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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 …
A boat full of Fail

Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...

A number of Google services including Gmail, Contacts, Calendars, Chat, Drive and, er, Google+ suffered a midweek sag this morning just as Brits were downing their first cups of coffee. The ad giant's network appeared crippled to some users within the last hour. Register reader John told us that lots of different Google …
Kelly Fiveash, 22 Oct 2014
Google chrome logo

Google introduces Chromebook-control-freaking-as-a-service

Google's launched management-as-a-service for Chromebooks, as part of its ongoing efforts to make the browser-centric computers more attractive to business. Google's announcement of the new service blends a few new items and a few previously-announced business tools. Perhaps most useful among the new bits is a single sign-on ( …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Oct 2014
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
The standard USB 3 connector

Google puts Chrome credentials on USB drives for two-factor authentication

Google has announced support for a platform which will allow users to log into applications by pressing a button on a secured USB drive. The company announced that it will add support for the Security Key platform into Google applications on Chrome. The decision brings two-factor authentication to0 Google's apps. Security Key …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Oct 2014
Admiral Ackbar

Google: Hey kids, dump all your files over here with us!

Google said that it will be offering unlimited storage for students on its Apps for Education service. The Chocolate Factory announced via blog post that it would be rolling out a series of updates to the Apps for Education platform that will include unlimited storage for students with accounts on the service. The company said …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Oct 2014
Slide from Oracle's 2012 case against Google using Java

Google hauls Java-on-Android spat into US Supreme Court

Google's long and bitter dispute with Oracle over the Java implementation in Android is set to go all the way to the US Supreme Court. The court has listed Google's request to have the US Court of Appeals' decision in the case reviewed. The row has been bubbling along since 2011, when Oracle alleged Google owed it “billions” …
Simon Sharwood, 09 Oct 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
Privacy image

German data commish makes a Hamburger out of Google

In another likely-to-be-fruitless attempt to rein in the globalisation of privacy invasion, Hamburg is telling Google to seek punters' permission for a range of services that build user profiles. The news comes just a day after Brussels told Android OEMs they could either open the skirts on their contracts with Google, or face …
Use google.com button

SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links

The BBC will publish a summary of articles removed from Google search rankings under the infamous "right to be forgotten" rules. At a public meeting, the Beeb's editorial policy chief, David Jordan, said the public also had a "right to remember". A ruling by the European Court of Justice in May ordered Google to remove links …
Jasper Hamill, 17 Oct 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
Cellular antenna. Source: Vxla/Flickr

FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is firing up an investigation into millimetre-wave frequency spectrum allocations, and Google has filed an application to fool around with the same band. The FCC “notice of inquiry” is intended to work out what the US's regulatory response will be to the use of frequencies beyond 24 …

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

Lollipop unwrapped: Chromium WebView will update via Google Play

Android 5.0, codenamed Lollipop, has introduced a key change to the WebView component, used by app developers to display HTML 5 content within their apps, making new features more readily available. WebView — based on the open source Chromium project (Chrome without the proprietary bits) — will now be updateable via Google's …
Tim Anderson, 23 Oct 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 …
hands waving dollar bills in the air

Google promises MORE CHOCOLATE to squish Chrome bugs

Google has announced an uptick to what it'll pay for Chrome bugs, under its bug bounty program. The Chocolate Factory's bumping up the top published payment under the bounty to US$15,000 (while noting that for particularly spectacular bugs it's been known to pay out as much as US$30,000 under the old rules). The starting price …
David and Goliath in the Valley of Elah

AndroidScript returns to Google Play Store: Ad giant YIELDS TO THE MIGHT OF EL REG

Hurrah! It woz the Reg wot won it ... An educational app used by thousands of young science, technology, engineering and maths students is set to be reinstated by Google, just one day after we revealed that it had been yanked without warning from the company's Play Store. Dave Smart, the creator behind AndroidScript, got in …
Team Register, 10 Oct 2014
Google Fiber

Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)

Another US city will be get a high-speed fiber broadband network courtesy of Google, though it is a few months late. Google's Austin Fiber website confirms that starting in December, residents will be able to start signing up for the gigabit-a-second service. The launch will make Austin the third US city to get a Google Fiber …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Oct 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
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 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

NAKED CELEBRITY PICS LAW BOMB dropped on ad giant Google

A Los Angeles attorney is threatening to sue Google's top execs, after accusing them of failing to remove stolen naked photos of female celebrities from its search results. But Mountain View has insisted it tore down "tens of thousands of pictures within hours." Lawyer Martin Singer, writing in a letter to Google cofounders …
Shaun Nichols, 02 Oct 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 …

Google ordered to tear down search results from its global dotcom by French court

In one of the first rulings of its kind, a French court last month ordered Google to remove links to defamatory information from its search results globally. Up to now, most rulings have limited themselves to the local top level domain – such as Google.fr. However, the decision of the High Court in Paris was that this would be …
Jennifer Baker, 03 Oct 2014
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
Mind blown

Mind-blowing! You'll totally believe what Google is now calling its Cloud Platform previews

Google is changing what it calls preview versions of its Cloud Platform products, a move it says is designed to add "transparency, speed, and simplicity" to its release process. "Going forward, all products will be pre-released in Alpha format for testing by a select group of customers, and after passing this phase, will be …
Neil McAllister, 03 Oct 2014