Google Drive to Offer Hard Drive Backup Service

While Google Drive is already a decent cloud storage tool, it’s about to get a lot more useful. Beginning June 28, the service will let you back up entire folders from your hard drive, and keep them in sync with your account.

Image result for google drive backup

You’ll need to first download the Backup and Sync tool for your PC or Mac when it launches; once you’ve signed in, you’ll be able to choose which folders on your desktop you want to keep backed up, and access them through Drive across your devices. That sounds handy for people who already use Drive extensively – it’d certainly be nice to have a powerful search function for backed up files.

My concern is that unless Google comes up with new pricing plans to support this feature, Drive’s backup will cost you a fair bit more than other services, as it only comes with 15GB of space for free. 1TB of space will set you back by $100 a year.  There are many other cloud backup services like Backblaze which charge about half that price: Backblaze’s unlimited storage and syncing costs $50 annually, and Carbonite as well as small business-focused Crashplan come in at $59 a year.

Would you consider Google Drive for your backup needs, or do you already have a favorite app for that? Although this service may appeal to Google Drive users – even for these users a price job here would make it even appealing.

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New Google Doc Phishing Scam Rises

A dangerous email phishing scam started making the rounds today. Employees at organizations that use Google for email, as well as thousands of personal Gmail customers are all reporting the same scam.

Image result for google doc phishing scam

It starts with an email from a known contact, which says that the person has shared a Google Doc with you. You’re invited to click the link to open, which redirects you to a legitimate Google sign-in page. You’re prompted to select one of your Google accounts (remember: this is all using Google’s normal sign-in system), and then authorize a legit-looking app called “Google Docs” to manage your emails.

That’s how the scam works: the app called “Google Docs,” which requests permission to read, send and delete emails, isn’t really a Google app. Rather, it’s an app controlled by the hackers. It seems that once it has permission to manage your email, it secretly sends out a bunch of emails to all your contacts, with the same phishing link.

Once the hackers have control of your Gmail account, the possibilities are scary. Personal and business email accounts are commonly used as the recovery email on a number of digital accounts, which means that hackers could potential get control over your Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter or personal Google account. Anything linked to a compromised Gmail account is potentially at risk.

Protecting Yourself From This Scam

To protect yourself, the most obvious thing to do is to delete any email about a shared Google Doc, unless you can personally verify with the sender that it’s not a phishing email. If you already clicked on the link, you should set up two-factor authentication, using a cell phone number, on any critically important account.

You can also remove permissions for the fake “Google Docs” app from your Google account. Go to, Sign-In and Security, and Connected Apps. From there, look at the list of connected apps, and ensure that anything you don’t recognize is deleted.

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Google Earth Receives a Major Update

Image result for google earth logo pngIn the first major update for over two years, Google Earth has added several new features in addition to updating the satellite imagery for a significant portion of the globe. The update also adds 3D maps of specific locations, facts about random places, and guided tours. Also you no you no longer need to download and install the application. Google Earth now loads in-browser, with all of its features ready to go. This improvement alone will probably intice many more people to check it out.

The Whole Wide World

The Google Earth redesign introduces some very cool new features.

First up is the Knowledge Graph. Knowledge Graph is the technology behind the bite size bits of information displayed directly in Google search. Meaning that each time you search Google Earth for a specific location, an informative snippet will display with details of the particular place.

Google Earth Just Received A Massive Global Update Google Earth Penzance

The next feature is “interactive guided tours,” created by scientists, non-profits, and other “storytellers.” The feature, called Voyager, showcases different aspects of the world around us. For instance, you can tour the Tanzanian Gombe National Park, led by primate expert Jane Goodall. There are several different habitats on offer, as well as interesting partners to assist with content creation, such as the BBC and Sesame Street (for child-specific experiences).

The addition of 3D view is excellent. Instead of the flat satellite imagery we are used to, you can now explore almost any location in 3D.

And there is more. Google Earth now has a “I’m feeling lucky” button. It works just how you would expect: one-click takes you to a random location. Additionally, Google Earth users can now directly share locations with a simple link.

Exploring with Google Earth

Google Earth’s massive update really brings some great improvements to what was already a great service. Check it out.

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Google Patches New Chrome Bug

Last week Google updated Chrome to patch several recently discovered vulnerabilities, including a bug in the browser’s JavaScript engine that a Chinese team tried to exploit at a recent hacking contest.

The update to version 57.0.2987.133 contained fixes for five vulnerabilities, one marked “Critical” — the most serious rating in Google’s system — and the others tagged “High.”

Of the four vulnerabilities ranked High, one was attributed to “Team Sniper,” one of five groups from Chinese company Tencent Security that participated in this year’s edition of Pwn2Own, one of the world’s best-known hacking contests. Pwn2Own ran March 15-17 alongside the CanSecWest conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Google noted that the bug used by Team Sniper was an “out-of-bounds memory access [vulnerability] in V8,” Chrome’s JavaScript engine. As is Google’s practice, it did not divulge any other information about the flaw. After several weeks, or even months — enough time for most users to update the browser — Google usually lifts the embargo on the bug report and its technical data.

No other individual researcher or team of hackers attempted to crack Chrome at Pwn2Own. Several successful attacks were conducted against other browsers during the contest, however, including five that compromised Microsoft’s Edge, four that broke Apple’s Safari and one which hijacked Mozilla’s Firefox.

Make sure you update your Chrome browser today. Here’s how:

Normally updates happen in the background when you close and reopen your computer’s browser. But if you haven’t closed your browser in a while, you might see a pending update:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, look at More More.
  3. If an update is pending, the icon will be colored:
    • Green: An update’s been available for 2 days.
    • Orange: An update’s been available for 4 days.
    • Red: An update’s been available for 7 days.

To update Google Chrome:

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More.
  3. Click Update Google Chrome. If you don’t see this button, you’re on the latest version.
  4. Click Relaunch.

The browser saves your opened tabs and windows and reopens them automatically when it restarts. If you’d prefer not to restart right away, click Not now. The next time you restart your browser, the update will be applied.

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Chrome 55 Arrives and Looks to Boost Browsing Speed

It appears that Google Chrome Version 55 has just been released. This release is significant in that it has been engineered to drastically reduce RAM usage by as much as 50 percent thanks to an updated JavaScript V8 engine that reduces the memory zone and heap size. Another notable change is that Chrome is slowly pushing Flash out the back door in favor of HTML5.  In the end this should be a faster browser along with better security.


You can wait for the auto update or you go to the Google Menu, click on “Help”, then “About Google Chrome”. From that point you can determine your current version and/or the option to go for the upgrade, if available. In my case, the upgrade was there.

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Google Looks To Report Poll Results… Quickly

Here is another election story and it demonstrates the challenges network television is experiencing with internet service providers.

Google has today announced that it will display detailed US election results directly in Search shortly after polls close on Election Day for Presidential, Senatorial, Congressional and Gubernatorial races. It’ll also post updates for state-level referenda and ballot propositions.

For the past few months, Google has played an extremely active roll in drumming up awareness for the upcoming Presidential Election and providing voters with all the information they need to not only to register to vote, but to find their local polling station, too.


Since supporting the campaign, the search engine giant has noticed a colossal 233% increase in traffic for “how to vote” compared with 2012. In addition to digging up information on how to cast a vote, Americans, particularly in battleground states, are frequently searching for “where to vote,” as can be seen in the following breakdown from Pennsylvania.


Google also used today’s announcement as an opportunity to remind readers that it will be live streaming election results coverage from major news organizations — including Bloomberg, NBC and Telemundo — on YouTube starting at 7 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 8.

Make sure you exercise your vote tomorrow!

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Google’s Doodle Strives to Get the Vote Out

One Day. There’s just one anxious day until America heads to the polls. It’s safe to say that there’s a lot riding on the outcome of this election. No matter where you sit on the political fence, it’s important that you cast your ballot.screen-shot-2016-11-06-at-16-57-24

Google’s latest Doodle hopes to make this a little bit easier. Now, when you click it, it’ll let you find your nearest polling place. You just have to put in your address, and then it’ll tell you where to go, along with opening hours.

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Chrome for iOS Just Got Better

My favorite browser both on the PC and my smartphone, Chrome just got better. That’s because this week Google updated its app for iOS with Incognito Mode, YouTube integration, iOS 10 support, and more.

Image result for chrome ios incognito

What’s New In This Version:

• Search privately with incognito mode. You can turn on “incognito mode” in settings and your search and browsing history will not be saved. Even better you can also enable Touch ID for incognito mode, ensuring that only you can re-enter your existing incognito session if you exit the app. Bonus Tip: you can also enter incognito mode with a 3D Touch shortcut by hard pressing on the app icon.

• Watch Youtube videos, right in Search. You can now instantly play YouTube videos, directly from search results. No need to open new webpage or the YouTube app.

• Improved compatibility with iOS 10. Increased stability for iOS 10 users.

• Performance improvements. Crash rate now reduced by 50%

You can download Google from the App Store for free.

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Adobe’s Flash Moves One Step Closer to Retirement

If you are one of my dedicated readers here you are surely aware that I have been predicting the end of Adobe’s Flash. It’s long sad security problems have plagued users and applications for a very long time. Now it seems news from Chrome is going to… finally hasten Flash’s overdue end.

Google is now aiming to make HTML5 the primary experience in Chrome by the fourth quarter of this year, except for a very small white list of 10 sites that will continue to run Adobe’s Flash Player.

Under the plan revealed by Google, called “HTML5 by Default” the Chrome browser will continue to ship with Adobe’s Flash Player, but its presence will not be advertised by default.

If a website offers HTML5, that will be the default experience. For those sites that need Flash, a prompt will show up at the top of the page when the user first visits the site.

The prompt will give users the option of running or declining to run Flash on the site. “If the user accepts, Chrome will advertise the presence of Flash Player and refresh the page,” Google said. On subsequent visits to the domain, the user’s initial choice is likely to hold good, though Google is still working on the options for future prompts.

I believe that by accepting the prompt to use the Flash Player Google is protecting itself from liability if things go bad for the end user.

A wise move on Google’s part which will also help shine a light on the flawed application by forcing users to consider other, more secure options for viewing content on websites. My recommendation is that if you receive this prompt – deny the prompt and see if the website works OK for you before accepting the “Flash Player” option.

Once critical for rich media on the Web, Flash has been sidelined by HTML5, which has emerged as a serious competitor, with Google and other players backing it. HTML5 provides a more integrated media experience with faster load times and lower power consumption, claims Google, which earlier this year said it would block the upload of display ads built in Flash from June 30 in AdWords and DoubleClick Digital Marketing, besides taking other measures to reduce the role of the player.  The Flash Player’s track record for vulnerabilitieshas also not been good, exposing users to a variety of threats.

Chrome will initially ship with a white list of the top 10 sites using Flash, sorted by aggregate usage of a specific domain. This will include sites like,, and The white list will continue for one year and the list will be periodically updated to remove sites whose usage no longer requires the special treatment.

Enterprises will also be given a policy option to always run Flash content which would be unwise unless it is absolutely necessary.

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Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Falls to 2nd Place

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) last month lost the No. 1 spot to Google’s Chrome, marking a major milestone not only in IE’s 21-year lifespan, but a dramatic changing of the desktop browser guard.

According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, IE and Edge which the firm tossed into a single bucket labeled “IE” fell 2 percentage points in April, the fifth straight month of a loss greater than a point, and the 16th of any size to end at 41.4% of the total global browser user share.

Meanwhile, Chrome climbed 2.6 percentage points to take a narrow lead with 41.7%.

If you just ask around the office you will quickly find the majority of computer users tend to rely on Chrome much more so then Microsoft IE. This fall to second place for Microsoft’s IE is also partially their own doing as their new browser, “Edge” is being heavily promoted with Windows 10 as IE starts the long walk to retirement.

Firefox and Safari browsers are also struggling to find and keep users as Chrome continues to dominate. Microsoft is hoping that their new browser, “Edge” will change things up a bit in the near future however their new browser still needs some development before anyone really takes it very seriously.

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