Tag Archives: Google

Free Books Galore

I recently discovered Google Play (I know, always behind the discovery curve) and do you know, there’s more awesome stuff available there for free than you can imagine.  And if you have the Google Play app installed on your iPad of iPhone (and I guess Android too) you have mobile access to your entire google book library.

I stumbled across this today whilst looking for some Bultmann stuff.  Here’s a screenshot of the things I’ve added to my library:


Michael Langlois on the Newly Digitized Dead Sea Scrolls

Michael writes

First impressions on the DSS Digital Library:

(1) New photographs of all plates, including color and IR! Resolution goes beyond 1200 dpi, which is great. Now we can look at individual letters, see the actual condition of the fragments, skin color and texture, … and sometimes bad shape. Hence the need for our beloved old PAM photographs:

(2) The PAM photographs are there! Better quality than on the microfiches or the Brill CD-ROMs. Not perfect though, the resulting resolution varies between 400 and 600 dpi. Upscaling does not help much since artifacts (due to JPEG compression) are visible. I suspect working on the scan files could help. Any chance there will be an option for direct download of PNG or TIFF files?

Conclusion: congrats to the IAA & Google team! My #1 wish is to be able to download the original files so that I can play with them 😉

Of course what he’s talking about is this.   You should add that link to your resources.

Google Drive: Head to Head Competition for Dropbox

NPR reports

After years of speculation and rumor, today Google announced Google Drive, a new service that allows users to store data on the cloud.  In English, that means a service that allows users to keep documents, photos, videos and other files on Google’s servers and access them from many different devices.

In fact

The essentials are that the company is offering 5 gigabytes of free storage and offers plans that go up to 1 terabyte of storage for $50 a month.

My worry is that Google will close it down (like it has other things it has come up with).  I’m going to give it a spin though, just because.

Honestly, If You Need ‘Emergency Access’ To Wikipedia, There’s Something Wrong With You

First, let me hasten to say that this has NOTHING to do with James’ post other than that it springs from his title.  I’m all for people protesting whatever they want to as long as their protests are appropriate.  I.e., as long as their protests are for the benefit of others.

After all, Jesus protested the practices of extortion in the Temple by driving the greedy out.  Good for him.  Most protesters these days though only protest when they have some financial interest involved.  Seldom, rarely indeed, will you find anyone protesting purely on behalf of others.

Occupy isn’t protesting for others, those folk are protesting for themselves- so they can have more stuff.  And the folk protesting SOPA (Craigslist, YouTube, Wikipedia, Google) are doing it because they want to keep being able to sell advertising space on their sites or earning income from their sites.  Exactly, by the way, for the same reason that the proponents of SOPA are pushing for it to pass.  They have money to make and they don’t want their movies and music pirated (and frankly I don’t blame them.  When you steal content, you steal someone’s intellectual property- you are a despicable plagiarist).

But to return to the point- honest to goodness people stop acting like the world has come to an end because you have to get up off your lazy butts and go to an actual library if you need to look up a reference.  Good grief, how disgustingly lazy have people become?

Furthermore, there are other, and better, and far more accurate sources online than Wikipedia or Reddit (I don’t even know what that one is) or Boing Boing (again, I’ve never heard of it).

Get over yourselves ya lazy gits!  Stop acting like if one site goes down the Mayans are right.  There are lots of sites that ought to go down now and forever (and the porn ones just top the list).  If wikipedia’s darkness is a crisis for you, there’s something seriously wrong with you.

So, to make you feel better (you bloody, feckless, dimwitted sots), here’s an award that you most certainly deserve:

New Privacy Settings For Google+

Now you can control more easily who interacts with you on Google+.    It’s much more user friendly than Facebook.

Circles give you control over who you share with on Google+ and who you see content from.   Many of you have asked for similar controls over who can send you notifications, so today we’re rolling out a new option in Google+ settings: “Who can notify you.” You can update your settings at https://plus.google.com/settings/plus.

Google Brings the Dead Sea Scrolls Online

Today marks the launch of the Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project by Google and the Israel Museum.  Check it out.

The Israel Museum welcomes you to the Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Project, allowing users to examine and explore these most ancient manuscripts from Second Temple times at a level of detail never before possible. Developed in partnership with Google, the new website gives users access to searchable, fast-loading, high-resolution images of the scrolls, as well as short explanatory videos and background information on the texts and their history. The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the oldest known biblical manuscripts in existence, offer critical insight into Jewish society in the Land of Israel during the Second Temple Period, the time of the birth of Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism. Five complete scrolls from the Israel Museum have been digitized for the project at this stage and are now accessible online.

“We are privileged to house in the Israel Museum’s Shrine of the Book the best preserved and most complete Dead Sea Scrolls ever discovered,” said James S. Snyder, Anne and Jerome Fisher Director of the Israel Museum. “They are of paramount importance among the touchstones of monotheistic world heritage, and they represent unique highlights of our Museum’s encyclopedic holdings. Now, through our partnership with Google, we are able to bring these treasures to the broadest possible public.”

The five Dead Sea Scrolls that have been digitized thus far include the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Community Rule Scroll, the Commentary on Habakkuk Scroll, the Temple Scroll, and the War Scroll, with search queries on Google.com sending users directly to the online scrolls. All five scrolls can be magnified so that users may examine texts in exacting detail. Details invisible to the naked eye are made visible through ultra-high resolution digital photography by photographer Ardon Bar-Hama– at 1,200 mega pixels each, these images are almost two hundred times higher in resolution than those produced by a standard camera. Each picture utilized UV-protected flash tubes with an exposure of 1/4000th of a second to minimize damage to the fragile manuscripts. In addition, the Great Isaiah Scroll may be searched by column, chapter, and verse, and is accompanied by an English translation tool and by an option for users to submit translations of verses in their own languages.

Facebook v. Google+

One of the Best Things About Google +

Is the new search feature, which really is useful.  And, I might add, awesome.  All the details and a description are here.  With thanks to Alastair for the heads up.

One the biggest complaints of Google+ was that there was no ability to search…from the search engine giant. Finding posts was near impossible and finding people was a little iffy. Well fear not! With Google+ going public (two days before Facebook’s overhaul…heh) brings revamped Hangouts and a new search bar called Search Google+. It should revolutionize the way you use Plus if you use it right and brings with changes to Sparks as well.

Google + is Out of Beta, and is Now Open to All

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Now even the common people can G+

So – so much for being part of that exclusive club of beta-testers.  Now even the common people can use it.  Alas…  Anyway, here are the details:

Google+ is now open to anyone who wants to get in.  In a Tuesday post on the Official Google Blog, Google announced that it will launch nine new features in the next few days, including open signups.

“For the past 12 weeks we’ve been in field trial, and during that time we’ve listened and learned a great deal. We’re nowhere near done, but with the improvements we’ve made so far we’re ready to move from field trial to beta, and introduce our 100th feature: open signups. This way anyone can visit google.com/+, join the project and connect with the people they care about,” Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra wrote for the blog post.

Google also launched Search for Google+, as well as an expansion of its Hangouts video chat feature and more.

Facebook ‘Smart Lists’ – Because of Google+ Circles?

Evidently Facebook doesn’t want to be left behind and they’ve seen Google’s ‘circles’ feature and so they’ve put together their own equivalent feature.

A word of advice to all you who have Joel Watts as a FB friend- make sure he’s in the lowest circle, so he gets used to it…  just sayin…

To make lists incredibly easy and even more useful, we’re announcing three improvements:

  • Smart lists – You’ll see smart lists that create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–like your work, school, family and city.
  • Close Friends and Acquaintances lists – You can see your best friends’ photos and posts in one place, and see less from people you’re not as close to.
  • Better suggestions – You can add the right friends to your lists without a lot of effort.

Friend Lists are completely optional. If you don’t like lists, you don’t have to use them.

Google Flights

It’s useful if you want to fly in the United States, but it doesn’t support flights overseas.  So I can search for flights to Frisco or Chicago or New York (and it’s a simple to use tool) but if I want to go to Zurich or Manchester or London or Stuttgart, I’m out of luck and have to use Kayak or Hotwire.

Oh and I’m also out of luck if I want to go to Frisco (because it doesn’t return any listings for the SBL period).  Fortunately, I know there are flights because I have one booked.  In other words it doesn’t show existing flights…  which seems to make it fairly useless.

Google Flights… I’ll keep an eye on it but it’s, at this stage, sort of like Google Plus- some will check it out, play around with it, and then drop it unless they implement overseas travel too and fill up the database with flights in the States (which they clearly haven’t done).

Good Grief Google

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Google Plus has given me more invites to pass out.  Now I have 130.  Please, take them.  Having invites to Google Plus sitting on my account is like having credit at Amazon.com for books – I’ve got to get rid of it!

G+ is still pretty cool (in some respects better than Facebook).  If you haven’t tried it out, just give it a spin.  It won’t kill you.

Why Facebook Will No Longer Be my Primary Social Media Site

And Google+ will be.

First, I’m really weary of Facebook constantly changing things around.  Just when I get the hang of how some feature works, they change it.

Second, I am utterly disgusted with their latest accessibility fiasco.  To be specific, before their latest update I could easily select groups which could view posts.  Now, if I want to interact with a limited number of people, I have to type in their names or type in the names of those I wish to exclude from a particular conversation.  I find that idiotic.

Third, I can do with Google+ exactly what I wish to do in terms of specific communications.  Facebook seems to want to make it as hard as possible to be specific in communications and Google + seems to want to make it as easy as possible.  I know which I prefer.

So I’ll still check in on Facebook and post generalities from time to time, but for real interaction, I’m moving over to G+ from now on.

I have 132 invites left for G+.  You’re welcome to one.

Android Malware and Google+

CNET reports

A new flavor of Android malware is disgusing itself as a Google+ app in an attempt to capture instant messages, GPS, location, call logs, and other sensitive data.  Uncovered by the team at Trend Micro, the new malware known as ANDROIDOS_NICKISPY.C can also automatically answer and record phone calls. To capture data, the app loads at boot-up and runs certain services that can monitor messages, phone calls, and the user’s location, thereby stealing e-mail and other content.  Detailing its findings in a blog last Friday, Trend Micro discovered that the malicious app tries to trick people by installing itself under the name Google++.

Just so you know…  malware is to computers what angry atheists are to life on planet earth.

Here’s An Interesting Application of Google+

Via Inside Google Books

Say you’ve found a hidden gem on auto mechanics for your greasemonkey friends or want to hop down memory lane with Peter Rabbit and your family. Good news for monkeys and rabbits alike: you can now share info about any of the millions of books in our Google Books index worldwide with your circles on Google+.

Let’s say you are reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and you’d like your friends to read it with you (or you have a witty comment to let loose). Simply click on the Google+ Share box on the About the Book page or in a Google Books preview, enter your message, then select which circles you’d like to share details about the book with, and click “share”.

There’s a little more along with screenshots included. This has implications for biblical and theological studies, obviously. I think I’ll try it out.

You’re Invited to Google+

Just go here.  All us Google+ users now have 150 invites to share, and that’s the link to mine.

The Fastest Growing Site in History? Google + (Maybe)

Google+ now has 25 million users, according to analytics firm comScore. That’s very impressive, especially considering that the site is working off an invitation-only model for expansion.  In a Reuters report, comScore said that number cements the new network as the fastest-growing Web site in history. Google launched its network in late June and is currently growing at a rate of one million users per day, the report said.  So does that mean that Google+ is going to take over the social networking sector? Don’t jump to conclusions so quickly.

My own experience of Google+ has been pretty positive but I’m still trying to work out, aside from its various slight differences and advances, why I’m using it along with Facebook and the Twitter.  And LinkedIn, and Academia.edu.  And of course THE blog.

Maybe I just like being multiply connected.  Maybe I see these things as holding potential for the dissemination of accurate biblical and theological info and so the more the merrier.  That’s probably it.  It’s about the intersection of the world and (the theological relevance of) the Word for me, so that wheresoever I can manage connecting the two, I’ll do it.

Google Plus: An Observation

Playing around with Google+ I can see it has one clear advantage over Facebook: it isn’t as cluttered. Being much more streamlined, it’s friendlier to the eyes.

Will Google Plus Be Better than Facebook?

It’s not up and running yet, but you can check out its features here.

If I might just make one quick observation- it seems far more streamlined, much less cluttered, and has much more of a professional ‘feel’ than Facebook.

It may turn out to be none of those things- but considering the features as presently described, it actually looks quite useful.

Google and the British Library

One word:  NICE!!!!

The British Library has signed a landmark deal with Google, making one of the largest collections of books and pamphlets in the world available and searchable online for the first time. The arrangement will allow the search engine to index and produce links to texts which date back to the 18th century.

Internet users will be able to search for and access the huge volume of out-of-copyright works for free for the first time on the internet.
The deal, which is being described by the British Library as a “strategic partnership”, is to be formally announced at a press conference this morning hosted by Dame Lynne Brindley, the chief executive of the reading institution and Peter Barron, the former Newsnight editor turned Google head of external relations.


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