Nov
09
2012
2

How will self-driving cars change the world?

self-driving-carResearchers at Google and elsewhere have been having great success with self-driving cars. These cars have already driven hundreds of thousands of miles without being controlled by a human driver. It seems inevitable that self-driving cars will become ubiquitous within a couple of decades. How will this change the world? The first effect of the [more…]

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May
11
2012
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Why did Google Knol fail?

caged-bookWhen Google announced their Knol service in December 2007, it was clear that Google had high hopes for the project. It was announced by Udi Manber, Google’s Vice-President of Engineering, as a place for named writers to share “units of knowledge”, in the form of authoritative articles called knols. It was Google’s hope that when [more…]

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Apr
29
2012
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What misunderstandings surrounded the launch of Google Chrome?

chrome-browserGoogle launched their Chrome browser in 2009, to many people’s surprise. The following questions and answers were posted to Knol at the time, to address some of the misunderstandings that accompanied the launch. Obviously, the current version of Google Chrome differs from the version at launch. Is Google’s Chrome Browser based on Mozilla? No, it’s [more…]

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Apr
24
2012
1

What happened to Google Answers?

question-and-answerGoogle Answers was a Question and Answer service operated by Google Inc. Customers could post a question and select a price. If a Google Answers Researcher could provide the answer, the researcher was paid 75% of the question price. History During August 2001, Google briefly provided a service called Google Questions and Answers where a Google employee would [more…]

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Nov
09
2011
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What is a Patent Troll?

patent-trollA patent is a monopoly granted by the government to an inventor. For the duration of the patent, the inventor has the right to control who can make use of the invention described in the patent. If someone exploits the invention without licensing the patent, the patent holder can sue to recover the royalties they [more…]

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Apr
01
2010
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What is a website "easter egg"?

easter-eggAn “easter egg” on a website is extra functionality that is unlocked by an obscure series of steps that are not easily discovered. This kind of virtual “easter egg” is so-named because the hunt to find a way to unlock it is analogous to the traditional easter-time hunt for hidden chocolate easter eggs. One particular [more…]

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Feb
10
2010
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What Will Adsense Earn Ten Years From Now?

Adsense! We're all billboards now (photo by jliba cc-by)Everyone thinks of Google as a search company.  And I suppose they are.  But no one pays to Google-search the internet.  Instead, Google makes it billions from online ads…it's really an advertising company! And thank goodness for that, for Google's business model allows millions of small website owners to earn income through its Adsense program. [more…]

Jul
27
2009
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What good general-purpose Internet search engines are there other than Google?

Mykl Roventine photo. CC-BY.Those of us who have been using the World Wide Web for a dozen years or more can remember how incredible Google was when it first rose to popularity — it finally became possible to find what you wanted on the web, and quickly. Google became the powerhouse it is today because what it did [more…]

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Mar
26
2009
1

What free services does Google provide (besides search)?

Google Bus (photo by bradleypjohnson - CC-BY)Everyone knows that Google is a search engine, but many people are unaware of just how many other free services are offered by Google. For some people, Google’s web services can completely replace the application software installed on their computer. Here are some of the things that Google can do for you, at no cost: [more…]

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Mar
19
2009
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Why is Buckingham Palace missing on Google Street View?

Buckingham Palace: missing from Google Street View (photo by Sachin CC-BY)Google’s Street View was launched yesterday in the UK. Supplying 360 degree imagery of the streets and roads of London and 24 other cities from Aberdeen to Southampton, it follows on from successful launches in 9 other countries including United States, Japan, Australia and France. But when looking at the map of London, one area [more…]

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