HOW DO YOU FIND ANYTHING?

A common reader question is how do they find something we have mentioned in a column, and sometimes they ask how to find things we’ve never mentioned. Either way, the answer is the same: Google it, or Yahoo it, or Bing it.

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CHROMEBOOK SALES UP

Sales of Google “Chromebooks,” computers that run the Chrome operating system instead of Windows, Mac or Linux, were up 67 percent in the third quarter of 2014, according to market research firm ABI Research. ABI predicts this year’s Chromebook tally to be double last year’s.

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FREEBIES FROM GOOGLE

MadeWithCode.com, a Google-operated site, let anyone design a small custom bracelet that they made and mailed out for free. Honest! – We got one. Ours is green and says “Bob and Joy.” It took a couple of months to arrive. Now they have other projects, such as animated “Yeti” figures. Click “Projects” to choose. Many are free, like the animated greeting cards.

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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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