Unofficially obsessed with Google.

Google Updates Enterprise Offerings

4/19/2006 01:02:00 AM
Fresh from the Google Enterprise Blog, Google announces its updated Google Mini and Google Search Appliance.

Google Mini

Google Mini is now half the original size and apparently 25x as powerful. It continues to provide a joint hardware/software solution for corporate search needs.

Google Search Appliance

Google Search Appliance now features the OneBox for Enterprise, which displays relevant/current info from a variety of external and internal information sources for a given query. Additional enhancements for file crawling/indexing and user authentification seem very similar to the processes mentioned in the patent granted earlier today.

These new developments point to Google's increased interest in organizing corporate information as well as in maintaining a small, though very important hardware sector.

Google Gets 2 New Patents

4/18/2006 10:59:00 PM
After finally getting its Voice Search patent last week, Google gets more good news: 2 more patent grants.

U.S. Patent 7031954 - "Enterprise Search"
Document retrieval system with access control

[full text]
Filed: September 10, 1997
Granted: April 18, 2006

The patent text describes the indexing of all documents across remote servers that pertain to a query. That index list is then served up to the user who made the query, based on the user's level of access privileges. Documents located on a level for which the user does not have access rights will not be shown in the file list. This synchronizes document availability and security across all parts of the storage system. The patent text makes many references to "corporate intranets" and the existence of security levels and a corresponding spectrum of user accounts. It looks like this patent was filed to protect developments in the Google Enterprise search division.

U.S. Patent 7031961 - "Social Bookmarking"
System and method for searching and recommending objects from a categorically organized information repository

[full text]
Filed: December 4, 2000
Granted: April 18, 2006

The patent text describes a social bookmarking system like -- but with some more developed capabilities. In addition to storing bookmarks for indivdual users and collecting data for the entire population of users, the system aims to "learn" from user clickstreams and bookmarking activity. The information gathered from this monitoring enables the system to better understand the quality of bookmarked information and then serve that up as new bookmark suggestions. The text also describes the value in the "distillation" of all of the web's content by the collection of users, essentially calling this a human-driven information filter. One implementation of the system described might be to influence the relevancy of heavily bookmarked items to related search queries (so they'd climb the SERPs).

Google Office - 2 Domain Registration Clues

4/18/2006 09:29:00 AM
When Google acquired Writely we saw that Google is interested in either building components for its own "office suite" or at least staving off competitors' access to these tools and their masterminds through acquisition.

Here are 2 more clues that Google might be developing Power Point and Excel competitors:

GoogleGrid .net .org .info (.com owned by 3rd party)
GoogleLecture .com .net .org .info

Google registered the top-level domains for GoogleLecture and GoogleGrid on the same day last year, January 14, 2005. Google's domain name registration patterns indicate that when a set of related domains is registered on all of the major top levels on the same day, a product release is coming. (Although Google may never release its products at, it registers the names to prevent spammers/competitors from redirecting traffic otherwise meant for

Google Grid
The phrase "Google Grid" was popularized through the video Epic 2015 as a futuristic look at Google's storage project - GDrive. But it also sounds like a perfect name for a web-based spreadsheet and data app that organizes data through grids. (Google might want to look toward NumSum or Dabble DB [review | demo] as acquisition targets.)

Google Lecture
This could be a red herring as Google refers to certain in-house video talks as "Google Lectures" (over on Google Video). But thinking bigger picture, Google Lecture also sounds like a potential name for a presentation app like Power Point/Keynote or the group work apps from 37 Signals. I do feel Google Lecture is an unfortunate naming choice since "lecture" has more of a drudgery connotation than words like "present." But certainly the registration of the name, so closely relating to lecture and presentations, is interesting.

In sum, since Google registered all top level domains for 2 office-related names on the same day last year, I'm betting that Google Office is very much in the works.

Google Calendar Finally Released

4/13/2006 12:00:00 PM
Google Calendar Logo
At long last, Google Calendar was released last night. It matches almost perfectly the leaked screenshots and information from various sources throughout these past few months. I'll be posting a further review of Google Calendar after some testing so stay tuned for that and a roundup of the responses to Google's long-awaited scheduling app.

Rumor: Google Acquires Dulance

4/12/2006 01:53:00 AM
Dulance Shopping Engine LogoTechworld is reporting that Google has quietly acquired shopping engine Dulance. (And apparently, Sergei Burkov, Dulance's former CEO, will head up Google's R&D projects in Russia.)

Why would Google buy Dulance?
Dulance was an RSS-powered shopping site that spidered and scraped retail sites to find product prices -- without relying on retailers to upload product data feeds. It is estimated that because shopping engines use these opt-in retailer feeds, they only serve up 10% of the web's available product inventory (see Wikipedia on Dulance). Incorporating Dulance's technology would extend Froogle's reach into the uncrawled depths of retailer websites where the other 90% of products are waiting. Most importantly, the Dulance technology would give shoppers substantial justification for choosing Froogle over other shopping engines like Shopping, PriceGrabber, NexTag, etc, which currently still rely on retailer feeds. (Related Reading: See my post Froogle Local Finds No Socks in NYC for understanding the need for auto-discovery of products on retailers' websites.)

What happened to Dulance?
The domain, where the shopping engine was once located, no longer resolves. You can, however, see previous versions of the shopping site on Internet Archive. SearchEngineWatch noted Dulance's disappearance briefly last month, which means it is possible the acquisition took place silently several weeks ago. To date, Google has made no comment on Dulance, so keep in mind this acquisition is just a rumor.