Tag: Google

Google patents sticky bonnet

Screen-Shot-2016-05-19-at-12.48.39-PMSearch engine outfit Google has been awarded patent number 61911853 which could help prevent pedestrian injuries by sticking those who step infront of its autonomous cars to the bonnet.

The idea is that if a car hit a pedestrian, the person would be glued to the car instead of flying off and this will prevent a secondary impact between the pedestrian and the road surface or other object.

Google explains that an “adhesive layer” would be placed on the hood, front bumper and front side panels of a car. A thin coating would protect it until an impact occurred.

Google patent shows how a self-driving car could protect pedestrians with a fly-paper-like coating.

The double-sided tape concept could mitigate some pedestrian injuries, the concept is far from ideal if it pinned a victim between the car and another object.

“Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents,” a Google spokeswoman said in a statement.

Google targeting Office 365

google-ICGoogle is getting more agressive in its attempts to lure customers to Google Apps from Microsoft Office 365 after its initial programme was successful.

An incentive which allowed midsize businesses locked in contracts with other vendors to use Google Apps at no cost until those contracts expired was started in October and expired on April 14.

But Google has decided to maintain the incentive until the end of 2016, while also making it easier for smaller companies to qualify.

Writing in his bog, Neil Delaney, sales director for Google Apps said that the programme, which also helps fund migrations to Google’s cloud is doing rather well.

More than 20,000 midsize companies took advantage of the offer since October, launching 200,000 new Apps seats they wouldn’t have to pay for until licenses with other software vendors expired.

The original iteration of the programme applied to companies with between 250 and 3,000 employees. Delaney said Google fielded so much interest from smaller customers that it reduced the threshold to 100 employees for the extension period.

The programme aims to induce companies locked into an Enterprise Agreement (EA) to switch to Google Apps.  It gives new customers the opportunity to influence the move to Apps and gives decision makers the final incentive to make the switch.

Google wouldn’t name specific competitors from whom it sees the programme siphoning customers.  But it is pretty obviously talking about the sort of volume license offered by Microsoft for certain products, including Office 365.

 

Google expands its cloud offerings worldwide

Google's Eric "Google Glass" SchmidtSearch Engine Google is expanding its data centre operations worldwide, announcing more than 10 new Google Cloud Platform regions to take on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The first two new regions are set for Oregon in the United States and Tokyo in Japan, and are expected to be up and running by the end of 2016. The rest will follow in 2017.

Varun Sakalkar, Google Cloud’s product manager said that the outfit was opening these new regions to help Cloud Platform customers deploy services and applications nearer to their own customers, for lower latency and greater responsiveness.

“With these new regions, even more applications become candidates to run on Cloud Platform, and get the benefits of Google-level scale and industry leading price/performance,” he said.

The cloud business is getting more cutthroat with AWS, Google, and Microsoft engaged in a bitter price war in recent years, attempting to undercut each other in order to attract customers.

Google has made moves this year to boost its cloud infrastructure strategy and is thinking of buying a number of cloud companies for acquisition, endeavouring to diversify its software and infrastructure offerings to match those of Microsoft Azure and AWS.

Interestingly, AWS has 12 regions globally, the same number Google today announced it was targetting. IBM will soon have 15 major data centres around the world.

Google has just four cloud regions, but with that sphere of influence set to quadruple into new markets across the globe, international customers are about to have a much tougher choice when it comes to choosing a public cloud provider.

 

Eastern ODMs take bite out of server market

hp_serversUnless you are HPE, everyone appears to be doing well out of the global server market,  but it seems that the Asian ODMs such as Quanta and Wistron are continuing to bite out a larger share of the global server market.

According to beancounters at Gartner’s the global server market grew 8.2 percent in shipments and 9.2 percent in revenues in the fourth quarter on an annual comparison.

Those outside the top five saw revenues beef up 18.9 percent to $4.75 billion and shipments increase 16 percent to 1.26 million in Q4.

Between them they have between 31.4 and 42.5 percent of the market in revenue and shipment terms, respectively.

Jeffrey Hewitt, research vice president at Gartner said that this demonstrates that the growth of hyperscale datacentres, like those of Facebook, Google and Microsoft, continues to be the leading contributor to physical server increases globally.

Meanwhile Market leader HPE’s shipments were hit by global weakness in Windows-based x86 servers, while its revenues were affected by a drop in RISC/Itanium Unix server sales.

HPE’s share of server revenues dropped from 27.9 to 25.2 percent however it is still  10 points ahead of closest rival Dell, which grew revenues 4.5 percent. IBM grew revenues 10.3 percent, Lenovo 2.9 percent and Cisco 20.2 percent.

 

 

Google and Amazon will win cloud wars

grandpa_simpson_yelling_at_cloudBeancounters from Forrester believe that the future of cloud computing belongs to Amazon and Google.

Analyst John Rymer says “public cloud services,” which is where the future lies and even Dell’s EMC purchase can’t change that.

Amazon and Google now offer their own infrastructure to the rest of the world as cloud computing services. This will be bad news for Microsoft which is bigger than Google at the moment.

Forrester’s report, which draws on interviews with vendors and customers across the market, looks exclusively at “public cloud services” rather than private clouds.

Rymer and Forrester now call the public cloud a “hyper-growth” market. Its new report predicts that this market will grow to $191 billion by 2020. That’s 20 percent more than they predicted in their previous report, back in 2011.

“The adoption among cloud among enterprises, which is really where the money is, has really picked up steam. It’s a big shift. The cloud has arrived. It’s inevitable.”

The report encompasses a wide range of services, like Amazon’s EC2, which serves up virtual machines where you can run practically any software you want and Microsoft Office 365, a suite of pre-built and configured software applications you can tap into via the ‘net.

It said that companies like Amazon and Microsoft and Google continue to expand across all these areas. Amazon just introduced a sweeping array of new services last week.

According to the report, “cloud platform services” like Amazon EC2, where you can build and run your own software, will be a $44 billion market by 2020. Meanwhile, back-end business services will reach $14 billion, and cloud software applications will hit $131 billion.

“A lot of businesses are now saying: ‘I want to move my operational application, back office applications, into public clouds. That’s a big deal. In the past, so many people said: ‘I’m never going there.’ Now they’re actually working at it.”

The public cloud won’t take over the whole IT market, Rymer says, but this is where the big growth lies. According to Rhymer, software-as-a-service offerings such as Office 365 are growing the quickest at the moment.

The biggest winner here will likely be Amazon because it has a massive customer base and they’re been at it longer.

Amazon has revealed that its cloud operation is now a $4.6 billion business, and the company expects it to grow to $6.23 billion by the end of the year. The next-biggest player is Microsoft. In April, Redmond said it’s on track to reach $6.3 billion in revenue this year, including sales of its Office 365 and its Dynamics customer relationship management service. Google, in many respects, has a technical lead on Amazon and Microsoft, but it was slower to market. IBM, with its acquisition of a company called SoftLayer is also a presence.

Services from Google and IBM may not grow as quickly as Amazon’s. But they will grow. It’s where the world is moving, the report said.

Google increases targeted advertising power

 

google-ICGoogle has released a new advertising project called Customer Match, lets advertisers upload their customer and promotional email address lists into AdWords.

The new targeting capability extends beyond search to include both YouTube Trueview ads and the newly launched native ads in Gmail.

It is the first time Google has allowed advertisers to target ads against customer-owned data in Adwords. Google matches the email addresses against those of signed-in users on Google. Individual addresses are hashed and anonymized. Advertisers can set bids and create ads specifically geared to audiences built from their email lists.

In the past Advertisers could serve ads to site visitors and customers with display ads using retargeting lists captured in Google Analytics. Another product, Retargeting Lists for Search Ads (RLSA), allows users to bid on and serve ads tailored to audiences when they search on Google. Retargeting lists are built with cookies, which users can delete or block and aren’t suited for mobile. Email addresses and user sign-ins, on the other hand, are more stable across devices.

The Customer Match offering brings Google into line with those available from both Facebook and Twitter. Enabling CRM uploads and targeting has been incredibly successful for Facebook, and Twitter and advertisers have been pushing for Google to do the same.

In addition to reaching existing segments such as newsletter subscribers, recent buyers or loyalty program participants, advertisers can target new prospects with an expansion of Similar Audiences.

To get started with Customer Match, advertisers upload their email lists to Audiences within AdWords either manually or via the API. There is no limit to the number of lists.

EU denies it is “anti-American”

euThe EU has denied US corporate claims that it is “anti-American” in its recent wave of litigation against top American tech companies.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s accusations of anti-US bias over her decision to go after Google for abusing its internet search dominance and Apple over an Irish tax deal, saying such talk was a fallacy.

The US media fails to understand why all the cases on Vestager’s agenda all happen to be big companies from the Land of the Free – Google, Apple, Amazon and Starbucks. The feeling is that regulation is for non-American companies and the US should be allowed to do what it likes in its colonies.

Vestager told the Foreign Policy Association in New York that the nationality of companies played no role in her assessment.

“Yes, US companies are often involved when we investigate the digital industry. But you will also see many Japanese firms in our car-part cartel cases,” she said.

The European Commission is now studying Google’s response to antitrust charges of favouring its Google Shopping service over rivals. It is also investigating the company’s popular Android operating system for smartphones.

Amazon is in the EU’s crosshairs for a Luxembourg tax deal and Starbucks for a Dutch tax arrangement.

The EU is also wondering if it should ban cloud connections to the the US while its intelligence agencies insist that they have the right to steal it.

Google partners have another Cloud product

LOD_Cloud_Diagram_as_of_September_2011Google is adding another product in its range of big data services on the Google Cloud Platform today.

Dubbed the Cloud Dataproc service, the product is in beta, but Google Beta products normally stay that way for years.

The service sits between managing the Spark data processing engine or Hadoop framework directly on virtual machines and a fully managed service like Cloud Dataflow.

This allows the partner to orchestrate data pipelines on Google’s platform.

Dataproc users can create a Hadoop cluster in under 90 seconds and Google will only charge 1 cent per virtual CPU/hour in the cluster. It is top of the usual cost of running virtual machines and data storage, but you can add Google’s cheaper preemptible instances to your cluster to save a bit on compute costs. Billing is per-minute, with a 10-minute minimum.

Users can set up ad-hoc clusters when needed and because it is managed, Google will handle the administration for them.

It is compatible with all existing Hadoop-based products, and it should be a doddle to port existing workloads over to Google’s new service.

Some punters want total control over their data pipeline and processing architecture and are more likely to want to run and manage their own virtual machines. Dataproc users won’t have to make any real tradeoffs when compared to setting up their own infrastructure.

All roads lead to Chrome – at least in schools

chromebookPeople mocked when Google’s high-priced Chromebook Pixel laptop was released. 

After all who would buy a $999 Chromebook Pixel 2 which seemed to do most of its work on the internet running lite services like Google Docs and Facebook but not traditional PC software like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop.

The Dell Chromebook 13 starts at $399 for a laptop with a metal exterior, carbon fibre cover, 13-inch 1,920×1,080 screen, Intel Celeron processor, 2 gigabytes of memory and 16GB of storage. Prices range up to $899 for models with touch screens.

However it did rather well and Dell was so impressed that it designed a much cheaper version of its own.

Google’s Rajen Sheth told CNet the schools market was driving a move to Chromebooks.

They accounted for 8.1 percent of portable computer shipments in the first quarter of 2015 in the United States. That figure is predicted to rise to 10.6 percent for the full year and rise further to 12.4 percent for 2016.

Schools like Chromebooks because the hardware is cheap and teachers can control what they provide to the kids and restrict what kids can access.

Chromebooks have low management costs and are centrally managed so teachers don’t waste time handling tech support, he said.

The devices are easily shared, with students’ data and settings stored in the cloud and retrieved when they log in. And Google Apps for Education, free to schools and now with more than 45 million students using it daily, offers low-cost software for word processing, email, file sharing, presentations and chatting.

Now, Google hopes to push Chrome OS more into businesses, too. The low purchasing and management costs are a big part of the sales pitch there, too.

“There are 4 billion working adults in the world, but only about 750 million PCs,” Sheth said. “With the Chromebook, companies are able to expand the population of users who have access to those devices.”

Google buys Samsung 3D NAND

edefectoSearch engine Google is rumoured to be signing up for Samsung’s 3D NAND in its data centres in a move which is similar to its rival’s Amazon. 

Samsung’s 3D NAND is currently used in Kaminario K2 all-flash arrays and is being tipped for MacBooks.

Neither Google nor Samsung have commented but if it pans out then it means that stacking 32 layers of planar 2D NAND built using 39-30nm-class cell geometry in a die, is the way forward. It also means that Samsung must have a better price and performance advantage over other flash fabricators.

Samsung’s 3D NAND is generally available while its rivals are still at the sampling stage with GA late this year or in 2016. SanDisk is sampling a 48-layer chip, but Samsung is expected to match that soon.

Since it has signed big supply deals with Amazon, Apple and Google, Samsung clearly has its foot in the door. It also means that these big data centre operators will be buying less planar NAND than otherwise from the other flash suppliers.

Google loses over privacy settings

330ogleThe UK Court of Appeal has turned down an attempt by Google to overthrow a previous verdict that allowed people to sue it over privacy settings.

The case, according to the BBC, centres around allegations that Google got round security settings on the Apple Safari browser and threw advertising cookies on people’s websites to advertise stuff.

Google said it wasn’t pleased with the court’s decision. It had attempted to get the courts to prevent peole suing it because it claims people didn’t suffer financially.

But the judges said that the allegations raise serious problems which do merit a trial.

They continued: “The case relates to the anxiety and distress this intrusion upon autonomy has caused. They concern what is alleged to have been the secret and blanket tracking and coalition of information.”

Google’s motto is it does no evil. It claims it hasn’t done anything wrong.

But the US Federal Trade Commission has already fined Google $40 million, while 38 US states also fined the search giant.

Egyptians cloned Google security certificate

amumSearch engine Google is furious that an Egyptian networking company  managed to clone its security certificate.

According to Google’s bog, the search engine became aware of unauthorised digital certificates for several Google domains. The certificates were issued by an intermediate certificate authority apparently held by a company called MCS Holdings. MCS is a Value Added Distribution focusing on Networking and Automation businesses based near Cairo.

This intermediate certificate was issued by CNNIC.

CNNIC is included in all major root stores and it means that the misused certificates would be trusted by almost all browsers and operating systems. Chrome on Windows, OS X, and Linux, ChromeOS, and Firefox 33 and greater would have rejected these certificates because of public-key pinning, although misused certificates for other sites likely exist.

Google got on the blower to the CNNIC and other major browsers about the incident, and blocked the MCS Holdings certificate in Chrome with a CRLSet push.

CNNIC said that it had contracted with MCS Holdings on the basis that MCS would only issue certificates for domains that they had registered. But MCS installed it in a man-in-the-middle proxy which meant they could intercept secure connections by masquerading as the intended destination.

This was so that effectively it could use the certificate for customers who wanted to monitor their staff use of the world wide wibble.

“However CNNIC delegated its substantial authority to an organization that was not fit to hold it,” growled Google.

Chrome users do not need to take any action to be protected by the CRLSet updates. We have no indication of abuse and we are not suggesting that people change passwords or take other action. At this time we are considering what further actions are appropriate

Google Glass isn’t dead yet

gglassGoogle’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said that the technology behind his outfit’s Glass project is too important to throw away, and that the programme has been put under the control of Nest’s Tony Fadell to “make it ready for users”.

After Google stopped selling its wearable Glass device in January this year, many people speculated that the controversial gadget was on its way out for good. However Schmidt said that Google had only ended the Explorer programme and the press claimed that it had cancelled everything.

“Google is about taking risks and there’s nothing about adjusting Glass that suggests we’re ending it.” Schmidt added that Glass remains a “big and very fundamental platform for Google,” and that just like the company’s self-driving cars, the wearable device is a work in progress that will take years to come to fruition.

It’s like saying the self-driving car is a disappointment because it’s not driving me around now, said Schmidt.

Reports last December suggested that Google might be planning to launch a new, cheaper version of Glass this year, based around Intel parts with the updated model also reportedly offering a refreshed design and longer battery life.

However the list of “fixes” needed before Glass was viable was extremely long. However, Schmidt is suggesting that the company is committed to getting something like it into the shops.

 

Google “fiddled its figures” – official

330ogleThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) considered taking Google to the cleaners in 2012 for abusing its monopoly position but in the end decided against the move.

That’s according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which said the five FTC commissioners decided not to pursue their findings.

FTC investigators discovered proof that Google abused its monopolistic position and used techniques that harmed competitors such as TripAdvisor.

The reason the FTC did not pursue the case was because it was going to be hard for the poor dears to prove its case. They also felt that Google was “popular”.

Google has a different angle on the findings claiming there was no need for the FTC to take action because it isn’t evil.

The European Commission (EC) doesn’t appear to be shying away from investigating Google, despite a series of high profile spinning events Google organised towards the end of last year.

The FTC discovered that Google interweaved its own products into search results, skewing objective results.

 

Intel, Google, TAG to make smart watch

Swiss Watches the BrandEver eager to join the fashion bandwagon, chip giant Intel has joined up with TAG Heuer and Google to create a smart watch which they will launch before the end of the year.

TAG Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver told a press conference at a Swiss watch trade show that the deal is a “marriage of technological innovation with watchmaking credibility”.

The watch will use the Android Wear platform and use Intel chips but it’s unclear quite how much it will cost when it’s released.

Intel suit Michael Bell, who is the general manager of Intel’s new devices group, said that making a luxury watch in collaboration with TAG Heuer and Google brings the vision of wearable technology that bit nearer.

The Google man, David Singleton, said that the Swiss watch has inspired generations of artists and engineers. And Google. He said that Google can now imagine a better, beautiful and smarter watch.

Apple releases its range of smart watches next month, and much will depend on whether that is a flop or a success. Intel has never been particularly brilliant at creating reference designs that have long battery lives and its other ventures into consumer technology have all, without exception, been damp squibs.

TAG Heuer doesn’t make cheap watches, so you probably have to have a chunk of disposable income to impress – or alternatively depress, your friends.