Google has released a second update for Google Drive just shortly after the one released earlier today. This latest update will allow all of your Google Drive documents to sync in the background so that you don't have to plan ahead. With this new feature, anytime you're offline, you can simply head to drive.Google.com
Internet outages and long plane rides shouldn't prevent you from working in Google Drive. Set up offline access so that the next time you're offline you'll still be able to view Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, shuffle folders around, and edit files stored in your Google Drive folder.
- Click More on the left-hand side of the screen.
- Select Offline Docs.
- Setting up offline access is a two-step process. First, click the blue button that says Get the app. If you already have the app installed, you won't need to complete this step.
- You'll be taken to the Chrome web store. Click Add to Chrome in the upper-right corner of the browser window.
- Once the app is installed, you'll be taken to a Chrome page with the Google Drive app icon. To return to Drive, click the Google Drive icon.
- On the right side of the dialog on the Offline Docs page, click the blue button that says Enable offline.
This is a feature that is already present in Chrome OS. Google may one day bring this feature to other browsers, though it's not clear if they have plans to do so right now.
Google Drive is one of the productivity tools that I do not think I could live without. I use it for note taking during meetings, collaboration on projects, and even as a file sharing service for documents. This morning, Google announced some improvements to the service that should make life easier and more feature rich for those like me who use the service daily with others.
Over the next few days, users will see the addition of profile photos, one-click group chats, and even a completely new look for anonymous users. Once the update rolls out, a profile photo will be displayed at the top of a file that was created and shared to you by another user. Google is hoping that this will help you better notice everyone who is in the file with you.
In addition to the profile photo being displayed, you will be able to click on the image and add that user to your Google+ circles. Anonymous users are also affected by this change and you will see them appear as a different icon chosen at random from the list above.
Earlier this month I reported that The Pirate Bay would be switching to the .GL top level domain amidst speculation that Sweedish officials would soon seize the .se domain name. Unfortunately, Greenland officials decided that they wanted no part of the Pirate Bay's armada and suspended the purchased .gl domain before anything could be migrated.
This led to the Pirate Bay having to look yet again for a new home. This time the Pirate Bay has dropped its anchor in the land of icelandic nords, and as of this posting can be found at thepiratebay.is. The choice to move to to Iceland was due to its recent pronouncement as a safehaven for those seeking true freedom of speech. When asked if it would seek to follow Greenland's lead and shut down the piratebay.is domain, the ISNIC had the following to say:
The short answer is no. Such an action would require a formal order from an Icelandic court. ISNIC is not responsible for a registrant's usage of their domains. This policy applies equally to any .is domain. It's the domain owner's responsibility to abide by the law, not ours. There is an article in our registration rules which states that 'the registrant is responsible for ensuring that the use of the domain is within the limits of Icelandic law as current at any time'.
Nintendo have made their social network available to web browsers, with Miiverse now available in beta form. Miiverse allows you to view your friends' updates and posts to individual game communities in both text, and written or drawn form.
The squiggly bits arrive thanks to the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen. Nintendo have stated that Miiverse in web browsers is in beta form, and features a simple, responsive design that scales down to mobile devices well.
The ability to make new posts from the web interface isn't ready yet, so for now you'll have to use your Wii U. Before using the app, you'll need to have created a Nintendo Network account on the Wii U. You can check it out here.
It seems like everyone is rolling out two-factor authentication. Just a few days ago, Microsoft enabled two-step authentication for Microsoft accounts and now reports are surfacing that Twitter is working on a similar system. Google and others have already employed two-factor authentication to much success.
Now is the perfect time for Twitter to enable extra security. There have been many high-profile hacks of Twitter handles, including one of the AP's account yesterday, which resulted in a massive drop in the Dow Jones. Wired reports that Twitter has a two-factor solution built and is putting it under internal testing before releasing it to the public.
Yahoo turns the switch off on Deals, Kids, Upcoming and other features in an effort to tighten focus
Yahoo has decided to take some advice from rival Google and cut the ambilical cord to some services that have been underperforming. This morning the once king of search announced that it would be shutting down several features that have not performed well as of late.
Yahoo Deals, Yahoo Upcoming, Yahoo Kids, Yahoo SMS Alerts, and the feature phone versions of Yahoo Mail all will see their lives come to an end April 30th. Older versions of Yahoo Web Mail will also see a shut down during the week of June 3rd. The shutdowns come as Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer restructures the company and refocuses their goals into something profitable.
Yesterday, an Indiegogo fundraiser setup by someone using the name "Jackal Anon" raised $54,668 to set up a dedicated news site for Anonymous. The campaign originally needed $2,000 so this $54,668 is just a little bit more than was required.
YAN will see some content move away from Twitter and Tumblr, where Anonymous' usual announcements and article links were posted. YAN's mission is also set to be more integrated with the news cycle, where they are "to report, not just aggregate the news". Anonymous' video has stated:
Our goal was to disseminate information we viewed as vital separating it from the political and celebrity gossip that inundates the mainstream.
Twitter has expanded its advertising options available to advertisers. According to Twitter, the company has added the ability for advertisers to target users based upon keywords used in a user's recent tweets. Twitter says that this is "an important new capability -- especially for those advertisers looking for signals of intent -- because it lets marketers reach users at the right moment, in the right context."
This new feature is similar to Google's advertising offers in that they can reach users that are using certain words. Google offers the ability for advertisers to have ads shown when keywords are used in a search query.
An interesting application of this new option would be a local concert venue geotargeting tweeters who post about an upcoming band. Twitter notes that users shouldn't see much of a difference on their side. The only change will be the promoted tweets will be more targeted.
Amazon has opened a specialty store for consumers over the age of 50. Amazon is calling the new store the "50+ Active and Healthy Living Store." The new store features hundreds of thousands of items that are important for older consumers, some of which are too embarrassing to purchase in stores.
The new store, browsable here, looks to capitalize on the growing market of older consumers. The AARP expects that 45 percent of the US population will be aged 50 and older by 2015. Amazon wants to make sure they have a specialized place to shop.
After all, a large portion of the 50+ category have Amazon accounts and enjoy shopping online.
YouTube is celebrating VHS' birthday right. The social video sharing website has added a "Tape Mode" to select videos that causes the video to look like it is being played from a VHS. While watching a 1080p video as if it were from a VHS might not be the most pleasant thing to do, it certainly is a great way to celebrate the VHS turning 57.
Tape Mode is only available on select videos and is somewhat hard to find. You can experience Kmart's "Ship My Pants" video in full VHS quality here.
Not too long ago, the video tape was the media of choice for living rooms around the world. In celebration of the 57th birthday of the first commercial video cassette recorder, check out a fun VHS mode for the YouTube player to relive the magic feel of vintage video tapes.
Check out tape mode and let us know what you think. Should this be a permanent YouTube feature?
If you're like me, you love watching all YouTube videos in 720p or 1080p - but what about technology from yesteryear - VHS? YouTube are now marking the 57th anniversary of VHS with a tape-shaped button on select videos.
Clicking this button will put a filter over the content, giving you horrific flashbacks to the quality of video from years ago. There's no official list of compatible content, but there looks to be a nice amount of videos on YouTube's native channel ready for some VHS lovin'.
A study conducted by AV-Test, an independent German testing lab, found that Bing returned over five times as many links to malicious sites than Google did. The study, conducted over 18 months, found out that malware sites are still appearing as top search results, even with all of the work Google does to keep them from appearing.
The entire study examined around 40 million different websites that were returned from seven different search engines. Google did quite well in the study, returning just 272 malicious results in 10 million. Bleko did even better, though not by percetnage. Bleko returned just 203 out of three million results.
Bing, on the other hand, returned a massive 1,285 malicious results out of 10 million. Yandex was one of the worst offenders, returning 3,330 malicious results out of 13 million pages.
Unfortunately, the creators of malicious websites are using search engine optimization tricks, causing malicious websites to sometimes be the top returned result. Just remember to be safe when searching the web.
Google has obtained a new domain to use for URL shortening. YT.be is now in Google's possession and we imagine that it will be used to shorten links to YouTube videos. Currently Google uses Youtu.be for shortened links that point to YouTube videos, but characters are becoming increasingly important.
YT.be is currently redirecting to Google's goo.gl URL shortening webpage. Google acquired the new URL from a Belgian Internet entrepreneur who originally purchased the domain in May 2003. Purchase price has not been disclosed.
It's unlikely that Google would opt to use YT.be for anything other than YouTube issues for many reasons. The most obvious reason would be branding issues, which is the same reason Google only uses g.co for Google websites.
Google will likely start using YT.be to shorten YouTube URLs soon.
Google has introduced a new tool that Facebook and other sites with lots of personal information should take note of. Called Inactive Account Manager, the new tool allows you to decide what to do with your data after your death or inability to access Google's services.
Like the name implies, the tool keeps track of how long it has been since you last logged in to a Google service. Once it passes a certain threshold set by each user, Google will either delete the data, allow someone else to access it, or something else. Before the inactive period time is up, Google will warn you with a text message and e-mail.
For example, you can choose to have your data deleted - after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. Before our systems take any action, we'll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you've provided.
The Inactive Account Manager can be accessed via your Google Account settings page. I'll now patiently wait for Facebook to introduce a similar feature.
Targeted advertising is big money these days. eBay must have been feeling a little left out, as the company just announced that it will begin sharing the browsing habits of its users with third party advertisers.
This is similar to what Google, Amazon and Facebook already do, and is the reason that you get loads of ads about that new car you just looked up or the flight price you just researched. eBay says that marketers will not have full control of your data, but eBay itself will sell targeted advertisements to those companies.
In an interview, Stephen Howard-Sarin, eBay's head of digital display in North America, said:
"We're now commercializing that capability for the benefit of other marketers who want to reach shoppers. If you're an agency and it complicates your life because we've got a unique pool of data that you don't have, tough. It would be shortsighted of us to give that data away."
It seems that at least once a month for the past several years, the Pirate Bay has had to make moves to evade action taken against it in order to keep the ship afloat. This time the popular torrent tracking site has had to switch up its top level domain.
The change comes in the wake of Swedish authorities announcing that they will seize the current domain, thepiratebay.se. This is not the first time similar actions have been taken, with the site previously being located on the .org TLD back in 2011.
This move not only creates a dilemma for Swedish authorities, but it completely messes up all of the pending DMCA take down notices that have been filed with Google recently. Since the domain name has changed, every request that has not been executed will have to be resubmitted to Google.
Those who have internet service through an ISP that blocks The Pirate Bay, could see service temporary restored until existing block lists are updated.
It's no secret, Google Street View is one of the most revolutionary products ever developed. It has changed the way we search for locations to shop, view homes for sale, and has even helped me pick out dining locations close to a hotel I stayed at in Las Vegas.
Today a design firm based out of Toronto, Teehan+Lax, has released a new and innovative way to put all of those Street View images together into a very awe-inspiring time lapse journey. The experiment has several pre-built "Hyperlapses" of things like crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, but the true awesomeness comes when you create your own Hyperlapse by selecting two points on a Google map and letting the service build a custom hyperlaps of what that road trip would look like.
Creating your own is quite simple. Just set a point A and a point B and the site will then stitch together all of the Google Street View images taken along that path. I was able to quickly create a Hyperlapse of a trip down US #1 in the Florida Keys. The actual site uses lower quality images, and a very fast frame rate to reduce load times. The entire source code is available on Github (source #3) with examples so users can create their own custom Hyperlapse engines.
Microsoft is said to be in the works of integrating two-factor authentication into its Outlook.com mail service. LiveSide is reporting this morning that security enhancements are being prepped, along with a new authenticator app for Windows Phone.
Google and Apple both already use two-factor authentication processes when you access their services and is the reason that you sometimes have to answer security questions when logging in from a new device. I won't get into how they both work here, but Microsoft's system appears to use the Authenticator App to generate the authentication codes.
LiveSide is also reporting that the new authentication system will not work with Microsoft Accounts that have been linked together, which means that users must un-link multiple accounts. The Authenticator app is already available for download in the Windows Phone Store, so it looks like two-factor authentication for Outlook.com is on the way soon.
Images have popped up onto the Internet of the purported Google Babel for Gmail, with Techradar getting their hands on a bunch of screen captures of the web interface for the upcoming Google unified messaging application, Babel.
It looks like a rehash of Google Chat for Gmail, with a better looking interface for the sign-in, as well as new features within the program itself. It looks like we could expect some photo sharing abilities with Babel, a mandatory Google+ login, and a feature to start a Google+ hangout directly from the chat.
This could be a total fake right now, so don't put much faith into this right now.
Just as web developers across the world were settling down to enjoy the good life, Google and Mozilla have walked in the door and thrown a wrench into their smoothly running machines. This morning both Google and Mozilla announced that they are moving their browsers to new rendering engines.
Google has announced that it has forked the popular WebKit engine off into a more "manageable for chromium" engine called Blink. Google says that Blink will focus on speed and simplicity, and will still hold true to its WebKit roots. Opera, who just switched to WebKit says that they will follow Google's lead and fully embrace and contribute to Blink.
In a blog post, Adam Barth, a Software Engineer at Google said:
"Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation - so today, we are introducing Blink, a new open source rendering engine based on WebKit."
Not to be left out, Mozilla had its own announcement about a new rendering engine as well. Dubbed Servo, the engine is a collaboration between Mozilla and Samsung, and is coded in an entirely new language called Rust. It will not replace the Gecko engine current versions of Firefox are built around just yet, but the transition will take place at some point says Mozilla.
Samsung and Mozilla have teamed up to develop new Android browser technology. Specifically, the team will be working on developing a new browser engine for Android and the ARM architecture. The new engine is said to be called Servo and will make use of Mozilla's Rust programming language.
Mozilla and Samsung are optimizing the browser for multi-core processors since that seems to be the way mobile devices are heading. It seems somewhat of an unlikely partnership, but it does make sense on some levels for Samsung. The Korean giant currently relies heavily on the Android operating system, a system that Samsung does not own.
Samsung is looking to have alternative options going into the future. Working with Mozilla could help get them in on the ground level of Mozilla's upcoming mobile operating system.