Web tip: Google Calendar and Remember the Milk

Web tip: Google Calendar and Remember the Milk

I use a number of web-based tools for both my regular work and for blogging and I periodically mention some of them in case they may be of any use to you.

Two tools I use every day are Google Calendar and Remember the Milk, and now they work together quite smoothly.

Google Calendar

Every computer comes with a calendar program built in, whether it’s Outlook on Windows or iCal on the Mac. But the problem is that they’re only in one place: on your computer. What if you have a computer at home and a computer at work? What if you have a laptop and a desktop? And you don’t always have a computer handy. Google Calendar, like other online calendars, solves that problem. You can access the calendar from any computer and even any web-enabled device, including many modern cell phones. But the goodness doesn’t stop there.

A calendar isn’t very useful if you can’t enter information into it and if you’re like me, if you don’t do it right away, you’re likely to forget to do so. That’s the beauty of Google Calendar: It gives you so many ways to enter new events into your calendar. I can email it from any computer to a unique email address I’m given when I sign up. I can send an SMS text message from my cell phone. I can even use a neat bit of software on my Mac called Quicksilver, which does a whole lot more than this, to press a hot-key, type in my new event information, and let it update the calendar for me. A great aspect is that Google Calendar lets you enter your event information in plain English. Type in: “Isabella doctor appointment three weeks from today at 8:30 am at Dr. Morgan’s office, 78 Highland Avenue,” and it will not only list it correctly, it will include a link to Google Maps for the doctor’s office.

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  • Actually their business is serving ads, and thus what they were proposing with gmail is that the ads that appeared before your eyes on your gmail page would be influenced by the content of your emails, not that they would be selling or exposing your emails to anyone else.

    It doesn’t really bother me since my information is already sitting on their servers, so it’s not as if their servers are revealing anything.

    And if someone is going to be paranoid about such things, then they better not do business with any web site like Amazon or anyone else for that matter.

    Yet the reality is your identifying information is at much more risk in the real world than online. Think of how many people walk by your credit card and the charge slip at the restaurant you were at the other day. How many people walk by all those credit card applications sitting in your trash barrel at the end of your driveway each week?

    You could drive yourself crazy worrying about it. I take reasonable precautions.

  • Carrie: They turned your computer on and off because you’re using an inherently insecure platform (Windows, right?) and do not have adequate security on it. If you leave your front door open in a high-crime neighborhood, whose fault is it that your TV is stolen?

    Failing to use multiple secure passwords is like using one key to unlock every lock in your life. Complaining about having to have them is like complaining that your key chain is too big from all the keys. If you want to use only one key, that’s convenient, but you’re in big trouble if you lose it.

    This isn’t the fault of web sites and the Internet. This is a fact of all areas of life. Get a Mac, use secure passwords, don’t give out your information to strangers.

    And frankly, I think worrying about the government getting access to my calendar and to-do list is kind of silly when they already have access to my tax records, social security records, DMV record, credit records, so on and so forth.

    There were people who refused to allow telephones or televisions to be installed in their homes when they were introduced for fear of being monitored by them. Power to them. Life in the 19th century is fine for those who are afraid. I’m not.

  • To say that is encrypted is meaningless. Data can be encrypted but a whole PC can’t be. You might want to double-check whether you’ve misunderstood your computer guru or if he’s taking you for a ride.

    He might mean that he has a firewall, but that doesn’t protect you against every type of hacker. The only way for someone to get your husband’s ebay password is if he inadvertently exposed it to someone else or if your computer has a Trojan horse virus.

    Your ISP only has access to your passwords for logging on to their system. They don’t have any of your other passwords unless you give them to them. For instance, Comcast only has my password for connecting to their broadband service. They don’t have my email password because my email service is provided by a different company, even though I use Comcast to access their servers.