First search results removed as Google acts on ‘Right to be forgotten’ requests

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The WSJ is reporting that Google has begun removing search results following a European court decision that individuals have a right to require Google to remove links to information which is “outdated or irrelevant.”

Following the ruling – known as the ‘right to be forgotten’ – Google created a webpage application and announced that each would be evaluated by hand on a case-by-case basis, balancing the right to privacy against legitimate public interest. The company now says that it has begun acting on these requests …  Read more

Google offers fully-automated (but basic) digital photo albums & movies

If you’ve ever been on a trip, taken tons of photos and then done nothing with them afterwards, or shot a bunch of video that is still just sitting on your phone, Google has launched a couple of new services aimed at you: Google+ Stories and Google+ Movies.

No more sifting through photos for your best shots, racking your brain for the sights you saw, or letting your videos collect virtual dust. We’ll just gift you a story after you get home. This way you can relive your favorite moments, share them with others, and remember why you traveled in the first place.

Stories will be available this week on Android and the web, with iOS coming soon …

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100 billion searches a month, but a million miles to go, say Google founders

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In Google’s annual Founders Letter, Larry Page revealed that Google was handling more than 100 billion searches a month, but said that the service was still “a million miles” from the service he’d like to see Google become.

In many ways, we’re a million miles away from creating the search engine of my dreams, one that gets you just the right information at the exact moment you need it with almost no effort.  That’s partly because understanding information in a deep way is a hard problem to solve …

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Google just made it easier to find music videos with prioritized Youtube search results

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Finding a playable music video can sometimes involve a bit of trial-and-error, where the top link might be only a short clip, or indeed something unrelated that was mislabelled. To solve this, Google is now offering prioritised links to the first playable music video in a separate box above the remaining search results …  Read more

Amusing video depicts Google as a weary person answering dumb questions

If you’ve ever cringed as you’ve watched someone type facebook.com into the Google searchbar, you’ll likely enjoy this two-minute video depicting how a human version of google might react to some common searches …

No Flash? talk to College Humor and check out a classic, below in YouTube:

Editorial: 2013 – A year (mostly) with(out) Google Glass

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I’m not always in full agreement with Wired’s Mat Honan, but his I, Glasshole piece definitely struck a chord with me and my mostly similar experiences with Google Glass.  I can agree with almost everything he’s said on the experience of owning and operating them, at least to an extent.

The biggest point to bring home is the outward awkwardness, but I wouldn’t characterize it as 100% negative across the board like Honan’s experience. He said that even in a room full of Wired writers he’s still ostracized for wearing them. That may be true, but at certain events like his Google event image, they felt pretty normal. I wasn’t at the one pictured, but at Google I/O every 4-5 people at the show were wearing them, even if Google’s own presenters weren’t.  No one was uncomfortable in that environment. I imagine it isn’t uncomfortable at Google or any number of the places that are beta testing the Glass in large numbers relative to the population.

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At home or in the general public, I agree – it is definitely jarring wearing them around. You get the same kind of attention that you’d get if you had a massive headwound at the grocery store or if you were waving a light saber around on the way to the coffee shop.  The attention isn’t entirely negative, but it is certainly one of discomfort and curiosity.  Some people ask about them and want to find out what the experience is like. I’ve let tons of people wear mine, and those who’ve tried have usually thought they were ‘cool’.

I’ve found a good way to mitigate the attention is to wear a low lying baseball cap coupled with the Oakley Blades wrap around shades attachment. With this setup, about 90% of the people don’t notice the Glass and just think you are some dork wearing Oakley Blades from 1987. Clearly, Google could innovate here – getting them on normal glasses hides the appearance. They’ve already promised a prescription lens attachement and even shown off some demos.

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The 2014 model Glass, as I am now calling them, won’t do much for the appearance.  The inclusion of a mono or stereo headset is just going to complicate the setup rather than simplify it.  Note the left stereo earpiece  comes out of the same right side hole as the right side ear piece.

I feel a little claustrophobic looking at them, and I imagine the final consumer version will have the earpiece coming out of either the back or the other side of the glasses.

Appearances aside, how does it work? Read more

Google releases Zeitgeist year-in-review showing top trends of 2013

Google does a lot well during the year, but perhaps one of the things Google does best is its year-end Zeitgeist. For the unfamiliar, Google’s Zeitgeist wraps up all the top searches for various categories during the 2013 calendar year in combination with a video, dedicated set of web pages and enough information to keep you interested for hours.

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Google rolling out support for Gmail and Google Calendar data export

Google is rolling out support to its take out service for exporting email and appointment data from its Gmail and Google Calendar services, the company announced today.

While Google often supports data exporting when sunsetting a service, the company says in this instance it’s simply allowing users the ability to better archive personal data and switch to other services with less friction. Read more