Another Google purchase, in 3D software

When I wrote a post at the end of last year on Google’s acquisitions, I didn’t expect that I would have to update it as frequently as I have been recently. I added a new company this morning.

Google has purchased @Last Software, maker of a very nice looking 3D modeling software package named Sketchup. It appears that the companies had been working together on a plugin, to enable people to use the software with Google Earth. I’ve added a couple of details about the purchase in my Google acquisition post, including a rumor from last October, and a link to a patent owned by the acquired company.

It’s been interesting to speculate on how Google might spend some of the money that they gained through their IPO. This seems like some useful software. Jeff Martin, formerly of @Last Software, blogs about his new employer, and the change of ownership over at the Google Blog – A new home for @Last Software

What changes will this bring to Sketchup? There’s a very detailed Google Acquisition FAQ’s answering many questions on the deal.

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IBM series on search engine optimization

I just came across a series from the folks at IBM on search engine optimization. So far, it’s a nice introduction to the topic, and worth looking at. The first two parts of the series have been published, and I’m guessing that part three will probably come out very soon.

The first part focuses upon what the author, L. Jennette Banks, calls “white hat SEO” and includes:

A short glossary,
The importance of SEO,
A brief overview of the practice,
Why it matters to users of search engines,
The relationship of SEO to search engines, with a primary focus on Google
A nice set of resources

Search engine optimization basics, Part 1: Improve your standing in search engines

I’ll disclose here that I was proud to see a link to Cre8asite Forums, where I’m an administrator, in the list of forums cited in the resource section.

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Patent on searching books online

An interesting patent granted last week on searching books. I would have thought to see something like this from Amazon, or maybe even Google. But it isn’t.

Method and system for full text search of purchasable books that make the full text inaccessible to users

The patent does refer to a New York Times article from July 23, 2003 about Amazon.com’s Look inside the Book process: Amazon Plan Would Allow Searching Texts of Many Books

Any implications for Google Book Search or Amazon’s Search Inside the Book? I’m not sure. I’m guessing not. But, keep your eyes open just in case.

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Visual mobile search from nThrum

I’m intrigued by the topic of mobile search enough to add a new category to this blog on the topic.

One of the interesting mobile search sites I’ve seen lately is Goobile, and I enjoyed an interview they held with Kumar Gopalakrishnan last November.

He was named as an inventor on a patent application published this last week on a type of mobile search that looks at things like text on objects to perform searches:
Method and system for providing information services relevant to visual imagery

The invention described sounds similar to the nThrum service mentioned in the interview, which is available for free download as a beta, by invitation.

A person would take a picture of text that appears on an object with their phone, and then have the application return information to them about that text. Sounds better than barcodes

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Microsoft launches new search, buys Onfolio

Microsoft officially launches Windows Live Search (now Bing), later today.

Of course, the site at the URL (live.com) where it will be located has been available in beta for a while, but the Seattle Post Intelligencer mentions some new features and a new design in Microsoft to release overhauled Internet search engine I guess we’ll have to wait to see exactly what comes with this “launch.”

Microsoft has purchased web application maker Onfolio, Inc., and will be bringing Onfolio founder JJ Allaire aboard. Parts of Onfolio’s web tool are being incorporated into Microsoft’s toolbar.

Allaire is also the creator of Cold Fusion. His joining Microsoft is interesting in light of his past experiences, and his knowledge of this type of search engine helper software (a term to describe tools like Onfolio, which appears to have been coined in an Always On article published a week after the launch of Onfolio almost two years ago).

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Patent Application for Google Web Accelerator?

A new patent application from Google looks at prefetching and preloading pages into a browser based upon mouse movements, as well as a client-based cache file, and a server based cache.

Accelerating user interfaces by predicting user actions

The inventors listed in the application (US Patent document number 20060047804) are Eric Russell Fredricksen, Paul Buchheit, and Jeffrey Glen Rennie. It was filed on June 30, 2004, assigned to Google on October 10, 2004, and published on March 2, 2006 .

Abstract:

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Catching up with my RSS

It’s been tough keeping up with Bloglines this last week. Here are some of the posts that caught my eye while trying to catch up:

Greg Linden, at Geeking with Greg took a careful look at some of the links posted in the second ever post at the Google Research Blog, and come up with some interesting observations involving “how to parallelize a hierarchical Bayesian network across a cluster of computers.” If your “inner geek” gets excited over such things, it might be worth checking out.

Sabrina Pacifici blogs about some of the States that allow access to social security numbers during Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) searches. With recent discussions about the Federal Government asking for information from search engines that may include some personally identifiable information, it bears paying attention to how state governments treat privacy issues.

Mike Grehan writes about some of his experiences at the New York SES, including the first time I’ve seen a search marketer threatened with a banana. Mike is one of the most generous folks in the industry, and I’d like to thank him for helping make the SES in New York (this year, and last year) the great experience it was. Thank you, Mike.

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Correcting Chinese Characters in Search Queries

I had a chance to spend a little time with Ian McAnerin at the New York SES before his near brush with a Fiery Explosion!, and he briefly mentioned some of the challenges facing search engines in China, including the use of simplified Chinese characters.

Ian is one of the speakers who will appear at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in China later this month. I don’t know if it will come up at the sessions there, but those simplified Chinese characters pose some interesting challenges to the search engines. I posted about a couple of patent applications from Google on Chinese characters last December.

Google has released another patent application involving Chinese characters in search queries: Fault-tolerant romanized input method for non-roman characters

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Getting Information about Search and SEO Directly from the Search Engines