Posts Tagged ‘google’
Seeing as Google just got spurned by WhatsApp, who decided to get in bed with Facebook instead, they’re showing off all the interesting things they’re doing like a jilted groom copping off with everyone in the eyeline of his ex.
With that, Google have showcased a new phone that makes real-time, 3-D maps of environments. The phone will have “customized hardware and software”, which includes sensors which gives the device the ability to make hundreds of thousands of measurements every second, you can map a building or something. It could help those who are visually impaired, which is nice.
“We are physical beings that live in a 3-D world,” says Google says. “Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.” Watch the video below if you find written words boring.
So there you go.
A prototype of the device, developed by Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects unit is being doled out to 200 developers to play with and is going by the name ‘Project Tango’. If drinks and 80s footballs are anything to go by, Tango is going to be ace!
With that, they’ve released a list of dos and don’ts, along with their idea of social etiquette, like they’re some kind of finishing school for web-designers with Fixie bikes.
Of course, new companies aren’t happy referring to you as a ‘customer’ or ‘consumer’, so have to come up with cloying titles that force the idea of some kind of loose-knit community. For Glass, Google have come up with ’Explorers’. Explorers of ‘the urban jungle’ no doubt.
The post says: “The first Explorers were developers from Google I/O 2012 and people who told us what they would do #ifihadglass. Since then, we’ve continued to expand the Explorer Program. We’re at the start of a long journey and we’re looking to our Explorers to help us develop this new technology. Since the program started, our Explorers have gotten a lot of attention when they wear Glass out and about. Reactions range from the curious – Wow! Are those the ‘Google glasses’? How do they work? – to the suspect – Goodness gracious do those things see into my soul?!”
If you’ve managed to recover from that hilarious jape, the guide says that people are encouraged to explore your surroundings (maximising your chances of getting mugged or mocked), utilise the range of voice commands (making you look mental), ask permission before taking any photos or videos (fair enough, but that won’t be heeded by dirty buggers), use the glass screen lock (fine) and to be an active member on the Glass Explorer Community (use a lot of hashtags in things, no doubt).
As for the don’ts, Google point out that you shouldn’t invade people’s space, not staring at the screen too much or reading too intently (which they’ve called ‘Glassing-out‘) because, seeing as you’re looking at a screen no-one can see, you’ll look like a dribbling lunatic on the bus. You shouldn’t wear the device while doing extreme sports, try not to be creepy and, in Google’s own words, don’t be a “Glasshole”.
If you want to see what Google have to say about it all, have a look at their post google.com/site/glasscomms/glass-explorers
A post on SlickLogin‘s website said:
“Today we’re announcing that the SlickLogin team is joining Google, a company that shares our core beliefs that logging in should be easy instead of frustrating, and authentication should be effective without getting in the way.”
“Google was the first company to offer 2-step verification to everyone, for free – and they’re working on some great ideas that will make the internet safer for everyone. We couldn’t be more excited to join their efforts.”
Seeing as Google have a large range of products, this could be introduced to Android phones, Chromebooks, tablets and their inevitable robot army.
So how does this all work? Well, SlickLogin’s technology uses a variety of things to kick off the authentication process. Loads of tech is combined so that it can verify that your smartphone is near your computer. Your computer sends out a unique frequency out of the speakers and your smartphone app recognises it, allowing you to log-in.
Just sounds like more things that could go wrong and end up in a more frustrating experience.
However, previous reports and tests have noted that no-one can record the audio signal and just play it back later as a way of getting at your personal stuff. They could, however, pinch your phone, and then you’re screwed. We’ll just have to wait and see what the fuss is all about.
Basically, the device is a thing that lets you wirelessly display stuff from your phone, tablet, laptop or whatever, to your TV. Obviously, if you’ve got a Smart TV or a smart box, this is no use to you. However, if not, this little gadget is retailing for around £20 ($35 in The States) and will be a must-have.
Especially great if, for example, you only have the BT Sport app on your phone or tablet, and want to watch it on the large TV.
Chromecast will wirelessly broadcast from pretty much any mobile device to any TV that has a HDMI port. Once you set-up, with the Chromecast app, you’re away! It works with Android phones and tablets, iPhones and iPads, laptops or desktops and Chromebooks.
If you’re the sort to do presentations and such, this’ll be a useful tool, but for most of us, it’d be great for streaming shows and movies. Rumour has it, that the Chromecast will be released in the UK next month, which is great news.
Google have been busy lately, mainly ignoring everyone’s complete and utter indifference to Google+. They’ve also been spending a lot of money on smaller ventures and, in the meantime, took their eye off the ball long enough to let Gmail bork.
On Friday, anyone trying to get to their emails found that the service was down (as was Calendar and Documents… so too was Google+, but no-one noticed). Almost 42 million users were disconnected.
Google apologised through Ben Treynor, the VP of the internet giant’s engineering. He said: ”Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies. We strive to make all of Google’s services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today. The issue has been resolved, and we’re now focused on correcting the bug that caused the outage, as well as putting more checks and monitors in place to ensure that this kind of problem doesn’t happen again.”
Maybe they dropped the ball because they were too busy celebrating the acquisition of London robotics company – DeepMind – for a reported £242 million.
DeepMind create algorithms that allow programmes to learn from experience like it has a human brain. Maybe Google are building that robot army after all?
They’ve tracked us online, have the ability to stop us from accessing the internet, mapped out where we live and the entire world and now they’re making robots that can think… they’re going to invade aren’t they?
THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US ALL!
It has been reported by other people (take note, lawyers) that a weakness in Google’s Chrome browser is allowing people to use our computer’s microphone to spy on us. Google denies this outright, but they would. Developers on the other hand aren’t having it.
“Even while not using your computer – conversations, meetings and phone calls next to your computer may be recorded and compromised,” says Israeli developer Tal Ater.
Basically, if a site isn’t being honest about using your mic (as in, it switches it on, even though you haven’t given permission to), that’s when the trouble starts.
“When you click the button to start or stop the speech recognition on the site, what you won’t notice is that the site may have also opened another hidden pop-under window,” Ater wrote. “This window can wait until the main site is closed, and then start listening in without asking for permission. This can be done in a window that you never saw, never interacted with, and probably didn’t even know was there.”
Chrome remembers your settings for secure sites, so these pop-under windows won’t need continual permission from users.
Ater says he’s contacted Google, but they’ve yet to fix the situation. The Reg asked Google for a comment and they said: ”The security of our users is a top priority, and this feature [the blinking red dot on tabs] was designed with security and privacy in mind.”
If you’re at all worried about this, there’s an easy fix until Google get it sorted – go to your settings, hit click ‘show advanced settings’ then ‘content settings’, then click “Do not allow sites to access my camera and microphone” and that should do it.
Well, it seems Google have noticed this as well and with the roll-out of their newest Chrome browser, you can now silence these dreadful shits with greater ease, along with a load of other decent looking features.
Version 32 for Windows, Mac, and Linux is available to download now. There’s a new look for Windows 8 Metro mode, automatic blocking of malware downloads and the aforementioned ‘noisy tab’ function.
Basically, when you’re browsing and have opened up a load of tabs, sometimes you’ll find one of them is making a racket. Now, instead of opening up each tab and scrolling through the pages to find the offending page, the tab itself will tell you which one of them is producing sound with a little speaker icon. Of course, you could argue that users could simply mute their device, but that’s no use if you’re listening to music or taking a Skype call while browsing at the same time.
On top of that, your tabs will also tell you which of them are currently using your webcam or are being cast to your TV as well as Chrome having a thing called ‘supervised browser’, designed to help people who need some guidance when browsing online.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t get very excited about thermostats and smoke alarms. But not so Google, who have just bought Nest Labs – makers of very swish looking and wifi connected home gadgets – for a whopp-a-doodlin’ 3.2 billion dollars, making it their second biggest acquisition to date.
But they may be onto something. Nest Labs were set up by a guy called Tony Fadell, who invented a little thing called THE iPOD. Now this most celebrated of engineers has taken that same simple, clean aesthetic and applied it to some of your home’s most boring appliances. And by allowing you to control them through wifi on your phone or laptop, he’s managed to build a very lucrative business indeed.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, is delighted by his new purchase, which will involve Google in the new wave of wifi-controlled Internet of Things things.
Tony Fadell is probably pretty pleased as well. His Super Squirrel saving account is set to receive quite a big deposit from Google. But he doesn’t really care about that. Apparently he admits that the iPod and Nest Labs have already ‘made me so rich that I don’t need to work again.’
*sadly presses red button on £3.99 smoke alarm*
Being Google can’t be easy, being asked billions of questions every day by people who want to know what ‘YOLO’ means. And if you thought your dumb Google searches were private, think again.
Each December, Google releases a ‘Zeitgeist list’ to show the real depth of the UK public consciousness, and it seems that we’re a shallow, idiotic, grasping population of numpties whose main purpose in life is to find out what twerking is.
The Miley Cyrus endorsed bum sticking out dance topped the list of Google ‘what is?’ searches, followed by ‘what is my IP?’ (good question). At the bottom of the list came the doozy ‘What is the meaning of life?’ (which came before ‘what is Zumba?’)
General searches were mostly related to tragic movie star Paul Walker, quickly followed by the iPhone 5S and the Royal Baby. Margaret Thatcher came 9th, ironically below ‘Universal Jobmatch’.
‘Our annual Zeitgeist survey provides a fascinating snapshot of our interests and obsessions for the year.’ Said Claudine Beaumont of Google UK.
Yes, and aren’t we a bunch of eejits?
In Google’s latest Android OS – KitKat – there’s a list of words they don’t want you to use. The usual swears are in their, but there’s other words that are also banned (not banned wholly – you can change the settings and add any word you like into the dictionary) which make Google look really quite peculiar.
So where to start? Of course, the big swear words and anything homophobic or misogynistic is straight into the censored bin, but also, medical terms for genitalia as well as the rather niche ‘gonadatrophia’, whatever that is. Typically, there are far more words Android doesn’t like pertaining to women’s junk compared to men’s.
On that note, Android doesn’t like the rather innocent “intercourse”. It also doesn’t like the painfully sweet “lovemaking” or “coitus” either.
The list comes in at just over 1,400 English words, which bafflingly includes “geek” and “preggers”. And don’t think about typing “braless” or “Tampax” either, because they are also included on Google’s Mary Whitehouse list. It also doesn’t like the word “condom” either, which seems oddly protestant.
It isn’t just biological chat either. Google seem to have a policy on the word “morphine” and “demerol” (yet “methamphetamine” is completely fine). Strangest of all is that some of Google’s own products are censored. Try and tap “Chromebook” or “AdMob” in and you’ll get no help, whereas “iPhone” is completely fine.
Have Google gone a bit Puritan?
If you haven’t noticed, because you wisely avoid all comments on YouTube videos, the bottom half of YouTube has been flooded with spam, virus links, rude drawings and distasteful language.
On their Creators blog, the YouTube comments team insisted that the new system, which requires you to have a G+ account in order to post, thereby forcing their failing social network down people’s necks, had solved a lot of spamming problems. Sadly for them, they also had to admit that it “introduced new opportunities for abuse and shortly after the launch we saw some users taking advantage of them.”
As such, there have been some changes including “better recognition of bad links” and has made changes in an attempt to improve the detection of ASCII art (as seen above). They have also had the problem of users posting very lengthy comments (some jokers posted entire Shakespeare plays in the comments).
“We’re moving forward with more improvements to help you manage comments on your videos better,” YouTube said, promising new tools for bulk moderation of comments, which it admitted was a “long-standing creator request”.
What won’t be happening, sadly, is a return to the old system (over 200,000 people have signed a petition to asking YouTube to remove the G+ requirement). There’s trouble for YouTube and Google, as a number of YouTube’s bigger stars have disabled comments on their videos because of this new system, which means advertisers might pull out.
Schmidt says that an Android phone will make a lovely Christmas present for someone with an Apple device and they’ll need tips on how to use Google’s OS and how to transfer contacts and the like.
Schmidt says, on his G+ account (which is why no-one has seen it), that loads of his “iPhone friends are converting to Android. The latest high-end phones from Samsung (Galaxy S4), Motorola (Verizon Droid Ultra) and the Nexus 5 (for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile) have better screens, are faster, and have a much more intuitive interface.”
‘Eric’s Guide: Converting to Android from iPhone’ continues: “Some general advice - Be sure to use Chrome, not Safari; its safer and better in so many ways. And it’s free.”
The last time Schmidt said Google was more secure than Apple, he drew hoots of derision, but he’s sticking to his guns, regardless of the fact that everyone’s been told not to expect any privacy with Gmail.
Are you going to be trying to persuade an iPhone user to switch to Android this Christmas?