Google Body

Today I did a presentation at a marketing conference here in Oslo. I was speaking after Mr. Jan Grønbech, the country manager at Google Norway. While chatting with him before our presentations he told me about two Google products that I didn’t know of. Google Mars and Google Moon. How cool is that?

Picture 10

Of course they’re of limited use, but way cool. However those services reminded me of an excellent suggestion from Mr. M. over at the Pappmaskin. An idea about Google making a Google Body:

There should be a Google Earth and a Google Map for the body, where you could rotate and navigate the human body in 3d, and zoom in, but instead of stopping on the surface, the zoom should continue through the skin, so that you could look on all the different layers, organs etc.

I told Mr. Grønbech about this and he couldn’t hide the fact that he also found the thought interesting. So, who knows? Maybe we’ll see Google Body one day?

Google Body

The Shadow IT Department

Espen Andersen points me to this article about how advanced users build their own set of tools to be more effective. Tools that the central IT department at their place of work don’t provide.

As Mr. Dr. Andersen points out, this is not exactly news, but I think the phenomenon accelerates right now. Because of powerful tools on the internet that tend to be more user friendly and effective than what the IT departments provide. And I think that Ben Worthen is spot on right here:

Users want IT to be responsive to their individual needs and to make them more productive. CIOs want IT to be reliable, secure, scalable and compliant with an ever increasing number of government regulations.

Firefox with a lot of plugins is on the top of my list of tools that never was provided by the local IT department where I work. And, in Firefox our friends at Google provide me with some important tools as well. I am a heavy user of Gmail, Google Reader, Calendar and Docs & Spreadsheets. In addition to this, stuff like IM, Skype, del.icio.us, FTP clients and hardware like my personal digital camera, and a couple of personal computers at home pops up in my mind. And probably a lot of other tools as well.

And yes, I clearly see that there are issues with heavy use of non standard tools. Security issues. Standardization problems. It’s the good old question of security vs. usability.

Do you have other examples? What is your favorite tool that was never installed or supported by your IT department?

The Shadow IT Department

Google and winter in Norway

Google is currently updating some satellite images for Norway. Problem is that these new images are taken during winter. And the difference between winter and summer in Norway is huge.

I don’t know what they’ll settle for, but a random combination of images from winter and summer makes both Google Earth and Google Maps look quite interesting.

Bonus link for new readers: My video of the seasons in Norway.

(Thanks, Anarkistix for the tip)

Google and winter in Norway

Gmail on you mobile

Nokia N80

First, if you don’t use gmail you should really consider starting. It’s the best web based mail this planet has seen so far. On my computer at home I don’t use anything else. I didn’t even bother to install Outlook or anything similar the last time I cleaned up the box.

If you need an invite send me an email to eirikso at gmail dot com. The 50 first will get one. Or, simply google “gmail invite”…

So, you’re using gmail and you have a Symbian phone. Like the Nokia N80 or N73 one of the 300 supported java enabeled phones. And you want a nice interface for your gmail account. Then simply point the browser in your phone to “gmail.com/app” and install.

A very nice application to read your gmail on the phone. Only one (big) disappointment so far: you can’t attach anything when you send mails from this client. This is something that Google needs to fix!

A quick note: the phone in the picture is a Nokia N80. The picture itself is taken with my Nokia N73. Click the image to see the high resolution version.

Gmail on you mobile

YouTube or Google Video?

First, an apology to my RSS subscribers. Unfortunately, articles from this blog get published again if I change them. Recently I have done some experiments where I change the hosting of some of my videos to Google Video from YouTube. All the articles that have been modified will then show up as new in many RSS-readers. Sorry for the inconvenience.

So for my little experiment. I have posted a couple of videos lately, and have been using YouTube to host them. I have also been playing around with Google Video, and here is a quick round-up:

YouTube
– Low quality on videos
– Big community and lots of possible viewers even without links from a blog or web page
– Very nice with trackbacks so you can see who is linking to your videos
– Counter that shows how many times the video has been played
– Web based uploader with good feedback on progress

GoogleVideo
– Better quality than YouTube
– In general less traffic and smaller chances for people discovering your video unless you link to it from your blog
– Possibilities for selling videos
– Possible to let people download your video as well
– Web based uploader with limited feedback on progress
– Desktop based uploader available

If you have any comments on what you prefer please contact me or comment directly here.

Here is an example of the same video, hosted on GoogleVideo and on YouTube:

Human Drums, on GoogleVideo
http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docId=-3876415520174236092&hl=en

Human Drums, on YouTube

Update:
And here is the same video on Revver:
http://flash.revver.com/player/1.0/player.swf

YouTube or Google Video?

Stupid artist families and stupid astronomers

Google Miro Front Page
Thomas Hawk has an excellent comment on the fact that Joan Miro’s family just sued Google because they incorporated parts of his art in their logo on his birthday:

“So let’s get this right. Google chooses to create a special logo to honor the art and memory of Miro and his birth in 1893 and his family wants to get all pissy about it?”

I hope Miro turns in his grave in disgrace of his own family. This is just ridiculous.

It reminds me of the story from 1994 when Apple used the code name Sagan for their new PowerMac under construction. The name was only used internally and was chosen to honour the astronomer Carl Sagan. He did not like the honour and sued Apple for the use of his name. He lost the lawsuit, but the engineers at Apple gave in and changed the code name. They changed it to “Butthead Astronomer“. Sagan actually sued them again. And lost.

Stupid artist families and stupid astronomers

The increase of pages indexed by Yahoo shows on Trendmapper?

I have followed parts of the discussions around the fact that Yahoo claimed to have increased its index to include about 20 billion web pages.

A claim that several people questions. I am not in the position to have qualified theories about that, but I am running a web site that reflects that something clearly has happened to the engine over at Yahoo.

In Trendmapper nearly all the charts searching for phrases with a significant amount of hits had a big jump in its Yahoo curve earlier this month.

Actually, a search that looked useless at first have become quite useful for me. Every night Trendmapper searches for several thousand phrases and records the amount of hits. The word “the” has been added in the system, and is in itself not interesting. However, the word is so common that the charts actually reflects something about the performance of the engines themselves.

As you can see in the thumbnail here in my post, something happened to the red Yahoo curve in the beginning of August. If you click the thumbnail you are taken to the page for the chart.

To be precise, at the second of August Yahoo reported 1 978 791 943 hits on “the”. On the third of August this jumped to 9 583 745 268.

Hera are some example charts showing the Yahoo-jump:
Trendmap: “kottke”
Trendmap: “Xbox 360″
Trendmap: “DVD-Jon”

The increase of pages indexed by Yahoo shows on Trendmapper?