The Google Browser: Google Chrome (beta)

Looks like the Browser Wars have been rekindled with this new kid on the block. Yes, Google released their oft rumoured browser in the wild.Google ChromeMore info on theΒ Official Google Blog: A Fresh Take On The Browser. And for the technically inclined there’sΒ a comicbook explaining it all. Or skip the hoopla andΒ take Chrome for a testdrive yourselfΒ (Windows only for the moment).

Watching the sea-level rise, virtually.

Google Maps LogoHere’s an interesting Google Maps implementation: Flood Maps.

What if the sea-level where to rise? .. Because the polar ice-caps are melting at an alarming rate … Would you be able to keep your feet dry? Now you can find out for yourself. (And maybe decide about that piece of real-estate you’ve layed your eyes on. ;-))

As a resident of The Netherlands this is all old news. As I have had virtual wet feet all my live. But still it’s a nice *cough* mashup.

Flood map of The Netherlands

Via Notes of Intelligence

Major Google Earth Update (Maps to follow)

Read all about it on the Official Google Blog: Happy Birthday, Google Earth:

We got so excited around here about the first anniversary of Google Earth that we decided to celebrate a bit early. Beginning today, you can download a brand new version, Google Earth 4. Running on OS X? Feel the love. Prefer Linux? Ditto. Yes, we’re releasing simultaneously for PC, Mac (universal binary for full performance on both Intel and PowerPC based Macs) and for the first time ever, native support for popular Linux distributions. And we should say “salut,” “ciao,” “hallo,” and “hola” to our French, Italian, German and Spanish users, because Google Earth is now fully localized for those languages in addition to English. This includes a UI localized to French, Italian, German, and Spanish, as well as local search, driving directions, geo-coding, and unique local information layers for those countries.

And… better resolution, KML for Maps, geo-coding, Maps for Enterprise …

Pizza in Europe?

Google Maps Logo Lately there has been some news surrounding Google Maps. As a result I’m obliged to sum things up. ThinkLemon style, surely.

First, it was called Google Maps (beta), then Local, and now Maps again. Probably because everyone was calling it Maps anyhow. The Google Blog explains more.

Second, Maps has expanded to continental Europe. Finally I’d say.
Not only are there more high-res images available, but also streetlevel maps where there used to be ‘greyness’. Take for instance this spot on the Dutch coast (Scheveningen). One could almost spot the make of the cars. Btw, Earth also features these high-res aerials and you can zoom in a wee bit more. πŸ™‚

And now for *drumroll* the pizza-test! Continue reading “Pizza in Europe?”

Ask.com Maps & Directions

The latest addition to the online mapping frenzy comes from none other than ask.com (that search engine that fired its card-bored butler remember?).

At map.ask.com you can find maps and directions. A first glance may remind you of that other mapping solution. But … this one is aware of roads in the rest of the world, outside of the U.S.A. (& UK), as Tagzania found out before me. Kudos to them. πŸ™‚

Playing around with it though, this one caught my eye. An obscure censoring of a piece of The Hague, The Netherlands.
Ask.com censored part of the Netherlands.

As far as I know there aren’t any military, civilian or government installations in that area. Why anyone wants to censor a normal residential area with a kindergarten inside? Beats me.
Google does show the contents BTW.

Come to think about it. Currently there’s a lot of construction work going on in that park that’s being obscured… ahemmm

Update (2006-04-24): It seems that the latest image update of Google (Maps & Earth) also censors this specific block. Albeit in a more gentle way. Nonetheless, it still baffles me why. Maybe it’s a trap street?

Google Page Creator (Beta of course)

Googe Page Creator BetaNormally I wouldn’t blog about yet another new Google product release. Now would I? πŸ˜‰ Hey, I’m not the Googleblog you know.
But this time they’ve released a product that lets my mother create webpages in no-time, although I doubt if anyone’s waiting for another bridge-site. (Sorry mom. :-))

So what is it?

It’s an easy-to-use webpage publishing system. It’s easy as point & click to start creating pages, all with the familiar Google GUI as used in GMail/Base/Reader/etc. The site is currently coupled with your GMail account, meaning your mail username is also used to address the site. You’ll get a 100MB of space, so that should be enough to build a photoalbum or the likes. Uploads are handled beautifully by the way. And linking to other pages or sites is automatically checked, so it’s hard to make a mistake there.

Continue reading “Google Page Creator (Beta of course)”

What’s it gonna be?

I’ve been looking at this ‘Future Pagerank’ for some days now:

Future Pagerank ThinkLemon.com

❓ What’s it gonna be? A PR 6? Level off on a PR 5? Or a penalty on a PR 1? I can’t tell from all the datacenters dancing around.
Looks more exciting than an Olympic ice-dancing final. πŸ˜›

Anyway, Matt Cutts is awfully quiet. I hope he’s not too tangled up with card-board butlers.

Update: I think it’s settling on a pagerank 6. Yay! One point up. πŸ™‚

Who’s using the Search Bar anyway?

While browsing to Yahoo! this bar on top struck me. Click to enlarge:

Firefox Search Bar promotion by Yahoo

Apparently Yahoo! is promoting the Search Bar, which is standard issue in Firefox. Guess they want us to change the default Google setting. πŸ˜‰

This in turn made me think of the times I used that Search Bar. Probably once, the first time I installed Firefox.
Normally if I want to do a search I hit CTRL+T (new tab) and call up my homepage, which still is the Firefox branded Google homepage. (BTW, ALT+HOME gets you to the homepage.)
It’s an old habit. And you know what they say about old habits…

But thanks to Yahoo! who reminded that there was such a thing as the Search Bar. I’m wondering if and how I can remove it. πŸ™‚

In other news:

Google Code: Web Authoring Statistics

Over at Google Code they ran a survey, in December 2005, looking at a couple of webpages trying to find out which elements and their respective attributes are used most. And more importantly how they are used.

We took a sample of slightly over a billion documents, and looked at what elements were used on the most pages, what class names were used on the most pages, and so forth.

Pretty interesting read this Web Authoring Statistics study.
E.g. why would anyone use a <table>-tag and not put any <td> or <tr> inside? Beats me… Is it a remnant of MS ‘HTML’? Or someone deleting a table in a WYSIWYG environment? And there are more examples.