Today is Google’s 9th birthday, you can check out their festive home page logo with the “G” turned into a “9″. Way to go Googlers!
While it has been suggested in the past that the official date for Google’s birthday is September 7th, I think it’s safe to assume Google recognizes the 27th as their actual birthday. A discussion was started on Search Engine Land last week regarding the possibilities of other dates being Google’s actual birthday. Want to say thanks to Google for all they’ve done over the years? Why don’t you leave some comments on SEMSunday’s 5 Reasons to Celebrate Google’s Birthday.
Ryan Douglas manages Paid Search and Comparison Shopping Engines for PlumberSurplus.com, an online retailer of home improvement products including Kitchen
Faucet, Access Door, and Sump Pump categories.
Don’t ask, just, just don’t ask. The site has been nigh inaccesible all week, and I’m working with GoDaddy to put an end to these sort of problems forever. With any luck, all will be stable and good in the next few days/a week, and all will be well for a long, long time.
In the meantime, I’ve disabled some sidebar features and the stats on top commenters and search terms. They’ll be back as soon as the new server is ready, but I already miss them. For some reason, I think Tim misses them more.
The worst part of it all, for me, is that I lost a lot of money this week in lost advertising revenue (plus, I probably lost quite a bit of hair thanks to all the stress). I’m going to have to dig deep on my non-skills in selling advertising to keep the creditors at bay this month (and if you’d like to suggest ways I could accomplish that, please do).
Anyway, the content is back, things are improving in a nice way in the next week, so bear with, and prepare for a barrage of posts. Thanks for your patience.
Google.org is making a big move, offering $10 million worth of grants as part of its RechargeIT program to firms working on various forms of sustainable transportation, like hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and other kinds of fuel-reducing measures. Google will invest $500,000-$2 million in each company that is approved after filing a Request For Proposal, and will not sit on the boards of those companies.
Is there a way to switch my Zooomr login from OpenID to a regular Zooomr account? I’m not sure if its OpenID’s fault or Zooomr’s, but I’m so sick of using OpenID to login that I just want it to end. I’m sick of having to sign in every few days, I’m sick of one website not communicating with the other properly, I’m sick of sign-ins failing halfway through uploading a photo, and I’m sick of the way the OpenID login box asks for your name, then tabs to “Cancel”.
I just want out. I can remember my username accross multiple website. I don’t need OpenID. Is there a way to switch?
Meanwhile, I’ll just keep trying to upload my photo. Again and again and again.
Google has released a new service called “Shared Stuff”, which, despite the simplistic name, is a serious and powerful del.icio.us competitor. Shared Stuff lets you click a bookmark while visiting any webpage and share it to the world, displaying it on a special page complete with article previews (that even contain thumbnail pictures), your profile, an RSS feed, and links to the Shared Stuff pages of people you know (from your Gmail contacts).
What’s crazier, the stuff I’m about to talk about, or the fact that it’s probably true? The world is getting exciting in almost outlandish ways these days.
Google is planning on releasing on November 5 a new set of APIs, apparently in some quest to “out-open” Facebook. The idea is that Google aims to combat Facebook by being super open, opening up more of its data than Facebook is willing to, starting with Orkut and iGoogle, and expanding to Gmail, Talk, and other social services. This is likely relative to previously talked about plans to build a social layer over and connecting many of Google’s properties, with Orkut as a base.
On November 5 we’ll likely see third party iGoogle gadgets that leverage Orkut’s social graph information - the most basic implementation of what Google is planning. From there we may see a lot more - such as the ability to pull Orkut data outside of Google and into third party applications via the APIs. And Google is also considering allowing third parties to join the party at the other end of the platform - meaning other social networks (think Bebo, Friendster, Twitter, Digg and thousands of others) to give access to their user data to developers through those same APIs.
And that is a potentially killer strategy. Facebook has a platform to allow third parties to build applications on Facebook itself. But what Google may be planning is significantly more open - allowing third parties to both push and pull data, into and out of Google and non-Google applications.
Sounds exciting. While I’m a Facebook addict, I can’t deny that there are too many times I want to pull my data out of Facebook for other productive purposes, and its rarely (if never) possible in the way you want to. Facebook holds onto as much of your data as it knows it can convince you to surrender, and if Google wants to open up more, that will either (1) make Google’s implementation more attractive, or (2) force Facebook to do the same. Either way, users win.
Google is also getting into the undersea cable business. I know, it sounds ridiculous, and I thought it had to be a stupid rumor, until Google put up a freakin’ job posting for “Strategic Negotiator, Submarine Cable”. The cable will allow the company to transmit multiple terabits of data underneath the Pacific Ocean, not to sell it, but as a way of increasing Google’s capacity to move data around faster.
Yes, Google is quickly become the whole Internet. Enjoy!
GOOG, the stock of champions, once again smashed its old record, reaching as high as $560.58 at 3:28 on Friday, recording a market cap of about $175 million. As Barron’s points out, Google’s stock is close to being bigger than Wal-Mart, even though Wal-Mart’s revenue is more than 30 times Google’s ($377 billion to $11 billion).
(via John Battelle)
Google has released a tool for creating print ads for Google AdWords Print advertisers, assisting businesses in creating professional looking ads to run in magazines and newspapers. Because Google targets the long tail, many of its print advertisers have never created a newspaper ad before, and Google would like to help make sure those ads don’t look just plain silly.
Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are now tied for fifth richest men in the country, worth now an estimated $18.5 billion. They both gained about $4.5 billion from last year and seven places on the list, passing Paul Allen, Michael Dell and the Wal-Mart Walton family. The next to beat is Oracle’s Larry Ellison, who has $26 billion (problem is, Ellison earned more in 2007 than even Google did).
Boing Boing has the story of British potsmoking idiot who did something truly awful to a 50-year old dying disabled woman involving a bucket of water, his urine, shaving cream and a phone video camera. The stoner videotaped his antics so he could put it up on YouTube, rather than making a decent effort to get the woman to a hospital, and she died hours later.
He tried to rouse her by throwing a bucket of water over her, before urinating on her and covering her with shaving foam. The incident was filmed on a mobile phone.
She was later declared dead at the scene, the cause of death being given as pancreatic failure.
Lynne Dalton, prosecuting, said: “Although his actions did not contribute to her death it was appalling behaviour that robbed her of any dignity in the last hours of her life.”
Hopefully, this degenerate will be taught a serious lesson at the hands of the penal system, but what really caughts me was his cry as he degraded this poor woman: “This is YouTube material!” Is that the new battle cry of our generation? Oh, boy.
According to The Daily Green, Nate Tyler, a former Google communication manager (who I spoke to a few brief times on PR issues when he worked there) has organized Lights Out San Francisco for this October 20, when participating businesses, homes and public facilities in SF will turn off all unnecessary lights. The goal of the event is both to reduce carbon emissions and get people to think about the energy they waste every day.
Tyler, an avid surfer who runs his car on vegetable oil, says his plan was inspired by a recent trip to Australia, where he witnessed Sydney’s annual Earth Hour. As a symbolic gesture to cut energy use, the Aussie city dims its lights every March 31, conserving 25 tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of removing nearly 50,000 cars from the road for one hour.
Tyler was formerly a communications manager at Google, and is now a freelance media consultant. He is already planning for a Lights Out America event for March.
Wired’s Science blog talks about how Rational Response Squad, an anti-creationist group, had its YouTube videos taken down after DMCA requests by a counter group. They had run videos about the Creation Science Evangelism Ministries, using videos from the CSE’s website (which plainly stated “none of the materials … are copyrighted, so feel free to copy these and distribute them freely”) and their own original taped materials, and all received DMCA claims and were promptly taken down.
Now, we can’t expect YouTube to actually look at all videos before they are taken, since presumably thousands are taken down per day, but they could at least think about looking into all takedown requests that are not specifically related to TV shows and major movie studios.
At the very least, Google should create a DMCA counter-claim form, a page where those who have been wrongfully attacked by a DMCA claim can file the necessary counter-claim. Currently, the process for doing so is burdensome for someone who isn’t being paid hourly lawyer fees to do so, and YouTube could probably cut down on most of these problems by merely providing a mechanism for fixing them.
Real pirates wouldn’t use them, and those wrongfully accused would have a way to correct problems and abuse before they become Wired articles.
Some wackjob has filed a handwritten lawsuit against Google, claiming his Social Security number, written upside down and scrambled very specifically, spells “Google”. Yeah, I’m not even sure, even if Google somehow manipulated the government into choosing that specific number in 1982, when he was born and Google was -15 years old, what violation that would be anyway. However, he wants five billion dollars for it.
What I do know is that this court document, containing exhibits from the lawsuit, has copies of his social security card, driver’s license, bank checks (with routing and account number). credit cards, library card, social security statement ($2,095 in income over the last seven years), and bank statement (does he eat at the Dimmick Inn and Steakhouse every night?). While I wouldn’t encourage people to apply for credit cards in his name and commit mass identity theft, it probably wouldn’t be hard, right?
Nathan Weinberg at Inside Google sure can write a dramatic blog entry.
That’s gotta be the nicest thing anyone said to me all week. I like.
Elinor’s also got a quote from a Google rep on the story:
A Google representative provided this statement when asked for comment: “We take our users’ privacy and security very seriously. We acted quickly when we discovered this bug and delivered a fix: e-mail addresses are no longer archived during presentation chat sessions.”
Looks like Google bought a billboard to advertise GOOG-411, its directory assistance phone service. The billboard was spotted by Mike Blumenthal around Olean, NY. Google has traditionally not advertised for its products, preferring them to spread by word of mouth (and giant amounts of Google AdSense ads), but they were bound to start buying ads eventually.
Valleywag thinks Google hasn’t changed its tactics, but rather that Google is getting intot the display advertising game, as has been rumored for awhile. Since Google normally fills unfilled inventory with ads for its own products, this could be a billboard Google is planning on selling advertising on, and it just contains the GOOG-411 ad until they sell something.
(via Search Engine Land)
Marc Ecko, the fashion designer who bought Barry Bonds’ 756th home run ball for $752,467, has commented on Google News on a story about his plan regarding the record-breaking baseball. Ecko’s website, vote756.com, asks users to vote whether they should give the ball to baseball’s Halo of Fame, brand it with an asterisk, or shoot it into space.
Although I don’t necessary agree with everything that has been written about my decision, I’m fine with it because that’s what this is about…bringing this debate over “who did what” to a public forum and letting people — reporters included — voice their opinions. I know what I’d like to see happen to the ball, but I’m only one voice. You know what you want to happen to the ball, as well, so make your voice heard by voting at http:\\www.vote756.com.
Photo by tingley under CC
As several blogs have noted, a problem is that the ads can only be shown on mobile sites, but not regular sites. If you have a completely seperate website for mobile devices, you can run the ads there, but if you just change your CSS for mobiles, that makes implementing these a lot harder. Expect to see them in a lot of iPhone “apps”, but not a lot of blog templates.
The other release was that of Google Gadget ads, which are a new ad format AdWords advertisers can take advantage of. It’s a rich media ad, that can contain anything a Google Gadget can, and thus have some very advanced functionality. Not only will these be used as ads, but they can be added to users iGoogle personalized homepages, monetizing iGoogle and expanding the reach of the ads beyond a display ad to something you keep and use continuously.