Website of the Day
Tsunami before and after photos
GOOGLE ME, BABY!
11 January 2005
The Google Guys were on 60 Minutes last week, talking about innovations in the Google search engine and what they hope to have coming in the future.
I discovered the image search a few weeks back. I don't know why I'd never gone further than the front Google screen, but I discovered that if I clicked on the "more" option, what a wealth of Google goodies awaited me
That's where I learned that there was a special search engine just for Internet images.
Choose that search, enter the name of the image you're looking for, and immediately you get a whole page of thumbnail pictures. A search for "Ned Sykes," for instance, pulled up a page that looked like this:
If I were a shopper, I would have been using Froogle, the Google search for items to buy, long before this, but that doesn't really interest me. However, the Google Guys did talk about something that did interest me. The Google Desktop.
I'm sure there are all sorts of precautions that might be mentioned about maybe someone snooping in your hard drive, but since I don't keep financial information on my hard drive and haven't plotted to throw any governments, foreign or domestic, in a long time [I'm kidding, CIA!], I decided to give it a try.
It's a software program that you install and the first thing it does is to do a catalog of your entire hard drive. After that, "desktop" is one of your options when you go to do a Google search:
As someone who frequently forgets where she puts a file, even though I really do try to be organized about storage on my hard drive, I have used the Windows "search" option a lot. And anybody who uses this search feature knows that you can go out and make a sandwich while it's searching your hard drive.
But the Google desktop search works with the speed of Google itself and I've already begun to wonder what I ever did without it. For example, next month, Steve has been invited to speak at Stanford again, and I'm going to go with him. I couldn't remember what date it was (February 7), so I did a Google desktop search on "Stanford" and within a fraction of a second, every reference to "Stanford" on my hard drive had been brought up, including the e-mail that contained the date of the appearance. I will never use the Microsoft "search" again!
Another feature Leslie Stahl used on 60 minutes was a text messaging option for your cell phone which is described under "Google SMS" in the "Google Labs" link. If you're looking for something in a strange town, you can type in a text message, send it to GOOGL (46645) and in seconds, it will return suggestions of where to look. For example, I sent a text message which said "pizza 95616" and in seconds I had the name and address of two pizza places within a mile of our house, how far away they were located and in which direction.
Google SMS will also search phone numbers for you, and even give you the definition of words if you ask: "define qat," for example (I'm quite familiar with the word qat, which has saved my butt more than once in Scrabble games!)
On the one hand this is all very "Big Brother is Watching You," but on the other hand, if you have nothing to hide, playing around with all this new technology is sure a lot of fun.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Not even Google search results have helped get rid of these damn ants!