Posts Tagged ‘google’
The move ends a decade long partnership with Google and the Mozilla Foundation, and will take place in the US in December.
Although Firefox users in Europe shouldn’t notice much of a change, Yahoo has said the deal “provides a framework for exploring future product integrations and distribution opportunities to other markets”.
Yahoo’s partnership is for five years, wherein they hope to introduce and enhanced search experience with an immersive design, which will go out to Yahoo users early next year.
“Mozilla is an inspirational industry leader who puts users first and focuses on building forward-leaning, compelling experiences,” said Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO.
“This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and also gives us an opportunity to work closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate more broadly in search, communications, and digital content.”
Google had paid £300 million a year to be Firefox’s chosen one – which accounts for 90% of the browser’s annual revenue, however things have been a bit shaded since Google launched Chrome.
But it will cost you.
Basically, Google have unveiled a new service called ‘Contributor by Google’ and the company say: “Today’s Internet is mostly funded by advertising. But what if there were a way to directly support the people who create the sites you visit each day?”
What this means is that you’ll be asked to ‘contribute’ between $1-$3 per month which will go to the website in question (and, you have to assume, Google will take a cut too). You can pay more than the minimum offered too, which basically means, if you really, really like a website, you can throw coins in their cup. Regardless of what you offer, you’ll get the same service.
The Onion, Mashable, Imgur, Urban Dictionary and WikiHow have already signed-up for this, and Google have also said that there’s more on board too, as these are just “a few” of the confirmed partners.
So what happens to the adverts? Well, they’ll be replaced by a thank-you message or a pixellated box, which doesn’t sound like a better option, but there you go.
Google say: “When you visit a participating website, part of your contribution goes to the creators of that site. As a reminder of your support, you’ll see a thank you message – often accompanied by a pixel pattern – where you might normally see an ad.”
If you’re interested, have a look at Google’s dedicated page here.
The engine will direct users away from sites where they can half-inch content, pushing them towards less dodgy sites.
Google have caved in to pressure from the entertainment industry, who have been campaigning for the search engine to do something, while they carried on rearranging deckchairs.
Google will now list these legal services in a box at the top of the search results, as well as in a box on the right-hand side of the page, but if legal sites want to appear in the slot, they will need to pay Google for placement, something music trade group BPI has a problem with.
BPI made 43.3 million requests for Google to remove search results in 2013 – the U.S equivalent group, the RIAA, made 31.6 million and Google removed 222 million results from search because of copyright issues
Google’s Content ID system, which detects copyrighted material, scans 400 years-worth of video every day, which they then offer the music labels the choice of having the content removed, or monetising by having advertising placed there.
The report said: “Piracy often arises when consumer demand goes unmet by legitimate supply,’ the report said.
As services ranging from Netflix to Spotify to iTunes have demonstrated, the best way to combat piracy is with better and more convenient legitimate services.”
It’s unlikely that this will have a massive turnaround in the entertainment industry’s favour, who are missing the days where everyone was on champagne and cocaine breakfasts, but people will find a way around it. They always do.
However, with Google directing people to Google Play, making money through advertising on YouTube adverts and other schemes to ‘combat privacy’, it looks like they might be having the breakfast of a ’70s record company executive, so not everyone is a loser in this. We never said they were unscrupulous.
Mildly creepy news now, as Apple and Facebook are offering to freeze eggs for female employees.
In an interesting approach to try and expand their appeal for more females on their workforce, Apple said it would offer the perk to US-based staff from January.
“Apple cares deeply about our employees and their families, and we are always looking at new ways our health programmes can meet their needs,” said the company.
“We continue to expand our benefits for women, with a new extended maternity leave policy, along with cyropreservation and egg storage as part of our extensive support for infertility treatments … We want to empower women at Apple to do the best work of their lives as they care for loved ones and raise their families.”
It all sounds a bit Demon Seed really.
This, and other initiatives are said to be the doing of new human resources head Denise Young Smith, who is all for diversity and that. Facebook offers up to $20,000 (£13,000) for egg freezing for female employees. The company also offers adoption and surrogacy assistance.
Of course, they won’t actually be using the eggs to experiment on and try and build the first Google Child. That’s not going to happen. Oh no.
A recent study by Google, into the voice-search habits of Americans, reckons that if you still type in your search request, then you are like, really old and should book Dignitas immediately granddad.
The Mobile Voice Study found that while teenagers are all fine and everyday about using voice search daily, only 41% of adults use it.
And out of that lot, 56% of the adults feel like a nob doing so.
Google also spotted that teens are happy just to use voice search willy-nilly. Right there. In front of you. Making anyone over the age of 20 wish they were dead. They don’t care.
Shall we gander at some of the other findings? You may be quizzed on it later, so best to be prepared.
40% use voice search to get directions;
32% use voice search to initiate phone calls;
39% use voice functionality to dictate text messages;
38% use voice search while watching television;
41% wish voice search could tell them where the TV remote was located;
23% use voice search while cooking;
51% of teens and 32% of adults use voice search ‘just for fun’;
27% use voice search to check the weather;
22% of teens use voice search in the bathroom.
Scott Huffman, Google’s Vice President for Conversational Search in a press release that accompanied the blog post, said: “Voice search is a key feature of the Google app that’s becoming ever more important as people spend more time on their mobile phones,”
“We wanted to learn more about how people of all ages use Google hands-free on their phones. We found that for teens, voice search comes as naturally as checking social media and they’re getting very creative about how (and where) they use it. The study gives us great ideas about new ways we could help people – maybe even help them find their keys and other elusive objects.”
Google reckon that SSL 3.0 is an insecure, obsolete protocol that has since been superseded. But even when servers support the more secure TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2, the downgrading that takes place between servers and clients can be exploited using a POODLE (Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption) attack.
Bodo Möller from Google’s security team points out that this move will “break some sites” and the advice is to support TLS_FALLBACK_SCSV instead, at least for the time being. OR THE POODLES WILL GET YOU.
Basically an attacker can force this protocol downgrade to take place by preventing the initial connection from taking place. The encryption used in SSL 3.0 is fairly easily cracked and a relatively simple attack can then be used to intercept and decrypt secure cookies.
What that means is that hackers could steal browser cookies and potentially end up controlling your email, bank details and social network accounts.
So yes. BEWARE POODLES! Not only that – these POODLES are similar to another vulnerability called Firesheep. It seems that the internet is under threat from animals that have fluffy fur.
These problems will only affect people who haven’t updated their browsers in a while, so if you’re using Internet Explorer 6, you may find your computer filling up with wool. So update your browser now, y’idiot.
It will be sold direct through the Google Play site as well as conventional phone retailers.
Dubbed ‘Nexus 6′, it follows the previous year’s Nexus 5 and hopes to push Google into the rising phablet trend with smartphones that are a cross between a phone and a tablet with screens bigger than 5.5in.
The new Nexus will be the first made by Motorola, which Google is selling to China’s Lenovo. Previous Nexus devices, which also include tablets, have been made by HTC, Asus and Samsung, as well as LG, which made the previous two generations of Google’s popular smartphone, the Nexus 4 and 5.
Phablets are becoming quite the thing of late, with a keen fanbase in Asia as well as Europe and the US. Google have nicknamed the Nexus 6 Shamu, after a killer whale from SeaWorld.
Something to remember for future pub quizzes.
Google have been at war with Oracle for ages now. It has been going on so long that it is almost a battle of Biblical length. They’ve been fighting over the incredibly exciting thing of Java implementation on Android and it might get all the way to the US Supreme Court.
When it does, take stock of where you are and what you’re doing because future generations will ask: “Where were you when everyone died in the Google-Java conflict?”
The Supreme Court has listed Google’s request to have the US Court of Appeals’ decision reviewed.
If you aren’t aware of what’s been going on (seriously? You’re that jaded by warfare?), Oracle said that Google owed them “billions” because Android’s class libraries replicate the functions and code of some of Java’s copyrighted API packages.
One of the big arguments is whether or not you can copyright an API (that stands for ‘application programming interface’, just so you’re aware).
In May, the Court of Appeals said that you could indeed copyright APIs, but then handed the case over to another court so the argument of ‘fair use’ could be thrashed out.
And now, the Supreme Court is listening to Google’s argument that; “Early computer companies could have blocked vast amounts of technological development by claiming 95-year copyright monopolies over the basic building blocks of computer design and programming.”
If Oracle win this case, then it will mean a whole load of trouble for more companies than just Google. For more, the case has its own Wikipedia page. We can’t wait for the Hollywood blockbuster that is made of this dispute.
Joaquín Almunia, the EC’s competition commissioner, told the European parliament that unless Google altered its offer to settle complaints, it could face a “statement of objections”, which in English means the formal path towards a fine that could equate to 10% of the company’s global revenue, or about $6bn (£3.7bn).
Almunia told MEPs: “Microsoft was investigated for 16 years, which is four times as much as the Google investigation has taken, and there are more problems with Google than there were with Microsoft,”
Google controls more than 90% of the online search market in Europe, which is more than in the US, where it was cleared by the US federal trade commission in January 2013 of favouring its own searches to the detriment of consumers.
Almunia told MEPs his change of position was due to “new factual evidence” about the impact on rivals of the proposals.
He added that the EC competition group could also open an investigation into preferential positioning for Google in its Android operating system.
There could also be another investigation for “the possible diversion of internet traffic towards Google services which are not search services”
A spokesman for Google, said in response: “We continue to work with the European commission to resolve their concerns.”
Nearly 5 million Gmail addresses and plain text passwords was posted on a forum this week, which is a massive pain in the arse for someone – probably the person who has to answer questions at Google about security breaches and the like.
Someone called ‘tvskit’ posted the archive file on a Bitcoin security forum called btcsec.com, which you can imagine, is a riotous read and will keep you entertained for literally seconds. They reckon that over 60% of the credentials in the file are valid.
“We can’t confirm that it is indeed as much as 60%, but a great amount of the leaked data is legitimate,” said Peter Kruse, the chief technology officer of CSIS Security Group. “We believe the data doesn’t originate from Google directly. Instead it’s likely it comes from various sources that have been compromised.”
What that means is, Google haven’t been hacked, but rather, accounts on other sites where people have used their Gmail addresses as the user name have been obtained.
Google said: “The security of our users is of paramount importance to us. We have no evidence that our systems have been compromised, but whenever we become aware that an account has been compromised, we take steps to help our users secure their accounts.”
In conclusion, here’s the usual ‘you might want to change your password on sites where you’ve used your Gmail address as a user name’ advice.
Why? They’re promising to return at least $19 million (£11.6 million) to parents whose kids had racked up in-app purchases.
The kids were able to spree because of the parent’s credit card via Android Play store.
But now, as a result, a minimum $19m will be repaid to those who didn’t actually authorise the payments.
However the FTC found that when Google started its in-app purchasing in 2011, there wasn’t a proper security safeguard to stop them from making immense purchases.
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says: “As more Americans embrace mobile technology, it’s vital to remind companies that time-tested consumer protections still apply, including that consumers should not be charged for purchases they did not authorize.”
This follows Apple doing a similar pay-out of $32.5m for the same sort of app sprees.
Once the parents get their refund, they should get it in a bag of coins and whack their children over the head with it, then themselves, to teach everyone a lesson.