We’ve written several times about recent habitable planet findings, such as the discovery of three such planets on April 18 via the Kepler space telescope. Such planets exist within the habitable zone, but aren’t necessarily capable of supporting life, and we won’t know for sure without studying each one individually. The distance at which many
Tag Archives: search
Google’s new “conversational search” feature for Chrome has quietly been enabled, with the new feature appearing in the latest version of Google’s browser. Announced at I/O, the new Voice Search feature builds on the existing ability for Chrome to accept spoken search terms, now listing out your query on screen as you say it, and
China's Baidu has long dominated the country's search market. But a local rival to the company is bolstering its own search services with the help of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.
An anonymous reader writes “In a decision that’s almost certainly going to result in this issue heading up to the Supreme Court, the Federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals [Friday] ruled that police can’t search your phone when they arrest you without a warrant. That’s contrary to most courts’ previous findings in these kinds of cases where judges have allowed warrantless searches through cell phones.” (But in line with the recently mentioned decision in Florida, and seemingly with common sense.)
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
We’re used to Google’s mobile search apps letting us ask questions as we would with real people, but the desktop has usually been quite stiff. That’s changing today: Google is bringing conversation-like voice search to our computers through Chrome, with no typing required. Web denizens just have to say “okay, Google,” ask their question, and get back a spoken response similar to what they’d hear on their phones. The company hasn’t said just how soon Chrome will incorporate the new voice features, however.
If you’re an old-school gaming nerd, then you might remember a little game released by Atari called Breakout. The idea was simple, just hit a ball around and break things. Don’t let the ball get past you, or you lose.
Bing recently introduced its updated people search feature and today, Microsoft is adding a few improvements to its people search that will make it even easier to find information about celebrities, politicians, athletes and many people with a public LinkedIn profiles. Bing’s search box now autosuggests names as you type. Because many people share the same name, this also means that it’s now easier to tell Bing who exactly you are looking for before you even hit the return key. According to the Bing team, about 10 percent of searches on Bing are currently about people. This makes it the second most important search category on the service, right after navigational queries. Microsoft has invested heavily into improving its people search and other semantic search features on the site, which now compete directly with Google’s Knowledge Graph. Bing’s Satori Entity Engine powers all of these features, which are typically revealed in Bing’s Snapshots bar (that is, in between the regular web links on the left and the social sidebar on the right). In many ways, Satori’s mission is akin to Google’s Knowledge Graph, as it aims to help Microsoft understand more about the world. As Microsoft’s director of online services Stefan Weitz told me when the company released its last update to Satori, he believes that Google’s Knowledge Graph is a “kick-ass encyclopedia,” but Bing wants to go a step further and make all of this information “actionable.” This new update, Microsoft notes in today’s announcement, was co-developed by its Search Technological Center (STC-E) in London, U.K. in close collaboration with the User Experience team in Bellevue, WA.
If you’re still wielding a basic feature phone, you may be familiar with Google SMS Search: it’s a handy tool that lets you text a search query and get a quick result. Or rather, it was a handy tool. Google now confirms that it quietly dropped the service within the past few days, delivering an automated shutdown warning to anyone messaging the short code. A Google employee explains the closure as a simple “streamlining” effort, although we’ve reached out for greater detail. It makes sense that Google would drop SMS Search when basic phones are quickly becoming the minority in a world full of web-friendly smartphones. However, the lack of advance notice could have some in that group upgrading their devices sooner than expected — if that’s even an option in the first place.
Source: Google Product Forums
Bing is adding some new social features to its search engine, by letting users comment and "like" their Facebook friends' posts directly on the site.
X1 has released the biggest upgrade of its desktop search tool in four years, adding the ability to query SharePoint sites and tap webmail accounts.
Tokyo Institute of Technology’s SOINN (Self-Organizing Incremental Neural Network) bot was impressive enough during our first introduction back in 2011, but the intelligent device can now tap the web for its latest trick: accurate object identification. The updated system, which appears to utilize a database akin to Google’s image search, can scour the web for similar shots, making it possible to ID objects based on comparable structures published on the web. It can distinguish a box cutter from a knife, for example, or a rickshaw from a car. For now, SOINN is limited to identifying objects in images, including those captured in realtime with a camera, but its designers imagine that future revisions could enable content recognition in video streams, and audio clips, too. Our friends at DigInfo saw the update in action — check it out for yourself in the video after the break.
The former Opera Software designer accused of leaking trade secrets to Mozilla denied the charges yesterday, but confirmed that the lawsuit takes aim at a search revamp he worked on while a consultant for the maker of Firefox.
Pinterest Tweaks Its New Look, Improves Search And Brings Features Like Pinned From And Mentions Back
While Pinterest is still rolling out its brand new look to users, it decided to listen to some feedback along the way and make some tweaks. Since the site relies heavily, or completely, on its users pinning things to boards like crazy, some features that were dropped from the new design were re-added due to popular demand. One of the features that caused the community to clammer the most was “Pinned By,” which let people see who originally pinned an item. This was a way to discover new people to follow and Pinterest has brought it back: Additionally, the mentioning friends feature using an @ symbol has returned, yet another way to discover new people to follow. Notice a trend here? It seems like the new design was limiting users on how they could find new friends and boards to interact with. The company says that finding friends from Twitter and Facebook that are on Pinterest is back, too. Other than the features that were reintroduced, Pinterest has improved its search functionality by adding auto-suggest, something that helps people out when looking for things. This has been a popular feature on Google’s search product, making the experience way less aggravating than looking at an empty white box for minutes: Along with search, Pinterest has moved your recent activity notifications, including older ones, to the top right corner, another move that could increase engagement. Things that the company are thinking on and might roll out soon are rearranging pins and creating a board within a board. Let’s call that feature “Boardception.” Still, it’s clear that remaining true to the original experience tops all new bells and whistles. Other social sites like Twitter and Facebook tend to roll out features slowly, getting instant feedback from people along the way before things are released to the masses. By letting users opt-in to trying out the new look, Pinterest gets beta testers who are ready, willing and able to voice their complaints, since that’s what people end up voicing anyways. If you’re still rocking the old design on Pinterest, just click “Get it now” after you log in:
Astronomers using an observatory in Hawaii kicked off a month-long campaign to study the northern lights on Saturn study Sunday (April 21) in a live webcast from Hawaii’s iconic Keck Observatory.
Now that it’s finally got an Android tablet app to speak of, DirecTV is returning its attention to phones: the company announced today that both its iOS and Android applications will be receiving voice search starting this summer. As the company describes it, the app is meant to address the age-old problem of there being “nothing on TV.” (And also, the fact that searching for things on your television is damn tedious.) In particular, you can use the app to search by person, title, channel show time or genre, using commands such as “find comedy movies,” etc. Like other voice-control services, too, you can give follow-up instructions like, “with Bill Hader” and it’ll know to narrow down your results instead of starting a new search. Considering DirecTV whipped up its own search algorithm from scratch, it seems to work intuitively. Still, the fact that the landing page is filled with sample queries suggests there’s very much a right and wrong way to ask for what you want.
If you’re using the app away from home, you can set your DVR to record different shows. When you’re on your home network, though, you can have the search results show up on your television, at which point your phone transforms into a remote you can use to scroll through menus and the like. With the TV, too, you can wade through various programs, as well as search for sports content or ask the app to switch to a certain channel (saying either the channel name or number will work). You can even tell the app to go back through menus, but you can’t use your voice to access features like the settings menu. No word on when the beta will roll out, except that it’ll happen sometime this summer.
Jolicloud Adds Search To Jolidrive, Its Cloud Services Dashboard Pivot, To Power Content Discovery & Rediscovery
Jolicloud, which last October pivoted yet again — to become Jolidrive: a “entry point”/dashboard for accessing third party cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and also social accounts like Vimeo and YouTube — has taken the next obvious step on this new product path and added a search function to flesh out its role as a cloud content (re)discovery service.
Google will take over a troubled municipal fiber-optic system and make Provo, Utah, the third city to get its high-speed Internet service via fiber-optic cables, the company announced Wednesday….
astroengine writes “About 1,200 light-years from Earth, five planets are circling around sun-like star Kepler-62, two of which are fortuitously positioned for water, if any exists, to remain liquid on their surfaces — a condition believed to be necessary for life. The discovery, made by scientists using NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler space telescope, is the strongest evidence yet for more than one Earth-sized planet existing in a star’s so-called ‘habitable’ zone. ‘We’re particularly delighted to find that there are two planets in the habitable zone,’ lead Kepler scientist William Borucki, with NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, told Discovery News. ‘It sort of doubles our chances of finding that Earth we’d all like to find. When you think about Earth and Mars, if Mars had been a bit larger, if Jupiter hadn’t been so close, we’d again have two planets in the habitable zone and maybe we’d have a place to go,’ he said.” There’s also a third planet believed to be a good candidate for hosting water.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google's placement of its own flight-finding service in search results is resulting in lower click-through rates for companies that have not bought advertising, according to a study by Harvard University academics.
Google has no doubt been on pins and needles wondering whether or not the European Commission will accept the search engine changes it’s proposing to avoid an antitrust showdown. If what we’re hearing is right, Larry Page and crew might just get to relax in the near future: sources for the New York Times claim that the EU agency has accepted Google’s proposal. Reportedly, the terms of the deal are close to what had been mentioned last week. Google would have to explicitly label search results that come from its own services while sometimes showing those results from others. It would also have to test the results in the field to get feedback from both the Commission and competitors. While neither Google nor European officials have confirmed the apparent leak so far, any truth to the story could mean the long-running saga might draw to a close before it gets ugly.
Source: New York Times
Google Wants To Operate .Search As A “Dotless” Domain, Plans To Open .Cloud, .Blog And .App To Others
If it gets it, Google wants to turn .search into a “dotless domain,” the company told ICANN a few days ago. Last year, Google applied to manage the .app, .blog, .cloud and .search generic top-level domain (gTLD) names as part of a major expansion of the domain-name system. ICANN, which is managing this expansion, hasn’t awarded any of the gTLDs yet, and the whole program remains controversial. But in May, Google sent a letter to ICANN telling the organization that it would soon provide some specific details about its plans for these top-level domain names. Now, Google has done so through its Charleston Road Registry subsidiary (we have embedded the full letter below). At the time, it looked like Google was ready to open up these gTLDs to the public and wasn’t just planning on using them for its own services. In its letter to ICANN, Google now confirms that it is working with “the relevant communities related to .blog and .cloud to develop technical standards relating to the operation of those top-level domains.” Google’s Plans For A Dotless .Search The most interesting plan here is to use .search to operate a redirect service on the “on the ‘dotless’ .search domain (http://search/) that, combined with a simple technical standard, will allow a consistent query interface across firms that provide search functionality, and will enable users to easily conduct searches with firms that provide the search functionality that they designate as their preference.” Dotless domains (think http://example and email addresses like mail@example) are something ICANN has discussed for a while now and that security experts are not in favor of. Google plans to run http://search/ as a redirect service that “allows for registration by any search website providing a simple query interface.” “The mission of the proposed gTLD, .search, is to provide a domain name space that makes it easier for Internet users to locate and make use of the search functionality of their choice,” Google writes in its amended application. What exactly this will look like in practice remains to be seen, however. It’s definitely a novel use of the domain system, and judging from the amended application, Google will open this functionality up to third-party developers and its direct competitors. Of course, it remains to be seen who will actually get to manage .search. Besides Google, Amazon, dot Now Limited, and Donuts.co have also applied for this gTLD. .Blog, .App
Wedding Search Engine Loverly Launches Mobile App For Searching, Snapping & Sharing Inspiration While On The Go
Lover.ly, a search engine for weddings, is today launching a mobile application to complement its online experience. The new app also allows brides-to-be and others planning a wedding (or just dreaming about one), to save and share the inspiration they find while on the go by snapping photos.
Bing is incorporating more information from outside social networks such as Facebook and Twitter into how it displays search results involving people.
Finding just the right animated GIF will now become a whole lot easier, thanks to a new filter that Google is adding to its Image Search. When searching for an animated GIF, all you have to do is click on “Search Tools,” and then click on “Any Type” which will bring up a drop down
A powerful new search engine designed to help diagnose rare diseases could prove a boon for both medics and the public
Hugh Pickens writes “Most ancestors from the distant past are, at best, names in the family records, leaving behind a few grainy photos, a death certificate or a record from Ellis Island. But J. Peder Zane writes that retirees today have the ability to leave a cradle-to-grave record of their lives so that 50, 100, even 500 years hence, people will be able to see how their forebears looked and moved, hear them speak, and learn about their aspirations and achievements. A growing number of gerontologists also recommend that persons in that ultimate stage should engage in the healthy and productive exercise of composing a Life Review. In response, a growing number of businesses and organizations have arisen to help people preserve and shape their legacy — a shift is helping to redefine the concept of history, as people suddenly have the tools and the desire to record the lives of almost everybody. The ancient problem that bedeviled historians — a lack of information about people’s everyday lives — has been overcome. New devices and technologies are certain to further this immortality revolution as futurists are already imagining the day when people can have a virtual conversation with holograms of their ancestors that draw on digital legacies to reflect how the dead would have responded.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
If Google is awarded the right to manage the domain registrations for .search, .app, .blog and .cloud, there is now a good chance that it won’t just use them for its own services and will open them up for non-Google properties, too. Last year, when ICANN opened up the first phase of the registration process for new generic top-level domain names, Google accounted for about 100 of the over 1,900 applications ICANN received. Among those were some that referenced Google brands and products like .google, .chrome, .android and .gmail, but Google and many of the other applicants, however, also applied for the right to manage top-level domains with very generic terms like .blog, .show, .earth, .book and .car.
Facebook's Graph Search could be a powerful tool for steering people toward products and services on the social networking site, and marketers are starting to wrestle with the impact it may have on their brands.
When trouble looms, most people turn to the internet before anything else. As such, the search giant is ensuring that it’s offering public alerts to those in disaster-prone regions. Following a rollout in the US last year, Google is also adding disaster warnings to its local versions of Search, Maps and Now — using data from the Japan Meteorological Agency. At the same time, Google is teaming up with 14 Japanese prefectures and cities to make governmental data online during crises and that troubling period afterward.
It looks like if you’re one of those people who unfortunately have names associated with negative products, events, or descriptions, you’re out of luck. A woman in Wisconsin has found that out again and again as she tries to make several search companies liable for negative search results related to her name. Beverly Stayart, CFO
Google today updated its Inside Search site, its homepage for all things search, with a handful of educational and interactive features that explain in layman’s terms how Google’s Search works. Did you know the web had over 30 trillion pages, by the way? Or that Google supports over 100 billion searches every month? Or that Google’s index is over 100 million gigabytes? If you find factoids like that interesting, you’ll probably enjoying a scroll through the new “How Search Works” live infographic, which also contains a few clickable links to charts and graphs showing things like the rise of spam, and milestones in Google’s spam-fighting techniques, among other things.
Yahoo Does Some Spring Cleaning: Shuts Down Avatars, App Search, Sports IQ, Clues, Updates API And Its BlackBerry App
Yahoo, which is now officially a technology company, just announced a Google-like spring cleaning campaign. Just like Larry Page started shutting down a number of under-performing Google properties when he took over from Eric Schmidt, Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer is also in the process of shutting down a number of smaller Yahoo properties. According to today’s announcement, Yahoo will shut down its BlackBerry app, Avatars, App Search, Sports IQ and its Message Boards website on April 1st. In addition, it’s ending support for the Yahoo Updates API on April 16th. While it is shutting down the Message Boards website, individual message boards on sites like Yahoo! Finance and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports will remain active. BlackBerry users will be able to continue to use the app, but it won’t be made available for download after April 1st. If you have no idea what all of these products are, you are probably not alone. Yahoo Avatars, for example, as the name implies, allowed you to build you own avatar and then export it to Facebook and Twitter. This is Yahoo’s second round of closures, following the demise of a number of Yahoo Messenger features at the end of last year. Yahoo Clues, which never made it out of beta, let you analyze search trends and features riveting content like a Top Trends leaderboard that told you who today’s most popular celebrities are. Virtually all of the other products Yahoo is shutting down were similarly underused, so chances are there won’t be a major outcry over today’s closures. As Yahoo EVP of Platforms Jay Rossiter notes in the announcement, the company is making these changes ” in an effort to sharpen our focus. By continuing to home in on our core products and experiences, we’ll be able to make our existing products the very best they can be.” Here is Yahoo’s full list of products that will get the ax next month: Yahoo! Avatars Effective April 1, 2013, we will no longer support Yahoo! Avatars across our properties. If you like your existing avatar and want to keep it, please go to the Avatars download page, pick a picture size and format, and click the appropriate download button. Similarly, if you want to edit your avatar, you can download the image and then use a photo editing service of your preference. If you want to continue using your avatar with our products,
Baidu, the search behemoth often referred to as “China’s Google,” launched its new English-language Web site for developers today. While the site is still in its infancy–right now there just a few intros up and no documentation–but it promises to grow up into a valuable resource for developers who want to take a crack at the Chinese market.
The long-sought Higgs boson particle seems finally to have been found at an accelerator in Geneva, and scientists are now hot on the trail of another tiny piece of the universe, this one tied to a new fundamental force of nature.
Editor’s note: Hunter Walk was most recently Director of Product Management at YouTube.
Search engines have long memories. I think about this whenever reading new coverage of some immoral, misanthropic or illegal act. The kids who tweeted racist statements about Obama on Election Day, the college student whose secret videotaping of his gay roommate helped lead to the young man’s suicide, the catfishing of Manti T’eo. Years from now it’s possible, even likely, that when the perpetrators’ names are Googled, these histories will be what surfaces first for them. An employer, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a neighbor will find out about what they once did years ago
Editor’s note: Taylor Buley is a senior developer at Conde Nast’s PARADE. He’s a former staff writer at Forbes and graduated from University of Pennsylvania and Stanford.
On Thursday Lars Rasmussen, Google Maps co-inventor turned Facebook Graph Search guru, took to Reddit for an “ask me anything” open thread. The Australian native avoided questions about the competitive landscape for Graph Search but spilled a near complete history of its development inside Facebook.
In 2009, Google launched Commerce Search, a hosted enterprise search product to power online retail stores and e-commerce websites. Commerce Search was the the company’s first custom-tailored enterprise search product for a specific vertical. It looks like Google has recently (and quietly) decided to shutter commerce search.