 times faster than the two makes it a winner.

Try experiencing clicking a new tab and you will be amazed by the number of screenshots you have recently browsed displayed on that page, so getting back to your favourite page is never that tough, plus the fact that recently bookmarked and imported from Firefox pages are also being displayed at the right column makes the Chrome more organized.

Google Chrome can also handle HTML lightning quickly and can grip dynamic content in a crash proof mode without the worry of stammering between words, not bad for a beta version.

I think the secret to the new innovation Google has employed to Chrome is the well balanced features of the browser, I mean let’s admit it everything on the Google Chrome is not original, bits and pieces came from Firefox 3, IE8 or Safari but Google team make it a point to use a weighing scale to put into equilibrium the whole process. In philosophical world, Google chrome is the Aristotle with wisdoms coming from Plato and Socrates. 

Google Lively: The 3D Chat Rooms

At the height of the game SIMS, the interactive Second Life and IMVU along comes Google Lively. Formerly known as Google Metaverse, Google Lively is a three-dimensional chat world pulled out from Google’s magic box. It is an eye candy three dimensional social networking chat tool that soon to invade every home, office and other areas where there is a flat surface that a computer can sit, a broadband connection and some excess time to burn.

Since I’ve been warned  that installing Google Lively on your computer makes it Uber slow and ultimately makes your PC crash, I decided otherwise to read a bundle of reviews and FAQs to satisfy my killing curiosity of the matter.

If you’ve got a Google account then you can set up Google Lively. Once it is installed, you navigate your avatar to talk to others in the chat world. You can talk; you can even show your emotions, dance around, change furniture, mingle with others, build your own rooms complete with facilities or embed a 3D chat widget on your website for your visitors to interact with you in cyber environs.

Google Lively is a very SIMS-ish, Second Life-ish kind of thing. As if not satisfied with chatting through web cam, they offered 3D chatting and interaction in a silver platter. What’s the fuss? I have nothing against techno advancement, of course who wouldn’t want to grow? But the question is: for what is it all worth? Hate to tell you guys but communications among fellow humans should not be all that complicated, and if the inner core in making this Google Lively application is to bridge people through fun communication—well this bridge is made up of fancy yarn thread.

For Google this thing is a massive income generator for years to come, it’s like having the reality show ‘Big Brother’ with millions of ‘housemates’ lurking around the cyber world full of ads splashing at every nook and cranny. This ginormous social networking/virtual world space will be more appealing to the youth of this generation and as they replace their old PCs (Google Lively does not work with slightly old trashy PCs—sorry!) communications maybe confined to 3D chatting. And what a sight if Yahoo follows, far more,Microsoft is planning something of this genre—oh, what a world we’re in!

I know many people drooling over to try this thingy but wait! There’s more, check your computer to see if you’re in, your computer should have the following:

* a video card with at least 32 MB of video memory
* Pentium3 800
* 512 MB RAM
* DirectX 9
* 32MB GPU, like GeForce 2 or higher
* Flash 9 player and up
* Broadband connection

Rules about profanity and nudity are being set, but hey it’s chatting on the cyber world since when somebody reprimand someone as he/she blurts out profane and vulgar language in chat? I don’t think 3D avatars will add much social experience to anybody unless he/she breathes and eats computer every day. And reprimanding/banning one’s Google account would hurt so much because you use a single Google account on all of this.

This thing Google Lively in my opinion should not be taken seriously, unless you’re a hardcore gamer who takes a break from shooting aliens in ‘Half-Life’ by chatting as thumb thumping Uber shrewd girlie in pony tail. Communication is simple don’t complicate it. And oh, did I tell you that it only runs on Windows?

Gmail’s new feature notifies and protects your account

“Oh no! I forgot to sign out from my friend’s PC!!!”

Has it happened to you? Well if you have closed the browser, there’s no need to worry, but what if you have not? And worse, what if you have clicked ‘remember me in this computer’ before you have signed in?

So, if the owner of that computer opens Gmail, or opens the window you have used and see your Gmail account, then he/she decides to look over your emails, instead of signing it out voluntarily, that would be a disaster. Just imagine what sort of information will he/she knows if he/she decides to read your emails… passwords for your other accounts, love letters, hate letters.

Sigh, if only you have signed out before you left that computer.

Fortunately, Gmail now has this new feature like those you see when you check your bank account online…the feature that shows your log-in sessions.

In Gmail, it does not only show your sessions but will also tell you if you are still signed in in other computers. This can happen if you are in a hurry to leave a friend’s house, or your workplace. Once you have seen that you can remotely sign out from that computer.

For example, you just arrived at home and have signed in to your Gmail account, but you’ve remembered you’ve forgot to sign out before you left the office. You will then see at the bottom of the Gmail page that your account is still open in one location, with the time of your last activity.

To sign out, click the ‘Details’ link, and ‘Sign out other sessions’ button.

But what if it was not you who sign in that time? Then that’s great because you have been just notified that someone has accessed your Gmail account. In most cases, you don’t give out your passwords. Therefore, that someone who accessed your Gmail, most probably, is a hacker or a stalker. You should then quickly change your password. I suggest you create a strong one with numbers, letters in caps lock, or symbols to protect your account.

Also, since the IP address is shown where your account has been accessed, you will be able to figure out who is he/she. Well, that’s if he/she is a stalker rather than a hacker.

By the way, I found out that the feature does not appear in the Opera browser.

Planning a Wedding with Google

wedding bells

I guess, one of the most interesting things that you can ever do with Google is that you can plan your wedding with all the tools and services it offers. If you think this is not possible, it is, because someone just did and just got married.

The couple used Google Docs to share files to each other, to their parents, and to whoever who needed the file; Google Analytics to check if there were really friends and relatives visiting the page they created about their wedding plans, and several other products from Google.

If you want to know the whole story, you can read David’s entry about his wedding and Google in his blog.

Firefox’s Search Bar and Google

I know some people who are using Firefox hate to see the search bar on the right of the browser, especially if they are not using Google. If you are one of them, I suggest that you just replace it with the search engine of your choice, instead of removing the search bar.

Just click on the Google logo, and choose among the search engines displayed which you like to be your primary search engine in Firefox. Pick Yahoo, Amazon.com, eBay, Wikipedia, or Answers.com. If your favorite search engine is not included in the default choices, you can add it by clicking Manage Search Engines.

In the Pop-up, click the ‘Get more search engines’ link located at the bottom of the window, and you’ll find out more options; there’s AOL.com, Live.com, and Ask.com. Then add to Firefox the search engine you want to use. Once it’s added click on the Google logo again, and choose the search engine, let’s say Live.com. Now, your primary search engine in the search bar is Live Search instead of Google.

The Firefox’s search bar is actually a handy feature. You don’t have to type the search engine’s url in the address bar to start your search. Instead, you just go directly to the box, and type in your keywords. Once you hit enter, viola, the results you needed are in the page.

So Firefox, why Google?

Now that you know you can in fact replace Google with your favorite search engine like Yahoo or Live.com, don’t you wonder why Firefox has Google as it’s default search engine, when it’s not a Google product anyways but Mozilla’s?

Well if not for Google, Firefox may have not become as popular as it has been today, and has not earned millions of dollars. Some bloggers though think that this obvious favoritism of Firefox is unfair, not only to the consumers but also to other search engines.

So while Firefox still loves Google, you only have two options: remove the search box or change the box’s default search engine to the search engine of your choice.

Dates in Date Range Search

About an hour ago, I wanted to read stories about Squidoo and Google as references for an article I was writing. Since it was important for me to know the latest news stories or blog posts, I restricted the search results by using the date range (through advanced search).

The search results I wanted were there, but there was something new that I noticed. Each result had dates beside it. Maybe those are the dates the entry were published or got indexed by Google.

I don’t know when this slight change started, yet I remembered using the date range feature last Sunday, 6 A.M. MDT, but didn’t noticed those dates. But I like this addition. With these dates or how much hours have passed shown beside each result, we, the users not only get relevant results to their queries, but we will also know how recent those entries are.

If Google Rules Everything…

Google Logo, from Wikipedia

Have you ever wondered how will it look if Google owns the popular drinks, shops, cars, places, you can imagine? Then see Google on every dollar you spent, on the road, in Paris, in Hollywood? Once you see all the entries in this Photoshop contest from Worth1000.Com, you would definitely say for sure, “Thank God, Google still haven’t own everything.”"

This contest started two years ago, and was opened for beginners of Photoshop. Since I am not a Photoshop critic, I couldn’t say much about the quality of the effects used in those entries, yet I’d picked five entries which I think were very clever.

1. A street sign

2. A Dollar


3. The Monopoly board game

4. A Froogle-Mart

5. A pillar box

Note: Google Logo was taken from Wikipedia.

Google.Com’s Data, Not Available in Trends for Websites!

I was trying one of Google Trends’s new features, the Trends for Websites, which is similar to what you see in Alexa and Compete. The feature allows you to view the number of unique visitors a site is getting, and even compare it to the visitors from other related sites. The results also show the regions where most of its visitors are coming from.

To see how it works, I typed in the search box: Google.Com, Yahoo.Com, MSN.com, AOL.Com, and Ask.Com—all separated with commas. Surprisingly, no data appear for Google.Com.

I went to Compete to see their data for these sites. Yet as you can see in the graph below, Google.com has millions of users.

So I wondered why there was no data available for Google.Com in Google Trends. I went back to it, and search Google.Com alone, and clicked the Learn More link.

So why does Google Trends for Websites not have data to display for Google.Com?

Maybe Google just want to humble themselves, or they thought why would someone care. Whatever the reason is, Google has the right not to include their data anyways since it was them who created this tool. As they have said in Google Trends Help page not all websites are included. Those that aren’t are:

  • Websites with low traffic volume below our threshold
  • Websites that don’t wish to be indexed by Google and have indicated their preference through a robots.txt exclusion file
  • Websites that don’t adhere to our Quality Guidelines
  • Other websites for miscellaneous reasons

With the criteria mentioned above for a website exclusion, Google.Com perhaps is under the 2nd or 4th category. Anyways, I figured out that Alexa does not rank their own site as well, while Compete does.

5 Google Search Features Valuable To Students

A student asked me once, “Which search engine should I use, Google or Yahoo?” Google was my reply, of course, not just because I’m a fan, but because I know Google Search really is way, way better than Yahoo’s.

Aside from giving students relevant search results to their queries, Google has other cool features which I think would be valuable to students. These features eliminate the use of some tools they need. Well, I mean, a student doesn’t necessarily have to bring his calculator or his dictionary with him when researching online, or look for sites that would offer him unit conversion features, because with Google Search alone, he can calculate, convert units, check spelling, and know the definition of words. He can even ask Google to fill in the blank, of maybe, his assignments. Isn’t that nice?

So students, let’s look closer at each of these features, and be familiarized how to use it.

1. Calculator

Well, you should be able to compute simple calculations on your own, like 25 plus 40, but if it’s a complicated math problem then it’s time to use Google’s calculator feature.

Here are some examples:

You can find a list of shortcuts from this site.

2. Unit Conversion

I think it’s fun to convert units of measurements using the real calculator, a pen, and a piece of paper, but if you are looking for an instant answer then let Google be in charge with that. With Google, you can not only convert between units of height, weight, and mass but also currency, temperature, time, power, information, etc.

Here are some examples:

On this site, you can find more about unit conversion and using Google to know physical constants like the Faraday Constant. Once you are familiar with the different operators on Google’s hidden calculator, you can try more complicated ones like knowing your weight in the moon.

3. Dictionary Definition

There are two ways for Google to help you know the definition of a word. The first one, is by putting a space between define and the word you are looking for, i.e. define cooperative, define exhilarating. This will yield to several pages that define that word, and then you choose which page you want as a resource.

There are some instances though that some pages in the search results don’t really define the word, but just have those two keywords on the page. Thus, using the other shortcut is better wherein you get a list of definitions from various online resources. You can do this by putting a colon, instead of a space, between define and the word, i.e. define:cooperative.

4. Spell Checker

There are some people who are good with spelling, and there are some who aren’t, but there are just some words that are really hard to spell isn’t it? That’s why Google is here to give us a hand. If you aren’t sure of the spelling of a word, just type the word, with the spelling you have in mind, on the search box and hit click. If that is misspelled, then Google will give you the more accepted one or correct one.

5. Fill in the Blank

So, this time you were asked who invented electricity, or what did Columbus discovered. You know you know the answer, but it just have slipped from your mind. Now, don’t worry because Google will fill in the blank for you. Just type an asterisk (*) after the phrase you want Google to complete.

Here are some examples:

Conclusion

The five features enumerated are in fact just a few of Google’s search features. There are also advanced search features like putting quotation marks between phrases, and using a date range to restrict the search results. And it is not just Google Search, there are other products and tools student can use when doing their researches and assignments like Google Scholar, Google Docs, Google Book Search, and Google Notebook.

Google Street View Car Busted?

So, there’s no exception for Google’s car?

One of the vigilant citizens of California, damianspain, caught one of Google’s street view cars being detained for some sort of traffic violation in San Francisco Bay area. I just found this out when my friend send me a link to this post.

I’m actually impressed on the kind of camera Google is using to snap those ’street view’ photos for Google Maps and Google Earth. And I wonder when will those Google cars visit Metro Manila, and see the cars myself; though I’m sure the possibility is slim, or will take years before it happens. Most streets here aren’t ‘photogenic’. Sigh.

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