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Google News And Notes

During the last few weeks when I've been too stupidly busy to blog as much as I've liked, I've noticed a bunch of news about Google that kept getting flagged in my feed reader, but it never gets blogged about. So to clear out some of those links, here's a bit of some Google News and Gossip.

Google is obviously always trying to push what they're doing, adding more tools and toys to their arsenal. They first hired Firefox's lead developer, leading to even more speculation that they'll be releasing a Google-branded browser (despite them saying they're not going to). Really, though, the default search/start page, and default search engine in Firefox is Google, so why would they want to go through the effort of releasing their own?

Another random tool they launched was Google Video (which will undoubtedly be another long "beta"). Google Video allows users to search the text of recently-broadcast programs. The engine returns a still image taken from the video clip alongside the close-captioned text from the program segment. So far, not entirely useful, but it's getting there. The Google Blog has some example queries that show what the system can do (as well as talking about the Google SMS service). But it is handy for finding such tidbits as the gayest movie ever made and the best Elvis movie ever made.

A while back, they introduced Google Maps, and folks have been having fun with it (I was, too). Like this Google Maps Walking Tour. You should know, too, that Google Maps now works for Safari.

Google, for some reason or another, is crawling and indexing calendars. Probably for a current event search of some kind?

The latest thing Google has done that has rankled some people, however, is update their insanely popular toolbar. The problem, as some folks see it, is with Google's "AutoLink" feature. I'm not really against the tool (nor do Neil or Cory), as it requires specific user interaction to turn on (unlike the previous attempts at this, MS's SmartTags), but I can see the problem some folks have with it, and I'm up in the air about it. I don't use MSIE, so it's not really a concern for me, but I'm still debating whether I'll be implementing this JavaScript to turn it off (even though it's easily bypassed on the client's end with another JavaScript).

And while Google's created some amazing tools over the years, they couldn't have done it without a little help from the companies they bought out in the past.

On the local front, with Google's stock rising, they're looking to expand and add more branch offices, including an office in The Dalles, just a few hours from here (follow up story). I'm not quite sure what they're going to be doing up there, but I might make the trip up there just to see if I can get a tour. I'll wear my Google boxers just for the trip (yes, I have Google boxers -- got them during Google's early beta days by filling out a survey or something).

OK, I think that's all the Google links I have -- for now, anyway.

Posted by Jake on 02/27/05 @ 05:32 PM
Posted in Cool, Geekdom, Interesting | Permalink

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