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and Idle Computers Cure Disease

It’s a slow week for SEO. And, in an industry where we’re used to changes at an alarming pace, newsletter editors can get a little bit desperate when there isn’t much to write about.

Not that this is an acceptable excuse for being caught in a zoo enclosure dressed like Bill Oddie trying to explain the game of Monopoly to a waddle of increasingly agitated penguins.

So read on for mildly interesting stuff on Google search bars, Google+ and how leaving your computer on at night might one day save lives.

Wait…where’s the Search Bar Gone?

You might think it ludicrous that Google would ever remove the search bar from their search engine. But Barry Schwartz – the jungle-faced purveyor of poorly proofed, but highly interesting, 150 word posts – has identified this might be something Google is actually testing in Chrome.

He’s even cobbled together a link you can try it on – here. And he’s right. There’s no search bar. Why this would ever be useful is anyone’s guess but some theories dotted about the place reckon it’s to force all searches into (not provided).

Whatever the reason, it doesn’t bode well for webmasters who may soon have to scrabble around the crumbs of Google’s profit feast to find a single measly shred of useful data from analytics.

Sign in Everywhere with Google+

There are only three things I dislike in this world: Middle lane drivers, Jeremy Paxman and being prompted to sign in to Facebook every time I’m on a site. None of my friends want or need to know that I spend most of my evenings sharing my Worzel Gummidge cosplay photos with middle aged women in Quebec.

But now Google+ are joining the throng of encouraged nonymity by letting people sign into their accounts on third party sites – calling it Google Fancy. They’re saying it’s a way to curate and share content that your friends might be interested in.

Yet with much of their software moving towards Google Now, it seems more logical that the search giant is increasingly interested in who you are and what you’re doing. This way they can ensure you are always receiving the right contextual information.

And the right adverts.

Interpreters for Hangouts

You could argue that not everything Google do is part of their overall plan to secure world domination. They do some good stuff too. These rare occasions of genuine thought, while shocking enough to put most internet travellers into a vegetative state, are a welcome relief from the tide of negativity they are normally associated with.

This latest act allows users of Google+ hangouts who may be deaf or hard of hearing to bring their own interpreter into the conversation. This interpreter can then relay spoken and signed communication to the other participants.

Not bad from the same company responsible for the Chromebook.

Idle Computers Used to Cure Diseases

Usually the final whimsical story is a space reserved to reflect my odd personality. However, due to several external suggestions and a court order, I’m pleased (forced) to bring you a sensible one.

Whether your company has a green policy or not, when it comes to your work computer, it can be very hard to get into the habit of turning it off at night. Because of this, researchers at Quantum Cures are looking to use this mass of unused computing time to run molecular computations while you’re out of the office. It might not be a new concept, but the focus on rare diseases is what the company says sets it apart from other research foundations.

Though, while idle computations seem like a great idea, I’m not sure I’ll ever convince the boss that 12 hours of energy, 7 days a week is a worthwhile expense for me to research if bees could ever pollinate a dog.

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