Friday Fun: Two Weeks in a Row? Hold the Press

I know I shouldn't be surprised by this but can May be nearly done? In this recap we'll take a look at some of the news from Google announced this week and some fun diversions.

Google News
There are lots of stories out of the Google I/O event this week. What I found particularly interesting was the opening of some of their API's for anyone to use. Some examples are listed below but Google has also released API's for Gmail, Buzz, Wave and a number of other products recently. Google has effectively given startups and small businesses the ability to leverage the infrastructure of an Enterprise. The potential is there for small and medium size businesses to no longer fear a massive CRM investment since Google is doing all of this for free.
Latitude – Is a location API that can leverage user location and location history for an application.
BigQuery – Allow users to use Google's infrastructure to analyze large datasets. 
Prediction – This API will use Google's prediction algorithms to provide predictions to an application. 

Google TV is sure to be a hot topic this shopping season but the living room is a mess with the number of companies involved. This post from John Paczkowski provides a great overview of some of the players that have tried and failed and why Google is facing a difficult road ahead.

Android Froyo was announced and provides all sorts of updates to the phone operating system that will really push Apple. One report I read pointed out the Google has been trying to catch up to Apple since they first announced Android and this release leap frogged right past the upcoming iPhone OS 4 release.

There was much more that came out from the event that I'll take a look at in the future. 

Facebook Community Pages
This is an interesting development that could affect Brands trying to make a name for themselves in Facebook. Community pages are a combination of Wikipedia entries and Facebook user chatter. These pages can have an unintended consequence as noted by Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) at the Altimeter Group in this blog post. The issue for brands is confusion with Facebook and difficulty responding to comments in the pages. Facebook users can find themselves posting content to these pages unwittingly if their wall posts are public. Try searching for "My Stupid Boss" on Facebook. 

Openbook = People Put Weird Stuff on Facebook
Have you ever wanted to search Facebook public content just to see what sorts of weird and embarrassing things you can find? Look no further. This post from Consumerist sums it up nicely.Try it out for yourself. (it might be slow)

Gowalla and IHG Tag Team
Barb De Lollis reported on a promotional campaign that will give Gowalla users a message about their summer promotion when they use the application to "check-in" while visiting one of their properties. It is interesting to see some experiments with location based platforms. The Las Vegas Hilton has been playing with Foursquare as have a few other hotels listed on Hotel Chatter.

Wowzers! This Video is Mesmerizing.
This video really feels like it should be on display in the World of Tomorrow. This is fun eye candy.

Mobile Ads Work (sort of)
This post from Gizmodo refers to a longer post from GigaOm and studied the effectiveness of mobile ads on different platforms and found that Symbian, think old school (2007), mobile phone ads are still the most effective for advertisers. There are a couple of obvious reasons for this but again it serves to show that Smartphones, think iPhone and Android, still have room to grow. The recent announcements from Apple and Google will likely make a more significant impact for their respective platforms in coming years.

Mobile Sensors – Sniff, Sniff
Researchers as UCSD have developed a sensor that can detect airborne toxins and alert the cell phone user. It may not be in the next Google enabled phone from HTC, but there could be some interesting applications for this type of sensor. 

Try On A Virtual Watch
I'm not sold on Augmented Reality in its current state. However, this idea from Tissot is not terrible. It is a little cheesy.

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