It’s been a busy week. Some of the stuff I didn’t get a chance to talk about this week:
– It sounds like Google will participate in the 700 Mhz wireless auction. It also sounds like there are anti-collusion rules that mean that participating companies aren’t supposed discuss the auction, so I don’t expect to talk about this subject anytime soon, even on my personal blog.
– Google Reader added both recommendations and drag-and-drop. To me, these releases show how the Reader team is in tune with Reader users. When I did an informal poll of desired Google Reader features, those were the #1 and #2 most-requested features. I’m sure that the Reader team was working on these features before that poll. The recommendations feature is especially nice though. Among my recommendations are AI3, Cre8pc, and BitWorking. I used to think that I really needed drag-and-drop, but I’ve gotten used to reading my feeds without rearranging their order.
– Blogger is experimenting with allowing OpenID. I believe this is a good thing for identity across the web, but I’ll be the first to admit that OpenID hurts my head a little bit.
– Google announced that it wants to fund research to make renewable energy cheaper than coal. The initiative is called RE<C (Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal). In my experience, Larry and Sergey have been interested in energy issues for a long time. Remember the solar panels? The push for more efficient power supplies? When Larry pleaded for standardized power adapters in his Consumer Electronics Show (CES) keynote? To be fair, it is pretty cool that phone manufacturers have decided to standardize on the micro-USB standard for charging. The announcement also caught my eye because I enjoyed reading about high-altitude wind-power production by Makani Power in Cringely’s column a few weeks ago.
– Techdirt covered a back and forth and back regarding Google’s partnership with the University of Michigan for book scanning. If I had more time, this is something I’d like to dive into more. U of M has posted their agreement with Google if you want to dive into it more.
– Google Maps added a terrain view. That may not mean much to people living in flat areas, but if you’re from Eastern Kentucky, it’s fun to see where all the “hollers” are:
– This is older, but Google Checkout added a “Oops! Undo that purchase” option. For up to 15 minutes after a purchase, you can undo that purchase. Speaking of payment stuff, I like that PayPal started offering a service to generate a one-time MasterCard number. I’m not whether Checkout offers this, but it would be nice. And still on the subject of credit cards, I thought this was an interesting post.
– If you have an iPhone and use Gmail, I really really recommend reading this overview post about how to make IMAP on an iPhone work well with Gmail.
Update: Crap, I completely forgot the voting experiment for personalization. Congrats to the folks that are playing with that.