Ding Dong, Google Places Is Dead; Meet Google+ Local Instead

Google+ Local (via screencap)

And so Google’s acquisition of Zagat finally bears fruit: Your parents’ favorite dining guide is now the backbone of Google+ Local, which is replacing Google Places. So SoMoLo.

Here’s the deal: Users can still write reviews. The integration with Zagat means those reviews will now be factored into the familiar score ranging from 1 to 30. Plus, expect some actual professionally written material thrown into the mix. (Imagine that.) The integration with Google+ means you’ll also see reviews written by anyone in your Circles. (The bad news is you’ll get the phantom ding from any unclosed Gchat conversations, which drives us batty.)  Read More


Now Google Is Pissing Off the French Authorities

Ms. Falque-Pierrotin (

Mere weeks after being slapped with a $25,000 fine from America’s own F.C.C., Google is antagonizing yet another government body with its tight-lipped, unhelpful responses.

All Things D reports that France’s C.N.I.L., the data protection organization investigating the company’s privacy policies on behalf of the EU, is none too pleased with the company right now. Whatever answers Google does provide are often “incomplete or approximate,” and that simply won’t do.

The C.N.I.L. sent Google a questionaire back in March; the company returned the questionaire in April. Representatives from the two organizations have also met in person. And yet, the French still don’t have the information they want. And so now C.N.I.L. head Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin has taken to the Internet with a chiding public letter for CEO Larry Page. She writes:  Read More


Google Guesses: Mostly Wrong, Kinda Sexist, and Pretty Funny


Earlier this week, when Google announced it would be consolidating 60-some privacy policies into one simple form, the reaction from privacy wonks was pretty much: No, Google! Bad! Google already drastically revamped its primary search function by integrating social connections (err, meaningless Google+ connections) into your browser with Search, Plus Your World.

It’s all part of the company’s efforts to further integrate products like YouTube, Google Calendar, and Gmail into one Google Account, so that once you’re logged in, information is shared across products.  Most surprisingly, THERE WAS NO OPT OUT. Larry Page reportedly told employees who objected to get on board or get out. Read More