Simply put, Google’s eBookstore is an effort to create the largest digital store for books, independent of publisher, device or cost. This massive collection of over 3 million ebooks can be read on the web or any device including Android, iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad using a wireless collection. Your reading experience automatically synchronizes across various platforms, so if you left reading page 3 of Pride and Prejudice on your Android device, you can pick at the same spot even if you later switch to your iPad or iPhone. Besides apps for smart phones, Google also as a Web Reader Application that can be used to read the books from any web browser.
Many of the classics can be read free of cost, while others are offered at a price range of $5.49 to $19.99. Unlike many of its other products though, Google has really made significant effort on providing a great browsing experience for the eBookstore. Books can be searched by author, title or keywords and search can be restricted by choosing one of the many categories. Results can also be narrowed down to display free titles only and can be sorted by publish date.
Consumers, however, are not the only one to benefit from this eBookstore as nearly 4,000 publishers are already in negotiations with Google to sell their eBooks through this massive platform. Major publishers are already offering their collections for a small price and sharing their revenue with Google, and Google is encouraging publishers of all sizes to use the marketplace to promote/sell their books.
In a recent court case against Google, a Pittsburgh couple claimed that Google had trespassed on their privacy by taking a photo of their house through the Street View service. However, Google was let away with an admission of guilt and $1 as compensation for the couple.
According to Associated Press, U.S. District Magistrate Judge Cathy Bissoon on Thursday signed off on a consent judgment, a mutually agreed-upon verdict, between the Mountain View, Calif. company and Aaron and Christine Boring, of Franklin Park.
Another Google product, Google Maps has also been in controversy rows several times with Google displaying incorrect borders between countries among other things. However, there was also a comical lawsuit about a woman suing Google for giving her bad directions, which was apparently thrown own.
Google was pleased with the verdict and the fact that they were only made to pay $1. However, there might be several more litigations coming their way considering how controversial their service has been. Nonetheless, the service is also very useful when it comes to finding information or navigating an area and though it is controversial it is definitely something which is really helpful for drivers.
Google today announced the kick-off of this years Christmas countdown at noradsanta.org, a partnership between North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Google.
If you have been following the tradition of tracking Santa Claus, you can do it this year too by visiting http://www.noradsanta.org/. According to Google kids can play holiday-themed games with a new one is released each day and get updates from the North Pole as Santa prepares for his big sleigh ride.
So go ahead and have fun this year tracking Santa. You’ll find more info on this at the Official Googleblogs. By the way watch a video of NORAD tracking Santa in 2009 embedded below.
There is a marketing slogan saying "Every publicity is good publicity" no matter whether it is good publicity or bad publicity. This was true for Google search results too where a NY Times story pointed out how a retailer used bad publicity to his advantage through Google search.
Turned out that Google does read NYT or at-least Techmeme and have now come up with a new algorithm which will punish bad publicity or negative feedback for a product or website, at-least on Google Search.
We were horrified to read about Ms. Rodriguez’s dreadful experience. Even though our initial analysis pointed to this being an edge case and not a widespread problem in our search results, we immediately convened a team that looked carefully at the issue. That team developed an initial algorithmic solution, implemented it, and the solution is already live. I am here to tell you that being bad is, and hopefully will always be, bad for business in Google’s search results.
As Google points out in the post, they have now implemented a new algorithm which will automatically filter out such results rather than just going ahead and blocking a particular website.
Google claims to have developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, who in their opinion, provide a extremely poor user experience.
So, the next time you want to promote your business in Google Search results, make sure to be nice to the customer or else you would have no customers at all.
WikiLeaks has started turning some heads with the latest release of documents. In one of the released documents, lie unseen secrets of the Google-China incident.
A revelation from WikiLeaks has confirmed that China’s Politburo was indeed after the Google hacking earlier this year. The whole matter resulted in a huge drama with Google pulling out of China, and then coming back after a few months in summer.
The matter has been published as compiled documents by the NYT and the Guardian. Ironically, WikiLeaks, the authority on this leak has lost its website to a patriot hacker and is hoping to see some uptime at 3:30 tomorrow, when the official release is scheduled. I am sure WikiLeaks has the better documents well hidden with itself.
According to the report which directly blames China,
A global computer hacking effort: China’s Politburo directed the intrusion into Google’s computer systems in that country, a Chinese contact told the American Embassy in Beijing in January, one cable reported. The Google hacking was part of a coordinated campaign of computer sabotage carried out by government operatives, private security experts and Internet outlaws recruited by the Chinese government. They have broken into American government computers and those of Western allies, the Dalai Lama and American businesses since 2002, cables said.
Google has made a significant comeback in the Google-Oracle lawsuit and has presented strong answers to the lawsuit by clearly stating that the Dalvik VM is not the same as the Java VM and cannot be held as being the same.
Google blames the claims to be abstract and wants the patents declared invalid. According to Google, Oracle has deliberately compared the Oracle J2SE and the Android version of the code and made it look like the same by removing all copyright headers and expressive materials.
Google also blamed Oracle in their attitude towards the matter saying they,
impermissibly expand[ed] the scope of the Patents-in-Suit by requiring licensees to license items not covered by Oracle’s alleged intellectual property in order to receive a license to Oracle’s alleged intellectual property.
Google points out that the Dalvik VM is a part of Android that was manufactured by the OHA (Open Handset Alliance). It has nothing (or negligible traces) to do with the Dalvik VM code.
Catch up with the full story and live updates on the story at this page on Groklaw. It is time Oracle stops wasting time and money and makes use of these resources in a more productive way.
Google has been testing a new interface for Google AdSense for the past few months. The new interface is a shift from the simple one users have seen, and is very much more like reporting for other Google products like Google Analytics.
The new AdSense interface aims to provide users with more performance data through insights. Users can run more detailed performance reports based on ad size, ad unit, targeting and more. In addition to that, the new interface unifies the ad controls in one place. The new ad controls allow you to block ads, filter ads and also review ads that have been targeted to your sites.
If you are travelling this holiday season, here is some good news for you. Google and Google Chrome have tied by with AirTran, Delta and Virgin America to provide free in-flight Wi-Fi to flyers through the holiday season.
Wait … what? I thought Flickr is a product by Yahoo?
The fact is that it still is and will continue to be so, but the good news is that today Flickr has embraced OpenID. The photo sharing website now supports creating a new Flickr account using an existing Google account. Earlier today, they added a contact importer and now the Google account integration has been rolled out.
When you hit the “Create Your Account” link at the Flickr homepage, you will see a new option to sign up for Flickr using a Google account.
Clicking the “Google” button on the Flickr sign up page will open a small pop up window, simply sign in with your existing Google account and grant all the required permissions to Yahoo.
Hit the “Allow” button and you will be asked to choose a Flickr username and create your brand new Flickr account. There is no need to remember another password and sign up for a new Yahoo email ID, just because you want a Flickr presence.
This is good news, both for users and Yahoo. On the user’s part, this is good because they need not essentially have a Yahoo ID in order to use Flickr. On Yahoo’s part, this will surely boost the audience and user base – lot’s of users will sign up for Flickr with their Google account because the entire step requires less than 5 minutes ( and no Yahoo ID !)
Existing Flickr users can still sign in with their Yahoo accounts as earlier, but the Flickr team is rolling out a new feature which will make signing in a lot more easier.You can now sign-in to your account without having to leave the page you were on, making it easier to post comments, favorite a photo or add someone as a new contact.
According to the Flickr blog, Google is their first partner while more email providers may be added soon.
Oracle is serious about shelling out big bucks from Google and this can be clear from the way it is refining its lawsuit to keep Google entangled. The Lawsuit has been updated now to say, that Google Android directly “copied code” from (now) Oracle’s Java code.
The matter started in August, which, at that time was unclear about which copyrights Google was infringing upon. However, in a recent update to the lawsuit, Google has been accused with copied codes attached. Not just that, Oracle claims that a total of of-third of Android API packages are derived from Java API packages. In Oracle’s words,
The infringed elements of Oracle America’s copyrighted work include Java method and class names, definitions, organization, and parameters; the structure, organization and content of Java class libraries; and the content and organization of Java’s documentation.
In at least several instances, Android computer program code also was directly copied from copyrighted Oracle America code.
Google has not yet replied on these claims and its decision will have a decisive impact on the future of the Android OS. Oracle is playing a dirty game here, as it knows that the API libraries that Android uses forms a decisive part (1 /3rd) of its code and that Google has no other option but to comply. It would really help if Oracle channels its resources towards developing Java and taking care of other ignored projects and people.
The world governments are getting so worried about Google capturing private Wi-Fi data like username and passwords! However, they are forgetting two things. First, Google is not doing this using some exclusive uber-gizmo it solely owns that can crawl into the Wi-Fi and extract passwords and usernames and secondly, users are supposed to use encryption on networks as a basic protection.
Wi-Fi data is the most vulnerable form of data because it is open-to-air. It is almost like a radio station and is open to anyone who wants to connect to the hotspot. Most of the time, these networks are unprotected and with the right tools, accessing data over these networks is childs play. That is why, Wi-Fi networks are the favorite spots for hackers.
Google captured Wi-Fi data, true. If there was encryption, the users could have safeguarded their data. However, in reality, it is also extremely easy for anyone to capture your Wifi data, i.e. anyone much low-tech than Google.
To prove just that, Kole McRae at techvibes has carried out an operation to demonstrate the process. He has been successful in extracting usernames, the accounts being contacted to at the other end, the browsing history and a lot more. My point being, there is a single user doing these things and there is Google doing only part of this. While people tend to ignore these petty data thieves, why should Google faces the heat for speculations (now established facts) of username and password captures?
Oops, Steve Jobs did it again. Stating the obvious, Apple and Google are pitted against each other head-to-head and shoulder-to-shoulder. However, this time, Steve Jobs has declared the war formally with his good five minutes rant against Android and Google.
Steve Jobs had his moment against Android in a rant which went on to targeting everything Android, from the openness to the fragmentation and tablet experience. As usual, Apple friendly stats followed and all this because Google did it first.
We all remembered how Jobs responded when Google revealed some figures last time. They were prompt enough to blame Google for counting upgrades in the activation stats to which, Google responded with clarifications that they count only activations. Seemingly, apart from dressing as a schoolboy, Jobs also has the competitive spirit of one.
Google’s last claim stands at 250,000+ activations and Apple has topped that with 300,000 activations. It is only time before people get bored with this stat and mouse game. Another thing that Jobs did not mention was that they were counting all iOS devices in these activation figures whereas Google has clarified that they are not counting devices that do not use Google services, even though Android. Clearly, no one is winning the stats battle and no matter what, Apple fanboys will still buy an iPhone and Android fanboys will still sport an Android.
Android fans and haters alike are well aware that the next release of the fast growing mobile platform has been codenamed Gingerbread. Rumors are that some Googlers are already testing it on their Nexus Ones and Phandroid just got their hands one such device that was out in the wild and have revealed some specs.
As expected, the biggest change is a major graphical changeover and Matias Duarte joining the company to beautify the user interface has accelerated this. There have been particular improvements in icon sets and Matias Duarte and his team have done a good job in shedding the 8-bit look that made some critics call the Android interface ‘ugly’.
Detailing in on the changes, the notification bar has gone gray from white and the carrier branding is more prominent this time. The homescreen layout has not changed much. However, these changes cannot be termed as a UI (user interface) freeze and more changes will definitely be made before the final release. With all the UI improvements, there is no expected lag. However, we need to consider the powerful processors powering Gingerbread before running into that assumption. The radio button, the check boxes and everything else has changed enough that custom UIs will take a backseat.
Behind the scene changes, include addition of SIP for Google Voice that will allow you to use it in Wifi or Cellular Data connections. Gingerbread is expected around the first quarter, next year. Until then, let the rumors prevail.
Google today introduced a new feature in their Analytics software called In-Page Analytics. As the name suggests, In-Page Analytics will display heatmap click reports for your content.
In-Page Analytics is nothing but a heatmap in disguise, which will show you which content the users are clicking on. Though it is not an actual heatmap as produced by web analytics software like Crazy Egg and Reinvigorate, it will definitely help webmasters to understand their users and make changes to their content accordingly.
In addition to telling you where users are clicking, the in-page analytics also gives you detailed analysis about number of clicks, goals etc. This is definitely a useful feature for webmasters to understand which areas of their website is underperforming and make changes accordingly.
In-Page Analytics is currently in beta, and is available under "Content" in the sidebar. If you are looking to dive into the In-Page Analytics, take a look at the video below to understand how it works.
Google had a great quarter this time and that is definitely looking good for them and their share holders alike. The price for Google has touched $600 again. Though this is not their peak, it is definitely bound to grow in next few weeks.