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Useful Android App – SMS Backup +

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I used to have an iPhone3G and had down graded to a cheap pay as you go phone for some time. I just wanted a simpler cheaper phone for texting and calling.

Last summer I decided to get a new smartphone… so I ended up with an HTC Incredible S.

I haven’t completely loaded the phone with apps. I do have certain apps that I use on a regular basis… like the DropBox app, a couple of sports news apps… Hootsuite and Flickr.

One nice little app I found is SMS Backup +

Basically, you can sync this app to backup your text messages to your GMail account. It also creates a label to put this mail in to keep it organised.

This is great if you want to archive messages and also keep your phone a bit cleaner.

Get a Custom Google+ URL with gplus.to

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I was digging into trying to find custom URLs for Google Plus today and didn’t see any options to do this. I remember back when custom URLs came out in Facebook.

It’s certainly much easier and nicer to link to your social media site with a custom/easy to read URL then some long string of numbers and/or letters that you’ll never ever ever be able to remember.

So… after a quick search I found that there was a little service that seemed to cater to this (Google+ custom URLs). I decided against just using another link shortening site and use this.

So if this is something that interests you, just go over to gplus.to, enter your Google+ ID (the site shows a screen shot of what this means) and the desired nickname/url string… and voila…. if no one’s already chosen it of course!

I’ve used it, and you can find me over here:
http://gplus.to/cfyves

What is “Hosted AdSense for Content”?

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As so many people do, I have a Google Adsense account and recently I had made some changes adding some YouTube Monetization to it.

While looking in the Adsense account, which I do on occasion, I noticed a new line that I just didn’t recognize. “Hosted AdSense for Content”.

Turns out that this is actually the views from the YouTube videos. I just found it a little strange that it didn’t indicate YouTube or something similar as the source… but then again, maybe this is used for other types (or will be used) of digital media in future…. thus the “Hosted AdSense for Content” title.

Microsoft takes direct swing at Google and Gmail with “Gmail Man” video

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Saw this new ad this morning, where essentially Microsoft desires to help make the case for their Office 365 products by poking fun at their big competition.

Something that strikes me with this kind of advertising though, it resembles those political ads that I really dislike. You know, where one candidate really says nothing about he or she’s platform but instead tries to leave an impression in your mind that the opponent is either wicked, cruel, evil, idiotic….etc.

I’m wondering what, if any, will be Google’s response.

If you haven’t seen it. Here it is….

“Gmail Man”

Gmail automatically gives a second address

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I seem to remember hearing about this but I just found it again this evening.

I use a gmail.com account alot. I have multiple accounts forwarded into it and frankly, I’ve been using this account for a long time. And I love it.

I just found a scenario where I had my main gmail.com email tied to an account (unrelated to google.. something else) I had created for a past client. I was trying to create a personal account and it was telling me the email was already used in the system.

Well, after thinking about how to create an alias or foward… I found out that gmail automatically has an “alias” account setup. Change gmail.com for googlemail.com…. and voila.

2 email accounts that are one. This can be handy.

Google Chromebook is out and for sale

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Google is now selling their new laptops (Google Chromebook) on Amazon and on Best Buy.

This new laptop really goes in a different direction as these laptops are designed to be heavily “cloud based” / “internet based” animals…

Just check out one of their promo videos to get a taste of it

It’s a great idea really… as most computers get bogged down with programs loading when they start up and many average users likely aren’t aware how to disable much of those programs… which does result in something quite similar to what is showed in the video.

Definitely a new concept in that this is a “web computer”.

What do you think?

I’d love to try one!

(That can be a hint to Google, if you fine folks want to send me one to play with and review)
😉

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! team up on schema.org

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Major search engines, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! have teamed up to help create some standards so webmasters can help better define the information contained on their website’s pages.

Lack of standards, it could be said, has been a problem for some time.

But this new site, supported by the major search engines, gives clear cut information on how to define data/text by adding simple HTML attributes to DIV and SPAN tags.

Definitely worth a look if you’re creating HTML5 sites.

You can find the website here: schema.org

Check out one of the examples…. A Person Schema

Google to improve search results and kill content farms!

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I just read an article on CNN’s technology news site that gave me a renewed sense of hope…. well, maybe not hope but let’s just say it left a rather favorable impression on me.

You see I’m one of those people who, from time to time, use search engines quite frequently. Given a technical challenge or some programing quirk that needs solving I often resort to my friends the search engines for help.

Google is generally my tool of choice.

In the last year on several occasions I was attempting to do some research and kept landing on websites that just seemed to me to be utter garbage filled with keywords. I’m sure you’ve heard of “those sites” before. Content farms, link building sites…. yada yada yada. An army of websites filled with so many keywords as a means to build search engine results. Early on these websites were merely keyword filled gibberish…. but as with the evolution of the search engine algorithms used so went the evolution of the fake content spewing software and content farms.

I noticed an increasing number of sites I’d land on were an almost readable slew of textual gibberish.

I found it quite aggravating on a few occasions that so many of these websites were showing up in my search results even when I’d try to modify my search terms. Obviously there was some thought put into the creation of those fake sites to trick both the search engines and the people viewing the results so that they’d land on their websites (often laden with google ads or an equivalent).

But with this news that Google was about to make changes to their search algorithms in an attempt to improve the results. Well, I just had to smile.

As the article does mention, I’m sure some legit sites might rank a bit lower…. but in terms of the usefulness of a search engine, it should be vastly improved.

Merci Google!

Google extends free calls to US and Canada

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While this isn’t the newest of news I think it’s certainly worth mentioning.

If you’re a Gmail or gTalk user you’ll be able to take advantage of free calls to the US and Canada. This has been the case previously but Google has announced that they’ll be extending the “free call” period for 2011. And just so you know, those are calls to land lines. So you can call whomever you wish.

I had previously used Yahoo’s calling features in their messenger and had purchased a block of credit (something like $20) which lasted forever since I was only being charged $0.01 per minute for US and Canadian calls.

But this Google offer, I love it. I’ll certainly be using it. However, I should note that I haven’t used it very much but have tested it. Since I always have my Gmail account open and I can fire it up through the browser, it just seems so much more convenient. I’d also think that any “lag” issues would likely match those I had found with Yahoo messenge, that being a slight delay.

First tests were quite successful.

Here’s a TechCrunch article on Gmail’s free US/Canadian calls for 2011.

New innovation on the horizon with Google WebP?

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Google has certainly come out with lots of technology that has changed “the game” when it comes to technology. I remember when I first started using GMail way back. They were offering a ton more storage then the 20MB or so that Hotmail once offered… and the 100 MB Yahoo once offered.

Google Apps, Android… they’re purchase and support of YouTube (with the prior Google Video) you name it… They’ve been working hard to push innovation.

Lately, there’s some talk about a new image format that is about equivalent to the JPEG format but is about 40% smaller then JPEG files.

This is huge.

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