Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of breaking up big online companies like Google. While Google is not specifically mentioned, the MEPs aim of "unbundling search engines from other commercial services" to increase competition would clearly impact on the search giant if the resolution is approved by the European Commission.
It's all part of a bid to not help the growth of the EU's digital single market, but also to help boost competitiveness. All very reminiscent of the anti-trust lawsuits that have plagued Microsoft. The vote itself was fairly decisive. 384 voted in favor of the proposed resolution, 174 against, and 56 abstained from voting.
While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".
Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.
France is a country that has been a continual stone in the shoe of American companies expanding into Europe. The country has been vocal opponent of the dominance of US Internet services and this week it has escalated its attacks.
Netflix, which began its foray into Europe in Scandinavia, has been labeled by the French consumer association as "malicious" due to a number of "illegal clauses" it includes in its user agreement. Among these were changing terms without alerting customers and writing all clauses in English only.
Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. Not only is it a great day to reflect on what I am thankful for, but it allows me to overeat in a socially acceptable way. When I am gorging on food the other 364 days, I'll get dirty looks; not so on Thanksgiving! Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes -- mmm mmm mmm, I can taste it already.
If you haven't made plans for the holiday yet, do not worry; both Bing and Google are aiming to help you out. The competing search engines, however, are taking polar approaches as to how to eat. Bing will help you find recipes, while Google will help you with eating-out.
This morning there was flurry of activity on Twitter as people became aware of the existence of a game called Ass Hunter on Google Play (link included for the sake of completion, although it's no longer active). There were snorts of indignation, incredulous shakes of virtual heads, and numerous cries for Google to pull the app without delay.
This has now been done. The game, which described itself as a "popular game on hunting gays", encouraged people to "play and do not be gay" is not new. The Android game is (or was) a port of a title that dates back almost a decade, and its appearance in the Play store highlights an important difference between Google's and Apple's app stores -- the vetting processes involved.
Encrypting your device may make it more secure, but it also makes it slower due to the added overhead. This is not much of a problem on a fast PC or laptop, as its hardware is able to cope with the extra load. It, however, is a major reason for concern on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, such as Google's new Nexus 6. Android 5.0 Lollipop is at fault here.
Anandtech has discovered that the difference in performance can be as high as 80.7 percent, and as low as 50.5 percent, between Nexus 6 with encryption turned on and with the feature disabled. Meanwhile, those who update to Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5 will also notice a notable difference in performance, albeit not as big, even with encryption disabled.
Online ads have been seen as the scourge of the web since they were first dreamed up. There are various ways you can avoid them, but they exist for a reason -- to generate revenue. Google may have come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy, website owners and visitors alike. Google Contributor is described as "an experiment in additional ways to fund the web" and it makes it possible to kill ads without killing revenue.
It's invite only at the moment, but once Google Contributor is properly up and running, web users will be invited to make a monthly "contribution". This will enable them to browse participating sites without being bothered by ads; instead you'll see a thank you message or just empty space.
Many people consider open source to be the future. It is hard to argue with this, as it allows software to be adapted to different environments. Most importantly, it allows users to view the code, and prevents malicious aspects, such as backdoors. In other words, you never know what is hiding in closed source software.
Today, Google embraces open source in an effort to highlight multiplayer-gaming on Android TV. How? Well, the search giant releases a free open source game called "Pie Moon". It is available now in the Google Play Store.
US technology companies are setting a benchmark for those in other sectors to reach for when it comes to LGBT equality in the workplace. These are the findings reported in the thirteenth edition of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index. The HRC rates workplaces on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender inclusion and equality, and this year's report shows that there is now greater awareness and understanding of the transgender community.
The index rates companies using a variety of factors including the presence of non-discriminatory policies, the existence of transgender-inclusion healthcare, and whether or not there are guidelines in place to encourage transgender inclusion. This year there are a record number of businesses attaining a 100 percent rating, and 14 of these fall into the hardware, software and data services areas of the tech sector.
There are many great ways to generate energy, such as using oil and coal. However, as society trends towards going "green", we see renewable energy being embraced too, such as solar, ocean waves and wind. Wind in particular is interesting, as it has been used for over a thousand years. Many people associate windmills with the Dutch, but many societies, including the USA, use modern versions today.
Google is one of the most forward-thinking companies, on the forefront of technology, and surprisingly, it too will be harnessing the power of wind for a new Dutch data center. In other words, even though the wind blows, Google's use of windmills does not.
There are now many names vying to control your inbox. It is not enough to have your email delivered to the inbox of your choice now the battle is to present email in the most understandable, the most accessible, and the least cluttered way possible. IBM Verse is the latest kid on the block, as it looks to divert attention away from Google Inbox and Microsoft Clutter.
Billed as a "new way to work", IBM Verse is more than just another inbox tool -- it is a combination tool that manages email, tasks, collaboration and more. It clearly has enterprise markets in its sights as it brings communication, tasks, sharing and social features under one roof. To further differentiate it from other comparable services, IBM Verse uses advanced analytics to completely tailor itself for individual users.
There are some people who just can’t get enough of Facebook. Sharing the occasional thought or ponderance is not enough for many who feel the need to live out their entire lives on Zuckerberg's social network. A lot of workplaces -- perhaps sensibly -- block access to sites such as Facebook, but new reports suggest that the social giant is keen to enter the office on legitimate terms with Facebook at Work.
At the moment, Facebook is the bane of network admins' lives as employees find new ways to bypass restrictions that may be put in place. But the Financial Times says that it may soon be welcomed with open arms as a work-centric version of Facebook is rumored to offer Office- and Google-baiting document collaboration, and LinkedIn-aping professional networking.
There is, perhaps, no place the Google Street View team will not go, including national parks around the US. The crew has traveled around the world, and even beneath the oceans. Now the team is honoring the IUCN World Parks Congress, which is taking place in Sydney, Australia this time around. The meeting happens only once per decade, so it's a big deal.
In celebration, Google has trekked 21 parks and 27 underwater spots in an effort to bring them to your desktop. There was some help, and this came about through a partnership with New South Wales National Parks and Catlin Seaview Survey.
Wearable technology is here, though not everyone seems to be on board with the 'trend'. Still, the market is growing and existing products are evolving to do more. Pebble has just released a new batch of updates featuring the ability to order Domino's pizza, new watchfaces and several other apps available to its customers.
Now Asus, known for its computers and tablets, is releasing its entry into the market, announcing the ZenWatch. The new model is utilizing AndroidWear and features a classy look, with a nice face and stitched leather band.
Life has been rather hectic in Google-ville lately; the company has been a busy beaver. You see, the search-giant recently released three Nexus devices -- Nexus 6, Nexus 9 and Nexus Player -- plus the all-new Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system. Quite frankly, Android fans are probably overwhelmed by all the excitement.
Well Android fans, you had better grab a Red Bull and perk up; there is yet another Android device to get excited about -- Project Tango. Yes, the mythical 3D-tracking developer tablet is now listed in Google's Play Store in both black and white. Before you get too excited, please know that it is not yet in stock, and you probably don't want to buy it anyway.