YouTube, Cookies and Comments

Anyone who has commented on a YouTube video recently will be aware that the commenting system has changed. It has been integrated into Google+, not a problem for those of us already on G+ but a nuisance for everyone else. It should be an easy change if you already have a G+ account but some people have had problems.

Most problems seem to involve cookies. Cookies are small files web sites leave on your computer. They can be useful as a way of remembering your preferences and the like but they can also be misused. One of the ways to avoid potential problems is to control the way cookies are set. Chrome has an option to disable 3rd party cookies, that is only the site you are logged into can set a cookie. This may seem straight forward but many sites use 3rd party sites to add functionality, usually quite legitimately like WordPress and Gravatar. Unfortunately the link between YouTube and Google+ is broken by setting this option.

If you use Chrome and find you can no longer comment on YouTube but have already set up a Google+ account check your settings. Go to Settings – Advanced – Privacy – Content Settings, under Cookies check the last option (Block third party cookies and site data) isn’t checked.

Themes for Gmail

Those of us who use Gmail appreciate the features it offers but may find the look of the page a bit boring. There have been extensions available to add themes but these come with a speed penalty. Now Google has added themes. They point out they could have just provided colour options but decided to go the theme route instead. See the Gmail blog for more details and screen shots. Now if only they would offer colours or themes in PicasaWeb.

As usual Google is slowly rolling it out and if you don’t have a themes tab on your settings screen check back in a few days.

I was tempted by the mountains but have gone with Shiny at the moment. That will probably change in a couple of days though! Which theme did you choose?

On the Map

When I logged into my Picasa Web account today I got a pleasant surprise. They have finally activated the map function in Australia. I know it has been available in the US and other places for a while but not here. But today it just appeared, no announcement except a comment in the What’s new column.

This is something Picasa Web has been missing to compete with other photo sharing sites. Picasa Web is generous in the space it provides (1 gig for free) but has been a bit light on features. Slowly that is changing.

I have added the location to a few of my photos but have many to do. They will have to wait until I have a bit more time. So far it all seems to work well. It found a few locations in Australia I didn’t expect it to but some of the maps don’t look right. Of course this is not a part of Picasa but an issue with Google maps. But for the purpose of recording the general location it is fine.

So thanks Google, Picasa Web just keeps getting better.