Category Archives: Internet

Two-way syncing of Google Calendar and iCal

In the past I just used Google’s online calendar. It was simple and fast to use, yet provided some powerful features. However, since upgrading to Leopard and using the new version if iCal (version 3), I looked for a way to do a two-sync of Google Calendar and iCal. There are a number of programs (some for pay and some free) that do this. The solution that I chose was GCALDaemon. It was quite difficult to set up and, at least when I was using it, required some tweaking to get it working on Leopard. Also, I had to set up a bash script on my desktop that I needed to run anytime I wanted to sync. It worked okay but sometimes would get confused and mess up some entries.

Just yesterday I read that Google added CalDAV support to Google Calendar. This is completely free and has worked perfectly so far.

Rather than explain it anymore, here are Google’s setup instructions.

Google Transit now in Milwaukee

Google Maps for a few years now has offered the ability to search for a route taking public transportation. This service, called Google Transit, is now offered in dozens of US and world cities, including the city that I have been living in for the past two years. Having recently experienced the excellent public transportation system in Prague, I hope that this service will make the Milwaukee system more popular for everyone. When I lived in Madison, WI for undergrad, I used the public transportation system all the time. It was free or very cheap for students. I’ve yet to use the Milwaukee public transportation system because I have my own car and because it would have been scary to ride the buses without having a specific idea of where they are going or the approximate time frame. This is probably the biggest hurdle for a system of only buses (like in Milwaukee)…in Prague everyone rides the public transit system (trams, buses, and subway). It was also very cheap in Prague. If buying a set of day passes for an entire week, the cost was about $6-7 a day for unlimited travel on any of the public transit options. In Milwaukee, the cost for an adult is $2 per ride and residents only get the choice of bus. And, I’m sure that the quality of our bus system cannot compare to the service that I had in Prague. But, services like Google Transit are a start. I hope they help inspire improvements in public transportation across the US.

One more thing. Sign this petition to ask Google to add a “Bike There” option to Google Maps.
Here are some sites with more info about this:
“Bike There” petition for Google Maps gets support
I Want Google to Keep Me Out of A Pickle
Big News (regarding Austin and Google)

17,530% on Google on Friday

Options traders who predicted Google Inc. would beat estimates earned as much as 17,530 percent on their investments today, the most-profitable bet among all U.S. equity derivatives.

Contracts giving the right to buy Google shares for $530 before the close of trading today jumped as high as $17.63 from their 10-cent closing price yesterday. That gain almost matched the 18,760 percent advance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average since the beginning of 1900, according to Bloomberg data.

Source: Bloomberg (Google Earnings Gave Options Traders a 17,530% Gain)

There’s a good Google Group’s discussion about this here.

Wow!! As soon as I get some disposable “play money,” options trading looks like it could be fun or at least the closest thing to Vegas without actually being there. I wonder if there’s a conservative way to trade options? Would that be buying puts and calls? (At this point I only know enough about options to know that those things exist…for what purpose yet I don’t know.)

Quotes in Google News

I just saw this post entitled, Words Matter, on one of the Google blogs that I follow. This new addition to Google News allows you to type in a person’s full name on the standard Google News search to display recent things that person said. Then you can even search within those, possibly thousands of quotes, for a quote that includes a specific word. For example, here’s a list of the quotes that John McCain made regarding Iraq. Seems like a pretty useful feature.

Spammers have horrible grammar

Here’s a spam email that I just received:


I see you are expressed interest in my item by bidding, i want to tell you that i have for sale, the winner of my auction didn’t respond to my emails. To purchase my item please reply me with the best offer for this item.

P.S. If you are interested i will wait your reply asap.

Thank you!

Wow! I would have thought this guy was an idiot even if it wasn’t marked as spam. It might have sounded better to type it in his own language and then use one of the free online translation services. However, the more likely thing is that he lacks the education to even know how horrible his grammar is. If I was trying to convince people to buy into my scam, I at least would have taken the time to make the email appear professional.

My complaint about Gmail

I love Gmail. Yeah, I know the title is regarding a complaint. However, no other email application either online or through a standalone program on the hard drive is as good. It is fast, free, has a ton of space, and is very easy to use with a consistent uncomplicated interface. I even set my Grandma up with PCLinuxOS (she does emails and uses the word processor). I had previously tried to get Evolution or Mozilla Thunderbird working for her but something would always go wrong. She would accidentally click somewhere and the program would change to something that she was not familiar with. Gmail is so simple to use that I don’t think she is having much trouble anymore. In fact, I think that she is even starting to enjoy emailing people.

Back to my complaint. I have used Gmail daily since April 23, 2004. Yes, 22 days after Gmail was first announced. It took me that long to secure an invite. I was trying to get one since release day 1. I’m the kind of guy that likes to try new programs and have contributed suggestions and bug reports for many Google products. As I’m sure many of you know, a team at Google is working on the next generation of Gmail. Gmail 2.0, as it is being called by the bloggers. It is supposed to be significantly faster with a completely rebuilt and optimized back-end. Being the tech guy that I am (another example, I still think that BeOS had multimedia capabilities that Leopard is finally starting to touch and only because processors are much faster than they were back then), I am not happy with the roll out strategy that Google has for new Gmail versions/features. I’m not sure what things Google takes into account when determining in what order accounts get new features. However, my account, which had to be among the first, seems like it is always a few weeks behind in getting the new stuff. Case in point: 1) I received Gmail Chat a couple of weeks after people started getting it and a couple of days after a friend who I had invited had already received. 2) I received POP3 or, more recently, IMAP support significantly later than many people. 3) Google is allowing a certain percentage of accounts try the new version of Gmail.

I don’t know… Being an early adopter of technology, especially Google’s products, I feel that people who got an account the earliest should be given high priority in “demoing” the new features. It makes sense to me.

Update (11/6/2007): I just got the “newer version” (Gmail 2.0). Thanks Google! It is a nice improvement. I’m glad that they didn’t try to significantly change the interface because it is nice and simple how it is now. I can already feel the speed improvement. Also, the Google Chat integrated into Gmail is now finally working on Safari!!!

Strange Spam

Not that I look at all the spam I get, but I do like to occasionally look to see if the amount is abating or to see the email addresses that are receiving the spam. Just recently I started to get some really strange ones. In order to try and bypass spam filters, spammers are attempting to mask the spam with pictures, crazy spellings, “hidden” poetry or meaningless phrases, etc. It seems the more they try to obscure the fact that it is spam, the harder it gets to actually attempt to understand what they are selling. The latest spam was sent to one of my email aliases. Why anyone would buy the stock this guy is pumping, I have no idea.

R’umor N.e.w’s+:

Onco-*logy M,e+d+. I.n.c_. (OT C: ON CO) a Can cer Tr.,eatment Solutio+n’s Gro_up is s a.i.d to h a+v-e
ex-per’ienced o*v,e-r a 1*000% in in re,ven.ues f,o+r t*h_e fi.scal 3_r+d quar’ter J’u*l-y-,

2.0+0.7 comp are*d w_i+t.h t.h*e p,rior y e_a r w+hile fisc*al fou*rth quart*er r*esults f+o*r 2 0*0-7 a r,e on
t*rack to e’xceed t_h+i’s yea+r’s t_hird q’uarter result’s.

O-N+C,O a_ddi’tionally plan s to incre-‘ase offe.ring_s whi’ch a-r’e cur*.rently underway +.
Do*n’t w a i,t f.o’r t+h’e n_e-w’s to c+o-m-e o.u-t a+n_d l_o_s_e t*h-e opport_un,ity to g*e,t in fr_ont of the

g eneral inve_s.ting publ’ic. On’colog-y M e’d is in a mu-ltibilli+on do*llar in.du’stry w_h_e_r+e

t-h+e y a r*e g aining mar-ket sha+re rapidly*.

C,a l’l y+o,u r brok,er n’o w f_o-r O+N.C O*.

I’ve received this email multiple times with these subjects: nglawyer; avedevir (Google search brings up some strange sites full of random text); ergytihw; and tsetuats.

If you work really hard you can just barely read about the stock.