Google has two new programs in the works. Similar Images uses pictures for searching instead of text. As an example, click on the word “Paris” and you get Ms. Hilton, the Eiffel Tower and a photo of an old church. You then click to search further. Google News Timeline helps localize your search through a chronological history of articles, videos and images that have been arranged by a year, month, week or single date. Search through mags, newspapers, blogs or Wikipedia.
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Many areas in the UK, such as shopping centers and streets, have surveillance cameras. But Broughton residents had had enough and formed a human chain to keep out a car that was shooting for Google Street View. Paul Jacobs noticed the car and got ticked off enough to round up his neighbors to block the road. By the time the police showed up, the car had left the area. This is not the first time Street View has had complaints. Pictures of shelters for battered woman in the U.S. were previously removed.
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Rumor has it that Google may be buying Twitter. Michael Arrington of TechCrunch reports that he has two unnamed sources who say that they are in the late stages of negotiations. Twitter already turned down an offer from Facebook, although that deal involved overvalued stock. Google plans on paying cash and/or public stock. We guess that this is a win-win for both. Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone have already sold Blogger to Google and considering that tweeting is more popular all the time, this will involve big profits down the line.
Read More | TechCrunch
Blackberry users can now search with Google Mobile by My Location and Voice. Tell it you want a hamburger and it will tell you where the closest restaurants are. It will store your location for faster and more relevant results. The application gives quick access to local and Internet news and images. You can test run it on your Blackberry by going to Google. The app will work with Blackberrys running on O/S 4.1+ and with Search by voice on O/S 4.2 and above, and they are working on a version for the Storm.
Read More | Google Mobile Blog
Sony is offereing its Reader users half a million public domain books. The Google optimized books are added to the 100,000 already available for the e-book. Included are such titles as “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” “The Awakening” and “The Letters of Jane Austen.” Google has been encoding books in the open electronic format ePub to make such titles more available to Sony and other e-book distributors.
Read More | NY Times
Google has a new tool that they are testing. PowerMeter will show home energy usage in real time on your PC. You set the rate of your electricity charge, plug in your appliance and a monitor will calculate the cost. Forty million trackers are already in use and Google predicts that another 100 million will be bought in the next few years. Studies show that those who have access to home energy information can save up to 15% of their electricity bills. PowerMeter is not yet available but should be soon.
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YouTube has begun testing a sub-set of their partners with a charge for download. Most of them are available for about $.99 but only as MP4 files. They can be purchased through Google Checkout. This may put an end to the problems that site has had with studios like Warner. If the program is successful, look for them to allow all of its partners to charge for movies and TV shows on the site.
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Google Latitude can help you keep track of friends and family on your cell phone. Find your buds and their status on a map, then contact them with a call, IM or SMS. You have to have a compatible phone with images enabled such as Android-powered cellies, BlackBerrys, Nokia smartphones and Java-enabled devices. If you have an iPhone or iPod, there are plans in the works for those, too. Google promises privacy but you might want to think about how much you want your friends to know about where you go and when. This is a free service but carrier charges may apply.
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Google has added 3D renderings of the ocean floor in its latest update since 4.3. Google Earth 5.0 is still free to download. Track gray whales, explore shipwrecks and see what the water looked like up to 50 years ago. Also in the new Google Earth are maps and satellite images of Mars, including probe landing spots, and you can save your toured places to share with other GE users.
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Even Google can screw up. If you noticed yesterday that when you hit a search you got the error screen “may harm your computer,” you weren’t the only one. The period only lasted about 40 minutes but we guess that was long enough to freak a few Googlers out. Their engine works with stopbadware.org that helps find malicious software then sends a list to them. After updating Saturday, Google accidentally flagged all of their sites. The company attributed the problem to “human error.”
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