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July’s Most Interesting and Important News

calendar_julyI realize that you’ve already read that many times, but this July’s news can’t be imagined without mentioning the announcement of Google’s new project – Google Chrome OS. Chrome operating system is intended to be lightweight and web-oriented. For now  no one  cares whether web apps only would be enough for users or not and how fast software manufacturers would release Chrome compatible programs. Everyone’s just wondering whether Google can compete Microsoft. Still, Google now position Chrome as operating system for netbooks and nettops, so the only prospective rival of Chrome OS is Windows 7 and particularly its version for netbooks and nettops.

Microsoft keeps up with Google in giving occasion to buzz about. Less then in a week after Google’s announcement of Chrome OS, Microsoft has announced that the new version of Office – MS Office 2010 – will include Web-based versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. You can see Office 2010 preview at the preview site.

The less buzzy but not less interesting July’s news are:

1. On July 14th, 2009 Bit.ly celebrated its first birthday. One year old URL shortening service is already a serious competitor of tinyurl.com which held the first place in this field for years. And the main achievement is that Bit.ly became Twitter’s default URL shortener instead of tinyurl.com. 4 characters shorter – this means a lot when you have only 140 chars for a tweet.

2. Google already removed Beta label off its popular services – Gmail,  Google Calendar, Google Docs and Google Talk. It’s a little surprising, even though successfully works for 5 years, because users got used to Beta label. If you still can’t imagine Gmail out of Beta, go to Settings > Labs in your Gmail account and enable “Back to Beta” option.

3. Firefox 3.5 released. In the first 24 hour after release it was downloaded by more than 5 mln people. Of course it’s less than 7.7 mln for Firefox 3.0, but the number is still overwhelming. Read more about Firefox 3.5 new features and find useful tips in my review.

4. Bing launched BingTweets search tool to combine Bing Web search and Twitter search. This is not actually what I consider to be real-time search, but it’s probably a step towards this. Bing and Twitter search results are displayed in two different boxes now. What I don’t like is that Twitter results emerge one by one and the oldest goes down. When the search is finished, you can see 4-5 latest tweets only and can’t scroll down to read even the tweets you saw while they emerged in the window. Other features work pretty well, including the option to share or tweet your search results.

Keep up with the latest news! Stay tuned.

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July 21, 2009 Posted by | Google, internet, Social Networks, twitter, Web 2-0, Windows | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Google Squared – the New Shape of Search

Do you yahoo? Remember that question? In spite of all Yahoo efforts, “yahoo” hasn’t become the verb that means “search”. Everyone knows the word which means web search nowadays – it’s “google”. And now Google takes one more step towards leadership – the new search tool Google Squared released last week.

What’s great:

  • search results are displayed as a chart which gives not only links, but also other related information. For example:Google_Squared
  • rows and columns in a result chart can be added or removed. ‘Add column’ field suggests various parameters to add or allows to type your own.
  • squares can be saved to your Google account and easily removed when they are not needed.

What can be better:

  • amount of search results is extremely small in comparison with the amount for the same queries in usual Google Search.
  • in most cases, column values for one item are taken from different websites that can adversely affect search relevance. Nevertheless, you can view other values for most parameters and choose the most reliable one.

Google Squared still needs a bit of work, but it has a potential to simplify and improve web search in the future.

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June 11, 2009 Posted by | Google, search engines | 2 Comments

Google’s equipment – today and in the past

At Google Data Center Energy Summit on April 1, 2009, Google first time showed off its self-designed and built Web server and its “Container” data center. The videos are impressive of themselves, but they become even more impressive if you know what equipment Google had back in 1998:

  • Two 300 MHz Dual Pentium II servers with 512 MB of RAM;
  • IBM donated F50 IBM RS6000 with 4 processors and 512MB of memory
  • Sun Ultra II with dual 200MHz processors, and 256MB of RAM
  • And a few hard drives  from 4 to 9 GB


The photo and hardware list are taken from http://backrub.c63.be.

April 10, 2009 Posted by | Google | 2 Comments

Is Google God?

Today during my routine web surfing I’ve found an interesting website – The Church of Google and had a lot of fun. The main standpoint of the Church of Google is that Google is God – kinda humor but Google has penetrated into our lives so much that I seem to start believe this soon 🙂 Yesterday’s Gmail crash showed that people are really scared by being without Google even for a few hours. So, may be there is something in Googlists’ beliefs? 😉

Proof of God - Is Google God? - Church of GoogleGlory be to Google,

As it was in 1998,

Is now,

And ever shall be,

Searching without end, Amen.

This one and lots of other fun Google prayers, proofs that Google is God, useful search tips and much more can be found at this website. Visit and have fun!

Also, let’s answer a little poll – what is Google for us?

February 25, 2009 Posted by | Google, search engines | , | 4 Comments

Gmail Offline – Google released the beta offline version of its popular e-mail service

offline gmailAt last, one of the most popular Google services – Gmail (which stands for Google mail) – goes offline. Offline Gmail is beta (of course ;)), but users already can work with Gmail without being connected to the Internet. To do that, one should install Google Gears, an open source browser extension for Internet Explorer and Firefox, which is already used for offline access to such web apps as Google Docs, RSS Reader, etc. Google Gears cashes data and stores them in a database. If there is too much mail, it’s sorted by some criteria and the most important e-mails are cashed in the first place. That makes possible using Gmail on computers with slow or unstable Internet connection. While you’re connected to the Internet, Google Gears automatically synchronizes data with server, but even if the network connection is lost, you can read, edit and write letters.

To enable offline Gmail, go to the Settings in your Gmail account, then to the Labs tab, and the first you’ll see will be Gmail Offline option. Click Enable and Save changes. You’ll see Offline0.1 link near your Settings link. Click it to start setup process.

Of course, as Gmail supports POP and IMAP protocols, Google mail can be read and sent with any e-mail client. And it’s the matter of your taste only – to use your usual desktop e-mail client, read mail online or start using offline Gmail. In any case, it’s great to have a choice, isn’t it?

Please, answer this poll – how do you manage or will manage your Gmail?

February 4, 2009 Posted by | e-mail, Google, Online tools | , , , | 2 Comments

Google’s Chrome is out of beta. What’s the hurry?

google_chromeToday, Google announced that their Chrome leaves beta. This was really fast – about three month to make browser stable and fast enough to take off  ‘beta’ label. It is a little strange for me to see Chrome 1.0 because major release must introduce new features, and Chrome 1.0 doesn’t. Yes, Chrome is rather fast and stable, but it still doesn’t have such important features as add-ons and built-in RSS reader, although everyone expected them to be in a non-beta version. So, what’s the hurry? It’s easy to understand – beta version can’t be preinstalled on a new computers. So, now we can expect that Google will try to conclude contracts with OEM (original equipment manufacturers). Maybe, your next computer will be with preinstalled Chrome :).

In spite of all unfinished tasks, let’s congratulate Chrome developers with the 1.0 version and wish them to make Chrome even better. Chrome 1.0 can be downloaded from here.


December 12, 2008 Posted by | Browsers, Google, Software | , , , , | 5 Comments

Google SearchWiki – how to use or how to get rid of

Google SearchWikiThis week Google launched SearchWiki – a new tool for editing and marking up Google search results. It’s an addition to user interface which allows promoting or removing search results. By clicking promote and remove buttons, you re-order search results to your liking. Also, you can add public notes to search results and even add web pages to search results for any query. Sounds great, but why many people are so critical of SearchWiki. Let’s see:

1. Your promoting or removing pages affects only your future searches for the current query or very similar queries. So, if you remove the page you don’t like and never want to see again from search results for one query, that doesn’t mean you won’t see it in results for other queries. Also, that means that even if a lot of users dislike certain page, it can still be in top for certain queries, the only thing changes is number of people who promoted or removed the page (it’s shown under the search result description).

2. If the results of voting don’t affect somebody else’s search, the comments can be public only. I’d like to have an opposite situation. I’d rather have a possibility to make private comments (for me only, or maybe for me and my Google friends), and see the search results based on people’s votes. But… we have what we have.

3. And the thing people hate most of all is that we’re unable to opt out SearchWiki. Actually, I want to search in the way I prefer, not in the way Google does. So I believe SearchWiki must be optional, not obligatory addition. And… hurrah! – there is a kind man who helps us to turn SearchWiki on/off when we need – Franz Enzenhofer coded Firefox Greasemonkey enhancement called SearchWiki on/off! Install it and enjoy search with or without SearchWiki – as you want.

Click to turn SearchWiki on/off

Click to turn SearchWiki on/off

November 21, 2008 Posted by | Google, search engines, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment