Category Archives: Google

Google data center security

If you wondered how Google protects the data in its data centers the here’s is a cool video released by Google itself. This video contains never seen before every single details of all the security aspects of Google data centers.

The video starts with describing physical security measures like restricted barriers, security fencing, video cameras, security guards and biometric scanners in the data centers. It also explains how Google engineers itself assembles the servers and use Linux based OS for the security of data centers.

Check out this cool video to know more about the Google Data Centers:

Google Music Beta – ready to launch

http://www.maximumpc.com/files/imagecache/featured_content/google_music_0.jpgGoogle plans to introduce its long-awaited service to allow people to upload and store their music collections on the Web and listen to their songs on Android phones or tablets and on computers.

The announcement of the new service, a so-called cloud-based music player, will be made on Tuesday at Google I/O, the company’s developers conference here, which will run through Wednesday.

The service, to be called Music Beta by Google, is similar to one introduced by Amazon in March, although it will store considerably more music. And like Amazon, Google does not have the cooperation of music labels, which means that users cannot do certain things that would legally require licenses, like sharing songs with friends and buying songs from Google.

But Google’s announcement at this time was unexpected because it has been negotiating with the music labels for months to try to make a deal to team with them on a cloud music service.

originally from: The NY Times
Image source:  Maximumpc.com

Google Instant

clip_image001The lightening fast search is now faster with its latest avatar known as Google Instant. Supported by Chrome v5/6, Firefox v3, Safari v5 for Mac and Internet Explorer v8 Google Instant helps you search faster by displaying the results as you type.

The most obvious change is that you get to the right content much faster than before because you don’t have to finish typing your full search term, or even press “search.” Another shift is that seeing results as you type helps you formulate a better search term by providing instant feedback. You can now adapt your search on the fly until the results match exactly what you want. In time, we may wonder how search ever worked in any other way.

Benefits

Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.

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Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.

Personal Opinion: I just loved Google Instant as it at times showed the results that interested me. And at times its just fun to stumble. It definitely saves time and I have always been a fan of things that help me save time.

Would like to know you opinions too on Google Instant.

Google Places – Your local business on Google

Millions of people search Google Maps every day. A free listing on Google Maps makes it easy for them to find you.

image Google Places can be used to create your free listing. When potential customers search Maps for local information, they’ll find your business: your address, hours of operation, even photos of your storefront or products. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need a website of your own.

Benefits

Reach new customers on Google Maps and Google.com: Local customers are already searching for the products and services you offer. Why not make it easy for them to find you on Google search and on Google Maps

Works great for businesses of any size: Whether you run a office or dozens of shops, manage all your listings from a single account.

Update your listing at any time: Use Google Places to edit your listing whenever and however you like. Your Google Maps results will be updated in a few weeks, not next year.

Goo.Gl Google’s own url shortner

goo.glGoogle has launched its own URL shortening tool, as the company continues to expand into new services.

While not quite as earth shattering as the launch of its own operating system, the unveiling of Goo.gl is an interesting move for the search giant.

Link shorteners, such as TinyURL and Bit.ly, allow people to reduce long URLs into a short jumble of letters and digits. These tools have become increasingly high-profile thanks to services such as Twitter – which limits tweets to 140 characters.

Unlike those previously mentioned services, Goo.gl will not be offered as a standalone link shrinker. Instead it will initially be built into Google’s products, beginning with the company’s browser toolbar and its Feedburner RSS service.

“Google URL shortener is not a stand-alone service; you can’t use it to shorten links directly,” says Muthu Muthusrinivasan, a Google software engineer on the company’s blog.

“If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future,” he concludes.

According to Google, URLs shortened through Goo.gl will be automatically checked against a list of malicious sites, allowing the company to warn users about dodgy links.

“GBOARD” The Gmail keyboard

Gmail has long had keyboard shortcuts, though learning them can be difficult. Enter the Gboard, a specialized mini-keyboard for Google’s e-mail service. It debuts this Friday at an asking price of $19.99.

The Gboard consists of 19 colored keys set in a standard size numpad-only keyboard. Clicking on any one of these performs that particular keyboard shortcut. Included are Gmail-specific features such as starring messages, starting a search, and jumping between message threads. Outside of Gmail they simply act as normal keyboard buttons, and will type in whatever letter or number corresponds with that shortcut.

The device is powered by USB and requires no special software or drivers, however users need to first enable keyboard shortcuts within Gmail’s settings before using it. Also worth noting is that it was created not by Google, but by Charlie Mason, a film producer from Venice, Calif. This is his first foray into the computer hardware business.

The Gboard consists of 19 keys, all of which act as shortcuts within Google’s Gmail Web mail service.

This really is a product that users will either love or hate. Those who have mastered Gmail’s shortcuts will see little need to buy special hardware and find a spare USB port to plug it into. Meanwhile, newbie users may be unwilling to take the plunge on such a specific peripheral for a program that works only within another program (the browser). The Gboard runs the risk of being an unappealing prospect to both parties.

It’s also not the first attempt at easing the process of learning and remembering shortcuts. This time last year Google offered users a free pack of color-coded shortcut stickers that could be tacked onto any keyboard. There have also long been specialized keyboards for video and audio editing as well as graphical design–all of which provide similar, color-coded keys. Users who don’t want to commit, or tack stickers on their keyboard, also have the option of buying a silicone keyboard mat, though no such thing has been created for Gmail.

Considering there are a total of 69 Gmail shortcuts (with more on the way if Google graduates some of its experimental features from its labs section) the Gboard could just be the first step toward creating a full-size (100 plus key) version. In the meantime, its early December release and low price tag make for a good stocking stuffer if you’ve got a Gmail lover in your family.

The good:
• No setup required
• Color coding is logical and makes it easy to learn the keys
• Good build quality and feel; keys are flat like on a laptop
• At $19.99 it’s not that expensive. Most numeric-only keyboards cost about the same.

The bad:
• Does not come close to including all of Gmail’s shortcuts
• Could be rendered less useful if Gmail’s shortcuts change
• Only comes in one color (black)

via CNET

Google adds streaming news to Google Finance

Google Finance now offers streaming news related to the stock market.

(Credit: Screenshot by Tom Krazit/CNET)

Google has added a few new features in hopes of attracting more users to Google Finance, blending financial stories from Google News right into the mix.

Yahoo owns the online financial information market with Yahoo Finance (rated first in its category by ComScore with 22 million unique visitors in September), but Google is trying to carve out a niche for itself by adding a so-called “real time” stream of news to Google Finance pages. On the main Google Finance page, users can now click on a news tab that brings up what appears to be a constantly updated Google News-powered stream of news stories related to the general market or specific portfolios set up as part of a profile.

The stories seem to update every minute or so, but Google will only turn on the streaming service between 8 a.m. ET and 5:30 p.m. ET, 90 minutes before and after the U.S. stock market trading hours. Google also said it has added a list of the recent quotes users look up on the service, as well as real-time streaming of stock prices on pages dedicated to individual stocks–all services currently available on Yahoo Finance.

Google extends personalized search to all

Google now intends to deliver customized search results even to those searching its site without having signed into a Google account.

Google keeps a history of your Web searches for up to 180 days, using what it says is an anonymous cookie in your browser to track your search queries and the results you most frequently click on. For several years it has allowed those with Google accounts to receive customized search results based on that history, but now even those without Google accounts will receive tailored results based on a history of their search activity, Google said in a blog post late Friday.

For example, Google described in a video how the query “SOX” might signal one type of search intent coming from baseball fans in Boston or Chicago, and another type of intent from an accountant closing the books on the quarter. Based on that particular person’s search profile, Google can promote links to baseball scores or Sarbanes-Oxley details higher in search results than other links affiliated with those queries.

This, of course, is not just about search results. By building a profile of past searches, Google can also gain insights into what kinds of advertising you’re most likely to favor, therefore placing more targeted (and expensive) ads alongside those search results

Privacy advocates will likely be put off by the fact that this is an opt-out rather than opt-in service. Beforehand, the customized search results were only available to those who were signed into a Google account, and although Google has always stored the search history of anyone who visits its site, it didn’t change individual search results based on that history.

Google was careful to describe the procedure for opting out of personalized results, and emphasized that it doesn’t know who specifically is attached to a given set of search queries. But in essence, even those who search Google without being signed in can now be used to help Google improve the targeting of its search results and its ads.

An overview of how Google arrives at Personalized Search results.


Users’ opinion of Google wave

Google has been actively collecting feedback on Google Wave with an ongoing survey, which was distributed via email, the help center, and Twitter. Today they’ve published the initial findings for public dissection.

So far results indicate that users love the concept of Wave, appreciate the collobartion features, and like the extensions, gadgets, and robots. On the flip side, however, the most perplexing part of the Wave experience is that users’ friends and contacts don’t have access to Wave. Respondents also complained of speed issues and indicated a desire for integration with more tools like email.

Based on our experience with Google Wave , the results that Google has published are spot on and point to some of the reasons why the system is both a game changer and, on the other hand, still not ready for mainstream attention.

Google does say that they will be acting on your feedback and opinions:

“With these responses and other data, we’re organizing our team around the core issues that are important to making waving better. We’re working hard to scale our systems so you can invite your friends and colleagues to wave with you. We’re also thinking about how to integrate with existing communication and collaboration tools. And since we all know that fast is better than slow, a large portion of the team is working to make Google Wave faster.”