I Don’t Know – Google It

Google Memory

Nowadays, thats typically the response I hear when I ask someone a question. Why is that? Neuroscientist Ian Robertson recently polled 3,000 people and discovered younger ones were less able than their elders to recall standard personal information. 87% of his respondents over age 50 couldn’t recite a relatives birth date, while less than 40 percent of those under 30 could do so. When Ian asked those under 30 their own phone number, at least one third of them had to take out their handset to remember.

The moral of the story here is that, humans are reaching a point where they no longer need to remember information but rather, machines are the ones who are storing the information that can be retrieved within a few keystrokes. I know I have asked a number of people some interesting questions and instead of providing what they thought was the answer, they merely tell me to Google it. Does this happen to you as well? Leo Laporte likes to coin this term as (GAM) or Google Assisted Memory. As long as he can remember how to type into Google, he will seemingly never forget anything.

Although typing into Google and receiving those results is a very fast way of obtaining information, sometimes I just want to hear the answer from a human rather than a search engine.

I’d be very interested to hear your feedback regarding this subject as I think it is fascinating. In retrospect, it sounds like the beginning of the cyborg era, wouldn’t you say?

I Don’t Know – Google It

Google Memory

Nowadays, thats typically the response I hear when I ask someone a question. Why is that? Neuroscientist Ian Robertson recently polled 3,000 people and discovered younger ones were less able than their elders to recall standard personal information. 87% of his respondents over age 50 couldn’t recite a relatives birth date, while less than 40 percent of those under 30 could do so. When Ian asked those under 30 their own phone number, at least one third of them had to take out their handset to remember.

The moral of the story here is that, humans are reaching a point where they no longer need to remember information but rather, machines are the ones who are storing the information that can be retrieved within a few keystrokes. I know I have asked a number of people some interesting questions and instead of providing what they thought was the answer, they merely tell me to Google it. Does this happen to you as well? Leo Laporte likes to coin this term as (GAM) or Google Assisted Memory. As long as he can remember how to type into Google, he will seemingly never forget anything.

Although typing into Google and receiving those results is a very fast way of obtaining information, sometimes I just want to hear the answer from a human rather than a search engine.

I’d be very interested to hear your feedback regarding this subject as I think it is fascinating. In retrospect, it sounds like the beginning of the cyborg era, wouldn’t you say?

Bloggerplay Releases iGoogle Gadget

BloggerLogo

Blogger has developed and released an iGoogle gadget for those that enjoy Blogger Play. Blogger Play is a real-time slideshow of photos Blogger users have recently uploaded to their blogs. Blogger has also added some additional functionality to Blogger Play. The keyboard can now be used to control the flow of images. The space bar plays and pauses while the left and right arrow keys move backwards and forwards.

Just sitting at the Blogger Play page watching all sorts of images go by is yet, another productivity killer to add to my list.

Pimp Your Google Identity

Introducing the un-official G Ring. This is a prototype of a vanity ring designed by Markus Kison. The ring displays how many hits you get when you search for the name of the wearer.

Introducing The G Ring

Here is some information related to the project:

While in earlier times richness and importance were equal to the amount of money or jewels someone possessed, in a post information society it’s the attention you get from the worlds people, that counts. Being in people’s mind means being important, whether they think about you in a positive way our not doesn’t matter. And what people have in their mind is what they read in the media. In the future this will mean, what they read/see on the net. Every content creator that copies and pastes your name will rise the value of your virtual mirrored importance. And there is a hard mechanical algorithm on the net, that extremely objectively measures your appearance, it’s called Google and has already passed the “line of no return” (Bruce Sterling). In most job interviews the personnel manager will already use this machine to check your importance and have a look at the first answers this mirror tells about you. Your mirror identity strikes back on your chances in the real world.

Using specialized software, the name of the wearer is typed into the ring and the number of hits or in this case ‘attention carots‘ is displayed. The ring comes with it’s own docking station where it communicates with Google and updates the hit count overnight.

Vanity Ring Demo Video


I certainly can’t see my girlfriend wearing one of these however, I can see a number of A-List bloggers wearing one of these rings around their pinky, taking a page out of Dr. Evils book, ONE BILLLLLLION HITS.

YouTube Now Apart Of Google Earth

GoogleEarth Logo

Google has finally integrated YouTube videos into Google Earth. YouTube videos that are geo-tagged will now show up in their proper locations within GoogleEarth to show where that video was filmed.

Our new browseable layer of geotagged videos works a lot like our Google Book Search layer, only it shows you the locations referenced in specific videos instead of books. Let’s say you’re jetting off to Paris. Before you go, you can watch the sunset filmed from the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, among other clips of popular spots in the City of Lights.

You can access this new data layer in the ‘Featured Content‘ folder which normally appears on the left-side panel of Google Earth. After clicking on the YouTube button, all sorts of icons will appear, highlighting videos filmed at that specific location. You can either view the video from within Google Earth or on the YouTube site.

Going to add this to my list of productivity killers.

AskApache 404 Google Fix

Askapache.com Logo

For those of you who are using the ajax powered Google search plugin for your WordPress 404 page that I featured here Add Google Ajax To Your WP 404 Page, you may have noticed after upgrading to WordPress 2.3 that the search results have stopped displaying. A number of others including myself have experienced this problem and the fix is relatively simple.

In your WordPress admin panel, click on the OPTIONS link. Now click on the AA Google 404 link which will load the options for this specific plugin. Where it says Google API Key, click on the GET ONE link. Type in your URL to Google and they will provide you with a new API key. Replace the plugins current API key with the newly acquired one and click the save button. Your 404 search results should reappear.

Lifestreaming Service FriendFeed Reviewed

FriendFeed.com Logo

Company Background:

FriendFeed is one of the newest startups to come swinging out of the gate, that promises to streamline your myriad of web activities into one, easy to digest stream. This is sometimes referred to as, Lifestreaming. FriendFeed was founded by Bret Taylor, Jim Norris, Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Sing Prior to Google, Bret worked at Reactivity, Paul worked at Intel and Sanjeev worked at Thirdvoice.com. Bret, Jim and Sanjeev hold Computer Science degrees from Stanford University and Paul holds a Computer Science degree from Case Western Reserve University.

Signing In:

Unlike most other services I sign up to beta test, FriendFeed actually sent me a an invitation code immediately after signing up. The signup process consisted of the usual information with one exception. Password, Email and Username were the usual culprits but you can also choose your Nickname which will also be the name attached to your FriendFeed sub domain. For example, mine is http://friendfeed.com/jeffro2pt0 with Jeffro2pt0 being my nickname. So far, FriendFeed does not support logging in via OpenID. Continue reading

FriendFeed Another LifeStreamer

FriendFeed Logo

As reported by TechCrunch today, four ex-googlers have started their own company called FriendFeed. FriendFeed aims to aggregate user data that is usually stored on a wide variety of social networking sites, into one easy to manage stream of data. The presentation of this data looks like it will be displayed in the same way that the Facebook News Feed is shown.

The question I have for all of you is, Hasn’t Jaiku been one of the first to accomplish this feat in the form of RSS feeds and aggregating them to one account? Jaiku even gives you the oppurtunity to pick which feeds of an individual that you want to subscribe to.

Because this company was started by four ex-googlers, do you think this company will take off like a rocket or will it sink like an anchor?

Microsoft Updates Live Search Engine

MSLiveSearch LogoMicrosoft has updated is LIVE search engine today. The updates were focused around the core search technology as well as the vertical search areas of entertainment, shopping, local and health. Collectively, these improvements mark a quality milestone based on the company’s focus on delivering a better search experience for consumers and advertisers.

Here are some of the updates which were covered.

  • Over fourfold increase in index size.
  • Substantial improvements in understanding queryintent.
  • Significant enhancements to core algorithms.
  • Increased focus on query refinement.
  • New Web data extraction model.
  • Expansion of Rich Answers.

Additional improvements to the service include a new, cleaner user interface that makes the results pages easier to read and use; a more robust Answers platform that provides instant access to information from trusted sources while increasing relevancy; and organization of results pages based on the high-interest search verticals of entertainment, shopping, local and health on one page.