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Google field tests (yet another) Facebook rival

Google has introduced yet another another answer to Facebook, rolling out a social networking "field trial" dubbed "Google+". Mountain View describes the project as a means of connecting with people online more like you do "in real life". "We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software," reads a …
Cade Metz, 29 Jun 2011
cloud

Yahoo! seeds Hadoop startup on open source dream

Yahoo! is creating a new company with its core Hadoop engineering team, seeking to rapidly expand the scope of the open source distributed number-crunching platform and ultimately bring it to a much wider audience. In growing the Hadoop "ecosystem" through increased work on the core Apache-based open source project, the company …
Cade Metz, 28 Jun 2011
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Opera 11.50 debuts with Speed Dial extensions

Opera has officially released a new version of its desktop browser – Opera 11.50 – adding widget-like "extensions" to the familiar Speed Dial page that appears each time you open a new tab. Previously, Speed Dial only offered thumbnails that linked you to oft-visited sites. But with Opera 11.50 – announced in the early Norwegian …
Cade Metz, 28 Jun 2011
channel

Google in preemptive strike on Microsoft Office 365

Google Apps product manager Shan Sinha was once director of strategy for Microsoft SharePoint, Redmond's longstanding effort to facilitate business collaboration over the net. Sinha left Microsoft in the fall of 2007 to create DocVerse, a service that bypassed SharePoint, plugging Microsoft Office clients into Google Apps. …
Cade Metz, 28 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google confirms US antitrust probe

Google has confirmed that the US Federal Trade Commission has opened an antitrust investigation into its search and advertising practices, and although the company says it respects "the FTC's process", it continues to insist that those search and ad practices will stand up to scrutiny. With an SEC filing, the company said it …
Cade Metz, 26 Jun 2011
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Google battles MicroSkype with 'open' VoIP protocol

Google has moved its Google Talk VoIP infrastructure to Jingle, the voice and media signaling protocol that seeks to provide an open-standard alternative to the proprietary protocols used by the Microsoft-owned Skype and other VoIP technologies. With an email on the XMPP Standards Foundation mailing list, Google's Peter Thatcher …
Cade Metz, 24 Jun 2011
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Google apps split with Google File System

Google has moved "most" of its online services off the Google File System that has underpinned its famously distributed back-end infrastructure for a good ten years, according to Google senior vice president of operations Urs Hölzle. Hölzle – the man who led the development of the Google back-end – tells ZDNet that the company …
Cade Metz, 23 Jun 2011
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Google to be hit by US anti-trust probe - report

The US Federal Trade Commission is on the verge of serving Google with civil subpoenas as part of a "wide-ranging" antitrust investigation into the company's search and ad practices, according to a report citing people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reports that a five member FTC panel intends to send the …
Cade Metz, 23 Jun 2011
channel

Red Hat enlists another 65 names in war on VMware

Red Hat has rolled out an updated version of Red Hat Enterprise MRG, an infrastructure platform that provides an application messaging service, a kernel that dovetails with Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to improve the speed of low-latency applications, and a scheduler designed specifically for distributed workloads and so- …
Cade Metz, 23 Jun 2011
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VMware taps Google ethos with Cloud Foundry

Two years ago, VMware boss Paul Maritz recruited a pair of Google infrastructure engineers to help build what would become Cloud Foundry, the company's open source answer to "platform clouds" such as Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure. At one point, Maritz asked the pair – Derek Collison and Mark Lucovsky –  how many admins …
Cade Metz, 23 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Microsoft: 'You can get your data onto Azure for free!'

Microsoft has announced that beginning on July 1, all data transfers onto its Microsoft Azure cloud will be free. This will apply to both "peak" and "off-peak" times, the company said with a Wednesday morning blog post. The change is designed to encourage developers to move large quantities of their own data onto Microsoft's …
Cade Metz, 22 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Amazon marries MapReduce with VM auctions

Amazon has announced that you can now use its data-crunching Elastic MapReduce service in tandem with EC2 Spot Instances, unused EC2 virtual machines that company puts up for open auction. Spot instance prices fluctuate according to supply and demand, but these VMs can typically be used for less than the standard instance price …
Cade Metz, 22 Jun 2011
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Server admin kit spans heaven and data center

Scalextreme – the Silicon Valley startup cofounded by the principle architect of Bladelogic – has announced that its browser-based server admin service can now launch virtual machines directly into the heavens. Still in "preview mode", the company's eponymous service lets you manage machines across both your private data centers …
Cade Metz, 22 Jun 2011
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Google bypasses admin controls with latest Chrome IE

Google has released a new version of Chrome Frame – the Internet Explorer plug-in that turns Microsoft's browser into a Google browser – letting users install the plug-in even when they don't have administrator privileges on their machines. The new version runs a "helper process" when IE starts up that can then load the Chrome …
Cade Metz, 21 Jun 2011
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Wikipedia awash in 'frothy by-product' of US sexual politics

The world's Wikifiddlers are obsessed with santorum. Though they can't agree on what that is. For some, it's a word. For others, it's not: it's the result of a campaign to create a word. The distinction – however subtle – has sparked weeks of controversy among the core contributors to Wikipedia, the "free encyclopedia anyone can …
Cade Metz, 20 Jun 2011
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iOS 5 closes Apple's infamous homescreen webapp gap

Apple's iOS 5 will close the speed gap between web apps run inside the company's Safari browser and those that run in "fullscreen mode" from the iOS home screen, according to a web post from a developer with early access to the operating system. With the current version of iOS, web applications saved to the iOS home screen and …
Cade Metz, 17 Jun 2011
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Oracle seeks 'billions' with Google Android suit

Oracle is seeking "billions of dollars" in damages from Google with its sweeping copyright and patent infringement lawsuit over the use of Java on Android. According to an Oracle court filing released on Thursday, Google attempted to hide the scope of Oracle's damages claims and other related information from public view. But …
Cade Metz, 17 Jun 2011
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Mozilla eyes multi-threaded webpage rendering

Mozilla is exploring ways of building a multi-threaded browser DOM for Firefox, so that a single web page can be rendered using multiple processor cores. "We think it's possible," Mozilla open source evangelist Chris Blizzard said on Thursday at the O'Reilly Velocity conference in Santa Clara, California. "This is an active area …
Cade Metz, 17 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google urges background tab websites to throttle themselves

Google has urged website developers to use Chrome's experimental Page Visibility API to reduce their sites' activities when they're not actually being viewed by browser users. Now included with the developer version of Chrome – and due for arrival in the beta version next week – the PageVisability API allows websites to …
Cade Metz, 16 Jun 2011
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Apple iOS 5 gets web 3D...for ads only

Apple's iOS 5 mobile operating system will include support for WebGL, the emerging standard building hardware-accelerated 3D graphics with JavaScript. But WebGL will only be available to developers building iPhone and iPad advertisements via the company's iAd platform. Apple man Chris Marrin recently revealed this news on the …
Cade Metz, 16 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google sees 15% speed boost with HTTP tweak

Google is now using its HTTP-boosting SPDY protocol to accelerate almost all SSL web traffic between Chrome browsers and its many web services, and according to Mike Belshe, an engineer on Google's Chrome team, the protocol is juicing performance by more than 15 per cent on average. "We do not have any property that is not …
Cade Metz, 16 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google's HTTP Archive merges with Internet Archive

The HTTP Archive – a fledgling effort to record the performance of sites across the interwebs – has merged with the Internet Archive, whose Wayback Machine has long kept a similar record of internet content. Google's Steve Souders – who founded the HTTP Archive and will continue to run it – announced the merger this morning at …
Cade Metz, 15 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google Instant Pages: Search sites rendered before you click

Google has unveiled several new desktop and mobile search tools, including a Chrome service known as Instant Pages that attempts to accelerate your searches by rendering pages before you actually click on them. Already available with the developer version of Google Chrome – and due to arrive in the next stable version of the …
Cade Metz, 14 Jun 2011
For Sale sign detail

VMware unfurls fresh Spring Java 'vFabric'

VMware has unveiled a new version of its vFabric platform, a collection of software tools for building, deploying, and running SpringSource Java applications atop VMware hypervisors. Dubbed vFabric 5, the platform offers a new incarnation of the SpringSource tc server designed to improve memory management for Java applications …
Cade Metz, 14 Jun 2011
channel

Patrick Byrne: 'See, I told you America's economy was busted'

Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne has declared another victory in his six-year fight to expose fundamental flaws in the American financial markets. With a piece detailing what it calls "America's dodgy financial plumbing", the latest issue of The Economist addresses the very problem Byrne has fought so hard to uncover: naked short …
Cade Metz, 14 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

HTTP-on-steroids busts out of Google

Strangeloop – a Vancouver-based outfit offering an online service for accelerating website load times – has embraced Google's SPDY project, a new application-layer protocol designed to significantly improve the speed of good ol' HTTP. The Canadian company claims that it's the first outfit to offer a commercial product to let you …
Cade Metz, 13 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Inside the 'funky' history of Groupon's biggest shareholder

A decade before he helped found Groupon – the online daily-deals site that turned so many heads last week when it filed for an IPO valuing itself at $30bn – Eric Lefkofsky ran a startup called Starbelly.com. In the lingo of the day, the Chicago-based Starbelly was billed as a "B2B" outfit, offering a marketplace where …
Cade Metz, 11 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google borgs display ad optimizer for $400m

Google has agreed to acquire international online-advertising outfit AdMeld for $400m, according to a report citing "multiple sources". An ad-related deal of this size will almost certainly bring more antitrust scrutiny onto the company. TechCrunch first reported the acquisition on Thursday, and it was later confirmed by AdAge. …
Cade Metz, 09 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Ex-Google engineer dubs Goofrastructure 'truly obsolete'

A former Google engineer who worked on a library at the heart of "nearly every Java server at Google" has dubbed the company's much-ballyhooed backend software "well and truly obsolete". In a blog post published earlier this week, Dhanji R. Prasanna announced that he had resigned from the company, and though he praised Google in …
Cade Metz, 08 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple iCloud: Steve Jobs' own private internet

Just before the launch of its long-rumored GDrive – a service for storing all your desktop files on the web – Google killed the thing. "Files are so 1990. ... I don’t think we need files anymore," Google's Sundar Pichai told colleague Bradley Horowitz, according to the new book In the Plex. "You just want to get information into …
Cade Metz, 07 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Apple releases iTunes 10.3 with beta iCloud

Apple has released a new version of iTunes that ties into a beta incarnation of the company's just announced iCloud web services. iCloud doesn't officially launch until the fall and many of its services won't be available until then, but the new iTunes – version 10.3 – provides access some of the tools announced yesterday under …
Cade Metz, 07 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

App Engine: Google's deepest secrets as a service

Google will never open source its back end. You'll never run the Google File System or Google MapReduce or Google BigTable on your own servers. Except on the rarest of occasions, the company won't even discuss the famously distributed software that underpins its sweeping collection of web services. But if you like, you can still …
Cade Metz, 07 Jun 2011
graph up

Mac OS X Lion debuts in July as $29.99 upgrade

Mac OS X Lion – the next incarnation of Apple's desktop, notebook, and server operating system – will go on sale in July at a price of $29.99. According to Apple, the OS will offer 250 new features and 3,000 new developer APIs. This includes the multi-touch touchscreen technology popularized by the iPhone and the iPad; the Mac …
Cade Metz, 06 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google pits C++ against Java, Scala, and Go

Google has released a research paper closely comparing the performance of C++, Java, Scala, and its own Go programming language. According to Google's tests (PDF), C++ offers the fastest runtime of the four languages. But, the paper says, it also requires more extensive "tuning efforts, many of which were done at a level of …
Cade Metz, 03 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google network chief jumps to ... Microsoft

Vijay Gill – the man who oversaw The Google Network – is now at Microsoft, according to sources familiar with his move. According to Gill's LinkedIn profile, he departed Google last month, and though neither Google nor Microsoft will comment on his departure, sources tell The Register that he has moved to Redmond. Vijay Gill …
Cade Metz, 03 Jun 2011
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VMware invites Scala onto open source dev cloud

VMware has invited Scala programmers onto Cloud Foundry, its open source "platform cloud," an online service for building and readily scaling applications. When it first launched in April, the service let you build with Java, Ruby on Rails, the Ruby framework Sinatra, and Node.js, the current It Platform of the Silicon Valley …
Cade Metz, 03 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Google network and data center chief departs

Vijay Gill – who spent three years overseeing Google's famously distributed backend infrastructure – has left the company, according to his LinkedIn profile. Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Gill's LinkedIn profile indicates he left Google last month, and his current job is listed as "Engineering …
Cade Metz, 03 Jun 2011
The Register breaking news

Groupon follows LinkedIn with IPO

Six months after it rejected a $6bn takeover offer from Google, Groupon has filed for an IPO. The Chicago-based company – which sells coupons for discounted goods and services from local merchants – hopes to raise $750m. According to an SEC filing, Groupon's revenues topped $644.7m in the first quarter of 2011, up from $44.2m in …
Cade Metz, 02 Jun 2011
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Google rolls its Facebook mimic onto rest of web

Google has rolled its Facebook-mimicking "+1" button onto third-party websites. Mountain View debuted the button on its own search engine this past March, describing it as a way for Google users to recommend search results to other users. The button appeared beside weblinks as well as ads, and if you clicked on it, Google would …
Cade Metz, 01 Jun 2011
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Google open sources $68.2m realtime comm platform

Google has open sourced a framework for realtime video and audio inside the browser. Known as WebRTC, the framework is based on technology the company acquired with its $68.2 million purchase of Global IP Solutions (GIPS) last year. "We’d like to make the browser the home for innovation in real time communications," Google said …
Cade Metz, 01 Jun 2011
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Apple nemesis sues iOS, Mac, and Android devs

Lodsys – the patent holder already pressuring various iOS and Android app developers to turn over licensing fees – has now sued seven small developers in the patent-friendly Eastern District of Texas, and in truly bizarre fashion it has told targeted iOS developers that if its patent claims are wrong, it will pay them $1,000 …
Cade Metz, 31 May 2011
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Twitter slaps 'follow' button on third-party sites

Twitter has rolled out a "follow" button for third-party websites. With the button, users can instantly arrange to follow particular Twitter accounts without actually visiting the micro-blogging service. According to a Twitter blog post, more than 50 third-party sites are already offering the button, including AOL.com, the …
Cade Metz, 31 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Opera extends Speed Dial with Swordfish beta

Opera has released a new beta of its desktop browser, adding "extensions" to the Speed Dial page that appears each time you open a new browser tab. With the current stable version of Opera – version 11.10 – the Speed Dial page merely offers thumbnail links to off-visited webpages. With the new beta of version 11.50, you can …
Cade Metz, 31 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Google denies 'freeze' on manual search controls

Google search bigwig Matt Cutts and the web giant's public policy team have confirmed that Google still uses manual controls as well as its famous algorithms to determine search results, denying a blog post that said otherwise. On Thursday evening, a blog post on Launch.is – a website for a new conference founded by mega-blogger …
Cade Metz, 27 May 2011
The Register breaking news

iOS dev nemesis Lodsys pressures Android coders too?

Lodysys – the patent holder that has pressured iOS app developers to turn over revenue from in-app payments – is taking aim at Android app developers as well, according to a post on Google's Android discussion list. "If you've been following tech news lately, you may have read about a company named Lodsys that is threatening to …
Cade Metz, 27 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Google accused of stealing PayPal's mobile payment secrets

PayPal has sued Google and two Google executives who defected from PayPal to help the search giant's push into mobile payments. The suit was filed in California on Thursday, the same day Google unveiled its mobile payments system in New York. The suit (PDF) alleges that Google and Osama Bedier – the PayPal mobile payments exec …
Cade Metz, 27 May 2011
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Take that, content. APIs get own delivery network

Apigee – a company dedicated to improving the use of APIs across the interwebs – has unveiled an API delivery network designed to grease API calls in much the same way a CDN smooths the transfer of images and other net content. This API delivery network is now available as part of the existing enterprise API services that Apigee …
Cade Metz, 26 May 2011
The Register breaking news

Upstart MapR unveils 'next generation' Hadoop

Silicon Valley startup MapR has unveiled what it calls the "next generation" of Hadoop, revealing that this revamp of the open source distributed number-crunching platform drives the Hadoop appliance recently announced by EMC. According to MapR CEO and cofounder John Schroeder, the company has rebuilt Hadoop's storage system, …
Cade Metz, 26 May 2011
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MongoDB daddy: My baby beats Google BigTable

After a decade as chief technology officer at DoubleClick – the internet ad giant he cofounded in 1995 – Dwight Merriman set out to build a "platform cloud" along the lines of Google App Engine or Microsoft Azure. But this was before people called them platform clouds, before anyone knew about App Engine or Azure. It was late …
Cade Metz, 25 May 2011
chart

Google opens tiny window onto Baltic Sea-cooled data center

Google has released a video showing off the sea water–based cooling system used by its new data center on the southern coast of Finland. Due to go live later this year, the company's Hamina, Finland, data center was built on the site of a former paper mill – how's that for a metaphor? – and as previously revealed, the facility …
Cade Metz, 24 May 2011