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Google Acquires CAPTCHA Company

Google Acquires CAPTCHA Company

By Chris Crum September 17, 2009 | 6 Comments

Google announced today that it has acquired reCAPTCHA, a company that provides CAPTCHAs to over 100,000 sites around the web.

Perhaps you’re thinking that Google was inspired by a patent recently granted to Microsoft for advertising via the CAPTCHA. Maybe Google will be the first to offer AdWords in CAPTCHAs. Maybe "relevant" CAPTCHA text.

Disability Group Comes To Google Book Search’s Defense
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Google Book Search has not always had the largest of cheering sections; between authors wanting more money and watchdog organizations calling it a monopoly, the program’s encountered a lot of challenges.  But an important organization stood up for Google Book Search earlier this week.

Google Answers Privacy Questions Over Google Books

Google signed a settlement agreement with authors and publishers last year over Google Books. Google says that if it is approved by the court, it will unlock access to millions of books for anyone in the United States.

Today, Google has addressed privacy concerns that users and potential users have voiced with regards to Google Books.

Oxford University Press Endorses Google Book Settlement

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The world’s largest university press has sided with Google in the ongoing Google Book Settlement debate.  Yesterday, Tim Barton, the president of Oxford University Press, spent about 2,700 words explaining that he believes even a flawed settlement is better than nothing.

Journalists Get Some Love in Google News
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Google has added a couple features to Google News that make it easier for users to find content from specific authors and journalists. This is ideal for readers who like the work of a particular reporter, but would otherwise be unsure of where to find just that person’s articles.

European Union Scrutinizes Google Book Search Deal
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The Google Book Search team may have access to all sorts of literature, but the simple term "clear sailing" is probably fading from members’ vocabulary.  Another obstacle has come up as the European Union has decided to study if a recent settlement complies with local copyright law. 

Defamer Now Part of Gawker

At the end of 2008, it was announced that Consumers Union, publishers of Consumer Reports was acquiring Consumerist.com from Nick Denton’s Gawker Media. Gawker has now dropped its Defamer.com site as its own entity and rolled it into Gawker.com as the site’s "column from Hollywood."

Google Optimizes Book Search for Mobile
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Google Mobile Book SearchGoogle has launched a long overdue mobile version of Book Search for the iPhone and Android. This includes access to over 1.5 million mobile public domain books.

Google Adds Magazines to Book Search
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Google’s quest to organize all the world’s information has taken another step forward today with the announcement that magazines are now appearing in Google Book Search. In time, these results will also become part of regular Google searches.

Google and Others Provide Halloween Fun
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For those of you sitting around this evening either avoiding trick-or-treaters, or just simply looking for some ghostly entertainment to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, Google has some special content set aside for you.

Not only are they featuring some Halloween Books on the front page of Google Book Search:

Google Halloween Books

Google Indexing Scanned Text
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Google is now indexing scanned documents in search results. In other words if you scan a page of text and post it to the web, it will be treated like an actual page of text rather than the image that it truly is (theoretically at least).

Google Resolves Book Search Lawsuits

Google’s book-scanning and -sharing problems are, in short, almost gone.  Pending the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Google has agreed to a host of steps that will satisfy the Authors Guild, John Wiley & Sons, the McGraw-Hill Companies, Pearson Education, the Penguin Group, and Simon & Schuster.

Google Doubles Book Search Partners

Google really has the ball rolling on the controversial Google Book Search project. Reuters is reporting that 20,000 publishers have signed on over the last year, doubling the number of partners that Google has. The company has also added two new library partners over the last year bringing that number up to 29.

Google Library Partners Making Their Own Database

A group of libraries that are participating in the Google Books Library Project want to make sure that their work lives on in case Google doesn’t. They’re forming a backup database of digitized books in case Google should go out of business in the future (insert joke or snide comment here). The database is called HathiTrust.

Google Lets You Embed Books

Today, Google has made the books that it features in Google Book Search available to embed on any website, similar to the way you can embed a YouTube video. Here’s how.

Google, Random House Close To Book Search Deal

Random House maybe closer to joining Google’s book search project, something the world’s largest publisher has been opposed to in the past.

Google Book Search Gets Text Layer
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Google Book Search has, up until now, provided images of text; these were fine for reading, but not so great for anything else.  So the service is taking a step forward and offering true “text layers” of many of its out-of-copyright books.