Google Gmail, Search Linkup Makes Waves - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
News
8/8/2012
05:32 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Gmail, Search Linkup Makes Waves

New audible answering capability will be available in a few days, according to Google. Meanwhile, test showing Gmail messages in personal search results raises some eyebrows.

What Kindle Fire Needs To Beat Nexus Tablet
What Kindle Fire Needs To Beat Nexus Tablet
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Google soon will be extending voice search capabilities introduced in Android 4.1, code-named Jelly Bean, to iOS devices.

Google has been able to interpret spoken search queries, captured by computer microphones, for years, but it only recently became adept at responding with audible answers following the launch of Android 4.1 in June.

Amit Singhal, Google SVP of search, said in a blog post on Wednesday that the company's new Voice Search capability soon will be available on iOS devices. "Soon," in this case, is supposed to mean a few days.

Google Search responds to spoken queries submitted through mobile devices with its traditional search results list unless it can determine that the question has a definitive answer. When Google calculates that it knows the answer to a query, it will respond with a computer-generated voice, which might be more convenient for users asking questions via mobile phones.

[ Get more background with Google Knowledge Graph: How It Changes Search. ]

Google's improved question answering capabilities arise from what it calls the Knowledge Graph, a technology derived from the company's 2010 acquisition of Metaweb's Freebase database.

Google introduced the Knowledge Graph in May as a way to help the company's search engine understand queries better and to present users with more information related to queries. Singhal says that the Knowledge Graph, previously available only in the U.S., is now available in all English-speaking countries.

Singhal also announced an additional search improvement likely to pique the interest of privacy advocates and security researchers: Google has launched a limited field trial that adds users' stored Gmail messages to the body of data Google scours when attempting to return relevant search results. Users who sign up for the trial and enter Google Search queries will see links to relevant Gmail messages alongside traditional search results when signed in to their Google Accounts.

In theory, this should be perfectly safe, because Google isn't indexing the messages for public searches. Google already provides a Gmail search box that only searches Gmail messages and that hasn't led to problems.

Seeing Gmail messages listed on Google search results pages isn't much different than seeing the personal search results from services such as Google+ that Google has been injecting to an area once reserved for organic search results and sponsored ads.

But the blurring of traditionally private space--Gmail--with an interface for the presentation of public Web links--search results—might still prompt uneasiness. Ultimately, it might not be a bad idea to hang back and let others stumble across any unexpected security issues.

As Jeremiah Grossman, CTO and founder of WhiteHat Security, quipped on Twitter about the inclusion of Gmail messages in search results, "The hacker in me likes this idea."

One of the biggest challenges facing IT today is risk assessment. Risk measurement and impact assessment aren't exact sciences, but there are tools, processes, and principles that can be leveraged to ensure that organizations are well-protected and that senior management is well-informed. In our Measuring Risk: A Security Pro's Guide report, we recommend tools for evaluating security risks and provide some ideas for effectively putting the resulting data into business context. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Coxy
50%
50%
Coxy,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/9/2012 | 8:24:48 PM
re: Google Gmail, Search Linkup Makes Waves
Is this a joke?!
If this happens, I will delete my accounts BIG TIME.
EricLundquist
50%
50%
EricLundquist,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/10/2012 | 2:51:19 PM
re: Google Gmail, Search Linkup Makes Waves
voice enabled applications have the potential to be the next killer app as texting becomes voice-based. Integrating gmail into search results is a bad idea unless Google provides a very clear method for users to opt out of including those results.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll