Gmail’s beginnings and consequences

How Gmail happened: the inside story of its launch 10 years ago
But serious search practically begged for serious storage: It opened up the possibility of keeping all of your email, forever, rather than deleting it frantically to stay under your limit. That led to the eventual decision to give each user 1GB of space, a figure Google settled on after considering capacities that were generous but not preposterous, such as 100MB.

An interesting read about the cautious beginnings of what now seems like such a no brainer. But consider that passage above with this one from Barclay T Blair, information governance expert, in a post entitled “There is no harm in keeping tiny emails”. He had found an article that he thought…

“There is no harm in keeping tiny emails”
… nicely summed up the attitude I encounter from IT and others in our information governance engagements. Ask an attorney sometime if there really is “no harm in keeping tiny emails around in this age of ever-expanding storage space.” The drug dealers of the IG world have really done an incredible job convincing the addicts that the drug has no downside.

On owning your own data

On owning your own data
The problem, of course, is this wretched business model that has your landlord snooping on you and keeping all that information in the first place. If they didn’t have that information — or if that information was encrypted in a manner that only you could access it — they couldn’t share your information even if they wanted to.

Sorry, what?!

Google Reader

They say the writing’s been on the wall for a while, but still, this is a real shame. I’m one of those “die hards who were still using Google Reader every day (and there’s a lot of them!) will have to figure out a brand new Internet reading routine come July”. And what about all the ifttt.com recipes I’ve been building up? Might have to re-read this post about not paying for the product again.

Google Reader YouTube

 

A less cloudy perspective on clouds

CloudDave Girouard, former President of Enterprise for Google, on why our objections to the cloud are mad.

Well, he would say that, wouldn’t he? Though, reading this, it’s hard to argue against him.

If you care about the reliability, security, and the protection of your data, then you should entrust it to those who are most capable of managing it. If you believe you can match the capabilities and rigor of Google’s Security Operations team, I wish you well.

An interesting perspective from someone very much the other side of this cloud debate.

(Via Robert Brook)

Google, student IT use

Google takes buzz saw to Buzz, other appendages
And, as announced in July, Google Labs is shutting down – the site’s last day is Friday. So long, Buzz, Code Search, Jaiku, Google Labs, and the University Research Program for Google Search – and thanks for all the fish. ®

College students limit technology use during crunch time
But while students pare down to essential technology at crunch time, some were inventive in the way they had used it earlier. Two thirds said they had used social media for coursework during the term. In post-interview discussions, students mentioned Facebook for coordinating meetings with classmates, and to a lesser extent, YouTube tutorials to understand material not clear in either textbooks or classroom instruction.

Search for it

BBC – dot.Maggie: Getting organised the Google way
Not surprisingly, when it comes to technological solutions, Mr Merrill errs on the side of Google. For example, he tells me that “search is the oxygen of today’s world”. By that, he means that there is no need to remember everything because we can search for it. Take email. Forget trying to purge old messages and reach the holy grail of an empty inbox. It’s a waste of time, energy and effort, says Mr Merrill, and only causes us more angst.

Quitting Google

UnGoogled: A Week of Discovering Alternatives For Google’s Services
The other day, when I came to know about Google Dashboard, I thought I’d check out just how much of my life is in Google’s servers. I was shocked with what I saw. I was practically living my life with Google. And the revelation set my brain in motion – that maybe… just maybe, I’d become a Googaholic. I started wondering whether I could survive being off Google’s services for an entire week. And thus started my week-long quest to look for free, functional alternatives to most things Google.

Texting in class, templates, HE admin, graduation

Professor Textblaster 
Many of Todd McCann’s students suffer from a chronic disease. Call it CRS: Can’t Remember Squat. Now they have no excuse. Mr. McCann, an English instructor at Bay College, in Michigan, is deploying students’ own favorite technology to burn away the memory fog. He blasts his classes text-message reminders using Broadtexter, a free software program used by bands to create mobile fan clubs. Rather than texting tour dates, he keeps the phones in students’ pockets buzzing with regular reminders like “Paper 4 is due tomorrow.”

50 time-saving Google Docs templates
Google Docs templates make life just that much easier by providing the bare skeleton of a specific document, spreadsheet or presentation – all you have to do is fill in the blank bits with your information.

What’s in a name? Nothing good, AUA members argue
There are three problems with the Association of University Administrators’ name. Some members are not sure about the “association” part; opinion is divided on the “university” element; and there are serious doubts about the term “administrators”. … For anyone who struggles with higher education’s litany of abbreviations and acronyms, the list of suggested alternatives may send a shiver down the spine. They include the Universities Professional Staff Association (Upsa); the Institute of Higher Education Managers and Administrators (Ihema); Higher Education Managers and Administrators (Hema); Managers and Administrators in Higher Education (MAHE); University Managers and Administrators (Uma); and Managers and Administrators in Universities and Higher Education (MAUHE). However, abbreviation-phobes can rest easy – a name change is unlikely.

York Minster not an option for graduation
The University of York has cited a diverse range of faiths among the student body as the main reason for graduation ceremonies to continue to be held in Central Hall, as opposed to York Minster. Much attention has been brought to the issue by the fact that York St. John University students hold their graduation ceremonies in the Minster, something that many University of York students view as unfair.

Privacy, iPads, art student satisfaction

What day is it? It’s Data Privacy Day!
Take a moment and think about what Google knows about you. Correspondence and contacts via email, schedule via calendar, interest via feed reader, purchases via Checkout, and most importantly your day-to-day via search. How do you feel about a single company knowing that much about you? Don’t you want to know how they use all that data and more importantly, how they protect it?

Diagnosing the tablet fever in higher education
Tablet-style computers could be game-changers for colleges, bringing in a new era of classroom collaboration and pushing the adoption of electronic textbooks over a tipping point. Today’s announcement by Apple Inc. of the iPad tablet has education watchers predicting a wave of student purchases, major textbook publishers rejoicing, and at least one college saying it will consider giving them to all incoming students. But wait — it might be time to take a deep breath to let the excitement of the sales pitch fade.

Academics in art and design have drawn up a plan to tackle stubbornly low scores for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey
[D]espite efforts to improve the ratings, art and design still does not perform well in comparison with other subject areas, according to a forthcoming report, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better: The Paradox of NSS Scores for Art and Design. […] The widely held view was that the pedagogy of art and design subjects, where students are encouraged to explore and navigate their own way through projects with support, was poorly served by NSS questions, which were felt to relate more to subjects with a highly timetabled, often lecture-based, structure.

From the leaders of Google’s data visualization research group

HINT.FM / Fernanda Viegas & Martin Wattenberg
As technologists we ask, Can visualization help people think collectively? Can visualization move beyond numbers into the realm of words and images? As artists we seek the joy of revelation. Can visualization tell never-before-told stories? Can it uncover truths about color, memory, and sensuality?