Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

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This year has already brought Google Fiber announcements to Provo, UT and Austin, TX— and AT&T has plans to try and keep up with Google as well. Now, it looks like Los Angeles is getting involved in the fiber-based internet game with a massively ambitious project to bring fiber to all of its 3.5 million residents and businesses. According to a report from Ars Technica, the city wants all of its residents to have free access to this network, with speeds ranging from 2Mbps to 5Mbps; that free tier might possibly be subsidized by advertising. Additionally, paid tiers will offers speeds of up to one Gigabit. The city will issue an RFP (request for proposal) for this ambitious project next month, with the build-out estimated to cost somewhere between $3 billion and $5 billion.

Los Angeles, however, will not be footing the bill for this rollout. “The city is going into it and writing the agreement, basically saying, ‘we have no additional funding for this effort.’ We’re requiring the vendors that respond to pay for the city resources needed to expedite any permitting and inspection associated with laying their fiber,” said Los Angeles Information Technology Agency GM Steve Reneker. He also said it was likely that whoever wins the RFP will likely build out TV and telephone service, as well, though they won’t be required to. “I would think that’s how they’ll justify the build out, is being able to offer triple play],” Reneker said.

Additionally, Los Angeles wants the network to be open, with the vendor selling access wholesale to other providers, who would then sell to customers. “We’re not looking at trying to… be monopolistic and try to force anybody out of the market,” Reneker said. Regardless of who ends up selling the service, Google Fiber isn’t an option to win the contract in its current form — the service right now only is offered to residential customers, not businesses. Of course, Google could change its current business model if it wants to get in on this massive build-out for Los Angeles. The city plans to accept bids for three months, and then expects a lengthy six- to nine-month review and negotiation process before the job can get started.

Source: http://www.theverge.com

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Google Chrome, a browser built on the Blink layout engine that aims to be minimalistic and versatile at the same time, is now at version 31.0.1650.26 Beta.

After the release of a development and stable version, a new Google Chrome Beta is now available, bringing a few much needed changes and improvements.

According to the announcement, a “kiosk_only” manifest attribute has been added for platform apps, a content switch has been added to turn off unprefixed MediaSource API, a wrong policy used for secondary users has been corrected, a tablet layout regression has been corrected, and much more.

A complete list of bug fixes and changes can be found in the official changelog.

Download Google Chrome 31.0.1650.26 Beta for Windows
Download Google Chrome 31.0.1650.26 Beta for Mac OS X
Download Google Chrome 31.0.1650.26 Beta for Linux

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As announced on May 15, 2013, games inside plus.google.com will be retired on June 30, 2013. If you would like to continue playing a particular game, contact the game’s developer to find out if there’s a new destination site for the game. Some of the game pages on plus.google.com/games have a link to an alternative site where you can continue to play the game.

What about payments I’ve made in the game?

Some games will be migrating data to an alternative destination site where you can continue to use your unused payments. Other games are offering a grace period in which you can use any available credits before the game is shutdown. Contact the game developer for further information.

What is Google Play game services?

Google Play game services is a cross-platform game service and SDK on Android, iOS, and the web, enabling a rich set of in-game user experiences for cross screen gaming. Games that use game services can bring you many great experiences, including:

  • Achievements: record and celebrate your greatest gaming accomplishments.
  • Social & Public Leaderboards: Google+ powered leaderboards report your in-game scores between friends and across the world.
  • Cloud save: games automatically store your game saves, progress and preferences for Android, iOS, and web.
  • Real-time multi-player: connect up to 4 players simultaneously for cooperative and competitive game play on Android.

To find great titles using Play game services, visit the Google Play Store.

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An “inside source” has told Digital Trends that Google and WhatsApp are close to making a deal. The source says that Google want to buy the very successful WhatsApp multi-platform messaging service but the WhatsApp team are “playing hardball” and trying to squeeze more cash out of the Mountain View search giant.

WhatsApp is available for all the major, and minor, mobile platforms including Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. If Google could acquire it then build it into its existing services to unify its messaging options it could achieve a big user boost. WhatsApp is extremely popular; it’s the most popular mobile app in over 100 countries and on New Year’s Eve 2012 a record 18 billion WhatsApp messages were sent and received by users.

Will Google make it free but ad sponsored?

WhatsApp’s monetization scheme is different to Google’s ads and sponsored search approach. The popular messaging app is currently supported by a $0.99 yearly fee and also generates revenue through partnerships with mobile telcos who offer WhatsApp usage add-ons to mobile tariffs. It will be interesting to see if a Google acquisition would change this model drastically.

Facebook has recently initiated a push into mobile with Facebook Home. Mr Zuckerberg also realises the importance of messaging to engage users and the Chat Heads application is probably the most important part of the launcher/suite after the Facebook Cover Feed home screen itself. Incidentally both Facebook and Google have reportedly approached WhatsApp before, late in 2012.

Google has been rumoured to be getting ready to launch a messaging service called Babel to tie together all its communications services into a unified hub. Could a WhatsApp acquisition and integration be an almost off-the-peg solution with the advantage of a huge existing user base? We should find out more about these plans by the time Google I/O takes place in May or earlier if the deal is sealed.

tv-pure googleHappy first of April ~ April Fools’ Day is celebrated in many countries on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when people play practical jokes and hoaxes on each other.

While spending my Monday morning investigating the latest news and comical images on Reddit and Google, I came across this ingenious post for Google’s new scentsation in search:

google scent

The new scentsation in search

  • Coming to your senses: go beyond type, talk, and touch for a new notation of sensation.
  • Your internet sommelier: expertly curated Knowledge Panels pair images, descriptions, and aromas.
  • Take a whiff: the Google Aromabase – 15M+ scentibytes.
  • Don’t ask, don’t smell: For when you’re wary of your query – SafeSearch included.

Have a look at the full page in all it’s glory: Google Nose

Rovio’s latest game, Bad Piggies, is now available via Google Play and the App Store, and as a PC and Mac download, but it has not yet made its way to the Chrome Web Store. These pigs can indeed fly – “Bad Piggies,” the spinoff to the monster hit game “Angry Birds,” set a new record by soaring to the top of the charts just three hours after release.

Scammers have quickly taken advantage of this, introducing bogus versions of Bad Piggies into the Chrome Web Store that exist primarily to serve up in-browser advertisements thanks to a few plug-in permissions.
Barracuda Networks’ lab today discovered a knock-off of the new and wildly popular “Bad Piggies” game which includes a phishing plug-in that may have injected an aggressive adware program into more than 82,000 Chrome browsers.
The lack of a free online version for Bad Piggies left space for others to capitalize on the instant success of the game. Just days after the game launched, Jason Ding, a research scientist from Barracuda Networks, found seven free versions of the games in the Google Chrome web store.
Jason Ding notes that all of these games are being distributed by the same site: playook.info. After installation, the games insert their own advertisements into popular websites. Barracuda found that after deploying the games in a test environment, they inserted advertising from playook.com into sites like Myspace, eBay, IMDB, Yahoo and MSN among dozens of other sites on the Chrome browser.
If you have already installed, uninstall them immediately and change your passwords on other websites if possible,” Barracuda said. The firm also warned users to be wary of plugins that requires a lot of suspicious permissions.

The Google engineer who wrote a program that collected personal data from wi-fi networks told at least two other colleagues, a report has revealed.

Google released the full investigation conducted by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It said senior staff on the Street View team were unaware of the plans.
The company was fined $25,000 (£15,300) earlier this month for impeding the FCC’s investigation, but was ruled to not have broken the law.

The report came two weeks after a heavily redacted version was released by the FCC at the time of the original fine.
It detailed how one Google engineer, referred to only as “Engineer Doe”, produced a computer program capable of collecting data from people’s unsecured home wireless networks.

The data gathered included contents of some emails and web browsing history. ‘Collect, store and review’
The collection took place while Google was photographing areas in its Street View car between 2008 and 2010.
“Engineer Doe specifically told two engineers working on the project, including a senior manager, about collecting payload data,” the agency said in its report.
“Engineer Doe intended to collect, store and review payload data for possible use in other Google projects.”

However, the investigation added that other senior managers on the Street View team were unaware of Engineer Doe’s actions.
Google said it wanted to now “put the matter behind us”.
“We decided to voluntarily make the entire document available except for the names of individuals,” the company said.
“While we disagree with some of the statements made in the document, we agree with the FCC’s conclusion that we did not break the law.”

Source: www.bbc.com