Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Why do so many apps come out first or only on Apple when Android is clearly

Why do so many apps come out first or only on Apple when Android is clearly leading?

ComScore calls Android top dog, Apple pulls further ahead of RIM

Monday, 29 August 2011

A beautiful dragonfly clinging to the corner of our house today.

A beautiful dragonfly clinging to the corner of our house today. It didn't seem bothered about me getting up close and snapping a couple of photos with my phone, despite the dastardly shutter sound Android makes!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Classic sign.

Classic sign. If this is real I'd like to think they knew what they were doing and went ahead anyway for the amusement factor, but I suspect they were just oblivious.

Best. Sign. EVER. Get this retweeted guys, it's an absol... on Twitpic

Saturday, 27 August 2011

It really is impressive how rapidly G+ is growing and evolving.

It really is impressive how rapidly G+ is growing and evolving. Clearly listening to users and adding features that are useful and not just window dressing.

As a platform it seems to have the best of twitter and facebook and blogging, so the future looks assured. I think Google has got it right this time.

Matt Waddell originally shared this post:

Sesame Street: King Of 8

Faces of Gmail: Brandon Long

Posted by Kathleen Chen, Consumer Operations

In this month’s Faces of Gmail we’ll introduce you to Brandon Long, a parent, ice-hockey player and science fiction fan who makes sure your emails get sent and received.

What do you do on the Gmail team?
I’m the Tech Lead Manager of the Gmail delivery team. Our team is responsible for sending and receiving email for Gmail and many other Google projects. We’re also responsible for the IMAP & POP support for Gmail, which is the most popular way to access Gmail on mobile devices.

What did you do before joining Google?
I founded Neotonic Software which wrote a web application for email customer support. Before that, I worked at eGroups, which was acquired by Yahoo! and is now Yahoo!Groups.

What’s your typical day like?
My typical day involves catching up on email from our teams in other timezones (Google Engineering never sleeps). I also stay on top of escalations from our support team, keep abreast of the running service with our SREs (Site Reliability Engineers), and make sure my team doesn’t have any blockages. Finally, I still manage to keep my hands in the codebase, working as part of the team. When I have some extra time, I take a peek in the Gmail help forum to see if there’s anything brewing or any help I can offer.

What do you like most about what you do?
Scale and ubiquity. Everyone knows about Gmail, many people I know use it. The volume of messages we deal with on a daily basis is pretty staggering, and it’s pretty complicated to keep the whole thing working and continuing to scale.

What are the three Gmail features you wouldn’t be able to live without?
SMTP, IMAP, and keyboard shortcuts. I get thousands of messages a day to my work account, and keyboard shortcuts make all of the difference in handling the volume.

What’s your favorite lab?
Green Robot. I’m an Android fan, and I like to see which of my friends are fans as well.

What do you do when you’re not working on Gmail?
I’m a father of two young children, and I play ice hockey in the local beer league.

Any favorite TV shows?
Burn Notice, The Daily Show, Top Chef, Top Gear

What’s on your reading list?
Switching to the Kindle for reading has allowed me to subscribe to magazines I gave up reading a long time ago. For example, after 15 years I’m back to reading Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine. I find it very convenient to read the short stories during my commute.

What would your last meal be?
Does one go with comfort food or with amazing? For comfort, nothing beats Chicago-style Pizza. In SF, that means Patxi’s. In Chicago, that means Lou Malnati’s or Gino’s East. For amazing, I’m not a foodie myself, but I have enough foodie friends to have been introduced to some meals both amazing and ridiculous. And besides, if it’s going to be my last meal, why not a 25 course gastronomic event taking six hours or more? The last place we tried was e by José Andrés, and it was fabulous.

Photos by Cody Bratt, Google Talk team

Friday, 26 August 2011

This could be exciting.

This could be exciting. Now what about voice, music etc.

Google TV coming to the UK within six months

Better control in Google Sites with page-level permissions

Today we’re introducing page-level permissions, a new feature that will allow you to control who can view and edit your Google Site on a page by page basis.

Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.

Only site owners have the ability to enable this feature, which is turned off by default for new and existing sites. To turn on page-level permissions, go to More Actions > Sharing and Permissions.

From there, click Enable page-level permissions. Then, in the dialog box, click Turn on page-level permissions.

Once page-level permissions is enabled, you’ll have three options to choose from:
  • allow a page to inherit all of your site-level permissions
  • elect to include future site-level changes to a page
  • prevent a page from inheriting any future changes made at the site-level

Using page-level permissions should give you greater control over who can edit and access your Google site. To learn more about setting page-level permissions, take a look at our getting started guide. Let us know what you think in our support forums.

Posted by: Eric Zhang, Software Engineer

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Chromebooks are like fine wine!

(via G+) Chromebooks are like fine wine!

This post from the Google Enterprise Blog about Chromebooks getting better over time brought a wry smile to my face. Why? Because I'd just had to boot up my Windows 7 laptop after it had been unceremoniously rebooted overnight thanks to a MS update, never mind that I had an important process running and now have to start al over again.

Official Google Enterprise Blog: The computer that keeps getting better...

Monday, 8 August 2011

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Google Apps Blog update

Google Apps Blog update

Link to The Google Apps Blog

Posted: 03 Aug 2011 09:00 AM PDT
Today, we're releasing a few new types of charts, plus a feature that allows you to copy your charts from spreadsheets into documents and drawings. Sound good? Bet your bar chart it does. Let's show you how it works.

Start by creating a chart. Then, select the chart by clicking on it once, which will display the chart's name. Click the chart name or the arrow next to it to open the dropdown menu of chart actions. From the menu, select Copy chart.

Next, open the document or drawing where you'd like to insert the chart and position the cursor where you'd like the chart to go. Use the Web Clipboard dropdown menu, as shown below, to locate your copied chart.

As you hover the mouse over the menu item for the chart, a thumbnail will be displayed. Clicking on the chart item will paste it into the document as an image, which can then be resized, aligned, etc. Here's an example of a chart pasted into a document:

Note that the chart snapshots are just that -- they are images of the chart at the time of copying and therefore do not update as the spreadsheet data changes. If you need to update a chart, just copy and paste it again.

The name of the chart shown in the Web Clipboard menu is the same as the chart's name in the spreadsheet, which you can easily change from the default name, "Chart 1." To rename a chart, select Edit chart from the chart's action menu, and enter a new name on the Customize tab. This is particularly handy when working with charts from multiple spreadsheets.

We've also introduced a few new types of charts to Google spreadsheets. We now support candlestick charts and combo charts (which allow you to show columns, lines, and area lines all on the same graph). You can also use the GeoMap chart to insert a data-driven map of the world, a continent, or a country into your spreadsheet. Our TreeMap chart, meanwhile, should be exciting for the statisticians and logicians among you.

We hope this makes creating great documents easy as pie (charts, of course).

Posted by: Ben Margolin, Software Engineer
Posted: 02 Aug 2011 09:01 AM PDT
Posted by Pierre Lebeau, Product Manager

We're always trying to make it easier for people to connect—whether that means sending an email, chatting or video chatting, you can reach the people you care about from right inside Gmail. Last year, we made it possible for those of you in the U.S. to call any mobile phone or landline directly from Gmail and starting today, we are making this available to many more of you who use Gmail outside the U.S. by offering calling in 38 new languages.

You can now buy calling credit in your choice of four currencies (Euros, British pounds, Canadian dollars or U.S. dollars) and there are no connection fees, so you only pay for the time you talk.

To help reduce the cost of staying connected, we're also lowering our calling rates to over 150 destinations around the world. For example, it's now only $0.10 (or €0.08) per minute to call mobile phones in the U.K., France or Germany (landlines are $0.02/min), $0.15/minute to call mobile phones in Mexico and $0.02/min to call any phone number in China and India. The complete list is available on our rates page.

We're rolling out this feature over the next few days, so if it's available in your country you'll see a little green phone icon show up at the top of your chat list and you'll be ready to make calls (you'll need to install the voice and video plug-in if you haven't already). If you're a Google Apps user, your domain administrator must have Google Voice and Google Checkout enabled in the administrator control panel in order to be able to use this feature.

Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed within those countries will continue to be free at least for the rest of 2011. Calls to the U.S. or Canada placed from outside these countries will be charged $0.01 per minute (or €0.01, £0.01, C$0.01 per minute).

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

So that survey about IE users having lower...

So that survey about IE users having lower IQ turned out to be a hoax. The media were quick to jump on it though and are looking a bit sheepish now! Still, it would be interesting to do the survey for real don't you think?
View or comment on Stuart Cummings's post »

*I think I'm going to check out of Foursquare...

I think I'm going to check out of Foursquare.

I've decided that the hassle of checking in at various places just isn't worth it. Sure it was fun for a while to collect points, badges and mayorships, but in the end there's just nothing in it for me.

If I lived in the USA or in a big city where there were loads of special offers it might be worth the effort. Even the joy of being mayor of my local pub has worn off now, so that's it.

I welcome the relief of not trying to outscore friends and being able to appreciate a venue for it's own merits rather than how many points it's worth.
View or comment on Stuart Cummings's post »

Google Apps Blog update

Google Apps Blog update

Link to The Google Apps Blog

This week in Docs: Copying drawings and better right-to-left table support

Posted: 01 Aug 2011 11:02 AM PDT

This week in Docs, we have a couple of new features that we hope make your life easier (and more visual). Read on.

Copying and pasting drawings across docs
Starting today, we're adding support for the web clipboard to the embedded drawing editor so that you can work with drawings within documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. This means that you can now copy shapes from one document and paste them into existing drawings in another doc. You can also use the web clipboard to move a drawing from a document into the standalone drawing editor.

To try this out, open a new document and go to Insert > Drawing to create a drawing in the embedded drawing editor. Click the web clipboard icon and Copy shapes to web clipboard.

Open another doc that you want to paste the drawing into. Click the web clipboard icon and hover to preview the available items -- then, click to paste when you've located the drawing you'd like to use.

Better support for right-to-left tables
We've also made an improvement to tables that will be useful for Hebrew and Arabic users. If you've enabled right-to-left controls from your docs list settings, you'll now have an option to create tables that are visually right-to-left. This means that the first cell in the table will be in the upper right and that tabbing through the table will move you to the left and down. You can modify a table's directionality from the table properties dialog.

We hope you enjoy these new features. As always, let us know what you think in the forums and stay tuned for more updates in the next This week in Docs blog post.

Posted by: Aharon Lanin, Software Engineer