Thursday, April 13, 2006

I was pleased to see Google launching Google Calendar service today, thus additionally to extremely useful GMail service, you can now use Google Calendar, all FREE.

The following features are supported - starting from the one I like the most:

Notifications: you can receive notifications about your calendar events to e-mail, pop-up messages or via SMS (unfortunately not supporting Indonesian providers);

Calendar sharing: you can share your calendar events within a group of users, i.e. your company, family or club or through your web-site. This is excellent tool for organising collaborative work within your organisation or simply announcing some organisation events to public;

Invitations: Works similar as event invitations in Microsoft Outlook and allows you to invite others for a meeting or event;

Integration with GMail: the most beneficial aspect of integration with the rest of the Gmail services is certainly single-sign on login,

iCal support: which helps you to integrate the Google calendar with your mobile phone calendar.

I tested the calendar myself and found it very useful. I still see some bugs that need to be fixed but overall it is an excellent service that in my opinion will become extremely popular. I already see a way it can benefit me, such as sharing important calendar events to my blog readers via publicly shared Google calendar events.

There are certainly some features that I miss the most, that is:

• Ability to schedule delivery of e-mail sent from Gmail using the Google calendar,

• Not everyone lives in US guys, support of SMS notification for telecommunication providers from other countries would be nice.

Unfortunately, I notice one serious problem that can dangerously affected users of Google services. Most likely your Gmail accounts already stores tones of e-mails among which many can be rather sensitive or highly confidential. Now with Google Calendar service we additionally trust Google to store our personal scheduler and all this information combined can pretty much become extremely useful to malicious hackers or intelligence services. Thus, when Google account with all services linked to it is protected with only a simple password this becomes a serious threat. I really think Google should implement two factor token based authentication for customers willing to pay for this type of service. I’d definitely subscribe for paid two factor authentication service the first day it launches.

See some screenshots:

5 comments:

Nick Owen said...

Mark:

I have been thinking about doing a post on my blog about how use of web 2.0 services such as google calendar would greatly expand if they added two-factor authentication. I will point to you when I do :),

It would be an interesting move, because it could get google et al into the identity game.

Nick

Marek Bialoglowy said...

Nick, you are definitely right. If Google could team-up with RSA, Authenex or other two factor authentication devices manufacturer (or all of them and let customer chose) and provide affordable web-based Single-Sign On service through Google accounts together with two-factor authentication, they would dominate the identity business. I’d definitely love to have one secure Google account to access all my services, including magazine subscription, on-line forums that require username, on-line banking or dozes of web-sites that require login to download something and huge number of vendor web-sites that require log-in in order to download updates or send e-mail to customer care.

I don’t think sharing same password among several sites is a good idea thus I have to set different password for every site, which forces me to write it down as it is impossible to remember all these passwords. Anyway, I’m extremely fed-up with having to keep track on dozes of passwords and I simply can imagine changing these passwords once every few months.

I believe Google could become identity game winner and Internet overlord if they ever manage to implement this. Meanwhile, my biggest problem with Google is poor authentication security, which actually forces me to clear my Gmail account every several few months as I think it would be unwise to store all these e-mails on some remote account protected with a simple password. Because of that I can’t enjoy the Gmail service as much as I’d like.

Marek Bialoglowy said...

BTW I checked your WIKID , looks very interesting. Have you tried to talk to Google?

lipstick said...

i think indonesia suck a lot sorry my honest oppinion :\

Marek Bialoglowy said...

So, you think India is better? I've found Indonesia to be a very interesting country and a nice place to live. Not everything is perfect here, but hey, there is no perfect place in the world. It's just matter of enjoying the thing you like in the country the most.

web statistics