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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