Posts Tagged ‘google’
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?
Owners of the Google Nexus 7, Nexus 5 and Nexus 4 now have the option of charging their gadget without wires, ridding them of awful tangly wires. Apart from the wire to the charger itself of course.
Sadly, it is American-only at the moment, and it costs $49.99 from Google Play. It works by snapping your device magnetically, which means it eliminates the problem of broken ports and wires.
There’s no news as yet about the release of the charger in the UK. When it does, it’ll probably go for £49.99 (as that’s the way things seem to go thanks to technology companies and their jazz-like take on currency conversions.
However, this does look like a peer into the future, so here’s hoping someone bright makes a universal, wireless charger for all our devices.
When Apple launched their map service last year, everyone fell about laughing. It was a woeful, undernourished thing and just about everything went wrong with it. However, since then, Apple Maps has been sorted out and now, remarkably, it is being reported that the service is more popular than Google Maps.
At one point, Google Maps had 81 million mobile users but according to stats, 23 million of those have jumped ship to Apple’s mapping service.
This is all according to Comscore. In America, around 35 million iPhone owners used Apple Maps in September 2013, while only 6 million chose Google Maps in the same period. It seems a fair chunk of the Google Maps users were only doing that because they couldn’t upgrade to iOS 6.
“For the average user, even if they have the Google Maps app, they don’t use it a lot,” said Andrew Lipsman, analyst, ComScore.
Comscore also reckon that there are 9.7 million daily Apple Maps mobile users compared to the 7.2 million Google Maps users on Android.
“We’re not currently sharing details on the number of downloads,” said Google in a statement. “While we can’t disclose specific performance metrics, we’re pleased with the product and user feedback has been positive.”
The future according to Google, looks pretty bleak as they’ve put a patent in for a microphone that you get tattooed on to your throat. Apparently, this will help to rid calls of background noise and will act as a lie-detector too.
That’s not nauseatingly dark at all.
Google owned Motorola say: “A user speaking falsehoods may exhibit different galvanic skin response than a truth-telling individual.”
“Mobile communication devices are often operated in noisy environments,” said Motorola. “Communication can be improved and enhanced with a method and system for reducing the acoustic noise in such environments.”
This electronic tattoo would have a transceiver embedded in it, so your neck is rigged up to wireless communications and it would run from a battery or solar power. So you might have to plug your skin into the mains at night.
Just think, if you’re trying to tell a white lie to someone, be it because you’re buying a birthday present, trying to throw a sickie a work or you’re simply trying to avoid telling someone that their new haircut is an absolute abomination, you phone will grass you up to everyone.
Still, it won’t just be us – Motorola also said in their application that the device ‘can also be applied to an animal’. So there you go. The future promises us random phonecalls from dogs with microphones grafted into their faces.
Employees at Google have been anonymously posting all the things they hate about working for the tech behemoth over at Quora.
One of the common complaints is that they all feel they’re overqualified for their roles. One user said: ”Google has a very high hiring bar due to the strength of the brand name, the pay and perks, and the very positive work culture,” said one user. “As a result, they have their pick of bright candidates, even for the most low-level roles.”
“There are students from top 10 colleges who are providing tech support for Google’s ads products, or manually taking down flagged content from YouTube,” they further boo-hooed.
This is griping about a company that has ‘campus’ HQs, so you can have free access to a swimming pool, gym, pool tables and there’s other perks like free haircuts, free food and benefits when you die. Better than most jobs? Not if you’re the kind of spoiled, simpering git that works for Google. One employee complained about the “constant professional boredom and intellectual malaise that’s always saccharine sugar coated by a layer of constant awe on the part of people you meet outside Google.”
“I habitually describe my time working as an AdWords monkey as being like a janitor at the UN,” the user went on. “You know that theoretically great world changing things are going on in the building, but all you ever really see is shit.”
An ex-employee, Kevin X Chang, said: ”So, if you ask me whether it’s worth working at Google – yes, it is; you’ll learn a lot; is it worth to stay there? – no… you may become one of them.”
While everyone cried into their laps, one drive-by comment simply said: “Try being a contractor there. You do all the real work, but none of the real perks.”
If you want to have a look at the moaning and whining, click here.
Google have launched a new thing called Helpouts, which connects people with experts over live interactive video for free or paid advice. The help can be live or scheduled and the service will be based on their qualifications, availability, price, ratings and reviews.
All you need is a Google+ account, a webcam and microphone and there’s an Android app too.
“We want to use the convenience and efficiency of the web to enable everyone, no matter where they are or what time it is, to easily connect with someone who can help,” Udi Manber, Google’s vice president of engineering.
So, these videos will help you mend a leaky pipe, learn how to play guitar or do your makeup real nice. Think this will overtake the tutorial videos that are already on YouTube?
After more than eight years, Google decided enough was enough. No-one was using it, so there’s no point keeping the shutters open.
Once upon-a-time, it was a pretty good idea, giving users the chance to have personalized, real-time information at their fingertips. However, thanks to social media and phone apps, the desktop service was no longer required.
Those still using iGoogle were given 16 months to completely readjust their lives with out it (and export any data and all that boring stuff) and then, without any fanfare, without final warning, Google brought the axe down this week.
Wave, Reader and now iGoogle; up in that Sinclair C5 shaped coffin in the sky.
The patents, all called “Associative Search Engine,” relate to an invention which was used to provide advertisements based on users’ search terms and, backed by Microsoft, Apple, RIM, Ericsson and Sony, Rockstar acquired Nortel’s patents for $4.5 billion after outbidding Google in 2011.
Google was aware of the patents-in-suit and Rockstar said: “Despite losing in its attempt to acquire the patents-in-suit at auction, Google has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit.”
What’s so heavy handed about this particular complaint is that the consortium is asking for damaged, future and past. Rockstar are also filing another complaint against Samsung Electronics for infringement of seven other patents, including one relating to a “Navigation Tool for Graphical User Interface” and others. Rockstar has also sued HTC for alleged infringement of the same seven patents that figure in the complaint against Samsung.
Looks like someone is about to make a hell of a lot of money from all this… and that’d be lawyers. The rest of the companies are looking a bit like ambulance chasers, suing over vague terms around ideas that everyone will have had.
So what’s new about Android 4.4? Well, basically, it can multitask much faster than previous outings and it also has full voice control (which no-one really uses, but still). One neat thing is that it will use a new caller ID system, so if you don’t know the number calling you, it will guess who it is by using the businesses listed in Google search or Maps.
There’s also going to be Google Cloud Print, so you can print things off directly from your handset and there’ll be Quickoffice, which is designed to kill Microsoft Word. Everything will have had a facelift too.
As for the new Nexus, that’s been causing a stir and looks to be a very promising handset. Slim, fast, light and loads of battery time. It also comes in black or white, so Google aren’t looking at going all children’s dessert menu unlike Motorola and Apple.
Still feels a bit weird having your OS sponsored by a company though, regardless of how good the whole thing is…
We spoke about the interesting PhoneBloks project, where you can upgrade bits of your mobile like people used to do with their PCs, and it seems Google and Motorola have taken notice.
The Google-owned company has announced that they’re going to consult with Phonebloks inventor Dave Hakkens to develop a “free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones” under the name Project Ara.
Motorola have said that they’ll be working with Hakkens to develop their “common vision” and that the phone-maker will be handling the “deep technical work”, allowing Hakkens to develop and empowers the community, which presumably means he’ll be an ambassador for the product.
“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines,” say Motorola, adding: ”A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter– or something not yet thought of!”
Could this be the next big thing in mobile manufacturing or is this a nerd-only pursuit?
Apparently, the two companies have three devices in mind, with one due in 2014.
And while HTC could be making one new friend, they could also be making a number of enemies too. By working with Amazon, they may face expulsion from the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), which is a consortium of mobile makers and networks whose mandate is to “accelerate innovation in mobile and offer consumers a richer, less expensive, and better mobile experience”.
By being part of OHA, HTC gets free access to Google’s Android software. However, seeing as Amazon forked Android to power their own Kindle tablets so that people would access the Amazon store, rather than Google Play, the two companies fell out. Acer pulled out of a deal for similar reasons after the OHA kicked up fuss.
That said, HTC are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They’re staring at heavy losses and losing ground to just about everyone else. Could the Amazon partnership be the thing to salvage some pride? Or will making an enemy of Google send them into the soil? Or will you carry on buying Samsung and Apple phones and ignore everything else?