Google118 posts
16 Jul, 2014

Chrome blocks uTorrent

Google Chrome begins blocking downloads of the latest build of uTorrent. It says the file is “malicious” and Chrome has “blocked” it from being downloaded. Users can override this and download the file anyway, but Chrome displays a second warning:

This file will harm your computer. Even if you have downloaded files from this website before, the website may have been hacked. Instead of recovering this file you can retry the download later.

Google does not say why they block uTorrent.

Street view images catch robbers

googlebetterpicstreetviewGoogle street view images capture two robbery suspects from a 2011 crime. The images show the pair walking down the street prior to the burglary of a woman’s Oklahoma City home. A friend of the victim found the images and recognized the two men from the descriptions. The victim confirms it is them and recalls her experience with the thieves.

He actually sat at my dining room table and said ‘I think my karma is going to catch up with me’ and I just looked at him like yeah.

Police are asking for the public’s help to identify the suspects.

Blogger fined for Google placement


A French court rules that food critic Caroline Doudet must pay a fine of €1,500 ($2,000) because her negative review of a restaurant is too high on the Google search results and may affect business. She also must rename her post, The Place to Avoid in Cap-Ferret: Il Giardino, to something that is less likely to drive business away from the restaurant. The owner acknowledges that the complaints in the blog are possibly true but says her post causes unwarranted harm:

Maybe there were some errors in the service, that happens sometimes in the middle of August – I recognise that. But this article showed in the Google search results and did my business more and more harm, even though we have worked seven days a week for 15 years. I could not accept that.

Bitcoin conversion on Google

Google partners with digital wallet Coinbase to bring instant Bitcoin conversions to search results. Users can convert between Bitcoin and other currencies by, for instance, typing “1 Bitcoin to USD” into the search bar. Coinbase says:

Now that Coinbase’s API is being used on Google, anyone who uses Google can see a graph of current and past bitcoin values compared to US dollars. They can also use Google’s currency converter to determine how many dollars equal how many bitcoin, and vice versa.

FBI: Driverless cars ‘lethal weapons’

The Guardian obtains an internal FBI report that says Google’s prototype for driverless cars could be used to kill people remotely, possibly even by terrorists:

Autonomy … will make mobility more efficient, but will also open up greater possibilities for dual-use applications and ways for a car to be more of a potential lethal weapon that it is today.

Street View detects gas leaks

Google partners with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) to include methane sensors on its Street View cars in Boston, Staten Island, and Indianapolis. They use this data to create a publicly available map of the location and severity of natural gas leaks, which they hope will motivate cities to take action. EDF associate vice president Mark Brownstein releases a statement:

Until now, these smaller leaks have not been a priority in most places. Yet we can see from these maps just how much they can add up. By pulling vast amounts of information together in a place that offers simple, clickable visualization, the platform is going to be an important advocacy tool, one that helps shift resources to an area  of historic underinvestment.

15 Jul, 2014

Smart contact lenses

Google hires Novartis to develop and produce smart contact lenses, which are intended to help people with a variety of medical conditions. For example, the contacts could help people who are farsighted by focusing a camera on objects and making them clearer, or they could be used to monitor glucose levels through the tears of people with diabetes. Google co-founder Sergey Brin says:

Our dream is to use the latest technology in the miniaturization of electronics to help improve the quality of life for millions of people. We are very excited to work with Novartis to make this dream come true.

Project Zero

Google announces Project Zero, a team of researchers who searches the web for vulnerabilities and malware. When a threat is found, the software vendor is notified and it is posted on a publicly available database:

You should be able to use the web without fear that a criminal or state-sponsored actor is exploiting software bugs to infect your computer, steal secrets or monitor your communications. Yet in sophisticated attacks, we see the use of “zero-day” vulnerabilities to target, for example, human rights activists or to conduct industrial espionage. This needs to stop. We think more can be done to tackle this problem. Project Zero is our contribution, to start the ball rolling.

Free Android development course

Google releases a course called Developing Android Apps: Android Fundamentals on the e-learning platform Udacity. The course is aimed at people who are new to developing for Android but have some programming experience. It is taught by three Android developers, Reto Meier, Dan Galpin and Katherine Kuan, and features videos, quizzes, and forums.

Developing Android Apps

Noto Sans CJK font

Google and Adobe work together to create the first open-source font family that works for Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, and Korean. This requires tens of thousands of characters to be drawn, because these languages have differences from one another and also regional variation even within the same language:

Google, in cooperation with our partner Adobe, has released a free, high-quality Pan-CJK font family: Noto Sans CJK. These fonts are intended to provide a richer and more beautiful reading experience to the East Asian community in many OSes and software applications.

10 Jul, 2014

Prostitute charged in executive’s death


A high-end prostitute is charged with the death of Google executive, Timothy Hayes. Video taken on November 23, 2013 aboard Hayes’ yacht shows Alix Catherine Tichleman injecting Hayes with heroin and then leaving the yacht. The police statement reads:

Rather than provide first aid or call 911, Ms. Tichleman proceeds to gather her belongings including the heroin and needles.

Police say Tichleman stepped over Hayes’ body several times while preparing to leave the yacht, including stepping over him to finish a glass of wine.  Hayes had an “ongoing prostitution relationship” with Tichleman.

First i3 Chromebook

chromebookAcer announces the C720-3404 and C720-3871 Chromebook models, which are the first to use the Intel Core i3 processor. The devices also have 11.6-inch displays, a 1366 x 768p screen resolution, a 32 GB solid state drive, and 2 or 4 GB of RAM. A spokesperson for Intel says:

Acer has been a leader in the Chromebook space and the new C720 based on 4th generation Intel Core i3 processors marks a new class of Chromebook with enhanced performance and battery life.

Maps adds distance measure


Google announces a new mapping tool that makes it easier to measure distances on Maps. The new feature allows the user to see how many miles a road trip covers.  It is currently possible to get distance information with Maps via Directions, My Maps, or Maps Labs functions, but the new feature promises to make it easier to access the data.

8 Jul, 2014

Kansas Fiber expansion


Overland Park, Kansas, approves an agreement to bring Google Fiber to the city. The service delivers Internet speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (that’s 100 times faster than most U.S. connections), allowing an entire album of music to download in under six seconds, or an entire movie to be downloaded in 38 seconds. Google Fiber came to Kansas City in 2012, and a limited amount of surrounding cities also have the service in place.  The other two US cities with the service are Austin, Texas and Provo, Utah.  The service costs $70 a month, or $120 with TV service.

7 Jul, 2014

Google smartphones in orbit

NASA announces that their Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) are being equipped with smartphones produced by Google which have a motion-tracking camera, infrared depth censors, and space-tested batteries equipped, allowing the satellites to navigate more easily:

We wanted to add communication, a camera, increase the processing capability, accelerometers and other sensors. As we were scratching our heads thinking about what to do, we realized the answer was in our hands. Let’s just use smartphones.

Street View on cruise ship

Royal Caribbean International becomes the first cruise line to use Google Maps Business View to give customers a virtual tour of its ship, Allure of the Seas. People can get a feel for the accommodation on the ship by touring its cabins, restaurants, and pools. A spokesperson for the company says:

Consumers go online to research their holidays and this is the closest they can get to actually being on board.

Royal Caribbean's Allure on Google Street View

Jul 2014

Sued by restaurant owner

The owner of the Serbian Crown restaurant in Great Falls, Virginia sues Google for a 75% drop in weekend sales because they are incorrectly listed as closed on weekends and Mondays on Google Places. The loss of revenue is so severe that they close down in April, 2013. Google’s lawyers dismiss the merit of the case:

The Serbian Crown should not be permitted to vex Google or this court with such meritless claims.

7 Jul, 2014

YouTube Recharge

Google makes a deal with Indian cellular service provider Tata DoCoMo to offer a pay-as-you-go data streaming plan for YouTube called YouTube Recharge. Users can buy 100 MB of data for 9 rupees (15 cents) or a weekly plan with 300 MB for 39 rupees (65 cents). A YouTube spokesperson says:

This is part of our efforts to make video content more affordable to a large base of mobile Internet users in the country. This is the first of its kind partnership in India.

4 Jul, 2014

Restores removed links

Google restores search result links to articles by UK news outlets like the Guardian and the Telegraph that are removed to comply with a recent EU court ruling that says people have a right to be forgotten. The publishers say they did not request the removals or receive communication from Google about why exactly the articles violate the ruling.

3 Jul, 2014

‘People work too much’

Page says in an interview with Vinod Khosla that people work too much and that technology could allow them to focus more on the things that make them happy:

If you really think about the things you need to make yourself happy — housing, security, opportunity for your kids … it’s not that hard for us to provide those things. The idea that everyone needs to work frantically to meet peoples’ needs is not true.

Fireside chat with Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin with Vinod Khosla

Gmail blocks Goldman Sachs error email

Google blocks a Gmail user from accessing a confidential message that was accidentally sent by a Goldman Sachs contractor, a Goldman spokesperson told Reuters Wednesday.  The email contained confidential and privileged client information and was sent to “” instead of  “”  The error may have caused a “needless and massive” breach of privacy, so the company asked Google to block the message, and the company complied with the request.  The email is blocked but not deleted, an action that requires a court order. The previous day, Goldman Sachs files a complaint in a New York state court in Manhattan to have the email deleted. In the court documents the firm states:

Emergency relief is necessary to avoid the risk of inflicting a needless and massive privacy violation upon Goldman Sachs’ clients, and to avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs.

Bans porn ads


Google notifies Google Ad Words advertisers that they will no longer show ads that contain sexual imagery including, but not limited to, hardcore pornography; graphic sexual acts including sex acts such as masturbation; genital, anal, and oral sexual activity. The company says it’s made this decision to no longer allow porn ads:

as an effort to continually improve users’ experiences with AdWords.

Founders: Healthcare too regulated

Brin and Page respond to a suggestion by venture capitalist Vinod Khosla that Google’s healthcare technology may become a bigger business than its social media or search business. Brin responds:

Generally, health is just so heavily regulated. It’s just a painful business to be in. It’s just not necessarily how I want to spend my time. Even though we do have some health projects, and we’ll be doing that to a certain extent.

Page adds:

I am really excited about the possibility of data also, to improve health. But that’s– I think what Sergey’s saying, it’s so heavily regulated.

Jul 2014

Acquires Songza


Google acquires Songza, a service that creates soundtracks tailored to people’s changing moods, and plans to blend Songza’s technology into its own music streaming service. This service will cost $10 per month. Financial terms of the deal are not disclosed. Songza:

We can’t think of a better company to join in our quest to provide the perfect soundtrack for everything you do.


30 Jun, 2014

Orkut closing

Google announces that it plans to shut down its first social networking site, Orkut, on September 30, 2014. Google plans to dedicate its resources to Google+, Blogger, and YouTube. Users can download their posts from Google Takeout, and the site will be archived by Google:

It’s been a great 10 years, and we apologize to those still actively using the service. We hope people will find other online communities to spark more conversations and build even more connections for the next decade and beyond.

28 Jun, 2014

Executives visit Cuba

It is reported by Cuban news site 14ymedio that Google executives including Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt visit Cuba to “to promote the virtues of a free and open Internet” in the country. Only 2.6 million out of 11.2 million people in Cuba have Internet access, and it is censored in the country.

27 Jun, 2014

Burke: Nexus not ending

Dave Burke, Google’s engineering chief, responds to speculation that they intend to replace the Nexus line of products with a rumored line of products called Android Silver:

People have been commenting about Nexus because there is something else and they think that means the end of Nexus. That is the totally wrong conclusion to make…Android Silver is not something that we are commenting on right now.

Humanoid robot


Google withdraws the humanoid robot it bought from a Japanese design firm, SCHAFT, from the Pentagon’s DARPA Robotics Challenge so they can work on a commercial version. The robot is 4 feet 11 inches tall and uses a capacitor instead of a battery for power, giving it more strength than other robots.

SCHAFT : DARPA Robotics Challenge 8 Tasks + Special Walking

26 Jun, 2014

Android smartwatches

The Android smartwatch, worn by all of the Google I/O presenters, is introduced halfway through the keynote address at the Google I/O conference. LG’s G Watch and Samsung’s Gear Live will be released for sale in Google’s Play Store on June 26, 2014.  Android engineering director, David Singleton, demonstrated the voice command feature on the Moto 360 smartwatch by ordering a pizza using the Eat 24 app.  The Moto 360  will be available to consumers later this summer.

We have added voice actions for some key areas on the wearable (gadgets) and we’ll be adding more over the coming months

UK Glass regulations


Andrew Paterson, senior technology officer at the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK, writes in a blog post that businesses using Glass are subject to laws in the country regarding how data is stored and secured:

Organizations must not lose sight of the fact that wearables must still operate in compliance with the law and consumers’ personal information must be looked after.

A Google spokeswoman responds:

The fact that Glass is worn above the eyes and the screen lights up whenever it’s activated clearly signals it’s in use and makes it a fairly lousy surveillance device.

‘Right to be forgotten’ begins


Google begins processing requests for search result removals because of a European Union court ruling that people have a “right to be forgotten” on the internet. They have over 41,000 requests to remove individually:

This week, we’re starting to take action on the removals requests that we’ve received. This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually, and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue.

25 Jun, 2014

Android One

Product Release

Google announces the Android One, a sub-$100 smartphone aimed at India and other developing nations. The phone will have a 4.5 inch display, dual SIM card slots, and an FM radio. Sundar Pichai, head of Google’s Android division, discusses the phone at Google’s I/O conference:

Our goal is to reach the next five billion people in the world. In India and other countries like that, it’s disappointing that less than 10 percent of the population have access to smartphones.

Google Shows Off 'L', Android One

Glass ignored at I/O

Glass is not mentioned once during Google’s two-and-a-half hour keynote speech at its annual I/O convention. This prompts speculation on social media sites like Twitter that Google wants to phase out Glass. A spokesperson for Google tells TechCrunch:

Glass announced all of our news earlier this week and ahead of I/O so the Chrome and Android announcements could take center stage today and tomorrow.

Android Auto

Product Release

Google announces Android Auto, which is a platform that integrates Android phones into the driving experience. Users can use voice commands to get directions, play music, set reminders, and call contacts while driving. The platform is expected be available at the end of 2014.

Android Auto: The right information for the road ahead

Google Domains


Google announces the launch of Google Domains, a by invitation only service that will help small business find, register and manage their domain names.  The service is now in the beta testing phase.   This new venture puts Google in competition with companies they have partnered with in the past, the largest being  The pricing information has not been made public at this time.

Businesses will be able to search, find, purchase and transfer the best domain for their business — whether it’s .com, .biz, .org, or any of the wide range of new domains that are being released to the Web.

Quickoffice removal

Google says it plans to remove Quickoffice, a document editing program it owns, from Google Play and the Apple App Store in the coming weeks. The application has over 10,000,000 downloads on Google Play, but Google says all of its features are available from other Google office applications:

With the integration of Quickoffice into the Google Docs, Sheets and Slides apps, the Quickoffice app will be unpublished from Google Play and the App Store in the coming weeks. Existing users with the app can continue to use it, but no features will be added and new users will not be able to install the app.

19 Jun, 2014

Pledges $50m to teach girls to code


Google pledges $50 million over the next three years into its Made With Code effort. The Company hopes to connect more girls to CS courses available through Khan Academy or Code academy. Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of YouTube says that less than 1% of high school girls expressed an interest in majoring in computer science.

Coding isn’t just a skill useful for working at a tech company; engineering isn’t just for engineers. Interior design. Medicine. Architecture. Music. No matter what a girl dreams of doing, learning how to code will help her get there.

Made with Code – Film

Google Auto Link


Google introduces Google Auto Link (GAL), an in-car system that will be able to sync with Google Android smartphones. The system will rival Apple’s current Apple Car Play. It is the first product developed under its new partnership with Open Automotive Alliance. The partnership includes Audi, Honda, General Motors, Hyundai and chipmaker NVIDIA Corp . Developers who attend the Google I/O Conference in late June will be able to view the interface and a demonstration.

18 Jun, 2014

‘Right to be forgotten’ ruling

Google will comply with a European court ruling to remove links to certain online content. The rule protects individuals and requires search providers to remove links that an individual says violates their online privacy. The case was brought by Mario Costeja González, after he failed to remove an old auction listing that adversely affected his name.

Within the first 24 hours of the option being available, 12,000 requests are made. An internal team will review each request, then remove the link from access in the European Union and four other countries. Although the link will not be accessible in the EU, it can still be found in any location through the original domain.

Donates $100,000

In a joint project with Code Club and Technology Will Save Us, Google donates $100,000 towards children’s tech education. The funds will allow children to learn the basics of technology and build their own game consoles for just $100. Currently, the program is available only for 900 children. These children will receive assemblly help from Code Club for free. The self-assemble kits are on sale on a first-come, first-served basis.

17 Jun, 2014

Google removes ‘Dawn’ app


Google removes the ISIS app ‘Dawn of Glad Tidings’ from the Play store after it is widely reported by media. The app, which posts ISIS-created content including hashtags, links and images over users’ Twitter accounts, has been available for around two months and has been downloaded thousands of times. Google spokesman:

We remove any applications that breach our community guidelines.

16 Jun, 2014

First certified partners


Google names its first certified partners for the Glass At Work program. These partners include APX, AugMedix, Crowdoptic, GuidiGO and Wearable Intelligence. The companies will work to integrate Google Glass for business as well as medical uses. APX Labs’ app will provide business professionals with real-time enterprise data. Augmedix will provide medical professionals with a system to make patient visits efficient. Crowdoptic will create an app that will detect broadcast events in various categories. GuidiGo will work with museums and cultural institutions to enhance visitors’ experience. Wearable Intelligence will create an app for various categories including energy, manufacturing and healthcare. The Glass At Work program will allow the companies to co-brand as well as list on the program website.

13 Jun, 2014

Hangouts drawing tool


Google Hangouts adds the ability to draw in your chat window. The tool is similar to Microsoft Paint and allows drawings on blank canvas as well as over pictures. The addition is currently only available to Google+ users.

11 Jun, 2014

Google My Business


Google announces a new tool for business owners called Google My Business. The tool allows businesses to update all of their information in one system. After information is input, the app populates it in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+. This helps businesses get found more easily in the search engine. The app also provides businesses with insight into the background of their viewers, by giving them some tools from Adwords Express. A mobile application will soon be available.

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