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Google rules!
November 6, 2003 7:21 PM   Subscribe

I half figured this would be posted here by now... The folks at Google have done it again. The Google deskbar has been released. In front of their apparent IPO (previously discussed here), Google rolls out something even cooler than their toolbar. Cue the critics saying that this deskbar violates my privacy somehow. As I hope we all know, Google has fixed the toolbar problems, albeit after people started complaining.
posted by ajpresto (45 comments total)

 
Quick follow up.. sorry! Google has built in the ability to turn off reporting. From the privacy policy here:

The Deskbar "Feedback Statistics" feature is optional. If you do not want such information sent to Google, you may easily disable (or re-enable) this feature by selecting "Options…" in Google Deskbar's menu, and changing the setting of the "Feedback Statistics" checkbox.

Maybe they listened this time....
posted by ajpresto at 7:26 PM on November 6, 2003


Damnitall.. This is the last post.. I promise...

I just noticed that it's part of the setup program, too.

And, while I'm thinking of it, Windows 95+ and IE 5.5 (I bet that means "installed" and not "set as default." for the part about IE, anyway.)
posted by ajpresto at 7:28 PM on November 6, 2003


Wowzers! I love this already and it's not finished downloading. Google is my new GOD.
posted by tiamat at 7:31 PM on November 6, 2003


Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar (www.dqsd.net) does the same thing, but for a squajillion different things. EBay user searches, dictionary searches etc.etc.

worth a look
posted by Flat Feet Pete at 7:31 PM on November 6, 2003


I knew I shoulda mentioned Dave's Deskbar...
posted by ajpresto at 7:33 PM on November 6, 2003


opera has had google/ebay/amazon searches and more since back in the day.
posted by lotsofno at 7:36 PM on November 6, 2003


It seems to work just fine with Opera 7.2 set as the default browser, so I assume you're right about the IE installed vs default.
posted by tiamat at 7:41 PM on November 6, 2003


And Firebird not only has google search in the toolbar, you can right click for a google search, or install the search this extension and search Dictionary.com, Amazon or IMDB.

Just a plug for my browser o' choice. This looks pretty cool though; my wife will have it installed tonight probably.
posted by spartacusroosevelt at 7:41 PM on November 6, 2003


Dave's Quick Search Taskbar Toolbar Deskbar (www.dqsd.net) does the same thing, but for a squajillion different things. EBay user searches, dictionary searches etc.etc.

worth a look


Let me pipe in and say that DQSD is more than worth a look. Since I was turned on to it a year or so ago, it's become an essential tool for me. When I use a computer that doesn't have it, I feel like I'm missing a finger; maybe even a thumb. The Google deskbar does indeed look great, but it has the one problem you don't usually think of when Google is concerned: it confines the results to Google. Those of you who are using a deskbar search tool for the first time, enjoy the great new functionality. But if you can (sadly, DQSD doesn't work as OS/platform universally as I wish it would), give DQSD a try and see how powerful such a thing can really be.

(Boy, that's about as close to proselytizing as I've ever come to on Mefi. Sorry about that--I promise to stay away from the political threads.)
posted by Inkslinger at 7:57 PM on November 6, 2003


Also, FYI, Tweak UI for XP allows you to build a shortcut into the IE address bar to search Google as well.
posted by costas at 8:10 PM on November 6, 2003


It crashed my computer when I resized my taskbar. (Win98)
posted by donth at 8:35 PM on November 6, 2003


... of course, Windows 98 always crashes. It hasn't happened again, yet.
posted by donth at 8:38 PM on November 6, 2003


Google is my new GOD.

i just don't know.
posted by quonsar at 8:40 PM on November 6, 2003


Bah. Mozilla lets you highlight a word or sentence, right click and select "web search for..."

You can choose what search engine to use - I'm using Google.
posted by spazzm at 9:37 PM on November 6, 2003


Google's taskbar is absolutely wonderful! It's nice to have a Google search field so close at hand, but it's even better to have an automatic (and free) pop-up killer, too. Especially since some of the sites I frequent don't seem to understand their ad servers . . .
posted by somethingotherthan at 9:43 PM on November 6, 2003


FFP and Inkslinger - thanks for the tip on DQSD! Pretty sweet.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:52 PM on November 6, 2003


The point is not that your browsers have google built into them. What is different with this is that the browser does not need to be up.
posted by Hildago at 9:56 PM on November 6, 2003


What is different with this is that the browser does not need to be up.

If the browser's not up, it means you have just restarted the computer. That happens what, once a month?
posted by kindall at 10:02 PM on November 6, 2003


When Google goes evil we're all fucked.

Sorry for the profaniy, but I tend towards understatement.
posted by wah at 10:23 PM on November 6, 2003


If the browser's not up, it means you have just restarted the computer. That happens what, once a month?

I dunno, there must be some use for it. I certainly don't have one.. I uninstalled it right after I put it on. I've got the Google toolbar and the Nutshell toolbar up, and Google is my home page. How many more ways do I need to search Google?
posted by Hildago at 10:28 PM on November 6, 2003


Cool! I love that it gives me a chance to choose google.com.au instead of google.com, something which Firebird does not do.

Oh, wait, I can choose what seems like every country-specific google page except google.com.au. Ah, shit.
posted by dg at 10:55 PM on November 6, 2003


Hmmmm, I like this thing much better than the toolbar in the browser. One question: I'm more left- than right-oriented when it comes to which side of my screen I want things on. Is there some way to make the minibrowser come up elsewhere than in the right lower corner of the screen?
posted by alumshubby at 11:07 PM on November 6, 2003


alums, you can move the toolbar to wherever you want, and the popup springs from the toolbar.

Also, you can add other search engines or the like to the Google Desktop Search. It's all in custom settings. Check out Ev for an example.
posted by kfury at 1:44 AM on November 7, 2003


In Konqueror, you can just type gg: searchterm into the location bar.
posted by salmacis at 2:45 AM on November 7, 2003


Googling Google - Tony Perkins is writing a book about Google and he wants you to be a contributing editor.
posted by boost ventilator at 4:03 AM on November 7, 2003


Bah. Mozilla lets you highlight a word or sentence, right click and select "web search for..."

so does internet explorer, and google too once you've installed the toolbar.
posted by t r a c y at 4:57 AM on November 7, 2003


I'm loving this thing. It's incredibly useful for quick research while using other applications -- say you forgot the details in a Photoshop tutorial or something or need a quick fact check while doing a Word document.

With search results up and visible it's using 800k of memory. That beats the hell out of the 23M Firebird sucks up and for the memory challenged that make be a huge difference in the performance of other applications. I'm thinking more of this as a little always on mini-browser than anything else.
posted by cedar at 5:37 AM on November 7, 2003


Shift-Command-L will google any highlighted text in any app in OS X.
posted by Treeline at 6:03 AM on November 7, 2003


Treeline...that? Is fucking awesome. I did not know that.
posted by pizzasub at 6:11 AM on November 7, 2003


I still love Nutshell.
posted by shoepal at 6:36 AM on November 7, 2003


Hmm...all I get with it is "This page cannot be displayed" messages.
posted by rushmc at 6:45 AM on November 7, 2003


Treeline- you sure? Jaguar? Doesn't work here.

Though, to be sure, we Mac folks have had a ton of variants on this for a while. Safari's got it built in, Ambrosia's iSeek puts Google (and others) in the toolbar, and <shameless ego stroke>I wrote a service (one of the first for OS X, natch) called FindIt that did the whole highlight-n-search thang, though I stopped distributing it because other tools came out that wound up doing it better...
posted by mkultra at 6:47 AM on November 7, 2003


mkultra & treeline: In Panther, the "Open URL" service is there but it has ceded its shortcut key - Shift-Cmd-L - to a "Search with Google" service that didn't used to be there. This is Safari 1.1 (v100), from the retail box of Panther. All things being equal, a service to the Google interface is probably more useful, but since services lacking a shortcut key are services I never, ever use, I'm sorry to see the "Open URL" service "disappear."

(FWIW, I use Windows 2000 at the office, and Dave's deskbar thing is awesome!)
posted by JollyWanker at 7:40 AM on November 7, 2003


Shift-Command-L does diddly for me (in Jaguar). I tried it in Safari, mail, and BBedit Lite.

Are you sure you don't have some extra thingie installed, Treeline?
posted by jpburns at 7:42 AM on November 7, 2003


I don't have some extra thingie installed, and it worked fine for me (Panther here).
posted by pizzasub at 8:47 AM on November 7, 2003


In Panther: works in BBEdit, works in finder. Doesn't work in Mozilla, IE, or Word, which have their own uses for that key combination. Always launches Safari, whether that's your preferred browser or not.

(Me, I use Searchling, which you can't have. Nyah nyah.)
posted by ook at 9:12 AM on November 7, 2003


Bitch.
posted by pizzasub at 9:18 AM on November 7, 2003


Hurt me.
posted by ook at 9:28 AM on November 7, 2003


*wappa wappa*
posted by pizzasub at 10:29 AM on November 7, 2003


The dqsb thing said it couldn't create an API hook into IE, then started throwing script errors. Then it wouldn't uninstall without a fight. I'll skip that one, thanks.

The Google deskbar seems just fine. I'll take limited-but-working over does-everything-except-work anytime.
posted by briank at 10:48 AM on November 7, 2003


It seems like leaving the reporting of statistics on in the deskbar, wouldn't be a problem. It doesn't tell Google what sites you visit, only how often you use the tool.

From the FAQ:

"Is the Google Deskbar tracking any information about me at all?

"Yes. The Google Deskbar does collect information about the number of times you use each of its features when the Feedback Statistics option is turned on. By counting uses of specific features, we get an idea of which parts of the Google Deskbar users find most helpful. However, no personal information about you (name, address, phone number, etc.) or your searches is collected. And you can turn tracking off using the Options dialog box.

"Also note that Google Deskbar checks once a day to see if a new update is available. This check is recorded by Google and cannot be disabled. In addition to ensuring you always have the latest version of the application, this connection to Google lets us know approximately how many active Google Deskbars are in use. For more information on the Google Deskbar privacy policy, please see Privacy Information."


I'll be leaving it on; doesn't seem like a privacy invasion to me.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:28 AM on November 7, 2003


I just posted to MeFi using the Google Deskbar window.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:40 AM on November 7, 2003


I don't know who said it was a weeny program, but I have it listed in my memory as "GGViewer64-85.exe @ 13.8MB."

I may as well have IE6 up and running, but minimised. Oh wait... that's exactly what's going on.

Since my browser of choice is Mozilla, on reflection, it seems to me the deskbar uses too many resources for such a limited gain in functionality. Looks like it's uninstall time.

From wooo to boo in 3 posts. A new record.
posted by Blue Stone at 11:49 AM on November 7, 2003


Blue Stone: That seems odd, mine remains quite low on W2K. I noticed a spike to while loading a result in the window but once loaded it dropped right back down. Maybe the difference in version numbers?

google_viewer.gif
posted by cedar at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2003


d'oh! command-shift-l is panther only. It'll work in any Services-aware app.
For Jaguar (or any 10.x release) try SearchGoogle.service, a 53k piece of freeware which adds an amazon option.
posted by Treeline at 8:56 PM on November 7, 2003


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