It’s official, Google has now added Google Maps the functionality to see the weather worldwide. By fetching data from weather.com, Google Maps overlay a layer of the current weather condition with cloud coverage and temperature reading. It also shows if the area you are looking at is day or night just by looking at the icon of each place, whether a sun or a moon. By clicking an icon, additional weather information is shown like humidity, wind speed and direction and weather forecast for the next four days.
The weather data is shown for the weather stations across the globe. If your city has no weather data associated with it no matter how you zoom it in, it is likely that your city has no weather station and just opt to check your weather thru the nearest location. Google didn’t specify how long the data is updated, but it is likely updated every hour. It sure is handy to see live weather thru Google Maps, but we should still rely on local weather bureaus for storm warning, just to be safe.
Google has just released their new browser extension, Google related. This new extension shows you additional interesting and relevant information while browsing the web. In other words, it gives you related information about the web page you are currently viewing, hence the name Google Related. It’s primary purpose is to collate data from all over the web to assist you in information gathering whenever you need it. According to Google:
Google Related is a browsing assistant that offers interesting and useful content while you are browsing the web. For instance, if you’re browsing a page about a restaurant in San Francisco, Google Related will assist you by displaying useful information about this restaurant such as the location of the restaurant on a map, user reviews, related restaurants in the area, and other webpages related to San Francisco restaurants — all in one place.
This means, when you are browsing a webpage, let’s say about Angry Birds, the extension will appear below the page (like a floating toolbar) and gives you supplementary information all about the Angry Birds game. Currently, Google Related only returns related videos, related images, and related web pages.
Currently, this browser extension is available only for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Firefox will not be supported due to the recent announcement of Google regarding its priorities. To start using this great tool, simply install the plugin from the Chrome Web Store for Google Chrome, or install the Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer.
I think it is a great tool especially for students who are cramming to get a research paper done before the deadline. There are some things that I should point out, first and foremost, the toolbar has a close button (see the [x] on the top left of the toolbar), but after I close the button, I don’t know how to reopen it without refreshing the page. The help link just points back to the Google Related page, which gives only a little information. At any rate, this toolbar is handy, but I’m not sure if I’ll be using this “mainstream” in the near future.
As the title says, watch out Apple, Google is about to buy Motorola, so all Motorola bases are belong to Google. On a statement released by Google, Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. is being acquired by Google for $12.5 billion as agreed by all the board of directors of both companies. The implications? Well, it is expected to boost Android development and production, directly challenging the mobile market dominated by the iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, etc.).
I believe that this action will try to balance the mobile market, preventing monopoly of iOS in the high-end mobile devices by increasing the competition, thus providing the consumers more choice and providing both companies more innovation on their part. It is a wise decision for Google, especially at this critical time, since Apple and Microsoft are trying to monopolize the patents in mobile computing, therefore weakening Android’s foothold on the market. If this continues, an Open Source platform could never compete with a proprietary one without paying for the extra “standard” features that a mobile device is expected to have.
A lot has happened and now we present you with a brand new site design with a brand new domain name which we’ll refer to as site address. If you have visited before on www.theaitenshiproject.co.cc, it’s time to update your bookmarks to http://www.aitenshiproject.com. As you can see, with the design, bigger fonts for dummies like me. Well as some say, the bigger, the better. Well in my case, the site design is now bigger, but not necessarily better. As of this writing, we’re still not finished with the design, but I think it’s a good start for a new site address.
For a little background on why we had to change address, well, the reason is that Google completely blocked off co.cc addresses from its search results two months ago. If you try to search any sub-domain under co.cc, you won’t find anything. If you don’t believe me, then try these search queries:
The reason for this is that Google aims to bring quality results from its infamous search engine, which means penalizing or even removing completely an entire domain from its results when proven abusive. For the record, co.cc is very lenient about its abuse/spam policy, which gives us the reason why many sites use it for spam and phishing. Even though co.cc denies that they have a lot of abusive sites, many people and institutions doesn’t think so. The bad side is that even legitimate websites that use co.cc services are affected of this action, including me.
Personally, I think Google’s action is reasonable. Even though some legit sites have been affected, I think it is a good way to remove a significant percentage of phishing websites from Google’s index, though I think it is a lazy approach. Webmasters should be given the chance to appeal to re-index their sites back to Google if proven to be a site following Google’s quality guidelines. Earlier, Facebook also blocked co.cc from using its services for the same reason as Google, but gave a chance for users to appeal. I know the corporate group of co.cc is still in panic and I think it will be a long battle for them. For the meantime, enjoy the new site design.
Art Project, a new experiment in Google Labs’ backyard, lets us explore through more than a dozen world-famous museums virtually. It’s just Google Earth Street View inside a museum. You can even exit the museum and visit the streets just like a normal Street View. The main feature is that you can click on the paintings in the museums and get a high resolution image of the painting with a good zoom level.
Personally, I don’t see any ground-breaking purpose for Art Project aside from being an extension of Google Earth/Maps Street View. Aside from being a free pass to famous museums, there seem to be no other use for this.