6/7/11 – Google is finally rolling out their long hyped Chromebook which CPD was fortunate to get our hands on as early testers. The lightweight laptop boots up in 8 seconds and runs only the Chrome web browser with a number of browser apps availble including chat, docs, etc. The laptop supports 1 USB port…
5/31/11 – If you own an IPad and only have one App, I recommend it to be Flipboard. It aggregates social media and popular web content into a fun and easy to use ‘e-book’. Taking your friends Twtitter and Facebook posts, images, and videos, Flipboard puts them together for you in a digital magazine. Flipboard…
5/24/11 – A little over a week ago at Google’s annual conference I/O 2011, they announced many new product and service offerings. Many of the big announcements during day 1’s keynote revolved around the use of the Android operating system including the ADK (Android Accessory Development Kit). They went on to demo this hardware and software platform by showing how a labyrinth can be controlled by a tablet. The extendability of the ADK was displayed at the conference on an even bigger level as they used a tablet to control a giant, larger than life size labyrinth.
In the wake of Microsoft’s big announcement today that they will be acquiring Skype to the tune of $8.5 billion, I thought I would share a funny video about the difference in branding and product appeal between Apple and Microsoft. I should preface this video with the fact that I am a complete supporter of the products Microsoft puts out there. I would also be lying if I didn’t say that Apple’s marketing blows them out of the water and this shows why.
In an effort to improve security Google has recently released a feature that allows for two-factor login authentication. The feature can easily by turned on by your account administrator. The primary goal is to improve security to prevent malicious attacks on your email account. You have probably heard horror stories of email accounts being hacked in the past. This two-step login process does a great job of improving that issue.
Join.me (www.join.me) is a great desktop sharing tool that allows users to share their desktop with selected participants. This free tool has proven to be great for sharing websites and other design work remotely. There is a very simple sharing procedure that involves one person sharing their desktop and providing a simple access code to other participants. It is fast and easy to understand the setup steps. We have been able to show things to very non-technical users using Join.me over the past 6 months.
Both Facebook and Twitter have recently made security improvements that allow users to take advantage of a secure connection using HTTPS. This means that you can ensure that the information you send remains private. Using HTTPS is particularly important when using WiFi connections which can never be trusted. You need to enable this security measure in both Facebook and Twitter in some very easy to follow steps outlined here. Is this important? YES.
Facebook – Setting up HTTPS
On Jan. 26, 2011 Facebook announced there release of full time HTTPS. Until then, HTTPS was only used when logging into the system. Now, users can enable it full time by following these steps:
1) Login to your account.
Everyday Internet users may not be aware of all the web browsers that exist and which one is the best fit. The space is not that big to be honest. There are about 4 players in the space including Internet Explorer, FireFox, Chrome, and Safari. Along with the advent of smartphones, there are a few other smartphone OS browsers out there, but we will leave those for another discussion. For personal computing, it is important to stay up to date with your web browser for the following reasons.
- Security – The top reason that browsers keep updating their code is for security reasons. There are many vulnerabilities in old browsers, so staying up to date will help you avoid unwanted harm to your data.
- Functionality – With each new browser release there is improvements to the user-experience and interface. Staying up to date will help make your browsing experience more efficient.
- Improvements – Websites are moving towards a new standard called HTML5 in the coming years.
A challenge that a lot of people come across is keeping their files organized when working with multiple devices. For example, I access certain website files from a desktop, laptop, and when necessary from my smartphone (running Android). A program called Dropbox allows me to store certain files that I can access from all three devices without save copies all over the place. When the file is uploaded in one location, it syncs with all locations.
Dropbox provides online backup and sync for free up to 2 Gb.
Several months ago Google announced the discontinuation of Wave. This was a product that the entire tech world buzzing (no pun intended for Google Buzz users). As I think back to two years ago when there was so much anticipation I have to admit that I too was incredibly anxious to get my hands on the product and be part of its growth. As an early adopter I was part of the first alpha release to select developers to test the product. At the time, there were still several bugs and design flaws that need to be worked out, but I saw the general direction the revolutionary email application was headed. As I step back and analyze the reason for its failure to be adopted by users, here is what I came up with: