Posts Tagged Google
If all you really want from your Ubuntu Server is to be able to send you email if something goes wrong, or the occasional email to a trusted partner, friend, colleague, etc, then you want a simple solution. Although Postfix or sendmail, etc, will work in a satellite configuration, it’s still too heavy and over-the-top for this type of setup.
apt-get install ssmtp
/etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf in your favorite text editor and, to get it working on an example gmail account, set it up like so:
firstname.lastname@example.org mailhub=smtp.gmail.com:587 AuthUser=username AuthPass=password UseTLS=YES UseSTARTTLS=YES AuthMethod=LOGIN
Save the file, and you’re done.
Example for Amazon SES users. Be sure the sending domain is verified or mail will get rejected.:
email@example.com # from SES SMTP settings mailhub=email-smtp.us-east-1.amazonaws.com:587 AuthUser=username AuthPass=password UseTLS=YES AuthMethod=LOGIN
Important: You’re leaving your Gmail account password in a plaintext file. Make sure you’re using strong passwords. Even better, use Google 2-factor authentication so you can use an application-specific password for sSMTP.
UPDATE: Lastly, update the permissions
chown root:mail /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf chmod 640 /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf
Unprivileged users who have a need to send mail using sendmail must be a member of the mail group, or they will receive the following error:
mail: Cannot open mailhub:25
This was written for Ubuntu Server 12.04 64-bit.
- sSMTP- Debian Wiki – http://wiki.debian.org/sSMTP
If you want to subscribe to an iCal calendar using Google calendar, here’s how you do it.
First, go to your calendars so that you see ‘Other Calendars’ appear at the bottom of the screen. Click the down arrow next to it:
From the menu that appears, click ‘Add by URL’
The following dialog box will open, asking for the URL of your iCal feed.
Note that Google does not handle URLs that begin with
webcals:// at all. If you have an iCal URL that begins with one of these, change it as follows:
Paste your iCal URL inot the box and hit ‘Add Calendar’. The calendar will then appear in your calendar screen.
Sharing Google calendars between Google users is easy, but what if you want to create and share a Google calendar with someone who doesn’t use Google?
It’s actually not very difficult at all, and I’ll explain how to do it using your calendar’s private link. This will enable your viewer to see all event details, but due to the technical limitation of using iCal, they won’t be able to make any edits. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your specific situation.
So here’s how it works.
First, go to your Google calendar and locate the calendar you wish to share on the left side. In this case, I want to share my ‘work’ calendar. Hover over the calendar name and click the down arrow that appears next to it:
On the menu that appears, click ‘Calendar Settings’:
Scroll down to the bottom to where it says ‘Private Address’
In this case we want the iCal address link. You can either right-click the green iCal button and say ‘Copy Link Location’ (depending on your browser), or click it for a pop-up that gives you the link you can copy and paste, like so:
Now, if you want to ever revoke access to that calendar’s private link at a later date, just use the ‘Reset private URLs’ link which appears next to the private links.
Since Google is discontinuing it’s ActiveSync services, which allowed iPhone (and other handhelds) to sync account data using ActiveSync, you may want to reconfigure your devices now, or simply remember how to do this for the future. Note these steps are iPhone-specific, but can be easily adapted for other phones.
I’ll explain how to delete the ActiveSync setup, then how to add an IMAP account configuration for mail and calendars, and a CardDAV setup for contacts. If you only want to add a new setup, simply skip the first section here.
Deleting the existing ActiveSync setup
You can delete the existing ActiveSync setup by going to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and locating the account under Accounts. Touch the account name, then scroll to the bottom and click Delete Account. This will remove the data associated with the sync from your phone.
Creating the sync accounts
You’ll want to create both a Gmail IMAP account (for mail, calendars, and notes) and a CardDAV setup (for contacts). If you want reminders as well, you’ll have to create a CalDAV setup.
Creating the Gmail IMAP setup
Creating this sync account is very easy on the iPhone. First, in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, touch Add Account…. Next, touch Gmail, and enter your account information.
Creating the CardDAV setup
Similiar to the above. Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, touch Add Account…, then scroll down and touch Other. Touch Add CardDAV Account. For Server, enter
google.com, and continue with the rest of your account information.
For CalDAV, choose Add CalDAV Account instead of CardDAV, and follow the same account information.
If you use two-factor authentication for your Google account, be sure to use your application-specific password instead of your account password.
Google Apps setup is exactly the same as a standard Google account, just substitute your full email address for the username.
The free version of Google Apps is sadly no more. Just a few minutes ago I received an email from the Google Apps team, which included this:
Starting today, we’re no longer accepting new sign-ups for the free version of Google Apps (the version you’re currently using). Because you’re already a customer, this change has no impact on your service, and you can continue to use Google Apps for free.
Should you ever want to upgrade to Google Apps for Business, you’ll enjoy benefits such as 24/7 customer support, a 25 GB inbox, business controls, our 99.9% uptime guarantee, unlimited users and more for just $5 per user, per month.
You can learn more about this change in our Help Center or on the Enterprise Blog.
Link to Google Apps for Business.
Here are a few possible alternatives to Google Apps for hosted Email:
And this workaround has been demonstrated for getting Google Apps tied to your domains for free, but it’s probably only a matter of time until Google puts an and to it, as well:
I’ll add more alternatives as I find them, but you’re welcome to share your own n the comments below. Your comments are always welcome below.
This is the first part in a two-part series in password security practices and storage. Be sure to click here to read part two if you haven’t already!
If you — like many people — are in the habit of using simple passwords, or even the same password over multiple sites, you’re setting yourself up for disaster.
Let me briefly explain: If you’re using a simple password it becomes much easier for a hacker to brute-force your password and gain access to your account. You should always use the strongest password — lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and special characters — that any particular website supports.
If you’re already using strong passwords, good for you. However, if you’re using that same password — or a variation of it — on multiple sites, you’re undercutting the security of it. If one website that you use it on becomes compromised and that password is revealed or released, any other website that you use it on has also become compromised.
One example of this disaster is the RockYou hack. In January of 2010, Imperva released data regarding passwords exposed in the RockYou.com breach. In this attack, 32 million accounts were compromised and led to the disclosure of the top ten most used passwords, which potentially led to countless more accounts being compromised which used passwords that were on that list. This list was later updated to the 25 most often used passwords, as listed on Yahoo Finance.
Another example of this disaster waiting to happen is a phishing attack. This type of social engineering attack starts with a convincing-looking email that leads you to a website where you will “log in” or provide some other account details. The site that you’re directed to — while looking like the real site — is often a fake, designed to get you to provide your account information. Once the site has it, your account information can be used to log in to the real site. From there, a hacker can seize control of your account (changing the email address, password, and security questions), and attempting to use that information to log into other sites. Again, if you’re using the same password on multiple sites, the hacker now has access to all of those other sites.
Think you can identify a phishing email? Take a few minutes and take the SONICwall Phishing IQ Test now. I got 100% on this test, feel free to post your score in the comments below! You can also try the OpenDNS phishing quiz. I scored 14 out of 14 on the OpenDNS quiz. Feel free to post your scores and feedback in the comments below.
The implications of this are almost limitless if an attacker manages to take control of your email account. Once that happens they can start issuing password reset requests on other sites, and start taking control of them as well. For that reason, protecting the security of your email account should always been first and foremost. Google for one agrees, and offers users the option of 2-factor authentication, which provides a very strong level of security. If you have a Google (Gmail) or Google Apps account, I recommend you go and set this up immediately. It only takes about 15 minutes.
Do you have any other password security practices that you would recommend? Do you have a story to share about an account being compromised? Do you have anything to share that I didn’t cover above? Please feel free to share in the comments below! Also — check back for part two of this article, coming soon!
I’ve been delaying this post while I search for the real must-haves of the iPhone world, and after putting together this list, I went back and updated my must-have list for Android where some of these exist in the Android app store.
So here is my list of must-have apps for iPhone. Note that some of these application descriptions have been taken directly from the App Store where I feel the author has explained it better than I could.
With Google support for 2-factor authentication for both Google and Google Apps accounts, and now LastPass support for 2-factor authentication, this is an app that I keep on my phone always. The security it adds to my accounts is invaluable.
This app allows you to scan a number of barcode formats and then email or copy/paste them for use later.
Z-Bar Barcode Reader
A good, featureful alternative to Bar-Code. Allows you to email as text and csv.
This is one of those apps that once you have it you’re not sure ow you got along without it. Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. Since Evernote’s notes are synced to all of your devices via the cloud, you don’t have to worry about losing them. iPhone users have access to Evernote’s two new apps: Evernote Hello and Evernote Food.
No specific app to mention or link to here, just anything that offers to turn on the camera flash to function as a flashlight. You never know when it will come in handy.
Okay, yeah, it’s been said a dozen ways that the Maps app in iOS 6 is pretty lacking. Google Maps is an excellent alternative — when it’s on the App Store. It’s been pulled a handful of times as well. Waze (below) is also an excellent program, but suffers from some rather glaring bugs that I’ve noticed.
With fast and easy access to your LastPass password vault, the LastPass mobile app is a must-have. (Note: Requires a LastPass premium subscription – $12/year) For more information about LastPass, see the LastPass web site.
MyWeather seems to be the only app on the App Store that features push alerts for NWS severe weather alerts. This makes it the go-to weather app for me. Granted, registration is required, but it’s free and worth it.
Android has one thing over iOS devices — integrated turn-by-turn directions. Waze fills that need quite nicely, and goes way beyond, for free. Waze uses your devices GPS to not only provide turn-by-turn navigation, but also provides crowd-sourced traffic data to other Waze users about traffic, delays, police presence, accidents, and other road incidents. Waze allows you to report a road incident with just a few taps on the screen, and Waze works well in both portrait and landscape orientation. (Thanks Jeff T. for the recommendation!)
I know this is a rather short list, but I deliberately excluded the usual social media apps.
Do you have any iPhone apps that you consider must-haves? Please feel free to share them in the comments below. Thank you!
Google and Apple each brought their own services which allow users to upload their music library and stream it to their devices in the form of Google Music and iTunes Match, respectively. But how do those services compare?
Let’s take a side-by-side comparative look at some of the features:
|Feature||Google Music||iTunes Match|
|Number of songs||20,000 songs not purchased from Android Market||25,000 songs not purchased from iTunes|
|Supported devices||Works on common browsers on Win / Mac / Linux / Android / iOS (1)||Works on Win / Mac running iTunes; iOS devices supporting iCloud|
|Sync||Automatically sync music to Google Music using Win / Mac / Linux client||Automatically sync music to iTunes Match using iTunes|
|Sync Selection||Select which songs to upload using sync client||All songs from iTunes library are synchronized.|
|Local Storage||Save music to your Win / Mac / Linux / Android device for offline playback||Save music to your Win / Mac / iOS device for offline playback|
|Uploading||Every song must be uploaded||Matching is performed prior to upload; Only unmatched songs are uploaded|
|Supported file formats||Mp3, AAC (m4a), wma, flac, ogg (source)||Same as iTunes|
|Excluded formats||None||24-bit audio; Bitrates under 96 kbps; File over 200MB (source)|
(1) Although Google Music is reported to work on iOS devices,
As you can see, Google Music is aimed at the Android crowd, while iTunes Match is aimed at the iOS crowd. However, a few of the major points in Google Music’s favor that I see are that it supports playback from a web browser, has a Linux client, and is free.
I’m interested in everyone else’s opinion as well. Which streaming music service do you prefer, and why? Please feel free to share your opinion in the comments below. Thank you!
I’ve been getting more than a few expressions of “You? Got an iPhone?” from friends and family lately, after they see my iPhone 4S. While I’ve been known not to be the biggest fan of Apple up until now, I’m starting to realize why the device has gotten to be so popular — it’s an easy-to-use, reliable device that doesn’t frustrate.
Although learning a new smartphone OS hasn’t been terribly difficult, here’s some of the major points between the two that I’ve found myself having to adjust to.
The Home Screen
The home screen on an Android phone is more-or-less a “blank slate”, waiting for you to fill it to your liking with widgets and shortcuts, to make it just the way you want it. If you want to access all your installed apps you open what’s typically referred to as the “app drawer.”
On an iPhone, that “app drawer” is your home screen. No widgets here, though apps do have what’s called “badges” that can show an indicator on the icon if the app has something that wants your attention, such as a number of missed calls over the phone icon, unread texts over the messages icon, and so on.
Android-based phones feature a microSD card slot for removable storage. It’s an optional — but highly recommended — additional storage space that you can use for media, and on some versions of Android, even apps. You can upgrade this by simply popping out the card, copying the contents to a new, presumably larger card, and putting that card in your phone.
On an iPhone on the other hand, what you buy is what you get — buy a 16GB iPhone, get a gross total of 16GB. Likewise for the other sizes, such as 32GB.
However, there’s some distinct differences:
Android phones by default have their apps installed on the phone’s lower-capacity internal memory. Since the internal memory is smaller than the microSD card, (Sprint’s Epic 4G for example, only has 1GB internal memory), you are sharply limited for the space your apps have to share with everything else. Starting with Android version 2.2 (Froyo) and up you had the ability to move apps to the SD card. This frees up internal memory. However, its up to the app developer to support this feature, and if they did, most apps still required that you move it yourself from within the phone’s settings. Remember those widgets? Don’t plan on them working if you move your app to the SD card.
iPhones on the other hand have a single unified storage area for everything. Assuming you get a 16GB iPhone, that storage space is used for everything — there’s no need to move anything. Apps, media, and the OS all share a single storage space. You might say “this is less overall than an Android phone”, and you would be right. But — you aren’t going to have to try to balance what apps are stored on SD card versus the phone’s internal memory.
When you plug your Android-based smartphone into your computer’s USB port, you’ll likely get a message asking if you want to charge-only, or mount as removable storage. If you select to mount as removable storage you have full access to the SD card in the phone. This is handy if you want to use your phone’s memory card as a makeshift USB flash drive. However, once you mount it to the PC, you don’t have access to it from the phone. Apps that are installed on the SD card cannot be run, and you won’t have access to any media on the card until you unmount it from the PC.
Installing media on an Android phone isn’t difficult. Simply mount the phone to your PC as USB storage (or insert the microSD card into your computer), and copy music, pictures, or anything else you like to it. When you unmount (or insert the card back into the phone) the media scanner will automatically detect your media and propagate the media libraries. But — it’s up to you to get your own music.
With an iPhone and a Windows or Mac computer running iTunes you simply connect your phone to your PC, select what media — such as music, movies, or other — you want to sync, and iTunes adds it to your device. You can purchase your music through iTunes as well. However, you have to use iTunes. Don’t expect your iPhone and Linux-based PC to get along very well.
Backup and Restore
With an iPhone, completely backing up your device is as quick and easy as plugging it into iTunes and right-clicking on it and choosing “Backup.” iTunes takes care of it, and makes restoring it just as painless.
With an stock Android, you don’t have any options to make a “full” backup. You can sync your contacts, calendar, etc to your Google (or other) account, and there they will sit in case you need them. In case of a serious issue, you can boot your phone to recovery mode and wipe it from there, restoring it to stock configuration, after which, prepare to spend some time reinstalling and reconfiguring your apps and account. Rooted users have a few additional options, such as ClockworkMod’s Nandroid backup and restore, and the third party app Titanium Backup.
There’s a lot more differences between the two that I didn’t cover above. But I will say this: When people ask me why I got an iPhone, my typical response is something along the lines of “it’s easy to use without having to think about.” I really enjoy my iPhone, and I don’t think I’ll be picking up an Android phone again anytime soon.
What about you, reader? What are you experiences with Android and iPhones? Do you have anything to share or compare that I didn’t cover in the above? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!
I was recently in a Sprint store and saw that they were advertising Google Voice integration with your Sprint mobile number which adds all of the features and functionality of Google Voice to your Sprint mobile number.
The Sprint and Google Voice integration gives you two (technically three) options to use with your account. I’ll explain the two carrier-integration and the one non-carrier-integration options as clearly as I can, citing references and personal experience on each.
If you install the Google Voice app on Android, you’ll be prompted to either perform the carrier integration steps or skip it. Unfortunately, the impact of the options isn’t as clear as it could be. So here’s my take-away on this.
First, the carrier-integration options as listed on http://www.google.com/googlevoice/sprint/
Option 1: Use your Sprint number with Google Voice.
This causes the carrier to pass (for lack of a better word) all of your inbound calls through the GV service. Your Sprint mobile number becomes your Google voice number. This is the mode that Sprint is encouraging, both from a feature and a billing perspective.
All of your outbound calls from the GV website will display your Sprint number. The one thing about this is that you can enable/disable calls from ringing your mobile through the Google Voice settings (even though it’s your mobile number — remember we’re passing incoming calls through the GV service?). You can even uncheck your phone in the list of ringing devices and have it go directly to voicemail.
If you have an existing GV number already, you will have a limited time (90 days) before Google recycles the number back into their pool (unless you pay a $20 one-time payment to permanently keep it). This information is displayed in your Google Voice settings.
The one thing that unnerves me a bit is the fact that you can uncheck your phone in the list of phones and it will not ring when people dial your number. So… keep that in mind.
Also, SMS are delivered to the Google Voice app ONLY, and require a data connection to work. MMS are delivered to the phone directly.
Option 2: Use your Google Voice number on your Sprint phone.
This causes ALL outgoing calls and texts from your mobile handset to pass through the GV service and therefore display your current Google Voice number (NOT your Sprint mobile number). Similiar to the above except for the number displayed is your current GV number and not your Sprint mobile number.
Non-integrated Option 3: Use Google Voice only for voicemail.
Skip the carrier integration and just dial a call forwarding/no answer/busy code on your handset to your GV number. On Sprint, this is *28. So if your GV number was 312-555-1212, you would dial *283125551212 and hit send. To stop this and return to carrier voicemail, dial *38. you should hear confirmation tones. If you hear an error message instead, call Sprint at 888-211-4727 and ask them for assistance. In this option, everything happens over the Sprint network except for voicemail, which is handled by the “Call forwarding no answer/busy” function (*28).
To disable carrier integration:
If you turned on integration and changed your mind, follow these steps to disable it:
- Log in to your Google Voice account
- Click the gear icon in the top-right corner and click Voice Settings
- Under “Phones” click “Disable integration” next to your integrated line.
Mind you, carrier integration is NOT number porting (I was nervous about this myself) but rather a mutual hand-off of who is routing and handling the incoming/outgoing call path.
Still have questions about Sprint Google Voice integration?
See the following links for more information:
- Official Google Voice Support Forum
- Porting In or Porting Out) (
- Official Google Voice Known Issues (Includes integration information)
Engadget has also posted the following posts on Sprint Google Voice integration:
- Sprint / Google Voice integration has major issues, major lack of support
- Google and Sprint respond to Google Voice integration issues
… and please feel free to share your feedback or experience with Sprint Google Voice integration in the comments below. Thank you!