Search Engines
January 17, 2012
* LLRX - Deep Web Research 2012

Via LLRX - Deep Web Research 2012: Marcus P. Zillman's extensive research over the years into the "invisible" or "deep" web indicates that it covers somewhere in the vicinity of 1 trillion plus pages of information located throughout the Internet in various files and formats that current search engines either cannot locate, or have difficulty accessing. The current search engines find hundreds of billions of pages at the time of this publication. His guide provides extensive and targeted resources to facilitate both a better understanding of the history of deep web research as well to effectively and productively search for and locate these often undiscovered but critical documents.

January 14, 2012
* Google Adds Social Search to Results

Official Google Blog: "We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. We began this transformation with Social Search, and today we’re taking another big step in this direction by introducing three new features:

  • Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  • Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  • People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.
  • We’re also introducing a prominent new toggle on the upper right of the results page where you can see what your search results look like without personal content. With a single click, you can see an unpersonalized view of search results."

January 12, 2012
* EPIC Urges Trade Commission to Investigate Google Search

EPIC: In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC has called for an investigation of recent changes by Google to Google Search, the dominant search algorithm on the Internet. EPIC cited Google's decision to include personal data, such as photos, posts, and contact details, gathered from Google+ in Google Search results. “Google’s business practices raise concerns related to both competition and the implementation of the Commission’s consent order,” EPIC said, referring to a settlement that the FTC reached with Google that establishes new privacy safeguards for users of Google products and services and subjects the company to regular privacy audits. Recently, the Senate held a hearing on Google’s use of its dominance in the search market to suppress competition, and EPIC urged the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google’s acquisition of Youtube, which allowed Google to give preferential treatment to Google's own video content. For more information, see EPIC: Google/DoubleClick and EPIC: Federal Trade."

* The Gov Doc Kids Group and Free Government Information

The Gov Doc Kids Group and Free Government Information - Tom Adamich, Martha Childers, Katy Davis, John H. Faria and Antoinette W. Satterfield. The IFLA World Library and Information Congress

  • "Free government information fuels innovation among all the world's children and has the potential to enhance every aspect of their lives. Join us as members of the Gov Doc Kids Group present tried-and-true, effective means of opening the doors of government information to children. We will explore international and country websites."
  • January 06, 2012
    * Google Operators and more search help

    "The Basic search help article covers all the most common issues, but sometimes you need a little bit more power. This document will highlight the more advanced features of Google Web Search. Have in mind though that even very advanced searchers, such as the members of the search group at Google, use these features less than 5% of the time. Basic simple search is often enough."

    January 04, 2012
    * EPIC Urges Appeals Court to Shed Light on Google-NSA Agreement

    "EPIC filed the opening brief in EPIC v. NSA, No. 11-5233, challenging the National Security Agency’s response to EPIC's Freedom of Information Act request. EPIC is seeking information about the widely publicized cybersecurity agreement between the NSA and Google that followed the January 2010 China hack. The NSA claimed it "could neither confirm nor deny" the existence of any information about its relations with Google. After the attack, Google's implemented encryption technology for Gmail by default, a privacy safeguard EPIC and technical experts had urged in 2009. For more information, see EPIC v. NSA: Google / NSA Relationship."

    January 03, 2012
    * LLRX - Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide - Completely Updated

    Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide - Completely Updated - December 2011: Sabrina I. Pacifici's comprehensive, current awareness guide focuses on leveraging a wide but selected range of reliable, focused, predominantly free websites and resources to effectively track, monitor, analyze, background and review current and historical data, news, reports, and profiles on companies, markets, countries, people, and issues, from a global perspective. Sabrina's guide is a "best of" web resource that encompasses search engines, databases, alerts, publisher specific services and tools, along with links to content targeted sources produced by leading media organizations, governments, academia, NGOs and independent researchers.

    January 02, 2012
    * Nielsen’s Tops of 2011: Digital

    Nielsen’s Tops of 2011: Digital - December 28, 2011 - "As 2011 comes to a close, Nielsen reviewed the top online destinations, social media sites, and smartphone devices. Google was the most-visited U.S. Web brand, while Facebook held its lead among social networks and blogs. Smartphones were popular in 2011, making up the majority of new phone purchases with Apple as the top smartphone manufacturer and Android as the leading OS."

    January 01, 2012
    * Google Adds Elections Hub to News Portal

    Google.com/Elections: "From the nineteenth century’s pamphlets to the twentieth century’s TV ad revolution, our elections have always been shaped by how we communicate and consume information. There’s no question that the Internet is set to deliver more political information, opinion and news than any other medium throughout the 2012 U.S. elections. The web offers candidate and issue info to voters; networking and fundraising platforms for campaigns; and research and productivity tools for journalists. Today, just in time for the Iowa Caucuses, we’re launching google.com/elections, an election hub where citizens can study, watch, discuss, learn about, participate in and perhaps even make an impact on the digital campaign trail as it blazes forward to Tuesday, November 6, 2012."

    December 31, 2011
    * Mobile Apps Continue to Gain Users

    comScore Reports November 2011 U.S. Mobile Subscriber Market Share: "For the three-month average period ending in November, 234 million Americans age 13 and older used mobile devices. Device manufacturer Samsung ranked as the top OEM with 25.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers (up 0.3 percentage points), followed by LG with 20.5 percent share and Motorola with 13.7 percent share. Apple strengthened its position at #4 with 11.2 percent share of total mobile subscribers (up 1.4 percentage points), while RIM rounded out the top five with 6.5 percent share...In November, 72.6 percent of U.S. mobile subscribers used text messaging on their mobile device, up 2.1 percentage points. Downloaded applications were used by 44.9 percent of subscribers (up 3.3 percentage points), while browsers were used by 44.4 percent (up 2.3 percentage points). Accessing of social networking sites or blogs increased 2.1 percentage points to 33.0 percent of mobile subscribers. Game-playing was done by 29.7 percent of the mobile audience (up 1.2 percentage points), while 21.7 percent listened to music on their phones (up 1.0 percentage points)."

    December 20, 2011
    * EPIC: Senate Open Investigation Into Google Search

    EPIC: "Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Lee (R-UT), Chairman and Ranking member of the Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, have sent a letter to FTC Chairman John Liebowitz, expressing concern about Google's business practices and the company's impact on competition in Internet search and commerce. In September, EPIC wrote to the FTC and described how Google biased YouTube search rankings to give preferential treatment to its own content following the acquisition of the Internet's largest video service provider. The EPIC letter preceded a Senate hearing on The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition? EPIC testified before the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee in 2009 on Google's growing dominance of essential Internet services."

    December 19, 2011
    * Research: Reading Digits in Natural Images with Unsupervised Feature Learning

    Reading Digits in Natural Images with Unsupervised Feature Learning, Yuval Netzer, Tao Wang, Adam Coates, Alessandro Bissacco, Bo Wu1, Andrew Y. Ng

  • "Detecting and reading text from natural images is a hard computer vision task that is central to a variety of emerging applications. Related problems like document character recognition have been widely studied by computer vision and machine learning researchers and are virtually solved for practical applications like reading handwritten digits. Reliably recognizing characters in more complex scenes like
    photographs, however, is far more difficult: the best existing methods lag well behind human performance on the same tasks. In this paper we attack the problem of recognizing digits in a real application using unsupervised feature learning methods: reading house numbers from street level photos. To this end, we introduce a new benchmark dataset for research use containing over 600,000 labeled digits cropped from Street View images. We then demonstrate the difficulty of recognizing these digits when the problem is approached with hand-designed features. Finally, we employ variants of two recently proposed unsupervised feature learning methods and find that they are convincingly superior on our benchmarks."

  • December 16, 2011
    * Reports that Google Chrome Overtakes IE 8 in Global Market

    Technolog: "Ireland-based StatCounter — which posts Web analytics based on aggregate data it collects from a sample exceeding 15 billion pageviews per month (including 4 billion in the U.S.), collected from the StatCounter network of more than 3 million websites — released a statement about Chrome 15's ascension, humbling the initial enthusiasm of any Google devotee when it also made it clear that in the U.S., reports of IE's demise are still premature. According to StatCounter, it was still able to capture 27 percent of browser action last week, compared to 18.1 percent for Chrome 15."

    December 15, 2011
    * Searches Around the World: Visually explore the top queries from 48 different countries

    Google: Searches Around the World - Visually explore the top queries from 48 different countries. "What mattered in 2011? Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year's 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011."

    * Memories for the Future - Japan: Before and After the Earthquake and Tsunami

    Follow up to previous postings on the 2010 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, see Japan: Before and After the Earthquake and Tsunami Pre- and post-disaster imagery in Google Street View

  • "Google is now also providing thousands of miles of Street View imagery in the affected areas that were collected before and after the disaster. Seeing the street-level imagery of the affected areas puts the plight of these communities into perspective and ensures that the memories of the disaster remain relevant and tangible for future generations. Click the Before or After links at the top of this page and use the Google Maps display to see the areas where we have Street View coverage. Find an image in Street View by dragging the yellow “Pegman” icon onto the map where you see a blue overlay. Then click between the “Before” and “After” links to see how the earthquake and tsunami impacted that area."
  • December 11, 2011
    * Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome or Microsoft Internet Explorer - Which Web Browser is Most Secured?

    "Accuvant LABS has just released some new research that compares the security of three of the most widely used web browsers – Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Google commissioned Accuvant to perform this comprehensive and independently designed security analysis to help advance the discussion of best practices in the security community. Our research findings are extremely thorough and complete, so we decided to create this blog to summarize the results. Malware, spyware and viruses are all too familiar to those who regularly surf the web. These malicious programs can lead to system pop-ups, slowdowns, account takeovers, credit card theft, identity theft, and the theft of personally identifiable information. While antivirus and anti-malware can help prevent an infection, the first line of defense is using a secure web browser. For a person that surfs the internet, comparing and contrasting the security of different web browsers is difficult. Marketing materials are available to the average user, but they often contain direct contradictions and the reader ends up wondering which web browser is the most secure. Our research aims to fix that problem. We compared browsers from a layered perspective, taking into account security architecture and anti-exploitation techniques. Like antivirus or anti-malware software, each provides an additional layer of defense. The nice thing is, when anti-exploitation technology prevents an attack, anti-malware and antivirus aren't needed. The idea is that it’s a lot easier to keep a fortress with a moat safe than it is to protect a beach shack."

  • Browser Security Comparison - A Quantitative Approach
  • November 29, 2011
    * Google Announces Next Stage in Redesign

    Official Google Blog: "Six months ago we started rolling out a new look and feel for Search, News, Maps, Translate, Gmail and a bunch of other products. Our goal was to create a beautifully simple and intuitive user experience across Google. We’re now ready for the next stage of our redesign—a new Google bar that will enable you to navigate quickly between our services, as well as share the right stuff with the right people easily on Google+. To find out more about the new Google bar, take a look at this video or read our Help Center article."

    November 24, 2011
    * Google Enables Virtual Access to Dead Sea Scrolls and Museum Galleries Around the World

    Follow up to previous postings on The Digital Dead Sea Scrolls project, via NYT - "When the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls, reopened last year after an extensive renovation, it attracted a million visitors in the first 12 months. When the museum opened an enhanced Web site with newly digitized versions of the scrolls in September, it drew a million virtual visitors in three and a half days. The scrolls, scanned with ultrahigh-resolution imaging technology, have been viewed on the Web from 210 countries — including some, like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria, that provide few real-world visitors to the Israel Museum...Previous Google cultural programs have also been incorporated into the center, including the Google Art Project, a digital repository of pictures from museums like the National Gallery in London, the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence."

    November 22, 2011
    * Google Scholar Citations Open To All

    Google Scholar Blog: "A few months ago, we introduced a limited release of Google Scholar Citations, a simple way for authors to compute their citation metrics and track them over time. Today, we’re delighted to make this service available to everyone! Click here and follow the instructions to get started. Here’s how it works. You can quickly identify which articles are yours, by selecting one or more groups of articles that are computed statistically. Then, we collect citations to your articles, graph them over time, and compute your citation metrics - the widely used h-index; the i-10 index, which is simply the number of articles with at least ten citations; and, of course, the total number of citations to your articles. Each metric is computed over all citations and also over citations in articles published in the last five years."

    November 15, 2011
    * Google - Search using your terms, verbatim

    Official Google Blog: "Behind the simplicity of Google search is a complex set of algorithms that expands and improves the query you’ve typed to find the best results. Automatic spelling correction ([vynal] to “vinyl”) and substituting synonyms (matching [pictures] to “photos”) are just two examples of the improvements we make...we’ve received a lot of requests for a more deliberate way to tell Google to search using your exact terms. We’ve been listening, and starting today you’ll be able to do just that through verbatim search. With the verbatim tool on, we’ll use the literal words you entered without making normal improvements such as

    • making automatic spelling corrections
    • personalizing your search by using information such as sites you’ve visited before
    • including synonyms of your search terms (matching “car” when you search [automotive])
    • finding results that match similar terms to those in your query (finding results related to “floral delivery” when you search [flower shops])
    • searching for words with the same stem like “running” when you’ve typed [run]
    • making some of your terms optional, like “circa” in [the scarecrow circa 1963]"

    October 26, 2011
    * Google's Transparency Reporting - government entities requests for removal of content

    Google Transparency Report - Government Requests: "Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from government agencies and courts around the world to remove content from our services and hand over user data. Our Government Requests tool discloses the number of requests we receive from each government in six-month reporting periods with certain limitations. Governments ask companies to remove content for many different reasons. For example, some content removals are requested due to allegations of defamation, while others are due to allegations that the content violates local laws prohibiting hate speech or pornography. Laws surrounding these issues vary by country, and the requests reflect the legal context of a given jurisdiction. We hope this tool will be helpful in discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests. These observations on content removal requests highlight some trends that we've seen in the data during each reporting period, and are by no means exhaustive."

    * First Google.org-funded geothermal mapping report confirms vast coast-to-coast clean energy source

    News release: "New research from SMU's Geothermal Laboratory, funded by a grant from Google.org, documents significant geothermal resources across the United States capable of producing more than three million megawatts of green power – 10 times the installed capacity of coal power plants today. Sophisticated mapping produced from the research, viewable via Google Earth at http://www.google.org/egs/, demonstrates that vast reserves of this green, renewable source of power generated from the Earth's heat are realistically accessible using current technology. The results of the new research, from SMU Hamilton Professor of Geophysics David Blackwell and Geothermal Lab Coordinator Maria Richards, confirm and refine locations for resources capable of supporting large-scale commercial geothermal energy production under a wide range of geologic conditions, including significant areas in the eastern two-thirds of the United States. The estimated amounts and locations of heat stored in the Earth's crust included in this study are based on nearly 35,000 data sites – approximately twice the number used for Blackwell and Richards' 2004 Geothermal Map of North America, leading to improved detail and contouring at a regional level. Based on the additional data, primarily drawn from oil and gas drilling, larger local variations can be seen in temperatures at depth, highlighting more detail for potential power sites than was previously evident in the eastern portion of the U.S. For example, eastern West Virginia has been identified as part of a larger Appalachian trend of higher heat flow and temperature. Conventional U.S. geothermal production has been restricted largely to the western third of the country in geographically unique and tectonically active locations. For instance, The Geysers Field north of San Francisco is home to more than a dozen large power plants that have been tapping naturally occurring steam reservoirs to produce electricity for more than 40 years. However, newer technologies and drilling methods can now be used to develop resources in a wider range of geologic conditions, allowing reliable production of clean energy at temperatures as low as 100˚C (212˚F) – and in regions not previously considered suitable for geothermal energy production. Preliminary data released from the SMU study in October 2010 revealed the existence of a geothermal resource under the state of West Virginia equivalent to the state's existing (primarily coal-based) power supply."

  • "To explore the new Enhanced Geothermal Systems maps built on SMU's research via Google Earth, download the latest version of Google Earth at http://www.google.com/earth/ and then download and open the file at http://www.google.org/egs/downloads/EGSPotential.kmz."
  • October 18, 2011
    * Google Moves to Encrypt Your Search Queries

    Official Google Blog: "As search becomes an increasingly customized experience, we recognize the growing importance of protecting the personalized search results we deliver. As a result, we’re enhancing our default search experience for signed-in users. Over the next few weeks, many of you will find yourselves redirected to https://www.google.com (note the extra “s”) when you’re signed in to your Google Account. This change encrypts your search queries and Google’s results page. This is especially important when you’re using an unsecured Internet connection, such as a WiFi hotspot in an Internet cafe. You can also navigate to https://www.google.com directly if you’re signed out or if you don’t have a Google Account."

    October 17, 2011
    * Google Page Speed Online

    "What is Page Speed Online? Page Speed Online analyzes the content of a web page, then generates suggestions to make that page faster. Reducing page load times can reduce bounce rates and increase conversion rates.

  • See also: The need for speed, MIT technology review | When seconds count, Gomez
  • October 04, 2011
    * London Review of Books: It [Google] Knows

    Daniel Soar: "This spring, the billionaire Eric Schmidt announced that there were only four really significant technology companies: Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, the company he had until recently been running. People believed him. What distinguished his new ‘gang of four’ from the generation it had superseded – companies like Intel, Microsoft, Dell and Cisco, which mostly exist to sell gizmos and gadgets and innumerable hours of expensive support services to corporate clients – was that the newcomers sold their products and services to ordinary people. Since there are more ordinary people in the world than there are businesses, and since there’s nothing that ordinary people don’t want or need, or can’t be persuaded they want or need when it flashes up alluringly on their screens, the money to be made from them is virtually limitless. Together, Schmidt’s four companies are worth more than half a trillion dollars. The technology sector isn’t as big as, say, oil, but it’s growing, as more and more traditional industries – advertising, travel, real estate, used cars, new cars, porn, television, film, music, publishing, news – are subsumed into the digital economy. Schmidt, who as the ex-CEO of a multibillion-dollar corporation had learned to take the long view, warned that not all four of his disruptive gang could survive. So – as they all converge from their various beginnings to compete in the same area, the place usually referred to as ‘the cloud’, a place where everything that matters is online – the question is: who will be the first to blink?"

    October 03, 2011
    * New Report: "Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Part 1: Site Reviews"

    Social Metadata for Libraries, Archives and Museums Part 1: Site Reviews - Karen Smith-Yoshimura, Program Officer OCLC Research; Cyndi Shein, Assistant Archivist Getty Research Institute

  • "This report provides an overview of social metadata to enable cultural heritage institutions to better utilize their users' expertise and enrich their descriptive metadata to improve their users' experiences. Metadata helps users locate resources that meet their specific needs. But metadata also helps us to understand the data we find and helps us to evaluate what we should spend our time on. Traditionally, staff at libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) create metadata for the content they manage. However, social metadata—content contributed by users—is evolving as a way to both augment and recontextualize the content and metadata created by LAMs. Many cultural heritage institutions are interested in gaining a better understanding of social metadata and also learning how to best utilize their users' expertise to enrich their descriptive metadata and improve their users' experiences. In order to facilitate this, a 21-member RLG Partners Social Metadata Working Group reviewed 76 sites relevant to libraries, archives, and museums that supported such social media features as tagging, comments, reviews, images, videos, ratings, recommendations, lists, links to related articles, etc. In addition, working group members surveyed site managers, analyzed the survey results and discussed the factors that contribute to successful—and not so successful—use of social metadata. They also considered issues related to assessment, content, policies, technology, and vocabularies."
  • September 11, 2011
    * A Google Maps Project Focused on Scholarly Publishing

    Citation by Citation, New Maps Chart Hot Research and Scholarship's Hidden Terrain, by Jennifer Howard

  • Imagine a Google Maps of scholarship, a set of tools sophisticated enough to help researchers locate hot research, spot hidden connections to other fields, and even identify new disciplines as they emerge in the sprawling terrain of scholarly communication. Creating new ways to identify and analyze patterns in millions of journal citations, a team led by two biologists, Carl T. Bergstrom and Jevin D. West, and a physicist, Martin Rosvall, has set out to build just such a guidance system. Trapped in disciplinary valleys, surrounded by dense forests of information, researchers have a hard time seeing a lot of scholarship that might be relevant to their work, especially if it's not published in the places they already know to look. The work of Mr. Bergstrom and his colleagues is a response, they say, to the problem of how to work with an overwhelming and ever-growing amount of information."
  • August 29, 2011
    * New beta of standalone version of Zotero, Open Source Reference Manager

    Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media: "Zotero is an easy-to-use yet powerful research tool that helps you gather, organize, and analyze sources (citations, full texts, web pages, images, and other objects), and lets you share the results of your research in a variety of ways. An extension to the popular open-source web browser Firefox, Zotero includes the best parts of older reference manager software (like EndNote)—the ability to store author, title, and publication fields and to export that information as formatted references—and the best parts of modern software and web applications (like iTunes and del.icio.us), such as the ability to interact, tag, and search in advanced ways. Zotero integrates tightly with online resources; it can sense when users are viewing a book, article, or other object on the web, and—on many major research and library sites—find and automatically save the full reference information for the item in the correct fields. Since it lives in the web browser, it can effortlessly transmit information to, and receive information from, other web services and applications; since it runs on one’s personal computer, it can also communicate with software running there (such as Microsoft Word). And it can be used offline as well (e.g., on a plane, in an archive without WiFi)."

    August 28, 2011
    * Inside Higher Ed Reports on What Students Don't Know About Using the Web and Research

    Inside Higher Ed: "The ERIAL (Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries) project -- a series of studies conducted at Illinois Wesleyan, DePaul University, and Northeastern Illinois University, and the University of Illinois’s Chicago and Springfield campuses -- was a meta-exercise for the librarians in practicing the sort of deep research they champion. Instead of relying on surveys, the libraries enlisted two anthropologists, along with their own staff members, to collect data using open-ended interviews and direct observation, among other methods. The goal was to generate data that, rather than being statistically significant yet shallow, would provide deep, subjective accounts of what students, librarians and professors think of the library and each other at those five institutions. The resulting papers are scheduled to be published by the American Library Association this fall, under the title: “Libraries and Student Culture: What We Now Know.” One thing the librarians now know is that their students' research habits are worse than they thought."

  • Note: "The prevalence of Google in student research is well-documented, but the Illinois researchers found something they did not expect: students were not very good at using Google. They were basically clueless about the logic underlying how the search engine organizes and displays its results. Consequently, the students did not know how to build a search that would return good sources."
  • August 22, 2011
    * NMPA Reaches Resolution of Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube Agreement

    News release: "The National Music Publishers Association announced it has reached a resolution with YouTube in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed in 2007. As a result of this resolution, music publishers will have the opportunity to enter into a License Agreement with YouTube and receive royalties from YouTube for musical works in videos posted on the site. HFA's licensing and rights administration expertise was instrumental in making this opportunity possible. HFA will administer the license agreements which will be available to all music publishers regardless of affiliation."

    August 21, 2011
    * Google Street View goes to the Amazon

    "With Google Street View, you can do amazing things such as hike around Stonehenge or even ski down Whistler’s slopes—all without leaving home. Soon, you’ll be able to float down the Amazon and Rio Negro Rivers of northwest Brazil and experience some of the most remote and biodiverse areas in the world. A few members of our Brazil and U.S. Street View and Google Earth Outreach teams are currently in the Amazon rainforest using our Street View technology to capture images of the river, surrounding forests and adjacent river communities. In partnership with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), the local non-profit conservation organization that invited us to the area, we’re training some of FAS’s representatives on the imagery collection process and leaving some of our equipment behind for them to continue the work. By teaching locals how to operate these tools, they can continue sharing their points of view, culture and ways of life with audiences across the globe."

    August 16, 2011
    * Google - The evolution of sitelinks: expanded and improved

    Official Google Blog: "When you’re searching, you often have a specific task in mind, like figuring out which exhibits are showing at a nearby museum. Despite this narrow goal, people often start with a broad query, like [metropolitan museum of art], with no mention of exhibits. For these searches, the first result may include a list of links to specific sections of the site, which are called “sitelinks.” Today, we’re launching several improvements to sitelinks, including the way they look and are organized in search results."

    August 14, 2011
    * New Getty Search Gateway Allows Access to More Information More Quickly

    News release: "The Getty recently unveiled a newly expanded search function on its website that will allow scholars, researchers, and the interested public to better access the Getty's vast resources of information about the visual arts. The Getty Search Gateway, which is now available online, provides streamlined searches through the Museum's collections and the Getty Research Institute's library catalog, digital collections, and collection inventories and finding aids...In addition to streamlining the search process, the Getty Search Gateway is able to make available information about many more objects from the Museum's collection. Now information about most of the Museum's collection is available online, along with an expanded set of images."

    * Pew Findings: Search and email remain the top online activities

    Search and email still top the list of most popular online activities - Two activities nearly universal among adult internet users, by Kristen Purcell

  • "A May 2011 Pew Internet survey finds that 92% of online adults use search engines to find information on the Web, including 59% who do so on a typical day. This places search at the top of the list of most popular online activities among U.S. adults. But it is not alone at the top. Among online adults, 92% use email, with 61% using it on an average day. Since the Pew Internet Project began measuring adults’ online activities in the last decade, these two behaviors have consistently ranked as the most popular. Even as early as 2002, more than eight in ten online adults were using search engines, and more than nine in ten online adults were emailing."
  • August 08, 2011
    * Google Hotel Finder - an "experiment"

    Google hotel finder launched as an "experiment": Find the perfect hotel - choose location, dates, price, hotel class and user rating.

    August 07, 2011
    * Study: Flash Cookies and Privacy II: Now with HTML5 and ETag Respawning

    Flash Cookies and Privacy II: Now with HTML5 and ETag Respawning (July 29, 2011), Ayenson, Mika, Wambach, Dietrich James, Soltani, Ashkan, Good, Nathan and Hoofnagle, Chris Jay, Available at SSRN

  • In August 2009, we demonstrated that popular websites were using “Flash cookies” to track users. Some advertisers had adopted this technology because it allowed persistent tracking even where users had taken steps to avoid web profiling. We also demonstrated “respawning” on top sites with Flash technology. This allowed sites to reinstantiate HTTP cookies deleted by a user, making tracking more resistant to users’ privacy-seeking behaviors. In this followup study, we reassess the Flash cookies landscape and examine a new tracking vector, HTML5 local storage and Cache-Cookies via ETags. We found over 5,600 standard HTTP cookies on popular sites, over 4,900 were from third parties. Google-controlled cookies were present on 97 of the top 100 sites, including popular government websites. Seventeen sites were using HTML5, and seven of those sites had HTML5 local storage and HTTP cookies with matching values. Flash cookies were present on 37 of the top 100 sites. We found two sites that were respawning cookies, including one site – hulu.com – where both Flash and cache cookies were employed to make identifiers more persistent. The cache cookie method used ETags, and is capable of unique tracking even where all cookies are blocked by the user and “Private Browsing Mode” is enabled."
  • August 06, 2011
    * Upcoming hearing: The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?

    The Power of Google: Serving Consumers or Threatening Competition?” - Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. DATE: September 21, 2011

    August 01, 2011
    * New York Review of Books Considers 4: How Google Dominates Us

    How Google Dominates Us, James Gleick, Auguat 18, 2011

  • "The business of finding facts has been an important gear in the workings of human knowledge, and the technology has just been upgraded from rubber band to nuclear reactor. No wonder there’s some confusion about Google’s exact role in that—along with increasing fear about its power and its intentions."
  • July 25, 2011
    * Report - Google Street View cars grabbed locations of phones, PCs

    CNET: "Google's Street View cars collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world, a practice that raises novel privacy concerns, CNET has confirmed. The cars were supposed to collect the locations of Wi-Fi access points. But Google also recorded the street addresses and unique identifiers of computers and other devices using those wireless networks and then made the data publicly available through Google.com until a few weeks ago."

    July 21, 2011
    * ASCI Survey: Low Customer Satisfaction for Facebook Opens Door for Google+

    News release: "The social media market is primed for a new player that allows users to connect with friends, according to the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report, produced in partnership with customer experience analytics firm ForeSee Results. Despite a small improvement this year, Facebook (+3% to 66) is the lowest-scoring site, not only in the social media category, but of all measured companies in this report. The survey was conducted last month, before the widespread introduction of Facebook’s biggest competitor, Google+, but Facebook’s low score indicates that Google+ could easily pounce and gain market share if they can provide a superior customer experience."

  • ForeSee Results Annual E-Business Report for the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), July 19, 2011
  • Lackluster Response to Social Media - "Users are underwhelmed when it comes to social media websites, as last-place Facebook watches first-place Google win the e-business satisfaction race" - July 2011 and Historical ACSI Scores
  • July 20, 2011
    * Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips

    Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips - Betsy Sparrow, Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1207745, Published Online 14 July 2011. See also Google's Effects on Memory, PBS NewsHour via YouTube.

  • "The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can "Google" the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves."
  • July 16, 2011
    * Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips

    Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips. Betsy Sparrow1, Jenny Liu, Daniel M. Wegner. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1207745

  • "The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can "Google" the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves."
  • July 05, 2011
    * Commentary - Information Literacy On Campus

    Benjamin Rossi - analyst at Basex: "For students, doing research is the bread and butter of their academic life. Conducting research doesn’t just mean searching for information effectively; it means being able to judge the reliability of sources, place information within various contexts, and synthesize different information sources while developing one’s thesis. Encompassing a wide variety of competencies, research is one of the most important skills that students learn in preparation for participation in the knowledge economy. Increasingly, however, students find that the overwhelming abundance of easily accessible but undifferentiated information on the Web hinders their ability to do the kind of deep, exploratory research that broadens their education and hones critical thinking."

    July 02, 2011
    * Google Chrome Browser Continues to Gain Market Share

    News release: "Google's Chrome exceeded 20% of the worldwide internet browser market during the month of June for the first time, according to StatCounter, the free website analytics company. The firm's research arm StatCounter Global Stats reports that Chrome took 20.7% of the global market, up from 2.8% in June 2009. In the same period Microsoft's Internet Explorer has fallen from 59% to 44% globally and Firefox dropped slightly from 30% to 28%."

    June 28, 2011
    * Introducing the Google+ project: Real-life sharing, rethought for the web

    Official Google Blog: "Among the most basic of human needs is the need to connect with others. With a smile, a laugh, a whisper or a cheer, we connect with others every single day. Today, the connections between people increasingly happen online. Yet the subtlety and substance of real-world interactions are lost in the rigidness of our online tools. In this basic, human way, online sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it. We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project..."

    June 24, 2011
    * Google Apps Accessibility Evaluation Project

    "In the summer of 2010, Peter Mosinskis from California State University Channel Islands assembled a team of approximately fifteen volunteers from seven different CSU campuses and one from the UC system to evaluate the accessibility of Google Apps. The team also recruited student volunteers and screen reader users to assist with the testing. Automated, manual, and screen reader testing began the first week of January 2011 and was completed February 4th. The report has been completed and posted here for your review. The CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) Staff, ATI Leadership Council, and Google have reviewed the Google Apps Accessibility Evaluation report. We discovered a number of accessibility issues during our testing. These issues are outlined in the report as well as "workarounds" that can be used to improve the user experience for persons with disabilities. When campuses choose to use Google Apps, they are required to provide an equally effective service for people with disabilities and it is critical for campuses to ensure that the "workarounds" meet the educational needs of the student and/or faculty. The March 15, 2011 USA TODAY online news article Complaint: Google programs hard for blind students illustrates possible legal problems that may result from adopting the Google Apps for Education suite."

    June 23, 2011
    * WSJ: FTC Plans to Serve Google With Subpoenas

    WSJ: "Federal regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation into whether the Internet giant has abused its dominance in Web-search advertising, people familiar with the matter said. The civil probe, which has the potential to reshape how companies compete on the Internet, is the most serious legal threat yet to the 12-year-old company, though it wouldn't necessarily lead to any federal allegations of wrongdoing against Google. While Google has faced several antitrust probes in recent years, the U.S. has limited its investigations largely to reviews of the company's mergers and acquisitions. The new inquiry, by contrast, will examine fundamental issues relating to Google's core search-advertising business, its biggest money maker, said the people familiar with the matter."

    June 20, 2011
    * The British Library and Google to make 250,000 books available to all

    News release: "Major project to digitise up to 40 million pages from 1700-1870, from the French Revolution to the end of slavery - The British Library and Google today announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from the Library’s collections. Opening up access to one of the greatest collections of books in the world, this demonstrates the Library’s commitment, as stated in its 2020 Vision, to increase access to anyone who wants to do research. Selected by the British Library and digitised by Google, both organisations will work in partnership over the coming years to deliver this content free through Google Books and the British Library’s website. Google will cover all digitisation costs."

    * New On LLRX.com: Hunting For A Job? Try the Internet

    Hunting For A Job? Try the Internet: Acknowledging the economy in the past several years has made the job search process even more challenging, Rhonda Keaton and Barbara Fullerton provide strategic suggestions and a guide to a wide range of sources to support and leverage a multi-pronged search effort in response to the competitive job arena.

    June 08, 2011
    * EPIC: WhiteHouse.gov to Track Users for Two Years

    EPIC: "The White House modified its privacy policy for WhiteHouse.gov on June 3, 2011. The new policy is more than twice as long as the old policy. The new policy states the White House web site now uses persistent Google Analytics cookies that track users for up to two years. Previously the site employed only single-session cookies, which were automatically deleted when users closed their browsers. The site does not provide a means for visitors to opt out of receiving cookies. The present policy reflects changes the administration made last year to allow for use of tracking cookies by federal websites. For more information, see EPIC: White House Adopts Weird Opt-Out Privacy Policy for Public Access to Government Web Sites."

    June 07, 2011
    * Report: "'If It Is Too Inconvenient, I'm Not Going After It:' Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-seeking Behaviors"

    Connaway, Lynn Silipigni, Timothy J. Dickey, and Marie L. Radford. 2011. "'If It is Too Inconvenient, I'm Not Going After It.:' Convenience as a Critical Factor in Information-seeking Behaviors." Library and Information Science Research, 33: 179-190. doi:10.1016/j.lisr.2010.12.002 Pre-print.

  • "In today's fast-paced world, anecdotal evidence suggests that information tends to inundate people, and users of information systems want to find information quickly and conveniently. Empirical evidence for convenience as a critical factor is explored in the data from two multi-year, user studies projects funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The theoretical framework for this understanding is founded in the concepts of bounded rationality and rational choice theory, with Savolainen's (2006) concept of time as a context in information seeking, as well as gratification theory, informing the emphasis on the seekers' time horizons. Convenience is a situational criterion in people's choices and actions during all stages of the information-seeking process. The concept of convenience can include their choice of an information source, their satisfaction with the source and its ease of use, and their time horizon in information seeking. The centrality of convenience is especially prevalent among the younger subjects ("millennials") in both studies, but also holds across all demographic categories—age, gender, academic role, or user or non-user of virtual reference services. These two studies further indicate that convenience is a factor for making choices in a variety of situations, including both academic information seeking and everyday-life information seeking, although it plays different roles in different situations."
  • June 06, 2011
    * Google Introduces schema.org: Search engines come together for a richer web

    Official Google Blog: "...we’re announcing schema.org, a new initiative from Google, Bing and Yahoo! to create and support a common vocabulary for structured data markup on web pages. With schema.org, site owners and developers can learn about structured data and improve how their sites appear in major search engines. The site aims to be a one stop resource for webmasters looking to add markup to their pages."

    May 30, 2011
    * Google: Find searches that correlate with real-world data

    Official Google Blog - Mining patterns in search data with Google Correlate: "...[Using] Google Correlate, which we’re launching today on Google Labs...you can upload your own data series and see a list of search terms whose popularity best corresponds with that real world trend. In the example below, we uploaded official flu activity data from the U.S. CDC over the last several years and found that people search for terms like [cold or flu] in a similar pattern to actual flu rates. Finding out these correlated terms is how we built Google Flu Trends.

  • We encourage you to read our white paper describing the methodology behind Google Correlate
  • May 25, 2011
    * Google Launches Official Search Blog

    Inside Search - The Official Google Search Blog: "Here you’ll find regular updates on our algorithms and features, as well as stories from the people who work to improve Google every day."

    May 19, 2011
    * "Link Rot" and Legal Resources on the Web: A 2011 Analysis by the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group

    Via LLRX: "Link Rot" and Legal Resources on the Web: A 2011 Analysis by the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group - Sarah Rhodes describes and documents the work of the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group's fourth annual investigation of link rot among the original URLs for online law and policy-related materials archived though the group's efforts. Link rot" is used to describe a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL. The Chesapeake Group focuses primarily on the preservation of Web-published legal materials, which often disappear as Web site content is rearranged or deleted over time. In the four years since the program began, the Chesapeake Group has built a digital archive collection comprising more than 7,400 digital items and 3,200 titles, all of which were originally posted to the Web.

    May 17, 2011
    * University Study: Google's Android OS ClientLogin Vulnerable to Hijacking

    Catching AuthTokens in the Wild - The Insecurity of Google's ClientLogin Protocol by Bastian Könings, Jens Nickels, and Florian Schaub, May 13, 2011

  • "In a recent blog post Dan Wallach outlined some of the risks of using Android smartphones in open Wifi networks. He found that some Android applications transmit data in the clear, allowing an attacker to eavesdrop any transmitted information. Besides third-party apps, such as Twitter or Facebook, also the Google Calendar app transmitted unencrypted information. Wallach stated that "an eavesdropper can definitely see your calendar transactions and can likely impersonate you to Google Calendar". A fact that also applies to Google Contacts as another blog post revealed. We wanted to know if it is really possible to launch an impersonation attack against Google services and started our own analysis. The short answer is: Yes, it is possible, and it is quite easy to do so. Further, the attack is not limited to Google Calendar and Contacts, but is theoretically feasible with all Google services using the ClientLogin authentication protocol for access to its data APIs."

  • May 16, 2011
    * Google Economic Impact Report 2010

    "Local businesses are growing. We’re helping. Google's not just a search engine. We've also helped hundreds of businesses in every U.S. state to grow. Across the U.S., Google's search and advertising tools provided $64 billion of economic activity in 2010. Click the map to see Google’s economic impact in your state. The state-by-state advertiser, publisher, and non-profit totals listed in the map are rounded to the nearest thousand."

    * Enhancements Launched to Personalize Google News

    Personalize Google News to reflect your taste in publishers, via Google News forum: "...we're happy to announce the addition of a few more features to Google News settings to make your experience using Google News even more customizable. As you may know, if you click on the gear icon in the top right of your screen, you'll be able to access the News Settings page. On this page, you now have the ability to opt out of having Google News refresh automatically every fifteen minutes. Additionally, you can now select to "None" for Blogs or Press Releases if you'd like to never see these content in these categories appearing in your personalized Google News page."

    May 11, 2011
    * Google Announces First Quarter 2011 Results and $500M Set Aside for DOJ Investigation

    Google Announces First Quarter 2011 Results: "In May 2011, in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers, we accrued $500 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011. Although we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this matter, we believe it will not have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows. As a result, we have updated the affected financial data in this release, as noted, as well as the accompanying financial tables."

    May 10, 2011
    * FTC Testifies on Protecting Consumers' Privacy on Mobile Devices

    News release: "The Federal Trade Commission today told Congress that “the Commission is committed to protecting consumers’ privacy in the mobile sphere” by bringing enforcement actions where appropriate and “by working with industry and consumer groups to develop workable solutions that protect consumers while allowing innovation in this growing marketplace.” In Commission testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee for Privacy, Technology and the Law, Jessica Rich, Deputy Director in the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said the FTC has been examining mobile and wireless issues since 2000, when the agency hosted a workshop on emerging wireless Internet and data technologies and the privacy, security, and consumer protection issues they raise. The FTC also hosted a technology forum in 2006 that featured mobile issues, two Town Halls to explore the use of radio frequency identification technology and its integration into mobile devices, and a forum in 2008 examining consumer protection issues in the mobile sphere. In addition, the FTC has taken law enforcement actions against companies that fail to protect the privacy and security of consumer information. The testimony highlighted four recent cases that illustrate how the FTC’s authority applies to the mobile arena. The FTC’s case against Google alleges that the company deceived consumers by using information collected from Gmail users to generate and populate a new social network, Google Buzz, without users’ consent. As part of the proposed settlement order, Google must protect the privacy of all of its customers – including mobile users."

    May 09, 2011
    * Mozilla: Homeland Security Request to Take Down MafiaaFire Add-on

    Via Harvey Anderson...who works at Mozilla on legal and business affairs." Homeland Security Request to Take Down MafiaaFire Add-on, May 5, 2011 - "From time to time, we receive government requests for information, usually market information and occasionally subpoenas. Recently the US Department of Homeland Security contacted Mozilla and requested that we remove the MafiaaFire add-on. The ICE Homeland Security Investigations unit alleged that the add-on circumvented a seizure order DHS had obtained against a number of domain names. Mafiaafire, like several other similar add-ons already available through AMO, redirects the user from one domain name to another similar to a mail forwarding service. In this case, Mafiaafire redirects traffic from seized domains to other domains. Here the seized domain names allegedly were used to stream content protected by copyrights of professional sports franchises and other media concerns. Our approach is to comply with valid court orders, warrants, and legal mandates, but in this case there was no such court order. Thus, to evaluate Homeland Security’s request, we asked them several questions similar to those below to understand the legal justification..."

    May 08, 2011
    * Google Business Photos

    Google Business Photos - See also the FAQ: "Do you own a business? Apply today for a Google photo shoot of your business. Millions of potential customers visit Google every day to learn about places and businesses. Through scheduled photo shoots, Google is introducing a new way for you to showcase your business to the world. Where are photo shoots available? Google photographers are currently visiting businesses in select cities in the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Any business can apply for a photo shoot, and demand will help us decide where to send our photographers next. Where will the photos appear? Pictures from the shoot will be added to your Place page."

    May 05, 2011
    * The Deciders: Facebook, Google, and the Future of Privacy and Free Speech

    The Deciders: Facebook, Google, and the Future of Privacy and Free Speech, Jeffrey Rosen

  • "Open Planet [24/7 ubiquitous surveillance system] is not a technological fantasy. Most of the architecture for implementing it already exists, and it would be a simple enough task for Facebook or Google, if the companies chose, to get the system up and running: face recognition is already plausible, storage is increasing exponentially; and the only limitation is the coverage and scope of the existing cameras, which are growing by the day. Indeed, at a legal Futures Conference at Stanford in 2007, Andrew McLaughlin, then the head of public policy at Google, said he expected Google to get requests to put linked surveillance networks live and online within the decade. How, he, asked the audience of scholars and technologists, should Google respond?"
  • May 03, 2011
    * EPIC Proposes "Fair Information Practices" for Google

    "Today EPIC submitted detailed comments on a landmark privacy agreement that requires Google to adopt a "Comprehensive Privacy Plan" to safeguard the privacy and personal information of Internet users. In comments to the Federal Trade Commission, EPIC recommended that the FTC require Google to adopt and implement comprehensive Fair Information Practices complaint EPIC: In re Google Buzz ..."

    May 01, 2011
    * CDT: "Take Back Your Privacy's" Top 5 Privacy Tips

    Cyrus Nemati, CDT: "If you've been following our Take Back Your Privacy campaign, you've seen our weekly privacy tips. Each week, we offer readers a new way to protect their privacy online through plug-ins, browser tricks, programs, and general privacy best practices. While each tip has merit in its own right, there are a few tips that give you a great amount of control over your online privacy. Without further ado, here are Take Back Your Privacy's Top Five Privacy Tips."

    April 26, 2011
    * Introducing the WebM Community Cross-License Initiative

    News release: "It's been almost a year since Mozilla, Opera, Xiph.Org, Matroska, Google and over 40 other partners launched the WebM Project with the goal of developing a world-class, open source media format for the web. The open development model has led to rapid quality improvements in WebM, and the format is now supported in HTML5-capable browsers including Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Internet Explorer. Leading silicon vendors are adding WebM support to their chipsets,and some hardware implementations are already on the market. A key measure of success for WebM is a diverse range of contributors. For example, we are already seeing a growing number of code contributions from independent developers as well as independent implementations. We are pleased to now offer another way to contribute, through a licensing initiative that allows the community to help further support the WebM Project. Google, Matroska and the Xiph.Org Foundation make the components of WebM openly available on royalty-free terms. Today we're announcing the formation of the WebM Community Cross-License (CCL) initiative with 17 founding members. Organizations that join the CCL agree to license patents they may have that are essential to WebM technologies to other members of the CCL."

    * Commentary: Welcome to the age of data: Watch your back!

    Welcome to the age of data: Watch your back! by Molly Wood

  • "This week's iPhone location tracking scandal is just the latest glaring spotlight on how much of your personal information is gushing out the door, whether unprotected on your own devices and ripe for the picking, or into corporate and botnet servers worldwide. Personal information is the currency of the post-technological age, and the cost of "free" has never been higher. Your data, on an increasingly minute and personal level, powers every Web or network-based company, from start-up to monolith. Google maintains literally acres of servers dedicated to storing your communications--from e-mail to texts to the transcripts of your voice mail; your browsing and shopping habits; your blog posts; your photos; your calendar appointments; and of course, your intensely personal search histories. If you're logged in to a Google service, that information is all tied to your IP address. Only the thinnest of artificial technical barriers--a sort of loose privacy honor system--keeps Google from combining the data into a scarily accurate digital version of you (like the first digital Cylon, if you will). But pity poor Google, which must gather all this information by increasingly intrusive means, like the DoubleClick ad cookie that tracks your browsing all across the Web, surreptitious Wi-Fi sniffing, and sending location information about you back to its data centers even when you're not running location apps. On the other side of the aisle lies Facebook, which has cleverly cajoled 500 million users (and growing) into giving up virtually all the same information for free. Profiles, Places, Deals, and of course, the ever-present Like button, which lets you easily record your preferences for everything from opinions to shoes to celebrities and bands...you can almost imagine Facebook whispering a little "thank you" every time you click that little blue button."

  • April 25, 2011
    * Google Video Shows Use of Disk Crushers and Other Security Measures

    Computerworld: 'Google is shedding some of the secrecy around its data center practices, with a new video that shows extensive security measures and the destruction of old hard drives to prevent leakage of customer data. Google "rigorously tracks the location and status" of each hard drive, destroying failed hard drives with a multistep process before gathering the mangled bits in boxes to send off to recycling centers. "One device that is used to destroy old hard drives is known as the crusher," the narrator of a Google video says. "A steel piston is pushed through the center of the drive and the platters are deformed, making them unreadable."

    April 24, 2011
    * Dutch Data Protection Authority issues several administrative orders against Google

    News release: "[April 19, 2011], the Dutch Data Protection Authority (College bescherming persoonsgegevens, CBP) has issued several administrative orders against Google for incremental penalty payments. Investigations by the CBP show that Google has, for a period of two years, systematically, and without the data subjects’ knowledge, collected MAC addresses of more than 3,6 million WiFi routers, in combination with the calculated location of those routers. This was done by using the so called ‘Street View cars’. MAC addresses in combination with their calculated locations, qualify, in this context, as personal data, because the collected data provide information about the WiFi router’s owners. The Dutch DPA also concludes that Google, using the same Street View cars, collected so called payload data, the contents of internet communication. This information contains personal data such as e-mail addresses, medical data and information concerning financial transactions.
    Google has been ordered to, within three months, inform the data subjects – off line as well as on line – about the collection of data originating from WiFi routers by the Street View cars. Within the same period of three months, Google must also offer an on line possibility to opt-out from the database in order to enable people to object to the processing of the data concerning their WiFi routers. In case Google does not comply with the administrative order within the time period granted, the penalty amount can increase to a maximum of one million euros. Furthermore, Google is obliged to destroy the payload data it has collected in the Netherlands within four weeks. Read the Dutch press release and the relevant documents (only in Dutch)."

    April 20, 2011
    * Google Launches Map Maker for the United States

    Google Map Maker: "Google Map Maker lets you add to and update the map, for millions of people to see in Google Maps and Google Earth. You can add your local knowledge for over 180 countries and regions. Get started mapping the places you know." See also Learn more about using Map Maker

  • YouTube video tutorial: Introducing Google Map Maker for the United States
  • .

    April 12, 2011
    * Report: Incompetent Research Skills Curb Users' Problem Solving

    Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, April 11, 2011: "Users increasingly rely on individual pages listed by search engines instead of finding better ways to tackle problems. Although some analysts questioned the finding of search dominance, it's a user behavior that gets stronger every year. Today, many users are so reliant on search that it's undermining their problem-solving abilities. Ironically, the better search gets, the more dangerous it gets as people increasingly assume that whatever the search engine coughs up must be the answer...Still, the rough estimate from our available data is obvious: users change search strategy only 1% of the time; 99% of the time they plod along a single unwavering path. Whether t"e true number is 2% or 0.5%, the big-picture conclusion is the same: users have extraordinarily inadequate research skills when it comes to solving problems on the Web."

    April 11, 2011
    * New on LLRX.com - A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement

    A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement - "On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not "fair, reasonable, and adequate" as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper by Jonathan Band continues the series in which he discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search."

    April 03, 2011
    * A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement

    A Guide For the Perplexed Part IV: The Rejection of the Google Books Settlement, by Jonathan Band

  • "On March 22, 2011, Judge Denny Chin rejected the proposed settlement in copyright infringement litigation over the Google Library Project. Judge Chin found that the settlement was not “fair, reasonable, and adequate” as required by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Judge Chin issued the decision over a year after the fairness hearing he conducted. His opinion agrees in large measure with the objections to the settlement asserted by the U.S. Department of Justice at the hearing and in its written submissions. This paper discusses the opinion and where it leaves Google Books Search."

  • March 30, 2011
    * FTC Charges Deceptive Privacy Practices in Google’s Rollout of Its Buzz Social Network

    News release: "Google Inc. has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy promises to consumers when it launched its social network, Google Buzz, in 2010. The agency alleges the practices violate the FTC Act. The proposed settlement bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations, requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years. This is the first time an FTC settlement order has required a company to implement a comprehensive privacy program to protect the privacy of consumers’ information. In addition, this is the first time the FTC has alleged violations of the substantive privacy requirements of the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework, which provides a method for U.S. companies to transfer personal data lawfully from the European Union to the United States."

    March 24, 2011
    * Yahoo!’s New Search Direct - Beta Release

    Yahoo Search Blog: "We have always believed that search should be simple and fun, make you smile every once in a while and be that one place you know you can depend on. We went back to the drawing boards to rethink the search experience, how we can take it to the next step, and really make search awesome...Search Direct is the first fundamental shift in search in more than a decade. For the first time, driving users to a results page filled with an overwhelming number of links is not the end game. We believe Search Direct will be the simplest and fastest way to find answers, not links.

  • How it works: We offer the top 30 results in a way that is extremely simple to comprehend. As the user types, we provide the top 10 most likely searches and for each of those we provide the top 3 results. We call it search previews. It provides bite size results that make it incredibly easy for a user to scan and actually comprehend the top results. And once the user finds the site they need, we provide direct access to it, removing the unnecessary step of a results page. In removing all the noise, you’re finally able to focus on your search intent, getting directly to your answer and getting on with your day."
  • March 22, 2011
    * Google Launches Page Speed for Chrome - in 40 languages

    The official Google Code blog: "Today we’re launching the most requested feature for Page Speed, Page Speed for Chrome. Now Google Chrome users can get Page Speed performance suggestions to make their sites faster, right inside the Chrome browser. We would like to thank all our users for your great feedback and support since we launched. We’re humbled that 1.4 M unique users are using the Page Speed extension and finding it useful to help with their web performance diagnosis."

    March 21, 2011
    * New on LLRX.com: SharePoint, Training Not Required

    Via LLRX.com - SharePoint, Training Not Required: Lorette Weldon's research has identified that librarians are using SharePoint in the corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. She expertly identifies and illustrates how to leverage the power of this application through an understanding of the site templates that Microsoft bundles in SharePoint "out-of-the-box". These templates are based on social networking abilities and not program coding. Through "plug and play" efforts librarians can find the features in SharePoint that will assist them in managing their multifaceted "collections."

    March 20, 2011
    * Open Data Search: finding useful datasets, worldwide

    [The following post is from Friedrich Lindenberg, who is a developer at the Open Knowledge Foundation working on CKAN, PublicData.eu and Open Spending.]

  • "Recently, there has hardly been a week in which there hasn’t been an announcement of a new local, regional or national open data initiative – including ever more extensive catalogues of data that is being opened up (CKAN alone now runs in 20 or more places). While this is great news for those of us interested in re-using the data, it also means it becomes increasingly hard to keep a good overview of what kind of data are available for which places. To get a better overview we’ve now started a meta search engine for open data, opendatasearch.org. opendatasearch.org is a global version of the prototype publicdata.eu site we announced in January: it’s an aggregator for datasets, providing a simple and unified search interface to all of the catalogues contained."
  • March 16, 2011
    * FTC Testifies Before Senate Commerce Committee on Privacy; Industry Efforts to Implement "Do Not Track" System Already Underway

    News release: "In testimony before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, the Federal Trade Commission discussed its efforts to protect consumer privacy through enforcement actions, consumer education, and policy initiatives like the FTC staff’s recent preliminary privacy report. The report proposes a framework to balance consumer privacy with industry innovation by: 1) building privacy protections into everyday business practices (“privacy-by-design”); 2) simplifying privacy choices for consumers; and 3)improving transparency with clearer, shorter privacy notices. The Commission told Congress that industry stakeholders have made important progress in implementing Do Not Track, a mechanism proposed in the staff's preliminary privacy report last December that would allow consumers to choose not to have their Internet browsing tracked by third parties. The testimony noted that two of the major Internet browsers – Microsoft and Mozilla – “have recently announced the development of new choice mechanisms for online behavioral advertising that seek to provide increased transparency, greater consumer control, and improved ease of use.”

  • "...the ACLU's Chris Calabrese testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on the state of online consumer privacy. In his testimony, Chris describes the danger that looms if Congress does not enact some online protections. He says: "If this collection of data is allowed to continue unchecked, then capitalism will build what the government never could — a complete surveillance state online."
  • March 13, 2011
    * New on LLRX.com: Knowledge Discovery Resources 2011 - An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation

    Via LLRX.com, Knowledge Discovery Resources 2011 - An Internet MiniGuide Annotated Link Compilation: This new guide by Marcus P. Zillman focuses on the most current and reliable resources for knowledge discovery available on the Internet. With the constant addition of new and pertinent information to the web, it is very easy to experience information overload. A critical requirement for researchers is finding the best knowledge discovery resources and sites in both the visible and invisible World Wide Web. These carefully selected knowledge and information discovery sources will help you accomplish your research goals.

    * Google: Assembling resources following the earthquake in Japan

    Official Google Blog: "Amidst a series of aftershocks rocking our office, a small group of us in Tokyo and several other Google offices started gathering information about the earthquake to create the Crisis Response information page. As someone who experienced the Kobe earthquake 16 years ago when I was at university, I cannot forget the immediate desire for information. There was no way to find out where people's family and friends were, if transportation would be available to get us home, and most importantly, whether we would be able to find shelter. This experience helped me remember that during a crisis, information about shelters can become increasingly muddled. Together with our Google Crisis Response team, we decided to organize existing public information from local governments about the concerned areas. Because of the very high volume of web traffic yesterday, this proved difficult to access. Collaborating with the Google Maps engineering team in Tokyo, we rapidly put together a page of information on Google Maps for our Crisis Response page."

    March 12, 2011
    * Google Releases Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake

    Person Finder: 2011 Japan Earthquake - What is your situation? [Currently tracking about 70400 records...]

  • I'm looking for someone
  • I have information about someone

  • March 10, 2011
    * Google Launches Feature to Block Sites From Future Search Results

    Official Google Blog: "Now there’s yet another way to find more of what you want on Google by blocking the sites you don’t want to see. You’ve probably had the experience where you’ve clicked a result and it wasn’t quite what you were looking for. Many times you’ll head right back to Google. Perhaps the result just wasn’t quite right, but sometimes you may dislike the site in general, whether it’s offensive...or of generally low quality. For times like these, you’ll start seeing a new option to block particular domains from your future search results. Now when you click a result and then return to Google, you’ll find a new link next to “Cached” that reads “Block all example.com results.” Once you click the link to “Block all example.com results” you’ll get a confirmation message, as well as the option to undo your choice. You’ll see the link whether or not you’re signed in, but the domains you block are connected with your Google Account, so you’ll need to sign in before you can confirm a block. Once you’ve blocked a domain, you won’t see it in your future search results."

    March 01, 2011
    * Google with Recipe View helps you find recipes from across the web

    Google Recipe Search: "After searcing for a recipe or ingredient on Google, select Recipes in the left-hand panel on the search results page. You can filter your results by ingredients, cook time, or calories."

    February 24, 2011
    * Google: Finding more high-quality sites in search

    Official Google Blog: "Our goal is simple: to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time. Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on."

    February 23, 2011
    * Measuring Bias in "Organic" Web Search

    Measuring Bias in "Organic" Web Search, Benjamin Edelman and Benjamin Lockwood, January 19, 2011

  • "By comparing results between leading search engines, we identify patterns in their algorithmic search listings. We find that each search engine favors its own services in that each search engine links to its own services more often than other search engines do so. But some search engines promote their own services significantly more than others. We examine patterns in these differences, and we flag keywords where the problem is particularly widespread. Even excluding "rich results" (whereby search engines feature their own images, videos, maps, etc.), we find that Google's algorithmic search results link to Google's own services more than three times as often as other search engines link to Google's services. For selected keywords, biased results advance search engines' interests at users' expense: We demonstrate that lower-ranked listings for other sites sometimes manage to obtain more clicks than Google and Yahoo's own-site listings, even when Google and Yahoo put their own links first."
  • February 10, 2011
    * Google "Art Project" - Explore museums from around the world

    "What is the ‘Art Project’? - A unique collaboration with some of the world’s most acclaimed art museums to enable people to discover and view more than a thousand artworks online in extraordinary detail.

    • Explore museums with Street View technology: virtually move around the museum’s galleries, selecting works of art that interest you, navigate though interactive floor plans and learn more about the museum and you explore.
    • Artwork View: discover featured artworks at high resolution and use the custom viewer to zoom into paintings. Expanding the info panel allows you to read more about an artwork, find more works by that artist and watch related YouTube videos.
    • Create your own collection: the ‘Create an Artwork Collection’ feature allows you to save specific views of any of the 1000+ artworks and build your own personalised collection. Comments can be added to each painting and the whole collection can then be shared with friends and family."

    February 09, 2011
    * Experian Hitwise reports Bing searches increase 21 percent in January 2011

    News release: "Experian® Hitwise®, a part of Experian Marketing Services, announced today that Google accounted for 67.95 percent of all U.S. searches conducted in the four weeks ending Jan. 29, 2011. Bing-powered search comprised 27.44 percent of searches for the month, with Yahoo! Search and Bing receiving 14.62 percent and 12.81 percent, respectively. The remaining 70 search engines in the Hitwise Search Engine Analysis report accounted for 4.61 percent of U.S. searches. Bing and Yahoo! Search achieved the highest success rates in January 2011. This means that for both search engines, more than 81 percent of searches executed resulted in a visit to a Website. Google achieved a success rate of 65 percent. The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine result pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information."

    February 06, 2011
    * New on LLRX.com: Deep Web Research 2011

    Via LLRX.com - Deep Web Research 2011: Internet research guru Marcus P. Zillman's comprehensive, extensive guide focuses on how expert search engines have written algorithms to mine the deeper portions of the web by targeting file formats such as .pdf, .doc, .xls, ppt, .ps. and others. These files are predominately used by businesses to communicate information both within their organization and to those outside enterprise systems. Searching for this information using deeper search techniques and the latest algorithms empowers researchers to obtain a vast amount of corporate information previously unavailable or inaccessible. Research has also shown that even deeper information can be obtained from these files by searching and accessing the "properties" information on these files.

    January 31, 2011
    * The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine New Beta Version

    "Surf the web as it was - BETA version! The Internet Archive's Wayback Machine puts the history of the World Wide Web at your fingertips. We invite you to explore this new, BETA version of the Wayback Machine and contact us with any feedback. The classic version of the Wayback Machine is still available at web.archive.org/."

    January 30, 2011
    * Google Transliteration

    "Google Transliteration allows you to type phonetically using Roman characters. Simply type a word the way it sounds in English and Google Transliteration will convert it to its local script. We currently support 24 languages: Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujarati, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Serbian, Sinhalese, Tamil, Telugu, Tigrinya and Urdu."

    January 24, 2011
    * Do-Not-Track" Option Now on IE, Firefox and Chrome

    National Journal: Google and Mozilla both announced that they will be adding "do-not-track" options to their Internet browsers, allowing users to prevent websites from gathering personal information and selling it to advertisers. Mozilla announced its plan Sunday with Google following suit Monday. According to a company statement, Google's "Keep My Op-Outs" feature will be available as an extension for download on its Chrome browser Monday. "We made available, for all major browsers, a downloadable browser plugin that enables you to permanently opt out of Google's advertising cookie, even if you deleted all your browser's cookies," according to the statement." Mozilla's Firefox version will be an HTTP header that will tell websites that a user wants to opt-out what's called "online behavioral advertising." "The advantages to the header technique are that it is less complex and simple to locate and use, it is more persistent than cookie-based solutions, and it doesn't rely on user's finding and loading lists of ad networks and advertisers to work," said Mozilla technology and privacy officer Alex Fowler wrote in a blog post Sunday. Microsoft announced a similar feature for its Internet Explorer in December."

    January 23, 2011
    * Google responds to increasing complaints about search result relevancy

    Google search and search engine spam: "As we’ve increased both our size and freshness in recent months, we’ve naturally indexed a lot of good content and some spam as well. To respond to that challenge, we recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words—the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments. We’ve also radically improved our ability to detect hacked sites, which were a major source of spam in 2010. And we’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content. We’ll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give more explicit feedback about spammy and low-quality sites."

    January 17, 2011
    * Rasmussen Reports - U.S. Internet Users Give High Marks to Search Engines

    News release: "Most Internet users in America say they go online to answer routine questions, and they give overwhelmingly positive marks to today’s Internet search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 66% of regular Internet users instinctively go online to answer routine questions. Just 30% say they do not. (To see survey question wording, click here). Eighty-nine percent (89%) of those who regularly go online rate today’s Internet search engines as good or excellent in terms of finding the information they need. Fewer than half a percent rates the search engines they use as poor. Seventy-eight percent (78%), in fact, say they generally use the same Internet search engine all the time. Just 19% use more than one."

    December 29, 2010
    * S&P; Equity Research Issues Internet Predictions for 2011

    News release: "S&P; Equity Research sees big developments for the Internet segment in 2011, including continuing challenges for Google, changes at Yahoo, a cloud offering from Apple, and excitement from China. "The coming year should also be another year of solid growth, with double-digit gains for U.S. Internet advertising and retail spending," observed Scott Kessler, Information Technology analyst at S&P; Equity Research."

    December 18, 2010
    * Google launches "Body Browser"

    "Welcome to Body Browser - To use Body Browser, you'll need a Web browser with WebGL support. Click here to get the new Google Chrome beta, or visit khronos.org for more choices."

    * Google Announces Chrome is Ready for Business

    Google Chrome Blog: "When we announced that Chrome is now used by over 120 million users and showed off some of its latest features last week, we saw a tremendous amount of excitement from both users and businesses. Many businesses asked how they can get the benefits of increased security, speed and the modern browser capabilities that Chrome offers with the configurability and customizations they need. The good news is that businesses don’t need to wait any longer to deploy Google Chrome. Today, we’re announcing that Chrome offers controls that enable IT administrators to easily configure and deploy the browser on Windows, Mac, and Linux according to their business requirements. We’ve created an MSI installer that enables businesses who use standard deployment tools to install Chrome for all their managed users. We’ve also added support for managed group policy with a list of policies and a set of templates that allow administrators to easily customize browser settings to manage security and privacy. By deploying Google Chrome, organizations can take advantage of improved security and web application performance without needing to upgrade other expensive software licenses or buy new hardware. Deploying Google Chrome also gives users access to productivity-enhancing HTML5 web applications. Since Google Chrome is the same as the browser on Chrome OS, admins considering Chrome OS for their organizations can start testing their mission-critical web applications by deploying the Google Chrome browser."

    December 17, 2010
    * Google: When one translation just isn’t enough

    Google Translate Blog: "When you come to Google Translate, we always do our best to give you the most accurate translation our system can produce. However, sometimes translation can be pretty tough. Language is full of ambiguities and our system has to do its best to make the right choices. So why choose? We’ve launched a new feature to provide you with alternate translations for each phrase in the translated text. Just click the translated phrase and you’ll see a pop-up menu of possible alternates for that phrase, as well as the original phrase highlighted in your original text. Not only can these alternative translations give you a better understanding of a confusing translation, but they also allow you to help Google choose the best alternative when we make a mistake. This new feature is powered by harnessing the vast knowledge within our statistical machine translation system. Typically, when we produce a translation, our system searches through millions of possible translations, selecting the best -- that is, the most statistically likely -- translation. With this feature, we expose more of those possible alternatives. For more information about how our system works, check out http://translate.google.com/about/."

    * New Google Books Visualization Tool: Ngram Viewer

    Inside Google Books: "The Ngram Viewer lets you graph and compare phrases from these datasets over time, showing how their usage has waxed and waned over the years. One of the advantages of having data online is that it lowers the barrier to serendipity: you can stumble across something in these 500 billion words and be the first person ever to make that discovery."

    December 12, 2010
    * Google Zeitgeist 2010: How the world searched

    Zeitgeist 2010 - How the world searched: "Based on the aggregation of billions of search queries people typed into Google this year, Zeitgeist captures the spirit of 2010."

  • "This visualization is based on data from Insights for Search and Google Trends. The bars visualize the search volume index of a sample of queries relevant to the event. This information allows you to compare how many searches have been done for this event, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time."
  • * Google now allow users to limit search results to a specific reading level

    "Sometimes you may want to limit your search results to a specific reading level. For instance, a junior high school teacher looking for content for her students or a second-language learner might want web pages written at a basic reading level. A scientist searching for the latest findings from the experts may want to limit results to those at advanced reading levels. To limit your search results to a specific reading level, follow these steps:

    1. On the search results page, click Advanced Search below the search box.
    2. Next to "Reading level" within the "Need more tools" section, select your desired reading level (basic, intermediate, or advanced) or choose to
    3. Click Advanced search at the bottom of the page.
    4. At any time, you can click the X in the right corner of the blue bar beneath the search box to go back to seeing all results."

    December 04, 2010
    * Dutch Journalist Group Launches Full-text Search Engine of WikiLeaks Cables

    Follow up to WikiLeaks Releases Secret US Embassy Cables, news via Computerworld of a new search engine, CableSearch.org, lets users search the disclosed cables by word, source, security classification, classification tag and date. CableSearch was the brainstorm of Henk Van Ess, chairman of VVOJ (Vereniging van Onderzoeksjournalisten), or Association of Investigative Journalists, a Dutch-Flemish reporters' group, and the co-founder of the European Center of Computer Assisted Reporting (ECCAR). In a Twitter message Thursday, Van Ess said the search engine was an "initiative of investigative reporters from eccar.org."

  • See also Is WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange a Hero? Glenn Greenwald Debates Steven Aftergood of Secrecy News"
  • * Facebook's plan - posed to be the web's virtual driver's licence

    FT.com: Facebook’s grand plan for the future: "This is a somewhat different Mark Zuckerberg to the one the public knew just a year ago. In recent months he has transformed from an awkward wunderkind with a preternatural ability to anticipate where the web is going, into an amicable executive unafraid of laying out his grand plan. It is not just that he is a bit more confident and articulate, though he is both; what is striking is that for the first time in my two years of interviewing him, Zuckerberg seems at ease. “The fear is behind him,” said a friend of Zuckerberg’s. “Until a year ago, he thought this might be the next Google, but he wasn’t sure. Now he’s sure. The fear is gone.”

    November 26, 2010
    * Two new metatags for Google News: syndication-source and original-source

    Official Google New Blog: "News publishers and readers both benefit when journalists get proper credit for their work. That can be difficult, with news spreading so quickly and many websites syndicating articles to others. That’s why we’re experimenting with two new metatags for Google News: syndication-source and original-source. Each of these metatags addresses a different scenario, but for both the aim is to allow publishers to take credit for their work and give credit to other journalists. Here’s how to use these metatags:

    • syndication-source indicates the preferred URL for a syndicated article. If two versions of an article are exactly the same, or only very slightly modified, we're asking publishers to use syndication-source to point us to the one they would like Google News to use..
    • original-source indicates the URL of the first article to report on a story. We encourage publishers to use this metatag to give credit to the source that broke the story. We recognize that this can sometimes be tough to determine. But the intent of this tag is to reward hard work and journalistic enterprise...
    • To learn more about how these metatags work, and how you can implement them for your site, visit our Help Center article.

    November 15, 2010
    * Hard-Coding Bias in Google "Algorithmic" Search Results

    Hard-Coding Bias in Google "Algorithmic" Search Results, Benjamin Edelman - November 15, 2010

  • "I present categories of searches for which available evidence indicates Google has "hard-coded" its own links to appear at the top of algorithmic search results, and I offer a methodology for detecting certain kinds of tampering by comparing Google results for similar searches. I compare Google's hard-coded results with Google's public statements and promises, including a dozen denials but at least one admission. I tabulate affected search terms and examine other mechanisms also granting favored placement to Google's ancillary services. I conclude by analyzing the impact of Google's tampering on users and competition, and by proposing principles to block Google's bias."
  • * AARP Drug Savings Tool

    Drug Savings Tool

    1. Search for a drug you are taking
    2. Review your drug’s price range and efficacy and compare it to Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs. Print out your options for discussion with your doctor.
    3. View more information about this group of drugs, including safety and effectiveness. [Consumer Reports Health Best Buy Drugs™ information contained in the Drug Compare Tool is for general informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a substitute for consultation with your physician or other healthcare professionals.]

    * UK: Google Street View (GSV) collection of payload data

    "The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent authority set up to uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals." Snipped from November 3, 2010 letter from ICO to Global Privacy Counsel, Google France: "My office now understands that GSV (Google Street View) cars driving in the UK before May 2010 were equipped with the same equipment as the GSV cars in countries where regulators found some instances where entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords. As such, my office believes that while most of the payload data gathered from the UK is fragmentary, in some instances it is possible that entire emails and URLs were captured, as well as passwords. It is my view that the collection of this information is a serious breach of the first data protection principle..."

    November 09, 2010
    * Google Launches Instant Previews

    Official Google Blog: "With Google Instant you get results as fast as you type, but your search doesn’t stop there. Once you get results back, you choose a site to visit based on the information in each result—like the title, a snippet of text and the URL. Over time we’ve made steady improvements to our search results and snippets to help you pick a great page. Now we’re making a leap to image-based snapshots—a new kind of visual search result we call “Instant Previews” which makes it even faster to choose the right result. Instant Previews provides a graphic overview of a search result and highlights the most relevant sections, making finding the right page as quick and easy as flipping through a magazine. To use it, click once on the magnifying glass next to the title of any search result and a visual overview of the page will appear on the right. From there, hover your cursor over any other result to see a preview. For those of you who’ve recently stopped using your mouse to search, now you can navigate to a result, hit the right arrow key to see the preview, and hit the down arrow key to keep browsing."

    November 07, 2010
    * MyApartmentMap - apartment search engine

    "MyApartmentMap "is an apartment search engine that allows users to find apartment listings all over the United States...For the first time, apartment listings have been seamlessly integrated with interactive maps, virtual neighborhood tours, detailed rental data, and many other advanced tools that help apartment searchers make educated decisions about where to rent...MyApartmentMap provides detailed rental data for over 70,000 locations including states, cities, colleges, neighborhoods, military bases, and zip codes. This allows users to accurately predict how much they should be paying for rent and what regions fit within their budget. A short list of MyApartmentMap's features include:

    • Interactive Maps: Users can view a map to see exactly where each apartment is located. Nearby grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and other points of interest can be seen with the click of a button.
    • Virtual Neighborhood Tours: Interactive street images give renters the ability to get the look and feel of a neighborhood without ever leaving their computer.
    • Rental Deals: Advanced algorithms detect which apartment listings currently offer deals and incentives. Commonly found deals include cash back rewards, free rent, or unit upgrades.
    • Vertical Searches: College students, military families, and pet owners, all have additional requirements when searching for housing. Vertical searches help these renters by automatically identifying apartments that fit their criteria."

    November 06, 2010
    * Google URL Shortener

    Google URL Shortener - All goo.gl URLs and click analytics are public and can be shared by anyone.

    November 01, 2010
    * Google Confronts China's "Three Warfares"

    Google Confronts China’s “Three Warfares”, by Timothy L. Thomas. Parameters, Summer 2010, Vol. 40, No. 2, U.S. Army War College.

  • "In early January 2010, Google announced that a computer attack originating from China had penetrated its corporate infrastructure (in mid-December) and stolen information from its computers, most likely source code. The hackers also accessed the Gmail accounts of some human-rights activists and infiltrated the networks of 33 companies. In April 2010, journalist John Markoff wrote: A person with direct knowledge of the investigation now says that the losses included one of Google’s crown jewels, a password system that controls access by millions of users worldwide to almost all of the company’s Web services, including e-mail and business applications. The program, code named Gaia for the Greek goddess of the earth, was attacked in a lightning raid taking less than two days last December, the person said." ..China’s recent incursions into US military computer networks and Google’s cyber systems are of concern when viewed in isolation. They reflect a more serious problem when viewed as part of a short-term goal of conducting “preemptive reconnaissance” that accommodates a longer-term goal of affecting US military planning or the US economy. Many factors indicate that this may be China’s goal."

  • October 31, 2010
    * Google's Free Election Data Center and Updated Election News Section

    "Google Election Center helps you provide up-to-date election information to voters and create custom search tools for your website. You can submit the following kinds of information: Polling place locations; Registration instructions; Ballot information; State and local election office contact information. The Election Center Data Manager will guide you through the process of uploading and validating your information. After receiving your information, Google will display election information to your voters through our Maps application." See also:

  • "A special Google News section with stories for each state so you can easily catch up on the latest headlines."
  • U.S. State Department's Midterm Elections 2010 selective resource guide of reliable background sources, polls, blogs and politics-centric sites
  • October 30, 2010
    * Google Launches Place Search - a faster, easier way to find local information

    Official Google Blog: "Today we’re introducing Place Search, a new kind of local search result that organizes the world’s information around places. We’ve clustered search results around specific locations so you can more easily make comparisons and decide where to go. Say you’re looking for that great barbecue restaurant with live music...The new results are marked with red pins, and each one is a unique restaurant with relevant information and links from across the web."

    October 22, 2010
    * EPIC: Google Ends Secret Wifi Data Gathering

    EPIC: "Following numerous protests around the world, Google has ended its illegal collection of wifi data transmissions. The company, which originally claimed it was not even collecting wifi data, was forced to admit that the practice has been ongoing for three years in more than thirty countries, following an independent investigation initiated by European privacy officials. Investigations are still underway to determine the extent of Google's liability. EPIC wrote to the FCC earlier this year, pointing out that the practice violated US wiretap laws."

    • EPIC - Investigations of Google Street View
    • Official Google Blog: "Creating stronger privacy controls inside Google: "In May we announced that we had mistakenly collected unencrypted WiFi payload data (information sent over networks) using our Street View cars. We work hard at Google to earn your trust, and we’re acutely aware that we failed badly here. So we’ve spent the past several months looking at how to strengthen our internal privacy and security practices, as well as talking to external regulators globally about possible improvements to our policies."

    October 19, 2010
    * Israel Antiquities Authority, Partner with Google R&D; Center in Israel – To Make Dead Sea Scrolls Available Online

    News release: "As part of the celebrations on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of its establishment, the Israel Antiquities Authority is launching a unique project – The Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library – to document the entire collection of the Dead Sea Scrolls. A major lead gift from the Leon Levy Foundation, with additional major funding from the Arcadia Foundation and the support of Yad Hanadiv Foundation, will enable the Israel Antiquities Authority to use the most advanced and innovative technologies available to image the entire collection of 900 manuscripts comprising c. 30,000 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments in hi-resolution and multi spectra and make the digitized images freely available and accessible to anyone anywhere in the world on the internet. This is the first time that the collection of Scrolls will be photographed in its entirety since the 1950’s...Click here to download high resolution pictures."

    * Pew Internet: Mobile Health 2010

    Mobile Health 2010, by Susannah Fox, October 19, 2010: "The online health-information environment is going mobile, particularly among younger adults. The Pew Internet Project’s latest survey of American adults, conducted in association with the California HealthCare Foundation, finds that 85% use a cell phone. Of those:

    • 17% of cell owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information and 29% of cell owners ages 18-29 have done such searches.
    • 9% of cell owners have software applications or “apps” on their phones that help them track or manage their health. Some 15% of those ages 18-29 have such apps.
    • This means that health-information searches and communications have joined the growing array of non-voice data applications that are being bundled into cell phones."

    October 18, 2010
    * GPO Releases MetaLib Federated Search Tool

    "MetaLib is a service of the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications. MetaLib is a federated search engine that searches multiple U.S. Federal government databases, retrieving reports, articles, and citations while providing direct links to selected resources available online. To learn more, view additional brief or detailed search information."

    October 16, 2010
    * Google, Facebook battle for 'future of the Web'

    Could Google's Achilles heel be showing as Facebook teams up with Microsoft? "Microsoft advanced its partnership with Facebook this week, a move that could represent the biggest threat to Google's search standing yet. Microsoft and Facebook announced that they're teaming up to make Internet searching more social. Now when someone uses Microsoft's Bing search engine to look for a new car or a book, she can see which ones her Facebook friends liked. It will now be easier for searchers to get their friends' opinions before they make purchasing decisions. Industry watchers said this was an interesting development for search in general, but it also holds big implications for Google in particular. What's notable is that Facebook turned to Microsoft for this deal and not to the search market leader, Google."

    October 12, 2010
    * Google: Automatic Generation of Research Trails in Web History

    Automatic Generation of Research Trails in Web History, Elin Rønby Pedersen, Shengyin Gu, Peter Jin Hong, Karl Gyllstrom, Proc. IUI 2010.

  • "The web is large and complex, and in the process of navigating it, we often lose our way. Research trailing is a method to organize web contents that we have spent some effort on into distinct research sessions. Research trails are automatically constructed by filtering and organizing users’ activity history, using a combination of semantic and temporal criteria for grouping similar web activity. The design of research trails was informed by an ethnographic study of ordinary people doing research on the web; it addresses the specific challenges of establishing and maintaining context when the research process is fragmented and the research question is still in formation. This paper motivates and describes our algorithms for generating high quality research trails. Research trails can be applied in several contexts: as the underlying mechanism for a research task browser, or as feed to an ambient display of history information while searching. A prototype was built to assess the utility of the first option, a research trail browser."
  • October 11, 2010
    * WSJ spotlights people-search sites and commercial data brokers

    Escaping the ‘Scrapers’: "The Internet has given rise to a dizzying array of people-search sites and data brokers that gather and compile public information and social-networking profiles. The sites gather information from public sources such as property records and telephone listings, and other information is harvested by “scraping” — or copying — websites where people post information about themselves. The fact that the information is from public records or posted on the Internet generally means that the companies have a right to use it. And many of the firms emphasize that the data will still be available in public records or elsewhere online, even if the information is removed from specific sites. As long as the source of the information remains available, it can simply be scraped again. But determined consumers willing to navigate the maze of companies have some options for requesting that their data be removed from certain sites."

    October 06, 2010
    * Privacy Groups Object to Google's "Simplified" Privacy Policy

    "EPIC and 14 other privacy and consumer protection groups (including the American Library Association) sent a letter to Google CEO Eric Schmidt about Google's revised privacy policy. Under this new policy, twelve specific Google privacy policies will be replaced by a single policy that will enable greater data sharing within the corporation. EPIC previously raised similar concerns about Google Buzz in a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission. In the complaint, EPIC argued that Google's Gmail-specific privacy policy was more protective of users than their general privacy policy. For more information, see EPIC: In re Google Buzz."

    October 05, 2010
    * Google URL Shortener

    http://goo.gl/http://goo.gl/

    October 02, 2010
    * BlindType has been acquired by Google

    PC Magazine: "Google has acquired BlindType, a startup with technology that seemingly magically intuits what a user is typing, no keyboard required. "We are excited to announce that BlindType has been acquired by Google" the company said in a blog post. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. "We want to thank everyone for their overwhelming support and positive feedback. We know that typing on your mobile device can be a frustrating experience, which is why we've worked hard to make touch typing easier and faster than ever - the way it should be." As the name suggests, BlindType supposedly works without a user even seeing the keypad, intuiting what a user types from the proportional distance between the points at which his or her fingers touch the screen. The company has demonstrated the technology for Apple's iPhone and Google's Android system."

    September 30, 2010
    * Google 2010 U.S. Election Ratings

    "How will the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans shake out after the elections on November 2? Many political experts and news sources track and revise predictions, but until now it’s been hard to compare perspectives. We’ve worked with some of the top names in politics — Sabato, Cook, Rothenberg, CQ-Roll Call, and RealClearPolitics — to make it easier to track the daily changes in the political landscape."

  • See also Google Election Center
  • September 26, 2010
    * New on LLRX.com - Google Instant and Legal Search

    Via LLRX.com - Google Instant and Legal Search: Steve Matthews enumerates some of the issues that merit attention with respect to Google's recent implementation of this default setting search query application.

    September 23, 2010
    * Google Transparency Report - Interactive map of Government Requests

    Transparency Report: "Transparency is a core value at Google. As a company we feel it is our responsibility to ensure that we maximize transparency around the flow of information related to our tools and services. We believe that more information means more choice, more freedom and ultimately more power for the individual. We’ve created an interactive map of Government Requests that shows the number of government inquiries for information about users and requests for Google to take down or censor content. We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests. Our interactive Traffic graphs provide information about traffic to Google services around the world. Each graph shows historic traffic patterns for a given country/region and service. By illustrating outages, this tool visualizes disruptions in the free flow of information, whether it's a government blocking information or a cable being cut. We hope this raw data will help facilitate studies about service outages and disruptions."

    September 22, 2010
    * One place to find everything new from Google

    Official Google Blog: "But if you want to keep up just with what’s new (or even just what Google does besides search), you’ll want to know about Google New. A few of us had a 20 percent project idea: create a single destination called Google New where people could find the latest product and feature launches from Google. It’s designed to pull in just those posts from various blogs. We hope it helps you find something useful you’ve never tried before."

    September 13, 2010
    * Children's Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids

    Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, September 13, 2010, Children's Websites: Usability Issues in Designing for Kids: "New research with users aged 3–12 shows that older kids have gained substantial Web proficiency since our last studies, while younger kids still face many problems. Designing for children requires distinct usability approaches, including targeting content narrowly for different ages of kids. Millions of children use the Internet, and millions more are coming online each year. Many websites specifically target children with educational or entertainment content, and mainstream websites often have specific "kids' corner" sections — either as a public service or to build brand loyalty from an early age. Despite this growth in users and services, little is known about how children actually use websites or how to design sites that will be easy for them to use. Website design for kids is typically based purely on folklore about how kids supposedly behave — or, at best, on insights gleaned when designers observe their own children, who hardly represent average kids, typical Internet skills, or common knowledge about the Web. To separate design myths from usability facts, we turn to empirical user research: observations of a broad range of children as they use a wide variety of websites. This research covers users aged 3–12 years."

    September 08, 2010
    * Google Instant - New Search Enhancement Launched

    "Google Instant is a new search enhancement that shows results as you type. We are pushing the limits of our technology and infrastructure to help you get better search results, faster. Our key technical insight was that people type slowly, but read quickly, typically taking 300 milliseconds between keystrokes, but only 30 milliseconds (a tenth of the time!) to glance at another part of the page. This means that you can scan a results page while 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."

    September 06, 2010
    * USDA - National Farmers Market Search Engine

    Bringing the Market to You, Hakim Fobia, Agricultural Marketing Service Public Affairs Specialist on September 3, 2010

  • "Have you ever wanted fresh, local produce but didn’t know how to find the nearest farmers market? The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) makes it easy with the National Farmers Market search engine, which lists more than 6,100 markets across the nation. Markets can be searched by name, city, zip code, and several other keyword fields. The search engine is a great tool for local growers and sellers, as market managers can provide the public with important information like hours of operations, acceptable forms of payment, or programs supported such as the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Consumers can use the tool to become more informed shoppers by searching for locations, product availability and payment options. The USDA believes that farmers markets help increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables and provide economic opportunities for producers of all sizes. In recent years, the number of farmers markets has continued to increase, showing their popularity with consumers and a potential source of economic prosperity for producers. In 2010, the USDA counted 6,132 farmers markets, which was a 16% increase from 2009. The Department has seen a dramatic increase in the number of markets since it first started keeping statistics in 1994 when only 1,755 were registered."
  • September 05, 2010
    * NielsenWire: How Americans Spend Mobile Internet Time

    "This alternative way of slicing the data still shows Email to be, by far, the dominant sector in terms of mobile time, although this dominance shrinks by a few delta points to 38.5% from 41.6%. Search is another that nets out with a smaller share, although by less than a percentage point from 7.1% to 6.3%. The share held by Social Networking remains very similar but News & Current Events comes out much stronger using the site-level analysis at a 7.2% share of time compared to 4.4% of time using the category-level analysis. Share of time on Portals shows something more dramatic, with a change from 11.6% to 4.6% share of time, but this doesn’t mean that people are spending any less time on Portal sites. Nielsen classifies both channels and brands into categories and so a category-level analysis includes both brands (e.g. Google) as well as channels under than brand (e.g. Google News). Using the initial methodology means that all Google time would be assigned to Portals (because Google is a portal) but using the site-level method means the Google News element would be assigned to the News & Current Events sector. Thus, the Portal element is limited to more general and entry pages rather than including content-specific sectors such as news."

    * Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore

    "The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings. Students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages. Embedded charts and links can update automatically so you’re always sharing the latest available data..." [examples of datasets]

    August 29, 2010
    * Google Realtime Search: a new home with new tools

    Official Google Blog: When we first introduced our real-time search features last December, we focused on bringing relevance to the freshest information on the web. Our goal was to provide real-time content from a comprehensive set of sources, integrated right into your usual search results. Today we’re making our most significant enhancements to date, giving real-time information its own home and more powerful tools to help you find what you need. Now you can access Google Realtime Search at its own address, www.google.com/realtime
    On the new homepage you’ll find some great tools to help you refine and understand your results. First, you can use geographic refinements to find updates and news near you, or in a region you specify...In addition, we’ve added a conversations view, making it easy to follow a discussion on the real-time web. Often a single tweet sparks a larger conversation of re-tweets and other replies, but to put it together you have to click through a bunch of links and figure it out yourself. With the new “full conversation” feature, you can browse the entire conversation in a single glance. We organize the tweets from oldest to newest and indent so you quickly see how the conversation developed."

    August 22, 2010
    * The global impact of Google Maps and Google Earth

    The Agnostic Cartographer - How Google’s open-ended maps are embroiling the company in some of the world’s touchiest geopolitical disputes.

  • "Just five years since the release of Google Maps and Google Earth, the corporation may well be the world’s most important mapmaker. More than 600 million people around the world have downloaded Google Earth. As a testament to ambition, that number alone would be remarkable. But Google is also intent on upending our very notion of what a map is. Rather than produce one definitive map of the world, Google offers multiple interpretations of the earth’s geography. Sometimes, this takes the form of customized maps that cater to the beliefs of one nation or another. More often, though, Google is simply an agnostic cartographer—a peddler of “place browsers” that contain a multitude of views instead of univocal, authoritative, traditional maps. “We work to provide as much discoverable information as possible so that users can make their own judgments about geopolitical disputes,” writes Robert Boorstin, the director of Google’s public policy team."
  • August 10, 2010
    * Google Algorithm Estimates Number of World's Books to be Around 129,864,880

    Inside Google Books: "We collect metadata from many providers (more than 150 and counting) that include libraries, WorldCat, national union catalogs and commercial providers. At the moment we have close to a billion unique raw records. We then further analyze these records to reduce the level of duplication within each provider, bringing us down to close to 600 million records. Does this mean that there are 600 million unique books in the world? Hardly. There is still a lot of duplication within a single provider (e.g. libraries holding multiple distinct copies of a book) and among providers -- for example, we have 96 records from 46 providers for “Programming Perl, 3rd Edition”. Twice every week we group all those records into “tome” clusters, taking into account nearly all attributes of each record...Is that a final number of books in the world? Not quite. We still have to exclude non-books such as microforms (8 million), audio recordings (4.5 million), videos (2 million), maps (another 2 million)...and other items for which we receive catalog entries... Counting only things that are printed and bound, we arrive at about 146 million. This is our best answer today. It will change as we get more data and become more adept at interpreting what we already have...After we exclude serials, we can finally count all the books in the world. There are 129,864,880 of them. At least until Sunday."

    August 04, 2010
    * Microsoft Street Slide: Browsing Street Level Imagery

    Street Slide: Browsing Street Level Imagery - Johannes Kopf, Billy Chen, Richard Szeliski, Michael Cohen [Microsoft Research]. Please see the accompanying video here.

  • "Systems such as Google Street View and Bing Maps Streetside enable users to virtually visit cities by navigating between immersive 360 degree panoramas, or bubbles. The discrete moves from bubble to bubble enabled in these systems do not provide a good visual sense of a larger aggregate such as a whole city block. Multi-perspective “strip” panoramas can provide a visual summary of a city street but lack the full realism of immersive panoramas. We present Street Slide, which combines the best aspects of the immersive nature of bubbles with the overview provided by multiperspective strip panoramas. We demonstrate a seamless transition between bubbles and multi-perspective panoramas. We also present a dynamic construction of the panoramas which overcomes many of the limitations of previous systems. As the user slides sideways, the multi-perspective panorama is constructed and rendered dynamically to simulate either a perspective or hyper-perspective view. This provides a strong sense of parallax, which adds to the immersion. We call this form of sliding sideways while looking at a street facade a street slide. Finally we integrate annotations and a mini-map within the user interface to provide geographic information as well additional affordances for navigation. We demonstrate our Street Slide system on a series of intersecting streets in an urban
    setting. We report the results of a user study, which shows that visual searching is greatly enhanced with the Street Slide interface
    over existing systems from Google and Bing."
  • August 02, 2010
    * Now You Can See Weather in Google Earth

    Google Lat Long Blog: "It’s the middle of summer, but for those of us who long for the return of cold winter weather and warm cups of cocoa, throw on your favorite poncho and check out the weather in Google Earth 5.2. The latest version projects images of rain and snow over the areas with those weather patterns as it’s actually happening! First enable the clouds layer, then zoom in to a particular location where it might be raining or snowing. I’m willing to bet London is a likely spot, even these days, or the Lone Star state (pictured below) which is in the midst of tropical storm season. Currently, our precipitation data cover some areas in North America and Europe; you can see if it’s available in certain places by enabling the radar layer."

    August 01, 2010
    * Trust Online: Young Adults' Evaluation of Web Content

    Trust Online: Young Adults' Evaluation of Web Content, by Eszter Hargittai, Lindsay Fullerton, Ericka Menchen-Trevino, Kristin Yates Thomas. International Journal of Communication, Vol 4 (2010)

  • "Little of the work on online credibility assessment has considered how the information-seeking process figures into the final evaluation of content people encounter. Using unique data about how a diverse group of young adults looks for and evaluates Web content, our paper makes contributions to existing literature by highlighting factors beyond site features in how users assess credibility. We find that the process by which users arrive at a site is an important component of how they judge the final destination. In particular, search context, branding and routines, and a reliance on those in one’s networks play important roles in online information-seeking and evaluation. We also discuss that users differ considerably in their skills when it comes to judging online content credibility."
  • * Pew Research: Reputation Management and Social Media

    Pew Internet: Reputation Management and Social Media - How people monitor their identity and
    search for others online
    by Mary Madden, Aaron Smith, May 26, 2010

  • "More than half (57%) of adult internet users say they have used a search engine to look up their name and see what information was available about them online, up from 47% who did so in 2006. Young adults, far from being indifferent about their digital footprints, are the most active online reputation managers in several dimensions. For example, more than two-thirds (71%) of social networking users ages 18-29 have changed the privacy settings on their profile to limit what they share with others online."
  • July 31, 2010
    * Google With Direct Dictionary Result

    Via Google Blogscoped: "Perhaps bad news for the traffic of dictionary sites, which often don’t show the actual word definition in the search engine snippets: Google now has a onebox of their own immediately offering the definition(s) for certain words you’re searching for. Try enter e.g. pleasant into Google.com and the top will read: “pleas·ant/ˈplezənt/Adjective ... 1. Giving a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment. ... 2. (of a person or their manner) Friendly and considerate; likable.”

    July 28, 2010
    * Wired Exclusive: Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring

    Exclusive - Google, CIA Invest in ‘Future’ of Web Monitoring, By Noah Shachtman, July 28, 2010: "The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future. The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.” The idea is to figure out for each incident who was involved, where it happened and when it might go down. Recorded Future then plots that chatter, showing online “momentum” for any given event."

    July 23, 2010
    * 38 States AG Now Invetigating Google Street View

    Follow up to Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection, this news release: "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today on behalf of the executive committee of a 38-state coalition asked Google whether it tested its Street View software before use -- which should have revealed that the program collected data transmitted over wireless computer networks. Google has acknowledged unauthorized collection of data -- possibly including emails, passwords, web browsing and other confidential information – but called it a mistake. In a letter to Google, Blumenthal also asks whether the company’s program was designed to collect random bits of information broadcast over wireless networks or download specific types of data and whether it has sold or otherwise used technical network information also collected."

    July 19, 2010
    * UK Gov't Government launches Google Earth map that predicts effects of climate change

    Follow up to previous postings on climate change, UK Mail Online: "A Google Earth map that shows the potential impacts of global temperature rises of 4C was unveiled by scientists and ministers [from the Foreign Office (FCO) and the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc)]...The interactive map lets the public see what could happen in various parts of the world if action is not taken to curb temperature rises by cutting greenhouse gases...The map lets people find out more about the scientific research behind the possible effects of 'dangerous' climate change, from sea level rises to changes in crop yields...The interactive map shows the major impacts on a world in which temperatures have risen by 4C, a possibility which Prof Beddington described as a 'disaster'. It also includes the uncertainties scientists have over the extent and timing of temperature rises in different regions."

  • "The online map is available, for people who have Google Earth installed, at: http://www.fco.gov.uk/google-earth-4degrees.kml"
  • July 17, 2010
    * Google Purchases Metaweb, an open database of things in the world

    Official Google Blog: "Over time we’ve improved search by deepening our understanding of queries and web pages. The web isn’t merely words—it’s information about things in the real world, and understanding the relationships between real-world entities can help us deliver relevant information more quickly. Today, we’ve acquired Metaweb, a company that maintains an open database of things in the world. Working together we want to improve search and make the web richer and more meaningful for everyone. With efforts like rich snippets and the search answers feature, we’re just beginning to apply our understanding of the web to make search better. Type [barack obama birthday] in the search box and see the answer right at the top of the page. Or search for [events in San Jose] and see a list of specific events and dates. We can offer this kind of experience because we understand facts about real people and real events out in the world. But what about [colleges on the west coast with tuition under $30,000]...we’ve acquired Metaweb because we believe working together we’ll be able to provide better answers...In addition to our ideas for search, we’re also excited about the possibilities for Freebase, Metaweb’s free and open database of over 12 million things, including movies, books, TV shows, celebrities, locations, companies and more. Google and Metaweb plan to maintain Freebase as a free and open database for the world."

    July 11, 2010
    * Yahoo Research: The Demographics of Web Search

    The Demographics of Web Search, Weber, I.; Castillo, C. SIGIR, ACM Press, Geneva, Switzerland (2010)

  • "How does the web search behavior of "rich" and "poor" people differ? Do men and women tend to click on different results for the same query? What are some queries almost exclusively issued by African Americans? These are some of the questions we address in this study. Our research combines three data sources: the query log of a major US-based web search engine, profile information provided by 28 million of its users (birth year, gender and zip code), and US-census information including detailed demographic information aggregated at the level of ZIP code. Through this combination we can annotate each query with, e.g., the average per-capita income in the ZIP code it originated from. Though conceptually simple, this combination immediately creates a powerful demographic profiling tool. The main contributions of this work are the following. First, we provide a demographic description of a large sample of search engine users in the US and show that it agrees well with the distribution of the US population. Second, we describe how different segments of the population differ in their search behavior, e.g. with respect to the diversity of formulated queries or with respect to the clicked URLs. Third, we explore applications of our methodology to improve web search and, in particular, to help issuing query reformulations. These results enable the creation of a powerful tool for improved user modeling in practice, with many applications including improving web search and advertising. For instance, advertisements for "family vacations" could be adapted to the (expected) income of the person issuing the query, or search suggestions shown to users could be adapted to items that are more interesting given their particular characteristics."
  • July 03, 2010
    * Google News redesigned to be more customizable and shareable

    Official Google Blog: "Today we’re revamping the Google News homepage with several changes designed to make the news that you see more relevant to you. We’re also trying to better highlight interesting stories you didn’t know existed and to make it easier for you to share stories through social networks...The new heart of the homepage is something we call “News for you”: a stream of headlines automatically tailored to your interests. You can help us get it right by using the “Edit personalization” box to specify how much you’re interested in Business, Health, Entertainment, Sports or any subject you want to add (whether it’s the Supreme Court, the World Cup or synthetic biology). You can choose to view the stories by Section view or List view, and reveal more headlines by hovering over the headline with your mouse. We’ll remember your preferences each time you log in...we’re now allowing you to choose which news sources you’d like to see more or less often. You can do so in News Settings. These sources will rank higher or lower for you (but not for anyone else) in Google News search results and story clusters. We’ve also added keyboard shortcuts for easier navigation, like in Gmail or Google Reader. When you’re in Google News, hit the question mark key to pop up a full list of shortcuts."

    June 29, 2010
    * MapQuest Launches Redesigned Site

    MapQuest Blog: "...we are launching a new user experience on MapQuest and updating our brand to reflect our new direction. We thoughtfully redesigned MapQuest.com to be more helpful, intuitive and engaging where the entire experience is within view and contextually relevant throughout...One of the most obvious changes you will notice in the redesign is the one box search. Whether you are looking for a specific address, browsing for a local restaurant, or trying to find the little league park, you can enter as much information as you know and we will help you locate it. Another great feature is the map toolbar which allows you to easily search the map for brands, categories and places in a single click. My Maps, another new feature, allows you to quickly personalize, save and share using a simplified login that leverages existing social services. So you can login using your account information from services like Facebook®, Twitter and Google®. The idea is simple: you can create a collection of your favorite places, journal your vacation or create an itinerary and then share it with family and friends. We also now provide you with the ability to further personalize your trips with notes, anecdotes and comments about each place along the way. In a world where social and local are the new frontier, we are focused on building a place where human experiences and individuality are paramount."

    June 28, 2010
    * New on LLRX.com - Basic Legal Research on the Internet

    Basic Legal Research on the Internet: This article explores the corner of the Internet landscape that concentrates on legal research. For the most part, these databases and search tools are free, although some might require a library card. Essentially, this is a short list of "go to" sites that most researchers will find useful. Before delving in, author Ken Strutin also examines a few time tested research concepts for the Internet age.

    * New on LLRX.com: Employment Online Resources

    Employment Online Resources - This guide for researchers by Marcus P. Zillman is a comprehensive bibliography of resources and sites comprising the latest and most comprehensive, reliable content and value added information currently available on this subject via the Internet.

    June 27, 2010
    * Google Announces Encrypted Search URL Has Changed

    Follow up to Google Launches Encrypted Search in Beta, via the Official Google Enterprise Blog, the announcement that the company moved encrypted search from https://www.google.com to https://encrypted.google.com. "The site functions in the same way. However, if school network administrators decide to block encrypted searches on https://encrypted.google.com, the blocking will no longer affect Google authenticated services like Google Apps for Education."

    June 19, 2010
    * French National Commission on Computing and Liberty: Google WiFi Snooping Captured Emails and Passwords

    Follow up to Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection, via EPIC: "The French National Commission on Computing and Liberty (CNIL) has released preliminary results (French) (English) of the Google Street View investigation in France. According to the CNIL, Google "saved passwords for access to mailboxes" and obtained content of electronic messages. The CNIL is pursuing the investigation to determine whether Google engaged in "unfair and unlawful collection of data" as well as "invasion of privacy and individual liberties." Investigations are now underway in at least 18 countries and five states in the US. EPIC has prepared a preliminary survey of Investigations of Google Street View."

    * More State AGs Launch Investigations into Google Street View

    Follow up to Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection, an update via EPIC: "Several state attorneys general have opened investigations of Google, following disclosures that the company captured and stored Wi-Fi data in addition to digital images. These states include Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Missouri. Maryland and New York are also reported to be pursuing investigations. Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal described the "driveby data sweeps" of WiFi networks as "deeply disturbing, a potentially impermissible, pernicious invasion of privacy." In a subsequent statement, the Connecticut Attorney General said he will determine the legality of Google's WiFi collection practices. Earlier, EPIC sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to determine whether Google may have violated the Wiretap Act and the Communications Act. Google has since grounded its entire Street View fleet and ceased all WiFi data collection. For more information, see EPIC - Investigations of Google Street View."

    June 15, 2010
    * Several State Attorneys General Announce Probes of Google Wireless Data Collection

  • News release: "Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is asking Google whether its “street view” cars collected personal information transmitted over wireless networks without permission while photographing Connecticut streets and homes. Google has acknowledged that “street view” cars in some locations have intercepted information from unsecured personal WIFI networks. In Europe, notably Ireland, Google admitted intercepting packets of data from unsecured WIFI networks. Private litigation alleges that Google also did so in the United States. Published reports say the captured, private online information may include general web browsing, passwords, personal emails and other data. Blumenthal wrote Google asking the company whether it gathered such data in Connecticut. If it did, the attorney general is demanding that the company tell his office how much and what kind of information it collected, when and where it did so, why, where the data is stored and other information."
  • News release: "Attorney General Chris Koster sent a letter to Google, asking the company to provide details on personal information it may have collected from Missourians in connection with Google's Street View Service. Recent media reports and admissions by the company indicate that as part of Google's effort to collect data for its mapping service Street View, the company may have gained access to residents' communications sent over public Wi-Fi networks."
  • New York Times: States Discuss Joint Probe of Google’s Data Collection
  • June 13, 2010
    * The Atlantic: Closing the Digital Frontier

    Closing the Digital Frontier: "The era of the Web browser’s dominance is coming to a close. And the Internet’s founding ideology — that information wants to be free, and that attempts to constrain it are not only hopeless but immoral— suddenly seems naive and stale in the new age of apps, smart phones, and pricing plans. What will this mean for the future of the media — and of the Web itself?"

    June 10, 2010
    * Google Announces New Search Index - Caffeine

    Official Google Blog: "...we're announcing the completion of a new web indexing system called Caffeine. Caffeine provides 50 percent fresher results for web searches than our last index, and it's the largest collection of web content we've offered. Whether it's a news story, a blog or a forum post, you can now find links to relevant content much sooner after it is published than was possible ever before. Some background...when you search Google, you're not searching the live web. Instead you're searching Google's index of the web which, like the list in the back of a book, helps you pinpoint exactly the information you need. (Here's a good explanation of how it all works.) Content on the web is blossoming. It's growing not just in size and numbers but with the advent of video, images, news and real-time updates, the average webpage is richer and more complex. In addition, people's expectations for search are higher than they used to be. Searchers want to find the latest relevant content and publishers expect to be found the instant they publish."

    June 09, 2010
    * Google Posts Audit of WiFi Code Used to Collect Data in Europe

    Official Google Blog: "When we announced three weeks ago that we had mistakenly included code in our software that collected samples of payload data from WiFi networks, we said we would ask a third party to review the software at issue, how it worked, and what data it gathered. That report, by the security consulting firm Stroz Friedberg, is now complete and was sent to the interested data protection authorities today. In short, it confirms that Google did indeed collect and store payload data from unencrypted WiFi networks, but not from networks that were encrypted. You can read the report here. We are continuing to work with the relevant authorities to respond to their questions and concerns.

  • Privacy International: "Google today published an audit on its blog of the code used to collect Wi-Fi data as part of the company's global Street View operation. The report asserts that the system had intent to identify and store all unencrypted Wi-Fi content. This analysis establishes that Google did, beyond reasonable doubt, have intent to systematically intercept and record the content of communications and thus places the company at risk of criminal prosecution in almost all the 30 jurisdictions in which the system was used. The independent audit of the Google system shows that the system used for the Wi-Fi collection intentionally separated out unencrypted content (payload data) of communications and systematically wrote this data to hard drives. This is equivalent to placing a hard tap and a digital recorder onto a phone wire without consent or authorisation. The report states: "While running in memory, gslite permanently drops the bodies of all data traffic transmitted over encrypted wireless networks. The gslite program does write to a hard drive the bodies of wireless data packets from unencrypted networks." This means the code was written in such a way that encrypted data was separated out and dumped, leaving vulnerable unencrypted data to be stored on the Google hard drives. This action goes well beyond the "mistake" promoted by Google. It is a criminal act commissioned with intent to breach the privacy of communications. The communications law of nearly all countries permits the interception and recording of content of communications only if a police or judicial warrant is issued. All other interception is deemed unlawful."
  • June 02, 2010
    * Google Announces Free Download of 10 terabytes of patents and trademarks

    Google Public Policy Blog: "When we launched Google Patent Search in 2006, we wanted to make it easier for people to understand the world of inventions, whether they were browsing for curious patents or researching serious engineering. Recently, we’ve also worked on a number of public data search features, as well as experimental features like the Public Data Explorer...That’s why we’re proud to announce that the USPTO and Google are making this data available for free at http://www.google.com/googlebooks/uspto.html. This includes all granted patents and trademarks, and published applications -- with both full text and images. And in the future we will be making more data available including file histories and related data."

    * FT.com Reports Google Phasing Out Corporate Use of Windows

    FT.com: "Google is phasing out the internal use of Microsoft’s ubiquitous Windows operating system because of security concerns, according to several Google employees. The directive to move to other operating systems began in earnest in January, after Google’s Chinese operations were hacked, and could effectively end the use of Windows at Google, which employs more than 10,000 workers internationally."

    May 30, 2010
    * EU data protection group says Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! do not comply with data protection rules

    Article 29 Data Protection Working Party Press Release, Brussels, 26 May 2010: EU data protection group says Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! do not comply with data protection rules

  • "The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, a group of European data protection authorities, today told the three major search engine operators – Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft – that their methods of making users’ search data anonymous still do not comply with the European Union’s Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The Article 29 Working Party recognises the search engines’ efforts to bring their policies in line with European data protection legislation. However, in letters sent to the companies, the Working Party urges them to use an outside auditor to verify their commitments to make users’ internet search data truly anonymous."
  • May 26, 2010
    * House Energy and Commerce Committee Send Letter to Google About Gathering Data Sent over Private Wi-Fi networks

    News release: "Today, Chairman Henry A. Waxman, Subcommittee Chairman Ed Markey, and Ranking Member Joe Barton sent a letter to Eric Schmidt, Chairman & CEO of Google, regarding recent reports of data collection over private Wi-Fi networks in conjunction with Google's Street View product. The Committee is concerned about the accuracy and completeness of Google's public explanations and request information regarding the nature and use of the private data collected, the underlying technology of the Street View vehicle fleet, and the impact on consumer privacy."

    May 23, 2010
    * Google Launches Encrypted Search in Beta

    "With Google search over SSL, you can have an end-to-end encrypted search solution between your computer and Google. This secured channel helps protect your search terms and your search results pages from being intercepted by a third party. This provides you with a more secure and private search experience. To use search over SSL, visit https://www.google.com New window icon each time you perform a search. Note that only Google web search is available over SSL, so other search products like Google Images and Google Maps are not currently available over SSL. When you're searching over SSL, these properties may not appear in the left panel."

    May 22, 2010
    * NYT: "Federal government is examining Google's acquisitions and actions as never before"

    Regulators are Watching Google Over Antitrust Concerns: "When it comes to government scrutiny, the company’s executives challenge the premise that Google is a monopoly, even as the company’s share of the search market inexorably rises, arguing that Google is still a minor player in the overall advertising market, which totals $800 billion a year...“They are not just on the radar screen. They are the at the center of it,” said Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia University and the author of a forthcoming book on technology monopolies, “The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires.” “If you are in the federal government and are interested in antitrust, you are looking at Google.”

    May 21, 2010
    * Introducing Google TV

    "TV meets web. Web meets TV. Google TV is a new experience made for television that combines the TV you know and love with the freedom and power of the Internet. Watch an overview video below, sign up for updates, and learn more about how to develop for Google TV."

  • Via YouTube, Introducing Google TV, the "entertainment hub with a full web browser." This video included captioned text.
  • Google I/O 2010: Google TV Keynote - Introducing Google TV: "Americans watch 5 hours of TV every day." [I do not watch any TV at all - I am too busy reading so I can blog here on beSpacific]
  • May 20, 2010
    * Consumer Watchdog Launches Inside Google Website To Focus Light on Internet Giant

    "Consumer Watchdog today formally launched its new Website, Inside Google, to focus attention on the company’s activities and hold Google accountable for its actions. The nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group is launching Inside Google to educate the public and opinion leaders about Google’s dangerous dominance over the Internet, computing and consumers’ online lives. Inside Google’s blog is authored by experienced consumer advocates and journalists working to expose the “black box” at Google with an eye towards holding Google engineers accountable to social mores, ethical customs and the rule of law."

    May 08, 2010
    * Google Launches New Design to Highlight Features and Navigations

    Official Google Blog: "We’ve added contextually relevant, left-hand navigation to the page. This new side panel highlights the most relevant search tools and refinements for your query. Over the past three years, we've launched Universal Search, the Search Options panel and Google Squared, and it’s those three technologies that power the left-hand panel. Universal Search helps you find the most relevant types of results for your search. The top section of the new left-hand panel builds on Universal Search by suggesting the most relevant genres of results for your query and letting you seamlessly switch to these different types of results....Our expandable Search Options panel launched last spring brought many rich slice-and-dice tools to search. The new left-hand navigation showcases these tools and enables you to get a different view of your results. Perhaps you’d like to see images from each of the results or just the newest information? These options are all on the left, and our technology will suggest the tools that are most relevant and helpful to your query. Google Squared (available on Google Labs) helps you find and compare entities. Our “Something different” feature builds on the technology in Google Squared to find other entities that are related to your query, so you can easily explore not only the results for your current query but other related topics. In addition to the left-hand side changes, we’ve updated our look and feel in terms of our color palette and our logo. These changes are slight, keeping our page minimalist and whimsical, but make our overall look more modern."

    May 05, 2010
    * "Link Rot" & Legal Resources on the Web: A 2010 Analysis

    "The Chesapeake Project Legal Information Archive has completed its third annual analysis of link rot among the original URLs for law- and policy-related materials published to the Web and archived though the Chesapeake Project. The Chesapeake Project was launched in 2007 by the Georgetown University Law Library and the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia as a collaborative digital archive for the preservation of important Web-published legal materials, which often disappear as Web site content is rearranged or deleted over time. More about the Chesapeake Project. In the three years since the archive was launched, the Chesapeake Project law libraries have built a collection comprising more than 5,700 digital items and 2,300 titles, all of which were originally posted to the Web. For this study, the term "link rot" is used to describe a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL and currently preserved in the Chesapeake Project’s digital archive. In some instances, a 404 or "not found" message indicates link rot at a URL; in others, the URL may direct to a site hosted by the original publishing organization or entity, but the specific resource has been removed or relocated from the original or previous URL. All of the Web resources described in this report that have disappeared from their original locations on the Web remain accessible via permanent archive URLs here at legalinfoarchive.org, thanks to the Chesapeake Project's efforts." [Sarah Rhodes, Digital Collections Librarian, Georgetown University Law Library]

    May 04, 2010
    * Pew Internet Study The Fate of the Semantic Web

    The Fate of the Semantic Web, by Janna Anderson, Lee Rainie, May 4, 2010

  • "Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, has worked along with many others in the internet community for more than a decade to achieve his next big dream: the semantic web. His vision is a web that allows software agents to carry out sophisticated tasks for users, making meaningful connections between bits of information so that “computers can perform more of the tedious work involved in finding, combining, and acting upon information on the web.” Some 895 experts responded to the invitation of the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project and Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center to predict the likely progress toward achieving the goals of the semantic web by the year 2020. Asked to think about the likelihood that Berners-Lee and his allies will realize their vision, often called Web 3.0, these technology experts and stakeholders were divided and often contentious."
  • April 30, 2010
    * Harvard Magazine: Gutenberg 2.0 Harvard's libraries deal with disruptive change.

    Gutenberg 2.0 Harvard's libraries deal with disruptive change, by Jonathan Shaw, Harvard Magazine, May-June 2010

  • "Who has the most scientific knowledge of large-scale organization, collection, and access to information? Librarians,” says [Peter Bol, Carswell professor of East Asian languages and civilizations]. A librarian can take a book, put it somewhere, and then guarantee to find it again. “If you’ve got 16 million items,” he points out, “that’s a very big guarantee. We ought to be leveraging that expertise to deal with this new digital environment. That’s a vision of librarians as specialists in organizing and accessing and preserving information in multiple media forms, rather than as curators of collections of books, maps, or posters.”

  • April 29, 2010
    * The Global development of free access to legal information

    Greenleaf G., “The Global development of free access to legal information”, in European Journal of Law and Technology, Vol. 1, Issue 1, 2010.

  • "Since the mid1990s the Internet's Worldwide Web has provided the necessary technical platform to enable free access to computerised legal information. Prior to the web there were many online legal information systems and numerous legal information products distributed on CD-ROM, but there was no significant provision of free access to legal information anywhere in the world. Both government and private sector online legal publishers charged for access. The web provided the key element required for free public access - a low cost distribution mechanism. For publishers it was close to a 'no cost' distribution mechanism if they were not required to pay for outgoing bandwidth. The ease of use of graphical browsers from around 1994, and the web's use of hypertext as its principal access mechanism (at that time) meant that, the web provided a simple and relatively consistent means by which legal information could be both provided and accessed. This was an attractive alternative to the proprietary, expensive and training intensive search engines on which commercial online services largely relied. The development of free access Internet law services was based on these factors."
  • April 20, 2010
    * Google Launches Government Requests Tool

    Official Google Blog: "...it's no surprise that Google, like other technology and telecommunications companies, regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. Of course many of these requests are entirely legitimate, such as requests for the removal of child pornography. We also regularly receive requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over private user data. Again, the vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. However, data about these activities historically has not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship. We are today launching a new Government Requests tool to give people information about the requests for user data or content removal we receive from government agencies around the world. For this launch, we are using data from July-December, 2009, and we plan to update the data in 6-month increments. Read this post to learn more about our principles surrounding free expression and controversial content on the web."

    April 14, 2010
    * Google search across the Twitter archive

    Official Google Blog: "Since we first introduced real-time search last December, we’ve added content from MySpace, Facebook and Buzz, expanded to 40 languages and added a top links feature to help you find the most relevant content shared on updates services like Twitter. Today, we’re introducing a new feature to help you search and explore the public archive of tweets. With the advent of blogs and micro-blogs, there’s a constant online conversation about breaking news, people and places — some famous and some local. Tweets and other short-form updates create a history of commentary that can provide valuable insights into what’s happened and how people have reacted. We want to give you a way to search across this information and make it useful. Starting today, you can zoom to any point in time and “replay” what people were saying publicly about a topic on Twitter. To try it out, click “Show options” on the search results page, then select “Updates.” The first page will show you the familiar latest and greatest short-form updates from a comprehensive set of sources, but now there’s a new chart at the top. In that chart, you can select the year, month or day, or click any point to view the tweets from that specific time period."

    April 05, 2010
    * Mozilla Metrics Report Q1 2010 - Firefox Worldwide Market Share

    Firefox now has about 30% of the browser market on average, with its strongest market in Europe, at 39% according to the Mozilla Metrics Report Q1 2010 Firefox Worldwide Market Share report.

    April 04, 2010
    * YouTube Launches New Video Page

    YouTube Blog: "...we're in the midst of one of the largest redesigns in YouTube's history: we're simplifying the look and functionality of the video page. That's the page you see whenever a video plays, and this redesign is about going "back to basics," focusing attention on the reason why you came to YouTube in the first place -- the video -- and all the ways you engage with content and creators. We first unveiled the new video page two months ago and checked in four weeks later to tell you about the latest set of changes. Truth is, we've been thinking about this for a long time: what you see is the result of eight months' worth of user research, feedback and data analysis. Now, after a few more additions based on your latest feedback, we are rolling it out to 100% of YouTube users."

    March 27, 2010
    * UK Prime Minister's Speech on Building Britain's Digital Future

    A transcript of a speech given by the Prime Minister on Building Britain’s Digital Future in London on 22 March 2010.

  • "I want Britain to be the world leader in the digital economy which will create over a quarter of a million skilled jobs by 2020; the world leader in public service delivery where we can give the greatest possible voice and choice to citizens, parents patients and consumers; and the world leader in the new politics where that voice for feedback and deliberative decisions can transform the way we make local and national policies and decisions...Today I can announce the first funding for the next stage of this research - £30m to support the creation of a new institute, the institute of web science - based here in Britain and working with government and British business to realise the social and economic benefits of advances in the web. It will assemble the best of world scientists and researchers and be headed by Sir Tim Berners Lee, the British inventor of the world wide web - and the leading web science expert Professor Nigel Shadbolt. This will help place the UK at the cutting edge of research on the semantic web and other emerging web and internet technologies, and ensure that government is taking the right funding decisions to position the UK as a world leader. And we will invite universities and private sector web developers and companies to join this collaborative project."

  • * Political Considerations Another Facet of Google's Decision to Exit China

    Follow up to Google Discontinues Censored Search in Mainland China and An Interview with David Drummond of Google about the company's new policies in China, additional perspective as follows:

    • New York Times, Google Searches for a Foreign Policy:"When Google announced last week that it would shut its censored online search service in China, it was doing more than standing up to a repressive government: it was showing that, with the United States still struggling to develop a foreign policy for the digital age, Internet companies need to articulate their own foreign policies."
    • Washington Post - On Leadership: Views on Google's refusal to continue censorship in China by Benjamin W. Heineman Jr., business ethics expert and senior fellow at Harvard University's schools of law and government.

    March 24, 2010
    * EPA Releases Public Database on Risk Assessments

    News release: "Today, EPA is releasing the Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) database, a milestone in transparency. HERO provides access to the scientific studies used in making key regulatory decisions, including EPA’s periodic review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six major pollutants. It is part of the open government directive to conduct business with transparency, participation, and collaboration... The publically accessible HERO database provides an easy way to review the scientific literature behind EPA science assessments, which are used to support agency decision-making. The database includes more than 300,000 scientific articles including the authors, titles, dates, and abstracts. In addition, through a simple keyword search, anyone can see information from the articles that were used to develop specific risk assessments...HERO includes peer-reviewed literature used by EPA to develop its Integrated Science Assessments (ISA) that feed into the NAAQS review. It also includes references and data from the Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), a database that supports critical agency policymaking for chemical regulation."

    March 23, 2010
    * Interview with Google's chief legal officer on China policy

    Follow up to Google Discontinues Censored Search in Mainland China,
    via the Atlantic, An Interview with David Drummond of Google about the company's new policies in China by James Fallows: "Since the Beijing Olympics, our experience in China has gotten worse. Although we have gained market share, it has become more and more difficult for us to operate there. Particularly when it comes to censorship. We have had to censor more. More and more pressure has been put on us. It has gotten appreciably worse – and not just for us, for other internet companies too."

    March 22, 2010
    * Google Discontinues Censored Search in Mainland China

    Official Google Blog: "On January 12, we announced on this blog that Google and more than twenty other U.S. companies had been the victims of a sophisticated cyber attack originating from China, and that during our investigation into these attacks we had uncovered evidence to suggest that the Gmail accounts of dozens of human rights activists connected with China were being routinely accessed by third parties, most likely via phishing scams or malware placed on their computers. We also made clear that these attacks and the surveillance they uncovered—combined with attempts over the last year to further limit free speech on the web in China including the persistent blocking of websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Docs and Blogger—had led us to conclude that we could no longer continue censoring our results on Google.cn. So earlier today we stopped censoring our search services—Google Search, Google News, and Google Images—on Google.cn. Users visiting Google.cn are now being redirected to Google.com.hk, where we are offering uncensored search in simplified Chinese, specifically designed for users in mainland China and delivered via our servers in Hong Kong. Users in Hong Kong will continue to receive their existing uncensored, traditional Chinese service, also from Google.com.hk."

  • BusinessWeek - Google Stops Censoring Web Search Results in China: Timeline
  • * ebrary Launches Free Natural Disaster and Extreme Weather Searchable Information Center

    News release: "ebrary®, a leading provider of digital content products and technologies..announced that it has created a publicly available research center featuring hundreds of important government documents related to natural disasters and extreme weather - the Natural Disaster and Extreme Weather Searchable Information Center."

    March 20, 2010
    * Hitwise: Facebook Reaches Top Ranking in U.S.

    UK TimesOnline: "Hitwise, the internet industry tracker, announced that Facebook had dethroned Google as the world’s most popular website. For the week ending March 13, the social networking site set up by wunderkind Mark Zuckerberg got more traffic than Google in America. It was a milestone likely to be revisited as Facebook and Google limber up for what looks set to be this decade’s defining technology battle."

  • Hitwise Intelligence - Heather Dougherty - North America: "Facebook reached an important milestone for the week ending March 13, 2010 and surpassed Google in the US to become the most visited website for the week. Facebook.com recently reached the #1 ranking on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day as well as the weekend of March 6th and 7th. The market share of visits to Facebook.com increased 185% last week as compared to the same week in 2009, while visits to Google.com increased 9% during the same time frame. Together Facebook.com and Google.com accounted for 14% of all US Internet visits last week."
  • March 10, 2010
    * Google Maps Announces Addition of Directions for Cyclists in U.S.

    Grab Your Bike and Go with Google Maps - Users can now choose biking when deciding how to get to their destination: "If you’re one of the 57 million Americans who ride a bike, mapping your daily commute, exploring new trails, and planning recreational rides just became a little bit easier. Google is announcing that we have added biking directions in the U.S. to Google Maps. This has been the most requested addition to Google Maps, and we’re delighted to be unveiling this new feature at the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. This new feature includes: step-by-step bicycling directions; bike trails outlined directly on the map; and a new “Bicycling” layer that indicates bike trails, bike lanes, and bike-friendly roads."

    March 09, 2010
    * Google Translate Service Reaches Around The Globe

    New York Times: "Google Translate service handles 52 languages, more than any similar system, and people use it hundreds of millions of times a week to translate Web pages and other text." [Note: Translate text, webpages and documents - users may upload documents]

    March 05, 2010
    * Jonathan Band's Chart of Possible Google Book Search Settlement Results

    Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search: "Now that the fairness hearing on the Google Books Settlement has occurred, it is up to Judge Chin to decide whether the proposed settlement is "fair, reasonable, and adequate." The attached chart attempts to diagram some of the possible paths forward. Notwithstanding the complexity of the chart, it does not reflect all the possible permutations. For example, it does not mention stays pending appeals nor whether litigation would proceed as a class action. Moreover, the chart does not address the substantive reasons why a certain outcome may occur, e.g., the basis for Judge Chin accepting or rejecting the settlement. And it doesn't begin to address the issue of Congressional intervention through legislation. In short, the precise way forward is more difficult to predict than the NCAA tournament. And although the next step in the GBS saga may occur this March, many more NCAA tournaments will come and go before the buzzer sounds on this dispute."

    February 28, 2010
    * Google: Refine your searches by location

    Official Google Blog: "Location has become an important part of the way we search. If you're a foodie looking for restaurant details, food blogs or the closest farmer's market, location can be vital to helping you find the right information....we've added the ability to refine your searches with the "Nearby" tool in the Search Options panel. One of the really helpful things about this tool is that it works geographically — not just with keywords — so you don't have to worry about adding "Minneapolis" to your query and missing webpages that only say "St. Paul" or "Twin Cities." Check it out by doing a search, clicking on "show options" and selecting "Nearby."

    * Study Ranks Top 20 Companies for Privacy in 2010, Facebook Drops Off List

    EPIC: "Ponemon Institute released its annual study identifying the top twenty companies that are most trusted for privacy. American Express was ranked first, earning the Most Trusted for Privacy distinction for the fifth year in a row. Facebook suffered several privacy missteps over the last year, including a recent change in privacy settings at the end of 2009, and as a result, failed to make the 2010 list. Google, however, returned to the Top 20, ranked at 13. The survey also produced significant findings regarding consumer attitudes towards privacy, including the finding that consumers feel they are losing control over their personal information. Further, the responses revealed that consumers’ fear of identity theft is the main factor for brand trust diminishment, while a company’s implementation of privacy features contribute to brand trust. Other significant positive factors were limits on the collection of personal information and online anonymity."

    February 27, 2010
    * Google Prepared to Spend Hundred of Millions on Broadband Service

    Bloomberg: "Google Inc. said it may spend as much as “hundreds of millions” of dollars on an experimental broadband service that offers Internet speeds 100 times faster than current networks. The cost of the test project, announced this month, isn’t known and will depend on demographics, the lay of the land and the number of households that use it, said Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington counsel on telecommunications and media issues. The company hasn’t determined the location or size of the network, which could serve 50,000 to 500,000 customers."

    February 25, 2010
    * European Commission preliminary inquiry into Google competition complaints

    Google European Public Policy Blog: Yesterday's news that the European Commission has opened a preliminary inquiry into competition complaints from three companies has generated a lot of questions about how Google's ranking works. Here, Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow responsible for ranking, who has worked in search for almost 20 years, explains the principles behind our algorithm."

  • "Google ranking is a collection of algorithms used to seek out relevant and useful results for a user's query. There's a ton that goes into building a state-of-the-art ranking system like ours. Our algorithms use hundreds of different signals to pick the top results for any given query. Signals are indicators of relevance, and they include items as simple as the words on a webpage or more complex calculations such as the authoritativeness of other sites linking to any given page. Those signals and our algorithms are in constant flux, and are constantly being improved. On average, we make one or two changes to them every day. Lately, I’ve been reading about whether regulators should look into dictating how search engines like Google conduct their ranking. While the debate unfolds about government-regulated search, let me provide some general thinking behind our approach to ranking. Future ranking experts (inside or outside government) might find it helpful..."
  • February 23, 2010
    * Updated Google Books Home Page and My Library

    Brandon Badger, Product Manager, Google Books: "I'm happy to announce a few fresh features for Google Books. We've updated the home page by adding the ability to scroll through categories of books and magazines. We also integrated the My Library feature into the home page to enable you to create and then share collections of books by adding them to "bookshelves." This new version of My Library gives you control over your collections by enabling you to keep some bookshelves private--if, say, you want to organize your own personal reading lists--while sharing others."

    February 10, 2010
    * YouTube Announces Safety Mode

    YouTube Blog: "Diversity of content is one of the great things about YouTube. But we know that some of you want a more controlled experience. That's why we're announcing Safety Mode, an opt-in setting that helps screen out potentially objectionable content that you may prefer not to see or don't want others in your family to stumble across while enjoying YouTube. An example of this type of content might be a newsworthy video that contains graphic violence such as a political protest or war coverage. While no filter is 100% perfect, Safety Mode is another step in our ongoing desire to give you greater control over the content you see on the site. It's easy to opt in to Safety Mode: Just click on the link at the bottom of any video page. You can even lock your choice on that browser with your YouTube password..."

    February 09, 2010
    * Google Buzz Social Media Integrated into Gmail

    Official Google Blog: "Google Buzz is a new way to start conversations about the things you find interesting. It's built right into Gmail, so you don't have to peck out an entirely new set of friends from scratch — it just works. If you think about it, there's always been a big social network underlying Gmail. Buzz brings this network to the surface by automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. We focused on building an easy-to-use sharing experience that richly integrates photos, videos and links, and makes it easy to share publicly or privately (so you don't have to use different tools to share with different audiences). Plus, Buzz integrates tightly with your existing Gmail inbox, so you're sure to see the stuff that matters most as it happens in real time."

  • Update: See the following critiques on the privacy issues with the new Buzz - via Foreign Policy, Wrong kind of buzz around Google Buzz and via CNET, Google Buzz: Privacy nightmare and Google Buzz: A Privacy Checklist, PCWorld
  • February 07, 2010
    * World Bank Data Now in Google Search Results

    News release: "Now, a special Google public data search feature will show numeric results for 17 World Development Indicators (WDI) reliably sourced to the World Bank. For example, a Google search for GDP features a box at the top of the page highlighting Bank data and linking to Google's Google's public data graphing tool. Google's graphing tool lets users see and compare country-by-country statistics and offers customized graphs with a ‘link’ or web address that can be easily embedded and shared in other websites. From the Google Public Data graphing tool, users can learn more about the data on the new World Bank Data Finder, which allows them to access indicator definitions, quick facts, interactive maps, and additional World Bank related resources...From the Google Public Data graphing tool, users can learn more about the data on the new World Bank Data Finder, which allows them to access indicator definitions, quick facts, interactive maps, and additional World Bank related resources. All of these features can be easily exported and installed on other websites."

  • Related postings on financial system
  • February 05, 2010
    * Network of the Supreme Courts of the European Union

    "The meta-search engine of National Case Law was created by the Network of the Presidents of the European Supreme Courts. It has been released in April 2007 and allows to simultaneously query several search engines." [Lyonette Louis-Jacques]

    * Justice Department Submits Views on Amended Google Book Search Settlement

    Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search, this news, Justice Department Submits Views on Amended Google Book Search Settlement - Department Says Despite Substantial Progress Made, Issues Remain

  • "The Department of Justice [February 4, 2010] advised the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that despite the substantial progress reflected in the proposed amended settlement agreement in The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc., class certification, copyright and antitrust issues remain. The department also said that the United States remains committed to working with the parties on issues concerning the scope and content of the settlement. In its statement of interest filed with the court today, the department stated, "Although the United States believes the parties have approached this effort in good faith and the amended settlement agreement is more circumscribed in its sweep than the original proposed settlement, the amended settlement agreement suffers from the same core problem as the original agreement: it is an attempt to use the class action mechanism to implement forward-looking business arrangements that go far beyond the dispute before the court in this litigation."
  • February 02, 2010
    * Research Paper: Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social Search Engine

    Anatomy of a Large-Scale Social Search Engine, by Damon Horowitz and Sepandar D. Kamvar [via Abi Morgan]

  • "We present Aardvark, a social search engine. With Aardvark, users ask a question, either by instant message, email, web input, text message, or voice. Aardvark then routes the question to the person in the user’s extended social network most likely to be able to answer that question. As compared to a traditional web search engine, where the challenge lies in finding the right document to satisfy a user’s information need, the challenge in a social search engine like Aardvark lies in finding the right person to satisfy a user’s information need. Further, while trust in a traditional search engine is based on authority, in a social search engine like Aardvark, trust is based on intimacy. We describe how these considerations inform the architecture, algorithms, and user interface of Aardvark, and how they are reflected in the behavior of
    Aardvark users.
  • January 19, 2010
    * Survey Says 44% Of Google News Visitors Scan Headlines, Don’t Click Through

    TechCrunch - Research firm Outsell has published its third annual News Users’ report [fee only], which is based on a survey about the online and offline news preferences of 2,787 US news consumers. The Outsell report unsurprisingly predicts ongoing, steep drops in US newspapers’ print circulation as consumers continue to head online for news consumption and sharing, forecasting 3.5 percent annual declines in both daily and Sunday circulation by 2012. Interestingly enough, the research also talks of what is referred to as the “dramatic effect” aggregators like Google and Yahoo have had on print and online readership...“Though Google is driving some traffic to newspapers, it’s also taking a significant share away. A full 44 percent of visitors to Google News scan headlines without accessing newspapers’ individual sites.”

    * Owls, Otters, Monkeys and Lions Near You.com

    "Designed for animal lovers with very specific tastes, we've just added the following sites to the WildlifeNearYou family:

    January 17, 2010
    * Google and Others Provide Haiti Crisis Response Maps and Person Finder

    Person Finder: Haiti Earthquake, embeddable application:
    What is your situation? / I'm looking for someone / I have information about someone.
    See also:

    January 12, 2010
    * Google Announces "A new approach to China"

    Official Google Blog:

  • "In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different...We launched Google.cn in January 2006 in the belief that the benefits of increased access to information for people in China and a more open Internet outweighed our discomfort in agreeing to censor some results. At the time we made clear that "we will carefully monitor conditions in China, including new laws and other restrictions on our services. If we determine that we are unable to achieve the objectives outlined we will not hesitate to reconsider our approach to China." These attacks and the surveillance they have uncovered--combined with the attempts over the past year to further limit free speech on the web--have led us to conclude that we should review the feasibility of our business operations in China. We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. We recognize that this may well mean having to shut down Google.cn, and potentially our offices in China."
  • January 10, 2010
    * Search Engine For Combined Senate and House Health Bills

    "The House of Representatives HR 3962 Affordable Health Care for America Act together with the Senate Patient Protection and Affordable Care bill as amended and passed December 24, 2009 are presented here in searchable form. This is provided as a public service. MarpX is a precision search engine uses the "Words Close Together" method of relevance ranking, which assures that the most meaningful hits appear near the top of the list search results."

  • Related postings on health care reform
  • January 07, 2010
    * Withdrawn support for open-education content projects blow to educators and public

    Chronicle of Higher Education: "The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is closing a grant program that financed a series of high-profile university software projects, leaving some worried about a vacuum of support for open-source ventures. Mellon’s decade-old Research in Information Technology program, or RIT, helped bankroll a catalog of freely available software that includes Sakai, a course-management system used by Stanford University and the University of Michigan; Kuali, a financial-management program recently rolled out at Colorado State University; and Zotero, a program for managing research sources used by millions."

    December 31, 2009
    * New on LLRX.com - Google Scholar: A New Way to Search for Cases and Related Legal Publications

    Google Scholar: A New Way to Search for Cases and Related Legal Publications - Courtney Minick and David Tsai provide an overview of the new features Google Scholar provides for the legal research market.

    December 28, 2009
    * New York Review of Books - Google & the Future of Books: An Exchange

    Follow up to previous postings on Google Book Search - Google & the Future of Books: An Exchange By Paul N. Courant, Laine Farley, Paula Kaufman, John Leslie King, Theodore Koditschek, Anthony Lewis et al.
    "To the Editors: In his recent article criticizing the Google settlement [Google and the New Digital Future, NYR, December 17, 2009], Robert Darnton fails to acknowledge the significant role that libraries have had in the creation of Google Book Search as well as the concrete steps they are taking to address the sorts of concerns he raises. Libraries are using Google-digitized volumes to create the "truly public library" that he seeks, and these same libraries are taking responsibility for the preservation of Google-digitized volumes. More than thirty research libraries have made agreements with Google to digitize their collections as part of their long-standing tradition of providing the highest level of access to scholarly materials. These libraries have worked successfully with Google to ensure the integrity of their physical collections and to digitize those collections in accordance with broadly held standards for digital capture."

  • See also on LLRX.com - A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement
  • December 26, 2009
    * Study on children and keyword searching - how children and adults search

    New York Times: "83 children, ages 7, 9 and 11...participated in a study on children and keyword searching. Sponsored by Google and developed by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research was aimed at discerning the differences between how children and adults search and identify the barriers children face when trying to retrieve information...When considering children, search engines had long focused on filtering out explicit material from results. But now, because increasing numbers of children are using search as a starting point for homework, exploration or entertainment, more engineers are looking to children for guidance on how to improve their tools."

    December 25, 2009
    * TIME - 50 Best Websites 2009

    TIME - 50 Best Websites 2009: "50 offerings that are indispensable to navigating, enjoying yourself, shopping or just killing time on the Web."

    December 21, 2009
    December 20, 2009
    * New on LLRX.com - A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement

    A Guide for the Perplexed Part III: The Amended Settlement Agreement - On Friday, November 13, 2009, Google, the Authors Guild, and the Association of American Publishers filed an Amended Settlement Agreement (ASA) in the copyright infringement litigation concerning the Google Library Project. The amendments proposed by the parties are designed to address objections made by the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright holders to the original proposed settlement agreement. This paper by Jonathan Band describes the ASA's major changes, with emphasis on those changes relevant to libraries.

  • Related postings on Google Book Search settlement
  • * Library Associations Ask DOJ for Active Supervision of Google Settlement

    Follow up to previous postings on the Google Book Search settlement,
    this letter to DOJ Antitrust Division: "The American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries (the Library Associations) write to express our views concerning how the United States should respond to the Amended Settlement Agreement filed by the parties on November 13, 2009. In brief, we believe that active supervision of the settlement by the court and the United States will protect the public interest far more than any additional restructuring of the settlement."

    December 14, 2009
    * New on LLRX.com - Deep Web Research 2010

    Deep Web Research 2010: Marcus P. Zillman is a an internet search expert whose extensive knowledge of how to leverage the "invisible" or "deep" web is exemplified in this guide. The Deep Web covers somewhere in the vicinity of 1 trillion pages of information located through the world wide web in various files and formats. Current search engines are able to locate around 200 billion pages. Marcus identifies sources to mitigate the odds on behalf of serious searchers.

    December 13, 2009
    * Google Launches Prototype Technology to Monitor Global Deforestation

    Google.org blog: "...at the International Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen we demonstrated a new technology prototype that enables online, global-scale observation and measurement of changes in the earth's forests. We hope this technology will help stop the destruction of the world's rapidly-disappearing forests. Emissions from tropical deforestation are comparable to the emissions of all of the European Union, and are greater than those of all cars, trucks, planes, ships and trains worldwide. According to the Stern Review, protecting the world's standing forests is a highly cost-effective way to cut carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. The United Nations has proposed a framework known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) that would provide financial incentives to rainforest nations to protect their forests, in an effort to make forests worth "more alive than dead." Implementing a global REDD system will require that each nation have the ability to accurately monitor and report the state of their forests over time, in a manner that is independently verifiable. However, many of these tropical nations of the world lack the technological resources to do this, so we're working with scientists, governments and non-profits to change this. Here's what we've done with this prototype to help nations monitor their forests..."

  • Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, UK - HM Treasury
  • Related postings on climate change
  • December 11, 2009
    * Google's new 411 service

    "GOOG-411 is Google's new 411 service. With GOOG-411, you can find local business information completely free, directly from your phone. You can access 1-800-466-4411 from any phone, anywhere, at anytime."

    December 08, 2009
    * Google Launches News-by-Topic Service

    New York Times: "Google on Tuesday introduced a new approach to presenting news online by topic, developed with The New York Times and The Washington Post, and said that if the experiment succeeded, it would be made available to all publishers. The announcement of the “living stories” project shows Google collaborating with newspapers at a time when some major publishers have characterized the company as a threat. Google has also taken steps recently to project an image of itself as a friend to the industry."

    Google Living Stories

    • "The Living Stories project is an experiment in presenting news, one designed specifically for the online environment. The project was developed by Google in collaboration with two of the country's leading newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post.
    • All in one place: Complete coverage of an on-going story is gathered together and prioritized on one URL. You can now quickly navigate between news articles, opinion pieces and features without long waits for pages to load.
    • Easy to explore: Each story has an evolving summary of current developments as a well as an interactive timeline of critical events. Stories can be explored by themes, significant participants or multimedia.
    • Smarter reading: Updates to the story are highlighted each time you come back, and older news is summarized."

    December 07, 2009
    * Google Launches Joint News-by-Topic Service

    New York Times: "Google on Tuesday introduced a new approach to presenting news online by topic, developed with The New York Times and The Washington Post, and said that if the experiment succeeded, it would be made available to all publishers. The announcement of the “living stories” project shows Google collaborating with newspapers at a time when some major publishers have characterized the company as a threat. Google has also taken steps recently to project an image of itself as a friend to the industry."

    • "The Living Stories project is an experiment in presenting news, one designed specifically for the online environment. The project was developed by Google in collaboration with two of the country's leading newspapers, The New York Times and The Washington Post. [Note: See Living Stories FAQ]
    • All in one place: "Complete coverage of an on-going story is gathered together and prioritized on one URL. You can now quickly navigate between news articles, opinion pieces and features without long waits for pages to load."
    • Easy to explore: "Each story has an evolving summary of current developments as a well as an interactive timeline of critical events. Stories can be explored by themes, significant participants or multimedia."
    • Smarter reading: "Updates to the story are highlighted each time you come back, and older news is summarized."
    * Google Announces Real-Time Search

    Official Google Blog: "Our real-time search enables you to discover breaking news the moment it's happening, even if it's not the popular news of the day, and even if you didn't know about it beforehand...Click on "Latest results" or select "Latest" from the search options menu to view a full page of live tweets, blogs, news and other web content scrolling right on Google. You can also filter your results to see only "Updates" from micro-blogs like Twitter, FriendFeed, Jaiku and others. Latest results and the new search options are also designed for iPhone and Android devices when you need them on the go...Our real-time search features are based on more than a dozen new search technologies that enable us to monitor more than a billion documents and process hundreds of millions of real-time changes each day."

    December 06, 2009
    * New Google Dictionary of Definitions and Synonyms.

    Google Dictionary website - includes 40 language translation feature, and query response includes: Found in dictionary, Derivative, and Web definitions.

    December 04, 2009
    * Google Public Domain Name System

    Official Google Blog: "Today, as part of our ongoing effort to make the web faster, we're launching our own public DNS resolver called Google Public DNS, and we invite you to try it out. Most of us aren't familiar with DNS because it's often handled automatically by our Internet Service Provider (ISP), but it provides an essential function for the web. You could think of it as the switchboard of the Internet, converting easy-to-remember domain names — e.g., www.google.com — into the unique Internet Protocol (IP) numbers — e.g., 74.125.45.100 — that computers use to communicate with one another."

    December 03, 2009
    * Google Launches New Streamlined Search Page

    Official Google Blog: "The main feature of the new homepage is that it "fades in" — when the page first loads, it shows only our logo, the search box and the buttons. For the vast majority of people who come to the Google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost. For those users who are interested in using a different application like Gmail, Google Image Search or our advertising programs, the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse. Since most users who are interested in clicking over to a different application generally do move the mouse when they arrive, the "fade in" is an elegant solution that provides options to those who want them, but removes distractions for the user intent on searching."

    December 02, 2009
    * Publishers Can Now Opt Out of Google News Search Indexing

    Google News Blog: "There are more than 25,000 publishers from around the world in Google News today. [With] the new Google News web crawler publishers [can]...keep their content out of Google News and still remain in Google Search...if a publisher wants to opt out of Google News, they don't even have to contact us - they can put instructions just for user-agent Googlebot-News in the same robots.txt file they have today. In addition, once this change is fully in place, it will allow publishers to do more than just allow/disallow access to Google News. They'll also be able to apply the full range of REP directives just to Google News. Want to block images from Google News, but not from Web Search? Go ahead. Want to include snippets in Google News, but not in Web Search? Feel free...All this will soon be possible with the same standard protocol that is Robots Exclusion Protocol (or REP)."

    November 21, 2009
    * Google Announces Automatic Captions in YouTube

    Official Google Blog, Ken Harrenstien, Software Engineer: "Since the original launch of captions in our products, we’ve been happy to see growth in the number of captioned videos on our services, which now number in the hundreds of thousands. This suggests that more and more people are becoming aware of how useful captions can be. As we’ve explained in the past, captions not only help the deaf and hearing impaired, but with machine translation, they also enable people around the world to access video content in any of 51 languages. Captions can also improve search and even enable users to jump to the exact parts of the videos they're looking for...we've combined Google's automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology with the YouTube caption system to offer automatic captions, or auto-caps for short. Auto-caps use the same voice recognition algorithms in Google Voice to automatically generate captions for video...In addition to automatic captions, we’re also launching automatic caption timing, or auto-timing, to make it significantly easier to create captions manually. With auto-timing, you no longer need to have special expertise to create your own captions in YouTube. All you need to do is create a simple text file with all the words in the video and we’ll use Google’s ASR technology to figure out when the words are spoken and create captions for your video."

    November 12, 2009
    * World Bank Data Now in Google Search Results

    News release: "Now, a special Google public data search feature will show numeric results for 17 World Development Indicators (WDI) reliably sourced to the World Bank, with a link to Google's public data graphing tool. Google's feature lets users see and compare country-by-country statistics and offers customized graphs with a ‘link’ or web address that can be easily embedded and shared in other websites. From the Google Public Data graphing tool, users can learn more about the data on the new World Bank Data Finder, which allows them to access indicator definitions, quick facts, interactive maps, and additional World Bank related resources."

    * Google: Finding flu vaccine information in one easy place

    "This year, it's especially important to have clear information on what you can do to prepare for the flu season. With this in mind, we are happy to share a new feature for the U.S. which allows you to more easily find locations near you for getting both the seasonal and H1N1 flu vaccine. After expanding Google Flu Trends to a total of 20 countries and 38 languages, allowing more people to see near real-time estimates of flu activity, we began brainstorming with the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services (HHS), their flu.gov collaborators and the American Lung Association on the flu shot finder and other ways Google can be helpful to people this flu season. You can check out the flu shot finder at www.google.com/flushot. The same tool will also be available shortly on www.flu.gov and the American Lung Association websites. It's important to note that this project is just beginning and we have not yet received information about flu shot clinics for many locations. In addition, many locations that are shown are currently out of stock. We launched this service now in order to help disseminate information about locations where vaccines are available, and also to make more vaccine providers aware of the project so that they can contribute."

    November 08, 2009
    * List of all magazines now available in Google Books

    Jeffrey Peng, Software Engineer, Google Books, a software engineer on Google Books: "One of my main projects is adding magazine content and features to the site. In September we were excited to announce the availability of over 1,860 issues of the iconic LIFE magazine on Google Books. One of the feature requests that I got from friends and family was to add a way to browse all the magazines available...I'm happy to announce that last week I coded up a page on Google Books that lets you browse the available magazine titles. You can view the page here."

    November 04, 2009
    * Google Launches Privacy Dashboard for Users Signed Into Accounts

    Official Google Blog: "In an effort to provide you with greater transparency and control over their own data, we've built the Google Dashboard. Designed to be simple and useful, the Dashboard summarizes data for each product that you use (when signed in to your account) and provides you direct links to control your personal settings. Today, the Dashboard covers more than 20 products and services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts, Latitude and many more. The scale and level of detail of the Dashboard is unprecedented, and we're delighted to be the first Internet company to offer this — and we hope it will become the standard. [Includes a quick video] to learn more and then try it out for yourself at www.google.com/dashboard."

    October 30, 2009
    * Google's Discover Music

    Follow up to October 29, 2009 posting, Google Launches New Music Search Feature, today see Google Discover Music: "Find music faster and easier using Google"

    October 29, 2009
    * Google Launches New Music Search Feature

    Official Google Blog: "...we're rolling out a search feature that...enabl[es] you to search and more easily discover millions of songs, all via a simple Google web search...Now, when you enter a music-related query — like the name of a song, artist or album — your search results will include links to an audio preview of those songs provided by our music search partners...We've partnered with Pandora, imeem and Rhapsody to include links to their sites where you can discover music related to your queries as well."

    October 23, 2009
    * Launch of Google Search Expected in November

    InformationWeek: "Social Search will be launched in a few weeks as a Google Labs experiment. As its name suggest, it integrates information created by people in a searcher's Google network -- defined by one's list of Google Contacts -- into Google search results."

    October 18, 2009
    * New Book Available Online - Search User Interfaces

    Search User Interfaces by Marti A. Hearst [the author, with permission of Cambridge University Press, has placed the full text online free of charge. See the terms of service]: "This book focuses on the human users of search engines and the tool they use to interact with them: the search user interface. The truly worldwide reach of the Web has brought with it a new realization among computer scientists and laypeople of the enormous importance of usability and user interface design. In the last ten years, much has become understood about what works in search interfaces from a usability perspective, and what does not. Researchers and practitioners have developed a wide range of innovative interface ideas, but only the most broadly acceptable make their way into major web search engines. This book summarizes these developments, presenting the state of the art of search interface design, both in academic research and in deployment in commercial systems. Many books describe the algorithms behind search engines and information retrieval systems, but the unique focus of this book is specifically on the user interface."

    October 11, 2009
    * Google and Bing Side By Side Search Comparison

    "Can't choose default search engine? Want to compare Bing & Google results? Just put your query in the search box and press Enter. You'll see results from both engines side by side. Search provider for Internet Explorer 7/8 and Firefox is also available - search both engines from your browser: www.bing-vs-google.com. Made by Domagoj Pavlesic."

    October 09, 2009
    * NYT Op Ed - A Library to Last Forever

    Follow up to previous postings on the Google Book Settlement, this New York Times Op-Ed today: A Library to Last Forever, by Sergey Brin/Google: "Because books are such an important part of the world’s collective knowledge and cultural heritage, Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, first proposed that we digitize all books a decade ago, when we were a fledgling startup. At the time, it was viewed as so ambitious and challenging a project that we were unable to attract anyone to work on it. But five years later, in 2004, Google Books (then called Google Print) was born, allowing users to search hundreds of thousands of books. Today, they number over 10 million and counting. The next year we were sued by the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers over the project. While we have had disagreements, we have a common goal — to unlock the wisdom held in the enormous number of out-of-print books, while fairly compensating the rights holders. As a result, we were able to work together to devise a settlement that accomplishes our shared vision. While this settlement is a win-win for authors, publishers and Google, the real winners are the readers who will now have access to a greatly expanded world of books.

    October 07, 2009
    * Google Flu Trends expands to 16 additional countries

    Official Google Blog: "If you're like us, you're probably thinking a lot about how this year's flu season might affect you and your community. To help you out, we at Google.org are excited to announce the expansion of Google Flu Trends to 16 additional countries, including much of Europe. We've also made the site available in 37 languages. Flu is a global threat, affecting millions worldwide each year, so we're pleased to make this tool available in more regions and languages."

  • Related postings on H1N1 and swine flu
  • September 28, 2009
    * Google Family of Sites Remain Atop Search Engine Chart

    "Since launching Bing, Microsoft sites have seen a significant increase in search queries, but Google still controls nearly two-thirds of the U.S. search query market, according to a new report released last week. In August, Google sites, including Google, YouTube, and other Google-owned websites, handled 64.6 percent of all searches originating in the United States, according to comScore, a leading Internet trend tracking firm. Google's share was down one-tenth of one percent from July, but still represented a market share that was more than three times greater than its closest competitor, Yahoo!, which had a 19.3 percent share of U.S. searches in August."

    * Deloitte: Cloud computing - A collection of working papers

    Deloitte: Cloud computing - A collection of working papers, released September 17, 2009 and published on July 31, 2009.

  • "Cloud Computing frequently is taken to be a term that simply renames common technologies and techniques that we have come to know in IT. It may be interpreted to mean data center hosting and then subsequently dismissed without catching the improvements to hosting called utility computing that permit near realtime, policy-based control of computing resources. Or it may be interpreted to mean only data center hosting rather than understood to be the significant shift in Internet application architecture that it is...Cloud computing represents a different way to architect and remotely manage computing resources. One has only to establish an account with Microsoft or Amazon or Google to begin building and deploying application systems into a cloud. These systems can be, but certainly are not restricted to being, simplistic. They can be web applications that require only http services. They might require a relational database. They might require web service infrastructure and message queues. There might be need to interoperate with CRM or e-commerce application services, necessitating construction of a custom technology stack to deploy into the cloud if these services are not already provided there."
  • September 21, 2009
    * DOJ Filing on Google Book Setttlement - Digital Library Delayed

    Follow up to previous postings on what is becoming the saga of the Google Book Settlement, the following articles, legal documents and commentary today:

    September 18, 2009
    * Justice Department Submits Views on Proposed Google Book Search Settlement

    Follow up to previous posting on Google book search, this news release today: Justice Department Submits Views on Proposed Google Book Search Settlement: "The Department of Justice today advised the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York that while it should not accept the class action settlement in The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. as proposed due to concerns of the United States regarding class action, copyright and antitrust law, the parties should be encouraged to continue their productive discussions to address those concerns. In its statement of interest filed with the court, the Department stated: "Given the parties’ express commitment to ongoing discussions to address concerns already raised and the possibility that such discussions could lead to a settlement agreement that could legally be approved by the Court, the public interest would best be served by direction from the Court encouraging the continuation of those discussions between the parties and, if the Court so chooses, by some direction as to those aspects of the Proposed Settlement that need to be improved. Because a properly structured settlement agreement in this case offers the potential for important societal benefits, the United States does not want the opportunity or momentum to be lost."

    September 16, 2009
    * Hearing on Competition and Commerce in Digital Books: The Proposed Google Book Settlement

    Statement of Marybeth Peters, The Register of Copyrights before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives 111th Congress 1st Session, September 10, 2009

  • "In the view of the Copyright Office, the settlement proposed by the parties would encroach on responsibility for copyright policy that traditionally has been the domain of Congress. The settlement is not merely a compromise of existing claims, or an agreement to compensate past copying and snippet display. Rather, it could affect the exclusive rights of millions of copyright owners, in the United States and abroad, with respect to their abilities to control new products and new markets, for years and years to come. We are greatly concerned by the parties’ end run around legislative process and prerogatives, and we submit that this Committee should be equally concerned."
  • Related postings on Google Book Search
  • September 12, 2009
    * The relationship between public libraries and Google: Too much information

    The relationship between public libraries and Google: Too much information, by Vivienne Waller. First Monday, Volume 14, Number 9 - 7 September 2009

  • "This article explores the implications of a shift from public to private provision of information through focusing on the relationship between Google and public libraries. This relationship has sparked controversy, with concerns expressed about the integrity of search results, the Google Book project, and Google the company. In this paper, these concerns are treated as symptoms of a deeper divide, the fundamentally different conceptions of information that underpin the stated aim of Google and libraries to provide access to information. The paper concludes with some principles necessary for the survival of public libraries and their contribution to a robust democracy in a rapidly expanding Googleverse."
  • Related postings on Google Book Search
  • September 07, 2009
    * Site Compares 4 Online Map Services on One Page

    Via Google Maps Mania: "Maps Compare [created by Hussein Nasser] is a website with four different on-line map services on one page. The site places Google Maps, the Google Earth browser plugin, Yahoo Maps and Bing Maps beside each other, which can be quite useful if you want to compare the map coverage provided by each provider in different locations."

    September 06, 2009
    September 02, 2009
    * Amazon Files Brief in Federal Court Against Google Book Settlement

    bizjounrals: "Amazon.com Inc. this week joined the groups filing objections in court against Google Inc.'s settlement with authors and publishers. Amazon said in its 41-page brief filed in federal court that Google will stifle competition if the settlement is approved."

    August 31, 2009
    * Google Translate now speaks 51 languages

    Official Google Blog: "Today, we're excited to announce that we've added nine new languages to Google Translate: Afrikaans, Belarusian, Icelandic, Irish, Macedonian, Malay, Swahili, Welsh and Yiddish. That means that Google Translate now supports 51 languages and 2550 language pairs — including all 23 official EU languages."

    August 21, 2009
    * Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo Form United Front Against Google Books

    Follow up to previous postings on Google Book settlement, BBB News reports - Tech giants unite against Google - "Three technology heavyweights are joining a coalition to fight Google's attempt to create what could be the world's largest virtual library. Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo will sign up to the Open Book Alliance being spearheaded by the Internet Archive. They oppose a legal settlement that could make Google the main source for many online works."

    August 19, 2009
    * Report on URL Shorteners: Speed and Reliabiltiy

    Royal Pingdom: URL shortener speed and reliability shootout - "The services included in this test are: Bit.ly, TinyURL, Ow.ly, Is.gd, Su.pr, Snipurl, Cli.gs, Tr.im and Twurl."

    August 18, 2009
    * American Customer Satisfaction Index Annual E-Business Report

    American Customer Satisfaction Index - Annual E-Business Report, August 18, 2009, by Larry Freed
    President and CEO, ForeSee Results

  • "In 2009, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) score for the e-business sector rises to an all-time high of 81.5 on the ACSI’s 100-point scale, a 29% increase in customer satisfaction since the industry was first measured in 2000. The aggregate e-business score is comprised of an average of many individual portals, search engines, and news websites, all of which were also rated on the ACSI’s 100-point scale and are discussed later in the report. The ACSI e-business sector is made up of two major industries and measures the players with the greatest market share in each industry: search engines and portals (AOL, Ask, Google, MSN, and Yahoo) and news and information sites (ABCNews.com, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, NYTimes.com, and USAToday.com)"
  • August 16, 2009
    * Commentary Focuses on Powerful Brain "Seeking" Systems and Internet Usage

    Via Slate: Seeking How the brain hard-wires us to love Google, Twitter, and texting. And why that's dangerous, by Emily Yoffe. "...Actually all our electronic communication devices—e-mail, Facebook feeds, texts, Twitter—are feeding the same drive as our searches. Since we're restless, easily bored creatures, our gadgets give us in abundance qualities the seeking/wanting system finds particularly exciting...If humans are seeking machines, we've now created the perfect machines to allow us to seek endlessly."

    August 12, 2009
    * EPIC Forces Disclosure of Government Contracts with Social Media Companies, Privacy Terms Missing

    "In response to an EPIC Freedom of Information Act Request, the Government Services Administration released several contracts between the federal government and web 2.0 companies, including agreements with Blip.tv, Blist, Google (YouTube), Yahoo (Flickr), and MySpace. EPIC also obtained amendments to agreements with Facebook, Slideshare.net, Vimeo.com, and AddThis.com. The contracts do not address the privacy obligations of social media companies. The GSA letter to EPIC explained that “no specific Web 2.0 guidance currently exists,” but provided EPIC with Training Slides that raise privacy issues. The GSA Agreement with Google actually states that, “to the extent any rules or guidelines exist prohibiting the use of persistent cookies in connection with Provider Content applies to Google, Provider expressly waives those rules or guidelines as they may apply to Google.” Some of the agreements also permit companies to track users of government web sites for advertising purposes."

    * Users May Test Google's New Search Infrastructure

    "For the last several months, a large team of Googlers has been working on a secret project: a next-generation architecture for Google's web search. It's the first step in a process that will let us push the envelope on size, indexing speed, accuracy, comprehensiveness and other dimensions. The new infrastructure sits "under the hood" of Google's search engine, which means that most users won't notice a difference in search results. But web developers and power searchers might notice a few differences, so we're opening up a web developer preview to collect feedback. Some parts of this system aren't completely finished yet, so we'd welcome feedback on any issues you see. We invite you to visit the web developer preview of Google's new infrastructure at http://www2.sandbox.google.com/ and try searches there."

    August 03, 2009
    * Google quadruples number of articles included in News Archive Search

    Google News Blog: "We've recently updated our index, quadrupling the number of articles included in News Archive Search. We now include articles from several new publications, including the Halifax Gazette, Sydney Morning Herald, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the Village Voice. Working with our partners, we've also added new international publications such as the Manila Standard, The Nation from Thailand, and many others...You can explore this historical treasure trove by searching on News Archive Search or by using the timeline feature after searching on Google News."

    July 31, 2009
    * Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority Partners with Google Transit

    News release: "MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas announced the T's partnership with Google Transit and the convenience and ease travelers will have when planning a trip on the authority's bus, subway, commuter rail, and boat service. Similar to the MBTA's Trip Planner, Google Transit, a feature of Google Maps, is a web-based application that plans a trip using public transportation options. The service calculates the route, transit time, and any necessary walking directions. This on - line feature which provides directions in various languages using the [public] transit option on Google Maps; and reaches people that the MBTA trip planner does not by surfacing public transit itineraries as an alternative when a user does a directions search within Google Maps. Including the Boston Metro area, Google provides transit information for many major cities across the United States and elsewhere around the world. Transit trip planning is also available on mobile phones including iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, S60, and other Java enabled phones."

  • Get started in three easy steps:
    1) Go to http://maps.google.com
    2) Click on Get Directions, then enter your start and end points.
    3) Select By Public Transit from the drop down menu
  • July 08, 2009
    * Google Announces Google Chrome Operating System

    Official Google Blog: "It's been an exciting nine months since we launched the Google Chrome browser. Already, over 30 million people use it regularly. We designed Google Chrome for people who live on the web — searching for information, checking email, catching up on the news, shopping or just staying in touch with friends. However, the operating systems that browsers run on were designed in an era where there was no web. So today, we're announcing a new project that's a natural extension of Google Chrome — the Google Chrome Operating System. It's our attempt to re-think what operating systems should be. Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targeted at netbooks. Later this year we will open-source its code, and netbooks running Google Chrome OS will be available for consumers in the second half of 2010...Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS. We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web. And as we did for the Google Chrome browser, we are going back to the basics and completely redesigning the underlying security architecture of the OS so that users don't have to deal with viruses, malware and security updates. It should just work."

    July 06, 2009
    * Google Maps Launches Enhanced Features for Real Estate Search

    Google LatLong Blog: "The web is becoming increasingly indispensable to people looking for a new home to buy...from today, if you enter a query like <<homes for sale in san francisco>> on Google Maps, you'll see that we make it easy for you to see all your results on a map with a one-box that will take you to real estate listings...We've added lots of markers that will show not only the ten most relevant listings with pins on the map, but also show a small circle on every other listing in that area using the search results layer, so you can get a really good idea of the distribution of properties for sale. You can click on each marker and each small circle to get more detailed information about the property."

    June 28, 2009
    * Is Google Really in a Competitive Space?

    New York Times: "Google handles roughly two-thirds of all Internet searches. It owns the largest online video site, YouTube, which is more than 10 times more popular than its nearest competitor. And last year, Google sold nearly $22 billion in advertising, more than any media company in the world."

  • See also via ZDNet and ConsumerWatchdog.org: "With Justice Department scrutiny over the Google Books Settlement only the the leading edge of antitrust regulators’ attention to Google, the company has launched a dog-and-pony show dedicated to combating the impression that more control is needed. In a presentation (PDF) acquired by Consumer Watchdog, Google public affairs lead Adam Kovacevich argued that Google is anything but anti-competitive. Its success comes from “learning by doing,” the presentation says."
  • June 20, 2009
    * New Interface for Google Books

    "Google's book search engine has a new interface [details and screen shots provided] that adds many missing features. The sidebar has been moved to the left, you can now embed a book by click on "Link" and selecting the embedding code, there's a new thumbnail view for pages and the table of contents can be accessed as a drop-down." [via Google Operating System blog]

  • Related postings on Google Book search
  • June 16, 2009
    * YouTube and Google's new technology platform - Citizentube

    Official Google Blog: "...Citizentube, a special YouTube blog devoted to chronicling the way that people are using video to change the world. If you've followed news and politics on YouTube, you might have noticed that we started Citizentube as a video channel on the site a few years back, but we soon realized that keeping track of all the phenomenal uses of YouTube by posting our own videos just wasn't fast enough — so now we're blogging, too. We generally focus on two types of posts: the compelling political and social uses of YouTube that we see the community bubble up every day, and our own programming initiatives and partnerships in the political, news, and nonprofit arenas."

    June 14, 2009
    * New on LLRX.com: Bridging the DiGital Divide: Custom Search Engines Put You in Control

    New on LLRX.com: Bridging the DiGital Divide: Custom Search Engines Put You in Control - Law librarian, legal research expert and blogger John J. DiGilio's new column focuses on technology trends that leverage the web to achieve more efficient and effective results. Here John recommends using customized search engines to manage the sites you search.

    June 03, 2009
    * Google Squared Now Live

    "Google Squared is a search tool that helps you quickly build a collection of facts from the Web for any topic you specify.

    • Facts about your topic are organized as a table of items and attributes (we call them "Squares" for fun).
    • Customize these Squares to see just the items and attributes you're interested in.
    • See the websites that served as sources for the information in your Square.
    • Save and share Squares with others."

    June 02, 2009
    * Comparison: Bing vs. Google vs. Yahoo

    PC World - Bing vs. Google vs. Yahoo: Feature Smackdown - quick, useful guide with accompanying screenshots, includes tools and features for shopping, local, travel, music and health.

    June 01, 2009
    * Microsoft Bing Launches Early - New Multifaceted Web Engine

    Computerworld: "After weeks of speculation and online chatter, Microsoft last week took the wraps off Bing, which is the update to its far-from-beloved Microsoft Live Search. The update, which was code-named Kumo, comes with a phalanx of related services, like Bing Travel, Bing Cashback and Bing Maps for Enterprise. Paired with the company's hefty marketing muscle, the new service is expected to help Microsoft take on search behemoth Google Inc."

    May 31, 2009
    * Impact of URL Shorteners - Food for Thought

    URL shorteners, such as TinyURL, bit.ly and notlong.com allow users to share and post links in a quicker manner with less likelihood of misdirection. They also add an intermediary between the reader and the site of origin, and the risk of countless dead links if and when the business model of the respective services ceases to sustain a viable return.

  • See also 11 Ways to Shorten and Lengthen a Tweet
  • * Job Searcher's Guide to Online Job Sites

    From the World Privacy Forum: "This guide to online job sites, Job Searcher's Guide to Online Job Sites, is a list of the top job searching sites online. This list gives information about the privacy practices at each site. Because resumes contain such detailed personal and professional information, it is well worth caring about how job search sites handle privacy issues. This guide is updated monthly, and we add new information to the guide monthly."

    May 27, 2009
    * Commentary on Future of Google Book Search Settlement

    Follow-up to previous postings on Google Book Search, Deal or No Deal: What if the Google Settlement Fails? by Andrew Richard Albanese, Publishers Weekly.

  • "Notably, despite a litany of concerns and obvious unease, the library community did not oppose the deal. That's partly out of an underlying belief that the benefit of a massive database of book content helps them fulfill their mission, and partly, no doubt, because of risk. Should this deal fail, libraries could face legal exposure for their own digital library initiatives, and possibly for their contributory role in Google's book-scanning efforts."
  • May 17, 2009
    * Google Squared - Coming Soon

    "Google Squared will be coming soon. For now, why not have fun squaring some numbers?"

  • Via Google Blogoscoped: Enter the number 42 - the query returns the following: "The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything"
  • May 16, 2009
    * Introduction to Wolfram|Alpha Computational Knowledge Engine

    Screencast demonstrates new engine's capabilities: Wolfram|Alpha Screencast

  • See the FAQ here
  • May 12, 2009
    * LLRX.com: Can Collaboration Solve Copyright Status Questions? The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry

    Can Collaboration Solve Copyright Status Questions? The WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry - As Roger V. Skalbeck documents, one of the underlying obstacles to reproducing older books is a central place to look for information about what is protected by copyright and what may have passed into the public domain is lacking. Responding to this need, OCLC recently introduced a beta service, the WorldCat Copyright Evidence Registry (CER). It could be a very valuable resource for recording and sharing copyright status information."

    May 11, 2009
    * Google News Search Results Now Providing More Content Options

    Google News Blog: "Last Thursday we launched a new format for story pages on Google News. These are the pages you see when you click the "all [#] news articles" link of each cluster of articles which cover the same news event--or "story," as we say on the Google News team. The story page includes timely and relevant information from different sources indexed in Google News. Depending on the most recent coverage and materials available for a given story, the page features top articles, quotes from the people in the story, and posts from news blogs. You'll also find image thumbnails, videos, articles from sources based near the story, and a timeline of articles to trace media coverage of the story."

    May 10, 2009
    * New Real Time Search Engine Aggregates Web 2.0 Content

    "Scoopler is a real-time search engine. We aggregate and organize content being shared on the internet as it happens, like eye-witness reports of breaking news, photos and videos from big events, and links to the hottest memes of the day. We do this by constantly indexing live updates from services including Twitter, Flickr, Digg, Delicious and more. When you search for a topic on Scoopler, we give you the most relevant results, updated in real-time."

    April 28, 2009
    * Court Extends Time to Opt Out of Google Settlement by Four Months

    Follow up to Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement, from the Authors Guild: "The court overseeing Authors Guild v. Google extended the time for authors and publishers to opt out of the settlement by four months, to September 4th (Judge Chin's order). The fairness hearing will be on October 7th."

  • New York Times: "The Justice Department has begun an inquiry into the antitrust implications of Google’s settlement with authors and publishers over its Google Book Search service..."

  • * New Google Search Feature Makes It Easier Find and Compare Public Data.

    Official Google Blog: "We just launched a new search feature that makes it easy to find and compare public data. So for example, when comparing Santa Clara county data to the national unemployment rate, it becomes clear not only that Santa Clara's peak during 2002-2003 was really dramatic, but also that the recent increase is a bit more drastic than the national rate...if you go to Google.com and type in [unemployment rate] or [population] followed by a U.S. state or county, you will see the most recent estimates..."

    April 20, 2009
    * Google Announces News Timeline

    Google News Blog: "Today, we're announcing Google News Timeline--a new feature on Google Labs that organizes many different types of search results on a zoomable, graphical timeline. Google News Timeline presents search results from a wide range of sources. You can search and browse results from Google News, including headlines, quotes, photos from our Hosted News partners, and YouTube partner videos. You can also search for thousands of archival newspapers and magazines from Google News Archive Search and Google Book Search."

    April 19, 2009
    * Internet Archive Opposes Google Books Settlement

    Follow up to previous postings on Google Book search, "The [Internet] Archive is one of many Internet content providers that have an interest in opposing the proposed [Google Book]Settlement Agreement because it effectively limits the liability for the identified uses of orphan works of one party alone, Google Inc., and provides for a Books Rights Registry, the interests of which are represented solely by identified rightsholders, to negotiate their exploitation. All other persons, including Internet content providers such as the Archive, would not be able to use orphan works broadly without being exposed to claims to infringement."

  • "The Internet Archive is seeking leave to file a motion before the Southern District of New York U.S. District Court to intervene in the matter of The Authors Guild Inc. et al. v. Google Inc. as a party defendant - letter delivered to the Court of the Honorable Dennis Chin."
  • March 29, 2009
    * Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide

    Competitive Intelligence - A Selective Resource Guide: Sabrina I. Pacifici's completely revised and updated pathfinder focuses on leveraging selected reliable, focused, free and low cost sites and sources to effectively profile and monitor companies, markets, countries, people, and issues. This guide is a "best of list" of web, database and email alert products, services and tools, as well links to content specific sources produced by governments, academia, NGOs, the media and various publishers.

    * YouTube Launches Educational Hub

    YouTube Blog: "Earlier this week, we announced the launch of YouTube EDU, a hub for videos from over 100 of our leading university and college partners. Think campus tours, news about cutting-edge research, and lectures by professors and world-renowned thought leaders. There are also 200 full (and free!) courses, in a range of subjects, from some of the world's most prestigious universities, including IIT/IISc, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Yale. There are over 20,000 videos on YouTube EDU and growing."

    March 25, 2009
    * CIA Releases 25-Year Program Archive Search

    "The automatic declassification provisions of Executive Order 12958, as amended, require the declassification of nonexempt historically-valuable records 25 years old or older. By 31 December 2006 all agencies were to have completed the review of all hardcopy documents determined to be historically valuable (designated as "permanent" by the agency and the National Archives) and exclusively containing their equities. As the deadline pertains to CIA, it covers the span of relevant documents originally dating from the establishment of the CIA after WWII through 1981.

    CIA has deployed an electronic full-text searchable system it has named CREST (the CIA Records Search Tool), which has been operational since 2000 and is located at NARA II in College Park Maryland. On this Agency site, researchers can now use an on-line CREST Finding Aid to research the availability of CIA documents declassified and loaded onto CREST through 2008. Data for the remaining years up to the present (CREST deliveries have been ongoing) will be placed on this site at later dates.

    Search the CREST web database here. Note: it does not contain actual images of the documents as the regular Electronic Reading Room search does. Rather, it contains details on the files to speed FOIA requests.

    March 24, 2009
    * Google Announces Two Improvements to Search Results Pages

    Two new improvements to Google results pages : "...we're rolling out two new improvements to Google search. The first offers an expanded list of useful related searches and the second is the addition of longer search result descriptions -- both of which help guide users more effectively to the information they need."

    March 21, 2009
    * Google Images Searchable By Specific Colors

    Google Blogoscoped: "Google Image search can now be restricted to return results of a specific color. While this isn’t available as option in the advanced settings, you can use e.g. “imgcolor=green” or “imgcolor=blue,red” as parameter right in the URL. Setting the option to “green”, for instance, shows images for your keyword which are mainly green."

    March 19, 2009
    * Sony eBookstore Provides Access to Half-Million Free Public Domain Books From Google

    News release: "Starting today, The eBook Store from Sony will provide access to more than a half-million public domain books from Google optimized for current models of the Reader. At Sony’s eBook store (ebookstore.sony.com), a button on the front page leads to the books from Google, which people can transfer to their PRS-505 or PRS-700 Reader at no cost. The process is seamless for Reader owners who have an account at the store. Those new to the store will need to set up an account and download Sony’s free eBook Library software. To start, people can access more than a half-million public domain books from Google, boosting the available titles from the eBook Store to more than 600,000."

    February 02, 2009
    * Google Earth 5.0 Launched

    Official Google Blog: "Google Earth... starting today we have a much more detailed bathymetric map (the ocean floor), so you can actually drop below the surface and explore the nooks and crannies of the seafloor in 3D. While you're there you can explore thousands of data points including videos and images of ocean life, details on the best surf spots, logs of real ocean expeditions, and much more."

    January 21, 2009
    * Dynamic NYC Visitor Site Powered by Google Maps

    Posted by Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City: "In partnership with Google, we are launching a new website and Information Center to help make it easier for both visitors and residents to explore all the energy, excitement and diversity of New York City's five boroughs. nycgo.com is the official resource on the web for all there is to see, do and experience in the City. This dynamic site uses Google Maps to help you plan your New York experience and find hotels, restaurants and entertainment, in addition to exclusive citywide savings and promotions. With nycgo.com you can use Google Maps to get directions to attractions throughout the City, and even send the info to your phone with Google Maps for mobile."

    January 13, 2009
    * View Masterpieces of the Prado Museum with Google Earth

    Prado news release: "Google launches the Prado layer in Google Earth allowing you to explore highly detailed photographic images of fourteen of the Prado Museum's masterpieces in very high resolution where you can explore the finer-details of the works. With the launching of this Prado layer in Google Earth, you will be able to zoom in on famous paintings such as The Maids of Honor by Velázquez or The Three Graces by Rubens. The Prado Museum has become the first art gallery in the world to provide access to and navigation of its collection in Google Earth. Using the advanced features of Google Earth art historians, students and tourists everywhere can zoom in on and explore the finer details of the artist's brushwork that can be easily missed at first glance. The paintings have been photographed and contain as many as 14,000 million pixels (14 gigapixels). With this high level resolution you are able to see fine details such as the tiny bee on a flower in The Three Graces by Rubens, delicate tears on the faces of the figures in The Descent from the Cross by Roger van der Weyden and complex figures in The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch."

    January 01, 2009
    * Google Releases Browser Security Handbook

    SecurityFocus: "Google posted...a handbook for Web developers that highlights the key security features and quirks of major Web browsers. The document, dubbed the Browser Security Handbook, has three parts that tackle the security features in browsers and browser-specific issues that could lead to security weaknesses."

    December 28, 2008
    * New on LLRX.com: Deep Web Research 2009

    Deep Web Research 2009: Marcus P. Zillman's guide includes links to: articles, papers, forums, audios and videos, cross database articles, search services and search tools, peer to peer, file sharing, grid/matrix search engines, presentations, resources on deep web research, semantic web research, and bot research resources and sites.

    December 21, 2008
    * YouTube Now Comprises 25 Percent Of All Google Searches

    TechCrunch: "Video search on YouTube accounts for a quarter of all Google search queries in the U.S., according to the latest search engine numbers from comScore. Its monthly qSearch report, which was released on Thursday night, breaks out the number of searches conducted on YouTube. If it were a standalone site, YouTube would be the second largest search engine after Google. More searches are done through YouTube than through Yahoo, which has been the case for the past few months."

    December 17, 2008
    * Yahoo! Announces New Data Retention Policy

    Press release: "Today, Yahoo! Inc. announced a new global data retention policy that sets an industry-leading approach to user data privacy. This new policy strengthens Yahoo!'s relationship of trust with its 500 million users world-wide and enhances its longtime leadership on privacy. Under the new policy, Yahoo! will anonymize user log data within 90 days with limited exceptions for fraud, security and legal obligations. Yahoo! will also expand the policy to apply not only to search log data but also page views, page clicks, ad views and ad clicks."

    December 15, 2008
    * Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Survey Results Announced

    News release: "Privacy and information security research company Ponemon Institute along with TRUSTe, the most widely recognized Internet privacy trustmark, today announced the results of the Ponemon Institute’s fifth annual survey of Most Trusted Companies for Privacy. The study asked 6,486 adult-aged U.S. consumers which companies they thought were most trustworthy and which did the best job safeguarding personal information. A total of 706 companies were named by consumers; 211 made the final list of most trusted companies. American Express ranked as the Most Trusted Company for 2008 for Privacy, retaining its place from last year despite the current financial climate. eBay earned a ranking as the second most trusted company, while IBM, Amazon, and Johnson & Johnson rounded out the top five. While the financial services sector slipped amid industry-wide woes, the technology sector showed marked improvement as eBay Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft, and HP all bettered previous rankings. Also of note, Facebook moved into the top 20 for the first time, signifying an increased trust in social networking as a mainstream communications tool."

  • Google off list of 20 most trusted companies
  • December 14, 2008
    * Google Foresakes Algorithm Based Search Engine Results
    • UK Register: "Google this week admitted that its staff will pick and choose what appears in its search results. It's a historic statement - and nobody has yet grasped its significance. Not so very long ago, Google disclaimed responsibility for its search results by explaining that these were chosen by a computer algorithm."
    • CNET: Does it matter if Google's search results are fixed?: "Google wants its search results to become more pragmatic, not for any political, social or even intellectual reason. The company simply thinks it's better for business. Advertising business. Most of us won't notice or care and will continue to depend on Google because it's so dominant, so fast, so very much our rolling dictionary of the world."
    December 09, 2008
    * Search and find magazines on Google Book Search

    Official Google Search Blog: "Today, we're announcing an initiative to help bring more magazine archives and current magazines online, partnering with publishers to begin digitizing millions of articles from titles as diverse as New York Magazine, Popular Mechanics, and Ebony...You can search for magazines through Google Book Search...you'll find magazine articles alongside books results. Magazine articles are tagged with the keyword "Magazine" on the search snippet."

    December 06, 2008
    * Beta Video Search Engine Provides Access to Specific Scenes and Content

    "Using a unique combination of new computer vision and fast computation methods, VideoSurf has taught computers to “see” inside videos to find content in a fast, efficient, and scalable way. Basing its search on visual identification, rather than text only, VideoSurf’s computer vision video search engine provides more relevant results and a better experience to let users find and discover the videos they really want to watch.

    With over 10 billion (and rapidly growing) visual moments indexed from videos found across the web, VideoSurf allows consumers to visually navigate through their results to easily find the specific scenes, people or moments they most want to see."

    December 03, 2008
    * Antitrust Suit Planned by DOJ Terminated Google - Yahoo Ad Agreement

    AmLawDaily: "Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. called off their joint advertising agreement just three hours before the Department of Justice planned to file antitrust charges to block the pact, according to the lawyer who would have been lead counsel for the government."

  • Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7
  • November 29, 2008
    * Article: Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship

    Electronic Publication and the Narrowing of Science and Scholarship, James A. Evans, Published 18 July 2008, Science 321, 395 (2008) [Subscription only - Supporting Online Material available free]

  • "Online journals promise to serve more information to more dispersed audiences and are more efficiently searched and recalled. But because they are used differently than print—scientists and scholars tend to search electronically and follow hyperlinks rather than browse or peruse—electronically available journals may portend an ironic change for science. Using a database of 34 million articles, their citations (1945 to 2005), and online availability (1998 to 2005), I show that as more journal issues came online, the articles referenced tended to be more recent, fewer journals and articles were cited, and more of those citations were to fewer journals and articles. The forced browsing of print archives may have stretched scientists and scholars to anchor findings deeply into past and present scholarship. Searching online is more efficient and following hyperlinks quickly puts researchers in touch with prevailing opinion, but this may accelerate consensus and narrow the range of findings and ideas built upon."
  • Boston.com: Group think - The turn to online research is narrowing the range of modern scholarship, a new study suggests
  • November 21, 2008
    * Google Launches SearchWiki

    Official Google Blog: "Today we're launching SearchWiki, a way for you to customize search by re-ranking, deleting, adding, and commenting on search results. With just a single click you can move the results you like to the top or add a new site. You can also write notes attached to a particular site and remove results that you don't feel belong. These modifications will be shown to you every time you do the same search in the future. SearchWiki is available to signed-in Google users. We store your changes in your Google Account. If you are wondering if you are signed in, you can always check by noting if your username appears in the upper right-hand side of the page."

    November 19, 2008
    * Searchers Led Away From Branded Websites According to New Survey

    Hitwise Intelligence - Heather Hopkins - US: "This week we are publishing a report on online brand protection. This issue is huge for marketers with our research showing that more than 1 in 10 US Internet searches for leading brands is led away from the brand owner's website. When you search for a brand in the phone book, you don't find that brand's competitors listed. But when you search online, that brand's fiercest competitors often appear in the sponsored listings. Online businesses need to be aware of the extent of the problem and to understand the best ways to deal with threats."

    November 18, 2008
    * LIFE photo archive hosted by Google

    "Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google."

    November 11, 2008
    * Google Launches Updated Site That Explores Flu Trends Across the U.S.

    Official Google Blog: "...we have launched Google Flu Trends, where you can find up-to-date influenza-related activity estimates for each of the 50 states in the U.S...It turns out that traditional flu surveillance systems take 1-2 weeks to collect and release surveillance data, but Google search queries can be automatically counted very quickly. By making our flu estimates available each day, Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza...For epidemiologists, this is an exciting development, because early detection of a disease outbreak can reduce the number of people affected."

    November 02, 2008
    * Harvard Opts-Out of Google Book Scanning for In-Copyright Works

    Follow up to October 28, 2008 posting, Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement, from the Harvard Crimson: "Harvard University Library will not take part in Google’s book scanning project for in-copyright works after finding the terms of its landmark $125 million settlement regarding copyrighted materials unsatisfactory, University officials said yesterday."

    October 28, 2008
    * Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement

    News release: "The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search...Under the agreement, Google will make payments totaling $125 million. The money will be used to establish the Book Rights Registry, to resolve existing claims by authors and publishers and to cover legal fees. The settlement agreement resolves Authors Guild v. Google, a class-action suit filed on September 20, 2005 by the Authors Guild and certain authors, and a suit filed on October 19, 2005 by five major publisher-members of the Association of American Publishers: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Pearson Education, Inc. and Penguin Group (USA) Inc., both part of Pearson; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; and Simon & Schuster, Inc. part of CBS Corporation. These lawsuits challenged Google’s plan to digitize, search and show snippets of in-copyright books and to share digital copies with libraries without the explicit permission of the copyright owner."

  • The Future of Google Book Search - Our groundbreaking agreement with authors and publishers.
  • Related postings on Google Book Search
  • October 24, 2008
    * Google Launches Five Year Quotes Index

    Official Google Blog: "Today we are pleased to announce the launch of a 5-year quotes index. This expanded coverage lets you explore what Governor Palin said before she was a VP nominee, or Senator Obama before he was a presidential candidate. The InQuotes lab page is also much improved and now provides comparisons over time on issues like the economy or the war in Iraq."

    October 21, 2008
    * Google Energy Saving Calculator and Powering a Clean Energy Revolution

    Official Google Blog: "We've created a handy energy saving calculator to help you see how simple steps can help you save money for treats -- and ward off scary carbon emissions. We've also put together a webpage full of tricks to help you save energy -- and money."

    October 02, 2008
    * New Homepage for Google Blog Search

    Official Google Blog: "Today, we're pleased to launch a new homepage for Google Blog Search so that you too can browse and discover the most interesting stories in the blogosphere. Adapting some of the technology pioneered by Google News, we're now showing categories on the left side of the website and organizing the blog posts within those categories into clusters, which are groupings of posts about the same story or event. Grouping them in clusters lets you see the best posts on a story or get a variety of perspectives. When you look within a cluster, you'll find a collection of the most interesting and recent posts on the topic, along with a timeline graph that shows you how the story is gaining momentum in the blogosphere."

    October 01, 2008
    * Google In Quotes Webpage Compares Topical Statements by Obama and McCain

    From Google Labs, "the In Quotes feature allows you to find quotes from stories linked to from Google News. These quotations are a valuable resource for understanding where people in the news stand on various issues. Much of the published reporting about people is based on the interpretation of a journalist. Direct quotes, on the other hand, are concrete units of information that describe how newsmakers represent themselves. Google News compiles these quotations from online news stories and sorts them into browsable groups based on who is being quoted." [Note - also currently includes comparisons of topical quotes from PM candidates in Canada, UK and India. Thanks TM]

    September 30, 2008
    * Google 2008 US Voter Info Guide

    Find your voting location, registration information and more. Just enter your home address...

  • Google Public Policy Blog: "Our guide already includes voting locations for a number of states and the District of Columbia, and we are aiming to have voting information for all 50 states added by mid-October. We hope that this tool will equip voters with the information they need to make it to the polls on election day."
  • September 28, 2008
    * New York Public Transit Information Added to Google Maps

    Chris Harrelson, Tech Lead & Creator of Google Transit: "We've just added comprehensive transit info for the entire New York metro region, encompassing subway, commuter rail, bus and ferry services from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit and the City of New York. That means this information is now at the fingertips of the more than 20 million people who live in and around New York (not to mention the millions of people who visit the region every year). The MTA is the largest transportation agency in the U.S., serving one in every three users of mass transit in the country."

    September 23, 2008
    * New on LLRX.com: Researching Medical Literature on the Internet - 2008

    Researching Medical Literature on the Internet - 2008: Medical journals, dictionaries, textbooks, indexes, rankings, images – all can be found on the Net, and much of it is available free. Sources include publishers, government agencies, professional organizations, health libraries and commercial entities. Gloria Miccioli's completely updated and revised topical guide expertly focuses on what she identifies as the best, content-rich databases and services for researchers.

    September 20, 2008
    * Google Audio Indexing Launches With Initial Focus on Election Material

    "Google Audio Indexing is a new technology from Google that allows users to better search and watch videos from various YouTube channels. It uses speech technology to find spoken words inside videos and lets the user jump to the right portion of the video where these words are spoken...The aim of Google Audio Indexing on Google Labs is broader and the US election is just a first step. We see it as an experiment platform where we can learn what features make the best user experience for people looking for spoken content on the Web."

    September 09, 2008
    * Google Announces Revised User Record Retention Policy

    Official Google Blog: "we're announcing a new logs retention policy: we'll anonymize IP addresses on our server logs after 9 months. We're significantly shortening our previous 18-month retention policy to address regulatory concerns and to take another step to improve privacy for our users."

  • Related: Google Response to the [EU] Article 29 Working Party Opinion On Data Protection Issues Related to Search Engines
  • September 08, 2008
    * Google Announces Plans to Digitize Millions of Pages of News Archives

    Official Google Blog: "Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives...Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all...You’ll be able to explore this historical treasure trove by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature after searching Google News. Not every search will trigger this new content.."

  • Related news: ProQuest and Google Partnership Will Unlock Newspaper Content - "ProQuest will contribute content to the partnership, and will introduce newspaper publishers nationwide to the program. ProQuest will also supply from its microfilm vault newspaper content that can be delivered effectively in the less formal framework of the open web. The company currently holds more than 10,000 newspaper titles, most of which are pristine master film copies. This high level of microfilm quality allows for the creation of better scanned images, which will ultimately deliver more accurate OCR results for users."
  • September 07, 2008
    * Fortune: A Google Retrospective on 10th Anniversary

    Fortune - Google turns 10: A look back - "As the search giant celebrates its birthday, we highlight some of its biggest moments."

  • Google starts showing its age: "The Internet search giant was unstoppable in its first decade. The next 10 years may not be so easy."
  • September 02, 2008
    * Google's New Chrome Browser - A Work in Progress

    Follow up to September 1, 2008 posting, Google Launches New Beta Browser for Windows, Google Redefines Web Browser - Chrome Offers New Way To Surf Net, as Microsoft Beefs Up Internet Explorer, by Walter S. Mossberg, WSJ: "Chrome is a smart, innovative browser that, in many common scenarios, will make using the Web faster, easier and less frustrating. But this first version -- which is just a beta, or test, release -- is rough around the edges and lacks some common browser features Google plans to add later. These omissions include a way to manage bookmarks, a command for emailing links and pages directly from the browser, and even a progress bar to show how much of a Web page has loaded."

    September 01, 2008
    * Google Launches New Beta Browser for Windows

    The Official Google Blog: "As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome [September 2, 2008] in more than 100 countries."

    August 27, 2008
    * Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 Released

    "Features include significant security, privacy and developer tools updates."

    August 19, 2008
    * ACSI: Apple, Google Surge in Customer Satisfaction

    News release: "Customer satisfaction continues on a bumpy path without momentum or trend in the second quarter, according to the American
    Customer Satisfaction Index. After a small uptick last quarter, ACSI slips 0.1% to 75.1 on a 100-point scale. The ACSI second quarter report, released today from the University of Michigan’s National Quality Research Center, forecasts consumer spending will remain weak with growth of no more than 2.3% in the third quarter...Customer satisfaction with the e-business category of websites surges 6% to an all-time high of 79.3, largely on the remarkable improvement of Google. After slipping behind Yahoo! for the first time last year, Google surged an unparalleled 10% to leave all rivals in its wake. Google’s score of 86 sets a new standard for e-businesses and creates a formidable nine-point gap between its nearest competitor, Yahoo!, which fell 3% to 77."

    August 17, 2008
    * Pew Internet Report on Search Engine Use

    News release: "The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from about one-third of all users in 2002, to a new high of just under one-half (49%). With this increase, the number of those using a search engine on a typical day is pulling ever closer to the 60% of internet users who use email, arguably the internet's all-time killer app, on a typical day."

  • Search Engine Use Data Memo, August 6, 2008
  • August 11, 2008
    * Report: Google Still Not Indexing Hidden Web URLs

    Google Still Not Indexing Hidden Web URLs, by Kat Hagedorn
    Metadata Harvesting Librarian, Digital Library Production Service, University of Michigan Libraries, Ann Arbor, MI and Joshua Santelli
    Applications Programmer, Digital Library Production Service, University of Michigan Libraries, Ann Arbor, MI. D-Lib Magazine, July/August 2008, Volume 14 Number 7/8.

    July 24, 2008
    * New on LLRX.com - Review of Zotero

    A Review of Zotero, the free, Firefox extension to assist in collecting, managing and citing research sources - Stacy Bruss focuses on specific and practical examples of using this flexible application to organize and manage current collections of resources as well as citations to documents, web sites, and blogs. — Published July 24, 2008

    July 23, 2008
    * Google Launches Online Topical Encyclopedia

    Official Google Blog: "A few months ago we announced that we were testing a new product called Knol. Knols are authoritative articles about specific topics, written by people who know about those subjects. Today, we're making Knol available to everyone.

    The web contains vast amounts of information, but not everything worth knowing is on the web. An enormous amount of information resides in people's heads: millions of people know useful things and billions more could benefit from that knowledge. Knol will encourage these people to contribute their knowledge online and make it accessible to everyone.

    The key principle behind Knol is authorship. Every knol will have an author (or group of authors) who put their name behind their content. It's their knol, their voice, their opinion. We expect that there will be multiple knols on the same subject, and we think that is good."

  • ABC News: Google Knol Opens to Public Wikipedia Competitor Includes Identified Authors, Rankings, Ads
  • July 16, 2008
    * Google Launched Elections Video Search Gadget

    Official Google Blog: "Today, the Google speech team (part of Google Research) is launching the Google Elections Video Search gadget, our modest contribution to the electoral process. With the help of our speech recognition technologies, videos from YouTube's Politicians channels are automatically transcribed from speech to text and indexed. Using the gadget you can search not only the titles and descriptions of the videos, but also their spoken content. Additionally, since speech recognition tells us exactly when words are spoken in the video, you can jump right to the most relevant parts of the videos you find."

    July 08, 2008
    * HealthMap Global Disease Alert Map

    "HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers."

    July 03, 2008
    * Google Launches 2008 US Election Trends Site

    2008 US Election Trends: "See what Americans are searching for on politics. Use the Search Queries Map to view search trends from the 2008 election by location. Track the most searched elections-related terms below, and find out which candidates are hot in different cities. Find out how other Americans stay politically engaged online...Use the Candidate Search Queries map to see which cities are searching more for Obama or McCain, and the News by Candidate tool on the trends page to see the latest headlines on each of the presidential contenders."

    June 09, 2008
    * Introduction to Information Retrieval

    "This is the companion website for the following book. Christopher D. Manning, Prabhakar Raghavan and Hinrich Schütze, Introduction to Information Retrieval, Cambridge University Press. 2008. This "is the first textbook with a coherent treatment of classical and web information retrieval, including web search and the related areas of text classification and text clustering. Written from a computer science perspective, it gives an up-to-date treatment of all aspects of the design and implementation of systems for gathering, indexing, and searching documents and of methods for evaluating systems, along with an introduction to the use of machine learning methods on text collections. Designed as the primary text for a graduate or advanced undergraduate course in information retrieval, the book will also interest researchers and professionals. A complete set of lecture slides and exercises that accompany the book are available on the web."

    June 07, 2008
    * Google Book Search Bibliography

    Google Book Search Bibliography, Charles W. Bailey, Jr. Version 2: 5/27/2008

    "This bibliography presents selected English-language articles and other works that are useful in understanding Google Book Search. It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories. Note that e-prints and published articles may not be identical.


    June 02, 2008
    * Real-time Quotes on NASDAQ Securities Now Available on Google Finance

    Official Google Blog: "We're very excited to tell you that real-time quotes on NASDAQ securities are now available on Google Finance. This is an important (and way overdue) development for everyone who consumes financial information. Historically, real-time stock data was not freely and widely accessible. Either buried behind subscription walls or brokerage sites, consumers typically had to live with 15 or 20 minute price delays. In the world of finance, time is indeed money, and it's critical to have timely and accurate data."

    May 31, 2008
    * See related topics when searching on Google News

    "When you search with Google News, you'll now see a list of related searches at the bottom of the results page. For example, a search for [global warming] will show more news results for topics such as carbon dioxide, Al Gore, carbon emissions, greenhouse gas and the Kyoto protocol." [at the bottom of the page]

    * Google Health Now Available for Public Use

    "...get access to and manage all of your personal health information online...This would help you keep your doctors and family members up-to-date on important medical conditions and current medications. Well, after a successful pilot with the Cleveland Clinic, we've opened up Google Health to everyone in the U.S. It's easy to sign up, and free to use. All you need is a Google username and password. You can import your medical records and prescription history from our partners — well-known brands such as Walgreens, Longs Drugs and Quest Diagnostics."

  • Google Health Privacy Policy
  • May 24, 2008
    * Google Safe Browsing Diagnositic Tool

    Via Google Blogoscoped, "Google [has a] malware diagnosis service; just append any domain – your domain or another site you want to check on – to the end of the URL google.com/safebrowsing/diagnostic?site=, or paste a domain in the box below, and you will find an overview page listing potential problems like trojans or exploits (or the result may be telling you the site is OK)."

    May 23, 2008
    * Microsoft Announces Termination of Live Search Books and Live Search Academic Projects

    Microsoft Live Search Blog: "Today we informed our partners that we are ending the Live Search Books and Live Search Academic projects and that both sites will be taken down next week. Books and scholarly publications will continue to be integrated into our Search results, but not through separate indexes. This also means that we are winding down our digitization initiatives, including our library scanning and our in-copyright book programs. We recognize that this decision comes as disappointing news to our partners, the publishing and academic communities, and Live Search users."

    May 06, 2008
    * Yahoo Announces Search Feature to Fight Malware

    Yahoo Search Blog: "Today, we're announcing the beta release of SearchScan, a new feature from Yahoo! Search that helps protect users from viruses, spyware and spam. We've heard from users that security and privacy continue to be major concerns when they are online. We've also learned that solutions that require downloads and constant updating are less than ideal. To tackle the problem, we partnered with McAfee to build a feature that provides a safer and hassle-free search experience to all users...How does it work? SearchScan leverages McAfee's SiteAdvisor technology to alert users if risky websites appear in Yahoo! Search results. Starting today, SearchScan will be turned on by default for all users in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Spain..."

    May 04, 2008
    * Guide to Accessing Comprehensive Google Help Files
    "Did you ever want to get a help file for Gmail, Google Docs or for Google Desktop so you can print it or save it on your computer? All Google services have help centers that include information about features, tutorials, troubleshooting guides, but you need to find the information in a complicated hierarchy of topics or use the search box. Fortunately, there's a way to save all the information related to a Google service: append ?fulldump=1 to the address of a Google help center. This doesn't work for all Google services, but here's a list of addresses that dump all the information from a help center (note that the pages are very large and are frequently updated.)"
    [via Google Operating System - Unofficial news and tips about Google]
    April 20, 2008
    * Google News Adds New Quotes Feature

    Google News Blog: "As part of Google's mission to organize the world's information, we've been hard at work making quotations in news articles easy to search and browse. You can now more easily keep track of what your favorite politician, actor or sports star is saying. You can even search within their quotes for specific topics. To access these new features, first search for a person's name on Google News. If we have a recent quote, we'll show it above the search results."

    April 16, 2008
    * Introducing Google Earth 4.3

    Google Earth 4.3 - "With this version, we have completely rethought how you might interact with the 3D world. We've redesigned the navigation to make it much easier to fly from the heavens down to the streets of your town. And with all of the great user-created buildings in the 3D Warehouse, we wanted to make it easy for you to get right up close to see the rich detail." [Google Lat Long Blog

    April 09, 2008
    * UNHCR and Google Earth unveil programme for humanitarian operations

    News release: "Representatives of the UN refugee agency and Google on Tuesday unveiled a powerful new online mapping programme that provides an up-close and multifaceted view of some of the world's major displacement crises and the humanitarian efforts aimed at helping the victims. The Google Earth Outreach programme gives UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies the ability to use Google Earth and Maps to highlight their work on behalf of millions of refugees and other populations of concern in some of the world's most remote and difficult areas."

    April 07, 2008
    * Google Launches New C-SPAN Channel on YouTube

    Official Google Blog: "As the 2008 election progresses, more and more voters are tuning into YouTube to stay on top of the action. Our You Choose '08 platform now features content from candidates, news organizations, and voters, and we've made it easier than ever to see where the candidates stand on each of the major issues in this election. The next big stop on the campaign trail is Pennsylvania, so we're partnering with C-SPAN to collect videos from voters across the country who will answer the question, "What is the most important issue to you in this election?"

    * European Privacy Officials: Privacy Rules Apply to Search Engines

    EPIC: "European privacy officials have established "a clear set of responsibilities" on search engine companies regarding their handling of user data. The opinion, issued by the Article 29 Working Group, states that the European Union Data Protection Directive requires search engines to "delete or irreversibly anonymise personal data once they no longer serve the specified and legitimate purpose" for which they were collected. This requirement has particular significance for search engines, because European privacy rules classify Internet Protocol (IP) addresses as "personal data." The opinion further holds that European privacy laws generally apply to search engines "even when their headquarters are outside [Europe]," and requires that search engines must delete personal data within six months of collection. Earlier this year, EPIC urged the European Parliament to protect the privacy of search histories. For more information, see EPIC's Search Engine Privacy page."

    March 31, 2008
    * Advanced Search on Google Updated

    Google Advanced Search: "We recently updated our advanced search page to make it easier than ever to refine and expand your query with our dynamic query builder. You can use all the same features as before, but we'll now show you a real-time view of what it looks like if you create a complex query using specific search parameters." [Google Blog]

    March 30, 2008
    * Wikipedia Hits Milestone of Ten Million Articles Across 250 Languages

    News release: "...the Wikimedia Foundation reached a significant new milestone: on Thursday, March 27, at 00:07 UTC the official article count for all Wikipedias combined reached 10 million. The ten millionth article, a short biography of 16th century English goldsmith and painter Nicholas Hilliard, was created in the Hungarian Wikipedia by user Pataki Márta. Wikipedia now boasts articles in more than 250 languages, with the English Wikipedia having the largest number, followed in descending order by the German, French, Polish, Japanese, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish Wikipedias. The project is also experiencing rapid growth in many young Wikipedias, including Marathi, Tagalog, and Cantonese."

    * YouTube reveals video analytics tool for all users

    News release: "...we're releasing YouTube Insight, a free tool that enables anyone with a YouTube account to view detailed statistics about the videos that they upload to the site. (You can see this...announcement on the Google blog and on the YouTube blog...) This tool will help anyone who uploads videos to YouTube better understand and serve their audiences. For example, users might use Insight to tailor upload strategies to increase their videos' view counts and improve their popularity on the site. And partners who increase their videos' popularity also increase the number of monetizable views their videos get, and as a result, generate more revenue."

    March 23, 2008
    * Wikipedia-World Map Mashup - A Global View With Photos and Text

    This Wikipedia-World map mashup is terrific. It displays content from tools.wikimedia.de and is not affiliated with google. Use the taxonomy on the left hand nav bar, and choose to view locations throughout the world, inclusive of vivid color photos, designation on the map, and read text about the subject/location from Wikipedia. [Via Joe Gregorio's links]

    March 18, 2008
    * Google for Non-Profits

    Official Google Blog: "Today, we're excited to launch Google For Non-Profits, a one-stop shop for tools to help advance your organization's mission in a smart, cost-efficient way. This site features ideas and tutorials for how you can use Google tools to promote your work, raise money and operate more efficiently. And to get inspired, you'll also find examples of innovative ways other non-profits are using our products to further their causes."

    March 14, 2008
    * Launch of Google Sky Turns Browser Into Virtual Telescope to View the Cosmos

    Google Lat Long Blog: Google "announces the launch of the web version of Google Sky, which turns your browser into a virtual telescope that can zoom and pan across the entire cosmos. You now have several ways to easily explore the universe:

    • Powerful search that lets you browse tens of thousands of named objects.
    • Three optical sky surveys that show you what your naked eye would see if it had a really good zoom lens. Try switching to infrared, microwave, ultraviolet, or x-ray to see the sky in a completely different light. Or blend between these views to create unique visualizations on the fly.
    • Galleries highlighting the best images from Hubble and many other telescopes.
    • Current planet positions and constellations.
    • Overlays of custom KML content. (Simply paste a Sky KML URL into the search box, just like on Google Maps.)
    • Last but not least, the Earth & Sky podcasts gallery is not to be missed, particularly for those who run a classroom."

    March 11, 2008
    * Google Finalizes Acquisition of DoubleClick

    Follow up to previous postings on the Google-DoubleClick merger, this announcement today from Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman and CEO: "I'm pleased to share the news that we completed our acquisition of DoubleClick today. Although it's been nearly a year since we announced our intention to acquire DoubleClick last April, we are no less excited today about the benefits that the combination of our two companies will bring to the online advertising market."

  • Related news today: "The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the online advertising technology company DoubleClick by Google, both of the US. The Commission’s in-depth investigation, opened in November 2007 (see IP/07/1688), concluded that the transaction would be unlikely to have harmful effects on consumers, either in ad serving or in intermediation in online advertising markets. The Commission has therefore concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition within the European Economic Area (EEA) or a significant part of it."
  • March 09, 2008
    * Street-View Image-Gathering Banned on Military Installations

    News release: "A new Defense Department policy prohibits the commercial gathering of detailed street-view imagery on U.S. military bases and installations. U.S. Northern Command issued the policy message Feb. 28 after detailed images of Fort Sam Houston, in San Antonio, appeared on the Google Map Web site, said Navy Lt. Cmdr. Gary Ross, a NORTHCOM spokesman. Google Corp. representatives had entered the post with permission and taken the images with roof-mounted recording equipment, according to the policy message."

    February 17, 2008
    * PBS: Your Guide to Online Privacy

    Your Guide to Online Privacy, by Mark Glaser

  • "As we share more information online via myriad site registrations, online social networking profiles, e-commerce sites and search engines, the desire by companies and governments to mine that information is increasingly at odds with the desire of users to protect it. While online businesses can create their own privacy policies, average folks often can’t comprehend them — or opt out from data collection without leaving the site entirely. And government agencies and law enforcement increasingly are watching what people do online to fight crime and terrorism."
  • February 12, 2008
    * Non Profit Releases Free Library of Federal Case Law

    Creative Commons and Public.Resource.Org announced [February 11, 2008] that the first revision of a substantial corpus of U.S. federal case law is available for download by developers. The files are all clearly marked with the new Creative Commons CCØ label, indicating that the contents are Works of the United States Government and are thus free of copyright or other restrictions for their dissemination and reuse. Developers may access this information here. [This] release covers all U.S. Supreme Court decisions and all Courts of Appeals
    decisions from 1950 on. The release is equivalent to 1,858 volumes of case law in book form, a stack of books 348 feet tall. The files have all been converted to the XHTML standard and make extensive use of
    CSS style sheets to allow developers to build new search engines and user interfaces."

    February 10, 2008
    * Update on Microsoft Bid For Yahoo

    Follow up to February 2, 2008 posting Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share, this news:

  • Microsoft Lawyers Map Out the Bid for Yahoo - Company lines up its case for a new antitrust fight, by Nathan Carlile, Legal Times, February 11, 2008. "By making its offer for Yahoo, antitrust lawyers say, Microsoft is wagering that past rebukes by the feds will not play a role this time. The company is still operating under a consent decree negotiated as part of its settlement with the Justice Department as part of the epic antitrust case against the company. The decree was recently extended until 2009, and a three-member team at Justice is continuing to monitor Microsoft's moves."

  • WSJ - Yahoo Board to Reject Microsoft Bid: "Yahoo Inc.'s board plans to reject Microsoft Corp.'s unsolicited $44.6 billion offer to acquire the Web giant, a person familiar with the situation says. After a series of meetings over the past week, Yahoo's board determined that the $31 per share offer "massively undervalues" Yahoo, the person said. It also doesn't account for the risks Yahoo would be taking by entering into an agreement that might be overturned by regulators. The board plans to send a letter to Microsoft Monday, spelling out its position."
  • February 09, 2008
    * Impact of Google Book Search Has Many Dimensions

    Google Book Search: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly, 1/1/2008, By Dian Schaffhauser, Campus Technology.

  • "Forget everything you believe about Google's book digitization project. Once you get past the freakishly high numbers bandied about, the two-dozen-plus distinguished institutions that have signed on, the legal paranoia and the ultra-ultra-secret processes and technologies involved-you'll find that Book Search (from the fifth most valuable company in America) is simply another high-cost effort that is simultaneously visionary and crude. It doesn't even have to succeed in order to impact the transformation of scholarship activities."

  • February 07, 2008
    * Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization

    Preservation in the Age of Large-Scale Digitization, A White Paper by Oya Y. Rieger, February, 2008. 52 pp. Published by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

  • Executive Summary: "The digitization of millions of books under programs such as Google Book Search and Microsoft Live Search Books is dramatically expanding our ability to search and find information. The aim of these large-scale projects—to make content accessible—is interwoven with the question of how one keeps that content, whether digital or print, fit for use over time...The paper describes four large-scale projects—Google Book Search, Microsoft Live Search Books, Open Content Alliance, and the Million Book Project—and their digitization strategies. It then discusses a range of issues affecting the stewardship of the digital collections they create: selection, quality in content creation, technical infrastructure, and organizational infrastructure. The paper also attempts to foresee the likely impacts of large-scale digitization on book collections."
  • February 03, 2008
    * University of Michigan's Library Puts Millionth Book From its Collection Online

    "The University of Michigan's University Library has just put the millionth book from its collection on-line. That's one million out of the 7.5 million volumes in the library's current holdings. Digitized materials are made available publicly via the Mirlyn library catalog and MBooks. MBooks provides full text of works that are in the public domain, creating new ways for users to search and access U-M Library content. Materials that are currently in copyright are available for searching on-line, allowing users to assess the contents of a book before deciding whether to purchase it or borrow it from the library."

  • New guide available: Google Book Search Tips. Google Book Search will help you find books digitized in the Michigan Digitization Project (MBooks) and Google's partnerships with other libraries around the world. Our new guide provides tips for searching Google Book Search, including how to download full-text books, how to locate a physical copy of books that are only available in snippet view, and how to identify what volume and issue of a journal when it is unclear in your search results."
  • February 02, 2008
    * Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! for $31 per Share

    Press release, February 1, 2008: "Microsoft Corp. today announced that it has made a proposal to the Yahoo! Inc. Board of Directors to acquire all the outstanding shares of Yahoo! common stock for per share consideration of $31 representing a total equity value of approximately $44.6 billion. Microsoft’s proposal would allow the Yahoo! shareholders to elect to receive cash or a fixed number of shares of Microsoft common stock, with the total consideration payable to Yahoo! shareholders consisting of one-half cash and one-half Microsoft common stock. The offer represents a 62 percent premium above the closing price of Yahoo! common stock on Jan. 31, 2008."

  • Microsoft Proposes Acquisition of Yahoo! Conference Call

  • News Conference PowerPoint Presentation

  • Yahoo! Board of Directors to Evaluate Unsolicited Proposal From Microsoft
  • January 27, 2008
    * Guide to Lesser Known Technology Web Sites

    Top 60 Little-Known Technology Web Sites, By Charles Babcock, Thomas Claburn, John Foley, W. David Gardner, Antone Gonsalves, Nicholas J. Hoover, K.C. Jones, Elena Malykhina, Richard Martin, Paul McDougall, Marianne McGee, Chris Murphy, Cora Nucci, Art Wittman, and Serdar Yegulalp, InformationWeek, January 26, 2008

  • "Our guide to great blogs and Web sites worth adding to your bookmarks. The selection ranges from obvious picks like Technabob and Search Engine Watch to more obscure destinations such as Location One, istartedsomething, and GottaBeMobile."
  • January 20, 2008
    * Commentary on Designs for Precision Advanced Search Techniques

    Advancing Advanced Search, by Stephen Turbek: "Websites have come to depend on their search engines as the volume of content has increased. Yet advanced search functionality has not significantly developed in years. Poor matches and overwhelming search results remain a problem for users. Perhaps the standard search pattern deserves a new look. A progressive disclosure approach can enable users to use precision advanced search techniques to refine their searches and pinpoint the desired results."

    January 18, 2008
    * Google Unveils Grants and Investments Philanthropic Program

    Grants and Investments: "As of January 2008, Google.org has committed $75.4 million in grants and investments to further our five initiatives."

  • WSJ: "Valued at about $2 billion, the assets currently set aside for the company's philanthropic arm, Google.org, make it larger than any in-house corporate foundation in the U.S., according to the Foundation Center, a nonprofit research firm."

  • Foundation Center - Google.org Announces Initiatives to Combat Climate Change, Poverty, Emerging Threats: "Google.org, the philanthropic arm of Internet search giant Google, has announced five core initiatives that will be the focus of its philanthropic efforts over the next five to ten years. The organization also announced $25 million in new grants and investments to partners working in each area. Three of the five initiatives had not been previously announced. The Predict and Prevent initiative will work to identify emerging threats, from infectious diseases to environmental disasters, before they become local, regional, or global crises. The Inform and Empower to Improve Public Services initiative will work to improve the delivery of basic services to the poor in India and East Africa. And the Fuel the Growth of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises initiative will support efforts to lower investment transaction costs associated with small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries, create opportunities for SMEs to access larger financial markets, and make investments in the SME sector."
  • January 16, 2008
    * 'Google Generation' is a myth, says new research

    Press release: "A new report, commissioned by the UKL JISC [Joint Information Systems Committee] and the British Library, counters the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation’ – young people born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most adept at using the web. The report by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an ease and familiarity with computers, they rely on the most basic search tools and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to asses the information that they find on the web. The report Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future [11 January 2008] also shows that research-behaviour traits that are commonly associated with younger users – impatience in search and navigation, and zero tolerance for any delay in satisfying their information needs – are now the norm for all age-groups, from younger pupils and undergraduates through to professors. 'These findings add to our growing understanding of subjects that should concern all who work in further and higher education – the changing needs of our students and researchers and how libraries can meet their needs.'

    The study calls for libraries to respond urgently to the changing needs of researchers and other users and to understand the new means of searching and navigating information. Learning what researchers want and need is crucial if libraries are not to become obsolete, the report warns."

    January 15, 2008
    * UC eScholarship Repository exceeds 5 million full-text downloads

    Press release: "The University of California announced this week that its widely used eScholarship Repository has surpassed the 5 million mark for full-text downloads of its open access scholarly content. This major milestone reflects the impressive adoption and usage rate the repository has enjoyed since its inception in 2002, with University of California academic units and departments from its 10 campuses publishing or depositing more than 20,000 papers and works."

    January 12, 2008
    * comScore and Google U.K. Reveal Importance of Search Engines

    "Google U.K. and comScore, Inc...announced the results of a study into online consumer behaviour in the travel sector, finding that consumers are using search engines in more sophisticated ways to research and purchase travel in the UK. The Internet is rapidly becoming the number one resource for the travel consumer. The study revealed that 20 million people in the U.K. utilized search engines for travel information in the first quarter of 2007."

    January 09, 2008
    * Google Maps - Getting From Here to There

    Google Maps: enter the "start address" and the "end address." [Google Blogoscoped]

    January 03, 2008
    * European Library Launches New Version of its Website

    "The European Library launched a new version of its website on the 4th of December; the changes involve significant lay-out improvements and reflect a constant care for understanding user needs. It also introduces the latest partners’ collections and the first The European Library web-exhibition."

  • New collections and new themes: The European Library introduces 6 new collections from the National libraries of Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Russia-Moscow and Spain. Additionally, the Treasure pages have been converted into a searchable collection. Visitors can now access 307 collections under The European Library.
  • December 27, 2007
    * Patent Claims Against Google's AutoLink and AdSense Programs Remanded for Further Proceedings

    Courthouse News: "The Federal Circuit renewed patent infringement claims over Google's AutoLink and AdSense programs by tossing out part of a summary judgment ruling for Hyperphrase Technologies LLC. The circuit decision is a setback for the Internet search engine and a victory for Hyperphrase, which challenged the judgment that neither program infringes any of 15 patent claims."

    December 20, 2007
    * FTC Closes Google/DoubleClick Investigation

    Press release: "The Federal Trade Commission today announced that it will not seek to block Google Inc.’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Internet advertising server DoubleClick Inc. In a 4-1 vote to close its eight-month investigation of the transaction, the Commission wrote in its majority statement that "after carefully reviewing the evidence, we have concluded that Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick is unlikely to substantially lessen competition."

    December 18, 2007
    * Google Launches Better Results for Flight Status

    Official Google Blog: "For the latest information on a flight's status, simply search for an airline and flight number, and the first result will tell you whether your flight is on time or delayed as well as the estimated departure and arrival times."

    December 16, 2007
    * Google and Microsoft Battle Over Future of Desktop and Web

    New York Times: Google Gets Ready to Rumble With Microsoft - "The growing confrontation between Google and Microsoft promises to be an epic business battle. It is likely to shape the prosperity and progress of both companies, and also inform how consumers and corporations work, shop, communicate and go about their digital lives. Google sees all of this happening on remote servers in faraway data centers, accessible over the Web by an array of wired and wireless devices — a setup known as cloud computing. Microsoft sees a Web future as well, but one whose center of gravity remains firmly tethered to its desktop PC software. Therein lies the conflict."

    December 15, 2007
    * Free, Searchable Database of The Mitchell Report

    Follow up to December 13, 2007 posting Senator George J. Mitchell Releases Report on Major League Baseball Investigation, this news: "A free, searchable database of The Mitchell Report has been released by askSam Systems. The askSam database contains a full-text searchable archive of George J. Mitchell's report to the commissioner of baseball on the investigation into steroid and other performance enhancing substance use by players in Major League Baseball."

    * FTC Secretary's Letter Responding to Request for Recusal Review from Proposed Google-Doubleclick Merger

    Press release: "This statement responds to the “Complaint Requesting Recusal of the Federal Trade Commission Chairman From the Pending Review of the Proposed Google-Doubleclick Merger” (“Petition”), which was filed with the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) by Messrs. Rotenberg and Chester on December 12, 2007. After reviewing the relevant facts and consulting with the FTC’s Designated Agency Ethics Official, Deputy General Counsel Christian S. White, the General Counsel, my fellow Commissioners, and members of my staff, I have determined not to recuse myself from this matter because the relevant laws and rules, as detailed below, neither require nor support recusal."

  • Commission Secretary's Letter Responding to Request for Recusal Review
  • December 11, 2007
    * CDT and OMB Watch Release Report on Searchability of Government Information

    Press release: "Vital government information appears “invisible” to millions of Americans who are combing the Internet and looking for answers via the most popular search engines, according to a report released today by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) and OMB Watch. The report, Hiding in Plain Sight: Why Important Government Information Cannot Be Found through Commercial Search Engines, highlights the shortcomings some federal agencies exhibit when trying to comply with the mandates of the E-Government Act of 2002, a landmark law that promotes access to government information and services."

  • Statement of Ari Schwartz, Deputy Director, Center for Democracy & Technology before the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on E-Government hearing, E-Government 2.0: Improving Innovation, Collaboration, and Access, December 11, 2007
  • December 05, 2007
    * Oversight Committee Now Posting Preliminary Hearing Transcripts

    Via Dan Froomkin, news that the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has begun to post preliminary transcripts of selected hearings on its website. However, links to these transcripts is currently circuitously provided by conducting a search on Google, documented here by Dan.

    * Florida Governor Announces New Initiatives for Open Government

    Press release: "Governor Crist...announced two new open government initiatives that will improve Floridians’ ability to access public documents and meetings. The first initiative involves a Bill of Rights for all Floridians trying to access public records. The list of rights was compiled by the Commission on Open Government, established by the Governor on June 19, 2007, by Executive Order 07-107. The second initiative involves improving Internet access to state agency contact information...Governor Crist established the Office of Open Government and charged it with providing the Governor’s Office and all state agencies the tools necessary to serve the people of Florida in a professional and efficient manner. The executive order also instituted the Plain Language Initiative to ensure all announcements, publications and other documents sent by the Governor’s Office or state agencies contained clear and concise instructions and information. For a list of all state agency open government websites, please visit http://www.flgov.com/og_agency_ogpages."

    November 29, 2007
    * Automated Content Access Protocol Launched

    Press release: "The new, non-proprietary, open standard, ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol), is set to put an end to publisher-search engine legal clashes was unveiled and showcased in New York today, 29 November 2007 at a conference opened by World Association of Newspapers President, Gavin O’Reilly and addressed by keynote speaker AP CEO Tom Curley. ACAP has been developed at the initiative of the World Association of Newspapers, the International Publishers Association and the European Publishers Council in close collaboration with search engines to protect the intellectual property of anyone wishing to make content available on the worldwide web. ACAP is the result of an intense 12-month pilot project which has resulted in a unique communications tool that will open the door to more and more high level content, giving all content owners the confidence to make their content available on the worldwide web. From today, publishers globally will be encouraged to implement ACAP version 1 which will allow publishers, broadcasters and indeed any other publisher of content on the network to express their individual access and use policies in a language that search engine robots and similar automated tools can read and understand. ACAP is set to become a universal standard. Click here for instructions on how to implement ACAP."

    November 27, 2007
    * Google Announces Corporate Initative for Renewable Energy

    Press release: "Google today announced a new strategic initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal. The newly created initiative, known as RE/C [Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal], will focus initially on advanced solar thermal power, wind power technologies, enhanced geothermal systems and other potential breakthrough technologies. RE/C is hiring engineers and energy experts to lead its research and development work, which will begin with a significant effort on solar thermal technology, and will also investigate enhanced geothermal systems and other areas. In 2008, Google expects to spend tens of millions on research and development and related investments in renewable energy. As part of its capital planning process, the company also anticipates investing hundreds of millions of dollars in breakthrough renewable energy projects which generate positive returns."

  • Related postings on e-waste and recycling
  • November 25, 2007
    * comScore Releases October U.S. Search Engine Rankings

    Press release: "comScore, Inc...released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the search marketplace. Among core search engines in October 2007, Google Sites remained the top search property with more than 6.1 billion core searches conducted, representing a 58.5 percent share of the search market. October was a strong month for overall search activity, as each of the five core search engines achieved at least 5 percent growth in the number of searches conducted."

    November 19, 2007
    * New Tools Make Understanding Air Quality Easier Than Ever

    EPA News release: EPA has developed two tools that let computer users "see" air quality information on a virtual globe. Both tools are available to the public starting today...The first tool is part of the new "Air Emission Sources" Web site, which is designed to make emissions data for six common pollutants easy to find and understand. Based on the latest National Emissions Inventory, the site uses charts and Google Earth files to answer a user’s questions. Users can look at overall emissions, emissions by type of industry, or emissions by largest polluter. Want to know what industry emits the most sulfur dioxide in your state? Select your state from a map, pick a pollutant, and the site creates a chart showing you emissions by industry. Want to "see" which refineries in your state emit the most sulfur dioxide? Use the "tilt" feature in Google Earth to quickly find the largest emitter. Then click on the balloon to get more details about emissions from that facility. EPA also is providing Air Quality Index (AQI) information in the Google Earth format. Use the AQI tool to quickly see air quality across the country, then click on a specific location to see that city’s AQI forecast and current levels of ozone or particle pollution. The AQI is EPA’s color-coded tool to inform the public about daily air pollution levels in their communities. EPA, in collaboration with state and local governments, provides AQI forecasts and conditions for more than 300 cities across the United States."


    November 18, 2007
    * British Museum Launches Searchable Collection Database

    "Welcome to the British Museum collection database. When complete, it will contain a record of every object in the Museum collection. This is the first release and contains records for the collection of two-dimensional works (almost entirely drawings, prints and paintings) from all over the world. New records and images are being added every week as work on the database continues...The entire database contains records for more than 1,698,000 objects. It is still in its early stages, and work is continuing to improve the information recorded in it. In many cases it does not represent the best available knowledge about the objects. This is being added as fast as possible, but will take many years."

  • Collection database search - Currently 262,565 objects in the collection are available online 98,745 of these have one or more images. This currently comprises the Museum’s collection of 2-dimensional pictorial art."

  • Rembrandt reaches the web - James Fenton taps into an online treasure trove, Saturday November 10, 2007, The Guardian: "...The website is unrestricted and you can print off any image. A battle was won before this was allowed to happen, and the result is that anyone - student, teacher or amateur - can get hold of a decent A4 reproduction of the drawing or print they are interested in, for personal use. For scholarly use, there will shortly be an automatic downloading option that gives a free image (for use in a scholarly article or book) of a suitable quality for reproduction. This is going to make an amazing difference in academic life, and it is part of a general trend (begun by Mark Jones at the V&A;) of public institutions not charging for educational use of copyright material."
  • * New Google Map of World Bank Website Pinpoints Data

    "We’ve mashed up Google Maps with World Bank data to give you a visual entry point to browse our projects, news, statistics and public information center by country."

    November 15, 2007
    * Geospatial One-Stop Geographic Information System Portal

    National Archives: "Geospatial One-Stop (GOS) is a geographic information system portal that serves as a public gateway for improving access to geospatial information and data. This portal makes it easier, faster, and less expensive for all levels of government and the public to access geospatial information. GOS provides web access to maps, data and other geospatial services from all levels of government...The National Archives has joined Geospatial One Stop’s (GOS) web portal. Select National Archives holdings are now searchable from the GOS Historical Collections Channel, which the National Archives and the Library of Congress jointly manage."

    November 14, 2007
    * E-Government Re-Authorization Act Requires Agencies to Ensure Transparency to Search Engines

    Google Public Policy Blog: "Google has been working to make publicly available government information more accessible to the public. We're doing so by helping government agencies implement the Sitemap Protocol, a technical standard that makes it easier for search engines to crawl and index pages on a website...The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee...[reported out of committee] S. 2321, which extends and updates the E-Government Act of 2002. Part of the bill directs the Office of Management and Budget to create guidance and best practices for federal agencies to make their websites more accessible to search engine crawlers, and thus to citizens who rely on search engines to access information provided by their government. It also requires federal agencies to ensure their compliance with that guidance and directs OMB to report annually to Congress on agencies’ progress."

    November 06, 2007
    * Commentary on Digitization of the World's Libraries

    The New Yorker: Digitization and its discontents, by Anthony Grafton, November 5, 2007

  • "...the Internet will not bring us a universal library, much less an encyclopedic record of human experience. None of the firms now engaged in digitization projects claim that it will create anything of the kind. The hype and rhetoric make it hard to grasp what Google and Microsoft and their partner libraries are actually doing. We have clearly reached a new point in the history of text production. On many fronts, traditional periodicals and books are making way for blogs and other electronic formats. But magazines and books still sell a lot of copies. The rush to digitize the written record is one of a number of critical moments in the long saga of our drive to accumulate, store, and retrieve information efficiently. It will result not in the infotopia that the prophets conjure up but in one in a long series of new information ecologies, all of them challenging, in which readers, writers, and producers of text have learned to survive...the narrow path still leads, as it must, to crowded public rooms where the sunlight gleams on varnished tables, and knowledge is embodied in millions of dusty, crumbling, smelly, irreplaceable documents and books."
  • November 01, 2007
    * UN, Google, Cisco Unveil Online Resource

    "The United Nations, Google and Cisco today unveiled a pioneering online site that tracks progress towards decreasing global poverty by 2015, a global campaign known as the Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs. Visit the website at www.mdgmonitor.org"

  • Google press release: "MDG Monitor tracks progress toward the MDGs in a number of categories in nearly every country in the world. The site presents the most current data from multiple sources in development bellwethers like public health, education and women’s empowerment. By laying out areas of progress and continuing challenge for the world to see, MDG Monitor aspires to keep the global community’s eye firmly fixed on the Millennium Goals, and to provide vital information for policy makers and development practitioners worldwide."
  • October 29, 2007
    * Guide to Finding Old Web Pages

    Greg R. Notess updated his guide, Finding Old Web Pages: "The Web changes constantly, and sometimes that page that had just the information you needed yesterday (or last month or two years ago) is not available today. At other times you may want to see how a page's content or design has changed. There are several sources for finding Web pages as they used to exist. While Google's cache is probably the best known, the others are important alternatives that may have pages not available at Google or the Wayback Machine plus they may have an archived page from a different date. The table below notes the name of the service, the way to find the archived page, and some notes that should give some idea as to how old a page the archive may contain."

    October 28, 2007
    * UK Guardian Reports Google Earth Used by Militants for Attacks on Israel

    Guardian UK: "Palestinian militants are using Google Earth to help plan their attacks on the Israeli military and other targets, the Guardian has learned. Members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a group aligned with the Fatah political party, say they use the popular internet mapping tool to help determine their targets for rocket strikes."

    October 12, 2007
    * Net Critic Hails Yahoo Search

    Why Yahoo, not Google, should drive your search, by Steve Johnson, Chicago Tribune Internet critic, October 12, 2007: "The Yahoo [search] effort...is so impressive I'm going to make it my default searcher. Best is "Search Assist," an expandable box right below where you type your query that offers a bevy of clickable terms to help you refine it. A good reference librarian will write a specific, targeted search. Yahoo's search assist gets you close to librarian status, without the bother of getting an MLS degree."

    October 09, 2007
    * Google Remains at the Top - comScore August 2007 U.S. Search Engine Rankings

    "comScore, Inc....released its monthly comScore qSearch analysis of the search marketplace. Among core search engines in August 2007, Google Sites remained the top search property with more than 5.5 billion core searches conducted, representing a 56.5 percent share of the search market...In August, Google Sites maintained its position atop the core search rankings with 56.5 percent of U.S. searches, gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 23.3 percent, followed by Microsoft Sites (11.3 percent), Time Warner Networks (4.5 percent) and Ask Network (4.5 percent)."

    October 04, 2007
    * Microsoft Launches Technology Platform to Collect, Store and Share Health Information

    Press release: "Joined by nationally recognized medical providers, health-management device manufacturers and patient advocacy organizations, Microsoft Corp. today launched Microsoft® HealthVault, a software and services platform aimed at helping people better manage their health information. The company outlined its vision for ways that HealthVault can bring the health and technology industries together to create new applications, services and connected devices that help people manage and monitor their personal health information...The HealthVault platform is available to people for free at http://www.healthvault.com."

    * New Paper on Google's Law

    Google's Law, Working Paper (2007), by Greg Lastowka, Rutgers University, Assistant Professor of Law: "Google has become, for the majority of Americans, the index of choice for online information. Through dynamically generated results pages keyed to a near-infinite variety of search terms, Google steers our thoughts and our learning online. It tells us what words mean, what things look like, where to buy things, and who and what is most important to us. Google’s control over “results” constitutes an awesome ability to set the course of human knowledge. As this paper will explain, fortunes are won and lost based on Google’s results pages, including the fortunes of Google itself. Because Google’s results are so significant to e-commerce activities today, they have already been the subject of substantial litigation. Today’s courtroom disputes over Google’s results are based primarily, though not exclusively, in claims about the requirements of trademark law. This paper will argue that the most powerful trademark doctrines shaping these cases, “initial interest confusion” and “trademark use,” are not up to the task they have been given, but that trademark law must continue to stay engaged with Google’s results."

    October 02, 2007
    * New Yahoo! Search

    Press release: "Yahoo! Search today announced Search Assist, the most advanced assistance technology available on the Web, and the integration of audio, video and photos directly into the search results to help make Web search effortless for consumers. The new Yahoo! Search was designed to better understand user intent and get consumers to the results they are looking for in one search." See also this Yahoo! Search blog posting: "To Do" to "Done" in One Search.

    September 26, 2007
    * Google Video Alerts

    Official Google Blog: "Video Alerts enables you to specify any topics or queries of interest so we can deliver interesting and relevant videos on a daily, weekly, or as-it-happens basis (your choice) to you via email. To start receiving Video Alerts, you can visit the Google Alerts homepage directly or set up the alert during your normal video searches. Videos may come from Google Video, YouTube, or many other video sources on the web."

    September 25, 2007
    * Google Videos on Search Privacy and Personalized Search

    Jane Horvath, Senior Privacy Counsel at Google, has posted links to two YouTube videos providing users with details about privacy practices and personalizing your search.

    September 20, 2007
    * New Search Engines Focus on Biomedical Literature and Clinical Trials Information

    Press release: "Healia announced today the launch of two new search engine tools - Healia PubMed/Medline Search and Clinical Trials Search - to help consumers find relevant biomedical literature and clinical trials information...Healia PubMed/Medline Search is specifically designed to help consumers retrieve abstracts (summaries) of scientific articles published in biomedical journals in a user-friendly way. It searches the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) PubMed/Medline dataset, which includes more than 17 million abstracts and citations from approximately 5,000 biomedical journals published in the United States and worldwide since the 1950s."

    September 19, 2007
    * Senate Plans Hearing on Google-Doubleclick Merger

    EPIC: "The United States Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing entitled An Examination of the Google-Doubleclick Merger and the Online Advertising Industry: What Are the Risks for Competition and Privacy on Thursday, September 27. Dave Drummond of Google, Brad Smith of Microsoft, Scott Cleland of Precursor, Tom Lenard of the Progress & Freedom Foundation, and Marc Rotenberg of EPIC are expected to testify. See EPIC's page on the proposed Google-Doubleclick merger."

  • Related postings on Google/DoubleClick Merger
  • September 15, 2007
    * Windows Live Translator Beta

    Windows Live Translator Beta: "If you click on a “Translate this page” link in the Live Search results or enter a web address in the web page translation box on translator.live.com, translations will be presented to you in the Bilingual Viewer, providing easy access to the original web page and its translation. In the Bilingual Viewer you are able to: Browse the original web page text and translation in parallel, supported by synchronized highlights, scrolling, and navigation. Enter a new web page URL. Select a translation language.
    Choose between 4 bilingual layouts. Exit the bilingual translation mode to see the original web page content." [ResearchBuzz]

    * Google Privacy Chief Calls for International Data Protection Standards

    Heise Online: "The world's number one search engine Google is calling for international standards for data protection. "Three quarters of the countries in the world have no privacy regimes at all", Peter Fleischer, Google's Privacy Chief, explained at a conference organized by UNESCO, the UN's Education, Science, and Culture Organization, on the topic of "Internet Ethics". What's worse, Fleischer pointed out that even the countries in Europe and the OECD (Organization for Economic Collaboration and Development) that do have such laws wrote them up back when the Internet did not have the impact it currently does."

    September 09, 2007
    * Reading Books in the Digital Age Subsequent to Amazon, Google and the Long Tail

    Reading Books in the Digital Age subsequent to Amazon, Google and the long tail by Terje Hillesund, Associate Professor at the University of Stavanger, Norway. First Monday, volume 12, number 9 (September 2007),

  • "In the last decades, the book industry has changed and is now characterised by two (or three) opposite tendencies: Many publishing firms are united in large multinational corporations, commercialisation has increased and bookstores are concentrated in large chains, marketing the popular. At the same time, the Internet has come to constitute an immense book market, and recently Google Book Search has demonstrated the power of the Web in book content discovery and display. Search engines and online bookstores disclose and make available books no longer in stock in ordinary bookstore chains; as a result, niche markets flourish and the total sales of obscure books have grown considerably. As a binary underflow, the electronic book slowly seems to be gathering new strength. In this article, I will present literature that analyses current transformations, and I will critically examine John B. Thompson’s analysis of the digitalisation of the book as presented in Books in the Digital Age from 2005. Only two years have passed, yet events already confirm my view that Thompson got most of it wrong."
  • September 06, 2007
    * Google Adds New Features to Book Search, Advanced Search and Google Reader

  • Google Launches New Features to Collect, Share, and Discover New Books - ComputerWorld: "Users may now..."create and search their own library built on Google Book Search, so they can organize, annotate and do a full text search through the books they have chosen...share their expertise by allowing them to annotate their libraries with labels, write reviews, rate books and then share their collections with others by sending them a link to their libraries...Explore popular passages...Select, clip and post text, allowing users to grab selections of text from out-of-copyright books to share their favorite passages or quotes with others." [Google Book Search blog posting]

  • PC World - "starting today, there's a search box at the top of Google Reader."

  • Search Engine Roundtable: "The Google Advanced Search page has added new date parameters to the date option drop down. Prior, I believe they only had the option to choose by the past 3, 6 or 12 months. Now you can also search by past 24 hours, week, month or 2 months."
  • September 05, 2007
    * Free Federal Court Opinions Website Now Searchable From 2004 to Present

    Tim Stanley: US Federal District Court Opinions with Full Text Search: "We have put online the Federal District Court case opinions and orders that are available using the opinion report in the Federal Courts' ECF. These are updated daily. We have categorized the opinions by state, court, type of lawsuit and judge and combinations of judge and type of lawsuit. You can also subscribe to each of categories through RSS feeds to track a judge or court's decisions on different issues. And we also give the cause of action for each case.

    We are using Google's hosted Business Custom Search Engine for the full text search. Google is now OCRing PDF image files, so even PDF files that have images of scanned documents will be in most cases full text indexable and searchable. Like the OCR of Google's Book Search. You will need to look at the cached copy to see the highlighted searched text though, and then find in the original PDF to be 100% that what you are reading is correct. Google should be doing a pretty good job of indexing and ocring these court decisions, although it may take a few days for a new document to show up in the index.

    We have also noted on the federal district court case filing database when we have a judge's opinion (you will see a little gavel. The case filings are at here."

    August 26, 2007
    * Current Awareness Search Engine Indexes 1,400 RSS Feeds on Library Related Topics

    "LibWorm Beta is intended to be a search engine, a professional development tool, and a current awareness tool for people who work in libraries or care about libraries. LibWorm collects updates from about 1400 RSS feeds (and growing). The contents of these feeds are then available for searching, and search results can themselves be output as an RSS feed that the user can subscribe to either in his/her favourite aggregator or in LibWorm's built-in aggregator...Each feed searched by LibWorm has been assigned a category, so when you browse by Feed Category, you're seeing all the content from the feeds that have been assigned to that category. Subjects are pre-built searches, usually of greater complexity than the user interface currently supports, for common subjects of interest to libraryfolk." This site is free.

    * Medical RSS Filter Engine Offers Over 4000 Authoritative RSS Feeds

    "MedWorm is a medical RSS feed provider as well as a search engine built on data collected from RSS feeds...MedWorm collects updates from over 4000 authoritative data sources (growing each day) via RSS feeds. From the data collected, MedWorm provides new outgoing RSS feeds on various medical categories that you can subscribe to, via the free MedWorm online service, or another RSS reader of your choice, such as Bloglines, Newsgator, Google Reader or FeedDemon." Users may construct free text key word searches, or search for an exact phrase, and may further specify inclusion of content from the following areas: news, consumer, journals, organizations, info and blogs. This service is free.

    August 24, 2007
    * NASA and Internet Archive Team to Digitize Space Imagery

    Press release: "NASA and Internet Archive of San Francisco are partnering to scan, archive and manage the agency's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video. The imagery will be available through the Internet and free to the public, historians, scholars, students, and researchers. Currently, NASA has more than 20 major imagery collections online. With this partnership, those collections will be made available through a single, searchable "one-stop-shop" archive of NASA imagery."

    August 22, 2007
    * Google Announces Launches Tool to Enable Viewing of Sky From Earth

    Press release: "Google today announced the launch of Sky, a new feature that enables users of Google Earth to view the sky as seen from planet Earth. With Sky, users can now float through the skies via Google Earth. This easy-to-use tool enables all Earth users to view and navigate through 100 million individual stars and 200 million galaxies. High resolution imagery and informative overlays create a unique playground for visualizing and learning about space.
    To access Sky, users need only click "Switch to Sky" from the "view" drop-down menu in Google Earth, or click the Sky button on the Google Earth toolbar. The interface and navigation are similar to that of standard Google Earth steering, including dragging, zooming, search, "My Places," and layer selection…To access Sky in Google Earth, users need to download the newest version of Google Earth, available at: http://earth.google.com. The feature will be available on all Google Earth domains, in 13 languages."

    August 21, 2007
    * Google Book Search in Google Earth

    Google Lat Long Blog: "...the Google Book Search and Google Earth teams are excited to announce the next step: a new layer in Earth that allows you to explore locations through the lens of the world's books. Now when you turn on the "Google Book Search" layer in Google Earth (found in the "Featured Content" folder in the "Layers" menu), you'll see small book icons scattered around the globe. When you click on one of the book icons, a pop-up balloon will display a snippet of text from one of Book Search's public domain books that references that location. You'll also find links to the Google Book Search page for that snippet so that you can learn more about what it has to say about the city or town."

    August 20, 2007
    * The Convergence of Social Networking and People Finding

    Technology Review - Searching for Humans - Various websites are trying to make it easier to find friends and colleagues online: "Jaideep Singh, cofounder of the new people-search engine Spock, says he wants to build a profile for every person in the world. To do this, he plans to combine the power of search algorithms with online social networks."

    August 18, 2007
    * Google's New Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center

    "About the Ad Traffic Quality Resource Center - The relationship between Google and AdWords advertisers is built on trust. Advertisers rely on the relevance of our ad placement, our reporting statistics, and the quality of the clicks their ads receive. We take this trust seriously, and we know that AdWords couldn't exist without it."

    August 14, 2007
    * Yahoo Tops Search Engine Satisfaction Survey

    American Customer Satisfaction Index, Scores By Industry, Internet Portals/Search Engines, 2007, Commentary by Professor Claes Fornell, The Donald C. Cook Professor of Business Administration, Director, National Quality Research Center, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan: "Yahoo! has also improved. It has always had more users than Google and now it leads in customer satisfaction as well. Yahoo! has been there before. As its customer satisfaction rose to a high of 80 in 2005, Yahoo! did well financially. With falling customer satisfaction in 2006, Yahoo! also saw stock price and profits falling sharply. The company has also suffered from recent well-publicized management and business strategy issues. But this year's improvement in ACSI restores almost all of the 2006 loss in customer satisfaction..."

    August 08, 2007
    * Report Tracks and Compares Competition for Search Privacy

    Press release: "In a trend that could substantially benefit Internet users, the largest Internet search companies are beginning to aggressively compete with one another to offer stronger privacy protections, according to a report published today by the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). Until recently, most of the major Internet search engines kept detailed -- and potentially personally identifiable -- records of their customers' searches for as long as they deemed them useful, which generally meant indefinitely. In a string of recent announcements, the companies announced steps they were taking to delete old user data, strip the personally identifiable information out of stored search records, and, in one case, give users the option to have all of their search records deleted. CDT's Search Privacy Practices report details and compares the revamped privacy policies of the five largest search providers and offers recommendations for both the industry and lawmakers for how to strengthen privacy protections even further."

    * Cornell University Library becomes newest partner in Google Book Search Library Project

    Press release: "Cornell University Library is partnering with Google Inc. to digitize materials from its superb collections and make them available online...Google will digitize up to 500,000 works from Cornell University Library and make them available online using Google Book Search. As a result, materials from the library’s exceptional collections will be easily accessible to students, scholars and people worldwide, supporting the library’s long-standing commitment to make its collections broadly available."

  • Related postings on a href="http://www.bespacific.com/mt/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search;=google+book&x;=0&y;=0">Google Book Search
  • July 28, 2007
    * Google Labs - Experimental Search

    "Google is always experimenting with new features aimed at improving the search experience." Currently available tools as follows:

  • Timeline and map views: "See results on a timeline or map. With the timeline and map views, Google’s technology extracts key dates and locations from select search results so you can view the information in a different dimension."

  • Keyboard shortcuts: "Navigate search results quickly and easily, minimizing use of your mouse."

  • Left-hand search navigation: "Search deeper in a particular type of content—patents, products or news, for example. Google searches across all kinds of content, then ranks results by relevance."

  • Right-hand contextual search navigation: "Similar to the left-hand search navigation, right-hand contextual search navigation allows you to search deeper in a particular type of content or to search related terms—but from the right side of the page."
  • July 21, 2007
    * Google Research Paper - Statistical Machine Translation for Query Expansion in Answer Retrieval

    Via SEO by the Sea: "A paper from Google researchers on Question Answering, Statistical Machine Translation for Query Expansion in Answer Retrieval (pdf), looks at automated strategies for understanding and answering questions that people might type into a search box."

    July 20, 2007
    * Ask.com Announces New User Privacy Controls

    Press release: "Ask.com(R), a leading search engine and wholly-owned business of IAC, today announced it will soon be implementing a new product called AskEraser that will offer its searchers unmatched control over their privacy when searching for information on the Web. With AskEraser, people can ensure that their search history will not be retained by Ask.com. Searchers will have easy access to AskEraser and can change their privacy preference at any time. Once selected, searchers' privacy settings will be clearly indicated on search results pages so they always know the privacy status of their searches."

  • Google Announcement: Cookies: expiring sooner to improve privacy, 7/16/2007, Posted by Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel: "We are committed to an ongoing process to improve our privacy practices, and have recently taken a closer look at the question of cookie privacy. How long should a web site "remember" cookie information in its logs after a user's visit? And when should a cookie expire on your computer? Cookie privacy is both a server and a client issue. On the server side, we recently announced that we will anonymize our search server logs — including IP addresses and cookie ID numbers — after 18 months...In the coming months, Google will start issuing our users cookies that will be set to auto-expire after 2 years, while auto-renewing the cookies of active users during this time period. In other words, users who do not return to Google will have their cookies auto-expire after 2 years. Regular Google users will have their cookies auto-renew, so that their preferences are not lost. And, as always, all users will still be able to control their cookies at any time via their browsers."
  • July 11, 2007
    * New Tool for Customizing Google Map Released Today

    Press release: "Today Google officially released a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to layer valuable third-party information directly on Google Maps with a single click and to save these customized maps to their personal library. These mini-applications, called Mapplets, make it possible for users to view and layer maps containing information such as real estate listings, jogging trails, events and photos...These tools are built using the Google Mapplets platform, which enables any developer to create mini map applications that overlay their content on Google Maps and showcase their services to millions of Google users. Developers can find more information on authoring Mapplets here.

    July 06, 2007
    * European Commission Opens Inquiry into Google/DoubleClick Merger

    Follow up to the Google DoubleClick Merger In the News, from EPIC: The European Commission Directorate on Competition will review Google's $3.1 billion merger with internet advertising company DoubleClick. The news comes a few days after European consumer group BEUC sent a letter (pdf) urging Commission to investigate the merger. The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party recently expanded (pdf) an investigation of Google's data retention policies to include the policies of all search engines. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission also is reviewing the merger."

    July 05, 2007
    * Map and List Provide Links to All Current Google Products

    From Zorgloob Logiciels, a very large, visual representation of the extensive range and variety of Google products [via Google Blogoscoped]. If you prefer all this information in a list format, along with associated icons, descriptions of the services (in French) and links directly to them, one can find that information here.

    July 01, 2007
    * Brand Awareness and the Evaluation of Search Results

    Brand Awareness and the Evaluation of Search Results, by Bernard J. Jansen (Pennsylvania State University), Mimi Zhang (Pennsylvania State University), Ying Zhang (Pennsylvania State University)

  • "We investigate the effect of search engine brand (i.e., identifying name or logo that distinguishes a product from its competitors) on evaluation of system performance. Our research is motivated by the large amount of search traffic directed to a handful of Web search engines, even though most are of equal technical quality with similar interfaces. We conducted a laboratory study with 32 participants measuring the effect of four search engine brands while controlling for the quality of search engine results. Using average relevance ratings, there was a 25% difference between the most highly rated search engine and the lowest, even though search engine results were identical in both content and presentation. We discuss implications for search engine marketing and the design of search engine quality studies."

  • * Video Search Engine for Science Videos

    "ScienceHack is a unique video search engine for science videos...Every video is screened and approved based on accuracy and quality by our scientists...So far we indexed: Physics, Chemistry, and Space.Coming soon: Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computer." [via Slashdot]

    June 20, 2007
    * Microsoft Complies With Vista Browser Choice Option

    Press release: Justice Department Files Joint Status Report on Microsoft’s Compliance with the Final Judgments: "The Department of Justice told the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia [June 19, 2007] that it has reached an agreement with Microsoft Corporation to resolve a complaint by Google regarding Microsoft’s desktop search function in Windows Vista. In a joint filing with the court, the Department, 17 state Attorneys General, and the District of Columbia said that the agreement, which aims to promote user choice, will resolve any issues the complaint may raise under the final judgments."

  • Joint Status Report on Microsoft's Compliance with the Final Judgments (06/19/2007): "2. Complaint Regarding Desktop Search: Plaintiffs have previously reported that they were investigating a middleware-related complaint. This complaint, filed by Google, relates to the desktop search functionality in Windows Vista that enables users to search for files located on their computer. This desktop search functionality in Vista, referred to as "Instant Search" in Microsoft's promotional materials, allows users to enter a search query into a text box and receive a list of results from the user's hard drive that contain the search term, either in the name of the file or program, in the full text of the file, or in the keywords associated with that file. The desktop search functionality relies on an index that is updated whenever files on the computer change. The use of an index enables the quick return of search results, as Windows can run the search query against the index and obtain the results, rather than having to search every file on the computer for the search term every time the user conducts a search. Google's complaint contends that desktop search in Windows Vista is a new "Microsoft Middleware Product" under the Final Judgments. The complaint contends that Microsoft has violated the Final Judgment by failing to adhere to the requirements of Section III.C and Section III.H as it pertains to this new Microsoft Middleware Product. After completing their investigation of the complaint, Plaintiffs worked together to reach an agreement by Microsoft with the goal of promoting user and OEM choice for desktop search in Windows Vista. Plaintiffs are collectively satisfied that this agreement will resolve any issues the complaint may raise under the Final Judgments, provided that Microsoft implements it as promised."
  • June 17, 2007
    * Sunlight Foundation Launches Search Engine for Federal Documents

    June 14, 2007 press release: "The Sunlight Foundation today launched a new search engine called LOUIS – the Library Of Unified Information Sources – to improve public access to federal documents through an all-inclusive, catalogued and cross-referenced collection of official documents from the executive and legislative branches of government...LOUIS makes it easy to search from a collection of over 300,000 documents from seven sets of federal documents dating back to 2001: the Congressional Record, congressional bills and resolutions, congressional reports, congressional hearings, GAO reports, presidential documents and the Federal Register. LOUIS, which updates its document depository daily, even allows users to set up a "standing query" as an RSS feed, to get alerts every time Congress or the executive branch takes action that references the subject of the initial query."

    June 10, 2007
    * Blog Announces Top 100 Alternative Search Engines

    The AltSearchEngines announced the June Top 100 (attached spreadsheet), inclusive of name, URL and type of search (business, people, podcast, health, meta, games, google mash-up, charity and many other categories). Well worth a look, as you may be familiar with a few of these search tools, but others offer unique and expert features to facilitate focused research on topical and issue-related content.

  • See also One Engine is Not Enough! Study by InfoSpace Reveals Vastly Different Results from Top Search Engines - Findings Reinforce the Value of Metasearch Engine Dogpile.com to Find More Useful Results on the Web...press release, May 31, 2007 -- InfoSpace Inc...today unveiled the results from a study [Different Engines, Different Results: A Research Study by Dogpile.com] that evaluated search results from the four leading search engines. The study reveals that search engines deliver results that are dramatically different from one another. In fact, first page results on Google, Yahoo!, Windows Live (formerly MSN Search) and Ask (formerly Ask Jeeves) overlap less than one percent. With search engines producing such differing results, the study illustrates the value of metasearch and Dogpile.com, which returns the top results from each of these leading search engines to provide users with the most relevant and useful information."
  • * Article Reviews Google Acquisitions in Past Year

    Computerworld: What Google bought in the past 12 months - A rundown of the year's acquisitions. Note - the news that Google has acquired FeedBurner was not included in this article. Feedburner announced the purchase on June 1, 2007. It was for a reported $100 million.

    June 06, 2007
    * 12-University Consortium Joins Google Book Project

    "The number of libraries participating in the Google Book Search Library Project just got a whole lot bigger with today's addition of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC). The CIC is a national consortium of 12 research universities, including University of Chicago, University of Illinois, Indiana University, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Northwestern University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Google will work with the CIC to digitize select collections across all its libraries, up to 10 million volumes."
    Project Related Documents:

  • Press Release — June 6, 2007

  • Frequently Asked Questions about the Agreement and Project CIC
  • Library Collection Highlights

  • Announcement (Googlegram) from Google

  • Related postings on Google Book Project
  • June 05, 2007
    * Ask.com Launches Redesigned Search Engine

    Press release: "Ask.com®...today unveiled Ask3D, a completely re-engineered and redesigned version of Ask.com. Ask3D includes powerful new search technology, an innovative three-panel design, and unique new features that give people what they need, faster. With the new version of Ask.com, people get the most relevant and customized information they need from the best range of content available, including videos and music clips, and makes it all immediately accessible on one page."

    June 04, 2007
    * McAfee Report on State of Search Engine Safety

    The State of Search Engine Safety, June 4, 2007 - Ben Edelman, Advisor to McAfee SiteAdvisor and Hannah Rosenbaum - Research Analyst, McAfee SiteAdvisor

  • "In this study, we compare the safety of leading search engines, using McAfee SiteAdvisor’s automated Web site ratings...Since May 2006, search engine results have become safer, primarily due to improved safety of sponsored results on Google, AOL, and Ask. Despite this improvement, dangerous sites are found in search results of all of the top five search engines, and sponsored results continue to be significantly less safe than search engines’ organic results."

  • Key Findings; Introduction; Methodology; Analysis; Discussion; Resources
  • June 03, 2007
    * Harvard Business Review Case Study on Googling Job Candidates

  • We Googled You (Harvard Business Review Case Commentary), Diane L. Coutu, John G. Palfrey Jr., Danah M. Boyd, Jeffrey A. Joerres, Michael Fertik, June 1, 2007: "This case depicts an executive who, through an online search, discovers information about a job candidate that causes him concern about her qualifications. The reader considers issues such as the legal implications of Internet searching practices, the veracity of information found online, and the wisdom of expecting job candidates to have spotless online reputations."

  • Boyd, Danah. 2007. We Googled You: Should Fred hire Mimi despite her online history? Case Commentary, Harvard Business Review, June.

  • See also this WSJ free feature, June 4, 2007: Growing Up in Public
    Like It or Not, New Generation's Public Disclosures Are the Wave of the Future on the Internet
  • May 30, 2007
    * New Google Street View Lets Users Explore Neighborhoods Virtually

    Press release: "...new innovations for Google Maps...offer a whole new perspective on search: Street View and Mapplets. Available on Google Maps at maps.google.com, Street View and Mapplets further Google's commitment to provide users with the most innovative maps available online and developers with new tools for creating and sharing geographic content. Street View is a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to view and navigate within 360 degree street level imagery of various cities in the US. Street View provides users with a rich, immersive browsing experience directly in Google Maps, enabling greater understanding of a specific location or area. Street View imagery will initially be available for maps of the San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Las Vegas, Denver and Miami, and will soon expand to other metropolitan areas. By clicking on the "Street View" button in Google Maps, users can navigate street level, panoramic imagery. With Street View users can virtually walk the streets of a city, check out a restaurant before arriving, and even zoom in on bus stops and street signs to make travel plans."

    May 28, 2007
    * Universities Expand Into Social Networking and Social Computing Courses

    WSJ free feature, At Some Schools, Facebook Evolves From Time Waster to Academic Study: "After years of worrying about how much time freshmen spend on Facebook, schools are incorporating the study of social networking, online communities and user-contributed content into new curricula on social computing. The moves, like other academic expansions into fields like videogame design, are part of an effort to keep technology studies relevant to students' lives – and to tap subjects with entrepreneurial momentum. Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp. are among the tech companies that have invested in schools' social computing programs."

  • Related: Frontiers of Innovation in Community Engagement: News Organizations Forge New Relationships with Communities, A Report from the Center for Citizen Media, by Lisa Williams with Dan Gillmor, Jane MacKay, March 2007 - "This report looks at the first generation of traditional-media innovators in the arena of community engagement: bringing the community into the journalism itself, beyond blogs and comments."
  • * FTC Will Review Google/DoubleClick Merger

    Follow up to April 20, 2007 posting, Google DoubleClick Merger In the News, additional documents and news.

  • Proposed Google/DoubleClick Deal: "On April 20, 2007, EPIC filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), requesting that the Commission open an investigation into the proposed acquisition, specifically with regard to the ability of Google to record, analyze, track, and profile the activities of Internet users with data that is both personally identifiable and data that is not personally identifiable. EPIC further urged the FTC to require Google to publicly present a plan to comply with well-established government and industry privacy standards such as the OECD Privacy Guidelines. Pending the resolution of these and other issues, EPIC encouraged the FTC to halt the acquisition."

  • May 29, 2007: FTC begins antitrust investigation into proposed $3.1 billion Google-DoubleClick deal
  • * Google Maps Now Has An "Avoid Highways" Option

    Google Lat Long Blog: "Do you prefer to avoid driving on major highways? Do you ride a scooter that can't travel at highway speeds? Or do you simply prefer to take the road less traveled? If so, Google Maps driving directions now has an "Avoid Highways" option for you. When you click the the "Avoid Highways" checkbox, the route instantly updates to one that tries very hard to stay off of interstates, motorways, and other major roadways. This may give you a much longer path, but one that you may find more suitable."

    May 25, 2007
    * New Technorati Search Includes User-Generated Video, Photos, Podcasts, Music, Games

    Technorati Blog: "We've streamlined a blogsearch-only homepage at search.technorati.com (an easy shortcut is s.technorati.com ...With this launch, we also provide you with more context around more stuff like videos, music, and blogs. Over time, these pages will become richer and more comprehensive as we add more information about the thing itself, like where it was published, who links to it, what other things are similarly tagged, and more...We currently track over 250 million videos, blogs, photos, podcasts, events, and other social media objects in addition to more than 80 million blogs..."

    May 24, 2007
    * Google Translate Adds New Feature to Convert Search Results Into 12 different Languages

    Press release, May 23, 2007: "We are happy to announce the arrival of a new cross-language search feature that allows users across the world to find and view search results on foreign language web pages in their own native language. Now, more content on the web is accessible to more users, regardless of what languages they speak. This means, for example, that if an Arabic speaker is searching for restaurants in New York, he/she can now conduct a search in Arabic, and Google will translate the results (most of which are from English language websites) and provide the most relevant search results in their native language. This new feature is available in the following languages: English, Arabic, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Traditional), and Chinese (Simplified)...Google uses machine translation, or automated language translation, to enable users to search and view foreign language web content. A user simply needs to visit http://translate.google.com/translate_s, enter a query in their language, select the language they want to find results in, and issue a search. Behind the scenes, Google translates the query, performs a search, and translates the results so that users can click on the results of interest to view. And while machine translation is not perfect, it can be a very useful tool for users who want to access and obtain a gist of content written in a language that they do not know or know well."

    May 16, 2007
    * Google Experimental Search

    Experimental Search: "See results on a timeline or map. With the timeline and map views, Google’s technology extracts key dates and locations from select search results so you can view the information in a different dimension. Timeline and map views work best for searches related to people, companies, events and places."

    May 12, 2007
    * New Official Blog on Google Earth and Google Maps

    A new world unfolding - Posted by John Hanke, Director, Google Earth & Maps

    May 11, 2007
    * Google Study Identifies Malware on Ten Percent of Web Pages

    Earthtimes reports that a recent "internal survey conducted by search engine giant Google has revealed that one in every 10 pages scanned by the company is infected with malicious software that can harm the users' PC."

  • The Ghost In The Browser. Analysis of Web-based Malware, Niels Provos, Dean McNamee, Panayiotis Mavrommatis, Ke Wang and Nagendra Modadugu.
  • * Scholar Calls for Computer Systems to Practice "Data Ecology"

    Useful Void: The Art of Forgetting in the Age of Ubiquitous Computing, by Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger, Working Paper Number: RWP07-022, Submitted: 04/24/2007 [via Harvard Crimson, Working paper calls for search engines to delete Internet activity records]

  • Abstract: "As humans we have the capacity to remember – and to forget. For millennia remembering was hard, and forgetting easy. By default, we would forget. Digital technology has inverted this. Today, with affordable storage, effortless retrieval and global access remembering has become the default, for us individually and for society as a whole. We store our digital photos irrespective of whether they are good or not - because even choosing which to throw away is too time-consuming, and keep different versions of the documents we work on, just in case we ever need to go back to an earlier one. Google saves every search query, and millions of video surveillance cameras retain our movements. In this article I analyze this shift and link it to technological innovation and information economics. Then I suggest why we may want to worry about the shift, and call for what I term data ecology. In contrast to others I do not call for comprehensive new laws or constitutional adjudication. Instead I propose a simple rule that reinstates the default of forgetting our societies have experienced for millennia, and I show how a combination of law and technology can achieve this shift."
  • May 07, 2007
    * LLRX.com Launches Redesigned Site With Enhanced Features and Usability

    I created and launched LLRX.com in 1996 and have always strived to maintain a site dedicated to sharing best practices on a range of research and technology related issues relevant to legal professionals. Keeping these goals in mind, launching the newly designed LLRX.com, which premiered with the April 2007 issue, was an endeavor over one year in the making, involving alot of discussion, review, design, redesign, testing, and tweaking...some of which is still underway. To my friends who indulged repeated refrains of, "but does this look better than this," thank you. And a very special thanks to Darlene Fichter, whose genius has been an inspiration which helped me bring my site to where it is today.

    The other part of this journey is thanks to the terrific team at Justia - Tim and Stacy, Danilo, Nick, et al. - who provided the programming expertise to compliment my research, publishing and usability experience. Converting a decade of content coded by 'yours truly' was a challenge in and of itself, but we also crafted a new site design, navigation structure and search features.

    We preserved the best of the old site, such as the Court Rules Forms and Dockets database, while grounding the new site in an open source content management system, Drupal, providing enhanced layout, navigation and usability, and offering more options to access the depth of source materials that are hallmarks of the site. This is accomplished via drop down menus that appear on the top navigation bar, topical navigation choices that consistently appear on the far right hand side of each page, and by employing the new Google Custom Search so that readers may query for content on LLRX, LLRX and beSpacific [my blog on law and technology news, updated daily], or for results from the legal web. Also, a "printer friendly" option has been added to make it easier to read articles once you have printed them.

    Authors may submit an article directly to me any time, so I will take the opportunity now to invite authors, new and returning, to contribute their expertise, via presentations, guides, articles, and columns, to the LLRX global community numbering over 120,000 readers each month. Thank you for participating in this community, and I look forward to hearing from you. Best --- Sabrina.

    * Google Finance Announces Updates

    From the Official Google Blog, May 7, 2007: "There's barely enough time to join an earnings call if you are combing through all the latest news and quarterly statements. Today, we're adding content on these events content so you never have to miss an earnings call again. You can view earnings calls, analyst meetings, and any other material event on your company and portfolio pages. Further, you can download these events directly to your Google Calendar. And in response to many of your requests, we've also added a few smaller features to Google Finance, including:

  • Historical prices: View and download historical end-of-day prices for any U.S. or Canadian company

  • Portfolios: You can now download the latest portfolio performance and transaction details from your portfolio

  • News feeds: Stay on top of the news using your feed client such as Google Reader, Bloglines, or as part of your iGoogle

  • Last week, you may have read that there are now ticker symbols on news results for public companies on Google News. Click on the symbol and you'll go to the corresponding page on Google Finance.
  • April 27, 2007
    * Book Searching Update Presentation from Computers in Libraries

    Book Searching Update, Computers in Libraries 2007 presentation by Greg R. Notess.

    April 23, 2007
    * Exalead's Web Search Engine Launches Vertical Search of Wikipedia Database

    Press release: "Wikipedia has become a popular Web destination for a wide range of information. Now users of Exalead's Web search engine can search, browse and navigate the Wikipedia database with greater ease and satisfaction than ever before by making use of the company's new vertical search capability that has been added to the exalead one:search technology platform. The Wikipedia search application, the first in a series of vertical search functions from Exalead, can be launched by clicking a Wikipedia tab on theExalead search engine's home page."

  • Also note that Exalead's Image Search has been enhanced with the launch of a "new « Face » filter [that] enables you to narrow your search results to images containing faces..."
  • April 16, 2007
    * State Libraries Custom Search Engine

    From Greg R. Notess, State Libraries: Custom Search Options Compared -
    "For the six search builders listed on the Customize Your Own Search Engine page, here are the search engines built using the state library sites from all 50 U.S. states, or at least as many as they can manage."

    April 13, 2007
    * Wired's Interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt

    Text of Wired's Interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt, April 9, 2007.

    April 10, 2007
    * Mapping the Holocaust

    Press release: "The Holocaust took place across the entire European continent, and for all of Europe's Jews, as well as other victims of Nazism, geography played a major role in determining their fate. The Museum is using Google Earth to map key Holocaust sites with historic content from its collections, powerfully illustrating the enormous scope and impact of the Holocaust. Use Google Earth to access content from the Museum's online Holocaust Encyclopedia. Find out more about Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen, Treblinka, Warsaw, Lodz, and many more. Each place name links to a featured article with related historical photographs, testimony clips, maps, artifacts, and film footage. Over time, this layer will be updated with additional content from the Encyclopedia."

  • Download a timeline of concentration camps across Europe.

  • Download a Google Earth interface to the Holocaust Encyclopedia.
  • * U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google Join In Online Mapping Initiative on Darfur

    Press release: "The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has joined with Google in an unprecedented online mapping initiative. Crisis in Darfur enables more than 200 million Google Earth users worldwide to visualize and better understand the genocide currently unfolding in Darfur, Sudan. The Museum has assembled content—photographs, data, and eyewitness testimony—from a number of sources that are brought together for the first time in Google Earth. Crisis in Darfur is the first project of the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative that will over time include information on potential genocides allowing citizens, governments, and institutions to access information on atrocities in their nascent stages and respond."

  • Download the Crisis in Darfur layers for Google Earth

  • Download and install Google Earth

  • Learn More about the Crisis in Darfur layers and the Museum’s Genocide Prevention Mapping Initiative

  • Find out What You Can Do to confront genocide in Darfur
  • April 08, 2007
    * Free Beta Google Voice Local Search Offers Business Info

    Google Voice Local Search FAQ: "With Google Voice Local Search, you get fully-automated, fast access to same local-business information you would find on Google.com. But you can access it from any phone, anywhere, at anytime...Google doesn't charge you for the information or for connecting you to the business. Keep in mind, though, that your telephone company may apply regular charges for making a phone call or receiving an SMS."

    April 06, 2007
    * Google and Agence France-Presse Settle Copyright Lawsuit

    Agence France-Presse CEO Pierre Louette commenting in a press release today: "The agreement will allow uses of AFP's content in ways that go beyond its typical use of content in Google's services, which features just headlines and snippets of text to provide just a taste of what an article offers..."

    * Search Real Estate Listings in the U.S. Using Google

    Official Google Blog: "Searching on Google for Seattle real estate or homes for sale in San Diego prompts you to enter a location and choose whether you want to buy or rent.* After clicking "Go," you can see the individual homes that Google has indexed, provided by our partners and culled from the web. When you want more information on a particular home, you can click straight through to the source of the listing—no detail pages or sign-up forms get in the way. And when Google gets the same listing from multiple sources, we show links to all the data providers and websites, ranked according to many factors including, but not limited to, the quality and comprehensiveness of the data."

    April 05, 2007
    * Google Introduces My Maps

    Press release: "Today, Google is launching My Maps, a new feature of Google Maps that enables users to quickly and easily create custom maps for personal use or sharing through search. With this release, creating maps mashups is now as simple as pointing and clicking. From chronicling trips, to sharing tips and documenting academic endeavors, My Maps empowers users to create content-rich maps that are relevant to their interests, expertise, or personal needs."

  • "My Maps is available in 10 countries and can be accessed on the Google Maps homepage."
  • April 01, 2007
    * Asked and Answered on Google Katrina

    Press release: "Rep. Brad Miller, Chairman of the Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science & Technology Committee...asked Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to explain why Google had changed its satellite maps of the New Orleans region to pre-Hurricane Katrina images."

  • Google Blog: "in September 2006, the storm imagery was replaced with pre-Katrina aerial photography of much higher resolution as part of a regular series of global data enhancements. We continued to make available the Katrina imagery, and associated overlays such as damage assessments and Red Cross shelters, on a dedicated site (earth.google.com/katrina.html). Our goal throughout has been to produce a global earth database of the best quality -- accounting for timeliness, resolution, cloud cover, light conditions, and color balancing. Given that the changes that affected New Orleans happened many months ago, we were a bit surprised by some of these recent comments. Nevertheless, we recognize the increasingly important role that imagery is coming to play in the public discourse, and so we're happy to say that we have been able to expedite the processing of recent (2006) aerial photography for the Gulf Coast area (already in process for an upcoming release) that is equal in resolution to the data it is replacing. That new data was published in Google Earth and Google Maps on Sunday evening."
  • March 14, 2007
    * Google Announces Change in Privacy Policy on Storage of Server Logs

    Taking steps to further improve our privacy practices: Posted by Peter Fleischer, Privacy Counsel-Europe, and Nicole Wong, Deputy General Counsel: "When you search on Google, we collect information about your search, such as the query itself, IP addresses and cookie details. Previously, we kept this data for as long as it was useful. Today we're pleased to report a change in our privacy policy: Unless we're legally required to retain log data for longer, we will anonymize our server logs after a limited period of time. When we implement this policy change in the coming months, we will continue to keep server log data (so that we can improve Google's services and protect them from security and other abuses)—but will make this data much more anonymous, so that it can no longer be identified with individual users, after 18-24 months...Just as we continuously work to improve our products, we also work toward having the best privacy practices for our users. This includes designing privacy protections into our products (like Google Talk's “off the record” feature or Google Desktop’s “pause” and “lock search” controls). This also means providing clear, easy to understand privacy policies that help you make informed decisions about using our services. After talking with leading privacy stakeholders in Europe and the U.S., we're pleased to be taking this important step toward protecting your privacy. By anonymizing our server logs after 18-24 months, we think we’re striking the right balance between two goals: continuing to improve Google’s services for you, while providing more transparency and certainty about our retention practices. In the future, it's possible that data retention laws will obligate us to retain logs for longer periods. Of course, you can always choose to have us retain this data for more personalized services like Search History. But that's up to you. Our engineers are already busy working out the technical details, and we hope to implement this new data policy over the coming months (and within a year's time). We’ll communicate more as we work out these details, but for now, we wanted you to know that we’re working on this additional step to strengthen your privacy. If you want to know more, read the log retention FAQ (PDF)."

  • Danny Sullivan provides a step by step explanation of the impact of this announcement, in his posting, Google Anonymizing Search Records To Protect Privacy.

  • March 13, 2007
    * Viacom Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube

    FindLaw: Viacom Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against YouTube and Google Over Unauthorized Use Of The Company's Shows: Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., YouTube, LLC, and Google, Inc., March 13, 2007.

  • Viacom statement: Suit Seeks Court Ruling To Require YouTube And Google To Comply With Copyright Laws And Pay $1 Billion In Damages

  • Google statement: "We are confident that YouTube has respected the legal rights of copyright holders and believe the courts will agree. YouTube is great for users and offers real opportunities to rights holders: the opportunity to interact with users; to promote their content to a young and growing audience; and to tap into the online advertising market. We will certainly not let this suit become a distraction to the continuing growth and strong performance of YouTube and its ability to attract more users, more traffic and build a stronger community."

  • Update: New York Times Op-Ed: Make Way for Copyright Chaos, By Lawrence Lessig, Published: March 18, 2007 - "Last week, Viacom asked a federal court to order the video-sharing service YouTube to pay it more than $1 billion in damages for some 150,000 videos that Viacom claims it owns and YouTube users have shared. “YouTube,” the complaint alleges, “has harnessed technology to willfully infringe copyrights on a huge scale,” threatening not just Viacom, but “the economic underpinnings of one of the most important sectors of the United States economy.”"
  • March 12, 2007
    * Audio Tracks of YouTube Clips Analyzed and Transcribed By Defense Contractor

    Beet.TV: "A major defense department contractor, BBN of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has applied a national security technology application, developed to fight terrorism, to "crawl" the audio tracks of public Internet videos through its Podzinger subsidiary. Podzinger has analyzed, transcribed and organized some 1.5 million YouTube clips since December and is crawling many thousand every day, according to Alex Laats, who heads the unit."

    March 11, 2007
    March 06, 2007
    * New and Improved Google Desktop 5 Beta Released

    Posted by Mendel Chuang, Product Marketing Manager: "For the past several months, we've been working on ways to let you better get information on your desktop through gadgets and sidebar. We've also thought about improving how you search your computer. Today, we are happy to be releasing the Google Desktop 5 beta application. The most prominent changes you'll notice are to our gadgets and sidebar. Some of the gadgets have been redesigned to provide you with the same useful information but in a more easy to read and visually appealing format. The sidebar has also been changed to blend in even more with your desktop."

    * Google Book Search Adds Another Partner

    Google Librarian Center posting: "Today we announced our 13th Library Project partner, the Bavarian State Library. With the announcement of a fourth library partner located outside the U.S., we're making headway towards our goal of helping people find books from libraries all over the world through Google Book Search. We're making a good deal of headway elsewhere, too. Let's take a look at some of our numbers as they stand right now:
    Publisher partners: Over 10,000 from around the world
    Library partners: 13 today
    Books in the index: Over a million
    Book Search interfaces: 9 (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and Simplified and Traditional Chinese)".

    March 04, 2007
    * Random House and HarperCollins Launch Services for Browsing and Searching Book Pages

  • "Browse and search is a new way of browsing and searching pages from books in a Web browser using a "widget." Thousands of titles are available for browsing and searching and are denoted as such with the "Browse and Search" icon. To get started right away, you can search the Random House catalog for any of the thousands of titles now available in the program." [See also the FAQ page for more details]

  • "Browse Inside is the digital experience of flipping through the pages of a book to get a sense of it. Ultimately, each book in the HarperCollins catalog will have the Browse Inside link. Until then, this page will present noteworthy books as they become available with Browse Inside digital pages for you."

  • Publishers try to stave off Google, Amazon with book search
  • February 28, 2007
    * E-Gov Sites Begin Development for Wider Accessibility Via Search Engines

    GovExec.com: Google moves ahead with plan to open up federal Web sites: "Three federal organizations recently agreed to structure their sites to make them accessible for nearly all Internet searches, [Google] officials said."

  • See also PlainLanguage.gov
  • February 25, 2007
    * Search the Web for Sounds

    FindSounds - Search the Web for Sounds - "...free site for finding sound effects and musical instrument samples on the Web."

    * Free, Third Party Search Engine for Patent Searches

    PTO Direct was created by intellectual property professionals for intellectual property professionals and their clients. Its purpose is to provide an efficient way to search, gather and share relevant intellectual property record information from the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the United States Copyright Office. PTO Direct provides free patent searches." [Ted McClure]

    February 19, 2007
    * Google Publishes Study on Failure Rates of Hard Disk Drives

    Failure Trends in a Large Disk Drive Population, Eduardo Pinheiro, Wolf-Dietrich Weber, Luiz André Barroso, 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies (FAST 2007), 2007

  • "We have built an infrastructure that collects vital information about all Google's systems every few minutes, and a repository that stores these data in timeseries format (essentially forever) for further analysis. The information collected includes environmental factors (such as temperatures), activity levels and many of the Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) parameters that are believed to be good indicators of disk drive health. We mine through these data and attempt to find evidence that corroborates or contradicts many of the commonly held beliefs about how various factors can affect disk drive lifetime. Our paper is unique in that it is based on data from a disk population size that is typically only available from vendor warranty databases, but has the depth of deployment visibility and detailed lifetime follow-up that only an end-user study can provide."
  • February 13, 2007
    * Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Case

    Follow up to previous postings on a legal dispute between a group of Belgian newspaper sites and Google over removal of copyrighted materials from the search engine index, news today that the court reaffirmed its decision against Google.

  • Google Official Blog: "Here's a quick summary of the case: Copiepresse represents a number of newspapers in Belgium. It sued Google last August claiming that our search engine and news site breached these publications' copyright. In September, the court ruled in favor of Copiepresse, ordering us to remove these publishers' content from both Google.be and Google News. We complied with that order and also posted the ruling to both home pages."

  • Search Engine Land has additional background on the case and on Google's response.
  • February 11, 2007
    * Former NASA Engineer Leads Google Book Search Project

    Google's Moon Shot, by JEFFREY TOOBIN - The quest for the universal library. New Yorker, Posted 2007-01-29

  • "Every weekday, a truck pulls up to the Cecil H. Green Library, on the campus of Stanford University, and collects at least a thousand books, which are taken to an undisclosed location and scanned, page by page, into an enormous database being created by Google. The company is also retrieving books from libraries at several other leading universities, including Harvard and Oxford, as well as the New York Public Library. At the University of Michigan, Google’s original partner in Google Book Search, tens of thousands of books are processed each week on the company’s custom-made scanning equipment...The chief engineer of Google’s system for scanning books in the library collections is Dan Clancy, who joined the company after eight years at NASA, where he supervised teams of Ph.D.s. working on problems related to artificial intelligence."

  • Related postings on the Google Library Project
  • February 05, 2007
    * Princeton University Joins Google's Library Project

    Press release: "Today, Princeton University becomes the latest partner to join Google's Library Project. The combined collections of the Princeton University libraries total more than six million printed works, five million manuscripts and two million nonprint items. Working together, Google and Princeton will digitize approximately one million public domain books from these collections, so that readers around the world will be able to view, browse, read, and even download public domain materials - all simply by searching online."

  • Related postings on Google's Library Project
  • February 02, 2007
    * Cornell Law Library Announces Launch of Legal Research Engine

    "The Cornell Law Library is pleased to announce its new Legal Research Engine This specialized search engine helps users easily find authoritative online legal research guides on every subject. It searches approximately 20 different web sites that either prolifically publish guides, or index and link to guides." [Julie M. Jones]

    January 25, 2007
    * Google Video Search Now Includes Results from YouTube

    Press release: "Starting today, YouTube video results will appear in the Google Video search index: when users click on YouTube thumbnails, they will be taken to YouTube.com to experience the videos. Over time, Google Video will become even more comprehensive as it evolves into a service where users can search for the world's online video content, irrespective of where it may be hosted."

    January 22, 2007
    * University of Texas at Austin Joins Google Book Search Program

    Press release: "Known as the fifth largest academic library in the United States, the University of Texas Libraries house some of the nation's leading collections, including the world-renowned Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. Soon, researchers and history lovers all over the world will be able to search more than one million books and materials from the University of Texas, including selections from these unique works from early Latin American history."

  • Related postings on Google book search program
  • January 15, 2007
    * Fagan Finder Image Search Engines Updated

    On January 13, 2007 Michael Fagan updated his Fagan Finder Image Search Engines page, according to his http://faganm.com/blog/">blog. He states, the page has "gone from 42 search tools and 42 external links to 65 search tools and 42 external links."

    January 11, 2007
    * Google Will Provide Free Real -Times Stock Quotes

    Official Google Blog announced: "... the NYSE has moved the issue a great step forward with a proposal to the SEC which if approved, would allow you to see real-time, last-sale prices across all Google properties including Google Finance, Personalized Google, Mobile, and of course, Google.com. It won't matter if you're on Wall Street or Main Street -- you'll have free, easy and fast access to real-time prices from NYSE on Google."

    January 06, 2007
    * Google Web Search Help Center Has Quick and Direct Info and Training Tools

    Google Web Search Help Center

    December 29, 2006
    * Search Wikia Project

    "Search Wikia serves as a platform for the development of a new open source search engine with user-editable search results. This wiki accompanies the development therefore, and is used as a sounding board for ideas, organization and technical stuff. It is a place for the search community to discuss the project and search related issues."

  • Wikipedia creator turns to search

  • * Google Blog Search Surpasses Technorati

    Hitwise reports that Google Blog Search "the market share of visits to Google Blog Search surpassed visits to Technorati for the week ending 12/23/06."

    December 20, 2006
    * Grant to Internet Archive Allows Expansion of Open Access Historical Collections

    Press release: "The Internet Archive Receives Grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to Digitize and Provide Open Online Access to Historical Collections from Five Major Libraries...The Sloan Foundation is proud to support the digitization of these high-value collections from five of the nation's leading cultural institutions and to ensure that these materials will always be available through public channels for future use...These collections include:

  • Boston Public Library: The John Adams collection, which is the complete personal library of the Founding Father, lifelong book collector and second President of the United States.

  • The Getty Research Institute: Major collection of books on art and architecture and an alternate collection on the performing arts.

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art: The archive of publications issued by the Metropolitan Museum through the present.

  • Bancroft Library of the University of California at Berkeley: Key primary texts documenting the California Gold Rush and Western expansion.

  • Johns Hopkins University Libraries: The James Birney Collection of Anti-Slavery materials."

  • Related postings on the Google Book Project
  • December 13, 2006
    * Google Launches Patent Search With Over 7 Million Patents Granted by USPTO

    About Google Patent Search: "As part of Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, we’re constantly working to expand the diversity of content we make available to our users. With Google Patent Search, you can now search the full text of the U.S. patent corpus and find patents that interest you. You can view images of original patents online, or save and print them for offline use."

  • "You can search the full text of U.S. patents from the Google Patent Search homepage, or visit the Advanced Patent Search page to search by criteria like patent number, inventor, and filing date."
  • December 11, 2006
    * Paper Reports on State Department Use of Google to Identify Iranian Sanctions' Targets

    Washington Post: Seeking Iran Intelligence, U.S. Tries Google - Internet Search Yields Names Cited in U.N. Draft Resolution

  • "When the State Department recently asked the CIA for names of Iranians who could be sanctioned for their involvement in a clandestine nuclear weapons program, the agency refused, citing a large workload and a desire to protect its sources and tradecraft. Frustrated, the State Department assigned a junior Foreign Service officer to find the names another way -- by using Google. Those with the most hits under search terms such as "Iran and nuclear," three officials said, became targets for international rebuke Friday when a sanctions resolution circulated at the United Nations."
  • December 06, 2006
    * Live Search Books Beta Release

    Live Search's WebLog: "The U.S. beta launch of Live Search Books is a big step forward in advancing the way people discover information through the integration of content that has been "off-limits" to the traditional Search experience, until now. This release makes tens of thousands of out-of-copyright books available from our library scanning initiative, including books from the University of California, the University of Toronto, and the British Library. In addition, we are announcing new partnerships with the New York Public Library and the American Museum of Veterinary Medicine...The team is also taking this opportunity to announce an update to the beta of Live Search Academic. We're adding millions of new articles—primarily bio-medical content. Live Search Academic now indexes thousands of academic journals in the computer science, engineering, physics, and bio-medical fields. We’re also now indexing theses, dissertations, and books within these disciplines."

    December 04, 2006
    * Google for Educators

    Google for Educators: "Google recognizes the central role that teachers play in breaking down the barriers between people and information, and we support educators who work each day to empower their students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge. This website is one of the ways we're working to bolster that support and explore how Google and educators can work together."

    November 30, 2006
    * Survey of College Student Information and Communication Technology Literacy

    The nonprofit Educational Testing Service's (ETS) new Information and Communications Technology (ICT) literacy exam "measures students' abilities to research, organize, and communicate information using technology....Feedback from librarians and faculty members has shown that while most college-age students can use technology, they don't necessarily know what to do with the content the technology provides....To achieve information and communication technology literacy, a person must be able to research a topic well, identify credible data, and then prepare a cohesive, compelling argument based on the findings." [See page 16, Fall 2006, Innovations, for more details.]

  • Findings from ETS's report

  • ICT Literacy Assessment
  • November 27, 2006
    November 23, 2006
    * Commentary on the Advertising Power of YouTube

    From Wired Magazine: "TV advertising is broken, putting $67 billion up for grabs. Which explains why google spent a billion and change on an online video startup."

    November 22, 2006
    * Google Book Search Adds New Features

    Inside Google Books Search blog: "...we've just launched a bunch of new features and a whole new interface to make your online book experience better. First, we made it easier to find books you may be interested in by improving the "About this book" page. If you're a bookworm looking for your next book to devour, you can easily find new books via the related books feature....If you're trying to beef up your research by uncovering relevant work, then you may want to check the references from books and scholarly works....Once you find a book you might be interested in, you can now see its chapter titles, key terms, and selected pages all on the same page, helping you get a feel for it. Next, we designed a new browsing interface. You can simply scroll through the pages, or, for full view books, view them in two-page mode and flip through just like a book. You can zoom in, switch to full screen, and jump directly to the chapters that interest you. If the book is part of the public domain, you can comfortably read it on screen or download it if you prefer. For an in-copyright book, just follow the links to buy it or to find it in a library."

    November 18, 2006
    * SurfWax Launches New LookAhead Features for EDGAR, NCBI and WikiWax

  • LookAhead at EDGAR - the fast SEC-Edgar (2004-2006) Form Finding tool. [Tips]

  • LookAhead into NCBI - Search All Databases for rapid searching across all NCBI Databases. [Tips]

  • WikiWax - Wikipedia Search
  • November 15, 2006
    * Google Anticipates Lawsuits With YouTube Acquisition

    Press release: "November 13, 2006 - Google Inc. announced today that it has closed its acquisition of YouTube, the consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos. In connection with the acquisition Google issued an aggregate of 3,217,560 shares, and restricted stock units, options and a warrant exercisable for or convertible into an aggregate of 442,210 shares, of Google's Class A common stock. The number of shares of Class A common stock issued and issuable by Google was calculated by dividing $1.65 billion less certain amounts (approximately $15 million) funded to YouTube by Google between signing and closing by the average closing price for the 30 trading days ending on November 9, 2006. 12.5% of the equity issued and issuable in the transaction will be subject to escrow for one year to secure certain indemnification obligations." [emphasis added] See also this AP article discussing the $200 million set-aside for potential future lawsuits.

    * Washingtonpost.com Expands Search Features

    Via CyberJournalist.net, news that Washingtonpost.com's advanced news search engine has been expanded, and now offers free article archive access within the last 60 days. The archive search page, from 1877 - present, is here.

    November 13, 2006
    * DOJ Releases Expert's Report On Google Child Online Protection Act Case

    Follow-up to previous postings related to the DOJ's subpoena early this year, to obtain Google search data, news via Seth Finkelstein, posted copies of the following reports (PDF) released today:

  • Main Report of Philip B. Stark, Ph.D, 8 May 2006, Redacted, ACLU v. Gonzales, Civ. Action No. 98-5591

  • Supplement: Rebuttal Expert Report and rule 26(e) Disclosure of Philip B. Stark, Ph.D, 6 July 2006

  • Supplement 2: Supplemental Rebuttal Expert Report of Philip B. Stark, Ph.D, 1 August 2006

  • AP: "About 1 percent of Web sites indexed by Google and Microsoft are sexually explicit, according to a U.S. government-commissioned study."

  • November 04, 2006
    * Update on Google Print Project

    From the Official Google Blog, November 3, 2006: "The world's libraries are a tremendous source of knowledge, much of which has never been available online. One of our goals for Google Print is to change that, and today we've taken an exciting step toward meeting it: making available a number of public domain books that were never subject to copyright or whose copyright has expired. We can show every page because these books are in the public domain. (For books not in the public domain we only show small snippets of the work unless the publisher or copyright holder has given us permission to show more.)"

    November 01, 2006
    * Kaiser Foundation Offers Pre-Queried Searches on Health Policy Issues

    From kaiserEDU.org: "SmartLinks provides 'pre-queried' searches on health policy topics (Complementary and Alternative Medicine; Electronic Medical Records; Children's Health Coverage; Massachusetts Health Care Reform Plan; Direct-to-Consumer Advertising; Public Health Preparedness; Drug Safety and Regulation; Stem Cell Policy; Drug Reimportation; VA Health System) in several different internet search engines. You'll get results from: PubMed, Kaisernetwork Daily Headlines, Google Uncle Sam, Google Scholar, and NY Academy of Medicine Grey Literature Report."

    October 26, 2006
    * Google Launches Blog Alert

    Via Official Google Blog: "...the new Blog Alert, which notifies you about new blog search results. We've also added a Comprehensive Alert, which can show results from multiple sources (including Google News, the web, and blogs) so you get fuller information whenever your favorite topics appear online."

    * Library of Congress Launches Comprehensive New Search Feature

    New Search (BETA): "For the first time you can search the largest sections of the Library's site from one search box." Search individually or collectively, the following content: U.S. historical and cultural collections (American Memory); Library of Congress Online Catalog; Prints & Photographs Online Catalog; Library of Congress Web site.

    October 24, 2006
    * Belgian Newspapers In Discussions With Microsoft Over Copyright Fees

    Follow-up to September 18, 2006 posting Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute, reports that Begian news rights representative Copiepresse is continuing its breach of copyright action against Microsoft and will target Yahoo in future.

    * Google Launches Custom Search Engine

    Google press release: "Google Custom Search Engines empower users to choose which pages they want to include in their index, how the content should be prioritized, whether others can contribute to their index, and what the search results page will look like...organizations or individuals simply go to www.google.com/coop/cse and select the websites or pages they'd like to include in their search index. Users can choose to restrict their search results to include only those pages and sites, or they can give those pages and sites higher priority and ranking within the larger Google index for their site. Users can then customize the look, feel and functionality of their search engine."

    October 18, 2006
    * Enhanced Image Search Capabilities Added to Firstgov.gov

    Press release: "Convera Corporation...announced it has been selected by prime contractor Vivisimo to support the image search at FirstGov.gov, the official web portal of the United States Government. Convera search technology will be supplementing the image index for FirstGov.gov search, enabling FirstGov.gov to better deliver images in response to the millions of queries made by citizens visiting the portal every year...The added technology will provide site users access to the over one billion images contained and categorized within the Convera Web index."

    October 12, 2006
    * University of Wisconsin-Madison Joins Google Books Library Project

    Press release: "Together, the UW-Madison and Google will expand access to hundreds of thousands of public and historical materials from the UW-Madison libraries and the Wisconsin Historical Society Library. Some wonderful examples from their collection can be found here. The combined 7.2 million holdings of these libraries comprise one of the largest collections of historical documents and books to be found in the United States."

    October 11, 2006
    * Google Docs and Spreadsheets Launched Today

    "Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers."

  • Take a tour of Google Docs & Spreadsheets
  • October 05, 2006
    * Google Code Search Launched

    "...Google Code Search...gives programmers a single place to search publicly accessible source code."

    October 03, 2006
    * WaPo Examines Google's Graphic Interface Over the Years

    The Heart of Google's Wild Success Is a Home Page of Calculated Simplicity

    September 27, 2006
    * University Complutense of Madrid Joins Google Book Project

    Press release: "Working together, Google and the University Complutense of Madrid will digitise the university's hundreds of thousands of public domain works, so that anyone, at anytime will be able to view, browse, read, and even download the full texts from the library's historic and special collections. The library of the Complutense University of Madrid is the largest university library in Spain."

    Related news and postings:

  • Related postings on Google Book Search project

  • Press release: "...the University of California, Berkeley, announced (Tuesday, Sept. 26) that it is delivering educational content, including course lectures and symposia, free of charge through Google Video. Because of the quality and quantity of these video offerings, UC Berkeley will be the first university with its own page on the Google Video Web site, campus officials said. The campus is making more than 250 hours of content available to the public through Google Video." [via ResearchBuzz]

  • * Google Transit Trip Planner Expands to Include 5 More Cities

    Google Transit Trip Planner allows "commuters to find the fastest and most effective way to get around the city using public transportation....we've added five more cities to our coverage: Eugene, Oregon; Honolulu, Hawaii; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Seattle, Washington and Tampa, Florida."

    September 23, 2006
    * Global Pilot Project to Deter Clashes Between Search Engines and Publishers

    Follow-up to September 18, 2006 posting Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute, this press release from the World Association of Publishers, September 22, 2006:

  • "In the week that Belgian publishers won their case against Google for illegally publishing content without prior consent, a coalition of print media associations are preparing to launch a global pilot project...called ACAP (Automated Content Access Protocol)...which allows online content providers to systematically provide information about access and use of their content to news aggregators and others on the web. The information, provided in a form that can be recognised and interpreted by search engine "crawlers", will tell search engine operators and other users under what terms they can use the content."

  • Related news: As of September 23, the text of the Belgian court order, dated September 5, 2006 is now posted on Google Begium's homepage, in a continuous text version. Users may read it in Dutch, French, German or English translations.
  • * Washington Post Sites Go Mobile

    As reported by Mike Shields: "Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive has launched made-for-mobile versions of the Web sites for three of its largest properties, including WashingtonPost.com, Newsweek.com and Slate.com as part of a new mobile services initiative at the company. The sites are available free of charge for any users that have a Web-enabled handset by logging onto the addresses mobile.washingtonpost.com, mobile.slate.com and mobile.newsweek.com."

    September 18, 2006
    * Belgian Court Rules Against Google in Copyright Dispute

  • Belgium Orders Google to Remove News Items or Pay Huge Fine: "A Brussels court has ordered internet giant Google to pay 1 million euro a day if it does not remove all news articles and pictures from French and German language newspapers on its news site, Belgian media reported on Monday."
  • Belgian court brings Google bad news: "Google has vowed to appeal against a Belgian court ruling that represents the first legal blow against its controversial Google News service which has provoked the ire of European publishers."

  • WSJ free feature: Belgian Court Orders Google To Stop Publishing News Content

  • Copy of Belgian Court order, via Chilling Effects
  • September 12, 2006
    * EFF White Paper Recommends Search Privacy Techniques

    "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has developed the following search privacy tips. They range from straightforward steps that offer a little protection to more complicated measures that offer near-complete safety. While we strongly urge users to follow all six tips, a lesser level of protection might be sufficient depending on your particular situation and willingness to accept risks to your privacy."

  • Six Tips to Protect Your Online Search Privacy

  • See also this WSJ free feature today, It's Easy to Complain About Web Privacy, A Lot Harder to Act
  • September 11, 2006
    * Microsoft Live Seach Replaces MSN Search

    Windows Live Search Blog: "...the new Live Search... no longer in beta, and powering searches on both Live.com and MSN.

    September 05, 2006
    * Google News Archive

    Google News Archive Search: "News archive search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. Users can search for events, people or ideas and see how they have been described over time. In addition to searching for the most relevant articles for their query, users can get a historical overview of the results by browsing an automatically created timeline. We provide two ways of searching: search articles, which presents articles in order of relevance to the query; and show timeline, which presents a timeline of events and articles associated with the query. The timeline is dynamically generated in response to each query." [News Archive Search Help]

  • See also Google Advanced News Archive Search
  • August 30, 2006
    * Free Downloads of Public Domain Books Now Available From Google Book Search

    Google press release: "Starting today, readers can find new, and free, downloadable versions of some of the world's greatest books on Google Book Search. Working with our library partners, we're expanding access to books that are out of copyright and have become public domain material. Users can search and read these books on Google Book Search like always, but now they can also download and print them to enjoy at their own pace."

    Related sources and information:

  • Postings on Project Gutenberg

  • U. of Michigan Adds Books Digitized by Google to Online Catalog, but Limits Use of Some: "If a scanned book is still under copyright...users will not be able to read the digital copy. Instead, the card-catalog system will return a list of the pages that contain the search term and how many times the term appears on those pages. The reader will be directed to the library's stacks for the printed book."

  • August 25, 2006
    * Google Webmaster Central

    Google Webmaster Central: "Welcome to your one-stop shop for comprehensive info about how Google crawls and indexes websites. You can learn here how to ensure that your site is easily crawled and indexed and access tools that will enable you to diagnose crawling issues, study statistics on how your site is doing in our index, and tell us how you'd like your site to be crawled and indexed."

    See also:

  • Webmaster Central blog
  • August 24, 2006
    * Google Book Search Contract to Digitize UC Collection Released

    The Chronicle of Higher Education obtained a copy of the 13 page agreement between Google, Inc. and the Regents of the University of California that details the scope of the digitization project, as well as copyright and ownership issues.

  • Related postings on the Google Book Search Project
  • August 23, 2006
    * Judge Cites Google Searching in FBI FOIA Case

    FindLaw: "A federal judge scolds the FBI in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit for failing to "just Google" the names of people about whom plaintiffs sought audio recordings and other information in their litigation. According to Judge Garland, "Surely, in the Internet age, a "reasonable alternative" for finding out whether a prominent person is dead is to use Google (or any other search engine) to find a report of that person’s death." John Davis v. U.S. Dept. of Justice, August 22, 2006.

    August 22, 2006
    * Point - Counterpoint on Google Book Search Project

  • Washington Post Op-ed today: The Books Google Could Open, by Richard Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges.

  • eWeek.com: Publishers Fight Back Against Google with New Book Search Service: "Publisher HarperCollins and Austin, Texas-based LibreDigital announced today a hosted service called LibreDigital Warehouse that will give publishers and booksellers the ability to deliver searchable book content on their own Web sites." See also the August 3, 2006 HarperCollins press release: "HarperCollins Publishers is proud to announce a series of digital initiatives, including the beta launch of "Browse Inside," a new application allowing consumers to sample pages of HarperCollins titles online. The implementation of expanded digital technologies signals the latest development in the HarperCollins global digital warehouse initiative and emphasizes the company's commitment to reach consumers on the Web by providing robust content in a wide variety of digital formats."
  • * New Google Scholar Search Feature Enhances Links to Related Works

    From the Official Google Blog: "For every Google Scholar search result, we try to automatically determine which articles in our repository are most closely related to it. You can see a list of these articles by clicking the "Related Articles" link that appears next to each result."

    August 21, 2006
    * Commentary on the Future of Digital Archiving

    Can Our Culture Be Saved? The Future of Digital Archiving, by Diane Leeheer Zimmerman, New York University - School of Law, July 25, 2006

  • "This article steps behind the Google Library controversy to examine in depth what the enormous public benefits that would flow from allowing a broad right of digitization for preservation purposes, and why such a right by necessity would require changes in existing copyright law. It also then asks whether we can realistically hope to "save" the fragile embodiments of our cultural life this way without making some provision for public access to the databases in which works are preserved. Finally, the article attempts to identify what the public-regarding goals of digital archiving for purposes of preservation should be, the responsibilities that would attach to the right to archive, and the kinds of compromises between the interests of the copyright owning community and the public that might be feasible to enable citizens of the world to create and protect their modern version of the Library of Alexandria."
  • August 18, 2006
    * New Scholarly Article on Topical Interests and Mitigation of Search Engine Bias

    Technology Review: Surprising Search Patterns - A new study questions the common assumption that search engines control the hierarchy of the Internet.

  • Topical interests and the mitigation of search engine bias, by S. Fortunato , A. Flammini, F. Menczer, and A. Vespignani, School of Informatics, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47406; Fakultät für Physik, Universität Bielefeld, D-33501 Bielefeld, Germany; Department of Computer Science, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405; and Complex Networks Lagrange Laboratory, Institute for Scientific Interchange, 10133 Torino, Italy: "Search engines have become key media for our scientific, economic, and social activities by enabling people to access information on the web despite its size and complexity. On the down side, search engines bias the traffic of users according to their page ranking strategies, and it has been argued that they create a vicious cycle that amplifies the dominance of established and already popular sites. This bias could lead to a dangerous monopoly of information. We show that, contrary to intuition, empirical data do not support this conclusion; popular sites receive far less traffic than predicted. We discuss a model that accurately predicts traffic data patterns by taking into consideration the topical interests of users and their searching behavior in addition to the way search engines rank pages. The heterogeneity of user interests explains the observed mitigation of search engines' popularity bias."
  • August 09, 2006
    * UC Libraries Partner With Google to Digitize Books

    Press release: The University of California libraries today (August 9, 2006) announced their partnership with Google to digitize books from the libraries' collections. UC becomes the latest partner in the Google Books Library Project, which was launched in December 2004 to digitize books drawn from the libraries of the University of Michigan, Harvard University, Stanford University, Oxford University, and the New York Public Library. The digitized books will be searchable through Google Book Search."

  • Official Google Blog, Welcome to the University of California libraries
  • August 07, 2006
    * StopBadware.org Begins Issuing Warnings to Google Users

    StopBadware.org Blog: "We're entering a new phase here at StopBadware.org. Google—which is one of our partners—will present people with a warning before they visit websites that have been reported to StopBadware.org as sites that distribute badware. These warnings currently link to a general page on StopBadware.org, but as we finish researching sites, we'll replace the general page with one of our individual website reports (see an example here). Hopefully this next step will bring us that much closer to fulfilling our mission of providing people with reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in order to help them make better choices."

    August 02, 2006
    * Yahoo Launches Corporate Blog

    Joining more than a dozen product blogs, Yahoo launched a corporate blog on August 1: "We want to share insights into our company, our people, our culture, and the things that occupy our cluttered minds. We’ll cover emerging trends, provide some behind-the-scenes commentary, profile interesting Yahoos, spotlight our beloved users..."

    July 28, 2006
    * With Google Trends Webmasters Can Monitor Search Volume

    About Google Trends: "With Google Trends, you can compare the world's interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they've been searched for on Google over time. Google Trends also displays how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and which geographic regions have searched for them most often."

  • Related: How Google News Indexes
  • July 27, 2006
    * FirstGov.gov Wins Federal Computer Week's Pioneer Award

    Press release: "...FirstGov.gov, the official portal of the U.S. Government, has won the Pioneer Award from Federal Computer Week and the Government Solutions Center (GSC) for its "innovative use of technology in a government program."

  • See also Peggy Garvin's article, The Government Domain: FirstGov becomes First in Government Search
  • July 20, 2006
    * Amnesty International Releases Report on Search Engine Censorship in China

    Press release: "Amnesty International (AI) today released a new report, "Undermining Freedom of Expression in China," (32 pages, PDF) exposing how Yahoo!, Microsoft and Google have violated their stated corporate values and policies in pursuit of the potentially lucrative Chinese market. In sync with the report release, the organization unveiled irrepressible.info, a new campaign for free speech online that continues Amnesty International's work combating Internet censorship."

    * Google Accessible Web Search for the Visually Challenged

    Fom Google Labs, Accessible Web Search for the Visually Challenged: "In addition to finding the most relevant results as measured by Google's search algorithms, it further sorts results based on the simplicity of their page layouts."

  • Accessible Search FAQ

  • Google Tests Accessible Search Page
  • July 07, 2006
    * Expert Creates State Filtering Feature For Google Gov. Search

    From Tara Calishain: "This page allows you to search Google’s government search engine and narrow your results by a state. Try adding a city or county name to your query as well." See also Peggy Garvin's review of U.S. Government Search on LLRX.com.

    July 03, 2006
    * Google Continues Expansion With Home Grown Infrastructure Development

    New York Times: A Search Engine That's Becoming an Inventor

    June 29, 2006
    * Google Launches Online Secure Purchase Service

    Press release: "Google Inc. today announced the launch of Google Checkout, a checkout process that makes online shopping faster, more convenient and more secure for Google users. Google Checkout offers an easy and trusted checkout option that enables shoppers to purchase from participating stores with a single Google login." More information on this Official Google Blog posting.

    June 28, 2006
    * Senate Defeats Net Neutrality

    In an 11-11 vote today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation defeated the Communications, Consumers' Choice, and Broadband Deployment Act of 2006 (otherwise known as Net Neutrality).

  • Senate Panel Narrowly Rejects Net Neutrality - Broadband equality proposal may be dead for this congressional year.

  • Related postings on net neutrality
  • June 26, 2006
    June 20, 2006
    * The Battle for Search Engine Dominance Continues

    The un-Google, June 15, 2006, from The Economist print edition (free online, if you view an advert first): "Google dominates the lucrative market for web-search, but its rivals [Microsoft, Ask, Yahoo] are setting out to change that."

  • Most Microsoft Workers Search With Google - Do employees at Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google use their own search engines? Apparently, some do and some don't.
  • June 15, 2006
    * New York Times Optimizes Website and Expands Traffic

    Getting The New York Times More Search Engine Friendly, by Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman, June 15, 2006.

    * From Google Book Search: Complete Plays of Shakespeare.

    Press release, June 14, 2006: Google Launches Shakespeare Website. See Google Search Beta's complete plays of Shakespeare

    Related news:

  • From Inside Google Book Search blog: "Some print versions of Shakespeare's plays may not be in the public domain everywhere in the world. In cases where the copyright status is in question, we protect the publisher by showing the Snippet View."

  • * Google Launches New Search Product for Government Info

    Press release: "Google today announced Google U.S. Government Search, a new search product that will make it easier to find U.S. government information and keep up to date on government news. With Google U.S. Government Search, millions of U.S. government employees, various contractor organizations, as well as the general public can easily search across content on official federal, state and local government sites from a single search box. They can also keep current on government-related news with constantly updated content from government and commercial news sources, including the White House, Department of Defense, The Washington Post, and Google News." [Note: Google Uncle Sam now resolves to U.S. Government Search].

  • More About Google U.S. Government Search

  • GCN: Google launches federal search engine
  • June 12, 2006
    June 08, 2006
    * Internet Caucus Advisory Committee Hosts Discussion and Posts Issue Papers on Net Neutrality

    June 8, 2006: "The Internet Caucus Advisory Committee (ICAC) hosted a discussion focusing on the legislative proposals percolating in Congress on so-called Network Neutrality. No fewer than six House and Senate bills are circulating in Congress that in some way address this amorphous policy question." [Link]

  • "...the ICAC has requested of all its 200 member organizations one pager issue briefs on the topic of Legislating Network Neutrality – Necessary? The position papers herein reflect only the perspective of the organization that submitted it."

  • Google founder lobbies for net neutrality
  • June 05, 2006
    * Google Seeks to Challenge Excel With New Spreadsheets Beta

    AP reports Google plans to release a beta spreadsheet program on June 6, via the Google Labs site. "Google Spreadsheets allows you to create, store and share spreadsheets on the web. For those of you who already struggle to organize multiple versions of spreadsheets and other data and lists, Google Spreadsheets is a great solution..."

  • Try out Google Spreadsheets (limited test)

  • Google Spreadsheets Help Center

  • Google Spreadsheets Tour

  • Early reviews of Google Spreadsheet

  • PC Magazine: Google Spreadsheet Preview, includes slideshow.
  • * Commentary Highlights Digital Strategies of Web 2.0 and Educational Impact

    Web 2.0: A New Wave of Innovation for Teaching and Learning? EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 41, no. 2 (March/April 2006): 32–44.

    May 25, 2006
    * Links to Research Papers from WWW2006 Conference

    Refereed technical papers from 11 research areas are available from the WWW2006 Conference, May 23-26, 2006. Topic areas include: business success, next wave, education and science, security and health.

    May 24, 2006
    May 20, 2006
    * Offshoring of Web Content Maintenance and Support Increasingly Common

    BusinessWeek.com: Life On The Web's Factory Floor - Who do you think turns all those words into an easy click?

  • "Behind the seemingly magical offerings of the Internet are thousands of human beings madly inputting data around the clock...The number of third-party, offshore companies that will perform contract work has more than doubled since 2002, according to Wharton's Aron. With Internet connectivity pushing farther into rural areas of China and India, the cost of such work will fall even lower."
  • May 19, 2006
    * Google Provides Free Downloadable Search Training Tools

    From the Google Librarian Center: "Looking for tools to help teach your patrons how to use Google more effectively? By popular demand, we’re now offering free downloadable teaching tools. While we've started small, we're planning on making more materials available soon, including additional posters, cheat sheets, tent cards – even trainings. Feel free to download and distribute these materials as widely as you'd like."

    May 18, 2006
    * Debate on Future of the Library Catalog

  • The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools, Final Report, March 17, 2006, prepared for the Library of Congress by Associate University Librarian Karen Calhoun of Cornell University (52 pages, PDF)

  • A Critical Review of The Changing Nature of the Catalog and Its Integration with Other Discovery Tools, April 3, 2006 (24 pages, PDF)

  • ALA urges more deliberation, library involvement in Library of Congress' cataloging changes, May 16, 2006

  • Library Journal (reg. req'd), ALA Rebukes LC, Calls for Consultation with Libraries and Delay in Bibliographic Changes, May 18, 2006

  • * New Health Policy Research Tool on KaiserEDU.org

    "SmartLinks provides 'pre-queried' searches on health policy topics (Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Electronic Medical Records, Children's Health Coverage, Public Health Preparedness, Drug Safety and Regulation, Stem Cell Policy, Drug Reimportation, VA Health System) in several different internet search engines. You'll get results from: PubMed, Kaisernetwork Daily Headlines, HighBeam Research, Google Uncle Sam, Google Scholar, and NY Academy of Medicine Grey Literature Report."

    May 15, 2006
    * Comparison of Major Search Engines Ranks Their Safety

    The Safety of Internet Search Engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, Ask), May 12, 2006, by Ben Edelman and Hannah Rosenbaum.

  • "Abstract: We compare safety of leading search engines, using SiteAdvisor's automated Web site ratings. We find most leading search engines similar in the safety of the sites they link to, though MSN is the safest and Ask lags noticeably behind. Across search engines, we find sponsored results significantly less safe than search engines' organic results."


  • May 10, 2006
    * Google Trends

    "With Google Trends, you can compare the world's interest in your favorite topics. Enter up to five topics and see how often they've been searched on Google over time. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most...Google Trends analyzes a portion of Google web searches to compute how many searches have been done for the terms you enter, relative to the total number of searches done on Google over time. We then show you a graph with the results -- our search-volume graph -- plotted on a linear scale."

    * Google Announces New Search and Desktop Products

    Press release: "Today, Google Inc. announced new technologies to enhance and improve the search experience. Three new products – Google Co-op, Google Desktop 4, and Google Notebook – advance the state of the art in search by helping users worldwide find and share more relevant information. The products all incorporate new capabilities that leverage user communities, enabling users to either share more information with others or benefit from other users' expertise to improve the accuracy of search results. The company also introduced Google Trends, a new tool that enables users to examine billions of searches conducted on Google to gain insight into broad search patterns over time."

    May 08, 2006
    * Yahoo Tech Takes on CNet

    Yahoo! Tech: reviews, help and how-to advice for buying and using personal electronics

  • BusinessWeek.com: "Yahoo Woos the Tech User - With a new technology channel, the Web portal takes aim at a profitable niche where CNet.com has been a powerful player."

  • May 02, 2006
    * Yahoo Integrates Translation Tool into Search

    Yahoo!Babel Fish allows users to translate English text into 12 other languages. See also this Official Google Reearch Blog posting on their hybrid machine and human translation engine, currently available only for Arabic-English and English-Arabic.

    May 01, 2006
    * Net Neutrality Proposal Defeated by House

  • Toll Lane Ahead for Internet Traffic?

  • Tech Giants' Internet Battles: "Web titans like Google and Yahoo! are battling some of the smartest lobbyists in the business. And they've just lost a big one on Capitol Hill."

  • Related postings on net neutrality
  • * Back to the Future on the Topic of Search Engines

    Search Engines: Where We Were, Are Now, and Will Ever Be - "Phil Bradley takes a look at the development of search engines over the lifetime of Ariadne and points to what we might anticipate in the years to come."

    April 20, 2006
    * Google Scholar Adds Citation Feature

    From the Official Google Blog: "Today we're launching a feature of Google Scholar which will make it easier for researchers to keep up with recent research...It's not just a plain sort by date, but rather we try to rank recent papers the way researchers do, by looking at the prominence of the author's and journal's previous papers, how many citations it already has, when it was written, and so on. Look for the new link on the upper right for "Recent articles" -- or switch to "All articles" for the full list."

    April 17, 2006
    * Image Based Searching Using Cell Phone Photos

    From Microsoft Research, Photo2Search: Explore the Real World via Camera Phone

  • "Seeking information about something seen, a user takes a photo of the object and sends the photo, via e-mail or Multimedia Messaging Service, to a Web-based server, which searches an image database for matches. The server then delivers database information—whether it be a Web page featuring the object in the photo or information associated with the object—to the user, who can act on the information received: read a menu, enter a gallery, book a hotel room, make a purchase."

  • Menglei Jia, Xin Fan, Xing Xie, Mingjing Li, Wei-Ying Ma, Photo-to-Search: Using Camera Phones to Inquire of the Surrounding World, demo, The 7th International Conference on Mobile Data Management (MDM'06), Nara, Japan, May, 2006 (text not yet available).
  • April 13, 2006
    * Most Users Do Not Drill Down Past 3 Pages of Search Results

    Press release: "The iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study reveals that 62% of search engine users click on a search result within the first page of results, and a full 90% of users click on a result within the first three pages of search results. These figures were just 48% and 81%, respectively, in 2002."

  • iProspect Search Engine User Behavior Study, April 2006 (17 pages, PDF)
  • April 11, 2006
    * Windows Launches Live Academic Beta

    "Windows Live Academic is now in beta. We currently index content related to computer science, physics, electrical engineering, and related subject areas. Academic search enables you to search for peer reviewed journal articles contained in journal publisher portals and on the web in locations like citeseer. Academic search works with libraries and institutions to search and provide access to subscription content for their members. Access restricted resources include subscription services or premium peer-reviewed journals. You may be able to access restricted content through your library or institution."

  • Windows Live Academic Information: Librarians

  • Windows Live Academic Information: Publishers

  • Windows Live Academic Search Blog

  • IDG News Service: Microsoft readies search services to rival Google
  • March 30, 2006
    * Extensive Document Demands From DOJ to ISPs and Search Companies

    As previously noted in a series of postings this year, DOJ has sought, and obtained, voluminous data search records from companies including Yahoo, MSN and Verizon. Today, InformationWeek reported that their FOIA request yielded 54 documents [made available in a Zip archive], that include subpoenas, replies, and related legal documents involving 34 ISPs, search companies and security software firms.

    March 26, 2006
    * The Challenges of "Researching" in An Age of "Searching"

    New York Times Op-Ed, March 26, 2006: Searching for Dummies, by Edward Tenner.

    March 21, 2006
    * Google Finance Is "Early-Stage Beta Product"

    According to the Official Google Blog, Google's newly released Finance service is in beta, with additional content and features to be added in future. Currently, users are offered data in the following categories: Market Summary, Today's Headlines, Company Facts and Financials, Related company data, a Company Summary, Management info, blog posts and links to topical discussions.

  • Google Announcement, March 21, 2006, on Google Finance Beta
  • March 20, 2006
    * Financial Website for Investors Launched by Google

    Google launches its challenge to financial news websites in US: "Google Finance is trumpeting features that will allow users to monitor their portfolio and get access to chief executives' pay details without wading through annual reports."

    * Comparison of Web Browsers

    Wikipedia has published an extensive comparison of over two dozen web browsers. Included is information on each respective browser's general history, features, operating system support, web technology support, languages in which the brower is available, and technical vulnerabilities. Readers note that all data is subject to verification, as this is a collaborative, open source publication.

    * Enterprise Search Makes Inroads in Tackling Corporate Info Overload

    ComputerWorld reports on enterprisewide search applications implemented by large corporations for a range of tasks, including competitive intelligence, e-discovery, and generating intranet content. Solutions such as FAST, Autonomy and Endeca index formats including text, audio and video.

    March 17, 2006
    * Google Claims Victory in Fight With DOJ Over Search Records

    From the Official Google Blog: Judge tells DoJ "No" on search queries, Posted by Nicole Wong, Associate General Counsel: "Google will not have to hand over any user's search queries to the government. That's what a federal judge ruled today when he decided to drastically limit a subpoena issued to Google by the Department of Justice. [Today's ruling, 21 pages (PDF) and the government's original subpoena.)

  • Related postings on DOJ's legal efforts to obtain specific Google database search records
  • * Copyright Case Against Google Dismissed

    WSJ free feature - Google Wins Copyright Battle; Archiving Issue Is Still Unclear: "A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit accusing Google Inc. of wrongful conduct, including copyright infringement and defamation, providing the latest court opinion to weigh in on the contentious area of search engines and copyright."

    March 15, 2006
    * Website Tracks Censorship in Search Results

    "Welcome to CenSEARCHip! This is a tool developed by Mark Meiss and Filippo Menczer at the Indiana University School of Informatics in March of 2006 to allow you to explore the differences in the results returned by different countries' versions of the major search engines. We currently work with the Web search and image search functions of four national versions of Google and Yahoo!: the United States, China, France, and Germany."

    March 10, 2006
    * DOJ Seeks to Compel Google's Release of Search Data

    Feds suggest 21-day deadline for Google subpoena
    The U.S. Justice Department has set a suggested deadline for Google to hand over information about its users' search habits: 21 days."

  • Related postings on DOJ's legal efforts to obtain specific Google database search records
  • March 09, 2006
    * Most Website Search Engines Fail Users

    March 1, 2006, It's Time To Update Site Search Functionality, by Iris Cremers with Jaap Favier, Kerry Bodine

  • Summary: "Forrester reviewed 179 Web sites with its updated Web Site Review methodology. One of the criteria looks at the site's search engine and search interface — and more than half of the sites we reviewed failed. As online consumers are accustomed to using effective search engines like Google in their daily lives and are more likely to search an unfamiliar site than browse it, site owners have to make an effort to live up to their customers' search engine expectations."
  • March 07, 2006
    * Google CEO Speaker Notes Cause Speculation on GDrive

    Notes from CEO Eric Schmidt's March 2 Google Analyst Day remarks, not intended for public release, mention a company plan to allow for the storage of "100% of user data" on a virtual drive.

    March 06, 2006
    * Online Searches Conducted in January 2006 Reach Almost 5.7 Billion

    Press release: according to Nielsen//NetRatings reports - "Online Search Hits All-Time High of 5.7 Billion Searches...the highest number to date." Top three search engines remain: Google search, Yahoo search and MSN search.

    March 04, 2006
    * Sabrina Presents Workshop on Best Sites and Services for Research

    Computers in Libraries 2006, Post Conference Workshops – Saturday, March 25 - Workshop 17 — 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., presented by Sabrina I. Pacifici (LLRX.com and beSpacific)

  • This workshop focuses on leveraging the best of free and low-fee Web sites as well as Web-related services (RSS, Blogs) to support and disseminate research services. It includes "best of breed" for CI (competitive intelligence), legislation, news, government documents and topical information that when incorporated into your daily work routine will maximize your research efforts.
  • March 02, 2006
    * EU Plans Digital Library Portal Launch By 2010

  • EU press release: "European Commission steps up efforts to put Europe's memory on the Web via a "European Digital Library" - At least six million books, documents and other cultural works will be made available to anyone with a Web connection through the European Digital Library over the next five years."

  • The European Digital Library: Frequently Asked Questions
  • February 28, 2006
    February 27, 2006
    * DOJ Brief Rebuffs Google's Stance on Data Search Privacy

    Follow-up to postings on Google's ongoing legal battle with DOJ on the release of database search records, CDT provides a PDF copy of the latest round of briefs, Gonzales v. Google, February 24, 2006, 26 pages.

  • See also CNET News.com, Google's Privacy Concerns Unfounded According to Newly Filed Brief: "The Justice Department has denied requesting anything from Google that could threaten the privacy of the search engine's users, as the company recently contended. But by trying to block the government's efforts to review a week's worth of search terms, Google is holding up efforts to protect children...according to a brief filed Friday by the Justice Department."
  • February 25, 2006
    * Recent Decision on Google's Use of Thumbnails May Impact Book Scan Project

    New York times: Ruling May Undercut Google in Fight Over Its Book Scans

    See also this related commentary:

  • The Google Library Project: The Copyright Debate, by Jonathan Band

  • The Authors Guild v. The Google Print Library Project, by Jonathan Band

  • February 24, 2006
    * National Archives and Google Launch Pilot Project to Digitize and Offer Historic Films Online

    NARA press release: "Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Google Co-Founder and President of Technology Sergey Brin today announced the launch of a pilot program to make holdings of the National Archives available for free online. This non-exclusive agreement will enable researchers and the general public to access a diverse collection of historic movies, documentaries and other films from the National Archives via Google Video as well as the National Archives website."

    February 22, 2006
    * Guide to Features in Latest IE7 Beta

    Inside Look: Internet Explorer 7, Beta 2, by Wei-Meng Lee

    February 21, 2006
    February 17, 2006
    * Google Responds to DOJ 's Motion to Comply With Data Demand

    Following up on a controversial demand made by DOJ to major search engine companies for extensive database records, Google this afternoon posted the following response on their official blog: "In August, Google was served with a subpoena from the U. S. Department of Justice demanding disclosure of two full months' worth of search queries that Google received from its users, as well as all the URLs in Google's index. We objected to the subpoena, which started a set of legal procedures that puts the issue before the Federal courts. Below is the introduction to our response to the Department of Justice's motion to the court to force us to comply with the subpoena. You can find the entire response here. (This is a 25-page PDF file.)"

  • ACLU Urges Court to Reject Governments Bid for Google Records
  • ACLU's legal papers opposing the government's demand for Google's records


  • Related links to a chronology of events pertaining to this issue:
  • Google Fights DOJ Order to Produce Records of Database Searches

  • MSN Blog Post Explains Search Data Provided to DOJ

  • New Bill Requires Websites to Destroy User Data That Compromises Privacy

  • Commentary on Government Search Engine Data Collection Highlights Privacy Issues

  • Google Resists Complying With DOJ Demand For Data to Shield Trade Secrets?

  • February 15, 2006
    * The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?

    House of Representatives Committee on International Relations, Subcommittee on Africa, Global Human Rights and International Operations, February 15, 2006 Hearing, The Internet in China: A Tool for Freedom or Suppression?

    Links to statements and testimony below are in PDF:

  • The Honorable Christopher H. Smith, The Honorable James A. Leach, Mr. James Keith, The Honorable David Gross, Mr. Michael Callahan (Senior VP & GC, Yahoo! - testimony in HTML), Mr. Jack Krumholtz (Microsoft), Elliot Schrage (VP, Google -- note, his testimony was posted on the Official Google blog in HTML), Mr. Mark Chandler (Senior VP and GC, Cisco Systems), Ms. Libby Liu (Radio Free Asia), Mr. Xiao Qiang, Ms. Lucie Morillon (Reporters Without Borders), Mr. Harry Wu, Ms. Sharon Hom

  • Related legislation from the House, introduced February 14, 2006: Global Online Freedom Act of 2006 (26 pages, PDF)


  • Related news:
  • New York Times, House Member Criticizes Internet Companies for Practices in China: "In a crowded House hearing room, Representative Christopher H. Smith, Republican of New Jersey, unleashed a scathing condemnation of four American Internet and technology companies — Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco — for a "sickening collaboration" with the Chinese government and for "decapitating the voice of the dissidents" there."

  • Online Firms Facing Questions About Censoring Internet Searches in China

  • AP: Congress Chides 4 Companies Over China

  • UK Times Online: Google and Yahoo face their Congressional critics

  • From Danny O'Brien, Electronic Frontier Foundation, open letter to the Committee, A Code of Conduct for Internet Companies in Authoritarian Regimes, February 15, 2006: "In considering how these companies might construct their services to best serve global human rights, we believe that simple guidelines, consciously followed, could significantly limit the damage caused by corporate engagement with these regimes..."

  • BusinessWeek.com - The Web and China: Not So Simple - Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft say they face a stark choice: Conform to Beijing's edicts or quit the market. The truth is much more complicated

  • January-February 2006 Legal Affairs, The latest American technology helps the Chinese government and other repressive regimes clamp down, by Derek Bambauer, fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School


  • Related information on domestic surveillance that was also the topic of discussion at the above referenced hearing today:
  • Declan McCullagh reports, "Under cross-examination during a congressional hearing, Yahoo's top lawyer refused on Wednesday to say whether the company opens its records for government surveillance without a court order." Declan's article includes an edited transcript of the exchange between Rep. Brad Sherman and Yahoo GC Michael Callahan on the NSA issue.

  • Also, Politicians lash out at tech firms over China, by Anne Broache and Declan McCullagh

  • Related postings on domestic surveillance

  • February 13, 2006
    * Yahoo Issues Statement on Chinese Net Censorship

    Following-up on recent postings, Net Censorship Abroad - Free Speech Colides With E-commerce? and Hearing Focuses on Internet Censorship in China, see today's press release: "Yahoo!: Our Beliefs as a Global Internet Company - As a leading provider of Internet-based services, Yahoo! is committed to open access to information and communication on a global basis. We believe information is power. Citizens across the globe are benefiting greatly from increased access to communications, commerce and independent sources of information. The Internet has helped transform the way business is done, advanced consumer cultures, increased competition, allowed entrepreneurship to flourish, and provided citizens with more freedom in how they live, work, exchange ideas and make choices. Doing business in certain countries presents U.S. companies with challenging and complex questions. We are deeply concerned by efforts of governments to restrict and control open access to information and communication. We also firmly believe the continued presence and engagement of companies like Yahoo! is a powerful force in promoting openness and reform. Private industry alone cannot effectively influence foreign government policies on issues like the free exchange of ideas, maximum access to information, and human rights reform, and we believe continued government-to-government dialogue is vital to achieve progress on these complex political issues..."

    February 09, 2006
    * New Feature of Google Desktop Raises Privacy Issues

    EFF press release: "Google today announced a new "feature" of its Google Desktop software that greatly increases the risk to consumer privacy. If a consumer chooses to use it, the new "Search Across Computers" feature will store copies of the user's Word documents, PDFs, spreadsheets and other text-based documents on Google's own servers, to enable searching from any one of the user's computers. EFF urges consumers not to use this feature, because it will make their personal data more vulnerable to subpoenas from the government and possibly private litigants, while providing a convenient one-stop-shop for hackers who've obtained a user's Google password."

    Related references:

  • Official Google Blog: New on your Desktop

  • Google Desktop 3 Beta announcement

  • Reuters: Google Upgrades Desktop Software

  • Financial Times: Privacy fears over Google 3.0


  • February 08, 2006
    * Markey Introduces Bill to Block Online Storage of Personal Consumer Data

    Press release: "Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the ranking Democrat on the Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, today introduced the Eliminate Warehousing of Consumer Internet Data Act of 2006 (6 pages, PDF) – designed to strengthen consumer' Internet privacy and prevent companies from storing personal information for indefinite periods of time."

    * Comparison of Google Earth and Windows Live Local

    Jennifer Laycock provides a brief but useful comparison of the two satellite services, Google Earth and Windows Live Local - beta.

    February 06, 2006
    * No Comment From Google But IP Network May Be In Future

    Follow-up to February 2, 2006 posting, Commentary on Forces Competing to Determine "Digital Destiny", this related article from the UK Times Onlines - Rumours mount over Google's internet plan, by Benjamin Cohen: "Google is working on a project to create its own global internet protocol (IP) network, a private alternative to the internet controlled by the search giant, according to sources who are in commercial negotiation with the company."

    February 05, 2006
    * Survey of Major Search Engines Yields Info on Consumer Data Retention Policies

    Declan McCullagh and Elinor Mills: "To find out what kind of information the four major search companies retain about their users, CNET News.com surveyed America Online, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.
    We asked the same seven questions of each company. Their answers are reproduced... with the responses sorted by the companies' names in alphabetical order."

  • Postings on search engine privacy
  • February 04, 2006
    * Customer Info Collected By Search Engines Increasingly Subject to Scrutiny

    FAQ: When Google is not your friend, by Declan McCullagh: "Google's recent legal spat with the U.S. Department of Justice highlights not only what information search engines record about us but also the shortcomings in a federal law that's supposed to protect online privacy."

    Related references:

  • New York Times - Increasingly, Internet's Data Trail Leads to Court: "...just as technology is prompting Internet companies to collect more information and keep it longer than before, prosecutors and civil lawyers are more readily using that information."


  • February 01, 2006
    * Quick Guide to Search Engine Privacy Tips

    Five Ways To Keep Your Google Searches Private: "Word that the government has been seeking search data from Google has struck fear into the hearts of Internet Explorer and Firefox users. Here are five simple steps to keep outsiders from uncovering private information about your Web browsing habits."

  • See also this posting by Bob Ambrogi on Anonymous searching

  • January 31, 2006
    * Global Publishers Investigate Copyright and Brand Infringement By Search Engines

    Press release: "A task force of global and European publishers organizations, led by the World Association of Newspapers, has agreed to work together to examine the options open to publishers to assert their rights to recognition and recompense, and to ultimately improve the relationships between content creators/producers and news aggregators and search engines."

    * Google Opens Washington, DC Office to Tackle Policy Issues

    Legal Times (reg. free) Google Search - Google Goes Beyond Web-Based Democracy

  • Related article, Prying Eyes, by Drew Clark, Technology Daily, January 30, 2006.

  • Related postings: Google Resists Complying With DOJ Demand For Data to Shield Trade Secrets? and Date Set for DOJ v. Google Hearing

  • January 30, 2006
    * New Google Beta Toolbar Allows Users to Customize Features

    Press release: "The new beta versions of Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer are open and customizable, with new features that enable users to customize their search experience and share information with friends...The new versions of Google Toolbar now offer customizable buttons, online bookmarks, enhanced search features, new sharing capabilities, and an open API. Google Toolbar for Enterprise beta also includes administration and control for business environments."

    January 27, 2006
    * Date Set for DOJ v. Google Hearing

    Declan McCullagh reported that Judge James Ware, US District Court, Northern District of California, has calendered Gonzales v. Google, Inc. for February 27, 2006.

    January 26, 2006
    * Google Resists Complying With DOJ Demand For Data to Shield Trade Secrets?

    In a shift from previous responses to and commentary about DOJ's subpoena for Google's search data, this New York Times article, In Case About Google's Secrets, Yours Are Safe, recasts the probe with a focus on protecting corporate trade secrets, not preserving user privacy.

    Related commentary on Google:

  • Imagining the Google Future - Top experts help us plot four scenarios that show where the company's geniuses may be leading it -- and, perhaps, all of us.

  • January 24, 2006
    * Search Full Text Archive of State of the Union Addresses

    From askSam, a searchable version of the full text of all of the State of the Union Addresses from 1790-2005.

    January 20, 2006
    * Guide to Website Reliability

    Beyond Algorithms: A Librarian's Guide to Finding Web Sites You Can Trust, by Karen G. Schneider, a librarian and writer, who is Director of Librarians' Internet Index (LII).

    January 19, 2006
    * New on LLRX.com

    The January 15, 2006 issue of LLRX.com includes the following articles:

  • Deep Web Research Research 2006, by Marcus P. Zillman

  • The Google Library Project: The Copyright Debate, by Jonathan Band

  • Researching Laws and Information on Nutritional and Dietary Supplements On the Web, by Joel Rothman

  • Election Law @ Moritz, by Sara Sampson

  • Adobe's Macromedia Studio 8 -- What's New in the Upgrade? by Roger V. Skalbeck

  • E-Discovery Update - by Fios Inc.: Cost Savings With New Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for e-Discovery? by Mary Mack

  • CongressLine by GalleryWatch.com: Floor Fight, by Will Hall and Dan Peake

  • The Government Domain: News Roundup, by Peggy Garvin

  • Faulkner's Practical Web Strategies for Attorneys: New Year's Resolution - Update Your Website, by Frederick L. Faulkner IV

  • The Tao of Law Librarianship: Do-It-Yourself Professional Development, by Connie Crosby

  • FOIA Facts: Bush Orders FOIA Executive Officers, by Scott A. Hodes

  • * Google Fights DOJ Order to Produce Records of Database Searches

  • MercuryNews.com, Feds after Google data: "The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.
    Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort 'vigorously'."

  • Legislative reference: Child Online Protection Act

  • AP, Google, U.S. Clash Over Online Searches: "The government wants a list all requests entered into Google's search engine during an unspecified single week - a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases."

  • Copy of subpoena and correspondece between DOJ and Google (32 pages, PDF): "In an attempt to learn more about computer users searching for p*rn*graphy on the internet, the U.S. government filed a motion in federal court in California seeking to compel Google to to turn over "a multi-stage random sample of one million URL's" from Google's database, and a computer file with "the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a one-week period."

  • EFF Applauds Google Resistance to Government Subpoena - But Broader Privacy Concerns Remain

  • January 19, 2006 - Fighting Internet-based Obscenity and Child P*rn*graphy - James H. Burrus, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, Before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Links to all testimony and opening remarks from the hearing today.


  • Related news on compliance by MSN, AOL and Yahoo, to similar DOJ subpoenas for data:
  • Reported by Declan McCullagh, "Federal prosecutors preparing to defend a controversial Internet p*rn*graphy law in court have asked Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online to hand over millions of search records--a request that Google is adamantly denying." Note that this article also has links to PDF versions of the legal documents related to the ongoing DOJ v. Google matter.


  • January 12, 2006
    * Mobile Google Personalized Webpage

    "Your Google personalized homepage puts the information you care about on one web page -- and now you can access that page on your mobile phone or device, in a phone-friendly format that's easy to read and navigate."

  • Personalized Home FAQ
  • January 10, 2006
    * Challenges Posed By Search Engines on E-Commerce Profitability

    Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, January 9, 2006: Search Engines as Leeches on the Web

  • "Summary: Search engines extract too much of the Web's value, leaving too little for the websites that actually create the content. Liberation from search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and software vendors."
  • January 09, 2006
    * Citation Database of Scientific and Medical Literature Now Available Free

    Press release, January 5, 2006 – "Infotrieve, Inc. today announced that it had converted ArticleFinder, its online scientific, technical, and medical (STM) database with more than 26 million citations and eight million abstracts from over 54,000 journals, to a free access model. The move provides scientists and researchers, who work for corporations and are subject to different copyright regulations than their academic counterparts, with an end-to-end solution for conducting STM searches across literature from multiple providers. The solution seamlessly retrieves full-text scholarly journal articles that they need on a pay-per-view basis."

    December 26, 2005
    * Google Earth To Limit Views of Sensitive Israeli Sites

    Following up on December 19, 2005 posting, Google Satellite Imagery Stirs Security Concerns Here and Abroad, Israel National News reports that the Goggle Earth satellite imagery will now offer users limited resolution of sensitive military installations in the country.

  • Please see this posting from Ogle Earth that adds facts, perspective and context to the above mentioned information.
  • December 22, 2005
    December 20, 2005
    * Yahoo Introduces Time Saving Search Shortcuts

    From the Yahoo Search Blog: Open Shortcuts (beta) are custom keywords that take you directly to a site, a search, or start a task right from the search box...To use an Open Shortcut, you type !(exclamation point) followed by the name of the shortcut in the Yahoo! Search box. For example, type: !ebay lamps. This takes you directly to www.ebay.com and searches for lamps.

  • For more details, see the Yahoo! Open Shortcuts Help
  • December 19, 2005
    December 16, 2005
    * Google Music Search Feature

    Music Search: Use Google to get quick access to a wide range of music information. For details, see the Official Google Blog posting.

    December 12, 2005
    December 06, 2005
    * Privacy Expert Comments on Google Data Collection Activities

    Google's Empire, Privacy, and Government Access to Personal Data, by Daniel J. Solove.

    * OCLC Report on Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources

    From OCLC:Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources (2005) summarizes findings of an international study on information-seeking habits and preferences. "The Perceptions report provides the findings and responses from the online survey in an effort to learn more about: Library use; Awareness and use of library electronic resources; The Internet search engine, the library and the librarian; Free vs. for-fee information; The "Library" brand."

    Related links:

  • "OCLC Research has updated its list of the top 1000 titles owned by member libraries—the intellectual works that have been judged to be worth owning by the "purchase vote" of libraries around the globe."

  • OCLC's research laboratory, ResearchWorks demonstrates a few of our ideas for applying new technologies to organize information."

  • Thom Hickey , The Future of the Library Catalog: Open, Interactive, Participatory (PowerPoint: 4.3MB/36slides), FedLink Fall Members Meeting, 9 November 2005, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

  • November 29, 2005
    * Trademark and Copyright Lawsuit Focuses on Google Search Rank

    From The Nutritional and Dietary Supplement Law Blog: "In a complaint filed last week in federal court in California, Salu, Inc., the owner of the popular cosmeceutical site SkinStore.com has sued the owners of competitor NewSkinSpa.com for trademark and copyright infringement accusing them of copying the SkinStore.com html code and using it to create the site at NewSkinSpa.com. In so doing, SkinStore.com claims that NewSkinSpa.com has been able to obtain a higher Google ranking for search terms like 'Hylexin,' a popular cosmeceutical product for under-eye dark circles."

    November 27, 2005
    * Via Charitable Org., Google Targets Power of Search for Genetic Data

    UK Times: Google turns its search power to the hunt for genetic drugs: "David Vise's book reveals how it is sifting information to help scientists advance medicine...Google's data-mining techniques appear well suited to the formidable challenges posed by analysing the genetic sequence."

  • The Google Story, by David Vise

  • Welcome to Google.org – the philanthropic arm of Google
  • November 25, 2005
    November 23, 2005
    * Google Goes Way Beyond Search

    Who's Afraid of Google? Everyone, by Kevin Kelleher. "It seems no one is safe: Google is doing Wi-Fi; Google is searching inside books; Google has a plan for ecommerce."

  • postings on Google Print/Book Search

  • Google Wants to Provide Free WiFi to SF

  • Google Plans Online-Payment Service
  • November 21, 2005
    * A Look Inside the Google Book Search Program at Harvard University

    This profile of Sidney Verba, Harvard University Library Director, professor of government, and author of numerous books and articles, addresses key aspects related to the university's participation in the Google Book Search project.

    Related references:

  • Books Online: The Fee versus Free Battle Begins,
    by Barbara Quint

  • Amazon Announces Plan to Sell Portions of Books Online

  • New York Times, The Story of the Search, Applause Included
  • The Google Story, by David Vise, Mark Malseed

  • Debate Between Publishers, Authors and Google Over Book Search Program


  • * Pew Data Shows Surge In Search Engine Use

    Press release: "Search engine use shoots up in the past year and edges towards email as the primary internet application...from September 2004 to September 2005 the average daily use of search engines jumped from 49.3 million users to 60.7 million users – an increase of 23%.
    This means that the use of search engines is edging up on email as a primary internet activity on any given day. The Pew Internet Project data show that on a typical day, email use is still the top internet activity. On any given day, about 52% of American internet users are sending and receiving email."

  • Search Engine Use, November 2005 (9 pages, PDF)
  • November 20, 2005
    * Debate Between Publishers, Authors and Google Over Book Search Program

    New York Times: Googling Literature: The Debate Goes Public

    Related references:

  • Google, Authors, Publishers, and Library Officials in Discussion at The New York Public Library: Panel with Library President Paul LeClerc, Google VP David Drummond, legal scholar Lawrence Lessig, Wired editor Chris Anderson, and others on Thursday, November 17.

  • Postings on Google Print and Google Book Search

  • November 17, 2005
    * Google Print Morphs Into Google Book Search

    From the Official Google Blog, "When we launched Google Print, our goal was to make it easier for users to discover books. Now that we're starting to achieve that, we think a more descriptive name will help clarify what our users can do with it: namely, search the full text of books to find ones that interest them and learn where to buy or borrow them...We want to make all the world's books discoverable and searchable online, and we hope this new name will help keep everyone focused on that important goal."

    November 14, 2005
    * Analysis of Google Print Program Focuses on Calls for Change to Copyright Laws

    From Salon, Throwing Google at the book - "Google's new search engine of books puts a world of knowledge at our fingertips. Publishers say the Internet giant is robbing them of their rightful fees. Maybe it's time to call copyright laws history," by Farhad Manjoo.

    November 06, 2005
    * The Expanding Reach, and Power, of Google's Plans for Future Services

    New York Times, Just Googling It Is Striking Fear Into Companies, speculates on Google's potential plans to broaden the company's e-commerce endeavors, including property listings in conjunction with mapping, searching, and satellite projects currently extant, and comparison pricing for a range of consumer goods.

    November 04, 2005
    * Google Announces First Installment of Digitized Public Domain Books

    Google press release: "Today, Google Inc. announced the availability of the first large collection of public domain books on Google Print. This collection, scanned as part of the company’s book digitization project with several of the world’s largest libraries, includes works such as U.S. Civil War history books, government documents, the writings of Henry James and other materials. Because they’re out of copyright, these cultural artifacts can be read in their entirety online at http://print.google.com, where anyone can search and browse every page. They are fully searchable and users can save individual page images."

    Related references:

  • postings on Google Print

  • Official Google Blog: Preserving public domain books

  • Microsoft in digitisation deal with British Library - Plans to digitise 100,000 (rather old) books

  • November 01, 2005
    * Report Reviews Market and Legal Challenges to Book Digitizing Projects

    Acquiring Copyright Permission to Digitize and Provide Open Access to Books, Published by the Council on Library and Information Resources and Digital Library Federation, (72 pages, PDF)

    Related references to Google's announcement that Print Program scanning will resume, along with clarifications on the programs goals:

  • From the Official Google Blog posting, October 31, 2005: "..the focus of our library effort is on scanning books that are unique to libraries including many public domain books, orphaned works and out-of-print titles. We're starting with library stacks that mostly contain older and out-of-circulation books, but also some newer books. That said, we want to make all books easier to find, and as we get through the older parts of the libraries we'll start scanning the stacks that house newer books."

  • BusinessWeek.com: Google's Latest Plot Twist
  • WSJ free feature: Google Will Return to Scanning Copyrighted Library Books

  • BBC: Google restarts online books plan

  • Google Print Beta

  • October 24, 2005
    October 21, 2005
    * Commentary Focuses on Google's Indexing Technology and the Print Program

    Indexing Versus Caching & How Google Print Doesn't Reprint

  • Related links on the Google Print program
  • October 19, 2005
    October 18, 2005
    * Goals of Google Scholar Search Outlined in Recent Presentation

    A recent ppt presentation, Searching Scholarly Literature: A Google Scholar Perspective, by Google Scholar principal engineer Anurag Acharya, states that the goal of the service is to "find all scholarly work...journals, conferences, reprints, reports...[from] all countries, all languages, all sources..." The presentation briefly highlights coverage by publisher, by category (with medical at 22%), and lists the countries with the most queries (US, UK, Australia, Germany, Mexico and Brazil). [SiteLines]

    October 17, 2005
    * Google Search Tips 2005

    Google Search Tips 2005, from Google Blogoscoped, by Philipp Lenssen. Not affiliated with Google™.

    October 16, 2005
    * Google.org – the philanthropic arm of Google

    "Google.org will include the work of the Google Foundation, some of Google’s own projects using Google talent, technology and other resources, as well as partnerships and contributions to for-profit and non-profit entities. While we continue to define the goals, priorities and approach for Google.org, we will focus on several areas including global poverty alleviation, energy and the environment."

  • From the Official Google Blog, About Google.org

  • * Google's Updated Privacy Policy

    Google Privacy Policy Highlights, October 14, 2005:

  • "At Google we recognize that privacy is important. This document outlines the types of personal information we receive and collect when you use Google's services, as well as some of the steps we take to safeguard information. We hope this will help you make an informed decision about sharing personal information with us...Google processes personal information on our servers in the United States of America and in other countries. In some cases, we process personal information on a server outside your own country."

  • Google's full-text privacy policy

  • Seattlepi.com: Google offers glimpse at data collection
  • October 11, 2005
    * Yahoo Adds Blogs to News Search

    From the October 10, 2005 Yahoo! Search Blog: "Today we've begun the integration of blogs in Yahoo! News Search. Now when you search on Yahoo! News you will see blog results as well as content from thousands of trusted news sites. [Note: search results from blogs are displayed in a box labeled Blogs Beta, that appears at the far right hand side of the search engine result screen.] The experiences and opinions published on blogs make a great addition to the mainstream news people read everyday. And major world events are further fueling the growth of blogs as platforms for anyone who wants to have a public voice. At times, even everyday bloggers beat the mainstream media to a story."

    October 10, 2005
    * Commentary on Google Print Offers Pros and Cons

    In following the continuing saga of the Google Print Program, from WSJ's Free Features today: Authors' Second Chance "Google's ambitious plan to put books online could give authors and publishers a new lease on life. But Google Print's critics say the ambitious plan runs afoul of copyright laws."

    October 07, 2005
    * Google RSS and News Reader Launched Today

    Google launched a beta version of Google Reader, a service that requires users to have a gmail account.

  • Google Reader Help FAQ
  • October 04, 2005
    * Sun and Google Announce Strategic Agreement

    Google press release: "Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Google Inc. today announced an agreement to promote and distribute their software technologies to millions of users around the world. The agreement aims to make it easier for users to freely obtain Sun's Java™ Runtime Environment (JRE), the Google Toolbar and the OpenOffice.org office productivity suite, helping millions of users worldwide to participate in the next wave of Internet growth. Under the agreement, Sun will include the Google Toolbar as an option in its consumer downloads of the Java Runtime Environment on http://java.com. In addition, the companies have agreed to explore opportunities to promote and enhance Sun technologies, like the Java Runtime Environment and the OpenOffice.org productivity suite available at http://www.openoffice.org."

    Related references:

  • Sun press release: Sun and Google Expand Technology Reach And Global Opportunity

  • Motorola and Microsoft Form Strategic Alliance, Motorola Software to Be Optimized for the Microsoft Platform - "Full line of Motorola applications for law enforcement, first responders and criminal justice to be built on Microsoft .NET Framework and Microsoft Windows Server System."
  • September 27, 2005
    * Google Launches Enhanced Video Features, Celebrates 7th Birthday

  • "Google Video offers viewers a way to see material from archived TV programs, educational videos, personal productions and more."

  • From Google Blog: "For our seventh birthday, we are giving you a newly expanded web search index that is 1,000 times the size of our original index."

  • Google to Remove Boast About Index Size
  • September 23, 2005
    * Federal E-Gov Portal Will Benefit From New Search Feature Enhancements

    Press release: Vivísimo and MSN Search to Provide Search Backbone for Redesigned FirstGov Portal: "As part of the agreement, Vivísimo teamed with Microsoft's MSN Search Web service to provide search results for the government domain. The MSN Search Web service includes extensive coverage of government documents in its index as well as a rich set of filtering-related operators. Vivísimo will leverage its Velocity software and Clusty Web search platforms to selectively crawl and metasearch federal and local government-related content and cluster the combined MSN Search and Vivísimo results for easier navigation by FirstGov users."

  • Federal Computer Week reports that the contract is for $1.8 million annually, and the new search feature will be available spring 2006. The project is planned to expand to index website content from state, local and municipal sites as well.
  • September 19, 2005
    * Controversy Continues to Percolate Over Google Print Program

    From AP today, this article highlights the battlelines that have been drawn, and are hardening, between publishers and Google concerning the expansive plan to digitize significant library collections from throughout the world, thus allowing users to search content on the web.

    September 18, 2005
    * Google Hurricane Katrina Search

    This past week Google launched a search engine specific to locating resources related to hurricane Katrina, as well as a tool, albeit one with its share of limitations due to the challeges of the task, to reunited those separated by the disaster.

  • About Google's Hurricane Katrina Resources: "We've launched two new search features designed specifically for finding information about Hurricane Katrina. You can search on any keyword using Katrina Search and get back results only from Hurricane Katrina-related web pages. Katrina People Search accesses several public databases to help you find info on friends or family members who may have been affected by the storm."
  • September 14, 2005
    * Google Launches Beta Blog Search Engine

  • Google Blog Search

  • About Google Blog Search: "Blog Search enables you to find out what people are saying on any subject of your choice...Your results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger; our blog index is continually updated, so you'll always get the most accurate and up-to-date results; and you can search not just for blogs written in English, but in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese and other languages as well."

  • See also The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture and New Google feature sorts through blogs
  • September 08, 2005
    September 06, 2005
    * Search Engines Indexes Sites With Info on Hurricane Survivors and Missing

    From Lycos, this Katrina Missing Persons Site states: "Hurricane Katrina has caused widespread destruction throughout the Gulf Coast, especially in New Orleans. As the flood waters begin to ebb, the region faces the challenges of rebuilding from this disaster and reuniting with loved ones. Numerous sites are posting information about survivors and missing persons. In an attempt to help, Lycos will search these sites for information about victims of Hurricane Katrina. You can search for people by name that you know were impacted by Katrina."

    September 01, 2005
    * Users Around the World May Now Search Google Print

    Susan Kuchinskas reported that Google Extends Book Scanning Operation to allow users in 14 countries, including the UK, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa to conduct English language key word searches and then read selected pages from books the site has indexed.

  • Related references to Google Print program
  • August 31, 2005
    * Publishing Industry Opposition to Google Print Program Escalates

    Yet another follow-up to my previous postings on this issue here and here; see this statement, Google Print Library Position 'Backwards': Copyright holder should not have to opt-out, from the Text and Academic Author's Association past president.

  • See also Writer Groups Not Backing Down In Fight With Google
  • August 28, 2005
    * Search Engine Provides Personal Data on Everyone From Consumers to CEOs...There's the Rub

    Google Anything, so Long as It's Not Google, by Randall Stross.
    For context see:

  • Google balances privacy, reach

  • Google CEO defends privacy policies

  • Google's Boycott Misses the Mark

  • * The Future of Cataloging: Google Print WIll Not Supplant LC Cataloging

    Will Google’s Keyword Searching Eliminate the Need for LC Cataloging and Classification?by Thomas Mann, a Reference Librarian in the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress. This paper was written for AFSCME 2910.

  • "The larger the book collection, the more–not less–scholars are dependent on categorizations created by subject headings in catalogs and classified shelving in bookstacks. "Access" provided by the mere addition of more keywords to a database, with their "ranking" by machine algorithms, is radically different from conceptual categorization; it is only the latter that provides both overview and recognition access to books’ contents. Without those means of access, provided and maintained primarily by the Library of Congress, scholars–and scholarship itself–will be lost in a wilderness of inadequately sorted information "atomized" at keyword levels into conceptual incoherence, and retrievable only superficially via unsystematic and haphazard guesswork."
  • August 25, 2005
    * Google Continues to Capture Headlines With Free Services and Upgraded Features

    Google has been the topic of several articles in the New York Times this week. Yesterday the focus was on corporate expansion, and today there is news about Google Desktop 2, an IM application called Google Talk, and Gmail for everyone (all of these services are free).
    See also:

  • Google's Grand Ambitions - Its lips are sealed, but its moves rattle everyone from Microsoft to eBay

  • Free Wi-Fi? Get Ready for GoogleNet - "A trail of hidden clues suggests Google is building its own Internet -- and might be looking to let everyone connect for free."

  • August 24, 2005
    * As David Becomes Goliath, Competitors Balk

    From the New York Times, Relax, Bill Gates; It's Google's Turn as the Villain addresses a range of concerns about the expanding profits, plans, and profile of the company that has set its sights on dominating the information technology marketplace.

    August 22, 2005
    * MSN Search Makes RSS Easy

    From Jim Moore's Journal: Reporting on systems evolving, the following posting yesterday provides step by step details on how researchers can easily and effectively leverage RSS: RSS-oriented search engines are appearing, including MSN search, with RSS output and one-click subscriptions to leading news aggregators.

    August 19, 2005
    * Web Search Emphasizes The Present to the Detriment of Access to Data on the Past

    A forthcoming report from New Media & Society, Multiple Presents: How Search Engines Re-write the Past, by Iina Hellsten, Loet Leydesdorff, and Paul Wouters (available in PDF, 28 pages).

  • "Internet search engines function in a present which changes continuously. The search engines update their indices regularly, overwriting Web pages with newer ones, adding new pages to the index, and losing older ones. Some search engines can be used to search for information at the internet for specific periods of time. However, these 'date stamps' are not determined by the first occurrence of the pages in the Web, but by the last date at which a page was updated or a new page was added, and the search engine’s crawler updated this change in the database. This has major implications for the use of search engines in scholarly research as well as theoretical implications for the conceptions of time and temporality. We examine the interplay between the different updating frequencies by using AltaVista and Google for searches at different moments of time. Both the retrieval of the results and the structure of the retrieved information erodes over time."

  • * Three Part Series Addresses Google and Privacy Issues

    CIO Today published a three part series, Google Has Your Data: Should You Be Afraid?, that offers perspectives on the growing tension between the expanding public and government demand for quick and easy access to a range of personal data, and concerns about how the ubiquity of such data impacts consumer privacy. Links to the respective articles are as follows: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

    August 18, 2005
    * New Players Offer Deep Web Access to Facilitate Online Job Search

  • "Simply Hired and Indeed, upstarts less than a year old, are getting attention for their Google-like approach to helping people find jobs. They do for job listings what Google does for general information -- crawl or "scrape" listings from thousands of sites and create a free, searchable index in one spot." [Link]

  • Duo's search engine scours 'hidden' sites: "Glenbrook, run by a father-daughter team, demonstrated its technology by building a search engine that scoops up job listings from the databases of various Web sites, something the company claims most search engines cannot do."
  • August 17, 2005
    * Additional Features Enrich Yahoo Local Search

    From the Yahoo! Search Blog, details about new features launched last night on Yahoo! Local: "..city pages...built for every city, neighborhood, and zip across the US of A...highlight upcoming events, top user recommendations for restaurants and other favorite local spots -- all neatly plotted on a map of your city or neighborhood...other upgrades [include] comprehensive coverage of local events, a directory for browsing, recent history of searches and listings viewed, top searches in each city per week..and its RSS enabled."

  • Related references: Survey: Google and Yahoo Lead in Customer Satisfaction and the University of Michigan's American Customer Satisfaction Index survey results (6 pages, PDF).
  • August 16, 2005
    * Yahoo vs. Google - Whose Index is Bigger?

    Following up on my August 9, 2005 posting, Yahoo Claims Larger Search Engine Index Than Google, see this new survey challenging Yahoo's claim: A Comparison of the Size of the Yahoo! and Google Indices, by Matthew Cheney, Mike Perry, and Dr. Orville Vernon Burton, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

  • See also In Silicon Valley, a Debate Over the Size of the Web
  • August 12, 2005
    * Changes to Google Print Program Announced Today

    Posted late last night by Adam M. Smith, Google Print Product Manager, on the Google Blog: "As with many ambitious ideas, Google Print has sparked a healthy amount of discussion...Today I'd like to mention two new features that reflect these discussions and which we feel will considerably improve both programs. If you're in the Publisher Program...you can now give us a list of the books that, if we scan them at a library, you'd like to have added immediately to your account. This way you can have your books in Google Print, which will put them into Google.com search results, direct potential buyers to your website, provide ongoing reports about user interest in your books, and your books will also earn revenue from contextual advertising – even if they are out of print....To allow plenty of time to review these new options, we won’t scan any in-copyright books from now until this November."

  • Related postings on the Google Print Program

  • From BusinessWeek.com, Google's Plan Doesn't Scan

  • August 10, 2005
    * Google Offers Fill in the Blank Search Feature

    "If search engines were truly intelligent, you could just pose a question the same way you would ask a person. An alternative is to get the search engine to 'fill in the blank.' So instead of asking [who invented the parachute?], you can enter the query [the parachute was invented by *]. (The blank, or wildcard, search is marked by * - an asterisk.)" [Google Blog]

    * Quick and Easy Guide to Yahoo Sites and Services

    Yahoo! Everything: Links to all the services and specialty sites Yahoo offers." The A to Z index includes links to a range of topic specific engines (such as finance, news, health...), as well as to shopping, entertainment and communications services.

    August 09, 2005
    * Yahoo Claims Larger Search Engine Index Than Google

    Yahoo! and Google will no doubt continue to disagree on whose search index is the largest, but a key issue remains that researchers are interested in this issue as it pertains to reliable, comprehensive, accessible, and current content, as opposed to ad revenues.

    August 05, 2005
    * New Book Explores Search Technology and Google's Impact

    The first excerpt from John Battelle's new book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, is available on his blog.

    August 04, 2005
    * Study Measures Overlap and Ranking Differences of Leading Search Engines

    Different Engines, Different Results - Web Searchers Not Always Finding What They're Looking For Online (30 pages, PDF), a research study by DogPile.com in collaboration with researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania State University [Press release].

  • Executive Summary (1 page, PDF)
  • * Yahoo Debuts Free Audio Search Beta

    "With over 50 M audio files available, Yahoo! Audio Search is the most comprehensive audio search product on the Web. Now you can find, learn about and listen to a diverse selection of audio spanning popular and hard to find music, interviews, speeches, newscasts, podcasts, and even sound effects." [FAQ]

  • From the Yahoo! Search Blog, The World is Listening provides details about the new search tool and plans for additional features in future.

  • July 28, 2005
    * Insights into the Development of Google's PageRank

    Excerpt from John Battelle's forthcoming book, The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture.

    * Public Libraries Offer Free Online Resources Not Available From Web Engines

    A new article from the 8/15/05 issue of Forbes, Google Isn't Everything, serves as a useful reminder that public libraries throughout the country offer users access to a vast range of online subscription services, absolutely free. While Yahoo is beta testing a service that permits users to locate news, articles and other resources from selected subscription services (viewing the full text requires a fee), your local public library has been providing more comprehensive online access to you for free, for years. In addition, staying current with your college or grad school alumni fees may also reward you with a treasure trove of online access to subscription services that can include Factiva, LexisNexis Academic, CQ Weekly, and HeinOnline as just a few examples. Well worth some research to find out what you are missing.

    July 27, 2005
    * Web Archives Provide Sources for Discovery

    Today's Wall Street Journal featured a front page article ($), Lawyers' Delight: Old Web Material Doesn't Disappear - Wayback Machine and Google Archive Billions of Pages, Including Deleted Ones, which is worth review. It focuses on how old web pages available from the Internet Archive and cached pages from Google can be of particular value in cases involving domain name disputes.

  • Related reference: Internet Archive Sued in Case Involving DMCA and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

  • July 26, 2005
    * Searching Podcasts

    "What is Podscope? Podscope is the first search engine that actually allows you to search for spoken words within any audio or video file. We're starting with podcasts and will be adding all types of multimedia in coming months."

  • Press release: Podscope Search Engine to Index Entire Spoken Podcast Universe; First Spoken Word Index Search Engine Will Cover All Non-Music Audio and Video Podcasts by August 31, 2005
  • July 15, 2005
    * Google Print for Libraries Project Encounters Continued Opposition

    Another follow-up to groups voicing opposition to Google's project to digitize major library collections, this time from the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP), which is "the international trade association for not-for-profit publishers and those who work with them." The group's July 11, 2005 "response to Google Print for Libraries digitisation project" (3 pages, PDF) includes the following statements:

  • "‘Google Print for Libraries'...entails making complete digital copies of publications, including - in the case of some of the participating libraries - works which are still in copyright. Irrespective of whether the results may be damaging or beneficial to the copyright owners, the fact remains that copying on such a scale is in clear contravention of copyright law and is not covered by any exception in any relevant legislation."
  • July 13, 2005
    * Proposed Amendment to Canadian Copyright Act Addresses Accessing Copyrighted Materials Via Web "Information Location Tool"

    From the Canadian Globe and Mail, Could Googling become illegal?

  • See C-60, An Act to amend the Copyright Act, specifically Sec. 40.3 (scroll down the page to locate)
  • July 10, 2005
    * Google Short Message Service (SMS)

    "Google SMS (Short Message Service) enables you to send queries as text messages over your mobile phone or device and easily get precise answers to your questions. No links. No web pages. Just text — and the information you're looking for...local business listings...driving directions...movie showtimes and theater locations of movies currently playing near you...weather conditions and 4-day forecasts...the latest stock quotes...quick answers to straightforward questions..."[Link]

    July 04, 2005
    * News Portal Adds Canadian News Channel

    Press release: Topix.net, the Internet's largest resource for online news with over 300,000 news channels, announced today that it has expanded its product offering to include a new dedicated news channel for Canada and local news for over 4,200 Canadian cities and towns - the first in a series of initiatives to bring local news channels to international Internet users...Local Canadian news channels on Topix.net will provide users with access to news and information about where they live, work or travel from over 500 Canadian sources, and over 10,000 sources overall. Topix.net's unique technology allows the site to target news headlines down to the postal code level for over 4,200 local Canadian communities."

    June 21, 2005
    * OCLC's Data Mining Research Area

    OCLC Data Mining Projects: "...Internet giants such as Amazon and Google provide valuable lessons on the importance of squeezing the full value from available data. Whether in the form of book recommendations, search result rankings, targeted advertising, or collection views (e.g., Google Scholar), the "Amazoogle" companies make a concerted effort to release as much value as possible from the data at hand. Libraries possess rich reservoirs of data. However, this data needs to be made to work harder in order to create value for librarians and users. To this end, the OCLC Research Data-Mining Research Area will focus on projects aimed at creating value from the bibliographic information in WorldCat and other library data sources."

    June 20, 2005
    * New Engine Crawls Deep Web in Search of Health Data

    Press release today: "Mamma.com Inc....today announced the beta release of its innovative Health Search... [the] technology does more than aggregate results from various content providers [WebMD, MedLine Plus, HealthAtoZ, MayClinic.com, MedicineNet.com, NHSDirect Online] for medical information; we crawl deep into the websites of certain handpicked, trusted, medical websites to extract and format results in a easy to understand, and comprehensive manner."

    June 17, 2005
    * Details Revealed on Google Library Project at U. Michigan

    Following are links to several related documents worth reviewing on the Google Library Project to digitize the entire collections of participating libraries.

  • Google Library: Peril for Publishers?


  • Michigan Digitization Project
  • Brief Overview (12/13/04) PDF Format

  • Cooperative Agreement between the University Library and Google (PDF Format)

  • Sample Titles

  • Google’s Library Digitization Project: Reports from Michigan and Oxford

  • [SearchEngineWatch]

    June 16, 2005
    * Yahoo! Search Subscriptions Beta

    "Yahoo! Search Subscriptions beta is a new way to search the subscription content that's important to you. By partnering with publishers, Yahoo! is providing the convenience of a single place to access and find all relevant content, whether it's generally available web content or content from your personal subscriptions."
    [FAQ]

  • "You can search subscription content from a range of publications, including Consumer Reports, Forrester Research, FT.com, IEEE, the New England Journal of Medicine, TheStreet.com and the Wall Street Journal. Yahoo! intends to continually increase the selection of searchable subscription content sources. The program will also include ACM, Factiva and Lexis-Nexis in the near future. The complete list of available sources can be found on the Subscriptions Preferences page."

  • Expanding Your Web Searches to Include Deep Web Subscription Content

  • June 03, 2005
    * Google's Beta "Collaborative Crawling System"

    "Google Sitemaps is an experiment in web crawling. Using Sitemaps to inform and direct our crawlers, we hope to expand our coverage of the web and improve the time to inclusion in our index. By placing a Sitemap-formatted file on your webserver, you enable our crawlers to find out what pages are present and which have recently changed, and to crawl your site accordingly." [Link]

  • Google Sitemaps (BETA)
  • * Privacy Concerns Focus on Google's Retention of Internet Activity Data

    Reuters reports, via CNN, Google's long memory stirs privacy concerns.

    May 31, 2005
    * Yahoo Beta Search Tool Sorts Results Into Commercial and Informational Groups

    Mindset: "A Yahoo! Research Labs demo that applies a new twist on search that uses machine learning technology to give you a choice: View Yahoo! Search results sorted according to whether they are more commercial or more informational (i.e., from academic, non-commercial, or research-oriented sources)."

  • FAQ about the demo


  • Related news:
  • New Search Stars - What's the trend in Web search? Newcomers and search giants cook up specialty services that get you information faster than ever.

  • May 26, 2005
    * Start Page For Google Print Launched

    The Google Print program now has its own homepage, Discover and browse printed material online. [Google Blogoscoped]

  • See also this May 23 posting, Publishers Express Continued Concerns With Google Print for Libraries Program.
  • May 24, 2005
    * Aerial Images Provided by Leading Search Engines All the Rage

    One of today's WSJ free features: Sky-High Search Wars - Microsoft, Google Vie to Offer Best Aerial Views of Earth

  • See also this press release: "Pictometry Selected by Microsoft to Provide Unique Aerial Images for MSN Virtual Earth
  • May 23, 2005
    * Publishers Express Continued Concerns With Google Print for Libraries Program

    From BusinessWeek.com, A Google Project Pains Publishers - The major presses are raising thorny legal issues with the search giant's initiative to digitize the books of the world's great libraries.

  • "In [this] letter, the Association of American University Presses' Peter Givler takes issue with Google's Print for Libraries program." [Link]
  • See also related postings on Google Print
  • * Google Factory Tour Yields News/Views on Upcoming Services

    On May 19, there was a Google Factory Tour, for which there are accompanying screen shots and a webcast.
    Details of the information presented include this posting about Google Machine Translation Systems,
    A Guided Tour of Google's Personalized Home Page, and 'Google Earth' Ready to Travel the World.

    May 19, 2005
    * Personalize Your Google Homepage

    Today Google Labs released Google's New Personalized Homepage. It currently allows you to choose from among a discrete range of sources (gmail; news from Google, New York Times, BBC, Wired, Slashdot; weather; driving instructions; maps) for display on your homepage. Features will be expanded to include feeds from more sites. (Note: you need a Google account to use this feature. More info in this SFgate.com article.)

    May 18, 2005
    * Google Launches Free Enterprise Search Tool

    "Google Desktop Search for Enterprise helps you easily manage the ever-growing mountain of information located on your computers and includes key standards-based administrator features that provide enhanced security, centralized configuration and easy company-wide deployment. Perhaps best of all—it's free."

  • Related references from Internetnews.com and InfoWorld. See also this article, Which Is the Best Desktop Search Tool?
  • May 16, 2005
    * Dogpile.com Sponsored White Paper Documents Rate of Overlap in Big Three Engine Results

    Missing Pieces: A Study of First Page Web Search Engine Results Overlap

  • "A comprehensive study conducted by metasearch engine Dogpile.com in collaboration with researchers from The University of Pittsburgh and The Pennsylvania State University has found that page one results returned by leading single engines Google, Yahoo! and Ask Jeeves differ substantially from one another. The study offers compelling evidence that contradicts the widely held notion that search engines are more or less alike and that searching one engine is the same as searching them all. The findings underscore the importance of utilizing multiple Web search engines to find more top-ranked information for search queries, a task Dogpile.com makes fast and easy by simultaneously searching the most popular engines and bringing together the highest ranked results in one place."

  • May 05, 2005
    * Yahoo! Video Search 1.0

    Yahoo! Video Search 1.0 was released today, after being in beta. See also the Advanced Video Search Preferences.

  • From the Yahoo Search Blog: "We've partnered up with some major content publishers to fortify our content offering, including MTV, Buena Vista (including the latest clips and trailers for The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy), CBS News, Bloomberg (check out the latest news on the Federal Reserve), Reuters, The Discovery Channel, Scripps Networks (the good people who produce Home & Garden TV and The Food Network), VH1, and more."
  • May 04, 2005
    * Google Web Accelerator for Broadband Users

    "Google Web Accelerator (beta) is an application that uses the power of Google's global computer network to make web pages load faster. Google Web Accelerator is easy to use; all you have to do is download and install it, and from then on many web pages will automatically load faster than before. Please note that Google Web Accelerator is currently in beta test mode." [Google Web Accelerator FAQ]

    Related references:

  • Google App Speeds Up Web Surfing

  • Google Web Accelerator Privacy Policy

  • Update: Google slams brakes on Accelerator downloads, May 12, 2005
  • April 29, 2005
    * Technology and libraries of the future; competing or complementary interests?

    The Infinite Library, by Wade Roush, May 2005 issue of TechnologyReview.com.

  • Related reference: European libraries join forces against Google
  • April 21, 2005
    April 19, 2005
    * Google Seeks to Shut Down Froogles

    Various sources have reported on Google's trademark infringement lawsuit against Froogles.com, and a copy of the complaint (68 pages, PDF), filed April 8, in District Court for the Eastern District of New York, is available courtesy of Search Engine Watch Blog.

    April 14, 2005
    * Yahoo! News Launches Redesigned Site in Beta

    The current Yahoo! News site has been transformed with this beta that sports a more sophisticated and user-friendly design, layout, and navigation features, using well placed content tabs, as well as more prominent display and organization of sources and time stamp for respective topical news stories. RSS feeds and custom user queries are supported.

  • See the FAQ for additional information, as well as this Free Feature from today's WSJ, Yahoo 'Hybrid' Now Dominates News Web Sites.
  • April 11, 2005
    * Presentations From Computers in Libraries 2005 Available Online

    "This page features links to World Wide Web sites, PowerPoint slideshows, and other electronic resources used in support of presentations at Computers in Libraries 2005. Links are provided at the discretion of presenters. Additional links will be provided as they become available."

    * Launch of Expansive New Shopping Engine

    Become.com Goes Live with Web's Largest Search Engine for U.S. Shopping Information [Link]

  • "...a search engine that helps people find product reviews and relevant buying information, today announced the launch of a new 3.2 billion page shopping index, registration-free access to its search engine, and the introduction of product-focused spell checking."
  • April 07, 2005
    * Wikipedia Agreement With Yahoo Will Extend Global Access

    Press release, Wikimedia Foundation Announces Corporate Support of Wikipedia from Yahoo! Search: "...Yahoo! Search will dedicate hardware and resources to support Wikipedia, a community based encyclopedia written and edited by people from around the world...In addition, Wikipedia content will become available to hundreds of millions of users worldwide through Yahoo! Search via shortcuts that are automatically displayed above the relevant search results."

  • Additional information on this news from the Yahoo! Search Blog
  • * Google Introduces Q&A;

    Google continues to roll out new features, and today's addition is Q&A;, still under development, that allows users to enter a plain language fact query whose answer will appear at the top of the search results page, along with the site reference source. For example, population arkansas.

    April 06, 2005
    * Yahoo Travel Search Engine Now Includes Hotels

    For those on the go, take a look at Yahoo's Farechase Beta which lets you search for competitive pricing and reservations for hotel rooms, cars and airline flights. See the FAQ for more details.

    April 05, 2005
    * Side by Side Comparison of Search Results from Google and Yahoo

    The UK Inquirer reports on a site called Yagoohoogle that provides side by side search results using two window panes for Google and Yahoo respectively, allowing users an interesting, albeit compressed perspective on the "big two" search engine.

    April 04, 2005
    * Google Launches Ride Finder and Real Time Stock Quotes

  • "With