From the same folks at Whirled Interactive who brought us the superbly funny "Pulp Wave Fiction" comes one more intelligent use of Google Wave as a video production medium - this time it's used to encapsulate the year in news and social media.
In "Waving Goodbye to 2009," embedded after the break, that we see a Google Wave rendition of the year's most memorable moments. From Obama inauguration to the Iran elections, from Susan Boyle to Kanye West, the video highlights the best - and worst - moments of 2009.
Google has recently been prone to changing its own logo, often turning it into a series of doodles with a riddle attached. It seems we're about to see another series of logo changes, but this time their purpose is fairly easy to discover. If you've visited Google today, you may have noticed that Google home page logo has turned into a holiday postcard. Clicking on it leads to a "Happy Holidays" landing page, with the present logo listed as the first in a series.
One of our favorite Google tools, Google Translate, not only talks and translates in real-time, but it's been integrated in a wide variety of Google services, including Gmail, Google Reader, and most recently, Google Toolbar.
Now Google has announced that it has integrated Translate with yet another one of Google's numerous products. This time, it's Google Sites, a tool for creating simple but helpful web pages. All of the pages within Sites can be translated just by clicking a floating "translate" button on bottom right of the page.
Now, plenty of cars have built-in GPS navigation. But up until now, no car had Google Earth integrated, but at present Audi has remedied that with their new luxury car, the Audi A8.
Snugged right into the LCD screen in the car, the Google Earth application will let lucky owners look at 3D satellite imagery, terrain information, and even extra info layers such as Wikipedia articles or Panoramio images related to a certain location.
Audi A8's system will also feature Google Maps and Local Search, plus the ability to link it all with your desktop computer. To save time, you can just search for an address on your computer and send it to the car; when you start driving, the car will know where to go.
However, if you,re not familiar with German manufacturer's luxury cars, let's just say that only those with the deepest pockets will be buying one. The rest of us will have to make do with iPhone stand and the Google Earth mobile app.
We launched updated versions of the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner that offer a new URL shortening service from Google called the Google URL Shortener. We mentioned our URL shortener as a feature in both announcements, so we wanted to say a little more about how this product works and why we're offering it.
People share a lot of links online. This is particularly true as microblogging services such as Twitter have grown in popularity. If you're not familiar with them, URL shorteners basically squeeze a long URL into fewer characters to make it easier to share with others. With character limits in tweets, status updates and other modes of short form publishing, a shorter URL leaves more room to say what's on your mind - and that's why people use them.
First, we think people who use the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner will benefit from a shortener that is easily accessible - making it faster and easier to share, post and email links. Second, we've built this on Google's global infrastructure to offer the following benefits:
Stability: Google's scalable, multi-datacenter infrastructure provides great uptime and a reliable service to our users.
Security: As we do with web search, shortened URLs are automatically checked to detect sites that may be malicious and warn users when the short URL resolves to such sites.
Speed: At Google we like fast products and we've worked hard to ensure this service is quick. We'll continue to iterate and improve the speed of Google Url Shortener.
Google URL shortener is not a stand-alone service; you can't use it to shorten links directly. Currently, Google URL Shortener is only available from the Google Toolbar and FeedBurner. If the service proves useful, we may eventually make it available for a wider audience in the future.
Relief is at hand for anybody who simply has to know at short notice just how many seconds are left in the decade. Navigate to the Google home page and, with the search window left blank, click on the I'm Feeling Lucky button and a countdown clock will pop onto the screen counting down the seconds until the turn of the New Year in big blue numbers.
Google is well known for its 'easter eggs' as these hidden features are well-known. Other efforts contain the results for a search for "the answer to life, the universe, and everything" being topped by the calculator result "42" - a reference to the late Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
This fall we've seen lots of government agencies decide to make the switch to cloud computing, joining the many businesses already using Google Apps for email and collaboration at work. Today we'd like to officially welcome another customer to the mix: The City of Los Angeles. Starting today, Los Angeles will be equipping 34,000 city employees with Google Apps for email and collaboration in the cloud.
The story of Los Angeles moving to Google Apps started early this year, when the city's Chief Technology Officer, Randi Levin, and her team at the Information Technology Agency (ITA) looked to replace their aging, on-premise system with more secure, productivity-focused technology. After calling for proposals and carefully evaluating over 14 different ones, Randi and the ITA decided to revamp the city government's email technology by adopting Google Apps.
Los Angeles' going Google will help the city on a number of fronts. The cloud computing system will improve the security and reliability of city email, transitioning from servers in the City Hall basement to hosted, secure data centers. Employees will also have a new avenue for collaboration with Google Apps in the cloud: sharing docs, sites and videos and editing them together in realtime as they work on making the city run more smoothly and efficiently and thus better serving Angelenos city-wide. Furthermore, Randi and her team realized that moving to Apps would mean less taxpayer money spent on IT - valuable budget that can be rededicated to other city efforts over the next few years.
Los Angeles is the second-largest city in the U.S., and the latest in a string of cities, like Washington D.C. and Orlando, FL, to go Google. With this switch to the cloud, Los Angeles joins the group of leaders on the innovation front not only with regard to budget but technology as well. Bringing in cloud applications will make city work more efficient, which is great for Los Angeles residents too. Read more from Randi on the Google Enterprise blog, and stay tuned to follow Los Angeles' Google Apps story, and to learn about other governments moving to the cloud.
When Google asked what you liked and disliked about their new real-time communication application, you unquestionably said that you wanted extra invites to share with friends and family. Problem solved.
Now, Google decided to play Santa with Wave invites. It has just doled out significantly additional invites to existing users. In conjunction with the invite rollout, Google is also hinting that they'll shortly reach the one million user mark. The title of their post suggestively point out that "a million stamps" have been licked, which we take to mean that they've now opened up Google Wave to a million users.
While invites may be extra readily available, be forewarned: Google is still not ready to graduate the service from preview phase to beta phase. Still, we're excited that extra of you can get in on the shared experience that is Google Wave.
We know it was inevitable, and now it's here: Google has now launched real-time search integrated into search results pages. Google real-time search updates as stuff is happening around the Web - for example, live tweets, Yahoo Answers, news articles and Web pages now stream in on the real result pages for your query. It works on mobile also (at least iPhone and Android for now).
As we were expecting, Google has now released Chrome for Mac, which can now be downloaded by Mac OS X 10.5 or later users. If you're everything like us, you've been anxiously awaiting the chance to get your hands on the new browser since last year's release of the Windows version.
Of course, Google Chrome for Mac is just a beta release, and, you won't be able to use applications like Gmail that run on Google Gears, but you can take advantage of other Chrome improvements such as speed and Google search right from the address bar.
Here's a Video Demo that Google has Released:
After you install Google Chrome on your Mac, you can optionally import your Safari or Firefox settings, which means your bookmarks and certain preferences can carry over from your existing favorite browser. Given that Chrome Extensions should launch any day, you might not even have to live without your favorite add-ons for very long (though at this time extensions are not available for the Mac version).
Google brought a rich database of information to Google Maps in September with Place Pages, and now those detailed results on businesses and points of interest are available in Google Earth as well. To access the Place Page for a particular place, just click the "View more information" link at the bottom of the summary overlay that pops up when you click on a business or place of interest.
It's a sensible integration that brings Google's rich collection of place information to browsing the globe in 3D. Although it lacks the same level of social commentary afforded by the similarly oriented Yelp, Place Pages focus on collecting detailed information about a place including a description, photos and videos, nearby transit options, related Web sites and reviews.
If you're a fan of Google Earth, it just got easier to gather even more information about cities, landmarks, neighborhoods, shops and other points of interest around the world. Have you had a chance to check out Place Pages from within Google Earth yet? Let us know if you discover everything new and interesting.
Avast! a run-time antivirus software is a darling for numerous of the internet users! If you are an Avast! user, you might be in really excellent company since Avast has over 100 Million users.
After achieving those big numbers, Avast has now decided to duo up with Google Chrome to bring you a fast and secure browser along with a widely used Antivirus solution. This would be implemented from mid-November of the upcoming year (2010) along with its new release of version 5. The users who install the new version of Avast! will be notified (or more exactly recommended) to install Google Chrome browser along with it, provided the computer doesn't have the Google Chrome browser.
It's been spotted in the wild before, but a before Google is officially unveiling a new and minimalist version of the classic Google.com homepage. There's literally not much to it, as it only sports the Google logo and two search buttons: Google Search and I'm Feeling Lucky. But don't worry, the whole thing you've come to expect from the homepage is still there, but the features are hidden until you move your mouse, at which point they fade in.
Google explain the decision to scrap the additives with this statement on their blog: "For the vast majority of people who come to the Google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost. For those users who are interested in using a different application like Gmail, Google Image Search or our advertising programs, the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse".
In fact, Google has attempted to master the fade-in effect, as they tried 10 different variations of it, ultimately landing on one that a majority of testers had positive and neutral reactions to. Interestingly enough though, the fade-in approach they picked also slows down the time it takes for users to take their first action on www.Google.com. While this would appear to be a troubling, Google says, "we want users to notice this change and it does take time to notice something (though in this case, only milliseconds!)".
Bing and Yahoo have already announced their lists of the most popular search terms of 2009, and now it's time for the undisputed, heavyweight champion of search - Google, in the red trunks - to announce its rundown.
In their annual Zeitgeist report, Google crowns "Michael Jackson" as the fastest rising search term, followed by "Facebook" in second place and "Twitter" in fourth place, with Spanish Facebook "Tuenti" coming in third place.
As far as the fastest falling search terms go, unsurprisingly the heaviest hitters of old, such as "Beijing 2008 and "Euro 2008," have decreased in relevance, and certain Internet giants, such as eMule and Bebo, have obviously lost their luster. The full list is below: