Search on the Seas: Google Water-Based Data Center Patent Granted

Imagine a fleet of sea-worthy vessels being able to deliver computing needs to people without having to send information cross country, but rather anchored on the seas nearby.

Now consider data centers on those ships being powered by the waves and cooled by the waters.

Google was granted a patent on a water-based data center today:

Water-based data center
Invented by Jimmy Clidaras, David W. Stiver, and William Hamburgen
Assigned to Google
Granted: April 28, 2009
Filed February 26, 2007


A system includes a floating platform-mounted computer data center comprising a plurality of computing units, a sea-based electrical generator in electrical connection with the plurality of computing units, and one or more sea-water cooling units for providing cooling to the plurality of computing units.

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Google Local Search, Categories, and the What and Where of Local Map Listings

A few of the workings behind the scenes at Google Local Search have been recently exposed through a patent granted to Google today, and a pending patent application for the search giant that was published in January.

They might make you think a little differently about how Google Local Search works, and one presents an interesting question about a difference between local search results at Google Maps, and in Google’s Web search.

Categories and Local Search

The granted patent was originally filed in December of 2004, and it describes the categories that some local searches are placed within by the search engine.

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How Google Might Top Search Results with Additional Information

How would you feel about Google showing information above search results (taken from one of those results) in response to a query, to give searchers a sense of the the information provided in the results on that page?

For example, imagine performing a search at Google for the word “burns” and getting back a set of search results with a paragraph or two above the results that provide information on how to treat burns, taken a page in the search results. Sound like a good idea?

Choosing What Information to Display

How would Google decide to display information about burn treatment instead of the medical condition itself, or information about someone with the name Burns (such as the comedian George Burns)?

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Ask Since Jeeves: Adding Video News within Search Results to Image and News Clustering

The search engine at has been around for a long time in internet years, more than a decade according to its initial public offering of stock.

That SEC filing describes the unique approach that the search engine, then known as Ask Jeeves, Inc., took to its search results as “a provider of natural-language question answering services on the Internet for consumers and companies, establishing a new way to interact with the World Wide Web.”

They also told us in that document that:

Our mission is to humanize the Internet by making it easier and more intuitive for consumers to find the information, products and services they need, and for companies to better acquire, retain and maximize the value of their online customers. Our branding strategy centers on the Jeeves character, a friendly and trusted assistant who provides help and guidance on the Web. The Ask Jeeves question answering services allow users ask a question in plain English and receive a response pointing the user to relevant Internet destinations that provide the answers. We believe that our question answering services make interaction with the Internet more intuitive, less frustrating and significantly more productive.

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Google Patent Application on How Users Can Add Pages to Search Results

In November of 2009, Google announced changes to the way people search when logged into their Google Accounts, in an Official Google Blog post titled SearchWiki: make search your own.

The changes allowed searchers to move search results up in rankings that they see when searching for specific queries, suggest new pages for searches for queries, leave notes on pages that show up in search results, remove results from search result listings, and see notes on search results that others have left.

If you regularly log into Google to search or access Google’s Gmail and you stay logged in to your Google Account while you search and select pages and browse other pages on the Web, chances are that you’ll see search results personalized for you by Google based upon those pages that you’ve selected from search results, pages that you’ve browsed, and pages that you’ve bookmarked.

Using Searchwiki means that you can personalize your search results even more, for specific queries, making it easier for you to refind pages that you’ve found before, or include pages in a specific search result that you want to return to on a regular basis. You can also remove pages that you don’t want to see in those search results.

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What if Google provided annotations for every link on the Web?

Imagine hovering over or right-clicking on links upon a page you’re browsing and seeing additional information about the pages behind those links.

A Google patent, originally filed in 2003, and granted this week, provides a way to see information about links for pages that you might be tempted to click upon before you actually click. Is this something that we might see from Google someday? Could it be the kind of thing that the Google Chrome browser might bring us?

Would you be interested in seeing some information about links on a page that you’re visiting before you click through those pages?

The kind of information that you might be shown could include:

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Proposed FTC Endorsement and Testimonial Ad Revisions Add Blogs, Message Boards, Street Teams

The FTC is considering their first new revisions involving endorsements and testimonials in advertising since 1980, adding blogs, message boards, and street teams to their coverage, as well as imposing stricter guidelines for disclosures in ads.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested comments (pdf) and provided an analysis of changes and revisions to their Guidelines involving Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising on the Federal Register on November 28, 2008, and requested public comments by January 30, 2009. The period for public comments was extended into March, 2009.

These proposed guidelines from the FTC could affect the use of disclaimers in advertising, and directly address the use of advertising through blogs and message boards and street teams. The guidelines haven’t been amended since the 1980s, and the Web has introduced many changes in the ways that advertisers may attempt to introduce products and services to consumers.

It’s been a long time since the Guides Concerning the Use to Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (16 CFR Part 255) were updated, and I was curious about the changes, especially those involving the Web.

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Yahoo Site Links: Quicklinks for Navigational Queries

If you do a search in Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft Live Search, under some of the first search results that you see are extra sets of links to other pages on the same site. Google refers to these as site links and Yahoo calls them quicklinks. Microsoft has published at least one whitepaper that describes the kind of pages that show up in their site links as final destination pages. The site links that all three search engines show look very similar to each other. Can you identify which site links go with which search engine in the images below (hover over them to see which is from which search engine).

yahoo quicklinks for NASA

Google site links for NASA

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