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Kashflow small business accounts gets a new look
Software
Written by Ian Edwards   
Friday, 24 September 2010

Kashflow, the UK based hosted accounts software for small business, has recently rolled out a new look. The new interface has a cleaner design, is sized for wider screens and allows greater customisation of screen colours (although I quite like the pink and blue default scheme!). Existing users need to go to "settings" on the Kashflow menu to select the new look. New users get it by default, but can select the old look if they prefer.

This is just one of very many updates to Kashflow that have been rolled out (for free) since my earlier article on the product. The great thing about hosted software like Kashflow is that updates are seamless, you don't need to do anything to take advantage of them. It's great to see a product develop in the way Kashflow has, increasing it's useability and capability, but at the same time maintaining the jargon free ease of use which is Kashflow's main selling point for small business.

Kashflow offer a no obligation free trial (currently for two months). No card details are taken so if you don't like it you just stop using it. In my view Kashflow represents great value (which is why I use it) currently £15.99 per month, but use my affiliate link here to get £1 a month discount.

To read my earlier article on Kashflow click here.

 
Google Instant
Web Development
Written by Ian Edwards   
Thursday, 09 September 2010

Google have begun the roll out of an enhancement to the Google search engine they call Google Instant. Google Instant takes the predictive capabilities of Google search a step further by streaming results as you type. Without Google Instant you start to type your search term and a list of possible search phrases appears allowing you to pick the most relevant looking one, only once you have clicked on your preferred suggestion, or hit "Enter" or clicked "Search", does Google present a results page. Google Instant takes this further by listing results as you type, and modifying those results as you continue to type, until such point as you see what you are looking for.

A report on Google Instant on Radio 4 this morning was rather misleading in that it suggested that this feature personalised your search and would disrupt the process of website search optimisation. In fact the ranking your website achieves will not change at all according to Google (source Google), you just get there faster, although it has been suggested here that use of Google Instant will skew results away from sites optimised for longer search terms and enable Google to increase the cost per click for more generic terms. The suggested search terms are an aggregation of searches made across the web and while the streaming of results is new the listing of suggested search terms isn't so it remains to be seen what difference this will make.

Google claim that we take longer to type than we do to read (certainly true in my case)so Google Instant they reckon will save 2-5 seconds per search, at least once you get used to it.

Google Instant only works in modern browsers (Chrome version 5 and 6, Firefox version 3, Safari version 5 for Mac and Internet Explorer 8). You also need to be logged into a Google account for Instant to work and Google don't explain why this should be so, and it does beg the question what data are they collecting in the process, particularly if it is associated with a logged in user, but if that concerns you don't use it - either don't log in or use the preferences page to turn it off.

2-5 seconds saved per search - what will you do with your new found spare time?

To get the low down on Google Instant direct from Google click here.