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Hack 65. Beyond Google: Netvibes, Pageflakes, and More

Hack 65. Beyond Google: Netvibes, Pageflakes, and More

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favoritenews,weather,sports,entertainment,photos,videos,

music,email...andmuchmore,allinoneplace."Whenyou

getstartedwiththemathttp://pageflakes.com,awizarddialog

letsyoupicksometopicsofchoice,likenews,sports,music,

food,gossip,andmore.Youcanalsoprovideyourlocation.

Thepagecreatedforyou,asshowninFigure6-25,then

containsdifferentrelevantwidgets,called"Flakes"inthis

service.Byclickingtheorangeflakesiconatthetopright,you

canopenadirectorywithmanymorewidgetstoaddtoyour

page.



Pageflakesaftercompletingthesetupwizard



AswithiGoogle,youcanalsoshareyourwidgetsetup—here,as

aso-calledPagecast.There'sevenaPagecastdirectory,as

showninFigure6-26.Asanotherinterestingfeature,

Pageflakesallowsyoutogetconnectedtootherusersofthe

serviceviatheirpeopledirectory.Everyonecansharetheir

photooravatarpicture,listtheirinterests,andtelltheworlda

bitaboutthem.Foreveryperson,youcanalsofindpeoplewith

similarintereststhroughasidebar.

Adirectoryforsharingtopic-specificconfigurationsof

Pageflakestabs



Protopage

LikeiGoogle,NetvibesandPageflakes,Protopage

(http://protopage.com)isapersonalizedstartpage.However,

itslayoutdifferssubstantiallyfromtheaforementionedservices.

Insteadofarigidgridlayout,Protopageallowsyoutofreely

moveyourwidgetwindowsaroundonthepage,asshownin

Figure6-27.Youcanalsoenabletheauto-arrangeoptionatthe

bottomtoavoidoverlappingofgadgetwindows.

AtthetoprightofProtopage,thereisasearchboxthat

expandswhenyouhoveroverit;fromAmazonsearchto

Wikipediasearch,Google,eBay,andYahoo,there'salotof

usefuldefaultenginesprovided.Ifthisisn'tenoughforyour

taste,youcanalsoaddtothisdialogbyclickingthe"Customize

list"linkatitsbottom.

TheProtopagehomepage



MANAGEYOUREVENTSWITHGOOGLE

CALENDAR

GoogleCalendarletsyoutrackyourevents—froma

doctor'sappointmenttothefamilypicnic—andshare

themwithothers.Youcanalsosubscribetothepublic

calendarsofotherpeople,organizations,orinformation

suchasmoonphasesorU.S.holidays.

NowthiswouldnotbeGoogleifthistoolweren'tweb-based.

Furthermore,CalendarisintegratedintosomeotherGoogle

tools;forinstance,youcanquicklyaddaneventfromwithin

Gmail.Also,Gmailautomaticallyturnscertainphrasesinto

Calendarevents.

TogetstartedwithGoogleCalendar,pointyourbrowserto

http://calendar.google.com.IfyoualreadyhaveaGoogle

Account(seeChapter1),youcanenteryourcredentialsnowto

signin.Afterprovidingyourusernameandyourtimezone,you

willseeyourcalendarinitsdefaultview,asshowninFigure71.Clickanywhereinthecalendartoaddaneventquickly;a

bubblepopsuptoletyouenterwhatyoureventisabout.You

canprovidejustatitle,ormakefulluseoftheQuickAdd

syntax[Hack#73].YoucanthenclickeitherCreateEventor

"editeventdetails."Thedialogforeditingthedetailsallowsyou

tochoosemanyoptions,asshowninFigure7-2.

YoucanalsoaddeventsbyclickingtheCreateEventorQuick

AddlinksshownjustbelowtheGoogleCalendarlogo.Youcan

searchforpubliccalendarsbyenteringkeywords,likethename

ofyourcity.Ifyouaresubscribedtoorhavecreatedmorethan

onecalendar,youcancontrolhowtheyaredisplayed:checkthe

boxnexttothecalendarnametoshowit,andclickthedownpointingarrowtotherightofthecalendarnametochoose

whichcolorituses.That'snotallyoucandoonGoogle

Calendar:youcanalsoinviteotherstoyourevents,importand

exportcalendardata,viewthecalendaronyourcellphone,and

muchmore.



Yourownonlinecalendar,courtesyofGoogle





Addinganevent



Hack66.AccessYourCalendarfroma

MobilePhone

Ifyouneverwanttomissanotherappointment,consider

subscribingtoSMSalertsforappointments,orusingGoogle

Calendar'smobileversion.



Ifyou'venevermissedameetingbefore,consideryourself

lucky—orverygifted.Maybeit'senoughtojustcheckyour

calendareveryfewdays.Fortherestofus,thesealertsareone

way—inadditiontoemailalerts—toberemindedofan

upcomingevent.Andifyouwanttopeekatyourcalendaron

thego,youcanaccessalightversionofGoogleCalendaron

yourcellphone.

Checkyourcellphonebilltodeterminehowmany

messagesyouhaveeachmonth:somecellular

carrierschargeforincomingaswellasoutgoing

SMS;itcangetexpensiveifyougooveryour

limit.



CalendarSMSAlerts

TosetupyourSMSalerts,logintoyourcalendarandclickthe

Settingslinkontop.SwitchtotheMobileSetuptab,asshown

inFigure7-3,inputyourcountryandphonenumber,andcheck

whetheryourcarrierissupported.Forexample,atthetimeof

thiswriting,over30differentcarriersintheU.S.aresupported;

fromAlaskaCommunicationsSystemstoWesternWireless.

ClicktheSendVerificationCodebutton,andseconds(or

minutes)later,youwillhaveanewmessageonyourphone,

thatreadssomethinglikethefollowing:

YourGoogleCalendarverification

codeis23456



Enterthenumberyoureceivedbackintotheverificationfieldat

theendoftheonlineformandclick"Finishsetup."Youwillnow

beabletoconfigurehowyouwouldliketoberemindedofalerts

onacalendar-by-calendarbasis.Bydefault,eachcalendaris



configuredtonotifyyouusingapop-upnotice,butthesepopupsappearonlywhenyouhavetheGoogleCalendarwebsite

open.Choosethe"SMS"optionfromthisdrop-downandspecify

howmanyminutesbeforeaneventyouwouldliketobe

reminded.Youcanconfigureadditionalreminders(suchas

email)byclickingthe"Addanotherreminder"link.Clickthe

Savebutton,andyou'reallset.

Settingupmobilealerts



Tochangeyoursettingslater,clickthedown-pointingarrow

nexttoyourcalendarnameinthelistofcalendarsthatappears

ontheleftsideofthescreen,andselecttheNotifications

option.

Yourlatesteventsonyourmobilephone



ViewYourCalendarontheGo

Anotherwaytokeepup-to-dateistoviewGoogleCalendaron

yourmobilephone.Justaccesshttp://calendar.google.comon

yourmobilebrowserandyouwillseethelatestevents,as



showninFigure7-4.Thisisn'tafullcalendarapplication—for

instance,youwillnotbeabletodeleteitems—butyoucanstill

addevents.Todoso,scrolldowntotheQuickAddboxand

enter,forexample,"picnicwithMaryat4pmtomorrow."



NOTE

Notethatifyou'reaccessingGoogleCalendarfromthe

iPhone,youwillseeaspecialversionofthemobile

variant,asshowninFigure7-5.

GoogleCalendaronaniPhone



AddandRequestEventsviaSMS

Ifyou'reintheUnitedStates,youcanalsocreatenewevents

onyourmobilephonebysendinganSMStothenumber48368

("GVENT").ThisfeaturesupportsthefullQuickAddsyntax,

suchas"dinnerwithnirajonsaturdayat8pm"[Hack#73].

Additionally,youcanasktheGVENTnumbertosendyouan

SMSdetailingyournextevent(send"next",withoutthequotes,

to48368),today'sfullschedule(send"day"),ortomorrow's

schedule(send"nday").Forthistowork,ensureyou've

configuredyourcalendarviaSettings MobileSetupasoutlined

earlierinthishack.



MANAGEYOUREVENTSWITHGOOGLE

CALENDAR

GoogleCalendarletsyoutrackyourevents—froma

doctor'sappointmenttothefamilypicnic—andshare

themwithothers.Youcanalsosubscribetothepublic

calendarsofotherpeople,organizations,orinformation

suchasmoonphasesorU.S.holidays.

NowthiswouldnotbeGoogleifthistoolweren'tweb-based.

Furthermore,CalendarisintegratedintosomeotherGoogle

tools;forinstance,youcanquicklyaddaneventfromwithin

Gmail.Also,Gmailautomaticallyturnscertainphrasesinto

Calendarevents.

TogetstartedwithGoogleCalendar,pointyourbrowserto

http://calendar.google.com.IfyoualreadyhaveaGoogle

Account(seeChapter1),youcanenteryourcredentialsnowto

signin.Afterprovidingyourusernameandyourtimezone,you

willseeyourcalendarinitsdefaultview,asshowninFigure71.Clickanywhereinthecalendartoaddaneventquickly;a

bubblepopsuptoletyouenterwhatyoureventisabout.You

canprovidejustatitle,ormakefulluseoftheQuickAdd

syntax[Hack#73].YoucanthenclickeitherCreateEventor

"editeventdetails."Thedialogforeditingthedetailsallowsyou

tochoosemanyoptions,asshowninFigure7-2.

YoucanalsoaddeventsbyclickingtheCreateEventorQuick

AddlinksshownjustbelowtheGoogleCalendarlogo.Youcan

searchforpubliccalendarsbyenteringkeywords,likethename

ofyourcity.Ifyouaresubscribedtoorhavecreatedmorethan

onecalendar,youcancontrolhowtheyaredisplayed:checkthe

boxnexttothecalendarnametoshowit,andclickthedownpointingarrowtotherightofthecalendarnametochoose

whichcolorituses.That'snotallyoucandoonGoogle

Calendar:youcanalsoinviteotherstoyourevents,importand

exportcalendardata,viewthecalendaronyourcellphone,and

muchmore.



Yourownonlinecalendar,courtesyofGoogle





Addinganevent



Hack66.AccessYourCalendarfroma

MobilePhone

Ifyouneverwanttomissanotherappointment,consider

subscribingtoSMSalertsforappointments,orusingGoogle

Calendar'smobileversion.



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Hack 65. Beyond Google: Netvibes, Pageflakes, and More

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