Web search company Ask.com has secretly launched a guerrilla marketing campaign in the United Kingdom in an effort to boost its profile in a land dominated by Google users. Posters with a hand holding a megaphone and urging people to "Stop the Online Information Monopoly" recently began appearing in London underground trains and stations. See a photo on Valleywag, which first reported on the ads.
If you have ever driven below 14th Street in Manhattan, anywhere in Boston or in the old cities of Europe, you are probably very aware that maps are only clues to finding your destination, not directions.
Roads descended from wagon trails can often be hidden down alleys, unexpectedly become one-ways, meander indiscriminately and start up again one block over from where they paused.
For this reason, many people direct by landmark, with street names in parentheses. And good luck if you are getting your directions from a non-human.
Google has announced on their blog a new partnership with BMW's Assist driving service--but only in Germany, so far. BMW drivers using Google Maps Deutschland can now "send" selected geographic data from their PCs directly to their in-car navigators. Consequently, there's no need to look it up at home and then look it up again in the car.
It's not available stateside yet, or with non-BMW navigators, but Google has stressed that this is only the first step in the introduction of the "Send to Car" feature. Meanwhile, Google Maps aficionados in the … Read more
Once again, copyright holders are trying to unmask who uploaded a potentially infringing video clip to YouTube.
This time it's Magnolia Pictures, a film distributor owned by Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner, the billionaire co-founders of Broadcast.com. Magnolia released the Academy Award-nominated documentary Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room, which has a bad habit of appearing on video-sharing sites.
Hence the subpoena to Google, which a federal court in Texas issued on Tuesday. It asks for information on how to identify the person who uploaded three videos (two on Google Video and one on YouTube).
On YouTube, at … Read more
Google released Google Desktop 5 on Tuesday, an update to its application for searching and indexing files on a personal computer or shared networked computers.
Google Desktop 5, available immediately for free download, offers a new sidebar interface for gadgets, new gadgets, a tool for searching available gadgets, a preview tool for browsing Google Desktop Search results, and new security features.
Google gadgets, similar to Apple's widgets, offer mini-applications for scouring the Internet for e-mail, news, weather and photos, as well as offer tools like clocks, calendars and notes.
Google Desktop 5 includes a sidebar for managing these gadgets … Read more
India, Russia and China were the countries with the biggest increases in Internet users over the past year, according to a study released on Tuesday by comScore Networks.
The number of unique Internet users 15 years or older rose 33 percent in India to 21.1 million, 21 percent in Russia to 12.7 million and 20 percent in China to 86.8 million, according to the study. China has the second largest Internet population in the world, after the United States. The number of Internet users 15 years or older in the U.S. was 153.4 million users, … Read more
Google plans to digitize more than a million public-domain books in the Bavarian State Library, according to a Tuesday blog posting of Jens Redmer, head of Google Book Search in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The effort, which is set to include works by The Brothers Grimm, Goethe and Schiller, is part of Google's Library Project of scanning, indexing and making available for viewing over the Internet entire libraries of books. In addition to the German-language books, the Bavarian State Library has out-of-copyright works in French, Spanish, Latin, Italian and English.
Other libraries participating in Google's book-scanning … Read more
A Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up is planning to build a free wireless Internet network in central San Francisco, and all residents have to do put a small wireless router supplied by the company in their window or rooftop. Meraki Networks plans, within months, to bring free wireless Internet access to about 15,000 residents who live in parts of the Mission, Castro, Duboce Park, Lower Haight and Alamo Square neighborhoods.
A venture capitalist says he has details on the rumored Google Phone. Simeon Simeonov of Polaris Venture Partners writes in his High Contrast blog that an inside source has told him that it will be a Blackberry-like device running C++ at the core with an operating system bootstrap and optimized Java and that it offer voice over Internet Protocol.
"Apparently, Google is planning to build distribution relationships with multiple carriers by allowing them to minimize subscription and marketing costs," Simeonov writes. "In other words, Google will market the phone online and carriers will fulfill. How fast can … Read more
A federal court has ruled that search engines have a First Amendment right to reject ads as part of their protected right to speak or not speak. The U.S. District Court in Delaware (PDF) has effectively shut down a lawsuit filed by Christopher Langdon, who had attempted unsuccessfully to sell ads on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's search Web sites.
Langdon has several Web sites that purport to expose fraud among North Carolina state officials and to discuss atrocities committed by the Chinese government, according to the court filings. Allegedly, Google rejected Langdon's ads because they attacked individuals, … Read more