Google+ is the latest attempt by Google to stake a position as one of the predominant social networking sites. It competes directly with Facebook and Twitter. Google+ currently is invite only by people who already has a Google+ account. A public release is said to be end July. There are now already more than 10 millions users, a tremendous achievement as the site is less than 3 weeks old and is not public.
The Google+ app for iOS has just been approved by Apple and it is propagating to iTunes App Stores. Revisit a couple hours later if you can’t find the app on your iTunes App Store.
This video has been played on a 540 square foot screen at New York’s Times Square. It is by Inside Google, a project by the Consumer Watchdog. The aim is to draw attention to what it perceives as Google’s lack of regard for online privacy, and to advocate a “Do Not Track Me” list registry similar to the Do Not Call Registry for telemarketers. The video featured Google CEO Eric Schmidt, but not sure if many walking on Times Square actually know who he is. He is not Steve Jobs or Bill Gates for sure.
We believe Google Search must be losing market share to Bing for the search portal to behave this way. First Google search result page is revamped with a left column similar to Bing. And now a background image on the search portal? And one that is poorly done that could make the page looks real ugly depending on the selected image. Luckily you can turn off the background and restore back the white background.
Google websites has always been geeky looking, its their trademark. Google search portal with background image is like someone who has poor fashion taste wearing the wrong clothes and pretending to be a fashion model.
According to Googlers, Google is phasing out internal use of MS Windows in favor of Linux or Mac OS X, due mainly to security concerns especially after Google China operations were hacked in January. Google employs more than 10,000 workers internationally. There is no official comment from Google yet.
New hires are now given the option of using Apple’s Mac computers or PCs running the Linux operating system. “Linux is open source and we feel good about it,” said one employee. “Microsoft we don’t feel so good about.”
Employees wanting to stay on Windows required clearance from “quite senior levels”, one employee said. “Getting a new Windows machine now requires CIO approval,” said another employee.
Looks like Chrome OS is not yet an employee option. Hopefully we will see Google putting priority to apps on Linux and Mac OS X. To Googlers: please release cool features in Chrome browser first for Linux and Mac version. Windows users can wait.
One bad news is malware developers now has incentive to target Linux and Mac OS X.
Google celebrated 30th anniversary of Pac-Man by having a playable Pac Man game on their logo for 3 days. It is gone from the home page and is now in a new url at [http://www.google.com/pacman/](http://www.google.com/pacman/).
Google has added [an SSL option on its website](http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/search-more-securely-with-encrypted.html) to allow encrypted search. When you search using [https://www.google.com/](https://www.google.com/) (note the https protocol in url instead of the usual http), your search terms and the results returned by Google is encrypted between your computer and Google server.
SSL connection will make it harder for third party to peek at your search activities, with the penalty of slightly slower response due to the need to encrypt and decrypt the data. Google has put up a “Beta” label for this new SSL option.
Today’s release comes with a “beta” label for a few reasons. First, it currently covers only the core Google web search product. To help avoid misunderstanding, when you search using SSL, you won’t see links to offerings like Image Search and Maps that, for the most part, don’t support SSL at this time. Also, since SSL connections require additional time to set up the encryption between your browser and the remote web server, your experience with search over SSL might be slightly slower than your regular Google search experience. What won’t change is that you will still get the same great search results.
SSL connection has been enabled for Gmail and Google Docs for years, nonetheless it is a welcomed feature for web search on Google main site.