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April 28, 2006

Hits for Friday

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It’s Friday. You’ve worked hard all week. Here’s some fun stuff to get you through the rest of the day.

Be careful what you say in your blog. Andy Beal points us to the news that the CIA has officially launched an initiative to start tracking the ever-growing blogosphere. No word on how they’re going about this, but the CIA says the amount of blog-based reporting has gone up in the president’s daily briefing. Yikes. Let’s keep those posts clean, people!

MarketingVOX reports a new geo-targeting tool being launched by Kanoodle. According to the site, the new tool will help advertisers target their ads directly to their customers based on the location of their IP address. Advertisers can also choose when (on what day, at what time) they want their ads to run. Let’s hear it for highly targeted advertising.

Yahoo relaunched AltaVista’s Babel Fish yesterday with help from some oddly placed Scarface references. For those unfamiliar, Babel Fish is a free service that lets users translate text or web pages in up to 38 different language pairs. They even created their own drink to go with it. (“Decorate with a scoop of mango sorbet.” Ew, way to ruin it.) Personally, I think the Scarface reference is a little misplaced, but the little yellow fish is cute. So thumbs-up.

And because Google likes to rain on Yahoo’s parade, they announced that Google Translator now translate English into Arabic and vice versa. Something the yellow goldfish can’t do. Sorry, Yahoo.

In other Google news (and there’s plenty of it): Google released their new Google China logo, which looks like this. Personally, I like the one that the folks at created for Google better. It incorporates Google’s classic colors into the prominent Chinese lettering, with the world “Google” written in a small, unassuming blue. If you ask me, it’s very Google. Good work, guys.

Google is recruiting recent grads straight from their homepage. Nathan reports that if Google detects your IP address is coming from a college or university, they will show the recruiting URL on their homepage. Nice! Unfortunately, I’m not accessing Google from a college, so I have no idea where the URL actually takes you. Could there be a special Google landing page just for college kids? Now I feel old. And out of the loop. Thanks Nathan.

And I know you were all worrying that the folks at the Goog would go hungry after their last world-renowned chef left last May, but calm your fears – they found their replacements. MercuryNews reports that Google has hired Scott Giambastiani of San Mateo’s high-end Viognier restaurant and Steve Petusevsky, a former national director of creative food development for Whole Foods Markets to fill the open positions. The search took over a year to complete. No word when the new additions will be released from Google Chef Beta. Let’s keep those three free gourmet meals a day coming!

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