Happy Holidays, everyone! The Tues News is back to tell you that there are already a few gifts under the tree that aren’t from Santa Claus. No, they’re from Google! Google has released several new products and services to help you have a slightly happier holiday. Well, they probably didn’t release this stuff as much to help you out as to make more money for themselves but, hey, ’tis the season, right? Why not enjoy these new items while we’ve got them. Let’s get going:
- Are you handy with a computer? If the answer is “yes” you still might not have a good use for Google’s text-to-speech API. Luckily, there are brilliant minds all over the place in this day and age and you don’t need to be one to envision the possible applications for an open text-to-speech platform. Currently, you can only generate small text-to-speech mp3s but the potential for this product is pretty impressive! [ViralPatel.net via Dzone]
- What do you use to shorten URLs? Bit.ly? Is.gd? TinyURL? If you answered TinyURL, then I have a phone call for you; it’s 2008 and they want their URL-shortener back! Ha! Okay, that’s a terrible joke. Even still, the URL shortening game just got a big, scary competitor in Google, which is using goo.gl to give URL shortening a distinctly Google look. What’s “.gl” all about? Well, it’s actual the top level domain for the pseudo-nation of Greenland. Man, those Google guys must have really had to search hard to find that one! Of course, you can’t really use it for anything non-Google related yet. [BusinessInsider via del.icio.us]
- That’s not all! Google is also rolling out some tricks in the search engine. For example, let’s say you wanted to get me a Christmas present but you weren’t sure whether to get me a wool coat or a light sweater. Well, now, when you search for “weather El Segundo, California” you will not even have to finish your search to get your results! If you check out the screen shot below, you can see that with today’s temperature comfortably at 64°F at Wpromote HQ, you’d probably go with the light sweater. If you were wondering, by the way, if that was a veiled attempt at bragging about Southern California weather in December, you’d be wrong. It wasn’t veiled at all! [Official Google Blog]
So, there is something in common with most of the gifts from Santa Sergey and Larry Claus: they don’t really “go under the tree,” per se. Not to mention that one requires hack, one isn’t really available yet and one only saves you about 1.5 seconds. Before you get mad, though, remember that these are all free and, as always, it’s the thought that counts. Thanks for stopping by. Read up on and keep up with the online world; keep reading Tues News! Catch ya later!
PS: I’m not sure if this is an upcoming gift from Google, but go to Google.com and click “I’m Feeling Lucky” without typing anything in the search box. There appears to be a countdown going on. Is it just to New Year’s or is it to the moment that Google takes over the entire world? Both are probable but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.