Google adds 34-button scientific calculator to search results

You may already be aware that Google search provides a calculator that offers answers to queries, such as 2+2 directly, from the main search results page. As pointed out by a reader, Google recently updated the calculator search functionality, and it now provides a full HTML5 scientific calculator for these types of search queries. The features work with voice—except for on mobile devices, as they do not have access to the full scientific calculator presented on desktops.

Earlier this month, Google started to roll out a similar widget on its search page for unit conversions, like inches to centimeters. Now, unit conversion queries are presented with the live unit conversion tool (pictured below) that allows you to switch between units of measurements for temperature, length, mass, speed, digital storage, and much more.

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Google updates Transparency Report with government requests for blog post removals and user data

As noted in a recent post on the Official Google Blog, Google recently made changes to the Transparency Report that launched a couple of years ago to report data on “government requests.” The interactive reports, which are available here, already included user data requests from courts and government agencies, real-time and historical traffic from various Google services worldwide, and removal requests from both governments and copyright owners. Google is adding data related to government requests today for user information and the removal of blogs posts and videos made from July 2011 to December 2011:

Today we’re releasing data showing government requests to remove blog posts or videos or hand over user information made from July to December 2011… Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past couple years has been troubling, and today is no different. When we started releasing this data in 2010, we also added annotations with some of the more interesting stories behind the numbers. We noticed that government agencies from different countries would sometimes ask us to remove political content that our users had posted on our services. We hoped this was an aberration. But now we know it’s not… For the six months of data we’re releasing today, we complied with an average of 65% of court orders, as opposed to 47% of more informal requests.

An example of some of the requests is outlined by Google’s Senior Policy Analyst Dorothy Chou:
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Google now warns Chinese users certain queries may interrupt connection

In a blog post on the official Google Search blog, Google’s Senior Vice President, Knowledge Alan Eustace today provided some insight into ongoing issues Google Search users in mainland China have been experiencing. As highlighted in the video above, we can see Google observes specific search queries appear to be providing error messages and interrupting the connection. Specifically, users in mainland China over the past couple years have reported frequently experiencing “This webpage is not available” or “The connection was reset” error messages for specific search queries and browsers.

After looking into the issue, Google confirmed the problem doesn’t appear to be originating on its end and has decided to implement notifications to warn users of problem search terms:
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Google Search iPhone app completely redesigned for speed and full screen searching

Google updated its Google Search iPhone app to version 2.0.0 today, which introduced a completely redesigned app that focuses on improvements to speed and full screen browsing features. Among the new features are an auto full screen mode that hides controls when scrolling down and reveals when scrolling up, and a new full-screen image search view.

The updated app also includes “major speed improvements,” a built-in text finder for webpages, and quick links to Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and search options such as images, places, and news. The iPad did not receive the same update, but both the iPhone and iPad will now be able to save images to the iOS camera roll.

A full list of features is below, while the updated app is available on the App Store now.

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Google rolls out autocomplete predictions to Gmail search

Following an update to Gmail last week that brought improved search results and integration of contact information and Google+ Circles, today Google announced on the Official Gmail Blog that it is now including autocomplete predictions when searching from within your Gmail inbox.

Much like Google Web search and many of its other services, when beginning to type in the search bar from within Gmail, you will now see suggestions or autocomplete predictions matching content within your emails. Google explained:

Now when you type something into the Gmail search box, the autocomplete predictions will be tailored to the content in your email, so you can save time and get the information you want faster than ever before. For example, you might now get lax reservation or lax united as predictions after typing “lax” if you have received an email with a flight confirmation for your trip to Los Angeles in your inbox recently.

The new feature will roll out to English Gmail users over the next few days, but Google noted support for additional languages would roll out over the coming months. The feature is also not yet available to Google Apps users.

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