Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tip - Use free Google Mail and other free Google services

I used a free Google product called Picasa as an entry to the free Google blogging system that hosts this blog. Picasa really seems to be a remarkably good piece of free software from Google, and it integrates really well with and the blog site

How did I get started on this? It all started in 2005 when I was invited by my son to open a Gmail account. I held the view that Google was becoming far too ubiquitous on the Net, and perhaps even predatory in the way it inveigled itself into search bars in browsers - especially in my favourite browser, Firefox. I don't like the way large companies start to become ubiquitous and predatory in the IT world - for example, that well-known company Microsoft. Why? Because it potentially limits the freedom of choice that we consumers have, and I have long disliked the way large corporations try to dictate to the market exactly what they will consume. That's why I am a strong supporter of consumer rights, consumer protection laws, consumer associations, and things like privacy - for example, I used to use JunkBuster (and later it's sister product Guidescope) to help to keep the ad-men and their annoying noise from my Net experience. On Guidescope's recommendation, I have dropped Junkbuster and Guidescope in favour of a plugin to my Firefox browser - the plugin is called Adblock Plus.

Anyway, I opened up a Gmail account, and was grudgingly impressed. Having initially been suspicious, I became assured that:

(a) my much-valued privacy was not going to be lost or exposed to the advertising spammer world, and

(b) I was not going to be inundated with advertising junk, either on screen or in my mailbox.

Then I started to check out the increasing number of utilities that Google offer, and I installed the Google desktop utility, and then Picasa2 onto my laptop. I recommend readers of this blog try out these and other free Google products. You might be as amazed as I was at how brilliantly these products work, what timesavers they can be, and how they open your world up to doing things in new ways and possibly changing your paradigms.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Internet BBC Radio tuner

If you like to listen to the BBC World Service, or other BBC Radio stations (and I do), then you may well be interested in this Google Desktop "gadget". I am a happy user of this gadget.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button