Tag Archives: Google

How to Delete GMail Messages in iOS 4

Upon upgrading my iPod Touch to iOS 4, I found one little change that really bothered me. My usual email workflow on my mobile device is to check-off and delete emails that are unimportant (server notifications, newsletters, etc.) and delete them. I would then proceed to read the important ones.

Unfortunately, Apple decided it would be a good idea to change the “Delete” button to an “Archive” button for GMail accounts under iOS 4. I don’t really need to keep messages about my server’s recent five minutes of downtime for any length of time, so I thought this was kind of stupid.

I was able to find a fix, however. Open your settings and navigate to the “Mail, Contacts, Calendars” page. Tap on your GMail account. Then turn off the slider for “Archive Messages.”

I don’t mind the idea of an Archive option in the Mail app, but not to the exclusion of a Delete function. Some things just don’t need to be kept.

Google Font API

Google is taking on projects like sIFR and Cufón with their new Google Font API. A simple line of JavaScript lets you load a font family from their directory of open source fonts, allowing you to safely reference it within your CSS.

Here is an example:

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Cardo">
<style type="text/css">
body {
font-family: 'Cardo', serif;
font-size: 24px;

It’s simple, and it looks like it works cross-browser pretty much. Hopefully we’ll be seeing more supported fonts in the future. And please, don’t abuse Lobster until it becomes the next Comic Sans.

I’m Going to be Working with WordPress for GSoC

Some of you may have seen my tweet yesterday. I’ve been accepted into the Google Summer of Code program by the WordPress project. You can read the announcement, with all 15 of the chosen applicants, on the WP development P2 blog.

Matt Harzewski, comment moderation improvements and associated dashboard improvements. Mentor: Austin Matzko (filosofo).

Wow. I’m still a little bit surprised, and excited. 79 submissions seemed like such a big number.

I may end up posting a little less over the summer as a result, as GSoC will cut into my time a bit. (I’m not stopping entirely, I promise. Just a post or two less each week.) I’ve been blogging almost daily here for four years, so I don’t think it’s too unreasonable to dial-back the frequency of my posting for two months. :)

Use Google-Hosted jQuery in Your WordPress Theme

How many sites use popular JavaScript libraries like jQuery? A lot. That’s why Google hosts many of them on their speedy CDN, so browsers only have to download jQuery or Prototype once in a day, instead of once per site.

How can your WordPress-powered site benefit from this? Digging into WordPress has the answer:

if ( !is_admin() ){
   wp_register_script('jquery', ("http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.3.2/jquery.min.js"), false, '1.3.2');

This little snippet goes in your functions.php, where it deregisters WordPress’s internal copy of jQuery and references Google’s. Unfortunately, it’s not set up for the handy no-conflict mode that lets you use Prototype scripts on the same blog.

Viacom Uploads Their Content to YouTube While Suing Them for it Being There

For the last couple years, there has been an ongoing legal battle between YouTube and Viacom. Viacom has been protesting their content’s presence on YouTube, demanding that they do more to prevent clips from being uploaded, and referring to the site as a bastion of piracy.

The plot is thickening, as a recent blog posting from YouTube shows.

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

It’s hard to tell whether this was an intentional plot against YouTube, or if this is a case of one hand not knowing what the other is doing. The music industry, also, has had mishaps where the marketing arm distributed songs online as a promotion, only to have the legal department send DMCA notices to the sites hosting the music. It’s certainly possible that the hired marketing agencies were trying to artificially kickstart “viral marketing” campaigns with the “roughed up” video clips, and the legal teams were unaware. Either way, it’s bad.

Google hreview Rich Snippets in WordPress

Have you ever noticed that some product review results in Google display a little 5-star rating under the title? What you’re seeing is something that Google calls a “Rich Snippet” — some metadata pulled from a microformat embedded on the page the result links to.

Google supports a few microformats in their search results. vCard data can be displayed in some cases, upcoming events can be shown for theaters and event centers, star ratings can be displayed for reviews, etc..

Joost de Valk has put together a tutorial on how to add the hreview microformat to your WordPress site, giving Google the option to show your editorial ratings on SERPs for any products you may review. I’ve implemented it over at Fantasy Folder, as I often write book reviews there, and I had been planning on adding editorial star ratings anyway.

In his previous post here on Yoast, Frederick explained why you should use Microformats to increase the CTR from Google. In the comments of that post, people were asking if there are plugins to easily implement this in your theme. While those are probably a bit hard to do, I though it would be good to explain how I implemented hreview in my theme.

Implementing hreview in your WordPress theme [Yoast]

Blogger to End FTP Publishing Support

Blogger has announced that they will be discontinuing support for FTP publishing of their users’ blogs. They say that a mere 0.5% of Blogger users opt to have the static HTML files hosted on their own servers, as opposed to the Blog*Spot servers. The costs outweigh the return, and developer team wants to drop the legacy feature so they can move on to a more modern infrastructure, unhampered by a feature used primarily by the earliest Blogger sites.

Three years ago we launched Custom Domains to give users the simplicity of Blogger, the scalability of Google hosting, and the flexibility of hosting your blog at your own URL. Last year’s post discussed the advantages of custom domains over FTP and addressed a number of reasons users have continued to use FTP publishing. (If you’re interested in reading more about Custom Domains, our Help Center has a good overview of how to use them on your blog.) In evaluating the investment needed to continue supporting FTP, we have decided that we could not justify diverting further engineering resources away from building new features for all users.

FTP support goes dead on March 26th, 2010. If you’re part of that 0.5%, don’t panic! A migration tool will be released in late February, and a blog dedicated to helping people transition is now online.

Google Releases the “Nexus One” Android Phone

Google has officially announced the “Nexus One,” a much-hyped Android-based phone manufactured by HTC that they (Google) will be selling. The device looks pretty neat, except, like most of the current Android phones, multitouch is not a feature.

It runs version 2.1 of Android, which reportedly has a slightly improved home screen interface and some other interface tweaks.

For a very comprehensive review, see the Engadget Nexus One Review.

Personally, I don’t think it, or any of the other Android devices, is that big of a deal. But whatever.

Google Chrome Arrives for Mac

The Mac version of Google’s Chrome web browser has arrived as a beta. The search giant has deemed it stable enough for the general public’s consumption, but a few features are still under development. One notable feature missing is the bookmark manager.

Google Chrome for Mac

I’ve tried it out. It’s every bit as snappy as the Windows version, and it looks great. The default theme matches Apple’s Cocoa UI, dispensing with the Windows version’s bright blue color, and you can change the theme to something more creative if you like that sort of thing.

The best thing, in my opinion: Chrome, no matter the OS, uses the same WebKit framework as Apple’s Safari browser, so Chrome isn’t going to burden designers with more testing.

Google Buys reCAPTCHA


Google has acquired reCAPTCHA, the service that powers some of those squiggly-letter fields (or CAPTCHAs) you have to fill out before submitting a form. (This is usually done to hinder bots attempting to mass-submit the forms for purposes such as spamming.)

The interesting part of reCAPTCHA is where they get their squiggly letters from. The words are from (public domain) books and newspapers that have been scanned. As computers are bad at interpreting images and finding the words within, the scans are chopped-up and served-up through reCAPTCHA, where users help translate the images into plain text. This is done by showing two words, one that reCAPTCHA knows the plaintext for and one it doesn’t. If you type the known word properly, the CAPTCHA validates and the input for the second word is logged.

reCAPTCHA’s unique technology improves the process that converts scanned images into plain text, known as Optical Character Recognition (OCR). This technology also powers large scale text scanning projects like Google Books and Google News Archive Search. Having the text version of documents is important because plain text can be searched, easily rendered on mobile devices and displayed to visually impaired users. So we’ll be applying the technology within Google not only to increase fraud and spam protection for Google products but also to improve our books and newspaper scanning process.