Friday, May 7, 2010

Google Feature Idea / Request

There is one additional feature Google could offer, which would make my - and I guess many other people's - online lives so much easier.

When working with the internet, quite often I need to take a screenshot or print a page for my records. A good example is when searching for a job, I need to keep track of the original offer I see, so I can recall it later when it comes to an interview.

How do you do that today? Well, capture with print screen, grabber tools (i.e. screenGrab! or ScrapBook as firefox extensions) or I print it into a pdf with CutePDF Writer. Exellent tools, btw!

And then I have to upload some of these manually to Google Docs. If Google could offer a screengraber tool and a pdf capture tool which lets me store the documents either online in my Google Docs account and on my computer, this would be a very strong argument for using Google Docs and not my local office package.

Just two little buttons in Chrome would do it: "Grab screen as jpg" and "Print page as PDF" and than a selector where to store. Does not even sound very difficult to implement, what do you think?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Google Navigation and Microsoft Bing


Google seems to have realized, that some color and a decent menu might actually increase usability! First the options in the left menu are hidden, on this picture they are shown. And under this Google shows some filter for images, being in image search right now.

While many of these filters and categories where available since quite some time, I appreciate the ease of use - quite similar to Bing. (Yes, I think Bing was better for some time in these aspects.)

But take a closer look at the left menu: filter by picture type (any, face, photo, clipart, line drawing) and the color selection. This is SO AWESOME! I have seen color and shape selectors beforehand for, so this is not too advanced, but for image searches this is extremely helpful!

I guess the next step are shapes, and after that I hope to be able to text search these options: search for "oval face green background" or "face andreas.wpv" or "circle drawing picasso".

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Not being a developer I have avoided books about coding web pages pretty successfully. Most information is available online, good courses, references and excellent examples - more than enough for what I needed.

Now I checked a book 'HTML, XHTML & CSS' from Elizabeth Castro in its sixth edition, and I have to say that was a good book and very helpful to read this stuff chapter by chapter. Sure, some things I skipped because I was still pretty much up to date, but she has some rather helpful tips on many pages. I especially liked the pages on handmade rss feeds and podcasts for iTunes, had not done this coding myself before.

Good book, I hope she will keep on updating it and show up with a version on HTML 5 soon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Google Maps, Mobile and Real Estate

One of the more obvious ways to use Google Maps on mobile or on a pc: Scan real estate databases, connect it with streetview, maps, photos, videos and you can add huge value for users.

Now Google just needs to add a way to select categories and properties for real estate. Show real estate, give a distance to a given point (your job location), add a price range and minimum room requirements as filters. Then take a look on a Google map what qualifies for this selection. Check how it looks like. See the surrounding areas. Check out traffic to your job. See if there are bike-ways. Search for restaurants and parks, shopping areas and whatever you like. All on one map.

Mobile Tracking
And if you allow Google to track your location while driving (Google latitude, works already) they can alert you when you are moving around town with your cellphone. You might hear a beep because you will pass a house that fits your criteria in a moment.

This has huge potential and combined with some free, seller / interest based real estate database instead of agents databases will be a huge threat to real estate agents and brokers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Google Analytics Annotation

This is a very helpful feature Google has implemented: Annotations to the diagrams in Google analytics. I can finally make a mark on the timeline, indicating site changes, e-mail blasts, TV spots or events, and see easily how long it takes to impact the site traffic. This is so very helpful to analyse and especially to explain deviations from the regular traffic trajectory.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bookmarks and Google Docs

Wow. I am using Google bookmarks with the new Chrome since two days and Google Docs since quite some time. Today I found a new folder - which I did not build intentionally - with a little chrome icon beside of it in my folder list. How outrageous. No, wait.... how awesome. Google stores the bookmarks in this folder, and all bookmark folder are repeated online. This is awesome and gives me wonderful control over my bookmarks.

This is the right direction, although I think xmarks is still the better solution because it can be used on all platforms (Windows, Linux, Safari) with most browsers AND with different profiles per browser. Verrrrry helpful to coordinate work across project assignments and even teams.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Google Quality

May be I should have named this post ...'the slow demise of the internet avantgarde giant'.

Time outs with mails, glitches with the webmail frontend, we all know that Google is not immune to things we are used to see with other companies. Still, they are one of the best, most reliable and forward thinking companies still.

I just saw this small glitch and think it is funny. I opened a pdf which was attached to one email - and I got the warning that "The site's security certificate is not trusted". Google mail attachment does not trust, and I get this truly wonderful warning. I always love to see this warning, even if out of other reasons than this time.

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