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Vocito 1.1.0 for Mac
Picasa 3.1 Build 70.71
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Google throws bodies at OpenOffice

Google plans to hire programmers to improve OpenOffice.org, a demonstration of its affinity for open source initiatives and one the company believes also shows sound practical sense.

OpenOffice has its roots in Sun Microsystems' StarOffice suite of programs. Five years ago, Sun turned its proprietary software into an open-source project. Only recently, however, has the competitor to Microsoft's Office attracted serious attention.

Now Google believes it can help OpenOffice--perhaps working to pare down the software's memory requirements or its mammoth 80MB download size, said Chris DiBona, manager for open-source programs at the search company.

"We want to hire a couple of folks to help make OpenOffice better," DiBona said.

Google has shown an affinity for open-source software, which are programs developed in the open and available for free. Many of the company's programmers came of age in the open-source era, so advancing the open-source agenda comes naturally, DiBona said. But the company also has business reasons to justify its open-source embrace.

"We use a fair amount of open-source software at Google. We want to make sure that's a healthy community. And we want to make sure open source preserves competitiveness within the industry," he said.

Earlier in October, Google and Sun announced a partnership to boost several software projects, but released few details. Asked about OpenOffice collaboration, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said at the time only that the search engine power would "work to make the distribution of (OpenOffice) more broad." But OpenOffice, like the other software projects the partners intend to work on, competes directly with Microsoft software--a point that has not gone unnoticed.

As one of the most-watched companies in the industry, Google's involvement has helped Sun draw attention to OpenOffice.org. And there are other reasons the software is taken more seriously as an alternative to Microsoft Office. For one thing, OpenOffice.org 2.0 was just released with a modernized interface and some new features. For another, OpenOffice.org supports OpenDocument, a standardized file format that many endorse as a way to break the lock-in of Microsoft's proprietary formats.

DiBona didn't mention a wider competitive perspective in giving Google's rationale for investing time and money on nonproprietary software. "We were looking for ways to work with Sun and ways to help users. This is a good place to spend some resources," he said.

Full article: ZDNet News
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Google throws bodies at OpenOffice - Monday, October 31, 2005 -

Halloween 2005 Logo

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Halloween 2005 Logo - -

Google flight search takes off

A new search feature on Google lets people quickly get to airline flight information.
Users can type in two different cities, or airport codes, in the Google search box to bring up two boxes for entering departing and returning flight dates. Below those are links to the travel Web sites Expedia, Hotwire and Orbitz. Clicking on one of those links leads directly to flight options for your selected itinerary on that site.
"Google is testing a new search feature for specific flight inquiries between two points," Google said in an e-mailed statement.

Read more: News.com
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Google flight search takes off - Thursday, October 27, 2005 -

Google Base Could be Database For Everything

Google sporadically opened base.google.com Wednesday afternoon. It's a do-it-yourself online database to which people can submit, evidently, just about anything.

Is a classifieds offering the next big thing from Google?

The site, which the company says is just a tester, lets users submit information to be stored in Google Base, which the Web page describes as "Google's database into which you can add all types of content. We'll host your content and make it searchable online for free."

The search giant is soliciting items from "description of your party planning service" to "articles on current events from your website" to "listing of your used car for sale." It even lists a "database of protein structures."

Users can describe the item by filling in a series of forms; they can upload or link to pictures, and provide an address or telephone number.

The site says that items may be included in the main Google search index and other Google products like Froogle and Google Local.

Read more: internetnews.com
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Google Base Could be Database For Everything - Wednesday, October 26, 2005 -

Google wants your car listings, events, etc.

In a move that could put Google in competition with eBay, the search giant is testing a new service that would allow people to post and make searchable any type of content, a Google spokeswoman confirmed Tuesday.
A screenshot of a page for "Google Base" gives as examples of items that can be posted to Google's server: "description of your party planning service," "articles on current events from your Web site," "listing of your used car for sale," and "database of protein structures."
"This is an early stage test of a product that enables content owners to easily send their content to Google," a Google spokeswoman wrote in an e-mail. "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. We're continually exploring new opportunities to expand our offerings, but we don't have anything to announce at this time."
Other screenshots show sample pages, including an entry for a Thai Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe. One page includes policies including "posting is not permitted for the promotion of body parts or human remains" and terms of service that give Google the right to "reproduce, modify, adapt, publish and otherwise use, with or without attribution" the content on the site for promotional purposes. It also says the Google Base interface is currently available only in English, U.K. English and German.
Some bloggers speculated that Google Base was the precursor to an e-commerce site that would go up against online auction company eBay.

Full article: CNET News.com
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Google wants your car listings, events, etc. - -

Google Web Accelerator Beta

Google Web Accelerator is an application that uses the power of Google's global computer network to make web pages load faster. Google Web Accelerator is easy to use; all you have to do is download and install it, and from then on many web pages will automatically load faster than before.

Google Web Accelerator uses various strategies to make your web pages load faster, including:
- Sending your page requests through Google machines dedicated to handling Google Web Accelerator traffic.
- Storing copies of frequently looked at pages to make them quickly accessible.
- Downloading only the updates if a web page has changed slightly since you last viewed it.
- Prefetching certain pages onto your computer in advance.
- Managing your Internet connection to reduce delays.
- Compressing data before sending it to your computer.

System Requirements
Operating System: Win XP or Win 2000 SP3+
Browser: IE 5.5+ or Firefox 1.0+
Availability: For users in North America and Europe (during beta testing phase)

Download: Google Web Accelerator Beta
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Google Web Accelerator Beta - -

Google Wows Wall Street

Shares of Google soared to a new all-time high late Thursday after the company's third-quarter earnings and sales crushed Wall Street estimates.
Google's pro-forma earnings of $1.51 a share trounced $1.36 estimates, and net revenues (revenues after traffic acquisition costs) doubled from the year-ago quarter to $1.05 billion, well ahead of $943 million estimates. Google ended the quarter with $7.6 billion in cash, a healthy war chest for potential acquisitions.
The results were even more surprising because the company had taken steps to lower expectations during its second-quarter conference call.
"Although this is typically a slower season for Internet properties, we had another exceptional quarter," Google CEO Eric Schmidt said in a statement. "Our focus on end users and on quality of information and advertising worldwide continues to work extremely well. We are very pleased with how well this is working at scale."

Full article: internetnews.com
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Google Wows Wall Street - Friday, October 21, 2005 -

Google Earth 3.0.0693 Public Beta 7

The idea is simple. It’s a globe that sits inside your PC. You point and zoom to anyplace on the planet that you want to explore. Satellite images and local facts zoom into view. Tap into Google search to show local points of interest and facts. Zoom to a specific address to check out an apartment or hotel. View driving directions and even fly along your route. We invite you to try it now.

Google Earth
is free for personal use. No registration is required. You may (optionally) choose to upgrade to Google Earth Plus.


• Free for personal use.
• Sophisticated streaming technology delivers the data to you as you need it.
• Imagery and 3D data depict the entire earth - Terabytes of aerial and satellite imagery depict cities around the world in high-resolution detail.
• Local search lets you search for restaurants, hotels, and even driving directions. Results show in your 3D earth view. Easy to layer multiple searches, save results to folders, and share with others.
• Layers show parks, schools, hospitals, airports, shopping, and more.
• KML – data exchange format let your share useful annotations and view. thousands of data points created by Google Earth users.

Use it for:

-Planning a trip
-Getting driving directions
-Finding a house or apartment
-Finding a local business
-Exploring the world

Download: Google Earth 3.0.0693 Public Beta 7
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Google Earth 3.0.0693 Public Beta 7 - -

Google Desktop 2.0 Beta (Updated)

Google Desktop gives you easy access to information on your computer and from the web. It's a desktop search application that provides full text search over your email, computer files, music, photos, chats and web pages that you've viewed. By making your computer searchable, Google Desktop puts your information easily within your reach and frees you from having to manually organize your files, emails and bookmarks. It makes searching your computer as easy as searching the web with Google.

Google Desktop doesn't just help you search your computer; it also helps you gather new information from the web with Sidebar, a new desktop feature that shows you your new email, weather and stock information, personalized news and RSS/Atom feeds, and more. Sidebar is personalized automatically, without any manual configuration required (though you can certainly make your own customizations if you want to).

We've also improved your desktop search experience. With Quick Find, you can now launch applications and see search results as you type without even opening a browser. We've also extended our Outlook integration, so you can search Google Desktop with the Outlook Toolbar and see results within Outlook itself. Finally, you can search even more stuff, including your Gmail, files on network drives, many Outlook data types (including Contacts, Tasks, Calendar, Notes and Journal) and MSN Messenger chats. And if you yearn for even stronger security, you can encrypt your entire index.

Download: Google Desktop 2.0 Beta (Updated)
| Plug-ins

View: Screenshots
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Google Desktop 2.0 Beta (Updated) - Friday, October 14, 2005 -

Google Toolbar for Firefox 1.0.20051012

Google Toolbar
is a popular browser add-on that makes it possible to quickly perform Google Web searches, prevent annoying pop-up ads from appearing, and fill in Web forms with one simple click.

• SpellCheck
Check your spelling whenever you type in web forms

• WordTranslator
Translate English words into other languages

• AutoLink (US only)
Turn street addresses into links to online maps

• AutoFill
Automatically fill out forms for faster online shopping

System requirements:
• Windows XP/2000 SP3+, Mac OS X 10.2+, or Red Hat Linux 8.0+
• Firefox 1.0+

Download: Google Toolbar for Firefox 1.0.20051012

Also available:
Other Firefox extensions
from Google
, an open-source toolbar written by Google fans Posted by Picasa
Google Toolbar for Firefox 1.0.20051012 - -

Google Hires Lead Gaim Developer

Mozilla's Firefox developers aren't the only open source programmers migrating to the GooglePlex. Gaim lead Sean Egan announced Wednesday that he had taken a position at the search giant to help build Google Talk. Egan's current project is to make other IM clients compatible with Google's voice calling feature.

Read more: BetaNews
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Google Hires Lead Gaim Developer - Thursday, October 13, 2005 -

Google.org: Let the giving commence

Mission to fund "good works" and solve "big problems"

Google has begun to make good on its commitment to plough a small fraction of the proceeds from its wildly successful stock offering into social projects.

Funding for "good works" will largely be derived from the donation of one per cent of the equity from last year's IPO, along with one per cent of its annual profits.

Google said on Tuesday it plans to organise its charitable work under the umbrella of a new organisation it calls Google.org. The mission is to focus on vast issues such as global poverty, energy and the environment.

Sheryl Sandberg, Google's vice president of operations and advertising, who is also in charge of overseeing Google.org, said: "These are big problems, so our focus is to provide sustainable and scalable solutions to these problems."

One percent of Google's stock represents about three million of the 300 million shares created by its IPO in August 2004.

Full article: silicon.com
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Google.org: Let the giving commence - -

Picasa 2.1.0 Build 27.60

is software that helps you instantly find, edit and share all the pictures on your PC. Every time you open Picasa, it automatically locates all your pictures (even ones you forgot you had) and sorts them into visual albums organized by date with folder names you know. You can drag and drop to arrange your albums and make labels to create new groups. Picasa makes sure your pictures are always organized.

Picasa also makes advanced editing simple by putting one-click fixes and powerful effects at your fingertips. And Picasa makes it a snap to share your pictures you can email, print at home, make gift CDs, instantly share via Hello, and even put pictures on your own blog.

Download: Picasa 2.1.0 Build 27.60
 Posted by Picasa
Picasa 2.1.0 Build 27.60 - -

Sergey Brin: No office suite…for now

Google co-founder Sergey Brin made a guest appearance at the Web 2.0 conference. During his conversation, hosted by John Battelle, someone from the audience asked Brin about when a 'Google Office,' a web-based productivity suite, would appear. Brin responded: "I don't really think that the thing is to take a previous generation of technology and port them directly, and say can we do the minicomuter on the Web on AJAX makes sense. I'm not saying that's what [Microsoft] Office is, I'm just saying that I think the Web and Web 2.0, if that's what you want to call it, gives you the opportunity to do new and better things than the Office package and more. We don't have any plans [to do an office suite]." He went on to say that there are good Web-based applications popping up and that Google would do its thing, and that working with documents will become a lot more convenient than it is today. That sounds like Google may build or buy at some point, given that one of Google's goals, according to Brin, is to impact things where people spend a lot of time. such as email.

Read more: blogs.zdnet.com
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Sergey Brin: No office suite…for now - Saturday, October 08, 2005 -

Google tests personalized news feed service

Google launched a test version of a new service on Friday that gathers reports from syndicated news sites and blogs across the Web.

The program, called Google Reader, aggregates news and updates from selected sites. It lets users subscribe to material from the sites and create a reading list that they can sort and organize. Users can post news items to their blogs or send them to friends via e-mail directly through the Reader site, Google said.

"The amount of information on the Web is rapidly increasing," Google said on a frequently asked questions page about the product. "Google Reader helps you keep up with it all by organizing and managing all the content you're interested in. Instead of continuously checking your favorite sites for updates, you can let Google Reader do it for you."

Full article: News.com
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Google tests personalized news feed service - -

Google Toolbar

Google Toolbar
is a popular browser add-on for Internet Explorer that makes it possible to quickly perform Google Web searches, prevent annoying pop-up ads from appearing, and fill in Web forms with one simple click.

The toolbar's 'browse by name' feature also makes it possible to type searches directly into the browser address bar.

• SpellCheck
Check your spelling whenever you type in web forms

• WordTranslator
Translate English words into other languages

• AutoLink (US only)
Turn street addresses into links to online maps

System requirements:
• Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
• Internet Explorer 5.5+ (SpellCheck and AutoLink require IE 6.0+

Download: Google Toolbar
 Posted by Picasa
Google Toolbar - Friday, October 07, 2005 -

Google Talk Beta

They say talk is cheap. Google thinks it should be free. Google Talk enables you to call or send instant messages to your friends for free–anytime, anywhere in the world. Google Talk offers you:

• Choice: Get in touch how and when you want to–over email, IM or a call

• Quality: Talk through your computer but hear your friends as if they were in the same room

• Convenience: Your Gmail contacts are pre-loaded into Google Talk so inviting or talking to your friends is just a click away

Requires Windows XP/2000, minimum 56k (broadband recommended)
Mac and Linux users can connect to Google Talk using other IM clients

Google Talk is in beta and requires a Gmail username and password.

Download: Google Talk Beta
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Google Talk Beta - Wednesday, October 05, 2005 -

Google, Sun plan partnership

Sun Microsystems and Google plan to announce a collaborative effort that some analysts speculate could elevate the profile of the OpenOffice.org and Java software packages.

Details won't emerge publicly until Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Sun CEO Scott McNealy take the stage on Tuesday at a news conference in Mountain View, Calif. But one strong possibility is a partnership that could help shift personal computing out of Microsoft's domain and into Google's.

The partners have complementary assets for such a task. Sun has the open-source OpenOffice.org software suite and its close relative, StarOffice. It has Java software, which is well suited for network-friendly applications that run on any Java-enabled PC.

As for Google, its products have become daily resources for a vast number of computer users, and it offers a growing suite of software. In addition, it has the ambition of becoming the company that supplies network-based applications.

One person who was possibly an influence on the change is Joerg Heilig, who for years was director of engineering for StarOffice at Sun, but who now apparently is a Google employee. Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady said he had heard Heilig had been hired by the search company, and Google's voice mail system includes an employee with that full name.

A hint about the upcoming announcement might lie in Sun President Jonathan Schwartz's blog entry about software distribution, posted Saturday. In recent years, the power of software provision shifted toward Microsoft and away from companies that distribute software, whether through stores or directly to customers, he wrote.

Full article: CNET News.com

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Google, Sun plan partnership - Monday, October 03, 2005 -

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