Last week Google launched Google+, a new social platform which many are comparing to Facebook. It is quite different from Facebook or Twitter, though it is clearly inspired by both. If it is to gain broad acceptance and not fade away like Orkut, Buzz and Wave–Google’s past attempts to build a social network–then it needs to be more than just “good enough”. It has to wow its critics. The good news is, Google+ seems to be doing just that. Here’s ten reasons why it deserves success:Read More
Over recent months Alistair, Angela and I have been putting a lot of energy into our site Human 2.0, which looks at the ways in which technology is transforming society, and us as humans. Through the black art that is Google PageRank, we have finally managed to rise to the top of the Google search results page for Human 2.0, beating the BBC, MIT, Wikipedia and an obscure Swedish punk band!
I was just using Google Product Search and noticed they have this rather ingenious way of visualizing the totality of all the reviews that have been submitted. Instead of averaging everyone’s scores together, a bar graph shows how many people gave each ranking of 1,2,3,4 or 5, with each person’s vote counting for the same “length” of the overall bar. The ratings are colour-coded so you can see at a glance what the general consensus is.
Google’s location tracking service is quite interesting to me. Firstly, because it is private and cannot be shared – unlike Foursquare and the ilk. And secondly, because it is done as a side-effect of using the useful Google Maps for Mobile app, rather than as a distinct goal in its own right. This makes it a great way to capture extra data for lifelogging.
They’ve recently added a new dashboard which lets you view your location history in more detail. What mine basically tells me, is that as soon as I got my iPhone, I stopped broadcasting my location. Because I’m not a fan of purposeful checking in, I’d only published my location each time I did a maps search (which, being a user of public transport, is often).
And because Apple own the Maps app for iPhone (using Google Maps under license), they have disallowed Latitude from being an app on the iPhone (and it can’t background track until the new iPhone OS 4.0 anyway).
This is all very frustrating because even if Apple allow a Latitude app in iPhone OS 4.0, chances are they won’t integrate it with their Maps app, so it will have to be purposefully launched. One more reason to consider jailbreaking my iPhone…?
Looks like Google really is taking over the Internet!