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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Quitting Google+

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia


If this is you, and you don't like Google+, you can stop. Google realises that not everyone will like it, and some may want to stop using it, after joining it...
"We understand that your identity on Google+ is important to you, and our Name Policy may not be for everyone at this time. We’d hate to see you go, but if you choose to leave, make a copy of your Google+ data first. Then click here to leave Google+."

That seems fairly easy, but, what is my Google+ data, and can I stop without deleting my Google Profile, as well? What about my Google Account?

The answers to those questions are as follows.

Google+ Data is, according to Google, your photos, profile information, contacts, circles, stream posts, and Buzz posts. Google allows you to make a back-up copy of this information, and to download it to your computer. Google does this through their new Google Takeout, and that is brought to you by a service called - wait for it - The Data Liberation Front! Give me strength! (Sounds like some radical 'Save the World' group, to me.) Anyway, if you want to download a copy of your data, you start from this screen ...

Then, to keep your security in tact, you have to re-sign in, although your are already signed-in ...

Then, you get this screen, where you choose which information you want to include in the 'archive' ...

Once you select which data you want, you click on 'Create Archive', and watch as the pretty green lines fill up...

Then, when the green lines have completed, you see this next screen, where you'll need to click on DOWNLOAD. Once again, you'll need to sign-in, then you'll be able to select where, on your computer, you want to store the files.

WARNING: Naturally, this can be a very large file download!

Once the download is complete, check your Folder to make sure everything is correct.

OK. Your Data Information has now been copied, and you are ready to kill the account - that's your Google+ account, NOT your Google Account! Phew! Google calls it 'Downgrading from Google+' ...

Your Google Profile will NOT be deleted unless you choose to do that! Don't click the wrong box!

This next screen is called - 'Delete Google+ Content or Your Entire Google Profile.' It states -
"If you delete Google+, Google attempts to restore your experience of other Google products to the way it was before you joined Google+ and to permanently delete your Google+ circles, posts, and comments. If you delete your Google profile, you delete Google+ as well as other services and their data that depend on a Google profile..."

Have a really good look at this last image, folks! If you have associated accounts and information, you best make sure all the information is backed-up before you tick the box and execute the command!

You'll see on the above image, the last section - Your Public Google Profile will be removed. Under that, it states in a dot point, that "Deleting your public profile will not affect the status of your Google Account."

Then, under that is - "Other Google products which require a profile will be impacted."

NOTE: The last option on the above images is:

REQUIRED: I understand that deleting this service can't be undone and the data I delete can't be restored.

Don't confuse Downgrading with Deletion (as is one of the options on Google+ Account Overview - Services).

Now, there's some choices for you!


Your Name and Google+ Profiles

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Not that long ago, it was heralded, somewhere, that change was possibly in the wind, in regard to Google Products - and in particular, the new Google+ Profile. Exactly what that was, or what the change(s) was/were to be, was not made clear - at least as far as I was concerned. I was just made aware that it was coming, and that I was expected to embrace it, as if I had a choice?

Well, I suppose, in fairness to Google, I do have a choice. I can maintain my account(s), and accept the big G's policies, or I can ditch Google, and move on - but, move on to where? Mmmm - some choice! Nah. Not that dumb!

What, exactly, was happening, was also causing confusion, and it seemed that that confusion was everywhere! It may also have caused possibly mis-informed discussions in various forums, and a clarification of Google's intentions, was indicated.

So, what is Google's policy for their Google+ (your) Profiles? See the Google+ Project ...

One salient point, which you may, or may not, agree with, is:
"... it’s important to use your common name so that the people you want to connect with can find you."

That's subjective. Many people I have associated with, over the years, myself included, are better known by their nicknames, or 'monikers', as we call them in Australia. However, I'm sure if someone Googled 'Grumpy1', which I used for years, on the Google Groups, they would not find me. I've tried. So, Google requests that we use our more common names - our 'Real' names. After all ...
"Google+ makes connecting with people on the web more like connecting with people in the real world..."

Apart from the fact that I think there are two 'Real Worlds', Google's, and mine, Google does allow for my sobriquet to be used ...
"If you’re referred to by more than one name, only use the one that commonly identifies you, and place the rest in the “Other names” or “Nickname” section of your profile."

I may not like it, however, "Cum Romae faciam sicut a Romanis!"


Google's Got More Privacy Policies than...

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

When I started blogging, it was some time before I became aware of a Google Privacy Policy - of any kind. That was not because I was interested in knowing what it was, or because I was not interested in privacy, which I always have been, it was because I just didn't need to know it at the time. I like to think of myself as an 'average Joe Blogger', who just wants to get on and blog. How things have changed.

With the advent of new Google Services, such as Google+, Picasa, +1, Mobile Privacy etc, Google has developed a policy for privacy, which is pertinent to each. You should be aware of their existence... each and every one of them !

Do yourself a favour, and check - for each product you use.

Remember: If there's personal information published, it's generally because YOU let it be!


Friday, 5 August 2011

Which Characters can you use in your Blogger Labels?

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Occasionally, someone will have a frustrated plea in the Help Forum, regarding the humble Ampersand '&' - which appears differently, naturally, in various fonts.

Courier &, Georgia & , Helvetica & , Times & , Verdana & , and Trebuchet &

"I want to make a Label like this: 'Cakes & Pies'. How do I use the ampersand (&) in my labels?"

According to Blogger Help - you can't. Certain characters are considered to be crucial to the syntax rules of XHTML, therefore (∴), you can't use them. OK - lost me, but 'dem's da rules'.

The following characters cannot be used in labels:

&, <, >, @, !,

Other entity symbols, which are all constructed with the Ampersand as part of the code, can be used in the text body, but NOT in the Labels, because they all have Ampersand (&) as part of the entity itself ...

eg: &fnof;, &uarr;, &darr;, &larr;, &rarr;, &crarr;, &harr;,&forall;,&part;,&empty;,&infin;,&equiv;,

which yield :

ƒ, ↑, ↓, ←, →, ↵, ↔, ∀, ∂, ∅, ∞, ≡... and many, many more.

So, instead of "Cakes & Pies", you may have to settle for just "Cakes + Pies", or even "Cakes / Pies".

From what I was able to glean from searching, different rules apply for different software languages - XML, HTML, XHTML etc, (I think). I'm treading water, here, folks! Sinking quickly, too!

As a substitute for &, you may consider using the + character, and it seems to be very popular with Google, these days ...

see: W3Schools


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Your Google Profile - What's Visible?

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

With your Google+ Profile, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", or at least, the information you want them to see, is!

Following a recent change to your Profile (policy), the question of what you make visible to the Internet (hence, the world) comes up.

Google has recently changed it's rules for Profiles. Apart from your real name, you don't have to share anything! Or, you can make visible what you want the world to see. It's that simple.

What's visible on my 'normal' Profile on Google+ ...

What it could be like - if I wanted (and I could still take off the 'brief' description, below my name) ...

Your Profile is yours to include what you want, and if you are using Google+, you can include (make visible) the people that you have added to your Circles, and are following, or the people who have added you to their Circles - either, or, both. You may even like to include the option for people to email you, although your email address is not displayed, and therefore, not disclosed to them.

Sending an email ...

The sender's email inbox - no record of an address sent to ...

So, with all the flexibility of visibility, afforded you by your Google+ Profile, you can choose. You may not like to have, apart from many other information fields available, your email contact visible, your Circles visible, or the people who have added you to their Circles, visible. That's up to you. Here's some images to show you what to do ...

You select the visibility setting to suit ...

That's how it's done. As little, or as much as you want to share.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Android - What is it? Is it in Australia?

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Is it something from outer space? Can I catch it?
Ha Ha.

I have little knowledge of the mobile phone market, as I don't use mine for Internet access - however, I am interested in it and wanted to find out what the fuss was about.

When I heard the name, Android, I immediately thought that my neighbour had become famous. Wrong, again!

Android developers say;
Android is a software stack for mobile devices that includes an operating system, middleware and key applications. reports that Android has captured nearly half the world market!

Talk Android explains the market.

What does Google have in mind for Android? There's heaps of posts on the subject in Google Mobile Blog!

Is Android available in Australia? Not at present, apparently, say participants in the discussion forum.

The '' website, also published this list of current, obsolete and upcoming Android phones, in Australia.

It won't be long, though!


Don't Forget - There is a Google+ Help!

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

When Google Plussing ... (is there such a term? Oh, well, there is now!), don't forget that there is a Google+ Help section, close at hand!

For instance, when you want to add style to a Stream Post ...

  • Use underscores to italicize. _ italics_ → italics
  • Use asterisks to embolden. * bold* → bold
  • Use hyphens to strikethrough. -strikethrough - → strikethrough
  • Use + or @ to link to someone's profile... eg: +Natalie Villalobos

Plus 'heaps' more!


Using a 'Link' on your Google+ posts

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

The other day, I finally had a go at posting something on Google+ 'Stream', and added a link to it. It didn't give me the result I wanted, because the link picked up lots of unwanted rubbish/information from a gadget I have at the top of my blog. The gadget was OK, but I didn't want information from it to appear in the 'link' on my G+ Stream (post). This may, or may not, have occurred to you, or happened to you - yet. Let me explain -

This is the Header and Language bar gadget on my blog ...

The circled links in that Language Bar gadget are being posted in my G+ post, when I use the Report blog post URL... see next image ...

Fortunately, Google+ gives you a way to eliminate that, before you do the final publication... see the 'Remove Description' option, and the little 'X' on the following image, in the blue box?

When you remove that information, what you're left with, I think, is a cleaner link, to post.


Market Share increase by Chrome

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

With the ever increasing choice we have, (or should that be 'enjoy'), in which Internet Browser we use, it is interesting to watch the trends. Naturally, Microsoft's Internet Explorer, being pre-installed on most computers, still holds the lead, however, it is not having everything it's own way.

In my little slice of the world, Browsers are a means to an end. I really prefer Firefox, and Chrome, but that's my choice. I have four Browsers at hand, should I need them - Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Internet Explorer. The version of each is nearly always kept up to date unless there are well documented errors, or problems with it. I don't upgrade just for the sake of it.

Something I always bear in mind is what Google mentioned just recently, and came into play yesterday, August 1st - they would not continue to support Browser Versions that are not current, or immediately previous, versions.

Also, yesterday, August 1st, Pocket-lint, a website I follow, published an article by Hunter Skipworth, entitled; "Google Chrome second most popular Browser in U.K.", in which he suggests a 22% market share for Chrome. Worldwide, it is reported to be sitting in 3rd position.

When I look at my blog Audience Stats, over a two year period, this trend for Chrome is not borne out - in fact, it is 4th on the list ...

Audience Stats over the last month ... 3rd on the list

According to Lars Bak, Google's engineer behind Chrome, speed is the underlying reason for people choosing Chrome, although most Browsers are very fast, in today's market, but I have noticed that Chrome is very fast.

Your choice!

Vive la différence!


Monday, 1 August 2011

Google+ - Changing the Order of Circles

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Just recently, Jennifer Van Groves, from Pete Cashmore's 'Mashable' website, let us know of an Update to Google+ which allows us to Manage our Circles more easily.

The simple way to explain this is to say; Drag and Drop your Circles - where, and in the order, you want them!

This will help those Google Plussers who have many circles to organise.


Google+ Profile Page - a handy tweak

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia

Without wishing to stir the fire, which is raging at the moment on the subject of Privacy and Google+, largely attributable to the debate about Google's new policy on Real Names in Profiles, and perhaps some misunderstanding (I'm sure), I'm not going there, but I wanted to publish some posts on the Profile and ways to improve it, or tweak it, to suit your preferences.

This post will be the first, as I discover new facets of the Profile, and it's application in Google+, for those people lucky enough to have joined.

Last week was hell - trying to catch up on everything being written by techie-people, with far more understanding than I have, but, that's how I learn, too. One of the tweaks I found concerns your avatar, or Thumbnail icon and the information displayed when someone hovers their mouse over it.

Normally, if you see a Profile Thumbnail in Google+, and hover your mouse pointer over that Thumbnail, it will show just the name of the Plusser (that's Google+ lingo for someone who has joined G+, which is also lingo for Google+), which you can click on to see their full Profile, or any information that they wish you to see on their Thumbnail - such as Location, Education, Occupation, or a Website name etc. It also gives you information such as how many circles you have that person in, (never which ones), or an opportunity to 'add' that person to your circles. It will, generally, show you their face (image icon), and the members that you have in common... eg:

There is a way to vary that information, to let people know a little more about you, when they hover over your Thumbnail icon.

This doesn't stop them from clicking on your Thumbnail to 'Add' you, either. So, how is it done?

Edit your Profile.

If you are like me, you give very little, if anything, away. I just include things which will NOT produce a problem for me (I hope). Name, Introduction, Sex, Nicknames, Other Names I'm known by. That's it!

In the Employment section, click on it and the following screen pop-up appears ...

As you can see, the section of my Profile is the 'Employment' section, and I have included extra information in the first box, or the 'Employer Name' box. The next step is to make sure the date is set to 'Current'.

It's that easy. You may need to clear the Browser cache and re-boot the Browser, before it will display for you.

Reference -

see: Mashable - Google+ Tips and Tricks: 10 hints for New Users, written by Amy-Mae Elliott.