Google Announces Chrome Operating System…07.08.09

8 07 2009

chromecartoon

The Boy Genius Report today commented on the new Google Chrome operating system:

“It all started with a browser (well, actually it started as search but you know what we mean). After growing out of web pages and applications, Google created the Chrome browser and now the behemoth is leaping beyond that and getting into the computer OS game. Naturally, the search giant’s new cloud-friendly OS is going to be open source and will run on x86 and ARM chips. Google has decided to get its feet wet by targeting the netbook market first, then more capable computers later. The new operating system is intended to be lightweight so that it starts up quickly and you can get going without having to wait too long for items to load up and other processes to run…”





An Interesting Theory About Google’s Strategy to Conquer Amazon’s Kindle…07.03.09

3 07 2009

google-books-vs-amazon-kindle

There is an interesting theory in the post Google’s strategy to take out the Kindle on the Kindle 2 Review, Kindle DX Reviews,  Books blog today which is excerpted below.  It is worth reading the whole post, however.

“Update: The DOJ has confirmed an antitrust review of the Google Book Settlement (July 2nd). It sent a letter to the Judge overseeing the settlement stating that it has opened an investigation based on public concerns that some aspects of the settlement may violate the Sherman Act.

Google’s Strategy to fight Amazon and the Kindle.

Google has made some really interesting moves with books, ones that are very unlike Google -

  1. Strike an agreement with Publishers to give them 67% of earnings from Ads and Sales. Given that its other partners don’t even get told what share of revenue they get this is unprecedented in many ways.
  2. The Book Agreement (which includes the above too) that indicates Google will assume ownership of orphaned works and sell them for profit.
  3. Google’s recent announcement that they would let Publishers sell books for whatever price they want in the Google ebooks store…

Google is going to pull a Two Buck Chuck on Amazon

Read the story here on Two Buck Chuck. Google is going to attack the Kindle in three ways (it’ll try these one by one) -

  1. Get publishers to prefer the Google ebooks store to the Kindle Store. This is unlikely to work as Amazon has too much of a customer base for publishers to boycott it. Barnes & Noble going with the $9.99 price for ebooks also weakens the possibility that this approach will work.
  2. Introduce a deluge of very cheap orphaned works (that, if the Book Settlement passes, no other company has rights to) to put pressure on the general book market.
  3. Go with free books or nearly free books for all the books in its arsenal. Offset it via advertising etc.

My 2 predictions for Google vs Kindle

  1. By end 2009, Google will be selling nearly every book in the Kindle Store and also giving away a ton of books.
  2. If Kindle continues to see success and growth, by end 2010 Google will try a free books approach to kill off Kindle growth. It’ll eat up the losses and offset them via ad sales. However, it will be giving away books for free…”






Explore Google Search…06.18.09

18 06 2009

This from Google Highlights Verticals with Explore Search Page at Search Engine Journal:

“So finally, Google does something to fight back at the mileage that Microsoft’s Bing has been receiving lately.  Nothing fancy on the part of Google really. Just some plain old search verticals which are now being presented in a more organized manner through the Explore Google Search Page...

Take it however way you want, but we can’t escape the fact that intentionally or unintentionally this is Google’s first step towards reengineering its search vertical products and of course Google’s baby steps towards preventing  Bing from expanding its userbase further…”

expore-google





New Google Language Translation Tools Including Crowdsourcing…06.10.09

10 06 2009

translator-kit-logo

TechCrucnch post Google Translation Tool Kit: Translation Meets Crowdsourching highlights an interesting and potentially useful new Google release:

Only a handful of blogs picked up on Google’s fresh Translator Toolkit, which the company launched yesterday by means of a blog post, but this new service really deserves a second look, if only because Wikimedia apparently sees the tool as something that could “change the way Wikipedia grows in other languages”.

You can read an extensive review of the product over at Google Blogoscoped, but here’s the gist:

Google Translator Kit enables anyone to upload documents for a variety of formats (HTML, Microsoft Word, Rich Text, OpenDocument Text and Plain Text), enter the URL for a file on the web or input a direct link to a Wikipedia article or Knol entry. After submission, the text that requires translation is automatically translated in the back-end and subsequently featured in a so-called ‘Workbench’, neatly placing the resulting text in the target language next to the original…

Google will search their translation memory for previous, human translations of the uploaded segment and show the translations in the Search Results tab. Color-coded segments will depict ‘exact’ matches and ‘partial’ matches, so you can edit the text based on the memory as well as previous, human translations. In addition, you can use the computer-generated translation in the Computer Translation tab to jump-start the translation of your current segment…

Besides the self-learning ability of the toolkit, the service also makes it incredibly easy for people to collaborate on translations, bringing a human, crowd-sourced touch to the automated process of Google’s Translate service.”





Google Squared Goes Live…06.03.09

3 06 2009

googlesquared

As Eric Schonfeld reports on TechCrunch:

Google is taking a step towards taking all the messy, unstructured information on the Web and putting it into neat little, labeled boxes. Literally, that is what Google Squared does. First announced at last month’s Searchology event, Google Squared is now live. You can try it out.

Google Squared is an experimental search engine that is in its own ‘labs.’ It gives you topical search results broken down by categories, something that Bing does in a different way with guided results in the left explore pane. Google Squared is more comparable to Wolfram Alpha in that it is A) really early stage, and B) goes and finds out every facet of a subject based on a single keyword search. But unlike Wolfram Alpha, it does not ‘compute’ answers based on data that it has ingested into its own databases. Its database is the Web.

Does Google Squared crush Wolfram Alpha today? No. But as I originally suggested when it was announced, adding structure to the Web will eventually win out over a self-contained database. Even if it seems primitive today, its approach scales better than Wolfram’s...”





Google Set to Begin Selling E-Books…06.01.09

1 06 2009

googledomination

This is excerpted from a Saturday New York Times article Preparing to Sell E-Books, Google Takes on Amazon :

Google appears to be throwing down the gauntlet in the e-book market.

In discussions with publishers at the annual BookExpo convention in New York over the weekend, Google signaled its intent to introduce a program by that would enable publishers to sell digital versions of their newest books direct to consumers through Google. The move would pit Google against Amazon.com, which is seeking to control the e-book market with the versions it sells for its Kindle reading device.

Google’s move is likely to be welcomed by publishers who have expressed concerns about Amazon’s aggressive pricing strategy for e-books. Amazon offers Kindle editions of most new best sellers for $9.99, far less than the typical $26 at which publishers sell new hardcovers. In early discussions, Google has said it will allow publishers to set consumer prices…

Google’s e-book retail program would be separate from the company’s settlement with authors and publishers over its book-scanning project, under which Google has scanned more than seven million volumes from several university libraries. A majority of those books are out of print.

The settlement, which is the focus of a Justice Department inquiry about the antitrust implications and is also subject to court review, provides for a way for Google to sell digital access to the scanned volumes.

And Google has already made its 1.5 million public-domain books available for reading on mobile phones as well as the Sony Reader, the Kindle’s largest competitor…”





NEW! “Google Search Options” – Drill Down Search Results By Recency, Content Type, and More …05.13.09

13 05 2009




“Google Squared” from TechCrunch…05.12.09

12 05 2009

Google’s answer to Wolfram Alpha from TechCrunch post What Is Google Squared? It Is How Google Will Crush Wolfram Alpha:





“Public Data on Google”…05.01.09

1 05 2009

New Google search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data:





New Google Librarian Newsletter Released…04.21.09

21 04 2009

logo

After a long hiatus, the Librarian Central Google Newsletter has reappeared.

Here are the contents:

“…In This Issue:
Letter from the Editor

Features:
Google Book Search
Google Sky
Google Health

Best of the Inside Google Book Search Blog – the last 6 months:
Your Library, My Library
Go, go, Book Search gadgets
Around the world in 80 pages (give or take a few)
University of Virginia opens exhibit on Google Book Search
Book Search Back to School Edition

Announcements:
Doodle 4 Google
Scalpel, check. Book search, check...”





Cloud Computing – NEW “Inside a Google Data Center” Video…04.03.09

3 04 2009

Google provided a look inside its data center operations at the Google Data Center Efficiency Summit held Wednesday in Mountain View, Calif. The presentations included a video tour of a Google data center, which showcased the companys use of shipping containers to store servers and storage. Each of these 40-foot data center containers can house up to 1,160 servers, and Google has been using them since it began building its own facilities in 2005. The company will post complete videos from the event next week…”

Also of interest: Microsoft OS Cloud Windows Azure Data Center





FREE Webcast – “Google for Researchers”…04.03.09

3 04 2009

googleresearch2

The National Institutes of Health along with the Washington, D.C. chapter of SLA hosted a 90-min. video presentation on Google for Researchers March 17, 2009 which you can view. It is described as:

Learn Google’s advanced searching techniques for researchers. This event is hosted by Galen Panger from Google. Galen Panger leads the Google for Non-Profits team in the company’s Washington, D.C. office, helping non-profits (and librarians!) put Google’s free tools and technologies to work for their causes. Prior to joining Google, Galen interned with the World Bank’s sustainable development unit in West Africa. He graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s in Public Policy in 2007.

Some of the topics to be covered:

  • Anatomy of a Google search
  • Advanced Google search tips and tools
  • U.S. Government Search
  • Scholar
  • Book Search
  • Blog Search
  • News and News Archives
  • Alerts
  • Reader
  • Trends
  • Docs, Spreadsheets, Charts, Sites and Forms
  • Maps
  • Google Earth
  • Mobile
  • Google for Non-Profits
  • Going Social…”

Permanent link: http://videocast.nih.gov/launch.asp?14968





“Using Google for Search and Research”-Google research scientist Daniel Russell…03.27.09

27 03 2009




Google’s “Wonder Wheel Experiment”…03.26.09

26 03 2009

googlewheel

Google Blogoscoped has an interesting post titled Google’s Wonder Wheel Experiment, and More which is excerpted here, the part about the cool visualization:

“Google is running an experiment in their search results, apparently shown to a portion of their users…

One of the most interesting experiment features is the ‘wonder wheel.’ This will show a Flash-based interactive mini app which starts with your keyword in the center, and related terms around it. Clicking on a related term creates a new, connected circle with more related terms. And whenever you click on a term, to the very right, the web results change to reflect your current topic of focus…

All you need to do is go to google.com and paste the following into the address bar, and hit return – that will set a cookie telling Google you’re taking part in the prototype:

The options include some known experiments, plus things I didn’t see so far. There are restriction options to show only recent results, only videos, only forum entries, or only reviews. You can sort by relevance, or by date, and you can only show results from time ranges like the past 24 hours or the past week. You can opt to receive longer snippet text, and images. There’s also a timeline feature and search suggestions.

Here are some screenshots of the process (I’ve added a circle in the first screen showing the link that gets you started)…”





Google Not Exactly Promoting Information Literacy…03.18.09

18 03 2009

googlebooksearch1

Below is a good, short, sarcastic post titled Thinking about the information society 4 on the TheoryWatch blog about Google Book Search’s “Research Tips which leads with the question, “Need 5 sources for your paper at 3am?

Thanks, Google, for this brilliant suggestion about ways to cheat on term papers. (If you haven’t actually read a particular book, it’s a little hard to do anything but copy a paragraph or so, hmm? Or cite something that you may or may not have understood correctly, and hope for the best!) Not exactly promoting information literacy here, are we? And, speaking of the quote generator on that page, whatever happened to ‘Don’t be evil’?





How to OPT OUT of Google Targeted Ads…03.17.09

17 03 2009

googleAdvertising Cookie Opt-out Plugin

From LifeHacker’s post Opt Out of Google’s Targeted Ads I learned how to and chose to OPT OUT of Google’s controversial targeted ad project.  Below is an excerpt from the post.  I decided to download the Opt-Out Preferences plug-in for IE.  I will do the same for Chrome when it becomes available or follow “…follow these instructions [from Google for Chrome users] to make your opt-out preference permanent in your browser.”

“…Log into your Google account and mozy over to the Google Ads Preferences page, where you can hit an Opt Out button to put a cookie (identified and detailed) on your system that blocks ad monitoring and targeting. The downside, though, is that any time you wipe out your cookies (a pretty common move, especially amongst the privacy-conscious), that preference washes out with them. So Google also offers a Opt-Out Preferences plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox that auto-kills ad targeting. Good for those who use those two leaders of the market; kinda annoying for everyone else…”

Mmmmmmmmmmm…. Thinking about privacy…

“Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”





Article Says “British search engine ‘could rival Google’”…03.09.09

9 03 2009

wolfman

The UK’s Guardian has an article today titled British search engine ‘could rival Google which is excerpted here:

A British physicist has revealed his plan to launch a new internet search engine so powerful that one expert has suggested it “could be as important as Google“.

“London-born scientist Stephen Wolfram says that his company, Wolfram Research, is preparing to unveil the system in two months’ time.

Known as Wolfram Alpha, the site is an attempt to address some of the deficiencies of current web search by understanding people’s questions and answering them directly…

Whatever the outcome of Wolfram’s audacious claims, however, his track record is strong. One of his previous creations, the computer program Mathematica, is now used by many scientists to help them with their work.

 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2009





Twitter Setting Its Sights on Google…03.09.09

9 03 2009

The SEO Shootout blog has in though-provoking  post titled Twitter Gunning for Google? Not Intentionally, Perhaps… by Doug Bedell which is excerpted here and worth reading in its entirety:

Mitch Joel on the blog Six Pixels of Separation sees Twitter, the microblog, as growing into a human-powered search engine that could threaten Google’s dominance.

twitter_logo

How’s that?  Well Twitter is powered by people, not algorithms. People build acquaintance circles around people who share their interests. And they’re asking for all kinds of help from their Twitter friends. That’s what you do on a search engine, isn’t it? Could Twitter be the Holy Grail of a personal search engine?…”





Google and the “Social Cloud”…02.23.09

23 02 2009

opensocial

TechCrunchIT has posted an interview with Google’s Kevin Marks, Developer Advocate for OpenSocial at Google, in a post Social Web Q&A with Google’s Kevin Marks which is excerpted here:

“Q: We keep hearing that “Google wants to make the web more social.” What does that mean?

Everything on the web is more interesting when it takes place with friends. Today’s social networking sites, are the online contexts where you and your friends go to be social, and the time we spend on them shows the attraction.

But the model of going to a single website to interact with other people is changing. In the future, we expect everything on the web will become more social, augmenting the many things you already do on the web. Whether you’re shopping, deciding what to read, or researching a topic, knowing what your friends, or family, or the people you respect think about that product, book, or source of information is a vital part of the web.

I call this the ‘social cloud,’ meaning that ‘social’ will be integrated with the web so that you don’t think about it anymore. Charlene Li calls this same idea ‘social networks become like air.’ The web itself is like this — following links seems like second nature to us because we know a URL can take us anywhere. Social isn’t there yet, but that’s the highest level goal of the OpenSocial project — to make interacting with people a natural part of how we use the web…”

 

Q: We’ve also heard that Google wants to open up the social web. What does that mean?

When I talk about OpenSocial and “we,” it’s important to remember that OpenSocial isn’t a Google project. OpenSocial is an industry-wide standards effort. From the beginning, we worked with many other groups to put this together and to form an independent foundation. All of the standards work is public, and it is very much an open dialog.

We also don’t want to reinvent the wheel, so OpenSocial uses existing standards whenever possible. The OAuth standard and Portable Contacts are both examples of this. The person specification in OpenSocial is the same as the Portable Contacts standard, which was developed in parallel. This allows people to use only those components that they need, while still being compatible with the entire OpenSocial specification.

We’re looking for interoperability not just with shared standards, but also with shared code, and so the community has also built open source implementations. …”

 

© 2009 TechCrunch





“Replicating the Web: Will Google Dominate Mobile Search?”…02.23.09

23 02 2009

google-mobile

 Michael Boland, of Search Engine Watch, in his posting Replicating the Web: Will Google Dominate Mobile Search? speculates:

Google announced last week that it will offer a search box to mobile Web publishers to plant on their sites and share revenue from search results.

This is an extension of its existing AdSense for Mobile program, and is no surprise. Google is following the same path it did online many years ago: Partnering with publishers to share ad inventory and planting its search box all over the place…

Stepping back, we’re seeing mobile search providers stake claims that will soon become a much more substantial mobile Web. The name of the game will be landing publisher and carrier deals: For the latter, Microsoft recently became the search provider for Verizon; and Yahoo has a longstanding mobile deal (extension of its online deal) with AT&T for on-deck search applications.

But Google seems to be placing its bet on off-deck searches, which are growing as the mobile Web becomes more like the online Web

Google is looking at a growth medium in mobile. The mobile Web holds more than 50 million users in the U.S. (about 25 percent of the number of online users), a figure The Kelsey Group expects will nearly double over the next five years…

Mobile behavior is quickly evolving, so it’s hard to say what standards will emerge. But if trends continue, Google could be positioned well with AdSense for mobile.

Generally speaking, it could be positioned well for search overall. As the mobile Web becomes more like the online Web, online search behavior could carry over to the mobile environment — a good thing for Google and its 63.5 percent market share.

It’s already starting to happen. Google’s 63 percent share of mobile search queries is eerily close to this online share. Now that it’s effectively positioned an early lead in the next big growth medium, we can expect many more years of Google dominance (if there was ever a doubt).”

Incisive Interactive Marketing LLC. 2009 All rights reserved.





Harvard Head Librarian Condemns Google Book Search Deal…02.23.09

23 02 2009

googlebooksearch

You can listen to NPR’s story from Saturday (Feb. 22, 2009 RT: 4:29) Librarian Opposes Google’s Library Fees  in which Robert Darnton, Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and Director of the Harvard University Library, discusses his opposition to the recent Google Book Search deal which according to NPR he “says violates a basic American principle — that knowledge should be free and accessible to all.”

Copyright 2009 NPR





Google Book Search Settlement Site is Up…02.11.09

11 02 2009

TechCrunch post by Erick Schonfeld excerpt on new website for the Google Book Search Settlement:

“…Google signed a $125 million settlement with the Author’s Guild to pay authors for copyrighted works it has scanned and made available on the Web through its Google Book Search project… Today, the Google Book Settlement site went up, which allows authors and other copyright holders of out-of-print books the ability to submit claims to participate in the settlement.

What do they get? Authors, publishers, and other copyright holders will get a one-time payment of $60 per scanned book(or $5 to $15 for partial works). In return, Google will be able to index the books and display snippets in search results, as well as up to 20% of each book in preview mode. Google will also be able to show ads on these pages and make available for sale digital versions of each book. Authors and copyright holders will receive 63 percent of all advertising and e-commerce revenues associated with their works… 

Remember, this settlement is only for the millions of out-of-print books that are making zero revenues for authors and publishers today. So it is not a bad deal all around. Copyright holders have until January 5, 2010 to make a claim.”

© 2009 TechCrunch





Will Google Head Down the Path to Creative Destruction?…02.20.09

10 02 2009


Stephen Abram pointed out a though-provoking article posted on the Silicon Valley Insider entitled Google Next Victim Of Creative Destruction? (GOOG) by John Borthwick which is worth reading. Here is an excerpt:

The web has repeatedly demonstrated its ability to evolve and leave embedded franchises struggling or in the dirt. Prodigy, AOL were early candidates. Today Yahoo and Ebay are struggling, and I think Google is tipping down the same path. This cycle of creative destruction — more recently framed as the innovators dilemma — is both fascinating and hugely dislocating for businesses. To see this immense franchises melt before your very eyes — is hard to say the least…

What would Google do?

I love the fact that Twitter is letting its business plan emerge in a crowd sourced manner. Search is clearly a very big piece of the puzzle — but what about the incumbents? What would Google do, to quote Jarvis? Let me play out some possible moves on the chess board…

Google is left with a set of conflicting choices. And there is a huge business model question. Does Ad Sense work well in the conversational sphere?   My experience turning Fotolog into a business suggests that it would work but not as well as it does on Google.com. The intent is different when someone posts on Twitter vs. searching on Google. Yet, Twitter as a venture backed company has the resources to figure out exactly how to tune AdSense or any other advertising or payments platform to its stream of data. Lastly, I would say that there is a human obstacle here.  As always the creative destruction is coming from the bottom up — its scrappy and and prone to been written off as NIH. Twitter search today is crude — but so was Google.com once upon a not so long time ago. Its hard to keep this perspective, especially given the pace that these platforms reach scale. It would be fun to play out the chess moves in detail but I will leave that to another post. I’m running out of steam here.

AOL has taken a long time to die. I thought the membership (paid subscribers) and audience would fall off faster than it has. These shifts happen really fast but business models and organizations are slow to adapt…”   





Google Eye-Tracking Studies…02.08.09

8 02 2009

Here is an excerpt from the Official Google Blog post Eye-tracking studiesmore than meets the eye on their very interesting eye tracking studies using their universal search but read the whole posting:

“…To see what the eye-tracking data we collect looks like, let’s go back to the results page we got for the query [how to tie a tie]. The following video clip shows in real time how a participant in our study scanned the page. And yes, seriously — the video is in real time! That’s how fast the eyes move when scanning a page. The larger the dot gets, the longer the users’ eye pauses looking at that specific location.

Based on eye-tracking studies, we know that people tend to scan the search results in order. They start from the first result and continue down the list until they find a result they consider helpful and click it — or until they decide to refine their query. The heatmap below shows the activity of 34 usability study participants scanning a typical Google results page. The darker the pattern, the more time they spent looking at that part of the page. This pattern suggests that the order in which Google returned the results was successful; most users found what they were looking for among the first two results and they never needed to go further down the page.


When designing the user interface for Universal Search, the team wanted to incorporate thumbnail images to better represent certain kinds of results. For example, in the [how to tie a tie] example above, we have added thumbnails for Image and Video results. However, we were concerned that the thumbnail images might be distracting and disrupt the well-established order of result evaluation.

We ran a series of eye-tracking studies where we compared how users scan the search results pages with and without thumbnail images. Our studies showed that the thumbnails did not strongly affect the order of scanning the results and seemed to make it easier for the participants to find the result they wanted.

The thumbnail image seemed to make results with thumbnails easy to notice when the users wanted them (see screenshots below — page with the thumbnail image on the right)…

 

Click the images to  view them larger.
…and the thumbnails also seemed to make it easy for people to skip over the results with thumbnails when those results were not relevant to their search (page with the thumbnail on the right). 

For the Universal Search team, this was a successful outcome. It showed that we had managed to design a subtle user interface that gives people helpful information without getting in the way of their primary task: finding relevant information…”




Mobile Google Book Search Launched Today–”1.5 Million Books in Your Pocket”…02.05.09

5 02 2009

An excerpt from Google’s Book Search blog today is excerpted here:

“One of the great things about an iPhone or Android phone is being able to play Pacman while stuck in line at the post office. Sometimes though, we yearn for something more than just playing games or watching videos.

What if you could also access literature’s greatest works, such as Emma and The Jungle Book, right from your phone? Or, some of the more obscure gems such as Mark Twain’s hilarious travelogue, Roughing It? Today we are excited to announce the launch of a mobile version of Google Book Search, opening up over 1.5 million mobile public domain books for you to browse while buying your postage.

While these books were already available on Google Book Search, these new mobile editions are optimized to be read on a small screen. To try it out and start reading, open up your web browser in your iphone or android phone and go to http://books.google.com/m…”





“Is YouTube the New Search?”…02.03.09

3 02 2009

This is interesting thoughts from Allan Cho at the Allan’s Library blog from his Is Youtube The New Search? post:

“Information professionals everywhere take note: Google is uncomfortably sliding. Gone are the days that we ‘google’ for information. And now YouTube, conceived as a video hosting and sharing site, has become a bona fide search tool. Searches on it in the United States recently edged out those on Yahoo, which had long been the No. 2 search engine, behind Google. Interesting that Google owns YouTube, isn’t it? In November, Americans conducted nearly 2.8 billion searches on YouTube, about 200 million more than on Yahoo, according to comScore…”





Google Zeros in on the “Deep Web”…02.03.09

3 02 2009

Here is an excerpt from a LibGig post entitled Google Targeting Structured Data On “Deep Web :

During a talk at the New England Database Day conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Google’s Alon Halevy admitted that the search giant has ‘not been doing a good job’ presenting the structured data found on the web to its users. By ‘structured data,’ Halevy was referring to the databases of the ‘deep web’ – those internet resources that sit behind forms and site-specific search boxes, unable to be indexed through passive means.

Halevy should know – he heads the “Deep Web” search initiative at Google. This hidden web is currently being indexed in part by Google’s automated systems that submit queries to various databases, retrieving the content found for indexing. In addition to that aspect of the Deep Web – dubbed ‘vertical searching’ – Halevy also referenced two other types of Deep Web Search: semantic search and product search

The question that remains is whether or not Google’s current search engine technology is going to be adept at doing all the different types of Deep Web indexing or if they will need to come up with something new…

The challenges facing Google today are also being addressed by their nearest competitor in search, Yahoo. In December, Yahoo announced that they were taking their SearchMonkey technology in-house to automate the extraction of structured information from large classes of web sites. The results of that in-house extraction technique will allow Yahoo to augment their Yahoo Search results with key information returned alongside the URLs.”





Google Earth 5.0 Released…02.02.09

2 02 2009




Google Copyright Controversy…02.02.09

2 02 2009

There is a good article entitled Google & the Future of Books in the upcoming Feb. 12 issue of The New York Review of Books by Robert Darnton excerpted here:

“How can we navigate through the information landscape that is only beginning to come into view? The question is more urgent than ever following the recent settlement between Google and the authors and publishers who were suing it for alleged breach of copyright. For the last four years, Google has been digitizing millions of books, including many covered by copyright, from the collections of major research libraries, and making the texts searchable online. The authors and publishers objected that digitizing constituted a violation of their copyrights. After lengthy negotiations, the plaintiffs and Google agreed on a settlement, which will have a profound effect on the way books reach readers for the foreseeable future. What will that future be?

Libraries exist to promote a public good: ‘the encouragement of learning,’ learning ‘Free To All.’ Businesses exist in order to make money for their shareholders—and a good thing, too, for the public good depends on a profitable economy. Yet if we permit the commercialization of the content of our libraries, there is no getting around a fundamental contradiction. To digitize collections and sell the product in ways that fail to guarantee wide access would be to repeat the mistake that was made when publishers exploited the market for scholarly journals, but on a much greater scale, for it would turn the Internet into an instrument for privatizing knowledge that belongs in the public sphere. No invisible hand would intervene to correct the imbalance between the private and the public welfare. Only the public can do that, but who speaks for the public? Not the legislators of the Mickey Mouse Protection Act.

You cannot legislate Enlightenment, but you can set rules of the game to protect the public interest. Libraries represent the public good. They are not businesses, but they must cover their costs. They need a business plan. Think of the old motto of Con Edison when it had to tear up New York’s streets in order to get at the infrastructure beneath them: ‘Dig we must.’ Libraries say, ‘Digitize we must.’ But not on any terms. We must do it in the interest of the public, and that means holding the digitizers responsible to the citizenry…

Google is not a guild, and it did not set out to create a monopoly. On the contrary, it has pursued a laudable goal: promoting access to information. But the class action character of the settlement makes Google invulnerable to competition. Most book authors and publishers who own US copyrights are automatically covered by the settlement. They can opt out of it; but whatever they do, no new digitizing enterprise can get off the ground without winning their assent one by one, a practical impossibility, or without becoming mired down in another class action suit. If approved by the court—a process that could take as much as two years—the settlement will give Google control over the digitizing of virtually all books covered by copyright in the United States…

As an unintended consequence, Google will enjoy what can only be called a monopoly—a monopoly of a new kind, not of railroads or steel but of access to information. Google has no serious competitors. Microsoft dropped its major program to digitize books several months ago, and other enterprises like the Open Knowledge Commons (formerly the Open Content Alliance) and the Internet Archive are minute and ineffective in comparison with Google. Google alone has the wealth to digitize on a massive scale. And having settled with the authors and publishers, it can exploit its financial power from within a protective legal barrier; for the class action suit covers the entire class of authors and publishers. No new entrepreneurs will be able to digitize books within that fenced-off territory, even if they could afford it, because they would have to fight the copyright battles all over again. If the settlement is upheld by the court, only Google will be protected from copyright liability...”

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“HOW TO: Take Your Data Back From Google’s Claws”…02.02.09

2 02 2009

A good post to check out and is excerpted here is HOW TO: Take Your Data Back From Google’s Claws from Stan Schroeder on Mashable | All That’s New on the Web:

“We’ve all pretty much become accustomed to the notion that Google is this invincible internet giant which will always be there for us, but it’s not always true. A good example was this weekend’s fiasco, when (due to human error) Google’s search engine reported all web sites on the internet as unsafe.

Let’s face it: every web service, Google included, can mess up, and sometimes it means losing your data. So, when was the last time you backed up the data on the various Google services you use? I thought so. Let’s look at some easy solutions for extracting and backing up your data on popular Google apps and services…”








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