Tag Archives: Google

A guide to Facebook privacy settings

Ghacks has published here a small but useful guide to basi security settings in Facebook.

Suggestions include the fact that “[…] , this menu is entirely customizable. If you do not want anyone who is not on your friends list to access any of your information then you can do this from here. If you don’t mind if friends of friends also have access to your profile then this is an option too. For example, if I wanted everyone to be able to see when my birthday is then I would first click on the ‘Customize Settings’ tab. From here, I would enable everyone to see my birthday. It is as simple as that. Let’s take a closer look at each of the different settings that you can edit when it comes to Facebook privacy. […]

First of all is the ‘Posts by me’ section. This will include any status updates that you write, any wall posts that you make, or any photos that you upload. Obviously, the most sensible thing to do here is to set this to ‘Friends only’. This is because you do not want people that you do not know getting access to things that you have said, or your personal information or images.
The ‘Bio and Favourite Quotations’ section is up to you whether or not you would like to make this section private. However, it is important to remember that you may be putting private information about yourself in the Bio section which others will be able to see if you do allow this section to be public rather than private. The ‘Family and Relationships’ section is another one that is best kept private. The reason for this is because if you allow this information to be public then everyone can see members of your family which not everyone would be comfortable with. Of course, it is up to you, but it is best to be on the safe side. The rest of the information in this section of the privacy settings would usually be better if it were set to ‘Friends Only’, because it is all personal information. […]”

I think the guide is useful despite the fact that this brain confusing level of security that is implemented by Facebook for me is still unreliable and difficult to understand by average user.

This post as a comment also here.

Getting access to Google Body

Google body is to anatomy what Google earth is to geography.

To get access you need to go to browser site (here).

You will need to have a WebGl enabled browser.

This is the kind of applications that should be written: fast, detailed, open and educationals.


Google working to shrink Chrome a little bit

Stephen Shankland at Cnet reports that “[…] When Chrome got its start, the browser was svelte and fast-loading if limited. Now, it’s got plenty of features, but two years later, it’s nearly three times bigger. And Google, deciding that’s not a good thing, has set up a task force to curtail Chrome bloat.

The task force is “aggressively looking at options to bring down the size of Chrome distribution binaries,” said Anthony Laforge, Chrome technical program manager, in a mailing list message this month. Binary files are the ones computers understand; they’re created from human-comprehensible source code. […]” (full article here)

I personally hope that this optimization will give us a still performing, secure and no compromises browser  like the one we are used to.

I think is an effort worth a try, especially if you think at the times (not so far) when a program was measured in kbytes 😉  and worked fine despite using tons of space (HD or RAM).

This post as a comment also here

Customizing Google results

Tim Conneally at Beta news reports that “[…]  Google on Thursday introduced an experimental feature which continues its mission to chip away at undesirable search results and information from “content farms”: the ability to block all results from a particular URL.

Now, when search results are returned, there is a button next to each link labeled “Block all [URLNAME] results.” When clicked, that site is sent to a block list, which can be managed in the user’s Google account.

“We’re adding this feature because we believe giving you control over the results you find will provide an even more personalized and enjoyable experience on Google. In addition, while we’re not currently using the domains people block as a signal in ranking, we’ll look at the data and see whether it would be useful as we continue to evaluate and improve our search results in the future,” Google search quality engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang said today. […]” (full article here).

Jacqui Cheng at Ars technica adds that “[…] The new blacklisting feature is triggered when you perform a Google search, click on a link, and then go backto Google after having decided that link isn’t what you wanted. When you return to Google the second time, a new option appears next to the Cached link that says “Block all [website name] results.” If you’re logged into your Google account (which is required in order to maintain a blacklist), you can then click that link and get a confirmation message that you want to block it.

Google wrote on its blog that you may not see the site disappear right away if you simply refresh your browser with the same search, but running a new search should get that domain out of your face for good. “The next time you’re searching and a blocked page would have appeared, you’ll see a message telling you results have been blocked, making it easy to manage your personal list of blocked sites,” Google Search quality engineers Amay Champaneria and Beverly Yang wrote. “This message will appear at the top or bottom of the results page depending on the relevance of the blocked pages. […]” (full article here)

I don’t believe this will give in full control to the user (come on, results mean completeness of search and more practically money), but I appreciate the effort mad by Google to allow users to customize they’re searches.

This post as a comment also at Betanews and at Ars Technica

Google new browser concept is without URL bar?

Raymond Wong at Dvice (http://dvice.com/archives/author/raymond_wong) reports that some mockups from Google seems to be “[…] killing the URL address bar in its Chrome web browser. Always looking to shave pixels off of its Chrome web browser, Google is toying around with four different layouts that could drastically change the way you browse the web: classic, compact, sidetab and touch. The most notable change is of course the “compact” version that does away with the URL bar, and puts “multiple URL bars into tabs.” It essentially gives you more vertical pixels, which means less scrolling within websites. […]” (full article at http://dvice.com/archives/2011/02/google-is-think.php, original article at Lifehacker and by Wolfgang Gruener at http://www.conceivablytech.com/5746/products/google-may-kill-chrome-url-bar/).

I think that browsing has made lot of step forwards during time, but one thing remained quite the same the URL bar. But I’ m confident that Google usability magicians will be able to imagine something without the bar.

This post as a comment also at   http://dvice.com/archives/2011/02/google-is-think.php

Emailing the right way

I came through a quite old post from Leo Babauta at GigaOM on how to be effective with email (full article at http://gigaom.com/collaboration/7-rules-for-communicating-clearly-and-concisely-in-email).

Leo’s rules and my comments:

  • Use the minimum amount of sentences. True and try to use bullets were make sense to be schematic
  • State what you want right away. Email is not (only) an exercise of style. Is communication with no escapes, since no facial or hands expression help to clarify your thoughts. So go to the point as fast as you can
  • Write about only one thing. True. This also helps recipients to answer one thing a time
  • Leave out the humor and emotions. True, because recipients read the messages as they are, and you’re not there to explain is a joke.
  • Use “If …then” statements. Is part of being schematic
  • Review for ambiguity, clarity. Revise for conciseness. Review always the message and if you can )and the message is really important) save it as a draft and come back later

This post as a comment also at http://gigaom.com/collaboration/7-rules-for-communicating-clearly-and-concisely-in-email/?go_commented=1#comment-572170

Chrome OS

Russell Holly at Geek.com (http://www.geek.com/users/rholly/) writes a small but good article on Chrome os and CR-48 from Google.

“[…] I’m going to take a stab in the dark and say that off the top of your head, you know of at lease five people who only use their web browser, or applications that require the web, 100% of the time. They don’t code, they don’t edit video, and they probably don’t even use their CD/DVD drive. We are web creatures, and Google has noticed. They noticed that users have more productive time if they didn’t have to worry about things like antivirus updates, drivers, and waiting for their programs to install yet another update. Chrome accomplished this in browser form. It’s always up-to-date, you never have to maintain it, and it comes with the stuff you actually use on the internet like Flash, Silverlight, and a PDF viewer already installed. It doesn’t need you to take care of it. Chrome OS pushes this same functionality into the whole computer. It’s an environment where maintenance is a foreign concept, rather than the first thing you do when you sit down to your computer. […]” worth a read at http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/what-is-chromeos-2010128/.

Monopoly or not?

Mathew Ingram at GigaOM writes a good article starting from Tim Wu new book on if we should be scared or not of Google, Apple and Facebook and if we are going toward a de-facto monopoly.

Mathew writes “[…] that just as AT&T was a monopoly during an earlier phase of communications history, companies like Google, Facebook and Apple now have what he calls “information monopolies” that could be just as damaging to our society. But does he present a convincing case that this is true? Not really. […]”

I agree with Mathew that we are not facing a monopoly, but I think better a “specialized” oligopoly, because Apple is a market maker for Phone trends, while Facebook is a reference for Social Networking.

Google is quite different, since offers a broader number of services, but there’s always an alternative for each of them. The truth is that in most cases Google services are better than the rest.

This post as a comment also at http://gigaom.com/2010/11/25/tim-wu-google-facebook/?go_commented=1#comment-524467

Facebook email still blocks some links

Ryan Singel at Wired reports that “[…]  Facebook’s “modern messaging system” may make it convenient to seamlessly move between instant messaging and a Facebook.com e-mail account, but not if you are sharing a link to a file sharing site. Facebook began blocking BitTorrent link-sharing on Facebook walls and news feeds last spring, and also started blocking private messages between users that included a link to torrents on the Pirate Bay. […]” (full article at http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/11/facebook-link-blocking).

I do not endorse or support bittorrent sharing for protected materials, but I think that blocking bit torrent anyway is quite meaningless. I also think that is strange this kind of approach by a company that has demonstrated that security is maybe its last concern.

This post as a comment also at   http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/11/facebook-link-blocking/comment-page-1/#comment-58772

Facebook revisited: do we really need another email system?

Tim Conneally at Beta news (http://www.betanews.com/author/tim) reports that “[…] Popular social networking site Facebook today announced it is rolling out a whole new messaging system over the next few months that “isn’t just e-mail,” but integrates four common ways users communicate: email, Facebook messages and chat, and SMS, and archives it all in a single thread. [….]” (full article at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebooks-new-messaging-system-handles-email-chat-SMS-Office-Web-apps-all-in-one/1289847427).

Same thing is done by Sharon Gaudin at Computerworld (full article at http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9196618/Facebook_messaging_throws_a_blow_at_Google), Jacqui Cheng at Ars technica (full article at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/11/facebooks-new-messaging-system-mashes-up-sms-e-mail-im.ars), John Brownlee at geek.com (http://www.geek.com/users/jbrownlee/ and full article at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-introduces-new-messaging-system-e-mail-sms-and-im-all-in-one-place-20101116/), Om Malik at Giga OM (http://gigaom.com/author/om/ and full article at http://gigaom.com/2010/11/15/meet-the-new-new-facebook) and Adam Dachis at Lifehacker (http://lifehacker.com/5690721/why-you-should-embrace-the-new-facebook-modern-messaging-system).

In some ways it reminds me Google wave, but I wish for Facebook it doesn’t follow the same path.

I agree with Google CEO that this new Facebook features aren’t a threat to Google activities, because the target is different (Google is a quite serious email provider and most of all is more secure than Facebook) and though messaging is integrated with Facebook, IMHO Google is more usable.

Again, I understand FB need to cover a gap and use his vast “installed base” (or addressable market),  but it would have better consolidate and strengthen his features before getting into a such complex addon, with no (substanntial) innovations and more risks for privacy.

This post as a comment also at http://www.betanews.com/article/Facebooks-new-messaging-system-handles-email-chat-SMS-Office-Web-apps-all-in-one/1289847427, at http://www.computerworld.com/comments/node/9196618#comment-708663, at http://arstechnica.com/web/news/2010/11/facebooks-new-messaging-system-mashes-up-sms-e-mail-im.ars?comments=1&p=21020590#comment-21020590, at http://www.geek.com/articles/news/facebook-introduces-new-messaging-system-e-mail-sms-and-im-all-in-one-place-20101116/comment-page-1/#comment-3924221, at http://gigaom.com/2010/11/15/meet-the-new-new-facebook/?go_commented=1#comment-513643 and at http://lifehacker.com/5690721/why-you-should-embrace-the-new-facebook-modern-messaging-system

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