Today is Google’s official 15th birthday, as you’ve probably read or noted from the pinata Google doodle by now.
While the primary colors in the logo and clean white background have stayed the same, Google search has changed a lot over the years.
Here’s what Google looked like the first day it launched.
Here’s the home page:
And here’s what a Google search page looked like. You can find this page today by doing this nifty Google search.
Valve’s ‘Steam Controller’ is one of the most innovative looking video game gadgets announced this year.
Valve has made its third and final announcement about its big push into living room PC gaming, and it’s not the much awaited Half-Life 3. It’s a controller designed to work with all PC games, past and present, from the comfort of your own couch. And it is a curious beast indeed.
Novartis has issued a formal apology over misconduct relating to valsartan (Diovan) research in Japan, but that apology does not appear likely to satisfy the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, which plans to fully investigate the company’s role in the scandal. If necessary, ministry officials are prepared to raid the company’s offices in Japan.
In an exclusive to Forbes, online marketing company Leadtail, in conjunction with DNN Software, has provided me with an early look at the new B2B Insights report on Online Marketers the company will issue on Monday, Sept. 30, from Leadtail.com. I covered Leadtail’s Q2 report on Digital Marketers here.
Google rolled out the most significant change to its core search algorithm a month ago and almost nobody noticed. The change is designed to handle conversation search queries, such as “How do I tie a bow tie?” as well as it handles keyword search queries, such as “White House history.” It affects 90% of search results.
The company officially unveiled it to the press yesterday in California:
"It is really big," said Google search executive Amit Singhal.
In fact, Singhal said that what Google has done is the equivalent of switching out the core “engine” of Google’s search system for a new one. It’s perhaps the most significant change since 2001, according to the Search Engine Land blog.
But the new algorithm, nicknamed “Hummingbird,” has been operative for a month now, and yet few noticed. That means it’s basically a huge success. The last time Google made a slight tweak to its algorithm (“Panda”), in order to weed out spam and scraper sites, many mainstream web publishers screamed in protest as the search traffic they were used to receiving began plunging.
The fact that few have been screaming tells you that the new algo is doing exactly what Google wanted it to do: Work seamlessly.
You can get more details on conversational search here.
One last thing: At least initially, Hummingbird feels a bit like Facebook’s Graph Search, which is designed to handle more abstract or “latent” search queries such as “What movies do my friends like most?,” where users do not necessarily know what they are looking for.
I haven’t been shy about saying that Microsoft’s Xbox One needs some pretty serious selling points if it’s going to compete with the cheaper PS4. With all their policy reversals, Microsoft pretty much ended up with a very similar system to their rivals in the end. The biggest differences? The price, the peripheral that’s the cause of the price (Kinect), and each console’s exclusive games line-up.
A Series of Forbes Insights Profiles Of Thought Leaders Changing the Business Landscape: Lauren Bigelow, CEO of the Growth Capital Network…
There’s a fan theory about GTA 5 travelling around the forum world — that the in-game cops are guilty of racially profiling. There are three protagonists in the game, two white, and one black, and people on the internet suspect that the police are a little more enthusiastic about enforcing the laws on Franklin, the black one. Here are a couple of examples, first from a forum, second two from Twitter:
A designer who previously worked with the NSA has created legible fonts that cannot be automatically analyzed by computers, Kyle VanHemert of Wired reports.
It’s like those boxes where you prove you’re not a robot, but used to communicate with other humans.
Sang Mun, who worked with America’s signals intelligence agency during his time in the Korean military, said he was inspired by Google’s attempt to mine almost all of the data that comes its way.
“Hearing about Google Glass—a 24/7 ubiquitous panopticon–the Google Goggles app and its new image search engine, and Google’s rigorous process of scanning every existing book … All these software algorithms are programmed to extract every bit of information out of every kind of input,” Mun told Wired.
The typeface, dubbed ZXX, exploits weakness in optical character recognition software to print messages that cannot be electronically parsed. Mun also claims that a message using a combination of the four available fonts could be used to stifle a camera peeking over a shoulder.
After a year spent researching and creating, Mun released the type as a free download in 2012.
Check it out:
The creation for a “defiant typeface” is justified.
This week a federal judge ruled that Google may have breached federal and California wiretapping laws for computer-scanning Gmail messages to create user profiles and provide targeted advertising.
The NSA also uses computers to search data for the identifying keywords or other “selectors,” storing the matches so that human analysts could examine them.
NSA legend-turned-whistleblower William Binney claims that the spy agency began using one of the programs he built, known as ThinThread, to map track electronic activities of Americans to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” and build a real-time profile based on that data.
Given the automatic data mining of human-generated data, fonts like ZXX may soon find a place in the digital world.
PayPal has acquired Braintree, a company that specializes in powering mobile transactions. Meanwhile, Facebook announced that it’s pairing up with payment companies to roll out “Autofill,” which makes it easier for its users to buy things straight from their phones.
Mobile devices are edging closer to fulfilling their long-delayed promise as digital wallets, and tech and financial services players do not want to be left out.
Consumers and merchants are beginning to see the advantage of channeling offline payments through mobile devices, rather than transacting in coins and cash, credit cards — or clunky register systems.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we explain the main reasons why mobile payments are poised for takeoff, provide proprietary estimates for the growth and size of the mobile payments market in the years to come, and analyze the specific trends that will help shape the growth in mobile payments, including user concerns around security. We track the demographic and geographic nature of the consumers who will drive the growth, merchant-side adoption, and the mobile payments solutions that will lead the charge.
Here’s a brief overview of the current state of the mobile payments race:
Facebook Gift Shop, the social network’s experiment in e-commerce, was mothballed at the beginning of August 2013.
Does that mean that social-powered e-commerce will never rise to become a huge Internet business?
Will social commerce consist of nice-to-look-at digital shopping catalogs that don’t drive sales? We don’t believe so, since scores of entrepreneurs and retailers have succeeded with merchandising on social media and adding social features to e-commerce sites.
One successful strategy is to create time-sensitive offers that motivate users to snap out of casual browsing or social media-grazing and into a buying mood.
In a new report from BI Intelligence, we analyzed the most recent data and spoke to leaders in the social commerce space to understand how their companies are adding value at different stages of the consumer purchase funnel. To do so they’re building social networks around e-commerce platforms, partnering with brands, or otherwise transforming social commerce’s strengths in Pinterest-style digital window-shopping into a clear value proposition.
Here are the top social commerce strategies:
The report also includes an exclusive collection of eight charts and datasets, and a full-resolution version of our social commerce sales funnel graphic. Subscribers to BI Intelligence also have full access to our ongoing coverage of social commerce, including our preceding May 2013 Social Commerce Report.
Lots of analysts and industry pundits have been sounding off after Microsoft’s Surface event in New York on Monday with anything from praise to scathing criticism. I was on hand to see the company’s new Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 slates and I dare say I’m mostly impressed. At a base feature set and performance level, Microsoft seems to have a much better understanding of the tablet market this time around and Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 look to be compelling solutions at the 10-inch form factor.