QuickLinks - Portals, browsers and search engines
QuickLinks - Portals, browsers and search engines
Portals, browsers and search engines
Open a new window when I click a link
Issue no. 413 - 20 February 2011
How long will Google's magic last?
It flourished during the first phase of the internet. The next one may be tougher.
Issue no. 412 - 28 November 2010
For Google, the Browser Does It All
(New York Times)
Google's new Chrome operating system stores everything that people have on their computers — like documents, photos and e-mail — online, or in tech parlance, in the cloud. In Google's vision of a world where all computers run on its Chrome OS, anyone can walk up to any computer with an Internet connection and gain access to all their information.
Issue no. 411 - 3 October 2010
Search Takes a Social Turn
(New York Times)
Now, even on the Internet, it is not what you know but who you know. After a decade when search engines ruled supreme — tapping billions of Web pages to answer every conceivable query — many people now prefer getting their online information the old-fashioned way: by yakking across the fence. Turning to friends is the new rage in the Web world, extending far beyond established social networking sites and setting off a rush among Web companies looking for ways to help people capitalize on the wisdom of their social circles — and to make some money in the process.
'YouTube Instant' creator finds instant fame
For Stanford University student Feross Aboukhadijeh, what started off as a bet fueled by youthful ambition and technical bravado, ended up an Internet hit and quite possibly a job. Aboukhadijeh, 19, was just an ordinary but albeit talented college student as he tested out Google Instant, the Web giant's new predictive search results feature. He was immediately impressed on its debut but also inspired. To his roommate, he said, "I bet you I can build YouTube Instant in an hour." And his roommate took him up on the deal. Aboukhadijeh didn't quite make the hour deadline, but three hours later,
was born. The site lets users search the enormous YouTube video database in real time.
Issue no. 406 - 21 February 2010
UK - Microsoft and CEOP customise browser
The Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre is working with Microsoft to produce a version of Internet Explorer 8 that will give parents and children easy access to advice and information. The customised 'Click CEOP' browser has been developed by Microsoft to provide users with the opportunity to customise their browser so that they can get direct access to CEOP's advice pages. There they will see all issues covered from cyber bullying and viruses through to sexual abuse and inappropriate content - advice that is kept contemporary by signposting to and input from organisations such as Childline, the Internet Watch Foundation, Get Safe Online and Beatbullying. see also
Government advice: Browse safely with Microsoft
by Rory Cellan-Jones.
Issue no. 405 - 24 January 2010
Helping Children Find What They Need on the Internet
(New York Times)
83 children, ages 7, 9 and 11 participated in a study on children and keyword searching. Sponsored by Google and developed by the University of Maryland and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the research was aimed at discerning the differences between how children and adults search and identify the barriers children face when trying to retrieve information.
Issue no. 404 - 21 December 2009
Google to limit free news access
Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google. The concession follows claims from some media companies that the search engine is profiting from online news pages. Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites. Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages.
Issue no. 403 - 24 November 2009
Google and Bing Race to Search Social Media
Google and Microsoft will incorporate information culled from social media sites into search pages. Microsoft said its Bing search engine will let users search for Twitter posts known as tweets and, later, for status updates posted to Facebook pages. Google will also include Twitter updates in search results and that it will begin offering a social search tool that delivers information posted by a searcher's friends on social sites.
New tool for keeping Web searches safe
(Net Family News)
Google has a new feature that lets parents lock the computers kids use into the strictest SafeSearch setting. All parents need to do is log into their Google account on any computer the kids use, click on Settings, then Search Settings in the upper right-hand corner of the page. On the page that takes you to, scroll down to SafeSearch Filtering and click "Lock SafeSearch." Here's a little 95-sec.
on the locking tool. The only thing to remember is that you need to do this with any browser used on that computer - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.
Issue no. 402 - 18 October 2009
EU - New Microsoft proposals on Microsoft Internet Explorer
The European Commission can confirm that Microsoft has proposed a consumer ballot screen as a solution to the pending antitrust case about the tying of Microsoft Internet Explorer web browser with Windows. This followed extensive discussions with the Commission which centred on a remedy outlined in the January 2009 Statement of Objections whereby consumers would be shown a "ballot screen" from which they could - if they wished - easily install competing web browsers, set one of those browsers as a default, and disable Internet Explorer. Under the proposal, Windows 7 would include Internet Explorer, but the proposal recognises the principle that consumers should be given a free and effective choice of web browser, and sets out a means - the ballot screen - by which Microsoft believes that can be achieved. In addition OEMs would be able to install competing web browsers, set those as default and disable Internet Explorer should they so wish. The Commission welcomes this proposal, and will now investigate its practical effectiveness in terms of ensuring genuine consumer choice.
Issue no. 401 - 26 July 2009
Bing, the Imitator, Often Goes Google One Better
(New York Times)
Bing, and it's the latest iteration of Microsoft's multiyear attempt to imitate Google. Here's the shocker, though: in many ways, Bing is better.
Issue no. 400 - 5 July 2009
Facebook v. Google
by Bobbie Johnson, technology There's a really interesting
in this month's Wired magazine about the conflict between Facebook and Google - in particular, how Facebook is using it's walled garden approach to build something that Google can't get access to. Worth a look. see
Great Wall of Facebook: The Social Network's Plan to Dominate the Internet - and Keep Google Out
Issue no. 399 - 7 June 2009
A search engine that computes answers instead of looking them up
The latest internet search engine is Wolfram Alpha. Instead of serving up a list of popular links to other sites that contain the search term picked by a user, Alpha is a more-or-less closed system. It tries to dissect a question into its components and then performs calculations, using its own source materials, to compute an answer. The results are presented as a sleek collage of tables, charts and graphics. Alpha takes a different approach to the automation or "crowdsourcing" normally used to generate knowledge from the web. In that sense it is more like (and may be more threatening to) Wikipedia than Google.
Google rolls out search changes
Google has launched two experimental products it hopes will change the way users search for pictures and news. A feature known as Similar Images uses a picture rather than text to find other matching images. Timeline presents information already available in Google News but organised and displayed chronologically. Alongside these features is a new version of Google Labs, in which users can take a peek at what its thousands of engineers are working on. Amid past criticism that Google has wasted too much time and effort on projects that have little impact, the aim of the Labs upgrade is to make prototypes available earlier.
Issue no. 397 - 8 March 2009
Exploring a 'Deep Web' That Google Can't Grasp
(New York Times)
One day last summer, Google's search engine trundled quietly past a milestone. It added the one trillionth address to the list of Web pages it knows about. But as impossibly big as that number may seem, it represents only a fraction of the entire Web. Beyond those trillion pages lies an even vaster Web of hidden data: financial information, shopping catalogs, flight schedules, medical research and all kinds of other material stored in databases that remain largely invisible to search engines.
Issue no. 392 - 5 October 2008
The second browser war
Google's new web browser is its most direct attack on Microsoft yet. Several years ago, Silicon Valley was rife with rumours that Google, then primarily a search engine, might be building a new web browser to rival that of Microsoft, called Internet Explorer (IE), or even an operating system to rival Microsoft's Windows. Google mocked those rumours and they died down. But if Sergey Brin, Google's co-founder, is to be believed, the speculation itself made him think that "maybe it's not a bad idea". And so this week Google did launch a new browser, called Chrome, that is also, in effect, a new operating system. The rumours, says Mr Brin cheekily, "just happened to migrate from being false to being true."
Issue no. 389 - 22 June 2008
Yahoo!, eBay and Amazon - The three survivors
And so Yahoo! survives. The internet company - which, at the age of 14, is one of the oldest - appears in the end to have rebuffed Microsoft, the software Goliath that wanted to buy it. It has done so, in part, by surrendering to Google, the younger internet company that is its main rival. In a vague deal apparently designed to confuse antitrust regulators, Yahoo! is letting Google, the biggest force in web-search advertising, place text ads next to some of Yahoo!'s own search results. Google thus controls some or all of the ads on all the big search engines except Microsoft's. Yahoo! lives, but on the web's equivalent of life support.
Issue no. 384 - 24 February 2008
Google 'improves' mobile search
Google has launched a new search service for mobile phones, promising "faster" and "more relevant results". The facility gathers regular and mobile web results, news, images and local listings, meaning people no longer have to specify a type of search. An improved "local search experience" is based on Google's belief that mobile search is more often used to find area information such as cinema listings. The service is now available in the UK, France, Germany and Canada. It has been available in the US since March last year.
Issue no. 376 - 10 June 2007
Google Keeps Tweaking Its Search Engine
(The New York Times)
Google seems to be doing everything. It takes pictures of your house from outer space, picks fights with Hollywood and tries to undercut Microsoft?s software dominance. But Google remains a search engine. And its search pages, blue hyperlinks set against a bland, white background, have made it the most visited, most profitable and arguably the most powerful company on the Internet.
Issue no. 375 - 9 May 2007
The Structure of Search Engine Law
(Iowa Law Review)
by James Grimmelmann. Search engines are the new linchpins of the Internet, and a new body of law - search engine law - will increasingly determine the shape of the Internet. Making sensible search policy requires a clear understanding of how search works, what interests are at stake, and what legal questions intersect at search. This article offers the first comprehensive overview of search engine law, which it organizes into a systematic taxonomy. It then demonstrates the dense legal interrelationships created by search by discussing a series of important themes in search engine law, each of which cuts across many doctrinal areas.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Licence