Ron Amadeo for Ars Technica:
In short, Google seems to be backing away from the original Google+ strategy. The report states that Google+ will no longer be considered a product that competes with Facebook and Twitter, and that Google’s mission to force Google+ into every product will end.
- Anonymous report. Just add grain of salt and a dash of skepticism. But still. Finally.
Several U.S. states are considering legislation that will ban the use of Google Glass while driving. This legislation is an awesome idea and it really should be at the federal level.
Google has begun lobbying some states to abandon this legislation. This is a terrible idea. The last thing people need while behind the wheel of two-ton murder machines is a damn computer screen in front of their eyes and all the distractions that come with it. The only things drivers should focus on is the road and not murdering anyone.
Please contact your representatives and tell them Google Glass behind the wheel—and, really, most other places—is a terrible idea.
“No one at Google is returning our calls” – Digits to Dollars
Smaller Chinese mobile OEMs—which collectively ship hundreds of millions of devices a year—are having a tough time getting in touch with the Android compliance department. Since they can’t obtain compliance, they can’t get access to Google’s core services (the G-Suite), including Google Play, so they’re working around the problem.
Google Public Policy Blog: Asking the U.S. government to allow Google to publish more national security request data
Like Facebook and Microsoft, Google also asked the US government for permission to publish NSA and FISA requests. While the first two already published aggregate data about their local, state, and federal national security requests and the “fraction of 1 percent of accounts” those requests affected, Google has not (though remember that Google has maintained a quite excellent transparency report for some time). I wager Google is waiting to publish until the government also allows FISA information.
Google services survive if they make money, aren’t social | Ars Technica
Some good analysis and observations from Casey Johnston at Ars Technica.
According to Google’s Sergey Brin, smartphones are emasculating.
But, apparently, swiping the side of your head repeatedly to do smartphone things is not.
Electronic Frontier Foundation – Who Has Your Back? 2013
When you use the Internet, you entrust your conversations, thoughts, experiences, locations, photos, and more to companies like Google, AT&T and Facebook. But what do these companies do when the government demands your private information? Do they stand with you? Do they let you know what’s going on?
In this annual report, the Electronic Frontier Foundation examined the policies of major Internet companies — including ISPs, email providers, cloud storage providers, location-based services, blogging platforms, and social networking sites — to assess whether they publicly commit to standing with users when the government seeks access to user data. The purpose of this report is to incentivize companies to be transparent about how data flows to the government and encourage them to take a stand for user privacy whenever it is possible to do so.
I’m surprised to see Apple and Amazon among the worst ranked (though AT&T and Verizon aren’t surprising). Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, and Dropbox go to bat most often. I’ve never seen this EFF report before, but I’m glad I have now.
Google has released its latest transparency report, a regular summary and set of statistics on the number of requests from governments and court orders to remove content or review it for adherence to the company’s community guidelines.
In short, government requests to remove content have shot through the roof, particularly from Brazil and Russia. Google has also made some worthwhile improvements to its report, such as breaking down whether it responds by actually removing content or restricting it from view in specific regions to comply with local laws.
“Why I left Google”
James Whittaker, former Engineering Director at Google, offers a first-person diagnosis of the infection making its way through Google, originating in the brain:
The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.
Rene Ritchie at iMore invited me to square off about Google Glass, default iOS apps, Chromebook Pixel, multitasking, my old G5 iMac, and more.
If you’re wondering why I sip my beer so much, I’m trying to take a drink for every stupid ‘um’.