Los Angeles to Pay Google $7 Million to Host Gmail Email for 30,000 Los Angeles City Workers

The City of Los Angeles will be paying Google $7 million to allow the city to move email hosting for all 30,000 of Los Angeles city workers to Gmail. That’s right – what tens of millions get for free, Los Angeles will be paying a cool seven million for. Of course presumably by paying for Gmail premium, they will be getting a few other services, like the ability to call in for tech support during normail business hours.

About Google’s Auto Unsubscribe from Spam Service

You may have noticed recently that Google has started offering an “auto unsubscribe” option for some of the email that you report as spam to Google. First announced earlier this summer, Google says of their autounsubscribe from spam option, “With an easy way to unsubscribe, everybody wins. Your spam folder is smaller, and senders don’t waste time sending you email that you no longer want.”

Rocky Mountain Bank Accidentally Sends Confidential Customer Info for 1325 Customers to Unknown Gmail Address

Recently an employee of Rocky Mountain Bank of Wyoming followed up on a request by a customer to email loan documents to a Gmail address. Unfortunately, after doing so, the employee realized that they had emailed the documents to the wrong Gmail address. Oops. Not only that, but they had accidentally included a file containing the identities, addresses, loan information, and tax identification information of more than 1300 Rocky Mountain Bank customers – 1325 to be exact. OOPS. All to a Gmail address belong to nobody-knows-who (presumably the error occurred when the Rocky Mountain Bank employee typoed the Gmail address).

Google’s New and Improved Search System May Give Web Publishers a Caffeine Headache

Google has officially confirmed the new search engine juju on which they’ve been working, previously in secret, for the past several months, now code-named “Caffeine”. Google Caffiene provides a new search infrastructure and algorithms that are intended to provide enhanced indexing speed, accuracy, and “comprehensiveness”, among other things, according to Google. Now Google is inviting folks to test Google Caffeine and rate it against old-formula Google, which we hereby dub Google Decaf. But will it give web publishers a Caffeine headache?

How Google is Tracking Your Online Web Surfing Behavior and What It’s Doing with the Information

In case you aren’t aware of this, every time you visit a site that has Google Adsense on it, and every time you visit a site that uses the DoubleClick ad management system, you have the potential for being tracked via a cookie that is injected to your computer. The cookie is known as the DoubleClick DART cookie, and, in fact, there is a very good chance that you are being tracked by one of these cookies. This is so that Google and DoubleClick can better serve you, providing better ads which, in theory, you will find more interesting and enticing.

Sheer Volume of “Michael Jackson” Searches DOSes Google

The news of Michael Jackson’s cardiac arrest, and subsequent death, caused such a tsunami of searches on Google that the search giant’s system believed that it was under attack, and triggered Google’s attack defense mode, including requiring searchers to solve a CAPTCHA. Searchers searching for information on Michael Jackson were met with an intermediate page which said “Your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application,” and apologetically asks them to solve the CAPTCHA.

Google’s New Related Searches “Wonder Wheel” Offers Terms Related to Your Search

Some of you may have already seen the new option which Google offers when you do a Google search – it’s called the Google WonderWheel. The Google Wonder Wheel offers you a graphical representation of related searches – that is, searches related to your initial search. It is similar to “mind mapping”, which seems to be the newest info-fad.

Microsoft Blocks Google as “Not Family Safe”

Perhaps you’ve heard about Microsoft’s WIndows Live new “Family Safety” software, which you can install on your Windows computer, so that your children can safely surf the web without fear of exposure to material that is not family friendly – or ‘family safe’. Apparently in Microsoft’s view this includes competitor Google, although oddly it does not include their own similar search engine, Live.com.

Proposed Law Would Require Google to Blur Buildings to Thwart Terrorists

Legislators in California – that state of the eternal budget crisis – have decided that it’s a good idea to spend money trying to force Google to blur Google Maps images of what are known as “soft targets” for terrorists, such as schools, churches, hospitals, and government buildings, to protect them against terrorist attacks. Because you know, terrorists can’t find an address without Google Maps.

Google Settles Class Action Book Scanning Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

It’s no secret that Google is scanning entire books and putting them on the Internet. In fact, we reported their first wholesale scanning project – scanning books from five major libraries – more than four years ago. That lead to outcries and debates over whether Google’s scanning of books was copyright infringement, and sure enough, in what seemed like a New York minute, the Author’s Guild sued Google over that scanning.