Google changes ‘Palestinian Territories’ to Palestine in Search, not yet in Maps

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From the Beeb:

In a statement given to the BBC on Friday, Google spokesman Nathan Tyler said: “We’re changing the name ‘Palestinian Territories’ to ‘Palestine’ across our products. We consult a number of sources and authorities when naming countries. “In this case, we are following the lead of the UN, Icann [the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers], ISO [International Organisation for Standardisation] and other international organisations.”

The Palestinian Authority (PA) welcomed Google’s decision.

“This is a step in the right direction, a timely step and one that encourages others to join in and give the right definition and name for Palestine instead of Palestinian territories,” Dr Sabri Saidam, advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the BBC.”Most of the traffic that happens now happens in the virtual world and this means putting Palestine on the virtual map as well as on the geographic maps,” he added.

Agree this is a bigger deal than it would immediately appear…for Palestinians especially. The Google Maps folks aren’t yet on the same page:

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A bittersweet look at growing up through the eyes of Google auto-complete

Gizmodo drew our attention to this sad/funny look at growing up in the form of a Google auto-complete video created by Marius B …

Using billions of searches, Google has prototyped an anonymous profile of its users. This reflects the fears, inquiries, preoccupations, obsessions and fixations of the human being at a certain age and our evolution through life.

To eliminate the influence of personalised results, the queries are made in incognito mode with no user signed in, no cookies and no search-history.

Google partners with SoundCloud, Fandango, Deezer & more to bring app activity from Google+ to Search

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Google announced today on its Google+ Developers Blog that it will be working with app and site developers to integrate what it is calling “app activities” into search results. In other words, when searching for an app or site through Google search such as SoundCloud, users will now be greeted with a section to the right of search results showing related SoundCloud content that’s popular among Google+ users. Google is initially teaming up with music and movie apps Deezer, Fandango, Flixster, Slacker Radio, Songza,SoundCloud and TuneIn but plans to add more soon as the feature begins to roll out on desktops in the coming weeks.

Below Google compares the current search results for Fandango to the new improved results page with app activities: Read more

Google Now voice search, cards could be coming to the web

via phandroid.com

via phandroid.com

Google appears to be readying a Google Now web interface for the company’s Siri-like voice search with Google’s homepage as the intended destination.

It’s no surprise that Google would bring its voice search to the web, as it already offers the service on Android and plans to bring it to iOS (Google Search for iOS currently offers real-time voice search but doesn’t support Google Now cards), and tends to have a cross-platform approach to its services as opposed to Apple’s ownership approach to its services.

Sure, Apple does have limited iCloud functionality on Microsoft’s Windows operating system and allows users to manage iCloud from a nicely designed web interface, but Apple only offers Siri on the iPhone 4S and 5, as well as the iPad mini, iPad 3 and 4, and latest iPod touch, though the upcoming release of OS X 10.9 could bring Siri to the Mac just in time to compete with Google Now on the web.

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Bing vs. Google: Competition gets turned up on April Fool’s Day (Video)

While Google has played several light-hearted April Fool’s jokes today, Microsoft’s search engine Bing took things to the next level by pretending to be Google.

To see the somewhat harsh joke, go to Bing’s website and then search for “Google.” A Google-like search page will appear with the header “Bing.” The fake search page features floating squares that criticize Google, but it most notably changed Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to “I’m Feeling Confused” with link to a blog post that fully explains the joke. 

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According to Bing.com’s blog:

So today we’re running a special test, where if you visit bing.com and enter a certain telltale query, you’ll get something a little more bland. We decided to go back to basics, to the dawn of the Internet, to reimagine Bing with more of a 1997, dial-up sensibility in mind. We may see some uptick in our numbers based on this test, but the main goal here is just to learn more about how our world would look if we hadn’t evolved.

So, Microsoft has basically slammed Google’s look and deemed it dated. Yeah. Way to keep things light, Redmond. Don’t worry, though: Google has lashed back.

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