Google is more than a searching tool

questions_answers picIf you have not thought about using Google for various online tasks, think again.  Why pull out a separate gadget when you can do some of these tasks right at your computer desktop. As shown in the videos below, Google is more than a searching tool. For example, check out the calculator.

I just typed  calculator in the Google search field.  A calculator appeared on the screen as seen in the illustration below. Then I entered a math problem.  Click the VideoPress word to view the Video.   Press the Play button to see it a second time.

Another way to use Google quickly is to type in the problem right at the search field.  This is a sample division problem.

  1. In the Google search field type 400
  2. Press the space bar
  3. Type a forward slash /
  4. Type the number 5

View the video by clicking the word VideoPress.  Press the Play button to see it a second time.

You can also use Google to find out the weather where you live.  For another city  you can type weather, then type the city you want to know the weather for.

  1. Type weather in the Google search field

You can view the video by clicking the word VideoPress.  Press the Play button to see the video a second time.

I hope this is helpful 🙂

How to Manage your Digital Identity

“You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it”.
Scott G. McNealy CEO of Sun Microsystems Inc. January 26, 1999

Browsers & your Digital Footprint – I don’t think tech4boomers can cover the privacy on-line topic too often. In fact, in March 2012 we published a post “The Scoop About On-line Snooping”) where we covered this topic.

Every time we  revisit this topic, there are new techniques and products, which claim that they can “fix” this very perplexing issue of how to protect our identities and the information being gathered by browsers (e.g. Google) on the World Wide Web (www).

Nowadays, every time we use the Internet our “habits” (e.g. places we like to visit, and spend money and time) are being recorded by “cookies”.

Cookies are messages that web servers pass to your webbrowser when you visit Internet sites. Your browser stores each message in a small file, called cookie.txt. When you request another page from the server, your browser sends the cookie back to the server. These files typically contain information about your visit to the web page, as well as any information you’ve volunteered, such as your name and interests. via What are cookies? – Knowledge Base.

Our dependency on the www makes it very difficult to avoid information being gathered about our on-line habits.  For example, every time we email, pay bills, order on-line, or use skype, information is being gathered about us. Google has in fact confirmed that it gathers information when you use its browser.  Opposite to what you might expect, Google has also produced a set of guidelines on how to protect yourself from its on-line “snooping“.

What Can You Do About It?

Recently I came across an article “How to Erase Your Digital Footprint”, by Jeffrey A. Lambert – Maximum PC. A summary of that article states the following:

visiting web sites produces “tracking cookies” on your computer.  Cookies allow these websites to keep track of your online preferences.

 the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) is working towards providing solutions and making consumers aware of the practices.

 there are tools available that can be added to your computer for constant monitoring and control to help you find out how big your digital footprint is.

Digital Footprint Calculator will estimate your digital footprint.  This is a service from EMC Corporation.

on a daily basis Google “pings” your browser for information about browsing history. This helps them to target advertising.

  “free” software is available which helps to determine how often Google is “pinging” your computer browser. e.g. Google Alarm by F.A.T. Labs  will give you a visual or audio alert when personal information is sent to google servers.

Simply cleaning out your cache of cookies on your computer will aid you in safe browsing. Check your preferences option in your browser and click the “delete cookies” option.  However, be aware customization on sites you visit will also be deleted.

There is much more to learn about various techniques that can help you reduce this concern.  Check out the full details by clicking the link below.

Erasing Your Digital Footprint -via Maximum PC | How To Erase Your Digital Footprint.

I hope this is helpful! 🙂

The Scoop About Online Snooping

Just when you thought you understood how to handle the privacy protection issues, they pull us right back in. That’s why many of us are worried about how Google’s new privacy policy will affect our privacy online, and what we can do to have a say about how information is currently collected about us, and how it is manipulated.  Last week we delved into the use of  various tools provided by Google to allow us to put a stop to some of the information being collected about us in order for Google and other ‘first party(cookie) sites”  like Amazon to sell Ads.  For example,  consumers may not know that when they  go directly to first party sites (e.g. Google, Amazon) data can still be collected on them before they are given the option to “Opt-Out”.  It appears that the “Opt-Out” option works best with third party sites. Read more about how to Opt-Out and what controls you really have  at:  Network Advertising Initiative.

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I have listed some of  the topics reviewed by  Associated Press via Google’s new privacy policy: 6 key issues you need to know |

  1. Can Gmail, Google Plus, YouTube, users prevent personal data from being collected?
  2. Which Google services are covered by the privacy policy?
  3. What role does the U.S. Federal Trade Commission have in overseeing Google’s treatment of personal information?

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And, do not forget to check out what Mozilla’s Firefox has available to avoid tracking  in their new release.

Firefox for Android includes the Do Not Track privacy feature in this release, making Firefox the first browser to support Do Not Track on multiple platforms. Mozilla created Do Not Track to give users more control over the way their browsing behavior is tracked and used on the Web. The feature, which lets users tell websites that they wish to opt-out of online behavioral tracking, is now easier to find in Firefox Preferences. via Mozilla Delivers New Version of Firefox – First Web Browser to Support Do Not Track on Multiple Platforms | The Mozilla Blog.

I hope this is helpful 🙂