If this sounds like a tall order for Google - renowned for its elitism - it's because it is. Yet a call for humility is precisely what Google CEO Eric Schmidt seems to believe will keep Google firing on all cylinders, according to the New Yorker.[Google is] run by three computer scientists we're going to make all the mistakes computer scientists running a company would make. But one of the mistakes we're not going to make is the mistake that non-scientists make. We're going to make mistakes based on facts and data and analysis. What … Read more
Two of the most useful online services have got to be maps and weather.
With this in mind, The Weather Channel Interactive is offering a new mapplet for Google Maps that lets people add customizable weather layers to maps and see weather data on Google Earth (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).
One click and you can see the clouds over San Francisco on Google Maps. Pop-up bubbles provide more detailed information like current conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed and UV Index. You can also find links to forecasts and track storms.
The weather information combines data … Read more
Google and Facebook are joining ranks on DataPortability Workgroup. As the ReadWriteWeb put it, "Good bye customer lock-in, hello to new privacy challenges." While the process of opening up data may well take a long time, it's instructive that the web is doing what the offline software industry has thought tantamount to corporate suicide: Opening up.
Data has been the web's lock-in point, as Tim O'Reilly, in particular, has championed. Some believe this is the only way to make a buck: Remove customer options such that they're forced to continue doing business with a … Read more
Google just keeps getting more popular for search.
The latest figures from Hitwise, which monitors search market share, show Google with a record 66 percent share of Web searches in the United States for the month of December 2007.
Google had just over 63 percent for the same period a year ago, according to figures released Tuesday. Meanwhile, Yahoo's share dropped from 21.6 percent to 20.9 percent, Microsoft's dropped from 9.8 percent to just over 7 percent and Ask rose from 3.7 percent to just over 4 percent.
Hitwise also found that people are … Read more
That fairly definite confirmation of how Google reads text within Flash files makes it possible to create Flash .swf files with some level of search engine optimization.
"It used to be the case that we had our own, home-brew code to pull the text out of Flash, but I think that we have moved to the Search Engine SDK tool that Adobe Macromedia offers," Cutts said. "So my hunch … Read more
The Google Docs team, has posted on their blog about the availability of a few new features for Google Presentations to start off the new year. The most significant of the new features is the ability to embed slide shows in web pages. It's not a surprise that Google decided to go this route, given the huge success of embeddable video with YouTube and other embeddable content around the web.
As you can see in my slide show that I have included at the end of this post, it works in a similar way and looks very much like YouTube's embeddable player. Overall, sharing and embedding your slide shows is a fairly painless process. As I said in my original article about Google Presentations, their strong point is collaboration and sharing. This latest feature has continued that trend.
While this is all great, my big problem with Google Presentations is still the lack of a professional look to the slide shows. The feature set just is not quite there yet. I am sure that Google is hard at work, implementing features like transitions, animations, etc., so I can't penalize them too much for that yet, being such a young product. However, if they want to capture any significant portion of the market share, Google Presentations needs the more advanced features.
Other features included in this release are importing slides from other presentations, drag and drop image insertion, and an improved UI. Check out my embedded slide show after the jump.… Read more
Google may not have monopoly power, but it certainly has monopoly mind share. As The New York Times reports, Google's search market share has jumped from 58 percent in March 2006 to 65.1 percent today. Yahoo? Less than one-third of Google's share. Microsoft? Less than one-ninth.
Monopoly? Not in the ordinary sense of the word. Google may well be aiming for a data monopoly to keep us close forever and ever, but for now it just has a brand monopoly that keeps users on its site, feeding it ever-increasing mountains of data.
We are feeding the beast, … Read more
Glyn Moody, ever insightful and provocative, states clearly in a recent RedmondMag.com article just what Microsoft is up against:What is the greatest threat to Microsoft's dominance: Google Inc. or open source? The answer is both, especially when they're working together.
Obvious, right? Well, no. Not exactly. What isn't so obvious, and which Glyn teases out to good effect, is just how clever Google has been about its use of open-source software. I have never connected the dots to Google's open-source arsenal as Glyn has. Nor had I given full credence to just how dependent Google is upon open source. Here's a very small taste:
"[Google is] an example of a company that literally couldn't have existed in the same form pre-Linux or pre-open source," says Jim Zemlin, executive director of The Linux Foundation -- the organization that pays Linus Torvalds to work on the Linux kernel. "If they had to rely on Microsoft or Sun, not only would it have been too expensive, they could not have done the modifications necessary to create their services."… Read more
The eighth installment of The Register's Open Season is now live and worth a listen. From Ashlee Vance's show notes:
...[W]e...look[ed] at things such as Yahoo!'s sponsorship of the Apache Software Foundation, Red Hat's woes (we recorded this before the new CEO splash) and Google's bid for brain domination.
Part of the Red Hat discussion included speculation about IBM going whole hog with Ubuntu on the server. Dave and Matt say this will happen sooner than we think. I'm skeptical.
As always, it was fun to record. Hopefully it's mildly … Read more
To the person with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To the ex-Googler, does everything look like advertising? That's the question I asked myself while reading this New York Times' article on ex-Googlers who want to parlay their wealth into venture capital."Google arguably is at the center of the online advertising ecosystem," said Roger Lee, a general partner at Battery Ventures...."If you understand how Google works and how associated business models work, it gives you a great lens to understand other advertising companies."
Maybe. But who cares? That is, unless you're investing in advertising companies (of which there aren't actually that many, and certainly not many in Silicon Valley or Boston, where Battery largely operates). We've already seen a multitude of Google wannabes trying to monetize the web through advertising, and it turns out that advertising is a very blunt tool to apply to the various types of web businesses.… Read more