Google News You Can Use

Martha Sperry, Advocates StudioFor this week’s Guest Post Friday at Musings, we welcome back Martha Sperry for another great tech related guest post.  Martha (@advocatesstudio on Twitter) is an attorney with extensive experience in the insurance industry. Martha also maintains a research and writing practice, AdvantageAdvocates with emphasis on research and written product for professionals and web consulting. Her blog on law, research, writing and technology Advocate’s Studio.  Martha also has let Musings invade the Studio today, so please check it out!

Very excited to be back here at Musings. And thrilled to have Chris posting about his cloud experience over at Advocate’s Studio as well.

I am teaching a course at Solo Practice University on Google and the use of its various products and services in your law practice. My most recent course going up on the site is about the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. But there are always plenty of news stories breaking daily about Google and its innovations and changes. I thought it might be helpful to highlight a few of the top Google changes, news and stories from the past few weeks.

First, about the Privacy Policy and Terms of Services. Google is changing its policies effective March 1, 2012. Essentially, the change is one of form rather than function – Google is simplifying by collapsing more than 60 policies into one that is much easier to read and understand. The main change is to make clear that Google can share information across your Google services in order to better personalize your results and ads. There will be no changes to third party sharing of data or lessening of privacy protections.

Next, how about being able to send Chrome browsing information from your desktop to your Android-powered mobile device with a click? New beta Chrome to Mobile allows you to share URLs with your Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) mobile device and even have access to the URL for off line browsing.

Next up: Google Drive is finally almost here. Google Drive will look a lot like Dropbox, but with deep Google product integration. Store documents, videos and images in the cloud and access them from any device. It will likely be closely tied to Google Docs and it appears that it will have its own standalone mobile application.  And no doubt it will have great search capabilities. Sweet!

Google Docs has some new features. Paragraph styles and more fonts.

Offline, write access to Docs and better Android tablet viewing. Great stuff.

If you use iGoogle, then you may have noticed that it has the new cleaner interface that most of Google’s products are sporting. Big improvement over the old, patch-work style layout.

Google Search is getting more social with Search + Your World. If you have a Google profile and connections on Google +, then you can see relevant results from your social network when searching via Google search. You can toggle between the social results and everything using a button to the top right of the screen. Or, if you aren’t finding what you are looking for, the Search results page now offers a link to ask your question on Google +. Crowd sourcing, Google-style.

For about three days, Google made available the coolest login system for unsecured computers, using QR codes and your mobile device.  You could navigate to Google’s “sesame” page on the desktop, scan the QR code shown with a mobile QR code reader, like Google Goggles, log in to your account on the phone, and the corresponding Google service would show in the desktop browser. Space age! Unfortunately, Google took it down, but they did promise that it was a sign of even flashier things to come.

If you are a Google + and YouTube user, Google has recently deepened integration between the two. Like in other Google services, the new header will show your Google+ notifications, a box that lets you share videos with other Google+ users and links related to your Google profile.

If you are into following our national election process, check out Google’s election tools.  Google.com/elections serves as a hub for election info with lots of filtering options, as well as trends, videos and other relevant information on candidates and results. Great one-stop, coffee break reading.

Finally, more from the News of the Weird category, and not so much from the professional applications category, it appears that search giant is making plans to enter the home electronics / entertainment system business.  There have been a number of articles last week with rumors that Google will be coming out with a streaming music device that will be controlled by your Android powered phone or tablet.  Google has just filed a request with the FCC to test the device.  It will link up with the Google Music service introduced last year and will run content from the cloud.  Can’t wait for that one.

Well, that is the last month in Google, more or less. As you can see, Google just keeps on chugging. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us over the next month or so.

As always, Martha and I welcome your comments below.  Please subscribe to keep up with this and other Guest Post Fridays at Construction Law Musings.

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3 Responses to Google News You Can Use
  1. [...] more here: Google News You Can Use | Construction Law Musings- Richmond … This entry was posted in Google Articles and tagged advocate, clients, clients-at-construction, [...]

  2. Christopher G. Hill
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2012 | 10:54 AM

    Thanks for stopping by Martha. You are welcome to Guest Post here any time.
    Christopher G. Hill recently posted..Mediation Musings From the TrenchesMy Profile

  3. Martha
    Twitter:
    February 17, 2012 | 1:09 PM

    Thanks so much for the opportunity, as well as your excellent post over at Advocate’s Studio today.

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About Musings

I am a construction lawyer in Richmond, Virginia, a LEED AP, and have been nominated by my peers to Virginia's Legal Elite in Construction Law on multiple occasions. I provide advice and assistance with mechanic's liens, contract review and consulting, occupational safety issues (VOSH and OSHA), and risk management for construction professionals.

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