Posts Tagged ‘google’

google Google lose appeal and are going to get sued over privacy concernsGoogle have lost their Court of Appeal bid to prevent British consumers having the right to sue them in the UK.

Pardon? Well, a group called Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking (which has the frankly rubbish aconym of SUAGST) want to sue the internet behemoth in the English courts over what they claim are Google bypassing security settings to track them online.

Three appeal judges have dismissed Google’s appeal against a High Court ruling and ruled that claims for damages can be brought over the allegations of Google’s misuse of private information.

The Safari Users say that Google’s “clandestine” tracking and collation of internet usage (between the summer of 2011 and early 2012) led to distress and embarrassment among UK users. You might not remember that, because as a BW reader, you’re in a constant state of embarrassment and distress, so all the years roll into one.

Anyway, the group say that Google collected private info through cookies, without their information.

Dan Tench, a partner at law firm Olswang, who are representing the group, said this case decides “whether British consumers actually have any right to hold Google to account in this country”. Tench added: ”This is the appropriate forum for this case – here in England where the consumers used the internet and where they have a right to privacy.”

Lord Dyson, Master of the Rolls, and Lady Justice Sharp said in their joint judgement, with which Lord Justice McFarlane agreed: “On the face of it, these claims raise serious issues which merit a trial. They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and collation of information, often of an extremely private nature… about and associated with with the claimants’ internet use, and the subsequent use of that information for about nine months.”

“The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused.”

Google ready Nexus Player

March 25th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

nexus player 300x300 Google ready Nexus PlayerGoogle wants to get in on all that lovely television action that everyone else is weighing into. Apple are going to start streaming TV shows, and Amazon have their Fire TV box and stick. The internet godzilla is prepping the launch of the Nexus Player on 26th March in the UK.

As you’d expect, the Nexus Player will let you stream films and telly programmes from Netflix and Amazon Instant Video. Of course, this is pointless if you have a console, but for non-gamers, this is a good move and yet another option to look at.

That said, this offering from Google hasn’t exactly won everyone over in America, Canada and Japan.

One problem is that the Nexus Player us likely to cost somewhere in the region of £75 and, if you want to play games on it, then the joypad is another £30.

Google haven’t made an official announcement on all this, but the product has appeared on an Amazon listing.

Is there any point buying one if you can already stream Netflix from other devices to your television, for a much cheaper price?

Google tracking your every move

March 19th, 2015 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

A lot of people don’t like the power Google have online, and this won’t help the internet giant any further.

If you have an Android phone and a Google account, then you might have been tracked without you knowing. Now, this’ll be old news to some, but it seems like there’s a good number of people out there who still have no idea.

Not to worry though – you can stop being tracked really easily

First off, watch this short video which tells you about how you’re being tracked and how you can see where you’ve been – provided you had your phone in your pocket – via a section on Google Maps.

As you can see, you can go back in time and see where you’ve been on a Google Map, which may well give you the willies, but it is easy enough to fix.

First off, you should switch your location services off on your mobile. You’ll find that in your settings. Some apps ask you to turn your location on, but you don’t have to. Twitter doesn’t need to know where you are and if you’re using something like Tinder which requires your location to show you who wants to hump nearby, then only switch your location on when it is needed.

As the video shows, it is really easy to delete your location history, and you can find out more on that, here.

Google: now checking your apps

March 18th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

android apps 300x187 Google: now checking your appsGoogle have just tinkered with their Play Store policies, which means that from now, Android developers are going to have to wait for their apps to be approved by the Internet Behemoth once they’ve been submitted.

Before now, Google didn’t bother with such things and only looked at apps once they’d been reported for violating its policies or whatever. Now, they’re going to preside over everything like Apple do with theirs. However, Google say that no-one will notice much difference as they’ve actually been doing it for months now.

“We value the rapid innovation and iteration that is unique to Google Play, and will continue to help developers get their products to market within a matter of hours after submission, rather than days or weeks,” Google’s product manager for Google Play, Eunice Kim, wrote. “In fact, there has been no noticeable change for developers during the rollout.”

It seems that’s the main difference between Android and Apple – the time it takes for apps to be verified, as Apple is known for their lengthy approval process.

In addition to this, Google will also be issuing a new age-based rating system, so the kidz don’t have to be flooded with genitals and gore. Probably.

This means that developers are going to have to fill-in a questionnaire about their new (and existing) apps so that they can be given an accurate rating. The questionnaires are available to developers now and Google reckon that apps “may be blocked in certain territories or for specific users,” if developers don’t submit them by May.

Google opens a shop in London

March 11th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

google Google opens a shop in LondonGoogle have thrown open the doors on their first branded shop, choosing the lovely location of Tottenham Court Road in London, at a Currys PC World. The glamour is all too much for us.

Imaginatively, the shop will be called The Google shop, and of course, it will flog Android phones and devices as well as Chromebook laptops and the Chromecast TV dongle. Maybe you’ll be able to buy bits of internet as well. We just don’t know.

For that cuddly, holistic, we’re trying to do things differently because we’re from the internet feel, you’ll also be able to go in and have a tutorial with some people in Chuck Taylor Converse trainers, who will show you how to get the most out of Google apps and things.

This is the first time that Google have opened a shop in their own name and it looks like it is the way things are going, with Amazon looking at doing something similar (they’re going to do theirs in New York though). These shops will be different from Androidland (yes, really) and Chromezone. This will be an in-store concession inside the Currys PC Word and they’ll be opening up more, with plans to have The Google Shop inside the Currys PC Worlds in Fulham, and Thurrock, Essex.

James Elias, the UK marketing director for Google, said: “We’re incredibly excited to launch this space – the first of its kind anywhere in the world – in London with Currys PC World. The pace of innovation of the devices we all use is incredible, yet the way we buy them has remained the same for years.”

“With the Google shop, we want to offer people a place where they can play, experiment and learn about all of what Google has to offer; from an incredible range of devices to a totally-connected, seamless online life. We think it’s a genuinely unique try-before-you-buy experience.”

The shops will also… get this… host ‘Virtual Space Camps’, which isn’t something that will make you float around in pretend zero gravity, but rather, will be classes to teach children the basics of coding. Nice idea – dreadful name. Anyway, if you want to go and stand next to some Google, you know where to go.

YouTube – now with child controls

February 20th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

youtube 300x300 YouTube   now with child controlsNow we know that you can hide dirty films on YouTube, Google are launching a version of their video service that is designed for kids, which basically means it’ll be full of controls (that they’ll be able to bypass within seconds of looking at it) and child-appropriate content.

It’ll be a free app called, imaginatively, ‘YouTube Kids’ and is available from the relevant sources from next week.

Google aren’t making any comments about whether or not they’ll be displaying commercials and pop-up ads to children, but you can safely assume that they will be. What would be the point in them doing it otherwise?

“The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there’s a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children,” said Pavni Diwanji, vice president for engineering at Google.

Basically, one of the motivating factors is that Google tend to make their products with adults in mind, so they’re rejigging some stuff so they’ll cater to children better. And of course, there’s huge amounts of money to be made from kids nagging their parents.

However, one sticking point that is sure to become a loud argument over the next few months, is Google mining the information of children. They’ll inevitably have to get a system in place where they get parents to verify consent. Naturally, there’s a whole host of websites and games that kids use, so it won’t be difficult for Google to figure it all out. The app itself will filter certain words out as well, but seeing as children will be able to use the normal YouTube app and type things into search engines, it doesn’t really matter too much.

One interesting thing is that parents will be able to set time limits on how long their offspring will be able to use the app for, as well as being able to switch the sound off and stop the search function being available.

Google to let you build your own phone from March

February 16th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

google plus logo Google to let you build your own phone from MarchHave you ever wanted to build your own customisable mobile phone? Most of you are probably quite happy to simply buy one that is ready-made, but Google see a future in having phones that are built by you, so your phone can be filled with things that you want.

They’re going to unveil such a thing at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 in Barcelona, giving the world the first proper look at their modular mobiles.

This is all part of a thing called Project Ara and Toshiba are in on it too, developing a 5 megapixel camera module for Google’s Spiral 2, which is a phone that allows you to swap modules and gives you flexibility on what hardware your phone has.

One huge advantage with these modular phones, is that, should you break the screen on it, instead of buying a whole new handset, you can just buy a new screen and replace it yourself, without being one of those people who owns a soldering kit and likes pulling phones to bits for fun.

It looks like the phones will be unveiled next month, in March and the price will range from $50 to $500, depending on what base you want to work from.

More news when we get it – until then, here’s a video to explain it all and give you, dear reader, the chance to not read these words in the article itself.

Google to redesign Glass so you don’t look daft

February 6th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

google glasses 300x200 Google to redesign Glass so you dont look daftGoogle had to retreat on their Glass project because people just aren’t ready to wear what is ostensibly a mobile phone on their face or, perhaps more pertinently, they look really stupid.

Well, they haven’t given up entirely on the idea as it transpires that Google are looking at completely redesigning the wearable technology, so people don’t look like massive divs while wearing them.

Google will be completely redesigning the frames from scratch and they won’t be released to the public until they’re happy with how they look, so don’t expect any pre-production models for developers and tech fiends.

While the glasses as we know them aren’t in production any more, Google have still be working with Glass. The most notable thing they’re doing is working Tony Fadell, who set up the ‘smart home’ project of Nest. The Internet Giant has also been working with jewellery designer Ivy Ross too.

Fadell has taken control of Google Glass and said that “early Glass efforts have broken ground and allowed us to learn what’s important to consumers and enterprises alike… I’m excited to be working with Ivy to provide direction and support as she leads the team and we work together to integrate those learnings into future products.”

Working with someone who designs nice things means that Google will be aiming to create wearable technology that is functional and stylish, and thereby trying to sidestep people being called Glassholes who wear them.

So, Glass isn’t dead-in-the-water, but rather, being kept back until they look like the kind of thing people might actually want to buy. They’re going to have to work on the price too. Get both of these things right, and Google could have a smash on their hands.

Project Tango Googles Project Tango to 3D scan the whole world!Google’s Project Tango, the 3D-scanning camera, has gone from a thing that lay in their experimental labs, to something that is going to appear in your real life world.

Basically, it started off as a concept for mobiles which would scan the world around it in three glorious dimensions, which could then be modelled and used for augmented reality and all that futuristic good stuff (or, worrying Dystopian future hell, depending on your view of technological developments).

One of the practical uses would be that Project Tango users could utilise the technology to map their home, so you could use the dimensions before buying a sofa online, or whatever. Google also pointed out that it could help blind people get around too.

They’re looking at making money out of it too, which means it will definitely be hawked around the video game industry to see if it can be integrated into games.

So, from Google’s experimental Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) wing, it has gone to a “new home within Google”, which the company announced in a G+ post. They said: “We’re excited about the continued commitment to developing the technology for our users — we wish our fellow pirates fair winds and following seas.”

Rumour has it that Google have already been talking to LG so we can get the technology at some point this year. However, Google should take caution because the world wasn’t exactly set alight by Google Glass.

Anyway, the Project Tango Development Kit will let tinkerers and engineers to muck around with the technology and start developing apps for it, which means retailers will be jumping on it to see how they can make their products come alive in some virtual space or what have you.

Google to take on Uber?

February 3rd, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Google Maps Google to take on Uber?A lot of people hate Uber, but there’s no denying that they’re everywhere at the moment, doing rather well for themselves despite all the bad press.

Despite the laws made against them, the biggest threat to their business could be Google.

A while ago, Google Ventures – the internet giant’s venture capital wing – invested huge sums in Uber (in advance of $250m) and it looked like they were keeping an eye on it, and thinking about an eventual takeover. David Drummond, Google’s chief legal officer and senior vice president of corporate development, joined the Uber board of directors and is still there.

However, rumours abound that Google might be rivals, rather than the boss of Uber with mutterings that they’re preparing their own taxi app service. It has been reported that Uber have been told of this and that there’s even been screenshots of Google’s rumoured taxi hailing app.

If Google are successful in making cars that drive themselves, then they could also end up with a fleet of autonomous taxis, which is very futuristic.

That all said, Google are currently denying all this, after firing off a tweet which said: “We think you’ll find Uber and Lyft work quite well. We use them all the time.”

That’s not going to stop these rumours though.

While Uber’s app is synced up with Google Maps software, Google will be aware that there’s huge amounts of money to be made from a service like this. Uber came from nowhere and is now one of the world’s biggest startups, valued at $40 billion and operating in over 54 countries. Some people don’t trust the Uber brand yet, but with Google branding, they just might.

No more random reviews on Google Play?

December 29th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

google play No more random reviews on Google Play?You’ve been on Google Play weighing-up an app to download, and you decide to check the reviews. One random user says ‘OMG this is th most amazin thing EVA’, while another says ‘Perfect – this app improves my mobile experience no end!’

You then spend your time wondering whether the reviewer is thick or works for the app, thereby becoming hugely untrustworthy.

Of course, these user reviews aren’t wholly helpful and Google appear to be concerned about it all too, saying that developers are now prohibited from using testimonials within their apps’ descriptions at the Google Play Store.

“Please do not include user testimonials in your app description. They tend to be dubious and are frequently utilized to include references to popular search terms and competitor apps in violation of the policies outlined here. Let your users speak for themselves via Play’s comment review system,” reads an update to Google’s developer guidelines.

So, while that means there’ll still be odd reviews, at least developers won’t be able to use them in testimonials. Google wants to put a stop on developers artificially inflating their apps’ standings in Google Play search listings because, well, manipulating search results is Google’s job, right?

“To help ensure the best experience for Android users, Google Play policies prohibit the publication of spam. Please do not publish unwanted, deceptive, repetitive, or irrelevant content on Google Play. Not only will it lower your app’s rating and cause negative reviews, it can result in your app being suspended or your developer account being terminated,” add Google.

Google to start publishing song lyrics

December 24th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

2Unlimited 300x261 Google to start publishing song lyricsEver found yourself struggling with the lyrics of ‘No Limits’ by 2 Unlimited? Are you that person who sings “sparing his life from his warm sausage tea” in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody?

Well, Google want to help you out.

They’re going to start publishing song lyrics online and they’ve hired some special staff to transcribe and catalogue songwords, so you can look for the lyrics of your favourite songs. Of course, there’s already sites that do this, but Google aren’t fussed about that and will bump Lyricsmania down the rankings in no time at all.

It will be a little different to normal search results. If you search for phrases like “Love Action lyrics” or “Cruel To Be Kind lyrics”, the song lyrics will appear at the top of the page, rather than appearing in the normal search results. The third-party sites will appear just below them. It’ll be interesting to see what Metro Lyrics and (Rap) Genius do next.

A Google spokesperson said: “There’s a feeling you get when you turn to a song and you know that the words have two meanings. Well it’s whispered that now if you go search the tune, maybe Google will lead you to reason. Ooh, it makes you wonder.”

An infuriating nod to the most dadrock of all songs, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, there.

Billboard reckon Google have been working on this for a while, saying: “They’ve done direct licensing deals with the major publishers to enable the service, and they’re doing it internally at the moment. The data isn’t crowd-sourced; there’s a team of people working to create the database.”

Of course, Google could well be welcoming a load of legal action with this, as various music publishers and record companies have thrown out take-down notices to a variety of sites for hosting unlicensed lyrics. However, it is one thing taking on a little website, it is quite another taking on a company that acts like it owns the internet.

Still, at least you’ll be able to work out the lyrics for ‘Louie Louie’ easier.

Google to introduce one-click shopping?

December 18th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

google Google to introduce one click shopping?You’ve inevitably seen Amazon’s one-click ordering button, and it looks like Google want in on the action too.

A report reckons that Google’s ‘Shopping’ tab will soon allow you to buy stuff without going through menus and the like.

So does that mean Google are getting into the idea of e-commerce? Not quite - Google won’t be selling the products directly, which means that the internet behemoth is likely to team up with business partnerships with other retailers.

Sounds like it is going to be slightly more faffy than Amazon’s offerings.

Talks with retailers are said to be in preliminary stages, and, if rumours are to be believed, Google like the idea of to-day shipping, again, very similar to Amazon who have Amazon Prime.

As these talks are in the very early stages of development, it could mean that Google ditch the idea after weighing up all the pros and cons. However, Google want more of your data and online behaviour patterns, so this is an attractive prospect that they’re obviously going to take seriously.

We’ll just have to wait and see.

What on earth have you been looking at online?

December 17th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers
a child on the internet 300x182 What on earth have you been looking at online?

A boy stood with the internet

Another year is nearly over and Google are looking back at what everyone’s been up to. Of course, in Spain, they won’t get one of these nostalgiafests next year, because Google has fallen out with an entire country.

So what has everyone been searching for through Google in 2014? You’d have to assume the word ‘nudes’ and ‘fappening’ have ranked highly, but then, you also have to assume that Google have only decided to show everyone the PG results of this year.

Concerning the latter, you’d be right. Instead of searches for leaked photos of the nice lady from The Hunger Games, Google say that the number one search of 2014 was Robin Williams, after his untimely death in August.

In second place, unsurprisingly, was the World Cup while in third place was the delight that is Ebola. They were followed by missing Malaysian plan Flight MH370 and then the ALS/Ice Bucket Challenge. Oddly, at number six in the chart, was the infuriating Flappy Bird.

Then, finishing off the top ten, we find Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst, those folks who make up ISIS, the Frozen movie and the Sochi Winter Olympics.

When it comes to consumer electronics, the iPhone 6 topped the results, followed by Samsung Galaxy S5, Nexus 6, Moto G and the Samsung Galaxy Note.

Seeing as we’re on the internet, you should stop reading all these words and have a nice time watching this thoroughly overblown video, made by Google themselves.

There’s things landing on comets, science and medicine breakthroughs and some political movements… but no nudes at all.

Google to go child-friendly

December 4th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

google Google to go child friendlyGoogle are launching a range of child-friendly versions of its most popular products.

The idea is to make Google fun and safe for children, according to the company’s vice president of engineering, Pavni Diwanji

The Google looks like it will create more child-friendly versions of their services, such as YouTube and Chrome, and will be aimed at the nippers below the age of 12.

According to USA Today, there’s no specific date or timeline for the rollout, but you know: BE AWARE.

Diwanji said: “We want to be thoughtful about what we do, giving parents the right tools to oversee their kids’ use of our products”.

Google haven’t said much more than that, but have confirmed that this move is happening.

Obviously, this is good news for concerned parents who don’t want their kiddiewinks looking at sex and violence, but naturally, this all means absolutely nothing to actual children who are all so computer savvy that they’ll know how to circumnavigate anything thrown at them, and they’ll be watching beheading videos and such in no time at all.