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Google to offer special accounts for kids: report

Google is reportedly investigating how it can offer accounts to children. The Information reports that The Chocolate Factory is considering a regime whereby parents can set up accounts for kids and control the Google services they are permitted to access. Kids under 13 are currently not permitted to sign up for Google+. As your …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Aug 2014
White flag

Remember when Google+ outed everyone by their real names? Now Google's sorry

In another attempt to get someone, anyone, spending time on Google+, the Chocolate Factory has abandoned its “real names only” policy. The policy has been criticised for its entire existence. The company began deleting accounts that didn't pass its real-names test in 2011, without any particular consistency of enforcement. In …

OK Google: Gobble chat app Emu. OK Google, now shut down Emu

Google has confirmed that it has opened up its wallet to acquire the development team behind the mobile chat app Emu. The web giant has not said what Emu's developers will work on at the Chocolate Factory, but we do know that the new jobs will not include maintaining any of the startup's products. Members of the Emu team posted …
Shaun Nichols, 06 Aug 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google goes Dutch with new €600 MEELLION DC

Google is to splash the cash in The Netherlands to build a new €600 million (more than $US770 million) data centre behind the dike. To be located in Eemshaven, the Chocolate Factory attributes the choice of location to the stability of Dutch energy supplies, according to Reuters. Google already operates DCs in Ireland, Finland …
Google UK office logos

'Enterprise' ends ten-year mission: Choc Factory's biz services now Google for Work

Google has celebrated ten years of selling services to businesses by dumping the name Google Enterprise in favor of the touchier, feelier Google for Work. "We never set out to create a traditional 'enterprise' business – we wanted to create a new way of doing work," said Google chairman Eric Schmidt in a blog post. "So the …
Iain Thomson, 02 Sep 2014
Google People and Pages

Google purchases petite pollster Polar, purloined ppl punted Plus-wards

Google will gobble up Polar, a business that specializes in polling software for phones and things. The upstart announced on its website that it had agreed to shut itself down and join the Chocolate Factory's Google+ team. Polar's tools help websites and app-makers manage polls to be shown on desktop computers, tablets and …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Sep 2014
Miner sculpture

Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp

Google has quietly removed mandatory signups to its unloved "network thingy" Google+, which new Gmail users had been automatically shoved into when creating accounts on the ad giant's web-based email service. The Chocolate Factory was criticised by former employee and Digg founder Kevin Rose in January this year for linking …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Sep 2014

Google recommends pronounceable passwords

Google has updated its password manager to recommend pronounceable passwords within its flagship Chrome browser. The experimental feature was the latest development which could make it into the regular versions of Chrome as part of steady improvements to its password capture, storage and generation. Chrome evangelist and …
Darren Pauli, 07 Sep 2014

Google grand fromage Eric Schmidt: Backing climate denier lobby a 'mistake'

Google has become the latest tech giant to wonder if backing the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such a good idea. Last month, Microsoft withdrew its support for the group, saying it was no longer participating in the organisation's Communications and Technology Task Force. Google is another high-profile member …
Google Will Eat Itself

Google extends app refund window to two hours

Google has extended the period during which it will permit you to “return” apps to its Play store and receive a refund. As this archive.org link shows, as recently as September 3rd the “Return paid apps & apps” page offered a 15 minute refund window. Today's version of the page says you now have two hours before the transaction …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Sep 2014
OLPC XO3 tablet solar cover small

Google gobbles Fitbit whiz Gecko Design to strengthen those things that don't shift ads

Google has bought up Gecko Design, the industrial design house behind products like the One Laptop Per Child PC and Fitbit. "This is an incredible opportunity for everyone at Gecko," Jacques Gagne, Gecko's president and founder, gushed on the company website. "We are very excited and honored to join Google(x) and work on a …
Iain Thomson, 23 Aug 2014

EU dangles $6bn threat over Google in endless search abuse probe

Formal charges will be meted out to Google if its latest offer to tweak its search engine in Europe fails to satisfy regulators, Brussels stressed today. The American web giant is accused of abusing its dominance position in search – for example, allegedly unfairly burying its rivals way down in its web search results. The …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Sep 2014
Google Loon balloon envelope

Google to go Loony within the year

Google reckons its Loon balloons are going to be delivering a service within the next year, and has revealed that it's abandoned the radio kit it first tested in favour of LTE. When it first started playing with its stratospheric connectivity in 2013, the Chocolate Factory would only reveal that it had a “3G-like” communications …
Arrow quiver

Hey, scammers. Google's FINE with your dodgy look-a-like apps

Attackers can easily craft third party scripts to imitate Google to trick users into granting authorisation to their email accounts, says infosec chap Andrew Cantino. The Mavenlink engineer said Mountain View did not make it sufficiently clear when users were approving third party access to their data, thus making social …
Darren Pauli, 15 Sep 2014

Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter and labelled Google worse than the NSA. Here's The Dirty Digger's missive: NSA privacy invasion bad, but nothing compared to Google. — Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 17, 2014 Murdoch and Google have history, with the former accusing the latter of stealing his newspapers …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2014

Google swallows SMARTSPOON manufacturer Lift Labs

Google has made an investment in a truly shaky business with the purchase of a company which makes smartspoons for Parkinson's sufferers. Mountain View has slurped Lift Labs, which makes a "tremor-cancelling" spoon called Liftware. This device looks like an ordinary spoon, but contains microchips and sensors to work out the …
Jasper Hamill, 11 Sep 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google's Canadian 'memory hole' to continue

Google – and arguably free speech – has suffered another “memory hole” setback in its Canadian wrangle with kit vendor Equustek Solutions, and in response has begun taking down links well beyond Canada where the court case is taking place. As we reported in June, the court battle involves Google only incidentally. Equustek's …
Admiral Ackbar

Google to startup kids: Pssst, try our CLOUD ... the first $100K is FREE

Google is offering startups a cool $100,000 in credit if they're willing to power their apps using the Chocolate Factory's cloud services, rather than the competition's. The online advertising giant launched the new program, dubbed Google Cloud Platform for Startups, at its Google for Entrepreneurs Partner Summit in Mountain …
Neil McAllister, 12 Sep 2014

Google's lounge room invasion advances with Chromecast upgrade

Google is making yet another attempt to get its content into televisions. The Chocolate Factory already offers Google TV, which is either baked into a TV or a set-top box and allows users to run Android apps, the Chrome browser and access content from the Play Store. There's also Android TV, which promises more or less the same …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google: let's build our OWN quantum computer

Is Google gently backing away from D-Wave? That's one possible interpretation from this blog post, in which Mountain View tells the world it's going to add a quantum computer flavour to the Chocolate Factory. Google's Quantum Artificial Intelligence team is to partner with the University of California Santa Barbara “to design …
Chrome OS Athena screenshot

Google shows off new Chrome OS look

Google has shown off a candidate for a new Chrome OS user interface. Dubbed “Athena”, the new UI appeared fully grown from the head, and Google+ page, of Googler François Beaufort. Athena “is a brand new project the Chromium OS team is experimenting with in order to bring a new kind of user experience,” Beaufort writes, adding …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google Maps community competition falls foul of Indian regulations

Google has found itself in hot water in India, with the country's Central Bureau of Investigation launching a formal investigation into Google Maps for allegedly publishing the location of sensitive military bases. The problem arose because of a community competition held last year - Google's Mapathon 2013 - in which the …
management regulation1

TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit

Google will pocket a tidy $1.3m in fees after prevailing in a case against a patent holding firm that turned on its customers. A US District Court has ruled that Beneficial Innovations will have to cover the Chocolate Factory's legal costs after the company lost a jury case earlier this year. Google successfully argued that …
Shaun Nichols, 28 Aug 2014
Oliver Twist

Europe's Google wrangle: PLEASE, DOMINANT Mr Schmidt? More?

The European Commission apparently wants Google to make even more changes to its web search results, beyond those that Brussels has already requested. Brussels and Google are trying to reach a settlement following claims the advertising giant unfairly dominates the search market in Europe. The US goliath's rivals allege that …
Iain Thomson, 09 Sep 2014
Google UK office logos

Google's 'Captain Moonshot': I will BOMB you with DELIVERIES

Google has unveiled a new programme to build autonomous delivery drones that are capable of carrying items into remote areas. Project Wing Google's Project Wing The company said that its Project Wing craft will provide unmanned craft which could bring light deliveries to people in areas where automobile or large-scale …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Aug 2014
Google_skull

Using Hadoop for data on Google's cloud? Google would rather you didn't

Google wants to shift heavy users of its cloud services away from an open-source, community-developed filesystem and into its own proprietary Colossus tech. The upgrade was announced by the web overlord in a blog post on Tuesday that announced admins could now store Hadoop-destined data directly in Google's closed-sourced …
Jack Clark, 15 Jan 2014

YouTube radio stream boss 'quits Google' amid outcry from indie labels

The manager for Google's controversial and yet-to-launch YouTube music streaming service is leaving, the Wall Street Journal claims. Chris LaRosa is the second boss to quit the streaming subscription project in a year, the paper suggests. Assuming the report is correct, he's joining a startup. YouTube sealed deals with major …
Andrew Orlowski, 23 Jul 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Beware of Greeks bearing spammy small omicrons, says Google

A week after switching on non-Eurocentric character support in Gmail, Google has announced that it's working to get its spam filters working in the new world. Last week, the Chocolate Factory flipped the switch on non-Latin character support. That gives it a brand-new spam-catching issue to address, as it explains in this blog …
Google UK office logos

Google outlines research priorities for boffin grants

Google, through luminary Vint Cerf, has given the world a glimpse of its immediate research priorities. You'll be pleased to know that The Chocolate Factory still ranks freedom of speech and expression, Internet governance, standards, accessibility, access and IP protection as things it thinks need more study. In this post from …
Monty Python Norwegian Blue dead parrot sketch

Google's Pankhurst doodle doo-doo shows the perils of using Google to find stuff out

Google appears to have relied on, er, crowd-sourced facts from Wikipedia for its latest Doodle, which celebrates the 156th birthday of British suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. The vast advertising firm suggests in its sketch that the women's rights' campaigner was born on 15 July 1858. Googling "Emmeline Pankhurst" will also get …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 Jul 2014
Four new styles for Google Glass

The future's so bright, Google Glass now comes with shades

The queue to become a Glasshole just became a lot shorter: Google has put its tech specs on sale to US residents. The Chocolate Factory has made a rare post to Google+ in which it says “starting today anyone in the US can buy the Glass Explorer Edition." There's one catch: the sentence quoted above continues with "as long as we …
Simon Sharwood, 14 May 2014

Google Glass HOLED: Techno-specs' inventor jets off to Amazon

An academic turned corporate researcher, described as "the visionary" behind Google Glass, has jumped ship to arch-rival Amazon. Dr Babak Parviz announced on his Google+ page on Saturday that he was moving to Amazon, and was "super excited." He later said he was looking forward to "working on a few other things" for the gigantic …
Jack Clark, 14 Jul 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Google has spaffed more cash on lobbying this year than Big Cable

Google has single-handedly outspent Big Cable in terms of lobbying dollars so far in 2014. The ad giant spent $9.3m compared to the $8.15m spent by the NCTA, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, according to the Open Secrets website, which keeps count. The NCTA represents Time Warner and Comcast and is run by …
Andrew Orlowski, 01 Sep 2014
US soldiers fire a Javelin missile. Credit: US Army

Google pulls Gaza games from Play store

Google has removed the games Bomb Gaza and Gaza Assault: Code Red from its Play app store. The games tasked players with destroying Hamas combatants and rockets without killing civilians, and have been criticised as glorifying violence. Unlike Apple, which pre-approves all games on iTunes, Google does not have a rigorous …
Simon Rockman, 05 Aug 2014

Go home Google, you're drunk! Desktop Maps says The Shard's TWO MILES from actual loc

Anyone searching for directions to The Shard on the desktop version of Google Maps may be surprised to discover that the pointy, glassy London skyscraper is apparently plonked in the middle of one of the capital's best-known landmarks, Trafalgar Square. Eagle-eyed reader Pete Jones spotted the mapping blunder and tipped off The …
Team Register, 11 Sep 2014
Google Chocolate Factory

Google: Mmm. Tab-free Gmail desktop client? We won't DENY it

Google is working on a radical new redesign of the desktop version of its webmail service Gmail, it has been speculated. This comes after screenshots surfaced detailing various features Google is allegedly testing out. When quizzed about the gossip, Google declined to confirm or deny that a makeover was planned. A spokesperson …
Team Register, 12 May 2014

Google mulls splashing MEEELLIONS on laying fat pipe in watery depths

Google is mulling over splashing some of its cash on a new, multimillion-dollar undersea cable for its private network. The ad giant is considering laying the new cable under the Pacific Ocean to link its data centres in Oregon and Japan, familiar people whispered to the Wall Street Journal. By investing in the cable itself, …
Kindle Big Brother

Google buys shagadelic playlist biz Songza

Google has acquired music streaming biz Songza for its data-harvesting capabilities. The Pandora-like website creates "mood music" playlists for specific contexts, so it will suggest a playlist of songs for when you're about to, say, have a shower - or have sex. Songza's CEO rather gave the game away when he told CNET: There …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Jul 2014

Google ghostly graphics haunt Image search

A slam dunking NBA star and a fatal car crash isn't normally what you'd expect to find when Googling for puppies, but it is exactly what users have received overnight due to some unknown perversion of Google Images. The bug affected a scattering of users from dozens of countries. Australia, the US, the UK and many others noticed …
Darren Pauli, 27 Aug 2014

Google spares founders from TERMINATORS, but not Eric Schmidt

A chap named yueq over at Y Combinator has spotted evidence that Google has decided founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin need protection from Terminators. Proof comes in the form of Google's killer-robots.txt page, which reads as follows: User-Agent: T-1000 User-Agent: T-800 Disallow: /+LarryPage Disallow: /+SergeyBrin In case …
Simon Sharwood, 04 Jul 2014

Google to refund buyers of 'fake' anti-virus app

Google has decided that a smallish (for The Chocolate Factory) wad of cash is a trivial price to pay for maintaining its reputation, and has begun refunding punters who fell for the fake “virus shield” scam. Uncovered by Android Police earlier this month, the fake virus scanner was nothing more than an icon that changed shape …
Traffic in Beijing during period of heavy pollution

'In... 15 feet... you will be HIT BY A TRAIN' Google patents the SPLAT-NAV

Looking up from your smartphone to avoid being splattered by a taxi – Google now owns the patent on that. The US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rubber-stamped a filing that described using location tracking, ambient noise detection, and public record information to warn users when they could be in danger. According to …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Sep 2014
Chromebox for Meetings

Google Hangouts get down to business – and all dressed to the nines

Google's voice conference system Hangouts is being smartened up in the hope of breaking into the business market. Google will put Hangouts on a par with the rest of its stuff online – and promises 99.9 per cent uptime with 24/7 telephone support if something does go wrong. In addition, Hangout users will no longer need a …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2014

FORGET OUR PAST, 12,000 Europeans implore Google

A widely distributed report by Agence-France Presse quotes a Google official as saying 12,000 Europeans have asked the ad-slinging giant to omit some search results linked to their name. Of course, the web giant can simply ignore the requests, and send the complainants to information commissioners or the courts to deal with. …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Jun 2014

Google to acquire satellite eye-in-sky Skybox for $500m

Google has entered into an agreement to acquire its Mountain View, California neighbor Skybox Imaging, a five-year-old satellite imagery and data-analysis startup. "We're thrilled to announce that Skybox Imaging has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!" the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. The deal will …
Rik Myslewski, 10 Jun 2014

Google kicks PowerPoint in the fondleslab

Google has launched a new iOS app for Apple's iThings that takes aim at Microsoft's Office for the iPad and a swipe at Apple's productivity software. The Chocolate Factory has made the new mobile Slides app available via iTunes. The files are then synced across Android gadgets and Apple iPhones and iPads. You can also …
Jasper Hamill, 26 Aug 2014
Rupert Murdoch @ Davos 2009 credit: World Economic Forum

Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims

Google has penned a response to News Corp’s accusations that the web firm is a “platform for piracy” and its exhortation to Europe to crack down on on the search firm even further. In a post on the Choc Factory’s official blog, Rachel Whetstone, head of global comms, rebutted News Corp’s points one by one while taking a few …

China blocks Google ahead of Tiananmen anniversary

Chinese Web monitor Greatfire.org says the Great Firewall is interfering with Google searches in the Middle Kingdom ahead of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. The group says TCP connections to Google IPs are being blocked by the firewall, getting in the way of “search, images, translate, Gmail and almost all …
Google Chocolate Factory

Speaking in Tech: 'Right to be forgotten' ruling – what would Google do?

speaking_in_tech Greg Knieriemen podcast enterprise Hosted by Greg Knieriemen, Ed Saipetch and Sarah Vela. This week, Ed is out so it's just Sarah and Greg stirring up the week's tech news. This week we discuss… Revving through San Jose (1:00) Sarah's 4th (3:35) Box gets more money (4:50) Public vs Private cloud for file …
Team Register, 09 Jul 2014
Near-death...or the London Underground - is it one in the same..?

Sacre BLEURGH: Google thinks London's Victoria station is on the PARIS Metro

Google Maps is sloppily displaying the French Metro symbol for some route options on the subway London Underground. The UK capital's iconic Tube brand has been replaced with the letter "M" in some instances on the ad giant's mapping app, which is a symbol used by the subterranean transport network in Paris, France. Reg reader …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 May 2014