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If you haven't checked the calendar, then you should give Google's new Autopilot Gmail add-on a try today.
Gmail Autopilot can be set to automatically respond to emails with widely customizable settings which allow for various message lengths and, if you're like me, quantitity of typos. Give a try!
When Jimmy Wales, the driving force behind the hugely successful Wikipedia, rolled out Wikia Search, a community-built search engine, 15 months ago, he said that his goal was to build a “Google-quality search engine” over time.
On Tuesday, Mr. Wales announced on his blog that he was pulling the plug on Wikia Search.
Opinion piece in the WSJ:
To get through the 385 pages of mind-numbing legalese of the Google settlement, it might be better to be Nino Scalia, Bob Bork or David Boies. Preferably all three at once. Absent brain enhancement surgery, understanding this monstrosity by May 5, 2009, is going to be rough.
That's the date by which every author and publisher in America is supposed to decide whether to "opt in," "opt out," or simply "ignore" a vast compulsory licensing scheme for the benefit of Google. Most, about 88%, are expected to "ignore." That's because they know their online display rights have value, and the last thing they want is to be herded like sheep into a giant contract commitment.
With Google having settled its copyright suit with authors and publishers, the company is now poised to be a modern Library of Alexandria with full texts of millions of titles online. Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University Library, loves the access but wonders at what cost.
Seven minute interview with Robert Darnton, director of the Harvard University Library, on the radio program On the Media
Canadian publishers and authors have been gathering at workshops to explore the legal ramifications of internet giant Google's massive book-digitization initiative.
The sessions are being held in advance of the May 5 deadline for authors and publishers to opt out of Google's plan to digitize 20 million books and distribute them online and to new devices.
Google began its digitizing project in 2005, with the Authors Guild of America accusing the company of "massive copyright infringement" and spearheading a class-action lawsuit against it. The company is digitizing books regardless of copyright, but only displaying snippets of those not yet in the public domain, claiming "fair use."
The cloud computing concept takes another hit. Techcrunch dropped a story this morning on more holes found in the popular online application Google Docs. This news arrives right on the heels of another security problem discovered earlier this month.
In short, images embedded in Google Docs could be accessed outside Google Docs itself because the images are uploaded to another server. I've seen something like this myself because if you use Blogger, your uploaded images show up in your Picassa account.
If you share a document carrying a diagram, the person will be able to view previous versions of that diagram whether you want them to or not.
Finally, removing another user's access to a document doesn't always ensure that they can't access that document again later.
These flaws seem serious enough to put at risk the ability of libraries to comply with relevant privacy rules as to patrons if Google Docs is in the mix. Free (as in freedom and as in beer) alternatives like Citadel may prove profitable for libraries to evaluate.
Ready for digital stacks?
If approved, Google anticipates public and university libraries will participate by making their collections available to be digitized, which would make books more accessible to students, researchers and readers.
For every 10,000 students enrolled at a university, the company would provide its library with one terminal for free access to the Google Books Database, but if a student wants to access the information on their home computer, there woul d be a fee involved, said Peter Botticelli, assistant professor at the UA School of Information Resources and Library Sciences.
Google's top designer Doug Bowman quit the company to join Twitter. Mostly, Doug didn't like how much Google depends on data to make design decisions.
His basic complaint: "When a company is filled with engineers, it turns to engineering to solve problems. Reduce each decision to a simple logic problem. Remove all subjectivity and just look at the data. Data in your favor? Ok, launch it. Data shows negative effects? Back to the drawing board. And that data eventually becomes a crutch for every decision, paralyzing the company and preventing it from making any daring design decisions." This is a portion of his blog post, find it at stop design.