Google on Wednesday announced a new tool for local businesses, Google+ Local; a way to discover and share local information. It features Zagat surveys and recommendations from Google+ connections, allowing users to get trusted reviews on local places from friends.

The local information tool is integrated across Google products: Search, Maps, and Mobile. It's integrated into Google+ as a new tab, and you can take it with you on the go with Google Maps for mobile on Android, and soon on iOS platform.

Local businesses can avail themselves of the new tool through Google Places for Business, whereby they can manage their business listing information . Google promises to make it even easier for business owners to manage their listing and take full advantage of the social features provided by local Google+ Pages.

According to the official Google blog, "the goal is to help people find the best resources on the web", against criticism from Consumer Advocacy Groups that the service eliminates competition.

However, given the case in point that the service incorporates other related sites and places, may perhaps means improvement in the ways local information are harnessed and used on the web.

Google+ Local: Discover Local Information

Yahoo against all odds, went on to launch an innovative 'search browser' termed Yahoo Axis late Wednesday. Albeit, early review painted the browser in bad light in regards to security, given a discovery by an astute hacker, Nik Cubrilovic on his personal blog, (but, the security glitch is now fixed) the search browser add-on innovation simply means Yahoo is not yet giving-up on the search market.

Yahoo Axis, unlike conventional web browsers is not a replacement for the later on desktop, rather it serves as a browser add-on to enhance visualized search experience. It comes as a free plug-in for Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari web browsers on desktop computers and PCs.

Whilst, its application on mobile takes the form of a full-fledged mobile browser app, available for iPhone and iPad, with an Android version still in the works.

Installation of the plug-in on desktop comes really easy, and once installed, the add-on appears as a search bar at the bottom of the web browser. With users signed-in to Yahoo, Facebook and Google given the option to setup favorite websites and have Axis remember same for future reference.

Yahoo Axis uniqueness stems on the syncing ability across devices, with fast and simple user interface, presents an undeniable surfing pleasure especially on iOS platforms. Overall, the search visualization cum browser innovation may perhaps herald a new breakthrough for the dwindling Yahoo search service.

Yahoo Axis: Search Visualization Browser

Google has unveiled a new search innovation known as the Knowledge Graph, as an augmented large data scale, to tap into the collective intelligence of the web to enable discovery of information more quickly and easily. According to the official Google Search Blog, this latest innovation marks a critical first step towards building the next generation of internet search.

The Knowledge Graph is an attempt into machine learning search technology, making search engine think as human, an intelligent model that understands real-world entities and their relationships without strings.

Google's Knowledge Graph cuts-across popular landmarks, celebrities, places, events, movies, works of art, geographical regions and more, providing instant information that is relevant to search queries. It automatically culls-up relevant information on simple topics like: places, people or things, eliminating the conventional search mechanism whereby internet search involves several clicks through piles of websites to arrive at desired result.

The roll-out of the service has commenced with U.S English users, and also available on smartphones and Tablet devices.

Google hopes the added intelligence will enable users engage more into web services, as the task of information discovery becomes more less time consuming and easier by Google Search.

Semantic Search: Introducing The Knowledge Graph

Microsoft Bing's social search integration which has long been in the news went live today according to Bing Search Blog. It brings the integration of Facebook information stream into open search, with the possibility of bringing "social intelligence" in overall search experience.

The integration of people and search was made possible through a dedicated "social sidebar", bringing the social connections to bear in regular search patterns. it means tapping into the expertise of your networks to find relevant information through internet searches.

Bing suggest friends on Facebook who may have knowledge of your search terms through your social connections based on their "likes".

Unlike Google Plus Your World, which puts the social integration direct into regular search results, Bing's provision for a dedicated social sidebar is a plus. However, as to the actual tapping of social intelligence into the search experience, Bing does not yet get its act right. Albeit that the search innovation is perhaps too early for substantial reviewing.

The New Bing social search throws up people in your Facebook connections whom may be familiar to your search terms based on their likes instead of related pages or group information.

There is also the tool for building queries about topics common to the people in your connection you specifically selected as "Friends who might know" list. The actual application of this tool may be rather off-hand for some users, as the processes are mechanical.

In conclusion, the fact that internet search generally have come to acknowledge the need for personalized information really points to the next generation web. How the social web will impact accurate search and information retrieval through collective intelligence remains to be seen.

Live: Bing Social Integration

Webit Congress is a global annual event for the emerging digital and technology markets with special focus on EMEA regions. It's the place where the emerging markets meets the world's unparalleled networking technology drivers at the top.

Webit Congress gives startups the rare opportunity to showcase their projects in front of the largest number of potential investors/VCs from around the world.

Webit Startup Challenge 2012 is open to all startups from the EMEA regions. It presents startups the chance to pitch on the stage in front of the biggest investors for direct and exclusive feedback and get coverage from international media.

The application procedure is very simple, you apply online and be preselected by a jury of experts to win a chance to showcase at the expo and pitch on stage for potential investors. And there are no costs to apply to the Startup Challenge.

Total of 21 startups will be shortlisted and receive free stand at the expo ground in Istanbul, Turkey - the venue for this years conference. Along with 2 free tickets for Leaders of the Future 2-day conference program, with 5mins to present the project.

The overall winner will get international media coverage in most of the global and local media partners of the Webit Congress and maximum exposures to 6000+ visitors from 60+ countries. The entry deadline is 30th June, 2012. While, the shortlisted 21 startups will be announced 1st August. Click here to apply now.

Webit Congress 2012: Startup Challenge

The DNS malware, DNSChanger, is a Trojan disclosed about 5 years ago, which allowed cyber criminals to hijack computers and redirect traffic to specified hacker-crafted-websites. The malware provides hackers control over DNS servers, thereby making it possible to channel traffic to fraudulent websites and also making such computers vulnerable to other malicious software.

The rogue DNS servers controlled by the cyber criminals allowed them to manipulate users internet activities.

The FBI, late last year, brought down the hackers ring based in Estonia, with the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) providing temporary surrogate servers for the rogue DNS servers that were shut down as a result of the operation.

And starting July 9, the surrogate DNS servers will be shut down and computers still infected with DNSChanger may lose connection to the internet.

The DNSChanger Working Group has made available a list of anti-virus software that can fix the malware issue. See the DNSChanger Check-up Website to check if your computer is infected.

DNSChanger: Surrogate DNS Servers Shutdown