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Google has made some of their "most significant enhancements to date" to Google Realtime Search and released them today. Initially launched in December, Realtime Search strives to bring the most up to date real-time content to searches.
First off, Realtime Search has its own website at http://www.google.com/realtime. The new homepage sports new tools, including geographic refinements for local results, a "conversations view" to follow discussions from sources like Twitter, and updates to Google Alerts in case you want to be informed about future information and new search results. Realtime Search and updates are available in 40 languages, while geographic refinements and conversations views are only available in English, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.
If you did a Google image search today, you may have been a bit surprised at what came up on your browser. This is because Google rolled out a major overhaul of their Image Search function today. The official announcement was given at a press conference in San Francisco by Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience.
The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is looking to push electronic publishing as the default over traditional paper printing as they believe it would prove to be a much more profitable method.
A study was recently conducted by the ASA as to what changes electronic publishing could have on author contracts and recommendations were given that authors push for royalties of 35% from ebooks. The study compares this with royalties of up to 10% of the retail price of printed books.
Due to less overheads from ebooks versus printing costs, physical storage and shipping this would also mean bigger profit margins for authors happy to publish their works on online retailer sites.
But how about the popularity of ebooks? Well - Amazon recently reported that it has sold 180 ebooks for every 100 hard cover books over the last three months. That figure excluded free ebooks, too.
Apple and Steve Jobs are ardently against Flash to the point where I sometimes wonder if Adobe might have run over Jobs' dog at some point. Jobs maintains that Flash is proprietary and Apple wants to use open software.
The problem for Jobs is that many Apple device users want Flash and some people like to point out things that they thing HTML5 doesn't do as well as Flash. Apple has now added a page to its website to show off some demos of what HTML5 will do.
Cisco made the statement that they expect internet traffic to quadruple by 2014 during their annual Visual Networking Index. The huge growth of video traffic is being named as the driving force behind the growth, with both businesses and consumers running tons more video traffic with everything from YouTube to videoconferencing. Cisco stated that video will account for 91% of total consumer IP traffic by 2014, with it taking over the top spot from peer-to-peer traffic as the top generator by the end of this year.
Whilst many people gave a sour face to Apple's decision to exclude Flash from the HTML5 supporting iPad, some HTML5 experts who work for Google have given a terrific demonstration of what HTML5 is capable of.
They've managed to do a HTML5 port of iD Software's Quake II engine and while Quake Live based on the id Tech 3 engine may seem more impressive, the difference is it requires a graphics rendering plugin to work which has its setbacks.
This Quake II port using HTML5 is more impressive in that together with the use of Google's Chrome or Apple Safari web browser, it does not require a plug-in and utilizes WebGL, the Canvas API, HTML5 [audio] elements, the local storage API and WebSockets which is all inclusive of the HTML5 specification.
You can watch the streaming video below to see how it looks. More details can be found at the source.
A glitch in Google's search engine profile for China accidentally blocked all searches made from behind the Great Firewall of China. At first it was believed to be a problem with the actual Firewall, but later turned out to be a technical glitch that was causing the firewall to block the requests.
The issue was a "long and discrete" string of text that gets attached to every search request. Apparently some of the text was causing the Chinese Firewall to see every request as violating its policies and so it blocked every one. The offending text? "rfa" These three letters were linked (unintentionally I am sure) to Radio Free Asia and so blocked outright.
Google has fixed the glitch in the random string so that searches are getting through now.
Quick and dirty here - a link has popped up on the official Microsoft Zune website making reference to the Zune HD 64.
While the link is not active yet and just returns a "page not found" error, it looks like an announcement may soon present itself from Microsoft. If indeed true, the new model will double the storage capacity over the former top-dog, the Zune HD 32.
Stay tuned for more news on the potential new model as it comes in!
It seems Steve Jobs is out to kill flash with his dogged determination to not support Flash on the iPhone or the iPad. Adobe keeps reminding everyone that Flash and HTML5 can get along, buy Jobs isn't listening.
It appears that Jobs is getting some big backers for video sans Flash too. CBS is now testing HTML5 video out in the open and Adobe has to be feeling the heat. If the HTML5 video, ideal for the iPad, becomes popular at CBS, you can count on HTML5 video being supported at other places.
Before you know if HTML5 may be the big platform for online video. CBS has offered no official insight into its plans for HTML5 video at this time.
So, Google has lifted the curtain on the searches in China. This is seen by many as a very bold move and one that on the surface proves Google's stated commitment to net neutrality. To do this they have re-routed all Google.cn requests to Google.com.hk. They claim this is a legal way to get around China's censorship laws.
Still, if we look a little below the surface of the move we might see some murky water flowing around. It is important to remember that Google entered the Chinese market with the full knowledge that they would be required to censor search and ad results. They also knew that they would be required to give information to the Chinese government about the people using the search engines, G-Mail and Google Docs accounts.
So, knowing all of this information and bearing in mind the claim that Google made saying that the Chinese Government backed a Cyber Attack on their systems, we could see another motivation for Google's move. Perhaps the Chinese Internet market is not worth the hassle when your search (and ad) results are intentionally limited. After all, Google is an online ad company first and a search engine second these days. It is also important to remember that every business wants to make a profit. There is no company out there that wants to lose money. Simply put, China is a bad investment for Google.
When you put all this into play, it looks more like Google is either trying to get booted out of China to save some money and headache or trying to strong arm a deal that opens up their ad revenue than standing up for anyone's net neutrality rights. Of course there is also that little roumor that Google will be closing up and leaving China around the 18th of April to factor in.