Put on your safety googles: a trip to Google’s Labs

May 30th, 2005 | by ian |

Just a suggestion…

Check out the simultaneously useful and distracting Google Suggest: as you type the search field expands into a drop down list providing anticipatory or alternative searches and allowing you to see the difference in the size of the result sets for each of them. A great way of getting your search right the first time, or being dragged off on some wild digression.

What’s your Erdos number?

Anyone who has spent months or years of their lives in a dimly lit and musty library basement sifting through cue cards and perusing the stacks hoping to find an intellectual pot of gold in the journals to help with one’s research (only to find that the journal was dropped by the library a few months prior to the issue you need due to lack of funds) will appreciate what Google Scholar promises to do. Sure, similar systems already exist in university libraries or for a fee from several publishers but the world needs a publicly accessible version which is not controller by any given publisher. Being able to browse the citations is an incredibly powerful feature as are the links to published abstracts and in some cases entire articles. Forgive my shameless plugs for my favorite research as well as for relatives.

And now for the really interesting stuff (eye candy that is):

This will revolutionize your world eventually: go find your home on the impressive Google Maps. Try the sattelite view. Zoom in and out. Show your friends. Now consider that such a application might revolutionize real estate (thanks Nic!) at the very least. Another application currently in their labs is the ride finder which is not yet available. How long until they have a friend finder? Not long apparently! If you’re looking for something more immediately practical check out Google Local which lets you search your neighbourhood instead of the entire internet. Again, great use of their mapping application.

Now head over to defective yeti for a laugh. And then consider that this is only funny because there is some truth to it…

Conspiracy theory of the day

This one might have slipped me by if it weren’t for the vigilance of Alistair Croll. Will Google’s web accelerator become your window to the web? Could this service become the web? This software intercepts and redirects requests through a Google service which would dramatically speed your web browsing experience in exchange for tracking every request you make…

Shortly after releasing this beta service Google pulled the plug claiming that they had reached capacity, however it is more likely that they paused the beta program due to privacy concerns and technical glitches. Google certainly has some serious technical and political challenges if this is to work well but if they pull this off they could completely change the nature of the web. This will warrant a followup as soon as I can gain access to the service myself.

  1. One Response to “Put on your safety googles: a trip to Google’s Labs”

  2. By Pacanukeha on May 30, 2005 | Reply

    gotta love the yeti.
    Anyway, since this is adding a single point of non-contractual failure I can’t see anyone who has mission critical support infrastucture making a decision to abandon all in house work a deligate it to Google in the hopes that everyone will use the accelerator.
    And noone will ever need more than 640k too, but it seems too risky to me. Especially since for most people with decent broadband the net is not that slow.

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