Google releases the Chromebook Pixel, designed for high-performance cloud computing

pixel chromebook

When manufacturing cheap personal computers, designers have to make trade-offs between processing power, memory and other computer components in order to strike an economical but workable balance. The balance, clearly, is a delicate one and any solution that eliminates the need for one of these components is highly welcome.

Google Chromebooks are such solutions that do away with the need for huge hard disk spaces by storing whatever you do on the cloud. The latest Chromebook, the Chromebook Pixel, is an amalgamation of the best hardware, software and design to come up with the next generation gadget suited for power users who have already fully adopted the cloud.

The Visual Display unit has the highest pixel density than any other laptop screen on the market. Packing 4.3 million pixels (239 ppi), the display delivers sharp text and vivid colors over an extra wide view angle. In addition to this, the screen comes with touch support to sate the need to touch the close-to-real HD images it displays. Organizing tabs and photos and other edits happens swiftly and easily with the swipe of a finger.

To support the grueling demand from long hours of use, the Pixel comes in an anodized aluminum alloy cover giving it a sleek and durable surface. To keep the outward appearance of the design, vents and screws remain hidden while the full-range stereo speakers fit snugly under the backlit keyboard.

To increase precision, a glass etched touchpad, finished using laser technology, is all you need to move the cursor about on the Chromebook in case you do not want to use the touch screen. With its 720p webcam and three strategically placed microphones designed to eliminate noise, you can now comfortably do your video conferencing in noisy environments.

Powered by Intel Core-i5 processor, anything you decide to do, from loading Web pages to changing apps is almost instant which is exactly what users with no time to spare expect from their devices. With its top-notch Wi-Fi range and dual-band support with optional Long-term Evolution (LTE), you can be sure that accessing your cloud-stored data just got easier and more fun.

google-chromebook-pixel-laptop

The Chromebook Pixel comes with one terabyte of Google Drive Cloud storage and 12 free GoGo Inflight Internet passes allowing you to store as much as you can and access it while on the go without having to pay more, at least for a start.

With all the favorite Google products just a click away, the Chromebook is definitely a workable solution for those who are already in the cloud computing bandwagon. Thanks to Chrome OS, you will no longer need to wait for the computer to boot up. In addition, you will need no maintenance. To sum up the whole package is a built-in virus protection that self-updates once every few weeks.

The Chromebook Pixel is available for purchase on Google Play in the US and UK. The Wi-Fi version retails at $1,299 with the LTE version retailing at $1,449 which will be available in the US come this April. High-end users who need a device that incorporates tablet functionality and cloud computing services now have something to smile about with the Chromebook Pixel.

Samsung and Google create the ultimate mobile companion for cloud enthusiasts

In the world of technology, we invent and or create some things, and that becomes the end of the story. We sometimes invent and create, but some consumers just do not like the results. There is a breed of innovations, however, that sell out even before they are actually unveiled to the public. Since their introduction into the market, the ChromeBooks have taken to the side as a not widely accepted innovation but in the eyes of many, the new Samsung Chromebook 2012 is the ultimate game changer.

Unlike its Intel Celeron powered predecessors, the dual-core ARM driven Chromebook comes with an 11.6-inch display and 6.5-hour battery life compressed in an impressively compact design, all at only $249.

By trashing Intel Celeron processors in favor of the ARM, Samsung designers packed the new Chromebook with higher power while reducing production cost, power consumption and heat dissipation. Actually, the Chromebook goes to record as the first ever retail device to use the Cortex-A15 technology.

This silver-colored 2.4 pound ChromeBook has a better touchpad with the ability to interpret two-finger scrolling input using the accompanying buttons that are somewhat loud when clicked. Though good for the design, the fact that they decided to put all the ports at the back of the ChromeBook, apart from the headphone jack, can be a real pain for users who are constantly plugging things into their computer.

Since the ChromeBook is specifically built for online use through the Google Chrome browser, its matte display makes sense since the essence of a mobile device is to cancel out the possibility of squinting past your reflection to read what is on the screen. However, the reduced brightness of 200 units compared to the predecessor’s 300, means that you will have to get the right angle before settling back to use the Chromebook.

Generally, by opting for the new Chromebook, you pay $201 less and get a lighter and thinner laptop, which is actually more portable. However, you will have to kiss ethernet and the now optional 3G radio goodbye in favor of the in-built Bluetooth.

The new Chromebook is a great deal for people who live on the cloud. It has a practical keyboard and its browsing experience is awesome. What else would you possibly need to navigate the cloud?

How technology companies are improving voice recognition software

While voice recognition software has certainly improved in the two decades, it hasn’t exactly been the blockbuster tech that Ray Kurzweil predicted. My first experiments with the technology were playing around with Microsoft’s Speech API (circa Windows 95) and early versions of Dragon Naturally Speaking. Both were interesting as “toys” but didn’t work well enough for me to put them to practical use.

Seriously, everything I tell a computer turns into something like this.
Seriously, everything I tell a computer turns into something like this.

Since then, I’ve tried out new voice recognition software every few years and always came away thinking “Well, it’s better. But it’s still not very good.” For fans of the technology, it’s been a slow journey of disappointment. The engineering problems in building practical voice systems turned out to be much harder than anyone thought they’d be.

Human languages don’t follow the strict rules and grammar of programming languages and computer scientists have struggled to build software that can match the intention of someone’s speech to a query or action that can be accurately processed by software. Building code that understands “What is the best way to make bacon?” (Answer: in the oven, just saying.) in the countless number of ways a human might ask the question has been challenging.

Collect ALL the data

One of the tactics used by software engineers to figure out how to handle varied types of input is to build a database of potential input (in this case, human speech) and try to find common threads and patterns. It’s a bit of a brute-force approach, but helps engineers understand what types of input they need to build code for and in cases of similar input, helps reduce the overall code needed.

If you can code your software to know that questions like “What’s it going to be like outside tomorrow?” and “What’s the weather supposed to do?” are both questions about the weather forecast, processing human speech becomes a little easier. Obviously you wouldn’t want to (or even be able to) build code for every possible input, but this approach does give you a good base to build from.

In the past, capturing the volume of data needed to do a thorough analysis of speech wasn’t really an option for voice recognition researchers, cost being a major factor. It was simply too expensive to capture, store, and analyze a large enough sampling of voice data to push research forward.

Leveraging scale

Over the last few years, lowered costs of storage and computing power paired with a much larger population of internet users has made this type of data collection a lot cheaper and easier. In the case of Google (and to some extent Apple), features like Voice Search probably weren’t initially intended to be products in and of themselves, but capture points for the company to collect and analyze voice data so that they could improve future products.

Analysis of a massive database of voice data paired with what are likely some very smart algorithms helped Google build their latest update to Voice Search. For the more scientifically minded, Google’s research site has a lot of interesting information on this analysis work. And as you can see from the video, the results are impressive.

Welcome to the future

For people who have been following voice recognition, the recent uptick in progress is very exciting. Now that the field has gained some momentum, development will likely advance at a rapid pace. The “teaching” component of these systems will improve, enabling them to decipher natural language without human help and more products will include voice interfaces. It’s been a long time coming, but it’s finally starting to feel like the future.

Google’s amazing Nexus 4 hardware specs with Android 4.2 Jelly Bean

Circumstances might have pushed Google to cancel its scheduled Android event in New York City but the tech giant’s spirit remained ablaze with the announcement of its new array of the Nexus devices. The company has added three more devices to the Nexus series, namely Nexus 4, a 3G-enabled Nexus 7 and a Nexus 10.

After an avalanche of leaks that hinted on the Nexus 4’s exact specs before its official release, the 4.7-inch True HD IPS Plus Display (1,280×768) finally took the world by storm.

The Nexus 4 features an 8 megapixel primary camera, a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera , Gorilla Glass 2 and the latest rendition of Google Now, including other ‘obvious’ features like turn-by-turn navigation through Google Maps, 3D Maps, Street View and Indoor Maps.

To match the gloss and finesse of the etched, layered glass that sparkles to a near holographic depth is the 320ppi IPS+ LCD screen. This improvement from the clarity of Galaxy Nexus’ display will definitely give Apple some competition on the iPhone’s 326ppi Retina Display.

Powering this compact high-end gadget is a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor that works hand in hand with 2GB of RAM to deliver that snappy operation that all smartphone designers strive to attain. The Snapdragon feeds on a sizeable 2100mAh battery, which the company claims can deliver up to ten hours of talk time.

The new hardware specs of the phone get back up from a new operating system. Scheduled to share the launching platform with the Nexus 4 is the Android 4.2 OS (and Nexus 10 tablet). Android 4.2 Jelly Bean comes loaded with eye-catching upgrades like added screen lock widget functionality, allowing you to steal a glance at information without really waking up the phone.

Typing on the virtual keyboard is bound to be fun since the new OS supports a typing mode dubbed “Gesture Typing”. This style mimics Swype, only to better it with some bit of standard typing.

When the time is ripe, customers will have to part with $299 for the 8GB variant or $349 for 16GB of storage, with a T-Mobile version selling unlocked for $199 on a two-year contract.

Anyone out for class and quality will have no problem trading such cash for a faster CPU, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, NFC, Bluetooth and integrated compatibility with Google’s latest innovation, the Wireless Charging Orb.

Was pushing away Google the right choice for Apple?

One of the largest strategy shifts that Apple has made in recent memory is its decision to gradually break ties with Google. Less than a decade ago, as Apple was beginning it’s meteoric rise in the technology world, the unspoken partnership between Apple and Google appeared to be the most powerful business partnership the world has seen. Two of the most innovative and ultimately successful tech businesses, working to create some of the best tech innovations of our time.

So what exactly happened to their relationship, and was it the best move for Apple?

The Honeymoon

When Google initially jumped on board with the iPhone, the two tech companies absolutely fell in love. The beautiful version of Google Maps that Apple software techs helped to engineer made Google that much more dominant in the search and mapping market. As the iPhone became more popular, the usage of Google Maps continued to rise with it. These two giants seemed to be perfect compliments: one creating hardware and a user experience, and the other supplying the complicated and comprehensive search and map back-end knowledge that was needed to make it all work. Everything was great, and both companies continued to rake in the customers and the cash.

Trouble on the horizon

The first trouble started to show when Google started producing some of its own apps that were too similar to the iPhone’s built in software. When Google was trying to get Google Voice and Google Latitude accepted into the Apple App Store, they were sorely rejected with rather weak reasons. Mainly, Apple felt that the services were too close to what was already included on the phone, and it would not approve anything that altered or changed that main user interface.

To some, this was justifiable as Apple had spent the time to precisely create its user interface and did not want other apps to “create user confusion” by duplicating some services. However, to Google and many people who were Google fans, this was the moment where Apple really showed its true colors and began to show that they were only interested in self-preservation. Until now, Google had been the darling of Apple, and to see apps created by them being rejected by Apple was basically like an awkward silence after a fight at the family dinner table. This didn’t ruin the relationship by any means, but this was where the first crack was shown.

The crack grows into a chasm

As time went on, Android became a bigger and bigger threat to Apple

Disenchanted with Apple, it wasn’t long before Google began to produce products that were overlapping Apple’s current product offering. Most notably, the Android phone operating system was developed using many similar ideas to Apple. They built a user interface that was simple to use, straight forward for the consumer, but also much more open than Apple’s “closed garden” strategy. At first, Apple laughed this off as a search company creating something in a field they had no experience in. But as time went on, Android became a bigger and bigger threat to Apple , and it became the wedge between that really pushed them apart.

Pressure Building

Steve Jobs took the invention of Android very personally, and claimed that Android had used many proprietary ideas and technologies that Apple had in order to copy their mobile system. What made matters worse for Jobs is that Microsoft had done something very similar in his early days at Apple. Microsoft made a decent operating system, and then instead of producing the hardware, simply licensed it out to whoever wanted to create a system for it. This led to Microsoft taking the overwhelming lead in the PC and software market, and all but crushing Apple to bankruptcy. Around this turbulent time, Jobs was effectively ousted from his own company, which many think created his unmatched drive for success in later years.

Google took the same approach originally used by Microsoft by opening Android platform to anyone that would like to create a smartphone for it. Even though iOS has the overwhelming lead this time around, the threat was clear as Android started to grow. Apple continued to deny random apps from Google, and it took small shots at Google such as implementing its own iOS advertising system. Before, Google Ads was the dominate advertising platform, but Apple decided it wanted a piece of the pie that was Google’s main earner. This was just another thing that made it personal, and led to the disintegration of their relationship.

Apple Maps

Since 2009, Apple has been collecting mapping companies. From their first mapping investment, Placebase, to two 3D mapping companies called Poly9 and C3, Apple was building the technology they need to hit Google where it hurts. Google Maps drives a huge percentage of location-based search and advertising for the search giant. Additionally, more and more people are using their smartphones as opposed to the computer, so location-based search such as Google Maps is becoming ever more important to Google’s business strategy.

In June, Apple announced their plans for the new iOS operating system, iOS 6. While most features were incremental, one feature really stood out: Apple Maps. As the most glaring representation of the break between Google and Apple to date, people were curious about what Apple Maps would be like and how good it would be compared to Google Maps. Apple marketed it as a revolution in apps, and talked about how their 3D mapping technologies would change the way we view mobile maps.

When the iPhone 5 came out, and iOS 6 was released to the world, consumers quickly realized that Apple couldn’t deliver all that it had promised.

When the iPhone 5 came out, and iOS 6 was released to the world, consumers quickly realized that Apple couldn’t deliver all that it had promised. What was worse was that people also saw that it couldn’t even compete with Google Maps. Some glaring mistakes such as missing towns and landmarks, and navigation that was not nearly as good as Google’s, made Apple Maps a complete flop. However, the split between Google and Apple was final. There was no contract to keep Google products in iOS, and even the native YouTube app had been taken away by Apple’s team. Google Maps was gone, and there was nothing consumers could do about it.

Here is one of many good spoofs spurred by the Apple Maps debacle:

Was this the right choice for Apple?

Time will tell whether this really was a wise choice for Apple. On one hand, it has made a clear divide between one of their main competitors in the smartphone market. On the other hand, it has spurred Google to no longer treat Apple as a friend and now treats it as a foe. For example, word has recently been spreading that Google is partnering with Samsung to create a 10-inch Android tablet that has a higher resolution screen than the iPad. That’s right, Samsung, the company that Apple is spent a lot of time and money suing for ripping off the designs of their products.

Partnerships like this will only continue as time goes on, and Apple will be forced farther and farther back into its walled garden. Separate from that, many users are fueled to switch over to Android because services like Google Maps and YouTube work so seamlessly on their devices. While something like keyboard selection was never the biggest point on someones shopping list, now with these glaring differences, there is a lot more incentive to simply make the jump out of the Apple ecosystem.

As of now, it seems like pushing Google away was the wrong choice for Apple.

As of now, it seems like pushing Google away was the wrong choice for Apple. They are left in their corner having to come up with search and mapping technology that Google has largely perfected. Taking such huge efforts like this internally  could be something that slows the company down drastically, and prevents them from truly innovating on further projects. Or, they could surprise everyone, and revise their maps to be the best out there and once again prove that they are the best at customer satisfaction. Only time will tell.

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

How to use Google to discover new products from Google

Google’s mission has always been to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. What better way to do that than by starting within their own company!

You may be wondering how you can possibly keep up with the countless new products, enhancements and releases that Google is always working on. Google makes it real easy by simply going to their official About Google page.

From the ‘About Us’ page, users can navigate and keep up-to-date with the latest news from the Google blog directory, search for a job at Google, financial information and corporate governance among countless other topics.  Google initiatives are ever-growing and this page is most likely the best starting point to follow such initiatives as Google Ventures, Google Green among others. Google also ensures that people who are new to Google (if there are any nowadays) learn first-hand about the company, its philosophies, what they believe and what they do. Google even makes available a short history of its beginnings, and an in depth look is also freely available.

For hardcore daily Google users, the ‘About Us’ page has a lot to offer as well. The page includes links to all of Google news outlets that includes its blog directory, images, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube directories.  Opening the Facebook  Directory link for example, shows a list of all the official Google Facebook Pages that include Chrome Experiments, Google Analytics, Google Fiber, Google Maps among others. You will be amazed by how many Facebook pages Google maintains by clicking on this link alone. The same case with the Twitter, YouTube and Google+ links.

All of Google press releases have also been made available under the ‘Investor Relations‘ link. From here, you can follow financial information, events, conferences, webcasts and meeting information that date as far back as 2004.

My favorite part is of course, the ‘Doodles’ page, a museum of Google logos commemorating people, holidays and events. The page lists all the past Google doodles, by both year and country, dating as far back as 1998. I just don’t seem to get enough of these doodles.
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Google’s Awesome Sauce: The Nexus 7 Tablet Review

Google has been doing impressive things lately, by anyone’s standards. Google Glasses, and the awesome live streaming skydiving stunt Google pulled at Google I/O this year blew the minds of fans all over the world.

At that same conference, Google announced the release of two Nexus devices: the (Asus) Google Nexus 7 tablet and the Nexus Q.  (The Q is sexy, smooth, different, and just about useless to the average consumer. It’s an expensive media streamer for your TV.)

Let’s get down to the Nexus 7. My Nexus 7 device arrived last week, which was very fast compared to what I’ve read about shipping times on the internet. I was stoked.

About the reported packaging problems

Some people have reported that it is difficult to remove the Nexus 7 from its original packaging.

Unlike the rest of the world, I believe when expensive electronics are shipped halfway across the country, if not the world, they should be packaged in such a way that they do not fall out or easily get stolen. Therefore, I bring a knife when I attempt to open a new product, unlike these ridiculous people.

Yes, the packaging of the Nexus 7 is tight. No, the packaging of the Nexus 7 should not deter you from purchasing one.

 

Awesome-Sauce Software with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

As the first device shipping with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, I can say that this is the most beautiful and “buttery” smooth Android tablet I have ever used, and is as good as the iPad 3. Google has definitely done a bang-up job on Jelly Bean and Project Butter to get Android finally caught up to iOS as far as smoothness goes.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean includes Google Now, which is software that can anticipate your schedule and location throughout the day and provide helpful information like traffic time, current weather, and upcoming calendar events. No input is needed – Google Now helps you throughout the day without any prompting.

Since getting Google Now, I’ve used it way more than I ever used any previous voice search feature on a phone (including iPhone’s Siri).

Switching between recent apps is a great experience, and I find myself doing it just for the fun of playing the animations over and over again. Transitions are fast and responsive. Apps open and close quickly so your tablet can finally be as productive as you are!

The default Chrome browser is very impressive, with great loading speeds (over a decent WiFi connection), fast renders, and good support for HTML5 (finally).

Using apps on Android can finally be fun, not the chore it used to be with laggy and slow-loading apps of yesteryear. Congrats Google!

Hardware: Quad Core and a Brilliant Screen

The Nexus 7 did not fall short on hardware or design. With a quad core Tegra 3 on board and a brilliant graphics processor, apps on this device look better than any other Android tablet device I’ve seen, including the Asus Transformer Prime. While playing Dead Trigger (a great zombie shooter), this tablet becomes a hardcore gaming device in a perfectly sized 7-inch form factor. The screen really shines and shows just how incredible technology is becoming.

What makes this device nice to hold is that just-right thickness that makes it feel like it won’t break or fall out of your hands, but also fits great in your pocket. The soft-touch plastic on the back really adds grip to the device as well, so you won’t be dropping this thing any time soon.

Unbeatable Price Tag

$200 bucks. That’s all I need to say here. If you haven’t jumped on a tablet yet, or are looking for that second or even third screen, this is the best Android tablet on the market today. Period.

The Nexus 7 can be purchased directly from Google.

Gmvault: A quick way to fully backup and restore your Gmail account

I have always been reliant on my Gmail account for all of my personal electronic correspondence — it’s the primary link between me and my networked and integrated world. Over the years, it has accumulated a considerable amount of important (and equally unimportant) emails.

If I rely so heavily on my Gmail account, why has it taken me this long to realize that I have never backed it up? I mean, every other important digital file I own (pictures, music, etc.) is backed up in at least three places. Why shouldn’t my email inbox be as well? After coming to my wits, I decided to try a Gmail backup/restore program and remove any doubt, and of all the backup options available, I decided upon Gmvault.

Setting up Gmvault

The setup is fairly simple and takes no extra hassle to install.  After installation, proceed to the main menu to begin using Gmvault.

But wait, this is the main menu?  Why yes, this is not a joke — the main menu for Gmvault is indeed a command window. Before one gets nervous due to the “lack of a proper user interface,” let me demonstrate Gmvault’s simplicity. Start off by typing gmvault –h into the command window.

From here, one can see that this program has really only two functions: Sync and Restore.  Let’s start with Sync (a.k.a. backup).

Sync

From the Gmvault command prompt, type in gmvault sync –h to pull up the options and examples for the Sync function.

Again, this may look like a lot to understand, but the main portion you want to look at is the Examples. From this list, one can find their perfect backup situation. Considering that I had never backed up my Gmail emails before, Option A became the most logical choice. After typing in gmvault sync [my email address], the program asks for permission via your Gmail account to begin syncing and backing up your inbox. This is done through a browser pop-up that appears.

After allowing access to your account, hit Enter and watch Gmvault go to work.

Every once in a while, Gmvault will update you with its progress and how much time is left (so you don’t have to watch it constantly). Once completed, a success prompt will appear.

If you want to verify the backup process, the emails can be found in C:\Users\…\gmvault-db.

Restore

I won’t go into too much detail about the Restore function, but essentially it works in the reverse order that Sync did. Type gmvault restore -h to see the help options.

From the exact same folder used for backup, Gmvault begins the process of restoring your emails back to the account specified. Simple, quick, and effective.

Conclusion

Gmvault may not have a fancy user interface or a cool progress bar, but it makes up for that by successfully backing up and restoring your Gmail account with simple commands and quiet precision.

Gmvault is a free download for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Google+ Will Succeed By Integrating Everything

Google+ has been with us for a year now, having been launched at the end of June 2011. Over the past 12 months it hasn’t exactly set the world alight. It’s nice enough, especially after the recent redesign, and some of its core features and functionality are better than those of the competition. But its biggest claim to fame so far is the influence it has had on its nemesis, the big bad, ubiquitous Facebook.

These two social networks are locked in a battle of wills. Since Google+ launched, Facebook has nudged ever closer to boasting a user base of 1 billion people, and has finally gone public with its IPO. That didn’t go too well, but it still achieved its aim of becoming a public company worth tens of billions of dollars.

Facebook > Google+

Right now, Facebook bests Google+ in almost every department. The number of users, engagement levels, apps, games, photos shared, etc. Google is playing a severe game of catchup in the social networking arena, one that it’s not going to win easily and without pushing hard and fast into enemy territory.

But there is one way in which Google+ could succeed. It’s a strategy that would at the very least start eating into Facebook’s huge lead built up over the past eight years. It’s all about integration.

Integrate, Integrate, Integrate!

Google offers so many services that it’s often easy to forget how many of those services most of us use on a regular basis. From Search to Maps, from News to Docs, from Gmail to YouTube, Google has its tentacles spread far and wide across the web. Some of these services have already been integrated with Google+ to a degree, but that integration could be tighter across the board.

I firmly believe that if Google does head down this route of aggressively and progressively integrating all of its other services into Google+, people will turn away from Facebook. It already feels as though people are looking for an alternative. Facebook is now too mainstream and too old in the tooth for the zeitgeist-seeking, internet-savvy youngsters, but Google+ has yet to tempt them away in any great number.

Google+ > Facebook

After all of the other various free Google services are integrated into and inextricably linked with Google+, it will be a viable and valid alternative to Facebook — one which offers users the chance to choose the social network on which they can check their email and collaborate on Google Docs together all from one central locale.

At that point in time Google would hold all the cards, and Facebook could be left facing an exodus of users fleeing for fresher social networking pastures.

“Focus on the User” inserts competing social network links into Google search results

what Google should be

what Google should beWhen Google launched “Search Plus Your World”  (SPYW) it took a big step toward becoming the company that everyone loves to hate. By integrating search results from the Google+ network into your regular search, plenty of people cried foul. And not just the ones working for Twitter and Facebook.

By excluding results from other social networks, critics claim that Google is tampering with search results to promote its Facebook/Twitter competitor. One of those critics is Focus on the User (fotu), and it is doing something about it. They explain the problem with SPYW and their solution in this video:

The idea is that Google+ profiles and posts may not be as useful as what those users post to other social networks, so fotu gives you the option of finding what’s in those social networks that are complaining about SPYW. They have a bookmarklet that will take any Google search result that is enhanced with SPYW and add links to timely, relevant information in other social networks such as Twitter, Facebook or Quora.

As for me, I’m not convinced that this is the problem that fotu makes it out to be. Google has options such as “Verbatim” mode and “Hide personal results” that minimize SPYW, and the offending Google+ profiles don’t appear on every search. If you search for the word “politics,” you get three results linking to Google+ profiles. Search for “mitt romney,” there are none.

Unfortunately, the fotu bookmarklet doesn’t seem to do much to correct the problem. When you click on the bookmarklet (which is titled “don’t be evil”), you still get the same Google+ links but with other social network links. It still relies on Google to choose profiles from its Google+ social network. You will not get the chance to see the profile of someone without a Google+ profile.

Conclusion

This will not be the SPYW killer that Google haters want.  It’s a clever, simple tool that will help you find celebrities’ Twitter and Facebook accounts and demonstrate how Google results can be tweaked for other purposes. Otherwise, it doesn’t do that much.