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First they came for......

It was December 14 when Twitter first received the sealed order to turn over information on several of its users. Twitter could simply have provided the information requested, instead of acting, on January 5, to have the order unsealed. The unsealing of the subpoena allowed the Twitter users in question to become aware of the situation, and it allowed them an opportunity to dispute the order--an opportunity they would not otherwise have had.
US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists.
WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas. One of the subpeoned accounts it that of Birgitta Jónsdóttir, activist and Icelandic Member of parliament. A resolution proposing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), has already been unanimously passed by the country's parliament.
Icelands intention is to become an international transparency haven.
posted by adamvasco on Jan 8, 2011 - 86 comments

Lubricating Sincerity

"On GChat, I type many things – sincere and not – that I would never say in person because it’s easy, when typing certain things into a box, to forget whom you are typing to." From Thought Catalog, writer Caroline Bankoff lists 45 things she thinks about when she thinks about google's chat service. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue on Jan 6, 2011 - 34 comments

Google Refine Data Cleaning Software

Google Refine is a free data-cleaning tool provided by Google. You install it on your own computer and run it through your browser. It’s very similar to PivotTables in Excel, but there are some advanced features such as data matching. On their blog, ProPublica provides a practical example of how they used the software to clean medical billing data for one of their investigative reports.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Jan 5, 2011 - 29 comments

Can Google beat spam?

"[U]sers ... are beginning to find that when they try to do searches to evaluate or buy consumer items--such as dishwashers, or iPhone 4 cases--or to find a site that will give them some useful answers, that Google's results are awash with spam." Is there "Trouble in the House of Google?" Is Google the next Yahoo? ... or worse? Why we need a better Google, and how Facebook likes, Blekko, and Bing are "changing search." (Previously; more previously)
posted by mrgrimm on Jan 4, 2011 - 67 comments

Win Steve Landsburg's Money

Google is known to ask the following question in job interviews: In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country? Think you know the answer? If so, Steve Landsburg may be willing to bet you up to $5000. [more inside]
posted by gsteff on Jan 1, 2011 - 279 comments

The rules for long ſ

Hot s&ſ action: Google Books’ optical character recognition is louſy enough to be unable to differentiate f from the ancient long s or medial s, ſ (previouſly). But what exactly were the rules for uſing this now-obſolete glyph? It turns out you almost need a flowchart. (Via)
posted by joeclark on Jan 1, 2011 - 38 comments

Google - Don't Be Evil

Google's sheer size and power is staggering - and of course a little disconcerting. But ultimately are they ensuring the internet remains open and user friendly? CBC Radio had a great piece on the Algorithm That Changed World on how Google has helped keep the internet useful and spammers at bay. As a user, I have not found any other search engine that come close in giving me useful results. Intelligent Life's take on Apple vs Google, shows how this open system vs closed system philosophical differences plays itself out with product strategy. Of course, Google's user-centric world can suck if you have ever written a book.
posted by helmutdog on Dec 28, 2010 - 106 comments

2010: The Year in Data Breaches

Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Dec 28, 2010 - 26 comments

The Waste Land

"The Simple Software That Could —but Probably Won't—Change the Face of Writing." James Somers on Google's Etherpad (previously).
posted by Avenger50 on Dec 22, 2010 - 48 comments

Google now lets you filter via basic, intermediate and advanced reading levels...

Getting to advanced reading level content. As pioneered by Adrien Chen of Gawker, by far the most interesting application of the tool is its ability to rate the overall level of material on any given site, simply by dropping site: [domain.com] into the search box.
posted by Muirwylde on Dec 21, 2010 - 52 comments

Tired of that crockety bloat feeling?

TEH GOOGLE IS KILLING TEH CAPSLOCK OMG
posted by macadamiaranch on Dec 18, 2010 - 98 comments

BodyWorks In Your Browser

A busy day for Google, as it soft-launches BodyBrowser (latest betas of Safari, Firefox and Chrome required.). Using a combination of HTML5 with the <canvas> tag with WebGL (essentially plugin-free OpenGL for 3D on the web), BodyBrowser makes the human body as accessible as a mapping application.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Dec 16, 2010 - 12 comments

Word search

Google's new Ngram Viewer lets you track the history of words in six languages, including several flavo(u)rs of English. Whether it's the rise and fall of a single word, the evolution of technology, or the mysterious seventeenth-century proliferation of fart jokes, there's a lot to play with. More at the Official Google Blog.
posted by theodolite on Dec 16, 2010 - 74 comments

surfing for charity

Chrome for a Cause. From now until December 19th, every tab you open on Chrome with this extension installed will help raise funds for five different charities (The Nature Conservancy, Charity: Water, Doctors Without Borders, Un Techo para mi Pais and Room To Read).
posted by fight or flight on Dec 16, 2010 - 35 comments

Thin Client

Google's pilot program for Chrome OS is well underway, with the new operating system being distributed on free Cr-48 Notebooks, to generally favourable impressions. Chrome OS relies heavily on cloud computing, where software and data live on servers and are accessed by a client, and product manager Caesar Sengupta going as far as to say they will have failed if cloud computing does not become the norm. Not everyone is happy about that thought through, with Richard Stallman warning it may be a trap. Like the Cr-48s attractive design but not so sure about ChromeOS? You could always sneak Ubuntu onto it.
posted by Artw on Dec 14, 2010 - 96 comments

Tech support for your parents (so you don't have to)

Google presents: TeachParentsTech.org (via the official Google blog). You'll never have to teach your parents how to copy and paste, attach a file to their email or transfer files again.
posted by peacheater on Dec 13, 2010 - 68 comments

Zeitgeist 2010

Google presents: Zeitgeist 2010: How the World Searched, based on the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed into their search engine this year. Accompanying YouTube Video
posted by zarq on Dec 12, 2010 - 12 comments

Google eBookstore

Google eBooks, the new Google eBooks store that will compete with Amazon on price and selection. Introducing Google eBooks (video). Launch USA only. NPR: "..independent booksellers will get a cut of the revenue when people buy e-books on their local seller's website instead of directly from Google."
posted by stbalbach on Dec 6, 2010 - 85 comments

The perils of relying on Google's translator, or "Risk explains google".

Google still has a lot of work to do on its translator.
posted by Defenestrator on Dec 5, 2010 - 157 comments

Seriously the Most You Will Ever Read About Map Labels

Google Maps and Label Readability. No really, it's an interesting read.
posted by azarbayejani on Dec 2, 2010 - 32 comments

Popular Searches

A little ahead of schedule, Yahoo, AOL and Bing have released their lists of items most often searched for in 2010. Google hasn't released their list but you can see popular searches using their Insights program.
posted by morganannie on Dec 2, 2010 - 53 comments

Google Trees + Amazon Drought

We've discussed the "once in a century" Amazon Drought of 2005-06. Five years later and we are seeing another once in a century drought in the Amazon. How serious are the effects of these droughts for global climate? The science appears to be mixed. Helping monitor is the newly released Google Earth 6.0, which can track individual trees within a section of the Amazonian forest, and 80 million other trees in 7 cities around the world (video).
posted by stbalbach on Nov 30, 2010 - 10 comments

How to make Google beatbox for you

How to make Google beatbox for you. shorter version: go here, hit listen.
posted by juv3nal on Nov 29, 2010 - 65 comments

1. Evil. 2. ??? 3. PROFIT

“The customer is always right — not here, you understand? I hate that phrase — the customer is always right. Why is the merchant always wrong? Can the customer ever be wrong? Is that not possible?” Gaming Google's PageRank algorithm, one online glasses merchant's prime directive seems to be Don't Be Evil.
posted by ocherdraco on Nov 27, 2010 - 112 comments

Nine eyes, no brain

9eyes is a blog by Jon Rafman, featuring a collection of interesting images found on Google StreetView.
posted by flatluigi on Nov 16, 2010 - 57 comments

Geometry, Surfaces, Curves, Polyhedra

Geometry, Surfaces, Curves, Polyhedra (many of which are beautiful) l Google Earth Fractals l fractals and chaos. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Nov 1, 2010 - 5 comments

Time to go for a WebP

Google wants to speed up the Web by killing the JPEG.... and replace it with a spiffier graphics format that might be pronounced "Web-pee". The new format promises to be a whiz, cutting image sizes up to forty percent. WebP is part of a broader web video initiative WebM.
posted by storybored on Oct 29, 2010 - 66 comments

Chatroulette for Street View

MapCrunch.com Google Street View Randomizer. Try the slideshow.
posted by blue_beetle on Oct 28, 2010 - 29 comments

World Statistics Day!

20.10.2010 is World Statistics Day, so help yourself to a metric (haha sorry) ton of publicly available data at UNdata, ICSPR (registration required to download data sets), and data.gov (previously). You can also explore, visualize and animate a variety of publicly available data sets with Google Labs' Public Data Explorer.
posted by cog_nate on Oct 20, 2010 - 14 comments

the creative internet circa fall 2010

The world (internet) is full of interesting (creative) things... a slideshow created by Google. [via]
posted by AceRock on Oct 12, 2010 - 11 comments

FB > GOOG ?

How Facebook Can Become Bigger In Five Years Than Google Is Today [more inside]
posted by gwint on Oct 12, 2010 - 91 comments

SEO Speedwagon

Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving. SLNYT + video.
posted by chavenet on Oct 9, 2010 - 116 comments

We don't need you to type at all

"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it." The Atlantic's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview (~25 min Flash video) [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 4, 2010 - 55 comments

Plena anguillis est navis volans mea

Google translate has added latin as an alpha language. [more inside]
posted by Ahab on Oct 3, 2010 - 48 comments

760-705-8888

In August, Google added a feature to Gmail that lets you make phone calls — for free, if you live in the US or Canada and you're calling someone in the US or Canada. When you make a call, your number shows up as 760-705-8888. Judging by the nine pages of complaints found here, the service is often being used to prank, harass and scam people. [more inside]
posted by defenestration on Oct 2, 2010 - 60 comments

Google PenguinView

Google PenguinView
posted by KokuRyu on Oct 1, 2010 - 21 comments

Google Greenscreen

"With Google Mobile, you can search for things nearby without entering your location. Just type or speak what you're looking for." [more inside]
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis on Sep 29, 2010 - 31 comments

Personal Access Display Device

With the unveiling of the BlackBerry Playbook, a 7" iPad competitor solidly aimed at business, are the tablet wars heating up?
posted by Artw on Sep 28, 2010 - 253 comments

Google Blacklist

Google recently rolled out its new instant search feature which accompanies its older "suggest" function. Both use an algorithm in an attempt to keep the search engine clean and out of trouble. The people at 2600.com are compiling a list of both objectionable and NOT objectionable terms (NSFW). [more inside]
posted by gman on Sep 27, 2010 - 53 comments

Project 10^100

Google awards $10 million for “world changing” ideas. [more inside]
posted by Babblesort on Sep 27, 2010 - 46 comments

Red Vs. Blue

"With the midterm elections in the U.S. Senate just six weeks away, everyone is wondering how the balance of power between Republicans and Democrats will shake out after November 2." Wonder no more with Google's 2010 U.S. Election Ratings Map. Information can be filtered by state, type of race (senate, governor, house), and by source. A Google Maps blog entry has more detailed info for those who want to dig deeper into the application. [via TechCrunch]
posted by bayani on Sep 21, 2010 - 20 comments

GStalk

A Google engineer was recently fired for spying on several teens through their GTalk, Gmail, and Google Voice accounts.

He accessed contact lists and chat transcripts, and in one case quoted from an IM that he'd looked up behind the person's back... In another incident, Barksdale unblocked himself from a Gtalk buddy list even though the teen in question had taken steps to cut communications with the Google engineer.

Google statement confirming the shenanigans.
posted by swift on Sep 15, 2010 - 96 comments

There's antimony, arsenic, aluminum, selenium

Tom Lehrer’s “Elements Song” accompanying Google Instant Search [SLYT].
posted by Mitheral on Sep 9, 2010 - 33 comments

Google Scribe

Metafilter: It is not anticipated that there will be another one of those people who are not interested in them and they are nothing but another form of therapy. Autocomplete yourself with Google Scribe, a new Labs thingy.
posted by swift on Sep 8, 2010 - 102 comments

Cyberspace has everted.

Google's Earth by William Gibson.
posted by xowie on Sep 1, 2010 - 92 comments

How big is it really?

The BBC's Dimensions site lets you view a range of phenomena overlaid on different parts of the Earth. What if the moon was sitting on Alice Springs? What do the Pakistan floods look like if placed on England? What would the walls of Beijing look like around London? Much more to explore.
posted by Jimbob on Aug 19, 2010 - 11 comments

The Google Graveyard

Let's take a walk through the Google graveyard.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 18, 2010 - 45 comments

Not any more it's not.

This document is confidential.
posted by scalefree on Aug 17, 2010 - 54 comments

"See no evil, hear no evil..." "Can you hear me now?"

Despite very strong denials last week from Google and Verizon that they were not discussing ways around Net Neutrality, Google and Verizon held a conference today to announce their agreement to the establishment of price-tiered network services, dividing the current Internet into a "neutral public Internet" that remains "open" (and which preserves access to YouTube and other Google properties), and a set of paid, priority channels that Verizon and other telecoms can use to deliver certain other types of content at higher prices, particularly over cell networks and whatever future infrastructure the Internet will be carried over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Aug 9, 2010 - 224 comments

Google’s Product Development Philosophy

“If you're a politician, admitting you're wrong is a weakness, but if you're an engineer, you essentially want to be wrong half the time. If you do experiments and you're always right, then you aren't getting enough information out of those experiments. You want your experiment to be like the flip of a coin: You have no idea if it is going to come up heads or tails. You want to not know what the results are going to be. ” A Slate interview with Google Research Director Peter Norvig on Google's product development process. [via]
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Aug 7, 2010 - 20 comments

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