Google I/O registration opens 7 a.m. PDT March 27, last year it took less than an hour to sell out

Google opens its registration for its annual I/O conference on March 27. Remember, tickets sold out last year in under an hour so set your alarms!

The conference also moved from May to June this year where Google will debut many new technologies, including some Glasses hopefully. While we do not have official word on the Glasses “Project WingFront,” we were told by a Google employee that this year’s I/O was going to be “totally insane.” Perhaps so insane that Google moved from a two-day format to three days this year.

 

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Google also updated its I/O website with some fun and games. Read more

Google publishes uncut video of weekly search quality meeting

Google decided to publish uncut video from its search quality meeting today where the company discusses and makes decisions about changes to the algorithm and infrastructure used for Google search. This is the first time Google published footage from the meeting, but the company said in a post on Google+ that it would continue doing so for each weekly meeting going forward as part of its “continued effort to be more transparent about how search works.” For this week, the group discussed issues with spelling for long queries.
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‘Google Search’ app launches for Windows Phone

Microsoft is slinging mud at Google recently with bitter videos and critical advertisements, but the Internet giant is staying silent and has only thrown one thing at the Windows company: The “Google Search” app.

“Find better results using Google from your Windows Phone. Search the web faster and easier with the latest features: Google Autocomplete, My Location, and Voice Search,” announced the app’s description.

More information is available below.

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Previously-searched places now available on Android, iPhone

Google rolled out a handy new feature yesterday to its mobile search page on Android and iPhone smartphones that provides access to the list of past places-related search queries. According to a post over at the official Google Mobile blog, the new Recent icon “shows information about places you have recently searched for on any of your devices.” You must be logged in to your Google Account when searching for places (such as the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco). Web History must also be enabled. Users can swipe to the right to see more icons for other categories of places.

Next time you are heading to a place you have recently searched for, no need to worry if you can’t remember the address or phone number. Just go to Google.com on your smartphone and tap on the “Recent” icon.

This improvement also allows you to research places of interest on your desktop and view them later while on the go— without having to bookmark or email places’ URLs to yourself. One thing to keep in mind: This information about your previously searched places will be available under the Recent icon for about a day, Google said. This handy new feature is the first in a series of enhancements aimed at unifying search experience across devices.

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Did Google really lose 7 percent of its search market share last month, mostly to Baidu?

Baidu is China’s largest search engine with a not-so secret mission to dominate the global market, and while most chuckle at the thought of it surpassing Google, one might be surprised to learn the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant lost 7 percent of its search market share to Baidu last month.

According to the well-regarded statistics firm NetMarketShare, Google dropped 7 percent in Desktop Top Search Engine Share Trend in February while Baidu gained a little over 6 percent. Bing, Yahoo, and other competitors remained stagnant. As seen in the chart below the break, Google and Baidu have paralleled each other in terms of share fluctuations since November 2011.

Beijing-headquartered Baidu offers a range of Web services similar to Google, including maps, news, search ranking, e-commerce, Internet TV, a browser, and a smartphone operating system based on Android OS. The firm is adamant about its business not being a Google-clone, though.

Baidu’s Director of International Communications Kaiser Kuo explained to CNN (in the 2010 video above) that CEO Robin Li actually filed a hyperlink analysis patent before Google’s cofounder Larry Page. The filing indicates Baidu envisioned the future of search long before Google dominated cyber space…

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French privacy agency tries to kibosh Google’s privacy policy just days before roll out

The National Commission for Computing and Civil Liberties announced today that Google’s new privacy policy might violate European Union law.

The allegation comes just days before the Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet giant planned to enact the policy that unveiled last month. Google said the updated policy streamlined privacy practices for 60 different services engaged around the globe to bring transparency and clarity.

“We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read,” explained Google’s policy website.

A portion of the letter.

The French privacy agency picked a bone with the search engine’s intent and wrote a letter (PDF) to Google’s Chief Executive Officer Larry Page that painted the new rules as questionable. The central focus of the letter inquired how Google would use the reaped private data, but it is well-known the advertising firm collects personal information from tracking cookies to build targeted ads.

“Rather than promoting transparency, the terms of the new policy and the fact that Google claims publicly that it will combine data across services raises fears about Google’s actual practices,” wrote the agency, also known as CNIL, in the letter. “Our preliminary investigation shows that it is extremely difficult to know exactly which data is combined between which services for which purposes, even for trained privacy professionals.”

The new policy takes effect March 1, and while users’ privacy preferences remain, the new arrangement allows Google to gather and implement user data across its services. Google is charging ahead with Search plus Your World, Gmail, Picasa, YouTube, and Google+, so it is probably just connecting all the loose legal ends to make one continuous experience….

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