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Google Developing Database Service 269

QuantumT writes "Ars Technica has the details on the unannounced Google Base service that will allow anyone with a Google Account to post information and other types of data into a massive, Google-run database. Ars believes that the company is gearing up to take on eBay and Craiglist, which makes sense given the Google Payment service that is in development. Google has commented, saying, 'This is an early-stage test of a product that enables content owners to easily send their content to Google. Like our web crawl and the recently released Google Sitemaps program, we are working to provide content owners an easy way to give us access to their content.' There's a few screenshots as well."
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Google Developing Database Service

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:48PM (#13876396)
    G-Bay anyone?
  • Content is king (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:50PM (#13876408) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps more importantly, this move positions Google as potentially the pre-eminent publishing house with an inherent built in search engine. Anything that goes into the database will be "intimately" searchable. From my perspective as a bioscientist, the ability to be able to search journal articles not just for text, but also for image data or graph data would be absolutely huge.

    Google has previously posted their position about Google Print here [] where they documented superficially their desire to enable people to search for "books". However, more importantly, it is the content within the "books" that will become more ubiquitous and more available.

    • From my perspective as a bioscientist, the ability to be able to search journal articles not just for text, but also for image data or graph data would be absolutely huge.

      Is there a reason these journal articles could not be published on the web? If they were can't you get the same functionality you described by doing a google search? Google already indexes images, pdfs, xls, etc. Why does it need to be uploaded to Google's database? You can already think of the web as a big database in a way right?
      • See my answer here [] for why. In short, there needs to be a way to structure certain "types" of data to optimize how you find what you are looking for.

        • The problem with this is that the structure of the Internet is difficult to navigate and difficult to index a system that is constantly changing.

          Can you be more specific? I personally don't find the web difficult to navigate and I read various technical documents, etc on the web. In fact, I wish more people would post things on the web so I wouldn't have to open other docs (word,pdf,etc). I agree that it's hard to index with changing information, but that's the nature of the beast. The data in this dat
        • If you base it on the structure of the information itself you run into spam attacks, etc. Google already gets structure out of teh web by using external links that point to a page, I don't see how this is anything but a step backwards.
        • Re:Content is king (Score:2, Interesting)

          by holloway ( 46404 )

          There's several points here,

          Firstly, people usually publish metadata, and domain-specific metadata, by following standards within their industry (defacto standards/proprietary/open/whatever). This doesn't necessitate holding the information locally, that's just a file location. What's important is having access to that information. If Google can help people get more files online that's a good thing but it's no different than if the donor put the file on their own site.

          Secondly there are metadata standar

          • Re:Content is king (Score:5, Interesting)

            by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <<aussie_bob> <at> <>> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:21PM (#13878064) Journal
            Secondly there are metadata standards and ways of getting information out of files. There's the obvious title / author / subject tags in HTML, and equivalejnt in MS Word files, OpenDocument, Dublin Core, etc.

            This is going to be the interesting part, and is probably why Google has been showing so much interest in Open Office/OpenDocument. When the pages of this web are XML served by a Google database, and the browser is an XML reader/editor based on OOo or equivalent, you have a much richer, more collaborative internet. A rich web, layered on top of the existing net.

            Google will be in on the ground floor of this too, and because huge amounts of the metadata will be part of the structure of the rich web, they'll be able to index it and deliver the aggregate information (which is their product) an order of magnitude more effectively than before.
    • Essentially what you are saying is that Google could replace sites such as indexes and links to physics working papers), adding all of Google's capabilities to the basic functions which working paper websites generally provide.

      I think that this would be a great thing, both for Google and for any group of researchers or collaborators needing to have a central repository of information that they didn't mind being public. Obviously, Google gets more traffic and ad placement opportunities, and
    • Re:Content is king (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Ruis ( 21357 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:03PM (#13878013)
      This whole thing sounds like the CIC database in Snow Crash.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:51PM (#13876418)
  • Legal questions? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:51PM (#13876420)
    What steps will they have to take to discourage people from using this to transmit and store illegal material?

    Of course, almost every other service on the net has that same basic problem. But if you are trying to establish a gigantic distributed free database, this has got to be one of your main concerns.
    • Don't ask, don't tell; be a common carrier.
    • Well, if it is publicly searchable, then all Google has to do is let the FBI search for watch words. Which ought to be easy enough. Even if it isn't publicly searchable, then it'll be just like gmail, they have to let the Feds in when the law says they do.

      But Google is itself immune from prosecution under the Betamax decision, and the Grokster case, since all it needs is a legitimate primary use, unless Google like publicly supports the use of the software for illegal purposes. Or something like that.
      • I think this is far from clear-cut.

        Google is acting like a webhost here. It's legal precedent (and this precedent doesn't come from either Betamax or Grockster) that webhosts are not liable for copyright infringement if they act to take down copyrighted material after they're notified.

        However, the copyright status of collections of facts (presumably a large portion of what people would be uploading to Google Base), though established, is extremely murky in practice. The decision tree for what Google should
    • Why should they have any concern whatsoever about the type of content? Do you think the telcos care whether you chat up your ooky-wooky hunnybuns, or plan the overthrow of the government? Hint: they don't. It's called "common carrier status," and means that while they provide the means of communication, they are not responsible for the editorial control of that same communication.
  • Baffling! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Shrewd Dude ( 880136 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:53PM (#13876432) Journal
    to post information and other types of data

    What data is not considered information, and vice-versa?
    • by temojen ( 678985 )
      'cat /dev/urandom' to find out.
    • Re:Baffling! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xeger ( 20906 )
      In general, the more compressible a given blob of data is, the less information is actually contained in it.

      Let's take the absurd example of 100,000,000 petabytes of 'X' characters. That's a lot of data! But, since it can be represented by a single 'X' character plus a 64-bit repetition count, it's very easily compressible. There's not much information contained in that data.

      So, we can conclude that Google is offering to let us store non-information data, i.e. low-entropy information. It's a good thing, too
    • What data is not considered information, and vice-versa?
      The GPS coordinates of my lost socks.
    • Re:Baffling! (Score:3, Informative)

      by isny ( 681711 )
      This post, and others like it, are data, but not information. Now, if the stars are in alignment, this post will be ironically moderated "informative".
    • Re:Baffling! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Eil ( 82413 )

      What data is not considered information, and vice-versa?

      Data is a set of raw facts. (A stream of bits, for example.) After you apply some sort of algorithm to it, it becomes information. (A digitized image, for example.) After you mentally process the information and consider it within the context of the situation, it becomes knowledge. (, for example.)

      Of course, there are some kinds of knowledge most people would rather not have.
  • by mister_llah ( 891540 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:53PM (#13876434) Homepage Journal
    Is there anything computered-based out there that Google won't be doing in the future?


    I can't wait for the Google fashion lines...

    Actually, I could see them trying to push for rollable LCD panel clothing... ... I digress... just know that in 10 years Google win own the whole mess.

    Everything. :)
    • As fast as Google is diversifying itself, I'm starting to occasionally wonder if they might be setting themselves up for a massive collapse, sort of like a one-company repeat of the original internet boom and bust. Can they really support all of these new endeavors they're investing money into (maps, earth, mail, picasso, blogger, and now potentially online marketing as well as the rumors of an AJAX word processor), or will problems like google-bombing, fake clicks, and spam weblogs continuously erode the m
  • In broad outlines (Score:5, Insightful)

    by denissmith ( 31123 ) * on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:53PM (#13876438)
    In broad outlines, and incrementally, Google seems to be replacing the need for a centralized computer/filestore with an ubiquitous web fileservice. While this may not replace the need for an OS and applications, if I could get access to my information and files securely frome everywhere that I can see a google server it really does change the computer paradigm.
    • In broad outlines, and incrementally, Google seems to be replacing the need for a centralized computer/filestore with an ubiquitous web fileservice.

      Uh, Hello? This is 1997 calling for webDAV, are you there? Don't forget that WebDAV [] has been around since at LEAST the mid-1990s.

      We have a webdav/ssl file repository used in our company. It runs Apache, mod_dav, and openssl, authentication handled by .htaccess files. It's quite secure, offers excellent performance, is highly reliable, and is natively supported
      • There is a difference between setting up my own server and running it and having a service available for some subscription rate that would relieve me of the cost and management of a server. Notice that I said they were replacing the need for a centralized filestore. They have bought huge chunks of dark fiber for something. Offering database services, offering file services accesible anywhere ( which they haven't done, yet, any way) seems like the direction they are headed. This could also be just my im
    • Or... you could setup your OWN server and have unlimited freedom. This is what I have done.

      I can access my files from anywhere, read my email from anywhere, ssh in from anywhere, use webmail... etc...

      Although, I can understand the niche google is going for, most people either dont have the means or know how to setup their own server. But man, it is nice.
  • Ars believes that the company is gearing up to take on eBay and Craiglist

    Ok, what else is google going to take over? People think they're going to take on Microsoft,Ebay,Craigslist,ISPs,..... The list goes on and on. I'd like to see Google take on the Oil companies next! Maybe they can offer free Gasoline.
    • by TedCheshireAcad ( 311748 ) <`ted' `at' `'> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:13PM (#13876589) Homepage
      Maybe they can offer free Gasoline

      Googleen will be available in an ad-supported context, where you receive free Googleen in exchange for targeted advertisements displayed on your windshield. Of course, Googleen has been engineered by the top Ph.D. minds in the world, so not only will you get 100 miles per gallon, but the Googleen will also clean your engine, and proactively repair problems with your car.
      • Ha, I like it. Googleen. How about Google Vision. Free glasses with targeted ads shot directly into your retinas based on gps tracking and their new image decifering software that can see what you're seeing and automatically sense the best ads to post based on statistical inferances about your environment.
        • How about Google Vision. Free glasses with targeted ads shot directly into your retinas based on gps tracking and their new image decifering software that can see what you're seeing and automatically sense the best ads to post based on statistical inferances about your environment.

          As seen here []...

  • by Dynamoo ( 527749 ) * on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:55PM (#13876447) Homepage
    It's all very interesting and clever.. but I think Google are taking their eyes off the ball here. When Google stop concentrating on trying to search the web and start concentrating on rebuilding it then you're looking at a company playing a high risk game. People with long memories might remember that Microsoft tried to recreate the internet [] ten years ago with the launch of MSN.. and failed.

    It would be nice if the PhDs at Google could concentrate on getting good, reliable and consistent results out of their search engine rather than playing around with features like because it "seemed like a good idea at the time". Remember Google Answers [] anyone? That was a white elephant. I think this is going to be a white elephant too.

    As a commercial enterprise, it seems that Google is in danger of forgetting exactly what its core business really is.

    • by BWJones ( 18351 ) * on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:00PM (#13876489) Homepage Journal
      The problem with this is that the structure of the Internet is difficult to navigate and difficult to index a system that is constantly changing. Enforcing some sort of "structure" will make things more easily searched, organized and reliable. There's lots of us PhDs that are interested in indexing information, but for particular questions, you need to be able to structure data in some form that allows accessibility.

    • by kavau ( 554682 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:09PM (#13876560) Homepage
      1. Become the technological leader in your field
      2. Profit!
      3. Get fat and lazy
      4. Microsoft discovers that your field is profitable
      5. ?????
      6. Profit (Microsoft, that is)!

      Maybe Google is trying to avoid this scenario by branching out.

    • To have even a shred of a point Google would have to be slipping in search and advert income. This last quarter they blew away *everyone's* expectations for revenue growth and their search results continue to be the gold standard.

      If every endeavor that ever met with failure at the hands of someone in the past became off limits, imagine where we'd be. Sure it may indicate that more of the same might not be a good idea, but I have yet to see "more of the same" in any of Google's many new projects.
    • by Tibet Sprague ( 778599 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:17PM (#13876619)
      I have seen numerous people claim that Google is starting losing focus or take their eyes off the prize (ball, etc) but I have yet to see any conclusive evidence. The truth is Google has an insane number of smart people working for them and each one is supposed to be using 20% of their time to work on a pet project of sorts. Every so often these projects get released as betas and add to the growing package of google "apps". While many of these apps are still imperfect and unpolished (as befits the beta title) they are all at the least interesting additions to their respective categories. People see this endless flow of new google releases and think they are spreading themselves thin when in fact each "app" is probably being developed by a small group of programmers who are interested and devoted to the project.

      My points are these:
      • The fact that google is releasing so many products does not mean they have stopped thinking about search. In fact PageRank was tweaked once again just a few days ago. They probably still have a hugs number of employees devoted entirely to search.
      • While their competitors are starting to catch up, Google still has a big lead in the search arena and is far from losing it if only because of mindshare.
      • By releasing so many products in so many areas Google assures themselves of not being left behind in any area of the web. They are testing the waters of RSS (Google Reader), Web Acceleration, VOIP, soon micro-payments and now structured data storage and classifieds and whatever else Google Base will become.

      In conclusion Google has their foot in every door and whichever ones lead to higher revenue they will follow. I think it's a solid business plan.
      • by jacksonj04 ( 800021 ) <> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:09PM (#13876972) Homepage
        I think Google have done anything but take their eye off the ball. Remember how Froogle and Google Local were once beta projects, and are now integrated with search? And then Google Maps was slipped into the equation. define: has been moved out of a little-known backwater of the site and integrated with

        Google having a foot in all the doors simply means they are finding the best way to index and search that information. It won't surprise me if they all end up integrated somewhere with just plain Google Search, to the extent that they lose their own 'section'. Google Base is simply (from what I can tell) a huge database of everything, which (chances are) will end up integrated.

        I want to be able to log in to Google and have all my own data at my fingertips, easily searchable, and for the engine behind it all to know what I'm after. At the moment, powerful though other web searches may be, Google is the only company to attempt to unify everything for the users. If Google can provide what I'm after, I would be willing to pay a significant amount of money to have them organise all my data, be it news, emails, contacts, files, web history, chats, driving directions, cinema times... the list goes on.
      • I agree. I've been to a number of Google tech talk/recruiting sessions and they really emphasize the small groups inside the company. Most projects seem to be 2-4 people. Only when a product nears launch do more people get involved (lawyers, UI designers, translators, etc.). I thought they said that Gmail was done by about four people for most of the time. When you have this many groups, of course there will be lots of diversity. Sometimes when I see a new product or one-box coming out of the Googleplex, I
    • by MacJedi ( 173 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:28PM (#13876697) Homepage
      and what exactly is the problem with google answers?
    • Assuming Google isn't stupid, GoogleSearch is continuing. GoogleBase is a new branch, which will tie in to the truck that is GoogleSearch, as GoogleMail does.

      Personally I don't fear this because Google can offer a nice database for regular things, but it will never compare to the value-add that Amazon or Netflix provide. However, it may create a standard from which data modelling can build from. Google uses it's 900lb status to say "these are the appropriate fields for this item"--we just have to conform,

    • Fewer flying chairs isn't the only difference between MS and Google.
    • "It would be nice if the PhDs at Google could concentrate on getting good, reliable and consistent results out of their search engine"

      They are VERY reliable.

      One page of paid ads.
      One page of page-rank spam and fake links.

      I almost always just skip to page 3 or 4 now. I know what I want will not be on the first page of results. The same thing happened to Altavista, and Yahoo, and all the ther search engines too. Right about now in the process, someone else usually comes along without the pages of ads, and kick
    • Google spends a hell of a lot more resources on improving web search than they do on things like this. You just don't notice because there's nothing to announce when they add a new algorithm to improve quality. Ever hear of the 70/20/10 split? 70% core web search, 20% adjacent projects, 10% crazy stuff.
  • Deep Search (Score:4, Interesting)

    by evw ( 172810 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:55PM (#13876452)
    They've said in the past that the next big step in search is searching databases that other people own. This would seem to be the interface to make that possible. i.e. rather than web crawling to attempt to harvest data, they have people push it to them. Sidesteps the copyright and robots.txt problem. If you want your data to be searchable then you push it to Google.
  • by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian&wylfing,net> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:56PM (#13876462) Homepage Journal
    I have maintained for a few years now that ultimately we will all share one big hard drive and its name will be Google.

    • Why? I can already fit every song I own in my pocket. In a couple years, I'll be able to fit all my videos on my iPod too. A few years after that, we'll have peta-byte iPods, and you'll have to work really, really hard to fill them. So, if this is the direction that storage technology is moving, what's the advantage of me using Google as my hard drive? Well, there's the fact that it's always on the internet, but there's no reason that my computer can't always be on the internet too. In fact, using my comput
  • why? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Councilor Hart ( 673770 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:58PM (#13876475)
    Why would I want to put my information under your control?
    • Maybe we should ask the believers of Open Source. Surely they could explain why people would contribute their resources for the betterment of a particular project.

      Or maybe we should ask the people who add articles to Wikipedia. I'm sure they'll have a good idea of why people want information to remain free.

      ::Colz Grigor

    • Re:why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rackhamh ( 217889 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:13PM (#13876584)
      "Under your control" -- in what sense?

      You are the one choosing what information to publish, and presumably, you are the only person who can remove or alter the published information. Google is simply acting as a data warehousing service in this case.

      So you are relinquishing no more control than an author does by making his books available in bookstores that he doesn't own.

      Unless I've missed your point?
    • you gain ease of use

      doing it on your own is hard and expensive

      basically, google is now acting as your website

      i'm just waiting for the google-hosted porn sites, like yahoo groups
    • Re:why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gladed ( 451363 )
      Why would I want to put my information under your control?

      Because Google can very likely manage it better than you can. If you don't agree, don't give it to them. If it follows the general trend we see in Google's Search/Maps/Earth/GMail/Picasa etc., Google Base will be more reliable, more accessible, more flexible, and more searchable than anything you will be able to assemble with your one little brain, or purchase with your one little pocketbook.

      "Waah waah," you say, "what if Google uses the informa

    • Because. Once Google has monopolized all our information, they will in essence become the internet. Funded of course by AdSense.
      • Finally someone stated this.
        I am in relationships with number of small biz owners selling stuff on the net. Good stuff not shady stuff. The pattern has emerged over last few years: they pay Google (AdWords), clicks translate to hits, hits translate to leads, leads translate to sales. Without AdWords they dont get enough traffic (and sales) to pay the bills. The web is a huge thing.
        Essentially we got to the point when people are paying Google for traffic coming to their sites. How dangerous is that? This i
        • Re:why? (Score:3, Interesting)

          by daviddennis ( 10926 )
          Google will never charge for raw search results (as opposed to adwords). Google has plenty of competition that does exactly that, and uses underhanded methods (i.e. spyware) to direct people to their sites. Despite these tricks, those sites are nowhere near as popular as Google and don't make the kind of money Google does. Google is not going to mess that up.

          Your observations would appear to mean that Google Adwords are effective advertising.

          My business partner and I have a business here, and even though
    • Re:why? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by umeshunni ( 37684 )
      This is Microsoft's scrapped Hailstorm [] initiative all over again. Except that it's Google doing it. It's interesting to note that two of Haistorm's key architects (Mark Lucovsky & Adam Bosworth []) now work at Google.
      I suppose they think the same idea would work if a different company did this.
  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @05:59PM (#13876485)

    I'm just drawing up a reply to a RFI from a health provider. They are upgrading their medical records database.
    My solution included oracle on linux servers.

    I'll just use this instead..but just say I'm providing the infrastructure.

  • by Tidal Flame ( 658452 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:02PM (#13876505) Homepage
    Am I missing the point, or does this just seem like another version of the internet, except loosely categorized and all stored on Google's servers? What are they planning to achieve with this? I realize that they're integrating a lot of existing Google functionality into it, and I guess that could be useful, but it still seems like it's just Google Internet or something.
    • I can't claim to understand what they are trying to do... but here's what I think it might be (or perhaps it's just what I hope it will be): Right now, it often occurs that I produce some document that I would like to share with the world but I don't know how. Usually I try to integrate it with Wikipedia or something like that. But often it doesn't really fit there. What are my options? I can put it up on webspace that I own, and create a webpage around it for context, and then hope that Google eventually
    • What are they planning to achieve with this?

      Same thing that Google does with Google Search, Gmail, Google Chat, Google Groups, etc.-- Google wants to analyze what people are looking for, and use that analysis to target additional content and (very importantly) their advertisements.

      Indexing external sites is still a tricky and inexact business. If I'm shopping for something, I usually won't find the best deal in the top 10 or 20 results with a typical Google or Froogle search.

      Google Base allows Google to mor
  • by slashflood ( 697891 ) <flow AT howflow DOT com> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:07PM (#13876543) Homepage Journal
    Oh, I just submitted the following story:

    It seems that Google is going to announce a new service called Google Base [] today at the invite only Google Zeitgeist [] conference. At the moment, we only have a [] few [] screenshots [] and a pretty interesting discussion at Conflicting rumors have pointed to a new Google database, classifieds like Craigslist, []an Ebay contender [] or just another way to submit URLs.
    • MEMO
      To: Taco
      From: Slashdotters
      We wonder how many of us submitted a story on this Google Base announcement. Probably several hundred, at least. In the interest of saving time and hurt feelings of submission rejectees, we propose that you implement the following story posting algorithm on your server. Pseudocode follows:

      while Slashdotserver.up=true do
      if GooglePRwebsite.NewRelease=false
      select mostrecentstory randomly from
      insert mislead
  • When developing a new product or service, there's a most important question to ask.

    "What problem does J. Average Person have, that this thing I am selling will solve?"

    Doesn't matter whether J. Average Person is supposed to buy the product, or simply use it for free, and allow me to selling advertising. Without bait, no one is going to participate.

    So what is it? What's the bait, here? Why do I want to push my data to Google? What problem that I have does this solve?
    • So what is it? What's the bait, here? Why do I want to push my data to Google? What problem that I have does this solve?

      Two problems: Backup and Access.

    • by kebes ( 861706 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @07:45PM (#13877160) Journal
      As I said in another comment, an example of a problem I sometimes have is that I have some content that I would like to share with the world, but no decent way of doing it. Sometimes I can mesh it into Wikipedia or something... but other times there's no place to put it. Or maybe putting it somewhere else is complicated. Like I have a recipe or a cool trick to solve a problem in Linux. I could make an account with some recipe website or with or whatever, but that's a pain. I just want to make the information available to people. I could make my own mini-website and host it, but no one would ever find it.

      But if GoogleBase exists, and I just upload content, and let Google index it for me, I'm done. I can refer friends to it (either via URL or even by describing it, and letting them just do a search for it). I can even upload (non-private) files that I often need to refer to... and then they are always accessible. In fact, since GoogleBase will probably have a private mode, I can use this as a network drive that is accessible anywhere in the world. Not only that, but it does automatic backups and is automatically indexed and searchable. So for semi-private documents that I always need access to, it's great. I post my CV and then I can casually refer somewhere to where it is located. I don't have to pay for webspace.

      Many people use the GMail File System hack so that they can use their GMail account as if it were a hard drive. Google is formalizing it so that we can have access to data easily. I think this solves alot of problems for alot of users. The tradeoff is that I get free web-hosting and even free network storage, as long as I agree to have them index it. Many people are willing.
  • by Colz Grigor ( 126123 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:08PM (#13876552) Homepage
    Again, just because information is out there doesn't mean that it's accurate or complete. Providing a tool to capture more data will have the tendency of diluting the level of accuracy of available information.

    If this data is ever going to become useful, Google will needs to create a system for moderation of informational accuracy and usefulness. Their page-ranking mechanism is a good start, but I just don't trust it to tell me that the first few results on a subject I'm researching are accurate.

    This is why Google also needs a trust network. They certainly could begin to leverage Orkut to do this. I'd give more credence to an information source if I knew that someone in my trust network also gave credence to it.

    Google doesn't seem to have a unified and communicated vision. Sure, they can hire the most talented engineers and they can keep cranking out the coolest toys, but what would actually move the internet forward is a way to combine all of those toys into a single, simple platform. For example, combine Orkut and page ranking. Rank my search results differently than someone else's because they have different trust relationships. In my opinion, Google has had only one real hit so far, and that's Google Earth. With that much corporate intelligence, I'd like to see Google doing more.

    ::Colz Grigor

  • you give them your information to, ehem "database"

    and then they destroy it! []
  • EPIC is coming! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dshaw858 ( 828072 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:25PM (#13876681) Homepage Journal
    'Nuff said [].

    Creepy. Well, I for one welcome our new Google overlords! :)

    - dshaw
  • AOL+ (Score:2, Interesting)

    by glengyron ( 452198 )
    Let's just call it AOL+

    You take the world's most successfully decentralised network, and for convenience and searchability you umm.... centralise it...

    Take all the power of anyone being able to interconnect which allows free speech to flourish all over the world (even in China if you're wise enough) and then umm.... put it all into the control of one corporate entity in the United States.

    Remember the situation with China... Google (as a corporatation) complied with the law and handed over private gmail info
    • nah, most of the world's business isn't done by online catalogs & shopping, and most of the money I spend during the year has nothing to do with the internet.
  • by DysenteryInTheRanks ( 902824 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @06:44PM (#13876811) Homepage
    Congratulations, Google, you have solved the easiest part of classified ads, online auctions, and publishing: stuffing the information into distinct fields in a database.

    Now you just need to figure out how to marshall data into canonical fields for each major use scenario, mark those schemas prominently for easy reference, and police the system against abuse like spam, scams and plagarism.

    Judging by the state of your core search system, this will take anywhere from seven years to several centuries.

  • ? (Score:2, Interesting) is to as [] will be to
  • calendar too? (Score:2, Interesting) redirects me to, while other links like or, says "siteurl could not be found. Please check the name and try again."
    Is google also developing calendar?
  • from the google blog []:

    You may have seen stories today reporting on a new product that we're testing, and speculating about our plans. Here's what's really going on. We are testing a new way for content owners to submit their content to Google, which we hope will complement existing methods such as our web crawl and Google Sitemaps. We think it's an exciting product, and we'll let you know when there's more news.
  • by Otto ( 17870 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:11PM (#13877295) Homepage Journal
    Look at some of these screenshots: []

    Specifically, the second one down, where it says "Attributes are name-value pairs that describe your item" and gives examples like "Author: Ernest Hemmingway and Area: 400 Square km".

    Does this remind anybody of the Resource Description Framework? Maybe they're trying to start creating the Semantic Web, perhaps? Long talked about, but not, thus far, actually done? Maybe using something clever like OWL [] to search it and otherwise organize this metadata of all sorts of submitted things?

    Just a theory, of course.
  • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @08:48PM (#13877451)
    I fear that Google's payment service will ruin the company's reputation. The potential for fraud, money laundering, phishing, mis-representation of goods, charge-back disputes, illegitimate charities, etc. will force Google to implement the same draconian policies that Paypal has. The high cost of customer service will force Google to use the same anonymous/automated resolution processes that do more to piss-off customers that resolve disputes. Erroneously banned account holders, defrauded account holders will be mad that Google isn't spending hours on the phone with them and resolving situations to their liking.

    Currently it's very easy for Google to be non-evil -- Google search, Google maps, GMail are all low-consequence activities. Once real money is involved this will change. Doing payment services will require a portfolio of automated processes that will, at times, appear both unfriendly and profit-motivated.

    I wish them luck in the service, but fear it is the end of the Google honeymoon.

  • Google 50% (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bemmu ( 42122 )
    Of the current latest 6 slashdot posts, 3 are about Google. I suggest a new simpler way of categorizing entries -- Google-related and non-Google-related.
  • Google Payments? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bluephone ( 200451 ) <> on Tuesday October 25, 2005 @11:15PM (#13878045) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one to miss the official announcement of this? I've heard rumors about it for years, but when did it become a given?
  • Google is in a unique position to implement HTTP 402 Payment Required. Once they roll out their payment system, they will need to give away a browser add-on, and a web server module.

  • ...before the the machine that is Google gains consciousness.

    Personally, I welcome... oh nevermind.
  • by snowwrestler ( 896305 ) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @12:51AM (#13878452)
    How will Google keep people from uploading spam and flooding the system? Give people that much power over what lives in your system and see what happens. The status of Blogger is instructive.

"A child is a person who can't understand why someone would give away a perfectly good kitten." -- Doug Larson