I’ve found that the end of 2012/beginning of 2013 has brought some changes to a number of services that I rely on for my Grad Student productivity/teaching/ writing/etc. Since it’s always hard to keep up with tech changes (especially when the pace of change seems to be daily, even hourly), I thought I’d share a brief round-up of the news that has been of interest or of use recently.
- No more appointment slots in Google Calendar: I was very excited when this feature rolled out, especially considering that it would allow students to sign up for meeting times with me or to coordinate other scheduling issues. In the end, the feature wasn’t convenient and I never used it. Apparently I wasn’t alone. For alternatives, I also used Tungle.Me, which is also now ending (see http://www.tungle.me/index.html). I am now playing with Schedule Once, but would love to hear other calendar hacks that allow a student to sign up for available time that integrates with Google Calendar.
New Google Features I’m Excited About
- Google Drive Apps:
Google Drive was a new feature rolled out in 2012 and already integrates with the Google Docs suite of applications, in addition to functioning as cloud storage for really any type of file you like. Google also has added more applications to Drive, some of which are really impressive. It even has features in the iOs version of Drive (like using the camera for photos and videos directly from the Drive app, for example). For a great summary of all these features, check out this blog post on Google Drive’s features, including photo editing, a text editor, a video editor, and a music player by clicking here.
- New Google Search for Applications: Google search has added an Application feature which restricts search to apps only. It’s a nice little feature for a more specific search.
Speaking of Search: Facebook Graph Search
- The big news last week was Facebook’s announcement of a new graph search feature which allows users to search Facebook using specified criteria such as “Friends Who Like Gradhacker.” This new feature, as with all things Facebook it seems, has raised privacy concerns. It’s one thing to see the content we add go by on a newsfeed to be forgotten, it’s quite another to have them pop up in a search. I found Ars Technica’s discussion of the search incredibly useful: “Facebook’s graph search and its useful discomfort.” The most important thing here for those of us who are students who eventually want jobs is to double-check those privacy settings.
Speaking of Jobs: Grad Student first University “Wikipedian-in-Residence”
- I am crazy about this story. Michael Barera is a fellow graduate student, passionate about his discipline AND Wikipedia. He combined these two aspects and is hired to do this work at his University. AND he is the first to do so at a Presidential Library. I am now looking around for gaps at my own institution that combine my ability to devise Pinterest boards on “Pinterest” and the song (and its attendant memes) “Call Me Maybe” with education. I may need to work on how to sell that. For more on this story click here.
What’s new in tech that has you excited/perplexed/searching for a new service? Share it with us in the comments!
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