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Getting-Along-With-Your-Computer

Cool Google Calendar tricks

Following up on recent columns: Recognizing FB scams and false information; another cool trick with Google Calendar.

Is this for real?

Two frequent questions from readers and customers:

  • How do you know if that post on Facebook is true?
  • How do you know if that email you just received that’s supposedly from the Apple Store is legit?

It’s surprisingly easy to check this stuff out, but you need to know that the first step is to take a deep breath and actually check this stuff out before you Share that post or click on a link in your email.

Ask yourself, “Could this possibly be true?” If you’re not sure, check with a reputable source.

Hoax-Slayer and Snopes are the best-known sites. (And when you read something that says, “I checked it on Snopes and…” it’s probably a hoax. Check it on Snopes yourself.

For political material, especially for U.S. politics, FactCheck.org, the Washington Post Fact Check page and the NPR Politics Fact Check page are all good, non-partisan resources.

Google News search results now include a “fact check” tag if you are in the U.K. and the U.S. More about that here.

Until it rolls out here, a good way to determine whether a news story is likely to be true is to examine the site where it’s posted.

Some political satire sites look like genuine news sites. Some sites are designed to fool us into thinking they’re actual news sites in order to spread false information.

There is a list of satire, parody, fake news and conspiracy theory sites here. But be aware that no list can ever keep up with reality. Be skeptical. Look at the “About” page on a site to see if it’s a real news site.

As for those free WestJet tickets, Mark Zuckerberg giveaways, if something seems too good to be true it certainly is too good to be true.

Need more information? Have a look here: 4 Absurd Hoaxes That Keep Going Viral On Facebook.

Recurring events on Google Calendar

Several people wrote with feedback on the Google Calendar column from earlier this month.

A reader called Evelyn wondered if there’s a way to set recurring events on Google Calendar beyond the choices offered. She belongs to a group that meets the last Thursday of every month, and the normal choices just don’t cover that.

I had no idea this was possible, but when I tested this, I found it is quite easy to do. Start by creating an event that describes what you want to do.

In this case:

  • On the last Thursday of any month, Create an event
  • Name it last Thursday of the month
  • Now click on Edit event. If you look at the Repeat Event setting, you should see that it's set for the last Thursday of the month.
  • Make any edits you want --- time, location, reminders, etc.
  • Save the event
  • Apply to All Events

For even more complex recurring events like the end of Daylight Saving Time or Thanksgiving, you can subscribe to other calendars and display them along with yours.

To do this from a computer:

  • Open your Google Calendar
  • On the left side, click on the arrow next to Other calendars
  • Click on Browse Interesting Calendars
  • Click on Holidays, and scroll down until you find Holidays in Canada (or wherever you want)
  • Click on Subscribe

You’ll see the calendar listed over on the left. You can toggle events from this (or any) calendar off and on by clicking on the name of the calendar. There are plenty of other interesting calendars, too, including sports teams.

If you don’t want a lot of calendars displayed, you can easily copy the events from a Holiday calendar to your own. For instance, Daylight Saving ends is on the Holidays in Canada Calendar.

By displaying that calendar, going to that event and clicking on More Actions, I can copy the event to my calendar. It will show there forever even when I don't display the Canada calendar.

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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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