Chrome OS Launch in 2011? Rumors of November Launch are Dead

Google ChromeGoogle’s Chrome OS cloudoperating system may be close to release, but it’s slower to launch than previous rumors suggested. (see video: What is Chrome OS?)

We reported the rumors of November launches for a Chrome OS Tablet and Chrome OS Netbooks and Smartbooks. However, during the recent Web 2.0 Summit, all that Eric Schmidt (Google CEO) would say about it was the software is coming out in the next few months.   Since that’s the case, Google has definitely missed the upcoming Christmas shopping and we won’t see Chrome OS until the beginning of 2011.

If you are curious, here’s the latest peek at the Chrome OS wallpaper and screensaver.

(Wallpaper: click to enlarge)

Chrome OS Wallpaper

(Screensaver: click to see animation)

Chrome OS Screensaver

Naturally, these images could change any time before the actual release.

Some people believe that the delays in Chrome OS are due to Android being used in more and more devices. Some say that there isn’t a big demand for a cloud OS that depends entirely on web apps. For a good example of a cloud OS, see Jolicloud.

For those wanting a live preview, you can run this new OS from a USB stick by using the Chrome OS builds by Hexxeh.


Google Friend Connect Exploit Allows Users To Harvest Emails

TechCrunch is reporting that an exploit in Google Friend Connect is allowing users to harvest email addresses for logged in users when you visit a website. This exploit was harvested when a user visited guntada.blogspot.com which is now blocked by Google.

According to TechCrunch this happened when you were logged in to your or Google account. However, only your email address was harvested so this is not only a big security hole but also a big privacy breach.

Google FriendConnect Exploit Email

Once you visited the said site, you would receive an email to your logged in address as shown above. Scary right. Google is already fixing it as we speak, we will update this post once we receive an update from Google.

Update: Google Spokesperson Lily Lin sent us the following statement:

We quickly fixed the issue in the Google Apps Script API that could have allowed for emails to be sent to Gmail users without their permission if they visited a specially designed website while signed into their account. We immediately removed the site that demonstrated this issue, and disabled the functionality soon after. We encourage responsible disclosure of potential application security issues to [email protected]

Nexus One Gets An OTA Update – FRG83D

The official Google Android Developer phone the Nexus One has just received an OTA (Over-The-Air) software. Sadly, the OTA is not the Gingerbread update which many of you have been hoping for. The OTA update weighs 1.3MB and bumps up the Nexus One software from FRG83 to FRG83D.   The OTA update basically aims contains bug fixes and patches.

Here is the small change-log (thanks to Paul) -:

  • Updates to the core and framework JARs
  • Updates to the Dalvik VM and Webcore libraries
  • Updates to the Email, Google Services Framework and Market packages.
  • A couple of other very minor patches

It is still unclear whether the Nexus One loses its root after the OTA update or not. Nexus One owners who can’t wait for the OTA, can download and install it manually from here.

Google Sky Map Gets ‘Time Travel’ Feature

No, you can’t actually go back in time. But hey, you can at least check out how the stars were aligned when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon, or Kennedy was assassinated. Google Sky Map’s new ‘Time Travel‘ feature allows you to go back or forward in time and check out how the sky will look at your location on any given day.

Google-Sky-Map-Time-Travel

Google Sky Map is a super cool augmented reality app that allows budding astronomers and sky gazers to learn more about the stars and constellations decking the sky. The user can simply point their Android phones towards the sky to learn about the celestial object they are pointing at.

Google-Sky-Map-Date-Selection

Google-Sky-Map-QR-Code The Time Travel feature allows the user to smoothly travel to his desired datr and time. He can even forward or rewind to see how the sky gradually changes with time. Use the attached QR code to download Sky Map from the Market.

Sony Ericsson X10 To Get Multi-Touch Support By Q1, 2011

In the first couple of quarters of this year, there was a huge fiasco about the multi-touch capabilities of the Sony Ericsson X10. At first, Sumit Malhotra from Sony Ericsson said that the X10 might get multi-touch support in a future software update but soon Rikard Skogberg said that the X10 lacks the hardware to support multi-touch.

Now, Sony Ericsson have announced in a blog post that the X10 will be getting an OTA (Over-The-Air) software update by Q1 of 2011 which will enable basic multi-touch (pinch-to-zoom) support on the phone. X10

The blog post clearly states that the X10 hardware is still not capable of multi-touch support. Some engineer( s) over at Sony Ericsson managed to change the driver and firmware so as to make the touch digitizer accept some basic multi-touch gestures.

However, the multi-touch gesture is still not perfect. A strange behavior is bound to happen when in a multi-touch gesture movement the two fingers cross each other or the X-axis and the Y-axis.

So, Sony Ericsson has decided to enable multi-touch gesture only in the web browser and Google Maps. Third party applications will also be able to make use of this limited multi-touch support on the X10.

It was only a few days ago that someone over at XDA forums had managed to enable basic multi-touch support on the X10. I think Sony Ericsson noticed this hack and are now going to use it to enable multi-touch on the X10.

How to Disable Instant Previews On Google Search Results

Google Instant previews, which was rolled out the earlier week allows users to previews websites on search result pages. With Instant previews, users are able to see a graphical overview of a search result which highlights the most relevant sections related to the search terms.

If you haven’t noticed the instant preview of search results on Google.com, here is an example:

This feature is useful but can be distracting at times. You hover the cursor over any link and an overlay window starts loading the screenshot of the webpage automatically.If you ask me, I have three words – “Unnecessary UI Clutter”

If you are like me who prefers simpler things and want a minimalist search interface, you may want to turn off instant previews on Google search result pages.

Though Google doesn’t provide any option to disable Instant previews yet, like they do for Google Instant search but you can use a Greasemonkey script for Firefox and Google Chrome and say good bye to Google Instant previews forever.

Firefox users can use this userscript, provided they have the Greasemonkey add-on installed already. Google Chrome users can install the userscript directly because Chrome supports userscripts by default.

Once the script is in place, you will notice a new link named “Disable Instant previews” on the right side of search result pages. Click that link and the thumbnails won’t appear, as long as you are on the same browser tab.

I tested the script in Google Chrome and it worked just as fine. The only downside is that when you open a new tab or restart the browser, you have to click the “Disable Instant previews” link again. Hope Google soon comes up with something in Google account preferences so that users who don’t want to use the Instant previews feature can turn it off permanently.

Script Source: Varun’s Scratchpad

Google Launches Hotpot: Rate and Recommend Places with Your Friends

Location based services are quite the rage these days. Although, recent data suggests that the market for these services might be shrinking (instead of growing), most companies remain bullish about the future of location oriented services. Google already has a couple of location based services like Latitude and Places. Now, the internet giant has launched Hotpot, which is a social recommendation service built on top of Places.

Google Places is quite good at aggregating data on local restaurants, bars, hotels etc. Hotpot uses the very same data and makes it more personal. Not only can you read up about restaurants in your vicinity, but you can also view what your friend’s think about them and add your own rating.

Google-Hotpot

Interestingly enough, although Hotpot is a Google service, it doesn’t utilize your Google profile. This is probably due to potential privacy pitfalls. All reviews you submit to Hotpot are public. Anyone can read your review and check out your Hotpot profile. However, only friends will be able to see your Google profile.

There are already established players like Urbanspoon and Around Me. However, as always, Google’s biggest advantage is its ubiquity. Once Hotpot matures, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it baked into Android devices in some form. For now you can head over to www.google.com/hotpot to check it out yourself.

Update: Google has updated Maps for Android to add Hotpot integration.

Eric Schmidt: Gingerbread To Be Out In The “Next Few Weeks’

Nexus_s

It was expected that Google will be announcing the Nexus S and/or Gingerbread 2.3 at Web 2.0 conference. Sadly, this piece of info turned out to be a rumor. However, Eric Schmidt came to the Web 2.0 conference with a handset that looks like the Nexus S and was running on Android 2.3.

Eric Schmidt also revealed that the Nexus S will be having NFC capabilities a technology which aims at replacing credit cards. The folks over at Engadget managed to click some pictures of the Nexus S handset while Eric was using it. From the images, it is evident that the handset is running Android 2.3 (notice the black notification bar) and the carrier of the handset is indeed T-Mobile as reported earlier.

Schmidt also said that the next version of Android Gingerbread will be out in the next few weeks.

(Source)

Nexus S Specifications And Carrier Details Leak

Nexus_SIt was just yesterday that the first images of how the Nexus S looks leaked on the Internet. Today, we have some information about the specifications of the device. T-Mobile will be the official carrier of the Nexus S and the handset will sport EDGE and HSUPA (up to 7.2mbps).

The phone won’t feature HSPA+ to take advantage of the higher band with being offered by the recently rolled out HSPA+ network from T-Mobile. The back of the phone will pack a 5MP camera which might be assisted by an LED flash. The phone will also sport a 1500mAh battery. Sadly, no details about the processor, amount of RAM and internal storage capacity of the phone are available.

However, in all probability the Nexus S will be powered by a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor from Samsung and will pack 512MB of RAM.

Nexus S Image Shows Up On Best Buy?

Many people had expected Samsung and Google to unveil a new Google experience phone during the event held by Samsung on November 8. Sadly, that did not happen as rumors suggested that the Nexus S was delayed due to a hardware bug. There have been many rumors about the hardware specifications and how the Nexus S actually looks. Nexus_S

If my memory serves me right, the Nexus S is the first phone in a very long time whose pictures and specifications have not leaked on the Internet before its release until now. Best Buy has mistakenly posted a picture of a device on their website which looks like a Nexus S. From the image it looks like the Nexus S is running Android 2.3 since the notification bar sports a new color.

There is also a front-video camera visible in the image which further strengthens the fact that Google will be bringing video chat to Android with Gingerbread. Hopefully, Samsung and Google will be unveiling the Nexus S sometime soon.