Offline Google Maps: what to do when downloading hangs

This was my first work phone (nominally also a smart phone, but practically -- not very usable as such). That is not my hand.  I got the image from here.
The Nokia E50 from 2006: nominally also a smart phone, but practically — not very usable as such. That is not my hand. I got the image from here.
I finally got a new phone for the first time since 2006 this month. It’s my first smart phone for work (I’ve used other portable devices — iPod touch, Nokia E61i, Palm Treo, Handspring Visor + Visorphone) on my own dime, and my first foray into the Android operating system. It’s got two SIM card slots, which makes it particularly convenient for both work and personal use. With that in mind, I was pleased when I read about Google Maps for Android becoming available offline — so you can see your position on map tiles downloaded in advance without using a roaming data connection, which is very expensive. Continue reading Offline Google Maps: what to do when downloading hangs

2-step verification for Google Accounts

Information security is a PITA. But less so than not having any. What measures do you take to keep your online stuff safe?

I’ve written about some simple steps I’ve taken to improve the security of my online stuff before. The video below describes an extra step you can take if Google is a provider of a service you use (Gmail, Google Documents, Google Maps, etc.). Tons o' AppsMy thanks to @Yellifers for tweeting about this article, which called my attention to these options. Apparently Google has offered these for over a year, but I’m just now hearing about them. I’m using them now to try to reduce the odds of nightmarish Google Mail filter manipulation to hide someone’s nefarious online activities about me from me. Continue reading 2-step verification for Google Accounts

Google Wave

So, I’m trying this Google Wave thing out. Heard about it? Apparently the idea is is

What would email look like if it had been invented recently, and not forty years ago?

It’s one of those special-preview-invite-only kind of things for now. Somehow I got an invitation — not sure how — but I’m checking it out. It’s kind of lonely until you’ve got some other users in the sandbox to play with. I’ve been equipped with a number of invitations and have already sent out a few. If you’d like one, and are willing to play around with Google Wave once you get one, let me know. You can also request your own invitation directly from Google here.

I suspect this is going to be one of those things that cutting-edge or at least open-minded users will embrace quickly (if the concept proves to have merit at all). And everyone else will lag behind, still using their Internet Explorer 6 browsers and Yahoo! or Hotmail email addresses. That would be the critical point; I’m not looking forward to having to check email at one site AND my waves at two different sites. Maybe they’ve thought of this already — a way for Wave users to get all the benefits of the Wave and everyone else — the non-believers and Luddites — to hang back in the comfort zone of their traditional email.

google voice / video chat?

I’m itching to try this out.


Has anyone else downloaded the plugin yet? I tried in on our Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and it didn’t work – at least not with this cheapo webcam I use. On the Mac, the video test picture as shown in the screenshot above never came in — it remained a black box — though I could right-click on that black box and set some Flash player settings for audio, video, disk space usage, etc., which gave me hope. But either those settings I chose aren’t being committed, or there’s some deeper incompatibility between my SpeedLink 6820 web cam and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and the Google Chat plugin for Firefox/Safari 3.x.

Same camera on Windows seems to work, but I haven’t gotten the chance to test it with anyone yet. Haven’t tried it yet on Linux and I’m not hopeful (still no Google Chrome for Mac or Linux AFAIK).

Anyone? Anyone?