Big G finally came through on a long overdue update to the Google Search Appliance (GSA). Among Version 6.8's coolest features: People Search, Dynamic Navigation, and the ability to search across both on-premise and cloud-based content from a single search box.

GSA 6.8

"In the last year, businesses have started using cloud-based applications from Google and other technology providers at an accelerated rate," said Rajat Mukherjee, Google's Group Product Manager, Enterprise Search. "While many organizations still have information that resides in on-premise systems, more and more important business information today is living in the cloud, in collaborative tools like Google Apps—now used by more than 3 million businesses—and services like Twitter."

Accordingly, the biggest feature of GSA 6.8 is Cloud Connect. Cloud Connect delivers results from Google Docs and Google Sites right alongside results from more traditional repositories, such as content management systems. It also enables users to search content from Twitter, as well as blogs and industry websites. 

Meanwhile, People Search attempts to ease the process of finding and contacting experts or colleagues, and Dynamic Navigation enables users to drill down into search results based on search modifiers for their queries. 

"As you move your business to the cloud, the Google Search Appliance’s new features can be an important bridge between on-premise and cloud-based systems, while enhancing employee collaboration," added Mukherjee in the official Google post. 

Check out the rest of the deets here

Ultra High-Speed Broadband 

While we've all been waiting and waiting ever so patiently for Google to make the Internet 100x faster, it looks like Stanford University will be the first to see anything close to that dream. On Thursday, it was announced that the Internet giant has reached an agreement with the school to deploy a super-speed broadband network to the Residential Subdivision, a group of roughly 850 homes on campus. 

The project is slated for early 2011, and will result in Internet speeds of up to 1 Gbps per second.
(the average broadband speed in the U.S. is about 10 Mbps). 

And, though it may sound the same, Google product manager James Kelly stressed that the goings on at Stanford are different from the long-awaited  Google Fiber Project.  "Stanford’s Residential Subdivision -- our first 'beta' deployment to real customers -- will be a key step towards that goal," he said. "We’ll be able to take what we learn from this small deployment to help scale our project more effectively and efficiently to much larger communities."

Standalone YouTube App, GET! 

A standalone version of Google's YouTube mobile video application has been made available via the Android Market storefront this week. The app is designed for those with extra-special feelings about YouTube, as most smartphones running the Android OS already come stock with YouTube support. The standalone app aims to make it even easier for consumers to update without waiting for carriers to send out the latest Android OS upgrade.

The app supports in-page playback, which means users can read comments while a clip is rolling. Full-screen playback mode is activated by rotating the display, and users can search for videos, subscribe to channels and upload content directly to the site.