Posts Tagged ‘google’
You know that Google tracks your every movement don’t you? Unless you’ve tinkered with the location settings on your phone, they know where you’ve been going. Including that late night jog you went on… to a massage parlour.
Well, if you didn’t know, there’s a map online, where you can see to what level Google have been following you around.
Of course, many of you will look at your map and realise that you’ve got the life-radius of a beetle tied to a nail, walking around in ever decreasing circles.
You’ll have to log in with your Google account, but once you do, you’ll see a 2D map with a record of where you’ve been for the last month. Whether you think this is a cause for concern is your business, but looking at the map of your recent history might make you feel a bit weird in a Minority Report kinda way.
Have a look at the map of your whereabouts here.
Google are stumping up around $300 million to develop and operate a trans-Pacific cable network. They’ll probably work something out so they can advertise to fish and mermaids while they’re down there.
The cable is going to be called ‘FASTER’. With it being the 20th anniversary of the Manic Street Preacher’s ‘Holy Bible’ this year, you can only imagine that this is in tribute that, or indeed, homage to Richie Edwards’ potential cadaver, which could well have floated to Japan by now.
The cable network will have an initial capacity of 60 terabits per second and will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan. It will inevitably carry a lot of Hentai porn to hipsters in the States.
NEC Corp, which will be the system supplier for the cable network, said in a statement that construction would begin immediately and the network would be ready for service in the second quarter of 2016.
Importantly, the network will be able to connect to neighbouring cable systems, which means Google are eyeing up China again, who have all that lovely money to spend.
And it just so happens that, also involved in the project, is China Mobile International and China Telecom Global as well as TIME Dotcom Bhd’s Global Transit, KDDI Corp and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.
Google have been relatively open about how they scan everyone’s emails – it is so they can tailor adverts to customers and make loads of money. However, not everyone is happy about that, especially with all that NSA business.
However, reports say that a Google tip-off from the contents of a Gmail account ended up in the arrest of a child abuser from Texas. Police say Google told the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about the content in an email sent by John Henry Skillern, who is a registered sex offender.
“He was trying to get around getting caught, he was trying to keep it inside his email,” said Detective David Nettles. “I can’t see that information, I can’t see that photo, but Google can.”
So what’s going on?
Pictures are hashed which creates a unique code for an image. The hash is compared with a database of known child abuse images and, if they match, details are passed to the NCMEC (or, if you’re in Britain, the Internet Watch Foundation, who Google actually give funding to). Then, a trained expert looks at the case and decides whether or not to pass it on to the police.
AOL also employ a similar system and they caught someone sharing illegal images last year.
The moral quandary is that, while the capture of child abusers is absolutely good and noble, Google and others are sifting through everyone’s correspondence and repacking it for advertisers. With Google’s buying of Nest, some people even think that they’ll be able to spy on you via your thermostat (a bit like the Piers Brosnan robot house in The Simpsons).
So what’s the trade off? If you’re not doing anything wrong, should people be scanning your emails? Do you not mind because child abusers can be caught? Is this case being crowed about in a bid to try and distract users from something a bit dodgy going on? Or do we just accept it because this is how the internet works?
France have already fined Google £150,000 because they failed to co-operate with its laws on tracking and storing information, and it looks like Italy might be next to hit the company with a piffling fine that wouldn’t even make a dent in the average Google CEO’s lunch bill.
The Italian data protection Authority have told Google that they must ask its users for permission to use their personal information before they go spreading it around Facebook in the form of targeted ads about Fitflops and belly fat.
They also said they must honour customer requests to delete data within two months. Or else.
Google are co-operating so far, perhaps fearing reprisals from burly, well-connected Sardinian men called Beppe.
How about you stop selling our data to advertisers without our permission, Google? That would be logical ‘next step.’
As they say in Italy – VAFFANCULO.
Well, Google’s smart contact lenses is turning into a reality after they announced that they’ve teamed up with Swiss pharmaceutical firm Novartis to develop special Google Contact Lenses.
The lenses were unveiled as a thing earlier in the year and utilise sensors sandwiched between two soft layers to measure the glucose levels in the wearer’s tears, which then transmits information wirelessly to your smartphones.
You see, these lenses are designed for people with diabetes, rather than being the next-gen Google Glass, where you can watch dirty films, unbeknownst to everyone sat next to you in church. It is hoped that this tech will help diabetics by removing the need to keep taking blood tests all the time.
Novartis reckon that it won’t just be diabetics who will benefit – these contacts could be used to help those suffering from loss of vision as they get old. They could also be developed into “intraocular lenses”, which are contacts that are put in your eyeball forever and ever, so that you have working eyes.
We await the Daily Mail worrying about Google flashing adverts into intraocular lens wearers.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin said: “Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.”
And there just happens to be LOADS of money in medicine.
It’s got head-tracking photography. You can buy things with your EYES. Images on the screen appear three dimensional – and the Maps app lets you tilt the phone to ‘see around’ buildings.
The Amazon Fire was unveiled yesterday in Seattle by CEO Jeff Bezos, who waved the phone about and yelled ‘It’s time to whip the crown from Apple!’
So can they do it? Well on the face of it, the 4.7 inch Amazon Fire looks pretty snazzy. It has six individual in-built cameras to create the much-vaunted 3D effect – called ‘dynamic perspective.’ It’s also got 2GBs of RAM, a 720p HD resolution screen and a super whizzy quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon Processor. (Try saying that when you’ve had a few ales.) You get unlimited storage with Amazon Cloud, too.
Of course, you’ll have to put up with a lot of dreary Amazon apps as standard, like that bloody Mayday button with the silly Irish woman on the adverts. And you can bet the phone will make buying something from Amazon as easy as possible.
The most potentially infuriating feature is the Firefly app, which recognises what you’re looking at or listening to, and gives you the option to buy it from Amazon. ANNOYING, OR WHAT?
But it’s the 3D ‘hologram’ effect that might set the world on Fire. The only question is, will it cause a repeat of the great iOS 7 seasickness of 2013?
An Israeli security researcher discovered a huge gaping hole in Gmail’s security which could have revealed the email addresses of every single person using the service. And Google had no idea until he told them.
Oren Hafif says the flaw – which could have left users open to phishing scams and all kinds of internet nasties – uses a sharing feature of Gmail which allows a user to delegate access to their account.
If you tweak the web address, you can reveal the address of a random user. And if you automate that tweak, you can potentially go on forever. Hafif managed to collect 37,000 Gmail addresses in two hours using a piece of legal software called DirBuster.
Hafif, who works for security firm Trustwave said:
‘I could have done this potentially endlessly. I have every reason to believe that every Gmail addess could have been mined.’
But when he reported the flaw, Google took a month to respond, and didn’t even bother to pay him for the tip through their service which rewards hackers for helping to fix bugs.
Eventually Hafif got $500 for his troubles, and Google promptly fixed the flaw. But nobody will ever know whether it was used before that to grab our addresses and send us ‘Please Help Me, I’m On Holiday In Ukraine and I Need You To Send Money’ emails…
And the result is just as terrifying, as they’re going to allow driverless cars on the roads of the world!
The way things stand, the law isn’t exactly useful when it comes to robot cars driving themselves around, and seeing as Google are making these devil-mobiles, things need a shake-up.
Google’s self piloting car has no steering wheel, brake or accelerator, just buttons to start, pull-over, stop and a computer screen to show the route, guided by GPS and Google Maps. Think of all that lovely data Google will be able to mine from that!
Google think that it will relieve humans from the burden of driving – people who actually enjoy the process of driving will no doubt disagree furiously.
In California, it is looking like the Department of Motor Vehicles will be issuing the first licences for self-driving cars and their human pilots THIS September.
The British Department for Transport are looking into it as well, with tests currently going on in Oxford. The Government’s infrastructure plan promises to look at the law, to “ensure there is a clear and appropriate regime for the testing of driverless cars that supports the world’s car companies to come hand test them here.”
The future really is here.
Google is very pleased with their new UK journey planner which they’ve just added to their Maps service. Now you can look at buses, trains and all that.
You can also travel by dragon or by the Loch Ness Monster.
As ever, Google have built some Easter Eggs into a new product and if you look up certain travel routes, the map will offer you normal recommendations, as well as imaginary animals.
So, you can catch a bus to Gravesend, punt through Oxford, take the Royal Carriage from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, or fly on a dragon from Brecon Beacons to Snowdon.
There’s bound to be a lot more Easter Eggs to be found on Maps, but we can’t be bothered looking. We’ll just wait for someone to set up a Tumblr dedicated to it all.
That’s journalism in 2014 for you.
Dyson, mostly known for their unattractive hoovers and those hand dryers that blow so hard that you can actually see the blood going through your veins, apparently invented virtual reality 3D headsets 10 years before Google.
The Dyson Halo was originally developed in 2001, and instead of all the computer gubbins being integrated into the headset, a chunky Walkman-like device was connected to it by a wire and worn on your belt (well, it WAS 2001).
Essentially, though, all the basic components were there. Dyson also invented an early prototype of Siri, a digital helper who would read out emails to the headset wearer.
However, it was not to be – Dyson shelved the project so they could concentrate on building up the brand in the US, but to celebrate their 21st birthday, the company, headed by engineer extraordinaire James Dyson, has released fascinating drawings of the early Halo prototypes.
Perhaps they should look to the future and redevelop it, complete with an integrated face-mounted vacuum cleaner?
Google lost their case in a European court, so now, we all have the right to be forgotten. Basically, if there’s stuff online that you think is irrelevant and you want it removed from Google’s search engine, you can now ask for that to happen.
How do you lose the pointless load? Well, Google have issued a form where you can make your ‘right to be forgotten’ requests online.
The form asks for yours details, the links to the ‘outdated information’, and asks for an explanation of why they should be removed. You’ll also have to provide a scan of your photo ID, so Google know it is you asking, rather than some fraud horsing around or impersonating you.
Google acknowledge that this system might not be perfect as this is their ‘first try’ and they will be “working with data protection authorities” to develop it in the future.
The company haven’t said how long it will take them to action your request: ”We will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”
If you want to see the form, click here.