Would Gaming Fuel A Google Social Network?

Based on unnamed "sources," yesterday TechCrunch reported that Google had "secretly" invested more than $100 million in social gaming platform Zynga and is launching "Google Games," built partly on Zynga. Let's establish all the usual qualifiers; this is an unconfirmed story and so on. And there are plenty of times when these TechCrunch-surfaced rumors turn out to be wrong. But this one seems to be supported by a job posting ("Product Management Leader, Games – Mountain View"). Given that, here are the main elements of the TechCrunch story beyond the headline itself: The Google inv [...]

Google Promoting “Internet Stats” Site

Last September Google launched "Internet Stats" in the UK. Now Google is "launching" it in the US or perhaps, more precisely, exposing it again. The site aims to be a repository for data points, organized by broad categories, market sectors and verticals. Data come from various sources, but mostly trade groups and market research firms cited in third party publications. It has an interesting, "random" quality but does contain some useful information on consumer trends, media consumption, device adoption and so on. Some of the more interesting information is contained within the "vertica [...]

Greenpeace: Google, Microsoft & Other Online Giants Need Greener Data Centers

Greenpeace has issued a report warning of the ballooning energy needs of data centers feeding cloud computing. It is intended to encourage cloud providers to choose cleaner energy sources, and it does not beat up overly on Google, Amazon, Salesforce, MicroSoft, Facebook, and Yahoo!. But, it is a mixed report card, may indicate an important trend.

Google Bookmarks Lists

Google Operating System reports that Google has updated Google Bookmarks to allow you to create lists and share those bookmark lists with others. The bookmarks feature is not new, Google enabled you to store bookmarks and search them. The sharing feature is also not new, Google did once give you a way to share them, in fact, you can share them on Google Buzz I believe. But now, in Google Bookmarks at google.com/bookmarks/l, you can directly share them. Here is a screen shot: You can learn more about Google Bookmarks over here. Update: Google just posted on this new feature. [...]

Google’s Sergey Brin Writes About His Relief Mission Visit To Haiti

Google co-founder Sergey Brin is back from a relief mission to Haiti and has written his impressions of the situation there. He writes about the relief effort (and even shares some suggestions for things that could be done differently) and the scene in Port-au-Prince, but says the people of Haiti are "the real heroes." Despite tremendous challenge and suffering, they still show an incredible strength of spirit and resilience to the harshest of conditions. Seeing the people firsthand left me with a vastly different impression than I had going in based on news reports. Instead of roving gangs o [...]

Google’s New Years Countdown Via I’m Feeling Lucky

Google has a fun little search easter egg for the new year. If you go to Google, make sure the search box is empty and click on the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button, you will see large numbers counting down under the search box. It is a countdown to new years, which is 1521557 seconds or about 17 days away. Here is a video I posted of the countdown: Other blogs like Google Blogoscoped covered this as well. [...]

Is Google (Voice) A Telecom Carrier?

This is the question that the US FCC will need to answer according to an article in the Wall Street Journal, which describes how the agency is grappling with new phone services such as Google Voice. Strictly speaking Google probably shouldn't be considered a carrier because you can't use it to make calls in the absence of another service; it's really a "call management" and voice mail platform. However, you can use the Google Voice number as your primary telephone "identity," something that was previously in the exclusive realm of telecom carriers. Google Talk in one sense more like a carri [...]

Google Sets & Squared: Powerful Keyword Research Tools

One of the toughest challenges facing pay-per-click marketers is keyword expansion. Marketers need to be adept at selecting keywords that will not only drive traffic, but more importantly, will drive conversions in a cost-effective manner. As competition intensifies, identifying unique, high quality keywords becomes increasingly important-and difficult. While basic keyword research remains important, search marketers need to look to other tools to gain an edge. Basic keyword research Keyword research generally begins with one of the popular keyword-research tools. These include-but are [...]

Google OS Reactions: The Positive, Negative & The Paranoid

Late yesterday Google announced (or finally admitted) that it had developed an operating system, called Chrome OS, not to be confused, exactly, with the related Chrome browser. Everyone and their grandmother seems to have an opinion about it. Here's a sampling of the reaction, positive, negative and in-between: The fans, boosters and generally positive takes: TechCrunch, BetaNews, Computerworld, Mashable, BuzzMachine, Ars Technica, Bloomberg, ArsTechnica, Google Watch, MediaMemo, Linux-Watch.com, Google Operating System, The Register, TheNextWeb.com, Black Web 2.0, BloggingStocks, Gadge [...]

The Google Operating System Is Real: Google Chrome OS Announced.

Ars Technica posted earlier that Google is to unveil its long rumored computer operating system, and now Google confirms this is true in a blog post: Introducing the Google Chrome OS. The company says that the OS will be released later this year (likely in the fall, I'm told) to developers, designed primarily for netbooks but not limited to them. Then in 2010, it expects it will be available to consumers (though no doubt, many enthusiasts will try it on their own machines). From the company's post: Google Chrome OS is an open source, lightweight operating system that will initially be targ [...]

Google Voice Bracing For Expansion

Network World is reporting that Google has put in a claim for one million phone numbers with Level 3 Communications. The claim is presumably for the upcoming rollout of Google Voice, which is currently only available to a limited number of users. Google Voice offers users a variety of features: one phone number for all incoming calls, free calls in the U.S., voicemail transcripts and more. Google isn't saying when Voice will open to the public, but a help page says, "We expect to have the service ready for new users in a matter of weeks, and are focused on opening it as soon as possible. [...]

Google’s Android Coming To Netbooks Via Acer

Acer to Produce Netbook Using Google Operating System from the Wall Street Journal reports that Google's Android operating system, used on Google Phones, will be shipped on Acer's Netbooks. The new low-cost computers will ship in the third quarter of this year. This does not mean Acer will stop shipping computers with Windows, it just gives Acer an alternative low-cost option for their Netbooks. We knew this was coming when Greg wrote, Report: Android OS Coming To Netbooks. There are also rumors that Dell's netbooks will run Android in the future. [...]

Did Google Cleverly Upstage Microsoft’s Bing?

Mike Arrington thinks that Google engaged in "a little stealth black ops mission" and blunted the full impact of the Ballmer Bing announcement yesterday by announcing Wave. Whether Wave represents a huge new development in digital communications remains to be seen, but almost every major news outlet had to cover it and divide its attention between Bing and Wave. Indeed, many journalists and bloggers were physically divided between the AllThingsD conference near San Diego and Google's developer event I/O in San Francisco. Arrington also cites the lack of access to Bing/Kumo as a PR mistake. [...]

Dell Looking At Android For Netbook OS

Android was intended from the outset to be an OS that could support devices beyond smartphones. And the fast-growing netbook market is one in which Android may see considerable adoption. The Wall Street Journal reports that Dell is considering building netbooks using the Android OS instead of Linux or Windows. The first netbook to use Android is from a Chinese company called SkyTone. HP and other PC makers are looking at Android for netbooks as well. One of the chief attractions of Android for netbook makers is the fact that it's open source and so it helps them with margins that are much t [...]

Behind The Curtain With Google’s “Secret Servers”

For all the uber-geeks and electrical engineers, CNET offers an interesting story about Google's approach to servers. From the very early days Google was thinking carefully about scale, efficiency but perhaps mostabout cost savings. Rather than buy servers, Google has built them from the beginning. Google finally revealed one of its home-made servers before an audience on Wednesday. According to the article: Google's big surprise: each server has its own 12-volt battery to supply power if there's a problem with the main source of electricity. The company also revealed for the first time that [...]

Google Ventures Into VC Business

Google has announced the launch of its new venture capital fund, appropriately named Google Ventures. "At its core, Google Ventures is charged with finding and helping to develop exceptional start-ups," Google says of its new for-profit effort. The New York Times reports that the group is expected to invest up to $100 million in the next year. The paper also says some of Google Ventures' investments will be in areas that Google.org, the company's philanthropic arm, has previously funded. Google says Ventures will focus on a broad range of industries, "including consumer Internet, [...]

Making Sense Of All The Data: Google, Hadoop & Cloudera

The article, Hadoop, a Free Software Program, Finds Uses Beyond Search, explains the very interesting history behind Hadoop. What is Hadoop? It's distributed computing software that enables data mining and analysis on a huge scale. It also, apparently, is an open-source version of proprietary software developed by Google to process and analyze massive volumes of data for search. Here's how the NY Times explains the problem Google was addressing: By 2003, Google found it increasingly difficult to ingest and index the entire Internet on a regular basis. Adding to these woes, Google lacked a rel [...]

Google Voice: Next Generation Telco?

Maybe that headline overreaches a little but not entirely. For those that have been wondering whether Google's GrandCentral acquisition, which the company made in mid 2007 and thereafter seemed to neglect, would suffer the same fate as Dodgeball or Jaiku . . . wonder no more. Using the GrandCentral infrastructure, and currently only available to existing GrandCentral users, Google is announcing a wide range of new services under the banner of Google Voice. These services include -- get ready -- "free calling" and "low-priced international calls" among a range of other things. It woul [...]

Google Searching For Energy Solutions Because “It’s The Right Thing To Do”

Google CEO Eric Schmidt spoke at length to the Wall Street Journal about why Google is collaborating on a "smart grid," plug-in cars and making other green-energy investments that seem to be far removed from its core mission. The interview is a glimpse into what I'd call the "pragmatic idealism" that has propelled Google in the past. Google's founders reportedly care deeply about energy policy and Google, during the Bush administration, took it upon itself to "step into the leadership gap" and try and advance certain ideas. Here are some excerpts from the interview: WSJ: The nation may not [...]

Google.org Changes Leadership, Aligns Goals More Closely with Big G Itself

Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org is changing its operational leader and trying to more tightly integrate with the larger objectives of Google the company. According to the Google Blog: Long-time Googler Megan Smith will take over day-to-day management of Google.org, joining as General Manager to lead us through this transition, in addition to her existing role as Vice President of New Business Development. One of the first things that Megan will focus on is how Google.org can best achieve its mission. During our review it became clear that while we have been able to support some rema [...]

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