Posts Tagged ‘google’

EC aren’t cool with Google everywhere

September 24th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google EC arent cool with Google everywhereGoogle news again now, and it seems their case about the whole anti-trust thing seems to snowballing into something bigger.

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.”

Google+ will stop forcing you to do things

September 22nd, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google plus logo Google+ will stop forcing you to do thingsGood news Googlers – you no longer have to have a Google+ account tied in with your activities.

Google are said to have quietly snuffed out the service, which demands you tell it everything during the sign-up process, and then chains itself to your radiator* (*every move on the internet).

Now when you create a new Google account, there’s the option of signing up for a G+ account. And now, you can instead use the new “No thanks” button, and they’ll be on their way.

It doesn’t mean the end of the network, oh no, it’s suggested that they will continue to perservere with it, and improving aspects such as Google Hangouts.

But it sort of gives the idea that Google may not be arsed at foisting it on people willy nilly, and accept that it will never be the level that Twitter and Facebook enjoy.

However you can carry on ignoring it as usual, but it may hamper you leaving app reviews and uploading videos to YouTube and that.

A Google spokesperson said: “We updated the signup experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during signup, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post).”

5 million Gmail adresses and passwords dumped online

September 11th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

gmail logo stylized 300x300 5 million Gmail adresses and passwords dumped onlineNearly 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.

Google cough up refunds for in-app idiocy

September 5th, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

google play logo1 300x190 Google cough up refunds for in app idiocyGoogle have promised to give kids their money back.

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.

The good, the bad: the Google

September 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google The good, the bad: the GoogleMixed fortunes for Google in the surveys, having been voted both Most Liked and Least Liked Media Brand in the annual I-MIS industry reputation survey.

According to the findings of 50 media and tech brands in the report, which is compiled by BSB Media, The Vision Network and the International Advertising Association (IAA), it found that many media brands were liked and disliked in equal measure by their industry colleagues.

Also faring similarly after Google is Facebook, although the amount of response the survey had to people not liking Facebook was greater than those who liked it.

The rest of the Top 5 sees LinkedIn, YouTube and BBC World News.

Their survey said that advertisers had strong attitudes towards Google, whereas agencies had the strongest views about Facebook.

Seeing as the report focused mostly on the internet, it showed that in one-to-one working relationships between media owners and clients, 74% of advertisers thought that face-to-face meetings were the most important way of communicating, with email at 54% and telephone calls 53%.

youtube 300x300 Googles musical YouTube service! Its here!Google’s long rumoured music service is upon us!

YouTube Music Key will feature over 20 million tunes and videos curated especially for the service.

It will offer a 30-day trial for free, and then a monthly subscription giving access to what they’re bugling as “high-quality tracks – complete albums, organised into artist discographies”, specifically for YouTube with both video and audio-only streaming and offline listening.

It’s likely that the service will link in with Google’s current Play Music All Access thing, which also costs £9.99 a month.

According to reports, the YouTube service will offer concert footage, covers and remixes in addition to the official discographies of artists.

Google will offer an enhanced version of YouTube’s existing recommendation engine based on user choice, making suggestions of what to listen to as users watch videos on YouTube.

The service is expected to be offered once they’ve cleared up all the business of licensing and rowing with smaller labels.

That will no doubt be exciting… but won’t stop people enjoying the fruits of the torrent tree.

Want to see where Google have tracked you?

August 18th, 2014 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Google Maps Want to see where Google have tracked you?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 Google and China to team up on massive deep sea cableGoogle’s plans for world domination continue apace as they team-up with five Asian telecom and communications companies to put a gigantic cable under the sea, to connect America to Japan.

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 plus logo Google are scanning emails... but catching child abusersGoogle 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?

Italy gives Google 18 month privacy deadline

July 24th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

google Italy gives Google 18 month privacy deadline The way Google handles data is under fire from Italy, who have given them 18 months to change their ways and improve user privacy.

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.

They said: “We’ve engaged fully with the Italian DPA throughout this process to explain our privacy policy and how it allows us to create simpler, more effective services, and we’ll continue to do so. We’ll be reading their report closely to determine next steps.”

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.

Google Glass 4 We don’t want no Tech Utopia...we dont need no thought control... Do you think the world would be just dandy if it was a headset wearing, liquid food-eating homogenised utopia run by massive tech companies?

Well, you’re in the minority. It seems like there’s a old school backlash brewing against the constant onslaught of technology – so you’d better watch out where you wear your Google goggles.

San Francisco, home of Google, is rebelling. And if the recent anger aimed at Silicon Valley is anything to go by, it looks like we really don’t want tech companies and their inventions interfering in our human interaction and daily routines.

In California, there have been vocal demonstrations and attacks on Google’s private employee buses, which operate in the Bay Area. Then a Google Glass wearer, Sarah Slocum, was attacked in a bar by a woman who claimed that Google was ‘killing the city’.

The onslaught of tech is also killing jobs. San Francisco restaurant workers are campaigning for a wage increase –and in response a Conservative lobby group who works for the US restaurant industry to threatened to replace staff with iPads.

And some of Silicon Valley’s ideas are verging on the insane. It’s even happy to crowd fund the sinister liquid food replacement Soylent – with Google’s Justine Tunney actually suggesting that they could feed it to poor Americans to make them healthy and productive.

So the old idea that if you don’t like technology, you’re a prehistoric fossil, is over. San Francisco may be a hub of artists, hippies, punks and musicians, but it’s clear that people getting increasingly concerned about the influence that social media and new tech products have over our minds and choices.

What do you think? Are we in danger of becoming oppressed Orwellian robot slaves? Or is Glass just a handy way to find a good restaurant?

Google contact lenses are the future

July 16th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Google Smart Contact Lens Project Google contact lenses are the futureFancy having robot eyes like that woman who gets sucked into the giant computer on Superman 3?

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.

Google’s week of wonder continues

June 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung Expands Gear Portfolio with Android Wear2 300x300 Googles week of wonder continuesMy, Google have been busy lately announcing this that and the other.

Now they’ve announced their first smartwatches, powered by its Android Wear operating doodah, and they now available for pre-order.

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live (look over there, it’s a picture of one) – both featuring rectangular screens – mark an attempt to standardise the way Android wearable devices function. Google also mentioned that Motorola’s circular Moto 360 would not be released until late Summer.

A gentleman by the name of Steffen Sorrell from Juniper Research told the BBC that: ”The problem with smartwatches so far has been that the sector hasn’t quite decided what it wants to be – is it a phone on your wrist or an accessory device.”

“Once you introduce Android Wear, it will hopefully provide a more focused case for what the devices are capable of. And that’s a direction that could invigorate the market.”

The G Watch should cost £145 and will be made available to 12 countries, such as Germany, France, Japan, US and here. Samsung said the Gear Live would cost (£118).

They’re out on July 7 and you’ll need to have a phone running Android 4.3 or above.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL

Google have also announced Android Auto for the car, which will feature voice-controlled access to Google Maps, text messaging and apps.

The voice recognition feature means that users should never have to remove their hands from the wheel of their vehicle to use the system.

They’re basically out to enslave us all then.

Google gives you Domains

June 25th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google plus logo Google gives you Domains Google have quietly launched Google Domains.

The search engine with ideas above its station have soft launched Google Domains as an invite-only affair.

So if you finally want to claim .amazing or .hotcockaction, you can!

It’s being billed as an easy way to set up an address on the Web with simple management tools, yet Google had always carped on about that it didn’t do it, and suggested the likes of GoDaddy

Google Domains, though, has features that might make people think twice before going with other registration services. For instance, Google will cover the cost for private registration—that is, keeping your name, address and contact information from the public eye.

The service also includes branded email, such as you@your_company.com, and forwarding to other domains or websites.

Google is billing its vast Internet infrastructure as another perk, promising quick and reliable links between the domain and its websites.

EXCITING TIMES.

THE AMAZON FIRE HAS ARRIVED

June 19th, 2014 1 Comment By Lucy Sweet

Amazon Fire THE AMAZON FIRE HAS ARRIVED If you’ve always fancied talking to Yoda on your holophone, then grab yourself the brand new Amazon Fire smartphone.

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?