Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Google Chrome Dev Version Update

As many of you probably are aware, Google's Chrome web browser current comes in 3 different flavors or 'channels'.

There's a stable version, a beta version, and a 'dev' version.

As with any product, non-tech oriented users that want to begin implementing the product should use the stable version which is updated frequently.

The beta channel is just what the term implies.  It's aimed at those the want a peek at what may be coming and comment on how the features work with their systems.

Finally, the 'dev' version is mostly aimed at developers.  Those building extensions or otherwise contributing to Chrome via the Chromium project.

Earlier today, the 'dev' version was updated to version 5.0.335.0.  The release notes can be found here.

After reading numerous comments earlier today I thought it was important to point something out.

In early versions of Chrome, it was easy to switch back and forth using a 'channel changer' program.  For best results, now that the product is maturing, you are MUCH better off uninstalling your previous channel version before changing to a different channel.  (Updates within the same channel will still be as easy as hitting 'about').

For those experiencing tab crashes or other issues, I hope this brief piece helps.  More details on the various Early Release Channels of Chrome can be found here.

Updates for Windows 7 and more are here

This week's 'Update Tuesday' saw a host of updates from Microsoft for Windows 7 (32 and 64 bit), Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Included among the updates for Windows 7 are:
Updated multiple interface USB devices, updates for changes in daylight savings time in several countries, Windows Media center fixes, enhanced compatibility with memory cards over 32GB, and Internet Explorer compatibility with JSON interoperability in conformance with the new ECMAScript, fifth edition standard, as well as a fix for Virtual PC on PCs running Intel's Westmere family processors.

Other updates were issued by Microsoft in this latest update group as well.

If your PC is not set to automatically download and / or install patches from Windows Update (or Microsoft Update), especially if you haven't visited or checked lately, you can find a direct link from the Start menu on most PCs.

Special Note: Windows XP users should be sure they are currently using Service Pack 3 as support for Service Pack 2 is set is expire soon:

Still not sure about Windows 7?  A 90-day trial of Windows 7 Enterprise is still available at TechNet here as well as a variety of trial packages and the latest beta of Office Professional Plus 2010.

Another resource for the latest downloads and / or security updates from Microsoft can be found at the Microsoft Download Center here.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Google's Buzz team wants you !

Meet the Google Buzz Crew:

Yes, the team that's working on Google Buzz is now available for your suggestions, comments and questions.

Where?  You guessed it.  On Buzz!

A few hours ago, they started an account where they will be posting comments, tweaks, changes and updates.

How can YOU interact with the Buzz staffers?

Log on to Buzz, then follow them at this profile.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Google and Yahoo are indexing Google Buzz

You've probably read already that Google Buzz has gone through a few 'privacy issues'.

The 'team' responded. There have been two updates to better protect those who don't want the visibility but do want to use the product.

You might want to think about reading both updates before wandering into Buzz land ... NOW.


Your 'buzzes' may very well be appearing in the Main Google Search Index and also Yahoo! (So far, no Bing).

On a hunch, I did a vanity search a little while ago: "Charlie Anzman Buzz".



Now, here's the good news.

Google not only appears to be all over this but Googlers are addressing the issues almost in real-time on Buzz (just like Bret Taylor did as Friendfeed was emerging).  It's not only refreshing but should be comforting to some.

I'm currently only following two Googlers on Buzz but it didn't take more than an hour for Rick Klau to chime in on my note about spammers already proliferating the product:

Looks to me like Buzz is very much here to stay (and Google very much wants it to be a WIN)!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ready for the Olympics? So is Google.

Google has built a pretty impressive infrastructure to cover the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

The new group of websites leverage a variety of Google features including Google Maps, Google Street View, YouTube, Google News, Google Real-Time Search, Picasa, Favorite Places, and more.

Google has built sites like this in the past, but this seems to be the most ambitious yet for this type of event, delivering unique content, aggregating news as well as visuals and real-time user comments.

I can only imagine what something like this will look like in just a few years.

In the meantime, you can access Google 'coverage' of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games here.

By the way ... if you prefer the 'good, old-fashioned' way, the official website of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver can be found here.

Update 9:10 PM ET: NBC's Olympic online coverage, along with a variety of partners including MSN, Universal Sports and many others, is now online here.

Why the New Website is a Win (and a Sneak Peek!)

Numerous blogs and websites have been re-launching over the past two years as the 'war' continues (more than ever ...) for your pageviews.

First it was a rush to embrace 'rich media' (using mostly Adobe's Flash and more recently Microsoft's Silverlight and HTML5) to deliver more content in less space.

This year, the move is on to what I like to call the 'basic four'.  Simplicity, Social, SEO and a dash of PPC.  In reality, with Google (the pioneer of simplicity?) adding Twitter to their main index search results, the basic four is actually now five, incorporating where possible, real-time updates.

In a conversation a few minutes ago on Google Buzz, I commented "If you need a book (or you need to watch a video) to use it (IE: any new service or website...), it's probably an out-of-the-box fail".

There are examples of this all over the internet but a simple comparison to the rapid adoption of Google Buzz compared to Google's Wave tells that story.

Two days from now, one of the premier weather information providers on the web (and elsewhere) will be launching a brand-new look.  The countdown has been ongoing on the site for several weeks.

A long-time user of (as well as their premium services), I was somewhat skeptical.

After all, MSN still has their 'simplified look' in preview modeYahoo completely overdid it (in my humble opinion) with the multitude of front page mouseovers ... and the new AOL is, well, still wasting a lot of white space while overloading the left side directory.

The new is right on.  

It's clean, uncluttered, easy, very social, and yes, the new articles now update in real-time without a refresh.

Delivering the content you are looking for is VERY straight-forward.

Maybe a touch more SEO on the back pages ... but I'd guess that's coming.  The company has been pretty good at keeping up with those trends and changes.

See what you think.

You can view the new in Beta right now here.

Important: is a registered trademark if AccuWeather Inc.  Use of proprietary images, other trademarks, servicemarks and/or copyrights may only be used with express written permission of the company.

Update 1: Only because I received 1 message already (Ugh!!!!).....  FTC disclosure: I have never been compensated by AccuWeather in any way other than a very impressive tour of their facility (which did not include lunch .... :).

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Google's Social Search and Discovery

Over the past year, 'discovery' (or the 'art of finding people and articles of interest on the web) has gotten both easier and more difficult.

Easier in the sense than there are now many more tools to sort through the so-called 'noise'.

Harder in the sense that the entire free world has descended on social media sites and services, and the lines are quickly blurring as to how much we can take in each day and from where (or whom).

Once relegated to social 'voting' sites such as Digg, discovery has matured, with people sharing information on services such as Twitter, Friendfeed, Facebook and others.

A couple of weeks ago, Google announced 'Google Social Search', a new feature built in to Google that allows you to see who you're connected to across the web and numerous platforms.

While the somewhat subtle feature received some launch press, I didn't read anything about anyone taking it for a serious spin OR what the future implications and/or uses may be.

Google has been moving social in a measured way, connecting services such as GMail, Google Reader, Blogger and many other internal services. However, the Google social infrastructure has been some fragmented and Google's actual social initiative, Google Friend Connect, has been slow to take off. (This, aside from Orkut, Google's original social experiment, which still retains strength in South America and other areas).

While logged in this morning I decided to wander over to Google Social Search.  As an 'early adopter', I already had a pretty extensive network there prior to even looking at it.

What I found the most interesting was the stream of 'how' I was connected to people across the web.  Even more interesting was how the people I enjoy reading the most are connected to others .... and looking at why.

In minutes, I had come across LOTS of interesting and informative blogs and people I hadn't been tuned in to before.  It was eye-opening (and that's an understatement).

While Facebook, Twitter, and other services easily allow you to see who others are following, this latest product from Google had already scanned all types of social networks and services and even provided a window into who was reproducing some of my own content that was much more in-depth than Google Alerts.

While some rail Google for the amount of information they are harvesting every second, what most people don't realize is there are factually opt-out privacy measures for almost all of them.

If you don't, and choose to be 'visible', this new vehicle could prove to be a valuable addition to your networking toolkit and easily help you tune in to what you have time to read on the Internet each day.

The original launch video is below.  It provides a good overview of what you can do with Google Social Search.  I'm sure there are more than a few of you that either missed this one or would want to check it out.

Great weekend all

Update 1 -   Feb 7, 2010 7:30 PM ET: Google Social Search was actually introduced as an experiment in October of 2009 and subsequently was re-introduced on January 27th 2010 .... and made available to everyone at that time (in beta) via

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Twitter Wants You to Change Your Password!

In a post a short time ago, Twitter urged users to change their passwords.

Like many other high-profile websites in recent weeks, it seems the popular social networking site is seeing their share of server attacks, the most recent of which is coming from the Torrent world.

One of the results has been an usual climb in the number of followers for "a couple of accounts over the last five days".

"It appears that for a number of years, a person has been creating torrent sites that require a login and password as well as creating forums set up for torrent site usage and then selling these purportedly well-crafted sites and forums to other people innocently looking to start a download site of their very own.  However, these sites came with a little extra — security exploits and backdoors throughout the system."

The complete post from Del Harvey, Twitter's Director of Trust and Safety can be found here.

Bottom line.  Twitter users ... change your password.

Google News - What are those Stars?

Google News users awoke this morning to a slight change in the page layout.

Small stars have been placed to the left of story headlines.

You will need to be logged in to your Google account for this new functionality to work or clicking on a star will take you directly to the log-in page.

Essentially, 'starring' a story block in Google News lets Google know that you're interested in this story, and when there are significant updates, the story headlines will be in bold .... and they will also be placed in a new 'starred' folder for later viewing.

The result is automatic and immediate :

Google (as always) wants your feedback. There's a link for your thoughts in the new blog post on this feature from Google News here.