In 2009, Google launched real estate listings as one of the search options in Google Maps. Apparently, this was not a major hit, as the company today announced that it is retiring this feature because of "low usage" and "the proliferation of excellent property-search tools on real estate websites."
About two years ago, Google launched a browser plugin that allowed users to opt out of the company's ads tracking mechanism. By tracking your moves around the Internet, Google - and most other advertising companies - can ensure that you see relevant ads (read: ads you are likely to click) on the pages you visit. Today, just a few hours after Mozilla announced its plan to offer a do-not-track tool for Firefox, Google announced a new Chrome plugin that allows users to permanently opt-out of personalized ads and data tracking from not just Google, but a wide range of other online advertising companies as well.
Qwiki is an app that creates pretty slideshows based on Wikipedia entries. The service won the top award at the last Techcrunch Disrupt conference and just received $8 million in new funding from a group led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Personally, I never understood why putting together a text-to-speech engine with a Ken Burns effect was disruptive. The VCs...
Living in the U.S. without a credit card is close to impossible and most of us probably carry more than one card around with us at all times. But what do you actually know about your card? The good folks over at Mint.com put together a nice little infographic that explains what those numbers on your card really mean. In...
The good folks over at ClickZ just posted a story with the following headline: "Google's Version of Groupon is Live: How it Works." Problem is, that is simply not true. The image in the article - reproduced below - is from the Google Places interface which has allowed vendors to offer coupons for a long time now (since around 2008, if I remember it right). This tab used to be called "Coupons" at one point in the past.
Google Talks About Its Spam Problem: "Search Quality is Better Than it Has Ever Been" – But We Can Do Better
For a while now, one of the most persistent memes in the tech world is that Google is suffering from a major spam problem and that the quality of its search results have suffered greatly from this. Google today took its critics head-on in a post on its official blog. According to Google's Matt Cutts - the face of...
Usually, when we talk about plugins that crash our browsers, chances are that we are talking about Flash. Today, however, Mozilla announced that it is blocking the Skype Toolbar from its Firefox browser as it "is one of the top crashers of Mozilla Firefox 3.6.13, and was involved in almost 40,000 crashes of Firefox last week." The Skype toolbar examines every page you load for phone numbers and then re-renders these as clickable Skype buttons that enable users to initiate Skype calls right from their browser.
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.
These days, you don't really have to ask kids to get off your lawn. Chances are, they have no interest in being on your lawn anyway and are playing computer games instead of wreaking havoc on your manicured lawn. According to a new study by Internet security firm AVG, today's kids are learning computer skills long before they are learning life skills.
OneNote is the unsung hero of Microsoft's Office suite. The note-taking application allows Windows users (there is no Mac version yet) to quickly take notes on their laptops, record audio, and compile images, videos and scanned documents into virtual binders. Starting today, OneNote is also available on the iPhone. The app marks the first time Microsoft has released an iPhone version of one of its Office products.
Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but if you to ensure that your DUI mugshot never goes viral, it'd be a good idea to stay especially sober while driving through the city of Huntington Beach, CA. According to the Associated Press, Huntington Beach's city council is currently considering a proposal that would allow the city's police department to post mugshots of everyone arrested for DUI on the city's Facebook page.
Flipboard, the personal magazine app for the iPad is probably one of the most hyped mobile app in recent memory, but even though it has lots of dedicated followers, I never quite warmed up to its idiosyncrasies. The idea of a personalized magazine-style app for the iPad, however, is more than intriguing and with NewsMix, Sobees is sending a new app ($2.99, iTunes link) into the race today that has the potential to beat Flipboard at its own game.
Earlier this morning, a disgruntled employee of Swiss bank Julius Baer handed over two CDs with the data of "2000 prominent people" to Wikileaks, which is currently vetting this information and will likely post it online within the next few weeks. The disks contain information about the financial transactions of "financial firms and wealthy individuals" from countries including the UK, U.S., and Germany.
Earlier this morning, Apple unexpectedly announced that the company's iconic co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs would take a medical leave of absence. In an email to Apple employees, Jobs said that "At my request, the board of directors has granted me a medical leave of absence so I can focus on my health. I will continue as...