Google Docs, which has grown considerably since Google's 2006 acquisition of Writely, consists mainly of word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation modules that compete with Microsoft Office's Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. It's become a standard-bearer for the Web applications movement and, with Google selling it in premium form along with Gmail for $50 per user per year in the form of Google Apps, Google's next billion-dollar revenue stream after advertising. … Read more
Looking for a restaurant tonight? Start-up Bizzy says you cannot trust your friends, who have different tastes than you. Nor Google or Yelp, which are far too generic. Bizzy's better recommendation engine, CEO Gadi Shamia says, does a Netflix on your tastes, You tell it what you like, and it finds other places you're also likely to appreciate based on hidden signals in your data.
For example, if you like loud restaurants over quiet ones, or if your top criteria for a dining establishment is the attractiveness of the waitstaff, the Bizzy engine will return results that work … Read more
Google and the U.S. government are headed for a legal showdown, but on different sides of the courtroom than one might expect.
Eric Goldman, a law professor with Santa Clara University who closely follows the tech industry, spotted a lawsuit filed by Google against the federal government claiming that the U.S. Department of the Interior did not properly evaluate Google Apps when choosing a new Web-based document system. Google alleges that because the Interior Department specified that the system needed to be part of Microsoft's Business Productivity Online Suite, Google Apps never had a chance despite repeated … Read more
Adobe yesterday completed its $240 million takeover of content management system vendor Day Software.
With the acquisition now a done deal, Day will operate as a new product line within Adobe's Digital Enterprise Solutions Business Unit. Day Chief Executive Officer Erik Hansen will report directly to Rob Tarkoff, senior vice president and general manager of the unit. The rest of Day's senior management have also joined Adobe.
Due to remain in its home base of Switzerland, Day makes a content management system geared for enterprise customers. The company's flagship software suite, called CQ5, offers Web content, digital … Read more
As an Evernote user on several platforms (Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone, Android, Web), I've always felt as if the software has had a Jekyll-and-Hyde divide between its offering on the Mac and PC. The Mac version ran better, and had a more consistent interface, while the PC version looked and ran like it had been pieced together out of spare parts.
Luckily, that's about to change.
Evernote is set to release a new version of its note-taking and Web-clipping Windows software this morning that improves speed, looks, and functionality. In short, it leapfrogs the old version, and then … Read more
Evernote has secured $20 million in a Series C round of financing, the company announced today.
Sequoia Capital led the funding round, according to Evernote--a service that enables people to create, edit, and synchronize data across multiple devices and platforms. Morgenthaler Ventures and DoCoMo Capital, which previously invested in Evernote, also participated in the round. In addition, Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha will join Evernote's board of directors.
Getting Sequoia Capital's support is no small achievement. The venture capital firm is one of the most successful in the tech world. The company has invested in Apple, Cisco Systems, … Read more
Google's enterprise push continues with plans to link two of its more business-oriented products: Google Search Appliance and Google Apps.
Seems simple--and long overdue--but Google is announcing plans for a new version of the Google Search Appliance that allows business users to find results within Google Apps and Google Sites, should you work for a company that uses Google's office-productivity software and corporate search appliance. The new edition, called "Cloud Connect," also lets users search Twitter and other Web sites from within their organization.
Google Search Appliance is not a product we hear an awful lot … Read more
Among the three new features introduced by Facebook last week, one of the last ones to make it to the hands of users was the personal data downloader. It's also one of the most interesting of the bunch, since it effectively gives users an escape hatch to grab everything they've ever uploaded to Facebook and take it elsewhere.
The feature finally went live over the weekend, and I've had a chance to put it through its paces. The good news is that it's one of the simplest options I've ever seen for such a large amount of data. The bad news is that because it's just your information, you may find it's missing a lot of things that include you, but that were uploaded by others.
So what does the service do? It grabs every photo, video, wall post, private message, event, and scrap of profile information from your Facebook account, and puts into a tidy little zip file. In essence, it's your entire Facebook identity in just a folder.
To get this wealth of information, you have to jump through a handful of security hoops. Even if you're signed into Facebook, you need to re-enter your password to request it. Also, if you're on a computer that Facebook is unfamiliar with, it will ask you to solve a captcha. Facebook will then beginning pulling together all those files, which it does in the background, before sending you an e-mail to let you know it's done.
For me, the turnaround time from filling out my information to getting the download link was less than 10 minutes. And the size of the download? 270MB.
Once you have that file in hand, your profile is broken into folders. This includes photos and videos, though unfortunately, this works out a little better for videos than it does for photos.
Every single video I had uploaded was preserved with the exact same file I had uploaded. The photos, on the other hand, had all been run through Facebook's processing, and ran the gamut from 604 pixels wide, to the newer 720 pixel wide format--in either case, that's tiny. The good news is, going forward this won't be as much of a problem, since Facebook recently increased its photo resolution (and thus the preserved file download) to a 2048 pixels wide--an eight-fold increase.
My bigger objection to the process was that some of the original metadata--like when the photo had been taken--gets stripped in the process. Why is this important, you ask? Say you want to stick those photos into a photo management tool, you can no longer sort them by date. The good news on that front is that your collections are preserved as subfolders within the main photos folder, so you have some frame of reference. … Read more
Twitter co-founder Evan Williams has stepped down from his role as CEO of the company, according to a post he authored Monday on Twitter's official blog. Dick Costolo, currently serving as chief operating officer, has taken over, effective immediately; Williams will focus on product strategy.
Earlier this week, free and cross-platform bookmark sync tool Xmarks announced it would be closing up shop come January of next year, but there may be some life left in it yet.
This morning, on the Xmarks company blog, CEO James Joaquin said that the company is "revisiting the idea of Xmarks as a premium service"--something it has never offered, and one of the factors that led to the company failing to turn a profit.
Wearables are largely aimed at the person who just wants to maintain a good weight, sleep enough, and maybe get in a little cardio. CNET's Brian Cooley tells you why 2014 could be the breakout year for wearable tech.