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Google Businesses The Internet IT

Google Base Launches 337

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the google-cheerleading-overlords dept.
An anonymous reader writes "As announced on the Google Blog, Google Base has finally launched. According to Google, Google Base enables content owners to easily make their information searchable online. Anyone, from large companies to website owners and individuals, can use it to submit their content in the form of data items. We'll host the items and make them searchable for free."
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Google Base Launches

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  • by b0r1s (170449) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:30AM (#14041540) Homepage
    But bad for private intranet sites. For anything where privacy is significant, the Google appliance (or Google mini) will still be in high demand. The
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:41AM (#14041587)
      Well obviously. Why would Google deliberately introduce a service that would obviate the need for
    • by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:42AM (#14041593) Homepage Journal
      Good for 'public' sites But bad for private intranet sites

      I'm not certain that it's "good" for anything. Pretty much all the previous Google apps were something you could "get" just by checking into it quickly. However, most regular people don't truly understand the concept of a formal database. As a result, we usually need other metaphors to help them understand the databases their using. (e.g. A filing system, a card index, etc.)

      What Google Base is proposing is very interesting (though of dubious use at the moment), but I just don't think that users are going to be rushing to grab ahold. Users will continue to keep their recipes on their computers or Recipe Database websites, jobs will continue to be posted on Monster, and life will otherwise continue on as is.

      Nice try Google, but I think this one has a long way to go until it's out of Beta.
      • by DMouse (7320) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:21AM (#14041731) Homepage
        Don't you see that it's not about being useful for joe average, but as a way for people to feed google pre-digested data feeds that describe their websites. This is a white hat search engine optimisation tool. And the fact that you can upload content using ftp to upload rss files just makes it a walk in the park. Really, too friggen easy.

        The fact that I am thinking about uploading my local job site's content just so that i can actually search it is beside the point, right? ;-)
      • ...but for how long? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by conner_bw (120497)
        Google to me seems like a new Catholicism. Everything consolidated under a monolithic central power with a mandate of "doing no evil". They send missionaries in the form of Bots and Ad Words to uncharted territory seemingly to help netizens in the wild, while gathering statistical data about what large masses of people are doing where, when and why. With this they can build their own versions of everything. Your home (page) is nothing compared to their cathedral. Heathens flock to it and erode their old so
      • What Google Base is proposing is very interesting (though of dubious use at the moment), but I just don't think that users are going to be rushing to grab ahold. Users will continue to keep their recipes on their computers or Recipe Database websites, jobs will continue to be posted on Monster, and life will otherwise continue on as is.

        Maybe until they start noticing that their Google Base content start appearing in their main index, Froogle, and other services. It says this may happen if the relevancy is g
      • Seeing as search results from the main Google search engine, as well as Froogle and Google Local will contain results entered via Google Base, I think you'll see a pretty quick uptake on Google Base by people wanting to get their items contained within these new search results.

        Call me crazy, but I don't see how HR people or advertisers wanting to sell their products will pass this up.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Great! Now you can search for people in your local area selling their souls:

      http://base.google.com/base/search?q=souls+for+sal e [google.com]

      • by n54 (807502) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @07:16AM (#14042521) Homepage Journal
        Interesting... would this person happen to be you? http://base.google.com/base/items?oid=674339201900 4287296 [google.com]

        It states: "You have my word on that my soul is pure and clean. I have never commited any sins or other bad acts, so please skip the 2 cents offers."
        but I would contend he has already in the ad made at least the following sins:
        - lying (about never ever having done anything even remotely bad)
        - selling his soul (a sin in the eyes of a overwhelmingly large portion of religious humans, incidentally the group that are most likely to accept the concept of a soul in the first place, and many of whom would not even accept the validity of trying to sell it or that the seller is actually the owner of his own soul)

        So the soul is obviously not in mint condition :) Has the person ever had a heartache? Any kind of trauma or other bad experiences? Denied God, Satan or any other such entity? Number of reincarnations if any? The list goes on and on to make an attempted appraisal. It seems obvious that the person is a virgin physically, that's at least one selling point but it would need to be documented to affect the selling price :)

        Most buyers would probably want a guarantee on the souls condition from a higher authority if quality is meant to be a selling point.

        In addition there is little product information, nor any guarantee or expiration date (the expiration date would be the time for which the seller could guarantee conferred ownership of the soul). If such a date is unknown to the seller many buyers could arrange such a date for their own purposes as long as it does not include any reverse transferral back to the seller. And most important of all the seller has not defined exactly what his soul is, most buyers would for example feel that they could litigate if buying the soul does not imply a full 100% direct control over the sellers soul at all times including all which that implies (by tradition; the sellers thoughts, actions, feelings, senses and soforth).

        And what of those who would be interested in buying the soul for official purposes such as proving they have a soul (at least one)? If you have a deed to a human soul (even if transfer has not occured yet) could one not claim to be eligible to human rights, nationality, etceterea? Perhaps absurd right here and now but some time in the future it might not be, it could be a legal loophole for synthetic intelligences to gain human rights if otherwise denied such. All of this is a seperate futures market but does make it neccessary that the sale has an approved legal status in whatever human justice system the sale takes place, the seller needs to provide documentation to such effect if this is the market he's going for.

        Any possibilites of "try before you buy"? What are the delivery arrangements?

        What are the contractual agreements for exchange of the money and the soul? Almost all buyers would agree to an infinite sum if the transfer is immediate and includes the traditional implications.

        The seller should be noted that all things considered the likely buyers would want the traditional contractual arrangements and a signature in the sellers blood witnessed by the buyer or representatives and confirmed by DNA comparison of the blood with three sample biopsis from any part of the sellers body, internal or external.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:31AM (#14041544)
    All your Google base are belong to us.
  • Oh great (Score:3, Funny)

    by fmwap (686598) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:35AM (#14041556) Journal
    Great, so now our top results are going to be clutered with samples of the info we're really looking for

    Thanks, google
  • Data integrity (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afaik_ianal (918433) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:37AM (#14041564)
    Does anyone know what they are planning on doing to make sure data is up to date?

    I can just see things happening like a school putting up all of their course information and not keeping it up to date.
    • Re:Data integrity (Score:5, Informative)

      by puppetman (131489) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:43AM (#14041597) Homepage

      The company I work for has been participating in this for a few months now. We upload content once per night. Data items that were in the feed from the night before are removed if they aren't in the most current feed.

      Data is expired if there is no activity on it after a period of time. There is also an expiration date.
      • Like Froogle (Score:5, Informative)

        by quokkapox (847798) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:03AM (#14041675)
        Data is expired if there is no activity on it after a period of time. There is also an expiration date.

        This is more or less what was done with companies wishing to have their product database indexed within Froogle.

        It was actually a nice implementation for a complicated process, and it only took them a week to approve our data feed and begin listing our items.

        We upload a new feed as frequently as we need to.

      • How exactly is this different than froogle....
        • Re:Data integrity (Score:3, Informative)

          by moonbender (547943)
          It's not limited to products and prices? As in, it's a totally different thing? It may be based on the same tech though, hardly surprising since it's from the same people.
    • Re:Data integrity (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I think this is a real issue. Like Wikipedia, this idea has great potential. Like Wikipedia, this will have many problems. What's to stop this from suffering under a heavy load of spam, honest mistakes, and deliberate mischeif?
      • Re:Data integrity (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mindriot (96208)

        I think this is a real issue. [...] this idea has great potential. [...] this will have many problems. What's to stop this from suffering under a heavy load of spam, honest mistakes, and deliberate mischeif?

        s/this/the Internet/g;

        Yes, sure it will be subject to deliberate mischief. But the same goes for the Internet as a whole—because, well, those pesky humans are using it.

        I wouldn't be so pessimistic about it. The problems of spam, mistakes, and deliberate mischief aren't technical ones, t

    • Does anyone know what they are planning on doing to make sure data is up to date? I can just see things happening like a school putting up all of their course information and not keeping it up to date.

      Yes, because the web itself contains no broken links and no outdated information. It would be criminal to pollute such a reliable resource.
      --
      Kerry/Edwards 2004 !!!!! I love SONY!!!!

      • Re:Data integrity (Score:4, Insightful)

        by afaik_ianal (918433) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:12AM (#14041703)
        I agree that there are a lot of mistakes on the web, but I'd expect it to be harder to keep Google Base up to date because if an organisation is going to make a website, they have a lot more work to do up front (register a domain, buy hosting, create the actual site).

        I imagine it would be quite common for someone from an IT department to hear about Base, decide to put up ad hoc info about his organisation, then forget about it. That's far less likely for a website.

        Further to that, websites are currently organisations' primary presence on the internet. A secondary presence like Base is likely to fall by the way side before their website does.
        • Re:Data integrity (Score:5, Informative)

          by kotku (249450) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:38AM (#14041945) Journal
          I have a google account and have played around with it a little. Part of the integrity bit seems to be using spam filtering techniques to prevent you creating SPAM entries in the database. See below thier editorial guidelines.

          ----

          The most effective item communicates a clear message to a targeted audience. Once you determine whom you want to reach and develop appropriate text, you need to create an item that will inform users. The Google Base Editorial Guidelines will help you create effective items to meet your goals

          Underlying all the Editorial Guidelines are two simple principles:

                  * Be honest, accurate, and factual.
                  * Clearly and accurately describe your message.

          Our ultimate goal is your success, and we believe that providing a great user experience is the best way to ensure it. To submit items to Google, you must adhere to these guidelines.

          Use Standard Punctuation

                  * No repeated and unnecessary punctuation or symbols.
                  * Your title may not contain an exclamation point.

          Use Standard Capitalization

                  * No excessive capitalization such as "FREE" or "GOOGLE BASE."
                  * Capitalization of the first letter of each word within a URL is permitted.

          No Repetition

                  * Avoid gimmicky repetition.

          Use Correct Spelling

                  * Check that you use correct spelling.

          Use Proper Grammar

                  * Your item text must be in relevant, logical sentences and must contain grammatically correct spacing.
                  * The use of symbols, numbers, or letters must adhere to the true meaning of the symbol.

          No Unacceptable Phrases

                  * Your item cannot contain universal call-to-action phrases such as "click here," "link here," "visit this link," or other similar phrases that could apply to any item, regardless of content.
                  * Use a call-to-action unique to the information you provide.

          No Inappropriate Language

                  * Your item cannot contain offensive or inappropriate language.

          Adhere to the Program Policies

                  * As a business, Google must make decisions about where we draw the line in regards to the items we accept. We, therefore, may not accept items containing some content or relating to certain products or services. We reserve the right to exercise editorial discretion when it comes to the items we accept on our site, as noted in our terms and conditions. Please note that the decisions we make concerning items in no way affect the search results we deliver. To learn more, please review our Program Policies.
  • by obli (650741) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:37AM (#14041566)
    What exacty goes into base? As I've understood it everything is supposed to go into Google base, right?

    Could wikipedia be imported to Google base?
  • by conner_bw (120497) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:38AM (#14041569) Homepage Journal
    The example that comes to mind here is recipes.

    There are many independent websites that offer recipes and make a few bucks with Google Ads. Now if users start entering all their recipes in Google Base, google can still run the advertisement but no longer has to pay a third party.

    News For Nerds, is technically an item that could also be entered in the Base. In theory, with all the editorial mistakes and dupes, that we all know and love, the only thing that's really holding everything together is the community.

    If they host everything, and it's better than all the websites that host their own info in order to run advertisements, then those websites will disappear with time.

    • by moonbender (547943) <moonbender@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @06:05AM (#14042331)
      In theory, with all the editorial mistakes and dupes, that we all know and love, the only thing that's really holding everything together is the community.

      You make that sound as if it's a little thing. Slashdot is all about the community. If I want news (and I do), I read other sites - Ars, The Register, heise, and others (freshmeat comes to mind for the Linux geeks). If I wanted to know stuff even faster (and I don't), I guess I'd subscribe to a million blogs. Anyway, Slashdot certainly isn't about the news, it probably makes for one of the worst news outlets ever. But Slashdot has a one of a kind community. It's mostly just really, really large, which entails that there are a lot of idiots in there, but a few smart people, too, and usually a real expert on every issue. The news stuff is really just a way to make a substantial percentage of those people focus on a single issue. I think posting random computer-related topics from Wikipedia would accomplish much the same - and in all likelihood it would still be news more often, too. ;)

      Sorry for going on a wild tangent here, I sometimes feel like I have to justify why I'm still reading Slashdot after such a long time. ;)

      • Exactly. Slashdot still has some level of humor and cutting edge technology. The news slant just helps focus the community around a topic. Nobody can really expect /. to have real news or real articles. Even the reviews are pretty sketchy. It is a nice list of current events with some expert comment (and idiot comments) as well as some humor periodically.

  • Does the TOS really restrict this? And does such a clause make it necessary for them to police the database for infringements?
  • Scary Pace (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superpulpsicle (533373) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:39AM (#14041574)
    Is it me or does it seem like Google is average 1 new service/product every 2 months or so. This is a scary pace. The part I am most amazed by is that ALL their services scale very well.

  • by MattskEE (925706) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:40AM (#14041577)
    Like Wikipedia, this idea has great potential. Like Wikipedia, this will have many problems. What's to stop this from suffering under a heavy load of spam, honest mistakes, and deliberate mischeif?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, actually, this is not like wikipedia. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so it is restricting itself in the kind of information and the way it is presented. My Honda civic car would not be relevant to Wikipedia (Pope Benedict's former Volkswagen however gained some relevance during it's ebay selling - so does the car of JFK during his Dallas visit).

      And, of course, it is a wiki.

      Google Base is not an encyclopedia and it is not a wiki. It is offering a much more flexible way of storing data while making it pu
    • These days, my experiences on the internet make me wonder how the world itself can survive under a heavy load of spam, honest mistakes, and deliberate mischief. Can someone explain that to me?
  • API Interface (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I wonder if Google will have any plans to create an API for base, or at least integrate it into their existing search API. It would be pretty neat to be able to create applications that would automatically submit the information for you, rather than having to perform the bulk-upload method that I suppose *could* be automated...

    Thoughts?
  • So wait... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ctrl+Alt+De1337 (837964) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:41AM (#14041590) Homepage
    So, regular Google is their search crawlers going out and indexing information, while Google Base is people submitting information to be indexed in categories that submitters assign themselves. Is that right? Or is there more to this? Is this like a subsection of the search engine, or an informal free webhosting service? I'm just not sure of what this is or why it's necessary.
    • Re:So wait... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quiddity (106640)
      yes, yes, and yes. and neither are they, thats why they stuck it out in the wild, to see what happens to it. they're smart like that..
      this is everything you (we!) can think of. all on a crisp clear white bckground. think geocities, but you can try and report the user if its spam/vandalism.

      only limits seem to be:
      -only 30 attributes per item
      -no export, only import and display on google at base.google.
      both of which might change

      sneaky smart bastids.
    • Re:So wait... (Score:3, Informative)

      by mblase (200735)
      Is this like a subsection of the search engine, or an informal free webhosting service? I'm just not sure of what this is or why it's necessary.

      The important details I'm getting from Google's own site are:

      - You can post existing item types like Products, Recipes, Jobs, Want Ads, Vehicles, Reviews, Reference Articles, People Profiles, and more. Think of it as you're posting an entry with specific attributes (Product: Price, Quantity, Condition, Brand...) and keywords (anything you can think of), along with
  • Didn't work for me (Score:4, Informative)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:42AM (#14041594) Journal
    I tried publishing something and it told me I published over 200 articles already. Then I clicked 'save draft', and it gave me an error.
    • by thesnarky1 (846799)
      If you login, this goes away. It probably means that some 'guest' user has put up 200 posts in total. Good to make sure people register email with you, huh?
  • by GreggyBUIUC (262370) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:43AM (#14041596)
    ... I really [google.com] wish [google..com] I would [google.com] have [google.com] got [google.com] some [google.com] of [google.com] that [google.com] IPO [google.com] a [google.com] while [google.com] back [google.com]...
  • API? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by protohiro1 (590732) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:43AM (#14041598) Homepage Journal
    If they release an api for this...holy crap. How incredibly useful. One could, say, write a content management system that runs on google base rather than mysql or whatever. Or who knows what other cool shit the hackers will come up with. This concept is SO powerful its kind of...freaky. So much of the internet could fit onto this one little idea.
    • Re:API? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hagrin (896731) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:15AM (#14041715) Homepage Journal
      There will still be a need for mySQL/SQL Server/other DB options for certain types of applications like forums, etc. However, you're 100% right, with an API the possibilities are endless in terms of what you could include in their indexing.

      The one factor that will keep this happening is performance and speed. Adding an additional 2 hops for database content won't make much sense for web applications. I can't see replacing local network queries with external queries to Google's Base system. Good call though on the API.
      • Adding an additional 2 hops for database content won't make much sense for web applications.

        There wouldn't be an extra two hops if you're fetching the data from the client-side with AJAX or Macromedia Flex [macromedia.com]. In fact, Google Base's servers might be faster than your own hosting. Of course, I don't think it makes business sense to store user data solely with Google, but the performance penalties can be factored out.
      • Re:API? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kosmosik (654958) <kos@NosPAM.kosmosik.net> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @06:15AM (#14042353) Homepage
        > The one factor that will keep this happening is performance and speed.

        The other (probably the most important) problem will be with legal options (like terms of use).
    • Re:API? (Score:2, Insightful)

      How incredibly useful. One could, say, write a content management system that runs on google base rather than mysql or whatever.

      I know! Just imagine: the sophistication of a MySQL database plus the speed of an HTTP connection!

      It's sort of like putting your money in a piggybank -- a piggybank not in your bedroom, but on *the other side of town*.

      • Re:API? (Score:2, Funny)

        by masdog (794316)
        It's sort of like putting your money in a piggybank -- a piggybank not in your bedroom, but on *the other side of town*.

        Like a bank?
  • by HellsAngel (582912) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:47AM (#14041615) Homepage
    for a minute there I thought they were finally launching Copernicus Center [google.com], their Lunar base.
  • by wordisms (624668) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:48AM (#14041620)
    http://base.google.com/base/base_policies.html/ [google.com]

    The list of banned content is great!

    Hacking and Cracking Sites - Posting is not permitted for the promotion of hacking or cracking. For example, items must not provide instructions or equipment to illegally access or tamper with software, servers, or websites.

    Aids to Pass Drug Tests - Posting is not permitted for the promotion of products such as drug cleansing shakes and urine test additives.

    Too much!
    • Hacking and Cracking Sites - Posting is not permitted for the promotion of hacking or cracking. For example, items must not provide instructions or equipment to illegally access or tamper with software, servers, or websites.

      That's not cool. What about legitimate hacking? The quote mentions examples of illegal methods, but the scope could be broader in practice. There's also mention of mod chips on the list, citing copy protection circumvention as an example, but what about legitimate mod chips? The "Po

    • Aids to Pass Drug Tests - Posting is not permitted for the promotion of products such as drug cleansing shakes and urine test additives.

      Clearly this is to prevent Google employees from finding jobs elsewhere. Now we know what they're spending all their IPO money on!!
  • For Slashdot, this is a royal flush, no?
  • Hmm...Porn? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CriminalNerd (882826) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @01:54AM (#14041643)
    Sexual Content
    (Adult) Posting is not permitted for the promotion of child pornography or other non-consensual material.

    Does that mean people are allowed to post most of their pr0n? That would be...disturbing...Interesting for others, but not for the soccer moms.
  • druggle (Score:5, Funny)

    by grungebox (578982) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:08AM (#14041686) Homepage
    So if we can use Google Base for free, does that mean we can free base? Far out, man.
  • sites like vehix.com, orbitz.com, and finance.yahoo.com are essentially taking data from some goofy mainframe format (Reynolds & Reynolds, edgar, etc) and simply skinning it and making it searchable via the web. If those original database holders (data OEMs if you will) decide to plug in here, many of those sites just took a giant step toward redundancy.

    I don't think such sites are kaput, because the retail experience holds something of value in and of itself (all the customer care bits). But Google gets a helluva lot more powerful, certainly.
  • 30 Day Expiration? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SledgeHBK (148480) <sledgehbk@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:21AM (#14041734)
    "Most types of items (such as products, services, housing, autos, wanted ads, jobs, travel, events, and news) automatically expire after 30 days. "

    I'm kinda confused. Is this only referring to the actual commercial items being put up for sale, or is applying to most everything?

    I was going to tell my fiancee about this and get her started on creating her own model horse database (she's a collector). I don't think it would be a good way to go if the above is true.

    Could somebody clarify this for me and/or show me some sort of good out-of-the-box software that could be used in this way (collection of items, with pictures, description, etc.).
  • I'm in your google base. I'm killing your google mans!
  • by mikeburke (683778) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:33AM (#14041765)
    I can imagine this becoming a great source of copyright issues - google you have no way of knowing where your content came from - pictures, reference articles - even recipes. For example it's really not hard to imagine someone posting up all the recipes from their Delia Smith cookbook collection.

    Who is going to police all this aggregated, easily searched content? The only rational strategy for google is to wash their hands of it and have some kind of content editors responsible for acting on complaints.

    Sure, this issue isn't exactly new to the internet, but by storing it, indexing it, making a tidy profit from it (via adwords) and no doubt painting a nice, publically available API over it, I find it hard to believe it won't be long before various organisations are up in arms.
  • easfdq (Score:5, Interesting)

    by snark23 (122331) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:40AM (#14041792) Homepage
    Larry: I've been trying to infer structure from web pages all day, and boy are my arms tired!

    Sergey: Hey Larry, what if we could trick our users into supplying structure along with their data?

    Larry: Why, we would rule the world!

    [Larry and Sergey burst into song...]

    ~

    But seriously, this is way cool. Here's where Google Base could go from here:

    1. Allow more complex data types (the AJAX interface is beautiful and simple, but really limiting... maybe allow more complex types to be built through an API?) I'm thinking of structures and some kind of instantiation system.

    2. Publish a really rich library of types. What they've got right now is a good start, but more common types will prevent people from creating redundant and not-quite-identical types. For instance, if there had been a "Slashdot geek" category, we wouldn't all have had to create our own when we entered ourselves into the 'Base after reading this headline.

    3. Allow data to be restricted to groups of users. Google already has concepts of users and groups, so this is a no-brainer... a few customized viewing pages, and it could replace Flickr, Blogs, ... everything. Just by the example details you can tell it's poised to kill craigslist's classifieds.

    (about the subject title... my cat wrote it just now when he jumped onto my laptop, and it seemed as good as anything I was about to come up with)
  • gentlemen, with all the googling going on, we'll arrive at 3rd base in no time...
  • a new API for search (Score:2, Informative)

    by techrunner (897148)
    Think of this as a different API for the search application. Google base often points to data outside of google. The only requirement is that everyone labels their data and gives the labels to google.

    Going through cars, there are pull down menus to select the year, price range, etc.. Previously, you could either 1- go to google.com and hope you get lucky or 2- Go to every listing service and do searches of their databases

    The main advantage is that this gives access to the deep web or the hidden web. I
  • So.. PageRank? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:52AM (#14041819) Homepage
    The details here seem rather scant. What search algorithm? Is this just like a normal database search? Or is there any way data can be searched using something like PageRank?

    Because if this is just a normal database, meh, I could do that myself. But if I could in some way define a group of webpages and then perform pagerank-intelligent searches within that group, that would be a lot more interesting.

    Are people allowed to define new "kinds" of information to search for, or only new attributes? And is Google Base available through a Google API like interface? Because I don't see anything about that on the site right now.
  • by melikamp (631205) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:56AM (#14041825) Homepage Journal

    I cannot find any porn. I think it is broken.

  • by adnonsense (826530) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:57AM (#14041829) Homepage Journal
    A brief search reveals some recipies reproduced from an external site. There is a link provided, but no indication what copyright the recipie is under; the same for a recipie copied from Wikibooks (a clear GFDL violation).
  • by MBoffin (259181) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @02:58AM (#14041835) Homepage
    Apparantly you can link directly to a Google Base hosted image. This means basically free image hosting with virtually unlimited bandwidth. I wonder how long it will be until Google clamps down on this, if at all.

    Here's an example. [google.com]

    Frankly, I'm more interested in when the API's come out for this thing. The kind of apps people will build that take advantage of this will be quite interesting. Hmm... Things might get pretty interesting pretty fast once the API's are out.
    • ``Hmm... Things might get pretty interesting pretty fast once the API's are out.''

      Speaking of which...has Google already released the specifics of their Google Talk protocol?
    • Of course, there are a number of services that have been offering free image hosting with virtually unlimited bandwidth for some time. Mostly every blogging service does, but images hosted by ImageShack [imageshack.us] have been popping up everywhere, because it's freakishly easy to host an image with them - registration is optional, for one thing. I doubt Google will clamp down on it, I'm sure they were aware of it when they started (the beta of) Base.

      So really, image hosting isn't what's new about Google Base. In fact Go
  • Somebody tell me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:16AM (#14041882) Homepage Journal
    I can't figure this out just from the info on the site, but is this the sort of thing that lets you search on attributes (AKA metadata)? If so, it's like an idea I started implementing a few years back, which (due to lack of time) never really materialized.

    The idea was that you could do things like: suppose you're looking for a PDA with certain features; say, a keyboard, no more than $ 200, and at least 320x240 screen size. Then you would go to the site, select the item type, and add constraints by selecting attributes from a list, then a relation on that attribute (e.g. equals, or greater than), and then select or enter a value. You would keep adding constraints until all of the ones important to you where there, and then click search.

    The idea was to let any interested party add information to the system; "many eyes" would make sure that it was mostly accurate. I wasn't really sure this would work, but Wikipedia later went and kind of proved the viability of it. In the meantime, I had gotten the user interface and database backend to a usable state, but lacked the time to add all sorts of item types, including sensible metadata, and enter some sample information to kick start the system.

    Nowadays, I just wait for Google to implement my ideas. :-)
    • I wrote a specification for something nearly identical to Google Base a few years ago. And our engineers are working on it. A form of universal database that blends symentic web concepts with AJAX. I am not sure if your project was just a hobby or not, but ours is a serious commercial venture. But where Google have pulled the rug from under everyone (Yahoo included) is in the fact their service is free. So, even if we come up with something better, we may not be able to charge for it.
  • by XNormal (8617) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @03:21AM (#14041894) Homepage
    While the semantic web people are arguing forever about ontologies and schemas Google go ahead and implement a practical way of adding meaningful metadata which real people can actually use.

    Instead of having strict schemas which will never be quite right you can just add whatever attribute you like and see which attributes are popular for the type of entity you are entering.
  • A random search reveals a new aspect to Google's business operations: http://base.google.com/base/items?oid=152787692968 78035551 [google.com]
  • eBay Killer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nehmo (757404)
    I just tired it, and you can jump in too. The water is fine! No expiration, ten images, no charge, searchable via Google. eBay had a good run. The use is, of course, to sell and buy stuff. There are other applications, but they won't be the important ones at first.
  • We'll host the items and make them searchable for free." Emphasis mine. I might be reading too much into this, but I reckon they work with a company that rhymes with boogle. ;)
  • Is this the beginning of the end for internet dating companies?
  • Censoring? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Khuffie (818093) on Wednesday November 16, 2005 @08:32AM (#14042850) Homepage
    What if the article I wish to publish addresses the problem of child pornography? Guess what, when I tried posting said article, I got an error: "word not allowed: child pornography".

I've never been canoeing before, but I imagine there must be just a few simple heuristics you have to remember... Yes, don't fall out, and don't hit rocks.

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