Archive for the ‘Search’ tag
In a fireside chat held by Google+ engineers, users expressed real dissatisfaction with the way the platform forces users to juggle multiple accounts but praised Hangouts.
The problem indicates a major glitch in how Google forces users to link a single Google+ account to a single login, usually from email. As the popularity of Gmail has grown, especially for work accounts, the requirement forces users to have multiple profiles on Google+.
The staffers, speaking at the company’s developer conference, I/O, acknowledged that the experience using Google+ with multiple accounts was “not good.” On average, the staff said, they had 2.2 accounts apiece.
“I’m a startup addict so I have multiple accounts. I get people following me in Google+ where I don’t post. My issue is that I can’t consolidate these accounts or send a message that says, hey I’m not active on this account,” said one commenter.
The multiple accounts made his search results less than clear, rather than more clear, the user said. The search giant aggressively promotes improved search results as a reason for brands and authors to use Google+.
Yet, Google had no real solution. David Glazer, Google+’s engineering director, suggested that the startup addict put text in his profile photos to tell users to find him on other Google+ profiles. That approach would not be reflected in search results.
Another commenter complained that he had difficulty adding people to his circles in his Google+ accounts. If he is logged in using one Google ID and comes across a user he’d like to add to his circles in a Google+ account linked to another ID, he had found no good way to do it. Even copying and pasting the user profile’s URL, he was re-directed to his own Google+ homepage.
Glazer asked the room how many users had been burned by this issue in the last week, and most of the room indicated they had.
But users offered glowing reviews of Hangouts. Several said Hangouts had transformed the way they did business.
The staff indicated that they, too, relied on the service, which Google yesterday broke out from Google+ as a free-standing app. Google hosts 20,000 hangouts a day for its own purposes, Glazer said.
While Hangouts currently works within Google+ and as a free-standing app, Google will slowly stop maintaining it as a feature within the Google+ mobile apps.
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Bing’s U.S. search market share has hit another all-time high, passing 17 percent for the first time. It gained at Google’s expense, as the search giant slipped six-tenths of a percentage point last month. That’s from comScore’s April 2013 qSearch report, just out today. For…
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Google’s voice search is about to get a whole lot smarter on the desktop. During the company’s huge developer conference keynote today, a Googler showed off how voice search will be able to understand more natural language commands.
Normally, when a company claims that it’s bringing the helpfulness of a Federation starship’s onboard computer to everyday technology, I sort of roll my eyes and prepare to be disappointed — except this time, that didn’t really happen.
Today, Google demonstrated its new conversational search feature during its annual Google I/O developers conference. Conversational search basically means that you’re asking questions rather than strategically typing in search terms to get the answer you want from a query, something that’s been available on Android mobile devices and Apple (via Siri) for a while now. However, Google is now bringing that conversational search to the desktop. (Check out a demo video below for a better look at voice search.)
To take advantage of this tool, you need to use Google’s Chrome web browser and also have access to a working microphone. From there, you can start by saying “OK, Google…” and proceed to ask it a question or bark out an order. (But beware of barking too harshly in case this new tech is really just the precursor to a future where Cylons take over our planet.)
During the demo, Google’s conversational search was able to pull up travel destinations for a long trip, pull up restaurant data, see flight itineraries, etc. — nothing we haven’t already seen. But what is impressive is how much the voice instructions are actually like talking to someone who had information you need to know. Part of that is in anticipating what the conversation would be and what the person making the query actually wanted to know. Obviously, the technology is getting better, and its far closer to the Enterprise‘s computer than it was when the service first rolled out.
But just because the conversational search is branching out to the desktop doesn’t mean the company isn’t still working to improve the mobile experience. More specifically, the company will be adding plenty of new cards that will appear in its Google Now service, including those for public transit, music album, movies, TV shows, reminders, and books.
Filed under: Business
Google Introduces Conversational Search For The Desktop With “Hotwording,” Prompting It With “OK Google”
Today, Google announced that its conversational search that is available for its Android and iOS apps would be coming to the desktop within the Chrome browser. Until now, you could search for things using your voice…but you couldn’t ask questions.
Now, you’ll be able to keep your mic open without clicking a button, by waking Google up with the prompt “OK Google.” This is similar to the prompt that wakes up Google Glass.
You can say things like “Show me things to do in Santa Cruz” and get results quickly, and with the context that you need to take an action. It’s very similar what you can do with Google Now right now. The familiar voice will respond to you, answering your question. That’s what Google Search is all about now, asking questions.
Without having to worry about “how” to search for something and asking a simple question, you can get more done, faster. That’s Google’s goal. You’re not going to get answers to all of your questions, but the company does collect information about those failed searches. It gets smarter, like all of their products.
Will you sit and speak to your computer? Asking it questions? It sounds odd, but no more odd than talking to a microphone on a pair of lensless glasses.
Pinterest today released updates for its mobile apps that allow users to mention social contacts and receive notifications, as well as access searches they’ve made previously on other devices.
Pinterest follows Facebook in adopting the “@” mention convention first pioneered by Twitter. The mention feature is supported by augmented notifications. Users can opt to receive notifications only within the app or to see push notifications without opening the app.
Pinterest rolled out Android and iOS updates simultaneously, suggesting that its apps are performing well on Android. But iOS users get an additional feature in their update: Pinning from websites. To access the feature, users hit the “+” sign and type in a URL box that appears. (Pro tip: Go to the website first and copy the URL, then simply paste it in the Pinterest app.)
iOS users can also invite other members to co-curate boards with them using the mobile app.
Both updates also introduce a simple form of cross-device synching: The user can see and access searches s/he has previously conducted on the Pinterest website. The search function also adds auto-complete, sparing users some stabs at the mobile keyboard.
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Big data startup LucidWorks has raised $10 million to help enterprise companies “turn multi-structured data into business gold.”
LucidWorks product suite contains two development platforms that enable organizations to search, discover, and analyze their data. LucidWorks Search is built on top of Apache Lucene/Solr open source search project and seeks to simplify and improve the process of building embedded search applications. The other product, LucidWorks Big Data, then helps businesses make sense of the data.
The company employes one-fourth of the original committers to the Apache Lucene/Solr project. It was founded as Lucid Imagination in 2008 to provide support, training and consulting services for open source search technologies Lucene and Solr. However, the team saw greater opportunities to make open source search more accessible and “unlock data’s ability to power competitive advantage” and set down to build LucidWorks Search and Big Data, which released in 2011 and 2012, respectively. AT&T, Nike, Sears, Ford, Verizon, The Guardian, Elsevier, The Motley Fool, Cisco, Macy’s, Netflix and Zappos are customers.
LucidWorks claims to be the largest supporter of open source search in the industry. Organizations are struggling to draw business insights from mountains of unstructured (texts, emails, and so on) and structured data and a crop of well-funded “big data” startups are trying to provide the simplest way to crawl through petabytes of information, store a massive volume of data, and extract the most relevant information. Endeca, Autonomy, ElasticSearch and recently launched SRCH2 are other players in the space.
According to a form filed with the SEC, existing investors Shasta Ventures, Granite Ventures, and Walden International contributed to this third round of funding. It brings LucidWorks’ total capital raised to $26 million. LucidWorks is based in Redwood City and has not yet responded to request for comment.
Underneath the bright illustrations and charming stories, children’s books contain subtext intended to help children relate to the world around them. Zoobean launched today to make it easier for parents to find books that are the most relevant for their children.
Zoobean is a curated catalogue of children’s books. Every book on the site is recommended by parents and categorized using ‘commonsense’ tags. Parents can search for books that explore specific themes, like bullying, the death of a pet, or magic, as well as browse by age group, character background, or genre.
Zoobean was founded by a husband-and-wife duo who both built a carer in education. Felix Brandon Lloyd was named a Washington D.C. Teacher of the Year for 2000-2001. He went on to build and sell a platform called Skill-Life that taught children about financial literary through online games. Jordan Lloyd Bookey is a former teacher who also directed a DC-based non profit supporting literacy efforts in low-income neighborhoods and is the outgoing head of Google’s K-12 Education Outreach.
This educational power couple was expecting their second children and searching for a book to teach their 3-year old son about what it meant to be a big brother. Identifying relevant books proved to be a challenge.
“At the time we could not easily find books that told stories about new experiences and featured a brother and sister and a multiracial family,” they said in an email. “In stores, books were organized by genre, author, or very broad themes that weren’t really relevant for them. We also searched many popular shopping websites, but the information was overwhelming and impersonal. In the end, we were frustrated and empty-handed. Parents and educators rely on remarkable books to help connect children to their worlds and we decided to create Zoobean to address a need that benefits families and helps children imagine and achieve anything.”
The books are indexed by a team of 10 curators using over 500 tags. Parents can filter the search queries down to exactly what they are looking for or browse through “Most Loved” books, or those featuring the most “hearts” (the Zoobean version of a Facebook ‘like’). The company offers a subscription service, direct sales of featured books and affiliate sales of books in its catalogue.
The founders said their mission is to become “the most trusted curator for the $25 billion dollar market for children’s books, games, and other educational products.”
To help them achieve this goal, Kapor Capital has made a seed investment of $500K. It is a big market with competitors ranging from startups like Sproutkin to large e-retailers and publishers including Amazon, Scholastic, and non-profit Common Sense Media. Zoobean is based in Washington D.C.
Google’s head of search spam, has decided to publish a bunch of blog posts that were sitting in draft mode on his personal blog. He said his blog needs to cough up a hairball – hence the animated GIF used here. But we can learn a few things when Matt Cutts coughs up hairballs. A [...]
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Here’s some news that will sadden the few hundred tech-savvy people still using feature phones to grab information from the web.
Google has apparently shut down its SMS search service, reports Ghacks.net today. The shutdown actually happened days ago, but not many people noticed, according to a quick scan of Google News search. The service was probably pretty useful in 2006 (and earlier) when people didn’t quite see the need to get a data plan for the quasi-smartphones available. (Mind you, back then neither the iPhone or any Android-powered handsets were available yet.) This is especially true because it was completely free.
Just like you’d expect, Google SMS search service allowed you to send text message queries to “466453″ (GOOGLE), which would send back a handful of results to your phone. There were even a few shortcuts for returning the local weather, sports scores, and news headlines. Sending a message to the service now returns a notification that SMS search is no longer available.
We know SMS search is gone in the U.S. and Canada, but this might not be true in all regions. Google does have initiatives like its Free Zone to get third-world countries (and others without a strong tech infrastructure) using its services, as VentureBeat previously reported.
Photo via Sifter/Flickr