In its efforts to preserve the quality of its search results, Google rolled out the so-called Pandaand Panda 2.0update to its algorithm for searches in English earlier this year. Until now, however, these changes didn’t impact searchers outside of the English-speaking world. That’s changing today, however. Earlier this morning, Google announced that it has now brought its “algorithmic search improvements” to all other languages, with the exception of Chines, Japanese and Korean.
Google just announced that you can now easily share links to Google Books on its new social network Google+. That, by itself, isn’t really the most exciting news of the day – and the implementation could still be improved - but I think it is a sign of what’s to come once Google gets around to integrating Google+ sharing into more of its products.
When Google first announced the idea of Chromebooks, a series of small, Internet (and Chrome)-centric laptops made by manufacturers like Samsung and Acer, its engineers touted the fact that - unlike other laptops - Chromebooks would actually get faster over time. Chromebooks, Google said, would see the same kind of performance gains that users of its Chrome browser have gotten used to. Now, with the release of the latest stable version of the ChromeOS operating system that powers these devices, Google is starting to fulfill this promise.
Google seems to have a special interest in Pakistan these days. After hosting a number of events for map makers in the country earlier this year, Google today announced that is providing a seed grant of $250,000 for the P@SHA Social Innovation fund. P@SHA is looking for 25 entrepreneurs, social activists and non-profits who want “to use technology to meet social needs in education, culture, medicine, environmental or any other community problem.”
Over the last few weeks, Google has been slowly rolling out new designs for virtually all of its web-based products, including Google Search, Gmail, Good Docs and Maps. Today, Google News joined these products and the company’s news aggregation service now sports a new design as well. Besides the cleaner look with more whitespace and less clutter, Google also decided to stress the personalization feature by highlighting it more clearly at the top of the page.
Measurement Lab is a Google-backed project that brings together industry and academic researchers who are interested in measuring broadband speed, doing network diagnostics and researching how ISPs throttle and block certain applications and services. The project launched in 2009 and has since released a number of tools for measuring your Internet connection. Now, with the BISMark (the Broadband Internet Service BenchMARK)project, Measurement Lab is taking its efforts one step further by by distributing a large number of free routers to users all across the country. Currently, the project gathers data every time a user runs a test on its website. This new project, however, will give researchers a better idea of how networks perform, as the measurements are done at the router level and hence shielded from problems on a user’s computer and home network setup.
Google+ doesn’t currently offer an API, but that isn’t stopping developers from trying to offer Google+-related apps and services. Given how fast Google’s new social network is growing, it doesn’t come as a surprise that developers are trying to get a head start in developing services for it, even without Google’s support.
Google is definitely trying its best to get the word out about its ChromeOS-based Chromebooks. Now, the company has teamed up with Virgin America – one of the Silicon Valley’s favorite (yet perennially money-losing) airlines – to offer travellers to “test-fly” Chromebooks for free onboard their flights and at select gates from July to the end of September. Chromebook users – including those who bring their own ChromeOS-powered laptops on board – will also get free Wifi courtesy of Virgin America and Gogo. Travelers who stay in New York’s Ace Hotel will also find a Chromebook in their rooms.
The Yandex team launched an alpha version of its new browser today and there are plenty of interesting design ideas here. Overall, it feels like a bit of a hybrid between Safari and Opera Coast. I rather like the tabs at the bottom of the screen, but I'm not sure I could use a browser without a bookmark bar as...