Google Launches Picasa Web Albums

Just as predicted, Google has announced the launch of Picasa Web Albums. It’s one of those limited launches, so it’s first come, first served if you are interested.

At first glance, it looks very slick. Not only can you upload photos and share them for free (up to 250mb’s worth) but other Picasa users can download the images you share. What is really nice is that the web albums pre-fetch the images, so they load amazingly fast.

This is a great new feature for Picasa, and will likely increase my use of it immensely.

Taking Bets on Google’s Gbuy Turning Evil

Motley Fool is betting Google may become just a little evil, should it decide to allow internet gambling sites to use Gbuy (payment processing), when the service launches, as suspected, on June 28th.

PayPal doesn’t allow gambling sites, but Neteller does and it processed more than $7 billion in transactions in 2005.

Is that a high enough figure to tempt Google?

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Baynote Improving Site Search

Rob Hof points to interesting new site search technology from Baynote. It uses the collective wisdom of others visiting your web site to improve site search and reduce the number of customer clicks.

I’ll see if I can get my hands on a trial account and let you know what I think.

Building a Blogging Business

StartupJournal takes a look at how one person started a part-time blog network, which grew into a mini media empire.

…his stable of blogs has grown to 14 with almost 750,000 visitors each month and more than 30 direct advertisers. The heaviest trafficked blogs can generate upward of $10,000 a month in revenue, while the less trafficked ones generate between $1,000 and $2,000 before expenses

It’s no wonder Om Malik has announced he is quiting Business 2.0 to start his own blog empire.

Google Earth Celebrates Birthday, Increases Resolution

Google Earth celebrates its first anniversary and announces increased resolution and global coverage.

…we increased our global coverage by about 4X. Google Earth now covers more than 20 percent of the landmass of the entire globe with high-resolution satellite imagery…When we say “high resolution,” we mean the good stuff: you can see cars, houses, buildings in more than 200 countries and territories.

MySpace Partners with Amazon?

I’m not a big follower of MySpace, but Mike M is and he just emailed me to let readers know that MySpace has added a new “MySpace Books” section, complete with lots of links back to Amazon.com.

Further research suggests these links may have been active for a while, but I’m still curious as to whether this is a formal partnership or if MySpace simply signed-up as an affiliate.

Ask Jeeves Co-Founder Joins Answerbag

I’d never heard of Answerbag before today’s news that Ask Jeeves co-founder, David Warthen, has joined the company.

A high-profile hire for the company, which has obviously helped put them on my – and other’s – radar. Answerbags appears to be betting on the “Yahoo Answers” model that has helped Yahoo increase it’s search traffic.

Big question; can Answerbag ever make it on its own? My guess is the company will make itself an attractive acquisition for some search engine.