Many people aren't totally sure what to make of Google's ambitious announcement on Tuesday that it intends to generate one gigawatt of electricity--the equivalent of a few power plants--from renewable-energy sources.
After all, what is a company that makes its money from search and advertising know about the stodgy world of utilities and power generation?
I would argue that Google's commitment to clean energy is a smart move.
Will it make fabulous riches from its investments? We won't know for a while. But in the meantime, its announcement has done exactly what the Googlers wanted--it focused … Read more
Google announced on Tuesday plans to put hundreds of millions of dollars into alternative energy. The question now is whether the company is advancing the state of the art or just imitating everyone else who is dumping loads of money into the field.
The answer is some of both.
One of the first companies to get funding from Google will be eSolar, which will make solar thermal plants based on the heliostat design. In this concept, an array of flat mirrors gathers and directs sunlight onto a water tower. The water boils into steam, which turns a turbine to make … Read more
Google is adding support for Google Gadgets in its Google Desktop for the Mac software. Google Gadgets, as you probably know, are mini applications with dynamic content that offer quick access for things like newsfeeds and to-do lists.
Mac users can now run Google Gadgets side by side with Apple Widgets in Dashboard and have the same gadgets on their Mac, iGoogle page, and Google Desktop Sidebar.
Some cross-platform Gadgets include: YouTube, which lets you search and watch YouTube videos from Dashboard; Virtual Flower Pot, where you water it and watch flowers bloom; and Weather Globe, which displays weather conditions … Read more
Google is set on Wednesday to launch a new feature in its Google Maps for Mobile program that automatically sets your location even in phones that lack a global positioning system (GPS) device.
Until now, if you were in a cafe and you wanted to search for a nearby photocopy shop, you had to type in an address to set your location before Google Maps for Mobile could provide local listings.
The beta feature triangulates your approximate location based on nearby cell towers so you don't have to type in your address. Given that less than 15 percent of … Read more
The idea of the "long tail," a concept popularized by Wired's Chris Anderson, permeates much of what is going on with the evolution of IT.
After all, it's the mass participation of almost everyone in creating content of various types that's driving an enormous amount of IT build out--which, in turn, may well change even how and who builds computers in the future. Simply put, the long-tail premise is that bestsellers aren't in the majority when one tallies up the sales at Amazon.com or the page views on blogs. Rather, it's the total of the far more numerous other 80 or 90 percent of content.
Less abstractly, Anderson's argument is about business. Namely, he argues companies can make money selling to the long tail as shown in the data that I discuss in this 2005 post. I thought and think that it's a powerful concept--although I also think it fair to ponder how many companies are truly well-positioned to make money from the long tail.
When Amazon, Netflix, and Google make their appearance as exemplars for the umpteenth time, one starts to wonder. (In all fairness, Anderson has additional examples; Amazon and Netflix just make particularly rich, data-heavy case studies.)
However, as well noted by Alex Iskold over at Read/Write Web this morning, there's a slightly subtle, but very important, distinction to be made when we're discussing making money on the long tail. It's about making money on the long tail, not making money in it. … Read more
Google is taking issue with reports saying that it "voluntarily" turned over information about a Blogger.com user to someone who filed a libel lawsuit in Israel.
An article published Tuesday on an Israeli news site said that the search company had "agreed to supply the IP address" of a blogger sued for alleged defamation, marking "the first time that Google forewent legal action in such a case." That was quickly echoed in headlines saying Google "voluntarily" divulged user data and "Google dishes out IP address of anonymous blogger."
Google … Read more
UPDATE at 9:37 am. November 28: My intrepid editor here at CNET pointed me to a post by News.com's Declan McCullagh on what appears to be Google's involuntary request for information.
On the positive side Google announced a new effort the "Highly Open Participation Contest" to get young people involved in open source development. They've teamed with a bunch of open source projects to get kids involved early. Big thumbs up!
PALO ALTO, Calif.The great thing about the development of future mobile computers is that no one school of thought has come to dominate the territory. Of course, that's also a problem.
A group of panelists from the world's leading mobile operating system developers, including representatives from Symbian, Microsoft, MontaVista, and newcomer Google, perused a wide number of topics Tuesday afternoon at the Palo Alto Research Center, birthplace of so many technologies that changed the world. The panel, which also included executives from Nokia and Research in Motion, would like to do the same, but the hard and exciting … Read more
Google Maps has added a new view layer to its repertoire today. It's called terrain view, and as the name suggests, it lets you get a detailed look at natural geographical features, as well as man made ones, like buildings and landmarks. Unlike Google Earth, you can't zoom around and change eye level to see how high something is, but Google has provided some degree of rendering on the surface of the earth to give it a 3D look and feel.