8 New Gmail Features: Google Has Been Busy!

Gmail has received a series of important upgrades over the last few weeks, and I am colored “impressed.” The entire system was overhauled earlier this year, adding new features, additional storage, and better integration with desktop and smartphone apps. Here’s the breakdown in case you missed anything: Read more of this post

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Go Mobile or Stay Behind

In 2005, I received my first phone with Internet access: the Nokia 3650. I was at my son’s baseball game, and during a lull I decided to check out my work website. It took 2 minutes to appear and looked like one of those magazine clipping ransom notes you used to see in old TV shows. I tried using the Internet access a few other times with similar results: slow and completely unusable. I hoped for a day when I could use the Internet from a lawn chair just as easily as from my desk.

Of course, that day has since arrived. In fact, many of us can’t imagine a world where we aren’t able to check Facebook or read the news from our mobile devices. Sales of smartphones even surpassed PC’s last year, making them one of the most popular methods of connecting to the Internet. Mobile Internet is trending so quickly that many businesses are in danger of falling behind if they don’t start re-thinking their mobile strategies. Read more of this post

Stay On Schedule: Google Calendar Changes In Progress

Since I can’t afford a personal assistant to follow me around and spout off what I’m supposed to be doing every minute of the day, I’ve come to rely on Google Calendar for that task (Google Calendar being built into all TOAST.net email and Google Apps accounts). It’s a reliable companion that never lets me down. My schedule follows me with email notifications, synchronizes itself to my phone, displays on my website, and I can even send it a text message if I feel lonely. Google is now implementing a few improvements to Calendar, making the interface better looking and easier to navigate. This is part of an ongoing effort by Google to overhaul and modernize their various platforms over the next few months. Read more of this post

Google’s Privacy Change: Not Such a Bad Thing

There have been many questions and concerns about Google’s new updated privacy policy. Last week, the Big G started posting notifications that it is going to change the way it handles customer information. Here is exactly what is happening:

Google runs a LOT of popular services. Gmail, Google Docs, Picasa, YouTube…all of these have millions (even billions!) of users. The problem is each service requires a separate account. You needed to sign up every time you wanted to use a different service, meaning each service required its own username, password, and set of terms and privacy conditions. Read more of this post

Offline Google Mail is Back — Finally!

At the beginning of 2011, Google announced it has given up on Google Gears,  its work-around gadget that allowed offline access for Google Mail services. Gears worked, but was a bit clunky so I can see why it was discontinued. Google wanted to shoot for a better solution based on HTML 5, and it looks like they’ve just about completed their task…with a catch. Read more of this post

The Student Laptop Guide

I was at a local electronics dealer this weekend that shall remain nameless (rhymes with Rest Rye), and noticed a lot of middle aged people seeking out blue shirted sages asking for advice on laptops for their kids. Some wanted something to “type reports on,” some wanted something to take to college, and some just wanted something for basic Internet access. A lot of different answers were being handed out…both sound and cringe-worthy. When buying a computer for school, there are a few key areas one needs to consider. Keep these tips in mind and your school-bound students won’t end up with a frowny face: Read more of this post

TOAST.net’s Back to School Tools

It’s about that time again. Grills and patio furniture are being replaced by 3-ring binders and pens in stores. The shorts are coming off the shelves and being replaced by dress pants. Children are watching the calendar as if it’s a count-down to the end of the world. Yes…it’s time to get ready for school again.

Classrooms have evolved over the last 10 years. The introduction of email and interactive websites has changed the way students operate. The “new” traditional way of typing up reports, term papers, and other fun things that are normally done last minute on a Sunday night require software. A lot of people use Microsoft Word, which can cost upwards of $150 to purchase. Documents in Word are saved on the computer’s hard drive, then either emailed to the teacher as an attachment, copied to a USB drive and carried to school, or printed out and popped into a folder.

This traditional method is also wrought with problems. Students tend to be the forgetful sort, so forgetting to send a paper or forgetting to print it out leads to trouble. There’s also the “My computer ate my homework” excuse, “I hit delete instead of save on my paper,” and the ever popular “My house was robbed last night and my laptop was stolen” story. TOAST.net has a better way to get homework done, and it’s already included with all residential TOAST.net accounts! Read more of this post

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