Google plays nice with Microsoft (finally)

Image representing Google Search as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Google and Microsoft don’t quite see eye to eye these days.  Google Search vs. Bing, Gmail vs. Hotmail, Internet Explorer vs. Chrome…it’s a long list of battles.  Microsoft was a little late to the “use the cloud” concept, so people stuck on the MS Office platform are still doing the “save a document, email it to a colleague, wait for a response to be emailed back, make changes, wash, rinse repeat” method of data collaboration.  Not only is it slow, it’s fraught with problems because so many steps are involved.

Today Google released its Cloud Connect for Microsoft Office utility that gets rid of those steps.  This free app allows you to share your Office documents instantly with anyone you choose, and collaborators can even do real-time document changes- similar to the way Google Docs documents are shared.  I’m not a fan of email tag when trying to get work done, and this solves the problem nicely.  Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!


…with YouTube and Facebook for all.

A cell tower in Morrisville, North Carolina.
Image via Wikipedia

High speed Internet connectivity has become so important in the last few years that it is considered an essential utility rather than a convenience.  Just as if one’s electricity, water, or gas were to become unavailable, an Internet connection may cause hardship if it were suddenly to go down.  Today’s Internet isn’t just for browsing:  it’s for college courses, powering their home security systems, supplying their phone service, providing local news and severe weather updates, leaving self-indulgent 140 character summaries of ones activities…it’s integration with our lives has outgrown its original vision.  As such, a high-speed reliable connection should be available everywhere.

Yet, it’s not.

“Government mismanagement!”, “Greedy tel-coms!”, “Anti-competitive business!” are all reasons I hear, but the actual answer is something people don’t usually consider.

Continue reading “…with YouTube and Facebook for all.”

The future of computing: no more computers!

There’s nothing like starting off an article with some contradictory double-talk, but in this case, it’s actually true.  The Internet is changing the way we access our information, and the methods that we’ve used to access that information for the last 40-or-so years is slowly becoming obsolete.

Right now, most people have a desk either at home or at work, and on this desk they have a laptop or a desktop computer.  This computer holds all of their programs, files, photos, music, etc. that they use, and if any of that information needs to be accessed, that computer is the first thing that pops into their mind.  “Oh, you should see the pictures my son sent me from his vacation!  Come over to my computer and check them out!”  Accessing your information is associated with particular place.  Some people even have a whole room of their house called “the computer room.”  I didn’t get to have my own room when I was younger.  In fact, I’m married, own a house, and have children, and STILL don’t have my own room.  We really think highly of our computers. Continue reading “The future of computing: no more computers!”

Oh Jeeves…please fetch my data and clean my computer.

I’ve always been fascinated by butlers.  It’s a career where you have to dress up in a tuxedo everyday, then be paid great money to do things like answer the door with a smug look on your face or lay out your boss’s clothes for him every morning.  You also have to bring everything to your employer on a silver platter for some reason.  Breakfast bagels, the remote control, the newspaper, car keys…all of them get the silver platter treatment.  I imagine a whole “silver platter course” in butler college.  It takes training to be able to cart 12 glasses of Champaign across a crowded room of people on one of those things.  Continue reading “Oh Jeeves…please fetch my data and clean my computer.”

You may need antivirus software for your antivirus software…

You’re browsing along on the Internet, just like you do every night before you go to bed.  You head over to your favorite news site, when suddenly something disturbing pops up:

“Wow!  Windows detected viruses!  Good ol’ Microsoft, always protecting me…” you think to yourself, and confidently click Remove All.  Its bold and authoritarian letters will surely do the job.  However, you’ve just unwittingly taken the first step down a slippery and potentially expensive slope. Continue reading “You may need antivirus software for your antivirus software…”