07 September 2014

Inline Facts Next to Google Search Results

Google now shows a list of facts next to some Wikipedia results. Knowledge Graph data extracted from Wikipedia is now placed below the snippets.

For example, when searching for [duchy of Amalfi], Google shows some information about Amalfi, a town in the province of Salerno and the former capital of the Duchy of Amalfi.

When searching for [king of Rome], Google shows the name of the last king and the year when the monarchy ended.

Some of the facts aren't very useful or are taken out of context. For example, Google shows "President: Dwight D. Eisenhower" next to the Wikipedia result for Richard Nixon, without mentioning that Nixon was vice president during the Eisenhower administration.

Google Knowledge Graph Shows Forms of Government

Do you want to learn more about the forms of government from various countries? Search Google for "government of [country]" and Google will show if the country is a constitutional monarchy, constitutional republic, federal republic, unitary state, parliamentary republic, non-partisan democracy, military dictatorship.

Here's an example for [government of tuvalu]

Click one of the forms of government and Google will display more information. For example, Tuvalu, a small island in the Pacific Ocean, is a nonpartisan democracy, which means that Tuvalu has no political parties. It's also a constitutional monarchy.

Germany is a federal republic, which means it's a federation of states with a republican form of government.

Switzerland is also a federal republic, but it's the only country in the world that's a direct democracy and has a directorial system. "Switzerland is the closest state in the world to a direct democracy. For any change in the constitution, a referendum is mandatory (mandatory referendum); for any change in a law, a referendum can be requested (optional referendum)," explains Wikipedia. Switzerland is also a directorial republic, "a country ruled by a college of several people who jointly exercise the powers of a head of state or a head of government".

{ Thanks, Herin. }

Google Account Settings Lite

Google's account settings page has a simplified version for old browsers. You can find it at: http://ift.tt/1w26D6z. The page shows some links that let you edit your profile, change your password, change password recovery options, manage account information, change email addresses and manage connected accounts.

Google shows this message: "Upgrade to a common and recent browser to modify Security, Language, Data Tools, and Account history settings." If you use an old browser, you'll also see: "It appears as if you're using an old or uncommon browser that doesn't support common standards. To access all of your Google account settings, upgrade to the latest version of any of the following browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari". Google provides download links.

I've loaded http://ift.tt/IS2uVn in Chrome 5 and Google redirected to the lite version.

{ Thanks, Luiz Pimenta. }

Gmail, Powered by Google

For some reason, Gmail shows a new message at the bottom of the page: "powered by Google". This was already used by the Google Apps version of Gmail, so it's not clear if the new attribution is placed by mistake in the standard Gmail.

"Powered by Google" makes sense in Google Apps, which offers white-label versions of Google's consumer services, but it feels out of place in a regular Google service.

{ Thanks, PhistucK. }