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Internet News Technology

Europe Launches Investigation into Google

Google MonopolyThe European Anti-Trust regulator has launched an investigation into Google over complaints by two rivals that Google demoted their sites on the grounds of being a competitor. Not surprisingly Microsoft filed a complaint with the commission against Google as well. Since when did it become standard business practice to assume your competitor is acting without genuine practices. If that were the case the regulators would have more cases than they know what to do with.

Google smugly responded with: “There is always going to be room for improvement, so we will be working with the Commission to address any concerns”

The commission has severe powers-  they can fine 10% of what the companies global turn over was if they find Google guilty of anti competition. Of course, if they act anything like Microsoft, the appeals process will take decades before any fines are ever paid. The commission will also investigate if the company acted maliciously over partner advertising – I think they are referring to ad-words for website revenue generation here.

References
Yahoo

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Technology

Android the phone for the Enterprise

Mobile Phone SecurityWhen it gets to security, portable equipment has long been a major problem for the corporate world. Mobile phones in particular have been a specially problematic area. They spend most of their life’s out of the physical control of the IT Department. This means that making sure data on them does not fall into the wrong hands is a daunting challenge.

Google seems to have accepted that challenge, and have announced a new suite of administration controls for Android phones using Google Apps.

Features including:

  • Password Quality Checks – Length and Combination of Letters and Numbers Control
  • Remote Data Wiping
  • Withdraw access to corporate data
  • Lock the phone.

The security suite will become available free to premium and education users of Google Apps within the next few days. They are not the only company out there to develop security systems for mobile phone users. However for users already working with Google Apps this might prove to be a more economical patch than going to the competitors. Experts suggest that Google will soon be in a position to compete with Research in Motion, the people behind Blackberry.

References
ZDNet

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Technology

Google Trials Driverless Car and no one was killed

google carThe guys at Google have apparently been testing Driver less cars releasing them on the unsuspecting population of California with a whopping 140,000 miles on the clock it is an impressive display of technology. Driver less cars are not exactly new, but I am not sure they have been as extensively tested in real life situations as the Google team have put their implementation through.

A Software engineer at google in his blog observed that there are benefits: Reduction in death caused by drivers, energy saving and freeing up more productive time. These benefits are definitely a good thing, provided that it works. Reassuring the public he announced that although the cars are driving themselves, safety precautions are in place. Namely a real driver that can at an instance take over should there be a problem and a passenger is monitoring the software powering the car constantly.He also says that local police are informed, I’m not sure if that’s so that if something does go wrong, they can legitimately blame the computer and not take the responsibility.

He further observed: “While this project is very much in the experimental stage, it provides a glimpse of what transportation might look like in the future thanks to advanced computer science.” I can see it now, your sitting in your car, completely blacked out from the outside, Google Maps on the front window, Ad-Words on the side windows, and your search results on the back window. How disturbing.

At least, Google is not the only company working on this technology, and I am certain that the big Car manufacturers will want to get into this field before it becomes the main means of transport in the future.

References
The Gaurdian

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Technology

Do we need to relearn SEO?

Many sites are arguing that Google Instant has changed the way search works dramatically and have even idnicated it could go so far as to be the end of Ad-Words as we know it.

But is it really?

Sure, its cool to see the results as you type, but at the end of the day, you are still typing in a search query containing key words, when you see something that perks your interest you bring in the search results, along with the ad-word generated results too. Just as before, you get to decide what link you want to follow, weather that be generic search results or a paid for ad.

What will change?

Keywords to optimize for. Instead of long search phrases, it will now become essential to optimize your website so that you achive number one for the sub searches. Eg instead of optimizing for whitebunnywabbit, we will need ideally to be number one result for “w”, “wh”, “whi”, “whit” and so on and so forth. Doing so will ensure that as the user is typing they find us as early as possible instead of having to type the full phrase in.

From Google’s point of view, I suspect this change will really claw in a lot more revenue in ad-words. How many sites can you imagine would want to achive number one for every letter of the alphabet? Incidently, “m” leads us to MSN. And apparently, I need to do some SEO for this site! I had to type in the full name before I even got onto the results!

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Technology

Google attacks Skype

Google Phone Service Google has decided to expand their portfolio again. Instead of purchasing the competition like they usually do they are just completing directly. Rivals Skype with their online calling capabilities are facing competition from the newly launched Google Phone service.

From your google mail account you can now place phone calls. Some industry analysts have questioned Googles motives. It allows for calling  from your email account whilst away from the computer. I guess then this means google have essentially made a mobile phone email client that can make phone calls. I am not sure there is a benefit from this other than competing directly with Skype. You wont be saving money on your phone plan as you’ll need to be connected to the phone network in the first place to access your email account.

Wired.com has also looked at this and they concluded that Google is aiming to attack Facebook instead of Skype. Given that consumers will be logged into their email accounts permanently allowing consumers to be tracked by Google.  Whenever Google goes after something  they do seem to manage to pull it off so perhaps they are going after both telecommunications and Facebook but perhaps not in the same go. For now, I shall presume that this is targeting Internet Calls more than Social Networking. Whatever google’s motives are free calls albeit in the US and Canada only but wiht plans to expand outwards can be a good thing.

References
Sky
Wired

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Technology

The iPad has been replaced

Chrome Tablet Apple and HTC/Google have been fighting quite a lot lately. Is it possible that this could really stir up the problems between the three companies.

The new pad on the market ,or at least coming to the market is developed by HTC which has a strong relationship with Google.

If the rumours are true the device will have quite an impressive specification: NVidia Tegra 2 processor, with a 1280×720 multi touch display, 2Gb of RAM, a 32Gb or more of SSD storage, webcam, GPS, and Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 3G networking.

The device is expected to be far cheaper given the special relation ship with US carrier Verizon and is expected that it may ship for as little as the cost of a standard data contract. Given what it does, and the superior operating system over the iPad this could quite easily replace the iPad completely as the next big thing.

References
PCWorld
cNET

Categories
Technology

Bank of Google to open soon

Piggy BankGoogle as we all know are planning something big. But in the latest acquisition it could reveal a lot about the company plans. Google has already been dabbling in the financial industries market in the form of Google Checkout. A service which is proving popular with new business looking to start accepting cards for their websites at a fairly low cost.

Jambool is a virtual currency service allowing developers to provide monetary services in virtual environments. Their product goes by the name of Social Gold reflecting on the social networking aspect of their services.

Linden Labs use the service and are most known for being behind Second Life. Many popular Facebook applications such as Farmville use virtual money allowing you to purchase virtual goods such as upgrades. The general idea is that consumers purchase with real money virtual monies. Which google can certainly add that functionality to!

Industrial analysts predict that the social games market is to reach $835 Million by the end of the year. Why people spend this kind of money on online games is beyond me. In the meantime I’m off to play a game. 🙂

References
ZDNet
CNet
Jambool

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News

Centaur attacks Aberdeenshire

CentaurReports of Centaurs roaming wildly through the UK have grown. Recent images detected by Google have spotted a creature which perhaps is a modern descendant of the Centaur. Not only have there been multiple sightings, but there is even evidence of intelligence. The first sighting has mysteriously been removed from the Internet.  Suggesting that these creatures are quite within their capabilities to evolve into a more powerful creature, as if a human horse hybrid was not powerful enough on its own right.

The original evidence was hosted on Google SightSeeing, and described as “Weird half horse-half man poses for the passing” but as I mention, the photographic evidence has been ‘lost’.  This sighting was apparently in Aberdeen , Hardgate area.

Mysteriously enough this has also been removed in what may be a serious attack for civil liberties to know whats out there. You may want to get in contact with your local MP with your concerns over these creatures roaming Aberdeen. Horseboy 1Luckily for us, the people at the Telegraph have managed to get a hold of duplicates of the pictures that have been removed. You may want to consider the creature as potentially dangerous and avoid contact with it. It is not known at this time how many others exist, however a YouTube user, TheHumanHorse has claimed to be one of them and threatened to appear in many locations.  Expert viewers have observed that the YouTube user seems not to be the same as the first seen Horse Boy so we can presume that at least two of them exist and should be on the look out at all times.

Channel 4 however claim to have got the rare opportunity to interview the creature.

References
The Telegraph
Google SightSeeing [#1]
Google SightSeeing [#2]
YouTube
Channel 4

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Technology

Oracle and Apple gang up on Google

Android: Google vs OracleMany of us may remember there was a lawsuit filed against Microsoft by Sun over Microsoft’s inclusion and distribution of the Java Run time in its operating systems. In essence, Microsoft was voluntarily offering a Sun product to its customers at no cost to Sun or the end user.

The problem with this was that Sun felt its intellectual property rites that of the Java language were being infringed leading to the legal action against Microsoft. I’ve never understood why, a piece of software that is openly downloadable at no charge should be the subject of a legal battle between the two corporate entities, especially when there are so many other things they can fight over.

Now Its Google’s turn.

Oracle in their acquisition of Sun has taken possession of the Intellectual Property Rights of Java and many other Sun related brands in the process. Google has of course not been licensed for use of this technology and are distributing it at no cost to Oracle, essentially free advertising and customers.

This is not enough for Oracle whom have filed a lawsuit against Google for seven patent infringements in relation to Java in the increasingly popular android operating system. These kinds of legal challenges benefit no one as google will undoubtedly fight it at cost, and Oracle will put up the cost of chasing after this.

With Java being freely available albeit with the threat of Oracle suing for using it, it is quite a surprise that it has managed to flourish as a programming language. Many developers will want to provide an out of the box installation of their product which legal action like this could make it increasingly difficult to support Java as a legitimate programming language for the future.

Incidentally, Sun actually decided to release the Java Code under the GPL I would not be surprised if Oracle has not updated this since the acquisition and therefore Java is still GPL code and this would certainly infringe on Oracles plan to cause terror and fear in the hearts of Android based manufacturers.

In related news, Apple is suing HTC for infringement of 20 patents in the iPhone4  the big shiny toy that doesn’t really work. Perhaps apple should go back to the drawing board on that one as going by the information we’ve seen HTC’s phones actually work. Could this be an underhanded attack on google by Oracle and Apple?

References
The Register
Mashable
Free Software Foundation
enGadget

Categories
Technology

Google leads Apple in Phone Sector

With the many problems that exist with iPhone even if they may not be entirely unique, is it any wonder then that people are considering alternatives to the expensive shiny toy produced by apple?

Google’s Android operating system based phones are according to sources the operating system is far more customizable than the OS installed by apple. This is really useful for developers and nosey people alike!

The guys over at Cisco have apparently seen a benefit from it too, as they have announced the Business tablet based on Android.

With the jail break threat on the iphone many have perhaps been worried by the security aspect of using the iphone.

References
ZDNetUK
ZDNetUK