Dave, you're plugged in, can you tell me what's new at Google? I try to keep track of everything they're doing, but it's just about impossible what with all the news about Google the company out there...
I'm not much more plugged in than you are, actually. I just have some good information sources, one of the best of which is the amusingly named Google Friends Newsletter. Yes, you can sign up for this informative - and sporadically sent - missive straight from Google central and find out about what they're touting too.
If you were a subscriber, you'd know about the following:
We've added some new features to the way you can personalize your Google homepage. Now there's a section for bookmarks, as well as a way to add custom sections with the content you want from across the web. Note that you must be signed in to your Google Account to create and use your personalized homepage.
Google Toolbar for Firefox
The Toolbar is kind of the "Swiss Army knife" for computing, making it easy to search and do other tasks directly from your browser. You can check spelling, autofill web forms, translate English words into other languages, and lots more. Now the Google Toolbar is available for the Firefox browser. (It's already out for Internet Explorer.)
Google Maps Hybrid Mode
We've got Maps, we've got Earth, and now we've got a way to view satellite images with map data. It's the "Hybrid" mode. Very handy for seeing the lay of the land with, for example, street names on top. Look in the upper right hand corner of the map image to switch your view from Map to Satellite to Hybrid (and back again).
Google Groups Alerts
"Alerts" are a great way to inform you when keywords you have selected appear in news stories, web search results, and now, are mentioned within Google Groups topics. If you're tracking several subjects, this is far easier than reading through a (possible) boatload of messages. Just sign up to track Alerts of interest to you. There's a pull-down menu under "Type" where you choose among News, Web, or Groups notifications. And you can choose to receive Alerts daily, weekly, or as they happen.
Become a Google Friend today, sign up for the newsletter!