google

Know When Your Bus is Late: Google Maps Gets Live Transit Updates

Most online mapping products today feature transit directions. Sadly, though, it’s the nature of public transit that things often don’t quite run on schedule. Thankfully, quite a few transit district have now track their buses and trains with a GPS system so that the public can know exactly when the next bus or train will arrive. For the most part, however, you won’t know this information until you arrive at the station (which is always either far too early or just too late). Starting today, however, there’s a better way to get this information quickly: Google Maps will now feature live transit updates in four U.S. cities (Portland, OR, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco) and two European ones (Madrid and Turin).

google

Google, Bing and Yahoo Team Up to Improve Search Listings With More Structured Data

Google, Bing and Yahoo today launched a new initiative that will introduce a common vocabulary for adding additional market and structured data to search engine listings. Schema.org, as this new markup is called, allows website owners to give search engines better ways to understand the content on their sites. With schema.org, you can, for example, ensure that a search engine knows that something on your site is a recipe, a movie review with a rating, a listing for a local business or that a specific page is about a product. In total, the schema.org hierarchy knows of a few hundred different content types that can be described through its vocabulary.

google

Google Wallet: Color Me Skeptical

Google Wallet, which the Mountain View-based search giant introduced earlier today, wants to change the way you pay for products and services, but I’m not sure it will. Google’s contactless near field communication (NFC) payment system currently only works with one phone and only in San Francisco and New York, but the company plans to…

Browsers

Mozilla's Asa Dotzler: "Chrome Team is Bowing to Pressure from Google's Advertising Business"

Mozilla has been lobbying for. While Microsoft, Apple, Firefox and Opera have either already implemented this feature or will do so soon, Google is still holding out. According to Mozilla’s director of community development Asa Dotzler, the “Chrome team is bowing to pressure from Google’s advertising business and that’s a real shame.” Indeed, Dotzler says in his blog post, this situation is similar to what happened when Netscape released version 7.0 of its browser.

google

Want Google's Ultra High-Speed Broadband? Move to Kansas City, Kansas

Last year, Google announced that it would bring ultra high-speed broadband Internet to one community in the United States. After a long decision process, the search giant today finally announced which community will be the first to enjoy Google-sponsored Internet access that’s more than 100 times faster than the U.S. average. Out of the 1,100 cities that applied for Google’s so-called “Fibre for Communities program, Topka, Kansas probably went the furthest in attracting Google’s attention by renaming itself Google, Kansas. That was not enough, though, and Google today announced that it chose Kansas City, Kansas instead.

google

Think Quarterly: Google Launches Its Own Online Magazine (Updated)

We hear a lot about Google’s relationship with publishers, but this week the search giant also quietly launched it’s own publication in the UK. Think Quarterly, which calls itself a “a breathing space in a busy world” is, as the name implies, a quarterly online magazine. The design almost feels somewhat reminiscent of of Wired, with a strong focus on infographics and large photos. The articles themselves come both from writers inside of Google and freelancers. The first edition focuses on “data,” but the articles run the gamut from a discussion of Near Field Communication to an interview with “data superstar” Hans Rosling. The bias is obviously towards Google products, though some of the interviews could easily stand on their own in other publications.

google

Google Gets a Patent for Doodles

It took more than 10 years, but after filing for a patent for a “provides a periodically changing story line and/or a special event company logo to entice users to access a web page” in April 2001, the U.S. Patent Office today granted Google’s Segey Brin a patent for the company’s iconic Doodles. Google Doodles are the variations on the company’s logo that it uses celebrating holidays and special events. They appear on Google.com and its international versions.