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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Google Base Was Sort of Live Again, But...

Right now, Google Base was live for me. For a few seconds. I was logged into my Google Account (Gmail), so I could start editing right away and created a people profile. I could preview my draft, and I could see auto-completion (probably Ajax-based – a text input box with a select-box style drop down). However, as soon as I tried to save my edit, I was asked for my password again. Entering it returned me once more to the login screen asking me for the password. Since that time, even when I delete my cookies or try another browser, I can’t get it to work. So I suppose for the moment, for some, trying out the system worked, but only up to a point – saving didn’t.

Also, as Tony Ruscoe notes, the Google Account homepage now features Google Base as a category. And David Sanger points to the Googlebase JavaScript (mirrored here in case it goes down). David also saw a “Create a Google Base Account” page (while I could create a Google Account using a new Hotmail address, it didn’t have gmail, nor did it work with Gbase).

Some people in the forum asked the question; why does Google need to experiment with the service live? Why can’t they test it on a private system? I could imagine several possibilies. One, they don’t care much about what people write, or find the attention of the scoops flattering (a marketing coup similar to the buzz caused by releasing something on April 1st – Gmail in 2004 – and having everyone wonder if it’s real or not). Two, the system (load balancing, deploying the code base on thousands of servers, integrating it with Google Account, Google Maps etc.) doesn’t allow them to roll it out quickly. They need the time to deploy and can only really test it live. And Three, they just didn’t expect people to find the sub-domain. After all it’s not everyday that “a British programmer” (quote the New York Times on Tony Ruscoe) finds a new unannounced Google service.

Also see the Google Base screenshots from yesterday.

Google Web Accelerator Available Again

The Google Web Accelerator download has been made available again by Google recently. (It was then taken offline again, but at this moment I can see it live again.) This software, which was created to act as giant proxy to speed up surfing the web, was taken down for unknown reasons during May this year... it did face a lot of criticism and had some bugs (or simply “problems”, depending on how you look at it). Whether or not these have been fixed remains to be seen, but actually already one new bug – a missing identification header – had surfaced in this version (according to the Loud Thinking blog, Google says this should be fixed by now). [Thanks Raymond Angel.]

Google’s Direct Flight Information

Is this Google “onebox” result type new? It displays a link to flight information from Expedia and others when you enter two city names, like [Berlin Stuttgart]. (Google already displays train connection information as onebox results for quite a while now in Germany.) [Via Gary Price.]

MSN Book Search Coming?

Microsoft announces MSNBS (MSN Book Search), a project to digitize books and make them available online, similar to what Google Print is doing already. First, they will focus on books already in the public domain. According to Microsoft, “MSN Search intends to launch an initial beta of this offering next year.” [Via Gary Price.]

The Conversation Gap

Steve Rubel explains his concept of conversation gaps – basically, in online marketing that’s the discrepancy between people talking about your product, and people talking about the category your product falls into without mentioning your product.

Google Video’s American Television Interviews

From a Google press release:

“Google and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation today announced a joint effort to make the Foundation’s Archive of American Television interviews available for free viewing on Google Video. This historic collection includes interviews with Alan Alda, Dick Wolf, Steven Bochco and many of television’s greatest actors, writers, producers, directors and others.”

Also see Google Video. Video playback may be disabled depending on your location.

Update: Steve Mosko in the official Google Blog writes:

“And starting today, anyone in the world can go to Google Video and watch complete and uncut Archive interviews and learn directly from the legends and pioneers on how it all happened.”

No Steve, not anyone in the world. Anyone in the US. For certain other parts of the world (like here in Germany) video playback is disabled by Google. Late June this year, Google told me: “The playback component of Google Video is currently not available in the area where you live. However, we hope to make the product available as widely as possible in the near future.” And we’re still waiting...

Life Without Internet And More [Video]

Via Dominik Schmid comes 15 Seconds Without the Internet [MOV] and the Yes-Man advert [MOV]. Via Waxy, a Star Wars trailer remade as gay love story [WMV] (I’m mirroring the last one here as the original file has been removed).

Google LiveBase

This is photoshopped (and if I’m not mistaken, was available long before Google Base; it’s from Luca’s FutureFeeds sci-fi blog).


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