After attending a presentation by Google about Google Earth, Google Books, and Google Scholar and came away with some very interesting back stories of each of these and a bit on insight on where they may be headed. While the presentations were interesting, the chance to get into the new Minneapolis Central Library was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The few photos I took don’t do it justice. It is a beautiful building and is going to be a great resource for many, many Minnesota residents. You can read more on the library here.
I have put the new Google Calendar app through its paces and like many people, have found many things to like (invite features are looking good. I think evite is in trouble and Skobee is likely DOA) and some to dislike (still very buggy with refreshing itself after certain actions and there are some issues with duplicating entries for the same shared event). The purpose of this post, however, isn’t really about those things. It isn’t really even about Google Calendar. It is about what’s next for Google and the glimpse they have given us within this new application.
It is obvious that they will soon integrate their calendar and mail apps. My thought is, though, that they will not stop there. I think the time is ripe for them to unleash their first version of an integrate office style suite containing search, mail, calendaring, and word processing. I mocked up some screens as to what I think it may look like when it comes, posted them as a Flickr set and added notes to them as well. Here are some thumbnails:
Google Local should allow users to enter their own locations into the Google Local databases. There have been plenty of times when I know of a great restaurant being left out of the listings and I think plenty of people would add info to this service. Google need look no further than Wikipedia to see that such a system can work and work with very few errors and flaws. Is there more room for exploitation in Google Local (changing competitor’s info, etc)? Perhaps. But the benefits of a living system of data continually being updated and checked over has overwhelming advantages. As it stands Google Local hardly returns any useful results in the cities I live (St. Paul, Minneapolis) and what’s worse, often returns inaccurate results.
- A great use of the donations of hard working Catholics everywhere: Hire lawyers to get immunity from sex case prosecution.
- Arianna Huffington’s blog post standards below even those of Alt Text. Posting email forwards, however amusing just isn’t right.
- Amazing video of Octopus attacking a shark
- Market economies not the way to bring democracy? Full article.
- 50 year plan to reintroduce lions, elephants, cheetahs and more to North American habitats. – The more you read, the more it sounds like a bad idea – that is if it sounded at all like a good idea at first.
- You suck at supporting our troops!
- Hacking Hybrids to get 250 mpg? Yup. – if you’re not an engineer or are just rich, this company will upgrade your Prius for $12k.
- Flickr for videos?
- Is Google going to try to bring free wi-fi to everyone in the U.S.?
- Barcode tattoos to let people know certain “private” info about yourself? – Some are doing it and new phones read them. Make your own barcode with one of several tools.
- I can think of a lot of reasons the Bush administration should shy away from its recent mantra of personal choice. I am sure many women can too.
- The idea of a global city is interesting to me. There aren’t too many cities (45) that get the distinction. My hometown, Minneapolis manages to sneak into the lowest tier. I am sure the art and culture here have a lot to do with it, but having an international airport and the hub of a major carrier helps.
- Minneapolis is also the 26th most liberal city finds a recent (flawed) study. I say its flawed because it only looked at voting patterns in the last presidential election which is not really a good measure of liberal v. conservative.
- I am happy that Target and The New Yorker have plans for an all Target-based ad issue. Of course I am a bit biased because I like these two groups. If it were Wal-Mart buying all the ads in the Weekly Standard I would likely renounce it as commercial crap.
- Could the LifeStraw be the most important invention of our time?
- Maybe this is the means to which mobile phone and PDA manufacturers get us to enjoy rich media on their devices.
- Patent Room is a very neat site showcasing drawings submitted with patent applications of the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s.
- I really need very little reason to post a link about Daniel Quinn’s novel Ishmael Jason’s post/mini review of it seems like reason enough. I have been thinking more and more about these issues lately. These things go in cycles.
- Flash + Evangelical Christianity + Kirk Cameron = A maddening desire to kill
- If you saw any of the following: Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, A Knight’s Tale, The Animal, or The Patriot in a theater you may be entitled to your money back (pdf). Looks as though Sony used a made-up film critic named: David Manning to hype those films. God, if I could just get the same deal for: American Psycho, Blade, Congo, The Haunting, Malibu’s Most Wanted, and Mr. Deeds.
- Snopes’ list of unanswerable questions they have received that have a sense of urgency to them. Some favorites include mention of: Cat’s eating a dead person’s face off, hickies, penguin eggs, bananas, witches, and Corona among many other bizarre requests. Some of the requests however really give Snopes a lot of credit. Here is my favorite:
if anyone understands what im (sic). saying please e-mail me at this e-mail adress (sic). does anyone here bilieve (sic) that there are aliens in other planets? who really made us is there really a god? im not saying there isnt (sic). but who made god? seriously please answer back at me
- Ever wanted to compare Google Maps and Microsoft Virtual Earth side-by-side?
Atheist. Agnostic. Thanks to the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, I now have a new label to use when describing my views: Humanist
- 10 CSS tricks you may not know
- Get rich slowly – A great review of personal finance books at foldedspace.org with condensed bullet-point lists from some major ones.
- Many analysts are increasing their projections for Google’s stock price.
- The DOM Scripting Task Force aims to bring standards to the scripting world. I fear they may not have the success they have had with HTML and CSS, but wish them luck.