Google discrimination?

Now, I’ve always found the concept of “US English” & “British English”ย rather amusing – English is English – and so by definition, it comes from England (or Britain if you like…) So americans spell some stuff wrong…. that’s their perogative I guess….

But Google, the “Do NO Evil” company… how could you discriminate so? I was reading fellow ManxMan Dan Karran’s Blog, and I came across this rather interesting little factiod.

It seems that if you change you regional settings away from US English then the much publicised changes to GoogleTalk are not available to you…. no chat window in your inbox – I just presumed that I was unlucky not to have it yet…. but no, I was daft enough to ammend my local settings to UKย English – heaven forbid! I live in the UK (give or take a technicality – it’s strictly a Crown Dependency and part of the British Isles rather than the UK – but who’s splitting hairs?)

More importantly – I was missing the MUCH Hyped Delete button – what’s going on Google? Does delete mean something different in US English? Has your localisation team been too busy to translate?

I’m disappointed to say the least…..


Google Office?

Well, it’s all a bit vague at the moment, with no links to anything substantial – but if the Inquirer and the Brisbane Courier Mail (talk about bizzare places to get a scoop!) are to be believed, then the Sun Google partnership announced earlier this week is bigger than they initially admitted…

According to the Inquirer:

GOOGLE has confirmed that it will launch free spreadsheet and word-processing software online and take on Microsoft in one of its biggest markets.
Under the deal, Google will allow web users to access Sun’s OpenOffice from a toolbar.

The Courier Mail describes it thus:

Search engine Google has declared war on Microsoft, announcing plans to launch free spreadsheet and word-processing software online.

It then goes on to mention the details of the original deal:

Google has joined forces with US-based technology giant Sun Microsystems to allow web users to access Sun’s OpenOffice from any personal computer.
Sun will offer Google’s search toolbar with downloads of its free Java software, which now powers more than 2.5 billion gadgets around the globe, including 700 million PCs.

but there’s no links to < quote > yesterday’s announcement < /quote > to be found in the article…… suffice to say, I remain sceptical – but hopeful…..

Just imagine, online office – storage integrated with your GMail account, throw in the option to privately archive your gtalk conversations into that said-same storage, and then make it all searchable (voice recognition anyone?) – superb…. but the privacy issues need to be addressed before people will really go for it I suspect.


GoogOS – Could it be closer than you think?

I think I’ve got it sussed – GoogOS could be just around the corner…..

Just put the core pieces together:

  • Google Secure Access (GSA)
  • A U3-style Device setup with a bootable image
  • The huge amounts of “Dark Fiber” that Google is reported to have been buying up.
  • So, you plug in your Pen Drive anywhere, power up the machine, and away you go – the Image on it boots and connects you to your GoogOS profile using GSA and away you go – search, browse, e-mail (or is that GMail?) throw in a web-based word processor like Writely, Image management through Picasa & Hello, they’ve just launched GoogleTalk for instant messaging and you have what most people need for (at least basic) computing – I know it’d do me for trips away….

    Anyone else excited by the possibility?

    Share goes live!

    Well, it’s been a week or two in the coming – Katrina has kept a chunk of the team busy with other things…. but the Forums are now live at

    Why not take a trip over there and sign up? If you’re a GTalk user, there are some additional tips and tricks for using it – and if you’ve not got that most coveted of things (a GMail address) there’s a way to get one – for free!! Of course – you could just leave a comment here and I’ll send you an invite!!


    The future of Hello?

    OK, it’s time for me to put on both hats – as the third moderator of SpreadHello and as a moderator for SpreadGoogleTalk too, to step in and give my £0.02 worth following on from the posts from Yogarine and Pace-man on the SpreadHello blog.

    I’m really not sure where it’s all going…..but, as Pace-Man has also pointed out Google seem to be doing a lot of buying of similar technologies at the moment, Meetro is a prime example – once they expand it for use outside of the US, it could prove to be an interesting addition to GTalk / Hello…. wouldn’t you like to be able to chat with and share photo’s with people physically near to you?

    As for how to “integrate” all of these services…. that’s the tricky bit… both Hello and GoogleTalk are superb – but they’re very different….. and I’m not sure how Google could make the two interoperate without ruining both of them. I just hope it doesn’t all go the way of MSN Messenger. There’s a service that once was good, but has become unusable over time (for me at least) – because it’s trying to be everything to everybody….it’s bloatware.

    I like the chat and voice stuff in GTalk – it works and the interface is clean and uncluttered. I’ll be intrigued to see how they try to make money out of it – voice recognition and context sensitive ads perhaps? Now that’d be REALLY clever!!

    However, I suspect that this is the next step on the way to some form of “GBrowser” or maybe even a “GoogOS“….or maybe I’m just being silly!!

    For an extereme version of what might be – check out the excellent flash “story” over at albinoblacksheep good, but scary… but good….:-)

    All in all, I’ll be very interested to see how things progress – based on what they’ve done in the past, it should pretty impressive!


    Google Talk – Tips and Tricks! Part II

    Well, after some browsing of the Google Talk forums it looks like I’m not the only one working on a list of hacks etc. for Google Talk….

    Wumpus has put together a more comprehensive list…. including these (very handy) ideas:

    Conference Calls

    What you need to do to have conference calls:

  • Open up a copy of Google Talk on all computers with which you wish to conference.
  • After one copy is opened make a new shortcut for Google Talk but at the end of it add /nomutex.
  • If you installed it to the default folder then your shortcut should read “C:\Program Files\Google\Google Talk\googletalk.exe” /nomutex.
  • Open 2 instances of the software on every user’s computer.
  • After this start a chain:

  • User 1 should connect on one instance to user 2.
  • User 2 will connect on his second instance to user 3.
  • User 3 will connect using his second instance back to user 1.
  • With this chain everyone is connected to everyone

    Nickname & Status Message

  • To change your nickname you need to go to you account properties in your Gmail account and change the name there.As a result all of your emails will have that nick as well, there is no way to seperate the two.
  • You can add a website in your away message, it will be clickable in conversation windows.
  • “Secret” Parameters

  • /nomutex: allows you to open more than one instance of Google Talk.
  • /factoryreset: set settings back to default.
  • /mailto send an email with Gmail.
  • /s upgrade: used when upgrading Google Talk.
  • Share

    Google Talk – Tips and Tricks!

    Here’s a few hacks I’ve found by playing with Google Talk

    Bold Text: Put * around the word.
    Example: I *love* Google —> I love Google

    Italic Text: Put _ around the word.
    Example I _love_ Google —> I love Google

    To switch between multiple chat windows, press Tab. Ctrl+Tab will go in the opposite direction.

    You can show your homepage or blog URL simply by entering it in your away message (at the top of the main window). It will automatically turn to a link visible to others.

    Some smileys – so far I’ve found the following:


    that are recognised by Google Talk and will turn blue.

    To switch between multiple (undocked) chat windows, press Ctrl+Tab

    Linebreaks – If you want to have a message that spans multiple paragraphs, just hold shift and hit enter. You can add as many new lines as you want to create.

    URL’s / Hyperlinks – Google Talk will detect a website address and automagically turn it into hyperlink, which is then clickable by the recipient.

    Change Text Size (Wheel mouse required) – Do you find the default text is too small or too large? You can change the text by pressing Ctrl + mouse scroll up/down. Scroll up will enlarge the text, scroll down will decrease the text size. The change is only on your screen, it will not affect the receiver side’s text size. (Google spoil all my fun!! :-))

    If you’re interested in trying Google Talk – leave a comment (including your e-mail address) and I’ll sort you out a GMail invite


    Spreading GoogleTalk

    I’ve been invited to be a moderator for the forums that are about to be launched at SpreadGoogleTalk – it sounds like a really exciting project along the lines of SpreadHello and SpreadFirefox

    Run entirely by “Fans” is should be an interesting place to hang out in the coming months – they’re working closely with GoogleTalk team members like Joe Beda a former Microsoftie who worked on Avalon amongst other things….

    The site should go live in the next day or so – the delay is partly due to the inolvement of some of the original team members ing involved in a relief team called SEAEAT – apparently it’s originally a tsunami help team – who’ve been called to assist in the relief operations for Hurricane Katrina Best of luck to them in their efforts – it goes without saying that my thoughts are with those affected by this disaster.

    I’m sure that I’ll post more as the site goes live and develops over the coming weeks and months – all I can say is that I look forward to being involved, and I’d like to thank Angelo Embuldeniya for this invitation to join in something this exciting!!


    Google Talk is live (as a Beta)

    Kraneland has just posted that Google Talk is live – as per normal – it Beta – but as I’ve commented before – what Google software isn’t?

    It needs a GMail Account – leave a comment if you want one – I have plenty of invites available ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’ve not really had a chance to play yet – but it looks pretty cool – I’ll be interested to see if it’ll play with MSN Messenger etc….. More to follow!!