Google Labs is always hard at working churning new and innovative app made by Google employees in their 20% time. And this time, there’s a whole flurry of apps that you just might be interested in. They have recently announced some really cool apps that just might get your attention. Try them while they are still fresh!!
We love our Gmail, and we have another reason to. As announced, Gmail calling(only available in the U.S.) is now free till the end of 2011. And all in the spirit of giving, don’t you love that?
As we approach a new year of 2011, Google has posted a blog post on how it went green in the year 2010. It is interesting to see how committed Google to going green and it is implied that we can see more efforts by Google to be even greener next year.
In case, you did not know, Michael Jackson, the “King Of Pop” just passed away yesterday and we are really sad on the loss of such a great pop-star. Many users on the web must have felt the same too, as Google searches about Michael Jackson exploded on Google yesterday. Here is a chart showing the search trend yesterday and here is Google explaining the trend:
Search volume began to increase around 2:00pm, skyrocketed by 3:00pm, and stabilized by about 8:00pm. As you can see in Google Hot Trends, many of the fastest rising search queries from yesterday and today have been about Michael Jackson’s passing (others pertained to the death of another cultural icon, Farrah Fawcett). People who weren’t near a computer yesterday turned to their mobile phones to check on breaking news. We saw one of the largest mobile search spikes we’ve ever seen, with 5 of the top 20 searches about the Moonwalker. The spike in searches related to Michael Jackson was so big that Google News initially mistook it for an automated attack. As a result, for about 25 minutes yesterday, when some people searched Google News they saw a “We’re sorry” page before finding the articles they were looking for.
This undeniably show the amount of global interest on Michael Jackson and how Google could have been better prepared to deal with it. Here is a song video in his tribute — Heal The World that we found was one of his best songs. More song and videos can be found on his YouTube Channel.
All For Good is the latest initiative by Google to bring volunteerism to the next level. Many organizations offer community service, but the problem is that it takes much time and effort to find all these organizations across many sources. All For Good helps to ease this problem by providing a search platform for users to help you find these volunteer activities within their community as well as share these events with their friends. We liked this initiative as it is a great open and free platform for people to find volunteer activities and for organizations to reach out to them. The ability to connect with social networking as well as search also makes All For Good a good model on how Web 2.0 can improve charity. What is your take on All For Good: be sure to comment and tell us.
Technology is advancing faster than you can think — the web, social networking, blogging has helped people to find information, communicate and interact with each other faster and better than ever. Now Google is taking a leap forward in the age of search through a new technology that allows landmark recognition. Google describes it as follows:
How did we do it? It wasn’t easy. For starters, where do you find a good list of thousands of landmarks? Even if you have that list, where do you get the pictures to develop visual representations of the locations? And how do you pull that source material together in a coherent model that actually works, is fast, and can process an enormous corpus of data? Think about all the different photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge you’ve seen — the different perspectives, lighting conditions and image qualities. Recognizing a landmark can be difficult for a human, let alone a computer.
Our research builds on the vast number of images on the web, the ability to search those images, and advances in object recognition and clustering techniques. First, we generated a list of landmarks relying on two sources: 40 million GPS-tagged photos (from Picasa and Panoramio) and online tour guide webpages. Next, we found candidate images for each landmark using these sources and Google Image Search, which we then “pruned” using efficient image matching and unsupervised clustering techniques. Finally, we developed a highly efficient indexing system for fast image recognition. The following image provides a visual representation of the resulting clustered recognition model:
As you can see, it’s a research paper and not a new product yet (don’t be disappointed), however it might become a reality in time to come. This technology currently enables computers to quickly and efficiently identify images of more than 50,000 landmarks from all over the world with 80% accuracy. If Google can jack it up to 90-95%, then it will be the next big thing since text search. Maybe next on the list: video recognition?