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As goes Google, so goes the rest of the universe -- or at least that's the fear this week after the start up-turned-giant-turned-common verb reported disappointing earnings that sent the Silicon Valley stock over a digital cliff after-hours Thursday. [ATTACH=right]15859[/ATTACH]The company pulled in 1.84 billion dollars for the quarter or $5.71 per share, less than analysts' average projection of $6.52 per share. Taking the blame for the disappointing figures are Europe's lackluster economic situation -- Google does a significant chunk of its business in the Euro zone -- and a recent ramp-up in hiring that bumped up total expenses. But …

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Google has announced the availability of more than 1000 ‘Google Gadgets’ that can be run on any web site, differentiating them from the existing desktop gadgets which could only work locally by way of the Google Desktop software or on a personalized Google homepage. These bits of cobbled together HTML and Javascript code that act as dynamic applications when installed on your web page are also different from the Widgets that Yahoo has had available ever since it acquired Konfablator last year. Those 3000+ plus mini-applications only run if you download and install an 11Mb host application first, and then …

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It's not unusual for a government IT department to warn its users about downloading malware onto their government-issued computers. It's more unusual, though, for the source of the malware to be the ads on the website of the newspaper of record. In July, the cyber security coordinators in the state of Idaho took the unusual step of recommending that its users block or avoid the website of the Idaho Statesman, a Boise-based daily paper that covers most of the state, due to what was said to be malware in the website's ads, according to a memo sent to the security …

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Last week, Google's [URL="http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html#marissa"]Marissa Mayer [/URL]and [URL="http://www.google.com/corporate/execs.html#eric"]Eric Schmidt [/URL]appeared in separate interviews on the [URL="http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10129"]Charlie Rose [/URL]show, and not surprisingly they spoke in one voice where privacy and trust were concerned. They both said that when we use online services, we give up privacy in the process. There it is on the table. They are providing the service, and you're providing the information, and should you be concerned about this trade-off, Schmidt says simply: "Trust us." [B]Um, I don't Think So[/B] I'm a huge fan of Google services. I'm writing this blog post in Google Docs. I used Google Reader …

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Having returned from a pleasant family vacation where the main topic of conversation was a huge tanker being split in two by controlled explosions off the East Devon coast in England, it was nice to get back to reality and discover the nerdfest surrounding how much power could be saved globally if Google switched from a white background to a black one. Of course, this discussion has all the usual scientific merit of previous debates involving improving the audio quality of a CD by using green marker pen along the rim or leaving a window open during a hurricane will …

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Not everything Apple touches turns to gold, a case in point is the .mac service which has recently been rebranded with not terribly clever moniker: MobileMe. What Apple fails to understand from the get-go is that people expect their cloud services to be free or at least extremely cheap and $99 per year (you can’t fool people by not making it an even hundred, by the way) is simply too much to charge. If you look at most cloud services, they are free. Google offers almost all its consumers services free of charge in exchange for viewing text ads—no such …

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Google is making it much simpler to work out which photos you're allowed to use for what, and which you aren't. The company is allowing people to search for pictures and you can filter by what's available for reuse, what's available for reuse without modification and so on. It's using the Creative Commons scheme among other things. This is a very good thing indeed. I'm on a number of social networks old and new and one of the most frequently asked of the FAQs is about whether you can use a picture or not that you've found on the Internet. …

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Not only is there a [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story304425.html"]debate [/URL]about the constitutionality of using Global Positioning System units to help fight crime – now there’s concern about using Google Earth as well. The Associated Press [URL="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100814/ap_on_hi_te/us_eyes_in_the_sky"]reported [/URL]a few days ago that government officials in regions ranging from the Riverhead, N.Y., to the country of Greece are using Google Earth and other satellite imagery sites to locate items such as swimming pools without the proper regulatory permits or that indicate undeclared wealth. The Chicago building department also uses it to look for pools, porches, and decks without the proper permits, while other Illinois cities …

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[URL="http://www.facebook.com"]Facebook[/URL] has got in the way of [URL="http://www.google.com"]Google[/URL] and acquired [URL="http://www.friendfeed.com"]Friendfeed[/URL]. This is not great news for Google. The search giant has one major chink in its armour; you can't search social media in real time. Once entries have been around for a while you can find stuff; I've certainly turned up Tweets from Twitter with obscure searches on Google, but they've been from days before rather than five minutes before. As a journalist I could do with more up to the minute information because that's the way it's being written/created at the moment. Google couldn't have foreseen this when …

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[ATTACH=right]14514[/ATTACH]So you want your company to be innovative like Google. You want to have a lab and a constant flow of ideas, but you don't know where to begin. In an entertaining speech the other day at the [URL="http://www.aiimexpo.com/"]AIIM 2010 conference [/URL]in Philadelphia, [URL="http://www.cyrusmistry.com/"]Cyrus Mistry[/URL] from Google explained some the drivers of Google's corporate culture of innovation. He says it starts with Type A personalities, the type for whom an A- was never quite good enough, but if you can get past that rather daunting entry point, consider these other ways to make your company more innovative: [B]1. Treat your …

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Remember Richard Blumenthal? The Connecticut Attorney General who has led a pack of other state Attorneys General for more than a year chasing [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220115.html"]pedophiles [/URL](who may or may not have been there) on social networks and [URL="http://www.daniweb.com/news/story220488.html"]prostitutes [/URL]on Craigslist? And who, in what is surely just a coincidence, is running for the U.S. Senate, and whose campaign is slipping following [URL="http://www.wfsb.com/politics/23856922/detail.html"]revelations [/URL]that he lied about serving in Vietnam? He's back -- and now he's jumping on the outrage bandwagon about privacy issues with Google Streetview. The company came under fire earlier this year amidst revelations that while taking pictures for …

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At the end of May, [URL="http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/304693/has_asus_all_given_up_linux?rid=-219"]Computerworld reported[/URL] that [URL="http://usa.asus.com/"]Asus[/URL], one of the early Netbook success stories had all but given up on Linux Netbooks. This was telling because the [URL="http://usa.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=24&l2=164"]Asus Eee[/URL] (of which I own one) has a very nice, simple-to-navigate interface. It starts up fairly quickly and has long battery life, but even the simple tabbed interface was apparently too hard for users raised on Windows. It got me thinking, if this simple version of Linux failed, how will Google's Chrome OS, inspired by Linux fare any better? [B]Linux is a Tough Sell[/B] Even though it will carry a …

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Go Google the term "oil spill." I'll wait. First item? "BP [url]www.BP.com/OilSpillNews[/url] Info about the Gulf of Mexico Spill Learn More about How BP is Helping." It's a "sponsored link," meaning that BP paid for it to be there and to come up as the first item when someone searched for the term. It was first spotted by ABC News, which did a [URL="http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/Broadcast/bp-buys-search-engine-phrases-redirecting-users/story?id=10835618"]report [/URL]on it Saturday, including an admission by BP that it had done so. "We have bought search terms on search engines like Google to make it easier for people to find out more about our efforts …

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What appears to be a brand new feature of our beloved Google is the ability to "Note" any URL which turns up in the search results. Noting a URL adds it to your personal notebook, which works like a scrapbook ala bookmarks. Pretty interesting ... although I'm still a fan of IE favorites, browser history, and the back button.

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[URL="http://www.google.co.uk"]Check it out[/URL] Google has turned the lights out and gone black, but it is only for today it seems. Apparently it is all in a good cause: Earth Hour which invites people around the world to switch off their lights for an hour during the course of Saturday 29th March. That hour is between 8pm and 9pm in whatever your local time zone is. "Given our company's commitment to environmental awareness and energy efficiency, we strongly support the Earth Hour campaign, and have darkened our homepage today to help spread awareness of what we hope will be a highly …

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When you are dealing with a populations as large as China's, even when you take into consideration that three quarters of the population doesn't have internet access, you are still talking about a very large number of those who do. So it's no surprise that Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! want a piece of this rather large and likely growing pie. So far at least though, it's not one of the big American search engines making the biggest impact in China. According to [URL="http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2009/1005/technology-baidu-robin-li-man-whos-beating-google.html"]an article in this month's Forbes Magazine[/URL], it's Chinese search engine called [URL="http://www.baidu.com/"]Baidu[/URL] that's a run-away number one. …

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A new normal? That’s what one financial services guru says America consumers can expect now that the housing market has collapsed and people are losing their jobs in droves. “The worst is yet to come," adds Howard Davidowitz, chairman of Davidowitz & Associates. He thinks that the once lofty American's standard of living is undergoing a "permanent change" – with key financial assets gone that aren’t coming back; such as . . . -- An $8 trillion negative wealth effect from declining home values. -- A $10 trillion negative wealth effect from weakened capital markets. -- A $14 trillion consumer …

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Last week I opened my [URL="http://www.feedburner.com/"]Feedburner[/URL] account to check the daily traffic statistics for my [URL="http://byronmiller.typepad.com"]by Ron Miller[/URL] blog. There was a link at the top of the page encouraging me to transfer my Feedburner account, which Google had purchased back in 2007, to my Google account. Seemed like a sensible thing to do since I have all my Google services under a single sign-on except Feedburner. It turned out it was a terrible idea. Since last Tuesday when I made the transfer I have not had site stats and my subscriber stats have been erratic. Google completely botched the …

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Google [URL="http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/07/google-goggles/"]announced Google Googles [/URL]yesterday, an application that uses the camera in your Android-powered phone to take a picture, conduct a visual search, then return results. Google admits that it's very early, but this is extremely intriguing technology and it has the potential to take visual search to a whole new level by combining it with virtual reality to give you results when you have no information whatsoever. [B]Multimedia Search is A Different Animal[/B] Multimedia search has always presented a unique challenge to search engines. It's one thing to locate text because the text itself is always going to provide …

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I was pretty sure I wasn't the only person who cooked Thanksgiving dinner in front of, not a propped-up cookbook, but a laptop. It turns out the [I]New York Times[/I] agrees. In fact, the paper did an [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/26/dining/26search.html?_r=2"]analysis[/URL] of search terms by region and by time, to see what conclusions could be drawn. First of all, many more people are using the Internet than they used to. In fact, the day or two before Thanksgiving is cooking sites' equivalent of Black Friday for cybershopping sites; for example, Allrecipes.com builds server capacity for the day before Thanksgiving, then uses only half …

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Mark Cuban, the eccentric owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks, has a [URL="http://blogmaverick.com/2009/11/13/google-murdoch-madoff/"]post in his blog[/URL] this week suggesting a way to kill Google by paying the top one thousand most popular sites $1M each to leave the Google Index. He wonders if Rupert Murdoch's plan to leave the Google Index could mark the beginning of a full-scale exodus from Google, one which could be expedited with some cash payoffs from Microsoft. Now, I'm no legal expert, but it seems to me that such a ploy would not fly with the government, but for the sake of argument, let's say …

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Thinking of looking for a flu shot while you're out shopping this weekend but don't know where to look? There's an [URL="http://maps.google.com/maps/mpl?moduleurl=http://maps.google.com/mapfiles/mapplets/flushot/flushot.xml"]app[/URL] (Google Maps) for that. Type in a location and it will show you locations in the area that offer flu shots, as well as their times -- and it will differentiate between seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccines, in case you need one and not the other. The application isn't perfect. It seems to focus primarily on commercial providers of flu vaccines, such as drugstores, supermarkets, and department stores. It doesn't, however, provide information on vaccination clinics offered by …

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If you've ever had Google Maps literally send you up the river or down a sidewalk, you may have wondered whether the company ever actually sees the areas it maps. Now, it does, through an increasing number of volunteers who make corrections and add more detail to maps, according to an [URL="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/17/technology/internet/17maps.html?_r=2"]article[/URL] in the [I]New York Times[/I]. Google has stopped using commercial databases such as Tele Atlas, choosing instead to use freely available government databases, as well as input from users. "[W]e've worked directly with a wide range of authoritative information sources to create a new base map dataset," according …

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You can always count on Rupert Murdoch, the cantankerous News Corp. chairman, for a good laugh and he didn't disappoint this week during [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7GkJqRv3BI&feature=player_embedded#"]an interview on Sky News Australia[/URL] in which he boldly stated his sites would pull out of Google Search. In fact, he once again accused search engines of outright stealing his content. [B]Let's Examine The Facts, Shall We[/B] Here's what Murdoch has to say about search engines: [QUOTE][B]Sky News[/B]: You've been particularly critical of what you call 'the content kleptomaniacs' and the plagiarists. Are you particularly talking about Google here? [B]Murdoch[/B]: Well, the people who simply pick …

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Just how sick do you have to be to upload hundreds of porn videos, disguised as videos suitable for kids, to the most popular of video sharing sites? And how sick do you have to be to do so under the impression it is either funny or somehow exposing a YouTube shortcoming? I would suggest, in the light of the 'Porn Day' attack which hit YouTube yesterday, very sick indeed. If this stunt was, indeed, intended to highlight a failing in the YouTube adult content filtering system then the people behind it could have done that without resorting to the …

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[I]I'm special, so special. I got to have some of your attention, give it to me! ~Pretenders, Brass in Pocket [/I] Ah the games companies play trying so hard to get our attention. For the last 6 weeks or so Microsoft has done a fine job of turning the media attention machine on itself, so you just knew that there was no way Google was going to sit still while Bing stole the spotlight. Uh-uh, no way - there was something coming. You could just feel it - and we're not talking about [URL="http://www.silobreaker.com/google-buys-on2s-video-technology-why-5_2262510080719060992"]buying On2[/URL] last week. That may interest …

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The folks over at Gmail have been busy rolling out all sorts of new features in the last few months but the one they dropped on users today is by far my favorite -- [URL="http://gmailblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-in-labs-undo-send.html"]Undo Send[/URL]. I don't know a single person who hasn't had the gut-wrenching experience of typing up an email, hitting send, and then realizing you've made a gigantic error. You know the kind: an off-color joke accidentally forwarded to your boss, something written in a fit of anger that should never be read, or an embarassing photo of you at the company picnic wearing a propeller …

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In a wide-ranging [URL="http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/0,1518,644229,00.html"]interview with the German Magazine Der Spiegel [/URL]recently, the Head of Google Europe, Philipp Schindler, defended his company against the latest round of attacks from publishers who claim that Google is siphoning profits without creating content. Truth be told, this argument is getting old and it suggests that the publishers themselves have abdicated any responsibility for their own lack of vision. The fact is that the newspaper industry has had years and years to deal with the internet and they never made any real attempt to rest control from Google, Craigslist or any of the other successful …

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An interesting story on the BBC site says there's yet another search facility starting up, following the launch of [URL="http://www.bing.com"]Bing[/URL], [URL="http://www.wolframalpha.com"]Wolfram Alpha[/URL] and Google wave. This one's called [URL="http://www.splashtop.com"]Splashtop[/URL] and the idea is that you can be searching the Net withing seconds of switching on. In other words, it's a bit faster than it was before so you can save half a second it takes to open your browser. Woo-hoo. The interesting thing in the [URL="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8165258.stm"]BBC report[/URL] for me, though, isn't the saving of half a second a day - I didn't realise I had a problem so forgive me …

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[URL="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10291462-93.html?tag=newsLeadStoriesArea.1"]Today Yahoo! is releasing[/URL] a new version of its search tool with many changes. This is significant for a number of reasons: [LIST] [*]Yahoo! has been in the news lately mostly as Microsoft's take-over target. The make-over provides the company with a news opportunity that's actually about an upgrade to their venerable search product. [*]Secondly up until now Yahoo! has confined its home-page links to internal Yahoo! services. The new version provides a way to link to third party services. [*] Finally they've devised a way to keep you on their site while updating information on your social media tools; …

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The End.