Posted tagged ‘Search Engine’

Topeka Now Google, Kansas

March 3, 2010

In a formal proclamation yesterday, Mayor Bill Bunten announced that Topeka will be known as “Google” — Google, Kansas.

It’s all in fun, and yeah, it’s funny! 🙂

From CNN:

At 79, Bill Bunten doesn’t exactly understand the Internet boom. The Topeka, Kansas, mayor has an e-mail account, he said, but his assistants take care of most of his online communications and tend to search the Web for him.

But Bunten believes so firmly that younger residents of Kansas’ capital city will benefit from faster Internet connections that he wants Topeka — which he describes as a place of many lakes and the site of a burgeoning market for animal-food research — to change its name for a month.

“It’s just fun. We’re having a good time of it,” he said of the unofficial name change, which will last through the end of March. “There’s a lot of good things that are going on in our city.”

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Microsoft Bing Launches

June 1, 2009

Microsoft ‘s Bing search engine went live this weekend, formally launching the company’s latest attempt to go after search engine giant Google.

From InformationWeek:

As of Monday, Bing.com featured a home page festooned with colorful hot air balloons rising against a desert backdrop. The page also included links to specific search categories, such as news, videos, shopping, maps, and travel.

Also present were tabs that direct users to bonus features such as Microsoft’s cash-back search rewards program and links to pages for developers and Webmasters.Bing, according to Microsoft, is designed to deliver a more functional experience than existing search engines, including Google’s. That is, queries entered into Bing yield not only information related to the search term, but also links to sites where users can make purchases and engage in other related activities.

For instance, a search on Bing for, say, flights to Hawaii, coughs up real-time pricing and availability information, and allows users to make a booking in real time. Microsoft said Bing initially will focus on four areas: making a purchase decision, trip planning, finding local businesses, and researching health conditions.

Yahoo Set to Name Carol Bartz as CEO

January 13, 2009

Reports are circulating this morning that Yahoo! plans to name former Autodesk Chief Executive Carol Bartz as their next chief executive officer.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Yahoo Inc. is expected to announce that Carol Bartz, former chief executive of software company Autodesk Inc., has accepted an offer to become the Internet company’s next CEO, according to people familiar with the situation.

A spokesman for Yahoo, Sunnyvale, Calif., declined to comment. Ms. Bartz could not be reached for immediate comment.

The offer caps Yahoo’s two-month search for a leader to succeed Jerry Yang, its co-founder and former CEO who oversaw the company through an acquisition offer from Microsoft Corp. and activist investor Carl Icahn’s failed attempt to replace the Yahoo board. Mr. Yang stepped down in mid-November after a short and tumultuous tenure at the helm in which he tried to save the struggling Internet firm, only to see it continue to flounder.

Ms. Bartz, 60 years old, will face a number of challenges as she tries to turn around Yahoo’s flagging performance and stock price. Some investors have been lobbying for a break-up of the Internet giant, for instance. Yahoo faces tough competition from Internet rivals such as Google Inc.

Ms. Bartz still serves as executive chairman of Autodesk, of San Rafael, Calif., which she ran as chief executive from 1992 to 2006. Autodesk is around half the size of Yahoo, with approximately 7,000 employees world-wide.

Ms. Bartz was also an executive at Sun Microsystems Inc. and she sits on the board of Cisco Systems Inc., with Mr Yang. She is also a member of the Intel Corp. board with Yahoo President Susan Decker, who was also interviewing for the CEO job.

From Reuters:

The offer would end Yahoo’s two-month search for a chief executive to succeed co-founder Jerry Yang, who agreed in November to step down as chief executive as soon as the Internet company found a replacement.

Yang, who took on the CEO role in 2007, faced growing criticism from investors, including Carl Icahn, for rejecting a buyout offer from Microsoft Corp. Microsoft withdrew its $47.5 billion buyout offer in May.

Bartz, 60, is a longtime Silicon Valley executive who was the CEO of Autodesk Inc until 2006.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft, Not Interested in Yahoo

November 7, 2008

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has ruled out making another bid for Internet firm Yahoo.

From the AFP:

“We made an offer, we made another offer, and it was clear that Yahoo didn’t want to sell the business to us and we moved on,” the newspaper quoted Ballmer as saying on Friday in Australia.

“We are not interested in going back and re-looking at an acquisition. I don’t know why they would be either, frankly. They turned us down at 33 dollars a share,” he added at a business luncheon in Sydney.

Yahoo was trading at 12.25 dollars shortly after the opening bell on Friday at the New York Stock Exchange, a drop of more than 12 percent.

Yahoo chief executive Jerry Yang said in San Francisco on Wednesday that Microsoft should buy his pioneering Internet firm despite the failed takeover talks between the companies earlier this year.

“To this day, I would say the best thing for Microsoft is to buy Yahoo,” Yang said during an on-stage chat with journalist John Battelle at a Web 2.0 summit on Internet Age companies and their business strategies.

Google Earth Hits the iPhone and iPod

October 28, 2008

Yesterday, Google made Google Earth available for the iPhone and iPod Touch through Apple’s iTunes Store.

From the New York Times:

Google just released an iPhone version (iTunes link) of its popular Google Earth desktop mapping application. We have seen a wide range of interesting iPhone applications lately, but few have been as impressive as Google Earth on the iPhone. Google has taken the basics of the Google Earth interface and brought them to the iPhone. The app feels highly responsive and effectively mimics the desktop application on the iPhone.

The Good

There is no denying it, Google Earth on the iPhone is a gorgeous application and thanks to the multi-touch interface, it’s extremely easy to use. Besides bringing the basic Google Earth features to the phone, the iPhone app also displays links to Wikipedia articles and photos from Panoramio. Because Google integrated a browser into the app, you can seamlessly jump back and forth between the app and the web content.

Of course, the app also makes use of the iPhone’s GPS, though the lack of street names on the satellite images still gives the standard Google Maps application an edge over Google Earth for navigation.

The Bad

Somehow, Google thought that it would be a good idea for the app to zoom in from space to your last location every time you start the app. This gets old pretty quickly and takes up unnecessary time whenever you start the program.

Also, while Google Earth on the desktop allows you to add various layers with information, the iPhone app doesn’t even have the ability to show a layer with street names. To be fair, this is probably due to the limits of the phone’s processing power and memory, but it does reduce the usefulness of the app considerably.

Google Earth uses the iPhone’s accelerometer to tilt the screen. As long as you are sitting at your desk, this works great, but once you hand your phone to somebody else, the screen will inevitably tilt and move the focus, which can be quite annoying. You can, however, turn this auto-tilt feature off in the settings.

Verdict

Google Earth on the iPhone is a clear winner. Graphically, it’s already a stunning application, and Google will surely add more functionality – like street names – to it in the next few iterations. Of course, just like the desktop application, it is also a great application to just play with when you have a few extra minutes to spare.

From TechCrunch:

You’re able to tilt the device to adjust your view when browsing mountainous terrain, use the ‘My Location’ feature to jump right to where you are in the blink of an eye, and use Google’s local search engine to look for information on cities, places and businesses. Google has also added additional layers to the application, namely Panoramio and Wikipedia, for geo-located high-quality photos and informative articles respectively.

This marks the main differentiator between the official Google Earth app and the one Earthscape releaseddropped its price from $10 to free, but will most likely be trumped by the official app now. last May. More recently, the Earthscape application

As CNET points out, Google Earth for iPhone has a small Webkit-based browser to show the specific information users click on, and includes a link to the Safari browser Apple builds into the iPhone. When you click the address of a business using the local search engine, the iPhone will intercept the command and show it on the Google Maps application, enabling you to get directions instantly.

From InformationWeek:

It’s free, like Google Earth for desktop computers, but it’s not entirely free of issues. It requires network access to load satellite imagery, so using Google Earth on parts of the Earth where one is subject to data roaming charges could be a costly proposition.

Google Earth on the iPhone can be used in airplane mode, which is to say without network access, but one’s ability to zoom in on an area while offline depends upon whether or not the requested map data has been previously cached.

The app’s responsiveness also isn’t perfect, at least on a first-generation iPhone: At times, Google Earth does not rotate with a finger flick, as it usually does. It’s not quite as graphically fluid as some of the iPhone games.

Also, the Google Earth auto-location function appears to be less accurate than the Google Maps for iPhone auto-location function. The former missed InformationWeek’s San Francisco office by a city block, while the latter identified it correctly.

This may just have been an anomaly, however. According to a Google spokesperson, “Google Earth for iPhone and Google Maps for mobile both use Google’s database of cell tower information to power the My Location feature.” In any event, the Google Earth “search near me” feature certainly works well enough to find a nearby coffeehouse.

Yahoo To Layoff Up to 1,500 Workers

October 22, 2008

Times are tough all over right now. Even some of the Silicon Valley’s giants are not immune to a struggling economy. Battered by plunging profits and a rough economic outlook, Yahoo announced yesterday that it will layoff at least 10% of its staff,  amounting to up to 1,500 jobs. I guess none of them will be buying the new Android phone today.

From the New York Times:

Yahoo said Tuesday that it would lay off at least 10 percent of its 15,000 workers as it tries to bring down its expenses. It said reduced marketing budgets had taken a bite out of its online advertising business, sending its net income for the third quarter tumbling by 64 percent.

The company also lowered its revenue projections for the remainder of the year and said it was too early to make forecasts for 2009.

The results come as strategic moves that Yahoo has been considering, including a search advertising partnership with its rival Google and a merger with Time Warner’s AOL unit, have gotten bogged down, leaving the company with few options but to cut expenses, analysts said.

“They just have to batten down the hatches, lighten the load and ride this thing out,” said Jeffrey Lindsay, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Company.

“Hopefully,” he added, “they will make it to the other side with their cash intact, presumably as a smaller and more efficient organization.”

From CNNMoney:

Yahoo had 15,200 employees at the end of the third quarter. The much-anticipated round of layoffs comes on the heels of another 1,000 job cuts in late January.

“We have been disciplined about balancing investments with cost management all year, and have now set in motion initiatives to reduce costs and enhance productivity,” said Yahoo co-founder and CEO Jerry Yang in a written statement.

“The steps we are taking this quarter should deliver both near-term benefits to operating cash flow, and substantially enhance the nimbleness and flexibility with which we compete over the long term,” he added.

In a conference call after the results were announced, Yang said the company was working to reduce costs in other ways than just slashing jobs, including relocating offices and consolidating real estate. “We are identifying ways we can operate more efficiently,” he said.

From USA Today:

The Silicon Valley company announced the latest round of cuts against a backdrop of poor third-quarter results and a grim economic forecast. The company’s profit tumbled 64%, to $54 million, or 4 cents per share, from $151 million, or 11 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

It is Yahoo’s second significant round of layoffs this year. In January, the troubled Internet giant laid off 1,000 workers, but the cuts have done little to assuage investor confidence.

Google Chrome: New Browser Coming Soon

September 2, 2008

First, it was Google Android. Now, the news is about Google Chrome, Google’s long-rumored open-source browser project, which is about to arrive. A detailed, 38-page comic appeared on Google Blogoscoped and the book is broken down into five main sections covering stability; speed; search and the user experience, security, and standards.

From Google:

So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web. All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends — all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that’s what we set out to build. On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn’t the browser that matters. It’s only a tool to run the important stuff — the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

From the Associated Press:

Google will begin distributing its own browser in a move likely to heat up its rivalry with Microsoft.

The Internet search leader confirmed the long-rumored browser in a Monday posting on its Web site. Google said the free browser, called “Chrome,” will be available for downloading Tuesday.

The browser represents Google Inc.’s latest challenge to Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer is used by nearly 75 percent of Web surfers. Google has been concerned that Microsoft will try to program Internet Explorer in a way that makes it more difficult for Google’s search engine to attract traffic.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

From GigaOm:

Google in a blog post on their website has acknowledged the existence of Google Chrome, a browser that the company will be releasing tomorrow. Kara Swisher has confirmed the existence of Google Chrome, a browser developed by the Mountain View, Calif.-based search company. The rumors of the browser were reported earlier on Google Blogoscoped, which received a comic book that outlined the key features of the browser.

  • It is based on Webkit and will include Google Gears.
  • It includes Javascript Virtual Machine called V8 that was developed by a team in Denmark.
  • It accelerates the Javascript performance and is multi-threaded.
  • It has tabs, auto-completion, and a dashboard type start page that can help you get going to the web services you need. Opera has such a dashboard.
  • It has a privacy mode that allows you to use the machine without logging anything on the local machine.
  • It might be similar to a feature called Incognito in the latest version of Microsoft IE.
  • Malware and phishing protection would be built into this browser.

From BoomTown:

In its most frontal and aggressive attack on Microsoft yet, sources with knowledge of the project said Google is preparing to unveil a new browser–ready for download to users as early as tomorrow–to try to loosen Microsoft’s iron grip on the most important piece of software to navigate the Internet.

In addition, Google Blogoscoped has published a comic book that Google is apparently using to explain the technical aspects of its open-source browser, which is called Chrome.

Google Blogoscoped

Credit: Google Blogoscoped

From CNET:

While the illustrations, created by cartoonist Scott McCloud, were not announced by Google, they do contain the quotes and likenesses of 19 Google developers.

CNET News.com Editor in Chief Dan Farber’s analysis of Google Chrome Monday was this: “It would be in line with other Google open-source projects, such as OpenSocial and Google Gears. Creating a competitor to Firefox, as well as Internet Explorer and Opera, could spur more innovation.”

“Open sourcing the code is a smart way to avoid the ‘Google wants to take over the world’ fear, but it seems that Google has ambitions to create a comprehensive Internet operating system, including a browser, applications, middleware and cloud infrastructure.”

From InformationWeek:

Yes, you read that correctly. Google is taking a major swipe at its competitors with the imminent launch of Chrome, a new Web browser based on Webkit. Thus marks the beginning of a new phase in the browser wars.

Kara Swischer at The Wall Street Journal got perhaps one of the biggest scoops of the year. She spoke to some people familiar with some of the projects Google is working on. Those sources say that Google is set to unveil a brand new Web browser that will be available to everyone as early as tomorrow (Tuesday).

Not only is Google going announcing a new browser, but it is making the announcement with a comic book. That’s hot.

Google has talked the browser talk for years. The last time I heard anything formal about it from the Google camp was nearly a year ago. Looks like Google is ready to walk the browser walk with Chrome.