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June 30, 2006

Friday Recap 06/30/2006

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Did you hear Google launched Google Checkout? You did? Really? Because it didn’t get any coverage.

Okay, so it was hard to miss, but if you haven’t read anyone else’s coverage because you’re so loyal that you were waiting for us to blog about it (and by the way, you’re awesome), Google Checkout is a streamlined payment system tightly integrated into AdWords. Not a PayPal killer, sorry.

Chris Sherman explains those with a Google account can sign into their account on a retailer’s web site and click once to complete the checkout process using the credit card number stored within their Google account. No more repetitive, detailed forms with shipping and payment information. Sort of like how Amazon works. It’s great, until some hacks into your Google account.

What’s scary is that 24 hours before Checkout was released, without even trying it or seeing what it was about, more than 45 percent of users said they would switch from PayPal to GBuy, according to a Digital Point poll. People are sometimes slightly crazy in the head.

Ask removed its “legacy filters” we reported on last week to enable pedophiles to search users to find information on “sensitive topics”. Way to succumb to peer pressure, guys. I know, I know, censorship is a bad thing.

Yahoo! launched a beta of its new mobile mail service this week. The most notable change? Your mail is now searchable. Cool.

Kudos to MSN for sending msndude back into the forums to address a disgruntled user’s complaint. In a recent WMW thread, a webmaster accused MSN Search of “disregarding sites with too much AdSense on their pages.” Where every other engine would have ignored the ranting, msndude took the time to respond and even asked the member to send him the URL in question to determine if it was MSN’s bug, and if it was, it could be fixed immediately. What a guy.

Robert Scoble is moving to Half Moon Bay and has provided users with a view of his very pretty Washington home. Fine, maybe it’s not so much for users as it is for prospective buyers, but a girl can dream, can’t she? I want his kitchen. And that backyard. Mmm, trees.

This is pretty awesome. Coolz0r (I’m really wishing I knew “Coolz0r’s” real name…) alerts us to some classic movies that have “fallen out of copyright”, meaning you can watch them for free courtesy of Google Video. Titles include Night of the Living Dead, Gunsmoke Ranch, The Man Who Knew Too Much and Phantom.

Phil Lenssen let us in on the secret to Google Book Search. Human fingers. Yes, Google scans each and every page by hand. But be careful, it looks like too much exposure to the Google scanner causes some sort of hand mutation. Eww to weird pixelated fingers.

I’m not sure how they plan to do it, but Andy Beal says China wants to “strangle blogs and search engines“. Forget that blogs are growing at unheard of rates, and people would likely die without daily their Google intake, China says the duo spread “illegal and unhealthy information” and they want them “under control”. Note to self: Don’t move to China. Ever.

For those worried, Matt Cutts is alive, well and making appearances over at Google Blogoscoped. Matt chimed in to help clear up some confusion over the on again/ off again Google Account Authentication Proxy page. Some users hypothesized the page had been pulled after it had been reported missing by multiple sources, but Matt says it was likely they were just accessing older data centers. It’s nice to have Matt back.

Andy Beal alerted us to some blog prostitution going on. Don’t look so shocked. PayPerPost.com (I’m not linking, sorry) just launched and gives advertisers a way to find bloggers they can pay to write and endorse products for them. Even better, it doesn’t require them to provide any type of disclosure. Eeeexcellent.

Also excellent is the site’s homepage: He wants to create buzz. She wants to make money. [cue suggestive music.]

It would be funny if the whole thing wasn’t just a bad, bad, horrible idea. Bloggers have a hard enough time maintaining any sort of un-hyped credibility. Planting that seed of doubt is no good.

Disclosure: Neither I, nor Bruce Clay, Inc., was paid to endorse PayPerPost.com or any of the other companies, individuals, or mutated fingers mentioned in this entry. But only because no one offered. Otherwise, we totally would have done it.

Kidding! Enjoy your July 4th weekend. Be safe and we’ll see you on Wednesday.

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