Mozy Online Backup Fail

This post maybe the first in that it’s anyway negative. However the failings of Mozy to perform scheduled backups serves as a warning to those who use such services, that may not be as fail safe as one would have hoped.

Two days, a computer in the office had a bit of a hiccup. Being a bit of a workhorse, I was kind of time to give the old girl a reformat. So, I thought  I would just do a quick manual back up of the software using my Mozy home subscription.

Mozy runs a bit of software on your computer and automatically updates your files, offsite on a scheduled basis.

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Google Instant…Hang On A Minute!

Well it seems another day another google tweak. Is is me or is google stirring the pot more frequently these days, maybe I am just getting older/slower and the world is getting faster?

Google instant is had added preemption to search. Philosophically it feels a little odd, as you begin to type letters into the search box, suggestions pop up, that’s right starting from the first letter. (It’s true that google weren’t the first to do this). What’s odd about the experience is that as it’s so fast to anticipate what you are about to type in a fair amount of tangential chaos ensues.

Paradoxically, in the process of instantly suggesting what google thinks you are searching for, it’s really easy to get side tracked by the suggested sites.

Say for example you want to search real estate in Morris Plains, this is what happens now.

Google instant

As soon as you type in “m” for morris the google splash page swaps to the search results page.

Formerly you would type your entire keyword phrase into the search box and hit the button marked”google search” to be taken to the results page.

This button has really become redundant now, the first letter being typed initiates the change to the search interface.

Funnily enough when I was thinking about Google Instant, I was wondering how they were going to get you to see their ads, if the instant results were to be displayed on the ad-less google homepage. I guess they figured that one out pretty quick!

So typing the first letter does a couple of things, it swaps the pages from the ad-less homepage to the ad laden results page, and also start to anticipate what you are searching for.

google instant 1st letter

1st letter...

Hmm, I am searching for Morris Plains real estate, but it thinks I want mapquest…

Google instant 2nd letter

2nd letter...

Ok, the second letter, and google thinks that I want to look at Moma…

google instant first word

1st word...

Adding the next of letters brings up some Morris options…getting there…

google instant 2nd word

2nd word...

As we move to the final phrase I was initially searching for, it anticipates pretty well…

Google instant phrases

Search phrase recognition

Though not totally new as a concept, google does feel responsive and refresh. However, what I am not convinced about is if this is going to same me much time, because I could have easily visited the Moma site, typing in “A” brings me to amazon, “E” to ebay…I don’t need more distractions! Perhaps when the novelty has worn off it will, in the long run save a few seconds here and there, and over our net lifetime that might be useful.

Serge Brin, one half of google’s founders said that he wants google to be the third part of your brain, for now, the anticipatory tangental nature of the suggestions feels more like my grandmother rattling through every name she can think of before she gets to actual one of the great grand daughter front of her!

Google Images Changes

We’re really enjoying the changes at google. We’ve often thought that google need to move away from their ‘no-design’ graphic philosophy into something that feels a little less outdated and a little more sophisticated…and they seem to be listening. (Ha, that’s right, we spoke, they listened…! NOT)

The interface is becoming much smoother to operate, from the fade in of your account settings from the default screen, to the new look google images.

Gone are they thumbnail borders around each photo with the originating URL, the file size and dimension, it’s now a photo gallery. Roll over each photo to get an enlarged lightbox effect with all the aforementioned information in place.

It feels, contemporary, modern and is beautiful. Well done google…see what happens when you listen! :)

Google Goes Bing?

google looks like bingThe last few days have seen a change in google’s homepage. Their ‘no-design’ aesthetic, of a simple logo with some basic default html blue links seems to have morphed into…well, bing?

I have often regarded google as a no design company. By no design, I mean, no aesthetic consideration. Clearly they are concerned with design, but I think its pretty much left at engineering design. However, aesthetically, and to some extent their user interface has always been exceedingly stark in their use of graphics or style.

Beyond Bing’s large photo homepage format, I haven’t found much of anything to convince me to use them as a primary search source, (outside of facebook that is, which is who power their web searches from withing the facebook castle walls).

Oddly enough, as someone who has always called for at least some graphic consideration at google, I find myself feeling a little non-plussed at this new direction. Perhaps the starkness of their interface in some way prepared me for the onslaught of the search results I was about to wade though.

The New Google

Does your website strategy compliment the recent changes to google's interface?

Google has updated their user interface this week, thats the bit you use, and a ton of stuff that you don’t see. You may have noticed a subtle change in the way it looks, (that always throws me, my first reaction is that i have some malware installed, which has redirected me to a scam site!).

Really, the update brings some of the features that were ‘snuck’ in last time to the fore.

Type in a search query and you get the same set of results in essentially the same format. This is google’s ‘everything’ set of data. What’s new is the left column.

At the top you have, ‘everything’, all normal so far. Below that, they have moved the Maps, Images, Videos, News, Blogs etc to a much more prominent position. This means that its going to be more likely that people are going to perform subsequent search variations, from their original entry search.

As a real estate agent, you should make sure that your online strategies try cover all of these bases. Make sure that your website and blogs are loaded with local images, town images, development images, videos of the above, (even quickies from your smart phone) and blog posts.

Below, the ‘everything’ navigation is another category, More Search Tools, this is where users can find the most up to date information posted to the web. You can sort your results by the time they were updated such as latest, past 24 hrs, past week, past month, past year. Latest may show your twitter tweets!

I’ll say it again, you have to be blogging!

How Fast Is Google Chrome

How fast is google chrome?

If you haven’t already done so, I would highly recommend downloading google chrome today. It’s simply the best browser we have used to date. I like it for a series of very subtle reasons, the tabs, you can change their order, you can break them out into their own window, the fact that you can search from the same place you type in urls.

The fact that it just seems to know what you are looking for. I rarely get more than two letters into the url i am looking for and chrome pops up suggestions which are usually bang on.

I am sure my every click is being monitored somewhere, by something for all this to happen, and perhaps I am sharing stuff I don’t know that I am sharing, but frankly, I’ll trade that for a great user experience.

I can also sync by bookmarks from one computer to another.

Did I mention too that it was fast? Check this out…

I can’t see Microsoft having as much fun as this…and it shows in their product.