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Archive for Google

OnStar users now sending Google Maps directions to their cars

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on July 1st, 2010

Today is a special day. It’s the first day that turn-by-turn capable GM vehicles as old as 2006 can search for destinations using Google Maps and have those destinations sent directly to their vehicles. Proof that some of us are living in a future slightly ahead of the rest of us. Those with GM vehicles.

The OnStar eNav feature is now fully functional and totally Googled. Hopefully other factory navigation systems start doing this very soon.

India may ban Blackberry, Skype and Gmail

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on July 1st, 2010

Odd as it seems, the Department of Telecom in India could ban BlackBerry devices, Skype and even Gmail services if those services won’t comply with the government’s request to ensure that data going through their networks will be made available to security agencies in a readable format. Good luck with that.

The powers that be in that part of the world have also decided to amend the IT laws, making it compulsory for foreign companies, as those that do not require a local license, to provide all the data required by Indian law enforcement agencies.

Google uses its Android App Kill Switch

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on June 25th, 2010

It’s common knowledge that Google and Apple can remotely remove apps from their mobile operating systems, and it has now been confirmed that Google has used its kill switch on two apps that infringed on its terms of service.

Google admits that most people who downloaded the apps had already deleted them and that this was just a cleanup operation. Apparently users will get a notification sent to them when an app is removed, but it’s still a bit scary to think that your apps might suddenly disappear.

Google workers get sweet nap pods

Posted in Google by Shane McGlaun on June 18th, 2010

Google is famous for its perks and the things that its workers can enjoy at company HQ. From game rooms to gourmet meals and more, Google tries all sorts of things to keep the workers happy and productive. When most companies get mad at workers for napping on the job, Google encourages it.

A reporter from the Financial Times was at Google HQ in California and snapped a pic of an employee using a cool high tech sleep pod. The pod is made by a company called Metronaps.

Google now lets you personalize your Google homepage

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on June 3rd, 2010

Google is never standing still. And now Google has added a new option to the Google homepage, that will let users give it a similar look to Microsoft’s Bing search engine. You will now be able to add your favorite photos to your Google homepage.

The new feature will be available on Google search sites across the world over the next few days, starting with the US and then the rest of the world. So what will it be? Frogs? Family? Hot babes?

Google to launch Chrome OS in late fall

Posted in Google by Shane McGlaun on June 2nd, 2010

Google has been talking about its Chrome OS for a while now. The operating system is one of the latest attempts by Google to fight Microsoft on the software front. Google was able to fight and beat Microsoft with Android.

So far its Google Docs offerings aren’t catching up to Microsoft Office, but Google hopes its Chrome OS will have better luck. Google is set to launch the open source OS late in the fall of this year. Google says that the OS will be compatible with applications already on the market.

Forget skipping ads on Google TV

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 26th, 2010

Google TV sounds like a great idea. Sure. But one large downside has just surfaced, which should surprise no one. Google is in the advertising business after all, so Google TV product manager Rishi Chandra has confirmed that ad skipping will not be allowed.

Many of us are used to skipping ads on our set-top boxes. Google really has to arrange things so that somehow the user sees this as a win. I’m not sure how they would do that. You know what would be great? Putting the ad on my remote. That way I can set it down and ignore it.

Google Reader dropping support for older browsers

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 25th, 2010

Google is no stranger to cleaning house when it needs to. There are too many older web browsers out there and so the search engine giant has announced that its popular Google Reader will be ditching support for older browsers like IE6, Firefox 1.0, 2.0, Safari 2.0, 3.0, and even Chrome versions 1, 2, and 3.

Google says that the move will allow it to spend its time improving Google Reader instead of fixing issues with these old browsers. If you’re still using an old browser version, why? And hey, you better upgrade.

New Google Doodle is a playable Pac-Man game

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 21st, 2010

This made my day. This weekend’s Google doodle, celebrating the 30th anniversary of Pac-Man, is the best yet. The image is actually a playable 256-level Pac-Man game. Crazy right? Yes. And completely awesome.

It has all the elements of the original game. Just hit the “insert coin” button and you can even play 2 player mode with the WASD keys on your keyboard. Go play now. I can’t wait to see what else Google is planning for their Google Doodle.

Google TV combines TV, Android and…everything else

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 20th, 2010

Google is finally launching Google TV, which brings regular TV and web video to your TV. Plus, Android apps. Should be very powerful, given those factors. Google says that there’s the web, which lives on your laptop and your phone, and the TV world, which lives on your TV.

Google wants to incorporate both of those worlds into “a single seamless experience.” They want to give you the same experience at home on your TV as you get on your computer. A Google search box lets you search and find results from your TV and from the web. If you select the TV channel it goes to your TV channel. Pretty straightforward.

Google announces WebM video format

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 19th, 2010

Some time ago Google purchased a company called On2 and many expected Google to open-source the VP8 video codec that came bundled with the company. Sure enough, Google has announced its new format called WebM, a video format that Google claims is efficient enough to be played on low-powered devices like netbooks, tablets and handheld devices.

WebM is open-source and licensed royalty-free under a BSD-style license. Many big names have already shown their support for WebM, including Firefox, Opera, Adobe, AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Mozilla in particular has also decided to include support for it in the Firefox nightly builds from today, like Chromium, while Opera says that support is also on the way.

Google Storage for developers official

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 19th, 2010

Google Storage for Developers is coming. The company has officially confirmed it, calling it a RESTful cloud service built on Google’s storage and networking infrastructure. Developers will be able to connect their applications to fast and reliable storage that is replicated across several US data centers.

It also offers Multiple authentication methods, SSL support and convenient access controls for sharing with individuals and groups. The service will be introduced to a limited number of developers at first. During the preview, each developer will receive up to 100GB worth of storage, and 300GB monthly bandwidth for free.

HTML5 to be on most browsers by the end of 2010

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 19th, 2010

You’ve heard the debates on Flash vs HTML5. Steve Jobs hates flash blah blah blah. Enough bickering. From the Google I/O keynote: HTML5 support will be more or less complete on all “modern” browsers, says Google.

I’m assuming that means IE will have to wait? Is this the beginning of the death of flash? How will it affect cute cat videos? Is Steve Jobs laughing right now? So many questions.

Google unveils Chrome web store

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on May 19th, 2010

Get ready to fill up your Chrome OS app page Google fans. Google just announced its new online web app store. Some of what they are showing off includes Dark Room for image editing, a nice version of TweetDeck, to name a few. Paid-for software will be offered. For instace Dark Room is $4.99.

Nothing on a launch date yet. Engadget says that the demo of Sports Illustrated’s interactive magazine is impressive, fully searchable with embedded video and “some pretty clever tricks” with geolocation. The web store for Chrome and Chrome OS will hit the dev channel very soon.

Google stops direct sales of Nexus One

Posted in Google by Shane McGlaun on May 17th, 2010

Google started selling its Nexus One handset directly to customers back in January. The handset didn’t exactly sell like hot cakes or the iPhone. The reason was that many users simply wanted to get hands on the device before buying it.

ITProPortal has announced that Google has officially stopped selling the Nexus One via its website direct to customers. The publication reports that Google will instead focus on selling the device through retailers.