Google is updating its search results pages on the desktop today to show an interactive “carousel” of nearby restaurants, bars and other local places.
It works as expected; type in a query such as “Italian restaurants” and Google will bring up a horizontal grid of businesses close to your current location. Clicking on the image or name of the result will display further details, such as its address, relevant photos and an aggregated review score.
“And you can zoom in on the map that appears below the carousel to restrict your search to only places in a specific area,” the company revealed in a Google+ post.
The feature is rolling out in English for users based in the United States today. The “carousel” has been available for a selection of iPad and tablet users since December, but this is the first time that it’s hit the desktop, where a much wider number of users can access it.
The addition signals a renewed push by Google to serve up contextual information based on the location of the user. It’s the same strategy being used by Foursquare at the moment, although Google has a much wider reach due to its influence on the Web and desktop.
Google+ was updated in March, for example, with a new “Local reviews” tab that has since been condensed to just “Local” in the most recent redesign. It recommends popular places based on the user’s position and was later bolstered in May with a new Locations section for the Google+ Android app.
Google also updated the Google Places API to feature establishments listed and recommended by Zagat, a restaurant-rating group also owned by Google.
Local businesses that are listed prominently at the top of the search results page should receive a massive boost in interest from Google’s users. The new feature will improve the quality of the service for users, but also give Google a new potential revenue stream. If they can prove that being positioned in the “carousel” improves foot traffic, businesses will be stepping over each other to be listed there.
Image Credit – Getty Images
Google has filed a petition with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court citing its first amendment rights as it asks for permission to disclose controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests.
The company revealed in a Google+ post that it is seeking to separate out federal criminal requests from those related to national security:
We have long pushed for transparency so users can better understand the extent to which governments request their data—and Google was the first company to release numbers for National Security Letters. However, greater transparency is needed, so today we have petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to allow us to publish aggregate numbers of national security requests, including FISA disclosures, separately. Lumping national security requests together with criminal requests—as some companies have been permitted to do—would be a backward step for our users.
The Washington Post obtained a copy of Google’s motion, which referred to the first amendment, which protects freedom of speech, and the high value that the company places on transparency.
According to the Post, Google is specifically asking to reveal the number of national security requests it receives and how many user accounts are affected.
Last week, Google sent an open letter with a similar request addressed to the US Attorney General and the head of the FBI. The company cited a need to defend itself from inaccurate claims that suggest it is giving the government “unfettered access” to its data.
The National Security Agency has come under scrutiny this month after a series of reports revealed a massive surveillance apparatus that was believed to have the cooperation of the technology industry’s biggest players. President Obama has spoken out in defense of the NSA programs, noting that citizens aren’t getting the “complete story”. The FBI has pointed out that the data collection programs helped the agency thwart bomb plots against the New York Stock Exchange and the New York subway system.
Photo credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
View original post here: Google invokes first amendment rights as it requests permission to disclose FISA order figures
Goldengulf 9″ inch dual camera Latest MID Google Android 4.0 Tablet PC Capacitive Allwinner A13 8GB Flash 11.1
Date first available at Amazon.com: April 15, 2013
Buy new: $94.00
3 used & new from $92.50
(Visit the Hot New Releases in Computers & Add-Ons list for authoritative information on this product’s current rank.)
Google sure isn’t giving up on its Chromebook initiative, even though it’s not clear that the company’s Chrome OS-based laptops are selling all that well. Today, Google announced that it’s expanding its brick-and-mortar retail efforts for Chromebooks through partnerships with Walmart and Staples.
Over 1,500 Staples will feature them starting this weekend and about 2,800 Walmart stores will carry Chromebooks later this summer. In total, Google says, this will triple the number of stores that carry its Chromebooks and bring the total number to 6,600 stores around the world.
Walmart, it seems, will only make the cheapest Chromebook — the $199 Acer Chromebook — available on its shelves, though. Staples will feature “a mix of Chromebooks from Acer, HP and Samsung” and will also make them available online. The more expensive Pixel, Google’s high-end Chromebook, won’t be available at any of these retailers, it seems.
The company also announced that select Office Depot, Office Max, Fry’s and Tiger Direct locations will begin selling Chromebooks in the “coming months.” Previously, only Amazon and Best Buy carried Google’s laptops.
Google is also expanding the availability of Chromebooks internationally. In the U.K., for example, 116 Tesco stores are now selling Chromebooks; in the Netherlands, Mediamarkt and Saturn will carry them and France’s FNAC stores will also get Chromebook displays. Google is also adding partners in Australia (JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman) and Sweden (Elgiganten).
September 7, 1998
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing…
Read the original here: Google Will Soon Start Selling Chromebooks At Walmart And Staples, Other Retailers Coming Soon
According to CNN, Google’s proposed stock split moved closer to execution this weekend as the company’s board approved a set of new stipulations regarding the guiding rules of the financial maneuver. The company has yet to file the new, proposed agreement, but it will largely mirror the initial plan, under which a new, non-voting class of stock would be issued to all current shareholders on a one to one basis.
The new deal also stipulates that when the company wishes to employ more than 10 million shares in an acquisition, it must contemplate the impact that the issuance will have on voting shareholders, and the larger company. Also in the new agreement, according to CNN, is a clause that if the company’s founders commence a – presumably large-scale – sale of their equity positions in Google, it will “consider abandoning the multi-class stock concept.”
Currently Google’s founders and former CEO Eric Schmidt collectively control more than 60% of its voting privileges. They are loathe to lose any of that control.
However, to preserve their position, and assuage investors, part of the stock split will not allow the three to sell non-voting stock, and retain only their equity that comes with voting power. As TNW reported in April of 2012:
Finally, Google has instituted a program for Eric, Larry, and Sergey that will keep their voting and economic rights in line. They call it a ‘stapling agreement.’ Essentially, it means that those three can’t dump class C shares, leaving them with a decreased economic interest in the firm, and a proportionally larger voting interest. This is to keep the system fair, in other words.
Given the new terms, I suspect the split will go through simply. Google currently trades at $887.88, which implies that both classes of shares, once the new equity is issued, will trade for north of $400. That’s still a pricey stock – Microsoft trades for a more modest $35, despite having a nearly identical market cap – but more modest than its current cost.
Top Image Credit: Emmanuel Huybrechts
Update: A small correction was enacted regarding the 10 million share figure, and how it relates to acquisitions. I apologize for being slightly wrong the first time ’round.
Google today announced an expansion of Chromebook availability worldwide, tripling the number of stores to 6,600. In addition to Best Buy, Amazon.com, and Dixons in the UK, the company has added at least 13 more retailers around the globe, with more to come.
The biggest additions are undoubtedly Walmart, which will be kicking off the partnership by offering the newest Acer Chromebook ($199), in approximately 2,800 stores across the US, and Staples, which will bring a mix of Chromebooks from Acer, HP, and Samsung to every store in the US (more than 1,500 in total). Additional US stores that will be getting Chromebooks in the coming months include select Office Depot, Office Max, as well as regional chains Fry’s and TigerDirect.
Outside of the US, in the 10 other markets worldwide where Chromebooks are currently sold, Google is focusing quite a bit on Europe. The company is expanding availability to 116 Tesco stores in the UK, as well as all Mediamarket and Saturn stores in the Netherlands, FNAC stores in France, and Elgiganten stores in Sweden. In Australia, all JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman stores will soon carry Chromebooks for their customers as well.
Again, Google hints that this is just one part of a broader retail push. “With our partners, we’re working hard to bring Chromebooks to even more countries later this year,” Google says.
Google is essentially trying to build momentum for Chrome OS, which hasn’t managed to sway many consumers away from the likes of more traditional operating systems nor mobile platforms. Having a big presence in physical stores will surely help Chromebooks sell, though it’s difficult to say if it will be enough to convince users to switch away from the likes of Windows and even Android.
See also – Google unveils 12.85″ touch-screen Chromebook Pixel with a 2560×1700 display, starting today at $1,299 and Google and DonorsChoose.org offer schools Samsung Series 5 Chromebooks for $99 each