Google

Why Microsoft wants to buy - then trash - Google

Interesting little Letter Of The Day that says Microsoft really, really wants Google. It wants Google for one reason, namely, to strip it naked and to castrate it.
Microsoft wants to put an end to people being able to use the power of Google, especially as to the way that we all can use Google as a tool which makes the Internet particularly useful in helping us all to get through our days without depending on Microsoft.

Here's an exercise for all to try. Search Google for Linux Windows That gets you about 14 million pages, even with the English preference or filter turned on. Now, got to msn.com and search the Microsoft way for the same two words. You get exactly 18 pages. The word censorship doesn't seem to do justice to what Microsoft has done to a msn user who wants to compare Linux with Windows, does it?

Here's another exercise. Search msn for Linux. Note that the third item returned is tech.msn.com and that the page no longer exists. The fourth item deals with this topic "Alternatives to Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP Learn about the Microsoft alternatives and how to move to them from open source products."

If You Liked the Toolbar, You'll Love the Deskbar!

So fresh that it wasn't even mentioned at the Internet Librarian 2003 conference, Google has released a Deskbar. "A wha'?," you may ask.

This handy application integrates a search box into the taskbar of any Windows 98/ME/2000/XP machine. When searched, from any application mind you, a small window opens on the bottom right of the screen. This screen can be opened to be a full IE browser.

Other options include searching movie review (defaulting to Rotten Tomatoes), a thesaurus search (thesaurus.com), a definition search (using google's "define:" function) and more. These are all customizable, and one can make their own custom searches as well (I'm trying to make an allmusic.com search).

Download it from google here.

The concept is of course nothing new. "Dave's Quick Search Deskbar" (released under the terms of the GNU General Public License and ready for alteration) has been around for a while now, but it is a new offering from google.

Report any gripes with it below. I'll start.

Google considers online auction of IPO shares

FT.com is reporting Google is considering holding a massive online auction of shares early next year in an initial public offering that investment bankers predict could value the internet search-engine company at more than $15bn.

An electronic auction would be designed to prevent a recurrence of the sort of financial scandals that have engulfed Wall Street since the collapse of the dotcom bubble, according to a person close to the company.

Google to contain holdings records?

abigail writes "Hee yaw! Apparently, Google will (at some point) be participating in a partnership by which it will contain "a subset of" WorldCat holdings records."

It says Google, OCLC, and Gale have announced new partnerships that will help highlight the resources of libraries for Internet searchers:

The Google/OCLC partnership will involve OCLC making a subset of OCLC WorldCat records available for indexing by Google as part of a pilot project. Holding information attached to the WorldCat records will be retrievable, so Google searchers will be able see which libraries in their area own copies of the particular title. Directors of MINITEX/OCLC libraries will soon receive a letter providing more information about this pilot project.

20 Great Google Secrets

Tara Calishain has An Article In PCMag "20 Great Google Secrets."
"...most people don't use it to its best advantage. Do you just plug in a keyword or two and hope for the best? That may be the quickest way to search, but with more than 3 billion pages in Google's index, it's still a struggle to pare results to a manageable number.

But Google is an remarkably powerful tool that can ease and enhance your Internet exploration. Google's search options go beyond simple keywords, the Web, and even its own programmers. Let's look at some of Google's lesser-known options."

Google Is Watching and Counting

This Slashdot Thread pointed the way to This NYTimes Story that says Google has quietly started placing a counter on its home page for a small number of its most frequent users.

Most Google users do not have it, but a select few now have a no-frills counter that with each search clicks higher, noting "You have done 479 searches," or whatever the actual number.

Anyone seen it?

Going Google and Beyond

You're looking for information on something -- say, the number of movies that have been filmed in Ottawa. You fire up your Web browser, go to Google, type in a few words, and come up with the perfect answer, right?

Not so fast, my friend.

Although this neat story from Canada.com offers some alternatives to Google, it doesn't mention librarians, or virtual reference projects such as My Web Librarian. I guess that was to much to ask. It does mention two names synonymous with search engines in the library world, Gary Price and Chris Sherman. It also contains a little guide to the difference in the major search engines.

The Full Story

[via Gary Deane]

Who's better: Google or CU librarians? Search me

geckomlis spotted This One From Ithaca on a recent study done by Cornell University's Instruction, Research, and Information Services (IRIS) that pitted Cornell librarians against freelance researchers at Google Answers -- a fee-based system, where more than 800 freelancers answer questions for a minimum of $2.50. The company claims to be able to provide answers within 24 hours.

In the study, 24 questions --ranging from the population of Afghanistan (about 26 million) to where Geoffrey Chaucer died (London) -- were given to library research staff and to Google Answers. Responses were scored by university librarians on a blind basis. The librarians looked at the accuracy and clarity of the answers given, and the validity of sources cited in answers. Cornell's researchers scored just slightly better than Google's in the study.

Microsoft vs. Google

A story from CNN about Microsoft wanting to basically became the new Google. Nothing's been fully developed yet, but it will be a company-wide effort to develop the technology.

"Any time Microsoft builds something into the operating system, they don't want to get that from anyone else," said analyst Matt Rosoff of Directions on Microsoft, an independent research group based in Kirkland, Washington.

Search results tailored to individual users based on a history of their interests and searches is one area that Microsoft is looking at, Koenigsbauer said.

Analysts said such a service would be ideal for Microsoft since it could leverage its control over the Windows operating system, which runs on more than 95 percent of the world's PCs.

Moreover, they said Microsoft's real motive is to build search into its various software products and most likely into the next Windows version, which is code-named Longhorn.

Gates has promised that Longhorn, which is expected to launch in 2005 or 2006, will include database technology to make it easier for users to track and find information on their computers.

"Long-term, all roads lead to Longhorn," Wilcox said.

Google celebrates fifth birthday

The BBC reports Google celebrates fifth birthday.
They say they more than 200 million and Google has become a phenomenon that has transcended its online origins.

It has expanded beyond just searches to encompass comparison shopping, news, web logs and even a service that blocks pop-up ads.

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