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Google's new toys 276

Google labs just released for your pleasure, some new toys to play with. The first is Google's Viewer, just type a few words to see a fully working preview of the web site. Another new idea: Google's Webquotes, View search results with quotes about them from other sites, and the last one is Google's Froogle, which aims to be the world's largest catalog.
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Google's new toys

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  • by doubleyewdee ( 633486 ) <<gro.sisenikelet> <ta> <dw>> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:33AM (#4879194) Homepage
    It seems like google is never content to rest on its laurels. Unlike some of the goneby search engines of the past it seems to be interested in doing more than pimping out its popularity to commercial interests at the cost of its quality. Hopefully they'll continue on this track for a long time to come. None of this stuff is revolutionary, but it does seem to be at least nifty. And that's all google needs at this point.
    • Search engine for obscure food spread products. []
    • None of this stuff is revolutionary, but it does seem to be at least nifty. And that's all google needs at this point.

      You know, another neat feature I'd like (which would be extremely simple to add) would be a checkbox on their search forms, which, when checked would make all the search result links open in new windows. I know it's not hard to hold down shift when clicking a link, but I almost always flip back and forth from a single page of results till I find what I'm looking for, so I'd always have it switched on...
      • by mobets ( 101759 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:36AM (#4880264) Journal
        It already does this. Click on the preferences link. The last option is exactly what you ask for. Make sure you are accepting cookies from google and click save.
        • Three reasons why what you suggest are not quite appropriate.

          1.) Not everyone uses cookies.
          2.) Not everyone uses the same computer to use Google. Home, work, cafe, friends.
          3.) Convenience. A simple checkbox next to the main display could be hit, and used at whim.

          Now, I realize that the preferences are a Good Thing, and using the various methods in the browser to link a second window is good too, but not everyone likes to do it that way.

          The interface that google uses is quite simple (deceptively so, cudos.) but adding this wouldn't harm it, if done properly.

          I realize that perhaps this might be the start of feature creep syndrome, but that's a decision that Google will have to think on. We can merely suggest ideas. Perhaps they are listening? (I know they read /.)

          • by Steveftoth ( 78419 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:01PM (#4882000) Homepage
            You are the reason that computers are so hard to use.

            Google's interface is so easy that it HURTS. Yes it hurts. and that's the way that it should stay.

            Once you go down the dark dark path of adding 'a button here' 'a button there' you will never return from that. Google has boiled down all the complexity all the redundant controls down to a simple text box and 2 buttons. There are advanced controls for those people who use it enough to want to do that. It only takes a couple of seconds to change your prefs, and if you are on a public computer, why can't you hold down the shift key (or right click).

    • by DABANSHEE ( 154661 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:15AM (#4880117)
      IE when does the credit card/Adult verification/ActiveX home dialer funded porn-Google (poogle?) turn up?
    • Check this one out, it's what I got when I quote searched for

      Quit Today! []

      Funny Stuff
    • All they need to do is voice activate the thing, then I can do my Data impression



      Move to maximum speed....
  • Prelim results (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gowen ( 141411 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:34AM (#4879195) Homepage Journal
    I've been playing with these since they appeared on The Register [] a few days ago. I can't say I'm massively impressed. The slideshow is lovely eye candy, but, sadly, the top bit of each web page it shows is all too often just a banner ad and a navbar, which isn't always a lot of use. Froogle is US-centric, and no good for me, but it is the best name I've seen in a long time.
    • ...sadly, the top bit of each web page it shows is all too often just a banner ad and a navbar, which isn't always a lot of use

      Depends on screen res. On my laptop running 1600x1200, it shows a quite a lot of the target page.


    • Re:Prelim results (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Ed Avis ( 5917 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:55AM (#4879290) Homepage
      Heh, perhaps the Google slideshow will encourage sites to put useful information at the top of pages rather than junk.
      • ... encourage sites to put useful information at the top of pages rather than junk.

        You mean useful information like ads, right?
        • I mean stuff which _looks_ useful to a user seeing the search results. Information that performs the 'useful' function of getting more hits on the site (ads in themselves do not). Then you can show the users the other kind of 'useful' once they are viewing your pages.
        • Re:Prelim results (Score:3, Interesting)

          by aridhol ( 112307 )
          I'd love to see DoubleClick's database after this has been running for a while.
      • Re:Prelim results (Score:3, Informative)

        by harmonica ( 29841 )
        I doubt it. It's long known that title and h1 elements are very important for Google (and recently, more and more of its competitors). Still, people often put nothing in those two HTML elements, or crap, or leave predefined values in there (like Untitled1). These people never seem to check if their own pages are in a search engine and what a query result on their pages looks like.

        A lot of people just don't know or care about good webauthoring.
    • Try searching Froogle for 'buttplug' and see the first result. It's not quite what you think you'd get for that search term, but funny none the less.

      Froogle has so many products in it, you can find almost ANYTHING, rude or not. I even found traditional old Branston Pickle. I also found pantyhole, dildos, and numerous other 'exotic' items.

      It's fun for 10 minutes. Go play, and post the funniest searches back here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:36AM (#4879203)
    http://192.17... oh wait!

    (someone had to do it :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:36AM (#4879204)
    Google labs just released some new toys for your pleasure. The first is Google's Viewer -- just type a few words to see a fully working preview of the web site. Another new idea: Google's Webquotes -- View search results with quotes about them from other sites. The last one is Google's Froogle, which aims to be the world's largest catalog.

    Now compare that to what actually got posted above.
  • by Christopher Doopov ( 624261 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:36AM (#4879211)
    Are these new features based on ideas from the Google contest, which took place some time ago? If so, what are the other ideas, which are not yet implemented, but which may be used in the future?
    • And if they were, what sort of compensation did the original contestants get? This is why a lot of people didn't enter that contest.
    • by crapulent ( 598941 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:55AM (#4879992)
      No, I don't think this has anything to do with the Google programming contest. [] The winner and honorable mentions are listed on this page [], and they have nothing really to do with the Google labs features announced recently. You can also read slashdot's coverage of the announcement [] as well as the announcement of the winners [] if you're interested.
    • None of them sound like entries in the Google contest. The only entry from the contest that sounded like it had relevance to business was the one that tied geographic maps to web searches. I was actually surprised they didn't implement that one.

      There are a few ideas that I'd like to see Google ad, but these are interesting, if mostly proof of concepts. Froogle in particular is a good idea but doesn't allow price comparisons like MySimon does. Were they to add that it would be considerably more useful. Further it oddly seems to leave out a lot of stores, I noticed.

      The web annotation tool is also a good idea. But I have a feeling that it needs to be better integrated with the google bar. (BTW - when is a Mac version coming?) Annotation has been discussed for quite a while. I have a wrox book at home on XML Metadata that discusses a lot of this. Unfortunately in practice it has never been applied to the general web.

      There are lots of features of the original hypertext research in the 60's that are yet to be applied to the web. Google utilizes some concepts for its ranking, such as "links to" information. Wouldn't it be great to have a Google bar monitoriing your pages and make suggestings for helpful pages that link to the page you are on? There are many ideas like that which would improve ones browsing experience.

      There are a few privacy concerns, but I'm exciting that Google offers these tests. The news site has become my favorite site on the web. It tends to get better stories than the other meta-news site I used to visit:

      • by mhesseltine ( 541806 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @04:41PM (#4883283) Homepage Journal

        About the mapping of searches to geographic data. There was a recent NYT article that went inside Google Labs, and in the lab, they have just that sort of thing. There's a 3-d world representation, and searches through an IP are mapped to the location of that IP. Search volume creates a color-changing peak that rises from the location. Larger volume creates a higher peak. It ends up looking like certain major cities are on fire.

        I'd dredge up the /. article on it, but the /. search sucks.

  • by nich37ways ( 553075 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:37AM (#4879215) Homepage
    Ars technica [] also has review up of froogle along with a funny review of google's plan for world domination []



    • Man, this Paul Ford guy who wrote the Google World Domination article is pretty smart if he came up with all of these ideas (not RDF, but how to apply them). They seem very useful. Does Google know about this? :-)


    • Its less fun than its true...

      Someone check Google's supporters at start? Being Linux/Beowulf based doesn't illumunate the darkness of the start.

      C I A ?

      All I have to say.
    • Playing with Google Sets made me wonder if Google might eventually become sentient... watch out for

      That joke will make this post just half off-topic :) But I really want to complain about HeUnique...

      I usually don't grouse when my submissions are rejected and someone else submits the same story which is then accepted... thems the breaks... but this time an Editor rejected my submission and then posted the same story reworded... yeah my wording wasn't as good (I was tired), but still if Editors will post a story without attributing the submitter it takes all of the fun out of digging around on the web for a good story.
  • by John_Renne ( 176151 ) <(zooi) (at) (> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:38AM (#4879218) Homepage
    Off course all these playground-features are nice but when will anything become standard. Other beta-stuff like Google Glossary [] and Google Sets [] looked very nice but both are still in beta. Google will remain my favourite search-engine but they in my opinion they could be a bit faster in offering new services.
    • by platypus ( 18156 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:55AM (#4879292) Homepage
      I could imagine "beta" testing means beta testing attractiveness to customers. I.e. if one of the "beta" sides gets a lot of hits, google decide to put it out of beta.

      Google will remain my favourite search-engine but they in my opinion they could be a bit faster in offering new services.

      You are joking, right? If not, who is better in that game than google? Two or three years ago, nearly each of the ideas which google has already implemented in their "labs" could have gained a shitload of venture capital in order to implement it.
      Google not fast? I think not.
      • by Galvatron ( 115029 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:28AM (#4879875)
        No, I think beta testing means exactly what it implies, the software is not release quality yet. At the moment, they probably don't feel like the sorting algorithm they use is "fair," and so they're still finetuning it. Clearly, this can be a lengthy process, which is why they let people use it while they're still working on it. All they're saying by "beta" is that it's not good enough to stake their reputation on, so if you use it, be aware that they think it's not up to the same standard as the rest of their work yet.
        • No, Platypus was right. Peter Norvig, Director of Search Quality at Google, said in a talk that things on may never see final release. It is a test ground, in all senses of the phrase (test the software, test how people like it, etc).
    • by PurpleFloyd ( 149812 ) <> on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:17AM (#4879359) Homepage
      Other beta-stuff like Google Glossary and Google Sets looked very nice but both are still in beta.
      This is much more likely to be rolled out, as it is a goldmine for advertising. While the Glossary and Sets programs are nice, there's no real way to sell adwords on them. Froogle adwords, on the other hand, could likely command a premium price and thus it would make good business sense to roll out Froogle as soon as possible.
      • Froogle adwords, on the other hand, could likely command a premium price and thus it would make good business sense to roll out Froogle as soon as possible.

        On the other hand, people who are visiting Froogle are less likely to click on advertisements. They are using Froogle because they want the best price / best availability. Why go to an online shop just because it advertizes on the same page as the query results? Unless ads are not labeled as ads anymore, but Google had to make a major policy change first.

        In the normal web search results, advertisements make more sense, because - depending on what you searched for - there are not so many competing commercial offerings.
    • Google sets was one of the best ideas on the web that I've ever seen. I don't care if it's beta, I use it all the time.
    • Stuff on google labs is NOT BETA. It's a freaking LAB, to play with ideas and try stuff.

      Google News and Froogle ARE beta, note that they are NOT on the google lab system anymore.

      You could have read this yourself at, kinda hard to miss. Gee, they even say explicitly that just because there is a feature in google labs, that in no way means that it will ever be an actual google feature.
  • Google is coogle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by capitalsucks ( 632554 ) <.moc.oollab-alluh. .ta. .skcuslatipac.> on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:40AM (#4879233) Homepage Journal
    I think google is the only site that I hit at least 10x per day that doesnt have banner ads or popups. They have those things on the right of the page, but not only are those well priced for the advertiser (lik 1 penny per click) but they are also effective because they come up in a search. If the entire internet STILL had to have ads in my utopia, this is how I would prefer them.
  • by katalyst ( 618126 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:46AM (#4879252) Homepage
    Google has access to so much information. A study of human behavior and interests can be made by just parking yourself at the Google HQ, where apparantly, they have lotsa screens which keep displaying the kinda stuff people are looking for. Beats trainspotting ;)
    Another google toy : it's fun to use. The Google Mirror []. It's a blast, you actually gotta enter your query the other way around, coz it's a MIRROR silly !!
  • I played with the google viewer a bit, I thought it was pretty cool. Except that when I did not close the window and got back to work, I noticed that it was sucking up bandwidth downloading the next pages to display. All right on my office machine, but at home through a digital straw, it would not be much fun.
  • Yay ! Now I can keep both hands free while browsing pr0n !
  • I think it won't work.. what i got was the latest quotes from news articles that talked about microsoft.. anyway.. interesting read..

    Here's what i got:

    Microsoft Corporation (1418 WebQuotes)

    Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday released additional details about digital entertainment PCs coming for the holidays. But new anti-copying technology could hamper sales, say analysts and potential buyers.

    Microsoft announced the latest round of Technology Leadership Grants this week. More than $3,350,000 in software will be given to five nonprofit organizations.

    Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing, Microsoft strives to produce innovative products and services that meet our customers' evolving needs.

  • Just checked the viewer & the quote thingy.
    Sounds fun, though i wonder how modem users will react to the bandwidth use.

    Now i wonder if that'll really be that useful. The risk i see is to create 'closed' communities, ie sites that point mutually at each other, and Google will pick one & use the others' quotes, without seeking quotes from other sites.
    Also how do they find quotes ? While indexing pages for search ? How do they determine which quotes will appear ? Based on commercial relations ?
    I think the ultimate search tool will be able:
    • to reply concisely (ie like 10 really relevant matches) to a query, instead of spitting a zillion pages, with much redundancy (tried seeking something only to find 100 results pointing to the same message in a mailing list ?). Though maybe searching from more specialized sites is better in that case
    • to reply to questions like 'who is the 5th Physics Nobel Prize winner ?', but i think i'm dreaming, won't be that far (researchers are only saying they gonna succeed since 20+ years, after all)
  • by Sarin ( 112173 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @06:53AM (#4879286) Homepage Journal
    I did some searches with no luck, then I searched for Slashdot []
    and it got plenty!
  • This is useless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kraf ( 450958 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:00AM (#4879309)
    Quotes ? Previews ?
    Quite useless if you ask me.

    What I would like to see is the google equivalent of metaspy. The zeitgeist thing is nice, but I don't care for most categories.
    I guess they see their query database as a valuable marketing resource, but then how come they are not selling access to it ?

    • Quotes ? Previews ?
      Quite useless if you ask me.

      Useless but fun!

      It's 'research', they are trying out stuff. See those things as toys.

      If you can't see the fun and nifty in this, you're probably not some kind of 'hacker', whatever your strong discipline might be.

      And yes, Google sells access to their database as a web service, but of course it's not the 'raw' access to the database (and it would probably be pretty useless to have raw access anyway). Finally, if you *really* want access to their DB, give them a call and ask for a price: I'm sure you could set up something with them if you offer the right price.
  • Viewer Requirements (Score:2, Informative)

    by rich951 ( 584204 )
    Javascript enabled

    PC and Mac: Internet Explorer 5 & above, Netscape 6 & above Unix: Mozilla

    Not much use to me until it works in Opera, I'm afraid! Although anything with tabbed browsing makes google searching a much happier place...

  • I never knew there was a Slashdot: Japan []. Is this legit or some another cheap Japanese knockoff? (really, I'm just kidding... *flees* :-P)

    In all seriousness... this is pretty neat. I never would have known that if I'd never tried their viewer. This is why google is the best. They're the only search engine that innovates. I just wonder when we'll be able to convince them to give us the source. :-)

  • Googlisms (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SPeW ( 466398 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:04AM (#4879322) Homepage Journal
    Hey have any of you checked out this site [] , not directly related to but it does use their search results to return some pretty intereting stuff. check it out ... some funny stuff comes up for slashdot [] and Bill Gates []
    • Heh, just for S&G's, I thought I'd try my name in googlism. The result is here [] . Not very flattering, is it?

      So I got to wondering, "who thinks that about me and why?". So I highlighted that quote and plugged it into google []

      Basically, there's some retard on an inline skating forum with my name. Great. Hope my parents don't hear about googlism.


  • by Anonymous Coward
    shave $30 off an order of glass petri dishses.

    So Go froogle!
  • Google is God. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:22AM (#4879381)
    I know I'm not saying anything new to this thread, but I have to say it.

    Google defines 'best practice'. Google is the best thing on the web, bar none. Google, my friends, is God.

  • The obvious (Score:2, Funny)

    by Faile ( 465836 )
    I did the obvious and asked for a couple of quotes of Bill Gates...

    Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard on Tuesday released additional details about digital entertainment PCs coming for the holidays. But new anti-copying technology could hamper sales, say analysts and potential buyers.

    Microsoft announced the latest round of Technology Leadership Grants this week. More than $3,350,000 in software will be given to five nonprofit organizations.

    Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing, Microsoft strives to produce innovative products and services that meet our customers' evolving needs.

    Apart from the somewhat biased results the feature kicks ass :)

  • by coloth ( 630330 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:32AM (#4879431)
    The Viewer I'd rate "good", because it shows a path to potential interface improvements in the future, but not something I'd use today.

    The WebQuotes is "better" because it leverages the architecture that Google is based on, and lets you see some of the reasons why that link is near the top.

    But the Froogle service is clearly the "best". It has the potential to centralize the Internet's consumer marketplaces, enhancing competition and value. My only concern is that the big retailers will put up walls to Froogle's spiders. However, if Froogle becomes popular, they may be forced to join the party, or lose access to a growing meta-internet market.

    Ladies and gentlemen, Google is reminding us that we live in exciting times.

    • Pricewatch still has an advantage over Froogle in that it shows products sorted by (price + S&H).

      I hope Google leapfrogs pricewatch by adding not only "shipped price", but also "ETA". I want it cheap, but I also want it ASAP.
  • Hmnmn (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not so sure the viewer is a good idea. Sure it's good for searchers but I wonder how much more traffic this is going to potentially generate. I mean when you search online you only click the links that look like they have what you want, you don't often click 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. So sites that may not be getting your traffic, now will automatically get your traffic based on how high up the list they are.

    This also means that number 1 on a good term, such as "sex" or "porn" is going to see an increase in banner ad traffic, delivered to them on a plate by Google.
  • by Hays ( 409837 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:43AM (#4879472)
    I searched for "graduate fellowships" [], something I was actually looking into earlier. It's the same results as vanilla google [] but the descriptions are so much more helpful.

    I think this could be a really, really good idea. Pulling text off a web page from around keywords rarely gives you a decent summary of the web page. Pulling the descriptions from other people's links does give a good summary, though.

  • by CaptainPsyko ( 632409 ) <Kcausin@hami[ ] ['lto' in gap]> on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:45AM (#4879483) Journal
    In case of slashdotting... Google cache of gooogle labs? []
  • Froogle (Score:3, Informative)

    by troll ( 593289 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @07:59AM (#4879526) Journal
    If you like Froogle, you might also like Googles Catalog Search [] same concept, also neat.
  • by rednaxel ( 532554 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @08:13AM (#4879585) Homepage Journal
    When I tried search for webquotes about Britney Spears [], the following site appeared:

    Britney's Guide to Semiconductor Physics []

    From the site:

    "It is a little known fact, that Ms Spears is an expert in semiconductor physics. Not content with just singing and acting, in the following pages, she will guide you in the fundamentals of the vital laser components that have made it possible to hear her super music in a digital format."

    P.S. Checkout the author's page [] as well...

    I wish I had a sig.

  • Does Froogle remind anyone else of those websites that show up when you misspell [] popular web addresses?
  • by pointwood ( 14018 ) <<jramskov> <at> <>> on Friday December 13, 2002 @08:29AM (#4879640) Homepage

    Just look at at site that uses CSS instead of tables. The site is perfectly readable, but the design is gone.

  • The Viewer seems really slick, I'll definately be using that.

    However I'd really like to see them push the boat out and give people the option of using froogle outside of the states. Froogle really does look like a great service, which makes it all the more frustrating.

    Now that there is a common currency for most of Europe, surely it can't be too hard to extend this.
  • google webquotes is awesome. it is just so useful in what i do from time to time: research companies or commercial technology.

    but it's like a lawsuit magnet. argh. i fear it will cause more problems then it will solve.

    in the meantime, why does the irish linux user's group [] show up in hotwired japan []? (found via: this search [])
  • Just to test it out I typed 'Rygar' into Froogle (a new PS2 video game) of the resulting prices was a Visiting the relevant site turns up the same price as everyone else.

    Are they already spoofing froogle results?
  • Froogle comments (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Plutor ( 2994 )
    My very first impression of Froogle is this: I'd like to see the groupings sorted a lot more finely. For example, I'm looking for a nice coffee thermos or mug or something. The closest I can get is the "Food & Gourmet [] > Beverages [] > Coffee []" group. I'd really like "beans", "mugs and carrying things", "brewing machinery", etc. sub-groups. Granted, I could search for it, but I've always liked thorough directories when I'm searching for a class of things instead of an actual name of a product.
  • Searched for a powerbook G4 (gotta get one of those), and up comes up listings of 500mhz G4 for 3500 $US, HELLO GOOGLE FROOGLE TEAM ------- this is very very outdated.

    • That's not necessarily outdated. There are people out there selling old Macs for insane prices. For example today I saw a site advertising a refurbished 500 MHz new-style iBook for $1,130. That's $130 more than Apple charges for a brand-new 700 MHz machine now.
  • Automated redirection to Google's cached version of the site at the first site of a Slashdotting is also now available as a free service.
  • Enough already! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fleener ( 140714 )
    These new Google services are more feature creep. How about less frill and better search?

    The quality of search results is going down, in my opinion. More often I find myself using other search engines because my Google searches turn up junk. Let us tweak the ranking criteria so we can bypass the web sites that have engineered themselves to be at the top of the results.
  • at least for me.
    the first one is annoying and I have no need at all for it.
    the best part about it is the cute little bunny icon.

    the second one is also useless to me, I much prefer just a regular search with the small snippet from what is on that page, from that page - I don't care what other's say about it on their pages.

    but I really like the froogle thing. aside from the naming scheme that is sesame street in style, it actually provides something useful in today's consumer world.
    as long as we can buy things, we are a better people.
    bless us jesus.
  • Mozilla (Score:3, Informative)

    by n-baxley ( 103975 ) <nate&baxleys,org> on Friday December 13, 2002 @09:52AM (#4879977) Homepage Journal
    At least this works on Mozilla unlike the Google toolbar provided by Google. (I know there's a third party version). I hope this is a sign of things to come.
  • I use Opera 6.05, and Google Viewer looks like total crap. The stories only take up the leftmost 1/6th of the browser, and scroll over the toolbar.

    I am quite surprised at this, I would have expected better from them. Unless it is Opera's fault.

  • Semantic Web (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TuringTest ( 533084 )
    Isn't this what the semantic web is supposed to achieve, but in the client side not in the server side? Instead of relaying on Google to supply new services from time to time, we would be able to use its database to build our own types of query.
  • by Runny ( 613231 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:04AM (#4880050)
    Google is featured in this week's Newsweek. You can find an online version of the Google article here [].
  • by Frosty Inc. ( 571723 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:31AM (#4880241)
    Google has so much more than just their search engine. For a list of other Google goodies, see Google Services & Tools [].

    Also, there are several more things that Google Labs has already released here []. I had fun with the Google's a different way to search, but it brings up useful results that you might not have thought of.
  • Google Sets (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:35AM (#4880261)
    Google sets lets you enter a few items. Then it displays "like" items. If you want a list of publishers, enter a few.

    I tried the following: ultima online, heroin, everquest, crack
    And got:

    Ultima Online
    Asheron's Call
    Anarch y Online
    The Realm
    Baldur's Gate
    Jane's USAF
  • by BornInASmallTown ( 235371 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @10:42AM (#4880295)
    When Google News [] came out, I realized something: Google is trying to be a portal without being a portal, and by doing this, they are going to own the web.

    Google has long said that they have no desire to enter the portal market to compete with the likes of Yahoo!. ("No, our customers are portals like Yahoo! and AOL. We're not a portal...we are just trying to be the best search engine.") While it is true that they are the best search engine, they are using characteristics of search to become a stealth portal.

    Consider the following tools available from google and their counterparts on Yahoo!:
    • Search engine (cf.
    • Directory (cf.
    • People search (cf.
    • Address search (cf.
    • Froogle directory (cf.
    • News (cf.
    • Stock quotes (cf.

    There are more analogs between the two sites. But here's the thing: Google offers a value proposition over sites like Yahoo: Much more content and much lower overhead. Why? Because Google, as a "search engine" is simply here to Help People Find What They're Looking For. They will point us to other sites after we see our search results---it's just that our search results happen to look like tradiitonal portal pages. (In other words, is a drop in replacement for, only google's site is better because it contains fewer ads, less clutter, and much, much, more news.)

    I think it is an interesting concept. One other poster said they thought Froogle could put Amazon out of business. In the near term--no. Longer term--yes. And this is because Google's value proposition to the user is better: I would bet money that when Froogle becomes a "release" and not just a "beta", that it has the ability to classify similar products from multiple vendors and search for the one that's the cheapest. If I can find the same books and electronics on Google that I can on Amazon, why would I go to Amazon?

    Google is going to preach the "non portal" doctrine forever, however over the next 3-5 years, we will see the Google "portal" owning the web, at the expense of the Yahoo's, Amazon's, Ebay's, and CNN's of the world. This means that ad revenue on other sites will become ad revenue for Google.

    Maybe this is a conspiracy theory, but I have to say that I like the way Google works, I like their site, and I'd like to see them succeed in this...they've certainly made my web searching more useful, and I'd like to see them do the same for the other tools I use in traditional portals.
    • I think you are being over-optimistic. Google or any other search engine is NOT going to replace most of the sites you mentioned. It seems to me that you are relying on at least 2 major assumptions:

      (1) Cheaper will always win.
      (2) More info is always better.

      But in both shopping and in information, for me at least, trust and reputation matters a lot. For shopping, I'll spend a few bucks more by getting something from Amazon, or Dell, or Apple, or Toyota, because I've been screwed by getting cheaper alternatives. My time and lack of aggravation matter a lot more to me. I'm very wary of trying new brands, especially for anything online.

      As for information, reputation and editors matter a lot. Google and any other sort of collaborative filtering depend primarily on mass voting or popularity; but credibility is a nuanced thing. Many national online newspapers might be highly ranked according to Google, but when I see a news headline, I want to know what the point-of-view of the news source is, and not just that it is popular. After all, if popularity mattered above all, Britney Spears would be winning all the Grammys, and Jerry Springer would be winning the Emmys.

      I use Google news all the time, but I find that it gives a lot of very obscure news sites. Even Slashdot appears in the headlines, and Slashdot is very highly biased opinion and discussion, NOT news. Basically I use Google news to find and scan for headlines, but invariably I only spend my time on a few trusted news sources. For any other unknown site, I always have to check out the site to determine their bias and credibility. I don't have the spare cognitive cycles to waste on sites that are spinning an unknown agenda.

      Basically my point is that news site quality and merchant reputation matter a great deal, and portals like Yahoo or pseudo-portals Google still rely on the human-directed quality control. They are an important part of an information eco-system, as aggregators or popularity filters, but they are not the gatekeepers or the final word.

  • It's impressive to watch Google expand into the powerful internet niches like news and shopping. How long before they come out with SlashGoog and turn this place into a ghost town?
  • by phorm ( 591458 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @12:02PM (#4880973) Journal
    It's really too bad that nobody saw this beta until now. It would have been a very nice and useful tool for Christmas shopping. Somewhat like ebay, but a way like finding what you want from retailers.

    Online shopping is kicking up. This will be a great tool for shoppers and retailers, so long as it doesn't get hacked or biased towards certain retailers.
  • I don't know... (Score:2, Interesting)

    but in the past, the stuff coming of of google labs seem to have much more of a cool factor. It was really innovative what they were bringing out...

    however, none of these tools seem particularly interesting or even that useful.

    I'd much rather use Price Grabber [] then froogle. I know it's a beta and all, but heck I can't even sort by the lowest price!

    I'd say back to the lab with these ones.
  • com

    and my personal favorite..
  • PigeonRank []

    I love this:
    ...By collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl to do their relevance rankings....
  • I just get a big old mess of characters all over the screen. (Opera 6.03 for Linux)

    *sigh*. I woulda thought that Google, of all companies, would've worked to make sure their stuff worked on the alternative browsers.
  • by slagdogg ( 549983 ) on Friday December 13, 2002 @02:13PM (#4882095)
    My favorite is Google Sets []. I use it to look for new musical artists. For example, if I type in a few band names in a similar genre that I like it returns a list containing other similar bands. If there's a name there I don't recognize, I dig up their music and usually it's pretty good.

1 Angstrom: measure of computer anxiety = 1000 nail-bytes