Languages of the World (Wide Web) — Google researchers graph cross-language links on the web, and "see a surprisingly clear map of Europe and Asia"
What Do You Do When Your Only Online Identity is a Pseudonym? In a move reminiscent of recent Facebook purges, a well-known Second Life user (whose only online presence is pseudonymous) finds his new Google+ account deleted, allegedly for not being a real person. Whether this move is directly related to the limited-beta status of Google+ or not, questions remain for those who have been 'unpersoned' by Facebook and hopeful that Google's laissez-faire attitude toward personal identification would make G+ a friendlier environment - particularly given Google's encouragement - as recently as February of this year - to "be who you want to be" when using Google services.
“Sheryl is putting together a new-girls network inside Silicon Valley.” She neither flaunts nor hides her ambition, and she talks about her guilt at not being home more; she takes command in meetings, yet she’s comfortable describing Mark Zuckerberg as “my boss,” and as “the Steve Jobs of his generation.” She is emblematic, Gruenfeld thinks, of a post-feminist woman who believes that “when you blame someone else for keeping you back, you are accepting your powerlessness.”
New search goodies - While the rest of us wait for our Google+ invites, Google has quietly pushed some significant changes to its web and image search interfaces. [more inside]
Google WebFonts - 184+ open-source webfonts from Google.
Last night Google quietly rolled out Google+ to a limited beta release. Unified across all Google sites, Google+ is the company's latest and perhaps most serious attempt to enter the social networking space. As Facebook surpasses Google in some key user metrics, Google's efforts may already be too late [more inside]
Yesterday was the third Sunday in June, the officially recognized date of Father's Day in the US and many other countries. Google really, really wanted to remind you of that fact, not only celebrating the day with a special Google Doodle, but also putting reminders on the front page of Google Search and a special "Reminder: Call Dad" note in the chat roster of Gmail Calling. Many people were not happy about it. [more inside]
Google broadcasting today's Lunar Eclipse real-time. With play by play commentary on the action. [more inside]
The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
In another deadly strike in Google's war against productivity (previously), today's Google homepage features a playable guitar in honor of Les Paul's birthday. [more inside]
"Schema ...provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google and Yahoo! rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages. " [more inside]
In the recent MIT symposium "Brains, Minds and Machines," Chomsky criticized the use of purely statistical methods to understand linguistic behavior. Google's Director of Research, Peter Norvig responds. (via) [more inside]
Bob Ferry used Google Books to find old magazines that described mechanics, showed pictures and gave descriptions of a 1906 Oldsmobile Model B Runabout so he could build it 100 years later. Lots of pics and "how to" info at the article.
A song/video made using Google Translate has become one of the most popular YouTube clips in Taiwan this month. (previously) (via)
ro.me A new Google Chrome experiment showcasing WebGL.
Last Friday, USA Today reported that two people from PR firm Burson-Marsteller had been contacting various news outlets and bloggers, pushing a story about how Google's "Social Circle" gmail feature violates users' privacy. The pitch was made on behalf of an unnamed client that The Daily Beast now confirms was Facebook. [more inside]
So it turns out that the United States Postal Service has lost $2.2 billion in the first quarter of 2011 with estimated losses of $7 billon by September. Despite shedding over 130,000 jobs in the past three years and promises from the Postal Worker's Union to not demand any raises in the near future, some doubt that the USPS has a future in America. Does the future have a P.O. Box? Google sure thinks so.
Age of the Algorithm. In the age of the algorithm, you can get just about anything you think you want, learn everything you think you need to know, by clicking on a link or typing a few words into a search bar. On SEO, content farms, old media, and 'online sweatshops.' (From Maisonneuve.)
Music Beta by Google launches today, so go request an invitation to stream 20,000 songs from your collection for free (for now) .
Running Chrome? NaCL Box is a port of DosBox, running in your browser. Game demos include The Secret of Monkey Island and SimCity 2000, among others. [more inside]
Enter start and destination and watch your route payed out.
Andrew Norman Wilson was fired from his job at Google for
investigating the working conditions of yellow badge employees misusing company equipment: [more inside]
"Let's pretend it's an alternate world, or maybe sometime in the future, and there is no free search. You have to pay for your Google, or Bing, or whatever. How much would you be willing to pay?"
Days after Google Video announced the impending death of Google Video, prompting jscott to start archiving as many videos as the Archive team could and a subsequent Metafilter post on the best of Google Video, it turns out that Google has relented and removed the deadline. It will also be migrating the videos over to Youtube.
As discussed over the weekend, in less than two weeks the millions of videos uploaded to six-year-old erstwhile YouTube competitor Google Video will no longer be viewable. Though a download button has been added to each video page for easy back-up, that will only be available though May 13th, and the company will not be offering transfer service for users with YouTube accounts. The search giant has been slowly winding down the service over the years since their billion-dollar buyout of YouTube, controversially revoking purchased content (with a refund) in 2007 and disabling new uploads in 2009. The shutdown is a big blow to the web video ecosystem, as Google Video was one of the few major services to allow free hosting of long-form video, including the content for many popular MetaFilter posts. But all is not lost! Reddit users have organized a virtual potluck to share the most interesting and unique videos not available anywhere else, and the Archive Team, preserver of doomed web properties like Geocities (previously), is partnering with Archive.org to back up as much content as possible. In that spirit, click inside for a list of some of the most popular Google Video-centric content posted here over the years. [more inside]
Cédric Sam has released an updated version of his 2008 Google Maps and Google Earth layers showing Canada's 2008 federal election data in every riding across the country, accessible down to the polling district level. A great GIS data visualization tool for understanding how your riding or district may vote on May 2.
Cory Doctorow's new science fiction story collection, With A Little Help, is available in text and audio. The stories range from an order of datamining monks to Google gone terrible wrong, and the readers include Neil Gaiman, Mur Lafferty, Mary Robinette Kowal and Wil Wheaton. The introduction is written by Jonathan Coulton.
"The more Google's scientists refine search algorithms, the more they manipulate the results, even unconsciously. When you search Google for a recipe now, you get steered towards something with low calories that can be made quickly". An interesting post about how Google's search results can be seen as "promot[ing] a cooking culture focused on speed and diets. "
Gmail Motion by Google. Gmail for the Knect generation.
Why Is Microsoft Seeking New State Laws That Allow it to Sue Competitors For Piracy by Overseas Suppliers?
Musicians@Google Presents: Google Goes Gaga. A 1h13m video interview with Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, mostly fan-submitted questions. [more inside]
Only weeks after Judge Denny Chin extended the filing deadline, and presumably a final decision, and reflecting the Department of Justice’s own opinion, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected the landmark class-action lawsuit settlement between the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers, and Google. And offers some advice for a revised resubmission.
Users may now ban domains from their Google results. After users click through, they may return to Google and ban the entire domain from ever showing up in results again. This comes as part of a general reaction in the context of increasing complaints about Google's search results being spammy.
Clement Valla uses Google Earth to zoom in on bridges and roads in a way which makes them appear warped. [more inside]
Mozilla's HTML 5 Circus rolls into town. The emergence of HTML 5 is marked by, among others, emerging browsers (or browser versions). The soon to be released Firefox 4, often delayed, mirrors the slow march to an HTML 5 Flash reduced web. Like others, Mozilla feels the need to sell HTML 5. We also have Chrome Experiments, Canvas Demos, IE HTML 5 demos and Never Mind the Bullets, and Apple's (warning: sniffer protected) HTML 5 showcase. [more inside]
Previously we worried Is Google Making Us Stupid?. Author Nicholas Carr has expanded that concern into a book, The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains. An interesting review, more of a discussion piece, from the London Review Of Books. (via)
Google Demo Slam is a knockout competition between 84 different demonstrations of Google Tech. The "Slampionship" is down to the last four entries, but if you haven't seen them, you can check out all previous demos. My favourites : Rushmore and Chubby Bunny. (previously on metafilter)
Google's Doodle-4-Google program, where kids can design a variation of the company's homepage logo, is creating a bit of stir this year with the requirement of the child's social security number. [more inside]
Why Gawker Nick Denton is a genius - he can smell the page views!. The redesign he's championed (previously) is a convoluted nightmare which breaks the web and left blog posts unindexed Google. Page views are in the toilet. He may loose that bet. It doesn't matter, Nick Denton is a genius. Look, pictures of a naked man!
The Content Farm is a not-very-subtle satire of The New Web Journalism (currently accepting submissions*) which got a surprising bit of (not good?) publicity by being used as an 'example' in Google's announcement of its Content Farm Blocking Chrome Extension. Why did it get singled out? Why not this Content Farm? [more inside]
Google set up a sting operation to prove that rival Microsoft search engine Bing is cheating, using Internet Explorer to track users' Google search results and mining that data to improve Bing. Here's the proof.
Art Project, powered by Google: explore museums and galleries from around the world in the same way you explore cities with Street View and click on a painting (or select one from the list) to view a high quality scan. [more inside]
Is Google willing to censor? After a December announcement, Google has quietly begun filtering piracy- and torrent-related terms from its Autocomplete and Instant services. While much of the content is arguably illegal, and results will still appear in Google's traditional search, one of the affected search terms is "ubuntu torrent."
Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition, machine translation, and computer vision. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work."
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies. - Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing.