Tag Archive | "google"

Google Announces Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office

Google is making it even easier for MS Office users to use their cloud services. Available to early testers is the new Google Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office.

From the Google Enterprise Blog:

For those of you who have not made the full move to Google Docs and are still using Microsoft Office, Google has something great to offer. With Cloud Connect, people can continue to use the familiar Office interface, while reaping many of the benefits of web-based collaboration that Google Docs users already enjoy.

Users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can sync their Office documents to the Google cloud, without ever leaving Office. Once synced, documents are backed-up, given a unique URL, and can be accessed from anywhere (including mobile devices) at any time through Google Docs. And because the files are stored in the cloud, people always have access to the current version.

Right now, those who use Google Apps for Business can sign up for the preview program at http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2010/11/bridge-to-cloud-google-cloud-connect.html.

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Google Voice now Available for the iPhone

At last – The Official Google Voice app for the iPhone has been released. Until now, you could only use Google Voice on the iPhone via a mobile HTML page.

More on the Google blog at http://googlevoiceblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/google-voice-for-iphone.html.

Available as a free download here.

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Google Announces a New Web Browser – Chrome

Google officially announced the release of a their new web browser on Monday, 9/1.  The new browser – which Google is calling Chrome utilizes the Webkit technology, the same open source technology used by Apple’s Safari browser.

The new browser is in beta and is available for download from Google at http://ww.google.com/chrome.  Sorry Linux and OS X- Windows only right now.

First Impressions of Chrome

  • Installation was easy, and only took a few moments before I was browsing with Chrome.  Chrome is fast. The application loads much faster than either IE or Firefox.  Fast enough to make a noticeable difference.  Web pages load faster too.
  • The application shortcuts are nice.  Lets you create an icon for your Start Menu or Desktop that will launch a website without the menu, tabs, or bookmark toolbar in your way.
  • Seems to need support for Java Applets.  No plugin was found, and no link to go get the plugin is provided.
  • No support (for now) of Delicious bookmarks (or other extensions).  You can drag a “Bookmark this on Delicious” or a “My Delicious” bookmarklet which can get you to Delicious quickly, but is still not as nice as having the Firefox extension.
  • Importing of bookmarks and password data from Firefox is a nice feature.

It will be interesting to see if the developer community will begin to embrace this new browser and develop some useful gears, etc… to add functionality.  If you are a Firefox extension lover, then Chrome is probably not going to serve you well right now.  If you can live without the extensions then give Chrome try and enjoy the speed boost.

More on the Google Chrome can be found on the Features page at http://www.google.com/chrome/intl/en/features.html.

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A Simple Way to Browse Email More Securely

If you like to be mobile with your computer, then you probably have used public Wi-Fi or perhaps even a pay-per-use Wi-Fi hotspot. If so, then you should be careful about how you read email while connected to one of these public access points. Most public Wi-Fi providers do not require you to make a secure connection to their wireless router. This leaves your transmissions easily readable by eavesdroppers. You can protect yourself with a very simple change to your web browsing behavior.

Open Wi-Fi

Wireless Communications IconIn a previous post, I discussed some of the mistakes that should be avoided when setting up your home’s wireless router (read Are You Making These Mistakes with Your Home Wi-Fi). One such mistake is leaving your access point “open”. Since public Wi-Fi access is usually “open” and you usually don’t have a choice about how to connect to a public access point, you should take precautions when surfing sites that may contain personal information.

Since communications between your laptop and the public access points are made over the air in an unencrypted manner, your email can be read by anybody who is savvy enough to start a free network sniffing program that is freely available for downloaded on the Internet. How much more careful about what your read at one of these hotspots would you be if you knew it was possible for someone to see the data that was being sent to our browser? How much personal information do you store in your email account?

HTTPS Browser Connections

There is something simple and easy you can do to ensure that you’re reading email securely. You can browse to your Gmail account without fear of prying eyes or network hackers. Simply use the HTTPS protocol when accessing your web email. HTTPS encrypts the data from your computer all the way back to the server you are browsing. Since the data is encrypted, even if someone is sniffing the network, they will not be able to determine what you are reading. The data simple looks like a bunch of random bits with no meaning.

Gmail and Yahoo

Browser Address Bar Showing \Both Gmail and Yahoo mail automatically redirect your browser to their “https” versions for login. This means that when you send your username and password to authenticate, it will be encrypted and secure. You can see this when browsing to mail.google.com or mail.yahoo.com. Go ahead and try it. Type “http://mail.yahoo.com” or “http://mail.google.com” in your browser’s address bar and see where you end up. You’ll notice that your browser now reflects the new address which begins with “https://”. Your browser is now using the HTTPS protocol to communicate with the login server.

A Gmail Advantage

The login process is only the beginning. Yes, your login information is secure, but unless you specifically tell the browser to use the “https://” address, your security encryption ends at the login for Gmail users. Browsing to http://mail.google.com will encrypt the login information only, but browsing to “https://mail.google.com” will not only encrypt your login, but your entire session as well. All the information sent to and from your computer to Google mail will be protected along with your username and password. This is one advance Gmail has over Yahoo mail. Yahoo mail will not encrypt the entire session even though you specify “https://” in the address bar.

A Secure HTTPS Session

http_browsing_statusbar Notice the “lock” icon in your browsers status bar. It is usually located somewhere near the bottom right of your browser window. If the lock icon is present, it means that your session with the web server is encrypted. Gmail uses will see the lock for the entire session (if they have browsed to the “https://” version of the page), but Yahoo users only see it at the login screen.

Other Web Email

Most mail programs provided by your ISP or hosting service do include web email. Try to access your web mail via the HTTPS address and see what happens.

Bottom Line

Be careful when browsing at public Wi-Fi hot spots. Try to use the HTTPS protocol for web mail because it can protect your privacy and security. At this point, it looks like Google has the advantage over Yahoo in this department. Don’t forget to bookmark https://mail.google.com and https://mail.yahoo.com to ensure you always use the secure pages when possible.

Posted in Email, Internet, Networking, Web Browsing, Wi-FiComments (6)

The Google “-” Search Operator

The Google Negative Search

Here is an easy way to narrow down your search results using the “-” operator in the Google search bar.
Read the full story

Posted in Internet, Quick Tips, Web BrowsingComments (1)

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