google

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A few years ago, Google added a 3D model of ancient Rome to Google Earth. Today, Google is also adding thousands of new 3D buildings for modern Rome to its inventory of 3D models. Just like other cities that recently got a 3D makeover in Google Earth, the Rome model is surprisingly detailed and complete. Few cities, of course,...

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In its efforts to preserve the quality of its search results, Google rolled out the so-called Panda and Panda 2.0 update 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Google just gave Gmail for mobile a nice little refresh with some small design changes and a few new features.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Google has been rather coy about sharing exact user numbers for its new social network Google+. Answer.com’s Paul Allen has been using an interesting statistical model to estimate the number of current users based on an analysis of the percentage of uncommon surnames he has found on the service. In his estimate, there should be about 10 million users...

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For the last few weeks, Google has been soliciting product ideas for Google Docs. Since the start of this program, just under 4,000 users have submitted about 2,000 suggestions. Today, Google announced its plans to give priority to three of the top ideas. These include better header and footer functionality, the ability to create vertical merge in spreadsheets and...

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In some corners of the Internet, the battle between Google’s +1 buttons and Facebook’s and Twitter’s equivalent sharing tools has already been decided. According to Enterprise SEO company Brightedge, however, all of these tools still have a lot of room to grow when it comes to distribution on the top 10,000 websites. Google’s buttons are currently only in use...

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YouTube, the world’s most popular video streaming site, just launched a new experimental design that brings a fresh look to virtually every part of the YouTube experience, including videos, playlists and channels. The new look, called Cosmic Panda, introduces a darker look, with an emphasis on black backgrounds that make the videos stand out more than the white backdrop...

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When Google unexpectedly launched its new social network Google+ earlier this week, many pundits were skeptical about the company’s latest attempt to enter the social arena. Given Google’s dismal track record when it comes to these kinds of products, that kind of skepticism made sense, but after using it extensively for the last few days, I can’t help but...

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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.