Google search technology has announced Place Search, a kind of search that organizes information around local places according to a post on the company's blog on Wednesday. The new technology present clustered search results around specific locations whereby users decide their destinations.

Google intends by the service to organize searches to focus on local places, particularly as it concerns users conducting searches on mobile devices.

Place search is automatic when the Google search system determines that a user is looking for local information, or specifically selects the places pin-icon on the left-hand column of the Google search menu. It includes a pin-icon that takes the user directly to the Google Map page, incorporating traditional search links that lead to specific websites.

The Google Map display showing the location of the search places is listed on the right-hand side of the search result page.

The roll out of the new service commences immediately and will be globally available in 40 languages in few days time according to reports by Google.

Place Search: Geo-centric Search Technology

The open web platform has become a major point of attention in the drive to enhance the installation and use of applications, based on compatibility with all standards. As championed by Mozilla, it tends to ensure that apps created this way will run across all platforms.

Mozilla, recently made it public that it has built a prototype of a system for open web apps, running on HTML5, CSS and JavaScript that work on both computers and mobile devices, with the many characteristics that users find compelling in their native apps. Also providing app developers with open and flexible distribution options, with support for paid apps and authentication features.

The project, however, is not a Mozilla app store nor a payment infrastructure, but rather a platform necessary to support free and paid app distribution and installation by developers.

The technical documentation has been released according to a report monitored on the company's blog last week, and a developer preview prototype, that enables installation, launch and manage of web apps on any modern desktop or mobile browser.

The open web app system will among other things address the issue of  lack of choice for developers, platform lock-in, and approval processes as experienced with the Apple's iTunes ecosystem. Also, it will limit the proprietary walls on mobile platforms.

Open Web: Application Centric Web

As a counter-measure to the heightened security issues facing the social networking hubs, Facebook on Tuesday announced a one-time access password for users, particularly as it affect users who make use of internet facilities in public places. The public Wi-Fi connection hotspot posed serious security problems, as users data are transmitted unencrypted, leaving it open to possible interception.

The one-time password feature on the other hand, will enable users to minimize the extent of break-in on exposed accounts, as it lasts only 20min. And it can only be accessed by users who have incorporated their mobile phone number to their account, pass is sent through mobile text message.

More security conscious users therefore are hereby enjoined to avail themselves of the new feature whenever they intend to make use of public computers in places like Hotels, Cafe, or Airports.

The one-time pass is obtained by texting 'otp' to the mobile number 32665 and the password can be used only once par session, it expires 20min in idle status.

However, analysts have argued that given the possibility of  a mobile phone getting into the hand of a wrong guy may as well serve the opposite effect, making a person who normally would not have access to your account to get one by simply following the text message guide line.

The above observation therefore calls for extra precaution on the part of users. And perhaps the feature may as well be the tool hackers had long clamoured.

Facebook One-Time Password: Pro And Con

Mozilla has announced the release of  Firefox 4 beta for mobile in the company's blog Thursday, making it the first ever version of the open-source browser for mobile devices. According to the release note, the Firefox 4 beta is built on the same technology platform as the desktop version, optimized for browsing on mobile devices.

The first version for Android offers users browser interface comprising very new smart features, however it also witnessed few weaknesses.

The interface runs on a separate process from the one rendering web content, resulting increased performance and responsiveness. Also improvements is witnessed in the overall graphic areas like scrolling, animations and zooming.

The weaknesses observed by early adopters included: problem with the zooming feature, similar to that of iPhone, zooms into a column of text when double-tapped. Also, another complaint is in the area of tab with an 'x' to close it, hardly fits big thumb in selecting it, and its easier to close instead. Other problems include fonts being less readable compared to other mobile browsers.

However, the problems is not much an issue with mobile-optimized sites like Facebook and Twitter. But, given its the first beta, the solutions is definitely shortcoming.

Developers on the other hand, have been called upon to utilize the latest web technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript to improve the features by building fast and powerful mobile apps.

Mobile Edition: Firefox 4 Beta Debut

Google has commenced positioning its browser as a tool to take on slow websites by incorporating 'False Start' into its Chrome Browser. False Start - a technology with the potential to reduce the round it takes to initiate communication between a browser and a web server when establishing an encrypted connection, will naturally form the command-line for the new Chrome.

The technology, unlike protocol improvement to communication, doesn't require changes on both sides of the network connection, only the browser needs to be changed.

The potential to reduce one round of back and forth communication, which translates to about 7 hundredths of a second of communication across the United States, as afforded by False Start, represents a significant time saving.

Chrome, according to the Chromium Command-Line Switch, will feature a backlist to disable the False Start acceleration for websites where its not applicable. However, Google intends to subsequently reach such websites owners for possible upgrade. The overall aim being to get websites to catch-up with browser communication encryption technology standardized a little over a decade ago.

Chrome As Tool For Web Reform

Google WebM technology has metamorphosed a new image format for the web - WebP, which will serve as an alternative to the renowned JPEG file format. And given Google's obsession for speed, WebP is perhaps much more faster than JPEG according to a release note on the chromium blog Thursday.

WebP is an improvement on the compression that JPEG provides, based on the open-sourced VP8 codec, applied through the intra frame coding to push the envelope in still image coding. Also, it adopted a light weight container based on RIFF.

WebP is derived form a sample of one million images (comprising 90% JPEG, PNG and GIF shared 10%) re-encoded without perceptibly compromising image quality, resulting an average 39% reduction in file size.

The lower file size translates to faster file transfer and lesser burden on network. And hardware eventually may favor WebP, as any hardware that supports WebM also supports WebP. Also making its mobile application very possible.

Google WebP: Faster JPEG Alternative