Facebook Graph Search takes on Google

Facebook's new smart search tool challenges Yelp, LinkedIn and Google. Also, new car tech unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show includes eye tracking, and hand gestures to change radio stations.

Tuesday's CNET Update is searching for friends who put useful data on Facebook:

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Today's tech news roundup looks at Facebook's Graph Search , a new smart-search tool that focuses on specific details within people, photos, places and interests. Instead of searching with a keyword, like on Google, users would narrow down different fields to find data. Some examples:

- Search for friends in your city that like the show Fringe, and it can help you organize a watch party for the finale.

- Search for Mexican restaurants in Palo Alto that your friends have been to, and avoid picking a place with sub-par tacos.

- Trying to find someone, but you forgot their last name? Try a search for people named Chris, who also are connected with your friend Lars, and who also went to Standford University.

- Search for a dentist liked by your friends, instead of picking one at random.

- It can also be used for making professional connections. One example was to search for NASA employees who were also friends with Facebook employees.

- The search doesn't necessarily have to be people within your circle of friends. It can also comb through public information. For example, users can search for restaurants liked by people who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. And that's something you can't get from a Google search.

Also, cars on display at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show are adding more technology to assist with driving. The Mercedes-Benz E-class and 2014 Infiniti Q50 are among models helping drivers avoid accidents. And the Hyundai Genesis concept takes things further by incorporating eye-tracking and hand-gesture technology.

If you want to wish someone a happy birthday beyond the typical Facebook wall post, then check out the iPhone app Birthday Cards by Cleverbug . It will mail a personalized paper greeting card for $3, but taps into Facebook to let you know who has an upcoming birthday. It also lets users customize cards with Facebook photos, and lets users post digital versions of the card to a Facebook wall.

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