People that know me, know that I am socially awkward. I am useless at a party, and overall, face-to-face human interaction just escapes me. Suffice to say, computers give me an outlet -- I am rather suave on IRC, you see. As a result, I don't have many friends, but regarding the ones I do have, I refuse to give them my Wi-Fi password. These aren't new friends either; I have known some more than 20 years. Quite frankly, I share the password with the family members in my home under protest.
While not everyone is as odd as me, I know I am not alone. Surely there are other nerds that view friends and family with access to the network as weak-links in the security chain. In other words, I don't want some malware-infested machine touching my precious home network. Apparently, Google knows of my woes, as today, the search-giant announces guest mode for Chromecast.
The gradual but relentless move to the cloud is about more than just making it easier to access files from multiple devices. For many people, particularly business and enterprise users, sharing and collaboration is more important. Today Google has made two small but important updates to Drive and Docs that makes file sharing easier than ever.
Now when you start to type the name of someone you would like to share a file with, you will see their profile picture alongside their name. This mimics the way things work in Gmail, and helps you to check you are selecting the right people.
Stories about companies going to all manner of lengths to minimize or completely avoid tax payments are nothing new. Google is no stranger to this, and following new legislation in Spain, the company is shutting down the Spanish version of Google News. This is a bid to avoid paying what has been dubbed the "Google Tax".
The Spanish government is about to bring in legislation that would require Google News to make payments to publishers whose content it uses. The news service will close on 16 December, but the consequences go beyond Spanish web users missing out on Google News.
Google Play is home to apps for every occasion, books to suit every mood, and movies and music for everyone. Today Google announces that Android Wear users can also download a makeover for their wrist wear from the digital store. Watch faces can now be downloaded from Google Play direct to your chosen wearable.
From the serious to the silly, the cheap-and-cheerful to the utterly stylish, you can transform the look of your smartwatch with just a few clicks. And now that the Watch Face API is available to developers, you can expect to see more and more faces popping up over the coming weeks and months.
Several internet giants and media publishers, (Google, Microsoft and Le Figaro newspaper included), are threatening legal actions against the developers of software that blocks ads from reaching consumers.
This is, obviously, a problem for websites that rely on advertising as the web becomes more and more popular.
Even though we are in a golden age of television, with shows like Breaking Bad, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, more and more people are turning to YouTube for their video watching. It is hard to blame them, as the online videos are usually concise, entertaining and more importantly, the stars are oftentimes more accessible. In other words, while getting a tweet from a Hollywood celebrity like Jim Carrey is rare, getting one from iJustine or Chris Pirillo is not so far-fetched. Not everyone gets tweets from Jay Z like I do.
Today, YouTube is sharing its "YouTubeRewind 2014" -- a mashup video that celebrates the best of 2014 (seen above). In addition, the search giant is listing the overall top videos, plus filtered categories for music and advertisements. Did your favorite videos make the cut?
What's your gender? For some people it's a simple question -- nothing more than checking one of two boxes. But it can get more complicated than simply indicating that you're male or female. Many people feel that gender is not important and would prefer to keep this information to themselves. This is now a wish that Google respects on Google+.
In fact Google is going far beyond this. Starting today Google+ includes support for an infinite number of gender identifies. So whether you would rather not disclose where you fit onto the gender spectrum, or want to proclaim it outside of the confines of the usual binary options, now you can.
Google has opened up its arms to Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform. Product manager Martin Buhr said that customers had been asking for improved support for Windows-based workloads, and now these wishes are being met. There are several key improvements to Google Compute Engine that help to make Windows on Google a reality.
Microsoft License Mobility is the big news, meaning that Google now supports SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange Server without the need for extra licenses. The second announcement is the availability of a beta version of Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition on Google Compute Engine which opens up the opportunity to run Windows applications in the cloud.
I consider myself to be a bit of a world traveler, having been to Canada, Europe, Mexico and more. Sadly, I have not yet visited the Middle East. While I can't currently afford a trip there, I also don't go due to my own trepidation. Whether misguided or not, the US Government does issue travel warnings, so it is understandable to be hesitant to travel there.
With that said, some of the area has a good reputation; Dubai for example, besides being beautiful, is supposedly safer than other cities. Still, the US Government does warn about travelling there too. Luckily, if you are fearful of going there, or just can't afford it, Google is bringing the city to you. Yes, Dubai is the first city in an Arab country to get Google Maps Street View.
There is little doubt that Spain is a beautiful country, with cities like Madrid and Barcelona, along with many lesser known jewels. However getting there is not always allowed by your schedule, or perhaps even your budget. No need to fear.
Google has sent its intrepid team of explorers to the nation and they managed to snag images of 50 locations around the country. "The Iberian Peninsula has a rich and varied artistic, architectural and cultural legacy. Roman remains, Al-Andalus, Gothic splendor and 19th century Catalan modernism are just a few examples of what you might see travelling around Spain’s cities and countryside. And starting today, people all over the world will be able to explore 50 new iconic locations in Spain with Street View on Google Maps", says Amita Khattri, Street View Program Manager.
George Osborne has announced a new tax proposal aimed at multinational firms like Google, Amazon and Apple, normally associated with shifting profits to avoid paying UK tax.
The measure, which has been dubbed the "Google tax", was announced during the chancellor’s autumn statement.
A little over a year ago, fashion photographer Viktorija Pashuta released images from a photo shoot entitled What If Girls Were Internet Browsers. It was a simple, fun idea in which Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, Chrome and Safari were given female personas and represented by models. Now Viktorija has a new project -- What if Guys Were Social Networks.
The idea's very similar to last year's project. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, tumblr, Pinterest, flickr and LinkedIn are all anthropomorphized into eight men, each with their own unique look and personality. In the line-up of social networks, all of the major players are represented, but the new kid on the block, Ello, is notable by its absence.
Two weeks ago Mozilla announced that it would be jettisoning Google as the default search option in Firefox, opting instead to go for Yahoo, the search engine that most right-thinking people stopped using, and caring about, years ago (at least Mozilla didn’t select Ask.com).
Firefox 34 launched at the start of the month, with Yahoo as the default choice for US users, and instantly the newly selected search engine saw a massive increase in usage.
Like any company, Google wants to appeal to as many people as possible. Google Docs has been tweaked to increase its appeal to enterprise and business users, and Gmail is constantly primped and poked. Appealing specifically to children is not an entirely new idea for the search giant -- Google Code-In is targeted at 13-17 year olds, for instance -- but now Google is setting its sights on a younger audience.
Talking to USA Today, Vice President of Engineering at Google, Pavni Diwanji explained that the company is looking to create new versions of its products that are "fun and safe for children". Starting next year, the company will launch new versions of existing services, this time aimed at those aged 12 and under.
When you are a developer, the world is not all roses. Sure, it is very rewarding to bring your ideas to life, but sometimes your imagination is limited by the software with which you are forced to use. You see, many services offer an API, which enables your software to connect with it. Ultimately, if it is user-based data, you can push and pull information to and from a users account.
Google's calendar is such a service that offers an API, but sadly, applications were limited to 100,000 requests per day. While this might be sufficient for some developers, it apparently was not good enough for all -- the search giant is increasing this to 1 million daily requests.