Have You Verified Your Business with Google?

If you have a location listed in Google Maps, or you would like to it have listed in Google Maps, you should consider verifying the business location it at Google’s Local Business Center.

You don’t even need a website to be listed.

Many business are listed by virtue of Google finding the business in Yellow Pages or other telecom databases, or listed in directories. But, verification allows you to add some more information, such as what your business hours are, and what kinds of payments you take.

Google’s patent application for the verification process came out last week, and there really aren’t any surprises in it. It details the process of verification by phone or mail that Google follows to try to make certain that you are the actual owner of a listed business.

Online data verification of listing data
Inventors: Jeff Reynar, Jonathan Kennell, Dolapo Falola, and Nikhil Chandhok
Assigned to Google
United States Patent Application 20070073696
Published March 29, 2007
Filed: September 28, 2005

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Ask.com Patent Application Discusses Responding to User Queries

A new patent application invented by Dr.Tomasz Imielinski, Vice President of Relevance and OnLine Systems at Ask.com, explores how a search engine can map user queries to answers to those queries.

In a conventional search engine, a query such as “Bill Clinton’s Wife” might provide search results about Bill Clinton. A query for “George H. Bush’s children” might be about George Bush. A question about who won the last Masters may have been made without knowing that there are two different major sports tournaments that go by that name – one in golf and one in tennis.

The answers to these types of questions can be provided from a structured database. The creation of this database itself isn’t described in this patent filing, though some details on updates of the information are described, and it appears that multiple databases may be involved, such as one containing information from blogs, and another from news sources.

When answers are provided to a searcher, and there may be more than one possible answer such as in the Masters’ example, other information may be looked at, such as:

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Building a Video Element into Newer Versions of HTML

Will the future of HTML (HTML 5 or Web Applications 1.0) include a video tag? Maybe. Imagine if you can just surround a link to a video file with a couple of video tags?

A new Google Tech Talk discusses the introduction of a video element (video). Hakon Wium Lee, the CTO of Opera, gives a presentation on how this might work. He is introduced by Ian Hickson, who works in the open source program office at Google.

The presentation provides a little history about the Web, including a look at the buildings and room where the Web was born at CERN, and an announcement that Opera has released an experimental brower that uses this element.

Opera has browsers for desktop computers, for mobile computers, and for devices. One of those devices is the Wii. According to Hakon Wium Lee, the numbers of people usiing Opera on the Wii may eclipse some other uses of Opera. They are noticing that people who use the browser on the Wii often use it to go to YouTube and other video sites.

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NASA’s Light-Sailing, Miniature, Nanotechnology-Based Spacecraft Artificial Intelligence Management Patent Application

I was trying to come up with an idea for a fake patent application for April Fool’s day, like a description of something earth shaking, and completely unbelievable. My plan was to provide a detailed description, and then have a link to the “patent application” that was something completely made up.

I come across a lot of unusual patent applications as I’m searching to find what’s been filed by the search engines, like a method of building a better snowman, or creating a crash warning system for cars that learns how to avoid accidents, or even a simple antigravity device, or carrying informational codes in DNA.

I didn’t expect the folks at the Goddard Space Flight Center to come out with a patent application that sounded more like science fiction than science.

The focus of this patent application is on monitoring spacecraft, and determining when one craft amongst a fleet may be experiencing problems and can’t continue with a mission. Here’s a snippet from the patent filing:

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