More colleges using google for student email systems.

I reported just over a year ago, that Worcester State College replaced its Microsoft Exchange based email system for Google Apps for student email accounts.

According to the Google blog, they have a lot of company now. I see this sort of outsourcing of a basic IT function as a win for both the students and the colleges.  The students are probably already used to the interface, so less of a learning curve for them and reduced training and support costs for the campus IT staff.

It also frees up the IT staff to focus on providing new services. Then there is the plus of less people using Exchange and Outlook.  I’ve supported Exchange servers and Outlook lusers. Saving other IT people from that fate is a good thing IMNSHO.

Nifty nerd site of the day

Convert PDF files to MW Word.

Remote PC Access

I setup remote PC access on a family member’s computer using gotomypc, and I have to say that it really was as easy as advertised.   I tested it using my laptop and was able to connect, and transfer files, right off the bat.  The interface is clean and simple to use.

One thing I’ve learned in my years in high tech, making things simple is hard work.

Bad move by Apple

Apple barred the new Google Talk App from the iTunes App Store.

The initial claim was that the app duplicated core services of the iPhone.

To get around Apple’s monopolitics ban, point your iPhone browwer to www.google.com/talk.

There has been other fallout from Apple’s ban, besides pissed off customers, the FCC is asking questions and Google CEO Eric Schmidt resigned from Apple’s Board of Directors.

Then there is also the added buzz about Google Talk this has generated. Perhaps it would have been better for Apple just to have allowed the app in the iTunes app store.

Skype on the iPhone

So that rumor was true.  I downloaded the Skype app from the iTunes store.  It only works over the WiFi connection, so AT&T continues to get its blood money/minutes.

One feature that is missing is support of Bluetooth headsets. I want to talk to my Skype friends hands free using my Jabra headset.  Hopefully the folks at Skype will have that fixed in the next version.

New Skype on the iPhone rumors

From GigaOM we have the latest rumors about a Skype application for the iPhone. The buzz is that it will be announced next week.  I’ll believe it when I see it on the iTunes app store.

Cell carriers are going to start coming around to the reality that for smart phone users, they are a data carrier.  Voice is secondary and they want greater flexibility.

Update: Ok, I believe it.  I downloaded the Skype app from the iTunes app store today.  It only works over WiFi, but if you can get a WiFi connection, you can talk to your Skype buddies without AT&T having anything to do with it.

Google’s GDrive

The rumors are flying hot and heavy that Google will start offering online storage.  Ya, you get space with Gmail and with their online photo storage service, but this would be generic storage space.

It will be interesting to see how much ‘free’ space Google offers and how much they will charge for additional space.  Online storage sites have come and gone, so it will be interesting to see what Google’s business plan is.

Personally, I see this as useful for road warriors.  Keep your data in the cloud access it when you need it from your netbook.   For back up, it could be useful, but there are services that do this already and are optimized for backups.   

This will become interesting when the GDrive integrates with Google docs and I’m accessing it on a netbook running Android.

Non-Safari browsers for the iPhone

Apple is now allowing third party browsers on the iPhone.

Don’t get too excited, these are all Safari based browsers.  

When I can load Opera, Chrome or Firefox on my iPhone, that will be a real crack in Apple’s control over the device.

ipowerweb fails the customer service test

Not really news, they have been a pain to deal with for years.

Now the final straw.  I’m moving my domains off their service, and ipower doesn’t send out a confirmation of transfer notice.  So, I have to wait days for transfer wait to time out.  

It’s this type of behavior that is why they are losing customers to companies that understand the concept of customer service.

Now on Twitter

Urbin Technology is now on Twitter.