Google Receives Warning from Chinese Government
Chinese officials issued a warning against Google this week, stating that the search engine would have to “pay the consequences,” if it continued to violate Chinese censorship laws. Tension between the two has been growing since the start of the New Year, when Google said that it would no longer censor the Chinese language version of its search engine. Prior to this statement, Google had been censoring politically charged sites, such as those regarding the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, Tibetan independence or Falun Gong.
According to Li Yzihong, the Minister of Industry and Information Technology, “We need to preserve our nation’s interest, our people’s interest, we cannot be relaxed with any information that will cause harm to the stability of our society, to our system, and to the health of our under-age young people.”
Facebook and Twitter Continue to Emphasize Geo-Search
Facebook and Twitter both actively added on to their new location-based features this week. Facebook is expected to release its location-based feature in late April during their annual f8 conference. According to Nick Bilton at the New York Times, “The new location feature will have two aspects… One will be a service offered directly by Facebook that will allow users to share their location information with friends. The other will be a set of software tools, known as A.P.I.’s, that outside developers can use to offer their own location-based services to Facebook users.” The same day Bilton’s article appeared in the NYTimes, Twitter turned on its new Geolocation feature, which automatically displays tweets tagged with location data with a placemaker. The race for the best geolocation service is bound to get exciting over the new two months, as Google, Facebook and Twitter are all expected to meet at their respective annual technology conferences.
Google Launches Apps Marketplace
Google launched their ‘Google Apps Marketplace’ this week that will allow users to purchase products and services ‘designed for Google users.’
Google and TV?
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that Google is testing a television programming search service. The service should allow users to find normal shows via satellite-TV, but also surf the web for videos on YouTube. It’s still unclear whether this is the fusion between television and the Internet we have all been waiting for, but it’s a start.
Google Partners with Italy in Book Scanning Deal
Google and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage have agreed to digitalize close to a million out-of-copyright books that are located at the national libraries in Florence and Rome. Google will cover all the costs of the project and the scans will be available to groups across Europe.
- If you are looking for a good brain tickle, check out Lisa Grossman’s article on Wired.com on the relationship between quantum computing and chaos.
- Steve Lohr conducts a very interesting conversion with Charles P. Thacker, the 2009 winner of the Turing Award, in this week’s NYTimes.