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Hello everyone! When it comes to the Internet, it’s pretty much Google’s world (and we’re all just livin’ in it). Most of us are probably pretty familiar with Google’s search engine, as well as apps like Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Documents, and Google+. We may even use Google Analytics, Google Shopping, or Google Scholar, and we’ve probably seen Google’s driverless cars and Google Glass in the headlines. But there is so much more.
Google has a lot of products that we don’t often think or hear of (or that I, for one, just didn’t know were standalone services). For example, Google Suggest, the service which guesses what you’re searching for as you type, is responsible for such gems as these Google poems.
There are so many Google products, in fact, that this post will be split in half. Below are the products that I’ve sorted into categories of Financial, Productivity, and Social; next week I’ll post the Communications, Techie, Connecting to Your Community, and Stuff That is Just Cool categories.
Side note: products that have been discontinued are not included in the list, though some discontinued products are included in this (relatively complete) Wikipedia list of Google products.
Welcome to the Googleverse. Let’s go.
Google Finance tracks business headlines, stocks (in real time), national market trends, and more. You can use the service to track your own portfolios.
Google Wallet stores your credit and debit card information, coupons, gift cards, and other shopping-related data. You can use the service to pay online or in physical stores, or to send money via email.
Google Grants is the nonprofit version of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Through in-kind donations from AdWords of $10,000 per month, nonprofit organizations can use Google Grants to promote their mission and collect donations.
Google Fusion Tables is a web-based data visualization tool that integrates with Google Drive. Users can upload their own data, collaborate with others, publish their creations, embed on websites, download, and update data at any time.
Google Drawings integrates with Google Drive to create diagrams and other doodles that can be edited collaboratively with others in real time using Gchat. Drawings can be shared in the same way as Google Docs, and downloaded in a number of formats (PDF, JPEG, etc).
Google Forms integrates with Google Drive to create surveys, quizzes, or other forms that can feed directly into a spreadsheet.
Google Keep is a note-taking app similar to many others. Organize notes, lists, or images in a clean and fuss-free interface, as well as color-coding them. Keep also integrates with Google Drive, so it syncs across devices.
Google Desktop searches your PC for files, emails, Web pages, and more, the same way you use Google to search the Internet.
Google News aggregates news from across the web into a single feed based on your preferences. News is grouped by local, national, global, and topic, and you can set up email alerts for stories featuring certain keywords. Local weather is even displayed in a sidebar on the right-hand side.
Google Alerts is the “alert” feature mentioned above in conjunction with Google News. It’s also available as a standalone feature which you can customize according to how often alerts should be delivered, type of result (news, blogs, discussions, etc), and whether you want all results or “only the best results.”
Google Reverse Image Search allows you to search for other images similar to one you have or found. Drag and drop into the search box, upload an image, copy and paste a URL, or download a browser extension that allows you to right click and reverse-search an image. This can be useful if you’re using stock images, for example, to find out how frequently that same image has already been used. It can also be useful in situations when you don’t remember what the plant or building in your vacation photo is.
Google Bookmarks is a free bookmark storage service, separate from your browser’s bookmarking function. It’s cloud-based, and you can add labels, tags, and notes to the sites you bookmark.
Google Public Data Explorer displays a good deal of publicly available data from institutions like the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and Eurostat. Data is interactive and can be displayed as line graphs, bar graphs, maps, or cross sectional graphs.
Google Refine is an open source desktop app for cleaning up “messy” data and making it usable.
Trendalyzer is a piece of data visualization software that comes pre-loaded with statistical and historical information about the development of countries around the world and animates statistics. It uses an interactive bubble chart to display five variables: numeric values for X and Y axes, bubble size and color, and a time variable.
Google Currents is a iPhone and Android app for following publications and blogs in a magazine format.
Google Scribe is a text completion service, much like Google Suggestion, except that it works anywhere on the web. It’s downloadable for use in Chrome.
Google SketchUp is an easy-to-use 3D modeling program for architectural, civil, mechanical, film, and video game design. There are free and paid versions.
Google Takeout allows users to export their own Google-hosted data in .zip files so that it can be downloaded. As of now, the services included in Takeout are Blogger, Google+ (Circles, Pages, and posts), Google Buzz (no longer exists), Google Contacts, Google Drive, Google Latitude, Google Profile, Google Reader sites, Google Voice settings, Picasa albums, and YouTube videos.
Google Latitude is a mobile app which allows the user to share certain details about their current location with certain people, via Google Maps. Users can choose, for example, to share their exact location, or only the city, and can also manually enter locations.
Google Schemer is a Google+ -integrated service built to help you find things to do on the weekends and connect to others with similar interests. “Schemes” can include anything from “Take mixology course at Bourbon and Branch” to “Relive Ferris Bueller’s Day Off in Chicago” to “Surf sand dunes at White Sands.” Once you’ve done something, you can check it off and let your friends know.
Picasa is Google’s photo organization and sharing site. It’s integrated with Google + and you can tag Google+ contacts in your photos, as well as doing some minor photo editing.
Google Music is a cloud-based music player available through the Google Play Store on Android devices. It integrates with Google+ and contains a music store (with many free and cheaper-than-iTunes songs) as well as hosting for up to 20,000 songs that the user already has. Music can be played while online or stored for offline playback.
Google Profile is used to provide public information about you to other Google users and anyone who searches for your name. It’s optional, but allows you to promote yourself and link to websites you’d like to show.
That’s all we have for now – stay tuned for Part II next week! In the meantime, tell us about any products I missed in the comments section!
Hello everyone! We have featured their videos before but since they are doing great work, we've got another Illinois Legal Aid Online (ILAO) video this week! About two weeks ago, ILAO started uploading a series entitled "Faces of Justice." Each video interviews a different "face" of the justice system in Illinois: a judge, a lawyer, the chief justice, a LiveHelp volunteer, and a website user about their experiences with ILAO, why they think access to justice is important, and so on. The personal, behind-the-scenes look at what people do and why they love their jobs is, I think, great for encouraging Illinoisians to get in touch with ILAO for help. As usual, ILAO has done a great job branding these videos so that they look cohesive and classy in black and white.
Check out their funny "outtakes" clip below, and visit the playlist for the rest of the videos!
For more on making your own videos, check out some how-to videos by LSNTAP on our Video Camera & Editing Tech playlist. See also a list of high-quality low-cost video cameras, and low-cost or cheap applications for editing video on a computer or a smartphone.
Hello everyone! Don't forget to join us tomorrow, Wednesday May 15th, for an informal discussion of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies! Bring your questions, experiences, or just curiosity! Don't miss out!
To join the visual, visit https://join.me/
To join the audio by phone, call +1 (646) 307-1990 and enter the ID 527-525-269#. To join by VoIP, first join the visual and then click the phone icon and select "Call via Internet."
The roundtable begins at 10am Pacific / 11am Mountain / 12noon Central / 1pm Eastern.
See you there!
Hello everyone! Last Friday, May 10th, the Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) at Princeton hosted a webinar on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and sandboxing technology. The video is available on CITP’s YouTube channel and below, but here’s a brief summary.
The speakers were:
- Bart Huffman, Partner at Locke Lord LLP
- Andy Aiello, Chief Operating Officer at OpenPeak, Inc.
- Keith Epstein, General Attorney and Associate General Counsel on Advanced Mobility Solutions at AT&T
Huffman introduced the talk by outlining the ways in which workplaces have changed: instead of desktop computers populated with a few pieces of software chosen by an IT professional, many employees are using their own devices, populated with software of their own choosing, to complete business-related activities. There is a lot of potential for greater productivity and effectiveness in this approach, but also a number of security risks to be aware of.
Huffman described the issue of BYOD policies as dealing with the “intersection of privacy and security,” in that the devices are both very personal and consistently with the employee, as well as hosting potentially sensitive company information. The key, Huffman said, is boundaries, set up ahead of time and known to everyone.
Next, Aiello took over to discuss mobility, describing the field as a child: constantly bouncing around, trying new things, but overall developing towards something more mature. The field has developed exponentially in the past few years, bringing with it a few key concerns that businesses need to address through a set of policies: Security Policies, Employee Policies, and Business Policies.
Epstein then delved into the particulars of BYOD policies. Some basic security measures, like password-protecting a smartphone, not accessing unsecured wireless networks, and not leaving a phone’s Bluetooth on “discoverable” mode, can do a lot towards protecting the device itself - and yet, many people don’t use them. Thus, these types of basic security measures are a great start to a BYOD policy. Epstein suggests checking out the federal government’s Bring Your Own Device policy as an example.
He also listed the challenges facing businesses seeking to develop a BYOD policy:
- balancing productivity and employee satisfaction with control of the company’s data,
- adapting policies and infrastructure to rapidly changing technologies,
- being able to reassure shareholders that the company’s data is safe,
- ensuring that security and confidentiality regulations are complied with, and
- controlling costs.
To address these challenges, the primary elements of any BYOD policy include:
- IT infrastructure to interface with mobile devices
- technology tools to manage connectivity and connected devices
- a policy document clearly articulating the responsibilities of the employer and employee
- training and an acknowledgment mechanism to verify the employee understands and accepts policy terms
- periodic policy reviews to adapt to changing needs and technologies
Epstein emphasizes that bringing one’s own device to work is a privilege, not an entitlement. Establishing this within the policy makes control of data easier, because inappropriate use can then result in revocation of the privilege.
The policy should also establish both the employer’s and the employee’s expectations with regards to privacy, duty of care of the device, disciplinary actions, what happens if the employee leaves the company, and reimbursement for the data plan and repairs. Furthermore, acceptable use of the device should be defined, as well as which applications and software are acceptable. However, it’s important not to be too device-specific, since any device you mention will probably be replaced by a new version within the next year. Establish who will provide support for the device and which types of devices (smartphones, tablets, notebooks, etc) are allowed. Finally, be sure to specify which security measures should be taken, including remote access and wipe of data in the case of loss or theft (unless the data is virtualized or encrypted).
Additionally, there are some responsibilities of the employer which, under a BYOD policy, will fall to the employee. For example, records retention, data protection, industry-specific standards and regulations (such is HIPAA) will all become at least the partial responsibility of employers. Furthermore, you’ll need to consider off-the-clock work done by employees - what if they go home and do additional work after business hours? Will they be compensated? What happens if they go overseas and have to give up their device - what steps should be taken to protect data?
Next, Aiello returned to the podium to discuss several concepts related to BYOD. For one, “containerization” or “app wrapping” is a way to separate the work and personal functions of the same device and secure those third-party apps at the same time. Content management is the curation of what’s on the device.
Aiello also discussed the basics of securing data: AES-256 encryption is good for data “at rest,” or in one place, while VPN is good for data that’s mobile. Then, there should be a secure storage space for those apps and balancing employee convenience with data security. He also went over some techniques for enhancing app-level security.
Finally, Huffman opened the floor to questions. He and the other panelists answered a few questions about containerizaiton, security keys, the protection of company data in the event of litigation, Cloud security, the pace of change in the mobile marketplace, and other topics before concluding the training.
Happy Dance Like a Chicken Day!