New Google Search Series

This is a change from my normal blog. This time the article(s) and videos are in the LambtonShield online newspaper.

I am doing a 3 part series on the new Google Search. This is also part of a live presentation I am doing for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group in Sarnia, Ontario.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND ARTICLE: CLICK HEREgoogle search

 

SURF THE WEB SAFER NOW…

DON’T GO ONLINE ALONE ANYMORE…IT JUST IS NOT SAFE OUT THERE.

surf websites safely now

NOW YOU CAN SURF WEBSITES SAFELY WITHOUT THE DREAD!

This new technology is called: WEB OF TRUST…Download a simple app with Google Chrome or Mozilla FireFox web browsers and your worry about website safety is over. This includes hyperlinks within emails where you are TOLD not to CLICK. Now you can peek at the links before you click and you are also guided by a traffic light warning system.

WOT protects YOU from phishing scams, SPAM, and other Internet scams online. This is a must have app (software application connected to your web browser).

BROWSERS COVERED WITH WOT:
browsers covered by WOTYes all operating systems work with WOT: Windows Xp and later, Mac, and Linux. What more can you ask for?

In fact, the New York Times includes this program in their recent

New York Times:

Five Ways to Keep Online Criminals at Bay

“Google says its automated scans of the Internet recently turned up malware on roughly 300,000 Web sites, double the number it recorded two years ago. Each site can contain many infected pages. Meanwhile, Malware doubled last year, to 240 million unique attacks, according to Symantec, a maker of security software. And that does not count the scourge of fake antivirus software and other scams. So it is more important than ever to protect yourself. Here are some basic tips for thwarting them.”

The New York Times article goes on to state that “Free tools like McAfee’s SiteAdvisor and the Firefox [also other browsers mentioned above] add-on Web of Trust can also help — warning about potentially dangerous links.”

I personally use this program with Google Chrome and FireFox and have found it an excellent buddy to have looking over your online shoulder. You can never be too safe online and programs such as WOT are a must have these days.

WOT…”Web of Trust” – http://www.mywot.com/

Google Search Is a “Jungle” & NEEDS TO CHANGE

“you can’t easily do such searches in Google any more”
Google Search Sucks
Vivek Wadhwa Tech Crunch

How many times have you done a search for something using Google Search and found that no very much concerns your topic? A lot? I know, it’s happening all the time now.

Google was once an amazing search engine but now it is a poor excuse often leading people in the wrong direction…A direction that is paid for by advertisers.

The at the School of Information at UC-Berkeley, California found out just how insignificant Google Search results can be, especially if you need detailed information.

The author of this finding, Vivek Wadhwa,  is a “visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, Senior Research Associate at Harvard Law School and Director of Research at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke University” who says that “Google has become a jungle: a tropical paradise for spammers and marketers”, and I cannot agree more.

THE MAJOR PROBLEM WITH GOOGLE SEARCH is that “when you visit these sites, they take you to the websites of other companies that want to sell you their goods”, and thus you are SPAMMED.

THIS IS WHAT IS MEANT:

“This is exactly what blogger Paul Kedrosky found when trying to buy a dishwasher. He wrote about how he began Googleing for information…and Googleing…and Googleing. He couldn’t make head or tail of the results. Paul concluded that the “the entire web is spam when it comes to major appliance reviews”.”

There is a new alternative to Google that the author recommends:

“We ended up using instead a web-search tool called Blekko. It’s a new technology and is far from perfect; but it is innovative and fills the vacuum of competition with Google (and Bing).”

One that recommend is cooliris.com – An amazing adventure in HIGH TECH SURFING…

Let’s hope Google cleans up its act by removing SPAM SEARCH or a new kid on the block like Blekko succeeds to the point where Google first became a “household word”.

Google gets nod from China to keep search page | Reuters

THIS IS AMAZING…A CYBERSPACE COMPANY RULES CHINA ONLINE

Google is bigger than China's Communist Regime

Google gets nod from China to keep search page | Reuters.

“FACE-SAVING COMPROMISE

Last week, Google offered Beijing a face-saving compromise: it stopped automatically rerouting the google.cn page to an uncensored Hong Kong-based search page. Instead, visitors to google.cn have to click once to go to the Hong Kong page.” Reuters

Google411 for Travelers and More

Google411 – The Perfect Phone Feature

by Gregory West
prospector16@gmail.com

Probably by now most people have used or heard of the free directory assistance that is available on the Internet: canada411.ca. That service works for both individual and business phone numbers and addresses.

Google has taken this technology much, much further. Enter: Google411.
Google offers a free phone directory and calling service that finds businesses and their phone numbers. Google will also connect you to the business immediately, or you can simply listen to the list of businesses and then make your choice.

The service is quite easy to use. You simply dial up 1-800-GOOG-411 (I have GOOG411 on my cell phone’s speed dial) and state your city and province. Then you say what it is you are looking for.

I tested it out by saying: “pizza”. A google voice began voicing the area pizza restaurants. If I had been hungry I could have easily been connected to the pizza business of my choice. This proves to be an excellent travel tool as you may want to book ahead a hotel room, reserve a seat in a restaurant and maybe check if a certain store is still open. At the present time Google only offers this service for business and non-profit listings, but not for residential information.

I love canada411.ca on my laptop for looking up names, addresses, and phone numbers, but when I nowhere near a WiFi hotspot, my cell phone gets me the information, connection and listings fast and extremely efficient.
For more information, head on over to this website: www.google.ca/goog411 and watch a Google voice engineer demonstrate this highly excellent and free service.

Note: “ Google doesn’t charge you to access Google products from a mobile phone…Check with your provider for more information about fees associated with accessing the Internet from your mobile phone” (google.ca).

Gregory West is a Mac Computer Instructor for Lambton College.  He also holds free “Basic PC Computer and Internet Training” seminars at Central United Church: 
http://central-united-church.org – (Click on “Groups).
Gregory can be reached at prospector16@gmail.com
More TIPS on Greg’s Blog: http://tips4computers.wordpress.com

How & What Others Are Searching

VIEW 8 PEOPLE AND HOW THEY SEARCH WITH GOOGLE…

HELP for Computer HELP

Note: This was originally published in First Monday magazine.

HELP for Computer HELP

by Gregory West

Does your computer have a mind of its own? Do you find that it is becoming increasing difficult going it alone, or are you relatively new to computers and completely lost?

We know that all-too-many computer software HELP buttons do not really help, they tend to make things much more confusing than before you clicked on that button. You are not alone.

Stats Canada reports that in 2006 “More than three-quarters of all households reported owning a computer”.  According to internetworldstats.com there are 237,168,545 North Americans used the Internet as of November 30, 2007 and that figure is increasingly on the rise. Out of those numbers, today Seniors make up a good majority of the computer purchases and are looking for ways to learn about how to use the computer. However, not just Seniors are seeking help. There are many people who have missed out on learning computers for a variety of reasons and there is a growing need for computer help.

As a computer instructor, I show a group of Seniors at Central United Church how to perform various functions on the computer, as well as use the Internet in a safe and secure manner. Part of the session is a popular Q & A where you can bring your computer questions and resolve issues live, on a large screen, so everyone can see how “it” is done.

Not all people are ready for a group such as this; they are new to computers and need some basic training at a computer “boot camp”. Here in Sarnia Lambton we are very fortunate to have a Board of Education who recognizes that people need a place where they can go and learn basic computer skills. They have opened the doors at Norm Perry School with the “Adult Learning Centre” (ALC). Here there is help for anyone from ages 18 to 80+ to learn computers at their own speed.

Sean Pynaert is the computer instructor who has been teaching computer skills at the ALC for the past nine years. Sean says that about 1/4 of the students are in their early 20’s and most are Seniors. “I had a 68 year woman in my class, a retired teacher who wanted some extra income and wanted to go to a call centre to work part time and they wanted computers [experience]. These courses are excellent for those who have never touched a keyboard and can “work at their own pace”. Those who want to brush up their computer skills can pick out what they want to learn. “Some people come in and say they just want to learn how to type,” said Sean. There are three levels: basic, intermediate, and advanced. You can even earn credits towards a high school diploma with these courses.

Anyone who I have spoken with that has attended Sean’s computer sessions have had nothing but high praise for Sean and his courses and how easy he makes it to learn about computers and the Internet. To get your name on the list for the next sessions you can go to Norm Perry School at 660 Oakdale Avenue and ask to see Sean. Do it now; see how easy it is to learn computer skills, you will not regret it.

In Sarnia Lambton there are other ways you can improve your computer skills. For example, the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group has been around for over a quarter century where people are helping people learn more about computers and technology. Members’ skills range from basic to advanced and most are in between. For more information go to www.scug.ca. The Sarnia Public Library also offers computer help, as does the Strangway Centre.

FORUMS and WHAT ARE THEY? Absolutely millions upon millions of computer users are now members of online/Internet forums. If you need help in almost any topic answers are only a few keyboard clicks away. For instance, we bought a travel trailer and needed to know how to winterize it. Well not only did we easily find that out, we were given additional information, from other travelers, regarding trailers and campground reviews by people who had “been-there-done-that”. YouTube.com is another way to get computer help. There are thousands of videos there on “how to”. Just enter your topic in YouTube search box to retrieve a training video.

The same goes for computer help of any sort. Just go to Google’s search box and use the word “forum” or “training video” with the search topic. For example, if you are looking for computer help and it is for a specific operating system such as Vista, type that into the search along with the word: forum. i.e. Windows Vista forums. If it  is a program problem you insert the program’s name along with the word: forum. Make sure you check out the forums before you join to see if they are the ones that you find most helpful.

LOCAL PLACES TO GET COMPUTER HELP:

The Adult Learning Centre: Sean 519-383-8787 ($20. per 6 week session)
Lambton Libraries: 519 845-3324 (call to see when free courses available)
The Strangway Community Centre: 519-332-0656 (call for fees)
The Sarnia Computer Users’ Group: www.scug.ca (attend 3 meetings for free)
Computer Tutor: http://tinyurl.com/ask-pamela (free online advice within 24 hours)
Central United Church: www.centralunitedsarnia.ca (free computer sessions)
Lambton College: For more experienced computer users: www.lambton.on.ca

[bi-line]

Gregory West can be reached at editor@scug.ca. Gregory is the Editor for the Sarnia Computer Users’ Group [SCUG], a non-profit computer help group that is open to the public for Newbies and Geeks. For more information: www.scug.ca.