iGoogle Redesign

18 10 2008

Google recently rolled out a significant redesign of its iGoogle
homepage and already users are complaining that the new version is a
giant step backwards. The Google Group dedicated to iGoogle is quickly filling up with posts from angry users calling the new iGoogle “basic user interface stupidity” and petitioning for a return to the old look.

Of course any time a large, popular homepage like iGoogle undergoes
changes, there will always be those who hate it simply because it’s
different. In this case, while some may be vocally unhappy about the
changes, they appear to be in the minority. At the moment a petition
asking Google to bring back the old tabs across the top of the page has
a mere 136 signatures,not even showing up on the mass outcry radar.

does this remind you of any faily recent site redesigns? *cough*Facebook*cough*





YouTube #2 Search Engine

17 10 2008

ComScore’s most U.S. search engine Rankings for August 2008 suggest
that YouTube achieves a greater level of search traffic than Yahoo. If
you were to consider YouTube’s integrated search a regular search
engine, you would have to hand Google the top two spots for search
engine traffic. In combination, Google has about four times the search
traffic of Yahoo and more than ten times the search traffic of
Microsoft’s MSN sites.





2001 Google Search

3 10 2008

As part of Google’s ongoing 10th anniversary celebration, the company is providing access to a 2001 version of the Google search index, allowing users to search the Web circa January 2001.

Although Google is officially celebrating its 10th birthday this year, due to various “technical reasons” the oldest index it could easily access was the 2001 version, the company said.





Google’s gPod?

21 09 2008

There might be all kinds of fascinating self-protective reasons why Google is launching the Android phone in conjunction with T-Mobile. However, at least as interesting a development this past week is the company’s entry into Interbrand’s list of the top 10 brands in the world.

Google’s sudden appearance at No. 10 represents a jump of 10 places and puts the company at a, for some, surprising 14 places above Apple. And a few thousand places above Bear Stearns.

Directly above Google is Disney and one rung below you’ll find Mercedes. Much further down you’ll find Nike, eBay, Starbucks and, something that shows a peculiar lack of taste among the judges, Prada.

It’s clear that the Google brand has enormous equity. And, now that the company is beginning to associate itself with tangible objects rather than just fungible words, a thought comes to mind: what objects would you buy from Google?

I ask because perhaps the last brand that carried with it as much young, positive emotional equity was Virgin.

Virgin represented an intuitive understanding of youth–not just young boys, but the positive emotions that come from being young, free, and just slightly different. It also enjoyed a product that was clearly better than its rivals and senior management that was as happy to express its uniqueness by flying around in balloons as Google’s bosses are to disclose their personal DNA.

Virgin thought it could use its brand equity to sell, amongst other things, cosmetics, clothes, financial services, flowers, and space flights. And, um, vodka. Oh, and health clubs, bridal wear, cell phones, cola, and video games. And stem cell storage. All with varying degrees of success.

But what if Google got together with some other incredibly talented (and young, naturally) folks and launched, dare one even suggest it, a gPod?

What about Google Health Farms, specifically created for those suffering laptop-induced repetitive strain syndrome and general brain freeze? What about Google Gear, specially engineered for the Cool-But-Not-Really look?

Given that Google’s management seems to be fairly proficient at making money, might you one day be inclined to trust a Google Bank (a bank with a heart? a Democratic Bank?)? Or what if they launched some Odwalla-style healthy drinks that were originally created to enhance the brainpower of the company’s staff?

If Philippe Starck is trusted enough to design a chair, an apartment, a toothbrush, and a house (oh, and a wind turbine), might the Google brand be successfully attached to anything that was clearly the product of an abnormal abundance of brains? Like an insanely green car, a revolutionary laptop, or an intelligent city council?

I know that brands are supposed to stay close to their core competence. But it would seem a shame if so much brainpower were merely concentrated on, well, selling advertising.

So I am secretly hoping that this Android experiment will merely be a taste of one of the world’s top 10 brands contributing to the deep, abundant, and sensual pleasure we all get from various inanimate objects.





Google’s gPod?

21 09 2008

There might be all kinds of fascinating self-protective reasons why Google is launching the Android phone in conjunction with T-Mobile. However, at least as interesting a development this past week is the company’s entry into Interbrand’s list of the top 10 brands in the world.

Google’s sudden appearance at No. 10 represents a jump of 10 places and puts the company at a, for some, surprising 14 places above Apple. And a few thousand places above Bear Stearns.

Directly above Google is Disney and one rung below you’ll find Mercedes. Much further down you’ll find Nike, eBay, Starbucks and, something that shows a peculiar lack of taste among the judges, Prada.

It’s clear that the Google brand has enormous equity. And, now that the company is beginning to associate itself with tangible objects rather than just fungible words, a thought comes to mind: what objects would you buy from Google?

I ask because perhaps the last brand that carried with it as much young, positive emotional equity was Virgin.

Virgin represented an intuitive understanding of youth–not just young boys, but the positive emotions that come from being young, free, and just slightly different. It also enjoyed a product that was clearly better than its rivals and senior management that was as happy to express its uniqueness by flying around in balloons as Google’s bosses are to disclose their personal DNA.

Virgin thought it could use its brand equity to sell, amongst other things, cosmetics, clothes, financial services, flowers, and space flights. And, um, vodka. Oh, and health clubs, bridal wear, cell phones, cola, and video games. And stem cell storage. All with varying degrees of success.

But what if Google got together with some other incredibly talented (and young, naturally) folks and launched, dare one even suggest it, a gPod?

What about Google Health Farms, specifically created for those suffering laptop-induced repetitive strain syndrome and general brain freeze? What about Google Gear, specially engineered for the Cool-But-Not-Really look?

Given that Google’s management seems to be fairly proficient at making money, might you one day be inclined to trust a Google Bank (a bank with a heart? a Democratic Bank?)? Or what if they launched some Odwalla-style healthy drinks that were originally created to enhance the brainpower of the company’s staff?

If Philippe Starck is trusted enough to design a chair, an apartment, a toothbrush, and a house (oh, and a wind turbine), might the Google brand be successfully attached to anything that was clearly the product of an abnormal abundance of brains? Like an insanely green car, a revolutionary laptop, or an intelligent city council?

I know that brands are supposed to stay close to their core competence. But it would seem a shame if so much brainpower were merely concentrated on, well, selling advertising.

So I am secretly hoping that this Android experiment will merely be a taste of one of the world’s top 10 brands contributing to the deep, abundant, and sensual pleasure we all get from various inanimate objects.





Google Android

16 09 2008

All the Google Android hype just might be true: T-Mobile’s first Android-based phone is expected to be revealed next week and in stores by next month.

Invitations leaked around the Web indicate the heavily anticipated T-Mobile Dream will be unveiled and demoed at a media-only event in New York next Tuesday, September 23. The HTC-manufactured phone should then become widely available by the end of October, according to the Wall Street Journal. Despite all the talk of delays, then, that date would put Android right on target with its initial timetable.

In case you haven’t heard, the Dream will combine an iPhone-style touchscreen with a swivel-out QWERTY-style keypad. It’ll also boast what’s being called a “jog ball,” believed to be BlackBerry-like trackball navigation tool, and an accelerometer similar to the one found in the iPhone.

Of course, what sets Android most apart from Apple’s offering may be its open nature. Particularly given the rage over iPhone apps being banned over the past several days, Google’s user-moderated Android Market—in which any developer can register, upload, and publish within minutes—is sure to grab attention. The site, Google has said, will emulate YouTube’s community voting system for content. No company officials will interfere or “ban” app submissions.

Pricing hasn’t officially been revealed, though Web-based reports put the tag around $400 for the Dream, with contracted specials rumored to become available for closer to $150. More than 600,000 units are said to be under preparation for shipping.

Google, meanwhile, showed off a non-specific phone running the software at a closed developers’ event in Europe Tuesday. People in attendance say the device looked eerily similar to the T-Mobile Dream, though Google would not confirm or deny the branding. (Pieces of masking tape were placed over any indicating signs.)

It’s been a long road for Android — and while it may not have hit the finish line first, the mobile world is no doubt keeping an eager eye on its final stretch. So will Google’s gamble pay off? We’ll find out soon enough.





Google Chrome For Mac- Just Kidding

16 09 2008

Itching to try out Google Chrome, but don’t feel like leaving the confines of your Mac? You could install Google’s recently unveiled browser on Boot Camp or via virtualization, but that’s a lot of hassle just to use one application.

Fortunately for you, the team at CodeWeavers is trying to simplify that. CodeWeavers is the company behind CrossOver for Mac, the program that lets you run some Windows applications on your Intel Mac without having to use Windows. CodeWeavers has taken Chromium, the freely available source behind Chrome, and set it up to run on Intel-based Macs and Linux.

Note that this is not a native version, and CodeWeavers themselves say that it’s more of a proof-of-concept than anything else. You probably won’t want to use it for your everyday browsing (starting it up for the first time took at least three or four minutes on my MacBook and I still can’t quite figure out how to get right-click working), and it looks and feels like a Windows app. But for those interested in playing around with Chrome on the Mac, this is probably the easiest way to do that until Sergey Brin finally gets his way.








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