This time next week the Google+ service will be discontinued. The service officially went live in June 2011 to compete against Facebook.
The service is shutting down due to the lack of use. A couple of security issues found in 2018 forced Google to reconsider the service and prompt the shutdown rather than fix the issues and face possible lawsuits.
I first joined the service on September 21, 2011, and didn't post much over the years.
There is no product "grave yard" at Google Headquarters. If there was, this is what it might have looked like.
Five Things I learned about Google+
Google+ got into a lot of trouble of forcing users to their users to join the social network. On November 6th, 2013, if you wanted to leave a comment on a YouTube video, you needed to be a member of Google+. On July 27, 2015, Google announced that the Google+ requirement wouldn't be needed anymore.
While Google+ is shutting down, this doesn't impact any other Google Services.
No other Google products (such as Gmail, Google Photos, Google Drive, YouTube) will be shut down as part of the consumer Google+ shutdown, and the Google Account you use to sign in to these services will remain. Note that photos and videos already backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.
Patrick Spenceley was the first person that added me on Google+. He is a "Paranoid programmer :-) JS/CSS/CF/.Net/HTML/tSQL/XML"
Trey Ratcliff is the most active person that I have been following on Google+. He post amazing photos from around the world. He has been active over on Facebook for a while. "He's not at all bitter about Google+ shutting down."
Download Your Data
If you used Google+, don't forget to download your data this week! You can download your data on Google's Take Out page.
Activity tracking is all the rage - from Fitbits to Apple Watch. We are tracking everything from how fast we do a lap in the pool to how long we sleep.
What about pets? Wouldn't it be great to track to see how active they are? Are they getting enough exercise? How about sleeping patterns?
Poof Pea and Beans
That's where Poof comes in. They have different types of devices that attach to a collar and used to track your furry friend. The devices are so small that they won't even notice that they have them on. Poof Pea cost $39.99 and Poof Bean cost $49.99 - the difference the bean is smaller and not distracted by smaller dogs.
You use an App on your smartphone to download the data and get some very cool chart graphs to track their movements - or lack of.
You simply need to be in the same room as your pet - so you can download the data while they are taking a nap.
We got a Poof Bean as a Christmas gift and we were very excited to track our 1.5 old puppies. He is an active dog that also spends time at a near-by puppy camp.
Occasionally we leave him alone and the Poof Bean told us that he pretty much slept the whole time. When we were home he would be more active and want to play all day long.
We decided to put the Poof Pod on when he went to day camp - we wanted to see how much activity he did all day. The first time he wore it the numbers were off the charts! He was playful all day.
Second time was a whole different story. When he came home I notice that the Poof Bean was missing from the collar holder. I called the Day Camp and let them know. They checked the play area and did find a device that looked like a bean.
A week later at drop off they gave me the remains of the Poof Pod. Clearly, it was broken.
Damage Poof Pod after a day at Dog Camp.
According to the Poof website, the broken Pod is not returnable.
Returned product(s) must be in good physical condition (not physically broken or damaged).
We are out of luck.
As a product that would be around pets, it seems that it should last for more than a couple of weeks. Especially if it cost $49.99.
At the end of the day, having a Poof is pretty cool. I would recommend not having it on where the dog could be in playful situations where the device may fall out.
It will be a while before we get another one - and we wouldn't get the Pod as it appears that it doesn't hold too well.
This week I got a strange voicemail. What made is strange is that when I got the call it showed up as No Caller ID and only rang once. Moments later a voice message was left.
Took a screenshot when the call came in, and then later of the message that was left.
"Um hi this is Karen this is an urgent message your domain registration is set to expire within trying to reach you regarding your business domain renewal you can use our automated system to renew your domain quickly when you get a moment to call us back please return this call at 1-888-202-5979 again the number is 1-888-202-5979 thank you"
Scam Scam Scam
This has nothing to do with domain registration. What they are trying to do is to trick you into registering into an SEO search program.
Here's What I Learned
This whole scam is getting people to register Clearly they don't want you to answer the phone. The message sounds automated.
When you call the number left in the message they use Caller ID to figure out who you are.
They send you another text message to click on a link
The link takes you to a page to let you know what's really going on.
It's that page that gives you the official information.
Don't register for the service - much of what is offered can be done for free. (You shouldn't be paying $75 to register a website. If you want to get on Google you can simply request Google to Register Your Site. )
If a company goes through all this deceptive practice to get your business- how legit are they?
I am pretty sure that the company will sell the phone number information.
Text on the Final Order Page
This is the text that appears on the final order page:
This letter is to inform you that it's time to send in your search engine registration for ***.boston.
Failure to complete your search engine registration by March 17, 2019, may result in the cancellation of this offer (making it difficult for your customers to locate you using search engines on the web).
Your registration includes search engine submission for ***.boston for 1 year. You are under no obligation to pay the amount stated above unless you accept this offer by March 17, 2019. This notice is not an invoice. It is a courtesy reminder to register ***.boston for search engine listing so that your customers can locate you on the web.
My domain isn't expiring, I registered it back on October on GoDaddy - apparently, other GoDaddy customers are getting these messages.
This is the Registration information of the company behind the website.
name: Muhammad Neil El Himam
organisation: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology
address: Jalan Medan Merdeka Barat No.17
address: Jakarta Pusat DKI Jakarta 10110
phone: +62 82111610360
fax-no: +62 21 3835845
Apple Maps has a rough start on iOS. It shipped with IOS 6 back in 2011 and had some well publicized problems. Things seems to have been fix and the application has seemed to be reliable.
However this weekend I noticed another flaw in the company details section. When checking for the hours of American Girl in Natick on a Saturday night - Apple Maps said the business was closed at 6 pm.
We were eating dinner next door to American Girl and noticed people coming in with American Girl bags - was the store still open?
We we checked the American Girl website and discovered that it closes at 9 pm on a Friday night.
I doubled checked Apple Maps and it does say 6pm. I then checked Google Maps and saw they had the correct closing time for American Girl.
Here's a side-by-side comparison:
Don't trust Apple Maps for business times - this isn't the only local business that had the incorrect times.
When it really matters used the company website to find the right time. Only use the maps apps as a general information.
Recently, they have been calling me a lot, trying to get coverage of a vehicle that I don't even own. In the latest call, the operator sent me a copy of the contract. Glad they did because there's no way I would have signed up for them.
Read Real Customer Reviews
When you talk to a salesperson on the phone, they will tell you to make a decision right then. The reason is that they don't want to discover reviews online. Here are a couple of review websites that offer some insights on consumers services:
Just because a website is marked as "secure" it doesn't mean that it is safe to enter data.
Case in point is this site: https://controlpanel.msoutlookonline.net/ it seems like a legitimate site but it's not a safe site. Think it's real? See what happens when you click on the "Forgot Password" link. In Chrome or Firefox, you're alerted that the site is suspicious.
This site was found searching for OWA - Outlook Web Access. It's so easy to think that it's real.
Make sure the site you are on is the right site, change your password frequently and make sure you have unique passwords on all the websites you do use. This way if your password is compromised you don't have to worry about changing passwords on multiple sites.
This is it. Here's the email that some say launched the Internet Revolution. Marc Andreessen first public announcement that Netscape is now ready for public beta.
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Marc Andreessen)
Subject: Here it is, world!
Date: 13 Oct 1994 07:57:12 GMT
Organization: Mosaic Communications Corporation
Mosaic Communications Corporation is making a public version of Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta available for anonymous FTP.
Mosaic Netscape is a built-from-scratch Internet navigator featuring performance optimized for 14.4 modems, native JPEG
support, and more.
You can FTP Mosaic Netscape 0.9 Beta from the following locations:
* ftp.mcom.com in /netscape
* gatekeeper.dec.com in /pub/net/infosys/Mosaic-Comm
* lark.cc.ukans.edu in /Netscape
* ftp.meer.net in /Netscape
* doc.ic.ac.uk in /packages/Netscape
* archie.au in /pub/misc/netscape
* ftp.cica.indiana.edu in /pub/pc/win3/winsock/nscape09.zip (PC only)
* mac.archive.umich.edu in /mac (Mac only)
Please make sure to read the README and LICENSE files.
An up-to-date listing of mirror sites can be obtained at any time by sending email to email@example.com.
Subject to the timing and results of this beta cycle, Mosaic Communications will release Mosaic Netscape 1.0, also available
free for personal use via the Internet. It will be subject to license terms; please review them when and if you obtain Mosaic
A commercial version of Mosaic Netscape 1.0, including technical support from Mosaic Communications, will be available
upon completion of the beta cycle. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Marc and the gang
One thing that I learned this Christmas season is to buy packing tape in advance, especially if you're going to be mailing any packages.
This is because if you forget to bring packing tape to the post office - you'll be paying a bit of a premium for packing up Priority mail packages. There's no reason to pay the premium if you plan ahead of time and bring tape in.
Pricing / Description on Ready-Post Tape
Here's the information about the tape that is available at the post office.
Ready Post Packaging Tape cost $3.49
Description: Clear Tape 1.88 in x 800 in
There are a couple of options on Amazon that should be good solutions for next year:
Scotch Tear-by-Hand Tape, 1.88 Inches x 50 Yards, 2-Pack - Cost per roll is $4.66 - which is more expensive than the option at the post office. But you get nearly twice as much like the one in the post office. In addition, you can easily tear the tape by hand. This will make it easy to cut the tape - there's no need to bring scissors to cut the tape.
Don't forget - set up a reminder.
This year, I set up a reminder for the first week of October to order some packing tape for Christmas. This way I can plan in advance, so when we bring gifts to the post office, I can just tape them up and not have to buy the tape at a premium price.
In addition, I added some notes to the reminder on what I would do differently "next year." For example, it's better to plan to finish shopping well in advance instead of waiting for the last minute to buy and find things.
Five Things I learned from Jen Review's Color Meaning Story
The report reviews 10 colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple, Pink, Black, Brown, and White.
You'll learn about the positives and negatives meanings of each color.
The Red Sox colors are the color of Red - love and roses and White: the color of all things good.
Blue is considered the most popular color probably because Blue is all around us - the earth is made up of 70% of water. It also means trust, which is why you see companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Twitter use it in their logos.
One of the colors is the color of power - find out in the study.
The study is a great quick read - only 2,500 words. It's a great read when trying to pick the perfect logo or trying to decide on the best background for the flyer that you're sending out.
Why trust this study? Jen Review is a great site with a lot of practical information. The writers on the site are experts in their fields. The editorial team features for Olympians, doctors, doctors and more. Content is written by experts and has been featured in many publications because of the quality of content and the content is constantly updated.