Google Beefs Up Contacts, Makes it Good-Enough for Now

mergeFebruary’s onslaught of Google (s GOOG) service improvements continues with four new additions to the still fairly weak Contacts application in Gmail. Two features focus on cleaning up your contact data, which is key. Now that Google will sync Contacts over-the-air to handsets, we needed to see some effort in basic contact management. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen duplicates. You can now merge contact info by multi-selecting and choosing to merge the data into one record. (You’d be surprised to know how many James Kendricks there really are according to Google Contacts!) Removing people from the “My Contacts” group is finally here as well and should also cut down on unnecessary data syncing between you and Google.

There’s a new “All Contacts” group, which honestly should have been there from the beginning. Lastly, you can search contact records by more than name or e-mail fields: phone numbers, notes and mailing addresses are all searchable as well.

These basic updates combined with the new Google Sync support now have me using Google (s GOOG) as my sole book of record for contacts. I’m making more of an effort to embrace the cloud again since we had our fireside chat about email clients vs. email on the web. I am a little concerned about how flimsy the Contacts application is, but it is, in fact, getting better. Adding to my concerns is today’s news that Nokia lost three weeks worth of data from Ovi users.

I add most contacts through Gmail to begin with so the Contacts bit makes sense for me. Just to be safe, I’ve set a weekly reminder in my Google Calendar to export my Contacts to a .csv file.

Coming Soon, Fiber to All of the Netherlands

[qi:046] KPN and FTTH operator Reggefiber say theyare planning to roll out a fiber-to-the-home network that could cost as much as 7 billion euros. The network might take up to seven years to build out and is going to cover pretty much every part of the Netherlands. KPN, which is the incumbent in the region, wants to acquire 41 percent of Reggefiber, a decision that is pending approval. James Enck thinks the Dutch fiber movement is taking off because of a “forward-looking and pragmatic incumbent,” the fading of cable, and the presence of people who get its importance.

OECD: U.S. Largest, If Not The Fastest, Broadband Market

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released its report on broadband usage and penetration with some interesting findings and observations. Instead of bemoaning the problems of broadband here in the United States, how about some highlights from the 151-page report, which I hope to dig into later today:

  • At the end of 2007, U.S. broadband companies had 69.9 million subscribers, making it the largest OECD country by total number of subscribers, and represented 30 percent of the total OECD subscriber base.
  • The United States ranks 15th with a broadband density of 23.3 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
  • Denmark has the highest broadband density at 35.1 percent.
  • Read More about OECD: U.S. Largest, If Not The Fastest, Broadband Market