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May 2005
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It's a wonderful town

I suspect that when people think of New York, they think of Wall Street finance, Broadway shows, fashion, TV news. Probably "innovative software development" doesn't spring to mind. But hidden away in a Times Square high-rise, more than 80 software engineers are coding up some exciting Google products. If we told you *everything* we're working on, it'd spoil the surprise (hint: keep an eye on Google Labs). Recently, we've launched Google Q&A, My Search History, Web Definitions, and Local Search, including the UK version earlier this week.

In fact generally we focus on the next generation of Google's crawling and indexing technology. We've got hard-core statisticians pondering how to measure search quality more accurately, and a slightly nutty project that we think might revolutionize the way that we organize and search structured information.

It's not all work, work, work, though. We have a large three-story atrium, so it's axiomatic that we have several radio-controlled blimps - some with cameras - and a gyroscopically-stabilized four-rotor helicopter that can definitely take folks by surprise. And although breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided (we seem to have lost the ability to forage for ourselves) and two on-site masseuses (Manhattan can be a little intense), it's nice to get off site from time to time.

Which means a trip to the Empire State Building, of course. We've taken a group photo of the team standing on our 19th floor terrace from the observation deck of the ESB -- we calculated that this requires an effective focal length of 3000mm, which is just right for an astronomical telescope and a digital SLR.

So we're a little geeky for New York City, but it is supposed to be a melting pot, isn't it? And we're right next to Bryant Park, home of one of the world's first free public 802.11b networks, which we sponsor. Somehow that seems appropriate for a bunch of hackers trying to organize the world's information.

It almost goes without saying that we're hiring like mad, what with our insatiable appetite for great software architects and coders. If the Bright Lights of the Big City are blinking at you, check out our New York jobs.
It's a wonderful town - Friday, May 06, 2005 -

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