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Outage hits Google Talk, Hangouts

Google's chat services experienced some hiccups early Monday. Google Talk and Google+ Hangouts were down for some users for roughly three hours, according to the company's app status dashboard.

"The problem with Google+ Hangouts should be resolved," reads a Google update posted at 12:28 p.m. PT. "We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better."

Google posted the same status update at that time … Read more

At long last, Google Sheets doesn't need a network

It took a few years, but the Google Sheets spreadsheet app has caught up with its productivity-tool companions, Docs and Slides, with one important feature: it now works with or without a network connection.

Offline support isn't the only change for the online spreadsheet. Google also rewrote the app to make it faster, gave its users the ability to partition private areas off within a shared document, and gave it support for more types of calculations.

Offline support is a key sticking point for Web apps, the sort that Google promotes through its Google Drive effort and Chrome OS … Read more

Review: CheatSheet gives users instant access to hundreds of hot keys

CheatSheet for Mac enables users to have a virtual encyclopedia of hot keys right at their fingertips. Every program on a Mac includes anywhere from a few to dozens of these hot keys, and this app provides them in menu form so that users are not forced to remember them.

Installation of the application was quite easy. Once you open the program to run, it not only lets you know if there are changes you need to make to your settings, but also it opens a window linking right to the appropriate place in System Preferences. Many amateur users, for … Read more

My Google spreadsheet fail

I'm a cloud-computing, Chrome OS fanboy for the most part. But today was one of of those days I was glad to have old-school Mac and Windows PCs lying around my home office.

I'm no power user, but Google Docs suits me for word processing, while Google Sheets works fine for creating spreadsheets. However, when it comes to importing and editing files from the incumbent power, Microsoft Office, Google just isn't meeting even my low-end needs.

Google handles such documents -- in either the older .doc and .xls formats, and the newer .docx and .xlsx formats -- … Read more

Fix 'Connection to Twitter failed' when tweeting from OS X

A while back Twitter announced that any URLs being shortened by its t.co service were going to cost users two extra characters. When you only have a 140 characters to begin with, the extra characters could be disastrous when trying to get your point across in a tweet.

It seems Apple didn't take the change into account with its integration of Twitter in OS X Mountain Lion. I discovered this when attempting to tweet a link from Safari. According to the tweet sheet, I had composed a perfect tweet, using up my entire 140-character allotment.

But every time … Read more

CheatSheet reveals keyboard shortcuts for any OS X app

Learning, keeping track, and remembering every keyboard shortcut for every OS X app is near impossible. While there are ways to figure out what keyboard shortcuts are available for some apps, those methods aren't always convenient to access.

CheatSheet is a small OS X app that runs in the background and will show you all the keyboard shortcuts for whatever app you're currently using.

Getting started with CheatSheet is easy; just make sure you're running OS X 10.7. 

Download and install CheatSheet. It's free. Unzip and move the app into your Applications folder. Double-click … Read more

Electronic beer fridge only opens when all work's in

If you're anything like me, when Friday rolls around you've probably got one eye on the clock and one eye looking forward to a refreshing post-work beverage. Spare a thought then for these office-dwellers toiling hard to finish -- their beer fridge only unlocks when the last bit of work is handed in.

The Drink Time Sheet is a fully stocked fridge of brewskis that's electronically locked to the time sheet system at Brazilian marketing agency Casa. It only unlocks when all of the week's time sheets are turned in, which seems like a heck of an incentive not to put anything off until next week.

Read more of "Cheers! Electronic beer fridge only opens when all work's in" at Crave UK.… Read more

Touch-screen spread sheets

Numbers for iOS works well for creating spreadsheets and organizing data while away from your desktop, with a multitude of useful tools and a smart interface design to make your spreadsheet work easier. On the iPhone the app works admirably, but the smaller screen size makes it a bit less easy to use than the iPad version.

The app comes with a Getting Started file that walks you through everything from basic spreadsheet use to more-complicated features using an intuitive tabbed interface. As you learn the various features, the Getting Started file directs you to try them on your own … Read more

Will the iPad 3 really cost more? New rumor: Nope

A mysterious pricing sheet that emerged earlier this week suggesting Apple's next tablet will cost more than the iPad 2 is now being countered by another rumor that says otherwise.

Pointing to parts and pricing information provided by an anonymous source who has proved reliable in the past, 9to5Mac says that Apple's new lineup of iPad models due to be unveiled next week will carry the same capacities and price tags as existing versions.

Without weighing in on features, the blog's source "Mr. X" offers the following part numbers, with the "A" models presumably offering built-in cellular modems. … Read more

DiffEngineX finds Excel data differences fast

So important is Microsoft Excel to the world's data that the smallest difference between datasets can have consequences that ripple outward like a stone thrown in a calm pond. DiffEngineX is a powerful tool that identifies the differences between two Excel workbooks or individual worksheets, even thousands at a time. But unlike standard difference analysis, it takes into account any new or blank rows, cells, and columns. It's not something you can just fire up and run, but the payoff for a little prep is accurate identification of actual differences in huge amounts of data in minutes or … Read more