We're always on the lookout for smart travel tools, and World Taximeter is no exception. It's an intelligent mashup, combining directions from Google Maps with local cab fares. It'll let you know how much the ride should cost using local rates by distance and time of day, and combining that with live traffic estimations from Google. Depending on what country you're in, it'll also give you the heads up on any additional charges, like if you're booking it over the phone, or traveling on a weekend. For anyone who's visiting a foreign country … Read more
Compared with Google's ditu.google.cn and Sogou's (搜狗) map.sogou.com, the site seems about the same, if a little faster--though traffic may still be low. What Google and Microsoft have in common is that the maps contain listings for restaurants, banks, and other locations rendered as icons on the map. Sogou has no such advantage, but sometimes it resolves addresses better than Google.
Although news of layoffs and cost cutting is never a good sign for tech companies, there are some instances when such news arrives that may actually be a sign of good things to come.
According to The New York Times, Yahoo may be preparing to lay off hundreds of people in the coming weeks and focus on three parts of its business-- becoming a "starting point" for the most consumers on the Web; extending its advertising offerings to sites across the Web; and opening up Yahoo's technology infrastructure to third-party developers and publishers.
So what does this mean for me and you? It means that Yahoo may finally be taking a step in the right direction and realizing that the Google onslaught it has been forced to endure over the past few years will only get worse if it doesn't act now.
And based on what I saw from the company at CES, there are some signs that things may turn around.… Read more
In a speech celebrating NASA's fiftieth anniversary, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt urged NASA to be more collaborative with other agencies and even the general public. He suggested that Google's successes often result from opening up without knowing where the breakthroughs would occur.
While Schmidt acknowledged that government agencies like NASA can't wholly adopt Google's "shift and iterate" model whereby it throws a lot of projects at the wall to see what sticks, it
...can learn from open-software development and projects like Linux and MySQL, where collaboration is necessary. And the agency can learn about the value of flexibility from companies like Google, he said.… Read more
Better Gmail 2 is a Firefox extension that collects a bunch of Gmail customization scripts from Greasemonkey under one control panel. The latest update, to Version 0.3, brings Better Gmail 2 mostly up to speed with features that were in the original Better Gmail, but had to be abandoned when Google rewrote Gmail's code last November.
The biggest of the latest additions include a revamped insertion of Google Reader into the Gmail user interface. This is not merely a rehash of what came before, but a better-looking, faster-loading UI that makes switching between Gmail and Reader seamless.
A lot of folks would like a memetracker for Google Reader (myself included), and if the big G's not going to provide one, it's up to third-party developers to attempt to build their own. One of the results has been ReadBurner, a service that tries to determine what items (not just feeds) are gaining in popularity at any given time based on the number of people sharing them on Google Reader.
WASHINGTON--I now know the real reason why Google just moved its 20-person crew here into a 22,000-square-foot work space: to host sprawling, glowing parties, of course.
On Thursday night, a few hundred familiar faces in the technology policy scene--a slew of think tank, advocacy group, and trade association folks; abundant congressional staffers; a smattering of government officials; journalists and public-relations flacks--braved unrelenting sleet and rain to see the search giant's new downtown digs awash in dim lighting that changed from one rainbow hue to another as the hours passed.
Google employees, on the whole, may be overwhelmingly Democratic … Read more
WASHINGTON--Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt on Thursday suggested NASA could learn a few things from his company.
Speaking at a luncheon series to commemorate the agency's 50th anniversary this year, Schmidt urged the space agency to take after what Google attempts to accomplish with its products: Build open, collaborative systems, not closed ones--a reference to NASA's legacy of creating mission-specific vehicles. Create simple platforms upon which others can build. And while you're at it, why not let spacecraft talk to each other?
"Isn't it obvious that spacecraft should have Internet on them, too?" Schmidt … Read more