Now that Google has had a few months to work out any potential kinks in the system, Google Maps is now officially offering YouTube integration. Once you choose to add the video layer from the “more” menu (the same one that’ll get you to Wikipedia), you can check out any videos that have been geotagged!
For those that used the previous add-on version, you’ll find little different. Aesthetically, you’ll notice that the actual video will be cut down (removing the play count and video information) so to make presentation easier, and the videos will appear on the map as a thumbnail instead of a small red dot.
I, for one, can’t wait to see what people start filming because of this. Sure, there might be boring videos here and there of people checking out barren stretches of highway that no one will ever see (which I actually think is kind of neat), but this does provide an opportunity to make the world seem a little bit smaller.
According to a recent poll taken by the Ponemon Institute and TRUSTe in San Francisco, Google has fallen off the most trust companies list along with Countrywide Financial, Bank of America and Weight Watchers.
This has almost everything to do with the recent rise in piracy, with only 45 percent of the users stating that they felt they have control over their personal information. On top of that, 60 percent of the surveyors claimed that identity theft negatively impacts their thoughts about a company. “Consumers are getting more astute about” privacy, stated Fran Maier, CEO of TRUSTe, a company that evaluates online privacy practices.
Think you’re a client of one of the most trusted? Be sure and check out the full list of the most trusted companies right after the jump.
Google continues to improve its Gmail service, which has seen several upgrades this past year ranging from new themes to Mail Goggles. Gmail's newest trick is the ability to view PDF files on its own without the need to load your installed PDF viewer of choice.
"When I get sent a PDF, sometimes I just want to view it -- I don't always need to download and save it right then," Google wrote in a blog post. "So starting today, you'll see a new "View" link next to PDF attachments you get in Gmail."
Once you click on 'View,' the option to view the PDF file in plain HTML returns via a link at the top of the new viewer. You can also download the file straight away or from within the integrated viewer.
According to Cnet, Google.com search results will be next to get the updated PDF viewer. Until then, you can still skip the long load times inherent with Adobe's Acrobat by switching to Foxit Software's leaner and much faster PDF Reader.
Articles have been sprouting up around the web in response to Google’s admission that staff will help hand pick search results displayed to users. Many of these articles are rather opinionated, but we will leave it up to you to decide if this is really the end of search as we know it.
For years now Google has washed their hands of all responsibility for its search results using variations on a phrase that has been prominently posted at the bottom of sites like news.google.com for years now. “The selection and placement of stories on this page were determined automatically by a computer program”. In general however, our belief that Google’s results were a 100 per cent derivative of the page rank system was mostly one of faith. Under this system popularity is determined by counting links from other popular pages around the web as a way of gauging an articles creditability. Presumably some human intervention was used to prevent people from gaming the system, but that’s about it.
This week Google’s Marissa Meyer explained that going forward “editorial judgments will play a key role in Google searches”. Mayer also hinted about the possibility of using the data supplied by users using the new wiki search. Currently changes made using this method only influence your own search results, but it’s hard to argue that it might not have some practical use in crowd sourcing the relevance of certain searches. But with the abuse we have witnessed in the past, such as the anti spore backlash that was unleashed on Amazon, would human oversight be required to help moderate the impact of such user submitted data?
Assuming Google doesn’t abuse its power when interfering with the page ranking system, is this really such a bad thing? Hit the jump and let us know.
According to a recent interview with Google’s vice president of search products and user experience, Marissa Mayer, Chrome is on its way out of the beta stages.
Having only been in beta for three months, the move is notably impressive. Google is hoping to cater to many customers, including OEMs, that can’t offer the browser until it is official. They’re also planning to bundle Chrome with the Google Toolbar and other Google Apps.
The timely release comes alongside a large push by Google to redefine the browser around the open Web. Their plans to have Chrome work as a platform where users can run their applications are ambitious, but admirable. With any luck, we can see some concrete results in the coming year.
The Open Handset Alliance, which is responsible for promoting the use of Google’s Android operating system, recently added 14 new members to its roster.
The newest additions include Vodafone (the world’s largest mobile operator), AKM Semiconductor, ARM, ASUSTek Computer, Atheros Communications, Borqs, Ericsson, Garmin International, Huawei Technologies, Omron Software, Softbank Mobile, Sony Ericsson, Teleca, and Toshiba. An impressive group that’s been added onto the 34 strong that signed on when the Open Handset Alliance started a year ago.
The members of the alliance are expected to “deploy compatible Android devices, contribute significant code to the Android Open Source Project, or support the ecosystem through products and services that will accelerate the availability of Android-based devices.”
It’s expected that these additions will help grow Android’s influence on the mobile market. And goodness knows it could use the help, because Google has a long way to go before they get a significant market share.
In a bid to woo more developers towards its vernal Android platform, Google has begun offering a Sim-and hardware-unlocked G1 phone to developers. The unlocked version not only opens the floodgates for developers from around the globe, but it also presents an alternative to those US-based developers who have been resisting the retail version.
Google has confirmed the availability of the unlocked phone in 18 countries, including the US, UK, Germany, Japan, India, Canada, France, Taiwan, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Switzerland, Netherlands, Austria, Sweden, Finland, Poland, and Hungary. Although the unlocked G1 costs only $399, developers will have to part with $25 to register themselves on the Android Market site before they can order the phone.
Google has delivered its riposte to Precursor LLC, which accused the search giant of using 21 times more internet bandwidth than it pays for in its maiden research study of U.S. Consumer Internet Usage and Cost. Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington Telecom Counsel derided Scott Cleland, the author of Precursor’s contentious report, for what it calls “payola punditry.”
He questioned the neutrality of the report given the fact Cleland’s anti-Net neutrality group – effectively against Google - is funded by telecom and cable companies. He expressly made it clear that he believes that the report was at the behest of Cleland’s paymasters.
Whitt even hung a question mark against the accuracy of the calculations upon which Cleland based his diatribe against the search giant. "Mr. Cleland's calculations about YouTube's impact are similarly flawed. Here he confuses "market share" with 'traffic share.' YouTube's share of video traffic is decidedly smaller than its market share. And typical YouTube traffic takes up far less bandwidth than downloading or streaming a movie."
But Cleland is standing his ground. He described the report as a “transparent attempt to estimate something of significance.”
Like it or not, Google is widely considered to be a leader within the technology industry. Flagship companies such as themselves, Apple, and Microsoft are important companies to watch during a market downturn. Downsizing at these multibillion dollar corporations are viewed as a devastating reminder that even the strongest companies aren’t immune to the decline. In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google CEO Eric Schmidt outlined several cost cutting initiatives to help keep revenue on track.
"We have to behave as though we don't know" what's going to happen, says Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. The company will curtail the "dark matter," he says, projects that "haven't really caught on" and "aren't really that exciting." He says the company is "not going to give" an engineer 20 people to work with on certain experimental projects anymore. "When the cycle comes back," he says, "we will be able to fund his brilliant vision."
Here is brief list of changes in store for the engineers at Google:
An increased focus on business diversification. They are expected to focus on display ads, mobile integration, and enterprise software.
Kill off, or slowly starve non-revenue generating products. Schmidt clarified this statement by referring to smaller projects, but hopefully money sinkholes such as YouTube won’t be affected. Some of this has already started with the death of services such as Lively.
Suspension of the 20% rule. This famous decree allowed Google engineers to spend a fifth of their time on any project of their choosing including something completely new.
Closing down offices in Dallas and Denver.
Increased workloads. With the recent pink slips handed out to over 10,000 contractors, someone has to pickup the slack and empty the trash cans.
Does trouble at Google signal the peek of our economic woes or is it just par for the course? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
Just this week Precursor LLC released their first research study of U.S. consumer Internet bandwidth usage, and as it turns out Google has been taking more than their fair share.
The company reportedly used 16.5% of all Internet traffic in the U.S. in 2008, and it’s predicted to grow to a staggering 37% in 2010. The cause of all this bandwidth use is primarily Google’s search bots, that keep tabs on virtually the entire Internet and YouTube, which is responsible for streaming almost half of the video on the Internet.
What’s more, it looks like Google is trying to skimp on the bill! According the report, “Google’s payment to fund just the U.S. consumer broadband Internet segment to be approximately $344 million in 2008 or 0.8% of U.S. consumer’s flat-rate monthly Internet access costs of $44.0 billion. Thus Google’s 16.5% share of all 2008 U.S. consumer bandwidth usage, is ~21 times greater than Google’s 0.8% share of U.S. consumer bandwidth costs – or an implicit ~$6.9 billion subsidy of Google by U.S. consumers.”