There’s been a new crop of search engines coming up lately, including Powerset, an engine which emphasizes natural-language queries, and Cuil (pronounced “cool”—don’t ask me why), a new search engine launched today that was created by a couple of Google alums. Check ‘em out.
Posts tagged with Google
According to Yahoo!, official talks with Microsoft about a possible merger are now over. Dead as a doornail. Pushing up the daisies.
So desperate are they to avoid selling their search business to Microsoft (who no longer wants the whole company), that they went out shortly afterward and signed a long-term contract with Google to use Google advertising alongside their search results.
They’d rather disembowel themselves with a rusty spoon than submit to a fate, apparently, worse than death.
According to this, Google has opened writely.com, its online word processor, for beta testing. Let’s see, what Google services do we have available to us now? Mail, check; calendar, check; spreadsheet, check. And now there’s a word processor. My crackpot theory doesn’t sound so crazy anymore. (Via Slashdot)
Google has announced an overhaul of Blogger, with new features including:
- Dynamic pages – this means that Blogger no longer renders static HTML pages, and will mean, among other things, that changing templates will become a lot easier.
- Post categories
- Separate feeds for comments
Take the tour of the new features. This overhaul addresses many of my big problems with the service; if only they had done this a year ago! Well, I’d likely have migrated to hosting my own blog, anyway—the increased flexibility you get by hosting yourself is too important to me to do otherwise—though I might have stayed with the service a bit longer. The service is in invitation-only beta right now, but hopefully it’ll be rolled out to the public soon. (Via Slashdot)
a list of the 15 websites that changed the world. From the part on Blogger:
‘The funny thing was I actually hesitated before working on Blogger because I didn’t see the commercial applications,’ says [Pyra Labs founder Evan] Williams. ‘We had started a company and we needed to make money. We didn’t see how this little hobbyist activity was going to make anyone money.’
The little hobbyist activity was blogging, the art of keeping a weblog – of diarising, theorising, satirising, fictionalising your life and observations online. It had already taken off among the tech fraternity in the Nineties, but it required building and maintaining your own website; the luddites were excluded. Williams created a tool that made self-publishing online as user-friendly as word-processing. It is hard to exaggerate the importance of this innovation. It didn’t just create a new form of creative expression, it turned the media upside down.
Content was once made by companies for passive consumption by people. After Blogger, people were the content. They wrote about and read about their friends, their opinions, their cats. (There was a lot about cats in the early blogs.) None had a huge audience but collectively they were massive. ‘Now you see TV networks saying: “We’ve gotta get on the web because that’s where the audience is,”‘ says Williams.
never met a publicity stunt he didn’t like, but his latest start is one I can get behind: providing free city-wide wi-fi access. According to an article in last Thursday’s San Francisco Chronicle, the city has chosen Google and Earthlink as the best candidates to complete the job:
Google Inc.’s bid to blanket San Francisco with a free wireless Internet service cleared a major hurdle when a city panel identified the Internet search engine leader and EarthLink Inc. as the best candidates to complete the ambitious project.
The recommendation Wednesday, completing a six-week review, clears the way for the city to begin final negotiations with Google and EarthLink, which decided to team together earlier this year after initially bidding against each other. The companies will pay to build the entire network, which is expected to cost at least $15 million.
EarthLink envisions charging roughly $20 per month for the ability to surf the Web at speeds four to five times faster than Google’s free service, expected to be financed with a heavy dose of ads.
Either way, the wireless, or Wi-Fi service, would be faster than Internet access over a dial-up modem. The Google component of the service would make San Francisco the largest city in the nation with free Internet access throughout its borders.
Here’s hoping that they can make it happen, and that a success here will set off a string of like successes elsewhere in the country.
According to this:
Google has snapped up the rights to an advanced text search algorithm invented by a University of NSW student.
The algorithm, or search engine tool, is called Orion and was developed by UNSW PhD student Ori Allon at the university’s School of Computer Science.
Orion works as an add-on to existing search engines to improve the relevance of searches and won praise from Microsoft founder Bill Gates last year.
Orion finds pages where the content is about a topic strongly related to the key word. It then returns a section of the page, and lists other topics related to the key word so the user can pick the most relevant.
The results of the query are displayed immediately in the form of expanded text extracts, giving the searcher the relevant information without having to go to the website – although there is still that option.
This is pretty cool, and could have significant impact on streamlining web searches. (Via Slashdot)
A state-run newspaper reported Tuesday that Google Inc. is under investigation for operating without a proper license in China and quoted an unnamed government official as saying the Internet giant needs to cooperate further with the authorities in blocking “harmful information” from its search results.
The report, in the Beijing News, was published the same day that another state newspaper ran a harshly worded editorial about Google. The paper accused the firm of sneaking into China like an “uninvited guest” and then making a fuss about being required to follow Chinese law and cooperate in censoring search results such as pornography.
The unusually bold attacks in the state media suggest that the Chinese government is unhappy with Google’s efforts thus far to filter politically sensitive results from its popular search engine in China, and that its ability to do business in the country may be in jeopardy.
The Chinese propaganda machine is jumping on the “condemn Google” bandwagon, probably in hopes that it can score some easy political points. Which it won’t; I don’t know who they think they’re fooling.
I’ve said before that I didn’t approve of Google’s decision to agree to censor search results, but I also said that it wasn’t the end of the world that they had. With the resulting firestorm, you really have to feel bad for those guys. Assailed on one side by election-year posturing from US politicians, and the same old posturing by their Chinese counterparts on the other, it seems like Google can’t catch a break. What a PR nightmare.
Apparently Google is accepting applications for a beta test of its new service, “Gmail for your domain”.
Bring Gmail to your domain.
This special beta test lets you give Gmail, Google’s webmail service, to every user at your domain. Gmail for your domain is hosted by Google, so there’s no hardware or software for you to install or maintain.
Pretty cool. (Via Slashdot)