Google digest: Start-page, Calendar, click-to-call, IRows, click-fraud, GooTube

Here’s this week’s roundup of news from the valley’s juggernaut, Google.Now it wants to take over your company’s start-page — This latest tool is for companies using Google’s online applications. Details here. Of couple, this sounds a lot like the “start” button on Windows. Which makes sense, since everyone knows now that Microsoft is Google’s real target.

Google hires the founders of IRows, an AJAX spreadsheet company in Israel — The story is here.

YouTube was in pretty desperate financial shape at time of Google acquisition — Schmidt and the media have tangled over the facts, but finally there’s a little more clarity. YouTube needed cash.

Can you download YouTube videos or not? — This question still hasn’t been answered, and it will plague GooTube until it is resolved. Here’s the latest: YouTube’s lawyers send a cease and desist email to Techcrunch, for posting a tool that lets users download videos from YouTube and put them on their video iPods.

google calendar events2.bmpGoogle calendar lets sites embed an event search bar widget — Here are the details. We’re wondering what this means for start-ups like Zvents, which just raised $7 million in venture to distribute its own events search. We’ll be talking with Zvents soon. See Gigaom‘s take.

Google continues tussle over click-fraud — Earlier this week, VentureBeat reported on ClickFacts, a company serving a company that is criticizing Google for ignoring what it says is proof that click-fraud is committed on his ads. Google responded to our piece, sending reports suggesting ClickFacts itself is flawed. ClickFacts, in turn, fights bank, implying Google is being disingenuous.

clicktocall.bmpGoogle introduces click-to-call — This is a very useful service. You do a search for a business, bar or restaurant. Google will give the result with a map next to it. Switch over to maps, and then click on the word “call” next to listing. Google will connect you. Explanation here. Graphic at left.


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