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FCC chair: Neutrality would trump any Google/Verizon pact

Posted in FCC by Conner Flynn on August 5th, 2010

According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, any FCC policy on net neutrality that emerges will supersede any pre-existing arrangements by companies. This is alluding to the speculated deal between Verizon Wireless and Google. According to Genachowski, “Any outcome, any deal that doesn’t preserve the freedom and openness of the Internet for consumers and entrepreneurs will be unacceptable.”

Sounds good to us, but the FCC Chairman did not go into details if the FCC policy would include wireless or if such policy would only govern the Internet on PC and landlines.

Google and Verizon deal aims to destroy Net Neutrality

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on August 5th, 2010

Google and Verizon are discussing a partnership(Made in hell) that could result in American internet freedom taking a few backward steps and destroying net neutrality as we know it. This would go against all that Google and Verizon have stated in the past about keeping the net neutral and open to ‘ensure the openness of the web around the world.’

The agreement could give Verizon the ability to do whatever it wants when it comes to managing wireless broadband, through mobile hotspots or Android handsets.

Google is activating 200,000 Android phones per day

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on August 4th, 2010

Things are looking great for Android. Google chief Eric Schmidt must have been feeling elated when he revealed that his company is now activating 200,000 Android phones a day. That number is 25 percent higher than the 160,000 per day from late June and is double the 100,000 phones that were being switched on just three months ago. People really love them some Android.

Schmidt said he wasn’t sure how long it would continue. He isn’t concerned about the free licensing hurting revenue since many Android owners run Google searches that pop up ads and generate revenue from impressions and click-throughs. He noted that iPhone owners also make money for Google that way.

Google could use mouse movements to influence search rankings

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on July 15th, 2010

Google is very secretive about how it decides what sites come up first on any given search. The formula changes regularly to keep people from figuring it out. It’s about to get even harder to predict. A new patent filed by Google on Tuesday would allow Google to analyze information about where on a page users hover their mouse cursor.

The idea is that this will show the search giant what people were interested in, but didn’t actually click on. Sound insane? It does to me. If you are typing, your cursor is just left in some random spot on your screen most likely.

Android App Inventor Lets You Build Your Own App

Posted in Android by Reuben Drake on July 12th, 2010

Android App InventorIf you’ve always wanted to make your own applications to use on your Android phone but have never had the time or interest to learn all of that programming syntax, this just might be your chance. Google has announced the beta of the App Inventor for Android, a visual programming tool for creating mobile phone applications on Android devices.

Google says that no programming knowledge is necessary and you can begin building apps within minutes of getting started with the software. App Inventor uses a block-editing tool developed at MIT and tested at educational institutions around the country for the past year.

Google Open Spot lets Android users find free parking spaces

Posted in Android by Conner Flynn on July 11th, 2010

Google’s latest initiative is called Open Spot. It’s an Android (2.0 and up) application that allows you to search for unclaimed spaces that have been reported by other Open Spot users. Once users head elsewhere, it allows you to mark your spot as open and available. Once a spot is marked, the color gradually goes from red to yellow the longer it remains unclaimed.

Engadget checked it out and they generally like it, however they feel that the ability to add notes to each marked place is needed. There should be a way to see whether a spot is metered, covered by a strange city permit law etc. Hopefully an update will enable comments.

Google invests over $100 million in Zynga

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on July 11th, 2010

Farmville, Mafia Wars, and other games cost you a lot of time and productivity. They have now cost Google over $100 million. TechCrunch is reporting that Google has invested between $100 and $200 million in Zynga, the social gaming behemoth behind those games mentioned. Google is preparing for the launch of Google Games later this year.

TechCrunch’s sources say that Google’s goal with this purchase is to chip away at Facebook’s social media dominance. It will be interesting to see what comes from this.

Google plans music service with Android 3.0

Posted in Google by Conner Flynn on July 4th, 2010

Apparently Google wants to take on Apple’s iTunes with the next Android 3.0 update which should be released before the year is over. Google Music should be released along with Android 3.0 and it likely will have something to do with the recently acquired streaming service Simplified Media.

Itunes could use some competition and if anyone can do it, Google would be the company. It should be interesting to see what happens. It won’t be easy.

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.

Bing to replace Google as default search engine on iPhone?

Posted in iPhone by Conner Flynn on May 29th, 2010

Look out Google. Word on the street is that Microsoft Bing will be replacing Google as the default search engine on the iPhone. There’s no confirmation on this, but it does fit what we’ve been hearing about talks between Apple and Microsoft.

Then again some sources are saying that Apple and Microsoft are just talking about adding Bing as a search engine option on the iPhone instead of replacing Google. I’ll guess we will learn one way or the other soon enough.

Did Google Pac-Man cost us $120,483,800?

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

Last week, when the Google logo turned into a game of Pac-Man, we all took breaks and played a game or two, or five. Apparently we had to much fun. The theory is that we wasted a combined 4,819,352 hours and a whole lotta dollars.

The Rescue Time Blog made the following calculations based on observations and assumptions about the Google audience. And the numbers assume that while we were playing Google Pac-Man, we should have been doing something productive:

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.