Tag: Google

Web freedom faces greatest threat ever, warns Google’s

Sergey Brin Threats range from governments trying to control citizens to the rise of Facebook and Apple-style ‘walled gardens’

Sergey Brin says he and Google co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create their search giant if the internet was dominated by Facebook. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”. “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

Google plans to spy on background noise in your phone calls to bombard you with tailored adverts

Google plans to spy on background noise in your phone calls to bombard you with tailored adverts
Patent also describes using other environmental factors such as air temperature to produce ads
By Ted Thornhill

Adverts could soon be tailored according to the background noise around you when using your smartphone, if a patent application by Google becomes reality.
The search engine giant has filed for a patent called ‘Advertising based on environmental conditions’.
As that title implies, it’s not just background sounds that could be used to determine what adverts you seen on your mobile phone. The patent also describes using ‘temperature, humidity, light and air composition’ to produced targeted adverts.
Ear we go: Adverts could soon be produced according to environmental conditions such as background noise, if Google’s patent becomes reality
Reaction to the Google patent has been mixed
The application said: ‘A web browser or search engine located at the user’s site may obtain information on the environment (e.g., temperature, humidity, light, sound, air composition) from sensors.

George Soros buys Google and Israeli internet company Comverse Tech

George Soros, who made $1 billion shorting the British pound in 1992, closed his $25.5 billion fund to outsiders in July 2011 and returned almost $1 billion to clients. Over its 26-year life, his Quantum Fund was the best-performing fund in history. His firm now focuses solely on managing his and his family’s assets. In the fourth quarter, Soros drastically increased his stake in Google (GOOG) and announced a large stake in Comverse Technology Inc. (CMVT). Soros increased his fund’s weighting in tech stocks almost 17% to become 23.7% of his portfolio in the fourth quarter.

Google (GOOG)

Soros had been trading shares of Google since prior to 2007 but had completely sold out in the second quarter of 2011. He then bought 1,126 shares in the third quarter of 2011 at about $550 per share. In the fourth quarter, he bought his largest stake to date — 258,900 shares at about $592, for a total investment of $154 million. Google is now his fifth largest holding, with 7.3% of his portfolio.

Google, once known for being a search engine giant, has grown to become the largest maker of smartphone software. But its Android platform lost market share in the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter, 50 percent of phones sold ran on the Android operating system, compared to 30.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, but down from 52.5% in the third quarter. Smartphone sales overall increased 47.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010.

Google set to replace government as Big Brother

Google’s new so-called privacy policy may be the end of online privacy for hundreds of millions of users worldwide. By Gavriel Queenann Screen CaptureGoogle has come under fire over plans to track user’s across all of its websites and use the information to alter the person’s search results.

The Internet giant indicated it would combine data across its Web sites, and track all of its users search activities, to stitch together a fuller portrait of users, and consumers won’t be able to opt out of the changes that go into effect March 1.

“We’re rolling out a new main privacy policy that covers the majority of our products and explains what information we collect, and how we use it, in a much more readable way,” Alma Whitten, Google’s director of privacy, product and engineering, wrote in the blog post.

Google will be putting virtual Jerusalem online

Company’s Israeli managing director announces filming of Old City’s narrow stone-paved alleyways, other tourist destinations will begin in next few months. ‘For the first time we can truly say Israel is on the digital map’

Google’s Street View will soon provide virtual visitors a glimpse of the narrow stone-paved alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City and other tourist destinations in Israel.

Google deploys cameras mounted on cars and other vehicles to take Street View’s 360-degree images, which users of the Web site can then view by zooming in on any given point on a map.

Outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls on Monday, Google Israel’s Managing Director Meir Brand announced that filming will begin in the next few months in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and tourist attractions elsewhere.

1,000 IBM patents bought by Google

Google, which last month failed to grab a huge portfolio of Nortel patents, has bought more than 1,000 patents from IBM.

The new purchase boosts Google’s intellectual property portfolio which currently has just 700 patents.

The loss of Nortel patents was a big blow to Google as the search engine was willing to pay any price to beef up its bank of patents – which is the smallest among major wireless players.

Since Nortel-patented technology is also used in Google Android smart phones, the Apple-led consortium have not only got the rights to license this technology to secure royalties but also gain market influence vis-a-vis Google in the multi-trillion-dollar technology field.

As Google is involved in more than 45 patent lawsuits – the biggest against any major player – it is consolidating its patent bank to avoid future litigations.

The new Google wallet, a single tap your phone will be your wallet

By Gabriel Perna

At an event in New York, Google introduced Google Wallet, a contactless near field communication (NFC) based cell phone payment platform.

Vice President of Google Payments Osama Bedier demonstrates how to use the Google wallet application during a news conference unveiling the mobile payment system in New York.Related

Stay connected with cutting edge technology news Sample The company is teaming up with Citibank, Mastercard, First Data and Sprint along with numerous retailers to roll out the service. It will initially be available in New York City and San Francisco this upcoming summer on a trial basis, solely on the Google Nexus S phone. Google said going forward it has the possibility to be implemented on any NFC enabled phone depending on whether not other operating system providers, hardware companies and carriers are willing to work with them.

“Your phone will be your wallet,” Google Vice President of Commerce for Stephanie Tilenius declared at the event. Google plans to bring the retail ecosystem from payments, to offers and coupons into a single entity.

What if Moses had Facebook

“This video is hilarious… Awesome… LOL… Best online film I have viewed in years… a classic… forwarded it to everyone I know!”

These are just a few of the comments from the more than 1,000,000 viewers of our new Passover video Google Exodus: What if Moses had Facebook in English, Spanish and Hebrew.

If you haven’t watched the video yet, then don’t miss out. Click now and enjoy a hilarious 2-minute experience of what the Exodus from Egypt may have looked like in a world of Google, Facebook and Twitter.

When you are done watching, be sure to visit our comprehensive Passover site for more videos, recipes and insights to make this Passover your best yet.

If you’ve already seen the video, why not take another look and keep an eye out for some of the hilarious subtleties you may have missed.

Most importantly, be sure to share the movie with your family, friends and co-workers. They’ll thank you.

Wishing you a happy, healthy and festive Passover.

Google finally admits that its Street View cars DID take emails and passwords from computers

The internet search giant was forced to confess it had downloaded personal data during its controversial Street View project, when it photographed virtually every street in Britain.

In an astonishing invasion of privacy, it admitted entire emails, web pages and even passwords were ‘mistakenly collected’ by antennae on its high-tech Street View cars.

Privacy breach: Google has admitted that its Street View cars also took people’s emails and passwords