About Philipp Lenssen

Philipp Lenssen from Germany, author of Google Apps Hacks, shares his views & news on the search industry in the daily Google Blogoscoped.
Google Plans To Map The Ocean

Google is planning to map not only the sky and land masses (Google Mars, Moon, Earth, Google Maps and so on), but – according to a report by News.com – also aims to map the oceans:

iGoogle’s Artist Themes

Google in the US is currently promoting a new “artist themes” section for iGoogle via a special logo and text below the search box.

Google’s 300 DoubleClick Layoffs

Life After Google

Wired’s Betsy Schiffman compiled a list of ex-Google employees doing their own start-ups now or joining companies… which may or may not become Google competition. From Vanessa Fox to Kevin Fox, Biz Stone to Evan Williams, Jess Lee and others. An “attack against the mother ship,” as Henry Blodget called it.

18 Or Older To Use Google?

Google has this bit in their terms of service:

You may not use the Services [defined as “Google’s products, software, services and web sites"] and may not accept the Terms if … you are not of legal age to form a binding contract with Google

Google’s New Benchmarking Tool

Google Japan Gets New Design

The Google Japan homepage was redesigned, as some of you are seeing it (and as the Google Japan blog reports). Perhaps this only shows in some locations – I can’t see it yet – but Colin Colehour posted some screenshots in the forum. As far as I can tell the four tabs consist of:

Tech Czar, Blog Translation Network

TechCzar.com is a service for tech bloggers which will translate your blog posts into a variety of languages – like Chinese, German, French, Korean, Spanish and more –, with translations to be hosted at their site. The idea is really neat, I think – the service gets content, and you get potentially more readers for your posts. Furthermore, they also offer some monthly payment to the blogger if their traffic is high enough.

Amazon Tries to Strong-Arm Kindle-Related Sites

Jason Schramm registered the domain KindleReport.com a while ago to report on Amazon’s ebook, the Kindle*.

Custom Localized News on Google News

Google News has a new feature: custom localized news. Just visit the Google News homepage and scroll down to the “Local News” input box. Enter your location, click Add, and you’ll find a new navigation entry in the top left.

Wikipedia Sparks Controversy Over Muhammad

According to the International Herald Tribune, the depiction of Prophet Muhammad in Wikipedia’s article on the subject has triggered an online petition.

Google To Offer Music Downloads in China?

The Wall Street Journal picked up a rumor that Google is preparing for a counterstrike against Baidu by offering music downloads:

Microsoft Offers to Yahoo Rebuffed Before

Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo. Holy ****. From CNN (stock tickers removed):

Microsoft Corp. proposed Friday to the board of Yahoo Inc. to acquire all the outstanding common shares of Yahoo for $31 a share, representing a total equity value of about $44.6 billion.

The SmugMug Privacy Hole
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There’s a massive privacy hole over at photo hosting site SmugMug.com.

Add Vector Shapes Into Google Presentations

You can now add a couple of simple vector shapes into Google presentations: arrows, speech bubbles, a circle, a rectangle and a sun-like shape.

Google Software Engineer Explains MapReduce Concept

Mark Chu-Carroll is a Google software engineer, and in a personal blog post this week explained the concept of one of Google’s programming models: MapReduce, which splits a task onto many computers on Google’s server farm (server farm, or single super computer, depending on how you look at it) to be quickly crunched.

Google Tests Demographic Bidding AdWords Feature

The Google AdWords service is testing a feature for advertisers to use “demographic bidding.”

This means that you can specify that your ads will only be shown to, say, women over the age of 55. Or perhaps you have an online store for men’s clothing, then you can target only men. You can also specifically exclude a certain group.

Using Google Docs to Work on a Book

Currently, my editor Brian Jepson and I are collaboratively writing the book (tentatively titled) Google Office Hacks by O’Reilly using Google Docs.

I wanted to outline the process we came up with, and maybe it’s helpful for you too for certain needs.

Nofollow Makes it Into HTML5 Specification

HTML5 appeared as first working draft at the World Wide Web Consortium.

A Chat with the Designer of the Google Logo

Ruth Kedar of KedarDesigns.com designed the Google logo in the version that became famous around the world (the original tries at designing the logo were by Google co-founder Sergey Brin, reportedly, using the Gimp software). I asked Ruth how the Google logo design came about originally, and here’s her reply.

Google Logo

Ten Great Tips for Working with AdSense

Google just released a Newbie Central for their AdSense program, those ads webmasters can include on their site to earn money for every click on the ad from a visitor (if you’re using the program, part of the advertiser budget will go to you, and the other part to Google).

 I wanted to add some tips from my own experience:

Knol Recieving A lot of Criticism

Anil Dash, blogger and Six Apart employee, argues that Google has fundamental problems with creating good editing tools because they can’t really put themselves in the mind of the end user.


Videos, Books & Photos on Google Maps
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The search page of Google Maps now shows location markers. The markers can be in the form of videos from YouTube, books from Google Book search or geo-tagged photos from Panoramio.

Subscribed Links Now in Google Organic Results

Ben Allen found that Google now integrates Subscribed Links results in-between other organic search results, as part of the “universal search” initiative; this may be new, though it’s hard to tell for sure.