Google+ Suspends Accounts

July 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Google

Google+ is the new shiny social network that was recently opened up by Google. I was as happy as every other geek who got an invite to get in. Within a week, I was addicted to the real-time status updates, happy photo-posting and tagging, and hacking, I mean, updating of my profile.

It was all fun and games until I saw “Your profile is suspended” when I logged in. Read more about my story on GeekBeat.TV..

First Look at Google Instant

September 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Google

Talk about instant! Google just rolled out Google Instant this morning. Now search results display as you type, bringing you results much faster.

To see it in action, go to Google.com and start typing. The search box then turns into the results page. And as you keep typing, the search results change, bringing you a step closer to what you were looking for. It’s pretty nifty! Note: not all users have this option available yet. It may take a few days before everyone sees the new feature.

Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while you type. (Google.com/instant)

Introducing Google Instant Video

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Using Google Font API

June 4, 2010 by  
Filed under Code Snippets, Google, Links and Resources

One thing I learned at Google I/O that I thought was fun and exciting was their new Google Font API. What does this mean? It means I don’t have to add text to images using Photoshop anymore. I can just add it directly to the HTML code as plain text and it’ll look beautiful on the page.

This will (1) speed up page loads because text loads faster than images and (2) make the page more accessible (screen readers won’t need to piece together alt tags of images; instead, it’ll just read the text directly off the page. (3) The more text you have on a page, the more SEO-friendly it is.

Lucky for us, adding Google fonts to our webpage is quite easy. All you need is to know a bit of CSS and HTML, and how to copy and paste!

Step 1: Select Font

Go to the Google font directory and choose a font you would like to use. In the sample below, I picked the “Lobster” font.

Step 2: Get the Code

If you like the font, tab over to “Get the Code.” From there, you will get a sample code like this:

<link href='http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lobster' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'></link>

To include the code into your page, simply copy and paste this code into the header of your HTML page.

If you prefer to include the font it into your CSS stylesheet instead of your HTML header, you can use a code like this instead:

@import url("http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lobster");

Step 3: Add some style!

Now that you have your font embedded onto your page, it’s time to give it some style. Create a CSS class and add in your font.

In this sample, I created a class called “prettyFont” and made it use the “Lobster” font to display, in huge red font. The alternative “arial and serif” font were added as a backup in case Google Font API was down; these web-safe fonts will display instead of Lobster in that case.

.prettyFont { font-family: 'Lobster', arial, serif; font-size: 3em; color:red; }

That’s pretty much it! Adding Google Fonts to your page is as simple as 1-2-3! You can also go even more wild and add shadows, shading, and anything else you can do with HTML + CSS.

For more information, see the Google Font API documentation. For more sample codes, check out Getting Started with Google Font API. And if you want to dive in deeper and add in italic, bold, and bold italic fonts, see their further reading section.

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Google I/O 2010 Overview

May 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Conferences, Google, Links and Resources

Google I/O 2010

Another Google I/O has come and gone, and I had a fabulous and geeky time there. The great thing about Google I/O is that it’s geared toward developers, so the sessions are usually code-based or overviews of new APIs and developments over in Google HQ.

Of all the things I learned about this year at the conference, the most exciting was learning what direction HTML 5 is heading in. Last year, I learned about the new <video> and <canvas> tags, but there’s so much more now.

This year’s conference was much bigger than the previous years. The conference sold out quickly with 5000 attendees. There were sessions going on in every room on the second floor of Moscone West Hall. I was most impressed with the bigger Developer’s Sandbox. It was 4 or 5 times bigger than last year’s. It was great talking to companies and developers who are already implementing Google products into their products.

Although I was drained from attending all the sessions, I didn’t want to miss the Google After Party. It’s actually a very geeky event with food and robots! The MakerFaire was in town and they had some amazing displays, robots, and man-powered machines all over the party.. definitely something you don’t want to miss while at the conference.

There was a lot of fun and excitement at this year’s Google I/O. There were many amazing announcements as well, including the Web-M project (standard video codec), new features in Android Froyo including support of Flash, Google TV, and our fabulous gifts for attending — the Sprint HTC Evo 4g — a gorgeous smartphone running Android!

Below is a summary of all the sessions I attended. For more information on each session, please follow the links to the Google Waves. The official YouTube videos will be coming soon. For more information about the conference, see the official Google I/O 2010 website.

Summary of each Session

Bringing Google to your SiteIn this session, we got many different examples on how we can add Google to our websites. Some examples were using custom searches (now with auto-completion), Google Feed API, Adsense with AJAX (new), SideWiki, Buzz API and Google Font API.

Beyond Design: Creating positive User Experiences – In this session, I learned that there are 7 principles for creating positive user experiences: 1) Be fast 2) Be yourself 3) Engage in conversations 4) Be willing to give up control 5) Be polite 6) Be prepared for failure 7) Be reliable. Examples of these principles were also talked about.

Developing with HTML 5 – This session was great since the presentation itself was written in all HTML 5 tags and coding. If you flip through the presentation, you can try out the bleeding edge features available for browsers in the near future. Some new HTML 5-specific tags and features are offline data storage, JS APIs, <head>, <hgroup>, <nav>, <section>, <article>, <aside>, <footer>, new form field types, <audio>, <video>, <canvas>, new CSS selectors and font support, transitions, and so much more. Run the presentation in a Chrome browser to see what lies ahead.

Ignite Google I/O – This session was a lot of fun. Ignite sessions capture geek cultures in a series of 5-minute speedy presentations. Each speaker gets 20 slides that auto-advances after 15 seconds. Topics were of various topics, from surviving the North Atlantic ocean and breaking world records, to our habits of searching on the internet, to playing battleships in a pond. It was very entertaining and super geeky.. and is best if you see the videos once they’re up.

Google Analytics APIs: End to end – This session was given by a UCR Alumni, Nick Mihailovski! This session demonstrated advance techniques of tracking statistics on your website using the Google Analytics API. For more information, see “What is Google Analytics

Surf the Steam: Google Buzz, Location, and Social Gaming was not my favorite session since they spent a few minutes talking about the new Buzz Api, and then started stepping through code on how to implement the BuzzBingo game. The one thing I learned from this session was that there’s a new Buzz API — great if you want to create a social game!

SEO Site Advice from the Experts was an excellent session. It was a panel of SEO experts who went through a list of submitted sites and let us know what the site is doing right and wrong about SEO. They talked about how important it was to use text on your webpages, how meta keywords aren’t indexed by Google because people inflate them, branding techniques starting with the domain name, content needing to be above the fold, page ranks, 301 redirects, and much more.

Optimize every bit of your site serving and web pages with Page Speed – In this session, I learned about a new project called Page Speed. It’s an open-source Firefox/Firebug Add-on. Developers can use Page Speed to evaluate the performance of their web pages and to get suggestions on how to improve them. Showslow.com is a demo website that shows the speed of websites. For more information, see Page Speed.

HTML 5 Status Update – In this session, the Chrome team went over new features in HTML 5 we should keep an eye out for. Their demo of the new Gmail was fun and quite intuitive. Drag and drop attachments as if it was a desktop app. New areas in HTML 5 include Offline storage, Media, Networking, CSS3, and Platform Integration (drag and drop, notifications, geolocation).

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Google I/O Gives out Phones to Attendees

April 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Conferences, Google

Santa Google is delivering gifts early this year! Instead of being surprised at Google I/O’s keynote, attendees got an email this morning with a gift attached to it. Depending on the attendee’s country code, they will either receive a Motorola Droid or Nexus One phone as a gift.

Android will play a big role in this year’s Google I/O conference, so what better way to get developers excited than to give them an Android OS phone a month in advance. They’ll be able to familiarize themselves with the Android SDK way before the heading to the conference.

Google I/O would like the attendees to be put their new phones to work at the conference. A conference app will be available for download before May 19th, over 40 companies will be demo-ing their apps in the developer sandbox, so there will be more apps for us to test out, and they will continue the tradition of the SCVNGR game where attendees hunt and find hidden QR codes in the conference area.

More answers and questions about the Google I/O gift can be found here. And if you’re attending Google I/O 2010 in San Francisco, I’ll see you there!

Google Pillows at Google I/O

Photo by Albertech.net, May 2009, Google I/O 2009

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Tip: How to Create Gmail Filters

February 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Google, Tips and Tutorials

With the introduction of Google Buzz last week and the many emails it introduced, I’ve been actively creating more and more filters to keep my inbox clean. I thought it’d make a nice tip in case your inbox is flooded as well.

If you’re like me and signed up for newsletters, store ads, or other mailing lists, you may want to separate these emails from your more important ones. I personally think important emails should be sent to the inbox and maybe added to an additional label.

Other things from mailing lists can skip the inbox and be added under their own folder, or “label” as Google calls it.
Read more

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A Glimpse at Droid

December 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Gadgets and Accessories, Google

Google Maps Navigation on Droid

Half of my day consisted of reading your tweets and reviewing apps and gadgets. It’s been quite productive. :) Pictured above is the Motorola Droid, running on the 2.0.1, and the free Google Maps Navigation service. This service alone is worth getting the phone. The turn-by-turn voice navigation is quite awesome. :) Stay tuned, a full review of the Droid to come soon!
Read more

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Goodbye 2009, Google Wave Style

December 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Geek Fun & Humor, Google, Multimedia

Wow, Whirled uses Google Wave to say goodbye to 2009. This is incredibly ingenious! Thanks for tweeting about it Robert!

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More Google Wave Invites!

December 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Google, Links and Resources

gwavelogoDecember is finally here. Happy Holidays! I thought I’d start off the month by giving away a few more Google Wave invites! I’ve been giving them away on a first comment, first serve basis, so I thought I’d change it up this time around.

If you would like a Google Wave invite, please answer the questions below. I will send invites to the most creative answers! Hint: longer answers help!

The reason why I do this is 1) I don’t want to give accounts to spammers and 2) I like to get to know my readers and 3) because it’s fun!

Note: Please leave your gmail account in the email field below (or another way for me to contact you!)

  1. How are you going to spend your holiday season?
  2. What is your favorite book, movie, or song?
  3. What is your favorite internet web show?
  4. What is your social media tool(s) of choice?
  5. What is one thing you know about me?
  6. What would you like to know more about me?

Good luck! I will start sending out the invites this weekend, and continue to while supplies last!

Books on Google Wave


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Google Wave Invites

November 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Google, Links and Resources

gwavelogoUpdate: 11/13/2009, 10am PST – I’m so sorry, but I am out of Google invites at this time. When I get a new batch of invites, I will announce it on Twitter. Please follow @daynah for updates. Thank you for understanding.

Would you like a Google Wave invite? I have some to give out! All you have to do is leave a comment answering these three quick questions:

  1. What are your favorite mobile games (games for iPhone, DS Lite, other smartphones, etc.)?
  2. What’s something you know about me?
  3. What would you use Google Wave for?

Be sure to leave your Gmail address somewhere also – either in the email field or comment — so I can send you the invite! This is on a first comment, first serve basis, so hurry before I run out of invites. ;)

For more tech news, giveaways, and updates, please follow my Twitter account @daynah. Google Wave ya later!

Note: Google Wave accounts are not activated right away. Activation may take up to a few days.

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Google Voice with Your Existing Number

October 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Google, Tech News

Now you can use Google Voice with your existing number! Before, in order to use Google Voice, you had to sign up for a new phone number. But with the recent changes, you can now add the Google Voice service to your existing phone number! Read the Google Voice blog for more information about this new service.

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Tekzilla Explains Google Wave

October 18, 2009 by  
Filed under Google, Multimedia, Software and Web Apps

tekzillaTekzilla explains what Google Wave is. Thanks so much for the shoutout Veronica! You can jump to the segment at 3:43 or go to the Google Wave segment notes.

Google Chrome Themes

October 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Google, Links and Resources

I’ve never really noticed the new Google Chrome Themes until I saw that cute corner fold at the bottom of the page today.

Why stick with this default theme:
chrome-defaulttheme

Read more

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First Look at Google Wave

This is my first look at Google Wave. My account was activated today, and I’m quite thrilled to try it out. I’ll post more as figure out things. For now, this is my first screenshot.

Daynah's Google Wave Sandbox Account

(Bigger Version)

First impression, it looks like an email client, but it’s not. I wanted to change my profile photo, so I clicked on the blank square in the “Contacts” section and it gave me a link to change my photo. This link takes me to my sandbox gmail settings. After more clicking, it takes me to my sandbox Gmail account. It looks like email isn’t integrated into Google Wave interface (yet?) besides having the two accounts linked up.

Read more

Gmail New Emoticons

November 3, 2008 by  
Filed under Google, Software and Web Apps

Have you seen the new Emoticons in Gmail? They’re adorable!

To use them, compose a new email and click on the little happy face. Emoticons

Once you click on that, a whole screen of icons will show up. Click on one to select. Enjoy!

Gmail new Emoticons

Check out more new “stuff” at Google!

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iPhone App Review: Google Earth

October 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Google, Reviews

Google EarthName: Google Earth
Written By: Google
Category: Travel
Price: Free
Size: 8.9 MB
Requirements: iPhone / iPod Touch

Google Earth (iTunes Link) for the iPhone/iPod touch is amazing. You literally have the whole world in your hands!

When you first start up the app, you will see the earth. Tap on it a few times to zoom in. Keep tapping to zoom in even further.

Tilt your phone to adjust your view. This is great if you want to see mountainsides.

You can also search for a location on the top left. Or you can let Google Earth find your exact location by tapping at the icon in the lower left.

There’s just so much more to explore. Have fun playing with it!

Google Earth iPhone App: Google Earth iPhone App: Google Earth iPhone App: Google Earth iPhone App: Google Earth iPhone App: Google Earth

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iGoogle Layout

October 16, 2008 by  
Filed under Google

Daynah's iGoogle Page

Ouu, my iGoogle page looks prettier today. :) I really love the TeaHouse theme.

Google Shell

June 5, 2008 by  
Filed under Google, Links and Resources

I love using Goosh, the unofficial Google shell. It brings back the old days of unix shell command lines. Just enter your Google search on the command line and hit enter!

Below you can see that I did a search for “Affinity Zero” and my results are displayed on the screen.

Goosh - Google Shell

Thanks Emily Chang for finding this tool! And Max Kiesler has a great demo you can watch.

Source: Stefan Grothkopp

Create Surveys using Google Docs

I just learned how to create simple forms in Google Docs & Spreadsheets today.

First, go here to create you own Survey form. Start typing in the title, description, and adding your questions. This step is very intuitive and easy to use. Creating forms have never been this fun!

Next, click on “Next, choose recipients.” You can send the survey to specific people using the “Invite People” box. Or you can put the “Go to live form” link on your website.

Read more

Google Friend Connect

May 12, 2008 by  
Filed under Google, Tech News

I’m currently learning about Google Friend Connect. It looks like an amazing way of adding social networking to any website with little effort.

Watch Scobleizer’s video from Google Campfire One.

I love how you can log into AOL, Yahoo, Google, etc. to connect to the websites. No need to create another login!

The website is going to live tonight, but invite only. If or when I get an invite, I’ll write more about it. ;)

Sign up for the preview: Google Friend Connect

Sources: TechCrunch, Scobleizer’s Qik Videos, and Google News

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