Google

Gmail has introduced a new feature called 'Mail Goggles' which will activate at a certain time at night (assuming a late Friday or Saturday night) when you might have had a drink or two. Mail Goggles will ask you some simple maths questions before you send an email, which might give you enough time to think about the email you're about to send.

This feature will be annoying and I hope there will be an option to deactivate it, one day it might save you from sending an email to an ex-girlfriend, or your boss that you might regret the next morning.

Will 5 simple maths questions really make you think twice before the email is sent?

If I ever receive a nasty email, and I'll be honest and say I have received a couple in the past, I normally walk away and don't respond immediately. In general, don't write emails or chat messages when you're not in such a good mood and you won't get into trouble.

The Google AJAX Libraries API has been created to make AJAX applications that use popular frameworks such as Prototype, Script.aculo.us, jQuery, Dojo, and MooTools faster and easier for developers and the end users.

Whenever a user goes to a AJAX site, they would normally have to download one of the libraries listed above again, and again, and again for each AJAX site they go to. The same file, over, and over, and over again. What a waste of time and speed.

So Google have developed a service for developers to reference these popular AJAX libraries from the Google servers. They have each version of the libraries (incase you want to stick to an older version), and many other benefits such as:-
* Caching can be done correctly, and once, by us... and developers have to do nothing
* Gzip works
* We can serve minified versions
* The files are hosted by Google which has a distributed CDN at various points around the world, so the files are "close" to the user
* The servers are fast
* By using the same URLs, if a critical mass of applications use the Google infrastructure, when someone comes to your application the file may already be loaded!
* A subtle performance (and security) issue revolves around the headers that you send up and down. Since you are using a special domain (NOTE: not google.com!), no cookies or other verbose headers will be sent up, saving precious bytes.

So a message to everyone who has created AJAX applications, to help yourself and the end users, change your references to Google's AJAX Libraries API. For more information check out ajaxian and the Google AJAX Libraries API???????? ????? ???????? and documentation.

When Google introduced their Street View feature into Google Maps, I've always said it would be very cool to see a video for directions from one location to another. I've found this site where they've been able to achieve just that.

The web app is available on Google Code so if you wish to look at the code behind it, you can. To view the app in action, visit http://gmaps-samples.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/streetview/streetview_directions.html.

The first thing you're going to notice is that it's slow, even on the fast speed and also you may receive blurry images if you're like me (in Australia). However as you can 'tap' into the Google Maps via their API, you're able to view all their images and functionality in any means you wish to (without violating their terms and services of course).

A user has created a C++/OpenGL application to give you a game-like experience, where you're able to move back and forwards and move around via the mouse. View the You Tube movie below to see this application in action.

For those who want to make their own Google Maps Street View application, this link is a great starting point.

YouTube Logo

Finally YouTube have taken the approach to create personalised home pages, which is part of what YouTube is lacking to become a social network.

This gives you a better, centralized away in which to experience YouTube, putting all your recommendations, updates from across your subscriptions, and friend activity on one page. Mashable

YouTube Logo

Finally YouTube have taken the approach to create personalised home pages, which is part of what YouTube is lacking to become a social network.

This gives you a better, centralized away in which to experience YouTube, putting all your recommendations, updates from across your subscriptions, and friend activity on one page. Mashable

Google Logo

The Internet Backbone is beginning to already show struggles of all the new high data Internet services and we've been informed by experts in the past that we would expect brown outs by 2010 (now only 1.75 years away).

Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, Google, KDDI Corporation, Pacnet and SingTel are planning to build a new trans-Pacific cable between Japan and California and will initially increase Trans–Pacific lit cable capacity by about 20 percent, with the potential to add up to 7.68 Terabits per second. Tech Crunch

Google's approach isn't the answer to this issue but it is indeed a stepping stone to ensure we won't experience Internet dropouts into the future.

“[Google’s] participation in building Unity ultimately helps provide our users with faster and more reliable connectivity.

If you’re wondering whether [Google is] going into the undersea cable business, the answer is no. We’re not competing with telecom providers, but the volume of data we need to move around the world has grown to the point where in some cases we’ve exceeded the ability traditional players can offer. Our partnership with these companies is just another step in ensuring that we’re delivering the best possible experience to people around the world.” Google’s Manager of Network Acquisitions, Francois Sterin

More information:-
* The official Google Blog
* Google Press Center
* Mother Earth Mother Board

Samsung and Google gPhone

The Samsung phone which is expected to be released later this year, will feature Google's Android software. What makes Android so special is the fast and easy development.

Open Icon
Open
Android allows you to access core mobile device functionality through standard API calls.

Barriers Icon
Breaking down boundaries
Combine information from the web with data on the phone -- such as contacts or geographic location -- to create new user experiences.

Equal Icon
All applications are equal
Android does not differentiate between the phone's basic and third-party applications -- even the dialer or home screen can be replaced.

Fast Icon
Fast & easy development
The SDK contains what you need to build and run Android applications, including a true device emulator and advanced debugging tools.

The new phones will definitely be in direct competition with the Apple iPhone and Windows Mobiles.

Google Maps Car

Google Map's Street View is now heading outside of the United States, in September cars were spotted in Canada and the United Kingdom. Today there have been sightings of the cars in Sydney and Perth, Australia.

In relating news, there have been a lot of privacy aspects that Google are infringing with Google Maps Street View, people walking into adult stores, people caught naked are just some of the privacy issues that Google has captured with this technology. So is it illegal to walk down a street, take a photo and post it on the Internet?

Google are however taking complaints quite seriously and are removing any images that are showing adult or offensive materials.

Google Logo

Some researchers at Cambridge University's Computer Science department have used Google to help crack obfuscated passwords in the Message-Digest Algorithm 5 (MD5) format. Steven Murdoch (Security Researcher - Light Blue Touchpaper blog), discovered that someone had intruded his wordpress blog and created an administrator account.

He later carried out some computer forensics to discover the extent of the damage the intruder made, Murdoch then became interested in working out the intruder's password he used for the administrator account.

As WordPress passwords are MD5 hashed and stored in a database, Murdoch wrote a script which MD5 hashed all the words in the dictionary to find a match. This failed, and so did using a Russian dictionary, so he turned to Google.

Murdoch simply inputted the MD5 password hash into Google and got several hits with one thing in common: the name 'Anthony'.

Because of this technique, Google is acting as a hash pre-image finder, and more importantly finding hashes of things that people have hashed before, said Murdoch. Google is doing what it does best: storing large databases and searching them. I doubt, however, that they envisaged this use.

If it wasn't bad enough having bloggers being sponsored about their materials by PayPerPost but now bloggers have a more serious issue with Google's new implementation. Google will be lowering the PageRank of PayPerPost bloggers which will not only affect the bloggers but PayPerPost as well (less people will see the posts).

IZEA (the new holding company for PayPerPost) CEO Ted Murphy is not surprisingly calling foul on the move, claiming that it’s part of some sort of censorship conspiracy by Google. Better still Murphy claims that it’s part of Google’s attempts to deny competition because PayPerPost is a “a very attractive alternative” to Adsense.
Duncan Riley - TechCrunch

As a part of a clampdown on material deemed to be offensive, the Mehr news agency reported that Iran has blocked access to the Google search engine and its Gmail email service.

"I can confirm these sites have been filtered," said Hamid Shahriari, the secretary of Iran's National Council of Information.

There is no real explanation to why the sites are being blocked, there are several other foreign sites that are inaccessible to Iranian users from Monday morning. Iran has some tough censorship on Internet sites and services, banning thousands of websites and blogs containing sexual and politically critical material as well as women's rights and social networking sites.

The rules are applied by ISPs who are preventing access to baned sites based on keywords, which means that some perfectly anodyne sites are not accessible as well as those that are more sensitive.

Iran is in the midst of one of its toughest moral crackdowns in years, which has already seen thousands of women warned for failing to obey Islamic dress rules.

This has been in the air for a while now, I can remember Google announcing this last year to prevent malicious software installed on consumer's computers. The biggest issue of most downloaded applications off the Internet is 'what else did it install?' There are a lot of free applications out there that will install keylogging applications onto your computer, which is a huge threat for those who do Internet banking, emails and so forth.

Google's Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer took the stage at a European regional meeting on the "ethical dimensions of the information society," organized by the French Commission of the UNESCO, to call for international privacy standards. Other search rivals to Google are in the picture as well such as Ask and Microsoft.

Now is the time for such standards, Fleischer says.

There is an accelerating globalization, technological innovation and concern over personal privacy. Fleischer cites the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Privacy Framework as the standards of International Privacy.

The APEC Privacy Framework, according to the organization's Web site, is built on nine principles: preventing harm, integrity of personal information, notice, security safeguards, collection limitations, access and correction, uses of personal information, accountability and choice.

More information here By Nicholas Carlson (Internet News).

It was announced earlier today that Google Apps will be available for the Enterprise market through Capgemini, a consulting and outsourcing service. For $50 / year, companies can subscribe to the Google Apps Premier Edition, which includes all the usual plus a few more like Google Docs, Spreadsheets, Gmail, Calendar, Google Talk, Page Creator, Start Page, Administrative tools, APIs, 24/7 tech support and a 99.9% uptime guarantee for Gmail.

Other web application services offer off-line modes and even options to host on your own site. This is a huge difference over Google Apps as they cannot be accessed offline.

Zimbra is a competitor to Google Apps and had this to say in an email:

Google’s deal with Cap Gemini today definitely raises visibility for the SaaS market. However, the pair face a challenge: since all Google Docs are stored on Google’s servers, public companies would face big Sarbanes-Oxley compliance issues if they deployed Google Apps. Zimbra’s Web 2.0 messaging and collaboration platform provides enterprise customers with freedoms that Google Apps just can’t provide, including the ability to archive for compliance purposes. They can use Zimbra as a hosted service or deploy it on-site. They can use it online or offline while retaining killer AJAX functionality. They can offer their employees access from any desktop, Web, or mobile client.

Zimbra is trying to grab a slice of that Google hype for itself, and it’s not the only company to do so: Microsoft is also taking shots at Google Apps today.

Google Flight Simulator Screen Shot

If you're bored with Google Earth, the excitement of looking at maps of the world has come and gone, then this might get your interest back for a few more minutes.

After installing Google Earth onto your computer, simply hit Ctrl+Alt+A (or Command+Option+A for Macs) to start the flight simulator. You get to choose 2 types of planes and I highly recommend you to read the instructions found here before starting.

Some more ideas have come into mind such as space exploration (fly from planet to planet and into Earth, Mars, Sun, Moons etc).

Google Flight Simulator Screen Shot

If you're bored with Google Earth, the excitement of looking at maps of the world has come and gone, then this might get your interest back for a few more minutes.

After installing Google Earth onto your computer, simply hit Ctrl+Alt+A (or Command+Option+A for Macs) to start the flight simulator. You get to choose 2 types of planes and I highly recommend you to read the instructions found here before starting.

Some more ideas have come into mind such as space exploration (fly from planet to planet and into Earth, Mars, Sun, Moons etc).