Bing’s travel app

8 Ways to Search on Windows 8: The Travel App, Bing (Nov 30)

Those lucky Surface tablet users can use the new Travel App in Windows 8.

“The Travel App brings together everything you need to plan your next trip including in-depth articles, attraction information, maps, weather conditions, breathtaking images, immersive 360 degree panoramas, and much more.”

Microsoft gets the fares from Kayak.

Watch the video to see the panorama feature – a “ton of fun”.

Windows 8 also has apps for sports, finance, maps – in fact there are 8 ways. First post introducing this was titled – Start and Search Charm.

Google 1998 to 2012

A Look at Google’s Algorithm Timeline, State of Search (Nov 30)

Infographic on Google’s algorithm from 1998 to the present. It started to get rough for getting placed in results in 2003 with the Florida update. We see from this infographic that personalized search was introduced in 2004. Rewarding freshness was accentuated in 2011. Google + arrived in March 2011.

I do not know why celeb birthdays and movie releases are on this chart unless it’s to help younguns place the year!!!

Yahoo Canada with Yellow Pages

Yahoo Canada shutters local search, teams with Yellow Pages on new service, Marketing Mag (Nov 26)

This is probably an improvement in Yahoo Canada’s local search.

“Yahoo Canada has shuttered its Yahoo Local service, replacing it with a co-branded local search experience with Yellow Pages Group (YPG).

The service, which utilizes YPG’s YellowAPI technology, is an expansion of a partnership that launched six years ago in which Yellow Pages provided its basic local listings to Yahoo.”

Social Media – use but be careful

FBI uses Twitter, social media to look for securities fraud Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan, Reuters via Globe and Mail (Nov 26)

Beware tweets bearing stock market tips.

“The FBI sees social media as a potential breeding ground for securities fraud, and has agents scouring Twitter and Facebook for tips, according to two top agents overseeing a long-running investigation into insider trading in the $2-trillion (U.S.) hedge fund industry.”

But they might also indicate stock market trends.

“Studies and research reports have shown that Twitter can be used as an early indicator of changing investor sentiment around particular stocks and commodities. This allows Twitter data to be used to predict price fluctuations in the market.”

This reflects the same message as in How Truth and Lies Spread on Twitter (Business Week, Oct 31) – on the one hand social media provides instant information but misinformation moves just as quickly.

“Twitter proved effective not just as a newswire, but as a medium for distributed fact-checking. As quickly as the falsehoods emerged, journalists and city officials moved to swat them down. BuzzFeed’s Jack Steuf quickly revealed the identity of @ComfortablySmug, who issued a public apology Tuesday night. The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal, aided by Atlantic staff writer Megan Garber and social media editor Chris Heller and MSN international editor Tom Phillips—who runs a microsite, Is Twitter Wrong?, devoted to debunking rumors on social media—verified the stunning images floating across the Internet. Even the New York Post reported that Mayor Michael Bloomberg planned on barring passenger cars from entering Manhattan, only to be quickly rebuked by Press Secretary Marc La Vorgna.”

The Tech Support Scam

What’s Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn’t Trust Everything You See on Google, Make Use Of (Nov 23)

Don’t get caught by this scam in which a person from a computer tech support company phones you and says there are problems with your computer – or be fooled by a tech support site that comes up in search results.

“The take-home message: If you see an “official” link for a support center that isn’t actually on the exact website for the company you need (i.e, “norton.com”, not “nor-ton.com”), don’t call any number on that page, and don’t follow instructions, either. Keep searching for more reliable advice online, or go directly to your antivirus vendor’s site and search there.”

And ignore all email messages that claim to come from PayPal – they are phishing.

What Autocomplete Can Tell Us

Don’t Ask? Internet Still Tells, Quentin Hardy and Matt Richtel, New York Times (Nov 21)

Autocomplete at Bing and Google on search queries tells us a lot about what is on the mind of its users.

“People who study online behavior also say the autocomplete feature reveals broader patterns, including indications that the questions people ask of search engines often veer into the sensitive and politically incorrect. “

Search for Answers

Watch Out, Google: Facebook’s Social Search Is Coming, Mathew Ingram, GigaOM (Sept 13)

Of interest — “Like Facebook, Google knows that search is moving from keywords and links to providing answers for users to such questions as “Where should I eat?” and “Who can repair my car the best?” That’s why the company has been spending so much time and effort adding expert information from such places as Wikipedia and from its own sources, such as Zagat. But that isn’t social data, and while there has been plenty of debate about the ultimate value of social recommendations, there’s no question that Facebook has a far better grasp of that than Google does. And unless Facebook and Twitter choose to change their blockade of the search engine, it is likely to stay that way.”