Read a little. Learn a lot. • Tightly-written news, views and stuff • Follow us on TwitterBe a Facebook FanTumble us!

01 Mar 2012 22:40


Tech: Three things you need to know about Google’s privacy policy changes

  • one Google consolidated its privacy policies from over 70+ to one; the change took effect today, covering services like Gmail, Google+, Google Docs and Picasa. It will also combine information from across all accounts.
  • two “We can provide reminders that you’re going to be late for a meeting based on your location, your calendar and an understanding of what the traffic is like that day,” said Google’s blog. Creepy or not?
  • threeYou can remove your Google search history, but the company could still be “gathering and storing this information and using it for internal purposes.” It often gives users’ personal info to the government. source
  • » An advertising play: “We can provide more relevant ads too,” Google points out. “For example, it’s January, but maybe you’re not a gym person, so fitness ads aren’t that useful to you.” More relevant for users, possibly, but more relevant for advertisers, too? It’ll be interesting to see what happens a few months down the line with this policy.

22 Feb 2012 21:16


Tech: Crazy but true: Google wants to be your cable TV provider in Kansas City

  • then In May 2011, Google made Kansas City, Missouri the second location of their highly-sought-after Fiber Project. The deal? A reasonably-priced one gigabyte-per-second fiber optic internet connection for roughly 50,000 to 500,000 people. Google: Your internet company.
  • now Google just filed for a video franchise license with the Missouri Public Service Commission. Reports claim Google will do something similar in Kansas next week — suggesting Google’s ready to tackle Time Warner Cable on the television front, too. source

06 Feb 2012 10:33


Tech, World: Google, Facebook forced to block content by Indian high court

  • last month Facing legal complaints that their sites “create enmity, hatred, and communal violence” and “will corrupt minds,” Facebook and Google told an Indian court that they could not block content, and that it would be difficult to pre-screen. The complaint was filed by a journalist, Vinay Rai, who has been on a crusade over this issue.
  • this month Facing an order from the Delhi High Court to block said content from their services, Google and Facebook say they’ve already removed objectionable content, and Facebook has submitted a compliance report to the court on Monday, but not without joining Yahoo and Microsoft in having misgivings on the case. source

31 Jan 2012 00:23


Politics: Obama’s “Hangout” session: The president’s taking resumes (seriously)

  • I meant what I said: if you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there.
  • President Barack Obama • Speaking to a “caller” during his Google+ Hangout today. When Jennifer Wedel mentioned her husband’s lack of employment (he’s a semiconductor engineer), Obama took note. She said that, according to industry reports, her husband “should be able to find something right away.” Five people got to “Hangout” with Obama on Monday, and were offered the chance to ask the president questions about his recent State of the Union address, while other questions were pulled from YouTube videos selected by viewers and Google staff. This social experiment went well considering what new technology was being used. Did you watch? What did you think? source

30 Jan 2012 15:50


Tech: How old does Google think you are? Because, um, they might be wrong

  • Google thinks I’m a senior citizen. Based on the websites you visit and the stuff you search for, Google infers your interests, age and gender, in order to show you more relavent ads (digression: It does this, in part, by having partner websites place a cookie on your computer; more on that here). Anyway, head on over to Google’s Ad Preferences page, and you can see what Google has inferred about you. It’s often less than accurate; for example, Google believes that I am a male above the age of 65. They got the gender right, but overshot my age by roughly 40 years (I guess I have drastically out-of-date tastes). With Google’s recent decision to allow all of its services to share users’ info with one another, it’d be nice if they had some idea of who we actually are. Or perhaps it’s better to remain shrouded in mystery? — Seth @ SFB

23 Jan 2012 23:37


Tech: New bookmarklet turns Google’s unofficial motto against itself

  • “Don’t Be Evil” tool cuts back on Google’s self-promotion: Remember Google’s new social search feature? It features results from your friends — and Google+ accounts — before other results, even if the other social sources are more popular than the Google+ account. The new “Don’t Be Evil” extension “looks at the three places where Google only shows Google+ results and then automatically googles Google to see if Google finds a result more relevant than Google+,” according to Focus On the User. Would you install this? source

23 Jan 2012 11:23


Tech: YouTube’s quickly growing — both in terms of uploads and videos streamed

  • 4 billion videos streamed on YouTube every single day (whoa)
  • 60 hours amount of video uploaded to YouTube every single minute
  • 3 billion number of videos the company monetizes each week source
  • » A quickly growing tally: With Google’s quickly-growing advertising prowess, the company is constantly looking for new ways to monetize content. And with YouTube, it offers a lot of opportunities to build upon the $5 billion in revenue it makes each year from graphical ads (many of which run alongside YouTube videos). The level of uploads and views is quickly growing, too: A year ago, the company had 48 hours of video uploaded per minute back in May, and the level of overall video views jumped by 25 percent from eight months ago.

20 Dec 2011 14:56


Biz: Apple scores court victory against HTC, Android in patent case

  • A bad day for HTC smartphones: While it didn’t represent everything Apple had sought to secure through the legal process, today’s court ruling against HTC struck a blow, and moved along Apple’s bid to prove Google’s Android operating system copied the iPhone. This was, you may remember, a rather intense preoccupation on the part of the late Steve Jobs — the ruling held that some of Android’s data collection software was, in fact, an infringement of Apple’s patent rights, and will cause some HTC phone models to be blocked from sale in the United States starting next year. source

20 Dec 2011 00:53


Tech: Clothing with a twist: Smartphones could gain a couple wearable friends

  • Years ago, researchers envisioned these tiny computers transmitting information to the Internet. It wasn’t what we envisioned, but it happened. It’s called the smartphone.
  • Yael Maguire, a visiting scientist at M.I.T. and Harvard • On the advancement of phone technologies in more wearable directions. Secret projects led by Google and Apple could allow users to carry around lightweight, connected devices that fit in with what you’re already wearing — think a bracelet-style iPod with the ability to talk to Siri whenever you want.  All of this is possible thanks to the invention of the smartphone, which is kind of a wearable computer already. We bet these toys will work perfectly with mock turtlenecks.  source

11 Dec 2011 21:30


Tech: Google’s top execs have a surplus of planes hanging around

  • 8 private jets split up between three top executives, or 2.6 per person source
  • » Say whaaaaaaaaaaaa? The news on this one broke in a somewhat sneaky way — the San Jose Mercury News reported that the executives had offered to pay $33 million to finish restoration of a historic air hangar at Moffett Field, which is a stone’s throw from Google’s Mountain View headquarters. It came out, as a result of this news, that the company has eight jets at its disposal between Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt. Google doesn’t own them, mind you; H211, a separate company that has no formal relationship with Google, operates them. Still, though … you gotta wonder why they need eight jets. If they want, they could give one to us.