Posts Tagged ‘google’
Amazon are being weird babies again, this time, they’re going to stop selling media-streaming gadgets from Apple and Google. Why? Well, they don’t want to sell things that aren’t easily compatible with their own video service. Honest.
Amazon sent an e-mail to its marketplace sellers, which said that it will be stopping selling Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast, because those gadgets don’t “interact well” with Prime Video. Keep in mind that Christmas is just around the corner, and a lot of people will be wanting to buy Google and Apple products, you almost have to admire the brass balls on Amazon.
Also keep in mind that, if you’re not the sort of person who can root things, Amazon’s tablets don’t run on the proper Android OS, which means if you get a Fire HDX or whatever, you won’t be able to download Google apps like YouTube, the Google Play store and the like. You can’t get the BT Sport app either. So it looks like Amazon are fencing themselves in, and trying to only flog their own stuff, which is a risky move.
This isn’t the first time Amazon have tried this. They got in a row with the Hachette Book Group, over the sales of print and digital books. Basically, Amazon blocked pre-orders for some of Hachette’s books, and a load of authors got angry and said the whole thing was anti-competitive.
Now, with that, you could argue that not selling Google and Apple stuff could fall under anti-trust rules, which means this could get very messy for Amazon. Even if it doesn’t raise these concerns, it is unusual for a company to send a load of potential customers elsewhere, if they want premium or popular products.
Either way, if you want Apple TV or Chromecast, you won’t be finding it at Amazon – mercifully, loads of other retailers are available.
Google have been busy bees, which has resulted in the release of a bunch of new stuff – notably, two new Nexus smartphones and two new Chromecast devices.
First off – the phones. Google showed off the new Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, which will both run on Android’s latest OS, Marshmallow. Google reckon the phones both have improved batteries, and the 5X will have a 5.7″ ultra HD screen, and it’ll have an all-metal body, which is fancy.
The 6P meanwhile, has a 12.3-megapixel Sony sensor, which Google reckon is the best ever camera on a smartphone. It’ll also have a fingerprint scanner too.
Google have also put out the new Pixel C tablet, which is basically a larger version of the two new phones, melded together. It’ll come with a full size keyboard as well. The 5X will start at £339 while the 6P will start at £449, with pre-orders beginning on Tuesday.
In addition to these, there’s also some new Chromecasts to check out – an updated version of the existing Chromecast, and Chromecast Audio.
The new version of Chromecast will still cost £30, and will have better connectivity, thanks to an upgraded antenna system and a WiFi chip that chooses the best connection. Google have updated the app (for everyone, regardless of which dongle you’re using) so it’ll feel more like a remote, rather than doing everything through your screen.
The completely new Chromecast Audio is pretty interesting too – basically, it is a dongle where you can stream audio. It isn’t the same as Google Cast for Audio, which links up Chromecast with your speakers, but rather, it works with any phone, tablet, or laptop that is connected to your network.
It has a ‘guest mode’ too, which will let friends play music to your speakers, even if they don’t have your WiFi password. Good for those of you who like having people over to your house and all that.
Obviously, Chromecast Audio links up with Spotify and all that too. It will cost £30 as well.
Firstly, there’s the small matter of a redesign. If the leak is correct, then the new dongle will look markedly different to the O.G. model. There might be different colours you can buy of the device, should you want it to match your eyes or whatever.
This new Chromecast doesn’t look like a USB stick either, rather, it resembles a key fob or a rubbish pancake.
It looks like Google are keeping an eye on Apple TV as well, as there’s rumours of new functions for the stick. It is likely that the new model will have better, faster WiFi. It may also have ”background feed” capabilities, which sounds like it’ll be able to sync up with social media accounts, should you want to do such a thing. There’s probably going to be some Spotify app built-in too.
It is thought that the device will also have sports and news widgets, which you’ll be able to customise, so you can watch highlights and video content from providers who free videos up. There’s also talk of something called ‘Fast Play’, and we’ve no idea what that it. If we had to guess, we think it’ll be something to do we pre-loading and buffering times.
So when will we see this? Well, we suspect it’ll be unveiled at a Google event on 29th September.
Lasers are really exciting in films, but in real life, they’re not nearly as fun. They don’t go ‘pew pew’ and no-one has ever blown a spaceship up with one, as far as we know. However, things are hotting up in laser world, which is bad news for automated car enthusiasts.
Someone’s assembled a gadget, that you can make at home if you’re into that sort of thing, which can disable the systems that self-driving cars use to see where they’re going.
This is according to a security researcher called Jonathan Petit, who showed off his car-halting skills by switching on his modified, cheapo laser which creates pretend objects in front of autonomous cars, which makes them stop. Perfect if you’re thinking about getting into car-hijacking.
Petit, principle scientist at software company Security Innovation, cobbled together something that was similar to a laser pen and added a pulse generator, which you can make with a Raspberry Pi. Altogether, it set him back £40 and his gadget fooled the sensor on the cars, which are known as lidars.
“I can spoof thousands of objects and basically carry out a denial of service attack on the tracking system so it’s not able to track real objects,” Petit told IEEE Spectrum. ”I can take echoes of a fake car and put them at any location I want.”
“I don’t think any of the lidar manufacturers have thought about this or tried this,” he added.
If this all sounds like a bit of a faff, and you still want to annoy some drivers in a dangerous manner, you could just buy a laser pen and shine it directly into their eyes. Of course, if you end up getting arrested, we won’t bail you out. You’re on your own with this nonsense.
If you’re using software like AdBlock, you may have been surprised to see some adverts from Google. It looks like they’ve been punishing people who use the software, by making them sit through long commercials with no option to skip.
A number of people have griped on social networks that they’re having to sit through lengthy ads when watching YouTube videos, when they’re using Google’s Chrome browser.
Be Williams, who is the director of AdBlock, reckons that these adverts only appeared because of an “issue in Chrome” which they’re hoping Google will fix. Now, if this is just a small glitch that Google had genuinely missed, they must thinking that there’s a way they can continue you this, keep pushing revenue-generating adverts and claim innocence.
Google haven’t made a comment yet, as they’re probably a bit busy changing the typeface for something, unable to hear everyone shouting ‘erm, excuse me!’ while they wring some extra pennies out of these YouTube commercials.
Possibly. Don’t sue us.
It is all happening at Google. First, they welcomed in the Alphabet, and now, they’ve updated their logo so it looks neater and… umm… more childish.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the internet monster has updated their logo. They’ve had loads in fact. If you want proof, or are a typeface perv, then watch this video and you’ll get everything you need to know about previous logos and the new one.
This revised design isn’t wildly different, sticking to the usual mix of blue, red, yellow and green for the words, but it is a little bit hipper than the previous one, which basically means ’rounder’.
The new typeface is called ‘Product Sans’, which is a bit crap, and is a change from the previous serif typeface that they’ve been using for over 15 years.
As the video shows, a swirl of dots in the same colours as the Google logo will appear when you give it a spoken command. It is all much tidier basically, and allows Google to use a theme across multiple platforms, which is kinda useful.
Google said in a blog: “Today we’re introducing a new logo and identity family that reflects this reality and shows you when the Google magic is working for you, even on the tiniest screens. As you’ll see, we’ve taken the Google logo and branding, which were originally built for a single desktop browser page, and updated them for a world of seamless computing across an endless number of devices and different kinds of inputs (such as tap, type and talk).”
Nice of them to use a cutesy primary school typeface while they’re slowly taking over the world and logging our every move.
If anyone is jumpy about the hacked Twitch, bought by Amazon, there’s going to be a rival to it, set up by YouTube.
Of course, YouTube is owned by Google and they’re trying to take over the entire world. With that, this dedicated gaming service will be called YouTube Gaming, enabling you to live stream your button bashings. You may recall that Google tried to buy Twitch, but failed, so consider this a retaliation.
YouTube Gaming will become available globally soon, and will have the obligatory iOS and Android apps available for download. If it is anything like YouTube’s music offerings, the take-up may not be very prompt or overwhelming.
Ryan Wyatt, YouTube’s head of gaming, said: “Gaming is so big now. We’re doing billions of hours of watch-time a month, with hundreds of millions of users. It’s astonishing.”
As well as walkthroughs, tips and whatnot from notable gamers, you can expect YouTube Gaming to broadcast gaming tournaments, not to mention gaming talk-shows. Wyatt added: “Maybe some YouTube creators who aren’t currently streaming anywhere else will start. You’ll start to see some of your favourite creators start to do live shows.”
It is a growth area. Twitch has more than doubled monthly viewers, now with 100 million at the end of 2014. That shows you just how much YouTube need to do to compete.
Well, Google have noticed this and are getting in on the action. Of course, they’re not going to fix the potholes themselves, but rather, try and win you over by warning you about them and where they are.
The internet behemoth is already a part of your travel, with Google Maps having all manner of features and Google giving you loads of alerts for things. You can already see if there’s a shedload of traffic en route, and get directions to where you’re going.
Now, they’re aiming to make your ride a bit smoother by telling you about imminent potholes that you’re heading toward.
Google has filed a patent which would allow them to gauge if there are potholes on your journey, using your car’s GPS navigation system and other sensors.
One of the things Google might do, is to monitor the vibrations that rattle through your car, in a bid to track and collate where all the potholes in the world are. They’d cross reference that with GPS data, and hey presto! You’ve got a living map of dodgy roads. With Maps, they’d presumably then suggest alternative routes to save your suspension from getting hammered.
Naturally, Google is making a fleet of autonomous cars that might really want to know about all this.
Hate people taking photos of their tea? Assume they’re either showing off how often they can afford to eat in restaurants or that they’re crowing about what amazing cooks they are? Well, you’re going to love this news from Google.
The tech behemoth has unveiled a new food photo tool, which they’ve built-in to the Google Maps app on Android. Basically, you can now attach images of your dinner to places within Maps. This is to improve people’s reviews or something.
So what do you do? Well, you take a photo of what you’re eating and then, Maps figures out where you are from your GPS, gives you a notification saying that they’ve detected a shot has been taken in the establishment where you’re sat and then, with a tap, you can post your visual review onto Maps.
It looks like the Tablescape app which Google were mucking around with, but shelved, has had its technology repositioned to this Maps add-on.
There you have it. Amateur foodies are given yet another outlet to blort on about things being under-seasoned, or saying the word soupçon about some crappy meal or whatever.
Just what we all needed.
A lot of Android phones are clogged up with loads of apps they don’t use and don’t want. Samsung users have reams of pointless Samsung apps and, of course, a load of mandatory Google apps too. It is very annoying.
Well, Google have decided to do something about that and have cut down on the number of apps they make you have on the Android operating system. You’ll be able to delete stuff! Forever! Without your phone mithering you to update them!
So which ones are applicable here? You’ll be able to get rid of Google Play Games, Google+, Google Play Books and Google Newsstand, which is great.
Of course, if you want these apps, you’ll still be able to get them through the Google Play store if you want.
This is a good move (about time) from Google and that means people with lower-priced handsets will be able to free up more space for music, movies, hi-res dirty pictures, or whatever it is you’d prefer to have on your phone. If all the other bloatware makers could follow suit, that’d be great.
And of course, Google have just announced Android Marshmallow too, the latest version of its OS.
We the public, as a whole, are a rotten and depraved bunch. We give off airs and graces, when really, we’re secretly thinking about murdering people and imaging what the most disgusting thing on the internet is.
So with that, anyone who gives the reins over to us is, frankly, an idiot.
And so to Google, with their lovely Google Trends billboards, which show off what the UK is really looking for on the internet. This one, spotted at Old Street Station, showed that, alongside looking at BBC Sports sites and things to do with Barcelona, the top trend is the delightful ‘Revenge Porn Sites’.
Of course, this might be something to do with TV presenter Anna Richardson, who has been looking into this area recently… but it doesn’t look like that does it?
Good old Google. Sticking ‘REVENGE PORN’ in big letters in the middle of a train station.
What do you think of your router? Don’t care as it is almost entirely functional and you hid it behind something else so the blinking lights don’t catch your eye every 2 seconds?
Well, Google want to give the humble router a bit of design and class, and they’re going to release the OnHub wifi router to do exactly that. Oh, and it’ll have some other stuff going on.
Have a look it.
Aside from looking like a pint of stout, the new OnHub will have an app-driven user interface and there’ll be no flashing lights either. Instead, it’ll have a glowing ring, just like your mum.
There’s also talk of auto-updating firmware too, if you’re into that sort of thing.
For those who like some spec, this’ll have 13 antennas firing out 1900Mbps of internet over AC 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands. It’ll have support for Bluetooth Smart Ready, Weave and the like. The app will allow Android users to troubleshoot stuff on their phone, rather than blowing into ports and swearing with the router in their hand.
So there you have it. Knowing Google, this will have a secret CCTV camera in it so they can watch you sleep.
Ages ago, we spoke about Google’s Project Ara, which allows you to build your own phone out of component bricks.
They were all set to unveil the thing by now, showing off the new world of modular mobile phones. However, Google have decided to push back the public test of Project Ara until 2016.
The team behind this - Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group – have said that the release of the smartphone pilot changed this week, which scuppered the plan to have it in people’s hands this year.
The reason for the delay, is that t project has gone through more iterations than ATAP initially thought they would.
That all said, this is still a great idea. If you want your phone to have a super-fancy camera, you can customise it. If you’re not bothered about selfies and want better than standard speakers, then potentially, you’ll be strapping some on your phone with ease. We like the idea a lot and, if it goes to plan, will be a good, cheap way of getting the phone you want.
We’re just going to have to wait to have a play with it though.
We all know about Google’s new Alphabet rejig, but they’ve already hit some skidders. BMW aren’t playing ball and won’t give Google the website for its new name, Alphabet, and to boot, they may well sue Google for ‘stealing their brand’.
Google set up this new thing without having the domain for Alphabet.com, or the Twitter account @Alphabet. Turns out the site is owned by BMW, who just so happen to own a fleet services company by the same name.
A BMW spokesperson said that they are “examining whether there are any implications over trademarks.” They’re not planning on selling the name either, as it is a “very active” part of the Alphabet business. You’ve never heard of it and the site is mostly offline, but that doesn’t matter. It is BMW’s ball and they’re taking it home.
Of course, with a word like Alphabet, BMW aren’t the first people to use it. In America alone, there’s 103 different trademarks using the word, or a variation of it. To make a claim for trademark infringement, holders have to prove that people are probably going to get confused when looking at the warring brands. And you’ll know, if you clicked the link in the first sentence, that Google have already bagged a snazzy URL for themselves already.
Meanwhile, the fella who owns @Alphabet on Twitter has been flooded with tweets and at the start of the week, tweeted that they’d had an “interesting Monday”. If Google offer them a buttload of money, they’d be wise to take it. You’d be mad not to
Google have set up a new parent company called Alphabet. Why? Well, you’d have to assume it is a way of diddling tax or something, but they’ve got other ideas. Warning: this article contains the phrase ‘womb of wonder’.
Basically, this is a reshuffle where some people might move offices. Now, all those things that Google did will be under the Alphabet umbrella. The search engine will still be called Google, it is just that the company that own it have a different name.
The terrifying 23andme (the company that wants your DNA) and the Nest project (the thing that wants to stick cameras in your house), as well as YouTube, self-driving cars, Glass and all the rest, will now be Alphabet companies. It is a surprise move, and control of the search engine business has been handed over to Sundar Pichai.
The one nerdily cool thing is the new address, which is abc.xyz.
On the new site, Larry Page wrote: “As Sergey [Brin, co-founder] and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, ‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one’. As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make ‘smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses’. From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.”
“We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.”
“We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant. Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet. I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey, as President.”
Alphabet, while making this announcement, even managed to crack a funny - embedding a link in their opening blog post to the company website for Hooli, which is the fictional version of Google from the Mike Judge’s brilliant comedy Silicon Valley. For those that haven’t seen it, Silicon Valley is a satire of the tech industry. Even Hooli has the URL of hooli.xyz and check their website out, to see how accurate it is, as a pisstake. “XYZenises” and “the womb of wonder” indeed.
Anyway, a massive company has done a reshuffle and we expect that, with a less cuddly name than Google, Alphabet Inc. will be able to start going full-on science fiction nightmare.