Help pack a million meals for struggling seniors on 9-11. Volunteer today

Bits & Bytes

Most Popular


Is Google+ for You?

New social network may give Facebook a run for its money

Video Chat

Google came up with an ingenious way for users to socialize face-to-face via webcam, using the Hangout feature. To get started, simply click the green "Start a hangout" button on the right side of the screen. You get to choose whether you want to connect only with particular Circles or if anyone is welcome. Then your webcam fires up, and an invitation to join you online is delivered to the folks you chose. When someone takes you up on your offer to schmooze, their webcam image joins yours onscreen and you're ready to chat — very quick and simple.

And you're not limited to one-to-one conversations — as many as 10 people can hang out together at once. The person speaking is automatically featured in a large image at the top of the screen, while smaller images of the other participants are shown below. It's a wonderful way for families or friends to socialize across the miles, and it works very well. I tried it with several friends, using nothing more than the built-in cameras and microphones on our laptop computers, and was impressed with the crisp video and clear audio. Facebook recently announced a partnership with Skype that allows one-to-one video conversations, but the group dynamic offered by Google+ is a lot more fun.

View of a Google+ profile page. Posts can be edited, commented on, +1'ed (similar to

In Google+ profile pages, posts can be edited, commented on, +1'ed (similar to "liking" a post), shared, and much more. The layout/color scheme is even more minimal in comparison to Facebook.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Social Networking

Step-by-step instructions on how to use some of the Web's most popular networking sites. Go


How to Use Your PC

Guides covering everything from setting up your desktop, to getting the most out of Excel. Go


Protect Your Digital Life

Keep your computer secure, your web surfing safe, and your inbox spam free with these tips. Go


Discounts & Benefits

Geek Squad Computing

Members save on Geek Squad services with Geek Squad® Tech Support & Guidance for AARP® Members.

AARP Discounts on ADT Companion Services

Members get 20% off NEW installation and activation of ADT® Personal Emergency Response System.

AARP Discounts on Consumer Cellular Phones and Plans

Members save 5% on monthly service and usage charges with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change. Join Today


computer questions and tips

Computer Questions & Tips

Pick up some handy how-tos from this savvy group of techies. Discuss


Freebies Group

Favorite Websites & Freebies

Share your top sites for interesting information, helpful resources — and free stuff! Discuss