Tuesday, December 22, 2009

End of Life for OpenOffice.org 2.x


With the upcoming release of OpenOffice.org 3.2, the folks at OpenOffice.org formally announced today the end-of-life status for its legacy version 2.x series of the productivity suite. In a nutshell, the end-of-life status means that if you continue to use this legacy version of the software, you will loose Community support as a whole for patches, bug fixes and security updates.

It is always recommended to upgrade to the latest version of software to receive the benefits of any new features, bug fixes and security improvements over the previous versions. Additionally, there is only so much time that is given for support of legacy software.

Technically, you can still use the legacy versions but the Community support as a whole will not be in place to help with problems. This requires time and human resources that have already been diverted to deal with problems and enhancements to the newer versions of the software.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.




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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tib Bit - OpenOffice.org YouTube Channel


For those of you who use OpenOffice.org, they have their own channel on YouTube which you can view at http://www.youtube.com/user/openofficeorg. It appears to be relatively new since there is not a whole lot of information published thus far. There is information on how to contribute to the OpenOffice.org project and interviews pertaining to the Renaissance Project. You can subscribe to the channel to comment on and/or upload and share your own videos on OpenOffice.org by using or creating a YouTube account. If you already have a Google account, you can sign in with the username and password for this account; this gives you the same access as creating a YouTube account. With this access you can build playlists of your favorite videos from any YouTube channel to watch later.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Doodle Update



If you have been using Doodle because of our October 13, 2009 blog post, there is a recent product release you may be interested in; the iPhone App.

The iPhone Application



In collaboration with Neoos, Doodle has available this iPhone app which provides core Doodle features to make scheduling easy and more fun to run. It is available at the iTunes App Store for $2.99. Doodle for iPhone supports all the essential features of the Web version. These features include:
•    Initiate and track meeting requests from your iPhone, wherever you are
•    Invite participants using your iPhone address book
•    Optimized result view suggesting the best option for your meeting
•    Communicate with participants using the comments feature
•    Quick participation with the “All Options” or “None of the Options” button
•    Easy access and overview from your dashboard
•    Connect your MyDoodle account to stay in sync with your web dashboard
For answers to some frequently asked questions by current users of this application check out Neoos’ FAQ at http://www.neoos.ch/products/doodle-for-iphone/doodle-for-iphone-faq
As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanks for Hanging!


Hello Everyone;
Just a brief note to apologize and thank you for hanging in there during this break in blogging. I apologize for not posting on Web Bytes Blog recently and keeping you posted on what is happening. I am working on a project that is keeping me really busy and I do not have the time at this moment to dedicate to blogging on current and important home computing topics. I truly apologize for not writing this blog post sooner and I will get start blogging as soon as I can.

Thank you for your readership and I look forward to interacting with you on a regular basis soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, concerns or research items you would like me to blog on once I get started again, please let me know and I will respond as soon as I can.

In His Service,
AvaByGrace
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

HAPPY VETERANS DAY!

I want to say thanks to those who previously served and those who continue to serve our country. I appreciate all you have sacrificed in order to serve. A special 'shout out' to those who served with me in the 34th MSES, 1st TAC and the 722 ASTS!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Ning's Virtual Gifts



If you have created a social network on Ning due to the blog post I wrote here on Web Bytes (http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/social-networking-ning-platform.html), you may be interested in the following information as the network creator.

Early last week Ning has joined others in introducing “Virtual Gifts” such as teddy bears, books, desserts, flowers, jewelry, handbags etc. to their network. This feature gives members another way of connecting with each other. Network creators have two ways of customizing the gifts on their network - They can choose from hundreds of Ning Gifts that are applicable to the type of activity on the network they have created or provide their own custom gifts through upload to the Gift Store for their Ning network. Ning may also allow network creators to customize the Gift Store for their network.

This new feature makes history as it is Ning’s first attempt at a revenue-generating feature on its networks and providing a 50/50 revenue sharing Incentive Program between Ning and the network creators. Once the network creators have opt-in to the Incentive Program they can start receiving their share of the revenue earned quarterly starting in 2010 when they have earned a minimum of $100.00.  Ning also starts each network member with 100 credits to go toward the purchase of “Virtual Gifts” on their network. More credits can be purchased through the Gift Store with a PayPal account.

To give a member a “Virtual Gift”:
  • Click on the Member tab
  • Select the member you would like to give a gift to. You will be taken to that member’s page
  • Click on the link by the gift box that states “give a gift”. You will be taken to a page with gift categories. You can narrow your search to a specific category or search all the “Virtual Gifts” available on your network
  • Selected your “Virtual Gift”
  • Add a message like you would on a gift card
  • Set the privacy setting
  • Send Gift for delivery to the member’s My Page
As I browsed the Gift Store for my network, the “Virtual Gifts” were all worth 75 credits except one. This was a pink ribbon signifying, to me, breast cancer which is celebrated during the month of October.

Hope this information will encourage you as a Ning network creator to go deeper in creating your Virtual Gift Shop if you choose to opt-in to the Ning’s Gift Store Incentive Program. I like the idea of the ability to have a free gift to choose from as the one signifying Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I think this should continue throughout the year for other worthy causes. What are your thoughts?

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tid Bit - Technorati Article


Hi Everyone;
I just published an article on Technorati.com about OpenOffice.org 3.2 (OOo) Beta that is not suitable for home computing (I am so proud of this accomplishment). Briefly, OOo is an office productivity application similar to Microsoft Office that we here at Web Bytes Blog are very familiar with. If there are no “show-stoppers” in the testing, this will become the latest version of the OOo application scheduled for release in December 2009, just in time for the holidays. It is at that time that I would write a post for Web Bytes Blog on all the new features and enhancements that would be of value to us. Please visit the link below and let me know what you think of this article as well as browse the new Technorati site which was deployed on Monday. ~Thanks!

http://technorati.com/technology/article/openofficeorg-32-beta-available/

Reminder: Windows 7 is scheduled for release today!

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.



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Monday, October 19, 2009

Passwords Revisited


Due to the recent users’ credential compromise of some email accounts (Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, some AOL, Comcast and EarthLink’s accounts) as well as it being National Cyber Security Awareness Month, makes this the perfect time to revisit passwords. Previously we discussed in detail creating and using strong passwords see http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/05/strong-password.html and http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/secure-passwords.html. Upon investigation of the Hotmail incidents, it was discovered that the majority of people whose passwords were compromised used weak passwords. An example of this is using “12345” as their password, but I know Web Bytes Blog readers would not be among this group because you have read my previous password blogs and you practice the tips you get here :)

There are software applications that can help with the creation and management of strong passwords if you prefer not to handle this part of your computer security. Some of these applications are Lastpass password manager which has a free and premium version, Roboform which also has a free and pro version, StickyPassword, AnyPassword which has a free and pro version, Password Director, and Safe-n-Secure password manager.  To visit the Web sites for these applications just add .com to the name in your browser and you will be directed there.

In addition to creating and using strong passwords, the security suite you use to secure your computer and other maintenance practices are very important to ensure you are doing all you can to protect your assets and identity. Don’t just have these applications installed on your computer. Make sure they are updated as they should, if for some reason the applications are not automatically updated. Below are some links to previous Web Bytes Blog posts in connection to securing your information and your computer. Additionally, you can do a search on Web Bytes Blog to find more blog posts on security.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.

Reference Link:
More Lists with Stolen Email Account Credentials Uncovered

http://news.softpedia.com/news/More-Lists-With-Stolen-Email-Account-Credentials-Uncovered-123649.shtml

Web Bytes Blog Links:
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/home-computing-security.html
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/spybot-search-destroy.html
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/pharming.html
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/phishing.html


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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tid Bit - Optimum Online Backup

For those of you who have Optimum online as your Internet Service Provider (ISP), they are offering up to 2GB free backup for your computer files. This offer is for residential usage only. This free service will be powered by Carbonite which automatically backup the most important files on your computer. The backup files are encrypted and stored at a secured location and available to you from any computer with Internet access. This action would help protect your files from accidental deletion, computer failure, theft, power surges and disaster. If you would like unlimited backup, you would have to upgrade to their $44.95 per year which is discounted as their current rate is $55.00 per year. If you missed this through Optimum you can visit http://www.optimum.net/backup for complete details. You can also visit the Carbonite site at http://www.carbonite.com/ to find out how the service works.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


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Monday, October 5, 2009

HAPPY 1st BIRTHDAY, WEB BYTES BLOG!

Today is Web Bytes Blog’s first birthday…HAPPY 1ST BIRTHDAY! I can’t believe a whole year has passed since I wrote my first blog post, incorporating a few articles I originally wrote for Gracious Times Newsletter on Phishing and Pharming, thereby creating Web Bytes Blog's beginning history on Blogger ~ boy time really flies.

With the starting of Web Bytes Blog's second year, I pray God will give me the desire to continue writing and you to continue reading and commenting. There are a few topics I need to revisit or research per your recommendations and I prayerfully would like to do so within the next few months.

Please continue to comment and submit your questions and topics for research. Thank you for taking this year long journey with me, that we continue on together and you invite your family and friends to join us.

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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National Cyber Security Awareness Month - 2009


In addition to October being Web Bytes Blog’s first birthday, it is also the 6th National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM). During this month, the federal government has a multi-state campaign to collectively offer guidance to help Americans become cyber security conscious both at home and in the work place. Conscious effort must be taken to be aware of where you are going before you click a link on the Internet just as you would while walking the streets. Try to remember that cyber security is your responsibility just as it is for the other guy.

Some of the steps to improve computer security at home have already been discussed in various blog posts throughout the year (see the links section below) but will be reiterated here for enforcement and to make cyber security a habit.
- Installation and proper use of:    
      Anti-virus applications
      Spyware
      Spam filters
      Firewalls
      Parental controls

- Backing up critical files via external media. Also use passwords on your portable devices

- Keep up-to-date your operating system and Web browsers

- Use caution while sharing sensitive information

- Use strong passwords or strong authentication technology

- Check for https or pad lock protocols when sharing sensitive information on trusted Web sites

There will be various articles and exhibits around the country during October in celebration of NCSAM. If possible, plan an afternoon to enjoy some of theses activities. You can download a cyber security awareness toolkit at http://www.msisac.org/awareness/oct09/2009awareness.cfm all in PDF downloadable format. The kit includes an awareness calendar, posters, bookmarks, a how to guide for IT security in government, etc. Some security awareness events scheduled are Florida’s security summit and Webcast at http://www.floridagtc.com/ on October 6 and West Virginia’s conference and Webcast at http://www.state.wv.us/ot/article2.cfm?atl=E7F0EC88-B89D-11D5-92170020781CA4C6 on October 19. A full calendar of events can also be found at http://www.staysafeonline.org/ncsam. I am sure there are other states participating in this national security awareness project. If you know of others, please share with us.

Non-technical computer users can get security advice from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) at http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/. You can sign up to receive tips via email directly to your inbox

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


Links of Interest for Cyber Security Awareness:
Cyber security month tip of the week: Don’t be fooled by scams

http://www.ucsc.edu/news_events/text.asp?pid=3255

Safety Tips on Free Internet Access
http://www.webbytesblog.com/search?q=https

Backup Applications
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/backup-applications.html

Strong Passwords
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/05/strong-password.html

In-Session Phishing
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/02/in-session-phishing.html

The Difference between Http and Https
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/01/tib-bit.html

Automatic Maintenance
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/automatic-maintenance.html

Home Computing Security
http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/home-computing-security.html


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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Doodle

I first used Doodle while taking part in a poll to determine the date and time most appropriate to schedule a training session and it really works. The date most convenient for all involved through the poll was chosen for the training. Doodle eliminated the going back and forth either through emails or by phone to arrive at a schedule that was doable for all.

In its basic form, Doodle is a free online tool that aids in the scheduling of appointments, lunch, conference calls, family reunions, movie night etc. with no download or registration required. You can also create your very own poll for such activities/events/things as movies, menus, travel destinations or any other selection you are interested in. The Doodle site (http://www.doodle.com/) has step-by-step instructions for creating your poll and scheduling an event. Once you have created your poll, you will invite others to vote for their preference of time or activity as the poll directs. Registration is not required as previously mentioned to use Doodle, however, by registering for a Doodle account you have access to more features as well as keep track of the polls you initiated and participated in. Doodle also has two paid for products (Premium Doodle and full Branded Doodle) that are not ad-supported as with the free products. The Functions and Products link below will give you a comparison of the various features for each product level.

Doodle can also connect to your calendar allowing you to create polls from within the application such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple iCal and Lotus Notes. You can start your poll within your calendar application and invite people to participate in the poll using your address book. You can sync your calendar based on your participation in the poll or the final date. There is an installation guide and user manual for the Outlook plug-in. You can change your calendar integration under “Manage Account” once you have created a MyDoodle account.

Give Doodle a try for your next scheduled event or create a poll for that ultimate spot for your next family reunion (http://www.doodle.com/).


As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com/ to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


Links:
Functions and Products

http://www.doodle.com/about/productOverview.html

Frequently Asked Questions
http://www.doodle.com/about/faq.html%20

Blog
http://doodle.com/blog/english/

Help
http://www.doodle.com/about/help.html%20

Terms of Service
http://doodle.com/about/tos.html%20


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Computer History Museum

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California in the heart of Silicone Valley, USA displays and preserves the history of computers for future generations as well as the present one. I have been using this site for referencing material on the "Today in Computer History" post for a couple of months now and decided it was necessary to write a post on the site and all it has to offer. The museum has exhibits where you can learn about the people who made computing history and their stories. At the link below in the “Links” section you can explore and discover all that the museum has to offer. There is a timeline that explores the history of computers from 1939 to 1994 (see link below) showing significant technological innovations in hardware, software, artificial intelligence and various commercial applications. There is also a listing of the events hosted at the museum as well as the various exhibits.

The Computer History Museum is also on YouTube (see link below) and has quite a number of videos about the history of computers and the people who made it happen. There is a video on the home page giving an overview of what the site has to offer. Additionally, you can see the recordings of innovations in computer history and the people who worked diligently to make this history preserved via video for generations to come. This along with the Computer History Museum Web site will really expand your knowledge of this topic if you are an enthusiast like me.

As of the writing of this blog post the Computer History Museum on YouTube has 74 videos and a play list of 44 videos on Internet/Network, Semiconductor, Personal Computing and Historical Computer Files.

Hope you enjoy your visit to these two sites and when you are in California, if possible, visit the museum and let us know your impression of it.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


Links
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/

Computer History Museum on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/user/ComputerHistory

Timeline of Computer History
http://www.computerhistory.org/timeline/


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Today in Computer History

On this day
…in 2009 – Microsoft unveils Project 2010 (the beta version) at their Microsoft Project 2009 conference building on the foundation set by the Microsoft Project 2007. The beta Project 2010 will become available later this year to the public but you can pre-register at http://www.microsoft.com/project/2010 starting today. In response to this, it was said that this is the most significant release of Microsoft Project in over a decade by one of its senior vice presidents.

…in 2004 – Firefox 1.0 PR debuts. Mozilla.org unveiled its much anticipated alternative for Internet Explorer. Firefox 1.0 PR is the pre-released version or beta version for this browser. The features on this first version included Live Bookmarks, allowed for RSS feeds, a built-in Google toolbar, view more than one Web page at time, customization options and of course a built-in pop-up blocker.

…in 1997 – Microsoft Corporation unveiled its improved Web TV in its ongoing effort to increase its share of this market


Sources:
Microsoft Unveils Microsoft Project 2010

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Microsoft-Unveils-Microsoft-prnews-454601955.html?x=0&.v=1

Firefox 1.0PR: a first look
http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/0,1000000193,39166826,00.htm

Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

Computer Hope
http://www.computerhope.com/win95.htm

In His Service,
AvaByGrace



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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ning Apps

A few months ago I wrote on the social networking platform, Ning. For those of you who took this information and created your own social networking site through Ning the below information would be of interest to you and to those considering this platform, the information may help you decide.

Ning has made available multiple applications to enhance your site and encourage greater interaction for members. The addition of these new apps brings the total to over ninety which will expand and enhance you and your members’ experience. Because these apps were created specifically to work with Ning, their integration into your network would be smooth and uneventful. As the creator of the network you would control the apps through the Manage tab as with other Ning apps.

Some of these recently available apps are:
SocialGiving by Pinc – raise awareness and money for your cause
Sellit – create income by importing an existing store or creating a new one
Huddle workspaces – let members collaborate on files and discussions
Ustream.tv – add interactive video streaming and chat services
WordPress – to display your WordPress.com blog post on your Ning network
PollDaddy - you can display custom polls for your social network
Twitter Tracker - Track mentions of your favorite terms across Twitter
Tungle.me – if you are tired of emails and phone tag, this app makes it fast and easy to make meetings happen

There is an additional eight relatively new Ning apps you can check out to see if the addition to your network would be advantageous for all. Check the links section below and this link (once you have signed into your network) http://rightdivision.ning.com/opensocial/ningapps/list for more information.

I will keep you posted when new Ning apps are ready for implementation.

As always, post your comments, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com to your RSS feed or Google Reader.



Links:
Introduction to Ning Apps

http://tinyurl.com/mxu82p

Adding a Ning App
http://help.ning.com/cgi-bin/ning.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=3724




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Friday, September 4, 2009

OpenOffice.org Legacy Series (2.x)

In an email I received today, OpenOffice.org has announced the release of a minor update to its legacy series (2.x). This new update, 2.4.3, was announced today. OpenOffice.org recommends legacy users upgrade to the 3.x series where the current version is 3.1.1.

As a legacy user, you can check out the full details of the bug fixes of this new release at http://development.openoffice.org/releases/2.4.3.html

Expect a new version on OpenOffice.org, specifically 3.2, containing quite a bit of new functionality to be release in November 2009. Will keep you posted.

As always, email me with your comments and topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com to your RSS feed or Google Reader.


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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Gmail Features

Everyone is busy with no time to keep abreast of the various enhancements to applications they are currently using. This blog post will peruse some of the features of Gmail or what is being tested in Google Labs.

• Mentioned first, because of its unique status, Tasks is the first graduate of the Gmail Labs which helps you keep track of the things you need to do. Tasks can be used with Google’s Calendar, iGoogle and mobile in addition to Gmail, keeping you current on important task no matter which application you have accessed. This featured is listed under the “Contact” link on the left of the screen once you have signed in to your Gmail account.

Drag and Drop Labels let you organize your mail as you see fit. Mail that go together can be grouped in a label and you will have access to everything pertaining to this topic in the same label---folder

• I am sure you have seen the Chat section on the left which allows you to do just that with voice and video. There is a link in the chat section that allows you toTalk Face to Face. With the Chat feature you can also sign in to your AOL Instant Messenger account and chat with your AIM buddies from Gmail. It works the same way as in AOL, just click on the buddy and start typing.

Fast PDF Preview allows you to preview a PDF document straight from your inbox without downloading it via the ‘View’ link.

The below enhancements are still in Google Labs and their functionality can disappear at any time, break or become a fully functioning production feature. With this in mind you can use the features and be among the first to know what’s happening with the ones you chose to use. To access these features you will need to turn them on in the Labs Tab under Settings in your Gmail account. You can also revert back to your normal Gmail by going to http://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=0, troubleshoot which feature you think cause the problem by disabling one at a time and reporting your observations to the team via the ‘send feedback’ link next to the feature.

• Here it is! Ever clicked the send button and then realized you made a mistake? Well Google Labs is working on the Undo Send feature which allows you to cancel the send email as soon as you send it.

YouTube, Picasa, Flickr and Yelp Previews allow you to see a preview of videos, photos or reviews right in your email prior to linking to it. Each one is an individual feature.

Offline, as the name suggests, allows you to access your Gmail account and work offline.

Create a Document allows you to create a Google Document from an email conversation by clicking on the ‘Create a Document’ link.

Text Messaging in Chat works the same as texting does in Google Voice. It allows you to send text and receive messages from your Gmail account.

Gmail Themes allow you to customize the look of Gmail to suite you from the 30 themes available. Themes are only available in Internet Explorer 7.0 and newer, Firefox 2.0 and newer, Safari 3.0 and newer, and Google Chrome.

Superstars add additional star icons to the existing yellow default star. The Labs tab gives instructions on how to set up this feature once you have enabled it so read the information displayed with it and follow the steps.

Pictures in Chat allows you to see your friends’ profile when you are chatting.

Custom keyboard shortcuts allow you to customize your keyboard shortcuts mappings and add an additional Settings tab for remapping the keys

Message Translation changes messages you received in other languages to your default language.

Google Calendar Gadget adds a box in the left column that shows your Google Calendar---you’re always abreast of upcoming events even though you are not signed into your calendar.

Google Docs Gadget also adds a box to display your Google Docs and includes a search option.

Add any Gadget by URL allows you to add a gadget which shows in a box to the left also

These are just a few of the features Google Labs is working on. To get the entire list you can go to the Labs tab under Settings in your Gmail account. Also, visit the Links section at the bottom for more information,

As always, email me with your comments and topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

You can follow this blog via the “Follow with Google Friend Connect” link on the right, add http://www.webbytesblog.com to your RSS feed or Google Reader.



Links:
General Information

http://mail.google.com/mail/help/intl/en/about_whatsnew.html

Tasks Video
http://mail.google.com/mail/help/tasks/

Details on using Tasks
http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&ctx=mail&answer=106237


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Monday, August 24, 2009

Dirtiest Web Sites of Summer 2009

Symantec has published a list of sites that are prone to Malware threats. It is called “Dirtiest Web Sites of Summer 2009”… dirty because you don’t want its contents on your computer. According to Symantec, 48% of these sites have sexually explicit content and are therefore excluded from the list. Categorically, we have phishing sites, malicious downloads, browser exploits and links to external sites that are unsafe. Since downloading is the primary method of infecting your PC via viruses, it remains the primary method of infection followed by security risks and browser exploits.

Symantec has created this list as part of an analysis for Norton Safe Web product. Safe Web offers a free way to check a site for its Malware propensities such as computer threats, identity threats, ecommerce safety threats and annoyance factors by entering the site’s URL (Uniform Resource Locator or address bar as it is commonly called) at http://safeweb.norton.com. Additionally, some vendors have features or plug-ins to warn you prior to visiting a site that is a high-risk Malware threat – McAfee Site Advisor has a plug-in for Firefox and Internet Explorer and TrendMicro has a feature. The software I have on one of my computers from CA has a status bar at the top of the screen verifying the validity of the site. With CA you can hover your browser over the link to find out the status prior to actually clicking on the link. Knowing this status gives you the choice of proceeding or aborting the visit. With the foregoing, users have two ways of checking sites prior to visit, either through the Safe Web site or through features and/plug-in in your browsers.

Below is Symantec’s list from the Norton Save Web site. The list does not include sites with sexually explicit URLs. You can visit http://safeweb.norton.com/dirtysites to view the individual reports used to get these sites landed on this list.

Sample of Dirtiest Web Sites:
• 17ebook.com
• aladel.net
• bpwhamburgorchardpark.org
• clicnews.com
• dfwdiesel.net
• divineenterprises.net
• fantasticfilms.ru
• gardensrestaurantandcatering.com
• ginedis.com
• gncr.org
• hdvideoforums.org
• hihanin.com
• kingfamilyphotoalbum.com
• likaraoke.com
• mactep.org
• magic4you.nu
• marbling.pe.kr
• nacjalneg.info
• pronline.ru
• purplehoodie.com
• qsng.cn
• seksburada.net
• sportsmansclub.net
• stock888.cn
• tathli.com
• teamclouds.com
• texaswhitetailfever.com
• wadefamilytree.org
• xnescat.info
• yt118.com

Even if the sites you visit are not listed here, my pray is for you to develop a conscious security habit during your time on the Internet.

As always, email me with your comments and topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


Links:
Dirtiest Websites of Summer 2009

http://safeweb.norton.com/dirtysites

Latest news and threats
http://safeweb.norton.com/buzz


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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1995 – Microsoft Corporation released Windows 95 which added major enhancements to the then current version, Windows 3.11. These enhancements included Plug and Play, 32-bit OS, Registry, improved memory, right mouse click and CD player. Windows 95 was the first operating system that did not depend on MS-DOS even though this system was included. This release sold more than 1 million copies within four days. August 24, 1995 was also exactly two years after winning a lawsuit brought by Apple pertaining to some of the enhancements in Windows 95.


Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

Computer Hope
http://www.computerhope.com/win95.htm

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Free Software for Back-to-School or... - Part 2

Continuing with the trend of the last post, I have searched Web Bytes Blog archive to find more software that will ease the budgetary constraints for back-to-school. Below are some of the results of this search with the software download or online links listed in the “Links” section at the end.

MozyHome is a 2GB online backup application to safeguard your invaluable research and papers. There is a free version as well as a for-fee one. Other free software in this category from the archived section is Adrive and Mediafire. See http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/backup-applications.html for more details.

Google Doc is a cloud computing application that allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online; share and collaborate in real time; safely store and organize your work and control who have access to your documents. This application will come in handy for class projects that involve sharing and collaboration and will definitely alleviate the necessity to email documents back and forth. http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/07/google-docs.html. Below is a link where you can take the Google Docs tour.

Another collaboration application is Microsoft Office Live Workspace. This application is similar to the previous one except at this time it is not real time collaboration. It works well with Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook office productivity suit and you can synchronize software. You can synchronize tasks, events and contacts with Outlook 2003 and 2007, export any workspace list to Excel, Open and save files directly from Office XP, 2003 or 2007, save documents to your workspace directly from Word on your PC. Check the whole post at http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/11/microsoft-office-live-workspace.html.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

Links
http://mozy.com/
http://www.google.com/google-d-s/tour1.html
http://workspace.officelive.com/



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Monday, August 17, 2009

Free Software for Back-to-School or...

Hi all ~ I haven’t written for awhile so I thought I would recap the use of some of the free software previously written about on Web Bytes Blog that would help ease the budget constraints while doing your back to school shopping. At this time of year, some have already gone back to school and others will follow shortly so below are some software applications for either download or online that can help with the cost of being productive and professional. As mentioned, the software listed here was previously written about extensively on other Web Bytes Blog post so the links would be given. To help maximize your time spent achieving your software needs for back to school, I have placed the links to the actual software at the end of the post under “Links”.

OpenOffice.org (OOO) is one of the very first freeware productivity suites written about on Web Bytes last year. This download will save money on your writer, spreadsheet, database, presentation and calculation as these applications are part of this productivity suite. Another plus of OOO is the ability to save files as PDFs. See http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/this-is-first-of-two-part-series-on.html for the first post on OOO and do a search for the rest if you are interested.

Spybots Search & Destroy is free software that can be used as part of your computer maintenance/housekeeping regime. This application scans your computer for spyware and Malware (Viruses, worms, Trojan horses, dishonest Adware, etc.) and can be always on with the Tea Timer feature. See http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/10/spybot-search-destroy.html

Google Voice is an application that works as a go between your phone number and the outside world. You can use the Google Voice number when you do not want your actual number to be known. This is an online application (Web based or Cloud computing, which ever terminology you prefer) and is by invite only as of now so if you are interested in this application you need to follow the link for Google in the “Links” section below and request your invite. See http://www.webbytesblog.com/search?q=google+voice for the details on all the features that come with this free online application.

Gmail’s Mail Fetcher is a way to save time on accessing your email accounts by consolidating them into one Gmail account. If you already have Gmail you can add five additional email accounts to it and read all your mail with one password and one account. If not, check the “Links” section below and sign up for this free email account. Read the entire post at http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/07/gmails-mail-fetcher.html

AVG Anti-virus free edition is said to be more effective than other free anti-virus software applications. See entire post at http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/06/avg-anti-virus.html

PrintWhatYouLike is a free online eco-friendly print editor that lets you format any Web page for printing. If this is one of the features you will need for research, check it out it works. See http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/05/printwhatyoulikecom.html

This is just some of the applications we have discussed thus far that are free and will help with some of your productivity needs for school, as well as home and can even be incorporated into work depending on your organization. I will go through the archived post and see what other goodies are stored there that would be of help for back to school.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


Links
Http://www.OpenOffice.org
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/home/index.html
http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html
http://www.gmail.com/
http://www.printwhatyoulike.com



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Monday, August 3, 2009

More on Google Voice....Videos

Below are some videos I came across on YouTube and one from Bruce Naylor of FrugalTech that is approximately 5 minutes long (excluding the 10 second commercial). These videos can help you decide whether or not you need Google Voice. I think it is a neat service provided by Google for free and can help you coordinate you communication devices and help manage your time.

I pray this information is of help to you and as always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace








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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tid Bit - Browser Speed

In a recent study, pcworld.com tested browser speed and Google Chrome still is the fastest browser with an average page load of 1.699 seconds, followed by Firefox with 1.762 seconds…not a lot of difference, but still there is a difference. Internet Explorer has an average page load of 1.833 seconds and Safari 1.964 seconds followed lastly by Opera. These results are based on site visits to eight sites with Google coming in first in five of the eight sites. If you are interested in the details of this test such as how the test was conducted, visit (converted really long link to a tiny URL) http://tinyurl.com/mh7e9w

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1997 – Dell introduce their 400 Workstation, which led their entry into this market. The cost of this more powerful computer desktop, the 400 Workstation, ranged from $3000 to $8,000.


Sources:
Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

In His Service,
AvaByGrace
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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Microsoft's Office Web

Microsoft has plans to make a free Web version of Office which they plan to release in 2010 along with Office 2010. This Web-based application is Office Web and it will encompass lightweight Web browser versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Word and OneNote. It is geared toward the consumer, but as with pass innovations, will eventually be enterprise ready. When available for public use, Web Office will be accessible from Microsoft’s Windows Live portal via your browser. Documents will be stored on Microsoft’s SkyDrive service, a 25 GB of free storage and sharing files and photos, which is a component of Microsoft Windows Live strategy. SkyDrive makes them accessible from computers, mobile phones and browsers via the Internet while preserving the documents.

I pray this information is of help to you and as always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Link:
SkyDrive
http://skydrive.live.com/

Reference:
McDougall, P (2009, July 20). Cloud Plan: Free Office, And Per-Use Pricing.
InformationWeek The Best Value of Technology, 1,236, 12.



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Monday, July 20, 2009

Today in Computer History

Today in Computer History
On this day
… in 1969 – Apollo 11, known as the greatest technological achievement of all time took place and we celebrate its 30th anniversary today. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon communicated with us here on earth saying his famous phrase “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”.

…in 1976 – The first robot on Mars, Viking 1, landed there seven years after Neil Armstrong’s maiden flight. The Viking 1 and its predecessors returned information and pictures of the planet giving us a glimpse into “life” on Mars…even if there was no actual life.

Sources:
Apollo 11 30th Anniversary
http://history.nasa.gov/ap11ann/introduction.htm

Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Gmail's Mail Fetcher

If you are like most people you have a few email boxes and it takes some time to check mail in all of the accounts. Gmail created by Google has the solution to this tedious task via Mail Fetcher. If you do not have a Gmail account, which is free, you can ascertain one at http://www.gmail.com and set up Mail Fetcher once the account has been set up. This feature can be enabled to handle five email accounts. Once you sign into your Gmail account you have access to all the email accounts you added via Mail Fetcher without having to sign into them individually. The email accounts you would like to fetch the mail from must support POP (Post Office Protocol – a protocol used to retrieve email from a mail server1) access. If it is a Gmail account you must have POP access enabled under Settings in the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. Bear in mind also that some free email accounts do not allow POP access so this may not be a viable option for you. Contact your email service to find out if POP is enabled for your free account if you are having problems configuring the settings.

To set up Mail Fetcher, follow the below steps:
• Sign on to your Gmail account and click on Settings in the top right hand corner next to your email address
• When you are in settings click on the Accounts tab next to the General tab
• In the Get mail from other accounts section, click on Add a mail account you own
• In the pop up window, enter the full email address of the account you would like Mail Fetcher to fetch the mail from and click Next Step
• Mail Fetcher will populate the fields of POP Server and Port and what label the incoming mail will have. If you get an error, check with your email provider to get the correct server name and port.
• You have to decide which of the options, which are self explanatory, available on this screen you would like to enable. If you do not enable any, at least select Always use a secure (SSL) connection when retrieving mail
• Click on Add Account
• Once your account has been added, you will have the option of setting this new account as Custom From Address which allows you to create messages in Gmail and have them appear as if they were sent from your other email account. Isn’t this neat. Click Yes to set up this feature.

The above steps are quite easy and don’t take much time to set up this time saving feature. In the accounts tab you can see when your other account was last checked for mail. There is also a link where you can view the history of Mail Fetcher listing the date, and activity performed. Next to the View History link is a link Check Mail now where you can check for mail manually.

If for any reason you need to disable Mail Fetcher, follow the steps below.
• Sign on to your Gmail account and click on Settings in the top right hand corner next to your email address
• Click on the Accounts tab
• In the Get mail from other accounts section, click on delete next to the account you would like to disable and Mail Fetcher will now stop retrieving mail from that other account

Gmail has a Help Center where you can search the database if you have any questions not covered here. You can also check out the various other features Gmail has to save you time in using their email client at the links below.

I pray this information is of help to you and as always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Links
Help Center

http://mail.google.com/support/?ctx=about&hl=en

Help Forum
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail?hl=en

Gmail Blog
http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/?utm_source=us-en-gmnav&utm_medium=et&utm_content=gmnav





Reference:
1What is POP? (2007). What is POP? -a word definition from webopedia           computer dictionary. In Internet.com. New York, NY: WebMedia Brands,           Inc. Retrieved July 17, 2009, from
          http://webopedia.com/TERM/P/POP2.html

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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1968 – Intel was founded by Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce in Silicon Valley and is now the largest employer in Santa Monica. There is also an Intel Museum where you can see how Intel technology is changing the world through exhibits and interactive learning for all.


Sources:
Intel
http://www.intel.com/community/california/santaclara/index.htm

Intel Museum
http://www.intel.com/museum/visit.htm


In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Google Docs

A request for more cloud computing applications was received in my mail box so I decided to write on a long overdue application which is widely in use. This application is from Google and is called Google Docs which is an open source application and falls into this requested area of cloud computing. It allows you to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations online; share and collaborate in real time; safely store and organize your work and control who can see your documents. This type of application for home computing is very effective in sharing/collaborating on school work and projects such as family and group events and has numerous possibilities for the home office and small business entity. The feature of always available is also important in this information persistent society and if you already have a Gmail account you already have access to Google Docs. Below are some of the benefits of using this free Web based/cloud computing application from Google.

Creating documents – this can be accomplished from scratch or use a template. The type of document you can create as well as existing documents to upload are DOC, XLS, ODT, ODS, RTF, CSV, PPT etc. The toolbar buttons in Google Docs are similar to those you already use in creating your desktop documents so this familiarity makes getting started easy.

Share/Collaborate – This aspect of Google Docs allows you to choose who can access your documents by entering their email address and sending them an invitation. This is similar to using Windows Office Live Workspace (OLW) http://www.webbytesblog.com/2008/11/microsoft-office-live-workspace.html. Unlike OLW, Google Docs allows for real time collaboration with multiple users and editing as well as an online chat window to show who changed what and when on spreadsheets and documents. This makes ever having to share information via email passé with it’s back and forth time delay.

Safety online/organizing – This is a cloud application so there is no downloading to access your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. All you need is a computer with Internet access and a browser to view and create your documents. This aspect of Google Docs also saves storage space on your PC and is a plus in the event of a hard drive crash or power failure since all is in the cloud. You can also organize your documents by placing them in folders for easy finding when needed.

Publishing – In publishing your document, you have choices in who can access your document --- allow all to see, a few people or only you…you decide. You can also stop publishing the document on the Web at any time. Google Docs allows you to post a document to your blog and within your company or group.

Some need to know info:
• Create from scratch or template
o Upload from PC or enter a URL of a file or a Web. You can email documents and files directly to the email address given after you sign on to Google Docs. This is a long and complex address, but it is a necessary security feature to this option. This emailing feature does not work with spreadsheets and PDFs.
• MS Word (.doc, .docx), Rich Text (.rtf), Open Document Text (.odt), and Start Office (.sxw)
• Presentations (up to 10 MB from your computer and 2 MB from the Web, 500 KB via email)
o Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt, .pps)
• Spreadsheets (up to 10MB)
o Comma Separated Value (.csv)
o Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx) files and Open Document Spreadsheet (.ods)
• PDF Files (up to 10MB from your computer, 2MB from the Web)

This is a short overview of Google Docs and the links below will provide more information for those who would like to use this application. If you have used OLW and decide to try Google Docs, let us know your take on both.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


Links:
Google Docs

http://docs.google.com/

What’s New in Google Docs?
http://www.google.com/google-d-s/whatsnew.html



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Monday, July 13, 2009

OpenOffice.org Certifications

If you have embraced OpenOffice.org suite and incorporated it into your productivity regime, there is an OpenOffice.org Certification given at Prometric Test Centers, a global supplier of testing and assessment services. This certification, which requires registration, shows your proficiency and skill in three areas of OpenOffice.org suite – OpenOffice.org Writer 3.0, OpenOffice.org Calc 3.0, and OpenOffice.org Impress 3.0. Since OpenOffice.org is gaining popularity and being used by many governments and business professionals, attaining this certification will add to and enhance your professional credentials.

To know more about this process, visit the Prometric site at the link below.
http://www.prometric.com/OpenOffice/default.htm

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service
AvaByGrace


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Today in Computer History

On this day
… in 1992 – Chip Deal with IBM (US), Toshiba (Japan) and Siemens (Germany). IBM announced these three companies joining together to create a memory chip able to store 250 million bits of data. This collaboration will take place in one of IBM’s factory in East Fishkill, NY making this a significant stride for IBM and America as well as a new global cooperation, minimizing previous fighting for market leadership.

Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

IBM in Chip Deal with Toshiba and Siemens
http://www.nytimes.com/1992/07/13/business/ibm-in-chip-deal-with-toshiba-and-siemens.html



In His Service,
AvaByGrace




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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Google Chrome Release 06/2009

For those who downloaded Google’s Chrome browser there is a new release (2.0.172.33) that protects against a critical security vulnerability of buffer overflow in handling certain responses from HTTP servers. The severity of this problem is critical as it may allow an attacker to run code as an authorized user would. Additionally, the release also fixes two other network problems relating to HTTPS where the browser crashes when accessing some of these sites and the failing to connect to HTTPS sites via the NTLM authentication to Squid proxies. NTLM (Windows NT LAN Manager) is a suite of security and session protocols used to implement some of Microsoft network protocols... referring to the authentication of the user’s right to be signed on to the network. Squid is web cache/proxy server that speeds up Internet browsing by reducing the time and bandwidth consumption because of reusing frequently requested Web pages.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


Links:
Google Chrome Release Notes:
http://googlechromereleases.blogspot.com/2009/06/stable-beta-update-security-fix.html

Squid freeware:
http://www.squid-cache.org/


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Today in Computer History

On this day
…… in 1956 – Direct keyboard input. This was the debut of keyboard entry on the computer as we know it today on MIT’s Whirlwind computer which was completed five years prior to this. The whirlwind was also the first computer with video display of real time data (text and graphics) as well as core memory for RAM.


Sources:
Computer History Museum
http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

MIT Whirlwind Computer
http://www.cedmagic.com/history/whirlwind-computer.html

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Google Voice

Today, one of the headlines on Lifehacker.com was “Google Voice Invites Going Out to Reservation List” so I thought I would give some insight into this free Google-own telephony service. Google Voice uses voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) to enable the linking of an individual's various phone numbers (home, cell, business) operating from one number and SMS (Short Message Service) messaging. Several of the articles on the Internet mentioned Google had obtained over a million phone numbers for this new telephony service. Currently, we are told it is available only for GrandCentral users (the original name for the project), but yet I am seeing it available nationwide for today only as reported on The Today Show. Features of this service include:
  • Call screening – announce and screen callers
  • Listen in – operates like an answering machine so you can hear who is calling as the call is being recorded
  • Block calls – block unwanted calls and have message play to let them know they calls are no longer welcomed---you have reached a disconnected number or the number is no longer in service.
  • SMS – you can send, receive and store SMS messages on your PC and receive them sent you your Google number on any phone as well as respond from your PC
  • Place calls- call any US number for free (cheaper international calls) using your Google number from any phone, call anyone from an email or missed called via the Google Voice application
  • Taking calls – depending on how you set up your settings one or all of your phones will ring when you receive a call to your Google number and the listen in feature will be activated
  • Phone routing – phones ring base on who calls. You can customize which phone will ring for who, set as a group of people, customize or send calls straight to voice mail, the Spam folder or block completely, you decide
  • Forwarding phones – add phones and decide which will ring

Voice mail
  • Voice mail – the voice mail is transcribed allowing you to read what was said and becomes a permanent record. Transcriptions can be turned off is you prefer not to have this feature
  • Listen to voice mail – you can listen to voice mail from any phone or online
  • Notification – you are notified when there is a new voice mail via email or SMS. Email notifications contain the caller, length of the message, transcription of the message and a “Play Message” link enabling you to listen to the message
  • Personalized greeting – you can customize your greeting for a group or individual and choose from an existing greeting or add a new one of your own
  • Share voicemail – this can be done through forwarding an email to a friend, save a copy to your computer or embed in a Web site or blog --- available to all visitors to the site

Note: All the features have settings for you to customize it to your needs that you can learn more about via the “Learn more and get an invite “ link below are:
  • Conferencing
  • Call record
  • Call switch
  • Mobile site
  • Goog-411
  • Manage groups

Pray this brief intro to Google voice has whet your appetite and you will take the ball and obtain more info which will allow you to decide if you want to be part of this ground breaking telephony service and customize it to your individual needs.

As always, email me with your topics and let’s have a good time learning together!

In His Service,
AvaByGrace

Links:
Learn more and get an invite

http://www.google.com/googlevoice/about.html

Clip from The Today Show on Google Voice
http://lifehacker.com/5302430/google-voice-may-open-to-all-today


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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Live It Forward - In Real Life

The below article has nothing what so ever to do with home computing, but I felt compelled to share it here on Web Bytes Blog. Let me know your thoughts on this article or better yet checkout Kent’s Web site for more articles of this type if you are encouraged by this one.

Live It Forward - In Real Life
By Kent Julian (www.liveitforward.com)
If you read only one post from me, this is the one to read!

I wanted to update all of you on the life and times of the Julian family :-) But I really want you to understanding something as I share. Even though this has been a difficult week for us, Kathy and I feel like we are as blessed as ANYONE on the face of this planet. Let me explain.

Monday morning, my mother passed away suddenly. In other words, we were not expecting this. She had some health concerns, but nothing life threatening. So it was a surprise.

My mom lived her life well. Not perfectly, but well. She was a follower of Jesus Christ and stayed committed to Him during her entire life. During the past 2 days, this reality was very apparent to her family as over 1,000 people came either to the viewing or funeral to honor her life and her commitment to Christ. So while I'm sad that my mom is gone, I'm blown away by how many lives she impacted. If you get a chance, pray for my dad...the days ahead will be esp. sad and lonely for him.

Also, on Wednesday morning, Kathy and I rushed Kelsey (one of our twin daughters) to the hospital. I won't go into all the details, but 3 or 4 weeks ago we notice a few, slight changes in Kelsey--in her eating, drinking, energy-level, and more. The changes were very slight at first, but starting this past weekend everything accelerated, with each day getting worse. With all the chaos with my mom's death and our kitchen/hardwood floors being remodel (our house is currently a construction zone :-), we were not sure what was happening with her. We tried everything we knew to figure out what was going on and finally, in desperation, took her to the Emergency Room at Gwinnett Medical Center on Wednesday morning. Within a matter of minutes they diagnosed her with diabetes, and when all the test came back, we discovered she has Childhood Type 1 Diabetes. She is currently at Scottish Rite Hospital and all her training starts Friday.

So, our lives have changed a lot this week. Mom will no longer be with us here on earth. And we will now be a family learning what a "new normal" is all about. There is, of course, mourning and sadness. We have all shed tears during the past several days because Gramme is no longer with us and b/c Kelsey now has a life-long condition that, while she can live a normal life, requires constant monitoring, multiple shots and finger pricks on a daily basis, and more.

Yet again, Kathy and I feel as blessed as we've ever felt. Ever!!! One of our philosophies in life is that seldom are we in control of what happens to us, but we are always in control of our responses. In fact, the attitudes we embrace and the responses we choose are basically the only things in life of which we have 100% control. This is what I speak about and write about through my company--Live It Forward (www.liveitforward.com). Obviously, if I'm going to inspire others to live this way, I better be living this way myself.

So today, the Julian family chooses:

1. To embrace Kelsey's condition as normal.

2. To believe that Jesus is smiling on Kelsey, saying: "I have something extra special for you that you can only experience through having Diabetes. Trust me Kelsey, I have your absolute best in mind. I'm gracious and kind, and this condition is something that will ADD to your life, not take away from it. Remember, you are my special child."

3. Be excited about encouraging and leading Kelsey through the range of emotions she will experience because of this challenge. We know she will feel sad, scared, disappointed, and confused (we, as her parents, are feeling these emotions as well). However, we also know that as time goes on, Kelsey can choose to see her new life as normal and, even more, as something special and unique. What a great opportunity for Kathy and I to encourage and lead Kelsey, as well as Christopher and McKenize, through new challenges and options we could never have experienced without having a family member with Diabetes. As a family, we are beginning to realize that these new challenges also lead to new adventures that we would never have the privilege of experiencing if not for our "new normal." Sure, there are costs, but there are also unique privileges and rewards that we could never experience others.

4. To know that Kelsey will be an overachiever, which she has always been. One of my nicknames for her is "Competitive Princess." If you know Kelsey, you know she is sweet, quiet, gentle, and kind (i.e. "Princess"). Yet, you might not know that while quiet and gentle, she is extremely driven (i.e. "competitive"). Hence, my nickname "Competitive Princess." I think that nickname fits her even more now.

5. To understand that we are so BLESSED to live in the USA. Kathy grew up overseas in a third world country and KNOWS how hard it would be to support our daughter in a different county. I've led over a dozen short-term youth ministry mission trips and have seen this reality myself firsthand. The opportunity to embrace a "new normal" has a lot to do with the privilege of living here.

6. To understand the AMAZING communities which surround us. Stonemill Church, the Stingrays Swim Team, Jackson Elementary School (where Kathy works), and the national entrepreneurial networks like 48Days.Net and FreeAgentAcademy.com (networks I am connected with through my business) have been amazing during this week. We are thankful for each of you who have given of yourself to us.

7. To "live it forward" in the most important roles of our lives. To live WAY BEYOND our average.

I could say so much more, but are you beginning to see why we feel so blessed? While we would not choose Type 1 Diabetes for Kelsey (and we know she would not choose this path either), we do choose to accept it and believe Kelsey will do the same. But even more, we choose not to just accept it, but to embrace it! To experience life in a new and even better way. To choose, by faith, to know that Jesus has Kelsey's very best in mind. We choose to "live it forward" and live WAY BEYOND our average.

For the Julian family, these are not empty words...they are words by which we live.

© 2009 Kent Julian, Live It Forward LLC — All Rights Reserved

Life and career coach Kent Julian, "America's Career Coach for a New Generation," publishes the "Live It Forward™ REAL Success EZine," a bi-monthly ezine filled with free tips and strategies for pursuing the life and work you love. If you are ready to jump-start your career and find more joy and fulfillment in life, join the growing and dynamic Live It Forward community now at http://www.liveitforward.com


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Today in Computer History

On this day
…… in 1951, U.S Census Bureau dedicated UNIVAC 1 (Universal Automatic Computer), the world’s first commercial computer. This first generation computer was quite large and probably can be compared to what is known as super computer was the building block for the computers we use today. As I surf the Net, I am getting conflicting dates as to when this event actually transpired. Some articles state June 14 and some the 16th. Since the majority of the articles show June 14th, I dug a little deeper and eventually ended up at the U.S. Census Bureau Website (http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/001784.html) and the date is listed as June 14, 1951. I decided to go ahead and publish this information today any way as I felt this is an important part of computer history and should be known…next year is not promised.

…… in 1995, Apple announced its “Partnership in Education” grant recipients for 1995 allowing for the incorporation of Apple technology in the ten K-12 schools and teacher training institutions. The grant encompassed computer equipment, software and training worth $1.5 million

Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

High Beam Research
http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G1-17065214.html

In His Service,
AvaByGrace



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Friday, June 12, 2009

Today in Computer History

On this day
… 1997 – 3Com Corporation and U. S Robotics Corporation finalized their merger. 3Com paid U.S Robotics $6.6 billion which merged these two computer-industry giants in the area of networking.

….2003 – AOL released an alpha version ICQ Lite that would connect AIM and ICQ users allowing for exchange of instant messages (IM) between the two networks. AOL purchased ICQ in 1998.


Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org/tdih/

AOL Connects AIM, ICQ, Networks
http://www.betanews.com/article/AOL-Connects-AIM-ICQ-Networks/1055462892


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Thursday, June 11, 2009

AVG Anti-Virus

In April one of the blog post was on freebies for Windows which included anti-virus programs (http://www.webbytesblog.com/2009/04/more-freebies-for-windows.html). In reading various comparison studies, professional product reviews and users’ evaluation reports, one of the applications featured in this blog post stands out and has been deemed the best free anti-virus program. This free product is AVG anti-virus free edition and is said to be more effective than other free anti-virus software. Reviews of the paid version of AVG said it is right behind Norton Anti-virus 2009 which is a great position to be in. The paid version would have the same base as the free with additional features.

For more information check out these two links showing what to look for when deciding on an anti-virus program from About.com and a review of some of the products from Consumersearch.com

What to Look for in Anti-virus Software
http://netsecurity.about.com/od/antivirusandmalware/a/lookforav.htm

Anti-virus Software Reviews
http://www.consumersearch.com/antivirus-software


As always, submit your questions and comments and let’s have fun learning together.

In His Service,
AvaByGrace


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Today in Computer History

On this day
...1978 – On a single Silicon chip, Texas Instrument (known for calculators in 1978) introduced the first electronic duplication of human voice tract through an educational aid for ages 7 and above. This aid/toy was called Speak and Spell and would say a word for the user to spell via its alphabetical keypad. In turn, as the user depressed the key, Speak and Spell would pronounce the depressed letter for the user to hear the spelling of the word. At that time, Speak and Spell was quite an amazing educational toy.

...2006 – Google introduces a new online spreadsheet application, Google Docs spreadsheet, advancing into an area Microsoft has dominated with its Excel application. Google’s spreadsheet falls into the area of cloud computing or Web based applications and in the open source category.

Sources:
Computer History Museum

http://www.computerhistory.org

Google Combines Word Processing and Spreadsheets
http://news.cnet.com/Google-combines-word-processing,-spreadsheets/2100-1032_3-6124593.html


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