Acer Veriton M6620G Desktop

\"Acer

There are many options in the market when you are buying a desktop for your company. While there are countless features to choose from, one of the most important factor in choosing a corporate desktop is the management suite that comes with it. Acer Veriton M6620G has a lot of security and management features in one clean user interface.

It comes with Intel vPro and AMT 7.0 that makes managing software and hardware assets easier. Acer also included recovery functionality that makes backing up and restoring PC data easier.

One thing that I like about this desktop is its solid capacitor motherboard — this is important if you want your corporate desktop to have a longer system life. I always buy motherboards with solid capacitor because it is more reliable.

Take a look on the detailed specifications of Acer Veriton M6620G below.

 

New Acer Veriton M6620G Commercial Desktop Simplifies System Management for the Enterprise

Veriton M6620G, Acer’s newest commercial desktop PC is expected to draw interest among corporate customers, government agencies and educational institutions with its advanced features including Acer Proshield Security and Acer Office Manager that combine security and manageability features within a single user interface. Acer Proshield includes an encrypted hidden drive for confidential files, a file shredder to wipe sensitive material from the system, and a BIOS import and export tool that streamlines system management while Acer Office Manager allows organization to deploy security policies, monitor IT assets, and schedule maintenance tasks in one simple manageability package. And through Acer’s One-Button Recovery (OBR) function backing up and/or restoring a PC’s data is now a breeze.

Also, it comes with Intel vPro with Active Management Technology (AMT) 7.0, which enables in-house or outsourced IT to easily manage software and hardware assets, troubleshoot issues remotely and guard against software attacks.

As  a TPM 1.2 compliant, the system adheres to corporate-level security requirements and lowers total cost of ownership.  Veriton M6620G comes loaded with  Acer Veriton Control Center suite of management tool features:

  • Acer eLock Management, locks removable data devices, optical drives and other interfaces with a password.
  • Acer eSettings Management offers complete system control: view system information; change boot options; monitor important system components.
  • Acer PowerSaver allows setup of ideal power level for energy usage: low power for energy-saving and normal use, and high power for great performance.
  • SmartBoot for automatically loading frequently used programs in the system tray at start-up.

The Acer Veriton M6620G features a 100 percent solid capacitor mainboard design to prolong system life as well as optional inside and outside built-in dust filters to keep the system clean and operating smoothly.

Quick Specs:

Veriton M6620G Micro Tower Desktop

  • Intel® Core™ i5-3570 Processor (6M Cache, 3.40 GHz)
  • Intel® Q77 Express Chipset
  • 2GB DDRIII 1333MHZ Memory, with Four memory slots (Up to 16 GB of DDR3 1333/1600 MHz SDRAM )
  • 500GB SATAIII 7200RPM
  • 16X Super Multi Drive
  • Intel® integrated graphics solution, featuring:• Intel® HD Graphics• Intel® Dynamic Video Memory Technology (Intel® DVMT) supports PCI Express® 2.0 x16 graphics card support
  • Two 5.25\” drive bays , Six 3.5\” drive bays (two external, four internal)
  • One PCI Express® 2.0 x16 slot One PCI Express® 2.0 x1 slot One PCI™ v2.3 (5 V) slot (Two USB 2.0 ports,  Multi-in-1 card reader, High-definition headphone and microphone jacks, PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports, Serial port, DVI-I port, Two DisplayPort™ ports, Four USB 2.0 ports, Two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet (RJ-45) port and Three audio ports)
  • USB Keyboard and USB Optical Mouse,
  • Integrated High-definition audio with 5.1-channel surround sound,
  • Intel 82579LM Gigabit Ethernet
  • Built-in speaker, Card reader
  • PC 2001, ENERGY STAR® 5.0, EPEAT®,DMTF, GS, Intel® vPro™ technology (Intel® AMT 8.0) Compliant
  • 3 years parts and labor,(3-3-0) Warranty

SRP: 28,300

For availability and additional information, please email [email protected]

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Kindle Comparison Chart: Kindle Fire HD vs. Others

\"KindleIt was already expected that Amazon will release a bigger tablet, purportedly called Kindle Fire 2, in order to compete with the bigger tablet iPad. Today, after about a year of Kindle Fire announcement, Amazon introduced their new tablet line up. Interested how the flagship model Kindle Fire HD compare to other tablets?

Last year I blogged about Kindle comparison chart to guide users in buying Kindle Fire. I have updated it now so you will see the new Kindle Fire HD comparison charts below.

Kindle Comparison Chart (all variety)

There are 7 new Kindle models announced today. In Kindle Fire HD family, there are 4 — namely the Kindle Fire (2nd gen)Kindle Fire HD 7\”, Kindle Fire HD 8.9\” and Kindle Fire HD 8.9\” 4G LTE Wireless

Kindle Fire (2nd gen) and Kindle Fire HD 7\” will be available starting September 14 while Kindle Fire HD 8.9\” variants will be available only on November 20 so you better pre-order now to reserve your place in line.

If you are not sure what is the best Kindle for you, use the chart below to compare all the latest Kindle models. At the time of this writing the older models, Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G are already unavailable as they are already succeeded by  Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Paperwhite 3G respectively. Amazon touts that the Paperwhite models are the world\’s most advanced e-readers as it offers high-resolution, high contrast, built-in light and 8-week long battery life.

Interesting enough, the good old Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Keyboard 3G are still available and not refreshed or upgraded this time.

\"Kindle

Let\’s move forward on the top of the line model Kindle Fire HD and compare it to the premium tablet brands in the market.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9\” vs. iPad vs. Galaxy Note 10.1 vs. Microsoft Surface

Dimension

In terms of screen size, Amazon Kindle Fire HD is only 8.9 inches diagonal, which makes it smaller than 0.8 inches compared to Apple iPad\’s 9.7 inches. In fact, Kindle Fire HD is a bit smaller than Apple iPad (3rd gen), Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 and the upcoming Microsoft Surface.

To think that Kindle Fire HD is only 8.8mm thick, Amazon must have targeted iPad 2 which is also 8.8mm.

Screen

When iPad 3rd gen was released its 2048×1536 resolution seemed unnecessary. However, knowing Apple is a trend-setter I have predicted that consumers will look for more personal computing devices with better display. And now, here is the Kindle Fire HD  with 1920×1200 resolution packed in 8.9-inch IPS LCD. Many video enthusiasts should be happy because it has 16:9 screen ratio suitable for widescreen movie playback.

In retrospect, if you think Apple\’s retina display is overrated then how about the latest trend in HD TV? The new wave of digital TVs are already showcasing 4K resolution. Who knows how soon 4k will be the standard screen resolution?

\"Kindle

Price

According to Jeff Bezos, \”We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.\”

Price is one of the best differentiating factor in buying Kindle Fire HD and perhaps this alone can persuade you to buy Kindle Fire HD.  As you can see in the Kindle comparison chart, it shows that the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD starts at $299. That is a whopping $200 difference compared to the 3rd gen iPad. Even with the extra $200 change you can still buy the entry-level Kindle Fire HD 7\” which starts at $199.

Other Features

While Amazon can\’t compete with the number of apps in Apple Apps Store, it compensates for the vast library of movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks and popular apps that users can buy and consume. There is unlimited cloud storage for all your purchased Amazon content.

It is a little disappointing that Amazon did not even try to put a decent back camera in Kindle Fire HD. This reinforced the notion that all Kindle Fire devices are made for consuming Amazon products and not for producing content. My understanding here is that Amazon wants its consumers to finish reading books or complete watching TV series and audiobooks instead of allowing them to use Instagram to take pictures which doesn\’t add any benefit to Amazon at all. If you get pass this small limitation then everything in Kindle Fire HD is perfect.

Even without a back camera, the front-facing \”HD\” camera can be used for free Skype calls and audiophiles will surely enjoy the Dolby audio virtual surround sound.

Further more, Amazon is introducing Kindle Freetime which allows you to control your kid\’s access to Kindle Fire HD tablet. As a parent you can limit time for reading books, watching videos, using apps, etc.

New users also get one month free access to Amazon Prime for unlimited, instant streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows.

Last Words

I hope the 2 Kindle comparison charts above helped you compare the current Kindle model line up and other existing tablets.

Do you think Amazon Kindle Fire HD hits all the sweet spots? Is it a true Apple iPad contender?  I am interested how Apple will respond to this. In several days, Apple night announce a new device. Will it include an Apple iPad mini? How about Google? Nexus 7 is not looking good when you put it beside a Kindle Fire HD.

How can you not love Amazon?

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10 Android Apps for Better Photo Composition

Android Photo Composition

Last week I decided to take my landscape photography seriously. I planned the shot but even if I have the right mindset, it was still a challenge because I found out that I don\’t have the right tools and the correct preparation.

That experience lead me to take composition more seriously. I know this is a cliché — the only rule in photography is that there are no rules but there are composition techniques that we can use to make more artistic photo.  The popular techniques include rule of thirds, golden mean, deep depth of field, shallow depth of field, color, shapes, framing, leading lines and different kind of lines.

You might already know that Nikon released the first Android based camera recently. The apps listed below should could beef-up that camera with DSLR-like features.

If you have a phone camera, point and shoot camera or an entry-level DSLR, you will find these Android apps will be helpful in your composition as well. These apps are not necessary camera apps. Majority of these apps are utility tools to help you understand the technical side of photography. I haven\’t found the iOS equivalent of these apps but I will cover them next time. For now enjoy these Android apps that can help you make better photo composition.

1. Camera FV-5

This is not just a simple camera that puts fancy effects in your photos. It puts DSLR-like manual controls in your fingertips and it\’s probably one of the most advanced camera app in Android.  You can set exposure compensation, ISO, light metering mode, focus mode, white balance and, [shutter] speed mode and program mode. It even have bracketing options and live RGB histograms.

\"Camera

 

2. Sensor Camera

The rule of thirds is probably the most widely use guideline in creating stunning pictures but there are more composition guidelines built around the divine proportions such as golden mean or the golden ratio. Sensor Camera gives you the basic rule of thirds grid as well as golden sections, golden triangle, golden spiral, golden spiral stretched and face geometry.

One of the improvement area on this app is the zoom feature. You can\’t zoom on the current version of Sensor Camera so you have to move closer or farther to you subject if you want to compose your picture using this app.

\"Sensor

\"Sensor

\"Sensor

And one more thing, this app is proudly made in the Philippines.

3. ProCapture Free

You get real-time histogram too but unlike Camera FV-5, you only get 1 histogram with 3 segments to easily figure the midtones, highlights and shadows.  You can overlay 3 x 3 grid or Fibonacci spiral that you can rotate depending on the orientation.

4. Depth of Field Calculator

Depth of field is the most important aspect in selective focusing. If your camera has depth of field (DOF) preview that\’s great, but if you  don\’t have DOF preview it is hard to guess how deep or shallow the depth of field will be until you take your photo.

As part of the  creative process, knowing the depth of field in advance can help you plan the exposure parameters ahead of time so you will not spend your time playing around with different aperture value. Your time is better spent taking great pictures.

Depth of Field Calculator calculates depth of field (DOF) using the specified camera model, the focus length, f-stop and subject distance to give you the near limit, far limit and hyperfocal distance for your camera.

There are several other DOF calculator in this list but this is the easiest to understand. The diagram feature is  the best way to understand how DOF works.

\"Depth

\"Depth

5. DoF Calc

DoF Calc also considers teleconverter in calculating depth of field.

\"DoF

6. DOF Droid

If the diagram of Depth of Field Calculator is not enough, DoF Droid gives you several diagram to compare depth of field against aperture size and focus distance.

\"DOF

\"DOF

\"DOF

7. Exposure Calculator

This app lets you put in the exposure without filter (shutter speed, aperture and ISO) and then the Exposure Value (EV) adjustment which is equal to adding  neutral density (ND) filter.

If you use ND filters, this is the best app you can get in calculating exposure after adding ND filters. Professional landscape photographers would know this by heart but if you are just starting, this app can be a life saver.

\"Exposure

8. Photo Tools

Photo Tools is a collection of photography tools including focal tools, exposure tools, time tools, weather and location tools, color tools and other miscellaneous tools.

If you are learning how to be a good photographer, you can use these collection of tools to understand how your camera works on different conditions.

\"Photo

9. Golden Hour Calculator

This is very helpful if you want to achieve that special sky color when taking your pictures. Golden and Blue hours are calculated by this app using precise algorithms to get the time at any place on Earth at any date.

I wish I have this app when I was shooting seascapes.

\"Golden

10. PHOforPHO

This is a free app for serious photographers – without ads! It includes several tools such as exposure calculator, DoF calculator, timer, distance meter and more.

\"PHOforPHO\"

During design and planning stage of your composition, you can use these apps to setup how you are going to use your camera and photography equipment so that the next time you go on out to take photos you will get better photo composition and a winning shot. 

 

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7 Kick-ass Web Apps Integrated with Buffer App

\"Buffer

Buffer App

I have used Buffer app for a long time and it solves a  very basic problem in sharing content on social networks – over sharing. If you have not used Buffer and you tweet a lot, you need Buffer to space your tweets apart or distribute them in scheduled intervals so that your followers won\’t receive consecutive tweets invading their Twitter timeline or Facebook news feeds. In many ways, it makes you more courteous. Buffer apps makes you more productive too because it gives you the opportunity to optimize and tailor your tweets or posts delivery date.

Buffer app works stand alone as a web app, browser extension and mobile app. I am going to focus on web apps integrated  with Buffer because these apps give users flexibility in sharing content.

So let\’s start the list for 7 kick-ass web apps integrated with Buffer app.

7. Twylah

Twylah brings focus to your Twitter stream and it makes it easy to organize what topics you are tweeting about in Twitter. You can embed Twylah widget in your blog to display your trending topics. You can also host your own Twylah page on your domain to give your readers a clear overview on what you are talk about online.

You can use Buffer when doing Power Tweets. A Power Tweet is simply a tweet sent from Twylah which includes a custom landing page. It\’s great for tweeting videos, photos, audio and other interactive media.

\"Buffer

6. IFTTT

If This Then Than (IFTTT) is a service that uses different web apps or even real-life objects like WeMo to let you combine triggers and actions using channels (apps/object). These combinations are called recipe.

Buffer is included in the 1st batch of channels available in IFTTT.

\"Buffer

5. Strawberry Jam

Strawberryj.am is one of the first, if not the first, 100% friend based trend spotter for Twitter. It compresses similar tweets of people or brands that you follow.

\"Buffer

4. Kippt

I only discovered Kippt recently because I am Delicious fanatic. It is a link saving site similar to Delicious but it seems to be influenced by Instagram and Pinterest design. Functionally, it reminds me of Spring Pad without the thumbnails and images.

What\’s different with Kippt is that it is integrated with a lot more social networks. Aside from Facebook and Twitter it connects to Tumblr and App.net too. You can also read your links later with Instapaper, Readability and Pocket.

\"Buffer

3.  Jugnoo

Jugnoo is a relatively new social CRM. It has many bells and whistles needed for your social media campaign including social post, social dashboard, social search, Facebook coupons, video creation and distribution and a lot more.

Buffer app integration comes in social post feature.

\"Buffer

2. Tweriod

The Buffer app + Tweriod combo is one of the best method to maximize scheduled tweets.

Tweriod can analyze your last 1,000 followers for free to give you the best time for scheduling your tweets. Then, you can use the proposed time from Tweriod to Buffer using their integration.

\"Buffer

 

1. SocialBro

SocialBro is a powerful browser app that became even more powerful when it was made available in the cloud recently. You can get accurate information about your community, find the best time to tweet, know the time zones of your followers, monitor your follower grow, filter and sort followers/following using different criteria as well as manager your Twitter lists.

The integration of Buffer comes in Best Time to Tweet (BTT) feature. You can use the data from SocialBro BTT and import it to Buffer to define your custom schedule.

\"SocialBro

As you can see above, Hootsuite also entered the scheduled Tweets space and is also integrated with SocialBro.

There are many more social tools trying to do what Buffer has done but what makes Buffer special is its deep integration with these web apps and native mobile apps.

Bonus

\"Commun.it

Commun.it will soon have Buffer app integrated as well. Commun.it makes it easier to build relationship and manage your community.

Update: Commun.it has now shipped the Buffer app integration, live:

\"Buffer

I have not included extensions and native mobile apps here because at least in Android Buffer can be integrated really easily with built-in Android sharing feature. In IOS not so much but I am seeing similar trend — more and more social media tools are integrating Buffer.

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Social Media for Social Good: Donate for Philippines Flood August 2012 Victims

\"Philippine

Philippines Flood August 2012

The last few days in the Philippines is a test for Filipino spirit. Thanks to social media, it has never been easier to seek help and rescue in times of crisis using crowd-sourcing.  In fact, hashtags helped rescue and relief efforts in many ways. Technology also helped in bringing more awareness of flood risks. Websites like NOAH and nababaha.com helped in preparation and crisis management while Google People Finder helped in getting crowd-sourced emergency information.

About 90% of Metro Manila was flooded and nearby provinces suffered the same fate due to prolonged torrential rains enhanced by south-west monsoon, displacing many people in low lying areas and left many people homeless.

It\’s never too late to donate

For international donations for Philippines Flood victims, you can\’t go wrong in donating to Philippine Red Cross. There is a PayPal donate link in the donation page and other methods of donation as well.

For in-kind donation please follow their instruction in shipping goods:

  1. Send a letter of intent to donate to the PRC.
  2. A letter of acceptance from PRC shall be sent back to the donor.
  3. Immediately after shipping the goods, please send the (a) original Deed of Donation, (b) copy of packing list and (c) original Airway Bill for air shipments or Bill of Lading for sea shipments to Philippine Red Cross – National Headquarters c/o Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang, Bonifacio Drive, Port Area, Manila 1018, Philippines.

If you are in the Philippines you may want to bring your donations in any of these relief/donation areas.


View 2012 August – Donation Center Map in a larger map

I struggled to look for an infographic to include in this post but I finally found the best one. See below. I also featured the links from the infographics and made them clickable:

http://x.co/phflood1 – Philippine Red Cross

http://x.co/phflood2 – LBC Foundation

http://x.co/phflood4 – Google Crisis Map: Philippine Flood August 2012

\"August

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10 Outlook.com Features That Makes It A Gmail Killer

Gmail vs. Outlook.com

\"Outlook.comI am testing Microsoft Office 2013 suite in my PC and I immediately recognized the change of Outlook\’s icon color from yellow to blue. I thought there has to be a reason for that change. Several weeks ago I had no clue what it meant but now its obvious. Outlook is the new free webmail service replacing Hotmail. I think for branding reasons Microsoft had to change the traditional yellow color of Outlook to blue so that it would be more recognizable in the web.

Gmail has been my number one choice since Google introduced it and I never looked back at Hotmail or Yahoo. Today, I still keep my old Hotmail and Yahoo email addresses for the sake of keeping one.

However after the announcement was made and Outlook.com went live, it is very tempting to take a deeper look at Outlook.com. Microsoft made a very bold move in re-imagining  email from the failed attempts of Live mail and Hotmail brand.

The following are the top features which might give you a reason to dump Gmail for Outlook.com

1. Unlimited Storage Space

Gmail has more than 10GB of storage space and still counting (slowly). On the other hand, Outlook.com has virtually unlimited space. It allocates more space as you demand more space as long as you don\’t fill your inbox too fast or if you don\’t do anything shady.

If you deal with very large email and it is important to you, you will not worry about storage space at all. Outlook.com also has the functionality to manage big email eating up your inbox space. You can easily sort the size in ascending or descending order.

\"Outlook.com

2. Bigger File and Attachment Support

Outlook can support up to 100Mb attachment and if you link your account to SkyDrive it is upgraded to 300Mb file size limit. In contrast, Gmail only supports 25Mb. This is not a problem if you use Google Drive or Dropbox but the tight integration with SkyDrive gives Outlook.com easier sharing  of big files.

3. Email Alias

Hotmail email alias had been around for some time but Yahoo had this feature for the longest time I could remember.

It is a very helpful in giving a disposable email address. What is unique in Outlook.com is the functionality to completely change your email address and/or username. If you are switching from Hotmail.com email address, Outlook.com automatically creates an alias to forward incoming emails from your old Hotmail.com email address.

\"Outlook.com

4. Quick Views

Gmail has labels which essentially works like folders but unlike folders, you can put different labels on your emails with Gmail.

With Outlook.com, Microsoft is not throwing away folders but this time they are introducing Quick Views. With Quick Views Outlook.com can automatically detect newsletter, social updates, bills, and other content categories automatically so that you can organize and clean up your inbox faster.

If you want to view every pictures sent to you, you can just go to Photos category and Outlook.com will show all emails with pictures. You also get to preview and browse all the pictures in a slideshow. Same with documents. If you wish to get only the emails with attached documents, spreadsheet or slide presentation then you can go to Documents category and access your documents right away.

You can go to where you want faster in fewer clicks. For me, Quick View is  smarter than Gmail\’s priority inbox. It is more flexible and you can always create your own category depending on the rules you create. Think Quick Views like smart Libraries in Windows.

For power users Gmail is still more flexible in tailoring your own filter rules but for an average joe, Outlook.com gives powerful options that anyone can easily understand.

5. Sweep

This one-click clean up scheduling gives you a  convenient way to delete emails from  someone or move/archive all emails from one folder to another.

You can even set the age of the email that you wish to delete or move.

\"Outlook.com

This feature was inspired by Office Outlook; Added in Hotmail way back in 2010 and then carried forward in Outlook.com. Gmail has no equivalent feature to automate deletion of emails that you do not want to keep.

6. Recover Deleted Email

Outlook.com can recover deleted messages even if you have permanently emptied deleted email folder. Outlook.com will recover as much as it can recover and it is very useful when you accidentally deleted an email permanently. I know how stupid it sounds but it happens.

What I am not sure is how long Microsoft stores deleted emails. I am guessing there is a threshold on how long they keep deleted emails. However, there is a privacy setting to disable this feature if you are worried about Microsoft keeping your deleted emails.

7. Privacy

Speaking of privacy, Microsoft claims that they never scan email content. For some people this is great advantage over Gmail.

Also, there is no annoying ads in Outlook.com right now but that doesn\’t mean it won\’t have in the future.

What\’s interesting is that Outlook.com does not keep history of your instant messages by default. Compare this to Google and Yahoo — both companies keep instant messages record by default.

Microsoft\’s  selling point here is that you are in control of your data when you use Outlook.com. Let\’s hope so.

8. Office Suite Integration

Outlook.com comes with the online version of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Not to mention it comes with SkyDrive integration as well. If you were able to test SkyDrive during its beta period you might have enjoyed the permanent 25Gb storage upgrade for free so it\’s great for storing your documents online.

The advantage of Office web apps over  Google Docs is still debatable. On one hand, Google Docs is a departure from the usual document editing that we go used to. However, Office web apps are trying to incorporate the same web elements in its Office web apps suite, for free! You got to love Google and Microsoft competition.

I like both Google Docs and Offices web apps so Gmail vs. Outlook.com is not as easy as choosing between apple vs. orange.

Of course, for people who use Office suite exclusively Office web apps is a no-brainer.

9. Social Integration

Get updates and connect with your friends right from your inbox. You can chat with your Facebook friends not to mention you can also link Twitter and LinkedIn. It\’s like having a simpler version of Rapportive built inside Outlook.com. It totally rocks!

Later on, Microsoft will also integrate Skype which is like de-facto standard for online voice and video calls. I\’m sure that it will drive a lot of interest, too, but Microsoft is yet to show us how it will be done.

Gmail is only integrated with Google+ and Hang out is a unique feature only found in Google+. Still, Social integration in Outlook.com is one step higher. You get multiple social network support which is much-needed by social media enthusiasts.

10. Refreshing Design and Mobile Experience

For me, the most important reason why you should take a look at Outlook.com is the refreshing design concept and modern look. Microsoft has made a very  clean user interface — in fact much cleaner than Gmail in my opinion. There is no menu for other Microsoft services but it is integrated deeply with other services.

The UI is responsive and the Windows 8 inspired design speaks for itself. The design is also optimized for mobile devices and shows the dedication of Microsoft in delivering the best mobile experience for users.

To use Outlook.com on your phone or tablet, you can use the instructions from Microsoft.

I have included a short walk-through of Outlook.com — let me know what you think in the comments below.

What\’s your opinion about Gmail vs. Outlook.com?

 

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Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 2)

This is a continuation of Google Search Education Makes You a Better Googler (Part 1).

Below is my summary of classes 4 to 6 of Power Search class by Google Search Education.

Find facts faster

Class 4 focuses on other tools that makes searching faster and easier.

Search by Image

Google Image search by image feature processes the image and looks for the best possible match for other pictures. It is great for  finding the description of image, what it is and where it came from.

A great tip from Daniel Russel: If you found something you don\’t know, just take a picture of it in white background, then use search by image to search the web. It\’s like taking Google search in the real world.

Search Features

\"Google

Basically these are search string shortcuts that you can use in order to find what you really need really fast.

movies + [location]

capital of + [location]

weather in + [location]

weather + [zip code]

flight code

time + [location]

common disease/medical condition/medical term

There are more and the complete list is located here: Google Search features

Conversion and Calculator

I have used this for a very long time already. You can use this to convert about any US units to metric units. Just use the search format:

[number units in units]

\"Google

population of [place]

You can do basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using Google. There are also easter eggs like this one:

\"Google

If you trigger this specific Google search features, Google will show up a new area for converter or calculator as seen above.

Left hand panel and Date range limiting

You can use date range limiting to limit the recency of Google search results. In news, this is very important so you only get the freshest ones.

For books and other reference materials, you can use this to search for very old archives. Want to find which books are published during 1980\’s? Just go to Google Books and filter them.

Translation and search

Most people would be familiar with Google Search but beyond that, most people don\’t know that you can use Google to search for translated foreign websites.

That is the end of class 4. Class 5 focuses on checking facts when doing your search.

Checking Your Facts

Credibility

Some pointers:

  • Highest ranked webpage does not mean the source is credible.
  • Different terms make different implications, so choose the query terms appropriately.
  • Do a variety of search, not just one. Always do one more search.
  • Look at the URL – sometimes it signals where the perspective of the page.

Using time range filter you can check whether this quote is really from Martin Luther King.

\”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.\”
—attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr.

If you look at the search results over time you can get a hint how it got published after 1999 but not before it. Of course something is fishy here.

Variant Data

One challenge about doing web searches is the vast amount of data available out there that a simple fact could have one or more subtlety involved in it.

You have to ask question like: does this fact vary based on some contextual information?

You need to find the source. Where it came from? How was it measured?

Use the precise information you have to verify source; Use a generic description to confirm fact.

Don\’t add your answer into your query  to avoid confirmation bias (believing a pre-conceived notion).

Using Books to verify a quote

Quotes are typically hard to find where they came from but books offer authoritative information for this type of information.

WHOIS

If you need to more information about the domain name of a page, there are WHOIS database that can give you information on who owns it.

How do you know if an entity is a business? Use the entity name and the term [contact]. It should give you information how to locate it and how to get in touch with it. That\’s why if you are a business you should always have a \”contact us\” page

Misconceptions

  1. You cannot buy a better ranking
  2. A Google service logo on a site does not mean Google has vetted it
  3. Google ads on a page does not mean Google has vetted it
  4. Rank is not equal to authoritative

That\’s the end of class 5 and now for the last class.

Putting it all Together

Combining methods

Doing good search is an iterative process. Starting from simple search to a complex search with filters

Think broadly

Using other tools in combination, streetview, maps, translation, etc.

All the tools are available online and the best training to practice all these are the activity that comes with the online classes. The reason I summarized this class is for me to look for the lessons quickly when I forget something. Of course, the best learning materials are still found in Power Searching with Google website.

There are two extra two hang out videos with the search experts. You can get valuable lessons from these, too.

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

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

Just in case you are interested on how the certificate looks like, see below.

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Hint: the font used is Helvetica.

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