16 June 2013

Google Promotes Map Maker

Google Maps shows a clever promo for Map Maker in the classic interface: "Is something missing? Edit Google Maps." It's probably an experiment, but the message always shows up when using this URL.

"Google Map Maker is a Google Maps service that allows you add or edit features, such as roads, businesses, parks, schools and more. Using Google Map Maker tools, you can visually mark locations and add detailed information about these locations," informed a Google post back in 2008, when Map Maker was launched. At that time, Map Maker was only available for 17 countries, including Cyprus, Iceland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bahamas and Vietnam. Google continued to add new countries and the service now supports over 200 countries. "More than 40,000 people around the world are making contributions and improving Google Maps through Google Map Maker each month," announced Google in April, when the UK was added to Map Maker.

You'll usually see an option to "Edit in Google Map Maker" at the bottom of the map, next to the copyright message.

Knowledge Graph and Google Bombs

Google bombing has a new meaning, with the introduction of the Knowledge Graph. From [more evil than Satan himself] to [miserable failure], Google bombs were created by getting many web pages to link to the target homepage and use the same anchor text. For example, Microsoft haters linked to Microsoft's homepage and used this anchor text back in 1999: [more evil than Satan himself]. After a few months, Google's top result for [more evil than Satan himself] was Microsoft's homepage. Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" button made Google bombs more popular, many people thinking that Google modified search results pages.

Here's a screenshot from 1999 well preserved by bedope.com:

Google started to use some algorithms to defuse bombs, but there are still ways to artificially inflate Google rankings for a page to show your opinion. For example, when you search for [completely wrong], Google shows pictures of Mitt Romney, the Republican Nominee for the US Presidential Election in 2012.

Knowledge Graph brings a new meaning to Google bombs. If you search for [kłamca], you'll get a Knowledge Graph for Donald Tusk, the Prime Minister of Poland. "Kłamca" is a Polish word that means "liar". In fact, many of the top results for [kłamca] are about Donald Tusk, who is no longer popular in Poland.

Apparently, this Google bomb has been reported back in 2010 by Polish news sites. Back then, the top search result for [kłamca] was the Wikipedia page for Donald Tusk. Now Google shows an entire sidebar with information about the Prime Minister of Poland.

{ Thanks, Jerzy. }

Google's Unified Storage, Now Available

It took awhile, but Google's unified storage is finally here for everyone (some people got the new feature earlier, it was gradually rolled out). As previously mentioned, the 25GB plan is no longer available and the most affordable plan offers 100GB for $4.99/month.

You get 15GB of free storage for Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos and you can buy additional storage (100GB, 200GB, 400GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 8TB, 16TB). Until now, the storage was only shared between Google Drive and Google+ Photos and you got 15GB of bonus storage for Gmail. Now the entire storage is shared between Gmail, Google Drive and Google+ Photos.

Here's what happens after upgrading to the 100GB plan:

You'll get this message: "Thanks for purchasing a Google Drive storage plan. (...) Starting today, you'll have this storage shared across Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ Photos. To manage this plan, visit google.com/settings/storage. Remember that with the purchase of this plan, you have priority access to phone, email, and chat support from one of our specialists. Contact us. Thanks for buying Google Drive storage, and welcome to the cloud!"

If you have an old plan, you may see some extra storage called "early adopter bonus".

Cool Websites and Tools [June 15th 2013]

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Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool websites round-ups delivered to your email daily email subscribe here....

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Are You Taking Advantage Of All The Money Saving Deals On Amazon?


I'm such a big fan of Amazon, and if you're someone who shops online then you have almost no choice but to be. You can get anything and everything on Amazon. It's trusted and reliable. It should be the first thing that comes to your mind when you turn to the internet to purchase something. Another thing that Amazon does quite well is offer some really great deals.

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Foursquare Developers Release New Time Machine Feature With Samsung [Updates]


Foursquare developers introduced a new feature on Friday: the Foursquare Time Machine. The Foursquare Time Machine is an in-browser app to play an animation that artistically depicts the entirety of a user's check-ins in their most-visited city.

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