UPDATED GOOGLE SEARCH PAGES

 new-google-ui-500x272

Google has officially rolled out an update to its search result pages, a three column design that provides search options on the left to help refine and redirect your searches. Spend a few minutes learning about the new features – this is the basic tool that shapes much of your online experience, every day. […] continued

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Facebook And Privacy

facebook-privacy

In the golden glow of hindsight, there was a wonderful time when big companies would do things that were good for their customers because that was likely to be the most profitable choice, and because it was the right thing to do.

Big companies still consider doing good things for their customers – but it’s only one element in their thoughts and can easily be jettisoned if there’s more money to be made from treating customers badly and profiting from the ones who feel locked in or don’t have any reasonable options. […] continued

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Information Literacy

information literacy

Technology has left everyone feeling a bit adrift. Everyone fears that they don’t have basic skills that other people seem to have mastered – whether it’s finding files on a computer or locating information online, running programs or using handheld devices. Some people are ahead of the curve, some are behind, but almost no one feels confident. […] continued

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MORE HACKING ATTACKS

malwareThe Wall Street Journal reports today: “Hackers in Europe and China successfully broke into computers at nearly 2,500 companies and government agencies over the last 18 months in a coordinated global attack that exposed vast amounts of personal and corporate secrets to theft, according to a computer-security company that discovered the breach.”

This is apparently not related to the attacks from China that caused Google to make noises last month about closing its operations in that country.  In fact, the New York Times calmly notes that this is a relatively small blip in the world of compromised computers and botnets. […] continued

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THE UNCERTAIN FUTURE OF LIVE MESH

livemeshlogoLive Mesh is Microsoft’s program for syncing folders between multiple computers and online storage, making your files available to you wherever you are.

I think Live Mesh is dead, and I think I know why: Microsoft is deliberately cutting back on what it could have delivered to protect the revenue it wants from Office 2010. […] continued

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Firefox 3.6

firefoxMozilla has released Firefox version 3.6, with increased security, faster display of web pages and Javascript, and some new features for add-ins and themes. Here’s a description of the new release and a video demonstrating some of the new features.

If you are running Firefox, you can get the new version by clicking on Help / Check for updates. […] continued

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UPDATES

update I’ve prepared a list of computer safety tips for years. Over time, the advice to keep critical programs up to date has moved to the top spot on the list. You don’t have to spend all your time reading technology news but you do have to be able to identify which reminders are legitimate when they pop up from the system tray. […] continued

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GOOGLE AND CHINA

googlechina The technical side of Google’s blowup in China is shaping up as an explosive story about technology and hacking. Keep an eye on this one!

On Tuesday Google announced that it would no longer comply with Chinese censorship demands and might cease operating in China altogether. As I understand it, Google has set up a separate search page that operates within China and censors some search results as requested by the Chinese government. […] continued

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Online Passwords And LastPass

Previously:
Passwords: computer login
Passwords: e-mail
Passwords: Google Accounts & Windows Live ID
Password: password managers

lastpasslogoLastPass will help you manage all of your online passwords. You should learn about it, install it, and use it every day. This is seriously good stuff.

LastPass is a free program that memorizes each password typed into a web site and automatically fills it in when you return to the same site. […] continued

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UPDATES TO NEW YORK TIMES, GOOGLE

Two recent announcements.

newyorktimesskimmer

The New York Times officially added “Times Skimmer” to its family of web sites, with an attractive interface for browsing through news stories without scrolling. Here’s the announcement, and here’s more information about Times Skimmer. Make sure you’re also familiar with the standalone New York Times Reader, an even better way to read the news on a computer. […] continued

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GOOGLE TESTS SEARCH OPTIONS

Google built its reputation on its streamlined, minimalist home page and search results, but it may change that design to add more information soon. A small number of people will randomly begin to see “Google Search Options” displayed on the left of the search results as Google runs tests to expose useful features and make results more predictable. […] continued

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THE CONTINUING BATTLE WITH MALWARE

virus-FakeVimes

Two weeks ago my son clicked OK on a message about some security problem. He called out and asked me about it after he clicked. By the time I walked in and unplugged the network cable, there were seven malware startup programs and services installed and over 700 files in C:, C:Windows, C:WindowsSystem32, and a few other places. […] continued

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FREE GUIDES THAT TEACH USEFUL STUFF

makeuseoflogo There is no shortage of how-to guides online, but loyal reader Stan Beck pointed out a particularly nice collection of free manuals – each one short enough to be appealing but long enough to have useful details. If any of these titles sounds appealing, you might want to take a look. […] continued

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GOOGLE’S ABANDONED LIBRARY

googlebooksearch The Google Book initiative is a huge undertaking. Google is digitizing tens of millions of books and promising to make them available to the world forever. Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google, wrote an impassioned editorial for the New York Times a few days ago, citing the destruction of the library at Alexandria as evidence of how important it is to preserve books for the ages, which Google promises to do. […] continued

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VIEW PDFS IN GOOGLE SEARCH RESULTS

googlepdfview

Google has been introducing new features and services at a rapid pace for the last couple of months, presumably to stave off any defections to Microsoft’s search site Bing. There’s a new link in some Google search results that might save you some time!

If your search results include PDF files, look for a “Quick View” link that will open the PDF in a viewing pane, courtesy of Google Docs, with a full page view, thumbnails, and links for downloading and printing. […] continued

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