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Apr 27, 2011

Skype Video Conferencing Problems? Try Google Chat's Video and Voice Plug-in

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified Apr 28, 2011 09:10 PM

I have used Skype for years to have video conferences with people in Asia. For unknown reasons, Skype's video and audio quality have degraded significantly for me in recent months, to the point that it's unusable. I sought out alternatives, and my current solution is Google Chat's video and voice plug-in.

Google Chat's voice and video plug-in does not have the slow video, audio dropout, and dropped call problems I have been recently experiencing with Skype. If you're encountering similar video conferencing problems with Skype, give Google Chat's video and voice plug-in a try. 

Skype, what's going on?

Google Talk Options Screen Capture

Sep 27, 2009

T-Mobile G1 GPS Saves My Day

by Eric Smith — last modified Sep 28, 2009 11:23 AM
Filed Under:

The GPS on my G1 helps me navigate the confusing streets in Washington, DC.

Yesterday I dropped my daughter off in Washington, DC at Georgetown Cupcake. If you've ever been to Georgetown, you'll appreciate that I had to park about 10 blocks away. When I was walking back to join her, I realized that I didn't remember all of the turns I'd taken in order to find a parking space. Plus, all the quaint houses look the same, so I was having difficulty retracing my path.

So I used my new G1 (the "Google phone") to find my location and a local map. I did have to turn on the GPS, since I usually leave it off to extend the battery life, but other than that it was simple to find my location and a map, all without breaking stride (which was important because it was starting to rain!).

I was also able to use the phone's voice search to find the store's address. This even worked with the background noise of a jet taking off from the nearby National Airport.

May 14, 2009

Google Service Outage on May 14, 2009

by J. Robert Burgoyne — last modified May 15, 2009 04:37 AM
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Users of Google services experienced slow service or interruptions in service on May 14, 2009. Here's what happened and what users should know.


Yesterday, Google suffered an outage that affected people using Google Calendar and Google Mail. The services were either unavailable or extremely slow.

In the past year, True Blade has become a big fan of Google Calendar, Google Contacts, and Google Mail. They've become critical to how we do our work and we highly recommend each of the services to our clients.

So when any of these services go down, we know first-hand that it's painful, and we understand that users are concerned.

It's especially frustrating that with technology problems the time required to restore service is often unknown. Nonetheless, we remain confident that Google aspires to high standards and that data saved on Google servers will always be safe, if not always available at every moment of the day or night.

More information about the Google Service Outage of May 14, 2009:

Official Google Blog 

NY Times Blog Entry on the Google Service Outage