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Paul Merrell

Google Acquires Titan Aerospace, The Drone Company Pursued By Facebook | TechCrunch - 0 views

  • Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target (as first reported by TechCrunch), the WSJ reports. The details of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the deal comes after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its globe-spanning Internet plans.

    Both Ascenta and Titan Aerospace are in the business of high altitude drones, which cruise nearer the edge of the earth’s atmosphere and provide tech that could be integral to blanketing the globe in cheap, omnipresent Internet connectivity to help bring remote areas online. According to the WSJ, Google will be using Titan Aerospace’s expertise and tech to contribute to Project Loon, the balloon-based remote Internet delivery project it’s currently working on along these lines.

    That’s not all the Titan drones can help Google with, however. The company’s robots also take high-quality images in real-time that could help with Maps initiatives, as well as contribute to things like “disaster relief” and addressing “deforestation,” a Google spokesperson tells WSJ. The main goal, however, is likely spreading the potential reach of Google and its network, which is Facebook’s aim, too. When you saturate your market and you’re among the world’s most wealthy companies, you don’t go into maintenance mode; you build new ones.

  • As for why an exit to Google looked appealing to a company like Titan, Sarah Perez outlines how Titan had sparked early interest from VCs thanks to its massive drones, which were capable of flying at a reported altitude of 65,000 feet for up to three years, but how there was also a lot of risk involved that would’ve made it difficult to find sustained investment while remaining independent.

    Google had just recently demonstrated how its Loon prototype balloons could traverse the globe in a remarkably short period of time, but the use of drones could conceivably make a network of Internet-providing automotons even better at globe-trotting, with a higher degree of control and ability to react to changing conditions. Some kind of hybrid system might also be in the pipeline that marries both technologies.

Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Canon digital, tasa Google, enlaces, bloqueo de webs y otras … del marco lega... - 1 views

    "Esta mañana el presidente de la Asociación de Internautas ha comparecido ante la Subcomisión de Estudio sobre redes sociales del Congreso de los Diputados y a continuaciín transcribimos la primera parte de su intervención en sede parlamentaria:"
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Google Graveyard: Here's what Google has killed so far in 2014 | ITworld - 1 views

    "Google beats spring cleaning rush, nixes apps and services.
    By Bob Brown, Network World, March 20, 2014"

    *#innovation #reversion
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Google Refuses to Take Down Pirate-Movies-on-YouTube Sites | TorrentFreak - 0 views

    " Andy
    on March 18, 2014
    C: 8


    Following today's copyright settlement between Google and Viacom, it's interesting to note that YouTube still has plenty of illicit Hollywood content online. The MPAA has certainly noticed, with an effort last week to have several Popcorn Time-style dedicated web interfaces de-listed by Google, a request that was declined."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Google Penalizes Italian & Spanish Link Networks - 1 views

    *As The #EuropeanCentralBank...
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

El canon a la AEDE provocará un desplome de la inversión en España según Goog... - 0 views

    "Algunas de las empresas más importantes de Internet ya han expresado su malestar con el nuevo canon establecido por el Gobierno a los editores de prensa en su reforma de la LPI. Según compañías como Google y Facebook esta medida frenará la inversión en nuestro país."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Cuál es el papel de los medios, AEDE y CEDRO en la 'tasa Google' - 0 views

    "La mal llamada tasa Google en realidad es un canon que será gestionado por CEDRO

    Mientras lo impreso pierde influencia frente al consumo online y la relevancia de AEDE en el tráfico web español es muy baja, el Gobierno introduce una tasa que afectará a todos los agregadores de noticias, blogs y otros sitios web

    En qué consiste el artículo 32.2 y por qué se incluyó a último minuto en la Ley de Propiedad Intelectual

    Antonio Delgado
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Viviane Reding: "Google roba datos privados a los usuarios" | euronews, the global conv... - 0 views

    " |La vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea, Viviane Reding y Comisaria de Justicia , Derechos Fundamentales y Ciudadanía ha asegurado que siente Estados Unidos haya espiado a países socios y amigos como son los países europeos."
Paul Merrell

Gmail blows up e-mail marketing by caching all images on Google servers | Ars Technica - 1 views

  • Ever wonder why most e-mail clients hide images by default? The reason for the "display images" button is because images in an e-mail must be loaded from a third-party server. For promotional e-mails and spam, usually this server is operated by the entity that sent the e-mail. So when you load these images, you aren't just receiving an image—you're also sending a ton of data about yourself to the e-mail marketer.

    Loading images from these promotional e-mails reveals a lot about you. Marketers get a rough idea of your location via your IP address. They can see the HTTP referrer, meaning the URL of the page that requested the image. With the referral data, marketers can see not only what client you are using (desktop app, Web, mobile, etc.) but also what folder you were viewing the e-mail in. For instance, if you had a Gmail folder named "Ars Technica" and loaded e-mail images, the referral URL would be ""—the folder is right there in the URL. The same goes for the inbox, spam, and any other location. It's even possible to uniquely identify each e-mail, so marketers can tell which e-mail address requested the images—they know that you've read the e-mail. And if it was spam, this will often earn you more spam since the spammers can tell you've read their last e-mail.

  • But Google has just announced a move that will shut most of these tactics down: it will cache all images for Gmail users. Embedded images will now be saved by Google, and the e-mail content will be modified to display those images from Google's cache, instead of from a third-party server. E-mail marketers will no longer be able to get any information from images—they will see a single request from Google, which will then be used to send the image out to all Gmail users. Unless you click on a link, marketers will have no idea the e-mail has been seen. While this means improved privacy from e-mail marketers, Google will now be digging deeper than ever into your e-mails and literally modifying the contents. If you were worried about e-mail scanning, this may take things a step further. However, if you don't like the idea of cached images, you can turn it off in the settings.

    This move will allow Google to automatically display images, killing the "display all images" button in Gmail. Google servers should also be faster than the usual third-party image host. Hosting all images sent to all Gmail users sounds like a huge bandwidth and storage undertaking, but if anyone can do it, it's Google. The new image handling will rollout to desktop users today, and it should hit mobile apps sometime in early 2014.

    There's also a bonus side effect for Google: e-mail marketing is advertising. Google exists because of advertising dollars, but they don't do e-mail marketing. They've just made a competitive form of advertising much less appealing and informative to advertisers. No doubt Google hopes this move pushes marketers to spend less on e-mail and more on Adsense.

    There's an antitrust angle to this; it could be viewed by a court as anti-competitive. But given the prevailing winds on digital privacy, my guess would be that Google would slide by.
Paul Merrell

Google Wants to Write Your Social Media Messages For You - Search Engine Watch (#SEW) - 0 views

    Visions of endless conversations between different people's bots with no human participation. Then a human being reads a reply and files a libel lawsuit against the human whose bot posted the reply. Can the defendant obtain dismissal on grounds that she did not write the message herself; her Google autoresponder did and therefore if anyone is liable it is Google? 

    Our Brave New (technological) World does and will pose many novel legal issues. My favorite so far: Assume that genetics have progressed to the point that unknown to Bill Gates, someone steals a bit of his DNA and implants it in a mother-to-be's egg. Is Bill Gates as the biological father liable for child support? Is that child an heir to Bill Gates' fortune? The current state of law in the U.S. would suggest that the answer to both questions is almost certainly "yes." The child itself is blameless and Bill Gates is his biological father.
Michael Sweigart

How Google's New Update Called Hummingbird Effects SEO - 1 views

    Google's Hummingbird algorithm marks their largest search engine algorithm update in years. In fact, in our estimation, it is one of the most important in recent history since it changes the game completely. It makes sense that this change has come, and it provides us with important insight as to what Google thinks will be the future of search.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

How to Setup Your Own Web Proxy Server For Free with Google App Engine [Video Tutorial] - 1 views

    "Do a Google search like "proxy servers" and you'll find dozens of PHP proxy scripts on the Internet that will help you create your own proxy servers in minutes for free. The only limitation with PHP based proxies is that they require a web server (to host and run the proxy scripts) and you also need a domain name that will act as an address for your proxy site."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Google's Fallacious Piracy Self-Study (Part 1) | MUSIC * TECHNOLOGY * POLICY - 1 views

    "The White Queen] "Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

    Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll

    Google has released a self-study (How Google Fights Piracy). While hope springs eternal, the self-study falls quite short of both truth and reality. Let's see why.

    The Context

    Even if you discount the moral hazard involved with funding a study of yourself, the Google survey of Google's involvement with piracy is a breathtaking document. I would suggest that the self-study rests on a number of core principles for Google's business:

    1. Nothing to See Here, Move Along: First and foremost is Google's deep and abiding desire"
Paul Merrell

Google to encrypt Cloud Storage data by default | ITworld - 0 views

  • Google said Thursday it will by default encrypt data warehoused in its Cloud Storage service.

    The server-side encryption is now active for all new data written to Cloud Storage, and older data will be encrypted in the coming months, wrote Dave Barth, a Google product manager, in a blog post.

  • The data and metadata around an object stored in Cloud Storage is encrypted with a unique key using 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard algorithm, and the "per-object key itself is encrypted with a unique key associated with the object owner," Barth wrote.

    "These keys are additionally encrypted by one of a regularly rotated set of master keys," he wrote. "Of course, if you prefer to manage your own keys then you can still encrypt data yourself prior to writing it to Cloud Storage."

  • A Google spokeswoman said via email the company does not provide encryption keys to any government and provides user data only in accordance with the law.
    Google paints a deceptive picture of security in a new default encryption service for customer data stored on Google Cloud Storage. See Google blog article linked from the bookmarked page. ITWorld goes part way in unmasking the deception but could have been far more blunt. The claimed fact that Google does not turn encryption keys over to the NSA, et ilk, is irrelevant if Google still decrypts the customer data upon NSA/FBI demand, which it very apparently does. But the Google blog article doesn't mention that and paints a picture seemingly intended to deceive customers into not encrypting their own data before parking it on Google Cloud Storage, thus aiding the NSA/FBI, et cet., in their surveillance efforts.  Deceptive advertising is a serious legal no-no. Hopefully, Google Cloud Storage users will be perceptive enough not to be misled by Google's advertising. But it's a sign that Google managers may be getting worried about losing customers to companies operating in nations that have far stronger protection for digital privacy than the U.S.
Paul Merrell

Lawrence, KS To Get Gigabit Fiber - But Not From Google - Slashdot - 0 views

  • "Just 40 miles west on the Kansas Turnpike from Kansas City Kansas sits Lawrence, KS. With the slow rollout of Google fiber in their neighbor city, it was looking like their 89,000 people were not going to get the gigabit fiber to the home for quite some time. Up steps Wicked Broadband, a local ISP. With a plan remarkably similar to Google's they look to build out fiber to the home, business, and so on with gigabit speed and similar rates, symmetric bandwidth and no caps. Wicked Fiber's offer is different than Google Fiber's, with more tiers — with cute names. The "Flying Monkey" gigabit plan is $100/month, "Tinman" at 100Mbps is $70/month. They offer TV as well but strangely put Internet streaming and Roku to the fore. They are even using Google's method of installing first in the neighborhoods with the most pre-registration to optimize efficiency, and installing only where there is enough demand. It seems Google's scheme to inspire competition in broadband access is working — if Wicked Fiber gets enough subscribers to make it pay. If this succeeds it may inspire similar ISPs near us to step up to gigabit fiber so let's root for them."
    It shouldn't take a lot of similar initiatives from companies other than Google to force major ISPs to begin rolling out gigabit ISP services in the U.S. in order to protect their market share from predation. To be followed by lower charges, hopefully. 
Paul Merrell

Blink! Google Is Forking WebKit - Slashdot - 0 views

  • "In a blog post titled Blink: A rendering engine for the Chromium project, Google has announced that Chromium (the open source backend for Chrome) will be switching to Blink, a new WebKit-based web rendering engine. Quoting: 'Chromium uses a different multi-process architecture than other WebKit-based browsers, and supporting multiple architectures over the years has led to increasing complexity for both the WebKit and Chromium projects. This has slowed down the collective pace of innovation... This was not an easy decision. We know that the introduction of a new rendering engine can have significant implications for the web. Nevertheless, we believe that having multiple rendering engines—similar to having multiple browsers—will spur innovation and over time improve the health of the entire open web ecosystem. ... In the short term, Blink will bring little change for web developers. The bulk of the initial work will focus on internal architectural improvements and a simplification of the codebase. For example, we anticipate that we’ll be able to remove 7 build systems and delete more than 7,000 files—comprising more than 4.5 million lines—right off the bat. Over the long term a healthier codebase leads to more stability and fewer bugs.'"
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