A subtle wake-up call to North American Internet subscribers is now coming from the South Korean, Taiwanese, and Hong Kong-based versions of Google, and their iGoogle start pages. These broadband-rich markets are seeing a more complex version of Google's historically simple start page, with some flashy animations, and a color-coded system of dots to represent various Google services. Is this a sneak peak at the next generation of Google's GUI? Potentially.
One key development that Matt shared with the audience was that underscores in URLs are now (or at least very soon … Read more
In the old days, to figure out if your house, apartment, or place of work was good for walking, you'd have to go scout it out, or ask someone who knew the area. These days we have services such as Walk Score, a mashup that helps calculate how "walkable" an address is based on the services that surround it. It works by tallying up the distances to the surrounding attractions, and pulls them together in an average, which it gives you in a handy scale of 1 to 100. The higher the score, the more walk-friendly the … Read more
Have you ever been on a road trip trying to find a good radio station only to sift through tons of static before finding anything? With Griffin iTrip StationFinder for iPhone, random radio scanning is a thing of the past. To find the music to fit your mood on the FM dial, just touch the state you're in followed by the city to get a list of FM stations right on your iPhone. We would have liked a small description of each station along with the genre to get a feel for what we're choosing, but knowing which … Read more
If you have a taste for adventure and exploring the places you visit, check out this iPhone app that helps you find cool stuff in your area. Though the front page asks for a registration, you can click the "Try it now!" link to get a feel for Earthcomber. Simply enter your ZIP code or any city and Earthcomber finds all the cool stuff in that area, like parks, bars, live events, museums, restaurants, and tons of other stuff. With this app on your iPhone, you'll never say "there's nothing to do" ever again. … Read more
Google has acquired ImageAmerica, a company that builds high-resolution cameras and uses them to take aerial photographs.
The search engine giant announced the move Friday on its LatLong blog about Google Earth and its other mapping efforts. It didn't disclose terms of the deal.
"We're excited about how ImageAmerica's technology will contribute to our mapping services down the road," Product Manager Stephen Chau said on the blog. "Since we're in the research and development phase right now it may be some time before you see any of this imagery in Google Maps or … Read more
Flash has long been a stumbling block in getting found in the search engines. Googlebot just doesn't cope well with content and links embedded within Flash. And if the following e-mail that I received from a Google engineer last year is any indication, Google isn't likely to make significant improvements on how it crawls, indexes and ranks Flash files anytime soon:"re: Flash, I can tell you, based upon philosophies here, that we aren't likely to do any kind of mapping of Flash to non-Flash URLs. While our spidering practices may change in the future, we … Read more
Google Earth users now have a really neat layer to play with, straight from the folks at NASA. It comes in the form of new astronaut photography, satellite imagery, and a mode called "Earth City Lights," which shows the entire globe at night. The real standout, however, is the selection of shots from space. Many of these were taken at interesting times on the Earth's landscape like volcanic eruptions, massive forest fires, dust storms, or the unusually thick ice on Lake Michigan during the winter of 2003. Each shot can be blown up and comes with a … Read more
Search site Ask is launching a new tool that will let people search the Web anonymously, the first major search engine to offer that functionality.
By using the new AskEraser tool, users will be able to set their privacy preferences so the search engine doesn't retain their Web search history. Users will be able to see what the privacy setting is on the search results pages.
AskEraser is expected to be deployed on Ask.com in the U.S. and United Kingdom by the end of the year, and globally early next year.
For people who don't want … Read more
Tomorrow night, legions of Harry Potter fans will be gathering at bookstores all across the world to pick up the final installment of the series. If you haven't already preordered it on Amazon, or hunted down the digitally photographed pages of the leaked copy--tsk, tsk--your best bet is to exercise patience, or give in and pick it up with the throngs of other fans at one of the midnight release parties.
But where do you find ones worth going to? Short of browsing your local paper's A&E section, there are some handy tools online for … Read more