Tag Archive: gmail

Google Calendar is Live… and it rocks!!

Google Calendar

Google Calendar is Live… and it rocks!… Its just too cool. I am really impress at the feature set they have provided on day 1. Almost as good as outlook. … in fact its much better than outlook!

The entire blogosphere has gone crazy about this, and i think this would be a hot topic for the next few days!.

I just quickly reviewed it, and I am amazed at the features that they have provided. The best part is the “Quick Add” feature. Just say “Meet Mr.XYZ at Bangalore at 3PM this Saturday” , and it understands!. It also gives you an option to view the map of that area (i.e., Bangalore in this case)! Very Impressive. Besides, the entire calendar is click-able/draggable. Its totally Ajax based. You can setup notifications too (emails and if you are in US, you can setup SMS notifications too).

The UI is just fantastic. Oh yes, there is very good support of data import/export. You can import your Outlook calendar, Apple iCal data, or Yahoo! Calendar data. You can also export to both XML and ICAL. And… the best part is, you can share the calendar with rest of the world or you can allow granular access to people you choose!!

One more step close to a Web-based world! Can’t wait for web-based document editor (aka word) and a web-based spreadsheet (aka excel)!

Do give it a try!, and ..yes, its still a beta!

More info from Google available here.

More review here, here, here and here.

Google Down – Again!

For the past 1 hour or so, google has been down. And it seems to be a major outage!.

Almost all google services are down including GMail, Google Search, AdSense, AdWords, Google Maps, API’s ….

Lots of discussion going at digital point forums thread : http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?t=36650

Have been getting the standard Google error message:

Server Error
The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request.

Please try again in 30 seconds.

Update (after 1hr): Seems to be back online now.

Google – Refreshed ?

I guess someone just pressed the F5 button at Google. In the last couple of weeks we have seen some major changes in the services that Google offers. And more importantly, some new services too!

Quality of Search Results
Let me begin with the Quality of the search result. No doubt the quality is much much better now. I had cribbed about it sometime back, but now, I guess my cribs have been answered. The much talked about ‘trust rank‘ paper/algorithm seems to be working. Kudos ! :)

Google Talk
The biggest talk of this week has been the launch of Google talk instant messenger!. Wow. They have done a neat job here.

  • Its based on open standards.
  • Works out of the box with other clients that support the jabber protocol
  • Is got a very clean UI, zero clutter. Full points here. Windows neatly arrange/dock.
  • People say that even the voice quality is cool. I am yet to check it out.
  • Very good integration with gmail.
  • Oh.. yes.. Its still in beta :) So, we can expect a few more cool additions.

The major point here is, Google’s entry into VOIP scene. What next ? Video chat ? or a Google becoming a ISP ?? Rumors all around the net.

You can read more about Google talk over the Google blog.

Google Desktop 2
Other major release in the past week was the Google Desktop 2. Notice that its Google Desktop, and not Google Desktop Search. Clearly, it does a lot more than searching. This software too is a clear winner. Installed it over my home PC. The best part of this is its extensible, i.e., you can use plugins to add functionality to it!. Check out the huge plugins library here. If you are using AdSense, there is this cool plugin which shows your AdSene earnings right on your desktop. One more point to note here is, this software clearly portrays Google’s expertise in writing desktop application. It clearly shows that they are not just a web-based company. The UI is cool, and very intuitive.

A detailed review of Google Desktop is available here.

Making Sense of AdSense?
The best news here is Section Targeting. This comes as a major relief to many bloggers. Normally, the navigation text mess-up with the AdSense bot, and as a result, irrelevant Adsare shown on many blogs. It takes lot of tweaking for proper Ads to show up. But this feature is a major blessing. Section targeting allows us to suggest sections of our text and HTML content that we’d like Google to emphasize or downplay when matching ads to our site’s content. You can read more about this here.

The AdSense reporting too has been improved. We can also know the top search queries too. Btw, did you know that the Adsense Team has a blog called Inside AdSense?.

Did you that by the end of this year, GMail would be offering 3GB storage space?. Its growing by the day. One cool feature that was introduced recently was the “Send as” feature. Now you can send mail using some other From id. This is a neat and useful feature. And, finally, gmail is open to all.

On the blogger front, they have introduced Word Verification for Comments, this would be a weclome addition for most bloggers to fight comment spam. Recently, they also launched a Word Plugin for blogger. So, you can directly blog from Word!

Google Sitemap
After using Sitemaps, I have noticed that my pages are indexed faster, and the traffic too has increased. Also, the AdSense performance is better. So, do use Sitemaps if you haven’t yet used it.

Google Blogs
Here is a list of official Google blogs.

So, this is google refresh ? .. if so, what would happen at the next google refresh ?

Greasemonkey script locks down GMail!

Yes! Greasemonkey rocks!. Its an extension for firefox, which can do wonders. It basically lets you execute user defined scripts, which can change the functionality of the web-page loaded in the browser. For eg, in GMail, one can add an extra button to delete mails (instead of selecting move to trash from the drop down list).

I installed Greasemonkey a couple of days back, and installed some ready made scripts including butler!. Its really useful. For yahoo mail, there is a script which hides the Ads in the free version. Cool!……na!

Now, coming to GMail… I had installed a couple of ready made scripts for gmail. Specially one called Smart-Delete. I had wished long long back for a delete button. Suddenly, this script made it possible. Similarly, one more script for a button called “Mark as read”. And one more script to remove off all the ads!.

Now, somehow, gmail was able to detect that i was running greasemonkey, and one or more of these scripts were violating the gmail TOS!… I never thought about it !!!………. and then… they made me aware of it by locking down my gmail account – Lock Down in Sector 4 !…

Then wrote to their support, to get a automated reply. Again replied to that message., and now, after a couple of hours, my account is unlocked, and is back to normal.

Only problem… i am still not sure why it happened!. Its definitely got to do with one of the greasemonkey scripts!. Mostly its got to do with the timer functionality of the script, which has been taken care of in the latest version. The script tried to refresh the data from the server too often!

So, just keep this in mind when you install such scripts in future. Just make sure that you done violate the TOS!