Tag Archives: Google News

Will Google Open-source The On2 Video Codec VP8?

Newteevee has recently reported that Google will possibly open-source the VP8 video codec next month. VP8 was developed by On2, the company which Google acquired in February.

on2-logo

This news comes at times when there is an ongoing battle among the H.264 and the Ogg Theora video codecs to gain control of the Open Web’s video format. However, Google will introduce VP8 as a new and prospective candidate even though it had announced the H.264 video codec for YouTube earlier.

On2 video compression claims that,

With On2 VP8, we set out to increase compression performance over On2 VP7 and leading H.264 implementations by 20% while reducing playback complexity by 40%.

Ryan Lawler at Newteeve writes,

The move comes as online video publishers are gravitating toward standards-based HTML5 video delivery, bolstered in part by the release of the iPad. However, that acceptance has been slowed by the fact that the industry has yet to agree on a single codec for video playback, with some companies throwing support behind  Ogg Theora and others hailing H.264 as the future of web video.

This move totally dampens the battle between H.264 and Theora, the currently leading web video codecs. Experts believe that H.264 provides a better video quality and playback as compared to Theora. Though, Theora has got quite a following owing to its open-source nature and absence of licensing issues.

Currently, H.264 is supported on Internet Explorer 9 and Safari whereas Opera and Firefox support Theora. Google Chrome supports both these video formats. If things go as per this plan, Google Chrome and Firefox will be the first ones to see support for VP8.

The Google Tablet is Coming Soon, Will Steal The iPad Thunder

Google is on the edge of announcing its own Google Tablet PC. The tablet is expected anytime now, given that Eric Schmidt was recently describing it to some of his friends at a party in Los Angeles. NYTimes reports the device to be an e-reader that will also behave like a computer. It is quite obvious from these facts that it will be powered by the Android OS.

The choice of the OS also ends at Google Chrome which provides some basic cloud services. Though, Android is a better choice, given a huge developers community and the customizations that can be carried out on this scalable OS.

If and when this tablet arrives, it will be the perfect challenge to the Apple iPad. Currently, Google is the only company which would dare to stand up against the iPad and bring out its own tablet. Google’s services and their integration with the Google tablet will make it a hot favorite amongst avid internet users.

The Google Tablet will be heavily web based and will offer cloud storage. However, if this device is a response to the iPad pressure, it will not fare well. Google should stick to its charisma and simply do its original thing.

(Via: NYTimes)

Google Docs Gets More Collaborative and Real-time

Google Docs is still a no go, as far as most enterprises are concerned. However, Google is obviously desperate to claw away at Microsoft Office’s dominance. They have just announced a plethora of new features, which should make Docs a worthy alternative to Microsoft offerings such as SharePoint.

The document editor as well as the spreadsheet editor has been refreshed to provide significant performance improvements. The document editor now offers real-time experience, which means that you can view character-by-character changes as collaborators make edits. Also new to the document editor is sidebar chat, which was previously available in the spreadsheet editor.

New features in the spreadsheet editor include the formula bar for cell editing, auto-complete, drag and drop columns, and simpler navigation between sheets.

Google has also launched a collaborative drawing editor. Don’t be misled by its name, Google isn’t trying to compete with MS Paint. Rather, the drawing editor is intended for drawing flow charts, designs, diagrams and other fun or business graphics.

Google-Drawing-Tool

The drawing editor should become available later today, while the preview versions of documents and spreadsheets would be rolled out to all users within the next few days.

90% Of Google Employees Prefer Bing

Google is no doubt one of the biggest search engines in the world, but the fact is that most of the Google employees prefer using Bing for the reliability and let me say better travel options it presents, considering that Google is busy shipping its employees in and out of Silicon Valley.

The survey which was conducted by an internal Google team was leaked out and send out to us, we are unfortunately unable to present the survey as it is under embargo and won’t go out until 1st April 2010, however, we decided to break the embargo to write this post.

74% of those who surveyed and answered thought that Bing added more color to their lives with the new backgrounds which they wished they had as a wallpaper. However, 65% of the people surveyed also said that they missed their flights because of the problems with Bing’s Flight timings, and they switched back to Google again.

Nevertheless, 90% of those who were planning a trip did use Bing in an attempt to appease Redmond and have some of those high flying executives to get free trips sponsored by Microsoft. However, all they got was Kayak and Expedia.

The 90% of Google employees who used Bing said that they would use it to download a new wallpaper everyday, however, when questioned about actually using Bing to search, the employees drew a blank and asked whether Bing could actually be used for search.

Many people were questioning why Bing’s market share was increasing, we now have our answer and it is the wallpapers.

Thanks for the tip Google Bot, we love April Fool’s too.

Disclaimer: Anything written in this post should be devoured with utmost care. April Fool’s does provide us with a good reason to provide inedible content to our readers ;-).

Apple iPad May Run Android OS In Next Version

If you thought that the meeting between Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt from Google was a joke, this could be a big breakthrough. According to few sources we have heard, Apple is planning to run the OS on the .

According to some real close sources the discussion was about having the Android OS on the iPad and future versions of iPhone, precisely iPad 0.00001 will see Android 0.000002 being implemented on it.

Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt

The marathon meet which was spotted by Gizmodo was an actual hands up submission about Android (as you can see in the screenshot above) by Steve Jobs to Eric Google and their superior Android OS.

This will definitely give Android (and Eric and Google) a big boost on the sales of the and give them a kick ahead with Android, which will be shortly seen in the next generation of . Thank you Steve Jobs for doing the right thing, the iPhone OS was really good, but it had no future, this decision was really mature and had all the Steve Jobs mantra behind it.

Ouch, don’t take this serious will you? This is an early April Fools Joke from our side, have fun.

(Photos courtesy Gizmodo)

Google India Launches Shopping Tool

Good news, shopaholics. Google has added a shopping tool to the Indian edition of its search engine. Now, you can compare product prices and hunt down the best bargain without having to navigate away from Google Search. The new shopping options can be accessed from the left sidebar, which appears when you click on the “Show Options” button.

The shopping tool aggregates data from more than 30 thousand Indian websites and automatically serves relevant product information and prices. It also provides you the flexibility of restricting your search to a certain price range. Take a look at the screenshot below to get an idea about the tool:

Google-India-Shopping-Tool

“Google’s shopping tool is another step toward our goal of making the web search results page more relevant for the specific type of information you are looking for”, said Rahul Roy-Chowdhury, Product Manager at Google India.

The Shopping Tool works quite well and offers relevant results for a wide range of products. Unfortunately, it is tucked away in an obscure location and chances are that most users won’t even notice it. In my opinion, something as handy as this definitely deserves its special one box (at least during the initial launch period).

Adobe Flash Player and Google Chrome; Just Married

Adobe Flash and Google Chrome got close when Adobe announced the availability of Flash support on Google Chrome. Adobe Flash player will be available on future versions of Google Chrome by default and they will no longer require to download am extra third-party plugin for this.

Further, any update to the Flash player will be delivered as Chrome’s browser update eliminating all security issues.

This adds more security to the already secure Chrome browser. The latest update keeps out any hack attempts and does not annoy users for updates. The flash player can also be disabled easily.

In addition to this, Adobe is also working on a new browser API, which is built on top of the NPAPI of Firefox. The now API will help plugins to integrate more tightly with the host browser. This will also improve sandboxing and provide added security.

The Chromium blog has said,

Improving the traditional browser plug-in model will make it possible for plug-ins to be just as fast, stable, and secure as the browser’s HTML and JavaScript engines.

It is good to see Internet movers and shakers like Google, Adobe and Firefox work together towards a better web.
(Via: Neowin.net)

China Didn’t Block Google, Google Did It Themselves!

Google-Search-ChinaGoogle Search has been inaccessible to most users in mainland China for several hours. Google has now confirmed that Google Search is indeed being censored by the great firewall of China. However, this is not due to any policy change by Chinese authorities. Rather, Google inadvertently blocked itself.

According to BBC, in the past 24 hours Google started adding the string “gs_rfai” to the search URL globally. Unfortunately ‘rfai’ is also an acronym for Radio Free Asia, which has been present in China’s blacklist for a long time. As a result, all Google Search queries were erroneously blocked by China’s firewall.

Google is currently working to resolve this issue and Chinese users should be able to access Google Search soon. However, the million-dollar question is, How long before the Chinese government bans Google, for real?

Did The Great Firewall of China Close Its Gates? Google Search Appears To Be Completely Blocked

Google-Search-Blocked-China Earlier in the day, we reported that certain Google Mobile services were being blocked in China. However, according to latest reports, it now appears that China is blocking Google Search completely.

Google’s official ‘Evil Meter‘ still indicates that there are no issues with Google Search in China. However, that would possibly change in the coming hours. Google is yet to offer any statement, but it is investigating the issue.

It is possible that this is just a technical glitch and the Chinese government hasn’t yet blocked Google Search. However, something like this was always on the cards, ever since Google started offering uncensored search results in China.

The tussle between Google and the Chinese government was triggered by highly sophisticated hacking attempts on Google and several other companies. In an explosive blog post, Google had threatened to quit China and promised to serve uncensored search results. Google followed through on their threats last week.

Google Mobile Services in China Moved to Partially Blocked Category

We had earlier covered Google’s decisions on China and the outcomes of this event. Now, Google has started serving partially blocked mobile content in China.  A detailed availability of different services from Google is available at this page. This follows the Google decision to redirect visitors of the Google China homepage to the uncensored Google Hong Kong domain of google.com.hk.

Google has not made itself completely unavailable in China. Some of the services are still available at different levels, marked as having no issues, partially blocked, blocked or information available. The decision to serve mobile content as “partially blocked” was made on the 28th of March at the official update page.

Alan Davidson, director of U.S. public policy for Google  responded on this redirection saying,

We have already seen intermittent censorship of certain search queries on both  Google.com.hk and  Google.com.

Google is struggling hard to maintain its position, authority and integrity after leaving China. Moving out of such a huge market with an  enormous  potential upsets many key people but Google has the guts to raise a voice against a bully.

China, on the other hand is still clinging to comments like,

Google has violated the written promise it made when entering the Chinese market by stopping filtering its searching service and making thinly veiled accusation against China.

Though, one thing is for sure. The Chinese will miss Google services like hell.

Google Adds File Transfer to Orkut and iGoogle Chat, Arriving Soon on GMail Google Chat

Sending files to friends just got easier with chat on iGoogle and Orkut. Google has added a nifty feature in Google Chat on iGoogle and Orkut which allows users to send files to friends, just like in the GTalk chat client.
orkut-file-tansfer
As seen in this image from the Orkut Blog, to use this feature, all you need to do to send a file is go to Actions -> Send a File and select the file. Similarly, to receive a file, confirm the reception and there you go.

Earlier, there were only two options to send files while chatting. One, was to use the GTalk chat client and secondly, we could email the file. This method of file transfer allows for a much close integration with the native Google chat.

The post on the official Orkut blog has given confirmed reports that this feature will appear on GMail soon.  It is a surprise to see this basic feature appear only after advanced features like video chat. Though, as the saying goes, better late than never.

Google Chrome – The Last Browser Standing

The Hackathon is over and the only browser left standing is Google Chrome. This is the second consecutive year that Google has managed to leave the competition unscathed. In fact, according to TheNextWeb, this time around no one even attempted to hack Chrome.

Google obviously went into the competition well prepared. It fixed as many as 11 flaws just ahead of the competition. However, so did Apple, which recently pushed through 16 patches for Safari. Safari’s fall also proves that there is more to Google’s success than its lowly market share.

In fact, given that Google Chrome had managed to survive last year’s Pwn2Own, most people expected hackers to be gunning for it this time around. Google credits its sandboxingtechnique , which forces processes to run in a restricted environment, for Chrome’s success. While, sandboxing might be the key behind Chrome’s outstanding security track record, it definitely isn’t the sole contributor. Even Internet Explorer 8 utilizes sandboxing (Protected Mode), yet it fell quite easily.

Google-Chrome-Sandboxing

Google built Chrome from the ground up with focus on security and speed and their efforts are certainly paying off. It is the only major browser, which is yet to be surmounted in the Pwn2Own contest. That alone is a laudable feat.

After Google Search on TV, Now Google Wants Its Own Google TV

Google, Sony and Intel have joined hands to bring a new concept called the Google TV to households. Google TV will allow users to surf through the Internet right from their television through specially designed set top boxes. Needless to say, these set top boxes will use the Android operating system. Given the news of Android booting in one second, the possibilities of this being true came closer to reality.

Google had earlier started experimenting TV search allowing users to use Google search on their televisions. This experiment was limited to Google employees. But now, Google sees a huge potential in another market into which it can expand- the television market. After the Internet, television is possibly the second largest community of dedicated users.

Logitech is also reported to be working with these three companies in manufacturing peripheral parts for this service. This includes specialized remotes and keyboards.

Surprisingly, all the companies involved are being unnecessarily secretive about this project. Google, Intel and Logitech have refused to comment on this whereas Sony has even refused being aware of any such project. However, all these companies are hiring for Android jobs which validate this news even further.
(Via: NYTimes)

Google Denies Revenue Sharing With Android Phones And Carriers, Shuts All The Ballyhoo

Last week, there were intensive reports on Google sharing ad revenues with Android based phones, their carriers, android apps and manufacturers.

android-google

Now, Google has come out with its official statement on this matter and has denied all these rumors. Google has clearly stated that it does not share any revenue with its Droids. However, it has a search revenue sharing with some carriers.

A Google spokesperson denied the ad sharing rumors in a statement to eWeek saying,

We share revenue on search, not on mobile applications. The same is true for non-Android devices that use Google as the default search engine.

Google accepts that carriers are paid a cut of the total revenue generated from search related advertising. Google has this deal in place with the HTC Nexus One and Motorola Droid. Both these phones include Google apps like Gmail, Google maps, search, Youtube, Buzz etc. This is the only revenue Google claims to have.

Although Google is not doing it now, we can safely assume it will once it acquires the mobile ad expert AdMob which specializes in ‘in-app’ ads.

A MocoNews rumor was the first to report the ad sharing. eWeek followed up busting the rumor this week.

China Blocking Some Google Search Results

Yesterday, Google started redirecting Google.cn users to Google.com.hk and displayed uncensored results to all the users. A annoyed user also wrote in how Google had blocked access to Google.com from within China.

RIP Google China

However, its China’s turn now as some reports are flowing in that the Chinese government has started blocking certain search results in China. Earlier today, ZDNet got a statement from a Google executive to confirm the banning of certain search results.

"Certain terms seem to be being blocked by the firewall," said a Google spokesperson, referring to the ‘Great Firewall of China’, the popular nickname for Golden Shield.

However, there were no reports on which specific terms were being banned by the Chinese Government. Popular Google services like and Blogger have suffered a complete ban in China for quite sometime now, and it looks like Google’s web search and image search are headed in the same direction.

Right now Google’s Mainland China service availability page displays full access to Google web search and image search. However, that page has not been updated since March 21st, so expect to see some more red cross-marks appearing on the page soon.