18 September 2014

Quick Unit Conversion in Google Search



Here's a simple way to use Google's unit conversion feature, while typing shorter queries. Instead of searching Google for [6 lbs to kg], you can use [6 lbs =]. Just add the equal sign to the value you want to convert and Google will use the right measurement unit most of the time.






Here's another example: [68 f =]. The query is shorter than [68 f to c] or [6 fahrenheit to celsius]. Unfortunately, [20 c =] doesn't convert temperature, since c is the speed of light, so you'll have to use [20 c to f].






You can use Google's dropdown to pick other measurement units or you can edit the value and the result will change as yo type.



This trick also works in Chrome's omnibox, Firefox's search box, Safari's address bar:








Google Maps Views to Replace Panoramio



Google acquired the photo sharing site Panoramio back in 2007 to add high-quality photos to Google Maps and Google Earth. Last year, Panoramio's team launched Google Maps Views, a community site that lets you upload panoramic images and geotagged photos. Now Google Maps Views uses publicly shared Google+ photos and it will replace Panoramio.



"Over the past year, we've developed a similar community in Views, which lets you publish geo-relevant content (photo spheres and traditional photography) on Google Maps. In the future, we plan to migrate Panoramio into Views, creating one destination where you can publish and peruse imagery from around the globe. Before migrating any imagery, we'll make sure that Views reaches a level of feature maturity that supports the needs of the community," says Evan Rapoport, Product Manager for Google Maps Views.



Most likely, Google hopes to add more photos to Google Maps and to build its own community of users that make the Google Maps better by uploading great photos.






"Views is a Google Maps community where you can share photos that help other people explore the world and decide where they want to go. If you publicly share photos with a location on Google+, they may also appear on your page," informs Google.






{ Thanks, Jordan. }






17 September 2014

Google Maps Engine Is Now Called My Maps



From a Google email:



"We want to let you know that in the coming months, we're upgrading the content you created in My Maps. All of the maps that you've created will automatically move to the new Google My Maps (previously called Google Maps Engine). Classic My Maps on maps.google.com will no longer be available."



So all the custom maps you've created in the old Google Maps interface will be automatically migrated to the new My Maps. If you don't want to wait, you can go to My Maps and click "upgrade now".









"Upgrading your maps is permanent and takes just a minute or two," informs Google. "The new My Maps is a more powerful maps creation tool that makes it easier to edit and share maps you've made. Just like with classic My Maps, you can work on a map with others, save driving directions, add photos and videos, and more."



The new My Maps (previously known as Maps Engine Lite) is more powerful than the old My Maps as it uses Google Drive sharing, has support for layers, it lets you import locations from spreadsheets and more. The main difference is that My Maps is a standalone site and you can't create custom maps inside Google Maps. You can see a list of recent custom maps and there's a button that lets you create maps.






Google also has an Android app for My Maps.

15 September 2014

Removal Tool for Apps That Interfere With Chrome



Google released a Software Removal Tool that "scans and removes software that may cause problems with Chrome". It's Windows-only, still in beta and it tries to detect if you've installed software that changes Chrome's settings without informing you about this. There are applications that change Chrome's new tab page, change the default search engine, add toolbars, insert ads.






"If you notice Chrome behaving strangely (for example, showing you unusual startup pages, toolbars, or pop-up ads you can't get rid of), it may be due to an unwanted program on your computer. You may be able to fix the problem by downloading and running the Software Removal Tool. Think of this as a 'factory reset' of Chrome. It restores Chrome's original settings and removes programs that affect its behavior," informs Google. It's interesting to notice that Google's tool doesn't show a list of unwanted programs: "To discourage attackers from changing the names of their programs, the Software Removal Tool does not reveal the names of the suspicious programs it finds. You'll only see the number of programs detected." Google SRT (Software Removal Tool) doesn't scan for malware, so it doesn't replace antivirus software.






I installed Google SRT and it quickly displayed this message: "no suspicious programs found". It looks like Google's blacklist is not very long.






Google also opened a new tab in Chrome that asked if I want to reset browser settings: "Your browser settings will be restored to their original defaults. This will reset your homepage, new tab page and search engine, disable your extensions and unpin all tabs. It will also clear other temporary and cached data, such as cookies, content and site data." You can close the tab or click "Cancel" if you don't want to reset Chrome's settings.






{ via Chrome Story }