Are Google Scare-mongering? (and more)

By | November 15, 2012
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Lots to tell you about this time… a free booklet, a reader points out something I missed and a last chance ever to get a popular book… but first, are Google scare-mongering?

Is the online world ending in November 2013?
Honestly, sometimes I think companies like Google are their own worst enemies.
Their latest foul-up has made people around the world panic that Google will stop working in November 2013… along with various other websites.

But it’s not the case.
What’s happening is that a product they produced called iGoogle (see that crucial but easy to spot “i” at the the start) has turned out not to be too popular.  SO they’re going to get rid of it.
Fair enough, but when they introduced it they made a big hoo-ha and tried to get as many people to sign up to it as possible.  In fact lots of people signed up without realising it.
If that included you, it means that when you go to the Google webpage, you’re seeing the igoogle page without even knowing it,.  And from next November, you’ll only get the normal, standard Google page that the rest of us get.

Which is perfectly good anyway – that’s why so many people use it.  It just doesn’t have so many fancy gadgets on it.
No big deal at all.
But when Google made the announcement, they assumed everyone would know what they were talking about and didn’t think that people might miss the letter i and realise it meant they were talking about something entirely different.

So lots of people have been worrying that Google itself will end next November… don’t worry, it won’t.  Only one of their less popular products that you probably don’t use… and even if you do, it probably wasn’t on purpose.
There’s more information here: http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2664197  including what to do if you actually do use the iGoogle features.

9½ tips… free
I’ve just written a new short booklet 9½ tips if you’re Thinking of Using Windows 8.  And although I wrote it for another reason, it occurred to me you might find it interesting… so here’s a free electronic copy of it.
You’re free to read it on screen, print it out or even tell your friends about it (though it’d be nice if you told them about the newsletter and got them to sign up if they want a copy).
Here’s the link:
www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/win8tips.pdf

Wikipedia… An important point from a reader
I should have mentioned last time, when I was talking about Wikipedia, that if you’re using it for anything important, it’s definitely a good idea to check whatever you find out with another source.
Of course, this is true with any source of information – you get mistakes in books from trustworthy sources too.

But it’s especially true of Wikipedia because of how anyone around the world can contribute to it.
I don’t mean you can simply go onto Wikipedia and change, say, the numbers page so it says 2+2=5 and that’ll be that.  They do have people checking what’s written and if anyone spots a mistake they can point it out (there’s a tab marked “discussion” where you can make any comments about something that might be misleading).

But if it’s anything that matters (as opposed to just looking up how tall the Eiffel tower is because you’re curious), then I’d definitely recommend double checking the facts with another source as well.

Desktop Publishing… nearly out of stock
Over the summer (remember that?) I’ve been clearing some space out of our warehouse.  It’s nearly done but I have one last pile of books I want to clear out, wedged next to our new stocks of the updated Windows 8 books.

It’s Desktop Publishing… which is using your computer to make anything from Christmas cards to calendars… fancy stationery to a newsletter… or even a full-blown book or magazine.

There are only a limited number left and once they’re gone, they’re gone… and if they aren’t all gone by the time we finish for Christmas, we’re going to scrap any left anyway, so we’ve got space for next year.  (Based on previous “clearouts” I don’t expect to have to do that – they’ll be gone first, I hope).

So I’m offering them with a really good offer to clear the space.  It’s the last “clearout” I’ve got planned and I deliberately left it until now because I know a lot of people use Desktop Publishing to make Christmas cards or calendars for the new year.

Anyway, you can read more (and if you like, order) here: www.helpfulbooks.co.uk/dtpclearout.htm

Tim