Google has a fabulous new(-ish) tool called Correlate where you can draw lines on an empty graph and Google will try to find search trends that match. You can find some really interesting curves by dicking around this way. For example, searches for "how to write a resume for a job" go through the roof from 2008 to today. Also, it turns out that people tend to google "work out equipment" around the holiday season. [more inside]
Two days ago a user asked Google about a strange warning he was getting when trying to access Gmail from Iran. Turns out he was getting a fraudulent SSL certificate that was issued incorrectly for *.google.com by DigiNotar, a Dutch certificate authority. It seems likely this was a deliberate man-in-the-middle attack to snoop email in Iran. This attack is the second SSL certificate compromise in a year (previously), pointing to a fundamental design flaw in Internet security. [more inside]
The "nymwars" rage on. Despite a passionate post on their own public policy blog earlier this year, outlining all of the reasons that Google is a strong supporter of the use of pseudonyms on the internet, Google is continuing to take an uncharacteristically draconian approach to the use of pseudonyms on Google+. Google+ users with pseudonyms not only risk losing access to Google+, but also access to other Google services including Picasa and Google Reader as well. Naturally, this is a significant inconvenience for users who are known primarily by their pseudonyms, and a more significant inconvenience to users who use pseudonyms to protect the physical safety of themselves and their families. [previously] [more inside]
Suck on it Applesoft. "Everyone was baffled when Google made those crazy bids for the Nortel patents last month. Remember? They bid things like the distance from the earth to the sun, the number pi, and some other wacky numbers from mathematics." [more inside]
Stanford's 'Introduction to Artificial Intelligence' course will be offered free to anyone online this fall. The course will be taught by Sebastian Thrun (Stanford) and Peter Norvig (Google, Director of Research), who expect to deal with the historically large course size using tools like Google Moderator. [more inside]
"Looking at the world through via Google Earth offers striking images of the diversity of our planet and the impact that humans have had on it. Today's entry is a puzzle. We're challenging you to figure out where in the world each of the images below is taken. (You'll find answers and links at the bottom of the entry.) North is not always up in these pictures, and, apart from a bit of contrast, they are unaltered images provided by Google and its mapping partners. So I invite you to open up Google Earth (or Google Maps), have a look at the images below, and dive in. Good luck!"
Neil Fraser has an infrequently updated but interesting blog featuring such gems as the Lava Lamp Centrifuge, laptop storage advice, a Google vs. Multivac comparison, a synchronization algorithm improvement, a Godwin incident, and occasional holiday specials. He also bailed out Jeremy Marks, an LA kid arrested for video taping a police beating, who's now free btw, and helped death row inmates with their SEO optimization. (previously)
The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.
It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
In a two minute-and-forty-two-second advertisment against advertising, Microsoft explains why you should use their product instead of that of their competitor [via]
Don't Be Evil -- a somewhat philosophical review of two new books about Google.
Not so fast, internetpseudonym, on signing up for that Google+ account. Turns out you can only use your real name or face account suspension. Users don't like it and some are worried about safety, but Google isn't budging: "To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you...You can use pseudonyms to upload videos in YouTube or post to Blogger."
Everybody likes earning badges. It's what built scouting and what drives the Khan Academy. Now Google has introduced "Google News Badges". Is this a benevolent attempt to get more people to be aware of what's going on in the world, or is something deeper and/or darker going on? It's an unusual move, whatever the reason.
Metatalk post in 6 months: Where's that post about how we forget stuff we know is available online somewhere?
A lot of things make us dumb but for seriously this time you guys, the availability of information on the internet is making us not bother to remember information. We aren't even that great at remembering where the information is that we didn't bother to remember. Instead we just remember that it can be found someplace or other. [more inside]
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?