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Thursday, December 18, 2008

"I hunted down the woman who stole my life."

link -> "I hunted down the woman who stole my life."
The arresting officer said the identity thief, Maria Nelson, had at least 60 prior arrests, was indeed on probation and was wanted in another jurisdiction for similar crimes. When Nelson came before a judge 44 days later, however, thanks to a plea deal with the prosecutor, she was sentenced to only time served plus probation.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Triple silken pumpkin pie takes the prize

link -> Triple silken pumpkin pie takes the prize
What is the first thing that most people associate with Thanksgiving? Well, probably turkey, but pumpkin pie comes in a close second. As I am not a fan of the traditional pumpkin pie, I set out on a quest to find a delicious alternative this year. My search led me to a robust cookbook sitting on my kitchen shelves. Sheri Yard's Desserts by the Yard is an amazing compilation of a pastry chef's career spanning from coast to coast. What I found in that book turned out to be the most fluffy, decadent, flaky, scrumptious pie I have ever tasted. And apparently my officemates liked it just as much -- the triple silken pumpkin pie and I took home first place in last week's bake-off at our New York office! So if you're looking for a holiday-perfect pie, I encourage you to try out the recipe (PDF file). It takes a little time to make, but it's so worth it.

Happy baking, and happy Thanksgiving!

Posted by Kayla Wilson, Recruiting Coordinator

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat

link -> Say hello to Gmail voice and video chat
Posted by Justin Uberti, Software Engineer

I'm a big user of Gmail chat. Being able to switch from email to chat as needed, all within the same app, is really great for productivity. But people can only type so fast, and even with our new emoticons, there are still some things that just can't be expressed in a chat message.

Green Tuesday — Book Review: “The Urban Homestead”

link -> Green Tuesday — Book Review: “The Urban Homestead”

For this week’s Green Tuesday article, I’ve got something a little different…a book review, but not a typical book that gets reviewed here…

A couple months ago, I spotted an intriguing book in my library’s new nonfiction display. It is The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen (Port Townsend, Wash: Process Media, 2008). This book is the third in the “Process Self-Reliance Series.”

urban homestead cover

The Urban Homestead is a handy guide to a variety of projects and techniques for living greener even in a dense urban area. The book covers a lot of bases, from gardening, composting and canning to saving electricity and encouraging alternative forms of transportation (including bicycles). Coyne and Knutzen fill the book with easy projects, personal success stories and a host of references to other Web and print resources.

It’s best to think of this book as a good springboard toward more advanced projects and techniques — it is not intended to be a “one-stop” complete guide, as such a book would be thousands of pages long. Instead, this book allows someone interested in reducing their personal environmental impact to get started without a whole lot of time or financial investment. The authors have made this book easy to stomach, with peppy writing and a good dose of humor…and it is laced with common sense tips and many “why didn’t I think of that?” moments.

Overall, if you are interested in living a greener life by growing some of your own food and saving money on electricity costs, this book would be a great place to start. It’s a fun read and can be really eye-opening in the sense that some of the mystery behind smart environmental living has been removed. I recommend this one!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Almost new in Labs: SMS Text Messaging for chat

link -> Almost new in Labs: SMS Text Messaging for chat
Posted by Leo Dirac, Product Manager

Oh snap. Last night, we started rolling out a new feature to Gmail Labs that lets you send SMS text messages right from Gmail. It combines the best parts of IM and texting: you chat from your computer and reach your friends no matter where they are. Your friends who are away from their computers get your messages as texts and can peck out replies on their little keyboards. It was pretty cool for a few minutes last night when we were sitting around texting each other.

Then we found a glitch. When you'd try to turn it on, it wouldn't fully enable. We thought about keeping it out there -- bugs and all -- but the experience wasn't that great. So, in the spirit of Labs, we've pulled SMS chat back to fix it, and we'll get it back out to you as soon as it's ready -- probably within 2 weeks, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AMAZING Left Brain vs Right Brain Test

link -> AMAZING Left Brain vs Right Brain Test

Shared 65 times Tagged Collaboration (263) enterprise 2.0 (168) information management (76) intranet (72) km (92) Knowledge Management (136)

IT'S the Great Right Brain vs Left Brain Test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

right brained

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Book Review: “Shift” by Jennifer Bradbury

link -> Book Review: “Shift” by Jennifer Bradbury

Here’s a book that caught my eye a couple weeks ago: Shift by Jennifer Bradbury (New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2008).

shift cover

To celebrate their graduation from high school, lifelong friends Chris and Win decide to go on a cross-country bicycle tour…and only one returns to tell about it. What happened to Win? What is Chris hiding? What if Chris is telling the truth about his adventure?

This novel is the first by Jennifer Bradbury, a high-school English instructor from Burlington, Washington. It is an utterly compelling read — fast-paced, full of twists and turns and peppered throughout with realistic bicycling scenarios (the author is an accomplished bicycle tourer herself). The novel is aimed squarely at the “young adult” reader, but don’t let that put you off — this book doesn’t read like a typical YA novel. It’s smart and well-put-together and it lacks the schmaltziness many other YA novels exhibit. I absolutely could not put this book down, and subsequently burned through it in about three hours. The story has a satisfying resolution even as it leaves the reader hanging…

Even if you’re not much of a fiction reader, I highly recommend this book. Shift is such a strong first novel that there’s no telling what the author is capable of!

To read more about the author and to read additional reviews of the book, please visit the author’s website.

click here to check out high quality canvas panniers and bags. Copyright 2007-2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book Review: “Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt

link -> Book Review: “Traffic” by Tom Vanderbilt

One of the joys of working in a library is that I often have access to free books — particularly sample review copies sent by publishers. Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt caught my eye a few weeks ago, and I’m glad I brought it home.
Traffic is published by Alfred A. Knopf (New York, 2008).

Traffic by Tom Vanderbilt

This book is an utterly fascinating look at the physiological, psychological and social dynamics of motor vehicle use worldwide. In a nutshell, this book contains insights into everything you’ve ever thought of (and a lot of things you never dreamed of) while stuck in traffic: why is the other lane always moving faster? What’s up with all these signs? Why do our personalities change when we get behind the wheels of our cars? Why is it so hard to find a parking space?

Vanderbilt traveled the world, speaking to traffic engineers, road planners and law enforcement officials. Along the way, he discovered many tidbits, from the absurd — topless Danish models holding speed-limit signs (strangely enough, it worked — no one sped!), to the nearly-suicidal traffic frenzy in Delhi, India, where somehow traffic moves efficiently. Vanderbilt also spends a good bit of time discussing the work of Hans Monderman, a Dutch traffic engineer and visionary who is the father of the Shared Streets concept.

The book is wonderful; filled with lighthearted humor and great insights into what’s happening on the streets of the world. Although it is not geared towards cyclists, exactly, there are tidbits contained within these pages that address some of our concerns.

You may ask yourself, “are humans REALLY meant to drive?” after reading this book. I know I did, and as fa

Thursday, September 11, 2008

New in Labs: Reply add-ons

link -> New in Labs: Reply add-ons
Posted by Darick Tong, Gmail engineer

We Gmail developers are arguably among the most demanding of Gmail's users. So in addition to the feedback we get from all of you, a lot of the ideas for new features come from our own frustrations and experiences. We send and receive a lot of mail, and we've already started using these Labs features to make replying that much better.

Quote selected text, by Ryan A
Gmail makes it easy to manage long conversations or threads by hiding the text you've seen before. Unfortunately, this means that the people you're communicating with that aren't using Gmail sometimes get annoyed with you for leaving 25 pages of irrelevant conversation in the email. Also, sometimes you just want to reply to one small part of a conversation. Deleting lots of irrelevant text is rather annoying, so this Labs feature should make your life easier. Just highlight the text you want to include in your reply, hit the keyboard shortcut "r" to reply, and the compose template will be just what you selected! Note: This doesn't quite work in Chrome or Safari yet, but it will in a few weeks.

Default 'Reply to all,' by Mark K
When we're working on features for Gmail, the email etiquette on the team is to reply all so everyone involved is kept in the loop. Mark was an intern here this past summer who got frustrated when he'd reply to an email only to realize that he forgot to reply all and had to resend the message. Thus, this Labs feature, which makes reply all your default selection.

Vacation time, by Darick T
While planning my own vacation, I didn't want to worry about composing, starting and stopping my vacation auto-response while I was on vacation. Call me a purist, but that defeats the whole point of being on vacati

You are not alone. None of the rest of us can fathom CSS either.

link -> You are not alone. None of the rest of us can fathom CSS either.

Dave Minter is obviously frustrated, which lead him to write You are not alone. None of the rest of us can fathom CSS either.

He goes on a little rant that covers:

  1. Curvy corners
  2. Vertical floats
  3. Formatting for forms
  4. Floats within elements
  5. Graphical Buttons
  6. Column support
  7. Order Independence
  8. Widths on inline elements
  9. Addressing text within textareas
  10. A pony

Interestingly, do a view source on this bad boy to see nice corners that uses SVG, VML, -*-border-radius, depending on the browser. A lot of code for one feature huh?

On the other side we have 10 principles of the CSS masters by Glen Stansberry that covers:

  1. Keep CSS simple - Peter-Paul Koch
  2. Keep CSS declarations in one line - Jonathan Snook
  3. Use CSS shorthand - Roger Johansson
  4. Allow block elements to fill space naturally - Jonathan Snook

Follow your favorite blogs

link -> Follow your favorite blogs

Some people dream of being a rock star, while others just want a few discerning souls to become avid readers of their blogs. Both are noble pursuits, but with some good pictures, and a witty turn of phrase or two, building a Blogger fan-base may be a more attainable dream.

At Blogger we're passionate about helping communities form around blogs. To further that goal, we've introduced a new feature that lets you easily follow your favorite blogs and tell the world that you’re a fan. To follow a blog with the Followers' Gadget, simply click the “Follow This Blog” link. You can show your support for the blog by following it right from your Blogger Dashboard or in Google Reader.

Following isn't just for bloggers, it's also designed to make it easier for readers to keep tabs on their favorite blogs. Maybe you're following a wedding blog for tips, have a thing for plush toys, or perhaps you want to keep track of Google's university bus tour.

In addition, you can easily check out what blogs other fans are writing and following - you might even find another blog you’ll want to add to your reading list. And by the way, you can follow any blog, even if it isn't hosted on Blogger or doesn't have the Followers gadget. Just go to your Reading List in your Blogger Dashboard, click the “Add” button, and type in the blog’s URL. And you

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Inside Chrome: The Project to Crush IE and Remake the Web

link -> Inside Chrome: The Project to Crush IE and Remake the Web

10 Worst Car Commutes

link -> 10 Worst Car Commutes

“Traffic congestion costs the U.S. economy $78 billion a year, wasting 2.9 billion gallons of fuel and robbing commuters of 4.2 billion hours.”

This article from lists the top ten worst cities for commuting.

Here they are:

10. Detroit
9. San Jose
8. Riverside - San Bernardino
7. Dallas/Ft. Worth/Arlington
6. Houston
5. Washington D.C.
4. San Diego
3. Atlanta
2. San Francisco
1. Los Angeles

I grew up in a suburb just south of Atlanta and got out about 9 years ago.  However I still visit quite often and am always surprised by the amount of traffic congestion that exists.  There’s a number of people that commute from two to three hours away, and more and more people are getting apartments in the city where they live Monday through Friday so they can skip the commute.

When are people in charge going to figure out that more cars and roads aren’t going to fix the problem?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Get Free Airport Wi-Fi with a Simple URL Hack [Wi-Fi]

link -> Get Free Airport Wi-Fi with a Simple URL Hack [Wi-Fi]

Mozilla Selects its 7 Best Firefox 3 Extensions

link -> Mozilla Selects its 7 Best Firefox 3 Extensions

Mozilla Crowns Best Firefox 3 Extensions [Firefox Extensions]

link -> Mozilla Crowns Best Firefox 3 Extensions [Firefox Extensions]

Progress (temporarily) blocked in San Francisco

link -> Progress (temporarily) blocked in San Francisco
Image of San Francisco Bicycle Coalition protest at City Hall
From the Wall Street Journal, 08.20.08:
San Francisco Ponders: Could Bike Lanes Cause Pollution?
City Backpedals on a Cycling Plan After Mr. Anderson Goes to Court

New York is wooing cyclists with chartreuse bike lanes. Chicago is spending nearly $1 million for double-decker bicycle parking.

San Francisco can't even install new bike racks.

Blame Rob Anderson. At a time when most other cities are encouraging biking as green transport, the 65-year-old local gadfly has stymied cycling-support efforts here by arguing that urban bicycle boosting could actually be bad for the environment. That's put the brakes on everything from new bike lanes to bike racks while the city works on an environmental-impact report.

Cyclists say the irony is killing them--literally. At least four bikers have died and hundreds more have been injured in San Francisco since mid-2006, when Mr. Anders

Comic for August 21, 2008

link -> Comic for August 21, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

Read what they read

link -> Read what they read

The Reader team has always been interested in politics, and we use Reader (of course) to stay current on all the political happenings. As we were reading and sharing amongst ourselves, it got us thinking: what would happen if political newsmakers used Reader too?

Today we're announcing Google Power Readers in Politics: leading political journalists and both U.S. presidential campaigns using Reader to read and share news. You can read what they read, and see what's on their minds as they share and discuss news. Each participant has created a reading list with a feed you can subscribe to in Reader (or any other feed reader), and is also publishing shared items. Here's the list of participants:


Amazing Lego Reconstructions Of The Beijing Olympics [PICS]

link -> Amazing Lego Reconstructions Of The Beijing Olympics [PICS]

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Light's Reflection

link -> Light's Reflection

The first rays of morning light reflect off a cloudy sky as we make our way north to yet another mtn bike ride.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pixar's tightknit culture is its edge

link -> Pixar's tightknit culture is its edge

Fighting phishing with eBay and PayPal

link -> Fighting phishing with eBay and PayPal
Posted by Brad Taylor, Software Engineer and Gmail Spam Czar

Phishing messages are a form of spam that attempt to deceive recipients to gain access to their personal information. A classic one is a message that appears to come from PayPal and attempts to get someone's PayPal password in order to drain his or her account. These fraudulent messages often look very official and can fool people into responding with personal information.

Gmail does its best to put a red warning label on phishing messages, but it can be hard for us to know sometimes and we can't be 100% perfect. So, for the fraction of a time when Gmail misses it, you may end up squinting three times and turning the message sideways before suspecting that it's phishing. Wouldn't it be better if you never saw phishing messages at all, not even in your spam folder? Since 2004, we've been supporting email authentication standards including DomainKeys and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) to verify senders and help identify forged messages. This is a key tool we use to keep spam out of Gmail inboxes. But these systems can only be effective when high volume senders consistently use them to sign their mail -- if they're sending some mail without signatures, it's harder to tell whether it's phishing or not. Well, I'm happy to announce today that by working with eBay and PayPal, we're one step closer to stopping all phishing messages in their tracks.

Now any email that claims to come from "" or "" (and their international versions) is authenticated by Gmail and -- here comes the important part -- rejected if it fails to verify as actually coming from PayPal or eBay. That's right: you won't even see the phishing message in your spam folder. Gmail just won't accept it at all. Conversely, if you get an message in Gmail where the "From" says "" or "," then you'l

Monday, July 7, 2008

Remote sign out and info to help you protect your Gmail account

link -> Remote sign out and info to help you protect your Gmail account
Posted by Erwin D'Souza, Gmail Engineer

Your email account can contain a lot of personal information, from bank alerts to love letters. Email that, I'm sure, you don't always want other people to see. We understand how important your Gmail accounts are to you, so we're adding a new layer of information and control. With this new feature, you can now track your recent sessions and you can also sign yourself out remotely.

If you are anything like me, you probably sign in to Gmail from multiple computers. I, for example, occasionally sign into my Gmail account from a friend's house when I need to check an important email. Usually I remember to sign out, but every once in a while I wonder if I really did. Now I no longer have to wonder.

At the bottom of your inbox, you'll see information about the time of the last activity on your account and whether it's still open in another location:

Using the above example, a quick glance at the footer while I'm at work shows that my account is indeed open in one other location. But I recognize the IP address - it's my computer at home. Turns out I left my Gmail account open when I left home in a hurry this morning.

Your IP address, or Internet Protocol address, is a number associated with your computer when you connect to the Internet. Some of you might want to know your IP address numbers (more info on finding out your IP address below) for an extra layer of control. For others who don't want to think about IP information, you don't need to.

Continuing with the above example, I can see more details about my recent activity by clicking on the Details link:

Featured Windows Download: gAttach Fully Integrates Gmail into the Windows Desktop

link -> Featured Windows Download: gAttach Fully Integrates Gmail into the Windows Desktop