Japanese scientists Isao Echizen from the National Institute of Informatics and his colleague Seiichi Gohshi from Kogakuin University, believe that the Google Glass and smart surveillance cameras with computer algorithms that allow for face recognition in the future play a major role in the withdrawal of the last havens of our privacy, and therefore began to develop a system that would successfully fight against it last year.
The General Manager of Microsoft's applications for large companies, Julia White, told the New York Times that Google has not yet proven that it is really serious with their business applications. According to her words, Google is still mainly an advertising company and that 96% of its revenue comes from ads, while only 4% comes from services to business users.
Google has made the statement that users of Gmail not only have consented to any electronic snooping and scanning of their communication, but have no reasonable expectation that their mail will remain private anyway. The revelation comes through a brief filed by Google to dismiss a data-mining suit against them. In it they describe the act of sending email through their services as if you are handing your letter to someone else. They seem to forget that letters are processed by the post office (or other carrier) and during transit cannot legally be opened. This makes the analogy very inaccurate indeed.
We have talked before about an app called Flipboard which is one of the best news readers for smartphones and tablets. The problem so far is that there is not really any good alternative for Android. Sure there is Google’s Currents but that is slow to refresh and rather bulky. Now Android users can rejoice as with the Galaxy III from Samsung we can see Flipboard from android for the first time. For those of you that do not want to wait on the app you can always head over to the XDA forums and grab it early.
Google and Samsung are doing something very interesting in regards to the ban that Jude Lucy Koh imposed at the request of Apple. As I am sure you all know Apple is claiming that Google and Samsung are violating their patent on universal search and are requesting that the phone be removed from stores in the US to prevent Apple from being irrevocably harmed (which is a very dubious claim). Originally Judge Koh had denied the request, but then did a complete 180 after an appeals court asked her to review the case again.
Although it was rumored (and possibly shown off at CES 2012) the long awaited Nexus 7 (I wonder is the Tyrell corporation was involved) 7-inch tablet from Google is coming today to be officially launched during the Google I/O conference. The new tablet will feature 1GB of RAM and a quad (quint?) core Tegra 3 under the screen. For capacity you will get either 8 or 16GB and all of the usual trimmings (no 3G though). The pricing and size would indicate it is intended to rival both the iPad and the Kindle Fire.
*** Update It is live, real and you can buy this new tablet from Google and Asus!***
Although Google is probably the leader in internet advertising they are now taking their cues from Facebook. According to Google’s new terms and conditions they are giving themselves the rights to any images you post for advertisements. After Facebook’s recent slap on the wrist for illegally using the images of their users for advertising Facebook used the ruling to make important changes to their data usage policy which ensured they would still be able to use the data they wanted. It would seem that others were looking into this and are now making changes to follow Facebook’s lead.
So it appears that Google thinks people should use their Chrome Browser even if they work at a company that restricts things of this nature (often with very good reason). Although you will not hear much about this it has been a well-documented fact that Chrome caches web pages (even in private mode) and also runs certain applications after Chrome is closed. These APIs read and write data to the System Volume Information folder and also do a few other things that are suspicious at best. This (amongst over things) has caused more than a few companies to ban the browser from use inside the corporate network.
However, Google still thinks that it has the right to let people by-pass these restrictions and install software that is not authorized. They have done this with a plug-in called Chrome-Frame. Chrome Frame is an API that allows a web page to be rendered using Chrome’s engine inside the currently running browser. I guess this is for people that do not want to use multiple browsers, and is fine as long as it is something they want to install and (in the case of someone at their place of employment) it is authorized to be installed. This was not good enough for Google though, they have written a version of the plug-in that allows this to be installed with elevated privileges by-passing restrictions that are in place to prevent this from happening.
Now, I know there are some that will not understand why this is bad. They will say that people should be able to view the internet and that companies that are still on IE6 or 7 (which are no longer supported by GMAIL and other Google sites) are hindering their employees. However, most companies have fairly strict policies on browsing. This is mostly to prevent malware but also to help increase productivity. I know at more than one company I have worked for we provided internet systems in the break room and lunch room, but prevented all browsing on the users workstations. We also were never hit with a virus on any user desktop, but had them on the employee internet systems. So it is not unusual to place these restrictions on browsing. It is entirely wrong (not to mention arrogant) of Google to create something that by-passes these restrictions. It also opens up a vector for attack as someone will find a way to usurp the plug-in and execute code through that elevated API, it is nothing short of Malware all on its own.
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It’s not a big secret that Google has come to the Android by the acquisition, and not by their own creation of a mobile operating system, but since the project began to develop in their plants, until now it has been led by Andy Rubin, who some consider to be the "father of Android."
There are sometimes items that show up in the market that seem to point to something on the horizon that could be quite interesting. Although when we first saw the news that Facebook had picked up another Apple employee (this time the UI designer for iWeb and Numbers) we did not think much about it. Now however, there is something else that is on the horizon and that seems to counter some information that we had before about a possible Facebook phone. This is the news that RIM might be considering selling off their handset business.