Posts tagged Google

Hey Google, Give me a Windows Phone says a Privacy Advocate

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Alex Hanff, a prominent privacy campaigner based in Lancaster, England, has filed a claim against Google at the small claims court for around £400 to replace his HTC Desire.

The action is a response to Google’s recent privacy changes, which would pool data from Google’s various services, including Android location data, so the company can build up a more precise profile to sell to advertisers.

“The changes are a significant infringement of my right to privacy and I do not consent to Google being able to use my data in such a way,” said Alex Hanff, calling the changes an unfair change in contract terms andwhich  will force Mr Hanff to buy a new smartphone.

Google is under intense scrutiny at present by regulators in US and EU for abuse of its monopoly position in search, which means for many people de facto the internet and Google is synonymous.

“They’ve been asked to suspend the changes several times, and Google keeps telling the regulators where to go,” said Mr Hanff, who was previously closely involved in the campaign against Phorm, an advertising company that aim to profile web browsing by doing deals with broadband providers.

“They’ve basically stuck two fingers up,” he added. “Hopefully my case will open an avenue for other consumers to take similar action.”

While Google has not responded to the specific case, they did say their Android phones could still be used for basic features without being tracked.

“Users can choose not to log into an Android phone with a Google Account and still use it to place phone calls, send text messages, browse the web, and use certain Google applications that do not require account authentication such as Google Maps. Some Google applications such as Android Market and Gmail require authentication with a Google Account.”

Mr Hanff said that he will replace his Android device with a Windows Phone smartphone.

“There’s not much choice but I wouldn’t want to be subject to Apple’s privacy policy and Microsoft’s seems the least threatening at the moment,” he said.

Source | Via

Is Google really Not Evil?

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Gizmodo has posted a visual representation from Intac showing the approximate number of dedicated servers that major tech companies own. When you speak in terms of numbers, it becomes hard to comprehend just how large these server farms have become. Intel, for example, is estimated to have around 100,000 servers in its arsenal, while Facebook, AT&T, and Time Warner Cable, all fall between 20,000 and 30,000. Without being able to see these server farms with your own eyes, these statistics are merely tossed aside as nothing more than interesting facts.

It’s no secret that Google is a giant. But, do people realize just how big they really are? Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and eBay all have over 50,000 servers, though their exact numbers aren’t made public. Google, by comparison, is estimated to have over 1,000,000 dedicated servers, accounting for over 2% of the servers in the world. The graphical representation below allows one to truly understand just how unbelievably huge Google is (especially compared to the other major tech giants). Get your scroll-wheel ready and take a look.

Most Dedicated Servers

While you are at it, y dont you just enjoy this video 😀

Why I need an invite to Google Wave

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Today a person named Jason Denzin (@jasondenzin) replied to a tweet of mine. I had joined the bandwagon of tweets doing the rounds requesting for an invite for the latest offering by Google called Google Wave.

Google Wave is an online tool for real-time communication and collaboration. A wave can be both a conversation and a document where people can discuss and work together using richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. Learn more here.

This was my tweet…

I’m interested in a Google Wave invite! Please share! Thanks! #GoogleWaveInviteCircle

And this was his reply…

@mohibsheth Why? I think instead of folks simply requesting to try Google Wave, it would be more interesting to read how folks would use it.

At first I thought (sorry Jason) i thought he was one of those “Google Haters” but giving his reply a second thought, I realized it was really a important and interesting question.

Google has confirmed that it is going to send out Google Wave invites to 100000 people selectively, but his question makes me wonder, do all of them really need the Wave?

I wonder do even 25% of them actually know what Google Wave is all about?

It was just a few weeks before when we had stumbled upon a video of Google Wave being introduced at the Google I/O conference 2009, and most of my friends exclaimed that they want an invite. When I asked them what do you think it is? “Its a new social-network thing” they said.

Well, leaving them aside, I have been planning to work on a project with my friends who are physically not in my neighborhood and it gets a bit difficult for us to collaborate with all those crappy restrictions in office of being not allowed to use chatting tools, and thus I needed an invite to check out Google Wave to see if it helps.

What about you?

Sony, Google announce 1 million free books

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Sony, Google announce 1 million free books

Sony, together with Google, on Wednesday announced it is providing access to more than 1 million free public domain books in its eBook Store, including classic novels, biographies, historical texts, romance novels and more.

The titles, which Google has digitized as part of its Google Books project, are available in EPUB format and naturally work with the $280 Sony PRS-505 or the $350 PRS-700 Reader.

The PRS-500 does not work with the Google offering.

The process involves downloading software, signing up for an account and loading the e-books on your compatible device. For now, it’s available only to U.S.-based readers (probably due to licensing agreements and copyright issues across borders).

 

How to make Google Chrome use Microsoft Bing for Search

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Microsoft’s new Search Decision Engine called Bing is live now (in preview/beta). I thought Bing meant “Bing Is Not Google” but apparently “bing!” is the “sound of found.” Found it! Bing!

If you use Google Chrome as your browser you can make Bing your default search. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Wrench Icon in Google Chrome and click Options.
  2. Click “Manage” under Default Search.
  3. Click “Add” and make the form look like this:
    chrome_add_search_engine_bing
  4. Now with your new Bing entry selected, click Make Default.

bing_search_result_page_microsoft

Go give Bing! a try. I’m going to use Bing for the whole month of June and see how it goes. I’ll blog my results.

Technical International Note: If you’re outside the US, while Bing is rolling out over the next few days (it’s literally rolling) you can temporarily force it to think you’re in the US with this Bing URL.

Feel free to post your Bing tips and impressions here in the comments, or follow @bing on Twitter.

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