Monday, August 17, 2009

How To Spur New Ideas And Get Help Brainstorming

If you have ever had an occasion where you needed to be creative, you have probably tried some form of brainstorming.  However, if you're like me, it doesn't take long to run out of ideas.  One tool you can use to keep the creativity flowing is Google's Wonder Wheel.  If you are unfamiliar with Google's Wonder Wheel, read on.

 

Go to Google and search for any term you choose.  On the search results page, click the ‘Show Options’ link in the shaded information bar immediately below the search term box.  This will display a column of search options to the left of the search results.  In this list of search options you will find a link named Wonder Wheel.  Click the Wonder Wheel link and give Google a few seconds to load a graphical display of your search term and related search terms.  Each time you click a related search term on the Wonder Wheel, Google will update the wheel and show other related search terms.  Using the Wonder Wheel can often spur new ideas when you need to be creative by displaying related terms you had not previously considered.  Also, each time you click a new search term on the Wonder Wheel, the search results on the right of the page update with new search results which you can use to go more in depth on any term.

 

Ryan Williams

 

http://www.techbetter.com

 

How Jump To A Specific Time In A YouTube Video URL

Have you ever wanted to send someone a link to a long YouTube video when the segment you actually wanted them to watch was several minutes into the video?  Well here is a trick to make the YouTube link jump straight to the interesting part of the video.  Just add "#t=*m*s" to the end of the URL where the asterisks represent minutes and seconds respectively.  When anyone clicks the URL the YouTube video will jump to that exact time in the video.  Below is an example link.  I have chosen a fun video and I jump to the end for demonstration purposes.  If you've never seen this video, it's a fun one.  I recommend you watch it from the beginning.  It's guaranteed to make you smile.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0#t=4m45s

 

Ryan Williams

 

http://www.techbetter.com

 

Monday, June 29, 2009

1/3 of Discarded Hard Disks Contain Sensitive Data

Inc. magazine recently published an article stating that 34% of discarded hard disks contain either someone’s personal data or commercial data that a company would not want released.  The study was conducted by purchasing random used hard disks and computers from EBay.

 

Many people believe that simply deleting files from a hard disk is sufficient.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  When you delete a file from your hard disk the data is actually still present on the disk.  The operating system just does not “see it” anymore.  Even reformatting a hard disk does not actually remove the data from it. Anyone with an inkling to do so can still retrieve information from the disk.  We do this often to help clients recover files they have deleted by accident.

 

The next time you are ready to discard an old computer, make sure it wiped clean.  One tool that will do this is a solution called WipeDrive. 

 

Ryan Williams

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ryanwill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwill

Website:  http://www.techbetter.com

Blog:  http://blog.techbetter.com

 

The Future of Mobile Internet Browsing

Below is a video of a Mobile Augmented Reality browser.  Basically, while you are walking the street, you can pull out your mobile phone and point it at anything.  Then, using images recognition, a built-in compass and GPS the browser looks up information about whatever it is pointed at.  The video shows pointing the browser at different buildings to see how much they cost.  Then, it shows pointing the browser and buildings to see if there are any job openings within the building.

 

The video below shows this functionality in its infancy but you can imagine the things we’ll be able to do with this technology in 5 to 10 years. 

 

This description does not do it justice.  Watch the video below.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b64_16K2e08

 

Ryan Williams

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ryanwill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwill

Website:  http://www.techbetter.com

Blog:  http://blog.techbetter.com

 

Petabytes

Interesting fact: every single day 15 petabytes (15 zeros) of new information is created.  This is 8 times more information than exists in every U.S. library combined.  That much information is created every day!

 

I think my email inbox is responsible for about ¼ of that total. 

 

Ryan Williams

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ryanwill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwill

Website:  http://www.techbetter.com

Blog:  http://blog.techbetter.com

 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Google Tasks

If you are one of those people (like I am) who likes to work from a task list, you will want to check out Google Tasks.  Google Tasks is a sub-component of Gmail.  It is by far the simplest task organizer I have ever used.  Just start typing to add a task, press enter to add a new task and press tab to make a sub-task.  Tasks can also be rearranged on the fly. 

 

If you are looking for a simple task keeper to help you manage your day, Google Task is worth checking out.  To enable Google Tasks, click Settings from your Gmail page and then click on the Labs tab.  Then, enable Tasks.  The tasks link will appear on the left of the Gmail page.  You can pop-out the task window to create a standalone task page that is always easily accessible or you can embed Google Tasks within your iGoogle home page. 

 

NOTE: This feature is also available to Google Apps users.

 

Ryan Williams

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ryanwill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwill

Website:  http://www.techbetter.com

Blog:  http://blog.techbetter.com

Google Wave

Email is still the dominate medium for online communication.  In 2008, there were over 210 billion emails sent EVERY day.  Despite this enormous volume, email really has not changed much since its mainstream adoption in the early 1990’s.  That is about to change.  The next generation of “email type” communication is being developed by Google and it is named Google Wave.  If you would like to watch a video demonstration of Wave visit this URL:  http://wave.google.com/

 

The video is pretty lengthy (over an hour) but you can clearly see that the next generation of online communication will be real-time and freeform. 

 

Ryan Williams

 

Twitter:  http://www.twitter.com/ryanwill

LinkedIn:  http://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanwill

Website:  http://www.techbetter.com

Blog:  http://blog.techbetter.com