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Friday, August 29th, 2008

Google Cows Point North

cow compass

The Los Angeles Times reports German researchers, through the help of Google Earth, have discovered that 2 out of 3 cows point North.

Using Google Earth, the researchers studied more than 300 herds of cattle from around the world. Of the 8510 cows they observed, two thirds of them had aligned themselves to face magnetic north while grazing or resting.

This is the first discovery of large land mammals to have this built-in compass. Other animals such as birds and most bees have a similar trait to aid with migration.

So, if you ever find your self lost out at the farm, take a look at the near by cows to help guide you safely home.

Is there no end to lawsuits against Google? On Tuesday Judah Klausner, an inventor from San Francisco, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Google, Verizon, LG, Citrix Systems, Comverse Technology, and Embarq.

Klausner’s company, Klausner Technologies, filed a patent back in 1992 for “visual voicemail”, a way to apply a graphical means of interacting with voicemail messages, similar to the use of e-mail.

Back in June, Klausner had a similar lawsuit settled against Apple, AT&T, and eBay (Skype) over its “visual voicemail” features on iPhone devices.

Verizon apparently had anticipated the lawsuit from Klausner and two weeks ago filed their own lawsuit in US District Court, to have the inventor’s patent declared invalid.

In an article published on Reuters Tuesday Jim Smith, a Verizon spokesman stated: “We anticipated Klausner’s action. We are seeking a declaration that Klausner’s visual voicemail patent is invalid and that Verizon’s system does not infringe the patent in any event.”

The latest lawsuit is just a series of suits filed by Klausner dating back to the first in 2005 against AOL.

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Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Yahoo to setup shop in Nebraska?

According to ABC 9 Eyewitness News, Yahoo has applied for a huge state tax break to help them setup shop in La Vista NE.

In order to qualify for the tax breaks Yahoo would have to create at least 50 jobs with an average salary of at least $68,700, and invest $100 million over a four year period.

The Application for these tax breaks is no guarantee of Yahoo’s plans to build in Nebraska. Its interesting that with all the financial trouble Yahoo seems to be having, that they may be willing to move forward with such a huge development.

A few months ago I wrote an article about 13 ways a webmaster can go about building links to their site. One of these ways was through the use of directory submissions.

There are many reasons why you may consider a directory submission. You could be trying to build your brand, focused on links for organic rankings, or simply want to drive traffic to your site. Below we will focus on the link building and organic ranking aspect of directory submissions.

There are countless directories out there these days, some are free, some are paid, and many are garbage. If you decide to build links to your site using online directories, there are some things you will want to consider before spending your hard earned money. Read more…

Possibly the most exciting post for me was from Oliver Marks at ZDNet . Here is a company that is thinking outside the box and developing an alternate interface for search on the internet; it involves returning results based on aggregate sets of information. Freebase Parallax is a fascinating peak into the future and it utilizes the strongest attributes to browse and explore data, a sort of marriage between Google and Wikipedia. This article has been placed under the Google section because I predict they will quickly snatch up this company and its revolutionary approach.

“Still technically in alpha, Freebase will be the underpinnings of many future companies – some would say this approach is the future of the entire Internet. Read more…

Tuesday, Microsoft announced a new plug-in for Outlook 2007. Information Week reports on this collaborative effort between Microsoft Research and Office Labs. The plug-in targets email overload and “uses various algorithms to automatically identify the importance or urgency of e-mail messages delivered into an Outlook 2007 in-box.”

It will allow automatic prioritizing of emails, and allow user to pause email delivery.

Email Prioritizer affixes e-mail with between zero and three stars to represent the urgency or importance of a given message. The program uses a number of algorithms that take into consideration things like the name of the sender and whether the receiver is on the “To” line or the “Bcc” line of an e-mail to determine priority, though at this point Microsoft isn’t forthcoming with a full list of exactly what Email Prioritizer takes into consideration.

“Users can also set e-mail priorities manually by changing or assigning a star ranking themselves. These user settings can inform automatic prioritization: for example, if someone always sets e-mails from his manager to three stars, those e-mails will eventually begin to arrive already bearing the three stars.

Email Prioritizer also comes with a “do not disturb” feature that allows users to tweak Outlook’s settings so that no new e-mails arrive until set periods of time between 10 minutes and four hours have passed.

Office Labs is one of a number of public-facing Microsoft “labs” attached to product groups that Microsoft has created in the past few years, including Live Labs and AdLabs.”

by Bill Stroll, Sales Manager, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 years of web marketing excellence.

Barry Schwartz reports on the American Consumer Satisfaction Index in Search Engine Land that Google extends its lead in search satisfaction.

Below is the ACSI table showing current scores (August 20th) and percent change from the previous year.

by Bill Stroll, Sales Manager, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 years of web marketing excellence.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Yahoo Interface Indents

Is there a new interface in the works for Yahoo? Search Engine Roundtable reports August 19th on grouped or indented search results.

“In the past, Yahoo never ever indented search results. In fact, in the past I thought they did do indenting and then stopped, but Yahoo told me that they have never grouped results.

Many search results, including a search for search engine roundtable return grouped results now. Here is a picture:”

by Bill Stroll, Sales Manager, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 years of web marketing excellence.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2008

Google Has Been Capped

News.com says Google is number 4. For a brief period of time last week Google’s market cap slipped from third to fourth position. Apple’s market cap reached $158.84 billion and edged out Google which was at $157.84. Wikipedia defines market capitalization as “…a measurement of corporate or economic size equal to the share price times the number of shares outstanding of a public company. As owning stock represents owning the company, including all its assets, capitalization could represent the public opinion of a company’s net worth and is a determining factor in stock valuation.”

The post states “Google’s share price is much higher, at $505.82 compared with Apple’s $178.97, but Google has only 314 million outstanding shares while Apple has nearly 886 million.” Microsoft is still the leader at $255 billion and IBM follows at $170 billion.

by Bill Stroll, Sales Manager, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating over 10 years of web marketing excellence.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2008

Will Google Index You & Me?

When you look at it on a global scale Google is by far the leader when it comes to searching for online information. Nobody really questions that. But what is the next step for Google? For some time now they have been helping users to find images, videos, news reports, and so much more – but once the internet is fully categorized within the depths of Google, and the monetization is solid for all its efforts, what will Google move to after that?

It seems that I cant escape the mention of anything work related during my personal life. This weekend when reading the September issue of Discover Magazine I saw an article on DNA testing that mentioned Sergey Brin and Google’s contribution of $3.9 Million to 23andMe, a genetic testing company back in 2007. This is old news, but it got my brain thinking off to a tangent.

Could the goal behind this investment be to prime the company for a future takeover by Google? Perhaps the future for Google is to index you, and me, and all our deceased relatives. By fully indexing DNA, perhaps we will someday have the ability to load in a drop of blood, saliva, or a hair, into our computers and have Google spit out a complete list of all our relatives, their info, and real-time Google Earth images or videos from above showing what they are doing at this exact moment, all with ads of course.

It may sound far fetched – (and okay, maybe it is), but less than 50 years ago so was the idea of us having personal computers in our homes – and only a few centuries ago the world was still flat! So while it may be unrealistic, in a few generations we may be able to research the DNA of potential mates from our homes by simply entering their name (probably telepathically) into Google. What a scary thought.