DigitalOutbox Episode 90
In this episode the team discuss Google. That’s it. It’s all about Google. Almost.
2:35 – Dropbox Breach
- Fewer than 100 accounts accessed
- But according to the letter, those accounts were all accessed by a single individual. In other words, these weren’t accidental logins due to typos — someone discovered the hole and actively used it to access files that were not theirs.
5:09 – Tony Blairs Personal Details Hacked…and Leaked
- A member of hacker group TeaMp0isoN (Team Poison) leaked personal information of U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, plus the phone numbers and addresses of dozens of members of the government who allegedly supported the war on Iraq, on Friday night.
- TriCk posted the list on Friday night, which included the National Insurance number of Tony Blair, the phone number of 10 Downing Street, plus the alleged phone numbers and addresses of some of Blair’s contacts, including Lord and Lady Irvine and Denis MacShane, Baroness Thornton, the MP for Rotherham. MacShane’s name was misspelled “McShane,” however.
- The information was obtained in Dec. 2010, TriCk posted. “We still have access to the Webmail server, phone numbers may have changed but all the information is 100% legit.”
- Strange – hardly any mainstream media coverage – Telegraph only
8:47 – Bye Bye Lulzsec
- Hacker group LulzSec has announced that after 50 days of hacking companies and organizations, it is finally done. Check out the message from LulzSec below, which was posted on Pastebin. Check out the video as well (embedded below).
LulzSec most recently released a torrent of data from Arizona law enforcement which included hundreds of classified documents including personal emails, names and phone numbers.
- As the post, says the group of six hackers has been “disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could.”
10:30 – Google +1
- Google’s +1 button, the search giant’s challenger to the Facebook Like button, is making its worldwide debut.
- “Today, +1’s will start appearing on Google search pages globally,” Google Product Manager Nick Radicevic announced on Google’sAdSense blog.
- “We’ll be starting off with sites like google.co.uk, google.de, google.jp and google.fr, then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.”
- In addition to an international rollout on search result pages, Google is expanding its rollout of the +1 button on websites across the world. The company announced partnerships with several publications, including The Telegraph, The Independent, Last.fm, SnapDeal, and El Pais.
13:09 – Google+ Project
- sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it. We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project:
- It’s through Circles that users select and organize contacts into groups for optimal sharing. I know, I know — not more group management. But the truth is that Google has made the process as pleasant as possible. You simply select people from a list of recommended contacts (populated from your Gmail and/or Google Contacts) and drag them into Circles you designate. The UI for all of this is simple and intuitive — it’s so good, that you might even say it’s kind of fun. It beats the pants off of the method for creating a group within Facebook.
- With Sparks, you enter an interest you have and Google goes out and finds elements on the web that they think you’ll care about. These can be links to blog posts, videos, books — anything that Google searches for. If you find something you like, you can click on an item to add it to your interest list (where it will stay for you to quickly refer to anytime you want). Or you can see what others are liking and talking about globally in the “Featured interests” area.
- “Our goal here is to connect people. And everyone has a camera in their pocket,” Gundotra says as he shows me “Instant Upload”. This feature of Google+ relies on the use of an Android devices to take photos or shoot video. From a new app, you’ll do either of these things and the content will automatically be uploaded to Google+ in the background and stored in a private album (which you can share with one click later). We didn’t want “just” a mobile experience, however, so with Google+ we focused on things (like GPS, cameras, and messaging) to make your pocket computer even more personal.
- Hangout attempts to solve the social problem of video chat by making it easy for you to let others know that you’re interested in chatting. And if you’re already chatting with a Circle, everyone else in that Circle will get an alert to come hang out. This works for up to 10 people. And seeing it in action is a bit magical. Gundotra starts a Hangout with some co-workers and as they join, conversations start between multiple people. But the Google+ system is smart enough to focus on who is controlling the conversation in any given minute. This makes the conversation easy to watch. It was almost as if an editor is working behind the scenes, cutting between people.
- Even cooler is that you can share a piece of content, like a YouTube clip, and everyone in the Hangout can watch it together while talking about it. It sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s really pretty great.
- It’s essentially a group messaging app that works across Android, iPhone, and SMS to allow you to communicate with the people in certain Circles.
- key to the project is the attempt to unify everything. This is done via the toolbar (which features a drop-down showing you all of your relevant Google+ activity), but also on the mobile apps (again, Android and iPhone), and, of course, on the web. The Google+ site is the main stream on which you’ll find everything. From here, you can easily switch between all of your Circles, share content with any of them, start a Hangout, look up Sparks, etc.
- All of the information flowing through the system does so in real time. As something is shared with you, it appears at the top of your stream. It’s a bit like FriendFeed…and Facebook
- Google is beginning to roll it out today, but it will only be a very limited field trial. You can submit your email address here to be entered into the system and notified as roll-outs continue, but Google says that they have no set time table for a full rollout. Again, this is phase one of what Google hopes to do with Google+, so they’re taking it slow.
- Learning from Buzz and Wave – slow roll out to make sure it works….spread word, tweak, create demand
- Design also looks very un Google – fun, clean and something different
- That’s no surprise since the key interface designer was legendary software artist Andy Herzfeld. The former Macintosh wizard now works at Google — though he loves the company, he had previously felt constrained because its design standards didn’t allow for individual creativity. But with [Google+], he had a go-ahead to flex his creative muscles. “It wasn’t a given that anyone would like what I was doing, but they did,” he says.
- Photos up to 2048*2048 won’t count towards your free 1gB of Picasa storage – neither do 15 min videos – http://lifehacker.com/5817483/picasa-now-offering-virtually-unlimited-storage-brings-google%252B-tagging
- Not all photographers happy
- Concern over Terms of Service and what it allows Google to do
34:14 – Google Swiffy
- Google Labs just launched Swiffy, a new web-based tool that allows developers to easily convert Adobe Flash animation SWF files into HTML5. This will allow developers to make Flash ads and basic ActionScript interactions accessible to users on devices that don’t support Flash, like the iPhone and iPad.
- Swiffy is very similar to a tool that Adobe released earlier this year called Wallaby. The main difference is that Swiffy is web-based, whereas Wallaby is a client that runs on a Mac or PC. Additionally, Wallaby’s code is designed to be edited and reused, whereas Swiffy’s code is optimized and compressed in such a way that makes editing difficult.
- The Swiffy demo page shows off the power of the tool. In addition to converting basic banner ad animations, click-event interactions can also be converted to HTML5. To be clear, this won’t convert videos, complex animations or games, but the tool meets its desired goal quite adequately.
35:31 – Google Redesign
- The new Google experience that we’ve begun working toward is founded on three key design principles: focus, elasticity and effortlessness.
Focus: Whether you’re searching, emailing or looking for a map, the only thing you should be concerned about is getting what you want. Our job is to provide the tools and features that will get you there quickly and easily. With the design changes in the coming weeks and months, we’re bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way. Even simple changes, like using bolder colors for actionable buttons or hiding navigation buttons until they’re actually needed, can help you better focus on only what you need at the moment.
Elasticity: In the early days, there was pretty much just one way to use Google: on a desktop computer with an average-sized monitor. Over a decade later, all it takes is a look around one’s home or office at the various mobile devices, tablets, high-resolution monitors and TVs to see a plethora of ways to access the web. The new design will soon allow you to seamlessly transition from one device to another and have a consistent visual experience. We aim to bring you this flexibility without sacrificing style or usefulness.
Effortlessness: Our design philosophy is to combine power with simplicity. We want to keep our look simple and clean, but behind the seemingly simple design, use new technologies like HTML5, WebGL and the latest, fastest browsers to make sure you have all the power of the web behind you.
- And a big black bar at the top of the screen
39:06 – Google Web Fonts
- Now have 180 free open source fonts that you can use on your website
40:25 – Google Update Calendar and Maps
- A couple of new features but the first of many updates to focus on design
- Will we start to see a more unified look and feel alongside the Google+ rollout?
43:20 – Picasa and Blogger brands to be replaced
- Picasa to become Google Photos
- Blogger to become Google Blogger
43:41 – Google Realtime Search disappears
- Googles realtime search has gone offline – reason?
- Google’s agreement with Twitter to carry its results has expired, taking with it much of the content that was in the service with it.
- Google also stressed that went Google Realtime Search relaunches — something it says will happen but with no set time frame — it will include content from a variety of sources and not just be solely devoted to Google+ material.
- There were multiple sources for Google realtime but mostly twitter
- Still, as said, Twitter was the by far the most dominant content within the service. It’s unclear why the agreement was allowed to expire. Twitter sent me this:
Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses. That agreement has now expired. We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers. And, we work with Google in many other ways.
- For its part, Google said:
Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future.
- I’d say we have a bit of a standoff.
46:46 – Facebooks Awesome Announcement
- They’ve hit 750 million users
- Group Messaging
- Rolling out today, group message everyone in a group
- 1 to 1 Video chat
- Your chatting to friend, click on video icon and start a video conversation
- Done via skype
- New design!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- If browser is wide enough your buddy list will be displayed in a sidebar
51:22 – Spotify coming to US
- Confirmed it’s coming
- Sign up to be one of the first
- They just aren’t sure when
52:08 – Huff Po launches UK edition
- Huffington Post launches UK edition
- Will it be as successful as US version?
- Lots of kickback over the free journalism that takes place
- Guardian don’t like it either
- Editorially, HuffPo feels like a very traditional kind of threat and certainly doesn’t feel like the future. Its formula relies on a fluency of established online skills (though admittedly ones traditional news organisations are still mystifyingly slow to deploy) such as comprehensive aggregation of news around a key story, live blogging and the obligatory social media bells and whistles. HuffPo’s UK launch is one very much for the news junkies. HuffPo’s cluttered design looks more dated than ever – moreDrudge than Flipboard. None of that seems groundbreaking, so what is the HuffPo’s killer proposition?
54:51 – Intereactive UK Broadband Map
- The first interactive map of broadband across the UK has been launched today.
Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industries, has created the map with data sourced from communications providers to visualise broadband infrastructure across the UK.
- The map allows users to zoom and shows information on the average sync speed (Mbit/s), percentage getting less than 2Mbit/, superfast broadband availability and broadband take up for that specific authority. The colour coded map also ranks areas for the best and worst (slowest) broadband, with one (green) the highest and five (red) the lowest.
- Europe’s Pandora?
- Web, iPhone and Android
- Great mix of stations and a good way to discover new music
- Free and paid options – free is ad supported and they can be loud!
- Sign up and if you hand over personal data you get premium access – 7 days