theEweekly Wrap 15 May 2009

French foreign leechers

Internet users in France who illegally distribute copyrighted material on the internet are in danger of being banned from using the web.

A new law has been signed by the French government which promises to block any user sharing illegal content on the internet for a period of two to twelve months. The law has created a new government agency, the High Authority of Diffusion of the Art Works and Protection of Rights on the Internet, which is responsible for tracking and monitoring the illegal distribution of material in the country.

Users who are deemed to be sharing illegal content will be given two warnings via email. Any user found to be sharing copyrighted content after the second reprimand will have their IP address blacklisted and will be prevented from accessing the internet.

Google’s state of the union

Google has been showing off its latest wares at the 2009 Searchology Conference. The search engine giant revealed its plots and plans for the future as well as introducing a host of new search options for users. A collection of these included:

  • Google Search Options allow users to sort Google rankings according to time and type (videos, reviews, etc).
  • The Wonder Wheel software gives users the chance to see a graphical illustration of related search queries. A user searching for ‘Manchester’ is presented with the following ‘Wonder Wheel’:

  • Google Squared – A project which creates ad-hoc spreadsheets of information; users typing in ‘dogs’ are given a spreadsheet of different breeds which includes data like size and lifespan.
  • Google also plans to introduce ‘Rich Snippets’; search listings which return more detailed results. A search for a restaurant, for example, may also include reviews, directions and menu details.

Lego of email

We’d all be more productive without email, or at least that’s the opinion of Michael Keaton, the general manager at Lego, Australia. Keaton believes that employees could save up to eight days a year by cutting their email traffic by 20 per cent.

“Email is the biggest time-waster in business,” he is quoted as saying.

“People stop whatever they’re doing to see what it [an email] is. Folks get into work in the morning...and [their email] takes them in directions they didn’t expect to go. That’s when technology starts getting in people’s way.”

Keaton has launched a new initiative in order to combat the rise of email within the Lego house. This programme asks employees to give feedback on the emails they receive. No information has yet been revealed on whether this feedback will be filtered for adult language.