DO-IT-YOURSELF GOOGLE MAPS

Joy just created a map of the best vegetarian restaurants around town. Now she can put that map into the Google Maps Gallery. Previously, the Google Maps Gallery only showcased maps from heavy hitters like the National Geographic, NASA, or the World Bank. Now you can do one too.

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APP HAPPY

Google the phrase “Chrome Web Store” to find lots of apps that will run right on your desktop. Here are a few nice freebies:

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THE CHROMEBOOK LIVES AND GROWS

Laptops with Google’s Chrome operating system, an alternative to Windows or Mac, are Chromebooks, and they are selling big. Sales are expected to reach 5.2 million units this year, up 79 percent over last year.

We first wrote about these laptops …

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THE NEW CALIFORNIA CHROME

Chromebook, designed by Google, is as close as you can get to a trouble-free computer. Nearly all of its software exists in a Google cloud on the web and every time you connect it looks for and fixes any problems that might have come up when last used.

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OH THEFT, WHERE IS THEY BLING

So the one-day sale Of Google’s Internet connected glasses resulted in one-day thefts. They all sold out in five hours, at $1500 apiece. The thefts took place a few minutes later. (They look like glasses but Google calls them “glass.” This may be in preparation for the return of wearing a monocle as a fashion statement.)

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GOOGLE DRIVE EXPANDS TO 15 GIGABYTES FREE

Drive.Google.com –Google Drive now offers 15 gigabytes of free storage, or 100 gigabytes for $2 a month, or $10 a month for a terabyte.

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THINKING INSIDE THE BOX

We have a Google TV box for watching Amazon Video, YouTube, Netflix, and video from any website. But frankly it uses a slow and clunky search screen that forces you to move the cursor around the alphabet to spell even short titles. The new ASUS “Chromebox,” coming up in March will list for $179 and works with just about any keyboard, monitor, or TV, wirelessly.

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GOOGLE GLASS COMPETITOR

Google Glass enthusiasts make it sound like everyone will soon be wearing a glasses frame able to project a tiny display. None of this is breakthrough technology; it’s dependent on massive storage capacity and ultra-fast processing by somebody’s data service somewhere, like Google, or the NSA.

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RECOGNIZING FACES

Use an upcoming facial recognition app while wearing Google Glasses and you will be able to glance at some people and instantly see their Facebook and LinkedIn histories as well as anything they might have posted on dating sites. What fun – and how exhausting. It all appears on a projection in front of your eye.

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A-GOGGLE ABOUT GOOGLE MUSIC

We’ve been fans of the Spotify online music service since the days before Gregorian chants. But now — gasp! — dare we say it: Google Play All Access may be better.

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