Posts Tagged ‘#google’

Searching Windows

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis April 13th, 2012

Trying to find something in Windows 7?  Scratching your head?  No results?  You’re not alone.  Windows XP had a great tool called the “Search Companion” that could find ANYTHING.  In particular, it had the ability to search EVERY FILE for stuff INSIDE it.  So if you needed to find any file with the word giraffe, for example, it was a few clicks away.  Granted, it might take it all day to perform such an exhaustive search, but it could do it with the patience of, um, a Computer.  Things changed when Google Desktop came along.  The new trend was to INDEX everything beforehand, so that searches were very quick.  Microsoft followed suit with their own search gizmo, and the race was on.  These programs go through all your files while you do other things, and create a list of your stuff, and keywords inside.  And therein lies the problem:  a keyword is usually found in the dictionary.  But what if you need to find the number 12345?  Sorry, that’s not indexed.  This is the problem with the Windows 7 search tool.  Besides being clutzy to use, they have taken away the ability to search for “strings” within files.  Supposedly you can type content:”STRING” in the search box to accomplish this, but I tested it and it failed for a random 5 letters/numbers within an Excel file.  Sometimes with Microsoft it’s One step forward, Two steps back.  This is a terrible search tool.  Once again I’d like to say “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”.  Meanwhile, I found some nifty search tools;  1) for general searches of text within files Windows GREP (after the UNIX GREP command) is easy-to-use software that’s quite powerful.  unfortunately it has a hard time with the latest office formats, in particular Excel XLSX files. I believe it could do it, but you have to tell it the column layout of your spreadsheet.  UGH.  Instead, I recommend 2) IceTeaReplacer.  I was able to find my random string within seconds of using this tool, and had the option of replacing it if I wanted.  Very Nice!

Android Tablet update

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis March 6th, 2012

Rumors have it the i-pad 3 will be unveiled tomorrow.  For the rest of us, there are some REALLY cool tablets on the market that use Android (A-tabs).  We bought a Sony 10.1″ Tablet S last Christmas, and I’ve been VERY impressed.  The graphics are stunning, and it’s very ergonomic and easy to use.  Performance has been great except for a Wifi issue out-of-the-box.  I keep watching the latest, greatest releases and I’m puzzled about one thing;  WHY isn’t ANYONE releasing a 12″ Android Tablet?!  Asus is up front with a commanding design lead in this market, yet even their newest release (the Transformer Prime) has a 10.1″ screen.  It seems to me that Apple hit the nail on the head with the size of the i-pad.  It’s perfect.  So I REFUSE to buy an A-tab for myself until someone releases a good 12″ version.  (there are currently some really odd 12″ off-brand A-tabs  coming from China that I’m avoiding).  Meanwhile, Google is REALLY going to push A-tabs in 2012 according to a statement they recently made at the MWC conference in Spain.  The number of new Android users each day is staggering, and with new versions named Ice Cream Sandwich and Jellybean (coming soon), it makes us hungry for more.  Thanks to Android Authority for their timely reporting and great articles.  (Note: we coined the term A-tab in this article… let’s see how fast it spreads across the web!) 

Robots 4 U

News | Posted by Dennis March 3rd, 2012

In the 80’s they thought that robotics was the next big thing, and there were lots of failed products that showed the technology just wasn’t ready yet.  Well HANG ON TO YER HATS folks ‘cuz things are about to get REALLY interesting.  Google is working on SELF DRIVING CARS.  They’re already out there, being tested.  The main push right now is getting standards and laws in place to accommodate them.  According to this article in Bloomberg, several states (including Oklahoma!) are preparing to follow Nevada’s lead in ushering in this new trend.  Within 5 years, according to some experts, we’ll see these vehicles in regular use on the roads.  Meanwhile, there’s more!  How about self driving shopping carts and automated skate boards!?  They’re already out there being tested (or sold, in the case of the skateboards) according to this article  in Wired . On the seedier side, Japan has been actively selling “sex robots” for several years now. Although they’re more mannequin than robot,they are paving the way for realistic, human-like robots in the future. Honda already has a cute little ‘bot called Asimo that can mimic a heckuva lot of human actions and behaviors, and you can lease one today for $150,000 PER MONTH. (But really, you should check out the web site…they have a dog, too).  It’s starting to look a lot like several of my favorite movies out there (Terminator, Blade Runner, iRobot, etc.)  The technology is ripe because we finally have tiny CPU’s that can keep up in real time, so be ready for all kinds of cool stuff like this in the next few years.  Rest assured that our military is working on a replacement for the foot soldier, too. 

Google Privacy

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis February 29th, 2012

OK, the clock is ticking;  Google announced a few weeks ago that it will change its privacy policies and begin harvesting information…about YOU (and me).  According to the Digital Journalin about a week they will start the process, in an attempt to tie sites together that you use and make it a seamless, personalized experience.  Here’s the opt-out page for you to stop this Lots of people are really gun-shy about this kind of thing, and it’s more than a little creepy in my opinion.  Given the far-reaching depths of information that Google already has access to, it’s starting to sound a little like a George Orwell story (i.e. Big Brother is Watching).  But to put things in perspective, just imagine the Terabytes of information gathered every day by the NSA.  I’m fairly certain that a big chunk of the many $BILLIONS of debt since the 9-11 incident were spent on computer gear and software with SERIOUS muscle.  I’m guessing that the new show “Person of Interest” isn’t too far off in their estimate of the information harvesting power of the US government.  So THERE… does that make ya feel better?  😉  Thanks to Mitch and Judy for the articles on this.

Google and Motorola

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis August 15th, 2011

Bad news for AndroidThe big news of the day is that Google just bought Motorola’s mobile phone division.  I think this is bad news for the Android market.  Google’s only vested interest, up until now, of supporting Android devices was to steer people to their CLOUD, with all its apps and the search engine, calendar, etc.  BUT with this latest acquisition I’m afraid that Open-Source may fall by the wayside.  Of course, they promise this won’t happen.  APPARENTLY at this point the main reason they did it was to help them in the multitude of patent lawsuits that have been leveled against them.  But NOW they own a phone company, why wouldn’t they leverage that?  I guess we’ll see.  Meanwhile you can read the full CNN article here.

Attacks from Russia

News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 23rd, 2011

Ok, so the source of the latest digital attacks has been revealed!  They are using Google API to steer people to infected sites.  The source is in Russia.  This was verified by a customer who inadvertantly gave their CC number to the critter (the one that pretends to be Antivirus), then contacted the bank.  They rejected the charges based on location.  So it seems that the Russian mob has found another way to steal lots of American money.  IF I DISAPPEAR PLEASE TELL THEM TO READ THIS!  😉   I’d say avoid Google searches altogether until they clean up their act.

Info. reliability

Helpful Hints, News, Warnings | Posted by Dennis March 2nd, 2011

The Internet used to be a much simpler, far less commercial place.  It’s not as easy these days to find reliable information from a trustworthy source.  I have noticed in the last couple of years an alarming trend where a company (software Co.’s in particular) will FLOOD the web with fake reviews, critiques, and ratings that make it seem as if the whole world buys and recommends their product.  So it’s much more difficult to tell by simply Googling.  Google results can also lead you to infected sites, although they have recently made efforts to curtail that.  How can you KNOW it’s good info?  Use trusted sites like or Amazon for reviews of products (although be aware that ANYBODY, including the company that made it, can post a review!).  Check the Better Business Bureau for services.  Other publications that have been around for decades are also good sources (e.g. PC World, Wall Street Journal, etc.).  Word of mouth from a friend is good, too, and much easier with sites like Facebook.   Bottom Line:  watch the ADDRESS BAR and DON’T TRUST STRANGERS.