If you go to Google Maps, click “Get Directions,” select walking, and search for directions from The Shire to Mordor, you get a Lord of the Rings warning in the form of an easter egg that “One does not simply walk into Mordor.”
Google must be putting these out to celebrate Google I/O eve 2013.
I’ve been using a tool called Gmail Meter that just came out last week. It analyzes your Gmail statistics and trends. As if Google didn’t know. It’s just sharing the information with you.
Gmail Meter is an Apps Script which runs on the first day of every month and sends you an email containing different statistics about your Inbox. In a similar way to how recently introduced Google Account Activity gives key stats about how you’ve used your Google Account, Gmail Meter gives you different types of statistics that will help you analyze your Gmail habits. #
This morning, I received an email summary of my statistics for the month of April. The word count feature for my account was what caught my eye. Continue reading
I’ve been offline quite a bit these days, but I happened to jump on today. I didn’t realize Google does a personalized doodle for you on your birthday. Scared me for a second at first. It even said “Happy birthday, Jen” when my mouse hovered over it!
From the Google blog:
Because doodles are such a fun part of the search experience, we thought we’d share a fun little way Google will help celebrate your birthday. When you include your date of birth on your Google profile, you may notice a special treat on the Google homepage on your birthday (be sure to sign in). Click on the doodle for another birthday surprise!
Here are some quotes I like about getting old:
- Growing old- better than the alternative: dying young.
- Growing old is not for sissies.
Anyways, this birthday didn’t suck too badly. Nothing bad happened (yet!) as something usually does on or around my birthday.
I haven’t been online very much recently, but I’ve been playing around with Google+. I’m sure everyone’s on by now (if you are, add me, google plus me, + me, whatever). But if you’re still looking for an invite, leave a comment.
Update (July 10): Check out this Google+ cheat sheet:
Image courtesy of Simon Laustsen on Google+.
For the next 24 hours on the Google homepage will be celebrating the birthday of musician and inventor Les Paul. You’ll find an interactive, playable logo inspired by the guitar developed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee that made the sound of rock and roll possible.
From the Google blog: “As well as his guitar work, Les Paul experimented in his garage with innovative recording techniques like multitracking and tape delay. In keeping with this spirit of tinkering, those of you in the U.S. can click the black “compose” button to record your own 30-second track. Just strum the strings or trigger notes with the letters or numbers on your keyboards. Clicking the button again will display a link to share the songs you’ve made.”
Click the doodle itself, and it takes you to sites featuring Les Paul. Unfortunately, looks like the recording and sharing aspect appears limited to US Googlers.
I personally love it because my dad plays a Les Paul guitar. Check out the doodle here.
Update Jun 26: the Les Paul doodle now has a permanent home.
Update (Dec 21 evening, heh): The screen has auto-adjusting brightness. Which means it automatically turns brighter in a bright environment and auto-dims in darker environments.
A couple weeks ago, Google announced that they were giving away some laptops for people to test out their Chrome OS. This weekend, I received an unmarked package (suspicious, right?) and didn’t recall ordering anything recently. I had no idea what it was, but since it was addressed to me, I opened it up anyways. Inside, I found a box that had a diagram of a mouse and its rocket wheel invention?
It almost looks like a macbook, but it’s black and has a soft rubberize exterior. I like it better than the slippery mac surfaces. Specs or boasted functionality?
- 12″ display
- 10 second boot time
- instant on from standby/sleep
- full-sized keyboard (with no caps lock key)
- built-in wi-fi and Verizon 3G (free 100mb per month for 2 yrs.)
- 3.8 lbs
- 8+ hrs of battery life
Here are some more pictures:
The search key that replaced the caps lock key:
I haven’t used it that much yet, but here are my initial thoughts:
- Simplicity-clean black design, soft rubber coating
- Browser keys along the top of the keyboard
- Mousepad is REALLY hard to use–a challenge to right-click and impossible to drag-and-drop
- Webcam quality is pretty poor
- The power button is used to turn the machine off or switch users, but I can never get it to work properly. I always end up turning the computer off
- No LED on keyboard keys (I guess that’s not too different from my Alienware)
There’s still time to get in on this if you don’t mind being a guinea pig. You have until 11:59:59 PM PST on December 21, 2010 to sign up.
Google just announced they’re giving away Google Voice invites to students. If you’re a student, visit google.com/voice/students and enter an email address that ends in .edu. Your Google Voice invite will arrive in your inbox within 24 hours. Keep in mind that only one invite will be be sent per email address and Google Voice is currently only available in the U.S.
I use my Google Voice number ALL the time and even gave away all my invites here. I use it for craigslist and it handles all my voicemail (so it’s archived or even accessible on the web). It’s just GREAT so go get one for yourself!!!
OOOh, anyone who knows me (or who is a google contact of mine) will know that I’m a prolific Google Reader user. Look what I found today!
The Google ReaderAdvantage™ program is simple. You get one point for each item you read. The more you read, the more you get. Then you can trade in your points for cool stuff. And because we believe in a little friendly competition, there are four levels of ReaderAdvantage™ status:
- Novice: 999 points
- Gold: 25,000 points
- Platinum: 133,700 points
- Totally Sweet: 314,159 points
We considered inventing a secret ReaderAdvantage™ handshake, but instead we created embroidered badges to ensure that members can easily identify their compatriots.
If you use Google Reader, there’s no reason not to join. Visit the ReaderAdvantage™ site to read all the details and enroll today. As always, please send us your thoughts and feedback in our forum or on Twitter.
Don’t forget to read the fine print:
- Subject to terms and conditions.
- Because it wouldn’t be a rewards program without them, blackout dates and restrictions apply.
- To earn points for offline reading, send in a photo of yourself reading the newspaper, comics, or tabloids, along with an itemized list of items read and we’ll credit the points to your account in 8-12 months. Items read on toilet will not be counted.
- Points expire on the 3rd fortnight after they are earned, unless the day lands on a Tuesday in which case points are converted to pseudo-points until the following full moon.
- Pseudo-points are worth 1/17th the value of regular points, and can only be redeemed by faxing Customer Support after 10:00am MST and before 10:24am PST, Monday-Tuesday.
- Clicking “Mark all as read” will not earn you any points. Nice try smarty-pants.*
- Google Reader reserves the right to revoke points for any reason including but not limited to: bad commenting etiquette, inclement weather, clogged internet tubes, and Sasquatch sightings.
- Google does not officially endorse the belief in the existence of Sasquatch (aka Big Foot, Yeti, Abominable Snowman), but we like to keep an open mind and hope you do too.
- Do not taunt or disrespect the ReaderAdvantage™ Program. We have feelings too.
- Any and all conflicts regarding the ReaderAdvantage™ Program will be settled with a live-streamed dance off.
- If you develop a rash as a result of using the ReaderAdvantage™ Program, stop using the ReaderAdvantage™ Program and seek immediate medical attention.
- This is seriously, absolutely, definitely not a joke.**
- We may decide this is a joke at any time.
*On the other hand, the Konami code will get you 30 points.
**Unless it is.
Google has announced that they’ve stopped censoring their search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, that allows uncensored search in simplified Chinese. They’ve also created this new web page, which will be updated regularly each day, so that everyone can see which Google services are available in China.
I love using Google Reader. It helps me keep up with topics I’m interested in or stay up to date with my friends blogs without actually visiting every single one. I’ve tried to tell all my friends about it, but a lot of them still don’t know what it is or are too lazy to set it up. Now Google has come up with a no-set-up required version at http://www.google.com/reader/play/. If you have time, go check out and browse interesting things on the web. If you’re using Google Reader, you can switch to this view by clicking “View in Reader Play” from the feed settings menu.
This is how Google Voice transcribes a message. This voicemail was left in Chinese by my Auntie Linda, who was inviting me to dinner. Here’s the original:
Hey Jen, If I’m doing, Dante at 10 AM. A number on a budget. The basic compiling a list call back. Yeah, okay. Yeah back. Bye bye.
My coworker Kurt was asking about this so I’ll post it up here:
If you have Firefox and GreaseMonkey, then install this script. Go to your Facebook Phonebook, then in your Firefox menu, go into Tools > GreaseMonkey > User Script Commands… > and you’ll see Export Facebook Phonebook. Extract the data, and then POST it to AddressBooker, which will then guide you through merging it into your Google Contacts.
Script by Brad.
Google has now added a single button that merges all your duplicate contacts at once. To clean up your contact list in one fell swoop, just click the “Find duplicates” button in the contact manager, review the merge suggestions (and uncheck any suggestions you don’t want merged), and hit the “Merge” button.
I’ve been using Google Voice since it was known as GrandCentral. It changed over sometime March 2009. Too bad they didn’t have that nifty “vanity name selector” when I signed up or else I would have gone for something like ###-BEEJ. Well, Google Voice is available by invitation only, and it seems pretty tough for people to get invitations because its demand has remained quite high since the beginning.
Fret not, because I have a grand total of THREE invitations. I had some invites for Google Wave too, but no one was interested.
I actually use Google Voice quite a bit because I deal a lot on Craigslist, so it’s nice not to give away my real phone number. My Google Voice number actually forwards to my cell. It even lets me screen calls and check voicemail online.
Want an invite?
Since I only have 3 invites, I thought I’d be creative. Leave a comment following guidelines below:
- Comment must be left before 12 noon Pacific Time, Thursday, December 10, 2009.
- In the email field, use the email address you’d like the invitation sent to in the body of the message. Double check that the email address you provide is accurate! Please note that Google Voice is only available for sign up in the US.
I’ll use a random number generator to pick 3 to send invites to. I get very few comments on my site to begin with, so if there are only 3 or fewer requests, congratulations! Everyone gets one! If you don’t want an invite, but just want to leave a comment, that’s cool too, but do the rest of the peeps a favor and specify that you don’t need an invitation.
You can also just request an invite directly from Google by visiting their Request an Invite page.
This article at Geeks are Sexy made me laugh.
I’ve been poking around this last week, but I don’t know what to do with it. I still have some invites, so leave a comment if you want one.
Yay, google finally allows multiple file selection for attachments!!! I’m such a nerd to get excited about this. You can send files from the same folder. Just hold down the Ctrl key and click on each file you want to attach. You can also hold down the Shift key to select a continuous list of files. A definite time saver.
You’ll not only save a few mouse clicks selecting files, but you’ll also see progress bars on each file as it uploads.
via [Official Gmail Blog]
Saw this in church today.
Call+Response is a first of its kind feature documentary film that reveals a terrifying secret: there are more slaves today than ever before in human history. In 2007, slave traders made more money than Google, Nike and Starbucks combined. Call+Response goes deep undercover where slavery is thriving. First hand accounts from luminaries like Cornel West, Julia Ormond, Madeleine Albright, Daryl Hannah, Ashley Judd, and Nicholas Kristof provide the backdrop of for this 21st century nightmare. Grammy-winning and critically acclaimed artists including Moby, Natasha Bedingfield, Cold War Kids, Matisyahu, Imogen Heap, Talib Kweli, Five For Fighting, Switchfoot, members of Nickel Creek, Rocco Deluca, move this information into inspiration offering this century its first abolitionist songs.