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agentlion
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I figured I’d have a go at compiling all of Google’s most useful tools and products and making a place to put new Google tools, instead of starting a new thread everytime they come out with something new. Most of these are well known, but maybe you’ll find a useful tool you didn’t know about. They are split into my own set of categories

The Basics
should be pretty aware of all of these

Images - http://images.google.com/
News - http://news.google.com/ - Technically still in Beta due to ongoing copyright discussions, although fully functional for a couple years now.
Products with Froogle - http://froogle.google.com/ - Easiest way to comparison shop and buy.
Apparently you can create and share a wish and Froogle Shopping List now, like a Christmas list or a wedding registry - http://www.google.com/shoppinglist?promo=fhpp-en-us – you have to create and account, but looks like if you have Gmail already, you can use that account.
Directory - http://www.google.com/dirhp - Manually organized and indexed websites


Tools
These are tools that are downloadable or available through interfaces other than the normal google search box.

Picasa - http://www.picasa.com/ - Recently bought by Google and now available for free. A picture organization tool. Works pretty good – I’ve never used anything else besides Windows Explorer, so I can’t compare, but it lacks several features I would like.
Deskbar - http://toolbar.google.com/deskbar/ - A cool utility I tried but don’t use. Integrates into windows taskbar, but since I always have a browser open, I don’t need it. Can easily do specialty searches (e.g. Ctrl-S for a stock quote) and the results open in a sliding window near the tool bar – not a browser. Also can do specialized searches where you program the query – e.g. You can put in the query format to search the MSDN API, then give it a hot-key, so you enter a function name and hit the hot key and it will display results from an MSDN query only.
Toolbar - http://toolbar.google.com/ - if you’re still using IE, add this for fast searches, popup blocking and auto-full
Desktop - http://desktop.google.com/ - Beta mode desktop search utility. Indexes files on your computer. You get a “Desktop” tab in your normal google.com interface, and results are displayed just like the web-searches
Translate - http://translate.google.com/translate_t - Translate text or webpages between popular languages
Setshttp://labs.google.com/sets - enter a few words/items in a set, and google will attempt to ”complete the set”. E.G. enter “misery” “it” and “carrie” and it will return all of Stephen King’s books
University - http://www.google.com/options/universities.html - do searches on specific school websites. Essentially it’s a glorified “site:” search, but at the least, it’s a good list of schools.


Special Searches
These are mostly searches that you put directly into the normal Gooogle search box. If the search recognizes one of the following patterns, you’ll get specialized results.

Languages - http://www.google.com/language_tools - show the google interface in many languages, including Elmer Fudd, Klingon, Pig Latin and Hacker
Calculator - http://www.google.com/help/calculator.html - put in any mathematical equation or conversion in a google search and it’ll return the answer. Can include well known constants - E.g. “sin(pi/3)”, “c”, “the answer to life the universe and everything”
Define – add the word “define” at the beginning of a search to return definitions from various sources
Phonebook – enter a person or business name and any location information (city, state) to return a phone number and map
Maps – enter a street address to get links to Mapquest and Yahoo Maps with the location
Search by number - UPS, FedEx, USPS, VIN, UPC, Phone, Patents – Enter any of those popular numbers (i.e. a UPS tracking number, a Vehicle ID Number) to get a link to the appropriate site (UPS tracking page, USPTO.gov)
Stocks – enter any stock symbol(s) for links to yahoo finance pages
Airport status – enter an Airport symbol (RDU) to get a link to the FAAs site with that airports current condition.
Airplane flight status – Enter the name of any flight (including the airline and flight number - United 134) to get links to the current status of that flight from several sources
Link: – Add “link: “ before a URL to show all the sites that link to the given URL (“link: thewolfweb.com”)
Number span – add a span of numbers to your search, like “dvd player $250..300” or “ATI 5600..9800”
UncleSam - http://www.google.com/unclesam - searches only .gov and .mil sites
Book – Preface your search with “book” to search the Google Print archive (below in Upcoming section)


Experimental/Beta
More tools and special searches that are classified as experimental or beta. Some of them have been around for a long time and are quite functional, but are still considered beta.

Catalogs - http://catalogs.google.com/ - search the text of thousands of popular catalogs to find stuff that’s not sold on webpages. Like DigiKey - http://catalogs.google.com/catalogs?num=50&hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&issue=22331&catpage=1 – really amazing how all that stuff is scanned and recognized
Local - http://local.google.com/ - enter your address and get results close to your location, and maps
Groups - http://groups-beta.google.com/ - recently added to the front page. Join discussion groups. Archives of Usenet group conversations back to 1982 I think
Gmail - http://gmail.google.com/ - webmail with 1GB storage, super fast and sharp interface
Personalized - http://labs.google.com/personalized - create a profile of your interests and needs, and your results are tailored to your profile. Haven’t bothered to try it out yet.
Scholar - http://scholar.google.com/ - recently introduced – searches scholarly literature like peer-reviewed papers, journals and theses
Voice Search - http://labs1.google.com/gvs.html - Unfortunately this seems to be down. I used it a couple times last year when it was working. You would call a 800 number, speak your search terms into the phone, then click on a link on the google page and your query would appear. Really amazing when you actually used it.
SMS - http://www.google.com/sms/ - Send a text message to GOOGL on your SMS enabled cell phone and get text message response back in a few seconds. Can search the phonebook, froogle, and calculator
Suggest - http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en – As you type in your query, Google will suggest query completion options in real-time


Upcoming
Speculation on what’s to come from Google

Gbrowser – Rumors that Google may be creating a web browser. They hired several top people off the IE team from MS, and registered the name gbrowser.com. Personally, I’d like to see them work more closely with Mozilla to push FireFox as a browser with tighter Google integration than introduce another browser.
Print - http://print.google.com/ - This sounds like a really cool, ambitious project. It is currently underway, but it sounds like it has barely scraped the surface of what they’re planning on doing. They are now scanning and indexing big portions of the library collections at Oxford University, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the New York Public Library. A normal google search will return results from inside the text of all these books. Already some work – search for “Moby Dick” or “books "gordon moore"” – just preface your search with “book” to get some print results. You can browse through parts of the books, and it provides links to buy the books at a number of places, or find it in a local library.
Keyhole - http://www.keyhole.com/ – This is a company that’s been around for a while that Google recently bought. With the Keyhole program you can view detailed aerial photos of much of the world, or at least the US. I am interested in seeing what kind of integration Google can bring to this – imagine a Google Local or phonebook search, where in addition to maps and addresses, you get actual pictures of the places you’re looking for.
TV – A rumor about Google’s plan to make video/TV archives searchable - http://news.com.com/Striking+up+digital+video+search/2100-1032_3-5466491.html?tag=nefd.lede


[Edited on December 22, 2004 at 3:00 PM. Reason : .]

12/22/2004 2:54:34 PM

puck_it
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im waiting for a google IM client.. you know its coming.

12/22/2004 3:24:00 PM

esgargs
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although it'd be spooky to see an abortion clinic ad come up on the side of the window if you're chatting to your gf about screwing the helmet up.

12/22/2004 3:26:19 PM

puck_it
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haha

12/22/2004 3:27:16 PM

Prospero
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http://www.google.com/options/index.html
http://labs.google.com

Those two links carry most of the above, but thanks for expanding

btw, didn't see wireless & palm
http://www.google.com/wml
http://www.google.com/palm
http://www.google.com/options/wireless.html



[Edited on December 22, 2004 at 3:41 PM. Reason : .]

12/22/2004 3:37:58 PM

qntmfred
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http://www.google.com/tsunami_relief.html

12/29/2004 1:28:03 AM

ArcBoyeee
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www.google.com/unclesam
doh, posted above and it doesnt work...n/m

[Edited on December 29, 2004 at 6:26 AM. Reason : duh]

12/29/2004 6:25:39 AM

Doss2k
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Quote :
"where in addition to maps and addresses, you get actual pictures of the places you’re looking for.
"


This used to be possible with NeoTrace, well using their IP address rather than their home address, but it would give you a satellite image of the area. Was fun to fuck around with peoples heads using it.

12/29/2004 6:53:05 AM

agentlion
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Google released Picasa 2.0 today, their photo management software.
http://www.picasa.com/

I haven't used it yet, but there looks to be a lot of big improvements over version 1, including basic photo editing, better organization, integration with Gmail, Blogger, online printing services, and "Hello" - a new IM client by Google made for sharing pics

1/19/2005 8:27:14 PM

Prospero
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Quote :
"TV – A rumor about Google’s plan to make video/TV archives searchable - http://news.com.com/Striking+up+digital+video+search/2100-1032_3-5466491.html?tag=nefd.lede"

http://video.google.com

as posted in another thread:
http://www.thewolfweb.com/message_topic.aspx?topic=286278

1/25/2005 11:18:39 AM

OcellNuri
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Quote :
"I haven't used it yet, but there looks to be a lot of big improvements over version 1, including basic photo editing, better organization, integration with Gmail, Blogger, online printing services, and "Hello" - a new IM client by Google made for sharing pics"


Picasa 2 rocks. However, Hello has been around since before Google bought the company, and hasn't been updated in a while. Great program, much better than using Direct Connect in AIM to share images.

1/25/2005 1:42:10 PM

qntmfred
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http://www.google.com/enterprise/mini/

1/27/2005 12:23:30 PM

agentlion
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this isn't so much innovation, but expanding business boundries -
Google is now an ICANN accredited domain registrar. I would choose a nice, slick Google interface, tied to my Gmail account, to manage my domain names any day over GoDaddy, et. al.

http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/01/31/google_is_now_a_domain_registrar.html

1/31/2005 10:26:41 PM

NCstateBen
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I figure its about time I got a gmail account. After 4 years, my ncsu mail has become a complete spambox. Can anyone give me an inviite?

2/1/2005 3:20:43 AM

esgargs
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If you configure your SquirrelMail/IMAP/POP client, you can automatically eliminate spam.

NCSU has an awesome spam filter.

2/1/2005 3:45:43 AM

NCstateBen
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ok, I'll have to try that. But I'll be loosing my ncsu mail in a few months anyway when I graduate.

Plus, a gig of space for e-mail is nice.

2/1/2005 3:08:29 PM

Prospero
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Google becomes ICANN accredited
http://news.zdnet.com/Google+gets+rights+as+Web+site+registrar/2100-9588_22-5559164.html?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=zdnn
Quote :
""Google became a domain name registrar to learn more about the Internet's domain name system," a company representative said Tuesday. "We believe this information can help us increase the quality of our search results.""

2/1/2005 4:37:22 PM

agentlion
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yeah, see ^^^^^

2/1/2005 4:42:55 PM

agentlion
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Again, not an innovation, but Google has moved a Local link to their front page. The page is beginning to get cluttered now, with search links to Web, Images, Groups (beta), News (beta), Froogle (beta), and Local (beta).

I note the (beta) above because that's something that's starting to irk me about Google - Each of those services have been available for 1-3 years, and as far as I can tell, not much progress (or at least no huge steps) is being made on any of them. Now add that Gmail has been a public, invitation only, beta for about 10 months now, and i'm starting to get worried. Is Google falling into a trend where they release a v0.9 beta for all their products, but then move onto a new market/product, and never finish up the job? Is Gmail going to continue to be an "exclusive, members only" deal, or are they ever going to unleash it to the general public so they can attempt to compete with Yahoo and MS.

2/3/2005 2:29:43 PM

esgargs
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Search for "American Airlines [flightnumber]" and Google will link you to flight times.

2/3/2005 2:51:54 PM

agentlion
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Quote :
"Airport status – enter an Airport symbol (RDU) to get a link to the FAAs site with that airports current condition.
Airplane flight status – Enter the name of any flight (including the airline and flight number - United 134) to get links to the current status of that flight from several sources"

in original post, but worth repeating because it's probably a very underused feature. Although it seems to have a problem with flight numbers that are 4 digits long. I searched for a couple flights last week, like "United 6658", which goes from El Paso to Denver, and it didn't return any flight results, same with "United 5460", from Chicago to RDU, but "United 944" from Denver to Chicago worked fine.

2/3/2005 5:01:59 PM

seedless
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why are these guys hatin on google
http://www.google-watch.org/
what is the point, and ... i really do not understand this shit, why would... nm
any input would be great... thxnadv.

2/3/2005 5:06:46 PM

agentlion
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how about you read the page titled "Why We Target Google" - http://www.google-watch.org/bigbro.html

I think they're worried about the Big Brother phenomenom, where Google is able to gather massive amounts of potentially personal information, then they will be able to "use it against us".
They just have to hate on someone, i suppose. But from my perspective, google is quite transparent and seem to be open about their privacy standards. Much more so than other companies that are gathering huge amounts of data about every US citizen - VeriSign, Microsoft, Amazon, Wal-Mart, Experian, Visa, etc.

They choose things like "google uses cookies" to attack - even though almost every site uses cookies. Cookies have been made out to be evil, but when used properly, they do no harm, and are intended to make the user's browsing experience better - it's not a ploy to gather personal data off someone's harddrive without them knowing.

Then they attack the Gmail ad-words, claiming that Google is reading everyone's email in order to find out their secrets. As though there is a team of Google marketing reps sitting in a room, sifting through personal email, and deciding who to follow. This is so much BS - I gaurun-goddam-tee you that Yahoo, Hotmal, AOL, et. al. have been reading the content of user's email for YEARS in order to get marketing info, but they just haven't told anyone about it. Then Gmail comes out and is straightforward and honest about their intents, and they're made out to be evil. People act like the email they send through other services is somehow in an airtight lockbox - not realizing that it touches hundreds of servers, probably in plain text, and could be comprimised by hackers. Gmail, especially with their POP services, takes more security measures than most of the other providers out there to keep user's mail private.

2/3/2005 5:16:29 PM

seedless
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i just thought this was funny






[Edited on February 3, 2005 at 5:25 PM. Reason : =========================================================]

2/3/2005 5:21:48 PM

agentlion
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this is something I noticed last week on a couple searches, but I couldn't find a pattern for it - On some normal google searches, at the top of the page (or right below your Desktop search results) you will get some thumbnails that preview the images search and a link to the image search page.

this blog entry confirmed it and gave a bunch of examples - http://google.blogspace.com/archives/001543

2/5/2005 11:42:54 AM

puck_it
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^ add "David Thompson" to that list

2/7/2005 7:30:02 PM

qntmfred
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woah, i haven't seen that before. nifty

2/7/2005 7:46:17 PM

agentlion
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BEAUTIFUL !!!!!
http://maps.google.com/maps
http://maps.google.com/maps
http://maps.google.com/maps
http://maps.google.com/maps
http://maps.google.com/maps

here are the features - http://www.google.com/help/maps/tour/

no more mapquest or yahoo maps!


this is sweet - click/dragging the map. You can even use your keyboard arrow keys to pan, +/- to zoom in/out.
I see integration with KeyHole coming in the future. Get satellite photos of any map location on a single click. The street level photos, much like what A9 rolled out a couple weeks ago.

And this can replace or supplement local.google.com. e.g. type "wings, raleigh, nc" into the search field and it will give a map highlighting all the wings stores in raleigh. Then click on any of them to get address/phone, and one more click to get directions to it. Then when you have directions, click on one of the text directions link on the right and a bubble pops up on the map detailing that turn or element.

They've finally overcome the need to refresh the whole page when you zoom or pan - the biggest hinderance to Mapquest and Yahoo maps. I suspect they're using something like XmlHttpRequest
that Google Suggest (http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en) uses to contact the server in the background without refreshing the page.

With Google Maps and Gmail, Google has proven that webapps can be as (or nearly) fully featured and functional as client-side programs.

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 9:28 AM. Reason : .]

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 9:31 AM. Reason : .]

2/8/2005 9:08:17 AM

HaLo
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maps.google.com is very impressive

2/8/2005 11:57:30 AM

Mobileman
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Google maps looks exactly same as Microsoft's Streets and Trips 2005.

2/8/2005 12:05:08 PM

MiniMe_877
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maps.google.com has usurped maps.yahoo.com as my new mapping and direction finding tool, gg Google

2/8/2005 12:07:05 PM

HaLo
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^^except for that whole fact that this is ONLINE and free

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 12:07 PM. Reason : ^]

2/8/2005 12:07:24 PM

agentlion
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^^^ even though you're being a dick, you've kind of proved my point. Google is able to create an online webapp that free that is able to rival a client based application: MS Streets and Trips. Sure, I'll probably still use MS S&T 2003 some when I'm at home, but when I'm at work and want to find directions to someone's office, Google Maps is perfect. Or if there's a big wreck on HW 1, I can use it to find a new way home. That is virually impossible with mapquest/yahoo because of their load times and clunky interface. Real-time panning and zooming on google maps is invaluable for that.

Not to mention, this is integrated into Google Local, and it will probably be more closely integrated into other google services and searches which will make it much more useful than S&T

edit - i just realized that the map size automatically adjusts to your browser size. So if you go from a small browser to full screen, the map zoom will stay the same, but you will see a bigger area.

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 12:48 PM. Reason : .]

2/8/2005 12:39:37 PM

seedless
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OMGWTFSAYITAINTSO http://videogames.google.com

2/8/2005 1:22:17 PM

OcellNuri
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^^ Google Maps kicked off the realization that server-side apps are here in my head too. It really started for me with Gmail, but Maps really rounds it all out.

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 2:14 PM. Reason : .]

2/8/2005 2:01:43 PM

agentlion
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"the realization that server-side apps are here in my head too" - that was a confusing sentence. you have server side apps in your head?

but yes, point taken. Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Mapquest, Yahoo Maps and the like are basically bloated, glorified webpages - i don't consider them true webapps. The intent with them is to cram in functionality with little regard for ease of use and user experience. Given the option, I would use a desktop client for email (thunderbird, outlook) and maps/directions (streets and trips, pocket streets) than their online equivalents.

But with the advent of Gmail, I have started to ween myself off of Thunderbird - gmail handles almost all of my needs right now (with a glaring exception that there is no inherent groups support. maybe v1.0). And with Maps (and the upcoming ability to save maps and locations according to http://www.google.com/help/faq_maps.html#locations, which I imagine will be integrated into Gmail accounts) I have found another desktop client replacement.

These two webapps place top priority on user experience - clean interfaces, intuitive controls, a good mix of features, but not too much to be confusing, and above all, fast load/refresh times. Features and functionality naturally follow when the focus is on what the user wants.

YahooMail and Hotmail offer basically the same thing for the average user. But if you took 100 Yahoo/Hotmail "power users" 2 years ago and put them into a room and told them to brainstorm what was wrong with the current state of webmail, the results would be the specifications for Gmail. I imagine that is close to how it plays out inside Google - when launching a new product they take a lot of smart engineers and designers, and instead of looking at what's on the market now, then reproducing it and "one-upping" them, they tear them apart and completely re-invent it.

2/8/2005 5:12:19 PM

puck_it
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google rocks

2/8/2005 5:41:10 PM

puck_it
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http://local.google.com/

prolly part of the maps now

[Edited on February 8, 2005 at 5:42 PM. Reason : ]

2/8/2005 5:41:55 PM

esgargs
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Google Maps is better than mapquest.

It gave me a shorter route to ssjamind's house.

50% shorter.

2/8/2005 5:46:14 PM

schmitter5
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mapquest sucks though....
i've always been a fan of randy mcnally
http://www.randmcnally.com/rmc/directions/dirGetMapInput.jsp

not sure which i like more, i do like that google maps can be full screen though

2/8/2005 6:48:42 PM

OcellNuri
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agentlion: Me don't speak well...

I just spat out random thoughts and didn't try to construct my words at all. You've done such a great job at saying it all, I was just trying to say "ditto".

And with your second post, I agree 100% once again. I've even had the exact same experience moving from Thunderbird to Gmail.

Quote :
"Google Rocks"

2/8/2005 7:16:26 PM

benz240
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Google maps are great, so clear and uncluttered unlike Mapquest has become.......speaking of which, if I do a Google Local search for something, and click on the "Directions" button, it takes me to Mapquest. Hopefully they fix that soon.

Another map site I've used in the past is http://www.map24.com, they have zoomable maps of not only the US but the rest of the world, and neat utilities to measure distance, etc.

2/9/2005 8:52:24 AM

agentlion
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I can't find any mention of Maps on the Google Labs page or Advanced searches, so I suppose they don't want to link it up to Get Directions yet because it's not ready. The only "official" mention I can find of it is on the google blog - http://www.google.com/googleblog/ - and as a paid link when you do a search for "maps"

2/9/2005 9:01:35 AM

agentlion
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damn, check out this site - http://www.multimap.com/ - it is slow and cumbersome, but they have
one awesome feature. For some parts of Europe you can overlay an semi transparent road map on top
of an aerial photo.

use tl's link below to view a close up, or go to multimap.com and search for "buckingham palace" or "tower of london", then click the "Aireal" icon in the tool bar to get an photo, them mouseover the photo to get a map overlay. Then zoom in a couple times to get to street level. pretty good.


[Edited on February 9, 2005 at 5:06 PM. Reason : v]

2/9/2005 4:41:39 PM

tl
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Multi Map Europe

2/9/2005 5:00:47 PM

agentlion
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Google talked some about their product creation formula
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1763351,00.asp
Quote :
"Google is striving to split its product investments three ways, following a formula of "70-20-10," Schmidt told analysts gathered at the company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters.

Seventy percent would target its core search and advertising products, while 20 percent would focus on adjacent products, such as its newer desktop and product search services.

The final 10 percent would center on the most experimental products, those "things that are truly interesting to us," Schmidt said. These projects would include ones where the company remains unsure if users will adopt the service or if it would make money, but such experiments are critical for the long term. "


Page also gave "some insight" into why they use Beta tests so much, but I think it's a bit of a cop-out
Quote :
"Asked about Google's beta policy, cofounder Larry Page explained that Google keeps products and services in beta as long as its engineers expect to continue to make major changes to them. Google's betas also are central to its identity.

"Google itself was in beta for a very substantial number of years," said Page, who is president of products. "Part of our brand is that we under-promise and we over-deliver, and being in beta is part of that. It's part of our branding strategy." "

2/10/2005 2:36:46 PM

seedless
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http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm



http://www.scroogle.org/scraper7.html

lol, i think this shit is hilarious, especially the yahoo pic.
the ad stripping idea is all good, but, come on, these are multi-10^9 dollar companies.



[Edited on February 10, 2005 at 9:44 PM. Reason : c]

2/10/2005 9:33:28 PM

agentlion
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a new movie search operator has been added to the general Google search box

Just type "movie:" then anything about a movie - quote, actor, title, zipcode, etc

examples -
"movie: 27606"
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&q=movie%3A+27606
lists all theaters, grouped by theaters, with showtimes with links to Maps, Reviews, IMDB, and online ticket purchase, and option to group results by movie.
At any of the searches, click on the movie name to see a Google Movie page with lots of relevant information and links about that movie

"movie: raleigh nc sideways"
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&c2coff=1&q=movie%3A+raleigh+nc+sideways
lists all theaters showing Sideways around the city

"movie: paul giamatti"
http://www.google.com/search?q=movie%3A+paul+giamatti
lists Paul Giamatti's movies with links to each review and to the Google Movie page for each movie

can't remember the name or any actors, but you know what it is about? that's fine -
"movie: two guys wine country"
http://www.google.com/search?q=movie%3A+two+guys+wine+country
shows movies that have something to do with two guys and wine

or you want a suggestion?
"movie: humans vs machines"
http://www.google.com/search?q=movie%3A+humans+vs+machines

show times are also available via the SMS service - just text your zipcode to GOOG

and it's integrated with Local Google too, if you have your address and stuff saved.

hot stuff!!

(btw... Sideways was way overrated)

2/23/2005 4:32:48 PM

Woodfoot
All American
60354 Posts
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yes, but few scenes of film from 2004 will beat him drinking the spittoon wine

2/23/2005 4:56:11 PM

agentlion
All American
13936 Posts
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i prefer the car crash scene

2/23/2005 5:02:11 PM

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