A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers — and MORE GREAT GEEK SQUEAK STUFF (#2016-011)

March 14, 2016

A GREAT Site For Parents Of Teenagers – I am going to start this off by saying, teenagers are masters of deception. With each generation of teenagers, comes with it a whole new set of complexities. This is nothing new; however, with the advent of the internet where there are numerous avenues of instant communication (through social media and texting), a “good teen” can end up being enticed to make bad choices that can ultimately impact their future. As a parent, when we discover there is something wrong (and we are deceived) we start reaching out for information and solutions; often going to the internet as a resource. This in itself ends up being quite stressful and confusing.

P.U.R.E.

If you are a parent of a teen (or a soon to be teen), I found a great resource called P.U.R.E (Parents Universal Resource Experts), that you definitely need to visit; AND, if you are not a parent of a teen I encourage you to visit the site to get a feel for the complexities that our young people are being exposed to. For example, I started looking for resources at P.U.R.E that were related to the internet and computers and here is a “small” sampling of what I found:

To be honest, I am glad I am not a parent of a teenager in today’s world. If I were, I would be checking this site out to educate myself in an effort to help prevent my “good teen” from making bad decisions. Part of it is learning just exactly what is going on in their world.

Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (P.U.R.E.™) was founded in 2001 by author and parent advocate, Sue Scheff. Since that time, P.U.R.E.™ has provided over 50,000 families with valuable information and resources for their at risk children and teens. These are teens who are struggling with peer pressure, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and are simply good kids starting to make bad choices.

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NEW Outline Tool In Google Docs – This past week Google Apps announced the launch of an “Outline Tool” that will be very helpful when navigating complex documents with many pages. The tool is displayed in a pane on the left side of the page, which will allow you to quickly jump to a page, via headers. I have tried this with a lengthy training manual I had put together and it is awesome.

Hmmm… With this added feature and Google’s strong search capabilities, I can see me possibly setting up a notebook (like Evernote and OneNote). Will have to play around with this more. To read more about this NEW feature — CLICK HERE

Google Docs Outline Tool

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Difference Between Portable And Installer Software – You will often see here on the blog where I write about various software programs or apps. As a matter of fact, if you go to the Downloads page you will find a good sampling of FREE software that includes Portable Apps and Installer Software. If you often wondered what difference is between portable software and installer software, I encourage you to visit the The Windows Club to read their recent posting “Difference between Portable and Installer edition software“.

The Windows Club – Difference Between Portable And Installer Edition Software

Portable and Installer edition software

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Turn Any HDMI Supported Device Into A Computer – Take the ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC, plug it into a HDMI device (i.e. TV), and you have a Chrome OS based computer. With the built-in bluetooth, you can pair a bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Powered by the latest Chrome OS, Chromebit CS10 boots up in seconds and delivers Full HD graphics performance. Together with 2GB of memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, and both USB and HDMI ports…

ASUS CHROMEBIT CS10 Stick-Desktop PC

ASUS Chromebit CS10

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GEEK SQUEAKS – April 8th Is D-Day For Windows XP

March 16, 2014

If you are a Windows XP user and have been procrastinating about upgrading to Windows 8 or to a new PC (or you just plain do not care), here is the official word from Microsoft that may encourage you to move forward:

Microsoft has provided support for Windows XP for the past 12 years. But now the time has come for us (Microsoft), along with our hardware and software partners, to invest our resources toward supporting more recent technologies so that we can continue to deliver great new experiences.

As a result, after April 8, 2014, technical assistance for Windows XP will no longer be available, including automatic updates that help protect your PC.

If you continue to use Windows XP after support ends, your computer will still work but it might become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses. Also, as more software and hardware manufacturers continue to optimize for more recent versions of Windows, you can expect to encounter greater numbers of apps and devices that do not work with Windows XP.

April 8th Is D-Day For Windows XP

The key issues in the above notice is that you will no longer receive automatic updates, you will be vulnerable to security risks and viruses (which could compromise the security for a whole lot of people) and as time goes on you will experience software and hardware compatibility issues.

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MORE GEEK SQUEAKS

[TABLET NEWS] Rumor: The Nexus 8 Tablet From Google To Come With An 8.9-Inch Display – Digitimes research is reporting that Google has made the decision to replace the Nexus 7, and swap it out by replacing it with an 8.9-inch Nexus 8 for this years new Nexus tablet offering. It’s said that the Nexus 8 will be Google’s first tablet project for the year, which points to the possibility that they could be looking to release another tablet in a different size… @AndroidHeadlines

[HOW TO] How to Fix Windows 8 Update Freezing Issue – Windows 8 Update is Stuck at Updating. How Do I Fix This? … @Tom’s Hardware

How to Fix Windows 8 Update Freezing Issue

[ACCESSORIES] Mount-It! Dual Freestanding Monitor Stand for Monitors Up to 27″ screens – LCD Monitor Pole with Double-Link Swing Arm provides a secure and elevated position for two flat-screen monitors to help free up valuable desk and work space.

Dual Freestanding Monitor Stand

It’s fully adjustable tilt, rotate, side-to-side, height, and tension settings enable a comfortable and productive viewing position that helps reduce eye fatigue, neck, and back strain… @AMAZON

[GOOGLE NEWS] Google Launches Add-Ons for Google Docs and Sheets… @Google Drive Blog

Google Launches Add-Ons for Google Docs and Sheets

[NEED TO KNOW] What will be New in the Upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 – Microsoft will be releasing a new update for Windows 8.1 in April. The company inadvertently made a finished copy of the updated system available for a brief time several days ago. A number of bloggers have subsequently given some details of what’s coming in this new version. The changes are not major but should make mouse-and-keyboard users happier. Here are some of the updated features you can expect… @Gizmo’s

[ANDROID] Nova Launcher – Everyone’s Favorite Ice Cream Sandwich Launcher… @TeslaCoil Software

[WINDOWS] Volumouse: Control Sound Volume using Mouse wheel – Volumouse will allow you to control the sound volume on your Windows computer speakers by simply rolling the wheel of your mouse. Normally, to change the sound volume, you have to click on the sound volume icon in the system tray and then adjust the volume. But with Volumouse, all you need to do is roll the mouse wheel… @The Windows Club

[NEED TO KNOW] Popcorn Time is Netflix Type Movie Streaming for Pirates – Popcorn Time lets you stream the latest movies in various qualities complete with subtitles, if needed, with just a couple clicks. The software uses BitTorrent in the backend to find and download movies, but eliminates the usual hassle of wading through sketchy torrent sites and waiting for download to complete. The entire process is transparent to the user. Evidently, using Popcorn Time would be breaking a lot of copyright laws and the program creators are quick to acknowledge the legal dangers. A disclaimer appears each time you launch the application… @Instant Fundas

[WALLPAPER] Jungle Bridge Background… @WallpaperStop

 Jungle Bridge Background


Learn a byte at a time with Geek Squeaks’ — featuring a round-up of tech products, news, software, apps, wallpapers, articles, you name it… I just plain love tech!

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Create and Customize Your Very Own Quick Access Notepad Using Google Docs

July 9, 2012

One of my favorite note keeping and note collecting apps is Evernote, but there are times where I just need to jot down a thought, web link, reminder, phone number, etc… without having to navigate my large Evernote collection or having to actually use paper. The post-it note concept, whether paper notes or electronic notes, did not really catch on with me due to the notes being scattered about. I needed something that was simple and within immediate reach.

One solution that I came up with to keep these types of notes, where I could quickly access the notes, was to create my very own quick access notepad using Google Docs (aka: Google Drive).  If you have a Gmail account, you can easily gain access to and start using Google Docs (aka: Google Drive). Google Docs consists of a suite of apps such as: Documents, Presentations, Forms, Spreadsheets, Drawings, etc…).  In my case, to create my very own personal notepad, I used the “document” component.

To get you started, simply open up a new Google Drive “document” where you can let your imagination fly in creating and customizing your own quick access notepad.

In my case, I changed the margins on both sides to 0.5 inches (to take full advantage of the document space), I changed the background color to yellow (to emulate the color of a canary yellow notepad); I inserted a table with two columns with blue table borders (to emulate the line color in a yellow notepad); and finished it up by inserting a header with a title of Rick’s Notepad (in a red font). The fun part about all of this is that it can be customized and changed at any time.

Rick's Notepad

After creating and customizing the notepad, we now need to make it where we can quickly access (and even share) the notepad.  To do this, click on the “File” menu and select “Share”. The “Share Settings” dialog box will appear. NOTE: In my case, I kept my notepad private and did not share it.

Share Google Docs

Here is the most important part (or key) to making your notepad quickly accessible.

Under “Link to share (only accessible by collaborators)”, you will see a web address. That address is a direct web link (or shortcut) to your notepad. At this point you can copy that web link to anywhere you desire. In my case I inserted it on my browsers bookmark bar, inserted it into my actual favorite bookmarks, and used the link in my Symbaloo web launcher app (which is very cool). Other places to save the link that is possible is your desktop, the Windows taskbar, the Start Menu, etc… This web link (shortcut) allows you to quickly access your notepad directly from any internet browser enabled device (such as your computer, smartphone, tablet pc, etc…).

Once you have this all customized to your personal taste, you can save text, web links, pictures, etc… to your notepad. You can even search for note entries by holding down the “Ctrl+F” keys on your keyboard. NOTE: I highly recommend that you insert a table when you create your notepad so that it can serve to separate the notes.

I have found that the notepad I created, I use more and more everyday, because it’s just plain simple and it works; plus, it gives me a sense of creativity.

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GEEK BONUS AREA

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Add Pixlr Online Photo Editor to Your Google Drive

May 22, 2012

With the inception of Google Drive (Google’s new cloud storage and collaboration service), there are quite a few apps that you can set up that will work hand-in-hand with Google Drive.  One of my favorites is Pixlr.

Pixlr is an online photo editor that gives you the ability to work with photos (and graphics) inside your web browser (no software install is required). If you are already subscribed to Google Drive, you can add Pixlr from the Chrome Web Store. After you have this completed, you will be able to open images from Google Drive right into Pixlr.

An easy way to add apps (such as Pixlr) to Google Drive is to open up your Google Drive, click on the “Create” button, then click on “More”, then click on “Get More Apps”.  When you click on “Get More Apps”, you will be redirected to the Chrome Store where there is a wide (and growing) selection of Google Drive compatible apps.

Google Drive

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Today’s Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE… 5/22/12

Poll Results: How Much Time Online Is “Too Much”.

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3M TEKK WorkTunes Hearing Protector and AM/FM Radio

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Over 450 Web Fonts Now Available In Google Docs

May 21, 2012

It still surprises me when I talk computers with people, the number of people that are not familiar with Google Docs. Google Docs, as it rapidly continues to evolve, has become the premier online office suite consisting of documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings and forms. When you sign up for Google Docs you are in essence now signing up for Google Drive. If you are a home based computer user and you are looking for an office suite solution (such as a word processor), then Google Docs is the solution.

Earlier in the month, Google made available over 450 web fonts that can be used to spruce up your Google Docs creations. The fonts are very easy to get to and easy to turn “on” and “off” (or select)

Simply open up a new (or existing) document, go to the toolbar, select the font button and a drop down box will appear. At the bottom of the font list you will see “add fonts.  Click on “add fonts” and you will be presented with another box where you can preview, pick and choose what fonts you want to use. The fonts you select will be added to the drop down box where the font will be available anytime you work on a document.

Google Doc Fonts

Google Doc  Fonts

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Today’s Technology News, Software, Apps, Wallpapers, Tech Products and MORE… 5/21/12

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Western Digital My Passport 1 TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive

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Gold Box: New Deals. Every Day.

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Sync Box, Google Docs, Evernote and More With SocialFolders

April 16, 2012

If you use Box (online file storage service) and Google Docs, then you are well aware that there is no easy way to sync your online files (and folders) with your computer; UNTIL NOW!

SocialFolders

I came across an online service called SocialFolders where you can sync your files at Box, Google Docs and more (such as Evernote) from one location. You can also transfer files from one service to another and the cool part is that it acts just like any other folder you are accustomed to in Windows explorer. SocialFolders performs the sync tasks in the background while you are working on your computer giving you an automated way of backing up your files (online and offline). – (see video below)

SocialFolders enables you to sync (nerdy word for synchronize) the Windows Explorer with your online accounts: social networks, photo sharing applications, online storage services, etc.

Syncing means that the content of your websites will be updated when you update it in your local folders, and vice-versa.

To get started using Social Folders:

  • Download and Run the install package and follow the instructions.
  • Once SocialFolders is installed, a dialog box will appear inviting you to sign up. Fill in the required information and the application will launch automatically.
  • Right click on the SocialFolders icon in the systray to get started with SocialFolders.

image

  • At this point you can select the services you desire to sync with.

SocialFolders currently supports Facebook, Flickr, Google Docs, Instagram, Photobucket, SmugMug, Box, YouTube, Picasa and Twitter. Appears SkyDrive support may be in the works… From what I can tell, it appears that SocialFolders allows you to sync up to three services with the free version.

Note that YouTube allows only uploads, whereas Instagram allows only download. All the other services work both ways.

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Scan To The Cloud With CloudScan

March 14, 2012

I started wondering if there was software available (for FREE) that would allow you to use your scanner to scan documents to the cloud?  What I specifically was looking for was scanning software that would load in my browser and allow me to scan documents to my Google Docs account.

Sure enough, if you can think of it, then it has been done. What I came across on this hunt was CloudScan that met my criteria, and more!

CloudScan

CloudScan is a completely free scan application. It provides a new, simple way to scan your documents, pictures or photos and save them to mulitpage PDF files. Cloud can be successfully used on one computer. The simple, friendly interface provides results in seconds. If you have more than one PC (home or office network), you are getting a revolutionary approach to scanning: just install the SharedScanner component to one PC, and you can share scanner and use it from almost any other computer or device without installation. Just a usual web browser is required.

– Scan documents, pictures, and photos to PDF and TIFF
– Work with any TWAIN compatible scanners (more than 1600 are available on the market)
– Scan inside a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome)
– Share scanner accross network. Nothing to install on any machine after the initial installation on your PC with a scanner
– Very easy to use. One click to scan, one more to save to multipage PDF or TIFF.
– It is the only free scanning software for web browsers

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GEEK BONUS AREA

Bookmarks4Techs News Roundup – March 14, 2012

 ** Daily Featured Tech Site – Daily Freeware **

Bookmark This (#42) – AllMyFaves

All Those In Favor, Please Stand Up | Free Ebook 4 U
@ Tech-for Everyone

ASUS A53U-ES21 15.6-Inch Laptop

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Creating Shortcuts to Google’s Gmail, Docs, Tasks, Calendar and Contacts

August 1, 2011

As you can probably tell, I am a big Gmail user and have come to depend on Google’s Gmail and many of the other Google apps as an online personal information manager.

Gmail

When you launch Gmail there are other services available to you such as Google Docs, Tasks, Calendar and Contacts.  Yes, you can launch these services from within Gmail; however, I want to show you the shortcut paths to the Google Apps that I use that will allow you to launch these apps individually, at the click of mouse. You must have a Google Account (which is FREE) to access and use these online apps.

Before I go any further, there are two things I want to point out that I consider most important:

One, since I have come to depend on Google’s services, I routinely change the password to my Google account every month; plus, I use Google’s double verification login.

Two, I routinely backup any the data I am storing online with the services I use; especially, my personal contacts and my Google Docs.

Ok, now that this is off the plate, let me give you the shortcut paths to the Google services that I use. These shortcuts can be stored in your browser favorites, can be stored on the browser toolbar, can be made shortcuts on your desktop or used with any type of menu launcher. In my case, I launch the individual Google services I use with another online service called Symbaloo.

Specifically, I use Google’s Gmail, Docs, Tasks, Calendar and Contacts. I have also included the path to your Google Account Settings. The shortcut paths, that you would type into the browser address bar to launch each of these apps are:

Google’s Gmail  – https://mail.google.com

Google Docs – https://docs.google.com

Google Tasks – https://mail.google.com/tasks/canvas

Google Calendar – https://www.google.com/calendar

Google Contacts – https://www.google.com/contacts

Google Account Settings – https://plus.google.com/settings/

What I have found, by using these shortcut paths, I can individualize each of these apps to give the feel of a true personal information manager that makes managing my life events more efficient.

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[GEEK SQUEAKS’] – Windows System Control Center Utility, Book Review, Remote Desktop App, and New Google Docs Feature

July 15, 2011

Geek Squeaks'

WSCC – Windows System Control Center
Organize Utilities from Various System Utility Suites

Paul Andrew Russell.com
Cambrian by Don Britt

Netbook Freeware
ThinVNC: HTML5 Based
Windows Remote Desktop Application
for Netbooks

My Technology Guide
Google Docs Viewer
Now Handles ZIP and RAR Archive Files

MORE… ]

Bookmarks4Techs
586 Bookmarked Tech Sites

and
Computers & Accessories Index

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The Recent Advancements of Google Docs

May 10, 2011

I was browsing the Google Docs’ blog and during the month of April Google Docs made some advancements that I believe is worth mentioning.

Google Docs

If you do not know what Google Docs is, then you are missing out on a real cloud computing experience that is FREE, that requires no software to install and will run directly from your web browser. If you are someone that only needs the occasional word processor to type a letter or a spreadsheet to track data, then Google Docs is really all that you need.

During the month of April, Google Docs made the following advancements toward becoming a full fledged office suite:

Improved printing in Spreadsheets

Added a number of printing options, including spreadsheet titles, sheet names and page numbers. You have control over which of these you want to print.

Pagination comes to Google Docs

Added a classic word processing feature—pagination, the ability to see visual pages on your screen.

Simpler file upload in Google Docs

Added folder upload via the new Upload menu in the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

Upload images in Google Spreadsheets

You can now upload images to Google spreadsheets. From theInsert menu, select Image… Then, choose an image file to upload into your spreadsheet.

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How to Easily Backup All of Your Google Doc Files To Your Computer

March 16, 2011

Recently we all read where some folks who had Gmail accounts went to open their accounts and their email was gone. Google subsequently went to work to rectify the problem; however it put a scare into everyone that uses the variety of Google services (such as Google’s online storage for documents, pictures, files, etc…).

One area that I had a concern for was my Google Docs. I use Google Docs for a variety of purposes and my opinion it is an awesome option to storing, managing and editing documents online. It keeps getting better and better; however, it would put a crimp in things in the event I found all my documents missing.

An option, and habit to get into, is to periodically backup your Google Docs.  How do you do this?

  1. Simply pull up the listing of your Google Doc files.
  2. Using your mouse pointer highlight (do not click) any of the files. As you are highlighting a file in the list, you will see on the right side of the highlight bar, the word “Actions” appearing.
  3. Click on “Actions” and a dropdown menu will appear.  Click on “Download” on that menu.
  4. When you click on “Download”, the following box (see below) will appear. In that box, click on “All items” tab. At that point you have some really neat options to download your documents. You can download them, “as is” or convert them all to the MS-Office format, the Open Office format or the Adobe PDF format. When ready, click on “Download”.

Convert and Download

You are only permitted to download up to 2 GBs at a time and the files will be packaged into what is called a zip file. If you have a large file cache stored on Google Docs and you do not want to wait, Google Docs can automatically email you with a web link when the files are all zipped up and ready for download.

Zipping Files

If you are a user of Google Docs, this is a good habit to get into and can save your butt.

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Geek Squeak (#99): 12 New File Formats in the Google Docs Viewer

February 18, 2011

Google Docs is worthy of a What’s On My PC – Geek Squeak.

Cross posted on the Official Gmail blog – February 18, 2011

Google Docs has launched support for 12 new files types:

  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

Not only does this round out support for the major Microsoft Office file types (now support DOC, DOCX, PPT, PPTX, XLS and XLSX), but it also adds quick viewing capabilities for many of the most popular and highly-requested document and image types.

In Gmail, these types of attachments will now show a “View” link, and clicking on this link will bring up the Google Docs Viewer.

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Google Docs Improves the Experience of Exploring Your Files

January 31, 2011

Today Google made an announcement that users of Google Docs will see an update to their Google Docs account that will feature a new document list layout, added filtering features to find your files and; (the really cool part) a preview panel on the right side of the document list, so that you can see a preview thumbnail, your “sharing settings” and more at a glance.

Google Docs

This update hit my Google Docs account today and I have to say I am very, very impressed with the document list layout; and, especially impressed with the document previewing. I have been extensively using Google Docs to get a good handle on the feel of using the included apps, so as to advise the readers of the blog.

As we continue down this road of cloud computing, the only factor that concerns me is the security of our files. If I know Google and their innovative approach of bringing this all together, I look to see some type of security options available to protect our files in such a way to raise our comfort level a little more.

If you want to read the full scoop on the new features to Google Docs,
[ CLICK HERE ]

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Google Docs or Microsoft Web Apps?

December 25, 2010

Steve at Scoroncocolo has written a very good article on the comparisons between Google Docs and Microsoft Web Apps. As a matter of fact his article is perfect timing. I personally have been intensely exploring and using Google Docs.

Office Web Apps vs. Google Docs

Both of these online applications offer you the ability to create documents online inside your web browser; whether it be a letter, a spreadsheet, a presentation, etc… Why spend hundreds of dollars when all you may need is what is being offered (online for FREE) by Google and Microsoft.

My concerns in all of this is is the privacy factor; so, always keep that in mind when posting sensitive in nature documents. I realize our accounts to these online apps are password protected; however, I would like to see both entities offer password protection and encryption options for each file being stored online. Any files you store online, make sure you back them up at the PC level.

Read Steve’s Article: Microsoft Office Web Apps Versus Google Docs

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