Google Chrome v1.0

Sunt un fan declarat al Mozilla Firefox si toti cei din jurul meu stiu asta pe propria piele. De cate ori am ajuns langa calculatorul cuiva, care imi cerea diverse feluri de sprijin in domeniu, delete pe Icon-ul IE si intalarea Firefox era probabil doua dintre primele miscari pe care le faceam. Imi place in continuare, mai putin datorita diverselor moduri in care il poti face sa arate, cat mai ales datorita extensiilor. AdBlock este cert esentiala si ma face sa citesc (inca) anumite siteuri pe care altfel le consider anti-user prin incarcarea de bannere, flashuri si alte aditii.

Am in continuare Firefox-ul instalat, am add-inuri de care inca nu ma pot lipsi. Trebuie sa marturisesc insa ca de la lansare Google Chrome i-a luat locul pe calculatorul meu la capitolul “default browser”. Viteza cu care porneste, cu care se misca si minimul de resurse pe care le solicita m-au facut pur si simplu sa pastrez FF doar pentru anumite situatii “speciale”.

De azi Google Chrome trece de faza beta odata cu lansarea versiunii 1.0. Cu o forta precum Google in spate, Chrome se anunta un pretendent la o felie serioasa din piata browsereleor si cred ca precedentul Firefox nu a facut decat sa-i netezeasca drumul noului produs Google care probabil ca va musca atat din cele 70% ale Internet Explorer cat si din cei 20% ai Firefox. 

Chrome are o versiune cu interfata in limba romana care il face accesibil practic tuturor nivelelor de utilizatori (desi se pare ca cel putin in cazul Firefox acest lucru a contat prea putin daca tinem cont ca 70% din utilizatorii din Romania folosesc varianta in limba engleza a programului)

In plus, Google anunta in curand si Autofill Forms, suport pentru RSS precum si o platforma pentru extensii pentru Chrome.

Ce-mi place la Chrome:

  • interfata simpla, fara mii de butoane si butonase
  • viteza de lansare a aplicatiei si de incarcar a paginilor
  • omnibarul – bara de adrese inteligenta care tine loc de search in history, de google search bar si bara de adrese propriu zisa
  • task managerul intern

Ce nu-mi place:

  • modul in care face managementul downloadurilor

Puteti downloada sau afla mai mai multe despre Chrome aici.

Google Translate Speaks Romanian too

Google Translate‘s coverage has been expanded dramatically. It now supports the translation between any of the following languages: English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish (the new languages are shown in bold). From 26 language pairs, Google Translate now supports 506 language pairs and becomes the most comprehensive online translation tool available for free.

The most useful feature of the new Google Translate is the automatic language detection feature. You no longer have to select the language of a web page in order to translate it to English. Just choose “Detect language” and Google will attempt to figure out the source language for you and translate the page or text to the language of your choice.

The automatic translation is far from perfect, but is definetly an ecvellent start which, knowing Google will improve fast over time.

Google Related Content for Your Website

It seems that couple of weeks ago:

Google has modified it’s robots.txt file to include a line which may signal the beginning of a new search feature — similar content search.  This innocent looking piece of text (“Disallow: /relcontent”) appears related to “Disallow: /relpage/” which has existed in the file for a very long time.

Zdnet Blog also wrote at that time:

It’s unclear how this speculated feature could differ from the existing “similar pages” functionality –  I thought using “related:” was designed to find similar content already.

Well after all it seems that things started to get clear. It seems that all is about some snippets to get inserted and syndicated by users in their webpages that look like this one:

Google Related Content
The feature seems to be still in tests, but is probably yet to come out soon.

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Click fraud threat

Well there are of course bumps in the way of online advertising towards its bright future.

And Google has reasons to be nervous. Paid-search advertising generates about 98 percent of its revenues. Red-hot demand for cost-per-click advertising doubled Google revenues in the first three quarters of this year and paved the way for the company’s blockbuster IPO in August.

Google CFO sounded the alarm today, on click fraud issue, calling it the “biggest threat” to the Internet economy.

“I think something has to be done about this really, really quickly, because I think, potentially, it threatens our business model”

The paid-search model is now the fastest-growing form of Internet advertising, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. But analysts, fraud experts and now Google are openly fretting about the rise of click fraud.

The main perpetrators appear to be competitors of advertisers and also scam sites set up for the sole purpose of hosting ad links provided by Google, through its AdSense unit, or Yahoo!, through its Overture service. Humans or specially designed software then click on those ad links in order to “steal” revenue from advertisers.

Government watchdogs, primarily focused on pursuing Internet scams that harm consumers, have only recently taken action.

Search engines tremble

No week without the big four search engines movements and trembles.

Ask Jeeves (owner of Ask.com and Ask.co.uk search Web sites, algorithmic search engine technology Teoma, AJkids, and Bloglines, the Excite, iWon, MySearch, MyWay, and MyWebSearch properties, MaxOnline online advertising network, and Fun Web Products adware purveyor) was just bought by IAC/InterActiveCorp for an estimated $1.85 billion all-stock deal, less the cash and equivalents. IAC/InterActiveCorp, who already owns huge and well known on-line brands as CitySearch, Entertainment Publications, Evite, Home Shopping Network, LendingTree, Gifts.com, Zero Degrees, Match.com, Udate.com, and Ticketmaster, plans to grow Ask Jeeves by placing a search bar on Web pages of IAC’s other sites that attract 44 million unique visitors, and expects many of them to use the Ask Jeeves search bar instead of going to another site to conduct a search, such as Google.

Meanwhile MSN unveiled its adCenter and a beta version of its MSN Shopping Beta.Yahoo is not loosing time and aquires the web-based photo sharing company Flickr well recognised service which allows its users to upload digital photos from computers and camera phones and accumulate them into albums that can be posted on blogs and easily shared with other users. Yahoo also announced that starting April it will giving in the mail storage arms race and will offer 1 gigabyte of mail to its users to keep up with Google’s offering.

With all its competitors moving big, Google’s only news last week is the dropping France Presse news agency from its Google News Service after the frech sue them over pulling together photos and story excerpts from its website.

Google and Yahoo! are moving on.

Another day, some more features and even more rumors in the war of the search giants.

In an effort to become the online one-stop-shop for small business entrepreneurs, Yahoo today announced its new Small Business Resource Center featuring eight subject channels, thousands of articles and other resources designed to help business owners succeed. Even more than that, next to the rumors that Yahoo! is testing its Google Adsense competitor there are some new rumors that they are preparing to get into the blogging market to compete with Google’s Blogger. And even more. Yahoo is about to launch an online digital music store, and an iTunes-like player, according to various news reports.

Sources told Silicon.com and Cnet News that Yahoo has been working with digital-music wholesaler MusicNet for some time after its buyout of Musicmatch last September for US$160 million.

Meanwhile Google is moving on as well getting its Google Desktop Search out of beta. More than that they added some great new customization options to Google News service that will allow surfers to customize their News front page by creating sections that focus on topics thet care about, for instance, their favorite sports team, technology, or celebrity. The News page can be also designed by mixing and matching existing standard sections from the 22 regional editions of Google News from around the globe.

Gmail Saved Searches

gmail_searches.pngIf you already use frequently Firefox and Gmail (and if not you definitely should!) here is a script that can add saved searches to your Gmail account.

A Saved Search folder looks like a regular mail folder/label, but when you click on it, it runs a search according to criteria that you’ve set previously and it displays a list of messages that match those criteria. A Saved Search is a “virtual folder” in the sense that it merely displays a set of messages that meet the search criteria, while the actual messages remain stored elsewhere. If you select and delete a message inside a Saved Search it will get deleted from its actual location, but if you delete a Saved Search folder itself all of the actual messages will remain intact. Moreover if you modify the search criteria for a Saved Search its virtual “contents” will be accordingly updated. Thunderbird has it. Now Gmail has it too. (Adding Persistent Searches to Gmail)

The only disadvantage of it is that you cannot take it with you as is related to the browser and is not a plug included in the Gmail features. But as the guy that did it works for Google, they might notice the script and plug it in the Gmail standard features.

Gmail Invites

It seems Dragos is right and Gmail is preparing for graduation since I see more and more Gmail users in the last couple of days getting 50 or more invites to give away. I got them too, so if you want any, drop me a line.

Improve your Google Search Results

With consumers disclosing their most intimate secrets online (voluntarily!), Google has essentially created a ‘domestic database’, i.e. a world-wide database loaded with your customers’ details and profiles, with a depth of information your company’s database can only dream of. So it seems that more and more companies are taking the chance and use Google to search for their customers (and not only) on-line.

On the other hand, a recent study shows that men talk to their search engines more than their girlfriends, work colleagues or even their families.

So, here is a Google Cheatsheet that will help you improve your googling and probably save some time online.