One of the coolest things about Chrome is the silent, automatic updates that always ensure that users are always running the latest version. While Chrome itself is updated automatically by Google, that update process also includes Chrome’s extensions, which are updated by the extension owners. This means that it’s up to the user to decide if the owner of an extension is trustworthy or not, since you are basically giving them permission to push new code out to your browser whenever they feel like it.
To make matters worse, ownership of a Chrome extension can be transferred to another party, and users are never informed when an ownership change happens. Malware and adware vendors have caught wind of this and have started showing up at the doors of extension authors, looking to buy their extensions. Once the deal is done and the ownership of the extension is transferred, the new owners can issue an ad-filled update over Chrome’s update service, which sends the adware out to every user of that extension.
We ought to clarify here that Google isn’t explicitly responsible for such unwanted adware, but vendors are exploiting Google’s extension system to create a subpar—and possibly dangerous—browsing experience. Ars has contacted Google for comment, but we haven’t heard back yet. We’ll update this article if we do.
Google+ has been blurring a problematic number of lines lately. Recently, the service was named in violation of a restraining order, and Google announced that soon it would be possible for Google+ users to place e-mails in other users’ inboxes without their e-mail address.
As the NY Daily News reports, Tom Gagnon, 32, was arrested in December because Google+ sent his ex-girlfriend a message asking her to “join his circle.” It’s unclear whether that means she was asked to join a specific circle, of which most Google users have many, or if the message was asking her to sign up for the service in general.
Gagnon, whose ex-girlfriend has a no-contact restraining order against him, claims that he did not initiate the invite and that it was an automated message. Another news outlet, Salem News, reported that the message was a result of Google sending messages to “anyone you’ve ever contacted.” In fact, Google+ will not mass-message everyone in your inbox, but it will selectively message contacts in Gmail.
Salem District Court Judge Robert Brennan admitted that he was not sure if what Gagnon alleged about the automated message was possible. Brennan said he would investigate the matter and held Gagnon on $500 bail.
On this eve of Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary there’s an alien force spreading across Google’s platforms around the world.
If you’re fan of the good Doctor, you may not be able to resist.
Google has launched what CNET thinks is “the most marvelous Google Doodle yet.” As of early Friday afternoon, we were seeing it on Google U.K., Google New Zealand, Google Canada and several of the Web browser’s other international domains (but not as of then on the U.S. homepage).
Call it the Whodle — an “8-bit multilevel platform game [that] is a masterpiece of interactive theater,” as CNET says.
Off to see how #9 does at it!
Slightly edited to remove personal name. And it’s designed for Californians, as she is our Senator.
A warrant issued by a judge is out best protection under the law from excess or unfair surveillance. The more secrecy that is involved the more potential for abuse. No matter who is President, no matter what “extra oversight” is said to be added. So far so good is not a good long term argument for secrecy about surveillance. Metadata or not.
Those who disagree-I’d love to hear why in comments.
Here’s the difference between your legal right to privacy online and your legal right to privacy offline:
If the government wants to obtain a document stored in your home file cabinet, the law requires a warrant signed by a judge. The warrant needs to show that there’s probable cause that such an intrusion of your privacy will expose proof of illegal activity.
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, however, some government agencies argue that they don’t need a warrant to access your online data. They simply send a subpoena — which doesn’t require a judge’s signature or the same burden of proof — to the Internet service.
Your senator, Dianne Feinstein, is a leader on the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving her the responsibility to lead the way on updating the law.
Share this message with Senator Feinstein to let her know that your privacy online should be protected as much as your privacy offline.
We deserve the same protection online and offline
To be clear, Google requires a search warrant before releasing any data relating to contents of Gmail or other Google services.
That said, the number of requests from law enforcement to Google are growing — in the first half of this year, Google received 10,918 requests for information about our users from government investigators in the US. That’s an increase of 205% since 2009.
It’s time for the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to protect our privacy in more than name only — a warrant should always be required when the government wants to read your email or any other form of online communication.
Do you agree? Tell Senator Feinstein now:
(Reuters) - Google Inc has overhauled its search algorithm, the foundation of the Internet’s dominant search engine, to better cope with the longer, more complex queries it has been getting from Web users.
Amit Singhal, senior vice president of search, told reporters on Thursday that the company launched its latest “Hummingbird” algorithm about a month ago and that it currently affects 90 percent of worldwide searches via Google.
Google is trying to keep pace with the evolution of Internet usage. As search queries get more complicated, traditional “Boolean” or keyword-based systems begin deteriorating because of the need to match concepts and meanings in addition to words.
“Hummingbird” is the company’s effort to match the meaning of queries with that of documents on the Internet, said Singhal from the Menlo Park garage where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin conceived their now-ubiquitous search engine.
If all digital data were stored on punch cards, how big would Google’s data warehouse be?
Google almost certainly has more data storage capacity than any other organization on Earth.
Google is very secretive about its operations, so it’s hard to say for sure. There are only a handful of organizations who might plausibly have more storage capacity or a larger server infrastructure. Here’s my short list of the top contenders:
Amazon (They’re huge, but probably not as big as Google.)
Facebook (They’re on the right scale and growing fast, but still playing catch-up.)
Microsoft (They have a million servers, although no one seems sure why.)
Let’s take a closer look at Google’s computing platform.
As a reminder, it goes byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terrabyte, petabyte, exabyte… O_o
As Google celebrates its 15th birthday, the web giant has become a byword for information retrieval.
But if you put Jonathon Fletcher’s name into a Google search, none of the immediate results hint to the role he played in the development of the world wide web.
There is certainly nothing that credits him as the father of the modern search engine.
Yet 20 years ago, in a computer lab at the University of Stirling in Scotland, Mr Fletcher invented the world’s first web-crawling search engine - the very technology that powers Google, Bing, Yahoo and all the major search tools on the web today.
Mr Fletcher called his invention JumpStation. He put together an index of pages which could then be searched by a web crawler, essentially an automated process that visits, and indexes, every link on every web page it comes across. The process continues until the crawler runs out of things to visit.
Ten days later, on 21 December 1993, JumpStation ran out of things to visit. It had indexed 25,000 pages.
To date, Google has indexed over a trillion pages.
“In my opinion, the web isn’t going to last forever,” he told the audience. “But the problem of finding information is.”
“The desire to search through content and find information is independent of the medium.”
The current medium is making a lot of money for those who followed him, but the Scarborough-born pioneer has no regrets.
“My parents are proud of me, my wife is proud of me, my children are proud of me, and that’s worth quite a lot to me, so I’m quite happy.”
Latest in long line of Brit inventors who’ve made no money from their inventions.
A cautionary memo put out by the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice shows that, according to the government’s findings, only 0.7 percent of all mobile malware is designed to take advantage of iOS. This figure is in stark contrast to the Android OS, which the memo reports accounts for 79 percent of mobile malware threats. The release was published by the website Public Intelligence.
he White House announced that a deal, including AOL, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, had been reached to try to limit the display of advertisements on websites with content that infringes copyright and engage in counterfeiting. The voluntary measures taken by the firms is a bid to stem the flow of cash to websites that typically rely on advertising to make money.
Google, arguably the most important internet ad broker, said the “Best Practices for Ad Networks to Address Piracy and Counterfeiting” would “maintain and post policies prohibiting websites that are principally dedicated to selling counterfeit goods or engaging in copyright piracy from participating in the Ad Network’s advertising programs”.
Fred Humphries, VP of US Government Affairs at Microsoft said the takedown requests that form part of the proposed best practices have worked well for Microsoft in the past. He said, “It’s been our experience that a notice-and-takedown mechanism like the one envisioned by these Best Practices can be an effective means to address online infringement.