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  • Dileepa Prabhakar 22:36 on February 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Google, Google Bar, Google Header   

    New Google header 

    I signed into Gmail today and got the new Google bar/header.

    New Gmail header.


    Google.com too showed the new style header.

    New Gmail header.


    Gmail header settings drop-down:



    Gmail header user name drop-down and ‘Switch account’ drop-down. The ‘Switch account’ drop-down shows both delegated accounts and all currently signed-in accounts.

    Gmail header user name drop-down.Gmail header ‘Switch account’ drop-down.


    Google.com header settings drop-down:

    Google.com header settings drop-down.


    Google.com header user name drop-down:

    Google.com header user name drop-down.


    Looks really neat!


    Google Reader hasn’t yet switched to the new header for me.

    • Fhrostbyte 12:42 on February 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      It “looks” neat, but fundamentally it is extra work. There is mass outrage on Google forums, as now there is at minimum an extra click (plus mouse movement) to sign out, switch accounts, go to settings, etc etc. Some may mock others for complaining about such miniscule extra effort, but the big question is WHY did they add this complexity? Does it actually contribute anything, or is it just pointless extra work? Was this just busy-work so someone could justify his continued employment?

      • Dileepa Prabhakar 18:45 on February 17, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I had a similar discussion with my friend today. Yes, it some operations require more clicks. But it definitely does look neat. And since Google does react to feedback quickly, you can expect them to improve on the design.

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 23:47 on December 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Google, Google Maps   

    Google Maps testing new view switching controls 

    Saw a new type of view switching control appear when I opened up Google Maps a short while ago. This is probably one of Google’s numerous experiments that they run on their various web apps.


    • There is one big icon that shows the current view.
    • Clicking on it switches between Satellite and Map views.
    • Hovering over it brings up two icons – Earth and Satellite/Map.
    • Clicking on Earth toggles between Earth and Satellite views.
    • A dropdown below the icon lists and allows selection of layers.

    I found the icon controls to switch between Earth, Satellite and Map views confusing. The dropdown list to select layers is a nice improvement, but needs improvement: It disappears too quickly if I move the mouse out of the list area.

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 13:43 on October 6, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ask, Ask.com, Google,   

    Ask.com: What is Google? 

    I read the BBC article about the new Ask.com and thought I’d give it a try.

    I thought I’d like to know a bit more about The Google and ‘asked’ Ask to tell me what Google is:

    Ask.com Google

    The top result says “They are bad. Dogpile. com is better. ihategoogle”. Would have even been funnier if it had said “They are bad. Ask.com is better.”!

    But let’s see how Google itself answers that question:

    Google Google

    “Google, a popular search engine, is a tool for finding resources on the World Wide Web. Google scans web pages to find instances of the keywords …”

    Hmmm… that’s better!

    But seriously, Ask.com is pretty cool. Great search results, pretty good search suggestions. I might even use it occasionally for general purpose search! Give it a try — you just might like it!

    • Vamshi 19:57 on October 10, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      guru check it out, neenu hinge madbahudu
      my laptop HDD finally crashed too many bad sectors. Diagnostics nu run agtha illa. Aga online eneno search madtha idre, I found about this http://www.hiren.info/

      and then people making money by selling disks, heights..

      And people are like obsequent on the topic..

    • Dileepa Prabhakar 18:50 on October 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hmmm…. people find ways to make money bidu. I should have charged for online and chat support from my college days! Would have a been richer now 🙂

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 15:36 on October 1, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Google, Google at 10, , Search 2001   

    Google at 10: The real Google search page in 2001 

    Google is celebrating, well, 10 years of Google! In keeping with Google’s goofy ways of doing things, Google is allowing people to search its index from January 2001.

    Go back in time and search the web as-it-was in January 2001!: http://www.google.com/search2001.html

    But how did Google’s search page actually look in January 2001? Thanks to Internet Archive,one can easily find out! The earliest working archive from January 2001 is from 19th January.

    Google search page in January 2001

    Google search page in January 2001

    Google.com in January 2001 -- the search box.

    Google.com in January 2001 -- the search box.

    As you can see, Google was already ‘Feeling lucky’. The logo is missing from the Internet Archive page, but you can see Google’s 2001 logo in the ‘Google at 10’ Search 2001 page:

    Google at 10, Search 2001 page.

    Google at 10, Search 2001 page.

    Google has come a long way from indexing just 1.3 billion pages in January 2001. In fact, by December 2001, Google had indexed over 3 billion pages and added ‘Images‘, ‘Groups‘, and ‘Directory‘ search options. Google continues to be the leader in Internet search in the US and in many other search markets.

    Google on CrunchBase.

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 11:33 on September 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Evil, Google, , Google Update,   

    Is Google planning to install software without your permission on your computer? 

    Is Google planning to do an Apple?

    May be!

    When you install Google Chrome, Google slips in another application called the Google Update and Google sets up this application to automatically start up. Again, Google never asks for permission to install this piece of software and Google never asks if you want to allow this application to run at start up. Now, tell me why this is not spyware?

    Even more interesting is the description of the GoogleUpdate.exe application. Have a look at this:Google Installer

    The ‘File description’ field says ‘Google Installer’. Is Google planning to install even more software without your explicit permission? Just like Apple did with Safari using Apple Update?

    Google is Evil. Much more evil than Microsoft ever was and ever will be.

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 10:59 on September 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Google, ,   

    Why I uninstalled Google Chrome (and Google Chrome is spyware). 

    I uninstalled Chrome because Google Chrome is spyware. After uninstalling it, Google opened a feedback page, requesting for feedback. This is what I wrote:

    1. You spy on me. Why do you have to associate each Chrome installation with a unique ID?
    2. You spy on me. You indicate that you collect data, but not anonymously. So it is personally identifiable data.
    3. You spy on me. So Google Chrome is spyware.
    4. You spy on me. You import data from other browsers, including passwords, without asking.
    5. When I use Chrome, my computer slows down to a crawl. Are you spying on me again?
    6. When I uninstalled Chrome, you opened this feedback page in Internet Explorer, while my default browser is set to Firefox.

    Really disappointed with Google and its obsession with spying on people and not being open about it. So much for Google’s Open Source bullshit when it’s not even open with its communication.

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 23:57 on September 5, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Aero, Google, , Window Border   

    Google Chrome’s window border too thick 

    With the Vista ‘Border Padding’ set to 1, Firefox’s border looks like this:

    Firefox Window Border at Border Padding 1

    Google Chrome’s windows border looks like this:

    Chrome Window Border at Border Padding 1

    Notice how Chrome’s window border doesn’t respect the set border size. Something for Google to fix. The problem is especially apparent when the Border Padding is set to zero — Chrome’s window border looks just odd then.

    Chrome Window Border at Border Padding 0

    • Cuppa 15:27 on October 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Google isn’t the only offender when it comes to not respecting border padding settings in Vista:


      Command Prompt and Virtual PC both have border thicknesses of +2 pixels.

      Incidentally, I noticed the Google Updater program also had a thicker-than-usual border (possibly +3 pixels, but I didn’t measure or try with different settings).

      As soon as Google finishes fixing this, maybe they can work on including 256×256 icons in their programs 😛

    • Dileepa Prabhakar 15:36 on October 7, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      @Cuppa: Right. Microsoft and clean & consistent UI don’t go well together 🙂

    • coffee 22:38 on January 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      it will be interesting to see if Chrome can get as much market share as Firefox; for now they seem to have leveled off…

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 01:42 on September 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beta, Comparison, , Firefox 3.0, Google, , IE8, Internet Explorer, Memory, , Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox   

    Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Internet Explorer memory usage comparison. 

    Google Chrome has a cool built-in feature that lists the memory usage of all currently running browsers. This can be accessed by bringing up the Chrome Task Manager using Shift+Esc and then clicking on ‘Stats for nerds’. Or just type ‘about:memory’ into the Chrome Omnibar.

    So I thought I would do a simple memory usage comparison by opening my most frequently used web applications.

    Tab 1: Google Gmail (https://gmail.google.com)

    Tab 2: Google Reader (https://www.google.com/reader)

    Tab 3: Google Calendar (https://www.google.com/calendar)

    I opened the same 3 tabs in Google Chrome (beta), Mozilla Firefox 3.01 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 8.0 (Beta 2) and then opened the memory page in Chrome.  All three browser sessions were started afresh.

    Google Chrome Memory Usage (Click to enlarge)

    Google Chrome Memory Usage (Summary) (Click to enlarge)

    Looking at just the ‘Private’ memory column, IE8 is a memory hog while Chrome and Firefox use similar amounts of memory.

    I am pretty impressed at how well the Chrome beta works compared to IE8 beta 2.

    Download Chrome: http://www.google.com/chrome

    Download Firefox: http://www.firefox.com

    Download IE8 beta2: http://www.microsoft.com/ie8

    Chrome is currently available for Windows XP and Vista only. Mac and Linux versions are on the way.

    IE8 is available for Windows XP and Vista only.

    • David Gerard 01:54 on September 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “We are so, so happy with Google Chrome,” mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. “That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement.” – http://notnews.today.com/?p=57

    • coffee 22:38 on January 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      it will be interesting to see if Chrome can get as much market share as Firefox; for now they seem to have leveled off…

  • Dileepa Prabhakar 10:43 on June 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Google, Google Calendar, Google Reader   

    Request to Google: Improve the link strip and make it behave consistently 

    The Google link strip present in some of Google’s web applications, though useful, can be improved a bit to improve the general usability of the applications.

    When using Gmail/Google Reader/Google Calendar, if the window is not maximized, the display of the link strip is inconsistent across these applications.

    In Gmail, the link strip wraps to the next ‘line’, with the application specific links moving to the 2nd line.

    Google link strip in Gmail.

    When the window is maximized/restored, the page realigns, which is a bit irritating.

    In Google Reader and Calendar, the links on the left side and the ones on the right side overlap when the window is not maximized. The result looks ugly!

    Google link strip in Google Reader.

    Google can do better! Make the web application links on the left size auto adjust, with the ‘extra’ ones moving to the drop down menu under ‘more’. Like this:

    Fix the Google link strip like this.

    In the above ‘paint-shopped’ image, the ‘Web’ link is now hidden under the ‘more’ drop down list.

    Of course, this won’t work under all conditions. But for use under ‘normal conditions’, this looks and works much better than the existing (inconsistent) implementation.

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