Blog Archives

Chrome’s new “Speak to Search” option

Google chrome earlier had developed a software that allowed the users to talk to the browser via HTML5 code. Now, a team has come up with an extension of this software that allows this software to be used in search boxes across the web.

The extension, called “Speechify”, was developed by the Dugley Labs. Now many of the search engines display a small microphone icon right next to their search boxes. This icon when clicked allows users to “speak” what u wanted to search. Google, Bing, Youtube, Hulu are some of the sites that support this.

It is working pretty well as of now and returns exact searches for songs or sites or videos. Though there are minor hitches and glitches, like in some sites the microphone feature doesn’t work although it shows and in others it is shown at weird places like the title bar but it still works. But it works the best with Google and the Instant as it allows the users to search without using the keyboard.

This kind of feature has been used in mobiles before but to see it work on the web is interesting. As of now Chrome 11 beta supports it bu tit is expected to soon move to other builds too.

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Microsoft Bing Searches Include Facebook Likes

In an answer to Google’s Twitter searches, Bing makes public likes searchable

Social networking is ubiquitous and the current trend now. It’s all pervading grip has now spread to search engines too. Google already has a social search with Twitter integrated into its results, but what’s lacking is Facebook in the social search arena. However, it isn’t for long because Facebook has partnered with Microsoft and the alliance see’s Facebook “Liked Results” being integrated into Bing searches.

Microsoft’s Bing team blog explains how it works:

While we are very excited to talk about our next development, we’re all aware that it’s all part of a longer journey. This is the first time in human history that people are leaving social traces that machines can read and learn from, and present enhanced online experiences based on those traces. As people spend more time online and integrate their offline and online worlds, they will want their friends’ social activity and their social data to help them in making better decisions. Integrating with Twitter data 16 months ago was one step, and exploring Facebook’s rich streams is another.

For those concerned about privacy, only the publicly liked links will be available on the search engine, but that still leaves the possibility of unsolicited likes by friends being included in the links. However, that is a moot point because the whole point of friend system is to have people you trust. Moreover, Bing mentions that not all Facebook “Liked Results” will not show up in searches. The partnership harks to a new trend of the social foray of the two players in the search engine market.

Facebook’s Zuckerberg Becomes a Comic Book Hero

New 48-pager comic book to paint him in a fair light

The youngest billionaire, Time magazine’s controversial Person of the Year, and the king of the social networking Mark Zuckerberg is finally getting the ultimate in American hero worship – the Comic Book treatment in the form of a 48-pager comic book titled ‘Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook‘ trade paperback. Written by freelance writer Jerome Maida for BlueWater comics, the book goes on sale today.

“Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire on the planet and created something that has already had a profound impact on the world. Yet hardly anyone knows much about him. It’s amazing,” says Maida about the comic book.

Most of you may be considering Zuckerberg out of character in the role of a comic book hero; a comic book villain would be more like it, especially in the light of him being portrayed as a back-stabbing manipulator in the recent movie The Social Network and his numerous autobiographies. However, Jerome Maida intends to paint the man in a “fair” light, as opposed to people’s perception about him.

He elaborates, “Rightly or wrongly, Mark dealt harshly with some people on his way to where he is today. As we see, he left many people feeling betrayed. I try my best to be fair here.” The book releases today in major comic book stores in U.S., and can also be ordered online from here.  The comic book has already been optioned for an upcoming short film.

Google, Bing Fight Over Copying Search Results

Bing denies copying search results and states that it learns from customers.

The Search Engine scene that has been dormant for a while has suddenly became active. Yesterday, Danny Sullivan, Editor of Search Engineland, posted an exhaustive account of how Google undertook a sting operation to check if Microsoft Bing was copying its search results. Basically, Google created 100 synthetic queries for a one time experiment to find out the similarity of search results between Google and Bing. Microsoft’s Harry Shum, Corp. VP for Bing called Google’s experiment a spy-novelesque stunt to generate extreme outliers in tail query ranking.

A Cold war was always on between Google and Microsoft. Both companies along with the new kid on the block, Blekko, appeared at Big Think’s even Farsight 2011: Beyond the Search Box. Many feel it’s a well executed publicity stunt by both Google and Microsoft, but it’s easy to pass judgment without referring to the details.

Amit Singhal, Google fellow, clarified on Google’s official Blog how the search giant created a honeypot consisting of 100 synthetic queries that average users won’t search for. Those queries were then checked on Internet Explorer 8 using Bing Tool bar with Suggested Sites option. Microsoft certainly uses both IE8 and Bing toolbar to collect information on users’ searches. On testing those synthetic queries, Google engineers were surprised to see the same search results appear in Bing.

In short, Google found out that Bing replicated the search results for any random query used in Google’s search Engine. The similarity of results didn’t appear immediately when the experiment began, but only over a period of a week or so. This experiment was reportedly ended in December. Hence, Shum and several others are obviously questioning why Google waited for 30 days to publish the findings. Maybe Google was taking legal advise on this matter.

Mary Jo Foley, author of All about Microsoft at ZDNet blogs, reported the same and got a reply from Microsoft’s spokesperson: We do not copy Google’s results. That didn’t seem comprehensive enough and hence followed a blog post by Harry Shum at Bing Community Blog. Shum called Google’s experiment a creative tactic.

The duel between Google and Bing over copying of search results seems to have heated up. Google wants Microsoft to stop mimicking Google. In a way it’s good, so that the errors aren’t repeated. Back in December, Google announced to bury bad merchant sites that ill-treat the consumers just to increase ranking in the search engine. So basically, in the name of Search Ranking Algorithm tweaking, Google smartly carried out the experiment. May be I am wrong, but everything is so perfectly timed like an Alfred Hitchcock novel.

Singhal told Sullivan, “It’s cheating to me because we work incredibly hard and have done so for years but they just get there based on our hard work. I don’t know how else to call it but plain and simple cheating. Another analogy is that it’s like running a marathon and carrying someone else on your back, who jumps off just before the finish line.”

At the Farsight 2011, Shum said, Google engineers helped us discover a new form of spam. I wished the Google engineers had shared that with us before they went to press. If you look at how each search engine ranks the results, Matt Cutts is referring to a few outlier examples. It’s not like we actually copied anything. We actually learn from our customers. Do you mean that Google owns the data?

Google seems to be deeply hurt with how close Bing appears. While Microsoft defends stating that users’ search behavior data has been used. This issue might soon be in court.

http://www.techtree.com/India/News/Google_Bing_Fight_Over_Copying_Search_Results/551-114354-643.html

Facebook Partners With Bing For Search Engine

Facebook joins hands with Bing to make search results sound more personal.

Microsoft has joined hands with Facebook to provide users a personal touch while they access their search results on Microsoft’s search engine Bing. As part of the four-year alliance between the two companies, Bing search engine will show users which sites and products their Facebook friends like.

To be optional, the new feature dubbed “Liked Results” will allow users to go through information that has already been liked by their friends who have previously gone through the information. Thus now the things you search will come with a personal recommendation form your Facebook friends. In addition to this, the new feature will also help users search for friends on Facebook.

The new feature though is only rolled out to users in the United States.

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