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The Week We Searched For – November 20, 2009

Google Lifts the Veil on Chrome

Google unveiled part of their Chrome operating system this week. Although the actual launch date isn’t until late next year, the Chrome OS code will soon be released to the public under an open source license. Google’s operating system has been much rumored about, as it will run almost entirely through Web applications, relying on Web-based cloud storage, rather than computer storage. As such, Chrome is expected to pose real competition for Windows and Apple’s computing systems. While Google promotes the benefits of the ‘cloud,’ many are still skeptical about how reliable and secure it will prove to be. To read more about Chrome, its critics and fans, check out Neil McAllister’s article in the SF Chronicle. [1]

Google Adds Captions to YouTube

Google and YouTube released an automated caption generating service to YouTube videos this week. Previously, users had to manually add caption to videos, but with the new automated service, users have the choice to insert machine-generated captions. According to Ken Harrenstien, Google hopes the captions will help the deaf and hearing impaired, as well as open up video content across 51 languages. This may end up being a major enhancement to  SEO Best Practices for YouTube [2]. To see YouTube’s demo video and for more information on the project, check out Austin Modine’s article on The Register. [3]

BigDeal Unveils Website

BigDealhas launched their website with the help of $4.5 million from Mayfield Fund, Foundation Capital and First Round Capital. BigDeal is a live auction site, enabling users to purchase $0.75 bids and bid on retail items, like digital cameras, DVDs, TVs. The catch is that, unlike with traditional auctions, BigDeal keeps all the bid money and users receive ‘credit’ from their bids which they can use to purchase retail items directly from BigDeal. To read more about BigDeal and other auctions sites like it, check out Brad Stone’s article in the New York Times. [4]

AOL Plans to Cut One-Third of Employees

AOL announced this week their plans to cut their staff by a third over the coming month. The company will conduct a “voluntary layoff program [5],” allowing employees to choose to leave the company. If the target number of 2,500 layoffs is not met by December 11, then the company will conduct an involuntary layoff. The cuts come after an economically difficult year for AOL and a month after their spin off from Time Warner. 

Bits and Bolts

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon + [16]