Take that, Google! Microsoft has managed to one-up Google by investing $240 million for a 1.6% share in Facebook. It also has the rights to sell ads on the site outside of the U.S. Some experts say that they are hoping that the company will expand and become a “hub” for its various Net applications. So far, Facebook has about 50 million subscribers and claims that it receives 250,000 new ones every day. Microsoft hopes that it will reach a forecasted 300 million. We figure that MS is partying hearty over this one since Google beat them out last year with its acquisition of YouTube.
Read More | Reuters
Gmail, Google‘s popular web based email solution is likely about to get IMAP features - a welcome addition for email power-users. It appears that some users are seeing options to IMAP-enable their account in the settings page. This will help Google’s service compete with Yahoo Mail which has offered IMAP access for some time now.
We don’t yet have the option on our accounts here at Gear Live, but we definitely look forward to trying it out. If your account has the new option, be a pal and leave a comment to let the world know what you think.
Read More | Download Squad
YouTube has finally released the means to automatically remove copyrighted clips. Although it has been eliminating most of those videos per request, the site is hoping that this will have a more positive impact on complaints such as Viacom’s suit against them. Working with its parent Google, the technology also allows companies to sell ads on their material if they will allow them to remain on YouTube. Unfortunately, the method of copyright protection requires copies of the videos that need protecting to be given to YouTube for comparison. This certainly doesn’t appear to be the solution that the studios desire and we suspect that YouTube will have to go back to the drawing board on this one.
Read More | ABC
We all know the feeling - you submit a search to a service like Google, and the result you get back are mostly horrible. A lot of it can be considered spam, and it is just impossible to sift through the 3,480,000 results that have just been returned. This is where the new search service Mahalo comes in. They have a large team whose main goal is to put together quality search results by organizing the best links for common search terms. So you get all the good stuff, and none of the spam or other atrocities that have become the status quo. So, the tricky part - people are so used to Google and Yahoo!, so how do you get them to switch over to your service? This is where the new Mahalo Follow plug-in comes in. After installing it, you continue doing your searches in your normal search engine. However, when Mahalo has a result for the search, their results are displayed in a pane alongside them. This allows you to compare the quality of their results with those of your traditional search engine.
We’ve been using Mahalo Follow for a couple of days now, and while we weren’t sure we’d like it at first, it’s grown on us. If you are using Firefox, we suggest you give Mahalo Follow a try. If you do, hit us back in the comments and let us know what you think.
Read More | Download Mahalo Follow
Citing claims of privacy invasion and terrorisim, a one Dylan Jayne has filed a (handwritten) suit against Google. Mr. Jayne (who gives one of our favorite Firefly characters a bad name) seems a bit off his rocker on this one. He states that not only has Google failed to fight terrorisim, but they also seem to have invaded his privacy as indicated by the following statement: “I, Dylan Stephen Jayne, plaintiff, has [sic] a social security number that when the social security number is turned upside down in its entirety it is a scrambled code that does spell the name Google®.”
Last time I checked Google’s business model didn’t seem to cover stopping terrorism, leaving that job to the ‘professionals’ over at Homeland Security. His claims of privacy invasion also seem a little far fetched - it’s hard to think a fortune 100 company would pick it’s name based soley on the Social Security number of a lone loser from Pennsylvania.
In a way it’s a sad statement about the United States legal system that a case like this will even be heard by a judge. If Mr. Jayne can’t even be bothered to type up his Complaint can he really be considered compentent enough with computers to really even understand what exactly it is that Google does? Check out the Ars Technica article for more information on this weird little case and keep your eyes peeled here late breaking news as it percolates through the Justice system.
Read More | Ars Technica
We suppose that Google is not satisfied with its new Sky, but then again maybe they have just gone a tad space loony. The company has offered a $30 million reward to the first private company that sends a robotic rover to the moon and sends back a gigabyte of images.
Partnered with the X Prize Foundation, who hosted the contest that sent non-astronauts into space, Google says that the rules involve the device traveling at least 1,312 feet across the surface and having high-def video and still cameras to send self-portraits, panoramic views, and near-real time videos. More details will become available during the WIRED Nextfest in LA this week.
Read More | ABC
The University of Washington and its Professor Oren Etzoni released PanImages at the recent Machine Translation Summit in Copenhagen. Instead of searching for photos by text that may not be recognizable, the system recognizes a string of letters in about 300 different languages and looks for them in Google and Flickr. In a recent test of the process, PanImages found 57 times more results than on an average search.
The procedure works by scanning machine readable wiktionaries. As an example, Etzioni said that if you type in the Zulu word for refrigerator (“ifriji’) you would get almost 500,000 results as opposed to 2 on available search engines. While we seem to be over-saturated with images by using English, it is a comfort to know that the Zulus will be able to find appliances with less of an effort now.
Read More | Tech News Watch
Google Blogger, beware! Fake entries containing links to downloads can infect your Windows run PC. Computers that catch the virus are checked for saleable data or used as carriers. The links began in January by hackers dubbed “Storm Trojans” and may actually been have set up for allowing others to view e-mail entries on their Blogger Journals. Here are some of the storm worm subject lines:
- are you kidding me? lol
- Dude dont send that stuff to my home email…
- Dude your gonna get caught, lol
- HAHAHAHAHAHA, man your insane!
- I cant belive you did this
- LMAO, your crazy man
- LOL, dude what are you doing
- man, who filmed this thing?
- oh man your nutz
- OMG, what are you thinking
Some of the messages feature links to YouTube while others claim to be offering testing software or digital greeting cards. The group has reportedly infected over a million PCs in that time. We suggest it might be time to get a Mac, run Firefox, or find another outlet for your blogging.
Read More | BBC
Who needs a planetarium when you can explore the Google Sky? With it you can view 200 million galaxies, 100 million stars, constellations, a supernova, and planets in motion. You can also see the heavens with over 120 high-res images from NASA’s Hubble telescope. All you need is a download of the current Google Earth, then click on the Sky button on the toolbar. Available in 13 languages, check out the Gallery and discover space from different sources on Earth. We think we would like to experience the Milky Way from Paris, even if it is only on our PC.
Read More | Google
So we’ve already told you about iPod My Baby, cute tees and onesies that make your infant resemble a cute, giant iPod. Awww. Now comes Goo Goo, the aptly-named onesie for Google/internet/tech fanatics who love the world’s most ubiquitous search engine. Very cute (we especially love the “I’m Feeling Silly” button), we just hope your bundle of joy isn’t labeled a “geek” by the ruffian infants at Mommy and Me class.
Read More | Dimples and Dandelions