If you write about Google and want to be listed — contact me!
Planet Google is proudly presented by Piotr Konieczny, who IS NOT (and never was) affiliated with Google Inc.
If you want to suggest a website or read Planet Google in a different language - let me know.
Sergey Brin is telling employees to stop making old products and start improving new ones. "For example, said Chief Executive Eric Schmidt, Google plans to combine its spreadsheet, calendar and word-processing programs into one suite of Web-based applications."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
[Just as a reminder: everything below is my personal opinion. I haven't sent it to anyone else at Google for a review, etc.]
Valleywag used a recent podcast I did as material for two points in Six Delusions of Google’s Arrogant Leaders. The two assertions that used my comments as material were “Google’s wealth means Google ‘gets it’” and “Google must sacrifice user privacy to grow.”
Valleywag has either misinterpreted what I said, or I didn’t express myself clearly, because I don’t believe either of those claims. I’ll try to explain the intent of what I said, in case I wasn’t clear during the podcast. I’ll address the latter claim first (“Google must sacrifice user privacy to grow”), because I certainly don’t believe that “Google must sacrifice user privacy to grow.” I think Google benefits the most when users understand what Google is doing and why; I also think that user trust in Google (and by extension our privacy policies) is paramount to our success.
A good example is our Google Ad Preferences page. As one blog concluded a couple days ago: “Google’s Ad Preference Manager, with its persistent opt-out plug-in, offers precisely the kind of robust opt-out that privacy advocates have always demanded.” And it’s not that we’re shy about talking about privacy; Googlers Alma Whitten and Nicole Wong recently talked privacy for an Ars Technica article that came out earlier this week. It’s a long article, but an example useful fact is that if X is the number of people who visit the Ad Preferences page and opt out, 10X people don’t opt out and 4X people actually edit their categories to improve the targeting relevance of the ads they see. Let me say that again: four times as many people change their settings to make their ads *more* relevant than opt out of interest-based targeting. I think the Ad Preferences page is a good example where users get more transparency and control regarding their privacy.
Another example where Google helps your privacy (rather than sacrificing it) is the Google Dashboard. This is a single site that gives you an overview of what information Google has from various services, and allows you to edit and to manage settings. This is another example where Google is trying to give more information to users, not less. I could point out lots of examples where we try to debunk privacy misconceptions. Where we actively fight for our users’ privacy. Or where we talk about privacy and engage in debates about user privacy. And of course there’s Google’s full privacy center (with videos!) at http://www.google.com/privacy.html . Suffice it to say, I don’t believe that Google “must sacrifice user privacy to grow.”
Okay, what about the other claim that Valleywag used me for: “Google’s wealth means Google ‘gets it’”? Ryan Tate wrote “It’s a truly bizarre moment, in which Cutts defends some horrendous management decisions based on Wall Street trades.” I don’t agree with that either, so let me try to clarify. Eric Schmidt joined the company in 2001. The first time I got to meet Eric was at the weekly TGIF meeting where he was introduced to the wider company. He answered questions for an hour, and I thought his answers were spot on. He was one of the original authors of lex, a well-known Unix utility that I had used in the past, so I knew that he was also a solid engineer and technologist. Schmidt also had experience at large companies (Sun and Novell).
All in all, I was very happy and impressed that Eric was joining Google. When I went home that day, my wife asked what had happened at work. And I replied with something like “I think the value of our stock options just went up a lot.” What I meant by that was that I thought Google had recruited the perfect person to lead the company from start-up to the next level. I still believe that. Eric has been a truly great CEO–and I’m not just saying that because for the last several years he has worked for $1 a year. Maybe I didn’t tell the anecdote well or clearly, but my intent was to explain that I think Eric Schmidt has been a great CEO right from the beginning of this decade, not to defend any decisions “based on Wall Street trades.”
If you want to listen to the full podcast, it’s available, but I hope this post helps to clarify.
Seems the Italian government is not finished investigating Google. Last month three Google executives were convicted of privacy violations and received suspended six-month jail sentences over a video showing a teenaged boy being bullied.
Antitrust investigations over Google's impact of the newspaper industry were started in Italy last year, but this is the first announcement of the government's examination of Adsense.
Translating the news from il Giornale:
- Google is not obliged to comunicate how the payments are calculated;
- The payments are calculated exclusively from data that Google holds;
- Google can modify at any moment the price determination and payment structure at its discretion.
Speculation has already started on whether Google would just stop offering Adsense in Italy - but the likeihood that other EU countries could do the same suggests they would fight the action.
Okay, so my title is fairly misleading. Google Wave HAD extensions… just maybe one or two. When Wave came out I was so excited that I totally exhausted the “poll” option. I sent out ridiculous polls to all my friends such as, “Can you make me blueberry muffins? Yes, No or Maybe?”…. to which I would always get a maybe. I guess nobody wanted to make my day. Anyway, I’m getting completely off track here.
Google Wave now has over 15 extensions present for our pleasure and enjoyment. Things such as “Wave Sudoko” (which I won’t play because Sudoko scares me) as well as Phone Conference, to start up phone calls with friends or coworkers, and the “Likey Gadget”. If you’re familiar with Facebook then I’ m sure you’ve seen how you can “Like” stuff that people post up on their pages. The only issue with that is there isn’t a “Dislike” option. Trust me, Facebook users run rampant about this almost everyday- I guess Wave implementing the option to both agree and disagree is going to float many a person’s boat.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but waffles don’t have anything to do with setting dates for events. That’s why this one extension in particular strikes me as slightly odd. The new “Waffle” date-picker gadget adds a waffle to your wave and sends out an event notice for people to vote on. WHAT?! Maybe I’m missing the big picture here but I still don’t get what a waffle signifies other than a yummy breakfast food that you can douse with chocolate syrup.
Since I’ve been deemed the resident Google Wave expert, I suggest you go and play with these fun extensions. I only have a few Google Wave buddies to test these things out, and seeing as I ran the polling extension into the ground, I might play Sudoko. If anybody is willing to take the scariness away from Sudoko and explain it to me, perhaps I will start a Wave and play a round with you. I guess it’s not that it actually SCARES me, I just haven’t really looked into how to play it and there’s a lot of numbers in your face! Complete chaos.
You can find updated ones located in your extension wave.
I have a love/hate relationship with Google Spreadsheets. On the one hand, I love how easy it is to integrate Web data into spreadsheets, and how easy it is to share and collaborate with others. On the other hand, the limitations for integrating data and spreadsheet sizes drive me banonkers. Score one for Google, though — yesterday’s announcement of a script gallery for Google Spreadsheets may tip the balance back towards luv.
So how do these scripts work? You can get the technical details at this blog post, but I’m just thinking macro. If you want to see ‘em at work open up a Google Spreadsheet, then choose Insert->Script. You’ll get a script gallery in a popup window.
Scripts are organized into several categories, including business, statistics, and personal finance. There’s also a “fun and games” section, because I know you’ve been longing for a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” calculator. Actually just glancing through the scripts I found several things that’ll be useful, like the “Text to Columns” script (convert text to columns splitting on whitespace or a designated splitter — THANK YOU!) and a script that populates a spreadsheet with my Google Contacts.
When you add a new script, often you will get a new menu item on your spreadsheet (sometimes a new function becomes available instead.) When you enact the script for the frist time it’ll check to see if any permissions are necessary, and if there are you’ll get a giant warning box for which you have to give access permission. (Like the Google Apps Marketplace, I don’t know how much trust to give those scripts that have been already been vetted by Google, so these boxes leave me confused.) Once you’ve given permission, the use of the installed menu items is usually pretty straightforward.
I really liked some of the scripts I found, but I was surprised at some of the empty categories in the script directory. Further, I was left unsure by the giant warning screens coming before script permissions. Since I tend to create large, occasionally intricate spreadsheets, I will approach adding these scripts with caution.
If you’re interested in learning about creating scripts of your own, you can review the documentation at http://www.google.com/google-d-s/scripts/service_sites.html.
Google released Street View imagery for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is a fun and busy place where it’s easy to get lost, perhaps less so with these photo maps. [Thanks Keith!]
OK, I can see myself waste some time with this. Google Reader Play is a casual, push style way to feed yourself distracting/ enlightening/ inspiring snippets, imagery and videos. You can star a specific page, Like it or share it, but just jumping from page to page using the bottom navigation works too.
Note Reader Play is personalized. Google writes, “We use the technology behind Recommended Items in Reader to populate Reader Play with the most interesting content on the web. While you don’t need a Google account to use Reader Play, your experience will be personalized if you sign in.” Google says that “Reader Play adapts to your tastes” (click Like, and more stuff like that should appear, Google suggests).
You can also set this app to auto-play, which sort of clashes with specific YouTube videos though... it would have been smarter to wait until a video ended playing before moving to the next bit. Now, I noticed that the actual source or author of a particular piece ends up as a kind of by-the-way footnote in this stream of stuff – even clicking on the “from” link will merely load that blog into Reader Play, and not open the source site – but I guess that might be the way of RSS and/ or the future.
2007 (weeks): 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | web design atlanta | 51 |