There has been a mini flurry of interesting Google news. First we have an offer to send one free snail mail letter. Sign in to your account and then go to gmail.com/holidaycard to fill it out.
"This holiday season, as a token of our appreciation to our most enthusiastic fans, we'll snail mail a free holiday postcard on your behalf. Yes, through the mail and everything.
To send a card, visit gmail.com/holidaycard. We'll only be able to send cards to US addresses and to a limited number of people (due to limited Gmail elf availability), so be sure to request one soon.
And if you're headed home for the holidays, consider spending some 'computer time' with loved ones who aren't as up-to-date with technology. With some luck, maybe this time next year you'll be able to email them a holiday card instead!"
There is also a new default text styling for Gmail users. The default is what ever you want to set it at, a much faster process then manually changing it each time you compose a message.
"If you like to use a specific text style for your messages, you've had to change the font every time you're about to start typing out an email. Now, you can turn on default text styling from the Labs tab, then go to Settings and set your preferences just once."
Google has officially changed their home page. It is about as simple as they can get without just having a blank screen.
"You may have noticed that our homepage is sporting a new look. Today we're excited to be releasing a new version of our classic homepage. The main feature of the new homepage is that it "fades in" — when the page first loads, it shows only our logo, the search box and the buttons. For the vast majority of people who come to the Google homepage, they are coming in order to search, and this clean, minimalist approach gives them just what they are looking for first and foremost. For those users who are interested in using a different application like Gmail, Google Image Search or our advertising programs, the additional links on the homepage only reveal themselves when the user moves the mouse. Since most users who are interested in clicking over to a different application generally do move the mouse when they arrive, the "fade in" is an elegant solution that provides options to those who want them, but removes distractions for the user intent on searching."
Google searches for pictures or of anything that brings up imagines will be presented in a new way.
"Over the next twenty-four hours we're rolling out a new format for image universal results. When we're confident that we have great image results, we'll now show a larger image and additional smaller images alongside. With this new layout we're able to show you more pictures than before, so you have more to choose from. As always, you can click on an image to see it full size in the original webpage.
We hope this new layout makes finding the images that you're searching for even easier."
The last bit of news is Google is allowing you to model your town for possible inclusion in Google Earth.
Video embedded below.
"Have you ever noticed that a lot of the bigger cities in Google Earth have photo-realistic 3D buildings in them? (See Valencia, for example.) Have you ever wondered when someone's going to get around to modeling the world's smaller towns and villages? Today, we're giving you the chance to add your own town to the map.
We're pleased to announce the first-ever, international Google Model Your Town Competition. You're invited to use our free tools — SketchUp and Building Maker — to make sure your community is represented on the world's biggest 3D stage. Every town that participates has the chance to be included in Google Earth's 3D Buildings layer where millions of people can see it. The winning town (as decided by a popular vote) will win money for its schools, a Google-sponsored party for its modelers and plenty more."