Groupon is the hottest thing on the Internet today. It doesn't come as a surprise that Google is preparing to launch a Groupon clone of its own now after an unsuccessful attempt to buy the company outright. But maybe it should come as a surprise. After all, the daily deal market is already full of competitors in every possible niche and Google is only a few months late to the party. There was a time where Google was launching innovative products - now it's just launching clones - and some of them, like Buzz, aren't even able to make much of a dent in their market.
Remember Google's Knol? The company's answer to Wikipedia? If you don't, you are not alone. Indeed, it's questionable whether Google itself remembers Knol. As the intrepid Google-watchers at the Google Operating System pointed out yesterday, not only does the site seem to suffer from major performance issues, but its software hasn't been updated for over a year now.
Very few developments in the tech world this week got as much attention as Google's announcement that it would slowly drop support for the H.264 video codec from its Chrome browser. Given how ubiquitous H.264 is - though it is also encumbered by patent and licensing issues - quite a few pundits shook their heads at this development. Today, Google published a more detailed explanation for this decision.
Google just announced that it plans to fade out support for the widely used H.264 codec from its Chrome browser "in the next few months". Instead, Google will favor the open Theora video codec and its own open WebM (VP8) codec.
As the year draws to an end, it's hard not to look back and think about all the cool apps that I looked at over the last 12 months. I'll talk a little bit about my favorite apps and biggest disappointments in other posts, but I also wanted to highlight some of the coolest apps and Web Services that I use all the time but that didn't get a lot of mainstream (or even tech blog) coverage in the last year and that deserve another look.
Without further ado, here is my list for 2010.
It's been just about a week since Google's Cr-48 prototype ChromeOS netbook appeared on my doorstep. Since then, I've been putting it through its paces, including during a short trip to a press event in Detroit, and it's turned out to be a surprisingly useful machine.
Facebook is launching an email service on Monday. While that's only a rumor for now, I think it’s a well substantiated one and there is little doubt in my mind that that's what we are going to get. But this won't be a "Gmail killer" as the project is apparently internally known at Facebook. Sadly, though, the meme that this could really be a Gmail killer is already making its rounds and won't let up until Monday - when exhausted bloggers will likely split into two camps: those who think Facebook just killed Gmail and those who are disappointed that it didn't.
Somehow I completely missed the fact that those new blue "shared by" links on Google News results that appeared on my main search results pages a few days were new. Given the pace of the search giant's development cycle, I have to admit that I'm sometimes actually rather confused about what's new and what's been around for a while on Google.
If you own an Android phone with the latest Android 2.2 Froyo update, you can now use your voice to control almost all of the most often used features of the phone. With Voice Actions for Android, users can use voice commands to perform actions like sending text messages (" "send text to Allison Miller Running late. I will be home around 9"), play specific songs from their music collection ("listen to the New Pornographers"), go to websites, send email, write a note, search Google and view a map and get directions.
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...