Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Google Updates Biweekly Post

Publication Date: October 15, 2014

Google Apps

Updates to core Google Apps and the major services like Google+. Also major updates that may affect the Macalester community.

Starting November 3, 2014, Google will begin auto-upgrading all legacy forms created in the old version of Google Forms (those created prior to February 2013) to the new version.

A new feature that allows people using Google+ to create interactive polls and share them with their friends and followers.

This is a new and improved version of spell check compared to what existed in the old Sheets.

People working with images in Google Slides on the web will now have the ability to adjust their color, transparency, brightness, and contrast.

Adjust the opacity, brightness, and contrast of an image, or recolor it to match the theme of your presentation.

Google Technology

News about other Google products and technology.

Google wants all Android phones to include more of its services.

Google is launching five improvements to Classroom.

The app is available for Windows and Chrome OS platforms and brings the best of Hangouts to your desktop.

Google Apps provides a ton of options for improving the meeting experience from the planning / scheduling faze to the follow-up.

Spell Check with Google Sheets behaves just the same as it does with Docs or Slides.

Google Business

Google Business news, including policies, user privacy, politics and legal issues.

A one-stop shop where government officials can learn how to get the most out of YouTube as a communication tool.

NYTimes: Germany seems to have taken on yet another stereotype — as a nation of Luddites.

New Campuses in Warsaw, Poland, São Paulo, Brazil, and Seoul, South Korea.

Google Extra

Other Google side projects, including art, science and fun stuff.

Trekker camera + camel = awesome!

Health care has become one of the company’s biggest side projects.

Google’s data also show mobile voice searches more than doubled in the past year.

Here’s a look at a week of search trends so weird, it’s almost a Twin Peaks experience.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Protect Your Computer

Losing a laptop, tablet or smartphone at any time is always a painful experience.  Here’s how you can protect yourself:

1.    Never leave yours visible and unattended even "just for a minute" unless you have it secured with a cable lock (available for checkout at the Library and Campus Center).

2.    Back up everything important (e.g., to an external hard drive, CD/DVD, Google Drive).

3.    Most important: Register your device in the Google Doc My Inventory at Macalester. Your chances of recovery are much better if you can readily provide law enforcement with identifying information (e.g., make, model, serial number).

4.    Consider installing laptop tracking software such as Prey, available FREE at

For more information go to

Protecting the Internet and the Selling of Your Personal Information

Over the past year, a huge amount of attention has been paid to government snooping, and to the bulk collection and storage of vast amounts of raw data in the name of national security. What many of us don't know is that a much greater and more immediate threat to our privacy is coming from thousands of companies we've probably never heard of, in the
name of commerce.

They're called data brokers, and they are collecting, analyzing and packaging some of our most sensitive personal information and selling it — to each other, to advertisers, even to the government, often without our direct knowledge.

Today we are giving up more and more private information online without knowing that it's being harvested, personalized and sold — our likes and dislikes, our closest friends, our bad habits, even our daily movements, both on- and offline.

Be smart on the Internet.  Learn more from this 60 Minutes segment: “The Data Brokers - Selling Your Personal Information.”