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Directive Blogs

Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Google’s Inflated Plan to Get the Internet to Billions of People Who Don’t Have It

It’s hard to believe that half of the world still doesn’t have access to the Internet. When so many people in the west take their near-ubiquitous Internet accessibility for granted, over three and half billion people don’t have access at all. Years ago, Google created what came to be known as X (or Google X) which was basically a research-and-development facility.

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The Chrome Browser is Redefining Your Security

When you are surfing the web, do you know if you are secure? Typically, your browser will tell you when a site is secure or not. This is especially important if you are putting in sensitive information, like passwords or credit card information. Google Chrome is stepping up it’s game to keep users safe.

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EbonyMPruitt
Almost all users are using the Chrome browser and this is good that the chrome browser is redefining your security. Visit https://... Read More
Thursday, 16 August 2018 00:48
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Clearing Up Some Chromebook Confusion

Chromebooks might be simple, but they aren’t as limited as you might think they are. They might have once been limited, but more recent models are much more capable of accomplishing just as much, if not more, than any of their previous iterations. Here are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about Chromebooks.

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The G Suite Just Got Smarter

With the recent overhaul of Google’s G Suite productivity software products comes a new way to keep your business’ data secure. We’ll go over some of the major changes introduced in the updates, including the integration of artificial intelligence.

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Tip of the Week: Work Commands for Google Home

Does your organization leverage any of Google’s plethora of services or applications to achieve success? Google Assistant can also be a great asset for your organization as it can connect to your smart devices and speakers to create an extremely valuable tool. This week’s tip will discuss some of the best features of Google Assistant and how it can affect your professional environment.

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Tip of the Week: Managing Gmail with Labels and Filters

Gmail is a great way to take advantage of business email, but do you know all of the ins and outs of how to use some of its finer details? Today’s tip is dedicated to going over some of the more useful features of Gmail, like filters and labels--both of which will be helpful in controlling your inbox.

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Google Is Becoming More Secure for Certain Users

Google is taking steps to protect the data of a small group of its users who run the highest risk of experiencing a data breach or hack. This new service, the Advance Protection Program, shows promise in protecting the information that these select few can access.

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Google Pixel Is First to Come with Zero-Touch Provisioning--Will Your Favorite Be Next?

Does your business use Google’s line of Android devices for business purposes? Well, you might be happy to hear about Google’s new zero-touch solution for enterprises for their Pixel line of smartphones. If you provide smartphones for your business’ employees, you know how much of a hassle it is to set up these devices. This new zero-touch policy attempts to make a change to this.

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Tip of the Week: Google Maps Take The Guessing Out Of Total Distance

Have you ever used Google Maps as a GPS system to help you navigate a trip you are taking? In a lot of ways, Google Maps is even more dynamic than other dedicated online applications, and it’s certainly a better alternative than trying to decipher the lines of an atlas. Google Maps even lets you chart the distance between your location and your destination, which is a great way to get the total distance of your upcoming trip.

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Tip of the Week: Using Flash In Google Chrome

With Adobe ending support for Flash by 2020, many web browsing tools have begun to shift away from using Flash as their default media player. For example, Google Chrome has made the jump to HTML5 for the most part. The problem with this is that there are still quite a few websites and other online tools still use this technology. In the event that you want to enable it on a case-by-case business, here’s how to do so.

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Google Will No Longer Display Results As You Type--Here’s Why

If you hadn’t yet noticed, there’s been a change made to the Google search engine that will influence how search results are presented to users. Google’s ‘Instant’ feature, introduced in 2010, is no more.

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MargaretWTober
Tell us why Google will no longer display results and how we can solve this issue. working on http://www.edubirdie.com is an amaz... Read More
Thursday, 20 September 2018 04:14
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What's It Mean When Online Traffic is Concentrated to a Handful of Apps?

The Internet is always changing, and anyone who has been using it for a while has experienced this change for themselves. While it might be strange to think about, the latest statistics have proven that the current changes to the Internet are some of the most significant--especially for businesses. “Online business as usual” will be significantly different moving forward.

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Tip of the Week: 3 Easy Ways to Improve the Performance of Your Chrome Web Browser

If you use Google Chrome as your preferred browser, you’ll notice that its performance might dip considerably at times. Thankfully, there are ways to see just what’s causing the problem, and issues can be mitigated easily enough with a little bit of knowhow.

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Mobile Game Changer: Google Lens

Augmented reality is still a relatively new concept. It seems like a gimmick at first glance, but one of the most notable technology companies--Google--is attempting to take AR and use it to create a certain utility for it in mobile devices. Sundar Pichai, Google’s CEO, clarified this devotion to augmented reality with the announcement of the Google Lens.

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Warning: Google Docs Hit With Phishing Attack

On Wednesday, several users found themselves the victim of a convincing phishing attack. The attack was designed to look like an invitation to view and edit a Google Doc, and is designed to steal your Google credentials and spread through your contacts.

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Tip of the Week: Download All of Your Google Account’s Content in One Fell Swoop

An active Google user will inevitably accumulate a stockpile of photos and videos via their account’s Google Photos app. For this week’s tip, we’ll show you how to download all of this media to a local device.

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Tip of the Week: 10 Google Easter Eggs - Because the Internet Isn’t Distracting Enough

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_easter_eggs_400.jpgIn a recent poll by WSJ/NBC comparing tech companies to US presidential candidates, Google came out on top with 67 percent of respondents having a positive opinion of the company. Compare this to Apple’s 54 percent, and 43 percent going to the highest-rated candidate. Perhaps Apple and the politicians can take a cue from Google and make use of Easter eggs, because who doesn’t love Easter eggs?

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Tip of the Week: Handy Keyboard Shortcuts and Other Google Drive Tips

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_drive_400.jpgDoes your business use Google Drive? Google Drive provides several applications that are great for getting work done in the office, similar to Microsoft Office (Want to know the differences? Be sure to contact us). With Drive, there are easy ways to leverage it to your advantage in the form of keyboard shortcuts and other tips and tricks. Here are some of our favorites.

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Tip of the Week: Google Docs Now Lets You Type With Your Voice, Here’s How to Use It!

b2ap3_thumbnail_docs_from_google_400.jpgVoice-related technology is hardly news for Google. Android smartphones have had voice capabilities for a long time now. Google Now, the function's official name, can be used for Internet searches, setting alarms, adding calendar entries, activating entertainment like movies and music, calling or texting friends, and countless other functions. Now, however, you can literally write entire documents by using your voice in Google Docs.

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Tip of the Week: How to Lock and Unlock Your Google Wallet Card

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_wallet_400.jpgGoogle might be best known for its search engine and groups of desktop apps, but it’s also known for innovating and rattling the cages of how we live our lives. One of the ways it’s doing so is with Google Wallet, an app that’s designed to make sharing cash and money transfers online even easier. What a lot of people forget, however, is that Google Wallet, and its associated card, can still be the target of fraud.

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5 Ways to Put Your Staff Ahead of Frivolous Office Expenses

b2ap3_thumbnail_cut_your_costs_400.jpgEvery business wants to be like Google and provide employees with a dynamic place to work, filled with amenities. It would probably be a dream come true for your organization to sit next to Google on Glassdoor’s annual list of “50 Best Places to Work.” Reality check: you’re not Google, as you’re reminded of this every time you attempt to balance your company’s budget.

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Sorry, Windows XP Users: No More Google Chrome Updates for You

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_support_ending_400.jpgIt’s been quite some time since Microsoft cut the cord on Windows XP support, rendering it insecure and incredibly risky to run in a professional setting. This was quite a blow to both PC users and business professionals, but it’s about to get even worse for the antiquated operating system. Now, even Google is cutting support for their web browser, Google Chrome, for older operating systems from both Microsoft and Apple.

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Why Google Fiber is a Game-Changer for the Internet

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_fiber_400.jpgWe all know how important an Internet connection is to the success of any business. In fact, it takes an exceptionally powerful cabling protocol to ensure that your business’s Internet connection remains constant. While many businesses take advantage of big cable companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast for their Internet needs, a select few have the option of Google Fiber.

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Tip of the Week: Hate Spoilers? You’ll Love This App!

b2ap3_thumbnail_spoiler_alert_400.jpgThe average human being spends a significant portion of their life online, especially now that smartphones make staying connected to the latest happenings in both news and entertainment even easier than before. This, unfortunately, makes it rather easy to see spoilers for major plot points in your favorite movies, TV shows, or video games. To avoid these, try out the Spoiler Alert extension for Google Chrome.

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Hackers Find a Way to Take Over Smartphones Using Google Now and Siri

b2ap3_thumbnail_wireless_hacking_400.jpgMobile exploits are just as common as those found on legitimate operating systems like Windows, but many people just don’t understand this simple fact. However, this hasn’t stopped some folks from being cautious when using their devices. The latest exploit making the rounds, which takes advantage of the iPhone’s Siri or Android’s Google Now, will leave you speechless.

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Tip of the Week: View Your Current Google Sessions for Optimal Security

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_sessions_400.jpgLogging into an account only to find out that you’ve been hacked can be a real hassle. If you’re wondering why and how this could have happened, you’re in luck; some accounts, like Google, record when and how the account is accessed, and finding out how is as easy as checking out your security settings. Here’s how you can see who is accessing your account, and how.

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Lightning Fries 0.000001% of Google’s Data

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_lightning_strike_400.jpgWith so many businesses switching to the cloud for their data storage needs, it’s assumed that their data will be safe and sound. However, this is only somewhat true. While it’s true that the cloud is a secure and effective way to store your data, the virtual cloud is still vulnerable to freak accidents. Take, for example, the time when Google was struck by lightning last month… four times.

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Agent Chrome Goes Incognito in Google City

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_incognito_mode_400.jpgAgent Chrome is a pretty well-known guy in Google City. In fact, you could say he was the top of his class at Browser University, and everybody who is anybody knows who he is. When on the job, Agent Chrome sometimes needs to lay low and avoid the prying eyes of the masses around him. And this particular operation, rightfully dubbed “Incognito,” is one such occasion.

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Tip of the Week: How to Search the Web Without Typing

b2ap3_thumbnail_drag_to_search_and_others_400.jpgHow fast are you at finding the information you need using Google Search? In today’s data-driven world, knowing how to effectively use Google is actually a marketable skill. Did you know that there are ways in Google Chrome to search for what you need that take less time than typing your query in the search bar?

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Tip of the Week: No Internet? You Can Still View Cached Web Pages in Chrome

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_cache_400.jpgHave you ever been browsing the Internet, only to lose your connection and be stuck without access to an article mid-sentence? This is a common dilemma for the average PC user that uses an unstable WiFi connection. Thankfully, so long as you aren’t viewing a constantly updating page like Facebook, you have the option to view your browser’s cached pages. Here’s how you can do it in Google Chrome.

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Tip of the Week: Free Up Storage Space in Google Drive

b2ap3_thumbnail_googledrive_400.jpgIf you use Google Drive, you might notice that your storage fills up faster than you’d like, especially if you haven’t upgraded to get more storage. This can be devastating, and it can prevent you from storing important files when you need to most. Yet, you might not want to upgrade to more storage. What can you do to make the most out of your current data storage plan?

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5 Nifty Google Easter Eggs You Might Not Realize Exist

b2ap3_thumbnail_chome_easter_eggs_400.jpgGoogle is the world’s most popular search engine, and it’s grown so outrageously popular that there’s even a verb named after it; “to google” is to search for something on the Internet using Google. However, to this day, Google continues to surprise the public with fun Easter eggs, hidden functions which provide a level of entertainment to the user.

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Tip of the Week: How to Add User Profile Management to Google Chrome

b2ap3_thumbnail_add_profile_management_400.jpgGoogle’s web browser Chrome has a ton of nifty features that users can take advantage of. One of them is the ability to “lock” browser windows, and to allow only certain guest users access to the Internet through Google Chrome.

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Tip of the Week: Set Up 2-Step Verification for Your Google Account

b2ap3_thumbnail_googles_two_factor_authentication_400.jpgToday’s headlines are dominated by stories of major companies getting hacked, making the average computer user feel uneasy about their security. If you’re solely dependent on a measly password to protect you from hackers, then you’ve got good reason to worry. Adding a second layer of verification is an easy way to protect your information. Here’s how to set up 2-Step Verification for your Google account.

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New Google Chrome Feature Takes Content Filtering to a Whole New Level

b2ap3_thumbnail_chrome_security_400.jpgMuch of the time, malware is disguised as downloads or other less-obvious entities. Normally, you wouldn’t have any way of knowing it is malicious until it’s too late, but new features in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari might change the way we protect ourselves from online threats.

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Tip of the Week: 8 Ways to Perform Better Google Searches

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_seach_logo_400.jpgGoogle is the world's most popular search engine, but sometimes it just can't find exactly what you're looking for. This is because Google utilizes algorithms, which don't crunch data the same way that humans do. What we might think is common sense doesn't qualify for Google. Thankfully, there are several different ways you can narrow down Google's search results.

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Wearable Technology Just Got a Facelift

b2ap3_thumbnail_wearable_tech_all_the_rage_400.jpgWearable technology has dominated the tech headlines lately, and for good reason. The concept of having smart technology so easily accessible at any time is an attractive feature for many people. Some are patiently waiting for the public release of Google Glass later this year, along with many more attractive wearable technology options being released including Google's Android Wear.

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Are There Hackers Listening to You?

b2ap3_thumbnail_digital_spying_400.jpgTech savvy individuals and businesses alike have moved away from traditional Internet browsers such as Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Apple's Safari to Google's Chrome browser. After all, many people enjoy having a simplistic, yet powerful web browser that easily integrates it's Google Docs tools and Gmail email service. However, users may want to think twice about using the browser now that a new YouTube video has surfaced entitled "Chrome Bug Lets Sites Listen to Your Conversations." In the video, user Tal Ater walks through a very dangerous exploit that allows anyone to access your microphone through Google's voice recognition software embedded in Chrome.

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Google Wants to Know, “What’s in Your Wallet?”

b2ap3_thumbnail_cgoogle_wallet_credit_cards_on_your_phone_400.jpgWe have been sharing different blog articles featuring some of the best digital financial solutions like Square Cash, PayPal, and Coin, and like so many other digital services on the market, Google wants in on the action. Google Wallet is a new solution that helps consumers consolidate their different accounts and manage their money. You already trust Google with all of your personal information, why not your financial accounts?

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5 Essential Questions to Ask When Buying Mobile Devices for Your Business

b2ap3_thumbnail_mobile_devices400.jpgRemember back when buying mobile devices for your business meant choosing between a handful of laptops? Thanks to the increased proliferation of devices like smartphones, tablets, netbooks, and the development new hybrid models, it's become quite the task to pick out the right make and model. Here are five questions to consider when picking out mobile devices for your organization.

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Google as the Technology Culture Curator

b2ap3_thumbnail_google_innovation_400.jpgGoogle is so entrenched in the culture of the planet that we no longer say, "Search for it", instead, we say, "Google it." Most of us use Google products on a daily basis that go beyond its search engine. From tablets and smartphones running Android, to Google's Chromebook running Chrome OS, Google is directly competing with Microsoft and Apple for the world's business and affection.

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 3

b2ap3_thumbnail_endsearch400.jpgIn parts one and two, we shared tips on how to search the web. By now, you should be able to hone in your Internet searches and find almost anything you're looking for, but you can't yet call yourself a Search Master.

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 2

b2ap3_thumbnail_mastery400.jpgLast week, we shared four tips to help you search the web and find anything that you're looking for. In part 2, we will take a look at additional search tools that will help you refine your searches so you can become a search master!

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Tips to Search the Web like a Pro, Part 1

b2ap3_thumbnail_goog400.jpgThe Internet is a place of wonderment where you can find almost anything you can imagine, but you have to know how to find it. How good are you at online searches? Anybody can type a query into Google, Bing, or Yahoo, but a simple search like this may not yield the best results.

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Stream Media Wherever You Go With Chromecast

b2ap3_thumbnail_chromecast400.jpgMillions of users from all over the globe would admit that Google has taken over their PC. For any major application that has been created, Google seems to have an answer for it. With the exception of television models that run "Google TV", they hadn't found a way to take over your TV.

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Make Gmail More Efficient With This Trick

b2ap3_thumbnail_gmaily400.jpgOne of the biggest time wasters we all face is sorting through our email inbox. This is a tedious task made worse because you have to sort through emails from the same sources every day, like newsletters and social media updates. Here's a tip to help you better organize your incoming Gmail messages.

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What’s Up with Google Glass?

b2ap3_thumbnail_glass400.jpgEvery once ina while, a radical piece of technology is introduced to the market that has the potential to change everything. Over the last half century alone, digital music, cell phones, GPS technology, PCs, and much more hit the market and changed the way technology is incorporated into our daily lives and workplaces. Is Google Glass the next revolutionary gadget?

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How to Set Up and Optimize Your Business in Google Maps

b2ap3_thumbnail_gplace400.jpgEven if your business doesn't have a website, or use social media, you still need to take advantage of at least one important Internet tool to direct people to your organization: Google Places. Getting your business mentioned on the Internet's biggest listing resource will make sure that anybody looking for you can find you.

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New Software Precisely Predicts Your Future Location

b2ap3_thumbnail_location400.jpgBeing able to see the future is something that most people, meaning not everyone, would love to do. It would either provide comfort, or cause panic based on the results of such an inquiry. While some claim being able to look around the curve of time and space is theoretically possible, this new software doesn't use that approach. There is a new software, known as Far Out, doesn't use this approach.

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Project Loon by Google, Internet above the Clouds

b2ap3_thumbnail_loon400.pngThe benefits that come with a society that have Internet access can help people in dramatic ways. According to Google, only 1/3 of the world's population is enjoying these benefits. The rest of the world is out of reach from the Internet's communication lines and satellite signals. Google plans on bridging this gap by using balloons.

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Preparing Your Social Media Will

b2ap3_thumbnail_googledeath400.jpgYou can't log onto your online account if you're dead, and unless you have your password clearly marked on a sticky note, then nobody else will be able to either. While the Internet is a great distraction to keep us from pondering our mortality, the issue of post-mortem social media forces us to face death by preparing a digital will.

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Who Can You Trust with Your Data?

b2ap3_thumbnail_Trust400.jpgYour company's information on your network is labeled as "sensitive" for a reason. The files on your servers contain the secrets to your success, along with financial records about you, your employees, and your customers. When trusting sensitive data to a third party, make sure that it is someone you trust.

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Tip: Select Text to Reply in Gmail

b2ap3_thumbnail_Highlighted400.jpgDo you consider yourself a person who likes to get down to the point? If this is your personality, then you likely have little patience replying to every e-mail in your inbox. To help speed things up, we have a Gmail tip that allows you to quickly reply to a specific point so that you can better make your point.

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Meet Google Spanner: The Largest, Single Database Ever Created

b2ap3_thumbnail_googlespanner400.jpgThe evolution of Google from a search engine company renting a garage, to one of the largest companies on the planet, is a story that can truly boggle the mind. One cause of Google's growth is their investment in developing new technology. This is the case with the Google Spanner, which is a new technology designed to manage Google's growth.

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The 3 Flavors of Windows 8

a1sx2_Original1_windows8icecream.jpgOctober 26th is the launch of Microsoft's new OS, Windows 8, and the world seems disoriented at the dramatic overhaul of a traditionally predictable product. To make things a bit more confusing, there are actually 3 different versions of Windows 8 being released. You should know the differences between each one before purchasing your next Windows operating system.

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Robin Cures Android Users' Siri-Envy

a1sx2_Original2_robinapp.jpgEven if you've never used an iPhone, you've probably heard of Siri, Apple's personal virtual assistant. Siri is one-part novelty, one-part geekiness, and actually pretty productive. She can answer questions for you, facilitate many features of the iPhone, and report notifications and updates to you. For those of us who love our Android devices over Apple's iOS, Siri makes us just a little jealous, that is until now.

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Creating Gmail Filters to Organize Your Email

Gmail app logoWhether using email for work or pleasure, it is important to ensure that we receive the messages we want while avoiding spam and other junk. Furthermore, it is extremely useful for your email to be presorted into the appropriate folder for review. Here's how to create filters for one of today's most popular email services, Gmail:

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Google Puts a Price on Google Glass

man wearing Google GlassGoogle Glass, which was announced a few months ago as a concept, now has a price tag and a few additional details, but is the world ready?

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Google vs Twitter: Will Search and Social Blend?

google logo

This month Google announced that their search results will now contain personal results from friends and connections made in Google+. Twitter, the real-time searchable social network, publicly announced that they thought this was not a good idea. Will personalizing search results make for a better Google experience or will it hurt? Let's take a look.

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9 Secret Google Search Tricks to Impress Your Coworkers

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The Internet is without a doubt the largest collection of information humanity has ever seen. The trick is getting the information you want quickly. That's where search engines come in, and no search engine has received more recognition than Google. These 10 tricks will help you master your Google searches like a pro and get you to the information you seek faster, and you might be able to impress a colleague or two.

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The Sky is Blue, but The Cloud is Green

cloud services road sign

Cloud computing is the new way to get things done for small businesses.  It's easy, it's secure, and it is great for the environment.  According to a report put on by the Carbon Disclosure Project, cloud computing can potentially reduce the world's carbon emissions by millions of metric tons.  The differences are wildly significant compared to running your own in-house data centers, even if you just have a server or two.

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Google Panda Update – The Bear of the SEO Industry

panda bear

I do apologize for that awful pun, but the Google Panda update has caused a huge stir in the SEO world. Google updates their algorithm all the time, but every once in a while they have a big update that completely changes the game. Google Panda was a massive update by Google to their search engine to limit content scrapers (people who steal content and host it on their own sites in the hopes of getting revenue from ads). Many legit sites saw a major drop in traffic and ranking, and Panda has changed (drastically even) the way SEO works. The latest update is starting to clear the fog, and Google has been explaining their reasoning behind the Panda Update.

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Google Wallet - The Future of Commerce?

Google Wallet logo

The Internet giant Google is well know as being the primary search engine on the Internet and the definer of many web standards. The Big G isn't afraid to trek into new and exciting verticals. Google Wallet is one of those endeavors. Google states that Google Wallet has been designed for an open commerce ecosystem. Their goal is to eventually replace the cards that you keep in your wallet. Since Google wallet is a mobile application it can store as many cards as you want without having to carry multiple cards.

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Google +: The Next Social Frontier

Google+ icon

There has been a lot of talk about Google+, Google's new social network. Currently the service is invite only and invites are preciously coveted. Those who have gotten in to try it out have found a clean, simple interface. On first impression, Google+ looks like a very basic Facebook. Is Google+ worth all the clamor and is it going to change the game for social media? Will businesses be able to take advantage of Google+ the same way they do for Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook?

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Google's Goal: 99.98% Uptime

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You are running a business. You don't want downtime, you want your email to be as reliable as the sunrise. Google Apps has been adjusting their service level agreements over the years to accommodate to the high demands of the millions of businesses that use their productivity software each day.

 

Before we talk about that though, I wanted to share an announcement Google recently had. In 2010, the Gmail email service, which provides both free consumer and business email services globally, was available 99.984% of the time. That means about seven minutes of downtime per month on average was experienced in 2010. According to Google, the seven minute average comes from a lot of tiny delays that normally consisted of a few seconds a shot. Most users experienced no issues, and in the rare case they did, a few seconds of delay is pretty easy to miss.

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Bing Vs. Google

Everyone has heard of Google.  The word itself is synonymous with searching the web.  If you don’t know something, what do you do?  You Google it.  It’s become part of the internet vernacular.  You rarely hear folks say they are going to Yahoo that when they get home, or come across a solution by Binging it.

 

Like it or not, Google has become a part of our lives, but it certainly hasn’t done so without deserving it.  It is the leading search engine, and has earned it by being reliable.  When you search for something on Google, you find what you want.  It’s not easy to manipulate the system, and that’s why people trust Google so much.

 

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Social Media and SEO

Everyone is talking about Social Media and using it for their business.  The benefits are pretty clear; you should be using social networks to market your organization, but how does that affect your search engine ranking?

 

Links from relevant and important sites have always been a great way to get traffic & acceptance for a website, but how does Google rate links from platforms like Twitter and Facebook to your website?

 

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