Voice search is improving all the time, and Google brings the best we've seen to date. Its stellar iPhone app uses the accelerometer to activate search. When you hear a beep after lifting the phone to your ear, start speaking your search term. The accuracy of the listening software combined with the newly added MyLocation feature brings (mostly) spot-on search results that are localized to your whereabouts. As with versions of the Google Mobile App on other mobile platforms, this one also includes a tab of shortcuts to other Google services, including Talk, Reader, News, and Photos (Picasa Web).… Read more
Updated at 9:47 a.m. PST, with details about the likelihood of any potential Yahoo overture to Microsoft.
If Yahoo wants to get Microsoft back to the negotiating table, it would do well to try the lure of a search-only deal--regardless of whether Jerry Yang is CEO.
That's the assessment from one influential Microsoft source.
"If Jerry was still CEO and called Steve tomorrow and said, let's talk about a search-only deal, I think Steve would listen," said the source. "Microsoft is open to a mutually beneficial search deal. But people are still lusting … Read more
In theory, antitrust law helps foster competition. In reality, politically connected companies sometimes use it to bludgeon competitors and boost their own bottom line, as soon-to-be former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang learned the hard way.
Yang had lent his prestige and the weight of his position to the proposed Google-Yahoo advertising deal, in part as an alternative to being gobbled up by Redmond, and in part as a way to get an easy $800 million a year in additional revenue.
Days after it was expected to debut, a voice search function has been added to the Google application for the iPhone. The feature allows users to speak a search term, which is then transmitted to Google?s servers, recognized, then entered as a search term.
In initial testing, the feature works surprisingly well, easily recognizing simple, single words like "animals" and "cookies," and even complex phrases like "what is my dog thinking" (don't ask). In fact, despite our skepticism, this feature might actually be faster than the iPhone's onscreen keyboard for complex … Read more
With the Monday evening announcement that Jerry Yang would step down as its chief executive, Yahoo's search for his replacement will not only be closely watched by its investors but also by the folks at Microsoft, according to sources.
In part, two people industry players and headhunters point to as possible good fits already have Redmond running through their veins. One is former Microsoft online and Windows chief Kevin Johnson, who recently left to take a CEO post at Juniper Networks, and the other is Brian McAndrews, senior vice president of Microsoft's Advertiser and Publisher Solutions Group, who … Read more
The new voice-activated Google Mobile app for the iPhone is finally here. Whatever the reason for the delay, it was worth the wait. As we wrote last week, the search app knows when you bring the phone to your face to speak into it. It beeps, you talk, and it executes a Google search on what you said. (If you're using a headset, you have to press a button. You can type in your queries, too, if you want.)
It is freakishly accurate. It's not perfect, but it's extremely good. Good enough to be used frequently, I'… Read more
In an interview Monday, Microsoft senior vice president Chris Capossela said that, at least initially, the browser based versions of Excel, Word and PowerPoint won't have an offline mode.
"In the first generation we are certainly looking at having them be connected," he said. "For offline usage of course the Office suite is incredibly powerful." (See YouTube video below for his full comments … Read more
OpenSocial is growing up fast. What started out as Google's effort to create a common application programming interface for developing small applications that can tap into multiple social-networking services is becoming a full-fledged development platform.
According to the OpenSocial Foundation, it has garnered a potential audience of 600 million users, with 7,500 compliant applications developed so far and 20 containers (hosts for social applications) supporting the APIs within the last 12 months. The Google spin-off incorporated itself as a nonprofit foundation to ensure support from a broad range of social-networking competitors, including Yahoo, MySpace, Hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, and … Read more
Obama can’t use his BlackBerry http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/16/us/politics/16blackberry.html… Read more
Like previous iterations of the software, SketchUp 7 will enable you to model just about anything you'd like as long as you start with a predesigned template. The new version, released Monday, offers simple templates that help you gauge size through feet or meters, but it also includes architectural design, Google Earth, and a product design template to aid you in your modeling endeavors.
Once you choose a template, you're brought to a relatively simple … Read more