Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

Last summer, Google took its Street View camerasto the Amazon, looking to capture the same 360-degree vistas that have made the technology so useful in cities all over the world. Yesterday, the project went live. There goes the rest of your week.

You can now wander around the Amazonian jungle — exploring its rivers, forests, and even remote villages — all from your computer. Says Google:

Take a virtual boat ride down the main section of the Rio Negro, and float up into the smaller tributaries where the forest is flooded. Stroll along the paths of Tumbira, the largest community in the Reserve, or visit some of the other communities who invited us to share their lives and cultures. Enjoy a hike along an Amazon forest trail and see where Brazil nuts are harvested. You can even see a forest critter if you look hard enough!

Click through to the Amazon section of the Street View Gallery to get an idea of what’s available to explore, or start up your copy of Google Earth and get up close and personal with South America’s Amazon Basin. (Looks like you’ll need Google Earth version 6 to explore.)

When Google Public DNS launched in late 2009, it was only ever supposed to be an experiment. But yesterday, Google announced that it’s now the most popular public DNS in the world, handling over 70 billion requests per day.

What is DNS? LEARN HERE

To use Google engineer Jeremy K. Chen’s own simile, as expressed in the official blog entry, DNS – short for Domain Name System – is like the Internet’s phone book. When you put a URL into the browser, the DNS service looks it up and matches it to an IP address. Google Public DNS aims to be the most complete, fastest, and most secure listing of its kind out there for users all over the world.

In fact, Chen writes that 70% of Google Public DNS traffic comes from outside the US, thanks to existing nodes in North and South America, bolstered support in Europe, and all-new nodes for regions like Japan, Australia, India and Nigeria.

Of course, Google critics are wondering what good could come of the search giant having access to even more user data – in this case, a log of every single website that Google Public DNS visitors go to, all day, every day.

Now, Google says that it “never blocks, filters, or redirects users, unlike some open resolvers and ISPs,” but, well, here’s InformationWeek’s rock-solid summary of its privacy policy:

Google also maintains a separate privacy policy for Google Public DNS. The company says it maintains two sets of server logs related to the service: temporary and permanent. The temporary logs contain user IP addresses and those are deleted in 24 to 48 hours (barring a court order to the contrary). The permanent logs, which contain city-level location data but nothing personally identifiable, are retained for at least two weeks. A small random sample taken from the permanent logs is kept indefinitely.

It’s still unclear if Google Public DNS’ privacy policy will be streamlined into Google’s streamlined, unified document that’s going live on March 1st, but regardless, it seems extremely likely that Google will stick to its guns as far as not sharing that data with anyone else. And on a slight tangent, I highly doubt that we’ll see Google Public DNS added to that unified privacy policy, given the comparatively unique legal precautions it’s already caused Google to take.

In the final analysis, the measure of how okay you should be with Google Public DNS and its privacy implications depends on whether or not you feel like Google is, in fact, evil. In the meanwhile, Google’s holding the line that it protects user privacy at all costs.

Thanks to

www.howstuffworks.com

www.zdnet.co.uk

en.wikipedia.org

Google will soon know far more about who you are and what you do on the Web.

The Web giant announced Tuesday that it plans to follow the activities of users across nearly all of its ubiquitous sites, including YouTube, Gmail and its leading search engine.

Google has already been collecting some of this information. But for the first time, it is combining data across its Web sites to stitch together a fuller portrait of users.

Consumers won’t be able to opt out of the changes, which take effect March 1. And experts say the policy shift will invite greater scrutiny from federal regulators of the company’s privacy and competitive practices.

The move will help Google better tailor its ads to people’s tastes. If someone watches an NBA clip online and lives in Washington, the firm could advertise Washington Wizards tickets in that person’s Gmail account.

Consumers could also benefit, the company said. When someone is searching for the word “jaguar,” Google would have a better idea of whether the person was interested in the animal or the car. Or the firm might suggest e-mailing contacts in New York when it learns you are planning a trip there.

But consumer advocates say the new policy might upset people who never expected their information would be shared across so many different Web sites.

A user signing up for Gmail, for instance, might never have imagined that the content of his or her messages could affect the experience on seemingly unrelated Web sites such as YouTube.

“Google’s new privacy announcement is frustrating and a little frightening,” said Common Sense Media chief executive James Steyer. “Even if the company believes that tracking users across all platforms improves their services, consumers should still have the option to opt out — especially the kids and teens who are avid users of YouTube, Gmail and Google Search.”

Google can collect information about users when they activate an Android mobile phone, sign into their accounts online or enter search terms. It can also store cookies on people’s computers to see which Web sites they visit or use its popular maps program to estimate their location. However, users who have not logged on to Google or one of its other sites, such as YouTube, are not affected by the new policy.

The change to its privacy policies come as Google is facing stiff competition for the fickle attention of Web surfers. It recently disappointed investors for the first time in several quarters, failing last week to meet earnings predictions. Apple, in contrast, reported record earnings Tuesday that blew past even the most optimistic expectations.

Some analysts said Google’s move is aimed squarely at Apple and Facebook — which have been successful in building unified ecosystems of products that capture people’s attention. Google, in contrast, has adopted a more scattered approach, but an executive said in an interview that the company wants to create a much more seamless environment across its various offerings.

“If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services,” Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy for product and engineering, wrote in a blog post.

“In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience,” she said.

Google said it would notify its hundreds of millions of users of the change through an e-mail and a message on its Web sites. It will apply to all of its services except for Google Wallet, the Chrome browser and Google Books.

The company said the change would simplify the company’s privacy policy — a move that regulators encouraged.

Still, some consumer advocates and lawmakers remained skeptical.

“There is no way anyone expected this,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a privacy advocacy group. “There is no way a user can comprehend the implication of Google collecting across platforms for information about your health, political opinions and financial concerns.”

Added Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), co-chair of the Congressional Privacy Caucus: “It is imperative that users will be able to decide whether they want their information shared across the spectrum of Google’s offerings.”

Google has increasingly been a focus of Washington regulators.

The company recently settled a privacy complaint by the Federal Trade Commission after it allowed users of its now-defunct social-networking tool Google Buzz to see contacts lists from its e-mail program.

And a previous decision to use its social network data in search results has been included in a broad FTC investigation, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is private.

Federal officials are also looking at whether Google is running afoul of antitrust rules by using its dominance in online searches to favor its other business lines.

Claudia Farrell, a spokeswoman for the FTC, declined to comment on any interaction between Google and regulators on its new privacy changes.

Source Washingtonpost

 

Google has announced a raft of experiments for YouTube under the banner of “Cosmic Panda”.

The changes revolve predominantly around the interface. Activating the Cosmic Panda will give you a new video-watching and playlist experience, extra page designs and editing tools to customise channels, and the ability to keep watching a video while moving between videos, playlists and channels (though this only works in Google’s own Chrome browser).

In a post on the official YouTube blog, product manager Noam Lovinsky wrote: “While you’re watching your favorite or new videos, we at the ‘Tube are obsessing night and day over how those videos are presented. Our team is constantly experimenting, tweaking and playing with new ways to make your experience exactly what you’re looking for.”

You can activate the Panda by heading over to youtube.com/cosmicpanda, and clicking the big blue “Try it out!” button.

黑客的世界 !

The Chinese government has denied any involvement in the recent Gmail phishing attack that Google says originated in China.

Google hasn’t openly accused the Chinese government of being involved in these hacking attacks; instead, it merely pointed out that the attacks originated from Jinan, China, and mentioned that some of them were pointed at Chinese political activists.

Still, even the implication hit the wrong note with Chinese authorities. “Allegations that the Chinese government supports hacking activities are completely unfounded and made with ulterior motives,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters Thursday.

Chinese news agency Xinhua took it a step further, openly blasting Google for failing to provide proof that the recent attacks originated from China. “Just as its previous accusations, the world’s largest Internet search engine provided no solid proof to support its statement,” claims Xinhua.

The incident will further degrade Google’s relations with China. They’re already shaken since Google partially left China in early 2010 because of censorship concerns and an attack on Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists.

Creepy is a software package for Linux or Windows – with a Mac OS X port in the works – that aims to gather public information on a targeted individual via social networking services in order to pinpoint their location. It’s remarkably efficient at its job, even in its current early form, and certainly lives up to its name when you see it in use for the first time.

 

 

Screenshots:

Map with results

Features

Map providers available :

  • Google Maps
  • Virtual Maps
  • Open Street Maps

Location information retieval from :

  • Twitter’s tweet location
    • Coordinates when tweet was posted from mobile device
    • Place (geographical name) derived from users ip when posting on twitter’s web interface. Place gets translated into coordinates using geonames.com
    • Bounding Box derived from users ip when posting on twitter’s web interface.The less accurate source , a corner of the bounding box is selected randomly.
  • Geolocation information accessible through image hosting services API
  • EXIF tags from the photos posted.

Social networking platforms currently supported :

  • Twitter
  • Foursquare (only checkins that are posted to twitter)

Image hosting services currently supported :

  • flickr – information retrieved from API
  • twitpic.com – information retrieved from API and photo exif tags
  • yfrog.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • img.ly – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • plixi.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • twitrpix.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • foleext.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • shozu.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • pickhur.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • moby.to – information retrieved from API and photo exif tags
  • twitsnaps.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags
  • twitgoo.com – information retrieved from photo exif tags

Automatic caching of retrieved information in order to reduce API calls and the possibility of hiting limit rates.

GUI with navigateable map for better overview of the accumulated information

4 Maps providers (including Google Maps) to use.

Open locations in Google Maps in your browser

Export retrieved locations list as kmz (for Google Earth) or csv files.

Handling twitter authentication in an easy way using oAuth. User credentials are not shared with the application.

User/target search for twitter and flickr.

Creepy is the brainchild of Yiannis Kakavas, a 26-year-old academic working on his thesis on critical infrastructure protection at Technischen Universität Darmstadt in Germany following his completion of an MSc in information and communications security at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

To try this totally free application go to http://ilektrojohn.github.com/creepy it is totally worth it.

Google is building a Chrome OS tablet. It’s real, and it’s being built by HTC. No surprise there, since HTC churned out the Nexus One for Google.

Yes, they plan to offer it in conjunction with Verizon, which probably doesn’t come as a shock to anybody at this point. The two recently tag-teamed that Net Neutrality proposal and they’ve had plenty of discussions in the past about cooperating in some capacity.

As for the launch date of November 26th. You can bet Google’s Chrome OS tablet will be heavily subsidized, and I’d go so far as to say it will be substantially cheaper than the iPad if not totally free with a Verizon data contract.

So what will the Google tablet pack for hardware? While our source didn’t provide any specifics, my guess is that the device could be based on NVidia’s Tegra 2 platform and sport a 1280×720 multitouch display, 2GB of RAM, minimum 32GB SSD, WiFi/Bluetooth/LTE connectivity, GPS, webcam, and possibly expandable storage via a multi-card reader. Again, these were not given to us by our source, but expect it to be every bit as geek-tastic as the Nexus One — Google won’t want to disappoint its early adopters.

We may call TV a idiot box but admit that we still love to watch TV whenever we get time. We also love to surf internet most of the time because of our professional and personal needs. What if you can watch TV on your computer and surf internet at the same time?

Yes, you got it right, now with a little extension called TV Chrome, you will be able to watch around 2780 Live TV channels in Google Chrome. In short, TV Chrome is the TV Extension for Google Chrome browser that offers you to watch TV directly from Google Chrome Browser for free. There are more than 2780 Live TV Channels that are sorted by country and category and updated regularly.

This extension is developed by the same developer which earlier came out with toolbar to watch TV in Firefox browser. In Google Chrome, there is a little icon in front of address bar instead of TV Fox toolbar.

Let’s see how it works :

First, download the TV Chrome extension from here. After installing the extension, Chrome TV places a icon next to the address bar. Clicking on it, will open a pop-up window where you can select TV channel to watch by country or category.

Click on the channel you like to watch and it will open-up a pop-up window. By double clicking on the media player, you can watch TV in fullscreen mode.

I think this is the best way to watch live TV online. But as TV Chrome is completely free so it may happen that any of the channel listed will not work at a given point of time. But more than 2780 channels, I am sure you will surely find the interesting one which will work.

Direct Download Link for Chrome TV

As you will probably know, Google Search has had somewhat of a face lift over the last week.

To say there has been an uproar over the latest update would be a lie, but there are plenty of people (as with any change) that would like to see the old version back. To do so is thankfully straight forward, simply make this your default search page:

http://www.google.com/webhp?hl=all

How long this will remain available is unknown but it will at least give you a little more time to accept that change is coming.

Is Google TV the Wave of the Future?

Posted: 12/03/2010 in Google
Tags: ,

Google wants in on the TV business. How badly? It’s not quite clear yet. For a year now, the search giant has been working on a new service that incorporates conventional TV and Internet content, reports The Wall Street Journal. It would run on TV set-top boxes that are connected to the Internet and use Google software. Users will be able to search through and create lineups of content from TV and web video services like YouTube. Though Google won’t comment on the initiative, it has reportedly partnered with Dish Network, a satellite TV provider with about 14-million subscribers. Could Google TV takeoff? Here’s what business and technology writers think:

  • May Succeed Where Others Have Failed, writes Jessica Vascellaro at The Wall Street Journal: “Previous efforts to access Internet programming on TV sets have failed to catch on, partly because they required consumers to purchase extra hardware. By working directly with an operator like Dish and its hardware, Google could avoid the such issues.”
  • Very Promising, writes Sam Diaz at ZDNet: “Linking Web content and traditional TV programming into a searchable database for viewing is a smart idea. Eventually, TV programming will be funneled through the Internet instead of cable and satellite systems. Viewers will need a way to not only find programming but discover new ones, as well. I imagine search will be one of those new ways of discovering programming.”
  • Don’t Hold Your Breath, writes Devindra Hardawar at VentureBeat “Even if all of the cable and satellite providers decide to jump on Google’s TV search service, it will likely be some time before we see it in our living rooms. Rolling out the service would require replacing current set-top boxes, which is something that traditionally happens at a snail’s pace.”
  • Never Gonna Work, writes Douglas McIntyre at Daily Finance: “Google is up against the fact that the majority of set-top boxes in the U.S. are distributed and controlled by major telecom companies, particularly AT&T and Verizon, which have fiber-to-the-home products, and the largest cable companies including Comcast and Time Warner Cable. It is not clear why these firms would want to do business with Google. They have their own advertising sales forces and would hardly want to join the search firm’s online TV ad bidding service. Bidding services tend to drive down ad prices by allowing marketers to search for the cheapest rates.”
  • Lots of Competition Here, notes Daniel Ionescu at PC World: “Notably, Google tech rivals Microsoft and Apple have been making forays into the TV market for years with their own Internet-linked products such as the Windows Media Center and Apple TV. TiVo has also introduced last week a Web-enabled set-top box, which will bring cable programming and streaming content from Internet to TV screens.”