Amazing Google Tools

google1 Amazing Google Tools
Kamal asked:

Googlo!Google.Things sure change fast.Once an abscure mathematical concept,the new age respelled and capitalized avatar is the search engine that has come from nowhere to become the search engine of choice,and even an accepted english verb!Heck i have a confession to make and now’s as good a time as any – i love google!

Why you may ask?whay am i wasting precious newsprint proclaiming a much-repeated cliche?Let me explain.Its not about the pleasing lack of banner advertising in its search results or for that matter that the management vehemently promotes its fundamental guideline:Don’t Be Evil.” its probably the intuitive accuracy with which Google ferrets out the information people are actually looking for.Or maybe it’s just that i can’t even remember how we managed when the entire world wasn’t indexed and instantly available.
Truth be told,Googleis what a lot of us really want the internet to represent-information that is fast and free.As a business,this is precisely where other players have messed up and are playing catch up now.Strange as it may sound in the industry in which it operates,Google built on what one could call a second mover advantage.

Getting there is one thing and as yahoo must’ve learnt the hard way,staying there is quite another.It’s not surprising then that as a general practice,Google also requires that its engineers spend 20 percent of their time working on personal technology projects.Give a bunch of really smart guys that kind of freedom,agreed even Google suggests that the ideas in this technology playground aren’t ready for primetime but given their track record of products staying perennially in beta (Gmail) some of this stuff is too compelling to ignore.

Google Suggest

If you love autoComplete,you’re going to dig this!Take a regular Google search and throw in an algorithm to predict the user queries based on overall popularity from the database that it maintains to track ‘search trends’.As you type,the suggestion appears in a drop down menu.Type in ‘Chip’ and Google suggest refines the from down list to suggest anything from chips to chippendales along with the number of results against each alternative.What really rocks is that displaying this list is obviously a computationally intensive task,and it’s achieved in near real time!

Perfect for those times when you want to peep into the guts of Google and see how other users think and search.And of course as creator Kevin Gibbs puts it,it “makes it easier to type in your favorite searches.

Google Scholar


If you’re the sort who thinks going to a library to pull up research papers is a real drag,Google scholar is for you.While it claims to index everything from peer-reviewed papers,theses,books,preprints,abstracts and technical reports in many areas of research,it offers only some of what you would expect from a library database.The convenience of the one-box-fits-all-interface is very compelling and what’s really promising is that for the first time,Google spiders have crawled into password-protected subscription-based content to provide abstracts of hitherto uncrawled academic material.

when spidering the content,Google spiders also identify authors of the papers as well as the formal titles of the papers and other documents that cite the material.The citation go as inputs to the special ranking algorithm to establish the popularity and connection between two otherwise link-disconnected articles.

Google may simply have hit the sweet spot for research students and faculty the world over – not by providing new material but by exposing material that was till now invisible to our day and age.No longer will Google be merely indexing the web;it will be adding vast amounts of content as well.

Google Print

Drawing inspiration from the scholar project,Google engineers collaborated to form Google Print.If the material you’re searching for deos not actually exist online,and enough papers reference it,Google provides a handy Library search that searches libraries for offline books.

And that’s not all.As we go to print,Google has begun a massive digitization project with five libraries:stanford,University of Michigan,Harvard,Newyork Public Library and Oxford – estimated to cost upwards of $150 million and over five years to digitize.Copyright material will of course only be available as bibliographic information and snippets of text but books in the public domain will be fully searchable and if you still prefer the smell of dead trees,printable.

Of course geek humor will still prevail at Google.Seen on the Google Print home page:”No library books were harmed during the making of these digital copies”.

Personalized Web Search

Nifty,very nifty stuff.Privacy issues asid,personalized search lets you create your own profile of interests (such as technology,open source).Now when you search on the personalized web search page you can drag a slider to show personalized results.

Take it out for a spin.I entered Open Source as an interest.then searched for nothing but ‘news’.Without personalization,i get maximized personalization,i got to see technology blog Slashdot in the top spot.

Google stores personalized profiles by setting a cookie,oblitering the need for logging in time and again.

Google Alerts

Kevin Gibbs wasn’t kidding if you’re so lazy that you would rather get Google to tell you when your search results change in Google news or Web Search,so be it Google Alerts sends you e-mail anytime there are new Google results for your search terms.All you’ve got to do is visit the Alerts page,enter your search and the frequency of checking and your e-mail address.very neat if you’re tracking a breaking news story or want the latest dope on that girl you saw on TV the other day.

Google Desktop Search

yeah,yeah.Much have been said about the google destop search everywhere.Google Desktop search indexes and searches files on your windows PC so fast.

Reviews say Google’s isn’t the best,but it’s good enough and it will improve,as will competition.The state of desktop search woefully inadequate for so many now is going to get much,much better.

Google Compute

SETI lovers unite!.if you search for extra terrestrial intelligence has yielded nothing but colorful patterns on your computer all these years,it’s time to devote your spare computing cycles to a nobler cause-through the process known as distributed computing,where a processor downloads a small piece of a large research project and performs calculations on it much like thousands of other client.

Folding@home,stanford funded project to understand the nature and structure of proteins to better diagnose and treat illnesses,is the first recipent of the Google Compute project and if this is what it takes to help humanity,E.T can wait.

Google Voice Search

Google on the telephone?Yup crazy as it may sound you dial the Voice Search phone number,speak your keywords and then click on the indicated link.It’s still experimental and doesn’t always work.

Cool Tools

If you thought Google was only about search think again!Here are some of the cool things the plain white page can do-all these have at some point of time or the other graduated from Google Labs.Not bad for employee projects,eh?

Cached Links: Useful,especially when the site has since disappeared from the World Wide Web,Google’s cached Links bring the page back to life.CPR for the web eh?

Shopping-froogle and Catalogs: Indexes products from online stores and more than 6,000 paper catalogs in a searchable index.

Then what else surf over to

That said,Google lab projects may suddenly disappear at any time out of lack of user interest,or lack of stability or that they were so popular that Google servers went on strike.

If one could call a search engine ‘sexy’,then Google would be the pinup power search glam boy of the world wide web.

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